Dead Names, Dead Dog: Dangerous Words?, Part 4

Don’t take my word for all this talk about the possible dangers of the Necronomicon, though. Let’s look about what Dead Names itself has to say to the question, “Is the Necronomicon dangerous?”

We’ll start with the back cover:

The most feared, fascinating, and dangerous book in the history of humankind… Necronomicon.

That’s pretty clear.

DEAD NAMES is the startling true account of the dark and violent history of this most fearsome of books: from its Middle Eastern origins to its reemergence centuries later; its role in pivotal events of the twentieth century, from the JFK assassination to the Son of Sam murders.

Dark! Violent! Fearsome! A role in an assassination and murders! Let’s go inside Dead Names and learn more!

Thus, critics of the book claim that it is dangerous and should not be offered to all and sundry. That this is evidence of their basic complaint that the book is actually too inexpensive and too readily available has already been discussed…

Then again, this could be evidence that critics read the back cover…

As for the Necronomicon‘s “role” in those crimes, you once again have to understand “Simon’s” particular vocabulary. When he says “role”, he doesn’t mean that its existence actually had an impact on the events. He means that somebody involved in the crime knew someone else who probably knew about the Necronomicon. He goes on to say:

Those who claim that publishing the Necronomicon makes us culpable of all sorts of violent crimes allegedly perpetrated in its name—a claim that has nowhere been proven—probably believe that most people would stick their finger in an electrical socket if they thought it could fit.

It is a very dangerous road to go down, to begin blaming books for the commission of crime.

That’s right. I mean, who would do that?

From the Necronomicon:

Persons of unstable mental condition, or unstable emotional condition, should not be allowed, under any circumstances, to observe one of these rituals in progress. That would be criminal, and perhaps even suicidal. One of our colleagues was fearfully attacked by his dog directly following a fairly simple and uncomplicated formula from this book.

“Simon” has, once again, ended up trapped by his own rhetoric. For years, he has stressed the danger that the Necronomicon poses to the careless and the great responsibility that falls on anyone who undertakes it. Now, people like John have pointed out that it’s perfectly reasonable to conclude that this danger and responsibility might possibly be passed on from the readers to the man who wrote – or edited – it. This places “Simon” in a quandary, so he tries two tactics. On one hand, he emphasizes the efficacy and transformative nature of the book, along with linking it to some of the last century’s most spectacular crimes. To maintain his innocence, however, he steadfastly maintains that it’s no different than any other book, even comparing it to The Lion King.
That doesn’t mean it’s not possible to parse “Simon’s” statements into what might resemble a coherent argument about the book. Nonetheless, the overall rhetorical strategy is clear – to make the book look dangerous for the purpose of sales, while denying it when anyone gets close. Dead Names tries to sell it both ways, and for those who read it carefully, it falls down on both.

Published in: on August 21, 2006 at 7:46 pm  Comments (4)  

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4 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. I don’t believe the Necronomicon causes any more violence than the holy bible does. The son of sam may not have read the Necronomicon, but I’m sure he read the bible.
    The bible features more vioelnce than many satanic publications.
    Why do people not realize this?

  2. Bible: “If thine eye offend thee, cast it out.”

    Necronomicon: “If thine eye offend thee, a demon did it, and you need to kill him.”

    Just sayin.

  3. I neef help

  4. Thanks a lot for the excellent and results-oriented assistance. I won’t hesitate to suggest your blog post to everyone who requires and needs help on this matter.


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