The Almighty Power of the Vril-Ya!

the-coming-race-vrilThe Coming Race – Edward Bulwer Lytton
P.F. Collier – 1892 (Originally published 1871)
This is the third of Bulwer Lytton’s works that I’ve reviewed here, and in a way it’s the least fitting. While The Haunters and the Haunted and Zanoni both dealt explicitly with the supernatural, The Coming Race or Vril, the Power of the Coming Race, as it was later re-titled, is more of an adventure/early sci-fi novel. So why include it on this blog? Well, despite the fact that it is very clearly a novel, some people have taken it to be literally true, and this short, rather silly book is the origin of several ridiculous conspiracy theories. It played helped popularize the Hollow-Earth theory, and some folks claim that it’s responsible for starting the Second World War.

So let’s take a look at the plot. (Don’t worry; it’s quite boring and reading this won’t ruin the excitement if you do choose to read the novel.) Right at the beginning of the book, the narrator falls down a hole in a cave and ends up in a world within the Earth. Then he bumps into some ‘Vril-Ya’, a race of fascinating but intimidating humanoids, who take him to their house and teach him their language. 70% of the book is taken up with the narrator’s description of these beings’ society, folklore, and language. The Vril-Ya’s technology is powered by a strange energy called Vril that seems to emanate from the creatures themselves. It becomes evident that these creatures’ descendants ended up underground as a result of the flood of Genesis, and so are somewhat human. They are utterly repulsed by the narrator’s accounts of terrestrial humanity and warn him that some day, when the time is right, they will break through the Earth’s crust to eradicate our species. One of the Vril-Ya falls in love with the narrator but decides to take him back up to his own world to prevent the chaos that would surely ensue were they to consummate their relationship.

I actually got through quite a bit of this book with the audio version from librivox. I really enjoyed about the reader’s pronunciation. In the language of the Vril-Ya, females are collectively referred to as ‘the Gyae’, Gyae being pronounced Jie-ay. A single female is a ‘Gy’, and the person reading the audiobook pronounced this as Gee, and I mean Gee with a hard G sound like the one in ‘Goat’ or ‘Game’. This probably won’t seem funny to most people, but any book that uses the word gee to refer to any woman is bound to illicit a few chuckles in certain parts of the world. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, I suggest you read the following quotes from the book to any of your Irish friends and take note of their reactions.

1. “I often think of the young gee as I sit alone at night”
2. “This young gee was a magnificent specimen of the muscular force to which the females of her country attain.”
3. ” the gee would willingly have accepted me, but her parents refused their consent.”

Gees aside, The Coming Race is a bit disappointing. It’s the first novel I’ve read since November, and it made a welcome change to the dry books on mythology I’ve otherwise been reading. I zipped through it so quickly that I didn’t realize that the plot was going nowhere until I had very nearly finished it. This book is more of a snapshot of an imaginary society than a story about members of that society.

Surely the author had a reason for writing an adventure novel that contained minimal adventure. If not meant to thrill its readers, perhaps The Coming Race was meant to educate them. What message was Lytton trying to convey with his depiction of a race of subterranean super-humans? Let’s take a moment to  recapitulate what we know about the Vril-Ya.
1. They are superior, mentally and physically, to the rest of humankind; i.e., they are super-humans.
2. They will some day rise up from the underground and exterminate all lower forms of human life.
3. They are “descended from the same ancestors as the Great Aryan family”.
Could Bulwer Lytton have predicted the rise of Nazi Germany in 1871???

Well if he didn’t predict it, he very possibly influenced it. His idea of Vril, a manipulable occult energy, coincided with theosophical notions of the late 1800s, and it’s certain that some people did take his ideas more seriously then they should have. In Morning of the Magicians, Pauwels and Bergier popularized the idea that one of these theosophical groups went on to become the Thule Society, a real group of occultists that were inextricably linked with the Nazi party. Odd as this may sound at first, it’s really not that hard to accept. The Nazis were definitely influenced by strange groups of occultists, and Lytton had been incredibly successful as a writer of popular fiction, fiction that was, as I have already discussed, taken a little too seriously by the European mystics of the time.

So if this book did influence the Nazis, what kind of influence did it have? If it had any effect, I would imagine it was quite small, serving perhaps as mere affirmation of the things that these crazies already believed. But there are those who claim that Vril had a much larger effect on WWII. One story goes that there was a German secret society that used sex magic and other diabolical practices to attain the Vril force. Apparently, some of its members did actually attain this power and used it to communicate with aliens from the Aldebaran Solar System. These aliens, not knowing that the Nazis were evil, sent back instructions on how to make spaceships, and the Nazis started building and using flying-saucers to win the war. Unfortunately for them, the Aldebaran aliens found out that they were the bad guys, and they cut their communication lines. The medium that the aliens had been communicating through, one Maria Orsic, went missing soon thereafter, and there is a lot of speculation about whether she was assassinated by an angry Nazi or abducted and taken to a planet near Aldebaran.

Think about that, the Vril force went from under the Earth’s crust to out of the Earth’s solar system. The only thing that’s missing in this conspiracy is some mention of the Holy Grail. But wait, we know that Otto Rahn, the Nazi Indiana Jones, spent years searching for the Holy Grail, and didn’t he claim that the Grail was a powerful force rather than a Chalice? Is Vril power the Holy Grail? I’m going to have to look into that.

Despite The Coming Race‘s relative crumminess, I know I’ll be referencing it again soon. In the meantime, give it a read; it’s short enough that you probably won’t feel like you’ve wasted your time reading it.

Wicca vs. Trump and Voodoo vs. Hitler

I don’t normally write about politics, but here we go. There has been a bunch of recent articles (BBC, FoxNews, DailyMail…) about groups of witches casting spells to get rid of Donald Trump. Personally, I think that Trump is a piece of shit and that his administration is a pack of horrible cunts, but I don’t have a very high opinion of  unkempt, dreadlocked wiccans either.  And imagine the chaos that would ensue if their spell actually worked. Congress would round up every goth with a triangle tattoo and burn them at the stake. I think that American witches would do well to draw as little attention to themselves as possible for the next four years.

Anyways, putting hexes on fascist dictators is really nothing new. In 1941, Willie Seabrook and friends attempted to kill Adolf Hitler with voodoo. I found the full Life Magazine article about the ritual online, and I’ve uploaded it here for you.

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hitler-voodoo-6Pretty cool, huh?

Dracula vs Hitler

thebargainfrontcoverThe Bargain – Jon Ruddy
Knightsbridge – 1990
Although it’s disguised as a novel, Jon Ruddy’s The Bargain is likely the most historically accurate account of the sinister proceedings that brought an end to the second world war that has ever been published. This is the true story of how Count Dracula used an army of vampire whores to bring and end to Third Reich.

It took me approximately one minute to order a copy of this book after seeing an image of its cover online. I don’t regret my purchase. The cover is phenomenal, and the book itself is actually fairly enjoyable. There’s lots of sex, swearing and gore, and it really wouldn’t be fair to expect anything more from a book with that cover. To use Ann Radcliffe‘s distinction, this book is very much a horror novel rather than a tale of terror, and sometimes some straight forward horror is just what I need.
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Dracula never died, but he got really annoyed when Hitler invaded Romania, so he  made a bunch of vampire prostitutes and got them to fuck/infect/kill German soldiers. This is very much a Dracula versus Hitler story, and while that is obviously super cool, I was hoping that it would be more of a Dracula and Hitler (up a tree) story. I feel like that these boys would probably like each other, and instead of reading about their rivalry, I’d prefer to see them going out for a beer together. Holy shit, imagine how entertaining it would be if Dracula and Hitler had a weekly podcast where they just shared their stories and opinions. I mean, it would be evil as fuck, but I would definitely listen to it.

I had a fairly similar complaint when I read Dennis Wheatley’s They Used Dark Forces.  That book is about Hitler and black magic, but the dark forces in question are largely being used against Hitler. If I’m reading a novel about Hitler, I want him to be the main bad guy. I want to read allegations of him being a vampire or a black magician. I want a book that explains how Adolf Hitler would drink the blood of a virgin, then sprout wings and fly into the night sky to pay homage to Lucifer, his lord and master. If anyone knows if such a book exists, please let me know!

This book was still pretty sweet though. Read it.

Who is the Duke De Richleau?

It may come as surprise to some of you, but I am neither French nor a Duke. Le Duc De Richleau is the hero in a collection of 11 novels by Dennis Wheatley. For all of the philistines reading my blog, Wheatley was a prolific author of trashy adventure novels. Most of his books were spy novels, but he was also a self proclaimed expert on the occult, and some of his books, 2 of which I have already reviewed, deal with black magic. The Duke De Richleau series contains 3 Black Magic novels, including The Devil Rides Out, perhaps Wheatley’s most famous book.


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The Devil Rides Out
Hutchinson and Co – 1972 (Originally published 1934)
It’s been a long time since I read this one, but I remember it well enough to know that you don’t need an in-depth review to decide whether or not you should read it. This book is about Satanists, pentagrams, rituals, goats, spells, and demons. If you know that much and don’t want to read this, you’re a piece of shit. This is definitely one of the best places to start if you haven’t read any Wheatley before. The movie is deadly too, but for the love of Satan, read the book first.
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My copy of Devil Rides Out is a fancy hardback reissue. Some of these have illustrations.

 

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Strange Conflict
Arrow – 1981 (Originally published 1941)
Unlike the other two books in this post, I read this one last week, so it’s still fairly fresh in my memory. This was an enjoyable entry to the series, but it’s a pretty bad book. It sees the Duke and his mates being hired to discover how Nazi U-Boats have been successfully figuring out the trade routes of English ships. Using astral-projection, the Duke figures out that the Nazis are getting their info from an evil Voodoo priest in Haiti. Ok; Voodoo Nazis, sounds great right? Well yeah, that is super cool, but let’s just think about the idea of using astral projection as a means of espionage for a moment. Astral projection gives the Duke the ability to leave his body and go anywhere in the world. The book starts off with him sitting in his apartment in London as the city is being bombed to shit. WHY THE FUCK DID HE WAIT 2 YEARS TO START SPIRIT-SPYING? Why did he not volunteer to start sleep-creeping the Nazis as soon as they entered Poland? Also, out of the Duke’s team of friends, 3 out of the 5 are able to astrally project themselves. If 60% of people can do so, why the fuck were the British government so fucking slow to organize a full-on Astral attack on Germany? It doesn’t make any sense.

Anyways, as soon as they figure out that the bad guy is in Haiti, they decide to head over to kill him in his sleep. I have mentioned elsewhere that Wheatley was not one to be concerned with cultural or political sensitivity, and a trip to Haiti provides several lolworthy examples. This was written in 1941, so the author’s use of the term Jap is excusable, but referring to the “Jap” character as a “dirty little yellow rat” might be a bit much for the modern reader. Failing that, the description of the Haitian natives is sure to offend:
“Those coloured bums have just no powers of organisation at all and it’s like one big tropical slum. If it weren’t for the climate and the masses of fruit that can be had just for the plucking the whole darned lot of them would have starved to death long ago… The niggers live in little more than tents made from tying a few banana palms together.”  There’s another thoroughly unpleasant passage describing the parents of a missing teenager whose corpse has just been found in the hospital; “The man and woman were Mulattoes… The woman was a characterless bag of fat which appeared to have been poured into the good-quality silk dress that restrained her ample figure”.
He also refers to one of the black characters as a “wooglie”, although I’m not entirely sure whether or not that’s a racial slur. (My guess is that it probably is.) To top it all off, the book ends in an amazing proclamation on the superiority of the Anglo-Saxon race.

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Mr Wheatley, you charmer!

I’ve mentioned elsewhere that I don’t mind reading racist books as long as I’m not giving money to the author. In this case, the author is long dead, and I buy these books second hand. However, the most recent editions of Wheatley’s novels have been abridged, and the horrible racism and misogyny have been removed. This is utterly infuriating. It’s not that the publishers want to prevent the spread of racist ideas; it’s that they want to make Wheatley more palatable to the tumblr generation. Fuck that; if you buy a book about Nazi devil-worshippers but get offended by fictional characters’ racism, you need to kill yourself immediately. Yes, Wheatley was a shit, but if you can’t read a book by a person that you might not like in real life, you’re a stupid fucking loser. If you come across something in a book that makes you uncomfortable, think critically and learn from the experience. Censorship of literature is immoral, and anyone who begs to differ can go and help themselves to a hearty swig of bleach.

The rest of this book is standard Wheatley fare; chases, rituals, beautiful but enchanted young women, demons, the works… The ending involves a bit of the old deus ex machina, and I got the feeling that ol’ Dennis might have been making it up as he went along. I wouldn’t recommend this one as a starting point for his work, but it’s worth a read if you like this kind of garbage.

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Gateway to Hell
Arrow – 1974 (Originally published 1970)

I don’t remember much about this one to be honest. It definitely wasn’t as good as Devil Rides Out, but I gave it 5/5 stars on goodreads, so it was obviously thoroughly enjoyable. More diddies on the cover too; can’t go wrong like.

Overall, Wheatley’s writing is bad (He admitted so himself), his plots are silly, and a lot of his ideas are liable to trigger you into oblivion, but I really love his books. There’s something comic-booky about them, and I like to treat myself to one in between heavier stuff. These are just the Black Magic novels from the Duke De Richleau series, and I’ll probably review the others at some stage too.

Morning of the Magicians – Louis Pauwels and Jacques Bergier

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Dorset Press – 1988

This one is utterly moronic. I’m no stranger to idiotic books, and I have a fairly high threshold for reading garbage, but this one was seriously stupid. It was made particularly disappointing by the fact that I actually spent quite a while trying to track down an affordable copy. I always knew it was going to be fairly bullshitty, and so I decided that anything more than 15 dollars would be too much. It took me five separate orders over the course of two years to actually get my hands on this thing. Three times the bookseller had already sold their copy and not updated their stock online, and one copy got lost in the post. When this nice hardback edition arrived, I was delighted.

The delight was not to last.

Why was I so determined to own a copy of this book? Well, this one was actually fairly popular when it was published (this edition boasts “Over 800,000 copies sold!” on the back cover), and a lot of the silly ideas in here went on to influence other silly writers. I kept seeing its title pop up in other books and articles. It has been claimed that this is the source for the main concept in Erich Von Däniken’s work. Also, a large part of this book focuses on Nazi occultism, and Nicholas Goodrick-Clarke spends a few pages of his book talking about how fucking stupid this one is. On top of that, I had read that this book was influenced directly by the writings of Lovecraft, and while it is only mentioned briefly in Colin Wilson’s The Occult, it becomes apparent after reading it that it had a pretty big influence on his thinking. I didn’t really have a choice; I had to read this one.

So, the main idea of the book is that human beings are on the brink of the next stage of our mental evolution. Pauwels and Bergier believe that the scientific method has run its course, and any major future developments will be based on something other than logical reasoning. Being sensible is holding us back from reaching our potential. Their idea is to use their imaginations to come up with absurd nonsense, and maybe that nonsense will actually be true. T.C. Lethbridge used this exact approach in his book, the topic of which fits in perfectly with the ideas of Pauwels and Bergier. The authors title this approach ‘Fantastic Realism’. I think another, more accurate, way of describing this approach would be ‘simpletonism’.

They talk about how difficult it will be for the masses to adapt to this new approach. You might find it hard to imagine a modern society radically changing its system of beliefs over a short period of time. The authors’ response to this is ingenious. They claim, ‘ If Nazi Germany did it, we can too!’ Honestly, I think they must have been planning to write two different books and ended up throwing all of their material together to reach a word-count or deadline or something. The Nazi stuff takes up about one third of the book, but its function is limited to serving as a bad example of what the authors want to achieve: a society in which people ignore common-sense and listen to the most mental dopes in all the land.

My favourite part of the book was the authors’ theory on mutants. Pauwels and Bergier believe that while nuclear radiation definitely has negative effects on some people, it probably also has positive effects on others. Sure, it melts some people’s skin off and causes cancer and sterilization, but what’s to say that it doesn’t also create super humans? Back in a few minutes guys, I’m just going to go stick my head in the microwave and become one of the X-men! They give a description of one such super human: “He is now superior to us; his thought no longer plods – it flies… Such a man would have absolutely no interest in trying to communicate with us, nor would he seek to dazzle us by trying to explain the enigmas of light, or the secrets of genes… This man would be above and beyond humanity. He could only communicate to advantage with minds of his own.”  I would be surprised if Alan Moore hadn’t based Dr. Manhattan from Watchmen on that specific paragraph.

This book discusses Lovecraft, Arthur Machen, aliens, the Nazis and mutants, so you know that there’s going to be some good stuff in here. Unfortunately, all of the juicy bits are (a) not particularly enlightening and (b) surrounded by pages and pages of wank. It’s a long book, and I was only able to stomach a few pages a day. In fairness though, I probably would have enjoyed it a little more if I hadn’t come across its ideas in so many other texts. It would be a good place to start if you wanted to begin researching the ridiculous and inane. Otherwise, your life is almost definitely going to be better if you don’t read this imbecilic pile of crap. I bought two other books by Pauwels and Bergier before this one actually arrived, but I’m going to give myself a break before I torture myself with them.

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I’m going to have nightmares about having to read these.

WAS HITLER A SATANIST?

nazi
Well it’s Hitler’s birthday, so here’s a post about occult Nazism. I’m going to review three books:

The Occult Roots of Nazism – Nicholas Goodrick-Clarke
NYU Press – 1992

They Used Dark Forces – Dennis Wheatley
Hutchinson & Co. Ltd (I think) – 1964

Theozoology – Jorg Lanz Von Liebenfelz
Europa House (PDF version) – 2004

The Occult Roots of Nazism
First off, The Occult Roots of Nazism is a pretty serious book. It’s well researched and well written. It’s very academic though, and it’s interesting in a historical way rather than a spooky way. To tell the truth, my main reason for buying this book was because Danzig owns a copy.

It turns out that some of the Nazi party’s beliefs had their roots in odd theosophical mysticism. The Nazis’ notion of Aryan supremacy might have been affected by some weird old men’s nutty ideas about Atlantis. I can accept that the Nazi’s ideas were affected by these nutty ideas, but it’s certainly not fair to blame the Holocaust solely on the  fantasies of a few occultists. In fairness though, the author never suggests any such thing; this really isn’t a bullshitty book. Goodrick-Clarke goes into a huge amount of detail to support his claims, and a lot of this book is very boring. I’d imagine it to have been a very difficult book to write, and I respect the author’s self restraint and ability to stick with the dry facts. The temptation to exaggerate would definitely have gotten the better of me.

The occultism herein is mostly quite boring to be honest. It’s mostly new-agey garbage; runes, theosophy and that kind of nonsense. If you’re hoping for accusations of Satanic pacts, this book will disappoint. The stuff about Von Liebenfelz is quite interesting, but we’ll get to that later on.

Overall I’ll give this book a 6/10. It’s good, but it’s not entirely to my tastes. If you’re a history student writing about this kind of stuff, this would be an extremely useful resource, but if you’re a gobshite like me who likes reading stupid books about the devil, this might not be entirely satisfying.

They Used Dark Forces
I hadn’t yet read They Used Dark Forces when I came up with the idea for this post, but I had read Goodrick-Clarke’s book. I thought it would be a fun to contrast Goodrick-Clarke’s very academic work with a trashy Dennis Wheatley novel. To my disappointment, They Used Dark Forces is actually a very well researched piece of historical fiction, with only a little gratuitous black magic thrown in for fun. But what I found most disappointing was the fact that the ‘They’ in the title doesn’t refer to the Nazis. It’s actually the novel’s protagonist, Gregory Sallust, and his mate Malacou that do be using the dark forces herein.

I love Dennis Wheatley novels, and you can be sure that this isn’t going to be the last of his works reviewed on this blog, but I have to admit, this book wasn’t great. At least one third of it is just a factual account of different events and characters of the second world war. Wheatley was actually involved in the war, and he clearly knows what he’s talking about, but I don’t read his novels for history lessons.

This book portrays Hitler as having an interest in the occult, but the only real satanist in the novel is actually a Jew. Wheatley doesn’t seem particularly anti-Semitic in any of his other works that I have read, and he never suggests that all Jews are Satanists in this book, but it did strike me as a little insensitive to villainize the only Jewish character in a narrative that largely unfolds in a concentration camp. I wasn’t particularly offended by his representation of the Jews; I was just disappointed that he didn’t use this book as an opportunity to make up silly stories about Hitler being a wizard.

Although not overtly anti-Semitic, the book does contain some good old-fashioned homophobia and misogyny. The most evil of all the books characters, Herr Obergruppenführer Grauber, is a fat homosexual who has a kinky bdsm room in his apartment, and there’s a particularly hilarious instance when a character expresses his attraction to a young woman by saying, “If I’d been ten years younger I’d have taken her off you and smacked her bottom myself.” I don’t think that Wheatley’s lack of cultural sensitivity detracts from his work; I find it hilarious. I only mention it as a warning to any nerds who are considering reading this work who might get upset.

So what about the dark forces? Well there’s lots of numerology, astrology and palm-reading in here, but there’s only one truly diabolic act in the whole book. This despicable blasphemy occurs early on too, and I was left waiting for more for the remainder of the book. The single atrocity committed is particularly nasty though, and it really seems out of place in terms of the characters involved and the general tone of the novel. There’s a brief reprisal of diabolism later on when Malacou suggests the performance of another ritual in honor of the Dark Lord. Gregory’s response to this suggestion is utterly priceless; “You filthy Satanist. Get to hell where you belong.” Good man, Gregory. That’ll surely teach him the error of this ways.

In general, this book was disappointing. Wheatley’s novels are fun, but they’re absolute trash. If I’m going to read trash, I need it to be at least 50% satanic. This novel was only 15% satanic, so the highest rating I can give it is 5/10. Read it if you like Wheatley, but don’t use it at a starting point to get into this writing.

To add insult to injury, my copy of the book doesn’t even a cool cover. Dennis Wheatley novels usually have awesome covers, and most other editions of this book have cool satanic swasticas on their covers. I got a lame plain red hardback version.coverswheatley
Spot the dud.

Theozoology, or The Science of the Sodomite Apelings and the Divine Electron
(An introduction to the most ancient and modern philosophy and a  justification of the monarchy and the nobility.)
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Well aside from having the greatest title of any book in the history of the world, this is also one of the funniest books that I have ever read. I usually only review books that I own, but the only copies of this that I have found have been printed versions of the .pdf version that I found online that some jackass is selling online for ridiculous money. I’m happy to stick with an electronic copy anyways, as I don’t want to be giving money to anybody who takes this nonsense seriously enough to translate and publish it.

I first heard of this book in Goodrick-Clarke’s book and had to track it down. Jorg Lanz Von Liebenfelz was cuckoo. In this book, he argues that a race of bizarre, homosexual ape-monsters have been fucking things up for the Aryan God-race since the beginning of time. Pretty much everything bad that has happened has been caused entirely by these malicious monkey-men. You might think that sounds unlikely, but Lanz uses the Bible to provide evidence for his claims, so he was almost definitely right.

I read this about a year ago, and I can’t honestly remember the specific arguments that Lanzy puts forth. I don’t think that matters though, they’re far too silly to discuss. I’m going to just copy a few quotations in here so you get a general idea of how amusing this book can be.
Lanz gives an interesting account of the origins of crucifixion:
The “crucifixion” consisted of binding wild and unruly Sodomite monsters to poles in order to be able to copulate with them without danger. (cf. Job XL.24 Thren. V, 13). On the other hand, however, people were bound to such poles in order to have them sodomized by lascivious apelings. This was the torture to which early Christians were put (pastor Hermae III,2) and that was also the torture of Jesus.
So originally, regular people used to tie the apelings up to bum them, and they’d also tie up criminals to let them get bummed by the apelings.

There’s more details on Jesus’ ordeal later on; “Christ was to be outraged by the Sodomite hobgoblins. If he consented to this willingly and if he was overcome by temptation, then his whole mission would have been dashed.” Poor Jesus – nailed to a cross and then expected to resist the temptation of getting bummed by a hobgoblin. That’s rough.

I’m not entirely sure why, but this diagram and its description made me laugh until I was in tears.
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an image from Pompeii shows us three such ugly hobgoblins travelling on a barge.
Von Liebenfelz thought that both this image and the phrase ‘ugly hobgoblins’ were appropriate to use in a ‘scientific study’ that would justify the supremacy of the Aryan race. It looks like it was drawn by a toddler. What the fuck Lanz?

Apparently people took this seriously though. It’s difficult to understand how; this book is illogical, offensive, confused and yet hilarious. It’s too mad to rate. Read it for a laugh; it’s no good for anything else.

The Illuminatus! Trilogy – Robert Shea and Robert Anton Wilson

Robinson – 1998
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This is one of my favourite books. It combines the writing styles of Joyce, Lovecraft and William S. Burroughs in a narrative about sex, mythology, aliens, drugs, Nazis, the mafia, rock’n’roll, magick, Abrahamic religions, satanism and conspiracy theories: it ticks all my boxes.

The plot is difficult, and it’s pretty easy to get  the characters mixed up with each other. After a while though, you realize that this is part of the point of the book. The book is about conspiracies, and all conspiracies bleed into each other in some way. Everything in here effects everything else that’s going on. It’s similar to Ulysses in the way that it requires a great deal of engagement from the reader to make sense of what is happening. In a way, the reader almost becomes a character in the book; just as the characters fall victim to Operation Mindfuck, so too does the reader. If you put any kind of effort into reading this book, it will fuck with your mind.

It’s a pain in the arse at times though. It’s bloody long, and parts of it are fairly tedious. It’s actually three books in one: The Eye in the Pyramid, The Golden Apple and Leviathan. Apparently it was originally going to be 500 pages longer, but the publisher demanded it be abridged. I took about two weeks to get through the whole thing as it stands, and that involved reading for a few hours every day and listening to the audiobook version until I feel asleep. I spent so much time with this book that it started to affect both my dreams and waking thoughts. Every time I encountered any kind of small coincidence during the two weeks it took to read, I imagined that I had just stumbled upon a clue that would eventually lead me to some drastic cover-up.

It actually happened that I took a break from reading this book to watch a documentary on the JFK assassination theories. (Yeah, I get pretty hung up on things when I’m excited.) When I woke up the next morning, I found that my mother had emailed me a picture of herself with a statue of JFK in Wexford, Ireland. I was deeply disturbed by this, and I momentarily suspected my mother of being involved in the assassination.

I have a weird thing with JFK anyways. I remember waking up one morning about two years ago with the Misfits’ song “Bullet” stuck in my head. (It’s a song about the assassination.) I made sure to put the song on my phone before I left for work, and I allowed myself to listen to it twice on the bus into work. (I remember it specifically, because listening to a song twice in a row is a rare indulgence for me.) I got into work and checked the news, as is my custom. Well, lo and behold; there was Johnny in the headlines! It turns out that it was the 22nd of November, 2013: the 50 year anniversary of the JFK assassination.

“The more frequently one uses the word ‘coincidence’ to explain bizarre happenings, the more obvious it becomes that one is not seeking, but evading the real explanation.” Or, shorter: “The belief in coincidence is the prevalent superstition of the age of science.”
The Eye in the Pyramid  (p. 296)

It’s too much to think that these events were just coincidence. I firmly believe that the ghost of JFK is trying to communicate with me to explain what really happened in Dallas. Johnny, if you’re reading this, please don’t give up on me. I am ready to accept your secrets.

Anyways, this is a great book. It’s funny, clever and extremely entertaining. It takes a bit of work, but I thought it was definitely worth it. 8/10.