Friday, 19 December 2008

The Jingle Man

'In the jingle-jangle morning I'll come followin' you.'
- Bob Dylan

Our last article returned to an idea frequently expounded at BTB: of pop-cultural 'memes' as triggering mechanisms in cases of occult interference. This informs our ongoing examination of the Mumbai attacks insofar as Naomi Scherr, one of the American killed in those events, was a big fan of the Twilight series: a classic example of a VALIS-project, the circumstances of whose transcription may have helped sensitise her to the subtle promptings which led her to be summoned to Mumbai in the first place. I keep meaning to return to our principal narrative (last seen alive here), only to be broadsided by new information relevant to the wider discussion. So, still promising to conclude the Mumbai investigation very shortly, let me first indulge my capacity for digression a little further, by presenting a perfect example of the above principle culled from today's papers.

This concerns a story written by Edgar Allan Poe, a writer of very great 'occult form'. Generally regarded as the father of the detective novel (a form dependent upon the unveiling of hidden secrets), and a key contributor to the nascent medium of science fiction, Poe is best-known for his tales of the macabre: the Gothic fiction derived, as we have remarked several times, from goetia, 'sorcery.' The condition of anybody 'wired' to the subtle influence of the Secret Commonweath is, in these articles, described as being 'illuminised'- a word derived from the occult research of Christina Stoddard ('Inquire Within') in addition to other sources. There are numerous signals that Poe was 'illuminised' to a certain degree, not least the fact that, like many artists, he struggled with an addiction to alcohol; and was prone to bouts of highly eccentric behaviour, particularly in the wake of the death of his bride (and first cousin) Virginia Clemm.

In addition, like many other writers whose work betrays arcane influences, Poe endured a very mysterious demise. Ambrose Bierce, writer and student of the occult, whose macabre fiction presaged many of H P Lovecraft's weird tales, is one of the most famous disappearances in literary history: nobody knows for certain what became of him. The Reverend Robert Kirk, the seventeenth-century minister of Aberfoyle, died suddenly whilst investigating a 'Fairy Hill.' (Kirk was the person responsible for popularising, and possibly coining, the phrase 'the Secret Commonwealth' as indicative of those beings 'of a middle nature betwixt man and angel.') And Antoine Saint-Exupery, the author of many works of subtle philosophy including Le Petit Prince, died during the Second World War, when the plane he was piloting disappeared near Corsica and was never seen again.

Poe's death is similarly mired in mystery. The little that is known for certain is that on October 3, 1849, Poe was found on the streets of Baltimore delirious, 'in great distress, and... in need of immediate assistance', according to the man who found him, Joseph W. Walker- see here. He died a few days later, but never regained consciousness to adequately explain how he came to be in such a parlous condition, or why the clothes he was discovered in were not his own. A variety of causes have been mooted, including syphillis, cholera, rabies... even poison administered by political operatives; but as all his medical records, including his death certificate, were lost (or destroyed), the truth remains elusive.

The biggest clue to Poe's 'illuminism', however, lies in the terrain encompassed by his non-fiction, most notably his 'Essay on the Material and Spiritual Universe' entitled Eureka (1848). Regarded by the author as his greatest work, this prose poem contained ideas which- according to Wikipedia- anticipated far later discoveries, including 'a cosmological theory that presaged the big bang theory by 80 years.' Most significant is the fact that, in writing it, Poe eschewed the scientific method for a semi-mediumistic approach based on pure intuition; an ability which may partly explain the high number of clairvoyants and psychics who have claimed some degree of contact with the writer since his death in 1849. 'One of the most notable of these', says the ever-trusty Wiki, 'was Lizzie Doten, who in 1863 published Poems from the Inner Life', an anthology of new compositions 'received' from the dead man's ghost.

I do not know the precise circumstances under which one of his most celebrated tales, The Tell-Tale Heart, was composed, but I am willing to bet it was characterised by a fugue-like state of creative (possibly drug-induced) delirium. I am keen to emphasise that VALIS-derived 'memes' of this kind, often extremely valuable works of art, possess force only in accord with many other (stronger) influences. This disclaimer notwithstanding, it is still true that occult transmissions of this kind can, upon a mind adequately primed for the task, have a profound (and often negative) effect. This would certainly seem to be true in the case of Robert Napper, already a very damaged child, whose first exposure to The Tell-Tale Heart at around twelve years of age seems to have been something of an epiphany.

The details of Poe's baroque tale (a quality which inspired Ralph Waldo Emerson's derisive epithet, 'the jingle man') are well-known. As summarised by journalist Paul Harris: '[An] unnamed narrator insists he is sane but suffering from a disease which causes 'over-acuteness of the senses.' He lives with an old man who has a cloudy, pale blue 'vulture-like' eye which so distresses the narrator that he plots to murder him in his bed. Hearing the old man's heartbeat beating unusually quickly from terror, he smothers the old man, chops up the body and hides the pieces under the floorboards. When police eventually arrive, the narrator begins to hear a faint noise and, convinced he can hear the heartbeat of the dead man through the floor... confesses to the police and tells them to tear up the floorboards.'

According to the same journalist, Napper's reaction to hearing this story for the first time was profound. 'In an English lesson, the class were played a recording of [the] story story,' Harris writes. 'Napper was entranced by it. He turned pale and started to shake and sweat. At one point the teacher thought he was having a seizure.' [Emphasis mine.] Shortly afterwards- the lesson roughly coterminous with a far greater trauma, a sexual assault by a family friend- teachers reported that Napper began acting very strangely, or his a priori weirdness ratcheted up a notch or five. Already an abstracted child, Napper's behaviour became so introverted to be described in one report as 'like a robot'; gradually developing a series of 'bizarre delusions', including being 'a well-educated millionaire, with a masters degree in maths... that he had won the Nobel Peace Prize [and] that he could communicate by telepathy.'

The full details of the murders of Samantha and Jazmine Bisset, for which Napper was convicted in 1995, are horrific; and not to be explored here further, apart from to note the grotesque similarities to the mutilation described in Poe's short story; and that the murder might never have occurred but for the gross mismanagement of the investigation into an earlier murder committed by Napper, that of Rachel Nickell in July 1992. (His eventual admission of guilt in that case, the details of which were released today, is why both murders have received renewed and prominent coverage in the British and European press.)

The details of that investigation, botched though it was, also betray occult interference by the Secret Commonweath. The decision by the Metropolitan Police to fixate on an innocent suspect, permitting Napper to continue unmolested, was due principally to the influence of the criminal profiler Paul Britton- an influence described by one senior legal figure as 'mesmerising'- whose obsession with the man was predicated in no small part upon the man's keen interest in the occult. Arriving at his 'grim council maisonette in Roehampton, a short walk from the murder scene', police found ritual paraphenalia including a full altar and a black-painted wall decorated with drawings of horned gods- see here. The name of this man, fully exonerated of any involvement in Rachel Nickell's death... A name no Briton will readily forget... was Colin STAGG.

No sleep till Bournemouth... More to follow...

1 comment:

Therese said...

details of that investigation, botched though it was, also betray occult interference by the Secret Commonweath. The decision by the Metropolitan Police to fixate on an innocent suspect, permitting Napper to continue unmolested, was due principally to the influence of the criminal profiler Paul Britton- an influence described by one senior legal figure as 'mesmerising' ...

Interesting. Such blocked and misdirected investigations surround a number of horrific crimes with sacrificial or occult aspects.