World Domination Update
“Caught Between the Lion on the Lam”
vol. VII, iss. iv

“The voice of one crying in the wilderness”
                                            —Matthew 3:3


Quote of the Moment:  “If ignorance were measured in people, you’d be China” — Mighty Johnson
Secret Word of the Day:  Chum
Site of the Week:   Parade of Pleasure
Barbecue Sauce of the Month:  
Mojave Maxs Mad Mesquite Mash

Actively in this issue:

·  Squabbling with Stifler 
·  Tweaking Cyrus Teed 
·  Updating Jonestown (video and audio)
·  Conspiring about Cacti
·  Asking Evil Matt
·  Singing Praise of Hedgehogs


Hi, Kids!

If anyone has figured out Bushs Agenda for a Better America, will you please let him know what it is?  He can be reached at:

1600 Pennsylvania Avenue
Washington, D.C. 20500
Phone: (202) 456-1414
Fax: (202) 456-2461

Im sure hed appreciate knowing it.  

Understand it is another matter.

Now, i youre one of those Ph.D. candidates in Chaos Theory who happens to be keen enough to actually grok onto what hes doing, maybe you can explain it to me while youre at it.  Im lost, except for the pet theory that he is merely a Brain Police puppet hell-bent on phuqing this country up so much that Big Brother will step in to restore order, and even be welcomed in by the nihilistic lemmings living under the crushing thumb of the Dubya meshuguna.

Okay, so weve got a total tool in the Oval Office; you want me to tell you something you dont know, right?  How bout this: instead, Ill ask some questions about whats going on that nobody else except the discredited fringe seems to be voicing.  Ill even keep it generalized, just in case Bush himself reads this (or at least has it summarized for him.)  Muse on these, and when you come up with some answers, express them at the ballot box next November.

First and foremost, our foreign policy fiasco: why the hell does America always have to be the worlds police force?  This has been the case for much of the 20th century, but became pretty brazen during the Reagan administration and beyond: every time anything goes wrong in some other part of the planet, the U.S. sends in troops to restore order.  Admittedly, people killing each other is bad, and many other countries also put their own soldiers asses on the front firing line as well, but over and over its G.I. Joe shipped off to a foreign land to try to restore order (read: some situation that is in our administrations liking.)

Although there are many pros and cons argument-wise to this, heres my main issue: why are we trying to settle other countries affairs when we dont even have our own store in order?  We have people starving and homeless all across America, yet we give away billions of dollars to other countries, many of whose populace openly hate us and dont even give us a thank you when we toss them a bag of grain.  American literacy is only 75%, yet we spend even more money to build schools in foreign nations.   I could go on, but my point is: should we really be taking care of other countries when we can’t even take care of our own?  

As a wise sage a few millennia ago once said, 


Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother's eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, "Let me take the speck out of your eye," when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother's eye.

—Matthew 7:3-5


Like I said, how can we expect other countries take us seriously when we are incapable of straightening our own affairs?  This is, in my opinion, one of the major reasons most other countries don’t like us, and view us as a decadent, rich yet immature bully who thinks his own shit doesn’t stink and feels the need to fix everybody else’s problems.

Sad thing is, theyre right.  And I say that as someone who loves this country, or at least the principles upon which it was originally founded.

Heres one more question for everyone to muse on regarding our current situation: shouldnt we have a president who actually understands and upholds the Bill of Rights?  Dubya has already said that there ought to be limits to freedom (this commenting on a web site mocking him.)  Given some of the chum hes been shoveling down our throats, its obvious Bush is a bit fuzzy on what freedom is.  His most recent insight:


I had the opportunity to go out to Goree Island [where African slaves were interred and deported to America] and talk about what slavery meant to America. It's very interesting when you think about it, the slaves who left here to go to America, because of their steadfast and their religion and their belief in freedom, helped change America. America is what it is today because of what went on in the past.

—Dakar, Senegal, July 8, 2003


Actually, maybe this is why he is trying to take us out of the 21st century and back to the 11th: a return to those good ol traditional Dark Ages values.  Hes clearly against freedom of speech that dares to disagree with him.  I recall some sort of important document written about 200 years ago which mentioned something about life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.  Bush would obviously like to strategically use the piece of paper that came from during his next maalox moment.  Obviously, he has his own concepts of what these three things should be, and they are clearly at odds with everybody else except his inner cabinet of fawning toadies.

The recent Supreme Court decision on the infamous Texas sodomy law is a damned good example.  Bush has repeatedly spoken out against it, and is privately pleased as punch that there is an initiative to amend the Constitution with a right-wing conservative definition of what marriage is.  Please recall, by the way, that the law in Texas was on the books while he was governor of that state, and he did nothing about removing it.  

Now, as FireSkunk can empirically affirm, I am not homosexual, but yall know my basic feelings on this: whatever two (or more) consenting adults do is fine, as long as it does not interfere with my own pursuit of happiness.  Or, as Frank Zappa said,


Hey, it's the twentieth century: whatever you can do to have a good time, let's get on with it, so long as it doesn't cause a murder...

—The Jazz Discharge Party Hats


Hopefully, you see my point here, but of course Dubya doesnt.  And anything he disagrees with he pursues it like a tenacious terrier, civil liberties be damned.  

There are some damned scary precedents being set here, people.  How soon will it be until something you hold dear hits his shit list and either gets taxed out of existence or placed on a special Index where participants get cattle-carred off to special camps in the Texas plains, never to be heard from again...?

Just pouring some fuel for the cerebral fire, folks; something to think about while naïvely whistling It cant happen here.  Obviously, Im not asking you to agree with me, necessarily, just trying to shake your complacency.  Even last night, saint himself read the rough draft of this rants opening salvo, and was up half the night discussing (read: nit-picking) it with me.  Good for him; at least he got the point.

Hopefully, yall do, too.

So, folks, are we thinking yet?


    ...anyway,,, in other news...


    Reader Feedback

The Crusade for Extra Cheese:
Finally making a difference?


Hey...I'm the general manager for one of the many gumby's. A few months ago, I sumbled accross this webpage. After reading that many people thought we didn't put enough cheese on our pizza's, I decided to up the cheese amounts 2 oz. on each pizza, and for extra cheese, we added 3 oz's to each pizza. This might not seem like much to you and your cheese lovin' friends, but it's the best I can do without makin the food cost skyrocket, resulting in higher prices for the customers. I hope that my effort to make the pizzas more cheesy I appreciated. Have a good day.



    shade’s peshar


Wow — arguably the first non-hostile, positive response from anyone of position within Gumby’s!  So perhaps our plea for cheese is finally being heard.  Granted, 2 ounces of cheese on a pizza isn’t much, but it’s 1.9 more than they have currently...




saint loses an argument
                                (gasp!  horrors! nooooo!!!)


As many of you know, and have even seen first-hand, saint’s the type of guy who’ll walk up to street preachers and start talking to them.  Jehovah’s Witnesses or Mormon missionaries knock on his door?  Ol’ boy invites ’em in.  “You want to talk to me about our Lord Jesus Christ?  Sure; have a seat, and how much time do you have?”

When he’s in form, saint is wonderful to watch.  Subtly condescending, yes, but he never raises his voice, and is always polite and friendly; the people he talk to invariably lose their cool and start shouting at him, but saint doesn’t sink to their level.  He’s never that guy.  This makes third parties walking by look at the scene and view the people he’s talking to poorly.  Depending on his mood, saint either plays with their minds, with the old “you’re on the right track, just not taking it far enough,” tact, or he genuinely tells them what he really thinks, which is invariably at odds with whatever intolerant ideology they are attempting to convert him to.  Usually they give up, as it is clear that saint knows his subject and is too smart to buy their brand.  Of course, he never gets converts to Branch Floridianism from among them: their overlords usually withdraw any time he begins making headway in that department, fearful of losing their grip over their underlings.  Again, fun to watch, and always educational.

Back at the end of June, I finally convinced saint to be social and join me for a night out, and we ended up throwing darts and playing over at my usual watering hole, The Vine.  It was late, like almost last call, and we were out on the smoking patio.  Joining us were our ranch-swilling arch nemesis DK, and Kiwi, a New Zealand transplant who alternates being a musical genius on organ and random marsupial buggerer.  I’d gotten up to settle my tab, and when I returned, a newcomer had invaded the table.  

His name was Jeremy.  Kiwi later commented that Jeremy strongly reminded him of the character Stifler in American Pie; I haven’t seen the film, but others have since assured me this is a good call, so out of deference I will refer to him as that.

This Stifler was short but stocky with an athletic build, no doubt developed in compensation for his height deficiency.  Spiky black hair, and an unpleasant smile full of too many teeth that were altogether too pointy.  He had the type of grin you see on Animal Planet documentaries when a hungry hyena spots the stray gazelle.  Seriously: this grin of his would send a child screaming to his mother and probably result in a restraining order.  Very hyper guy, too; couldn’t keep still, like he’d just pounded a tequila shot and washed it down with a can of red bull.  Very young, very cocky, very self-sure.  

Anyway, now you have a picture?  Good.

I missed the initial encounter, but surprisingly, DK was saying of saint, “he’s a smart guy.  Ask him anything.”

Stifler feels this is some sort of challenge, and launches into something about football statistics.  DK quickly amends, “actually, he doesn’t know sports.”

Stifler’s grin widens, and becomes distinctly condescending.  “I thought you said he knew anything.”

I only know important things,” saint says with a smile.

So, what’s important?”

Religion,” saint replies matter-of-factly.

Stifler reacts like saint just poured a beer over his head.  “Religion?!?” he cries, outraged and incensed.  “Fuck religion!”

I can already tell that this conversation is going to make less progress than a turtle with no legs, but saint seems non-plussed.  “You don’t think religion is important?” he asks innocently.

Religion is bullshit!”


Because it’s bullshit!” Stifler repeats by way of explanation, his rising tone indicating frustration that saint has not grasped the obvious.

Well,” saint says calmly, “let’s put it this way.  You are eventually going to die, correct?”

Stifler actually has to pause a moment to think this over.  “Yeah,” he says, unsure where saint is going with this.

So, by definition, you will have to deal with the Afterlife at some point, for anywhere between one millisecond and eterni...”

Stifler seizes his opportunity for the first of many interruptions.  “No I’m not!  When you die, you’re dead.  Ha!” he cries triumphantly.

So you’re saying when you die, nothing happens?”

Of course not: you’re dead.”  Stifler seems bored already, clearly not doing the chess strategy of thinking several steps ahead to see where saint is headed.

So in that case, you still have to deal with an eternity of nothing.  The problem is, since you are currently alive, it is empirically impossible to know what...”

I already told you: nothing happens.  So I don’t have to deal with it.”

But what if you’re wrong?  Like I said,,,”

I’m not wrong!” he retorts, outraged at that heretical suggestion.  “Actually, I figured it out a long time ago: the afterlife is what you want it to be.”  He beams at his own perceived insight, not realizing that he has actually contradicted his earlier comment about their being no afterlife.

Actually, Emanuel Swedenborg came to that conclusion back in the late 1700s.  Anyway...”


Emanuel Swedenborg.  Obscure Scandinavian theologian.  Anyway...”

Never heard of him,” Stifler challenges, blatantly skeptical of a) information he does not know and b) a claim that someone had already beaten him to his afterlife concept.

Okay, well let’s try this: ever heard of Pascal?”

No,” Stifler sneers, most likely thinking saint is making up names.  Surprisingly, Kiwi jumps in at this point.

The mathematician?”

saint smiles at the New Zealander.  “Exactly.”  He then attempts to explain the concept of Pascal’s Wager, but Stifler keeps interrupting him, making the process impossible.

Things rapidly devolve into an absurdist parody of The Argument Clinic, with Stifler as John Cleese playing Devil’s Advocate and immediately gainsaying saint’s Palin no matter what is said.  For several minutes, saint is unable to get out a full sentence without being interrupted and told that he is wrong.  Not why he is wrong, of course, just that he is.

saint finally calls shenanigans on this lack of etiquette.  “You know, I’ve been courteous enough to listen to you without interruption, even though you haven’t told me anything I haven’t known since grade school.  However, you keep cutting me off without...”

Of course I’m cutting you off: if you make a statement, I immediately want you to back it up.”

DK, of all people, comes to saint’s defense: “Maybe if you’d let him finish a sentence, he would back it up.”

Stifler realizes that he does not have the crowd’s support, so changes tact.  “Fine: sum up your beliefs in one sentence.  I’m listening.”

saint, of course, is ready for this one.  “Think for yourself.”

Stifler is less than impressed.  “Well, if I’m supposed to think for myself, then I shouldn’t even be listening to you.”

saint looks at DK and Kiwi.  “This is reminding me of when I had my wisdom teeth pulled and the Novocain hadn’t kicked in yet.”  He’s clearly frustrated by events, and has made the mistake of letting Stifler get on his nerves.  “Look, if you want to find out what I’m about, I run a website that explains things.  Check it out if you want.  It explains things better than I have here, largely because you’d have to read it, and you can’t interrupt me if I’ve already written it.”

At Stifler’s prompting, saint scrawls the url on a piece of paper:

Do you get the joke in the name?” saint asks, as Stifler shoves it in his pocket.

Since he chooses not to answer the question, it’s obvious he doesn’t.  Instead, he challenges, “How many people go to your website?”

Not that many, but then I’m not after volume, I’m after quality.  I’d rather hit the right people hit it than have...”

Stifler is unimpressed.  “Well, how much money do you make off it?”

I don’t.  It’s a dot org.  Nonprofit.”

The familiar, condescending sneer returns to Stifler’s visage.  “Nonprofit?” he says, in the same revolted tone that saint and I say “Ranch Dressing.”

Yeah: I’m not trying to make money, I’m trying to make a difference.”

The shrug Stifler gives shows this to be, like pretty much everything else in this interlocution, to be an alien concept to him.  “Not me: I’m all about money.”

DK then asks a most interesting question: “Oh?  And what do you do?”

Stifler suddenly gets secretive.  “I’m not saying,” he tells us quickly.  Under DK’s stare, he reluctantly adds, “let’s just say it’s in ‘distribution.’  I found a way to make Circle K and 7-11 go out of business.”

It is our turn to smile condescendingly.

One of the waitresses comes out and begins collecting empty glasses.  “Last call,” she tells us.

I’m good,” saint tells her, and then turns to everyone else.  “You guys up for one last game of Monopoly back at the Compound?”  Kiwi agrees, DK declines.  Politely, but without much sincerity, saint tells Stifler, “nice talking to ya.”

Stifler immediately leans over into saint’s face.

So I won?”

More than anything else, these three words summed up Stifler’s personality, and the problem of this entire exchange.

saint is clearly taken aback at this question.  None of the rest of us are, though: from almost the beginning, it was obvious that saint was trying to have a conversation, but Stifler was looking for an argument.  I lean over into saint’s ear and tell him, “say ‘yes’ and maybe he’ll go away.”

saint takes my advice, and in an utterly unconvincing tone says “sure.”

Grinning with self-perceived victory, Stifler ambles inside to hit up the bartender for a few final drinks.

saint was clearly shaken by this, though, as was evident by the trouncing he took at Monopoly a short time later.  I suspect he was as bothered by Stifler’s in-his-face confrontationalism as by the fact that it was in front of DK the ranch fanatic.

We are still debating if Stifler was just some random asshole, or a fiendish Brain Police agent.  Quite possibly both: Stifler seemed to be working for the Brain Police, even if he didn’t know it.

I mention this exchange for two reasons.  First, it is entirely possible that DK is already spreading the tale among his Ranch Peninsular minions as a means of discrediting and embarrassing saint, and I want to put some spin control on this by putting it in context.  To his credit, even DK seemed to take an intense disliking to Stifler.  If DK can actually like something as nasty as ranch, the fact that he didn’t seem to dig Stifler should say something about what a weenie the dude was.

Second, it may only be August and we have four months left till the end of the year, but we currently have a front-runner for the Asshole of the Year award.


...meanwhile, back in World Domination...


The Original Branch Floridian???


When Vernon Wayne Howell legally changed his name to David Koresh in 1990 and grabbed international headlines three years later, the name “Koresh” became a household word for fifteen minutes.  Sadly, few people — including the ATF and FBI — bothered to ponder the significance of Howell’s choice for a new name, as it offered a good insight into the man’s mind.  For those who don’t know, the term “Branch Davidian” is a dual reference to Jewish patriarch King David.  “Davidian” means “of David,” of course, and “Branch” is a highly-charged term throughout the old testament referring to an offshoot of the “root of David.”  Thus, Vernon Howell choosing David as his first name makes sense as an homage to his personal beliefs and his sect.  But who or what is “Koresh”?

Despite popular opinion to the contrary, the Old Testament anticipates and even nominates a number of “messiahs” to come fill the gap created by the Babylonians when they killed the last king of Israel (Zedekiah) and put an end to David’s blood lineage monarchy.  Haggai 2:23 suggests it will be Zerrubbabel, for instance, but Isaiah 44:28 - 45:1 banks on a conspicuously non-Jewish figure, king Cyrus of Persia.  Cyrus did the world, and especially the Jews, a favor by conquering the Babylonians and returning the Diaspora Jews to Israel, and he even had a policy of rebuilding religious structures in his kingdom, and this included the Jerusalem Temple.  Isaiah 44:28 - 45:1 pretty much says that Cyrus is the (or at least a) Messiah.

Cyrus” is a Persian word (meaning “throne”,) and in Hebrew the name Cyrus is transliterated to “Koresh.”  Thus, Vernon Howell knew what he was doing when he legally changed his name.  Most people missed the symbolism and significance, but the right people (the Branch Davidians) got it immediately.

However, Vernon Howell was not the first Koresh to come along on the American religious scene.  Over one hundred years previously, another religious figure deliberately chose the name for himself when he started his own sect.  What’s more, this same person set up shop in Florida to run his intended theocracy.Cyrus Teed

Cyrus Teed was born on October 18, 1839 in Trout Creek, New York.  He was a distant relative of Mormon patriarch Joseph Smith, but Teed seemingly showed no religious interest in the first half of his life.  After a brief stint with the Army of the Potomac (from which he was discharged due to sunstroke) he moved to New York City and began studying medicine at Eclectic Medical College.  After graduating, Dr. Teed moved to Utica and set up practice with his uncle, who was an allopathic doctor.  A sign hung outside their office: “He who deals out poison, deals out death”.  This might have been a dig at the tavern on the ground floor of the building they were in, but curiously there is no record of Teed ever writing a prescription for his patients.

Aside from medicine, Teed seemingly dabbled in some dubious pseudo-sciences, and this included alchemy.  At one point he actually claimed to have turned lead into gold, though apparently chose not to repeat this feat, as financial problems plagued his practice for the rest of his endeavor.  Still, while working on these experiments in the autumn of 1869, Teed claimed to have achieved some sort of epiphany.  While detractors will doubtless claim he snorted too many chemicals in his lab, Teed seemingly believed that he had achieved what he referred to as “illumination” (eweige blumenkraft!) into the real nature of the universe.  This illumination came from God Herself, and yes, Teed claimed to have seen a physical manifestation of the Almighty that was distinctly female.

God was nice enough to lay out a number of details about things to Teed, and this included his own place in the Grand Schemata.  For instance, he learned that he was the fulfillment of the above-mentioned Isaiah passage, and almost immediately thereafter, Cyrus Teed began referring to himself as Koresh.

Another revelation passed on was the true meaning of Isaiah 40:12.  Teed/Koresh learned that the Earth was not the usual globe that we all have come to think of, but exactly the opposite.  The universe was actually solid rock except for one hollow pocket at the center, at the center of which was the sun.  Keen readers up on their science fiction can equate this with a dyson sphere; but if you have no idea what that is, think of the Earth as a giant balloon, except we’re living inside on the inner skin.  Teed actually went on to “prove” this was the case (to his satisfaction, anyway) through complex “scientific” experiments, mostly with a contraption he invented called a rectilineator, but curiously (since a negative number times a negative number equals a positive) any proof that we are on the inside of the balloon also equals proof that we are on the outside.

Teed began to spread the word of his revelations, and understandably, his medical practice dwindled to almost nonexistent as his clientele began seeking saner help.  Locals referred to him as the “crazy doctor.”  However, Teed was rapidly moving from medicine to the ministry, and soon set up a small denomination known as Koreshian Unity.  

Koreshian Unity preached a life of asceticism, celibacy, and equity.  His views on women’s rights were very progressive for the time, undoubtedly because of his Feminine Deity epiphany.  Reincarnation also played a factor in his theology, but he also believed in a Heaven and Hell.  However, these were not physical places, but states of mind.  Teed attempted to sum up his beliefs in a small newspaper he started called “Herald of the Messenger of the New Covenant of the New Jerusalem,”, eventually renamed “Flaming Sword.”  He sold copies, and supplemented his income with a small business selling home-made mops.

Alas, the mops flopped, but he managed to attract enough followers willing to tithe to him to keep Koreshian Unity fiscally solvent.  A small flap occurred in 1884 when Teed was sued by the Cobb family of Camden, New York, for obtaining money from them falsely — by claiming he was the Second Coming of Christ.  Teed agreed to return the money ($25 dollars, including $5 in change from Mrs. Cobbs’ son’s piggie bank) and the matter was dropped, but the negative fallout was enough to prompt Teed and his followers to seek a new location to set up shop.  Small Koreshian Unity churches were eventually set up in California and Illinois, and Teed spent most of his time shuttling between them, giving academic lectures (seasoned with his own beliefs) at Universities and slowly culling new converts.

At its height, it is estimated that between 3,000 and 4,000 people had joined the movement.

In 1893, while scouting locations in Illinois, Teed met a fellow traveler on a train who told him about a “choice” piece of property available for sale: Pine Island in southwestern Florida (near Fort Meyers.)  The whole island was available for $150,000 — too pricey for Teed, but after checking out the area, Teed left some copies of “Flaming Sword” behind at the train station.  Gustave Damkoehler, a local homesteader in near-by Estero, found one of the copies, and deeply impressed, invited Teed back to the area.   Damkoehler joined Koresh’s congregation, and sold his 320 acre ranch to Teed so he could set up a “New Jerusalem”.  Teed promptly started a Koreshian colony there, which eventually became the spiritual headquarters for the movement, with about 250 members migrating down to the new spiritual hub of Koreshian Unity.  Over the next ten years they were able to buy up most of the area at dirt cheap prices (and since this was the edge of the Everglades, that actually wasn’t too hard).  Since they were the major population of this small corner of swamp, they were able to legally incorporate the area as a town, and ran it accordingly.  This enabled them to collect taxes and tolls, and was the major windfall of the movement that kept it fiscally afloat for the rest of its run.  Within a year, Estero was self-sufficient and well on the way to becoming the Utopia Teed envisioned it to be.

Teed spent much of his time at his new Floridian capital, but would periodically make pilgrimages to other Koreshian Unity sites to check up on progress and proselytize for new converts.  He was also attempting to expand his political empire, to the intense distrust of other, unfriendly local politicians.  On October 13, 1906, he was about to leave for Baltimore when a fight broke out among several members of his flock and unsympathetic government employees at the Fort Meyers train station.  Attempting to break up the fisticuffs, Teed himself was severely beaten, and never fully recovered.  His health almost immediately took a turn for the worse, and it is generally held that complications from the injuries directly contributed to his death two years later on December 22, 1908.  He was buried at the southern end of Estero, where his tomb and a small museum to the Koreshian Unity movement still stand to this day.

Cyrus Teed’s death was also the death knell of the Koreshian Unity movement, especially since he failed to reincarnate/resurrect, as was widely expected of him.  The group did attempt to struggle on without its leader, but quickly dwindled to nothing and was effectively flatline three decades later when the last members died with no new blood coming into the movement.

Curiously, Teed’s teachings did survive on after his personal death and the effective death of his sect.  In 1920s, a German named Peter Bender came in contact with them, and was deeply impressed with certain parts of them — specifically, the hollow Earth aspect.  Herr Bender had served in the Luftwaffe during World War One, and was a personal friend of Herman Göring.  He kept the contact active as Göring rose to power with the Nazi party, and was able to interest him in Koreshian cosmology.  Bender explained to the Reichmarshall, “An infinite universe is a Jewish abstraction.  A finite, rounded universe is a thoroughly Aryan concept.”

Göring was apparently sufficiently impressed that he was able to set aside funds, resources, and personnel to further investigate this.  Their first attempt was to fire a rocket into the sky, which in theory would hit the other side of the hollow Earth.  The rocket exploded on the launch pad, and while not providing any information about the hollow Earth, did help some of the scientists there when they were reassigned to Peenemunde a few years later to work on the V-1 and V-2 programs.

Nonplussed, Bender persuaded Göring to give him one more try.  Nazi Scientists and Naval officers assembled at Rigen Island in 1942 with some powerful telescopes trained upwards, and attempted to locate the British Navy.  All they saw was sky, and the project was quickly abandoned.  Furious at Bender for wasting their time, the Reich arrested him and his family and sent them to the Treblinka death camp a year later.

The only other revival of Teed’s teachings came from Dr. Raymond Bernard, who incorporated some of the mathematics Teed pioneered into “proving” his own hollow Earth theory.  Other than that, Teed’s teachings are but a footnote of obscure history.  

Still, I think everyone will agree that he does qualify as honorable mention as the first Branch Floridian, mostly for reasons of intense irony that I am sure he would sternly disapprove of.


Jonestown Video Analysis
Part III


Back in April we ran an update on the Jonestown massacre which contained an analysis of the NBC Jonestown video.   In it, it is hoped that an end was put to a persistent myth/opinion about Jonestown: that the hit team that assassinated Representative Leo Ryan and several others at the Port Kaituma airstrip were not from Jonestown but some type of “professional” hit squad.  I offered up a number of counterarguments, based on the tape, hopefully exposing the theory for the chum it is.

The analysis offered was apparently impressive enough that Drs. Rebecca Moore and Fielding McGehee, who run an excellent Jonestown website, wished to include it in their annual Jonestown Report.  This an annual newsletter contains updates and developments in research into this tragedy, and with 2003 being the 25th anniversary of the massacre, the issue was a special one.  I am pleased to be a part of it.

Not surprisingly, Laurie Efrein Kahalas has taken exception to my conclusions about the NBC video.  After all, she was the one who first came up with the thesis that the tape shows heavily armed soldiers in fatigues and running a squad diamond formation.  She has informed Drs. Moore and McGehee that she wished to offer a rebuttal to my piece.  Obviously, she is entitled to do so, and I will make it known when it is available.

Of course, this is all about ‘think for yourself!’ so I encourage anyone to see the video and draw their own conclusions.  Thanks to kindred spirit Flaming Faggot, the video has been digitized as an mpeg and is now posted on our sister storage site here.  Unfortunately, for complex technical reasons, the conversion came out poorly, and viewing it doesn’t do much for my offer to people to watch it and draw their own conclusions.  Flaming Faggot assures me he is on the problem and hopes to have a better copy available sometime soon.  


Jonestown Audio Analysis
Part II


While we’re on the subject of Jonestown, let’s take a moment to (re)explore another dark corner of this conspiracy-rich subject, the “Death Tape.”  Jim Jones recorded over 700 sermons, and this included the final, fatal performance on November 18, 1978.  I have a copy, and in my original piece on Jonestown delved rather extensively into an analysis of an especially disturbing dialogue that takes place between Jones and some followers when some type of fracas occurs:


Jones: “...Say peace, say peace, say peace.  What’s come.  Don’t let – take Dwyer on down to the east house.  Take Dwyer...”

Unidentified female: “Everybody be quiet please!!”

Unidentified male: “That means sit down!  Sit down!”

Jones: “They know.  I tried so very, very hard.  They’re trying over here to see what’s going to happen in Los Angeles... 

Voices: (inaudible)

Jones: “...Who is it?”

Voices: (inaudible)

Jones: “Get Dwyer out of here before something happens to him!”

Unidentified male: (inaudible)

Jones: “Dwyer.”

Unidentified male: Ujara.

Jones: “I’m not talking about Ujara, I said Dwyer....”

A lot of people, myself included, wonder what the hell Dwyer was doing back at the camp, and why Jones was so concerned about his safety.  Dwyer was wounded in the turkey shoot at the airport, and since a few minutes later on the tape we hear that the hit squad has just returned from that same airstrip, we are left to ponder how Dwyer could have gotten back so quickly.  The obvious answer is that Dwyer was not back at Jonestown, and that Jones himself was mistaken.  However, we are still left to ponder that Jones specifically mentions Dwyer by name, so even if our favorite CIA agent were seven miles away at Port Kaituma at the time, Jones thinks he is present at his little colony, and is taking steps to ensure the man’s safety.

This makes no sense, and raises some disturbing questions about Jones’s potential connection to the bad boys at Langley.

However, Dr. McGehee, who runs the above-referenced website, has offered what is probably the best explanation into this conundrum.  I paraphrase from his larger commentary:

The key to understanding this is the initial comment, “Take Dwyer to the East House.”  Later in the tape, Jones makes the comment, “Make sure the attorneys stay where they belong.”  Jim Jones had two attorneys: Mark Lane (who independently is famous for his research into the JFK conspiracy) and Charles Garry.  Both remained in Jonestown during the mass suicide, until they eventually snuck out.  In his autobiography of the incident, The Strongest Poison, Lane recollects that Jones had ushered him and Garry to the East House for safe keeping while everyone else was lining up for Kool Aid.  You will recall that this is where Jones had instructed his followers to take the person he identified as “Dwyer.” Jim Jones, Charles Garry, and Richard Dwyer

As you can see in the picture at right, at a first glance there is a bit of resemblance between Charles Garry and Richard Dwyer.  Enough that, if someone is under a lot of stress, it might be possible to confuse the two, or at least get their names mixed up. 

At least, that’s Dr. Fielding McGehee’s theory.  There are some obvious problems with it, but given the stress and duress Jones was under, to an extent it is plausible.

At least until a better, or at least less bizarre, theory comes along...


and speaking of bizarre theories,,,


A Prickly Conspiracy


One of the unstated goals of the World Domination Update is the exposal of groups, institutions, and random cabals that are making a go at, well, World Domination.  Most of these groups are obscure by the nature of their wishing to lurk behind the scenes, but I have recently realized that there has been one literally growing out in the open which is not only known to everyone but which has been making its move to conquer the world since before recorded human history began!

I am speaking of the dreaded threat of Carnegiea Gigantea.

Or, as it is more commonly called, the Saguaro Cactus.saguaro cactus

Listen: these sinister succulents are such a common sight here in the southwest that they are pretty much taken for granted.  However, for those of you who haven’t made the migration out to our compound in BadAss, Arizona, you may be surprised to know that they are legally considered a ‘protected species.’  All the homesteaders moving out here in the past century cleared them out to make way for the houses, strip malls, and Starbucks Coffee Shops that populate the landscape now, making them surprisingly sparse.  

This is actually a good thing, because if they had been left unchecked, I have no doubt that a few millenia from now we homo sapiens would be pledging allegiance to our Cacti Overlords.

Think about it: Saguaros have some of the nastiest needles of any cactus.  These heavily armed armies of cacti slowly spread across the Sonoran, Mojave, and Chihuaua Deserts, staking their claim and solidifying their position.  Once in position, Saguaros change the soil composition to something more in their liking, making it difficult for other plants to live in the same spot.  Tales from the early settlers all the way back to the Aztecs serve testament that the damned things were everywhere.  The term “Saguaro Forest” is a legitimate description of their infestation.  Given time, they would have unquestionably conquered the deserts, and quite possibly have expanded their holdings by desiccating the neighboring areas enough to invade them, too.

The only things that saved us were time and greed.  I say time because Saguaros are slow growers.  Granted, they live several hundred years, but it takes upwards of seventy-five years just for one to grow an offshoot arm.  This is a long-term domination drive on the part of these prickly plants, one that was started long before humans discovered agriculture, and one that would have ended (with complete cactus domination) long after homo sapient extinction.  Fortunately, the greed aspect comes in to, well, nip the cacti conspiracy in the bud.  Humans felt the need to occupy these vast stretches of deserts and clear away any flora unfortunate enough to get in our way, and this included the vast forests of Saguaros out here.  

I don’t know if we have completely stopped their drive to dominate the deserts (heute die wüste, morgen die welt!”) but we unquestionably have set their timetable back at least an eon. 



Ask Evil Matt

 The Evil One fields your queries, as channeled by Sister Ob’dewlla ‘X’.


Q:  What is the origin and structure of the Mongolian alphabet?

A:  Surprisingly, there are two Mongolian alphabets: the “traditional” and the “current.”  Traditional Mongolian is an offshoot of the Altaic family of languages indigenous to northeastern Asia.  Owing to the influence of the Soviet Union, the traditional alphabet was replaced with Cyrillic (Russian) in 1937, where essentially everything was phonetically transliterated.  After the fall of communism, movements began to revert back to the traditional.  Here is the traditional alphabet, .gif-lifted courtesy of

Mongolian alphabet

If you would like a Mongolian font, click here.

Q:  What can you tell me about Babism/Second Babism?

A:  Babism (alternately Babiism) was a short-lived offshoot of Islam in the 19th Century, though in fairness small cells continue to exist, mostly in Uzbekistan.  It was founded by Mirza ’Ali-Muhammad, born in 1819 in Shiraz, Persia.  When he was 25, he declared himself a Manifestation of God and the Gate of Knowledge to Allah.  “Bab” means “Gate” in Persian.  He managed to attract a number of followers, including a few influential Islamic Mullahs.  His followers eventually arose in insurrection against the Shah, attempting to establish a Babist Theocracy.  They were soundly defeated, and Ali-Muhammad/Bab was arrested and executed in Tabriz in 1850.  Eventually his body was relocated to Mount Carmel in Israel.  The sect continued on despite the loss of its leader, though it made little progress outside Persia, and even at home the Persian government continued to persecute them (20,000 Babists were killed in 1852.)  During his life, Ali-Muhammad/Bab wrote a book of teachings, called the Bayan, in which numerology (especially the number 19) plays a prominent role.  Bab said that 19 years after his death another Manifestation of God would appear.  This apparently happened, sort of, in the form of Mirza Husayn Ali Nuri.  However, Ali Nuri modified Babist teachings slightly, and the splinter became known as Baha’i (meaning “glorious”.)  There are between 2 to 5 million Baha’i in the world today, where-as the “original” Babists barely break five digits.  I have found no instance of Baha’i referring to themselves as “Second Babists.”  

Fortunately (since I’m Evil Matt) I know the context of this question.  “Second Babism” seems to be entirely a creation of Philip K. Dick in his novel Eye in the Sky.  “In 1915, sixty-five years after his death, the Bab reappeared on Earth.  In Chicago, at eight o’clock in the morning of August 4, he was witnessed by a group of persons eating in a restaurant.  This, despite the proven fact that the remains at Mount Carmel are still intact!  ...  The First Bab was a mere Prophet of the One True God... and the Second Bab — is He!  ...  The Second Bab ended His days on Earth at this exact spot [just outside Cheyenne, Wyoming].  On May 21, 1939, He ascended to Paradise, carried by five angels, in plain site of the Faithful.”  {Eye in the Sky, p. 94-95}  Again, this seems to be purely a PKD creation that serves as a bizarre plot point for his novel and nothing more.  Good book, though.

Q:  Who wrote "It's a small world after all"?  More importantly, who owns the rights to it?  Someone must be making a fortune off that damn Disney ride...

A:  Although credited to Richard B. and Robert M. Sherman, who both worked for Disney and premiered the song at the 1965 World’s Fair, here’s the real scoop: the song was created by the infamous Dr. Hanz Zarkov at Stalin’s direct order in an effort to help undermine and overthrow the West.  The song appeals to the Western unity and peace concepts, but the insidious music contains several subliminal aspects that trigger Manchurian Candidate-style when the damned thing gets stuck in your head.  As a footnote, Zarkov later switched sides in the World Domination game, teaming up with Dale Arden and some guy named Gordon to fight an even bigger threat trying to take over the world: Ming the Merciless.  However, his conversion to the “good guys” still had a nasty side effect suggesting it was not quite bona fide: that hideous “Flash Gordon Theme Song” by Queen.  I mean, I love Queen, but that song’s just gotta go...

By the way, you owe me oodles of flax for even bringing this question up: I’ve had it stuck in my head ever since.  In terms of ‘annoying songs that get trapped in yer gulliver’ it tops the charts, along with:

  1. It’s A Small World After All  —  Dr. Zarkov

  2. Any Christmas Carol

  3. The Macarena  —  Los Del Rio

  4. We Like To Party  —  Venga Boys

  5. Mickey  —  Toni Basil

  6. Get the Party Started  —  Pink

  7. Who let the dogs out?  —  Baja Boys

  8. Cars  —  Gary Numan

  9. The Hustle  —  Van McCoy

  10. Brady Bunch Theme  —  Sherwood Schwartz & Frank De Vol

I can only hope that list has tortured you as much as your question has tortured me.

It’s a world of laughter, a world of tears...”   

Kill me now!  (oh wait — I’m already dead)

Got a question?  .

    And finally,,,

The Hedgehog Corner

By Harriet the Hedgehog


Classical Hedgehogs


An interesting commentary on Johannes Brahms (of the Lullaby fame) from David Barber’s excellent (and hilarious) Bach, Beethoven, and the Boys:

Brahms bio as a hedgehog

What the author above failed to realize was that Brahms actually had a pet hedgehog (named Mildred).  You know how they say, ‘pets resemble their owners’?  This was the other way around (or maybe it’s better to say that Mildred had a pet human!)  Anyway, much of Brahms’ music was composed for her.  Weigenlied, opus 49, no. 4 (aka The Brahms Lullaby) was written specifically to put her to sleep (well, duh!), his Cello Sonata No. 1 in e minor is soothing for digesting mealie worms, and the Liebeslieder Waltzes for Piano Four Hands is actually best played by four hedgehogs hopping around on the keyboard.

It is a common, if understandable, myth that Brahms never wrote any operas.  Das Glückliche Igel (ie: The Happy Hedgehog) was a little-known piece by Brahms composed in his last years for Mildred’s birthday, and is the only piece of music known to be written for the chuffsichord.  It was known to be performed only once, with Mildred the prima donna and several random relatives as supporting cast.  Sadly, no known librettos or scores survive.

Of course, this is not the first contribution to classical music that hedgehogs have made.  Far from it!  A by-no-means-inclusive list of other intrepid insectivores aiding you humans in St. Cecelia’s sphere includes:

  • Handel’s Messiah.  It is well known that at the premiere of this piece on April 13, 1742, King George III of England attended the performance and was so moved by the “Hallelujah!” chorus that he rose to his feet.  Protocol demands that when the King stands, everyone else must do so as well, and thus the tradition of the “standing ovation” began.  In truth, George III wasn’t moved by the music, a baby hedgehog had shuffled across his pantaloon, startling him.

  • Rossini’s The Thieving Magpie.  A cool opera containing one of shade’s favorite overtures, that very same overture wasn’t composed until the afternoon of the premiere!  The impresario, Domenico Barbaja, locked Rossini in a room with four burly stagehandss, who would toss each sheet of paper out the window to copyists below when it was completed.  They were under orders to toss Rossini himself out the window if he didn’t complete it in time.  The reason Rossini needed to do a last-minute composition?  Earlier that morning, a wandering hedgehog had shredded the sheets for a nest.  (Word is, Rossini was half-tempted to rename the opera The Thieving Hedgehog.)

  • Anything by Anton Webern.  Webern is one of composers you either love or hate; Frank Zappa loved him, the rest of the world hated him.  Like the Zapster, Webern had extensive knowledge of music theory, but deliberately ignored it in most of his pieces.  The result is what I will politely call “structured atonality.”  The reason for this was surprisingly simple: Webern composed most of his pieces by dipping a hedgehog’s paws in ink and letting it run across some staff paper; he would then transpose the paw prints into quarter and sixteenth notes as he saw fit.


It is also worth mentioning that on Sundays at 9, Calgary station CJSW  (90.5 FM) has a segment called “Music for Hedgehogs” featuring a mix of the best in ’hog tunes.  Not bad, ay?




    That’s it for now, folks; and yall know the drill:


      Trust no one

      Deny Everything

      and Always keep your lighter handy!



© 2003 (VII,iv)

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