Wednesday, 16 May 2007

Boy Wonder Returns...

An interesting little something caught my eye over at Red Ice Creations yesterday. This is the 'astonishing' discovery that the famous Glasgow Necropolis- so famous, in fact, that I had never actually heard of it prior to reading the linked article- is none other than a giant (37 acre) Masonic symbol. Apparently, the expert who has stumbled upon this electrifying revelation did so only after years of 'painstaking study' at Glasgow University; which is a shame because from the sound of things I could have saved him the blood, sweat and tears by simply stating what by all accounts appears to be the supremely obvious. 'Those entering the graveyard pass over a bridge, by an arch, through two pillars and up a hill, on a journey from west to east,' writes journalist David Leask of the Glasgow Herald, whilst 'the monument to Walter Macfarlane, Glasgow's Victorian king of cast iron, looks like a Royal Arch, the emblem of the fourth degree of Freemasonry.' Add to these the frequency of Egyptian-themed memorials, compasses and squares a-plenty, and the fact that 'all the main players in its planning were Freemasons'- and we might be forgiven for wondering why nobody clocked on sooner.

But perhaps such churlishness is unwarranted. Perhaps the jammy researcher was merely the serendipitious recipient of a vision that could barely have been intuited much more than a decade or so ago, except by the eye of an initiate. After all, there has probably never been such attention focused on Freemasonry- its origins and off-shoots- as today: not even in the age of Captain Morgan and the Anti-Masonry Party. By dint of which, what was once obscure and arcane seems now rather obvious; as the combined efforts of an army of dedicated researchers starts to impact mainstream perception.

But whilst we could spiel almost endlessly on this subject, what piqued my interest and provoked me into returning to my keyboard was the following scintillating factoid, embedded towards the end of the piece: 

'The cemetery features prominently in Alasdair Gray's 1981 novel Lanark. The eponymous hero of the book is swallowed by a huge mouth which opens in the ground of the city graveyard and leads him into the hellish subterranean world of the Institute, where the population lives on human flesh.'

Cursory Wiki-research suggests this to be a most fascinating book, details of which I have neglected to peer into too deeply because I intend to read it. But the brief synopsis above should suffice to prick us, as it closely resembles the reptilian meta-narratives proffered by David Icke and others as an accurate guide to reality. In developing these ideas Icke has repeatedly indicated that science 'fiction' (or its sister-genre, fantasy) has oftimes been the mouthpiece for truths considered too shocking to be conveyed in other media. Long have I felt this aspect of Icke's research to be one of the most fascinating; and have often toyed with the idea of compiling a definitive resource wherein all such fictions can be logged. (A project I hereby inaugurate.) Any assistance with what might end up being a Herculean labour would be greatly appreciated. What I am looking for are examples of those 'fictions' in which consciously or otherwise the conspiratorial meme is evoked, in particular anything resembling the reptilian thesis.

We have already considered the example of the Hellraiser series: which I alluded in my Rosslyn article, before the baton was seized by Jake Kotze for his excellent Cuboid Stargate video. Judging from the thumbnail account of Lanark given above, it would seem that Alisdair Gray's imagination inhabits a not dissimilar sphere to Clive Barker's lunatic muse. Both works depict imaginative realms, one subterranean, the other inter-dimensional, inhabited by monstrous denizens who cannibalise human flesh. The fact that Alisdair Gray makes Glasgow Necropolis the gateway to his subterranean hell throws up the tantalising possibility that he was drawing a thinly-veiled comparison between the activities of the subterranean Institute with those of Freemasonry. Such criticism is also- in my opinion- implicit in the Hellraiser series, not least because the murderous Cenobites, as Barker christens his protagonists, spend a large part of their time worshipping a giant rotating obelisk... And we know about that particular symbol, and its ubiquity in certain fraternities.(1)

These are many other examples we could mention. Icke has himself made mention of 'The Coming Race' by Edward Bulwer-Lytton; and it is surely the result of its new found cache with the NEXUS crowd that the book has recently been reprinted. Also admired by Icke is the John Carpenter film They Live and the popular TV series V. Sociologist Michael Barkun examines popular comic book scenarios of the 1940s and 50s for the origins of the reptilian virus: in particular The Shaver Mystery, printed in the science fiction magazine Amazing Stories. In that case the subterranean beings- whilst not explicity reptilian- betray many of the antisocial behaviours we now associate with them: sexual violence featuring prominently, and the generic desire to rule the world.

Also claimed as an accurate guide to the multi-dimensional universe, and the infiltration of our reality by malevolent forces, is the Dagon mythos of H.P Lovecraft. This, in turn, inspired the publication of the Simon Necronomicon by Avon, the same publishing arm which put out Anton La Vey's The Satanic Bible to considerable effect. Very interesting is the fact that, since its publication, the Necronomicon has (in some quarters) been invested with a gravity that belies its youth, and the various incantations and invocations to 'The Dark Ones' contained therein have been the entry point for hundreds of thousands of metalheads into the mysterious world of the occult. Whilst we might sneer at their credulity, we acknowledge the creative power involved in such a collective working. Whether the Necronomicon concept was an ingenious invention of Lovecraft, or a genuinely ancient document, the 'Simon Necronomicon' is undeniably a modern invention; and does not even manage a particularly successful synthesis of the Cthulu legend. Nonetheless, we write it off as a mere hoax at our own cost, because regardless of its origins the reptilian gods it evokes are real. Whether they existed beforehand is a moot point, but they certainly do now: the book's popularity has created them.

There are hundreds of similar examples in which fiction has come to assume the status of fact (and who am I to argue with that attribution?) I will be logging all such examples I fall across in the pages of this blog; but should anybody reading this care to contribute to the project, please contact me at the following address:

Thank you!

1: The name given this obelisk is Leviathan: a word which immediately evokes Thomas Hobbes and his philosophical work of the same name. This highly influential tract, written in 1651, argues that only a social contract and the rule of an absolute sovereign can avert the anarchy of 'all against all': the pessimistic state of nature in Hobbes' political philosophy. As such, wrongly, the book has occasionally been identified (by conspiracists with literary inclinations) as an early blueprint for the New World Order. The famous frontispiece, an engraving by Abraham Bosse, perfectly illustrates his ideology: as the once and future King- the machinery of the super-state- emerges from the collectivised minds of the masses.

Interestingly, this is the same image that Alisdair Gray- an artist as well as a writer- bases the frontispiece for the fourth book of his own Lanark upon. In this case, the figure protrudes from a landscape which looks as though it was modelled upon the Glasgow Necropolis.


eris said...

It seems as though the author of the Simon Necronomicon has been revealed as (or claimed to be by him) none other than Peter Levenda, author of the ongoing 'Sinister Forces: A Grimoire of American Political Witchcraft' series.

He appeared on Red Ice Creations recently in conversation with Henrik. Well worth checking out - I'd love to read the books, but haven't got hold of 'em yet.

BTB said...

Thanks Eris...

I've included this piece of information in a new post concerning the movie 'Cloverfield', at