“If I’d written all the truth I knew for the past ten years, about 600 people – including me – would be rotting in prison cells from Rio to Seattle today. Absolute truth is a very rare and dangerous commodity in the context of professional journalism.” — Hunter S. Thompson
“If the eye could see the demons that people the universe, existence would be impossible.” — Talmud, Berakhot, 6
Growing up, I was taught to fear the Underworld: the world of drug dealers, pimps, hustlers, gangsters, and prostitutes. But now that I’m older, I can see that we have much more to fear from the Overworld: the psychopathic power elite and their global conspiracy against the rest of us.
After all, it’s not your friendly neighborhood pot dealer who’s getting rich from fracking while leaving your community with water that catches fire straight from the tap. It’s not the National Trade Union of Pimp Daddies that’s blowing trillions of American tax dollars by waging endless, unwinnable wars that only increase the power and wealth of the Deep State while screwing over everyone else. Three-card Monte hustlers aren’t primarily to blame for the ravaging of our planet’s ecosystem caused by global warming, deforestation, over-fishing, strip-mining, and Monsanto’s version of industrial agriculture. No Mafia made man or member of Los Zetas is in charge of the predatory financial institutions that have been looting public funds and pensions, torpedoing our economy, and then demanding taxpayer-funded bailouts and austerity programs that erode social safety nets and inhibit infrastructure investment. And that single mother who makes extra tips by providing hand jobs at the local Qigong massage parlor has nothing to do with the new slavery ginned-up by for-profit prison stockholders working in tandem with an increasingly militarized police force—unless she gets caught.
My new book, Crash Gordon and the Illuminati Underground, describes an underworld of Gnostic demons—or Archons—that covertly controls the corporations, court systems, and most of the politicians and pop stars in our world above. Those Archon-possessed puppet leaders—or the Illuminati, as most people know them—are waging a covert war on human consciousness. The Archons feast on human fear and suffering—it’s like a crazily addictive drug, or an exotic but necessary fuel for them—so their Illuminati puppets are dedicated to making more of it for them. That’s why our world always seems to be devolving: the people in power are intent on enriching themselves while making things worse for everyone else.
Intuitively, we all know that something like this is really going on, but that intuition has been devalued and routinely subsumed by disinformation campaigns. We know, and take for granted now, that our politicians are bought and sold by corporate interests, that our daily news has been commoditized, and that wars are started under false pretenses—but the level of crime and corruption goes much deeper than that. Hard evidence of the Overworld’s criminal reign has been suppressed in all the major media outlets in this country, but freedom of the press still allows that evidence to be made public in books and on the Internet.
We’re facing huge systemic problems, demanding radical systemic changes. The present-day morally bankrupt neoliberal system of corporate capitalism and globalization is only making our situation worse because it operates like the Archons: it consumes the lives of “surplus humans”—the inevitable outcome of deindustrialization—for its own dark purposes.
If we, as a nation, can’t find a way to release the psychopathic power elite’s choking grip—on our minds, our finances, and our political system—then the overwhelming majority of Americans will be doomed to an increasingly controlled and degraded way of life. The pursuit of happiness will continue to devolve until it’s nothing more than a desperate struggle for survival. But it doesn’t have to be that way. We have the numbers on our side and the power to improve the human condition for all. First, however, we have to collectively acknowledge that we’ve been conned by a criminal overclass—which is no easy thing to admit. As Mark Twain allegedly said:
“It’s far easier to fool a man than to convince him that he’s being fooled.”
I’m not at all convinced that Twain actually said that (I haven’t been able to find the original source for the quote in any of his books), but it’s a true statement, nonetheless.
Unlike so much else we’re told these days.
This one came faster than the others—nine months as opposed to six years.
Of course, it’s shorter… a mere 192 pages. Here’s the back of the book description:
In the very near future, only the rich and the devious have privacy. The Snowden Avalanche has revealed the private transgressions of ordinary US citizens in such astonishing numbers that the whole aggrieved nation seems to be coming to the collective decision that the Puritan prudery of America’s first settlers finally, and forever, has to be kicked to the curb.
Manhattan-based iAesthetician Sabina Hrafnsson has made a lucrative career out of buffing up the images of those who got caught in the Snowden Avalanche with their pants down. Aside from her sucky luck at romance, she’s happy with the way things have turned out. But when Sabina agrees to do some PR work for a secretive Wall Street billionaire—”the Thomas Pynchon of high-frequency trading firm CEOs”—the complications in her life suddenly go viral.
Sabina becomes entangled in a web of conspiracies so vast and bizarre that it soon feels like she’s living a sequel to Orwell’s 1984. Only this time Big Brother faces a more formidable foe than Winston Smith: a wily and gleefully foul-mouthed New York City blonde who looks “like that intrepid Alpine waif, Heidi, all grown up into a high-strung slut wearing see-through yoga pants from Lululemon.”
If Big Brother has any plans for slut-shaming, he’d better watch his f#@king back….
That one sure took a while….
After six years of on-and-off writing, the new Crash Gordon novel is finally being published. You can find Crash Gordon and the Revelations from Big Sur on Amazon and… well, that’s the only place you can find it, for now. Maybe the Phoenix Bookstore at Nepenthe will soon be displaying it alongside their copies of Nitt-Witt Ridge, but Corporate America is not so hot on the idea of seeing this particular title on its bookshelves. There’s a reason for that. They don’t want you to read this book.
You do know there’s a They, don’t you?
“Our earth is degenerate in these latter days. There are signs that the world is speedily coming to an end. Bribery and corruption are common.” —Assyrian Clay Tablet, ca. 2800 BC
“The only conspiracy that matters is the conspiracy of the psychopaths against the rest of us.” —Dr. Kevin Barrett, “Twilight of the Psychopaths”
“It’s over—we’re officially, royally fucked….” So begins Matt Taibbi’s essay on the crazed power-grabs by Wall Street insiders and other psychopathic personalities that are behind our continuing global economic crisis (see “The Big Takeover” in the March 19, 2009 issue of Rolling Stone).
I tend to agree with Taibbi’s assessment, and I think he’s borderline heroic for writing so lucidly about such a complex topic. Trying to explain collateralized-debt obligations, credit-default swaps, and the shady machinations of the London branch of AIG usually results in coma-inducing prose—but not this time. Instead, we get direct, no-bullshit sentences like the following:
“So it’s time to admit it: We’re fools, protagonists in a kind of gruesome comedy about the marriage of greed and stupidity. And the worst part about it is that we’re still in denial — we still think this is some kind of unfortunate accident, not something that was created by the group of psychopaths on Wall Street whom we allowed to gang-rape the American Dream.”
Meanwhile, over at Clusterfuck Nation, Jim Kunstler is tackling fun topics like:
“…the desperate efforts to prevent the sane re-pricing of real estate, the cannibalizing of treasuries by the Federal Reserve, the now-notorious hijacking of public ‘liquidity’ injections by third parties like Goldman Sachs, and most generally the perceived sacrifice of everybody else’s greater good for the sake of maintaining Lloyd Blankfein’s cappuccino machine.”
Kunstler has some truly dire predictions about where we’re headed, but his writing, like Taibbi’s, is lucid and engaging. His central thesis—in case you couldn’t guess from his blog’s title—is also quite similar to Taibbi’s:
We’re all (cluster)fucked.
My hope is that writers like Taibbi and Kunstler find a wider audience and prosper during these perilous times—or at least survive (not always a given for investigative journalists; witness Gary Webb, James Hatfield, Anna Politkovskaya, etc…). If we have any chance at all of getting ourselves somewhat un-fucked in the future, we’ll need people like them—people who aren’t afraid to publicly confront the collusive crimes of transnational corporations, the Fed, and officials in our own government.
We’ll also need thousands of honest, ethical, and absolutely fearless lawmen, special prosecutors, and Congressional committees to bust that shit up.
My guess is that it won’t be happening anytime soon.
We live in a fallen world. That should be obvious to just about everyone by now. It became obvious to me while I was doing the research for Crash Gordon and the Mysteries of Kingsburg. The starting point for that research was a line from Aldous Huxley that I used to open the book: “Maybe this world is some other planet’s hell.”
Or wait… back up. That’s not entirely true. If I’m going to be perfectly honest, the real starting point was 9/11, that pivotal date in our country’s history when it was being “taken over by means of the sleaziest, low-comedy, Keystone Cops-style coup d’état imaginable.”
I was living in a two-bedroom apartment on the Upper West Side of Manhattan on the day the planes struck the World Trade Center. I tore myself away from the television that awful morning long enough to go walk my big, affable Irish Wolfhound, Clara, who seemed unperturbed by any notion of terrorists attacking her beloved city. We went down to one of the piers jutting out into the Hudson River where we had a clear view—along with a few hundred other people—of the towers burning downtown, unmediated by television cameras and their accompanying terror-propaganda narratives. If Clara and I had stayed out there a little while longer, we would have seen the first tower collapse with our own eyes. Instead, when we got back to our apartment building, the uniformed Polish doorman, Mireck, told us about it. My first, half-stunned thought was, “This is just like ‘The War of the Worlds.’”
I should clarify that thought: I wasn’t thinking that a hostile Martian invasion was in any way responsible for what was going down. What I was thinking was that there was something off, something fake, about the whole scenario as it was occurring—similar to how Orson Welles’ fabulous radio dramatization of “The War of the Worlds” had created so many instances of panic in the more credulous, faked-out members of its listening audience when it was first broadcast in 1938.
When I was seven years old, I had an old LP recording of “The War of the Worlds” that I used to play over and over. “How could anyone not know this was fake?” I used to wonder, secretly delighted that a bunch of dumb adults had been fooled, a long time ago, but not seven-year-old, worldly-wise me.
Future generations will probably wonder the same thing about us in regard to 9/11: “How could they not know it was a false flag terror event?” they’ll think.
(Was there nano-thermite in the WTC dust? You’re unlikely to hear anything about it from the big media conglomerates in America, but Copenhagen University scientist Niels Harrit was allowed to discuss his findings HERE, on April 6th, 2009, in that most humanitarian of countries, Denmark….)
And now, instead of jet-hijacking terrorists, we have a cabal of international bankers and psycho financiers who have swindled the world’s semi-trusting taxpayers on a scale so vast that it’s almost incomprehensible. And those crimes are going unpunished, undermining the entire global economic system and putting social safety nets everywhere at risk. It’s financial terrorism, and it should be dealt with as such—but that’s just not happening.
(William K. Black, author of The Best Way to Rob a Bank is to Own One, recently said to Bill Moyers on PBS: “I don’t know whether we’ve lost our capability of outrage. Or whether the cover-up has been so successful that people just don’t have the facts to react to it.”)
Maybe Aldous Huxley was onto something…. Given the ever-mounting evidence at hand—from the Kennedy assassinations to 9/11 and beyond in both directions—the idea that this world is some other planet’s hell seems entirely plausible to me. Or plausible enough, at any rate, that I made it my book’s premise. I wrote the first page of Crash Gordon and the Mysteries of Kingsburg a few weeks after 9/11.
It took me five years to finish writing Crash Gordon—and another year to get it published. During that time, I learned more than I ever thought I’d want to know about assassinations and their cover-ups, MK-ULTRA and its mind control programming offshoots, CIA drug-running and illegal arms trafficking, economic hit teams, money-laundering and terrorist-funding, heinous corporate fuckery, and other assorted ills and evils propagated by the world’s psychopaths-in-charge. During that time, I also became a father. Suddenly, my initial intellectual interest in elite deviance was transformed into a kind of moral outrage. It’s bad enough that we’ve all had to live in a world where a mere one-percent of the population—the “intraspecies predators” known as psychopathic personalities—repeatedly gets away with fucking over the rest of us; I want a much better world for my daughters.
So I published a book, put up this blog… big fuckin’ whoop, right? But that was all I could think to do at the start. You can’t fix a problem without first knowing that it exists. Or as Gurdjieff was so fond of saying:
“If a man in prison has any chance of escaping, the first thing he has to do is realize he’s in prison.”
So now that we know it’s us against “the whole sick crew of certifiable psychopaths running our so-called civilization,” what are we going to do about it? Anyone?
News Item, July 12th, 2007: New York Magazine’s Vulture blog scooped up quite the deal story yesterday afternoon involving PEN/Hemingway award winner Justin Cronin. In a major change of direction – also involving a pseudonym, Jordan Ainsley – Cronin is working on a postapocalyptic vampire trilogy set in 2016. He’s already completed the first 400 pages of volume one, which was sold by Trident Media‘s Ellen Levine as a partial manuscript for what Vulture reports to be a whopping $3.75 million, 3-book deal… —mediabistro.com
UPDATE April 7th, 2009: Vampires rule: Twilight author Stephenie Meyer continues to dominate USA TODAY’s Best-Selling Books list. Sales of her novels accounted for about 16% of all book sales tracked by the list in the first quarter of 2009. That’s about one in seven books. Top 5 sellers for the quarter:
1. New Moon by Stephenie Meyer
2. Twilight by Stephenie Meyer
3. Eclipse by Stephenie Meyer
4. Breaking Dawn by Stephenie Meyer
5. Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Last Straw by Jeff Kinney
What is it with vampires, anyway? Why are we so fascinated by them—and why do the big media companies dole out the big bucks for their stories? This particular news item made me think back to 1991, when I found out that my brother Crash’s old roommate, A.C. Nightshade, had somehow managed to sell the film rights to his unpublished first novel for $666,000. Disney ponied up. I guess they thought all that Mickey Mouse crap was getting stale….
The book was called Vampirism Made Easy. It’s a rollicking tale of vampires and genies and teenage nymphomaniacs and I don’t know what the hell Disney was thinking, frankly. They never made it into a movie. But A.C. Nightshade went on to become the Dave Barry (or Jimmy Buffet) of supernatural horror novels, which is not a bad thing to be in this day and age. Think of that guy who did the folksy voice-over narration for Disney’s “Charlie, the Lonesome Cougar”—only instead of chuckling over the rascally escapades of a boy and his mountain lion cub, he’s narrating a story about a vampire girl with perky tits who rips the throat out of a sleeping wino while the wino’s scabby hairless Chihuahua tries to hump her leg. That’s A.C. Nightshade for you…. Every time he comes out with a new book it hits the New York Times Best Sellers List. That Disney deal must be looking like chump change to him now.
A.C. Nightshade’s real name is Jimmy Marrsden, by the way. The A.C. stands for Anti-Christ or Aleister Crowley, according to Jimmy—depending on which day you ask him about it. He’s never been able to decide on one or the other, so he uses both.
You’ll meet a youthful version of Jimmy—and a youthful version of Crash, too, of course—if you read Crash Gordon and the Mysteries of Kingsburg. Just to give you some idea of what that reading experience might be like, I’ve included a link to Chapter 12 in its entirety. It’s about horny high school kids, lesbian vampire movies, and an encounter with a fat, friendly psychic lady at a rumored whorehouse. My theory on vampires, developed in this chapter, is that we’re fascinated by them because we’ve all had encounters with their real-world equivalents—psychic vampires, who prey on the spirit of others in everyday life.
It seems to me that some of those psychic vampires are extremely well-paid, such as (just speculating here…) Justin Cronin, Stephenie Meyer, and my brother’s old friend and nemesis, A.C. Nightshade.
“Yes, I look like my grandmother…. And in those moments when a flicker of vanity hits me and I think, ‘Damn, I need a facelift,’ I remind myself that there’s a starving hound someone has abandoned and I must catch it, feed it and restore its confidence in the hound-human bond. So what if I look like hell? My heart is full, and I wish the same for you.” —Rita Mae Brown
“I happen to believe that dogs have souls… because so many dogs, I find, are closer to the human than humans.” —Norman Mailer, On God: An Uncommon Conversation
My brother, Crash, has a story about getting lost in a forest outside of Århus, in Denmark, during a hailstorm. He was in his early twenties at the time, on a no-budget, vagabond tour of Europe. Denmark is such a teensy little country that Crash thought he could just hike around anywhere, without knowing where he was going, and he’d eventually run into a town or the shoreline—but that didn’t turn out to be the case. The forest on the outskirts of Århus is vast, and in the middle of winter with an unanticipated hailstorm obscuring your vision and soaking through your shabby Norwegian thrift store overcoat, I guess it’s kind of easy to lose your way there.
At some point, after the hail had been pelting his blonde head for a good long while, Crash realized he was totally lost. He was also shivering uncontrollably. He thought he might die of exposure out there in the Scandinavian semi-wilderness—an ignominious death, to be sure. He could just see the Danish headlines (although not in actual Danish, since he wasn’t fluent in that language):
Asshole American Tourist Found Dead
Had Kierkegaard Book, But No Compass
He sat down on a low limb under a bushy tree to wait out the worst of the storm, but it only seemed to grow more fierce: hailstones the size of canned peas, mud puddles and coppery drifts of fallen pine needles rapidly turning white with ice. Crash was getting colder and wetter and more miserable with each passing second. He began to rue the day he’d met that dimpled Danish au pair girl in Santa Barbara who’d so sneakily seduced him into visiting her homeland.
Right about then, a big black dog appeared in the woods approximately ten yards ahead of Crash. He could just barely make out the dog’s shape through the curtain of plummeting hail. Crash stood up and walked toward the dog (or wolf, perhaps?) reasoning that, at the very least, being eaten by a wild dog would be more thrilling than freezing to death. It would also make for better Danish headlines:
A Werewolf in Århus?
American Savaged by
Danish Monster Dog
Crash had a job waiting for him as a journalist back in America. He couldn’t help but think in headlines.
The coal-black dog ambled up to Crash and sniffed his outstretched hand. It looked like a burly Bullmastiff—or maybe Cerberus, sans the two auxiliary heads. There was, however, a distinct friendliness about the dog that Crash sensed instantly. He scratched the dog behind its ears and the dog responded by leaning hard against Crash’s thigh and wagging its stumpy tail.
The dog had no collar, but even if it didn’t have a home or owners anywhere close by, Crash figured it knew the lay of the land better than he did at that moment. So when the dog turned and started walking deeper into the forest, indicating with an occasional backward glance at Crash that he should follow, he didn’t hesitate. He trotted after the dog as if it had him on a leash.
They slogged along a sodden deer path for at least a mile under a canopy of evergreens so dense and dark that it provided them with partial shelter as the storm cycled from hail to sleet. At last, through a gap in the trees, Crash saw a brighter light up ahead and he knew there had to be a clearing. It turned out to be a country road. And right across from that road sat an abandoned church.
Crash thought they might go inside the church and dry out for a while, but when the dog got to the church’s arched stone doorway it stopped, too frightened to go inside. Crash thought that was rather odd, but—peeking in through the heavy but unlocked double doors—there was definitely something creepy about the church’s dank, unlit interior (although maybe it was just the sight of all those skinny crucified Christs hanging everywhere). He decided to stay outside with the dog, under the church’s eaves, until the sleet finally slowed to a light drizzle.
The dog set out again and Crash followed. They walked another mile or so, this time along the country road, which led straight to a tidy little commuter train station. Crash thanked the dog after he bought a ticket back to his girlfriend’s house in Aalborg. He felt incredibly sad that he couldn’t take the dog with him. The dog seemed to feel the same way, whimpering plaintively as Crash got on the train. Crash had read a few stories about ghostly black devil dogs—and he would do much further research on the topic when he got back to America—but this dog had been his friend and protector. Perhaps even his savior.
Since that time, Crash, not surprisingly, has had an inordinate fondness for dogs of all sorts—especially black ones. He recently wrote in his own blog about an extreme, months-long case of insomnia that he experienced right around the time my book about him was published (see Crash on Crash), but what he neglected to tell his readers was that his insomnia ended just one day after his wife brought home a new black puppy to keep him company.
So does Crash think that his puppy has a Buddha-nature? Does he believe that God works in mysterious dogs?
You bet he does.
“For our struggle is not against human opponents, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.” —Ephesians 6:12
A Note From Derek: My older brother, “Crash” Gordon, has written in his blog at Nitt-Witt Ridge about how it feels to have his life turned into a book. I went over there thinking he’d be venting about how pissed off he was that I’d cannibalized his personal history to write Crash Gordon and the Mysteries of Kingsburg, but Crash’s post turned out to be something far stranger than that. I can’t say I was completely surprised. That’s the way things usually go when Crash gets involved. Check it out.
“Dear Mr. President, Internal Revenue regulations will turn us into a nation of bookkeepers. The life of every citizen is becoming a business. This, it seems to me, is one of the worst interpretations of the meaning of human life history has ever seen. Man’s life is not a business.” —Saul Bellow, Herzog
“…if you take away just one thing from this evening, always remember this: The banks and insurance companies are only too happy to sell you an umbrella on a sunny day, but they’ll yank it away from you at the first sign of rain.” —Lloyd Marrsden, speaking to Gordon in Crash Gordon and the Mysteries of Kingsburg
Beet-cheeked, squinty-eyed, morbidly obese, Lloyd Marrsden is a man whose life has become a morally bankrupt (but highly profitable) business. Specifically, he’s an insurance broker to the rocket industry. He also happens to be a 33rd-degree Mason with deep and spooky ties to the medico- military-occult complex. Lloyd knows things. He profits from that knowledge at other people’s expense.
“Don’t you feel guilty, taking advantage of people like that?” Gordon asks him at a party, after he hears Lloyd gloating over one of his favorite insurance scams.
“Guilty? It’s the American way!” says Lloyd. “This country was founded on the principle of taking advantage of other people. Look at what we did to the Native Americans—not only did we steal their land; we subjected them to the most brutal campaign of genocide in human history. America is one big Indian burial ground, when you get right down to it. And then we kick-started our mighty economic engine by exploiting African slaves. If you think anyone ever gets rich without taking advantage of other people, you’re just being willfully naïve. ‘Behind every fortune lies a crime.’ I believe it was Balzac who said that—or Mario Puzo…. If it’s not written into our Constitution, it’s somewhere in The Godfather, I’m almost certain.”
Later, Lloyd goes on to explain: “Predatory lending—that’s the key. Goad your intended victim into taking on debt and then use that debt as a means of control. It works on governments as well as individuals. The Rothschilds understood this method and exploited it better than anyone. Using the National City Bank of Cleveland as a front, they financed John D. Rockefeller’s monopolistic acquisitions for Standard Oil. Now the Rockefellers control several key transnational corporations along with Chase Manhattan—arguably the most powerful bank in America—but who controls the Rockefellers? The answer is: the Rothschilds, of course.”
“Yeah, well… so how does that relate to any of us?” Gordon asks him, feeling surly.
“It relates in two ways,” Lloyd says. “On a microeconomic level, you have the pernicious influence of credit cards, the means by which bankers feed off the financial life-blood of the masses, much the same way as vampire bats feed off of cattle. It’s predatory lending on an unimaginably vast scale. You probably didn’t know this, but that little experiment in picking your pocket got its start right here in Fresno County. Back in 1958, Bank of America did the first credit card mass mailing to 66,000 unsuspecting Fresno County families. It was a huge success, obviously—for the bankers. By 1960, over two million cards were in circulation throughout California, at generally usurious rates.
“On the macroeconomic side of things, we handed over control of our economy—and thus our government—to a cartel of international bankers when Woodrow Wilson signed the Federal Reserve Act of 1913. That ingenious piece of legislation was cobbled together in a secret meeting at J.P. Morgan’s private retreat out on Jekyll Island. Morgan was in on it, of course, as were the Rockefellers and the Rothschilds. The American public has been whipsawed for gigantic profits from pre-engineered bouts of inflation and deflation ever since. Wars, recessions, even presidential elections—the Fed controls it all with monetary policy, our economy’s magic elixir.”
I had all of the above in mind as I watched the subprime mortgage market meltdown play out over the last few months, leading to our current “credit crisis.” [Of course, things are a bit more complicated than Lloyd’s necessarily brief cocktail party patter; see this link for a more nuanced picture of what’s currently going down.] I thought it was especially interesting that financial stocks like Wells Fargo Bank suddenly leaped 5% higher in the last hours of trade on the day before Ben Bernanke’s early morning “surprise” half-point cut to the Fed discount rate on August 17th, 2007. Conservative blue-chip stocks with huge market caps like Wells Fargo (Warren Buffet owns a chunk of it) don’t often make 5% moves in a few hours on no news. After Bernanke’s announcement, of course, Wells Fargo and the rest of the financials traded much higher—and those people in the know who bought the stock on the day before made a big, fat profit.
Lloyd, in my book, is the sort of guy who would have bought put options on airline stocks right before the attack on the World Trade Center, had he known what was coming down (and he would have known… along with others whom Congressman Dennis Kucinich is hoping to nail). Gordon sees him, at first, as a modern incarnation of Alfred Jarry’s Ubu Roi: a “fat, crazed, scatological king who keeps his conscience in a suitcase.” But Lloyd turns out to be a much more mercurial figure than that. He’s equal parts Ubu, Moses Herzog, John Perkins, and Aleister Crowley. Is he good? Is he bad? The answer isn’t always clear. As Gordon gets to know him better on their road trip to the Esalen Institute in Big Sur, Lloyd even shows some flashes of vulnerability, flipping open the locks on his brushed aluminum Zero Halliburton suitcase to let his conscience speak:
“It’s not much of an exaggeration to say that corporations are immortal soulless entities that take as much as they can and give nothing in return,” he admits. “Their primary goal is to keep increasing productivity and earnings in an all-devouring, endless cycle. Corporate egregores exploit their workers, pollute the environment, and turn vast quantities of the world’s irreplaceable natural resources into disposable junk products, all just to show a quarterly profit. They steal from the poor and give to the rich, creating enormous concentrations of wealth in the hands of just a few thousand elitist assholes. If Reagan and Bush get their way and all that money and power isn’t redistributed—via a system of fair taxes and the checks and balances built into our Constitution—then America’s liberal, democratic society will soon be looking a lot more like a corporate-sponsored fascist police state. And that will be because, quite simply, the egregores of unchecked capitalism tend to penalize those who would better the lot of humanity, while at the same time rewarding the relatively few unbridled sociopaths who take advantage of anyone and anything that they can.”
“Yeah, but where would we be without porno and Diet Coke?” Jimmy asks, pointing to just two of their recent purchases.
“Well, if you can’t beat ‘em…” Lloyd says cheerfully. “Seriously, why do you think I ended up in the insurance racket, anyway? My line of work probably has some of the most evil egregores out there—aside from Big Oil and the tobacco companies—yet most insurance brokers see that evil as something apart from themselves. They fail to recognize it as coming from their own hearts and souls.”
“But not you,” says Gordon.
“No… not me,” says Lloyd. “Not now, at least. That’s why I’m here doing my penance, trying to provide a little enlightened adult guidance to a carload of snarky but redeemable teenage jerk-offs.”
For more of Lloyd’s warped adult guidance, you can start here:
“The big attraction with Gordon—and the reason I’m tagging along with him on what is bound to be yet another crappy human adventure—is that he has a powerful daimon looking out for him. One of the very top guys. If you’ve never heard of them, daimons aren’t demons or devils—let’s get that straight right off. A daimon is sort of a spiritual mentor, a guide from the Other Side, who is there with you from birth onward to coax and shape your soul during your earthly life.” —from Crash Gordon and the Mysteries of Kingsburg
Okay, so this is a little weird… I’ve written myself into my own novel as a space- and time-transcendent embryo who can observe (and comment on) my brother Crash’s life from my perch inside our fictional mother’s womb. To make a crappy pun, it’s a womb with a view.
I figured I could get away with this literary conceit because, for the past fifteen or twenty years now, I’ve had the unshaken conviction that we’re all spiritual beings who only temporarily inhabit these lame-ass human bodies for reasons of spiritual education. Life on earth, in other words, is like a boot camp for the soul. And a lot of the time, just like at any regular boot camp, being there kind of sucks.
This essentially gnostic take on the human condition has led me along some incredibly strange paths of inquiry over the years. I’ve explored hypnosis, lucid dreaming, Tibetan Buddhism, shamanism, remote viewing, Jungian analysis, and so on. But before you go writing me off as some sort of tripped-out New Age hippie-dippy bliss bunny, consider this from pages 200-201:
Suffering is the existential manifestation of evil in the world. And suffering exists. We know that. But what we sometimes forget is that the world is also full of good. Which is kind of amazing when you think about it. If we’re all just a collection of soulless atoms—random bundles of self-serving biology—then we should always be running around trying to fulfill our own greedy desires while we screw over everyone else in the process. But that isn’t always what happens, is it? How do you explain giving to charity, or extreme acts of self-sacrifice? Some people have given up their lives for the sake of others. It’s a mixed-up, fucked-up, crazy-making world, but at least there’s love in it, and a certain amount of the True God’s benevolent influence.
But then why did the True God let this half-assed god, the demiurge, get away with making such a flawed universe in the first place? I think Gordon himself provides part of the answer (with a little coaching from his daimon) in a book he’s going to write in his early twenties called The Sensuous Hermit. Since that book is already written from the perspective of eternity, and I’m still able to skip around in the past and future, I’ll just quote from the relevant passage here:
“There’s a Yiddish saying that God made man because He loves stories. The Sensuous Hermit has a more refined version of that same essential idea. It’s his contention that before the universe began there was only God—the One, the Absolute, the Unknown and Unknowable. But even God couldn’t comprehend Himself in that condition. To be conscious of his Oneness, He had to be less than One. Thus was born two-ness, or duality, with all the attendant distractions of that condition: light and dark, life and death, good and evil, love and fear, oil and vinegar, and so on. The truth is, we’re all still One with God, but at the moment we happen to be functioning as a kind of enchanted mirror that tells God stories about his true nature. Or better yet, the universe is one huge roman à clef in which the secret identity of every character is none other than the Absolute Author.”
Like I said, that’s part of it. But here’s a more radical spin on that same basic idea: What if mankind was once a single angelic being that fell from grace and was transformed, during the Big Bang, into the material universe as a means of salvation? What if shards of that fallen angelic personality could be found everywhere—in every rock, dinosaur, shark, tree, rainbow, bear, and person? And what if the ultimate purpose of all those fragmented personalities was to spiritually evolve into wholeness, back into that original angelic being—with increased knowledge of its own good and evil—which would in turn allow it to merge once more with the loving grace of the True God. If all of that were true, then we’d finally have a reasonable theological explanation for all the suffering in the world:
Why does evil shit happen? Because we need to experience it. We need to know what evil is all about so we can strive to embody its opposite: spiritual good. But in a world like I’ve described, we could never be quite sure of our moral bearings. We’d be living under Kierkegaard’s dictum that when we’re feeling our most saintly, we could actually be working for the devil (Jerry Falwell and some of the more rabid popes come to mind…). Conversely, an act that seems evil might actually serve to nudge millions of souls toward salvation. Christ’s crucifixion would be the obvious example, but there are others. I’m not saying this is true, but what if I told you that every soul involved in the Holocaust actually volunteered for it?
“Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards.” That’s another of Kierkegaard’s dictums. It explains why we need to spend time on the Other Side between incarnations. We do it so we can kick back and take a long look at our lives and try to figure out what the hell has been going on.
There’s more, if you’re interested, starting here:
“Yes, I do believe it is possible, and not only for novelists, to ‘plug in’ to an overmind, or Ur-mind, or unconscious, or what you will, and that this accounts for a great many improbabilities and ‘coincidences.’ ” —Doris Lessing, winner of the 2007 Nobel Prize in Literature
WASHINGTON (CNN) 11:45 a.m. EDT, June 26, 2007 — The Supreme Court ruled against a former high school student Monday in the “Bong Hits 4 Jesus” banner case—a split decision that limits students’ free speech rights. Joseph Frederick was 18 when he unveiled the 14-foot paper sign on a public sidewalk outside his Juneau, Alaska, high school in 2002. Principal Deborah Morse confiscated it and suspended Frederick. He sued, taking his case all the way to the nation’s highest court. The justices ruled that Frederick’s free speech rights were not violated by his suspension over what the majority’s written opinion called a “sophomoric” banner. (Watch the banner unfurl and launch a legal battle )
Here’s an example of how the collective unconscious works on us in mysterious ways…. I started writing Crash Gordon and the Mysteries of Kingsburg a few weeks after September 11th, 2001. We all know what went down that day and there’s no need to get into it here, except to say that I was living in Manhattan when it happened and I intuitively knew, right away, that there was more to the attacks on the World Trade Center than we were being told. Crash Gordon, in a way, has been my method of educating myself about the slithery history of false flag terrorist events and the manipulative lies our government tells us. “Bong Hits 4 Jesus” ended up as just one slender tentacle on that many-armed octopus.
The phrase occurs on page 48 of my book. I was writing that section during the winter of 2001-2002. I must have run across a news item about Joseph Frederick unfurling his banner during the Winter Olympics torch relay in Juneau, Alaska on January 24th, 2002—although I can’t remember doing so now. I do know that I liked the phrase, however I ran across it, and I decided to use it, for comic purposes, as a bit of graffiti painted on some pissed-off farmer’s barn. I had no way of knowing then that Frederick’s case would get all the way to the Supreme Court and result in a further Bush-sponsored curtailing of our constitutional rights. But believe it or not, that’s how it happened.
That in itself wouldn’t be of much note if I hadn’t written a scene in Crash Gordon, a few months later, that depicted Gordon defending a fellow student’s right to free speech in a series of editorials for his high school newspaper, The Viking Voice. Gordon ends up being harassed by his high school principal and an overzealous policeman for writing the editorials. But later, The Columbia Journalism Review singles out those same editorials for its Annual Scholastic Journalism Award.
So you can see where I’m going with this: Five years before it happened, the collective unconscious helped me key in on the exact phrase that would become the focus of an onerous Supreme Court decision regarding our rights to free speech. That particular issue happened to resonate with me, personally, because Crash Gordon’s fictional adventures in high school journalism were based on actual incidents from my brother Crash’s life. Crash really did write award-winning editorials on free speech in high school that got him sent to the principal’s office for an ugly police interrogation. And Crash grew up to become an independent journalist who got into still more trouble for publishing his anti-corporate screeds.
And now I’ve gone and written Crash Gordon and the Mysteries of Kingsburg—a book that five out of nine Supreme Court Justices might like to see banned and burned, if they could get away with it.
You can read the relevant excerpts here: