March 23, 2005

To My Brother and Sister Pagans:

Before I get to my invitation to other Practitioners of the Craft, I just want to note that it occurs to me that we've gone about this all wrong. If Republicans and social libertarians merely said, "Terri who?" the Left would have been all over this, and the hue and cry over how heartless "Repugs" are would have reached an all-new decibel level of shrill.

But because it seems to be mainly conservative types who are championing Terri's right to live, there must be something political, something suspect, and wrong about it.

Never mind that life is sacred. Never mind that all we have is Michael Schiavo's hearsay testimony that Terri "once said" something to him, in passing, at the end of watching a movie that she wouldn't want to be a burden. Never mind that there is an incredible amount of information out there suggesting that ending Terri's life isn't what she really wants or deserves, and that Terri isn't as nonfunctional as the public has been led to believe.

I am outraged by the cozening suggestions that starvation is "painless and peaceful". I'm left nonplussed by the backseat manner of the Schiavo side of the coin, "No, really, it's OK. Just trust me. Relax."

Then I am deeply touched by the Schindler's ongoing fight to save their child. I look over at my child, and hope that if -- Gods forbid -- something so evil were to happen to her, that there would be people of good heart to stand up and join my fight to keep her alive. But then, my husband I would handle any injury to our daughter differently.

I'm a practicing Pagan writing this, so don't accuse me of overweening Christianity.

Now, on to my invitation to Brothers and Sisters of Good Heart: The moon is waxing full. Depending upon how you guage the advent, the season of Ostara is upon us. I ask other Pagans who may come upon these words to join in Rites inviting the visitation of appropriate justice, and for the Rule of Three to assert itself with alacrity. Invoke Wisdom. Invoke protection for the weak. Ask the Macha Ruadh to deliver justice to evildoers everywhere.

Do not direct your energies to individuals. Let the Universe sort out who is right and who is wrong. Harm none through deed or intent. Merely invite the Universe to restore balance. People will reap what they have sown. We'll just be inviting vested energies to return threefold, in accordance with what is in the heart.

Then we'll see who thrives and who...doesn't.

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posted by Linda at 06:52 PM : Comments (0)

November 04, 2004

They're on to me!

Mentioned at LGF's post about "Choice Moonbat Quotes" following the election, is this gem originating on a pagan forum over at Livejournal:

(Note: the following screed is quoted as written -- no edits by yours truly.)

**Magical Election Ta pering: SHUT IT DOWN!** Ok, I can understand the restlessness I've been feeling since yesterday. There's a lot riding on this election, and passions are running high on both sides, so naturally eceryone and their naked brother who has an ounce of Power and no clue about Shielding is leaking energy like a hair dryer in a bathtub. So it's Shields Up for me, but I'm still getting enough bleedover to make me jittery and a little manic if I don't concentrate. That's all to be expected.

What wasn't expected was that once I filtered out all that background noise, I started hearing a calm, resonable, and powerful head-voice saying things like
"Kerry doesn't have the experience we need in these troubled times." and "Give Bush a chance to make it better."

Anyone who knows me KNOWS these are not my thoughts! And besides, I
voted last week. No, there's no way in Hades these are my thoughts.

Gods-damn it! The f*cking Republicans have got Magical help pumping out
a clear, unified, focused broadcast, and you can be sure, every sensitive is
picking it up. These are the people most likely to vote Kerry, and I'd like to think they are resolute enough not to be swayed by telepathic subliminal advertising, but it's such a rarely-done thing, and so few people are properly trained these days, that I fear it will be more effective. Just watch
and see who says "I was going to vote for Kerry, but for some reason I
changed my mind at the last minute."

Who would be doing this for them? Gee, who are the Mages driving around
in those black Mercedes and Lincolns with the tinted windows? The ones who live in the mansions with the hell-hounds in the yard and the 7-foot tall hairless black doormen? Every town has some, the bigger the town, the more of these "High Magi" you will find.

I have no idea what their agenda may be, but you can be damn sure the
welfare of the common human on the street is not a part of it.

So shield, people, shield. And screen. And if you can shield a polling
place, do it! I'm not saying to try to interfere with people's choices, but rather prevent them from being interfered with.

This is important, people, and it may be too late already.

[Linda stops laughing with a physical effort/wipes eyes]


A bit of advice: Honey, those voices aren't necessarily magical workings or the voices of your spirit guides. Lithium and/or thorazine sometimes help. Talk to your doctor.

But Who woulda thunk I had that much power?

So, now and forevermore, let me be known as Linda, High Magistra of the VRWC...

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posted by Linda at 04:59 PM : Comments (7)

October 22, 2004

Speak for Yourself

Puyallup School District in Washington State is cancelling Hallowe'en, because they're afraid of offending real witches.

To be sure, they're citing other reasons -- valuable time wasted due to celebrations; some kids can't afford costumes, etc. But, the biggest concern is the flak they've received from hypersensitive Wiccans who are offended at the sight of traditional Hallowe'en images like pointy-nosed witches on broomsticks.

We will all get a lot more acceptance from the mainstream if you don't go around acting like a bunch of hypercritical children. If you studied your symbols at all, you know that the modern-day images have evolved over a long period of time, and relate to the "cone" of power. The witch on a broomstick is symbolic of the Goddess' ride into the Underworld for a well-deserved winter's nap.

Idiots like those whiners in Washington will only help maintain the public impression of Wiccans as flakes.

Now go get a life. Quit acting like a bunch of judgmental Christians. You people don't speak for me.

Colorado schools: please go on with your usual Hallowe'en celebrations! Modern festivals are still an acknowledgement of the turn of the seasons. Today's Hallowe'en events still acknowledge Her, even unconsciously. By all means, please proceed!

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posted by Linda at 04:52 PM : Comments (8)

June 21, 2004

Three Years, Today.

Three years today, my love.

It rained that day, as it rains now. We took our vows on the Mountain, in the sacred circle, with those we loved best nearby. "Flesh of my flesh/Bone of my bone/I here, thou there/And both as One, forever."

I took sprigs of rosemary from my bouquet, and tossed them as offering to the spirits who presided.

Nine months later, I told you that I carried your child under my heart. Nine months after that, you were there when they pulled her from my womb, and you were the one who held her first. Eighteen months later, and the Wheel has turned yet again to this, our anniversary.

You are my rock, my shield, my lover and my priest. You are my best friend, and everything I want, everything I need, is manifest in you.

I love you.

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posted by Linda at 07:32 PM : Comments (2)

June 13, 2004

Soap Opera II: an Open Letter to David

(The following began as a my reply to a comment from David appended to the post entitled “Soap Opera” (June 9), below. But it grew too long to save there. And since it deals with issues that are significant beyond the immediacies of my own life, I think it actually belongs here, on the main thread.)

I APOLOGIZE FOR THE fact this is so very long. But its length is mandated by my Southron-proud and deeply offended need to address David’s apparently insulting inference that writing honestly about my own troubles is somehow trolling for a “free ride” -- that what I am doing here is therefore merely an electronic variant of the silent begging the sad-eyed derelict with the “help me” sign does at the exit from the local Safeway parking lot. If I misunderstood – if no insult was intended – then I apologize for that too.

The fact of the matter is that my pension is so far below the poverty line, it qualifies me for a broad spectrum of “welfare benefits” – none of which I have ever applied for – solely because I recognize that submitting myself in abject serfdom to the malicious whimsey of a “welfare” bureaucracy I know to be both malevolently feminist and vindictively authoritarian is to start down a road that could only end in a shortcut to the graveyard. This is hardly the behavior of someone on a quest for a handout.

I have managed to get by for the past dozen years by living in the pump-house on property that until two years ago belonged to my two best friends. The pump-house has neither bathroom facilities nor hot water, but with my own carpentry skills, I converted a 20x20-foot storage space adjacent the small pump-room (which contains the well-head) into a reasonably comfortable wood-heated one-room cabin with a very adequate cold-water kitchen. For toilet and bathing facilities I use the “big house,” the main house on this fenced but mostly-wooded tract of rural land.

As to my cabin itself, I frankly love the place. Its windows are underscored by potted plants, and its interior walls are a geometric collage of crowded bookshelves, framed photographs, wooden cabinets and a homemade rack that accommodates three fly rods and two extra-long spinning rods – not that I am allowed to fish any more, not since the state has gated-off all the access roads to the back country and turned nearly all the rivers to catch-and-release streams. Even so the cabin is home to me and my two canine companions – in several senses more home than I have ever known – and the prospect of leaving it is profoundly saddening.

I was never charged a penny rent because of the primitiveness of the accommodations, but I nevertheless felt it was my duty to help out as much as possible with all of the diverse chores associated with rural living, and I am also a skilled organic gardener. So each year I raised a substantial crop of vegetables for myself and my friends, and I volunteered my labor whenever else it was possible too. It was a good arrangement for everyone concerned. My friends, a married couple who have known me through three decades, were both still working then, and to a large extent, I became the defacto caretaker of their property. In other words, I am anything but the bum David seems to have implied I am.

This informal partnership was to last forever – until all of us became too old, or died off or whatever. But three years ago the husband retired and discovered that – thanks to the shenanigans of his employer – his pension was only half what he expected it to be. He and his wife had no choice but to sell this place. Their intent, in recognition of all of the work I had done here, was to use the proceeds of the sale to help me finance returning to Tennessee – where, unlike Washington state, hunting and fishing is not increasingly de facto illegal. Another alternative, particularly if I turned up a worthwhile job somewhere locally, was to help me finance the purchase of a reasonably-sized travel-trailer or a smaller mobile home – so I could keep my dogs and avoid the no-firearms clauses that are increasingly part of rental agreements in Washington state: a dire legacy of the fact that, by law, renting a house or apartment here requires “voluntary” relinquishment of all one’s Bill-of-Rights freedoms while inside the dwelling or on the landlord’s property.

By the summer of 2002, I had decided to return to East Tennessee and was especially looking forward to visiting the many still-wild places I had fished and hunted during my boyhood. I would rent a small apartment there owned by one of my half-sisters on fenced property that would accommodate my dogs and allow for vegetable gardening. But then an in-law suddenly offered to buy the Washington state place if I would remain here to help her care for it. This seemed to everyone to be the perfect solution, especially since all of my efforts – which included construction of two large vegetable gardens (one 110' x 33', the other 66' square) – would stay, as it were, in the family. Hence I agreed, and on that basis the transaction was completed. But by the spring of 2003, a lot of old family antagonism had resurfaced, and I was once again the family hate-object, just as I had been during my entire childhood. My desire to escape that – it is depressing to live in a situation where every human interaction includes a reminder of how much I am despised – led me last February to ask the half-sister if the apartment was still available. She said it was, and my plans progressed from there.

I should note here for David’s sake that the radical difference in living cost between Western Washington (comparable to NYC and tied with San Francisco for the nation’s highest housing costs) versus East Tennessee (lowest cost of living in the U.S.) made the apartment very affordable. Once again, contrary to David’s apparent implication, this was anything but a “free ride.”

Then on the 8th my half-sister notified me that she had changed her mind. My post entitled “Soap Opera” was the immediate result. The long-term result is that now in all probability I am inescapably doomed to become one of the homeless. Not tomorrow, not next week, not even next month. But almost certainly before this time next year. And not homeless in terms of sleeping under a bridge somewhere; more likely homeless and sleeping in a tent on the side of some mountain – that is, if I can find a way past the gates and into the back country that doesn’t entail a 15 or 20-mile hike. In this context – and Linda please don’t take offense -- Internet access (or anything else unrelated to immediate survival) is simply irrelevant.

Next let me address David’s notion that “we are all responsible for our current conditions.”

If by this David means that it is our duty to cope as best we can with whatever burdens fate imposes on us, I could not agree more. That is precisely the understanding of reality that prompted me (at age 16) to talk myself into a copy-boy’s job on The Grand Rapids Herald in the fall of 1956 and within a few weeks convince Sports Editor Bob Host to let me try my hand at taking high school sports results over the phone and writing the details into stories. That experience took me to a much more lucrative stringership at The Grand Rapids Press and finally (thanks to a genuinely vicious family betrayal) to identical but substantially lower-paying work at The Knoxville Journal, which in turn led to a full-time job when I returned from a Regular Army enlistment in late 1962. All this in spite of a family that was at best uncooperative, at worst maliciously obstructive. Once again, not exactly a “free ride.”

But if what David means when he says “we are all responsible for our current conditions” is synonymous with “whatever is happening to us at any given moment is our own fault,” than I am profoundly disappointed to discover he is yet another otherwise-bright American who has fallen for the human-potentialist bunkum that “we create our own reality,” a notion that, reductio ad absurdem, says the women Ted Bundy murdered all chose to die exactly as they did, that the inmates of Dachau were there at the threshold of the gas chambers by choice, and that the three-year-old polio victim suffering in an iron lung is fulfilling the dream of a lifetime. In other words, just as untold millions of rapists have claimed, “she really wanted it.”

Whether it is the drivel spouted by Werner Erhard and his brainwashed “est-ies” or the nonsense proclaimed by “Lifespring,” the notion that “we create our own reality” is truly the apex of Occidental hubris. It is apparently the tragicomic result of a genuinely idiotic misunderstanding of the ancient Taoist/Zen concept of Tao and “suchness” and how suchness – reality with all its iridescent metaphysical nuances – is experienced. The misunderstanding (and I am being charitable here, because other more ominous conclusions are probable) derives from the fact that a number of writers on Zen have noted that nothing whatsoever exists outside of consciousness. While at first this seems no more than a statement of the obvious, its visual and emotional internalization is often the initial step in a novice’s passage toward enlightenment, a state of being that Alan Watts, in a deliberate play on Judaeo-Christian theology, describes as “at-one-ment”: the ineffable condition Zen calls satori, in which all distinctions between self and other vanish. What we are talking about is thus a profoundly powerful experience, all the more compelling to Americans because it is an experience that has been thoroughly purged from Judaism and Christianity, probably because it was so absolutely central to Druidical Paganism – note for example Taliesin’s “there is no thing in which I have not been.” But it remains an experience that is exclusively spiritual. It is no more relevant to understanding modern socioeconomic reality than the Japanese rape of Nanking is relevant to understanding Zen. Yet whether accidental or deliberate, its misrepresentation as “we create our own reality” is very useful as a goad to force people into the ratrace – no doubt the reason est, Lifespring and its kindred have found such weighty support in the boardrooms of corporate America, particularly as mandatory indoctrination for lower-level sales and managerial employees.

The foregoing is such an implicit indictment of private enterprise, I should perhaps point out here that I am a conservative not because I exalt the free market, but rather because I have seen the infinitely malignant evil of bureaucratic omnipotence – not in some far-off realm like Soviet Armenia, but right here in the United States. I do not exalt the “free market” as an alternative because in truth the “free market” does not exist. What we have in the world today are ultimately only two economic doctrines: one, variously labeled “socialism” or “Communism” or “fascism,” inevitably leads to ever-more-powerful bureaucracies; the other, variously labeled “free enterprise” or “capitalism,” is in reality merely “monopolism” and is thus nothing more than an updated version of feudalism, complete with a vast underclass of serfs.

I believe that anytime we are choosing labels for socioeconomic phenomena we should employ the “by-their-works- so-shall-ye-know-them” test. Thus we might call the ideologies of socialism, Communism and fascism bureaucratism because the construction and expansion of bureaucracies is inevitably and demonstrably their paramount result. We could call monopoly capitalism moneyism because the acquisition of money is avowedly its sole purpose.

Bureaucratism is at its core the endorsement of parasitic hierarchies: a colossal pyramid scheme on the most outrageous scale imaginable. Ironically it claims to minimize or transcend the human jungle but instead becomes exactly like that quintessential jungle creature: the leech. Bureaucracies produce nothing and they enslave the people they pretend to serve. But their greatest evil is that without exception they sanctify bigotry and petty malice as policy, and do so utterly immune from any system of checks and balances or appeals, thereby squandering human lives that might otherwise have amounted to a great deal more. The ultimate example of bureaucratism is not the Soviet Union, in which the bureaucracies failed to self-perpetuate, but rather the Third Reich, where the bureaucracies functioned like clockwork even after the Reich itself had failed.

Moneyism on the other hand embraces the reality of the human jungle and provides – albeit only to the extent of its schemes for assigning fiscal worth – some limited opportunity for genuine achievement and real advancement. The maintenance of these opportunities demand in turn the guarantee of some small degree of individual freedom, which is tolerated specifically because it allows the system to be self-correcting – the pivotal distinction when contrasting moneyism to bureaucratism. The ultimate example of moneyism is organized crime.

My personal conservatism derives not from any real enthusiasm for moneyism but rather from the fact I recognize it as the lesser evil – not to mention the ultimate property-rights foundation of all our concepts of freedom and civil rights, and truly the only choice under which the human creative impulse has anything more than the chance of the proverbial snowball in hell.

Which brings me back to my own circumstances. With his reference to “They,” David seems to suggest I avoid acknowledging my own errors. This is an absurd contention: the decisions that brought me to my present impasse, all of which date from the 1980s, were mine alone. In each instance, these decisions were carefully and thoughtfully made on the basis of the best information available to me at the time, and in each instance that information proved to be wrong. Not because I misread it, but because repeatedly during those unspeakably awful years I was deliberately lied to by a few employers and a long succession of bureaucrats. In other words, my ultimate error was the error of trust – a manifestation of my abused-child’s profound desire to avoid conflict unless I am safe behind the shield of press credentials – and I hope I am at last strong enough to guarantee myself it is a mistake I will never again repeat.

But it was not error alone that flung me into this cesspool of seemingly inescapable poverty. The destruction by fire in 1983 of literally all my life’s work – all the drafts and research notes for two book projects; the associated photographs; a separate body of photographic work dating back to 1952 and my first camera (many of the images shown and/or published); journalistic research files; an irreplaceable collection of award certificates and letters of commendation from 1963 onward; unpublished poetry and short fiction; all but 11 years of a journal I had begun keeping in 1954 – all this and so much more, the loss could go on for many pages. The material devastation, which will weigh upon me until I am in my grave, is that the fire robbed me of all hope of any sort of a genuinely comfortable retirement. The psychological devastation – very much part of the robbery process – included a ruinous bout of clinical depression that stole at least half a decade from my life.

Literally, the fire seemed an act of god. As it was described to me (I was in New York City when it occurred and the house that burned was in northwestern Washington state), the bearings in a relatively new electric alarm clock seized – something the fire investigators said they had never heard of happening before anywhere. The clock, on a bedside table, overheated and set fire to a folded newspaper. The newspaper set fire to window curtains. The house – a century-old pioneer home built of cedar logs – went up like the proverbial tinderbox. The house was rural and isolated. The blaze was not discovered until the structure was, in the parlance of firefighting, “fully involved.” The most eerie and profoundly disturbing fact of all is that – according to the remains of the clock – the fire started at exactly 4:30 p.m. Pacific Daylight Time, which is 7:30 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time – precisely the moment I was meeting with a publishing-house editor in Manhattan to plan the marketing of a large segment of my work. Hence the fire was not only like an act of god, but like a lightning bolt of divine vengeance for some sin I cannot even imagine.

Clearly David did not know these things. Perhaps that is why he spoke of my alleged need to “find somebody to help” – which I happen to think is an absurd shift out of focus for someone who is having trouble helping himself – but the fact remains that helping others by providing vital information was one of the primary motives behind both of the lost-forever books and indeed remains one of the chief reasons I write. Moreover this is not fantasy; my belief that my own insights are useful to others has been confirmed more times than I can count. The problem is not their usefulness; it is rather the fact one of the expressions of the values inherent in moneyism is that no one is willing to pay for my skills (or anyone else’s) unless they can be shown to have a direct connection to the bottom line.

If I were advising a client, I would tell him to advertise, advertise, advertise. Which is unabashedly one of my reasons for writing this blog: perhaps it will get my message out to some potential buyer – perhaps even strongly enough to motivate a sale.

Beyond my alacrity with words I literally have no other useful talent. My knack for visual thinking is as keen as ever, but my photographic and design skills are as obsolete as the T-square and the Speed Graphic. True, I can still do physical work – but only for short periods of time, and even then, all too often at terrible cost in terms of subsequent arthritic pain – which makes my manual labor and gardening abilities utterly useless as potential income earners. An eight-hour day clearing brush – something I would not have flinched at even a decade ago – is forever beyond me.

Hence if I am forced by circumstances to stop writing, there is no way I will be of any use to anyone. Indeed there is no other aspect of me that is of any potential value at all save to my dogs and my few remaining human friends, who cherish me merely because I am. And the number of my friends continues to dwindle – most of my lifetime friends have already died.

Despite the limitations in my skills menu, I continue to prospect for job opportunities. I have met several times with employment counselors, but the problem that invariably stumps us both is the fact that journalism skills don’t transfer well. The two realms that offer the best fit are intelligence work and law enforcement – fields for which I am too old by several decades. After that is teaching, from which I am excluded by formal education requirements. Next on the list is public relations, but that invariably involves running the gauntlet of corporate personnel-office scrutiny, and the fact that journalists of my generation were typically iconoclasts and troublemakers by profession (often hired for precisely those reasons) guarantees my unsuitability for the corporate realm – its own yes-man ethos even more harshly conformist than a Victorian girls’ finishing school. The one area in which there is some legitimate reason for hope is the whole field of non-profit social service agencies, as in the various organizations that serve the aged or the severely disabled. Here the problem is not lack of interest on the part of potential employers, but lack of funding. One director with whom I spoke a few months ago said he would be delighted to have me edit his newspaper, but there had been no funding available for the job since his last editor was downsized out the door three years ago.

Some of my former employers are still alive, and their respect for my talent – particularly my ability to ferret out difficult, complicated stories and make them truly understandable to average readers – is unchanged. But they agree I am a kind of dinosaur, a relic of the old, blue-collar, start-out-as-a-copy-boy regime that is now so throughly disparaged. And they believe -- probably correctly -- that I would never be accepted in any major newsroom of today, with its academic snobbery, its victim-identity cultism and its genuinely Stalinist political “correctness.” Hence what I look for is a backwater weekly or a small rural daily. Not only would I probably fit right in, I can no longer really imagine living in a city again – even a small city. There is something dreadfully addictive about stepping out into your yard and looking up at the stars – their cold brilliance undiluted by city lights.

And maybe, since I will keep plowing the ground, something will turn up. I surely hope it will – and of course I will pounce on it if it does – but at the same time I have learned from bitter experience it is better to harbor no hopes at all about the outcome.

Meanwhile I think David may owe me an apology for apparently suggesting I am a sniveling bum. But in any case it is I who owe him thanks – for without his incentive, this essay might never have been written.

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posted by at 03:01 AM : Comments (2)

June 01, 2004

Matrifascism: Subversion by a Sisterhood of Apocalyptic Hatred

by Loren Bliss

PROBABLY THE MOST thought provoking comment I have ever received in response to something I wrote – and this includes all the reports and commentaries I produced during my 30-year journalism career – was posted on this site sometime Sunday by blogger David St Lawrence. It is available in the readers’ remarks following “None Dare Call It Feminism” (below). But for the sake of convenience, suffice it to note that David was responding to my description of the utterly unfounded, viciously ruinous sex-abuse charges that swept across America during the 1980s and 1990s, and more specifically to the fact this devastating plague was vindictively spawned by matrifascist bureaucrats in service to specific matrifascist doctrines. The epicentral passages of David’s letter are quoted here:

These women seem like the spiritual descendants of the Harpies of Greek mythology.

Since every action generates mutual action before it arouses an eventual counter-action, what other monsters of history will arise before we see another generation of heroes and heroines drive them back into the darkness?

Armageddon anyone?

Again for the convenience of readers, here is a slight revision of my reply (itself available in the comments following “None Dare...”) which is repeated here as the beginning of a much-enlarged response:

Very perceptive, David. I knew a few of these hatred-spewing neo-Harpies personally during my New York City years, and there was indeed a seeming aura of psychic darkness around them -- an observation one would hardly dare verbalize in haughtily secular Manhattan, but which in realms more spiritually aware would at the very least be recognized as a valid concern.

To me, however, the most frightening element of all is simultaneously more karmically indicative and more mundane: the utterly black kinship matrifascism shares with genuine N.S.D.A.P. (National Socialist German Workers' Party) Nazism -- a kinship spawned of the fact both ideologies are founded entirely on hatred.

That the Nazis' hate-objects were specifically defined by ethnicity or race, while the matrifascists despise the entire male half of humanity, suggests to me the matrifascist potential for ultimate evil is thus many times greater. The Nazis' hatred begot a World War and the most murderous genocide in human history. What then will matrifascist hatred beget?

The notion of matrifascism as a causative factor in Armageddon is one that had frankly escaped me -- and its ring of truth is utterly chilling.

To my knowledge, no other writer has explored -- even superficially -- the doctrinal similarities between formal Mein Kampf Nazism and the brand of feminism that began to emerge in the United States during the middle 1970s. While Grace Shinell was merely one voice among many – and hardly more readable than the turgid “English-grammar-is-patriarchal-oppression” feminist norm – Shinell’s work came to my attention because it was included in an issue of the Heresies Quarterly (Summer 1978; Google: “Heresies Collective”). This expensively produced hardbound volume was officially dedicated to the topic of “the Great Goddess” and hence was (presumably) valuable source material in my then-ongoing research for the lost book “Glimpses of a Pale Dancer,” the manuscript, photographs and notes for which were all destroyed by fire in 1983. In any case, it was after reading Shinell in June of 1978 that I compounded the noun “femiNazi” – though it was probably one of those constructions that occurred to many writers simultaneously. I then employed the term several times in my journal, and first used it publicly in a newspaper column later in 1978 or perhaps in 1979. A number of years afterward – as femiNazi became de-Nazified by overuse – I substituted “matrifascist,” which I think is far more descriptive (See “None Dare....”) but obviously has yet to catch on.

My copy of Heresies was burned to ashes, but because of the curious randomness of the fire damage, I lost only about two thirds of the year-by-year journal I had begun keeping in 1955, this during a part of my 15th summer spent in the woods of northern Michigan. Many of my post-1970 journals survived the fire entirely, and were later discovered – damp and charred around the edges – beneath the rubble of the collapsed two-story house. Even now, after 21 years, they still reek of the conflagration. The following is an excerpt from my 1978 journal, revised slightly to tighten up the writing, the quotations after the title-citation directly from Shinell’s text:

Shinell begins “Women’s Primacy in the Coming Reformation” by recounting scientific evidence allegedly supporting the notion the male gender is intrinsically inferior, and concludes by urging that science and “magic” be combined to abolish the male gender all together, presumably so that males can fulfill a secret desire of being reincarnated as women. Shinell also contends that “an entirely natural fear of extinction” leads men to commit what she considers the ultimate sacrilege, “destruction of creation,” by which she means war, ecological abuse and all the other ills for which feminism blames the male gender. “Sperm banking and cloning experiments,” Shinell argues, “demonstrate that the reduction and even the extinction of the male sex is practicable – and history makes it warrantable.” In other words, here is the rationale for the feminists’ final solution: employing, once again, precisely the methods pioneered by Heinrich Himmler.

The next paragraph – especially given matrifascism’s present-day glorification of women who kill – was truly prophetic:

Shinell is an extremist among extremists, a true femiNazi, and fortunately her ideological sisters seem predisposed to be more tolerant. But that is no guarantee they will always be so. In just a decade, feminism has moved from the outskirts to the mainstream of Western Civilization, and Shinell’s is merely the logical product of the female rage and scorn that have been released and mobilized in the process. To accommodate the genocidal ethos Shinell has proposed, feminist slogans (“All Men Are Rapists/All Women Are Victims”) need not be revised at all – and the feminist notion that “the personal is political” could easily be used to elevate to the status of holy revolutionary every woman who has ever murdered her father, husband, lover or son. Had Elisabeth Bathory’s uncounted victims been male instead of female, this blood-drinking Hungarian countess would no doubt already rank among the femiNazi saints.

Feminism’s doctrinal turn toward wholesale state-sanctioned slaughter would be alarming enough if feminism were but one in a broad spectrum of leftist ideologies. But the fact of the matter – something else few writers dare acknowledge – is that since the early 1970s, the matrifascist strain of feminism has been steadily ousting Marxism as the dominant ideology of the American Left. By the mid-1980s, matrifascism had triumphed: its demands for political “correctness” and enforcement of various victim-identity shibboleths (including the moronic mandate to “celebrate diversity”) would become oppressive, zero-tolerance norms on campus, in the workplace and even in the military. Indeed, it would not be unfair to describe the college-campus and workforce cults of political “correctness” as the feminist-movement’s men’s auxiliaries – membership in which is an absolute prerequisite to sexual license – as far too many apprentice, college and military-age males clearly understand and are driven by hormonal needs to accept without question. The young male’s fear of involuntary celibacy is a powerful goad to compliance, and leftist exploitation of it is an old story -- note the anti-draft (and thus pro-Viet Cong) poster from the late 1960s: Joan Baez and her two sisters in sluttish pose and slatternly attire beneath the banner headline, “Girls Say Yes to Boys Who Say No.”

Moreover publication of Shinell’s work in the Heresies quarterly gave its murderous viewpoint the very imprimatur a decade-earlier version – by Andy Warhol’s infamous assailant Valerie Solanis – had most assuredly lacked. Solanis, though she has become a present-day matrifascist heroine, was a certified lunatic who in 1968 tried to murder Warhol with a stolen .25 caliber automatic she evidently bought from some junky acquaintance. Before the shooting, Solanis had written a diatribe entitled “SCUM Manifesto” – “SCUM” an acronym for “Society for Cutting Up Men” – from which the ideas in “Women’s Primacy” were obviously derived, and which has since become one of the dark gospels of matrifascism. But Solanis was essentially a street-person, a grubby hanger-on at Warhol’s studio, while Shinell was a creature of the New York literary scene even before she became a feminist ideologue; she was in fact an associate of the prestigious Millay Colony, a retreat for writers and artists founded by the sister of Edna St. Vincent Millay. And Heresies was probably the most ambitious publishing project in the history of the feminist renaissance. It was also by far the most prestigious, in large measure due to its extensive (but mostly unpublicized) endorsement by the federal government in the form of substantial grants from the taxpayer-funded National Endowment. For the feminist movement at large, which by 1978 had become both monolithic and viciously conformist, anything published in Heresies automatically acquired much the same infallible authority traditional Roman Catholics grant to edicts of the pope.

Thus 26 years later it is instructive to contemplate just how far the matrifascist brand of feminism has already thrust the United States in the direction of tyranny. It would take a volume the size of my Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary to document all of the erosions of American liberty that have been inflicted on us by matrifascism, whether directly (as in the ongoing onslaught against the Bill of Rights) or indirectly (as in public education that maliciously subverts American liberty by denouncing American principles as falsehoods and exalting, for instance, Islam as a true “religion of peace.”)

The most glaring example of matrifascism’s tyrannical impulse is of course the campaign against the Second Amendment, complete with froth-at-the-mouth denunciations of all weaponry as the means by which men originally overthrew “the ancient harmonies,” and even more venomous attacks on firearms owners that specifically denounce guns as logical expressions of the American/Occidental “rape culture” – the ultimate refinement of the hated penis. As clinically irrational as these claims may sound, the fact remains that in slightly more than a decade – and in spite of (or perhaps because of) just such assertions as those cited – feminism vectored the so-called gun-control movement from a lunatic-fringe hysteria into a powerful faction within the American political mainstream.

Though it is less commonly recognized, matrifascist assaults of equal intensity are underway against the First, Fourth, Fifth and Tenth amendments as well: examples include “hate-speech” prohibitions, zero-tolerance policies in public schools, suspension of rules of evidence in rape and sexual harassment cases, and the brazenly ex-post-facto Lautenberg Amendment. (Additional reading on these topics will be listed in a partial bibliography at the end of this piece.) The reason these onslaughts so often remain unpublicized is that the institutions which traditionally protected us from such tyrannies – the press and the American Civil Liberties Union -- have both themselves been co-opted by matrifascism. The biased state of the media has long been obvious, though it is frequently – and incorrectly – identified as merely “leftist,” when in fact its oust-Bush, down-with-American-liberty, banish-Western-Civilization reactions are specific expressions of the matrifascist agenda: belittlement of traditional males and the subversion of “patriarchy” by any and all means possible. The ACLU’s downfall was far more clandestine; public notice of its new role as a matrifascist front was withheld until its sponsorship of demonstrations on behalf the murderess Andrea Yates, who methodically drowned each of her children, but in matrifacist eyes was guilty of nothing more serious than post-partum abortion times five.

Which brings us directly to the uncomfortable topic of abortion itself. A major argument of anti-abortion forces is that the deaths of untold millions of unborn infants is in fact a feminist-perpetrated holocaust and thus links feminists and Nazis in an unholy twinship.of mass murder. While this assertion undoubtedly contains elements of truth, use of the term “feminist” in such a context is slanderously imprecise. Not only does it obscure the vital fact that by no means all “feminists” are “matrifascists, ” it also ignores an apparently quite large and growing group of feminists who oppose the hoary matrifascist shibboleth of “free abortion on demand” yet strongly favor keeping abortion legal in limited circumstances. However, thanks to the matrifascist tactic of always portraying the women’s movement as rigidly unified on all matters of doctrine and intent – a ploy further enforced by censorship of both news reporting and academic inquiry -- the number of such feminists remains unknown. (It is an aside, but my own contention is the term “feminist” should be an honorific, limited to women who demand equality before the law but correctly recognize they would not even be able to articulate their objectives were it not for individual liberties established by the American Revolution and protected by the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution. )

Caught up in their own anguish, the anti-abortionists allow their chronic outrage to become a red herring, with the result both they and the general public miss a vital point: that the likenesses between matrifascism and classic, Mein Kampf Nazism go far beyond the horrific carnage resulting from the morally imbecillic use of abortion for gender-suppression or casual (as opposed to emergency) birth control. Here are just a few of those similarities:

– The Nazis believed in an original golden age of Aryan hero-ubermenschen overthrown by uppity untermenschen and uncontrolled mongrelization, a fast-and-loose adaptation of symbolism found in pan-Germanic folklore. The matrifascists believe in an original Age of Matriarchy, the time of the “Ancient Harmonies,” a belief borrowed from the metaphors of pre-Christian Greek and Celtic myth but interpreted literally and then given a nasty political twist by addition of the matrifascist doctrine the “harmonies” were overthrown only when women foolishly allowed men to have weapons.

– The Nazis proclaimed themselves the only true fighters for German freedom. The matrifascists proclaim themselves the only true fighters for female equality and female rights in general.

– Josef Goebbels’ unequaled mastery of media manipulation allowed the Nazis to position themselves as the rightful protectors of Germany and to define German identity. Thus they increasingly dominated the German elections and finally came to power. Matrifascist control of information allows matrifascism to position itself as the rightful protector of women’s interests, the final arbiter as to the needs of womanhood and the nature of female identity, and thus to increasingly dominate America in every realm at all levels.

– The Nazis denounced liberty as an expression of decadence cunningly designed to facilitate the economic and political manipulations of an “International Jewish Conspiracy”and thus the reason for Germany’s suffering under the Treaty of Versailles. Matrifascism denounces liberty as the facilitator of “patriarchal oppression” and therefore the root cause of all female suffering.

In this context – because matrifascism underwent a similar experience – it is worth mentioning the failed Munich Beer-Hall Putsch of 1923, after which Hitler was imprisoned and thus given time to refine the theories he set out in Mein Kampf, most of which he wrote in his poshly comfortable “cell” at the fortress of Landsberg. The Nazis’ post-putsch goals remained the same – total domination of Germany -- but their tactics changed radically: now instead of agitating on street corners they would infiltrate the establishment. Matrifascism’s eerily parallel tactical revision followed the devastating failure of feminism’s nationwide 1971 effort to mobilize the National Welfare Rights Organization as an army of “raised-consciousness” militants. Brandishing the slogan “Welfare Is a Feminist Issue,” demanding an immediate moratorium on social services to males and proportional increases in stipends and services to females, slumming feminists agitated in nearly every NWRO chapter in America. But welfare mothers wanted no part of it – especially the feminist intent of abolishing military disability stipends – and the feminists were angrily expelled as “Little-Miss-Fluff-bottom college girls,” “stupid troublemakers,” or simply “Communist rich-bitches.”

With their usual penchant for historical revision, the matrifascists attempted to dispose of the entire embarrassing episode by dropping it down the Orwellian memory-hole. I doubt there is a feminist text today that mentions the NWRO debacle at all. But I remember it very well: I was the press officer for one of the NWRO-affiliates targeted for “mobilization.” I also remember vividly how the feminists responded to their ouster: enraged to tears and spitting venom with every word, they bitterly denounced welfare mothers as “hopelessly reactionary” and retreated to the posh towers of academe – where it was decided that a saner and by far safer tactic would be to simply infiltrate the welfare bureaucracy. It is probably no coincidence that -- during the next 20 years -- the infiltrators and their ideological sisters vengefully feathered their own nests with a 5,390 percent increase in welfare administrative costs while slashing stipends and services to the poor by more than half – at least 59 percent. (These numbers are derived from data in Statistical Abstract of the United States, and they are not typos.)

Indeed the matrifascists have already employed all of the techniques outlined by Hitler in "Mein Kampf." The only way a minority party can achieve power, der Fuehrer said, was by alliance with, and eventual takeover of, one or more of the organs of the state: the Nazis' alliance was thus with the military, with the German education system, with the monopolist pillars of the German economy (Krupp et al) and with the judiciary of the doomed Weimar Republic. In the case of matrifascism, there was not so much alliance as infiltration. The matrifascist takeover of the informational media, the public-school and higher-education systems at all levels, the entire social-service bureaucracy, and a substantial portion of the American judiciary is already complete.

But not all matrifascist infiltration efforts were aimed at the establishment. Another target – this in the mid-1970s – was the rapidly growing neo-Pagan movement, a phenomenon that in its early years tended to be instinctively environmentalist but otherwise mostly apolitical.

From 1967 through about 1973 or 1974, the feminist renaissance was instinctively hostile to religion of any kind – a bias no doubt resulting from the substantial Marxist influence that was part of its ideological foundation. But feminists of all types reserved their greatest antagonism for the Pagan renaissance, a movement that was the new feminism’s exact historical contemporary, but took place in the greater Counterculture rather than in the rarified atmospheres of urban bohemian political ferment and the revolutionary-faddist “affinity groups” that had so developed. Indeed the New Paganism was most likely to be found in partnership with the Back-to-the-Land movement, another Countercultural trend for which its feminist contemporaries had nothing but disdain, and in any case the neo-Paganism of that period was by definition almost exclusively a rural phenomenon. Even if its initial visions arose in urban circumstances, its visionaries were typically compelled by the strengths of their newfound convictions to return to rural living or embrace it for the first time.

The ultimate symbol of this spontaneous renewal of humanity’s most ancient and enduring spirituality was the reborn Great Goddess, in the late 1960s not yet named or even clearly seen, described by the poets of the period as the unnamed Mother of Dylan’s “Hard Rain,” Mother Earth, Mother Nature, rock opera’s “Acid Queen” and the nameless Muse of Tim Buckley’s exquisite poetry, to whom he sang, “if you tell me of all the pain you’ve had/ I’ll never smile again.” The feminists’ initial response was to ignore the semiotic implications of these developments and scornfully dismiss the Mother/Muse as yet another expression of the alleged “eternal male chauvinist conspiracy” to oppress women. But by 1970 the Goddess had been clearly identified by Shawn Phillips, Julie Felix and a few other such rock poets, and on many rural communes was already being invoked by name.

Within five years, sometime after the emergence of matrifascism as the dominant feminist ideology in the United States, most probably between 1974 and 1976, matrifascism made a curiously sudden 180-degree turn and began deliberately attempting to co-opt the Goddess as its own, to reshape Paganism into an exclusively female spirituality, and to radically politicize its adherents.

Even allowing for the early political/metaphysical cross-pollenation facilitated by Mary Daly and others like her, the dire implication of matrifascism’s sudden about-face has been obscured by the fact feminism has long since made peace with most creeds and denominations, to such an extent a great deal of mainstream Christianity and Reformed Judaism now has a definite feminist flavor if not a toxic matrifascist taint. But there is a vast difference between a reformist movement gradually gaining acceptance within the society it is attempting to change, and an avowedly revolutionary movement suddenly making an alliance with a group of people it formerly went out of its way to denounce not only as enemies but as reactionaries and obstructionists. The former process mirrors normal sociopolitical evolution. But a change of position as sudden and unexpected as matrifascism’s reversal of its stance toward Paganism suggests something far more sinister: a movement influenced (if not specifically directed) by some unknown power in service to some clearly subversive purpose -- and what in all human history is more subversive (and ultimately more divisive) than setting one gender against the other?

Yet having said all that, its conspiratorial implication seems almost too absurd a suggestion to allow into print. Almost -- for I also know enough of the history of intelligence operations to remember the post-Soviet disclosure that every organization founded in Europe to overthrow Russia’s Communist government was a creation of the variously-named KGB, a ruse to keep track of genuine enemies of the state. Hence the question is not “if” but “whom”– and there the answer is thoroughly reassuring: while many governments possess the requisite arrogance, and several probably possess the requisite skill, none possess the necessary equal measures of subtlety and patience. But the fact remains that the matrifascist turn-about raises several questions that have never been answered.

As far as I know, most Pagans have resisted the constant matrifascist pressure to shrink Paganism to a one-gender, female-separatist practice, but the vast majority – male and female alike – have abjectly surrendered to matrifascist political indoctrination. For example, Starhawk -- influential author of The Spiral Dance and therefore one who should surely know better – is an enthusiastic supporter of Islamic terrorism, presumably because Islam is a fellow enemy of “the ruling white patriarchy,” which of course includes both Israel and the United States. Yet Starhawk also writes passages like this: “At a time when every major ecosystem on the planet is under assault, calling nature sacred is a radical act because it threatens the overriding value of profit that allows us to despoil the basic life support systems of the earth. And at a time when women still live with the daily threat of violence and the realities of inequality and abuse, it is an equally radical act to envision deity as female and assert the sacred nature of female (and male) sexuality and bodies.” Apparently she is utterly, mindlessly heedless of the fact that under Islam, such words would condemn her to be tortured to death by a mob of chanting savages flinging jagged rocks. Or perhaps – like so many other matrifascists – Starhawk truly believes that the infinite horrors inflicted by a triumphant global caliphate will bring about a world-wide uprising of women, the collapse of patriarchy, and the final triumph of “gynocracy”: the female supremacist version of the Third Reich.

“But O don’t you know all that about exterminating men and imposing gynocracy and all is, rhetoric?”

“Right. That’s exactly what the Germans told themselves whenever der Fuehrer ranted about exterminating the Jews.”

Even given matrifascism’s apocalyptic rationale – which certainly appeals to a vaguely Mansonoid, let’s-get-it-over-with mentality that has plagued America since the time of Mutually Assured Destruction -- I do not understand how people of normal or greater intelligence can be anything but hostile to totalitarian ideology no matter how seductive its promises. The plain truth is that without the protection of this nation’s founding principles, Paganism would not be allowed exist, the resurrection of the Goddess would have been slaughtered at its first moments, and the mothers of the feminist renaissance would have been lined up against some already-blood-splattered stone wall and shot. In this context, matrifascism’s oft-repeated declarations of sisterhood with Paganism and reassurances of a shared common purpose are profoundly suspect. An absolutist movement that once condemned all spirituality and even now would give government unlimited authority over all realms of living (including expressions of spirituality) could easily make another 180-degree ideological turn to once again oppose spirituality – just as deftly as Hitler set aside his non-aggression pact with Stalin and invaded the Soviet Union. Ultimately of course my rejection of matrifascism is fueled by the love and trust I bear for the ideals upon which America was founded – especially the constitution I swore 45 years ago to defend with my life -- but it is ever reinforced by my knowledge of history: especially of its wars, its Burning Times and its persecutions.

Meanwhile the matrifascists are ever more hostile to those same ideals and increasingly indifferent to that self-same history – if they even know it at all. The following speaker is the infamous Canadian matrifascist Sunera Thobani, professor of women’s studies at the University of British Columbia, and she is commenting on the U.S. response to the attacks of 9/11:

“...there will be no emancipation for women anywhere on this planet until the Western domination of this planet is ended.”

“Love thy neighbor. Love thy neighbor, we need to heed those words. Especially as all of us are being herded into the possibility of a massive war at the (behest) of the United States. We need to hear those words even more clearly today. Today in the world the United States is the most dangerous and most powerful global force unleashing prolific levels of violence all over the world.

“From Chile to El Salvador, to Nicaragua to Iraq, the path of U.S. foreign policy is soaked in blood. ... But do we feel any pain for the victims of U.S. aggression? 200,000 people killed only in the initial war on Iraq. That bombing of Iraq for 10 years now. Do we feel the pain of all the children in Iraq who are dying from the sanctions imposed by the United States? Do we feel that pain on an every-day level? Share it with our families and communities and talk about it on every platform that is available to us? Do we feel the pain of Palestinians who now for 50 years have been living in refugee camps? U.S. foreign policy is soaked in blood...and I think it is the responsibility of the women's movement to stop that, to fight against it.”

In other words, it is the responsibility of matrifascists everywhere to subvert the defense of American liberty and Western Civilization against Islam’s 1300-year jihad. Which is clearly happening, whether by the calculated erosion of our freedoms, the psychological and chemical castration of our male children, the methodical thievery of our unprecedented historical legacy from children of both genders, the hostile manipulation of information via media and classroom to discredit the war, hamstring the government, banish the Bush Administration, topple American liberty and destroy Western Civilization – all of this to “overthrow the white patriarchy” and symbolically hack off the despised metaphorical penis of a culture at least 4000 years old.

Never mind that matrifascist success will facilitate the triumph of Islam and thus subject every female on the planet to real genital mutilation. Never mind it will condemn every woman on earth to wear the burka.

As David St Lawrence said: “Armaggedon, anyone?”


Some suggested reading:

Hentoff, Nat, Free Speech for Me – But Not for Thee, Harper-Collins: New York, 1992.

McGowan, William, Coloring the News, Encounter Books: San Francisco, 2001.

Shirer, William L., The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich, Simon & Schuster: New York, 1959 (rev. edition 1990).

Sommers, Christina Hoff, The War Against Boys, Simon & Schuster: New York, 2000.

Sommers, Christina Hoff, Who Stole Feminism? Simon & Schuster, New York, 1994

Suggested Googles:

Mary Daly
Andrea Dworkin
Guns and Feminism
Lautenberg Amendment
Catharine MacKinnon
Valerie Solanis
Sunera Thobani

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posted by at 02:37 PM : Comments (3)

May 27, 2004

White Buffalo Calf Born in Arizona

I DID NOT get back to this machine until much later than I predicted. Another in the ongoing successions of domestic crises stole away my time. But here is what I had intended to post:

(With a grateful tip of the hat to Allegra, who also wrote the following intro:)

Two thousand years ago, they say, in the Black Hills of Dakota, a white buffalo calf appeared to the Lakota and suddenly transformed herself into a beautiful Indian maiden.

The Sioux called her ''White Buffalo Calf Woman'' and received from her all their sacred ceremonies and the Sacred Peace Pipe.

Lakota prophecy holds that the birth of a white buffalo calf would be a sign that White Buffalo Calf Woman has returned again to purify the world– to restore harmony and spiritual balance.

The birth of such a calf, as described by Allegra and foretold by the legend she relates, is announced here

Which prompts me to add the following verse of traditional poetry:

The white man’s god has foresaken him
Let us go and look for our Mother
...We shall live again...

These lines are from a Cheyenne Ghost Dance song, part of the Ghost Dance religion that swept the plains tribes in the 1880s and ended – after Christian missionaries objected to the rebirth of aboriginal spirituality – with the massacre at Wounded Knee on December 29, 1890. But perhaps that is partly wrong. Perhaps the Ghost Dance did not end at all. Perhaps the Ghost Dance was but a prelude to the rebirth of something far greater. And perhaps that is yet another reason Islam wages such relentless war on America.

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posted by at 06:45 AM : Comments (3)

May 24, 2004

Focal Points

So many important and/or interesting links this morning, I will confine my comments on each one to a paragraph or two.

First – because I believe aesthetics is generally more basic than politics (though often only because politics is one of the many expressions of aesthetics) – here is a link to a sampling of Leonard Nemoy’s Shekhina photographs: his visions of the female manifestations of the Divine, (so phrased because as far as I have been able to find out, Nemoy does not use the term “Goddess” in his description of his work). A couple of folks including Linda justifiably grumbled that my commentary of May 17 linked to a story about Nemoys’s photographs that had no illustrations. This was true, but it was the news item I was interested in, more specifically the semiotic significance of the photographer’s intent, and the lack of illustration was not for want of trying: I merely neglected to mention I had Googled “Leonard Nemoy Shekhina” and come up with bupkes, while “Sheknina” itself -- Hebrew for the female manifestations of Yahveh -- merely linked to a number of sites on Judaism. A subsequent, more thoughtful search, finally under “Leonard Nemoy Photographs,” predictably led to a bunch of Trekkie artifact-sites but also linked to the gallery’s own webpage, here.

I would be dishonest if I did not add that I am vaguely disappointed with Nemoy’s work. His photographs are technically perfect – exquisitely so – but only two of the images shown here (the left-most and right-most frames in the second row from the top) evoke even slightly the physical reactions Robert Graves describes as indicative of both true poetry and the presence of the Goddess: “...the hairs stand on end, the eyes water, the throat is constricted, the skin crawls and a shiver runs down the spine...” Having some knowledge of such matters myself, I regard Graves’ description as unsparingly accurate. Which makes me once again curse the crippling limitations of my own poverty as expressed in the fact I have no scanner nor any other means to transmit visual images and thus have no way to share the few surviving prints from “Glimpses of a Pale Dancer,” work that accompanied me to New York City as part of the book proposal and thus escaped destruction in the 1983 fire. So unless you knew me in Manhattan c. 1969-70, when I first began articulating these images, or unless you lived in Bellingham in 1971, in the Seattle area during the mid-1970s or in Tacoma in 1981, and thus saw examples of my “sandwiches” or photographic collages in various galleries (when the work bore the titles “Premonitions of the Celtic Twilight” or “Divinations in an Equinoctal Fire”), you will have to take my word for it that first-time viewing of this material does indeed often produce the reactions Graves described -- and powerfully so (or so I have many times been told). Though I suspect not even the most profoundly moved viewer experiences anything quite as enrapturing as the phantom electricity that coursed through my body when I stood in the amber gloom of my darkroom and first watched these images emerging on paper coated with alchemical silver – the emulsion emitting a slow, barely audible sibilance of exhalation as the vision became real.

Next on the agenda is a combination of politics and art – a Hindu site that quotes beautifully from the Upanishads, and with an irony that is sometimes as cutting as a tulwar, documents Islam’s 1300-year war on civilization – something with which the Hindu population of the Indian subcontinent has had long, bloody and intimate experience. This is probably another instance of preaching to the choir, but I found the site usefully informative, interestingly composed and compelling enough I bookmarked it. The site is named Satyameva Jayate which I suppose is Dravidian, and which the author says translates as “Truth Alone Triumphs.” The link is here.

On the subject of Islam and its innate and infinitely vicious oppression of women, here are more details on the growing resistance to Canada’s attempt to “celebrate diversity” by imposing a limited form of sharia on Canadian citizens who are of Islamic extraction. Canadian women – including women who have survived the beatings and mutilations characteristic of Moslem upbringing – are rallying to battle this outrage imposed by Canadian political “correctness,” and it appears even the Canadian feminists (who not long ago were condemning Western Civilization as a phallocentric culture of rape, slavery and exploitation) are finally beginning to wake up to the reality of the Islamic threat. The link is to The Toronto Star, which is normally so self-righteously “multicultural,” you get the feeling it would have advised the 1939 Czechs to refrain from expressions of nationality lest they hurt the feelings of the “visiting” Germans. But not now, at least not here.

Lastly, I cannot count the number of times I have called some company to complain, request technical information or perhaps even place an order, and the telebot who flung untold humans out of work and now answers the phone demands I choose a language: “for English, press one.” I find this demand both infuriating and insulting, exactly as if we were the downtrodden subjects of a land conquered by people who speak Some Other Language. It doesn’t help that for many years I have been aware of the undeclared (and genuinely unholy) alliance between Cheap Labor Republicans and Big Bureaucracy Democrats: an alliance that is selfishly destroying the United States with virtually unrestricted immigration -- all in the name of depressing wages, expanding social services and thereby guaranteeing the continued omnipotence of both plutocrats and bureaucrats. Michelle Malkin is furious about it too, and the resulting denunciation – an example of Malkin at her caustic best – is available here.

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posted by at 01:59 PM : Comments (2)

May 17, 2004

few dare acknowledge Islam's ultimate hatred

by Loren Bliss

Four days ago I wrote a half-dozen relatively brief paragraphs to accompany a focal-point link to yet another bright bit of evidence underscoring the reality of the resurrection of the Goddess. The work was written in an interlude of intense creativity, its segues were more poetic than logical, and in general I was pleased with its form and content. But then Fate intervened, and the source of my pleasure was destroyed by some mysterious quirk of electronics just as I was about to save it to this site. What follows is reconstruction and enlargement of what I said in that aborted effort:

Quite frankly I believe the resurrection of the Goddess is the most important news of the past two thousand years at least. It is a story the pressures of which I have lived with knowingly since 1969, and unwittingly for 18 years before that. The details behind those statements – and my own associated personal odyssey of ferreting out hidden truths of folklore and modern semiotics and attempting to assemble them all in a coherent form that would earn proper readership and recognition – was the subject of a nearly finished but now-forever-lost book tentatively entitled “Glimpses of a Pale Dancer.” Its manuscript, the accompanying photographs and all the associated research notes were destroyed in the fire that burned the late Helen Farias’ residence to the ground in 1983. Ironically, the fire occurred just as samples of the text and photographs – particularly the latter – were beginning to seriously interest some heavy-duty publishing industry types in New York City.

A second book, an effort on which Helen and I were informally collaborating, was also lost. This was never titled, but we thought of it as simply “the archaeology project.” It had begun as a spin-off of our extensive but separate research into Goddess-related questions c. 1971-1976. Helen had read an early draft of “Dancer” and ever afterward said that it and the works cited in its bibliography – especially those by Robert Graves – gave her “the vocabulary to describe what (she) always knew was true.” Eventually she would enlarge that vocabulary to become one of the world’s leading scholars on the history of the Goddess and a significant writer on female spirituality in general. But the archaeological matter quickly separated itself from those inquiries and evolved into a quest of its own: a cataloguing of evidence, megalithic and linguistic, that Europeans of the late Bronze Age had gone beyond their extensive Eastern North American settlements, reached what is now Washington State and remained here long enough to erect astronomically aligned standing stones and hew deep, similarly functional trenches from the solid rock of certain remote mountain tops. Using a system based on Helen’s first-ever compilation of aboriginal place-names and my own conjectural “megalithic grid” (derived from the astronomical alignments of one known site and probable alignments between that site and others), we had identified another 30 possible sites. Of these, we had explored a dozen, eliminated six, and in 1977 extensively photographed and mapped six others. The work lagged when Helen went to graduate school in London and I took a part-time college teaching job and started a freelance photography and media- consulting business to supplement my newspaper salary, but it was always our intention to take up the quest for archaeological evidence again as soon as time allowed -- until of course the fire made that forever impossible by destroying all our data: Helen’s painstakingly assembled vocabularies; my maps, map overlays, photographs, site reports, and raw field notes. (Helen's death in 1994 had no connection to the fire.)

I had merely skated over these matters in that lost post of four days ago – writing about the fire and all of its attendant losses is dreadfully painful even now, 21 years after the fact – but perhaps it was my very avoidance that so angered Fate and thus prompted the glitch that obliterated everything I had said. In any case, this writing here tonight is very different: it is structured less poetically and more in keeping with linear logic, and the content is thus much more fully developed.

The lost May 12 post began with a blistering condemnation of that ultimate obscenity called Islam for its mutilation murder of Nicholas Berg, who was not beheaded by a single clean merciful stroke but was tormented by slow throat-hacking butchery until his screams finally gagged to silence and his head came off by its hair and the knife-wielder triumphantly brandished Nick Berg’s head and the chorus of killers grunted their repugnant Allahu Akbar doggerel over the twitching corpse -- Goddess take Nick to her bosom and the vengeance of Cerridwen be on all of Islam, so mote it be.

I deliberately avoided saying that last Goddess part in the lost May 12 post, and perhaps that incipient apostasy – the fact I so rarely proclaim my Paganism in public – is another reason Fate chose to smite me with an inexplicable glitch. Or maybe it was the Christian god smiting me for what I said next:

Listening earlier that day (or maybe the day before) to President George Bush promise that Nick Berg’s killers would be “brought to justice,” I thought about how this same President had so glibly but now obviously so falsely promised that justice would also be done in Fallujah for the murders of four American civilians there, and then I remembered how many other times in this life we have been spoon-fed this exact same smugly patronizing, patently false pablum: by President Carter after the outrages in Tehran, by President Reagan after the outrages in Lebanon, by President Clinton after the outrages in Somalia, and now here was George Bush for whom I had voted in 2000 joining all the others who had lied about “justice” being brought to our enemies, and I realized what he was saying was nothing more than another invitation to “step right up.” Suddenly I knew I had lost all of whatever faith I ever had in George Bush’s leadership because it was now obvious this is a President who is nearly as shackled as any Democrat by the ethos of political “correctness” and the shibboleths of victim-identity cultism and the drooling- idiot mandate to “celebrate diversity.” We do not need “diversity.” What we need is Nolichucky Jack or maybe Heinz Guderian, but what we have instead is a Good Shepherd who turns the other cheek, grants Fallujah an amnesty and calls Islam a “religion of peace.”

Unfortunately come November we will have to choose between President Bush, whose record of bungling both at home and abroad is literally breathtaking and probably without precedent in the history of the Republic, and Candidate Kerry, who has already told us he regards Islam’s 1300-year war against civilization as a mere crime problem, intends to treat it accordingly, and thus makes no secret of his intent to surrender (even more) United States sovereignty to that international criminal cartel known as the United Nations. Apparently we have arrived at a point in history akin to that period in the Dark Ages when kings were immortalized with names like Hugo the Sluggard, Charles the Simpleton and Phillip the Flatulent. That too was a time of Islamic horrors -- horrors widespread and grim -- and it took Charles Martel to halt the Moslems at Tours and the Polish hero John Sobieski to finally rout them at Vienna 951 years later: blessed achievements bought dearly by the blood of Westernesse, reversals for which long-begrudging Islam has ever sought revenge. Which is precisely the dread background of the awful choice we will make in November: a chronic bungler versus a man whose contempt for America is so great, he has wantonly given aid and comfort to our foes and no doubt will do so again, even as he will probably further undermine our liberty, compromise our borders and – based on his colleagues’ well-documented disrespect for the Constitution – almost certainly attempt to silence his critics with unapologetic tyranny, probably with violently disastrous results. Verily, I fear for the Republic.

Paranoia? No indeed. The following, which my colleague Linda fished out of the Kerry for President website and passed onto me, is especially instructive:

President Kerry did the absolutely right thing (Editor’s note: by banishing a blogger named Kos from the Kerry website). Because Kos is a part of the mainstream left and a DNC insider, the average American could get the idea that his comments are a reflection of the Party’s feelings about American and Americans. The sheeple might think that we hate America and all that it stands for. We do of course, but they must not find that out until we have seized the levers of power. Then there’s gonna be some changes baby. (Posted by Bob in MN on April 3, 2004, 10:44 p.m.)

Anyone who doubts the veracity of our reporting can see for themselves: the link to the site is here, after which you simultaneously type [ctrl] [f], wait for the search form to appear, then type “gonna be some changes” into the appropriate blank (without the quotation marks) and hit [enter].

The insufferably self-righteous ideological smugness of today’s Democrats – reminiscent of Nazi Party members or Soviet Communists of yore – is yet another reason I will of course vote for the bungler. Conservative though I may be, ultimately I am also a libertarian, and at the very least, I think George Bush will do less harm than John Kerry to the Republic I love and to the Constitution I swore an oath 45 years ago to defend with my life “against all enemies foreign or domestic.” Moreover some of Bush’s advisors might finally figure out how to take a page from the Russians or the old German Wehrmacht or the Philippine Insurrection or perhaps even the American Indian Wars (which really offer the best historical parallels to the present struggle) and wage a proper, unapologetically brutal war against the infinite brutality of Islam. Though on this point, I deeply disagree with my colleague Linda: to me, the sin of Abu Ghraib is not that the prisoners were abused – they are not U.S. citizens and hence are not protected by our Constitution, and neither are they prisoners of war, so they are not protected by the Geneva Accords and the Rules of Land Warfare. Indeed, as enemy terrorists, they are technically not protected at all – and the great ruinous sins of Abu Ghraib are thus (first) that U.S. security had become so astonishingly lax that word and pictures of the abuse leaked out; that (second) the U.S. media has distorted what is hardly more than frat-house hazing into the morally imbecillic equivalent of slow beheadings and deaths by plastic-shredder; and that (third) the same media is now using its own malevolent distortions as part of an unprecedented jihad against both the President and the nation. Which is not to deny the role the President’s constant bungling has played in fueling the media’s scorn – anyone who appoints a notorious out-sourcer to head a program ostensibly intended to curtail out-sourcing surely deserves whatever jeers he provokes. Alas, we need far better. At this point in history – especially given that 9/11 was more than anything else Islam’s declaration its 1300-year-war against civilization is once again renewed – we need nothing less than an Arthur to lead the battle against the encroaching Islamic darkness. But the bungler is surely better than the would-be tyrant.

I find it no coincidence that Islam, which is founded on the sadistic subjugation of women and the savage torture and killing of all dissidents and non-believers, has launched its newest effort to enslave all humanity in a global caliphate by attacking the U.S. just as what I think of as the Second Wave of the resurrection of the Goddess is beginning to crest. (In this reckoning, which was central to the lost book “Glimpses of a Pale Dancer,” the First Wave was the spiritual quest at the core of the old 1960s Counterculture: the self-proclaimed “Revolution in Consciousness” that -- whether by conspiracy, folly or both – was too soon perverted into a mere travesty of its original self, a maelstrom of drug-abuse, zomboid faddism and the general human tendency toward the lowest common denominator of chaos.) In any case, the Second Wave is the institutionalization of many of the beliefs and visions that, in First Wave times, would have gotten the visionaries themselves institutionalized had they even dared speak of them. Visions of the Goddess have now spread far beyond the existential paganism of the art scene and the purposeful Paganism of resurrected modern practice, so that even in mainstream Jewish and Christian worship there is now recognition of the female aspects of the divine. The most recent example of this – or at least the most recent example to come to my attention – is the collection of photographs made by Leonard Nemoy (yes, that Leonard Nemoy, Spock of Star Trek fame) now showing in a Northhampton, Massachusetts gallery. Which brings us finally to the link I mentioned in the opening paragraph, available here. As Buffy Sainte- Marie sang so very long ago, “Goddess is alive/Magic is afoot” – which I think is precisely the underlying, epicentral (and almost entirely unacknowledged) reason the master-misogynists of Islam have now renewed their war against Westernesse. Islam has chosen the United States as its primary target not only because we are the nation where women are more proudly free than anyplace else on the planet, but because we are also the nation wherein recognition of the Goddess is most widespread and growing the fastest. In this context, the semiotic implications of the Statue of Liberty are profound.

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posted by at 01:39 AM : Comments (2)

January 24, 2004

Text of the "Preiddeu Annwn"

I've been seeking this for a while.

Honestly, I need to get my hands on a new copy of Graves' The White Goddess.

This was the bit I needed to see again:

The Cauldron of Annwn

is warmed gently by the breaths of nine damsels;

for is it not the Cauldron of the Chief of Annwn?

On the rim it is fashioned with a ridge that is pearls.

It boils not the food of the coward

nor of those who swear hastily.*

I have my own reasons why.

(*Emphasis mine.)


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posted by Linda at 12:19 AM : Comments (1)

January 16, 2004

Pagans in the Pentagon

I received the following link from a Conservative Pagan discussion group I belong to:
"The Pentagon and the Pentacle"

I especially loved this quote,

"Will the Earth spirituality of the 21st century be shaped by aging hippies, or by a younger brand of Pagan who takes pride in being a warrior and who sees no contradiction between reverence for the land and service to one's country?"

I believe that the latter will hold true. As the new Paganism matures, I predict that we will see an influx of people who have no problem balancing civic and military service with the Goddess faith. Indeed, She has many warrior faces, Herself, as does Her Consort and Lover, the All-Father.

Part of Paganism is the acknowledgement of the need for balance, and for taking action appropriate to the situation, as well as taking personal responsibility for those actions. There's much more, of course, but it seems natural to me that a multi-layered religion like mine will attract many, many different types of people. Some will be warriors, and some will be pacifists. Those of us who follow a warrior path will protect and care for those who do not. More than any other belief system, however, I foresee that those who actively pursue peace will nevertheless support and love their warrior brothers and sisters, as they are loved in return. We will pity those who cannot come to acceptance on their own, and as a group, return the energy paid us--even if it means with violence.

I've discussed all this before. Click here to see that older post.

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posted by Linda at 08:15 PM : Comments (1)