Meanwhile, there are detailed instructions of bloody murders in Tyson’s Necronomicon, even worse in Chaosium’s Book of Eibon, in Sergio Basile’s Necronomicon 2: La Tomba di Alhazred there are several pages of gruesomeness, in Pizzari’s Vatican Necronomicon (where the mad Arab details the sacrifice of a goat and Pizzari suggests that the goat is an euphemism for a human offering), even in Lin Carter’s and Fred Pelton’s versions there is talk of boodshed -and what of the russian De Vermis Mysteriis, Book of Dagon and pseudo-Red Book of Appin so popular online? And the blatant publication of all these (except for Pizzari’s book and the three later titles) as straightforward fiction is no excuse when Cthulhu believers are convinced that fiction is channeled from the astral Necronomicon and now Tyson’s is the basis for what looks like the newest Llewellyn New Age religious franchise; ALL of these books are undoubtedly being used as the basis for actual occult praxis by somebody outthere, let’s face it.
But ole Simonomicon gives two lines alluding obliquely to a murder weapon and we hear endless ohnoes??? Give. Me. A. break.
As I see it, the evaluation rests on the following three questions:
- What’s the intent? A number of the works Luis cites are actually pieces of fiction, and I’m willing to give people creative rein therein. I’d say the Tyson Necronomicon falls on the line, largely due to the odd decisions made about it which we’ve already discussed. Also, I’d make exceptions for works published for the sake of historical reporting. (The Simon book doesn’t count.)
- How wide is the audience? Though Luis names a large number of occult works, most of them have limited circulation. Even those available on the Internet don’t have the advertising power that places a copy in every chain bookstore in the country.
- How hard is it? Oddly enough, the more fantastic a rite is to perform, the less trouble I have with it, because the less likely it is that someone will actually seek to carry it out.
Let’s take a quick example from another book – the description of the creation of a prophetic head from the Picatrix
. To do so, the magicians kidnap a man with specific physical attributes and bring him back to their temple. They seal him in a container of sesame oil, leaving only his head protruding, and they feed him dried figs for forty days…
Based on the criteria above, the publication of this is perfectly fine. The book is a historical work intended for a limited audience, and the possibility of some sick individual going to the great lengths of kidnapping someone to give them a six-week oil bath is unlikely in the extreme.
On the other hand, we have the Simon Necronomicon. Even if the description is brief, it appears in a book that is presented as a text of power marketed to would-be occultists which has sold, at last count, 800,000 copies. It’s certainly unlikely that anyone will actually kill eleven people, but I can easily see someone trying this on one or two.
(It could also be argued that Simon never meant for the Necronomicon to get as big as it has, if you’re looking for an objection to the above.)
I’m always open to debate, so if anyone sees a flaw in the above, please let me know.