Monday, May 23, 2011

Pyramid swallowed up by vegetation

What does replacing a pyramid with plants represent?
The pyramid at the Centre Commercial de Blagnac on which we reported back in August, 2009, has been replaced with....plants!

They must have gotten wind that LoS was onto their schemes!  But seriously, why?  It looked like a heavy they've gone and messed up the neat symmetry of three equidistant pyramids in a northerly line (follow link above).....

So long little prismatoid, we hardly knew ye!


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Sunday, May 22, 2011

Danger Danger! High Voltage!

Having to drive 35 k to work and then back each day gives me plenty of time for reflection and an opportunity to stumble across interesting stuff now and again.

Such was the case recently when I saw a couple of transformers graffitti'd with anti-NWO slogans, a web address and an eye in a triangle.  One's already been painted over but the other, less visible to commuters, remains:

(The words at the top say "WORK SLAVE".  The other was more explicit anti-NWO sloganeering but I can't recall exactly what the content was).

I wouldn't recommend visiting the web address.  It caused my computer to lock up, twice.  The only way I could liberate myself was power down and re-start.  I did manage, however, before my comp became thoroughly mired, to note that a video called L'ignorance et la stupidité d'un peuple had been posted on the first page by someone called "Super_Resistence".  This struck me because it's this very same person who'd posted the Dortiguier video I'd blogged about on May 5th.  A post which concludes:  "The blind lead the stupid."  A lament for....the ignorance and stupidity of a people.

Anyway, weird how these things keep coming together...well, not so weird actually.  This transformer is only a few k's up the road from Blagnac's Temple de la Sagesse Supreme, or the "Illuminati Pyramid" which is the subject of the Dortiguier video put up by "Super_Resistence".  Now, if I were a cop interested in busting graffiti-ers, I'd look for this guy!  Makes me wonder if the same person tagged the temple back in April.... 

We are Change seems to have started in the USA as a 9-11 "truther" group, but more widely it (according the US site)

 ....seeks to expose the fraud of the left/right paradigm and reveal that the world truly functions on a top/down hierarchy that threatens to destroy free society as we know it. We Are Change works to educate, motivate, and activate those striving to uncover the truth behind the private banking cartel of the military industrial complex that is directing the majority of U.S. and global policy. We work to expose those that are actively seeking to eliminate national sovereignty and replace it with a "one world order."

Good luck with that mission.  I'll see you in the gulags, I imagine.  Hardly.  The group does seem to be pretty active, however, the Paris group especially.  I hope they do something to fix their website though.  Hard to get the word out if no one wants to visit your primary source of information.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

They hide in a luminous cloud

In our last post (A man a plan a canal etc.) we looked at the place on the Canal du Midi where scientific prowess meets mythological resonance.  Briefly put, there is a monument built upon seven great boulders at the watershed of the canal, which legend states will one day come together and herald the end of the world by a great flood or tidal wave.

It wasn't too great a leap to then briefly discuss the flood myth archetype and its Biblical variant....the story of Noah and the Ark.  From floods and Noah I thought of NOAA, the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration.  Visiting their website, I was amused to see the lead story on their page was titled "Be careful about floods."

An anymous commenter wrote, "Don't be alarmed.  It's only the universe winking at you."  Well, if the universe is going to wink at me coyly, I can't just let it slide past, no?  Basically, I've gotta flirt with the universe.

It would be interesting to learn to what extent the bureaucrats who put the NOAA together were aware of the Noah connection.  Did they notice it after the fact, an utter yet happy coincidence?  Or perhaps they were brainstorming name ideas and Noah suggested itself, so they tweaked the words until they came up with a fitting acronym.  Or perhaps someone had the idea from the get-go and the entire name was developed to fit around it.

Whatever the case, it's a great name.  After all, Noah saved himself and his family and all those animals, ensuring the continuation of life on earth, because he had been forewarned.  For an organization who has a mission to predict the weather (short and long-range forecasting) and plan accordingly, a fitting metaphor indeed.

Forecasting is only part of its mission, performed by the National Weather Service.  NOAA's broader mission is to "to understand and predict changes in the Earth's environment and conserve and manage coastal and marine resources to meet our nation's economic, social, and environmental needs."

Just as the Canal du Midi is a masterpiece of engineering and hydraulics, but motivated by commerce, so goes NOAA; it isn't a bastion of pure-science, with lab-coated geniuses gazing at clouds.  The NOAA is part of the United States Department of CommerceIt's strategic vision  is "an informed society that uses a comprehensive understanding of the role of the oceans, coasts, and atmosphere in the global ecosystem to make the best social and economic decisions." (emphasis added).

Applied science at its finest.

NOAA was formed in1970 by Richard Nixon, who proposed it "...for better protection of life and property from natural hazards...for a better understanding of the total environment...[and] for exploration and development leading to the intelligent use of our marine resources..."

At this time, NOAA absorbed the United States Coast and Geodetic Survey (1807), the Weather Bureau (1870) and the Bureau of Commercial Fisheries (1871).

Like I usually do in these cases, I went to Wikipedia for a bit of background on NOAA, which is responsible for the details above.  What led me to write this post, however, is the flag:
NOAA flag.  Wikimedia Commons
The triangle is a long-standing obsession of mine, and this one struck me as particularly worthy of comment (obviously).  It's not a very elegant design but it does resonate.  The triangle with a circle inside (as with the triangle alone or with an eye) is an old Christian symbol for Divinity, evoking as it does the Trinity (see here).  Freemasons also use the triangle, or delta, alone or with the Eye of Providence to represent Divinity.  Triangles with circles have also become associated with the Illuminati (founded 1776).  The circle in the conspiratorial context is taken as a stylized eye and the triangle is more or less interchangeable with a pyramid.  Conspiracy hunters have dozens of sites wherein dozens of logos with variations on the triangle and circle are said to be Illuminist sigils.  This symbol existed well before the Illuminati, but that doesn't stop the conspiracy theorists; it merely proves the Illuminati is much older than "they" are telling you.

The triangle in the circle is another symbol with a long and storied lineage.  Google it and you'll find it in a staggering array of contexts.  It's mosly known as being the AA logo where the triangle represents "Unity, Service and Recovery".  Interesting here is that on the flag we have both the triangle within a circle and circle within a triangle. (The bird is a seagull, representing the ecosystems of the oceans and coasts.  Not only does this reflect the use of a bird as the national symbol, it harmonizes nicely with the Biblical flood narrative in which Noah uses a dove to determine if the floodwaters have begun to recede....)

I don't want to trace the various uses of this symbol, it's simply too vast.  But I would like to link it to a number of previous LoS explorations.  But first things first; the NOAA flag is based upon an earlier flag, that of the US Coast and Geodetic Survey.

US Coast and Geodetic Survey.  Wikimedia Commons
This flag was in 1899 and remained in use until the creation of NOAA in 1970, at which time the design became incorporated into the new organization's flag.  The NGS was preceded by the United States Coast Survey, created by Congress in 1807 to conduct a "Survey of the Coast".  As Wikipedia says:  "This organization represented the Jefferson administration's interest in science and stimulation of international trade." (my emphasis)

Unsurprising.  As I have already written, Enlightenment intellectuals such as Jefferson linked the development of science, laissez-faire economics and representative democracy as interconnected expressions of "Reason".   Jefferson was also responsible for the expedition which left us the Mason-Dixon line.  The accurate measurement and definition of geographical space was crucial to fostering a society which fulfilled this ideal and allowed its expressions to function correctly.

And that is exactly what the flag represents:  "It symbolized the use of triangulation in surveying."  The following link (Sea Flags) has a bevy of historical and contemporary NOAA flags which feature the red, white and blue, the triangle and stars.  For more on the link between this revolutionary tricolor, the star, the circle and triangle see our post ¡Viva la Revolución!


I was struck here by a similarity to the logo of Météo France, another topic I've written quite a bit about.  It features the red white and blue, a circle and a triangle.  Here the triangle penetrates the circle but is not circumscribed by it.  The colors, as in the the NOAA/NGS flags, refer back to the French national colors.  The circle perhaps represents the globe and the triangle both the revolutionary values of France (more on this to follow) and the triangulation mentioned as the inspiration for NOAA flags.  As a symbol of both Divinity and Reason, it redefines God within a Deist framework and implicity exalts Reason as a means of knowing what hitherto only God could know.

If you're rolling your eyes at this point, stop and consider that predicting the weather is akin to seeing a hazy glimpse of the future, knowing beforehand would be like having an inkling of the intentions of God.  Which brings us back to Noah: Praemonitus praemunitus”.

Now, I was pondering all this stuff on Saturday and I realized that the circle/triangle symbol is used in a painting I'd been meaning to write about: L'Arbre de la liberté by Bernard Prosper Debia, an obscure 19th century painter from Montauban and a friend of Dominique Ingres.

Dig if you will the detail I photographed back in April, currently the wallpaper on my cellphone:

Detail from Debia's L'Arbre de la Liberté
The symbol of divinity here is inscribed withe the words "Liberté, Egalité, Fraternité".  This supports my interpretation of the triangle in the Météo France logo.  Here the values of the Revolution have replaced values which had previously been used to justify the power of the Church and the aristocracy, that of divine right.  The laws of Reason and the Citizen replace those of the Church and King.  Here they shine down on a bare-breasted woman, perhaps a version of the Marianne, who, with a kind of mirror or magnifying glass, amplifies this "light of reason" and directs it onto the proceedings below:  the planting of a Liberty Tree.

Debia's L'Arbre de la Liberté, Musée Ingres, Montauban.
According to the French Ministry of Culture website, this painting dates to some time before 1876, the date of Debia's death.  (b.1791).  In addition to the triangle and liberty tree, several other revolutionary symbols are pictured.  At least one historical personage is portrayed (Alphonse de Lamartine) but there may be others.  A classical structure in the background is on fire and if my memory isn't faulty a demon of some sorts is billowing away with the smoke.  I'm not sure what that symbolizes.  The quality of this image is pretty crappy, but if you look on the lower right, you see a small America delegation, represented by an American flag, a nod and a wink to the inspiration of the American War of Independence upon France, a depiction of shared values.
In another recent post (In the kingdom of the blind, the one-eyed man is king) about the Temple de la Sagesse Supreme (aka the "Illuminati Pyramid"), I took Pierre Dortiguier to task for saying that the eleven-panelled bronze tablets at the front of the pyramid represented a rebellion against the Decalogue.  I should have added more clearly that by placing the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen upon tablets in a form ususally reserved for the Ten Commandments, a reference to a famous painting from 1789, the designer was indeed suggesting that new laws, based upon Reason, were replacing the old, based upon blind faith and obedience.  My issue is with Dortiguier's faulty knowledge, reading symbolism into the vagaries of decomposition, finding "proof" therein of a link to September 11th.  But the idea that one law is replacing another is, I think, valid.  But this is due to the very presense of the Declaration on Decalogue-like tablets, not because of the number of panels comprising these tablets.

So all this is a roundabout way of saying that the flag represents, with a mixture of divine and rationalist precedent, the idea that scientific investigation and Reason have (or should have) replaced revelation.  Whereas Noah depended upon getting his info directly from God, modern man must find it via observation and reasoned analysis.    The scientist was regarded both as patriarch, prophet and steward, not to mention facilitator of commerce.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

A man, a plan, a canal: Apocalypse!

A kind of circumpunct.  Google Earth
Back when I was knee-deep in researching "les Saintes Puelles", I managed to visit the village which bears their name (Mas-Saintes-Puelles) in the Lauragais.  Not wanting to take the motorway home, I decided to meander my way back along the smaller highways and byways in order to get a better peep at the villages along the route.

Both the motorway and smaller roads follow the course of the Canal du Midi.   This canal is an engineering marvel, extending 150 miles from Bordeaux on the Atlantic to Sète on the Mediterranean Sea.  As many as 91 locks, some of them multi-tiered, and a total of 328 structures form part of its course:  bridges carry the canal over rivers and highways; there is a dam and at one point it goes through a tunnel.  Approved in 1666 and begun the next year, it only took a surprising 14 years to be completed, in 1681.  The canal was the brainchild of Pierre-Paul Riquet, engineer and tax farmer, a man of great wealth and vision.  The project consumed him and he died the year before it was completed.

Today, Riquet is honored across France.  Innumerable streets bear his name and several monuments are dedicated to him.  It is one of these monuments which concerns us here.

The Obelisk. LoS photo.
The summit of the canal du Midi is located at the

Seuil de Naurouze, aka Col de Naurouze...a mountain pass in southern France. It is the watershed point identified by Pierre-Paul Riquet when he designed and built the Canal du Midi. Water falling on the western side of this point flows to the Atlantic Ocean and on the eastern side to the Mediterranean Sea.

When I came across this place I was attracted by an enormous obelisk which thrust upward from a tree-covered hill by the side of the road.  Parking, I walked towards this and found at the summit of the hill a high and perfectly circular wall with a locked gate.  In the center of this was a series of large boulders and upon these, the obelisk.

LoS has long been interested in several themes.  Perhaps one of our first obsessions was the idea of sacred waters.  As we wrote, it also became apparent that we were interested in sacred stonesObelisks, too, form a large part of our repertoire.  (Follow these links and see for yourself).  This monument explicitly brings all these elements together.

At the gate one finds a pair of explanatory panels of much more recent origin.  One of the texts says the obelisk is

....a monument constructed in 1827 upon the stones of Narouze in homage to P.P. RIQUET, creator of the Canal du Midi (1680).
The troubadours sung of these [stones] during the Middle Ages and according to the legend, when these stones touch, the end of the world will be at hand. (my abridgement and translation)

The second text tells us the obelisk is 20 meters (almost 66 feet) in height and at its base, allegorical figures are carved in bas-relief.  The north face features Minerva, symbolizing wisdom, and Mercury, symbolizing commerce.  (Both of these gods have featured in LoS posts in the past, Minerva as patroness of the Bohemian Grove and Mercury as seen on the "macaron" of the BIPM).

The panels specify the symbolism of the gods portrayed and although their attributes are much more varied, I think we can assume the official explanation is accurate.  France places a high value on its engineers and scientific achievements and indeed, the Revolution stressed the values of reason and rational thinking.  "Wisdom" is a national virtue.  Mercury, representing commerce, is a logical choice.  The canal was not built for pleasure boating.  Indeed, it was a way to facilitate the transport of merchandise, one motivation being that the route around the Iberian Peninsula was long and rampant with pirates.

On the south, a nymph symbolizing the Montagne Noire (Black Mountain) pours water from an urn into the "rigole de la plaine" a complicated structure of basins and locks which helps to assure the perennial supply of water for the canal.

This flow of water then divides into two parts to symbolize the division of water, i.e. the watershed point.  Neptune pours this water to the Atlantic and Venus, to the Mediterranean.

Now, while Neptune is also quite an evident choice as god of the seas and oceans, I was at first puzzled by the inclusion of Venus.  But I myself have already written on Venus' extensive association with the sea:  she was after all, born from its foam and carried to land upon a shell.  She comes from the sea and here returns water to it.  Full circle.  Perhaps both symbolic and very concrete; the engineering genius of the canal is the way it combines natural sources with a complex series of lock and basins and artificial lakes to guarantee that the water is constantly re-supplied.

Venus is also a precursor of the Virgin as Stella Maris, Star of the Sea, the significance of which I will return to in a moment.

It would seem as if so many of the themes we've explored on LoS are encapsulated here in this monument.  When I decided to finally get to this post after 8 or so months, I hadn't done much by way of research; but when I began to dig a bit, I came across a doozy of a page which further explains the legend behind these stones, associated somehow with the end of the world.

It seems fitting for the Riquet heirs to have built a monument to their illustrious ancestor at the watershed of his creation, but that it coincides with such a rich legendary history is pure gold.  I don't know if the Riquet family was aware of these legends, but whoever put up these panels was.  They didn't do the legends justice.  It took me but little time to find out more at the website of the Societé Perillos.

I will here quote rather liberally from a page entitled The stones at the end of the world but you should really go there and read the entirety in order to get a wider picture:

....the top of [the memorial] is a series of rocks that forms the subjects of our interest. For Nostradamus, deemed to be one of the most famed prophets, these stones were highly symbolic, as he claimed that when these seven rocks, each separated by various fissures, would rejoin, the end of the world would arrive.

....legend has it that they were transported by a giant, Naurouzo, and that they were to be used to build Toulouse. However, it appeared that the giant learned that the city had been completed without him, and in his fury, he threw these stones down where they have remained ever since.  

I would add that this idea of giants throwing down stones to explain rock formation is a common folkloric element in France.  Likewise micturation to explain the origins of rivers.


They [the stones] featured, under the name of “Peiras d’Alzona” in songs of the 13th century troubadour Ramon de Mireval. One should underline that there is another Alzonne, not too distant yet not immediately in the vicinity either, a bit further in the direction of Carcassonne.

In the 15th century, the bishop of St Papoul, Pierre Soybert, also wrote about the stones. He refers to them as the “Rocha de Nau Rosa”....He also relates about a prophecy that seems disquieting for the mental health of humanity, rather than for the world as such. He states that “when the stones of Naurouze touch, the world will become shameless.”

In origin, the name Alzona comes from “Al” and “Ona”. Al relates to water, and Ona is linked with a place. Its link with the separation of the waters is hence to be expected, but there is also the famous miraculous fountain known as “Font Alzona”, as well as the “Elusio”, the spas, both of which are close to this site.

As to Naurouze, let us note that it was apparently derived from “Nau Rosa”, which can be translated as “the new flower” or “the new rosa”, or even “the lady of the rose”, or “the rose lady”. 

Okay.  I don't know about the reliability of the etymology of the name Alzona.  It seems to be quite widespread in the Philippines, leading me to suspect a Spanish origin, but there are also Alzonas in Italy as well.  Generally speaking, words beginning with "al" are Arabic in origin (algebra, alcohol) and effect seen more clearly in Spanish than English.  Alzona could have worked its way from Iberia into the Occitan language which is still spoken today in a tiny corner of Catalonia and Italy and is the traditional (but dying) language of the Midi.  This may or may not be important, but as the Societé Perillos page continues:

....this hill is not unique in its prophetic alliance....Islam has the tradition of a place known as Rhama, where the stones were said to be able to lock together if pilgrims passed between them. Not just any pilgrims, but women that cried according to an established sacred ritual.

Again, I cannot verify the etymology of the word Narouze, although it is an Arabic surname.  The idea that it originally meant "new rose" seems a bit suspect, but nonetheless the 15th-century belief that it did is itself significant.  Interestingly, the use of the name here is associated with a woman.  As we have seen time and again on LoS, roses are often associated with saintly women, the Virgin Mary at the top of the list.  St. Thérèse and St. Germaine, the saint of the Midi, are likewise associated with miracles of roses.  Didn't Elton John refer to Lady Di as England's rose?  Aren't "England's roses" metaphorically the beautiful young women of England?  Is this why we see Venus at the base of the obelisk?  (Wouldn't we all like to have Venus at the base of our obelisks?)

Recall that legend mentioned above.  It is women pilgrims who can bring forth the miracle (not-so-clearly) therein described.  This may not be an ancient preoccupation, but the association of women with the canal certainly figures in modern histories.  Wikipedia states baldly "The women labourers were surprisingly important to the canal's engineering." and dedicates a paragraph of a roughly 20-paragraph article to explain why.  It also mentions that the "staircase of eight locks at Fonsérannes....was built by a workforce composed mainly of women."

All that said, I don't know if there should be any emphasis placed on the sacred feminine, even though it does fit in with the higher status accorded women in the historical Midi.  I'm also unsure of what this Arabic link may mean, apart from the lingering cross-cultural influences which appeared during the Muslim occupation of Spain and the Reconquista.  Sacred stones/springs appear in various legends which involve Christians and Moorish opponents, from the legend of St. Fris to that of Pelayo, the Visigoth who kicked off the Reconquista.

According to the Perillos site the stones at Narouze are part of an ancient meme:

[Another] such sacred pagan location was Belle-Île, where it was said that two megaliths, at night-time and secretly, came closer to each. Jean and Jeanne, the name of the two standing stones, at the time of an astronomical conjunction (the exact nature of which is unknown) would be reunited and would exact their revenge on Mankind, under the form of a tidal wave that would wipe us out. The same legend is known on the île de Sein, as well as near Tredion where the rocks are known as Babouin and Babouine [masculine and feminine forms of "baboon"]. Here, local tradition links them with the time of Christmas, and especially the moment when the genealogy of Jesus is read out. They also become displaced during the twelve strokes of midnight....and when the rocks move, it is said that an incredible treasure is unveiled.

Again, see the "legend of the seven cows of gold" in the post about St. Fris, which bears some similarity to this last legend (treasure, water, stones, stroke of midnight, the number seven, a kind of music).

On page 158 of [the] re-edition [of “Livre du passé Mystérieux”, 1973 by Robert Laffont...this surname is French and refers to someone who lived near a spring or well!], we find a subtitle “Pierres à oracles. Fin de Marseille!” – “Oracle stones. The end of Marseilles!”

Charroux [the first man to write about Rennes-le-Chateau, which is about 80 kilometers distant] writes about prophecies and notes that “near Rennes-le-Château” there is a rock formation. A local legend states that they were thrown from the sky by a giant who, after his temper had settled down, prophesised that “when the rocks would rejoin, the end of the world would come”.

Of course, Charroux does not speculate further, instead opting to tackle the “Seuil de Naurouze”, finishing with a prediction made by a certain de Novage who, in 1905, saw Marseilles being swept away by a wave, which heralded radical changes for the geology of the entire globe.

So, how bout them noon blue apples?  Since very early on LoS, we have noted several instances where sacred stones and sacred waters are to found at the same locations, such as at the Garden of Eden and the Kaaba, among others. From the discovery of St. Fris to the death of Santiago de Compostela, to the legends surrounding Virgin Martyrs.  Interesting that in this case, the movement or joining together of great stones heralds the arrival of destruction by water.

Flood myths figure in a number of religious traditions, but the Biblical precedent probably explains the recurrence here.  Remember that at Narouze there are seven stones and that God, commanding Noah to build the Ark, specified that he bring seven pairs of each type of animal to be saved.  Also recall that the Ark, after the rains abated, came to rest upon a high place such as hill upon which the obelisk is erected.  In Jewish and Christian tradition, this is Mt. Ararat, although early Christian, Islamic and Yazidi tradition has it as Mt. Judi. (It also just struck me that the US agency responsible for monitoring weather and the oceans is NOAA; I just visited and the lead story says "Be safe about floods".  I can't make this stuff up.)

So this high place with its seven stones and the apocalyptic associations links it squarely within the Abrahamic tradition. In addition to this are Celtic precedents in which groves, high places, waterways and springs, as well as standing stones, were accorded sacred status.

I found myself wondering why this movement of stones would signal the apocalypse but we would do well to the legends around Atlantis and the speculation about the fate of the Cretan civilization, as well as the recent examples of the great tsunami in 2004 and that of Japan in 2011.  In all these cases we speak of vast destruction and oblivion by great waves of water, set into motion by earthquakes--great stones crashing together. Whatever mystical explanations we can find are also supported by the more concrete reality of geological instability.

So, I'll stop here, but knowing how things like this go, I'll soon see another piece of the puzzle to set me off again....

Thursday, May 5, 2011

In the kingdom of the blind, the one-eyed man is king

Guess what?  French conspiracy theorists are as gullible as English-speaking ones.  I never cease to be amazed at the lack of caution by these people.  The following video was shown to me by a friend, and consists of an extended interview by a retired philosophy professor and graduate of the Sorbonne by the name of Pierre Dortiguier.  The video is entitled Pierre Dortiguier sur la Franc-maçonnerie and as you can see by following the link to this title, the video has been widely diffused and referred to among the French conspiracy theory/anti-globalization community.

In the video, Dortiguier speaks about the Temple de la Sagesse Supreme, or the so-called "Illuminati Pyramid" in Blagnac located at the Place de la Revolution near Toulouse.  (As far as I know, LoS was the first to publish photographs of this on the internet, although there had been a rather shoddy video posted on Daily Motion).

His theory is that the pyramid is rife with homages to the number 11, which he says can be seen in the number of layers in the pyramid itself.  There are in fact 13 layers, including the capstone, but two of these extend beyond the house-like structure symbolizing the state so one could argue, I suppose, that the number 11 is therein present.

His point of departure, however, are the two tablets in front of the pyramid which portray the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen.  These tablets resemble the Ten Commandments, or Decalogue, as traditionally portrayed in Western art.  They are (or were) composed of 12 independent panels.  As we reported back in April (....and then bomb it.) the monument was vandalized with spray paint.  On July 24, 2010 we reported (Smash it Up) that it had also been vandalized or damaged when one of the panels had been removed.  Thus the 12 original panels are now 11.

And with this number Dortiguier is off to the races.  He says that according to Saint Augustine, the number 11 represents a rebellion against the Decalogue.  Thus these "Decalogue-like" tablets, here replaced with the Declaration, represent a usurpation of the laws of God by the laws of man.  A secular and Masonic rebellion.  He then goes on and connects this to September 11, which of course, was a plot.

Sadly, the entire theory is predicated on complete and total ignorance of the facts.  The monument was designed with 12 panels.  As 12 is a thoroughly Biblical number, I doubt it signifies a rebellion against the law of Moses.

Now, one could say that by using this form and replacinng the Ten Commandments with the Declaration is in fact a thumb in the eye of religion, representing a more humanist moral order.  This is a valid interpretation.  But Dortiguier, quite simply, is talking bullshit.  Linking this to September 11 is galling (or gauling, perhaps).  To see it so widely circulated is a sad comment on affairs.  These people have never seen the monument.  They are simply jumping to conclusions based upon the convincing intellectual patter of an "expert".

I, my French friends, I have seen this monument.  There were 12 panels.  They have nothing to do with September 11.  The number of panels has nothing to do with mystical Masonic symbolism

Anyway, here's that video, retitled Pierre Dortiguier : La Franc-maçonnerie et le chiffre 11.  And just after a photo of the undamaged monument....

Pierre Dortiguier : La Franc-maçonnerie et le... par Super_Resistence

I iz a Masonic plot

I have copied the following entries from an online version of Mackey's Encyclopedia but have verified them against my own, original copy. 


In the Prestonian lectures, eleven was a mystical number, and was the final series of steps in the winding stairs of the Fellow Craft, which were said to consist of 3, 5, 7, 9, and 11. The eleven was referred to the eleven apostles after the defection of Judas, and to the eleven sons of Jacob after Joseph went into Egypt. But when the lectures were revived by Henning, the eleven was struck out. In Templar Freemasonry, however, eleven is still significant as being the constitutional number required to open a Commandery; and here it is evidently allusive of the eleven true disciples.


The most important symbolic or sacred numbers in Freemasonry are three, five, seven, nine, twenty-seven and eighty-one.

So, I'm not sure why this guy think the 11 represents what he claims it does or why it would form the essential numerological symbolism of a monument, especially, as we have seen, 11 really isn't in it anyway. 

Such is the convoluted logic of the ignorant and the deluded.  Fortunately, these people have a secret weapon:  their knowledge that everything a Mason says publicly is a lie.  So, the Encyclopedia be damned. 11 is a particularly special number indeed, it's just a secret.  And if a Mason tells you otherwise, he's either lying or not in on it.  So no amount of fact or reason will convince them of anything.  The blind lead the stupid.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Nothing is True, Everything is Permitted

The title is allegedly a phrase from Hassan i Sabbah, the leader of a sect of Ismaeli Muslims whose use of hashish and their intrigues give us the word "assassin".  William Burrough's fascination with this phrase is prescient.  What was Osama Bin Laden if not the contemporary Sabbah?  And if recent photographic evidence is any indication, truth is a rare commodity these days.  Everything permitted?  How about flying a pair of planes into a pair of buildings?  How about lying through one's teeth in order to justify not one but two wars, provoked by oil and geopolitical hegemony, but framed as justice and the defense of liberty, all the while playing on the bald-faced desire for vengeance?

When I began my post on my initial reaction to the killing of Osama Bin Laden, I immediately Googled "Osama Bin Laden death photo" and came across the rather gruesome image I included in that post and will include again here in a few variations.  So, in order to avoid grossing you out like I did to an unsuspecting friend of mine, you are hereby warned.  Even though this image has been proven a fake, it's still graphic.

When I Googled this on the morning of 2 May, Toulouse time, I found only one source for this photo on a partisan, "non-mainstream" website, which aroused my suspicions.  Furthermore, the beard looks weird.  I remember saying, "This looks like it was taken by a cell phone.  The US wants to convince us that they got OBL and this is all they've got?"

I guess in my eagerness to put something up, especially as it so neatly resembles both the pose in the Che Guevara post-mortem photo as well as the parcourse of Che's remains (photographed -- displayed to the world -- hidden), I neglected to air my suspicions, perhaps suppressing them a bit.

In subsequent discussions on this photo and the death of OBL, a facebook friend pointed me in the direction of a website called Bella Ciao, which presented evidence that this photo is in fact a photoshop fake.  Ever the skeptic's skeptic, I countered "Who's to say the second image is not the photoshop fake?"  But I knew this wasn't likely, especially given that my initial skepticism focused on that beard....

So, it soon appeared in several mainstream news outlets that yes indeed, this photo was a fake.  The conspiracy rumblings  grew louder and the accusations were immediate.  The US has been caught in a ham-fisted attempt to bamboozle the world!  Obama's been dead for years.  This is all a scam!  The photo "proves" it.  By chance, I had said just the day before to someone that in this digital age, "proof" by photography no longer exists.  I meant that in the sense that a good artist can convincingly fake anything.

But the fake image had made the rounds, even appearing on such mainstream rags as The Daily Mirror (which has since removed the site).  In this version we see the image as it appeared on Pakistani television.  Maybe this channel wasn't the source of the image, but it does seem to have been responsible for first airing it as the real deal, whereupon it was subsequently picked up by media elsewhere.

Now, being the agnostic that I am about everything I read about in the media, I have not decided if this event is exactly as it's being presented.  The burial at sea is just weird to me.  But a lot of conspiracy-oriented minds have come up with a lot of possible theories.  That Obama's been dead for years and this is a masquerade, or that he was actually killed but had been under observation for a while, the US only now choosing to strike.  Several possible motives have been proposed but there is one which seems to be the most interesting (link to original):

The Wall Street Journal reported on Wednesday that Pakistan "bluntly" told Afghanistan's president "to forget about allowing a long-term U.S. military presence in his country," and urged him instead "to look to Pakistan--and its Chinese ally--for help in striking a peace deal with the Taliban and rebuilding the economy." According to Afghan officials, at an April 16 meeting in Kabul in which the leaders of Pakistan's military and intelligence also participated, Pakistan's Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani told Pres. Hamid Karzai that "the Americans had failed them both," and that it was time for Kabul to choose "alternative allies."

This article closes:

....Islamabad's renewed efforts to make deals with the Pakistani Taliban are clear signals that the Pakistani government has no intention to find a "common ground" with the U.S. in the war on terrorism. As Washington is planning to begin withdrawing troops from Afghanistan this summer, Pakistani officials are stepping up efforts to secure their own interests in the region at the expense of U.S. national-security interests.

Now, this article appeared 3 days before the killing of OBL and if true, would actually provide a good reason to fake this event.

First, occurring so close as it did to Pakistani military installations, it raises questions as to what the authorities there knew.  By embarrassing them in such way, it would have to force the government to answer difficult questions and pressure them to be more publicly, if not privately supportive of US interests.  If they did not, it would give an excuse to the US to exercise even more power within that country;

Secondly, it's not much of a veiled threat.  The US has proven itself willing to engage in covert operations within Pakistan and shown the capacity to act independently within a stone's throw of the military.

But if this were a complete fabrication, why would the US try to bolster it's story with what is in retrospect so obviously false image which proved so easily demonstrated?

That this image first appeared on Pakistani TV is instructive  Is it not possible that this was in fact given to the station by Pakistani military or intelligence personnel and handed of as legitimate?  When the obvious fake was discovered this could then undermine the US goals.  Standard cloak and dagger stuff.

I've heard tell this image has been on the net for years which may or may not be true.  But it's clearly a fake, and I'm more inclined to believe this to be of Pakistani than US origin.

Unfortunately, the US has no body to show and they are apparently debating whether or not to release the real deal.  I'd like to see those and imagine at this point it would be in the US' interests to do so.

Thus the continuing undermining of faith in Pakistani reliability, a major theme in today's online version of the NYT and WP, for justifying a more aggressive role towards its erstwhile partner.  I think it's not unduly paranoid to ask if this incident is part of a larger series of behind the scenes games to reassert the US presence in Pakistan.  Remember the USS Maine?  The Gulf of Tonkin incident?  BLT's in Iraq?  How many dubious truths has the US used to justify its wars?  Bin Laden, Hussein, Noriega, the Taliban?  How many CIA-funded villains have become public enemy number one?  Set 'em up just to watch 'em fall.

As I was writing the previous post, another friend alerted me to the following "death photo" on live leak.  Given the quality, it's hard to verify whether or not it's real.  Reminds me of those alien autopsy images.  Makes me wonder where they got such a realistic puppet....Real Doll?  Actually, it's a flipped and photoshopped still from Black Hawk Down, as this site demonstrates (warning, the thread is started of with a very gruesome pictrue.)

This article is interesting.  It discusses whether or not media outlets will print or show the real pictures if and when they are released, as US media outlets usually avoid showing these things to their audience.  Personally, we at LoS think they should.  One the one hand, it will settle some of the doubts reasonable people have about the story.  Of course, no image will ever put this story to bed, but it would be a step in the right direction.  More importantly, I think seeing a disfigured man with his head blown apart might give some people pause, maybe not be so jubilant about what was at last an unarmed human being (however rotten), gunned down.  Not to be the squeamish pacifist, but to refer back to Burroughs, people should know exactly what it is they have on the end of their fork.

Well, things move fast.  Today, the White House says will not release the photos, because it won't mollify doubters.  In that at least, they are probaly right.

Monday, May 2, 2011

No body home

First thing I heard on the radio today is that Osama Bin Laden has been killed in Pakistan by US forces.  Checking it out later I saw in the NYT that the "Body is Buried at Sea".

The CIA did this disappearing act with Che Guevara--hide the body so there would be no shrine potential....come to think of it, that's why the Russians burned Hitler's corspe, no?

In 1997 Guevera's remains were found, exhumed and transferred to Cuba where they lie in a mausoleum and monument.  Even his hands.  Hmm?  These had been hacked off and sent back to his native Argentina to be preserved in formaldehyde but were later sent to Cuba.  Odd, eh?  Ten years prior, 1987, Argentine leader Juan Peron's tomb was desecrated and his hands cut off with an electric saw.  An investigation into the matter was inconclusive and some involved in it died under "questionable circumstances".  Wikipedia states that "In their book Unveiling the Enigma, writers Damian Nabot and David Cox write that the P2, also known as the Propaganda Due, were involved in the theft, and that there was a ritual involved in the cutting of Peron's hands".

CIA National Security Archive, 1967.
Che has in fact become exactly the folk saint the authorities who hid his body feared: 
"It's like he is alive and with us, like a friend. He is kind of like a Virgin Mary for us. We say, 'Che, help us with our work or with this planting,' and it always goes well."
— Manuel Cortez, a campesino who resides next to the schoolhouse where Guevara was executed.
I find it significant his body was displayed in a laundry, as if to clean Che from collective memory before hiding him away.  But hey, there's nothing like a missing body or empty tomb to base a religion upon....

But I'm getting away from Bin Laden.  I must admit, so quickly disposing of his body raises alarms bells in my prone-to-be-skeptical brain.  I'm not saying there's something, er, fishy going on, but you can bet half the internet will.  Seems like a perfect psy-op to me.  Without any thorough independent examination of a body hastily disposed of, there will always be suspicions that this was like the second Oswald.  This was the biggest manhunt in US history, the capture ten years in coming and now there is no body.  Doesn't seem like standard police procedure to me.
I remember that Saddam Hussein employed body doubles to throw off would-be assassins.  Some have argued that it was in fact on of these hapless doppelgangers who was hanged in Baghdad....

You see, the seed already has tentative roots.  Won't be so hard for some clever dick to make it blossom.  From the comments on my Facebook homepage, that process is already well underway.  All I can say is, if you want to start a folk legend, kill the outlaw.  If you want to canonize him, hide the body....

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Dead Rabbit Blues

The Trigger

As I left work a few days ago and walked towards my car I caught the familiar whiff of decay, quite strong but not overpowering.  I looked about and quickly found the culprit; a dead rabbit stretched out by the low wall formed by the down-ramp into the underground parking garage.

For some unfathomable reason the words "dead rabbit" popped into my head and a number of associations with that phrase appeared in my mind; because I can't seem to get anything else off the ground lately, I've decided to trace the arc of my thoughts in this here post.

Watership Down

Long-time LoS fanatics know that the idea of "development" as applied to exurban expansion is a bit of a hobby horse of mine.  We have over several posts taken a diverse look at the definition of space and the definition and control thereof.  In the most obvious form, this is basically the old land grab.  New roads are a crucial part of this.  Presented as a way to alleviate traffic problems, they usually just a pretext to open up more land for "development".  Buy up empty land in order to re-sell it for new buildings.  Raise the tax base.  Keep the economic machinery oiled.

In the last ten years, the urbanization around Toulouse has undergone a rapid expansion and this process is being repeated ad infinitum.  The countryside isn't being transformed from a "natural" to a suburban state.  The existing environment is (becoming was) an already completely artificial, if more bucolic, agricultural landscape.

Toulouse has averaged 10,000 new residents per year recently.

So what does this have to do with rabbits?  In a median along one of these newer highways, poetically known as the Milky Way, I often see a small group of rabbits and I am always cheered by the persistence of nature, even in the tiniest of vegetal interstices.  Such a small place.  I often wondered how so many can cram into such a small place.  Much like the human population of the city.

So I wonder if the dead rabbit was once part of that band of merry survivors.  And I wonder what laid him low?

Mr. Mojo Risin'

According to Wikipedia's entry on the Rabbit's foot, it was R.E. Shay who said, "Depend on the rabbit's foot if you will, but remember it didn't work for the rabbit."  Indeed.  Still this was the next flash in my mind.  I even for a nanosecond considered going back to the dead rabbit and cutting off its feet.  But like I said, this thought made me chuckle at my own in(s)anity before it was even finished. 

Anyway, according to that same Wikipedia article, there are two many conditions that must be met before a rabbit's foot charm will work:

  • First, not any foot from a rabbit will do: it is the left hind foot of a rabbit that is useful as a charm.
  • Second, not any left hind foot of a rabbit will do; the rabbit must have been shot or otherwise captured in a cemetery.
  • Third, at least according to some sources, not any left hind foot of a rabbit shot in a cemetery will do: the phase of the moon is also important. Some authorities say that the rabbit must be taken in the full moon, while others hold instead that the rabbit must be taken in the new moon. Some sources say instead that the rabbit must be taken on a Friday, or a rainy Friday, or Friday the 13th. Some sources say that the rabbit should be shot with a silver bullet, while others say that the foot must be cut off while the rabbit is still alive.
Disembodied feet are a long-standing (hee-hee) LoS preoccupation, and you who have been following the Canadian foot mystery will recall there have been at least two hoax feet consisting of sneakers stuffed with animal paws.  On a more abstract note, you may also recall that we've examined the conflation of hands and eyes and nipples, or various combinations of how the part represents the whole.  The rabbit's foot legend is related to this second preoccupation:

These widely varying circumstances may share a common thread of suggestion that the true lucky rabbit's foot is actually cut from a shapeshifted witch. The suggestion that the rabbit's foot is a substitute for a body part from a witch's body is corroborated by other folklore from hoodoo....Given the traditional association between black cats and witchcraft, a black cat bone is also potentially a substitute for a human bone from a witch. Hoodoo lore also uses graveyard dust, soil from a cemetery, for various magical purposes. Dust from a good person's grave keeps away evil; dust from a sinner's grave is used for more nefarious magic. The use of graveyard dust may also be a symbolic appropriation of the parts of a corpse as a relic, and a form of sympathetic magic.

Not much different from the cult of the saints and the rage for relics among medieval Christians methinks.  Medieval did I say?  Contemporary examples of the phenomenon are not long in coming. to mind.

The rabbit's foot was also of some importance among the pre-Christian Irish.  Which somehow relates to my next thought.

Gangs of New York

The Dead Rabbits were a street gang from Five Points and their story was fictionalized in Scorcese's Gangs of New York.  Which is how I know of them and it should be obvious why the sight of a dead rabbit sparked this memory.  The biggest impression I have of that film was the theme of nativist reaction against Irish Catholic immigrants which is, and I imagine Scorcese's point, a great paradox of the US.  A country founded and made up of immigrants, one wave is quick to take up the nativist banner against the next.  This is not a relic of the past, but we see it today.  The widespread negative feeling against illegal immigrants from Latin America, the Birther controversy, etc.

This last bit is especially stupefying for me and leads me to suspect the whole idea of national identity is bullshit.  The fear that Obama wasn't born in America seems more of an expression of the fear that given his parentage and upbringing, he is some how less American than his fellow citizens.  I take this personally, having a mother naturalized when I was four and having lived over a quarter of my 40 years outside the US.  This actually caused me some problems last time I wanted to renew my passport.  Oddly, all the bother seemed forgotten when this was revealed to be a result of the fact my father had a military career.

Recall now that the rivals of the Dead Rabbits were the Bowery Boys, affiliated with the Know-Nothings.  Both were anti-Irish and anti-Catholic.  They favored extremely tough immigration policies and English-only policies in education and government.  In many respects they are ancestors of today's Tea Party and aspects of the religious right; there is a certain cross-over between the two.

It all boils down to the fact that these people don't feel there's enough space for everyone.  Like those rabbits in the median, confined to little islands of green among the burgeoning metropolis.  That Watership Down reference comes in handy again.  This is the tale of a group of rabbits forced to leave their warren in light of its impending destruction from "development."  They thus set out to find a new place to settle.  When they arrive at their destination, they come into conflict with another warren led by a tyrant.  Bloody conflict ensues.  Lots of dead rabbits.  Bowery Bows vs. Dead Rabbits, Minutemen vs. Illegals, and so on.

The Rabbit Done Died

Finally, I thought of the popular belief that a dead rabbit somehow indicated a woman was pregnant.  Not quite true.  In the rabbit test for pregnancy the rabbit almost always died.  In the test, rabbits were injected with a woman's pee and a few days later its ovaries were examined to determine if the woman was indeed pregnant or not.  A far cry from peeing on a swizzle stick.  Snopes has the dope on this one.
I can't figure out how this ties into our story.  Unless we bring this into play: Census 2010: 50 Million Latinos; Hispanics Account for More Than Half of Nation’s Growth in Past Decade.  Apparently, a lot of people like to use the expression "breed like rabbits" when discussing Latino immigrants.

So the next day the rabbit was still there in the morning, but by evening it was gone.  All that remained was a moist, black patch of flattened grass, crawling with small maggots.  I first took that black spot to be the remains of a fire, asking myself, "What?  Did they burn the rabbit?!"  Of course they hadn't.  But it did lead me to another thought.  When I was a Boy Scout and we sat around the campfire and when the smoke blew into our eyes, we used to say "I like rabbits" as a way of making it go away.  I don't know why we did this, but it was weird to be hanging out and all of a sudden some kid said it.  Why rabbits, where did this little bit of folk-magic come from?  I don't know.

Anyway, that's all folks.  A few random thoughts sparked by the sight of dead bunny.  The day after Easter no less.  Just thought of that now.  The Easter Bunny seems to be of German origin, which is appropriate, because there's a great word in German appropriate to my meandering thoughts.  So, I'm thinking this rabbit died because instead of a field, he was navigating his way through a warren of parking lots and office space.  Looks like he ran out of Lebensraum.  That and luck.