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04 February, 2013

Conspiracy Geeked

I became exposed to The Abyss through the works of Neitszche, Crowley, and also some writing called The Dark Night of The Soul...  These 3 angles; theologic, psychologic, and mystic, all served to create for me a practical symbolism by which to structure myself so as  to weather the storm, so to speak.

The storm has raged far longer than any book can describe...

Along the way, I have grasped at numerous, weak handholds in hopes of finding some form of support in this trying time.  As a poet, it suites me none to have my creativity sapped.  As a human, it suits me none to have my desire to interact with the world equally sapped - to the point of near extinction.

I have become disillusioned in my pursuit of knowledge, and also of an understanding of the world around me that I just can't seem to get.  There have been so many dead-ends which I had believed in, so many people and doctrines.  In the end, most proved hollow, especially the people.

From time to time, there have been books that "mattered".  One of them that left an impression, and often is recalled in times of stress, is called The Little Black Book.  I found it at a store on South Street in Philadelphia.  I couldn't tell you where I lost it.

The first page of this tiny, little, black book, said something like "It's not what a book says that matters, but rather what the book DOES."  I believe in that.  This attitude has helped me to better navigate the stormy seas of Enlightenment.  A teacher I studied under was a big advocate of Know Your Authors.  Religious beliefs, politics, affiliations...  These factors are major players in the defining of a person, and the person who writes is the source, therefore I don't think it's good to take in just anyone's work.  Some are accurate in their research, and practical in their application of philosophy.  There is no apparent agenda behind the person, other than the desire to share knowledge, and maybe make a buck or two to support themselves along the way.

Then, there are others out there, The Stressful-Kind.  These are the cult-leaders, the self-appointed iconic figures who are no more enlightened than other Monarchy-minded elitists.  They use clever tongues to sway the audience into a form of blind allegiance.  When challenged, they resort to anger.  They avoid direct confrontation.  They use manipulations like guilt or appeal to vanity to draw in followers.  They have a lot of "friends" on their pages, and many titles under their belts.  They know who to know, what to say, and when to say it.  Inside, they are dead... The just want attention, fame, control.  These writers, both present and dead, are my biggest thorn in my side.  I may actually HATE them, to be honest.

I feel as though I have been wandering in a dark and creepy place, full of jokesters and pesky little devils.  I am tired, and just want to feel the sun upon my face again, but I continue through the "abyss" that is my Life's Journey at the moment..  I have grown slightly paranoid, beyond the level of weary awareness.  I have grown short-tempered with those beyond my inner circle of One, of myself.  I distrust because I know others to be selfish, to be liars...

But, this isn't actually a blog about my feelings, or my frustrations.  I'm writing this to say that it is my opinion, after close analysis, and interaction with some of the figures interviewed, you really should read Conspiracy Geek, by Joan d'Arc.  I know that there are more skeptics reading these words, than there are blind followers.  I know that you don't want someone to tell you what's in a book to get you to buy it, but I think if you knew WHY  it's worth owning, you might go ahead and pick up a copy today.  Maybe two, you can give the gift of Knowledge and Art!

See, Joan doesn't take her easy poise and vast knowledge of anthrpologic subjects, or the things that go bump in the day to steer the reader into Belief.  Though you can tell that this author is well learned, you will be hard pressed to find preaching, in ANY of her books.  I have read The Hunter Gatheress Journals, Phenomenal World, almost every issue of Paranoia and Paranoid Women Collect Their Thoughts.  I've also had the fortunate opportunity to communicate with the author directly on a few occasions, and no matter what angle I poked from, she never become the Cult Leader that is lurking behind the public veneer of so many of our favorite "conspiracy theorists".  I really hate that term.  I've provided her with the opportunity to soapbox me to death, and in the end, it was probably only I that ever took advantage of that opportunity.  Yes, I hate in others that which I hate in myself.  I am soap-box prone.

So, when she asked me to review Conspiracy Geek, I was super-excited.  Except, I don't really know how to write a review.  Plus, even if I had something bad to say about the book, I'd have a hard time saying it, even nicely. So, I did those brief reviews of a few chapters and posted them here.  It was fun, to try and not sound like a reviewer while doing just that!  But, that's not what I was asked to do...

I can't effectively tell you about every topic covered, nor can I do a chapter by chapter report of the entire book.  I end up just re-writing, re-inventing the wheel.  There are just too many incredible intereviews, and Joan's elegantly styled prose with which she took me through numerous thought processes that ultimately enlightened me to the struggles others endure, places I've never had the opportunity to see in the U.S.A. and era-defining strangeness that can't be swept under enough layers of rug.  And some conspiracies that were new to me, even though I thought I had heard them all by now!

The interviews are priceless.  She has an easy air when running through extremely difficult topics with a who's who of conspiracy and alt. researching.  While keeping the flow of the exchange interesting, she also manages to leave the interviewee enough wiggle room to really let us know who they are!  That is so important.  With the subject matter being of such great interest to me, I used the book as a starting point to get to know many of the figures I have come across over the years.  I was pleased to get to know some folks by reaching out to them via their various web presences.  A few people proved amazing, and I became further disillusioned by the phony shallowness of a person or two as well.  However, the disillusionment was short lived, because by the time I was done reading Conspiracy Geek and looking into people who have been slowly reeling me in over the years, I had regained strength and tolerance.  Though I was disappointed to find that my heroes are all human like me, it was a useful, and fast way, to come to know what I am dealing with, and make informed decisions on who to continue to read, and who to shelve forever.

I won't get into who I like or dislike out of the interviews in the book, but I can say that the dislikes are for outnumbered.  Though I won't endorse or condemn anyone Joan interviewed, I will say that Joan has outdone herself and continues to earn her place on my bookshelf and in my brain.  The entire book is intriguing, and there is ample room to return to chapters-past and re-read, so it's worth owning.  This isn't a book, it's a tool, a viewer to see into the personalities of some of the underground's most potent voices...  You will not be disappointed, even though you may find yourself falling out of love with a writer or two before you are finished.  You owe yourself the Truth, though, and there is no reward sweeter, even if the Truth may be a bit ugly...  Truth gets me through my "Abyss", maybe that is evidence of potency within that books pages that one just can't deny.  While I won't say you'll find all of your answeres in CONSPIRACY GEEK, I can assure you there are useful tools to aid you in your travels!

 Get your copy HERE, at  Save on the cover price when you buy from this site!

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