“The so-called 'Left-Hand Path' - that of Kaulas, Siddhas and Viras - combines the... Tantric worldview with a doctrine of the Übermensch which would put Nietzsche to shame... The Vira - which is to say: the 'heroic' man of Tantrism - seeks to sever all bonds, to overcome all duality between good and evil, honor and shame, virtue and guilt. Tantrism is the supreme path of the absolute absence of law - of shvecchacarī, a word meaning 'he whose law is his own will'." ― Julius Evola, The Path of Cinnabar.

“It is necessary to have “watchers” at hand who will bear witness to the values of Tradition in ever more uncompromising and firm ways, as the anti-traditional forces grow in strength. Even though these values cannot be achieved, it does not mean that they amount to mere “ideas.” These are measures…. Let people of our time talk about these things with condescension as if they were anachronistic and anti-historical; we know that this is an alibi for their defeat. Let us leave modern men to their “truths” and let us only be concerned about one thing: to keep standing amid a world of ruins.” ― Julius Evola, Revolt Against the Modern World: Politics, Religion, and Social Order in the Kali Yuga.

“We are born into this time and must bravely follow the path to the destined end. There is no other way. Our duty is to hold on to the lost position, without hope, without rescue, like that Roman soldier whose bones were found in front of a door in Pompeii, who died at his post during the eruption of Vesuvius because someone forgot to relieve him. That is greatness. That is what it means to be a thoroughbred. The honorable end is the one that can not be taken from a man.” ― Oswald Spengler, Man and Technics: A Contribution to a Philosophy of Life.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

No Bond For Sex Offender Who Posted Bizarre Videos

A Church of Satan associate has informed me that Ed Muscare was a well-known Arizona "Creature Feature" host under the stage-name "Edmus Scary."

Yes, I'd say this guy is a little scary!

He also looks like he could have been an illustration of a Jew from Julius Striecher's THE POISONOUS MUSHROOM.

No Bond For Sex Offender Who Posted Bizarre Videos
A man who calls himself a “YouTube legend” was a no-show in court Monday. Police say the registered sex offender first broke the rules by posting bizarre videos online.

He is being held without bond. His public defender pleaded not guilty in court, but no changes were made to the 77-year-old's bond status.

Edward Muscare was first arrested for molesting a 14-year-old boy in Orange County back in 1986, but he has a long line of problems following court orders.

Muscare moved out of a now overgrown Lady Lake house on Sunshine Avenue (see map) and moved to South Carolina in 2007. He didn't report his new address to authorities and as a result he got five years probation. Now he’s violated the terms to his release from jail.

Edward Muscare won't be making any new YouTube videos in the near future. He is still being held without bond. Muscare was arrested Saturday for posting 130 videos of himself on the website YouTube, which is a violation of his probation.

When Muscare appeared on YouTube lip-syncing songs, along with other strange antics, cops had him arrested at his South Carolina home and brought him back to Lake County.

Muscare is a former host who went by the name ‘Uncle Ed’ on late night television and on a children's program in Kansas City.

“Let the man live his life, there's not much left. He's old, he's feeble,” former neighbor Chrystal Guemble said.

His former neighbor insisted that Muscare is not a threat to society.

“He's never been a threat he's been a helpful, warm, loving, kind, friendly neighbor who's always there when you need him,” she said.

There were some neighbors, though, who've watched his videos and said he looks scary.

“Just creeped out. If anybody has seen it they'd know, he's definitely a freaky kind of guy,” parent Todd Whitney said.

But officers don't care about the bizarre videos. It's their contention that Muscare continually disregards court orders.

He was specifically told not to post the videos and so he thought he'd have a friend do it. -That's a violation according to prosecutors.

Online, some fans have offered support and in his old neighborhood, friends say they are amazed by his digital fame.

“I'm proud of him, I'm so proud of him,” Guemble said.

Investigators found videos and pictures on Muscare's computer, but nothing of a sexual nature. The only new allegation against the man is that he didn't obey the judge.
SOURCE: http://www.wftv.com/news/21415561/detail.html#

Muscare's Youtube channel: http://www.youtube.com/profile?user=edarem#p/u/7/X3xoWk7OsqI

Monday, October 26, 2009

Interview with Kevin MacDonald

This will be of interest to anyone who appreciated Bloom's THE LUCIFER PRINCIPLE, Evolutionary Psychology, or possibly even my afterword to Nietzsche's THE ANTICHRIST:

The Dark Side of the ‘Special Relationship’

The Dark Side of the ‘Special Relationship’

Posted By Justin Raimondo On October 20, 2009 @ 11:00 pm In Uncategorized | 15 Comments

A silent battle has been raging right under our noses, a fierce underground struggle pitting the U.S. against one of its closest allies. For all its newsworthiness, the media has barely noticed the story – except when it surfaces, briefly, like a giant fin jutting above the waves. The aggressor in this war is the state of Israel, with the U.S., its sponsor and protector, playing defense. This is the dark side of the "special relationship" – a battle of spy vs. spy.

Convicted spy Jonathan Pollard – now serving a life sentence – stole secrets so vital that an attempt by the Israelis to get him pardoned was blocked by a massive protest from the intelligence and defense communities. Bill Clinton wanted to trade Pollard for Israeli concessions in the ongoing "peace process," and he was only prevented from doing so by a threat of mass resignations by the top leadership of the intelligence community.

The reason for their intransigence: among the material Pollard had been asked by his Israeli handlers to steal was the U.S. attack plan against the Soviet Union. According to Seymour Hersh, then-CIA director Bill Casey claimed Tel Aviv handed over the information to Moscow in exchange for relaxation of travel restrictions on Soviet Jews, who were then allowed to emigrate to Israel.

The Pollard case is emblematic – but it was just the beginning of a years-long effort by U.S. counterintelligence to rid themselves of the Israeli incubus. Law enforcement was – and presumably still is – convinced Pollard was very far from alone, and that a highly placed "mole" had provided him with key information. In his quest to procure very specific information, Pollard knew precisely which documents to look for – knowledge he couldn’t access without help from someone very high in government circles.

In addition, the National Security Agency (NSA) intercepted a phone conversation between an Israeli intelligence officer and his boss in Tel Aviv, during which they discussed how to get hold of a letter by then-secretary of state Warren Christopher to Yasser Arafat. The Washington spy suggested they use "Mega," but his boss demurred: "This is not something we use Mega for," he averred.

The search for Mega and his underlings continues to this day, as U.S. counterintelligence attempts to rip up what appears to be a vast Israeli spy operation by its very deep roots. That’s why they went after Ben Ami Kadish, who handed over U.S. secrets to Tel Aviv and shared a handler with Pollard, and why they indicted Steve Rosen and Keith Weissman, two top officials of AIPAC, the powerful pro-Israel lobbying group. That’s why they were listening on the other end as Jane Harman promised an Israeli agent to intervene in the Rosen-Weissman case. And now a new front has been opened up in this subterranean war with the arrest of Stewart David Nozette, a top U.S. scientist who worked for the Pentagon, had access to the most closely guarded nuclear secrets, and was the lead scientist in the search for water on the moon.

Nozette’s case is interesting because of his impressive resume: he held top positions with the Department of Energy, the Department of Defense, and NASA, and he served on the White House National Space Council under George H.W. Bush. From 1989 until March 2006, he held "Q" clearance, which means he had access to "critical nuclear weapon design information" and vital information concerning 20 "special access programs" – secrets only a very few top government officials had knowledge of.

In other words, this wasn’t just some mid-level schmuck who wanted to sell out his country for cash: he was one of the big boys – the principal author of the Clementine biostatic radar experiment, which allowed U.S. scientists to discover water on the moon – a kind of J. Robert Oppenheimer figure, whose singular contributions to the U.S. space program and its military applications granted him security clearances available to a very select few.

The affidavit in support of the criminal complaint [.pdf] alleging espionage is terse, vague in parts, and brimming with implication. Taking their cues from the Department of Justice press release, most news reports state, "The complaint does not allege that the government of Israel or anyone acting on its behalf committed any offense under U.S. laws," leaving out the last three words in the DOJ’s sentence: "in this case."

In this particular case, it’s true, prosecutors are going after Nozette for violations that occurred while they were reeling him in, with a federal agent pretending to be a Mossad officer offering him money (not very much, by the way) in exchange for secrets. The real question, however, is what caused them to zero in on Nozette? A Washington Times piece cites Kenneth Piernick, a former senior FBI agent, who opined:

“He must have made some kind of attempt, which triggered the FBI’s interest in him. They cut in between him and whoever he was trying to work with and posed as an intelligence officer, agent, or courier to handle the issue, and then when he delivered what he intended to deliver to that person, his contact was likely an undercover FBI agent or [someone from] another U.S. intelligence service.”

Yet Nozette may have made more than a mere "attempt." The affidavit alleges that, from 1998 to 2008, he served as a consultant to "an aerospace company wholly owned by the government of Israel," during which time "approximately once a month representatives of the aerospace company proposed questions, or taskings, to Nozette." He answered these questions, and, in return, received regular payments totaling $250,000.

This indicates the Feds had been on to Nozette for quite some time, and with good cause. The affidavit also notes that, at the beginning of this year, he traveled to "a different foreign country" in possession of two computer "thumb" drives, which seemed to have mysteriously disappeared upon his return some three weeks later. What was on the drives – and who were the recipients?

In 2007, federal authorities raided the offices of Nozette’s nonprofit company, the Alliance for Competitive Technology (ACT), purportedly because ACT, having procured several lucrative government contracts, had defrauded the federal government by overcharging. The affidavit cites an anonymous colleague of Nozette who recalled the scientist said that if the U.S. government ever tried to put him in jail he would go to Israel or another foreign country and “tell them everything” he knows.

Perhaps the real reason for the raid, however, had to do with the FBI’s growing suspicion – if not certainty – he was funneling U.S. secrets to Tel Aviv. ACT is a curious creation, a "nonprofit" group that nevertheless generated over half a million dollars last year according to documents filed with the IRS, with over $150,000 in salary and benefits paid out to Nozette. But it wasn’t just about money. ACT’s mission statement reads like a spy’s dream come true:

"The Alliance for Competitive Technology … has been created to serve the national and public interest by conducting scientific research and educational activities aimed at expanding the utilization of National and Government Laboratory resources. The National Laboratories possess significant technology, technologists, and resources, of great potential value to growing U.S. industrial organizations, both small and large. Recent changes in national policy (the Stevenson-Wydler Act of 1986 and the NASA Technology Utilization Program) have sanctioned the pursuit of technology transfer from these organizations. However, the capabilities and resources present in National Laboratories are often difficult to access by small and medium sized organizations with limited resources. ACT will research the best mechanisms to facilitate this transfer through focused research on technology transfer mechanisms, and educational and instructive programs on technology transfer from National Laboratories. In addition, ACT will enable U.S. organizations to utilize the resources of National Laboratories through existing established mechanisms (e.g., the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory Technology Affiliates Program).Transfer of commercially valuable technology is significantly enhanced by such direct support of private sector efforts."

In short: ACT is all about technology transfer – from the U.S. to Israel. This, as is well-known, is one of the favored activities of the Israeli intelligence services, which regularly pilfer the latest American technology (especially military applications) to such an extent that a General Accounting Office investigation once characterized the effort as "the most aggressive espionage operations against the U.S. of any U.S. ally."

ACT had contracts with the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory in Washington, D.C., the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency in Arlington, Va., and NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md. It is hardly a leap of faith to conclude that vital data flowing from these projects was fed directly into the waiting maw of the Mossad.

Nozette was a key figure in developing and promoting the "Star Wars" ballistic missile defense system. His colleague in the "High Frontier" movement – and the official director of ACT – is one Klaus Heiss, like Nozette an enthusiast [.pdf] of space colonization (who also has some strong views on other subjects).

Contacted by an FBI agent masquerading as an Israeli intelligence agent, Nozette didn’t blink when told his lunch companion was from the Mossad: "Good," he said. "Happy to be of assistance." This was well before the issue of money was raised. Later in the conversation, Nozette boasted of his top-level security clearances and the range and depth of his knowledge of U.S. secrets, adding, "I don’t get recruited by the Mossad every day. By the way, I knew this day would come." Questioned further by the undercover agent, Nozette said, "I thought I was working for you already. I mean, that’s what I always thought [the foreign company] was – just a front."

Which it no doubt was.

Nozette agreed to be a regular "asset," yet he clearly felt his position was increasingly precarious. He inquired about the right of return and raised the possibility that he might go to Israel. He wanted a passport as part of his payment, in addition to the few thousand dollars the FBI was putting in a post office "dead drop" for him on receipt of stolen secrets.

Well, then, so what? Don’t all nations, even allies, spy on each other? What’s the significance of this particular case?

On the surface, our relationship with Israel is encompassed by the terms of the "special relationship," which has so far consisted of the U.S. giving unconditional support to Tel Aviv’s every action, no matter how brutal [.pdf] or contrary to our interests – and tolerating, to a large degree, its extensive covert operations on U.S. soil (or, at least, keeping quiet about them). On a deeper level, however, the tensions in this one-way love affair have frayed the specialness of the relationship almost to the breaking point.

This is not just due to the election of Barack Obama, who is widely perceived in Israel as being biased against the Jewish state. These tensions arose during Bush’s second term, when U.S. policy began to perceptibly tilt away from Tel Aviv. A particularly telling blow to U.S.-Israeli relations was the decision by the U.S. to clamp down on visa requirements for Israelis entering the U.S.: potential visitors from Israel are now required to undergo an interview, restrictions on their length of stay have been extended, and admission to the U.S. is no longer assured.

In the secret world of spooks spying on one another, the U.S.-Israeli relationship is increasingly adversarial, while in the diplomatic-political realm, it has nearly reached the point of open hostilities. This is thanks to the objective conditions that determine relations among nations: in the post-Cold War world, Israel necessarily became much less of an asset to the U.S. In the post-9/11 world, as John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt have so trenchantly pointed out, it is an outright liability.

Our self-sacrificial policy of unconditional support for Israel has earned us implacable enemies in the Arab world and granted our adversaries a priceless propaganda prize – and the growing awareness of this disability is something the Israelis no doubt find disturbing. The distortion of our foreign policy by the power of the Israel lobby is also being widely noted, and this is their real Achilles heel.

In this case, too, the Lobby will no doubt rush to exert their influence to downgrade Nozette’s crime and even depict him as an innocent victim of entrapment. Defenders of the AIPAC duo conjured a vast "anti-Semitic" conspiracy within the U.S. Justice Department and the FBI to explain the alleged persecution of Rosen and Weissman, and the same tactics are bound to be trotted out in this instance.

That is nonsense. The FBI didn’t just pick Nozette arbitrarily and conjure his crimes out of thin air. Their target was already deeply involved with the Israelis, and this is what brought him to their attention in the first place.

The nature and extent of Israeli spying in the U.S. is not a subject you’ll see the "mainstream" media very often touch with so much as a 10-foot pole, but when it does the results can be ominously disturbing. I, for one, haven’t forgotten Carl Cameron’s four-part series on Israeli spying in the U.S., broadcast by Fox News in December 2001. According to Cameron, his sources in law enforcement told him the Israelis had been following the 9/11 hijackers and had foreknowledge of their plans but somehow neglected to tell us. And then there were those dancing Israelis, leaping for joy at the sight of the Twin Towers burning…

This is the dark side of the "special relationship," so dark that hardly anyone wants to acknowledge it, let alone consider its implications.

URL to article: http://original.antiwar.com/justin/2009/10/20/the-dark-side-of-the-special-relationship/

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Friday, October 23, 2009

The Music of Harry Partch

Harry Partch (June 24, 1901 – September 3, 1974) was an American composer and instrument creator. He was one of the first twentieth-century composers to work extensively and systematically with microtonal scales, writing much of his music for custom-made instruments that he built himself, tuned in 11-limit just intonation.

Partch was born on June 24, 1901 in Oakland, California soon after his parents, both Presbyterian missionaries, fled the Boxer Rebellion in China. He spent his childhood in small, remote towns in Arizona and New Mexico, where he heard and sang songs in Mandarin, Spanish, and American Indian languages.
Partch was sterile, probably due to childhood mumps, and most of his loving relationships were with men.[1] As a child, he learned to play the clarinet, harmonium, viola, piano, and guitar. He began to compose at an early age, using the equal-tempered chromatic scale, the tuning system most common in Western music. However, Partch grew frustrated with what he felt were imperfections of the standard system of musical tuning, believing that this system was unsuitable for reflecting the subtle melodic contours of dramatic speech, and as a result, he burned all of his early works.
Interested in the potential musicality of speech, Partch invented and constructed instruments that could underscore the intoning voice, and he developed musical notations that accurately and practically instructed players as to how to play the instruments. His first such instrument was the "Monophone," later known as the "Adapted viola."
Partch secured a grant that allowed him to go to London to study the history of tuning systems and text-setting. While there, he met the poet William Butler Yeats with the intention of gaining Yeats' permission to write an opera based on the poet's translation of Sophocles' Oedipus the King. In his opera, Partch transcribed the inflections of actors from the Abbey Theatre reciting lines from Sophocles' play, and Partch performed this music on his Monophone while intoning "By the Rivers of Babylon." Yeats responded enthusiastically, saying, "A play done entirely in this way, with this wonderful instrument, and with this type of music, might really be sensational," and he gave Partch's idea his blessing.
Partch then set out to build more instruments with which to realize his burgeoning opera. However, after his grant money ran out, he was forced to return to the U.S., which was at the height of the Depression. There, he lived as a hobo, traveling around on trains and taking casual work where he could find it. He continued in this way for ten years, chronicling his experiences in a journal named Bitter Music. The entries frequently included overheard bits of everyday vernacular speech, wherein Partch transcribed the speaker's pitches on musical staves. This technique, which had been used earlier by the Florentine Camerata, Berlioz, Mussorgsky, Debussy, Schoenberg, Leoš Janáček and others and would be later used by Steve Reich), was to become a standard approach to vocal scoring in Partch's work.
In 1941, Partch wrote Barstow, a work whose text comes from eight pieces of graffiti Partch had spotted on a highway railing in Barstow, California. The piece, originally for voice and guitar, was transcribed several times throughout the composer's life as his collection of instruments grew.
In 1943, after receiving a grant from the Guggenheim Foundation, Partch was able to dedicate more time to music. He returned to his Oedipus Project, although the executors of Yeats' estate refused to grant him permission to use Yeats' translation, and he had to make his own (a recording with Yeats' translation has since been released, Yeats' text having passed into the public domain). While living briefly in Ithaca, New York,[citation needed] he began work on US Highball, a musical evocation of riding the rails as a Depression-era hobo.
In 1949, a book Partch had been working on since 1923 was eventually published as Genesis of a Music. It is an account of his own music with discussions of music theory and music instrument design. Today, it is considered a standard text of microtonal music theory and takes his concept of "Corporeality," the fusion of all art forms with the body, as its central focus.
He went on to write the 'dance satire' The Bewitched, and Revelation in the Courthouse Park, a work based in large part on Euripides' The Bacchae. Delusion of the Fury (1969) is considered by some[who?] as his greatest work.
Partch is famous for his 43-tone scale, even though he used many different scales in his work and the number of divisions is theoretically infinite.
Partch created and maintained his own record label, "Gate 5", to release recordings of his works and generate income. Towards the end of his life, Columbia Records made recordings of some of his works, including Delusion of the Fury, which helped increase public attention to his work. He remains a somewhat obscure figure, but is well known to experimental musicians (especially those interested in microtonality) and instrument-builders, and he is considered by many[who?] to be one of the most significant composers of the 20th century.
In 1974, he was inducted into the Hall of Fame of the Percussive Arts Society, a music service organization promoting percussion education, research, performance and appreciation throughout the world.
Partch died on September 3, 1974 in San Diego, California of a heart attack.
In 2004, U.S. Highball was selected by the Library of Congress' National Recording Preservation Board as "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant."

Harry Partch's desire to use a different system of tuning inspired him to modify existing instruments and create new ones. He was, in his own words, "a philosophic music-man seduced into carpentry".
His adapted instruments include the Adapted Viola (a viola fitted with a cello neck which extends the range by a fourth, and has changeable bridges to allow triple-stops to be sustained) and three Adapted Guitars: a guitar with the equal tempered frets replaced by a complex system of justly tuned frets, a guitar tuned in octaves, or 2/1's, played by moving a pyrex rod along the strings, much like a slide guitar, and a 10-string fretless guitar played in a similar manner to his other fretless guitar, but with a wildly different tuning.
He re-tuned the reeds of several reed organs and labeled the keys with a color code. The first one was called the Ptolemy, in tribute to the ancient music theorist Claudius Ptolemaeus, whose musical scales included ratios of the 11-limit, as Partch's did. The others were called Chromelodeons, a portmanteau of chrome (meaning "color") and melodeon.
Partch also designed and built many instruments from raw materials:
The Diamond Marimba is a marimba with keys arranged in a physical manifestation of the 11-limit tonality diamond.

The Quadrangularis Reversum inverted the key layout of the Diamond Marimba with sets of alto-range auxiliary keys on either side.

The 11-key Bass Marimba and the 4-key Marimba Eroica have more traditional linear layouts, and are very low in pitch. The Eroica's range extends well below that of the concert piano.

The Mazda Marimba is made of Mazda light bulbs and named after the Zoroastrian god Ahura Mazda.

The Bamboo Marimbas, nicknamed "Boo" and "Boo II", are marimbas made of bamboo, using the concept of a tongued resonator to produce the tones.

The Cloud Chamber Bowls is a set of pyrex bowls from a cloud chamber, suspended in a frame.

The Spoils of War is a collection of several instruments, including more Cloud Chamber Bowls, artillery shell casings, metal whang-guns, and several wooden tones.

The Gourd Tree and Cone Gongs are two separate instruments often played by the same player. The gourd tree is a bough of eucalyptus supporting several singing bowls attached to gourd resonators. The cone gongs are two fuel tank nose-cones, mounted on a stand low to the ground.

The Zymo-Xyl (from the Greek words for "fermentation" and "wood") is a xylophone augmented with tuned liquor bottles and hubcaps. (Partch lamented that there was no Greek word for "hubcaps".)

The Kitharas (named after the Greek kithara) are large upright stringed instruments, tuned by sliding pyrex rods underneath the strings, and played with fingers or a variety of plectra. Their sound is one of the most unmistakable in Partch's music.

The Harmonic Canons (from the same root as qanún) are 44-stringed instruments with complex systems of bridges. They are tuned differently depending on the piece, and are played with fingers or picks, or in some cases, unique mallets.

In 1990, Dean Drummond's Newband became custodians of the original Harry Partch instrument collection, and the group frequently performs with and commissions new pieces for Partch's instruments.
The instruments have been housed in the Harry Partch Instrumentarium at Montclair State University in Montclair, New Jersey since 1999. In 2004, the instruments crossed campus into the newly constructed Alexander Kasser Theater, which provides a large studio space in the basement. Concerts by Newband and MSU's Harry Partch Ensemble may be viewed several times a year in this hall.

Many people have duplicated partial sets of Partch instruments including John Schneider, director of Microfest[1]. His West Coast ensemble includes replicas of the Kithara, Cloud-Chamber Bowls, Adapted Guitars, Adapted Viola, Diamond Marimba, Bass Marimba, Chromelodeon, and two Harmonic Canons.

SOURCE: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harry_Partch

Monday, October 12, 2009

Robert Burton's Anatomy of Melancholy

This is one of my favorite books in the history of European letters. If Poe had one book in mind when he referred to a "curious volume of forgotten lore" I would be amazed if it wasn't Burton's Anatomy of Melancholy.

Here is a good review from: http://www.complete-review.com/reviews/divphil/burtonr.htm

The complete review's Review:
If one had to pare down one's library to the barest minimum, Robert Burton's The Anatomy of Melancholy is a volume that one could never cull. If one had to prepare for a desert-island exile and could take only a handful of books along, then The Anatomy of Melancholy is surely a volume one would insist on taking. Those that have a copy of the long hard-to-find volume(s) treasure and cling to it -- one reason why you'll rarely find a copy at your local second-hand bookstore.

It is a famous book. A well-known title. But rarely seen. It has been, essentially, out of print for some time (the recent scholarly Clarendon Press edition being out of most reader's price range -- and, apparently, already itself out of print). Now The Anatomy of Melancholy has been republished in a convenient single volume by New York Review Books. A barely ballyhooed event, it should be the talk of the town, the publishing triumph of the season.

There are few essentials that belong on the bookshelf in every cultured English-speaking household. A collected Shakespeare. The Riverside Chaucer. Grudgingly: a King James Bible. And Burton's Anatomy of Melancholy.

Certainly, other titles belong there as well, but one can debate the specific novels and the poetry that are worthy of inclusion. Not Burton's Anatomy. No question there. And, given the propensity of the title to fall out of print (as it has recently, and did previously -- for a particularly long, dark stretch between 1676 and 1800), we can only advise you to get your copy while you can.

What is this book ? Well, it is, nominally, an anatomy, an overview, a dissection, an analysis of melancholy. But melancholy is a broad term, a common affliction with many causes, symptoms, and, possibly, cures. And Burton is determined to consider each and every variation on the theme.

Burton's book is encyclopedic. Burdened all his life with a "roving humour", Burton acknowledges:
I have read many books, but to little purpose, for want of good method. I have confusedly tumbled over divers authors in our libraries with small profit for want of art, order, memory, judgment. I never travelled but in map or card, in which my unconfined thoughts have freely expatiated.

Burton did, indeed, read many books. Every book ever written or published until that time, it would seem. Indeed, he appears to quote from every one of these books in The Anatomy of Melancholy -- from the earliest Greeks to his recent contemporaries. Arguably, the Anatomy is the last book that encompasses the entire learning of Western culture, the last successful effort to cram it all into one volume.
It is a strikingly odd book, in that it consists almost entirely of quotes and references to the thought of others. It is a book of references woven together. But what a tapestry. Burton builds his arguments and his explanations by constantly referring to what others have said before. Acknowledging that there is nary a new thought under the sun he dispenses with feigning originality. Newton may have stood on the shoulders of giants, but they remain largely unseen; in The Anatomy of Melancholy Burton stands on the shoulders of all of learned humanity, a small speck atop a very tangible, teeming mass.

There is both madness and method here. The book is overwhelming. It ranges across nearly all subjects: medicine, astronomy, philosophy, literature and all the arts, politics, nature. It runs from quote to quote to reference. Still, it is carefully constructed, partition upon section upon member upon subsection. Neat synoptical tables illustrate how each partition unfolds. All possible issues are brought up and dealt with, exhaustively -- but never exhaustingly. The style is an odd one, with run-on sentences that seem to want to break off every which way, but Burton's hand is a firm one and, amazingly, he keeps things under control.

The book is presented as being by "Democritus Junior", the pseudonym Burton chose to publish the book under; it is dedicated to George Berkeley (giving some sense of Burton's own philosophical inclinations). The book begins with a Latin poem "Democritus Junior to his Book", with which he releases it into the open day. An explanatory poem gives "The Argument of the Frontispiece" (see here or, if you have the patience, here for reproductions of the frontispiece) Next: "The Author's Abstract of Melancholy".

There is then a long introduction, "Democritus Junior to the Reader", and finally a warning "To the Reader who Employs his Leisure Ill". Then it is on with the melancholy show. The focus is on this perceived malady, but in essence it is also an excuse to discourse about all matters and manners in the world (and, occasionally, beyond).

The first partition is devoted to the more common, generic sort of melancholy, focussing on causes and symptoms. Melancholy can, apparently, be found everywhere. Burton explores every possible reason for that sinking melancholy feeling. From God to bad nurses, bad diet to overmuch study, "Self-love, Vainglory, Praise, Honour, Immoderate Applause" to covetousness, "An heap of other Accidents" to education ("if a man escape a bad nurse he may be undone by evil bringing up") -- it seems anything can cause it.

The symptoms are more straightforward, though also more varied than one might expect. From "Windy Hypochondriacal Melancholy" to the female variations -- "Maids', Nuns', and Widows' Melancholy" -- Burton gives a neat little overview.

The second partition suggests cures for melancholy, ranging from lifestyle-changes to medical solutions (from blood-letting to herbal alternatives). Burton himself suggested: "I write of melancholy, by being busy to avoid melancholy." (And he was very busy at it.)

The last partition then is devoted to the most complex and irrational mind-ailments: love-melancholy and religious-melancholy.

The fun and the brilliance of the book lies in Burton's presentation. Melancholy is his springboard, but it is the entire human experience -- so melancholy-tinged -- that is his subject. Example after example is heaped on the reader, quote after quote after story after anecdote, all condensed to their very essence. A mad fill, an overabundance, literary profusion on the most extravagant scale.

On every page there are a dozen -- at least -- examples or citations or tales or ideas, each of which any author could spin out into a full-length novel or treatise. Indeed, The Anatomy of Melancholy is the ultimate writer's resource book. Many a career could be built on it -- and several have been.

Laurence Sterne carried on the Burtonian tradition, stealing extensively from The Anatomy of Melancholy for his own Tristram Shandy (a theft that was not discovered for decades, as Burton was barely remembered or read at the time). For many others the volume was also favoured reading (and, occasionally, cribbing) material, from John Keats to Samuel Beckett.

The Anatomy of Melancholy is almost unreadable. Densely packed, it defies reading as it is now generally practised. And yet it is the ultimate book, a volume that one can not but return to over and over, constantly. Perusal of the rich Anatomy is addictive, each passage like a snort of crystallized literary erudition -- with a healthy dose of humour.

It is a book that lasts a lifetime. It is bottomless: both a pit and a reprieve. Burton himself, in his lifelong melancholy fit, could not help but constantly add to the text. The first edition had some 350,000 words, the sixth over half a million. He was a man possessed, the text burgeoning to bursting, Burton always -- just -- in control.

It is a unique, and grand achievement. Modern efforts at so-called hypertexts and hyperfiction pale beside it. On only the printed page Burton goes far beyond what most have conceived in virtual worlds.

If you only buy one book this year, let it be this one. And if you buy hundreds of books this year, let this one be on the top of the list.

Norse Mercenaries vs. The Democratic Republic of the Congo

More fun and games from the Democratic Republic of the Congo. It will be interesting to find out the back-story on this, why they were there, what they were doing and why they iced the driver.
It is always good to be reminded there is more going on in the world than you can imagine.
From: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joshua_French_and_Tjostolv_Moland

Joshua Olav Daniel Hodne French (born 7 April 1982) and Tjostolv Moland (born 28 February 1981), sometimes referred to by the aliases John Hunt and Mike Callan respectively, are two Norwegian nationals arrested in May 2009 in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, accused of murdering their driver by gunshot and of espionage for Norway. They are both former soldiers in the Norwegian Armed Forces, who later worked in the private security industry. The men claimed that their driver was murdered by gunmen who waylaid them. On September 8, 2009, they were both found guilty of all charges and sentenced to death by a military tribunal in the regional capital, Kisangani.[1][2][3][4][5] The Congolese government insists that the defendants were active duty Norwegian soldiers, contradicting the Norwegian government's insistence that they had had no connection with Norway's military since 2007.

French grew up in the municipality of Re in Vestfold county and has both Norwegian and British citizenship. Moland is from Vegårshei in Aust-Agder county.

Until 2006, French served in the Norwegian Armed Forces and was also employed in the British Army where he trained as a paratrooper.[6] In 2006, he was admitted to the Telemark Battalion, the Norwegian Army's elite infantry unit, but was allegedly forced to resign in 2007 as he and his friend Moland were accused of having recruited military personnel into employment with private security companies.[7]
Moland also has a Norwegian Army background, having served in The King's Guard and later the Telemark Battalion, where he held the rank of second lieutenant before his resignation in 2007.[8] French and Moland later worked as security guards in several places, including pirate guards for a Korean company in the Gulf of Aden. French and Moland were also involved in security missions in various African countries, such as Angola, Sierra Leone, and lately in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.[9]
There are conflicting stories as to their reasons for being in the country. French and Moland claim they intended to set up their own security company. In May 2009, they were arrested and charged in the killing of their hired driver, 47-year-old Abedi Kasongo, which is said to have occurred on May 5, 2009. French was arrested on May 9 in the Epulu game reserve, around 200 kilometres (120 mi) from Kisangani. Moland was arrested two days later in the Ituri Province, a few hundred kilometres farther northeast.[10]

After their arrest, French and Moland were charged with killing Kasongo on an isolated section of road between Kisangani and the Ugandan border. The prosecution did not disclose their theory as to the motive for the crime. Additional charges against the two included attempted murder of a witness, espionage, armed robbery and the possession of illegal firearms.[11]
Their trial, held on August 14, was allowed to take place before a military court because firearms had been used in the crime.[10] However, according to Mirna Adjami, a local representative of the International Center for Transitional Justice, only Congolese police and army soldiers can be tried before a military tribunal; this raised questions as to the court's legality.[12]
During the criminal investigation, the Congolese authorities found Norwegian military ID cards, counterfeit United Nations caps, and employee ID badges with both the correct and false names of French and Moland. The employee badges were from a little-known security company named Special Interventions Group (SIG) which is owned by and mostly staffed by Norwegians. The investigators also found SIG-Uganda employee ID badges which bore the identical SIG logo and the false names of "John Hunt" and "Mike Callan" accompanying French and Moland's respective photographs.[11] During a raid on French and Moland's apartment, authorities also confiscated at least one rifle and a camera containing images of French and Moland on their recent travels in Africa. In one image, believed to have been taken by French, Moland is seen smiling as he washes what is alleged to be the blood of Abedi Kasongo from the inside of their car. French and Moland have said that Kasongo was murdered by gunmen who attacked them on a road.[5]

Two individuals, Gina Kepo Aila and Kasimu Aradjabo, said they were both present during the killing. Both witnesses told the court that Moland shot Abedi Kasongo, while French threw himself over Gina Kepo Aila, whom he tried to kill. According to both witnesses, several shots were fired, most probably three.[13]
On September 8, 2009, French and Moland were found guilty on all counts and sentenced to death. Along with the death sentence for both, the tribunal ordered the Norwegian government to pay a US$1 compensation to each Congolese citizen, an amount Judge Claude Disimo, head of the military tribunal, said totals more than US$60 million.[4] The prosecution had sought the death penalty for the five charges made against the men.[2] Norwegian authorities have denied that the men were involved in espionage for Norway, and have expressed concern they were not receiving a fair trial.[14] Initially the Congolese claims of compensation had amounted to more than US$500 billion.[15]

The men appealed their conviction on September 9, 2009.[16] According to Judge Claude Disimo, they will not be extradited back to Norway.[17]
Although it remains on the statute books, the death penalty is currently not applied in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.[10] The last known execution occurred in 2003, and today capital punishment is usually commuted to life imprisonment.[18]

Norway immediately condemned the sentence and rejected the allegations of espionage. Foreign Minister Jonas Gahr Støre said the sentence was "completely unacceptable" and that he would protest to his Congolese counterpart.[10] "We wish to distance ourselves from the conviction of espionage on Norway's behalf," Støre said. "We also wish to distance ourselves from the court's decision that the Norwegian State is responsible for paying damages. Norway is not a party in this case."[17]

French and Moland's defence lawyer, Guillaume Likwela, said the verdict was flawed because the men were not given an interpreter for the trial, carried out in French, which neither speaks.[10] A spokesman for the oil company Tullow Oil, which operates in the region, pointed out that French and Moland's "unprofessionalism and amateur behavior" were indicators that they were not foreign agents as the prosecutor claimed.[19] Øistein Mjærum, an advisor to former Norwegian prime minister Kjell Magne Bondevik, called the two defendants "idiots".[20] The case has been widely covered in the Norwegian media, which has described much of the evidence presented against French and Moland as "contradictory and seemingly absurd", such as the case with a photo of Rune Folkestad a photographer in Drammens Tidende, a local newspaper, wearing a beret and pointing at Africa, in which Folkestad is named as French's and Moland's commander for their claimed operation in the Congo.[13][21] There are, however, also indications that French and Moland received fairer treatment from the military tribunal than would have been the case with a civil court. The Swedish newspaper Dagens Nyheter reported a former political advisor to the UN peace mission to the Congo (MONUC) as saying that it appeared evidence existed for the charges and that the trial was procedurally correct. However, she was also quoted as saying that since the rule of law in the country leaves much to be desired, the verdict should be "taken with a grain of salt".[22]

Friday, October 9, 2009

Letters From Charlie

I corresponded with Charles Manson for several years (in the early 90s), an unexpected result was the number of “family” people on the outside contacting me at Charlie’s behest, including Sandy Good. Occasionally I would photocopy clusters of photos and artwork on the back of letters. One included a couple photos of myself, after that Charlie started addressing me as “Manson II.” There are assholes out there who would try to make a career out of having that in writing. Some early Manson correspondence was forwarded to me by Michael Moynahan who I had never heard of at that time. Eventually Corcoran prison stopped accepting my mail, returning them stamped "Contents Inappropriate."

Stuff from others:

Thursday, October 8, 2009

J.F.C. Fuller: British Military Genius, Occultist, and Fascist

Major General John Frederick Charles Fuller CB, CBE, DSO, commonly J.F.C. Fuller, (1 September 1878 – 10 February 1966), was a British Army officer, military historian and strategist, notable as an early theorist of modern armoured warfare, including categorising principles of warfare. He was also the inventor of "artificial moonlight" and an occultist.

 Fuller was born in 1878, in Chichester, West Sussex, England and educated at Malvern College and Royal Military Academy Sandhurst from 1897 to 1898. He was commissioned into the Oxfordshire Light Infantry and served in South Africa from 1899 to 1902. He then attended Staff College at Camberley and served as an adjutant to a territorial battalion. During World War I, he was a staff officer with the Home Forces and with 7 Corps in France, and from 1916 in the HQ of the Machine-Gun Corps' Heavy Branch which was later to become the Tank Corps. He planned the tank attack at Cambrai and the tank operations for the autumn offensives of 1918. His Plan 1919 for a fully mechanised army was never implemented in his lifetime, and after 1918 he held various leading positions, notably as a commander of an experimental brigade at Aldershot.

In the 1920s, he collaborated with his junior B.H. Liddell Hart in developing new ideas for the mechanisation of armies. However, in what came to be known as the "Tidworth Incident", he turned down the command of the Experimental Mechanized Force which was formed in 1927. The appointment also carried responsibility for a regular infantry brigade and the garrison of Tidworth on Salisbury Plain. Fuller believed he would be unable to devote himself to the Experimental Force and the development of mechanized warfare techniques without extra staff to assist him with the additional extraneous duties, which the War Office refused to allocate.

 His ideas on mechanised warfare continued to be influential in the lead up to World War II, ironically more with the Germans, notably Heinz Guderian, than with his countrymen. In the 1930’s, the Wehrmacht implemented tactics similar in many ways to Fuller's analysis, which became known as Blitzkrieg. Like Fuller, practitioners of Blitzkrieg partly based their approach on the theory that areas of large enemy activity should be bypassed to be eventually surrounded and destroyed. Blitzkrieg style tactics were used by several nations throughout World War II, predominantly by the Germans in the invasion of Poland, Western Europe and the Soviet Union. While Germany, and to some degree the Western Allies, adopted Blitzkrieg ideas, they were not much used by the Red Army which developed its armoured warfare doctrine based on deep operations. Deep operations was developed by Soviet military theorists, among them Marshal M. N. Tukhachevsky, during the 1920s based on their experiences in World War I and the Russian Civil War.

 On his retirement in 1933, and impatient with what he considered the inability of democracy to adopt military reforms, Fuller became involved with Sir Oswald Mosley and the British Fascist movement. As a member of the British Union of Fascists he sat on the party's Policy Directorate and was considered one of Mosley's closest allies.

 On 20 April 1939 Fuller was an honoured guest at Adolf Hitler's 50th birthday parade and watched as "for three hours a completely mechanised and motorised army roared past the Führer." Afterwards Hitler asked, "I hope you were pleased with your children?" Fuller replied, "Your Excellency, they have grown up so quickly that I no longer recognise them."

 Fuller was a vigorous, expressive and opinionated writer of military history and of controversial predictions of the future of war.

Fuller was an early disciple of English poet and magician Aleister Crowley and was very familiar with his, and other forms of, magick and mysticism. While serving in the First Oxfordshire Light Infantry he had entered, and won, a contest to write the best review of Crowley's poetic works - his entered review was an unsurprising success as he was apparently the only entrant to the contest. This essay was later published in book form in 1907 as The Star in the West. After this he became an enthusiastic supporter of Crowley, joining his magical Order, the A.A.. within which he became a leading member, editing Order documents and its journal, The Equinox. During this period he wrote The Treasure House of Images, edited early sections of Crowley's magical autobiography The Temple of Solomon the King and produced highly-regarded paintings dealing with A.A. teachings: these paintings have been used in recent years as the covers of the journal's revival, The Equinox, Volume IV.[1] [2]

 After the Jones vs The Looking Glass case, in which a great deal was made of Aleister Crowley's homosexuality (although Crowley himself was not a party to the case), Fuller became worried that his association with Crowley might be a hindrance to his career. Crowley writes in chapter 67 of his Confessions:
...to my breathless amazement he fired pointblank at my head a document in which he agreed to continue his co-operation on condition that I refrain from mentioning his name in public or private under penalty of paying him a hundred pounds for each such offence. I sat down and poured in a broadside at close quarters. "My dear man," I said in effect, "do recover your sense of proportion, to say nothing of your sense of humour. Your contribution, indeed! I can do in two days what takes you six months, and my real reason for ever printing your work at all is my friendship for you. I wanted to give you a leg up the literary ladder. I have taken endless pain to teach you the first principles of writing. When I met you, you were not so much as a fifth-rate journalist, and now you can write quite good prose with no more than my blue pencil through two out of every three adjectives, and five out of every six commas. Another three years with me and I will make you a master, but please don't think that either I or the Work depend on you, any more than J.P. Morgan depends on his favourite clerk."[3]
After this contact between the two men faded rapidly. However Fuller continued to be fascinated with occult subjects, and in later years he contrinued to write about topics such as the Qabalah and to a lesser extent yoga (which was at the time seen as potentially dangerous in Western eyes).

Fuller was a prolific writer. The following is only a small selection of his works.
  • The Star in The West: a critical essay upon the works of Aleister Crowley (Walter Scott Publishing Co., London, 1907)
  • Yoga: a study of the mystical philosophy of the Brahmins and Buddhists (W. Rider, London, 1925)
  • The Generalship of Ulysses S. Grant (Murray, London, 1929)
  • Grant & Lee: a study in personality and generalship (Eyre & Spottiswoode, London, 1933)
  • Memoirs of an Unconventional Soldier (Nicholson & Watson, London, 1936)
  • The First of the League Wars (Eyre and Spottiswoode, London, 1936) [About the Italo-Ethiopian War]
  • The Secret Wisdom of the Qabalah: A Study in Jewish Mystical Thought (W. Rider & Co., London, 1937)
  • The Second World War, 1939-1945: a strategical and tactical history (Eyre & Spottiswoode, London, 1948)
  • The Decisive Battles of the Western World and their Influence upon History, 3 vols. (Eyre & Spottiswoode, London, 1954-6). A two-volume edition, abridged by John Terraine to omit battles outside the European continent, was published in the early 1980s.
  • Volume 1: From the earliest times to the battle of Lepanto
  • Volume 2: From the defeat of the Spanish Armada to the battle of Waterloo
  • Volume 3: From the American Civil War to the end of the Second World War
  • The Generalship of Alexander the Great (Eyre & Spottiswoode, London, 1958). On Alexander the Great of Macedon.
  • Julius Caesar: man, soldier and tyrant (Eyre & Spottiswoode, London, 1965)
  • A Military History of the Western World, 3 vols. This is the American publication of The Decisive Battles of the Western World and their Influence upon History. Titles of individual tomes are same as in the British edition. Originally published: (Funk and Wagnalls, New York, 1954-7). Republished: (Da Capo Press, New York, 1987-8).
  • v. 1; ISBN 0-306-80304-6.
  • v. 2; ISBN 0-306-80305-4.
  • v. 3; ISBN 0-306-80306-2.
  • Fuller, J.F.C.; Aleister Crowley (1994). The Pathworkings of Aleister Crowley: The Treasure House of Images. James Wasserman (ed.). New Falcon Publications,U.S.. ISBN 1561840742.
 FROM: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/J._F._C._Fuller

Athanasius Kircher

One of my favorite figures in European History: http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/08661a.htm
Athanasius Kircher
Celebrated for the versatility of his knowledge and particularly distinguished for his knowledge of the natural sciences, b. 2 May, 1601, at Geisa, a small town on the northern bank of the Upper Rhone (Buchonia); d. at Rome, 28 Nov., 1680.

From his birthplace he was accustomed to add the Latin epithet Bucho, or Buchonius, to his name, although later he preferred calling himself Fuldensis after Fulda, the capital of his native country. The name Athanasius was given him in honour of the saint on whose feast he was born.

John Kircher, the father of Athanasius, had studied philosophy and theology at Mainz, without, however, embracing the priestly calling. As soon as he had obtained the doctor's degree in the latter faculty, he went to lecture on theology in the Benedictine house at Seligenstadt. Athanasius studied humanities at the Jesuit College in Fulda, and on 2 Oct., 1618, entered the Society of Jesus at Paderborn. At the end of his novitiate he repaired to Cologne for his philosophical studies. The journey thither was, on account of the confusion caused by the Thirty Years' War, attended with great danger. Together with his study of speculative philosophy the talented young student devoted himself especially to the natural sciences and the classical languages, for which reason he was shortly afterwards called to teach these branches at the Jesuit colleges in Coblenz and Heiligenstadt. In Mainz, where Kircher (1625) began his theological studies, he attracted the notice of the elector through his ability and his skill as an experimentalist. In 1628 he was ordained priest, and hardly had he finished his last year of probation at Speyer when the chair of ethics and mathematics was given to him the University of Würzburg, while at the same time he had to give instructions in the Syrian and Hebrew languages. However, the disorders consequent on the wars obliged him to go first to Lyons in France (1631) and later to Avignon.

The discovery of some hieroglyphic characters in the library at Speyer led Kircher to make his first attempt to solve the problem of hieroglyphical writing, which still baffled all scholars. At Aix he made the acquaintance of the well-known French senator, Sicolas Peiresc, whose magnificent collections aroused in Kircher the highest interest. Recognizing in Kircher the right man to solve the old Egyptian riddle, Peiresc applied direct to Rome and to the General of the Jesuits to have Kircher's call to Vienna by the emperor set aside and to procure a summons for the scholar to the Eternal City. This generous intention was favoured by Providence, inasmuch as Kircher on his way to Vienna was shipwrecked near Cività Vecchia, and arrived in Rome before the knowledge of his call thither had reached him. Until his death (28 Nov., 1680), Rome was now to be the principal scene of Kircher's many-sided activity, which soon developed in such an astonishing way that pope, emperor, princes, and prelates vied with one another in furthering and supporting the investigations of the learned scholar. After six years of successful teaching in the Roman College, where he lectured on physics, mathematics, and Oriental languages, he was released from these duties that he might have freedom in his studies and might devote himself to formal scientific research, especially in Southern Italy and Sicily. He took advantage of a trip to Malta to explore thoroughly the various volcanoes which exist between Naples and that island. He studied especially in 1638 the Strait of Messina, where, besides the noise of the surge, a dull subterranean rumble attracted his attention. At Trapani and Palermo his interest was aroused by the remains of antediluvian elephants. But before all else he tried to discover the subterranean power of the volcanoes of Etna and Stromboli, then in eruption; public attention had been called to such mysterious phenomena by the frightful eruption of Vesuvius in 1630.

When Kircher left Messina in 1638 to return to Naples, a terrible earthquake occurred which destroyed the city of Euphemia. Like Pliny before him (A.D. 79), Kircher wished to study at close range this powerful convulsion of nature. On reaching Naples he at once climbed Vesuvius, and had himself lowered by means of a rope into the crater of the volcanic mountain and with the help of his pantometer ascertained exactly the different dimensions of the crater and its inner structure. As the firstfruits of his travels he published, for the Knights of Malta, "Specula Melitensis Encyclica sive syntagma novum instrumentorum physico-mathematicorum" (Messina, 1638). It was forty years later that the fully matured results of theses investigations appeared in Kircher's great work, the "Mundus Subterraneus", in two volumes (Amsterdam, 1678), which enjoyed the greatest repute in his time; not only did it give an incentive to the more searching investigation of subterranean forces, but it contributed much to their final explanation. When again in Rome, Kircher began collecting all kinds of antiquities and ethnologically important remains, thus laying the foundation of the well-known museum which, as the "Museum Kircherianum", still attracts today so many visitors to the Roman College. Epoch-making also were Kircher's labours in the domain of deciphering hieroglyphics, and, on the excavation of the so-called Pamphylian obelisk, he succeeded in supplying correctly the portions which had been concealed from him. It must be remembered that in those days little or no attention was paid to this subject, and that it was therefore in itself a great service to have taken the initiative in this branch of investigation, however lacking his efforts may have been in the fundamental principles of the science as it is known today. Kircher also gave an impetus to the intimate study of the relations between the different languages: Latin, Greek, Hebrew, Chaldaic, Syrian, Samaritan, Arabic, Armenian, Coptic, Persian, Ethiopian, Italian, German, Spanish, French, Portuguese.

Thus in the most varied branches of science Kircher played the rôle of pioneer. Even medicine received his attention, as is shown for example by his treatise, "Scrutinium physico-medicum contagiosæ luis, quæ pestis dicitur" (Rome, 1658). He also tried to form a universal language ("Polygraphia seu artificium lingarum, quo cum omnibus totius mundi populis poterit quis correspondere", Rome, 1663). His scientific activities brought him into scientific correspondence with scholars labouring in the most different fields, as the numerous volumes of his extant letters show. It is to his inventive mind that we owe one of the earliest of our counting machines: the speaking-tube and æolian harp were perfected by him. He was also the inventor of the magic lantern which has since been brought to such perfection and is today almost indispensable.

That the most varied judgments should be formed and expressed on a man of such encyclopædic knowledge was only to be expected. He tried to find a grain of truth even in the false sciences of alchemy, astrology, and horoscopy, which were still in his time much in vogue, nor is it surprising that in the province of astronomy he did not at this early date defend the Copernican System.

With all his learning and vast amount of adulation which he received on all sides, Kircher retained throughout his life a deep humility and a childlike piety. In 1629 he had intimated to his general his desire to devoted his life exclusively to the spreading of the Faith in China, but this wish remained unfulfilled, and, to console himself for this disappointment, he erected during his last years a sanctuary (della Mentorella) in honour of the Mother of God on the crest of the Sabine Hill near Rome, whither, during his lifetime as now, thousands made pilgrimages and found help and consolation. In this sanctuary Kircher's heart was buried, and at the beginning of the twentieth century this place of pilgrimage was distinguished by a gigantic statue of our Divine Redeemer on the neighbouring crest of Guadagnole.

To give an approximate idea of Kircher's literary activity it is only necessary to remark that during his sojourn in Rome no less than forty-four folio volumes came from his pen. A full list of his writings is to be found in Sommervogel, "Bibl. Scriptorum S.J.". Besides the works already named, it is sufficient to mention here: "Magnes sive de arte magnetica" (Rome, 1640; Cologne, 1643, 1654); "Lingua ægyptiaca restituta" (Rome, 1643); "Ars magna lucis et umbræ" (Rome, 1644); "Musurgia universalis sive ars consoni et dissoni" (Rome, 1650); "Itinerarium extaticum s. opificium coeleste" (Rome, 1656); "Iter extaticum secundum, mundi subterranei prodromus" (Rome, 1657); "Obeliscus Pamphylius" (Rome, 1650).

More Links at Wikipedia:

The Frantics - Werewolf

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

The Necronomicon: Fine Art Bookbinding by Dario Ustino & Jeanne Antoinette Biagi

The Necronomicon.
Antique manuscript in ink cover in vellum.

Excellent gallery of other fine art bindings here: http://www.chartaonline.com/lista%20libri.htm

Monday, October 5, 2009

Daytona Beach: Mecca of Broken People

My wisest friend said "Daytona is the Mecca for broken people." She lives in Washington state, basically as far away as you can get from Daytona Beach in the continental USA.

It is rumored that Daytona International Speedway is built on an ancient indian burial site that was discovered as they were breaking ground, but too much money was at stake so they hushed it up and continued construction.

While I was picking up dinner the gal at the restaurant got off the phone and said the person on the other end of the line was on beachside and witnessed a HUGE freakish SWARM of river rats running up the main drag, for some unknown reason. I said "maybe they'll eat all the homeless people." At first they all laughed, then stopped and said "that's sick" when they realized what they were laughing about.

In any event, Daytona Beach is a freakish pit of subhuman scum. I hope to do some photo-blogging in the near future.


Saturday, October 3, 2009

William Dudley Pelley

A few years ago an elderly woman came into my place and said her late brother knew me and stipulated that on his death they were to give me his collection of William Dudley Pelley books, because I was "spiritually attuned." For the life of me I don't know who the old man was but I still have the collection.

Fairly bizarre "spiritual" stuff for the most part, although I reserve judgment until I've read most of it. Also included many obscure works by George Hunt Williamson, including OTHER TONGUES - OTHER FLESH, and other UFO/Alien-communication-slanted esoteric material. Also included are a lot of fliers and period articles on all of the above. If I ever get a scanner up and running I'll start blogging some of it.

William Dudley Pelley (March 12, 1890June 30, 1965) was an American extremist and spiritualist who founded the Silver Legion in 1933, and ran for President in 1936 for the Christian party.
Born in Lynn, Massachusetts, William Dudley Pelley grew up in poverty. He was the son of William George Apsey Pelley and his wife Grace Goodale. His father was initially a Southern Methodist Church minister, later a small businessman and shoemaker. [1]
According to "The Door to Revelation" (1939), the autobiography of Pelley, he could not remember his early life in Lynn. His earliest memories dated to when he was about two-years-old, residing in Prescott, Massachusetts. Pelley reports "My first observations of life that impressed themselves upon my mind and caused me to marvel at the mortal status in which I now found myself, began in that parsonage beside a country church. My father was pastor in that church. ... and took a vast amount of pride in the assumption that the Tribe of Pelley could trace its genealogy back in an unbroken line to one Sir John Pelley, knighted and sponsored by Good Queen Elizabeth which attested, of course, that the Pelleys were English." [2]
Largely self-educated, Pelley became a journalist and gained respect for his writing skills, his articles eventually appearing in national publications. Following World War I, Pelley traveled throughout Europe and Asia as a foreign correspondent. He particularly spent a great deal of time in Russia and witnessed atrocities of the Russian Civil War. His experiences in Russia left him with a deep hatred for Communism and Jews, whom he believed were planning to conquer the world.[3]
Upon returning to the United States in 1920, Pelley went to Hollywood, where he became a screenwriter, writing the Lon Chaney films The Light in the Dark and The Shock[4]. By 1929, Pelley became disillusioned with the movie industry, and moved to Asheville, North Carolina.
In 1928, Pelley said he had an out-of-body experience, detailed in the pamphlet "My Seven Minutes in Eternity." Pelley became fascinated with metaphysics and Christianity and gained a new-found popularity with his numerous publications on the subjects.
When the Great Depression struck America in 1929, Pelley became active in politics. After moving to Asheville, Pelley founded Galahad College in 1932. The college specialized in correspondence, "Social Metaphysics," and "Christian Economics" courses. He also founded Galahad Press, which he used to publish various political and metaphysical magazines, newspapers, and books.
In 1933, when Adolf Hitler seized control of Germany, Pelley, an admirer of Hitler, was inspired to form a political movement and founded the Silver Legion, an extremist and antisemitic organization whose followers (known as the Silver Shirts and "Christian Patriots") wore Nazi-like silver uniforms. The Silver Legion’s emblem was a scarlet L, which was featured on their flags and uniforms. Pelley founded chapters of the Silver Legion in almost every state in the country, and soon gained a considerable number of followers. [5]
Pelley traveled throughout the United States and holding mass rallies, lectures, and public speeches in order to attract Americans to his organization. Pelley’s political ideology essentially consisted of anti-Communism, antisemitism, racism, extreme patriotism, and isolationism, themes which were the primary focus of his numerous magazines and newspapers, which included Liberation, Pelley's Silvershirt Weekly, The Galilean, and The New Liberator. Of these publications, the February 3, 1934 edition of Liberation contained The Franklin Prophecy, which claimed that Benjamin Franklin warned Americans not to allow Jews to benefit from the United States Constitution. [6]
Pelley was also an opponent of Franklin Delano Roosevelt and the New Deal, and founded the Christian Party, running for president in 1936. His activities angered Roosevelt and his supporters, and charges were drawn up against the Silver Shirts in 1940. His Asheville headquarters was raided by federal marshals, his followers there arrested, and his property seized. Pelley was called to testify before the House Un-American Activities Committee.
Despite serious financial and material setbacks to his organization resulting from lengthy court battles, Pelley continued to oppose Roosevelt, especially as the diplomatic relationships of the United States with the Empire of Japan and Nazi Germany became more strained in the early 1940s. Pelley accused Roosevelt of being a warmonger and advocated isolationism, stances which would give political ammunition to the enemies of fellow isolationist Charles Lindbergh (according to A. Scott Berg's biography, Lindbergh had never even met Pelley). Roosevelt enlisted J. Edgar Hoover and the FBI to investigsate Pelley for libel, and the FBI interviewed Pelley's subscribers. [7] Although the Attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941 led to the collapse of the Silver Legion, Pelley continued to attack the government with a magazine called Roll Call[8], which alarmed Roosevelt, Attorney General Francis Biddle, and the House Un-American Activities Committee. After stating in one issue of Roll Call that the devastation of the Pacific Fleet at Pearl Harbor was worse than the government claimed, Pelley was arrested at his new base of operations in Noblesville, Indiana and charged with high treason and sedition in April 1942. In a much publicized trial, the major charges against Pelley were dropped, but he was sentenced to 15 years imprisonment for the minor charges.
After the long trial, an impoverished Pelley was unable to launch an appeal, and remained in prison until 1950, when his relatives and supporters raised enough money to appeal his case. He was paroled later that year, on the condition that he never engage in political activity again. Pelley subsequently returned to Noblesville, where he founded Soulcraft Press and began publishing metaphysical and political magazines and books once again.
In his political publications, Pelley frequently attacked Roosevelt’s legacy and espoused anti-United Nations, pro-segregation, and antisemitic sentiments. In his final years, Pelley dealt with charges of securities fraud that had been brought against him while he had lived in Asheville. Pelley died on June 30, 1965, at the age of 75 in Noblesville, where he is buried.[9]

Fascist Apocalypse: William Pelley and Millennial Extremism David Lobb, Department of History, Syracuse University
New Age Nazi: The Rise and Fall of Asheville's Flaky Fascist
William Dudley Pelley's 'Challenge To The American Legion' booklet
The Greater Glory a novel by Pelley at archive.org
The Fog a novel a novel by Pelley at archive.org