Transformation (The Breakthrough) – Whitley Strieber

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Avon – 1989
A few months ago, I reviewed Whitley Strieber’s Communion. I had planned to wait a year or two before reading the sequel, but I was leaving for work the other day and I needed a book for my train ride that would fit in my back pocket. Transformation was the first within reach.

Communion was garbage, and Transformation is worse. At this stage, Strieber is no longer hanging out with Budd Hopkins, and barely considers the possibility that his ‘visitors’ are from outer space. Strieber wants to be seen to be as carrying the cross of every human being who has ever claimed to have had an encounter with the paranormal, and to state that he was abducted by Martians might prevent him from being able to speak on behalf of all those loonies who believe that they have met fairies, elves, or Gods. Instead, Whitley has decided that the visitors are likely trans-dimensional inhabitants of Earth. They may not be from this planet, but nor are they not from this planet.

Strieber was 41 when Communion came out. That means that it contains roughly 40 years worth of abduction experiences. Transformation came out just one year after Communion, and Strieber had only managed to get abducted once or twice during this period. Accordingly, the aliens take a back seat in Transformation; Strieber’s philosophical side is the unwelcome visitor here. 80-85% of this book is taken up with him explaining how he came to terms with his weird experiences. (And in fairness to him, I’m sure it took a lot of effort and time to get over having his hemorrhoidy anal pouch violated by hobgoblins.)

In my review of Communion, I wrote from the perspective of Strieber to give my followers a sense of what reading that book was like. I’ll re-summon Whitley for a bit to give you some more insight into this one.

“I was petrified, but I desperately wanted to let the visitors know that I had accepted my role in their plans and that I was willing to do whatever I could to please them. These strange creatures terrified me, but I understood that this fear was necessary. As time passed, I realized that I was not so much afraid the visitors as I was afraid that they would not be happy with me. This fear had evolved into a combination of uncertainty and isolation. I resolved to do whatever I could to entice the visitors to keep me as one of their subjects. I stopped locking the doors to our cabin, and I began playing with my bum during masturbation (to make it looser for future probing). Ease of access is key when you’re dealing with these sinister, yet magnificent beings.

Once I crossed the threshold of uncertainty, I began to comprehend the visitors’ plan for me. Although the terror and discomfort were difficult to bear, they ultimately made me a stronger, more open person. Perhaps the visitors are so used to crossing boundaries that they do not understand or notice the negative aspects of fear, especially fear of the unknown. I now believe that they intentionally frightened me so that I could ultimately become less frightened. In any case, we must be willing to transcend our emotions if we hope to accompany the visitors into realms of unheralded experience…”
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Although there’s not as many alien encounters in this one, it does include a lengthy section on Strieber’s astral projections. He finds a way to allow his soul to escape from his body in a little bubble, and he uses this bubble to float around his gaff. He also finds a way to appear to people in different parts of the country. He tells of how he would think of a friend and then how that friend would immediately call him and tell him that she had just seen his disembodied head lurking in her bathroom. I’m not even taking the piss; he actually expected people to believe this twoddle.
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More like Twitley Strieber, amirite?

Oh, there’s a bit in here where Strieber claims that Aliens speak Irish. (Well in fairness, he actually says that a different lad named Leonard Keane has made that claim.) Unfortunately, the article that Striebs references was unpublished at the time, and it looks like it has remained unpublished. (I wonder why!) I can’t find any about Keane online either. Keane’s argument is supposedly based on an abductee’s memories of alien speech. The abductee in question was hypnotized and began to spout off the different things that the aliens said to her.

Let’s break this down piece by piece.

1. This is what the abductee claims to have heard: “oh-tookurah bohututahmaw hulah duh duwa maher Duh okaht turaht nuwrlahah tutrah aw hoe hoe marikoto tutrah etrah meekohtutrah etro indra ukreeahlah”

2. Keane claims that this sounds identical to “ua-tuaisceartach beo t-utamail uile dubh dubhach mathair dubh ocaid tuartha nuair lagachar t-uchtarach athbheoite maireachtala-costas t-uachtarach eatramh meancog t-uachtarach eatramh indeachrachlach”

3. If those words were actually pronounced in Irish, they would sound something like this: “oowa-tooishkyartock byoh tootamawl illyeh duv duvock mawher duv uckad toorha noor lagacar tooacktorock awtveeohithye marrocktawllah custos tooacktarock yatriv myancug tooachtarock yatriv indyakracklock”
Compare the two phonetic versions there. Do the sounds match up?

3. The Irish words that Keane heard in the abductee’s rant translate directly as: “descendants of Northern peoples living groping all darkness mournful mother dark occasion forebode when weakness in high places revives cost of living high interval mistakes in high places interval fit for distressing”

4. I’m not sure who was responsible, Keane or Strieber, but somehow that jumble of words was put into the following order: “The living descendants of the Northern peoples are groping in universal darkness. Their mother mourns. A dark occasion forebodes when weakness in high places will revive a high cost of living; an interval of mistakes in high places; and interval fit for distressing events”

What a load  of shit…

Leonard Keane’s article was supposed to be called “Keltic Factor Red”; on the off-chance that somebody knows where I could find a copy, please let me know!  I want to thank my friend Lorcan for helping me with the Irish phonetics above. I’ll sign off with Lorcan’s message for any of the visitors that might be reading this post;

“Ná cuir aon rud suas mo hole, ET”

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.

Bigfoot: The Mysterious Monster – Robert and Frances Guenette

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Schick Sun – 1975
I’ve stated before that I think Bigfoot could exist. The purpose of this book is to make his existence seem more feasible, but after reading it, I feel a little more sceptical than I did beforehand. That’s not to say that it’s a bad book; some of the arguments in here are quite interesting. The issue is that it was published 40 years ago, and every day that has passed since its publication has added to the likelihood that Bigfoot is either imaginary or extinct. There are too many cameras in the world for him not to have been photographed clearly at this stage. It would be cool, but the fact that they could exist isn’t enough to convince me that they do exist.
The book is based on a film that you can easily find online, and much like The Outer Space Connection, both the book and movie cover the same material. (I’d recommend watching the film before trying to track down a copy of the book.) There’s not really much to say about the content; it’s pretty much what you’d expect. There wasn’t enough material on Bigfoot, so it includes a relatively big section on the Loch Ness monster, and there’s also a part where they tried to use a psychic’s testimony as evidence for the existence of these creatures. That bit was pretty stupid.

 

The Outer Space Connection – Alan and Sally Landsburg

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Bantam Books – 1975

Well, here we go again; another dumb book about ancient aliens. This one is really bad too. It’s based on the making of a film that was itself based on this book. Does that sound awkward? Yeah, it is. To get the full picture, you really have to watch the movie too. (Don’t worry; it’s online.) The soundtrack is fucking awesome, and the guy from the Twilight Zone does the narration. It turns out that Alan Landsburg worked on Erich Von Däniken’s Chariots of the Gods movie (also available online), and it shows. (In fairness, he openly admits that he has been “doing that Von Daniken stuff” at the end of this book.) The writing is laughable at times, it’s written as a first person narrative about the shooting of the film, but it has a real Da Vinci Code feel to it. My favourite line in the book comes at the end of a paragraph discussing the disappearance of the Mayan people:
“Instead, they retreated deeper and deeper into undesirable places, seemingly in fear of contact with any other people. Why, damnit, why?

So what’s being said in here that isn’t being said in the other stupid books I’ve reviewed on the same topic? Well, this one throws in the idea of cloning as an explanation as to how the aliens managed to get here. To plant the seeds of human life on Earth, the aliens would have to have travelled for hundreds of thousands of years. Cryogenics is ruled out as a means of prolonging life, and so in order for the crew to live through the journey, they would have filled up their spaceship with cannisters of human DNA, their own DNA at that. After a few years, one of the female crew members would impregnate herself with some of this DNA and give birth to a clone of herself. 25 years later, the clone would impregnate herself with yet another clone, and the process would be repeated until the ship finally reached Earth. Simple, right?

Landsburg doesn’t really go into detail on how this would work. Regardless of how large and advanced their ship was, I would imagine that the food supplies would have run out after a few thousand years even if the crew was made up of only a few people. I think the idea hinted at is that there is only one crew member alive at a time. (Quite similar to that movie Moon right?) So presumably the mother would have to sacrifice herself as soon as her clone/daughter was ready to take control of the ship. What would the clone do to the corpse? Well, considering the scarcity of meat aboard that spaceship, I reckon the only sensible thing to do would be to eat the body. Nothing should go to waste in space! Matrophageous spite; autophageous delight!

Ok, so that’s a nice bit of fantastic realism, but is there any evidence for this having happened? Of course there is! Scientists cloning axlotals [sic] found that the cloned versions of this variety of salamander end up with a slightly shorter body than the originals.  They are otherwise identical. That interesting fact is noted in one of the first chapters of the book, but its relevance isn’t made apparent until somewhere near the end. After the mention of this crucial piece of information, there are a bunch of chapters on the usual ancient alien garbage, including several discussions of the Mayans and their pyramids. The Mayans are praised as being far more advanced than any other peoples of their era. Mayan skulls with holes in them are presented as proof of their advanced medical skill. They  weren’t simply smashing each other’s heads open; they were removing cells from the brain to create clones! But wait a minute; how do we know that the Mayans were creating clones? Well, their skeletal remains suggest that the Mayans were fairly stocky.That is to say that they had shorter than average bodies, JUST LIKE THE CLONED OXLOTALS!!!
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Brain transplants in 2000 BC

There’s tonnes of other crap in here; lots of utter shit about pyramid power and human auras. The stuff on the Bermuda Triangle was pretty cool, but it’s written in an infuriatingly credulous way, just like everything else in this book. There’s also a discussion on Vladmir Demikhov’s experiments on dogs. I had heard of these before, but I’d not watched the footage online. Fuck, it’s absolutely horrible. I guess that’s what Roky Erickson was singing about.

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Pretty sure that’s just a monkey there mate!

I can’t say I’d recommend this book to anyone, but the movie might be enjoyable if you were high on drugs. I myself was not high on drugs when I watched it.

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.

The Legend of the Sons of God – T.C. Lethbridge

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Arkana – 1990

This books contains some of the choiciest bullshit I have ever come across. Did you know that the rocks of Stonehenge are from Tipperary? Were you aware that the craters on the moon are the results of an interstellar nuclear war between the Martians and Venusians? Had it ever occurred to you that Jesus was a ghost alien from the future? I can’t say I had ever wondered about these things before reading this book, but now I am convinced that they are all entirely true.

T.C. Lethbridge doesn’t even bother to present his ideas as fact. He openly admits that the bulk of this book is conjecture. He reminds his reader that there are gaping holes and inconstencies in our accounts of history. The standard scientific approach to solving these mysteries is to use proof and evidence. This method doesn’t quite satisfy Lethbridge though, and he suggests that it would be more productive to make up ridiculous stories and then look around for evidence of the events that we imagined. This book was written by a grown man playing make-believe.

“Although much of what has been written so far is not strictly orthodox, the present chapter is far worse and deals with matters which are fit really only for the television plays called ‘Doctor Who’.” Thus opens the seventh chapter of this masterpiece.

This book came out at roughly the same time as Von Däniken’s Chariot of the Gods, and it contains some similar ideas, but this one is definitely more enjoyable. It’s short, the writing is engaging and the claims herein are silly enough to be thoroughly entertaining. This is a must read.