Secrets of the Swastika

Secrets of the Swastika
© 2016 John F. Rychlicki III Crucible Publications LLC
All rights reserved.

Now that I uprooted the first esoteric organizations to be referred to as “Illuminati,” I can continue into a contiguous historical relationship between Nineteenth and Twentieth century occult societies. In order to confer a bridge from the mystic fraternities past to modern occult organizations, we must briefly step back into the Eighteenth century. There are a few societies in this period whose synchronous histories we must consult.

It is important to study and understand the impact of far-right Conservatism and Ethno-Nationalism as the Overton Window shifts away from Centrist Libertarian ideology towards Ethno-Fascism.  These network of movements and Pan-European identity in the U.S. and Europe are the ideologically heir to National Socialism and its mystic origins.  National Socialism is an enigma to curious observers.  No conventional political or social explanation is sufficient to account for such a phenomenon.  An entire system of rituals has risen from seemingly nowhere to enlighten an entire people, and to strike fear that will be remembered unto the ends of time.

Over all of the mysticism, political and social renewal, and military power presides the enigmatic emblem and specter of the swastika.  One of the most recognized, maligned, and fear symbols in human history; the swastika looms like a black sun over the rise of National Socialism, itself with origins in mysticism and the occult.  The Mystery of the blood and racial memory led a nation into uncanny enlightenment, while the outside world would suffer nightmares for generations to come.  The Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei (National Socialist German Worker’s Party – NSDAP) adopted the Hakenkreuzas their emblem in the summer of 1920.  Designing the new flag, Hitler states: “The new flag appeared in public in the midsummer of 1920. It suited our movement admirably, both being new and young. Not a soul had seen this flag before; its effect at that time was something akin to that of a blazing torch.” (Mein Kampf, p.384)

The Industrial Revolution of the Nineteenth Century saw the rise of science and Liberalist Democracies, and the decline of traditional life; of religion in rural areas, the disruption of beauty and order.  Disillusioned folk sought a return to Paganistic, non-traditional spirituality and mysticism.  Once such curious seeker of arcane knowledge was Russian psychic Madame Helena Petrovna Blavatsky.  Madame Blavatsky traveled the world and studied in Tibet during the 1850s to 1860s. The self-proclaim Russian telepath and spiritual teacher publishes The Secret Doctrinein 1888.  In her voluminous text, Blavatsky revealed the existence of Mahatmas–secret teachers in an Invisible College guiding mankind with esoteric knowledge.  These secret masters resided in hidden Tibetan monasteries according to Blavatsky’s research.

Madame Blavatsky claimed esoteric initiation into the sciences and powers of seven ancient symbols; the most potent of these, the swastika.  The National Socialist interpretation of the swastika embedded in their social and political reforms was the “Triumph of the Will” – a theme of the 1934 Nuremberg rally.  The racial memory, Triumph of the Will, the light of a new order, was all revealed by the Aryan race – custodians of the Invisible College.  By 1885 a considerable number of volkisch-cultural leagues were operating in rural Germany and Austria.

The league occupied themselves with the commemoration of figures and cultural events in German and Austrian history, art, literature and mythology, while investing such communal activities as choral singing, gymnastics, and mountain- climbing with volkisch ritual. The following year, the Germanenbund, was founded at Salzburg by Anton Langgassner. The league held Germanic festivals, instituted a national Germanic calendar, and appealed to all social classes to put aside political differences in a common Germanic Volkstum (nationhood). The Austrian Empire regarded such nationalism suspiciously and dissolved the Germanenbundin 1889.

The first German Theosophical Society was chartered in July 1884 by Herr Wilhelm Hubbe-Schleiden (1846-1916) at Elberfeld, where Madame Blavatsky and her chief officer, Henry Steel Olcott, were lodging with theosophical colleagues, the Gebhards.  In 1902 Rudolf Steiner was initiated as general secretary of the German Theosophical Society at Berlin. Steiner was a scholar studying Goethe’s scientific journals in Vienna. Steiner published a periodical, Luzifer, at Berlin from 1903 to 1908. Steiner’s mystical Christian inclinations estranged him from the Theosophists, so he chartered his Anthroposophical Societyin 1912.

The Rite of Strict Observance, a series of progressive degrees of Freemasonry, was conferred by the Order of Strict Observance, a Masonic body founded by Baron Karl Gotthelf von Hund in 1764.  For the purposes identifying philosophic connections to National Socialism, and the NSDAP, we know the Rite appealed to German ethnic pride, attracted the nobility, and was purportedly directed by “Unknown Superiors,” an early allusion to the “Secret Chiefs” mentioned in the Cipher Manuscripts of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn.

Rosicrucian groups assimilated Observance Neophytes, after the death of Baron von Hund in 1776.  A Convent was held at Wilhelmsbad from 16 July 1782 – 1 September 1783, “resolved anddeclared that the freemasons were not the successors of the Templars, and that the playing at Knights Templars was to be discontinued. A general reworking of the ritual resulted, and, in effect, the Strict Observance ceased to exist.” {Robert Freke Gould, History of Freemasonry, vol V, p. 141. Also see Claude Antoine Thory (1759/05/26 – 1827/10/?), Acta Latomorum, ou Chronologie de l’Histoire de la Franche-Maçonnerie française et étrangère … ouvrage orné de figures. Paris, 1815. vol. i, p. 52.}

The Gold und Rosenkreuzer (German: Golden and Rosy Cross) was founded by alchemist Samuel Richter who published in 1710 Die warhhaffte und vollkommene Bereitung des Philosophischen Steins der Brüderschaft aus dem Orden des Gülden- und Rosen-Creutzes {“The True and Complete Preparation of the Philosopher’s Stone by the Brotherhood from the Order of the Golden and Rosy Cross”} in Breslau under his fraternal motto, Sincerus Renatus in Prague as a hierarchical secret society composed of esoteric ciphers, degrees of initiation, and alchemicaltreatises.

Under Hermann Fictuld, the Golden and Rosy Cross reconstituted extensively in 1757 and again in 1777 due to the stress of the War of the Austrian Succession. Gold and Rosy Crossinitiates, coming under the direction of Fratres Johann Christoph von Wöllner and General Johann Rudolf von Bischoffwerder, infiltrated the Grand Lodge Zu den drei Weltkugeln (Three Globes). Because of the shift from Operate to Speculative Free-Masonry, many Free-masons became Rosicrucians and Rosicrucianism was established in lodges across England and Germania.

The rise of Theosophy and meta- physical sciences gave individuals a volkischholistic view of themselves and the Volkstum. These sciences of the mind conferred an Unanimity in a total divine order and, through metaphysics, a means of planning one’s affairs in accordance with their God, or Gods and Goddesses.  According to Nicholas Goodrick-Clark, “The Occult Roots of Nazism: The Ariosophists of Austria and Germany 1890-1935” {Wellingborough, England: The Aquarian Press 1985} the terms Wotanism, Theozoology, and Ario-Christianity descriptive of European spiritualist movements.  Guido Von List was the first modern writer to combine volkischphilosophy with occultism and Madame Blavatsky’s theosophy.

The writings of Guido Von List specifically his book Carnuntum inspired the volkisch commemorations and spiritual renewal of the Germanenbund.  List wrote of psychic and extrasensory visions he had of the past and future, where he claimed initiation by the ancient Teutonic knighthoods.  List published his own literary works throughout the 1890s.  In 1905 Friedrich Wannieck, Lanz von Liebenfels and dozens of other writers signed the first announcement concerning chartering a Guido Von List Society. A survey of early signatories on the List Society’s charters reveals considerable support for List amongst notable public figures in Austria and Germany.

List’s psychic dreams provided him the drive to rediscover an occultic heritage of a long vanished Pagan-Nordic priesthood, won by suffering a system of ancient knowledge, called Runes.  Lanz lists nationalism, Aryan ethno-mysticism, and runic magic as important influences in Ariosophy. Völkisch authors Ellegaard Ellerbek, Philipp Stauff, and Günther Kirchoff,fostered the runic occultism of List (Goodrick-Clarke 1985: 155) while Friedrich Bernhard Marby and Siegfried Adolf Kummer (Goodrick-Clarke 1985: 160-62) a runic system of initiation.

Researching runic systems from 1891 onwards, Guido von List held that ethnic heraldry derived from a cipher of encoded runes, because heraldic ciphers conveyed a secret heritage in occultform.  List was familiar with the cyclical phenomena of space-time, which he studied in Norse mythology and in the theosophical adaptation of the Hindu yugas, or epochs. In 1908, the Wannieck family {Friedrich Wannieck and son Friedrich Oskar Wannieck} officially drew up a charter for the Guido von List Society {Guido-von-List-Gesellschaft} as an occult völkisch organization, designed to finance and publish List’s research (Goodrick-Clarke 1985: 42).

The Guido von List Society was financed by prominent personalities in Austrian and German politics, publishing, and occultism. The Hoher Armanen Orden (High Armanen Order) was the inner college of the Guido von List Society. Chartered 1911, its design was a magical order to proliferate List’s deeper runic-based initiations. List called his philosophy Armanism after the Armanen, supposedly an occult priesthood in the ancient Ario-Germanic nation. List claimed that “Armanen” had been Latinized into the tribal name Herminones, mentioned in Tacitus and it translates as “the heirs of the sun-king”; an estate of priests who were organized into a society called the Armanenschaft.

List’s theory of the originating religion of the Germanic tribes was a form of solar worship {similar to ancient Egyptian Atenism}, with its priest-kings (similar to the Icelandic goði) as mythic rulers of ancient Germania. He cited the linguistic distinction between the Indo-Aryan and derivative Germanic protolanguages.

The Theosophical doctrines of Madame Helena Petrovna Blavatsky strongly influenced List, which he conjoined with his own system of German Runic occultism and nationalism. Goodrick-Clarke scrutinizes connections for Ariosophic influences on Hitler and on the Nazi hierarchy, but he concludes, “Ariosophy is a symptom rather than an influence in the way that it anticipated Nazism.” (1985: 192-202) Less a symptom, Ariosophy and Paganistic spiritual renewal amongst the volk was a motivating factor in the need for a country and people ruined by international Globalist Jewry and Bolshevism to revive a world power under its own organic conditions.

The runic alphabet possesses a deep esoteric meaning; themes of regeneration and sacrifice, heritage and fatherland, fate and divine ascension. List believed these were keys to occult knowledge of ancient Volksgenosse.  The runic language would become a new mystic language in the foundations of National Socialism and Volksgemeinschaft. Guido Von List called the swastika, ‘the twice high holy secret of constant generation.’

On Christmas December 25, 1907, a Viennese ex-Cistercian monk, and theologian Jörg Lanz von Liebenfels chartered the Ordo Novi Templi (Order of the New Templars, ONT) an occult order headquartered at Burg Werfenstein, a castle in Upper Austria overlooking the Danube. The professed aim of the Ordo Novi Templi was to synchronize science, art, and religion on a basis of Teutonic consciousness. Lanz and his initiates produced Occult runic rituals to beautify life in accordance with Aryan aesthetics, and to disseminate to the world the Order’s occult teachings that Lanz called Ario-Christianity.

Ordo Novi Templi was the first to use the swastika publicly, displaying on its flag the device of a red swastika facing right, on a yellow-orange field, surrounded by four blue fleurs-de-lys above, below, to the right and to the left. During the rise of the Nazi establishment, the Order declined from the late 1930s, later suppressed by the Gestapo in 1942. After suspending activities in the Greater German Reich, the ONT survived in Hungary until the end of World War II. The Order went underground in Vienna after 1945. In 1958 a former Waffen-SS lieutenant, Rudolf Mund, contacted the remnant initiates and became Prior of the Order in 1979. Rudolf Mund also authored biographies of Lanz and Wiligut. (Goodrick-Clarke 1985, pp. 119, 122)

The Germanenorden {Germanic or Teutonic Order, not to be confused with the medieval German Order of the Teutonic Knights} was a völkischsecret society inspired by List. Theodor Fritsch and German occultists Philipp Stauff {who held office in the List Society and High Armanen Order as well as Hermann Pohl, who became the Germanenorden’s first leader} chartered the Order in Berlin in 1912. Germanenorden was a clandestine organization attracted the hierarchical establishment of German high society, operating as a sister organization to the mainstream Reichshammerbund.

The Teutonic Order also used as its crest a swastika and operated under a degree structure similar to Masonic Rites. The Germanenorden politically fractured into two groups in 1916 during World War I. Eberhard von Brockhusen became the Grand Master of the traditional Germanenorden. Hermann Pohl, who had held Office as the order’s Chancellor, chartered a schismatic offshoot: the Germanenorden Walvater of the HolyGrail.

Rudolf von Sebottendorff was an affluent socialite and occultist who joined the Germanenorden under the Germanenorden Walvater of the Holy Grail. Sebottendorff was a Freemason and a practitioner of Theosophy and astrology; he was also an enthusiast of List and Lanz von Liebenfels’ writings. Convinced that European and Tibetan mystical systems shared an Aryan racial root, the Order’s runic lore mesmerized Sebottendorff who became the Master of the Walvater Order’s Bavarian province in 1917. In Bavaria, Sebottendorff increased membership from an estimated hundred in 1917 to 1500 initiates by the autumn of the following year.

The Ahnenerbe was a Volksgenosse organization that propagandized itself as a “study society for Intellectual Ancient History.”  {Kater, Michael; Das “Ahnenerbe” der SS 1935–1945. Ein Beitrag zur Kultur-politik des Dritten Reiches, Munich 1997} Heinrich Himmler, Herman Wirth, and Richard Walther Darré chartered the society on July 1, 1935. The function of the Ahnenerbe was to validate the anthropological and cultural history of the Aryan race and promulgate the published research of the Guido Von List Society, later to conduct experiments and research into eugenics, and conduct archaeological expositions proving that prehistoric and mythic Teutonic races once acting as custodians of the Invisible Schools.

Himmler was appointed as the superintendent of the Ahnenerbe and Wirth the president. Wolfram Sievers was installed as Reichsgeschäftsführer, or General Secretary, of the Ahnenerbe, by Himmler. Wirth resigned from the society at the beginning of 1937. On 1 February 1937, Dr. Walther Wüst was appointed the new president of Ahnenerbe. The organization was assimilated into the greater Nazi Schutzstaffel, the SS, in January of 1939.  The Institut für Wehrwissenschaftliche Zweckforschung {“Institute for Military Scientific Research”}, conducted extensive medical and scientific research using human subjects most of them interned in concentration camps, became attached to the Ahnenerbe during the Third Reich. It was managed by Wolfram Sievers on the orders of Himmler, who appointed himdirector.

The Thule Society, (German: Thule-Gesellschaft), originally the Studiengruppe für germanisches Altertum {“Study Group forGermanic Antiquity”}, was a German occult Volksgenosse group chartered at Munich, named after a mythical Teutonic country from Greek legend. The Thule Society originated as a Germanic study group established by Walter Neuhaus, a wounded World War I veteran and art student from Berlin who became a caretaker of pedigrees for the Germanenorden. In 1917, Neuhaus relocated to Munich; and the Thule-Gesellschaft was designed to be a cover-name for the Munich faction of the Germanenorden, but this design transpired differently due to schism.

In 1918, Neuhaus was contacted von Sebottendorff and the two became acquaintances in a recruitment campaign. Sebottendorff eventually adopted Neuhaus’s Thule Society as acover-name for his Munich lodge of the Germanenorden Walvater at its formal dedication on 18 August 1918. The occult focus of Thule-Gesellschaft concerned the mythic origins of the Aryan race. ‘Thule’ (Greek: Θούλη) was a land located by Greco-Roman geographers in the furthest northern provinces. “Ultima Thule” (Latin: “most distant Thule”) is cited by the Roman poet Virgil in his pastoral poems called the Georgics. The Society was dedicated to the triune god Walvater, identified with Wotan in triuneform.

Von Sebottendorff reported that “Thule members were the people to whom Hitler first turned, and who first allied themselves with Hitler. The armanent of the coming Fuhrer consisted-besides the Thule Society itself – of the Deutscher Arbeiterverein, founded in the Thule by Brother Karl Harrer at Munich, and the Deutsch-Sozialistische Partei, headed there by Hans Georg Grassinger, whose organ was the Munchener Beobachter, later the Volkischer Beobachter. From these three sources Hitler created the Nationalsozialistische Arbeiter­partei.” (“Before Hitler Came: The early years of the National Socialist movement” Sebottendorff, 1933)

They identified Ultima Thule, as the capital of ancient Hyperborea, as a lost ancient landmass in the farthest reaches of the north; near Greenland or Iceland. Such ideology derived from speculation by Ignatius L. Donnelly that a lost landmass had once existed in the Atlantic, and that it was the home of the Aryan race, a theory he supported by reference to the distribution of swastika motifs. This theory correlates with Plato’s Atlantis, a theory further developed by Madame Blavatsky.

In April 1919, during the Bavarian Soviet Republic, Thule Society members were accused of trying to infiltrate and overthrow the Communist government. On 26 April, the Soviet government in Munich raided the Society’s premises and took seven of its members into custody, executing them 30 April. Amongst members executed were Walter Neuhaus and four social aristocrats including, Countess Heila von Westarp, a young woman who functioned as the groups secretary, and Prince Gustav of Thurn and Taxis. (Goodrick-Clarke 1985, p. 147)

On 5 January 1919 locksmith Anton Drexler, who had developed connections in the Thule Society and socialist labor movements in Munich, established the Deutsche Arbeiterpartei (DAP), or German Workers’ Party with the Thule Society’s Karl Harrer. Adolf Hitler joined the party in the same year. By the end of February 1920, the DAP had been reconstituted as the Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei (NSDAP), or National Socialist German Workers’ Party.  Dietrich Bronder {Bevor Hitler kam, 1964} alleged that other members of the Thule became prominent in Nazi Germany: his roll call includes Dietrich Eckhart {who coached Hitler on hisoratory skills and had Hitler dedicated Mein Kampf to him} including Gottfried Feder, Hans Frank, Hermann Göring, Karl Haushofer, Rudolf Hess, Heinrich Himmler and Alfred Rosenberg.

We trace the origin of the National Socialist rune back through the emblems of the Germanenorden and ultimately to Guido von List.   Whatever form the swastika was used as; be it in National Socialist regalia, as military talismans and amulets carried by soldiers, or as state insignias on flags and banners, the esoteric meaning remained the same. Blavatsky and National Socialists see the swastika as a talisman of regeneration and creation.  Initiation into the secrets of the swastika by National Socialists unlocked the psychic, and physiological ‘old-Aryan sexual religion’ and a mystical cosmogony.  For the first time initiates experienced the immortality of the soul, reincarnation and its karmic determination.  All over Germany, and Europe for almost two decades, hung the sign of the mystical destiny of racial memory.

A mystic ritual of initiation into one of the schools of Invisible College describes the pageantry and syncretism of music, light, and spiritual regeneration:
The ceremony began with soft harmonium music, while the brothers sang the Pilgrims’ Chorus from Wagner’s Tannhiiuser. The ritual commenced in candlelight with brothers making the sign of the swastika and the Master reciprocating. Then the blindfolded novices, clad in pilgrimage mantles, were ushered by the Master of Ceremonies into the room. Here the Master told them of the Order’s Ario-Germanic and aristocratic Weltanschauung, before the Bard lit the sacred flame in the grove and the novices were divested of their mantles and blindfolds. At this point the Master seized Wotan’s spear and held it before him, while the two Knights crossed their swords upon it. A series of calls and responses, accompanied by music from LiJhengrin, completed the oath of the novices. Their consecration followed with cries from the ‘forest elves’ as the new brothers were led into the grove of the Grail around the Bard’s sacred flame. With the ritual personifying lodge officers as archetypal figures in Germanic mythology, this ceremonial must have exercised a potent influence on the candidates.”

March of the Wooden Soldiers (1934)


#NightOwl!  Each week live from Phoenix, Arizona the Night Owl’s Sci-Fi Cinema hosts FREE vintage U.S., and classic foreign films!

Tired of remakes, reboots, re-imaginings, no originality? KEEP IT CLASSIC ON NIGHT OWL CINEMA!  #keepitclassic Straight from Night Owl’s Film Laboratory, the Night Owl brings you back to the Golden Age of Hollywood and cinematic art.  Each weekend (Saturday – Sunday), John F. Rychlicki III aka the ‘Night Owl,’ hosts 24 hr live streaming and online archives of classic film; from periods that were the greatest collection of talent gathered in one place at one time in film history.  From the silent films of the 1920s, to Noir, Universal, big studio blockbusters, and epic love stories, we bring you cinematic art from a bygone era. _________________________________________________________________________________________________



Night Owl CLASSIC FEATURE ::: Tonight’s film :::  A timeless cinema classic “MARCH OF THE WOODEN SOLDIERS” (1934)

MARCH OF THE WOODEN SOLDIERS” (1934)  Stannie Dum (Stan Laurel) and Ollie Dee (Oliver Hardy) rent rooms in Mother Peep’s shoe in Toyland. When Mother Peep can’t make her mortgage payment to evil Silas Barnaby (Henry Brandon), he attempts to blackmail her into having Little Bo-Peep (Charlotte Henry) marry him, despite the girl’s attachment to Tom-Tom Piper (Felix Knight). Stannie and Ollie offer their assistance to Mother Peep, Bo-Peep and Piper, and later enlist an army of wooden soldiers to battle Barnaby’s cave-dwelling bogeymen.



Bloody Mary

Bloody Mary
© 2017 John F. Rychlicki III Leilah Publications
All rights reserved.

New Jersey has its tall tales of fright and disturbing legends from the “Jersey Devil,” to “Mothman,” “Mother Leeds,” and “the Witch of the Pine Barrens.”  There is one figure among New Jersey residents old enough to remember, words best forgotten in its dark history, for it strikes one ill at ease, sick, and silently terrified:  Bloody Mary.

1994….Greystone Park Hospital, New Jersey. 

Mary was beaming as always, smiling and waving wildly at her patients as she strode through the “independent living” apartments in Curry Cottage.  The cottages were inpatient shared apartments sitting among the flowered gardens of the psychiatric park.  Mary loosened her white shawl as the heat kicked in, contrasting with the cold autumn breeze outside.  She paused to look out the windows of one of the connected hallways.  The leaves were so pretty strewn about all over the ground in so many bright pretty colors.

Dr. Mintz, good morning.”  Mary beamed at the resident M.D.  “Good morning Mary, did everyone go out on the trip?  Just you and Marsha keeping us on track today huh?”  Mary pursed her lips as she glanced at her clipboard, looking over her roster for all the residents.  “Everyone who signed up yes!  They’re going to have so much fun!”  She giggled.  Mary tilted her head playfully and offered her cutest smile.

The twenty-something year old brunette contributed on with her clipboard in hand, pens stuck in her hair, done up professionally.  She was a favorite among the staff, and their patients, young and attractive, she held an aura of playful and teasing sex appeal.  She knew how the patients and some of the staff looked at her, and brushed it off.  Guys were just guys, what else were they supposed to do?

Mary came to Sherman’s door and rapped gently.  She heard a muffled response above the Judas Priest playing behind the door.  “Hey Sherm, group time in about 15 ok?  Make sure everything’s cleaned up in there hon.  15 minutes, k?”  She continued around the corner to Chris’ door, she could hear his loud obnoxious snoring as she approached his door.  She opened it enough to knock on the inside.  “Christopher!  CHRIS!! Wake up buddy! CHRIS!” She shouted loud enough for Chris to turn on his side.  “Group in 15 minutes!”  Satisfied at seeing his eyes open she left down the hall.

She passed on to the next apartment, knocking and opening to check and see how clean the place was.  Phillie, Ernie, and Joe were already in the lounge playing cards.  Chris, along with Phillip and Ernie made up the “Wild Boys” as the staff nicknamed them after the popular ‘Duran Duran’ song.  They were trouble, the staff knew it, and all the patients in the cottage knew it.  Mary knew all three of them had been brutally abused during their childhood, a commonality with all park residents.  Every girl and guy had suffered unspeakable trauma at the hands of those they loved and trusted the most.

Everyone could trust Mary, she was the cool protective older sister the boys never had.  Mary loved all the residents, she related having been through a rough childhood herself.  She was proud of her accomplishments, having come so far in life.  She was there to care and protect her “family” as she called them.   She was the family they could all trust, and confide in.

Mary finished her rounds and circled back to the main rec lounge, watching the leaves swirl around in the breeze outside.  The “Wild Boys,” Chris, Phillie, Ernie, and their lackey Joe were all chatting and sitting together.  ‘Poor Joe,’ he’s so lost and just wants to fit in she thought.  Sherman, tall dark and lean, slouched in the corner fidgeting with his Walkman.  Judith, short freckled and chubby sat with her friend Shawna, a gorgeous young girl with light brown hair and eyes the color of the grey sky outside.  Shawna, Mary knew, practiced witchcraft and was good at it.  Mary did not approve of it, having been exposed to it deep in her family heritage.

Mary clasped her crucifix given to her by a nun at Greystone who had visited since 1947 until her death three years earlier.  Mother Sabrina was like a mother to her, and a grandmother to all the staff and residents.  She led the group in prayer as Mother Sabrina had so often done.  “In Jesus’ name, Amen.”  She smiled and looked up as Dr. Mintz smiled and nodded approvingly at her.  The group began and progressed monotonously as every group had. What Mary and Dr. Mintz in all their understanding of clinical psychology did not notice, was a dangerous simmering hatred within the group.

Goals and independent living “plans” were discussed, scheduling with case workers, appointments, meds and any changes; the usual.  The group discussion shifted after nearly an hour to last week’s “incident” with Jason, another resident who was Shawna’s longtime boyfriend and a full fledged Satanist.

Shawna was still upset Jason was moved across the park to Kirkbride, his visitation privileges suspended.  Both she and Jason believed Sherman had tipped off staff of their getting marijuana and alcohol smuggled in.  That would explain his enhanced privileges, and extended overnight passes out of the Park.

The Wild Boys were furious at Joe, who had helped Jason jump and beat up Sherman in exchange for sex with Judith.  Judith did everything Jason and Shawna demanded because they were all getting an apartment together when they “got out” of the Park.  Judith also wanted the oxy, which her doctor expressly forbade, but Jason and Shawna were happy to provide her.

Chris and the “Wild Boys” were pissed because their smuggled alcohol was cut off by Shawna and Jason in exchange for their lithium.  Chris and Jason were inseparable brothers, having been in Marlboro State Psychiatric Hospital together.  That all changed when Jason fell in love with Shawna.  Chris was far and ugly and he knew it, all the girls said it, everybody knew it.  He was a thirty something year old virgin.  The only sexual pleasure he got was shooting up heroine.

Shawna was complaining about Jason’s extended loss of outdoor privileges.  Sherman was shifting uncomfortably, Phillie was ogling Mary ravaging her in his broken mind, Ernie and Joe were on the verge of screaming at one another, while Chris and Shawna were quietly observing along with Judith.

Mary could barely keep up with jotting down her notes and observations, as Dr. Berkenkamp talked above the ruckus.  “Ok guys that’s it for now.  Shawna I want to see you and Judith in my office after dinner tonight, before I leave.  Ok let’s all remember today’s focus word, DEDICATION.  Ok?  Dedication.  Dedication to your goals and progress.  We will talk this out and resolve these issues respectfully and appropriately.”

Mary jotted down Dr. Mintz’s remarks.  “Dedicate my dick.”  Chris blurted out as everyone got up to go line up, waiting for nurse Marsha to dispense evening meds.  That night, Jason snuck back into Curry cottage and disappeared with Shawna, Chris, and Judith.  They were nowhere to be found three nights before Halloween.

They missed midnight and 3am head count, and Mary was getting worried sick.  Security could not locate the four troublemakers.  2 full days had passed, police and family were noticed and the entire Park was placed on lockdown with all visitation suspended.  Rooms were searched, contraband confiscated, but no Shawna, Jason, Judith, or Chris.  Mary feared the worst.  The four always were up to mischief this time of year she reassured herself.  Last Halloween they were a few days late coming back from an over night pass.  All four had their visitations and passes revoked for a month.

In ’92 Jason and Shawna were caught in old abandoned Murdow Ward leading 3 staff members and 4 other residents in some bizarre witchcraft ritual.  Jason and Shawna culminated the black magic rite by having cocaine induced sex in front of the crowd.  The doctors and directors could not prove a thing, but word spread quickly to the residents and staff from eyewitnesses.

‘What if…….’  Mary thought.  She gathered her white shawl around herself, grabbed and flashlight and radio from the security desk, and set out to confirm her suspicions.  She marched ankle deep through the leaves, swirling them around as she headed toward the old Kirkbride Building.  Her flashlight lead the way as she unlocked the side entry doors with the security keys.  She didn’t know how to use the radio, but ‘Come hell or high water, I will call for help if something’s amiss.’ She thought.

As she continued on into Kirkbride she unlocked the administration office and turned on the auxiliary lighting.  Main power was shut off in 1989, when the last of the patients were moved to the cottages.  Auxiliary power provided enough lighting for Mary to search each wing.  As she passed each wing she could see strange symbols and unfamiliar written languages all over the walls.

I know they’re in here.”  She said to herself.  “I know you’re in here!” She shouted aloud, hopelessly awaiting a response.  Unwilling to stay in the abandoned building any longer, she made her back out to the main entry foyer.  As she began to exit she noticed a dim light emanating from the other side of the building, coming from the basements.

Kirkbride had 4 main storage basements, 2 connected via an underground walkway.  Walking downstairs from the west wing, she clearly could see light shimmering downstairs.  Her flashlight illuminated more bizarre sigils and ancient written languages scrawled in the walls.  The light illuminated the storage basement as she stopped in front of the double doors to the next storage basement.  She could hear whispering in a language she hadn’t heard since she was little, since before Momma died.

Mary pulled out the security radio after she flung open the double doors, “You are all…in…….” her words silenced as the flashlight illuminated the bloody faces of Shawna, Jason, Judith, and Chris.  Judith was tied into a 6 4 foot high rectangular wooden altar with sigils painted all around the altar; adorned by candles, herbs, incense, animal bones, a dead Raven and dead cat.  The four were naked and had sigils carved all over their body, stabbing themselves repeatedly.  Mary heard the inhuman sibilant sreech and howl from behind her, first.  She turned, barley glimpsing the living shadow claw at her, as she slipped into darkness.

That night, on All Hallows’ Eve, the living shadows crawled up from the catacombs, and demons cascaded into Greystone, unseen by those who could not accept the violent madness descending on the accursed hospital.  Madness and the most evil suffocating living shadows crawled up to consume the broken minds of the residents and their tormentors, their drug overlords.

Mary was raped and brutalized repeatedly, over and over and over for 7 days.

She never never screamed, she never made a sound, because Momma and Poppa told her always to be quiet when the Game began.

And everybody played the Game with little Mary.  Mary was always quiet when the witches and Momma and Poppa played the Game with Mary.

No one looked for Mary, because she was home.  She had always been home, born in Greystone to her momma and poppa.  She was always the best patient.  This was her home it always had been.

Mary never screamed or made a sound….except for the knocking of her head against the wall …constantly.

Staff found her in her room…knocking her head against the wall ….over….and over….and over…knockknockknockknockknock….

Autumn turned into a freezing New Jersey winter, the colorful leaves turned dead and into icey slush.  Mary never said a word again until Christmas Eve.  “Can I play?” Said little Mary staring back at her from the mirror.

On Christmas morning, Mary came out to play…

Ernie was found hanging from a leafless tree outside in the courtyard.  Phillie was found naked and unconscious in a warm bath castrated and with his tongue cut out of his mouth.  The bath was full of blood.  Judith was found tied to a wheelchair and tortured.  She died in a coma 3 weeks later.  Sherman was found naked in the fetal position also in a bath, foaming at the mouth and nostrils.  He was sexually assaulted and deceased.  Shawna’s head was found in the medication storage cabinet.  Her body was nude on her bed.

Joe’s death was ruled a suicide, as he also found nude in a bath.  He had slit his wrists and bled out, his eyes wide open.  Chris was founded drugged, his arms shot full of turpentine, burned and disfigured for life, he survived his brutal forced injections.  Jason was found nude and in the midst of seizures in his room.  He survived and was discharged after months of physical therapy.

Bloody Mary was never prosecuted or charged with any crime.  She remained in Curry Cottage.  The next few years, Greystone Park Psychiatric Hospital descended to inhuman evil.  Staff frequently were accused of sexually assaulting patients, and patients were frequently drugged furthering their broken minds, and drug-fueled sexual assaults in retaliation against staff.  Demons walked freely in the abandoned wards of the psychiatric hospital.

Bloody Mary was happy in her home.  At night, you could hear the constant knocking sound of a head banging against a wall …

From every room…..



Michael Jason Spence pulled up in his black 89 Camaro, walking up with his new girlfriend, a very pretty slender woman, with sad dark brown eyes and light brown hair.  Mike’s monthly girl I guessed.  Boy she was beautiful, sullen and beautiful.  Mike and his new fling looked like they had some from a Judas Priest concert.  Mike nodded at me.  “Hey man, this is my girlfriend Mary.”

No one ever knew what happened to Bloody Mary.  Except two people.

Greystone Park Psychiatric Hospital was closed and demolished in 2008.  God have mercy.


[hdwplayer id=3] “Aphasia”
© 2017 Jessica Rose Villanueva Leilah Publications
All rights reserved.

God and Satan – they infused me in their Dimensions.

God and Satan debated who would take my soul one night.

This is what changed my life forever.

I will begin with the phenomenon of my inability to speak or make any sounds at all. This was my second aphasia.

For the entire two months prior to Christmas my voice was taken away from me. After everything I’ve been through, losing the ability to talk and use my voice in an expression of my defense Or other emotions was a perfect form of torture.

Like not being able to tell my baby that I love her so much. Or say anything ay all.

It was the most unfair, frustrating, broken hearted punishment I’ve ever suffered. It was because for a long while I had been talking too much and not listening.

It was karma’s exact punishment. I lost the comfort of hearing my cries. I used to become sick and scared of that sound. I used to make a sickening sound when I was crying out loud.

To miss something this uncomfortable has exhausted my appreciation for silence.

When I was spinning I could never seem the control my loquacity. The irritation was quite beyond annoyance to anyone was around me while I was high. I never shut up. Speaking arrogantly and way to fast. This was no known human language.

This is a big reason why I rarely got high with others. I grew to despise my beliefs and question every word I blabbed. I recommended that everyone who suffered my noise should invest in a gag ball. Hot pink of course with a tight leather strap fastened around my face.

I meant it and I would wear it! Only because I had to be silenced by force. My aphasia taught me what utter loneliness really feels like. I once associated this with being the only one left on earth. Entirely lost. I could not even whisper. Perhaps Not even my breathing could be heard. I went to doctor several times and nothing could be prescribed and there was no diagnosis. I was openly honest about my drug abuse and explained that I believed I was given a toxic mixture of meth to smoke. I was referred to a throat specialist who would perform a vocal cord scrapping to look at the microscopic detail of my throat tissue. The only cure in existence was to go through this fear and to coming out open.

Excitedly I begin to listen to the wisdom from others minds. Such beauty and idiocy and true knowledge did exist in others besides myself.  Everyone around me would ask me write down what they could do to help me but by the time I had a chance to express exactly what I needed they would ask another question.

Forgetting my desperate explanation  that I was trying to swiftly jot down because I knew exactly what would work.

Not having the human right to answer is unfair. During this time I was in the violent throws of an addiction to my self mutilation.

This time it was in a needle form. My mind now somewhere lost in another dimension. Far from an earth bound reality.

Impossible events begin to occur.  It was my goal was to be 60hrs awake. By this time my hallucinations became extraordinarily powerful!

I believed that I could control certain dimensions. I held experiments with telekinesis.

The study of moving solid objects out of sight making them completely vanish. This would really work! I just didn’t know how to control which objects would disappear or when they’d return. However, Always in the exact moment when a thing would go missing, I could know the precise location where it vanished from (like a shelf) n what the object was. At first I didn’t notice this taking place for subtle tings like lighters or pens would move right as I put them down. I would rip the house apart searching every where for it!  Then suddenly it would be sitting there as if it never moved at all! A lot of people witnessed this with me!  Even straight ones.

Once I begin to document certain patterns, it slightly changed to disappearance but then nothing would return for a month or on a new binge it would return to the spot it left.

I studied transference as well. Others quickly became confused n terrified by this invasion so I tried not to practice this natural phenomenon with them even though it was available. Being my style to stay constantly awake I deprived my subconscious and physical of sleep. This forced my dreams to intertwine with my waking reality.

I would often experience intense vivid dreams while wide awake but most of the time these were nightmares.

I remember one of my most powerful mind altering episodes, hallucination, dream or actual event taking place way too perfectly. I was not alone in this documented phenomenon. On one occurrence there was a witnesses. I had been consuming nothing but straight vodka and tweak for almost ten days by this time severe delirium accompanied by dehydration caused deep cracks in my mind  and skin that it would open up wide without any incision. It in was the dead of winter.

Ten days of toxicity and I was driving at about 3am. I kept falling out at the wheel. Every time I did this I woke myself just bfore I crashed the car by the sound of my silent screaming!

So hard in my throat that I tasted blood! I tried to drive faster so I could survive my way back home. Miraculously I made it to my block. Speeding, only two houses away from mine and I crashed into my neighbor’s chain link fence. I crushed it down flat by my car! This loud collision woke me up in my neighbor’s front yard! I was so terrified I fled the scene and hid my car a few blocks away.

The front of my car was scrapped and a headlight was busted out. It didn’t light up. Leaving the car running I ran home and reached my front yard. Every light was on inside and people I didn’t know were everywhere in my house. I could see them all from outside through the huge front window. So I ran to the back door because I was afraid of who they are and why they were in my house!  A junkie staying with me was supposed to be there alone. As I approached the rear door window I could see inside and into the doorway of the basement. Out of the dark and up the stairs ran the junky!  She reached the top and jumped in fright at the sight of me at the back door looking in. She opened the door for me and said that she heard a loud car crash up the street. She thought it was me and another vehicle. She looked up the street but all was still in the night. She was the only one home.

About an hour later we walked by the yard I hit but the chain link fence was untouched and the lawn had no tire impressions. I started to consider that it was a nightmare or a real bad hallucination.  We walked to my car and came to find it still running but no broken headlight or scratched hood. The junkie got inside and stopped the ignition. Now that my proof disappeared I was convinced that it had been a hallucination which I had manifested so potentially that it became semi shared with the junky but not the with the others in this world.

The next entrance into my parallel universe was on a night I honestly trusted that if I fell out I’d die. I could not force myself awake any longer even after the thick dose I had just minutes before injected. When I was fixing in my bathroom I had a rotten syringe contaminated by Hep. C. I carelessly flushed it with bleach but in my haste to chase consciousness, I left a small amount of pure bleach in the rig when I drew up my shot. The needle was so dull it should have broken off inside my vein. Somehow more foreign then the bleach laced chemical intoxicant I injected, this tiny needle was 100% deadly if broken off into my blood stream, it would have followed the dope through my veins causing my demise.

Right after I slammed I dropped some shards into the sink. The dope turned a crimson color n smelled strange. Like the taste when I coughed.  I was in my room now I stood alone less then a foot from my bed and I remember praying and desperately summoning any sort of power to will myself safely into bed but I could not. I kept repeating out loud that I was about to get hurt so bad and if I can just make it to any part of my bed or floor I would be safe but I stood frozen with predictions in visions. I saw what was about to happen any second I saw physically bodily intense pain. In my mind I saw myself crash hard backwards into my television and mirror.

Before my vision was over it happened. I did fall down very hard. I suffered a head injury and deep cuts in my back and ass from the glass mirror I shattered with the entire 97 lbs of my dead weight. Naturally this woke me up enough to crawl into bed. I woke up terrified.  Covered in dried blood that one couldn’t see because of the black clothing I was wearing. The glass still inside these wounds I failed to prevent by violently falling out this way.

By my mothers prayer my hell dreaming eyes did open again in life. Automatically they focused on the gram of poison on my bedside table just waiting for me to play again. How could my saviors miss this?!  My mother and crack whore sister were in my room with me attempting the most pathetic intervention. They threatened to commit me! This was entirely possible considering my ruthless addiction I just as bad flaunted with my arms so bruised infected from often missing my fix. It was only a desperate attempt at forgiving themselves because all my life they felt as though they didn’t protect me, and in denial they knew thy could never protect me from myself!  *Looking back at the dangers of going that long and so close to the edge alone all the time. Its is plain to see an attraction that demonic entities had to me. Of course at the time I was oblivious to anything real or comprehensible.*

I used lament in a loneliness despair I could control but I was never alone at all. Statistic and sneaky Silhouettes haunted me so darkly drab. On an unknown level my only defense mechanism was to ignore the coldness coming from inside my body. It was A form of blocking out them in trauma. This only allowed them to drag me down deeper. This was a descent where we  meet so they may crawl into my soul coiling there dormant (I always that I was so alone but never once while using they were there the whole time. Now I recognize it without hesitation) I was so accustomed to the unhealthy weight loss that dropping 15lbs in two days way nothing surprising.

Do not forget the fact that during it all I had no voice!  Everyone would try to help me and ask me what they could do for me but by the time I had a chance to write down exactly what I needed, they would ask another question.  Sometimes they started yelling at me because I could not cry anymore and I needed to purge my emotions.  My gestures and animated facial expressions in agony and torment became offensive and to terrifying for them to take so I walked away alone.  I wanted to find my friend of despair because she was my heroine; she embraced her adictions and excepted that it woiuld never change.She had thrown in her towel with her acknowledgment of God.  Lost but surviving. I found her and we walked to a house that my angel was living in. He was not home but just moments after I left he showed up. Just missing each other.

Snow was falling softly on Christmas Eve and twilight was setting in. I ended up right back at home and before I went inside I looked around and noticed cars and human activity outside. Families were celebrating Christmas Eve. Once I closed the door I instantly felt two extreme changes in my atmosphere. The first I will describe because it was entirely foreign to me. It was a pure and utter evil surrounding me. Not the usual familiar evil presence I always felt around since I started using. That presence was only some extension of an evil demonic entity. The energy and vibes that were with me now was an entirely new kind of fear, like  Satan carries, and it brought with it a confirmation of my death.

This fowl force  was here to take me to hell. Every fiber of my being knew that I was going to die by Satan’s will violently…right now! I felt a freezing cold again coming from inside of my body and nothing could make me warm. My soul was freezing. In unison with this morbidity came a divinity.  I know this grace has always been inside of me since my creation and now was revealing it’s ghostly presence stronger then ever before. I felt like myself. I felt that the Holy Ghost understood and was perfectly familiar to my own soul all of my life. This was proof that God surrounded me now!  In one quick thought I knew that God is my heart and always has been.

Time slipped away. I was no longer existing with the rest of human life. Outside it was almost pitch dark. Dim street lights flickered but not people. There was a battle taking place. God and Satan were in a fierce pesronal debate over  who gets to take me soul with them upon my death.  My entire life and everything I have ever done was being weighed considered and judged. The only thing that was true was that I was going to die no matter what. This encounter did exist in time. It never changed outside and everyone disappeared.

I quickly became guilty when a rip in the fabric of life revealed to me God and Satan’s conversation. It looked a bit like two ethereal figures playing chess. I tried to object. I tried to speak on my behalf. Give them excuses, but I was unnoticed. The whole time I was psychologically aware of this event but evry so often, I would  glimpse a second of their ethereal shapes. More often I would overhear their discussion on my whole life, even my subconscious!  I lost track of time before this debate’s conclusion. Unexplainable triviality occurred. I felt a strong life or death need to document exact words used by God and Satan, if I happened to overhear them, but not a single thing to write with could be found!  My family removed everything thing inside for paraphernalia purposes.  No lead in pencils.  There was not a single thing to write on.

I was so sad and badly needed to say goodbye so I focused most of my remaining time on summoning loved ones with my mind. I locked myself in meditation. As I was in a state of self hypnosis, the phone rang!  It was someone still living! I was not forgotten. When I picked up the receiver it was a person who I was not right with. I managed to utter a shaky wail. This infuriated the caller, and the line dropped. Memories eased my awareness falling into sleep. I thought I would have a painless death, agreed by God and Satan, but only to pass this body and enter damnation. I did not dream.  Two days after the great debate between God and Satan over the fate of my soul, I awoke alone but my soul just felt relieved.

I understood that my life was stiill at it’s lowest and I was still sick with poisonous addiction, yet now I had a plan and it was like I was  fixing someone else’s problem. Constructed inside of me now was a change of soul. I had solutions!  I had honest faith in my recovery. God has a perfect design for my life. Perhaps prior to this alteration my soul was damned in innocence. The old violence cursed my entire life until this moment of forgiveness. I was Existing in a totally tormented reality. My childhood purity lost. My eyes opened up disgustingly. I still had no voice. My heart and soul deeply cracked in pain, and then in a flood of relief. I was alive.

Eldridge and the Cage

Eldridge and the Cage
© Copyright 2017 · John F. Rychlicki III · Leilah Publications · All Rights Reserved ·

For Frau Immel and Sifu Robert

Once there was a terrible man full of despair and violent loneliness.  Angered at losing his job he took to drinking and numbing himself by washing away all his emotions in bottles of alcohol.  Passersby scoffed at him in disgust, he remained trapped in a world that refused to recognize him or acknowledge his suffering and hopelessness.  Each night jobless, half sober he would wander deeper into the city’s shadows and underground indiscretions.  One night he found himself in the familiar numbness of hopelessness, self-hatred, and anger.  The man of despair could not feel, could not love, could not die.  He found himself chasing the creeping shadows at the edge of the city’s urban sprawl.

He came upon a mans small and modest house, smelling the scent of a fine meal being prepared.   The man of despair crept up to the window, and  spied another man eating alone inside at the table, reading a book.  He quietly but clumsily made his way round to the back yard, unclasped the gate and crept to the back door.   With a *click* he found the back door was unlocked and open.  He quietly crept inside making his way to the kitchen.

Stepping slowly until he reached the kitchen doorway, the man of despair rushed and attacked the man sitting at the table.  The man in the home quickly immobilized him with a form of martial art called Jeet Kune Do.  The man who was eating dragged the half-conscious man of despair into a makeshift cage.  The man of despair cried out “I’m going to kill your ass!  And your family!”

“I live alone, have no family my friend.”  The man of the house said.

“Let me out!  Bastard!” The man of despair said.

“Are you hungry?  Is that why you came into my home?  Do you have nowhere to go?”  The man of the house said.

“Fuck you!  What do you care, die!  Just kill me.  Kill yourself, I don’t care! Let me out!” The man of despair said.

“My name is Shimoda.”  The man of the house said.  “What’s yours?  I won’t harm you.  Here, let me get you something to eat, friend.”  Shimoda went to the kitchen counter and prepared him a sandwich with fruit, handing it to the man of despair through the small spaces between the bars of the cage.

“Here, eat.”  Shimoda said.  “You know, in case you’re wondering, it’s called Jeet Kune Do.”  Shimoda offered.  “That’s how I immobilized you.”  He smiled warmly.

“Kill me, or I’m gonna’ kill your ass.  Just kill me I don’t care anymore.” the man of despair said.

“Why?” Shimoda asked.  The man of despair was silent and cried, shaking his fists in the air, wincing in a deep pain that drowned him in his own mind.

“I had a companion but he was killed.  He was a wolf and I built that cage for him when I first met him.  He was wild for a time.  Then he got out and would come a visit me time to time.  Eventually he just came and went as he please, though I don’t ever think this was home for him.  He was too wild but curiosity overcame the beast.  I named him Scooby.  Don’t think he liked it.”  Shimoda chuckled at his own joke.

“I can’t do this anymore…too tired…just die….just let me die…kill me….” the man of despair whimpered.

“Tell you what friend, you can leave in the morning or stay with me and learn.  I could use another student.  Sleep on it.”  Shimoda lit a candle as the man of despair passed out.  He dimmed the lights and watched over him throughout the night, as the man of despair twisted and turned his body unnaturally from the nightmares that danced into his mind all night.

Had he gone mad?  He saw what looked like shadows dancing around Shimoda, smiling and cackling at him with the most horrid black faces.

For several days and nights, Shimoda took care and fed the man of despair, each morning asking him, “Good morning friend, I made you breakfast.  Do you still want to kill me?”  The man of despair’s reply was always the same:  “When I get out of this cage, I’m going to kill you, and myself.”  Shimoda would nod, and tell him about Jeet Kune Do.

“Jeet Kune Do, you see, has no definite lines or boundaries — only those you make yourself.” Shimoda said to his guest, who sat in a former wolf’s cage, huddled, listening and slowly letting curiosity take hold.

Shimoda continued his lessons the entire day and throughout the night.

“Use only that which works, and take it from any place you can find it.”  The man of despair listened intently.

“Everything gets returned.  See…your mind is stuck…returning to each cause of pain, each moment where someone hurt you, or you hurt someone else.  You keep going back.  Jeet Kune Do is the way through.”

Eventually the man of despair broke down mentally, sharing how he was a man of cruelty, addiction, anger and loneliness; his family had left him.

The man of despair sobbed and trembled.  “My name is Eldridge.”

“Do you want to stay with me, and learn?  You can work around the house, earn your keep and stay.  Learn, and have your own return.”  Shimdoa said.

Eldridge nodded.

“The door to this cage is unlocked.” Shimoda said.  Eldridge stared in disbelief.

“The door to your cage is unlocked.  I never had a lock for Scooby the wolf.  I never locked it when I put you in.”    Shimoda replied.

*Step out of your cage.  Stop imprisoning yourself in yourself.  God bless you all.

The Curse of Amarna

The Curse of Amarna
© Copyright 2017 · John F. Rychlicki III · Leilah Publications · All Rights Reserved

1319 B.C. Amarna, Egypt

It was all ruins. Tutankhamun was dead, fallen ill from severe injury to his leg caused by a seizure. A black spell had fallen over young Pharaoh Tutankhamun the last days of his life. Seizures and maddened fits grew nightly and commonplace. Pentu the Physician knew the young Pharaoh’s days were numbered by a collusion of the black priests and their sorcery set upon him by the Grand Vizier and the bastard commoner Horemheb.

Pentu despised Horemheb, the new Pharaoh and former Hereditary Prince, the Chief Commander of the Army. Old Vizier Ay, the fool that he was in trusting Horemheb, called him the “Attendant of the King in his footsteps.” Pentu the Physician spat on the ground in spite of both their honorifics.

Akhetaten, his beloved home was all in ruins, “The Unique One of Re,” his beloved Akhenaten, murdered. Pentu knew the official pronouncement of death was not murder of course, but severe illness of the brain. Ankhesenamun, beloved Ankhesenamun, warned him not to declare assassination as the cause of death, until the conspiratorial plots in Amarna were uncovered and exposed by the Imperial Family.

Akhenaten brought the One Religion to the lands of Re. Pentu walked among the smoldering shattered Great Temple of the Aten. The Great Temple, the House of Aten was damaged beyond repair, the interior all sacked and burned over the past year by legions of the bastard Pharaoh Horemheb.

“Aten will curse this country because of this treachery.” Pentu sighed muttered aloud to himself. Horemheb’s troops finished burning and ransacking the Gem-Aten, which was a very long building preceded by a posterior court called the Per-Hai. The main pavilions were smoldering, burned just the other day. The ashes and smoke filled Pentu’s nostrils. “Barbarians.” Pentu lamented. “No better than Hittite dogs.” Just then, movement caught his attention out of the corner of his eyes. Was someone still lingering inside the Great Temple? Bandits? Priests still loyal to Aten perhaps? “Greetings of Aten.” Pentu said. No response. Scavenging dogs. Pentu thought dismissively. This is what has befallen our great Society of Aten. Scavenging dogs. Pentu continued on, inspecting the Temple.

Pentu passed through the successive courts, finding each of them dismantled and altars destroyed. What could be looted was looted, what could be set afire was burned. He passed by the colonnades with colossal statues of Akhenaten, only to find the statutes damaged and broken. Pentu stepped outside the Great Temple of Aten and continued down the main plaza.

Akhenaten in the fifth year of his illustrious reign disbanded the priesthoods of all the other gods…diverting their income from the cults to support the Aten. Pentu knew that was Akhenaten’s undoing. Like his master, the eternal Pharaoh Akhenaten, Pentu believed in the One True God, Aten.

All was ruined. Pentu knew Akhenaten and beloved Ankhesenamun royal line were destined to change Khem, land of eternal Aten forever. In truth, Pentu knew in his heart and soul there was only one God, one All-encompassing Creator. Pentu looked up to Aten, the shining burning disk in the skies, watching over all. Clouds partly obscured the sun, giving a grey pallid overcast to the already dismal day. Pentu circled around back to the columned pavilion stopping before the small chapels on each side. The five pairs of tall masts and crimson imperial pennants flanking the doorway were all burned. The altars ransacked and burned, the interior of the chapels still filled with smoke and ash.

Pentu knelt before the threshold and wept. No sooner than the first tears flowed freely, did he hear the whispering. The whispering could in no way have been produced by a human. Yet Pentu heard the whispering, whispering that no human tongue could have produced. The whispering came from outside the chapel yet he could hear it all around him. “Am I mad?” Pentu stood up and slowly walked outside the chapel. He gazed down the columned pavilion outside the Great Temple. The whispered stopped.

A few moments passed, after what seemed an eternity, started again. “This place is accursed now.” Pentu thought. The black priesthoods were having their revenge. No doubt, they were back by the Medsu’Bedshet, the rumored and feared black priesthood that called themselves “Beloved of Set.” Grand Vizier Ay had only lasted four short years as Pharaoh. Ankhesenamun, the widow of Tutankhamun and the Hittite Prince she was about to marry were murdered at his orders. Now Horemheb had usurped Ay and brought ruin to the House of Aten.

The whispering was not in Pentu’s head. He was not mad! “Is this what beloved Akhenaten heard in his seizures and fits?” He wondered if this ghastly fate was happening to him. What was this accursed sickness? The whispering grew louder. It was coming from the chapel now, but how was that possible? Pentu had just left it. The whispering grew to a feverish pitch, all around him now, he could hear it inside his mind, the whispers, hissing and inhuman.

The frightened physician, once close advisor to Akhenaten tried to cover his hears. To no avail, he could hear the hissing whispers inside his mind, and all around him. Pentu froze suddenly. A figure emerged at the side of the smoldering chapel. It was a human, but had no distinct human features. Pentu could see the form of a voluptuous female beneath crimson and black shawls, a veil covering her face. Where eyes were supposed to be, Pentu saw glowing white eyes peering from behind her veil. The whispering became hissing, rising to a sibilant cackle. The inhuman shadow’s cackle rose to a maddening pitch among the smoldering ruins of Amarna. Pentu let out a bloodcurdling scream as the living shadow approached. Not a living soul heard him.

The Curse of Judea

The Curse of Judea

© Copyright 2014-2017 · John F. Rychlicki III · Leilah Publications · All Rights Reserved ·

1948 A.D. Jerusalem, Palestine

To Eretz-Israel!” Thirty-three year old Yitzhak Shamir led the others in a champagne toast in the underground chambers of Beit El Synagogue. The Zionist directors toasted to a new homeland at the midnight hour of May the 14th. The Jewish political executives present at the secret gathering reveled in a one hundred yearlong effort that would culminate within a mere twelve hours. The young Zionist Shamir had entered into the soon to be established state of Israel via a forged passport. Nothing on Earth was going to stop him and his fellow Zionist colleagues from seeing their dream to fruition. The exclusive congregation of two dozen Zionist executives celebrated and spoke amongst themselves, awaiting the ceremonies to be presided over in secret by highly distinguished Twelve. The Twelve, as Yitzhak Shamir was privy, were an international conclave of distinguished Rabbi scholars.

How do far do you think Truman will go when the Arabs attack?” Shamir asked Chaim Weizmann, a prominent Zionist executive. “Lovett, and Clifford are easy to persuade, they will support anything the Brotherhood tells them, if they want their offshore coffers to continue to fatten. Marshall may be harder to convince, he is just making waves for the next election.” Weizmann replied. “Jabotinsky was right. No American could ever oppose the Brotherhood without being publicly ostracized and politically imperiled. Truman is just a puppet without his string.” Yitzhak Ben-Zvi said. Ben-Zvi was another prominent statesman whose international investments and partnership with American construction companies numbered in millions of dollars. Weizmann’s nephew Ezer and son Benjamin approached the three diplomats. “They are ready.” Ezer said.

Yitzhak Shamir, the Rabbinical liaison between the founding fathers of Eretz-Israel and the Twelve, solemnly spoke to the two dozen gathered Zionists. “Brothers, tonight we undertake destiny’s course. Our brothers have shed blood and died for this day. Adonai has ordained us this Covenant and reclaiming of our rightful Lordship. As you all know the Twelve have come from places afar, and risked their lives to be with us and consecrate this undertaking. Without further delay, let us welcome the Twelve and proceed to Synagogue.” Led by Yitzhak Shamir, Ezer Weizmann (Chaim’s nephew), Benjamin Weizmann, Yitzhak Ben-Zvi, Dov Yosef, Yitzhak_Gruenbaum, Chaim Weizmann, Yitzhak Rabin and Moshe Dayan, and a dozen other Zionist leaders descended into the underground Synagogue at Beit El Synagogue.

The subterranean Synagogue was constructed beneath the public Beit El Synagogue, the leading center of Kabbalistic study. The secret chambers were three times the size of Beit El. The secret Synagogue was cavernous, filled with artificial lighting, and elaborate altars no Rabbi could ever imagine. Towards the end of the reverberating chamber stood the Twelve before the towering twelve-foot central altar, flanked on each side by two lesser altars six feet in height. The Twelve, known to only a secretive few Zionists as the Isiyim, or the Brotherhood. In modern times, the Zedok priesthood would have called them Essenes.

Chief Rabbi Ovadia Hedaya of Beit El Synagogue turned to face the nearly two dozen assembled Israeli founding fathers. Rabbi Shlomo Goren stood silent at his left, holding a large clothed shattered tome. The Tome look as it was falling to pieces. On Rabbi Hedaya’s right side stood another Rabbi, huddled over due to age. The Rabbi’s face was partially obscured beneath his ceremonial cowl, his long white beard reached past another archaic tome. This tome, like its counterpart to the left of Rabbi Hedaya, was also falling to pieces. Rabbi Ovadia Hedaya began the Kabbalistic invocations of two tomes only the Twelve Isiyim have ever seen. The Chief Rabbi began the Kabbalistic invocations of the Sefer Azazel Ha’Malakh and the Sefer Raziel Ha’Malakh.

The two tomes were said to have been received by Abraham by the angels Raziel and Azazel, the patron protectors of Kabbalists and the land of Eretz ha’Yisrael. Rabbi Hedaya’s hissing invocations lasted nearly three hours in the candlelit cavernous chamber. Once the invocation completed with the final incantations to Azazel, the Isiyim departed through a large double oak door without a word. The doors remained open as three others assisted Yitzhak Shamir in lighting another seventy-two additional candles. The chamber soon cast an otherworldly glow. As the last candle was lit, seventy-two nude bodies appeared before them in procession led by Rabbi Hedaya.

The nude women were voluptuous, and curvy with bodies that seemed to be sculpted for nothing but desire. The seventy-two women appeared to be no older than twenty-one. Yitzhak Shamir knew the true ages of some of these women, having indulged with them on other occasion. He could make out over a dozen ethnicities among the young concubines – Russians with long black hair, Persian, nearly a dozen Egyptians, Spanish, a few young Germans with curly blonde flowing hair, Moroccan women who he fancied, and even a few Americans. For the next twelve hours, bodies twisted and entwined, undulating in the most depraved sexual acts their human minds imagined.

There was a merchant in Bagdad who sent his servant to market to buy provisions and in a little while the servant came back, white and trembling, and said, Master, just now when I was in the marketplace I was jostled by a woman in the crowd and when I turned I saw it was Death that jostled me. She looked at me and made a threatening gesture, now, lend me your horse, and I will ride away from this city and avoid my fate. I will go to Samarra and there Death will not find me. The merchant lent him his horse, and the servant mounted it, and he dug his spurs in its flanks and as fast as the horse could gallop he went. Then the merchant went down to the marketplace and he saw me standing in the crowd and he came to me and said, Why did you make a threating getsture to my servant when you saw him this morning? That was not a threatening gesture, I said, it was only a start of surprise. I was astonished to see him in Bagdad, for I had an appointment with him tonight in Samarra.

After the orgy and the Israeli founding fathers departed to announce the Israeli Declartion of Independence, Rabbi Ovadia Hedaya emerged into the chamber with another female. The woman was swathed in dark crimson and black shawls wrapping around a long gown. Although the attire covered the female’s skin entirely, her feminine form was unmistakable. Her face was partially covered by a transparent veil, nothing but white pupils where human eyes should be. The female had an inhuman stride as if walking through fire or some unseen obstacle. Rabbi Hedaya and the living shadow walked among the dead bodies lying in pools of blood. “It is done. The declaration has been made, and the war has begun.” The Rabbi said, careful not to look at the inhuman shadow. “ I hunger…” Rabbi Hedaya cringed when he heard its voice, inhuman and sibilant. “Come now dear Rabbi. I do not hunger for the flesh. It is against the laws of my race to consume the blood or flesh of a Beni ha’Adaam. I hunger for the iniquity of your mind and its unnatural desires.” The djinn cast her pale gaze upon the Rabbi.

1980s Film and Television

1980s Film and Television
© 2017 John F. Rychlicki III Leilah Publications
All rights reserved.

If the cinematic era from the 1930s to the late 1950s, beginning arguably with the 1927 release of The Jazz Singer, was Hollywood’s Golden Age, then 1980s film and television was Hollywood’s renaissance.  Hollywood’s Golden Age was built on the success of the studio model of integration; the “Big Five” studios (MGM, Paramount, Warner Bros., RKO and Fox) all controlled stakes, or purchased blocks of films in their own theater chains, ensuring that their films would be distributed.  The “Little Three;” Universal, Columbia Pictures and United Artists,  never owned more than small theater circuits, relying on independent theaters for distribution.

The Golden Age of Hollywood film saw the theatrical shift from silent film to “talkie” movies.  This cinematic wonder changed the landscape of cinema causing many ripples in the industry; vaudeville became deader than disco overnight, unable to compete with the now talking motion pictures.  Former vaudeville and stage actors wound up migrating to film in order to find work.  One of them, a Hungarian immigrant with a terribly thick accent, landed the lead role as “Count Dracula” in Universal’s 1931 picture.  Bela Lugosi was a rare instance of success in the sound-enabled shift from silence.

Along with vaudeville, thousands of piano players who were hired to play the Background Music for silent films also found themselves looking for work.  Smaller production studios that did not have the money to convert to sound-enabled cinema found themselves left behind and bankrupt, solidifying the power of the “Big Eight” Hollywood studios.  The blockbuster renaissance of 1980s cinema began with a series of blockbuster films; Francis Ford Coppola’s Godfather I & II (1972, and 1974 respectively) and George Lucas’ Star Wars (1979).  Blockbuster directors George Lucas, Stephen Spielberg, David Lynch, and Stanley Kubrick led a resurgence of blockbuster drama, sci-fi, and action cinema.

A string of blockbuster franchises characterized the film industry of the 1980s; the original Star Trek films, the “Indiana Jones” adventure films, the paranormal comedy Ghostbusters, the sci-fi “Back to the Future” films, and the “Rocky” dramas.  Numerous horror films gained popularity also, shifting from the classic terror films of the 1960s and 1970s namely the memorable “The Exorcist,” “Rosemary’s Baby,” and Roger Corman’s series of horror films under American International Pictures featuring Vincent Price in numerous roles.

Horror films like “Friday the 13th,” “Halloween,” and “Nightmare On Elm Street,” boasted a new breed of violence and gore, with sequels dragging on into the 21st century.  Blockbuster dramas and adventures defined the 1980s and the imagination of an entire generation, while a cluster of “coming of age” films identified Generation X to the world.  Topical Cold War films illustrated the Soviet menace for the Baby Boomers (Doctor Zhivago, Doctor Strangelove, The Manchurian Candidate), while their generation saw Marilyn Monroe, James Dean, Audrey Hepburn, and Gary Cooper; Generation X saw the rise of the “Brat pack” movies, defining their generation.

John Hughes wrote and directed a cluster of films that Generation X came to identify their social awkwardness and angst in social acceptance.  Hughes’ “Sixteen Candles,” won unanimous praise and success in 1984 with its honest depiction of upper middle class high school angst that every teenager identified with at the time.  Generation X identified with the themes of acceptance and understanding sprinkled with moments of levity mixed with insecurity, dysfunction, out-of-touch adults in “The Breakfast Club,” “Pretty in Pink,” “Weird Science,” and “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.”  Every GenX teenager could identify with a character, and situations of acceptance and dysfunction in Hughes’ stories.

By mid-decade, the videocassette recorder (VCR) allowed moviegoers to enjoy their favorite blockbusters in the comfort of their homes.  More people watched VHS movies on their VCRs than in the theatre by the mid-1980s.  Contrary to predictions, home video did not kill the movie theatre industry by the decade’s end.  To feed burgeoning home video and cable network sales (buoyed by cable channels Home Box Office/HBO, and Cinemax), independent studios expanded to increase film production.  Thus, cable television and home video drove the expansion theatrical releases of independent studios.

The 1980s blockbusters and many others became part of massive product merchandising and mass-market consumer appeal.  Tim Burton’s “Batman” (1989) became a merchandising empire.  Blockbusters transformed into ‘home entertainment,’ effectively making obsolete the “stand-alone” motion pictures of the 1950s through the mid-1970s.

Another cluster of blockbuster films ungracefully mimicked the ideological template of Reaganism and his worldview of the Soviet Union, as an “evil empire” attempting to impose its will on the world.  Cold War productions like “Iron Eagle,” and “Top Gun” (1986), had American fighter pilots combat Soviets and their allied planes.  “Red Dawn” (1986) and “Invasion USA” (1985) featured small bands of gung-ho Americans repelling Soviet invasions on American soil.  The “Rambo” film series had a Vietnam Veteran rescue missing Vietnam War prisoners.  A Rambo sequel portrayed Rambo aiding fictional Afghani rebels fighting the Soviet invasion.  Unfortunately, the fictionalized version of the guts-and-glory Rambo’s fight with the Afghanis actually mirrors Reagan’s military and political support of guerilla fighters who would later organize to become the Taliban, engineering the terrorists behind the September 11 attacks.  Maybe next movie, or inevitable remake, Rambo will get it right?

During the 1980s, instead of making films, Hollywood shifted to the production of film entertainment, a different enterprise that encompassed production and distribution of entertainment in a variety of markets and media, including video games, cable television, publishing, and product mass marketing.  Not only were moviegoers attracted to blockbuster movies on the big silver screen, now children were enticed to by the video games, read the books, and buy the toys, while adults enjoyed the movies on VHS and cable television.

Soap operas, sitcoms, and dramas dominated television programming during the 1980s, long before dramatic programs home to cable TV in the 1990s and during the 2000s.  Drama and soap-opera programming often merged in the form of crime dramas, as prominent evening shows like Dallas, Knots Landing, and Dynasty made way for Hill Street Blues, Cagney and Lacey, and L.A. Law; precursors to the much copied crime drama shows of the 2000s – NCIS, NYPD Blue, CSI, and Law & Order.  The crime drama programming of the 2000s has grown nearly indistinguishable from one another, while the programming of the 1980s maintained unique dramatic themes.

Situation comedies, sitcoms, dealt with the teen angst of middle class America like Growing Pains, Silver Spoons while shows like A Different World, What’s Happening, Sanford & Son, The Jeffersons, and the highly acclaimed Cosby Show appealed to young African Americans by depictions of blacks in various urban situations from not-so-affluent (Sanford & Son) to the affluent “movin’ on up” (Jeffersons, and Cosby Show) premise toppling various stereotypes.

Programs like Gimme A Break, Threes Company, Who’s The Boss, Facts of Life, and Different Strokes played on unconventional living situations, usually an ‘outsider’ moving in with a larger middle class family or oddly matched roommates.  Foreigners, and in one case an alien from outer space became the butt of comedy in shows like Perfect Strangers, Taxi, and Mork & Mindy.  Later in the 1990s, families would see programming mock, and upturn conventional norms of family life with shows like Roseanne and Married With Children.

The premise of 1980s television often echoed the living situations of middle class America – often with a liberal twist in the form of an outsider to the family’s living situation or an antagonistic character within the living situation, or setting – (“Sam” in Cheers, “Archie Bunker” in All in the Family, “Jack” in Three’s Company, “Nell Carter” in Gimme A Break!).  Crime dramas, soap operas, and science fiction serials rang in the decade with mass merchandising targeting the respective viewership for each genre.  Film in the 1980s saw a changing landscape with the Hollywood blockbusters and mass-marketing campaigns.

Though popular in the 1950s and 1960s thanks to John Wayne, Western films did not fare well, compared to the rarely successful crime dramas (Scarface, 1983), (Johnny Dangerously, 1984).  Science fiction, Vietnam War-oriented, and action-adventure blockbusters overshadowed teenage comedies (Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, 1986 and The Breakfast Club, 1985) and surprisingly successful musicals (Flashdance 1983,  Purple Rain 1984, Footloose and Dirty Dancing 1987, Little Shop of Horrors 1986, and La Bamba 1987).  As the decade ended with a rash of blockbuster sequels in 1989 (James Bond License to Kill, Star Trek V: The Final Frontier, Back to the Future Part II, Lethal Weapon 2, Ghostbusters II, A Nightmare on Elm Street: The Dream Child, Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan, Halloween V, the unforgettable Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade) the Blockbuster Era of Hollywood and the long-running 1980s television serials assimilated the home video and cable mass market – giving way to the digital age of the 1990s and 2000s.

Cinematic and television programming themes in the 1980s had many recurring themes, articulating shifts in social and political relations during the decade.  Films and television during the 1980s portrayed hardheaded social realities in dramatized documentary fashion.  There is an aesthetic, anticipatory dimension to 1980s television and film genres that creates an artistic global landscape, transcending the scope of a generation’s vision, articulating future hopes, dreams, or nightmares.

Generation X

Generation X
© 2017 John F. Rychlicki III Leilah Publications
All rights reserved.

GenXers could learn from and follow the example of previous generations, not just of hard work, but doing what you love in life.  Each generation hopes to hand their child’s generation a better life than they lived.  The parents and grandparents of Generation X already have their defining history and stories to tell.  Grandpa grew up during the depression, and served in World War II.  My mother remembers where she was when President Kennedy was shot; she remembers the Vietnam War and Watergate.

So who is Generation X?  What has defined our generation?  Generation X remembers when music mattered and changed the world, and yes, we actually paid for our music!  We remember Perestroika, and Glasnost, the fall of the Berlin Wall, the original Star Wars trilogy, hairspray and moose, VCRs, the US Olympic Men’s Hockey Team beating the Soviets, blockbuster films of the 1980s, Rocky, the Challenger disaster, MTV, Atari, Ferris Bueller, Guns n’ Roses, Big Hair bands, Who Shot JR?!, 1980s television sitcoms, Comic Relief, and many other icons that remain X-memories.

Some of us were just born when the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center were under construction.  We never had iPhones, iPads, Android phones, cell phones, or any phones that were “smart.” No caller ID – if the phone rang in my home, you took a chance!  It could be anyone!  We actually had to program a VCR and hoped it actually recorded what it was supposed to?  CDs, iTunes, and MP3s?

Get real kid.  If you wanted to record a song you had to buy the cassette tape, and rewind the thing just to play that one favorite song again and again.  If the tape broke, you were screwed.  Or you camped out in front of the radio trying to record your song, hoping the DJ would shut up and not talk through the first 45 seconds and ruin it.  We did not have cell phones, or text messaging.  If we were not home by six o’clock, we were in deep shit.  Facebook, YouTube, and DirectTV?  Nonsense, we actually talked to our friends in person!

We went outside and text messaging consisted of our parents yelling from down the street to get our asses home.  Even our parents’ friends had permission to smack us.  Nowhere was safe!  If you wanted to date a girl, you actually….had to go up to her, approach her…and ask her to her face!  Social media was you and your friends going to the mall – to meet everyone else and gossip.  Twitter was passing notes during class, then lunch during high school.

Generation X is not taking anyone’s shit.  We remember the Cold War.  We remember the Challenger disaster that took the lives of seven brave souls including the first teacher journeying to space; we remember rock music, not Napster and iTunes, when bands had to perform live to make it.  We remember the Reagan economy, and the Cold War, and the fall of the Berlin Wall which gave us all hope for a better world.   Now … Generation X are parents today.  Generation X is tired; we have to be up early in the morning.  Generation X wonders if we will have social security, where our 30s went, and is there still time to catch up?  Right now Generation X wants to sit down for a minute quietly and think.  Can we do that?  Just for a minute?

Right now Generation X is worried.  Generation X is worried about our future and our kids.  Baby Boomers, World War II generation, you had your time.  This is our time.  Generation X probably should have posted all this to Facebook.  No, to hell with that.  Generation X is going to write a book and you’re going to shut up and read.  Generation X needed you to support our works and our clients so we can travel more before we die.  Remember, parents and grandparents; Generation X has saved the world.  We’re not done yet.

Generation X saved the world and made it cool again.  We do not need Facebook pages, or T-shirts, or other social media memes to tell you how cool we are.  My generation is ungraciously sandwiched between the Baby Boomers (our parents, we do love them) moaning about Social Security cuts; and the Millennials, or ‘Generation Y’ whining about how life is so unfair, the world is “sooo messed up.”  To both preceding and succeeding generations, I will not offer a “thank you for the wisdom” or “good luck out there Yers,” I say to the Boomers and Millennials – get real.

Generation Xers are facing the possibility of Social Security insolvency, and no Medicare or Medicaid.  Who is going to take care of us when we reach retirement age?  The whiney spoiled ungrateful Millennials who cannot unglue themselves from their digital reality-life on their smart phones and social media networks?

We are the middle child in this generational rivalry.  The Boomers are the self-righteous firstborn, and the Millennials are the spoiled rotten younger sibling.  We are the forgotten middle child, our successes and tragedies overlooked in this generational tug-of-war.  The Millennials are today’s teens and twenty-something’s, lamenting about the dismal job market and how the world could be handed to them in such a chaotic state.

These digital Yers just love gadgets and digital stuff – Apple, plasma screens, smart phones, YouTube, Instagram, and Twitter.  They love to see themselves as pseudo-celebrities starring in their own reality-shows.  They love celebrities. They love social media. They love brand names . . . and follow trends rather than set them. Millennials are happy to do whatever advertising tells them to. They cannot manage to read anything longer than an instant message!

Xers like me grew up in Reagan America, witnessed the rise of Wall Street and the Internet, and the burst of the dot-com bubble.  We survived Presidents George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, and Barack Obama. We will approach mid-life in the era of President Trump.  We heard about John F. Kennedy, Johnson, and Nixon from our Baby Boomer parents.  We earned our money before the Internet, while Millennials easily enjoy the fruits of making money via social media.  Having a YouTube channel is not a job, despite what some spoiled millennial e-celebs think.  In the era of YouTube views, self-publishing, and Facebook pages, money and fame are easy to come by.  Sometimes all it takes is a sex tape or cover song.  Generation Xers now echo the self-righteous scolding of our Boomer parents: we had to work for our money, and we made money the old fashioned way; we earned it.

“Generation X” was first coined and later disowned by Douglas Coupland, author of the 1991 book Generation X: Tales for an Accelerated Culture. Coupland signified the letter ‘X’ for what he perceived as our generation’s random, ambiguous contradiction.  By 2014, 70 million Baby Boomers will have reached retirement age, while Generation X will assume leadership positions in the  world.

My generation has produced several Internet millionaires, but Census Bureau estimates have Generation X men grossing less income than our fathers did at our ages.  Economic recessions are not unfamiliar to us, since we have crawled out of the economic wreckage of the past eight years.  Many of us managed to salvage entrepreneurship from the dot-com meltdowns of the 1990s and the disaster of the Bush Presidency.

Generation X has traveled the world whether on scholarships, savings, academic programs, tax refunds, or paid medical research stipends; we are the poverty jet-setters.  Media stereotypes in GenXer films like “Singles,” “Reality Bites,” and “Clerks” painted a picture of Generation Xers as overeducated underachievers, slackers and losers.  Yet we defy all cultural and social demographic; we always defy the economic odds, which always seem against my generation.

The sheer scope of political, international, economic and environmental disasters that have occurred over the course of our lifetimes leaves Generation X with no choice but to begin to go about the business of saving the world from itself, and in the process, making it cool again.

Similar to mafia “cleaners” who remove bullet-riddled bodies and ‘clean’ up bloody aftermaths of mob business, Generation Xers are the cleaners of the bloody social & cultural wreckage left behind by the environmental, political, international, and economic mafia-level policies of the George W. Bush presidency.  Generation X is like ‘Winston Wolfe’ from Quentin Tarantino’s hit “Pulp Fiction.”  We solve problems.

The most influential websites today, YouTube, Google, and come from minds who sought to bring the world and more to your PC, Mac, or iPad; GenXers have reinvented global business, and changed forever the way the world interacts and does business.  Whether or not we have changed the world through something as technologically macro as Google, or, Generation Xers’ influence on American culture is from its social shadows.

Xer change comes from the margins from beyond any and all demographics.  Our revolutions are being downloaded and uploaded live.  The Obama Generation is not a censure on any generation.  It is one of many messages of Generation X, telling you that yes; we have taken over the world and saved it.  We made it cool again and we’re not done.  You didn’t get that “Tweet” did you?

“In the Shadows of Darth Vader” (Star Wars fan short stories)


Tired of remakes, reboots, re-imaginings, no originality? KEEP IT CLASSIC ON SCI-FI SATURDAY & SUNDAY!  Straight from somewhere in Leilah Publications’ lair, the Night Owl brings you Intergalactic invasions, space operas in a galaxies far far way, quantum twists, alien sex, time travel, forbidden planets, attacks & adventures within our solar system, alien monsters, classic vampires, mad scientists, werewolves, – all vintage and classic science fiction and horror for your Nerdy download, bookmark, and FREE entertainment!


Based on Star Wars created by George Lucas

In the Shadows of Darth Vader” Copyright © John F. Rychlicki III Leilah Publications 2016

Cloud City, Bespin system, Interior VADER’S STAR DESTROYER – BRIDGE

Lieutenant Commander Jorin Clovis had only seen Darth Vader with his own eyes once, prior to his promotion and reassignment from Engineering.  He was off duty after pulling two shifts in Engineering when he was walking alone, silently gazing into deep space on the Command Deck.  Lost in thought, he wondered when he would see his home again on Corellia.  He heard it first.  The slow cadence of mechanized breathing.  Clovis froze.  He heard all the terrible stories of the Dark Lord of the Sith.  A creature that should be dead, rumors of his rise from the Jedi cult and mastery of ancient dark sorcery.  He believed all the stories, how the Dark Lord choked officers to death with the invisible grasp of his unnatural sorcery.  He was paralyzed with terror.

The mechanized breathing grew nearer.  Clovis had to force himself to tilt his head slightly and glance to the exterior corridor leading to the Command Bridge.  What he saw was a black cloaked nightmare, enshrouded in ebon amor striding through the corridor. Before he realized he had been holding his breath for nearly a minute, the Dark Lord exited past the long corridor and disappeared through the doors.  Clovis exhaled.  The mechanized breathing’s horrific cadence pierced his thoughts.  The unnatural echos would be the object of his nightmares in his sleepless nights to come.

Now less than a standard week into his promotion, he anxiously monitored his two control screens as they prepared to capture the Millennium Falcon.  The Millennium Falcon.  Clovis heard the stories about this unassuming Rebel YT-1300 Corellian freighter that held Lord Vader’s personal interest.  Rumors had it that Rebel leader Leia Organa and Luke Skywalker himself were cornered on Bespin.  It would be a day to remember for the Empire, if they captured these two Rebel extremists.

Clovis calibrated the 60 mm Point Defense Laser Turrets in the Tactical pit on the Command Bridge.   Then he heard it.  The mechanized breathing.  Darth Vader strode onto the bridge staring out the view screen.  Clovis’ heart skipped a beat as he froze in paralyzed terror.  Lieutenant Commander Ryjo noticed and nudged him at his console.  “Focus, man!” he whispered loud enough for just the two of them to hear.  Clovis breathed in rasps, unable to look at the dark madness that was a sick hybrid machine and man.  “They’ll be in range of our  tractor beam in moments, my lord.”  Admiral Piett said confidently.  “Did your men deactivate the hyperdrive on the Millennium Falcon?” Vader’s synthetic voiced boomed.  “Yes, my lord.”  Piett replied. “Good. Prepare the boarding party and set your weapons for stun.”  Lord Vader continued to gaze out of the view screen.  “Yes, my lord.”  Piett replied, opening his comlink. Finally, we’ll have both Princess Leia and Luke Skywalker.  Surely this will cripple the Rebellion. Clovis thought at his console.

Clovis forced himself to glance upwards to see Vader standing on the bridge, watching as TIE fighters chased the Millennium Falcon.  Clovis visibly cringed as the cadence ofVader’s synthesized breathing grew slightly faster.  “Luke.” Clovis heard Vader whisper.  Luke? Skywalker? He turned to see if the other Tactical Officers heard, but if they did they were busy at their consoles, pretending they did not.  Probably for the better.  “Son, come with me.” Clovis thought he heard Vader whisper. What?? Son?? Was Clovis hearing things?  He thought himself mad.  Did Darth Vader just say….who’s son?? Clovis wondered incredulously.  He abruptly rose from his console and crossed the Tactical Pit to get nearer to Vader.  He pretended to be monitoring the console next to the Tactical Gunner.  The two Imperial Officers exchanged looks of understanding, and confusion.

Luke… it is your destiny.”  There was no mistaking what Clovis knew he heard.  Skywalker??  Was Vader whispering about Skywalker?  Who was he talking to??  Clovis thought he was going mad.  Who’s son??  His heart and thoughts raced. Did Vader infer Skywalker was his son??  Admiral Piett’s command brought him back momentarily.  “Alert all commands. Ready for the tractor beam.”  Clovis heard Vader’s mechanized breathing slightly increase.  He turned his gaze to the giant view screen as the Star Destroyer closed in on the Millennium Falcon.

The Falcon soared into infinity and away from the huge Star Destroyer which by contrast, stood still.  Admiral Piett and another Captain glanced at Vader in terror.  Clovis froze, terrified.  Mechanized breathing echoed across the bridge.  We’re all dead.  Dead.  Clovis thought, paralyzed in terror.

Darth Vader turned slowly and walked off the bridge, his hands clasped behind his back in a contemplative gesture.  The Sith Lord’s mechanized breathing echoed across the bridge and in Lieutenant Commander Clovis’ mind.


Endor moon orbit, Second Death Star – SHUTTLE DOCKING BAY

The galaxy was falling apart, chaos reigned everywhere.  Evacuation orders on the Second Death Star, had been issued by each sector’s Commanding Officers.  “There’s no time, Jamyl hurry!”  Commander Cyan Jove urged his long time mate.  Another loud rumble shook him and every other scurrying Imperial officer off balance.  Commander Jamyl Jove Spica couldn’t believe it had come to this.  She had no doubt the Emperor would regroup the fleet and wipe out the Rebels in one final blow they would never see coming.  It would not be from this battle station though.  She and Cyan heard unfounded rumors the Empire had began construction on a third much larger battle station.  It seemed the entire Rebel fleet was engaged.  We will fight the extremist swine to their deaths. She thought confidently.  Smoked and fumes cascaded about the Shuttle Docking Bay.

We’ve got to get out of here.  Orders are to regroup on the Vigilance.  Rae has the Rebels driven back on the far side of Endor.”  Jove shouted.  Cyan Jove and Jamyl Spica were life long friends of Admiral Rae Sloane, commander of the Star Destroyer Vigilance.  They ducked and sprinted towards a docked shuttle as sections of the Docking Bay ceiling bulkhead began to collapse.  Out of the corner of his eye, Commander Cyan saw two black clad figures stand out.  He turned and stumbled in disbelief.  There, in the Docking Bay, a black clad Rebel was dragging the unmoving body of Darth Vader.

By the stars…! ” Cyan Jove exclaimed in shock.  Another loud rumble and quake shook the Docking Bay and knocked them off their feet.  Commander Spica recognized the black clad man dragging Darth Vader.  She read the intelligence uplinks and saw the holovid archives.  “That’s Skywalker!”  She exclaimed.  “Luke Skywalker??”  Cyan was entering a state of shock.  “Yes! That’s him!” Jamyl said in disbelief. “What in the…”  but Jamyl cut him off before he could finish.  Were the rumors she heard true?  That Skywalker really was the Son of the mad Sith cultist?  She grabbed Cyan.  “Cyan!  Now!”  Her mate stared in shock as the scene unfolding before them.  Luke Skywalker was dragging the lifeless body of Darth Vader onto a nearby shuttle.

By the stars….” Cyan spat in shock.  The Docking Bay shook with another loud rumble.  Cyan and Jamyl ran onto another shuttle.  Darth Vader was dead.  The galaxy was falling apart.