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Friday, November 27, 2009

A rose by any other name is still a column, dagger, mark, monolith, monument, needle, pillar, pylon, shaft or tower


Terre Cabade Cemetery

Despite the fact that the cemeteries enclosed within the city walls of Toulouse had long been regarded as unsanitary places and had been the targets of many complaints, it wasn't until the city was threatened with a cholera epidemic that a new large cemetery was approved outside the city--in 1832. Even then, it wasn't until 1840 that the new cemetery was officially opened.

The result was the Terre Cabade Cemetery, the city within a city that houses the final remains of Toulouse's notable families and citizens. The name comes from "cavade", that is the say the clay-like soil taken from the earth which also serves to make the famous Toulouse brick.

The entrance to this cemetery was directly inspired by Egyptian art. This was in line with the Egyptian revival which as Wikipedia says:

"...is generally dated to the enthusiasm for ancient Egypt generated by Napoleon's conquest of Egypt and, in Britain, to Admiral Nelson's defeat of Napoleon at the Battle of the Nile in 1798. Napoleon took a scientific expedition with him to Egypt. Publication of the expedition's work, the Description de l'Égypte, began in 1809 and came out in a series though 1826. However, works of art and, in the field of architecture, funerary monuments in the Egyptian style had appeared in scattered European settings from the time of the Renaissance."

Indeed, considering that Egyptian art is so closely associated with funerary art, it was a logical choice.


The first Egyptian feature of the entrance is the pair of brick obelisks at either side of the front gate. This, however, was not the original proposal. A design submitted in 1833 featured a large pyramid to house the cemetery's chapel. The design, perhaps a bit too over-the-top, was not accepted; the version we can see today dates from 1836.

In ancient Egypt, obelisks were placed in pairs before Egyptian temples. They were said to be petrified rays of the sun and thus honored Ra, who in some cases was said to reside in the obelisks. In books such as The Hiram Key and The Messianic Legacy, the authors have linked the iconography of two obelisks--via the pillars of Solomon's Temple (Jachin and Boaz)--to Freemasonry.

The Messianic Legacy
interprets the twin obelisks as representing the union of spiritual and temporal authority and ultimately the origin of the concept of twin messiahs. The Hiram Key posits that Freemasonry derives from Pharaonic initiation rituals and that Jesus, as heir to this tradition, was part of a sect that perpetuated the rites; thus making Jesus a kind of Mason! (Might as well claim Jesus was a kind of sentient pickle....)

Whatever dubious claims the books make is rather irrelevant. The theories presented in these books are not entirely new to them; they draw upon esoteric and heterodox currents present in Christianity from the very start, and the supposed Egyptian origins of Freemasonry is a theory that has been floated about since the 18th century. We here at LoS are not concerned with the truth of these claims insamuch as we are interested in the fact that these claims exist.


The second obvious Egyptian feature are the administrative offices behind the obelisks. The buildings are clearly modeled on Egyptian prototypes. As one can see from the following website, they are of the "open" type as opposed to the blatantly phallic "bud type." The closest capital found on these pages is identified as an "Open Papyrus." Whatever the exact identification, there's no doubt as to their provenance.

For more info on this interesting cemetery, we recommend the following website, for those who speak French.

The Obelisk of the Battle of Toulouse

The Battle of Toulouse (April 10, 1814) was one of the last battles of the Napoleonic Wars; indeed it came four days after Napoleon surrendered the Imperial Army to the Sixth Coalition. Indecisive and largely unnecessary, it nevertheless resulted in nearly 8,000 casualties. The French forces actually held out until the end and gave up the fight not because they were losing, but because they received news of the Empire's death. The French Forces escaped intact.


Today this largely-forgotten battle is commemorated by a large brick obelisk. The obelisk was the brainchild of Baron Louis Victorin Cassagne and was designed and built by the same Urbain Vitry who designed the Terre Cabade Cemetery. (Cassagne, incidentally, participated in several battles of Napoleon's Egyptian campaign, including the Battle of the Pyramids, previously discussed on LoS. Baron Cassagne is buried in Terre Cabade, his tomb in an Egyptian style).

The first brick of the obelisk was set in 1835 and it was inaugurated in 1839, according to the Mairie of Toulouse; thus it is almost exactly contemporary with Terre Cabade, which you may recall was opened in 1840.

As you can see from the picture, just under the pyramidion, the obelisk is punctuated by a hexagram of the "Star of David" variety. This hole actually traverses the column so that from two sides one can see the light of the sky.

This hexagram could have a variety of meanings, but we propose to examine it in relation to Freemasonry. If rolling eyes could make a sound, I'm sure at this point there would be a deafening roar, what with all the bullshit flung about so freely on the internets. One of the biggest shit flingers is a fundamentalist anti-Mason by the name of Texe Marrs. Still, he's done us one service. Someone found an essay by him quoting Mackey's Encyclopedia of Freemasonry on the hexagram and popped it on Wikipedia:

"The interlacing triangles or deltas symbolize the union of the two principles or forces, the active and passive, male and female, pervading the universe. The two triangles, white and black, interlacing, typify the mingling of the two apparent powers in nature, darkness and light, error and truth, ignorance and wisdom, evil and good, throughout human life." (p. 809)

Fortunately for us, we also possess a copy of the Encyclopedia. Marrs quotes correctly. We also looked for "hexagram" and found "hexagon." In addition to being a nickname for France, the hexagon is merely a hexagram seen through a squinted eye....

"Hexagon. A figure of six equal sides constitutes a part of the camp in the Scottish degree of Sublime Princes of the Royal Secret. Stieglitz, in an essay on the symbols of Freemasonry, published in 1825, in the Altenberg Zeitschrift, says that the hexagon, formed by six triangles, whose apices converge to a point, making the following figure,

is a symbol of the universal creation, the six points crossing the central point; thus assimilating the hexagon to the older symbol of the point within a circle." (323-324)

So the hexagon is not entirely alien to the Masonic milieu. But more importantly, the most universal of Masonic symbols, the Square and Compasses, is universally arranged so as to resemble....a hexagram.


The Prestige

The "Prestige," like in the movie, refers to that part of a magic trick where the trick is actually pulled off; it's the cum-shot, if you will. In our story it's where we leave the realm of history and enter the realm of speculation.


Between the cemetery and the obelisk there is an isosceles triangle formed by three streets. The two long arms of the triangle are called Rue de l'Obelisque and Avenue de la Colonne. The obelisk, as we've mentioned, is called "la colonne" (the column) The two streets thus refer to the same monument; unity in duality, like Mackey's hexagram? One cannot help but think of the two pillars or obelisks we discussed earlier in this post. Is the layout of the streets made to reinforce the symbolism of the two obelisks at the entrance of the Terre Cabade? Is the triangle in fact a Masonic delta? The base of the triangle is the Allee des Acacias, which joins the cemetery to the obelisk. Momuments of death joined with a symbol of....

Mackey has a longish entry on the Acacia's symbolism. It is both a symbol of innocence and initiation, but primarily one of the immortality of the soul: "that important doctrine which is the great design of the Institution to teach." (p. 7) One might even say the Acacia is a symbol of the foundation of Masonic doctrine...the base of the triangle.


But was Vitry a Freemason? We haven't been able to determine this. His tomb, which he designed and which sits in the Terre Cabade, features a prominent square and compasses over the entrance. But then again, this proves nothing; the man was an architect and the symbols may simply refer to his metier.

Another inconclusive symbol, found in a round medallion at the center of the cross atop the tomb, is a human hand. By chance we stumbled across another entry in Mackey's Encyclopedia--Hand (p. 317)--illustrated by an engraving of the hand in a nearly identical gesture:

"In Freemasonry, the hand as a symbol holds a high place, because it is the principal seat of the sense of feeling so highly revered by Masons....Horapollo says that among the Egyptians the hand was the symbol of a builder, or one fond of building, because all labor proceeds from the hand." Mackey continues, explaining its use in Christian iconography in a gesture of benediction: "The form of this act of benediction, as adopted by the Roman Church, which seems to have been borrowed from the symbols of the Phrygian and Eleusinian priest or hierophants, who used it in their mystical processions, presents a singular analogy, which will be interesting to Mark Master Masons, who will recognize on it a symbol of their own ritual. In the benediction referred to, as given in the Latin Church, the thumb, index and middle fingers are extended, and the other two bent against the palm. The church explains this position of the extended thumb and two fingers as representing the Trinity; but the older symbol of the Pagan priests, which was precisely of the same form, must have had a different meaning. A writer in the British Magazine (vol.i., p.565) thinks that the hand, which was used in the Mithraic mysteries in this position, was symbolic of the Light emanating not from the sun, but from the Creator, directly as a special manifestation....Certainly, to the Mason, the hand is most important as the symbol of that mystical intelligence by which one Mason knows another "in the dark as well as in the light."

Given that the symbol is used as a sign of benediction, it may not be anything more than a sign of his Catholic faith. But maybe it's a Masonic reference. It's certainly an eye-popper. Given Vitry's passion for Egyptian architecture, by which his tomb was inspired, it may simply be a nod to the use described by Horapollo. It's worth recalling the notion that the Egyptian obelisk is also thought to symbolize a petrified ray of light, much akin to our anonymous British writer's theory that the hand symbol represents the light emanating from the Creator. Again, like the square and compasses, it lead to tantalizing speculation but nothing conclusive. Maybe the hand is simply a brazen variation on the Anahinthan cock's comb.

Finally, since we've quoted so liberally from our copy of Mackey's Encyclopedia, we'll warn against taking its entries as "proof" of anything. What many anti-Masons fail to recognize first is that no one Mason can speak on behalf of his own Grand Lodge, let alone the Fraternity as a whole. State to state, nation to nation, rite to rite, practices and doctrines vary, in some cases quite considerably. Secondly, guys like Mackey, Waite and the infamous Albert Pike are atypical representations of the craft with idiosyncratic takes on its lore, legends and history.

Still, we propose further investigation of Vitry and Cassagnes, hereby soliciting the straight dope, as it were. Was Vitry influenced by Freemasonic imagery? Were both Masons? Is there intentionality behind the triangular arrangement of streets betwenn the cemetery and the obelisk? Was the Acacia reference a Masonic wink and a nod?

Stay tuned....

Friday, November 20, 2009

The Illuminati Trashcan of Toulouse ;)

Météo France is the national weather service of France. The principal research and forecasting facility, along with the national meteorological school is located in Toulouse in a complex known as the Météopole.

The architecture there is not your garden-variety series of homogeneous big boxes; buildings are round or have curved walls; hemispheres abound. Observation towers have trapezoidal observation decks. Parking lots are circular. Buildings are stepped like the missing half of ancient ziggurats. There is a profusion of colored panels and exoskeletons; some buildings look like what we imagine space stations to be like. Clearly, the intent was to create an overall "futuristic" feel.

If a gleaming spacecraft were to set itself down gently upon the great field between the campus and the rocade Arc-en-Ciel, nobody would blink an eye.

We have noted that an inverted pyramid decorates the entrance to the Météopole. Later ithe same month we observed that the neighboring DSNA building is also adorned with a pyramid--the sole ornamentation on an otherwise unremarkable boxy building. In that same post we wrote also about the Météo France logo: a triangle which seems to orbit a circle divided into light and dark halves. This would seem to use to represents the planet, divided literally into night and day by the sun, but also symbolically divided into black and white, as in a checkerboard. The triangle for us represents a satellite, an observing eye, a tool of measurement and thus control. It also hearkens back to the triangles which are often associated with the symbols of Revolutionary france; it has mystical connotations.


Seek and ye shall find! In the thick of all these encounters with pyramids and triangles we stumbled across a mundane object--an ashtray. This ashtray was an obelisk. The pyramidical cap punctuated by seven triangles through which to toss butts. OK, we know; let's not push it. This is no cosmic trigger. But have you even seen an ashtray such as this?

It would seems as though in an era where the funds flowed more freely, no expense was spared to ensure that the details were not overlooked. Even the ashtrays were conceived of with an eye towards the prevailing symbolism of the institution. Unless it's just a coincidence or the passing whim of some bored factotum in the purchasing department....


Then again, have you ever seen a trash can like the one pictured here? It's just unusual, clearly a product of some aesthetic reasoning above and beyond being merely functional. It's not even really the most efficient size and the expense of making it must be above and byond the standard garbage can.

But actually, all this reflection makes us sound a little more serious about all this than we actually are. It's funny, is all. Every visit to the Météopole reveals another detail which fits into the overarching symbolism of the whole. For what it's worth. At the very least an amusing coincidence.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

The sincerest form of flattery....

We here at LoS are not assholes. We're not egomaniacs. We're not selling anything. We do what we do for a love of the chase and then we share it on the blog. Everything is under a creative commons share and share alike license. Basically meaning you have our permission to reprint and reproduce as you see fit--with proper attribution.

Like any writers, we're proud of what we do and don't want our words and images abused and taken without so much as a heads up to say "check out what I did with your stuff." Artistic uses such as cut-ups are not what we're talking about here; what we mean is that when our words and ideas are reproduced in the same format as LoS--a blog or essays presenting esoteric symbolism in everyday contexts, then things change. A tip of that hat is the very least of gestures. While we don't pretend to be as rigorous as academics or journalists, there are some basic rules of etiquette and ethics to be followed. This includes acknowledging the sources of your content. Hyperlinks serve as footnotes; parenthetical documentation is welcome.

The same goes for images. Here on LoS our images are 90% from the public domain, Wikimedia Commons or taken by our own cameras (or telephones!) From time to time we thumb our nose at Getty or the AP and decorate our posts with their images. We try attribute other images we've found to the sites we found them in the text of our articles. We're not perfect, but this is our goal.

Recently it came to our attention that a website called the Vigilant Citizen published an article under the rubric of "Sinister Sites" about what the author refers to as the "Illuminati Pyramid of Blagnac." It's a well-written and cogent summary of its symbolism, and we congratulate the author. We must be frank, however. The article takes a lot from our own post from April of this year entitled "Can an evil tree produce good fruit?"; certain phrases seem to merely be rewritings of what we have ourselves said on the subject.

Briefly, the Pyramid, or Temple de la Sagesse Supreme, is a fountain which sits in a roundabout rayed like the sun within a structure representing the state. It contains Masonic references and frankly Illuminist symbols as well as the inclusion of a tiled world map below the pyramid. Draw your own conclusions.

The article is profusely illustrated with our own photographs, taken not from the web but from a camera, in the presence of the monument. These photos are free for the taking and the Vigilant Citizen does in fact attribute them to us via a link at the end of the article. But given the extent to which the photos form the basis of his article, we don't feel he's been adequate in his attribution. A "thank you" would have been nice.

To be honest, we have not always sought permission to use photos and on at least one occasion built a post around photos we didn't ourselves take. In the former cases, however, we only used one photo for decoration or to illustrate a point; in the latter case the photos came from a variety of sources. But Vigilant Citizen's article takes all but one of our photos and uses them for his article, in which all but two images came from us. It's all a matter of degree.

When we came across this monument, so redolent of the fabled (?) Illuminati, it was clear that we needed to address it on our blog. We researched and came up with very little apart from some .PDF scans on a French website. We'd become aware of a video which pointed out a lot of the same things we'd noted and clued us into other things we hadn't. Beyond that, there was nothing as far as descriptions or details regarding the Place de la Revolution or the monument at its center. We propose he got these observations from both LoS and the video, and although the end of the article links to both (LoS but not our actual post), he never makes it clear that his work is an extrapolation on them.

We don't want to come across as petty and possessive; we actually found his article enjoyable, clear-minded and well-informed. He goes a lot farther in some of his analysis than we did and synthesizes the most pertinent details for a convincing interpretation. But we have been covering this monument and its implications over several posts since April, and think that he has failed to credit his inspiration or his sources. The French Revolution, the Declaration of the Rights of Man and the Masonic involvement in the Enlightenment have been subjects of considerable reflection for us.

If we are wrong, we welcome comment and clarification. Unfortunately, the same can't be said of VC; when we tried to comment he didn't allow them to go past the "moderation" phase. Not so for those praising his "discovery."

Perhaps seeing so many laudatory comments proved to be the motivation for this post; it's irksome to find someone being congratulated for a discovery they did not in fact make, with no attempt on the part of the 'laudee' to say, "actually folks...."

Our initial comments were a bit strong and perhaps we should have addressed it privately rather than as an open comment. But then again, this new media is a fishbowl and certain clarifications may be best served if laid out on the table for all to see.

Here's our suppressed comment:

----quote----

Nice insights and analysis. You might have mentioned what set you off on this path.

I found out about this pyramid because I often have to drive by it. Everything else I found out came after the shock of recognition. I didn’t come across it on a website and then pass it off as my own discovery.

I appreciate the link pointing out where the photos come from, but maybe you should have asked my permission first? I had to stand in the rain for some of those and almost got run down by terrible drivers.

I would have gladly said yes if you’d agreed to be a little more generous with the attribution both of the photos and the details you present–the tablets, the fountain, the map, the quote, the 13 layers. Where’d you get that info? I got it by being there and taking the pictures–when I wrote my article in April, these details were no place else on the internet and there were no photos of the Pyramid available. Only the crappy video we both link to–but I saw that after I’d begun my post. It took me a bit of digging to find some of the information you based your work on–Lequeu for instance. A bit of credit where it’s due might have been nice.

About that Lequeu qote, by the way, you’ve got it wrong. The actual quote is: "La bonheur est dans l’angle ou les sages rassemblent."

I see you’ve got lots of people in your comments section thanking you for your “discovery.” Maybe you should point them in the right direction.

You’ve written a really good article with some good insights. I know bloggers aren’t journalists or academics, but the same ethics of attribution do exist.


----end quote----

It's kind of churlish we suppose. Kind of goofy. Maybe pretentious. But we stand by it. We also want to acknowledge that VC is free to use stuff from our site if he (?!) wants; he was already within rights to use some in the first place, within reason. We also welcome his work. His article adds to the discourse.

But it is a discourse, and as far as the English-speaking internet goes, Laws of Silence started it. That's why we can't abide by this spurious dis and remain....umm....silent.

"His bigboned Texans follow him into the mist."

The Ft. Hood shooting has made a few things painfully clear. We are truly living in an age of paranoia. With any event of this magnitude it's now a given that people will seize upon it as yet another conspiracy. Whether the conspiracy is something as straightforward and political as an attempt to damage Obama or tar American Muslims, or something more esoteric, as in a piece of "processing" theater to induce more generalized panic and fear, is another question.

Another thing that is clear is that this paranoia is fed by the instantaneous nature of our communication. Early reports from the media, telephone calls, tweets etc. talked about three shooters and that info later turned out to be wrong, which is normal; in the heat of things there is confusion and facts are later clarified. But of course the conspiracy-minded individual is going to see this as a re-writing of history in order to suit whatever theatrics "they" are trying to put over.

Michael Hoffman, who we've already talked about on LoS, has interpreted the shooting as an alchemical ceremony: "Ft. Hoodwink". His take on it seems to be that it's a Zionist mindfuck to draw attention away from what is happening in Israel and to denigrate Muslims in general, as well as bolster support for our increasingly futile engagements in Afghnaistan and Iraq. He makes much hay of the date: the 5th of November, day of the infamous Gunpowder Plot and basis for the "V for Vendetta" comic and film. He equates Ft. Hood shooter Nadil Hasan with Guy Fawkes and by implication Lee Harvey Oswald: patsies in a cleverly orchestrated "lone nut" scenario. See also R for Revelation (of the Method)

Comments upon his article have made some pretty interesting "synchromystic" insights.

"Anonymous" points out this took place in "Kill-een" Texas and that Ft. Hood sits on the latitude of 31:13, a mirror image (As Above, So Below) reflecting the number of people killed and wounded in the attack(an inaccurate figure as it turns out). Further points by the same or another "Anonymous" raised include the fact that Hasan is a Virginia Tech graduate ('nuff said), and that the BBC reported that the shooting began at 1330 local time and that the dead and injured totaled 13 and 30. This commenter also points out the prominence of the words "processing center", "theater", "ceremony" and "graduation" in the report. Remember that latitude!

What is potent for us is that LoS recently wrote about Howard Barton Unruh, an Army veteran who is described as the first mass shooter in US history; he killed 13 people. Mr. Hasan--shades of Hassan i Sabbah--as in "Nothing is True Everything is Permitted" and the leader of an unorthodox sect of Muslim assassins--is an Army guy who also killed 13 people.

Another recent news story that was actually heavily reported but mixed up a bit in the wake of the Ft. Hood shooting was the execution on November 10th of the "Beltway Sniper" John Muhammad. The beltway sniper incidents totaled 13 dead and wounded. Muhammad was an ex-Army reservist. So: 13-13-13. Army-Army-Army.

How more interesting a coupling could you get than the name "John Muhammad?" One of if not the most common name in America paired with the most common name in the Muslim world reinforces the idea that the Islamic terrorist behind the curtains could be anyone, it could be your neighbor, the guy named John....Muhammad!

We don't think this is a conspiracy of cryptocrats nor a sleeper cell of Jihadis--but we'll see what facts eventually come to light. Maybe Hasan was a terrorist.

The sad thing is how this is already being used to implicate all Muslims in the military--and by extension all Muslims in America as: being terrorists or being sympathetic to terrorists; people who represent a threat; citizens who must thus be purged or subject to tighter controls.

By the way, have you heard that "political correctness can kill"? Have you heard about the Marine reservist who thought a Greek Orthodox priest was a "terrorist" (as well as a robber and molester) and hit him over the head with a tire iron before chasing him down the street? This happened in Tampa, the Big Guava, the Cigar City, one time home of your LoS crackpots.

Sometimes a lone nut is just a cigar.

Postscript:

Ft. Hood was named after John Bell Hood, a Confederate general with a "reputation for bravery and aggressiveness that sometimes bordered on recklessness." (faithful Wicky-p). After the war he became a cotton broker and ran an insurance company:

"His insurance business was ruined by a yellow fever epidemic in New Orleans during the winter of 1878 – 79 and he succumbed to the disease himself, dying just days after his wife and oldest child, leaving ten destitute orphans, who were adopted by families in Louisiana, Mississippi, Georgia, Kentucky, and New York."

Perhaps Ft. Hood was not the most propitious of names....

Thursday, November 12, 2009

We're rich!!

FROM MR SIDIBE.TRAORE
BANK OF AFRICA( B.O.A )
BURKINAFASO W/AFRICA

I am Mr. Traore Sidibe, Manager Audit Accounting Department BANK OF AFRICA( B.O.A )I would like to know if this proposal will be worth while for your acceptance.

I have a Foreign Customer,Manfred Hoffman from Germany who is an Investor, Crude Oil Merchant and Federal Government Contractor that was a victim with Concord Air Line, flight AF4590 killing 113 peole crashed on 25 July 2000 near Paris leaving a closing balance of Twelve Million Eight Hundred Thousand United States Dollars ($12.8m) in one of his Private US Dollar Accountthat is been managed by me as the Customer's Account Officer. Base on my security report, these funds can be claimed without any hitches as no one is aware of the funds and its closing balance except me and the customer (Now Deceased) therefore, I can present you as the Next of Kin and we will work out the modalities for the claiming of the funds in accordance with the law.
If you are interested, Please call me to discuss in further details and our sharing ratio will be 60% for me and 30% for you.while 10% will be for the neccesary expenses that might occur along the line.
Thank you,
Sincerely Traore Sidibe.
N.B.In other for you to beleive my honesty try and go through this (website)before you start with me.
Below is the website. (http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/europe/859479.stm

Thursday, November 5, 2009

And everything seemed to be going "so well"....

The California Inspector General has just released a "blistering" report (.PDF) which faults state parole agents, the department of corrections and law enforcement for gross negligence in supervising--or not, as the case may be--Philip Garrido. Apparently he was only supervised 12 of the 123 months he was supposed to be closely monitored. A list of bungled opportunities is cited and the conclusion is that "Despite numerous clues and opportunities, the department, as well as federal and local law enforcement, failed to detect Garrido's criminal conduct, resulting in the continued confinement and victimization of Jaycee and her two daughters...." (Summary here).


Meanwhile, over in Cleave-land, people are wondering how ex-Marine Anthony Sowell could have gotten away with murder for so long. Police only got interested in him a month ago after he was accused of rape and assault. Even then, when a naked woman fell from his window on October 20, firefighters came but no police. Another neighbor, the owner a chicken joint across the way, claims that some time ago he reported seeing Sowell naked, standing over a bloodied and naked woman in the bushes outside the infamous "horror house." Nothing came of it. Parole officers apparently last visited Sowell on September 22; despite reports of the overwhelming stench of rotting flesh dating back to 2007, so bad that it caused a local sausage factory to change its sewer line and grease trap--which did not alleviate the stench--no one thought about entering the home!

The bodies were finally discovered by the cops on October 27, and Sowell was arrested on Halloween. Cue theremin!

Incidentally, the police were responding to another attempted rape which occurred hours after Sowell was visited by parole officers on September 22. This attack took place nearly a month before they declined to show up after the naked woman took a tumble from his house....

The link between Sowell and Garrido is that they were both sexual offenders who'd been convicted, served time and upon release were insufficiently monitored. In one case a man got away with imprisoning a woman for at least ten years while he was being "supervised." Another murdered at least 11 women!

We're not the first to make the link. Here and here you can find articles wondering what went wrong.

We would propose that the problem is a mix of indifference and, in the case of Sowell, racism and class prejudice. Who gives a damn about poor, black crackheads? More to the point, however, is that the system is severely overburdened. Who has time to check up on all these convicted rapists when there are potheads to hassle? It is said that America has the highest per capita prison population on the planet after China. That means an awful lot of parolees.

Of course the easy response will be to call for more cops, more laws, tougher sentencing and tougher enforcement. We would replace the word "tougher" with "better." Ditto for the word "more."

Now, this would be loony tunes territory if not for the fact that we are simply making a poetic riff rather than a serious conspiratorial narrative.

Obviously, that Sowell was arrested on Halloween is a resonant fact. It's a time when we dress up as monsters, ghosts, killers, dead people. Tombstones and fake blood abound. The skeleton is ubiquitous.

The most commonly accepted theory of Halloween is that it derives from the Celtic festival of Samhain (pronounced sow-an). Samhain marks the point at which the line between our world and the world of the living is blurred, allowing spirits to pass through. It was also a kind of temporal tessellation--regarded as a kind of "New Year as it separated the divide between the "light" and "dark" halves of the year. Black and white, yo.

Hallowe'en, from "All Hallows Even", or "All Saints Eve" is the Christian holiday grafted onto the pre-existing traditions. All Saints Day itself (in Mexico literally the "Day of the Dead"), is celebrated differently in various in Catholic countries including visiting the graves of deceased loved ones and leaving offerings and lighting candles or flowers.

The Sowell "horror house" (shades of Halloween) was located on Imperial Avenue. It's almost a cliché these days that America is like a new Rome: 200 or so years of Republic followed by a slide into Empire. In Sexual Personae Camille Paglia writes: "Our cold white Federal architecture is Roman. Banks and government buildings are vast temples of state, tombs and fortresses....Rome rediscovered the hieratic Egyptian funeralism latent in Greek Apollonian style....Egypt and Rome defined themselves by death-rituals of preparation or commemoration." (Italics added)

Terrible and commonplace as the crimes of Sowell and Garrido seem, fact is that most of us will never be touched by these things, even indirectly. The potency of the event however, is enough to give one pause, even fear the world around us. Hence, if America is slipping into something less than a democratic Republic, these are just the kinds of events that will push it in the "right" direction. More cops, more laws, more surveillance. Whatever keeps the kids safe.

Interesting in that the conspiracy theorist thinks this slide into Empire is not a natural phenomenon but one aided and abetted by an unseen had, elite figures such as those to be found as members of Yale's infamous Skull and Bones, perhaps. Figures such as dueling presidential 2004 candidates John Kerry and George Bush. The "Bonesmen" have a headquarters known as the "Tomb," where their basement initiations are said to involve members dressed à la Halloween in garish costumes, including robes, priestly vestments, Don Quixote, the devil, skeletons....Incidentally, Bonesmen assume fanciful names upon initiation and George Bush (Senior) was known as Magog.

The group has also been accused of having the stolen skulls of Geronimo and Sancho Panza hidden in the Tomb. One of the macabre details of the Sowell case is that he kept one his victim's skull in a bucket in his basement. Talk about your New World Odor.

Regarding the Sowell case and what the it evokes, we here at LoS are not proposing any intentional twilight language or conspiracy theory but a case of interesting poetic resonance. Finally, though we hate to "play the race card," we concur with Black Voices in asking: "If this were a white neighborhood, I wonder if more extensive efforts wouldn't have been taken to identify the odor."

Then again, we don't want to contradict ourselves; we've already said the negligence may stem from agencies spread too thin or over-burdened. Garrido's crime went undetected for years, and he was a white dude. But one crime doesn't necessarily negate the other; Garrido's race doesn't necessarily disprove the racial context of the Sowell murders.


Perhaps these cases are a matter of the "class card." Perhaps it's all these things and more. Hundreds of girls in Juarez, Mexico have turned up dead, beaten and raped in the past 13 years and, after a "lull," at least twenty this year have simply disappeared. The American media deigns to cover it every once and a while. The Mexican government hasn't been very effective. Maybe it's indifference. Maybe it's helplessness. All pretty much par for the course.

Just stumbled across this article from Times Online by one Richard Bone!

d.a.levy their city is a fucking mess. Giving it back was the wisest move you could have made....

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Foot ho!

For several months the sole "Google alert" LoS has subscribed to is for the keywords "Canadian feet." Every week or so the alert faithfully arrives and we open it with a yawn to scan the news about hockey and Canadian sprinters.

Then a few days ago a familiar story showed up: A seventh detached foot has washed up on the shores around Vancouver. The human remains were in a white size 8 ½ running shoe. There's a joke about Fellini in there somewhere but we can't find it....

This article
provides some grisly humor: "....the eighth foot in two years, stumping authorities in both Canada and the...."

UK newspaper the Metro gives us the deets we were looking for: it's a right foot and the shoe was a Nike. (Classical goddess Nike was a daughter of the goddess Styx, or daughter of Oceanus and Tethys, both aquatic deities).

Strange thing is that a quick look at our post Sixth Foot Ashore from Nov. 13, 2008, when the sixth foot was found (a seventh turned out to be a hoax!), we can clearly see the foot doesn't match any of the existing finds. Seeing as two of the feet were a pair from a male the family preferred not to identify, this leaves us with at least six footless bodies out there under the waves. Which isn't so many for such a large area, really.

But it still begs the question, why don't feet bob about in other parts of the world? With the exception of one case in Sweden, we haven't heard of this same phenomenon elsewhere. Which doesn't necessarily mean foul play, but it's certainly weird....

Oh, btw, the human foot has 33 bones. This is obviously a Masonic vengeance affair!