Category: Paramedia

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?

Why Horror is the Best Movie Genre

Top 10 Reasons Why Horror is the Best Movie Genre
© 2017 Donnalyn Vojta Leilah Publications
All rights reserved.

A lot of people shy away from horror movies, especially because they remember being afraid of the “boogie man” when they were children. People ages 18 and up tend to enjoy horror movies more because, by that age, their brains don’t process the films’ images as real. They know it’s only movie magic, so they can truly enjoy the thrills and chills without the lingering fear effect. No other genres make you hold your breath, jump out of your seat, scream or curl into a little ball like a juicy horror flicks! Those reactions are usually followed by laughter at oneself or at others–what’s not fun about that?!

Some people may be tainted because the first horror or thriller film(s) they saw were bad ones.  Don’t throw the baby out with the bath water, as they say (whoever “they” are). Movies that received a lot of hype and press prior to their release, but then disappointed movie-goers could ruin someone forever on horror flicks. Don’t be one of those victims. You may be such a victim if you watched The Blair Witch Project, The Witch, or Crimson Peak. Despite opinions to the contrary, especially as to Blair Witch, these three certainly did not deliver (at least, in my opinion). Don’t despair. The following list could revive your excitement about having a good scare while watching a movie with your big bucket of popcorn! Here’s my analysis:

1.THEY SURPRISE YOU.  Think of the movie, Psycho (1960) with Anthony Perkins playing the lead, Norman Bates. Really! Would anyone have thought that he was not only keeping something extraordinarily disturbing in his creepy house, but also, he would…well, I won’t spoil the movie for you. Psycho continues to cause lots of trembling gasps from first-time viewers to this day. Oh, and we cannot forget about its famous shower scene, now an iconic scene across all genres of film.  Alfred Hitchcock knew what he was doing. That’s for sure! Even the filming style—weird angles and zooms in and out at odd times—greatly added to the creepy factor. If you haven’t seen this classic, get it and watch it now.  Well, wait until you finish this article, then go get it.

2. THEY TWIST YOUR MIND. Ever see The Others (2001) with Nicole Kidman? That one has you going in one direction for almost the whole movie until you really find out who’s dead and who’s alive. I’m pretty good as figuring out endings, but this had me stumped all the way until the actual moment of reveal. Nicely done, Alejandro Amenábar (director). It’s crazy, but very weird and eerie along the way! The Sixth Sense (1999) would fall under this category, too. That’s also an iconic film at this point, starring Bruce Willis and Haley Joel Osment. When the movie ends, you will find yourself replaying the whole thing in your head to figure out how you missed so many clues.

3. THEY SHOCK YOUR PSYCHOLOGICAL AND PHYSICAL SYSTEMS. I put Silence of the Lambs (1991) and Seven (1995) in this category. The former stars Anthony Hopkins and Jodi Foster, and the latter stars Brad Pitt and Morgan Freeman. These pairings, alone, should draw you to see these extraordinarily scary movies—both about serial killers. Silence involves an imprisoned cannibal and a female FBI agent who must consult with the cannibal serial killer in order to hunt down another serial killer. In Seven, the diabolical killer messes with the minds and lives of the detectives (Brad Pitt and Morgan Freeman) who are trying to hunt him down. It’s quite an emotive movie. Both movies sport some pretty grotesque surprises, but overall, they are psychological thrillers, not simply blood and gore. Silence and Seven shock us, as compassionate human beings, to the point where we have to see if the serial murderer is ever stopped. They are can’t-stop-watching movies. These are perfect films for escaping from the hum-drum of everyday life, if that’s what you need.

4. THEY GIVE YOU EDGE-OF-YOUR-SEAT FILM VIEWING. These are awesome because you are so entrenched in the story that it’s like nothing else is happening around you, and you will likely be, literally, at the edge of your seat watching every second as if your life depended on it. I put Alien and The Thing in this category—both the 1982 and 2011 version of The Thing. Alien is great, especially if you saw it any time during the early 1980s. It came out in 1979, and it was way ahead of its time, sporting a setting in space where transportation vessels bounced around the solar system like 727’s moving cargo and people back and forth in the mainland U.S.A. skies.  It’s still great now because of its unique story of an unknown non-human creature killing people who were on a simple exploration mission. Sigourney Weaver stars and shines in the film. The Thing is great because of  its  disturbing story and quick pace. This ill-fated cast of researchers determines that there is an alien organism among them that morphs into any person or living thing around them. You never know whether one of the characters is really the original person or the monster about to attack! These are the type of films that keep you guessing and betting who is the next to be infected or killed, which adds another layer of entertainment for the audience.

5. SOME HAVE WEIRD UNIQUE STORYLINES. Most of the time–the weirder the better, but some can be disappointing. The good quirky ones include Insidious (2010) and the not-so-good ones include Jeepers Creepers (2001). Insidious takes the viewer into another realm, where a child is stuck, and his parents need to find a way to get him back to our world–the living world as we know it on Earth. The film’s creation of the other realm is amazing. It boasts lots of creepy scenes, colorful but dark spaces, and who doesn’t want to see a young boy be rescued and re-united with his own loving parents?  Great plot!  Conversely, Jeepers Creepers starts out scary, but ends up silly, in my humble opinion, so the frightening beginning becomes a waste of time once the story’s end is revealed.

6. THEY CAN BE HORRIFYING TO YOUR CORE, proving that you’re not so tough after all. Those are especially fun to watch with friends because then you can tease each other after you and your buds display your childish screams and embarrassing jumps back, or up! The Ring (2002) and The Conjuring (2013) are great for this kind of fun. In The Ring, a movie about an urban legend that says watching a certain videotape of bizarre images will be the catalyst of your own impending death, imparts some of the most scary, nightmarish images I have ever beheld on screen. I won’t give anything away, but suffice it to say, your feelings on faulty TV’s may never be the same. The Conjuring contains the classic events that scared us all as children: dark basements, flickering lights, sounds under our beds, I can go on, but I’m getting scared just thinking about it. These spooky treasures substantially up the terrifying scale as the story unfolds. As if the horrifying demonic possession plot isn’t enough!  If you like screaming and feeling chills up and down your spine, this is your category.

7. THEY CAN MAKE YOU ANGRY, BUT when the bad guy/thing finally gets payback, it is ESPECIALLY SATISFYING to the human heart. When a Stranger Calls (1979 or 2006 version) is a great example for this category. The first one made movie history with the line, “Have you checked the children?” For anyone who has ever babysat at night, this movie will be especially scary, and for everyone else, it’s still scary, and you may even find yourself yelling at the movie’s babysitter to do something different than what she’s doing. It’s hilarious to be a viewer, or see viewers, screaming at a screen in desperation and frustration to help this poor babysitter. Good fun!

8. THEY CAN SPOOK YOU, which is always mind-bending, especially when you are not sure yet whether you believe in ghosts. Check out Paranormal Activity (just the first one from 2007) to really make you wonder. It’s so reality-based that it’s difficult not to believe in ghosts after you watch it. The film is pretty cool because it’s based on a young couple who live together, and because of some odd phenomena in their home, they begin videotaping rooms within while they sleep to see if they can catch whatever is causing these strange and creepy household anomalies. What’s more horrifying is that it’s not just ghosts in the cast, but demons who can physically contact the living. Yikes!

9. SOME ARE WONDROUS AND UNIQUE, and who doesn’t love those qualities in a flick? Try The Haunting (1999) with Liam Neeson, Catherine Zeta-Jones and Owen Wilson. It has it all! Strange ornate mansion, eerie secluded location, great visual effects, a diverse and quirky set of characters trapped inside a haunted estate, and, of course, a supernatural presence orchestrating the entire plotline to a surprising, exciting and somewhat bittersweet ending. This is for those who prefer surprises over terror. Scream (1996), starring Neve Campbell, Courtney Cox and David Arquette, could arguably be put into this category, too.  That became a big hit because it was almost a spoof on horror films, yet was its own actual horror film as well.  Well done, director, Wes Craven!  Great fresh thriller flick.

10. FINALLY, SOME SATISFY THE HUMAN NEED FOR JUSTIFIABLE REVENGE.  These are my personal favorites. For two women-centric thrillers in this category, see Sleeping with the Enemy (Julia Roberts) and Enough (Jennifer Lopez). So satisfying! Never underestimate a woman, especially, in Enough‘s case, where a woman must protect her child. In Sleeping with the Enemy (1991), Julia Robert’s character must escape from her cold diabolical and dangerous husband, and she gets pretty far in her efforts to start a new life without him.  The fun part is how this film has scenes that scare the daylights out of you, even though when taken out of context, would not scare anyone. The story-telling is fantastic in this one, especially one particular line at the end of the movie. I won’t provide the quote, but you will know what I am talking about when you hear it. In Enough (2002), Jennifer Lopez plays, Slim, an abused wife who very carefully finds a way to leave her cheating abusive husband, but then he catches up to her. Ladies, Slim will give you hope and inspiration to fight back against men who abuse women. I have found that many men like both of these revenge-type movies as well.  They are both awesome films, primarily because of their exciting cathartic endings.

Of course, some of the above qualities may be found in action-packed dramas, but there’s just something extra thrilling, spine-tickling and bone-chilling about getting these entertainment treasures from horror and spooky films that makes horror movies so much better. Check out all the above films, and see for yourself if horror films should move up on your list of favorite kinds of movies. Happy Thrills!

For Donnalyn Vojta’s upcoming fiction thrillers, see her website or her author Facebook page. and!

Nazis and the Occult: Fraternities of the Twisted Cross

Nazis and the Occult: Fraternities of the Twisted Cross
© 2017 John F. Rychlicki III Leilah Publications
All rights reserved.

I uprooted many archaic and esoteric secret societies in my previous research, many of my peers refer to as “illuminati.”  I can safely say there exists a contiguous historical relationship between Nineteenth and Twentieth century occult societies.   We begin briefly in the Eighteenth century to bridge secret societies past to modern occult organizations.  There are a few significant societies in this period who synchronous histories I will consult.

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.  The Rite appealed to German ethnic pride, attracted the nobility, and was purportedly directed by “Unknown Superiors,” an early allusion to the “Secret Chiefs” commonly found in the shadowy beginnings of the Golden Dawn organizations.

With Rosicrucian groups capturing Observance Neophytes, after the death of von Hund in 1776, a Convent was held at Wilhelmsbad from 6 July 1782 – 1 September 1783 “resolved and declared 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 volkommene 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 Brother from the Order of the Golden and Rosy Cross”) under his fraternal motto, Sincerus Renatus in Prague as a hierarchical secret society.  Like many societies of its era, Gold und Rosenkreuzer was a secret society composed of esoteric ciphers, degrees of initiation, and alchemical treatises.

Under Frater 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 Cross initiates, coming under the direction of Fratres Johann Christoph von Wöllner and General Johann Rudolph von Bischoffwerder, infiltrated the Grand Lodge Zu den drei Weltkugeln (Three Globes).  Because of the shift from Operate to Speculative Free-Masonry, many Freemasons became Rosicrucians and Rosicrucianism was established in many lodges.

The dangers of secret societies’ influence in political institutions and movements are evident in German mystic fraternities entwined with nationalist fervor amid stressful economic conditions.  Teutonic fraternities and the Gold und Rosenkreuzer influenced German mysticism and romantic nationalism.  The occult revivals of the Nineteenth and Twentieth centuries were liberally inspired by Germanic paganism and Romanticism, evident in cultural fascination with Runic alphabets.

Ariosophy is an esoteric philosophy embedded with German nationalist ideology.  The philosophy was pioneered by laudable Austrian authors; Guido von List and Jörg Lanz von Liebenfels between 1890 and 1930 respectively.  To understand the fraternities of the twisted cross, I defer to historian Nicholas Goodrick-Clarke whose 1985 tract, “The Occult Roots of Nazism: The Ariosophists of Austria and Germany 1890-1935” (Wellingborough, England: The Aquarian Press 1985) is the most authoritative source on the subject.  Per Goodrick-Clarke, List and Lanz use the terms Wotanism, Theozoology, and Ario-Christianity, descriptive of Germanic occult movements.  List and Lanz inspired a collection of mystic societies in Austria and Germania during the publishing of their treatises.

Lanz lists Germanic nationalism, Aryan ethno-centrism, and runic magic as important influences in Ariosophy.  Völkisch authors Ellegaard Ellerbek, Phillip Stauff, and Günther Kirchoff, fostered the runic occultism of List (Goodricke-Clarke 1985:155) while Friedrich Bernhard Marby and Siegfried Adolf Kummer (Goodricke-Clarke 1985:160-162) organized 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 occult form.  List was familiar with the cyclical phenomena of space-time, which he studied in Norse mythology and the theosophical adaption of the Hindu Yugas, or epochs.  In 1908, the Wannieck family (Friedrich Wannieck and son Friedrich Oskar Wannieck) chartered the Guido von List Society (Guido-von-list-Gesellschaft) as an occult völkisch organization, designed to finance and publish List’s research (Goodricke-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.  Goodricke-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).

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 initiated 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 flat 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 Waffen0SS lieutenant, Rudolf Mund, contacted the remnant initiates and became Prior of the Order in 1979.  Rudolf Mund also authored biographies of Lanz and Wiligut (Goodricke-Clarke 1981, pp.119,122).

The Germanenorden (Germanic or Teutonic Order, not to be confused with the medieval German Order of the Teutonic Knights) was a völkisch secret society inspired by List.  Theodor Fritsch and German occultists Phillip Stauff (who held office in the List Society and High Armanen Order as well as Hermann Pohl, who became the Germanenordern’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 the 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 Holy Grail.

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 Sufism and astrology; he was also an enthusiast of List and Lanz von Liebenfels’ writings.  Convinced that Sufi and Germanic mystical systems shared an Aryan racial root, the Order’s runic lore mesmerized Sebottendorff who became 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.

Ahnenerbe was a Nazi German 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 Ahnenerbe was to validate the anthropological and cultural history of the Aryan race, later to conduct experiments and research into eugenics, and conduct archaeological expositions proving that prehistoric and mythic Teutonic races once ruled the world.

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 (The Institute for Military Scientific Research), conducted extensive medical experiments using human subjects most of them interned in concentration camps, became attached to the Ahnenerbe during the Third Reich.  It was managed by Wolfram Sieverson the orders of Himmler, who appointed him director.

The Thule Society (German: Thule-Gesellschaft) originally the Studiengruppe für germanisches Altertum (“Study Group for Germanic Antiquity”), was a German occult völkisch group founded in Munich, named after a mythical Teutonic country from Greek legends.  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 the schism.

In 1918, Sebottendorff contacted Neuhaus and the two became acquaintances in a recruitment campaign.  Sebottendorff eventually adopted Neuhaus’s Thule Society as a cover-name for his Munich lodge of the Germanenordern 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 triune form.

They identified “Ultimate Thule,” believed by Nazi mystics in the hierarchy, to be 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 al 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 Helena Petrovna Blavatsky, founder of the Theosophical Society.

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 Taxis (Goodricke-Clarke 1985, p.147).

On 5 January 1919, 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, generally known as the Nazi 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 his oratory skills and had Hitler dedicate Mein Kampf to him), Gottfried Feder, Hans Frank, Hermann Göring, Karl Haushofer, Rudolf Hess, Heinrich Himmler, and Alfred Rosenberg.  Goodricke-Clarke describes Bonder’s membership roster “spurious,” noting that Feder, Eckhart, and Rosenberg were never more than guests to whom the Thule Society extended hospitality.

It has been claimed by fanciful conspiracy producers that Adolf Hitler himself was a member of the Thule Society.  Evidence on the contrary shows that he never attended a meeting, as attested to by Johannes Hering’s diary of Society meetings (Johannes Hering, “Beiträge zur Geschichte der Thule-Gesellschaft,” typescript dated 21 June 1939, Bundesarchiv Koblenz, NS26/865, cited in Goodricke-Clarke {1985:201}, who concludes: {“There is no evidence that Hitler ever attended the Thule Society.”}).  It is clear from German historical archives that Hitler himself had little interest in, and made little time for ‘esoteric’ matters.  For evidence of this, observe Hitler’s Nuremberg speech of 6 September 1938 on his disapproval of occultism.

Persecution of occultists developed from the Nazi policy of systematically closing down esoteric organizations including Masonic lodges.  The main instigator of occult backlash was Himmler’s personal occultist, Karl Maria Wiligut.  Wiligut identified Nazism with the monotheistic religion of Irminsim as the true Teutonic ancestral belief, condemning Guido von List’s Wotanism as a schismatic false faith.  There are also unverifiable rumors that the occultist Aleister Crowley sought to contact Hitler during World War II.

Crowley’s associations with Nazi mysticism spurn primarily from his cult-followers, Thelemites, who engage the fantasy as a matter of crypto-history sans historical fact.  Despite several fanatical allegations and speculations to the contrary (e.g. Giorgio Galli), there is no evidence of such an encounter.  (Hakl, Hans Thomas “Der verbogene Geist von Eranos’ – Sinzheim: Scientia Nova, Verl. Neue Wiss., 2001).

John Symonds, who is one of Crowley’s literary executors, published The Medusa’s Head or Conversations between Aleister Crowley and Adolf Hitler in 1991, which is speculation and fiction; pandering to a very small cultic faction of Crowley’s followers.  The limited print run of the book to 350 copies doubtlessly contributed to the mystery surrounding Crowley and Hitler.  Mention of any connection between Crowley and Hitler, without any citations or evidence, is also made in a letter from René Guénon to Julius Evola dated 29 October 1949 which excited a much wider audience after Crowley’s death.

Psychology of Secret Societies and Cults

Psychology of Secret Societies and Cults · Copyright © 2016 John F. Rychlicki III · Leilah Publications · All Rights Reserved ·

9780982999233-previewIt is the obligation of persons with decent and moral character during times of repression, thuggery, psychological terrorism, and disinformation to revolt against malevolent occult institutions and collusions.  Muslims and their spiritual friends and helpers, to act true pillars of the Intifada against virulent “magical orders” operating now as modules of commercialism and juvenile entitlement.  These contemporary “magical orders” are infectious to logic and reason; they are only products, easily marketable in a self-published digital world that knows little distinction between research and ranting.

Satanic “synagogues” and “churches,” like the “Church of Satan,” “Order of Nine Angels,” “Order of Phosphorus,” “Synagogue of Satan,” Scientology, Freemasonry, American “Guru” movements such as “Sathya Sai Baba,” Osho movement and “Osho Foundation,” Shambhala Buddhism, particularly Thelema and Thelemic ‘organizations;’ “Ordo Templi Orientis,®” “Hermetic Golden Dawn,” “Open Source Order of the Golden Dawn,” “Antiquities of the Illuminati,” and various Shaytan-ctred groups too spurious to list are nothing more than extensions of personal delusion and fantasies of entitlement.

History is beginning one revolution at a time building to a crucible of human excess and depravity.  Intifada in Arabic translates as “uprising,’ or “revolt.”  An ‘Intifada,’ is obligated to occur against occult organizations that have become merely a shell of shells in the Invisible College, spurning initiations laced with lineage disputes, and internecine group melodrama.  Modern occult groups and their personalities have grown more absorbed in presentation, especially on the Internet, ignoring magical content and development of personal power.  Rituals and degrees have lost their mystique and relevance when readily available on the Internet at the click of fingers, rather than a physical journey to a lodge, library, workshop, or university.  No longer is there such a thing as “occult.”

It is no less the goal of our affiliates, colleagues, researchers, prodigious artists, initiated Brethren and Matrons, confederates to revolt against, expose, and abolish the afore-listed “magical orders.”  When in good faith, persons of honorable character strive to better existing social institutions, to act in accords of enlightenment and fraternity furthering the human condition in synchronicities of science, religion, and technology; it is the obligation of these honorable societies to revolt against and abolish virulent and malevolent collusions, namely the afore-listed “ magical associations.”

Intifada must be philosophically violent, opposed to the afore-listed “magical-spiritual associations.”  Revolt must be personal, financial, and social; the movement must be a rebellion against fraud; against slander and libel; against personal delusions of entitlement.  Revolt must never cease until the afore-listed contagions are amputated from relevant social strata.

Cabals of enlightenment remain a considerable culture hidden behind developments and prodigious minds in art, music, literature, theatre, and erotica.  The Cabal has charted new courses in the arts and remained secret under various collusions, never appearing under the same name; always under a different name or occupation, uncovering new modes of sexual expression and erotica within world religions, their scriptures, and ideologies.

They already have revolutionized culture, leading new approaches to technology and social development; pioneering explorations in psychology and technology that will synthesize information with matter.  The ‘Cabal’ known by its many monikers are the pillars of social progress; there influence in social strata  is not linear; it is recursive and exponential.  Their new social strata will replace obsolete social strata.

The existence of the ‘Cabal’ is a revolt against global disorder, oppression, and ignorance.  The afore-listed “magical organizations” or projects, are the embodiment of social degeneration and maladaptive behavior.  Intifada must break down reality tunneling of the past; spiritual fraternity is becoming replaced by Media Mystery Schools.  Too much information has been released.  Naturally, insurrectionists will counter with an influx of disinformation before we leave.  The “Cabal” in the global age has moved from hierarchies to networks.  Global and economic managing now comes through networks rather than through hierarchies.  Governments network for the same reason non-government organizations, financial agencies, and criminals network: information brokerage.

The notion of an occult Intifada against the listed “magical orders” and projects belongs to a three-dimensional view of history: this view does not regard as essential, superficial dimensions of time and space (which include causes, facts, and visible leaders).  It rather emphasizes the dimension of depth, or the ‘subterranean’ dimension in which forces and influences often act in a decisive manner, and which, more often not than not, cannot be reduced to what is merely human, whether at an individual or a collective level.  Intifada is our collective story, our common obligation.

One of the major differences between individuals who pursue and study the fine arts, classics, and common individuals in the human condition is the ability to experience the entire spectrum of existence, to adapt and change their environment according to their desire.  Occultism often attracts narcissistic personalities who have a grandiose sense of self-value, and they consistently overestimate and overvalue their endowments.  They exaggerate their accomplishments and are boastful, arrogant, and pretentious. Many have real talents and abilities, most are simply legends in their own mind tending not to test themselves in the natural echelons.

Their identities are codependent on their emotions, expending critical amounts of energy guarding against feelings of shame, humiliation and protecting them from criticism. It is not uncommon for them to be easily wounded and oscillate between guarding feelings of superiority, against having anyone finding out how inferior they feel compared to their delusions of superiority.  Occult personalities, such as Crowley and his Thelemic cult, Golden Dawn personalities Griffin, Zink, and Cherubim are very status oriented and prefer to be with admirers or others who can maintain and inflate their feelings of artificial prodigy.

These megalomaniacs have a strong sense of entitlement, often denied them in professional, social, and academic environments preferring to focus their feelings on lacking qualities.  They incapable of taking responsibility for their behavior while ignoring ensuing consequences and prefer to blame others for their moral and professional failures. Their poise is artificial, as they expend maximum efforts in denying, hiding, and lying about their moral failure.

Their relationships are frequently superficial. People are regarded either as a danger to their artificially superior status, or as a booster, enabling approval or serving as an audience. While they may be very good at showing concern for others, especially within a group setting, it is a sham. They lack real compassion and emotional depth, too preoccupied with their grandiose fantasies, keeping themselves from feelings of despair, sadness, and emptiness. As a rule their relationship are short and artificial.

They do not see the world clearly; because they are blinded by feelings of entitlement, and delusions of grandeur.  They remain unaware of their neuroses, unaware their minds are lost in delusion.  Individuals like Griffin, Breeze, and Cherubim who are in positions of artificial “influence” are quickly wounded, often silently, at the slightest perceived insult.  Such perceptions descend into paranoia, and feelings of depression, aggression, and recrimination.  My experiences in observance of several occult personalities like Griffin, Koetting, Cherubim, and Thelemites indicates that if these individuals do not resolve issues of entitlement they are physically unhealthy, unattractive, and unintelligent, unable to apply intelligence professionally and artistically.

Their strategies for coping moral and artistic failure is to increase their level of controlling behavior.  Some become eccentric and withdraw from life into esoteric pursuits, joining occult orders and working their way up artificial magical rankings where they can verify that they are chosen, unique, and special.  Some even provoke intense persecution and crucifixion of sorts to prove their grandiose neuroses.  They have extreme difficulty in accepting the proposition that nature is arbitrary, capricious, and beautifully chaotic.  It is difficult for them to accept themselves and life without a story of grandeur and entitlement.  Hence, they attract themselves to grandiose spiritual titles or characters, such as “Grand Master,” “Founder,” or even “Antichrist.”

Thelema is an occult philosophy centred on neo-Gnosticism, Witchcraft, hedonism, and Nietzschian will-based philosophies popularized by Edward Alexander Crowley {Aleister Crowley} around the year A.D. 1904.  Copious cultish organizations have sprouted and multiplied during and after Crowley’s lifetime, many of them in their own machinations professing some version of Crowley’s teachings.  If we exclude the deformed sense of reality that so often bleeds from questionable characters associated with the “Occult,” Crowley’s teachings and literature were in essence a plagiarism of Christian Gnosticism mixed with ceremonial magic, the hyper-Cynicism of Diogenes of Siope, Nietzsche’s will-based philosophies and the hedonism of Francois Rabelais and Marquis D.A.F. de Sade.

All cults stem from a fundamentalism root often from within an established religious tradition.  Cults can exploit and abuse members psychologically conditioning the new proselytes into a deformed sense of reality and ideologies.  Cults with elaborate and often emotional means of indoctrination often manipulate and wage authoritarian mind control over members.  Cults, such as Crowley’s “Thelema” are communal and totalistic in their organization. Individuals join because of what the group does for them – namely, fulfill and exploit unconscious psychological needs.

The human inclination for spirituality and its latency in the human genome is subject matter than I researched for years in and out of academia.  The occult sciences can open one to supernatural and neurological energies, and resources unavailable to the majority of our species for nearly two-thousand years.  Permanent neurological and psychological damage can easily result from engaging occult sciences, to dilettantes and the most seasoned occultists.  I have personally observed occultists develop severe neuroses and psychotic complexes, and further aggravate pre-existing psychoses, by engaging in energies they could not understand nor took the time and effort to research the “dark arts.”


Sufism, the Muslim Brotherhood, and Radical Islamic Terrorism

Sufism, the Muslim Brotherhood, and Radical Islamic Terrorism.
© 2013 John F. Rychlicki III Leilah Publications
All rights reserved.


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The use of the word Islam as a comprehensive term denoting a spiritual tradition originating from the teachings of Muhammad is a relatively modern development, emergent in Western society only in the last few centuries.  In the 20th century, historical and private accounts over encountering Islamic cultures in Britain and European countries often used the now-rejected term “Mohammedanism.”  When Islamic culture was in its original ascendant within the Arabian peninsula, it was customary for its faithful to refer to the new spiritual tradition  as a din (“religion”), to characterize it in Islamic terms as din Ibrahim (the religion of Abraham) or din al-Haqq (the religion of the Truth, God’s own religion).

The Arabic word Islam denotes “submission” (revealing a linguistic root with salam, “peace”), and was used originally to refer to the mystical features of Muhammad’s din. The Hadith of Gabriel provides an effective exposition of the relationship between the experiential Islam and the general din.  Umar Ibn Al-Qattab reports: “One day when we were with God’s Messenger, a man with very white clothing and very black hair came up to us.  No mark of travel was visible on him, and none of us recognized him.  Sitting down beside the Prophet, leaning his knees against his, and placing his hands on his thighs, he said: “Tell me, Muhammad, about Islam.”  He replied: “Islam means that you should testify that there is no god but God and that Muhammad is God’s Messenger that you should observe the prayer, pay the alms-tax, fast during Ramadan, and make the pilgrimage to the House if you are able to go there.”  He said: “You have spoken the truth.”  We were surprised at his questioning him and then declaring that he spoke the truth.  He said: “Now tell me about Iman.”  He replied: “It means that you should believe in God, His angels, His books, His messengers, and the Last Day, and that you should believe in the decreeing both of good and evil.”  Remarking that he had spoken the truth, he then said: “Now tell me about Ihsan.”  He replied: “It means that you should worship God as though you see Him, for He sees you though you do not see Him.”  He said: “Now tell me about the Hour.”  He replied: “The one who is asked about it is no better informed than the one who is asking.”  He said: “Then tell me about its signs.”  He replied: “That a maid-servant should beget her mistress, and that you should see barefooted, naked, poor men and shepherds exalting themselves in buildings.”  Umar says: He then went away, and after I had waited for a long time, the Prophet said to me: “Do you know who the questioner was, Umar?”  I replied: “God and His Messenger know best.”  He said: “He was Gabriel who came to you to teach you your din.”

Umar’s narrative is classified as an authentic hadith by Ulema (knowledgeable theologians), one of the most authoritative texts of Islam outside of the Quran itself.  The appearance of Angel Gabriel to the Companions of the Prophet and the ritualized, catechetical exchange are distinctive in the revelation of Allah’s imminence of judgment and revelation.

In Sufi doctrine, certain lineages, tariqahs (“chains,” or “brotherhoods”) construe Islam, Iman, and Ihsan as three points of psychic and spiritual evolution.  The Muslim, the adherent who exercises Islam becomes oriented to shariah, which while it literally means “road,” is ordinarily translated as “Law.”  The Mu’min (one who exercises Iman) embarks on tariqah, the mystical chain of spiritual enlightenment.  Moreover, the Muhsin, adherent who exercises Ihsan, acts from the state of haqiqah, the ultimate spiritual reality, where there is only contemplation with the divine.

Faith in God is unsurprisingly the first and foremost article of Iman.  The Din al-Muhammad is the purest monotheism to emerge from the Abrahamic tradition, and it affirms God as consummate and distinct from the universe that is his creation.  According to the shahadah or declaration of faith, God is one, an idea expressed in the theological concept of tawhid or unity.  Sufi mystic teaching is a rich spiritual tradition that articulates Islam.  From suf derives the term tasawwuf, literally to put on a woolen garment, figuratively implying an adherent to Sufism, or Islamic mysticism.

`The balance between the exoteric and esoteric religious life for Muslims was not fully recognized in early Islam, giving rise to confusion by Ulema, the custodians of orthodoxy.  The Holy Qur’an states that ‘God is Light’ and Sufism is an inherited tradition that identifies light, nur, with Essence/Being, wujud.  Sufi mystics like Ibn Arabi also spoke of the evanescence of Allah; Allah can never be truly seen and nothing may encompass Allah.  For the orthodox Muslim, Allah is separate from wujud, contrasted with Darkness, zulma, Nothingness, as the cosmos is seen as an emanation of light between the two.  Ibn Arabi teaches that His Eternal Position in the Divine Presence is in the World of Souls and Light.  This is a timeless dimension.  Allah brought into existence the pure darkness that is opposite this light, which is in the position of absolute non-existence opposite absolute existence.  When He brought it into existence, that light flowed onto it with an essential out flowing with the help of nature.

Creation is the barzakh, connection, between light and darkness.  Light, like Essence, is at once ontological and epistemological, associated with perception and knowledge.  Sufi knowledge is a light that Allah throws into the hearts of men and women.  This is the root of Ibn Arabi’s mystical ontology, in that true knowledge is knowledge of the reality of Allah, a matter of opening and unveiling,  futuh al mukashafa.  The veils of existence are phenomenal causes and effects, or forms suwar that obscure the Light of the First Cause, of Allah’s quintessence.

The Quran contains 99 sacred names of Allah, the “most beautiful names, al asma’ullah al husna.  In the philosophy of Ibn Arabi, the names are a connection between Allah, his Essence, Haqq, and the created worlds.  The mystical doctrines, such as dhikr (invocation) of Sufism shelter the heart of Islam.  Mystical experiences are ineffable and the final authority to interpret the experience resides solely in the devotee whom experiences the realm of the sacred.  The mystic in any religion is one whom penetrates into the mysteries and nature of the divine and the human condition.

The sufiyya are mystics, unaffiliated with interpreting the Qu’ran in a legal and theological manner.  Due to extensive insights into the nature of the human condition, the Qu’ran, and Hadith, the Sufis were in essence the first psychologist of Islam, while the Ulema were the first legal scholars.  Sufis sought to approach the human condition in Islam from an emotional, spiritual, and intuitive level, whereas the Ulema approach Islamic life on rational, logical, and theological levels.

Essentially, the Ulema can be considered exoteric whereas the practices of the Sufis, including the practice of dhikr and tasawwuf, are esoteric.  El’Ghazālī sought to reconcile the two approaches to Islam, but it is debatable whether his success was limited.  The Ulema and sufiyya offer intellectual alternatives to presenting Islam and its revelations to non-Muslims.  The scholars of the Ulema are held in high academic standards to those whom would join their exclusive community.  Ulema are the rationalists of Islam, the legal administrators of the ummah, serving as guides.  The sufiyya constitute ecclesiastical adherents to an inclusive approach to Islam that has enchanted non-Muslims.  There exist within the practices of the Sufis sects such as the Aissawa and Naqshbandi Orders.

A theological divide such as that between the Ulema and the sufiyya exist in every religion, between the exoteric and orthodox, and the esoteric and mystical.  The Ulema and sufiyya together have ensured the preservation of Islam as a religion.  Without the scholarship and leadership of the Ulema, Islam could not have secured itself from exterior assimilation and dysfunction.  Without the sufiyya, there would already exist in Islam the capacity for self-renewal and enlightenment, and Islam would, in my opinion, lack the livelihood of the revelation of the Qu’ran and become a tomb rather than a vehicle of human spiritual elevation.

Sufism is a mystical teaching, a Freemasonry whose true origins lay not in the Qur’an or the Din al-Muhammad; the true origins of Sufism remain with the Invisible College, never traced or dated.  Sufism, like Freemasonry is at home in all religions; as Free and Accepted Masons lay before them in their Lodges a sacred book of choice – Bible, Qur’an, Torah, and all religion is accepted as a temporal state.  If Sufism shelters the heart of Islam, this is because Sufism is the secret teaching of all ages, within all religions.   Mystic poets were the chief disseminators of Sufi thought.  Sufis have always insisted on practical spirituality.  Metaphysics are of no use without practical illustrations of prudence that nothing can intoxicate save union with the divine; these poetic illustrations are supplied by popular legends, music, and fables.

Sufism is revealed in the world by means of itself, while occultism in the United States and Europe is revealed by means of progressive initiations, yet in the 21st century there is no longer any such thing as “occultism” in the United States, or Europe.  Surrounded by modes of digital exposure on a global scale, Sufism retains its mystic quality without Internet dissemination.  Sufism is the grand demarcation between the human subconscious mind and religion.  Where American occultism is concerned with the pursuit and collection of hidden teachings and the engineering of consciousness, Sufism’s concern is for the freedom of ideas, intolerance against cruelty, hypocrisy, and religious persecution; their opposition was to injustice and political crime.  Their stories were the subject of divine intoxication, love, and human suffering.

Sufi mystical poetry is the biography of humanity.  Their poetry defies fortune and outlives the world’s calamities.  They are an eternal edifice surviving all empires, conquerors, kings, and revolutions.  Sufism is a comfort to the broken heart, immortalizing the poet, consoling the mind’s silent tragedies.  These courageous souls paint visions of apocalypse and ecstasy across the night skies.  Sufism is the Arabic parent of Freemasonry, the true “Eastern Star” of the Western Mystery Schools.  The Arabic word for Mason, is al’Banna, “builder.”  The fundamental word for the Royal Arch School of Masonry is Jahbulon, composed usually of the Hebrew letters, Aleph, Beth, and Lamed – A, B, and L.  According to The Rev. Canon Richard Tydeman, in an address to the Supreme Grand Chapter of England on 13 November 1985, the word is a compound of three Hebrew terms:  יהּJah, I AM, which indicates eternal existence,        בּעלB’El, on high, in heaven) and  און On, strength; pronouncing three aspects or qualities of Deity, namely Eternal Existence, Transcendence, and Omnipotence and equating to The True and Living God.

According to Stephen Knight, following Walton Hannah, the word is a compound of the names of three gods worshipped in the ancient Middle East: Yahweh/Ja, Baal, and  On, a name in Genesis in the Bible in Potiphar priest of On; thought in older times to be a name of Osiris.  The letters A, B, and L represent the Sufi watchword al’Banna.  To the Sufi builders, the word intimates initiation and the three letters symbolize key meditation postures.  A, alif, is the kneeling posture.  The second letter, B, ba, is symbolic of prostration and concentration.  The third letter, L, lam in Arabic is shaped like a rope.  To the builder, lam means ‘the rope which binds all in mediation.’

The letters alif, ba, and lam according to the mystic Abjad table when added together produce the sum of 33.  Alif  ﺎ  = 1, ba ﺐ  = 2, and lam ل = 30.  According to the Sufi builders, this code is an intimation of the letter Q, the Masonic letter ‘G,’ inscribed by the builders with a pentagram.  The lower triangle correlates to the shaped Arabic numeral seven, the upper is the outline of the numeral eight, with the sides of the triangles comprising the sum of six.  The series 786 is the esoteric code of Bismillah ar-Rahman ar-Rahim reduced by direct substitution in the Abjad.  The phrase means In the name of Allah the Beneficent, the Merciful.

Surah 24 An-Nur of the Qur’an illuminates the heart of Sufi mysticism.  The verse An-Nur means “The Light,” expounds on the nature of nur, with Essence/Being, wujud the evanescence of the dimensions of human consciousness outside of intellect and emotion.  Nur can never be truly seen and nothing may encompass it, contrasted with Darkness, zulma, Nothingness, as the cosmos is seen as an emanation of light between the Allah and Zulma.  Surah 24 An-Nur teaches that our Eternal Position in the Divine Presence is in the World of Souls and Light.

Compare Surah 24 (verse 35) An-Nur:  “ALLAH is the reflection the Light to the heavens and earth.  His Light resembles a lamp within a niche.  The lamp is enclosed in a crystal, like a brilliant star.  Lit from a blessed tree, an olive, not of the East or the West; of it the oil is well nigh-luminous, though the sacred fire touches it, Light upon Light!” and Surah 86 El Tariq, (verse 1-4) the Night Visitant:  “In the name of God, most benevolent, ever-merciful…How will you comprehend what the night star is?  It is the star that shines with a piercing brightness… That over each soul there is a guardian.”  Nature and life are a conundrum; we are here to make out the mysteries of life and death and draw them into the Light.  Sufi mystics are the guardians of secret teachings of all ages obscured by an underculture of living shadows determined to find the antique faith in plain sight.

Qutub in Sufi terminology refer to the reputed invisible heads of all Sufis, of all Sufi tariqas and lineal chains.  The word means, “pivot, chief, pole” transfigured to the sum 111 with the Abjad table.  Qutbuddin are guides on earth who know the secret powers of the heart could reprogram their minds and psyche at will, and can unlock the underlying secrets of human psychology.  Qutbuddin are the conquerors of hearts, the lords of annihilation represented by black robes frequently worn by dervishes and Sufi masters.  Qutb in Sufism is the perfect human being, al-insān al-kāmil, a “pole” leading all Sufis and all men.  There are said to be only five Qutbuddin living at once in any period of history.

The knowledge and possession of secret religious formulas is necessary for the station of quṭubiyyah, the mystic state of perfection of a Sufi Qutb.  Quṭubiyyah correlates to the Christian mystic state of Gnosis, or saintly beatification.  The transcendent reality taught by the Sufis and the Prophet Muhammad, Arabic – al-ḩaqīqa al-muḩammadiyya resembles the sun, and the hearts of the Qutbuddin are moons reflecting the permanent light of Allah.  According to many Sufis, the elite stage of mysticism for Qutbuddin beings at the end of the point of spiritual prophet-hood.  The end of the prophets therefore would be the starting point for the spiritual elite, the Qutbuddin, or “illuminated ones.”

The Qutb is the axis or pivot and the highest station in the Sufi hierarchy.  Qutbuddin are directly responsible for the welfare of the entire world.  Qutbuddin are said to be the spiritual successor of Prophet Muhammad.  All Sufis are in essence, reflections of Qutbuddin; they believe in the integrity of the human race.  Sufis urge the existential self to attain an organic union with the human species and with the meta-physical ground of the cosmos.  Sufis value life, personality, art, and transcendent love.  Sufis do not claim their teachings as a religion or even a law of human social development.  Sufism is an uprising, an intifada, and reinstatement of the human species’ latent spiritual and intellectual impulses under the aegis of universal philosophy.

Sufi mystic poets in their verses show us that no religion has a monopoly over truth.  That Sufism is the antique faith offering the relief of human misery and spiritual evanescence.  For a Sufi, the World of Souls, and Light is the point where life starts and where it ends.  Tracing its earliest theology to the lifetime of Muḥammad, the mystic sect of Nizari Ismāʿīlism rose to become the most influential branch of Shī‘ism, climaxing as a political power with the Fatimid Caliphate in the tenth through twelfth centuries.  Nizari  Ismāʿīlīyya get their name from their acceptance of Ismāʿīl ibn Jaʿfar as appointed spiritual successor, Imām, to Jaʿfar aṣ-Ṣādiq, herein they differ from the Twelvers, who distinguish Mūsà al-Kāżim, younger brother of Ismāʿīl, as true Imām.

The teachings of Sufism orchestrate throughout history within secret societies, traced in pedigree and language with syncretism.  In the Twenty-first century, Christianity, Judaism, and Islam all share a fragile precarious world stage, leading societies teasingly close to economic and social ruin in the name of faith and “liberty and equality,” the opiate of religions.  Consider that fundamentalist Muslims and paranoid conspiracy producers, determined to expose a “new world order,” commonly tag the antique faith of Sufism  Sufi societies contribute and engage in humanitarian endowments of education, scholarship, chivalry, and public service for a greater good ignored by a cadre of conspiracy racketeers.

Orthodox Islam, both Sunni and Shi’a generally prohibit the practice of Freemasonry, and forbid Muslims to join Masonic Lodges in Arab nations with a sharīʿah legal system,  An influential body interpreting Islamic Law correlating interfaith dialogue is the Islamic Jurisdictional College.  At its meeting on 15 July 1978, it issued an opinion concerning “The Freemasons’ Organization.”  The IJC declared: “After complete research concerning this organization, based on written accounts from many sources, we have determined that:

    Freemasonry is a clandestine organization, which conceals or reveals its system, depending on the circumstances.  Its actual principles are hidden from members, except for chosen members of its higher degrees.

    The members of the organization, worldwide, are drawn from men without preference for their religion, faith, or sect.

    The organization attracts members based on providing personal benefits.  It traps men into being politically active, and its aims are unjust.

    New members participate in ceremonies of different names and symbols, and are frightened from disobeying its regulations and orders.

    Members are free to practice their religion, but only members who are atheists are promoted to its higher degrees, based on how much they are willing to serve its dangerous principles and plans.

    It is a political organization.  It has served all revolutions, military and political transformations.  In all dangerous changes, a relation to this organization appears either exposed or veiled.

    It is a Jewish Organization in its roots.  Its secret higher international administrative board are Jews and it promotes Zionist activities.

    Its primary objectives are the distraction of all religions and it distracts Muslims from Islam.

    It tries to recruit influential financial, political, social, or scientific people to utilize them.  It does not consider applicants it cannot utilize.  It recruits kings, prime ministers, high government officials and similar individuals.

    It has branches under different names as a camouflage, so people cannot trace its activities, especially if the name of “Freemasonry” has opposition.  These hidden branches are known as Lions, Rotary and others.  They have wicked principles that completely contradict the rules of Islam.  There is a clear relationship between Freemasonry, Judaism, and International Zionism.  It has controlled the activities of high Arab officials in the Palestinian problem.  It has limited their duties, obligations, and activities for the benefit of Judaism and International Zionism.

The Society of the Muslim Brothers chartered in 1928 in Cairo, Egypt by the Islamic scholar and schoolteacher Sheikh Hasan Ahmed Abdel Rahman Muhammed al’Banna.  When Hasan al’Banna was twelve years old, he became a student of the Hasafiya Sufi order, becoming a fully initiated member in 1922.  Banna’s father was as student of Abduh, and himself was greatly influenced by Rashid Rida’s Salafi fundamentalism.  The Muslim Brotherhood originated as a religious social organization, tutoring the illiterate, establishing charitable hospitals and providing endowment for local enterprises. As the Brotherhood’s social influence widened starting in 1936, it began stridently opposing British colonialism in Egypt.

In 1952 the Egyptian monarch King Farouk I was overthrown by nationalist military officers led by Colonel Gamel Abdel Nasser and General Muhammad Naguib supported by the Brotherhood.   On 26 October, an assassination attempt was carried out against Nasser during a rally in Alexandria.  The attempt to assassinate Nasser was suspected by the Brotherhood.  This led to the regime acting against the Brotherhood, executing Brotherhood leaders on 9 December in 1954.  The Brotherhood was banned and this time thousands of its members were imprisoned, many of them held for years in prisons and concentration camps, and tortured.   On February 12, 1949 in Cairo, al’Banna who was a Freemason, was assassinated.

The influence of Freemasonry in Egypt and Arab countries struggling with post-colonial revolutionary sentiment cannot be overlooked.  Hanna Abi Rashid, chief of the masonic lodge in Beirut, wrote: “Jamaluddin al’Afghani was the chief of the masonic lodge in Egypt, which had about three hundred members, most of whom were scholars and state officials. After him, the leading master Muhammad ‘Abduh became the chief. ‘Abduh was a leading freemason. No one can deny that he has spread the masonic spirit in Arab countries.” [Da’irat al’maarif al’masoniyya, p. 197, Beirut, 1381/1961.]  “As revealed by Abduh, al’Afghani developed in his students a practical inclination: he encouraged them to engage in the publication of magazines, to put in motion a current of opinion and to join, like he himself did, the masonic lodges of French inspiration.” (Tariq Ramadan, Aux Sources du Renouveau musulman, D’al-Alfghani a Hassan al’Banna un siecle de reformisme islamique, Paris: 1998, p. 54)

At the same time Afghani started to introduce himself into the French circles of freemasonry. He introduced, as we have seen, the Egyptian intellectuals of his entourage who were to be, later, the principal actors of the ‘Urabi Revolution. These circles had a crucial importance for al-Afghani: not only because they allowed him to spread his ideas but also because he was able to meet with influential people in the political environment. Thus we can affirm, without any doubt, that this is the period, in which al’Afghani, thanks to the recognition and to the personal engagement in the creation of an associative body conceived on the model of the masonic circles, was able to accentuate his involvement in establishing political influence and alliance with the powers.”  (ibid., p. 85)

In this period Afghani came forward as a political figure in two ways: by using a Freemasonic lodge as a vehicle for political intrigue and change, and by influencing people through oratory.” (Ali Rahnema, Pioneers of Islamic Revival, London: 1979, p. 17)  “The Documents corroborate and help to date Afghani’s membership and activity in the freemasons of Egypt….Most discussions of Afghani’s masonic activity begin it in 1877 or 1878, but the Documents include a letter from him applying for membership in a masonic lodge which dates from the spring of 1875 and a note saying he had entered a lodge in Muharram 1293/February 1876. Unfortunately the name or rite of the lodge is not included. The Documents also include invitations to sessions of Italian lodges from early 1877 through 1879 and documents beginning in January 1877, from the Eastern Star Lodge, which was affiliated with the Grand Lodge of England….The lodge, with al’Afghani as its leader, was to become an important instrument in the growing Egyptian crisis of 1878 and 1879.” (Nikki R. Keddie, Sayyid Jamaluddin al’Afghani,” Berkeley: 1972, p. 92)

After the attempted assassination of Nasser in 1954, the Egyptian government used the incident to justify political oppression of the Muslim Brotherhood, imprisoning a young Sayyid Qutb and many members for their vocal opposition to the Nasser regime.  Sayyid Qutb was prolific author, tutor, Islamic theologian, poet, and leading scholar of the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood in the 1950s and ‘60s.  Qutb died during his imprisonment by Nasser’s suppression in 1966.

Mohammed Qutb, Sayyid’s brother, along with other prisoners in the Muslim Brotherhood, took political refuge under CIA sponsorship in Saudi Arabia following Nasser’s crackdown.  He was given different official positions at Saudi universities to teach and to carry out the mission of the Muslim Brotherhood. While in Saudi Arabia, Mohammed Qutb conceived of the organization now known as the World Assembly of Muslim Youth (WAMY), which was established in 1972, thanks to large donations from the wealthy Saudi bin Laden family.

Sayyid Qutb synchronized the core theological doctrines of modern Islamic theology: the Kharijites’ takfir, ibn Taymiyya’s fatwas and social prescriptions, Rashid Rida’s salafism, Maududi’s concept of the contemporary jahiliyya and Hassan al’Banna’s political activism.  Mohammed Qutb taught at Mecca’s Umm al’Qura University, and King Abdul’aziz University in Jeddah.  One of his fellow students was an aspiring Egyptian doctor, Ayman al ’Zawahiri.  He eventually became one of Egyptian Islamic Jihad’s strategic managers and recruiter.  While attending King Abdul Aziz University in Jeddah, Osama bin Laden also became acquainted with Mohammed Qutb, and initiated into the Muslim Brotherhood.

In 1979, Bin Laden left Saudi Arabia, being one of the first Arabs to join mujahedeen fighting against Soviet invasion in Afghanistan.  Osama Bin Laden, at just twenty-two years of age, established the MAK, the Maktab al’Khidamat, or the Mujahedeen Services Bureau, based in Peshawar, Pakistan.  George Bush Sr., as vice president under President Ronald Reagan, was in charge of the covert operations that supported the MAK.  The MAK was nurtured by Pakistan’s ISI, Inter-Services Intelligence, and linked up with Pakistan’s Muslim Brotherhood organization, the Jamaat-e Islami, founded by Abul Ala Maududi, to recruit mujahedeen in Afghanistan.

By the late 1980s, the Maktab al’Khidamat expanded in fifty countries around the world.  Osama bin Laden then recognized that prospective Mujahedeen of the Maktab al’Khidamat did not have any military or intelligence training, and established the Bayt al’Ansar in Peshawar, Pakistan as a central training base, or al ’Qaeda.  Sufis are the link in the Invisible College that has made Islam the world’s second-largest and fastest growing religion, with 1.2 billion adherents.  Not a sect of Islam, Sufis are heirs of a nameless faith,  hidden within both the Sunni and Shia branches of Islam, Sufis have through the centuries combined their secrets with the defense and expansion of Islamic mysticism. At once mystics and elite soldiers, dervishes and preachers, philanthropists and social workers.  Sufis have always been in the vanguard of enlightenment and syncretic faith.

Without understanding the esoteric roots of the Sufis, we cannot understand the origins of contemporary political undercurrents in the Middle East.  For radical fundamentalists like the Saudi Wahhabiyya and the Taliban, the Sufis are deadly enemies, who draw on mystical practices alien to the Quran. Where fundamentalist Muslims like Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, and secular Baathist dictators like Saddam Hussein, Bashar al ’Assad, and Muammar Gadhafi rose to power, Sufis were persecuted and driven underground.  For many mainstream Muslims and Muslimahs, Sufism is simply part of the air they breathe.  Engineering global peace is not contingent on a decline or secularization of Islam, but a renewal and strengthening of the antique faith, safeguarded by evanescent Sufis.

The Muslim Brotherhood was founded by a Freemason, Sheikh Hasan al’Banna.  The Bayt al’Ansar or al ’Qaeda was established by American counter-intelligence CIA incentives under the direction of President Bush.  The founders of al ’Qaeda, Osama Bin Laden, and Abdullah Yusuf Azzam operated under American counter-intelligence liaisons.  Cadres of statesmen, financial executives of major global financial institutions like the Financial Stability Board, International Monetary Fund, and Bank for International Settlements, and European consuls assumed total control of all fraternal societies in the European Union and United States.

Sectarianism sold out the syncretism of the antique faith that was parented by Arabian Magi and Sufi theologians centuries before the charters of the first Free Mason lodges.  The terrorists that carried out the September 11 attacks, the very same mujahedeen that waged guerilla warfare against Soviet invasion during the 1980s, were bankrolled by the Central Intelligence Agency, and the Bank of Credit and Commerce International founded by Pakistani financier Agha Hasan Abedi, himself a Freemason and occultist.

BCCI launched an international monopoly with its purchase in 1976 of 85% of the Banque de Commerce et Placements (BCP) of Geneva, Switzerland.  After the BCCI liquidated this bank, it installed Alfred Hartmann as chief executive. Hartmann then became the chief financial officer for BCC Holding and was affiliated with the Rothschild family, sitting on the board of directors of N.M. Rothschild & Sons, London, and president of Rothschild Bank AG of Zurich.  BCCI was initially incorporated in Luxembourg, famous for its lax banking restrictions, and soon branches and holding companies sprouted up around the globe: in the Cayman Islands, the Netherlands Antilles, Hong Kong, Abu Dhabi, and Washington DC.  BCCI’s main route of investment was financing Israeli arms into Afghanistan during the Soviet invasion.

Our generation is revolutionary; political dynamics in the Middle East are reacting against centuries of Western imperialism and intervention, creating a cultural conversion to a global community. Paramedia, and the development of artificial intelligence and noetic sciences, will enact revolutionary changes in social strata and technology that will rupture the fabric of human emotion and artistic expression.   Now more than ever, the revolutionary youthful generations must make their voices heard in the name of freedom, social justice, and peace.

Noir and Visionary Film

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The Mothership Podcast


Copyright © 2014 Leilah Publications


From 2005 – 2007 Leilah Publications broadcasted live each night, Illuminati Coast to Coast, a streaming Internet radio show John F. Rychlicki III hosted immediately after Coast to Coast AM with George Noory went off the air.  Various guests would come on and chat about metaphysics, paranormal, social & political commentary, the occult, and psychology.  Dr. Christopher S. Hyatt was also a guest on Illuminati Coast to Coast.  In LEILAH PUBLICATIONS:  THE MOTHERSHIP PODCAST, Mr. Seraphim returns in a lengthy, long-winded podcast.  Seraphim discusses the publishing industry and self-publishing, technology and the changing spectrum of publishing, secret societies, the meaning of art, networking for artists, his favorite painters and what makes an artist “great,” and the background of Leilah Publications.

Check out these innovative and avant-garde artists Seraphim gives a nod to on the podcast:


MOSTAFA MOFTAH ::: Musician, artist, and impressionist photographer in Egypt ::: :::

HAMID NASIR ::: Brilliant ground-breaking artist and calligrapher in Pakistan ::: – THIS GUY IS INCREDIBLE!

BRIANNA ACSANI ::: Incredible Independent artist, actress, model, and revolutionary writer :::

Sensory Deprivation

Sensory Deprivation
© 2014 John F. Rychlicki III Leilah Publications
All rights reserved.


isotank02Sensory deprivation is a threshold of death. I highly recommend exploring this practice further. Speaking from personal experiences, sensory deprivation purges the mind, flesh, and spirit. I have engaged the isolative, deprivation practice on many occasions and found the results more satisfying and beneficial compared to various traditions of meditation and holistic bodywork, for example, T’ai Ch’i.

Sensory deprivation does bring one to an inception of what ‘death’ could be like for the psyche and consciousness. Sensory deprivation, or Restricted Environmental Stimulation Therapy (REST), is a technique by which sensory input (sound, light, smell, etc.) is minimized. This practice encourages an extremely deep level of relaxation. REST is typically conducted in a float tank, in which the person is suspended in a solution of warm water and Epsom salt without sound or light. This relaxation technique produces significant physical and mental benefits.

In the 1950s, sensory deprivation experiments were conducted to determine the effects of restricted environmental stimulation on mental and physical functions. For 24 hours a day, students were confined to a bed in cramped cubicles with their vision and hearing blocked by various means, such as opaque goggles and U-shaped pillows around their heads. The students’ physical and psychological functions quickly deteriorated under these harsh conditions.

johnjanusIn 1954, Dr. John Lilly, a neurophysiologist at the National Institute of Mental Health in Bethesda, Maryland, developed the Floatation Restricted Environmental Stimulation Technique. By suspending a person in water, external stimuli (such as light and sound) were reduced almost completely, but without the harsh conditions of similar experiments.

Dr. Lilly refined his technique between 1960 and 1970, allowing subjects to float freely in an Epsom salt and water solution contained within a dark soundproof chamber. The solution was warmed to skin temperature so that the person would not react to cold or heat.

From his experiments, Lilly determined that such external stimuli as gravity, light, sound, and touch accounted for 90% of the central nervous system’s workload. Although extended sensory deprivation could be harmful, extended sensory overload could also have detrimental effects on a person’s mental and physical well-being.

By reducing excess stimuli appropriately, he could actually lower stress levels. Drs. Peter Suedfeld and Roderick Borrie of the University of British Columbia began experimenting on the therapeutic benefits of this technique in the late 1970s. However, they renamed the technique Restricted Environmental Stimulation Therapy (REST) or, more appropriately, Floatation REST.

Since that time, several studies have been conducted on the benefits of Floatation REST, as well as other forms of REST. The consistently positive findings of these studies have led to the incorporation of Floatation REST into physical and mental health care programs, as well as fitness training and professional sports medicine. Currently, floatation centers can be found in major cities in Asia, Australia, Europe, and North America. Individuals can also purchase float tanks for their homes.

Floatation REST has many physical and mental benefits because it provides an unparalleled level of relaxation. With the elimination of external stimuli, the central nervous system’s workload is reduced by as much as 90%. This reduction draws a person’s energy inward and promotes relaxation (the parasympathetic response). The parasympathetic response is the mechanism by which the body naturally regenerates itself and maintains chemical and metabolic balance.

Old wounds and injuries are allowed to heal faster. Increased T-cell production strengthens the immune system. This deep level of relaxation also benefits the cardiovascular system. Known as the vasodilatory effect, the body’s circulation is increased while the blood pressure and heart rate are reduced.

Furthermore, the elimination of gravity on the body allows muscles and joints to release tension and heal more rapidly. For this reason, people suffering from musculoskeletal and rheumatic conditions greatly benefit from Floatation REST, as can women throughout the length of their pregnancy.

As the brain relaxes into a theta state, endorphins are released into the bloodstream, reducing pain and fatigue. The increased endorphin levels also promote a general sense of well-being and happiness, therefore increase vitality, and further reduce levels of stress and tension. The blood levels of stress hormones such as adrenaline and cortisol are reduced by various body messages, receptor site activity, and organ processes. Combined, these positive effects help reduce the risks of high blood pressure and cardiovascular disease. Stress-related health problems as migraine headache, hypertension, and insomnia are similarly reduced.

The brain, freed of external stimuli, begins working more efficiently. This change provides the floater with an accelerated ability to learn, process information, and use his or her creative mind. This increased level of mental performance and concentration can be carried over into daily life. Equally important, Floatation REST can help with eliminating compulsive behaviors such as alcoholism and smoking. People with psychological and emotional problems as anxiety and depression can also benefit from this therapy.

johntimAn added benefit to Floatation REST stems from the Epsom salts used to provide buoyancy. According to the Archangel Vitamin, Health, and Nutrition Center’s Health Newsletter, Epsom salt “draws toxins from the body, sedates the nervous system, reduces swelling, relaxes muscles, and is a natural emollient (and exfoliative).” In addition, because the solution does not leach salt from the skin, the floater’s skin will not wrinkle during the treatment.

Modern float tanks are large enough in size and shape to allow a full-sized adult to easily enter, exit, and lie comfortably. The bottom of the lightproof and sound-insulated chamber is filled with a shallow 10–12-in (24.4–31 cm) pool of 30% magnesium sulfate (Epsom salt) solution. The density of this solution provides the floater with complete buoyancy and weightlessness. Indeed, the solution’s density makes it impossible for the user to sink.

A float session begins when the tank’s door is closed. Light is eliminated and sound is reduced to near zero through the combination of the tank’s insulation and submersion of the floater’s ears. Earplugs can further block outside noises. The air and water within the tank are maintained at a constant skin temperature. This neutral temperature prevents the physical and mental distractions caused by cold and heat. The silky nature of the solution further reduces the separation between the floater’s skin and its surroundings, so that the body seems to disappear. The combined elements of the tank, therefore, virtually eliminate all external stimulation for the floater.

Without environmental stimuli to process, the central nervous system’s level of activity drops dramatically, sending the floater into a state of deep relaxation. The body undergoes positive physiological changes that work toward achieving homeostasis—the state of physical equilibrium. Muscular tension is released and proper blood flow is enhanced. Additionally, the body begins to balance any neurochemical imbalances caused by tension and stress. There is increased production of endorphins and T-cells, which provide pain relief and increased immunity, respectively. In essence, relieved of outward stimuli, the floater’s central nervous system can concentrate most of its energies inward for the restoration of physical and mental health.

During a float session, the brain also enters the theta state, usually accessible only in the brief moments before falling asleep. This level of consciousness provides access to the right hemisphere of brain, which is associated with concentration, creativity, and learning. The brain can more easily retain information while in the theta state.

A typical float session lasts an hour, although longer sessions are available. After the floater rinses off the salt solution in a shower, most float centers provide a rest area to recuperate and reflect on the float session. This downtime with other floaters and staff enhances the relaxation process. In total, the entire session lasts one-and-one-half to two hours. Repeated weekly sessions are suggested to achieve the full benefits of Floatation REST.

Individuals interested in Flotation REST should consult with the local floatation center before the session. Most centers provide items such as towels, shampoo, soap, and hairdryers for their clients. Bathing suits are not required, and most people float without wearing one. It is recommended that a session be scheduled in advance to avoid a long wait.

People suffering from high blood pressure, heart disease, or kidney conditions should consult a physician or family doctor before undergoing Floatation REST. Those who have claustrophobia, certain psychological disorders, or discomfort in the dark may find the treatment unpleasant. Prolonged exposure to the Epsom salt solution may cause diarrhea and dry skin. Otherwise, Floatation REST has no known negative side effects.

Unfortunately, sensory deprivation remains stigmatized by the public. Many people continue to associate it negatively with the experiments conducted in the 1950s and 1960s. Science fiction movies such as Altered States have done little to improve the therapy’s public image. For this reason, the term floatation REST is more accurately and commonly used. Floatation centers have begun appearing in cities throughout the world, and are growing in popularity.

Studies confirming the positive physical and mental benefits of Floatation REST further enhance their popularity. Floatation REST has been researched and studied for decades. The positive findings have impressed even those who were once strongly opposed to it. Journalist Michael Hutchinson tried to debunk the therapy but ended up writing what some call the “definitive” book on Floatation REST. Hutchinson says in The Book of Floating “there’s no doubt that floatation therapy works—as a therapeutic, educational, and entertainment tool, it has powerful effects on a number of levels, including the physical, emotional, intellectual, and spiritual.

Research scientists and physicians confirm the benefits of floatation REST. In their study for Health Psychology, Jacobs and colleagues found that the results indicated that, “Floatation REST can be an effective means of teaching normal subjects to lower systolic and diastolic pressure and heighten their perception of relaxation.” In their literature review, Floatation REST in Applied Psychophysiology, Drs. Thomas Fine and Roderick Borrie concluded that floatation REST can have positive psychophysiological effects and clinical applications as well as uses in pain management, performance enhancement, and the treatment of chronic illness and depression. Further studies support these findings.

There is no training or certification required for those undergoing floatation REST. The floater does not even need to know how to swim. All floatation centers must adhere to strict health and safety regulations. Ultraviolet lights, chemicals, and filtration help assure that water hygiene within the tanks is maintained at all times. Tanks can be easily opened from within so that a floater cannot be locked inside.


Barabasz, Arreed, and Marianne Barabasz, eds. Clinical and Experimental Restricted Environmental Stimulation. New York: Springer-Verlag, 1993.

Hutchison, Michael. “The Book of Floating: Exploring the Private Sea.” New York: William Morrow, 1985.

Lilly, John. “The Deep Self: Profound Relaxation and the Tank Isolation Technique.” New York: Simon &Schuster, 1977.

Suedfeld, Peter. Restricted Environmental Stimulation. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley, 1980.

Borrie, Roderick. “The Use of Restricted Environmental Stimulation Therapy in Treating Addictive Behaviors.”International Journal of Addiction (1990–1991): 995–1015.

Fine, Thomas, and John Turner. “Rest-assisted Relaxation and Chronic Pain.” Health and Clinical Psychology (1985): 511–18.

Jacobs G., R. Heilbronner, and J. Stanley. “The Effects of Short Term Flotation REST on Relaxation: A Controlled Study.” Health Psychology (March 1984): 99–112.

Kjellgren, A., U. Sundequist, T. Norlander, and T. Archer. “Effects of Floatation-REST on Muscle Tension Pain.” Pain Research and Management (Winter 2001): 181–9.

Turner, John, and Thomas Fine. “Restricting Environmental Stimulation Influences Levels and Variability of Plasma Cortisol.” Journal of Applied Psychology (October 1991): 2010–13.

Wallbaum, A.B., R. Rzewnicki, H. Steele, and P. Suedfeld. “Progressive Muscle Relaxation and Restricted Environmental Stimulation Therapy for Chronic Tension Headache: A Pilot Study.” International Journal of Psychosomatics (1991): 33–9.

Fine, Thomas, and Roderick Borrie. ‘Floatation REST’ in Applied Psychophysiology.

Float Tank Australia.” Introduction to Floating.

Tudor, Silke. “Going into the Tank.”

Art of Karezza

Art of Karezza
© 2014 John F. Rychlicki III Leilah Publications
All rights reserved.

220px-Alice_StockhamKarezza (pronounced kar-ET’-za), is a name coined (Italian for ‘caress’) by Alice Bunker Stockham in the 19th century.  Karezza refers to non-religious spiritual sexual practices that draw upon tantric techniques of body control yet exclude tantric cultural or iconographic symbolism.  Stockham was an Ob-Gyn from Chicago, and the fifth woman to be made a doctor in the United States.  She travelled to northern India to learn the ‘secrets’ of Tantra, in essence, control of the orgasm response.  She had no interest in Eastern religions and she felt that such addenda to the methods were not essential.  Her view of spirituality was Quaker-Christian, and she fitted sacred sexuality into a Christian paradigm with no difficulty.

A well-travelled and well-read person who counted among her friends Leo Tolstoy and Havelock Ellis, Stockham also visited Sweden and from her trips to schools, there she brought back the idea of teaching children domestic crafts, thus single-handedly establishing the first shop and home economics classes in the United States.

Stockham was a reformer in the true Victorian sense of the word.  She lectured against the use of corsets by women, made public endorsements of the healthiness of masturbation for both men and women, “If God did not want you to experience these beautiful feelings, he would not have given you the ability to experience them or the desire to produce them,” and advocated complete abstinence from alcohol and tobacco.  She promoted Karezza as a means to achieve:

1) birth control, she was against abortion but she wanted women to be able to control pregnancies;

2) social and political equality for women, she felt that Karezza men “would never rape their wives and would actually treat them decently”;

3) marital pleasure and hence marital fidelity, she advocated Karezza as a cure for “failing marriages.”

To the libertine, it seems that Alice Bunker Stockham was a prudish woman who received no sensual pleasure from the esoteric sexual practices she studied.  On the contrary.  Her book Karezza is filled with sensually erotic descriptions of the mutual satisfaction to be had in “conjugal embrace.”  Stockham’s book Tokology, a layperson’s text on gynecology and midwifery, contains references to “increasing marital pleasure through the practice of male continence.”  Tokology is the Greek word for obstetrics.

Stockham was very concerned with the economic plight of divorced women with children and prostitutes who wanted out of street life.  She felt that these women had no marketable skills and would be unable to support themselves, so she had copies of Tokology privately printed and gave them to “unfortunate women” to sell door-to-door in Chicago.  Each copy came with a bound-in certificate signed by Stockham and entitling the bearer to a free gynecological exam.  The following is a quote from the tenth edition of Alice Bunker Stockham’s book Tokology, published in 1884:

Many of the means used to prevent conception are injurious, and often lay the foundation for a train of physical ailments.  Probably no one means is more serious in its consequences than the semen being discharged external to the vagina.  The act is incomplete and unnatural…

Some of the appliances sold for the purpose [of contraception] are a sure preventive by mechanical interference.  If the material is pliable, the only positive injury is from preventing the complete interchange of magnetism…  

Many married people also adopt the method adopted by the Oneida Community with complete satisfaction.  In this, the sexual relation is entered upon but not carried to completion.  Some call it sedular absorption.  No discharge is allowed.  People practicing this method claim the highest possible enjoyment, no loss of vitality and perfect control of the fecundating power.  Those interested in this subject are referred to a pamphlet by Rev. Mr. Noyes; John Humphrey Noyes of the Oneida Community.”

From these brief allusions, readers can divulge that Stockham subscribed to the interchange of magnetism theory popular among 19th century sexual-spiritual teachers.  This theory, or its interchange of electrical currents counterpart, of which Pascal Beverly Randolph advocated, underlies 19th century neo-Tantra in the Western Mystery School.  Stockham’s interest in birth control was often covert, as disseminating information on contraceptives was illegal, and could not overcome her fear that a mechanical sperm barrier would prevent “the complete interchange of magnetism.”  Her statement that external ejaculation was “injurious” sprang in part from the Biblical injunction against Onanism, yet seems a failure of magnetic interchange.

Stockham also advocate the Oneida method, then also known as Male Continence, in which men refrained from ejaculation but women were encouraged to have contractive orgasms at will.  Stockham’s Tokology predates her book Karezza by several years and it was only in later writings that she went completely into descriptions of sexual techniques familiar to Tantrikas, then promulgating the need for women to learn to control orgasm responses the same way the men of Oneida did.  Ultimately, Stockham rejected the Male Continence techniques of Noyes in favour of gender parity in orgasm control.

The antiquated writings of Alice Bunker Stockham still have relevance in contemporary ritual erotica.  Stockham’s gender-parity version of Tantra yoga, despite its anti-orgasmic context and anti-hedonistic bent, serves as an important counterpoint to male centered aspects of traditional tantric sexual practices.  Such practices are quite common in “occult” societies comically espousing “sex magic,” where in reality; the woman is just a receptacle of the male sperm, and not an equal partner in erotic operations.

So-called “occult,” and even some ‘Western’ Tantra teachers, emphasize the conservation and self-re-absorption of male bindu {seed, meaning semen, prostatic fluid} as an important method of Tantra yoga that will lead the disciple to liberation from future rebirths, or samsara.  There is no place in this schema for the female except as a handmaiden to the male aspirant’s spiritual attainments, or more bluntly, as a sperm container.

In contrast to various Western Mystery Schools, the methods advocated by Alice Bunker Stockham stand out.  She was the first to challenge the idea of re-absorption of bindu as the basis for spiritual liberation.  She taught instead that both sexes felt a kind of lassitude after orgasm, which impaired their spiritual discernment.  She concluded both sexes would benefit from the increased vigor resultant from orgasm retention.  As a suffragist and medical doctor, she also promulgated Karezza as a method of birth control, as all mechanical-barrier forms of birth control were against U.S. law during her lifetime.

Writing in the 1880s, when publishing any material about human sexuality was legally risky, Dr. Stockham as a teacher who advised against female orgasm, believing this to be a gesture of parity with the retention of male orgasm she had been taught in India.  Her influence as such continues in contemporary ritual erotica, for all modern neo-tantric teachers, under direct historical influence of suffragist Tantra students such as Stockham or her student Lloyd; consider the issue of female orgasm relevant in a spiritual context.

Since she was both a gynecologist and a suffragist, Dr. Stockham approached a truly scientific basis for understanding the spiritual benefits she believed were attendant upon orgasm retention, an effect that arises in the neurological hard wiring shared by both men and women upon repeated sexual arousal and avoidance of orgasm.  She was the first Tantra-trained teacher in the West to drop the Hindu emphasis on the merely physical issue of semen-retention that leaves the majority of traditional Tantra yoga teachers preaching techniques for liberation from future rebirths, or samsara.  Karezza method was the first form of spiritual sexuality that explicitly gave equality to women as aspirants.

The physical techniques of Karezza, propounded by Dr. Alice Stockham and others in her circle, teach control of the orgasm and retention of seminal fluids for the purposes of physical pleasure, partnership bonding, mental health, and spiritual wellness.  Karezza techniques apply equally to both partners during sex, whether they are a man and a woman, two men, or two women.

Stockham’s contributions to the field of sacred sex stand out due to the historical context and public perceptions of sexuality.  During the late 1800s, Orthodox Hindu and Tibetan Buddhist Tantra practice emphasized male orgasm control only, for under the Hindu and Buddhist paradigms, the major point of sacred sex was to teach men to raise their kundalini energy to a fever pitch by sperm retention, sending it shooting up their spinal cords into their brains, thus achieving blissful union with the ‘Goddess.’  Women simply endorsed sexual-spiritual experience and could not partake of it.

Dr. Stockham was not the first or the only Westerner to advocate a form of sacred sex excluding religious iconography.  Other 19th century variants of Tantra include; John Humphrey Noyes’ Male Continence, the Anseiratic Mysteries of Paschal Beverly Randolph; Magnetation, a name proposed by Stockham’s student John William Lloyd; A. E. Newton’s The Better Way, and George N. Miller’s fictionalized account of Stockham’s method, promulgated in a novel under the title Zuggasent’s Discovery.

One metaphor Stockham used to describe her techniques was that of a fountain that fills a basin slowly, drop by drop.  The build-up of sexual desire, she believed, continued daily, day after day, filling the basin until it overflowed naturally.  If the basin was drained dry through continual orgasmic sex acts before it filled naturally, she believed that the drained person would be in a state of magnetic depletion during that time.  Control became necessary for neurological health and magnetic interchange.

Dr.  Stockham argued that the traditional Hindu technique of draining the woman’s basin of sexual desire through allowing her to have an orgasm, while leaving the man’s basin full through teaching him tantric methods of self-restraint, produced an inequality that undermines harmonious relationships.  The man would become a sort of psychic leech who continually kept the woman drained off while basking in the spiritual luxury of his own overflowing basin of sexual magnetism.  Stockham’s prodigal solution to this problem was to instruct couples to engage in sex whenever they wanted, as often as they wanted, fewer than three conditions:

1) Each sex act should be preceded by some form of spiritual dedication, similar to the traditional Hindu puja ceremony in intent, yet adapted to American cultural needs.

2) If a couple did not want more children, they should refrain from sex during the woman’s fertile time.

3) Orgasm must be under volitional control.

Karezza more improvisatory than Tantra yoga, although the desired concept is to make love sensually and rhythmically, relaxing rather than “suppress” orgasm, conscious of your own, and your partner’s state of arousal, especially focused on breathing.  In Karezza, there are not fixed gender specific roles.  Experiences are transient, excluding social and religious dogma.  Essentially, we can summarize Karezza as slow, sensual rhythmic sex, culminating in a holy love.

Dr. Stockham’s traditional Karezza warns against coming too close to orgasm, preferring to ride slowly with the sex-energy.  This is more a meditative approach than an ecstatic mode.  Stockham’s image is of a quiet pool just before a waterfall.  She recommends wading around only in this pool, avoiding the waterfall, which is orgasm.  Other Karezza techniques propounded by John William Lloyd and Pascal Beverly Randolph involve hanging out at the edge of the waterfall, moving extremely close to orgasm and then easing back.

When Karezza is practiced regularly, anxieties about orgasm, both preventing it and achieving it, and sexual performance disappear.  When orgasm is not an end to the means of sex, it becomes more accessible to both partners, should they wish it.  Men may be concerned that prolonged sex without orgasm will lead to testicular disease.  Karezza should not cause this theoretically; any initial discomfort disappears after Karezza is practiced correctly at length.  Individuals must determine their own physiological condition.

Karezza and natural birth control represent a holistic approach to our sexuality.  Take note, Karezza was first promulgated as a form of birth control, and Stockham was at one point arrested on that charge.  My research indicates that Karezza is not a reliable form of birth control because pre-ejaculatory fluids can escape and cause pregnancy; it does work rarely in combination with ovulation detection through observation of basal temperature and or mucus.  In the 1950s, Dr. John C. Lilly did some neurological studies relating to Karezza and sex.  His published notes reveal that he found four points in the brain that control the sexual response.

According to Lilly, the first neural point in the series regulated arousal.  The second point regulated muscular contraction.  The third point regulated the orgasm itself.  The fourth point he called the master switch, for when stimulated, it entrained the three previously mentioned centers, causing orgasm and ejaculation.  Tantric and Karezza techniques are akin to the practice of biofeedback training.  Spirituality is innate in the human genome.  Karezza reconciles spirituality with technique as prescribed by Dr. Stockham and later teachers.

Until the information age, it was possible to read many volumes on the subject of Tantra Yoga and Karezza without realizing that sexual energy was its central motif.  Thousands of years during which this complex philosophy, religion, and science of sexual union has evolved, its central source often remained hidden.  A number of spiritual teachers will show anyone with the time and money the actual practice of spiritual sexual union.  Still, the essence of what they impart is shrouded in the terms of the teacher’s particular religion, and subject to their immature control.  New Age revelations of fabricated ancient secrets of Tantra still leave the seven veils of faith and karma unbroken.

Paschal Beverly Randolph is an enigmatic and fascinating figure.  A free African-American born in the state of Virginia in 1825, he was an orator for the Abolitionist cause before the Civil War.  He was also a well-known spiritualist and trance-medium, and a world-traveler in the best Victorian fashion, who visited England, France, Turkey, Egypt, and Syria in search of esoteric wisdom.  His investigations into Rosicrucianism led him to the then highly controversial field of sex-magic, and along the way, he also wrote a definitive treatise of the use of hashish as an aid to trance possession (1860), and an equally important book on clairvoyant scrying with magic mirrors (1860).

karezzaAs a medical doctor and occultist, Randolph attempted to transcend the coercive racial stereotyping of 19th century America, yet he felt continually checked in his ambitions.  In 1875, he succumbed to what seems to have been a long-standing case of depression and ended his life by suicide at the relatively young age of 50, leaving behind a wife and infant son.  Questions remain concerning the long-standing effects of the very techniques Randolph practiced.  Such are the constant dangers of the misuse of ritual erotica.  Randolph is the pioneer who paved the way for ritual eroticism.

Randolph’s best-known book is the 1874 volume Eulis!:  The History of Love: It’s Wondrous Magic, Chemistry, Rules, Laws, Modes, Moods    and Rationale; Being the Third Revelation of Soul and Sex, also, Reply to ‘Why Is Man Immortal?’ the Solution to the Darwin Problem, an Entirely New Theory.  This treatise, with its mention of Qabalah and various ceremonial magic practices is certainly the product of someone who had studied comparative philosophy and religion, and in its statement that the author is the Grand Master of the Order it seems to promulgate a formal, cryptic, system of organized spiritual training.

From 1857 through 1860, Randolph was the head of the Third Temple of the Rosi Croix, which he had founded in San Francisco, California.  This Rosicrucian group fell into disrepair in the Civil War era, but Randolph reformed it in Nashville, Tennessee in 1874 as The Brotherhood of Eulis, to work sex-magic.  Shortly thereafter, in San Francisco again, the order was once more re-established, thereafter known as The Triplicate Order Rosicruciæ, Pythianæ, and Eulis; with Randolph assuming the lofty and egocentric title, the “Supreme Hierarch, Grand Templar, Knight, Prior, and Hierarch of the Triple Order.”

Randolph’s association with hermetic and Rosicrucian orders is noteworthy in light of the fact that contemporary occultists tend to identify African-American practitioners exclusively with folk-magic and to discount the contributions people of colour have made to the development of occultism and ritual erotica.  In fact, although he was a black man from the South, Randolph rarely mentioned African American hoodoo folk magic.

I see the value of Eulis! and Randolph’s shorter works, The Mysteries of Eulis (1874) and The Anseiratic Mystery (1873) in their unique and direct passages about his own version of the ritual sex practices of the Nusa’iri tribe of Syria, in which, according to Randolph, the exchange of electrical-magnetic energy takes place in ‘the seven magnetic points of the human frame” and “the pellucid aroma of divinity” suffuses the sex act.

Randolph describes “the marital office and function,” or sexual intercourse) as “material, spiritual and mystic,” he boastfully states “my doctrine…alone declares and establishes the fact that the marital function is unquestionably the highest, holiest, most important, and most wretchedly abused of all that pertains to the human being.”  The vanity of this aside, it is noteworthy that among the “abuses” of the marital function that Randolph lists are rape and “the murderous habit of incompletion of the conjugal rite,” or coitus reservatus.

Frater Randolph celebrates sexual union as a metaphysical and holy ritual, only when it produces full and complete orgasms for both partners.  That places him in conflict with the theories of traditional Hindu Tantrikas, who hold that male orgasm expends rather than enhances male spiritual energy.  Randolph’s theory also places him in partial conflict with his contemporary, Dr. Alice Bunker Stockham, who believed that maintaining states of arousal just beneath the peak of ejaculatory orgasm spiritually benefits both men and women.

P.B. Randolph’s emphasis on holy orgasms over holy sexuality is most clearly set forth in a portion of Eulis!  where he postulates an elaborate, multi-tiered and multi-dimensional cosmos extending “to realms beyond the starry spaces.”  Now concerning the moment of orgasm, when we are, he says, in metaphysical contact with powerful spiritual entities in these dimensions, he writes:

It follows that as are the people at that moment, orgasm so will be that which enters into them from the regions above, beneath, and roundabout; wherefore, whatsoever male or female shall truly will for, hopefully pray for, and earnestly yearn for, when love, pure and holy, is in the nuptive ascendant, in form, passional, affectional, divine and volitional, that prayer will be granted, and the boon be given, But the prayer must precede the moment of orgasm.

Randolph rejected coitus reservatus, while Stockham promoted it yet both agree on one basic tenet: because a controlled orgasm itself is holy, a sincere prayer given at the “nuptive moment” will be granted, by the Christian God in Stockham’s view, and by unknown higher spiritual hierarchy in Randolph’s.  This concept of the orgasm-prayer is rarely found among Hindu Tantrikas or Hindu Tantras.  Ritual erotic prayer is magical and religious, and I believe Randolph a “sex mystic” along the lines of Alice Bunker Stockham, and a Hindu Tantrika as well as a “sex magician” who used sexuality as an appendage to control of the phenomenal world.

Randolph’s writing clearly influenced Madame Helena Petrovna Blavatsky, the founder of Theosophy.  Sex magicians, and I use this term loosely in lieu of these men, Theodor Reuss and Aleister Crowley were influenced by Randolph’s Triplicate Order (and its subsequent spin-offs after Randolph’s death, the Hermetic Brotherhood of Luxor and the Hermetic Brotherhood of Light) when they reorganized the Ordo Templi Orientis (O.T.O.), a group founded by Reuss and modified by Crowley.  Consequently, Crowley’s famous catch phrase, “Love is the Law, Love under Will” derives directly from Randolph’s aphorism, “Will reigns Omnipotent; Love lieth at the Foundation.”  (Mysteries of Eulis, 1874).

The difference between Randolph’s sex magic, and that of Reuss and Crowley on the other, is that Brother Randolph was working from a standpoint of gender parity and Crowley and Reuss’ practices are male-centered exclusively.  In a sensible manner, Randolph sought to produce spiritual and magical effects through prayers or invocations acted upon prior to a mutual orgasm of both partners – the ‘nuptive moment.’

Reuss and Crowley believed that women were simply passive vehicles for male spiritual attainment and that male orgasm, followed by the male’s ingestion of his own sperm, mingled with his partner’s vaginal juices or feces, was the sublime secret to spiritual mastery.  Further, Crowley often employed prostitutes as his magical sex-partners, while Randolph believed that this practice invariably prevented the possibility of completing a successful magical act.

The successful results Randolph claimed for his form of sex magic, results I have also recorded using his techniques included: telepathy, communication with discarnate spirits, increased wealth, forecasting the outcomes of financial transactions, rendering adulterous husbands and wives dissociative to others, improved health, the power to derange the relationships of others, the ability to secretly know others’ designs and plans, the power to direct others, and the gift of prophetic revelations.

The Mysteries of Eulis provides the following instructions, which set forth a few of Randolph’s practical techniques:

If a man has an intelligent and loving wife, with whom he is in complete accord, he can work out the problems [of how to achieve magical results] by her aid.  They are a radical soul-sexive series of energies…The rite is a prayer in all cases, and the most powerful [that] earthly beings can employ…it is best for both man and wife to act together for the attainment of the mysterious objects sought.

 Success in any case requires the adjutancy of a superior woman.  THIS IS THE LAW!  A harlot or low woman is useless for all such lofty and holy purposes, and just so is a bad, impure, passion-driven apology for a man.  The woman shall not be one who accepts rewards for compliance; nor a virgin; or under eighteen years of age; or another’s wife; yet must be one who hath known man and who has been and still is capable of intense mental, volitional and affectional energy, combined with perfect sexive and orgasmal ability; for it requires a double crisis to succeed…

 The entire mystery can be given in very few words, and they are an upper room; absolute personal, mental, and moral cleanliness both of the man and wife.  An observance of the law just cited during the entire term of the experiment — 49 days.  Formulate the desire, keep it in mind during the whole period, and especially when making the nuptive prayer, during which no word may be spoken, but the thing desired be strongly thought…

There is more to Randolph’s system of sex magic than the above excerpts can supply, in particular he advocates mirror-scrying, breathing exercises, use of hashish, and teaches three magical techniques he calls Volantia – the calm exercise of will, Decretism – decreeing something must be so, especially at the “nuptive moment,” and Posism – sinking into a receptive mental and physical posture to receive that which has been willed.

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