TOOL NEWSLETTER MARCH, 2001 E.V.
"...I wanna thank the Lord... for providing me with two... three lawyers..."
-Puffy-Daddy (after being acquitted on all charges.)
"...as intertaining (sic) as it may be reading endless amounts of facts or bullshit regarding the occults coming from you, Blair, this has little relevance to tool. Although I assume (and should expect) this is another way to throw off the mass of following people. I for one think the occult may be handy-dandy and all, but I come to the tool web page to read/learn/hear more about tool, and the same goes to reading the "tool newsletter"...
"...I expect at least a mention of the band Tool for God's sake!! Has the band even seen these so-called newsletters you put out? How could they possibly approve of a droning monologue about whether or not the Satanic Pentacle points up or down!?! Or whether some obscure bullshit magickal formula contains menstrual fluid or not? Or which chapter Crowley stashed some idiotic universal secret to humanity's progress??? Wake up dude. Just because some people who actually care about that crap have discovered the Tool newsletter to be their information guide, doesn't mean that the majority of Tool fans want to subject themselves to it..."
Put away your Enochian dictionary boys and girls. Set down that Crowley "Thoth" deck my fellow psychonauts. Lift thy gaze from the dark shewstone ye skryers of the Aethyrs. It seems there are a few of you sitting at the back of the class who are not the least bit interested in magick and mysticism - those who wish not to open doors into the paranormal dimensions we dare to tread every month, but who, instead, want to know the answer to such perplexing things as "What is Maynard's favorite color?" Or "Where does Adam buy his guitar strings?" Or "Has Justin ever hunted a fox with hounds and if so, were the hunters blowing horns?" So, in fairness to the other three per cent (and judging by the e-mails I receive that's about it - those of you more concerned about things of a rather mundane nature as opposed to the overwhelming majority of you who realize that the newsletters are meant only to provide links for further research into areas of interest by the members of the band), I have decided to pull the newsletter I had planned for this month, which was to be a primer of sorts to the themes of LATERALUS, in particular to songs like "The Grudge" with the rich and complex symbolism of its lyrics embedded into the aural onslaught.
Also, there is "Faaip de Oiad", the message of which those of you who have done your Enochian homework will at least have an inkling to. Therefore, so as not to be unprepared for what is to come, the band thought it best to postpone the release of Lateralus by 23 days so that I could devote the March newsletter to answering the questions of the few of you with special needs. So if some of you are disappointed by the slight delay, you can thank those seated behind you.
Actually, due to the degree of vitriol directed at me in these few e-mails, it occurred to me that they may have been sent by certain members of the band, CREED, using pseudonyms and pretending to be disgruntled Tool fans to get back at me for a few choice barbs in the live web-cast. Recall in the two e-mails I've shared with you the words "for God's sake" and the use of words like "Hey dude" to make Christian rockers seem hip. Of course it's equally possible that these guys in Creed really do want to know what Maynard's favorite color is or where Adam buys his guitar strings. By the way, for the guy who wondered who gave a shit about "which chapter Crowley stashed some idiotic universal secret to humanity's progress", evidently he didn't read where I was attempting to answer the numerous e-mails sent by people who were as intrigued as I was about this particular conundrum of Crowleyana. Oh, well, maybe he needs glasses or a new prescription. At any rate, to satisfy those dragging the rest of us down, I scoured through hundreds of e-mails in my box (not yet deleted) looking for the kind of thing that would be of interest to these fellows. After several hours I found the perfect one, submitted by two girls, Heather and Kimberly. So, here it is: "We would like a copy of Maynard's chocolate chip cookie recipe. Tori Amos said he makes the best chocolate chip cookies."
First of all, as good as these cookies of Maynard's might be, I seriously doubt they're the best. Every person on the planet knows someone who makes the best chocolate chip cookies or spaghetti or whatever. Taste is subjective. For example, are we to believe that the cookies Jeffery Dahmer considered to be his personal favorites would be the same as those chosen by, say, Martha Stewart? I mean the chocolate chips used in Dahmer's cookie batter might be of a slightly different nature, giving it a subtle, though unique taste compared to the chips in Martha's dough, which might not be chocolate at all, but contain butterscotch morsels. Nevertheless, I did want to answer the question for our guys back there in their seats rolling ear -buggers between their grubby fingers prior to gobbling them up as a sticky, bitter little snacks. My initial thought was to call Aloke Dutta, so as not to bother the band members with such trivial things. Aloke is a friend of Maynard's. Perhaps he's sampled these cookies. So, I ring up the tabla master and put the question to him: "Aloke, what do you know about Maynard's cookies?" With his Indian accent, Aloke replied: "Blair, I do not care much for cookies. Growing up back in India we did not have the electricity (I forgot, this was in the 1960s) and there were always, you know, cobras in the kitchen... in the rice bin, and because it was always dark the cookies might contain mongoose turds or who knows, so I did not really eat them much...and not every family had a clay oven, as most Americans think. But did you hear about my new band, Indigenous Planet..." Okay, this was going to be harder than I originally thought.
I have Maynard's cell phone number. I thought about calling him on the mobile while he was OUT ON THE ROAD TOURING WITH APC, but anyone who knows Maynard knows that they're not supposed to use that particular number to ask about recipes of any kind. During the last Tool tour we were always calling to get his great recipes, at all hours of the day and night we called, so he finally had to say enough was enough. We can still call that number if we have any questions regarding band business or just want to shoot the shit, but absolutely positively no f recipes!
Okay, next there was Adam. BUT HE'S BUSY WORKING ON THE NEW TOOL VIDEO. You can't bother Adam with such things when he's working on a Tool video. Everyone, even a man unsoiled by sophistication with the slow drawl heard in some parts of West Virginia is wise enough to know that. As I sat back in my chair, contemplating what to do next, the phone rang. It was Danny. He wanted to know if I wanted to ride with him to Las Vegas to pick up something he recently purchased on E-BAY. Well, sure - we'd get a chance to eat at the Coyote Café in the MGM Grand. They make the best chicken burritos. "So, what are we going to pick up, a vintage synthe?" "A rare Crowley first edition?" "Oh, Jesus Christ on a Popsicle stick, not ANOTHER GODDAMN DRUM KIT! You've got storage facilities loaded with 'em - road cases big enough to hold a locomotive filled with drum heads, and that poor guy in the Stray Cats only has a snare and hi-hat... imagine the cartage!" My plan was to ambush him with the chocolate chip cookie question as soon as we were in the open desert. The thing about Danny is - he'll answer any question. "Dan, what do you know about these cookies of Maynard's?" A pensive, yet determined expression as he hauled ass through Barstow: "Yeah, I think I remember Maynard baking these cookies once. They were pretty good... I mean, you know, they were like most people's, but goddamn, Blair, he makes the best green sauce for dipping Indian naan bread!" Yes, I've had this before. It is good, but the best? So, I come back from Vegas a few dollars poorer and still without the info I needed. Maybe I should give up and go back to trying to decipher Crowley's "Book of Lies" for you. No, I'm determined to get to the bottom of this. Let's see - Tori Amos thinks they're the best, and Famous Amos makes chocolate chip cookies. Could there be some connection there. No - it's probably just a coincidence. You've got to stay focused, Blair.
Well, that leaves Justin. After waiting a week or so for him to RETURN FROM LONDON ON HOLIDAY, I put in a call and hit him up with the question regarding these damn cookies of Maynard's. There was a pregnant pause on the other end, after which he wanted to know why all of a sudden I was asking him about cookies of all things? In fact, he seemed quite upset about the question. " Sorry, I didn't mean to bother you, Justin"..."No, it's just really freaky, Blair..and synchronistic. I feel like I need to talk to someone... and you know a lot about these things, Blair." "Know a lot about what things, Justin - chocolate chip cookies?" "No, Blair... about spaceships!" From the tone and urgency in his voice, I knew that I needed to go have a talk - to try and settle down a friend who was in obvious distress.
What follows is a brief description of events of high strangeness that occurred several months ago at Justin's home in one of the remote canyons of southern California, an area of much UFO activity both past and present. This event apparently involves an encounter with something very difficult to explain unless it was merely a lucid dream, a possibility that both Justin and I agree cannot be ruled out.
It was around pre-dawn when Justin was suddenly awakened by a strange sound emanating from the back of his house. This he described as a peculiar, unnerving harmonic, which at intervals sounded like a "broken lawnmower" (whatever a broken lawnmower sounds like). When he went out on the back patio to see what was making the noise, he was startled to see an object of some type hovering just above the trees. This object was an eerie dark shade and had a disturbing symmetry about it " like it had no business being here." Justin next remembers seeing several figures of diminutive stature dressed rather outlandishly in tight-fitting, glittering green suits with matching knit helmets or headpieces of some sort. One of the figures indicated that he wanted some water. According to Justin, the being did not speak, but, rather, Justin received an impression in his head that it was water that this being required. Justin next recalls filling a thermos jug with water from the spigot on the patio. After doing this, he remembers being inside a large, circular room of tannish-yellow hues whose furnishings and various objects were shifting and changing shapes in ways he couldn't fathom. Paralyzed, he watched as one of the occupants of the craft (or wherever he was) prepared on a strange device what appeared to be something resembling a cookie! This was presented to Justin, who, not knowing what to do, put it in his pocket.
The next thing Justin remembered was being in his own kitchen, sitting at the table examining the odd cookie (or whatever it was). He remembered telling himself over and over that he must leave it on the table, so that it would be there later - this to prove to himself that what he had witnessed wasn't just a dream. When he woke up later that day, he discovered some crumbs on the kitchen table and floor, believing that if this was from the cookie, that maybe his dog, Rocky, ate most of it. (NOTE: Justin saved these crumbs in a plastic baggie and we are planning on having them examined in a lab.) As he recounted the details, he kept repeating how crazy the whole thing seemed, but how incredibly vivid it was if it really was just a dream. Later, when he asked me what I thought, I told him that the events he described had a familiar ring to them, that, in fact, they were very similar to the events of a somewhat obscure case in the annals of ufology known as "the landing at Eagle River."
On the night of April 18, 1961, a sixty-year-old Wisconsin farmer named Joe Simonton heard a strange noise that sounded like "knobby tires on a wet pavement." Outside, he saw a saucer-shaped object that was silvery colored (as opposed to Justin's darker "craft"). When the hatch on the object opened, Mr. Simonton saw three occupants which he described as being about three and a half feet tall, having swarthy, smooth-shaved faces and dressed in dark, tight-fitting suits with matching knit-helmets. One of them held up a jug made of the same material as the craft, motioning that he needed some water.
After receiving this from the farmer, Mr. Simonton was given three pancake-shaped cookies that were prepared on a "flameless grill" of some type. The cookies, or "crispy pancakes" as they have been called were a golden-brownish color and perforated with small holes. According to Mr. Simonton's testimony, they "tasted like cardboard." The events of the Eagle River Case are described elegantly in Jacques Vallee's book, "DIMENSIONS: A CASEBOOK OF ALEIN CONTACT."
The average ufologist might have dismissed the entire episode as the fantasies of a crank, an elderly rural man seeking attention (this even though Mr. Simonton was deemed highly credible by friends and neighbors, not to mention the renowned astronomer J. Allen Hynek), but Jacques Vallee is no ordinary ufologist. Instead, he directs our attention to the literature of the fairy folk. For it seems that when the cookies were analyzed by the Food and Drug lab of the U.S. Department of Health, Education and Welfare (as requested by the Air Force who were called to investigate the case), they were found to contain terrestrial ingredients including hydrogenated fat, starch, buckwheat hulls, soya bean hulls and wheat bran. However, there was no trace of salt. In his book, Vallee reminds us of one of the peculiar properties of the food in fairyland, quoting a passage from "THE FAIRY-FAITH IN CELTIC COUNTRIES" by W. Y. Evans Wentz which states that "they (fairies) never taste anything salt, but eat fresh meat and drink pure water." He also reminds us of the food taboo of the fairy folk - that "once they take you and you taste food in their palace, you cannot come back." Perhaps, it's a good thing that Justin put his cookie in his pocket! To Jacques Vallee, the event at Eagle River, as bizarre as it may have seemed, represented "a simple, yet grandiose ceremony." Vallee then goes on to quote from Edwin S. Hartland in his book, "THE SCIENCE OF FAIRYTALES", which informs us that "to join in a common meal has often been held to symbolize, if not to constitute union of a very sacred kind." Again, what Mr. Vallee is trying to tell us is that no matter how ridiculous the events at Eagle River may appear on the surface, we most not forget the symbolic value of such events. The idea of hospitality between beings of different realms of existence is also mentioned in the Bible: "Be not forgetful to entertain strangers, for thereby some have entertained angels unaware."
If we take the time to examine folklore and legends (i.e. history), we can find numerous parallels between the contacts with non-human entities called fairies, gnomes, elves, wee-people, etc. and the occupants of the modern UFO phenomenon. A few examples of these being the ability of both entities to change shape (shape-shifting), to strike mortals with paralysis, the supernatural passage of time in fairyland (compare with the "missing time" reported by modern abductees), the slaying and stealing of cattle and other animals (cattle mutilations which involve strange glowing lights), and the new area of research into physical traces of a powdery residue called"abduction dust" which has been detected in the homes of those who claim to have been visited by non-human beings and which some researchers claim to contain unique isotopic ratios proving (to some at least) a non-terrestrial origin. Compare this with the fairy dust of legend.
So, it seems reasonable to ask: Were the winged carriages from the stars with rays of colored light streaming from them and enchanted caves filled with marvelous lights in reality UFOS described in the non-technical language of the times? And what are we to make of the round room inside the fairy-knoll "where they (fairies) take the whole body and soul, transmuting the body to a body like their own"? To ufologists this sounds a lot like the genetic programs to create human-alien hybrids, which many UFO experiencers claim to be the unwilling victims of. Elsewhere in the literature we find examples of the darker elements of ufology: the kidnapping of infants (and nursing mothers) by the fairy folk who leave behind in their place changelings - a substitute or surrogate-human. These were described as carved, wooden images placed in the crib which were "endowed with glamour" to deceive the parents of the infant that was snatched away. These are only a few examples that can be found in the folklore.
So, getting back to Justin and his story. What was it that he witnessed that night? Did he have a close encounter with beings from elsewhere or was it just a strange dream? As I sat at his kitchen table mulling it over, another explanation occurred to me. Could the cookie Justin spoke of have been made USING MAYNARD'S RECIPE? If so, did Justin's eating it CAUSE the bizarre visions. Do we have a hint here at the special ingredient and why they're considered to be the best? I was beginning to think this might be the case when I picked up a piece of paper lying among some BASS PLAYER magazines on the table. After reading it I asked Justin whose scribblings they were. His answer only led to more questions. It seems that on the night in question, Justin had a houseguest who wrote down his impressions of a dream he, himself, had on that night. This person didn't want me to use his real name so we'll just call him "Gorby." Apparently the paper contained an example of automatic writing done by Gorby on the morning following the incident. For those who don't know, automatic writing has been described as writing from the subconscious mind, or writing not consciously directed by the person whose hand executed it. I will now share with you this possible example of automatic writing without making any changes and without adding any comment, but will, instead, capitalize what I believe to be certain relative passages of events possibly buried in Gorby's unconsciousness
...ten men running and bull's on the chase red red dare wear red people crowd's eyes fixed watching the red run bye. Dancing laughing simple joys and I also love baseball. Looking for that honest feeling. Travels scrabble the worlds a game board, THE SKYS THE REAL SUPERHIGHWAY, THINK OF SUPER MAN. IF YOU WENT TO SPACE, AFTER YOUR RETURN DO YOU THINK THAT QUESTIONS ABOUT OUR WORLD COULD BE BETTER ANSWERED WHEN YOU PUT THEM IN A PERSPECTIVE FROM A PERSON BEING YOU OF CURSE YOU'RE THE ONE IN A MILLION THAT WENT UP IN SPACE. Wish to answer a question. THIS TIME TONIGHT WON'T HAPPEN AGAIN unless I answer those few simple questions that will some how make her mind click onto yes a day the old way sure miss at the high school now is now and HOW FAR CAN THIS GO OR IS IT WORLD WIDE.
As for Maynard's chocolate chip cookie recipe, I don't have it yet, Heather and Kimberly, but I'm busy working on new leads for you. However, before I end this newsletter, I wanted to share with you part of a little poem taken from "The Fairies" written in 1910 by William Allingham:
Up the airy mountain,
Down the rushy glen,