World Domination Update
“The Silence of the Clams”
vol. VII, iss. i
“The voice of one crying in the wilderness”
of the Moment: “Only two good things have come out of
England: The Beatles, and America” — anonymous patron (from South Africa) at
In this issue: Ten years
ago today, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms felt the need to flex
its muscle (and prove its usefulness to the new—and budget-cutting—Clinton
Administration) by launching the largest single law enforcement operation in
U.S. history. The result was the second-biggest disaster in that same
law-enforcement history, outdone only by the flaming finalé fifty-one days
later. It should come as no surprise
that the half-assed plan of attacking the Branch Davidians was hatched a year
previously, back during the Bush (Sr.) administration. The BATF strategy: a
dual-dynamic entry (front and back) by two teams that did not have any form of
coordination—or even communication!—with each other. The ostensible purpose of this
was to arrest David Koresh and search his church for illegal weapons.
Alas, the feds left the warrant on the judge’s desk when they went in, but of
of the actual paperwork they were supposed to be serving didn’t stop them.
Neither did learning forty-five
minutes before they hit the front door that the element of surprise had been lost. Ahhh, gung-ho testosterone at its
finest. The lesson is clear: if your
church is not ATF-approved, you’re in for some serious shit. Obviously, this is nothing new in
American history. Things almost came to a similar stand-off in the late
1800s when the Federal government planned to invade the Utah Territory if the Mormons refused
to renounce polygamy. [Well, that and the Latter-Day Saints were
continuously killing settlers passing through their land.] But the pattern
is redundant: if your personal beliefs conflict with whatever the majority in
power happens to think, expect an in-your-face confrontation. One of the biggest fallouts from
Waco which we as a society still carry baggage from was a blind distrust
and fear of any unorthodox denomination that does things differently that
do. The term “cult”
became a catchword of the
day, branded by the BATF on their Branch Davidian adversaries and readily picked up by the
media, who didn’t
bother to check context but instead found it convenient (and
sensationalist-newsworthy) to obediently believe what they were told.
Obviously, the American populace blindly followed suit and swallowed the “cult”
cover-story stigma in submissive ignorance before changing channels to catch up
on Oprah. With Waco, I am reminded of an incident with
a surprisingly similar group some two millennia ago. A small offshoot of a major
denomination had within its group a charismatic leader who did things differently and
tried to revamp the System in an unheard-of way. He commanded blind
obedience from his followers, who thought he was Divinely-inspired, if
not actually outright Divine. The group was known to be stockpiling
weapons, and when the authorities came to arrest the leader, there was armed
resistance and even blood shed (Luke 22:49-50/John 18:10.) Sound familiar? Now obviously I am no
supporter of David Koresh, but I recognize that there were better
ways to handle the situation from start to finish that would not have endangered
innocent lives or trampled First, Second, and Fourth Amendment rights into the
Texas prairie. Alas, a decade later we remain
manacled to the dark legacy of Waco. Although Waco had a religious
context, the situation could just as easily be shifted to a political one where—especially in the post 9/11
environment—unorthodox politics are all but verboten, with a corps of Brain Police Agents in the basement of the J. Edgar
Hoover building keeping a keen eye on anything bucking the complacency rays they
broadcast out, eagerly fingering their billy clubs for the chance to bash some
skulls in the name of “protecting”
Mom, Apple Pie, and Wall Street. If we can take solace in any one
fact, it’s that when Brain Police Agents crack down on the ‘resistance,’
it in a truly-half-assed manner. Of course, that’s also a problem.
Of the six Davidians killed in the initial raid, four were demonstrably
non-combatants (hell, 64 year-old Perry Jones was shot at the front door while
trying to plead peace with the onrushing ATF, and Jadine Wendell was shot through the
wall and in the face while hiding under a bed and nursing her baby.) Ultimately, I am reminded of an
old adage: Most
people believe that politicians
are idiots, but mean well.
Both concepts are false.
I ran into your website accidentally while doing a Google
search. I found it very amusing! But--as someone has
said--"Say anything about me, as long as you spell it right."
So, on behalf of Bruce Roberts, I wish that you would at least get his name
right while you are babbling on about the Gemstone File
The page you printed, which I guess you got from Gary Buell,
(since I sent him a free copy) is the front page of a booklet I prepared
and have made available on my website: An updated version of the Skeleton Key, which I wrote early
in 1975, is also available. And a CD containing several hundred pages
from Bruce Roberts' letters, which one can buy through the website.
Personally I don't give a rat's ass whether you buy a copy.
As for Gary Buell, he got to be such a nuisance with the book he was trying to
write, that I turned him loose. shade’s peshar Good
Lord — I can’t believe I brain blipped on Bruce Roberts’ name the way I did!
To such sloppy self-editing I can only feebly cry “mea culpa” and
flagellate myself with a wet noodle. [Not that it means anything, but in
my spare time a year ago when I wrote that piece, I was reading a book on
English history; I most likely had some subliminal confusion with a Scottish
figure named Robert the Bruce...] I’m surprised Gary Buell didn’t call
foul on that as well when he tagged me for a wrong death date... Anyway,
Stephanie Caruana was the original publisher of the Skeleton Key to the Gemstone
File some 25 years ago, so it’s nice to see she’s still active and
championing its cause. Not that I agree with the Gemstone Thesis, but hey:
think for yourself!
Secret Word of the Day: Redux
Site of the Week: What drink are you? [saint and shade are both a martini, Evil Matt is a Vampire’s Vengeance]
Barbecue Sauce of the Month: Saguaro Sam’s Surface of the Sun Sauce
· Jungle Jim Redux
· What the Hell is Grimace — Answered?!?
· Carbon Copy Cult?
· Nomenclature of the Beast
· Ask Evil Matt
· Hedgehog Olympics
Hi there, whoever you are--
The Gemstone File of Bruce Roberts
In this issue:
Ten years ago today, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms felt the need to flex its muscle (and prove its usefulness to the new—and budget-cutting—Clinton Administration) by launching the largest single law enforcement operation in U.S. history.
The result was the second-biggest disaster in that same law-enforcement history, outdone only by the flaming finalé fifty-one days later.
It should come as no surprise that the half-assed plan of attacking the Branch Davidians was hatched a year previously, back during the Bush (Sr.) administration. The BATF strategy: a dual-dynamic entry (front and back) by two teams that did not have any form of coordination—or even communication!—with each other.
The ostensible purpose of this was to arrest David Koresh and search his church for illegal weapons. Alas, the feds left the warrant on the judge’s desk when they went in, but of course lack of the actual paperwork they were supposed to be serving didn’t stop them. Neither did learning forty-five minutes before they hit the front door that the element of surprise had been lost.
Ahhh, gung-ho testosterone at its finest.
The lesson is clear: if your church is not ATF-approved, you’re in for some serious shit.
Obviously, this is nothing new in American history. Things almost came to a similar stand-off in the late 1800s when the Federal government planned to invade the Utah Territory if the Mormons refused to renounce polygamy. [Well, that and the Latter-Day Saints were continuously killing settlers passing through their land.] But the pattern is redundant: if your personal beliefs conflict with whatever the majority in power happens to think, expect an in-your-face confrontation.
One of the biggest fallouts from Waco which we as a society still carry baggage from was a blind distrust and fear of any unorthodox denomination that does things differently that “we” do. The term “cult” became a catchword of the day, branded by the BATF on their Branch Davidian adversaries and readily picked up by the media, who didn’t bother to check context but instead found it convenient (and sensationalist-newsworthy) to obediently believe what they were told. Obviously, the American populace blindly followed suit and swallowed the “cult” cover-story stigma in submissive ignorance before changing channels to catch up on Oprah.
With Waco, I am reminded of an incident with a surprisingly similar group some two millennia ago. A small offshoot of a major denomination had within its group a charismatic leader who did things differently and tried to revamp the System in an unheard-of way. He commanded blind obedience from his followers, who thought he was Divinely-inspired, if not actually outright Divine. The group was known to be stockpiling weapons, and when the authorities came to arrest the leader, there was armed resistance and even blood shed (Luke 22:49-50/John 18:10.)
Now obviously I am no supporter of David Koresh, but I recognize that there were better ways to handle the situation from start to finish that would not have endangered innocent lives or trampled First, Second, and Fourth Amendment rights into the Texas prairie.
Alas, a decade later we remain manacled to the dark legacy of Waco. Although Waco had a religious context, the situation could just as easily be shifted to a political one where—especially in the post 9/11 environment—unorthodox politics are all but verboten, with a corps of Brain Police Agents in the basement of the J. Edgar Hoover building keeping a keen eye on anything bucking the complacency rays they broadcast out, eagerly fingering their billy clubs for the chance to bash some skulls in the name of “protecting” Mom, Apple Pie, and Wall Street.
If we can take solace in any one fact, it’s that when Brain Police Agents crack down on the ‘resistance,’ they do it in a truly-half-assed manner. Of course, that’s also a problem. Of the six Davidians killed in the initial raid, four were demonstrably non-combatants (hell, 64 year-old Perry Jones was shot at the front door while trying to plead peace with the onrushing ATF, and Jadine Wendell was shot through the wall and in the face while hiding under a bed and nursing her baby.)
Ultimately, I am reminded of an old adage:
Most people believe that politicians are idiots, but mean well.
Both concepts are false.
I ran into your website accidentally while doing a Google search. I found it very amusing! But--as someone has said--"Say anything about me, as long as you spell it right." So, on behalf of Bruce Roberts, I wish that you would at least get his name right while you are babbling on about the Gemstone File thesis.
The page you printed, which I guess you got from Gary Buell, (since I sent him a free copy) is the front page of a booklet I prepared and have made available on my website:http://gemstone-file.com.
An updated version of the Skeleton Key, which I wrote early in 1975, is also available. And a CD containing several hundred pages from Bruce Roberts' letters, which one can buy through the website.
Personally I don't give a rat's ass whether you buy a copy. As for Gary Buell, he got to be such a nuisance with the book he was trying to write, that I turned him loose.Stephanie Caruana
Good Lord — I can’t believe I brain blipped on Bruce Roberts’ name the way I did! To such sloppy self-editing I can only feebly cry “mea culpa” and flagellate myself with a wet noodle. [Not that it means anything, but in my spare time a year ago when I wrote that piece, I was reading a book on English history; I most likely had some subliminal confusion with a Scottish figure named Robert the Bruce...] I’m surprised Gary Buell didn’t call foul on that as well when he tagged me for a wrong death date...
Anyway, Stephanie Caruana was the original publisher of the Skeleton Key to the Gemstone File some 25 years ago, so it’s nice to see she’s still active and championing its cause. Not that I agree with the Gemstone Thesis, but hey: think for yourself!
Everyone should give a hearty, heart-warming “howdy-do” to our latest recruit, FireMuse.
Then again, she’s from Alabama, so maybe condolences are in order...
FireMuse has a degree in graphic arts, and even managed to meet Bret Michaels without flashing her titties. These sound like useful skills, though it has yet to dawn on me how to harness them for Branch Floridian betterment.
As most of you know, the Cyber-Compound has an on-site cyber-library, staffed by our very own FireSkunk. Many of you have complained that the Librarian is never on line, wondering just what sort of operation we’re running here.
Well, ol’ girl is finally pulling her weight in her official duties! Fans of the World Domination Update have probably noticed in the back issue archive that several early issues are “missing” (owing to a computer crash back in early ’98, with none of the faithful brethren having saved copies.) Fortunately, FireSkunk has at last come through and uncovered copies of these lost editions. So as soon as I can, I’ll get them manually transcribed to html and posted on-line. After all, I’m sure readers are keenly interested in seeing early rants about Mark David Chapman, our scheme for “Branch Floridian World Domination and Weight Control,” The Elvis crop-circle sighting (full of popped corn!), and my infamous run-in with Bubba the Barbarian.
The other noteworthy contribution to our reference library has been the creation of an exhaustive index (sort of) of every Update issue with hyperlinked content inventory. Now it’s much easier to find specific rants.
Not that anyone would actually want to...
...meanwhile, back in the Domain of World Domination...
Jungle Fun (parts three and four)
About two years ago, I did an article on the Jonestown Massacre that was apparently impressive enough that it landed a slot in a bona fide academic publication.
Although Jonestown in its entirety is a disturbing subject, one of the most troubling aspects—especially from a conspiracy skew—was the hit squad (ostensibly from the commune) that drove out to the Port Kaituma airport to assassinate Congressman Leo Ryan as he was leaving Guyana. My commentary, for context, is worth repeating:
Of the four dead at the airport, one was a journalist cameraman who filmed the incident rather than run away—until he got a shotgun to his chest. To my knowledge, no one has ever taken the obvious step of enlarging the film and asking Jonestown survivors, “do you know any of these people?” In fact, the complete, unedited film is surprisingly hard to find. According to one early synopsis, the 8-man hit squad pulled up in a tractor trailer, a vehicle not found or known to Jonestown. They seemed to be wearing identical military fatigues, not the random “casual clothes” sported by everyone back at camp. Their attack formation looked a lot like what is known in basic army training as a ‘squad diamond,’ and they were obviously well armed and coordinated. Does this sound like a rag tag vigilante team from an agricultural commune?
I still keep in touch with Dr. Rebecca Moore, the woman who runs an excellent web site on the Jonestown Tragedy, and she recently told me that she was very close to actually getting her hands on a copy of the unedited airport tape. And yes, she would be glad to kick down a copy [a fair trade, as she owes me: I gave her a gratis copy of the otherwise unknown Jim Jones “War Whoop” Sermon, which I think everyone will agree is one of the creepiest things you’ll ever hear...)
So hopefully in the next issue or so you can expect an analysis of the airport tape that will either lay to rest some old questions or rip them open with a salt-encrusted razor...
While we’re on the subject of Jonestown and unsolved enigmas there-of, the latest issue of the Jonestown Report brings up a bombshell which I was previously unaware of. I excerpt from the full piece by Fielding McGehee III here:
Much more mysterious -- indeed, at this point, unexplained -- is tape Q 875, found along with the hundreds of others at Jonestown. There was apparently nothing special about the location of the tape, or any differences in appearance to distinguish it from the others, or anything else. It was just there. As opposed to all the other tapes, though, this is the only tape made after the deaths.
Q 875 consists of four broadcast news stories recorded off the air on November 19, 1978, all concerning the deaths of Congressman Leo Ryan and members of his party "last night" at the Port Kaituma airstrip in Guyana. Two of the broadcasts are of Guyanese origin, and two are American, including an ABC broadcast. The first newscast includes "unconfirmed reports reaching Georgetown" of mass suicide at Jonestown. Later broadcasts said that Temple attorneys Charles Garry and Mark Lane are safe, although at the time there was still "nothing [confirmed] about reports of mass suicide in the commune."
Throughout the broadcasts, there are unknown people moving about at the recording end. Doors open and close, chairs squeak, voices murmur, voices shush others, there is at least one electronic beep of some duration. More importantly, the stories coming out of Guyana's Northwest District are the only items on the tape. As a new story begins, someone tunes the radio to another station -- ostensibly looking for more coverage? -- then turns the recording equipment off.
Almost as important, the voices are American. Even though most of the conversation is unintelligible, there are a couple of exceptions. When the ABC broadcast cuts to the interview with Autumn Ryan, the congressman's mother, someone says quietly, "Oh boy." During the third broadcast -- which was the last on side one -- someone says "Shit" following word that there will be autopsies done on the bodies at the airstrip. There is no way of knowing whether the speaker was referring to the decision to perform the autopsies, or was upset about something else unrelated.
There are many questions which the contents of tape raise but do not answer:
1) Who made the tape? Most of the people at Jonestown were dead. The few known surviving members of the Jonestown community had left considerably earlier -- some before the deaths actually started -- or were stunned by what surrounded them when they returned after escaping to the bush. Yet the people who made this tape were calm, competent and even methodical in the recording. On the other hand, there were no confirmed reports of the mass deaths when the recordings were made. That means it was much too early for the known Guyanese military or American State Department personnel to have arrived on the scene. Anyone representing a governmental agency on the ground at that time was there one or two days earlier than any acknowledged presence.
2) Where was the tape made? It seems to have been made in the Jonestown radio room. The space is small with the echoes of an interior setting, there are sounds of metallic and/or heavy objects being shifted, and there is an electronic pulse near the end of the last segment. Moreover, the tape is similar in tone to many of the other tapes made at that location. It could have been made in the Temple's radio room in Georgetown -- and if the recorded ABC broadcast was from a television instead of a radio, that might be more likely -- but that adds an additional layer of questions about transporting the tape to the Jonestown settlement.
3) What were people doing as they made the tape? The Guyana military personnel who came into Jonestown on Monday found a contaminated crime scene. There had been some looting -- attributed to Amerindians and Guyanese living in the area -- and more looting followed. By the time American military personnel arrived to clean up the bodies, some buildings had been ransacked, and paper was strewn everywhere. Were the people who made the tape doing other things at the same time, cloaking it under the mess of simultaneous vandalism?
4) Why did anyone bother to make a tape? As opposed to the other Jonestown tapes, this serves no purpose for the Jonestown community. It is an obituary, written in first person, by the deceased, after death. The motivation for making the tape defies reasonable explanation.5) And finally: Why did they leave the tape behind?
I think even the most jaded will agree: those are damned good questions that need answers, especially if you’re of the paranoid penchant that think the events going on behind the scenes were shadier than an overgrown orchard.
Information will be disseminated in future Updates as it becomes available.
The above-mentioned audio tape intrigued me enough that I contacted Fielding McGehee about it with a few questions and comments. His reply stunned me:
News on 875: According to one person who has heard the tape, one of the voices on it is Jim Jones. I think this should be treated as an unconfirmed rumor at this point -- the agenda of this person isn't always sympathetic -- but in an effort to find out, some folks in San Francisco have turned it over to a professional sound analyst to try to enhance a couple of the off-mike voices. That would shift the paradigm, as they say...
To say that “would shift the paradigm” understates the matter! Granted, both McGehee and I are intensely skeptical that it is Jim Jones himself on a tape created that late in the game. However, the implications should be obvious: if that is indeed Jim Jones on the tape, it would be necessary to rewrite the entire last half of the generally accepted chronology of events, which has Jones shooting himself/being shot at least half a day before this tape would have been made. Not to mention raising a whole slew of new and disturbing questions about those final hours.
I have suggested McGehee contact ABC and see if they have records for what interviews they broadcast and when on November 18/20, as that should be able to time-stamp the tape. McGehee agreed, and will also let me know any further results of his audio enhancement endeavors.
This just in!
New analysis of Q 875 is now available.
Last issue, we broached the topic of What the Hell is Grimace? Unable to offer any concrete proof one way or another, I posted a contest among members and kindred spirits to come up with their own theory.
Grimace is a (large) Barney dropping. His name? Well, what facial expression do you make when you're tying to squeeze out a really large load?
Ten tons of flax for the good Reverend of Wilmington!
Of course, what I should have done was just ask Evil Matt, as it turns out that ol’ boy knows a bit more than is healthy on the problem. I therefore must summarize (and expand upon) his commentary on this all-important topic.
To understand what Grimace is, it is apparently necessary to check out a movie called “The Wacky Adventures of Ronald McDonald: The Legend of Grimace Island.” This short (40 minute) video came out in 1999, and was available with the purchase of a Happy Meal. Click here for an awesome review of this cinematic fare.
Although the Legend of Grimace Island (“LOGI” for short simplicity) does not spell out what species Grimace is per sé, it does offer a number of important continuity clues that help piece this puzzle together, and, perhaps as important, gives some tidbits into their history and culture.
Per LOGI, all Grimaces (they collectively refer to themselves as such) are from an island called, you guessed it, Grimace Island. “Hundreds of years ago,” the famous shake-whoring Grimace tells Ronald and friends, all Grimaces lived on this one island that would rival Thomas Moore’s Utopia for its lack of violence, crime, and unhappiness. However, they were invaded by some near-by people that look suspiciously like Zulu warriors, and these spear-wielding fiends stole all the Grimaces’ treasure (save one piece) and basically scared the hell out of them. Fearing a return, the Grimaces did a special dance that was so powerful that it destroyed the undersea foundation of the island, breaking it apart from the ocean floor and setting it adrift on the sea.
In LOGI, we also learn about the hierarchical structure of the Grimaces and even meet their leader: a bloated, wizened prune known as King Gunga. King Gunga has a similar speech impediment and intellectual impairment that are the hallmarks of Ronald McDonald’s famous purple friend.
All this becomes important if one reads between the lines and takes into consideration the ending of the adventure, when the Grimaces gain courage and attack some invading pirates with large yellow feathers (intending to tickle them into submission.) The Grimaces as a species have now learned courage and aggressiveness, and have a tyrant king leader who demonstratably was not afraid to lash out at what he considered to be a threat. Since it was already shown that these huge purple things can wreak havoc on plate tectonics, we homo sapiens should be concerned that there may very well be an impending invasion of Grimaces in the near future!
Of course, all this may provide a social setting (and cause for alarm) about the Grimace anthropological structure, it still tells us nothing about their biology.
A potentially huge clue is dropped early on in LOGI when, just after Grimace admits he does not know where Grimace Island physically is, the Gods of Plot Convenience place a “magic map” deus ex machina into his “back pocket.” While the average reaction would be to dwell on this as a vehicle to merely move the plot along, if one instead considers the taxonomic implications of this, new realms of possibilities are revealed.
Grimace has pockets?!?
The conclusions are polar: either the purple form is some manner of suit or clothing, or more likely, this is a natural pocket in the outer skin. If so, this strongly suggests that the Grimace species are some form of marsupial. I am reminded of the wombat, which (unlike kangaroos and opossums, whose “pockets” are over their stomachs) have a rear-loading pouch, positioned roughly to where Grimace found his magic map.
Another important piece of information comes mid-way through the movie, when Grimace and Ronald are knocked into the ocean and have to surf to safety (while doing a song-and-dance routine, of course.) Here the audience is stunned to discover that Grimace is extremely malleable, and can morph his epidermis into the form of a surfboard. If a Grimace can do that, I see no reason why they also couldn’t turn themselves into something more menacing, such as a siege engine/battering ram. Anyone who has seen Terminator 2 knows the havoc that can be wrought by a creature that can form crude weapons and shapes!
So lets review: somewhere out there is an island full of amorphous marsupials who have finally learned to stick up for themselves, and under a rigid, totalitarian government structure are probably hell-bent on revenge for being pushed around for so many centuries.
Be afraid. Be very afraid.
After shade forced FireSkunk and myself to watch the Legend of Grimace Island, I have to say that the part that disturbed me the most were the Grimace Home Movies shown at the very end. Baby Grimace in diapers is something that no one save the most jaded should be subjected to.
However, I did a bit of research on my own, and may have uncovered yet another continuity clue about this big purple beast.
If you go to www.ronald.com (which is the children’s extension for www.mcdonalds.com) you can click on a couple of the characters for games and activities. Grimace’s Garage is one such subsection (I’d hot-link to it, but the site’s design prevents this.) Going further to the deceptively-titled ‘fun fact quiz,’ the viewer is left to ponder a shot of Grimace wearing what suspiciously resembles a yarmulke. And yes, that’s the actual .gif-lift to the right.
Obviously, this begs the question: is Grimace Jewish? Since a recent lawsuit disclosed that McDonalds uses animal fat to fry their foods (including french fries) then perhaps Grimace’s choice for shakes can be seen as his selecting the only kosher thing on the menu.
The Rael World
On December 26th, 2002, an otherwise unknown company called Cloneaid grabbed international headlines—and condemnation—by claiming to have cloned a human being. Most of you probably saw the CNN sound bites of Cloneaid CEO Dr. Bridget Boisellier getting her fifteen minutes of fame defending the action as the next step in human evolution toward immortality.
Cloneaid is controlled by Valliant Ventures, Ltd., which in turn is a shell corporation run by a group officially known as the International Raelian Religion. Indeed, Ms. Boisellier herself is an ordained Bishop within the movement.
Almost everyone familiar with all this knows the weight-watchers version of the Raelian beliefs: life on Earth was started by extraterrestrials doing genetic experiments, and these same E.T.s are due back pretty soon now to check up on their little project.
Curiously, the Raelians do not claim to be “UFOlogists,” thought this is difficult to reconcile with their stated ideology, theory of human origin, and their running the UFOland theme park outside Montreal.
While it’s easy enough to simply dismiss the Raelians as a bunch of New Age Nitwits pulling a publicity stunt and who will go Heaven’s Gate when the fraud is exposed, I myself don’t think so. The Raelians have actually been around for three decades (a good trick in this business) and have chapters (called “Embassies”) on every continent except Antarctica. Their claim that their movement has 50,000 members in 84 countries is unverifiable, but not unreasonable—especially since several apostates have verified the number as being in the low end of the 5-digit spectrum (though skeptics place membership between 5,000 and 20,000.) Perhaps most to the point, the group’s stated doctrine does not have the pressing immediacy of other crash and burn cults.
And if their cloning claims happen to be true, then this group needs closer scrutiny. By placing themselves in the limelight, they invite investigation—especially with the claims they make of both human cloning and human origin.
A Pepsi Challenge if I ever heard one, which I readily accept.
So let’s start at the top, with their founder.
Claude Vorilhon (born September 30, 1946) was a French amateur racecar driver turned “journalist” (he helped edit a small racing enthusiast magazine.) According to Vorilhon, on the morning of December 13, 1973, he was driving to work in Clermont-Ferrand when he felt a sudden, inexplicable urge to take a detour to Puy-de-Lassolas, an extinct volcano in near-by Auvergne. There, a UFO appeared and approached him. After landing, a small alien emerged, looking much like the stereotypical “gray” except it was sporting a mullet hairdo and a well-chiseled beatnik goatee.
The alien, conveniently, spoke fluent French, and invited Vorilhon inside its craft for a short chat.
Per Vorilhon, the alien began, “You regret not having brought your camera so that you could have talked about our meeting to the whole world—with proof in your hands?”
Vorilhon wittily replied, “Yes, of course.”
Alas, he did not think to bring his camera on any other occasions, either, for the alien told Vorilhon to come back the next day for five successive days for a series of hour-long educational lectures on the true nature of things. Vorilhon would eventually summarize all these teachings into a book, The Final Message (one of several he has since penned and self-published, the latest being Let’s Welcome Our Fathers From Space in 1998.)
The alien introduced himself as “Elohim,” and promptly renamed Vorilhon “Rael.” Here it seems that “Elohim” was both the alien’s personal name, as well as the name of its race in general (much like the “Grimace” conundrum from above.) Keen readers should be immediately aware that “Elohim” is one of several Hebrew words meaning “God” [the title, not the proper name.] Vorilhon learned that this is an incorrect translation; the word, per his new mentor, means “those who come from the sky.”
semantical digression here. Putting aside the translation of “Elohim”
(see the “God” pop-up below,) let’s take a closer look at what “Rael”
means. Vorilhon claims it means “Light of God.” Although
there are several words for “Light” in Hebrew, this is not only not
any of them but not even close. However, “Ra” in Hebrew means
“evil” and “El” is an abbreviated form of “Elohim”
But back to the story.
Vorilhon/Rael (I’ll use Rael from now on, as he had it legally included shortly thereafter) claims to have learned that most of the stories in the Bible are garbled metaphor for what really happened. 25,000 years ago, aliens (of which his Elohim instructor was a party to) created all life on Earth from cloning experiments on their own DNA. The Garden of Eden was a laboratory located where Jerusalem currently is, and the famous exiling of Adam and Eve was alternately (Rael occasionally contradicts himself on this matter) the lab technicians releasing their experiments, or expelling them for being too unwieldy and aggressive at the time. Occasionally the aliens would stop by to check up on their project, which is the hidden meaning of Genesis 6:1-4, where the “sons of God”/“Nephalim” took daughters among the humans as mates, ultimately prompting the Great Flood. The virgin birth of Jesus was really a cloning/artificial insemination project (one of several: Moses, Buddha, Mohammed, and Joseph Smith were others) and most of Jesus’s “miracles” were performed by other Elohim using long-distance lasers.
Aside from learning about the “true” history of Earth, Rael also learned about himself: he, too, was an alien clone carried in the vessel of his mother. The year of his birth was significant: 1946 was the year after the world entered the Atomic Age, so it was no accident that he was born roughly a year after Hiroshima.
Perhaps most importantly, Elohim told Rael that he was to be the final prophet (in the line after Moses, Jesus etc.) who was to tell the world their true origins and get them ready for the next step in their development.
Elohim told Rael that the other aliens would be back for good once the situation on Earth was suitable to their preferences. They will bring Jesus, Moses, and Buddha with them, who are being kept alive via cloning on the Elohim home planet.
Here we get into what are ostensibly the objectives of the Raelian church: setting up things for the alien parousia.
The Elohim will apparently only return once there is one world government with a common language and currency. They also want “embassies” set up at major locations for them, apparently as bases of operations. One location they are specific on on acquiring for an embassy is in Jerusalem, and to that end the Raelians have been actively courting the Israeli government to get some land to build just such a site, with a target date for completion by 2035.
Given their interest in Israel, it is rather curious and confounding to note what the original symbol for the Raelian movement was: a Star of David with a Swastika in the middle of it. The Star of David, in the Raelian scheme of things, helps signify their concept of infinity: the two triangles essentially mean ‘as above, so below’ in that there are larger and smaller galaxies all existing within each other (sort of like Donald Sutherland’s ‘atoms are solar systems and solar systems are atoms’ theory in Animal House.) The swastika, as many of you probably know, is an ancient (and thoroughly pre-Nazi) symbol found in both Nordic runes and Sanskrit symbolizing the Earth’s seasonal cycliality. However, in 1990 the Raelians removed the swastika in an effort to ease the understandably offended sensibilities of the Israelis whom they were trying to acquire land from. Still, look close at the pics of Ms. Boisellier during her CNN Cloneaid conference: she was sporting the old-school symbol on that form-fitting jumpsuit of hers.
Anyway, the Raelians are slowly striving to bring about their vision of a One World Government. Their view is that it should be a “geniocracy” (Rael’s own term) where only those with exceptional IQs (10% above the average) are allowed to vote, and only those who are 50% above the mean can actually hold office.
Although I have found no evidence that they have dabbled in politics (with any success, anyway,) they do delve rather heartily into more personal realms. Rather infamous are their “Sensual Meditation” seminars, which, according to Raelian propaganda, are “...a time for members of the religion from all over the world to gather together and free themselves of the attitudes and demeanors that have been subconsciously implanted into Raelian individuals within the larger society.”
Apostates and detractors derisively refer to these as thin excuses to hold an orgy.
Indeed, the sex scandals (if “scandal” is the appropriate word here) have caused more than a few feathers to be ruffled, the most prominent involving an 11 year old French girl. In 1985, Rael’s wife, Marie-Paul Cristini, left him because of his repeated infidelity with nubile teenagers he wished to “initiate” into his group. She claimed that at one point, he was bringing a different girl home each night, and would not even stop boffing if she were to walk in on them. Not a member of his religion, she finally demanded “you have to choose between me and the movement.” Without batting an eye, he opted for the latter and left France.
Then again, his decision to leave was probably also prompted by the French government pursuing him for the equivalent of $500,000 in unpaid taxes.
Rael soon settled in Quebec, where (unlike the French government, who banned the movement as “dangerous,”) the Canadians officially (and legally) recognized his beliefs as a “religion,” with all the tax-exempt trappings that accompanied such status.
Still, the Raelians soon upset Canuck sensibilities in November 1992 when they distributed 10,000 condoms to a Catholic high school in Montreal, ostensibly as part of a ‘social awareness’ program. Most, myself included, see this as a publicity stunt.
Of course, their greatest publicity coup was the alleged cloning.
Ostensibly, the reason the Raelians want to clone themselves is to achieve immortality. Personally, I don’t think this counts, as the memories are not passed on; I am reminded of the “Duncan Idaho” dilemma from the Dune series in this matter. But whatever the case, the Raelians claim success, and presumably will work so solve the missing memory issue later.
Of course, one has to wonder if the clone claims are true or yet another p.r. stunt. After all, The Roslin Institute, which gained fame in their cloning of Dolly the Sheep, had been working on the project for twenty years and had less than a 1% success rate, yet here is Cloneaid, with no track record and scarcely five years under their belt, yet they say they have a 50% success in their first ten tries.
Of course, The Roslin Institute didn’t have Elohim guidance on the project.
Skepticism of this claim was already high, but hit a J-curve when Cloneaid refused to allow any testing of baby “Eve” to verify she is, indeed, a clone of her mother. They cite, among other excuses, “health concerns” at taking a DNA sample of the baby. Although I put that as an inch short of silly, the obvious alternative is to fingerprint mother and daughter: if Eve is a clone, the prints should be a dead-on match. Alas, to my knowledge, no one has suggested this yet.
My guess is, it’s too obvious.
Whether the Raelians will survive this latest bout of publicity is anyone’s guess, though I suspect they will.
As to whether they are actually “dangerous” is another matter. Rael has set himself up in the comfy position of Final Prophet whose word is Law.
You all know my thoughts on the matter: think for yourself! so the ideological conflict is obvious.
Then again, I am sort of forced to take the Raelian movement with a Lot’s Wife-sized pillar of salt: Claude Vorilhon Rael is French.
On the subject of Rael, Townsend Harris in our legal department sent me the following...
The Top 15 Things on Rael’s To-Do List
15. Make a few dozen copies of my ass on the cloning machine.
14. Check with Guinness for record number of clones to fit into a car.
13. Divert all available funds to the Kournikova Cloning Project.
12. Tell the aliens that when they return to Earth, make sure bring that Doobie Brothers album they borrowed.
11. Clone Pamela Anderson; wait 16 long years.
10. Clone me up a batch of Kevin Garnetts and beat the snot out of those friggin' Globetrotters.
9. Steal a member list from Scientology and convert those pathetic, gullible schmucks.
8. Stock up on those tasty jalapeño cheese poppers for my "Mork & Mindy" marathon.
7. Clone self with extra strand of "sassy" gene.
6. Scour eBay for any remaining wardrobe items from "Battlestar Galactica."
5. Get clone #3 to quit humpin' my leg.
4. Clone some bling-bling so I can impress the ladies of the Raelian Posse.
3. Clone penis. Graft to end of existing penis. Repeat as necessary.
2. Propose softball game against Raoul and his evil cult of Raoulians.
1. Convince populace that every George Foreman grill is actually a small space ship.
The Phone Number of the Beast???
Kentucky Mountain Bible College, a small (85 student) non-denominational campus located in sleepy Vancleve, Kentucky (75 miles southeast of Lexington) has itself a conundrum of Biblical proportions.
Recently, Kentucky re-zoned its area codes, and Vancleve ended up with a 606. So far no problem, but when such things happen, phone prefixes (the first three digits of the “regular” number) occasionally get shuffled as well, especially to accommodate new listings, cel phones, etc. Such is the case here, and this leads—in KMBC’s opinion, to a drastic, diabolical dilemma.
The new prefix that Kentucky Mountain Bible College ended up with for all its on-campus phones was... you guessed it: 666.
Per the Bible that they teach, Revelation 13:18 in specific, 666 is the dreaded “Number of the Beast.”
As you can guess, the staff, students, and faculty, aren’t all that pleased, and are petitioning to get into the 693 prefix that is also available.
Personally I think it’s funny, but then again I also think Clockwork Orange is a comedy, so what the hell do I know???
Anyway, that’s as good as any a segue into our next piece...
Even among the Bible-illiterate it is all but common knowledge that “666” is bad juju. Alas, proper knowledge ends there, with even those up on their scriptures stumbling into confusion from then on.
The most common misconception is that the number refers to either Satan or the Anti-Christ.
Wrong. It refers to “the Beast.”
Of course, just who (or what) “the Beast” is has been a matter of debate for 1,900 years, ever since Revelation was first penned and read aloud to the illiterate laity. According to Revelation, there are actually two Beasts: the first one (described in detail in 13:1-3) and a second (13:11) which follows the first some forty-two months later and “exercises all the authority of the first beast in its presence, and makes the Earth and its inhabitants worship the first Beast...”
Just which of these two Beasts the dread number is referring to is unclear, though the safer money is to bank on it being the first.
In describing all of this, John of Patmos gives a clue as to who/what the Beast is, though it is in code so that only those in the know will grok what he’s getting at. Realistically speaking, only John knew what he meant when he penned the passage, but that certainly hasn’t stopped people over the centuries weighing in with their own opinions.
It’s no exaggeration to say that an ocean of ink has been spilled on this subject: you could fill a library full of books exegesing upon that cryptic passage. The most popular theory is that it is a Kabalistic/Gematria code for “Nero Caesar,” though I have a number of nitpicks with that which I feel all but conclusively prove it can’t be Rome’s favorite fiddler. A lengthy digression I’ll spare y’all (though available on request.)
I specifically do not wish to offer any theories on what the “Number of the Beast” means. After all, the Branch Floridian credo is “think for yourself!” so deciphering it is your department.
However, I will tell you what it doesn’t mean. After all, to correctly think for yourself, you need correct information.
Specifically in this case, the Number of the Beast is not “666.”
It is “Six Hundred Sixty-Six.”
Although some might immediately dismiss this as semantical niggling, the misunderstanding between “666” and “Six Hundred Sixty- Six” have (especially after the adoption of Arabic numerals) caused some confusion among the masses, leading to “solutions” of the Number which are demonstratably wrong. I’ll discuss these in a minute; first, let me back up my claim for spelling out the Number long-form.
The use of special characters to represent numbers is a relatively recent phenomenon—introduced to Europe about a thousand years ago by marauding Moors. Before then, and specifically in Biblical times, all languages were “alphanumeric,” in that letters of the alphabet doubled for numbers. The most familiar example of this, still in use today, are “Roman numerals” which use letters of the Latin alphabet to convey numeric value. Of course, there were also actual words to represent the numbers, so the concept of “8”/“eight” in English had the dual value of “VIII” and “octo” in Latin.
That said, let’s look at what Revelation 13:18 says in the original Greek:
For those not up on their Greek, in English:
Here is wisdom. Let him that has understanding calculate the number of the Beast, for it is the number of a person. And his number is six hundred sixty-six.
[click for sinister, if slightly incorrect, Vincent Price oration]
The key words here are the last three:
exakosioi = six hundred
exhkonta = sixty
ex = six
You’ll notice, by the way, it is not “six hundred and sixty six.” “And” in mathematics denotes a decimal, so “six hundred and sixty six” would be “600.66” Wrong wrong wrong.
Anyway, if John of Patmos had intended to convey the “number of the beast” as “666” he would have written it out as such:
It is interesting to note that when Jerome translated the Bible into Latin (the “Vulgate”), he faithfully kept the intention by opting for “sescenti sexaginta sex” instead of inserting Roman numerals, in this case DCLXVI.
Alas, not every subsequent translation has been so insightful. Popular English editions which make this mistake include the New International Version, the Amplified Bible, New Living Translation, and the New King James Version (though the original edition from 1511 got it right.)
So what’s the problem, you might ask?
Simple: thinking in terms of “666” leads to some critical errors, especially from a Twenty-First Century perspective, or at least a perspective acclimated to Arabic numerals.
The most common error here is to start viewing it as a series of three distinct “6”s, as in “six six six”.
Don’t be that guy!
People who go around claiming the Number of the Beast is “six six six” are wallowing in ignorance, and should be avoided like the plague that is mentioned a few chapters later.
Alas, it is a disturbingly common error that seems to pop up more and more, and people thinking in that mindset when they try to calculate the identity of the Beast are automatically going to miss the mark.
A good example is the popular school of thought that each 6 stands for a member of some self-defined “unholy trinity” usually seen to be Satan, Anti-Christ, and False Prophet.
Of course, the dumbest suggestion I have ever heard comes from the movie “End of Days” where it is suggested that:
John of Patmos saw everything in a dream
things in dreams occasionally appear upside-down
ergo, the number is really 999, referring to September (9th month) of (19)99 when the Devil would reappear.
Then again, what do you expect from a movie whose Hollywood pitch was “Schwarzennegar vs. Satan”?
But hopefully you all see my point here. If you want to ponder the “six hundred sixty-six” enigma (or the infamous “six hundred sixteen” variant) then fine.
Just make sure you do it from the right starting point.
Ask Evil Matt
The Evil One fields your queries, as channeled by Sister Ob’dewlla ‘X’.
Q: Note to self: what the hell is a "Vampire's Vengeance"?
A: Having researched this at some length now, the only references on the Internet that I could find were other people who took the same test asking the same question. I have also checked with two local bartenders (plus Burning Bush, who used to ’tend,) all of whom admitted ignorance to the specific formula for this bizarre concoction.
Quite likely, then, the “vampire’s vengeance” is a renaming of one of several other ‘traditional’ vampire drinks:
[shade’s peshar: good Lord! That sounds like it would be handy for stripping paint or napalming unfriendly villages. My liver hurt just reading that.]
- 1 oz Chambord raspberry liqueur
- 1 oz vodka
- 1 oz cranberry juice
Combine ingredients in a shaker over ice. Serve as shots in a highball (rocks) glass.
- 3 oz Alpine Snow Frost Gatorade
- 1½ oz gin
- 1 splash grenadine
Combine ingredients in a shaker over ice.
- 1 oz coconut rum
- 1 oz Blue Curacao
- 1 oz Bacardi Limon (or spiced rum)
- 8 oz orange juice
Empty all three shots into shaker. Fill with Orange Juice and add ice to chill. Strain over ice.
- 2 oz vodka
- ½ oz dry gin
- ½ oz dry vermouth
- 1 tblspn tequila
- 1 pinch salt
- 2 oz tomato juice
Shake with ice. Strain over ice in an old fashioned glass.
- 1 oz cognac
- 1 oz Bacardi 151
- 1 oz scotch
- 2 oz Southern Comfort
- 1 oz Jägermeister
- 1 splash grenadine
Put ingredients above into a brandy glass over ice. Stir & enjoy.
- ½ oz gin
- ½ oz red wine
- 1 splash lemon juice
- 1 splash lime juice
- 2 splashes grenadine
Shake with cracked ice and strain into your favorite glass filled with ice cubes. Garnish with a dash of red food coloring if desired.
Whatever the case, the commentary accompanying the ‘what drink are you?’ page was particularly insightful, and pretty much pegged me to a tee:
You’re a Vampire! Hisssss! You’re the oddball who sits quietly at parties. You rarely speak, but when you do, it’s usually so crazy that you probably shouldn’t have said it at all. You dumb vampire.
A: Curling is the Scottish equivalent of shuffleboard, played on ice. Ah, those long winter nights in the Highlands must just fly by...
Anyway, the positions (and duties) are:
|Goes first in the throwing order, then sweeps all the other team members’ shots — usually has easier shots because there are few stones in play.|
|SECOND||Throws second and sweeps all other team members’ shots — has more difficult shots since some stones in play.|
|VICE||Throws third, holds brush (target) for SKIP, and sweeps only LEAD’s and SECOND’s shots — has difficult shots as a lot of stones in play.|
|SKIP||Throws last, holds brush for all other players, tells other players when to sweep, watches the “curl” of the stone — has most difficult shots as all other stones have already been played — team captain.|
Q:A question for you: Given that all cheese is essentially fermented, how does one know when blue cheese has gone too far? Does the "blue" (which is actually sometimes green) turn black; runny perhaps? I have never had the desire to undertake such a biological experiement in the back of my refridgerator.
A: When your blue cheese starts driving your car without permission, borrowing (but not returning) movies and cds, and diddling your dog on a regular basis, then yes: it has gone too far.
Although the sign of most cheeses “passing their prime” is mold, blue cheese poses a unique problem here in that it is specifically cultivated with mold in it. Some would say that this means it never goes bad, but if you drop it on the floor and it bounces, then there’s a problem. In truth, blue cheese has a shelf life of about four weeks, and you yourself mention the two major indices that it has gone bad: acquisition of color that wasn’t originally there, and liquefaction.
By the way, “blue cheese” is actually a generic term; there are many types of it: Stilton, Roquefort, Maytag, Gorgonzola, Danish Blue, Montbriac, Picón, and Shropshire are among the better-known varieties. The type used in salad dressing is most often Bleu d’Auvergne (hence its usual reference as “bleu cheese dressing.”)
Q:How fast was the U-2 spy plane?
A: The U-2 maxed out at around 475 mph, but of course with a ceiling altitude of 70,000+ feet, it wasn’t built for speed...
Q:When was Standard Oil broken up?
A: 1911. Naturally, John. D. Rockerfeller fought this all the way to the Supreme Court (Standard Oil vs. United States) but they agreed Standard Oil was a monopoly and fragmented into smaller companies (Chevron, Texaco, Mobil, etc.)
Got a question? Ask Evil Matt.
The Hedgehog Corner
By Harriet the Hedgehog
Although saint and shade have gone on record as being rabidly anti-sport, they do not, of course, speak for all Branch Floridians on the matter.
It is a little-known fact among you humans, but we hedgehogs actually held the first organized sports events on this planet, some 8,000 years ago! Back then it was all about beer and bragging rights, to see who were the superior ’hogs: African Pigmy or European.
- the 100 meter scuttle
- chuff relay
- mealie worm scarfing
Believe it or not, a pale imitation of these once-great events still continues!
Trust no one
and Always keep your lighter handy!
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