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Going to Hell in a Hand-Cart

By Thingfish

"No longer will a single story be told as if it is the only one."

John Berger 'G'

I must have one of those faces... unless this sort of thing happens to everyone. It seems that editors of Pagan magazines only want me for one thing. Could I write an article on this subject or on that topic? So far I have cited being far too busy, or way too ignorant of the matter in hand, or just plain ol' 'invasion of privacy' as my main reasons for not writing.

However, in the light of certain happenings in and around my life, and the lives of my happy band of troglodytic compatriot gringos, I have recently resolved to inflict some of my twisted and perverted views on a wider public. If you are reading this, it is testament to the courage/stupidity of the Pagan editorship community, and if you are not, then only I will know.

The articles that I have resolved to write will be submitted to various magazines, and each only to one, although, more than one article may be submitted to any given magazine.

In this case, our Dragon-Meister Rowan has asked me to write something on 'Chaos Magick and the Dark Side'. Oooooooooooo!

Chaos is not the absence of order, (Blah Blah Blah), Sum of all orders, (Blah Blah), Meta-Belief System, (Blah Blah Blah), Enables the operative to leap between beliefs to achieve Results, (Blah Blah), Results oriented, (Blah Blah), Absence of enforced Mysticism, (Blah Blah Blah), Total control by the individual (Blah).

I'll tell you what. Maybe I'll get back to this a little later on. There are one or two other things that are on my mind and in need of a little air.

Let's take a little blimp in the direction of the forces of the light.

Let's check out what is happening today, right now. As we speak. In this here green and pleasant land of ours. Let's also try to figure out what may be lying just around the corner.

To do this, let's start by going back.

A few years ago when we were getting endless nightly news reports about the ongoing pissing contest between Arthur Scargill and Mr McGregor (See Editor's notes below). When we were hearing about flying pickets (the social menace not the auditory one), about police officers without numbers on their uniforms, about pitched battles in Yorkshire and about the iron clad resolve of Maggot Thatcher, some of us were warning about a small and, then, seemingly insignificant detail of real, hidden (occult?) news amongst the entertainment.

A bus load of miners were stopped and arrested whilst travelling from A to B.

So what?

So, they were not committing any offence. There was no evidence to suggest any conspiracy. They were simply arrested for moving between points. They may or may not have been intending to flying picket. They were, in fact arrested for what they were thinking.

They were the first people to be in this position, in this country, for quite some time. The brain police had arrived.

I was told that I was paranoid. That I was over reacting. That I had too much time on my hands if that sort of thing was all I could think about. It was suggested that I should bimble off and put my budding conspiracy theories in the bin and let people get on with the two important jobs of the day, namely that of getting drunk at miners benefits and feeling righteous.

It is interesting to me, that as I write, in the last few days the case against Colin Stagg, the man accused of the Rachel Nickell murder has collapsed (See editor's notes below). The case was, it seems, built on the work of an undercover policewoman attempting to fit Stagg to a predetermined psychological profile. She got to know him through a lonely hearts advert and then went on a fishing trip amongst his fantasies. The case failed but both the police and the CPS had enough faith that it would succeed to take it to court. This has to be the most blatant attempt yet to prosecute thought crime. Welcome to 1984.

Fast forward.

A couple of years back the Spanner Men were jailed, each for very long periods.

For those of you who have been living in a fur lined match-box for the last few years, 'Operation Spanner' was a massive police and criminal justice system jolly that started out as part of the Obscene Publications Squad's search for stuff that we aren't grown up enough to see, and ended up by jailing a number of homosexual sado-masochists for being homosexual sado-masochists.

They had apparently done (and home-videoed) some things to each other that were enough to make even the most seasoned splatter-movie nut go cross-eyed, pale green and wobbly. Which actions, I grant you, are not to everyone's taste. But the plain and un-contested fact that all of their carryings on happened between consenting adults and in the privacy of their own homes was deemed, by the courts, to be irrelevant.

So what? They were perverts and deserved all they got.

So the real situation is that your body and mine are now not our own, they belong to the state and may not be 'defiled' or otherwise mucked about with in an unseemly fashion without permission.

WE INTERRUPT THIS BROADCAST TO BRING YOU THE FOLLOWING IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENT:

YOU ARE NOW UNDER MARTIAL LAW!
SHUT UP! DO NOT ATTEMPT TO THINK OR DEPRESSION MAY OCCUR!
STAY IN YOUR HOMES! SHUT UP AND BUY!
DO NOT THINK 'UNCLEAN' THOUGHTS!
DO NOT PERFORM 'UNCLEAN' ACTS!
STOP! REMAIN CALM! WATCH SPORTS!
ATTEND REQUIRED AND APPROVED WORSHIP SERVICES!
SHOP!
SHUT UP!

In other, slightly more sophisticated societies such as the USA, the religious right and the political right are already openly declaring their alliance.

The constitution of 'the Land of the Free' is proving to be no barrier to their advances. Tipper ('I am God's instrument') Gore (wife of the vice-president Al) and her PMRC has succeeded, (despite the first amendment), in making the labelling of recorded works mandatory. Thus creating an economic situation where anything that she and her friends do not approve of cannot show a profit and hence does not see the light of day.

John Major has recently announced a forthcoming campaign against 'the loathsome trade in pornography'. Definition please!

Ed Meece (Reagan's Attorney General, best known for his 'trickledown' economic policies and his shepherding of the cause of compulsory drug urinalysis in the face of objections on the grounds of the second and fifth amendments to the constitution) has recently found a new interpretation of the McCarron-Walter act, (a piece of legislation brought in under the McCarthy era to politicise immigration).

It is now being used to keep out thinkers, writers and others that are unsympathetic to U.S. government policy. Hortensia Allende, the widow of the assassinated president of Chile is now a proscribed person because she speaks about the (proven) involvement of the CIA in bringing general Pinochet to power, (primarily so that IT&T could get their Chilean copper mines back from the Chileans). Many journalists, musicians, artists and others are now banned from the country on the same grounds.

Why?

To keep INFORMATION out of the hands of the people. Many right wing politicians in this country are currently, privately advocating something similar here.

I could go on for hours like this. So what? That's happening in the States, not here. That sort of thing could not happen here. We have a saner, calmer form of democracy and the machinations of the 'Damn Yanks' do not affect us.

Wrong. For months the British government refused point blank to give any clarification to Sinn Fein of the joint declaration. The Irish prime minister went to America on the Friday to seek the help of Bill Clinton and on the Monday the clarifications sought were given. When the producer calls the tune, the consumer has to dance. (Here's a little game. Watch what influence Bill Clinton has in pushing forward 'the cause of the Irish' over the coming weeks and months. You may have to read between the lines because no one is going to tell you up front that you are just a commodity. But if you really look and listen, you may well be surprised.)

And now, in our own right, we have the Criminal Justice Bill. Outlawing Travelling, outlawing Raves, removing the right of silence, strengthening the powers of the Police and Judiciary to deal with those evil little scumbags who don't know right from wrong.

So what? We, as pagans, don't want scummy little travellers fronting up at our link ups, and rave music is a loud and disgusting row anyway, and anyone who is innocent has nothing to fear from telling the truth, and besides, its about time we got some law and order back into this country!

The first people to disappear under the Nazis were not the Jews, but the Gypsies.

Lets see, who might be the next threat to a nation of God, my Country and the Tory party. Rave music is defined as anything with a repetitive beat. Drumming around a campfire for instance?

When they come knocking on your door, is the world at large going to see you as worth fighting for, or as another child molesting, devil worshipping witch that was hardly worth the cost of the match and the petrol.

Lets face it folks this is all getting pretty shitty. Do you want to know how it happened?

We have in this country an elected dictatorship that is seriously bent on reducing its people from citizens to a raggle-taggle bunch of consumers, paying through the nose for the privilege of being controlled. And these dictators were put there by 'the just plain folks' that you went to school with.....

WOAAAA!!!!

We'll get back to da wimp and his low budget con-sep-shun ur freedom in jes-a while. But foist welcome to:

'WHAT DE FUCK GWINE ON HERE'
A CELEBRATION UR DE PAGIN WAY UR LIFE

I see some o yawll might be smilin. Cos yer things what I's tellin yer is a lie.
Less jes habba test. How many you nice folks out dere thinks I knows what I's talkin bout. Raise yo han up! ah-ha
An how many you's thinks my potata bin bakin too long. Raise yo misable han up! Ah-ha
How many you's be convinced the gobmint be totally unconceynd by de ploo-liferation o undesirable tennints in de con-der-mininium ur life.
An how many thinks they nummer won't come up next time the breeze blow from the easterly direkshum.
Lets face it people. Ugly as I might be. I is yo fu-chum.
Aint that right Sister Ob'Dwella?


Something that has long fascinated me about people in general, and Pagans in particular, is the fact that the smaller the differences between people, the greater the resentment of those differences is.

Within our 'community' there are small differences that produce the most amazing rows. In the last few months I have seen real acrimony arise because people brought their children along to events. Aren't children people too?.

Range war has erupted because certain people came out and said that they wanted to do their thing without children around. Does wanting the peace and quiet to do one's own thing really make a person a monster.

Is it really not possible to square these differences of standpoints away without the need for a winner and a loser (or as it seems to me in this case two losers)?

I have listened, mouth agape, as some people have slagged off a man who is without doubt a committed pagan, (and living it, not just gobbing off at moots), for singing songs in praise of the goddess early in the morning and late at night. His crime, being annoying!

I would propose a radical, perverted and twisted course of action in the face of the potential adversity that now confronts us. Namely that we each let other people hold their beliefs, whatever they may be, and, further, that we positively empower each other to get on with doing our own things.

Homogeny produces targets. The 1960's proved that. If people group together they are either destroyed or absorbed.

Take for instance the current rash of New Age 'tinkly' shops selling crystals, relaxation tapes and fraudulent ethnic artifacts to anyone fool enough to buy them. Here is an example of absorption. Quite apart from the fact that crystals are only formed once - at the beginning of a planet's life, and strip mining them ain't exactly 'dead green', or that the Native American Indian cultures are running out of the clay needed to make pipes and other things because 'Shamans' in Birmingham/Los Angeles/ Milton Keynes really need to have the proper kit and they can pay for it. (Tough shit Cochise, get a job!). Business takes our (and others') beliefs and turns them into consumer artifacts. New age travellers, on the other hand, provide little that can be exploited so they have to be swept up and disposed of.

The answer? Don't organise. Support your local individual(s). As an individual they are not a worthwhile target for the beast, they are just another nutter. But they can also be grit in the wheels of the machine. Slowing, and helping ultimately to destroy, the destroyer.

The obvious first difficulty here is in not regarding a different view as an opposing view. Unfortunately, freedom means freedom. We have all been so well programmed into 'standing up for ourselves' (a con-job by the way, we can argue the toss all day provided that we do so within a given agenda) that we perceive others 'doing as we do, in their own way', as an attack on our sanctity as an individual, and by doing so do the oppressors' dirty work for them.

Accept first of all that what you do and what you believe and how you look and the way you talk irritates the hell out of all those around you, and that all you believe is probably total bollocks in any case. Then do it anyway. It then may become easier to accept that what they do irritates you.

When other folks become irritated with you, accept their right to be irritated by you. Listen to their point of view, (I'll say that again because some folks may have missed it: LISTEN TO THEIR POINT OF VIEW... there, got it now?). Explain your own point of view, enjoy the differences.

If they have a point, and you feel that you have been missing something important, change what you do, if not, continue as before, reducing if possible, (or if you like), the impact that your behaviour has on them. If this is not possible, do your own thing anyway. At least you tried.

These sorts of behaviours may well allow for your own and/or other peoples ideas to develop and become more fulfilling for yourself and the people around you. The least you can expect is a more interesting and varied set of arguments to present on future occasions, and a better understanding of the workings of the enemy.

Wait a minute, am I really saying that the teachings handed down from one generation of adepts/priests/priestesses to the next generation of novices are all wrong and need to be tossed into the cosmic beatwaste skip in favour of a psychic jumble sale?

No. Clearly that would be to throw the baby out with the bath water. Anyone who wants to join our group (and if anyone does you can contact us through this magazine - we are NOT yer bog standard Coven and require certain intellectual, and other lifestyle commitments), has to have the discipline, the intelligence, the courage and the sheer 'Gannas' to take on the role before we would even consider step one.

But then, and here comes a second mad, bad and totally insane idea that no rational, true believer would countenance in a million years. We would not expect that person to listen exclusively to us, or to receive our word as 'the word of the Supreme Being'. On the contrary we would expect that person to go out and about and find truths, (or at least un-lies) that furthered all our knowledge(s). If that person's searching took him or her so far away from what we are doing that we became incompatible, (always remembering that the results of their journey would have been fed back into what we do, and would probably have mutated what we all do anyway), then we would part company and become 'allies' rather than 'family'.

The whole concept of 'this is the true and only path', or 'this is the only correct way to achieve so-and-so', is so desperately flawed as to be a positive danger. It even feels very like the 'Suffer the children to come unto me', that is practiced by that other lot.

In psychology, Transactional Analysis leaves us in no doubt that the Parent Ego State is a fairly effective way to block another's learning. In any case if a teacher feels the need to prevent a student from being exposed to other ideas, then it is clear, at least to me, that the teacher's ideas are themselves seriously flawed. Giving a student a proper set of tools to analyse new ideas and maximum exposure to those 'strange' ideas prepares the individual for the real world. The exact opposite of what governments are doing to people.

It could be argued that this way of thinking leads to (DA-DAT-DA!!!)... Anarchy.

I mean... if, in all but a gnat's whisker we accept that 'Nothing is True, Everything is Permitted', is that not an invitation to all kinds of dangerous and lascivious behaviour?

I don't think so, or if it is, then I believe that it is a phase that would soon pass. Very quickly a natural law and order would emerge.

At a recent link-up that I attended there was a fair bit of rule making going on. The restrictions and the compulsions that were given down were largely ineffective, and in some cases had the effect of stifling some of the spontaneity that makes link-ups special. In areas where people were left to their own devices, problems were controlled and dealt with as a matter of course by whoever was around at the time, and bucket loads of mutual respect and support were shown by and to everyone.

Creating a culture of 'allowing' seems to me to be the only option that moves each and every one of us towards self actualisation. Towards becoming that Thelemic 'Star'. Towards achieving real results in our own lifetimes.

Change would occur. Change is always threatening, but never insurmountable. Change, like magick is neither good nor bad of itself. Change simply means change.

Anger (and irritation too) can be seen as a call to arms, and as a last resort it is. But surely not as a first resort. Surely then we can see our own reactions of anger as cognitive dissonance to be enjoyed and explored to all our benefits.

This hasn't exactly turned out to be a piece on Chaos Magick, but then as Dion Fortune said 'Magick is the art of changing perception by an act of will'.

Chaos is not the absence of order, (Blah Blah Blah), Sum of all orders, (Blah Blah), Meta-Belief System, (Blah Blah Blah), Enables the operative to leap between beliefs to achieve Results, (Blah Blah), Results oriented, (Blah Blah), Absence of enforced Mysticism, (Blah Blah Blah), Total control by the individual (Blah).

And as for the Dark Side..... Well.....

Added section May 1996

The world moves on apace. That which you can be legally slatted for in the sunny UK becomes more like Alice's Wonderland everyday.

The Spanner Men are now out of jail. One of them, Colin Laskey, is sadly no longer with us. I never had the good fortune to meet him, but his strength and tenacity will be sadly missed by many of us.

The case itself is still ongoing, with the Law Commission having stated that people should be free to make up their own minds and the European Commission having ruled that the case should go forward to a full hearing.

The police are still hassling Sado-masochists though. The sex maniacs ball, (a social event in a night-club) was closed down, moved to another venue and then closed down again by the police threatening to object to the venue's licence should the event go ahead. Other events have been raided with organisers and club owners being (unsuccessfully) prosecuted. The success or otherwise of prosecution is actually irrelevant. If the system hassles people enough, the possibility of expensive court action will eventually be enough to dissuade people from even trying.

The obscene publications act is being used increasingly, not just against pornographers either. The test of obscenity being the likelihood of the material in question being able to corrupt. How many pagans think that a good barrister couldn't persuade a jury that occultist material fell into this category. Comparative evidence is not allowed as a defence (you can't show that there is loads of this stuff about), and what is even more amazing, is that, if found not to be obscene, all the CPS need do is take the case back to court in a different area. The whole thing (including massive legal costs) begins again.

If you've had material seized, particularly by the customs and excise, the test of obscenity has no bearing on the seizure. In other words the C&E will fine you and destroy the material anyway, unless you want to go to court and fight the order, (more expense).

On the Internet there is now a thing called 'The Blue Ribbon Campaign' concerned with freedom of speech. This comes in the wake of the American 'Telecommunications Bill'. Regardless of the constitution, the Yanks have created legislation to curtail people's rights to say what they want to on the net.

YOUR ACCESS TO THE INFORMATION ON WHICH YOU BASE YOUR LIFE CHOICES IS BEING SYSTEMATICALLY REMOVED.

If you don't do something about this now, it will be too late. Your children and your grandchildren will never know what you know. They WILL be manipulated and enslaved.

The Irish situation. Seventeen months after the terrorists came down from the hills and said 'lets talk', they went back saying 'you can't trust the Brits'. The American role was there right to the end. Who led the commission to broker a settlement after the UK government demanded, out of nowhere, the surrender of arms in advance of talks?

The commissions findings were fair and just, but number 10 had to add 'just one more precondition', that of a rigged election before talks could begin.

The wheel is still in spin on this one, there can be no peace process without the IRA, its meaningless, but it seems that the British Government are not yet ready to give up their 'urban-situation-military training theme park' just yet.

The point I made in the article was about the USA's control over the internal politics of its 'client states'. A clearer example of this, currently, is the situation in Israel.

Israel is a country famous for producing oranges and yet with a very high standard of living amongst its population. How does it afford this? Well it takes a very large share of the US foreign aid budget. What does it do for all this money? It has been suggested by more learned folks than myself that its main function, its main export if you will, is its ability to maintain a state of instability in the middle east, in order to protect the oil price to the US. After substantial pressure from the Diaspora the US government leant on the Israelis to broker a peace settlement there. But when this all fell apart recently it was the US that refused to condemn Israel's actions at the UN. I wonder why?

By the way, Hisbola were originally formed and trained (presumably with US money) by the Israelis to destabilise the PLO. Wheels within wheels.

The main point of the article, support your local weirdo, still stands. In recent years there have been, in my view three models of approach to questions such as this. None of them very effective.

The first, much loved by the religious right, and increasingly by other right-wing organisations such as the Pagan Fed, that of Moral Absolutism. I am right, you are wrong, do it my way or else. This approach is not acceptable to most right-thinking people. It leads to repression, frustration and inevitably revolution.

The second approach, liberalism is concerned with the rights of identified groups of individuals. This is fine until the rights of two groups come into conflict. Witness the struggle between the pro and anti abortion lobbies. Both have valid but irreconcilable arguments, rights of the woman vs. rights of the unborn child. Neither side will compromise and the debate has nowhere to go. Result, a slide into Moral Absolutism.

The third approach is a libertarian one, freedom of the individual. This call makes no sense unless one recognises that embedded within the argument are a number of questions. Freedom from whom? By what method? and at what cost? There is a strong likelihood that any individual's freedom has effects on other individuals. I still therefore propose a radical pluralism solution. Find these weird people that are doing things there own way and converse with them. Individual action is hard for the system that does not have your benefit at heart to deal with. Support it. Before it disappears in a cattle truck in the dead of night.

Editor's notes

  • The coalminers' strike of 1984-85 which broke out over proposals by managers to close a number of pits which were claimed to be uneconomic. The strike lasted just over a year until the miners were forced back to work. In the years following there have been many pit closures and tens of thousands of redundancies.
  • Rachel Nickell was a young mother stabbed to death on Wimbledon Common in SW London in front of her young son. Since the acquittal of Colin Stagg, the police have never charged anyone else in connection with her death. Stagg was convicted on offensive weapons charges a couple of years later, having taken an axe when he went to sort out a dispute in which he was involved.