Monday, June 23, 2008
The boss's trove of occult reading
In a world of workplaces where everyone loathes their Boss, it's with great pleasure that I serve the president of my company. Mine is full of cool surprises, and his latest put a big smile on my face.
It started with a simple email to me: "I have something for you…Stop by." Down to the corner office I went, with zero idea of what might be in store, and when I poked my head in I found him grinning above a stack of bizarre-looking documents.
"I was cleaning house this weekend," he said, "and I was going to throw all of these out. But then I thought of you and decided I'd offer them up if you want them."
What he had on his desk was a cache of arcane documents from his days in London's conspiracy-underground scene – like myself, he's got an enthusiastic interest in the nutty, self-published underground of conspiracy theorists, magickal practitioners, visionaries, and doomsday cults. (He's the only other person I know who owns a recording of the audiotape made by the Jim Jones cult during its infamous mass suicide in Guyana.)
And here was a treasure-trove of Seventies- and Eighties-era mimeographs, booklets, and propaganda tracts, much of it impossible to find anymore. Among the gems:
A published archive of People's Temple documents containing mimeographs of incredible Jonestown records such as the contract members had to sign ("will treat heat and cold alike")…xerox of the cult's propaganda booklet ("Jonestown: A Model of Cooperation")…postcards produced by the cult…and a complete transcript of the "death tape."
Copies of "Rapid Eye" magazine, a newsletter of London arcanum, with one copy featuring an interview with William S. Burroughs that I'd never even heard of, much less read. Burroughs raps at length about the increase of random street violence he has noticed in New York lately, and details his personal-armament response to the terror.
And my favorite, a November 1988 news bulletin of the occultist punk band Psychik TV, including a mayhem-filled description of a "psychic attack" that the band endured which the band members believed was inflicted on them by the staff of DC Comics, as revenge for the band using the Superman logo without permission.
Terrific stuff all around, and some of it probably damn-near impossible to obtain anywhere. All he asked in return was a nice bottle of wine if I ever sell the stuff on eBay. Now that's a boss.