Volume 3 of The Heretic Magazine is now available for sale, and returns with another stellar line-up of material from the likes of Robert Schoch, Tim Wallace-Murphy, Mark Oxbrow and Robert Eisenman. The Heretic is a magazine project created by two of our good friends, editor Andrew Gough and designer Mark James Foster (Mark has worked on Darklore with me, and was also the designer behind Sub Rosa, so you'll definitely get a similar vibe to some of TDG's own projects).
Our current edition contains 16 lushly designed articles written by a variety of cross disciplinary experts and subject area enthusiasts in the fields of Alternative History, Lost Civilisations and Technologies, Mysteries and Conundrums, Rennes-le-Château, the Occult, Politics, Science and more. No magazine offers more specialized esoteric content than The Heretic.
Edited and collated by Andrew Gough, Volume 3 features (alphabetically) Sol Aris, Dawn Bramadat, Miguel Conner, Peter Cresswell, Robert Eisenman, Ralph Ellis, Robert Feather, Brien Foerster, Mark Foster, Andrew Gough, Mark Oxbrow, Jack Minier, Tim Wallace-Murphy, Madlen Namro, Margaret Robertson, Robert Schoch and Richard Webster. Once again we have compiled a bumper crop of thought-provoking articles and features.
Our latest edition is available NOW in two digital formats: firstly as a multi-touch iBook for iPad and secondly as a Kindle edition. The two versions are very different and the richest experience will be gained from the iPad version. We have designed the magazine primarily for the iPad, but are also offering the Kindle edition for those readers who are interested in our content, yet do not own an iPad.
The Heretic's website has direct links for purchasing the magazine from both the iTunes store and various Amazons around the world.
[Visit The Heretic Magazine]
Poets and space opera writers take note: tears don't fall in space.
Eight fascinating topics that should be in the next Dan Brown book
Dan Brown and his publishers have released a limited amount of information about his upcoming novel Inferno, most notably that it will be set in the Italian city of Florence, and that it will involve one of the great pieces of literature, the Inferno by Dante Alighieri (the first part of his Divine Comedy). Florence is a fantastic location for a novel: Dante, Michelangelo, Galileo, da Vinci and Machiavelli all hailed from the city, and as the 'birthplace of the Renaissance' under the patronage of the Medici family, it is filled with architectural and artistic treasures. But beyond some of the obvious locations, such as the great cathedral that dominates the city sky-line, the Duomo, a little detective work can unveil some other fantastic elements that would make great topics to explore in a Brownian type novel. I've done exactly that in my ebook, Inside Dan Brown's Inferno, from which I've selected just eight topics below that I think Dan Brown will likely feature in his book – if he doesn't, you'd almost have to feel that he hasn't done his homework…
Dan Brown's novels are often seen as 'giving the bird' to the Catholic Church, and in Inferno he has the opportunity to use the middle finger of one of the greatest scientists in history. If Dan Brown's main character Robert Langdon ends up at the Galileo Museum, bordering the Arno River, he could point out a number of historical treasures, including Galileo's telescope, through which the genius Florentine discovered the moons of Jupiter and the phases of Venus, both of which offered support for the (at the time) heretical Copernican theory that the Earth revolved around the Sun. But perhaps more fitting of a Dan Brown novel are the three fingers of the great man, preserved within elegant egg-shaped glass containers, that are on display in the museum. Will Galileo point the way for Langdon to solve a puzzle?
The publication date for Dan Brown's Inferno is May 14, 2013, or 5.14.13. Turn that around, and you get 3.14.15, the first five digits of pi.* Add to that the fact that a cryptic clue on Dan Brown's website is comprised of the words 'Tarty Sect' and we definitely start wondering whether Pythagoras and sacred geometry are going to feature in some way: 'Tarty Sect' could be rewritten Pie Sect, a pun suggesting the Pythagorean cult, and what's more 'Tarty Sect' is an anagram of 'Tectractys' - the symbol of the Pythagoreans, a triangle made of subsequent lines of 1 point, 2 points, 3 points and 4 points.* A number of the great Renaissance minds of Florence held Pythagoras in great esteem, so there's definitely a link worth exploiting there for Dan Brown. Additionally, the number 33, often linked to the Pythagoreans, ... Read More »
“The higher the sun ariseth, the less shadow doth he cast…”
- The heartbeat of el Sol.
- The coming solar storms.
- 1600 years of ice... Gone in 25 years. More.
- Science versus Conspiracy.
- Something from nothing.
- Red dwarf validates Einstein.
- Quantum cryptography, courtesy of Heisenberg.
- The next bird flu.
- 'Y: The Last Man' takes on new relevance.
- To save the bees…
- Breathing life into computers.
- Giant tarantula added to nightmare cache.
- Dreamscape, realized.
- The Big Bang, in hi-fi.
- Touching the Milky Way.
- The mystery of Tiwanaku.
- Building living tissue, one 3-D printer at a time.
- New UFO documentary makes bold claim.
- Past voices still haunt present day.
- Breaths as unique as fingerprints.
- Watch Star Wars I-VI, unspool simultaneously. Untrained Jedi minds be forewarned.
- This week’s evidence of the looming robo-pocalypse… Killer ‘bots.
Quote of the Day:
“…Even so the greater is the goodness, the less doth it covet praise; yet cannot avoid its rewards in honours.”
Cat Vincent recently reviewed The Forbidden Book, by Joscelyn Godwin, Guido Mina di Sospiro, for us here on TDG. And Cat makes it plain in his review that the book was not up his alley. But I've also heard from others whose opinion I trust that they enjoyed the book, so - as with most books, music and movies - there's no doubt plenty of subjectivity involved with opinions. So, in the interests of fairness, above is the video trailer for The Forbidden Book, which features some of the praise given to the novel. If you've read the book, feel free to comment below with your own thoughts, or below Cat's original review.
So a gateway to Hell was reportedly discovered, and not long after that Disney shuts down LucasArts. Coincidence?? I THINK NOT!!!!!
- Terence McKenna, the Internet's favorite psychonaut, died 13 years ago. To commemorate him here's his last talk, recorded in 2000 at Palenque.
- Graham Hancock discusses the recent TEDx brouhaha on the Disinfo podcast.
- Dark matter is about to get a whole lot lighter.
- (VIDEO) Curiosity's parachute caught flapping by the Martian winds.
- Steven Greer is about to reveal his alien Mini-Me on a UFO documentary. Fiji mermaid 2.0?
- The Citizen Hearing on Disclosure: because high-ranking witnesses speaking before former members of Congress is REALLY gonna make a difference...
- The Paracast interviews Dr. Roger Leir on the controversial subject of alien implants.
- Ghost strips family naked every night. My kind of afterlife!
- An eerie phone call from beyond the grave? I hope it wasn't collect...
- How to connect telepathically with your dog. Maybe it works both ways, 'cause right now I feel this urge to lick my balls...
- This humongous new tarantula discovered in Sri Lanka is the reason God gave us napalm.
- 20-inch-tall pygmies spotted in Sumatra. Asian leprechauns or Orang Pendeks?
- Dr. Melba Ketchum finds April fools' unamusing. She on the other hand wants to extract the DNA from an ancient baby giant & the shroud of Turin. Jesus was a dwarf Bigfoot???
- Australian billionaire wants life-size dinosaur robots for theme park. Westworld meets Jurassic Park!
- It's a crime for 12-year-olds to read the New York Times online. Don't worry kids: reading TDG will only earn you an open file with the NSA.
- Red Pill of the Day: Sex, lies & MRI scans.
Thanks to Perceval, and to Terence & the dribbling Machine Elves.
Quote of the Day:
“The syntactical nature of reality, the real secret of magic, is that the world is made of words. And if you know the words that the world is made of, you can make of it whatever you wish.”
The above documentary, "The Occult Experience", is a 1985 feature examining occult practices across the world during the 1980s. Researched and produced by Australian occult scholar Nevill Drury, it features the likes of Anton LaVey, Michael Harner, Margot Adler, H.R. Giger and Michael Aquino, discussing Satanism, Wicca and other esoteric 'traditions'. Watching it from our current vantage point 30 years on, there's a certain cringe factor to a number of the segments, but it's still a fascinating picture of the occult community at the time.
Fast forward to the current day, and Reality Sandwich is featuring a discussion between Mitch Horowitz and Richard Smoley on the 'State of the Occult 2013'. It's interesting to see the opinions of those in the 1985 documentary, as well as surmise their underlying motivations, and compare to the commentary in the Reality Sandwich piece:
Horowitz: A topic that comes up every now and then is whether we are poised for some sort of an occult revival in the early 21st century. I'm of different minds about it, frankly. A couple of years ago when people would ask me if I saw a new occult revival on the horizon I would say no. I absolutely did not. In fact, I was very concerned that large precincts of the New Age were giving themselves over to conspiracy theories, to a certain degree of paranoia, and other outposts of the New Age just couldn't run away fast enough from terms like New Age or occult or ESP, and they were desperate to try to appear serious, or to try one last ditch effort to make themselves appealing to the New York Times Book Review, which I'm afraid is never really going to work out.
And yet maybe, maybe I feel a little less grave about things today than I did a couple of years ago, if only because, by whatever labels people live under, I do see a lot of people in this country very freely adapting practices and ideas from different religious traditions and fashioning something very personal out of it all. Of course critics or cynics refer to this as "cafeteria religion," and yet I find something very appealing about what people critically call cafeteria religion.
I think we are living in an age of dissemination right now. This is not an age of secrecy, I don't think it's an age of large organizations, and I don't think it's an age of great teachers, but it is an age in which ideas are dispersed to large numbers of people and ingathered in new ways. I find in my own life, for example, a deep interest in meditation, a deep interest in the writings of Transcendentalism, a deep interest in the ideas of Gurdjieff and Ouspensky, an interest in the writings of a brilliant spiritual thinker, who was not widely known, who died in 1992, named Vernon Howard. I find some of these things permeate my own family life, too. So if there's any part of me that feels there's something fresh bubbling up, it's in this determination with which people around the world, where they're able to, are selecting among different spiritual traditions, and doing so with great vigor. I'm interested to see what comes out of that.
Is the occult scene moving forward, or is it a stagnant pond full of rotting ideas? Feel free to share your thoughts.
- DNA transistors are one example of how future computers will take many different forms.
- The aliens beat us to it: does the terrestrial genetic code contain a "Wow! signal" (pdf)?
- Richard Smoley and Mitch Horowitz discuss the state of the occult: 2013.
- 12 million Americans believe lizard people run the country.
- Why rain smells so good.
- Can music be more effective than drugs?
- How to produce a 3D printed skeleton from a CT scan of a living animal.
- Robot dragonfly takes to the air.
- Astrophysicist uses statistics to seek Shakespeare's identity.
- How parallel universes actually work.
- The cursed ring that may have inspired Tolkien.
- C. S. Lewis and H. P. Lovecraft on loathing and longing for alien worlds.
- English farmer makes vodka from cow's milk.
- Ham press turns out to be $5M meteorite.
- A couple of days late for this but: Conspiratorial cosmology - the case against the Universe, from the Journal of Comparative Irrelevance (pdf).
Quote of the Day:
"Our lives are about development, mutation and the possibility of change; that is almost a definition of what life is: change... If you disable change, if you effectively stop time, if you prevent the possibility of the alteration of an individual's circumstances — and that must include at least the possibility that they alter for the worse — then you don't have life after death; you just have death."
Iain Banks, Look to Windward
In the TEDx Talk embedded above, visionary artist Alex Grey gives a touching and humorous account of his journey as an artist, his metamorphosis from depressed loner to spiritually fulfilled family man, and the power of creativity, spirituality, and art in transforming our world through the transformation of human consciousness. It is inspiring and thought-provoking. And, if the recent TED debacle involving talks by Graham Hancock and Rupert Sheldrake are anything to go by, it will soon be removed from YouTube by TED, due to Alex discussing 'pseudoscientific' ideas such as psychic energies, global consciousness and the power of prayer, as well as 'promoting' the use of illicit drugs such as LSD and ayahuasca.
Now to be clear: I am not challenging TED to take this talk down in order to maintain consistency with the previous action of removing talks by Hancock and Sheldrake! Quite the opposite in fact. What it again highlights though, I think, is how badly TED got it wrong with the previous talks, and it goes back to the original decision that they needed to 'patrol' TEDx talks (which are talks given at independently organised events, sanctioned under the umbrella of the well-respected - at least until recently - TED brand name) for 'pseudoscientific' ideas. TED stands for 'Technology, Entertainment, Design', and their tagline is "Ideas worth spreading". I'm not sure at what stage they shifted to feeling like they were a promoter for orthodox scientific thought, but it was a strange leap to make...some of their most popular talks have featured more spiritual and emotional topics, such as Jill Bolte Taylor's presentation about her experience of having a stroke, and Elizabeth Gilbert's call to return to the concept of 'muses', with an explicit challenge to modern, rational philosophy.
Now, as I said previously, TED has to be allowed to protect its brand name and reputation - even Rupert Sheldrake agrees that "there's a lot of rubbish and there has to be some kind of filter". Where TED got it wrong though is in reacting to pressure from orthodox (and in some cases, militant/fundamentalist) science advocates, and deciding they had to remove anything that had the slightest whiff of anti- or pseudo-science about them for fear of being castigated or ridiculed. I'm sure TED feels like it has to keep well-known scientists on its side for future validity. But even moreso it needs to keep well-informed viewers interested and engaged with ideas that provoke the mind. Sheldrake challenged what he calls the 'dogmas' of science head-on, but did so out of a love for science and the advancement of knowledge. Hancock presented alternative theories of evolution and consciousness worth considering, but explicitly couched them as speculative. There is little doubt that TED over-reacted in removing both of those talks, and their regrettable, spurious post-hoc reasoning for doing so stands as stark evidence of that conclusion.
This week the TED fiasco got even more farcical when they pulled the plug on the upcoming TEDxWestHollywood, with a theme named "Brother can you spare a paradigm". The speakers involved included scientists such as Marilyn Schlitz from the Institute of Noetic Sciences and remote-viewing pioneer Russell Targ, and TED officials looked into some sort of (very rational!) crystal ball they have and predicted that some of the speakers would "use the language of science to claim they have proven the truth of ideas that are speculative". That statement lies at the heart of the problem with their takedown of Hancock and Sheldrake's talks as well - they seem to be extrapolating from people talking about concepts, and presenting challenges to orthodoxy, to them claiming objective truth (when, if you watch those talks, you'll see they carefully frame their talks so as *not* to do that). If TED want to present 'ideas worth spreading', then they need to begin with 'ideas worth discussing'. Not 'ideas we should probably censor'.
TED have a major problem. They have now set a benchmark where some of their most popular talks should be removed to comply with their own guidelines, as applied to Hancock, Sheldrake and TEDxWestHollywood. They will also, to be consistent, be compelled other fantastic talks, such as Alex Grey's talk above. All because of a lack of bravery in the face of criticism from the establishment. TED's recent actions have been gutless, showing a lack of leadership in the face of some rather petty criticisms, and a lack of willingness to believe in the free market of ideas, where the strong and good survive through rigorous discussion and debate. And also by believing, for some strange reason, that "ideas worth spreading" must have some basis in rational, materialist science.
Here's a thought experiment for TED officials: Mahatma Gandhi gives a talk at TEDxNewDelhi discussing non-violence, and the idea that God is Truth and Truth is God. Are his ideas worth spreading, or do you not want to be associated with them? It's time for TED to get back in the market of discussing and spreading ideas, rather than deciding what is safe for people's consumption. More likely though, I think, is that they will soon either dissolve or take more of an active, controlling hand in their TEDx subsidiary. And other organisations will rise to fill the gap that hundreds of thousands of viewers wish to have filled, in presenting real discussions at the edge of our knowledge and philosophy.
Big, fresh ideas suffocate and die in controlling environments. So the real question might be: is TED on the fast-track into obsolescence?
- What's Easter without a Turin Shroud story in the news: Shroud "is not a medieval forgery", says new book.
- The reality of the near-death experience.
- Strange sleep disorder makes people see demons.
- 'Flying saucer' hides in Saturnian rings.
- Can the number of UFO reports be measured via the Will Smith Effect?
- Why bother searching for E.T.?
- Earth is an alien planet.
- Is the purpose of our universe simply to make babies?
- Not content to pull down talks, TED has now taken down an entire TEDx conference before it starts because of the 'pseudoscientific' speakers.
- Graham Hancock discusses the TEDx fiasco on the Disinfo podcast.
- Air Force wants new energy weapons to cause non-lethal ‘bioeffects’.
- How Hitler's Germany planned to fry the world with space-based mirrors.
- Trove of Neanderthal fossils found in Greek cave.
- Vaccine-autism link debunked again.
- 10 bizarre true stories that look like April Fools pranks but aren't.
- Add this one to the list: cross-dressing Catholic priest purchases dildo shop as a cover for his meth-dealing activities.
- Hagfish slime: the clothing of the future?
- Another time-traveling cellphone user identified (no doubt upset at the lack of cell-phone towers in 1938).
- Houdini octopus.
Quote of the Day:
We were constructed to serve the interests of our genes, not the reverse… The reason we exist is because it once served their ends to create us.
Keith E. Stanovich ('The Robot's Rebellion')