Correspondence and sanctuary (Part One)
"No hay banda! There is no band. It is all - an illusion!" - Mulholland Drive
I was thinking last week about the other Bob Woodward, and that started a train of thought which hasn't yet come to a complete stop.
The other Woodward is the young man who's bizarre plea for political asylum in a Vermont church the morning of December 2, 2001 was met with a hail of police bullets and a circuitous ambulance trip to the hospital - three miles in 40 minutes - that conspired to take his life, though Woodward, armed only with a pocket knife, had threatened no one but himself. (He'd said he would rather die than be tortured.)
I won't repeat the story here that's well-told at justiceforwoody.org. (There's also a recent thread about the case on the RI discussion board.) But let's note these things:
- Woodward worked with mentally disabled children, and told the congregation so.
- He claimed he had been receiving threats of torture and death from federal agents, apparently for his environmental activism.
- He said "I'll never rile against the Bush Administration again, or the military or any of these other things. I just can not leave here, I am in danger."
- Some of what he said sounds impossibly bizarre, though he made his most bizarre and disturbing remarks lying in his blood on the floor of the church sanctuary. For instance, "The CIA killed Jeb Bush." A police officer replied, "Well, Jeb Bush isn't dead yet." Woodward answered "No - the other Jeb Bush."
To me, the lesson of Woodward's tragedy is obscured by the question, How do we begin telling people what we've learned, and what we suspect, without sounding crazy? Where do we start? And how can we before we find ourselves in similar desperate circumstance?
Perhaps we need to resign ourselves to sounding mad to most people. I expect that to many still comfortable with the established paradigm, whether we're talking about assassinations or MKULTRA or UFOs, it's all just different degrees of paranoia. There's a steep learning curve to secret history, and without knowing some of it our talk of present and future mysteries will sound like gibberish. CIA, aliens and mind control: isn't that the usual constellation of delusion?
And yet we need to admit there are such things as madness and delusion, and avoid the corresponding conceit of the so-called, and sometimes rightly so, fringe: just because it's out there doesn't make it right.
And it's often complicated, especially off the High, Weird End, when genuine correspondences are also mad.
More than the account of odd sightings of a strange flying creature with glowing red eyes, John Keel's The Mothman Prophecies is a record of an eruption of all manner of occult/trickster phenomenon in West Virginia in the mid-sixties. Animal mutilations, poltergeists, mechanical voices on telephones, UFOs, monsters and "Men in Black."
In late October, 1966, on one of his regular pre-dawn strolls, Leonard Elmore of Duncan Falls, Ohio came upon a "strange building." He was only two blocks from his house, but he had never before seen the L-shaped structure that "looked like a galvanized iron shed" sitting in a large field. He walked a little closer to get a better look, and saw no windows or doors. He was overcome with a sense of dread, that he not explain later, and began to turn back. It was then, Elmore claims, that he "distinctly heard a normal male voice" come from inside the structure, saying "Don't run...don't run." When he returned soon after, it was gone.
When he showed me the field I was perturbed to find that it was right next to the Duncan Falls Elementary School. An unusual number of sightings an Fortean events seem to be concentrated around schools and the largest percentage of witnesses consists of children between the ages of seven and eighteen. Another statistical oddity is that the majority of the adults who claim their autos were pursued by UFOs or monsters are schoolteachers, especially teachers specializing in abnormal children - the very bright or the mentally deficient.
Remember the phantom clowns and social workers? During the Mothman flap, homes in the Ohio Valley of West Virginia were visited by phantom census takers, who were also chiefly interested in the numbers and ages of children.
The other Bob Woodward, we've noted, worked with mentally disabled children. I'm not saying he was being hounded by monsters or UFOs. I'm simply saying there is, it seems, a correspondence of interests among the human and inhuman monsters of our study. So perhaps it doesn't matter a great deal what exactly was hounding him. (The correspondence extends further: alien entities are always passing on dire warnings of environmental calamity, just as Woodward was warning the congregation.)
And here's something else.
Keel also writes that UFOs and bizarre entities "all appear to have the ability to ferret out human females during their menstrual period." He also notes that "the phenomenon has an almost pornographic preoccupation with our mating practices."
Now, consider the mission of the "Typhonian Ordo Templi Orientis," the branch of the OTO founded by Aleister Crowley's purported spiritual heir Kenneth Grant:
The Typhonian OTO is concerned with effective transmissions and communications from 'outerspace' for the purpose of opening Gateways. The Typhonian 'deities' denote specific operations of psycho-physical alchemy which involve essences or elixirs secreted (thrown out and/or considered unclean) by the human organism. Its formula is that of the XI° involving kalas that are entirely absent from the masculine organism.
Grant's Typhonian OTO is principally concerned with "opening Gateways." The Gateway through which, Grant holds, LAM entered Crowley's world. (Concerning the Babalon Working of Jack Parsons and L Ron Hubbard, Grant has written that "Parsons opened a door and something flew in.") These dark entities Grant likens to the "Old Ones" of HP Lovecraft, whom he regards as a "natural adept."
Crowley's XI° degree of the OTO pertained to anal intercourse: the sex magickal meaning of the Eye of Horus. The XI° degree of Grant's Typhonian OTO "is based on intercourse during menstruation and is considered by some as the true reversal of the IX° i.e. being a part of the same cycle. It is regarded that Crowley was unaware of the true formula as the Typhonian XI° involves specific kalas that are entirely absent from the masculine organism."
So there's John Keel, scratching his head at how manifestations of UFOs and alien entities seem linked to menstruation, and an occult order of sex magic concerned with "opening Gateways" which, for its final degree, entails ritual intercourse during menstruation.
It's crazy. But as crazy at it sounds now, just imagine trying to explain it to a church congregation as police snipers take aim.