First published in 2003, Book of Lies was hailed as a 21st century grimoire and instantly became a cult classic. Now reformatted for the next generation of magicians and all counterculture devotees, it gathers an unprecedented cabal of occultists, esoteric scholars,and forward thinkers, all curated by Disinformation’s former "wicked warlock" Richard Metzger.
This compendium of the occult includes entries on topics as diverse and dangerous as Aleister Crowley, secret societies, psychedelics, and magick in theory and practice. The result is an alchemical formula that may well rip a hole in the fabric of your reality:
- Mark Pesce, author of The Playful World, compares computer programming and spellcasting.
- Genesis Breyer P-Orridge, father of Industrial Music and Rave culture explains how samples in a rave song can have magical consequences.
- William Burroughs and the occult.
- Nevill Drury, Australia's most noted occult writer, tells of Dion Fortune, Austin Spare, and Rosaleen Norton.
- Donald Tyson's "The Enochian Apocalypse Working" ask if the seeds of the end of the world sown in the Elizabethan era.
- A biographical essay on Marjorie Cameron, the fascinating character from Los Angeles' occult and beatnik scene.
- Hitler and the occult--Peter Levenda interview by Tracy Twyman.
- Robert Temple on how his book The Sirius Mystery's, controversial thesis (for which he was ridiculed) was proven by the Hubble telescope twenty-five years late.
- An exclusive Anton LaVey interview by Michael Moynihan, author of best-selling book Lords of Chaos.
- Erik Davis, author of Techgnosis, looks at H. P. Lovecraft's Magick Realism
- Robert Anton Wilson on Timothy Leary and Aleister Crowley
- Comics genius Grant Morrison offers Magic for the people.
It’s all here and more!
About the Author
Richard Metzger is a co-founder of The Disinformation Company and wrote, directed, and hosted the first two seasons of the Disinformation TV series, which initially aired on Britain’s Channel 4 network. The series has been licensed to a major cable network in the United States, and a DVD of the series is planned and will be co-marketed with the book.
Read an Excerpt
BOOK OF LIES
By RICHARD METZGER
The Disinformation Company Ltd.Copyright © 2003 The Disinformation Company Ltd.
All rights reserved.
MAGICK IN THEORY AND PRACTICE
POP MAGIC! is Magic! For the People. Pop Magic! is Naked Magic! Pop Magic! lifts the 7 veils and shows you the tits of the Infinite.
THINKING ABOUT IT
All you need to begin the practice of magic is concentration, imagination and the ability to laugh at yourself and learn from mistakes. Some people like to dress up as Egyptians or monks to get themselves in the mood; others wear animal masks or Barbarella costumes. The use of ritual paraphernalia functions as an aid to the imagination only.
Anything you can imagine, anything you can symbolize, can be made to produce magical changes in your environment.
FIRST STEPS ON THE PATH
Magic is easy to do. Dozens of rulebooks and instruction manuals are available in the occult or "mind, body and spirit" sections of most modern bookstores. Many of the older manuals were written during times when a powerful and vindictive Church apparatus was attempting to suppress all roads to the truth but most of them are generally so heavily coded and disguised behind arcane symbol systems that it's hardly worth the bother—except for an idea of how other people used THEIR imaginative powers to interpret non-ordinary contacts and communications.
Aleister Crowiey—magic's Picasso—wrote this and I can't say it any better than he did:
"In this book it is spoken of the sephiroth and the paths, of spirits and conjurations, of gods, spheres, and planes and many other things which may or may not exist. It is immaterial whether they exist or not. By doing certain things, certain results follow; students are most earnestly warned against attributing objective reality or philosophical validity to any of them."
This is the most important rule of all which is why it's here at the start. As you continue to learn and develop your own psychocosms and styles of magical practice, as you encounter stranger and stranger denizens of the Hellworlds and Hyperworlds, you'll come back to these words of wisdom again and again with a fresh understanding each time.
HOW TO BE A MAGICIAN
Simple. Declare yourself a magician, behave like a magician, practice magic every day.
Be honest about your progress, your successes and failures. Tripping on 500 mushrooms might loosen your astral sphincter a little but it will not generally confer upon you any of the benefits of the magic I'm discussing here. Magic is about what you bring BACK from the Shining Realms of the Uberconscious. The magician dives into the Immense Other in search of tips and hints and treasures s/he can bring home to enrich life in the solid world. And if necessary, Fake it till you make it.
Declare yourself a magician, behave like a magician, practice magic every day.
HOW TO BE A MAGICIAN 2
Read lots of books on the subject to get in the mood. Talking about magic with non-magicians is like talking to virgins about shagging. Reading about magic is like reading about sex; it will get you horny for the real thing but it won't give you nearly as much fun.
Reading will give you a feel for what's crap and what can usefully be adapted to your own style. Develop discrimination. Don't buy into cults, aliens, paranoia, or complacency. Learn whom to trust and whom to steer clear of.
HOW TO BE A MAGICIAN 3
Put down the books, stop making excuses and START.
Magical consciousness is a particular way of seeing and interacting with the real world. I experience it as what I can only describe as a "head-click," a feeling of absolute certainty accompanying a perceptual shift which gives real world transactions the numinous, uncanny feeling of dreams. Magical consciousness is a way of experiencing and participating with the local environment in a heightened, significant manner, similar to the effects of some drug trips, Salvador Dali's "Paranoiac/critical" method, near death experiences, etc. Many apparently precognitive and telepathic latencies become more active during periods of magical consciousness. This is the state in which tea leaves are read, curses are cast, goals are scored, poems are written.
Magical Consciousness can be practiced until it merges with and becomes everyday consciousness. Maintained at these levels it could interfere with your lifestyle unless you have one which supports long periods of richly associative thought.
As a first exercise in magical consciousness spend five minutes looking at everything around you as if ALL OF IT was trying to tell you something very important. How did that light bulb come to be here exactly? Why does the murder victim in the newspaper have the same unusual surname as your father-in-law? Why did the phone ring, just at that moment and what were you thinking when it did? What's that water stain on the wall of the building opposite? How does it make you feel?
Five minutes of focus during which everything is significant, everything is luminous and heavy with meaning, like the objects seen in dreams.
Next, relax, go for a walk and interpret everything you see on the way as a message from the Infinite to you. Watch for patterns in the flight of birds. Make oracular sentences from the letters on car number plates. Look at the way buildings move against the skyline. Pay attention to noises on the streets, graffiti sigils, voices cut into rapid, almost subliminal commands and pleas. Listen between the lines. Walk as far and for as long as you feel comfortable in this open state. The more aimless, the more you walk for the pleasure of pure experience, the further into magical consciousness you will be immersed.
Reading about magic is like reading about sex; it will get you horny for the real thing but it won't give you nearly as much fun.
Magical consciousness resembles states of light meditation, "hypnagogic" presleep trance or alpha wave brain activity.
Is about making things happen and performing the necessary experiments. In these endeavors we do not need to know HOW magic works, only that it does. We prove this by doing the work, recording the results and sharing our information with other magicians. Theoretical magic is all the mad ideas you come up with to explain what's happening to you. Applied magic is what makes them happen.
THE MAGICAL RECORD
Always keep a journal of your experiments. It's easy to forget things you've done or to miss interesting little connections and correspondences. Make a note of everything, from the intent to the fulfillment. Make a note of dates, times, moods, successes and failures.
Study YOURSELF the way a hunter studies prey. Exploit your own weaknesses to create desired changes within yourself.
Banishing is a way of preparing a space for ritual use. There are many elaborate banishing rituals available, ranging across the full spectrum of pomposity. Think of banishing as the installation of virus protection software. The banishing is a kind of vaccination against infection from Beyond.
Most banishings are intended to surround the magician with an impenetrable shield of will. This usually takes the form of an acknowledgment of the elemental powers at the four cardinal points of the compass. Some like to visualize themselves surrounded and protected by columns of light or by four angels. Any protective image will do—spaceships, superheroes, warrior-monks, whatever. I don't bother with any of that and usually visualize a bubble radiating outwards from my body into space all around above and below me as far as I think I'll need it.
Why the need for protection?
Remember that you may be opening some part of yourself to an influx of information from "non-ordinary," apparently "Other" sources. If you practice ceremonial magic and attempt to summon godforms or spirits things will undoubtedly happen. Your foundations will be tested. There is always the danger of obsession and madness. As magical work progresses, you will be forced into confrontation with your deepest darkest fears and desires. It's easy to become scared, paranoid and stupid. Stay fluid, cling to no one self-image and maintain your sense of humor at all times. Genuine laughter is the most effective banishing ritual available.
Study YOURSELF the way a hunter studies prey. Exploit your own weaknesses to create desired changes within yourself.
Banishing reminds you that no matter how many gods you talk to, no matter how many fluorescent realms you visit, you still have to come home, take a shit, be able to cook dinner, water the plants and, most importantly, talk to people without scaring them.
When you complete any magical work, ground yourself with a good laugh, a good meal, good shag, a run or anything else that connects you with the mundane world. Banishing after your ritual is over works as a decompression back into the normal world of bills and bus stops and job satisfaction. The magician's job is not to get lost in the Otherworld but to bring back its treasures for everyone to play with.
In the Pop Magic! style, the sigil (sij-ill) is the first and one of the most effective of all the weapons in the arsenal of any modern magician.
The sigil technique was reconceptualized and modernized by Austin Osman Spare in the early 20th century and popularized by Chaos Magicians and Thee Temple ov Psychick Youth in the 19 hundred and 80s.
A sigil is a magically charged symbol like this one:
The sigil takes a magical desire or intent—let's say "IT IS MY DESIRE TO BE A GREAT ACTOR" (you can, of course, put any desire you want in there) and folds it down, creating a highly-charged symbol. The desire is then forgotten. Only the symbol remains and can then be charged to full potency when the magician chooses.
Forgetting the desire in its verbal form can be difficult if you've started too ambitiously. There's no point charging a sigil to win the lottery if you don't buy a ticket. Start with stuff that's not too emotionally involving.
I usually sigilize to meet people I'm interested in, or for particular qualities I'll need in a given situation. I've also used sigils for healing, for locating lost objects and for mass global change. I've been using them for 20 years and they ALWAYS work. For me, the period between launching the sigil and its manifestation as a real world event is usually 3 days, 3 weeks or 3 months depending on the variables involved.
I repeat: sigils ALWAYS work.
So. Begin your desire's transformation into pure throbbing symbol in the following fashion:
First remove the vowels and the repeating letters to leave a string of consonants—TSMYDRBGC.
Now start squashing the string down, throwing out or combining lines and playing with the letters until only an appropriately witchy-looking glyph is left. When you're satisfied it's done, you may wind up with something like this:
Most homemade sigils look a little spooky or alien—like UFO writing or witchy wall-scratchings. There are no rules as to how your sigil should look as long as it WORKS for you. RESULTS ONLY are important at this stage. If something doesn't work, try something else. The point is not to BELIEVE in magic, the point is to DO it and see how it works. This is not religion and blind faith plays no part.
Charging and launching your sigil is the fun part (it's often advisable to make up a bunch of sigils and charge them up later when you've forgotten what they originally represented).
Now, most of us find it difficult at first to maintain the precise Zen-like concentration necessary to work large-scale magic. This concentration can be learned with time and effort but in the meantime, sigils make it easy to sidestep years of training and achieve instant success. To charge your sigil you must concentrate on its shape, and hold that form in your mind as you evacuate all other thoughts.
Almost impossible, you might say, but the human body has various mechanisms for inducing brief "no-mind" states. Fasting, spinning, intense exhaustion, fear, sex, the fight-or-flight response; all will do the trick. I have charged sigils while bungee jumping, lying dying in a hospital bed, experiencing a total solar eclipse and dancing to Techno. All of these methods proved to be highly effective but for the eager beginner nothing beats the WANK TECHNIQUE.
Some non-magicians, I've noticed, convulse with nervous laughter whenever I mention the word "masturbation" (and no wonder; next to wetting the bed or shitting in your own cat's box for a laugh, it's the one thing no-one likes to admit to).
Be that as it may, magical masturbation is actually more fun and equally, more serious, than the secular hand shandy, and all it requires is this: at the moment of orgasm, you must see the image of your chosen sigil blazing before the eyes in your mind and project it outwards into the ethereal mediaspheres and logoverses where desires swarm and condense into flesh. The sigil can be written on paper, on your hand or your chest, on the forehead of a lover or wherever you think it will be most effective.
At the white-hot instant of orgasm, consciousness blinks. Into this blink, this abyssal crack in perception, a sigil can be launched.
Masturbation is only ONE of countless methods you can use to bring your mental chatter to a standstill for the split-second it takes to charge and launch a sigil. I suggest masturbation because I'm kind-hearted, because it's convenient and because it's fun for most of us.
However ... one does not change the universe simply by masturbating (tell THAT to the millions of sperm fighting for their life and the future of the species in a balled up Kleenex). If that were true, every vague fantasy we had in our heads at the moment of orgasm would come true within months. Intent is what makes the difference here.
Forget the wanking for just one moment if you can and remember that the sigil is the important part of the magic being performed here. The moment of orgasm will clear your mind, that's all. There are numerous other ways to clear your mind and you can use any of them. Dancing or spinning to exhaustion is very effective. Meditation is effective but takes years to learn properly. Fear and shock are very good for charging sigils, so you could probably watch a scary movie and launch your sigil at the bit where the hero's head comes bouncing down the aluminum stepladder into his girlfriend's lap. A run around the block clutching a sigil might be enough to charge it, so why not experiment?
At the moment of orgasm, you must see the image of your chosen sigil blazing before the eyes in your mind and project it outwards into the ethereal mediaspheres and logoverses where desires swarm and condense into flesh.
Try launching your sigil while performing a Bungee jump from a bridge, perhaps, or sit naked in your local graveyard at night. Or dance until you fall over. The important thing is to find your own best method for stopping that inner chat just long enough to launch a fiercely visualized, flaming ultraviolet sigil into the gap. States of exhaustion following ANY intense arousal or deprivation are ideal.
The McDonald's Golden Arches, the Nike swoosh and the Virgin autograph are all corporate viral sigils.
And if you experiment and still have trouble with sigils, try some of the other beginner exercises for a while. I've met a couple of people who've told me they can't make sigils work so maybe there are a few of you out there who genuinely have problems in this particular area. Tough luck but it doesn't mean there's no magic for you to play with. I couldn't wheeze "Twinkle twinkle little star ..." out of a clarinet but I can play the guitar well enough to have written hundreds of fabulous songs. If I'd stuck with the clarinet and got nowhere would that mean there is no such thing as music? Or would it indicate simply that I have an aptitude for playing the guitar which I can't seem to replicate using a clarinet? If I want to make music I use the instrument I'm most comfortable and accomplished with. The same is true for magical practice. Don't get uptight about it. This is not about defending a belief system, this is about producing results.
Excerpted from BOOK OF LIES by RICHARD METZGER. Copyright © 2003 The Disinformation Company Ltd.. Excerpted by permission of The Disinformation Company Ltd..
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Table of Contents
MAGICK IN THEORY AND PRACTICE,
THE EXECUTABLE DREAMTIME,
THEE SPLINTER TEST,
MEMENTO MORI - Remember You Must Die,
JOE IS IN THE DETAILS,
ARE YOU ILLUMINATED?,
TRYPTAMINE HALLUCINOGENS AND CONSCIOUSNESS,
An Extended Excerpt from BREAKING OPEN THE HEAD,
KICK THAT HABIT - Brion Gysin-His Life & Magick,
WHO IS THERE WILLIAM BURROUGHS,
MAGICK SQUARES AND FUTURE BEATS - The Magical Processes and Methods of William ...,
AUSTIN OSMAN SPARE - Divine Draughtman,
VIRTUAL MIRRORS IN SOLID TIME - The Prophetic Portals of Austin Osman Spare,
CALLING CTHULHU - HP Lovecraft's Magick Realism,
Excerpt from THE ROAD OF EXCESS,
LEARY AND CROWLEY - An Excerpt from Cosmic Trigger,
THE GREAT BEAST 666,
SIX VOICES ON CROWLEY,
ALEISTER CROWLEY AS GURU,
THE ENOCHIAN APOCALYPSE,
THE CRYING OF LIBER 49 - Jack Parsons, Antichrist Superstar,
CAMERON - The Wormwood Star,
IDA CRADDOCK - Sexual Mystic and Martyr for Freedom,
ROSALEEN NORTON - Pan's Daughter,
MAGICAL BLITZKRIEG - Hitler and the Occult Peter Levenda Interview,
THAT WHICH HAS FALLEN,
HALO OF FLIES,
THE SECRET HISTORY OF MODERN WITCHCRAFT,
SYMPATHY FOR THE,
ANTON LAVEY - A Fireside Chat With the Black Pope,
SEASON OF THE WITCH,
THE ADVENT OF AHRIMAN An Essay on the Deep Forces Behind the World-Crisis,
JULIUS EVOLA'S COMBAT MANUALS FOR A REVOLT AGAINST THE MODERN WORLD,
THE OCCULT WAR - Excerpt From Men Among the Ruins,
SECRET OF THE ASSASSINS,
MEDIA HEX - The Occult Assault on Institutions,
THE SECRET OF THE GOTHICK GOD OF DARKNESS,
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
A great book packed with information.
Most of this book is filled with excerpts or essays from or about the acid-head culture of the 50's or so. Chock full of know-nothingism, it's only redeeming value being the rather interesting entry about John Dee, as well as Grant Morrison's sober look at magic. I did have a chance to read another Disinformation guide which erroneously claimed that Condaleeza Rice was under oath when she testified for the 9/11 commission.
Many clever texts and interesting ideas in this mixed bag. The text "Pop Magic" by Grant Morrison and "Are You illuminated ?" by Phil Hine are the most insightful. Apart from Magic (or Magick) stuff, this book is packed with unconventional ideas and points of view that are worth knowing.