Dead Names, Dead Dog: A Question Answered

Renee asks a number of questions, some of which I’m still considering or want to deal with more thoroughly later.  The one I’ll attempt to answer here, in a roundabout way, is why “Simon” doesn’t give up what is becoming an increasingly ridiculous charade.  Even  believers should admit it upon reflection – it’s bizarre for a man, writing under a pseudonym about his “translation” of a supposedly fictional work that he claims will transform society, to become horribly offended that people won’t believe him.

I’ll try to answer this question, at least partially, as it’s one that comes up often.  Further, I’ll explain why exactly that question comes up so often.

It might help, as a thought experiment, to think of the world as divided between two groups of people – the mentally flexible and the mentally rigid.  A mentally flexible person works best without set boundaries, examining problems from multiple perspectives, delighting in debate for its own sake, and finding creative solutions to problems.  A mentally rigid person likes works best within defined limits and controlled circumstances, and often takes a hard-line view on particular issues.

Both of these groups share much in common.  They can be intelligent, knowledgeable, ethical, moral, passionate people.  Unfortunately, there’s one other trait they usually share – finding it very difficult to understand how the other group works. The mentally rigid see the mentally flexible as indecisive and immoral.  Oddly enough, the mentally flexible – who one would think would find their counterparts easier to understand – see them as dumb and fanatical.  Both groups often play up the worst examples of the other and downplaying the best, causing them to be more confirmed in their views.

(Frankly, I tend to like the mentally flexible more, as the mentally rigid have an annoying tendency to start killing people, whereas the mentally flexible can’t see why something like “Our people must have their own nation” or “X is the true prophet!” or “54-40 or fight!” could possibly be so damned important.)

This doesn’t mean that there aren’t people who see the Necronomicon for its aesthetics or its supposed power instead of its historicity, or those who rigidly believe whatever Lovecraft scholar S. T. Joshi says. The fact remains that there are a large number of mentally rigid people who believe that the Necronomicon is real and who have based their lives around that.  This is the vast majority of “Simon’s” market, and his continued charade is playing straight to it.  At the same time, the horror fans and gamers don’t see this, because they travel in different circles and, if they ever encounter such people, their reassuring preconceptions tell them that this person is deluded and – due to our natural psychological need for like-minded people – an anomaly, instead of a manifestation of a broader movement.

As for my part, I end up stuck in the middle, so I try to clear things up for both groups.  It rarely works, but I’ll keep muddling through.

If you have anything to add to the above, or if you think I’m completely off the mark, please let me know.  I’m pretty cynical in my pre-middle-age, so new perspectives are always useful.

Published in: on July 11, 2006 at 8:49 am  Comments (1)  

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  1. A good answer to Renee’s question. The author is correct, there ARE people who are convinced “Simon’s” Necronomicon is real and ancient, usually people dabbling in the occult. Lovecraft fans mostly dismiss “his” book as misinformed. Astute occultists should also note “Simon’s” frequent errors when he’s writing under his other name concerning etymology of words. His best-known work is a set of three books which trade largely in intrigue and coincidence, but shed very little light on their subjects. His radio interviews reveal a certain fascination or even mesmerization with numerology and astro-theology, and a tendency to equate any “symbol” with any other, which is something a lot of people interested in magic do.

    I would answer Renee’s question slightly differently. Why doesn’t he come clean and give up the ruse? Because he probably isn’t the real author, and there’s a lot of money involved. Did you hear the joke about Julian Assange threatening to sue a British newspaper which published information Julian Assange stole fair and square without Julian Assange’s permission?

    Assange cites “Simon” on MARUTUKKU here:

    “Simon” and his clerically-bent friends of Slavonic/Salvic/Czech origins were “stealing books” to fund their “church” when the Necronomicon showed up at “Simon’s” favorite venue, where he held court and pontificated on things occult to the unwashed masses of neo-pagans, aspiring Satanists, OTO hangers-on and sundry. At the same exact time the Necronomicon suddenly burst forth whole from the brow of Zeus, Anton LaVey’s followers in the New York and New Jersey area were actively stealing material for LaVey to plagarize from a group of occultists and real Lovecraft fans who were “manifesting the Mythos” by assimilating real and perceived ancient knowledge from a variety of traditions for the support of Lovecraftian notions. In other words, they were quite intentionally writing the Necronomicon. This was largely under the tutelage of Lin Carter, although there were several groups involved at the creation level. Much of Lin Carter’s collected work on this project went missing when he died of cancer and his papers were sent to Robert M. Price. Did one of Lin Carter’s boxes of documents have a “7 written the European way” inscribed on it? I assume “Simon” means a 7 with a horizontal bar through it, which is just as American as European, and which Lin Carter probably would have used. Remember, the number 7 has great significance for “Simon” so he wouldn’t likely forget it, as he might if it were, for example, the number 25.

    To solve the whodunit, you need to pierce the veil of surnames and pseudonyms, and probably find a living witness. Then you can trace the ties between the NYC OTOers, the Dholes, the SSS, the CoS and the “Slavonic Orthodox,” probably with overlapping memberships.

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