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"Children of the Comet Empire Unite!!!"
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It is no secret that long before founding the Church of Satan, Anton LaVey began his career path to the dark arts as a carnie. Initially the future 'Black Pope' was employed as a common roustabout. He soon worked his way up to 'cage boy', astonishing the rubes with his big cat act, before eventually embarking on a musical career as an accomplished player of the calliope (that'd be the steam powered whistle-organ... not the muse of Epic Poetry). Some say he was taught the calliope by the Morning Star himself, when LaVey was able to correctly guess the First of the Fallen's age and weight at a show just outside Kansas City. Others that he mastered the steam powered whistle organ to simply taunt the pack of malnourished lions that vexed him during his cage boy gigs. But the truth is far stranger than that my friend and a lot uglier too. The truth is, is that LaVey mastered the calliope because without doing so he would have been driven mad by his ventriloquist puppet.

After an almost fatal, but certainly drunken, incident with the cats, LaVey quickly decided to focus his attentions on other career opportunities available within the nomadic lifestyle of the carnie. He tried his hand at mind reading, but found himself immensely bored and depressed when he found that he actually could. He tried snake handling, but the python was soon traded to an angry mob outside Wolf's Hollow, Arkansas. It was looking like LaVey would have to revive the big cat act but then, as fate would have it, he won a ventriloquist doll off a checkers-playing chicken in a game of poker. LaVey quickly discovered he had a natural talent for throwing his voice and his newfound dummy bore an uncommon resemblance to himself. It wasn't long before LaVey and "Lil Lavey" (as he anti-christened the doll) had themselves an act going.

The act was a curious affair to say the least. At first they were simple jokes and stale Vaudeville routines, but soon the doll began to openly heckle the crowd, taunting them for attending the more sordid acts provided by the carnival on Saturday nights while piously attending congregation the following morning. This was a troubling change of events, for the carnival in general as this more than once almost incited a riot, but especially for LaVey who found the dummy speaking clearly words he wasn't throwing. Against his master's will, the stage the dummy would begin reciting the works of Nietzsche, Mencken and that old chestnut of a Beast - Aleister Crowley. Whether treating the rubes to an impromptu lesson on the Superman, the Age of Horus Ascendant or the hypocrisy of their moral illusions, each show proved to be, if nothing else, quite an experience.

As bad as this was, the Lil LaVey began talking off stage as well. At night it would begin to speaking to him of "strange aeons" and gibberish phrases like - "Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn". When LaVey would stow the doll away in his locker, he would wake the next morning to find it sitting at the foot of his bed, whispering to him the last words of the dream from which he woke up weeping. Soon the doll began to speak only in Enochian on stage, only to break back into English to predict the (uncannily accurate) times of various audience members' demise. LaVey attempted to rid himself of the doll. He would leave it behind when the carnival packed up its big tops only to find it inexplicably perched back on his bed when he awoke the next day. He destroyed the doll, utilizing methods involving axe, fire and being repeatedly stomped on by an elephant. All with the same result. And each day the dummy's voice began to sound a little more like him.

And each day, even when his duties took him away from his dummy, he began hearing it speak in his head. Chanting in languages that were ancient when the first dawn peered over the earth. Driven to the brink of madness, flirting with suicide and alcoholism, LaVey found his salvation by chance. Seeking refuge from the voice, LaVey wandered around the fairgrounds in a fugue state when he first heard it. A music unlike any other, a glorious cacophony of wailing steam and whistle. He followed this celestial harmony to a tent to discover the new calliope the carnival had picked up the day before. Each note blasted clear through LaVey's skull, diminishing and inevitably banishing the dummy's voice that plagued him those last few weeks. When he stumbled back eventually to his bed, he found the doll still stowed away in the locker and not a peep whisper from its wooden mouth.

It wasn't long before LaVey found himself mastering the calliope and regaining a previously tenuous hold on his sanity. Over the years and decades that followed, the dummy remained with LaVey for no other reason than the contempt the doll produced in the man. It has been rumored that he would often play entire concerts on his beloved calliope with only Lil LaVey for an audience. A music so tragically stirring that it caused the strong man to weep, the dog boy to shed and all the clowns to nod knowingly. Eventually though the doll was stolen from LaVey by a young man by the name of Bobby Beausoleil. From there it was given as a birthday gift to Charles Manson. After what some call an unfortunate PR move on behalf of the Manson Family, the doll was seized by the Police and later auctioned off, where it was purchased by a musician named Brian Jones who bequeathed it to his band mate Mick. Mick lost the dummy in an arm wrestling contest with Kenneth Anger, who lost it a few years later after an all night occult binge with fellow director John Waters .

In Dr. Reginald Blake's groundbreaking book - "You Talking to Me? A brief history of murderous ventriloquist dolls that gained sentience. " - Lil LaVey is credited with being responsible for throwing 'his' voice into many of the minds that continue to haunt the darker side of the pop culture psyche, including the Son of Sam, John Wayne Gacy and the Zodiac Killer. Of course it should be noted that Doctor Reginald Blake was shortly incarcerated in a prison for the criminally insane shortly after the publication of "You Talking to Me?"

Currently the whereabouts of Lil LaVey remain a mystery and it currently ranks as number 5 on the United Nation's black list of the most insanely dangerous occult artifacts of the 20th Century.

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Jack Chick, the Ed Woods of Christainity, explains the real reason the Titanic sunk. Someone was talking smack about Jesus and as we all know, that shit don't fly with Big Dadddy Jehovah. Alright heathens, sink or swim time...

Chester: "Doesn't she know that God himself couldn't sink this ship?"

God: "Challenge accepted!"

Thankfully Jesus is all about forgiveness, so I'm sure he'll overlook a little casual blasphemy...

... um, or maybe not.

Well if by 'repent' you mean scream hysterically at God moments before drowning to death, then yeah, sure... Chester should be just fine.

My only regret before being cast into a watery grave is that I didn't get to bellow one last fuck you to God.

Well, that's that then... cheers. Incidentally, though the author of this blog is not in the Book of Life, he takes comfort that he has a cameo in the Kindle of Life.
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It is the not too distant future of 1996 A.D. and we find Captain Jesus H. Christ of the All American Astroteers vigilantly patrolling the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter.

A puff of thought cloud bubbles out of his helmet: "Hmmm... my galaxo-scanners are registering no homosexuals or atheists hiding out in this quadrant. Looks to me like the coast is clear. But I better do another sweep just to be sure."

Suddenly the large antenna on Captain Jesus' helmet begins tingling with a series of tiny yellow lightning bolts.

"Good Me! I'm receiving a distress signal on the Interplanetary Emergency Prayerogram. And it's coming from Lunar Base Eisenhower. Looks like there's no time to waste. Activate Jesus Rockets! Astroteers are Go!"

Traveling at the speed of faith, Captain Jesus quickly arrives to discover the American moon colonies under siege by a vast interstellar armada.

"Jumping Leviticus! Lunar Base Eisenhower is being attacked by... gasp.. the malevolent Marxtian Death Fleet."

An armada of silver and red flying saucers hovers menacingly over the domed metropolis and bombard it with a barrage of ice-cream colored ray beams. Cracks begin show in the dome and the terrified Moonericans tremble helplessly beneath. The Marxtian Death fleet gleefully broadcasts the cackling of their commanders across all frequencies. Is this the end of Lunar Base Eisenhower?

Not while Captain Jesus H. Christ of the Astroteers is on the job!

Soaring in with the grace of a majestic eagle, Captain Jesus descends upon the Marxtian Armada and furiously begins blasting away with his trusted Smite Gun. One by one the saucers explode in a pyrotechnic orgasm. The Moonericans give off a mighty cheer of hallelujahs while Captain Jesus laughs maniacally, zipping around the armada's ray beams with ease.

"Take that and that and that you no-good Vodka swilling Pink-O Beatniks!"

Suddenly a saucer much larger than the rest appears behind Captain Jesus, who is much too busy getting his smite on to notice the impending ambush. From its sides two mechanical arms extend wielding a giant hammer and sickle. With a mighty swipe of its robot hand the hammer smashes into the back of Jesus and sends him hurtling out into space.

Is this the end of Captain Jesus H. Christ... astroteer?

Come back next month for issue #27 of "Mystery in Faith!"
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So with less than a day left before I hit the big 4-0, I realize there's quite the last minute scramble to pick me up a little something special for my birthday. Always eager to help out my loyal readership ("Hi Mom") here are a few gift ideas to avoid. Any of which are guaranteed to rocket you not just to the top of my shit list, but to extract tiny, tiny tears of hate from little Baby Jesus as well. However, if for some reason I've ever really pissed you off or if you've got a fucked-up sense of humor or just really like it when Baby Jesus cries, well... knock yourself out.

I know what some of you are thinking: "Dude, if wearing the severed foot of a rodent around your neck at the club doesn't get you 'Goth Gothic' laid then I don't know what will?" Sadly though I must report that it will in fact only get you promptly maced by a belligerent wiccan at the bar.

Admittedly, yes, its genius is awe inspiring. As evocative as Munch's 'The Scream' in expressing the raw anguish of the human spirit trapped in a modern world that systematically dehumanizes it before devouring it whole. For who amongst us hasn't felt like a silver masturbating velociraptor at one time or another? However I got something like twelve of these last year for Christmas... four of which came from some guy I met on chat roulette last year. Long story that.

Great now I don't want to be your dog!

While Ronald McHateCrime might raise some serious money for charity in the province of "Whathefuckia", here in the States it would just place me on some dreary terror watch list or another before earning me a visit from a tire-iron packing Grimace along with a wolf pack of feral lawyers.

The Gary Spivey White Afro Wig of Telepathy looks good on paper, but this real life Cerebro will soon reduce its wearer to a sort of poor man's Ricky Gervais.

The amazing thing about this watch is that when you wear it the 'Time to Fuck' magically becomes never.

At first I was all like - "Fuck yeah! Black Metal Pasta, Bitches! I'm eating me some marinara like a rock star, tonight!" I then proceeded to break out into a five minute air guitar solo accompanied by much banging of the head and waggling of the tongue. However, I managed to five finger discount the bag and upon boiling it up discovered the infernal power of the pentagram when it is combined with the most seductive force on the planet - carbs. Sadly friends, my guts just weren't metal enough for the rockin' might of True Pasta.

Suddenly I remember the cop asking me: "Okay, show me on the doll where he shaved you son." Worst trip to the barber shop yet and why I shave my head to this day.
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Before drunkenly swapping spit with some of the most delectable goth-bois in all of Terminus, before the all-American butch testosterone fest that was boot camp Navy style, even long before pinning sweat soaked opponents to the mat during my brief experimentation with the Junior Varsity wrestling team... I had been tempted to join the 'fabulous' side of the Force by the dark machinations of the early 80's toy industry.

Nope, it wasn't the comic books, the brief flirtation with glam metal, the dungeons nor the dragons as the powers that be so solemnly warned me about in an endless procession of after-school specials. Honestly, all that led to was recreational occultism and heavy drug use at best. But those first verboten flushes of shame and yearning for my fellow man came to me while cruising for action in the phantasmagorical playgrounds of Eternia and Third Earth.

Here then, scavenged ruthlessly from the toy-box of my subconscious, are some of my favorite enablers of the curiosity that dare not speak its name.

Destro: With his tight black body suit teasingly opened to reveal a little chest action, his oh-so-gaudy gauntlets of rocketry and the whole iron mask thing it's small wonder that within ten years of owning this figure I was attending fetish clubs in a zipper mask.

Fistor: Okay, granted there aren't many characters in the original Masters of the Universe series that don't ping off the gaydar from a hundred miles away. Pretty much any adventure you played in Castle Greyskull nowadays looks like a Halloween party at the Atlanta Eagle. But Fistor takes it up to Germanic levels of Kinkitude.

Lion-O: Actually what's really odd about Lion-O to me now is his uncanny resemblance to a cast member from the 'Jersey Shore'. The sprayed on orange tan, the gym physique and a hair style that requires industrial strength level of gel. It wouldn't be too hard to imagine Lion-O dancing with his shirt-off with a bunch of Guid-O's to a Rhianna remix at the Disc-O.

Thun: This one's from the 1979 Flash Gordon action figure set that came out from Mattel. Oh the endless hours of fun a young boy could have with a anthropomorphic lion stripped down to his loin-cloth and slave manacles. This dude was such a sub in fact that this toy didn't even come with any toy guns or something. Clearly it was implied that this action figure was to be used primarily as a hostage of some sort.

Whip Action Warhawk: Ever have a fantasy where you're getting 'topped' by Hunter S Thompson while he's dressed as a Third World dictator? The one where the safe word is 'Gonzo' and there's a sinister midget watching the whole time? Yeah, me too... blame this guy.

Warduke: "Joey, you like movies about gladiators?"

Bionic Bigfoot: My first 'Bear'!
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With Vincent Price playing Bill Lee, Malia ‘Vampira’ Nurmi as Joan and Jeron ‘ The Amazing Criswell’ King making a cameo appearance as Doctor Benway, Ed Wood’s 1961 adaptation of William Burroughs’ The Naked Lunch is considered one of the greatest movies never made. For only a few scenes were shot before an enraged Price stormed off the set after attempting to strangle Woods to death with a Styrofoam centipede before Tor Johnson was forced to intercede. Woods, undeterred by such a minor setback was going to continue filming with a stand-in for Price (his ‘goof-ball’ connection in a fake moustache), before Burroughs arrived unexpectedly on set, hopped up on Christ only knows What with a pack of feral ‘wild-boys’ at his side and a loaded shotgun trembling in his hands. Woods was forced to admit that he hadn’t exactly ‘secured’ the rights to Naked Lunch and at barrel point promptly agreed to immediately cease production of the film.

Woods however, never one to surrender, quickly shifted gears and focused on the production of Married Too Young and The Sinister Urge. He rarely spoke of the project and it was said to have haunted him in that it would have possibly been his finest film. The only mention he makes of it was in an interview in the December ’70 issue of ‘Cinema Dreadful Quarterly’. There he spoke of how he became a fan of the novel while working with Valiant about distributing his most (in)famous film - Plan 9 from Outer Space. He felt the non-linear narrative of Naked Lunch synchronized with some of his cinematic instincts and felt for the first time that a novelist had captured in voice what he had struggled to present in vision. In fact he felt that the role of Doctor Benway would have been a perfect match for his departed compatriot and friend, Bela Lugosi and that it would have served as his come back performance.

Woods claims that all the footage of The Naked Lunch was confiscated by Burroughs and that it was subsequently destroyed. Burroughs, denied any recollection of the event, the adaptation or having made Tor Johnson devour a Styrofoam centipede at gun point for his own amusement. Price, when asked about his aborted collaboration with Woods, was reported to have kicked the interviewer in the balls before announcing that he would be taking no more questions.

However there are rumors that some of the footage exists. One such is the opening scene. Price narrating in a hung-over version of his characteristic creepy-crawly drawl: “I can feel the heat closing in, feel them out there making their moves, setting up their devil doll stool pigeons, crooning over my spoon and dropper I throw away at Washington Square Station...” During the narration we are treated to grainy shots of Bill Lee wandering around various Los Angeles warehouses and train yards in a rough approximation of New York City, while a trench coat wearing Tor ‘tails’ him. Only the missing chasm scene from the original King Kong rivals this lost gem in the eyes of cinematic aficionados.
Another scene was the meeting between Benway and Lee, shot in a Mexican restaurant with a clearly annoyed waiter staring straight into the camera and refusing to budge from the shot. It only last two minutes, but it is said that in some of the stills one can see the ghost of Bela Lugosi hovering over the waiter’s shoulder. In actuality this was the restaurant’s manager, who was led to believe by Woods that they were shooting a documentary on local L.A. cuisine.

It wouldn’t be for another thirty years until David Cronenberg was finally able to put Naked Lunch up on the big screen and hook a new generation on the virtues of ‘the black meat’.

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“Monsters are real, and ghosts are real too. They live inside us, and sometimes, they win.” ~ Stephen King

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