A matter of politics

Cassiel C. MacAvity


    Siiiigggghhhh . . . Anytime someone asks an "it depends" question, there will never be a short answer . . . Such as in the following . . .

    At 04:32 AM 10/26/99 -0700, you wrote:
>>>Bloody hell...you must be psychic.
>>
>> Um . . . according to a wide variety of sources, apparently
>>I am, and quite so, which, oh joy, is the cause of some of the
>>non-kates and SCA political bullshit I've had to wade through . . . . .
>
>
>Dare I ask you to elaborate? I guess you've just got me really
>curious about how your being known as psychic has caused
>political trouble.
>
>Me. (pulling a gratuitous all-nighter)

    Ugh . . .

    The all nighter that is . . .

    After a suprisingly busy day, I am wrapping this up to go home This morning, after I wound up being still up at 4:30ish Yesterday morning, but Sunday morning I went to bed at around my semi-usual 2ish, with entirely too much interesting stuff screaming at me in my head, and ultimately I *may* have gotten a couple of hours sleep before the Monday AM alarm went off . . .

    . . . of too much interesting stuff . . . .

    As I commented to an associate at one point, among the the keys to hell are the URLs;

    http://thecuria.com/canaries/echoes.html

    and

    http://thecuria.com/canaries/summary.html

    and just the overall page of;

    http://thecuria.com/canaries/index.html . . . .

    "Breeders"; http://thecuria.com/canaries/breeders.html, is my personal general background history, and all the rest of this came later than most of the those events . . .

    Remember the "rather sordid" occurrences that the younger sister is involved with, where her sister stalked, raped and effectively murdered a friend of mine by taking a live girl and creating a breathing piece of mere meat? Emily Died in November of '94, and soon enough after that happened is when I was informed "Get Thee Some Metaphysical Training", and after that is when everything took off from there. The URLs have the whole detailed history, as it was developing, if you want to cross reference, double check, and fill in the missing pieces, but the 30 second, err, 30 minute sequence of the politics is basically as follows;

    In the '70s, '80s and into the '90s, the local bay area pagan community congeals into place. In time, major local personages are our own Dianna Paxton, Don Studebaker, and Paul Zimmer, and a number of other early SCA players, as well as a larger number of non SCA participants who join in for a number of reasons, Such As;

    some are genuinely seeking their own religion, and accepting where it may lead them,

    some are just drifting in a void, and stumble into this nice thing that people are calling paganism, and they're nice, and that's nice that they and this new thing are both nice, and nature gets brought up a lot, and that's nice, and you don't really have to do anything, it's all nice,

    some are seeking politics; as long as it's anti Christian, anti male, anti whatever, it must be good,

    someone is awakened one morning by the dog barking, and throws a shoe to shut the mutt up, and then realizes that the dog is yelping out the door over that away, he or she is here, and the shoe shot across the room from there, and How The Hell Did I Do That??!!?!?!?!?!!!

    some start doing research, for whatever the reason, into what actually was practiced in pre-Christian Europe, and then some branch out into other cultures, and they and others do recreational stuff from that,

    some get hit with a bolt of lightening, figuratively or otherwise, and what they've known and practiced before is suddenly now looked at in detail, and or is Just Not Enough, and they have to now go out and hunt down what is is that's in their heads, or they'll just go insane from not knowing, not understanding, not changing,

    some realize that they can figure out how to really screw people over, or how to get people to think that they have Really Major Powers, whether or not they do, and all this stuff about respecting nature, or being one with the real gods, or any version of "everything else is bullshit, you just gotta Whatever", are all just cover stories to feed to suckers that then can be controlled, can be played with, can be destroyed,

    some are, like, y'know cool, and being pagan is like, cool, 'cause y'know, like chicks/dudes---depending on preference---dig being pagan, 'cause it's like, cool, 'cause being pagan is----insert any of these others,

    and there are a number of people who wander from one to another of the above, most of the wanderers never really wandering out of one strand, and each new variation just gets layered on and layered on regardless of any incongruities or conflicts . . .

    And as all of this is going on, primary among what is stated to be believed is the following; "An it harm none, do as ye will, shall be the whole of the law" and "For everything that you do, it will come back to you Xfold"---X often being 3, but I seem to remember there have been other numbers . . .

    In time, Diana and a number of others form "The Fellowship of The Spiral Path", a bay area umbrella organization so that pagan groups that tend to max out at eight or so in total number of members can have event insurance and become State of California licensed clergy.

    Bringing things up to the early 90s . . . ;

    My background history is of ritualized, focused, child abuse practiced for and over a period of Years by atheists using a Presbyterian church as a social cover. In time, the most I was certain of "spiritually" was that something Was, albeit No idea what, and, over time, gee, Buddhism . . . looks like it Has something . . . .

    Following this, I meet Don Studebaker at the World Science Fiction Convention in SF. Early one morning in the party hotel, some bewildered soul is Just Not getting the metaphysical concepts that Don is throwing at him, so I lean in and give an alternate wording of the same thing, and while Poor Bewildered is left still bewildered, Don is left picking his jaw up off the carpet. I have no memory of what was being discussed, but in theory, someone with my inexperience should Not have such a depth of understanding. Don finally proclaims "You gotta come hang out with My people; we do all sorts of weird shit in the woods!"

    I start to "hang out with", aka join, Thiasos Olympicos Kalifornias, Don's group, aka The Hellenes. They worship the classical Greek Pantheon, and made it a regular point that they may not have had the answers, but boy did they have the questions.

    Courtesy of two of the group who are definitely in the "pagan is like, cool" category, I then work a Costumer's convention, and at the convention I meet the Rapist and her younger sister, who were in FLARE, your friend's convention security group. I start dating the Rapist, to the level that she practically moves in with me on the weekdays---I had just done an emergency move in with cousins, and one commented that while she wasn't objecting, they had expected one body, not two . . .

    The Hellenes are based in Sacramento, so I don't make it to many gettogethers. One Hellene follower Is local however, and the Rapist and I meet the local one's fiancee, Janis. The Rapist and Janis and Karissa, the female of the "like, pagan is cool" couple, all hit it off. Very soon, Janis is using the fiancee's connections to tour the local pagans, and the Rapist goes along as well, with Karissa apparently chiming in on occasions. At the same time, the Rapist announces that she likes visiting the Northern RenFaire, and as I am in a small RenFaire Scots Clan and the season is starting, we start going to the small faires with my Faire Clan, and we meet Emily.

    Emily is a friend of a Clan member, who's brought her in in hopes that she'll finally find a family. It seems that Emily is the result of a pair of yuppy-preppy types that own her; she was bred by them for the sole purpose of being a piece of meat that is used for cooking and housecleaning. In time, we find out that the first time she was raped, at age 9 or so, the attacker was an older brother and a gang of his friends. Right after this first rape is when she starts drinking heavily and smoking. In short, except that I was male, sober, and didn't get sexually abused, Emily is my identical twin, fifteen years younger . . . .

    Fine. Emily Will Be Declared Human. She Will Be Supported. This will *NOT* be Denied.

    The Rapist decides that as I am property, that means that Emily is property, and as I refuse to follow the Rapists' command that I treat treat Emily like shit, the Rapist starts stalking Emily.

    The Rapist's core . . . . belief in this case, is insignificant a description . . . call it insanity . . . the insanity which is all that the Rapist is, the insanity that declares that all revolve around her regardless of *anything*, starts to surface. I refuse to play, and we break up.

    The Rapist makes her fake marriage proposal to Emily, and Emily tells me that she knows the Rapist is insane, but Emily thinks that she can help her.

    The 1994 faire season comes to an end with Celtic New Years', in Reno. Emily is overjoyed to see me, demands a hug, demands to know what's been going on. This is the last time Emily is seen alive by any of us.

    Sometime After Celtic New Years', at the beginning of November, and before Thanksgiving weekend, 1994, 16 year old Emily Cadigan is taken off somewhere by the Rapist and probably some of the Rapist's associates. At wherever that is, whenever exactly that is, more or less in the words of someone who did some referencing afterwards, "What was done to her began with rape and continued from there."

    A new creature is created for the Rapist to use as a masturbation toy; it is made from the meat that was Emily's body, and it has Emily's memories, but it has No clue as to who Emily is, and has to fake it when it comes to "playing Emily".

    The cutoff date for Emily's murder is Thanksgiving because that is where I first meet the meat. Some of the local pagans were throwing a party and demanded that I make an appearance. At the party, the meat is in one corner or another, and like Emily it is blond, and young, and it definitely looks like Emily, but it is listless where Emily would have done her damnedest to be the life of the party. It turns out that the Rapist is off at a convention with FLARE, and I only presume that the meat was only too newly created to be brought to a Con. I really don't know. I leave the party early; while we of Emily's family knew that the rapist intended to hurt Emily, we had no idea of the scale, and it was another six months before I put the pieces together.

    Needless to say, it must have been a Very nasty shock for the Rapist that the One Person who is Emily's effective adopted older brother manages to stumble across her piece of meat Right after it was created, with the Rapist Nowhere near to hold the leash. Following that, the Rapist does not let any of Emily's friends get near the meat for nearly a year for any more time than a few minutes, and that is all that any of Emily's family, the Faire Clan, see of the meat until the first RenCo fantasy mall on the Northern Renfaire site in late '95. Of the Clan, as we figure out what was really going on and what had happened, the guildmaster, A Cop, albeit retired, comments that yes, because the Rapist did such a perfect job of setting Emily up and arranging so that the meat was so inaccessible, there is nothing mundane authorities can do. In short, the problem of what to do about the Rapist and Emily's murder has to be solved elsewhere, by others. Of the Clan, as more and more data turns up, the Rapist, and by extension, the meat and the younger sister, get to be in deeper and deeper shit . . .

    Of the Distant associates of the Rapist and the younger sister, mainly the members of FLARE, but also the pagans that the Rapist has been introduced to; Of the pagans, of any who were involved in the rape, they know that a 16 year old girl has been murdered, but they took part, or they think that that is normal, or they want to learn how to do that themselves, or something like that, and they say nothing except that Emily and "her fiancee" are doing just fine. Of those who were merely in the general social vicinity, at this time just after the murder, they have no idea of anything except what the Rapist and the meat tell them, having met Emily only Very personally in the last couple of months before her murder. Of FLARE, two of their senior people and I compared notes about two, three, years later, and as one of them explained, FLARE is a group that is widely spread out, with members that often only encounter each other in very intense weekends of training and working conventions, at times when there is little or no chance to check facts. So if a very charming, hyperintelligent, total sociopath slides her way among them, there is No way for them to notice until Long after weirdness' have turned up. ---and when both the Rapist and The younger sister announce to FLARE "This is Emily, she is a friend of ours", the younger sister is of course lying through her teeth, but doing so at the Rapists' orders, and FLARE doesn't have a clue.

    By the time New Years' arrives, the thought occurs to me that while I can't do Exactly what Gautama, the founder of Buddhism, did to seek enlightenment, I can try a local version of it. At that year's New Years' party at Greyhaven, Diana Paxton's house, I ask her advice, and she sends me off to find the Fellowship of the Spiral Path. At this point, Spiral is teaching a sort of magic 1A class, and people know and tell me of an upcoming pagan gettogether to be called Pantheacon, at which I serve as founding staff and continue as staff for the second and third year.

    Now it gets interesting; Early in '95, I am at a totally familiar Victorian Ball, among totally familiar people, with a friend from the RenFaire Clan, and I'm feeling totally disoriented. The friend, herself a practicing pagan, but one who worked alone or with one teacher, who, I believe, also worked alone, announces that while she can't detect anything unusual, I am totally unshielded and need to be worked on.

    I go for some training, and the feedback I almost immediately start reporting to the teacher is Far more detailed and sophisticated than she evidently was expecting, and, according to her, indicates a Blatant level of external malevolence and intent to harm.

    In a few months, I've completely outstripped the teacher; I need combat training, she says, but she has no combat experience. At the same time, though, an oddity turns up. I *should* be able to wing it through a fight; I'm hyperintelligent, and magical combat is a matter of mind against mind. But, while I can detect and somewhat block against what's hitting me, I can't reach out, and we can't figure out why.

    By this point, I'm starting to look for backup, in data, if nothing else. Seeing visions that change in detail On Their Own, getting headaches that match no known headache, getting visions of beings that talk to me on Their own initiative *Is Weird*. There Must Be Something Wrong With Me . . . So at this point I start the first of several rounds of "go to the doctor and go to a shrink Just In Case", and, in time *all* of the MDs and *especially* the psychiatrists all flat out *state* that I AM healthy as a horse and stone cold sane. They have No Idea what I'm encountering, yes, but there Is Nothing Whatsoever the least bit Wrong With Me . . . . April 19th, I finally figure out that Emily could not be just being weird, that she is indeed dead, and my literal thought of the afternoon headlines is "oh, look, someone used a bigger bomb than mine." . . . and, over time, more info to support that Emily is dead keeps coming in . . . .

    The year ends, and the rage and hatred I've been seeing as visions are now filtering through as physical occurrences; more headaches, chest and arm pains, other stuff. The visions that had astounded the local pagans with their complexity are now showing a path. The areas around the path show immense amounts of violence, opposition, desire that the path Must Be Destroyed, but the path continues, untouched. I am handed $1500 worth of computer Stuff, and another $1500 worth a couple of months later.

    As part of the feedback that the visions and such contain is the point blank voice from "upstairs" of "Dear, We Have Decided That You Will Study Computers . . . you know all that film and storytelling stuff you went to college for and have been doing for years Really Cheaply? The money for doing this on a Really Large Scale is going to come from your Other interest in computers, so Now you're going to study computers . . . ." . . . . . Moses got the ten commandments, Mohammed got an angel, No, I don't get told; "My Son, you will Preach Our Way and Work Miracles in Our Name", instead I get a Very Definitive, "Kid, start playing with the bitbuckets."

    In fact, *Very* particularly, at one time or another the Very Clear message comes through that *No*, I am *Not* to train to be the the Great Psychic of the Ages . . . It doesn't matter *How* talented and totally hooked into the beyond I may be, I Am To Do Mundane Stuff.

    I go to the local pagans in Spiral to seek information, feedback, understanding. I point out to each person that I talk to that I am unable to fight off whatever is plaguing me, that the Constant indicators state that it Very Strongly seems to be tied to what has now been confirmed as the magically involved rape and murder of a 16 year old girl, but at the same time that I am unable to shake that off, at the same that that It keeps chasing Me, I am being directed elsewhere to play with computers and such . . . and because I am seeking to understand How Things Work, I point out at the same time that my understanding of their doctrine is that it is based on Far Older laws, ones that go Back *Centuries*, that amount to "What went up *Will* come down."

    At a couple of points, I ask a couple of different teachers about karma, and what seemed to me to be How Karma Works. I get statements from some of the local pagans to the effect that karma is Just One of Those Things, that Well, Yeah, if you Do Something Bad, The universe Will Get You, but That's Icky, We don't Wanna Talk About That . . . . There Is no harming of anything, That Brings Bad Things, Only think Nice thoughts, etc.

    So I ask "What if something bad Really Does happen? Doesn't karma call for At Least the exact same thing to come crashing down on the perpetrator? Doesn't karma call for that basic and simple balancing to come down Sooner rather than later, 'cause the longer it takes to correct something, the bigger the mess you have? Doesn't karma mean that No, "The Universe" doesn't Just Do anything, because this is a human thing, not a Universe thing? Doesn't this mean that when someone commits murder, the karmic response is to execute the murderer, that execution is a response, it is not murder in itself?"

    The response from the hard core pagans is "Call in The Gods, call in *The Furies*, they will provide answers."

    The response from the hard core posers, the ones who "do pagan" because "it's nice", because "it's like, Cool", because "Oh, Christianity, Fuck Christianity", is summarized as follows; "She Said *WHAT*???!?!?!?!?! The . . the . . . #ddddddfUries?????!!!!!?!?!?! Um . . . no . . . um . . . Oh, We Know!!! It's All Mistaken . . . It Never Really Happened . . . c'mon kid, Play Along, If We All Just Believe It Never Happened, We Don't Have To Deal With It!!!!!"

    About this time, one of the California certified Spiral Path clergy announces with a straight tone of voice---this was over the phone---something to the effect of . . . . it's been awhile . . . "We pagans believe that what happens to a person only occurs with the person's consent . . . . " . . . or something like that . . . or, in this case, 'well, when a rape occurs, the one being raped wanted it to happen and it all just doesn't matter' . . . And this woman saying this about the rape of a teen aged girl is State Certified *clergy* . . .

    The response from two teachers that come to mind include Don, who announces on the phone, basically, "Yes, your interpretation of karma is correct----Oh, Wow!!! I'm getting this as a full Oracular proclamation!!!!!" . . . in short, his Gods came down from Olympus Right At That Moment and *stated*; "Congratulations, Son, you pass the exam . . ." When the other teacher heard of the "Oh, no, karma 'just happens'" school of bullshit, he responded as follows; "Someone said What? She needs to go back to school. She's claiming to be a teacher??!!! She *really* needs to go back to school!!!!"

    The visions continue to state; "You *are* on a path." The blasts of rage and pain continue. More cross referencing is occurring, More double-checking is occurring. After all, as I said, This Is Weird, I want an easy answer that says the problem is all my fault. Mundane feedback keeps occurring, all of it of two versions; a) "I have no idea of any of this, but it's all totally logical and holds together, no matter how Fucked the occurrences." b) "Oh, Yeah, I know them!!!! And I heard about That, and That, and the other, and I didn't hear about this bit over there or this other over Here, but did you also know that . . ." and I get handed some more data that completely interlocks with and supports everything else that I have been saying . . .

    At the same time, something to remember As Well is that Spiral Isn't That Large an organization . . . they Just don't have that large a budget . . . part of how I know this is that since I am down here where Spiral is and the Hellenes are up in Sac, for about a year I serve as our representative to the Spiral board of directors. As part of this, I attend all the board meetings, and during that time, I pay for a year's dues and start getting the quarterly newsletter. And after a year, I Leave . . . something seemed to blow up in my face, there is nothing to be involved for, and at this point the computer stuff is definitely piling up. After awhile, the duration of the Spiral dues runs out, and I get a renewal notice, and I ignore it . . . a newsletter comes in, and I don't even open it, having no reason to have Any interest . . .

    By this point I'm Long gone away from anyone in Spiral, I Gave Up . . . it's rather sickening when people who have to deal in trust, 'cause what their dealing in has no material references, announce with totally straight faces that what they said before Just Isn't So, and it doesn't matter if it totally contradicts with what they claim as their own belief system . . . they're rather like Microsoft marketers standing in front of a row of deep blue monitor screens and saying that Windows never crashes . . .

    Time goes by, and I get shipped a newsletter. The attacks and such are still continuing, and I'm still trying to get to the bottom of everything for the reason That the attacks Are continuing, and in comes a newsletter. I'm still getting ongoing feedback that what I'm piecing together is really fucked, but it's all valid, there's Nothing wrong with My perceptions, and I get sent a newsletter. Some of the pagans I've seemed to be on good terms with are now looking Really Pissed on the rare occasions that I run into them, and I get an invitation to someone's ordination. And so forth, and I get sent a Spiral board of directors election notice . . . Of all of this, I can see the one being ordained Buying a copy of the Spiral mailing list and sending an invite to everyone on it, but for a religious organization, that's rather tacky, and I remember having No idea who the person was . . . .

    And just a few days ago, after All These Years, I, the pariah, the one who is Wrong, Wrong, Wrong, Wrong, Wrong, got another newsletter . . .

    . . . . about mid summer a year ago, with no further ideas and more failures in getting things rooted out, I finally remember a local genuinely hard core pagan who I've known since working with her at the first Pantheacon, and we kept in touch, but I just had never thought to consult with her. She announces that there's probably nothing she can do, and I say *Fine* Just Read The Material, and do Whatever, and Give me a reaction.

    When we talk, she's stumped, but one thing is totally clear; Everything I have said is totally, rock solid, true, honest and valid, barring Nothing.

    Time goes by, and sometime early this year a new wrinkle pops up. The new proclamation From On High is that what is going on is rather like a coal mine, where it's dark, and dangerous, and you can't trust the air, so you have to rely on particular tools to tell you that things are ok . . . and In this metaphorical coal mine, for the bay area pagan community, I Am The Canary . . . The air has clearly gone bad and I haven't died, but dying isn't the point. I call up my friend and tell her this one, commenting the usual observation that this time maybe I've finally gone off the deep end. A while later she finally announces, in the middle of a rather unrelated conversation, that I'm absolutely correct about being the canary. Either the bay area pagans get their act together, or they are *Fucked*.

    . . . . a few weeks ago, I notice that while the FAQ page is quite detailed, by this point there is nothing more to be done. The page was started when there were questions, but now there are answers. Very particular events occurred, and were questioned, and from those questions came confirmations that spawned New questions, until Everything was mapped out in Excruciating Detail, for all to see, and none can doubt.

    Y'see, one final message has come through, and it's a doozy, and it's already passed its first reality checks . . . But It is not My Problem, it is *Not* for Me to worry about . . .

    Me, I finally nail down a real job last May, and all my project piles, from advanced computer operation to film ideas and information access are coming along nicely. About last July or August or so, the thought kicks in to take another look around the Berkeley area to see what local Buddhist centers there are for me to go to, and there is one very nearby, so I now go there to sit at least twice a month or more, their schedule and mine permitting.

    And the rage still continues, and the pain still continues, and a couple of more people have considered the data regarding what's going on and one of them got the shit scared out of her. At the same time, *Neither* of them even Tried to claim that the final message to come through was wrong, or misinterpreted, or impossible, and one of the people even simply tried to announce that Such Things Just Happen That Way . . .

    Of that Final Comment that has come through; It is that The Gods, The Beyond, Fate, That Which Is, Take your pick, have arranged for a pop quiz for the local magic practicing community . . . .

    It is Very simple, so basic, that if they pass, they don't get a prize, they just keep right on going . . .

    They Who Are Giving The Test State; Either the Rapist and the meat she created and the Rapists' associates get dealt with the same way that Emily was destroyed, or the community gets considered as all being associates, all being of no worth, and with this proclamation I keep getting this general thought of a bunch of labels applied to each of them that reads; "Meat for the taking; Harvest At Will, Use it any way you Want" . . .

    . . . and this is because if they don't pass So Basic an exam about what to do when someone among them *Is* harmed, By one or more of their own, then there is no community there, and all is lost . . .

    . . . . so, basically, their basic laws state that none shall be harmed, and that what one does comes back. So, when a situation occurs that someone *Is* harmed, the only thing to be done is to balance out the accounting As Quickly and as Fully as possible, or the echoes will go on for Years . . .

    . . . and the political bit of all this, of my allegedly being One Of Theirs who will go along with what they do and say, is that I am *Not* one of theirs, that I am an outsider. It is that I have capabilities that some of them Dream of having, that some of them flat out Lie about having. It is that I am *Not* playing their game, letting myself be used by them, but am going off and doing Very Mundane things instead, almost nothing psychic at all, and I rather expect that's pissed quite a few of them off.

    Furthermore, and this is with their own concurrence, their own agreement, that Yes, all the information I have is true; that my abilities, both intellectual and apparently psychic, have stated to them that they Will take this test, that either they grow up, pull their wands out of their asses, and Clean Up their Own fucking garbage, or if they do not accept and pass this test, that They *Will* be cleaned up *With* that garbage . . . . and, yeah, It's probably more than just the garbage that's really pissed about all this being known . . . .

    . . . . and so, many paragraphs later, Such is how, according to all the feedback, someone apparently being psychic is winding up ass deep in ongoing political shit for little more reason than apparently being psychic . . . .

    T.F.
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© 1999 Cassiel C. MacAvity