NASA is weird.
We know that. It’s an on-paper civil organisation that was originally run by a large number of the 7,000 Nazis put to work in America at the end of the war.
And despite having an ostensibly non-military remit, the organisation picked up the pieces of US space strategy from the military.
Space was ‘owned’ by the military for over ten years before the creation of NASA.
The military’s own OSI was in charge of investigating the Maury Island incident, for example.
This incident occurred in 1947; the very same year as the Kenneth Arnold UFO sighting, Roswell, the creation of the CIA and the creation of the Department of the Air Force. (Remember that coincidence is things co-inciding.)
One of the OSI’s UFO investigators was a man sometimes called Jack Martin… who also happened to be a bishop in a weird, fake church known as the American Orthodox Catholic Church or AOCC. (As was J Edgar Hoover.)
The AOCC has only bishops, no priests and no congregations. It appears in the FBI files relating to the JFK assassinations because basically everyone orbiting the main suspects was a member of a fake church whose bishops would investigate UFO incidents.
In the video below, researcher Peter Levenda talks about how the only building he has ever been able to find relating to this mysterious, fake church was in the Bronx. As I watched through it on the weekend, the penny dropped and landed in a weird corner of my brain.
This is the same mysterious group of fake priests described in Dead Names who accidentally attended Bobby Kennedy’s funeral and -oh, I don’t know- wrote the fucking Simonomicon.
That’s when it occurred to me this fascinating presenter wasn’t letting on all he knew. (But you should always know your audience so no judgement.)
One way or another, the Necronomicon story just got crazier. Because these bishops are also connected via a number of weird post-war figures with a really bizarre séance that happened in a farmhouse in Maine in 1952, involving a group of beings calling themselves The Nine.
(And if you want to see where these events tie in with the Whisky Rant then watch the other worthwhile video from the same series. Make it a weekend project.)
The man at the centre of this séance was Andrija Puharich, US Army Captain and author of a government paper on the weaponisation of ESP. And this is the guy that is moving in the same murky circles as bishops Jack Martin and Fred Crisman.
The farmhouse in question was owned by his bizarro Round Table Foundation which appears to have received funding from the CIA.
Puharich first gathered together these nine people on a warm night in early June. But the most interesting results were actually achieved in New Year’s Eve of the same year.
And it’s a line-up that positively defines “could not make this up”. The group included:
Arthur Young, who invented the Bell helicopter. However at the end of WWII he abandoned military aviation to concentrate full-time on the paranormal.
Arthur’s wife, Ruth… previously of the Forbes dynasty. Her son, Michael, would get a job at Bell Aerospace through her and Arthur’s influence. (Michael’s wife got Lee Harvey Oswald his job at the book depository. She was learning Russian from Oswald’s wife who was living with her in Irving, Texas. Oh, and her father worked for a CIA front called the Agency for International Development. Lee Harvey Oswald left the coffee company in New Orleans, saying to his co-workers he was “going to work for NASA.” After the assassination, two other coffee company employees get jobs at NASA. Just saying.)
Mary Bancroft; of the Bancroft dynasty who would much later sell the Dow Jones and Wall Street Journal to Murdoch. She also happened to be the mistress of the then-CIA chief. (The one JFK fired after the Bay Of Pigs after saying he was also going to break up the CIA… who conveniently went on to investigate JFK’s death. Just saying.)
Marcella Du Pont of the Du Pont family.
Alice Bouverie who was born into the Astor dynasty. (Her father died on the Titanic and her first husband was a Czarist prince who would work for the OSS during WWII.)
Here’s what happened at the séance:
These gods, who were nine in number as well, were part of one great, creator god known as Atum. The other gods consisted of Shu, Tefnut, Geb, Nut, Osiris, Isis, Seth, Nephthys, and sometimes Horus.
Communication with these entities was handled by the medium, an Indian gentleman referred to as Dr. D.G. Vinod, who slipped into a trance state at 12:15 AM and began speaking as ‘the Nine’ by 12:30. Afterwards Dr. Vinod would claim to have no memory of the conversation that preceded between the Ennead Nine and their human counterparts.
During the course of the seance the mystical Nine informed the human nine that they would be in charge of bringing about a mystical renaissance on Earth. From there the Nine ventured into quasi-scientific, philosophical constructs that eventually led to the acknowledgement that they, the Grand Ennead, were in fact extraterrestrial beings living in an immense spaceship hovering invisibly over the planet and that the assembled congregation had been selected to promote their agenda on Earth.
Not a bad collection of people to pull together if you wanted to promote a specific agenda over the second half of the twentieth century. Untold riches and connective power in one farmhouse. In fact, you have to wonder what percentage of American wealth was controlled by people related to the attendees.
Writing about the face on Mars and its relation to a descendant group sprung from this very séance, Chris Knowles points out:
And the other conundrum here is if the Council of Nine’s psychics saw this thing before it was photographed in 1976, did NASA go looking for it solely based on their advice? What does that say about the influence of a group that most people could be excused for dismissing as a bunch of gullible New Agers?
The Nine would go on to surface in weird places for decades including near Uri Geller (the AP is Puharich, who first brought Geller to the US), President Ford, Gene Roddenberry (Deep Space Nine anyone?), Al Gore as well as Soviets surrounding Gorbachev who were instrumental in the collapse of communism as mentioned in this old Fortean Times piece. It’s not unreasonable to assume there were many more such places.
Back to the Simonomicon.
From people who have met him, Simon is adamant that he didn’t make the book up, that he did, in fact, find it in the home of AOCC-offshoot bishop William Prazky.
Of course, various people over the years have come forward claiming to have contributed design work for the motifs and such.
And of course, the convenient fire that destroyed the original document in Dead Names is patently untrue.
No one seriously expects a 1500-year-old document to have survived in a legible state down to the seventies. For literally dozens of reasons, the Necronomicon is not an antiquitous survival.
But here’s where it gets pretty weird.
The origin of the document lies with a bunch of weird faux-catholic bishops who have been investigating UFO phenomena since the late forties, who were associated via Puharich with a séance in which American royalty contacted extraterrestrial beings, have direct ties to the founders of NASA (including as least one Nazi) and may have actually killed a president.
Channelled instructions from ancient beings from the stars, a ‘fake’ book about beings from the stars. What if Simon isn’t lying but instead of an early Arabic Grimoire, the manuscript is an extradimensional download?
Let’s try then for a selective, potted timeline of the Necronomicon:
As per Dead Names, Some tenuous seals and references to Kutulu as some kind of Arabic underworld or possibly a being known as ‘The Abandoner’. Whatever, the pre-Lovecraft stuff is pretty flimsy because obviously it’s retrospective.
Lovecraft includes The Necronomicon in his stories for the first time.
Some of his other nerd friends include it in their stories.
A séance in Maine where rocket scientists and American royalty contact a group of aliens calling themselves The Nine. One of those present has sustained professional contact with shadowy alterna-bishops who themselves have a direct connection with the first Necronomicon manuscript. Other people at the séance will go on to house Lee Harvey Oswald’s family in their home. Still others will spend decades working with Nazis to build spaceships and put humans on the moon for official reasons that still don’t make sense to this day.
Simonomicon published. It will become the most-published Grimoire ever in the English language. It purports to be ‘real’ (whatever that means).
Lovecraft’s mythos is codified into a coherent, workable form by a games company in the eighties. They fill the holes in the mythos, Jurassic Park-style by blending it with some now-slightly-out-of-date Sumerian cosmology. (An important step too few people focus on.)
Other Necronomicon systems, cleaving closer to the coherent mythos, are published: books, tarot sets, etc.
A slew of Cthulu B-movies of varying quality but consistent awesomeness are released over the last twenty five years.
That South Park episode.
So when it says in The Apophenion that the Necronomicon “fell in from elsewhere and disintegrated on impact” in my mind it really does start to look like a spaceship crashing to earth and flinging pieces over time and space. This is a quote from Simon’s Dead Names:
Kenneth Grant, the major interpreter of the works of magician Aleister Crowley, sees in occult practices the same evidence for interstellar contact through ritual. Grant also links this concept with the Necronomicon mythos, and sees in its magical system a method for communicating with extraterrestrial beings, beings we believe are angels, demons, or other spiritual forces. If we look at the system of the Golden Dawn -the British occult society that exerted so much influence on twentieth century magic- we see only faint echoes of this point of view, burdened as it is by references to ancient Egyptian gods and Qabalistic and Masonic terminology.
The magical groups that have sprung up around the Necronomicon, however, are consciously aware of this aspect to their practice and realize that the entities whose presences are made known during the course of their rituals may be described as either spiritual or extraterrestrial forces… or both.
It is entirely possible that the Sumerian religious experience -and hence, all religious experience in the world that derives from it- is based on what could be the most important and profound psychic event in the history of humanity: contact with beings from another planet or star.
I note that during the closing parts of the Ptolemaic Era, the Book Of Thoth was considered an astral document rather than a physical publication. One could gain access to it astrally or parts of it could appear on earth in diverse forms; scrolls, statues, people, etc. The twentieth century appears to have ‘unpacked’ at least one similar publication.
One final piece of the story that doesn’t fit anywhere. Puharich:
So to recap, we have a brilliant doctor and research scientist drafted into the US intelligence network for which he would continue an on again, off again relationship with till at least the 1970s. Much of his working during this time revolved around psychic ability and drugs and that would help unlock this ability. In the same time he was also channelling entities that claimed to be both the gods of ancient Egypt as well as space aliens, with the backing of wealthy and powerful patrons with deep ties to the military-industrial complex.
The enigmatic convener of the séance was obsessed with finding a chemical to stimulate psychic ability and published a widely-disseminated book on the use of psychoactive mushrooms which was used as a reference by Tim Leary and possibly the CIA… ultimately ‘switching on’ millions of people (including myself if I’m honest).
Clearly, on that night in Maine in 1952, The Neighbours were in a talkative mood.
May 10, 2012 at 1:00 am
“So when it says in The Apophenion that the Necronomicon “fell in from elsewhere and disintegrated on impact” in my mind it really does start to look like a spaceship crashing to earth and flinging pieces over time and space.”
Perhaps it is like the Iron Giant, and it is rebuilding itself. Brrrrr…
May 10, 2012 at 3:37 pm
“The origin of the document lies with a bunch of weird faux-catholic bishops who have been investigating UFO phenomena since the late forties, who were associated via Puharich with a séance in which American royalty contacted extraterrestrial beings, have direct ties to the founders of NASA (including as least one Nazi) and may have actually killed a president.”
But don’t say “it all connects”, or you’re Choronzon’s bitch, eh?
Scribbler´s last blog post ..On art as prophecy, art as magic
May 10, 2012 at 3:43 pm
Give that man a hat. 🙂
May 10, 2012 at 4:05 pm
Tin foil? Fedora? Dunce? Flat cap?
Scribbler´s last blog post ..On art as prophecy, art as magic
May 10, 2012 at 6:37 pm
“The enigmatic convener of the séance was obsessed with finding a chemical to stimulate psychic ability and published a widely-disseminated book on the use of psychoactive mushrooms which was used as a reference by Tim Leary and possibly the CIA… ultimately ‘switching on’ millions of people (including myself if I’m honest).”
Fascinating post, Gordon. An aside, though maybe not too far removed, Project CHATTER (eventually associated with MKULTRA) began in 1947… both directly related to what you mention above, and within this post.
Nope. Nothing to see here.
May 10, 2012 at 7:11 pm
Possibly interesting, but so what? Maybe in a follow-up post you can tell us how you work with the aliens, or what their agenda is and how we might adjust our plans accordingly.
May 10, 2012 at 11:58 pm
Oh, brain fried. Again. Posts like these always leave me feeling vaguely nauseous. Somewhere in-between “Oh cool!” because you do really dig up some really interesting information and then something like “Asdfgh my head!!!” because then there are connections drawn and conclusions I wouldn’t normally go for. To put it lightly. I still don’t really go for, actually, but the ideas are interesting to play with.
Do you actually believe in your alien conclusion? I don’t mean to be rude, but what little I understand about chaos magic is that it is entirely possible to worship Donald Duck and uh, invest belief in it to make it work without actually expecting the ducks in your local pond to start talking back (right?). And you do the chaos magic thing, so…I guess I’m just a little confused here. Sorry.
May 11, 2012 at 3:33 am
@Gordon: Saw the two videos. Very interesting, sometimes I felt inside a Hellboy or Invisibles story. It is very tempting to believe them – the world would really be much more cooler with a conspirancy of Nazi NASA scientists or hidden space programs reaching Mars. But let’s not fill the holes (heh) on the fabric or reality too fast, as you pointed in the Whisky Rants.
About the Necronomicon: surely you read this?
The Necronomicon and Ontological Pressure
© Colin Low 2000
When I first began to participate in the Internet newsgroup alt.magick in the late ‘80s, one of the common questions asked was “where can I find the Necronomicon?”. Replies to this question were often extremely contemptuous. I found myself identifying more closely with those looking for the book than those denying its existence. I wrote the Necronomicon antiFAQ in the spirit of pure fun, and used all the best techniques of popular historical investigation: the juxtaposition of fact, supposition and pure nonsense, seamlessly blended and delivered with an air of magisterial authority. I knew it would annoy those who wanted to provide “the truth” about the Necronomicon. In my experience truth is often more about social domination than a process of enquiry.
Why should anyone care about a book that doesn’t exist? From a personal point of view, why should I invest energy in a literary invention? I don’t have an interest in speaking Klingon, I don’t practice writing in Tolkien’s Elvish. Why bother with the Necronomicon? People have written to me on many occasions after reading the Necronomicon AntiFAQ, and although I have always explained that it is a spoof, I have over the years provided a patchwork quilt of elaborations on why it is not entirely a spoof. This essay is an attempt to do properly what I previously did informally – explain some of my opinions regarding the Necronomicon.
The most commonly asked question about the book is: is it real? This is a complex question to answer. All books are products of consciousness. There are no books in the natural world. There is no canonical representation for books: our earliest literature comes on clay tablets, we have lots of works on papyrus and vellum, and while most books today are produced today on paper, a significant number are now being published directly on the Internet. Is the modern paperback edition of Tolstoy’s War and Peace the same book as the original edition printed in Russia? In what way the same? In what way different? There is no simple reality test for books. Editions of books sometimes have a tangible, material existence in this world, but the books themselves exist somewhere else.
Ah! You exclaim, what sophistry, that is not the sort of reality I meant. I meant … did the Necronomicon exist before its first mention by H. P. Lovecraft? Is there an authentic grimoire of that name, and did Lovecraft use it to embellish his fiction?
There is no grimoire of that name. However, there are many, many grimoires, so what is it about the Necronomicon that makes it so especially interesting? Why not settle for the Key of Solomon, or the Picatrix, or the Grimorium Verum, or the Grimoire of Honarius, or any of the other well-known works devoted to demonology and communication with non-human entities? I believe there are good reasons why these works do not satisfy the modern mind, so if the Necronomicon is “not real”, how is it possible for it to be more interesting and relevant to the modern mind than these “real” works.
Let us suppose we were able to identify the ingredients that make the Necronomicon so intriguing, and created a book that not only contained these ingredients but expanded on them in an intelligent way. Would this book be a real Necronomicon, or would it be a spoof?
To give an example, suppose you were interested in flying through the air, and a fictional work of Jules Verne describes the Aeronauticon, the definitive lost work on flying machines. Would a modern engineering text on aeroplanes meet the need? If we are only interested in the end (flying) and not the means (the book) then I would say that the modern engineering text would in every sense be a fulfilment of the promise of the fictional work, and if it was printed as the Aeronauticon then it would be a spoof only in a trivial sense. The same would be true of lost works of geography or history; any books that described substantially the same geography or the same history could hardly be called spoofs. A book collector would think differently however, as would academics interested in the text as text.
This suggest that although the Necronomicon did not exist prior to Lovecraft, any work whose contents are aligned with the book Lovecraft thought he was writing about could be considered to be “a real Necronomicon”. It would suffer the disadvantage that it would be written by people. But then all books are written by people … aren’t they? This is the nub of the matter. For some reason a book called the Necronomicon written before H.P. Lovecraft would be much more interesting than a book called the Necronomicon written after H.P. Lovecraft, regardless of contents. The first one would be real and the second one would be a spoof.
Suppose we could identify the important themes contained in Lovecraft’s fiction as really occurring in actuality, and created a grimoire based around these actually occurring themes. Would that be a spoof? This sounds a lot like the Aeronauticon example.
The remainder of this essay is an attempt to add flesh to the questions raised in this introduction, and although I will not attempt to persuade you that the Necronomicon is real, I may persuade you that there is much more to it than can be found in the pages of H. P. Lovecraft.
As the most common question about the Necronomicon is “Is it real?”, then for no other reason than malicious enjoyment, it is worth looking at esoteric and religious works in general to see how they register on the reality scale.
Let us begin with the New Testament of the Bible. This is composed of many independent documents. In most cases we do not know the authors, when they were written, or where they were written. We do not know whether most of the individuals mentioned actually existed, and in cases where we have some independent evidence, there are errors of fact. The texts themselves have been subjected to considerable copying. There is also evidence that they were loaded with themes intended to appeal to cosmopolitan Greeks, and may represented little that is authentic about a man that may or may not have existed.
Christian hagiographies (lives of saints) are laughable. These were often cynical political documents intended to promote the interests of abbeys or orders at a time when milking the credulous general public had been elevated to an art form.
Misattribution of authorship was common and often deliberate in Roman times. The work of a Neoplatonist was misrepresented as a Christian saint, and so The Celestial Hierarchies of Dionysus became, over many centuries, the model for the Christian universe and the prototype for Dante’s influential Divine Comedy. It is pure, late-Roman paganism. More pagan Neoplatonism found its way into Christianity due to an Arab copyist who attributed the work of Plotinus to the more respectable Aristotle.
My personal favourite example is the Zohar. In orthodox Jewish circles this has become one of the most important works in Judaism, to be studied in parallel with the Torah and the Talmud. It is a foundation text for Kabbalah. It purports to be the work of a Rabbi who lived in Palestine during the Roman occupation, but even at the time of its “discovery” in the late thirteenth century CE there were claims that it was a forgery. Modern scholars concur that it is a forgery. A second example, the Bahir, another foundation text, also purports to have been written in Palestine, but there is no evidence to support this claim, and its first documented appearance was one thousand years later in France.
The Book of Mormon is a good one. Joseph Smith claimed an angel called Moroni showed him the book written on gold plates buried in a hill near his house in New York State. He transcribed it with the aid of magic spectacles. This is slightly more incredible than Mohammed, the Koran, and the angel Gabriel, for there is no evidence that Mohammed needed magic spectacles.
Channelled works are always worth shoving under the reality meter. Like it or not, a large proportion of the books in the average New Age bookstore owe their authenticity to ideas that come from channelled works, in particular the infamous Madame Blavatsky. Her ideas may live on, trudging their increasingly weary way from New Age pot-boiler to New Age pot-boiler, but the world has largely forgotten the scandal of the Coulomb affair. In the words of the Society for Psychical Research, referring to Blavatsky’s imposture, “we think that she has achieved a title to permanent remembrance as one of the most accomplished, ingenious and interesting impostors of history”.
What about other channelled works? If I write a book and claim that it is the channelled writing of the Taoist master Hu Flung Dung, is it more authentic if I genuinely believe it to be the work of Hu Flung Dung? The fact is that I wrote it regardless of what I tell you about its authorship.
Channelled works have been hugely influential in the occult scene (see http://www.spiritweb.org/Spirit/channelings.html ), and have an aura of credibility that would be completely lacking if the same ideas were published with a preface stating “and by the way, I just made all this stuff up”. Is this gigantic outpouring of blather checked for mutual consistency? Of course not – consistency is the hobgoblin of small minds. If we take the simple view that the authors really are the authors, regardless of how they personally portray the situation, then there is bound to be something worthwhile in there, but it is exceedingly hard work wading through the pigshit looking for pearls.
What about less subtle forms of misrepresentation? There was a time when bookshops and libraries were replete with works by the Tibetan master Lobsang Rampa, or the Hindu sage Yogi Ramacharaka. Both English.
“Genuine” grimoires are hardly ever what they claim to be. The reality is that grimoires were an expression of an age in which the hold of Christianity was weakening, there was a large publishing industry, and they were printed to be sold. Same story as always. Caveat emptor.
One of the cardinal expressions of modern gnosticism is the writing of Carlos Castenada. In the earlier books Castenada at least tips his hat at shamanism, but as the series progresses and the explanatory structure and metaphysic are revealed, Don Juan and his party are revealed as the quintessential modern gnostic magicians using knowledge and power to escape to a reality beyond death. Fake? Not fake? Do we care? Whether fiction or not, Castenada provides yet another modern reframing of the gnostic tradition and his writing is often very lucid and perceptive.
To conclude this section, religion and occultism aren’t the occasional victims of imposture … they are absolutely saturated in it from start to finish. Imposture, misrepresentation, exaggeration, and pure fabrication are the foundation stones of religion. It is virtually a constant of human nature that occult texts require fabulous origins and exotic and unverifiable histories. This is one of the reasons I find questions about the authenticity of the Necronomicon so hilarious. If it was authentic, it would be the beginning of a completely new genre.
The Necronomicon goes some way outside the normal parameters for a grimoire. Although we know very little in detail about its contents, we can deduce some things from the contexts in which Lovecraft mentions it. It is partly historical, in that it relates circumstances that occurred aeons before the human race. It is partly geographical and ethnographical, in that it describes places and races beyond the bounds of human civilisation. It is operational in that it can be used to carry out various procedures, such as summoning non-human entities.
In spirit it is not unlike the Rough Guide or Lonely Planet series of guide books, only the places are off-world, the locals have tentacles, the history goes back several ice ages, and the procedures are as complex and dangerous as summoning a taxi in Tehran.
The average historical grimoire is not so compendious. It did not have to be. The grimoire took for granted culture, religion, metaphysics, cosmology and causality, and concentrated on operational procedures which were considered to be valid at the time it was written. One has to take on board a huge amount of baggage (acquired from other sources) before they begin to make sense, and this is one reason why they are of marginal interest to most modern occultists – culture, religion, metaphysics, cosmology and causality were thrown out with the rest of the garbage over the course of the 20th century.
It is important to grasp this. A massive change in popular consciousness was begun by the Protestant reformation and continued during the 17th and 18th centuries, led by thinkers such as Descarte, Locke, Hume, and Kant. The idea of a purposefully designed external cosmos inhabited by intelligent powers who provide the moral, ethical and religious framework for human existence, collapsed. In its place grew the idea of the “disenchanted cosmos”, a dead mechanism of contingent relations which could be studied and eventually manipulated using the techniques of scientific investigation. Human beings were no longer bit players in a huge Dantean cosmology; they were the self-defining centre of existence. The religious works that formed the bastions of the old viewpoint, such as the Bible, were made available to the general public and subjected to various kinds of criticism. We now know that the Bible was written comparatively late in antiquity, much later than the events it purports to describe. There are several layers of authorship and revision. The specific selection of books included in the standard edition left out many others of comparable antiquity. It was written to support the tribal interests of specific groups of people living in a small geographic area. It includes mythic material from all over the Middle East, including material we now have in much older versions (such as the legend of Noah). In other words, it is only a book.
The shift to the self-defining human subject, and the loss of authority of traditional religious texts, has almost entirely destroyed the background needed to take the old grimoires seriously. It is worth taking a look at their broad form however, just in case you believe something weird and wonderful is lurking out there.
There are two main types of grimoire. There are grimoires descended from the Hellenistic traditions of the late Roman empire, and there are grimoires descended from the Christian traditions of the middle ages. The differences are often minor, as both types contain many common assumptions about how the universe is constituted (and after all, Christianity is directly descended from the Hellenistic traditions of the late Roman Empire). By Hellenistic I mean the remains of the empire created by Alexander the Great, centred on the major Greek speaking cities spread in an arc around the eastern seaboard of the Mediterranean, from Turkey in the north to Egypt in the south. This world was cosmopolitan and moderately stable for over a thousand years, and became the intellectual and economic heart of the Roman empire in late antiquity.
I cannot attempt to do justice to the underpinnings of magic at this time, but I will mention several core ideas:
This world, its creatures, and human beings, were created by older entities.
This earth is the lowest level of a hierarchy of powers, corresponding to the spheres of the planets and the fixed stars.
Things in this world are connected to the powers of the higher spheres through signatures and correspondences, and so can be used as proxies or channels for these powers.
There are entities (formerly the pagan gods of the Mediterranean basin, latterly demons and angels) who can be petitioned for help.
There are words of power that can bind entities to compel them to assist.
These beliefs reached Western Europe in two variants. The Arab conquest of the Middle East resulted in many of these magical beliefs being translated out of local languages such as Greek, Coptic, Syriac, and Aramaic, into Arabic, in which form they reached Europe during the early middle ages. There were also strong Jewish magical traditions coming from the same area which spread throughout the Roman Empire as a result of the Jewish Diaspora. The result is that the more interesting later grimoires (for example, The Key of Solomon) have elements drawn from both Arabic (i.e. Hellenistic) and Jewish sources, with names of power that can be traced all over the middle east. The less interesting grimoires (in my opinion) are based on later Christian cosmology, and use Christian names and rituals to dominate demons. The Black Mass demonstrates the final triumph of Christian orthodoxy in that it is entirely Christian in conception.
Lovecraft’s Abdul Alhazred lived during the earliest part of the Arab conquest. Had he actually lived, he would have known elder folks who were still Christian or Pagan. No distinctive Moslem magic existed at that time. Alhazred came from the Yemen, which was largely Christian, and it is likely his parents would have been Christian. There is nothing about the setting or the time that makes it particularly interesting, other than the fact that there was a new group of conquerors trying to get civilised in a hurry, and they were prepared to devote significant economic resources to the process.
The most important magical influences at that time were:
Egypt. We have many surviving magical formulae from late antiquity, both in pagan and Christian form.
Persia. This vast competitor to the Roman Empire was dominated by dualistic beliefs about good and evil which have strongly influenced Christianity. It also harboured myriads of minor pagan sects such as the Yezidi and Mandeans.
Judaism, which borrowed a great deal from Babylonia and Persia.
Sumer and Akkad. The magical traditions of Sumer and Akkad, which we know in great detail from the huge troves of cuniform tablets dug out the sands of Mesopotamia, appear to have been pervasive over much of the middle east, including what is now Saudi Arabia.
Gnosticism. I’ll say more about this later.
In other words, there is a huge amount of information about the general form of magical traditions descending from antiquity, and nothing that is Lovecraftian. Not even slightly Lovecraftian. I will now explain why.
Lovecraft the Modern
Although the writing of H.P. Lovecraft is associated with fantasy, weird horror, and the supernatural, it is well known that Lovecraft was down-to-earth in his own personal beliefs, taking a strong and active interest in popular science. He did not subscribe to occult beliefs, vigorously opposed occult beliefs, and can be summed up as rational, materialistic, scientific and atheistic. When I said there was a massive change in popular consciousness which began in the 17th. and 18th. centuries, then magical grimoires are at one pole, and the worldview of H. P. Lovecraft is at the other.
I believe that Lovecraft’s worldview has contributed directly to his success as a writer. The five thousand year old cosmologies of antiquity, preserved in part by Christianity, have fallen apart. What Erik Davis calls “the neoplatonic highrise” of planes and levels and hierarchies of being has been dynamited by rationality. It is difficult to believe simultaneously in creationism and Darwinism. The old authorities have gone.
But the traditional grimoire bases its every procedure on the worldview of these dynamited authorities, and so they also become so much junk and waste paper.
What Lovecraft has done is reframe many traditional occult and mythic themes according to his own modern sensibilities, and by doing so he bases them on the new authorities of rationality, science and the self-defining human being of modern philosophy. He restores legitimacy to old myths.
When I first read Lovecraft I was not aware of this, but I had absorbed the modernist worldview through my pores and I immediately warmed to the bleak, alien, terrifyingly inhuman cosmos of Lovecraft’s fiction because I knew it was true. I had been entertained by Dennis Wheatley and similar fictional nonsense, but no part of me had been even slightly convinced by a cosmos based around a Dantean medieval cosmology of Heaven and Hell. My planet earth was located in a galaxy filled with ten billion suns, and there were billions of similar galaxies out there. For me life was not the result of a magical act by a creator god, but a physical process as pervasive as gravity, a natural physical process that would take place anywhere in the middle ground between too much energy and too little energy. Not too hot, not too cold, just like Mummy Bear’s porridge.
I didn’t need to be told there was strange alien life out there. I knew it in my bones. And I knew there were histories that weren’t human histories, and I knew there were geographies that weren’t human geographies, and I knew there was technology sufficiently advanced to seem like magic. And I knew that at some point in time a human being would try to write down some of the histories, and the geographies, and the technologies, and the conditions for doing so simply did not exist in the past. When I read Lovecraft I applauded his boldness, his willingness to set his horror fiction in the new modern worldview, and when he invoked the Necronomicon to give weight to his stories I gradually became aware of the kind of book it was. It was a work of modern gnosticism.
The Gnostic Trail
Urban civilisation on a large scale creates conditions of life which are unnatural and oppressive for many people. This is true today, and it was true during the late Roman Empire. The Stoics chose to endure this oppression with dignity, arguing that while no oppression can touch the divine spark in each person, we can debase it when we let ourselves be manipulated and terrorised by evil men. Christians chose to accept the indignities and oppression of this world in favour of the World To Come. The Gnostics saw it all as a big cosmic mistake and wanted to break out of prison.
The word “gnostic” comes from the Greek word for knowledge. Gnostics believed that this world is the creation of evil and misguided beings, but each human being contains a divine spark which (for various complex reasons) has descended from a higher world than this one. By using occult knowledge it was possible to ascend through the levels of being dominated by the demonic rulers of this world, and return the source of all being.
Modern science is deeply gnostic. The disenchanted universe of Newtonian science is in many ways more alienating than the demonically constructed prison of traditional gnosticism. It is mechanical and utterly dead. There is a direct correspondence between the occult knowledge and procedures of gnosticism, and the engineering and technology that are the outcome of natural science, and the big difference is that where the traditional gnostic sought to escape the world, the modern scientist plans to change it. Nothing is out of bounds. Everything can be fixed for the better.
The gnostic impulse did not end with the Roman Empire. It appears to be a constant of human nature. Some people set off with machetes to explore the material, and some people set off with incantations and words of power to explore the immaterial. The gnostic magician is a very different kind of person from the person who wants to win the heart of a lady, or curse a neighbour’s cattle. The goals tend to be larger. In personal temperament the gnostic magician tends to be rational, curious, questioning. The 16th. century gnostic mage Dr. John Dee, for example, was a widely respected authority on many sciences.
The scientific method treats the universe as dead. It is not entirely chaotic, and we observe regularities and consistency in the way it behaves. We propose explanations for why it behaves in these ways, and select good explanations on the basis of elegance, simplicity and consistency with experimental evidence. This body of explanation, often expressed in the form of analytic mathematical relationships, forms the basis for scientific knowledge and technology.
The gnostic method treats the universe as alive. One invokes, and then asks questions.
A moment’s thought will show that this is not an entirely stupid procedure. The first method is applicable to a universe in which the only form of life is human beings, and the only knowledge is what we currently have. The second procedure is applicable to a universe in which there are other forms of life with advanced knowledge, and while one is entitled to question the efficacy of invocation as an epistemological technique, it is nevertheless a technique with a long history of use.
Every educated person knows how little knowledge we validate at first hand. Almost everything in our personal education comes from other people, so asking non-human entities for knowledge is a valid and sensible way to go about things. Dr. John Dee expresses this very clearly:
All my life time I had spent in learning: but for this forty years continually, in sundry matters, and in divers Countries, with great pain, care and cost, I had from degree to degree, sought to come by the best knowledge that man might attain unto in the world: And I found (at length) that neither any man living, nor any book I could yet meet withal, was able to teach me these truths I desired, and longed for: And therefore I concluded with myself, to make intercession and prayer to the giver of wisdom, as I might know the natures of his creatures; and also enjoy means to use them to his honour and glory.
The result of Dee’s desire to obtain knowledge directly from divine sources was the extraordinary communications obtained by himself and Edward Kelly over a period of years from entities claiming to be angels.
The 20th century magician Aleister Crowley also shared with Dee a desire to gain knowledge directly from non-human sources. I have explored elsewhere the fascinating links between Dee, Crowley and Lovecraft, and it is worth summarising some of the main points.
Lovecraft’s myth of the Great Old Ones has much in common with the ancient belief, recorded in the Book of Enoch, that human beings were given many kinds of occult and forbidden knowledge by fallen angels who coupled with women to create demonic entities (Lovecraft recycles this legend as The Dunwich Horror). These abominations were cleansed from the Earth by the first flood (Noah’s) and the rebel angels were imprisoned in another dimension awaiting a time of judgement. This legend overlaps with the Book of Revelations, which tells what happens to the rebel angels and humanity at the end of time.
There is a very substantial identity between the chief of the rebel angels Samael, the arch demon Choronzon who appears in Dee’s angelic transcripts and who plays such an important role in the magical experiments of Crowley, and the entity Yog Sothoth in Lovecraft’s writing. There are some very weird coincidences, such as Choronzon (speaking through the mouth of Crowley) quoting from gnostic texts that had neither been found or translated at that time.
There are interesting parallels between the return of the Olde Ones, as described by Lovecraft, and the conditions of the New Aeon, as described in Crowley’s Liber Al vel Legis.
I know there is strong resistance among scholars of H.P. Lovecraft to see him placed in the company of men he would have regarded as seriously round-the-bend. I will be charitable and say that Lovecraft and Crowley lived at the same time, they were exposed to the same culture and influences, and it is not surprising that there are similar elements in their work. On the other hand, while I do not subscribe to Jung’s idea of the collective unconscious in fullness, I do observe that ideas and fashions erupt into popular consciousness in a way that is not always easy to understand. I am a researcher, it is my job to create new things, and one of the most irritating aspects of the job is how often the same good idea occurs all over the world at approximately the same time. I do not know whether “morphic resonance” is a good theory or a bad theory (I am unimpressed by Sheldrake’s methods) but it is a convenient name for something that appears to happen.
The point here is that there is a genuine tradition of gnostic magic which has existed for fifteen hundred years, and it has not only survived into the twenty-first century, it is doing very well. The reason is that its foundation is the quest for first-hand knowledge, the rejection of unverifiable dogma, and its spirit of enquiry is not at all threatened by science or technology. Although Lovecraft would not have personally associated himself with this tradition, there are elements in his work which connect him whether he would have liked it or not. The Lovecraftian protagonist is someone exposed to a reality outside of the human sphere, a seemingly inchoate reality that is utterly foreign to human consciousness, terrifying, often malign. It is the place the modern gnostic magician attempts to go to voluntarily.
The Once and Future Grimoire
I have already stated that I believe one of the most important reasons behind the success of H. P. Lovecraft is his reframing of old mythic ideas in the light of a modern consciousness of reality that is rational, materialistic, and to a significant degree, nihilistic. I would guess that most people would not think of themselves as nihilistic, but a short stay on any Internet newsgroup dealing with religious or occult matters will show how unfashionable it is to have strong beliefs. The fashionable post-modern acceptance of diversity can accommodate statements of the form “you have your beliefs and I have mine”, but a moment’s thought will show how utterly nihilistic this is. If our beliefs are only matters of personal opinion about which we feel so weakly that we dare not attempt to persuade another, then can we genuinely claim to believe in anything?
This nihilism is reflected in attitudes to occult sources. The postmodern magician does not have grimoires, rituals, liturgy, and invariant procedures. Oh, we have these things, but we don’t believe in them. We apply the universal doctrines of consumerism and free choice to select the grimoires, rituals and liturgies that best reflect our current mood and understanding.
I have taken part in occult newgroups and mailing lists for over a decade, watched tens of thousands of message fly by, and the overwhelming mood is anti-authoritarian, anti-hierarchical, and consumerist. People want to choose. If an occult system imposes requirements that does not suit their temperament and mood, they will choose something different. This attitude is utterly different from the milieu in which grimoires were originally composed.
I have in my bookcase my father’s workshop manual. It details the properties of metals, various commercial alloys, safety procedures, measurements, tools and care of tools, and common procedures such as cutting, heat treatments, drilling, grinding, lathing and so on. It is in every sense a grimoire. I could shop around for ten years, read my way through every workshop manual on the planet, and I am not going to find one that makes it easier to work iron. My father’s workshop manual may be old, but it is still authoritative in that metals are still the same, and the apprentice fitter still has to learn the same basic things about metals, tools, measurement, safety, and basic procedures.
There are no magical grimoires like this any more. I have corresponded with many people who have used the Simon Necronomicon as a grimoire, and far from being deluded fools, these are fully paid-up post-modern magicians who openly state that it is “as good as any other”. They know it is a modern pastiche, and they still use it. This is the modern consciousness of occult sources and grimoires, that there are no authorities and the source of efficacy lies in the operator, not the source text.
I believe the importance of the Necronomicon is twofold:
it is believed to reflect a modern consciousness of reality
it is believed to be authoritative.
The problem with all the old grimoires is that they are doubly damned: they are no longer authoritative, and they don’t reflect modern consciousness. This is why it is possible to be 100% positive that no Necronomicon existed in the past – any Necronomicon written in the past would reflect the consciousness of that time, and would turn out looking like the grimoires we already have in abundance.
In order for a Necronomicon to be conceptually possible we (as a culture) have to move away from the nihilism and consumerism of the last fifty years. We have to be capable of believing in our bones that a new formulation or reframing of magic is possible, and that the book (any book) which tells it how it is, is authoritative in precisely the same sense as my father’s workshop manual. We stop living with diversity, we start living with … reality. Is such as step possible, or even desirable?
It is part of the arrogance of the human race that each generation projects its views and prejudices as the ultimate in sophistication. The post-modern consciousness of magic may seem sophisticated today, but will it seem sophisticated tomorrow? I doubt it. But, you object, we don’t want to go back to religious fundamentalism, to the irrational projection of human beliefs onto the fabric of reality.
Well, in that case, we won’t. We’ll go forward into the understanding that reality is genuinely and objectively much larger than the human race, and the human mind is a very inadequate instrument with which to grasp its complexities. In other words, there comes a point where dealing with the complexities of reality requires a step, not into rigidity of belief, but into humility, into the understanding that it isn’t all arbitrary, that we can’t just make it up as we go along.
In the past, beliefs about the universe were part of the social and power structure of society. They were arbitrary in the sense that they were dogmatic, they weren’t tested against reality. They were typically used by the ruling classes to justify the structure of society. We are going through a transition. We are becoming to a significant extent a society of technicians.
Technicians have always had to deal directly with reality. The stonemason, the carpenter, the weaver, the blacksmith, the potter, the wheelwright, the cooper, the printer – these are the people who created the material comforts of human society. It is interesting that speculative freemasonry, an ark for so much occult tradition, arose from a technical craft. Technicians cannot afford the attitude that it is all arbitrary and you can make it up as you go along. You can’t. Anyone who thinks has no experience of mastery in a craft.
For most of my professional career I have worked in computer science. I regard myself as part scientist, but mostly technician. I work with reality in a very direct way; if I cannot simulate required behaviour accurately then my work is useless. Computer science is an exemplar of the post-modern craft, a craft where there appears to be a large amount of arbitrariness, but external requirements make it difficult and intellectually demanding. To give an example, suppose we want a pool of computers to share a task in such a way that if any computer fails, the rest of the pool will continue to complete the task. There are many poor solutions to this problem, but in general the problem is extremely difficult to solve. As an acquaintance of mine often likes to say, “For every complex problem there is a simple solution …. and it’s wrong”.
The growing dependence of society on technology is changing the social status of technology experts and technicians in general, and their views, and more importantly, their receptivity to certain kinds of idea, are going to become more important. What kinds of idea? This discussion may seem to have wandered a long way from the Necronomicon, but if you are curious to know what form the definitive post-modern grimoire might have, please bear with me.
At any point in time, human understanding of reality is like a crazy house. The pieces don’t go together properly. The reason is that advances in one area can take time to impact another area. The last decade has seen huge advances which have not yet percolated through to popular awareness. This essay is not the place to go into detail, but I will try to outline some of the changes of understanding that have taken place.
The first huge change in understanding is the realisation that simple laws do not lead to simple systems. This is the phenomenon of emergence. The dead, mechanical universe of linear Newtonian mechanics is not the universe we live in. Simple laws lead to complex systems, and when complex systems interact, even more complex systems result. My writing this essay is as much a physical process as sunspots on a star. Could you have predicted what I was going to say? You wouldn’t be reading it if you could.
The fact of emergence totally destroys the arrogance exhibited at turn of the nineteenth century, that all physical laws were known and the job of physicists was just to measure the physical constants a little more accurately. Knowing a few laws tells us nothing about the really important things going on in the universe. There are two regimes in physics where the maths is easy: the really hot and disordered, and the really cold and ordered. Everything in between is a nightmare, a no go area only accessible through computer simulation. The problem with simulation is that a simulation is necessarily less complex than the system being simulated, so simulation is always going to have trouble with emergence, which in some senses is a parasitic phenomenon.
This also leads directly to the question: what are the physical limits to simulation? To what extent do known physical laws allow us to use physical devices (computers) to simulate the behaviour of other physical systems? The answer to this question has already spawned the new science of quantum computation. It appears that the ability to simulate is a profound physical property of the universe, an Hermetic maxim of self-similarity that is the precondition for what we call life. The implications go beyond anything I can cover here – I refer the reader to an extraordinary book, The Fabric of Reality by physicist and winner of the 1998 Dirac Prize, David Deutsch.
A second radical shift in perspective is the collision of maths, computer science, and physics, and the reframing of physics in terms of information. This is a huge shift. We are still burdened by classical dualistic thinking that separates matter from spirit, and overloads matter with many profoundly negative connotations – dead, mechanical, predictable etc. A reductive explanation of human consciousness in terms of material science should not be a threatening exercise, but it is, because it translates the genuine magic of consciousness to a dead realm. The reframing of physics in terms of information brings matter to consciousness instead of taking consciousness to matter. It makes no difference to the details of physics or to consciousness, but it makes a huge difference in the way we represent to ourselves what is going on.
An important aspect of any treatment of information is the distinction between signal and carrier. The carrier is what we use to represent the signal – semaphore flags, magnetic domains, dots and dashes on paper, modulated radio waves and so on. A signal can be passed through many kinds of transformation that preserve its essential form, although its actual physical representation can be very different in each case. A related problem occurs in computer science, where a program is passed through several different forms (using compilers and assemblers and linkers for example) and we want to prove that essential features (its correctness for example) have been preserved during these transformations. In both cases we have something which can only be represented physically, but which has no canonical physical representation. We, human beings, have some notion of what is being preserved throughout various physical transformations, but it is extraordinarily difficult to express what it is that is being preserved. The best formulation of this in my experience is what is known as category theory, or universal algebra. This is the study of mathematical transformations which preserve essential structure, so that we can show that two mathematical systems have similar properties even though they appear to be completely different. This is why I raised the example of the paperback translation of Tolstoy in my introduction; how can we say it is the same book as the original Russian edition? How much of Tolstoy does it preserve? How little? These may seem like irritating questions, but they are important to people who work with information. You may not care about Tolstoy, but do you care how the sound of your favourite musician has been doctored when converted to MP3 format, or how DVD reduces the range of possible colour values in a movie? (And incidentally, compression is simulation).
The importance of reframing physics in terms of information is that the duality between signal and carrier (an artefact of the older duality of spirit and matter), disappears. The stuff that matters to people, the products of consciousness which in abstract we call information, inhabit the same realm as matter, which is also information. We are approaching a non-dualistic explanation where there is less tension between matter and consciousness. If the nature of matter (and that is a loaded word) is as profound and mysterious and open-ended as anything to be found in mysticism and magic, then there is no threat to human beings in saying that life and consciousness are emergent properties of physical systems.
The convergence of mathematics, computer science, physics and genetics is leading to a radical reformulation in which human consciousness is seen as an emergent property of an open-ended system. We simply cannot say where this system is going, what its limits are, or what end-point, if any, it is capable of reaching. We are at the beginning of a huge adventure.
Having taken a huge diversion I have arrived back at H. P. Lovecraft. This new world of human exploration into the deep strangeness of existence is the world of the Lovecraftian protagonist. It is a world where the old duality of matter and consciousness has gone, and new mystic-mage-technologists will ignore the distinction – mysticism is the exploration of consciousness, and technology is the exploration of matter, and when the two combine, so do the disciplines.
One thing which will not change is the human dimension. Technology makes new kinds of thought – and hence new kinds of exploration – possible, and exploration creates new experiences and new kinds of people. I do not mean that technology creates new drugs and new drugs make new experiences possible. The magic of human creativity goes far beyond drug use, and although the two occasionally intersect, usually they do not. I mean that at each stage of human history certain kinds of thought have not been possible, and it is through our symbiotic relationship with the physical world that we grow our ability to think radically new thoughts, and so change our experience of living.
People who are looking for the Necronomicon today are looking for these radical truths, for these radical new dimensions of experience. It is a big universe. There is a lot going on. Being grounded on planet Earth is more than a little frustrating. The Necronomicon that people are looking for is the grand grimoire of the new relationship between human beings and the rest of the universe. It hasn’t been written yet. It will be.
Many people want to know whether the Necronomicon is a real book. I have in the past done a great deal to confuse this issue, and this has caused irritation to many people who want a simple linear answer to a simple linear question. The intent of this essay is to show that it is not a simple linear question.
One difficulty I have is that as a practising magician and industrial researcher for over thirty years I have learned that some ideas have a kind of ontological pressure behind them. It is like holding an acorn and asserting that the oak tree exists. A statement of this kind may violate many of the common sense rules of language, but for me this shows that common sense language lacks subtlety of expression, and there are many kinds of useful statement I would like to make without a huge pedagogical preamble. The oak tree does exist in potentia, and the real argument is about how we rank existence in potentia versus bark and bird’s nests. It is in precisely this sense that I am prepared to state that the Necronomicon is a real book.
This is not the kind of answer that many people want to hear however so I have made the more satisfactory argument that the Necronomicon hinted at from the contextual framework of Lovecraft’s fiction is not a book that could have existed in the ancient world. It is an outcome of Lovecraft’s modern consciousness of the universe. It has attained a powerful mythic credibility precisely because it squares the circle: in a modern world where no grimoire has authority, the Necronomicon has this awe-inspiring authority while still being a grimoire. It is like the Cretan who stated that all Cretans are liars. An essential aspect of its authority is that it is content free – had Lovecraft provided any substantial content other than the vague hints we have, we would tear it to pieces like any other supposed work of authority.
I believe a book like the Necronomicon could not have existed in the past, and cannot exist in the present. It will exist in the future.
The reason I believe this is that my radar as a professional researcher tells me that a new enlightenment is in the offing. The first enlightenment transformed our relationship with the universe, so that instead of a living cosmos maintained by a divine hierarchy of being we found ourselves in a dead machine to be investigated using scientific method.
The new enlightenment is a non-dualist understanding of matter, life, and human consciousness that transcends to vocabulary of the past, where the key concepts are emergence, simulation and information. The reductive, mechanistic language of mid-twentieth century science will be discarded. The universe will once more become a place of unfathomable mystery and complexity, where life is not a frail accident but one of the most important physical processes, alongside gravity and stellar fusion. It is a new gnosticism without the inherent dualism of the past. In this vast, utterly alien, terrifying, unfathomably complex universe, Lovecraftian protagonists will journey and record their travels and experiences. One thousand years from now someone will be able to read the Necronomicon. Not a spoof, nor a fabrication… it will be the book Lovecraft intuitively grasped.
Someone alive today may be its author. In potentia of course.
Postmodernity, David Lyon, Open University Press, 1994.
You don’t need to be a French intellectual with an exquisitely tortured grasp of language to understand postmodernity. All you need to do is visit Amerika. This little book costs less however.
The Fabric of Reality, David Deutsch, Penguin Books 1997.
Deutsch maintains the way to find better explanations for reality is to combine our best current explanations and take them seriously. The result is the kind of book that begs to be read if only to admire the incisive rationality of the author. A superb book from the winner of the 1998 Dirac Prize.
Hegel, Charles Taylor, Cambridge University Press, 1975.
There are many ways to approach the radical changes in human thought following on from the Renaissance and the Enlightenment. From a personal point of view, I have found this book exceptionally useful.
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May 11, 2012 at 12:51 pm
To start: I never thought I’d ever say this, but you almost made me late for work yesterday! 😉 I was reading this posting on my phone while riding the Metro into the city center, and I just got to the part about what happened at the séance when I arrived at the top of the escalator. The temptation to duck into a cafe to finish reading it was nearly overwhelming, but I managed to be a big boy and head to the office. (I just waited until the afternoon and finished reading it on the PC at my desk. 😮 )
After finally watching the Levenda video, I got your hat joke (incidentally mine’s flat hat in the winter, straw hat in the summer). But I’m still working my way through the conflicting signals. After reading your posting, I was kinda of the mind that The Nine (both divine/alien and human counterparts) were bad news and out to enslave all of us while the blue bloods cashed in. Lavenda’s presentation supports this thesis, especially with his implication that the American aristocracy is in cahoots with the Nazi agenda, and his plea to seek out truth, uncover the secrets and keep your eyes open to names that oddly pop up in the news. (My favorite is James Baker, who suddenly appeared out of nowhere to deliver the coup de grace for the “W” election putsch. He served in more cabinet positions under Reagan and Bush than any secretary I can remember. I think he was the power behind the throne for twelve years.) So that would make the Necronomicon evil and something to be avoided by people serving the light. Right? But, then again, the report of the séance itself gives Egyptian names to all of the “aliens”, and I’ve never thought of the Egyptian gods as evil. Uh oh! confusion coming on!
Then, when I looked Levenda up in Wikipedia, the author of that article gives evidence that Levenula is likely Simon, the author of the Necronomicon. And in the video, Levendula says that he had been a member of this AOCC in New York, meaning that he is one of the weird bishops he makes fun of in the presentation. OK. Now I’m really confused.
Something smells of disinformation.
Scribbler´s last blog post ..On art as prophecy, art as magic
May 11, 2012 at 1:15 pm
Sorry about all the typos regarding Levenda’s name. The Hungarian word for lavender is “levendula” (lavandula in Latin), and I couldn’t help confusing them in my head.
Scribbler´s last blog post ..On art as prophecy, art as magic
May 11, 2012 at 9:45 pm
Extremely interesting. Fred Crisman is one of the most enigmatic people in recent US history, between this, Maury Island and the Grassy Knoll I am fascinated with him. Colin Wilson in his book “Alien Dawn” has some good information on Puharich and Uri Geller. Apparently the disincarnate entity (the Nine) who guided them and Charles Laughead, failed them in the last moment and seemed incapable of mastering time as we know it.
Fahrusha´s last blog post ..Fukushima, the Media, and the Reality-based Worldview
May 11, 2012 at 11:03 pm
Holy crap. I was walking today in the street when I saw a scene of The Iron Giant, the movie I mentioned on the post above – and it was EXACTLY the scene where he was rebuilding itself. Brrrrr again…
May 11, 2012 at 11:04 pm
(saw it in a TV in a bar, I mean)
June 3, 2012 at 3:22 pm
What exactly does it mean for one to be “Choronzon’s bitch?” I’ve been reading a lot of your posts lately, Gordon (although am technically still new here and new to magic), and I’ve seen that phrase written more than once.
Does it mean that if all the dots connected like in, say, a conspiracy theory, that the narrative would be self referential enough to be eternally devoured in the abyss of ego destruction?
Let me know if I’m getting close here?
June 17, 2012 at 3:47 pm
Brilliant article. I’ve explored most of this stuff but never connected it quite like this before, very neat.
A few queries, observations, reservations:
What’s you’re source(s) on Jack Martin being a former OSI UFO investigator? That’s a new one for me. The role of the OSI in the Maury Island Affair has always puzzled me, the two official investigators apparently always communicated with Arnold via a payphone outside their AFB, they never used official phones. Then of course they died in freak air crash and Arnold claimed his own plane was tampered with. But then Arnold is working for Palmer and the Hoax Machine, so how much of that is true?? Of course there’s also the Soviets creeping around in the background on that one and early nuclear spying. I’ve never bought the Crisman / JFK connection though, he was a fantasist and the evidence is really dodgy (for me the JFK thing just leads back to the Texan Oil Cartel, and their contractors Shackley’s Secret Team with their host of anti Castro freelancers and southern mobsters, so would be the Cowboy camp rather than the Yankee camp which I assume the Nine group were connected too?).
On the Nine, I’ve always regarded Young as the key mover here, with Puharich as his right hand man, he was also the source for Robert Temple’s Sirius Mystery / Dagon hoax too as you probably know (though they may have been its dupes rather than its deseminators). For me its interesting that both Young and Puharich were very close to Henry Wallace, the former Vice President and occult Scottish Rite Mason who put the ‘eye in the pyramid’ on the dollar bill and briefly linked with the Russian Theosophist Roerich in his quest for Shambala! The more grounded reality here being Wallace’s opposition to the Cold War and his naive dalliance with the Russians, as well as American Communists in his post Democrat Progressive Party days. Of course he was chased out of politics by the likes of his Masonic colleague and Defence Secretary, Col Henry Stimson (though Stimson was York Rite not Scots Rite), who was one of the architects of the Cold War and responsible for the development and use of the Atom Bomb (Stimson of course was also a Bonesman and seems responsible for turning Skull and Bones into a recruiting ground for Spooks, including the Bush Mafia, with their very real Nazi links). Curiously John Keel mentions Stimson’s mansion in the Mothman Prophecies as being on Mount Misery, a hotspot site he associates with spooky goings on and UFOs). But back to Wallace who in some ways seems to be Young’s mentor and linked to a Theosophical subculture within Scots Rite Freemasonry whose ideas correlate to those of the Nine.
But Young was intimately linked with Esalen and the whole countercultural elite from Leary, through Robert Anton Wilson to Sarffatti, as well as the OTO mob via his other contacts. He seems more a liberal libertarian than some ‘NASA Nazi’. And then there’s the whole alleged Leary plot to switch on JFK with Acid, via his acolyte Mary Pinchot Meyer, wife of CIA executive and Washington contact Cord Meyer, who was in an affair with JFK.
My intuition is of somekind of bizarre overlap between a broad left Illuminist network (probably infiltrated by the Soviets) and an anti establishment far right occult Masonry, with some Cold War warriors in opposition or cahoots with one or both. Its all very murky. But as Reed said, ‘the history of the world is the history of warfare between secret societies’ 🙂
One thing I disagree on would be the Simonomicon, As a fully paid up member of the EOD (dissident wing) I’d say this was one of the worst occult books ever written and completely at odds with any genuine Yogsothothery, But I could see it fitting in with the general Annunaki fantasies that also permeate this ethos.
June 17, 2012 at 11:37 pm
The claim that NASA was controlled by ex Nazis is a bit simplistic too of course. NASA was formed in 1958 when NACA (National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics, est 1912), under the Physicist and Methodist Hugh Dryden, with Hendrik Wade Bode of Bell Labs (responsible for the technology that shot down the V1) as his chief scientist, was merged with elements of the Army Ballistic Missile Agency, under a Major General Medaris, with Werner von Braun as his deputy; the Naval Research Laboratory, under Pentagon control but recruiting several German V2 scientists for Americas first Satellite program; and soon after the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, founded by Jewish exile Theodore von Kármán, artist / scientist Frank Malina and Thelemite Jack Parsons. It’s true von Braun was a dominant force in NASA often ignoring instructions from his superiors and forming a clique with other German scientists, but the earliest dominant institution in NASA outside of the military was probably Bell Labs and Bell Aircraft (note Arthur M Young of the Nine was formerly a chief designer for Bell Aircraft, inventing the Bell Helicopter and later the largest shareholder in Bell Telephones who owned Bell Labs).
As for the ‘Nazi element’, taking Von Braun as an example his affiliations are controversial (from Wiki) :
(Von Braun’s) Involvement with the Nazi regime
Von Braun had an ambivalent and complex relationship with the regime of the Third Reich. He officially applied for membership in the NSDAP on November 12, 1937 and was issued membership number 5,738,692.
Ten years later he stated in an affidavit for the U.S. Army:
“In 1939, I was officially demanded to join the National Socialist Party. At this time I was already Technical Director at the Army Rocket Center at Peenemünde (Baltic Sea). The technical work carried out there had, in the meantime, attracted more and more attention in higher levels. Thus, my refusal to join the party would have meant that I would have to abandon the work of my life. Therefore, I decided to join. My membership in the party did not involve any political activity.” [Whether von Braun’s error with regard to the year was deliberate or a simple mistake has never been ascertained].
Michael J. Neufeld, the acclaimed author and chief of the Space History Division at the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum, writes:
“Von Braun, like other Peenemünders, was assigned to the local group in Karlshagen; there is no evidence that he did more than send in his monthly dues. But he is seen in some photographs with the party’s swastika pin in his lapel – it was politically useful to demonstrate his membership.”
As for his attitude toward the National Socialist regime in the late 1930s and early 1940s, there can be little doubt that he was a loyal, perhaps mildly enthusiastic subject of Hitler’s dictatorship. With the Führer going from success to success — eliminating unemployment, tearing up the Versailles Treaty, rearming, reoccupying the Rhineland, and then in 1938 absorbing Austria and the Czech Sudetenland without war — there is no doubt that the regime, but above all Hitler, had become immensely popular. Von Braun, a German nationalist immersed in a military environment, doubtlessly found much he could like about these accomplishments, and little reason to be disturbed, especially in view of how much money had been poured into his beloved rocketry as a result of rearmament. He admitted in a 1952 memoir article that he “fared relatively rather well under totalitarialism.”
Membership in the Allgemeine SS
Von Braun joined the Allgemeine SS, which was not an armed unit. In 1947, he gave the U.S. War Department this explanation:
“In spring 1940, one SS-Standartenfuehrer (SS-colonel) Mueller from Greifswald, a bigger town in the vicinity of Peenemuende, looked me up in my office … and told me, that Reichsfuehrer SS Himmler had sent him with the order to urge me to join the SS. I told him I was so busy with my rocket work that I had no time to spare for any political activity. He then told me, that … the SS would cost me no time at all. I would be awarded the rank of a[n] “Untersturmfuehrer (lieutenant) and it were [sic] a very definite desire of Himmler that I attend his invitation to join.
I asked Mueller to give me some time for reflection. He agreed.
Realizing that the matter was of highly political significance for the relation between the SS and the Army, I called immediately on my military superior …, Dr. Dornberger. He informed me that the SS had for a long time been trying to get their “finger in the pie” of the rocket work. I asked him what to do. He replied on the spot that if I wanted to continue our mutual work, I had no alternative but to join.”
Von Braun joined the organization and was issued membership number 185,068.
Michael J. Neufeld writes:
“As with von Braun’s party membership, we have no truly independent account of what happened, but his story is plausible.”
Von Braun’s cozy feelings for the regime may have undergone a change when he was arrested and accused of being a “communist sympathizer” who had attempted to sabotage or delay the weapons program. These charges could have led to the death penalty for treason. Not helping the matter was that von Braun had skills as a pilot and had access to an aircraft, which might have allowed him to escape to England. (See: Arrest and release by the Nazi regime).
When shown a picture of him behind Himmler, Braun claimed to have worn the SS uniform only that one time, but in 2002 a former SS officer at Peenemünde told the BBC that von Braun had regularly worn the SS uniform to official meetings; it should be noted that this was mandatory. He began as an Untersturmführer (Second lieutenant) and was promoted three times by Himmler, the last time in June 1943 to SS-Sturmbannführer (major). Von Braun claimed this was a technical promotion received each year regularly by mail.
March 17, 2014 at 5:26 pm
See I’m late for the party, again. Oh well. Really enjoy your website. Lots of food for thought. You successfully penetrated to the fact that NASA was set up as a cover for something else. But you forgot to mention that the most famous of those weird faux-catholic bishops was CIA pilot/Carlos Marcello flunkie/Kennedy assassination conspirator David Ferrie.
Like many,I was utterly absorbed by Peter Levanda’s trilogy, which once again made me realize that in Hamlet’s famous “more things in heaven and earth Horatio” quote, I’m Horatio. And maybe its just been too long since I imbibed the flesh of the gods, but what if all of this had nothing to do with extraterrestrials, and everything to do with the CIA’s concurrent research into mind control?
May 8, 2014 at 1:13 pm
How about Bayside, Central, Maine. It is all 9’s up there.
July 31, 2014 at 2:59 pm
I became interested in the “seance in Maine” from a backwards (backwoods) type search. Once, I attended a seance in Massachusetts and the psychic asked if anyone had heard of the Dero. No one had. I since have searched the internet for this word and it came up to have a correspondence with Fred Crisman. At first this was the only correspondence. Evidently his sighting had something to do with this underground race and some novels popular at that time. I knew the name Fred Crisman from the Garrison investigation. Recently, before he died, I contacted Gordon Novel and he was still fuming about Garrison. Novel was crowing about a film he was making about anti gravitation machine and reverse engineering. The e-mails that accompanied his seemed like a who’s who of the remote viewing clandestine crowd. I think the religion aspect is a cover for some stargate organization.
August 25, 2014 at 7:49 am
Gordon – thank you for your work.
Two years ago I did a summer radio summer series, very much akin to your ‘Find The Others’ show. 20 shows with occult guests, including Thomas Karlsson, founder of Dragon Rouge, Carl Abrahamsson and many others. Only in Swedish and Danish though (it was for Danish national radio 24syv)
Except for two shows with Messiah’el Bey (Warlock Asylum) where we walked around New York, talking about the Simon Necronomicon. He is a big part of the occult group working with it, and they’re saying it’s a Sumerian text, wrapped in the Lovecraft thing, acknowledging the Levenda/Grant thing. http://warlockasylum.wordpress.com/2013/12/26/lifting-the-veil-on-the-construction-of-the-simon-necronomicon-the-origin-of-the-gate-walking-initiation-the-identity-of-simon/ They’re even expanding the system to include other – known – Sumerian texts. Calling it “Asaru” http://warlockasylum.wordpress.com/2010/11/01/asaru-the-ethnic-identity-behind-the-necronomicon-tradition/
Anyway – here are the shows, if you want to hear it. Jump 6 minutes in if you can’t deal with the Danish. (The interview itself is actually 3 years old now. I dug it up for the series.)
PART 1: https://itunes.apple.com/dk/podcast/kristian-leths-magiske-cirkel/id545593859?i=118599016&l=da&mt=2
PART 2: https://itunes.apple.com/dk/podcast/kristian-leths-magiske-cirkel/id545593859?i=118654820&l=da&mt=2
Flying Tiger Comics
January 8, 2016 at 2:06 pm
As evidenced in other stories such as Witch-House and so on, although Lovecraft used “magic” themes in his stories he saw “magic” as ill-understood but spectacularly outre and powerful science – the science of cosmic beings superior to humans.
Understood in that way, his manipulation of the fever visions of his childhood into his Arkham stories and his copious reading of oriental texts combined to let him synthesize something very special.
Yes, the Necronomicon is fictional. But many genuine scientific inventions have been “anticipated”, in some detail, by fiction…
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