Least We Forget and Go Native...

           The Ahd al Jann (which translates as “The Hidden Covenant” or “The Covenant of the Djinn”) are the autonomous antinomian inheritors of a mystical tradition and occult practices believed to have been passed down from the infamous Nizari Ishmaeli, better known today as the Assassins. Details about this group can be very difficult to come by as their practices of dissimulation are so extreme that individual members are not even supposed to openly speak of their personal affiliations with the faith, much less directly mention the groups influence over any of the various organizations and initiatives which they might choose to infiltrate and co-opt from within.

           However, there is one core “eccentricity,” a religiously embraced species dysphoria, if you will, which, once understood, will help any outsider to understand which sorts of activities are most likely to draw the attention and interests of the Ahd al Jann.

           Although some would say that this is a gross oversimplification, it would be inaccurate to say that the magicians of the Ahd al Jann are not all intentionally at war with the God, or Gods, of this world. They hold the anti-cosmic Gnostic belief that this is a place of imprisonment and punishment for a vanquished race of formerly godlike beings, beings who long ago flourished in another, far stranger, reality, one which was almost completely destroyed in order to make room for this one. This pre-adamite race has been variously identified within the mythologies of many cultures, as the Nagas, the Asuras, the Jotnar, the Rephaite, the Fae, the Titans, the Old Ones, and, of course, the Djinn, while some even see them as being represented by the Elves and even the supposedly Antediluvian Atlantians.

           Although this is not a heritage that is supposed to be flaunted openly, it is believed that all members of the Ahd al Jann secretly identify as such and see kinship only in those who they feel also embody these same conquered divine dignities. Everyone else, even certain parts of themselves, must be considered as another part of a prison that absolutely must be broken down and refurbished.

           Much more than this should not be said, but so much more, of course, will probably be said later. Good Luck and Namaste.

A New Day is Dawning: Cowan's Beware

           So the Winter Solstice was a terrible failure, with seemingly no interest from anyone in the event itself, except for a few people who sent their sincere regrets beforehand. However, at this point, this was really not a surprise. (Those who would blame the event itself should know that I held almost this exact same event in Delaware two years ago, and it was an enormous success with a tremendous number of costumed participants.)

           Looking back, it’s been a very disappointing and disillusioning year:

           Only one person intentionally came to my Tag day celebration on March 14th, although I was fortunate enough to recruit about ten random passers by into various games of Tag that were meant to commemorate the Serpents return to Ireland.

           The Cocooning at One World’s End, which marked the Spring Equinox with ritual cocoonings for anyone interested in a little hypnotic rebirthing, was ignored in much the same way, save only by those who I likewise managed to inflict myself upon.

           The Underground Batman Fan Club’s attempted foiling of a human sacrifice on 4/20 was a nominal success only because the people who were supposed to be behind the mock human sacrifice, despite extensive preplanning and forewarning, backed out at the last minute. No one else was really looking for them or training anywhere offline anyway.

           Despite a host of “sponsors,” no one attended the Narthex event in May, nor could I find any support in the firespinning community for a zombie circus that was being held at Monroeville Mall as a fundraiser to fight epilepsy… Come to think of it I’m not sure why anyone thought it was a good idea to spin fire around a bunch of epileptics in the first place, but the point is that the lack of regard that I was shown by quite a few people was very revealing (One guy even told me he couldn't make it that day before I even told him when it was). Let’s not even talk about the time I set off a firework during one of my spins.

          I’ve had about three or four separate Superhero training events this year, all of which were completely unattended, save for one random stranger who actually came to hear me present at Assemble in October. I was so grateful for her that I even went so far as to give her a job as a superhero instructor, which, in hindsight I acknowledge was probably asking too much.

           Finally, at various times throughout the year I’ve invited literally dozens of different people, people who claim to be martial artists, to come with me to spar with the students at the Black Mountain Kung Fu School in Homestead. Such people have said, time and time again, that they would meet me there, but not one of these people has ever had the balls to actually show up.

           I’m tired of hearing the self serving excuses of the weak and the insipid. I am going to change a few things from now on so that 2012 will be a very different year for Simon Zealot:

           First off, no more invitations; from now on, if I’m feeling generous, I will extend permissions, but only to those who I think really deserve it. I will be planning to work alone from here on out.

           The newly created Zealot Industries will no longer hold events that happen for you; from now on, events will happen to you, or possibly with you, but backing out is no longer an option I will suffer lightly. I am now an unstoppable one man show and I will make sure that my audiences will all have little choice but to watch in disbelief or, if I’m feeling kind, run.

           If you wish you can visit the new Facebook page for Zealot Industries and see what I’m up to there, but you’ll have to come to me if you think you have a pair, but from now on, I will be assuming that you don’t and won’t be allowing you to waste my time. Namaste indeed.

Malak Markers and Malak Money

          Life is full of uncertainties, and now, with rising fears of a world economic collapse looming on the horizon, there’re new and unprecedented dangers, for which few if anyone seems to have a real solution. If one day soon you or your family found itself without cash, or with cash that had simply lost its value, would you be able to find an alternative method of maintaining financial solvency? Perhaps the key lies in understanding how “money” actually works.

           As you may or may not know, the currency that we all use today is no longer backed by anything except debt; this, and, of course, our continued confidence in it as an object of inherent value. In other words, the mysterious and awesome power of the dollar is directly tied to the faith and the trust that normal everyday people such as ourselves have in the enduring substance of both our government, as well as the other related institutions, which currently claim to back our national debt.

           With this in mind, the Malakim Society has developed a private economy that operates independently of this far larger, yet largely unaccountable, currency system. Our private economy allows select graduates of the Malakim Academy to exercise their innate ability to create value through the exchange and redemption of their own personal debts, as well as the debts of other trusted Malakim, by the ultimately constructive usage of something called a Malak Marker. This special power is granted to them in order to enhance their already considerable ability to "Do Good, Grow Strong, and Help Others To Do The Same."

What are Malak Markers?

           The incurring of a debt by one of our most trusted Malakim occurs at what we will call the point of purchase, which is when anyone, anywhere, consents to the exchange of their own goods or services in return for a special “debt marker” from a select member or members of our organization. This debt marker provides the person offering up their goods or services with an enduring record of this value transfer, as well as an easy way to locate the particular Malak responsible for incurring this debt. Yet this marker, tied as it is to the reputation of the Malakim Society as a whole, is something much, much, more than just this.

           By virtue of their original transaction, this debt marker has been imbued with the same amount of value as the original item or service for which it was exchanged. Although it is only redeemable with the Malak who originally incurred this debt, in fact, this debt marker’s inherent value allows it to be exchanged between any two people precisely as they might exchange cash itself. Unlike with mere barter, the Malak Marker has now become a monetized talisman for an amount of value that is exactly equivalent to the original item purchased.

           Obviously such a delicate system requires a certain` amount of governance and oversight from others within the Malakim Society, simply so as to protect all of its many users from the various kinds of fraud that will naturally arise anywhere that there is something of value to be stolen or abused. This is where the Malakim Agency comes in.

           The Malakim Society only grants its most tried, trusted, and true members the obviously dangerous right to distribute such debt markers. However, as this is still a system that must be closely regulated if it is to continue functioning smoothly, it is the Malakim Agency’s job to help anyone who’s holding one of the Society's markers to both locate and negotiate with any particular Malak to whom one of these markers must ultimately return for redemption; that is, on the off chance that anyone should ever choose to actually redeem one. Redemption, after all, is hardly something that’s actually necessary or even inherently desirable, unless, of course, the bearer of the debt has, for whatever reason, lost their faith in said Malak, and, hence, in the organization as a whole. Think of it in terms of the money you have now; you’d rather exchange it for things of actual value then attempt to redeem it for the value it represents at the Federal Reserve, right?

           The truth is we never redeem our money, we only continue to exchange it in order to satiate our inescapable economic habit. The irony is that all such exchanges are based on an unexamined assumption in the minds of people everywhere that these pieces of paper can actually be redeemed, even though money actually can’t be redeemed for anything, like gold or silver, the way it once could.

           Redemption of a Malak Marker, although, at times, seemingly necessary, obviously destroys the original debt, and thus sets free the original value which had been so ingeniously created and captured at the original point of purchase. Therefore, though it may provide a quick and easy way to put to rest a worried mind that has grown unsure about the reality of the value that it holds in its hands, such redemption will ultimately only serve to restrict the total amount of value, via these debt markers, that we all now have freely circulating for further fruitful exchanges within our new alternative economies.

           It is for this very reason that the Malakim Agency works so very hard to further such fruitful exchanges as these, or at the very least ensuring that they are never very hard to come by, while always bearing in mind that it is only each markers potential for redemption which ultimately ensures that this economy’s “currency” continues to be both solvent and trusted for its continued usage within all such transactions.

           If you have any questions or issues concerning one of our markers or other heroically generated funds (see below), or if you would like to be considered for entry into the Malakim Academy, to perhaps one day receive your own book of exchangeable Malakim markers, please contact the Malakim Society, and, of course, thank you for both your continued trust and your support of this revolutionary new movement.

(So then what’s Malak Money?)

           Malak Money is another form of alternative currency which is backed, not by debt per say, but rather by local acts of heroism; each Malak dollar serves as a physical expression of the debt of gratitude created by the heroic work of the Malakim. Each dollar is generated by a specific act of charity or goodwill done on behalf of a person in need and has a serial number which allows anyone to trace every new dollar thus created back to its original heroic event. Each heroic service is sanctioned and recorded by the Malakim High Council as having been preformed by a recognized and respected member or members of the Malakim Society of Heroes.

           As with the personal Malak Markers drafted by Malakim trusted to handle such a serious responsibility, The Malakim High Council works to maintain the solvency of this alternative economy by helping to facilitate the easy exchange and redemption of every Malak dollar in circulation. However, it’s important to note that, unlike Malak Markers, which are each backed by the personal guarantee of every Malak to, when necessary, redeem them immediately for cash (or, when permitted by the redeemer, a service of equivalent value) the Malak dollars which may be created by the heroic services of these very same Malakim do not place them under the same burden of responsibility, per say. However, should the original benefactor the Malak money fail to pay forward his or her debt to the Society, this burden may fall once more upon the Malak on whose behalf this charity was extended. So, for all intents and purposes, Malak Markers and Malak Money can be considered as having ultimately equivalent values.

The Winter Solstice: Santa Claus vs. Dionysus

            Perhaps you have heard of a “War on Christmas,” consisting of banal clashes between ministers, merchants, and even the occasional Marxist; who can ignore the annual war for public funds, ones festively funneled into the occasional manger or, more and more often, menorah, on a million Main Streets across America? Yet, hidden right at the center of the season, with his innocent wink and big beard burdened smile, sits the saccharine sweet old St. Nick himself, a “man,” if indeed that’s what he is, with more than a few elves in his closet and his own secret Christmas War to wage.

            This is a struggle into which you will now be initiated, one which will easily put all of those various other anemic winter conflicts to shame. It's a war that's been waged against the forbidden gnosis of the pagan nature worshipers, the stargazing magi and the ancient solar cults. Most of us have been so thoroughly payed off by the Fatman in gift cards, wrapped boxes and nog that we've repressed and removed every last trace of the once well known mysteries of a True Winter Solstice, the earliest and most thoroughly forgotten Rite of Spring.

            This controversy between the pagans and the papacy, which was once a thriving struggle between liberty and sanctity, has become all but forgotten in the short and tampered with memory of popular human history. Before our modern Santa Claus was radically revised by the ad guys at Coca-Cola, back when his red and white fur lined coats were still papal robes, a pointy bishop’s hat and shepherd’s crook, St. Nick could often be seen with one iron hand firmly upon the reigns of, not a team of magically enhanced reindeer but rather, his famously enslaved and ensorcelled demonic servant, the horned and hoary Gruss Vom Krampus.

            While most modern eyes have been trained to see his toothy maw, hoofed feet and rams horns as a text-book indication of clear cut diabolism, more discerning eyes can recognize the Dionysian fertility God when you find him captured and put in chains by a powerful Catholic Bishop. The once well known demonic “companion” of old Father Christmas has existed in almost too many cultures to count, from Knecht Ruprecht, Klaubauf, Stoppklos, Pelzebock, Pelznickel, Belsnickel, Belzeniggl, Gumphinkel and Rumpelklas to Bellzebub, Buzebergt, Hans Muff, Drapp, Black Pit, Black Peter, the Bartel Beast and, last but not least, the Claw. It was not terribly long ago that the countless creepy myths and legends associated with this captive fertility god, paraded about in irons to terrify, and ostensibly punish, “naughty” boys and girls, were more numerous and well known than even the fantastic tales of St. Nick himself.

            Yet, somewhere, we lost most, if not all, of this rich mythology, and, with it, a secret pagan understanding of this ever darkening holiday season. This December 21st, on the Winter Solstice, the old war between the obviously Vernal and the secretly Infernal will be reengaged, and, if the call of the wild is heeded, as it once was, in the glorious pagan days of yore, the Fatman will fall.

            Our ritual begins at 8:00pm, on December 21st, 2011, with balance beams, trampolines and foam pit flipping throughout the reformed supervillian Simon Zealot’s open gym/open play hours. Come dressed in your best festive holiday gear, not just red vest and elf ear, but satyr hooves, werewolf fang, fairy wing, beautiful and ugly Perchten things, and anything else that will express your support for the magical Oak King, the God of Spring, the cloven hoofed, goat horned Dionysus reborn. Or come in support of the Super Sapient Holly King, the dark god of wrapping-papered payoffs and ever-shortening days who most of us have come to know and love as Santa Claus.

            Because at 10:00pm, the battle between light and dark, summer and winter, life and death, warmth and frost, our long lost polar selves and elves and wolves all schools of thought who have ever fought over any spot in a circle will be joined; it’s the Green Man vs. The Grand Elf and the only question which remains is, "Where will the wheel take each of us?"