Sunday, 9 March 2014

Death To Fascist Insect That Preys Upon The Blood Of The People!

In the liner notes to Anti-Heroes I explained the conceit for the remixed extract of Plan For The Kidnap Of Princess Anne that appeared on the album. The remix was called The Mallian Timeslip as a nod to the Phil Dickian nature of what I perceived to be Ian Ball's cosmic paranoia. The addition of sparse drum machine and Floydian guitars was to re-imagine the track as the off kilter attempt of some out of touch prog rocker to get down with the kids – a spaced out anarchist protest song. In terms of the song's languid structure,  I was very much thinking of Peter Gabriel's Biko - I song (and sentiment) I love, and as a child Biko's death left a big impression on me. He died a few days before my 9th birthday. I was an avid radio listener as a kid and I still remember the news reports. Weirdly, Biko's death also fused in my memory with Marc Bolan's death - which happened a few days later, on my 9th birthday. These morning radio news items remain burned into the valves of the hippocampal transistor.

Since writing those liner notes, I've discovered an interesting connection between Ian Ball and Steve Biko, as well as some strange insinuations regarding the kidnap that suggest Ball was a cog in a grand master plan to initiate World War 3. As for my original assertion - that Ian Ball was a paranoid schizophrenic embroiled in a fantasy of revolution - I am not so sure now! The red sands of Martian conspiracy seem to be shifting beneath my feet, revealing a delirious sub plot in which I am not so sure of my own role.

It turns out that Ian Ball was defended by Sir David Napley, a very high profile "celebrity solicitor" of the 60s and 70s. Napley, as is perhaps is normal with solicitors, had a curiously ambivalent resume. He defended the Rolling Stones against their drug charges in the 60s, a London gallery for exhibiting nude photographs of John Lennon and Yoko Ono, and most famously Liberal party leader Jeremy Thorpe in his trial for the conspiracy to murder Thorpe's lover Norman Scott. If ever Alan Moore's League Of Extraordinary Gentlemen needed a solicitor to defend themselves in some hideous occultural miscarriage of justice, then I would recommend Napley.  However, Napley also appears to have been a champion of the underdog and the less attractive defence case, of which Ian Ball must be included. He defended Jeremy Bamber, who, in common with Ball, still protests his innocence via an obsessive website hosted behind the firewall of a high security prison. And most serendipitously, given the conceit of the track on "Anti-Heroes", Napley served as an independent witness into the inquest of Steve Biko. His report was instrumental in laying the blame on the South African police; Napley concluded, "I was left in no doubt Mr Biko died as a result of brain injury inflicted on him by one or more unidentified member of Security Police."

Just to seal Napley's credentials as the perfect participant in some wild forensic metafiction, he also worked on a miscarriage of justice case from 1967, involving a Newcastle gangland killing, by two Londoners - Dennis Stafford and Michael Luvaglio. The crime centred around the syphoning of profits from one arm bandit fruit machines. Stafford and Luvaglio traveled from London to kill one Angus Sibbett, who had been robbing from machines, set up in Newcastle nightclubs, by London "business" men. Sibbett's bullet ridden body was discovered in the boot of an MK 10 Jag. If the crime sounds like an underworld cliche, it is because the case provided the basis for Ted Lewis' book Jack's Return Home which was made into the film Get Carter.  But not content with dipping into the murky world of pulp archetypes, Napley's career extends as far was the icy waters of the Illuminati. He worked for the family of Roberto Calvi, God's Banker, whose assisted suicide still haunts the stanchions of Blackfriars Bridge, in London. Two images fuse: Get Carter – Michael Caine pursued over the high level bridge by henchmen in their doorless red Jag, and the police photographs of Roberto Calvi on the deck of Blackfriars, pockets laden by Masonic stones. 
"St. Peter's not very happy about his car, he's going to shit all over you."

Angus Sibbett, clearly a big man and out of shape
Roberto Calvi, St. Peter's not very happy.

And if you're feeling unnatural pangs of sympathy for this champion of justice, Napley also defended General Pinochet - moral compass out of control...

Where this legal jackanory starts to get even stranger is when we get back to Ian Ball. In the booklet for English Heretic's last release, Mondo Paranoia, I discuss the hoaxed missing chapter from William Manchester's Death Of The President. This infamous hoax was published in the deeply subversive magazine The Realist. This magazine became a primary vehicle for the fascinating work of one Mae Brussell. Brussell is an example par-excellence of what I was trying to highlight in Mondo Paranoia: that the assassination of Kennedy was like some traumatic occult event that appeared to awaken a paranoiac pineal gland, and enabled certain folk to insight a frightening and amorphous new reality. It certainly seemed to serve that purpose for Mae Brussell: it is stated in her biographical notes that the,
"Complacent Beverly Hills housewife Mae Brussell had quite an awakening in 1963 when President Kennedy was assassinated, and again when she read and cross-indexed the massive 26-volume Warren Commission Hearings. She saw that the international terrorist network that had made up the Axis powers during World War Two had gone underground and continued their world-wide fascist campaign, overthrowing one country after another. America was not exempt."

Brussells' C.V. reads like a cross between a cookie baking homemaker and an industrial culture Nostradamus:

* On May 29, 1968 she confronted Rose Kennedy at Monterey Peninsula Airport, handing her a note telling her that Robert Kennedy would soon be assassinated. A week later he was executed by Sirhan Sirhan.
* Two weeks before Patty Hearst was kidnapped, she addressed a Syracruse Univeristy audience informing them that the Symbionese Liberation Army's murder of school superintendent Marcus Foster was the beginning of a terror and psychological sabotage campaign, orchestrated by the government, and similar to that instigated in Nazi Germany during the 1930s.
* In August 1977, discussing the recent relocation of Jim Jones' move to Guyana, she speculated that it might be a training camp for assassination teams.

If Napley was a forensic everyman of some countercultural yarn, then Brussell was its prophetess.

The Symbionese Liberation Army was much the focus of Brussell's obsessions. In 1974, she wrote an article for The Realist in which she laid out the argument that the SLA was in fact the CIA, or rather ,a fictional terrorist group set up by the CIA to bring a fascist revolution in the United States. It's a frightening theory, especially for one cooked up by a once complacent Beverly Hills housewife. Analysing the kidnap of Patty Hearst, Brussell lays out the elaborate project of the fabricated SLA:

"The end goal of the SLA – World War III – is to plunge the Third World masses into starvation and slavery. We have accomplished this through the CIA in 77 countries. The Third World inside the United States is the next selected victim."

Then most incredibly, Brussell brings Ian Ball into the equation stating,
"Every kidnapping since February 4, 1974, should be carefully investigated. The kidnappings may be real, but the circumstances surrounding them are questionable.
The Secret Service, for the first time in U.S. history, presented an award outside the United States. It is no surprise this was delivered to Inspector James Beaten, the man who was wounded March 30 [sic] when Ian Ball was supposed to "kidnap" Princess Anne.
Was there any relationship between this altercation and the earlier abduction of Patricia Hearst? The Secret Service knows the answer. Were they acting accordingly, apologizing for a near victim in a provocateur-inspired event?"

So Brussell makes the fantastic insinuation: that Ball was a patsy or a brainwashed agent for a secret service operation on foreign land, and the copper inadvertently caught in the crossfire received an award from the United States as a covert apology!

And what of Princess Anne? If Ian Ball's kidnap been successful and, if it was an operation based on the blueprint of the Patty Hearst case, would Princess Anne later have appeared on the security cameras of a branch of Lloyd's Bank  - presumably on horseback  -  yelling at the tellers and brandishing an AK47. Would she later appear on some pirate radio broadcast intoning the paradoxical mantra of SLA leader, Donald DeFreeze,  "Death to the fascist insect that preys upon the blood of the people!"

I would sincerely like to think so.  

In trying to retain a rational perspective on of all this, it's probably worth pointing out the following clipping from an American Daily on March 23rd 1974, in which the kidnap of Princess Anne appears on the same page as news coverage of Patty Hearst.

Finally, let us apply William Burroughs' technique for the paranoid reading of newspapers, which entailed scanning across the page so that the unrelated news items would fuse to reveal a new narrative...  Cut across reality and future conspiracies leak through. The headlines, cut across, read thus:
"Army Guards Hearst Kidnap Message: 'Probably Royal Family'"

Friday, 28 February 2014

Oh Xiurell And I'll Come To You


I've been looking at various mermaid myths recently and while doing this, started looking at references in Robert Graves' "The White Goddess". I am not sure how widely disseminated this is, but thought it worth sharing. Anyhow it's very interesting to me, being Suffolk based (where M.R. James based 'Oh Whistle'), and offers some intriguing connections between M.R. James, Graves, as well as further interpretations of the story, and some nice cinematic doubling.

To summarise, in a chapter of "The White Goddess", called "Gwion's Heresy", Graves discusses winnowing feast mysteries and makes mention of a Majorcan artefact of this harvest festival. It is called the xiurell, and is a white clay whistle, decorated in red and green. The whistle is handmade and cast in various shapes such as a mermaid, a coiled serpent, or a full skirted woman rocking her baby in her arms. According to Graves the whistle figured in an ecclesiastical festival that took place on 12th of September. The festival entailed the villagers of Bonanova, near Palma, perambulating up the hill, presumably blowing these whistles. The object of the whistle, posits Graves, "must originally have been to induce the North-East winnowing winds which, according to the local almanack, begin to blow at this season and which at the end of the month summons rain clouds from the Atlantic Ocean to soak the winter wheat planted earlier in the month." 

Graves says that the mermaid, locally called a 'siren', evidently represents Aphrodite (also represented by the woman and baby shaped whistle).  The serpent is represented by the wind (presumably denoted by the coiled serpent whistle). He maintains that "this is the only time when the wind is welcomed by the Majorcans, who... fear the sirocco as they fear the devil". The whistling is not heard in the island except in the xuirell season.  Then most curiously Graves injects the following non sequitur:
"The ploughman sings as drives his mule and the schoolboy as he runs home from school; for the rest furbis, flabis, flebis - 'whistle shrill, weep long' ".

The fur fla fle bis, is of course, one of the inscriptions on the whistle excavated in M.R. James' tale. I am not sure what to make of this. Were James and Graves drawing from a similar Mediterranean custom, or was Graves merely injecting James' story into his mythopoesis - which is an interesting insight into the mechanics of his creativity. I haven't read any accounts of Graves studying James' stories. It also adds another aspect to 'Oh Whistle'. I've always considered to the story to have strong succubal or incubal overtones, as well as being a quite strong evocation of sleep paralysis, but it could be drawing from Greek mythology too, though Jacqueline Simpson in her essay on folkloric elements in M.R. James draws on Jutland customs to possibly explain the roots of the story.

As well as Graves' account of the harvest time ritual, there's also a festival in the municipality of Llubi on Majorca, which takes place on the Saturday before Shrove Tuesday. It's called the "Fiesta of the Xiurell" and during the ceremony a giant xiurell or demon-shaped whistle is burnt. Presumably this is to mark the beginning of the agricultural year.

I also wonder whether there is  a connection between the film "The Shout", which came out in the late 70s, and "Oh Whistle". "The Shout" was filmed in Devon among the dunes and starred Alan Bates. He plays a madman who infiltrates a couple's lives, seduces the wife and plays mind games which her husband, played by John Hurt. Hurt's an electronic music composer and Bates claims to have learned from aboriginal shaman how to kill with a shout. The coastal location and the demonic use of the shout bare some resemblance to M.R. James' "Oh Whistle", but most interestingly, "The Shout" is based on a Robert Graves short story. In a weird twist of cinematic fate, John Hurt was recast as Parkin in the recent TV remake of "Oh Whistle".

In Graves' story the husband and wife begin to experience telepathic dreams in which the husband is seen walking on the sands with a strange man who is discussing the whereabouts of the soul. The woman in her version of the dream runs from these figures. Graves' "The Shout" is quite clearly also a conceit for his preoccupation with the story of the poet, muse and wyrd. But there are certainly some intriguing overlaps between the folkloric roots of Graves' and James' research.

Sunday, 23 February 2014

The Pherenike

I finally managed to get to St. Etheldreda's church in the heart of London. The church houses a wooden sculpture depicting St. Peter holding a veronica of Christ. The Alchemist Fulcanelli, in "Dwelling Of The Philosophers," discusses this very statue and its hermetic meaning. The Pherenike is a baffling conundrum: the Christian reading is that it is the remnant of a cloth used to bathe Christ's face  - an acephalic turin shroud. But there are obviously allusions to the cult of the severed head and stranger still - Christ's thorns more resemble the coiling serpent hair of the Medusa.

I'll be exploring this mystery and much more in the forthcoming release "The Underworld Service". "The Underworld Service" extends and extrapolates some of the ideas set out in the "Weekend Other World" event last April. "The Underworld Service" pitches some Melvyn Bragg like culture vulture deep in Hades - what I term sepul-culture. Over the last two years I've been visiting and recording at a wide range of venues from: Hiroshima to Blythburgh, Sizewell B, De Grey's Mausoleum, and finally St. Etheldreda's. "The Underworld Service" builds on these locations to create a concrete irrational documentary: taking the mid 70s obsession with Greek Thrillers, the atomic alchemy of Fulcanelli, Victorian Funeral customs and their cannibalistic antecedents; the potentials for misuse in the field of music thanatology; the hermetic journeys of The Haunted Shoreline; James Hillman's Revisioning Psychology and much more. Musically and thematically, "The Underworld Service" is English Heretic's most death enhancing release, covering a wide genre of styles, philosphical stoner, corpse orientated rock (where adult orientated yacht rocker's sail to); chiliasm music and many other puns.

The album will feature 8 new tracks.

The provisional track listing is:

* River Of Black Rams Blood
* The Invisible Cannon
* The Pherenike
* Inside The Mausoleum
* Under Vulcan Skies
* Why I Should Never Become A Music Thanatologist
* The Alchemist Of Saltdean
* Biscuits For The Funeral Of Mrs Oliver

I am hoping to have the release available around mid 2014. 

Sunday, 16 February 2014

Coming soon: Film And Its Double

When the thrill seeking anthropologists of the English Heretic field unit set out to investigate the locations of what appeared to be a merely harmless video nasty from the 1970s, they got a lot more than they bargained for. Winnats Pass in Derbyshire, England –a beautiful limestone ravine reveals its deeper and disturbing history. From Spanish Italian zombie horror “Living Dead At The Manchester Morgue” to the brutal regimes of industrial slavedom, the mines beneath tell a story of lead poisoned, schizophrenic labourers, the savage murder of eloping lovers and gruesome karmic retribution. Might the caves that scar this once submarine coral reef, lead to hell, the devil's fundament, or further … to the black temples of Atlantis where the priests themselves infused their soul controlling rites with diabolical and tantric methods.

English Heretic present Film And Its Double: "Let Sleeping Corpses Lie" – an excursion to the most dangerous vales of reason, a deep history lesson taking in film, folklore and the outlandish theories of voodoo gnosticism.

Thursday, 21 November 2013

Mondo Paranoia: Out Now

Mondo Paranoia: A Medieval History Of The Early 1960s explores the thanatological synchronicities of the 22nd November 1963: the simultaneous deaths of JFK, Aldous Huxley and C.S. Lewis. Paradoxically 22nd and 23rd November also witnessed the activation of two mind bending Pop programmes: The Beatles' world conquering second album and the first episode of Dr Who.

Mondo Paranoia serves as an initiatory and analeptic voyage into the deep mind of the 60s: further katabatic excursions to its queasy and oleaginous core are planned for 2014.

Wrapped in a crime scene linocut cover by Lisa Cradduck, comprising of a 33 min documentary and 12 page essay, Mondo Paranoia, English Heretic’s 11th release beckons in the coming fimbulwinter and honours with relish the diabolical release schedules of our media cabals.

CD  - With music constructed from forensic sampling of JFK's funeral, amplifications from ancient television transmissions, and field recordings from the Kennedy memorial at Runnymede.

Track Listing:
1. Mondo Paranoia
2. Motorcade Taurobolium
3. Forensic Spiritualism Today!
4. The Injectors
5. Hymns For The Fimbulwinter
6. Runnymede 68

Booklet - The accompanying document is an unofficial report on the taurobolium in Dallas and its ramifications for reality, extending as far as the previously undisclosed sex laboratories of time and relative dimensions in space.

Mondo Paranoia is available as a limited edition CD and booklet, with free digital download of both.

Available at the souvenir shop

Saturday, 2 November 2013

Unearthing Forgotten Horrors - 9th November, Star and Shadow, Newcastle

English Heretic will be performing at "Unearthing Forgotten Horrors" next Saturday, 9th November. Iam very much looking forward to playing in Newcastle. The event has been lovingly curated by Darren Charles and Victor Janos. Alot of work has gone into it, so do coming along if you're able to, this deserves support.

For our part English Heretic will be performing a collision of material from "Anti-Heroes" along with a brand new piece from the forthcoming Mondo Paranoia.

Bringing together rare film screenings of key works from the golden age of UK horror, with an exclusive line up of musicians/bands influenced by them, Unearthing Forgotten Horrors is a celebration of horror in music and film.

Presenting North East (and English) premieres by outsider artists who operate on the occult fringes of the musical underground, Unearthing Forgotten Horrors, draws together a very special bill of eerie drones, psychedelic noise, and classic horror films rarely screened in cinemas featuring:

Black Mountain Transmitter
At an impressionable age Northern Irish musician and visual artist James R. Moore was drawn to a diet of late night TV horror double bills, VHS video nasties with pulsating electronic soundtracks and the Weird Fiction of H P Lovecraft. These influences now pervade the eerie sound world of Black Mountain Transmitter, most notably on cult releases "Black Goat Of The Woods" (2009) and "Playing With Dead Things" (2012), the first two instalments of a loosely themed 'Trilogy of Terror'.

Black Mountain Transmitter albums have been released by US label Auris Apothecary (, Aurora Borealis ( and Moore's own Lysergic Earwax ( ).

Unearthing Forgotten Horrors marks the first live performance of Black Mountain Transmitter in England (and indeed outside the island of Ireland).

English Heretic
English Heretic is a creative occult organisation dedicated to the reification of malefic energy spectres and the adumbration of a modern qliphoth. In operation since 2003 English Heretic has ploughed the topsoil of horror film locations to reveal a delirious substrata of mythic truths. They have reported back their findings through numerous CDs, books, talks and performances of ritual electronics.

Lovers of drone and brain frying noise should need no introduction to Lee Stokoe's prolific Culver project. A member of Skullflower, Inseminoid and Indian Lady, Culver's sound perfects pitch black, tar-thick drones and crushingly heavy soundscapes which are genuinely sinister.

Through many releases, often micro-editions on seriously cool labels, a consistently macabre approach is applied sound and visuals across a mind-boggling body of atmospheric and horror obsessed work.

Psychogeograpical Commission
The Psychogeographical Commission was formed at the start of 2008 to explore the many interfaces between the built environment and the people who inhabit it through d←rive, magick and sonic experimentation.

The Dead End Street Band
Drawing influence from the experimental scores to Jon Pertwee era Doctor Who, thirty year old horror soundtracks and with massive splurges of psychedelic noise, The Dead End Street Band pull no punches delivering their scum noise dirge. Fixated on the sleazier end of 70's horror cinema, this elusive three-piece rumble through some genuinely nightmarish soundscapes and hellish synth drones.

Several handmade editions on their own imprints and on Indiana's Occult Supremacy label have seen the band develop from home-made electronica through to pitch black, ultra morbid soundtracks from non-existent scuzzfests found in the darker recesses of underground cinema.

Joseph Curwen
Joseph Curwen makes HP Lovecraft inspired ambient evil drone, based on that weird bit between life and death the day after a big party. All digital noise intended.

The Tempel of Sekhmet
Ooft! Born in the ashes of the first Psychoheliophysics workshops, the subsequent asymmetric awakenings of the Bacchanale Operation and weened on esoteric apophenia. A supergroup of Newcastle//Glasgow//Ipswich-based sunworshipping occultists' suckled by the bitter lactations of M R James, China Mieville, Kaneto Shindo and Jean Painlevé. Spiked with the synaesthetic experimentation of the pre-stalinist soviet union. Developing Solar//Tellurian Circuits to carry out cthonic soil experimentation in search of buried suns and waning solar temples. With the intent to destabilise human neurophysical function over distance. The Tempel of Sekhmet issue a new warning to the curious: unleash your curiosity for all that is eldritch or else die the cold, cold death of doxic submission...
nb. Semantic meltdown may occur when taken in significantly large doses, Tempel of Sekhmet take no responsibility for any sensory or cerebral overload or awakening... Ooft!

Unearthing Forgotten Horrors will feature rare cinema screenings of classic English horror film Blood on Satan's Claw, and Peter Sasdy's masterwork of supernatural television The Stone Tape.

Andy Black Forest (Radio Black Forest) will DJ.

Saturday 9 November from 4.00pm at The Star and Shadow Cinema, Stepney Bank, Newcastle upon Tyne.

Tickets: £9.00 in advance from We Got Tickets:

The first 50 tickets include an exclusive handmade CDr mixed by Melmoth the Wanderer, featuring all of the artists on the Unearthing Forgotten Horrors bill.

Tuesday, 15 October 2013

"Anti-Heroes" talk and film 19th October

Talk and film at Volcanic Tongue Store 19th October, 7.00pm

The English Heretic occult roadshow takes to Volcanic Tongue. Expect an evening of revved up readings, films and soundtracks from their new project “Anti-Heroes”: a collision in the suburbs somewhere between the clinics of JG Ballard and the kitsch gnosticism of the Hellfire Club. “Anti-Heroes” is the result of a 5 year investigation into dangerous mangers constellated around the locations of Ballard's Crash, taking in its intersection with the scuzzy cult of Psychomania, suburban warlocks, and host of pop culture chimeras. “Anti-Heroes” also weaves in the poetic paradigm of Robert Graves' White Goddess to reveal its tendrils in the work of Ballard, the lives of tragic figures, and the folk horror of Blood On Satan's Claw.

English Heretic is a creative occult organisation, in operation since 2003. Over 10 years, English Heretic has set out to explore a new approach to ceremonial magic and archetypal psychology inspired by the outre work of Kenneth Grant, James Hillman, situationism and pop culture signifiers. English Heretic attempts to manifest a deliciously troubled soul of our world, through ludic and heuristic engagement with horror film, pulp fiction and the esoteric arts. They have released and reported their findings via numerous books, CDs and events.

More details and directions over at the VT site