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Cicada Files: Arturo Tafoyovsky Interviewed

Cicada 3301 Files: Arturo “Tafoyovsky” (Lestat), Interview May 24, 2019: Transcript and Commentary Revised August 15, updated August 17-8, 2019.

(Archived at @Samizdat on LBRY: ).

Cicada Janon Q=TS=a858 June 10 2019

Videographer Arturo “Tafoyovsky” (a pseudonym) (aka Lestat) was an inner circle member of Cicada 3301 (2016-8), their chief of graphics, who defined the visuals of Cicada’s perplexing puzzles during its Middle Period.

Cicada’s Early Period begins with its inception in obscurity circa 2011 and extends to the emergence of Thomas Schoenberger, one of two “head composers” in the order between 2014-5.

Cicada’s Middle Period can also be called the Schoenberger era, as it began with Thomas Schoenberger’s “hijacking” of the order in 2014-5 and ended when Manuel Chavez III (Defango) exposed the secrets of Cicada on May 7, 2018. Cicada as an organization imploded on Schoenberger’s watch: the organization died due to his greed and his mismanagement of Chavez.

The perfidy of Chavez, who infamously blew Cicada’s legendary cover for all time, will be recounted in coming installments in his own words.

The aftermath of Cicada’s collapse is one of schism, with most inner circle adepts now pursuing independent projects. At the time that I publish this interview, some 9-10 former members are contemplating a resurrection. My interviews suggest that Cicada’s Later Period may be gestating. A new puzzle may be released on January 5, 2020.

I am engaged in the massive project of analyzing QAnon as a viral phenomenon, as an ideology and a psyop. Cicada 3301 preceded QAnon. Some of the personalities that initated QAnon were members of Cicada 3301. Understanding their synergy is crucial to understanding both organizations.

This interview is my second in 2019, and the first in a series addressing Cicada 3301. My first interview of the year was with Mr. Paul Furber, the original Q evangelist. That interview, the first in the Q Files, was published on this site on May 18, 2019.

This interview of 11,243 words with Mr. Tafoyovsky was conducted on May 24, 2019. I released the draft interview transcript and its accompanying commentary to him on August 11, 2019, and completed my initial revisions on August 13, 2019. After some minor corrections, he approved release of the final version on August 14, 2019.

As Manuel Chavez III reviewed this interview on his YouTube channel later that same day, he identified errors. These are now corrected. Aside from calling me a “fool” and a “douchebag,” Mr. Chavez’s corrections are appreciated. I also consider the critiques of Ms. Denise Matteau, who uploaded her reviews to YouTube on August 16-8. I thank Ms. Matteau for her kind revisions.

Indeed, I interviewed Manuel Chavez III two days before this interview on May 22: that interview and its accompanying commentary are now gargantuan, comprising nearly 40,000 words and rising. It primarily addresses QAnon, though a central section dissects Cicada 3301 in detail. This Cicada section will probably be extracted and combined with other materials to be published separately.

I do my transcriptions the old fashioned way, by hand and by ear, eschewing automation. While this takes much time, it improves accuracy and makes me intimate with the data. I initially publish only transcribed audio tracks with commentary. I reserve my videos for separate analysis on a later date.

I decided to skip ahead and to break out this interview with Mr. Tafoyovsky before my May 22 interview with Manuel Chavez III as it is shorter, and I rely upon it and other interviews with Tafoyovsky in my overarching project. I also interviewed Mr. Tafoyovsky on April 10, April 14, on multiple days in June between the 9th and the 27th, on July 4, and on August 10 and August 16, 2019. Most of these interviews were on background, they were not recorded, so only gisting transcripts of them may eventually be published.

As will be seen, Mr. Tafoyovsky is not the only Cicada member that I interviewed. Further interviews with other inner circle members are ongoing. The May 22 interview with Manuel Chavez III will be the heart of a book-length Q project. If my other Cicada interviews go well, a separate book-length treatment of Cicada 3301 may be feasible.

This much is indisputable: when I am done, we will understand Cicada 3301 better than ever before. My intention is to rend the veil of the “most elaborate and mysterious puzzle of the internet age,” preserving its constituent elements for history. As a political scientist my focus is organizational: I dissect how the digital order functioned, how it was comprised, what its goals were, and how it pursued them.

Accordingly, all Cicada artifacts acquired in my research are archived on the imperishable blockchain of my LBRY channel @Samizdat. With this interview of Cicada’s videographer during its Middle Period between 2016-8, we begin.

(Sam Scott, “Cicada 3301: The most elaborate and mysterious puzzle of the internet age,” Metro, December 16, 2013; Defango TV (Manuel Chavez III, aka Defango), “News #hongkongprotest #lightwave – Defango TV 8-13-2019,” YouTube, August 13, 2019, timestamp: 1:26:00).

john dees glyph transparent!

Begin Transcript

Begin Recording: 01:35

Trujillo: “How you doing.”

Tafoyovsky: “Fine. A little overhyped, but I am doing ok. We’re trying to keep it–”

Trujillo: “You are a little what?”

Tafoyovsky: “A little hyped. Like, excited. It… we finally found out who Q [02:03] is… a part of Q, you could call it that way. We found evidence of Thomas being connected…”

Trujillo: “–I am sorry–you say you found evidence that Thomas is what?” [02:26] I cannot believe my ears.

Tafoyovsky: “Is Q. Like he started it… (crosstalk)… Excuse me?”

Cicada Janon TS = a858 Tweet no date

Trujillo: “So you found evidence that Thomas is Q?” I say it again, as I am in disbelief. “So you found evidence that Thomas is Q?” My face reflects astonishment.

Tafoyovsky: “Yeah. You know the Bakers, the ones that hold the tripcode and stuff? We always knew who those [03:09] people were.”

Tafoyovsky continues: “Remember when Jerome Corsi was decrypting QAnon?”

Trujillo: “Yes.” Indeed I remember. Jerome Corsi is getting an entire chapter in my book, in fact. I am well aware of Jerome Corsi.

Tafoyovsky: “Well, Jerome Corsi offered their patrons and his donators (meaning people who donated to him, remember that English is not Arturo Tafoyovsky’s first language), he forwarded emails, he attached people on emails, that he would communicate with QAnon.”

Tafoyovsky continues: “Those emails got leaked. You can find it on Defango A858.”

I am silent, so Tafoyovsky continues: “There is a video, A858, on Defango, Corsi was communicating with an email with A858, a long number, an AOL email… he had the name of Jack, and he referred to himself as Q. You can see the video. I also put some evidence out on Twitter.” [04:17].

(Defango TV (Manuel Chavez III), “Jerome Corsi and Qanon, Army Jack and A858 Coders or Shills compromised?,” YouTube, April 1 (April Fool’s Day), 2018. Also see: Defango, “Jerome Corsi and Qanon, Army Jack and A858 Coders or Shills compromised?” SteemIt, April 1, 2018? nd).

Defango (Manuel Chavez III): [00:16]. “It has come to my attention that Jerome Corsi has been talking to QAnon. Our friend Denise (Matteau) sent over some information about this. If you look at the email of who he says Q is, it has a name that matches the name of the reddit mystery on Google. It pulls you up to the A858 account, but it is weird that Corsi is getting an email from somebody claiming to be Q from an AOL account.”

Chavez points at Corsi’s website. He says that Corsi seems to be very Zionistic, super-pro Trump. “I’ve had my questions about him for awhile, so I hung back and let him do his big decodings and it’s really kind of  funny, he’s made a name for himself. I wanted to remind you guys that this… is proof that QAnon is someone close to President Donald Trump.”

Tracy Beanz (Tracy Diaz) talks. “The pen is actually on Obama’s old desk.”

Corsi: “Yes, the Laurel Desk, Obama used it at Camp David, and Trump also uses it. And the pen is a Montblanc ink pen that Trump has used for a long time. In post 8159 QAnon said, “now look familiar? Note the desk.”

Q Drop 8159 The Storm 8chan Jan 6 2018, p. 228 X.VI, May 2 2019

Q Drop 8159 The Storm board on 8chan, January 6, 2018, in QAnon: The Storm X.VII (Aggregated Q Drops), July 27, 2019, p. 228.

Corsi: “That is Camp David over the weekend. Had to be taken by somebody who is there. That pretty much authenticates that QAnon is close to Trump, and these important White House meetings.”

Diaz: “Yes. it was awesome to get that validation among so many others.”

Defango plays a Right Wing Watch video. “Don’t you guys remember that post?” He asks us. “Post 815… right? We got to go 100 posts down. Ok. Looking for the picture of the pen… got to go farther back. 615 maybe? Got to be in January. Ah. 481. Here’s the pen. Does this look familiar? Note the desk. January 6th. And we know that that’s a desk and a Montblanc pen. Hmmm.”

Just, you know, checking, Chavez OutGuesses the photo. He says, “It is not something that you could not find. So I went back and saw the videos that he’s doing on it, it’s his bread and butter, I mean, irrefutable proof that QAnon’s legitimate.”

Chavez: “But now I got these emails from Corsi. Do not get me started on somebody using an AOL address.”

Then Chavez starts reading the “Jack with a K” emails to “Carol in Cali.”

You cannot make things like this up. This whole thing reeks of yet another Thomas Schoenberger scam, one more among a multitude that are emerging as I delve the intertwined mysteries of QAnon and Cicada 3301.

As Arturo Tafoyovsky (Lestat) observes, Schoenberger loves reeling in these elderly matrons, kindly ladies living on a pension. A review of Thomas Schoenberger’s criminal history confirms that this is a discernible behavior pattern.

Q Schoenberger Diane Nordstrom Rapsheet @straymagnet

(Among many other offenses, Schoenberger was arrested for Felony Stalking (CA Offense Code 646.9APC) by Arresting Agency RMND on January 30, 2015, Napa County Municipal Court, CA). I address Schoenberger’s extensive criminal record elsewhere.

Chavez keeps on reading these emails.

Chavez: “Uh, huh. “No coms outside the thing,” isn’t that right, Corsi? What is going on with these weirdos. Does Jerome Corsi know who the new QAnon is? Or are they just doing something to kind of change everything up? It seems like somebody’s trying really hard. I mean, I am more than open to speaking with Jerome Corsi on the situation. Anyway, let me know what you guys think.”

Q Drop Post 8159, “Look familiar? Note the desk. It’s the weekend. God bless, Q.”

Corsi: “That picture had to be taken by somebody who is there. That pretty much authenticates that QAnon is pretty close to President Trump.”

This Q drop actually authenticates nothing, but Corsi tells his audience that it does, and so he is believed. There is a significant demographic of American citizens who so desperately want QAnon to be legitimate that they believe Q Proofs: our distrust of the fake news media leads us to follow the cryptic utterings of an anonymous character, a modern-era Delphic Oracle.

Google: “Jack the A858 reddit mystery.” (A google search brings up this reddit link as the top hit):

The root subreddit is r/Solving_A858:

There was also a Wiki dedicated to solving the conundrum: ).

The email address is :

You can Google that and see what comes up.

From Chavez’s SteemIt: “It seems very strange to me that Qanon would be talking to Corsi over email via AOL.”

Actually, it makes perfect sense, when you consider that Corsi is old, and Thomas Schoenberger’s technical expertise is spotty. And yet—Schoenberger lurked on Cicada-solving IRC channels. I will not tumble down that rabbit hole at this point, to keep this interview and commentary on track. I address Schoenberger’s footprints on particular IRC channels elsewhere.

Chavez: “That just is not something someone concerned with security would do. What sense is there in using that to communicate and what about the connect to that reddit puzzle. (sic). nothing is random as tengri 137 says so we only can look at the effects that it seems that somebody is trying REALLY hard to make themselves legitimate (misspelled) without actually joining anything to speak with me on the subject. Doesn’t that strike you has old (sic)?”

Chavez includes a mass of links:


A858 Reddit Puzzle


Resuming our interview with Arturo Tafoyovsky:

Trujillo: “I looked at it, it did not make sense to me.” [01:01]

Tafoyovsky: “I recently baited Thomas and he sent me an email mocking me, saying “bye bye,” that he got me kicked out of Twitter, or that I gave up? That was the first thing that tied up so many things.”

Here is the email that Thomas Schoenberger sent to Arturo Tafoyovsky:

Cicada Lestat A858 Email to Arturo Blows His Qover May 20 2019

As usual (I am reviewing many emails by Schoenberger lately), the email is cryptic and dismissive. But as I write this commentary on August 11, 2019, I cannot help noticing that it can be interpreted as a prediction—a prediction that presaged the de-platforming of 8chan ∞.

Schoenberger, who claims to be the reincarnation of Saint Germain, flogs a reputation for himself as a fortuneteller, a reputation that he mostly promotes himself using multiple sock accounts.

And yet… Schoenberger used the word “Judas” in threatening emails to Manuel Chavez III, and those of us keeping our fingers on the pulse of the so-called YouTube Truther Community know that Isaac Kappy called himself a Judas in his pre-suicide farewell.

Tafoyovsky continues:

“That was the first thing that just tied up so many things. And I thought, this is the guy. That Jerome Corsi was communicating and giving out information. I know that Thomas never did post. But remember the things that he sells is his prophecies. He throws an arrow and where it hits is where he draws the bullseye. That is kind of how he makes his prophecies work. [05:32] You can see repeated when he made his fake Cicada on QAnon and on FBI Anon, also the patterns of FBI Anon, how it needed this channel Victuras Libertas.”

“Anyway, recently, a friend reported there is an associate who helps Thomas, her name is Donna Emerald, she had a blog, and on her blog, she had posted that Jack was being contacted by someone who posted as Q. And he was seducing her? We already knew that, that is Thomas’s favorite target… matrons, single, mature, more-old ladies, who have a pension? Who can pay him.” [06:44]

Tafoyovsky: “You can see already the tweets that I made.”

Trujillo: “I am looking at his criminal history, his arrests for criminal felony stalking. I am looking at his criminal arrests for felony stalking.”

Tafoyovsky: “Yes you can say that he has a record on being a stalker, it invalidates many things that he does.” [07:45]

Trujillo: “Nothing talks like a conviction. We need to be clear that an arrest is not a conviction…”

Tafoyovsky: “—Like how he portrays his reputation…”

Trujillo: “Oh yeah. Absolutely. I am confused how you consolidated a connection between Jack and Q.”

Q Beanz Responds to Q Profiteering Post Tweet Response 29 Apr 18

Tafoyovsky: “Like I said, you may have to… if you remember that era of QAnon, Patriot’s Soapbox everyday, you had Jerome Corsi decoding Q, and Q called out Jerome Corsi and stuff. (The profiteering drops). [08:32]

Q Infamous Q Profiteering Drop 29 Apr 18

Tafoyovsky: “What I do have is evidence that Patriot’s Soapbox offered guests, and privileges to their bigger monthly donors… it is also certain that Thomas lost control over his little creation. But it doesn’t mean that he lost all his influence.” [09:17].

Q Corsi Profiteering Elemi Fuentes

Courtesy of researcher Elemi Fuentes.

Tafoyovsky: “And the fact that he infiltrated Jerome Corsi, and the thing is that Corsi offered that service of attaching people to that email… so it is kind of like a repeated scheme that Thomas does… he just leaves footprints everywhere… and also—”

Trujillo: “—Everywhere—”

Tafoyovsky: “—patterns that he cannot escape from. Maybe this can answer your question better. I made the connection because when I searched the email that Thomas sent me, an A858 email, [10:09] I searched it, it sent me to the Pi.Mobi puzzle.”

(The Pi.Mobi puzzle is dismissed as an imitation Cicada puzzle on the Uncovering Cicada Wiki. They point to an archive from 4chan /x/, and to Schoenberger’s YouTube channel Sophia Musik, which displays nothing of immediate use, aside from a link to his blog).

Trujillo: “Right.”

Tafoyovsky: “That was Thomas’s original puzzle. It showed me results of Defango talking about the leaked emails between Q and Jerome Corsi.”

Trujillo: “Where are those leaked emails? Who has them?” [10:39]

Tafoyovsky: “Well, Defango put out a Pastebin. With links. Probably, you can say that it is decently documented. [10:56]. I can send it to you if you want.”

He did so, and so here it is:

I cloned it for safekeeping here:

Again, here is Chavez’s post on SteemIt.

Trujillo: “Please do. Because emails… alright, that is one piece of evidence, but what I am looking for, what I am looking to see, is a rock-solid connection between Jack and Q and Jack and Thomas. You know? [11:20]. That is what I am looking to see…”

Tafoyovsky: “Mmm-hmm. (Agrees). Well like in a way that, uh—yeah, you can check it out, I can put out the evidence. Because like, I don’t want to try to, I don’t feel the need to try to convince you.” [11:40].

Cicada Q A858 TS Bernie4Ever Socks 72 Seconds USE

Trujillo: “You do not need to persuade me, you can just show me the evidence and I can draw my own conclusions…”

Tafoyovsky: “Hold on, let me look for the Defango video…”

Trujillo: “What time is it there for you there? I’m just curious.” [12:06].

Tafoyovsky: “It is 5 AM.”

Trujillo: “Five in the morning?”

Tafoyovsky: “Yeah.”

Trujillo: “Oh, bro. You need to get some sleep, man!”

Tafoyovsky: “Hahah… Thomas is not the only thing that is going on… we’ve been busy… I’m going to send a Pastebin on Twitter or in Zoom chat?” (We are talking in Zoom, which is why we enjoy this transcript and audio file rather than a gisted transcript). [12:21]

Trujillo: “In Twitter please, yeah.”

Cicada Lestat Twitter DMs re Corsi Q TS A858 Redacted

Tafoyovsky: “Ok…” (Typing…) “Uh, if you can send me—I can send you the email that Thomas sent to me that same email…”

Trujillo: “Ok… ok… There it is…”

Tafoyovsky: “Can you please type again your email?”

Trujillo: “Sure. (I do so). Just a moment here. [13:40] There you go. (Silence) So this is dated April 1st, 2018?” [13:45] (I am reading the Pastebin).

Tafoyovsky: “Sorry, can you repeat?”

Trujillo: “This is dated April 1st 2018.” It does not escape me that this is April Fool’s Day.

Tafoyovsky: “Mmm-hmm.” (Yes). (Silence).

Trujillo: “Who is (indecipherable).” [14:32]

Tafoyovsky: “Excuse me?”

Trujillo: “Who is Denise Matteau?”

Her email is in the Defango Pastebin:

Q Corsi A858 TS = QAnon Denise Matteau March 27, 2018

Tafoya: “Actually she has a YouTube channel that is called Truth Convoy?”

Googling Ms. Matteau’s name brings up this gem from the Dallas Police Department on Facebook, the second link when her name is googled, apparently a post by “Dwayne Holloway” of Dallas PD:

Denise Matteau Dallas PD Blue Checkmark No Dwayne Holloway Aug 17 2019

Except that Ms. Matteau reportedly called Dallas PD and confirmed, she says, that no Officer Halloway is employed by that department. On August 17, Ms. Jaquelyn Weaver commented on this article (page bottom), stating that Ms. Matteau was apparently the victim of someone impersonating a police officer.

Clicking on Mr. Holloway’s name reveals that he is a “website owner, video gamer and devoted son/brother from America in the city of Albany,” and not a police officer at all. My guess is that Mr. Holloway is an activist, and he somehow prevailed on the Dallas PD to post his exposé of Denise Matteau’s heinous trafficking in hand-made quilts, funded through PayPal and a GoFundMe page.

The quilts look nice, and she makes one per month. I intend to buy one, if I can coordinate the logistics of shipping it to Bangkok. Thai Customs imposes heavy import duties, as they want expatriates to purchase products made in the Kingdom.

Ms. Matteau, naturally, is displeased to be called a scammer on the Dallas Police Department Facebook page (blue checkmarked, no less). In her critique of this interview, which she says “lies about many things,” she calls me a “leftist,” suggests that I am a Mossad stooge, and later, concludes that I am Peruvian. You cannot make things like this up.

At the [35:13] timestamp in her video, (Truth Convoy, “My Daily Half Hour Double 08/14/19 VR to Steve Trujillo : Qanon, Lestat, Cicada,” YouTube, August 16, 2019), Ms. Matteau declares, “I make no apologies for my antisemitism, I earned every bit of it.” The kindly grandma’s steel spine is on full display as she rants against “damned Jews.”

Unfortunately I am not Jewish except in spirit. After claiming that we are afraid to talk to her, she cites Lift the Veil’s Nathan Stolpman, “another Jew in the mix.” [46:00]. Then Ms. Matteau shocks me, saying “this is a good article. It’s got a lot of stuff in it, but like I said: grain of salt, grain of salt.” [46:35]. I thank her for her praise, but I enjoin all readers to remember that this interview captures the statements of Arturo Tafoyovsky. I merely comment on his words.

After she criticizes Mr. Tafoyovsky because he “is not American,” (he is Mexican), she errs when she condemns me: “this guy Trujillo, is not American.” [49:00]. I regret to correct Ms. Matteau, but I am American born and bred, of Spanish descent, and a veteran.

Large Me Silhouette Military Channel Documentary 2005

She complains that Mr. Tafoyovsky and I believe that the Dallas PD “puts up smear pages on people who’ve never been anywhere near Dallas.” [49:15]. This is actually a legit indictment.

I should know better. Something about that Dallas PD Facebook page struck me, which may be why I included a screenshot of it in the first place. Ms. Matteau is correct when she says that no American police department would be allowed to post materials like this. I am sure that she will get to the bottom of it. For my part, I apologize to Ms. Matteau for publishing it.

In my comment response below, I advised Ms. Weaver that Ms. Matteau is not a focus of my investigations, and indeed she is not. I do not plan to investigate her trafficking in hand-made quilts, despite her emphatic condemnation that Mr. Tafoyovsky and I are “not Americans.” We are in fact both Americans. Somos americanos, Ms. Matteau. Mexico is in North America.

Tafoyovsky: “She is a little I can say… like… affected… like, she has some psychological problems, but you can talk with her, she lost a daughter, and I think that it affected her… you can talk to her… and she’s… as long as she does not label you as a Satanist… or something like that.”

This video, which is included in the email sent by Jerome Corsi on March 27, 2018 to Q <>, is no longer available on YouTube: it 404’s.

YouTube 404 Video Unavailable Banner

Trujillo: I say, “Jack with a K.” [15:39] I continue scanning down Chavez’s Pastebin. I am reading out loud.

Tafoyovsky: “I can send you also the Defango video.”

Trujillo: “Yes, please do. Ok, I am sorry for taking a moment here, I just want to take a look at this.”

Tafoyovsky: “Mmm-hmm.” (He is very patient).

Trujillo: “JCS <>.” Reading something that is otherwise illegible, I come to an immediate conclusion: “That feels like Thomas.”

And it does. These emails to “Carol in Cali” reek of Schoenberger’s grift.

Cicada TS Defango Lestat A858 Absurd Email to Carol in Cali from Jack with a K March 26 2018

All the elements of a Schoenberger scam are present: by now, for me, they are formulaic. I see the same patterns repeated. “Wave to NSA?” Creates the drama, mentioning “Sparrowhawk5,” which only exists in his imagination, adds fake credibility.

Then Schoenberger flatters Carol in Cali, saying that her name sounds like “an old school movie in technicolor,” followed by a fake foreign language reference with “Tre bien,” as this confabulator claims to speak 30 languages, except that Spanish, as Arturo Tafoyovsky aptly observes, is not one of them.

I could go on, but imagining Schoenberger digitally dancing with this poor old lady until he can put the touch on her for a donation or an “emergency loan” just makes me sad as hell.

Tafoyovsky: “Yes, that is true. You get better at detecting him. It actually gets not so hard.”

Trujillo: “Yeah… that email… it reeks of Thomas.”

Tafoyovsky: “Mmm-hmm. I already sent you the email that Thomas sent me from that email.”

Trujillo: “Ok. I see the YouTube video… I got that… now did you send me email?”

Tafoyovsky: “Yes. It is the original.”

Trujillo: “Ok.”

Tafoyovsky: “It is at your email address.”

Trujillo; “Ok.”

Tafoyovsky: “It is sent to me, and from me, I am forwarding to you.”

Trujillo: “There it is.” [18:03]

Cicada Lestat A858 Email to Arturo Blows His Qover May 20 2019

I am initially disappointed.

Trujillo: “Is that all of it? Just “Bye bye?”

Tafoyovsky: “Yeah! But that’s typical Thomas.” [18:04]. He laughs, because it is true.

This email sent by Thomas Schoenberger from the A858 address that he used to perpetrate a puzzle on reddit–that he also used to correspond with Carol from Cali, and then also used as he pretended to be QAnon to deceive the old normie Jerome Corsi–is classic Schoenberger.

As is typical with fraudsters, Schoenberger lost track of his lies, and he mistakenly used this A858 email address to torment Arturo Tafoyovsky. And this brought the whole edifice down. That A858 email address was used by Schoenberger to perpetrate multiple scams. The least of them was a reddit puzzle, but many reddit solvers who read this and now learn the truth will feel gypped.

I am stepping through these inputs, and it takes me a minute to get it.

Trujillo: “Yeah. I am sorry to interrupt. Break this down for me.  I am kind of old.” And I am. “What is the significance of this “Bye Bye” email.”

Tafoyovsky: “That it is the same email that Corsi was communicating with and took him as Q.” [18:53].

I cannot believe how absurd this whole thing is. I ask:

Trujillo: “This email address was used by Corsi to correspond with Q?”

Tafoyovsky: “Yeah. That email is owned by Thomas. And Corsi communicated to that email thinking that email was Q.”

Q Corsi A858 TS = QAnon Denise Matteau March 27, 2018

HOLY SHIT. It finally dawns on me. [19:26].

Trujillo: “I see it now. Now I see it. This… this PasteBin… shows… that Thomas email account in correspondence with JCS too? mewkew3? What I am not seeing is any indication that Corsi believes that one of them is Q?” (I am still reading…).

Q Jerome Corsi Screengrab from BaruchtheScribe Vid on YT

Tafoyovsky is very patient with me. The evidence is right in front of me with the “To:” field occupied with the single character “Q.” He explains.

Tafoyovsky: “Maybe it would help if you would see the video… Defango explains a little better how Corsi used, it was kind of like… if you donated constantly to Corsi, if you donated each month to Corsi, maybe I am wrong on this, if you donated every month to Corsi, he would blind cc you with correspondence that he would have with Q.”

And this indeed rings a bell with me, as Jerome Corsi sold subscriptions on to subscribers who received “inside information.” These Gab subscriptions were a thing until Gab was de-platformed and that messaging service could no longer process credit card payments.

Q Corsi Sells Premium Content on Gab

Corsi masqueraded as an analyst, writer of multiple “New York Times bestsellers,” with “intelligence community” connections that did not actually exist. I researched Jerome Corsi and I uncovered no contractual relationship between him and any agency of the US government. Ever.

Q Furber Final Shot Corsi Appeal to Authority Jan 2018

Corsi was never an employee, a contractor, or a subcontractor for the US government. His own biography on LinkedIn confirms it. If Corsi ever enjoyed a relationship of any kind with the US intelligence community there is no evidence of it, and he will never produce any.

When challenged, Corsi will predictably say, “that is classified,” and he will pretend that he can say no more. And it is true that the intelligence community never confirms nor denies. But take this from me: graduates of US government intelligence courses, whether conducted at The Farm or Harvey Point, or Fort Meade, Fort Huachuca or Fort Bragg, can recognize one another through petit indicators that elude non initiates. We know our own, and Corsi is not one of us.

Q Corsi Ludicrous Gematria Q Decode 1

One of Jerome Corsi’s fatuous Q “decodes.”

Corsi never served in the US intelligence community, Corsi was never trained by any agency in the US intelligence community, and Corsi is no expert at “military intelligence communications.” The gobbledegook that QAnon dishes out in ludicrous Q drops is not a classified communications system. I was trained on such systems. (CSSP, Alameda Naval Air Station, 1986). I know them when I see them. This ludicrous verbiage is not a classified communications system. It is, in fact, a fantasy.

Corsi persuaded Paul Furber and Tracy Diaz that he was an intelligence community “insider” and they believed him because they never met a real one. They also desperately wanted Corsi to be legit. We might think that old men in proximity to their demise would make no time for such bullshit, but we would be wrong. Someone may wish to remind Jerome Corsi that he will take no gold with him when he dies.

Q Corsi v CodeMonkey v Q 4-29-18 Crisis

Trujillo: “Ah,” I say. “And this was something that he was selling on”

Tafoyovsky: “Yeah, I think so. Gab.”

Trujillo: “He was doing some kind of subscription thing on”

Q Corsi Gab Splash Page with Trump August 11 2019

Q Corsi Patreon Splash 19 Patrons $60 a month August 11 2019

Amazing: Jerome Corsi now receives a whopping $60 a month from Patreon. At one time, he was raking in far more dough. How far the mighty fell—unless… unless Corsi is still making money through an association with Patriot’s Soapbox? I no longer pay attention to Corsi, and I cannot stand to watch Patriot’s Soapbox.

Q Jerome Corsi, Jason Coleman, Coleman Rogers PamphletAnon, Undated Photo MotherLibertyNow SteemIt

Tafoyovsky: “I remember promoting him. He used every single bennie that he could gain money out of.”

Q Corsi Profiteering Elemi Fuentes

Courtesy of researcher Elemi Fuentes.

I do not think that Arturo means that he actually promoted Corsi back in the day. Again, we must remember that English is not his first language. I think that he meant that Corsi used multiple angles to wrest income from his audience. Amazon book sales, Gab subscriptions, donations via PayPal, and Patreon patrons. Corsi was paid $15,000 a month by Alex Jones as InfoWar’s Washington DC Bureau Chief, until his spat with the exquisitely coutured Roger Stone.

Q Corsi Q Changed 4-28 Q ID Still Secret May 14 2018

Trujillo: “That guy was greedy. Really greedy. So when did Defango do this video?”

Tafoyovsky: “It was like one year ago. April 1.”

(Defango TV, “Jerome Corsi and Qanon, Army Jack and A858 Coders or Shills compromised?” YouTube, April 1, 2018).

Trujillo: “Yeah. Yeah. I’m looking that up now. April 1st. Yeah. Alright. So what we got here is emails indicating that Corsi is talking to Jack. Is that correct?”

Tafoyovsky: “Yes.”

Trujillo: “We got indications that Jack is Thomas.”

Tafoyovsky: “Yes. Not only by email, but by this other person, let me send you the image, that is Donna Emerald, she says that she was in communication for six months with someone… that he was calling himself “Jack.” (THIS WAS THOMAS).

Donna Emerald:

I intend absolutely no offense with this observation, but it strikes me that Ms. Emerald was yet another matronly mark for Schoenberger to scam. Donna Emerald’s YouTube channel reaches 87 subscribers.

Trujillo: “So you think that Thomas has been Q all along.”

Tafoyovsky: “Uh, no. I am sure that Thomas was the influencer. Or…”

Trujillo: “Yeah.”

Tafoyovsky: “In different aspects. Like with Corsi he was there for awhile until Corsi was eventually removed from the team. He always had influence via Snow White and others that he knew within the group… just by his association with Tracy Beanz (Tracy Diaz)?” [23:37].

Q Lestat Tracy Beanz Intro TS Jan 11 2019

I am thinking, who was Snow White? Oh yeah… Unanimous on BitChute… and @SnowWhite7IAM on Twitter:

Or… in other words: Lisa Clapier née Rudd, aka Pistis Sophia and @SnowWhite7IAM Activist Media.

Cicada Pistis Sophia Lisa Clapier TS Mindy at Insurgent Media November 26, 2018

Trujillo: “Right.”

Tafoyovsky: “(Unintelligible). That’s—I think that’s enough.”

Trujillo: “So let me think about this for a minute. What was the significance of the tweets that came out today?” [24:05].

Tafoyovsky: “The significance was that we used three references… what do you call it? Like, three arguments that, with evidence, and also it makes sense, it fits, about the involvement of Thomas with this specific LARP. With this one that connects not only to QAnon, but to his old puzzle, Pi.Mobi, that he used to infiltrate Cicada. We’re basically like hitting two birds with one stone.

Cicada Lestat Tweet TS = A858 to Corsi = PiMobi Connection Confirmed USE

Trujillo: “Got it. Ok. Now I’m tracking with you, I’m starting to understand this. This is confusing. You got to make it simple for an old guy like me.”

Tafoyovsky: “It’s ok. It’s good reference for me when I do the videos.” Arturo is very patient and respectful with me. Talking with him is a blizzard of personalities in the Truther Movement that I never heard of, and a crash course in the intricacies of Cicada 3301—that “most elaborate and mysterious puzzle of the internet age.”

I cannot help comparing him to Manuel Chavez III. Tafoyovsky is Mexican, and courtesy comes naturally to him. Chavez is American, rude, contemptuous, quick to assume betrayal–which makes sense when you consider that he was betrayed by Thomas Schoenberger and in turn betrayed the secrets of Cicada 3301. Betrayal is a repeated theme in the psychological makeup of Chavez.

Trujillo: “Do I have your permission to go ahead and do a transcript of our conversation here? I’ll send it to you before I publish it. I do not have to publish this. If you think it should be published I am happy to publish it.” [25:27].

Tafoyovsky: “You know, I’ve already told you what I, why I talk to you, what I want is that–to get, if something is going to be saved for history–that it be right.”

Trujillo: “Ok. Because that is what I would like to do. I think, I mean at this point so far, just taking… from a meta-standpoint, we have a connection between Cicada and Q, and right now Defango is having the most influence on how the Cicada narrative is going to be documented.” [26:13].

Tafoyovsky: “Yeah, and that’s the thing, that is why I’m worried, is that, because Thomas has to be amputated from (telling his kitty no!) Cicada, because he is not Cicada, he got officially kicked out, he has no documentation, no creative, uh, he is not creating anything working for the puzzle or anything.” [26:34]

Trujillo: “Right. I understand that it was Kryptos who was doing the puzzles.”

Tafoyovsky: “Yeah. And he is doing his own mess on his own, (Arturo is still talking about Schoenberger, and has not yet shifted over to talk about Kryptos, whom I will discuss in some detail momentarily) and he is using different outlets on social media to propagate and maintain that narrative.”

“And even Defango, I don’t know, [27:12] I talked to him so many times to stop associating him (Schoenberger) with Cicada… that’s why I tried to like, Thomas is fake Cicada. This not only goes to Cicada, also they work through Anonymous, Lisa Clapier or Snow White, Sam I Am, is Unanimous–that is the feminine side of Anonymous, there are other little groups and stuff that work in that same way.” [27:45].

Cicada Lestat Lisa Clapier nee Rudd = Unanimous = Beautiful Exchange = Pistis Sophia = @SnowWhite7IAM Activist Media Aug 10 2019

Upon investigation, it turns out that Lisa Clapier nêe Rudd’s criminal record includes felony convictions for writing hot checks and other offenses. I am struck by the proliferation of felons in the Q’verse–and even within Cicada 3301.

Arturo Tafoyovsky tells me, “and yes, she has a worse criminal record than Thomas.” Which is a whopper statement, because the criminal history of Thomas Schoenberger is lengthy, indeed. Then Arturo tells me some gossip, that I will investigate in coming days: “she ran over and killed her husband.”

I can only say, “WHAT?”

Cicada Lestat Lisa Clapier Worse Criminal Record Than Thomas! Aug 10 2019

He walks the statement back slightly, saying, “Maybe I’m wrong about the husband but she did run over someone and killed him, it was classified as an accident or something.” (Arturo Tafoyovsky, personal interview, August 10, 2019).

Monkey Savant, “08/02/19 LARPSLAYER 7 : REQUIEM 4 QANON (FINAL DEBUNK) + WIKILEAKS + UNITY4J,” YouTube, August 2, 2019.

Tafoyovsky: “And, maybe you have not seen other clips that I put out… we,  I recorded six months ago?  Remember that I told you I find out this group Unity4J, involved with Thomas, also involved with QAnon, and WikiLeaks? We got a friend that analyzed the data from social media and stuff… and that stuff goes back to the Russian Embassy.” [28:21].

I am struck dumb and I sit silent for a moment.

Tafoyovsky: “I am sorry… I am struggling with the translation. The net of people, that communicate between each other, that are involved in MAGA, and puzzles, and in WikiLeaks… is very interesting.”

I find my voice again and I ask:

Trujillo: “What is the connection of the Russian Embassy?” [28:57].

Tafoyovsky: “Well, it is people… to that point, I really… I do not know. And on that point, I am ok with not knowing.” [29:16].

Trujillo: “It is ok to say you do not know. It is important to understand what you do know. But it is even more important to know what you do not know. That is ok.” And nobody can dispute that delving into matters potentially implicating the Russian Embassy should be done with due care and discretion.

Tafoyovsky: “It is simply that there is a part investigating that, you know, you just got to get to a point where you feel safe.”

I am laughing. [29:43] Arturo turned up a possible Russian Embassy link to a fraudulent conspiracy that exploited the notoriety of WikiLeaks and Julian Assange for profit!

Tafoyovsky continues: “And not go in and mess with other stuff, and basically this comment was just in reference that it is, in fact, a big connection between people, maybe most of them in an informal way… and I think that it is testimony on why it has been so hard to… to expose, and… [29:56] to fight against the defamation, I guess.” [30:26].

Trujillo: “It is interesting to me because I had a long conversation with Defango yesterday, or the day [30:39] before yesterday (it was May 22, 2019, transcription is underway)… and uh, he was telling me that in the next couple weeks President Trump is going to do something in a definitive fashion that proves that QAnon is a LARP,  it’s not connected to the US government in any way. He said that we’re going to see that in a couple of weeks. [30:58]. So I am kind of watching for that. But, you know, Defango did not want to tell me. Or be specific. He likes to play his games.” [31:00]. (And I am still waiting, two and a half months later).

Tafoyovsky: “Yeah. That is what I do not like about him. Like, I sent you what he tweeted… after what I discovered. And now he comes out and says, “Oh, I knew all along, but I didn’t want to say.”

Trujillo: “Right. Right.”

Cicada Lestat Interview Screengrab May 24 2019 35-57 Timestamp

Tafoyovsky: “I want him, I know he needs to win. [31:35]. I understand him. And I would be totally ok if he would take all the glory. For example.”

Trujillo: “Yeah. Yeah.”

Tafoyovsky: “But I see him do that kind of stuff in comments. And I like… I can’t, like… it would be more harmful for him.” [31:32].

Trujillo: “Don’t engage.”

Tafoyovsky: “Excuse me?”

Trujillo: “Don’t engage. Let him win. Let him talk.” [32:05].

Tafoyovsky: “Yeah, that is what I’ve been trying to do, and he just adapts his story around it. [32:12]. And I don’t mind. I mean, I am not going to lie to him.” [32:23].

Trujillo: “No.”

Tafoyovsky: “But he can… I understand that his life has been screwed up also.” [32:34].

Trujillo: “I think you nailed it when you said that he wants to win. He needs to win. I think that sums it up in a phrase. He needs to win. You know? Desperately. So let’s just let him win, and we’ll just make sure that the information gets out.” [32:58].

Chavez lost his composure when I published this interview because I published it before I published an interview with him. As infantile as that is, I understand Chavez. He is at times overwhelmed by inadequacy. His pursuit of fame is an attempt to fill a gaping black hole at his core. His history is one of betrayal, he cannot trust anybody, least of all himself, because no one understands his inadequacies better.

Chavez’s interview, which I will publish on this site in coming weeks, is gigantic. We talked for nearly three hours, and a host of characters and events needed to be explained for the interview to make sense to a lay reader who is not a daily watcher of a niche category of YouTube videos.

Cicada Defango Lestat Douchebag Fool Aug 13 2019 1-20-06 Timestamp

Defango TV (Manuel Chavez III), “News #hongkongprotest #lightwave – Defango TV 8-13-2019,” YouTube, August 13, 2019: Timestamp : [1:20;06].

Rather than ignoring this interview, Chavez was compelled to read it–on his YouTube channel. As he read it, he mocked Tafoyovsky for citing research previously done by himself. He called me a “fool” and a “douchebag” because he thinks that I am choosing sides. Instead of feeling validated because Tafoyovsky cited his solid research, research that was duly noted by me, Chavez accused Tafoyovsky of stealing from him.

I am meticulous in matters of attribution. There was no theft. There was acknowledgement of good research. The proof of that is in this interview.

“So the other news today, we got Lestat actually coming out with an interview with some fool (Chavez is referring to me). I actually talked to this fool, too. I talked to this fool I believe before Lestat but I guess he posted Lestat’s interview before he posted mine, because–well, I don’t know why. I called him a douchebag because he posted Lestat’s shit before my shit and Lestat’s shit is always half true.”

Chavez is approximately 31 years old, with 20,000 subscribers to his YouTube channel. When I was 31 years old, I was advising detachments of the Peruvian Drug Police in the Upper Huallaga Valley in combat. I was a combat veteran of service in the 2d Ranger Battalion, and an alumnus of the 1st Special Forces Group. I was honored by President Ronald Reagan at the 1984 State of the Union Address. A search on my birthname Stephen Trujillo turns this up with a click.

Chavez and I live in different worlds. Because I published an interview with Tafoyovsky first, his imaginary rival, Chavez calls me a fool and a douchebag. A smart person would wait until his own interview is published before calling the writer a douchebag. But we are not dealing with smart people here. This is my fault. I selected this topic because I am interested in it, and these are the characters involved.

Chavez craves fame. I will make him famous. His role in these historical matters justifies it. Calling me childish names will not change one word of the history that I am writing.

Because information is my priority, the historical record, and Arturo Tafoyovsky wants the historical record of Cicada 3301 to be accurate, as do I, we are allies in that aim. For these are cypherpunk ideals, and Cicada 3301 is a cypherpunk enterprise. Information needs to be free. Those are not just stirring words, they are more than a t-shirt slogan.

Tafoyovsky: “Yeah, I just try to do my stuff and not, like don’t try to direct any kind of [33:17] aggressiveness or hate on what he does… but, uh… it maybe gets me… But maybe that’s just me, reflecting on this.” [33:25]

Cicada Lestat Interview Timestamp 33-33 May 24 2019

Trujillo: “Let me sum up here. Basically what you’ve done, is you have connected [33:41] Corsi to Jack. And we know that Jack is Thomas. OK?”

Arturo considers and then agrees.

Tafoyovsky: “Mmm-hmm. Yeah. I am not the only one that made the connection between Corsi and Jack. Because that came out basically kind of as a leak. A year ago.” [34:06]

Trujillo: “Right. Ok, so Corsi is connected to Jack. Jack is QAnon.” [34:15].

Arturo Tafoyovsky clarifies the statement: “You can call it the essence. [34:26] You know because there is the Bakers, and the people that have the tripcode and stuff?”

Trujillo: “Right.”

Tafoyovsky: “You can say that they are posting Q. But I am sure that at one point they lost Thomas, like, because you know, the posts start changing.”

Trujillo: “Yes they do.” [34:50] And indeed the Q drops did change. The iterations of QAnon will be examined elsewhere.

Tafoyovsky: “The tone and stuff. So I’m sure because that is what he proposes to do. So at the start of it, they had the favor of Thomas, because also it was his baby, and then he lost it and they lost Thomas and therefore the way that Q posted changed.” [35:15].

Trujillo: “Well. Actually it was at that time, I got to go back and look at the dates. But uh, Corsi came out and said, a new QAnon has been designated at the highest levels…”

Cicada Lestat Cracks Up Interview Timestamp 35-33 May 24 2019

Arturo cracks up because this is one of the stupidest things imaginable and it really happened. [35:33].

Trujillo (continues): “… and this is just out of Corsi’s imagination. This is basically Corsi saying, “we just made up a new guy to be QAnon. And we’re going to continue.”

Q Corsi CodeMonkey &amp; Q Both Compromised 5 May 18 Take Over


Trujillo [35:46] (continues): “And everyone just said, “oh, ok,” I mean, they trust this guy, this old guy, Corsi, who claims to have connections to the intelligence community, and guess what Arturo? He doesn’t. There is no connection to the intelligence community.” [36:03].

Tafoyovsky: “Yeah, I’m sure, like Robert David Steele…. that he’s supposed to be like this secret agent, covert operations… (crosstalk)… Well, actually you can Corsi, and uh, there’s a connection I think that I might be, I might have to… I recall that there was a connection between Corsi, Stone, RDS.” [36:35] “Well. Anyway. Anyway, RDS was pushing QAnon, like crazy…”

Trujillo: “Yeah. Well, RDS… could be–he is a candidate for being involved.” [36:57].

Tafoyovsky: “Well, RDS, If you followed him up to the grossest of the LARP echelon, and you get to the ITNJ International Tribunal of Natural Justice.”

Trujillo: “Mmm-hmm.” (Agreeing).

Tafoyovsky: “There are a lot of other LARPERs in that thing, [37:19] and that it is connected to a bunch, but, like, that is another topic. But we are also on that…anyway.” [37:30].

Trujillo: “Interesting… Ok, so sum up this in a phrase. What is the significance of the tweets that you posted today.” [37:40].

Tafoyovsky: “Well, the significance is that we have proven that the same person that started the puzzle known as Pi.Mobi that eventually [37:59] infiltrated the real Cicada group, uh, and that same person or owner of that account influenced, or was in communication, and there were…. uh, interactions, or sending and receiving of information, portraying himself as QAnon… uh, at the same time Corsi was promoting to his donors that [38:38] they would receive like, special emails that only him and Q shared… and those, and not only that, and by a third person that was in communication with Jack… and Q, and stuff, that it is Thomas.” (He laughs, because this is just so ludicrous).

“And I think that… that it’s, I don’t think… it is… without a doubt, the biggest evidence that we could, that anyone has come [39:23] with, regarding any identity that you can put on QAnon.”

Trujillo: “I agree.” I do not think that there is any question that Thomas Schoenberger used his A858 email address to masquerade as QAnon to deceive Jerome Corsi for an unknown period of time. We can integrate this, I think, into an analysis of the iterations of QAnon. As I said: such an analysis is underway, and will be published in due time.

Tafoyovsky: “Partially or absolutely. But no one has that. And that, because I think that he is the puppet master… because like I said, connected to many others, if we take care of that… everything else is just going to start popping up, like it has been in these past days…” [39:59].

Trujillo: “Yeah.”

Tafoyovsky: “So I feel great about it—”

Trujillo: “You should.”

Tafoyovsky: “It has taken more than a year, if you add up the stuff, so I am thankful and happy…” [40:19].

Cicada Q A858 TS Bernie4Ever Socks 72 Seconds USE

Trujillo: “Just be careful. Thomas… that guy is so toxic. I mean I come across his fingerprints, his footsteps, everywhere, and he is involved in really terrible, terrible shit. Be careful.” [40:47].

Tafoyovsky: “Alright, man. And, uh… this next phase I am sure is going to be a little bit busy and stuff. But I am trying to put out a really good video… I know that it’s a video that I make that it has to be good, because it is meant to go… to really… to affect or make a change. I hope so. I will try my best.” [41:36].

Trujillo: “Well there are two ways to go. You can make a home run, or you can go step by step, carefully, chronicling everything, documenting everything, and at the end of the process you have an overwhelming preponderance of proof that shows what happened. Two ways. A home run, or the long slow way.” [42:15]

Tafoyovsky: “Maybe we can make a chimera out of those things.”

I am laughing. Arturo cracks me up.

Tafoyovsky: “Well something has to be done, because there is—I know that Thomas is not going to stop. Because he can’t stop.”

Trujillo: “He can’t.”

Tafoyovsky: “So I feel under pressure because maybe he’s going to do something stupid…” [42:36].

Trujillo: “It is inevitable. he can’t keep track of his lies. And this is how we trip him up, this is how we find out, he’s using the same email address for different things, this is how we catch him.”

Cicada Lestat Tweet TS = A858 to Corsi = PiMobi Connection Confirmed USE

Tafoyovsky: “And he starts, what do you call it? Wasting all his [43:23] bullets, for example, all his friends, he burns them up, so he keeps going and going… Like I find out there was this character, an associate of Thomas from the start, that is known as iamzero, he has some videos just trashing the older members like brotherBox and ?? and I just figured out who he is. He is an anchorman for Fox.”

Trujillo: “Who? Who?”

Tafoyovsky: “His name is Tim Young.”

Trujillo: “Please do. How do you spell Zeros? You told me the name he was using… on YouTube, what was it it again? How do you spell Zeros?”

Tafoyovsky: “iamzero? Zero? Zeroes? Tim Young. I have it here, he actually followed me, It was so weird. After I met Thomas, he followed me on Twitter, and well, he is like a famous person, he has a bunch of followers, (nearly 228,000 on Twitter) and I really, like, felt awkward. Why is he adding me? And stuff. Mostly because… one second… (typing, focusing, distracted by something)… Oh. Excuse me. Uh… What was I going to tell you?” [45:10].

Trujillo: “Tim Young?”

Tafoyovsky: “Oh, yes. Here it is. He added me. And uh, I remembered I tried saying hi, and he never answered me back… that’s recently on twitter, his twitter account, I can send you the iamzeros channel and video…” [45:52].

Trujillo: “Please do… ok, so what is this guy doing? What is his connection to everything?” [46:10].

Tafoyovsky: “Well. That is a good question. Maybe he…”

Trujillo: “He is connected to Thomas, right?”

Tafoyovsky: “Yeah. Yeah. I have a bunch of text messages that they talked to each other and they are actually planning like, to take over Cicada, or this group, or that group, it is like their… one second… You can just hear by the voice… I have more evidence, but if you have a good ear, uh… it’s really easy… oh. The give-away is how he curses. He makes special emphasis, and you know, the word patterns? The way he talks, it gives him away. Also the necessity of covering his face… is just a signal that he is concerned about his face.” [47:25]


Trujillo: “Tim Young.” A third rate comedian trying to hit the bigtime as a political commentator does not interest me, and he clearly lacks any qualities that coincide with Cicada 3301. I get back to business. “What is the current status of Cicada?” [47:54].

Tafoyovsky: “We are on stand-by until Thomas goes away. (Laughs). Each of us are doing stuff, and we talk, but nothing is going to be public until Thomas goes away.”

Trujillo: “Ok. Who is currently participating in this?”

Tafoyovsky: “Maybe you can say like, maybe 9 to 10 persons. But I cannot really say their names. Besides from the persons who are already out, most of them are still with us. Yeah.”

Trujillo: “That’s good. I mean, Genki is still involved with you?”

Cicada DJ Genki Blocks me on Twitter?

Somebody is talking to somebody, as immediately after I asked Thomas Schoenberger for an interview on April 16, 2019, DJ Genki, qntmpkts and a number of Schoenberger sock accounts blocked me on Twitter. I recently sent Genki and other Cicada insiders interview requests. If they read this, they should consider that my intent is to ensure that Cicada 3301 is accurately chronicled and archived. I am not a journalist, I do not engage in gotcha journalism. I am an old cypherpunk, a political scientist, and an historian. In my youth, I was a soldier.

Schoenberger should ask himself whether he wishes his involvement in Cicada 3301 to be characterized by his critics or by himself. So far, only his critics are talking to me. None of his allies. I strive to be dispassionate, but my analysis will inevitably be shaped by my sources.

Tafoyovsky: “That is a good question. He has not talked to me in awhile. I got angry at him. Because he did not want to… he was… yeah, I can tell you about that, but off the record. I do not like talking about other people.” [49:17]. (We never do discuss it).

Trujillo: “Sure. It is alright. It is ok. So… What’s Kryptos doing?”

Tafoyovsky: “Kryptos… Bruno?”

Trujillo: “Leaping Lemur?”

Tafoyovsky: “Oh, the Liber Primus?”

Trujillo: “No, no, no, Kryptos… There’s a guy I cannot remember the rest of it.” [49:46]

Tafoyovsky: “Yeah. Kryptos Journal.”

Trujillo: “Yeah. That is it. What is he doing?”

Tafoyovsky: “He’s always been weird and stuff. He sometimes… [50:12] he would be like, you cannot really talk to him about serious topics, because he would just stop talking to you. He just doesn’t respond.”

“But if I send him something and start talking about anime, or anything else, you can get an answer. I think that… my understanding is he also is on stand-by. Because really Thomas has… like, he has no one… from the people that actually created things… no one is with him anymore.”

Trujillo: “Well he has his little business-side guys, Richard Lech, but they are not the creators.” [51:07].

Cicada Richard Lech StaffMeUp Profile Cicada TV Series

Tafoyovsky: “No.”

Richard Lech makes zero creative contributions in the internal Cicada documents in my possession, suggesting that his purpose was always to monetize the intellectual property of the order.

Trujillo: “As I understand it Kryptos was the primary puzzle maker. Is that correct?” (I already know that he was. I am just trying to get Arturo on the record so that I can compare his statements with those of other Cicada insiders. I make no secret of my methods or my purposes. As I say, I am an historian and a political scientist with cypherpunk convictions).

Tafoyovsky: “Yes. You can say that. Yeah. Sure. I mean everybody helped in some way.” (Internal Cicada documents in my possession do indeed reflect a collaborative brainstorming process where multiple participants contribute. My next installment will showcase this).

“What I know of him is that he [51:39] couldn’t care less of putting his name out there. It was kind of a thing with all of us… but… Thomas took care of him like he was the golden child. And there was another one, (another individual by the same name) but like, because of the compartmentalization… that he kept us different, and told us different stories about each other, so we did not talk to each other… a lot of us like really came together, but some of them really got hurt. And they do not want to know about this anymore.”

(After Thomas Schoenberger and his co-conspirators were exposed by Manuel Chavez III trying to commercialize Cicada 3301 and broker a deal with Hollywood–a deal that excluded the digital artists who actually created its intellectual property–those Cicada insiders were irretrievably alienated).

Cicada Lestat TS Levine Lech Insurgent Media SONY TS Criminal Record

Trujillo: “Who is Z?” (I already know the answers to these questions but I am asking in order to confirm what other Cicada insiders told me).

Tafoyovsky: “Uh, that’s him. That’s another thing, that was another thing… it always bothered me that Z changed his names and his handles. I think that sometimes it was even Thomas.” (It was. At times, Schoenberger himself masqueraded as Z, or Z 3301).

“Because sometimes Z presented himself with the name Richard Miller (which is his true name). But it’s somebody, another story. There was another Richard Miller within Thomas’s group.”

Tafoyovsky is referring to Dr. Richard Alan Miller, ex-husband of occult writer Iona Miller, an associate of Thomas Schoenberger’s–all of whom will be addressed in detail in the next installment in this series.

Tafoyovsky continues: “Which made it complicated. But then I saw different people… at the end… I could say that: Kryptos is Z.” [53:30]

Cicada Iona Miller Mind Control for Dummies Lestat Video November 30, 2018

Trujillo: “It gets very complicated very quickly.”

Tafoyovsky: “Yes. Between the people that we came together and talked, we uncovered a lot of things, but unfortunately many people like Z, they completely isolated themselves because of all this trouble.” [53:54].

And this is the fallout of the Schoenberger era and Cicada 3301. Due to the greed of a con man and his co-conspirators, amazing artists were alienated and an incredible creative engine was wrecked. I am writing the early history of Cicada 3301. This interview with Arturo Tafoyovsky is its first installment. I hope that Cicada continues, and outlives me. Someone else, I hope, will write the final history of Cicada 3301.

Trujillo: “It was very ugly. So I do not remember if we talked about it. Who has the PGP Key now? (Defango was emphatic in saying that Kryptos did, personal interview, Manuel Chavez III (Defango), May 22, 2019, transcription ongoing).

Tafoyovsky: “I really can’t tell.” (He knows but he cannot tell me). “It’s a person that has access to the internet… limited access? Yeah. That’s a good hint.” The hint flies right over my head. I know who likely holds that PGP key, but I am trying to confirm it through multiple sources.

Trujillo: “You do not think that Kryptos has it?” [54:39]. (Sometimes a frontal attack works, so I try this Hail Mary).

Tafoyovsky: “Uh, no. That is something that almost broke a fight between us, as I was telling him from the start actually, I think that I mentioned it when I talked to brotherBox… an interview… that I called him out, like, can’t you see the mess that is going on?”

“Why don’t you put out a fucking PGP message… A PGP message disavowing Thomas. And I got answers, “No, that will only make him more important, that will only validate him, we do not want to burn the PGP on him.”

“I [55:19] was like ok, that makes sense and stuff, and I had to… yeah, I trusted him, so I was like, ok, but then it came to the point where people were feeling suicidal and other stuff started happening more intense, (referring here to Pavana and Jesse, see video above), that is when I said fuck that, this has to stop, and part of that was why Genki does not talk to me anymore. [56:02]. Because I was pressuring him, I was asking him for help. And I got angry that he didn’t want to, he has his motives and stuff… but I resent that he doesn’t want to fix it. I think that’s more important.” [56:34].

So do I. But then, I also want to know the answers to all mysteries.

Trujillo: “He doesn’t want to step up.” [56:34].

Tafoyovsky: “Yeah. I think that is because he does not like confrontation. He is a very noble soul, and you can actually  listen to him in one of the videos I uploaded, called Inner Sanctum, that’s him talking.”

Lestat (Arturo Tafoyovsky), “cicada3301 /innersanctum.” YouTube, April 22, 2019.

Lestat, “genky,” YouTube, December 28, 2018.

The video “/innersanctum” is a voice-masked version of a monologue by DJ Genki that was previously uploaded by Arturo Tafoyovsky and is now preserved within my growing LBRY archive of Cicada materials: @Samizdat.

Trujillo: “I will look for it.”

Tafoyovsky: “Have you seen it?”

Trujillo: “I think I may have. I am not sure. I have seen so much of this stuff.” [57:12].

Tafoyovsky: He smiles. “I can send it to you.”

Trujillo: “Yes, Please do. What is this you sent? iamzero.” (Laughing. Watching a video).

(Silence, listening to Tim Young curse up a storm like a total loser).

Trujillo: “Arturo how is it possible that this is dated October 31, 2015?”

Tafoyovsky: “What is dated?” [58:34].

Trujillo: “This video, “A big f you to cicadasolver and btotherbox,” by iamzero.”

Tafoyovsky: “That is where… the date that he made it. Like, that’s the [57:37] date where Thomas was infiltrating Cicada, and that was their operation, after the IRCs, after the brutes on Facebook?” (He means attacks on the Internet Relay Chat (IRC) channels and the bruteforce attacks to take over Cicada-solving pages on Facebook).

“He went under the name of John Magnus, we also proven that it is him because there is a Pinterest account that’s in the name of John Magnus, and his address is, I can send you the link also.” The email address tstger13 is a long-known address used by Thomas Schoenberger.

Cicada TS Pinterest John Magnus August 13 2019

Trujillo: “Ok, So who is this guy in the mask.”

Tafoyovsky: “That is Tim Young. The anchor from Fox.”

Cicada iam zero (yes he is) 2 faces June 29, 2016

Tim Young, erstwhile Fox personality, aka iam zero, a masked, foul-mouthed ranter on YouTube, accuses Nox Populi of “two-faced” behavior. Hamfisted irony.

Trujillo: “Oh my God.” [59:49]. Tim Young is not a rocket scientist.

Tafoyovsky: “Yeah it’s crazy.” Smiling. “I am going to send you something also so you can compare it, you can see the style…”

(Silence)… Arturo talks to his cat.

Trujillo: “/innersanctum,” ok…”

Tafoyovsky: Laughing. “It is so funny. I also have more evidence, if you want to do the voice…”

Arturo looks tired.

Tafoyovsky: “I sent you, just uploaded…” (unintelligible.) [1:01:01].

Trujillo: “Ah. Washington Examiner.” Nodding. Watching a video. (Silence)… “Why is it… that I do not like this guy, Arturo?”

(Apparently Tim Young’s last appearance in the august pages of The Washington Examiner, a sister-publication of the same rag that started the Fusion-GPS mess that was taken over by the DNC and the Perkins Coie law firm as a cutout for the Hillary Clinton campaign, was in 2018: maybe they came to their senses and chose not to renew his contract? No idea. Just speculating).

Tafoyovsky: “Excuse me? That guy? Tim Young?”

Trujillo: “Yeah, Tim Young.”

Tafoyovsky: “He spells out, like this bad vibe.” [01:01:18].

Trujillo: “He does.”

Tafoyovsky: “He like, he hates… I don’t know, it also like, bothered me… like it made me feel like, yeah, that like… really negative people (I am shaking my head) and the one that spreads that kind of attitude, like, resonates negative activity, but snowflake negativity.”

Trujillo: “Very much. I agree.” [1:03:15].

Tafoyovsky: “He just tells them to, you know, put out a fight and they coward out? But yeah, he does give that negativity, and also in that video with the mask, you just spread it, and it is the same sentiment. Also the voice tones…” [01:03:40].

Trujillo: “I am going to watch it.”

Tafoyovsky: “Yeah. So do that. I got to make a stop in the bathroom and I have to attend to other matters.”

Trujillo: “Go take care of your doggie, man.” I was under the mistaken impression that Arturo is a dog owner. Like myself, he is a cat custodian.

Tafoyovsky: “Maybe, what time is it for you there?”

Trujillo: “It is like almost 8 o’clock at night.”

Tafoyovsky: “Eight o’clock?”

Trujillo: “Yeah. I’ll be up for another couple of hours, then I gotta go lay down.” I am an old man. When my body and my eyes and my brain ache, I need to take a break.

Tafoyovsky: “I will send you a message. Lots of people are like, asking me a bunch of stuff.”

Trujillo: “It looks like Twitter is blowing up for you.”

Tafoyovsky: “Yes, it is going to be… well, who knows. Let’s see what happens.”

Trujillo: “Just be careful.” [1:05:06].

Tafoyovsky: “I’ll try.”

Trujillo: “Just be careful. I do worry about you.”

Tafoyovsky: “Thanks. I will be ok. I just wanted to…”

Trujillo: “Thank you for taking the time to talk with me. I appreciate it. This is complicated stuff for an old man.”

Tafoyovsky: “Oh, it’s ok, and like I said, it also helps me, what I want is to transmit–my cat is crazy–but I wanted to transmit the message effectively.”

Trujillo: “That is right. We can help each other. Go take care of your kitty.”

Tafoyovsky: “Ok. Thanks. And have great day—ah, night. On your side.”

Trujillo: “You do the same, I’ll talk with you soon.”

Tafoyovsky: “Ok. Bye bye.” [1:06:00].

End recording: [01:06:00].

End Transcript: Conclusion

This was my initial transcribed interview with an insider in the enigmatic order, Cicada 3301, the chief of graphics, the primary videographer during the Middle Period, Arturo Tafoyovsky (Lestat).

I conducted the next interview in this series with Manuel Chavez III (Defango) on May 22, 2019. That interview and its accompanying transcription and commentary are now up to nearly 40,000 words in length. It delves the origins of QAnon and the synergy between Q and Cicada. It will be published in coming weeks, with installments in both the Q Files and the Cicada Files series.

These articles are the foundation of a forthcoming work on QAnon, and potentially on Cicada 3301.

This interview with Arturo Tafoyovsky confirmed the identity of the Cicada cryptographer Richard Miller (aka Z, Z 3301, Kryptos, Kryptos JournalLethargic Lemur and other pseudonyms), introduced Dr. Richard Allen Miller and his ex-wife, the New Age esoteric writer Iona Miller, and exposed the Fox network talking head Tim Young.

In his review of this interview, Manuel Chavez insisted on calling Tim Young “Tim Barnes.” Perhaps Tim Barnes was doxxed and I am unaware of it. Regardless, Young/Barnes is tangential to these matters. The status of Cicada’s PGP key was broached: its present disposition will be confirmed in my next installment.

The role of Richard Lech in the Cicada order was addressed. The former “head composer” Michael Levine will be discussed in detail in the next article in this series, and the events that led to the dissolution of the order explained. Other inner order members like DJ Genki were introduced. Further interviews with other Cicada insiders are underway.

We were introduced to the nefarious quilt trafficking of Ms. Denise Matteau, Thomas Schoenberger was revealed as the perpetrator of the reddit A858 mystery, the author of the Pi.Mobi puzzle, “Carol from Cali’s” grifting correspondent “Jack with a K,” and Jerome Corsi’s mysterious Q.

For a period during Corsi’s ascendance as a Q whisperer, as an interpreter of Q drops in early 2018, Schoenberger masqueraded as Q and deceived the old deceiver, if only for a while.

For those former members of Cicada 3301 who cannot decide whether they wish to speak with me, I say this: I am writing the history of Cicada 3301. I possess sufficient data to complete an initial draft. More information could make that history more detailed. Everyone who wants the truth about Cicada 3301 to be preserved for history should collaborate in that.

This interview features the views of Arturo Tafoysky. For those who disagree with those views, or hold different views, the only way to ensure that their dissent is chronicled is to talk to me. Or they can, of course, write their own histories.

More, much more, is coming. Stay tuned.

August 14, 2019.

August 15, 2019: Chavez errors revised.

August 17-8, 2019: Denise Matteau corrections made.

Estéban Trujillo de Gutiérrez


Q Files: Paul Furber Interviewed

Mr. Paul Furber of South Africa was an Anon and a Moderator on 4chan in October, 2017. On the 27th of that month, he noticed cryptic posts on the /pol/ board. It was a couple of days before the author of those posts began signing himself as “Q,” but Mr. Furber immediately recognized that something unusual was happening.

In the ensuing days and weeks, Mr. Furber became the original Q evangelist. To this day, Mr. Furber still considers himself “under orders from the original Q,” and he continues to promote the Q superconspiracy.

Paul Furber is one reason why QAnon went viral. The role that Mr. Furber played in the early stages of the Q phenomenon led some to suspect that Paul Furber himself was the elusive Q. This was my primary motive in asking him for an interview.

BLUF: I no longer suspect that Paul Furber is QAnon. This long interview (nearly two hours) is rich in detail and it showcases his thinking beyond all preceding coverage: the website heavy published a biopic about him on the same day that an influential NBC News article appeared criticizing the Q superconspiracy. Both were components in a coordinated fake news attack on Q that began in late July, 2018, and continued into September of that year.

(Tom Cleary, “Paul Furber: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know,” heavy, August 14, 2018; Brandy Zadrozny & Ben Collins, “How three conspiracy theorists took “Q” and sparked Qanon,” NBC News, August 14, 2018).

Examining the objective forensics of this interview leaves me inconclusive, but the subjective consistency and coherence of Mr. Furber’s recounting suggest that he is truthful when he denies masquerading as QAnon. And there are other candidates.

Mr. Furber brings decades of experience writing and coding to his conspiratorial ministry. Graduating from Falcon College in Zimbabwe in 1984, he wrote for South African media company IT Web, for Brainstorm, and CareerWeb. He writes code for Tildedot. Where Q is concerned, we must understand that Paul Furber is a conspiracy theorist with deep foundations, an autodidact with demonstrable expertise in historical conspiracy theory.

This interview will consolidate Paul Furber’s historical role in the evolution of the Q phenomenon. As I say, Q is no longer a mere phenomenon: Q is now a movement, with all the sociopolitical and ideological implications that implies.

This interview was recorded on April 30, 2019. I completed the draft transcript for Mr. Furber’s review on May 17, 2019. After some minor corrections, I published this interview with accompanying commentary and transcript on May 19, 2019. I updated some further corrections on June 3, 2019: 21294 words.

This interview is the second in a projected Q Files series, and the first to be published.


Begin Transcript.

Q Paul Furber BaruchtheScribe InfoWars Vid Screen Grab Full Face

Mr. Paul Furber (aka BaruchTheScribe) in a screen grab from an interview with Rob Dew of InfoWars December 27, 2017.

Mr. Furber is approximately my age (58), a distinguished, bearded white male broadcasting with an artfully shadowed backdrop behind him. His nickname, “Baruch,” appears at the lower left of the display.  

Mr. Furber joins me from Johannesburg, South Africa. I tell him that I have friends who rave about South Africa. He says “it is an amazing country, well, it was an amazing country, we are in trouble at the moment.” 

Paul Furber (BaruchTheScribe) Interview April 30 2019

Mr. Paul Furber (aka BaruchTheScribe), Personal Interview, April 30, 2019. 

I say that I understand. I do not follow South African politics, but I see blips about it crossing my radar. “It looks horrendous. You’ve got this exodus of white people going to Russia. It is crazy.”

He agrees, “yeah, Georgia, Russia,” he says that “it is very sad, because people have worked very hard for 25 years to make it work, but now that the government has failed so horribly, they are pulling out the race card, so “Oh, whites are racist,” which is absolute nonsense, so, yeah … I think we are headed for a civil war. I don’t see any other way out of it.”

I say, ”well, it won’t be the first time, obviously,.” 

“No,” he agrees. “It is going to be nasty.”

I say that I am very sorry about it, and I am. I ask if he has plans to relocate, as civil wars are never benign. 

He says no, he is dug in, “I have independent power, and satellite internet, although it is broken at the moment, the guys were just fixing it today, which lands in Europe, so, yeah, I have my own power, my own food, water, internet connectivity. Everything.” 

“Good on you.” 

He explains: “I am on a reasonably large property, so I can grow, I mean with my vegetable garden I can really live off that.” 


“Yeah. Fuel, solar, I am prepared for anything. Lots of ammo.” He laughs, as he knows that I am an American. 🙂 

“Right,” I say. I am pleased that he has the resources to do that. That is impressive. 

Mr. Furber has seen South Africa’s date with destiny coming for a few years. He got into the right mindset, he red-pilled his family. “Just in case,” he said, “let’s get ready. Just prepare. Be ready. Even if nothing happens, nothing will have been wasted.”

I agree: “You are right. It is not a waste.”

I say that I am delighted that he is joining me today. I explain that I am writing on QAnon. I am perplexed and fascinated by the movement. It is not a phenomenon anymore, it is now a movement.

Mr. Furber agrees, “pretty much, yeah,” that Q is now a movement. I mention an article that I wrote about Sebastian Gorka, how clueless the former counselor to the President is, he does not understand Q nor modern conservatism. 

(Esteban Trujillo de Gutierrez, “Q Files: Dr. Sebastian Gorka,” Magic Kingdom Dispatch, April 12, 2019). 

Me: “To say that Q supporters are not Trump supporters is ludicrous.”

Mr. Furber: “Yeah, that’s crazy.” 

I continue: “He really discredited himself. As we know, Gorka has been a consistent critic of QAnon. For quite some time.” 

“From the very beginning. He says “Q is garbage. Yeah.” 

Q Seb Gorka Q is a Fraud Leave the Cult Apr 5 19

I say, “the Q’verse just shrugs, they say, well, you should join us, you should do your research, “obviously you are not read into the compartment.” It doesn’t matter.” 

I continue: “And this is sort of a pattern that we see repeated, because no matter what kind of exposés come out, what kind of exposure comes out, the folks that are running the Q operation right now, it doesn’t matter, they are impervious. Patriot’s Soapbox just continues to march and to grow.”

He agrees: “Yeah, exactly.” 

I say: “This is a situation I think where the Q phenomenon slipped out of its harness and it’s just going, it is going to run.”

He says: “Yeah, very much so.”

(Crosstalk—I must apologize for my inept interviewing skills, I am accustomed to interviewing in person, not virtually across the internet.)

Me: “I was going to say, you have to feel some satisfaction from that…”

Mr. Furber begins his tale: “Yeah, well … let me go back.” He takes a moment, then continues: “It was late October 2017, 18 months ago, I noticed a thread on 4chan, posted by some guy, very out of the ordinary, and he was saying “patriots, your president is taking back your great country,” I said whoa, what is this, that was Saturday or Sunday, by midweek this guy had posted a few times.”

Mr. Furber explains: “He was making outrageous claims. “The National Guard will be deployed, the President’s twitter is probably going to go down,” then Thursday night, the President’s twitter was taken offline. Whoa. How in the hell did he know that?”

He continues: “We were looking on the Friday for reports of the National Guard being deployed, nothing, nothing, Saturday, I was up all night trying to catch up to these threads, and then I noticed that something big was happening in Saudi Arabia, the Crown Prince took control of the country, and he arrested 18 crown princes and 14 ministers, and Q came back on and said, “National Guard deployed in Saudi Arabia, have you joined the dots? Or something like that.”

“I said, “ah, man, he was leading us! So now people are really getting interested and more and more Anons were joining the thread. We went back, and we looked at Q’s posts, and there were a whole bunch of hints about Saudi Arabia. Which we didn’t know what he was talking about. He was saying “follow HUMA.” But in capital letters.”

(Editorial Note: This is not a correct reading of Q’s first two drops: Q stated that “US M’s will conduct the operation while NG activated,” and forecasted that “Hillary Clinton will be arrested between 7:45 AM – 8:30 AM EST on Monday – the morning on Oct 30, 2017.” An alternate reading could be that US Marines would conduct the operation. 

In any case, Hillary Clinton was not in Saudi Arabia, nor was she arrested, and the likelihood of “US M’s” conducting any operation in Saudi Arabia, “while NG activated,” in that country would be remote. 

These first two Q drops are notable because they were the first, and they also established precedents for specificity and failed prediction: “HRC extradition already in motion effective yesterday with several countries in case of cross border run. Passport approved to be flagged effective 10/30 @ 12:01am.” No confirmation by any US government agency, much less the Department of State, was ever issued. 

The Q drops of October 28, 2017 continued: “Expect massive riots organized in defiance and others fleeing the US to occur.” Needless to say, there were no activations of US National Guard units, despite Q proposing a means of confirmation: “Proof check: Locate a NG member and ask if activated for duty 10/30 across most major cities.”)

Q First 2 Posts 28 Oct 17 4chan

(QAnon The Storm X.VI (Aggregated Q Drops), IAMBECAUSEWEARE, p. 44. The Storm X.VI can be downloaded via Patreon.

Mr. Furber continues: “That’s the Harvard University Muslim Alumni (HUMA), not Huma Abedin, it had a double meaning, it was very subtle, which was founded by Crown Prince Al-Waleed bin Talal (b. 1955-) who had just been arrested. So this guy knew in exact detail what was about to happen in Saudi Arabia. A massive upheaval. Then I was convinced. Nobody knows that kind of information unless they are at the very highest levels.”

Q HUMA CBTS #27 The Storm XVI p. 66

(QAnon The Storm X.VI (Aggregated Q Drops), IAMBECAUSEWEARE, p. 66).

“He just kept on dropping bombshells after bombshells, he would use phrases that the president would tweet out ten minutes later. So this was clearly a guy, with Q clearance, standing next to the President. He went to the Far East with him. He posted original photos from Air Force One. Which we matched up with the President’s itinerary. Which matched exactly.”

Mr. Furber remembers: “He started (laughs) trolling Rothschilds, and saying, you know, we can hear you breathing, we know where you are at all times. He started posting these weird military signatures that said…they were kind of hard to decipher.”

Q CBTS #306 Lynn de Rothschild We Can Hear You Breathing, p. 104

(QAnon The Storm X.VI (Aggregated Q Drops), IAMBECAUSEWEARE, p. 104).

“Then like four days later there was a kidnap attempt of Lord Jacob, and Lynn de Rothschild, but they were safe in the UK at an airstrip. Then Q said, “did you see this message?” 

“Again, you cannot make up that kind of stuff. By about November, mid to late November, the attacks we were getting on 4chan were like nothing I had ever seen. Floods of posters, distractions, all kinds of disgusting images that flooded discussion away.”

Q CBTS #475 Rothschild Chopper Incident p. 116

(QAnon The Storm X.VI (Aggregated Q Drops), IAMBECAUSEWEARE, p. 116).

Mr. Furber continues: “It must have been about the 19th or 20th, I moved to 8chan, which is kind of a better 4chan than 4chan. It runs almost the same software, but instead of us posting on /pol/, the “politically incorrect” board, which we did not own, you can make your own board.” 

“So I made one called Calm Before the Storm (CBTS), and suddenly on the 25th I woke up, and there was a lot of people in there (sic), saying “yeah, we are not going back to 4chan, we’ve been kicked off.” So this is it. I set up some rules, I started organizing threads and then left things alone, hoping that Q would come on, and then he did.”

Mr. Furber continues: “It must have been 1st or 2d December, he posted using his same tripcode. He started posting on my board. I had never been part of history like that before, it was incredible. He was dropping ridiculous predictions and information that nobody could possibly have access to. Except somebody with extraordinary high clearance at NSA, or military intelligence, wherever he was.”


I refer to Q: “Obviously he was somebody who was read into a compartment where this was conducted, ok, so he was part of a very small cabal.”

Mr. Furber agrees: “Absolutely. I believe that one of his posts said, “Q clearance does not mean that I work with Department of Energy (DOE), it means that I have clearance across all departments.” 

Q CBTS #2 What is Q Clearance Drop p. 59

(QAnon The Storm X.VI (Aggregated Q Drops), IAMBECAUSEWEARE, p. 59).

“So I kind of suspect that it was … Q was probably Admiral Mike Rogers and a team of his. Because you know that there is a Q Group, at the NSA. Who do this kind of thing.” 

“And also, The New York Times, like the 8th or 9th of November, no—the 10th of November, (unintelligible) posted an article about the Q Group at NSA. Which was a direct warning to the Q group, and Q pointed it out, he said look at this article, a direct attack on the president, yeah, stand-by. So we knew that the bad guys were watching the boards, because they are all anonymous, yeah, anyone can go on there and post whatever they want, so….”

(Scott Shane, Nicole Perlroth and David E. Sanger, “Security Breach and Spilled Secrets have Shaken the NSA to Its Core,” The New York Times, Nov. 12, 2017).

I say: “Talk to me a little bit about how the 8chan admins facilitated you at that early point on 8chan?”

He says: “Well at first they did not have to do anything, because that’s the point of 8chan … is you just, you know, you log into 8chan and you create a board and it is yours. The admins are kind of in the background just to make sure that the whole board runs properly. They do not mess around with your board.”

I say: “They do not get down in the weeds.”

“No,” he agrees. “CodeMonkey, he was the main 8chan admin, he created secure tripcodes for us. Super secure tripcodes. But I found out later that they are not. They don’t read like the whole password, they only read like the first 7 characters, so they are just as insecure as the original tripcodes.” 

Q Who is Fredrick Brennan? Ron Watkins aka CodeMonkeyZ with 8chan jefe Jim Watkins

8chan founder Fredrick Brennan (aka Hotwheels) with 8chan owner Jim Watkins (Sam Machkovech, “Full transcript: Ars interviews 8chan founder Fredrick Brennan,” Ars Technica, March 17, 2015).

I say: “I saw that. Yeah. Let me look at my notes here real quickly. So you do not have any idea, I mean obviously there is a school of thought that contends that Q Anon is a LARP?”

Mr. Furber replies: “I have an unusual point of view because I was very close to it. Q from October 27 to January 5, I believe was 100% genuine. That was a senior guy at the NSA, with the full knowledge of the President, telling us what was going on behind the scenes. After that, no. After that I do not believe that Q was the same people. I believe that the tripcode was compromised, either by a rival agency or by some script kiddies. It is hard to say. However, it doesn’t actually matter. Because….”


(Mr. Furber previously covered this same narrative terrain in a long thread roll on Twitter. Mr. Furber explained:

“Jan 5 is when the imposters take over #qanon’s tripcode password. The style changes radically: it becomes CAPS-ridden, immature and full of outright falsehoods. Q accuses the board owner of /cbts of lying,” Furber tweeted. “/ But the new #qanon was himself lying. The IP he used was one the mods had never seen before. The board owner would clarify all of this in detail later as well as posting the logs as proof. The new #qanon became obsessed with the idea of private communications between the mods and the real Q, denying it had ever happened and that the claims were the reason for the board change. This makes no sense of course. …”

“He continued, “The fake #qanon moved his posts over to /thestorm/ board but only for a couple of days. He then insulted the board owners and set up his own board at /greatawakening/. Many of us could already see that this wasn’t the real Q but some script kiddies with the tripcode pw. …So what happened to the real #qanon? Obviously he can’t post on 8chan with any authenticity. And any statement from the President on the current Q might compromise all of Q, including the real drops from last year.” (Tom Cleary, “Paul Furber: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know,” heavy, August 14, 2018).

Continuing with our interview, Mr. Furber says: “But you see at first, I was furious. The guy is interrupting the mission, blah blah blah. But when I look back now with the clarity of hindsight, I can see it doesn’t matter, what’s happened is, this thing has a life of its own, and you now have millions of people around the world, who are completely informed, just getting more and more informed about what the elites are really up to. Which is a good thing. It’s a good thing. It’s a great thing.”

Mr. Furber explains: “President Trump could have stopped this in its tracks at any one of his rallies. Instead, what does he do? He stands up and he says, “these people are sick!” (repeating a Q statement), or he draws the Q in the air, twice, just to make sure that you absolutely got it.”

“That is a terrible way to disavow the Q movement, terrible, ….if you are going to quote QAnon stuff at rallies, then that is not the president saying Q is garbage or Q is a LARP. No. That is the President saying “You guys keep doing what you are doing. Keep investigating, keep hammering on the boards, keep asking celebrities questions on Twitter, and yeah, I am right behind you.”

Mr. Furber concludes, “So, hey. Yeah. I think what you said at the beginning is absolutely right. The movement has a life of its own, (unintelligible) … and the mainstream media is forced to respond and make asses of themselves. Then we know that we are doing something right.” 

I say that the mainstream media are just petrified. 

Mr. Furber: “Well, of course, they are enemies of the people.” 

I tell him, “There is no question about that. As an American, I am an expatriate, I live in Bangkok, I go to America to get my medical treatment at the Veteran’s Administration. I cannot abide being in my own country. It is horrible what has happened.”

Then I explain, “for me, this is very much a matter of duty, as you know, our oaths never expire.”

Mr. Furber agrees: “No.”


“I, [name], do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter. So help me God.” (5 U.S.C. § 3331, Oath of Office).

I continue: “They never expire. When I swore those oaths as a young man,” referring to my US military oaths of enlistment and commissioning, “I meant every word. As I age I get more consolidated in that oath, as time has passed, as I have gotten older. So yeah. I do not know.”

Mr. Furber says, “the good news is that the good guys are taking it back. For real. It is taking a long time.”

I observe that “we are talking about millions of people that have been red-pilled now.”

Mr. Furber: “Well, yeah, exactly.”

Me: “And they are not going to go back.”

Mr. Furber agrees: “You can’t go back. The information that they have now figured out for themselves based on listening to the questions that Q asked, now allows them to interpret world events, correctly.”

“That’s right.”

He continues: “You can look at the world, you can see the incredible violence between, say, the 13th of this month, and now, and you can say, well this is just the elites who worship Satan. Sacrificing as many people as they can. Bingo. Why was Michael and Barry skulking around in Paris just before the fire? (sic) Because they are high-level members of the cult.”


(A reference to the destruction of the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris by fire on April 15, 2019:

Q Michael Obama Paris Cruise Notre Dame michelle-obama-paris-cruise-alain-ducasse-photos-2

TMZ published photos of Michael Obama on a dinner cruise as Notre Dame burned. “Michelle Obama Learns of Notre Dame Cathedral Fire on Paris Dinner Cruise,” (Photo credit: BACKGRID), TMZ.

The smoke of Notre Dame burning could be seen across Paris, and from Michael Obama’s cruise boat on the Seine. 

Q the view of the Notre Dame Fire From Michael's Cruise Boat on the Seine April 17 2019 michelle-obama-paris-cruise-alain-ducasse-photos-1

“Michelle Obama on Paris Dinner Cruise During Notre Dame Cathedral Fire,” TMZ, April 16, 2019. 

The agony of Notre Dame. 

Q The Agony of Notre Dame April 16 2019

Emily Crane, “PICTURED: Moment Michelle Obama’s idyllic Parisian river cruise turns sour,” Daily Mail, April 16, 2019. 

Daniel Jativa, “Michelle Obama in Paris near Notre Dame as cathedral went up in flames,” Washington Examiner, April 17, 2019).

Mr. Furber: “They have  to do their rituals before they do this sort of thing. All these things fall into place when you have the understanding of the world that Q has given us. You can’t just go back to sleep again.” 

I explain that I am not a journalist. “I consider myself a political scientist and an historian. So I am coming at this from a very different attack angle. I look at QAnon as ideology. And conspiracy theory obviously is critical, it is core to it. Conspiracy theory, I believe, is the predominate method that we now must use to understand our reality.”

“Exactly,” he says. 

I say that, “We can look at the long list of conspiracies. Since 1913, when the Federal Reserve Act was passed in the middle of the night, on Christmas Eve …”

Mr. Furber interjects, “it was the 22d, wasn’t it, when it was signed into law? It was the 22d of December, 1913, which is a Luciferian elite (unintelligible) and it was signed by Nelson Rockefeller’s grandfather, wasn’t it.”

I say: “What I love about this, is that someone like you and I, we have never met, we don’t know one another. We can talk like this based on a common chronology and the approach. (Unintelligible). Shit does not just happen. There are actions of cabals, acting at fulcrum points, throughout history.”

I continue: “And you see it repeated, this is one of the beautiful things I think that QAnon has done, because I think he resolved that false dichotomy that shit just happens … or cabals, is conspiracy theory valid? We’ve resolved that. We’ve just taken that off the table. We know now. We see it. Many people will think that it is ludicrous to say that Luciferian cabals are acting. But you know, when you look at the expanse of history….”

Mr. Furber: “Yep. And as you say, they use the same methods over and over again.”


Mr. Furber recounts Q saying: “Symbols will be their downfall.” 

Q Symbolism Will Be Their Downfall p. 118

(QAnon The Storm X.VI (Aggregated Q Drops), IAMBECAUSEWEARE, p. 118).

Q CBTS 478, 481 Owl Symbolism, p. 119

(QAnon The Storm X.VI (Aggregated Q Drops), IAMBECAUSEWEARE, p. 119).

Q Symbolism Will Be Their Downfall The Storm XVI p. 120

(QAnon The Storm X.VI (Aggregated Q Drops), IAMBECAUSEWEARE, p. 120).

I ask, “What can you tell me about PamphletAnon, about James Coleman Rogers?” 


(Rogers initially assisted Paul Furber as a moderator on 8chan and the now-banned CBTS_Stream subreddit until he led a rebellion of Q moderators and expelled Mr. Furber from their Discord chatroom. Rogers became a Board Owner on 8chan, and founded the popular Q-centric 24/7 Patriot’s Soapbox on YouTube. Mr. Rogers is often accused of masquerading as the elusive Q, and the evidence is compelling. I will address this separately).

Q Coleman Rogers PamphletAnon Full Face Depicted YT Vid by BaruchtheScribe on InfoWars

James Coleman Rogers’ relationship with Paul Furber ended badly. Some weeks after the Q drops began, Mr. Rogers seized control of the Discord chatroom where moderators collaborated, expelling Mr. Furber. Most internal bickering amongst Q moderators is veiled from the public and Anons outside the in-group, as they moderate the Q drops in invitation-only Discord chatrooms. The secrecy of the moderating group facilitates their profiteering, enabling the “Q grift” to continue with minimal disruption. Creating a new server and omitting to invite moderators who are purged is their method of succession. Multiple iterations of QAnon are documented: this process and these iterations will be detailed separately. In recent weeks, Mr. Rogers was accused of fraud and felonious impersonation of a federal official, serious charges, as Mr. Rogers is an alleged convicted felon with a long rap sheet. As critics claimed that Mr. Rogers was masquerading as the elusive Q himself, Mr. Rogers resigned as a Board Owner on 8chan on April 6, 2019, a maneuver which was more cosmetic than actual. At the time of publication he continues monetizing the Q movement at Patriot’s Soapbox on YouTube, and apparently remains in control of the moderation and posting of Q drops on 8chan.

Q Coleman Rogers Quits as BO on 8chan 4-6-19!

Mr. Furber replies: “Not a whole lot there bro. So … I met him December 15, we had massive attacks against 8chan boards. (Unintelligible). There were a few guys helping me. I changed the board to forced anonymous. To stop all this fighting between people who wanted to put names…(unintelligible). I thought that Q would still be able to post. I was actually talking to some guys on TOR. On encrypted chat. They said, “yeah, make it forced anonymous, it will be fine.” Uh, no, it doesn’t work.” 

Mr. Furber explains: “Q got locked out of the board, and could not post under his own tripcode. Then I saw another post where some people were getting close to his tripcode. And now, that was weird. Because tripcodes do not work like that.”

Mr. Furber clarifies: That encryption does not work like that. If you put in the alphabet, let us say from A to Z, and you encrypt it, you get a hash, you get a scrambled output. If you change one character of the input, so if you say A BB DEF … if you say scramble that, you get a completely different output, because, you know, it is a cyclical thing.”

He continues: “So that is not how you crack hashes. But, it scared me. So I kept the board locked until Q changed his tripcode. And he changed it on /pol/, and then he came back and posted with us.”

Q Baruch Makes His Bid for Control p. 221 Jan 6 18

(QAnon The Storm X.VI (Aggregated Q Drops), IAMBECAUSEWEARE, p. 221).

“Now, while I kept the board locked, I had to ignore the moderators screaming at me by email and direct chat and whatever. I had to basically throw my board under the bus, while everyone was wondering what in the fuck I was doing, without telling anyone.”

He remembers: “Terrifying … sort of 24 hours. And then, when I reopened it and Q changed his tripcode, I then reached out to these guys and I said I’m sorry, this was a judgement call, I made it, apologies.” 

“That was when I started talking to Pamphlet (Rogers) on Discord, which is that chat app. And then we started working together, along with a couple of other guys, and we started working together and we reached out to a number of people. We decided, enough of just the ’chans, this needed to go wider. So we reached out to people like TracyBeanz.”


Q CodeMonkey Pam CBTS to TheStorm 6 Jan 18 p. 215 Anons Pissed

(QAnon The Storm X.VI (Aggregated Q Drops), IAMBECAUSEWEARE, p. 222).

“Uh, Tracy Diaz, who was great, I got a reply back from her in like ten minutes, we went on her show that evening and just chatted. These videos are all available on YouTube, by the way. If you search for “Baruch Interview” you will probably see them.”

BaruchTheScribe ProtonMail to tracybeanz 12-19-2017 She Responded Within 10 Minutes Interview Followed 12-18-17

Paul Furber (aka BaruchTheScribe) ProtonMail to Tracy Diaz (aka TracyBeanz), December 19, 2017.

“We spoke to InfoWars, we went on Rob Dew’s show about a week after that. We spoke to Alex Jones in the studio. We went with independent YouTubers, I emailed Nathan at Lift the Veil, I emailed Jordan Sather, many people who had been covering Q from the sidelines, the YouTubers, we got in touch with as much as we can (sic).”

(Nathan Stolpman: Lift the Veil, YouTube; Jordan Sather: Destroying the Illusion, YouTube; the reference is to a pivotal interview of the Q moderators on the YouTube channel of Tracy Diaz, aka Tracy Beanz, “Behind the Scenes at “CBTS” #QAnon– MUST WATCH,” YouTube, December 19, 2017).


Mr. Furber: “I am sorry. Carry on?”

I ask: “You were obviously the leader at this point. Was that primarily because you were the board owner?”

He replies: “It was very much a work-together thing, I was kind of working in the background, on the Reddit side I wrote a Wiki entry for the subreddit, (unintelligible) was true, how to do your own research, I did a lot of writing answering people’s questions on subreddits, that kind of thing.” 

“It was hard work, and I was putting in 16 hour days in the wrong time zone. So I was seven hours ahead. And I was on vacation. So I was doing this full-time, I had been doing it full time for like three months. It was unsustainable.”

Q Screenshot CBTS_Stream WayBack Machine

Screenshot of the archived CBTS_Stream subreddit courtesy of the WayBack Machine.

(The reference is to the CBTS_Stream subreddit, founded by Tracy Diaz, Paul Furber and James Coleman Rogers on December 21, 2017. The subreddit was later banned on March 15, 2018: Andrew Wyrich, “Reddit bans popular deep state conspiracy forum for “inciting violence,” The Daily Dot, March 15, 2018.

The other Q-oriented subreddit, r/greatawakening, was likewise banned a few months later on September 12, 2018: Bijan Stephen, “Reddit’s QAnon Ban Points to How It’s Tracking Toxic Communities,” The Verge, September 12, 2018).

But back to Mr. Furber’s tale. With December, 2017 in our rearview mirrors, he is explaining the internecine war that erupted between Anons on 8chan. 

“After the January changeover, I said to the guys look, this is not the same Q and I can tell you why. The IP address hash is wrong, the style is different, yeah, I am not interested anymore. You need to do something about it.”

The shit hit the fan on 8chan. 

Q Jan 2018 Tripcode Controversy Board Compromised Dispute p. 220

(QAnon The Storm X.VI (Aggregated Q Drops), IAMBECAUSEWEARE, p. 220).

Remember that literally anybody could be posting as Q. The board owner and his moderators, namely Paul Furber and Coleman Rogers—those with access to the board management dashboard—said that they identified QAnon by repetitive access to the board from a limited number of IP addresses and other indicators known only to them. 

In other words, either Mr. Furber or Mr. Rogers could be posting as QAnon, or any of the other 8chan moderators who knew the seven-character password that generated the Q tripcode, using a VPN or other means to post from the same range of IP addresses. IP addresses can be spoofed. Anyone intimate with the culture of the ‘chans, any Anon, anyone who knew the password, could be masquerading as the elusive Q.

The Q movement continues, despite all these intramural struggles behind the scenes, because of the internal coherence and consistency of the Q drops themselves. Regardless of multiple scandals, a significant slice of the American public remains so desperate for an alternative to the fake news media that we suspend disbelief and embrace a gnomic anonymous oracle.

When Mr. Furber stated, “Not Q. Q’s second trip has been cracked as I thought it might be,” the balance that nurtured this strange phenomenon on 8chan tipped, and external observers got a glimpse of the egos behind it all. 

Some of these egos were surprisingly petty. This was not a military intelligence professional weaving outrageous tales on an anonymous image board. Nor would this be the last time that QAnon stooped to pettiness. In fact, this established a precedent for pettiness. I will address successive examples separately.

As many suspected, these antics confirmed that Q was a LARP, a Live Action Role Play, run by Anons. Put another way, Q was a charade, like Dungeons and Dragons, but with societal implications. 

Q could be anybody. Q could be the prototypical 8chan Anon, orange-handed from Cheetos dust, eating microwaved burritos in his mother’s basement. Q could be Paul Furber. Q could be Coleman Rogers. Q could be any of a host of Anons with the cunning and the historical expertise to craft the perplexing “drops” that began in late October, 2017. 

From a technical standpoint, all that would be necessary to post as Q is the password that generated the idiosyncratic Q tripcode–and this password was actually circulating in the wild at this time–and the ability to access 8chan from specific IP addresses: assuming that we can take Mr. Furber at his word.

Thirty four minutes later, as the 8chan hive mind raged, Q posted one final drop in the series. 

Q Board is Compromised January 6, 2018

(QAnon The Storm X.VI (Aggregated Q Drops), IAMBECAUSEWEARE, p. 221).

Q said that the board, and the board owner himself, Mr. Paul Furber, were compromised. 

Mr. Furber continues:

“Pamphlet stopped answering me. And eventually I got kicked out of that Discord, which is where Patriot’s Soapbox comes from. So I’ve had zero involvement with Patriot’s Soapbox, because they disagreed with me. I believe they really believe that was Q.”

Q Baruch as camperman Discord Chat MSG to tracybeanz 12-27-17 Heads Up on Baker Eruption

Discord chat log screenshot of Paul Furber aka camperman to Tracy Diaz aka tracybeanz warning that Q moderators Breadbox and PenultimateShitlord removed Furber from the CBTS bakery ‘chan. 

This screenshot is significant because Mr. Furber claims that Q sent him a direct message. More specifically, Mr. Furber implies that the message came from Q—but he does not explicitly say so: 

“Thank you. Understand. Attempts to divide and conquer in here. Will continue. Be ready and guide, simplify, direct resources. Must lv for now. kkSec$rns/. Careful who you speak to in the future. Several might not be who they seem. Be smart and disciplined. Guide your Anons.”

The problem with this is that Q subsequently stated that he communicated privately with no one. And then there is the tone of this group of Q drops. The logical conclusion is that Q is one of the 8chan moderators, someone with an intimate understanding of ‘chan culture, how the boards worked. 

Many suspected that  Mr. Furber was QAnon. Others concluded that Mr. Rogers was QAnon. A hypothetical case can be made implicating either of them–or one of the other moderators, working from within the small coterie with access to the Discord server. 

Q Again Confirms No Private Coms p. 217

(QAnon The Storm X.VI (Aggregated Q Drops), IAMBECAUSEWEARE, p. 224).

Q reinforces this in another drop on January 8, 2018. 

Q 8Jan18 No Private Coms Reinforced p. 1015

Mr. Furber understands where I am going with this line of questioning, so he gets out in front of it: 

“I’ve never said and I never will say, unless I see proof to the contrary, that they knowingly are perpetrating a fraud, because I do not believe that is true.” 

Then Mr. Furber unlimbers an appeal to authority in the unlikely person of Dr. Jerome Corsi.

“Another thing, Dr. Corsi was with us, quite often, he joined the subreddit, as soon as it was formed, in December, December 21, 22, somewhere around there. So he was decoding Q’s military orders, and he was really cool. We had long chats with him on voice. I got a lot out of it. He was one of the people who believed that this was still Q. After January the 4th or 5th.”


Q Jerome Corsi Screengrab from BaruchtheScribe Vid on YT

(Dr. Jerome Corsi, longtime conspiracy theorist, at that time (December 2017)  Washington DC Bureau Chief for InfoWars).

Dr. Corsi’s materialization on the scene raised for me another possibility—that Corsi was Q, or was collaborating with whomever was posting as Q. Corsi’s “decodes” of Q drops, which I analyze elsewhere, feed this suspicion. 

Worse, I became aware–in the course of another interview with another protagonist–that Corsi claimed to secretly correspond with Q, he claimed to secretly exchange emails with Q, and Corsi sold access to these email threads to his feed subscribers on 

Corsi’s appearance also coincided with rumors that an InfoWars source mentioned by Alex Jones called “Zach” might be the elusive Q, a possibility that Anons quickly shot down. 

Q breadcrumb_messenger 8ch Post Baruch FameFag Q Drop

Mr. Furber continued: “So again, I had to take a backseat, because I was so tired. (Unintelligible). It was unsustainable to continue at that pace.”

Which is one way to put this. Another way would be to ask whether Q himself fired Paul Furber. Rephrasing this, remembering that Q could be anyone, it appears that Mr. Furber lost a struggle to control the Q tripcode and hence the Q drops themselves. Which points a finger of suspicion directly at Coleman Rogers, the lone other Anon present at the heart of QAnon since the inception.

Mr. Rogers is the same Anon who seized control of the moderator Discord server and purged Paul Furber. The same Anon that committed a number of perplexing errors that made the Q’verse wonder if he was running a con. The same Anon with an alleged rap sheet including fraud.

Q Confirms No Private Coms Moves to GreatAwakening 9Jan18p.234

(QAnon The Storm X.VI (Aggregated Q Drops), IAMBECAUSEWEARE, p. 241).

I persist: “You and Rogers, there is no state of conflict between you, anything like that?”

Mr. Furber shakes his head. “Not really. No. He does not talk to me anymore. Not particularly.”

I say: “I got to tell you that I think it’s really amazing that he would just seize this the way that he did and then exile you. I find that perplexing.”

Mr. Furber explains, “I, again, it does not particularly bother me, I was never really, I had never been interested in making money from the Q phenomenon. But on the other hand, if people in the media, and I am a former journalist, I still am a journalist….


Q 8chan Admin CodeMonkeyZ Takes a Side Against Baruch Jan 18

The 8chan Administrator Ron Watkins (aka CodeMonkeyZ) sides against Paul Furber. 
(QAnon The Storm X.VI (Aggregated Q Drops), IAMBECAUSEWEARE, p. 223).

“But If people in the media want to make money, great, let them, awesome, I mean I support people on Patreon, there are people like (unintelligible) Tracy, awesome, great. But I certainly am not obsessed with making products that people can buy. I mean, I am writing a book, I am about 12 chapters through my book about all this episode. If people do not want to read it, great, I will send them a copy free (unintelligible).”

Q Furber Final Shot Corsi Appeal to Authority Jan 2018

Mr. Furber’s final shot, including a Corsi claim to authority. Establishing still another precedent, all of this faded into irrelevance: the Q drops just kept coming, Anons kept digging, everyone forgot the pettiness, and the Q phenomenon expanded into a movement. 
(QAnon The Storm X.VI (Aggregated Q Drops), IAMBECAUSEWEARE, p. 225). 

I call this the Teflon precedent. The Q movement seems impervious to the revelation that Q is not a military intelligence professional posting from within close proximity to President Donald J. Trump. 

As I said: my guess is that a significant demographic of Americans is so desperate for an alternative to the fake news that we will suspend disbelief and accept the irrational assertion that QAnon is a Trump administration insider. Which could be true, despite compelling evidence to the contrary, which I will publish in due order. 

An argument can also be made that the Q project is a closely held psyop run by a cell in coordination with the Presidential Twitter account. Or, Q could simply be an audacious Anon whose familiarity with ‘chan culture and experience executing previous LARPs enabled him to pull off the whopper LARP of them all–and to laugh all the way to the bank. 

Continuing with the interview:

I explain: “I do that myself. What I do with some books is I will make half of a book available on GoogleBooks. And then you have to buy the rest. One book, which was in fact a revelation from on-high to me, I cannot profit from that, that is fundamentally wrong, I just make that book available free in its entirety on Academia and on GoogleBooks. They send me reports. It is being read in Bangladesh?”

Mr. Furber laughs, and then says that that is not far from where I am now in Bangkok. Which is true in a way. 

I say that “It is reaching a global audience and it is so satisfying, it is not huge numbers, but weird people like you and I are finding this. It is really satisfying.”

Q PamphletAnon &amp; Radix Coleman Rogers Christina Urso YT SerialBrain2 Video

(James Coleman Rogers, aka PamphletAnon, depicted in the foreground with his wife, Christina Urso, aka Radix, behind him in a screen grab from the Patriot’s Soapbox YouTube channel).

Then I ask, “What can you tell me about Christina Urso, about Radix?”

Q Christina Urso Radix Mug Shot Boynton Beach Palm Beach County FL

Christina Lynn Urso, aka Radix, her mug shot from Boynton Beach, Palm Beach County, FL USA.

Mr. Furber seems surprised by the change of tack, but he recovers: “I never really talked to her. I saw her online. We did not really chat. I know I remember when we were, when Coleman and I were really working hard, in late December (2017), I know my wife spoke to her and encouraged her, supportive, we knew that we were doing something unique, nothing like this had happened in history. It was very, it was very exhausting. It was really exhilarating. I had never really worked at that level before in my life. You are at such a high pitch. And intensity on what was going on….” 


He continues: “Well, you see, at that time, I know I believed, I really thought, that by February last year, pretty much everyone would be rounded up and executed. That was my belief. Because I was so close to the action. I know that things do not work like that anymore. In fact I think that it is going to take the whole of Trump’s term … to deal with … (unintelligible) at least.”

I say: “I pray that we get a 2d term.”

He declares: “You are getting a 2d term.” Then he explains: 

“May, tomorrow, starting May, big things are happening. (Rod) Rosenstein has now resigned. That is pretty much the last piece of the puzzle. Now he obviously cannot be in his position, because he is going to be called as a witness. He was being spied on during the transition. Jeff Sessions recused himself—when was that? August 2017—because he was being spied on. 

(The reference is to Deputy Attorney General (DAG) Rod Rosenstein, who submitted his resignation effective May 11 on April 29, 2019. Attorney General Jefferson Sessions submitted his resignation to the President on November 7, 2018, immediately following the midterm elections).

Mr. Furber: “This whole cover story. If you get it clear in your head that Rosenstein, Mueller, Sessions are all good guys working for Trump to take down the swamp, then everything makes sense. Watch what happens … (unintelligible) the IG’s report is out soon.”

(Mr. Furber here endorses a disputed Q assertion that DAG Rosenstein, the independent prosecutor Robert Mueller and former Attorney General Jefferson Sessions were all coordinating behind the scenes to assist the President–the theory becomes ludicrous when it claims that Mr. Mueller was helping the President confront the deep state). 

I say: “I hope that you are right. I got a very skeptical …”

“I know,” he says, “based on decades of experience. This time it is different. I promise you. This time it is different.”

I say, “I really, really hope so.” Then I pause. “I am sorry to have to ask this, but I have to ask it.” 

“Ask anything,” he replies. 

“What you can tell me about the criminal history of Coleman Rogers and Christina Urso?” 

He is astonished. “No idea. Do they have one? Do they really? Oh, really? What? A criminal history?”

I confirm it: “It is quite extensive, in fact.”

He asks: “Are you joking?”

I am not joking. “No.”

He shakes his head: “That is not good. Again. Sorry. Clueless. What? Was it fraud? Drugs? What was it?”

Q PamphletAnon Convicted Felon Illegally Armed Committing Another Felony

(Screengrab from oil guy, “SCAM-PHLET ANON is now ARMED & DANGEROUS on PATRIOT’S SOAPBOX,” YouTube, July 26, 2018.)

I explain that Coleman Rogers made videos of himself shopping for firearms, exorting viewers to “buy Pamphlet a gun.” This much is confirmed by the videos linked above and below. 

What remains to be clarified is whether Rogers’ prior convictions disqualify him from possessing a firearm. As a convicted felon, Rogers abdicates his rights under the 2d Amendment. I explain: “he is forbidden. He can’t purchase a gun. He can’t own a gun. He can’t touch a gun. It is another felony.”

Mr. Furber: “Oh, dear. I didn’t know that, ok…”

I continue: “These are just dots that need to be connected. He’s got an extensive criminal background, I do not have the report here…. (I look at my screen)…I do not want to be unfair to the guy, I do not want to crucify him. What I am trying to do basically is provide a factual, sequential account, of what happened.”

Q Screenshot Coleman Rogers PamphletAnon Who Wants to Buy Pamphlet A Gun? He is a Felon!

(Screengrab from J.O.E.L BOT NO. 5, “#OpQ #WaronQAnon PAMPHLET ANON & BARUCH THE SCRIBE – THE Q BAKERS,” YouTube, August 8, 2018).

I continue: “Because we are dealing with something that is an amazing phenomenon, it is an incredible phenomenon. To see it happen at this time, when we can bring so many tools to bear, across the internet, it is amazing, it is just an amazing time.”

Mr. Furber says, “Please feel free. I was not aware of that, I must be perfectly honest.”

Then he adds, “If you want any of the documents that I have written from my website, and on twitter, from my timeline, I’ll send them to you, and feel free to use them in their entirety, be my guest.”

I tell him, “I would be very grateful. And I look forward to your book. I think my own, I am at least 3-4 months out from publication. At least.”

He says, “I am also about that point. (Unintelligible) I work for myself, I am doing writing, and I am preparing for the shit to go down in this country, like you have no idea, and I am writing a book and doing other stuff, so yeah, I have done about 13 chapters out of 20, so I am at about 35,000 words, which isn’t too bad, so I’ve gone pretty far.”

He continues: “I put in a lot of background, I start way…. I start in 2016, with FBI Anon. Now this is a guy who really worked for the FBI. I have been watching and listening to genuine whistleblowers on the internet for many years now, just for my own personal interest and research, so I start with FBI Anon, who told us the truth about Hillary before the election.”

“Then I go into Pizzagate, and various other things like that, and then Q only walks up about chapter 7. So I am giving the readers background of my personal journey into how I got into Q and why I thought it was so important.”


(FBI Anon Threads 1 & 2 are anonymously posted on PasteBin).

I tell him that that background is important. 

He says, “I do refer back to what happened before and why I had a mindset like this. So people can kind of follow along with me. Because if you just say, “on 4chan, some guy posted and claimed that he was next to the President,” you cannot just dump people direct in chapter 1 . You’ve got to like convince them as you go through the journey yourself. So, yeah.”

I tell him, “the way that you explain this, it is compelling. Because one school of thought will say that Q is a LARP. And there is an argument to be made. Another school says that Q is a psyop, and this is very persuasive to me. But the fact of the matter is, neither of those things….even if they are true, they are not disqualifying of what is happening. They do not disqualify it .” 

He agrees, “And the information, and the behavior, of the elites, confirm, what is happening.” 

I agree: “That is right.” 

He continues: “I mean, the mass media, the mainstream media, are petrified with this.”

I believe this to be true: “Completely.” 

I say: “I have to ask. It is pretty abundantly clear that they use a theme server to coordinate their articles on a daily basis. Do you have any inside information on what that theme server is, who runs it? I suspect Media Matters for America (MMfA).”

He says, “I think that is one of the organizations. I believe that it is Gannet, the news organization that supplies the MSM with all their talking points for the day. And that is obviously controlled… yeah you can see the major networks all parroting exactly the same … word for word coverage. It is pathetic.”


Q March 27 2018 Reddit Great Awakening Board michaelst2256 keyword gamble theme server

(Screengrab from Reddit Great Awakening subreddit, posted by user michaelst2256, March 27, 2018). 

I say, “What is incredible to me is that they seem to believe, they seem to be convinced that mere repetition is going to hypnotize us. And they don’t realize  that we’re awake now and we’re aware of that and we see what they are doing.”

I continue: “Obviously half of the populace in America is hypnotized, and still asleep. We are not going back to sleep. We are awake. “Q sent us.” We are not going back to sleep.”

Mr. Furber states: “We want our country back.” I find it interesting that Mr. Furber says “our country,” as he is not an American. He manifestly feels a deep affection for our Republic. I appreciate this.

I add, “When you talk about civil war. You do not need to be a rocket scientist to see that this is the direction that these people are pushing. They are hoping and banking on the fact that as they tighten the internal contradictions, as they tighten those up, on the margins, weak-minded people will be forced to act. They will trip, they’ll act. This is where our false flags come from. This is all quite deliberate.” 

He agrees: “Very much so.” 

I say, “And we see it. We know what they are doing. I’ve got to tell you that really makes me very angry. Cynical is not the word for it.”

He says, “I think that the bad guys behind the scenes are absolutely petrified of the American people who are armed. And ready to defend their Constitution.”

I tell him: “We will not be disarmed.” 


He agrees. “No. You won’t. Come and take them.”

Then he notes, “And in fact, a civil war between the government or whomever and the US people would not even be close.”

I tell him, “We have all the guns.”

He says, “And you would get a 50% defection rate in the armed forces.”

I agree: “At least. That is conservative.”

He adds, “You would get the sympathetic sub captain. Offshore. Then game over. Because DC turns into smoking, melted glass, goodbye, game over.”

He continues: “The American middle class is the one thing that has prevented the elites from really taking over the world,” he says. 

He explains: “They were very close, they were a hair’s breadth away from nuking the world, with US uranium, stolen from America, shipped via Canada to the EU, Iran and North Korea. Elon Musk is going to be hanged in public over that.” 

I am surprised. “Really?” 

He means it. “So is Obama. O, yeah, he was in on it.”

I say that I did not realize that Elon Musk was implicated in Uranium One.

Mr. Furber explains: “Oh, yes, yes, yes. Elon Musk provided the guidance to North Korea for their ICBMs, which was stolen from NASA. I believe that the nuke techs were stolen by John Brennan and given to Hillary, who then emailed it to Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Iran, North Korea.” 


I say, “Or she just put in on her server so it could be harvested.”

Mr. Furber continues: “The SAP stuff that she had on her server…. is so bad…there is a video that you can see, the Inspector General being questioned by … not Nunes…the head of the Judiciary Committee…” (he means Senate Judiciary ranking member Lindsey Graham), “was there an email, you know, from Hillary, blah blah blah….he says I actually do not know how much I can say about this, because it is not in a form that is allowable to be read by the committee…I will have to get back to you AG Rosenstein, and we are going to try and rework it into a form that can be read in secret by you.” 

(As I later reviewed this transcript I realized that Mr. Furber referred to the Inspector General of the DOJ, Michael E. Horowitz, then to DAG Rod Rosenstein. They are obviously different officials. The error slipped past me during the interview).

Mr. Furber continues: “SAP programs are just above top secret stuff. It includes nuke blueprints, the identities of covert agents around the world…why do you think all the agents in China were rounded up and executed three or four years ago? Because Hillary left their identities on her fucking home server. I cannot believe that. She is a reckless idiot. Thank goodness. Because otherwise she would have won.” (Special Access Programs: SAP).


(An article with no byline on BBC: “Ex-CIA agent Jerry Chun Shing Lee admits spying for China,” May 2, 2019).

I confide that I am still perplexed by the fact that “ClownStrike (CrowdStrike) has never released those servers for forensic analysis by any government agency. And it is tolerated, it is permitted. I am mystified why the FBI does not serve subpoenas and issue orders saying that we are confiscating these servers.” 


Mr. Furber explains, “They will, in due time. I know that we all say “why, why, why?” and then I kind of draw a diagram, and I think this has got to be fixed before that is fixed, before that is fixed…there are multiple chess boards and multiple pieces….so….the original first strike was Saudi Arabia. That had to be stopped.”

He continues: “The country was basically, yeah….The US together with satellite technology and the Russian GRU and Special Forces together with the Saudis rounded up these guys. Then the Rothschilds have been taken out behind the scenes.”

He clarifies: “You know that they are broke, ok? The Rothschild family is broke. They are liquidating! They are liquidating their assets. They have their own little yard sale. Because they don’t have any money. Now that is being done behind the scenes by the President and the US military. They have taken out, he has taken out two of the three families around the world.”

(A web search reveals that the Rothschild family is liquidating assets since at least 2016).

“And the one remaining, George Soros, has been left alone, to precipitate the final takedown, however that is going to work. But at the same time, the whole of the DC culture, the elite culture, the media, the swamp, have been completely outfoxed by Mueller’s investigation. A beautiful operation.” 


Mr. Furber continues: “The President ranted and raved. No, it is gorgeous. While everyone is looking at Mueller, basically, the silent professionals under Huber and Horowitz have been rounding up the swamp and we will see the basis and subpoenas which the grand jury will return, we will see that Rosenstein and Sessions set it up so that Barr could come in and prosecute.”

“I mean, these guys all worked together in the late 80’s early 90’s to take down the mob in New York. They’ve all worked together before. Trump, Barr, Rosenstein, Sessions, Giuliani, hello, they are all friends for like 30 years. They know how to take down criminals. May. Starting tomorrow. Things start kicking off. And we’ll start seeing some scary action.” 


(US Attorney (Utah) John W. Huber, was appointed by AG Sessions to investigate FBI surveillance of Carter Page, the Clinton Foundation and Uranium One, effective November, 2017. DOJ Inspector General (IG) Michael E. Horowitz released his report in June, 2018: Prokop, Andrew, “The long-awaited inspector general report on the FBI, Comey, Clinton, and 2016, explained,” Vox Media, June 14, 2018. 

Another IG Report is expected to be released by Inspector General Horowitz shortly, within the next 2-4 weeks of publication of this transcript).

I tell Mr. Furber: “I hope that you are right. I am very tired of waiting for indictments to drop. What are your thoughts…on these sealed indictments?”

He replies, “I think that they are real, I think they are real, very real.”


(Mike Rothschild, “Why QAnon believers think “the Storm” has tripled in size,” The Daily Dot, November 26, 2018. Mr. Rothschild covers QAnon for The Daily Dot and tracks the superconspiracy, which he routinely mocks, one element of which includes a massive number of sealed indictments. 

The “welcome” page for the /qresearch/ board on 8chan states that the number of sealed indictments now exceeds 60,000. A Google Docs Criminal Cases Master List is maintained by 8chan Anons).

I mention, “David Seaman….he did put out a video awhile back where he said he had actually held in his own hands a copy of one of the sealed indictments, indicting one of the majors, he said. And he’s like, drinking champagne, you know…if this guy is proven to be engaged in a fabrication, he’s done forever.” (David Seaman, “Indictments NOW Unsealed Takedown imminent,” Disclosure News, April 7, 2018).


Mr. Furber comments, “David did outstanding work in Pizzagate. I’ll give him that. I think that he is wrong about Q, I think that he is wrong about what he is doing now, in fact I had a spat with him on Twitter and he immediately blocked me, but his Pizzagate work was bloody good, I got it all archived.” 

“And he was personally threatened, and I think a friend of his was poisoned. Horrible. These people don’t mess around. That is why I am glad that I live in the ass-end of Africa because nobody cares about me. If I was in the States I would have been taken out by now. I am sure of it.”


Mr. Furber continues: “As it is I have been told that my Twitter account cannot be banned. (Laughs). But they make sure that people cannot see what I write. My follower count keeps going down, but it cannot be banned, I’ve been told that I am on a list that cannot be banned from Twitter. James Woods can get banned. But I can write what I like. I’ve been protected, somehow, the other great thing about this…”

He explains: “You and I have been obviously doing this for years, this kind of work and research. You know that 20 years ago you had a great theory about a particular incident. And you might’ve been right, but we’ll never know. That is so frustrating. And we all get it.”

“This time, we are going to know. I reckon that if I’ve got 50% of what Q told us right….I will be happy. Because the more I look at those original posts, the more connected and subtle, and like beautifully hidden, just how much information there is, the more I look at it, the more amazed I am.” 

(And this is why Mr. Furber was on my list of potential Q’s, as he manifestly draws upon deep familiarity with historical conspiracy theories, as does Dr. Corsi, another candidate. I find it difficult to imagine James Coleman Rogers crafting the Q drops, but he also remains a potential Q. Another possibility is that the Q whisperer known as SerialBrain2 drafts the Q drops in concert with Mr. Rogers, and Anons named David Hayes and Adel Nero, among others).

He continues: “I have spent the last year on Twitter just going through all the stuff and trying to decode it and sharing ideas and whatever. And again I will send you the links so you can have a look at it.”

(Mr. Furber sent me these links, convenient Thread Unrolls to his Twitterfeed:

Here is Mr. Furber on : ).

I say, “What you see there is a superconspiracy, a conspiracy to gather them all, to absorb them all … from a standpoint as ideology, it is staggering, whomever crafted that ideology, ok, a superconspiracy, I am staggered by it.” 

I continue: “I mean, it has flaws. There are subordinate conspiracies which are less persuasive than others. But this is going to require some analysis, and it is, I believe that it is going to require some rectification, ok? One of my hypothetical theses is that QAnon needs to be taken over by hardcore professionals. Assuming that it is not already being run by professionals.”

Mr. Furber tells me, “I had a documentary maker come out to visit me from LA, his name is Cullen, Cullen Hoback, very good guy, he spent a few days with me here in January, and he’s obviously done his homework on Q.” (Cullen HobackTwitter, Wiki, IMDB).

“We filmed for a few days, it was great fun, he interviewed me at length here in my house. He thinks that Q has been a couple of different teams since January….he says the style….I have not done that work, so I can’t say yes or no…the style changed in July, and it changed again. So you could be right.”

“And again, because everyone’s anonymous, it’s all behind the scenes, we have to work indirectly, with the clues that you are given.”

(As I said previously, it is clear that multiple iterations of QAnon, different crews drafting the Q drops, can be discerned over the evolution of the phenomenon into a movement. I will address this separately).


I say: “One of the most perplexing things about this is that we are now crediting an anonymous masked man, we’re believing somebody who is pseudonymous or anonymous, but the problem is that the internal coherence of the Q drops, their internal consistency, this I think is what is so persuasive about it. When people like you and I who have been researching conspiracy theory for decades….”

Mr. Furber interjects, “Decades, yeah. Exactly.”

I continue: “We are bringing decades of context to this.”

Mr. Furber agrees, saying: “And people say….I keep telling people…there are no shortcuts guys, I’m sorry, but you need to have read all of Fritz Springmeier’s work, you need to know this guy and that guy, you need to study the sages… you preferably need to be a Christian or certainly a believer of Deus, or forget understanding any of the human parts….”

“…you need to do this, that, and you need to … not exactly the same as anyone else, as we are all different, however, but that years of experience, and researching and thinking and writing, that will help you … you can start now, but we all have it to a greater or lesser extent, this is not a particularly nice subject to work in, but it’s important…”

I say, “It is vital. It is is the struggle of our time.”

Mr. Furber says, “Well, of all ages, really, isn’t it?”


I agree, saying “It’s been going on for hundreds of years now. I can tell that you are not aware of it, but I did an analysis of Pizzagate, which I call Pedogate, in 48 installments, it is on my website…to sort of just go bottom line up front…”

He says, “No…hang on, hang on, I read that, you were on Shari Beal’s show talking about it, weren’t you… no, no , no….come on….Not you?”

“Not me.”

I explain, “Most of my writing has been pseudonymous or anonymous.”

“Ok,” he understands. 

“Only in 2017 did I actually break cover and begin publishing under my own byline. safety was the primary reason for that.”

(Esteban Trujillo de Gutierrez, “On Pseudonymity,” Magic Kingdom Dispatch, February 10, 2019).

“One of the subjects that I address is the drug wars. I was an employee of the Drug Enforcement Administration in 1990 in the Upper Huallaga Valley of Peru, I was an advisor to the Peruvian drug police…so I have a work that will probably come out, I forecast it for 2020, 2021, should I live that long….”


“Knock on wood. So I bite off these big subjects and I did the Pizzagate, the PedoGate…what I call pandemic pedophilia.”

“Oh, yes. Certainly,” he agrees.  

“I did it in 48 installments. It is on my website. I should make it into a book, but honestly I do not have the heart for it, it is such disgusting, soul sucking information….”

Mr. Furber asks: “What is the address of that, please? So I can read it for myself and also archive it?”


I reply: “Go to You will need to go back, I think I published that in 2017…it was September, October, 2017.”

(Esteban Trujillo de Gutierrez, “On the Pedophile Pandemic 48 Fin,” Magic Kingdom Dispatch, October 14, 2017). 

“Cool. Thank you.”

I add, “The 48th installment actually includes a series of links to all the previous installments so you can sort of get a meta-view of the organization of the analysis. I relied on David Seaman quite a bit on that…but I think that it was imperative to understand PedoGate…which the elites, they dismissed it, they say that it is a deluded, discredited conspiracy theory: they could not be more wrong.”

“Well,” he says, “no, they are doing it. Of course they are going to discredit it.”

I agree, “They have this little phrase that they trot out, they say it is discredited, deluded, and there is no proof and by the way it results in violence… this guy who went and fired a single round … the magic bullet, that hit the hard drive in the closet.”

Mr. Furber remembers, “It hit the hard drive, and the cameras were turned away on the day. So we could not see exactly what he did, there is a massive discrepancy between the eyewitness accounts over what he was carrying, was it a rifle, was it an AR15, was it a shotgun…..which was it, hello.”

He continues: “And the guy himself, Edgar Madison Welch…”

I interject, “he was an actor.”

Mr. Furber continues: “His film credits on IMDB…. I do not know if you picked this up….he acted in a short called There is Something About Pizza. I actually got a screenshot of that website, and it was edited about two minutes later to take it out. I will send you the screenshot. It is just hilarious, how pathetic they are, and all the news reports that appeared before the incident itself actually happened. These morons never get their timing right. Never.”

(Welch’s IMDB entry was edited to remove the reference to Something About Pizza. The approved narrative: Tom Cleary, “Edgar Maddison Welch: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know,” heavy, December 5, 2016).

Mr. Furber continues, “The first time that I was aware of this was when I watched the interview with the sheriff who was talking about Vince Foster’s murder. He was still alive at that time. Idiot. They never get it right. They did not get it right for Sandy Hook, they didn’t get it right for 9-11.”


(BBC reported the collapse of the World Trade Center Building 7 some 20 minutes before it actually fell: “BBC Sept. 11, 2001 4:54 pm – 5:36 pm (September 11, 2001)” September 11, 2001. Retrieved May 16, 2019).

I say, “What is really disturbing to me is I see them going back and they are meddling, they are fiddling around with the WayBack Machine. You do a search and click and it will not resolve, the URLs will not resolve.”

Mr. Furber says, “There is actually a good argument to be said that the WayBack Machine at was compromised in October 2016.”

“And it was pointed secretly to another server, and we are not seeing the original archive at all. That Denial of Service (DDOS) attack on the 26th of October was a huge denial, half the internet went down in the US. It was very bad here.”

I say, “The implications are horrendous. It is thought control. If you control the past, you dictate the future.”

Mr. Furber, musing: “Whomever controls the present controls the past, and whomever controls…yeah. From 1984.”

I intrude. “I want to kind of come back … what can you tell me about SerialBrain2?”

(The archived posts of Q whisperer SerialBrain2 are on the web. SerialBrain2 is a prominent Q whisperer, with a penchant for gematria and technical methods of analyzing Q drops. His analyses are sophisticated, and he must be considered a possible QAnon candidate). 

Mr. Furber shrugs, “I do not know. Sorry. No idea. I do not follow him. I haven’t heard anything by him. I just see people arguing about him on Twitter, pro and con. Sorry. I am the wrong person here.”

I say, “You might want to look at some of his analyses, they are very heavy on gematria … personally, I cannot buy it, but it makes great bathtub reading.”

He laughs. “Ok.”

I continue, “It is very entertaining. There are obviously elements that are utterly correct, but his approach is very bizarre. Let me look at my list here. What can you tell me about David Hayes, about Praying Medic?”


(Mr. Hayes is another notorious Q whisperer, recently accused of collaborating with Coleman Rogers in the “QAnon grift,” the allegation that QAnon is a con perpetrated to defraud millions of loyalists, principally through donations and subscriptions. 

My own hypothesis is that a small cabal of Anons post the Q drops, then monetize the movement through a variety of means. There are too many anomalous indicators. The question is, who, precisely, is masquerading as an imaginary military intelligence official in close proximity to President Trump?

The number of co-conspirators is unverified, but it is commonsensical that it varies in number and the participants themselves change over time. Several observers of the Q phenomenon noticed changes at inflection points, and correspondences with external events. There is evidence that different co-conspirators took over the mantle of Q at varying times. I address this in a separate work. 

Most co-conspirators appear to be Trump MAGA true believers. The problem with this theory is that it lacks a definitive candidate to craft the Q drops. The Q superconspiracy and the drops themselves are subtle—and few candidates are credible masterminds. Even accepting that the Q drops are a joint endeavor, the result of a process of compilation, the drops evince a consistency suggesting that one identifiable mind is their primary author. 

As I say, I suspected that Mr. Furber might be QAnon. My conversation with him now disinclines me to that theory, but until a better candidate emerges, he must remain on our list of potentials. Mr. Furber’s mastery of historical conspiracy theory makes him a strong contender. In fact, it makes him the most likely contender. 

The Q whisperer SerialBrain2 could also be posting as the elusive Q. The identity of SerialBrain2 is not known to me, and like Dr. Corsi did, he publishes complex, arcane Q interpretations. I strongly suspect that Jerome Corsi authored some Q drops, at least for a period. It is possible that he still is authoring them. Jerome Corsi must also remain on our list of potential Q’s.

Like Corsi, and like Mr. Furber, SerialBrain2 may also bring sufficient expertise in historical conspiracy theory to be the author of the Q drops. 

Prior to this interview, Mr. Furber was my preferred candidate. After talking with him, I am disinclined to think that Mr. Furber is the elusive Q. But he cannot yet be definitively eliminated from contention.

Returning to the “Praying Medic,” Mr. David Hayes, it is important to recall that he edited his website at the peak of recent controversy. Mr. Hayes originally stated that donations to his tax-free religious ministry were tax deductible. Then with no explanation, that phrasing was mysteriously removed from his website. 

Then Mr. Hayes ceased accepting donations via Patreon. All of these indicators suggest that Mr. Hayes consulted a lawyer who advised him to minimize his potential exposure. There was undeniable synchronicity between certain Q drops and statements made by Mr. Hayes. 

Most famously, Mr. Hayes threatened critics of QAnon: “… Be careful. This is not a threat, but you can end up with 800 anons from 8chan digging through your garbage.” (UniRock Review, “Praying Medic Non Profit exposed as a false prophet profiting – Consp THeory becomes Slacktivism -” YouTube, April 4, 2019).

(Roosevelt Media News, “Patriots’ Soapbox Doxxes Sebastion Gorka, Smears MAGA Coalition (Praying Medic, QAnon),” YouTube, March 25, 2019; Isaac Green (aka antischool), “8chan complies with 12 US Govt. agenciesMicrochip predicts Trump tweet,” YouTube, April 6, 2019).


About Mr. Hayes, Mr. Furber replies, “Again, I do not know him personally, I do follow him on Twitter, again, strange analysis, he interprets his own dreams most of the time, as far as I can tell.”

He continues: “It is weird. But he has been right about a lot of things. I will put it that way. I know he did a Periscope, early on, I am talking about November 2d or 3d, 2017, when he said “I’ve come across this guy Q, on 4chan, he may be the real deal.” So he has been there from the beginning, and been interpreting, so I will give him that. And if you look at his Twitter timeline you will see that he links to the video.”

I comment, “A lot of the synthesis and analysis is taking place behind the scenes on Discord servers. What can you tell me about all that?”


He agrees. “Yeah. This always happens. You get different groups and individuals doing their work, and they’ll have different interactions, some of them will be in public, some of them will be on the ‘chans, where it is hard to know what is going on unless you are in there.”

“And some will be behind the scenes on Discord. So it is hard to gauge who is talking about what, or who is working with who, especially if you do not know as an outsider.”

He continues, “And I am now officially an outsider. I am only on my own Discord. I do not have time to devote…I have always been kind of a big-picture person anyway. So…I believe that I am still under orders from the original Q.”

“I still consider myself under orders, and the orders are to spread the word, so I have been doing that on social media, but I still do go into the ‘chans, just to see what is going on, and I do watch YouTube videos, and I do follow links of analysis, but I am not nearly as hands-on, just from the point of time, really….” (Unintelligible). 

I say, “I do not think that it is profitable to get too deep into the weeds on this, we do not need to be aware of the schisms and the infighting…”

He agrees, “Yeah exactly.”

“It is a waste of our time.”

I redirect, “So we were talking about Tracy Beanz, about Tracy Diaz, she was critical I think in the very beginning, I think that it was the 3d of November she came out with that video, she basically introduced Q Anon to the world….”

Mr. Furber: “To her subscribers, exactly.”

I continue: “I am sure that you read her long 7,000 word apologia on SteemIt: what are your comments on that?”

(The video where Tracy Diaz introduces the world to QAnon: Tracy Beanz, “/POL/- Q Clearance Anon – Is it #happening???,” YouTube, November 3, 2017. The 7,000 word apologia that Ms. Diaz posted on SteemIt: Tracy Diaz (@tracybeanz), “She stood in the Storm …SteemIt, May 18, 2018. She enjoys a large donation base on Patreon).

Mr. Furber affirms, “I agreed 100%, I stand by every word that she wrote there. She is dead-on.”

Mr. Furber is referring here to the controversy that erupted in the Q’verse after Q posted the infamous “profiteering” Q drop. Certain Anons, Ms. Diaz among them, and Dr. Corsi, were accused of profiting from the Q phenomenon. I also address that controversy in detail separately.

Q Beanz Responds to Q Profiteering Post Tweet Response 29 Apr 18

Tracy Diaz (@tracybeanz), April 29, 2018.

I say, “Let me continue looking on my list here.” Ah. This is a big one. I ask, “Give me your thoughts on the deep state.”

“Phew,” he says. 

“I know, I know.” (I agree that it is a big subject. But it is critical to explain where we are coming from as conspiracy theorists. A solid definition of the deep state, or a redefinition, as I put it in an article on my website, is an important element for this interview and for our work.)

Mr. Furber explains, “So I read the Devil’s Chessboard, several times, I have done an awful lot of reading on the CIA, (unintelligible) I read The Secret Team by Fletcher Prouty, Fletcher Prouty’s book on The Secret Team, I’ve done an awful amount of background reading on the CIA.”

(David Talbot, The Devil’s Chessboard: Allen Dulles, the CIA, and the Rise of America’s Secret Government, HarperCollins, 2015; L. Fletcher Prouty, The Secret Team: The CIA and Its Allies in Control of the United States and the World, Englewood Cliffs: Prentice-Hall, 1973. Link is to the 1997 edition).

“I read A Thousand Days, I read all of Robert Caro’s books on LBJ … my father was a US historian, and introduced me to the US and to its politics at a very young age, so, yeah, it is his fault…so I have done years of reading about it…. the deep state…there are a lot of definitions of it.”

(Arthur Schlesinger, A Thousand Days: John F. Kennedy in the White House, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2002; Robert Caro, The Years of Lyndon Johnson: The Path to Power, New York: Knopf, 1982; The Years of Lyndon Johnson: Means of Ascent, 1990; Master of the Senate: The Years of Lyndon Johnson, 2002; The Passage of Power: The Years of Lyndon Johnson, 2012; Volume 5 (Untitled), forthcoming).

“I think…it is very much the unelected…it is two things. People talk about it …what do they say? They mean like rogue groups of the CIA, they have been in existence since the 1950’s….when you look at the ’53 overthrow in Iran. That was completely CIA… (referring to CIA case officer Kermit Roosevelt overthrowing the PM of Iran, Mosaddegh: Operation TPAJAX)…”

I interject: “Operation Northwoods.”

Mr. Furber continues, “Northwoods, Mockingbird, (unintelligible) all of those disgraceful operations …MKUltra….which is another thing that I have read an awful bit about….There is that half of it, then there is the unelected bureaucrats and federal workers around the world, not just in the states, though in the states it is the most prevalent.”

(Operation MKULTRA and Operation MONARCH: An alleged subordinate operation to Operation MKULTRA, the best-known reference is the problematic work by Cathy O’Brien & Mark Phillips, Trance Formation of America, 1995).

He explains: “Who basically oppose whomever the elected representatives are of the President. So I see it as those two different aspects of it. I think the most dangerous, the geopolitical ones, are obviously the intelligence agencies, who are their own bosses, with no oversight, no transparency, they have their own rules, and they basically act as private bully boys for the elites.”

He notes: “MI6 can just spy on presidential candidates because it is illegal to in the US…and the FVEY guys. It just makes a mockery of the rule of law and nationalism and citizen’s freedoms around the world…I am not a fan.”

I comment that, “I am pretty much convinced that the ultimate struggle of our time is between nationalism and globalism.”

Mr. Furber agrees: “Correct. Yeah. 100%.”

I say, “Let us talk a little about your thoughts….on the  monetization of QAnon. Who is making money from the movement now? How do they do that?”

Mr. Furber: “I think that Patriot’s Soapbox is probably making the most money. Not me. That is for sure. Just the opposite. I lost a couple of jobs because I spent too much time researching Q. Yeah. Yeah.”

I declare: “You are going to be redeemed by history, Mr. Furber. Do not worry.”

He laughs. “Thank you. I believe so. If I can stay alive in my own country. That is one of my biggest motivations, by the way. I want to see The Storm rolling out. I will fight off any number of people just to watch it happen.”

I say, “It is interesting to me, because you know, you are a South African. So talk to me a little bit about how you feel about President Trump, I mean, about 45.”

Mr. Furber replies, “I am a huge fan. A giant fan. From way back when. But I am kind of rare in this country, I am an English-speaking conservative. Most English speakers (in South Africa) are very liberal, and you know, progressive. I have nothing in common with them ideologically.”

“The Afrikaans speakers are big fans of President Trump, and they are nationalists, and they are conservative. I have much more in common with Afrikaans-speakers than I have with other white people here.”

I ask, “Those are pretty much the ones that are migrating to Russia. Is that not correct?”

He says, “Well, lots of them are, but there is a good four million of us who cannot go anywhere, so we are just going to stand right where we are.”

I say, “It is just incredibly ironic that so many of us are fleeing to Russia, to Vladimir Putin. You know, for sanctuary. That is incredible.”

Mr. Furber observes, “Vlad, Vlad is, I have no problems with him at all. He is in favor of Russia.”

I say: “I do not either.”

Mr. Furber: “He is in favor of Russia. And Russia is a white nationalist Christian nation that hates the global elite, really hates them. So does China by the way. And that is why Trump has good relations with both China and Russia, because he knows that they are on his side. And the Saudis, too.”

I say, “Well, they are all nationalists, but we all are in opposition to ….”

Mr. Furber interjects, “Well, of course but in terms of trade, things like that, not in terms of overrunning our country with immigrants, or in trafficking our kids. Which is what the elites do.”

I ask, “What can you tell me about Microchip?” I am going down my list of personalities involved in various aspects of the Q superconspiracy, and Mr. Furber knows many of them.

(Joseph Bernstein, “Never Mind the Russians, Meet the Bot King Who Helps Trump Win Twitter, BuzzFeed News, April 5, 2017; Georgi Boorman, “From Trolling to Fleecing: Co-Creator of “Q” Hoax Explains Its Scary Evolution,” The Federalist, October 29, 2018).

Mr. Furber rolls his eyes. “Oh, God. Yeah. A liar. He did not write the Q posts. Sorry. No way. I do not know him personally. I read his claims. I thought, “rubbish.” 

I agree: “Preposterous.”

He affirms, “Absolute nonsense, yeah. Every time that you see a Discord chat being presented as evidence, it probably has been faked, because it is an .html page, and you can go in and edit those to your heart’s content. They are proof of nothing.”


I ask, “Let me … talk to me a little bit about your thoughts about Satanism at high levels of power.”

Mr. Furber: “Yeah. It is endemic. Yeah … Luciferianism, the connection is Masonic, so at high levels Masons, 32 degrees and up, I think 33 and up, worship Lucifer. That is explicitly in their texts.”

“If you go and read Morals and Dogma, by Albert Pike, if you read The Secret Teachings of All Ages by Manley P. Hall, if you read some of their … I got my hands on a couple of, I think … that Kentucky Grand Lodge … I got in my hands some of their documents, which are their secret documents, we worship Lucifer, hello.”

(Albert Pike, Morals and Dogma of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite of Freemasonry, 1871, 2011; Manley Palmer Hall, The Secret Teachings of All Ages, 1928).

He continues: “Yeah, the world is run by the elite Masons, and at that level, they all worship Satan. So, the symbols, the handshakes, the terminology, it is a dead giveaway, if you know their little inside secrets,.”

He explains: “Yeah, so I am pretty sure that most world leaders are senior Masons, most senior leaders are senior Masons, the tech giant guys, if they are not Masons, then they are being controlled by them through the usual blackmail methods, the pedo methods, which is standard.”

“So European royalty, the British Royal family, most of the Obama administration, about 40% of Congress, I know that Larry and Sergei from Google are Satanists, so is Dick Durban, so is Michelle and Barry, they are all connected, hello, they are all members of the cult.”

I must ask it so I do: “Is Michelle a man?” Referring to former First Lady Michelle Obama. 

Mr. Furber: “Yeah, absolutely. No question.”

I say: “You look at her videos…”

He continues, “Her digit ratio (referring to her finger lengths, which are masculine)…Well, that is another thing about elites, about elite Masonry, is the worship of the androgynous. Again, you just have to go and read, Cabalistic Keys of the Creation of Man, in The Secret Teaching of All Ages, and you will see, that Adam was created androgynous, which is bullshit, and we all need to get back to the divine androgyne.”

(Manly Palmer Hall, “The Cabalistic Keys of the Creation of Man,” The Secret Teachings of All Ages, 1928).

“So … the number of trannies at high … there are no real women in Hollywood. There are no real women in the music industry. Taylor Swift is a fucking boy with makeup on. Angelina Jolie is a man. You know, Chuck Schumer is married to a man.” (The wife of Senator Chuck Schumer is Mrs. Iris Weinshall).

“The number of X’s and X’s who are secretly transgender because it has to be done in the spirit of deception, see—the father, Satan, the son, Lucifer, and the spirit of deception—the unholy trinity that deposes the real trinity, and again … because something spiritual happened in October, 2017.”

He explains: “I am not talking about Q, I am talking about … something happened, whether it was the Saudi thing or something else, but something was lifted from the world, and the spirit of deception much reduced.”

He continues: “People are now starting to see, that, oh! so-and-so is transgender! Why? The Prime Minister of New Zealand! Come on, he is a fucking boy with makeup on! A fucking ugly man with makeup on.”

“Who just organized a false flag in Christchurch, I mean, disgraceful, using a professional killer. I downloaded that video from 8chan and I immediately mirrored it on my own website. Just to piss off the elites, because, yeah.” (The 40th Prime Minister of New Zealand is Ms. Jacinda Ardern).


I say, “Unfortunately, this is what we are reduced to, we have to grab stuff like that, and we have to save them, because they are suppressing them.”

Mr. Furber: “I have been saving things for years now because I had some weird experiences with stuff, just went away in a memory hole, but yeah… this is an information war, so if you can host your own information and get it out there, then you are fighting the battle.”

(This is an important point, as the internet makes it possible for us to find information as never before. Likewise, the deep state is acutely aware that controlling access to information is control of minds, and meddling with Google search results, and with the WayBack Machine, is one method that they use to influence the present and hence the future).

I switch gears: “Let us talk a little bit about how brilliant the Socratic questioning of the Q drops is…”

“Ah,” Mr. Furber says. 

I ask: “Talk to me about that.”

Mr. Furber: “Uh … we had a guy … we had a guy who was obviously a high-level spook, a good guy, coming on in early November, what he was doing is getting you to ask and answer the questions for yourselves. But they can’t be detected by the normal filters that the bad guys are using…”

I say, “right…”

He continues: “He’s giving you the information and he’s getting you to ask questions. Which … there are certain things that you can only find out for yourself, there are certain things that you can only believe if you have done the work yourself, in fact I think that is true of most of the subjects that we are discussing here. Although this is true of our research.”

I say: “This is how we break our programming.”

Mr. Furber: “Yeah. Ask questions! As soon as Christchurch happened I went on Twitter and I started asking questions, who is this guy, what was his background, how did he get into the country, how did he get ahold of all these weapons when they are illegal?”


He asks: “Why is the video of him performing the massacre out of bounds? Why is he such a stone-cold killer, why does he have a thousand yard stare? Why does he act so professionally? Why does know how to clear a gun jam? Yeah, he was a professional assassin, from beginning to end, that much was clear.”

Mr. Furber continues: “And that very much came from Q, where you ask questions, because the media today does not ask questions, they just vomit propaganda into our homes. So I think Q, that was one of the great things that he did was to get us to ask questions.”

He explains: “It could not be picked up, at least at first, while he got that really good information out, and it got us into the right mindset, where you question everything, because everything we are being told is a lie. So ask questions. But yeah. Love it. It was just brilliant.”

I agree: “It is just brilliant, and as I say the ultimate origins of QAnon increasingly are becoming irrelevant, what really matters is the effectiveness of it, he’s red-pilled … whomever Q is, and has been, and I agree that it (Q) has changed at different times, he’s red-pilled millions of us, millions of people are now…”

“…All over the world,” he confirms. 

“Everywhere,” I say. Then I transition again: “Talk to me a little bit about FarmerFunkk.”

Q Farmer Funk to AntiSchool Original Name was Georgi2

FarmerFunkk (or Farmer Funk) is connected to the QResearch board on 8chan, and was a Moderator on the CBTS_Stream subreddit. (QAnon The Storm X.VI (Aggregated Q Drops), IAMBECAUSEWEARE, p. 734).

Mr. Furber: “Ah, Farmer. Farmer was a regular Anon, on my board. I didn’t see him before on 4chan, though he may have been there. He was a Mod on CBTS (Calm Before the Storm) and I worked with him a lot over Discord. I spoke to him a lot on Discord. I haven’t really spoken to him recently. But I see him occasionally on Twitter. Yeah. Good guy. From Atlanta, I think. And, yeah. He was a Mod, and I got on really well with him.” 


I ask: “You do not happen to know his real name?”

Mr. Furber: “No idea, no. Sorry, no. We were all Anonymous. I gave my real name away in May of last year. I outed myself, just so anonymity was not an issue for me anymore.”

I say: “Well I think that is a form of security for you as well.”

He agrees: “Well, true. I decided very early on that I was going to tell the truth about absolutely anything that I was asked, or that I was not going to be deceptive or engage in any playing games with others from day one, in fact. From day one on my board. So it just made things a whole lot easier.”


I observe: “One of the greatest weapons that we have is the internal consistency of our ideas.”

Mr. Furber continues: “And again, people looking back, from October to now, will not catch me in a lie, because I have not told any. No need. Also again, because I consider myself under orders to get the word out, and to tell the truth about what we have been told. People have tried (to catch him in a lie). Very hard. They haven’t. But you can look at any one of my interviews that I have done and see the same story. You will see me tell it in 80 different ways, but it is still the same.”

I say: “It is much easier to keep track of the truth.”

Mr. Furber: “Exactly. Exactly.”

I ask: “Who is Abobo?”

He replies: “Abobo is another guy, a good guy, he lives in Cleveland. Ohio. And Abobo was another Mod from 8chan, good guy, again, I spoke to him a lot on the board, he did a couple of interviews with me and Pamphlet and Tracy.”


I intrude, “Was he in the November 3 interview?” (I misspoke, I meant the December 19 2017 interview by Tracy Diaz (aka TracyBeanz). There was a third moderator who was unnamed, so I am seeking to confirm that this was the Anon known as Abobo).

“Maybe that is possible. There was me and Pam … that is Abobo’s voice. That is Abobo, yeah. Good guy. (He) was a mod, helped me a lot, when the board got out of hand, banning people, keeping control of everything that was going on.”

Q Screenshot qntmpkts Twitterfeed May 18 2019

I ask: “Who is qntmpkts?”

Mr. Furber: “Don’t know that name, sorry. No idea.”

I say: “It is kind of spelled bizarrely. I think that it is the owner of”

Mr. Furber: “Don’t know. I downloaded that website to get a local copy of it in case it went bye-bye…I don’t know the name, I do not know who runs it, sorry.”

I say: “We have to have copies.”

Mr. Furber: “I save and I archive everything, everything.”

I intrude again, “We have to, we have to, this is the reality of our times. I was going to tell you, when you are looking at my website, I did write an article, Redefining the Deep State, I think that you will find it useful, and I would appreciate your thoughts on it.”

(Esteban Trujillo de Gutierrez, “Redefining the Deep State,” Magic Kingdom Dispatch, June 22, 2017).

He replies, “Pleasure. Will do.”

I say, “I am wondering, you are a very good interview, you come across very well, you express yourself very clearly and persuasively, I am curious why you do not do any work on YouTube?”

Mr. Furber: “Because it will get taken down.”


I persist: “How about DLIve?”

Mr. Furber: “The things that I have to say on YouTube will just get instantly deleted. In fact, something of mine has been deleted before.”

I suspect that he has not yet heard of DLIve, so I persist: “What about DLIve? Are you aware of DLive?”

Mr. Furber: “I looked at a number of alternatives, BitChute, DLive …”

I say: “DLive just came out, it just happened, Seaman calls it, it is DLive, and it looks like a censorship-resistant platform based on blockchain …it looks, phenomenal…”

Mr. Furber: “The publishing deal that I am going to get, well, that I have had a verbal confirmation of, from Vox Day, he just launched a video platform called UnAuthorizedTV, which looks very tempting. That would be very interesting.”

I ask: “Where is it hosted?”

Mr. Furber: “Knowing Vox, somewhere that is completely secure and impervious to attack.”

I reply, “I hope so. We desperately need it. Ah. before I forget….and again, I do have to apologize…”

Mr. Furber: “Ask me anything, anytime.”

I say: “Talk to me a little bit about DeFango (controversial grey hat hacker Manuel Chavez III).”

Q Manuel Chavez III aka Defango March 18, 2018 Screenshot

Manuel Chavez III, (aka Defango), “The Q Timeline 4chan,” DefangoTV, YouTube, March 18, 2019.

Mr. Furber: “Ah. Merlin. So. I followed Manny from….because one of the guys…let me step back a bit….roundabout….just after Pizzagate…so January last year…no, January, 2017… I got hooked on George Webb’s videos on YouTube.”


Q George Webb Screenshot YouTube Nov 29 2018

“He continues: “George Webb is an ex-Mossad guy who dropped the most amazing information about trafficking and organ harvesting and deep state …  I believe, I knew that he was a limited hangout, so that I treated … kind of information that was ok, and came to most of it as misdirection.” 

“It was hard to tell which was which. And then through him via his commentary, I followed Defango’s channel, and I was interested in what Defango was doing with Cicada, because I did not know that project and I found it interesting.”

I agree. “Oh, yeah.”

He nods. “Oh, yeah, it was, it was very interesting, and Defango was pretty damned good at what he was doing with Cicada. So, I followed him for awhile. But I think that it became clear at the end of 2017 that Cicada ended.”


“And I think Defango, um….was trying to latch onto something that he wanted to be involved in, but he wasn’t. Defango had nothing to do with Q, those were two different projects, really, and he wasn’t involved. He tried to make himself involved but he wasn’t, really.”

(Manuel Chavez III and James Brower (aka DreamCatcher) claimed to be the creators of QAnon, in collaboration with the Anon known as Microchip (see above), only to see Q immediately taken over by otherwise unidentified Anons on the ‘chans. The theme that Q is “stolen” recurs, echoing the different iterations of QAnon that can be discerned. We must also remember that Coleman Rogers supplanted Paul Furber on 8chan, stealing the Q account, exiling him from the Q moderator Discord server.

Chavez claims that the first Q drops are from different identities, from different web browsers, and no tripcode was used. Tripcodes (and hence the identity of Q) did not begin until November, when the password was “Matlock.” Chavez did blow the cover of Cicada 3301 on an episode of Nathan Stolpman’s Lift the Veil, but he fails to prove that he also exposed QAnon.

(lifttheveil (@lifttheveil411) (Nathan Stolpman), “#QAnon & Cicada 3301 Exposed? w/ Defango & Cicada members,” SteemIt, May 8, 2018).

Chavez and Brower’s origin tale lacks verifiable elements, and both are notorious internet trolls. Their interview with Jason Bermas (aka Pulse Change) was derided by the Q’verse, nobody believed them, and Bermas was condemned for granting them a platform.

(Jason Bermas (Pulse Change), “Ask Me Anything with the Real Q!” YouTube, January 14, 2019; Alexandra Bruce, “Q And the Fine Art of the Shit Post,” Forbidden Knowledge TV, January 14, 2019).

Still, Chavez and the mysterious Anon known as Microchip separately credited James Brower with the first two Q drops on October 27, 2017. This origin story was given a further push by Jack Posobiec in a news segment for OANN, repeating the same claims but offering no credible forensic evidence. Like Bermas, Posobiec was derided by the Q’verse.

(Defango TV, “OG Q Exposed: MICROCHIP – Defango in Wonderland,” YouTube, September 4, 2018).

Q Crooked Hillary Deplanes Smiling Posobiec Q Anon Expose

Mr. Furber continues: “So yeah. Personally, I get on with him very well, I actually have been on his show a couple of times. (Unintelligible) I actually want to get onto his show where I interview him about Cicada, I want to talk to him, because I do not know enough about it. I would love to get his perspective on what really happened … how he (unintelligible) stuff, I mean, that is just interesting to me.”

I ask: “Can you send me the links for those interviews? I would love to see them.”

“Yeah, no, absolutely, sure.” 

“Please make a note. Cicada … I begin my book by discussing Cicada, and the known facts about Cicada are very far and few between. I did interview Arturo Tafoya, who was the predominate videographer, and he was a fascinating interview, really good stuff. I will send you the draft of that chapter.”

Arturo Tafoya Full Facial Screen Shot

Cicada 3301 video artist Arturo Tafoya (aka Lestat).

Mr. Furber: “Great, yeah, sure.”

I say, “Utterly fascinating about Cicada.”

Mr. Furber: “I haven’t done it yet, well I’ve done one where I went on his show, I did another show where I was with him, talking to UniRock. So…”


Q UniRock YouTube Q Exposes September 10, 2018

(UniRock (aka Jason Smith), “TRACY BEANZ & YVA back out of WEBSITE | THE DEBUNK & Political Theft of the Truth COMMUNITY | #RP2PB,” UniRock2, YouTube, September 10, 2018).

I must ask, so I do: “What do you think about UniRock?”

Mr. Furber: “UniRock is a strange guy, he had me on his show a few times talking about Q, and then in March last year, he said that, no, I was behind it all. He accused me of being the LARPer who was behind Q. Nonsense. That is just crazy.”

“There have been a few people like that, again, guys like Roy Potter who spoke to me a lot about Q in the early days, but then he thought that I was involved with Patriot’s Soapbox, and deceiving people at the time, and believe me, I was the first person to be banned from Patriot’s Soapbox so I don’t know what’s going on in there, I am not involved. And I do not want to be.”

Q LTC Roy Potter ScreenShot Appeal to Baruch Paul Furber Aug 10 2018

(J.O.E.L Bot No. 5, “#OpQ #WaronQAnon BARUCH THE SCRIBE – PLEA FROM A PATRIOT,” YouTube, August 10, 2018

I say: “Now that I have spoken with you, and looking at the coherence of your dialogue, it is abundantly clear to me that you are not the LARPer.”

Mr. Furber: “I never pretended to be Q, and I never made a cent out of Q. Those are the two accusations that get thrown at me. Even just the other day somebody said, “this is you,” I said, get lost. Please, Enough.”

I comment, “Well, if you do a superficial analysis, you can come to that conclusion.”

He agrees: “You can do it, yeah. But again we are faced with the same problem that anyone has, as to who is dealing with who behind the scenes on Discord, and who is doing their own work, and who is accused and which group do you belong to, and who is friendly with whom.” 

“It is impossible to penetrate that unless you have all the facts in front of you, which none of us do. I have my Discord chat where I have spoken to people, and I have an entire archive on my board of 8chan up until sort of March last year, where I just left it alone, in fact it was taken over, somebody else runs it now. I do not care.” 

He explains: “Somebody else said it was an abandoned board, which it was, so yeah, so, they got CBTS, I do not care, I have that piece of history backed up on archive from whenever it was, November 21st to March or April, no problemo.”

I say: “That has got to be a gigantic volume of stuff, very large…”

Mr. Furber: “It is 8GBs I think, images and text, so it is not too bad. It is about 8GB. It is mirrored on my website, you want to check it out anytime, you can, again all information I have is freely available. Help yourself. I will send you the exact link. It is not linked from the front page.”

Me: “Thank you very much.” 

Mr. Furber: “Sure, sure.”

I begin to wrap up. “I got to say that this has been a delightful talk with you, I am really pleased to make your acquaintance.”


Mr. Furber: “My pleasure.”

Me: “I am going to have to rework several chapters of this book now in light of this conversation that we have had, recalibrate my thinking in certain ways, now I need to go back and do some hard work, but when I get the draft to a greater point of completion, I will run it past you, that way you are aware….”

Mr. Furber: “Please, please, yes, be my guest…”

I continue: “I do not practice gotcha journalism, that is not what I am about at all, so I will run it past you for your review, so if there are any errors, we can work that out to fix that stuff, because I want to produce a work of political science and history that is an analysis of the ideology behind Q Anon.”

Mr. Furber: “Right, right. That is a really cool angle, I never thought of that angle before, but the more I talk to you, the more I realize that it needs to be done.”

I agree: “It needs to be done. It’s got to be a work of political science. You’ve got to come at this from the standpoint that history does not just happen, shit does not just happen, alright, because conspiracy theory is the reigning method of historical analysis of our time, this is how we understand our reality, conspiracy theory.”

Mr. Furber: “I agree.”

I continue: “And this is the thing, with conspiracy theory we are being tarred and feathered in the media, you know, we are being dismissed as lunatics …”

Mr. Furber: “Well, the term, yeah …well, deliberately so.”

I interject: “Well, the CIA came up with it …”

Mr. Furber is well aware of it: “They come up with the bloody thing as a response to the outrage about the Warren Commission Report, that was a funny part of Devil’s Chessboard, when Dulles goes to university, and there is a guy there, obviously like an Anon from the 60’s, you know, somebody who today would be hanging out on 4chan doing analysis and intelligence research and this young student is immaculately researched in all the bullshit that is in that Report, and he grilled him for a full hour: I was like, Yes! You made him squirm, man, and that is exactly what could never happen today.”

(Mr Furber makes a valid point: who can imagine DCI Gina Haspel ever subjected to a probing interview about illegally erasing the Torture Tapes from Site Green in Thailand, where she was Chief of Base?)

I say: “It is frightening to me the way that we see these assaults on 8chan, and on 4chan, because they are, de facto, the lone remaining bastions of free speech …”

Mr. Furber: “The last bastions of free speech, exactly …”

I continue: “And they are under assault, they are absolutely under assault right now, and it is going to get worse, and when they are gone, I think there is no place left for all the rest of us to go, to have these conversations, we’ve got to go to the deep web.”


Mr. Furber: “I know, which has its own problems. I have been on there quite often, I don’t like saying that, the ‘chans are pretty much …”

I ask: “How do you navigate it?” Which is the key question to ask any habitué of the deep web. 

Mr. Furber: “You pick up hints and such from other users, the Silk Road was very useful back in the day, very useful, again, just from an information point of view,  but, these days, I have not been on there for a couple of years now, so I don’t know what the status of it is…”

I add, “Part of the problem there as well is that the deep state will have its scrutiny on that, we are in a hazardous time, the internet has revolutionized everything, it changed absolutely everything, it is on par with the development of fire.”

I continue: “Well, I think that I’ve gone down my list, I am sure that I am missing things….talk to me a little bit more about Jerome Corsi.” 

Mr. Furber: “I’ve been a fan of many years, actually, because of his books. I read that one about the Clintons from a few years ago, and then FBI Anon actually endorsed it, he said, “Dinesh D’Souza has nothing on Hillary, the one putting pieces together was Jerome Corsi…so I thought, oh, that’s cool….”


“They will only have an effect on public opinion, which will help her get indicted. But I assure you, Dinesh D’Souza has nothing on her. The only person coming close is Jerome Corsi. He is putting the pieces together (loosely).”

“I noticed him….he was huge on Reddit, on the subreddit, he’d been posting like, check this out, this is a link to what Q’s signature meant, his string of code names, it was brilliant… he had a top secret clearance before in the early ’70’s, when he was a young journo he’d been given top secret clearances to work on these stories before, so he knows his stuff. He’s been decoding this stuff since we were born.”

I must intrude: “Do you have any evidence of that, any proof of that?” 

(There is no indication anywhere on the net that Jerome Corsi ever did any work for the intelligence community, which most people do not know, unless they searched for it as I did, and came up empty). 

Mr. Furber: “ … that he had a TS clearance before? I can find it for you. I think…”

Me: “Please do, because Corsi claims to have a long history in the intelligence community and I came up empty, I looked, I searched…”

Mr. Furber: “Yeah, ok, I took him at face value, and the things that I did check out did check out, so I will help you on that and see what I can find…”

I clarify: “I am not trying to crucify anybody …”

Mr. Furber: “Yeah, Corsi’s work for WMD and for InfoWars and his work, you know, with Roger Stone, people like that, I can see come from a deep background of working that kind of material, so I really had no problem with it and in fact, as I say, I was a fan, and when he started posting on the subreddit, I was like wow, he is brilliant, we need to invite him to Discord so we can start talking to him.” 

He continues: “We had very long conversations with him where he would explain, I mean he absolutely had contacts in the intelligence community, and with, you know, people from all over, he was just fascinating to listen to.”

“Again he was in the subreddit, and in the Discord, for the two or three weeks before I was banned, and then I saw him continuing on Patriot’s Soapbox being interviewed, so yeah. That was pretty much my contact with him for those couple weeks.”

I ask: “What happened?”

Mr. Furber continues: “Yeah, that is right, I did not quite follow it, it was sometime in May last year, he suddenly said that Q was a LARP, which was weird, and then he tweeted out something saying that I had integrity, and listen to this interview with the board owner,  so that was nice, I got an endorsement from him, but he obviously had some kind of a split with Patriot’s Soapbox.”

“But he then realized a couple of—months after that— the same thing that I realized, is that Q now has a life of its own, and it actually didn’t matter to a certain extent who is behind the current team …”

Me: “…exactly…”

Mr. Furber: “That this movement of people questioning the world around them had picked up so much of its own steam that it did not matter.”

I agree: “Right. Not any more.”

Mr. Furber: “The number of people digging and investigating and subjecting Trump’s enemies to the most strict scrutiny, is what really counts, and they do, hundreds of thousands of eyes are looking at every member of Obama’s administration at any one time, saying what are you doing? It never would have come out that the Obamas were in Paris last week but for all the Anons, like, posting photos of them.”

(Unless I am missing something on 8chan, only Michelle Obama was in Paris the week that Notre Dame burned. The photo most often shared by fake news media was of the Obama family lighting candles inside Notre Dame early in the first term of the Obama presidency).

I interject: “The simple fact that we are now, that we now have so many people who are now actively aware of the deep state, and we see the collusion with the mainstream media, and it is so obvious, right?”

Mr. Furber: “It is our turn to surveil them, it is our turn to put eyes on them, yeah. And they do not like it much.”

I say: “It changes everything, and it is one of the reasons why I have such optimism, because we are not going to go back to sleep. That is not going to happen.”

Mr. Furber: “No. Especially not when Q once said the world will not swallow the truth, but I think that a lot of people are nearly ready to swallow the whole truth.”

I agree: “Well, the whole truth as you say…”

He continues: …”yeah, it is disgusting and appalling, but it is the truth, and we need to know and we need to exterminate these people before we allow any of them in power again. And it needs …”

I interject: “And you notice that there is the “Me, Too” Movement, they still will not talk about pedophilia in Hollywood, they won’t talk about it …”

Mr. Furber: “That is another thing, Hollywood is going to go down, publicly and spectacularly, and they are very quiet at the moment, they are not saying a whole lot of things, because they are going to be taken down, too…”

Me: “I hope that you are right. I got to go back…”

Furber: “Yeah.” 

Me: “I got to go back just to be complete… talk to me about that interview that you did with Rob Dew on the 27th …”

Mr. Furber: “Yeah, 27th of December…, oh, that was great, that was great fun, I enjoyed that, so …”

Q Announcement by Pam Anon of Drew Interview in InfoWars on 27 Dec 17

Coleman Rogers posting as “<3 PA,” for PamphletAnon, on the now-banned CBTS_Stream subreddit, December 27, 2017. Rogers, Paul Furber and Tracy Diaz were the three moderators. Notice the emphasis on verifiable fact, the awareness that hostile eyes would be watching, the sense that moderators were representing the entire Q community, inviting group participation. Could Rogers be masquerading as QAnon?

Me: “Talk to me about that interview.” 

Mr. Furber: “Yeah, Rob, we set it up with, I think I emailed Rob, or Pamphlet may have emailed Rob, and then on Discord we arranged to connect with them, and we set it up and then, then I think Rob’s producer called me, he might have called me on my mobile.”

Pamphlet was then living in Philadelphia at the time, and it was the middle of an ice storm, so he drops out, I do not know if you noticed, but for about the middle-third of the interview I am the only one that is talking, Pamphlet could not get back, anyway he did get back in the end.” 

“And Rob just went through the material that I had written for the subreddit, and just asked me questions, yeah it was a fun one, I enjoyed that, obviously we were still Anonymous, but what happened immediately after that interview a whole lot of people who were obviously regular listeners to Alex Jones, and InfoWars, then joined the subreddit.”

“So I then welcomed them, saying hey guys, pause it, we’re sorry, this is to the older patriots, we’re sorry it has taken a while to get a hold of you, but hey, this is how the world works and you know because you watch InfoWars, and let us know if we can answer your questions.” 

“So that was a very good interview, it grew our audience, because you do not want people who are 50-60 years old hanging out on the ‘chans, they are not used to it, it is such a hostile environment, and deliberately so, because it excludes the easily offended, it excludes people who cannot actually defend their arguments, and that is why it is so effective at what it does.” 

“So Rob Dew’s show was great, in sort of growing the subreddit by another 5,000 people almost overnight… that was a really good interview, and again I have downloaded it and archived it so of course when Alex was deleted from YouTube….listen to it again. Yeah. Back up everything….”

Me: “That’s right. I found a pirate copy somewhere and I grabbed it. Because they are trying to suppress it.”

(OpenMind, “QAnon’s War with the Deep State Uncovered By Rob Dew, Pamphlet Anon and Baruch the Scribe,” YouTube, December 31, 2017. The original was dated December 27, 2017. It was censored by YouTube when they de-platformed Alex Jones and InfoWars).

Mr. Furber: “Again, Stephen, if there is anything that you are missing I probably have a copy and you are welcome to it ….I’ll just DropBox it for you, whatever you need.”

Me: “Thank you so much, really, thank you very much for taking the time to talk to me today, it has been very eye opening and very enjoyable …”

Mr. Furber: “Anytime man….”

Me: “Well it is upsetting me because now I have to go back and I got to rewrite …”

Mr. Furber: “I know…it happened to me in my book…I wrote a chapter on the Weiner laptop, then I remembered, months after I’d written it, hang on, there was a guy who popped up on 8chan who told us what was on it.” 

“So I went and I found—well, it was 4chan I think—the reason that I found that post was I realized then that I’d written something that was untrue, it was speculative, but this guy … I will have to read you the whole thing, this means you are honest, and have integrity, you are going to make  sure that everything is correct to the best of your ability.”

Me: “That is right, well, we rely on primary sources, you know?”

Mr. Furber, “Yeah, yeah …”

Me: “And we have to exercise utmost care in how we select those sources.”

Mr. Furber: “And if somebody is a real insider you treat them with…”

Me: “…With due care, you treat them with appropriate care. I am looking at my list and I think that I have pretty much …”

Mr. Furber: “Are you done.”

Me: “Yeah, I think that I’ve gotten everything.”

Mr. Furber: “Cool, man.”

Me: “I am still a little bit….a little bit… dim on FarmerFunkk….I am not real clear about FarmerFunkk. I mean I have seen him as FarmerFunk and I have seen him as FarmerFunkk double k.”

Mr. Furber: “Oh, yeah. Yeah. Same guy, I think. Yeah.”

I ask: “What are your thoughts about those two posts where he signed himself “FF?” If you recall. Yeah. He actually signed himself “FF” and then  ….”

Mr. Furber: “What? Q did?”

Me: “Oh, no.”

Mr. Furber: “Oh, FarmerFunk …”

Me: “Then Q like cited it or quoted it….”

Mr. Furber: “Oh, really? I am not familiar with those particular posts, you can send them to me and I will have a look.”

I say: “It is not that big of a deal.”

Then I ask, “When you refer to Brain, you are talking about SerialBrain, right?”

He looks puzzled, so I quote: “You say, quote, “this whole thing had a life of its own and it needed to go wider. Pamphlet, myself and Abobo …. unintelligible….Brain was there, we drew up a list and we sent out the emails to everyone.” That was SerialBrain?”

Mr. Furber: “Uh, no…yeah. Uh, this whole thing “Brain.” Not “reign?”

Me: “No. “Brain.” I spell the name. “B R A I N.” 

Mr. Furber: “Brain, Brain…(thinking) let me …”

Me: “This is a quote….Let me see where I got this….this is something called … oh, yeah. This is JOEL Bot No. 5 …. Operation Q PamphletAnon, BaruchTheScribe Q Bakers … August 2018…from the transcript that I made, you say, quote: “this whole thing had a life of its own and it needed to go wider …. myself, comma, Abobo…and then it was unintelligible and then you say, reign was there.” (J.O.E.L Bot No. 5, “Inside the Bakery—The Q Bakers,” YouTube, August 19, 2018).

Mr. Furber: “No, no, no. “Reign.” Not “Brain.” But “reign.” He spells it for me. “R E I G N.” “There was a guy called reign, you know, in Discord as well, also a Mod, yeah, not Brain, but reign.” He spells it again for me: “R E I G N. As in the reign of a king.”

Me: “Who? I never heard of him?”

QModerators CBTS_Stream One Month

The list of moderators on the CBTS_Stream subreddit included tracybeanz, PamphletAnon, FARMERFUNKK, reign__, gen6slayr, RedpillTheWorld, MotoandGivi, virtualboi_, Yoda_GM, and storm_fa_Q.

Mr. Furber: “Ah, no. Very much in the background. Not a public guy. But was with us in the Discord and was a Mod, and yeah, very good guy. I can probably send you chat logs with him if you like. From Discord.”

Me: “That would be useful. You must have a big list of things to send me by now.”  

Mr. Furber: “Probably. Yeah. Just remind me. Remind by email. I have made notes as we’ve been talking …”

Me: “I will do a transcript of this whole interview and I will send it to you as well for your records … I think that this interview is going to be… it is going to be consequential, there is no question.”

Mr. Furber: “Good. Good.”

Me: “I am delighted, I am very pleased, it is going to require me to reassess and reevaluate, but that is the job, man, you know?”

Mr. Furber: “Yes it is …”

Me: “History is listening.”

Mr. Furber: “They are.”

Me: “Listen, thank you so much …”

Mr. Furber: “Anytime man, great to talk to you …”

Me: “Likewise, if you need anything from me please let me know, I look forward to it, I think this could be the beginning of a long and fruitful relationship.”

Mr. Furber: “Yeah, well, we need to compare notes more often.”

Me: “Well, we need to go back together on Cicada 3301.”

Mr. Furber: “Yeah, we do. Because, again, I am clueless, but I know people who aren’t…”

Me: “I’ll send you the chapter I’ve written at this point on Cicada. Part of the problem with Cicada is that a lot of the known legend of Cicada is verified to be a concoction by Thomas Schoenberger, ok?”

I continue: “He concocted it, it is a legend, and it is problematic, because as a legend it is very powerful, I liked it, but after I talked to Arturo Tafoya it ruined the whole thing, and I said well …”

Mr. Furber: “Yeah, I know, I had an anonymous guy on Discord talk to me, I can’t tell you his nickname even, who warned me off Defango, he said WARNING: Don’t believe a word Defango says.”

 “And I said, yeah, I know bro, I just followed him because of his coverage of Cicada and of the George Webb stuff, at that time George Webb was working with Jason Goodman. And George was talking about child trafficking and I started getting a bad vibe from what George was saying.”

He continues: “I said I know,  you don’t have to tell me, I don’t trust anybody, I do not believe anything that anyone says until I’ve checked it out for myself. That might have been, just to hear you say that, that might have been Arturo. Actually. Possibly.”

Me: “Well, he has been around, there was a real schism within Cicada, and Manny (Chavez) was part of that, and Arturo was part of that, but they were all on different sides, and Nathan Stolpman did a really epic episode of Lift the Veil where he interviewed Defango and then Fox, whose name is Beth Bogaerts, she came on, she is actually the copyright holder now of the Cicada trademarks …”

(lifttheveil (@lifttheveil411) (Nathan Stolpman), “#QAnon & Cicada 3301 Exposed? w/ Defango & Cicada members,” SteemIt, May 8, 2018; Beth Bogaerts Trademarks (2 records), Trademarkia, accessed May 16, 2019).

Mr. Furber: “Oh, really?”

Me: “Yes, they were registered in 2018 by Brent Sausser, a lawyer for Beth Bogaerts, and she is holding them as a proxy for Thomas Schoenberger, and I got to go back and look at my notes, there are a couple of other guys that are involved in like the business end of Cicada, and Schoenberger is sort of the one who goes between the two of them, interacting by trying to monetize it, and the creative side. I am not real clear on what role specifically Schoenberger played in the creative development of the Cicada puzzles. I am not clear on that.”

Q Arturo Tafoya Interview Schoenberger Entertainment Contract 2019-04-14

This document was sent by Thomas Schoenberger to Arturo Tafoya, who provided it to me after an interview on April 14, 2019. In their own internal legal documents Cicada refers to itself as an ARG, an Alternate Reality Game. Michael Levine and Richard Lech are included with Schoenberger as owners of Cicada intellectual property, assertions that ultimately imploded the organization.

Mr. Furber: “Well, I believe, I’ve got a source which says, well I actually will tell you, it was FBI Anon, FBI Anon claimed, I do not know if you have seen his transcripts, but it is in there, he said that Cicada was actually a Department of Defense project designed to attract cryptographically inclined minds, so they could then recruit them. And this makes a lot of sense to me … that this is a DOD project…”

Q Cicada = DOD Program FBI Anon End of Thread 1

FBIanon Thread #1 >>79480356; FBIanon Thread #2 >>79489525, July 2, 2016.

Me: “It makes a ton of sense …”

Mr. Furber: “That this is a DOD project to like just attract the kind of crypto-savvy dude, to haul them in so they could then do recruiting because they were short of crypto kids and staff.”

Me: “There were 14 separate GPS coordinates worldwide.”

Mr. Furber: “Fourteen?”

Me: “Fourteen GPS coordinates. In one of the puzzles. Fourteen of them worldwide.”

Q Cicada 3301 Global Locations For a Clue

Mr. Furber: “Oh, yeah. The Amazing Race kind of thing.”

Me: “Epic. I am still staggered by Cicada, and definitely somebody needs to write that book, and I wish that it could be me, but I do not have the sources, and it is such a mammoth job …”

Mr. Furber: “… and again, getting to the truth would be next to impossible, because you have all these different guys who all hate each other and are fighting each other and they are all lying about each other, so, yeah…”

Me: “This is actually useful because, you know, we just apply what they say and look at internal inconsistencies and verification of facts, we can figure it out, it is useful in fact that they do hate each other so much, because you can just say, “well, you know, so-and-so said this,” and then you get them going, you know?”

Mr. Furber: “Right. Yeah, yeah. Exactly.”

Me: “Cicada. I would love to write that book but I do not think that I am going to live long enough.”

Mr. Furber: (Laughs). “Well, when somebody writes it I will definitely buy it.”

I wrap it up: “Well listen, thank you so much.”

Mr. Furber: “My pleasure. I have to run, I will be in touch by email. But great to talk to you. Isn’t it a bit late there now?”

Me: “Jesus. It is ten o’clock. We’ve been talking for two hours.”

Mr. Furber: “Time flies when we are having fun. Take care! Bye!”

And that was an interview with Mr. Paul Furber, Tuesday April 30, 2019. We began about 2007 hrs. seven minutes after 8 o’clock, and we went until 2159, almost two hours.

Paul Furber joined me from South Africa, very interesting interview.


End Transcript.

Draft completed May 17, 2019.

Corrections updated May 19, 2019.

Further corrections June 3, 2019. 21294 words.



Revelation: A Screed on Dreams and Worlds Without End

miniature monas 2

revelation hafftka cover treatment

Revelation cover treatment including Kālī Yuga, 1977 by Michael Hafftka.

It occurs to me that I forgot to announce publication of my third book, Revelation, on Samizdat. So those of you who follow me here but not on my other site, Magic Kingdom Dispatch, may not know that I published this work.

Revelation is a metaphysik, a revelation on metaphysics, cosmogony, quantum physics, Hinduism, Buddhism, Tantra, the Apocrypha, Kabbalah, the Western Mystery Tradition, dreams within dreams and multiverses without end. Revelation includes art by the figurative expressionist painter Michael Hafftka: Kālī Yuga, 1977.

Revelation is now on sale at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, GooglePlay and Apple iBooks. The full text is available free on Academia, ResearchGate, and GoogleBooks. I made Revelation freely available as Revelation differs from my first book, A Tale of the Grenada Raiders: it steps outside that narrative. Indeed, it explains it.

I did not want readers who expected a continuation of that work of military history to wonder “what the fuck, Doc?” when they read Revelation. I feel better knowing that they can preview it and verify that it is something that they wish to read.

Information needs to be free. This website, Samizdat, is predicated on that ideal. That is why I rekeyed every word of Umberto Eco’s The Search for the Perfect Language and published it here in 2016. I do not regret it. Like medieval monks laboriously copying MSS, I know no better way to internalize a work than to duplicate it letter by letter. As a side effect of that exercise, The Search for the Perfect Language is now available in an electronic format–and anybody with access to the internet can read it at no cost.

I do not own the rights to that work. I may fold all those posts into a critical edition and offer it to the copyright holder. I will not demand compensation. If they choose not to release it, I will not be surprised if a stray copy escapes and ends up freely circulating on the net. Information wants to be free. And that work by Eco should be universally available. Professor Eco died in 2016. His estate is wealthy.

I originally wrote Revelation as the preface for The Rosetta Stone of Memories. It was not until Amazon priced the paperback at $88 that I realized that it was too long (490 pages). At 3lbs in my preferred 8.5×11-inch format, Rosetta Stone weighs as much as a phone book.

I could not in good conscience accept my readers paying $88 for a book from me, so I pulled Rosetta Stone. It took me a couple of days to split off the preface into Revelation, and the narrative into Metamorphosis. I fixed continuity errors. Inevitably I missed a couple, requiring corrected uploads to overwrite incorrect manuscripts. A pain in the ass.

There are still some errors in the .mobi Kindle and the B&N .ePub Nook versions, but they are not invalidating. Just annoying to me as a perfectionist. I am a writer. Not a designer, not a publisher. I know just enough technology to publish my books and to cobble together a cover treatment. I resorted to programmers to convert the original MS into Nook and Kindle formats, costing me $89, sapping earnings from sales, but they saved me massive time and grief.

Those 15 readers who purchased Rosetta Stone in paperback now own a rare artifact. I intend to publish a corrected version of Rosetta Stone in coming weeks. It will be an anthology containing the two books. Rosetta Stone remains on sale exclusively with Apple iBooks–and not out of any marketing motive: I am too stupid to figure out how to pull it. I will overwrite the MS there with the revised version, I know how to do that, and publish a notice to readers to delete their copies and download the fixed revision at no cost.

That fix will move the 35 literary citations at the beginning into an appendix at the end of the preface, as they are positioned now in Revelation, and fold in the corrected texts of Revelation and Metamorphosis. It will still cost $88 on Amazon, unless I publish it in black and white. I do not yet know what it will cost on Barnes & Noble. Every other physical book that I published on B&N costs $34.99 in paperback. Electronic editions: Kindle, Nook, Google, iBooks, will all be cheaper by several orders of magnitude.

I marvel at folks who prefer to purchase physical books. Yes, there is tactile gratification in holding my books, reviewers mentioned this many times. I get it. I publish in large format 8.5×11-inches because I prefer to lay out an entire page for readers. It makes it easier to grok the meaning of a page. The larger page also makes it possible to publish better photos, and most of my books are prolifically illustrated. With the exception of Revelation, which contains a mere five illustrations, my books are, in fact, picture books.

I write history. None of my books are fictional. They are history, I recount events as I experienced them and I recount them as they transpired. I knew when I wrote A Tale of the Grenada Raiders that readers would be skeptical at times. When a reader finishes a chapter in that work, they see photos illustrating the incident and the protagonists.

This is my point: with electronic formats, it is possible to search and to keep MSS in the cloud, accessible from any iDevice. My gargantuan library resides in my iCloud account. Siri can download any work, or search particular sentences. It is simple and fast to share, or to cite. I long ago lost  patience flipping through physical books, looking for text. Indexes are last century. It is much faster to search. When I read, and I read all the time, I read on an iPad. I use a giant iPad Pro, because I can put an entire page of a text on the screen.

Still, many prefer physical books. Half of my readers purchase print editions.

Those who seek to purchase Rosetta Stone on Amazon now see that it is listed but not available. Inevitably, I just today encountered the first pirated Samizdat version of one of my works on the net. Somebody extracted a copy of Rosetta Stone from GoogleBooks and set it free. I am not angry. I am honored.

As I say, Revelation was the preface to Rosetta Stone. It just kept growing as the Big Ranger in the Sky pointed me at articles and books and ideas. I am not that smart. But I know when to listen to my Muse, when to go into receive mode, and when to record revelation. Revelation is not perfect, as the messenger is flawed. But the arguments are internally coherent and I find them fascinating.

I made Revelation free as I cannot in good conscience profit from a work of revelation. Those who can benefit from it, my fellow pilgrims on a particular path, will find no obstacles in their way. If you are interested in metaphysics, cosmogony, quantum physics, Hinduism, Buddhism, Tantra, the Apocrypha, Kabbalah and the Western Mystery Tradition, you will love Revelation.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Revelation is available from Amazon.

Revelation is available from Barnes & Noble.

Revelation is available from GoogleBooks and GooglePlay.

Revelation is available from Apple iBooks. (This is its native format, as I write my books using iBooks Author. The iBooks app on Mac and iDevices offers the best reading experience, in my opinion, though the Kindle app offers better features and integration with GoodReads.)

Revelation is available from Academia and ResearchGate.

After you read Revelation, please review it. Review it anywhere, make any comments that you like, positive, negative, whatever. I will be delighted to see your feedback.

Thank you for reading! Share Revelation far and wide!

Doc T sends.

Bangkok, Updated January 15, 2019.


Revelation Revisited

“Holy, Holy, Holy are these Truths that I utter, knowing them to be but falsehoods, broken mirrors, troubled waters; hide me, O our Lady, in Thy Womb! for I may not endure the rapture.”

–Aleister Crowley, The Book of Lies, “Windlestraws,” and “The Glow-Worm,” pp. 29-32.

miniature monas 2

Daimonic Imagination Book Cover

Notes on Matt Cardin, “In Search of Higher Intelligence: The Daemonic Muse(s) of Crowley, Leary, & Robert Anton Wilson,” in Angela Voss & William Rowlandson (eds.), Daimonic Imagination: Uncanny Intelligence, Cambridge Scholars, Newcastle, 2013, pp. 266-281.

Matt Cardin defines interaction with the Muse as “a felt engagement with an autonomous entity or intelligence that is separate from the ego.” This distills down to the essential, omitting the history and poetry of human interaction with the Muse, as most musicians, artists, poets, adepts and shamans do collaborate with it. As for the ego: Cardin redundantly reinforces that the Muse is autonomous and separate, something sentient that is not ourselves, but other.

In Revelation, I list many expressions for interacting with the Muse, including the Hindu apauruseya, śruti, ākāśavāni, prophecy, “Dionysian ecstasy, Bacchus, the Jungian collective unconscious, race consciousness, the Akashic Record.”

(Revelation: A Screed on Dreams and Worlds Without End, Bangkok: MKD, 2018, p. 22).

Cardin asks whether these entities are indeed separate and independent, or are they “metaphors for the unconscious mind?” (P. 266). He already knows the answer.

I address this question in Revelation, concluding that it is not contradictory to consider such entities autonomous manifestations of human consciousness.

“Some will say that it is God. Others, that it is my unconscious. These are two words for the same phenomenon, and the Buddhist interpretation, that I make it, that we make it, is not exclusionary. The Rishis explained Brahman and ātman: it is, the more that I know it, unnamable and unnamed, beyond words. I called it The Ineffable.” (Revelation, p. 72).

These entities can be both autonomous and projections. Indeed, the metaphysics of the multiverses demand that we understand them that way. What we are really doing is wrestling with the ways that we experience them. Another question is whether we are talking about entities, plural, or multiple manifestations of a single entity.

Rosemary Guiley published a taxonomy, The Encyclopedia of Demons & Demonology (New York: Visionary Living, 2009), and assorted Encyclopedias of Ghosts, Spirits, Angels, Vampires, etc.: efforts to catalogue such entities across cultures and epochs. There is no entry for the Muse in the Encyclopedia of Demons and Demonology.

It can be asked whether entities of this kind are projections by an apex deity, a possibility that I first addressed in 2015 in Smoke Signals: Borges, Tzahi Weiss, Kabbalah. This is synonymous with the consciousness of the human collective, aggregated with all other sentiences in the cosmos, merely another way of describing the universal consciousness that the Hindu name Brahman.

“In non-dual schools such as the Advaita Vedanta, Brahman is identical to the Atman, is everywhere and inside each living being, and there is connected spiritual oneness in all existence.” (Wiki). 

Louise_Eugenie_Alexandrine_Marie_David_19th_century 1886 aged 20

Louise Eugenie Alexandrine Marie David, circa 1886, age 20.

One unspoken question is whether a projection is controlled by its projector, or the human that perceives it. This is an artificial question, as solipsism decrees that everything is subjective, a projection of our consciousness. We can pretend that we are not isolated islands in the cosmos, and play along, granting independence and agency to such entities, but we do create them, and we do experience them separately.

What we are really asking is whether discarnate entities enjoy independent existence, like any other consciousness that we interact with. Trees enjoy independent consciousness. Why not discarnate entities?

Anyone who reads Alexandra David Néel’s (1868-1969 CE) Magic & Mystery in Tibet (New York: Penguin, 1931) understands that such projections do escape control and can be lost to their creator. Metaphysics aside, some wonder whether they created anything at all, or whether they just perceived something, facilitated something, something that was latent, but not yet manifested.

Interesting questions. I think that we are just tussling with differing manifestations of a single phenomena, and wrestling with our various ways of understanding it.

Cardin then segues into Aleister Crowley’s (1875-1947 CE) infamous receipt of The Book of the Law.


The Beast incarnate.

After Crowley erupted into the zeitgeist of the 20th century, his Holy Guardian Angel (hereafter HGA) was understood by adepts as the “spiritual guide, helper and exemplar” of a practicing magus.

Indeed, accessing the HGA was the “chief goal of magical or esoteric work,” practices which Cardin considers definitive to Western esoterica over the centuries, derived from  neoplatonic prehistory and sister schools of mysticism. (P. 267).¹


Crowley considered himself the reincarnation of Eliphas Lévi.

Cardin reminds us that Thelemites celebrate Crowley’s April 1904 receipt of the Book of the Law, or Liber AL vel Legis, from the praeterhuman intelligence Aiwaz on the Equinox of the Gods: the founding event of Thelema.

The origin story of the Book of the Law is a prototypical example of revelation.

Revelation in religion or theology is the act of revealing through communication with supernatural entities.” (Wiki).

Interestingly, Cardin accurately mines Crowley’s autohagiography (John Symonds & Kenneth Grant (eds.), Aleister Crowley, The Confessions of Aleister Crowley: An Autohagiography, New York: Penguin Arkana, 1989) and reminds us that Crowley was a reluctant proselytizer. It was not until 1919 that Crowley finally addressed the Cairo Working (1904) as an encounter with a praeterhuman sentience spanning three days.

Crowley said that Aiwaz named himself a messenger of the god Horus. This was an artifact of the belief system that Crowley devised for himself to make sense of his margin experiences. In Thelema the Cairo Working marked the beginning of the Thelemic Aeon of Horus. Crowley initially spelled his interlocutor as Aiwaz. Later, for reasons of numerology, he rendered the name as Aiwass.

Kenneth_Grant, Founder Typhonian Order, Jan Magee, 1978

Kenneth Grant, founder of the Typhonian Order, in a photo taken by Jan Magee in 1978.

It was Kenneth Grant (1924-2011 CE) who connected Aiwass with the double star Sirius, announcing his discovery of an occult current emanating from the “transplutonic planet Isis,” in a 1955 Manifesto of New Isis Lodge OTO, which seems to be rare and absent from the internet.²

Israel Regardie (1907-85 CE) conversely said that Crowley tapped depths of the human evolutionary unconscious beyond those identified by Jung and Freud. (P. 268; Wilson & Hill, p. 134).

Grant considered the entity extraterrestrial. Regardie considered it a manifestation of human consciousness.

(Robert Anton Wilson & Miriam Joan Hill, Everything is Under Control: Conspiracies, Cults & Cover-ups, New York: HarperCollins, 1998).

Cardin says that Thelema is erected upon the HGA. It is a belief system that asserts that every mage can communicate with a praeterhuman awareness. Not the apex entity, or God, (Thelemites consider the Judeo-Christian Yahweh one god among many), but an identifiable discarnate entity that repetitively manifests to a magus.

Others observed that Thelema, based upon Enochian procedures adapted by the Golden Dawn, just works. You are not required to believe anything. If you do certain things, you will elicit certain results, and they can be repeated.

Moreover, rituals can be shared, and others can duplicate similar results. Rituals can be experienced in common, or adepts can operate separately. The results will vary, for many reasons, but there is no question that something happens.

Speaking for myself, I consider even the avatars of divinity to be divinity, who does not care whether we prefer Kālī MaBrahman, Yahweh or any other epithet, as long as we glorify it. Aspects of God are facets which help us understand constituents which may otherwise evade us. Hence the 33,000 gods of Hinduism.

Which is why I suspect that the HGA is a Thelemic error. I doubt that any praeterhuman consciousness is independent of ultimate deity. Humans, each with an individual soul, particularly in Vedanta, are not disconnected from Brahman. To the contrary. Why would discarnate intelligences be different? Particularly if we determine that they are autonomous human projections?

Clearly, entities discussed in this article are not infallible, which most would agree is an attribute of ultimate deity. We are on thin ice with this question, considering the pettiness of the Egyptian Ennead and the 3,000 gods of the Mesopotamian pantheons, not to mention our jealous God of the Judeo-Christian tradition. (Raphael Patai, The Hebrew Goddess (3d ed.), Detroit: Wayne State, 1990, pp. 49-52).

While praeterhuman entities may indeed be infallible, whether they are manifestations of an apex divinity or sacred beings with independent existence, they are dependent upon interactions with flawed humans.

And humans wrote the mythologies and legends that spawned our religions, even those that claim to be revelation: Ergo. An interaction with deity may be revelation, but it still happens to a fallible human. Human interpretations corrupt the process. It can be said that absent a human, there is no process, there is no revelation.

Do the gods still exist? Surely.

Consider mathematical formulae. Do all equations preexist, somewhere? Waiting to be discovered? I do not think that there is any question of it. All formulae exist. They merely await a conjunction of circumstances and consciousness to be brought to tangible awareness. The same with these sacral processes of interaction with discarnate deities.

Reviewing accounts of interactions with deities, I am struck by how quotidian they seem at times, reflecting the concerns of their human interlocutors. The classic accounts are, of course, the diaries of Dr. John Dee (1527-1609 CE), magus and spy.³

Lamentably, humans are far from infallible. And yet–we do seem to innately know what is right and what it is wrong. We are born with an impeccable moral compass, it is part of our genetic patrimony. In the case of amoral autistics, the psychological rule of the mean considers them psychopathological. It takes time for mutations to consolidate–and not all mutations succeed.

I am not sure how such a view contends with Aztec human sacrifice. Can an entire culture be considered mentally ill? Just yesterday, my newsfeed told me about the discovery of monuments to Xipe Tótec, the “flayed god,” for whom the Aztecs stripped the skins of their victims alive so that priests could wear them.

xipe totec flayed god aztec photo credit: héctor montaño:inah

Xipe Tótec, “the flayed lord,” for whom the Popoloca indigenous people built a recently excavated complex between 1000 CE-1260 CE, predating the Aztecs. Xipe Tótec was an Aztec deity whose spring festival, Tlacaxipehualiztli, saw human victims flayed alive after which their skins were worn by priests.

We clearly lack crucial context to understand such grisly manifestations of the sacral, but we are, nonetheless, dealing with questions of divinity. We can surely recall others. Let us consider the human moral compass a gut feel for now, and return to it some other time.

John Dee age 67, Acquired by Elias Ashmole, 16th century, Ashmolean Museum Collection

Dr. John Dee, circa 16th century, depicted at age 67. The portrait was acquired by Elias Ashmole and is now in the permanent collection of the Ashmolean Museum.

Dr. John Dee (1527-1609 CE) and Renaissance magicians would consider Thelema a system for communicating with demons and spirits, or goetia: a tradition including The Book of Abramelin, the Lesser Key of Solomon or Lemegeton, and Agrippa’s (1486-1535 CE) inimitable De Occulta Philosophia libri III and others.

Aristotle would consider Thelema a method of consulting the daemon, an aspect of human personality. In Islam and its pagan antecedents, the djinn became the genie, or the Latin genius. In Roman mythology, the genius manifests at birth, and shapes human character and destiny.

Rosemary Guiley reaches back to the Sumerian apkallu, citing the classic by Jeremy Black and Anthony Green, Gods, Demons & Symbols of Ancient Mesopotamia. This makes perfect sense to me. (Guiley, p. 94; Jeremy Black & Anthony Green, Gods, Demons & Symbols of Ancient Mesopotamia, London: British Museum Press, 1992).⁴


Postdiluvian advisors to kings who were men, the ummanu, were the successors of the antediluvian mixed-species Apkallu who were portrayed as fish-men. In this frieze now held in the British Museum they tend to a sacred tree. The antediluvian Apkallu were the so-called seven sages of Sumeria.

For practitioners of Thelema, Cardin explains, the end of the Aeon of Osiris signaled the end of patriarchal monotheism and the advent of the Aeon of Horus: a 2000 year period enshrining personal liberty and communion with the HGA.

Thelema asserts that only in communion with the HGA can an adept distill his own True Will, defining his purpose in life.

Francois Rabelais 1483-1559 circa 1501-1600 Accession Number MV4046 Palace of Versailles acquried 1845

Francois Rabelais circa 1501-1600, Accession Number MV 4046 Palace of Versaille, acquired 1845.

Cardin says that the Thelemic motto Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the law was cadged from Rabelais. It was derived from the fictional rule of the imaginary Abbey of Thélème in Gargantua by François Rabelais (1483-1553 CE). It was fay çe que vouldras, or “do what you will,” and from there the maxim was adopted by the Hell-Fire Club. (Tim Maroney, reproduced in his article below in Book of Lies).

The purpose of Thelema is to contact one’s HGA and to embark on the great adventure of actualizing the cosmic destiny of the magus. (P. 269).

Cardin characterizes the HGA as an invisible spirit that “exerts a kind of existential gravity or magnetism” as the adept traverses the shoals of life.

Cardin emphasizes that Crowley contradicted himself many times, at one point characterizing the HGA as “our Secret Self—our Subconscious Ego,” interpreting the HGA as a layer within the individual psyche. Then he quotes Crowley saying:

“Who wrote these words? Of course I wrote them, ink on paper, in the material sense; but they are not My words, unless Aiwaz be taken to be no more than my subconscious self, or some part of it: in that case, my conscious self being ignorant of the Truth in the Book and hostile to most of the ethics and philosophy of the Book, Aiwaz is a severely suppressed part of me. Such a theory would further imply that I am, unknown to myself, possessed of all sorts of praeternatural knowledge and power … In any case, whatever “Aiwaz” is, “Aiwaz” is an Intelligence possessed of power and knowledge absolutely beyond human experience; and therefore Aiwaz is a Being worthy as the current use of the word allows, of the title of a God, yea verily and amen, of a God.”

–Aleister Crowley, The Equinox of the Gods (1936), chapter VII.

(P. 269; Tim Maroney, “Six Voices on Crowley,” in Richard Metzger (ed.), Book of Lies: The Disinformation Guide to Magick and the Occult, New York: The Disinformation Company, 2003, pp. 168-9).

So Cardin asks, what is more preposterous? That Aiwass is a discarnate entity? Or a layer of Crowley’s amalgamated psyche? Again, I must propose that both are true, without contradiction.

And I must also point out that everything that we are discussing takes place within the 6-inches separating our ears.

Robert_Anton_Wilson, 1977 National Theater London by Richard Adams

RAW, 1977, National Theater, London, photo by Richard Adams.

Then Cardin transitions to Robert Anton Wilson’s (hereafter RAW) acid trip where he played Crowley’s taped Invocation of the HGA: “RAW on the HGA.”

I listened to Crowley invoke the spirits, you can find the recordings by searching on YouTube. Believe me: listening to Crowley on acid is not a good idea. I cannot imagine why RAW decided to do that, much less how it impacted him. I am certain that this mundane act reverberated within his psyche for the remainder of his incarnation.

RAW recounted in Cosmic Trigger that he experienced “a rush of Jungian archetypes, strongly influenced by the imagery of Crowley’s Invocation, but nonetheless having that peculiar quality of external reality and alien intelligence (italics in original) emphasized by Jung in his discussion of the archetypes.” (P. 270; Robert Anton Wilson, Cosmic Trigger: Final Secret of the Illuminati, Tempe: New Falcon, 1977, p. 830).

Cardin again cites Crowley contradicting himself, telling Frank Bennett (Frater Progradior, 1868-1930 CE) that the HGA is merely “our own unconsciousness,” and explaining to Jane Wolfe (Soror Estai, 1875-1958 CE) that the HGA is “a separate being of superhuman intelligence.” (P. 270; RAW, CT, 1977, p. 84).

Jane Wolfe Soror Estai

Jane Wolfe (Soror Estai).

Cardin keeps pointing at the contradiction, which reinforces my conviction that both assertions are correct and not contradictory in the least. Indeed RAW writes, and Cardin omits, “It is both/and; it is the “bornless one,” as Egyptian priests said.” (CT, 1977, p. 84).⁵

When RAW wrote, and Cardin omitted, “It is both/and; it is the “bornless one,” as Egyptian priests said,” (CT, 1977, p. 84) RAW was thinking upon the foundation of Crowley’s belief system. RAW lacked access to the Greek and Demotic Magical Papyri which are footnoted below. As we see, with the perspective afforded by a century and glorious source documents: Crowley took liberties, Enochian amendments aside.

RAW meant that the deity was both a projection of human consciousness and a discarnate praeterhuman intelligence. Crowley’s contradictory statements to Bennett and Jane Wolfe are not mutually exclusive.

Frank Bennett recorded his interview with Crowley in 1921 in his diary, and the entry was cited at length by Symonds and Grant in Crowley’s Confessions. It was summarized:

“…it was all a matter of getting the subconscious mind to work; and when this subconscious mind was allowed full sway, without interference from the conscious mind, then illumination could be said to have begun; for the subconscious mind was our HGA.” (P. 270; Crowley, Confessions, p. 936, n. 90/4).


Israel Regardie.

Then Cardin transitions to Israel Regardie (Frater Ad Maiorem Adonai Gloriam, 1907-85 CE), who wrote in his introduction to The Law is for All:

“It really makes little difference in the long run whether the Book of the Law was dictated to him by a preterhuman (sic) intelligence named Aiwass or whether it stemmed from the creative deeps of Aleister Crowley. The book was written. And he became the mouthpiece for the Zeitgeist, accurately expressing the intrinsic nature of our time as no one else has done to date.”

(P. 271; Lawrence Sutin, Do What Thou Wilt: A Life of Aleister Crowley, New York: St. Martin’s Press, 2000, p. 133).⁶

Cardin considers Regardie one of the “most influential figures in modern Western occultism,” echoing Gerald Suster, a biographer of Regardie.

(Gerald Suster, Crowley’s Apprentice: The Life and Ideas of Israel Regardie, York Beach: Samuel Weiser, 1990, p. vii.)

Regardie is infamous in esoteric histories for publishing the secret rituals of the Stella Matutina, a magical order that split off from a schism of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn.

In an act that Crowley hypocritically characterized as “pure theft,” Regardie preserved magical rituals and democratized them, making them available for anyone to consult, not just adepts and initiates. Later, he published the rituals of the Golden Dawn itself.

Allen Ginsberg, Timothy Leary, John C. Lilly, Easter Sunday 1991, home of Dr. Oscar Janiger, Photo by Philip H. Bailey

Allen Ginsberg, Timothy Leary, & John C. Lilly, on Easter Sunday, 1991, at the home of Dr. Oscar Janiger. Photo by Philip H. Bailey.

Before transitioning to Dr. Timothy Leary (1920-1996 CE), Cardin opines that “the basic point—that it does not matter whether one opts for the supernatural or psychological explanation, because the end result is the same—is worth pondering at length…” (P. 271). As I said: Cardin already knows the answer.

In 1960 Leary ate mushrooms in Mexico and when he returned to Harvard he collaborated with Professor Richard Alpert (1931 CE), later aka Ram Dass, to study the psychological effects and potential therapeutic qualities of hallucinogens. (P. 272).

Harvard fired them both in 1963, terminating their research project. The USG banned psychedelics, shutting down research. The government was frightened silly: Leary and Alpert struck a nerve.

Leary was incarcerated. While serving time, the lore of Leary claims that solitary confinement sensitized him to his inner voices. Leary realized that something wanted to express itself. Something separate. Something … other. So Leary experimented with channeling.

Leary perceived the entity as telepathic and extraterrestrial. The result:

  • Timothy Leary, Starseed, San Francisco: Level Press, 1973.
  • Timothy Leary, Neurologic, San Francisco: Starseed, 1973.

Leary concluded that humanity was originally extraterrestrial and predestined through DNA and a racial arc of genetic compulsion to colonize the cosmos and return to the stars.

Leary considered this a reunion with the galactic source of our origins, a higher intelligence, a path of transcendence and fulfillment.

Or as I say in the final pages of Revelation: rapture. (Revelation, p. cliii).

victor-benjamin-neuburg Hermetic Library

An undated, unattributed photo of poet Victor Benjamin Neuburg, courtesy of the Hermetic Library, where his writing is preserved.

Leary and English writer Brian Barritt (1934-2011 CE) tripped on LSD at Bou Saada in the Sahara in 1971, unwittingly replicating magical workings chronicled by Crowley in the Vision and the Voice in 1909 with Victor Neuburg (Frater Omnia Vincam, 1883-1940 CE).

Leary and Barritt wondered whether Aiwass manipulated their lives to bring them to Bou Saada at that time. (Pp. 273-4; Barritt, pp. 155-n.2). They did not intend to mimic Crowley and Neuburg’s magical workings. They felt that coincidence was impossible.

(Brian Barritt, The Road of Excess: A Psychedelic Autobiography (excerpt), in Richard Metzger (ed.), Book of Lies: The Disinformation Guide to Magick & the Occult, New York: Disinformation Company, 2003, pp. 145-51).

In Leary’s Confessions of a Hope Fiend, he wrote:

“The eerie synchronicities between our lives [i.e., his own and Barritt’s] and that of Crowley, which were later to preoccupy us, were still unfolding with such precision as to make us wonder if one can escape the programmed imprinting with which we are born.” (P. 274; Barritt, p. 153).

Legit questions. But there were other, even more perturbing synchronicities. It is not certain that Leary knew it, but Cardin mentions an heretical faction of Thelemites that considered certain interactions extraterrestrial and “Trans-Plutonian.”⁷

Kenneth Grant’s Lovecraftian synchronicities and Trans-Plutonian communications strangely echoed Leary in ways that could not be coincidental. Perhaps Leary did know about OTO factionalism, and maybe he came down on the side of the Typhonian current. Or … maybe Grant’s current was overflowing these modalities and manifesting to other messengers. Which now leads us to the strange case of Science Fiction writer Philip K. Dick.

Philip K. Dick (1928-1982 CE), also interacted with extraterrestrial intelligence in VALIS (1980), and The Divine Invasion (1981), both published before his death. Dick did not live to complete The Owl in Daylight (nd).

Exegesis (2011) contains excerpts from Dick’s journals  that informed VALIS, and like Radio Free Albemuth (1976/1985), it was published posthumously. Arguably, in comparison to Grant, Dick was relatively sedate. And he wrote fiction–except for VALIS and Exegesis.

philip k. dick, photo by nicole panter

Philip K. Dick, photo ©Nicole Panter.

Philip K. Dick demands to be discussed in a separate article, or in yet another book, and I am sure that Dick specialists are engaged in this. I will cite Jean Baudrillard’s (1929-2007 CE) Simulacra and Science Fiction on Dick and leave it at that.

Before you read Baudrillard excerpted below, I must note that I address a doctrine of the shadow in Revelation, derived from E. Wallis Budge’s (1857-1934 CE) translation of the Egyptian Book of the Dead (~1550 BCE) and William Butler Yeats‘s doctrine of the daemon (1865-1939 CE).

“It is hyperreal. It is a universe of simulation, which is something altogether different. And this is not so because Dick speaks specifically of simulacra. SF has always done so, but it has always played upon the double, on artificial replication or imaginary duplication, whereas here the double has disappeared. There is no more double; one is always already in the other world, an other world which is not another, without mirrors or projection or utopias as means for reflection. The simulation is impassable, unsurpassable, checkmated, without exteriority. We can no longer move “through the mirror” to the other side, as we could during the golden age of transcendence.” 

–Jean Baudrillard, Simulacra and Science Fiction, Science Fiction Studies, #55, Vol. 18, Part 3, 1991. 

The doctrine of the shadow, or as Baudrillard puts it, the double, also deserves an article of its own. Baudrillard in this citation is referring to the nature of reality, which is fine, but his comment reminds me that I interpret the double to be a synonym for the shadow, or sheut, a recondite slice of the ancient Egyptian metaphysical anatomy.

I find it significant that Baudrillard stated that the simulation is “without exteriority,” that we no longer flit through a Borgesian mirror to another side. This reminds me of Kenneth Grant’s Darkside of the Tree (Outside the Circles of Time, London: Muller, 1980).

For Baudrillard, there is no other side. This simulation is all that there is, which neatly corresponds to the Hindu doctrine of Māyā. I will return to this theme in a later work.

Returning to Cardin, he tells us that RAW corresponded with Leary while he was incarcerated. RAW then subsequently recorded:

“The Starseed Transmissions—“hallucinations” or whatever—were received in 19 bursts, seldom in recognizable English sentences, requiring considerable meditation and discussion between the four Receivers before they could be summarized.” (P. 274; RAW 1977, p. 105).⁸

My gut reaction to the Starseed Transmissions is that plenty of wishful thinking went into the analysis of those “19 bursts.” Perhaps we can examine the identities of the 4 “Receivers” in a separate article, determine how they each “received” the “bursts,” and finally ask what they did with them.

In Terra II, Leary recounts the long human history of interactions with higher intelligences, including religious beliefs, but summarizes them thusly: “the goal of the evolutionary process is to produce nervous systems capable of communicating with the galactic network. Contacting the Higher Intelligence.” (Leary, p. 15; Cardin p. 275).

It makes me wonder whether there was cross-fertilization between Kenneth Grant’s New Isis Lodge and Leary. Occam’s Razor would say yes. The synchronicities between Grant and Leary are numerous.

Then Cardin quotes Leary from a PBS American Experience episode, Summer of Love, saying  that LSD tripping is “… a sense of being in communion with powers greater than yourself, and intelligence which far outstrips the human mind, and energies which are very ancient.” (P. 275; Dolgin and Franco).

Cardin is persistent, and he stays admirably on target. He then notes that RAW made this statement after visiting Leary in Vacaville:

“[Leary said] Interstellar ESP may have been going on for all our history […] but we just haven’t understood. Our nervous systems have translated their messages in terms we could understand. The “angels” who spoke to Dr. Dee, the Elizabethan scientist-magician [who had figured in both Crowley-Neuberg’s and Leary-Barritt’s visionary experiences in the Sahara] were extraterrestrials, but Dee couldn’t comprehend them in those terms and considered them “messengers from God.” The same is true of many other shaman’s and mystics.” (P. 275; RAW, 1977, p. 118).

Hilariously, Leary’s mental health was evaluated by psychiatric professionals during his incarceration: he was deemed sane and enjoyed a high IQ. (p. 275).

RAW interviewed Dr. Hiler, Leary’s shrink while he was at Vacaville.

“I asked Hiler what he really thought of Dr. Leary’s extraterrestrial contacts. Specifically, since he didn’t regard Leary as crazy or hallucinating, what was happening when  Leary thought he was receiving extraterrestrial communications?

Hiler responded: “Every man and and woman who reaches the higher levels of spiritual and intellectual development, feels the presence of a Higher Intelligence. Our theories are all unproven. Socrates called it his daemon. Others call it gods or angels. Leary calls it extraterrestrial. Maybe it’s just another part of our brain, a part we usually don’t use. Who knows?” (p. 276; RAW 1977, p. 163).

We see here multiple human efforts to understand a phenomenon that recurs across history and cultures. We give it many names. Demons, angels, praeterhuman awareness, the daemon, the egregore, the Muse–all refer to something similar.

RAW’s 1983 Prometheus Rising opened with an introduction by Israel Regardie. RAW’s primary recounting of his own interactions with a higher intelligence are in Cosmic Trigger I (1977). I found Regardie’s introduction interesting because he cited the physicist John Bell, and Indra’s Net–both of which I address at length in Revelation.

To tickle your curiosity, I will merely say that John Stewart Bell (1928-90 CE) realized in 1964 that entangled particles instantaneously communicate irregardless of physical distance and spacetime, overthrowing laws of physics and light speed. The global coterie of quantum physicists were in an uproar.


Physicist John Stewart Bell, circa 1972, CERN.

As for Indra’s Net … I will leave it at this: I consider Indra’s Net the explanation for the phenomenon of synchronicity. (Revelation, pp. 57 and 103).

Cardin tells me something that I did not know: RAW was a Ph.D in Psychology. In his author’s introduction to the 1986 edition of Prometheus Rising, he explained:

“Cosmic Trigger deals with a process of deliberately induced brain change through which I put myself in the years 1962-76. This process is called “initiation” or “vision quest” in many traditional societies and can loosely be considered some dangerous variety of self-psychotherapy in modern terminology.” (pp. 276-7; RAW 1977 p. ii).⁹

Interestingly, RAW believed that he deciphered a hidden message in Crowley’s The Book of Lies in 1971. The consequences were classic:

“The outstanding result was that I entered a belief system, from 1973 until around October 1974, in which I was receiving telepathic messages from entities residing on a planet of the double star Sirius.” (p. 277; RAW 1977 p. 8).

Some reading this are shaking their heads. These accounts are just too outlandish. The problem is that others reading this know through personal experience that something happens. The Muse is real. Artists, poets, musicians, shamans, adepts of all varieties including Thelemites know it. What we are contemplating is what it is.

Some will no doubt be examining their own synchronicities, and a few of them will end up writing me astonished emails. But the default response that is programmed into us is skepticism.

Perhaps inevitably, RAW later concluded, after meeting Dr. Jacques Vallée, (1939 CE) UFOlogist, in 1974, that he was not receiving telepathic transmissions from Sirius.

RAW said that Vallée told him that these sorts of contacts are centuries-old, and this is clearly true. They are also determined to be terrestrial due to contamination with modern cultural beliefs. (277).

RAW recounts that he initially contacted the “entity” using “Crowleyan occultism.” An extraterrestrial origin was just the modern rationale for an old phenomena, which during the Middle Ages was ascribed to angelic interlocutors, and to spirits of the dead during the 19th century.

RAW’s own skepticism overcame him in the end–or did it? So it was no longer extraterrestrial. Still: something happened.

RAW said that he believed nothing before his contact experience, and described himself as a “neurological model agnostic, applying the Copenhagen Interpretation of physics beyond physics to consciousness itself.” (P. 278; RAW 1977, p. iv).

In more synchronicity, I wrote in Revelation that “The Copenhagen interpretation of the many-worlds multiverse requires observation to collapse wavefunctions, or consciousness, while the many-minds interpretation of H. Dieter Zeh (1932-2018 CE) centers wavefunction collapse in the minds of endless observers.” (Revelation, p. 46).

Remember that RAW wrote Prometheus Rising in 1983, and Cosmic Trigger in 1977. He was ahead of his time. Professor Zeh published The Problem of Conscious Observation in Quantum Mechanical Description (arXiv:quant-ph/9908084v3) in 2000 (based on a paper circulated in 1981). 

h. dieter zeh photo international journal of quantum foundations

H. Dieter Zeh, physicist. Photo courtesy of the International Journal of Quantum Foundations.

Then Zeh published The Physical Basis of the Direction of Time (Berlin: Springer-Verlag, 1989, 1992), followed by Decoherence and the Appearance of a Classical World in Quantum Theory (Berlin: Springer-Verlag, 2003).

Zeh did publish “On the interpretation of measurement in quantum theory,” in Foundations of Physics in 1970, but Zeh was an outlier, and regardless of the biases of any physicist that you ask about him, he remains one.

This does not dissuade me from conflating Zeh’s many-minds interpretation with the modal realism and Possible Worlds of David Lewis (1941-2001 CE). (Revelation, p. 41).


Philosopher David K. Lewis, photo courtesy Princeton University.

Even more interesting for me: RAW considers these manifestations to be “working tools to hack the metaprogramming of individual personal psychological imprints.”

In other words, RAW takes no position on whether these entities objectively exist. He says that some areas of brain functioning cannot be accessed without using such entities as keys to open specific locks. “I do not insist on this; it is just my opinion.” (P. 278; RAW 1977, p. v.).

There are many ways to hack consciousness. Alexandra David-Néel used Vajrayana Tibetan Buddhist meditation, Crowley, Kenneth Grant and innumerable magicians before them used ceremonial magic. Crowley’s Magical Record recounts much use of cocaine and opiates, and Thelemites cite Liber Al Vel Legis, verse II:22: To worship me take wine and strange drugs whereof I will tell my prophet, & be drunk thereof! 

The Desert Fathers taught hesychia derived from Judaic haga and siha trance. (Revelation, pp. 74-6). RAW used ceremonial magic and psychedelics, as did Leary. Tantrikas use ajapajapam as they pray the rudraksha japa-mala, yoga, asanas, pranayama, mantra, mudrayantra, dhyana. (Revelation, pp. 78-9, 138). I endorse a species of meditation in Revelation, derived from quantum physics and Vedanta:

“Wheeler’s Principle, Bell’s Theorem and Heisenberg Uncertainty imply that spacetime can be hacked: no law of physics is impregnable. Absent awareness, waves of probability are not material: they are statistical predictions. Absent awareness: there is no wave. So what is actually hacked?” (Revelation, p. 59). 

The answer is subjective consciousness. I must emphasize again that we are discussing phenomena that transpire within the six inches separating our ears. Cardin says that the struggles of Crowley, Leary and RAW illustrate them interpreting forces in the psyche that are independent of the ego and autonomous.

Cardin reinforces that they are an evocation of an ancestral connection to the Muse, the daemon and genius.

Cardin emphasizes that this sort of episodic communication with something recurs throughout history, and that it can happen to you and to me. Do I not know it.

“…it definitely means a sense of something impinging on or communicating with our conscious self “from the outside,” or perhaps from the deep inside, which experientially amounts to the same thing.” (P. 279). 

And then Cardin gets really good:

“The really electrifying jolt comes when we realize, as our three present case subjects all did, that such impinging and communicating is always happening, regardless of whether or not we are consciously aware of it, as a constant psychic undercurrent. If we are skilled and sensitive enough to tune in and hear it, the rewards in terms of creative vibrancy can be exquisite.” (P. 279).

Creatives depend on it. Writers, poets, musicians, all depend on the Muse, and interact with Her in varying ways. Adepts interact with egregores, demons and HGAs. Christianity knows the phenomenon as the Holy Spirit.

Which is why commentators like Helena P. Blavatsky (1831-91 CE) considered such voices murmurs from the racial consciousness of the species that we all share. I suspect that it is locked in the DNA, and it uncoils in this way. Blavatsky had her Akashic Record, and her Mahatmas. (H.P. Blavatsky, The Voice of the Silence, Pasadena: Theosophical University Press, 1881 ed.)


Helena Petrovna Blavatsky, founder of Theosophy.

We could be sensing nothing more than a mutation struggling to emerge, an elaboration of human mentation, a new capability, struggling to break out and manifest across humanity. This is just one speculative possibility. There are many others.

What I do not think is disputed any longer by folks like you and like me is the reality of these phenomena. We now see them attested repeatedly across history. It does not take much imagination to ascribe them to angels, or to daemons, or just to the whispering of Brahman in the wind in trees. (Revelation, pp. 69-72).

We know that something happens.

Then Cardin points us at a work of literary criticism that RAW wrote about the writer Raymond Chandler using the nom de plume of critic Epicene Wildeblood.

“Chandler spent 15 years, the prime years of a man’s life, in the oil-executive game before the Daemon or Holy Guardian Angel that haunts artists got its teeth into him again.” (P. 279; RAW 1980, p. 127).

Winding down, finally, 1981 RAW was interviewed for Starship: The Magazine about Science Fiction.

The interviewer asked him, “Is a book fully organized in your mind before you start writing or does it take shape as it unfolds?”

RAW replied:

“Sometimes I have a clearer idea of where I’m going than other times, but it always surprises me. In the course of writing, I’m always drawing on my unconscious creativity, and I find things creeping into my writing that I wasn’t aware of at the time. That’s part of the pleasure of writing.

After you’ve written something, you say to yourself, “where in the hell did that come from?” Faulkner called it the “demon” that directs the writer. The Kabalists call it the “holy guardian angel.”

Every writer experiences this sensation. (I disagree!) Robert E. Howard said he felt there was somebody dictating the Conan stories to him. There’s some deep level of the unconscious that knows a lot more than the conscious mind of the writer knows.” (P. 280; Elliott).

–Eliot, J. “Robert Anton Wilson: Searching for Cosmic Intelligence,” Starship: The Magazine About Science Fiction, 19.1, Spring 1981.

Many writers never know ahead of time what the Muse will wish to surface through our agency. I legitimately intended to write a simple preface to my third book, Metamorphosis, and as the Muse continued feeding me articles and words and books and ideas, it morphed into a whole separate book, Revelation. 

I am not that smart. I actually published The Rosetta Stone of Memories with the text of Revelation as the preface, followed by a narrative consisting of Metamorphosis. It was not until Amazon priced all 3 pounds  and 490 pages of it at $88 in paperback that it occurred to me that they were two separate books.

“I wrote this work at the behest of the multiverses. I am just a messenger. 

If you have eyes to see, you see that I write a latter day uttaratantra, I have no master, and this mystery carpet is woven from the paradoxes of the ages. 

I take refuge from the ten similes of illusory phenomena in an ocean of dākinīs, mirror-like pristine cognition: I give you an illusion, a mirage, a dream, a reflected image, a celestial city, an echo, a reflection of Moon on water, a bubble, an optical illusion, an intangible emanation.” (Revelation, p. 144). 

And that is what I have to say about that.

Stephen Trujillo

Bangkok, corrected January 16, 2019.

Revelation Revisited, a review of Matt Cardin, “In Search of Higher Intelligence: The Daemonic Muse(s) of Crowley, Leary, & Robert Anton Wilson,” in Angela Voss & William Rowlandson (eds.), Daimonic Imagination: Uncanny Intelligence, Cambridge Scholars, Newcastle, 2013, pp. 266-831.



¹In Revelation, I trace interactions with discarnate entities to Alphonse Louise Constant (Eliphas Lévi, 1810-75 CE) and his doctrine of the egregore, which derives from the fallen angels in the Books of Enoch.

The Book of Watchers in 1 Enoch (6-36) is dated to 300 BCE. The narrative states that it was written by the great-grandfather of Noah, before the Deluge. Many of the fallen angels are listed in Guiley’s Encyclopedia.

There were 200 fallen angels in some MSS of 2 Enoch, and 20 of them (so-called “chiefs of ten”) founded the mystery schools, but I did not count them in Guiley’s Encyclopedia to confirm whether they were all accounted for. (Revelation, pp. 63-5; Andrei A. Orlov, Dark Mirrors: Azazel & Satanael in Early Jewish Demonology, New York: SUNY Press, 2011, p. 93).

²Kenneth Grant, Hecate’s Fountain, London: Skoob Books, 1992; Henrik Bogdan, “Kenneth Grant and the Typhonian Tradition,” in Christopher Partridge (ed.), The Occult World, (New York: Routledge, 2015.

sigils of new isis lodge steffi grant copyright kenneth grant courtesy starfire
Starfire Publishing surely holds a copy of Kenneth Grant’s 1955 Manifesto of New Isis Lodge OTO. These sigils by Steffi Grant ostensibly adorn it. Maybe they will have mercy on independent researchers worldwide and upload it. I did ask them. Maybe if you ask them also they will consider it.

³Meric Casaubon (1599-1671 CE), A True and Faithful Relation of What Passed For Many Years Between Dr. John Dee and Some Spirits, London: D. Maxwell, 1659. This document is flawed as an exemplar of Dr. Dee’s journals for many reasons, but I include it here in gratitude to the Getty Museum for posting such a beautiful facsimile copy of it.

⁴I wrote Editorial Note on the Apkallu and the Roadmap Ahead on my website Samizdat in 2015, when I was deep into studies of the antediluvian and postdiluvian sages of ancient Mesopotamia. At risk of immodesty: it is an indispensable resource. Enjoy.

⁵In short, the “bornless one” is a reference to the Bornless Ritual, a preliminary invocation to the Ars Goetia, portions of which are reliably dated to 1563 CE, courtesy of Crowley. The Ars Goetia is the first part of the Lemegeton, cited above. Crowley and SL MacGregor Mathers (1854-1918 CE) published a revised English edition in 1904 as The Goetia, which was reissued in a 2d edition by Samuel Weiser and the OTO in 1995.

Crowley’s version from Liber Samekh, corrected and reissued by Celephaïs Press in 2003, is reproduced in full in the Wiki. Crowley folded in Enochian modifications, despite the admonition of verse 155 in the Chaldean Oracles (v. 155):

“Change not the barbarous Names of Evocation for there are sacred Names in every language which are given by God, having in the Sacred Rites a Power Ineffable.”

Psellus (1017-78 CE), 7. Nicephorus (1295-1360 CE).

Crowley and Mathers allegedly consulted MSS at the British Museum, but Crowley’s Preliminary Invocation derived from Charles W. Goodwin (trans.), Fragment of a Graeco-Egyptian Work Upon Magic (Cambridge: Deighton, Macmillan & Co., 1852). Mather’s and Crowley’s Goetia was not, in retrospect, a strict translation, but we now enjoy definitive source materials.

Things get interesting when Alex Summer tells us in “The Bornless Ritual,” Journal of the Western Mystery Tradition, (No. 7, Vol. 1, 2004, p. 103), “There is a more recent re-translation of the same ritual by Hans Dieter Benz, where it is referred to as “The Stele of Jeu the Hieroglyphist.”

Then Summer posts a critical commentary on the ritual. Summer’s note refers to a 2d edition of Greek Magical Papyri in Translation, Including the Demotic Spells, Vol. 1: Texts, Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1992. A 1986 edition (hereafter PGM) is available for free download, and a 1996 edition is on GoogleBooks. In the 1986 edition, the spell is as follows:

“I summon you, Headless One, who created earth and heaven, who created night and day,

you who created light and darkness; you are Osoronnophris whom none has ever seen; you are Iabas; you are Iapos; you have distinguished the just and the unjust; you have made female and male; / you have revealed seeds and fruits; you have made men love each other and hate each other.

I am Moses your prophet to whom you have / transmitted your mysteries / celebrated by Israel; you have revealed the moist and the dry and all nourishment; hear me.

I am the messenger of Pharaoh Osoronnophris; this is your true name which has been transmitted to the prophets of Israel. Hear me … (followed by barbarous names of evocation and the remainder of the spell, which switches tense to the first person as the mage transitions from summoning to internal evocation): […]

I am the headless daimon with my sight in my feet, [I am] the mighty one [who possesses] the immortal fire; I am the truth who hates the fact that unjust deeds are done in the world; I am the one who makes the lightning flash and the thunder roll;

I am the one whose sweat is the heavy rain which falls upon the earth that it might be inseminated; I am the one whose mouth burns completely; I am the one who begets and destroys;

I am the Favor of the Aion, my name is a heart encircled by a serpent; come forth and follow…”

–The Stele of Jeu the Hieroglyphist, 1986: Benz, 1986: PGM V. 96-172, p. 103.

There is more, but you get the idea. The term “Bornless One,” as RAW states, refers to the “Headless One” (Gr. Akephalos), a peculiar deity in the Greek Magical Papyri whose origin seems Egyptian and was conflated with Osiris in Hellenistic Egypt (Benz, PGM, p. 335).

Professor Benz reminds us that other Headless deities included the Molos mentioned by Plutarch in Crete and the Headless Triton mentioned by Pausanias (110-80 CE) in the Dionysus Temple at Tanagra. (Plutarch, On the Cessation of Oracles (Charles W. King, trans.), 1908, p. 89). I do not think that these are that similar, aside from being headless.

Dr. Benz dates the Greek Magical Papyri to 200 BCE-500 CE, reminding us that these are a small number of the magical spells that once existed. Scrolls and books were burned many times over the centuries, particularly magical texts. When magicians were also put to the fire, they went underground, Dr. Benz tells us, and they took their scrolls with them. The Papyri reverberate with admonitions to preserve their secrecy.

What I find fascinating is that the “papyri represent a Greco-Egyptian, rather than the more general Greco-Roman, syncretism … In this syncretism, the indigenous ancient Egyptian religion has in part survived, in part been profoundly hellenized.” Then he tells us: “The goddess Hekate, identical with Persephone, Selene, Artemis, and the old Babylonian goddess Ereschigal (sic), is one of the deities most often invoked in the papyri.”

Putting the papyri into historical context, he writes that “the discovery of the Greek Magical Papyri is as important for Greco-Roman religion as the discovery of the Qumran texts for Judaism or the Nag Hammadi texts for Gnosticism.” (Benz, 1986, pp. xli-xlviii). I suspect that the Demotic Magical Papyri in particular provide a tantalizing (albeit syncretic) glimpse into an original Egyptian religion.

But how syncretic? Professor Janet H. Johnson wrote the introduction to the Demotic Magical Papyri, noting that the bulk of the MSS were written “in that stage of the Egyptian language known as “Demotic,” and that the corpus as a whole derives in very large measure from earlier Egyptian religious and magical beliefs and practices.” (Benz, 1986, p. lv). Some MSS include passages written in “the earlier Egyptian hieratic script or words written in a special “cipher” script.” The Demotic Magical Papyri are dated to circa 300 CE.

⁶(Cardin’s editors missed a typographical error on p. 270, writing that Regardie was “Leary’s” personal secretary between 1928 and 1932, when he was Crowley’s personal secretary at that time. The editors also misspelled Jane Wolfe’s name as Wolf. Sorry: I blame OCD).

⁷Kenneth Grant’s Draconian Tradition in the Typhonian Current, the Lovecraftian workings of Grant’s New Isis Lodge (sometimes written as Nu-ISIS), and his declaration that he was OHO (Outer Head of the Order) of the OTO left his faction in opposition to the orthodox Thelemic mainstream. (Kenneth Grant, The Magical Revival, UK: Muller, 1972).

Then there was the portrait of LAM that Crowley gave to Grant in 1945. In 1987, Grant issued The LAM Statement, also titled The Dikpala of the Way of Silence, establishing a Cult of LAM.

Aleister Crowley, LAM, Dead Souls Exhibition, Greenwich Village, NY, 1919, frontispiece to Crowley's Commentary to Blavatsky's Voice of the Silence

Aleister Crowley, LAM, Dead Souls Exhibition, Greenwich Village, 1919. This portrait of LAM was published in The Equinox, (aka The Blue Equinox) Vol. 3, No. 1, (1919), and as the frontispiece to Crowley’s Commentary (Liber LXXI) to Helena P. Blavatsky’s The Voice of the Silence (1889). Kenneth Grant also published the portrait on page 70 of The Magical Revival. Beneath the portrait, Crowley added this caption: “The Way. Lam is the Tibetan word for Way or Path, and Lama is He who Goeth, the specific title of the Gods of Egypt, the Treader of the Path, in Buddhistic phraseology. Its numerical value is 71, the number of this book.”

Grant solicited members of the OTO, the Ordo Templi Orientis, to join the LAM Cult. This was a schismatic maneuver. Grant and his members of the New Isis Lodge were previously excommunicated by an earlier OHO, Karl Germer, in 1955.

Subsequent OHO’s never lifted the revocation of Grant’s Charter, and Grant continued calling himself OHO, publishing several influential books over the years.

Grant signed The LAM Statement with his magical motto, Aossic Aiwass, and as usual styled himself “OHO of OTO.” Grant’s claim to be the chief of the OTO was rejected by successive OHOs and by OTO members who were not sympathetic to New Isis. (Michael Staley, Scintillations in Mauve, UK: Starfire, nd).

⁸Pardon yet another digression, but for some reason this reminds me of the case of Bruno Borges, a Brazilian who covered his room in enigmatic writings and vanished—until he reappeared and published a book on Amazon. At this point in my life, I know better than to resist intrusions with sufficient strength).

Bruno Borges and LAM

A painting of Bruno Borges and LAM, as it appeared on a wall in his room.

Bruno Borges Room

The title of Bruno Borge’s first book, published in Portuguese in Brazil, is Teoria da Absorçāo do Conhecimento.

⁹And the synchronicities continue. I published my own account of initiation last year as A Tale of the Grenada Raiders. While it is a work of history, the narrative is a flashback, a nightmare, dreamt in a safehouse in Lima in 1990. I did not realize this until a year after the work was published. I long ago learned to heed my own Muse. I wrote:

“I know now that everything is illusion: we each project our own multiverse. 

There may be an infinity of potential universes, their number is dynamic and indistinguishable from an infinity for us, but they collapse and they manifest faster than thought. 

Indeed, they are synonymous with consciousness, winking in and out of subjective materiality as our perceptions collapse wave functions, crossing over and merging into one another as our decisions dictate which paths that we walk, projecting the imaginary constructs of our lives.”

A Tale of the Grenada Raiders: Memories in the Idioms of Dreams (Bangkok: MKD, 2017), p. xxiii. 

I explain these metaphysics in Revelation. I did not know it when I wrote A Tale, but the answers are all in the Upanishads–as is the solution to Cardin’s Crowleyan contradiction.


An Old Post on Babylonian Composite Creatures

“Composite creatures are found on various cosmic levels. For that reason, Mesopotamian Cosmic Geography, by Wayne Horowitz (1998; rev. 2011), has informed the present study, especially with regard to the “Babylonian Map of the World” and Enuma Elish texts, which mention a significant number of mixed beings found in the Neo-Babylonian iconographic repertoire.

This cuneiform inscription and map of the Mesopotamian world depicts Babylon in the center, ringed by a global ocean termed the “salt sea.” The map portrays eight regions, though portions are missing, while the text describes the regions, and the mythological creatures and legendary heroes that live in them. Sippar, Babylonia, 700 - 500 BCE. Photo by Osama Shukir Muhammed Amin. Licensed under the Creative Commons: Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareaAlike license.

This cuneiform inscription and map of the Mesopotamian world depicts Babylon in the center, ringed by a global ocean termed the “salt sea.” The map portrays eight regions, though portions are missing, while the text describes the regions, and the mythological creatures and legendary heroes that live in them. Sippar, Babylonia, 700 – 500 BCE. Photo by Osama Shukir Muhammed Amin. Licensed under the Creative Commons: Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareaAlike license.

(Wayne Horowitz, Mesopotamian Cosmic Geography (Mesopotamian Civilizations 8; Winona Lake, Ind.: Eisenbrauns, 1998).

Regarding Sumero-Babylonian religion in ancient Mesopotamia, two foundational studies are Wilfred Lambert’s essay on “The Historical Development of the Mesopotamian Pantheon: A Study in Sophisticated Polytheism” (1975) and Thorkild Jacobsen’s trail-blazing book titled The Treasures of Darkness (1976).

(Wilfred G. Lambert, “The Historical Development of the Mesopotamian Pantheon: A Study in Sophisticated Polytheism,” in Unity in Diversity: Essays in the History, Literature, and Religion of the Ancient Near East (ed. Hans Goedicke and J. J. M. Roberts; Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1975), pp. 191-200.

Thorkild Jacobsen, The Treasures of Darkness (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1976).

Since these publications appeared, still others have contributed to a greater understanding of the complexities of Mesopotamian religion, with its thousands of named gods and demons, but a comprehensive, systematic understanding still eludes modern scholarship.

Of particular importance to the methodological framework of the present research are the works of two scholars, Chikako E. Watanabe and Mehmet-Ali Ataç.

Watanabe’s Animal Symbolism in Mesopotamia: A Contextual Approach (2002), drawing upon her doctoral dissertation (University of Cambridge, 1998), aims “to examine how animals are used as ‘symbols’ in Mesopotamian culture and to focus on what is intended by referring to animals in context.”

(Chikako E. Watanabe, Animal Symbolism in Mesopotamia: A Contextual Approach (WOO 1; Vienna: Institut für Orientalistik der Universität Wien, 2002), p. 1.)


The scope of her investigation is limited to the symbolic aspects of two natural animals, the lion and bull, and two composite creatures, the Anzu bird and the horned lion-griffin. Watanabe’s narrow but deep analysis provides an excellent paradigm for study of Mesopotamian iconographic creatures in general.

Watanabe maintains that “the best way to interpret meanings belonging to the past is to pay close attention to the particular contexts in which symbolic agents occur.”

She does this through application of an approach known as the interaction view of metaphor, also called the theory of metaphor, developed by Max Black.

According to Watanabe, this approach aims to interpret the meanings of objects, whether occurring in figurative statements or iconographic representations, from within the contexts of their original functions, “by examining their internal relationships with other ideas or concepts expressed within the same contextual framework.”

As she points out, “the treatment of symbolic phenomena on a superficial level” does “not explain the function of symbolism.”

Constance Ellen Gane, Composite Beings in Neo-Babylonian Art, Doctoral Dissertation, University of California at Berkeley, 2012, pp. 3-4.

Roger Zelazny, Creatures of Light and Darkness

I first read this 99-page work by Zelazny in my youth. It was my introduction to Egyptian theogony, and it set me on a lifelong path. Rereading it decades later, I realize that it is a poor introduction to the mythology of ancient Egypt, but we all must start somewhere. It kindled a profound curiosity in me.

I am struck by Zelazny’s poetic style, it rarely bores, and it often enchants. This book was first published in 1969 by Doubleday. I do not think that they realized what a classic it would become. I suspect that it took awhile to find its audience.

Casting about for a thesis, I come up empty. So I will just quote my favorite excerpts.

“Can life be counted upon to limit itself? No. It is the mindless striving of two to become infinity. Can death be counted upon to limit itself? Never. It is the equally mindless effort of zero to encompass infinity.” (P. 10). 

Here is another.

“It is life and it is death. It is the greatest blessing and the greatest curse in the universe.” (P. 11).

Relief of Lady Isis at the foot of the sarcophagus of Ramses III (Louvre) Public Domain Wiki.jpg

Winged Isis, flanked by jackals of Anubis, with her throne icon on her head. This relief is from the foot of the sarcophagus of Ramses III. (Public Domain, Wiki).

I love that Lady Isis is a protagonist, but Zelazny fails to accord her her proper place. I sense that Zelazny wrote this as revelation, the words were delivered to him by an unfathomable agency. He does not understand who and what The Queen of Heaven is.

As far back as historians can trace, Isis was first mentioned during the Old Kingdom (circa 2686-2181 BCE, Fifth Dynasty) at the heart of the Osiris myth, which is the core myth of the Egyptian legendarium.

You can read the complete text of Plutarch’s Moralia, On Isis and Osiris, courtesy of Bill Thayer’s complete rekeying of Frank Cole Babbitt’s translation (pp. 1-191) of Volume V of the Loeb Classical Library edition.

Isis was one of the nine gods of the Ennead of Heliopolis, descended from Atum, also called Ra. Her mother was Nut, goddess of the sky, and her father Geb, god of the earth. Her siblings are Osiris, Set and Nephthys, her sister. Her husband was her brother, Osiris, making her mother, sister and wife of kings. Pharoahs often married their sisters.

Mistress of magic, Isis reconstructs dismembered Osiris, searching Egypt for the parts of his body scattered by Set, who murdered Osiris through guile. Isis never found his phallus:

“Of the parts of Osiris’s body the only one which Isis did not find was the male member, for the reason that this had been at once tossed into the river, and the lepidotus, the sea-bream, and the pike had fed upon it; and it is from these very fishes the Egyptians are most scrupulous in abstaining. But Isis made a replica of the member to take its place, and consecrated the phallus, in honor of which the Egyptians even at the present day celebrate a festival.” (Plutarch, On Isis and Osiris, 18).

Isis constructs a simulacrum of a penis for Osiris. Isis is also a sexual goddess: she stimulates Osiris (he is otherwise inert), despite his artificial phallus, and successfully copulates with him. Impregnated, the god Horus was the result. Osiris then retires to the Duat, the underworld, leaving Isis as the Lady of Heaven, and Horus as king on earth.

Like all goddesses which are templates of the Mother, Isis restores the souls of the deceased, and as the mother of Horus, she is emblematic of the maternal. She is the mistress of life, with dominion over fate and destiny, her power over nature gives her authority over humans, the blessed dead, and the gods.

In time, as Isis was a Moon goddess and Queen of Heaven, Isis Invicta was conflated with Aphrodite, Hathor, Astarte and other goddesses, to a point where all goddesses became her. She is the prototype for Mary, mother of Jesus Christ.

Zelazny portrays Isis awaking from sleep and returning to sleep, as she feels the weight of millenniae and loss. Isis was also a goddess of dreams.

“Let there be ten cannon crashes and remove them from the air and the ear, preserving the nine crowded silences that lie between. Let these be heartbeats, then, and felt throughout the body mystical.” (P. 16). 

Zelazny calls her the Red Witch.

“Trade life and death for oblivion, but light or dark will reach your bones or your flesh. Morning will come, and with it remembrance. 

The Red Witch sleeps within her cathedral-high hall, between the past and the future.” (P. 17).

Isis (L) & Nephthys (R), Anubis Ministers to the Deceased, Winged Isis at top 13th century BCE, reign of Ramesses II.png

Winged Isis is at the top, and depicted at left, assisting Anubis, with Nephthys at right. 13th century BCE, reign of Ramesses II. (Public Domain, Wiki).

Zelazny nails it, describing the goddess:

“Now, some say her name is Mercy and others say it’s Lust. Her secret name is Isis. Her secret soul is dust.” (P. 33).

And this:

“Sleep. Sleep, and let the Middle Worlds go by, ignorant of the Red Lady who is Lust, Cruelty, Wisdom and mother and mistress of invention and violent beauty.

The creatures of light and darkness dance on the guillotine’s lip, and Isis fears the poet. 

The creatures of light and darkness don and discard the garments of man, machine and god; and Isis loves the dance. The creatures of light and darkness are born in great numbers, die in an instant, may rise again, may not rise again; and Isis approves of the garments.” (P. 96). 

One character in Creatures of Light and Darkness that enjoys no place in Egyptian mythology is the Steel General. He is the spirit of rebellion. His steed is a creature out of no mythology, a burnished metal horse with eight diamond-hooved legs.

“Given sufficient warm-up run, it is said that it could circumnavigate the universe in a single stride. What would happen if it kept running after that, no one knows.” (P. 20).

The Steel General “wears a ring of tanned human flesh on his little finger, because it would be senseless and noisy for him to wear metal jewelry. The flesh was once his; at least, it helped to surround him at one time long ago.” (P. 21).

The Steel General cannot be killed, as human defiance can never be defeated.

“He is dead already,” says Horus, slowly, “for was it not I that destroyed the Steel General himself?”

“Osiris does not answer, for he, too, once destroyed the Steel General.” (P. 29).


“Behold the one who comes upon scenes of chaos, and whose cold metal hand supports the weak and the oppressed.” (P. 32). 

Zelazny has chops.

“All know of the General, who ranges alone. Out of the pages of history come the thundering hoofbeats of his war horse Bronze. He flew with the Lafayette Escadrille. He fought in the delaying action at Jarama Valley. He helped to hold Stalingrad in the dead of winter. With a handful of friends, he tried to invade Cuba. On every battleground, he has left a portion of himself.”  (P. 38).

I know this General as I know myself. Zelazny continues:

“He camped out in Washington when times were bad, until a greater General asked him to go away. He was beaten in Little Rock, had acid thrown in his face in Berkeley. He was put on the Attorney General’s list, because he had once been a member of the IWW. All the causes for which he has fought are now dead, but a part of him died also as each was born and carried to its fruition. …

“And so again he fought the rebel battle, being smashed over and over again in the wars the colonies fought against the mother planet, and in the wars the individual worlds fought against the Federation. He is always on some Attorney General’s list and he plays his banjo and he does not care, for he has placed himself beyond the law by always obying its spirit rather than its letter.” (P. 38). 

I love the way that Zelazny writes description.

“The Steel General, who has dismounted, stands now before Wakim and Vramin like an iron statue at ten o’clock on a summer evening with no moon.” 

Then there is this:

“How can you treat death so lightly?” she asks. 

Because it happens,” he replies. “It is inevitable. I do not mourn the falling of a leaf or the breaking of a wave. I do not sorrow for a shooting star as it burns itself up in the atmosphere. Why should I?” (P. 30). 

“…one can never be sure whether wisdom produces or merely locates…” (P. 33). 

“Granting that any place you can think of exists somewhere in infinity, if the Prince (Who Was a Thousand) can think of it too, he is able to visit it. Now, a few theorists claim that the Prince’s visualizing a place and willing himself into it is actually an act of creation. No one knew about the place before, and if the Prince can find it, then perhaps what he really did was make it happen. However–positing infinity, the rest is easy.” (P. 33).

The Prince Who Was a Thousand was married to a goddess, Zelazny names her Nephytha, apparently conflating her with the Egyptian Nephthys. She says:

“…And I know that all wives be bitches unto their lords, and I ask of thee thy forgiveness. But to whom else may I address my bitching, but to thee?” (P. 34). 

I will leave it at that. If you would like to download and read Zelazny’s Creatures of Light and Darkness, here is a link.

Here is the Wiki on the book.

Excerpt: The Great Secret, Maeterlinck, 1922

“But this hidden memory, this cryptomnesia, as the specialists have called it, is only one of the aspects of cryptopsychics, or the hidden psychology of the unconscious.

I have no time to recapitulate here all that the scholar, the scientist, the artist, and the mathematician owe to the collaboration of the subconscious. We have all profited more or less by this mysterious collaboration.

This subconscious self, this unfamiliar personality, which I have elsewhere called the Unknown Guest, which lives and acts on its own initiative, apart from the conscious life of the brain, represents not only our entire past life, which its memory crystallizes as part of an integral whole; it also has a presentiment of our future, which it often discerns and reveals; for truthful predictions on the part of certain specially endowed “sensitives” or somnambulistic subjects, in respect of personal details, are so plentiful that it is hardly possible any longer to deny the existence of this prophetic faculty.

In time accordingly the subconscious self enormously overflows our small conscious ego, which dwells on the narrow table-land of the present; in space likewise it overflows it in a no less astonishing degree. Crossing the oceans and the mountains, covering hundreds of miles in a second, it warns us of the death or the misfortune which has befallen or is threatening a friend or relative at the other side of the world.

As to this point, there is no longer the slightest doubt; and, owing to the verification of thousands of such instances, we need no longer make the reservations which have just been made in respect of predictions of the future.

This unknown and probably colossal guest though we need not measure him today, having only to verify his existence is, for the rest, much less a new personality than a personality which has been forgotten since the recrudescence of our positive sciences.

Our various religions know more of it than we do; and it matters little whether they call it soul, spirit, etheric body, astral body, or divine spark; for this guest of ours is always the same transcendental entity which includes our brain and our conscious ego; which probably existed before this conscious ego, and is quite as likely to survive it as to precede it; and without which it would be impossible to explain three fourths of the essential phenomena of our lives.”

Maurice Maeterlinck, The Great Secret, 1922, pp. 237-239.

On Prognostication

And Divinity

I was talking with my old friend Ranger Harry Hunter, formerly a senior medical sergeant at the 1st Ranger Battalion, a veteran of Operation Urgent Fury.

Harry and I share some history that will only be interesting to old Rangers, but he was the senior sergeant in my 300F1 class at Fort Sam Houston in 1983, and he witnessed the death in combat of my friend Ranger Mark Yamane, on Point Salines, revolutionary Grenada on 25 October, 1983.

I mentioned that my wife talked with a fortuneteller who told her that I would die in my 62d year of life. I am presently 56.

This fortuneteller also told my wife that I almost died last year, and this is correct. I almost did die last year. In fact, it was that cardiac episode that triggered me to return to America, and the continuum of those events landed me on a surgical table for a procedure the day before I originally wrote this piece.

Harry said, “only God knows that,” meaning that only God knows when we are going to die. I agree with Harry. While I also believe that my wife’s fortuneteller was correct, that I will die six years from now, these are not necessarily conflicting ideas.

Harry is a combat veteran. In my experience, there are no combat veterans who survive that experience without a profound, implacable belief in a higher power.

I told Harry that we all glorify His name differently, referring to our apex deity, and that we name Him and we worship Him in many different ways.

As an aside I believe that the historical divinity that some call Yahweh and others Brahman is asexual. The Great Architect of the Universe is beyond gender, but this is a digression.

Ascribing gender to God is a reflection of our human limitations, as are the multiple ways that we refer to Him. In my case, I refer to Him as Him, out of habit, and out of convenience.

I know that He has no gender. But I am human, and it is natural for me to ascribe gender to all creatures, even to the one that is synonymous with the energy that created our universe.

In any case, I do not think that my wife consulting with a fortuneteller is evil, though I am mindful of the Biblical proscriptions against witches and prognostications.

Here are my favorites. I prefer the King James Version, though I also use the Authorized King James Version. I generally go with the version that is most terrifying. These excerpts are courtesy of the Bible Gateway site.

Ephesians 6:11–12 Authorized (King James) Version (AKJV)

11 Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. 12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.

Jeremiah 10:2–4 King James Version (KJV)

2 Thus saith the Lord, Learn not the way of the heathen, and be not dismayed at the signs of heaven; for the heathen are dismayed at them.

3 For the customs of the people are vain: for one cutteth a tree out of the forest, the work of the hands of the workman, with the axe.

4 They deck it with silver and with gold; they fasten it with nails and with hammers, that it move not.

Leviticus 19:31 Authorized (King James) Version (AKJV)

31 Regard not them that have familiar spirits, neither seek after wizards, to be defiled by them: I am the Lord your God.

Leviticus 19:31 in all English translations

Leviticus 20:27 King James Version (KJV)

27 A man also or woman that hath a familiar spirit, or that is a wizard, shall surely be put to death: they shall stone them with stones: their blood shall be upon them.

Leviticus 20:27 in all English translations

Leviticus 20:6 Authorized (King James) Version (AKJV)

6 And the soul that turneth after such as have familiar spirits, and after wizards, to go a whoring after them, I will even set my face against that soul, and will cut him off from among his people.

Leviticus 20:6 in all English translations

Deuteronomy 18:10–12 King James Version (KJV)

10 There shall not be found among you any one that maketh his son or his daughter to pass through the fire, or that useth divination, or an observer of times, or an enchanter, or a witch.

11 Or a charmer, or a consulter with familiar spirits, or a wizard, or a necromancer.

12 For all that do these things are an abomination unto the Lord: and because of these abominations the Lord thy God doth drive them out from before thee.

Revelation 22:15 Authorized (King James) Version (AKJV)

15 For without are dogs, and sorcerers, and whoremongers, and murderers, and idolaters, and whosoever loveth and maketh a lie.

Revelation 22:15 in all English translations

1 Corinthians 10:21 King James Version (KJV)

21 Ye cannot drink the cup of the Lord, and the cup of devils: ye cannot be partakers of the Lord’s table, and of the table of devils.

1 Corinthians 10:21 in all English translations

2 Kings 21:6 Authorized (King James) Version (AKJV)

6 And he made his son pass through the fire, and observed times, and used enchantments, and dealt with familiar spirits and wizards: he wrought much wickedness in the sight of the Lord, to provoke him to anger.

2 Kings 21:6 in all English translations

I take these proscriptions seriously, as I grew up a Catholic, but I am also mindful that the Bible is a book, and it is a book transcribed by men from oral histories and earlier Sumerian tales that originated from times before we learned to write as a species.

I learned over decades that evil is a reflection of intent. Evil intent manifests evil actions, and evil consequences ensue. Pagans in Thailand, much like pagans everywhere, believe in white magic and black magic and grey magic. After 14 years living in Bangkok, so do I.

Christians who grew up in a Judeo-Christian culture will consider all of this pagan heresy, though there is plenty of magic in the Bible, and in fact, Catholics engage in symbolic sacred cannibalism when we take Communion.

What is transubstantiation, if it is not magic?

This is obviously a testy subject, so I will elide over it here and continue.

My point is that my beloved wife, beset with worries over her old, fat husband, is not out of bounds consulting a fortuneteller, as this is something that the Thai do. It is inherent to her culture. She grew up in a remote, rural village in Buri Ram.

On Thai Systems of Belief

The Thai are primarily Buddhist. There are many Muslims in Thailand, and there are a few Christians. I know a Thai Mormon.

I remind you however, that these are just words, these are just labels, just categories. After many years living among the Thai, I now accept such categorizations in the same way that the Thai people do and I agree that they are Buddhist. Just ask them. The Thai will tell you that they are Buddhist.

But there are different schools of thought in Buddhism, and applied Buddhism, meaning the way that people apply the sermons of the historical Buddha, the Dharma, incorporates other ideas, beliefs and practices which are not Buddhist at all.

I am not even talking about the distinctions between Theravada Buddhism and the Mahayana. What I am talking about are the ideas, practices and beliefs that derive from Hindu antecedents, and reaching even further back, from animism, with the earliest exemplars deriving from Tibetan Bon.

“On the other hand, when Buddhism arrived in Tibet in the 7th century AD, by invitation of King Sangsten Campo, it incorporated many of the symbols and practices of the indigenous shamanistic Bon religion, and converted some of the native deities into Buddhist bodhisattvas and lesser divinities.

This is apparent when one compares the rich symbology of Tibetan Buddhism with the restraint of the earlier forms of Buddhism practiced in Sri Lanka and in Southeast Asia.”

David Fontana, The Secret Language of Symbols, 1994, p. 19.

Anybody who knows the Thai firsthand will admit that a Hindu veneer with a deeper core of animism attenuates Thai Buddhism.

The Thai, you see, are not truly Buddhist at all, though the experts say that they are, and I accept the decree of these experts.

Nor are Thai Christians merely Christians, and likewise, Thai Muslims. They are, above all else, Thai. And that means that their beliefs and their practices are an inevitable melange of multiple influences.

The Thai, you see, regardless of whether they worship the Buddha, Allah or Yahweh or Brahma or Vishnu or Krishna or Shiva or Kālī Ma do not consider it outlandish to release small handmade boats bearing candles down a river as a prayerful offering to the river goddess.

When people die, as we all must, their cremated ashes are consecrated to the river goddess and to the multiverse and they are floated downstream, where they dissolve in the unimaginably vast ocean just off the coast of Bangkok. A fitting metaphor.

There are no goddesses in Islam, or in Christianity, though there are many in Hindu systems of belief and I personally consider Mary the mother of Jesus to be a goddess, as I know her as Lady Isis.

The Thai, in fact, do worship the Buddha as a deity though they claim that they do not, because the Buddha himself admonished the Sangha not to worship his person.

I can go on. The Thai do not consider it outlandish to festoon sacred trees with ribbons, they wai to such trees, they call them Don Po, and they believe that spirits live in them. I could go on, and on.

These are obviously not Buddhist practices and concepts, though it is primarily Thai Buddhists who do act on them. These are animist ideas, they derive from modes of worship and practice that are far more ancient than the Buddha, more ancient than the Sanskrit and the Pali scriptures, more ancient than the Hindu pantheons, and far older than the sacred books of India.

On Thai Fortunetellers

Another thing that the Thai do, included among a constellation of sacred acts from multiple religious traditions and practices that are jumbled and layered and mixed over the course of centuries, is the Thai also consult fortunetellers.

It is an interesting story, how my wife came to consult this particular fortuneteller at this particular time, but I will tell that story elsewhere, in a dedicated story, as it deserves it.

Most Thai would not condemn my wife for consulting a fortuneteller. It is a cultural act, it is an act that is normal in Thai culture. My wife was motivated by love and worry. Jesus himself would never condemn her.

My wife did not even set out that day to consult with a fortuneteller, but Grandpa told her about his own visit to this particular fortuneteller, how he was eerily prescient and accurate, and then they went to the village where this fortuneteller lives, on other business.

After they completed their business, it turned out that the fortuneteller was available, so my wife sat down with him. My wife and Grandpa just happened to be there, and the timing was fortuitous. This prognosticator is very famous, he is widely known in this part of Northern Thailand.

Now I must explain a bit about this fortuneteller. This fortuneteller is actually a woman in her mid-thirties who lives in a remote village upcountry.

She serves as the conduit for the spirit of this fortuneteller, who is an older gentlemen of indeterminate age. The spirit of this older gentleman occupies the body of this young lady, and he prognosticates by interpreting the palms of truth seekers.

I understand that this sounds demonic and bizarre, but you have to live here to understand these matters. Strictly speaking, a Christian would consider these proceedings demonic. They are not. My wife knows the difference. So do I.

This fortuneteller occupies the body of this young lady, her entire body language changes, her facial expressions change, her voice changes, and she retains no memory of the proceedings. She is just a conduit, a vessel.

Christians consider consulting a prognosticator a sin, but I do not believe that Christians hold a monopoly on the sacred. As I told Harry, we worship and we glorify Him in many ways, using many names.

My wife is too wise and too ethical to seek a deal with infernal powers, she knows that we must respect the will of the multiverses, which is indistinguishable from saying that we must accept the writ of God.

But the accuracy and the prescience of this particular fortuneteller was undeniable, and his accuracy shook my wife, and after she told me the tale of her visit, I was also shaken.

The Book of Light

Apocryphal traditions, specifically from the Books of Enoch, claim that there is a book of light, and the names of the worthy are inscribed in that book.

This book of light is not reserved solely for the eyes of the angels. Enoch read from this book, it is written, and it is likely that others will also read from it at the time of the coming apocalypse.

I remind you that the angel Metatron was once Enoch, once a man, just as you and I. I do not believe that Enoch will be the last of our race to ascend to angelic rank.

I know that many of you are rolling your eyes at me now and shaking your heads, and this is fine. Everybody cannot be in this book. Whether you believe in this book or not does not affect its actuality.

And not everybody can live among the Thai for 14 years. Not everybody can read the Apocrypha, finding there many answers, nor can everybody read the Ramayana, or ponder over the distinctions between Buddhist sutras and suttas.

As I said, we acknowledge the sacred in many different ways. My wife was acting from a posture of love. Her act would have found favor from Jesus himself, whom I remind you overturned the tables of the moneylenders, and who will unquestionably raze the Vatican to the ground when He returns.

We know evil when we encounter evil.

My Invisible Benefactors

Which brings me to my next topic: my invisible benefactors. We also, you see, know goodness when we encounter it.

Among many other perplexing observations, my wife’s fortuneteller told her that puyai would help me in my travails. Puyai is a Thai term that refers to the exalted, to those with power and influence, to those of high social rank. It can also refer simply to our elders.

Her fortuneteller told her that puyai would help me, he did not know who this personage was, but he was an “old soldier,” the Thai term is tahan, and this exalted one would facilitate my path through many challenges.

And this indeed seems to be the case.

Somebody, I would swear to it, pulled strings for me and whispered in ears at the Veterans Administration in my favor.

My wife also observed that this could all be good fortune, it could be that the multiverses suddenly turned favorable for me, it could be that the VA suddenly clicked into a mode where it functions the way that it is supposed to work, where everybody gets appointments in a timely fashion, and the medical care sets the standard for socialized medicine.

So you ask yourself: Occam’s Razor. What is more likely? Maybe I am just a skeptic.

I believe that somebody helped me.

I do not know who you are, but please do not stop. I accomplished amazing things with the VA, my health is already much better, and the ground is set for me to enjoy even better health.

Please do not think that I am greedy. It is not greed motivating me.

I am, you see, on a mission from God, just like Joliet Jake and Elwood. I need to complete books that I have been writing for decades now. My first book, titled A Tale of the Grenada Raiders: Memories in the Idioms of Dreams, is now complete, and it is in the hands of an agent.

He is doing whatever agents do, and I am now doing what writers do, which is wait on agents.

My wife’s fortuneteller told her that I would live to be 62. I cannot tell you why, but this feels ineluctably correct. Aside from the fact that this fortuneteller knew details about me that he could not possibly have known.

I believe that achieving my goals with the VA will set me on a path to complete my life goals and to complete my remaining books.

My second book, The Rosetta Stone of Memories, is mostly complete. My third book, Tales of the Rangers, is about 75% complete. My fourth book, In the Valley of the Shadows, my favorite, is about 80% complete. Yes, I write them all at the same time, it is a long story.

If I can complete these books, I will die a contented death. If I die before I complete them, I suppose that I will still be ok with it. My first book is done. One way or another, whether I am alive or not, it will be published.

I do not know who will publish it yet, but I know that it will be published, even if I have to do it myself on Amazon.

So this is why I was writing in a borrowed bed the day after a cardiac procedure on this night. I went to America to address my health, so I can complete my life’s work.

I thank you from the bottom of my heart for what you have already done.

One step at a time.

But now, I am on the path.

Somebody, or something, guided me there.

It could be God.

If it is a person, an invisible benefactor, how is this different from carrying out the will of God?

On the Ineffable


This 18th century depiction of Yamantaka, a violent expression of the Bodhisattva Manjushri, defeats Yama, god of death, and demolishes the cycle of samsara on the path to enlightenment. This painting, in the collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, was purchased in 1969 courtesy of a bequest by Florence Waterbury. Its Accession Number is 69.71. This is a faithful photographic reproduction of a two-dimensional public domain work of art. This work is in the public domain in its country of origin and other countries and areas where the copyright term is the author’s life plus 100 years.

This is my review of Nick Stockton’s “Time Might Only Exist in Your Head. And Everyone Else’s.” From Wired, 26 September, 2016. Published at 0600 hrs. I later modified this piece on 17 October, 2016. It keeps bothering me like a splinter in my mind. In its current revision, it comprises 2,537 words.

“Some physicists blame gravity for time. Others blame observers. Time, the arrow of time, the linearity of time flowing from the infinite past through the present into the indefinite future, cannot exist unless an intelligence, something sentient, exists to observe it, they say.

The moment when particle physics and classical mechanics merge is called “decoherence,” and it also happens to be the moment when time’s direction becomes mathematically important.

Mr. Stockton’s article points out that superposition in quantum mechanics means that an electron can exist in either of two places, a property called probability, but it is impossible to say where an electron is until that electron is actually observed.

Some physicists also say that what matters is not whether time exists, but what direction that time flows. (Claus Kiefer, “Can the Arrow of Time Be Understood From Quantum Cosmology?” in L. Mersini-Houghton and R. Vaas, The Arrow of Time, Springer, Berlin, 2010.)

I marvel that anything can move at all, as any distance can incorporate an infinitude simply by holding your fingers a centimeter apart.

Your fingertips are not necessary, of course. You can imagine an infinite digression between any two points. You can even imagine the digression without the points, which is where things get interesting for me.

Not surprisingly, this reminds me of Jorge Luis Borges (1899-1986), in the academic tradition of droll footnotes, citing “the last magician,” Isaac Newton, saying that “Each particle of space is eternal, each indivisible moment of duration is everywhere.” Principia, III, 42. (Isaac Newton, Newton’s Principia, New York: Daniel Adee, 1846. Borges wrote his 1946 revision of “A New Refutation of Time” in Sur, 1944. Jorge Luis Borges, Selected Non-Fictions, Penguin, 1999.)

How anything can leap across the infinitudes separating all things from everything else mystifies me, and how we can imagine infinity without beginning or without end leaves me without words.

Miraculously, everything in this multiverse can leap infinities, and so we have progression, which is synonymous with time. Even using a term like “infinity” forces a compromise upon us, it is a convention, and these are the paradoxes that compel some physicists to suspect that time emerges from decoherence.

Mr. Stockton’s article explains that the most prominent theory addressing decoherence is the 1960’s-era Wheeler-DeWitt equation, by Dr. Bryce DeWitt and Dr. John Archibald Wheeler. Dr. Wheeler claimed that this equation “erases the seams between quantum and classical mechanics.”

Then Mr. Stockton acknowledges the weirdness underlying decoherence and “so-called quantum gravity.” I love the fact that physicists use a term like “weird” and nobody thinks that it is strange. Because these matters are supremely weird.

The second law of thermodynamics ordains that the amount of disorder, or entropy, in our multiverse will always increase. In 1865 Rudolf Clausius (1822-1888) infamously observed: “The energy of the universe is constant; the entropy of the universe tends to a maximum.” This is the source of the directionality of time: disorder always increases, so time can only move in one direction.

The Wheeler-DeWitt equation notoriously does not include a variable for time. Time, it says, is something that cannot be measured in terms of itself: in physics it is measured as correlations between an object’s location.

In this article, however, the writers (Dr. Robert Lanza and Dr. Yasunori Nomura) insist that gravity is too slow to account for a universal arrow of time.

Worse, because the Wheeler-DeWitt equations do not explain why time moves from the past through the present to the future–in other words, the directionality of time is not explained by the Wheeler-DeWitt equations–all that remains to be examined is us, meaning we, the observers.

One of the writers, Dr. Robert Lanza, founded biocentrism, a theory that space and time are constructs of biological sensory limitations.

Dr. Lanza speculates that time moves as it does because humans, and other sentient beings, for that matter, are biologically, neurologically and philosophically hardwired to experience time in that way.

In fact, Dr. Lanza says, “In his papers on relativity, Einstein showed that time was relative to the observer.”

I do not see how it could be otherwise. While you can claim that mathematics exists independently of human perception, because equations do not depend upon witnesses to observe them, we obviously only know about mathematics because we perceive such equations.

I will go one step further and say that equations, all the equations in an infinitude of mathematics, already exist, and merely await a conjunction of time and sentience to be discovered. But they are already there. We are just not yet smart enough to discern them.

Tibetan Buddhism, in fact, features a category of knowledge of this kind, calling it terma. It refers to objects or ideas which are surfaced to human knowledge when we as a species are ready for them. Some believe that we knew this information in earlier incarnations, and we forgot it, as we submerged into ignorance and amnesia. Now we are gradually, slowly, reawakening.

Dr. Lanza, this article says, goes even further, saying that we the observers create time and its directionality. This is actually a very old idea, and I discuss it in an article that I published on this site almost a year ago, Smoke Signals: Borges, Tzahi Weiss, Kabbalah.

Is it possible to say that there is an independent time, a time that exists without anyone or anything to perceive it? I suppose so. Is there also a time that exists because we perceive it? I think that this is inescapable.

Borges says:

” … Denying temporal succession, denying the self, denying the astronomical universe, are apparent desperations and secret consolations.

Our destiny (as contrasted with the hell of Swedenborg and the hell of Tibetan mythology) is not frightful by being unreal; it is frightful because it is irreversible and ironclad.

Time is the substance I am made of. Time is a river which sweeps me along, but I am the river; it is a tiger which destroys me, but I am the tiger; it is a fire which consumes me, but I am the fire.”

(Jorge Luis BorgesSelected Non-Fictions, 1999, p. 290.)

The time that you experience is not the same time that I experience. Neither of us experiences time as Borges did. Can “the concept of time be defined mathematically without including observers in the system?”

One stance says no, as there is no way to subtract observers from the equations, as equations by default, almost by definition, you could say, are performed by sentient intelligences.

Dr. Yasunori Nomura states that these equations also fail to consider that the entire multiverse as we perceive it exists in a medium that we call spacetime.

By definition, when you talk about spacetime, he says, “you are already talking about a decohered system.”

This article concludes, like most interpretations of spacetime, that everything is relative, everything is subjective.

We are in self-defined prisons of perception, but we imagine paradises where we share the same perceptions, the same spacetime, and we perceive the same physics. The sad thing is, this is maya, or illusion. Some of us know better, and we have been told.

We do not need these physics, not for awakening from the stupor of the mind to anatta, the emptiness of the self, the realization of the non-duality of the absolute and the relative.

Think on this for a moment. The absolute and the relative form a duality that is artificial, this is a construct that we create to help us understand what we perceive. It is, in a sense, a filter. We need no such filters.

Borges, in the quote above, in a denial of denial, refused to renounce temporal succession, rejected the renunciation of the self, repudiated the rejection of the astronomical universe, and dismissed the effort as an “apparent desperation,” slyly condemning it as a “secret consolation.”

It was long a secret, as Tibet was closed to mankind for centuries, but Borges understood what he was rejecting. Borges referred to “the hell of Tibetan mythology” for precisely this reason, and that is why I illustrated this article with a painting depicting Yamantaka, just one aspect of the Bodhisattva Manjushri, vanquishing Yama, the god of death. Borges was telling those of us with eyes to see that he was an idealist, not a nihilist. Borges concluded that we manifest everything.

It is useful, I think, to consider Borges’ reference to fire by juxtapositioning it to this excerpt from the Buddha’s Fire Sermon:

Bikkhus, form is burning, feeling is burning, perception is burning, volitional formations are burning, consciousness is burning. Seeing this, bikkhus, the instructed noble disciple experiences revulsion towards form … feeling … perception …. volitional formations … consciousness …Through dispassion [this mind] is liberated…”

Adittapariyaya Sutta, or the Aditta Sutta, aka The Fire Sermon

In Theravada Buddhism, anatta is considered the no-self or no-soul doctrine. In Mahayana Buddhism, true knowledge is comprehending emptiness.

It is not understood by laymen, much less by our physicists in this article, but Buddhism is inimical to the concept of a soul. Nirvana is the state attained when the practitioner realizes that he has no self, and he has no soul. Self-negation attains its ultimate realization as it vanishes.

In Sanskrit and Pali, nirvana means “blown out,” in the same sense that a candle flame is snuffed. I am certain that Borges knew. Borges knew everything, he read all books, and he made few mistakes.

These ideas contradict the Western philosophical tradition, our mathematics, our physics, our spacetime, even though Hinduism insists that there is an eternal atman, and an ultimate metaphysical reality. Contradictions and confusions abound.

In the Brihadaranyaka Upanishad 1.4.1, the atman is expressed as “I am” at an eternal moment when nothing existed at the beginning of the multiverse. Because we built the Hubble telescope, we estimate that this eternal moment transformed into the Big Bang and this multiverse approximately 13.7 billion years ago.

Using Hubble, we can measure the speed and distances of galaxies, and hence how fast our multiverse is expanding. Comparing these measurements to the age of the oldest globular star clusters gives us a figure of 13 billion years, which compares favorably to the 14 billion years of our observable multiverse.

Due to the speed of light, Hubble cannot see further than 14 billion years away. When the James W. Webb telescope comes online, we expect to confirm that our observable multiverse represents a tenth of the theoretical galaxies on the near side of our cosmological horizon.

But when you consider that the Big Bang might have been just the latest in an infinite series of singularities, interspersed by an unknowable number of periods of quantum potential, the possibility that the multiverse is infinite, literally without end, looms.

So is consciousness 14 billion years old? The Brihadaranyaka Upanishad is one of the oldest, dated to approximately 700 BCE, but this is a compromise, as scholarly estimates range between 900 BCE to 600 BCE, preceding Buddhism.

Human consciousness is very young, even assuming that the priests of Neith who admonished Solon in the Timaeus were correct, the Timaeus is dated to 360 BCE, and I am mindful that when the Temple of Neith in Sais was excavated no records of ancient conflagrations or deluges were recovered. But how old is cosmic consciousness? It is absurd that we even imagine the question.

When the atman awakes, the Hindu say, it is synonymous with Brahman, the basis of everything, indistinguishable in my mind from God, and this is the path to liberation, or so they say.

It is helpful to cite this Upanishad’s verse 1.4.1 in its entirety, as it redolently presages Genesis.

“In the beginning, this (universe) was but the self (Virāj) of a human form. He reflected and found nothing else but himself. He first uttered, ‘I am he.’ Therefore he was called Aham (I). Hence, to this day, when a person is addressed, he first says, ‘It is I,’ and then says the other name that he may have. Because he was first and before this whole (band of aspirants) burnt all evils, therefore he is called Puruṣa. He who knows thus indeed burns one who wants to be (Virāj) before him.”

(Brihadaranyaka Upanishad 1.4.1.)

As perplexed as I am by yet another reference to fire, the Buddhist Suttas, or Sutras, as I prefer, insist that everything, especially nirvana, is non-self, total non-attachment. The Suttas in Pali refer exclusively to the scriptures of the early Pali Canon, the canonical works of Theravada Buddhism, which are said to be the oral teachings of the Buddha.

The Buddha himself admonished the Sangha not to deify his person, so I prefer the Sutras, the less exclusive, more encompassing genre of ancient Indian texts, which include the foundational works of Hinduism, Buddhism and Jainism.

The Buddha started the Wheel of Karma turning as he preached his first sermon at  the Deer Park in Sarnath near Benares, early in the 5th century BCE. It was in his second sermon that he expounded on the no-soul thesis, anatta-vada, which some Western academics criticize as “an extreme empiricist doctrine.” (Brian Morris, Religion and Anthropology: A Critical Introduction (London: Cambridge University Press, 2006, p. 51.)

Anatta is one of the three characteristics of existence in Buddhism, with anicca, or impermanence, and dukkha, or suffering. The three comprise the samsara cycle of existence, addressed in canonical Buddhist texts like the Dhammapada.

The Four Noble Truths insist that there is a way out of samsara. I interpret spacetime as samsara, yet another filter created by subjective consciousness, to help us make sense of our multiverse.

In anatta, the mind returns to its original prelinguistic emptiness of non-attachment, non-discrimination, and non-duality, and the awakening, as it is described, entails the absorption of cessation: it is tantamount to the dissolution of the self.

This “pure consciousness event” is wakeful, without content, and completely non-intentional. It goes without saying that our spacetime and our cosmological horizon are irrelevant to it: It is ineffable. (Yaroslav Komarkovski, Tibetan Buddhism and Mystical Experience, (London: Oxford University Press, 1995, p. 28.)

As Borges said, we are indistinguishable from spacetime. We do not need eyes to see, so death, transformation, is dissolution into nothingness, which many religious traditions summarize as the godhead.

Ironically, it was William James who said:

“The subject of it immediately says that it defies expression, that no adequate report of its contents can be given in words.”

(William James, The Varieties of Religious Experience: A Study in Human Nature (New York: Penguin, 1982.)”

Estéban Trujillo de Gutiérrez, “On the Ineffable”

Bangkok, 17 October, 2016

Howl for Malcolm Forsmark


The incipit of Allen Ginsberg (1926-97), Howl, City Lights Books: San Francisco, 1959, as presented by Christopher Skinner on his Lestaret blog. This rendering © 2010 Lestaret.

For Malcom Forsmark

(Because Allen Ginsberg wrote Howl for Carl Solomon.)

“It is the belief in the art of poetry that has gone hand in hand with this man into his Golgotha, from that charnel house, similar in every way, to that of the Jews in the past war. But this is in our own country, our own fondest purlieus. We are blind and live our blind lives out in blindness. Poets are damned but they are not blind, they see with the eyes of the angels.”

William Carlos Williams, from Allen Ginsberg, Howl, City Lights, San Francisco, 1959.

I realize now that the multiverse nudged me to contemplate Moloch, as I watched several YouTube documentaries about the Bohemian Grove.

I finally ended reading Shakespeare‘s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Act II, scene 2, “Weaving spiders, come not here!”

For the crux of Ginsberg’s Howl is this excerpt from the midpoint of part II, the literal halfway point of the poem:

Moloch whose name is the Mind!”

You can argue that Howl is a paean to Moloch, but like most long poems Howl is many things. One thing that it is not, with no apologies to William Carlos Williams, is angelic.

It took me a couple of tries to reread it today, I last read it years ago, and at first I loathed it. I hated the description of “negro streets,” and worst of all, the word “Mohammedan” made me stop reading and write this commentary.

It felt like Ginsberg used those words because he thought that they were edgy in 1954, and all those words did for me was confirm that Ginsberg was talking about things that he did not know. The terms “negro streets” and “Mohammedan” feel prosaic and inauthentic as I write this in 2016.

What did Allen Ginsberg know about Islam? Nothing in 1954 when he began Howl, nothing compared to what we know now, courtesy of YouTube, in anno 2016.

I carried a gun in Baghdad myself in 2003 and 2004, aware that I was stalking in the land of the four rivers, the Pison, the Gihon, the Euphrates and the Tigris, where Sumerian cuneiform blossomed out of oral traditions some four thousand years before.

A young lady who ran my office, born Sunni, explained that Islam made her feel loved, not oppressed, even as she wore sunglasses in the office to avoid tormenting men with the vision of her eyes.

Then I remembered Patti Smith proclaiming that she was a Moslem, in her immortal babelogue, circa 1978. This was Ginsberg’s Islam of 1954, but 24 years later:

” …  I wake up. I am lying peacefully I am lying peacefully and my knees are open to the sun.

I desire him, and he is absolutely ready to seize me.

In heart I am a Moslem; in heart I am an American; in heart I am Moslem, in heart I’m an American artist, and I have no guilt.”

Patti Smith, babelogue, Easter, Arista Records, 1978.

I always loved babelogue for Patti Smith‘s unrepentant sluttiness and the irony that certain Muslim sects chant: “the sun is not God!”

Then Ginsberg wrote this:

” … who wandered around and around at midnight in the railway yard wondering where to go, and went, leaving no broken hearts,

who lit cigarettes in boxcars boxcars boxcars racketing through snow toward lonesome farms in grandfather night … “

Allen GinsbergHowl, City Lights Books, San Francisco, 1959.

Yes, “boxcars” is a poetic gimmick, but it works. The more that you read the sentence, the more that you admire it. “Grandfather night” is so good that I intend to steal it.

I am also stealing Ginsberg’s description of poets whose “heads shall be crowned with laurel in oblivion,” as we are all of us destined for oblivion. Indeed, “Writing for oblivion” is the tagline on all of my websites.

I also admire the irony of Ginsberg writing,

” … who scribbled all night rocking and rolling over lofty incantations which in the yellow morning were stanzas of gibberish…”

As this happens to every poet. I also remember Oscar Wilde, with Lord Darlington’s caveat in Act III of Lady Windermere’s Fan, writing that “we are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking up at the stars.”


I also liked this part:

” … the madman bum and angel beat in Time, unknown, yet putting down here what might be left to say in time come after death,

and rose reincarnate in the ghostly clothes of jazz in the goldhorn shadow of the band and blew the suffering of America’s naked mind for love into an eli eli lamma lamma sabacthani saxophone cry that shivered the cities down to the last radio

with the absolute heart of the poem of life butchered out of their own bodies good to eat a thousand years.”

Which brings us back to Moloch, reminding me that legalized, systemic infanticide is indistinguishable from state-sponsored Satanic child sacrifice.

One profane theme eulogized by Ginsberg is the hyper-sexuality of homosexuals. As Paris Hilton famously observed, “gay guys are the horniest people in the world.” Anyone who knows many homosexuals knows that Ms. Hilton had a point, and Ginsberg’s Howl parodies sacred sexuality.

I am less repelled by Howl’s eroticism, however, than I am by its junkies, as Ginsberg’s glorification of heroin addiction unmasks him as an effete poseur reveling in his own appetites.

I respect Ginsberg’s occidental Buddhism and his later popularization of Hindu mantra, for it needed to be done, but the final straw for me was Ginsberg’s defense of NAMBLA, and his apologia for pederasty.

Pedophiles may be programmed by nature with proscribed urges, but I have no patience for an advocacy organization that rationalizes statutory rape with, “age is just a number.” I tolerate the sexual exploitation of children by nobody, the child bride of the Prophet included (may peace be upon him).

At first reading I felt nothing beautiful from the first page of Howl, so I said the hell with it, why waste time reading it. I celebrate beauty, not vomitus, and prospecting for pearls in shit is irredeemable.

Then I remembered the pilgrimage that Malcolm Forsmark and I made to the City Lights Bookstore in San Francisco in 1979, just before I joined the Army. We arrived late. It was closed.

We were disappointed, because we lived in Boulder, and a journey to San Francisco was an expedition. We got drunk and we shouted Howl to the gleaming jewel lights of the city. I did not know then that I would live in San Francisco in 1986, and come to make that metropolis my own.

Sometime that night, Malcolm told me that he met Allen Ginsberg at a party in Boulder. The Naropa crowd thought that they were so countercultural. I did not understand this at the time, I was too young, but it is very clear to me now, with the hindsight of a lifetime focusing my memory. Ginsberg exclaimed, “ah, another up and coming young faggot!”

Actually, no. Malcolm Forsberg was a classicist and an autodidact, a scholar of Latin and Greek whose erudition was staggering. Malcolm eclipsed any academic on the Naropa faculty. I have not spoken to Malcolm in decades, but I knew him so well that I know that I know him still.

I know that wherever he is, he is writing poetry: the poetry of Malcolm Forsmark.

” … exhausted cigarette butts

nodding in opiate daze

burning down to grimy fingers.”

Estéban Trujillo de Gutiérrez

Bangkok, updated 5 May 2018.

Physics and the Great Architect of the Universe



This photo graced the article, “Scientists Discover a Jewel at the Heart of Quantum Physics,” an original article by Natalie Wolchover published from Quanta on Wired on December 11, 2013. The photo is credited to Rick Leche on Flickr. 

I cross-posted this on both my Magic Kingdom Dispatch on Facebook and Samizdat on Facebook pages. It has been a couple of weeks since I last posted on Samizdat, as I finished rekeying Umberto Eco’s The Search for the Perfect Language and I still need to combine all those posts into one giant manuscript so that book will be available for free download on the web for as long as the web shall last.

“I flinched when I read that “Physicists reported this week the discovery of a jewel-like geometric object that dramatically simplifies calculations of particle interactions and challenges the notion that space and time are fundamental components of reality.”

Then I went back to read the date, and sure enough, the article was dated 12-11-13, which I am choosing to note but not to consider too carefully. It could be coincidence, or somebody could have a sense of humor.

Or the multiverse could be sending us more smoke signals.

Wired Magazine did it to me again, though, presenting an article from Quanta. This happens to me like once a month, when Wired / Quanta flip me out with an article about physics.

Then the article states:

“The new geometric version of quantum field theory could also facilitate the search for a theory of quantum gravity that would seamlessly connect the large- and small-scale pictures of the universe. Attempts thus far to incorporate gravity into the laws of physics at the quantum scale have run up against nonsensical infinities and deep paradoxes. The amplituhedron, or a similar geometric object, could help by removing two deeply rooted principles of physics: locality and unitarity.”

The article then states, “Locality is the notion that particles can interact only from adjoining positions in space and time.” I am not sure what this can even mean in a multiverse where the word “position” is imbued with the Heisenberg uncertainty principle, which insists that simply observing something collapses its wave form.

Not to mention the idea of entanglement.

The writers carefully admit that the “amplituhedron itself does not describe gravity.” Right. This remains the grail of physics, incorporating gravity into the laws of physics at the quantum scale.

The article continues: “But Arkani-Hamed and his collaborators think there might be a related geometric object that does. Its properties would make it clear why particles appear to exist, and why they appear to move in three dimensions of space and to change over time.”

Oh, my.

The article trips me up again when the writers say, “In 1986, it became apparent that Feynman’s apparatus was a Rube Goldberg machine.” A “Rube Goldberg machine?” Ah. A contraption that is deliberately over-engineered to perform a simple task in a complicated fashion. Ok.

Then the article explains that the inside of a triangle is a region in a two-dimensional space bounded by intersecting lines, so a positive Grassmanian is a “region in an N-dimensional space bounded by intersecting planes.”

This leads to: “They have also found a “master amplituhedron” with an infinite number of facets, analogous to a circle in 2-D, which has an infinite number of sides.”

I love these kinds of articles.

“Its volume represents, in theory, the total amplitude of all physical processes.”

Who needs intoxicants? Contemplating these subjects, when linear thinking evaporates into totality, you are experiencing infinitude between your ears. The meat of our brains somehow reflects concepts without limits.

While the grail of quantum physics remains gravity, these mischievous physicists are already reaching beyond, asking whether the discovery of the amplituhedron could enable us to give up space and time as fundamental constituents of nature.

We are in pure geometry: “The object is basically timeless.”

How is this not a contemplation of God?”

Estéban Trujillo de Gutiérrez, “Physics and the Great Architect of the Universe,” Samizdat.

Bangkok, 27 September, 2016.


Eco: The Gift to Adam

Ibn Hazm, Tawq al-hamama fi al-ulfa

Ibn Hazm (994-1064), The Ring of the Dove (Tawq al-Hanamah), circa 1022, held in the University Library Leiden, Oriental Collections. This work is in the public domain in its country of origin and other countries and areas where the copyright term is the author’s life plus 100 years or less. 

“What was the exact nature of the gift of tongues received by the apostles? Reading St. Paul (Corinthians 1:12-13) it seems that the gift was that of glossolalia–that is, the ability to express oneself in an ecstatic language that all could understand as if it were their own native speech.

Reading the Acts of the Apostles 2, however, we discover that at the Pentecost a loud roar was heard from the skies, and that upon each of the apostles a tongue of flame descended, and they started to speak in other languages.

In this case, the gift was not glossolalia but xenoglossia, that is, polyglottism–or, failing that, at least a sort of mystic service of simultaneous translation. The question of which interpretation to accept is not really a joking matter: there is a major difference between the two accounts.

In the first hypothesis, the apostles would have been restored to the conditions before Babel, when all humanity spoke but a single holy dialect.

In the second hypothesis, the apostles would have been granted the gift of momentarily reversing the defeat of Babel and finding in the multiplicity of tongues no longer a wound that must, at whatever cost, be healed, but rather the key to the possibility of a new alliance and of a new concord.

So many of the protagonists in our story have brazenly bent the Sacred Scriptures to suit their purposes that we should refrain ourselves from doing likewise. Ours has been the story of a myth and of a wish. But for every myth there exists a counter-myth which marks the presence of an alternative wish.

If we had not limited ourselves from the outset to Europe, we might have branched out into other civilizations, and found other myths–like the one located in the tenth-eleventh century, at the very confines of European civilization, and recounted by the Arab writer Ibn Hazm (cf. Arnaldez 1981: Khassaf 1992a, 1992b).

In the beginning there existed a single language given by God, a language thanks to which Adam was able to understand the quiddity of things. It was a language that provided a name for every thing, be it substance or accident, and a thing for each name.

But it seems that at a certain point the account of Ibn Hazm contradicts itself, when saying that–if the presence of homonyms can produce equivocation–an abundance of synonyms would not jeopardize the perfection of a language: it is possible to name the same thing in different ways, provided we do so in an adequate way.

For Ibn Hazm the different languages could not be born from convention: if so, people would have to have had a prior language in which they could agree about conventions.

But if such a prior language existed, why should people have undergone the wearisome and unprofitable task of inventing other tongues? The only explanation is that there was an original language which included all others.

The confusio (which the Koran already regarded not as a curse but as a natural event–cf. Borst 1957-63: I, 325) depended not on the invention of new languages, but on the fragmentation of a unique tongue that existed ab initio and in which all the others were already contained.

It is for this reason that all people are still able to understand the revelation of the Koran, in whatever language it is expressed. God made the Koranic verses in Arabic in order that they might be understood by his chosen people, not because the Arabic language enjoyed any particular privilege. In whatever language, people may discover the spirit, the breath, the perfume, the traces of the original polylinguism (sic).

Let us accept the suggestion that comes from afar. Our mother tongue was not a single language but rather a complex of all languages. Perhaps Adam never received such a gift in full; it was promised to him, yet before his long period of linguistic apprenticeship was through, original sin severed the link.

Thus the legacy that he has left to all his sons and daughters is the task of winning for themselves the full and reconciled mastery of the Tower of Babel.”


Umberto Eco, The Search for the Perfect Language, translated by James Fentress, Blackwell. Oxford, 1995, pp. 351-3.

Eco: Translation

Diego de Torres Rubio de la Copania de Jesus, 1616

Diego de Torres Rubio (1547-1638), Arte de la lengua aymara, Lima, Francisco del Canto, 1616. Digitized courtesy of the John Carter Brown Library. This work is in the public domain in its country of origin and other countries and areas where the copyright term is the author’s life plus 100 years or less.

“Today more than ever before, at the end of its long search, European culture is in urgent need of a common language that might heal its linguistic fractures.

Yet, at the same time, Europe needs to remain true to its historic vocation as the continent of different languages, each of which, even the most peripheral, remains the medium through which the genius of a particular ethnic group expresses itself, witness and vehicle of a millennial tradition.

Is it possible to reconcile the need for a common language and the need to defend linguistic heritages?

Both of these needs reflect the same theoretical contradictions as well as the same practical possibilities. The limits of any possible international common language are the same as those of the natural languages on which these languages are modeled: all presuppose a principle of translatability.

If a universal common language claims for itself the capacity to re-express a text written in any other language, it necessarily presumes that, despite the individual genius of any single language, and despite the fact that each language constitutes its own rigid and unique way of seeing, organizing and interpreting the world, it is still always possible to translate from one language to another.

However, if this is a prerequisite inherent to any universal language, it is at the same time a prerequisite inherent to any natural language. It is possible to translate from a natural language into a universal and artificial one for the same reasons that justify and guarantee the translation from a natural language into another.

The intuition that the problem of translation itself presupposed a perfect language is already present in Walter Benjamin: since it is impossible to reproduce all the linguistic meanings of the source language into a target language, one is forced to place one’s faith in the convergence of all languages.

In each language “taken as a whole, there is a self-identical thing that is meant, a thing which, nevertheless, is accessible to none of these languages taken individually, but only to that totality of all of their intentions taken as reciprocal and complementary, a totality that we call Pure Language [reine Sprache].” (Benjamin 1923).

This reine Sprache is not a real language. If we think of the mystic and Kabbalistic sources which were the inspiration for Benjamin’s thinking, we begin to sense the impending ghost of sacred languages, of something more akin to the secret genius of Pentecostal languages and of the language of birds than to the ideal of the a priori languages.

“Even the desire for translation is unthinkable without this correspondence with the thought of God (Derrida 1980: 217; cf. also Steiner 1975: 64).

In many of the most notable projects for mechanical translation, there exists a notion of a parameter language, which does share many of the characteristics of the a priori languages.

There must, it is argued, exist a tertium comparationis which might allow us to shift from an expression in language A to an expression in language B by deciding that both are equivalent to an expression of a metalanguage C.

If such a tertium really existed, it would be a perfect language; if it did not exist, it would remain a mere postulate on which every translation ought to depend.

The only alternative is to discover a natural language which is so “perfect” (so flexible and powerful) as to serve as a tertium comparationis. In 1603, the Jesuit Ludovico Bertonio published his Arte de lengua Aymara (which he supplemented in 1612 with a Vocabulario de la lengua Aymara).

Aymara is a language still partially spoken by Indians living between Bolivia and Peru, and Bertonio discovered that it displayed an immense flexibility and capability of accommodating neologisms, particularly adapted to the expression of abstract concepts, so much so as to raise a suspicion that it was an artificial invention.

Two centuries later, Emeterio Villamil de Rada described it as the language of Adam, the expression of “an idea anterior to the formation of language,” founded upon “necessary and immutable ideas” and, therefore, a philosophic language if ever there were one (La Lengua de Adan, 1860). After this, it was only a matter of time before the Semitic roots of the Aymara language were “discovered” as well.

Recent studies have established that unlike western thought, based on a two-valued logic (either true or false), Aymara thought is based on a three-valued logic, and is, therefore, capable of expressing modal subtleties which other languages can only capture through complex circumlocutions.

Thus, to conclude, there have been proposals to use Aymara to resolve all problems of computer translation (see Guzmán de Rosas n.d., which includes a vast bibliography). Unfortunately, “due to its algorithmic nature, the syntax of Aymara would greatly facilitate the translation of any other idiom into its own terms (though not the other way around)” (L. Ramiro Beltran, in Guzmán de Rosas n.d.: III).

Thus, because of its perfection, Aymara can render every thought expressed in other mutually untranslatable languages, but the price of this is that once the perfect language has resolved these thoughts into its own terms, they cannot be translated back into our natural native idioms.

One way out of this dilemma is to assume, as certain authors have recently done, that translation is a matter to be resolved entirely within the destination (or target) language, according to the context.

This means that it is within the framework of the target language that all the semantic and syntactic problems posed by the source text must be resolved.

This is a solution that takes us outside of the problem of perfect languages, or of a tertium comparationis, for it implies that we need to understand expressions formed according to the genius of the source language and to invent a “satisfying” paraphrase according to the genius of the target language.

Yet how are we to establish what the criteria of “satisfaction” could be?

These were theoretical difficulties that Humboldt had already foreseen. If no word in a language exactly corresponds to a word in another one, translation is impossible. At most, translation is an activity, in no way regulated, through which we are able to understand what our own language was unable to say.

Yet if translation implied no more than this it would be subject to a curious contradiction: the possibility of a relation between two languages, A and B, would only occur when A was closed in a full realization of itself, assuming to had understood B, of which nothing could any longer be said, for all that B had to say would by now have been said by A.

Still, what is not excluded is the possibility that, rather than a parameter language, we might elaborate a comparative tool, not itself a language, which might (if only approximately) be expressed in any language, and which might, furthermore, allow us to compare any two linguistic structures that seemed, in themselves, incommensurable.

This instrument or procedure would be able to function in the same way and for the same reason that any natural language is able to translate its own terms into one another by an interpretive principle: according to Peirce, any natural language can serve as a metalanguage to itself, by a process of unlimited semiosis (cf. Eco 1979: 2).

See for instance a table proposed by Nida (1975: 75) that displays the semantic differences in a number of verbs of motion (figure 17.1).

Umberto Eco, The Search for the Perfect Language, Figure 17.1, p. 348.png

Umberto Eco, The Search for the Perfect Language, 1995, Figure 17.1, p. 348.

We can regard this table as an example of an attempt to illustrate, in English–as well as by other semiotic means, such as mathematical signs–what a certain class of English terms mean.

Naturally, the interpretative principle demands that the English speaker also interpret the meaning of limb, and indeed any other terms appearing in the interpretation of the verbal expression.

One is reminded here of Degérando’s observations concerning the infinite regress that may arise from any attempt to analyze fully an apparently primitive term such as to walk.

In reality, however, a language always, as it were, expects to define difficult terms with terms that are easier and less controversial, though by conjectures, guesses and approximations.

Translation proceeds according to the same principle. If one were to wish, for example, to translate Nida’s table from English into Italian, one would probably start by substituting for the English verbs Italian terms that are practically synonymous: correre for run, camminare for walk, danzare for dance, and strisciare for crawl.

As soon as we got to the verb to hop, we would have to pause; there is no direct synonym in Italian for an activity that the Italian-English dictionary might define as “jumping on one leg only.”

Nor is there an adequate Italian synonym for the verb to skip: Italian has various terms, like saltellare, ballonzolare and salterellare; these can approximately render to skip, but they can also translate to frisk, to hop or to trip, and thus do not uniquely specify the sort of alternate hop-shuffle-step movement specified by the English to skip.

Even though Italian lacks a term which adequately conveys the meaning of to skip, the rest of the terms in the table–limb, order of contact, number of limbs–are all definable, if not necessarily by Italian synonyms, at least by means of references to contexts and circumstances.

Even in English, we have to conjecture that, in this table, the term contact must be understood as “contact with the surface the movement takes place upon” rather than as “contact with another limb.”

Either to define or to translate, we thus do not need a full fledged parametric language at our disposition. We assume that all languages have some notion that corresponds to the term limb, because all humans have a similar anatomy.

Furthermore, all cultures probably have ways to distinguish hands from arms, palms from fingers, and, on fingers, the first joint from the second, and the second from the third; and this assumption would be no less true even in a culture, such as Father Mersenne imagined, in which every individual pore, every convolute of a thumb-print had its own individual name.

Thus, by starting from terms whose meanings are known and working to interpret by various means (perhaps including gestures) terms whose meanings are not, proceeding by successive adjustments, an English speaker would be able to convey to an Italian speaker what the phrase John hops is all about.

These are possibilities for more than just the practice of translation; they are the possibilities for coexistence on a continent with a multilingual vocation. Generalized polyglottism is certainly not the solution to Europe’s cultural problems; like Funes “el memorioso” in the story by Borges, a global polyglot would have his or her mind constantly filled by too many images.

The solution for the future is more likely to be in a community of peoples with an increased ability to receive the spirit, to taste or savor the aroma of different dialects.

Polyglot Europe will not be a continent where individuals converse fluently in all the other languages; in the best of cases, it could be a continent where differences of language are no longer barriers to communication, where people can meet each other and speak together, each in his or her own tongue, understanding, as best they can, the speech of others.

In this way, even those who never learn to speak another language fluently could still participate in its particular genius, catching a glimpse of the particular cultural universe that every individual expresses each time he or she speaks the language of his or her ancestors and his or her own tradition.”

Umberto Eco, The Search for the Perfect Language, translated by James Fentress, Blackwell. Oxford, 1995, pp. 344-51.

Eco: Conclusion


Gustav Doré (1832-1883), The Confusion of Tongues, 1865-68, currently held privately. This work is in the public domain in its country of origin and other countries and areas where the copyright term is the author’s life plus 100 years or less. 

Plures linguas scire gloriosum esset, patet exemplo Catonis, Mithridates, Apostolorum.”

Comenius, Linguarum methodus novissima

“This story is a gesture of propaganda, in so far as it provided a particular explanation of the origin and variety of languages, by presenting it only as a punishment and a curse [ . . . ] Since the variety of tongues renders a universal communication among men, to say the least, difficult, that was certainly a punishment.

However, it also meant an improvement of the original creative powers of Adam, a proliferation of that force which allowed the production of names by virtue of a divine inspiration.”

J. Trabant, Apeliotes, oder der Sinn der Sprache

“Citizens of a multiform Earth, Europeans cannot but listen to the polyphonic cry of human languages. To pay attention to the others who speak their own language is the first step in order to establish a solidarity more concrete than many propaganda discourses.”

Claude Hagège, Le souffle de la langue

“Each language constitutes a certain model of the universe, a semiotic system of understanding the world, and if we have 4,000 different ways to describe the world, this makes us rich. We should be concerned about preserving languages just as we are about ecology.”

V.V. Ivanov, Reconstructing the Past

“I said at the beginning that it was the account in Genesis 11, not Genesis 10, that had prevailed in the collective imagination and, more specifically, in the minds of those who pondered over the plurality of languages.

Despite this, as Demonet has shown (1992), already by the time of the Renaissance, a reconsideration of Genesis 10 was under way, provoking, as we saw, a rethinking of the place of Hebrew as the unchanging language, immutable from the time of Babel.

We can take it that, by then, the multiplicity of tongues was probably accepted as a positive fact both in Hebrew culture and in Christian Kabbalistic circles (Jacquemier 1992). Still, we have to wait until the eighteenth century before the rethinking of Genesis 10 provokes a revaluation of the legend of Babel itself.

In the same years that witnessed the appearance of the first volumes of the Encyclopédie, the abbé Pluche noted in his La méchanique des langues et l’art de les einsegner (1751) that, already by the time of Noah, the first differentiation, if not in the lexicon at least in inflections, between one family of languages and another had occurred.

This historical observation led Pluche on to reflect that the multiplication of languages (no longer, we note, the confusion of languages) was more than a mere natural event: it was socially providential. Naturally, Pluche imagined, people were at first troubled to discover that tribes and families no longer understood each other so easily. In the end, however,

“those who spoke a mutually intelligible language formed a single body and went to live together in the same corner of the world. Thus it was the diversity of languages which provided each country with its own inhabitants and kept them there. It should be noted that the profits of this miraculous and extraordinary mutation have extended to all successive epochs.

From this point on, the more people have mixed, the more they have produced mixtures and novelties in their languages; and the more these languages have multiplied, the harder it becomes to change countries. In this way, the confusion of tongues has fortified that sentiment of attachment upon which love of country is based; the confusion has made men more sedentary.” (pp. 17-8).

This is more than the celebration of the particular “genius” of each single language: the very sense of the myth of Babel has been turned upside down. The natural differentiation of languages has become a positive phenomenon underlying the allocation of peoples to their respective territories, the birth of nations, and the emergence of the sense of national identity.

It is a reversal of meaning that reflects the patriotic pride of an eighteenth century French author: the confusio linguarum was the historically necessary point of departure for the birth of a new sense of the state. Pluche, in effect, seems to be paraphrasing Louis XIV: “L’état c’est la langue.”

In the light of this reinterpretation it is also interesting to read the objections to an international language made by another French writer, one who lived before the great flood of a posteriori projects in the late nineteenth century–Joseph-Marie Degérando, in his work, Des signes. Degérando observed that travelers, scientists and merchants (those who needed a common language) were always a minority in respect of the mass of common citizens who were content to remain at home peaceably speaking their native tongues.

Just because this minority of travelers needed a common language, it did not follow that the majority of sedentary citizens needed one as well. It was the traveler that needed to understand the natives; the natives had no particular need to understand a traveler, who, indeed, had an advantage over them in being able to conceal his thoughts from the peoples he visited (III, 562).

With regard to scientific contact, any common language for science would grow distant from the language of letters, but we know that the language of science and the language of letters influence and fortify each other (III, 570). An international language of purely scientific communication, moreover, would soon become an instrument of secrecy, from which the humble speakers of their native dialects would be excluded (III, 572).

And as to possible literary uses (and we leave Degérando the responsibility for such a vulgar sociological argument), if the authors were obliged to write in a common tongue, they would be exposed to international rivalries, fearing invidious comparisons with the works of foreign writers.

Thus it seems that for Degérando circumspection was a disadvantage for science and an advantage for literature–as it was for the astute and cultivated traveler, more learned than his native and naive interlocutors.

We are, of course, at the end of the century which produced de Rivarol‘s eulogy to the French language. Thus, although Degérando recognized that the world was divided into zones of influence, and that it was normal to speak German in areas under German political influence just as it was normal to speak English in the British Isles, he could still maintain, were it possible to impose an auxiliary language, Europe could do no better than to choose French for self-evident reasons of political power (III, 578-9).

In any case, according to Degérando, the narrow mindedness of most governments made every international project unthinkable: “Should we suppose that the governments wish to come to an agreement over a set of uniform laws for the alteration of national languages? How many times have seen governments arrive at an effective agreement over matters that concern the general interest of society?” (III, 554).

In the background is a prejudice of the eighteenth century–and eighteenth century Frenchmen in particular–that people simply did not wish to learn other tongues, be they universal or foreign. There existed a sort of cultural deafness when faced with polyglottism, a deafness that continues on throughout the nineteenth century to leave visible traces in our own; the only peoples exempt were, remarked Degérando, those of northern Europe, for reasons of pure necessity.

So diffuse was this cultural deafness that he even felt compelled to suggest provocatively (III, 587) that the study of foreign languages was not really the sterile and mechanical exercise that most people thought.

Thus Degérando had no choice but to conduce his extremely skeptical review with an eulogy to the diversity of tongues: diversity placed obstacles in the way of foreign conquerers, prevented undue mixing between different peoples, and helped each people to preserve their national character and the habits which protected the purity of their folkways.

A national language linked a people to their state, stimulated patriotism and the cult of tradition. Degérando admitted that these considerations were hardly compatible with the ideals of universal brotherhood; still, he commented, “in this age of corruption, hearts must, above all else, be turned towards patriotic sentiments; the more egotism progresses, the more dangerous it is to become a cosmopolitan” (IV, 589).

If we wish to find historical precedents for this vigorous affirmation of the profound unity between a people and their language (as a gift due to the Babelic event), we need look no farther than Luther (Declamationes in Genesim, 1527).

It is this tradition, perhaps, that also stands behind Hegel’s decisive revaluation of Babel. For him the construction of the tower is not only a metaphor for the social structures linking a people to their state, but also occasions a celebration of the almost sacred character of collective human labor.

“What is holy?” Goethe asks once in a distich, and answers: “What links many souls together.” . . . In the wide plains of the Euphrates an enormous architectural work was erected; it was built in common, and the aim and content of the work was at the same time the community of those who constructed it.

And the foundation of this social bond does not remain merely a unification on patriarchal lines; on the contrary, the purely family unity has already been superseded, and the building, rising into the clouds, makes objective to itself this earlier and dissolved unity and the realization of a new and wider one.

The ensemble of all the peoples at that period worked at this task and since they all came together to complete an immense work like this, the product of their labor was to be a bond which was to link them together (as we are linked by manners, customs, and the legal constitution of the state) by means of the excavated site and ground, the assembled blocks of stone, and the as it were architectural cultivation of the country.”

(G.W.F. Hegel, trans. T.M. Knox: 638).

In this vision, in which the tower serves as a prefiguration of the ethical state, the theme of the confusion of languages can only be interpreted as meaning that the unity of the state is not a universal, but a unity that gives life to different nations (“this tradition tells us that the peoples, after being assembled in this one center of union for the construction of such a work, were once again dispersed and separated from each other”).

Nevertheless, the undertaking of Babel was still a precondition, the event necessary to set social, political and scientific history in motion, the first glimmerings of the Age of Progress and Reason. This is a dramatic intuition: to the sound of an almost Jacobin roll of muffled drums, the old Adam mounts to the scaffold, his linguistic ancien régime at an end.

And yet Hegel’s sentence did not lead to a capital punishment. The myth of the tower as a failure and as a drama still lives today: “the Tower of Babel […] exhibits an incompleteness, even an impossibility of completing, of totalizing, of saturating, of accomplishing anything which is in the order of building, of architectural construction” (Derrida 1980: 203).

One should remark that Dante (DVE, I, vii) provided a “technological” version of the confusio linguarum. His was the story not so much of the birth of the languages of different ethnic groups as of the proliferation of technical jargons: the architects had their language while the stone bearers had theirs (as if Dante were thinking of the jargons of the corporations of his time).

One is almost tempted to find here a formulation, ante litteram to say the least, of the idea of the social division of labor in terms of a division of linguistic labor.

Somehow Dante’s hint seems to have journeyed through the centuries: in his Histoire critique du Vieux Testament (1678), Richard Simon wondered whether the confusion of Babel might not have arisen from the fact that, when the workmen came to give names to their tools, each named them in his own way.

The suspicion that these hints reveal a long buried strand in the popular understanding of the story is reinforced by the history of iconography (cf. Minkowski 1983).

From the Middle Ages onwards, in fact, in the pictorial representations of Babel we find so many direct or indirect allusions to human labor–stonemasons, pulleys, squared building stones, block and tackles, plumb lines, compasses, T-squares, winches, plastering equipment, etc.–that these representations have become an important source of our knowledge of medieval building techniques.

And how are we to know whether Dante’s own suggestion might not have arisen from the poet’s acquaintance with the iconography of his times?

Towards the end of the sixteenth century, the theme of Babel entered into the repertoire of Dutch artists, who reworked it in innumerable ways (one thinks, of course, of Bruegel), until, in the multiplicity of the number of tools and construction techniques depicted, the Tower of Babel, in its robust solidity, seemed to embody a secular statement of faith in human progress.

By the seventeenth century, artists naturally began to include references to the latest technical innovations, depicting the “marvelous machines” described in a growing number of treatises on mechanical devices.

Even Kircher, who could hardly by accused of secularism, was fascinated by the image of Babel as a prodigious feat of technology; thus, when Father Athanasius wrote his Turris Babel, he concentrated on its engineering, as if he were describing a tower that had once been a finished object.

In the nineteenth century, the theme of Babel began to fall from use, because of a lesser interest in the theological and linguistic aspects of the confusio: in exchange, in the few representations of the event, “the close up gave way to the “group,” representing “humanity,” whose inclination, reaction, or destiny was represented against the background of the “Tower of Babel.”

In these dramatic scenes the focus of the representation is thus given by human masses” (Minkowski 1983: 69). The example that readily springs to mind is in Doré’s illustrated Bible.

By now we are in the century of progress, the century in which the Italian poet, Carducci, celebrated the steam engine in a poem entitled, significantly, Hymn to Satan.

Hegel had taught the century to take pride in the works of Lucifer. Thus the gesture of the gigantic figure that dominates Doré’s engraving is ambiguous. While the tower projects dark shadows on the workmen bearing the immense blocks of marble, a nude turns his face and extends his arm towards a cloud-filled sky.

Is it defiant pride, a curse directed towards a God who has defeated human endeavors? Whatever it is, the gesture certainly does not signify humble resignation in the face of destiny.

Genette has observed (1976: 161) how much the idea of confusio linguarum appears as a felix culpa in romantic authors such as Nodier: natural languages are perfect in so far as they are many, for the truth is many-sided and falsity consists in reducing this plurality into a single definite unity.”

Umberto Eco, The Search for the Perfect Language, translated by James Fentress, Blackwell. Oxford, 1995, pp. 337-44.


Eco: Limits and Effability of an IAL


Domenico di Michelino (1417-1491), La Divina Commedia di Dante, 1465, on display in the Florence Cathedral. Photo by Jastrow, who kindly releases this photo into the public domain as the copyright holder, granting anyone the right to use this work for any purpose without any conditions. 

“If one considers the efforts made by many IALs in order to translate all the masterpieces of world literature, one wonders whether, by using an IAL originally, it is possible to achieve artistic results.

One is tempted to cite a celebrated (if misunderstood) boutade attributed to Leo Longanesi: “You can’t be a great Bulgarian poet.” The boutade is not a nasty comment about Bulgaria: Longanesi wanted to say that one cannot be a great poet if one writes in a language spoken only by a few million people in a country which (whatever else it is) has remained for centuries on the margins of history.

I do not think Longanesi meant that one cannot be a great poet if one writes in a language unknown to the rest of the world.

This seems reductive, for poetic greatness is surely not dependent on diffusion. It seems more likely that Longanesi wanted to say that a language is the sum and consequence of a variety of social factors which, over the course of history, have enriched and strengthened it.

Many of these factors are extra-linguistic: these include provocative contacts with other cultures, new social needs to communicate new experiences, conflicts and renewals within the speaking community.

If that community, however, were a people on the margins of history, a people whose customs and whose knowledge have remained unchanged for centuries; it it were a people whose language has remained unchanged as well, nothing more than the medium of worn-out memories and rituals ossified over centuries; how could we ever expect it to be a vehicle for a great new poet?

But this is not an objection that one could make against an IAL. An IAL is not limited in space, it exists in symbiosis with other languages. The possible risk is rather that the institutional control from above (which seems an essential prerequisite for a successful IAL) will become too tight, and the auxiliary language will lose its capacity to express new everyday experiences.

One could object that even medieval Latin, ossified though it was in the grammatical forms of which Dante spoke, was still capable of producing liturgical poetry, such as the Stabat Mater or the Pange Lingua, not to mention poetry as joyful and irreverent as the Carmina Burana. Nevertheless, it is still true that the Carmina Burana is not the Divine Comedy.

An IAL would certainly lack a historic tradition behind it, with all the intertextual richness that this implies. But when the poets of medieval Sicilian courts wrote in a vernacular, when the Slavic bards sang The Song of Prince Igor and the Anglo-Saxon scop improvised Beowulf, their languages were just as young–yet still, in their own way, capable of absorbing the entire history of the preceding languages.”

Umberto Eco, The Search for the Perfect Language, translated by James Fentress, Blackwell. Oxford, 1995, pp. 335-6.

Eco: The “Political” Possibilities of an IAL


Bernard le Bouvier de Fontenelle (1657-1757), Histoire des Oracles, La Haye: Gosse et Néalme, 1728. This work is in the public domain in its country of origin and other countries and areas where the copyright term is the author’s life plus 100 years or less. 

“Up to now, vehicular languages have been imposed by tradition (Latin as the language of politics, learning and the church in the Middle Ages), by political and economical hegemony (English after World War II), or by other imponderable reasons (Swahili, a natural language spoken on the coast of east Africa, gradually and spontaneously penetrated the interior and, in the wake of commercial and, later, colonial contacts, was simplified and standardized, becoming the common language for a vast African area).

Would it be possible for some international body (the UN or the European Parliament) to impose a particular IAL as a lingua franca (or, perhaps, sanction the actual diffusion of one)? It would be a totally unprecedented historical event.

No one could deny, however, that today many things have changed: that continuous and curious exchanges among different peoples–not just at the higher social levels, but at the level of mass tourism–are phenomena that did not exist in previous eras.

The mass media have proved to be capable of spreading comparatively homogeneous patterns of behavior throughout the entire globe–and in fact, in the international acceptance of English as a common language, the mass media have played no small part.

Thus, were a political decision to be accompanied by a media campaign, the chances of success for an IAL would be greatly improved.

Today, Albanians and Tunisians have learned Italian only because they can receive Italian TV. All the more reason, it seems, to get people acquainted with an IAL, provided it would be regularly used by many television programs, by international assemblies, by the pope for his addresses, by the instruction booklets for electronic gadgets, by the control towers in the airports.

If no political initiative on this matter has emerged up till now, if, indeed, it seems difficult to bring about, this does not mean that a political initiative of this sort will never be made in the future.

During the last four centuries we have witnessed in Europe a process of national state formation, which required (together with a customs policy, the constitution of regular armies, and the vigorous imposition of symbols of identity) the imposition of single national languages.

Schools, academies and the press have been encouraged to standardize and spread knowledge of these languages. Speakers of marginal languages suffered neglect, or, in various political circumstances, even direct persecution, in order to ensure national homogeneity.

Today, however, the trend has reversed itself: politically, customs barriers are coming down, national armies are giving way to international peace-keeping forces, and national borders have become “welcome to” signs on the motorway.

In the last decades, European policy towards minority languages has changed as well. Indeed, in the last few years, a much more dramatic change has taken place, of which the crumbling of the Soviet empire is the most potent manifestation: linguistic fragmentation is no longer felt as an unfortunate accident but rather as a sign of national identity and as  a political right–at the cost even of civil wars.

For two centuries, America was an international melting pot with one common language–WASP English: today, in states like California, Spanish has begun to claim an equal right; New York City is not far behind.

The process is probably by now unstoppable. If the growth in European unity now proceeds in step with linguistic fragmentation, the only possible solution lies in the full adoption of a vehicular language for Europe.

Among all the objections, one still remains valid: it was originally formulated by Fontenelle and echoed by d’Alembert in his introduction to the Encyclopédie: governments are naturally egotistical; they enact laws for their own benefit, but never for the benefit of all humanity.

Even if we were all to agree on the necessity of an IAL, it is hard to imagine the international bodies, which are still striving to arrive at some agreement over the means to save our planet from an ecological catastrophe, being capable of imposing a painless remedy for the open wound of Babel.

Yet in this century we have become used to a constantly accelerating pace of events, and this should make would-be prophets pause. National pride is a two-edged sword; faced with the prospect that in a future European union the language of a single national might prevail, those states with scant prospects of imposing their own language and which are afraid of the predominance of another one (and thus all states except one) might band together to support the adoption of an IAL.”

Umberto Eco, The Search for the Perfect Language, translated by James Fentress, Blackwell. Oxford, 1995, pp. 332-5.

Eco: Theoretical Objections and Counter-objections


Antoine-Louis-Claude Destutt de Tracy (1754-1836), Projet d’éléments d’idéologie, Paris, 1801. This copy in the Bibliothèque nationale de France. This work is in the public domain in its country of origin and other countries and areas where the copyright term is the author’s life plus 100 years or less. 

“A fundamental objection that can be applied to any of the a posteriori projects generically is that they can make no claim to having identified and artificially reorganized a content system.

They simply provide an expression system which aims at being easy and flexible enough to express the contents normally expressed in a natural language. Such a practical advantage is also a theoretical limit. If the a priori languages were too philosophical, their a posteriori successors are not philosophical enough.

The supporters of an IAL have neither paid attention to the problem of linguistic relativism, nor ever been worried by the fact that different languages present the world in different ways, sometimes mutually incommensurable.

They have usually taken it for granted that synonymous expressions exist from language to language, and the vast collection of books that have been translated into Esperanto from various of the world’s languages is taken as proof of the complete “effability” of this language (this point has been discussed, from opposite points of view, by two authors who are both traditionally considered as relativist, that is, Sapir and Whorfcf. Pellerey 1993: 7).

To accept the idea that there is a content system which is the same for all languages means, fatally, to take surreptitiously for granted that such a model is the western one. Even if it tries to distance itself in certain aspects from the Indo-European model, Esperanto, both in its lexicon and in its syntax, remains basically an Indo-European tongue.

As Martinet observed, “the situation would have been different if the language had been invented by a Japanese” (1991: 681).

One is free to regard all these objections as irrelevant. A theoretical weak point may even turn out to be a practical advantage. One can hold that linguistic unification must, in practice, accept the use of the Indo-European languages as the linguistic model (cf. Carnap in Schlipp 1963:71).

It is a view that seems to be confirmed by actual events; for the moment (at least) the economic and technological growth of Japan is based on Japanese acceptance of an Indo-European language (English) as a common vehicle.

Both natural tongues and some “vehicular” languages have succeeded in becoming dominant in a given country or in a larger area mainly for extra-linguistic reasons. As far as the linguistic reasons are concerned (easiness, economy, rationality and so on), there are so many variables that there are no “scientific” criteria whereby we might confute the claim of Goropius Becanus that sixteenth century Flemish was the easiest, most natural, sweetest and most expressive language in the entire universe.

The predominate position currently enjoyed by English is a historical contingency arising from the mercantile and colonial expansion of the British Empire, which was followed by American economic and technological hegemony.

Of course, it may also be maintained that English has succeeded because it is rich in monosyllables, capable of absorbing foreign words and flexible in forming neologisms, etc.: yet had Hitler won World War II and had the USA been reduced to a confederation of banana republics, we would probably today use German as a universal vehicular language, and Japanese electronics firms would advertise their products in Hong Kong airport duty-free shops (Zollfreie Waren) in German.

Besides, on the arguable rationality of English, and of any other vehicular language, see the criticism of Sapir (1931).

There is no reason why an artificial language like Esperanto might not function as an international language, just as certain natural languages (such as Greek, Latin, French, English, Swahili) have in different historical periods.

We have already encountered in Destutt de Tracy an extremely powerful objection: a universal language, like perpetual motion, is impossible for a very “peremptory” reason: “Even were everybody on earth to agree to speak the same language from today onwards, they would rapidly discover that, under the influence of their own use, the single language had begun to change, to modify itself in thousands of different ways in each different country, until it produced in each a different dialect which gradually grew away from all the others” (Eléments d’idéologie, II, 6, 569).

It is true that, just for the above reasons, the Portuguese of Brazil today differs from the Portuguese spoken in Portugal so much that Brazilian and Portuguese publishers publish two different translations of the same foreign book, and it is a common occurrence for foreigners who have learned their Portuguese in Rio to have difficulty understanding what they hear on the streets of Lisbon.

Against this, however, one can point out the Brazilians and Portuguese still manage to understand each other well enough in practical, everyday matters. In part, this is because the mass media help the speakers of each variety to follow the transformations taking place on the other shore.

Supporters of Esperanto like Martinet (1991: 685) argue that it would be, to say the least, naive to to suppose that, as an IAL diffused into new areas, it would be exempt from the process through which languages evolve and split up into varieties of dialects.

Yet in so far as an IAL remained an auxiliary language, rather than the primary language of everyday exchange, the risks of such a parallel evolution would be diminished.

The action of the media, which might reflect the decisions of a sort of international supervisory association, could also contribute to the establishment and maintenance of standards, or, at least, to keeping evolution under control.”

Umberto Eco, The Search for the Perfect Language, translated by James Fentress, Blackwell. Oxford, 1995, pp. 330-2.

Eco: An Optimized Grammar

Dr. Esperanto, An Attempt Towards An International Language, 1889

L.L. Zamenhof (1859-1917), as Dr. Esperanto, An Attempt Towards An International Language, Henry Phillips, Jr., trans., New York: Henry Holt & Co., 1889. Courtesy of Cornell University Library and This work is in the public domain in its country of origin and other countries and areas where the copyright term is the author’s life plus 100 years or less.  

“The twenty eight letters of the Esperanto alphabet are based on a simple principle: for each letter one sound, and for each sound one letter. The tonic accent always falls on the penultimate syllable. There is only one article, la, invariable for words of all genders–thus la homo, la libroj, la abelo. Proper names do not take an article. There is no indefinite article.

Concerning the lexicon, the young Zamenhof had already noted that in many European languages there was a logic of suffixes that produced both feminine and many derivative forms (Buch / Bücherei, pharmakon / pharmakeia, child / childish, rex / regina, host / hostess, gallo / gallina, hero / heroine, Tsar / Tsarina), while the formation of contraries was governed by prefixes (heureux / malheureux, happy / unhappy, legal / illegal, fermo / malfermo, rostom / malorostom–the Russian for “high” and “low.”)

In a letter of 24 September 1876, Zamenhof described himself as ransacking the dictionaries of the various European languages trying to identify terms with a common root–lingwe, lingua, langue, lengua, language; rosa, rose, roza, etc. This was already the seminal idea of an a posteriori language.

Wherever Zamenhof was unable to discover a common root, he coined his own terms, privileging Romance languages, followed by the Germanic and Slavic ones. As a result, any speaker of a European language who examined an Esperanto word list would discover:

(1). Many terms that were easily recognizable as being similar or identical to his or her own;

(2). Terms which, though deriving from a foreign language, were still easily recognizable;

(3). Terms which, though strange at first sight, once their meaning had been learned, turned out to be easily recognizable; and finally,

(4). A reasonably limited number of terms to be learned ex novo.

Here are some examples: abelo (ape), apud (next to), akto (act), alumeto (match), birdo (bird), cigaredo (cigarette), domo (home), fali (to fall), frosto (frost), fumo (smoke), hundo (dog), kato (cat), krajono (pencil), kvar (quarter).

Esperanto also includes a comparatively large number of compound words. They are not inspired by the a priori projects, where composition is the norm, since the terms work like a chemical formula; Zamenhof could find compound words in natural languages (think of man-eater, tire-bouchon, schiaccianoci, to say nothing of German).

Compound words, moreover, permitted the exploitation of a limited number of radicals to the maximum. The rule governing the formation of compounds was that the principal word appeared at the end: thus–as in English–a “writing-table” becomes skribotablo.

The agglutinative principle which governs the formation of compound words allows for the creation of easily recognizable neologisms (cf. Zinna 1993).

From the radical stem, the neutral form is given by the suffix -o. This is not, as might appear, for example, to Italian or Spanish speakers, the suffix for the masculine gender, but merely serves as a mark for singular.

The feminine gender is “marked” by inserting an -in- between the stem and the singular ending -o. Thus “father / mother” = patr-o / patr-in-o, “king / queen” = reg-o / reg-in-o, male / female = vir-o / vir-in-o.

Plurals are formed by adding -j to the singular: thus “fathers / mothers” = patr-o-j / patr-in-o-j.

In natural languages many terms belonging to the same conceptual fields are frequently expressed by radically different lexical items. For instance, in Italian, given the conceptual field of parenthood, one must learn the meaning of padre, madre, suocero, genitori (father, mother, father-in-law and parents) before acknowledging that these terms belong to the same notional family.

In Esperanto, knowing the meaning of the radical patr, it is immediately possible to guess the meaning of patro, patrino, bopatro and gepatroj.

Likewise, in English (as well as in other languages) there are different endings for terms which all express a job or an occupation, like actor, driver, dentist, president, surgeon.

In Esperanto the words for all occupations are marked by the suffix –isto, so that anyone who knows that dento is “tooth” will automatically know that a dentisto is a professional who deals with teeth.

The rule for the formation of adjectives is also simple and intuitively clear: adjectives are formed by adding the suffix -a to the root stem: “paternal” = patr-a; and they agree with nouns in number: “good parents” = bonaj patroj.

The six verbal forms are not conjugated, and are always marked by six suffixes. For instance, for the verb “to see” we have vid-i (infinitive), vid-as (present), vid-is (past), vid-os (future), vid-us (conditional) and vid-u! (imperative).

Zinna has observed (1993) that, while the a priori languages and “laconic” grammars tried, at all cost, to apply a principle of economy, Esperanto follows a principle of optimization. Following the principle of economy, Esperanto abolishes case endings, yet it makes an exception of the accusative–which is formed by adding an -n to the noun: “la patro amas la filon, la patro amas la filojn.”

The motivation for this exception was that in non-flexional languages the accusative is the only case which is not introduced by a preposition, therefore it had to be marked in some way. Besides, the languages that, like English, had lost the accusative for nouns retain it for pronouns (I / me). The accusative also permits one to invert the syntactic order of the sentence, and yet to identify both the subject and the object of the action.

The accusative serves to avoid other ambiguities produced by non-flexional languages. As in Latin, it serves to indicate motion towards, so that in Esperanto one can distinguish between “la birdo flugas en la gardeno” (in which the bird is flying about within the garden) from “la birdo flugas en la gardenon” (in which the bird is flying into the garden).

In Italian “l’uccello vola nel giardino” remains ambiguous. In English, “I can hear him better than you” is ambiguous, for it can mean either “I can hear him better than you can hear him” or “I can hear him better than I can hear you” (the same happens in French with “je l’écoute mieux que vous,” or in Italian with “lo sento meglio di te“).

The Esperanto accusative renders this distinction very simply: the first case is “mi auskultas lin pli bone ol vi,” while the second is “mi auskultas lin pli bone ol vin.”

Umberto Eco, The Search for the Perfect Language, translated by James Fentress, Blackwell. Oxford, 1995, pp. 327-30.

Eco: Esperanto


L.L. Zamenhof (1859-1917), creator of the IAL Esperanto. This photo from the Congressional Book of the 4th World Esperanto Congress in Dresden, 1908. This work is in the public domain in its country of origin and other countries and areas where the copyright term is the author’s life plus 100 years or less. 

Esperanto was first proposed in 1887 in a book, written in Russian and published in Warsaw at the Kelter Press, entitled The International Language. Preface and Complete Manual (for Russians). The author’s name was Dr. Ledger Ludwik Zamenhof; yet he wrote the book under the pseudonym Dr. Esperanto (Dr. Hopeful), and this was soon adopted as the name of his language.

Zamenhof, born in 1859, had been fascinated with the idea of an international language since adolescence. When his uncle Josef asked him what was the non-Hebrew name he had, according to custom, chosen for his contacts with Gentiles, the seventeen year old Zamenhof replied that he had chosen Ludwik because he had found a reference to Lodwick (also spelled Lodowick) in a work by Comenius (letter of 31 March 1876; see Lamberti 1990: 49).

Zamenhof’s origins and personality helped shape both his conception of the new language and its eventual success. Born of a Jewish family in Bialystok, an area of Polish Lithuania then part of the Tsarist empire, Zamenhof passed his childhood in a crucible of races and languages continually shaken by nationalist ferment and lasting waves of anti-Semitism.

The experience of oppression, followed by the persecution of intellectuals, especially Jewish, at the hands of the Tsarist government, ensured that Zamenhof’s particular fascination with international languages would become mixed with a desire for peace between peoples.

Besides, although Zamenhof felt solidarity towards his fellow Jews and forecast their return to Palestine, his form of secular religiosity prevented him from fully supporting Zionist ideas; instead of thinking of the end of the Diaspora as a return to Hebrew, Zamenhof hoped that all the Jews could be, one day, reunited in an entirely new language.

In the same years in which, starting in the Slavic-speaking lands, Esperanto began its spread throughout Europe–while philanthropists, linguists and learned societies followed its progress with interest, devoting international conferences to the phenomenon–Zamenhof had also published an anonymous pamphlet, which extolled a doctrine of international brotherhood, homaranism.

Some of his followers successfully insisted on keeping the Esperanto movement independent of ideological commitments, arguing that if Esperanto were to succeed, it would do so only by attracting to its cause men and women of different religious, political and philosophical opinions.

They even sought to avoid any public reference to Zamenhof’s own Jewish origins, given that–it must be remembered–just at that historical moment there was growing up the theory of a great “Jewish conspiracy.”

Even so, despite the movement’s insistence on its absolute neutrality, the philanthropic impulse and the non-confessional religious spirit that animated it could not fail to influence the followers of the new language–or samideani, that is, participating in the same ideal.

In the years immediately following its emergence, moreover, the language and its supporters were almost banned by the Tsarist government, congenitally suspicious towards idealism of any sort, especially after Esperanto had had the fortune / misfortune to obtain the passionate support of Tolstoy, whose brand of humanist pacifism the government regarded as a dangerous form of revolutionary ideology.

Even the Nazis followed suit, persecuting Esperanto speakers in the various lands under their occupation (cf. Lins 1988). Persecution, however, only reinforces an idea: the majority of international languages represented themselves as nothing more than instruments of practical utility; Esperanto, by contrast, came increasingly to gather in its folds those religious and pacifist tensions which had been characteristics of many quests for a perfect language, at least until the end of the seventeenth century.

Esperanto came to enjoy the support and sympathy of many illustrious figures–linguists such as Baudoin de Courtenay and Otto Jespersen, scientists such as Peano, or philosophers such as Russell. Rudolf Carnap‘s comments are particularly revealing; in his Autobiography (in Schilpp 1963: 70) he described feeling moved by a sense of solidarity when he found himself able to converse with people of other countries in a common tongue.

He noted the quality of this living language which managed to unify a surprising degree of flexibility in its means of expression with a great structural simplicity. Simplest perhaps was the lapidary formulation of Antoine Meillet: “Toute discussion théoretique est vaine: l’Esperanto fonctionne” (Meillet 1918: 268).

Today the existence of the Universala Esperanto-Asocio in all of the principal cities of the world still testifies to the success of Zamenhof’s invention. Over one hundred periodicals are currently published in Esperanto, there is an original production of poetry and narrative, and most of the world literature has been translated into this language, from the Bible to the tales of Hans Christian Andersen.

Like Volapük, however, especially in the first decades, the Esperanto movement was nearly torn apart by battles raging over proposed lexical and grammatical reforms. In 1907, Couturat, as the founder and secretary of the Delégation pour l’adoption d’une langue auxiliaire internationale, attempted what Zamenhof considered a coup de main: he judged Esperanto to be the best IAL, but only in its approved version, that is, only in the version that had been reformed by the French Esperanto enthusiast, Louis De Beaufront, and renamed Ido.

The majority of the movement resisted the proposed modifications, according to a principle stated by Zamenhof: Esperanto might accept enrichments and lexical improvements, but it must always remain firmly attached to what we might call the “hard core” as set down by its founder in Fundamento de Esperanto (1905).

Umberto Eco, The Search for the Perfect Language, translated by James Fentress, Blackwell. Oxford, 1995, pp. 324-6.

Eco: The Babel of A Posteriori Languages


Giuseppe Peano (1858-1932), Italian mathematician, circa 1910. Photographer unknown. This work is in the public domain in its country of origin and other countries and areas where the copyright term is the author’s life plus 100 years or less. 

“Among the international artificial languages, the project that was presented in 1734 under the pseudonym of Carpophorophilus probably takes the prize for seniority; the next was Faiguet’s Langue Nouvelle; after this, in 1839, was the Communicationssprache of Schipfer. After these, there came a tide of IALs in the nineteenth century.

If one takes samples from a number of systems, a set of family resemblances soon appears. There is usually a prevalence of Latin roots plus a fair distribution of roots derived from other European languages.

In this way, the speakers of any one of the major European languages will always have the impression of being in, at least partially, familiar territory:

“Me senior, I sende evos un grammatik e un verb-bibel de un nuov glot nomed universal glot. (Universal sprache, 1868).

Ta pasilingua era una idioma per tos populos findita, una lingua qua autoris de to spirito divino, informando tos hominos zu parlir, er creita. (Pasilingua, 1885).

Mesiur, me recipi-tum tuo epistola hic mane gratissime. (Lingua, 1888).

Con grand satisfaction mi ha lect tei letter [ . . . ] Le possibilità de un universal lingue pro la civilisat nations ne esse dubitabil. (Mondolingue, 1888).

Me pen the liberté to ecriv to you in Anglo-Franca. Me have the honneur to soumett to yoùs inspection the prospectus of mès object manufactured. (Anglo-Franca, 1889).

Le nov latin non requirer pro la sui adoption aliq congress. (Nov Latin, 1890).

Scribasion in idiom neutral don profiti sekuant in komparision ko kelkun lingu nasional. (Idiom Neutral, 1902).”

In 1893 there even appeared an Antivolapük which was really an anti-IAL: it consisted of nothing but a skeletal universal grammar which users were invited to complete by adding lexical items from their own language; for example:

French-international: IO NO savoir U ES TU cousin . . .

English-international: IO NO AVER lose TSCHE book KE IO AVER find IN LE street.

Italian-international: IO AVER vedere TSCHA ragazzo e TSCHA ragazza IN UN strada.

Russian-international: LI dom DE MI atijez E DE MI djadja ES A LE ugol DE TSCHE ulitza.

Of like perversity was Tutonisch (1902), an international language only comprehensible to German speakers (or, at most, to speakers of Germanic languages like English).

Thus the opening of the Lord’s Prayer sounds like this: “vio fadr hu be in hevn, holirn bi dauo nam.” The author was later merciful enough to provide Romance-language speakers with a version of their own, so that they too might pray in Tutonisch: “nuo opadr, ki in siel, sanktirn bi tuo nom.”

If our story seems to be taking a turn for the ridiculous, it is due less to the languages themselves (which taken one by one are frequently well done) than to an inescapable “Babel effect.”

Interesting on account of its elementary grammar, the Latino Sine Flexione of the great mathematician and logician Giuseppe Peano (1903) was wittily designed. Peano had no intention of creating a new language; he only wanted to recommend his simplified Latin as a written lingua franca for international scientific communication, reminiscent of the “laconic” grammars of the Encyclopédie.

Peano stripped Latin of its declensions, with, in his own words, the result that: “Con reductione qui praecede, nomen et verbo fie inflexible; toto grammatica latino evanesce.”

Thus, no grammar (or almost no grammar) and a lexicon from a well-known language. Yet this result tended perhaps to encourage pidgin Latin. When an English contributor wished to write for one of the mathematical journals which, under the influence of Peano, accepted articles in Latino Sine Flexione, he naturally retained the modal future; thus he translated, “I will publish” as me vol publica.

The episode is not only amusing: it illustrates the possibility of an uncontrolled development. As with other international languages, Latino Sine Flexione depended less upon its structural merits than on establishing a consensus in its favor. Failing to achieve this, it became another historical curiosity.”

Umberto Eco, The Search for the Perfect Language, translated by James Fentress, Blackwell. Oxford, 1995, pp. 321-4.

Eco: The Mixed Systems


Johann Martin Schleyer (1831-1912), a drawing of the creator of Volapük by Theodor Mayerhofer (1855-1941) in Sigmund Spielmann, Volapük- Almanach für 1888, Leipzig. This work is in the public domain in its country of origin and other countries and areas where the copyright term is the author’s life plus 100 years or less. 

Volapük was perhaps the first auxiliary language to become a matter of international concern. It was invented in 1879 by Johann Martin Schleyer, a German Catholic priest who envisioned it as an instrument to foster unity and brotherhood among peoples.

As soon as it was made public, the language spread, expanding throughout south Germany and France, where it was promoted by Auguste Kerkhoffs. From here it extended rapidly throughout the whole world.

By 1889 there were 283 Volapükist clubs, in Europe, America and Australia, which organized courses, gave diplomas and published journals. Such was the momentum that Schleyer soon began to lose control over his own project, so that, ironically, at the very moment in which he was being celebrated as the father of Volapük, he saw his language subjected to “heretical” modifications which further simplified, restructured and rearranged it.

Such seems to be the fate of artificial languages: the “word” remains pure only if it does not spread; if it spreads, it becomes the property of the community of its proselytes, and (since the best is the enemy of the good) the result is “Babelization.”

So it happened to Volapük: after a few short years of mushroom growth, the movement collapsed, continuing in an almost underground existence. From its seeds, however, a plethora of new projects were born, like the Idiom Neutral, the Langue Universelle of Menet (1886), De Max’s Bopal (1887), the Spelin of Bauer (1886), Fieweger’s Dil (1887), Dormoy’s Balta (1893), and the Veltparl of von Arnim (1896).

Volapük was an example of a “mixed system,” which, according to Couturat and Leau, followed the lines sketched out by Jacob von Grimm. It resembles an a posteriori language in the sense that it used as its model English, as the most widely spread of all languages spoken by civilized peoples (though, in fact, Schleyer filled his lexicon with terms more closely resembling his native German).

It possessed a 28 letter alphabet in which each letter had a unique sound, and the accent always fell on the final syllable. Anxious that his should be a truly international language, Schleyer had eliminated the sound r from his lexicon on the grounds that it was not pronounceable by the Chinese–failing to realize that for the speakers of many oriental languages the difficulty is not so much pronouncing r as distinguishing it from l.

Besides, the model language was English, but in a sort of phonetic spelling. Thus the word for “room” was modeled on English chamber and spelled cem. The suppression of letters like the r sometimes introduced notable deformations into many of the radicals incorporated from the natural languages.

The word for “mountain,” based on the German Berg, with the r eliminated, becomes bel, while “fire” becomes fil. One of the advantages of a posteriori language is that its words can recall the known terms of a natural language: but bel for a speaker of a Romance language would probably evoke the notion of beautiful (bello), while not evoking the notion of mountain for a German speaker.

To these radicals were added endings and other derivations. In this respect, Volapük followed an a priori criterion of rationality and transparency. Its grammar is based upon a declensional system (“house:” dom, doma, dome, domi, etc.).

Feminine is derived directly from masculine through an invariable rule, adjectives are all formed with the suffix –ik (if gud is the substantive “goodness,” gudik will be the adjective “good”), comparatives were formed by the suffix –um, and so on.

Given the integers from 1 to 9, by adding an s, units of ten could be denoted (bal = 1, bals = 10, etc.). All words that evoke the idea of time (like today, yesterday, next year) were prefixed with del-; all words with the suffix –av denoted a science (if stel = “star,” then stelav = “astronomy”).

Unfortunately, these a priori criteria are used with a degree of arbitrariness: for instance, considering that the prefix lu– always indicates something inferior and the term vat means “water;” there is no reason for using luvat for “urine” rather than for “dirty water.” Why is flitaf (which literally means “flying animal”) used for “fly” and not for “bird” or “bee?”

Couturat and Leau noted that, in common with other mixed systems, Volapük, without claiming to be a philosophical language, still tried to analyze notions according to a philosophical method.

The result was that Volapük suffered from all the inconveniences of the a priori languages while gaining none of their logical advantages. It was not a priori in that it drew its radicals from natural languages, yet it was not a posteriori, in so far as it subjected these radicals to systematic deformations (due to an a priori decision), thus making the original words unrecognizable.

As a result, losing all resemblance to any natural language, it becomes difficult for all speakers, irrespective of their original tongue. Couturat and Leau observe that mixed languages, by following compositional criteria, form conceptual agglutinations which, in their awkwardness and their primitiveness, bear a resemblance to pidgin languages.

In pidgin English, for example, the distinction between a paddle wheeler and a propeller-driven steam boat is expressed as outside-walkee-can-see and inside-walkee-no-can-see.

Likewise, in Volapük the term for “jeweler” is nobastonacan, which is formed from “stone” + “merchandise” + “nobility.”

Umberto Eco, The Search for the Perfect Language, translated by James Fentress, Blackwell. Oxford, 1995, pp. 319-21.

Eco: The International Auxiliary Languages

Couturat &amp; Leau, Histoire de la Langue Universelle, 1903

Louis Couturat (1868-1914) & Léopold Leau (1868-1943), Histoire de la langue universelle, Hachette, Paris, 1903, held in the Bibliothèque nationale de France, and This work is in the public domain in its country of origin and other countries and areas where the copyright term is the author’s life plus 100 years or less. 

“The dawn of the twentieth century witnessed a revolution in transport and communications. In 1903 Couturat and Leau noted that it was now possible to voyage around the world in just forty days; exactly one half of the fateful limit set by Jules Verne just thirty years before.

Now the telephone and the wireless knitted Europe together and as communication became faster, economic relations increased. The major European nations had acquired colonies even in the far-flung antipodes, and so the European market could extend to cover the entire earth.

For these and other reasons, governments felt as never before the need for international forums where they might meet to resolve an infinite series of common problems, and our authors cite the Brussels convention on sugar production and international accord on white-slave trade.

As for scientific research, there were supranational bodies such as the Bureau des poides et  mesures (sixteen states) or the International Geodesic Association (eighteen states), while in 1900 the International Association of Scientific Academies was founded.

Couturat and Leau wrote that such a growing of scientific information needed to be organized “sous peine de revenir à la tour de Babel.”

What could the remedy be? Couturat and Leau dismissed the idea of choosing a living language as an international medium as utopian, and found difficulties in returning to a dead language like Latin.

Besides, Latin displays too many homonyms (liber means both “book” and “free”), its flexions create equivocations (avi might represent the dative and ablative of avis or the nominative plural of avus), it makes it difficult to distinguish between nouns and verbs (amor means both love and I am loved), it lacks a definite article and its syntax is largely irregular . . . The obvious solution seemed to be the invention of an artificial language, formed on the model of natural ones, but which might seem neutral to all its users.

The criteria for this language should be above all a simple and rational grammar (as extolled by the a priori languages, but with a closer analogy with existing tongues), and a lexicon whose terms recalled as closely as possible words in the natural languages.

In this sense, an international auxiliary language (henceforth IAL) would no longer be a priori but a posteriori; it would emerge from a comparison with and a balanced synthesis of naturally existing languages.

Couturat and Leau were realistic enough to understand that it was impossible to arrive at a preconceived scientific formula to judge which of the a posteriori IAL projects was the best and most flexible. It would have been the same as deciding on allegedly objective grounds whether Portuguese was superior to Spanish as a language for poetry or for commercial exchange.

They realized that, furthermore, an IAL project would not succeed unless an international body adopted and promoted it. Success, in other words, could only follow from a display of international political will.

What Couturat and Leau were facing in 1903, however, was a new Babel of international languages invented in the course of the nineteenth century; as a matter of fact they record and analyze 38 projects–and more of them are considered in their further book, Les nouvelles langues internationales, published in 1907.

The followers of each project had tried, with greater or lesser cohesive power, to realize an international forum. But what authority had the competence to adjudicate between them?

In 1901 Couturat and Leau had founded a Delégation pour l’adoption d’une langue auxiliaire internationale, which aimed at resolving the problem by delegating a decision to the international Association of Scientific Academies.

Evidently Couturat and Leau were writing in an epoch when it still seemed realistic to believe that an international body such as this would be capable of coming to a fair and ecumenical conclusion and imposing it on every nation.”

Umberto Eco, The Search for the Perfect Language, translated by James Fentress, Blackwell. Oxford, 1995, pp. 317-9.

Eco: Some Ghosts of the Perfect Language

Gregor Reisch, Margarita philosophica, Pearl of Wisdom, 1503

Gregor Reisch (1467-1525), title page of Margarita philosophica, or the Pearl of Wisdom, Freiburg, 1503. Multiple copies of this work are preserved. This work is in the public domain in its country of origin and other countries and areas where the copyright term is the author’s life plus 100 years or less. 

“We have often paused to draw attention to side-effects. Without forced comparisons and without exaggerated claims, it seems permissible at this point to ask informed readers to reconsider various chapters of the history of philosophy, especially those concerning the advent of contemporary logic and linguistic analysis.

Would these developments have been possible without the secular debate on the nature of the perfect language, and, in particular, the various projects for philosophical a priori languages?

In 1854, George Boole published his Investigations of the Laws of Thought. He announced his intention to discover the fundamental laws governing the mental operations of the process of reasoning. He observed that without presupposing these laws, we could not explain why the innumerable languages spread around the globe have maintained over the course of centuries so many characteristics in common (II, 1).

Frege began his Begriffsschrift (on ideography, 1879) with a reference to Leibniz’s characteristica. In The Philosophy of Logical Atomism (1918-9), Russell noted that in a perfectly logical language, the relation of a word to its meaning would always be one to one (excepting words used as connectives).

When he later wrote Principia mathematica with Whitehead, he noted that, although their language possessed a syntax, it could, with the addition of a vocabulary, become a perfect language (even though he also admitted that is such a language were to be constructed it would be intolerably prolix).

For his part, Wittgenstein, renewing Bacon’s complaint concerning the ambiguity of natural languages, aspired to create a language whose signs were univocal (Tractatus logico-philosophicus, 1921-2, 3.325ff) and whose propositions mirrored the logical structure of reality itself (4.121).

Carnap proposed constructing a logical system of objects and concepts such that all concepts might be derived from a single nucleus of prime ideas (Der logische Aufbau der Welt, 1922-5). In fact, the entire logical positivist movement was heir to the Baconian polemic against the vagaries of natural languages productive of nothing but metaphysical illusions and false problems (cf. Recanati 1979).

These philosophers all hoped to construct a scientific language, perfect within its chosen range of competence, a language that would be universal as well; none, however, claimed that such a language would ever replace natural language.

The dream had changed, or, perhaps, its limitations had finally, reluctantly been accepted. From its search for the lost language of Adam, philosophy had by now learned to take only what it could get.

In the course of centuries through which our particular story has run, another story began to disentangle itself as well–the search for a general or universal grammar. I said in the introduction that this was not a story that I intended to tell here.

I shall not tell it because the search for a single corpus of rules underneath and common to all natural languages entailed neither the invention of a new language nor a return to a lost mother tongue. None the less, the search for what is constant in all languages can be undertaken in two ways.

The first way is to follow empirical and comparative methods; this requires compiling information on every language that exists–or existed (cf. Greenberg 1963).

The second way can be traced back to the time in which Dante (influenced or not by the doctrines of the Modists) attributed the gift of a forma locutionis to Adam. On this line of thought, scholars have more often tried to deduce the universal laws of all languages, and of human thought, from the model of the only language they knew–scholastic Latin–and in 1587 Francisco Sanchez Brocense was still doing so with his Minerva, seu causis linguae latinae.

The novelty of the Grammaire générale et raisonnée of Port Royal (1660) was simply the decision of taking as a model a modern language–French.

Choosing this way requires never being brushed by the scruple that a given language represents only a given way of thinking and of viewing the world, not universal thought itself.

It requires regarding what is called the “genius” of a language as affecting only the surface structures rather than the deep structure, allegedly the same for all languages.

Only in this way will be be possible to regard as universal, because corresponding to the only logic possible, the structures discovered in the language in which one is used to think.

Nor does it necessarily alter the problem to concede that–certainly–the various languages do exhibit differences at their surface level, are often corrupted through usage or agitated by their own genius, but still, if universal laws exist, the light of natural reason will uncover them because, as Beauzée wrote in his article on grammar in the Encyclopédie, “la parole est une sorte de tableau dont la pensée est l’original.”

Such an argument would be acceptable, but in order to uncover these laws one needs to represent them through a metalanguage applicable to every other language in the world. Now, if one chooses as metalanguage one’s own object language, the argument becomes circular.

In fact, as Simone has put it (1969: XXXIII), the aim of the Port Royal grammarians…

“…is therefore, in spite of the appearances of methodological rigor, prescriptive and evaluative, in so far as it is rationalist. Their scope was not to interpret, in the most adequate and coherent way possible, the usages permitted by the various languages.

If it were so, a linguistic theory should coincide with whole of the possible usages of a given tongue, and should take into account even those that native speakers consider as “wrong.”

Instead, their aim was to emend this variety of uses in order to make them all conform to the dictates of Reason.”

What makes the search for a universal grammar of interest in our story is, as Canto has noted (1979), that in order to be caught within the vicious circle, it is only necessary to make one simple assumption: the perfect language exists, and it is identical to one’s own tongue.

Once this assumption is made, the choice of the metalanguage follows: Port Royal anticipates de Rivarol.

This is a problem that remains for all attempts–contemporary ones included–to demonstrate that syntactic or semantic universals exist by deducing them from a given natural language, used simultaneously both as a metalanguage and as object language.

It is not my argument here that such a project is desperate: I merely suggest that it represents but another example of the quest for a philosophical a priori language in which, once again, a philosophical ideal of grammar presides over the study of a natural language.

Thus (as Cosenza has shown, 1993) those modern day branches of philosophy and psychology which deliberately appeal to a language of thought are also descendants of those older projects.

Such a “mentalese” would supposedly reflect the structure of mind, would be purely formal and syntactical calculus (not unlike Leibniz’s blind thought), would use non-ambiguous symbols and would be based upon innate primitives, common to all species.

As happened with Wilkins, it would be deduced according to a “folk psychology,” naturally within the framework of a given historical culture.

There are perhaps more remote descendants of the a priori projects, which have sought to found a language of mind not upon Platonic abstractions but upon the neuro-physiological structures of the brain.

Here the language of mind is the language of the brain; the software is founded upon the hardware. This is a new departure; since the “ancestors” of our story never dreamed of venturing this far, and many of them were not even certain that the res cogitans was located in the brain rather than the heart or the liver (even though an attractive wood cut showing the localization of the faculty of language in the brain–as well as those for imagination, estimation and memory–already appears in the fifteenth century in Gregor Reysch’s Margarita philosophica.

Differences are sometimes more important than identities or analogies; still, it would hardly be a waste of time if sometimes even the most advanced students in the cognitive sciences were to pay a visit to their ancestors.

It is frequently claimed in American philosophy departments that, in order to be a philosopher, it is not necessary to revisit the history of philosophy. It is like the claim that one can become a painter without having seen a single work of Raphael, or a writer without having ever read the classics.

Such things are theoretically possible; but the “primitive” artist, condemned to an ignorance of the past, is always recognizable as such and rightly labelled as a naïf. It is only when we reconsider past projects revealed as utopian or as failures that we are apprised of the dangers and possibilities for failure for our allegedly new projects.

The study of the deeds of our ancestors is thus more than an antiquarian pastime, it is an immunological precaution.”

Umberto Eco, The Search for the Perfect Language, translated by James Fentress, Blackwell. Oxford, 1995, pp. 312-6.

Eco: Artificial Intelligence

The Arecibo Message.svg

Frank Drake (1930-), Carl Sagan (1934-96), et al, The Arecibo Message, 1974. The Arecibo Message was broadcast into space via FM radio waves from the Arecibo radio telescope in Puerto Rico on 16 November, 1974. Aimed at the globular star cluster M13, the message comprised 1,679 binary digits. Total broadcast time was less than three minutes in duration. This representation of the message is by Arne Nordmann, licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license. 

Lincos does furnish us with an image of a language that is almost purely “mental” (its level of expression is supported by nothing more than electromagnetic phenomena). This reminds us of other languages which are, in one way or another, the heirs of the ancient search for the perfect language.

Computer languages, like BASIC or Pascal, are, in fact, a priori languages. They are not full languages because their syntax, though rigorous, is simplified and limited, and they remain parasitic on the natural languages which attach meanings to their empty symbols, which, for the most part, serve as logical connectors of the type if . . . then.

None the less, they are universal systems: they are comprehensible to speakers of differing natural languages and are perfect in the sense that they permit neither error nor ambiguity.

They are a priori, in that they are based not on the rules which govern the surface structures of natural languages, but rather, ideally, on a presumed deep grammar common to all natural languages.

They are, finally, philosophical because they presume that this deep grammar, based on the laws of logic, is the grammar of thought of human beings and machines alike. They also exhibit the two limitations inherent in philosophical a priori languages:

(1) their rules of inference are drawn from the western logical tradition, and this may mean, as many have argued, that they reflect little more than the basic grammatical structures common to the Indo-European family of languages;

(2) their effability (sic) is limited; that is, they are capable of expressing only a small proportion of what any natural language can express.

The dream of a perfect language which covers all the meanings and connotations of the vocabulary of a natural language, and in which human beings and machines can engage in “meaningful” conversations (or machines can draw inferences as happens in natural languages), underlies much of contemporary research into artificial intelligence.

Machines are provided, for example, with rules of inference by which they can “judge” whether or not a certain story is coherent, or decide that, if someone is ill, then someone needs medical assistance–and so on.

By now, the literature on this subject is vast, and the proposed systems are many: they run from those that still adhere to the ideal of a componential semantics based on primitives, to those that furnish the machine with schemes of action or a typology of “frames,” “scripts” and “goals.”

In general all of these projects succeed in solving certain problems only through imposing ad hoc solutions, which work only for local portions of the range of action of natural languages.”

Umberto Eco, The Search for the Perfect Language, translated by James Fentress, Blackwell. Oxford, 1995, pp. 310-2.

Eco: Space Languages


Hans Freudenthal (1905-1990). This photograph is assumed to be copyrighted and unlicensed, but qualifies as fair use under United States copyright law to illustrate the subject in question where no free equivalent is available, as Professor Freudenthal is deceased and no free replacement can be made. 

“Almost at the bounds of science fiction, though still with an undoubted scientific interest, is the project of the Dutch mathematician Hans A. Freudenthal (Lincos, 1960) for a language in which eventual encounters with the inhabitants of other galaxies may be conducted (see Bassi 1992).

Lincos is not designed as a language to be spoken; it is rather a model for inventing a language and at the same time teaching it to alien beings that have presumably traditions and biological structure different from ours.

Freudenthal starts off by supposing that we can beam into space signals, which we might picture as radio waves of varying length and duration. The significance of these waves derives not from their expression-substance, but rather from their expression-form and content-form.

By endeavoring to understand the logic that determines the expression-form being transmitted to them, the space aliens are supposed to extrapolate a content-form that will not be alien to them.

During the first phase, the messages consist of regular sequences of pulses. These are intended to be interpreted quantitatively–four pulses standing for the number 4, etc. As soon as it is assumed that the aliens have correctly interpreted these first signals, the transmission passes to the second phase, in which it introduces simple arithmetic operators:

* * * < * * * *

* * * * = * * * *

* * * * + * * = * * * * * *

In the next phase, the aliens are taught to substitute for the pulses a system of binary numbers (in which * * * * = 100, * * * * * = 101, * * * * * * = 110); this makes it possible, using only ostension and repetition, to communicate some of the principle operations in mathematics.

The transmission of temporal concepts presents a more complex problem. Freudenthal, however, presumes that by constantly receiving a signal of the same duration, constantly associated to the same number of pulses, the aliens will begin to compute a certain duration in seconds. Lincos also teaches conversational rules, training the aliens to understand sequences such as “Ha says to Hb: what is that x such that 2x = 5?”

In one sense, we are treating the space aliens like circus animals; we subject them to a repeated stimulus, giving them positive reinforcement whenever they exhibit the desired response. In the case of animals, however, the reinforcement is immediate–we give them food; in the case of aliens, the reinforcement cannot but be a broadcast signal that they should interpret as “OK.”

By this means, the aliens are meant to learn to recognize not only mathematical operations but also concepts such as “because,” “as,” “if,” “to know,” “to want,” and even “to play.”

The project presupposes that the alines have the technological capability to receive and decode wave-length signals, and that they follow logical and mathematical criteria akin to our own.

They should share with us not only the elementary principles of identity and non-contradiction, but also the habit of inferring a constant rule through induction from many similar cases.

Lincos can only be taught to those who, having guessed that for the mysterious sender 2 x 2 = 4, will assume that this rule will remain constant in the future. This is, in fact, a big assumption; there is no way of ruling out that there exist alien cultures who “think” according to rules which vary according to time and circumstances.

What Freudenthal is aiming for is, explicitly, a true characteristica universalis; in Lincos, however, only a handful of original syntactic rules are formulated in the beginning. As to the rest (as to, for example, the rules governing questions and answers), the model implicitly assumes that the interlocutors will use the rules, and even the pragmatics, of a natural language.

We can, for example, imagine a community of angels, each of whom either reads the thoughts of the others or learns truths directly through beholding them in the mind of God: for such beings, the set of interactional rules governing questions and answers would make no sense at all.

The problem with Lincos is that, although provided with a formal structure, it is conceived as an instrument for “natural” communication, and thus it is inherently uncertain and imprecise. In other words, it cannot possess the tautological structure of a formalized language.

Lincos is probably more interesting from a pedagogical point of view: can one teach a language without ostension?

If the answer is positive, Lincos would allow a situation different from that imagined by philosophers of language, when they skeptically imagine a scene in which a European explorer interacts with a native, each party tries to communicate with the other by pointing at bits of space-time and uttering a given sound, and there is no way for the explorer to be certain whether the native is denoting a given object located in that space-time portion, or the fact that something is happening there, or is expressing his or her refusal to answer (see Quine 1960).”

Umberto Eco, The Search for the Perfect Language, translated by James Fentress, Blackwell. Oxford, 1995, pp. 308-10.

Eco: The Last Flowering of Philosophic Languages, 2

Giovan Giuseppe Matraja, Genigrafia italiana, 1831

Giovanni Giuseppe Matraja, Genigrafia italiana, 1831. Original held at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, with a glorious eBook format posted by the Hathitrust and GoogleBooks among others. This work is in the public domain in its country of origin and other countries and areas where the copyright term is the author’s life plus 100 years or less. 

Vismes was not the only one to fall foul of this seemingly elementary snare. In 1831 Father Giovan Giuseppe Matraja published his Genigrafia italiana, which is nothing other than a polygraphy with five (Italian) dictionaries, one for nouns, one for verbs, one for adjectives, one for interjections and one for adverbs.

Since the five dictionaries account for only 15,000 terms, Matraja adds another dictionary that lists 6,000 synonyms. His method managed to be both haphazard and laborious: Matraja divided his terms into a series of numbered classes each containing 26 terms, each marked by an alphabetical letter: thus A1 means “hatchet,” A2 means “hermit,” A1000 means “encrustation,” A360 means “sand-digger,” etc.

Even though he had served as a missionary in South America, Matraja was still convinced that all cultures used the same system of notions. He believed that western languages (all of which he seemed to imagine were derived from Latin grammar) might perfectly well serve as the basis for another language, because, by a special natural gift, all peoples used the same syntactic structures when speaking–especially American Indians.

In fact, he included a genigraphical translation of the Lord’s Prayer comparing it with versions in twelve other languages including Nahuatl, Chilean and Quechua.

In 1827 François Soudre invented the Solresol (Langue musicale universelle, 1866). Soudre was also persuaded that the seven notes of the musical scale composed an alphabet comprehensible by all the peoples of the world, because the notes are written in the same way in all languages, and could be sung, recorded on staves, represented with special stenographic signs, figured in Arabic numerals, shown with the seven colors of the spectrum, and even indicated by the touch of the fingers of the right and left hands–thus making their representation comprehensible even for the deaf, dumb and blind.

It was not necessary that these notes be based on a logical classification of ideas. A single note expresses terms such as “yes” (musical si, or B) and “no” (do, or C); two notes express pronouns (“mine” = redo, “yours” = remi); three notes express everyday words like “time” (doredo) or “day” (doremi).

The initial notes refer to an encyclopedic class. Yet Soudre also wished to express opposites by musical inversion (a nice anticipation of a twelve-tone music procedure): thus, if the idea of “God” was naturally expressed by the major chord built upon the tonic, domisol, the idea of “Satan” would have to be the inversion, solmido.

Of course, this practice makes nonsense of the rule that the first letter in a three-note term refers to an encyclopedic class: the initial do refers to the physical and moral qualities, but the initial sol refers back to arts and sciences (and to associate them with Satan would be an excess of bigotry).

Besides the obvious difficulties inherent in any a priori language, the musical language of Soudre added the additional hurdle of requiring a good ear. We seem in some way to be returning to the seventeenth century myth of the language of birds, this time with less glossolalic grace, however, and a good deal more pure classificatory pedantry.

Couturat and Leau (1903: 37) awarded to the Solresol the encomium of being “the most artificial and most impracticable of all the a priori languages.” Even its number system is inaccessible; it is based on a hexadecimal system which, despite its claims to universality, still manages to indulge in the French quirk of eliminating names for 70 and 90.

Yet Soudre labored for forty-five years to perfect his system, obtaining in the meantime testimonials from the Institut de France, from musicians such as Cherubini, from Victor Hugo, Lamartine and Alexander von Humboldt; he was received by Napoleon III; he was awarded 10,000 francs at the Exposition Universale in Paris in 1855 and the gold medal at the London Exposition of 1862.

Let us neglect for the sake of brevity the Système de langue universelle of Grosselin (1836), the Langue universelle et analytique of Vidal (1844), th