Unseen Beings, Unseen Worlds – Tom Dongo

1Hummingbird Publishing – 1994

This is a real piece of work. Somewhere in the introduction or the first chapter, Tom Dongo claims to be an extremely skeptical individual who is unwilling to accept anything that he hasn’t been able to prove to himself. He then goes on to write a book about his personal experiences with remote-viewing, aliens, the astral plane, demons, telepathy, reptilians, ghosts, channeling, and banshees. One has to wonder what counts as proof in his mind.

I’ve read lots of books about stupid topics that were written by what seemed to be relatively intelligent authors. (I would have imagined that the sillier the topic, the smarter the author would have to be to convince a publisher to put out their work.) Take Preparing for Contact as an example. It is utterly stupid, but the author managed to sculpt all of that stupid into an impressively cohesive whole. Psychic Discoveries Behind the Iron Curtain is a truly moronic nightmare, but the authors had clearly done a huge amount of scholarly research. Unseen Beings, Unseen Worlds lacks any traces of cohesion or intelligence. The author is an ignorant, arrogant fool of a man who has absolutely no ability to make sense. This is proof that anyone can write a book; it’s just a bunch of ridiculous ideas that popped into the head of a stupid weirdo.

2Ned Flanders… Wait, sorry, I mean Tom Dongo

Mr. Diddleyongo is of the opinion that many cases of mental illness are actually just cases of possession. He believes wholeheartedly in leprechauns. He claims that he can leave his body and travel around the universe. He often talks to spirits from different planets and dimensions. The man is a fucking imbecile.

Imbecile he may be, but stupidity isn’t a crime; the really irritating thing about Tom is the way that he talks about himself. He’s a know-it-all plonker. But, this isn’t really a book about the paranormal; it’s a book about Tom Dongo’s imagination. The ironic, and perhaps most infuriating, thing about this piece of rubbish is that the second chapter begins with the sentence; “I think I have read or am aware of just about every paranormal, esoteric, spiritual, and metaphysical book in print and many that are out of print.” The arrogance of that statement really put me in a foul mood when I read it. I would imagine that Tom’s reading was probably limited to whatever books were on the paranormal shelf in his local library.

I was going to go on and talk more trash about Tom Dongo, but after some consideration, I have concluded that he probably has some kind of mental impairment, and so it’s not really fair to make fun of him. I don’t think that a healthy, normal person would be willing to publish anything this cringe-worthy and idiotic.

3My copy is signed by the author too! Aren’t you jealous?

 

Foucault’s Pendulum – Umberto Eco

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Ballantine – 1990 (Originally published in Italian in 1988)

Most of the books that I review here are either too shit or too enjoyable to be clever. This one however, while it is rather enjoyable, is a rather astute piece of writing.

The plot is surprisingly simple. I’ll outline it in a way that won’t ruin the story for you: 3 book nerds, for a laugh, decide to patch together a ridiculous conspiracy theory. After a short while, they, and others, start to take their conspiracy too seriously and things get fairly messed up. That’s it. But if that’s the whole story, why is the book 500+ pages long? Well, Eco goes into detail, a LOT of detail, on the conspiracy that his characters are creating.

While the book is filled with interesting facts from what must have been an absolutely enormous amount of research, it’s not so much the conspiracies that are of interest as it is the psychology and biology of conspiracies and arcane ‘knowledge’. To put it another way, this is not a book about conspiracy theories in the same way that the Da Vinci Code is; this is a book about how conspiracy theories work. (Eco, when asked if he had read the Da Vinci Code, claimed that Dan Brown was one of the characters in this book.) While this book will satisfy readers of conspiracy fiction by mixing and matching their favourite secret societies and magicians, it will also force that reader to contemplate how silly most conspiracies really are. The way Eco engages with conspiracies only to end up making fun of them is really tactful. He never denies that they’re fun and interesting, indeed he would have had to have been a severe masochist to have thought that and written this book, but ultimately, he gives very little credence to any of them. Ah Umberto, a man after my own heart!

I really enjoyed this book. The subject matter is precisely the kind of crap that I like reading about, and the characters were great too. It does get a little heavy on the details at times, and I’d recommend having a decent understanding of who the Rosicrucians, Gnostics, and Templars were before you start. If you do decide to read it and feel like you’re getting bogged down in the details of the eclipse that occurred during the 14th birthday party of the blind translator of a coded manuscript detailing the fate of an obscure heretical sect from Southern France, you can probably just skim through those paragraphs without missing out on crucial plot details.

The book opens with the narrator snooping around the National Conservatory of Arts and Crafts in Paris. He has an appointment at midnight under the Foucault Pendulum housed therein, and he is trying to find a place to hide where he will not be noticed by the security guards as they are closing up. When I discovered that my University also houses a Foucault Pendulum, I determined to recreate that scene to the best of my ability.

I waited until the 23rd of June, the same day that the book’s narrator goes to see the pendulum in the Conservatoire. Unfortunately, I found it very difficult to sneak effectively, as there were very few people around to be suspicious of me. Regardless of this, I surreptitiously tip-toed into the building, constantly casting glances behind me in the hopes that I was being trailed. When I got to the pendulum, Disaster! Somebody else was standing there looking at it. I contemplated asking if he was there for the same reason as myself, but in the interests of my own personal safety (and dignity), I decided against doing so. I pretended that I wasn’t interested in the pendulum; I walked straight by it, exited the building, and bought a cup of coffee in a nearby cafe. I waited maybe 10 minutes and returned. The coast was clear, so I took the following video and ran for it.

I fear they may have seen me leave the campus. I am in hiding now, but I know that they will find me eventually. All I can do is wait. I might as well sit here and look out the window at the willow tree in the garden outside.

It’s so beautiful.

 

Edgar Cayce on Atlantis – Edgar Evans Cayce

20160509_204712Warner Books – 1968

This is one of the stupidest, shittest books that I have ever read. I started reading it in February, but school got busy and I gave up on it. Things have eased up a bit recently, and I saw this piece of garbage lying on my shelf, mocking me and boasting to my other books that it been victorious in clogging my bullshit filter. “No!”, I said, “I shall not be defeated!” I picked up the book with renewed vigor, and forced myself to wade through 170 pages of handicap.

Edgar Cayce was a lad from America who claimed he was a psychic. I watched a shite documentary on him once, and I wasn’t very impressed. He would pretend to be asleep and then diagnose people’s diseases. He also gave people information about their past lives and that kind of crap. Somehow, I have amassed a small collection of books about him, but after reading this one, I imagine it will be quite a while until I read any more of them.

20160509_204445.jpgMy Cayce Collection

God, even thinking about explaining what this book is about is making me feel embarrassed. Reflecting on the fact that I knowingly spent several hours of my life reading a book by an idiot about an idiot for a bunch of idiots is making me think that I ought to find a new hobby.

So the idea here is that 12,000+ years ago, Atlantis was an island inhabited by spirits. The spirits wanted to interact with the physical stuff on the island, so they entered into living bodies. Or maybe they created the bodies; I can’t quite remember. Either way, these living bodies were not quite human; some had animal parts. Then, after a bit, some of the weird creatures turned greedy and a split occurred. Half of them remained sound, but half of them turned bad. The bad ones were called the ‘Sons of Belial’, and the good ones were called …something else; I’ll be fucked if I’m reopening the book to find out. So the two factions went at each other, and Atlantis was destroyed. The lads took off, probably in their nuclear powered flying machines, and a bunch of them ended up in Egypt.

When they got to Egypt, there were so many Atlanteans that the Egyptians didn’t know what to do. Somebody came up with the idea of bringing back RaTa. Now, RaTa, for those of you who weren’t aware, was a high priest who had been banished from Egypt. Anyways, RaTa was a bit of a genius too, and he managed to help the Atlanteans assimilate into Egyptian culture. This is how probably how the Egyptians learned about pyramid power and all of that shit. Oh yeah, I forgot to mention; RaTa, the diplomat, outcast, high-priest and all round hero of the story, was actually a previous incarnation of Edgar Cayce himself.  I can’t remember if the book ever mentions why he had been banished from Egypt. I personally suspect that it was for molesting young boys.

This book is a piece of dirt, fouling up my bookshelf. I started off reading it on the toilet, but I found that it gave me constipation. I’ll never read it again. Edgar Cayce was a stupid bastard.

Communion – Whitley Strieber

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Avon – 1988

Wow, what an utterly ridiculous book. Although the accounts herein are presented as fact, this book is often listed as fiction. Fiction or not, it’s not a plot driven book, and I feel that the most appropriate way to review it will be to paraphrase the entire text:

“My name is Whitley Strieber, and this book is an account of my abduction experiences. Twice in the year of 1985, I was taken from my bed by a gang of little men who then took me to a weird room in a crystal in the sky and stuck an ugly pipe into my crapper. That’s right folks. I was abducted, and the things that took me decided to jam a piece of their technology into my rectum; the alien contraption punctured my wrinkled rim and ruptured my shite-filled poobag. The dirty little bowsies were collecting a sample of my gick! [You might find it peculiar that anyone would want Whitley Strieber’s shit, but in fairness, Communion has sold 2 million copies!] Oh yeah, there was another weird lifeform in the crystal too. It looked like an insect, and it raped me. Well, I say rape, but I was actually pretty hard at the time! Can you blame me?

After this happened, I decided not to jump to any conclusions. I did however, start hanging out with Budd Hopkins, the UFO abduction expert. He recommended that I go see a hypnotherapist. I took heed of this good advice, and the hypnotherapist proved to me that I had actually been abducted a bunch of times throughout my life. He reminded me of the time that I built a rocket engine in my bedroom when I was a little kid. The aliens had told me how to make it, but afterwards they decided that I shouldn’t have that information so they burned down my parents house. How did I forget that? Silly me!

I’ve used the word ‘aliens’ a few times, but I’m not actually sure that it’s  spacemen who are abducting me. I’ve no real reason to believe that they’re from another planet. They might just be elves or fairies. Whatever though, they probed my asshole and I got the shag; I hope they come back soon!

At this point, I don’t really have much else to say, but I feel like I can probably write another 150 pages or so. I suppose I’ll just fill up space with eventless interview transcripts and a ton of mystical speculation. Fuck it, yeah, I’ll just make allusions to mythical figures and tarot cards, and my book will get really popular with brainless, new-age morons. They’ll ignore the fact that nothing in this book is remotely compelling, and they’ll all think that I’m really smart.”

That’s pretty much the entire book, although I’m not quite sure I’ve captured the arrogance of Strieber’s tone. It really surprises me that something this utterly trashy could be taken seriously by anyone.

I also watched the film version of Communion with Christopher Walken playing Strieber. I have to say that this was one of the few cases in which I far preferred the movie to the book. The film has pretty bad ratings according to what I have seen, but I thought it was as good a movie as could possibly be made of this rag. There’s something really awkward about the whole film, and the special effects are bizarrely bad. It mostly follows the book’s plot, but it gets fucking weird towards the end. The most bizarre scenes almost feel like a satire on the most bullshitty parts of the text. In fact, part of the reason that I liked the movie so much was that it felt like it was making fun of the book; you could watch the film and argue that it depicts nothing more than a dysfunctional family’s bizarre descent into hysteria.

There’s a story that Strieber saw Walken’s depiction of him and told the actor that he was playing the character too crazy. Walken allegedly responded, ‘If the shoe fits…’ I have liked Christopher Walken as an actor for a long time, but if that story is true, he is truly a king amoungst men.

The book was shit, but I enjoyed reading it. I have the sequel, Transformation, and I’m sure I’ll get around to reading that one too. If you do read the book, make sure to watch the film. I’m not sure if the film would be as enjoyable if you hadn’t read the book, but if you’ve made it this far through my review, you have all the information you need. (Although I still think it might take reading the 350 pages of the book to be able to really savour the embarrassment that the film must have caused Strieber.)

School is a nightmare at the moment, and posts will definitely be slow for the next couple of months, but I have some serious gems coming in the post that you are going to want to read about.

The Dark Side of Freemasonry – Ed Decker

Huntington House Publishers – 1994

About 20 years ago, a bunch of evangelical christians met up somewhere in the backwards part of the southern US and had a symposium on the evils of Freemasonry. Most of the attendees were former masons, mormons and muslims; the kind of people who jump ship at the drop of a hat. This book collects the speeches that they gave. A lot of it is the kind of thing you’d expect (“Freemasons worship the Devil!” stuff). Other chapters are outright ludicrous (Freemasons are trying to destroy the US education system!), and one of them is a fairly interesting account of famous occultists and their links and opinions on masonry.

2015-12-05 00.37.24
(If anyone can fill me in on the relevance of ‘The Wayfaring Man’ within Masonic ritual, it would be greatly appreciated. I own the above copy of a book with that title by George Estes. It was published in 1922, and it’s very definitely a Masonic text. I don’t want to read it until I have some context.)

I’m not a Freemason, and I don’t feel any great desire to defend Masonry, but most of this book is silly nonsense. Several of the papers claim that most Freemasons aren’t aware of the occult influence on their organisation because they never bother to read the literature. I’m not interested in refuting this claim, but I found it hilarious to see christians criticising others for blindly accepting dogma without having read the literature.  Have you seen that awesome video of christians reading passages from the Bible for the first time and being repulsed?

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Whoever owned this book before me took it pretty seriously. They seemed to have been upset by this image of Baphomet. Also pictured is the bookmark that was hidden inside when I bought the book. I looked it up, and the christian bookstore it came from has shut down. Yipeeee!

Yeah, this book was crap. I only read it because I don’t want to get into anything too interesting while I’m in school. It came with the two books from my last blog post, and I promise it will be the last christian book that I review for a while. I got a great haul of books off craigslist the other day, and I’m hoping to read a few of those over the christmas break. Oh, and before I forget to mention it, I’ve created a facebook page so that people without a wordpress account can stay updated on this blog. The link is here and also in the menu in the top right. Give it a like if you’re so inclined.

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The X-Files Haul
A guy was selling most of his book collection on craigslist, and I nabbed these absolute classics for a measly 8 bucks. I had to take three buses to get out to meet him in front of a drugstore in the middle of nowhere, but it was totally worth the opportunity to pretend I was Mulder meeting up with some shady character to obtain esoteric information.

A History of Secret Societies – Arkon Daraul

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Citadel – 1997

I’m not really interested in secret societies. There’s a few interesting ones, but they’re mostly pretty boring. A few months ago,  I saw this book for sale on craigslist for fairly cheap. I wasn’t really bothered, but I was reading the Illuminatus! Trilogy at the time, and when I saw it mentioned therein and recalled the craigslist ad, I took it as a sign that I should buy it. (Coincidences don’t exist.)

2015-08-10 18.34.14
Why I bought this piece of trash. Note the misspelling of the author’s name.

I decided to read the book because I am currently reading Zanoni by Bulwer Lytton, and as that book is about Rosicrucians, I thought this would complement it well. It’s certainly as fantastic; in fact, there are more references in Lytton’s work than there are here. Arkon Daraul is full of shit.

This book is garbage. It doesn’t seem reliable at all. Daraul’s choices of which secret societies to discuss are completely arbitrary. There is a lengthy chapter on peacock worshippers in modern England, but there’s no chapter on the freemasons. Admittedly, I was relieved that I didn’t have to read the same crap about freemasons that I have already read in 10 other books, but it did seem a little odd that the most famous secret society of all were barely mentioned in this “historical account”. Also, Daraul doesn’t really bother to distinguish between secret societies and cults.

I don’t really have much else to say on this book. It was crap. The cover (Is that Satan?) makes it look way better than it is. There were some interesting parts, but there are lots of other books on the same topic that are much better. I reviewed a shitty little book on this kind of crap before that covered more ground and was way less bullshitty.
Don’t bother reading this one.

prayer
The best part about this book was this prayer leaflet that the previous owner had left in it.

WAS HITLER A SATANIST? – The Occult Roots of Nazism, They Used Dark Forces and Theozoology

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.)
theo.jpg

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.
Untitled
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 Da Vinci Code – Dan Brown

Doubleday – 2003
code
Perhaps the single most important text in all occult literature?
Definitely. Here’s a little code for you to solve. For proof of this book’s brilliance, check the publication date of this post.

I actually read the Da Vinci Code last year. It wasn’t as bad as I expected; it’s very easy to read, and it got me through 2 quiet days at work. I quite enjoyed the first half of it, but it starts to get fairly repetitive towards the end when everything is turning out to be some kind of stupid code. It’s pretty cool to talk about how much this book sucks, so I won’t bother. I’ll just give it a 3.5/10.

 

The Illuminatus! Trilogy – Robert Shea and Robert Anton Wilson

Robinson – 1998
illuminatus

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.