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I've reached the extent that I think I can tell this story. This is my experience with the cult
Introduction I am hesitant to begin writing about these memories, and for two reasons. The first is out of fear - fear of retaliation. You see, I was taken advantage of by a cult that I escaped a few years ago in the summer of 2018. I wasn’t involved for long - ten months - but that wasn’t the end of the cult’s influence on me, as they cleverly had a previously unaffiliated visitor contact me and try to bring me back during the period afterwards. I believe they are still keeping tabs on be covertly, but this may just be my paranoid nature. For nearly the entire first year afterwards, I was always looking over my shoulder to see if I was being followed. They definitely have an interest in roping me back into the fold, as you will see how sociopathic these people are. I’m still traumatized, and although I have healed a great deal from these trials, there is still lingering conditioning that causes me panic attacks and anxiety, which exemplifies my schizoaffective disorder. I attribute much of the reason I’m houseless now to the combination of my mental health and trauma caused by this group. The second reason I am hesitant to begin writing is also out of fear, but this is instead a fear of not being able to deliver on my promise to expose this cult. I know I have the ability to write about my account, but will it be good enough? Will I be throwing these words into the electronic ocean like so many others with little effect on the world? I feel that no matter how hard I try, I will be unable to capture the cult’s devious acts in such a way to convey what it was like for me, a vulnerable individual, to be slowly turned into an obedient slave. Inadequacy. This is an important piece of my psychology. After watching my mother decay and die for the first nine years of my life, followed by being raised by an abusive, narcissistic father, I have a profound feeling of inadequacy ruling me. I never feel like I am good enough; that I have to self-sacrifice - to the point where I believed I had to be as good as Jesus Christ - in order to achieve a passable level of human adequacy. The cult took advantage of these feelings in spades and left me a shell of who I was previously. Fortunately, the period of houselessness that has extended the last year or so of my life has been a radically transformative period where I feel able to step out from barriers that previously trapped me. I feel freer than I ever have been, and to be honest, I owe a lot to the cult for pushing me to my breaking point and learning where my boundaries are. In fact, I don’t believe I could have stepped away from the denial of having a feminine side if it weren’t for the ridiculousness of how far I was pushed. Now, I stand strong, ready to accomplish this mission life has presented me. It is my basic civic duty to tell my story and warn the public about this group and others who prey on vulnerable individuals in an unstable socioeconomic period. They deliberately attract people who are vulnerable for personal or financial reasons. For instance, there was a flat-earther from Belgium who was here illegally that got roped into our group by being attracted to the messages of sovereignty and their abundance of kooky new age beliefs. They even tried to get me to recruit more members using the same strategies they hooked me with - which is standard cult behavior. This leads right into how I got involved with the cult in the first place. Part of it is my fault, as I was young and naive. I still am, but now I have the wisdom to not throw myself out there for any group to start manipulating. There are many people who can be drawn into their preying behavior, and it is important that I elaborate on how easy it is to get duped, so others don’t follow in my footsteps. As you will see, the group was bizarre in many ways. I want to start off by saying that I did not join an organization of pee-drinkers who practiced blood-magick on the side of Main Street. Instead, I started working for a nonprofit that promised to change the world, and appeared to have the ability to do that. The weirdness grew exponentially over time, gradually as they conditioned us to accept their way of life. On my own end, I wanted to join an intentional community; one where everyone involved works towards a singular end as one unit. I longed for the camaraderie and an alternate way of life. I wanted something different than what - as the cult called the common culture - “The Matrix,” or “Babylon” offered. There are such communities, but because of devious groups like this, everyone needs to be cautious when attempting to find them. I still seek to find or create an alternative lifestyle for myself where I can live amongst my brothers and sisters away from the mass-produced consumer culture of the world. It’s been a hell of a journey, but I am happy where I am now. If anything, the group taught me that self-love is our first love; if the gardener does not take care of themselves, then who takes care of the garden? With my efforts to find such a community as I wanted, it was inevitable that some group would have sunk their teeth into me. I am grateful that I was able to recognize the far-flung insanity that I was trapped in and escape. Now I just need to focus on recovering and helping others who may be searching for the same things I am. Chapter 1 It all started early in 2017. I was working on reverse networking, like trying to place a letter on someone’s shoes to let them know I exist. I was hoping to find a project I could use my skills as a writer and juggler by broadcasting who I was on our small online community, The Shrug Life Syndicate, on Reddit. I was so desperate to find such a community that fit my ideals and goals that I didn’t even conceive that someone could be watching in order to learn about me. They first posted a link to their site on our community’s board, when they were still going by the Awakening Sovereignty Collective. To best understand how I perceived them initially, you have to understand that I was lost in what we at the Shrug Life Syndicate call the synchronicity slip stream. An aspect of my schizoaffective disorder, I often get lost in various series of synchronicities that form a coherent narrative that compels me to behave differently than I otherwise would. It is an amazing feature of my mental health for creativity and finding alternative solutions to problems, but it can be debilitating when trying to fit in to the normal world. When the ASC posted, I believed applying on their website was the obvious thing I should do in order to accomplish my cosmic mission. Well, nothing happened at first, and I forgot about them until several months later until I received an email stating I was hired. This came after a series of strange tasks from anonymous accounts that seemed to be tests to see if I was as capable of a writer as I portrayed myself as being. I remember one test was to see if I could write a sales pitch for “Unicorn Poop,” an edible snack with a humorous twist. I don’t have any proof that these two events are connected, but it definitely tripped my radar as odd that they happened one after another, and nothing ever came from the sales tasks. Having passed their tests, I began working with them online. It was a slow process, as there wasn’t a lot of work right out the gate, but there was a lot to learn. Their websites were many in number and often confusing. I had difficulty navigating them and almost quit trying within days of getting started. I remember crumbling back into my addictive nature one night as the wailing cries of depression came roaring back with my initial perceived failure. If I were not partially psychotic, believing the universe was guiding me to the salvation I sought, then that would have been the end of it. Many other people seemed to have given up while I was still new to working for them. If I were to guess, I would say that this was deliberate on their part in order to weed out only people like me, who were in some way desperate to be a part of the group. With only a small number of desperate people finding their way into the clutches of these people, it must be easier to control them as well. The ASC promised a new way of life for anyone seeking it. They claimed to be a planetary alliance that was helping ecovillages, nonprofits, conscious businesses, and individual change agents. They were working on a cryptocurrency and software suite that would help communities better serve the world. This was at the peak of the bitcoin bubble, where many people unfamiliar with cryptocurrencies were trying to get in on the hype. They touted a number of figures and claims which ultimately turned out to be false or otherwise misrepresentative of the truth, but in the moment I believed everything they were shoveling. It was easy for them to sell the idea and project as they were all natural sales personalities. I attended a lot of meetings, particularly with the writer’s team, and started to get to know the people behind the project. In the moment, they appeared to be down-to-Earth and relatable, but highly conscious individuals who really cared about the world and were motivated to do the work necessary to make the changes needed for the planet. In hindsight, they really only cared about money, and were playing a part to catch people like me. The leader was named Dakota, if that was his real name (I believe most of the main group had adopted a second name to hide who they really were). He was a young man claiming to have graduated high school at ten, and he founded a company known as STADA which was facilitating much if not all of the software needs of the ASC. He was brilliant, but I believe most of his brilliance was self-generated through his ability to sell himself as more than he really was. He always acted like a millionaire who was going to change the world, which made it easy for him to sell the project to people like me. The co-leader was named Lila. She was a cheerful person who always had something positive to add to the conversation. While working with her, I found this to be a powerful part of her personality. It was hard to say no to her, as she had a motherly vibe and she strategically would ask you to do things that left you feeling compelled to help her, for the good of the project. She first won me over by claiming to run a retreat center for circus skills. I only heard of this in the beginning of my journey with the group, so I believe it may have been a bogus means to shift my opinion of them. The leader of the writer’s team was named Teahna, who was beautiful and knew how to use her womanly charm to influence others. She seemed to be new to the project as well, having recently written her first book, and my time working with her online seemed to be a learning experience for both of us. I believe this was also planned, so that I would have some support learning what I was supposed to be doing on the various websites that seemed to pile up more and more as time went on. The work was easy at first. There were no assignments or anything like that. It was all pile work - as in, just grab a shovel and get paid for what you move. As a writer, I naturally gravitated to the writers team’s tasks, but I also helped with the education team and the core tasks of the group. Mostly I wrote articles and website content for them, but I also wrote fake twitter bios, social media posts, and began working on their constitution/manifesto before arriving at their headquarters. I was making good money, both in real dollars and their own cryptocurrency, Equality Keys. They claimed we could trade their currency for real money at any time, which turned out to be a lie. They often only let us exchange it at certain times at a reduced value. But, I was naive enough to believe that the numbers on my screen were real and meant I was doing good. It wasn’t long before I earned upwards of thousands of dollars worth of their currency, which was promised to rise in value as the project continued to grow and evolve. After a few weeks working with them, they began toying with a name change to Earth Nation. I believe this is a key part of their method of staying under the radar. By changing names and projects frequently, they never gather enough clout to be exposed as the charlatans that they are. They would later create a new project known as Earth Cycle, and there was a tentacle organization we got hooked into after our stay with the main group called Lovecycle. In regards to the latter, I will never forget the name Lovecycle, as that is when the bulk of bizarre and traumatic events occured. This is around the same time that my girlfriend at the time began helping out as well. We worked together as a writer and artist combo, and they were initially excited to have another person joining to help. There was some friction though, such as bluntly being told they had no need for an artist at this time after they welcomed her onboard, and there were moments where it seemed like they did not want her to be a part of the project. As they turned her and I against each other much later in our odyssey with them, I think this must have been deliberate to sow the seeds of conflict between us. Again, this is classic cult behavior. I regret bringing her into the whole thing, as she is no doubt as traumatized as I am. What really allowed me to lose myself in the hope of the project was the possibility to do exactly as I dreamed: travel with a caravan, juggle at festivals, help sell whatever my girlfriend and others made, and write gonzo journalism about what Earth Nation was doing. One of the main draws of the group was that they advertised in the meetings about how they had a proposal system, where anyone could come with their plan and it could be voted on to be given resources. They were interested in my idea (how much of that was just gaslighting me to believe I’ve found the perfect gig, I don’t know), and wanted me to do some journalism about my experiences moving to their headquarters just outside Eugene, Oregon - on the other side of the country. My girlfriend and I were ecstatic at the idea of starting a new life on the west coast. It was the dream we both shared, to abandon the broken world we knew and join something better. We began preparing for the move, sold all of our stuff, and eventually took off from the airport with only three bags to our name. It was a leap of faith, and we were never happier to embrace our dreams and begin to live a much more interesting life. Chapter 2 We left on October 25th, about a couple months after I first began working for the ASC. It was an amazing trip that we thought would represent our rebirth. I remember arriving at the airport feeling as though I was leaving a part of my past behind. I felt a wave of solemn emptiness and fear over this, but I have since learned such feelings are common with change of this magnitude. Mostly, I felt joy that a new chapter of my life was unfolding before my eyes. It was a time where it seemed like we had infinite potential right at our fingertips. Who knew what would actually go down over the coming months? We were grateful for the opportunity and happy about the change. My girlfriend even changed her name to Awen to start over fresh as a new person. I still stuck with my birth name, Gregory, but eventually I would start going by the name Rory after having been pressured to by the group. I remember looking out the window while Awen took pictures of everything we flew over. It was a trip in itself to see the world from such an angle. I was amazed at the number of wind farms in the middle of the country. Likewise, the closer we got to our destination, the more mountainous the ground beneath us became. The change in scenery would pale in comparison with the change in the culture of the west coast - one of the main reasons I now consider Portland my new home. Landing in Eugene’s airport, we were regaled with Ducks memorabilia. This was a pleasant surprise, as I had forgotten that this was where an old hero from my track days, Steve Prefontaine, used to run. This made me feel hopeful while waiting for Teahna and Prism, the leader of the educational team. I remember pacing the entrance hall of the airport with a giddy smile stretching from ear to ear. This was it, I told myself: I had finally found my new home. After a long day of airline travel, we were eventually picked up in Prism’s van. We were met with hugs and smiles, which rejuvenated us after the natural stress of the trip. We chatted the entire way back to Triangle Lake, where their headquarters supposedly was. Both Awen and I were antsy while being shaken back and forth while sitting on Prism’s bed for the duration of the drive. I distinctly remember the beautiful colors of the autumn trees as we drove past. This last little bit of our trip took roughly forty-five minutes, but it felt like we were pulling up to the headquarters in an instant. I caught a glimpse of a sign as we pulled into the long driveway: Circle of Children. This would be where we stayed for the first two months. The area was gorgeous. Giant trees covered in green moss extended as far as the eye could see. With the abundance of fern-life, it reminded me of a Jurassic paradise. Out the cracked window of the van, I could hear tree frogs chirping in harmony. It was certainly something out of another world compared to the east coast. We stopped in front of the main office - the only building with wifi. If I were to graph the amount of access to the internet we had across the ten months we were involved, it would have a steady, negative slope. Of course, while being conditioned by the group, it was barely noticed, as we grew less dependent on the internet as time went on. We were never barred from the outside world - in fact we interacted with it regularly - but the idea of leaving was made so impossibly far outside the bounds of possible choices through a long series of scripted events. Which is why the entire beginning of our stay at the Triangle Lake Convention Center seemed like something out of a fantasy paradise. Everything, from the overarching narrative we were fed, to the day-to-day interactions, was designed to win us over, gaslight us, and manipulate us emotionally by using our traumas against us. In the aftermath of the whole escapade, I learned that this is the type of manipulation that cults use to prevent members from seeing reason while keeping them docile, obedient work horses for the greater project, whatever it may be. It is clear to me now that Earth Nation and all tentacle organizations are a purely criminal enterprise - a money-making machine for those at the top of the hierarchical pyramid. Even though we were supposedly a DAO - a decentralized autonomous organization - there were clearly people who were centralized leaders profiting from everything the group did. And everybody played their roles well upon our arrival. We were greeted with another barrage of hugs as we got out of the van. Everybody was excited to finally meet us in person, as were we to meet them. We chatted with Dakota and Lila for some time outside of the office. They were the exact same as their online personas. In the moment, this gave us a sense that these people were genuine, but in hindsight it serves as a reminder that anyone can create a convincing character and play them whenever they want - even if they choose to never take their deceptive masks off. We were then shown where we would be staying. Up the hill and to the left we drove until we were in front of Carmen Hall. It was a quaint dorm-style lodging with a large common area and a small kitchenette. Many nights were spent in the common room with the others who were staying in the building. Because we were a couple, we were given the largest room with its own bathroom. That’s another thing that changed in a downward slope: our living quarters. Over the course of the ten months we were with them, we were downgraded from having our own space, to sharing space, to living in a tent. And again, because of the conditioning, we were fine with the change. Sometime during the early evening, we went back down to the dining hall and kitchen which was across the way from the main office. Here, we met a variety of characters, including Tuva, a humble appearing guy with a large social network he brought with him to the project, and Daniella, who would turn out to be mommy dearest as she was the sole woman controlling us for the majority of our adventure on the west coast. A Brazillian native, she was as good of a manipulator as she was a cook, and we all enjoyed a wonderful meal on our first night in Oregon. Before the night was up, we went behind the kitchen to smoke with a man named Grizzly; a wild looking man who mostly kept quiet but had a mouth to use if he needed it. It was the first time we smoked in Oregon and it felt liberating to finally be in a legal state. But, as freeing and fun as being able to smoke whenever we wanted, I believe the abundance of weed we were constantly fed was a means to keep us docile. Daniella always made sure we had some weed, and would frequently smoke with us. I feel I would have been able to say something as things changed if I were not dependent on the constant stream of marijuana. Afterwards, we went back to Carmen Hall with a couple of members who also stayed there, and Daniella performed a pendulum reading for me and my girlfriend. Holding a crystal on a chain, she “read” the direction it spun as she brought it up in alignment with our chakras. She was spot on and I wanted to say that she had excellent observation skills, but I kept my mouth shut. I didn’t want to offend anyone’s beliefs, especially my girlfriend who considered herself a mystic and bought into the act. That night we cuddled in our room, smiling as wide as our mouths could. We had done it - we successfully started our new lives and were going to be a part of something we still had yet to fully comprehend. Everything was new and exciting, and while we were overjoyed, we were glad we had each other because things were still scary. If only we had known then how scary things would become. Chapter 3 The next morning, we showered, dressed, and went down to the kitchen. There was a slight fog in the air, and we saw a family of deer in a clearing off the road. We would see this family of deer several times during out stay at Triangle Lake, which greatly enthused my girlfriend. She said they were a symbol of wisdom, and must be a good sign as we continued to be indoctrinated by the new age beliefs of the group. We were early, as our daily meetings were at ten and that is when most people started to show up at the office. But Grizzly was there, as he stayed at the nurses station that sat next to the main office. He offered us some dabs, which just further enforced our belief that this was a great group to be a part of. He also offered me a metal six-shooter pipe, which proved to be the main piece I would smoke out of for the entirety of our adventure. Breakfast consisted of whatever we could scrounge up. There was a huge walk-in freezer in the kitchen that hosted tons of food when we first got there. There were also a wide selection of dry foods such as figs and nuts. That whole selection would dwindle over time, as the group got everything as donations, usually by soliciting the local food pantries and the Eugene mission and much was close to their expiration dates. It was common to open the freezer and find something moldy. This was the first time I really interacted with Doran. Doran looked a lot like me - complete with similar beard and glasses - but had shorter, curlier, and darker hair. It was joked that “I was another you.” He appeared to be a really kind-hearted person, and we frequently went to him with problems. This is likely planned as well, to have someone to vent the frustrations we were experiencing as the project transitioned to something different than what we signed up for. I opened up to him before I did with other members, even asking for relationship advice as they tried turning Awen and I against each other between, and received what I now consider a long-standing act of being a good ear with standard advice from the group. Still, he was funny and I enjoyed making strange mixtures of food with him. As it neared ten, we shuffled to the office to have our meeting. The office had two rooms, and we were all huddled in a circle in one of them. This was nice during the coming months as it was also the only room with the heater. These meetings proved to be a main means to program us, as there were many exchanges that could have only been scripted. We would often talk about one thing, but there would be a subtopic that was teased that would change the meaning of the whole meeting in the context that I heard it. Often there would be some crosstalk in the kitchen beforehand, or something during the day that warped my understanding of what was said We were required to work thirty hours a week in order to receive our basic income of two hundred dollars a month, as per our agreements before moving to the headquarters. However, it wasn’t long before they duped us by saying the basic income would be used to cover our time staying at Triangle Lake. We weren’t able to fight it, because our tongues were tied by the desire to fit in and be accepted by the group. The ways that they changed things were gradual and deliberate, so that you would never really feel like you were getting taken advantage of. It was just a change, which was alright, because there was a world to save and we were the group who was going to get it done. That was one of the major ways they were able to get away with a lot of the back-pedaling of agreements - they would always have new, unexpected surprises waiting for us. It was gradual, but they introduced several new elements of communal living that required us to sacrifice more of our money and autonomy. They did this by having so-and-so nonchalantly bringing up these concerns in the meetings, then downplaying the resulting effects as something that should be expected, then agreeing with Dakota or Lila. Keeping track of my hours was a joke. For everything I did, I was told I should have taken less time in order to do. The criticism I received came tongue-in-cheek and constructive at first, but steadily devolved into a series of harsh critiques that would leave me distraught and unable to think clearly. I was still unmedicated back then, and my emotional state was as turbulent as a hurricane. They did similar things to my girlfriend, as Lila took her under her wing, treating her as her child in order to take advantage of her own trauma she had with her mother. If there was one thing these people really excelled at it is control. They figured us out quickly and efficiently and then used our traumas against us. Our second night there consisted of an informal group of the residents who stayed at Carmen Hall staring into each other’s eyes and then saying out loud what we felt at that moment. I remember staring at Daniella, who was a silhouette with the lamp directly behind her, and asking for healing. Something about the way she stared at me seemed to provoke a sense of trust and I felt that she would be able to help with a lot of the problems. That’s one way they won over us and got us to do whatever they wanted. They are experts at gaining people’s trust and then they take advantage of that fact. Through these scripted and planned events they were able to warp our realities to the point where we were already robotic slaves right off the bat. We certainly were eager to earn their approval and work our way to a position where we were seen as valuable members of the project. One of these planned events was Kukui’s birthday, which was just a few days after we got there. Kukui was a groundskeeper who had previously lived in Hawaii and was joked as being a ginger Jesus. He was an incredible person who really cared about the Earth. I have no idea if he was part of the manipulation or if he was there on similar beliefs that this was a group doing immense good in the world. Early on during the night’s preparation, Dakota and Lila walked up to us and asked if we wanted to go out to eat with them. This struck us as odd that they would abandon Kukui on his birthday, but we didn’t see it as too weird at the time. We struck up a conversation, where it was revealed that Dakota had two EBT cards from different states. One big hook they sunk into us was the idea that it was us versus the government. They managed to convince us that the institutions of the world were parasitic - which they usually are - but did it in such a way that made us feel like we were in a spiritual war against the bad boogie men of the world. And they managed this by gradually exposing us to more and more deliberate acts of defiance, in order to manifest our own sovereignty against the parasitic government. It’s what led to us accepting some of their more diabolic schemes. For instance, there was talk about building a village in Ava, Missouri, moving all their people in, and then taking over the mayorship. They chose Missouri for this plan due to the different building codes of the state. In the moment, this seemed like a brilliant plan for expanding the influence of Earth Nation, but in hindsight appears to be a dystopian means to increase their power and continue taking advantage of people. These were little seeds they planted that made us more comfortable with doing certain things that we otherwise wouldn’t. Awen was particularly uncomfortable with many of the things we did, but eventually they did get her to help out with their schemes. By keeping us under fear and gradually conditioning us, they were able to make us obedient as we were always looking out for our immediate survival. Fear. That is an emotion I am now excessively familiar with as a result of this cult. While I have battled paranoia all my life, they took those primal emotions and twisted them to the point that I had no idea which way was up. Each day gradually became a battle while being on high alert, as I constantly scrambled to overcome whatever artificial set-backs were planted in my way and keep up with the workload that was presented to me. My first exposure to this form of emotional manipulation came during Halloween. The night began jovially as Doran wore a plastic bag as a costume and invented a new dance that we all participated in. Daniella was preparing a large meal in the kitchen while we helped and played in rhythm to one another. The dinner we shared was only part of the night’s events that would change my life completely. After dinner, Awen and I went back to our room and talked about what we wanted to do that night. The rest of the group was still down at the dining hall and preparing for a fun night of festivities. Awen was not opposed to me going, but she was and still is a pagan and wanted to celebrate her ancestors as per the tradition of Samhain. I debated spending the night with her, but the opportunity to spend time with these new people in our life made me curious as to what they would be doing. I will also admit that I was much more controlled by my addictive nature and was excited to drink with them. So down I went. As I entered the dining hall, I saw that they were drinking tequila and generally having a great time. Naturally, I joined in and took a shot. Jovial times were had, and some time later I was offered another shot, but I did not see them pour this one. This turned out to be a crucial mistake on my part as I would find out that there was something else, something with psychedelic qualities, in the drink. It was not LSD, as I am familiar with the effects of that drug, so I am at a loss for what it could have been. As the night went on I began to feel funny. It wasn’t until we were in a smoke circle that I began to notice something was wrong. I had trouble forming words and when Grizzly asked me a question all I could muster was a “hi!” This tripped me up and I went inside to go sit down. This is where my memory starts to get fuzzy. I was mostly left alone as I sat cross-legged on a mat on the floor, but eventually there were three other people sitting around me, with a bottle placed in the center of us. I remember Prism and Josh, a carpenter who was doing some work on the buildings at Triangle Lake, were two of the people surrounding me, but I don’t remember any of the conversation they were having. I just remember getting really spooked at that time and tried to leave. I don’t know how long it took me to get back to Awen, but I do remember the headlights of a vehicle coming down the hill as I was going up. It was late by the time I made it back in into Carmen Hall, which suggests that I have no memory of what happened after the apparent spin-the-bottle episode. My memory starts to get better as I remember lying there with Awen trying to articulate what was going on, but my words just spiraled into incomprehensible nonsense. She was worried for me, just as I was worried for myself. The next morning continued on as if nothing ever happened, but I was emotionally jostled for the next few days. Nothing was ever said about what happened the night before, and a part of me was terrified that something happened Because my mother had AIDS, and that is a terror I still battle to this day, I obsessed over the idea that Prism, who was HIV positive, may have done something with me. I’ve since been tested and everything’s fine, but for a while I was terrified that I was raped. Was that a rational or irrational fear? I’ll never know. What I do know is that they took advantage of my perturbed state by subtly twisting the knife in the following days with their synchronous set-ups, making me feel guilty that I did not choose to spend time with Awen that night, and thus making me work harder than ever before. Chapter 4 in comments
By Herman Melville I AND MY CHIMNEY (i.) I and my chimney, two grey-headed old smokers, reside in the country. We are, I may say, old settlers here; particularly my old chimney, which settles more and more every day. Though I always say, I and my chimney, as Cardinal Wol- sey used to say, I and my King, yet this egotistic way of speak- ing, wherein I take precedence of my chimney, is hardly borne out by the facts; in everything, except the above phrase, my chimney taking precedence of me. Within thirty feet of the turf-sided road, my chimney——a huge, corpulent old Harry VIII of a chimney——rises full in front of me and all my possessions. Standing well up a hill-side, my chimney, like Lord Rosse's monster telescope, swung verti- cal to hit the meridian moon, is the first object to greet the ap- proaching traveler's eye; nor is it the last which the sun salutes. My chimney, too, is before me in receiving the first-fruits of the seasons. The snow is on its head ere on my hat; and every spring, as in a hollow beech tree, the first swallows build their nests in it. But it is within doors that the pre-eminence of y chimney is most manifest. When in the rear room, set apart for that ob- ject, I stand to receive my guests (who, by the way, call more, I suspect, to see my chimney than me), I then stand, not so much before, as, strictly speaking, behind my chimney, which is, indeed, the true host. Not that I demur. In the presence of my betters, I hope I know my place. From this habitual precedence of my chimney over me, some even think that I have got into a sad rearward way altogether; in short, from standing behind my old-fashioned chimney so much, I have got to be quite behind the age too, as well as running behindhand in everything else. But to tell the truth, I never was a very forward old fellow, nor what my farming neighbors call and forehanded one. Indeed, those rumors about my behindhandedness are so far correct, that I have an odd sauntering way with me sometimes of going about with my hands behind my back. As for my belonging to the rear-guard in general, certain it is, I bring up the rear of my chimney—— which, by the way, is this moment before me——and that, too, both in fancy and fact. In brief, my chimney is my superior; my superior by I know not how many heads and shoulders; my superior, too, in that humbly bowing over with shovel and tongs, I must minister to it; yet never does it minister, or in- cline over to me; but, if anything, in its settlings, rather leans the other way. My chimney is grand seignior here——the one great dom- ineering object, not more of the landscape, than of the house; all the rest of which house, in each architectural arrangement, as may shortly appear, is, in the most marked manner, accom- modated, not to my wants, but to the chimney's, which, among other things, has the centre of the house to itself, leaving but the odd holes and corners to me. But I and my chimney must explain; and, as we are both rather obese, we may have to expatiate. In those houses which are strictly double houses——that is, where the hall is in the middle——the fireplaces usually are pon opposite sides; so that while one member of the household is warming himself at a fire built into a recess of the north wall, say another member, the former owner's brother, perhaps, may be holding his feet to the blaze before a hearth in the south wall——the two thus fairly sitting back to back. Is this well? Be it put to any man who has a proper fraternal feeling. Has it not a sort of sulky appearance? But very probably this style of chimney building originated with some architect afflicted with a quarrelsome family. Then again, almost every modern fireplace has its separate flue——separate throughout, from hearth to chimney-top. At least such an arrangement is deemed desirable. Does this not look egotistical, selfish? But still more, all these separate flues, instead of having independent masonry establishments of their own, or instead of being grouped together in one federal stock in the middle of the house——instead of this, I say, each flue is surreptitiously honey-combed into the walls; so that these last are here and there, or indeed almost anywhere, treacherously hollow, and, in consequence, more or less weak. Of course, the main reason of this style of chimney building is to economize room. In cities, where lots are sold by the inch, small space is to spare for a chimney constructed on magnani- mous principles; and, as with most thin men, who are generally tall, so with such houses, what is lacking in breadth must be made up in height. This remark holds true even with regard to many very stylish abodes, built by the most stylish of gentle- men. And yet, when that stylish gentleman, Louis le Grand of France, would build a palace for his lady friend, Madame de Maintenon, he built it but one story high——in fact, in the cot- tage style. But then, how uncommonly quadrangular, spacious, and broad——horizontal acres, not vertical one. Such is the pal- ace which, in all its one-storied magnificence of Languedoc marble, in the garden of Versailles, still remains to this day. Any man can buy a square foot of land and plant a liberty- pole upon it; but it takes a king to set apart whole acres for a Grand Trianon. But nowadays it is different; and furthermore, what origi- nated in a necessity has been mounted into a vaunt. In towns there is a large rivalry in building tall houses. If one gentleman builds his house four stories high, and another gentleman comes next door and builds five stories high, then the former, not to be looked down upon that way, immediately sends for his architect and claps a fifth and a sixth story on top of his pre- vious four. And, not til the gentleman has achieved his aspira- tion, not till he has stolen over the way by twilight and observed how the sixth story soars beyond his neighbor's fifth——not till then does he retire to rest with satisfaction. Such folks, it seems to me, need mountains for neighbors, to take this emulous conceit of soaring out of them. If, considering that mine is a very wide house, and by no means lofty, aught in the above may appear like interested pleading, as if I did but fold myself about in the cloak of a gen- eral proposition, cunningly to tickle my individual vanity be- neath it, such misconceptions must vanish upon my frankly conceding that land adjoining my alder swamp was sold last month for ten dollars an acre, and thought a rash purchase at that; so that for wide houses hereabouts there is plenty of room, and cheap. Indeed, so cheap——dirt cheap——is the soil, that our elms thrust out their roots in it, and hang their great boughs over it, in the most lavish and reckless way. Almost all our crops, too, are sown broadcast, even peas and turnips. A farmer among us, who should go about his twenty-acre field, poking his finger into it here and there, and dropping down a mustard seed, would be thought a penurious, narrow-minded husbandman. The dandelions in the river-meadows, and the forget-me-nots along the mountain roads, you see at once they are put to no economy in space. Some seasons, too, our rye comes up, here and there a spear sole and single like a church- spire. It doesn't care to crowd itself where it knows there is such a deal of room. The world is wide, the world is all before us, says the rye. Wees, too, it is amazing how they spread. No such thing as arresting them——some of out pastures being a sort of Alsatia for the weeds. As for the grass, every spring it is like Kossuth's rising of what he calls the peoples. Mountains, too, a regular camp-meeting of them. For the same reason, the same all-sufficiency of room, our shadows march and countermarch, going through their various drills and masterly evolutions, like the old imperial guard on the Champs de Mars. As for the hills, especially where the roads cross them, the supervisors of our various towns have given notice to all concerned, that they can come and dig them down and cart them off and never a cent to pay, no more than for the privilege of picking blackberries. The stranger who is buried here, what liberal-hearted landed proprietor among us grudges him his six feet of rocky pasture? Nevertheless, cheap, after all, as our land is, and much as it is trodden under foot, I, for one, am proud of it for what it bears; and chiefly for its three great lions——the Great Oak, Ogg Mountain, and my chimney. Most houses are are but one and a half stories high; few exceed two. That in which I and my chimney dwell, is in width nearly twice its height, from sill to eaves——which accounts for the magnitude of its main content——besides showing that in this house, as in this country at large, there is abundance of space, and to spare, for both of us. The frame of the old house is of wood——which but the more sets forth the solidity of the chimney, which is of brick. And as the great wrought nails, binding the clapboards, are unknown in these degenerate days, so are the huge bricks in the chimney walls. The architect of the chimney must have had the pyramid of Cheops before him; for after that famous structure it seems modeled, only its rate of decrease towards the summit is con- siderably less, and it is truncated. From the exact middle of the mansion it soars from the cellar, right up through each suc- cessive floor, till, four feet square, it breaks water from the ridge-pole of the roof, like an anvil-headed whale, through the crest of a billow. Most people, though, liken it, in that part, to a razeed observatory, masoned up. The reason for its peculiar appearance above the roof touches upon rather delicate ground. How shall I reveal that, foras- much as many years ago the original gable roof of the old house had become very leaky, a temporary proprietor hired a band of woodmen, with their huge, crosscut saws, and went to saw- ing the old gable roof clean off. Off it went, with all its birds' nests, and dormer windows. It was replaced with a modern roof, more fit for a railway wood-house than an old country gentleman's abode. This operation——razeeing the structure some fifteen feet——was, in effect upon the chimney, something like the falling of the great spring tides. It left uncommon low water all about the chimney——to abate which appearance, the same person now proceeds to slice fifteen feet off the chimney itself, actualyl beheading my royal old chimney——a regicidal act which, were it not for the palliating fact that he was a poulterer by trade, and, therefore, hardened to such neck- wringings, should send that former proprietor down to pos- terity in the same cart with Cromwell. Owing to its pyramidal shape, the reduction of the chimney inordinately widened its razeed summit. Inordinately, I say, but only in the estimation of such as have no eye to the pic- turesque. What care I, if, unaware that my chimney, as a free citizen of this free land, stands upon an independent basis of its own, people passing it wondering how such a brick-kiln, as they call it, is supported upon mere joists and rafters? What care I? I will give a traveler a cup of switchel, if he ants it; but am I bound to supply him with a sweet taste? Men of cultivated minds see, in my old house and chimney, a goodly old elephant- and-castle. All feeling hearts will sympathize with me in what I am now about to add. The surgical operation, above referred to, nec- essarily brought into the open air a part of the chimney previously under cover, and intended to remain so and, there- fore, not built of what are called weather-bricks. In con- sequence, the chimney, though of a vigorous constitution, suffered not a little from so naked an exposure; and, unable to acclimate itself, ere long began to fail——showing blotchy symp- toms akin to those in the measles. Whereupon travelers, passing my way, would wag their heads, laughing: "See that wax nose ——how it melts off!" But what cared I? The same travelers would travel across the sea to view Kenilworth peeling away, and for a very good reason: that of all artists of the picturesque, decay wears the palm——I would say, the ivy. In fact, I've often thought that the proper place for my old chimney is ivied old England. In vain my wife——with what probable ulterior intent will, ere long, appear——solemnly warned me, that unless something were done, and speedily, we should be burnt to the ground, owing to the holes crumbling through the aforesaid blotchy parts, where the chimney joined the roof. "Wife," said I, "far better that my house should burn down, than my chimney should be pulled down, though but a few feet. They call it a wax nose; very good; not for me to tweak the nose of my superior." But at last the man who has a mortgage on the house dropped me a note, reminding me that, if my chimney was allowed to stand in that invalid condition, my policy of insurance would be void. This was a sort of hint not to be neglected. All the world over, the picturesque yields to the pocketesque. The mort- gagor cared not, but the mortgagee did. So another operation was performed. The wax nose was taken off, and a new one fitted on. Unfortunately for the expression ——being put up buy a squint-eyed mason who, at the time, had a bad stitch in the same side——the new nose stands a little awry, in the same direction. Of one thing, however, I am proud. The horizontal dimen- sions of the new part are unreduced. Large as the chimney appears upon the roof, that is nothing to its spaciousness below. At its base in the cellar, it is precisely twelve feet square; and hence covers precisely one hundred and fourty-four superficial feet. What an appropriation of terra firma for a chimney, and what a huge load for this earth! In fact, it was only because I and my chimney formed no part of his an- cient burden, that that stout peddler, Atlas of old, was enabled to stand up so bravely under his pack. The dimensions given may, perhaps, seem fabulous. But, like those stones at Gilgal, which Joshua set up for a memorial of having passed over Jor- dan, does not my chimney remain, even unto this day? Very often I go down into my cellar, and attentively survey the vast square of masonry. I stand long, and ponder over, and wonder at it. It has a druidical look, away down in the umbrageous cellar there, whose numerous vaulted passages, and far glens of gloom, resemble he dark, damp depths of primeval woods. So strongly did this conceit steal over me, so deeply was I penetrated with wonder at the chimney, that one day——when I was a little out of my mind, I now think——get- ting a spade from the garden, I set to work, digging round the foundation, especially at the corners thereof, obscurely prompted by dreams of striking upon some old, earthen-worn memorial of that bygone day when, into all this gloom, the light of heaven entered, as the masons laid the foundation-stones, peradventure sweltering under the August sun, or pelted by a March storm. Plying my blunted spade, how vexed was I by that ungracious interruption of a neighbor, who, calling to see me upon some business, and being informed that I was below, said I need not be troubled to come up, but he would go down to me; and so, without ceremony, and without my having been forewarned, suddenly discovered me, digging in my cellar. "Gold-digging, sir?" "Nay, sir," answered I, starting, "I was merely——ahem! merely ——I say merely digging——round my chimney." "Ah, loosening the soil, to make it grow. Your chimney, sir, you regard as too small, I suppose; needing further develop- ment, especially at the top?" "Sir!" said I, throwing down the spade, "do not be personal. I and my chimney——" "Personal?" "Sir, I look upon this chimney less as a pile of masonry than as a personage. It is the king of the house. I am but a suffered and inferior subject." In fact, I would permit no gibes to be cast at either myself or my chimney; and never did my visitor refer to it in my hearing, without coupling some compliment with the mention. It deserves a respectful consideration. There it stands, solitary and alone——not a council -of-ten flues, but, like his sa- cred majesty of Russia, a unit of an autocrat. Even to me, its dimensions, at times, seem incredible. It does not look so big——no, not even in the cellar. By the mere eye, its magnitude can be but imperfectly comprehended, because only one side can be received at one time; and said side can only present twelve feet, linear measure. But then, each other side also is twelve feet long; and the whole obviously forms a square; and twelve times twelve is one hundred and forty-four. And so, and adequate conception of the magnitude of this chim- ney is only to be got at by a sort of process in the higher math- ematics, by a method somewhat akin to those whereby the surprising distances of fixed stars are computed. It need hardly be said that the walls of my house are entirely free from fireplaces. These all congregate in the middle——in the one grand central chimney, upon all four sides of which are hearths——two tiers of hearths——so that when, in the various chambers, my family and guests are warming themselves of a cold winter's night, just before retiring, then, though at the time they may not be thinking so, all their faces mutually look towards each other, yea, all their feet point to one centre; and, when they go to sleep in their beds, they all sleep round one warm chimney, like so many Iroquois Indians, in the woods, round their one heap of embers. And just as the Indians' fire serves, not only to keep them comfortable, but also to keep off wolves, and other savage monsters, so my chimney, by its ob- vious smoke at he top, keeps off prowling burglars from the towns ——for what burglar or murderer would dare break into an abode from whose chimney issues such a continual smoke_— betokening that if the inmates are not stirring, at least fires are, and in case of an alarm, candles may be lighted, to say nothing of muskets. But stately as is the chimney——yea, grand high altar as it is, right worthy for the celebration of High Mass before the Pope of Rome, and all his cardinals——yet what is there perfect in this world? Caius Julius Caesar, had he not been so inordinately great, they say that Brutus, Cassius, Antony, and the rest, had been greater. My chimney, were it not so mighty in its magni- tude, my chambers had been larger. How often has my wife ruefully told me, that my chimney, like all English aristocracy, casts a contracting shade all round it. She avers that endless domestic inconveniences arise——more particularly from the chimney's stubborn central locality. The grand objection with her is that it stands midway in the place where a fine entrance- hall ought to be. In truth, there is no hall whatever to the house ——nothing but a sort of square landing-place, as you enter from the wide front door. A roomy enough landing-place, I admit, but not attaining to the dignity of a hall. Now, as the front door is precisely in the middle of the front of the house, inwards it faces the chimney. In fact, the opposite wall of the landing- place is formed solely by the chimney; and hence——owing to the gradual tapering of the chimney——is a little less than twelve feet in width. Climbing the chimney in this part, is the princi- pal staircase——which, by three abrupt turns, and three minor landing-places, mounts to the second floor, where, over the front door, runs a sort of narrow gallery, something less than twelve feet long, leading to chambers on either hand. This gallery, of course, is railed; and so, looking down upon the stairs, and all those landing-places together, with the main one at bottom, resembles not a little a balcony for musicians, in some jolly old abode, in times Elizabethan. Shall I tell a weak- ness? I cherish the cobwebs there, and many a time arrest Biddy in the act of brushing them with her broom, and have many a quarrel with my wife and daughters about it. Now the ceiling, so to speak, of the place where you enter the house, that ceiling is, in fact, the ceiling of the second floor, not the first. The two floors are made one here, so that ascend- ing this turning stairs, you seem to go up into a kind of soar- ing tower, or light-house. At the second landing, midway up the chimney, is a mysterious door, entering to a mysterious closet; and here I keep mysterious cordials, of a choice, mys- terious flavor, made so by the constant nurturing and subtle ripening of the chimney's gentle heat, distilled through that warm mass of masonry. Better for wines is it than voyages to the Indies; my chimney itself a tropic. A chair by my chimney in a November day is as good for an invalid as a long season spent in Cuba. Often I think how grapes might ripen against my chimney. How my wife's geraniums bud there! Bud in December. Her eggs, too——can't keep them near the chimney, on account of hatching. Ah, a warm heart has my chimney. How often my wife was at me about that projected grand entrance-hall of hers, which was to be knocked clean through the chimney, from one end of the house to the other, and as- tonish all guests by its generous amplitude. "But, wife," said I, "the chimney——consider the chimney: if you demolish the foundation, what is to support the superstructure?" "Oh, that will rest on the second floor." The truth is, women know next to nothing about the realities of architecture. However, my wife still talked of running her entries and partitions. She spent many long nights elaborating her plans; in imagination build- ing her boasted hall through the chimney, as though its high mightiness were a mere spear of sorrel-top. At last, I gently reminded her that, little as she might fancy it, the chimney was a fact——a sober, substantial fact, which, in all her plannings, it would be well to take into full consideration. But this was not of much avail. And here, specially craving her permission, I must say a few words about this enterprising wife of mine. Though in years nearly as old as myself, in spirit she is young as my little sorrel mare, Trigger, that threw me last fall. What is extraordi- nary, though she comes of a rheumatic family, she is straight as a pine, never has any aches; while for me with the sciatica, I am sometimes as crippled up as any old apple tree. But she has not so much as a toothache. As for her hearing——let me en- ter the house in my dusty boots, and she away up in the attic. And for her sight——Biddy, the housemaid, tells other people's housemaids, that her mistress will spy a spot on the dresser straight through the pewter platter, put up on purpose to hide it. Her faculties are alert as her limbs and her senses. No danger of my spouse dying of torpor. The longest night in the year I've known her to lie awake, planning her campaign for the mor- row. She is a natural projector. The maxim, "Whatever is, is right," is not hers. Her maxim is, Whatever is, is wrong; and what is more, must be altered; and what is still more, must be altered right away. Dreadful maxim for the wife of a dozy old dreamer like me, who dotes on seventh days as days of rest, and, out of sabbatical horror of industry, will, on a week-day, go out of my road a quarter of a mile, to avoid the sight of a man at work. That matches are made in heaven, may be, but my wife would have been just the wife for Peter the Great, or Peter the Piper. How she would have set in order that huge littered em- pire of the one, and with indefatigable painstaking picked the peck of pickled peppers for the other. But the most wonderful thing is, my wife never thinks of her end. Her youthful incredulity, as to the plain theory, and still plainer fact of death, hardly seems Christian. Advanced in years, as she knows she must be, my wife seems to think that she is to teem on, and be inexhaustible forever. She doesn't believe in old age. At that strange promise in the plain of Mamre, my old wife, unlike old Abraham's, would not have jeeringly laughed within herself. Judge how to me, who, sitting in the comfortable shadow of my chimney, smoking my comfortable pipe, with ashes not unwelcome at my feet, and ashes not unwelcome all but in my mouth; and who am thus in a comfortable sort of not unwel- come, though, indeed, ashy enough way, reminded of the ul- timate exhaustion even of the most fiery life; judge how to me this unwarrantable vitality in my wife must come, sometimes, it is true, with a moral and a calm, but oftener with a breeze and a ruffle. If the doctrine be true, that in wedlock contraries attract, but how cogent a fatality must I have been drawn to my wife! While spicily impatient of present and past, like a glass of gin- ger-beer she overflows with her schemes; and, with like energy as she puts down her foot, puts down her preserves and her pickles, and lives with them in a continual future; or ever full of expectations both from time and space, is ever restless for newspapers, and ravenous for letters. Content with the years that are gone, taking no thought for the morrow, and looking for no new thing from any person or quarter whatever, I have not a single scheme or expectation on earth, save in unequal resistance of the undue encroachment of hers. Old myself, I take to oldness in things; for that cause mainly loving old Montaigne, and old cheese, and old wine; and eschewing young people, hot rolls, new book, and early potatoes, and very fond of my old claw-footed chair, and old club-footed Deacon White, my neighbor, and that still nigher old neighbor, my betwisted grape-vine, that of a summer evening leans in his elbow for cosy company at my window- sill, while I, within doors, lean over mine to meet his; and above all, high above all, am fond of my highmanteled old chimney. But she, out of that infatuate juvenility of hers, takes to nothing but newness; for that cause mainly, loving new cider in autumn, and in spring, as if she were own daughter of Nebuchadnezzar, fairly raving after all sorts of salads and spin- aches, and more particularly green cucumbers (though all the time nature rebukes such unsuitable young hankerings in so elderly a person, by never permitting such things to agree with her), and has an itch after recently-discovered fine pros- pects (so no grave-yard be in the background), and also after Swedenborgianism, and the Spirit Rapping philosophy, with other new views, alike in things natural and unnatural; and immortally hopeful, is forever making new flower-beds even on the north side of the house, where the bleak mountain wind would scarce allow the wiry weed called hard-hack to gain a thorough footing; and on the road-side sets out mere pipestems of young elms; though there is no hope of any shade from them, except over the ruins of her great granddaughters' grave-stones; and won't wear caps, but plaits her gray hair; and takes the Ladies' Magazine for the fashions; and always buys her new almanac a month before the new year; and rises at dawn; and to the warmest sunset turns a cold shoulder; and still goes on at odd hours with her new course of history, and her French, and her music; and likes young company; and offers to ride young colts; and sets out young suckers in the orchard; and has a spite against my elbowed old grape-vine, and my club-footed old neighbor, and my claw-footed old chair, and above all, high above all, would fain persecute, unto death, my high- manteled old chimney. By what perverse magic, I a thousand times think, does such a very autumnal old lady have such a very vernal young soul? When I would remonstrate at times, she spins round on me with, "Oh, don't you grumble, old man (she always calls me old man), it's I, young I, that keep you from stagnating." Well, I suppose it is so. Yea, after all, these things are well ordered. My wife, as one of her poor relations, good soul, intimates, is the salt of the earth, and none the less the salt of my sea, which otherwise were unwholesome. She is its monsoon, too blowing a brisk gale over it, in the one steady direction of my chimney. Not insensible of her superior energies, my wife has fre- quently made me propositions to take upon herself all the responsibilities of my affairs. She is desirous that, domestically, I should abdicate; that, renouncing further rule, like the vener- able Charles V, I should retire into some sort of monastery. But indeed, the chimney excepted, I have little authority to lay down. My wife's ingenious application of the principle that certain things belong to right to female jurisdiction, I find myself, through my easy compliances, insensibly stripped by de- grees of one masculine prerogative after another. In a dream I go about my fields, a sort of lazy, happy-go-lucky, good-for- nothing, loafing old Lear. Only by some sudden revelation am I reminded who is over me; as year before last, one day seeing in one corner of the premises fresh deposits of mysterious boards and timbers, the oddity of the incident at length begat serious meditation. "Wife," said I, "whose boards and timbers are those I see near the orchard there? Do you know anything about them, wife? Who put them there? You know I do not like the neighbors to use my land that way; they should ask per- mission first." She regarded me with a pitying smile. "Why, old man, don't you know I am building a new barn? Didn't you know that, old man?" This is the poor old lady that was accusing me of tyrannizing over her. To return now to the chimney. Upon being assured of the futility of her proposed hall, so long as the obstacle remained, for a time my wife was for a modified project. But I could never exactly comprehend it. As far as I could see through it, it seemed to involve the general idea of a sort of irregular arch- way, or elbowed tunnel, which was to penetrate the chimney at some convenient point under the stair-case, and carefully avoiding dangerous contact with fireplaces, and particu- larly steering clear of the great interior flue, was to conduct the enterprising traveler from the front door all the way into the dining-room in the remote rear of the mansion. Doubtless it was a bold stroke of genius, that plan of hers, and so was Nero's when he schemed his grand canal through the Isthmus of Corinth. Nor will I take oath, that, had her project been ac- complished, then, by help of lights hung at judicious intervals through the tunnel, some Belzoni or other might have suc- ceeded in future ages to penetrate through the masonry, and actually emerging into the dining-room, and once there, it would have been inhospitable treatment of such a traveler to have denied him a recruiting meal. But my bustling wife did not restrict her objections, nor in the end confine her proposed alterations to the first floor. Her ambition was of the mounting order. She ascended with her schemes to the second floor, and so to the attic. Perhaps there was some small ground for her discontent with things as they were. The truth is, there was no regular passage-way up stairs or down, unless we again except that little orchestra-gallery before mentioned. And all this was owing to the chimney, which my gamesome spouse seemed despitefully to regard as the bully of the house. On all its four sides, nearly all the cham- bers sidled up to the chimney for the benefit of a fireplace. The chimney would not go to them; they must needs go to it. The consequence was, almost every room, like a philosophical sys- tem, was in itself an entry, or passage-way to other rooms, and systems of rooms——a whole suite of entries, in fact. Going through the house, you seem to be forever going somewhere, and getting nowhere. It is like losing one's self in the woods; round and round the chimney you go, and if you arrive at all, it is just where you started, and so you begin again, and again get nowhere. Indeed——though I say it not in the way of fault- finding at all——never was there so labyrinthine an abode. Guests will tarry with me several weeks and every now and then, be anew astonished at some unforeseen apartment.
[BCAC interview 26]From BOSCore node-stake.fish:How do PoS pools support to BOSCore eco-system and network security?
BCAC is the BOSCore core governance community initiated by Node Pacific (Node name BOS Pacific). BCAC does not have arbitration function, does not participate in governance implementation, and only does BOSCore governance training and education, aiming to build BOSCore community consensus. In order to let the community users better understand BOSCore eco-system, we officially opened the exclusive interviews with BOSCore BPs. [BCAC interview 26]from BOSCore node stake. Fish On August 21, 2019, BCAC interviewed the CFO of |stake. Fish in an exclusive interview with the BCAC community. https://preview.redd.it/kp7xphswsxh31.png?width=303&format=png&auto=webp&s=6f2f23aeb17513fe532ce36a870707f1500b4590 The following is an excerpt of the highlights of the interview, compiled and published by the BCAC community: 01.Personal Introduction https://preview.redd.it/3hx55uzpsxh31.png?width=381&format=png&auto=webp&s=52cbf4246ed42aa3c633ea1b49940e551dc0143a The CFO in charge of marketing and brand operations.Stake. Fish is a globally famous PoS mining pool, which has supported a total of 7 high-quality public chains at present. Cosmos, with the trust from the community, is the first place, and thus the brand of stake. 02.Node Introduction https://preview.redd.it/8oivricnsxh31.png?width=1300&format=png&auto=webp&s=d90d1c97c8220e1d47cabf80dbc68e586300fbb3 Stake. Fish was founded in the Autumn of 2018 and has grown to become a leading service provider in the Staking economy.They provide secure and reliable PoS verification services for global blockchain projects and investors. 03.Moderator Interview Moderator: can you introduce yourself? Now I am the CFO of stake. Fish, and I got in touch with digital currency in June 2017. In July of the same year, I took charge of brand operation and market in wallet sector.I started to be in charge of stake. fish is a semi-old chive. In 2015, I started to invest in stocks.Back into the currency circle, also just for a field to continue when the "leek."My micro blog introduction is [leek], you can follow my Weibo: Zi Yu blockchain. I am same as many other people, who like to use "leek" ridicule themselves, this self-black way, can comfort a little of my loss of mood.And by the way, you might be wondering, isn't CFO for finance?How do you come out to market?In fact,here F for CFO is F for Fish, which translates to chief Fish officer. Moderator: what is exactly stake. fish doing?Can you introduce the key members of your team? Stake. Fish has about 20 members with teams distributed in 10 different time zones.Our founder Wang Chun previously co-founded f2pool, the largest bitcoin and ethereum mine pool.At present, wang chun is building validation nodes based on different PoS networks, hoping to continue to make similar important contributions to the industry in this way in new areas. Jun Kim, operations manager, is a former economic consultant who specialises in analysing different industries and their evolution.Kris Lucera, director of infrastructure, has 18 years of experience in building and managing secure Internet infrastructure;Dasom Song, marketing director, is the little sister of blockchain web celebrity in South Korea and has rich experience in social media operation. In general, our teams from all over the world and different fields of expertise have come together to form a multicultural technology company. (A part of team members of stake.fish) Moderator: Recently,Staking**, which is the business model under the PoS mechanism, has become a common word.So is Staking the value investment under the tide of PoS mining?** Categorizing staking as a form of investment is not the right way to view PoS networks.Staking is not an investment vehicle or product but a means to contribute to the safety of the Internet and to protect the general certificate from inflation.Staking is not the same as investing. The concept is different. Moderator: Staking is generally rewarded because of the inflationary nature of tokens. During the last round of bull and bear trading, many projects have experienced the risk of collapse and depreciation.How to find the right project layout when the market upward channel opens, and exit before the possible downward trend in the future? Staking is definitely validation, and the rewards of validation are definitely fascinating.Because PoS mine pool is not an investment company, but a professional verification service company.What we need to do is decide which network to set up the validation node on.The process of deciding what network to support depends on a number of factors, three of which are particularly important. First, we need to make sure that the project does address important issues and will be used by developers and users over the next decade. Second, its well-documented economics allow us to maintain costs and sustained inputs. Third, the project team needs to have strong technical strength and good reputation.We don't offer investment advice.People should do their own research and make careful investment decisions when choosing projects. Moderator: How did you learn about BOSCore and why did you run for BOSCore node? I have a deep relationship with BOSCore. One of BOSCore's advisers, super jun, is my bole.We used to work together at shinxin, and he was my leader, and I knew some of the developers and community leaders who worked for BOSCore from a very early time, and they were very close friends, and they talked to me about BOSCore from a very early time. We really began to know BOSCore and decided to run for office in April this year, when we held a meetup with BOSCore in Bangkok, we met up with BOSCore's strength this time!But it didn't go live until this month, and it's been a long time coming.We think BOSCore has a great future and will be widely used by developers and users in the next decade.We were EOS nodes, so deploying BOSCore was a natural progression. Moderator: What do you think is the biggest advantage of stake.fish? Our advantages can be summarized into three simple points as below: The first is stable global services Teams, verification nodes, and sentinel nodes are distributed around the world.Global round-the-clock monitoring operation, always properly maintain our various verification nodes.Our team members are located in ten time zones, including the United States, Europe, southeast Asia, South Korea and Russia.We are the global village, the real 24-hour online monitoring. The second is the deep industry foundation Founder wang chun co-founded F2Pool, the largest integrated mine pool.In PoS field, stake. Fish has always been widely praised in the community, taking the first place in Cosmos node with solid technology and community foundation.At present, BOSCore node is also the first place, thank you for your support. The third is continuous security Always putting safety first, Kris, the director of infrastructure, has been working on system architecture and infrastructure security for 18 years and can select the best solutions in the industry to put into practice. Moderator: What are your current contributions to BOSCore? We co-organized a community meeting with BOSCore in Bangkok in April at our Bangkok office. , we have been in deep cooperation with BOSCore's community activities. Even the 3s LIB upgraded meeting was hosted by me on behalf of stake. Fish, which you may remember happened several days ago.Of course, the most important thing is to become a stable running node to protect the stable running BOSCore network, which is the most important contribution. Moderator: How do you plan to do for BOScore in the future?What's the plan? The community leader of BOSCore has talked with me, and I hope we can continue to cooperate and promote the global activities of BOSCore in the future.What we're doing for BOSCore right now is building communities together.This is very important, because BOSCore is still a baby, it needs more people to protect it care about it. We also try to put tools that we developed on other chains on BOSCore networks.It takes a little bit of time, but what you can do in the short term is build communities together. Moderator: What are your Suggestions and expectations for BOSCore ecology? It is suggested that BOS need be launched on the exchange as early as possible. Now it can only be bought on newdex, which is really inconvenient for ordinary investors and hard core investors are not many.Why we deployed the node for so long, because it was really impossible to buy the BOS.I really look forward to BOSCore bringing real prosperity to Dapp. BOSCore is very fast and hopefully brings revolutionary products, and 3-second irreversible is 50 times faster than EOS network.3 seconds is an understatement, and most of the time it is less than 2 seconds or even 1 second. This is an awesome thing, and I am looking forward to the development of BOSCore in the next ten years.
Q1: what is staking?Can you explain it to the community in the simplest way? Staking is just a means of PoS, Staking can form an economic ecology.In this ecosystem, everyone can become a participant, and the most important places to participate are nodes and currency holders.Let's make it easier. Let's call him staking. Q2: What is the relation between Staking and PoS? Profit is the means not the end, and Staking is the means not the end of PoS. Q3:How will the rise of Staking economy affect the industry ecology? As far as I am concerned, staking economy will become the first choice for most blockchain projects, and PoW needs higher cost to ensure safety.If the PoW algorithm used by the public chain is not unique, the potential risk of being attacked by 51 cannot be ignored.Of course, to exclude bitcoin, bitcoin is the most successful case of PoW.The new public chain adopts PoS, which is much simpler and more efficient.If the PoS network wants to carry out 51 attacks, it needs to buy 51% of the currency. This attack cost is very high, which guarantees the security of the PoS network. Question 4: From which media platforms we could know more about stake. fish and the latest development of stake.fish? Website: https://stake.fish/en/ Wechat Public account: stakefish Twitter: stakefish info Cable group: https://t.me/stakefish Twitter: https://twitter.com/stakedotfish Welcome BOSBP who wants to get the attention of the community, contact us. What is BCAC BCAC is the BOSCore core governance community which is initiated by Node Pacific (Node name BOS Pacific). It does not have arbitration function, does not participate in governance implementation, and only does BOSCore governance training and education, aiming to consolidate BOSCore community consensus. BCAC vision BCAC hopes to advance the community building, perfecting BOSCore governance, blocks attract global chain technology and governance lovers know, participate in BOSCore, build a rich variety of BOSCore community governance communication, gradually will BOSCore gradually transition to the community governance, expanding BOSCore cohesion, mechanism of forming strong and irreplaceable consensus. The main purpose and function of BCAC
Organize discussion on problems of BOSCore in community governance;
Organize BOSCore knowledge training and communication;
3.BOSCore adopts a membership system and joins as an individual, which does not represent the node. Bospacificbp welcomes your support and votes.
I have said multiple times that at the very least, Trump is the little horn from the book of Daniel and with some events coming up in the future, I think it's appropriate to gather some of these spread out ideas across all of my posts into one. I'm not going to delve deep into this specific part because you can read about this more here.
Daniel 7 8 “While I was thinking about the horns, there before me was another horn, a little one, which came up among them; and three of the first horns were uprooted before it. This horn had eyes like the eyes of a human being and a mouth that spoke boastfully.
So the little horn uproots 3 of the others and its a person who speaks boastfully. I don't think Trump has uprooted anyone yet but maybe that's for later. Keeping with the "As above, so below" theme, what does "above" have to say about this little horn. Well, a lot actually.
https://astrolibrary.org/donald-trump-astrology/ Strengths in Donald Trump’s Birth Chart The first thing that stands out from Donald Trump’s birth chart is that he has the royal fixed star, Regulus, conjunct to his Ascendant. Regulus is one of the four Royal Stars of Persia, and the only one known as “The Royal Star,” the Star of Kings, and the “Heart of the Lion” (or Lion’s Heart. Cor Leonis in Italian). With Regulus on the Ascendant, Donald Trump can’t help but to have a “majestic temperament.” Donald Trump is extremely lucky to have been born with this honor. Having any of the Royal Fixed Stars on the Ascendant promises power, success, honor, charisma, wealth, and special talents as long as one mandatory condition is met (explained below). Regulus, in particular, also promises military honors and victory over enemies. This influence is doubled because Donald Trump has Mars near the Ascendant. Mars near Regulus promises honor, fame, strong character, public prominence, and high military command. Not enough good things can be said about having Regulus conjunct the Ascendant. It makes one courageous, frank, and noble. It allows Donald to see the big picture of things. those who have this star prominent are esteemed, commanding, independent, outspoken, great-souled and honor-loving, often wealthy and born leaders of men.” However, one big condition must be met for Donald Trump to receive all the benefits of Regulus. Donald must avoid revenge. That’s what Regulus requires. Regulus promises great success if revenge can be avoided. If Donald Trump engages in revenge, Regulus promises a falling from grace. "If, out of anger or hurt, the person takes revenge, then as promised with all Royal Stars, there is a falling from grace.” Falling from the grace of Regulus can bring violence, trouble, sickness, and scandal. Regulus can take away all that has been gained. As long as revenge is avoided, the sky is the limit for Donald Trump.
Assuming this is true, does anyone here think Trump won't do the very thing he isn't supposed to do. It's almost like he was fated to do it. Now what does this have to do with the little horn? Everything.
https://www.space.com/25084-regulus-...ation-leo.html From the remotest times it has been known as the "royal star" par excellence; one of the four royal stars regarded by the ancient Persian monarchy which were supposed long ago to rule over the four quarters of the heavens. In Babylon they knew it as Sharru, the King, in India as Maghā, the Mighty, in Persia as Miyan, the Center and in Latin Rex, from which Copernicus constructed the name we use today: Regulus, The Little King. The three other seasonal "royal stars" are Antares (summer), Fomalhaut (autumn) and Aldebaran (winter). But the royal star of spring, Regulus, has always been in a certain way, their chief. For about 5,000 years it has been believed, traditionally, to control the affairs of heaven, and the astrologers have seized upon this idea by making it the natal star of kings, and those destined to kingly achievements and rule.
Doc's first dog's name is Copernicus from Back to the Future. For the very large significance of the BttF Trilogy to all of this, go here. The Little King. The Little Baron Trump. The Little Horn from the Book of Daniel. 1 of 4 who supplants the other 3. Horns denote poweauthority in the Bible.
https://www.vocabulary.com/dictionary/baron A baron is a nobleman — a member of the aristocracy. Barons are also important, powerful businessmen with huge influence over their industries. In Britain, a baron is called “Lord,” but in the States, we call them “rich.” Barons are members of the aristocracy — wealthy people born into power and influence. How high a baron ranks depends on the country, but the title always carries respect. Similarly, a business leader who is rich, powerful, and influential is a baron. The term is used in phrases such as oil baron and baron of industry. You can also call that kind of baron a big businessman, magnate, mogul, top executive, or tycoon.
An asteroid will pass directly in front of Regulus, one of the brightest stars in our night sky, next Wednesday — briefly blacking out the star in what astronomers are calling a “once in a lifetime” event. Better yet, New York City falls directly within the viewing path which is literally paper-thin on the earths scale. The event is so small, and so brief, that it will only be visible over a sliver of area. And this area happens to encompass millions of people in New York City, Northeast NJ and Long Island.
On Thursday, March 20 2014, Regulus will participate in a rare celestial event when an asteroid passes directly in front of the star, as seen from Earth. The asteroid in question is 163 Erigone. Asteroid 163 Erigone is about 45 miles (72 km) wide, but its "shadow" slanting to Earth's surface will be 67 miles (108 km) wide.Erigone's shadow will move on a southeast-to-northwest trajectory and will extend from New York City as well as western and central Long Island to Oswego in New York State, and then continues northwest, the length of Ontario to the Hudson Bay shore of Manitoba. Those who are within the shadow path and watching at just the right moment with just their eyes will see an amazing sight: Regulus will seem to abruptly disappear as if a switch had been thrown, blotted out by the tiny invisible asteroid.Regulus will remain invisible for up to 14 seconds (for those situated along the center of the path); an incredible, albeit very brief occurrence.
This "once in a lifetime event" eclipsing right over New York. Home of Trump and the UNHQ, in 2014 for 14 seconds. The predictive Trump TV show from 1958 episode of Trackdown entitled "End of the World" claimed the end would be on November 14th. That's when the leonids were suppose to show up and batter the earth with meteors in the show. You can watch this 22 minute episode here. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leonids
The Leonids are a prolific meteor shower associated with the comet Tempel–Tuttle. The Leonids get their name from the location of their radiant in the constellation Leo: the meteors appear to radiate from that point in the sky. Their proper Greek name should be Leontids , but the word was initially constructed as a Greek/Latin hybrid and it has been used since. They peak in the month of November. The Leonids are famous because their meteor showers, or storms, can be among the most spectacular. Because of the storm of 1833 and the recent developments in scientific thought of the time (see for example the identification of Halley's Comet) the Leonids have had a major effect on the development of the scientific study of meteors, which had previously been thought to be atmospheric phenomena. Though it has been suggested the meteor shower-storm has been noted in ancient times it was the meteor storm of 1833 that broke into people's modern day awareness – it was of truly superlative strength. One estimate is over one hundred thousand meteors an hour, but another, done as the storm abated, estimated in excess of 240,000 meteors during the nine hours of the storm over the entire region of North America east of the Rocky Mountains. It was marked by several nations of Native Americans: the Cheyenne established a peace treaty and the Lakota calendar was reset. Abolitionists including Harriet Tubman and Frederick Douglass as well as slave-owners took note and others. The New York Evening Post carried a series of articles on the event including reports from Canada to Jamaica, it made news in several states beyond New York and though it appeared in North America was talked about in Europe. The journalism of the event tended to rise above the partisan debates of the time and reviewed facts as they could be sought out. Abraham Lincoln commented on it years later. Near Independence, Missouri, in Clay County, a refugee Mormon community watched the meteor shower on the banks of the Missouri River after having been driven from their homes by local settlers. The founder and first leader of Mormonism, Joseph Smith, afterwards noted in his journal that this event was a literal fulfillment of the word of God and a sure sign that the coming of Christ was close at hand.
They are located in the constellation Leo. So is Regulus. Regulus is known as the "heart of the lion". According to the chart on the Wiki, they peak on 11/17 for the next several years. 17 again. Seems they had a big impact on the people in 1833. This almost seems to relate to what happened in Star Trek with Vulcan and the psychic cloud they go back in time to get to stop the war from breaking out. (read about this here) More about the star Regulus
In Chinese it is known as 轩辕十四, the Fourteenth Star of Xuanyuan, the Yellow Emperor. It was one of the fifteen Behenian stars known to medieval astrologers, associated with granite.
https://preview.redd.it/kmqb3rmznwo11.jpg?width=564&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=34541b31262cc6f0ecf9d0cae89b3f72f6c88d03 The Cleopatra's Needle in Paris is made of yellow granite and this looks like a stargate. So do all of these Ferris wheels being built around the world. Then you have Yellowstone, which is a volcano. The yellow brick road from the Wizard of Oz that leads to Emerald City where you realize OZ is not great and powerful at all, that he's just a man behind the curtain and you had everything you already needed inside you. Also consider that Marty in the Back to the Future movies gets triggered when he is called chicken and it makes him insecure and do dumb shit. In the 3rd movie, the word chicken changes to "yella" to fit with the old west vernacular. Then at the end, a guy he knows named "Needles" challenges him to a race and calls him a chicken. Having learned his lesson in the movie about not letting things like that get to him, Marty averts a total disaster that derailed his future self's life in the 2nd movie. So Marty didn't follow the Yellow Brick Road and averted disaster. In relation to the Wizard of Oz story, both the Hopi Indians and the Bible speak of an "End Times" event that seem to look at the same thing just in opposite ways. The Bible says the Antichrist will set himself up in the 3rd temple and declare himself to be God. The Hopi say a god will take his mask off and be revealed to just be a man. So what are we to make of this? It sounds like completely opposite concepts. What if we're going to find out that WE are god, all of us, together. The 3rd temple doesn't have to be literally a temple. The temple refers to the human body in Christianity. When Jesus was mad and drove all the merchants out of the Temple for selling things and told them to get out of his Father's house, its a metaphor for driving out ones own inner merchants. This "god" we think of when we think of God, maybe its just a man behind a curtain. https://preview.redd.it/57y240whjyo11.jpg?width=791&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=16d9483e920eea79cd047f654c9d47229f48cd0f We have the "Trump Prophecy" movie coming out on 10/02 and 10/04. 10/03 is the date "Trump" will text all of our phones to "test" out this new system for FEMA alerts. 10:04 is when lightning struck the Clock Tower in Back to the Future and caused the clock to stop working. Could this be a metaphor for time itself? I have said since I heard about this movie coming out that that movie will be the major catalyst to Trump calling himself God. Once that movie reaches the consciousness of millions of delusional "Christian" Trump supporters, there's no stopping that train. His supporters will have it locked in their heads that Trump's will = God's will and Trump will start to believe that too. Who knows how long this will take to go into full effect but the church thinks they are under threat of extinction and they feel backed into a corner due to all of the unnecessary fear mongering they have been subjected to for decades. I don't know what we are in store for exactly. But I do know that all signs point to November for some major event and I mean major for all of humanity. This could range from an assassination attempt on Trump that either succeeds or fails, a terrorist attack by "Isis". Some sort of major act or declaration of war by an ally on another country, contact with alien life or even the appearance of what will look like the Messiah. One more thing to note. I came across this site where a man did a ridiculous amount of math to determine when the Messiah would come back in 2013 (I could not follow his method whatsoever but where he landed is pretty interesting either way) and the year he landed on was 2018 being the start of the 7 year tribulation period. 2018 also lines up with the Economist magazine from 1988 with a Phoenix on the cover speaking of a one world currency and strongly hinting at it being a Bitcoin like digital currency. The magazine said this would happen in 2018, 30 years from the year the magazine came out. You can read about determining the date here and the Economist prediction here, towards the bottom of that post. 2018 = 2 + 1 + 8 = 11 This person described King Solomon building the temple but not dedicating it to God until after 11 months and then having 14 days of celebration. The 11th month of the Jewish calendar is a 30 day month of winter ("Winter is coming"). The movie V for Vendetta was suppose to come out on 11/4/2005, which was the day before the 400th anniversary of Guy Fawkes day. For some reason, the movie got delayed to an official release date of 3/17/2005 (17 again). Ronald Reagan, who has a ridiculous amount of similarities and mirror differences with Trump, was elected president on 11/4/1980 and an attempt on his life was made on 3/30/1981. 3/17 3/30 30 - 17 = 13, there's "Mother" again. Regulus was eclipsed by 163 Erigone on 3/20 20 + 13 = 33. 33 is the number of Christ consciousness The man who did all the math speaking about the date of the Messiah's return, put a lot of emphasis on 1980 years (1980 just so happens to be the year Reagan was elected president) since the death of Jesus in 33AD. 1980 + 33 = 2013 and we come to 13 again. 13 & 17 like the locusts associated with the god without a mother who live and die and just to become foods for the birds (You can read about this here). Which Revelation 19:17-21 actually speaks about too, a feast for the birds dining on the bodies of the dead after the battle of Armageddon. So maybe those ARE the locusts the Bible was speaking about that come out of the pit. The Bible repeatedly says that no one will know the day and the hour Jesus is suppose to come back and the "Little Baron Trump" book says that no one knows for certain the date of his death. Combine that with the tombstone that was placed in Central Park on Easter Sunday 2016 with only a birth date and no death date, and maybe these 2 things are correlated.
BIOGRAPHICAL NOTICE OF WILHELM HEINRICH SEBASTIAN VON TROOMP, COMMONLY CALLED LITTLE BARON TRUMP As doubting Thomases seem to take particular pleasure in popping up on all occasions, Jack-in-the-Box-like, it may be well to head them off in this particular instance by proving that Baron Trump was a real baron, and not a mere baron of the mind. The family was originally French Huguenot — De la Trompe — which, upon the revocation of the Edict of Nantes in 1685, took refuge in Holland, where its head assumed the name of Van der Troomp, just as many other of the French Protestants rendered their names into Dutch. Some years later, upon the invitation of the Elector of Brandenburg, Niklas Van der Troomp became a subject of that prince, and purchased a large estate in the province of Pomerania, again changing his name, this time to Von Troomp. The “Little Baron,” so called from his diminutive stature, was born some time in the latter part of the seventeenth century. He was the last of his race in the direct line, although cousins of his are to-day well-known Pomeranian gentry. He began his travels at an incredibly early age, and filled his castle with such strange objects picked up here and there in the far away corners of the world, that the simple-minded peasantry came to look upon him as half bigwig and half magician —hence the growth of the many myths and fanciful stories concerning this indefatigable "globe-trotter". The date of his death cannot be fixed with any certainty ; but this much may be said : Among the portraits of Pomeranian notables hanging in the Rathhausat Stettin, there is one picturing a man of low stature, and with a head much too large for his body. He is dressed in some outlandish costume, and holds in his left hand a grotesque image in ivory, most elaborately carved. The broad face is full of intelligence, and the large gray eyes are lighted up with a good natured but quizzical look that invariably attracts attention. The man's right hand rests upon the back of a dog sitting on a table and looking straight out with an air of dignity that shows that he knew he was sitting for his portrait. If a visitor asks the guide who this man is, he always gets for answer: “ Oh, that’s the Little Baron!” But little Baron who, that’s the question ? Why may it not be the famous Wilhelm Heinrich Sebastian von Troomp, commonly called “ Little Baron Trump,” and his wonderful dog Bulger?
https://preview.redd.it/s4fqr7b5w6p11.jpg?width=2228&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=efb86fb904da0e6de21fe4a01c20d6bbfbcba49e https://preview.redd.it/3yg1smkpx6p11.jpg?width=1398&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=a57e6c7b522d812eed76e7d7101a3932a40335c4 So in conclusion, I am not sure if this 11/14 (5) date is actually November 14th or (5th) or if this relates to the Jewish calendar and it correlates to Passover (which relates to Easter and the death and resurrection of Christ and is on 4/20 next year and is 3 years after the tombstone showed up in Central Park). Maybe Trump gets assassinated and then Jesus comes back in the form of humanity raising its collective consciousness level. Trump representing the pure ego of man, the animalistic side of us (The Beast). Crucifying him representing the crucifixion of humanities ego which is what allows us to ascend to higher consciousness levels further away from the lower animal self. Unfortunately this is what I have feared this entire Trump thing was about in the first place, collectively ridding humanity of people like Trump, his supporters as well. Trump and Q are the Pied Pipers leading them to their deaths. They will do whatever they are told and they are eventually going to be lead off of a cliff to die like the locusts so the birds can have a feast. I wish I could do more to make them see this but every time I have tried to talk to them, I may have just made things worse. They have truly been sent the powerful delusion spoken about in 2 Thessalonians 2. For the continuation of this idea and the very big significance of the 11/14 date, go here.
Bitcoin, Startups, and Suicide: Being an entrepreneur is hard
For over a week now, I’ve been trying to write a year in review piece for Satoshi Forest. The words, which usually just flow like a spigot when I’m passionate about something, seem to just dribble out. And what little eeks by is hardly print worthy. Maybe it’s just writer’s block? Writer’s block happens. Or maybe I’m not as passionate about Satoshi Forest as I used to be? But, I am passionate about Satoshi Forest, perhaps more than I ever have been. And writer’s block, if it is the culprit, cannot explain why I haven’t responded to Elizabeth Ploshay’s ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, in a timely fashion. I guess I’ll have to donate now. You see it’s not just the Satoshi Forest year in review, it’s everything. Emails from friends I haven’t responded to, phone calls I let go to voicemail, new endeavors at Sean’s Outpost I let sit unannounced (http://blockchain.satoshiforest.com/). And then it hits me. I’ve been here before. I’m really depressed. And it seems to be going around. Since the tragic suicide of Robin Williams, four (4) people close to me have also tried to kill themselves. One succeeded. An anecdotal survey of my friends has seen an equal uptick in the number of people talking about or attempting suicide. It’s been really disturbing. In the preparations for the Bitcoin in the Beltway conference this past June, I had one of the more surreal conversations of my life. An east coast sales director for Marriott called me wanting to know if bitcoin was linked to suicide. They had heard of the tragic death of Autumn Radtke in March (http://nypost.com/2014/03/06/bitcoin-firm-ceo-jumped-to-her-death-neighbo) and were concerned about hosting a conference for a technology that was making people kill themselves. I was sure he was joking. He was not. The conversation I had with him must have allayed his fears. #BitcoinBeltway went great, can’t wait to do it again next year. Obviously, bitcoin does not cause suicide. And while we are quick to sticky a “suicide prevention hotline” when the price crashes, bitcoin is not causing depression. What we may want to look into is something that is not bitcoin related, but more something that comes part and parcel with “bitcoiners”. The woes of entrepreneurship and startup culture. Being an entrepreneur is fucking hard. Really hard. Most people don’t even attempt it. It might not feel that way to you, but likely that’s because you surround yourself with other entrepreneurs. Your friends work at startups. Your trips are to startup conferences and conventions. Your news feed is bitcoin and hacker news. You are firmly in the echo chamber. Most people will never try and build a product or company. So most people will never experience what it is like to fear you won’t make payroll and someone else will not be able to pay their rent because of you. Most people will never know how difficult it is to raise money. To get someone else to believe in you enough to open their checkbook and support you financially. The hours you spend and the mental strain that comes from hearing “No” again and again and again. And if you get a “Yes” the pressure doesn’t dissipate! It increases! Now it’s your crazy idea and someone elses money you’re responsible for. Being an entrepreneur is really hard. And we are really hard on ourselves. We are afraid to show any weakness. Because we’ve been taught being weak or vulnerable is to be shunned. If someone asks you how your company is doing “We’re killing. it.” probably comes off your lips before you’ve even processed the question. It is statistically impossible for everyone to always be “killing it”. But ask at your next mixer or meetup and almost everyone will be “killing it”. And that pressure to succeed, to perform, to win is immense. And I think that pressure may be even worse in bitcoin. Not to everyone, but to a lot of bitcoin early adopters, and especially to a lot of early bitcoin entrepreneurs, bitcoin is a promise. A glimpse of a better world free from the inequalities brought by our legacy financial system. So if you fail in bitcoin, it is easy to feel that you are failing on that promise too. I’ve felt that way. Felt that if I screw up I am screwing it up for every non-profit and charity. That they will somehow not get the benefits of bitcoin because I failed. I see it in others. Just a week ago at #Cryptolina I talked with a group of brilliant entrepreneurs who were convinced that if they didn’t beat an incumbent payment solution to market, they had lost the war. And that whole segment of the market would NEVER benefit from cryptocurrency. Being a bitcoin entrepreneur is hard. And I don’t have the answers to how to deal with all the pressure and depression that come from doing what we do. But I have learned a couple of things and maybe someone else that is experiencing depression or having dark thoughts can read this and gain some value from what I’ve learned. And even better, maybe someone that has dealt with depression in the past can riff on what I’ve said and provide some insight into how they cope. 1) You are not alone. When you are depressed, it seems like everyone else has it all together and you are the anomaly. That’s not true. They probably don’t have their shit together either. And everyone has problems we don’t see. Everyone. Some of the greatest entrepreneurs and investors of all time have had brutal fights with depression and suicidal thoughts. READ: http://www.inc.com/magazine/201309/jessica-brudepsychological-price-of-entrepreneurship.html 2) Bitcoin needs you and it doesn’t need you. And that’s ok. Bitcoin needs you. It really does. But it doesn’t need only you, it needs all of us. You are not the single point of failure. Bitcoins success is just a decentralized as the blockchain. So give yourself a break. It’s ok to make mistakes and it’s ok to fail. It’s even ok to fail spectacularly. Think back to how many times bitcoin has been declared dead. How many times has the price crashed? How many times has a major bitcoin institution been corrupted/hacked/found to be a scam? And yet, here we are. An you are here too. 3) It is ok to ask for help. This is hard to learn. We come from a self sufficient culture. And if you ask for help, people will realize that you are not as awesome as they thought you were...BULLSHIT. Asking for help has ZERO bearing on how awesome a person you are. In fact, your friends WANT TO HELP YOU. Being there for you in a moment of crisis is something your friends are probably really down for. But if you ignore them or won’t tell them you are having problems it is really difficult for them to help. Talk to someone. If all else fails you can always call… THE NATIONAL SUICIDE PREVENTION LIFELINE: 1-800-273-TALK (8255) I know all of this might not make a difference. When you are caught up in your head in the middle of a depressive episode nothing seems to help. Try to find something that you can concentrate on just to get you thru the worst of it. For me, I go play with my kids. It helps me. Sometimes more than others. If you are feeling down, try to talk to someone. And if you see someone feeling down, try to lend a supportive ear. Bitcoin needs you alive.
Cryptocurrency: lives or dies? Part 1. Bubbles as a scarecrow for newcomers
Cryptocurrency: lives or dies? Part 1. Bubbles as a scarecrow for newcomers The cryptomania 2017 was colossal. Although cryptocurrencies have existed since 2009, many people found out about them just in 2017, against the backdrop of the outstanding growth in rates and a clear sense of revolution. Many newcomers thought that the rates would grow forever. They were ready to buy digital currencies at any price considering any declines to be local, and growth to be global. But 2018 brought an unpleasant surprise: the market suddenly began to break down. In the first quarter, many people hoped that this was only a “correction,” but the collapse continued. If early in 2018, Bitcoin (BTC) carried a record price of $20,000, then by September it had fallen in price to $6,300, that is, threefold. And the “heroic” ethereum (ETH), which almost surpassed BTC in terms of capitalization in Summer 2017, had fallen fivefold: from $1,300 to $250. https://preview.redd.it/4gxrjt5imw031.jpg?width=1280&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=caae30b6e06f61a8d7dd33e86344f58d22c30162 In autumn, the market froze. It seemed that the bottom was reached and the restoration would begin soon. However, November brought another surprise: the rates dropped again. For example, BTC fell in price from $6,000 to $ 4,000. This happened so suddenly that it looked like an evident conspiracy of the major players, so-called “whales”. Autumn investors, following the earlier ones, suffered losses. Many of them completely become disillusioned with the crypto-market, having decided that it is entirely in the grasp to manipulators: such a “market” resembles MMM where quotes are randomly set by puppeteers. In Winter, the market froze again, while in Spring a long-promised growth began. In March it continued to ascend carefully, and in April it continued to ascend unexpectedly sharply and symmetrically to the drop in November. In both cases, the BTC rate changed by $800 just for an hour, but in November it was a drop, while in April it was a rise. In both cases, there was no kickback: on the contrary, the movement went on. Optimists rushed to buy cryptocurrencies, but the most population smelt a rat. If not only drops but also rises occur "in a snap", is this not the best proof of pulling the strings? https://preview.redd.it/4dvc478jmw031.jpg?width=1280&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=0ff55dff60910cef6a0d5dda8a2057151f4f2cbb So do we believe in true market recovery now? Perhaps this is another trick? Is it worth investing in cryptocurrencies or is it better to forget them like a nightmare? Is the market entirely in the hands of puppeteers or does it have objective laws? We will try to understand this in more detail. How did it get started: bitcoin and its bubble 2013 The first world’s cryptocurrency was Bitcoin (BTC). It appeared in 2009 and firstly it was known only to specialists in cryptography, as well as to particularly advanced free market activists. But soon it attracted the close attention of investors demonstrating in 2010-2013 a tremendous growth of 4 orders: from $ 0.1 to $ 1000. In other words, the average exchange rate grew by a factor of 10 per year (!!!) https://preview.redd.it/2be0puujmw031.jpg?width=1280&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=14420f8e457edee778f560c976f3369c805a286d In 2013, this BTC’s success gained worldwide fame. However, as often happens, the shock popularization was no in favor of the asset rate: reaching a record mark of $1,200 in December 2013, BTC began to fall in price. Towards the end of 2014, its rate rolled back to $250, following which it remained relatively stable in 2015. A significant part of the growth in 2013 turned out to be a bubble. However, after blowing off the bubble, the BTC rate still remained significantly higher than it was early in 2013 (especially, in all previous years). https://preview.redd.it/uowotkqkmw031.jpg?width=1280&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=0b6b95fdb832ba59acf2746aa2e37af96df1a231 How it continued: altcoins and general market bubble 2017 The new growth of the BTC rate began in 2016, and became especially explosive in 2017. At the same time, altcoins, new cryptocurrencies, “alternative” BTC - ethereum (ETH), lightcoin (LTC), emercoin (EMC), and many others asserted themselves in a massive way. If until 2016 they stayed in the deep background of the market flagship, then in 2017 their total capitalization for some time exceeded the capitalization of BTC. In Summer 2017 there was a moment when the ETH acting alone nearly advanced the BTC. https://preview.redd.it/e55s3hilmw031.jpg?width=1280&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=b838ef697269c7746949eb2012882455ee8fe305 By the end of 2017, BTC had risen in price to $20,000, while the total capitalization of the cryptocurrency market reached a huge amount of $800 bln (higher than capitalization of any global corporation). But this turned out to be yet another bubble: throughout 2018, just as in 2014, the rate of BTC and other currencies was falling). By the end of the year, the market capitalization decreased to $130 billion. What can be shown by the comparison of two bubbles Financial bubbles constitute an unpleasant phenomenon, and yet a logical one. By studying their dynamics it is possible to reveal a lot of interesting things about the nature of the new assets. If we look attentively at the figures, it is possible to note: the bubbles of 2013-2014 and 2017-2018 have much in common. ⦁ In both cases, the rate of bitcoin has dropped approximately five-fold. Market capitalization in the second case has dropped approximately 6-fold. ⦁ In both cases, a general decline lasted about a year, followed by a quiet period. ⦁ In both cases, "after bubbles" the rates have been fixed at the levels that are considerably higher than the levels "before bubbles". For example, at the end of 2014, BTC was much more expensive than at the end of 2012, while in late 2018 it was much more expensive than in late 2016. DECLINE IN 5.3 DECLINE IN 4.8 https://preview.redd.it/kvcy8nxmmw031.jpg?width=1280&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=23dfa2bba06896babfba777d4ef16f9667c6f099 This simple comparison shows: the scale of the 2018 cryptocurrency crash is exaggerated. The bubble has developed according to the same scenario, as it happened last time, and seriously frightened only the novices. Judging by the charts, the cryptocurrency market is more alive than dead. Moreover, it quite well follows the standard laws of financial bubbles’ development, and its multi-year trend is clearly positive. For the credibility one can recall, for example, the chart of the oil prices in the 2000s. As we can see here there is also a bubble and decline, but after that – recovery to the values, which are much higher than before the bubble. That’s what happens when the assets are really valuable (not just a short-lived hype), and this is exactly what we have been observing in case of cryptocurrency market. https://preview.redd.it/2todpslnmw031.jpg?width=1280&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=9da51f9b71f36dffb5b1af8152bb949286fb10c5 With a high degree of probability, right now cryptocurrency investments are of particular interest. The upward movement looks quite reasonable, and why it has happened so abruptly, is there some catch behind it, and what are the fundamental reasons that contributed to the upward trend – we will discuss all these questions next time Analytical department, Trident company, Victor Argonov, Candidate of Physical and Mathematical Sciences. Source: http://trident-germes.com/category/article/
Part 1. Bubbles as a scarecrow for newcomers The cryptomania 2017 was colossal. Although cryptocurrencies have existed since 2009, many people found out about them just in 2017, against the backdrop of the outstanding growth in rates and a clear sense of revolution. Many newcomers thought that the rates would grow forever. They were ready to buy digital currencies at any price considering any declines to be local, and growth to be global. But 2018 brought an unpleasant surprise: the market suddenly began to break down. In the first quarter, many people hoped that this was only a “correction,” but the collapse continued. If early in 2018, Bitcoin (BTC) carried a record price of $20,000, then by September it had fallen in price to $6,300, that is, threefold. And the “heroic” ethereum (ETH), which almost surpassed BTC in terms of capitalization in Summer 2017, had fallen fivefold: from $1,300 to $250. https://preview.redd.it/ly1to0boz9y21.jpg?width=1280&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=10a6f59dc9509c5bd571fb6145ac91158028e849 In autumn, the market froze. It seemed that the bottom was reached and the restoration would begin soon. However, November brought another surprise: the rates dropped again. For example, BTC fell in price from $6,000 to $ 4,000. This happened so suddenly that it looked like an evident conspiracy of the major players, so-called “whales”. Autumn investors, following the earlier ones, suffered losses. Many of them completely become disillusioned with the crypto-market, having decided that it is entirely in the grasp to manipulators: such a “market” resembles MMM where quotes are randomly set by puppeteers. In Winter, the market froze again, while in Spring a long-promised growth began. In March it continued to ascend carefully, and in April it continued to ascend unexpectedly sharply and symmetrically to the drop in November. In both cases, the BTC rate changed by $800 just for an hour, but in November it was a drop, while in April it was a rise. In both cases, there was no kickback: on the contrary, the movement went on. Optimists rushed to buy cryptocurrencies, but the most population smelt a rat. If not only drops but also rises occur "in a snap", is this not the best proof of pulling the strings? https://preview.redd.it/x14yabypz9y21.jpg?width=1280&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=34f2b146d58ad4a406450bb2961709ba281c2dec So do we believe in true market recovery now? Perhaps this is another trick? Is it worth investing in cryptocurrencies or is it better to forget them like a nightmare? Is the market entirely in the hands of puppeteers or does it have objective laws? We will try to understand this in more detail. How did it get started: bitcoin and its bubble 2013 The first world’s cryptocurrency was Bitcoin (BTC). It appeared in 2009 and firstly it was known only to specialists in cryptography, as well as to particularly advanced free market activists. But soon it attracted the close attention of investors demonstrating in 2010-2013 a tremendous growth of 4 orders: from $ 0.1 to $ 1000. In other words, the average exchange rate grew by a factor of 10 per year (!!!) https://preview.redd.it/m35lylysz9y21.jpg?width=1280&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=7a30a6c591c049d0b5e076fb922a980127c531b1 In 2013, this BTC’s success gained worldwide fame. However, as often happens, the shock popularization was no in favor of the asset rate: reaching a record mark of $1,200 in December 2013, BTC began to fall in price. Towards the end of 2014, its rate rolled back to $250, following which it remained relatively stable in 2015. A significant part of the growth in 2013 turned out to be a bubble. However, after blowing off the bubble, the BTC rate still remained significantly higher than it was early in 2013 (especially, in all previous years). https://preview.redd.it/4va61pjuz9y21.jpg?width=1280&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=0f4a3800254ad0d70af8556467283ec87376e0cd How it continued: altcoins and general market bubble 2017 The new growth of the BTC rate began in 2016, and became especially explosive in 2017. At the same time, altcoins, new cryptocurrencies, “alternative” BTC - ethereum (ETH), lightcoin (LTC), emercoin (EMC), and many others asserted themselves in a massive way. If until 2016 they stayed in the deep background of the market flagship, then in 2017 their total capitalization for some time exceeded the capitalization of BTC. In Summer 2017 there was a moment when the ETH acting alone nearly advanced the BTC. https://preview.redd.it/dqyjr0yvz9y21.jpg?width=1280&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=2daf6704930f105b301db95f7370027795911ede By the end of 2017, BTC had risen in price to $20,000, while the total capitalization of the cryptocurrency market reached a huge amount of $800 bln (higher than capitalization of any global corporation). But this turned out to be yet another bubble: throughout 2018, just as in 2014, the rate of BTC and other currencies was falling). By the end of the year, the market capitalization decreased to $130 billion. What can be shown by the comparison of two bubbles Financial bubbles constitute an unpleasant phenomenon, and yet a logical one. By studying their dynamics it is possible to reveal a lot of interesting things about the nature of the new assets. If we look attentively at the figures, it is possible to note: the bubbles of 2013-2014 and 2017-2018 have much in common. ⦁ In both cases, the rate of bitcoin has dropped approximately five-fold. Market capitalization in the second case has dropped approximately 6-fold. ⦁ In both cases, a general decline lasted about a year, followed by a quiet period. ⦁ In both cases, "after bubbles" the rates have been fixed at the levels that are considerably higher than the levels "before bubbles". For example, at the end of 2014, BTC was much more expensive than at the end of 2012, while in late 2018 it was much more expensive than in late 2016. DECLINE IN 5.3 DECLINE IN 4.8 https://preview.redd.it/p9nzmxuyz9y21.jpg?width=1280&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=d11cea8a0e6802eb740df678a306e43cf882edd6 This simple comparison shows: the scale of the 2018 cryptocurrency crash is exaggerated. The bubble has developed according to the same scenario, as it happened last time, and seriously frightened only the novices. Judging by the charts, the cryptocurrency market is more alive than dead. Moreover, it quite well follows the standard laws of financial bubbles’ development, and its multi-year trend is clearly positive. For the credibility one can recall, for example, the chart of the oil prices in the 2000s. As we can see here there is also a bubble and decline, but after that – recovery to the values, which are much higher than before the bubble. That’s what happens when the assets are really valuable (not just a short-lived hype), and this is exactly what we have been observing in case of cryptocurrency market. https://preview.redd.it/z5p0rs130ay21.jpg?width=1280&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=a7ea7e1d50b8e81baace77c7a17957ab0c364604 With a high degree of probability, right now cryptocurrency investments are of particular interest. The upward movement looks quite reasonable, and why it has happened so abruptly, is there some catch behind it, and what are the fundamental reasons that contributed to the upward trend – we will discuss all these questions next time Analytical department, Trident company, Victor Argonov, Candidate of Physical and Mathematical Sciences. Source: http://trident-germes.com/
"It is raining in Moscow, as we meet with one of the most daring human rights activists in Russia Elisaveta Vereshagina over a cup of coffee near the Tretyakov Gallery"
She fights for political prisoners (in particular, historianDmitriev), arranges free lectures on human rights and stands for commemorating those repressed during the Communist era. She has also worked in one of the first Russian crypto media and held several meetups. How does one person manage all that? Call it a mystery. We talked about crypto and blockchain from the point of view of a public activist, Telegram ban in Russia and much more. Future Times: You graduated from the Faculty of International Relations.How did you get into the blockchain industry? Elisaveta Vereshagina: I discovered crypto somewhere in 2013. My friends who worked in banking told me about it – they spoke about bitcoin with delight and excitement. This immediately caught my eye – not in the financial side of it, but in the idea of people are able to issue financial units without a third party or state permission. One day when my friends reposted my CV, and I was contacted by a man dissertating at Harvard. He asked if I spoke English, and said: “Come join us, we are a good crypto team working from Oxford, Bulgaria and Riga”. I felt it would be difficult. I had some basic knowledge of the economics, as I had written a few analytical papers on finance before, but it hardly seemed enough at that time. Still, I accepted the challenge and immediately joined in. What fascinated me from the very beginning was the social impact the cryptocurrencies could produce. For instance, crypto allowed people to care less about jurisdiction. Virtual currency can be used even where there are no banks at all. Take the example of Rwanda: most of its citizens are unbanked but they do have their mobile phones (it’s XXI century after all). Thus, digital currencies help them integrate into the economy. The same goes for migrants: people who can not register officially for some reason or another (usually not by their own fault but due to the states’ rigidity) are now able to transfer money to their families abroad in just a few seconds, thanks to the crypto wallets. This social aspect spoke to me. Stepping into the blockchain media, I integrated into the Moscow blockchain community. I even prepared an analytical note for the Russian PM Medvedev on regulating blockchain and cryptocurrencies with my first editorial team back in 2015 [laughs]. Stepping into the crypto media, I soon became a part of the blockchain community (it was around 2015). And then, back in 2015, I prepared an analytical note for [Russian premier minister] Dmitry Medvedev on regulating blockchain and cryptocurrencies with my first editorial team. FT: Did the Russian government at the time had any idea what it was? EV: They did ask: “Is it allowed and used anywhere on Earth under a state law? Can it serve as a boon to the country, or should we ban it immediately?” They heard the song and got it wrong. Just as Durov joked after the Telegram ban: “Why not ban words? Words are often used by terrorists to communicate, they say.” Marvelous, isn’t it? FT: Continuing the Durov and the Telegram ban story… What do you think, are decentralized economy, cool IT projects & blockchain products possible in today’s authoritarian Russia? EV: I’m trying to see everything from a different, non-state perspective. No doubt that the information war is ongoing. What has been important to me is that global blockchain community has always remained more or less united. What I mean is that, unlike politicians or human rights activists, the crypto community has never been splited that much over the national issues. You know, blockchain enthusiasts have been working together even when their countries were at war or at the edge of war. Either the community is too pragmatic, or too idealistic… FT: Probably now there are more pragmatic ones in the crypto community. Idealists are leaving. EV: The things is, the whole concept was created by cyberpunks, people who originally advocated for a non-state structure. They stood for privacy meaning against wiretapping and lurking, trying to create a parallel universe with no violence and state arbitrariness. Cooperating with the like-minded regardless of their nationality, was a true honor for the gang. I actually subscribe to the idea of blockchain going in this “state-regardless” direction. However, it is hardly likely nowadays, as the technology is more and more used by states and corporations in their commercial and political interests. In a 2015 interview, the head of SWIFT claimed that as soon as the technology skyrocketed, they would search for the ways to deal with it. The head of the Russian Investigative Committee put it differently: if bitcoin had not been banned, he said, the competitiveness of the ruble was likely to decrease. I believe he did not understand quite clearly what he was saying, neither did fellow officials, otherwise he would have been fired for questioning the compatibility of the national currency, which was quite obviously far from “patriotic”. Well, just a little bit [laughs]. Coming back to the “authoritarian Russia” of today. By 2018, the government has indeed taken quite a lot of tough measures, including the infamous ban of the Telegram messenger after its owners’ refusal to provide the security services with access to the users’ accounts. The very fact that special services officially demand access to every citizen’s correspondence is a direct violation of human rights law. That’s complete nonsense! But they believe they have a right to it. Just… Just “because they can.” Thus, now it is purely impossible to predict how blockchain technology will develop in Russia. A few years ago, one ministry could advocate for crypto ban, while some other would praise it, suggesting to switch to blockchain literally each and every thing. A lot of people in our country have been fighting for crypto legalization because they believe it is about freedom, dignity, and progress. But now the window of freedom is narrowing. FT: You were a part of one of the first Russian cryptomedia [Coinfox] legendary team. Tell us about the development aspect of this industry. EV: Well, we launched our first meetups in early 2016. At the beginning, there were just a few people from the Moscow blockchain community, mostly, you know, “geeks” who did not know well how to communicate and were afraid of public speaking. They didn’t have it in them: the basic evangelist function. A few months earlier, in Autumn 2015, we presented a wallet app at the Moscow Exhibition of Economic Achievements, and I met an American blockchain-evangelist whose values were close to mine. She came to crypto from charity and now was travelling the world speaking to people about blockchain. There is no such profession as “evangelist”, at least in Russia, so it usually sounds like we do nothing: just randomly chatting here and there. Though it is an important job, a job of the future, they call it, – to unify people online and help them meet offline, creating for them a space of shared goals and values, guiding the conversation. FT: Recently, on your social media you posted about the option to transfer records (including the information about the burials) of those repressed during Stalin’s reign to blockchain. Is this possible? How do you see the use of blockchain for the “historical memory preservation” part of human rights? EV: My friend and I recently discussed the issue of “the right to be forgotten”, that Google made possible by allowing user to delete any request. He said an interesting thing, as if it’s a step aside, just like George Orwell’s “1984” – you can edit information after the fact turning it in your favor. Blockchain prevents exactly that – you can not change anything. This is a great way to preserve memory. In this sense, blockchain is for the truth advocates. Some time ago registering births on blockchain seemed strange to me, but now I get the point. Once a regime or any other force tries to erase all the information on a person from all the available sources (just like they did under the totalitarian rule, marking out the faces and, what we would now call “photoshopping”, the “undesirable” people away from articles and photographs), they simply can’t. Thanks to blockchain, it is impossible to “delete” a person from all historical records as if they were never born, just like it has been possible for decades in the totalitarian states. And the information concerning repressions… This data often lacks proper verification. For instance, the 1950s KGB issued fake documents stating “your grandmother died of pneumonia in a camp in 1943”, while in reality she had been sentenced to death in the late 1930s. All information was restored very haphazardly. Of course, except those cases, when someone famous was confirmed to have participated in anti-Soviet activities. FT: Which part of this data has not been disclosed by the security services? EV: Since it is classified, we can only suggest. But I believe the part is huge. Interestingly, the facts on repressions are not kept in such a great secrecy as the victims’ burial places. The KGB never said: “here are the mass graves, come and commemorate the people we’ve killed back in XX century.” The burial places are searched for by enthusiasts following locals stories, with babushkas saying “there is a strange forest surrounded by a fence, which was guarded by the military until the USSR collapsed, and no one knows exactly what the forest hides but everyone believes it’s a frightful place to go…” But let’s return to blockchain: on the one hand, transferring data on burial places to a huge base where no information can be edited might lead to stuffing the database with fakes; on the other hand, we could track back the issue date of any chosen document, so it might be useful. FT: It would rather be activists, researchers and historians experiment rather than the state one: sort of an archaeological blockchain, to track where all the graves were found and the state of the research. Is it possible to find people who can do this? Elisaveta: Practice shows that there are IT people who don’t really want to go into details, but they do professional work, sometimes even for free. You can always try to find a blockchain activist who is ready to contribute. FT: What development connected problems would you point out in the community? EV: A lot of amateurs, especially when it comes to ICO. Everyone and their mother were opening startups. Only a few idealists were left and even they stayed pretty much silent. I was once in a very well-known institute attending a startups presentation event, when I realized that none of them were socially oriented. Everyone just wants to get more money – and as a social activist, it saddens me. FT: In general what ICO you could invest in yourself? EV: I fell in love with one project I wanted to invest in – SolarDao. It was a solar panels market pioneer with ICO, where you were supposedly investing in their solar energy system. They did an amazing 50-page industry analytics – seriously interesting to read, you could see their professional work, they were well versed in this matter. Moreover, they really stuck out on ecological / futuristic terms because they offered real solutions. FT:Solar energy sounds quite great. And what about the artificial intelligence? You had an article saying that artificial intelligence can solve police brutality problems by analyzing video recordings from police stations / detentions in automatic mode and detecting violations. Can you please elaborate? EV: Yes, but again I came to the conclusion that technology is a tool and it can be used in a way to help people or spread total control over them. If the technology in question, for example, gets replicated, we’ll get an ideal tracking system – and the AI will be able to watch over you 24/7, just as at previous stage it would have controlled the police. We have been talking for a long time – about the protection of human rights, the country and much more. As we spoke, the rain stopped, and the sky above Moscow is finally clear.
So many thoughts come, in my hunger to record the shape of that which ails me. Memories, imprinted like typewriter keys on the wet, spongy mass of the brain, feel transient, like ancient scrolls or commandments inscribed on crumbling slate, eroded by desert winds in unfathomably ancient ages. The memories of a man, fragmented in time - wet with horror and delusion. For some reason, softer memories of childhood rise to the surface sometimes, like leaves in a dirty backyard pool, only to become too raw and shamefully unclothed when exposed to the sunlight of a middle aged man’s temperament. I remember games of Checkers with my great Grandfather, Ildor Hearst, who appears in my mind’s eye as a-kind-of Russian Santa Claus, wirey beard and carven forehead. He was a stern man, and would always be ranting his archaic religious views. Prostheletising the fall of modern Babylon and the age of the Nihilist. He would play Checkers with me, sharp movements, wooden circles slammed down with impunity. He never let me win. Saw his dominance as a matter of instruction and learning. As I look back nostalgically, sometimes, I yearn for Great Grandfather Ildor’s black and white mentality of good and evil, lightness and darkness... and an over arching confidence in the eventual triumph of mankind. Rather than the bleak reality of the post modernist distopia in which I live. I recall vividly, after those intense games, once Ildor had imparted his thorny wisdom, I would be granted relaxation and be free to play with my own toys, scattered around my grandparents wooden floor boards; Mutant Ninja Turtles and Transformers, Wonder Woman, Spider Man and He-Man. Mine was always a multicoloured world of complex morality and democratic voices ... all of which ran into muddy paradigms that seemed totally outside the circle of Great Grandad’s moral compass. These days, as a real estate Agent, I am occasionally gifted limited insights into a checkerboard like world of manipulation and sinister intentions, but mine is to perceive the evil of global finance, and the general unfairness of land ownership and rabid, unchecked capitalism...but with no delusion of an interventionalist God to pull us out of the hole we humans have dug for ourselves. My name is Vilson Hearst, and I am a Real Estate Agent for Steel City Real Estate in Hexton, Australia. Perhaps you think yourself free from the real estate game. Perhaps, you are a fool. Perhaps you are satisfied with your lot in life, making a simple way for yourself, with a mortgage and a family, (if you should be so lucky to afford to get into the housing market at all that is). Then, could be that you are living a student lifestyle, paying rent, constantly paying off another cunning man’s mortgage, or worse still, perhaps you have abandoned the fight, to cower in your parents basement, with the real world slowly closing in on you, as you desperately try to escape into a world of Hollywood movies, video games or creepy pasta. You are all in the real estate game, wether you like it or not. There is a broader game of capital and estate, which is increasingly complex, and even those like myself who’s job it is to ‘follow the money’ sometimes are completely lost at sea in the Darwinian struggle of the global free market. Studying finance at Bourkeley University,.. I did my PHD thesis about money and the aquisition of power. I spent a solid year, studying the major players in global banking, watched the Chinese ICBC rise to become the wealthiest banking institution in the world. I tracked the strange and secretive trails of the richest investors, after the terrorist attacks on September 11, watching money transfer around the globe in secret trust funds, private meetings of powerful elites in Shanghai—as the Chinese World Trade Centre “Tower Three” was built, in the image of the destroyed Twin Towers of New York, (which is no coincidence, given it was constructed by the same architecture group; Skidmore Owings and Merril, (who also constructed the replacement One World Trade Centre.)) I studied Wikileaks and other whistleblower organisations. Gained secret documents, and learned of meetings between wealthy individuals; John Fallon, the chief executive of Pearson Education, the company which controls half the worlds schooling institutions— made a private deal in 2015 with Indra Nooyi and Paul Bulcke, Chairman and CEO of Nestle and PepsiCo, the owners of the majority of global food and confectionary. You wonder why our children are so desperately obese. I was constantly surprised by the familiarity of these billionaires with one another. For instance, you might not know, that Hugh Grant, the CEO of Monsanto, the sinister company who has come to dominate a stronghold on global agriculture, (and who, among more nefarious acts, was responsible for manufacturing the deadly ‘Agent Orange’ poison in Vietnam and causing countless generational mutations).. just happens to be close friends with the CEO of Lockheed Martin, the dominant power in weapons manufacturing and ultimately what people mean when they talk about the ‘military industrial complex’. Guns don’t kill people. Corporations do. But you knew that already. Other minutes from meetings by the powerful, would have many questioning what the leaders of certain organisations could possibly have to discuss with each other,... such is the nature of the unheard of D40 meeting in a chateau in Shandong Province; where Barry Lam, chairman and founder of Quanta computers, the name behind the majority of computing technology, was recently in discussion with Carlos Brito, the CEO of InBev; the name behind all the major alcohol players—Ian Read, the CEO of Pfizer, who basically controls the entire legal drug market, Mark Zuckerberg and the CEO Of Alphabet Inc— who own Google and most of the rest of the internet. Now these meetings bare direct relationships with the stock trading happening in the World Trade Centre Tower Three in China. The minutes from these meetings contained discussion both controversial and amazingly nuanced, and the complexity of the global solutions some of these key players in the tech revolution were coming up with would’ve gone over the heads of even the top IQ holders from 98 percent of high schools in the world. Nonetheless, some of the darker plans by these shady monopolies would terrify you, more than you could possibly know. To understand Australian land ownership, the problem becomes more of a global puzzle. The figures who own the most land globally, are, the King of Saudi Arabia, The Pope and the Catholic Church, Hugh Grosvenor, Duke of Westminster certainly has a cut, and of course, the Queen of Britain herself, Elizabeth ...(who currently owns about a sixth of the worlds land, some 6.6 Billion Acres, more commonly known as the Commonwealth Realm, (which includes two thirds of Antarctica, Time Square in New York, Canada, New Zealand and of course ... Australia.) These people, i’ve learned, are not particularly interested in the debate around land ownership coming to the forefront of the global conversation, and billionaire media moguls like Rupert Murdoch and Andrew Packer have filled their bank accounts, making it their mission to keep just such subjects off the family dinner table, with distractions like ‘My Kitchen Rules’ and ‘Keeping up with the Kardashians’ filling Australian television channels. The question of wether anyone owns land in Australia, or if it is in fact all owned by the Queen of England, is a contentious one, particularly when you factor in the confounding elements such as the status of Norfolk Island, which at one time was, on a technicality, not owned by anyone except for the fictitious body ‘The Crown’ (until being taken over by the Australian Capital Territory, in 2015). Then when you consider the original claim of the British that the Australian nation was unoccupied or ‘Terra Nullius’ when Europeans arrived, a truth widely held as fact until the precedent of the Mabo Decision in the Torres Straight islands in 1992. This decision returned some land ownership rights back to certain aristocratic lineages of the native people. However, the paradox leaves a complex and enduring problem for the future of land ownership in Australia and what that exactly entails. In Hexton, the most rapidly developing city in Australia, corporate billionaires have their stakes in national land ownership, yet meanwhile... National Parks, Botanical Gardens and other public spaces are unapologetically ‘Crown lands’, a fact which is still testified by the names of the spaces; Kings Domain, Queen’s Square, and other titles which clearly and proudly display the heritage of monarchic ownership deeply entrenched within the Australian property market. Of course, even within the field of Australian National Real Estate, the individual estate agent becomes bogged down even further in matters of local estates, so that these important issues take second stake to the sales and acquisitions of the day. Steel City Real Estate, the company I work for, is a nation wide brand, but our particular office in Albert Park consists of about nine agents. I spend most of my time competing with the golden boy of Steel City, Greg Leisdadt. Greg has consistently won the monthly sales targets in our office for over a year. His desk is covered in trophies, awards, and framed certificates adorn the walls behind him. I’m not sure what words could aptly describe Leisdadt; his wolf-like eyes, both evil and mesmerising. A cannibal grin consisting of Colgate super white teeth, and those gelled locks of amber hair which hang impossibly, like an arch villain over his forehead. Greg oozes saleable confidence which grates my own nervous disposition sufficiently towards constant despair. The only force which makes the constantly eclipsing day to day victories of Leisdadt bearable to me is Natasha Valuvjdavo. She is the agent who sits on the adjacent table to me in the office. I confess, for some time, I was profoundly attracted to Natasha, and had to stop myself from gushing and fawning over her. She is a demure, and assertive brunette, her crimson lips could kill a boat full of sailors. Unfortunately, she is engaged to a man named Fred, who is something of a wet blanket, yet I must discard my jealousy and confess that for whatever reason, Natasha seems happy in her domestic life. My only solace in this, being that Greg Leisdadt, the man who has everything, although persistently flirtatious, has never made a dent in Natasha’s self security. She is thankfully not attracted to him. But now I should refrain from being sidetracked and talk about the subjects which, you, the reader, more likely desire to hear of. For my tale is no idle blathering of romantic ennui, or global conspiracy—but rather the trauma of my profession, does persist— in both being exposed to the ruthless game of money/power, but moreover being haunted by knowledges both gothic and Victorian. For there is no other game in town, where one is more exposed to unwanted or haunted real estate; the devil hounded, and the wished forgotten. There are the houses that are impossible to sell, because of brutal or public bloody murders that have occurred to the prior occupants. Wether psychological or other, the frequency of those who purchase such forbidden and damned abodes —then in no matter of time, flee and sell at carelessly lower settlement costs, with tales of unhallowed things returned to life, or clanking noises in the basement...why... this simple fact of the real estate market is as common as there is. A story as old as time. Now perhaps I could spend months repeating the folk lore surrounding that dilapidated and spiritually unsaveable address; that run down, trash infested garden, and collapsing terrace roof of no 13 MacArthur Street. But this could take a conceivably longer time period, and I shall reserve my energy for the most disturbing and horrific of these preternatural experiences. Though I should briefly mention Vernon tower, for though this wasn’t the property which near drove me to insanity, it factors too far into the disturbing tapestry of the veiled or hidden real estate scene. Now, Vernon tower, is an enormous building in South Hexton. Our agency deals more with rentals than with sales of the apartments in that old, and curious piece of architecture. Built as early as 1866, there has always been something profoundly wrong with Vernon towers. Of course, it is me who has to deal with most of the tennants of that foreboding block, for it is the Hearst legacy to be fated just such dull luck. Thus it is always, I, who takes the phone calls from disgruntled students and drug addicts; Vernon Tower is unprecedentedly cheap, due to its history. Yet the impoverished clientele still have no issue burning my ear off; to complain of strange mechanic noises, or those bizarre phosphorescent green lights. Then there was the girl who tried to sue us, after her seizure from what she claimed to see inside the laundry room. That manner of description I can scarce repeat for its absurdness and high strangeness. But let me get to the more dreadful incident which frightens me even to recall. Indeed, it had all begun with that infernal property in Elwood, which I was in terse competition to sell... pitted unwittingly against the undefeated Super-Agent, Greg Leisdadt. The spectacularly immense mansion on Ormond Road, was once occupied by billionaire Serbian entrapaneur Dimitrije Stojanovic, who I’m told partially drafted the architectural plans for the immense mansion himself, before he had it constructed on the corner of Ormond and Radkin Streets. The nature of the oddities surrounding that place however, extend not from the architectural style of the lot itself, (mind you those odd modernist geometric pylons, stepped piers and sail-like rooves do lend a kind of funereal gothicness to the address.) However, it was the murder of Stojanovic which caused true fluctuations of interest in the property. Given the public knowledge of the horrendous murder, the property value was incalculably lower than its market worth. It seemed the image of the alleged burglar breaking into Stojanovic’s window, and bludgeoning him to death in the lounge room with a heavy trophy or statue of some kind— somehow grinding his skin off as with multiple teeth, or a spiked club—stayed in the public mind, thanks to Channel 9’s ‘A Current Affair’ and their sensational program about the incident. For interest in the property remained uncharacteristically low. Perhaps the fact that the murderer has yet to be identified or captured by police, nor the murder weapon found, hasn’t helped the matter. Now, as I have mentioned this was not the first time our staff had dressed up a ‘murder property’. But the truly disturbing elements began to happen during the time the property came under my tenure. Now, I should proclaim sincerely that I am by no means a superstitious man, I admonish my readers to believe that I was just as skeptical about the soon to be foretold events as you, had I not experienced them myself, I should fiercely doubt my own sanity. I should also divulge a little more information about Dimitrije Stojanovic himself, (the owner of the grand mansion) as the web of intrigue very much seems to hinge on his professional history. Stojanovic made his billions in Silicon Valley, working in many aspects of the tech industry, investing timely in companies like Facebook and crypto currencies like Bitcoin, when the time was right. in the move to Australia it seems that his ambition was to try out his own company idea in the developing market of Hexton, where the game was not already dominated and over exposed. With this intent he came out, built his immense mansion in Elwood, Moonsmoth, and immediately started channeling his money into the development of something called .....‘DigiTown’. Now being neither a tech expert myself, nor expecting such of my audience, I will explain the fundamentals of the ‘DigiTown’ concept in the same manner it was explained to me by Neil Druton, a four eyed nerd with an immense forehead who was one of the developers working for Dimitrije Stojanovic, before he died. I had decided to interview Druton, to get the background on the Stojanovic case to find a more positive angle for investors. I figured if I could distract the buyer from the details of the murder, and big talk the profile of Stojanovic himself, “the prolific entrapaneur”, this might flatter the egos of other wealthy entrapaneurs to buy it out. Druton told me he had been working for Stojanovic for about six months, mostly at the office Space Dimitrije was renting in Southbank. He described Stojanovic as ruthless, and borderline insane, but nonetheless he spoke of ‘DigiTown’ with respect, a ‘unique’ and ‘brilliant’ project, which would have been at the forefront of the tech industry, if it had ever been finished. Put in layman’s terms, Druton explained that the project had a great deal in common with Bill Gates plans for a ‘smart city’ but on a more achievable scale. I could tell Druton was oversimplifying the description for my sake, no doubt parroting Dimitrije’s marketing pitches for investors. But he described it like this; ‘Imagine a kind of augmented portal, with a built infrastructure and virtual architecture planned by white collar professionals, a crypto currency run communal space, overlayed over a modern city space, where your own request portal is linked to different reference cubes; Town Square, Library Cube, Media Station, Entertainment Centre, Eateries, telematics and roads authority, and these all function via the same channels as an actual city.’ ‘So you mean, instead of one social media interface trying to network everything, the actual infrastructure of a city is built out within the media itself?’ I asked. ‘Yeah pretty much’ Druton replied, seeing I had sensed the practical nature, adaptability, and profitability of the software, all over the world. ‘ATMs, shops, business, smart cars and machinery— all worked into the same dual augmented system. Superimposed as a direct collorary.’ It got me thinking paranoid, and I asked Druton earnestly; ‘Do you think if another rogue in the tech industry knew about Stojanovic’s idea, it would have been a groundbreaking idea enough to have killed him over?’ Druton went silent, and sweated a little from his pimpled forehead. I didn’t need to hear him answer the question, it was written all over his shrivelled face. I spent a good couple of months doing my research on Dimitrije’s mansion. (I would’ve loved to cover up the existence of the current owner of the mansion). Rich heiress Stacey White bought the house, and lived in it for a month before she got spooked— and decided to resell it. I made sure to get the story straight, offering Stacey a hot cup of Bush tea, and asking her precisely what she saw. Here’s what she told me; ‘I was alone, in that creepy mansion, at night,... and I got a weird feeling. There was a strong wind, and it was dark. The gum tree in the front yard bends a lot in the wind, and sometimes the branches whip against the side of the house. I was just getting used to that noise, but this time it was something different, almost lost in the whistling wind. It was a lower kind of ...moaning. A deep, pained groan. I got up to check I hadn’t left something on in the kitchen. I went to turn on the light switch but the globe burnt out. That’s when it happened. Almost like a mini-earthquake, but there was this strange energy. Then the gas stove just lit up, a green flame. It wasn’t on, but the kitchen was illuminated in a kind of underwater hue. Then—-(Stacey began to gasp and sob)—-then... in the darkness — I saw it!! A green head! Half a Human head, but mangled, half the skull bashed in, shimmering like I was looking through glass. It spoke to me ....in a voice that made the room cold. Just—-(she broke down into tears, suppressing a scream). H—his lips... cold, green lips. Steam coming from his mouth. He said — he said—- ‘Beware the Wagluh’. As this point she became incommunicable. I felt an increasing sickness in the ensuing weeks, the cause was unknown, but chiefly matched my mental state. It must’ve been around this time when I first saw the strange rune which had been spray painted on the abandoned building in Elwood. I was doing my rounds, why I should’ve noticed the strange glyph remains beyond my understanding, yet there it was. A curious, green shape, interrupted by a stark arrow and a kind-of ladder shape above it. I was becoming increasingly stressed and agitated by the competitive sale of Dimitrije’s mansion. My manager Herron Del Ray had been hounding me to make a sale, it had been months since I had successfully got a down payment from a client. Del Ray had threatened redundancy in no uncertain terms, and the stress was beginning to erode my total mental well being. In conversations with my beautiful colleague Natasha around this time, I found her to be kind, but not particularly helpful. Her advice was that if I was going to beat Leisdadt, I would have to compete with him at his own game. She told me on one particular occasion I should just lie to clients about the gruesome murder in the house, or omit it from the description altogether. This was both against my moral compass, and senseless, for the case was so popular, I felt sure that any potential investor would know of it, to omit it would only anger them. That same day I got a call from a potential buyer named Greame De Montague. Leisdadt watched me like a hawk as I took the call, giving me a cunning look. The stare flustered my nerves, but choking through the phone I agreed for an inspection with De Montague. He would be the fifth buyer I had spoken to, all four previous investors had abandoned their inquiries when learning more about the murder, or after having seen the contract of sale. I calmed myself the day of the appointment by speaking soft mantras to myself under my breath. I knew I had to push this client to a final purchase, and my job security depended on it. Greg Leisdadt was leaning against the bronze statue of a Cheetah in our office as I was leaving, mocking me with the words ‘Good luck, Vilson old boy.’ It was a cold autumn day, and brown leaves blew around the streets in gusts of curdled wind. I had arranged to meet Mr De Montague on Beach Avenue, so that we might walk down to Ormond Street and view the mansion. As an eerie coincidence the corner we agreed to meet was precisely at the point that odd rune was sprayed on the abandoned building in Elwood. Greame De Montague was standing on the corner as I arrived in my light grey sedan. He was standing in front of the odd rune, as though the symbol itself had somehow marked his presence in an unexplainable yet mystical time stamp. I couldn’t see his car parked anywhere. He was wearing a very curious oufit, particularly for Australia, although the weather was reasonably cool that autumn day. He wore a kind of black velvet robe, cut in the shape ...not unlike an Orthodox Jew’s regalia. It tarried at the bottom into a sort of deep purple cape. On his head he wore a buckled Capotain, and in his hand, a decorated staff. I wondered if his clothing indicated the excesses of vanity of the social media age, or if he was perhaps a foreign prince of some kind. I stepped out of the car, and approached De Montague with my hand extended. I could see now he had a strange face, with slanted owl-like eyebrows, and a fluffy round beard that gave him an almost koala-bear-shaped head. Mr De Montague raised his hand and met my embrace, shaking my hand with a firm clasp. ‘It’s lovely to meet you Greame. I have a feeling you are going to love this property.’ ‘Please. Call me Lord De Montague.’ The stern man insisted, ‘I descend from Carpathian royalty, the son of a Duke.’ ‘Very well M’lord.’ I replied, my tone accidentally tinged with irony, ‘Have you come ...very far today?’ I asked trying to distract from my faux pas with a bluff of small talk. I couldn’t help staring at the strange Necklace around De Montague’s neck. It seemed to be made of solid gold, and was comprised of a chain of large charms, each coin depicting deities from Ancient Asian and Mesopotamian religions. I began walking, unsure what to say but deciding to lead De Montague down towards Ormond Street. There was a terrifying stillness on the street that day. The sun dried grass seemed frozen in time, and the grey sky moaned geriatrically, with the energy of a tired giant trying to fend off the vast abyss of Space. I noticed that De Montague was not moving, but had instead stopped firmly in his tracks. His face gave off a distinct lack of pathos. ‘Mr Hearst.’ Lord De Montague’s grainy voice echoed; ‘This is the wrong way.’ I turned and looked back at him confused, but De Montague quickly supplanted my curiosity ‘We should walk down Vautier Street. It comes out closer to the property on Ormond.’ By my own calculations, the distance was exactly the same, but as I was in a desperate state of flattery, I decided to humour the strange, old man, though I now questioned wether my client might be an eccentric madman, who merely thought he was born of Royalty, in his delusions. Nonetheless, I followed De Montague and we wandered down the leafy, terraced streets. ‘Tell me something Mr Hearst’ De Montague began to speculate; ‘Have you ever heard the expression ‘Old Money’?’ I looked at him trying to gage his meaning; ‘Yes, of course.’ I replied. ‘The man who owned this mansion’, De Montague continued in a practiced refrain; ‘It is my understanding he was one of the new breed. Wouldn’t you say? Those who make their fortunes on the gamble— or the changing technologies of the world, but haven’t yet come to fully comprehend the system as it works. As it has always worked.’ ‘I’m afraid I haven’t come to fully appreciate your meaning.’ I replied with honest perplexion. ‘My ancestors were very interested in Asian spirituality’ De Montague continued in a seemingly distracted soliloquy, ‘The De Montagues have migrated for some time you see. Sharing something in common with the Romani people of Europe. I have had ancestors who have lived, over the centuries, in Vietnam, Thailand, Cambodia, Mongolia, Papua New Guinea and the Phillipines. Do you know what is the one thing these vastly different cultures all have in common?’ ‘I do not’ I confessed. ‘Reverence for ones ancestors, and respect for ones elders, and an overwhelming policy of acceptance towards the natural systems that have always existed.’ ‘That’s very interesting’ I replied, gawking about anxiously and wondering where the conversation was leading. ‘I have only more recently come to adapt the principles of the Japanese Shinto religion into my philosophy Mr Hearst. However I think we could all take a page out of that discipline, and it’s superior attitude towards the unknown. You know, in some sense the Shinto practitioners had an almost scientific approach to their spirituality. Certainly, like with the Eastern superstitions, the Shinto perceived a longing towards extra sensory insights into a hidden or secret world supposed to lie beneath the surface of our material life. However, we can say that the Shinto practitioners never got into the awkward and complex dogma of hierarchical worship. Rather, they merely approached each of their animistic inhabitations of spirit that they encountered with the proper fear and respect that one should properly apply to creatures or Gods we fail to yet understand.’ ‘It’s an interesting religion.’ I said, still utterly confused as to what the eccentric prince was attempting to convey. ‘I see you’ve mistaken my warning.’ De Montage continued in a more stern and serious tone, as we passed rows of trimmed hedges and decorative fences. ‘It is right to fear that which we don’t understand Master Hearst. We ought to treat our material supervisors with more respect. Now, I confess, it has never been the object of my ancestors to worship the unseen. Only a fool wishes to make a slave of themselves to a devil they don’t know. But respect, awe, fear, that is different. That is the core of wisdom. Now.... I confess to you... My own aristocratic ancestors, have had more of a vested interest in acquiring artefacts and precious minerals that can absorb such unknown energies. To tap into the mechanisms of nature and the outer spheres of unseen chemistry, that is where one can find the tools to bring about the acquisition of power!’ I began to become totally speechless, realising now, that I was in the presence of a lunatic. We were still about five minutes from the Serbian’s property, and De Montague now began to rave in such a strange and sinister manner, that he appeared some demented imp, his lecture was so insane. ‘So it was for the ones who claimed the future. Those beings with silken robes of silver, who sought the forbidden wisdom from beyond the abysses of Space and time. They are like the watcher, and we are but the conduits to their ancient digital powers. Yet if you could perceive the outlines of the Shapeshifter, who is the lost among us all, and he who brings the bitterness from the original tragedy. Then, perhaps you could understand what the Hindu’s really worship, in the form of their metamorphosising God of many evolutionary attributes.’ Mr De Montague suddenly stopped, slamming the steel cap of his staff upon the cracked concrete, and turned to me; ‘Mr Hearst, this is my warning for you! You cannot outwit the darker destinies of the force that itself conjures black holes. Have due reverence for the unseen beast which lurks beneath, and threatens your soul with eternal mutilation. Stand down from that property, and abandon your research into the disappearance of that accursed Serbian. I send this warning as a friend, and wether or not you take it up, I tell you that your colleague Greg will still make the sale, whichever path you choose.’ De Montague suddenly scowled like a rabid dog, grabbing my hand and thrusting the handle of his cane upon my palm. ‘Cursed child— I have the power of the Chiromancer, and that which is engraved upon your line of fate, makes it clear. But there is still time to evade the mark of this warning.’ Suddenly, I shrieked, for my palm began stinging with pain, and I realised that the silver etched handle of the staff was unfathomable degrees hot. I pulled my hand away before the impression became irreversible; ‘Ouch, you burnt my hand!’ I cried. De Montague then seemed satisfied that his message had been delivered. He immediately hoisted back his staff, then let out a sound almost like a wolf’s growl. Then he seemed to perform a magicians trick of some form. For he cast the staff down at my feet, but as it fell there, a glimmer of light played a trick on me. I stepped back in fear, for that which lay across my feet, was no longer that of carven wood, but a coiled brown snake, who raised itself and hissed through fangs, and quivering forked tongue. I turned and dashed out of the snakes attack perimeter. I gazed down at my stinging palm, to see with terror and trepidation that the burn mark in my hand imprinted from the image on the cane— it was the same strange glyph that was painted on the house. Panting and sweating, tripping over my clumsy feet, as I rotated again to survey the scene, I saw now with incredulity the brown snake remained upon the pavement, but De Montague himself was long gone. The hoax plagued me for hours afterward, I had been pranked it seemed, by some rich and bored eccentric trickster, who never intended to view the property at all. Or he was an escaped lunatic from Bourkeley Asylum perhaps. As I was already in the area, after a sufficient down time, when my heartbeat had reduced and my manic paranoia dissipated —I resolved to continue to Ormond Street anyway. When I got to the property my fading anger was rebuked, for I saw two cars parked outside the late Serbian’s mansion. ‘Leisdadt’ I cursed. As I walked up the modern staircase, I saw a cheerful looking man m, wearing a scarf, leaving, who Greg had obviously just shown around the property. He seemed fearfully optimistic about the place, and I continued cursing under my breath until I reached the hallway where Greg was standing, smugly, with a clipboard. He seemed even more satisfied when I came to the door; ‘You better watch out for that one’ Greg said in a tone that sent me into a rage; ‘He seems very keen. What happened to your 4’oclock?’ ‘Someone pulled a prank on me’ I cursed. I began to wonder if Greg had organised the incident with the charlatan somehow. Leisdadt tried hard to refrain from breaking out into a grin, ‘That’s a shame. Your luck has to come up one day Hearst.’ Leisdadt chuckled, but then seemed to remember something— ‘I thought you signed off on the clearance papers anyway Hearst.’ He said, ‘After Stacey White complained about the dead guy’s stuff still laying around, I thought you had the house completely emptied.’ ‘What of it?’ I asked. Greg leaned over to the ornately decorated mantle piece, pulling open the dresser drawer below the mirror and revealing a stack of haphazard papers and letters. ‘Can you take care of these?’ He insisted coldly, ‘I’ve got a last minute potential sale of that impossible property, 13 MacArthur Street. Can you believe my luck? We haven’t had a buyer for that place in years.’ I scowled into my neck as Leisdadt left via the rear entrance of the mansion. Grumbling and moving towards the papers, I cursed myself for so easily being persuaded to do what Greg could’ve done himself. I mumbled, calling myself a sucker under my breath as I leafed through the papers. Then, I turned over something which captured my interest. It was a sleek black diary, and as I turned the pages I came to realise that it had evidently belonged to Dimitrije. I flicked through the musty pages, seeing that the entries of the private journal dated up until the Serbian’s disappearance. I began to read with fascination and morose intrigue; Here is the transcript of the more interesting parts of Dimitrije's diary: http://textuploader.com/dh4w4 Dimitrije Stojanovic died on the 13th of October, 2016. The strange diary had a terrible effect on me. I became deeply paranoid that I was wedged within a catastrophic and deep conspiracy. Though I couldn’t fully understand the map laid out by the corners of my discoveries, there was enough of a pattern that I knew there was some terrible logic beneath it all. I found the references to Vernon Towers and the architect ‘Von Marrickville’ extremely intriguing and began to further my own research on the property which was already familiar to me. I had always known that Vernon Towers was an old heritage building. But I had never researched the buildings actual construction. So it was, that I found out more about the strange creator, borrowing a book about the eccentric architect Veda Von Marrickville from Hexton library. The book was fascinating. Von Marrickville, it turned out was a fairly prolific architect of the day, who was commissioned to build a series of buildings around Hexton city. Of particular interest to me, where the four or five buildings Von Marrickville built in a kind of arc around Port Phillip Bay, pointing towards Valsbury docks. Von Marrickville was a Dutch native who came out to Australia in 1834, one of the key buildings on the Port Phillip Bay side of Hexton was Vernon Towers, which I read to my astonishment was funded by a wealthy nobleman named Aaron De Montague. I couldn’t find out much about the De Montague family or their history in Australia, but I was beginning to think it must have been the same family as the De Montague whom I had met. Von Marrickville describe Vernon Towers as an ‘occult conduit’ and layered it with engraved symbology. He suffered a tragic fate, and wound up raving as an inmate in Bourkeley Asylum. Since reading the diary, I have begun to experience strange anomaly. I visited Vernon towers myself, looking for a particular architectural feature. To my surprise and terror I saw one of the green glyphs mentioned by Dimitrije. I tried to track down De Montage, however have not seen him since that odd encounter. Searching for families of that name, the only people I could come across in Hexton was a family living in Brunswick. When I went to visit I found them to be a strange family of Indonesians who incidentally suffered from an unusual diverse range of diseases. The youngest daughter suffered autism, whilst her brother was an extreme Down syndrome case, and the mother herself had mental health issues. I concluded that these De Montagues probably bore no relation to the man I had met, if indeed he hadn’t lied about his name. Then there was the day I found that bizarre egg. It was about the size of a milk carton, all speckled and grey, but it was broken in half, as though it had hatched. Yet I was positive no animal could have produced the egg, and could only assume that it was a student art project or installation of some kind. In any case, it seemed unrelated to the other strange occurrences. I feel as though my sanity has completely abandoned me, torn more and more towards the point of collapse. Leisdadt has sold the Serbian’s property, and I haven’t been to work for a week, for fear of the consequences with my boss. But worse, I’ve started to smell a.... to sense something. Something that I recognise from Dimitrije’s descriptions in his diary. How is it possible to sense the form of something that you have never seen. To know it sometime. To dream of a shrieking thing that soars through a red sky. That mosquito like head. Immense lizard like body, bone and ribs, like a sharks egg. Black leather wings. There was a brown parcel that arrived in the mail. The statue inside matches the description given by Dimitrije. It’s so hideously disfigured. Does it represent the swimming demon in my dreams? I examined the edges closely, and the inscription which seems to be flecked with blood. Could it be the murder weapon they used to bludgeon the Serbian? What of his shredded corpse, what tore his body apart? As I sit, hailed up in my lounge room trying to distract my mind with escapist television, and recording this journal on my IPad. I fear something unfathomable which seeks my destruction. I can hear noises, am I hallucinating? Dear God! That banging outside the house.
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