Monday, November 11, 2013

Mystery Babylon


"Lady of all the divine powers, resplendent light, righteous woman clothed in radiance, beloved of An and Urac! Mistress of heaven, with the great pectoral jewels, who loves the good headdress befitting the office of en priestess, who has seized all seven of its divine powers! My lady, you are the guardian of the great divine powers! You have taken up the divine powers, you have hung the divine powers from your hand. You have gathered up the divine powers, you have clasped the divine powers to your breast. Like a dragon you have deposited venom on the foreign lands. When like Ickur you roar at the earth, no vegetation can stand up to you. As a flood descending upon those foreign lands, powerful one of heaven and earth, you are their Inanna."
- from the "Exultation To Inanna" ancient Sumeria, author unknown

As we head towards the new year, our culture grows more and more oriented toward the mysteries of the feminine. The Goddess is a powerful driving force of civilization, fickle but mostly fair, at times directing fierce lust and vengeance. She implores women to adorn themselves with facial make-up like sexual warpaint. She encourages lust and want, both representing an urge toward that as well as representing a force that absorbs and gains power from such emotions. In the truest sense, she is immortal, a lust that is never satiated that is fed over centuries over the bodies of humans who underestimate the fleeting nature of mortal existence. She is the Goddess that governs our world and our culture, the secret myth revealed upon itself through the daily existence of men.
In the East, she is known as Kali, the destroyer. Her blood-red lips and extended tongue have become the logo for the British rock band The Rolling Stones, a once-relevent, now geriatric group of men doomed to live out their adolescence until death. She smiles and laps up the returns. Hell's Angels stabbing a man to death in a crowded melee, attempted statutory rape at a friend's house, acting like an idiot on Saturday Night Live, she watches over and protects her investments. What might seem like a harmless rock and roll band works as an agent of social change with the Goddess' own seal of approval. Her earliest names are Lili, Lilitu, Loli/Lola, Inanna, Ishtar. Her reoccurring motifs are the owl and the crescent moon. Her temple is sacred prostitution, sexual exploration, homosexuality, transformation of the human form. An alchemical relationship with the human body. If Wilhelm Riech had been a little less paranoid, a little more of a team player (like Kinsey was), he would have gone far in the furthering of her goals. Instead, he remains one of the only people to have their written works burned by the United States Government.
In Mesopotamian culture the Lilitu were said to be demons that caused unwanted sexual feelings to arise... Pazuzu was a wind spirit whose power was able to chase away the Lilitu, harpy-like female beings with human-bird hybrid bodies. These demonic, lustful characters seem to be the inspiration for the Hebraic character of Lilith, who actually emerges from a parodic text written by someone from that culture. A famous image, called the Burney Relief, depicts a female figure whose identity is disputed. Her breasts are bare, and she has wings and the feet of a bird. Owls are by her side and in her hand is a rod with a ring in the middle. She grips it and stares directly ahead at the viewer...
Inanna and Ishtar are the names that were given to the Goddess in two manifestations of the Mesopotamian culture, and in Greek and Roman civilizations many of her attributes co-incide with those of Aphrodite and Venus (respectively). The eight-pointed star is her symbol, possibly due to the appearance of Venus as it occulted the Sun during ancient times. The moon is often depicted as her symbol, and culturally-relevant imagery ranging from Katy Perry sitting on a crescent moon to the Virgin Mary with the crescent at her feet seem to reference her power. In Jean Genet's memoir of living among the Palestinians, he mentions seeing a procession of individuals carrying a banner of a virgin with a crescent moon, and falsely assuming it to be the Virgin Mother of the Christian pantheon. He was surprised to discover that she was a local deity of the nearby community of fishermen, and that she was "Our Lady Of The Lake." As Isis, she gave birth to a saviour God/man long before the emergence of the Roman Catholic faith. Some say that an Assyrian queen named Semiramis is the basis for these myths, but it seems that she is yet another persona of history to be swept up into the character of Our Lady. Her ancient power predates historical conjecture.
She is a symbol of new life, and as such also the destruction of the old way. Those who stick stubbornly to the old ways will perish, not understanding how to exist in the environment of the future. She will provide opportunities for growth and change, and it is up to the individual to heed the lessons.

"If thou openest not the gate to let me enter,
I will break the door, I will wrench the lock,
I will smash the door-posts, I will force the doors.
I will bring up the dead to eat the living.
And the dead will outnumber the living."
- Ishtar's dialogue to the gatekeeper of the Underworld in the myth of Her descent into the Underworld.

Much like the Christian promise that the dead shall rise again at the end of time, the Goddess is in control of the undead legions. The weak of mind can be swayed by her guile, and she is never short of fodder for her Army. In the "Exultation Of Inana," she is descibed as the lady who rides upon a beast. In the Christian Book of Revelations, it is said that there is a lady in Heaven (the Virgin Mother Mary ala Isis) whose foot is on the head of the serpent, crushing it. One is also reminded of the story of Europa and the bull- a woman ravaged by a "sea bull," creating an unholy union of human and monster that apparently spawned the European peoples according to some obscure lore. She has always encouraged singing and praise, with the out-loud recitation of prayer being a powerful way to connect to the Goddess. She consumes the sorrow and praise of her worshippers and gives back in the form of love and understanding.
A form similar to the Burney Relief is what has been called the "Snake Goddess" of Knossos, a threatening Kali-like woman holding aloft a pair of snakes... researchers have connected the statue to artwork of both Astarte as well as Venus, but the exact identity of the deity depicted in the image is not known.
Some have traced the Goddess Worship cult back to the wife of Babylonian king Nimrod, Queen Semiramis. Semiramis was initially a brothel-keeper in a town called Erech, where she met Nimrod, and the two of them rose to power together somehow after founding a religious system based around astronomy. Semiramis was the controller of the religious hierarchy that was developed under Nimrod's rule, and she taught of a great serpent that was the world's creator, a powerful force of energy behind all things. The concept of the Lilith/Lilitu is different in many ways from the Goddess imagery that is directly associated with Inanna, Ishtar, and Semiramis, but both figures share certain animal symbolism as well as similar poses depicted in their carved effigies.

"You are bound and sealed,
all you demons and devils and liliths,
by that hard and strong,
mighty and powerful bond with which are tied Sison and Sisin....
The evil Lilith,
who causes the hearts of men to go astray
and appears in the dream of the night
and in the vision of the day,
Who burns and casts down with nightmare,
attacks and kills children,
boys and girls.
She is conquered and sealed
away from the house
and from the threshold of Bahram-Gushnasp son of Ishtar-Nahid
by the talisman of Metatron,
the great prince
who is called the Great Healer of Mercy....
who vanquishes demons and devils,
black arts and mighty spells
and keeps them away from the house
and threshold of Bahram-Gushnasp, son of Ishtar-Nahid.
Amen, Amen, Selah.
Vanquished are the black arts and mighty spells.
Vanquished the bewitching women,
they, their witchery and their spells,
their curses and their invocations,
and kept away from the four walls
of the house of Bahram-Gushnasp, the son of Ishtar-Hahid.
Vanquished and trampled down are the bewitching women --
vanquished on earth and vanquished in heaven.
Vanquished are their constellations and stars.
Bound are the works of their hands.
Amen, Amen, Selah."
- exorcism of Lilith found on a Persian bowl.

Warrior-like strength and magical witchery is a common theme in the early variations of the Goddess, keeping her in line with the concept of the Lilitu. Female power was scorned as demonic in a brutal society where patriarchical domination was the family structure and incest was a common reality. Lilith seems like an amorphous fiction, a transforming demonic force that represents the fears of a society that wished to demonize the female power of sexuality and extra-sensory perception. She is inhuman, and her power owns the night, seeping into everyone through their dreams and fantasies.
The earliest representation of the Goddess seems to be Inanna, a Sumerian figure. As in the Burney Relief, Inanna is depicted with her arms extended forward, palms flattened and fingers all pointed upward. An early depiction of her is on the Uruk Vase, where she is being brought food and drink by a cadre of naked men (not unlike Mae West). In her time, Inanna was referred to as the "Queen Of Heaven," much like the Catholic Virgin Mary... she has been at times associated with a Hurrian Goddess named Hannahannah, possibly being a variation or development of the same persona. The eight-pointed star, later associated with Venus, first became used as a symbol specifically for Inanna during the Sumerian period- it is thought that the symbol was an approximation of the appearance of Venus (the planet) somehow occulting the sun during an historical celestial event. She is called both the "Morning Star" as well as the "Evening Star" due to her prominent location in the sky, names that are also at times associated with Lucifer. Similar to Lucifer, Inanna has both light and dark qualities: she is considered the Goddess of both physical lust and violence, as well as both growth and destruction. She is associated with childbirth and lustful activity, but not marriage. One of the most important factors that Inanna had on her side was knowledge... she got a great deal of knowledge from a particular incident involving Enki, the hero of the Epic Of Gilgamesh.
Back in the time of ancient Sumerian civilization, the Gods (off-planet beings? inter-dimensional entities? humanoids from the deep? there are many interpretations) supposedly kept all of their knowledge stored in archives called "Mes." Inanna was able to subdue Enki by getting him drunk and managed to make off with many of his Mes, giving her a vast amount of knowledge that had been previously unavailable to her people before then. It seems that Enki had gaurded the Mes very closely in order to retain his power, and Inanna's act of thievery was a significant advancement in the Democratization of sacred knowledge similar to Prometheus' theft of fire. Despite attempting to defeat her and retain the Mes using the aid of sea monsters, Enki was ultimately at a loss and Uruk would have the knowledge that he had so closely gaurded. A significant myth involving Inanna's descent into the underworld is used by the Sumerian people as an explanation for the seasons, similar to the story of Persephone in Greek Mythology. Ironically, in this story it is Enki who saves Inanna, despite her theft and deception. Her descent is marked by hard-headed and forthright action, and her reward is a violent death at the hands of Ershkegal, a hag-like manifestation of the Underworld who acts as a deliberator of mortality. In the end, Inanna ascends back to the land of the living, resurrected much in the manner of the disappearance and re-emergence of Venus in the sky... her story is an eternal saga of death and rebirth that acts as a lesson of mortality and a reminder of our connection to the spirit world.
Ishtar is the Babylonian and Akkadian manifestation of the spirit of Inanna, and it was in her courts that the temples of Sacred Prostitution were opened. Babylon has become synonymous with decadence and a certain level of debauchery, and it was under the auspices of the priests of Ishtar that this reputation was developed. Like Inanna, her gate was marked with lions and the eight-pointed star. Her descent into the Underworld was much more victorious than Inanna's, with Ishtar threatening to raise the dead in order to take what she believes is hers. As she descends into the Underworld, all sexual activity on the Earth ceases completely, suggesting that the Babylonian people believed that She was inherently tied into the current of all sexual energy on the Earth. This connects directly with the stories of the energy-symbolic serpent that Inanna's religion seems to refer to, a concept of "dragon energy" that sees the serpent as a symbolic representation of a more intangible energetic concept. Together, Ishtar and Inanna form the very core of the "Queen Of Heaven" concept that outlines the basic tenets of the Goddess.
She next shows up as the naked Mediterranean deity known as Astarte (also translated to Ashtaroth and mistaken for a demonic entity). Astarte is known for fighting off Ba'al, a similar role to the "Queen Of Heaven" in Revelations who fights off the serpent. Largely recognized as a nature deity, Astarte is the early predecessor to the Wiccan Mother Goddess talked about by many practitioners of modern witchcraft. On her head rests a crescent that acts as horns, and on her belly is a jewel that shines like fire.
Simultaneously, the lady seems to have split into the Greek and Egyptian pantheons as Aphrodite and Isis, respectively. The warlike qualities are reduced in these instances (and in Ancient Greece carried on with the image of Athena, who also bears the owls that are symbolic of Ishtar), and both Goddesses are played up in their connection to sensitivity and amorous love, perhaps due to the increasingly peaceful nature of civilization. As culture becomes less desperate and more focused on mutual understanding, the nature of the Goddess and her gifts of survival become less horrific. Greek culture had a creature called the Lamia who served much the same purpose as the Lilitu of ancient times, a cruel and sexually obsessed beast. The Lamia were known for ravaging humans for their sexual energy as well as seeking to eat the flesh of children. In many ways, as the Goddess became kinder and less bloodthirsty, the villanous aspects of Her were continuously represented in these demonic female creatures who thrived on the night-time prooduction of sexual energy. Connected to the Goddess' unending cup of kindness is the error of want that is hungry for the errant and fallen dreams of man and woman alike.
A gruesome myth is reflected in this story. Some believe that the earliest states of humanity were completely brutal and violent, with humans living cannibalistically and consuming one another for energy. It is believed that the early lords of man were deeply connected to the sexual current of power in the world, and that the Goddess in some way is symbolic of the tapping into that current. These readings of the myths of Inanna see her as interrupting a conspiracy of blood-drinking, cannibalistic high priests who dominated humanity like cattle. She managed to attain power and use her authority to benefit humanity with knowledge and a way out of pyramidal slavery, but thus was acheived through suffering and certainly no easy victory. It could be that her son (Tammuz, Horus, Christ) is the key to the alchemical union, a living product of humanity and divinity that in many versions of the myth must carry on his mother's suffering, at times for the sake of human good.


In the Norse pantheon, Nanna is the wife of Balder, who is the Christ figure (the son of a God who dies due to the mechanations of a devil-like figure... the whole world is said to have wept at Balder's death) of that belief system. Suffering seems to be a constant necessary fact of living in this world, and often the Goddess and her loved ones suffer immensely for their actions in favor of sharing knowledge and love with humanity. Just as Lilith sends erotic thoughts and fantasies through dreams, Ishtar/Inanna sends knowledge and thoughts of sympathy and understanding during slumber. She rules the night and it reflects her passions. The Sumerians believed that Inanna gave them all of the things necessary for civilization including the awareness of speech, reading, art, agriculture, all forms of communication and sharing, the attributes that elevate humanity beyond animalistic desire... there are similar stories in India of a Goddess incarnation known as Sarasvati who brought similar gifts to humanity, elevating us from the simian level and educating our species for a life beyond slavery during a pivotal juncture in human development.

"At your battle-cry, my lady, the foreign lands bow low. When humanity comes before you in awed silence at the terrifying radiance and tempest, you grasp the most terrible of all the divine powers. Because of you, the threshold of tears is opened, and people walk along the path of the house of great lamentations."

Her gifts are the power of feminine sexuality and the awareness of self. When opened to the light of awareness, superstition and phobia become illuminations of ones own fears. There are no barriers with Her, but there is a journey of strength and understanding that comes with an awareness of suffering. As the pain of birth is reflected in every waking moment, so is Her kindness, Her love, Her understanding, Her infinite fury, Her infinite wisdom, potency, and sense of awareness. She is a union between the spiritual and natural world that defines humanity's very existence, and if there is any meaning to be found in the pain of this world, Her story has given us the key to unlocking it.

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Going Over The Rainbow


"Singer Brandy has one of the last messages ever delivered by Whitney Houston — but she’s not telling anyone what it says. On Feb. 9 in Los Angeles, Houston approached the younger singer as she and fellow singer Monica and mentor Clive Davis were conducting an interview with E! A post on says Houston “crashed” the interview, then goes on to say “Whitney seemed a bit manic as she told Monica about swimming ‘two hours a day,’ and conspicuously handed a note to Brandy before hugging Davis.” When E! later asked Brandy directly what the note said, she replied “I’m going to just not say what it was and just keep it to myself for my own personal reasons.” She also told the network “Whitney meant everything to me... She’s the reason that I sing.”- Source: MSNBC

After the demise of pop queen Whitney Houston, a large number of commentators unsurprisingly expounded upon her death for their own purposes. Conservative fist-pumpers used her early death as an opportunity to prostheletize about the decline of morality. Some within the music industry have taken the opportunity to show their anger and rage at the music establishment, pointing fingers at the shadowy handlers who pushed Whitney to excess, denying her the help that she really needed. Further out into the field of theoretical analysis is the ever-growing contingent of internet commentators who see a mystical synchronicity in the actions of celebrities that is directed by a shadowy cabal of master mind-manipulators. To wit, a flood of low-quality Youtube video-makers and armchair journalists have devoted their time and effort for this purpose, creating surreal and perplexing short videos highlighting the supposed "Illuminati symbolism" to be found in all sorts of mainstream entertainment. Although the myths and symbolism of antiquity are indeed important to the elite of the world, internet commentators and bloggers bend over backwards to hysterically decry the work of artists such as Lady Gaga, Pink, Jay-Z, Rihanna, and many others, due to the recent explosion in popularity of the use of esoteric and occult symbolism in popular music videos. Popular tropes in this vein include such imagery as the eye in the pyramid, the unfinished pyramid, two pillars, and checkerboard floors, all of which are Hermetic icons and not necessarily indicitive of the worship of "evil." This distrust of the pop industry seems to come from the prepondence of unnatural deaths related to pop figures in recent years (Michael Jackson, Heath Ledger, Whitney Houston, Brittany Murphy, etc), in conjunction with the increasing vapidity of pop product. Websites focused on these issues make endless speculation on the nature of pop icon imagery as it relates to a rich tapestry of symbolism, focusing on Masonic/Esoteric imagery and, most intriguingly, a complex and seemingly unrelated series of memes that all can be grouped under the banner of the alleged "Monarch Mind Control Program."

"Children in day care centers are reporting small boxes with wires that electroshock them during programming." - Fritz Springmeier

The stories and claims relating to this particular strain of writing are intriguing: on military bases and underground bunkers are sci-fi-like laboratories where mind-controlled sex slaves are cultivated through a complex series of hypnotic procedures. The victims of this mind control are alleged to be exposed to both physical violence and forced sexual encounters, in descriptions that often mirror those of Satanic Ritual Abuse allegations. The reasoning for this is that the trauma from these sessions creates a split in the personality of the victim, resulting in a malleable mental state that can be programmed using various psychological triggers. Theoretically, because of the mind-expanding capabilities of the mind control procedures, this process is used to create puppet individuals, who can be presented before the public as entertainment and spectacle. This spectacle is used to dazzle and suspend disbelief while particular subliminal triggers and cues are pushed down the gullets of the audience, all for the purposes of social control. Essentially, a form of hypnosis and control can theoretically be exerted upon the audience at large through the use of controlled individuals. The control of individuals is alleged to extend to body and mind alteration through invasive surgery. Imagery that is considered a "sign" of Monarch control by researchers can be infinite in nature, but popular tropes include (but are not limited to by any means): cat/kitty imagery (indicative of what Springmeier calls a "sex kitten" alter personality), the Monarch butterfly (when the bottom half of the brain is seen from above, with the top removed, apparently it makes a pattern that closely resembles the shape of a butterfly... hence the Monarch being symbolic of control of the hall-of-mirrors nature of the human mind construct), reptilian eyes (very popular in the Youtube videos of this nature are "eye transformation videos"), trapped in a cage symbolism (self-explanatory), and puppet/robot symbolism.

“I think we all, as artists, because we’re highly sensitive people, and this machine around us, this so-called ‘music industry,’ is such a demonic thing. It’s sacrifices people’s lives and their essences at the drop of a dime... I had a manager once say to me, ‘You know you’re worth more money dead than alive.’" - singer Chaka Kahn on the death of Whitney Houston.

Popular analysis of this Monarch concept is largely influenced by the work of a researcher going by the alias of Fritz Springmeier. Springmeier, whose name seems to be a clever pseudonym with mystical connotations, has written a series of widely distributed documents that claim to demonstrate a large-scale mind control project enacted on some United States citizens called the "Monarch Program," a phenomenon about which there is not much outside information (beyond Springmeier's voluminous efforts and some other assorted "first-hand" accounts). According to Springmeier, program consists of the kidnapping and brainwashing of certain individuals, who are then used to enact a large-scale hypnosis of the population. This hypnosis, and the techniques used to achieve it, is performed according to specifications that relate to the realm of ritual magic. The end result of this process is a sort of alchemical transformation of reality, through the re-emergence of ancient and long-forgotten powers that date back to the earliest forms of human civilization. Whether making direct reference by name to Springmeier, or simply repeating his ideas practically verbatim as if they are fact, a multitude of commentators across the internet have been quite busy popularizing and expounding upon Springmeier's nightmarish view of the entertainment and media world. For many, it makes sense to see the large-scale influence of the media as a monopoly run for the purpose of ritualistic programming.

"They have found that ELF and VLF electro-magnetic waves can be used to control people’s thoughts. Harmonic generators (code named "ether-wave") are able to imbed detailed commands which are linked to audible triggers. This is one of the standard features of the Monarch program. It allows the slaves to be controlled by trigger words which make no sense or seem to carry no negative connotation to outside listeners. For instance the words, "Mr. Postman wait and see" (a Marionette command) might set off an access sequence so that a slave living away from its master goes to its master (also called a handler)." - Fritz Springmeier, from "The Illuminati Formula To Create An Undetectable Mind Control Slave."

This author first encountered Mr. Springmeier's work in the early 2000s, on a website where his book "The Illuminati Formula To Create An Undetectable Mind Control Slave" was printed in its entirety. This was not uncommon, as Springmeier's work is often quoted verbatim as fact on anonymous sites on the internet, sometimes without even acknowleging the source of the information. In this document is a disorienting and overall confusing array of information depicted a complex conspiracy involving intergenerational bloodlines, the Disney corporation, the CIA/US Military, the world banking organizations, and apparently Satan to enslave humanity using ancient mind control technology that has been perfected with modern technological capabilities. Similar in scope to the story of Cathy O'Brien, but with a stronger basis in science and more easily provable claims, Springmeier's work shows an intense knowledge of the mind and of the teachings of the Mystery Religions that he claims to stand against. According to Springmeier, from a very young age, candidates are chosen and controlled with media, electroshock, drugs, disorienting and conflicting viewpoints, and more sinister methods, all for the purpose of being puppets to be used by various handlers for a larger alchemical purpose. Their minds are disassociated such that within them is trapped a controlled set of dreams and desires, to be squashed or illuminated at the will and command of their controllers.
One of the highlights of "The Illuminati Formula To Create An Undetectable Mind Control Slave" is a detailed, minute-by-minute analysis of how the Disney film "Fantasia" is used by covert government mind programmers to instill visualizations in children during the process of brainwashing. Often this will take on a spiritual or metaphysical dimension, and Springmeier seems to suggest that various "demons" develop within the consciouness of the recipients of this particular form of mind control. This demonological view of the entertainment industry spreads to all levels, with a multitude of controlled "slaves" utilized by the media to trigger reactions in particular members of the audience. For those who are not the target of specific commands in media, it seems that a larger social agenda is still pushed in the material that provides a more subtle, subliminal set of commands to the average recipient of programming. Society is molded by popular opinion, which is dictated by programmed individuals who are presented to us in the media in order to facilitate the direction of culture. The significance and structure of the control is based around the concept of outside influence, a spiritual and invisible influence working through suggestion and ritual through generations of human beings. Like in "Twin Peaks," the entities act through human beings in order to feed off their energy from another realm. The control structure is protected by the "need to know" nature of the organizational hierarchy of power. On a metaphysical level, Springmeier's work has an eerie ring of truth. The faceless nature of the expectations of mass market consumerism cause the product that is shoved down our throats to become more homogenized and less oriented to the inclination of the individual. We sell our souls in order to entertain our children, allowing them to be educated into a lifestyle of expectations that will never be met. The ideal consumer gives up his emotions freely, played like a piano by marketing minds who line their pockets on the hopes and dreams of others. The cynicism belies an inhuman lack of compassion.

"The Jokers - The everyday demons who the alters have to contend with if they step out of line, are the Jokers. Jokers can jump out of the mirrors and drag an alter into the looking glass world. Alters going into the system away from their assigned living quarters end up in mazes of mirrors. The mazes of mirrors can’t be broken because demons are placed behind the mirrors. However, deliverance methods work well to destroy the power of these demonic protected mirrors. Many, if not most of the occult world do not view spirits as evil. Illuminati children are taught that these spirits are playmates. Since the child is not allowed real friends, they are happy to have demons to play with inside their mind." - Fritz Springmeier, from "The Illuminati Formula To Create An Undetectable Mind Control Slave."

Upon first glance, Springmeier's "Illuminati Formula..." seemed very similar to me in some ways to the famously sensationalistic work of David Icke. A troubling point in Springmeier's work is his insistence on the use of the term "Illuminati," as well as his insistence on the domination of Earth by "Satanists" (despite a continued insistence that their practices pre-dating Christianity). The Illumnati brand name seems to use Adam Weishaupt's historical anti-royalist, pro-liberty organization the Illuminati as a catch-all name for a vast conspiracy of the elite. It seems to be a stand-in word referencing the highest levels of the elite in the world of finance, military, and entertainment (worlds where family dynasties often do exist, and the players often intertwine). It is generally presented in an alarmist and discomforting manner that pushes what could be called an "end-times" agenda. It appeals to an inherent emotional feeling that there is inherently something "wrong" with our society, a perceived but undefinable impurity. Like Icke, Springmeier's research is often rife with "first-hand accounts" from unnamed sources, offhandedly declaring the truth of controversial assertions, such as the employment of Auschwitz scientist and SS Officer Dr. Josef Mengele by the US Government. In Springmeier's version of history, Mengele survived his death in 1979 to work for the United States as the mysterious "Dr. Green," a well-travelled pioneer of mind-control technology. The immense powers attributed to this cabal are attributed to service to an entity that Springmeier calls "Satan" or "Lucifer."

World events that are seemingly unrelated yet similarly thrown into the public eye, such as the OJ Simpson murder trial or the JonBenet Ramsey disappearance, are attributed to the orchestrations of this cabal for the purpose of social control. There is evidence that an attourney involved in the OJ Simpson case (Kardashian) may have been involved in the purchase of an assassin in an incident relating to the case, possibly involving Nicole Simpson. Interesting. Dark Shadows fans should take not that the alleged Grande Dame of Illuminati Vampirism is named Collins in Springmeier's pantheon. She has a crescent-moon shaped throne that she can rotate with a foot pedal. Now that is very interesting. Self-aware of the nature of disinformation, Springmeier goes so far as to categorize the various types of disinformation agents that one might encounter in their search for the truth:

"AGENT OF INFLUENCE--These agents can be unwitting, under mind-control, or ideologically motivated to use their positions of influence to sway the minds of others. Examples of Agents of Influence are anchor men on T.V., journalists, labor leaders, TV commentators, academics quoted by the media, & some politicians.
CONFUSION AGENT--An agent whose job is to produce confusion by disseminating confounding information.
CONTRACT AGENT--These are the rogue agents, such as the mob, who the CIA get to do particular jobs on contract. Their connections can be denied.
DEEP COVER AGENT--A sleeper agent (often a programmed multiple or person with mind-control programming) who has been a long term sleeper agent.
DISINFORMATION AGENT--This is a highly placed agent who passes disinformation to other governments.
NOTIONAL AGENT--A fictitious non-existent "agent" which is created with a real-looking identity to mislead.
PROVOCATION AGENT--An agent sent in to provoke & destabilize the target group to do foolish things.
SPOON-FEEDER AGENT--Someone who dribbles out legitimate information, this is often done to build up a person's credentials (bona fides)."

It is difficult to ascertain exactly which category Fritz himself would fall into, if any. A strange and recent development in the case of Fritz Sringmeier is that he was arrested and convicted in the early 2000s of armed bank robbery, and was released in March of 2011 by a judge who looked at the case and ascertained that there was no evidence against the man. Was Mr. Springmeier himself the victim of a conspiratorial disinformation campaign? It was during his incarceration that his literature was most widely disseminated, having the distinct allure of a persecuted and in fact jailed man.*

"The Monarch victims of today are the tail end of centuries of efforts by the Kaballists, Freemasons, and the Illuminati adepts to completely control other human beings. The following quote comes from a communist manual on how to brainwash a nation. It could just have well been written by Monarch Mind-Control Programmers. "The first thing to be degraded in any nation is the state of Man, himself. Nations which have high ethical tone are difficult to conquer. Their loyalties are hard to shake, their allegiance to their leaders is fanatical, and what they usually call their spiritual integrity cannot be violated by duress. It is not efficient to attack a nation in such a frame of mind. It is the basic purpose of [mind-control] to reduce that state of mind to a point where it can be ordered and enslaved. Thus, the first target is Man, himself. He must be degraded from a spiritual being to an animalistic reaction pattern. He must think of himself as an animal, capable only of animalistic reactions. He must no longer think of himself, or of his fellows, as capable of ‘spiritual endurance,’ or nobility... " As it seems in foreign nations that the church is the most ennobling influence, each and every branch and activity of each and every church, must, one way, or another, be discredited. Religion must become unfashionable by demonstrating broadly, through pyschopolitical indoctrination, that the soul is non-existent, and that Man is an animal." - Fritz Springmeier, from "The Illuminati Formula To Create An Undetectable Mind Control Slave."

Not all of Springmeier's information is correct. For example, he states that the pop artist Madonna is a mind-controlled servant of these same evil masters who have employed Dr. Mengele for the doctor's twilight research. The evidence for this claim is based on the existence of what he states is "a real life film (that) was made of her being raped... and then her cult family taking the rapist and sacrificing him" sold for 19 dollars US by a company called Vidimax. The reality of this situation is that Madonna (under the name Louise Ciccone) appeared in a very low budget "art film" of no discernable quality titled "A Certain Sacrifice." The film is similar to those of John Waters or Andy Warhol, depicting bohemian excess and other general silliness, including a mock "Satanic sacrifice" at the end of the film. Vidimax indeed traded in films that alleged to be "snuff" (including the Michael Findlay filmed-in-South-America shlockfest "Snuff," a movie so silly that not even Springmeier could mistake for the real thing), although all of their products were of course fictional depictions of cannibalism and other sort of sensationalistic subject matter. Vidimax was simply another fly-by-night VHS company that popped up in the 80s to make a quick buck- the filmmakers involved with "A Certain Sacrifice" used Madonna's fame to make some money off of their low-quality product, and the intentional insinuation on the part of Vidimax seems designed to provoke and fascinate moralists such as Springmeier. Instead of analyzing the film for what it truly is, Springmeier simply states that it is a true-to-life snuff film, thus unfortunately and rather definitively discrediting himself. He makes many of these glaring errors with rather stunning regularity, especially in regard to the field of entertainment and media. The juxtaposition of factual scientific information next to glaring sensationalism and often innacurate, unresearched reporting makes Springmeier's work startlingly inconsistent to the average reader.


"I married Fritz, because I was in love and I felt he was a devoted Christian and a victim of his first wife. The fact remains, however, that Fritz is a convicted felon, and he spent time in prison... He was on the run with his son by his first marriage, James, for almost four years. During this time he used false identification under 6 or 7 names... Fritz is trained as a grapho-analyst, and is a talented graphic artist. He has made his own driver's licenses before and a trusted friend says he has created more false ID. He saw Fritz with a current Canadian passport and credit cards under the name of "Amos Eicher," one of the aliases he used on the run... I don't even know who this man is anymore." - from a letter by Gail Springmeier, estranged wife of Fritz.

The man known now as Fritz Springmeier was born in Garden City, Kansas on September 24, 1955. The name on his birth certificate reads Victor Earle Schoof, which he had legally changed in 1987 to "Fritz Artz Springmeier." He was the child of a man who worked as an agricultural engineer for the United Nations, and the young Victor Schoof got to travel to exotic locales like Nepal and Hawaii from a very young age. He claims in his book "Be Wise As Serpents" to have been a graduate of West Point Academy, although there are no records of a Fritz Springmeier or Victor Schoof ever having attended the elite military institution. At some point during his young adulthood, he and his first wife got involved in the Jehovah's Witness organization, which eventually led to the end of his marriage and his abandoning the Jehovah's Witness faith, which he viewed as a product of mind control efforts to create a racist doomsday cult. It was at this point that Fritz abducted his son went into hiding for several years before being captured by the FBI and placed in federal prison. After spending some time behind bars in the federal clink, Fritz re-emerged in the Oregon area, working with a cult rescue and deprogramming organization focusing on combating the Jehovah's Witness religion. It was during this time that he began to work on what would be his most important calling, attempting to compile a blueprint of the control system that he felt was oppressing his fellow Americans. His experience with the Jehovah's Witness organization seemed to mark a major turning point for the career path of Fritz, and it was at this point that he began to cultivate himself into the hard-line anti-"Illuminati" defender of the Christian faith that he still presents himself as to the world today. During this time he married again, jokingly telling his wife Gail that he had married her because of her elite bloodline. After the birth of their son, Springmeier decided to work full time on his "ministry," a Christian oriented series of pamphlets, books, and speaking appearances that were designed to warn others about the evils of the emerging new era of Anti-Christian debauchery.

Fritz's first book, "Be Wise As Serpents," is a relatively straightforward expose regarding several supposedly Christian organizations and their ties to hypocritical financial dealings, mind control experiments, social engineering, New Age ideals, and secret societies. He discusses the Jehovah's Witness church, the Mormons, televangelists such as Jimmy Swaggart etc, and many other large moneymaking Christian organizations, illustrating many valid links within those entities to corruption and hypocrisy. It seems almost like an answer to the work of William Cooper, who shared a similar expose of corruption in his book "Behold A Pale Horse" that implicated the Catholic Church in a worldwide conspiracy involving secret societies seeking to create a new world order. Pretty standard stuff for this sort of field, but Springmeier's extensive research and ideosyncratic style stuck out even on his earliest work. The fact that his earliest work seems to exist to undermine and question the popular forms of organized Christianity, he appears in the early days to be very much the wolf in sheeps clothing, planting doubts in the mind of true believers in the name of protecting them from the impending "Antichrist." He followed his early work up with "Bloodlines Of The Illuminati," which proports to be an encyclopedic compendium of the "13 Illuminati bloodlines" that rule the world.
It is filled with inflammatory and impossible history that works along a particular and intriguing logic. The O.J. Simpson case was an orchestrated affair to flare racial tensions in America. Each of the 13 Illuminati families is presided by a "Mother Of Darkness" who drinks the blood of children on certain occult holidays. Almost everything is a front for "Satanism." "Fantasia" was created by Disney as a mind-control effort, thus the reasoning behind releasing it almost twice every decade through the 90s into theatres. Perhaps one of the most epic sections of Springmeier's work is his detailed analysis (nearly frame-by-frame) of mind control triggers located throughout the animated Disney film "Fantasia."

"It's not only multiples who are programmed - the world is programmed. We are programmed to believe our presidents are men of honour, men of great integrity. Our presidents are rotten bastards - they are pedophiles, they are drug addicts, they practise high magic, they practise ritual. They think nothing of live sacrifice of small children. They think nothing of having their own slaves available to them. That's the way it is, that's the truth." - Cisco Wheeler, in a radio interview with Wayne Morris from 1998

There is a great deal of truth in Springmeier's depiction of the psychiatric industry as a nightmarish, Nazi-like mind control machine, however, and much of his history regarding these matters is actually quite sound. Springmeier's historical research in the "Bloodlines Of The Illuminati" book is actually quite sound and informative, surprisingly so, in fact. When compared to the large-scale generalizations declared in the works of David Icke or Texe Marrs, the factual historical evidence compiled by Springmeier is impressive to say the least, putting him closer in touch with more knowledgable researchers like Alex Constantine (who work is based on actual evidence and not mere connect-the-dots "isn't it obvious people?" kind of lurid speculation). During the time that he is promoting these books, Springmeier also was giving many live speaking engagements regarding what he referred to as his ministry. To this end, Springmeier would appear in various church-organized public appearances for the purpose of promoting his work. Through developing a persona of a righteous man fighting against a perceived Luciferian influence in the world at large, Springmeier has exposed many Bible-Thumping traditionalists to the concepts of Ancient Mysticism, Demonology, the Quabalistic Tree Of Life, violent and disturbed sexuality, extreme violence, Satanic imagery, and some of the most cutting-edge psychological mind-wizardry that has been recently developed. Like the work of Dr. Wilson Bryan Key (who saw sexual subliminals in all forms of art, sometimes literally drawn in by Key himself), Springmeier scintillates and disturbs the reader, sometimes going too far with speculation of which there is no logical truth. In this way, Springmeier speaks in a twilight language of disinformation that often attains both poetic heights and sensationalistic depths. Somewhere, buried among the intentionally murky and disturbed sci-fi realms of awareness, is much more than a simple kernel of truth: it is an alternate history of the modern era and America's influence on the rest of the world. It is the story of how ideas and images can be used as magical tools in a battlefield wrought with confused signals, double agents, traps, and dissassociation.

"One 1955 MKULTRA document gives an indication of the size and range of the effort; this document refers to the study of an assortment of mind-altering substances described as follows:
1. Substances which will promote illogical thinking and impulsiveness to the point where the recipient would be discredited in public.
2. Substances which increase the efficiency of mentation and perception.
3. Materials which will prevent or counteract the intoxicating effect of alcohol.
4. Materials which will promote the intoxicating effect of alcohol.
5. Materials which will produce the signs and symptoms of recognized diseases in a reversible way so that they may be used for malingering, etc.
6. Materials which will render the induction of hypnosis easier or otherwise enhance its usefulness.
7. Substances which will enhance the ability of individuals to withstand privation, torture and coercion during interrogation and so-called "brain-washing".
8. Materials and physical methods which will produce amnesia for events preceding and during their use.
9. Physical methods of producing shock and confusion over extended periods of time and capable of surreptitious use.
10. Substances which produce physical disablement such as paralysis of the legs, acute anemia, etc.
11. Substances which will produce "pure" euphoria with no subsequent let-down.
12. Substances which alter personality structure in such a way that the tendency of the recipient to become dependent upon another person is enhanced.
13. A material which will cause mental confusion of such a type that the individual under its influence will find it difficult to maintain a fabrication under questioning.
14. Substances which will lower the ambition and general working efficiency of men when administered in undetectable amounts.
15. Substances which promote weakness or distortion of the eyesight or hearing faculties, preferably without permanent effects.
16. A knockout pill which can surreptitiously be administered in drinks, food, cigarettes, as an aerosol, etc., which will be safe to use, provide a maximum of amnesia, and be suitable for use by agent types on an ad hoc basis.
17. A material which can be surreptitiously administered by the above routes and which in very small amounts will make it impossible for a person to perform physical activity.
A secretive arrangement granted the MKULTRA program a percentage of the CIA budget. The MKULTRA director was granted six percent of the CIA operating budget in 1953, without oversight or accounting.[24] An estimated $10 million USD or more was spent." - from the Wikipedia page on Project MKULTRA.

Springmeier is deadly accurate about the intentions of some of the top names in the recent history of the American Psychiatric Industry. Although there is no documentation to corroborate the existence of Project Monarch, there are deep roots for the ideology and practice that it describes in the history of the US Goverment's post-World War Two research into mind control. The United States Government, and specifically the Central Intelligence Agency became very focused during this time on research into what can only be called mind control. The intentions given openly for the project include the creation of super-soldiers, study for social control, and (most predominantly) the development of "interrogation techniques." Most famously, several different umbrella projects were developed with "Project MK-" as a pre-fix... the most famous sufix ULTRA is simply a military term that dates back to World War II that indicates the most secret of secret projects. MKULTRA existed alongside a multitude of others, MKNAOMI, MKOFTEN, MKDELTA etc, many of which are permanently classified due to the destruction of the majority of the related files in the late 1970s. One of the most unsettling aspects of the MK projects is that the disturbing aspects of it that are known are only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the larger implications of the projects.
Under the orders of top level members of the CIA, extreme secrecy surrounded a series of projects, including an early one for which the drug LSD (Lysergic Acid Diamethylene) was developed. There were many hopes for the uses of the now-illegal psychedelic, ranging from an "ultimate truth serum" to something that could simply be used to scramble someone's brain. An intriguing aspect of the LSD experience is that one is apt to find profound meaning in mundane commands delivered at the hieght of a "trip." This technique was used in Government studies by American scientists such as Dr. Ewen Cameron and Dr. Sidney Gottlieb. Interestingly, CIA director Alan Dulles (who was instrumental in the development of many of these projects) seems to have been aiding in the existence of similar experiments during World War II in his extensive and well-documented efforts to financially support and sustain the National Socialist Party of Germany. Facts such as this give particular creedence to the bizarre claims by Springmeier and some other supposed "former mind-control victims" that Auschwitz doctor Joseph Mengele had been protected by the United States Government and utilized in top secret experiments, possibly as part of the well-known Project PAPERCLIP (where many former rocket scientists who worked for Adolf Hitler during the war were given immunity and hired by the United States Government. It would not be the first time, either, as Shiro Ishii, mastermind of the atrocities at the Japanese biological weapons testing facility Unit 731, was granted immunity by the feds in exchange for some of his knowledge of deadly gases. There is even strong evidence stating that Ishii actually moved back to the United States to continue his research at a Maryland biological warfare research laboratory. Such stories provide the seed for evidence, but Springmeier's claims are far more extraordinary.

"The Monarch Mind Control was carried out in large airplane hangers on the base which have been able to house thousands of tiny cages just large enough for human babies. Lots of 1,000 babies was a small batch. According to people who worked in the hangers helping program, many batches were 2,000 or 3,000 babies. Many survivors remember the thousands of cages housing little children from ceiling to floor. The cages were hot wired (electrified on the ceiling, bottom and sides) so that the children who are locked inside can receive horrific electric shocks to their bodies to groom their minds to split into multiple personalities. These cages are called Woodpecker Grids." - Fritz Springmeier, from "The Illuminati Formula To Create An Undetectable Mind Control Slave."

Although Springmeier's first couple of books resemble more traditional conspiracy lore, it is the "Formula To Create An Undetectable Mind Control Slave" series that really raises eyebrows. His first couple of books seem to come completely out of left field, just representing ones man's personal research into the world of symbolism, wealth and power. Springmeier would travel the country giving talks to church groups, warning them of the impending apocalypse and destruction of society at the hands of the Antichrist. Somewhere, at some point, he meets a woman with a rather incredible story named Cisco Wheeler. Cisco Wheeler says that she is a former Monarch slave who has access to memories, and Springmeier being a "de-programmer" and her strike up a business relationship.

He unearths her "memories," they write it all down, and go around the country and tell the people about it all. Obviously this put a strain on both of their marriages, but the results of this collaboration speak for themselves... several epic-sized volumes of some of the most out-there material that you are ever likely to encounter in the field of mind control research.
The scope of what is being described in the literature makes much of the world sci-fi pale in comparison. High-tech wizards keep society in control through an elaborate series of recorded concepts and tropes, used to create a worldview that cannot be escaped. Hundreds of thousands of people are kept for bizarre experments far below the earth. Demonic entities engage in mental possession excercises with large groups of children through televised cartoons and entertainment. It is not dissimilar from the world we live in, but familiar things are placed in the proverbial fun house mirror and expectations are turned upside down. Virtually every organized group in existence has their fingers in the Illuminati pie in Springmeier's world... he just lives with the knowledge, preparing for Judgement Day.
An elaborate aspect of Springmeier's work is the NLP-like use of "Monarch" language derived from certain entertainment programs that are allegedly used in mind control. For example, going "over the rainbow" (a reference to "The Wizard Of Oz," apparently a major force in the Monarch mileau) seems to have a resonance with piercing a veil into another dimension, allowing some sort of forces to join with you or perhaps enter you. This demonological aspect of Springmeier's story is unusual, and belies a knowledge of ritual magic and Enochian magic.

"The broadcast of the 1995 Miss Universe Contest did a very unusual freeze-framing of the show while it was on. The screen was mysteriously freeze-framed 9 times, this was a trigger for Illuminati Mothers of Darkness alters. A Mother of Darkness type throne was sat upon by the winner of the contest. An all-seeing-eye was flashed up on the screen with the code A MAY ZING written on it. This is the type of puns that the programmers enjoy. The winners of the contest came from INDIA, CANADA, and the USA. The order and names of those countries have to do with end times programming. The names were a code to certain Mothers of Darkness systems. India wore a Mother of Darkness type garment. Canada wore black and white, and USA wore Red. Miss India gave another code during the interviews, "If someone wants to put monkey’s on your back, if you stand up they get on your back." - Fritz Springmeier, from "The Illuminati Formula To Create An Undetectable Mind Control Slave."

An intriguing aspect of Springmeier's work is his view on the connection between the US Government and the supposed UFO abduction phenomenon. Fritz says that there are no aliens, and that the whole thing has been a psychological operation to create fear and wonder in the people. To wit, he connects many occurances of such phenomena to ritual magic, suggesting that there are ancient alchemical answers to these phenomena and that the idea of spacemen coming to us in a metal can from far, far away is simply a smokescreen for this nefarious collaboration with interdimensional intelligences. Springmeier also goes into great and accurate detail regarding technology that uses low-frequency waves and electrodes to affect human thought. His research into this field is impeccable and extremely well-documented to many highly legitimate sources. Intricate examples of ELF and other sound technology that can affect the human nervous and muscular system is presented. The vast scope of information contained in the literature seems designed to cause insanity. The intricate and lengthy (hundreds of pages) of descriptions of various aspects of the mind control are completely numbing. Once you start wrapping your head around what "porcelein face programming" is, you'll want someone to come along and just wipe the slate clean, end this misery of information.

"I think he's a double-agent working for the other side. Fritz never gets to the bottom line of what it takes to get people free of this stuff. He tells a lot of truth but complicates it and leaves a lot of people feeling hopeless and confused... I saw a video of when he spoke at the Prophecy Club about the CIA programming Amish boys for assassinations. He slipped up and almost said, "we" do this and quickly changed it to, "they" referring to the CIA. It seemed to un-nerve him a little bit... He says he's a Christian yet leaves his family and moves in with a MONARCH woman, who he says he's deprogrammed but the reality is she's still being controlled. And this is not just my opinion but also therapists who specialize in MPD or what they now call, DID [Dissociative Identity Disorder]. Some of these experts in the field who have evaluated him during his presentations say that he has the characteristics of a programmer and someone under mind control... He had gone to a church near Portland [Oregon] telling the pastor they have an Illuminati family in their congregation and would like to talk to them about it. My question is, "How did he know they were Illuminati without even knowing them?". What I think they are trying to do is gain trust by exposing the secrets but even in his book he says the Illuminati put out their secrets and plans up front" - Marion Knox on Fritz Springmeier

Science can the primary outlet for an uncaring and unsympathetic intelligence that wishes to corral and contain the free will of humanity. It can also be our only light in the dark in a universe of blackness, a guiding light symbolic of humanity's constant struggle with the forces of darkness and ignorance. Throughout history, it has been utilized by the elite in order to control the masses. This includes the field of entertainment. The earliest forms of music, dance, and theatre were alchemical and mystical exercises designed to align us with the "spirit world," "the Gods/Goddesses," "the Aesir," whatever you want to call it. Throughout civilization, techniques have been lost and regained, constantly resurfacing in our collective memory. It is an interesting aspect of the early MK projects that they coincide with some of the earliest sightings of what has been referred to as "Unidentified Flying Objects." There is no reason to believe that contact with the divine mysteries, and the rituals that accompany them, has simply disappeared. Instead, they have been assimilated into the structure, forming religions and governments founded on the wisdom of antiquity. Science is a mystery of its own, dating back to ancient Egypt, and can be used for a variety of reasons not easily defined as good or evil. However, oddly enough "evil," whatever the meaning one may apply, was in fact a specific, stated motivation on the part of some of the participants in MKULTRA and related projects. To wit: "CIA's Operation OFTEN was also initiated by the chief of the CIA's Technical Services Branch, Dr. Sidney Gottlieb, to "explore the world of black magic" and "harness the forces of darkness and challenge the concept that the inner reaches of the mind are beyond reach". As part of Operation Often, Dr. Gottlieb and other CIA employees visited with and recruited fortune-tellers, palm-readers, clairvoyants, astrologists, mediums, psychics, specialists in demonology, witches and warlocks, Satanists, other occult practitioners, and more" (from the Wikipedia page on CIA Project MKOFTEN). Towards the end of his life, Dr. Gottlieb said that all of his research was completely useless, and he spent the last days of his life working at a leper colony with his wife, seeking some sort of repentence for his life near the bitter end.

"'Top Secret - Classified - For The Board - The Elite - The Initiates -' Are these the words of the all-powerful boards and syndicates of the Earth? These are the words of words of liars, cowards, collaborators, traitors. Liars who want time for more lies... Sold the ground from unborn feet forever. Traitors to all souls everywhere... They are poisoning and monopolizing the hallucinogen drugs." - William S. Burroughs, quoted from "Nova Express."

Many of the programs were quite sinister in the sense that they were performed on unwilling US citizens and involved methods that left behind many catatonic shells of humanity in their wake. Dr. Cameron was famous for his "psychic driving" technique, in which statements would be repeated over and over again on a "driving tape" while the subject was forced to listen to the same statement over and over again. This, in conjunction with other psychological methods (such as hypnosis, drugs, and mind games) was used with the (apparently successful) intention of erasing previous memories/thoughts and replacing them with new ones. Apparently the technique works, and it happens to be very similar to the methods described by Springmeier in his writing. Also, anyone familiar with the story of Jonestown will note that it is the exact same method that was used via a loudspeaker in order to control the residents of Jonestown en masse with paranoiac and suicidal messages during the final days of that particular social experiment. One particular experiment that we have some knowledge of involved the dosing of an entire French village (Pont-Saint-Esprit) with LSD, resulting in deaths and institutionalization for some residents. A CIA researcher named Frank Olsen who was involved with the MKULTRA scenario seems to have been murdered (dosed unwittingly with LSD, bludgeoned in head and thrown out a window, initially ruled a "suicide") in order to keep him from informing the world at large of the reality of the particularly irresponsible events at Pont-Saint-Esprit.

"In 1951, Gottlieb joined the Central Intelligence Agency. As a poison expert, he headed the chemical division of the Technical Services Staff (TSS). Gottlieb became known as the "Black Sorcerer" and the "Dirty Trickster." He supervised preparations of lethal poisons and experiments in mind control..." - from the Wikipedia page on Dr. Sidney Gottlieb.

Much of what we know about MKULTRA and related projects does indeed seem to be reminiscent of what Fritz Springmeier and numerous "former slaves" have said about what they refer to as Project Monarch. The depths of the technology that Springmeier speaks up seems unreal, possibly even a psychological device in order to create further paranoia. However, great leaps have been made in technology just even through the past ten years. Interestingly, abductees from UFO encounters who are able to pinpoint and extract "implants" from themselves never betray an "alien" source- the implanted objects are always made with ore and technology readily available on Earth. It is no surprise that a poplar conspiracy theory is that these experiences are fabricated, using powerful mind control technology in order to freak out the populace with stories of extraterrestrial life, instilling an odd sense of fear and religiousity. It certainly would be a strange and wonderful excercise in examining the gullibility and sense of wonder still inherent in the common people of America.

"High level Illuminati, who will gather together in Atlanta in the summer of 1996, under the cover of the '96 Olympics will carry out high level rituals to open up a large hole for the materialization of hordes of demons to complete their push toward a world dictator. The use of the name Saturn is an example of how Satanism operates under the cover of layers of deception." - Springmeier

Further MKULTRA stories bear even more similarities to the horrors described by Springmeier, particularly the techniques of Dr. Cameron. Some of his schemes were extremely similar to things that Springmeier describes: "Using CIA funding, Cameron converted the horse stables behind Allen Memorial into an elaborate isolation and sensory deprivation chamber which he kept patients locked in for weeks at a time... Several of the children who Cameron experimented on were sexually abused, in at least one case by several men. One of the children was filmed numerous times performing sexual acts with high-ranking federal government officials**, in a scheme set up by Cameron and other MKULTRA researchers, to blackmail the officials to ensure further funding for the experiments" (from the Wikipedia page Unethical Human Experimentation in the United States).
This example of Cameron's methods of acquiring funding sounds very similar to accusations that were made by some of the children related to the Larry King/"Franklin Cover-Up" scandal, where allegedly children were being taken from the streets and used in sex parties in order to control and corrupt important businesspeople and politicians. The use of kidnapped and otherwise acquired persons in sexual abuse scenarios with ritualistic overtones is a staple of Monarch lore. If Dr. Cameron (who was the first chairman of the World Psychiatric Association, among a multitude of other accolades) and his methods represent the mentality and aims of the higher eschelons of the psychiatric community, it is not unfeasable to imagine that hidden projects such as MKULTRA could have gone even further underground and expanded quite significantly. After about ten years of research regarding the effects of the Central Intelligence Agency on the human mind, it seems that it was time to take their experiments with LSD and mind control further into the general public arena.

"The songs the slave hears on the radio, will for instance have code words. The Programmers, due to the corruption of the music industry, know what hit songs are coming out, and they will haul their slaves in and program them according to the lyrics of the soon-to-be hits. The lyrics will be written so that programmed meanings can be attached to certain words and lines." - Fritz Springmeier, from "The Illuminati Formula To Create An Undetectable Mind Control Slave."

It is reductive and foolish to regard the emergence of esoteric symbolism in pop music as evil. Despite the presence of the Statue Of Liberty on the East Coast, Hollywood, California is the current home of American Goddess Worship. Babylon is rebuilt and destroyed in the time it takes to build up or break down a set and clear out the extras. Nearby Laurel Canyon is home to a research facility that is used by intelligence operatives within the United States Military, and has a long history of collaboration with the entertainment elite. The disturbed allure of the Hollywood hills, the atmosphere of murder and infernal mystery, has been documented in film from Billy Wilder all the way up to the most recent works of David Lynch. The land itself holds an allure, a power, an undefinable mystery that draws a certain type of person toward its axis. There is an invisible influence in the world of American Cinema that seeks to rebuild the world using the force of the collective will, which has been actively working toward this goal since the dawn of recorded history, and even before that. The past hundred years has seen such a boom in technology and cultural crossover that the world is indeed changing, and in an increasingly media-dominated society our choice of entertainment often seeks to define who we are in the name of commerce.

"The Monarch Mind Control programming is simply the sophisticated application of what has been done to humanity on a large scale being scaled down and applied to a single human body." - Fritz Springmeier, from "The Illuminati Formula To Create An Undetectable Mind Control Slave."

* Somewhere around this time, when this author was living in New Orleans, some friends and I took a trip out to Houston, Texas... We were going to the Alamo Draft House to see a showing of George Lucas' cult classic dystopian sci-fi picture "THX-1138" hosted by controversial Austin radio personality Alex Jones. As many of you may know, Mr. Jones has since become famous for his activities as protests surrounding events such as the Bilderberg Summit and the meeting of the G-8 Committee. In short, Jones is akin to a one-man propaganda machine for a growing contingent of dissastified Americans who feel that they are being lied to on some deep innate level by the elite profit-holders of the world. For those curious about his character, I will share the following anecdotes from my memory for your scrutiny:
- Jones hosted the event and gave a short talk before playing his conspiracy film "9/11: The Road To Tyranny." Interesting viewing, if a little heavy-handed, tempered by the director/orator's distinct and irascable personality, and his speech was tasteful and punctuated by bits of humor and self-awareness... definitely not the "extremist" that he is at times painted out to be.
- Journalist and researcher Hutton Gibson, father of actor Mel Gibson, was present at this event. He was given gracious and extremely kind treatment by Mr. Jones, who treated him as an equal for his years of intense research and passion for uncovering the truth. Mr. Gibson was quite old and this was likely one of his last public appearances, but there was at no time any feeling of exploitation from Jones, simply the honorable respect for an elder befitting to a younger man in a similar field.
- During the period before the showing of "THX:1138," Jones manned a merchandise table and was happy to answer questions for the curious. I talked with him for a short period of time and found him to be an extremely friendly and jovial character with a strong sense of his position in life. A wide variety of different types of people approached him throughout the course of the event, and he seemed eager to listen to what they all had to say, but with a fair degree of caution and reserve befitting a man who has had threats made on his life by those who oppose his work.
Jones had a copy of Springmeier's book "Bloodlines Of The Illuminati" for sale out of a cardboard box full of copies that was delivered directly to Jones by Springmeier's wife. Since I had encountered Springmeier's work and was somewhat skeptical about it, I asked Jones if he thought that this guy was really "on the level" and "for real" with his research. Jones' reply was informing me of the arrest of Springmeier and the apparently trumped-up nature of the charges, citing these facts as evidence of the reality behind Springmeier's worldview. What can I say? I bought a copy from him right then and there, and went back home to devour the contents of this forbidden tome eagerly not long after.


"The youth room was pitch black when the lights were out, she said, but the room was equipped with a black light. When Bernard turned it on, the light revealed writings on the walls from ceiling to floor. “Every inch, from top to bottom, was writing,” Freitas said. The writing consisted of songs, lyrics and Biblical verses. Some of the words were inverted or changed, she said. - from the Federal criminal investigation report on the Hosanna Church made by prosecutor Lisa Marie Frietas.

"The idea that there are a few cunning, secretive individuals in positions of power somewhere in this country regularly killing a few people as part of some satanic ritual or ceremony and getting away with it is certainly within the realm of possibility... (I am) outraged that, in some cases, individuals are getting away with molesting children because we can't prove they are satanic devil worshippers who engage in brainwashing, human sacrifice, and cannibalism as part of a large conspiracy. " - from "Satanic Ritual Abuse," a report made for the FBI by Kenneth V. Lanning.

Daycare sexual abuse, church meetings where participants drink human blood, and after school care parties where children are forced to drink and eat mysteriously colored substances, these are the nightmare scenarios associated with stories of multiple-offender/multiple victim sexual abuse situations. Thanks to the efforts of organizations such as the "False Memory Syndrome Foundation," the widespread accusations of ritualized child sexual abuse that exploded throughout the 1980's and 90's have been actively contested and kept under wraps. This has been pushed even to the point of intense ridicule from the press and widespread disinformation regarding the reality of such claims. An example of one of these cases would be a recent investigation that was made regarding the Hosanna Church in Ponchatuola, Louisiana. Shortly after a woman living in Ohio called and registered a complaint with police making similar allegations, the pastor of the church visited local law enforcement and told a vivid story of group sex and ritual activity that occurred during off-hours at Hosanna. He had taken over the church from his father, who was in his own day a famous local preacher known for his positive impact on the community. After a series of excommunications against church members who angered him (including tresspasses such as visiting other churches), the younger preacher in time turned Hosanna into something resembling a Dionysian mystery sex cult more than a Protestant church. Members would engage in dramatic prayer sessions that would result in members literally vomiting while gyrating about, supposedly expelling sins or even demonic beings from their bodies. Late night adult/child orgies would occur in a dark back room (ironically occurring in the "Youth Center"), which according to initial investigators was covered in writing that could only be seen in the darkness under a blacklight. When the church was raided by police, strange markings that appeared to have been messily cleaned up by someone were found, including a noticeable pentagram still seen on the floor. A disturbing aspect of the man's confession was that he did not seem to think that he had committed criminal acts himself, despite the fact that he was the ringleader of the entire operation that he was describing to the police. This shows you the extent of the self-righteous "holy roller" Protestant mentality, where one can commit acts of unspeakable depravity with the forgiving power of Jesus Christ providing a safety net to assist in burying one's conscience. Although called "Satanic," the crimes that occurred at Hosanna Church were straight out of the Christian bible, particularly reminiscent not only of Lot's neighbors in Sodom but also his own subsequent actions of incest with his daughters (on his God's instruction) after his wife was turned to salt.

"Cultural rituals could include such things as what a family eats on Thanksgiving Day, or when and how presents are opened at Christmas. The initiation ceremonies of fraternities, sororities, gangs, and other social clubs are other examples of cultural rituals." - from "Satanic Ritual Abuse," a report made for the FBI by Kenneth V. Lanning.
"One night, he said, he heard a woman screaming that she'd "beat the sins out of them," followed by "hooting and hollering" and other sounds. "I'm a Catholic," Mr. Normand said. "I got the heebie-jeebies."" - from the news article "Sex Charges Follow Church's Collapse" by Rick Lyman New York Times 2005

Presumably because the case spanned several states, the federal government was quickly called in to investigate the case. Many people stepped forward to corroborate the claims without therapuetic or psychiatric intervention, but oddly enough a representative of the False Memory Syndrome Foundation in the form of Dr. Richard Ofshe showed up from Berkeley, California to defend the accused. Although that organization exists to purportedly to combat the phenomenon of "recovered memories," this was simply a case where people were recalling events that had occurred very recently and that were remembered without the aid of "recovered memory" therapy. The organization has made it a point throughout their history to show up at many legal disputes involving what one FBI agent (Kenneth V. Lanning, in his 1992 FBI report "Satanic Ritual Abuse") has referred to as "multi-dimensional sexual abuse." The "multi-dimensional" aspect comes from the fact that large groups of people, both offenders and victims, are involved in the cases, which extend to dimensions that are complex and baffling, sometimes including bizarre details that seem impossible from a logical standpoint. Lanning identifies a controlling network of fear around these cases, along with a factor that he dubs as "multi-dimensional" motivations for the abuse (that is, motivations going beyond the immediate act of sexual gratification). The victims in the cases are controlled and kept silent through fear of violent acts, which they claim to have either have been threatened against them, or in some cases claim to have witnessed first-hand. This could be an initiatory or even somehow spiritual/ritualistic aspect to the crime that takes it beyond the realm of more common criminal motivation.

"Perhaps strangest of all, was the testimony of one boy who said that the McMartin teachers took students to a cemetery where the kids were forced to use pickaxes and shovels to dig up coffins. Once the coffins were removed from the ground, according to the child, they would be opened and the McMartin teachers would begin hacking the bodies with knives." - from The McMartin Preschool Abuse Trial: A Commentary by Doug Linder (2003)

One can imagine how frustrating it would be to attempt to succeed in prosecuting a child molestation ring that consists of every adult member of a town, such as what Lanning encountered in Scott County, Minnesota in 1984. An entire community in Minnesota named after the Biblical river Jordan was swept up in allegations that divided the town by age. Cut-throat teams of lawyers and mental health experts descended upon Jordan in a situation that repeated many times throughout the 1980s, a time which contained an explosive concentration of what Lanning referred to in his report as "these kinds of cases." One of the most significant of these was the McMartin Preschool Trial, which also occurred in the early part of the Reagan decade. It was the most expensive trial in the United States until that of Oranthal J. Simpson. An ex-wife of Raymond Buckey (the grandson of the school's founder) accused him of sodomizing their young son, and quickly other allegations spread about the practices that were alleged to occur on the premesis. The woman who started the initial accusations was dead before the trial even began. Bizarre allegations of impossible events were described by the children, such as being flushed down toilets into secret rooms and descriptions of abusers with powers of flight. Tunnels that led to secret ritual chambers were described, and later researchers (including FBI agent Ted Gunderson) indeed found (widely contested) evidence of underground tunnels beneath the site of the school, agreeing with testimony given by the children. "Suggestive interviewing" was blamed for the accusations of the children, however in this case and many others of a similar ilk there is indeed physical evidence of abuse on the children themselves. Throughout the 1980s such cases became rampant, as similar situations were either brought to light or dramatically recreated in people's imaginations repeatedly until the early 1990s. A large problem with the identification and prosecution of such crimes is the fact that Satanism in its most "official" capacity in the United States is not a religion so much as a reactionary organized response to the perceived ill effects of Christianity on Western Civilization. Accusing people who are operating child abuse networks (which do, in fact, exist, in a multitude of platforms) of being part of a cult that serves interdimensional beings brings a court case into realms which are deemed laughable by the general public. The difficulty in prosecuting such crimes is often used as evidence of their non-existence. Often, claims such as "assaulted by a clown in a magic room" (an actual allegation from the Fells Acres daycare abuse trial) will be laughed at and pushed aside, with the brazen declaration that "no forensic evidence was found." Metaphysical crimes, it seems, are the hardest to cases to solve, especially when the universe that they exist in seeks to hide itself from the overarching authority.

"Sacrilegious actions and rites were not only performed on Christ’s altars, but had the connivance or at least the tacit permission of certain Cardinals, archbishops, and bishops. In total number they were a minority—anything from one to ten percent of church personnel. But of that minority, many occupied astoundingly high positions or rank…. The facts that brought the Pope to a new level of suffering were mainly two: the systematic organizational links — the network, in other words, that had been established between certain clerical homosexual groups and Satanic covens. And the inordinate power and influence of that network.” - Father Malachi Martin, from his book Windswept House

There is a resilience and constancy that many of the stories have to those who are willing to listen. Many of the accusations of the children that seem fantastical are still deeply disturbing on a strongly intuitive level. The fears seems to coalesce with shared childhood anxieties stemming from a nascent understanding of some of the darker and more confusing aspects of the adult world. The accusations become a Boschian tapestry of a Midaeval depiction of Hell, a sodomic Sabbat where incantations are read and blood is spilled over innocent bodies. Many of the stories stretched belief in that they involved human sacrifice and cannibalism, hard crimes to prove when presenting no actual evidence of any such activity. More than anything, the accusations hold up a mirror to the society that they emerged from, with the children speaking as conduits for the most depraved sins imaginable in our age. Much like the accusations of the existence of Bloody Mary (say her name three times in a mirror in the dark and she will appear), the stories took on a metaphysical life of their own to the children, encapsulating all of their fears of the nightmarish and stiltedly bureaucratic hypocrisy inherent within the world of American adulthood. The explosive sexuality and animalistic sadism buried underneath the polite surface culture of grown-ups became manifest in the increasingly metaphysical accusations of the children. With the reality of whatever abuse initiated the inquiry being buried amidst the public display. Many of the cases seem to emerge not from "Satanic" backgrounds, but often Churches and daycare centers that are ostensibly "family-oriented" and wholesome. To call the crimes satanic is to do a great disservice to the inherent culpability of "fine upstanding individuals" who hide behind a veil of respectability in order to get closer their victims. Ironically, the person accused of SRA (as Satanic Ritual Abuse is often dubbed) is usually not some derelict miscreant at odds with the world around them, but instead well-respected pillars of the community. To those familiar with the crimes and lifestyles of individuals such as John Wayne Gacy and Dennis Rader, this should not come as a surprise, but to the average person the moniker of "satanic" crime lends an unneccessary and confusing aura of drama to already complex and very real issue. Often those who refute these crimes cite the lack of evidence of human sacrifice or organized Satanic groups as proof that multi-dimensional child abuse cases cannot exist, but this is like saying that there are no muggings in New Orleans because no one can find the missing wallets after the fact. The goal of an organized criminal effort is to commit the acts and to not be caught, not to leave behind fantastical evidence to impress skeptics that wish to turn a blind eye to the abused and molested in favor of promoting the concept of "false memories" to explain when bad things happen.

"..."false memory" (is) seemingly sophisticated, but mostly contrived and often erroneous. (It has been created by) accused, convicted and self-confessed child molesters and their advocates (to) negate their abusive, criminal behavior."- C. Whitfield, "The "False Memory" Defense Using Disinformation and Junk Science In and Out of Court," Journal of Child Sexual Abuse March 2002

The tide of "anti-Satanic" hysteria began to crest and wane going into the new decade. Wikipedia cites an HBO made-for-TV movie (a film about the McMartin case that casts Ray Buckey as a victim of a witch hunt) as an important turning point for public opinion. Perhaps the proponents of SRA stories should have made their own made-for-TV film from their perspective and the momentum would have continued. In 1992, the False Memory Syndrome Foundation (or F.M.S.F. for short) operates under the principle that the human mind is a deceptive, boobytrapped landscape that overzealous psychiatrists can tap into, causing people to remember things that did not occur. They maintain that mental health professionals are able to implant "false memories" in their patients, who then go on to accuse innocent people of abuse that did not occur. Unfortunately, the organization also does not provide any way to scientifically determine the difference between a "true" memory and a "false" one, so presumably one must keep their mind open to the idea that almost all memories could be false, implanted memories. The idea that a vast cross-section of therapists all decided to force fake memories on people for unknown reasons seems to this author far less plausible than the existence of well-established and hard working pedophile organizations who seek to protect their own members. Although they publicly claim to oppose only cases where "repressed" memory is uncovered, the F.M.S.F. often donates members of its Scientific Advisory Board to any court case that resembles so-called Satanic Ritual Abuse accusations. Their job is to aid the defense in convincing the jury of the impossibility of the crimes and accusations. The "false memory" concept was introduced by several doctors, based theoretically around the idea that recovered memory therapy is creating an epidemic of false memories of sexual abuse in the American population, leading to false accusations. The husband and wife duo who founded the group did so after their daughter directed allegations of sexual abuse against them. They proceeded to defame their own daughter in a non-peer-reviewed but widely distributed article as preparation for the formation of their new crusade against false memories. Another founding member of the group was Ralph Underwager, former member of the F.M.S.F. Scientific Advisory Board, who was quoted in a journal distributed among pedophiles extolling the positive aspects of adult/child sexual relations. After this, he was forced to resign from his post for the sake of the foundation's reputation, but he was most likely expressing a sentiment shared with his colleagues, albeit an unpopular one among larger society. The F.M.S.F. seems to exist simply to combat the specific concept of organized pedophilic child abuse anywhere in the United States, acting as a line of expert witness defense for properly-networked pedophiles under prosecution for their "multi-dimensional" crimes. In the particular instance of Dr. Ofshe arriving in Tangipahoa Parish to presumably refute allegations of abuse that the defendant himself made, a local judge actually prevented the good doctor from appearing in court on grounds of unsound science. The preacher who was apparently behind the Hosanna church scenario is currently serving four life sentences in a row in prison. Although there were extensive interviews with the accused ringleader conducted by the Federal prosecuters involved in the case, none were recorded for posterity.

"Even if only part of an allegation is not true, what then is the answer to the question "Why are victims alleging things that do not seem to be true?" After consulting with psychiatrists, psychologists, anthropologists, therapists, social workers, child sexual abuse experts, and law enforcement investigators for more than eight years, I can find no single, simple answer. The answer to the question seems to be a complex set of dynamics that can be different in each case. In spite of the fact that some skeptics keep looking for it, there does not appear to be one answer to the question that fits every case. Each case is different, and each case may involve a different combination of answers." - from "Satanic Ritual Abuse," a report made for the FBI by Kenneth V. Lanning.

"One child said that as the game was being played the children sang, "What you see is what you are, you're a naked movie star!" - from The McMartin Preschool Abuse Trial: A Commentary by Doug Linder (2003)

Friday, November 09, 2012

We Are Your Friends


"The primary duty of the Seraphim is to sing without ceasing- 'the lintels of the doors were moved at the voice (of them) who cried to one another.'" - from the book "Beyond Space" by Fr. Pascal P. Parent


It is 2012. The home of the Carpenters, the illustrious musical family who stuck to their roots in Downey, California to worldwide acclaim, is in disrepair. The parents, who were the owners of the worldly and palatial estate, have been dead for some time now. Beautiful Karen Carpenter, the guardian angel of adult contemporary pop music, died in this house, in her brother's closet, long ago. Movies were made, tribute albums wrought upon the Earth, and multitudes of fans have visited the spot. Her brother, Richard Carpenter, now tours the world with a "sound-alike" of Karen from South America named Claire De La Fuente. She doesn't look anything like Karen (who could?), but she does a mean vocal imitation of our girl, and the audiences enjoy it. All over the world.
But Karen is gone. And her brother cannot bring her back, no matter how many times he re-records the bridge to "Top Of The World," or tweaks the back-up vocals on "Lovelines." The only evidence of her existence left behind for us now are the recordings, the photographs, the memories.

"In your mind you have capacities, you know, to telepath messages through the vast unknown. Please close your eyes, and concentrate, with every thought you think, upon the recitation we are about to sing." - Carpenters, "Calling Occupants Of Interplanetary Craft."

SARAPH (To Burn)

The music that Karen and Richard Carpenter created together during the lifetime of the former is an extraordinary accomplishment. This accomplishment is sometimes overshadowed by the shocking nature of Karen's unfortunate demise at the young age of 32. Her passing was greatly sensationalized, used by major media outlets to promote the realities of anorexia nervosa. This was a heretofore unknown eating disorder stemming from negative body image, disproportionate to one's actual appearance. Unfortunately, her death and illness has come for many to define this amazing woman, who accomplished great things in her life during a time when women (in the music industry and elsewhere) did not have an equal status to men. Beyond her rich, syrupy voice and natural beauty, Karen was an extremely talented drummer who was acknowledged by fellow percussionists such as Buddy Rich and Hal Blaine for her impressive intuitive drumming skill. While her older brother showed great talent as a keyboard prodigy (leading him to spend several harsh semesters on the East Coast at Yale studying the instrument), she played baseball with the local boys, favoring the position of pitcher. Her youthful desires to play music alongside her brother were encouraged by their teacher in Downey, California. He attempted to teach her to play the glockenspiel, but she found the instrument to be less than inspiring. She quickly switched to drums after being observed on the instrument by a mutual friend, who recognized her natural sense of rhythm. Karen and Richard were heavily inspired by popular music of the day in their music-kaing, in particular the Beatles. The singing/songwriting duo of John Lennon and Paul McCartney would prove to be an enormous influence on Richard. He wished to create a musical group with his sister that could have the same sort of appeal as those Liverpudlian cultural avatars. Due to his prodigious talent, Richard was enthusiastically encouraged to perform and write music by his parents, studying and practicing constantly. He was fascinated with the concept of "musical arrangement" from a very young age, after seeing a television special starring Liberace (the 1960s heartthrob to the Pepsodent crowd). Liberace's glamour had a huge impression on Richard. Although he was musically influenced somewhat by the "acid rock" of the day, the spirit of showmanship exhibited in what became the Carpenters shows great influence from the campy and eager presentation presented by Liberace. In his determination to be a success in the music industry, Karen's brother was already taking notes from popular performances even in his youth. With Karen on the drums, they formed the Richard Carpenter Trio with a friend of theirs playing the bass. It was a learning experience, but did not bring them much success or attention. It was during this period of time that a local LA musician named Joe Osborn noticed Karen's amazing vocal talents, encouraging Richard to allow her more opportunities to use her voice. Initially starting out as a more rock-oriented group called Spectrum, they teamed up with songwriter John Bettis to embark upon a series of demo recordings. These tapes would be consistently rejected by the various labels that they were sent to, but the process of recording and editing the tapes was invaluable experience for the young musicians. These were very experimental recordings, with Karen playing drums alongside her brother's instrumentation... very likely incredible material that has been lost to time.
The two consistently refined and restructured their approach as Spectrum, but each subsequent appeal to record labels was rejected. An unfortunate side effect of this was that the young musicians became extremely discouraged with their tapes, which eventually were discarded and in fact (accidentally) destroyed. It was obvious that Spectrum's style was not going to work out for the duo, but they were not daunted in their quest for domination of the pop charts. The two began to practice constantly, with Richard hurriedly searching for the right songs that would propel the duo to the top. He eventually settled on a theme of choosing already successful songs from other songwriters, which he would arrange and interpret for Karen to put lead vocals and possibly drums over. This setup, with Richard as the "man behind the curtain" and Karen as the face of the group, suited the duo perfectly. The secret weapon was Karen's magnificent, lush voice. People who watched her sing would comment that they heard emitting from the the scrappy teenager's tiny frame a world of emotion that was said to be "far beyond her years." Under the direction of her brother, Karen eased into the role of singer with the relaxed attitude of a pro, laying down many hours of music to tape in an effort to hit the big time. Her brother's work ethic fit perfectly with Karen's deep-rooted desire to be the best she could be. In the meantime, Richard got work performing with co-songwriter John Bettis at the original Disneyland in Florida as official "street performers." The two would deviate somewhat from the expected material and ramble into pop music territory - in the process developing the squeaky-clean pop-star image and presentation that the Carpenters would become famous for. Richard's friend John would become an important and vital aspect of the Carpenters, co-writing some of the songs that are most dear to the group ("Goodbye To Love," "I Need To Be In Love"). Leaving behind the psychedelic trappings of their early work, Richard, Karen, John, and several other musicians created a new backdrop for Karen's amazing vocal presence, this time called simply "Carpenters." The music of the Carpenters (including such hits as "We've Only Just Begun," "Top Of The World," "Close To You," "Superstar," "We've Only Just Begun," and a multitude of others) would become an iconic, generation-defining force that would define the lives of many lonely souls.

"Electronic voice phenomena (EVP) are electronically generated noises that resemble speech, but are not the result of intentional voice recordings or renderings. Common sources of EVP include static, stray radio transmissions, and background noise. Interest in the subject normally surrounds claims that EVP are of paranormal origin, though there are natural explanations such as apophenia (finding significance in insignificant phenomena), auditory pareidolia (interpreting random sounds as voices in their own language), equipment artifacts, or simple hoaxes which are offered to explain them. Recordings of EVP are often created from background sound by increasing the gain (i.e. sensitivity) of the recording equipment" - From the Wikipedia entry on Electronic Voice Phenomenon.

After rejecting several previous demo tapes from the Carpenters, Herb Alpert (former leader of the Tijuana Brass Band) of A & M Records liked the new direction and signed the group to his label. Part of the groups transformation included pressure on Karen to lose weight after an early producer of theirs (Joe Osborn) referred to Karen as "chubby." Under pressure from the label and her parents, Karen was put on a diet (ominously called the "Stillman diet") that reduced her weight from a healthy 145 pounds to a health-defying 95 lbs. Even before her success, Karen was put under an immense pressure to lose weight, which would have deep psychological implications for her life. The initial Carpenters LP was titled "Offering," later to be re-titled "Ticket To Ride" after it's sole hit, a somber meditation on the classic Beatles tune. The arrangement of their version was completely unique, with Karen's distinctive vocals a stark presence over a slowed-down and intricate arrangement of the upbeat classic. Listeners were impressed with the unorthodox arrangement and highly ornate orchestration (courtesy of Richard), and equally they were impressed by the soulful and emotive voice of Karen. The two had found a formula that would make sense for them, throughout their career interpreting a variety of other songwriters' work in order to express their own unique voice. The first two Carpenters LPs contain some of the finest examples of Karen's drumming on tape (although it does not make up for the fact that the material that they made as Spectrum seems to have been lost to time). After the success of the single version of "Ticket To Ride," Karen and Richard followed that up with their breakthrough second LP, titled "Close To You." This record also features four songs co-written by Richard with his friend John Bettis, with whom he used to work at Disneyland. Over the years, the album has proven to have a lasting appeal, going far beyond the cultural zeitgeist it captured during its initial heyday.
The LP opens with "We've Only Just Begun," a slow-paced ballad that sets the tone for the prevailing image of the Carpenters, presented by the A&M publicity team as existing somewhere between being a married couple and identical twins. Richard had heard the song in a wedding-themed bank commercial, and had a feeling that it could be a successful track for the group to cover. He was right. The song, written by Roger Nichols and Paul Williams, presents a romantic take on the concept of life's long and lonely road, extolling the possibilities that arise when partnering through life with another person. This would be a long-running theme with the songs that were chosen for Karen to perform. In fact, Karen very rarely (if ever) was allowed to choose the material that she wished to perform, although there are several instances (such as their version of the song "Rainbow Connection") where she put her foot down and said that she just didn't like the song. For the most part, Karen found herself doing what she was told in order to make the people around her happy. Not only was it making them happy, however, but it was also making them a lot of money. Another notable track is a Richard Carpenter/John Bettis ditty called "Mr. Guder," which is a completely undisguised diss track dedicated to their former boss at Disneyland. The Carpenters were not above burning a few bridges in their newfound path toward success. The lyrics extrapolate on the issues that the two men shared against their former employer, depicting him as an Ahrimanic entity seeking to turn people into automatons. The track uses an interesting multi-tracking technique during a vocal section in the middle that is similar in tone to the 1960s work of the New York street performer Moondog. Karen's voice combined with Richard's vocal arrangements and production often created a bombastic, pop-operatic production style that would go on to be a great influence on experimental rock groups like Queen and Pink Floyd (see the vocal production on "A Night At The Opera" and "The Wall" for instance compared to the earliest material by those groups). Karen was adept at recording her voice to tape in a manner that seemed to come as natural as breathing, but it was the result of tireless efforts in the studio, including many pieces that never made the final cut. Another significant track on the album is the group's original tune "Crescent Noon," an eerie piece about the transformation of the seasons. Karen sings these words that Bettis wrote for her to sing:
"Green September turned October brown.
Bare November led to December's frozen ground.
The seasons stumble 'round;
our drifting lives are bound to a falling crescent noon."
The record closes with a more up-tempo number called "Another Song," which closes the album with an uncharacteristic rhythm driven psychedelic-influenced rocker. It shows off some great drumming and tight musicianship in an uncharacteristic style, perhaps more like some of the material that they had recorded as Spectrum. The album pushed the group directly into the limelight with hit after hit climbing up the charts. The public couldn't believe the immense power emitting from the diminuative frontwoman of this tight and professional ensemble. The Carpenters' music had become so ubiquitous that there was a huge demand to know what was behind the group. The "bread and butter" clean-cut sort of attitude that the two had inherited from their parents was strikingly absent of irony or pretentiousness. In particular, Karen's personality shone brightly in interviews, as star-struck reporters asked her if she enjoyed her new-found fame: "Oh yeah. It's a kick. At times, it's just a little...well, you have to walk very fast! sometimes you just want to go out, go down the corner and buy a hamburger. But you really can't do that. That gets me sometimes not being able to walk around on my own! Sometimes you get tired of being protected 24 hours a day but..."
It was apparent that all eyes were on Karen from the very beginning, as her powerful spirit was fiercely evident in all aspects of the group. From her otherworldly and uncommon beauty to her intoxicating singing voice and intuitive smarts, Karen seemed like she could conquer the world: "For myself, when I decided what I wanted to do, I went ahead and did it. Nobody got in the way. If they did, you had to figure out a way to get around them. I think anybody who has enough self respect and enough brains can do what they want to do and the bit about blaming it on somebody else is just garbage! There's nobody that's going to stand in the way of somebody if they really want it - male or female!... Its stupid you know, just because you're a what?... We've got as much brains as anybody else. You see a lot of dumb guys around too! This bit about me being a successful girl drummer. I'm not a successful GIRL drummer, I'm just a drummer that happens to be a girl that's happy! I have a ball!"

"Although she has been successful in what is generally considered a man's field (drumming) she has little patience for "women's lib" and feels it's a wife's duty to cook for husband, because, 'Well, I like to cook. And just look at him,' pointing to her brother, 'he can't even cook water. . . just say that I certainly plan to cook for my husband.'" - Karen, quoted in The Washington Post in a 1973 article titled WHOLESOME IMAGE NO PUT-ON FOR POPULAR CARPENTERS.

Coming out of the turbulence of the 1960s and the Vietnam War era, American pop music in the late 1960s had moved toward a more raw and protest oriented sound (not unlike the "grunge" era of the 1990s that followed the initial Gulf War, under former CIA director George Herbert Walker Bush). Blues-rock and mod were the styles that were hip in the UK, more so than the sort of pop being peddled by the Carpenters. Songwriters like Burt Bacharach (who penned "Close To You" and other massively successful Carpenters songs, along with fellow hebrewish man Hal David) couldn't get arrested for their efforts. The Carpenters changed this, with Richard adeptly utilizing a dinosaur-like record industry's rules against itself to buck the norm, and in the process made a great deal of money for himself and A&M. A large part of this sales effort came from the fact that the group had been molded into shape and sold in such a manner as to be completely inoffensive pop music, theoretically from a couple of wholesome teenagers. Despite the sunny image of the Carpenters, the content of most of their songs actually dealt with the issues of severe depression and loneliness. The "perfect" appearance of the group was pushed as a major selling point, appealing to a desire to return to the suburban values of the 1950s. America wished that it could turn back the clock on the acid-drenched preceding years, and the Carpenters seemed to be the perfect solution. The group had come to represent a movement back toward a time that never actually existed, with the siblings coming to represent an impossible-to-attain perfection that seemed to be the goal of that era. Richard Nixon invited the group to perform at the White House for a dinner with the leader of West Germany, declaring that the musicians represented "the best that young America has to offer." The group came to represent the wholesome values that Nixon wished to actively associate himself with. Although Nixon's White House would soon come under attack for participating in espionage and mafia-like behavior, Karen and her brother continued to flourish as some of the most influential and popular entertainers of their time.

"Calling occupants of interplanetary craft... you've been observing our Earth, and we'd like to make a contact with you. We are your friends." - Carpenters.

Throughout all of this newfound fame, Karen and Richard's mother Agnes was careful to guide them through the trials and tribulation of success. She encouraged them to invest in local real estate, and they used the money from their first two hit singles to purchase a pair of apartment complexes in Downey. Everyone in town knew the family and was well-aware of their worldwide success, but for the most part Karen did her best to continue a normal existence in her hometown. She was known for frequenting a local Bob's Big Boy restaurant (she loved the black bean soup there, and she was a prolific imbiber of iced tea). Even after becoming wealthy and famous, Karen would always do her own shopping, whether it was for home appliances or clothing from a thrift store. She remained, at heart, a small-town girl, partially because she was discouraged by her mother from pursuing a desire to move to Los Angeles. She would spend her entire life as a resident of Downey, where she lived an ideal suburban existence that rivaled that of the fictional Cleaver family. Far from living in seclusion, the famous family continued to throw parties for the neighborhood at Karen and Richard's parents house. Karen was known for her fun-loving, even rambunctuous behavior, excited to cut-up like a teenager in the presence of company. Karen always put her best face forward, and despite some difficulties with her mother (including many disagreements about who she was allowed to spend time with) she always wanted to make everyone happy. Throughout the 1970s, the Carpenters made several television specials, as well as a multitude of appearances on a variety of television programs (including a memorable spot on ultra-creepy proto-reality show "This Is Your Life"). Richard's great talent and enthusiasm always shined during the mostly lip-synched performances, but it was Karen who America would become enamored with. Her large, beautiful brown eyes sparkled with an angelic radiance, and she read words from a cue card like she was speaking off the top of her head. It was clear that Karen had the face and personality of a "superstar." The bulk of the pressure on the duo's physical appearance would weigh upon her. Richard began to grow tired of the 'schtick' that him and his sister would perform in the specials, a sickly-sweet dramatization of often supposedly true events of their lives, delivered in a schmaltzy, Lawrence Welk-like manner. Nonetheless, audiences ate it up, and Karen became one of the most watched performers of her day, an otherworldly beauty, with an unforgettable voice.
Karen and Richard had a lot more up their flowing silk sleeves than a bunch of showtunes written by Burt Bacharach and Hal David, however. Richard knew how to play the game, and he adeptly participated in the A&M marketing machine, while still maintaining a bit of artistic independence. The two were frank and easy-going in interviews, both openly declaring their opinion that marijuana should be legalized ("It's no worse than alcohol," said Karen in a People Magazine article from 1976) and maintaining that their main focus was on music and not making any kind of statement. The group recorded what would be two of their most successful releases, the self-titled "Carpenters" LP and "A Song For You." Both of these albums venture into a country/Americana sort of sound, and contain some of the most recognizable hits that the band ever produced (including the massively popular Leon Russell-written ballad "Superstar"). "Superstar" would become a Carpenters anthem, with Karen's lead vocal pleading to a rock star to come back to her, plaintively asking "Don't you remember when you told me you loved me, baby? You'd said you'd be coming back this way again, maybe..." Interestingly, because of a concern over the audience being unable to separate the performer from the song, Richard changed a line so that instead of singing that she can't wait to "sleep" with her lover again, she says she can't wait to "be" with them. There is much speculation that Karen's mother Agnes (who was a devout Christian) would have been upset with the notion of Karen singing about pre-marital sex. Even into adulthood, Karen was forced to report to her mother, and placed under intense scrutiny, especially after the onset of stardom. The fact that the words that were chosen for her to sing were so intricately analyzed and weighed upon each other shows the immense control that others had over Karen's life and performance. The song "Rainy Days and Mondays" would typify her appeal to the masses, taking clinical depression and condensing it to a three-minute catchy bit of purchasable pop. She seemed to be singing what many women and men in America were already thinking, and A&M Records and Karen's family were riding her emotions to the "Top Of The World" in financial success. By the time of the album "Now And Then" (which was, in fact, given its name by their mother Agnes), Karen was no longer a singing drummer but a bona fide frontwoman to one of the worlds most successful musical ensembles.


1974 sent the Carpenters on a tour across the entire planet Earth. "Goodbye To Love," with its surprisingly powerful arrangement (including an uncharacteristic electric guitar solo) became another enormous hit for the group, crossing over somewhat with rock and metal audiences. Critics coined the term "power ballad" to describe the intensity of the track. Guitarist Tony Peluso thought that a friend of his was pulling a prank when he had received a phone call from "Karen Carpenter" asking for him to lay down an electric guitar track for an upcoming single from her group the Carpenters. It seemed like at this point that the group were completely unstoppable, steamrolling through the charts in the early 1970s with the force of a great white shark. So many people were depending on Karen and putting pressure on her that it began to take its toll, however. In a strike back for independence, she began to noticeably fluctuate in her physical weight, at times appearing unhealthily thin. Also during this time, Karen began to seek outside influences beyond her overbearing mother and the record label system that her brother's loyalties sided with. She became friends with people such as Dionne Warwick (whom she greatly looked up to before becoming a star herself) and the goddess-like disco maven Olivia Newton-John. The presence of these other famous ladies was a warm and positive influence on Karen's life, and provided for her what must have been an oasis of calm and support. Her mother was still controlling of her life during this time, however, and tended to view Karen's newfound friendships with suspicion. In the meantime, Karen and Richard held an almost militaristic level of band meetings and practice sessions, desperate to keep the Carpenters machine operating. Karen's deep and intense self-control was a focused energy that she emitted from her body during live performance.

"The Beatles, who incorporated the techniques of concrète into their recordings, were responsible for popularizing the concept of backmasking. Singer John Lennon and producer George Martin both claimed they discovered the backward recording technique during the recording of 1966's Revolver; specifically the album tracks "Tomorrow Never Knows" and "I'm Only Sleeping," and the single "Rain". Lennon stated that, while under the influence of marijuana, he accidentally played the tapes for "Rain" in reverse, and enjoyed the sound. The following day he shared the results with the other Beatles, and the effect was used first in the guitar solo for "Tomorrow Never Knows", and later in the coda of "Rain"." - from the Wikipedia entry on Backmasking (Redirected from Backwards Message).

The Carpenters next released a record titled "Horizon," the cover of which depicted the duo among a stark rocky landscape, mirroring the emotional terrain dealt with inside. Reviewed poorly upon its initial release, tracks such as "Solitaire" and "Desperado" have stood the test of time as poignant and gripping ballads about human emotion. Both of those tracks examine an emotionally barren person trying to love after a series of deadening events. It seemed that the joy and excitement of early fame had given way to an intense sadness, an emptiness represented by a strong distance from others that both Karen and Richard were both feeling at the time. One of the more upbeat tracks, the synthesizer-filled "Happy," showed a potential futuristic direction that the Carpenters would dabble with but unfortunately never fully explore. The album did not share the enormous success of the previous efforts. The group found that their own track record was stark competition, and they were unable to regain the immense relevance and popularity that took them over the top at the beginning of the decade. The seams were beginning to show in the Carpenter empire with both siblings experiencing personal strife and turmoil. Karen was increasingly looking for an outlet for her own personal voice, while still pleasing the people around her. Unfortunately, some of those who she wished to please did not have her well-being in mind.

"The name Seraphim clearly indicates their ceaseless and eternal revolution about Divine Principles; their heat and their keenness, the exuberance of their intense, perpetual, tireless activity, and their elevative and energetic assessment of those below, kindling them and firing them to their own heat, and wholly purifying them by a burning and all-consuming flame, and by the unhidden, unquenchable, changeless, radiant, and enlightening power, dispelling and destroying the shadows of darkness." - Pseudo-Dionysus the Aeropagite, "On The Divine Names, On The Celestial Hierarchies."

1976 brought "A Kind Of Hush," an innocuous record from the group that saw them covering a Herman's Hermits hit from the 1960s as the title track. Richard was determined to keep the group a successful hit machine by any means necessary at this point, and Karen would be dragged along through the process due to her necessary presence as the star. Although Richard sang lead on a couple of songs from the self-titled "Carpenters" record, it simply was not a Carpenters record for real without the dominant vocal presence of Karen. At this point, she was all but forbidden to play the drums, constantly finding herself lip-synching the same songs over and over for various promotional appearances and publicity junkets. Increasingly, the group found themselves less relevant with each year going further into the more liberal era of the late 1970s. Jimmy Carter's America was becoming more enthralled with cocaine, disco music, and New York culture than the "peace and love" good California vibes that the Carpenters came to represent. This album contained a song that Karen would count as her favorite Carpenters track, a ballad co-written by her brother and Bettis called "I Need To Be In Love." It is a sad and lonely track of searching for an unattainable love that seems to define the aura of heartbreak surrounding the work of the Carpenters. It was a personal success for the group, but, unfortunately, did not translate into the astronomical record sales that the group was seeking. Richard regrouped his efforts for one last push towards success with a slightly experimental approach in song choices. Although this effort did not equal the success that he perhaps was aiming for, it did make for one of the strangest albums that the Carpenters were to create, titled simply "Passage."

"Some EVP enthusiasts describe hearing the words in EVP as an ability, much like learning a new language. Skeptics say that the claimed instances are all either hoaxes or misinterpretations of natural phenomena. EVP and ITC are seldom researched within the scientific community and, as ideas, are generally derided by scientists when asked." - From the Wikipedia entry on Electronic Voice Phenomenon.

While other groups were topping the charts with disco or punk-inspired material, Richard stuck to what he did best: complex and ornate arrangements of saccharine pop balladry. He definitely knew how to pick an interesting track for Karen to sing, and the choices that top this one are rather curious. "Passage" shows Richard trying out some arrangements of musical styles not usually broached by the duo, including light-jazz and calypso. An overlong cover of "Don't Cry For Me Argentina" is fiercely out of place, and paints a tragic picture of Karen that her brother very possibly saw coming in some capacity. He had certainly noticed her rapidly decreasing weight and related health problems, puzzled that she seemed to be intentionally avoiding nutrition. During family dinners and meals away from home, Karen had become adept at finding ways to avoid eating the food on her plate, including giving it away to others at the table and hiding portions to be disposed of later. She appeared to be headed down an unhealthy path, but no one around her could seem to get close enough to help. Coinciding with an increasing interest in the subject of extra-terrestrial visitation to Earth, the Carpenters released the single "Calling Occupants of Interplanetary Craft." The track, and the accompanying video, feature the duo pleading to extraterrestrial intelligences to bring justice to the Earth and destroy the "adversaries" of the Carpenters. The song has an intricate orchestral arrangement that shows great care and effort, but it failed to connect with American audiences, who could not at all relate to what the duo was laying down before them. It seemed that the group was being sincere in their way, but they were not creating the sort of material that the public wanted. The Carpenters made their way through another television special called "Space Encounters," banking not only on the recent single but also the current (at the time) popularity of sci-fi films Star Wars and Close Encounters Of The Third Kind. Literal-minded audiences who had embraced the saccharine flavor of "Top Of The World" and "Close To You" could simply not relate to hearing the same group sing about attempting psychic communicating with extraterrestrial entities. Karen's vocal performance presents the subject calmly and seriously, intoning matter-of-factly to the listener the process of telepathy: "With your mind, you have ability to form and transmit thought energy far beyond the norm. You close your eyes, you concentrate, together that's the way..."

"The term Instrumental Trans-Communication (ITC) was coined by Ernst Senkowski in the 1970s to refer more generally to communication through any sort of electronic device such as tape recorders, fax machines, television sets or computers between spirits or other discarnate entities and the living. One particularly famous claimed incidence of ITC occurred when the image of EVP enthusiast Friedrich Jürgenson (whose funeral was held that day) was said to have appeared on a television in the home of a colleague, which had been purposefully tuned to a vacant channel. ITC enthusiasts also look at TV and video camera feedback loop of the Droste effect." - From the Wikipedia entry on Electronic Voice Phenomenon.

MAL'AKH (The Messenger)

Deeply concerned with his sister's health, and the groups faltering status as pop royalty (along with his own personal concerns), Richard soon committed himself to a rehabilitation program for an addiction to Quaaludes. While Karen had her own health issues, he had been harboring heavy Quaalude use throughout the previous years in order to maintain himself during the periods of high stress. After their initial breakthrough success, the duo had purchased two large apartment complexes and Richard had been staying in one throughout their fame. Karen had been kept under more control, with the mother Agnes seeming to be harshly judgmental of her and unhappy with her friendships. She was especially controlling over Karen's friendship with other women, and was threatened by the influence that the successful artists she was hanging out with had over her. For these and other reasons, Karen was forbidden to move away from home until the age of 26. Karen's father was loving and understanding during all of this, but Agnes Carpenter ruled the house and had extreme jurisdiction over many of the choices that Karen was allowed to make. Although Karen's lack of identification with the "women's lib" movement on one hand shows her independence, but also it is likely that if she had been exposed to feminist literature she would likely be alive today. As an unmarried and "unspoiled" female child of strict, she was held under lock and key by her family, with Richard being encouraged to have almost complete control over Karen's every artistic decision. The two met every morning in a militaristic regimen for an "o'eight-hundred" breakfast where Richard would discuss the important matters of the day with Karen, who would sometimes grow weary of the constant control. Because of the deep love and respect that she had for her family and their values, she had allowed them to dictate her life for her well into adulthood.
A good example of this dynamic is Karen's short-lived marriage to real-estate magnate Tom Burris. Burris was an opportunistic man who was introduced to Karen by her family as a man that she needed to meet. Karen often sings in her music of having a romance that could last the test of time, and marriage was a childhood dream that she had always hoped to fulfill. Burris took her on a "whirlwind romance," proposing to her and offering her the picket fence existence that she dreamed of. She wanted to have children and be a homemaker for a nice man, and Burris offered to provide this for her. Unfortunately for Karen, he was simply an opportunistic person who was manipulating her emotions, like so many others around her. He lied about his affluence, constantly hitting her up for tens of thousands of dollars to make up for failed investments. To add insult to injury, he revealed several weeks before their scheduled marriage that he had lied about his intentions to have children with Karen. Less than a month before their wedding day, he revealed to her that he had a vasectomy and was unable to father children. She felt completely betrayed by Burris and those who had influenced her to submit to his control. She told her mother that she wanted to cancel the ceremony, and she responded by telling Karen that it was going to happen no matter what. The cameras were coming, "People magazine would be there," and the wedding was happening whether she liked it or not. Karen was forced to endure a sham for the benefit of the "good face" of her family and their interests. She was forced to swear loyalty a man who cared not one iota for her. They would be separated only one year and some months later, with an irate Burris yelling at her family that "you can have her!" He showed up to her funeral only to throw his ring into her coffin before the beginning of the ceremony. She looked incredibly beautiful throughout the ridiculous charade.
Karen, meanwhile, sought to expand her artistry to more adult concerns than those which the Carpenters had become associated with. She had grown distant from her family, feeling controlled by a domineering mother who always treated Karen as being inferior to her industrious and talented older brother. Although she felt independent of it, Karen was defined in the eyes of her family and the world by her gender. She sought to overcome the control over her life by traveling to New York and working on a solo record with producer Phil Ramone. She had agreed also to seek treatment for her eating disorder, which had at this point caused her to collapse on-stage and exhibit drastic changes in her physical appearance. Artistically, however, she greatly flourished during this period, managing to put together a phenomenally powerful solo debut record with a strong disco flavor. Along with having a great professional repoire with producer Ramone, she became very close friends with his wife Ichi Ramone during this time. Ichi would continue to be a good friend to Karen all the way to the end of her life. Noticeably, many of the songs featured an unexpected sexuality to them, an aspect of the album which would prove incredibly controversial to A&M executives (and her brother) once she tried to release it. During the beginning of the recording sessions for the record, Karen returned home to Downey briefly and played the tracks she had worked on for her mother Agnes. Both of Karen's parents fiercely disapproved of the overtly sexual lyrics to the music, and when she returned to the studio to resume recording she had dropped to 80 pounds. It seemed that the disapproval of her parents had a great effect on her physical well-being. The sessions for the record were very successful, and Karen recounted the time she spent working on it as the happiest time of her life, but meanwhile her physical appearance was growing more and more disturbing to those around her, clearly Karen was not nourishing herself. "Karen Carpenter" is an impressive record, the release of which would have made a great transition into solo artistry and future relevance for Karen, but the forces around her simply would not allow this to happen.

"It depends what the girl wants and if she wants it bad enough. She can figure it out for herself if she's going to stick to it. And if a guy is really in love with her, he would stick with her. I mean, if a guy was really hung up on a chick... like if a chick wanted to do something really bad, the guy would give of himself and let the chick do what she wants. That's only natural." - Karen on relationships.

After a listening party for the record in New York (accompanied by supportive friends and co-workers in the recording industry), Karen very confidently returned to California to face the scrutiny of label executives for A&M. Herb Alpert and Richard Carpenter stared ahead unemotionally as each song went by. The two men fed off each other's coldness and indifference to Karen's warm and beautiful music that she had created without either of their input. They cruelly disregarded her efforts, pretending to dislike the album because of a supposed lack of quality. This is laughable, considering that both men cannibalized the release for years to come after the death of Karen, endlessly remixing many of the tracks from the release to appear on a multitude of posthumous "Carpenters" records. What they did not like was Karen's fierce independence, which they sought to crush under their heels so that they could continue to use her to increase their own fame and wealth. Executives at A&M and Richard canned the record, sending Karen out of the room in tears. It is possible that she never recovered from the incident, a stone-cold reminder that she was under the yoke of people who had no interest in letting her be her own woman. New A&M employee Quincey Jones offered to add some remixing to the record, believing that it should be released, but his suggestions were ignored. He later created the "Thriller" album with Michael Jackson, one of the most successful pop recordings in the history of the music industry. She was charged $400,000 for the cost of the record, an amount of money that was levied against future Carpenters royalties, putting increased pressure on her from her family and the label to return to the unattainable success of the first Carpenters music, in order to catch up with what her controllers deemed an immense financial mistake. The emotional damage had been done, and by the next television appearances, Karen had become a skeletal shadow of her former self. She was put on an intravenous drip at a California hospital that unnaturally increased her weight by twenty pounds in an attempt to make her better.
On the day that she died, Karen had an argument with her mother over wanting to spend the weekend hanging out with Olivia Newton-John. Karen, who lived with her parents until the age of 26, died in the closet of her brothers childhood bedroom. She was staying in that room because there was a VHS player in there, and she enjoyed watching tapes of dramatic television programs, such as Magnum P.I. (a crime drama starring Tom Selleck). She had spent a night escaping into entertainment, and then she walked into the closet, laid down peacefully facing the ground, and allowed her heart to stop beating. Her mother found her unconscious, passed out from heart failure without any sign of struggle. Her eyes were wide open and she was unclothed, facing the carpet. Karen's spirit had left her mortal form just shortly before her 33rd birthday. Her body had given up. Karen again made international headlines, but this time those words of news brought intense sorrow to her legions of fans and supporters.

Many have wondered how this could have happened to someone with paid body-gaurds around them and a severely overprotective family dynamic. There were a lot of people around Karen who noticed that she was not eating. They told her that she needed to eat. That she needed to nourish her body. She made her body weak through malnourishment. She didn't dislike food, some of her favorite dishes were black bean soup and a nice big hamburger from Bob's Big Boy with a shake. According to an interview, she "detests water." She was very opinionated about her body as well, and had strong opinions regarding whether or not she looked good. Because of this, she would starve herself or take on unhealthy habits in order to obtain a never attainable "perfect weight" that she felt pressured to achieve. When anyone wanted to try and intervene, she protested intensely, knowing exactly what she wanted. She was a powerful, forceful woman in many ways, just like her mother. She stood her ground and got what she wanted in most situations that did not involve her family, and although she was not closed minded she was indeed determined. She looked the way she wanted, whether or not it was what she needed. In reality, she felt completely malnourished of what she felt that she truly needed, her deepest desire that she sang about so often. The words ring true because she was singing the truth. What she needed was love, and she felt a million miles away from it.

"Please come in peace, we beseech you... Please interstellar policeman, please give us a sign that we've reached you." - Carpenters.

Previous to Karen's battle with anorexia, there was little public awareness of the existence of "anorexia nervosa." The glamourization (through television and print media) of excessively skinny women, combined with the real-life oppression and silencing of female sexuality, has led to the development of an epidemic of eating disorders that continues to this day. Women, young and old, who have been exposed to the particular manner of body enslavement so peculiar to Western society, are simultaneously discouraged from exploring the sexuality promised them by the unattainable body image. Karen was put under immense pressure to maintain her weight at a particular level by her family and her management, to the point that she could not look into the mirror without seeing something that she was made to feel bad about. When her appearance dipped to a point of a deathly skeletal shade during televised interviews for the "Made In America" record, she had already begun to leave her desires for this life behind her. Because of the way her label and family treated her after she made her solo album, she knew definitively that she would not be allowed to express herself artistically in any true capacity. She faced $400,000 worth of debt for simply taking seriously her status as a recording artist and making high-quality, sellable work. Richard had a lot on his plate to deal with at the time, and was most certainly thinking about his own career for his part. He seems to have regretted his decision somewhat, and when Ichi informed Richard that she had dedicated her solo album to him he broke down in tears on the phone with her. Herb Alpert's selfish decision to not allow Karen to release the "Karen Carpenter" LP most certainly lead to the despair that she felt in those final days. Karen's parents came from a time when women were not expected to do much but cook and clean, and her mother seemed to actively seek to keep Karen in that mindset. Agnes died in 1995, and in 1996 Karen's solo record, featuring songs adult fare such as "Making Love In The Afternoon," was finally released to the public. Agnes Carpenter would never in her lifetime have to deal with the idea of her daughter having an independent adulthood, filled with the desires and imperfections that all people share, her mother included. Whether or not she directly had any part in the withholding of the Karen Carpenter record from the public, it is extremely significant that Richard chose not to release the album until after her death. Although the music was not an enormous departure from the Carpenters, the free and energetic spirit of the album proved that Karen had a side to her that was boldly independent. It sounds completely non-controversial today, but compared to the image that had been cultivated for Karen it was an unacceptable departure. Although things would change drastically for acceptable subject matter by female artists on major labels in the 1990s (see Hole, PJ Harvey, Alanis Morrisette etc), Karen would be forced to suffer as a martyr for the cause of gender equality within pop music. Wishing to protect her from the realities of the world, her mother had cultivated a highly controlled world for her that she ultimately escaped through the wearing out of her physical form. Through this process, a growing awareness of the reality of eating disorders (as well as the negative body image projected in the media, and its affect on women) became public knowledge, likely leading to many women not as famous as Karen whose lives were saved by the awareness and sensitivity generated by the unfortunate example of her death.

"NANCY: Are you close to your parents today?
KAREN: Oh, yes, they're right downstairs." - 1976 interview excerpt

Karen's life was plagued by the good intentions of those around her. The Karen Carpenter solo album contained within it many songs that expressed a vibrant and adult sort of sexuality that both her family and her record label sought to withhold from the public. Beyond this, the record label executives and Richard were afraid that the open sexuality of her solo effort would forever taint the clean and wholesome image that the Carpenters had developed (note that Richard followed up the aborted record by orchestrating Karen into the uncharacteristically patriotic and blander-than-ever "Made In America" record, a blatant attempt at making a money-grubbing appeal to the most common of denominators, blind nationalism and international pro-USA sentiment). "Made In America"'s promotional photos look like a funeral photography, and it proved to be the worst-selling Carpenters LP of all time. Richard would go on to remix and re-present most of the tracks from Karen's solo record, which were repackaged with additional recorded material (and certain parts removed) as new "Carpenters" songs for many years into the future. In the meantime, he has completely continued to disregard the quality her chosen mixes and demos. He continues to remain in denial about her musical and creative contributions to the group, still holding anger towards Karen for her "poor business decisions."


Karen lives on through the music that she recorded, much of which is readily available for consumption. Every new generation that discovers her plaintive and haunting voice through the polished presentation given by her brother and the executives at A&M records is invited to a mystery of beauty and sadness. Her constant search, her "Need To Be In Love" was an existential cry for meaning in a world full of deception and hypocrisy, love going beyond the greed and selfishness causes us to judge and hurt one another. The accomplishments that were achieved by Karen during her short life live on in ways that are little understood but widely felt and appreciated. This world is just a station, and at this station we learn to truly "love" and give of ourself in a way that is inclusive of death. Our consciousness is meant to go beyond, to leave behind this shell and traverse the "vast unknown."