MAY, 2001 E.V.
TOOL IN THE KINGDOM OF NYE!
So, it's now in your possession - the freakin' Holy Grail in your CD player. Don't worry; those Limp Bizkit CDs you've been accumulating will make excellent drink coasters. Oh, hell, who am I kidding, they don't even make that good of coasters. But I want to thank the hundreds of you who e-mailed to tell me about your first listen to LATERALUS. Here's one from Kyle - a most enthusiastic thumbs up judging by all the exclamation marks - 22 in all if I've counted correctly:
The initial euphoria was short lived however. In about the amount of time as it takes for the traffic lights in L.A. to turn green before the driver behind you honks their horn (usually a monstrous S.U.V with an anorexic chick and her pet Chihuahua as my friend Kippy likes to gripe), the tone changed to moans and groans about the lack of tickets for the U.S. warm-up shows: Here's an example:
Suffice it to say, there will be an American tour with many dates and larger venues. I think the four warm-up shows were only added to raise gas money for the bus on the European tour. So, there's no need to panic - they'll be coming to your town. Once the American tour begins in earnest and you do get a chance to see the band perform live, some of you might notice the new PANTACLES (not to be confused with a pentacle) on stage where the old Enochian SIGILLUM DEI AEMETH used to reside. These incredible magickal machines are the brainchild of Ryan McCliment (along with Danny), an initiate of the P.U.P. who recently disappeared from the Tool camp without any explanation. It's my belief, however, that Ryan took off to some secluded location, perhaps in the Pacific Northwest, in order to attempt an operation of ceremonial magic known as the Abra-melin ritual. The meditational practices of this particular system of magical attainment are some of the most challenging (and dangerous) of all operations, requiring 6 month's seclusion to complete the rites. This was the operation, which Crowley attempted to carry out from his manor house at Boleskine in Scotland - the same residence which Led Zeppelin guitarist Jimmy Page later purchased (but never lived in and has since sold). For whatever reason, Crowley abandoned the Abra-melin Operation; a decision that many believe may have had adverse effects on his magical life. Well, at least we know where the Loch Ness monster came from. Hopefully, if Ryan is attempting these rites, he will prove himself to be a worthy candidate and not suffer the same consequences. So, here's to a successful completion. (I just took a swig from a tepid can of Coors).
I've received several e-mails about the "Riders of the Storm" bit in the last issue. People wanted me to know that The Doors wrote the song and not members of Creed, a fact that I was well aware of, having seen Jim Morrison and company perform in the 60s. Hey, I just wanted to say something positive about the band doing the cover.
But why nobody wrote to slam me for misspelling "ouija" board I can't figure out. Here was your big chance to drub the occult historian. The only appropriate thing to do was to shamefully march myself to the back of the class, trading my star and moon-spangled wizard's cap for the peaked cap of a dunce (easy to do with some paint). Sitting at my desk there in the back, I made some new friends. We smoked blunts of pencil-shavings until the bell shattered our reverie.
Q & A:
Q: Do aliens like strawberry ice cream while listening to Ravi Shankar?
A: I am very familiar with this belief, although it was strawberry ice cream and ancient Tibetan music. I was in attendance at a conference back in the 80s when the aviary of government informers first made this outrageous claim. This was actually a bit of disinformation that was perpetrated on the researchers of the MJ-12 documents, namely William Moore and company. (NOTE: the MJ-12 documents were purported to be top secret briefing papers from then president Truman to president-elect Eisenhower concerning the crash/retrieval of an alien module and its occupants found in the deserts of New Mexico in 1947). The idea of the strawberry ice cream thing was a ploy to taint or discredit the true information - in this case, the MJ-12 documents themselves - with some silly nonsense so that the researchers would look like fools in the eyes of the American public. This is a favorite tactic of alphabet soup agencies and UFO debunkers to discredit serious researchers and the subject matter itself. A lot of nuttiness surrounding the UFO field is placed there intentionally so that the average person (who doesn't have or take the time to check out the facts) will come to believe that the entire field is a bunch of garbage, although, in fairness to the government agencies, there are plenty of "saucer nuts" who need no prompting by the CIA. But, if the aliens do like strawberry ice cream and Ravi Shankar, they would surely have checked out Danny's tabla teacher, Aloke Dutta. Recently, I've been getting e-mails from drummers (as well as some bass players) regarding Aloke's books and video on tabla. Instead of responding to you individually, I've decided to post the information so you can purchase them directly from the master, himself. For ordering information write to his e-mail address, firstname.lastname@example.org. Aloke has written two books on tabla in English: One for the beginning and intermediate level, and the other one for the advanced level. However, the instructional video is for all levels.
Q: Did I happen to see you in a Long John Silvers in Grand Rapids Mi?
A: Yep. At first I found it kind of embarrassing to wear the uniform - you know, the whole pirates motif thing, but then I came to realize that the Jolly Rogers skull-and-crossbones was a device of the Knights Templar. What's this, Blair, a connection between pirates and the Knight's Templar? Yeah, that's right. For those who don't know, the Templars were accused of heresy by the pope and king of France (the items listed included spitting and urinating on the cross at secret ceremonies and worshipping a demonic power called Baphomet). After their arrests on that fateful day of Friday the 13th, October 1307(the real reason Friday the 13th is considered unlucky), those who had advanced warning managed to escape the flames of the Inquisition and elude the king's soldiers, disappearing along with the Order's legendary treasure via a fleet of 18 ships harbored at the seaport of La Rochelle in France. Some may have sailed to Scotland where they found sanctuary, but others could have taken to the high seas as outlaws, eventually becoming "pirates" who sought revenge on their enemies, the king and pope. Besides the glory of the Templar connection, also I get to eat all the crispy fried dough and mojos drenched in malt vinegar that my little heart desires. The only bitch is having to commute 5 days a week from L.A. on Long John Silvers' low pay.
Q: Okay, I know that in the past couple of days you've probably gotten this e-mail 100 times, but I was wondering what Faaip De Oiad meant? I tried translating it at the Altavista translator in the 7 or so languages it gave me, and then tried reversing it. I'm wondering what it meant, but if it gives away too much, and this is something that would be better if I found out on my own expedition, then I guess don't tell me. Any help with that and the entire track would be helpful...
A: Well, my friend, this is your lucky day. The title is in the Enochian or Angelic language and translates roughly to "The Voice of God." We've already covered some of this material, but since so many people wanted to hear more about the Area 51 episode, and since late-night radio talk-show host Art Bell has been commenting on this himself, here's basically what happened: Having myself made many trips to Area 51 at a time before it became a household word, Danny Carey and Mother Goose (of Zaum, Lusk and Gun 'N Roses fame) accompanied me out there one night back in April of 1995. Due to the fact that Tool was rehearsing earlier that evening, we got a late start on our trip and didn't arrive at our destination until well after midnight. Normally, I would have driven another 29 miles to the small cluster of trailer-homes known as Rachel, Nevada to check in with Joe and Pat Travis at the Little Ale'Inn. There, over a few beers, I would have been brought up to speed on the latest news concerning the base. For many years I'd been hearing about the impending land grab in which the powers that be were going to seize an additional 3,972 acres of public land so as to keep people away from the two viewpoints on "Freedom Ridge" and "Whitesides."
From these advantage points one could (as I often did) spy on the mysterious military installation known as Area 51 or Dreamland. However, as I said, we arrived after midnight, and I knew the Inn closed around Ten p.m. So, with Philip Glass's "THOUSAND AIRPLANES ON THE ROOF" blasting on our car stereo, we started down the 13.8 miles of dusty gravel track known as Groom Lake Road, all the while tripping remote sensors and dodging myriads of jack-rabbits darting in front of our headlights. (NOTE: one of great dangers in the area are cattle which wander in front of cars. According to locals there are two kinds - tans ones during the day, and black ones at night). While kicking up plumes of plutonium-laden dust, we rapidly approached the border where armed security personnel in white Jeep Cherokees crowned with light bars would be waiting to greet us just out of sight. Before hitting the border, we made a right onto the track leading to a small ridge called "Campfire Hill" where we stopped and set up a tent. It was now after 1 A.M when Danny and I decided to begin our 45-minute hike up to Freedom Ridge. As it was bitter cold in the high desert on this night, Ma Goose decided to wait in his van to do some sky-watching (he had already viewed the base with me from the "bleachers" on several occasions before). Almost immediately after Danny and I began the steep climb, I began to sense that something was wrong. With my flashlight beam, I couldn't find any of the Joshua trees that had been marked with yellow ribbons to help guide the hiker up the trail which at times runs very close to the restricted zone - itself only marked by a series of small orange posts which are nearly impossible to see at night. (NOTE: Area 51 pioneer Glenn Campbell had originally marked the Joshua trees with "environmentally friendly" yellow and pink ribbons or surveyor's tape so that they could be better seen at night. Although the cammo dudes (security personnel) had regularly removed these, Glen or someone else was just as quick to put up new ones. In fact, I had recently marked the trail with "flashlight-friendly" metallic gold ribbon after having had trouble finding the yellow-ribbons and, at times, found myself dangerously close to the orange posts, sometimes not being sure on which side of them I was! (NOTE: Along with orange posts every 50 feet, the restricted area is (was) also marked every quarter mile or so with large silver globes on top of tall poles. These are either cameras or ammonia detectors, which are used to distinguish animal from human intruders). As I paused to try and get my bearings, Danny continued to climb haphazardly, purple magic marker in his pocket to write his name on the register - a large rock at the summit. Catching up to him, I began to explain that things didn't look right - that something had changed. Suddenly, there was a deep voice in the pitch blackness, "gentlemen, you're going to jail." It was a cammo dude right next to us, pointing his automatic weapon at us. Neither of us heard him, and he was standing only feet away. Despite our protests, we were made to lie on the desert floor while he searched our backpack. Within seconds, the lights of three jeeps flooded us, bringing a few more of these goons of a satellite government into the picture. Convinced we weren't "Iraqi spies" one of the cams informed us that "the smoking light was on", meaning that if we wanted a smoke, we could light up. Instead, we requested to be able to put our hands on the warm hood of the Cherokee as it was freezing cold. This small favor we were granted, as the cammo dude informed us that the deputy Sheriff of Alamo, a small town some hour away, was on his way to get us. The cam seemed to take pleasure in the fact that the deputy would probably not be in the best of moods after having to drive to the middle of nowhere in the early hours of morning.
For us the adventure continued that afternoon, but that's another story for another issue. When we threatened to get lawyers and take the matter to court, the prosecutor offered to cut the fines in half. If we decided to go to court, the powers that be would have to admit we were trespassing on the base that didn't exist. Rather than pay lawyers, and have to drive hundreds of miles, we each paid the bastards their $300.00.
At this point you might be thinking to yourself, hmmm, that doesn't sound so bad for being detained behind the restricted zone of Area 51, a place where the use of deadly force is authorized. The truth is, we weren't treated too badly, but consider this: we were still some 12 miles from the actual base itself. If the security was this tight around the buffer zone, imagine what might happen to someone who actually made it to the base. Another thing to consider was the date that this occurred. By 1995 the base had become fairly well known due in part to the media attention generated by researchers like Glenn Campbell. The cams themselves were probably instructed to keep a low profile, so as not to draw any further negative publicity to the place. Prior to all the publicity, I can guarantee you things were quite different with the level of intimidation much greater. Years before Danny and I were detained, I had made the same trip with another friend. Having earlier in the night climbed Freedom Ridge to take a peek at the lights of the base, all the while being shadowed by the cammo dudes who even filmed our every move, we were sitting in our lawn chairs back on "Campfire Hill", just talking and enjoying the starry night sky when suddenly something very strange occurred. The next thing I knew, I was awakened by my friend's voice, finding myself lying inside my tent. He poked his head into the tent and uttered something like "you're going to be sick" at which point I heaved into a plastic bag he was holding open for me. Moments earlier, he had woke up inside his own tent and was violently ill, having no memory of how he got there either. The taste in my mouth was unlike anything I had previously known, although it reminded me of the fumes of charcoal lighter fluid. We still don't know what caused us to lose consciousness or, for that matter, who placed us in our respective tents, but it's my belief that the cams had gassed us without our being aware of it. It could be that they were testing some black project at the base, and didn't want any spectators, or maybe it was just an exercise on their part in case they ever needed to deal with potential spectators. It is even possible that the cams were bored and just having some fun at our expense. But several months later I read a similar account by a couple of Area 51 investigators who where sitting on the same hill and suddenly found themselves waking up in their chairs with no idea of what happened. Later these guys claimed to have been gassed, which was what led me to believe that's what might have happened to us. The only other explanation is one I don't want to consider, and besides, we weren't missing that much time.
Today, things are much different out in "Dreamland" or whatever they're now calling it. The lonely stretch of road that takes you to Groom Lake Road has been re-named "The Extraterrestrial Highway" although a lot of people claim that the base has been shut down because it's no longer a secret location. I rather doubt this is the case. I was there not too long ago and encountered the same cammo dudes in their white Jeep Cherokees. They were merely better hidden and took some serious provoking to show themselves. Some investigators are going to the wrong location - they stop in front of the gate of a local cattle rancher, believing this to be the abandoned guard shack of the base! If anything, the base is probably expanding. I know the gift-shop at the Little Ale'Inn is. Where there is now hundreds of Area 51-related merchandize to buy, when I first walked into the place, they only had one item for sale. This was a bumper sticker that said AREA 51 VISITORS PASS and depicted an alien eating ice cream. Although the sticker was in blue and white, I assume this was strawberry ice cream.
In the next issue, I'll fill you in on how the European tour is going. While there, I also plan on visiting Rennes-le-Chateau, so maybe they'll be new information on that front as well.