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Tuesday, June 23, 2009

More than one way to skin a cat

We often come across interesting blogs during our various researches, some of which we've linked to over there on the right. While we might not subscribe to their particular viewpoints, we include them because they explore themes and events so often explored here on LoS.

One thing that binds these blogs together is that they attempt in one form or another to decode what is referred to in the business as "twilight language."

Huh? you may ask. As far as we know, the concept of twilight language first appeared in the works of James Shelby Downard, one of the most elaborate and fantastical conspiracy theorists in recent memory. An example of his methodology can be found online in the introduction to the classic King Kill-33. Follow that link and take a look-see. You won't be disappointed. His self-avowed acolyte Michael Hoffman continues the Downardian exegesis in his regular columns and in his book Secret Societies and Psychological Warfare, a book LoS chum TA Wilson refers to as "one of the greatest novels ever written."

So, again, what is twilight language? Twilight language can be viewed as a series of triggers or cues for subliminally-primed patsies and the public at large. It takes the form of number symbolism, suggestive names and symbolically charged events. It is alleged to induce anxiety, dread, panic, even upsurges in seemingly random violence. Twilight language is a tool of psychological warfare much akin to disinformation. Fact and fantasy are mixed up and released upon the unsuspecting public to create confusion, fear and paranoia. So much doubt about seemingly straight-up occurrences is created that the general public has a hard time separating fact from fiction, even when facing seemingly incontrovertible truths. Twilight language is both subliminal and overt, hidden--like the purloined letter--in plain sight, but it works best when the maximum number of people can see it, whether it consciously registers or not.

But this begs the question: by whom is it used?

Downard and Hoffman point to what they call "the cryptocracy": the hidden elite. It should come as no surprise that this hidden elite is comprised of some of the usual suspects: the Rabbis, of course, and their minions the Freemasons. For a better understanding of these ideas, we recommend reading Hoffman directly, but be forewarned: although unarguably a brilliant writer and an erudite mind, he may leave you convinced he's a raging anti-Semite.

Some may write-off the decryption of twilight language as paranoid raving and--in the sense of Salvador Dalí's "paranoiac-critical method"--it is. Dalí called his method a "spontaneous method of irrational knowledge based on the critical and systematic objectivity of the associations and interpretations of delirious phenomena."

André Breton, the magus of Surrealism, said it was and "instrument of primary importance" that "has immediately shown itself capable of being applied equally to painting, poetry, the cinema, the construction of typical Surrealist objects, fashion, sculpture, the history of art, and even, if necessary, all manner of exegesis." (Boldface added)

We suspect that consciousness itself, the process of forming a world view, is more or less a kind of paranoia. Think of perception itself as an organizing process. Metaphor, simile and symbol, the archetype. All are fundamentals of imagination and thinking, not to mention seeing. When it gets out of control--pathological--it may be a kind of mental illness, paranoid schizophrenia. Or it may be as simple as calling a cut fingernail a crescent moon.

We propose that the paranoid germ lies in every mind and when properly cultivated and trained, can become a valuable exegetical tool. At the very least it enables us to riff on current events and if not contrive a coherent conspiratorial narrative, at least make some interesting and beautiful noise. Like Burroughs said of his cut-up method, anyone can do it, but it may only be interesting in skilled hands. Both Burroughs and Woody Allen also point out that paranoia is merely knowing all the facts.

Which brings us to the story of Tyler Hayes Weinman.

Weinman is the South Florida teen arrested on 14 June for a series of cat killings/mutilations which had left at least two communities, in the words of one headline: "Frightened and Paranoid."

Now, why we were drawn to this case probably has to do with our series of posts about animal on human and human on animal violence. We were of course using irony as a weapon of satire in these posts, but it kind of kept us on the lookout for more of the same. Now, this here is a pretty brutal and extended series of mutilations, so we're going to avoid being snarky. If--and we reiterate the big "if"--this kid is guilty, we're looking at a pretty disturbed young fellow.

So, what does all of this have to do with twilight language? First of all, as the the headline says, residents were getting paranoid, many even speculating if this was all the prelude to the working of a serial killer of humans. And serial killers are the most fertile subjects imaginable for the weaving tales of conspiracy theory. There are also some other very suggestive features of the case. So lets decrypt a few things here and see what happens.

First of all the name: Tyler Hayes Weinman.

In Freemasonry, the Tyler is the guardian of the outer door of the Lodge. The word "tyler" or "tiler" initially meant a doorkeeper at an inn. As the Freemasons initially met in taverns and inns, they adopted this title. This is also why Freemasons were at some point characterized as drunkards, as in Hogarth's engraving Night where it is the Tyler who helps a drunken Mason to his home. Obviously, any evocation of Freemasonry, no matter how tenuous, will set of alarm bells in the would-be exegete.

Take note also of the many strange and incongruous images of fire in the engraving, as well as the general tone of panic and discord.

Hayes is an English or Scottish place name for a man who lived near a "haeg" or "heye", that is to say the enclosure around an area of forest designated for hunting. The name is said to have entered the language via Norman French and indeed, "haie" in modern French is the word for "hedge."

"Hayes" in Ireland is an Anglicized corruption of the Gaelic "Ó hAodha", or descendant of Aodh, a name meaning "fire." Aodh was the name of several early Irish saints and in pre-Christian times the name of more than a few Celtic divinities in some way associated with flames, fire or the sun.

I suppose it would be remiss not to point out that Florida is the "Sunshine State" (and the original homeland of your LoS writers!) More evocative perhaps is that the name is associated with hunting, which is what our cat-killer was doing, after all.

Weinman is a German/Ashkenazic Jewish name. It means exactly what it sounds like: "wine-man"; it is an occupational name for a viticulturalist or wine merchant. In Middle High German it was wīnman, In German: Weinmann.

This hearkens back to the original meeting places of the Freemasons and for the racist conspiracy theorist has the dubious "bonus" of in some way implicating the Jews, as some sort of barely-suppressed or even overt blood libel. This is risky territory because even though we're not promoting anything of the sort, we don't want to inadvertently provide any ammunition for anti-Semites. Don't feed the animals. Too late. They're already chunky and frothing for more.

So, on with the riffs.

In Classical mythology, Priapus was the guardian of vineyards. Ovid relates a tale where Priapus attempted to rape the sleeping nymph Lotis but was thwarted by a braying ass, which caused him to lose his erection and also woke the nymph. She fled and was eventually turned into a lotus plant by the gods, in order to save her from the pursuing Priapus. After this episode, Priapus hated asses and became happy to see them killed in his honor.

In Bulgaria, an important saint and guardian of vineyards is Trifon Zarezan. Among other anecdotes it is said that once--while pruning his plants--Trifon mocked the Virgin Mary as she passed his vineyard. She cursed him and had an accident--his new nickname became Trifon the snub-nosed!

So when we riff on tyler (guardian) with weinman (viticulture) we find at least two mythological vineyard guardians which evoke animal sacrifice and human mutilation.

Now, ABC reports--oddly precise compared to other sources--that 33 cats were killed in two towns near Miami (also known as The Magic City). Number symbolism is an omnipresent warning bell among aficionados of twilight language. Anything which has 33 in it will automatically be associated with Freemasonry because in the Scottish Rite, 33 is the ultimate degree. Now if 33 were all we had to work with, it might be less convincing. Add to it that the kid bears the name of a Masonic officer and there's a lock on it. The headline of that ABC report includes the following phrase:

Killings Had Stumped Police, Left Miami-Area Residents Frightened and Paranoid

Which is exactly the purpose for which twilight language is purported to be employed: to spread fear, confusion, paranoia. Oddly, we don't find this 33 figure in other reports.

Recall for a moment Saint Trifon. The legend says he mocked the Virgin Mary, but is it so outlandish to wonder if the mockery was in fact some kind of lewd remark or proposal? Did he make a wolf whistle? Her rebuff and the subsequent curse which caused him to cut off his nose would both be a kind of symbolic castration. Obviously though, he was reborn--the cock will rise again, after all--or he would not be venerated as a saint today in important Bulgarian fertility rituals clearly dating back to pre-Christian times.

In Classical Greece Priapus served as a protector of vineyards and was an important fertility figure. Priapus is recognized by his permanently engorged phallus. What may be less apparent is that these organs were more a source of frustration than pleasure. Indeed some tales have it that his member was made of wood, impressive but otherwise useless. Ovid's tale is one of thwarted rape and in many tales Priapus' unbounded sexual desire is met with equal doses of sexual frustration. Sounds like many guys we knew in high school.


In Sexual Personae Camille Paglia devotes a few paragraphs of her analysis of the famous Nefertiti bust to the worship of cats in ancient Egypt. She equates the cat with chthonic, womanly forces. Paglia also points out that cats were hunted and killed in the Middle Ages during periods of witch hysteria. It has long been assumed that witch hysteria in some aspects represents the struggle of the masculine Christian faith over the remnants of goddess worship. Psychologists also note that fear of witches also may be simply an expression of the fear of feminine sexual power. Tales of witchcraft invariably speak of naked orgies, copulation with the devil and flying about on poles greased with ointment.

In the following chapter of her book, Paglia equates many of the legends surrounding Greek goddesses as a fear of castration. Without being crass it may also be worth re-stating what every grade-schooler knows, that the word for a female cat--a pussy--is also slang for the vagina, a rule which also holds true in French with the word "chatte."

Paglia also explores the significance of the androgyny of the Olympiad. This was often expressed in the transvesticism of both divine beings and their worshipers. Dig if you will these comments on the alleged perpetrator's Facebook page:

-- "niggercake. you're a freaking bisexual."

-- "i think u look like a chick...u cross dressing freak from HELL!!!!!!!\"

The occult associations of cats and cat sacrifice are worthy of a book in and of itself. But perhaps the following examples might be of interest.

Robert Talen, in Voodoo in New Orleans (1994) claims that 19th-century voodoo rituals involved killing cats by dunking their heads in boiling water. The cats were then skinned and eaten and the bones divided among the celebrants. The purpose of this was to ingest the power thought to reside in the bones.

George C. Horst's Deuteroscopie (1830) describes a ritual called the Taigheirm practiced in the Scottish Highlands intended to invoke evil spirits by sacrificing cats in the cruelest of manners, including burning them alive. The last of these was held in the mid 17th-century. The ceremony is believed to have originated as a sacrifice to subterranean--that is to say chthonic--divinities. The benefits of these invocations could include second sight, fortitude and courage.

John Richard Stephens, author of The Enchanted Cat, relates that cats not only were sentenced to die in witch trials but sometimes involved in non-occult litigation.

The following passage is instructive:

"There are various aspects of the cat's close association with fire. Sometimes it guards the fire; sometimes it is transformed by the fire or burnt in the fire; at other times, as in the case of the Celtic myth of Maeldune, it is the fire....In so far as the cat was other than the fire, it was destined to be destroyed by it. It was as an incarnation of the god of the setting sun, for ultimately, the sacrifice people make is always of a god to a god. As the head and tail of the White Cat had to be burnt, in order that the maiden should regain her natural form, so the solar cat had to be sacrificed in order that it should rise again and its worshipers be reborn.

The spiritual significance of such a ceremony was so manifest, that in later times, the pagan rite of cat sacrifice had the full support of the Christian Church. At Aix, in Provence, on Corpus Christi [in 2009 it fell on June 11], the finest tom cat in the country was chosen each year and wrapped in swaddling clothes like an infant. It was then exhibited in a beautiful shrine for public adoration. People burnt incense, strewed flowers and bent low before this incarnation of the solar god. When the sun crossed the meridian, the feted cat was placed in a wicker basket and thrown alive into a huge bonfire in the city square. During the sacrifice of "the dying god," priests sang anthems and when the ceremony was complete, they marched off in solemn procession."

A few weeks ago on the blog Twilight Language, self-described "synchromystic" Loren Coleman made a post describing "an ongoing war that seems to be going in both directions." This was entitled Cat People: Enemy Action? This so-called war caught our attention due to its thematic similarity to our own series of (satirical) posts which at one point led us to write: "In the apparently escalating war between humans and the rest of the animal kingdom...."

What all this means, however, is still an open question. There is a seemingly weird series of coincidences, perhaps even synchronicity, which lead us down various avenues. Can we psycho-analyze from afar? Was Weinman simply a sexually frustrated youth? A foot soldier in this war between humanity and its feline neighbors? Is Weinman merely a modern Priapus? Permanently ready to go without a pussy in sight and, thus thwarted, primed to take out his energies on the hapless neighborhood cats which mocked him from their pampered pedestals, arrogant, maybe even inviting? In the Magic City of the Sunshine State, is there some pale echo of archaic rituals to the sun god?

Apparently, Weinman did in fact have a girlfriend. To speculate upon the sex lives of two 18-year-old kids we've never met goes beyond absurdity and risks being perverse, but in the world of twilight language, her name is suggestive.

In the ethnic crucible of Miami, it would be absurd to say what constitutes a "normal" name or not. But this girfriend, even among such a flurry of diversity, bears the strikingly evocative name of Valentina Contesse.

Valentina is a feminine is a feminine form of the Roman name Valentinus and derives from the Latin word "valens" meaning "healthy" or "strong." For the modern reader the name will of course evoke Valentine, the Saint associated with romantic love.

In the Golden Legend of St. Valentine, the hapless saint was set to be be executed for refusing to deny Christ before the Emperor Claudius. Before having his head cut off, Valentine is said to have restored sight and hearing to his jailer's daughter. Valentine's Day is mostly a 19th-century invention, but Valentine's feast day is said to have become associated with romantic love among Chaucer and his pals, who elaborated upon the Golden Legend in order to celebrate the virtues of courtly love.

In the U.S. Sat. Valentine's day is on February 14. Remember Saint Trifon? That wine man is celebrated on February 1, but many people prefer to repeat their rituals on February 14.

A Contesse is of course a "countess"--the wife of a count, a word which ultimately derives from the Latin comes meaning "companion".

The object of courtly love was more often or not a woman that could not be had, but an ideal woman. She was often an aristocratic figure, well above the station of the troubadour. In the heyday of courtly love, this might have been a source of suffering but it was a noble suffering. But in the affluent suburbs of Miami, in a culture of instant gratification and hyper-sexuality, it might just cause a young man to go off the rails.

Our post has already made an reference to Poe's Purloined Letter, but it's appropriate here to summarize the plot of The Black Cat. In this tale an alcoholic and unreliable narrator tells us that he (like friends say of Weinman) was an animal lover with many pets, among them a black cat named Pluto. Pluto is of course the Roman god of the underworld, a subterranean, chthonic force. The man and his cat are perfect pals until one night our narrator comes home drunk and, in a fit of rage over a perceived slight, gouges out one the cat's eyes with a knife. This of course ends the friendship and not long after--overwhelmed by a spirit of "perverseness"--the narrator takes the cat out and hangs it from a tree, where it dies. That night, his house is destroyed by fire.

You will recall, no doubt the passages we cited about the association of cats with fire. Paglia's discussion of the cat comes at a moment when she is discussing the aesthetic and sexual meaning of the famous bust of Nefertiti.; one point she dwells upon is that the Nefertiti bust is missing an eye.

In Poe's tale, he eventually finds another cat which resembles Pluto in every detail, even down to the missing eye. He takes the cat in but soon begins to hate the creature. One night it gets underfoot and he stumbles on the stairs. Enraged the narrator grabs an axe with which to kill the cat and his swing misses; he plants the axe in his wife's head instead.

To hide the crime he conceals his wife behind a wall in the cellar. When the police come to investigate the wife's disappearance, they are convinced nothing is amiss until at the last moment a weird cry from the cellar draws their attention to the wall. Tearing it down they find the cat atop the body of his wife.

Now, an analysis of this tale is another essay in itself. We will merely point out that the cat is quite obviously a chthonic creature carrying the name of a chthonic god, which is ultimately associated with a cleansing fire. The cat is in a sense reborn yet this time a woman is killed in its place. The cat itself brings justice from the tomb. This cat and the woman are in a sense each others' surrogate. Paglia, in addition to equating Nefertiti (one-eyed) with the cat (one-eyed), also points out that the vagina is a kind of wound. It bleeds and as she reminds us--is often referred to as a "gash."

The tale is a more elaborate narrative to illustrate a principle defined more philosophically in The Imp of the Perverse. What is the origin of the perversity that afflicts our narrator? Alcoholism is often cited, but may it not also be sexual frustration? The cat becomes the focus but ultimately it is his wife who takes the axe. Could she have be the intended target all along? Had alcoholism rendered him impotent or at least repugnant to his wife, thus accounting for his otherwise inexplicable violent rage?

Remember also the name of the alleged cat killer in the Magic City, as it evokes by poetic association frustrated sexual desire, alcohol, fire and mutilation. We could also point out that Valentine, Trifon, Poe's woman, Nefertiti and Hiram Abiff all suffered some kind of death by a head wound or at least mutilation of the face.

When the narrator of The Black Cat walls his wife up in the cellar, one cannot help but think of The Cask of Amontillado, another Poe story in which a person is walled up in a cellar. Another unreliable narrator and a story of revenge. At one point In this tale the victim gives the Masonic distress signal, which the narrator doesn't recognize. The victim then asks: "You are not of the masons?" The narrator says he is and the victim is doubtful. The narrator then removes a trowel to show he is in fact a Freemason. It is this symbol of Freemasonry he then uses to conceal his victim behind the wall.
Themes of concealment and revenge, subterranean climax and of course drunkenness link these two tales. They also link back to the associations we have derived from the name of Tyler Weinman.

Remember also The Purloined Letter, in which an object is concealed in plain sight. Is this not in fact what the subliminal character of twilight language is purported to be? Isn't it also strange that Michael Hoffman--disciple of twilight language godfather James Downard--wrote one of his first books on Masonic Assassination (1978)--in which he purports to demonstrate that Poe was in fact killed by Freemasons?

What this post is not.

It is certainly not meant to be an endorsement of Weinman's guilt. The court of public opinion is a savage beast whose aggressiveness is matched only by its' ignorance. We have nothing but fairly scanty newspaper reports to go on and well, 'nuff said.

Questions of guilt and innocence aside, we don't think this is an alchemical psychodrama staged by the so-called cryptocracy. We're pretty much agnostic about the whole notion of a cryptocracy for that matter. Certainly there is at least one conspiracy floating around out there, attempting to manipulate people and events in pursuit of the obvious things: money and power. Maybe they do employ disinformation and twilight language. Maybe they just buy newspapers and television stations. One thing is for certain is that the stoking of and subsequent exploitation of peoples' fear is a time-honored way to assert authority, get laws passed, cause people to accept things they might never accept were the world a bit less menacing....

It also shouldn't be taken as an insult.

What it is.

We have already hinted that our take on "synchromysticism" is a poetic one. We're not even going to stick a toe into the epistemological minefield of determining what is "true." There are facts and there is interpretation. And for this interpretation we have chosen an associationalist methodology to explore indubitably weird stuff.

Do we believe in what we've written? Yes. And no.

Full disclosure: The author of this article is a Freemason, a modern drunkard, a sex-fiend and lives with a cat. A black one.

This article was pretty much complete a few days ago, but the most recent news focuses on potential accomplices. We'll go out on a limb and wager that a total of three ruffians are in on this....

[added July 20]

Check out the affidavit in support of Weinman's arrest warrant here.

4 comments:

  1. From my new favorite blog (for today at least):

    In Rome the cats have an ancient temple all to themselves. The site is known as Torre Argentina and was excavated under Mussolini's re-building efforts in 1929, revealing extensive multi level temple grounds about 20 feet below modern street level. The site is actually composed of several temples as well as part of the famous Pompey's theatre, where in 44 BC Caesar was betrayed and killed on the theatre steps.

    Today volunteers care for approximately 250 cats. After the site was excavated, Rome's feral cats moved in immediately, as they do all over the city. The gattare, or cat ladies began feeding and caring for them. Since the mid 1990s the population has grown from about 90 to the current nearly 250, and the organization has ramped up with care for sick or wounded cats, and an extensive spay & neuter program to try to keep the feral population in check. Most of the permanent residents have special needs - they are blind or missing legs or came from abusive homes.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Your name reading reminded me of Crowley's work, quoted here from Jess Nevin's annotations to Alan Moore's "1910":

    “Iliel” is a reference to Crowley’s novel The Moonchild (1917). In the novel Lisa la Giuffria is used by a group of white magicians in a magic war with a group of black magicians. La Giuffria is given a new name, a mystic name, engraved upon a moonstone, set in a silver ring which she put upon her finger. This name was Iliel. It had been chosen on account of its sympathy of number to the moon; for the name is Hebrew, in which language its characters have the value of 81, the square of 9, the sacred number of the moon. But other considerations helped to determine the choice of this name. The letter L in Hebrew refers to Libra, the sign under which she had been born; and it was surrounded with two letters, I, to indicate her envelopment by the force of creation and chastity which the wise men of old hid in that hieroglyph.

    The final "EL" signified the divinity of her new being; for this is the Hebrew word for God, and is commonly attached by the sages to divers roots, to imply that these ideas have been manifested in individuals of angelic nature.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Looking back at my sleep deprived and drunken postings, I see that I failed to note how much I enjoyed this posting and how much is has stuck with me.

    One thought that seems to hold central as I mull this all over is the idea of "twilight language" as magic, and magic as language or storytelling: both the art of manipulating conscious by manipulating language and symbols.

    Spell, curse, incantation, enchant, sentence.

    In the beginning was The Word.

    "Grimoire" (a magician's handbook) literally means "grammar".

    Who are the primary manipulators of consciousness via manipulating language and symbols today? I'd argue advertisers and politicians, their power far greater over world events ...

    I think that advertisers and politicians are doing a pretty good job of using magic to put us to sleep, so in that sense I suppose they are employing a twilight language as they move us from day to night.

    Or is twilight a transition to evil, a dark night of the soul? Or manipulative language that hides in the shadows, squint to closely and there it is...

    Anyhow, language as spells ... as I contemplate this post, my thoughts swirl around this .. Your post, for example, casts a spell over the historical events.

    So thank you, Daurade, for this magnificent casting, er, posting.

    ReplyDelete
  4. http://www.nbcmiami.com/news/local-beat/None-of-Accused-Cat-Killers-DNA-Found-on-Felines-85035492.html

    ReplyDelete

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