The Fearless Vampire Killers
A gypsy with a broken flag and a flashing ring
Said "Son, this ain't a dream no more, it's the real thing."- Bob Dylan
In Tuesday's Necronomicon post I briefly referred to the "Vampire Clan" of 17-year old Roderik Ferrell. In my haste I didn't closely read Ferrell's confession, but thankfully "Dream's End did:
Dewey: Rod, you talked about a, you said that Scott never saw a murder before, did you see a murder before then?
A: I've fucking seen murders like all my life, every since I was five cause my grandfather for one, he's never been caught either.
Q: You saw these people murder other people?
A: He's part of an organization called the Black Mask. Whenever I was five they chose me as the Guardian of the Black Mask and the Guardian has to become one with everybody. In other words, they raped me. And they have to sacrifice a human to the Guardian so they sacrificed someone right in front of me.
Q: What city was that in?
A: It was in Murray.
Q: Would you call that a cult?
Q: These guys that are with ya, are they, have you indoctrinated them into the ways of the cult or you just ah their friends that your run with? What about Scott?
A: No, I never became part of them.
Q: Kind of tough even when you're hard core, isn't it man?
A: Two things bother me: what happened whenever I was five and the fact that I never will get to see Che after this... I've been hanging around gangs and cults and all that shit all my life, so I've seen like sacrifices and drug buys...
Q: I'm just asking, Rod.
A: Killing is a way of life, animals do it, and that's the way humans are, just the worst predators of all actually.
Q: To be straight up with ya, yeah, it's probably going to entail the death penalty.
Q: Yeah, there you go.
A: I'm sorry, this is just like a big fucking joke. My life seems like a dream. My childhood was taken away at five, I don't know whether I'm asleep or dreaming anymore so whatever, for all I know I could wake up in five minutes.
Ferrell had been raised by his young mother, Sondra Gibson, and her parents after his father abandoned the family and joined the military. Besides the rape, occult torture and human sacrifice Ferrell alleges he'd suffered at the hands of his grandfather's circle, Gibson's second husband is also said to have been "engaged in satanic rituals," and his mother sought to become a vampire herself. The Smoking Gun has one of Gibson's love letters to the 14-year old brother of Stephen Murray, who had "crossed" Ferrell over to vampirism. Murray's mother turned the letters over to the police. Gibson wrote of longing for him to cross her over, to make her his bride, and so "become a vampire, a part of the family."
Ferrell was the youngest ever consigned to execution by the State of Florida. (He left death row in 2002.) Most who remember his name likely regard him as just another eff'd-up Goth who played Dungeons and Dragons too many times. Prosecutor David Harrington said "I think you had a group of kids that just wanted to be a part of something, wanted to belong to a group, and it went too far. Hopefully, it's over." At his sentencing the judge declared Ferrell proves "there is genuine evil in the world." I'd like to know how long that judge has served on the Bench, because I'd say the case was made somewhat earlier. It must have been made rather convincingly to the five-year old "Guardian of the Black Mask," delivered by his grandfather into paedophile rape and torture. ("Two things bother me: what happened whenever I was five....")
Another generation, another generational cult.
Ferrell, testified a psychologist at his trial, "felt he was able to get powers from this book." That would seem to have been the lesson of his abuse: obtain power, and make it stop.
"The Black Mask," "The Hand of Death," The Atlanta child murder ring, the "Friends of Hecate," the Four Pi Movement and the "Black Cross" and more: they go by many names, and some by none at all. And too frequently for it to be coincidence or fantasy we read how members include "well-known" and "respected" citizens of the community.
From prison Ferrell said he never expected there to be consequences to his crimes. A reasonable assumption, given his grandfather and the "Black Mask" have apparently never faced any themselves. ("I've fucking seen murders like all my life, every since I was five cause my grandfather for one, he's never been caught either.") Prosecution of occult crime seems to match the conduct of the "War on Drugs": arrest the end users of narcotics and child porn; make showcase arrests, frequently of patsies; and never implicate the respected figures at the top.
In his 1978 essay entitled "Some Considerations on the Paperback Publication of the NECRONOMICON" (quoted in Harms and Gonce's The Necronomicon Files), William S Burroughs said that "with some knowledge of the black arts from prolonged residence in Morocco, I have been surprised and at first shocked to find real secrets of curses and spells revealed in paperback publications for all to see and use." Burroughs concludes with the thought that this is a good thing: public disclosure will keep the dark secrets from being monopolized by corporations and government agencies.
There is a certain logic to that. But there's certainly madness, too. Because, I would expect, whenever the dark secrets are employed, the result will always be darkness. That's what Ferrell did when he took up the Necronomicon in occult imitation of his abusers. It was learned behaviour.
From an email I receieved this week from a reader recounting his experience with the Necronomicon, and reproduced with permission:
Once I realized I wouldn't be hearing much about Cthulhu in the book, my interest waned somewhat, but I finished reading anyways. That was when things started to get odd. I began hearing noises, and by noises I mean loud ones, such as feet running over the roof of the house while I was home alone, noises outside my bedroom window, etc. The belief was that until a person burned the book, they would be plagued by the demons released by reading it. I sought to endure this as long as possible, but eventually I reached my breaking point, and after a couple weeks of "haunting" that never exceeded what you have refered to as "prankster behavior", I burned the paperback in my grandparent's front driveway, which was where I lived at the time, and bringing the episode to and end.
One last thing about this experience, and one I was highly reticent to admit in your blog, was when I burned this book, I stood and watched it go up. What I saw I've never sufficiently reconcilled with my "understanding of things":
The pages burned blank. By this I mean that as the book burned and page after page burned off the top, each page beneath the last was completely empty of ink.
Magick is something of an intermediary between psychology and religion, and it's hard sometimes to know where the psi ends and something Other takes over. Teens experiment, and sometimes find power, and may not ask from where it comes. But the occult is recognized as its battery. And not just by teens.
I'll quote again Dion Fortune, from her book What Is Occultism? (a compilation of essays published in the 1920s):
Black occultists may be divided into two classes, those who deliberately say to Evil, Be thou my good; and those who stray onto the Left-hand Path more or less unintentionally, and having got there, stay there, often deluding themselves.... Fortunately, the Christs of Evil are as rare as the Christs of Good. Supreme achievement in any walk of life is attained by but few.
That's one consolation, I suppose.