Sunday, February 24, 2019

The Secret Order of the Druze

“Sons of Abraham: The Secret Order of the Druze” is a relatively short documentary about the Druze, a peculiar religious minority in Lebanon, Syria and Israel. The documentary was originally released in 1984 and seems to be French, but in this version the narrator speaks English.

Since the Druze are organized as a secret initiatory order, we don´t learn *that* much about their actual teachings. The Druze religion originated in Egypt during the 11th century. Its prophet was a man named Hamza, who preached the divine nature of al-Hakim, a Shia Muslim Fatimid ruler of Egypt. Muslims, Christians and Jews seem united in condemning al-Hakim as literally insane, but in the documentary, his destruction of religious shrines is rather seen as a form of theologically motivated iconoclasm.

The Druze seem to have a Neo-Platonist view of God or the Divine, and venerate Greek philosophers such as Plato, Aristotle and Pythagoras as divine manifestations. Biblical characters also play a prominent role. The documentary shows Druze pilgrimages to the supposed tombs of Jethro and Job, the former being seen as the “initiator” of Moses. We also get to see a Druze marriage and a funeral. The Druze are most well known for their belief in reincarnation, explored more in detail in another documentary also available at YouTube, “To the ends of the Earth: Back from the dead”.  

A curious fact about the Druze is that their community in Israel supports the Jewish state, even to the point of doing military service in the Israeli Defense Forces, while the communities in Syria and Lebanon are pro-Arab and pro-Palestinian. “Sons of Abraham” claims that this is all a ruse – the Druze actually practice a higher-order form of taqiyya (the Shia tradition of protective dissimulation), all of them really being a single community mostly loyal to itself. The narrator claims that the supposedly pro-Israeli Druze mourned the death of Kamal Jumblatt, the prominent anti-Israeli Druze leader in Lebanon!

In passing, we also get to know the symbolism of the Druze flag. Its stripes symbolize the Universal Soul (red), the Logos (yellow), the cosmos (blue) and the material world (white), all united by a green triangle symbolizing Universal Reason (presumably God). I admit that the symbolism is pretty neat.

Since the Druze don´t accept converts, you will probably never learn the secrets of their religion. Nor will I. Nor, I suppose, did Soviet spy Stig Bergling. Unless, of course, we will be reincarnated as members of the Secret Order in some future life of ours…

Saturday, February 23, 2019

The next 100 years

We´re doomed. I mean that quite literally. Climate change is real, and even if it weren´t, peak oil and rampant destruction of the living environment will soon make our entire civilization unsustainable anyway. Not to mention resistant bacteria and what have you.

What can be made to stop this development? Very little, I think. I base this on the following consideration: *no* class or strata in late modern capitalist society (or whatever you want to call our current mega-golem) has an objective material interest in radical Green politics. Not the bourgeoisie and state bureaucracy. Not the middle class, the upper echelons of which want to become part of the bourgeoisie and state bureaucracy. Not the working class or underclass, which both want to become middle class. As for the external proletariat in the “Third World”, their goal is to become middle class, too, either by moving to the metropolises of the “West”, or by economic growth at home. There simply isn´t anyone whose material interest points beyond our present day predicament. And why should there be? Why should anyone under modernity strive to abolish it, rather than attempt to integrate into it (if not culturally, at least economically)?

Or look at the great powers. How likely is it that China, Russia, India, Saudi Arabia or Brazil will pursue a Green policy? That would make it impossible for them to compete with the West. And how likely is it that the West will implement such a policy? The first nation that does so will be EATEN by its great power rivals, or even by smaller (but equally hungry) polities. It´s more safe – at least in the short run – to shore up the military-industrial complex and secure new energy sources abroad, than to disarm and adopt frugality.

Or look at our dominant philosophies. To me, it´s painfully obvious that a Green polity *can´t have mass immigration* but tell that to a radical Green, who is usually an open border leftist… Or look at all the "Greens" who believe fusion, fission, thorium, clean coal or geo-engineering can save us. They really don´t get it, do they?

Or look at the “mass movements”. Some people have suggested that the Green movement can become successful if it actually “walks the walk”. Al Gore, with his jet plane, is out. Greta Thunberg, with her vegan diet and dour clothes, is presumably in. However, this won´t work either. Nobody will listen to a movement the supporters of which *really* cut their carbon footprints. Why? Precisely for that reason. The moment the common man realizes that the Greens are serious about taking away the high standard of living of the middle classes, *the common man will start opposing the Greens even more*. And what will a bunch of young woke moral monsters (the usual base of the radical Green movement) do in such a situation? Probably turn to righteous terrorism. We will see a lot of new Unabombers! This will simply polarize the situation even more, with the common man eventually electing One Strong Man who promises to smash the Greens and make the economy great again…

But won´t people wake up at *some* point? Well, both yes and no. Obviously, the crisis will be too “yuge” to deny at some point. But that still doesn´t mean that everyone will suddenly see the light and go green ever after. No, instead the upper class will try to maintain its standard of living by shifting the burdens onto the middle and working classes, the middle class will do likewise with the working class, and the domestic working class will do the same thing to the external proletariat, which at this point have probably formed war bands both within and without the metropolises. I don´t deny that some kind of “revolution” might become possible, even inevitable, at some point on the downward trajectory, but it might just as well be fascist or religious rather than “democratic socialist”. A more likely scenario is that some of the great regional and world powers turn into failed states. The apocalyptic events that will transpire if China is hit by a severe famine, and the PLA starts moving across the borders, is a frightening thing to contemplate...

This also means that “climate despotism” is an illusion. The climate despots will either do nothing at all, except being despots, or they will make sure that *you* pay the energy bills on *their* behalves. Since when has a despotism ever been benevolent? And how can a global despotism even function without – surprise – high technology dependent on fossil fuels and/or nuclear power? The idea of powerful dictators voluntarily relinquishing their carbon footprint privilege is ridiculous.

None of this means that “nothing” can be done. However, the things than can (or perhaps must) be done are of such a nature that I can´t mention them here. You are simply not ready to hear them. Neither am I. Neither are Google´s moderators. I don´t long for the destruction of our present civilization. Quite the contrary, I support its continued existence. I would like nothing better than to live with high modernity. However, it seems that “our” civilization may have run its course.

The next 100 years won´t be pretty.

Behind the jade curtain

I noticed that "everyone", from George Soros to Swedish leftist daily Aftonbladet, has suddenly turned against China. In other words, they now stand with Donald Trump, who confronted China long ago, alongside a certain Darth Vader Bannon.

Don´t be too surprised if 1) They start attacking Trump for not being anti-Chinese enough 2) They start demanding a nuclear first strike on North Korea 3) They deny that they ever were pro-Chinese to begin with 4) They crucify one Mark Zuckerberg and use the anti-Chinese sentiment to further censor the web (just like in, ahem, China) 

Now, I´m not particularly pro-Chinese either. 

However, I have to say that the speed and the coordination of the anti-China turn is...interesting. Especially as it involves a speech by George Soros in Davos (or wherever the masters of the universe were summiting). 

What a pity this stunningly effective change of guard isn´t used to cope with other pressing problems faced by the West (and the world) lately. You know, climate change, mass migration, Islamist terrorism, non-Islamist drug cartels, the collapse of the housing bubble, American fast food...


China R Us

Could be controversial, perhaps... 

To the ends of the earth...and back again?

The Druze are a religious minority in Syria, Lebanon and Israel. They are organized almost like a secret society, and it´s not clear how much of their *real* teachings have leaked out to the world at large. One of their distinctive public beliefs is the reality of reincarnation.

In this documentary, “To the ends of the Earth: Back from the dead”, a British research team interviews Druze children in Lebanon who claim to be reincarnated adults who died in the civil war. They also talk to members of the bereaved families who in all featured cases accept the kids as reincarnated dead relatives. These families also belong to the Druze minority.

Although I would like to believe in “metempsychosis”, I don´t think there is any evidence for it in this production. Quite the contrary, in fact. The Druze are a relatively small community, so it´s not impossible for the children (who all attend school) to get information about other Druze families and then model their “past life memories” accordingly.  When the team investigates supposed reincarnation cases, they find that one of the dead adults never existed, while *two* boys claim to be reincarnations of another dead man! It´s also painfully obvious that the child who is supposedly a reborn famous soccer player, didn´t really recognize the player´s sister – it was the sister who not-so-subtly identified herself to him, since she strongly wants the kid to be her reincarnated brother. 

I think the skeptics are right in this case. The Druze belief in reincarnation (whatever else it might be) functions as a psychological coping mechanism and a social glue tying the community even tighter together. That doesn´t mean the Druze are consciously lying, but it *does* mean that they have a very strong will to believe…

But as usual, the best way to proceed is to study the question yourselves and make up your minds accordingly!

Dra åt helvete, jävla medlöpare

För övrigt anser jag att brittiska Labours s k ledare Jeremy Corbyn helt enkelt kan dra åt helvete. 

Corbyn går med på Hitlers territoriella anspråk

Friday, February 22, 2019

We have reached such levels

One of the weirdest memes spread on Twitter and elsewhere during the 2016 Trump campaign was the claim that Donald Trump will "complete the system of German Idealism by deriving all its principles from an Absolute Ground". The meme was illustrated by portraits of Hegel, Schelling, Fichte and...Trump. 

The guy behind this rather curios form of memetic warfare was one Kantbot, a famous Twitter troll who was later interviewed by Atlantic Magazine in a surprisingly ironic article on the Alt Right (the same article which mentioned Bronze Age Pervert). 

Yes, the fat guy in the clip above is Kantbot himself trolling some anti-Trump protesters in New York. Kantbot is otherwise best known for pretending to stalk Louise Mensch, for which he was temporarily banned from Twitter! His timeline combines un-ironic exegeses of Goethe with ironic promotion of fringe crypto-zoology. I find this intriguing, since my own blog does the exact opposite. I combine an ironic interest in Goethe with an un-ironic promotion of that other stuff. 

Perhaps I will also one day be interviewed by Atlantic Monthly. 

Ironically, of course. 

PS. I accidentally linked to the wrong clip, now it´s the right one. Chaos magic or what?

Sätt igång och klaga på "kulturell appropriering" om 10...9...8...7...

Vit kropp låtsas vara sexy svart mama. Solklar kulturell appropriering, helt i klass med rasifieringen av ordet "negerfink" och den post-koloniala konstruktionen av Kurre Kurre Dutt-öarna och Långbortistan. För att inte tala om orientalismen hos Nogger Black och zigenarfågeln! Var finns den vakna vänstern (TM) när man väl behöver den? 

The Phobos Incident

Not sure what to think about this. It´s a more UFO-like version of the ´Oumuamua situation, and happened already in 1989. Well, at least they didn´t see any mantis aliens, LOL. 

The mystery of zorvoyance

”The Aeth Mystery” is a short booklet published in 1914 by the FRC, an occult group based in Quakertown, United States. The FRC still exists. Back in the days, it was led by Reuben Swinburne Clymer, almost forgotten today, but apparently ”a big fish” in the occult milieu at the time. He claimed that the FRC had been founded by sex magician Pascal Beverly Randolph! Clymer also had a long-standing feud with the AMORC, another ”Rosicrucian” order which is still around.

”The Aeth Mystery” is a short introduction to the teachings and practices of the FRC. It´s explicitly intended for people who are interested in joining the fraternity. Clymer´s system seems to be based on three pillars: Western ritual magic, Eastern (or nominally Eastern) yogic techniques, and alternative medicine. In this text, the emphasis is on yoga. Interestingly, Clymer almost never uses Hindu or Buddhist terminology. It´s therefore not entirely clear what kind of yoga he is describing, but he does mention something that seems to be chakras. If so, the mysterious Aeth or Life Force the yogi is supposed to connect with and draw energy from could be the kundalini. The yogi will also get in touch with a ”hierarchy” of various spirit-beings. Clymer says that the Aeth will give the occultist supernatural powers (siddhi powers?) and he clearly wants the practitioner to use them – most other gurus advise against it. The Aeth can prolong the life of the practitioner, perhaps even make him immortal, and should also be used to help other people, perhaps by healing them from ailments. Clairvoyance is another power gained by the illuminated (not to mention ”zorvoyance”).

Absolute secrecy about the practice is enjoined, and the pamphlet actually starts with stern warnings about the impending death of everyone who takes the vows and breaks them. The usual fake pedigree is included. Here, the transmission of esoteric knowledge doesn´t start with Atlantis but rather with highly idealized versions of ancient Egypt, Greece and Rome. India is hardly mentioned. But perhaps Atlantis *is* included, since Clymer makes the mysterious statement that North America was part of ancient Egypt…

Another pamphlet published by the FRC, ”The Divine Mystery” deals more with the Western esoteric aspects of the Clymerite teachings, including really weird speculations about elemental spirits.

Perhaps a bit over my head…

Maverick king on the wrong side of history

Johan III (John III) was king of Sweden from 1568 to 1592. Lars Ericson has written one of the few book-length biographies about this divisive monarch, ”Johan III”, only available in Swedish.

Johan III was the middle son of Gustav Vasa, who took power in Sweden in 1521. Johan became king in 1568 after a protracted power struggle against Erik XIV, Gustav Vasa´s oldest son, who had become king of Sweden at Gustav´s death in 1560. When Erik went literally insane and started murdering real or perceived enemies of state (sometimes in person), the nobility rebelled against him and installed Johan in his place. It was probably a bad choice – Johan was married to Polish princess Katarina Jagellonica, who was (of course) a Catholic. So was Johan´s and Katarina´s son, Sigismund, who moreover became Polish king in 1587. Sigismund was also the heir apparent to the Swedish throne.

Why was this a problem? For starters, Gustav Vasa supported the Reformation, becoming the first Protestant (Lutheran) ruler of Sweden, and broke the power of the Catholic Church in his domains. The Vasa dynasty in general was also Lutheran, but Johan III turned out to have strong pro-Catholic leanings. Thus, he tended to support ”the wrong side” both on the international playing field and at home. Domestically, Catholicism was – rightly or wrongly – associated with both aristocratic and plebeian opposition to a strong monarchy represented by the Vasa kings. While Johan III by all accounts liked to concentrate all effective power to himself, Sigismund was more obviously in league with the high nobility – first, in Poland, later also in Sweden. This created conflicts with Parliament (where the lower nobility, the commoners and the Lutheran clergy were all represented). Johan III thus turned out to be a highly divisive ruler. He is, probably rightly, seen as wanting to roll back the Reformation in Sweden, perhaps even setting the stage for wholesale re-Catholization. As already noted, in 1592 his Catholic son Sigismund did become king of Sweden, while simultaneously also continuing as king of Catholic Poland, a highly anomalous situation solved in 1599 after a brief war in which Karl IX (Charles IX) took power. The Calvinizing Lutheran Karl IX was a son of Gustav Vasa (just like Erik XIV and Johan III) and hence Sigismund´s uncle. Karl IX, supported by Parliament, secured Sweden as a Protestant nation.

After reading Ericson´s book, I have to conclude that Johan III wasn´t a particularly good king. His plans to turn Sweden into a great power in northern Europe were clearly premature, both his wars and large-scale building projects led to inflation and huge deficits, and his secretive dealings with Jesuits and papal legates were borderline treasonous. Most of his diplomatic forays abroad seems to have been failures. That being said, he wasn´t incompetent. Rather, I get the impression of a highly educated man and grand visionary with too few resources to back up his plans. Had he been Spanish or British king…who knows? Perhaps he was also too impatient to ever realize his mistakes? In the end, I don´t really mind – many of Johan III´s visions strike me as placing the maverick Vasa king on the wrong side of history.

On one point, Johan was ”like everyone else”. He saw Russia as Sweden´s main enemy. What makes him unique is the way in which he planned to fight the Russians. Johan wanted a strategic pact with the Catholic Habsburgs, including the powerful Spanish Empire, and an even closer dynastic alliance with Poland. To seal the projected Swedish-Polish-Habsburg alliance against Russia, Johan attempted to undo the Protestant Reformation in Sweden. He was also willing to stab the anti-Spanish Protestant rebellion in the Netherlands in the back. I assume Johan saw Catholic Poland as a more firm anti-Russian ally, on both political and religious grounds, than the constantly scheming British and German Protestants – not to mention Protestant Denmark, which alongside Russia was Sweden´s constant enemy and hence rather a natural Russian *ally* than adversary. By de facto uniting Sweden and Catholic Poland, Johan presumably wanted to create a grand power bloc (Poland´s territory was substantially larger at this point than today) from the Baltic to the Black Sea to which the Spanish Empire (and the Pope) simply ”couldn´t say no”. This would make Sweden part of a global anti-Russian superpower, rather than one of many bickering Protestant states in the northern corner of Europe. A grand vision, indeed, but one that was probably doomed to failure from the start. The continental and global Habsburgs weren´t *that* interested in Johan´s parochial Drang Nach the White Sea. Personally, I consider the Reformation to be historically progressive, so the idea of a Swedish monarch actually joining Spain in the Netherlands strike me as appalling.

Interestingly, Johan´s pro-Catholic sympathies were by all accounts honestly held. Johan III was something as peculiar as a lay theologian who was also king. He had studied both the works of the Church Fathers and those of contemporary theologians, and often argued in person with the recalcitrant Lutheran clergymen in Sweden. He also had theological conversations with Jesuits, and was apparently worried about their claim that the Swedish Church lacked apostolic succession. Jesuit envoy Possevino would much later claim that the king had actually converted to the Roman Catholic faith in secret! In public, Johan III ”only” called for a reconciliation between the Lutheran and Catholic Churches based on the teachings of the Church Fathers, but even this was too much for the Lutherans, who regarded Johan´s proposed changes to the liturgy (”the Red Book”) as essentially Catholic. The idea of interpreting Scripture through the Church Fathers was also rejected as too close to the Catholic position – the Lutherans rather argued that the Church Fathers should be judged according to Scripture.

There is little doubt that Johan did go much further than, say, regular High Church Anglicans. He gave the Jesuits permission to open a school in Stockholm, and many of the students converted to the Catholic Church. The whole thing was very hush-hush, the Jesuits never openly identifying themselves as such. In his royal propaganda, Johan III identified himself strongly with medieval martyr-king Erik the holy, regarded by the Catholics as the patron-saint of Sweden, and de facto restarted the veneration of him. The golden casket (or reliquary) made at Johan´s orders for St Erik´s remains is still prominently placed at the Uppsala cathedral. Apparently, it was dedicated by a purely Catholic ritual. Somewhat ironically, the ”irenic” attempts by Johan to reconcile Lutherans and Catholics on a Catholicizing basis may in the end have been too little for the Roman Church, which had entered its confessionalist, Tridentine and Counter-Reformation phase. Obviously, in such a religio-political climate, the room for manoeuvre for people like the maverick Vasa king quickly diminished. The same was true of Sigismund, who after Johan III´s death became something as strange as a Catholic king ruling a country where Parliament had outlawed Catholicism!

In the end, this made Johan III a parenthesis in Swedish history, albeit admittedly one of the more interesting ones… 

Oh no, Lysenko was right!

I always assumed that Russia had more than its fair share of mad scientists, and it seems the concept has been successfully exported to the Western side of the Neo-Cold War (or is it Neo-Lamarckian) divide. Yes, comrades, come and see…the domesticated foxes!!!


I can´t help linking to this guy! Here Thomas Sheridan discusses ”Electro Gnosis”. I think what he is describing (assuming there is *some* degree of truth in his story) sounds more like domestic terrorism through EM fields or something to that effect. I assume not even Ireland is so old fashioned as to persecute witches and warlocks, but harming your fellow citizens with gamma radiation or electric pollution strikes me as against both Irish and EU regulations. (Not to mention occult ethics.) Even if the victims really are psychopaths…

The famed race of the Cynocephali

This is an extremely entertaining YouTube clip from one of the many kook channels on that site, Universe Inside You. 

Here, the narrator takes us into the outer fringes of crypto-zoology and summarizes the bizarre legend of the cynocephali or dog-men. The narrator clearly believes that cynocephali are real, although perhaps not canid. He ventures the guess that we are dealing with Neanderthals or some kind of apes or monkeys. 

His main argument in favor of the cynocephali being real is that the stories are ”consistent”, but that doesn´t prove anything– ancient and medieval writers consistently borrowed from older sources since that´s how things were done back in them days. 16th century writer Olaus Magnus mentions a fight between Pygmies and cranes, placing it on Greenland. The story comes from the Iliad and was originally set in some unspecified southern land. By the logic of Universe Inside You, there are geographically distinct Pygmy populations actually fighting cranes in pretty much any distant land! 

Many of the stories referenced are illogical, thus the ancient source always knows everything about the dog-men, down to details, including that they lived in far away caves very far away in the most far away hills… 

*The* most bizarre legends are about Christian saints who were dog-men, most notably St Christopher. The problem? The saints themselves may be, for all we know, legendary. 

The clip contains some factual errors. King Arthur isn´t a real historical person, and ”Beowulf” has nothing to do with Alexander the Great. 

For the record, I don´t rule anything out on principle: all kinds of very, very strange creatures do exist, so why not cynocephali, werewolves or mermen (not to mention honest-to-god politicians or competent economists), but in contrast to Mr Inside You, I don´t think a bunch of ancient tall tales are proof enough. 

A cynocephalid pelt, or a miracle by St Christopher, might perhaps do the trick.

The Irascible Leprechauns

I have no idea what to make of this material. ”The Irreconcilable Gnomes” was first published in 1910 by American occultist Reuben Swinburne Clymer, the founder of the Fraternitas Rosae Crucis (FRC), a Rosicrucian group which still exists. Today, the FRC is probably very small, but Clymer was apparently something of a big shot in the esoteric world (or was it underworld) back in the days.

This extremely weird text was marketed as a kind of sequel to the 17th century occult work ”Comte de Gabalis”, which exposited at length on the character of ”elementals” or elemental spirits representing earth, fire, air and water. In Clymer´s text, a narrator visits Ireland and meets a prince of the gnomes, the spirits of the earth. The gnome and the narrator soon find themselves in a tedious and part incomprehensible conversation on the exact nature of the human soul. Clymer seems to take the side of the gnome. My sole take away from these somewhat bizarre ramblings is that the gnome has a less ”dualist” perspective on soul and body, even implying that the body is somewhat ”higher” since it causes passion and sin in the soul. The occult point is that in order to save our souls, we first have to save our bodies – and indeed, the author was a practitioner of alternative medicine.

The second part of the tract contains Clymer´s creative reinterpretations of several grimoires. The FRC grand master had apparently published his own versions of several grimoires, with all references to black magic excised! He also reveals that lengthy magical rituals can be replaced by astrological talismans, which are much more efficient and easier to learn…

Definitely not my cup of tea (not even herb tea), and too many typographical errors in the most recent edition (Tal Warwick´s) but perhaps a must have if you are into gnomids and such.

The Clymer Mystery

”The Divine Mystery: The Inner Mystery” is a very peculiar tract on occultism written by Reuben Swinburne Clymer (1878-1966), the founder of the small and somewhat mysterious American Rosicrucian order FRC. The tract, originally published in 1910, consists of two parts. The first is a heavily redacted and amended version of a famous work on demonology, ”Demoniality, Or Incubi and Succubi” by 17th century Catholic clergyman and inquisitor Ludovico Maria Sinistrari. The second is an extended summary and exegesis of ”Pistis Sophia”, one of the few Gnostic texts known before the Nag Hammadi finds.

Sinistrari´s work was, of course, an attack on demons and people supposedly cavorting with them. In Clymer´s version, however, the”demons” are really benevolent beings, identical to the elementals discussed by Paracelsus and in the ”Comte de Gabalis” by De Villars. Clymer explicitly mentions the latter work, first published in 1670 and very influential for centuries (skeptics regard it as satire rather than as a real occult work – but, then, that´s what they always say, isn´t it?). Unfortunately, I haven´t read it – obviously, a serious lacuna in my folkloristic knowledge! Or is it fakelore?

In the mythological universe inherited by Clymer, the elementals – divided into gnomes, sylphs, undines and salamanders–represent an alternative line of evolution to that of humanity. Being made of one element only (for instance, gnomes are solely made of the earth element), elementals cannot attain immortality…unless they have sexual intercourse with humans! This explains the phenomenon of incubi and succubi. In this version, however, the relationship is based on love and resemble marriage. It´s not clear how sex between a spirit and a human is possible at all. My impression is that Clymer believes that elementals can create human-like bodies specially for the occasion. The point of the intercourse is to harvest the missing elements from the human (thus, gnomes need water, fire and air) and in this way transform themselves into more physical creatures which can experience love, pain and suffering. Only in this way can the elemental be saved by God or Christ.

Clymer claims that Jesus was the product of sex between Mary and a salamander, i.e. a spirit of fire. He also claims that the Nephilim mentioned in the Bible were products of unions between male elementals and human females. Curiously for purely spiritual creatures, the elementals are gendered! On this logic, the Watchers and the Nephilim were really among the good guys. Clymer does believe in real demons, as well. He calls them vampires since they suck the life out of their victims. I wonder how the old inquisitor Sinistrari would have felt about this creative reinterpretation of his hexenhammer…

As already mentioned, the latter half of ”The Divine Mystery” is a summary of the ancient Gnostic text ”Pistis Sophia”, which purportedly contains the secret teachings of Jesus Christ only given to his closest disciples after his resurrection. Mary Magdalene is counted among the initiated. The text contains all the usual cosmogonic speculations of emanations, aeons, the fall of Sophia into matter, the descent of the Savior through the spheres, and so on. The summary also deals with astral bodies and similar themes. A weird trait is that ”Pistis Sophia” (and the mission of Jesus) is said to be about the salvation of the White race. Clymer was of course a White American, but his main source of inspiration, sex magician Paschal Beverly Randolph (1825-1875), was mixed race and is today often regarded as African-American!

It´s not easy, based on this material, to understand what Clymer and the FRC are *really* about. An interest in ritual magic is certainly present, and the ultimate goal seems to be the Gnostic one of leaving evil matter behind and evolve towards a much loftier spiritual station. On the other hand, an even stranger companion work to this one, ”The Irreconcilable Gnomes”, seems to suggest that the real goal is more physical and involves perfect control of the passions here down below – something also hinted at in the frankly bizarre speculations about sex and marriage with elemental spirits.

Such is the Clymer Mystery.

Saturday, February 16, 2019

Chimp colony

This short documentary was actually part of a promotion campaign for the science fiction film “Dawn of the Planet of the Apes”. Not sure why, since this material is real. Some of it is also rather scary!

The YouTube channel Motherboard takes us to Liberia, more exactly to a place known as “Monkey Island” where aggressive chimps show up in huge flocks, stopping people from going ashore. The locals at the mainland seems to believe that the chimpanzees have a taste for human flesh (or perhaps White human flesh) and generally avoid the place…unless paid around 80 dollars!

The reporter then reveals the truth about Monkey Island. It´s a place where a US-sponsored medical research facility “retired” chimpanzees infected by hepatitis during laboratory experiments. The Americans responsible for the operation stayed behind even when Liberia descended into a brutal civil war during the 1990´s.

Today, the facility is long gone, but some of the native care-takers still bring food to the stranded chimps, which are much less aggressive towards them than to the mainland locals. The contrast between how the chimpanzees approach the two groups of people is fascinating…

At least the people responsible for the research lab were just as helpful towards the human refugees during the uncivil war, as they were towards the apes. 

PS. Yes, I know, Pan troglodytes isn´t a "monkey". 

The god of octopi

First, a quote within a quote:

>>>The very biology of the octopus precludes any idealistic or dualistic conception of consciousness: “In an octopus, the nervous system as a whole is a more relevant object than the brain: it’s not clear where the brain itself begins and ends, and the nervous system runs all through the body. The octopus is suffused with nervousness; the body is not a separate thing that is controlled by the brain or nervous system.” This leads him to the conclusion that “The octopus lives outside the usual brain/body divide.”>>>

So if octopi would create a religion, it would be a pantheistic form of Haeckelian monism? 


Triple organism

This is a very short clip (only about 4 minutes) which is nevertheless staggering in its implications. For 150 years, scientists assumed that a lichen is a double organism, consisting of algae (or cyanobacteria) living in symbiosis with an ascomycete fungus (or, in rare cases, a basidiomycete ditto). Recently, however, scientists realized that most lichens are *triple* organisms formed from algae (or cyanobacteria) and *both* ascomycetes and basidiomycetes. The basidiomycete component of the matrix has been overlooked for one and a half century!


This opens up interesting possibilities, wouldn´t you say? And remember, we are talking about lichens, which have been studied by science for a long time. What if science doesn´t even *look* for a phenomenon? Say Bigfoot in your backyard, astrological aspects in the blue sky above, or Illuminati in the JFK administration…


God´s coming atcha

“How the Universe Works: The Quasar Enigma” is a documentary about one of the most insane phenomena in the cosmos: the so-called quasars (or quasi-stellar radio sources). When I was much younger, nobody knew what the quasars really were – the most exotic theory was that they were “white holes” spewing out all the matter black holes had swallowed (I actually wrote an unpublished science fiction story as a teenager based on this idea). The most recent understanding is that quasars *are* black holes, or rather the luminous accretion disks of super-massive black holes at the very center of old galaxies. They also emit so-called “quasar jets”, a kind of cosmic death rays that can rip entire galaxies apart! The perspectives are truly staggering: when a galaxy gets old enough, it´s simply eaten from within by a black hole, which then disgorges part of the captured matter, destroying everything in its wake. Believers in “eternal progress” should perhaps take heed at this. I wonder how many advanced civilizations have been destroyed literally overnight (together with the planet they are standing on) by quasar jets…

Another problem: the quasars are found at the core of extremely old galaxies, some of which formed only about 1 billion years after the Big Bang. This is impossible according to the laws of physics as we know them today – there simply wasn´t enough time for super-massive stars to form, live and die as ditto black holes. The documentary, with its official scientific perspective, doesn´t really have a solution to this, but surely one possibility is that the Big Bang never happened.

The most sensational piece of information in this production is that *our* galaxy, the Milky Way, has a sleeping quasar at its very center! It´s been known for a long time that there is a huge black hole at the core of the Milky Way, known as Sagittarius A-star. Over and above the Milky Way, there are mysterious clouds of matter. Astronomers now suspect that they were formed at some point in the past by quasar jets. How long ago? Only 6 million years! Sagittarius A-star could therefore be something as bizarre as a dormant quasar. Nobody knows what could awaken it, but in 4 billion years, the Andromeda galaxy will collide with the Milky Way, a collision that might merge the central black holes of both galaxies, leading to a truly spectacular show…spectacular, that is, if you´re safely ensconsed millions of parsecs away in another corner of the universe.

Despite their violent nature, quasars might nevertheless be necessary for star formation to happen in an even and balanced way, turning themselves on and off in the process like a thermostat. Without the quasar, star formation in a galaxy might be too rapid, with too many stars turning into supernovae, destroying all preconditions for life in the process. So in a final twist, quasars are not just threats to our survival as a planet (let alone species), they might at the same time be engines of creation – at least until that fateful day when the black hole gets too large and insatiable, effectively ending the galactic equilibrium.

I always wax philosophical watching stuff like this, and “The Quasar Enigma” was no exception. This quasar business feels like something so above our puny little heads that all our science, religion and even esotericism is stumped by its power. Show me one ancient belief system which included quasars…exactly, you won´t find any. (And if you´re into high tech, show me the tech that can stop a quasar jet. Exactly. As one of the scientists in the program says: “If a quasar jet´s coming atcha, it´s over”. ) At the same time, it also feels as if all this cosmic action somehow proves God´s existence. It´s a god who couldn´t care less about shrimp salad, ham sandwiches or blood pudding. I might have had my very first truly religious experience watching the show. Straight out of God´s answer to Job…

It´s over, guys

“How the Universe Works: The Interstellar Mysteries” is a fast-paced documentary about interstellar space. On the face of it, the concept looks absurd, I mean, isn´t the space between the stars supposed to be, ahem, empty?

That´s where you´re wrong, kiddo.

It turns out that empty space is literally *teeming* with more or less bizarre astronomical objects: rogue stars, rogue planets, exotic comets, vast expanses of gas, and what have you. It seems the cosmos really is following the old metaphysical principle of plenitude! Unfortunately for Homo sapiens, it also follows the more modern scientific principle of “couldn´t care less about the human race, matie”. In the vast expanses of outer space, a rogue star known as Gliese 710 (a so-called orange dwarf) will reach the Oort cloud in 1.3 million years, triggering a deadly cascade of comets heading right in our direction. At that point, it will essentially all be over – all or most life on Earth will be vaporized, incinerated, suffocated, or whatever. That´s in 1.3 million years, guys. Get ready with the preppin´!

The least convincing part of this production concernes ´Oumuamua, which the producers dismiss as a comet, rather than as an alien probe, something seriously proposed by some scientists. The argument of skeptico-dom? Well, there weren´t any alien radio transmissions from the object, so therefore ´Oumuamua can´t be a space probe. Subtext: of course, the advanced civilization beyond Gliese that built the probe wanted to communicate with Homo sapiens, rather than, say, study all the interesting shit in interspellar space, take samples from our orange dwarf, or something like that which just may interest Andorian scientists more than the philosophical shenanigans of a naked ape-man (or some PBS documentary).

That being said, I nevertheless recommend “How the Universe Works”. Yes, commander, the universe really is “alive” (as in active) and it´s actually quite astounding that we even are around on this rock of ours…

Uniquely on the left

“The Indian-Sandinista War in Nicaragua” by Yolanda Alaniz is a pamphlet published in 1986 by the Freedom Socialist Party in Seattle, United States. The FSP is a Trotskyist-feminist party and apparently still exists. I have previously reviewed a relatively interesting pamphlet they published against Lyndon LaRouche, the recently deceased leader of the NCLC political cult.

The FSP supported the 1979 revolution in Nicaragua against the brutal rule of the US-backed dictator Somoza. As good Trotskyists, they also had a tendency to criticize the Sandinista front (the FSLN), the dominant force in the revolution, “from the left”. Somewhat curiously, they also criticized the FSLN “from the right” (according to the definitions of the time) on the issue of Sandinista-Native relations.

The Atlantic Coast regions of western Nicaragua are very different from the eastern parts of the same country (where the capital Managua is situated). During the colonial period, western Nicaragua (then known as the Mosquito Coast) was de facto a British colony, while eastern Nicaragua was Spanish. The western regions weren´t really incorporated into Nicaragua until decades after independence. Culturally, they are still far apart. The Natives (“Indians”) of the Atlantic Coast speak their own languages or Creole English rather than Spanish, many are Protestants, and racially they are heavily mixed with Blacks. The main Native group is known as Miskito or Miskito Indians. They live in the northwest, relatively close to the border with Honduras.

Like almost everyone else at the time, the Miskitos participated in the revolution against the Somoza dictatorship. Despite this, the new Sandinista government, dominated by Spanish-speakers from eastern Nicaragua, was insensitive to Miskito demands for land rights and political autonomy. The FSP claims that the FSLN unceremoniously arrested the Miskito leaders when they presented their demands in Managua. Some traditional Native land was grabbed and opened to logging. After a stand-off in a local church, where several Miskitos were killed, the Miskitos turned against the FSLN government, arms in hand. The Sandinista army responded by forced relocations of thousands of Miskitos away from the war zone. The FSP tries to play down the fact that the Miskito organization MISURATA actually joined the US-backed Contras, who were fighting to overthrow the leftist Sandinista government from bases in Honduras. Many Miskitos fled Nicaragua for refugee camps in that country. It wasn´t until 1987, one year after FSP published this pamphlet, that the FSLN finally changed course and agreed to grant autonomy to the Natives and Creoles of the Atlantic region.

The Miskito-Sandinista conflict must have been an acute embarrassment for leftists and radical liberals in the United States, who supported the Sandinistas and demanded an end of US funding for the Contras. The FSP´s pamphlet contains a speech given by party spokesperson Yolanda Alaniz at a discussion forum at which the other speaker, ironically from the American Indian Movement, condemned the Miskitos as lackeys of American imperialism. Alaniz, correctly in my opinion, demands that the leftist government in Managua grants autonomy to the Miskitos and other ethnic groups in western Nicaragua. To Alaniz, this is a way to strengthen the revolution and (hopefully) win back the Miskitos to the side of the revolution. I suppose Alaniz and the FSP were vindicated, in a sense, when the FSLN really did grant the western regions autonomy one year later.

Otherwise, I have to say that the pamphlet is written in a super-dogmatic Leninist-Trotskyist style which today seems almost comic. Thus, the FSP spokeswoman spends considerable time trying to prove that the Miskito Indians are a “nation” and hence have the right to national self-determination. This implies, if taken at face value, that only ethnic groups which are “nations” according to Marxist definition have such a right (presumably, the Bolshevik definition as exposited by Stalin in “Marxism and the National Question” in 1913 – the irony of Trotskyists studying Stalin is brutal). The problem with this, of course, is that the Miskitos are *not* a nation according to Stalin´s definition (yes, I know, I know, the work was approved by Lenin and the Central Committee, it was written when Stalin was still a “revolutionary”, blah blah). Stalin explicitly says that nations are products of capitalism, yet Alaniz states that the Miskitos are pre-capitalist. She also admits that the Miskitos had British support during the colonial period. Thus, the Miskitos are closer to what Marx dubbed “a reactionary people” or a “people without history” than to a nation in the Marxist-Leninist sense. Marx wouldn´t have supported Miskito autonomy! I admit that Lenin, who launched the so-called korenizatsiia policy in Soviet Russia, might have…

The FSP also makes another curious error in the pamphlet, now in the opposite direction. They claim that the right of national self-determination is absolute. This, of course, has never been the position of any Marxist, for whom national self-determination is simply an expedient demand, to put forward or reject as the exigencies of the “class struggle” allows. Soviet Russia granted independence to Finland, while trying to invade Poland and Georgia! I think the FSP took up the cause of the Miskitos due to their strong emphasis on “special oppression” and “specially oppressed groups”. As self-conscious socialist feminists, women were seen as the most important such sector, but others included Blacks, Chicanos and Native Americans. It was probably difficult for the FSP not to support the Miskitos (at least morally and politically), although it probably gave them a bad reputation in broad leftist circles as some kind of Contra dupes. Likewise, it was probably difficult for a Trotskyist group not to sperge Trotskyese in a pamphlet on current events…

That being said, I nevertheless found “The Indian-Sandinista War in Nicaragua” relatively interesting, and therefore give it three stars.

Among Contras and Zambos

“Nicaragua Was Our Home” is an interesting documentary, or rather propaganda piece, about the Contra War against the leftist Sandinista government of Nicaragua during the 1980´s. The piece is pro-Contra and depicts the Sandinistas as marauding genocidal butchers and anti-Christians. The film maker, Lee Shapiro, was later killed in Afghanistan during another daring attempt to tape an anti-Communist documentary. It´s not clear whether he was killed by the Soviets or simply mugged and murdered by the Muslim fundamentalists he had accompanied into Soviet-occupied territory. Shapiro was a “Moonie”, a member of the South Korea-based Unification Church, which is strongly anti-Communist. The Moonies claim to be Christians, but critics regard them as a cult. Note the irony of a “Christian” group supporting the Islamist rebels in Afghanistan…

Shapiro´s film about Nicaragua is taped in western Nicaragua, inhabited by the Miskitos and several other Native (“Indian”) groups, as well as by Creoles. The Miskitos supported the 1979 revolution against the hated US-backed dictator Somoza, but soon had a fall out with the Sandinistas (the FSLN), the dominant force in the anti-Somocista movement. The Sandinistas, dominated by Spanish-speakers from eastern Nicaragua, refused to recognize the Miskito demands for self-government and Native land rights in the western part of the country. By 1981, the political conflict had turned violent, many Miskitos taking up arms and siding with the US-backed Contras, who wanted to overthrow the FSLN government. The Sandinista army responded by forced deportations of thousands of Miskitos from the war zone, ostensibly to “protect” them but in reality to undercut civilian support of the Contra forces. Many Miskitos fled the country, ending up in refugee camps in Honduras (where the Contras had their bases). In 1987, the FSLN did grant autonomy to the Natives and Creoles of western Nicaragua, but by then it was probably too late to turn the tide. In 1990, the Sandinistas were voted out of power (they are back again today). The two autonomous regions still exist, however.

For obvious reasons, I can´t judge the concrete charges made by Shapiro in “Nicaragua Was Our Home”. He claims that the crimes of the Sandinista army include the deliberate burning of churches, the bombing of entire villages, sheer plunder, and so on. What makes the documentary interesting is that it also shows Miskito culture. Many of the Miskitos are clearly mixed race (Black-Native) and speak Creole English alongside their native language. Indeed, many look more Black than Indian. Spanish is only spoken by the Miskito leaders who were educated at Managua or in Cuba. They are apparently defectors from the FSLN. The culture of the Miskitos is heavily centered on Christianity, with the Moravian Brethren (of all groups!) being the main denomination. Others are Catholic, and some of the people interviewed are foreign Catholic missionaries active in the area. The entire area looks isolated and frankly primitive. Fishing for subsistence seems to be the main economic activity. The documentary also features the Contras, and even shows a battle between Contra forces and Sandinistas, with Shapiro trying to tape the action at a decidedly unsafe distance.

If you can stomach the propaganda aspects of this production, I actually recommend it as a kind of political-ethnographic study…

Sunday, February 10, 2019

Putin TAR ÖVER Telefonplans-Pravda

Har Putte i Moskvitsch tagit över fucking jävla Dagens Nyheter? Man undrar ju, efter att på DN:s startsida ha sett följande rubrik: "I smällkallt Ryssland existerar inga snökaos. Därför fungerar snöröjningen: massa maskiner och många anställda".


Perhaps Mueller should probe this, or...?

Saturday, February 9, 2019

Out on a limb

This clip from Shirley MacLaine´s film or mini-series "Out on a Limb" seems to feature the actual medium Sture Johansson, who is quite well known in Sweden. He supposedly channels an old Egyptian merchant named Ambres, whose message seems close to Theosophy (what else?). I didn´t know MacLaine had taped an actual séance with this guy! 

However, there are several errors in the clip. First, Ambres doesn´t speak "an ancient Swedish dialect". There is nothing strange about his Swedish, except that it´s extremely well-articulated. The translation is also wrong. The girl in the audience asks about "the creation", not "the origins of creativity". And so on! 

That being said, it was nevertheless quite interesting to see Sture Johansson in action before an entire group - so far, I´ve only seen him (or is it Ambres) do one-to-one "interviews". 

I´m not really dead

“Ambres: En Död Talar” (Ambres: A Dead Man Speaks) is a Swedish documentary, unfortunately without English titles, about the strange case of Sture Johansson, a Swedish carpenter and hunter who channels a 3000-year old spirit called Ambres. The Sture-Ambres team is known even in the United States, being featured in Shirley MacLaine´s book “Out on a Limb” and the film with the same name. 

This documentary was shown by SVT, the Swedish public service network, in 2007. Several skeptics (of the organized type) actually filed a complaint against the program, but the complaints weren´t upheld by the bureaucratic agency overseeing SVT broadcasts. I have *some* understanding for the skeptical reaction, since “Ambres: En Död Talar” does come across as an extended pitch for the controversial Sture Johansson and his Theosophy-inspired worldview, while not even token critics are featured.

That being said, the documentary itself is actually quite boring, probably because most channeled material *is* boring. Spiritual seekers have heard most of it before: what reincarnates isn´t the Ego but the Higher Self (called “the rider” as in horse-rider by Ambres), the “witness” records everything we experience and then releases it during near-death experiences, we create our own after-death experiences – usually pleasant ones – but then karma takes over and propels us down into incarnation again, the true man is pure spirit and therefore cannot die, and so on.  

What makes Johansson unusual is that he consciously cultivates an image of being an “ordinary Joe” who knows nothing about esotericism and for a long time channeled spirit-beings only reluctantly. His initial reaction, or so he claims, was to think that he was going literally insane. He also attacks the American New Age channeling scene with some vehemence, viewing it as a pandemonium of power struggles between fake mediums. Throughout the production, Johansson claims to be an ordinary professional and family man. While I happen to think Sture *is* more sympathetic than the average New Age crank, he isn´t entirely truthful here. For starters, he is running study classes and a small organization around the revelations given to Ambres, something mentioned only in passing in “Ambres: En Död Talar”.

In an interesting article, ex-Anthroposophist Håkan Blomqvist reveals that Sture Johansson was deeply involved in the Theosophical and “ifological” scene long before Ambres appeared. The “ifologists” were people who believed that the UFOs were manned by benign space brothers with advanced spiritual knowledge (from “IFO” = Identified Flying Object). In other words, people who took the contactee phenomenon seriously. Sture and his then-wife Turid had seen UFOs and aliens at a number of occasions. In 1974, Sture published a book about astral travel, and it was the entity mentioned in this work, Simeno, who “came through” during the first channeling session in 1976. Ambres seems to have appeared one year later. The group to which Sture belonged was not an innocuous meditation class, but an esoteric study group. One of the works they studied was Blavatsky´s “The Secret Doctrine”! On another point, however, Sture Johansson is apparently telling the truth: Blomqvist and the others really were shocked when he suddenly started to go into trances and start channeling…

None of the above is a condemnation, by the way. Not even Blomqvist really condemns his old friend. He no longer believes Ambres is a discarnate spirit, however, rather veering towards the opinion that Sture disassociates during the séances. Thus, Ambres is simply an alternate personality of Sture Johansson himself – somewhat ironically, given the “spirit´s” own expositions on Ego, Self and the nature of Time. I haven´t studied the Ambres material at any depth, but Blomqvist also believes that Sture Johansson is different in another way. Ambres virtually never demands unthinking obedience or talks about the apocalypse. According to Wiki, Ambres claims to be a defected member of a secret brotherhood on the astral plane who has decided to communicate the esoteric truths to common man. The spirit-entity even seems to have a sense of humor – in the documentary, Ambres says that it can´t be very funny to “sit on a white cloud and play a harp for hundreds of thousands of years, for starters, you have to learn how to play a harp”! However, I noticed that humor sometimes creeps into other super-serious channeled messages too, so perhaps the medium (or was it “the instrument”) is simply feeling fatigued and decides to pull a fast one from time to time…?

With that, I close my reflections on the Ambres phenomenon.


IKEA har ju aldrig velat erkänna Staten Israel, så det finns ju en viss logik i att de glömde bort en annan kolonial nybyggarstat, denna gång på södra halvklotet. Fast NZ är numera en bi-nationell stat, vilket framgår av deras nationalsång. Som jag alltså länkar till här ovan. 

Curious about New Age

”Nyfiken på Gud” (Curious about God) is a peculiar Swedish TV series about religion and spirituality, aired in 2001. Some of the episodes have been ripped on YouTube. Of course, you need to understand Swedish to watch them. Somewhat unexpectedly, the series is narrated by Peter Wahlbeck, a rowdy comedian not usually associated with anything even remotely spiritual. However, he turns out to be a fairly orthodox and even somewhat cranky New Age guy! 

The series was shown at the public service channel SVT, and it sure was interesting to see what kind of religion or spirituality *they* decided to promote. Wahlbeck says virtually nothing about Islam and most Christians interviewed are fairly liberal or heterodox. The main emphasis is on New Age and Buddhism, and is often so uncritical that I´m surprised no angry atheist filed a complaint against the show. Are we to believe that secular public service TV, at least 20 years ago, regarded New Age and Buddhism as harmless and therefore “legitimate” paths, while monotheism and more traditional polytheism were no-nos?

That being said, I did find the interviews in “Nyfiken på Gud” interesting, although perhaps too short. Wahlbeck has met Sture Johansson, the world famous Swedish medium who channels a spirit named Ambres. He interviews Göran Grip, who promoted Raymond Moody´s books in Sweden, about Grip´s own near-death experience at the age of five. One episode deals with Martinus Kosmologi, a Danish version of Theosophy developed by Martinus Thomsen, which has some supporters in Sweden (Wahlbeck seems fascinated by it himself). The inevitable Anthroposophists and their weird art and architecture are featured, and so is Swedish pop singer Thomas Di Leva and Norwegian philosopher Arne Naess. The worst interview is with a crazy woman who claims to be able to live on pure light, but if you follow her words carefully, she actually admits that she sometimes drinks juice or eats a candy bar…

The biggest scoop of the series, or so Wahlbeck claims, was an interview with the 17th Karmapa of Tibetan Buddhism – or one of them, specifically Ogyen Trinley Dorje, who was only 20 years old at the time, having just escaped from China to Dharamsala in northern India, the center of the exiled Tibetans. (There are apparently two claimants to the position of Karmapa, the head of the Karma Kagyu lineage within the Kagyu sect of Vajrayana Buddhism. The Dalai Lama belongs to another sect, the Geluk-pa.) Wahlberg´s talk with one of the older lamas was actually more interesting.

The most comic part of the series is Wahlbeck´s interview with a Dominican sister, who tells him to get down to earth instead of dreaming about angels, space aliens or whatever. Wahlbeck asks the sister what she would do if a “being of light radiating magnetic energy” would appear in her room, at which the sister responds that she would go out and have a good steak in order to recover from the experience!

What a shame Paul (the apostle) never thought of that…

OK, seriously. If you´re Swedish and curious about spirituality, I think “Nyfiken på Gud” is worth watching, but to a large extent for shall we say “ethnological” reasons. As already indicated, it´s an interesting question to ask why TV in the most secularized nation in the world chose to make a series about “God” in exactly this way, and no other…