Time For The Tinfoil Hats, Folks!

May 2, 2007

Lust, Gummo:17, 6006 YD

By VICTORIA MOORE

No, she’s NOT a beekeeper. This woman believes that her bizarre headgear can save her from the dangerous electrosmog all around us. Can she possibly be right?

Before knocking on Sarah Dacre’s door, I take the precaution of checking my mobile phone. It’s switched off, as she has requested.

“Last time someone came to visit,” she warns, “I started feeling awfully nauseous. It turned out he had a picture phone with him and had left it switched on. A picture phone!”

She pauses, looking genuinely horrified. Apparently, this type of mobile automatically sends signals to a local base station every nine minutes – “No wonder I felt so sick.”

We sit down in the living-room of the airy, north London house that, for the past two years, has been Sarah’s refuge from modern life. Save for the absence of a television, it looks ordinary enough.

But beneath the coats of magnolia paint, she points out, the walls are lined with a special paper that contains a layer of tin-foil; and upstairs, the windows are hung with a fine, silvery gauze.

These aren’t idiosyncratic decorating decisions, though. All these silvery layers are here for a purpose: to keep the 21st century at bay.

Sarah, 51, is one of a growing band of people who claim to be experiencing extreme – and incapacitating – sensitivity to electrical appliances, as well as to certain frequencies of electromagnetic waves.

“Wi-Fi, or wireless broadband networks, seem to be the worst thing,” she says.

“Closely followed by mobile phones – particularly if they’re being used in an enclosed space – the base stations of cordless telephones and mobile phone masts.

“I have to restrict the amount of time I spend on the computer or watching television, and make sure I don’t have too many household appliances on at once, because that sets me off as well.”

This may sound bizarre, but there is no doubt that Sarah’s symptoms are real.

To date, they include hair loss, sickness, high blood-pressure, digestive and memory problems, severe headaches and dizziness.

They strike with such ferocity that, since diagnosing herself as “electrically sensitive” in May 2005, she has been marooned at home.

She can’t work. When she wants to phone friends, she has to use a land-line – a significant advancement, it turns out, because she was so ill at one stage, she says, that she couldn’t even touch an ordinary receiver without feeling a violent shock pass up her arm.

Food shopping is done as rapidly as possible, once a week, at a time carefully chosen to avoid younger people and their permanently switched-on mobile phones.

And she can venture into built-up areas only if she is swathed in a net-and-hat ensemble made from a special “shielding fabric” that makes her look like a bee-keeper.

“I’m sure people laugh,” she says, “but I don’t mind as long as it keeps me well.”

Finding her own solutions – however outwardly bizarre – has been essential because, for the moment at least, the medical establishment does not even accept that her condition exists.

Fortunately, some individual doctors have been sympathetic to her plight.

Dr Sarah Myhill, who is registered with the General Medical Council and practises privately in Wales, says: “There is no doubt that electrical sensitivity is a real phenomenon – I have seen too many people affected by electro-magnetic radiation (EMR) to think otherwise.

“Clinically, I nearly always see electrical sensitivity in people who are already suffering from chemical sensitivity.

“There are many symptoms that can be switched on by electrical sensitivity, and it appears that almost any electro-magnetic frequency can be the cause.”

Even so, I cannot help feeling a little sceptical. Is there any suggestion that ES could be a psychosomatic illness, I ask Sarah (who, in fairness, does not seem to be particularly highly-strung).

“Inevitably, people suggest that,” she says, with a flick of her auburn, Farrah Fawcett-style hair.

“But at one time, ME sufferers were accused of having psychosomatic symptoms and were ignored as a result. Now, the illness is formally recognised.

“Before this, I’d barely had a day ill in my life – I’ve always been a very energetic, dynamic person.

“I had a career in banking, then in events management, and then I ran my own television production company.

I was always busy and I was always out doing things – skiing, tango lessons, looking after my son, Josh, who’s now 17. I had a very active life and I loved it.

“Now, I have no income because I can’t work and I have no choice but to devote all my energies to fighting to find out more about my allergies.”

The first symptoms started about five years ago. At first, Sarah ignored them, hoping they might be due to tiredness or stress and would simply go away.

Gradually, though, her condition deteriorated. And about two years ago, she says “everything hit at once, like a car crash. As well as the exhaustion and nausea, I even lost the sight in my right eye.”

A stream of doctors, complementary practitioners and Chinese herbalists all failed to alleviate any of her symptoms or come up with a diagnosis.

Instead, she found an answer on Google – through websites such as electrosensitivity.org.uk.

All her symptoms seemed to match those of people who believe they are allergic to modern life.

She lists some of the offending items that were in her home: “I had a burglar alarm emitting microwave radiation, I used a mobile phone constantly, I had two cordless phones and countless appliances – all of which have an electromagnetic field associated with them.”

Convinced that she had almost certainly found the cause of her illness, she ordered, from the internet, some special rolls of foil wallpaper and a fabric called Swiss bobbinet – a netting made from polyester filaments dipped in silver.

Both promised to “shield” her from any emissions from phone masts or wireless broadband systems.

Within a few weeks of the wallpaper going up and the windows being hung with netting, she began to feel better.

So much so that when she suddenly had an offer on her house, which she had been desperate to sell for seven months, she decided not to sell after all.

Since then, she has gradually managed to find other ways to help her cope.

She can use her computer for up to three hours a day, “but only if I keep myself absolutely detoxed all the time, drinking plenty of water and revolving my meals so that I don’t become sensitive to certain types of food as well.”

Her long-term (some would say long-suffering) boyfriend, Rod, a gold and silversmith who lives in Kent, has been sympathetic, she says. But there have been unexpected setbacks that might test the happiest of couples.

Last month, she had a relapse and started to panic.

“I’d been feeling quite bright and energetic; then suddenly, for three nights, I couldn’t sleep,” she says.

“I really felt it was back to how it was in the beginning, when I didn’t know what was wrong with me. I was exhausted, developed bladder problems, felt ill. That’s when I decided to run some tests.”

Using an “electrosmog detector” – the name given to a device that can apparently register levels of electromagnetic activity – she checked her bedroom.

“And there was radiation streaming in through the one wall that I thought I hadn’t needed to protect. We have some new neighbours, and I think they must have installed wireless broadband.”

To ensure a good night’s sleep, Sarah now takes the precaution of swathing herself in her special silver netting.

She is concerned by the increasing spread of wireless networks.

“I think it’s a terrible mistake,” she says. “Is Wi-Fi going to turn out to be the tobacco, asbestos or Thalidomide of the 21st century? It’s looking that way.

“And instead of testing it out properly, what are we doing? We’re putting it into schools, exposing small children to it all day long, and opening up entire Wi-Fi areas – they’ve just created a giant new Wi-Fi zone in the City of London.

“It horrifies me to think of people in small houses or flats who might be affected by several overlapping wireless networks at once.”

Yet the scientific case for electrosensitivity (ES) is threadbare. The World Health Organisation’s position is that “there is no scientific basis to link ES symptoms to EMR exposure.

“Further, ES is not a medical diagnosis, nor is it clear that it represents a single medical problem.”

This week, Professor David Coggan, a member of the Health Protection Agency’s advisory group on non-ionising radiation, told BBC’s Newsnight: “There is quite a lot of evidence now accumulated on mobile phones and health – and the balance of evidence overall doesn’t point to problems.

“There’s still uncertainty and there still needs to be further research, but so far we don’t have a concern.

“And on that basis, the concern about Wi-Fi is much lower on the scale than, say, that about pan-global influenza.”

Other research has backed the view of the medical and scientific establishment.

In one “provocation” study, a number of people who claimed to have electrical sensitivity were placed in a room with a mobile phone and not told whether or not it was switched on.

Asked by a researcher how they felt, they failed to establish any link between physical symptoms and the alleged trigger.

Sarah Dacre believes that this is because the tests were carried out in an area with high background electrosmog.

“Once you are sensitised,” she says, “that’s it.

“It’s like having a glass of wine – it’s cumulative in your system.

“You don’t stop being drunk once you have finished drinking, so you can’t then be tested sober.”

She continues to campaign for electrosensitivity to be recognised as a valid medical complaint linked to electromagnetic fields.

“While I’m up and about,” she says a little sadly, “I’m going to do something about it.”

Original story here.

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Ladies And Gentlemen, Mr. Bongo Fury . . .

May 1, 2007

Aftermath

April 27, 2007

Gluttony, Gummo:12, 6006 YD

by: Episkopos Cain

Who are we?

Its safe to say that we are, first and foremost, people who think change is not only possible in this world, but a necessity. We have reached a cultural dead end, where any new values are either quietly co-opted to serve the needs of an elite, or as a false “choice” in a society that no longer understands the meaning of the word.

True change is not impossible, but it is deemed dangerous by those who benefit from the way things are now. Subversive and radical ideologies that fail to understand this are doomed to failure as they become part of a larger overall system within society. An idea may be revolutionary for its time, but within 10 years it will have been bastardized and sold on a t-shirt. They become, just like everything else, another resource to be exploited, a lifestyle choice instead of a choice of life.

In the past, we have often witnessed political revolutions, but rarely social ones. A revival of life, with meaning beyond shrill partisan screeching and the bottom line, must be advanced towards. A renaissance, if you will, of modern life. However, this can only arise through understanding of and discrediting the current system.

We are, above all else, neophiles. We seek an uncertain but better future over an unpleasant present. And there is no greater goal than that.

Moving Locations

April 26, 2007

Envy, Gummo:11, 6006 YD

I apologize if my posts the last few days haven’t seemed as focused as usual, we have been in the midst of moving temples. The E.’.E.’. has moved into downtown Hogtown, after being cramped out near the Riverdale Farm for so long . . . you can only stay in a silo for so long before beginning to go buggy . . .

Here is a pic of the new alter in the new temple:

Guatemala Awaits Anti-Christ

April 25, 2007

Lust, Gummo:10, 6006 YD

By JUAN CARLOS LLORCA
The Associated Press

He calls himself the Antichrist, wears the number 666 tattooed on his arm and claims a following of 2 million people.
And, Jose Luis de Jesus Miranda is coming to Guatemala whether it wants him or not.

The Central American country has banned the leader of the Florida-based Growing in Grace church, arguing he is a security risk because he provokes conflict with Roman Catholics and evangelicals. But Miranda still plans to fly in on a private jet today to celebrate his 61st birthday and meet with thousands of followers from around the world. “It has been predestined, and angels will make it happen,” said Axel Poessy, Miranda’s media director. “He is, after all, God himself.”

It is the Puerto Rican-born former evangelical priest’s latest attempts to expand his following in Central America. Most of his supporters are in Miami and Colombia, but Miranda holds a congress every year in the Americas. He has a 24-hour Spanish-language television network and a radio program on 287 stations.

He often takes aim at the Catholic Church — the most powerful faith in Latin America — calling all priests child molesters and saying chastity vows go against the Bible’s teachings. Members of his church have torn up images of saints and other religious symbols in El Salvador, and marched in Guatemala and Honduras.

He preaches that sin and the devil do not exist. In January, he revealed tattoos of the numbers 666 on his forearms and declared that he and his followers were Antichrists because their beliefs supersede those of Jesus Christ. The Bible describes the Antichrist as someone who will fill the world with wickedness but be conquered by a second coming of Christ.

Guatemala’s Congress labeled him a terrorist, and immigration officials have been instructed to refuse him entry. Honduras and El Salvador also have banned him. “Many have told me that I shouldn’t pay attention to a crazy man like him, but Hitler was also crazy, and look what he did,” said Julio Morales, the congressman who proposed the resolution calling Miranda a terrorist. “We took this measure because they have burned crosses, images of Christ in other countries and demonstrated in front of an evangelical church in Guatemala, just to create confrontation.”

It was not clear, however, if the government would be able to block Miranda’s private jet from landing. His right-hand man, Carlos Cestero, said Miranda has been in Guatemala at least 14 times in the past decade — before he declared himself the Antichrist. Followers see Miranda as a savior. Critics say he is a dangerous cult leader. “What is more evil than all the exorbitant titles associated with him is the power he exercises over his followers,” said Daniel Alvarez, a religious-studies instructor at Florida International University. “He wants attention, shock value, and he’s always trying to top what he did before.”

Miranda, who lives in Miami, founded the Growing in Grace church in 1986 and based the church in suburban Doral. Hundreds have followed his lead by getting “666” tattoos. The number often is associated with the Antichrist or the devil.

In an upscale Guatemala City neighborhood, Andrea Recinos, 18, hunched over as a tattoo artist carved “666” on her back, along with angel wings. “I wanted to show my love to the apostle,” she said, referring to Miranda. “I wanted to show the whole world that I am an Antichrist.” Other followers get “SSS” tattoos, referring to Miranda’s motto of “Salvo, siempre salvo,” or “Saved, always saved.” He believes sinning is impossible because Christ died for the sins of mankind.

Original story here.

Dreamcasting Eris

April 24, 2007

Greed, Gummo:9, 6006 YD

Every once in a while I like to sit back and think about who I would cast as Eris if I was ever forced to make a movie which featured her in any way . . . many different people have occured to me over time, some appropriate and some less so . . . there are a couple who seem to keep popping up, and the earliest one (in my mind, anyway) would be Polly Jean Harvey. She might have been better about ten years ago, but on the other hand she somehow looks younger now than she did ten years ago, so it may be a moot point.

One need only be slightly acquainted with PJ to realize that she is more than slightly eccentric, and sort of looks the part as well. I’ve never seen her act, although I’m pretty sure she is in some Hal Hartley film as the Virgin Mary . . . or perhaps Mary Magdalene, I can’t remember which. At any rate, the proof as to whether she can act or not is out there somewhere, I’ve simply yet to see it.

Lately, however, the person I would most like to cast is from my own hometown: Hogtown. She may not be as popular with the youngins today as she was a few years ago, but I think Peaches would be perfect as Eris.

She already has her own connection to the Burning Bush, which makes it all the more “precious” . . . but she simply comes across as completely mad and unable to care what other people think. I think she would be absolutely wonderful, whether she can act or not.

Golden Apple Restaurant, Chicago USA

April 23, 2007

Pride, Gummo:8, 6006 YD

Taken at Lincoln and Southport.

posted originally on Flickr by moonrat

Day Of The Sacred Jelly Bean

April 21, 2007

Wrath, Gummo:6, 6006 YD

It was on this date in 1857 that Fudgio Montobono, while crawling through the American desert in the southwest, dying slowly of hunger and dehydration, came upon the Sacred Speaking Jelly Bean Of Our Lady. He was crawling over a group of small cacti, and cursing his laziness as needles and spikes ravaged his stomach and chest when he saw a brilliant golden bean laying in the arid dust. The sunlight glittered off the brilliant surface of the Jelly Bean.

Fudgio was momentarily stunned, and simply stared at the bean.

A drop of precious saliva dripped from his tongue (which was lolling out of his cracked and parched lips) onto the dirt, and dissapeared after a fraction of a second.

Fudgio snapped out of his stupour and snatched up the jelly bean, and was about to gobble it down when it addressed him: wait! wait, good fudgio – son of fucked boy, he who used the planet as a yoyo, do not swallow me down, for i bring you news from the goddess . . .

“News from -ack- news from wh-eackk- sorry. Sorry, I haven’t spok-ack ack ack- much in the last few weeks. Which goddess is this?”

The jelly bean glittered brilliantly and spoke again, seeming to vibrate between his fingers as it did: she what done it all, the beginner of all, the ender of all, the grooves in the vinyl, Eris called Strife, goddess of discord kaos and confusion . . .

“Oh.” said Fudgio. “Well. -Ick- what is her news?”

The jelly bean vibrated once more, and spoke: the goddess has sent me to tell you that there is a regular jellybean fifty feet to your right . . . a regular succulent jelly bean created by man and meant for his satisfaction . . . enjoy it, fudgio, it is your and you deserve it . . .

Fudgio stared down at the golden jellybean. He looked off to his right, but saw nothing. He looked back down at the jelly bean between his fingers, then popped it into his mouth. Then, he stood shakily, and walked fifty feet to his right, where he found a purple jelly bean, and beside that a small trickling spring of water surrounded by grass. Fudgio bent, picked up the purple jelly bean, and popped it into his mouth. He swallowed some water he had cupped in his hand, and smiled at the sky. Water was good, and a jelly bean was good. But two jelly beans were better.

* * * * *

On this same day in the year 5976 Dharma Jam was born into the world, the same world which Fudgio Montobono had used as a yoyo so long before. Dharma Jam has been blessed with the voice and vision of the Sacred Jelly Bean of Fudgio, and she is deemed Keeper of the Sacred Jelly Bean.

St.Gummo Day

April 20, 2007

Gluttony, Gummo:5, 6006 YD

On this Fifth day of the month of Gummo, we again celebrate the life and legacy of St.Gummo Marx.

Milton Marx, known in entertainment (and esoteric circles) as Gummo, was one of the (in)famous Marx Brothers. Born in New York City, he initially worked with his brothers on the vaudeville circuit, but left acting when he was drafted into the army during the Great War. Gummo had been leaning more and more away from vaudeville and more and more toward esoteric magic, especially Hermetic Kaballism mixed with Dada, and the sigil system of Austin Osman Spare. He found the war to be materialistic counterpoint to the philosophical ideas of magick. It was there that he applied these practices in a practical sense for the one and only time, orchestrating the World War 1 “Battlfield Angel” visions. The visions were impressive, but failed to get him out of the horror of the war.

After leaving the army, Gummo began to make ceremonial cloaks. This proved not as lucrative as he had suspected, so he later he joined with his brother Zeppo Marx operating a theatrical agency. After that collaboration ended, Gummo represented his brother Groucho Marx and worked on the television show “The Life of Riley”, which he helped develop. He also represented other onscreen talent and a number of writers.

Gummo was given his nickname because he had a tendency to be sneaky backstage, and creep up on others without them knowing (like a gumshoe). Another explanation cited by biographers and family members is that Milton, being the sickliest of the brothers, often wore rubber overshoes, also called “gumshoes,” to protect himself from taking sick in inclement weather. Yet another explanation for his name is that he took the name of a little-known Babylonian God of mischief. Three of his brothers (Groucho, Chico, and Harpo) were given their nicknames during a card game at the Orpheum Theatre in Galesburg, Illinois, and the names stuck for their entire lives, his nickname, on the other hand, seems to have come from nowhere.

Gummo died on The Day of the Sacred Jellybean, by the Gregorian calendar, April 21, 1977, in Palm Springs, California. His death was not reported to Groucho, who by that time had become so ill and weak that it was thought the news would be of further detriment to his health.

Hail Eris – All Hail St.Gummo!

Baron von Hoopla Portrait

April 19, 2007

Envy, Gummo:4, 6006 YD (later)

“Baron von Hoopla”
Oil on canvas, 2007
by: Pauline Hare