Monday, 12 March 2007

Melissa, Queen Bee...

Continuing the theme of the previous post, we can at last solve the enduring mystery of Francis Dashwood and his eccentric mausoleum. Long-term readers of this blog will know that the famous structure- sited a few yards outside the ancient earthworks of West Wycombe Hill, Buckinghamshire- is famously hexagonal. You will also know that Dashwood himself, notorious rake and incomparable bon vivant, was an unlikely proto-feminist in his then unfashionable championing of the Venusian mysteries. And of the cult of Melissa, a form of Aphrodite, we read:

'[Melissae, the 'bees'] was the title given Aphrodite's high priestesses at the honeycomb-shrine of Mount Eryx... Pythagoreans perceived the hexagon as an expression of the spirit of Aphrodite whose sacred number was six. [The members of her cult] worshipped bees as her sacred creatures because they understood how to create perfect hexagons in their honeycomb... It seemed to them a revelation of the underlying symmetry of the cosmos.'

So now we know what (and who) was being evoked via Dashwood's perennial design; perfectly fitting, it must be observed, for a place with the name of Wy-combe: the honey-coated domain of the Goddess Herself.

Friday, 2 March 2007

Talisman of the One World Religion

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Museum's logo, complete with pyramid structure (or stargate) top right.

We have frequently considered the important role that music and popular culture in general plays in the formation of the New World Order, even going so far as to coin the belief that rock and roll is the much-vaunted one world religion. (And that, not of the future, but very much of today.)

Then, a few days ago, a new post from maverick magician Jake Kotze contained the following: 'Beyond debate, synchromysticly [sic] or even empirically, secret societies use public structures as talisman. Read Hancock and Bauval's "Talisman" should you have some internal conflict with this concept.'

Jake might have added Talisman of the United States by Charles Westbrook, or The Secret Zodiacs of Washington DC by David Ovason, to name but two. I certainly have no internal conflict with such a concept, especially when I encounter a building which seems unquestionably to combine both themes: of architecture as occult talisman, in a memorial to rock as religion to boot.

This building is the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Museum in Cleveland, Ohio. (Cleveland won the honour of having the building built in its yard through its close association with DJ Alan Freed, who it is said invented the term 'rock and roll', and its claim to have hosted the first ever such public concert.)

The museum's logo is reproduced above... which is a fairly transparent signal of intent, if ever there was one. The paunchy world of Freemasonry and rock's heady glamour would not, on the surface of things, appear to be natural bedfellows; but readers of John Coleman will know, if the good doctor is to be trusted, that the elite has always fostered a very keen interest in popular culture. According to Coleman, rock music is the latest weapon in the same covert war against the masses which has been responsible for the introduction of illegal drugs into society: and for the same reason. To degrade, addict, and ultimately control: a goal which, either by accident or design, one only needs to survey the narcisstic popular media in order to perceive that is has by and large achieved.

Whether Coleman is quite right in his conclusions- of which I have little doubt, though there have been true rebels who have temporarily hacked their programming- the Rock and Roll Museum certainly has form. Its architect was none other than I M Pei: the Chinese-born heavyweight whose black pyramid in the Louvre forms a crucial component in Bauval and Hancock's thesis. Despite the oft-repeated fallacy that the pyramid contains 666 panes of glass (as Picknett and Prince reveal in The Sion Revelation, the actual figure is 684) the apparent anomaly of the structure has prompted suspicions that Mitterand- who initiated this, and several other highly contentious monuments- was motivated by considerations other than the purely aesthetic.

I.M Pei also features in Texe Marrs' Codex Magica, captured giving what the author interprets as a Gnostic 'as above, so below' signal. That Mr Pei is 'old school' is not in doubt: the son of a former governor of the Bank of China, his other famous works include the Kennedy Library in Boston (amongst many other highly regarded buildings.) What is particularly interesting is that, intentionally or otherwise, his design has contributed to the feel of the Museum as a place of religion, of pilgrimage: a mood caught in this article from 1995, originally published in the Boston Globe. Is it perhaps significant that the building is negotiated by its visitors via a 'tall, bright atrium' through which one must ascend through seven levels- like the major chakras of the human body- at the pinnacle of which sits the Hall of Fame itself? (A book of conversations with Mr Pei is tellingly entitled 'Light Is The Key.')

The Hall of Fame, writes Robert Campbell, 'can be described only as a religious space. The saints are the rock immortals. It's a secular chapel. You reach it by climbing a dark circular stair, like the winding stair in a cathedral tower. You come to a hushed cube of space in which all the walls are black glass. Illuminating this room, like constellations in the night sky, are the signatures of the stars, carved into the glass walls. Next to each signature is the modern equivalent of stained glass: a silent video image of the star in performance... It's like a pilgrimage, with shrines along the way, and the Hall of Fame at the end.'

It remains to be seen whether Britney- the divine Virgin herself- will ever merit a berth in such a vacuous mausoleum.

For more about the museum, click here.

For photographs click here.