Satanic Ritual Abuse

Between 1980 and 1995 a ‘moral panic’ originating in a falsified autobiography swept through the USA and beyond, known at the time as ‘Satanic Ritual Abuse‘.  Whilst by the end of this panic the phenomena was exposed as the defamatory anti-occultist and anti-pagan propaganda of fundamentalist Christianity, for a time it was taken seriously by the media and authorities and before it was discredited many victims suffered lengthy trails, wrongful imprisonment and loss of employment.  Other pagan families had their children taken into care merely on the basis of their religion.

At the root of this moral panic was fundamentalist belief or scare story of a worldwide satanic conspiracy, a belief in a satanic New World Order that persists even to this day.  When you look more deeply at these conspiracy theories you will find that at their root they are merely a code for antisemetism, of the kind that has its roots in the forged ‘Protocols of the Elders of Zion‘. This was exposed as a hoax pretty quickly after it was first published in 1903, but that hasn’t stopped antisemites using it in their propaganda ever since, including Hitler who publicised it as a valid document and had it taught in German class rooms.

One might go further back and compare the scare to the witch trails, or even further to the accusations against the Knights Templar (basically that they had converted to Islam).  These scare stories tend to be used by authoritarian power seekers in order to dupe the public into supporting their rise to power and accepting their draconian measures in order to defeat a perceived (though imaginary) greater threat.

I had all but forgotten about the SRA scare until I was informed by friends that a certain someone, who I will refer to as N accused me, along with a host of other people, of taking part in such an event that was supposed to have occurred back in 2004. The supposed victim of this ‘black mass’ being O, the son of his girlfriend J.

The accusation basically boils down to a list of people that N and J have fallen out with over the years for who knows what reasons. At best, this is a disturbing paranoid fantasy, at worst this is a deliberate and psychopathic attempt to defame all his (perceived) enemies and to manipulate others into doing them harm.

To be clear, and to expose the absurdity of this list, it includes:
PM: An ex lover of N.  I knew him in the past, but have been involved in no sexual context with them.

NW: An ex lover of N, with whom he fought a bitter custody battle over their daughter, R. I knew her. She was my mentor in Chaos Magick.  I’ve been involved in no sexual context with them. NW is close friends with PM, which probably goes some way to explaining N‘s animosity to PM also. She hasn’t really talked to me properly since around 2001 because I tried to remain neutral in her fight with N, and as a consequence hasn’t trusted me since then. Unfortunately this lead me to being closer friends with N since that time.

PP: An ex hetero lover of J, and father of O.  I understand only that J left PP for N, after N presided as priest in a Wiccan handfasting ceremony for them. I met this guy once, when he was still with J. I was introduced to both himself and J by N during a public witchcraft conference in Croydon. N told me of his intentions to take J away from PP at the time. This is the only time I ever met PP. I don’t even recall what he looks like.

A&A: The mother and step-father of N.  I’ve only ever met them in the presence of both N. Quite why he has fallen out with them enough to include them on this list, I simply don’t know.

AL: Another ex of N. Her current partner is also mentioned, although not in name.  I have no idea who this is, whether they are male or female or whether N even knows them. I’ve only met her when she was the partner of N. Doesn’t get on with NW as far as I’m aware, or at least she didn’t at the time.

JV: Co-wrote a book with NW. No idea what relationship he has to N otherwise. Presumably just guilty and deserving of being listed by professional association with a perceived enemy.

JH: An ex of mine. Was friends with N for a long time.  Apparently no longer. I have no idea what they fell out over. JH really doesn’t like NW or AL, so the chance of these three being in the same room is pretty remote, let alone conspiring anything together.

MM: Publisher of N‘s book. N holds grudge against MM for later publishing chaos magic books by authors that N doesn’t like, including JV and NW.  Also published my first book.  I’ve met him a few times at pagan markets and occult talks.

RH: I have no idea who this is. Shares surname with N. Maybe his biological dad? I know he holds grudge against biological father for being a millionaire and not providing him with a trust fund.  Claims dad blew fortune on cocaine and whores without giving him any of it. But given his trustworthiness (or lack thereof) on other matters, who knows if N‘s dad was ever actually rich. I certainly don’t.  Whether his dad or not, I don’t know this person.

CB: Another person I’ve never met and don’t know. Claims they are jailed for life. Possibly included in an attempt to lend credence to the claims if CB is jailed for paedophilia or something similar.

These claims, though absurd are no laughing matter.  When people like N make false allegations like this they make genuine cases of child abuse harder to prosecute.  Just as false allegations of rape make it harder for real victims of rape to get justice or be taken seriously.  By playing on peoples superstitious fear of minority spiritual traditions, they also try to slander these traditions with wild unsubstantiated claims, which leads to religious hatred, bigotry and persecution. The Romans made such claims about the early Christians. The Christians made such claims about heretics and witches. The Nazi’s and Fascists made such claims about the Jews.  That these claims originate from within the occult community this time, rather than authoritarian fundamentalists with a political agenda of defamation against us, makes this behaviour all the more abhorrent.

I ended my friendship with N several years ago, by simply disappearing out of his life. I had pretty much forgotten about him and was quietly getting on with my own life.  Quite why he sees fit to include me in his list, I had no idea. I suppose I knew he’d do this eventually. He even threatened me back when we were still ‘friends’ that he’d make such claims if I didn’t do as he said. This is partly why I ended our friendship in the first place. Other than that, his paranoid behaviour, which when I first met him I mistook for depression, became more and more extreme, increasingly manifesting in violent outbursts, incoherent rants and occasionally physical violence. The man I had mistaken for a victim suffering from a mix of depression and anger against those that hurt him, I came to realise was actually exhibiting psychopathic behaviour. By this, I mean anyone that knows him well enough would tick most, if not all, of the boxes on the checklist of psychopathic traits.  Obviously this isn’t a clinical diagnosis, I’m not a qualified psychologist, but for me it does ring alarm bells.  Nor is it as far fetched a speculation as it might first appear. Apparently around 4% of people have antisocial personality, which is slightly higher than the rate for anorexia. Notably, the list of psychopathic traits includes pathological lying.

Whilst I’m on the subject of psychopathy, I think people really should study the subject, familiarise themselves with the manipulation techniques they use, because ignorance of these really does make you more vulnerable. With antisocial personality and related disorders so common, arming yourself with knowledge of these tricks really will make you safer, and your life better. Society should stop stigmatising the study of psychopathy as the preserve of goths, weirdos  and fans of horror thrillers. Psychopathic killers make up only a small fraction of all psychopaths, but all of them can make your life hell if you don’t know how to stop them.

After sifting through a lot of spam messages on this site, I came across some anonymous hate messages, obviously from N, that reveal that he mistakenly thinks I’m back in contact with the IOT, or even that I’ve rejoined that Chaos Magic order. The reason being some of the people in the list above are members of said organisation. Apparently that is enough of a crime in his mind to justify the above slanderous accusations. Perhaps I also irked him because I recently speculated positively about the book by NW and JV, and spurned an opportunity to meet with him in Bristol when I was passing through in August.

My parents and Grant Morrison, MBEs

It came as quite a surprise to me but my parents have been awarded MBE’s for their services to children and families.  Now it happens I think Britain deserves better than a medieval hereditary dictatorship for its head of state.  I haven’t gone as far as joining Republic (yet) although I agree with many of their points.  But I hold no animosity towards the Royal family as people and if they wish to recognise the hard work and dedication my parents have put in improving the lives of many children and their families, not just as part of their job but beyond maintaining friendships with many of the people they fostered long after they have grown up and become adults and my parents have no financial reward for continuing to support them, then I think that’s great.

Mum, Dad, I am proud of you both.  I was anyway, an award from the Queen doesn’t change that, but I’m happy to see you both recognised in this way.

Also recognised with an MBE is comic writer Grant Morrison.  I’d love to meet the guy myself but it seems my parents might beat me to it.  I feel slightly jealous of that!  But it does feel slightly odd that Mr Morrison has gained such an award given the political tone of his comics.  And given that he once portrayed the Queen and her government naked and cowering.  And the plot of the Invisibles did seem to involve a hideous man eating monster being in line for the throne if I remember correctly.  Despite the overall promotion of anarchist politics and chaos magic in the series.

Everything feels really weird and dreamlike at the moment.  Like I might wake up tomorrow and find I dreamt all this…

Looking for my articles?

Well they’ve moved.  I’ve decided to give this site a long overdue clean up and reorganisation.  The first step has been to migrate most of the articles over to along with my other articles that already have a home there.  From now on I plan to reserve this site for news of my books, talks and events I’m attending.

How to beat Google at search using Emergence

How hard can it be?
Well for a corporation very hard. But fortunately my solution to this problem that seems to be vexing everyone lately doesn’t rely on a corporate sponsor, and places the future of web search in OUR hands.

My vision of search is that each website takes a small share of responsibility, indexing sites that website finds relevant and/or useful and sharing its results with other search engines that request the info via a standard API, much like blogs share feeds using standards such as RSS and ATOM. Each webmaster can control how much weight to give to each set of imported results in comparison to sites it indexes itself and how the results are merged. I have the following basic vision, but as different developers get involved in ironing out the final details of the standard things may change. None the less the basic principles of my idea are as follows:

Each search engine should accept requests in either/both http and/or https, probably with search parameters passed in the query string. The results then get sent back in an standard XML format, which may look something like:

<results source="">
	<site weight="200" url="" title="Example Results">
		<favicon url="" />
		<page weight="150" url="" title="">
			<match><title>This title contains the search terms</title></match>
			<match><p>This paragraph contains one of the search terms</p></match>
			<match><img src="someimage.jpg" alt="This image description contains one of the search terms" /></match>
		<page weight="150" url="">
			<match><p>This paragraph contains one of the search terms</p></match>
	<site ...>

With the API open, different CMS systems can be developed that both index selected sites and process results from other search engines that implement the API. Each CMS can process the results in their own way, and allow the webmaster to configure various options in their own way also. For example, they can either integrate imported results, show them separately in a side panel or some mixture of the two depending on source. They can determine whether to show multiple results for one site or whether to group them. They may be configured to show country of the webserver of each result, or warnings if they appear on a malware list, or any other number of options. They may have options for doing image search, or map results etc, linking to whatever service they choose for these specialist searches.

A basic CMS may involve no login at all, with configuration handled via a file, whilst others may implement the API as a plugin to existing CMS systems such as WordPress, Elgg, MediaWiki or whatever. Some may allow each logged in user to configure their own preferences and weightings, suggest relevant sites to index, report sites as spam, etc.

More complex dedicated search systems may themselves allow plugins or feature advanced options. This may include scraping results from existing search engines such as Google, Bing and Yahoo, in the manner that <a href=”https://scroogle”>Scroogle</a> currently does with Google results. Again these results may have weightings applied to them by the webmasters.

A distributed solution to search means we don’t have to have massive datacenters under our control in order to compete with Google, each of us can take responsibility for indexing portions of the web important to ourselves, and share that data with each other freely for the benefit of all. To make a distributed system work we don’t need to abandon the huge stores of data provided by google until we are ready, we can in the mean time scrape from them, but ultimately a distributed system, based on qualified trust, should prove better at promoting sites that are useful over sites with good SEO but useless content.

Google is becoming less and less useful as each search tends to produce 100 sites all with the same article scraped from wikipedia, interspersed with adfarms, and I can’t help think such sites wouldn’t make it to prominence in the distributed model, as it won’t be in any webmasters interest to index useless sites. Unlike google who actually profit from many of the adfarms that host google advertisements. But yet despite this I fail to see why Microsoft or Yahoo would prove better, as both also suffer from corrupt corporate agendas. Rather than looking for another closed top-down corporate ‘saviour’ to rescue us from the latest tyrant, I believe a bottom up emergent approach can prove not only successful, but also something that will become the dominant means of doing search.

Doesn’t this exist already?
Often when I come up with a good idea, I’m not surprised to find that something like it already exists.  However I can’t find anything quite like this idea at present, although some similar Peer-to-Peer based systems exist, such as FAROO and YaCy.  However I don’t see P2P as quite the solution, as this involves each user installing software on their own computer.  My proposed web based model lacks this requirement and thus has quite a few advantages, without precluding the idea of programs users can install that integrate searches from various sites.  Also, the above proposed model precludes the ability for malicious links to be injected, as webmasters who index such sites will unlikely be trusted by others, and users will likely not use engines that fail to exclude such links.

Happy 999 Balloons and Engagement

After a wonderful first year living together, Lolita Perdurabo and I decided to get engaged for alchemycal wedding. We first announced this engagement to our families whilst visiting Krakow around the Summer Solstice. Here Lolita found my engagement ring, and we held a party with her family. Later I bought her ring in Plymouth when where we held a party with my family. Hopefully we can arrange for both families to meet for the actual wedding.

Also in Krakow we rode on the Balloon they have there. Later here in Bristol we enjoyed watching the balloon fest with a sky full of Balloons, so in our party in Plymouth we included a helium heart balloon as part of the decoration. A couple of weeks later and it still floats and we decided to release it today, at 9 minutes past 9pm BST on the date of 09/09/09. It floated off into the night and became a star!

Birth Canal Surf Anniversary

(With thanks to Ju-Ju Hound for the words in the title, which I have cheekily stolen without permission…)

Yeah, now 35 and enjoying a birthday Saturday morning listening to my vinyl collection.  I still find it more satisfying to play records than CDs or computer files (whether they be ogg vorbis, or mp3 or whatever).  Have a full bank holiday weekend stretched out ahead of me and various creative projects I am working on (although nothing I’m ready to reveal publicly just yet).