does the Internet Cause Mental Illness?

I did a search “Does the Internet cause Mental Illness? on Google. I Only was presented “No The Internet Does Not Cause Mental Illness, but It Can Cure It!” (Literally, I will copy and post that nect)
This search is BING SERTCH ENGYNE. Have not used it yet on This Browser or Computer-IT HAS NOT BUILT ALGORITHMIC DATA ON MY PERCULAR SEARCH TARGETS.
The BING Search here:
  1. Internet Overuse May Cause DepressionWebMD

    http://www.webmd.com/…/news/20100802/internet-overuse-may-cause-depression

    Aug 02, 2010 · Internet Overuse May Cause Depression. … “This result suggests that young people who are initially free of mental health problems but use the Internet

  2. Spending too much time online ‘causing mental illness in …

    http://www.mirror.co.uk/lifestyle/health/spending-much-time-online…

    Spending too much time online ‘causing mental illness in children’ government health advisers warn. … mental illness in children government healthinternet

  3. Eight new mental illnesses brought to you by the Internet

    Oct 16, 2013 · Video embedded · Eight new mental illnesses brought … Manual of Mental Disorders does not recognize … illnesses brought to you by the Internet” was …

  4. 6 New Personality Disorders Caused by the Internet

    6 New Personality Disorders Caused by the Internet; Articles … a online journal about her struggle to live with her illness. … Does it Happen on the Internet?

  5. Internet | Mental Health Foundation

    https://www.mentalhealth.org.uk/a-to-z/i/internet

    The internet can inform and empower people with mental health problems, as well as their relatives, carers, service providers and policy makers.

  6. Constant Internet access ’causes sleep disorders and …

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2158035/Constant-Internet

    Constant Internet access ’causes sleep disorders and depression with late night users most likely … stress and symptoms of mental health; … Break the internet Nicki!

  7. 5 Disorders Caused by the Internet, TV, Magazines and …

    mentalfloss.com/article/31152/5-disorders-causedinternet-tv…

    ©2017 Mental Floss … 5 Disorders Caused by the Internet, TV, … sympathy from others—Münchausen by Internet is a patterned behavior of feigned illness, …

  8. Social media: how does it affect our mental health and …

    • 4.2/5 ·
    • 87 ratings ·
    • Psychology/Psychiatry/Mental Health

    Numerous studies have suggested that using social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter can affect mental health … of Internet sites that … causes, what are …

  9. Can The Internet Affect Your Mental Health?

    www.mentalhealthguide.com/can-the-internet-affect-your-mental-health

    This Mental Health Guide fills in the details on how the internet can affect your mental health. … can cause despair … The Internet Affect Your Mental Health?

  10. Light Friday: 8 Mental Illnesses Caused by the Internet

    news.thomasnet.com/the-light-side/2013/10/18/light-friday-8-mental

    The Light Side. Topics The Light Side … 8 Mental Illnesses Caused by the Internet. By IMT … Psychologists have cataloged and named eight official mental illnesses

Jan 18, 2016

Social media isn’t increasing mental illness, but it can help fight it …. a single cause oversimplifies the …

Instagram worst app for young people’s mental health – CNN – CNN.com

May 19, 2017

Instagram worst social media app for young people’s mental health ….. in unhappiness, but it has as many …

Thomas Insel, the director of the National Institute of Mental Health, wonders: Could we do the same for …

Why Instagram Is the Worst Social Media for Mental Health | Time.com

time.com/4793331/instagram-social-media-mental-health/
May 25, 2017

Instagram is the worst social media network for mental health and … Social media posts can also set …

Cats Don’t Directly Cause Mental Illness: Study | Time.com

time.com/4678615/cats-mental-health-problems-study/
Feb 22, 2017

Cats Don’t Cause Mental Health Problems, Study Says … parasite does increase mental illness risk, it …

Mental Health: 2016 Election Is Causing Stress, Anxiety | Time.com

time.com/4299527/election-mental-health/
Apr 26, 2016

Engaging with politics may be part of our civic duty, but presidential elections can be emotionally exhausting …

Aug 22, 2014

Internet addiction was first proposed as a psychiatric disorder in 1996, … of Health website, “Internet

Apr 19, 2015

Events in the Middle East could be contributing to increasing discrimination of Arabs and Muslims in Australia …

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Big Pharma’s Kill Chart

Big Pharma  Big Pharma Genocide  Big Brother  Mafia (Authority) Psychopaths (Mafia)  Corporatocracy

BIG PHARMA’S KILL CHART
So you believe Big Brother doesn’t exist?

Ever wondered why the NHS is bust?

[Big Pharma is Psychopathic, Satanic, Corporate, Government (Authoritarian, crypto-Fascist, pseudo-Democratic, Genocidal, Murdering, Mass poisoning, Terrorising, Robbing, Lying) pseudo-medicine, and it shows!!!]

“The biological, psychological, moral and economic destruction of the majority of normal people becomes, for the pathocrats, a biological necessity.” ~ Dr Andrew Łobaczewski Unnecessary Disease & procedures (USA) Deaths caused (yearly USA)
AIDS-HIV racketHIV never isolated, invented to kill people with drugs such as AZT (600,000 deaths), with Fear, & Infectious scare benefits.            13,712 (yearly)
Vaccine (and Birth trauma) derived autism spectrum disorder (1 in 68, 2014, cost $236-262 billion)                   3.5 million
Asthma, mostly vaccine (and drug) derived , 1 in 12 (cost $56 billion)                 25 million
Estimated vaccine Deaths            16,000  (yearly)
Gardasil vaccine VAERS reports (only 1-3% reported)                  40,000 inc 230 deaths
Estimated vaccine side effects based on VAERS (only 1-3% reported) VACCINATION IS CHILD ABUSE                    1-2 million (yearly)
Eczema, mostly vaccine (and drug) derived                  36 million
Chemotherapy/cancer deaths (cost $150 billion). Big Brother causes (e.g. Fluoride, etc) and suppresses all the cures.          500,000  (yearly)
Alzheimer’s. Big Brother causes (7,8) and suppresses the cures (9 10 11 12). Cost: $226 billion in 2015.                  5.3 million            84,767  (yearly)
Heart disease. Cures suppressed (13, 14) with toxic heart drugs promoted like Statins & Vioxx (120,000 deaths)          610,000  (yearly)
In hospital, adverse drug reactions (1)                 2.2 million (yearly)
Unnecessary hospitalisations (1) (Antibiotics cause 700,000 emergency room visits per year, just in the US. 6)                 8.9 million (yearly)
Unnecessary antibiotic prescriptions (1)                20 million (yearly)
Unnecessary medical and Surgery procedures (inc Gallbladder: 700,000; Heart Bypass: 300,000; Angioplasties: 419,000 (1995), Hysterectomy: 640,000 (2001); Caesarean section: 1 million; Circumcision: 1 million)                 7.5 million (yearly)
Psychiatry.  About 4,000 families in the US have children born with major birth defects each year because of antidepressants taken in pregnancy (Drugs in pregnancy). Up to 20,000 women per year have a miscarriage because of these drugs.
Antidepressants/Benzodiazepines/antipsychotics kill 539,000 annually in USA & Europe. (3).
               6 million addicts            140,000 on methadone (UK)   200,000+ (Psychiatric deaths USA) (3)
Eli Lilly killed 200,000 people with Zyprexa (4)         200,000 deaths
Benzodiazepine babies                 4-6 million
Children on psychiatric drugs 0-17 years (inc: 0-1 years 274,804, 2-3 years: 370,778; 4-5: years 500, 948; 6-12 years: 4,130,340; 13-17 years: 3,617,593) (5)                 8,894,463
Psychiatry induced Tardive dyskinesia (TD)                  1 million
Children and teenagers that have ended up “bipolar” after being treated with a stimulant or an antidepressant (2)                  1 million
Diseases/deaths eliminated or prevented by Big Brother pseudo-medicine Vaccination                    NONE
Iatrogenic deaths (Inc: Adverse drug reaction & Medical error: 420,000; Bedsores: 115,000; Infection: 88,000; Malnutrition: 108,000; Outpatients: 199,000; Unnecessary procedures: 37,136; Surgery related: 32,000) (1)      999,936 (cost $468 billion) (1)
Diseases cured by Big Brother medicine (aka Allopathy, Drug medicine, Psychiatry, Big Pharma, Western, Orthodox, Modern, Scientific, Contemporary, Traditional, Conventional, ‘Evidence/Science based medicine) Bacterial infections, at a cost e.g. Meningitis, asthma, leukemia, gut disease, permanent brain damage    TOTAL DEATHS (Allopathy)
2,325,415 (yearly)
Diseases cured by non-Big Brother medicine (Alternative Medicine), e.g. Homeopathy, Naturopathic Herbalism, Chiropractic, Nutritional Medicine, Electronic Medicine, Oxygen Therapy, Urine therapy, Cannabis etc All diseases cured: Alzheimer’s, Cancer, Heart Disease, Infections (Meningitis, Polio, Measles, Hepatitis), Arthritis, AIDS.. Cot-death prevented. DEATHS (Alternative Medicine)
NIL
True medicine doesn’t kill or maim
(3)
Vivisection hasn’t got any useful drug on the market, and all useful drugs have been invented already.
“Animal studies are done for legal reasons and not for scientific reasons.”–Dr JD Gallagher, Director of Medical Research, Lederle Laboritories, 1964.  Animal abuse is Satanic.
300 million (yearly 1994)
Cot-death & Vitamin C               300,000 (Total, bare minimum)
Sepsis (Vitamin C) 300,000 USA 1
SUPPORT suffocation experiment               150,000 babies (Total)

http://www.pharmadeathclock.com

[2015] Death by Medicine (Film)

”All of the barriers that are meant to protect our children–the government, the lawyers, the regulatory agencies, and the press, the checks and balances in our democratic system that are supposed to stand between corporate power and our little children–have been removed, and there’s only one barrier left, and that’s the parents, and we need to keep that in the equation.”- Robert F Kennedy

[2015 Nov] Doctors Earn $3.5 Billion in Kickbacks from Pharmaceutical Companies
[2013 Feb] 50 Signs That The U.S. Health Care System Is A Gigantic Money Making Scam
Henry See
Trall
Psychopaths (Mafia)  Medical Mafia Rackets  Vaccination Racket  Antibiotics Otitis Media (Vaccines)  Tenpenny, Sherri DO  Asthma (Vaccines)  Antibiotics & Asthma  Unvaxed healthier

 
Pfeiffer, Ph.D., M.D.,Carl C.  Pauling, Linus

List of largest pharmaceutical settlements
[2015] Pharma CEO: We’re in Business of Shareholder Profit, Not Helping the Sick

 
Alzheimer’s Racket
Chemotherapy
Gotzsche, Peter
Skull & Bones society/Reptoids Medical Industrial Complex (Allopathy Inc)   Allopathic Genocide   Death
CDC
Flu vaccine racket  Silent Weapons BIG PHARMA’S KILL CHART [2011 Oct] Shock vaccine study reveals influenza vaccines only prevent the flu in 1.5 out of 100 adults (not 60% as you’ve been told)
Medical Industrial Complex (Allopathy Inc)   Military Industrial Complex
Native American genocide
Silent Weapons for Quiet Wars
Chickenpox
Andrew M. Lobaczewski

 
Medical Industrial Complex (Allopathy Inc)    Alternative Medicine  Allopathic Genocide  Vaccine autism  Chemotherapy  Psychiatry Racket  Alzheimer’s Racket  Heart disease  AIDS-HIV racket

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What if jobs are not the solution but the problem?

What if jobs are not the solution but the problem?

James Livingston

Work means everything to us Americans. For centuries – since, say, 1650 – we’ve believed that it builds character (punctuality, initiative, honesty, self-discipline, and so forth). We’ve also believed that the market in labour, where we go to find work, has been relatively efficient in allocating opportunities and incomes. And we’ve believed that, even if it sucks, a job gives meaning, purpose and structure to our everyday lives – at any rate, we’re pretty sure that it gets us out of bed, pays the bills, makes us feel responsible, and keeps us away from daytime TV.

These beliefs are no longer plausible. In fact, they’ve become ridiculous, because there’s not enough work to go around, and what there is of it won’t pay the bills – unless of course you’ve landed a job as a drug dealer or a Wall Street banker, becoming a gangster either way.

These days, everybody from Left to Right – from the economist Dean Baker to the social scientist Arthur C Brooks, from Bernie Sanders to Donald Trump – addresses this breakdown of the labour market by advocating ‘full employment’, as if having a job is self-evidently a good thing, no matter how dangerous, demanding or demeaning it is. But ‘full employment’ is not the way to restore our faith in hard work, or in playing by the rules, or in whatever else sounds good. The official unemployment rate in the United States is already below 6 per cent, which is pretty close to what economists used to call ‘full employment’, but income inequality hasn’t changed a bit. Shitty jobs for everyone won’t solve any social problems we now face.

Don’t take my word for it, look at the numbers. Already a fourth of the adults actually employed in the US are paid wages lower than would lift them above the official poverty line – and so a fifth of American children live in poverty. Almost half of employed adults in this country are eligible for food stamps (most of those who are eligible don’t apply). The market in labour has broken down, along with most others.

Those jobs that disappeared in the Great Recession just aren’t coming back, regardless of what the unemployment rate tells you – the net gain in jobs since 2000 still stands at zero – and if they do return from the dead, they’ll be zombies, those contingent, part-time or minimum-wage jobs where the bosses shuffle your shift from week to week: welcome to Wal-Mart, where food stamps are a benefit.

And don’t tell me that raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour solves the problem. No one can doubt the moral significance of the movement. But at this rate of pay, you pass the official poverty line only after working 29 hours a week. The current federal minimum wage is $7.25. Working a 40-hour week, you would have to make $10 an hour to reach the official poverty line. What, exactly, is the point of earning a paycheck that isn’t a living wage, except to prove that you have a work ethic?

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But, wait, isn’t our present dilemma just a passing phase of the business cycle? What about the job market of the future? Haven’t the doomsayers, those damn Malthusians, always been proved wrong by rising productivity, new fields of enterprise, new economic opportunities? Well, yeah – until now, these times. The measurable trends of the past half-century, and the plausible projections for the next half-century, are just too empirically grounded to dismiss as dismal science or ideological hokum. They look like the data on climate change – you can deny them if you like, but you’ll sound like a moron when you do.

For example, the Oxford economists who study employment trends tell us that almost half of existing jobs, including those involving ‘non-routine cognitive tasks’ – you know, like thinking – are at risk of death by computerisation within 20 years. They’re elaborating on conclusions reached by two MIT economists in the book Race Against the Machine (2011). Meanwhile, the Silicon Valley types who give TED talks have started speaking of ‘surplus humans’ as a result of the same process – cybernated production. Rise of the Robots, a new book that cites these very sources, is social science, not science fiction.

So this Great Recession of ours – don’t kid yourself, it ain’t over – is a moral crisis as well as an economic catastrophe. You might even say it’s a spiritual impasse, because it makes us ask what social scaffolding other than work will permit the construction of character – or whether character itself is something we must aspire to. But that is why it’s also an intellectual opportunity: it forces us to imagine a world in which the job no longer builds our character, determines our incomes or dominates our daily lives.

What would you do if you didn’t have to work to receive an income?

In short, it lets us say: enough already. Fuck work.

Certainly this crisis makes us ask: what comes after work? What would you do without your job as the external discipline that organises your waking life – as the social imperative that gets you up and on your way to the factory, the office, the store, the warehouse, the restaurant, wherever you work and, no matter how much you hate it, keeps you coming back? What would you do if you didn’t have to work to receive an income?

And what would society and civilisation be like if we didn’t have to ‘earn’ a living – if leisure was not our choice but our lot? Would we hang out at the local Starbucks, laptops open? Or volunteer to teach children in less-developed places, such as Mississippi? Or smoke weed and watch reality TV all day?

I’m not proposing a fancy thought experiment here. By now these are practical questions because there aren’t enough jobs. So it’s time we asked even more practical questions. How do you make a living without a job – can you receive income without working for it? Is it possible, to begin with and then, the hard part, is it ethical? If you were raised to believe that work is the index of your value to society – as most of us were – would it feel like cheating to get something for nothing?

We already have some provisional answers because we’re all on the dole, more or less. The fastest growing component of household income since 1959 has been ‘transfer payments’ from government. By the turn of the 21st century, 20 per cent of all household income came from this source – from what is otherwise known as welfare or ‘entitlements’. Without this income supplement, half of the adults with full-time jobs would live below the poverty line, and most working Americans would be eligible for food stamps.

But are these transfer payments and ‘entitlements’ affordable, in either economic or moral terms? By continuing and enlarging them, do we subsidise sloth, or do we enrich a debate on the rudiments of the good life?

Transfer payments or ‘entitlements’, not to mention Wall Street bonuses (talk about getting something for nothing) have taught us how to detach the receipt of income from the production of goods, but now, in plain view of the end of work, the lesson needs rethinking. No matter how you calculate the federal budget, we can afford to be our brother’s keeper. The real question is not whether but how we choose to be.

I know what you’re thinking – we can’t afford this! But yeah, we can, very easily. We raise the arbitrary lid on the Social Security contribution, which now stands at $127,200, and we raise taxes on corporate income, reversing the Reagan Revolution. These two steps solve a fake fiscal problem and create an economic surplus where we now can measure a moral deficit.

Of course, you will say – along with every economist from Dean Baker to Greg Mankiw, Left to Right – that raising taxes on corporate income is a disincentive to investment and thus job creation. Or that it will drive corporations overseas, where taxes are lower.

But in fact raising taxes on corporate income can’t have these effects.

Let’s work backward. Corporations have been ‘multinational’ for quite some time. In the 1970s and ’80s, before Ronald Reagan’s signature tax cuts took effect, approximately 60 per cent of manufactured imported goods were produced offshore, overseas, by US companies. That percentage has risen since then, but not by much.

Chinese workers aren’t the problem – the homeless, aimless idiocy of corporate accounting is. That is why the Citizens United decision of 2010 applying freedom of speech regulations to campaign spending is hilarious. Money isn’t speech, any more than noise is. The Supreme Court has conjured a living being, a new person, from the remains of the common law, creating a real world more frightening than its cinematic equivalent: say, Frankenstein, Blade Runner or, more recently, Transformers.

But the bottom line is this. Most jobs aren’t created by private, corporate investment, so raising taxes on corporate income won’t affect employment. You heard me right. Since the 1920s, economic growth has happened even though net private investment has atrophied. What does that mean? It means that profits are pointless except as a way of announcing to your stockholders (and hostile takeover specialists) that your company is a going concern, a thriving business. You don’t need profits to ‘reinvest’, to finance the expansion of your company’s workforce or output, as the recent history of Apple and most other corporations has amply demonstrated.

I know that building my character through work is stupid because crime pays. I might as well become a gangster

So investment decisions by CEOs have only a marginal effect on employment. Taxing the profits of corporations to finance a welfare state that permits us to love our neighbours and to be our brothers’ keeper is not an economic problem. It’s something else – it’s an intellectual issue, a moral conundrum.

When we place our faith in hard work, we’re wishing for the creation of character; but we’re also hoping, or expecting, that the labour market will allocate incomes fairly and rationally. And there’s the rub, they do go together. Character can be created on the job only when we can see that there’s an intelligible, justifiable relation between past effort, learned skills and present reward. When I see that your income is completely out of proportion to your production of real value, of durable goods the rest of us can use and appreciate (and by ‘durable’ I don’t mean just material things), I begin to doubt that character is a consequence of hard work.

When I see, for example, that you’re making millions by laundering drug-cartel money (HSBC), or pushing bad paper on mutual fund managers (AIG, Bear Stearns, Morgan Stanley, Citibank), or preying on low-income borrowers (Bank of America), or buying votes in Congress (all of the above) – just business as usual on Wall Street – while I’m barely making ends meet from the earnings of my full-time job, I realise that my participation in the labour market is irrational. I know that building my character through work is stupid because crime pays. I might as well become a gangster like you.

That’s why an economic crisis such as the Great Recession is also a moral problem, a spiritual impasse – and an intellectual opportunity. We’ve placed so many bets on the social, cultural and ethical import of work that when the labour market fails, as it so spectacularly has, we’re at a loss to explain what happened, or to orient ourselves to a different set of meanings for work and for markets.

And by ‘we’ I mean pretty much all of us, Left to Right, because everybody wants to put Americans back to work, one way or another – ‘full employment’ is the goal of Right-wing politicians no less than Left-wing economists. The differences between them are over means, not ends, and those ends include intangibles such as the acquisition of character.

Which is to say that everybody has doubled down on the benefits of work just as it reaches a vanishing point. Securing ‘full employment’ has become a bipartisan goal at the very moment it has become both impossible and unnecessary. Sort of like securing slavery in the 1850s or segregation in the 1950s.

Why?

Because work means everything to us inhabitants of modern market societies – regardless of whether it still produces solid character and allocates incomes rationally, and quite apart from the need to make a living. It’s been the medium of most of our thinking about the good life since Plato correlated craftsmanship and the possibility of ideas as such. It’s been our way of defying death, by making and repairing the durable things, the significant things we know will last beyond our allotted time on earth because they teach us, as we make or repair them, that the world beyond us – the world before and after us – has its own reality principles.

Think about the scope of this idea. Work has been a way of demonstrating differences between males and females, for example by merging the meanings of fatherhood and ‘breadwinner’, and then, more recently, prying them apart. Since the 17th century, masculinity and femininity have been defined – not necessarily achieved – by their places in a moral economy, as working men who got paid wages for their production of value on the job, or as working women who got paid nothing for their production and maintenance of families. Of course, these definitions are now changing, as the meaning of ‘family’ changes, along with profound and parallel changes in the labour market – the entry of women is just one of those – and in attitudes toward sexuality.

When work disappears, the genders produced by the labour market are blurred. When socially necessary labour declines, what we once called women’s work – education, healthcare, service – becomes our basic industry, not a ‘tertiary’ dimension of the measurable economy. The labour of love, caring for one another and learning how to be our brother’s keeper – socially beneficial labour – becomes not merely possible but eminently necessary, and not just within families, where affection is routinely available. No, I mean out there, in the wide, wide world.

Work has also been the American way of producing ‘racial capitalism’, as the historians now call it, by means of slave labour, convict labour, sharecropping, then segregated labour markets – in other words, a ‘free enterprise system’ built on the ruins of black bodies, an economic edifice animated, saturated and determined by racism. There never was a free market in labour in these united states. Like every other market, it was always hedged by lawful, systematic discrimination against black folk. You might even say that this hedged market produced the still-deployed stereotypes of African-American laziness, by excluding black workers from remunerative employment, confining them to the ghettos of the eight-hour day.

And yet, and yet. Though work has often entailed subjugation, obedience and hierarchy (see above), it’s also where many of us, probably most of us, have consistently expressed our deepest human desire, to be free of externally imposed authority or obligation, to be self-sufficient. We have defined ourselves for centuries by what we do, by what we produce.

But by now we must know that this definition of ourselves entails the principle of productivity – from each according to his abilities, to each according to his creation of real value through work – and commits us to the inane idea that we’re worth only as much as the labour market can register, as a price. By now we must also know that this principle plots a certain course to endless growth and its faithful attendant, environmental degradation.

How would human nature change as the aristocratic privilege of leisure becomes the birthright of all?

Until now, the principle of productivity has functioned as the reality principle that made the American Dream seem plausible. ‘Work hard, play by the rules, get ahead’, or, ‘You get what you pay for, you make your own way, you rightly receive what you’ve honestly earned’ – such homilies and exhortations used to make sense of the world. At any rate they didn’t sound delusional. By now they do.

Adherence to the principle of productivity therefore threatens public health as well as the planet (actually, these are the same thing). By committing us to what is impossible, it makes for madness. The Nobel Prize-winning economist Angus Deaton said something like this when he explained anomalous mortality rates among white people in the Bible Belt by claiming that they’ve ‘lost the narrative of their lives’ – by suggesting that they’ve lost faith in the American Dream. For them, the work ethic is a death sentence because they can’t live by it.

So the impending end of work raises the most fundamental questions about what it means to be human. To begin with, what purposes could we choose if the job – economic necessity – didn’t consume most of our waking hours and creative energies? What evident yet unknown possibilities would then appear? How would human nature itself change as the ancient, aristocratic privilege of leisure becomes the birthright of human beings as such?

Sigmund Freud insisted that love and work were the essential ingredients of healthy human being. Of course he was right. But can love survive the end of work as the willing partner of the good life? Can we let people get something for nothing and still treat them as our brothers and sisters – as members of a beloved community? Can you imagine the moment when you’ve just met an attractive stranger at a party, or you’re online looking for someone, anyone, but you don’t ask: ‘So, what do you do?’

We won’t have any answers until we acknowledge that work now means everything to us – and that hereafter it can’t.

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interview by Tracy R. Twyman: Peter Levenda

PETER LEVENDA AND THE MAGICKAL ROOTS OF NAZISM

interview by Tracy R. Twyman

Black Orpheus, directed by Marcel Camus

Peter Levenda’s quest for the truth began in 1979 while reading Aftermath: Martin Bormann and the Fourth Reich, by Ladislas Farago, about how Hitler’s former Riechsleiter had escaped to South America after the war pretending to be a priest, protected by the “underground railroad” of Nazi sympathizers that operated and still operate all over that continent, including many if not most of the police and military. Levenda came across a description of one of Bormann’s many hideouts, a Koreshisn cult compound called “Colonia Dignidad” (Colony of Righteousness), which was, as Farago described, “the weirdest encampment of the postwar world, housing a sect that combines Nazism and vodooism.” Intrigued as he was by such an odd combination, Mr. Levenda decided to check the place out for himself, and actually flew down to Chile to conduct the investigation. He did manage to penetrate the compound, but only briefly, and this led to him being chased out of Chile by a series of unidentified agents, then later fired from his job at “a large, multinational corporation that did a lot of business with the Chilean military.” It also led to the research that eventually culminated in Levenda’s terrifying, spellbinding book, Unholy Alliance: A History of Nazi Involvement with the Occult.

The History

It all started with the Thule Gesellschaft, a pagan, anti-Semitic, right-wing aristocratic society founded by a Freemason and Eastern mystic named Baron Rudolf von Sebottendorff. They met every Saturday in Munich’s Four Season’s Hotel to discuss things like runes (an old German alphabet), racial evolution, Nordic mythology and German nationalism. Registered under the name “Thule Gessellschaft” as a “literary-cultural society”, in order to fool the communist Red Army now controlling Munich, this group had originally been known as the Germanenorden, or the German Order Walvater of the Holy Grail. According to Levenda, ‘The Germanenorden had an impressive series of initiatory rituals, replete with knights in shining armor, wise kings, mystical bards and forest nymphs’, including a Masonic-style program of secrecy, initiation and mutual cooperation.” But they were not copying the ideological aspects of Freemasonry. As Levenda writes, “What the Germanenorden became was, essentially, an anti-Masonry: a Masonic-style society dedicated to the eradication of Freemasonry itself.” Their symbol was a long dagger on top of a swastika, and their beliefs had been influenced largely by the writings of Guido von List and Lanz von Liebenfels, two men who will feature prominently in our story. Liebenfels had founded the neo-pagan, swastika-waving “Order of the New Templars” on Christmas Day, 1907, along similar ideological lines. In that same year, occult researcher Guido von List began The List Society, part of a then-developing “völkish” (folkish) movement extolling the virtues of Norse heritage, heritage which could be traced by reading the Edda, a compilation of Icelandic legends which Hitler would later take great interest in. The völkish movement itself was based in part on the ideas of Madame Helena Blavatsky, founder of the Theosophical Society famous for her books Isis Unveiled and The Secret Doctrine. She wrote that humanity was descendant from a series of imperfect races which had once ruled the earth, and which all had a common Atlantean origin dating back millions of years, culminating in the Aryan race, which had at one point possessed supernatural powers but had since lost them. She also romanticized about the occult significance of the swastika, of Lucifer, “The Light-Bearer”, and of a cabal of spiritual “Hidden Masters” called the Great White Brotherhood, who guided human evolution from their abode in the Himalayas and who Blavatsky herself purported to channel during her many self-induced trances. And the philosophy of List and Liebenfels took this a bit further, to the extent that the Aryan race was the only “True” humanity, and that the Jews, along with a host of other undesirables, or “minderwertigen” (“beings of inferior value”) were sapping the race of its strength and purity through the evil machination of Christianity, Freemasonry, capitalism and Communism. They believed that the Aryan race had come from a place called Thule, the north pole, where there was an entrance to a vast underground area populated by giants. “Among the völkish cults”, writes Levenda, “it was believed that — as soon as the Germans had purified the planet of the pollution of the inferior races — these Hidden Masters, these Supermen from Thule, would make themselves known, and the link which had been lost between Man and God would be forged anew.”

There were the beliefs of the members of the Thule Gesellschaft when they met on November 9, 1918 to discuss something of immediate concern; The Communist control of Munich. After a rousing speech by Sebottendorf, the Thule Society began to prepare for a counter-revolution, stockpiling weapons and forming alliances with other like-minded groups, such and the Pan-Germans, the German School Bund and the Hammerbund. The following year, on April 7, a Bavarian Soviet Republic was proclaimed in Munich, causing the Prime Minister of Bavaria to run off to Bamburg in order to prevent a total Communist take-over of the government. Six days later the Thule-Organized Palm Sunday Putsch failed to overcome the Communists in Munich, and now the Thule members were on the Red Army’s Most Wanted list. Sebottendorf got busy organizing an army of Freikorps (Freekorps) to counter-attack. (One of the units of the Freikorps, the Ehrhardt Brigade, later became part of the German Army, and eventually, part of the S.S.) On April 26, the Red Army raided Thule headquarters and began making arrests, including the well-connected Prince von Thurn und Taxis. On April 30, Walpurgisnacht, they were executed in the Luitpold High School courtyard. The following day, their obituaries were published in Sebottendorf’s newspaper Münchener Beobachter (which would evolve one year later in to the official Nazi publication, Völkischer Beobachter.) The citizens of Munich became outraged. The Thule Society organized a citizen rebellion, which was joined by the 20,000-member Freikorps, and together they marched, “beneath a swastika flag, with swastikas painted on their helmets, singing a swastika hymn.” By May 3, after much bloodshed and destruction, the Communists in Munich were defeated. But there was much work to be done. The Soviet threat was still very real. With the help of the local police and military, the Thule began organizing a more full-scale national revolt, using connections with societies of wealthy intellectuals. They also began recruiting among Germany’s working class, by forming a group called the German Worker’s Party, which met regularly in beer halls to discuss the threat of Jews, Communists, and Freemasons. This group would later become the National Socialist German Workers’ Party — The Nazi Party, and in November 1923, they would make their first attempt at national takeover, the failed Beer Hall Putsch, lead by a man who had originally been sent by the German Army to spy on them — Adolf Hitler.

We all know what the Nazi party went on to accomplish. What most people do not know is the extent to which those actions were inspired by the occult beliefs of their perpetrators. As Levenda writes, “The most extreme aims of the Thule Society would all eventually become official policy of the Third Reich, while its purely metaphysical and occult characteristics were adopted wholeheartedly by the S.S.” Hitler himself was fascinated by the occult. While he was a college student he began reading Von Liebenfels’ magazine, Ostara. Later in 1909, while he was living in poverty in a men’s dormitory and hawking his paintings on the street, Hitler actually met Libenfels in his office, looking “so distraught and so impoverished that the New Templar himself gave Hitler free copies of Ostara and bus fare back home.” Hitler’s friend Josef Greiner recalls in his memoirs how obsessed young Adolf was with astrology, religion, occultism, magic and yoga. Hitler loved Wagner, as we know, especially The Ring Cycle, Parsifal, Lehengrin and Rienzi. It was from Wagner that Hitler gained his affinity for knighthood, chivalry, and the Quest of the Holy Grail, a pagan, Teutonic Grail. In 1915, Hitler was at war, and while in the trenches, wrote a poem, one which “sings the praises of Wotan, the Teutonic Father God, and of runic letters, magic spells, and magic formulas.” So there is no doubt that Hitler’s interest in occultism and paganism ran deep. There is doubt, however, as to whether or not Hitler actually performed any magical operations himself. According to Levenda, this was not in his nature, a nature inclined towards action, doing stuff, accomplishing things here on Earth, in the 3rd dimension. He did not have the time and the patience necessary for real spiritual endeavors. “Hitler was a paranoid”, writes Levenda, “and the occult holds special attractions for the paranoid. But Hitler as a cultist? As a black-robed, ritual-performing, invocation-chanting priest of Satan? Probably not.

But Hitler as a tool of other cultists?

Probably so.”

In fact, a number of people deeply involved in the occult would have great influence on him and play essential roles in the development of the Third Reich. It would do us well to examine them one by one.

Dietrich Eckart

Hitler, while working as the leader of the German Worker’s Party, became friends with Thulist Deitrich Eckart, who published a newspaper called Auf Gut Deutsch (“In Good German”), which “ranks with the Völkischer Beobachter as a racist sheer with intellectual pretensions.” Eckart had a tremendous effect on Hitler, and was he who first introduced Hitler to all the wealthy and powerful people he needed make his crusade possible, including Henry Ford, who would later contribute “vital financial support” to the Nazi party. From Eckart, Hitler learned a great deal about the esoteric sciences, and it is said that they occasionally attended seances and talked to ghosts. Eckart, who died after the Beer Hall Putsch, is quoted as saying, “Hitler will dance, but it is I who plays the tune.”

Alfred Rosenburg

Eckart protegé, and soon Hitler’s as well, was Alfred Rosenburg, a man who would later become “one of the architects of official Nazi policies.” One of these policies was that all of the Masonic temples in all of the Nazi’s occupied territories were to be raided, and the goods shipped back to Rosenberg himself. This was done by Franz Six and Otto Ohlendorf, both occultists. Rosenberg was also friends with another occultist named Walther Darré, who became agricultural minister of the Third Reich. “Together”, writes Levenda, “they ran around the nation drumming up support for an official state religion based on the worship of the Old Gods, a religion that included purifying the Aryan race of elements that were in the process of polluting it and diluting the strength of its blood.”

Erik Jan Hanussen

In 1932, after his Nazi Party had lost much ground in the Reichstag, and his mistress Eva Braun had shot herself on Halloween Night, Hitler turned to his friend Erik Jan Hanussen, a well-known astrologer and occultist whom he had met back in 1926. Hannusen is supposed to have taught Hitler a number of exaggerated gestures to use in public speaking, ones which could be seen and understood from far away, and which would communicate a message through body language even if a person could not hear what he was saying. Hanussen had never read Hitler’s stars before, but on this occasion in 1932, upon request, he drew up an astrological chart for the future Führer, and told Hitler that his troubles stemmed from an evil hex that someone had cast on him. Furthermore, he said, the only way to get rid of it was for someone to go to a butcher’s backyard located in Hitler’s hometown — at midnight, on a full moon — and pull a mandrake out of the ground. For those who don’t know, a mandrake is a “man-shaped” root with supposed medicinal properties which, according to European folklore, will emit an ear-shattering scream upon being uprooted. Sometime a dog would be sent on a suicide mission to pull the root while the magician plugged his own ears. Hanussen performed the ritual himself, and on January 1st of 1933 came to Hitler predicting that he would return to power on the 30th of that month, “a date roughly equivalent to the pagan sabbat of Oimelc.” Of course, as is known to history, that is exactly what happened. A few weeks later, during a seance held on February 26, Hanussen predicted that the Communists would make another attempt at revolution in Germany, one that would begin by setting an important government building on fire. “The next day”, wrote Levenda, “the Reichstag was in flames and Hitler had all the excuse he needed to go from Chancellor of Germany to Führer of the Third Reich.” Six weeks later, Hanussen was mysteriously murdered.

Wilhelm Gutberlet

There was also another astrologer, a shareholder in the Völkischer Beobachter who had been Hitler’s close friend since the days of the German Worker’s Party in 1919. In the memoirs of Walter Schellenberg he is described as “a Munich physician who belonged to the intimate circle around Hitler. Gutberlet believed in the ‘sidereal pendulum’, an astrological contraption, and claimed that this had given him the power to sense at once the presence of any Jews or persons of partial Jewish ancestry, and to pick them out in any group of people. Hitler availed himself of Gutberlet’s mystic power and had many discussions with him on racial questions.

Rudolf Hess

A friend of Hitler’s from way back, he had been arrested at the Beer Hall Putsch with him in 1923, and had transcribed Hitler’s Mein Kampf (originally titled Four and a Half Years of Struggle Against Lies, Stupidity and Cowardice) while they were both in prison. He later became Hitler’s Deputy Führer. He was an “intimate” of the Thule Society and was way into the occult. Hess introduced Hitler to one of his professors, Karl Haushofter, a man with an interest in astrology who claimed clairvoyance. Haushoffer later came to wield considerable power in Germany by founding the Deutsche Akadamie, and by heading the University of Munich’s Institute Geopolitik — “A kind of think tank-cum-intelligence agency”, according to Levenda. He was vital in forming the Nazi alliances with Japan and South America, and was responsible for the adoption of the Lebensraum (“Living Room”) policy, which stated that “a sovereign nation, to ensure the survival of its people, had a right to annex the territory of other sovereign nations to feed and house itself.”

Himmler and the S.S.

The S.S. (Schuzstafel) was originally formed as a personal bodyguard to Hitler, and numbered around 300 when Heinrich Himmler joined. But when he rose to its leadership in 1929, things changed a bit. Four years later, membership had soared to 52,000. He established headquarters at a medieval castle called Wewelsburg, where his secret inner order met once a year. According to Walther Schellenberg’s memoirs, “Each member had his own armchair with an engraved silver nameplate, and each had to devote himself to a ritual of spiritual exercises aimed mainly at mental concentration. The focal point of Wewelsburg, evidently owing much to the legend of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table, was a great dining hall with an oak table to seat twelve picked from the senior Gruppenführers. The walls were to be adorned with their coats of arms.” Underneath this dining hall there was kept a so-called “realm of the dead”, a circular well in which these coats of arms would be burnt and the ashes worshipped after the “knight” had died. (There are tales of Himmler using the severed heads of deceased S.S. officers to communicate with ascended masters.) In addition to this, each knight had his own room, “decorated in accordance with one of the great ancestors of Aryan majesty.” Himmler’s own room was dedicated to a Saxon King Henry the Fowler, whose ghost Himmler sometimes conversed with.

Outside of the inner order, SS officers were discouraged from participating in Christian ceremonies, including weddings and christenings, and celebrated the Winter Solstice instead of Christmas. The traditional day of gift exchange was switched to the day of the summer solstice celebration. Writes Levenda, “These ceremonies were replete with sacred fires, torchlit processions, and invocations of Teutonic deities, all performed by files of young blond-haired, blue-eyed Aryan supermen.” Although Himmler admired the ceremonial nature of Catholicism and modeled the S.S. partially on the Order of the Jesuits, he also despised Christianity for what he considered its weak, masochistic nature. He held further resentment because of the persecution of German witches during the Inquisition.

Himmler, along with Richard Darré, was responsible for absorbing The Ahnenerbe Society “a kind of seminary and teaching college for the future leaders of the Thousand Year Reich”, into the S.S. The Ahenenerbe was devoted to some odd völkish studies, each of which had a subdivision dedicated to it: “Celtic Studies”, Externsteine (near Wewelsburg), where the world-tree Yggdrasil was supposed to reside, Icelandic research; Tibetan research, runic studies; a strange new twist on physics called the “World Ice Theory”, an archeological research in an effort to find evidence of past Aryan presence in remote locations all over the world, such as South America, giving rise to “Aryans discovered America” stories. Another theory propounded by Himmler was that babies that had been conceived in cemeteries would inherit the spirits of whoever was buried there, and actually published lists of cemeteries that were good for breeding because of the Teutonic heroes resting therein. Himmler was obsessed with the concept of the Holy Grail, and hired researchers to try and prove that the Grail was actually a Nordic pagan artifact.

The Allied Occult Offense

According to Levenda, “Himmler was obsessed by the idea that British Intelligence was being run by the Rosicrucian order, and that occult adepts were in charge of MI5.” Whether or not that was true, the Germans were certainly not the only participants in the war using the power of magick to their advantage. Levenda provides the details of a “Cult Counterstrike” organized by the intelligence agencies of the U.S. and Britain, an effort centering around the “most evil man in the world”, the Great Beast 666, Aleister Crowley.

Crowley had gone to live in New York during WWI after being rejected for military service by the British government, and began writing “pro-German propaganda” for a magazine called The Fatherland, published by George Viereck. Crowley took over as editor. He later claimed that he had really been working for British Intelligence, because “his articles were so outlandish that the journal was reduced to absurdity, a caricature of serious political discussion, which would help the British cause more than harm it.” There is some evidence to suggest that Crowley was working for MI5 during this time, spying on his fellow OTO initiate Karl Germer, a German intelligence agent, so perhaps his excuse for working for The Fatherland is sound. Whatever the case, he was definitely hired by MI5 during WWII. Crowley had become friends with author Dennis Wheatley, well-known for a number of fiction and non-fiction books based on the occult who had once worked for Winston Churchill’s Joint Planning Staff. He had been introduced to Crowley by a journalist named Tom Driberg, who would later become a spy for MI5 as well, and who would come into possession of Crowley’s diaries shortly after his death in 1947. Wheatley also introduced Crowley to yet another MI5 agent, Maxwell Knight. Knight was the real historical figure behind the fictional character “M” in all the James Bond novels, written by Knight’s friend in the Department of Naval Intelligence, Ian Fleming. Crowley met Knight for dinner at Wheatley’s house, and it was there that Crowley agreed to take them both on as magick students. Later, Ian Fleming dreamed up a way to use Crowley’s expertise in a scheme against the Germans. The scheme involved an Anglo-German organization known as “The Link”, a supposed “cultural society” which had once been under the leadership of Sir Barry Domville, Director of Naval Intelligence from 1927 to 1930. The Link had been investigated by Maxwell Knight in the 1930s because of its involvement in German spy operations, and was soon dissolved after much incriminating evidence was found. As Levenda describes, Fleming “thought that the Nazis could be made to believe that the The Link was still in existence, they could use it as bait for the Nazi leadership. The point was to convince the Nazis that The Link had sufficient influence to overthrow the Churchill government and thereby to install a more pliable British government, one which would gladly negotiate a separate peace with Hitler.” The suggestion came in the form of fake astrological advice passed on to the gullible Rudolf Hess, who was already under the delusion that only he could talk the British into peace with Germany, and that it was his destiny to do so. One of his staff astrologers, Dr. Ernst Schulte-Strathaus, under British employ, encouraged Hess to make his mission to England on May 10, 1941 a significant date because of a rare conjunction of six planets in the sign of Taurus. The Duke of Hamilton was also enlisted to let Hess know that he would be happy to entertain him should he plan to go through with such an endeavor. So Hess, a trained pilot, embarked on a rather dangerous solo flight to the British Isles, parachuting into Scotland donned in various occult symbols, where he was immediately arrested by the waiting Brits. According to Levenda, “Fleming tried to obtain permission for Crowley to debrief Hess in order to develop intelligence on the occult scene in the Third Reich and particularly the Nazi leadership.” But this permission was denied, and Hess spent the rest of his days in prison not being much use to anybody. Levenda finds this suspicious, for “What could have been a major propaganda coup against the Nazis went utterly wasted, as if by tacit agreement on both sides.”

After Hess’ arrest, Hitler denounced hi as a crazed madman, and began persecuting astrologers and occultists in his own domains more so than ever before. Crowley continued trying to help the Allied cause, but most of his ideas were rejected. One, however, while initially dismissed, was later implemented. This involved dropping occult pamphlets on the German countryside that predicted a dire outcome for the war and depicted the Nazi leadership as Satanic. A forgery of a popular German astrological magazine called Zenit was created and dropped onto enemy battlefields. It was set for full-scale distribution, but the delivery was intercepted by the Gestapo before it could be completed.

Besides Crowley, there were other occultists involved in the fight against the Third Reich. One of Crowley’s protegés, Jack Parsons, who was the Head of the Agapé O.T.O. Lodge in California as well as a charter member of both Cal-Tech and the Jet propulsion Laboratory, invented the “Greek Fire” rocket propellant which was widely used by the United State Navy between 1944 and 1945. According to Levenda, it was “a solution that could have only come from someone with a working knowledge of the arcane lore of alchemy and magic.” (Parsons later killed himself in an accident involving fulminate of mercury. He had been driven crazy and proclaimed himself the Anti-Christ after becoming involved with one “Frater H”, who was actually a spy sent by Naval Intelligence to infiltrate the O.T.O. That spy’s name was L. Ron Hubbard!) There was also a Golden dawn initiate named Sam Untermyer, an attorney and wealthy philanthropist once called a “Satanist” by a British newspaper. Untermyer started the “Non-Sectarian Anti-Nazi League to Champion Human Rights” and the “World-Anti-Nazi Council, which both promoted the boycott of German products. He also donated money to the hunt for Nazi agents coming into New York. And with the help of a man named Richard Rollins, he started a secret society called “the Board” which engaged in counterespionage against Nazi groups who were recruiting in the United States.

The World War II that Levenda describes is a magick war, and a holy war, a war in which both sides consider themselves to be fighting the forces of evil. It is a war operated behind the scenes by mystical adepts using their esoteric knowledge of symbolism, astrology, meditation, astral travel, clairvoyance, and mind control against the enemy. A war inspired by age-old beliefs in the Elder Gods of Europe’s ancient past. In the pages that follow, Mr. Levenda discusses that war with the editor of Dagobert’s Revenge.

DR: Your book is all about how occultism, esoteric beliefs and secret societies inspired many of the leading figures in the Nazi party. You also detail how several people in the upper echelons of the Golden Dawn and the OTO were involved in espionage — Karl Germer and Theodor Reuss for German Intelligence and Crowley for the British. And certainly we know that a number of occult societies throughout history, such as the Bavarian Illuminati, various Masonic sects, The Knights of Malta, The Templars, etc., have been involved in espionage and political revolution. What do you think draw occultists into the field of spying and revolutionary activities?

PL: Secret knowledge; the illusion of secret power; the man or woman who walks among us, ordinary and unremarkable or even of low and unattractive appearance, who is in reality a Magister Templi or a Colonel in the KGB. It’s the same attraction that Batman, Superman, Spiderman, etc. have for generations of pre-adolescents. Spies and magicians are a lot like Batman, except that spies really exist and really do exert some hidden influence over mundane events; and magicians thoroughly believe that they do, too, and have the benefit — sometimes — of a cult of like-minded people who prop up their belief system by means of what Robert Anton Wilson used to call “consensus reality”. On a deeper level, I think that many people — intelligent people — resent having to obey authority. Openly resisting authority is usually cause for arrest and torture, if not execution, in many countries. Secretly resisting authority, however, has its charms. One stays alive, and one resists. One has one’s cake and eats it. In the case of spiritual authority, an intelligent person cannot stomach that a black-robed eunuch with a wine-red nose would have some kind of direct connection with God unobtainable by ordinary folk. The intelligent person wants to talk to God directly, and not have to take direction from a tired old priest or minister or whatever. That person — through the act of contacting higher powers or forces on his or her own — becomes a kind of “anti-priest” and thus a cult is born. Conspiracies are a fact of life: they grow like mushrooms around office water coolers. They remain secret from the managers and supervisors; they attempt to cause change, indirectly and discretely. Add God or occult powers into the mix — or politics, espionage, coups d’etat — and you have an irresistible mix for a certain type of person. We all feel there is a mystery at the heart of reality: vide the popularity of crime and detection novels, spy novels, and occult novels. The spy and the occultist live at the periphery of this elemental, Ur-mystery. It has to do with Authority, the King, and Reality. The very word “reality” comes from the same root as “royal”: reality was whatever the King said it was. Real estate was the kingdom; outside the kingdom, there was no King and, hence, no reality. To challenge the King, one had to be from beyond the border of the kingdom: one had to be in communion with non-real forces; one had to represent the anti-King. Spies and occultists live among us, but have loyalties elsewhere. There is a certain attraction to that, and a certain danger. But it is also ultimately a lonely existence, and that is where the spy and the occultist sometimes fail: in their attempt to salve their loneliness by opening up to others they reveal their secret natures to their sworn enemy: reality or the King. I am thinking just now — perhaps in a stream of consciousness — about the Philby affair. A group of old queens (already on the outs with general society by their very natures) spying against society for the enemy, since Russia valued their contribution and ignored their homosexuality. What fun! But in the end it was this very relationship they had with each other — Philby, Burgess, Maclean, Blunt — that doomed them all. For an interesting sidelight, see the BBC production, “Blunt: the Fourth Man” in which Ian Richardson — who plays Anthony Blunt — is lecturing to a group of art students on nothing less than Poussin’s shepherds and “Et in Arcadia ego” …. He is interrupted by an urgent phone call from Burgess. An art student runs after him, asking “But … did Arcadia actually …” And Blunt — panicked and in a hurry — replies, “Not now!” A double entendre?

DR: Are politics and magic inseparably linked? Would you say that throughout history politicians and political movements have always used subliminal occult messages as archetypes to manipulate public consciousness for or against the prevailing power structure? Are political struggles basically magic wars, and power structures kept intact by magical means?

PL: In other words — to paraphrase Clausewitz — is magic a continuation of politics by other means? It depends on your definition of magic. Is it, as Crowley would have it, the “science and art of causing change to occur in conformity with will”? Then, yes. But under those guidelines, so is selling used cars. We need a sharper definition of what we mean by magic. It depends on whether or not you subscribe to the conspiracy theory of the day, I guess. If real power is in the hands of a few, secret people behind the scenes who pull strings, then, obviously, politics as we know it does not exist. I mean, the will of the people, the voting booth, the ad campaigns and the mud-slinging, etc., in the end come to naught because the boys in the back room will decide who gets elected. But if political power is the ability to move and mold masses of people, then you have a chance at proving the thesis that political wars are magic wars. The key to this thesis would be, in my point of view, propaganda. Propaganda is the use and manipulation of symbols. Whoever does it best is the better magician, and will probably win the “war”. But the symbols of the political arena — especially in the United States — are not as sublime as we find in the occult symbol system. The political symbols are taken from the environment, from the times; the zeitgeist, if you will. No one actually goes around waving the tattvic symbols or the Tarot deck around during a political campaign; the manipulation goes in different channels. We have Dukakis in the tank, for instance. What should have been a winning symbol was turned on its head and possibly helped Dukakis lose an election. I think political wars are analogous to magic wars, but I don’t think they are necessarily one and the same. A magician does not need a crowd to effect his or her will. A magician operates — like our spies — secretly, and manipulates forces of nature (or supernature) rather than directly massage the psyches of people. We are also in danger of considering all subliminal messages as occult messages; there may be some justification in this, in that any subliminal message probably has its occult analogue, but when you compare a run-off election in Iowa with what Hitler was doing at Nuremberg, you are comparing apples and oranges, I think. Hitler was upfront about what he was doing; the symbolism was deliberately occult, pagan, anti-Christian, anti-Semitic. In fact, he was openly using ritual. Most of our popular politicians today would be unable and unwilling to do this, since virtually any public use of ritual for political ends would be considered crypto-fascist, I think. I am not trying to beg the question; I just think it is more complex than comparing politics to magic on that level. Arthur had Merlin for that; it was a separate department in his government, if you see what I mean. I believe that CIA — specifically the boys at MK-ULTRA — came close to becoming our very own, homegrown version of Merlin but I don’t think Harry Truman was a black magician himself.

DR: On P. 73 you suggest that the Friekorps assassination of Foreign Minister Walther Rathenau (in June 1922) on the eve of the summer solstice was a human sacrifice to the sun god Wotan. (Note: It was believed that Rathenau was one of the actual Elders of Zion.) Do you think that in a larger sense the elimination of 6 million Jews could be considered one giant pagan sacrifice?

PL: We can consider the Holocaust a kind of pagan sacrifice, but more importantly I think it was something far more sinister than that. You don’t sacrifice what you despise; you sacrifice something of value. Rathenau — although Jewish — was considered an exemplary human being even by his executioners, and thus a fitting sacrifice. After all, he was an important element of Germany’s war machine during the First War and had a lot to offer post-War Germany. His was a true sacrifice. But the Holocaust? The slaughter of the Jews — and Gypsies, and homosexuals, communists, etc — was designed to purify the planet of diseased blood and diseased spirit in the eyes of the Nazis. That is why it was kept going until the very end, regardless of the cost and regardless of the fact that the resources being used to keep the camps running could have been better utilized defending Berlin. It was not so much a sacrifice as a purification of the soil. The Nazis believed that the Jews and their fellow travelers were actual representatives of an evil force on earth and had to be destroyed, at any cost. If their race disappeared, the Nazis felt that they had done the planet — and its surviving human members — a favor and would be remembered forever for their contribution.

DR: On page 80 you said that one of Hitler’s astrologers, Erik van Hannussen, had taught Hitler “what body language and hand gestures to use in public speaking.” Is this perhaps why so many of his speeches were so effective — because there were subliminal occult messages embedded in Hitler’s carefully-crafted mannerisms?

PL: Less subliminal occult messages and more an artful carving of space around him. Body language has only comparatively recently become understood as a means of subliminal communication; I believe Hannussen was ahead of his time in understanding that posture, and gesture, communicate as effectively — and subliminally — as the actual words one uses. I also believe that in 1930’s Berlin this would be considered an occult art and not something from a psychology textbook.

DR: You mentioned in the book that Hitler himself did not perform any magickal rituals but had others do so on his behalf. But what about all of the rumors to the contrary? In the notes to your book you dismiss Trevor Ravenscroft’s “wild tales of Hitler attending séances with Dietrich Eckart.” But what makes you so sure? An acquaintance of mine, Fred Berger of Propaganda magazine, published an article several years ago claiming that Hitler had gone to see the opera Parzival in 1909 while on peyote, and had “fallen to a transcendental state in which he perceived that he was the reincarnation of the evil black magician Klingsor”, the bad guy in Wagner’s opera. Then, according to Berger’s article, he went to the Hobfurg museum to check out the Spear of Destiny. Berger quotes some unidentified text supposedly written by Hitler which states, “The air became so stifling that I could barely breathe. The noisy scene of the Treasure House seemed to melt away before my eyes. I stood alone and trembling before the hovering form of the Superman. In holy awe, I offered my soul as a vessel of his Will.” Any comment as to the veracity of this claim?

PL: I dispute this because there is simply no evidence for it. I feel that Hitler was more or less as I portrayed him in my book: not a joiner, not someone who could sit still for long waiting for the table to tip or a ghost to materialize. Hitler makes more sense as an unconscious medium, one being used by other magicians, than as a practicing occultist himself. The stories of his taking peyote, attending seances, etc., are all without documentary substantiation so far. One of the things I tried to make sure I did in my book was to document everything thoroughly, based as much as possible on primary sources (the Captured German Records section at the National Archives; the Rehse Collection at the Library of Congress; etc.) so that I would be immune from charges that I was “channeling” the information. In fact, using the primary sources, I came up with far more craziness than I could fit in Unholy Alliance. Avon cut my Appendices, for instance (yes, it was as painful as it sounds!) which would have contained more reference material. They wanted to cut the Bibliography and Index, as well, but I fought it.

DR: Why do you think Hitler and the Nazis spent so much effort persecuting pagans and occult orders? Was it part of placating the Catholic Church or were they just eliminating competition? Were they afraid of the magickal powers of these other occult orders?

PL: They were eliminating competition. Also, remember that the occult groups were a potential fifth column inside Germany. They had their own means of communication and contacts all over Europe. They had roots going back many years in many countries. They were indeed a threat. I believe that the US felt the same way, which would help explain the Jack Parsons situation.

DR: Why do you think the swastika specifically was chosen as the Nazi insignia? I know that their ideology was heavily influenced by Theosophy, and the swastika was one of Blavatsky’s favorite symbols. The Hindus of course, refer to it as the whirling disc with which God (Vishnu?) spun the universe into existence. But what exactly was its significance to the Nazis? It seems to give one the impression of aggression and power. Crowley, in his book Gematria describes the swastika as containing 17 squares, and in a later chapter says of the number 17, “Here is a magic disc for me to hurl, and to win heaven by violence.”

PL: I pretty much cover this in my book. It was a popular symbol in Germany before the Nazis appropriated it. In fact, it was used by troops during World War One as a kind of talisman. The Germans clearly felt it had racial connections, and was more representative of their people than the Christian cross. Remember, too, that the Nazis idolized Tibet and the cults of Northern India. The so-called “Aryan” race would have had its origins there, and India, Nepal, Bhutan and Tibet are replete with swastika motifs. I live in Asia, and the swastika is everywhere out here: on Buddhist, Taoist and Hindu temples alike. It represents — specifically — “auspiciousness” but is taken to symbolize a kind of polar energy in the universe, a spinning sun disk (yes) but also a deeper, more mysterious analogue since the sun does not spin in two directions but the swastika does.

DR: On page 95 you write about how Guido von List borrowed the Golden Dawn’s system of degrees, based on the Tree of Life, for use in his own völkish, anti-semitic pagan order the Armanenschaft, and that he might have gotten the information from a Golden Dawn initiate named D.R. Felkein, or from O.T.O. initiate Rudolf Steiner. You write “That List would have based his hierarchy on the patently Jewish Tree of Life and borrowed the concept from the Golden Dawn — by way of the O.T.O. — would seem merely ironic to a lay person but positively frightening to an occultist, for what it implies about the relationship between the anti-Semitic List organizations and the ostensibly apolitical Golden Dawn and O.T.O. lodges.” So what is that implication, exactly?

PL: The implication is that the Blavatskian notion of a racial hierarchy — root races, and all that — would have found a sinister manifestation in a proto-Nazi occult movement, and that the Golden Dawn and O.T.O. themselves might have been fellow travelers; that a spiritual hierarchy might imply a racial one; that a magical war might develop into genocide.

DR: I’ve heard a number of rumors stating that Crowley had a personal meeting with Winston Churchill once in which he suggested the use of the “V for Victory” sign as a subliminal occult symbol to combat the swastika. Can you confirm or deny this rumor? It seems plausible to me, especially after reading the part in your book about how Crowley suggested dropping occult pamphlets onto the German countryside with anti-Nazi propaganda embedded in them — an idea that was eventually implemented with no success.

PL: I cannot confirm that Crowley ever met Churchill. I rather think Crowley would have made a great deal of it in one of his books if he had.

DR: From my understanding the Nazi idea of the Overman entailed much more that just increased physical strength and intellectual prowess. It involved a creature whose ajna faculties — psychic powers associated with the Third Eye — had been fully developed. It entailed a creature more in touch with his higher self, a creature more advanced spiritually as well. What else do you think this entailed? What do you think men like Sebetondorf, Liebenfels, List and Eckart imagined when they talked about the Overman? Did they imagine the Aryan race evolving into something with an entirely different physical appearance?

PL: Yes, the Overman was not merely a “superman” as it is often erroneously translated. It was the next level of human evolution. As Hitler himself says, anyone who thinks that National Socialism is merely a political party had better think again: the goal is to create the New Man. I believe he meant that literally. Else: why the Holocaust? why the Lebensborn organization? why the documented racial purity of prospective SS members? etc. etc. Germany was a laboratory where Hitler would create his homonculus. To the Nazis, this meant a human being that was above compassion; above sentiment; passionate in his ideals and self-image, but conscience-less by comparison to the rest of us. A sociopath, probably. Intelligent, strong, perfectly proportioned. And a remorseless killer. Not exactly ET.

DR: You’ve mentioned that many of these Nazi occultists believed in the Theosophical concept of Ascended Masters and Secret Chiefs. I know that Blavatsky believed them to reside in the Himalayas, while the Thulists deposited them underground, in a subterranean vault accessible by a tunnel which opens up in the North Pole. But is it possible that some of these people believed that the Ascended Masters were extraterrestrials or transdimensional beings? We know that the Nazis were suspected of conducting experiments with flying saucers, time travel and multiple dimensions, so it made me wonder.

PL: I think that recent neo-Nazi authors are toying with this idea, most notably Miguel Serrano in Chile. Crowley and his followers certainly hold these views (see the works by Kenneth Grant, for instance). The Nazis themselves? Well, going through their Canon is a bit tedious but I am sure the resourceful researcher could uncover the odd reference to an extraterrestrial abode for their Secret Chiefs. At that time, space opera was not nearly the advanced art form it is today and flying saucers were not yet the vogue although the foo fighters had already made an appearance, as did the mysterious flying ships of the turn of the century. I think the Nazis still understood the Masters to be a kind of god-force, like Odin or Thor; Horbiger was coming close to an extraterrestrial theory as he developed his World Ice concept, but it had little to do with the Secret Chiefs. I guess what I am trying to say is that I have not found documentation to show that the Nazis had a developed theory about the nature of the Chiefs, and that I have found very little support for an extraterrestrial theory of any kind among the Nazis so far. I am aware of the idea that they were working on a saucer or some kind of space ship, but that does not imply that they held significant alien life theories beyond those of a purely speculative nature.

DR: Please explain the “World Ice Theory”, if you would. This makes no sense to me.

PL: Makes no sense to me, either. The idea is that the basic building blocks of the universe are ice crystals, and that temperature and humidity are the determining factors for the various stages of life, evolution, etc. The Nazis perceived themselves as “ice men” and their Eden was a frozen wasteland; they looked down on the tropical Edens of Biblical lore as being the abodes of subhumans, much as tropical countries are the domain of non-Aryans. The Theory is convoluted and self-referential, and gave rise to scientists running all over the world taking its temperature, so to speak.

DR: In your book you recount stories of Himmler having his inner circle of 12 S.S. officers try to telepathically influence a German Army Commander in Chief who was being interrogated in the next room to tell the truth. You also recount stories of psychics being hired by Himmler to pinpoint the locations of British battleships and to find Mussolini when he had been imprisoned on an island off of Naples after a coup — feats which they performed with amazing accuracy. Then you tell stories of Nazi mind control experiments involving psychedelic drugs, and torture techniques. You quote Rudolf Hess’s statement at the Nuremberg Trials about how he himself was a made a victim of such mind control techniques, and how he believed that the prosecution witnesses at the trial had been hypnotized because of their “glassy and dreamy eyes”. You seem to think that there may have been some truth to this. You seem to think that the Nazis had become rather adept at mind control, and that our own intelligence organizations have copied them. Do you have any more to add to this? What aspects of mind control do you think the CIA and others have copied from the Nazis?

PL: I don’t think that Hess was implying the Nazis had mind control, but that the Allies had it. The man who interviewed Hess for Dulles was Dr. Ewen Cameron, who went on to run the official CIA mind control operation in Montreal. The Nazis were experimenting with hallucinogens and narcotics during the war; their documentation on this was seized by American intelligence and has never seen the light of day. That much is known. The idea that CIA was running a vast mind control experiment in the 1940s-1970s which involved all sorts of people and organizations forms the central thesis of my next book (which has not been finished yet), so I don’t want to ruin the surprise. Suffice it to say that when the Nazis were being imported by the hundreds to the US and other American countries after the War, it wasn’t only an “outer” space program that was being contemplated.

DR: You wrote that Jörg Lanz von Liebenfels created the Order of New Templars as “a secret society bent on reviving the chivalric brotherhood of knights, but in an aggressively Teutonic — and anti-Semitic — format.” Since the original Templar order had so much to do with Judaism — Jerusalem, holy relics like the Ark of the Covenant, Jewish mysticism and of course that Jewish priest king known as Jesus Christ — how did he reconcile the concept of the Templars with his own anti-Semitic beliefs?

PL: We enlightened types realize that Christianity has its roots in Judaism. I mean, the Old Testament should be proof enough of that, right? But just try telling the wrong people that Christ was a Jew and see what happens. If occult scholarship on the Templars is correct, however, these knights were less Christian than would appear at first blush. The Templars — albeit an order of Catholic knighthood — went on an expedition to the Temple of Solomon, found something there that probably challenged their belief structure and caused them to deny the crucifixion and — in doing so — possibly the entire Judeao-Christian edifice they had sworn to uphold and defend. Remember that the Nazis were fond of the Cathars whom they considered — via Otto Rahn, at any rate — to be the “true” Christians rather than the persecuting Catholics. Remember that generations of scholars have posited some sort of Cathar/Templar connection. Remember that the Templars became enemies of the Church and were ruthlessly exterminated (as were the Cathars). When someone like Lanz von Liebenfels decides to resurrect the Templars, it is not as the pious Catholic monk/knights but as heroic enemies of Catholicism and, by extension, Judaism as well. The Grail was no longer a Christian symbol to Lanz, but something more ancient, more “pagan”. The bloodline of Jesus? Not to Lanz, unless that bloodline was purely Teutonic. One can no longer speak of Templarism without the implicit challenge to papal authority. To the Church in the fourteenth century, Templarism was synonymous with Satanism and idol-worship and all sorts of heresy. There has been no attempt by the modern Church to rehabilitate the reputation of the Templars. Von Liebenfels and other “new Templars” such as Crowley and Reuss bore no love for Catholicism. They used esoteric Judaica purely as a key to other mysteries, as a tool and not as an element of their “faith”. Crowley may have been a cabalist, for instance, but by no stretch of the imagination was he a worshipper of the Jewish god. No tallis, tefillim or yarmulka for that boy. Same for von Liebenfels. The Christ that Christians worship — according to the Nazis, both then and now — is a Jewish impersonator. That Christ was Jewish is a lie perpetrated by the Jews to maintain some degree of control over the Gentiles. So, the “new Templars” were able to identify with a Christian knightly order while simultaneously reviling Christianity, since the “revealed” Christianity was a hoax. They were at least half right; what we know of Christianity today is a hodge-podge of other myths, other religions, and some political agendas. Strip away Mithraism, Gnosticism and paganism from Christianity — especially Roman Catholicism — and what’s left? A messianic cult of Essenes with a narrow focus on regaining Jerusalem in its lifetime? The end of the nineteenth century saw a flurry of books and articles attacking the Church and demonstrating how it obtained all the non-Christian trappings over the centuries. Cults like the new Templar orders were created as repositories of the “true Faith”, the secret knowledge behind the Masons and the Jews and the Christians, the pre-Jehovah, pre-Garden of Eden consciousness of the Aryan people. As in the old saying, “the enemy of my enemy is my friend”: the Knights Templar were obviously the enemy of the Church, thus it followed.

DR: One of the chapters in your book that interested me most was (of course) Chapter 7, entitled “Lucifer’s Quest for the Holy Grail.” In it, you describe how a mystical Grail scholar named Otto Rahn was enlisted into the SS and hired by Himmler to a write a book proving (A) that Lucifer was the God of the Aryan race (B) that Jehovah was Satan and (C) that Christ was a Teutonic sun god and Christianity the corrupted result of Jews trying to co-opt the German Messiah. All this lead to the conclusion that the Holy Grail was actually a Luciferian relic that the Jews had also tried to co-opt. Rahn was even given a deadline of October 31st, 1936 to finish his book, entitled Lucifer’s Servants. But a few years later, in February 1939, Rahn resigned from the SS for reasons unknown, and died a mysterious death one month later while hiking in the mountains. You intimate that he may have been assassinated because of something he may have discovered during his Grail researches, something he’d “confessed” to another Nazi occultist named Karl Wiligut, with whom he was good friends. Is it possible that he’d discovered evidence that the Grail was actually the Bloodline of Christ, the Judaic bloodline of David? This would of course have been thoroughly unacceptable to Himmler and devastating to his whole cosmology if such facts had gotten out.

PL: I don’t know why Otto Rahn was killed, although I am reasonably certain he was and that his death was not the accident it was made out to be. He may be only another one in a series of individuals involved with Montsegur and Rennes-le-Chateau who died violent deaths. Was he murdered by the Nazis, or were other elements at play here? He was Himmler’s pet for awhile, and a friend of Wiligut (who designed the Death’s Head Ring worn by the SS). Wiligut was a total psycho, so it is hard for me to imagine a less likely friendship since Rahn seems somewhat sane in his writings, if a bit overboard at times. There is no evidence to hand that Himmler ordered an investigation into Rahn’s death, so either it was ordered by Himmler himself or he was satisfied that it was an accident. Had he been cut down by a cult defending the Cathar/Templar secret, it is possible that more would have been made of his death and that there would be a paper trail to follow. (Possibly there was, but it has been lost with time and with the destruction of many Nazi documents during the final days of the War.) Yes, if Rahn had discovered the “Holy Blood, Holy Grail” secret then possibly Himmler would have ordered Rahn killed to keep the secret safe, or he would have had him killed for having the temerity to suggest it. But I think that Himmler would have been fascinated by this discovery and would have had Pierre Plantard and his relatives rounded up and brought to Wewelsburg for some heavy interrogation. The Rahn mystery is one that concerns me to this day, for none of the reports, stories, theories I have heard so far have seemed conclusive enough. Perhaps, as the French say, cherchez la femme?

DR: In the epilogue to your book, when you discuss the cooperation the Nazis received from the Catholic church, despite the openly pro-pagan, anti-Christian stance of Nazi doctrine, you say the following:

“Were the Nazis somehow blackmailing the Church with evidence of some monstrous crime that has never come to light (did the Nazis find the Templar treasure? were they in possession of the Grail?), or was the Church’s notorious lack of conviction during World War II somehow evidence that the Church itself had lost its own faith?”

If you’ll recall, the Prieure de Sion and members of the Grail families have been suspected of blackmailing the Vatican with their knowledge of the continuing bloodline of Christ, knowledge that would have disastrous implications for the Church, since their empire is based on the idea that Christ was celibate and died on the Cross with no heirs. Is it possible that Nazis were implementing a similar form of blackmail, if they had, as you suggest, found the “Templar treasure” or the “Holy Grail”, terms which could be interpreted to mean the bloodline of Christ?

PL: Yes, it’s possible; but why kill Rahn, then? Rahn would have been invaluable for the blackmail operation as he would have an intimate knowledge of the history, the documents, etc. The blackmail theory does have its merit, though. It would explain a great deal, especially the rat-lines after the War. But it’s something that would have been kept from Hitler, I think. Hitler would have blurted it out, and had Goebbels write up a particularly scathing oration on the subject for Nazi sweeps week. If this secret had been unearthed, Himmler would have held onto it and used it in his own way. But there the theory falls apart. Himmler had no friends at the end, no help from any quarter, and committed suicide after he was captured. If he had been in possession of this secret, he could have blackmailed his way straight into Bel Air if he so desired. Something doesn’t ring true, then. Rahn would have been the one to discover the secret, and he would have told it to either Himmler or Wiligut. Both turn up empty-handed at war’s end. Was the secret — whatever it was — an object that was subsequently lost (again) by either Rahn or Himmler? Recovered by the Church? Or hidden by some third party somewhere? There is a retired Army veteran who writes books on the subject, and who claims that a German submarine buried something in Antarctica after the War.

DR: On page 32 you wrote that S. L. MacGregor Mathers had “aristocratic pretensions and was desirous of restoring the House of Stuart.” I recently got a letter to the editor claiming this as well. The man, whose name is Kevin Coogan and is a successful writer in his own right, also said that Crowley and other members of the Golden Dawn supported the Stuarts, and referred me to p. 121 of Crowley’s Confessions, which I unfortunately do not have a copy of. Could you comment on this and tell me what evidence there is to support this? Also, please explain why they might have been supporting this long-exiled royal family.

PL: This could be a long story. How much time do you have? Seriously, I think the best source for background on this would be “The Temple and the Lodge” by Baigent and Leigh. They cover the links between the Stuart dynasty, the Jacobite movement and Freemasonry pretty thoroughly, including data on the Rosicrucian societies and the Royal Society connections. According to Baigent and Leigh, Scotland was an early destination for Templars fleeing the Church and there are Templar graveyards and chapels there and a history of Templar activism supporting the armies fighting the English. Remember that restoring the House of Stuart would have been a romantic concept to Mathers, Crowley, et al. And ties in with their opposition to Victorian English values. Mathers went so far as to have photographs taken of himself in full highland drag, and signed many of his writings MacGregor. Crowley made himself Laird of Boleskine on the banks of Loch Ness, and Boleskine is now the “Mecca” for Thelemites, the place they face when they pray. I could go on and on about Bonnie Prince Charlie, “Charlie over the water”, and the underground societies that supported him with their codes and safe houses, all those elements necessary to attract the devotee of secret cults and hidden meanings. I mean, look at the similarities between the Catholic Church versus the Templars and then the English Empire versus the Templars: the Templars as romantic champion of the underdog, fighting the minions of the Death Star. More to the point, the Stuart connection gives the Templars a dimension on the British Isles apart from its Gallic origins and fame. It makes them more universal, and moreover is credited with being the source of Freemasonry. To restore the Stuart dynasty would be to restore Templarism de facto. Mathers was passionately involved in Stuart-type intrigues and half-baked political movements; Crowley adopted it as a fashion and probably believed in restoring the throne to the Stuarts but I think he was not as politically involved as his mentor in this cause. Crowley came first to Crowley, and unless he could prove to himself that he was a Stuart I don’t think he would have thrown his not inconsiderable weight behind the movement for any period of time. (As I write these lines now, the muezzin outside my window calls the faithful to prayer. It is 6:08 a.m. local time, and the mosques use loudspeakers these days so the volume is at quite a hideous level. I am jet-lagged and have been awake for hours, answering these questions in a cocoon of Asian silence until this moment when I am reminded that the Templars’ fellow travelers have successfully “evangelized” this part of the world. To speak here of Islamic mysticism, though, would invite the wrath of the state religious police organs who can arrest people for heresy. So I look out my window at the darkness, hear the call to prayer, and incline my head over my laptop.)

DR: How is it that Freemasonry — the tenets of which proclaim “liberty, equality, fraternity”, encouraging men to regard one another with brotherly love, and the members of which have fought for freedom of thought and conscience for hundreds of years — could be so corrupted into the fascist Italian Propaganda Due Mason lodge, involved in a number of fascist coup attempts both in Italy and throughout South America? How is it that Albert Pike, author of Morals and Dogma, that essential Masonic tome — could at the same time have drafted the charter for the Order of the Ku Klux Klan? This is also odd since the Nazis, whom the Klansmen are emulating — considered Freemasonry to be the machinery with which the Jewish conspiracy operated.

PL: By way of illustration, a little story: Pope John Paul I was leader of the Catholic Church for about a month before he was assassinated. One of his missions was to fire all members of Masonic lodges — such as P2 — who were clergymen. He never got the chance. Membership in Masonic lodges was at that time (and until only recently) forbidden to Catholics; much more so to monsignors, bishops and cardinals. John Paul I felt that the widespread masonic cult within Vatican City itself constituted a real enemy. P2 was — and remains — pitted against the power of certain elements within the Church, as were the generations of Templars and Freemasons and Illuminati down the centuries. That is not to say that these groups would have been anti-fascist or supportive of liberation movements in South America. If you have spent any time in Italy, you would eventually realize that what constitutes a Masonic lodge there is not necessarily what you would recognize elsewhere. Specific lodges often have specific political agendas. Italy has a long history of secret societies and we probably shouldn’t judge Freemasonry on the basis of P2. But you get a like-minded group of males together for whatever purpose and soon you will find that water seeks its level and what began as a masonic lodge becomes a center for political favoritism, secret deals, a few points off a mortgage arrangement or a real estate sale, you get the picture. Remember that one must be asked to join a lodge: this precludes signing up people who are “not like us.” The corollary is that the brotherhood of that particular lodge takes on a certain complexion, a certain homogeneity. There is an authoritarian aspect to Freemasonry in that there is a hierarchical structure, a graded system of degrees, secrets that are not revealed all at once but only over time, etc. In other words, a system of control over people. Is that a bad thing, necessarily? Should we ask the question? Today, we have very specific attitudes towards what we perceive to be fascism, totalitarianism, etc. In the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, there was no such thing as an identifiable form of fascism. There was nationalism, and colonialism, and imperialism. And racism. And sexism. Much of this was institutionalized, of course. Did Freemasonry and Rosicrucianism arise as revolts against specific political and/or spiritual leaders? Probably. Would these movements have replaced existing power structures with ones of their own? Possibly. That is probably what happened in America in 1776. The problem for me personally with all of this is that the fashionable morality of one age becomes concretized — petrified — in the system. The high-sounding ideals of a Scottish Masonic lodge of the eighteenth century would not be inconsistent with the views of someone like Albert Pike, for instance. Once again, we have an underdog — this time a member of the failed Confederacy — creating a secret cult to oppose the totalitarian state of America. P2 had a specific anti-Communist agenda; it viewed the Church as soft on Communism. And what was the reverse of Communism to the post-WWII mentality? Nazism. We made the same mistake, hiring Reinhard Gehlen to run European operations for the CIA and Wehrner von Braun to head up our space program, etc. P2 was a continuation of politics by other means. I should point out that when Albert Pike created the Klan, all the votes were not in on the heinous nature of what the Klan supported. For many years the Klan was seen as a romantic symbol of the Old South and as a resistance movement to the greedy carpetbaggers and other scurrilous Yankees coming down from the North. For much the same reason as Nazis are emulated by certain elements of society today — the nicer uniforms, the aura of gentility and sophistication — the vanquished Southern gentlemen officers of the Confederacy were idolized. “Birth of a Nation” told us that, if Major Moseby and stories of the Grey Ghost did not. As for the Jewish elements of Freemasonry, as with the Germans and Templarism whatever was Jewish was conveniently ignored or explained away as elements that were appropriated by the Jews from older, more authentic, sources. The Nazis that I met during the course of the last 20 odd years have never agreed that the Jews were the repository of any special knowledge or ability, only that they had stolen the family jewels, so to speak — which was the core of the Jewish conspiracy — and that the jewels had to be reclaimed and the Jews destroyed once and for all.

DR: Do you think that there was organized participation by Freemasons in the allied resistance in order to stamp out enemies of the craft?

PL: I don’t think the resistance was organized. Probably more of a case of individual lodge members assisting each other to flee the Nazis, etc. The Masons had never organized along military lines as did the Thule and other groups. They were not armed, or hiding guns in their temples. I think if the Nazis had had any proof of that, it would have been highly publicized. But I am sure there were Masons involved with the Maquis in France and may have formed a kind of subset within the resistance group. But that is about as far as I am willing to speculate without documentation.

DR: What do you think about the idea put forth in Holy Blood, Holy Grail hypothesizing that the Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion, were originally a Masonic document, which was doctored by Sergei Nilus in order to foster anti-Semitism?

PL: It is possible that the Protocols are a corruption of another document; but once we go down that path how do we know what was original and what was Nilus? At one point, Nilus himself says that the Protocols were stolen by a woman from an influential leader of Freemasonry. (That was only one of his many stories of the background and origin of the Protocols; most are mutually exclusive.) It was originally entitled “Minutes of the Meeting of the World Union of Freemasons and Elders of Zion” according to Norman Cohn in his definitive “Warrant for Genocide” which is probably the best source for anyone interested in the history of the Protocols. I should also mention Cohn’s point that in “the eighteenth century the Freemasons were on the whole hostile to the Jews (and so, incidentally, were the Bavarian Illuminati).” (page 29) The irony is that the Nazis (and the Russian anti-Semites responsible for the Protocols) assumed a Jewish-Masonic conspiracy. Both groups were considered secretive, clannish, self-supporting and outside the mainstream of culture; ergo, they were united in a single conspiracy. Paranoia has its own internal logic, I guess.

DR: In the book, you hint about your own involvement with the occult. What can you tell me about that? Why are you mentioned in the “Special thanks” section of the Necronomicon? And what’s up with the Necronomicon, anyway? I always thought it was something that Lovecraft had made up, but the preface to the one edited by L. K. Barnes states that it was brought to him by some guy named Simon in a briefcase containing “additional material on the NECRONOMICON which provided his bona fides.” He also says that the briefcase contained “correspondence from various Balkan embassies.” This I at first took with a grain of salt but after seeing your name in the special thanks section I grew curious.

PL: My involvement was on the translation side. I’ve been around occult groups in New York since the late Sixties. I was a friend of Herman Slater of the old Warlock Shop in Brooklyn Heights before it moved to Manhattan and became Magickal Childe. I was around during the famous Witch Wars of the Seventies, when it seemed that everyone was casting spells on everyone else. I was there when Gardnerians and Welsh Trads and Alexandrians and Sicilian Trads sat down around a table in the back of Herman’s shop to settle the War and make peace once and for all. Herman had once interviewed neo-Nazis in New York in the 1960s and we had a lot of interests in common. I never joined any of the groups, that wasn’t my intention or inclination, but I was a familiar face around the campfire, so to speak. My fascination has always been on the degree to which religion and occultism influence mainstream politics; Unholy Alliance began as an academic study of this before it turned into a Nazi history. As for the Necronomicon, it was part of a stash of stolen books. The story is told, I think, in other places and I have been asked this before — also on the Internet — so to summarize: in the 1970s a couple of Eastern Orthodox monks pulled off the biggest rare book heist in the history of the United States. It was a continuing crime, the books being taken from libraries and private collections all over the country (and, it was said, Canada and Mexico). They were finally busted, and did federal time, but most of the books were never recovered. The Necronomicon was part of this swag as were a lot of occult books. It was in Greek, handwritten, but the problem was that much of the Greek was unintelligible. My modest contribution to this was recognizing that some of the Greek was an attempt to phoneticize Babylonian and Sumerian words. I am not one of the people arguing that this Necronomicon is THE Necronomicon, or that Lovecraft was even aware that it existed. I think Lovecraft heard the name through one of his friends in the Golden Dawn, and used it creatively. If the Simon Necronomicon is a hoax, I think it would have been better done and more closely followed the Cthulhu Mythos. I kind of like the fact that William Burroughs was into it, and wrote Simon and L. K. Barnes a letter praising it as an important spiritual breakthrough.

DR: In Unholy Alliance you talk about how the Nazi occultists believed there was an “Aryan spirit” and a “Jewish spirit”, which was passed along through the genes by way of racial memory. Is this not the same concept espoused in the NECRONOMICON when it talks about how we all have the blood of the Ancient Ones pumping through our veins, poisoning us. It says “a man, being born, is of sadness, for he is of the Blood of the Ancient Ones, but has the Spirit of the Elder Gods breathed into him.” Also, I believe Abdul Alhazred, if there was such a person, refers to the pentagram as “The Sign of the Aryan Race.”

PL: Yes, this is similar to what we find in the Necronomicon but is also what we find in ancient Sumerian religion (for instance). Man is formed from the blood of the slain gods, but has the spirit of the victorious gods blown into him, hence his naturally schizophrenic nature. (I am not sure about Woman.)

DR: In the final chapters to your book you explain how Nazi occultism is being spread throughout various youth countercultures like the skinheads. One of my readers, that same Kevin Coogan, recently sent me an article he’d written for Hit List magazine about a phenomenon popular throughout Europe known as “Black Metal”, hard-core heavy metal called “black” (“an adjective used by Europeans for right-wing”, he claims) because of the radical views espoused by the musicians. Many within this counterculture blend Naziism, anti-Semitism, fascism, Satanism, sado-masochism, and Odinist ancestor worship supposedly as a means of shocking themselves or others out of the mundane, linear mindset. He traces this cultural anomaly back to Genesis P-Orridge, one of the forefathers of industrial music (Throbbing Gristle/Psychic TV) and a Thelemic essayist with whom you’re probably familiar. Genesis used a lot of these elements in his work as well, calling it “Entertainment Through Pain.” Any comments on the usefulness of such practices? It reminds me of your description of Temple of Set founder Michael Aquino and his “Wewelsburg Working”, in which he tried to catch waves off of the magical current he believed to be present in Himmler’s famous S.S. Castle by performing a magic ritual there.

PL: Entertainment Through Pain? That would have been “Ishtar”, I think. Or “Showgirls”. But to answer your question seriously, I’m not sure it’s necessary to shock oneself out of a linear mindset, although that would be the fast approach. Satanic ritual does that, properly performed. But what happens to the psyche thus shocked? Who is in control at that point? In the case of Black Metal, the musicians are ostensibly in control but often their sole contribution has been the “shock” factor. Where does the psyche “go” at that point? What does it learn from the experience? Growing up in the Sixties, we understood acid to be a similar shock factor that disrupted linear time and linear thinking, but our trips were guided. The acid was used as a tool for other purposes and not an end in itself. I think it is more useful that way. The same for Black Metal. I think the music should be part of a larger format — a ritual, if you will — to enable the effects to be more lasting, more profound. But, where’s the fun in that?

DR: Do you think that members of the OTO are involved in espionage today? If so, how prevalent do you think that is? Do you think that by joining the OTO a person is entering into a den of spies and government agents?

PL: No, not really. I have known a lot of OTO people in my time — from various countries — and for the most part they would make poor spies. There were some lodges operating in the former Yugoslavia, though, that might have become involved in the murder and mayhem taking place there now. I don’t know, as I have lost touch with them. But I do believe that the OTO was formerly involved in espionage for the first maybe 50 years of its existence. I think, as it became “hippified” in the States, it lost some of its attraction for the intelligence agencies but that does not mean that it would not be involved somehow in such activities in other parts of the world, or that individual OTO members would not be involved in such activities even in the US. I feel that US intelligence investigated — and possibly infiltrated — the OTO in the 1960’s as they did with the Klan and the neo-Nazis, and that the full extent of the FBI and/or CIA “cult awareness” program has never been adequately revealed or the right questions asked.

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Deliberate self-poisoning with pesticides is a severe problem in the Asia

ncbi.nlm.nih.gov      Deliberate self-poisoning with pesticides is a severe public health problem in the Asia Pacific region with an estimated 300,000 deaths occurring each year.

News

Fipronil in eggs: Dutch police arrest two suspects

Police in the Netherlands have detained two men suspected of being involved in the illegal use of a pesticide in the poultry industry. Millions of fipronil-contaminated eggs have been recalled since the scandal broke.

News

Fipronil in eggs: Dutch police arrest two suspects

Police in the Netherlands have detained two men suspected of being involved in the illegal use of a pesticide in the poultry industry. Millions of fipronil-contaminated eggs have been recalled since the scandal broke.

Watch video 01:09

First arrests in European egg scandal

Dutch prosecutors said in a statement on Thursday that the men are directors of a company that allegedly used an unauthorized insecticide at poultry farms.

Investigators in the Netherlands and Belgium made the arrests during a string of coordinated raids linked to their probe into how fipronil, which can be harmful to humans, made it into the food chain.

“The Dutch investigation focused on the Dutch company that allegedly used fipronil, a Belgian supplier as well as a Dutch company that colluded with the Belgian supplier,” the prosecutors said.

“They are suspected of putting public health in danger by supplying and using fipronil in pens containing egg-laying chickens.”

Authorities in the Netherlands, Belgium and Germany recalled millions of eggs at the start of the month after the discovery of fipronil in batches delivered to supermarkets. Dozens of poultry farms, mainly in the Netherlands but also in Belgium, have been closed down, while supermarkets have cleared tainted eggs from their shelves.

The French agriculture ministry confirmed on Friday that 250,000 contaminated eggs had been “on the market” in France between April and July. Five companies using egg products were been involved. A first batch of 196,000 eggs from Belgium had been placed on the market between April 16 and May 2 and a second lot from the Netherlands of 48,000 eggs had been sold through Leader Price shops between July 19 and 28.

The insecticide is a common ingredient in anti-lice treatments, but it is banned from being used on animals destined for human consumption. Fipronil can be hazardous to humans’ kidneys, liver and thyroid glands, according to the World Health Organization, but only if consumed in large quantities.

Watch video 01:27

Farmers’ finances ruined by contaminated egg scandal

Scandal spreads

The European Commission said on Friday a total of 15 countries have been affected by the fipronil-contaminated eggs, including two non-EU countries, Switzerland and Hong Kong.

The two countries received eggs originating from affected poultry farms in Belgium, the Netherlands, Germany and France, it said.

The Commission is planning a crisis meeting of EU ministers on September 26.

One ton of contaminated egg yolk liquid was uncovered in Romania later on Thursday, according to the country’s veterinary health authority ANSVSA. It was the first discovery of contaminated egg product in eastern Europe since the scandal erupted.

The egg yolk liquid was found in a warehouse on the western side of the country and had been imported from Germany, but “none of the product has been offered for sale,” said ANSVSA.

British authorities reported earlier on Thursday that around 700,000 eggs from affected Dutch farms had been distributed in Britain. The UK Food Standards Agency (FSA) said the eggs were mixed in large batches to be used in processed foods and not sold fresh, as they were in countries like the Netherlands and Germany. Four major British grocery chains have withdrawn such products, including sandwiches and salads, the FSA said in a statement.

“However, as this represents 0.007 per cent of the eggs we consume in the UK every year, it remains the case that it is very unlikely that there is any risk to public health from consuming these foods,” the statement said. The FSA also said that the recalls were not being carried out owing to safety concerns, but because the ingredient is not authorized for use.

Luxembourg said that eggs sold in the discount supermarket Aldi had been withdrawn after one batch was found to contain sufficient levels of fipronil to potentially pose a threat to young children, who cannot consume as much as adults safely. Aldi earlier this month pulled all Dutch eggs from its stores in Germany,but the company said on Thursday that its German markets would restock eggs as of Friday.

rs,jm (AFP, AP, Reuters, dpa)

Acute Human Self-Poisoning with the N-Phenylpyrazole Insecticide Fipronil –A GABAA-Gated Chloride Channel Blocker

J Toxicol Clin Toxicol. Author manuscript; available in PMC 2006 Jan 25.

Published in final edited form as:

1South Asian Clinical Toxicology Research Collaboration, Department of Clinical Medicine, University of Colombo, Sri Lanka.

2Bayer CropScience, Sophia Antipolis Research Center, France.

3Queensland Health Scientific Services, Coopers Plains, Queensland, Australia

4Polonnaruwa and

5 Anuradhapura General Hospitals, North Central Province, Sri Lanka.

6Bayer CropScience UK, Cambridge, England.

7Department of Clinical Pharmacology & Toxicology, Canberra Clinical School, ACT, Australia.

8Centre for Tropical Medicine, Nuffield Department of Clinical Medicine, University of Oxford, England.

Correspondence:

M Eddleston, Dept of Clinical Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, POBox 271, 25 Kynsey Road, Colombo-08, Sri Lanka. Fax: +44-20-7900-3445.

kl.akerue@mnotseldde

Abstract

Objective

Fipronil, a broad spectrum N-phenylpyrazole insecticide that inhibits GABAA-gated chloride channels, has been in use since the mid-1990s. A high affinity for insect compared to mammalian GABA receptors results in lower animal toxicity than other insecticides blocking this channel. To date, only two accidental cases of fipronil poisoning in humans have been published.

Case series

We report seven patients with fipronil self-poisoning seen prospectively in Sri Lanka together with pharmacokinetics for four patients. Non-sustained generalized tonic-clonic seizures were seen in two patients (peak measured plasma fipronil concentrations 1600 and 3744 μg/L); both were managed with diazepam without complications. A patient with a peak measured plasma concentration of 1040 μg/L was asymptomatic throughout his stay. Plasma concentration was still high at discharge 3–4 days post-ingestion when the patients were well. Retrospective review of >1000 pesticide poisoning deaths since 1995 found only one death from fipronil-based products. In contrast to the good outcome of the above cases, this patient required intubation and ventilation and had continuous fits despite therapy with barbiturates and benzodiazepines.

Conclusions

Our experience with prospectively observed patients suggests that fipronil poisoning is characterized by vomiting, agitation, and seizures, and normally has a favorable outcome. Management should concentrate on supportive care and early treatment of seizures. However, further experience is needed to determine whether increased susceptibility to fipronil or larger doses can produce status epilepticus.

Introduction

Deliberate self-poisoning with pesticides is a severe public health problem in the Asia Pacific region with an estimated 300,000 deaths occurring each year.15 Concerns about the toxicity of organophosphorus and organochlorine pesticides and insect resistance have provided impetus to develop other families of insecticides with less toxicity in recent years. Thus far we have little direct evidence of their human toxicity.

The mechanism of action of organochlorine pesticides was elucidated in the early 1980s.6,7 The two main classes – cyclodienes (eg endosulfan) and cycloalkanes (eg lindane) – work by inhibiting GABAA-gated chloride channels, producing neuronal hyper-excitability. Following this discovery, interest was renewed in the development of insecticides working at GABA-gated chloride channels. Work with trioxabicyclooctanes resulted in a number of new compounds, of which the first to come to market was fipronil in the mid-1990s.8

Fipronil (CAS 120068-37-3, MW 437.16) is a N-phenylpyrazole insecticide with a trifluoromethylsulfonyl moiety (figure 1). It has a broad spectrum of activity, being used for control of: insect pests of crops such as rice and cotton; locusts and grasshoppers; fleas and ticks on domestic animals; and cockroaches and ants.8 It is available for agricultural use as a 4.95% solution in propylene glycol under the brand name Regent 50 SC ® and is also used commonly in bait stations at much lower concentrations.

To date, only two human cases of fipronil poisoning has been published.9,10 In the first, a 77-yr-old woman accidentally ingested a piece of ant bait containing 0.01% fipronil, an estimated ingested dose of <0.1mg. In the second, a 50 year old man complained of short-lived non-specific symptoms after spraying his field with a very dilute formulation of fipronil. We report seven prospectively recorded cases and one retrospectively identified death from acute fipronil self-poisoning. Fipronil exposure was proven in six out of six patients tested by detection of fipronil in plasma.

Methods

A prospective study was established during 2002 in three hospitals in the North Central and North Western provinces of Sri Lanka as a part of a randomized controlled trial of multiple (MDAC – six 50g doses over 24h) and single (SDAC – 50g) dose regimens of superactivated charcoal (Carbomix, Norit, NL) in the management of acute self-poisoning (ISRCTN02920054). Ethics approval for the study was obtained from the Colombo Faculty of Medicine Ethics Committee and the Oxfordshire Clinical Research Ethics Committee.

Since 31 March 2002 in Anuradhapura, 4 June 2002 in Polonnaruwa, and for two months in Kurunegala, all patients with a history of self-poisoning have been seen on admission and data recorded prospectively. The poison ingested is identified from the patient’s or relatives’ histories, the bottle brought with the patients, or the doctor’s comments in transfer letters.

As part of a review of the causative agent in deaths from pesticide poisoning,11 the hospital records of all patients who died from poisoning in Anuradhapura (1995–2001) and Polonnaruwa (1998) were examined by one author (ME) and any deaths associated with exposure to fipronil-based products noted.

Blood samples were collected from six patients, and plasma separated. Samples were stored at −20 degrees centigrade and transported on dry ice for analysis. Analysis of samples from patients 2 and 3 was carried out at Bayer CropScience in France using an ELISA developed for the detection of total fipronil (parent compound and metabolites). Analysis of patients 4–7 was performed at Queensland Health Scientific Services, Brisbane, using liquid chromatography mass spectrometry.12

Due to the limited facilities available in the hospitals, routine blood tests were not performed on these patients.

Results

By the 31st of December 2003, 4310 poisoning patients had been reviewed on admission to the three study hospitals. Seven had ingested fipronil, all in the form of Regent 50 SC®. Fipronil ingestion was indicated by the bottles brought with patients 1, 2, 4 and 5, and by the transferring doctor’s letter in the case of patients 3, 6 and 7 (the bottle had been brought to the peripheral hospital but left there and subsequently discarded).

All patients were seen on admission and data prospectively recorded (table). Six of the seven patients gave written consent to participate in the RCT and therefore had blood samples taken for assay of pesticide concentration.

Case Reports

Case 1 – a 17-year-old man presented 18hrs after ingesting an unknown amount of mixed pesticides: Regent 50 SC®, dimethoate, fenthion and imidacloprid. He had previously received forced mechanical emesis with salty water (but not ipecac) at a peripheral hospital but no other therapy. He had not vomited spontaneously after the ingestion, and had no symptoms. His Glasgow Coma Score (GCS) was 15/15, pulse 74bpm, BP 110/70. Examination was unremarkable. He was not recruited to the RCT and blood samples were not taken for analysis. He had an uneventful clinical course, receiving no charcoal or other intervention besides IV fluids on the first hospital day. He was discharged well on the fourth hospital day.

Case 2 – a 31 year-old man was admitted 1hr after drinking 100ml of Regent 50 SC®. He was drowsy on admission, sweating profusely, and vomiting. His GCS was 12/15 (voice 2/5), pulse 76bpm, BP 110/80mmHg, pupils 4mm and chest clear. He was given 500ml of 0.9% N saline quickly by IV infusion and 10mg metoclopramide IV. He continued to retch repeatedly and was given a further 10mg of metoclopramide after 10 mins. Two mins later, he had a generalized tonic-clonic seizure lasting around one minute. He stopped fitting spontaneously and was given diazepam 10mg IV. He received MDAC and, during insertion of a nasogastric (NG) tube, another 5mg of diazepam IV.

Over the next few hours, he became more alert but also agitated for which he was given a further 10mg of diazepam IV, 4hrs after the second dose. His agitation settled and he then slept. He was asymptomatic within 12h of the ingestion and was discharged well on the fourth hospital day.

Case 3 – a 44-year-old man presented 3hrs after drinking 50mls of Regent 50 SC® together with alcohol. He had previously been admitted to a local hospital where he had received forced emesis. On admission, he had no symptoms, GCS was 15/15, pulse 100bpm, and BP 170/90. He was not sweating, pupils 4mm, and examination otherwise unremarkable. He had no history of hypertension and was receiving no medication; his blood pressure dropped to 140/80 within the next hour. He was given SDAC, remained well and was discharged after 48h; follow up was arranged to check his blood pressure in one month.

Case 4 – a 31-year-old male presented 5hrs after drinking an unknown amount of Regent 50 SC® with alcohol. He had previously been admitted to a local hospital where he had received forced emesis. He had also twice had generalized tonic-clonic seizures in that hospital for which he had received diazepam. On admission, he was vomiting, GCS was 15/15, pulse 88bpm, and BP 120/80. He received no charcoal but did receive two doses of diazepam 5mg PO and metoclopramide 10mg IV during his first day in the hospital. He developed an aphthous ulcer on his tongue on day two; otherwise, he was asymptomatic throughout his stay. He was discharged well on his fourth hospital day.

Case 5 – a 21-year-old male was admitted 3hrs after ingesting an unknown amount of Regent 50 SC®, together with an unknown organophosphorus pesticide and alcohol. Relatives had induced emesis at home but he received no other pre-hospital treatment. He was well and asymptomatic on admission, with GCS 15/15, pulse 70bpm, BP 130/80 and clear lungs. He received MDAC, amoxicillin 500mg q8h for three days for aspiration and pralidoxime 1g q6h for 36hrs, but did not require atropine. He remained asymptomatic and was discharged after three days.

Case 6 – a 34 -year old woman was admitted 3hrs after ingesting an unknown amount of Regent 50 SC®. She had received forced emesis at a peripheral hospital. On admission she had nausea, vomiting, and heart burn; her GCS was 15/15, pulse 76bpm, BP 130/80 and she had clear lungs. She did not receive charcoal, remained well throughout her stay and was discharged on her second hospital day.

Case 7 – a 30-year old man was admitted 1hr after ingesting 50ml of Regent 50 SC® with alcohol. He was asymptomatic on admission, GCS 15/15, pulse 88bpm and BP 120/80. He received MDAC and 50% dextrose on admission, but no other therapy, and was discharged well on his third hospital day.

Retrospective review – Case 8

A 23-year-old man was admitted 3hrs after ingesting 100ml of Regent 50 SC®. The pesticide’s identity was indicated by the bottle label, which was brought with him and stored in the notes. He was unconscious on admission and admitted directly to the intensive care unit (ICU) where he was intubated. He had generalized tonic-clonic fits several times during his time in ICU, despite therapy with benzodiazepines and phenobarbital. He developed pneumonia and died in ICU without regaining consciousness 17 days after admission.

Pharmacokinetics

Blood samples were taken from 6 patients on admission; multiple samples were available for patients 2–5 and 7. Samples from patients 2 and 3 were analyzed by ELISA that could not distinguish fipronil from its metabolites. Samples from patients 4–7 were analyzed by liquid chromatography mass spectrometry that could detect fipronil and the sulfone and desufinyl metabolites. The latter was not detected in any sample. The concentrations in patients 5 and 6 were near the limit of detection and the data generally not useful.

Absorption of fipronil from the bowel was still occurring 200 minutes post-ingestion in case 3. In contrast, peak plasma fipronil in cases 2, 4 and 7 had already been reached when the first samples were taken 170, 210 and 45 minutes post-ingestion. Patients 2 and 4 had both ingested large quantities of pesticide. Peak recorded plasma total fipronil concentrations reached 3740 μg/L in case 4. For case 2, the first plasma sample (1600 μg/L) was collected shortly after his generalized tonic-clonic seizure.

After the peak measured plasma fipronil concentration, there was a relatively rapid fall in the patients with high blood levels. The initial very rapid drop in case 2 suggests that this was due to distribution of the pesticide (apparent half-life 3.3 hours). The apparent half-life after this timepoint was much longer and total plasma concentrations of fipronil plus metabolite started to rise again in cases 2, 3 and 7 (figure 2). However, patients were asymptomatic at this time. It is apparent from the two patients who had more specific assays done (4 & 7) that this was due to a rise in sulfone concentrations. The apparent half-life of fipronil over the last three measurements was about 36h and 47h for these two patients.

Figure 2

Measured concentrations of total fipronil (including sulfone) in cases 2 to 7.

Discussion

This paper reports the first human cases of acute self-poisoning with the N-phenylpyrazole pesticide, fipronil. Ingestion of fipronil was confirmed in all six patients in whom toxicological analysis was undertaken.

Mechanism of toxicity

Fipronil, together with the cyclodiene and cycloalkane organochlorine pesticides, inhibits the passage of chloride ions through GABA-gated chloride channels, resulting in hyperexcitability.6,7 Fipronil binds to the GABAA receptor13,14 but not to the GABAC receptor;15 pesticides such as the cycloalkane lindane bind well to both.13,15 The binding site used by fipronil is different from the picrotoxin binding site used by organochlorine pesticides.13,14

The mammalian GABAA receptor is a transmembrane heterooligomeric glycoprotein made up of five subunits from seven families.16,17 At least one α, one β, and one γ subunit are required for fully functional receptors. In vitro, fipronil binds to a β3 homooligomeric receptor or to the native insect receptor with high affinity.13,14 Binding to the native mammalian heterooligomeric receptor is relatively weak. Non-β3 subunits modulate the ability of fipronil to bind to native β3-containing receptors and this appears to explain the selectivity for insects over mammals. Of all GABA receptor-binding pesticides in use, fipronil has the highest specificity for native insect receptors over native mammalian receptors with 150-2000 fold selectivity.13,18

Fipronil is metabolized in mammals to a sulfone compound (M&{“type”:”entrez-nucleotide”,”attrs”:{“text”:”B46136″,”term_id”:”2550970″,”term_text”:”B46136″}}B46136; figure 1). Binding assays indicate that the sulfone binds to native human and mouse GABA receptors with around 6-fold higher avidity.18

Toxicity in animal studies

Comparisons of LD50s in mice and adult houseflies (intraperitoneal [ip] and topical administration, respectively) shows a 128-fold higher toxicity in insects.13 Acute fipronil toxicity in laboratory rodents is characterized by tremors, altered activity or gait, hunched posture, agitation, seizures and mortality at doses greater than 50 mg/kg.8,19 Deaths were generally observed within two days of dosing while changes to nervous system function were noted principally seven hours following dosing. At lower dose levels, only slight functional neurological changes were observed.8,19

The mouse ip LD50 for fipronil and its sulfone metabolite were similar at 41 and 50mg/kg respectively, 5x higher that the LD50 for α-endosulfan.18 Regulatory authorities around the world have reviewed the fipronil data and concluded that the parent compound and sulfone have equivalent toxicity.19 This similar toxicity contrasts with the stronger binding of the sulfone to native human and animal GABA receptors relative to fipronil.

Clinical features of acute human toxicity

Among the seven prospectively recorded patients, only two had significant CNS toxicity with seizures. This was associated with sweating, nausea, vomiting and agitation in these and a few other patients. All patients were essentially asymptomatic within 12h of the ingestion and were discharged within four days of admission.

This good outcome contrasts with the death of patient 8 whose hospital notes suggest that he had ingested fipronil. He required intubation and ventilation on admission and developed recurrent seizures and pneumonia. It is possible that he may have ingested a much larger dose of fipronil or been more susceptible to fipronil intoxication (eg. had a pre-existing predisposition for fitting). Alternatively, he may have taken another poison such as endosulfan (the most important local cause of status epilepticus).20 Further prospective data are required to more fully describe the natural history and characteristics of fipronil poisoning in humans.

The only other fipronil-poisoned patients reported in the literature had exposure to very low doses of fipronil and displayed symptoms that were non-specific and may or may not have been due to the poisoning.9,10

Pharmacokinetics – animal studies

An unpublished pharmacokinetic regulatory study in rats following single oral doses of 4 or 40mg/kg fipronil showed that 80-90% was absorbed.19,21 It was extensively metabolized and distributed throughout the body, with highest levels being found in the fat at seven days post-ingestion. The fipronil was rapidly metabolized mainly to the sulfone form (compound M&{“type”:”entrez-nucleotide”,”attrs”:{“text”:”B46136″,”term_id”:”2550970″,”term_text”:”B46136″}}B46136), no unmetabolized fipronil being detected in the tissues or urine..21,22 There was significant enterohepatic circulation. After a dose of 4mg/kg to rats, the elimination half-life of the parent fipronil compound was around 8.5h compared to 208h for the sulfone. The relatively slow elimination of fipronil and its metabolites was concluded to be due to a combination of partitioning into fat and a high degree of enterohepatic recirculation.

The faeces were the major route of elimination for fipronil and its metabolites, increasing from 46% of a single 4mg/kg dose to 71% of a 150mg/kg dose.19,21 6% and 26% of the 4 and 150mg/kg doses were found in the urine, respectively

Pharmacokinetics – human cases

The fipronil was absorbed rapidly – the highest concentrations measured were those on admission to hospital for all but one patient (figures 2, ​3). This correlates with the clinical toxicity peaking in the first few hours in the symptomatic patients.

Figure 3

Measured concentrations of total fipronil, fipronil, and fipronil sulfone in cases 4 and 7.

Although we have data from only six patients, it appears that fipronil disappears rapidly from the blood over the first 15–20h. Thereafter, total fipronil concentrations plateau’d due to slow elimination of fipronil and metabolism of sulfone. We were unfortunately unable to get blood samples after patients were discharged on days 3 and 4, so we were not able to follow elimination over a longer time.

Some patients received activated charcoal, which may have influenced the pharmacokinetics. However, the apparent elimination half-life of fipronil over the last three measurements was similar for case 4 (36 hours – receiving no charcoal)) and case 7 (47 hours received MDAC).

Management of acute fipronil poisoning

Our data do not suggest that anything other than resuscitation and supportive care is required for a favorable outcome. The limited pharmacokinetic studies reported here are insufficient to make recommendations about the use of activated charcoal. The extensive enterohepatic circulation of fipronil found in rats suggests that multiple doses of activated charcoal may increase clearance, even though we observed no marked effect on elimination.23 The relatively low toxicity of fipronil and poor efficacy of both gastric lavage and forced emesis for liquid poisons24,25 suggest that gastric emptying procedures are not of value. The use of ipecac in particular is contraindicated because of the risk of seizures in these patients.

Two of the patients had a total of three generalized tonic-clonic seizures – all terminated spontaneously. There were no fits after administration of diazepam 10–15mg IV. Seizure management should follow standard practice with administration of benzodiazepines as first line management, together with oxygen and protection of the airway, followed by phenobarbital infusion as required for status epilepticus.26

Acknowledgments

We thank Bernard Jamilloux for performing the fipronil analysis on the first two patients, Darren Roberts and Mary Hodge for organizing the HPLC analysis, and the Ox-Col Poisoning Study doctors for their excellent work and patient care. ME is a Wellcome Trust Career Development Fellow in Tropical Clinical Pharmacology. Funded by grant GR063560MA from the Wellcome Trust’s Tropical Interest Group to ME, except for the shipping of blood samples from patients 2 and 3, and their analysis, which was funded by Bayer CropScience.

Notes

Footnotes

Conflicts of Interest

WDa and AP are employees of Bayer Crop Science, manufacturers of Regent, before its recent sale to BASF.

References

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van der Hoek W, Konradsen F, Athukorala K, Wanigadewa T. Pesticide poisoning: a major health problem in Sri Lanka. Soc Sci Med. 1998;46:495–504. [PubMed]

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Eddleston M. Patterns and problems of deliberate self-poisoning in the developing world. Q J Med. 2000;93:715–31. [PubMed]

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Gunnell D, Eddleston M. Suicide by intentional ingestion of pesticides: a continuing tragedy in developing countries. Int J Epidemiol. 2003;32:902–9. [PMC free article] [PubMed]

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Bloomquist JR. Toxicology, mode of action and target site-mediated resistance to insecticides acting on chloride channels. Comp Biochem Physiol. 1993;106C:301–14. [PubMed]

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Bloomquist JR. Ion channels as targets for insecticides. Annu Rev Entomol. 1996;41:163–90. [PubMed]

8. EPA. New pesticide fact sheet – fipronil Washington DC, United States Environmental Protection Agency, Office of Prevention, Pesticides and Toxic Substances, 1996.

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Fung HT, Chan KK, Ching WM, Kam CW. A case of accidental ingestion of ant bait containing fipronil. J Toxicol Clin Toxicol. 2003;41:245–8. [PubMed]

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Chodorowski Z, Anand JS. Accidental dermal and inhalation exposure with fipronil–a case report. J Toxicol Clin Toxicol. 2004;42:189–90. [PubMed]

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Roberts DM, Karunarathna A, Buckley NA, Manuweera G, Sheriff MHR, Eddleston M. Influence of pesticide regulation on acute poisoning deaths in Sri Lanka. Bull World Health Organ. 2003;81:789–98. [PMC free article] [PubMed]

12. Abeyewardene M, Eaglesham G, Cheng R, Hodge M, O’Brian S. Analysis of fipronil insecticide and its sulphone metabolite in human plasma using LCMSMS. Conference, July 2004, Brisbane, Australia . 2004. Ref Type: Abstract

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Ratra GS, Kamita SG, Casida JE. Role of the human GABAA receptor b3 subunit in insecticide toxicity. Toxicol Appl Pharmacol. 2001;172:233–40. [PubMed]

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Hainzl D, Cole LM, Casida JE. Mechanisms for selective toxicity of fipronil insecticide and its sulfone metabolite and desulfinyl photoproduct. Chem Res Toxicol. 1998;11:1529–35. [PubMed]

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PMCID: PMC1351141

EMSID: UKMS6527

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Peru: The Ideology Of Apocalypse Shining Path To What?

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Peru: The Ideology Of Apocalypse Shining Path To What?


By Manolo Gonzalez, AJODA #37 – Summer 1993

Introduction

In one episode of his novel, Yawar Fiesta — Feast of Blood – , the Peruvian writer José Maria Arguedas describes in painful detail the combat of a condor tied to the neck and shoulders of a bull. Seldom does either animal win. The bird pecks madly, trying to get away from the enraged bull. Often the bull, blinded and exhausted, collapses and crushes the condor to death. This ritual has been performed at religious festivities for about three hundred years, since the Spaniards introduced European cattle into the Peruvian Andes. Arguedas uses this as an allegory of the violent, never-resolved conflict resulting from the invasion of the American continent by the Europeans. The rapacious policies of Spain, the super-exploitation of the indigenous population and the violent methods used to obtain total submission reflect one of the most cruel episodes of history. Perhaps up to 10 million Peruvians were murdered or died of European infectious diseases, and that in only the first 25 years of the invasion. Thousands of temples, administrative posts, roads and aqueducts were wantonly destroyed. Cities like Cuzco, Caxamarca were disfigured or almost demolished. The expropriation of the communal lands of the natives by the Europeans was a religious desecration of the beliefs of the Peruvians who revered the Earth, the Pachamama, as an all life-giving deity. Precious objects of art were melted for their gold or moved into European museums, or private collections. A practice that still continues today.

In Peru, class conflict has always been exacerbated by racial hatred. The lower classes are always Cholos, when not zambos or cutatos for people of African descent. There is the term chinitos for any oriental, like President Alberto Fujimori. The rich and powerful are always considered white, regardless the color of their skin.

Furthermore, different ethnic groups are antagonistic towards each other. Peruvians from the coast seldom recognize their brothers and sisters from other regions as their legitimate countrymen. Racial epithets fly around at the least expected occasions, be they soccer or politics.

In Peru, a sense of nation, of having a common background and common symbols to unify the country, has never existed. It is common for Peruvians to call themselves members of the “independent republic of Cuzco,” or ‘Arequipa’, etc. The middle classes of Lima identify with New York, Paris or even Moscow but reject Peruvians from the highlands or the jungle.

Geography is one of the most brutal challenges to the Peruvian people. The Andes cross the country from north to south, creating three regions: the arid, desolated coastal deserts; the highland sierras; and the Amazonic jungle. Each of these regions is a separate entity economically and culturally, always in conflict with the other regions. There has never been a cohesive policy of building roads or creating efficient systems of communications. Most railways are from the 19th century, built by British or Americans. 20th century travelers in Peru have observed that, if you travel from West to East, you will move from the present to the late 19th century and when you arrive in the jungle, you will be in the Stone Age. Yet United Nations functionaries still manage to say that Peruvians, decedents of the Incas, live royally compared to the abject poverty and misery of Bangladesh or Northern India.

20th century technology has blanketed Peru with the message of rock and roll and blue jeans. Radio and TV has transformed the descendants of the Incas into consumers of Capitalism’s junk. The most popular soft drink is called Inca Cola. But these stand in sharp contrast to another reality. The peasants of the Andes and the dwellers of the slums of Lima and other urban centers live in terrible conditions, victims of exploitation, unemployment and diseases long-ago controlled in most of the world. Cholera, tuberculosis, venereal disease are rampant in these improvised villages. No wonder an uncontrollable rage has exploded.

Paradoxes, contradictions and exaggerations are the biggest obstacles for those of us who deal with Peru’s history. An Italian geographer created a phrase that is a national obsession to all Peruvians. Antonio Raymondi said, “Peru is a beggar seated on a bench of gold.”

The Failure Of Ideology

In 1980 when Sendero Luminoso (Shining Path) started its military operations, Peru was in the middle of the most profound crisis ever in its 150 years of Republican existence. Both economic illusions and long-revered ideological sacred cows had failed.

First, due to ecological reasons and overfishing, the fish industry had collapsed. Since 1950, almost a million highland peasants had abandoned their lands to work along the coast in a profitable new industry. Peru became the world’s largest exporter of anchovies and fish meal. A gigantic fleet of ‘Bolicheras’, high sea fishing vessels, annually caught over $75 million worth of fish. When the industry collapsed in the late ’60s, millions of Peruvians were affected. By 1970 the desperate, unemployed invaded the streets of Lima in a wave of crime and violence. Nevertheless, the government did not realize its political implications.

Second, the leftist military, in a period of State Socialism, managed to impose radical nationalization of mines and industries and the century old dream of social reformers: the Agrarian Reform. But workers could not control artificial industries or compete against international prices. The peasants did not benefit at all from the land given to them in a rather chaotic manner. No technical assistance, mechanical equipment nor seeds were available, and, without social incentives, the long-awaited Agrarian Reform turned into a disheartening tragedy. The peasants continued emigrating to the coast for jobs in factories and the fishing industry, abandoning the land to the despair of romantic social equalitarians and Marxist intellectuals.

Third, the election of Fernando Belaunde Terry in 1980 was the end of any democratic illusions about social change. Belaunde was a most inept man, arrogant and obsessed with expensive pet projects, like building a highway in the Amazonian jungle, ignoring the massive social problems surrounding him. Congress, controlled by the middle-class APRA party that had dominated the political scene for 60 years, followed a policy of sectarian opposition to Belaunde, more on a political basis than due to any programmatic differences. It is no coincidence that Abimael Guzman, the so-called Presidente Gonzalo of Sendero Luminoso, decided in 1980 to launch a frontal attack on all the institutions of Peru. In reality there was not much left after the chaos of State Socialism and the restoration of European democracy. Belaunde continued a hysterical purchase of arms because someone had the idea that in 1979, one hundred years after the War of the Pacific with Chile, there should be a revenge for Peru’s humiliating defeat. All this was paid for with money borrowed from international banks, monies that could never be repaid because Peru could barely afford to service the massive interest charges on the loans.

Coca: Just Another Industry

In the meantime, Peru had become the main producer of coca.

Recondite valleys in the Andes easily hid coca cultivation, as well as the army of Presidente Gonzalo. The cultivation and use of coca leaves is a cultural leftover of the Inca civilization. Among the peasants of the highland chewing coca was nothing more than a potent snack to combat fatigue and the physical demands of working in the high altitude of the Andes. For over a century, coca was a monopoly of the State. Cultivators sold the leaves to government agencies, which then distributed it to consumers in a rather ordinary way, through regular stores, together with liquor, matches and cigarettes, all monopolies of the State. It was the Coca Cola company that first decided to buy large quantities of the leaves for its famous soda, but it was the elegant elite of Europe and the United States that made cocaine a drug of choice. Even Cole Porter popularized the alkaloid. But, when poor Peruvian peasants began selling coca leaves to different organizations of drug traffickers, the success of the enterprise had unexpected results. Tragic consequences for Peru and the battle for control of the coca crop started. International agencies, mafias and political operatives from many nations fought for the right to buy, and thereby control, the superb leaves of the Peruvian Andes.

Prelude To Insurgency

The insurgency of Shining Path was a desperate, almost spontaneous movement of a provincial college professor, students, and unemployed youth. Cadres were easily recruited from the gigantic slums that surrounded Lima, Arequipa and ports like Chimbote, still suffering from the effects of the collapse of the fishing industry.

Since the beginning of the 20th century, Peruvian politics had experienced a predictable left/right polarization, the usual array of Marxists and pseudo-Marxists versus the right-wing, including, in the early ’30s, black shirt fascists and Franco admirers. But the Peruvian aristocracy had always controlled the most effective political force, the Army. Since the 1950s, the Army had been indoctrinated in the anti-Communist doctrines of Eisenhower and the CIA, or the anti-insurgency ‘007’ tactics of Kennedy. But, in the classical style of tropical contradictions, the Army decided in the ’70s to try Socialism! Socialism failed, but things were not back to business as usual. Mass mobilizations had occurred and industrial workers, peasants and students were forming cadres for a Maoist revolution, at the moment the most fashionable theory for armed struggle among Third World revolutionaries.

The original Peruvian Communist Party, affiliated with the Third International and loyal follower of the Leninist ideology of the Soviet Union had become a bureaucratic apparatus, an active collaborator with the so-called “progressive bourgeoisie.” But the rift between the CPs or China and Moscow had repercussions on most of the radical left in Peru, as well as in the rest of the Third World. Abimael Guzman, a professor of Philosophy at the University of Huamanga (Ayacucho), fought inside the Moscow-oriented CP of Peru to follow a more radical line. In 1969 he was expelled from the party, and Guzman and his followers found a Maoist faction, reclaiming the name of the Communist Party of Peru for themselves.

Fire In The Andes!

The political parties of Peru were not ready for the offensive of Sendero Luminoso. Elections in 1980 were more or less normal, except for the minor inconvenience of the Maoist group in Ayacucho launching its first military operation. By the 1985 elections, won by APRA, Shining Path had devastated the capital of Peru with constant assaults on the police, bombings and mobilizations of its cadres in the slums, the “pueblos jovenes.” The European-oriented APRA party was, not only totally incapable of resolving the crisis, but actually precipitated in an orgy of corruption, petty revenge and sporadic brutal attacks on the regions where Shining Path operated. The Army routinely massacred thousands of peasants in Ayacucho, Alto Huallaga, Puno and other Andean points of resistance. To no one’s surprise, the armed forces became deeply involved in the ‘protection’ of the coca business organizations, both local and from abroad.

The violence of Sendero Luminoso, its irreducible dogmatism, and, especially, its mystical reverence for Presidente Gonzalo’s thought gives the movement a formidable image as an uncompromising political ideology. Peruvians have always managed to, somehow, combine political theories into civilized arrangements that have made Socialists of the Army or fashionable Communists of the children of the rich. Shining Path, however, is different, and perhaps, that is its biggest weakness.

It has been said many times that people with deep religious feelings cannot become capitalists or communists in their many forms. Peruvian middle classes are strongly indoctrinated in Catholicism. By and large, the peasants still keep the old pantheism of the Incas. Shining Path tries to define Peru as a peasant society, separated and segregated from the rest of the world. In the desolated mountains of the Andes, deep in the jungle, even in the small towns around Cuzco, Puno and Ayacucho, that vision of the country seems real, almost a justification for recreating the glory of the Inca Confederation. But neither Maoist ideology nor a nostalgic conception of history is adequate to solve the problems of Peru. With a population of twenty million, heavy external debt and pressure from the IMF, and the tutelage of the United States, the country cannot escape the ups and downs of the current world economy. If capitalism is trying to survive and retain its hold on Third World countries, Peru is a terrible example of future conflicts.

Guerrillas And Romance

When the news of armed struggle in Peru started to appear in the world press, there was, at first, a very sympathetic response. Especially among social agencies, Church workers and liberal intellectuals who decried the poverty of Peruvian peasants. The social horror of Peru’s misery had attracted the attention of the international press, observers and hopeful radicals.

Collage professors of Latin American studies called for support for the Peruvian revolution. The New York Times and The New Yorker dedicated long pieces of reporting and analysis to the armed struggle in Peru. The repressive methods of the Peruvian government, whether Belaunde, APRA or Fujimori, had moved organizations like Amnesty International to denounce the country as one of the most flagrant violators of human rights. Shining Path still maintains a rather well-organized network of supporters in Europe and the USA. In the mid ’80s, walls around Berkeley, California were covered with the slogan, “Support the Popular Revolution in Peru.” One very large, impressive wall could be seen from the entrance to the Bay Bridge, covered with hammer and sickle and exhortations for revolution.

Few Americans knew what was happening, but CNN and the magazines started to report on the brutal confrontation that was going on in Peru. Committees of support appeared on the campus of UC Berkeley. Videos, lectures and college agitation soon added the war in Peru as another cause for the American Left. The presence of American advisers only enhanced the concept that Peru was the next Vietnam.

Typical of the interest shown by young liberal intellectuals was an article published in the 1992 Winter issue of New Politic. Written by Professor Phillip Smith, a graduate of the Institute of Latin American Studies at the University of Texas in Austin, the piece concludes, “it is the responsibility of the U.S. Left to challenge the assumptions of ‘narcoterrorism’ and the international war on drugs as promoted by the Bush administration. It is certainly our place to fight against assistance to the Peruvian military — among the world’s worst human rights violators. The threat of direct intervention is real. With the U.S. government in a chest-thumping mood after cheap and easy victories in Grenada, Panama, and the Persian Gulf, and a public now conditioned for militarism, the temptation for Washington to ‘straighten out the mess’ may well be irresistible.” His prediction of intervention, as many other predictions of the U.S. Left, is a reincarnation of the Vietnam syndrome. The Left forgets the lessons of El Salvador and Nicaragua, the war against the revolutionaries was by proxy and with mercenaries. In Peru the Army is an essential part of the privileged alliance, the backbone of the scared middle classes in Lima and other urban centers. The indiscriminate violence from both the Army and Sendero was a sobering effect that slowly penetrated liberal opinion.

Politics And Surrealism

The irrational political confrontation in the elections of 1990 left most observers flabbergasted. There was the old APRA, wasted and running scared, while the Ex-President was being indicted on charges of corruption. Traditional conservatives and Belaunde-followers backed Mario Vargas Llosa, novelist and admirer of British democracy. In a moment of irritation Vargas Llosa dropped out of the campaign, only to return to declare that Peru needed a Parliamentary Monarchy. (This while running for President of a 180- year old Republic.) Finally, there was the obscure candidate of a movement called Cambio 90, Alberto Fugimori. He only had to show his face and declare, “I’m more Peruvian than those other dudes!” While he made vague promises, it was his use of buzz words like ‘blanquiñosos’ (white crackers) that tapped into the profound racial antagonism that pervades Peruvian society. His strongest support came from the growing Protestant Evangelist movement that is challenging the Catholic Church, the official religion for centuries. No one won. The election went to Congress, and the APRA majority gave its support to Fujimori. Vargas Llosa wrote in Granta magazine, “After me Peru will fall into barbarism.” He was almost right.

Popular War

Years of popular war has not weakened the State. On the contrary, Fujimori was free to justify his policies by pointing to the difficulties of fighting an internal war and trying to repay the external debt. He reestablished Peru’s international credit in order to pay for the repression, a new bureaucracy and all the symbols of a modern nation. The condition of the poor continued to worsen, but the many calls for national insurrection by Shining Path have not been successful. Peruvians were certainly poor, but the violence of Shining Path was repugnant to the impoverished middle classes and, in a certain way, provoked indifference among the peasants. Certainly the murder of many cells of the Maoists, some in massacres within prisons, took a heavy tool on the direction of the movement.

In his many interviews, pamphlets and revolutionary literature, Abimael Guzman has never offered a political vision that could be embraced by the industrial workers or the unemployed. The new State, a vague phrase, like “after the revolution” in the ’30s, is not a promise of a brighter future, but demands indoctrination, work and obedience. In a tropical nation that still takes its siesta time very seriously, this is a letdown to any potential revolutionary.

Is The End Near?

The capture early this year of Abimael Guzman, the elusive Presidente Gonzalo and most of his staff, moved the strategy of the Maoists into a new, never before accepted phase-political accommodation. Recently President Fujimori has accepted the visit of international groups concerned with human rights. The official press blasted the international delegations, but, still, they made it into Lima. El Diario, the semi-official newspaper of Sendero has appeared again in Lima. Perhaps Fujimori needs to play to the new Clinton administration in order to get help for loans and investments. Perhaps some of the revolutionaries realize that the military struggle is not an end in itself. There must be political objectives. The capture of the State apparatus, or at least the destruction of enough of the old ruling class to ensure a degree of popular power, needs the support of a large section of the oppressed. The Russian communist, with Leninist theories of a small, conspiratorial elite of terrorists and intellectuals, produces only a dictatorship, ready to commit the most heinous crimes, just as Bakunin predicted in his debate with Marx at the First International.

Sendero, or any other revolutionary group in Latin America, needs a solid base in the industrial proletariat while still keeping emotional and family ties to the rural population. The impoverished middle classes will respond only to a climate of freedom and productive work, not political patronage or selfish professionalism. The peasant population will never participate in any movement that has European theories as its ideology. Catholicism, Marxism, Maoism spell disaster for the indigenous masses of Peru, Ecuador, Bolivia and Guatemala. Because the question of State, popular power are immaterial to groups that see race and class as an ambiguous concepts, even as distortions of the social order. The masses of peasants need a Federation of independent enclaves, united by collective technology and social services, not a State run by the white elite, Marxist intellectuals or progressive capitalists.

Peru, and many other Third World nations, reflect the cruelest evidence of the erosion of the capitalist system. There cannot be a constant growing economy. This means that millions of human beings are reduced to starvation in order to maintain the system. At the same time, ecological disasters have precipitated economic crises for which even the seven powerful, industrialized nations cannot afford to pay. Just observe the ecological disasters in the former Soviet Union, in the U.S.A., in the North Sea. But even more serious for Peru and other countries, is the aspirations of its people to control their natural resources and the uncontrollable appetite of international corporations backed by the most powerful armies of Europe and the U.S.A.

The invasion of Latin America by Europeans will never have a peaceful solution. When Germany invaded its neighbors it eventually had to withdraw. So it was with the U.S.A. from Japan. But the Europeans have never moved out of Peru. What is needed is a Peace treaty, perhaps paying reparations to the indigenous populations and restoring a more natural order with the pre-Columbian institutions that still survive in the large Indian communities all over the Andes, from Ecuador, Peru to Bolivia. That region of Latin America has so many elements in common that it is not farfetched to envision a new Andean Confederation, there is already a name for it: Indoamerica. Meanwhile the drama of “Yawar Fiesta” repeats. The condor should be allowed to fly free!

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A Bit Of Literature – Born Of Man And Woman – I

 

by Richard Matheson

X — This day when it had light mother called me retch. You retch she said. I saw in her eyes the anger. I wonder what it is a retch.
This day it had water falling from upstairs. It fell all around. I saw that. The ground of the back I watched from the little window. The ground it sucked up the water like thirsty lips. It drank too much and it got sick and runny brown. I didn’t like it.
Mother is a pretty I know. In my bed place with cold walls around I have a paper things that was behind the furnace. It says on it SCREENSTARS. I see in the pictures faces like of mother and father. Father says they are pretty. Once he said it. And also mother he said. Mother so pretty and me decent enough. Look at you he said and didnt have the nice face. I touched his arm and said it is alright father. He shook and pulled away where I couldn’t reach. Today mother let me off the chain a little so I could look out the little window. Thats how l saw the water falling from upstairs.

XX — This day it had goldness in the upstairs. As I know when I looked at it my eyes hurt. After I look at it the cellar is red.
I think this was church. They leave the upstairs. The big machine swallows them and rolls out past and is gone. In the back part is the little mother. She is much small than me. lam I can see out the little window all I like.
In this day when it got dark I had eat my food and some bugs. I hear laughs upstairs. I like to know why there are laughs for. I took the chain from the wall and wrapped it around me. I walked squish to the stairs.
They creak when I walk on them. My legs slip on them because I dont walk on stairs. My feet stick to the wood. I went up and opened a door. It was a white place. White as white jewels that come from upstairs sometime. I went in and stood quiet. I hear the laughing some more. I walk to the sound and look through to the people. More people than I thought was. I thought I should laugh with them.
Mother came out and pushed the door in. It hit me and hurt. I fell back on the smooth floor and the chain made noise. I cried. She made a hissing noise into her and put her hand on her mouth. Her eyes got big. She looked at me. I heard father call. What fell he called. She said a iron board. Come help pick it up she said. He came and said now is that so heavy you need. He saw me and grew big. The anger came in his eyes. He hit me. I spilled some of the drip on the floor from one arm. It was not nice. It made ugly green on the floor.
Father told me to go to the cellar. I had to go. The light it hurt some now in my eyes. It is not so like that in the cellar.
Father tied my legs and arms up. He put me on my bed. Upstairs I heard laughing while I was quiet there looking on a black spider that was swinging down to me. I thought what father said. Ohgod he said. And only eight.

XXX — This day father hit in the chain again before it had light. I have to try pull it out again. He said I was bad to come upstairs. He said never do that again or he would beat me hard. That hurts. I hurt. I slept the day and rested my head against the cold wall. I thought of the white place upstairs.

XXXX — I got the chain from the wall out. Mother was upstairs. I heard little laughs very high. I looked out the window. I saw all little people like the little mother and little fathers too. They are pretty.
They were making nice noise and jumping around the ground. Their legs was moving hard. They are like mother and father. Mother says all right people look like they do.
One of the little fathers saw me. He pointed at the window. I let go and slid down the wall in the dark. I curled up as they would not see. I heard their talks by the window and foots running. Upstairs there was a door hitting. I heard the little mother call upstairs. I heard heavy steps and I rushed in my bed place. I hit the chain in the wall and lay down on my front.
I heard my mother come down. Have you been at the window she said. I heard the anger. Stay away from the window. You have pulled the chain out again.
She took the stick and hit me with it. I didnt cry. I cant do that. But the drip ran all over the bed. She saw it and twisted away and made a noise. Oh mygodmygod she said why have you done this to me? I beard the stick go bounce on the stone floor. She ran upstairs. I slept the day.

XXXXX — This day it had water again. When mother was upstairs I heard the little one come slow down the steps. I hidded myself in the coal bin for mother would have anger if the little mother saw me.
She had a little live thing with her. It walked on the arms and had pointy ears. She said things to it. It was all right except the live thing smelled me. It ran up the coal and looked down at me. The hairs stood up. In the throat it made an angry noise. I hissed but it jumped on me.
I didnt want to hurt it. I got fear because it bit me harder than the rat does. I hurt and the little mother screamed. I grabbed the live thing tight. It made sounds I never heard. I pushed it all together. It was all lumpy and red on the black coal.
I hid there when mother called. I was afraid of the stick. She left. I crept over the coal with the thing. I hid it under my pillow and rested on it. I put the chain in the wall again.

X — This is another times. Father chained me tight. I hurt because he beat me. This time I hit the stick out of his hands and made noise. He went away and his lace was white. He ran out of my bed place and locked the door.
I am not so glad. All day it is cold in here. The chain comes slow out of the wall. And I have a bad anger with mother and father. I will show them. I will do what I did that once.
I will screech and laugh loud. I will run on the walls. Last I will hang head down by all my legs and laugh and drip green all over until they are sorry they didn’t be nice to me.
If they try to beat me again Ill hurt them. I will.

 

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