Monday, May 26, 2003



Recently discovered correspondence between Charles Rennie Mackintosh and his wife Margaret Macdonald has caused consternation and widespread condemnation here in Glasgow, and further afield. The letters make explicit the Mackintosh’s involvement with occult rosicrucian elements, and in particular the ‘Order of the Seal of R’lyeh (The Lidless Eye). This quasi-masonic organisation claims a lineage stretching all the way back to mythical Atlantis.
The couple, already well known for their interest in mysticism in general, are exposed as practitioners of Ritual Sex Magick, wherein they attempt to contact ‘deities’ or throw ‘spells’ at the point from which a man and a woman achieve satisfaction. This Orgasmic Creed is inscribed into the fabric of the Glasgow School of Art.

Here, in an exclusive excerpt from correspondence recently discovered in a hidden cupboard at the former Hotel de Commerce (now the Hotel Mirabelle) in Port Vendres, Mackintosh details his attempt to invoke the principal of ‘chaos’ through the ‘Thanateros Ritual’.
“Good morning MM, Last night, after months of intense preperation (sic) I managed to step beyond paradox and graple with the neither-neither effect! With the aid of a local ‘denizen of the night’ I strove to reach that state of ecstatic laughter and love that propels one ‘beyond’ and into a catastrophic encounter with sex and death! Yea! We strove mightily (the harlot and I) and conquered!

So come Chaos, we invoke thee
Eros, Thanatos, come, approach us
Come Sex and Death
Beautiful and Terrible
Our breathing quickens
As two figures approach
Exquisite lover, grinning corpse
Our breathing quickens
As we clasp our lovers
Our breathing quickens
At the rising scythe
Our breathing quickens
Moans escape our throats
A cry begins to well up in us
As the scythe is readied
And passion peaks
Three, Two, One.
Ia! Ia! Hastur! Ugh!
Ia Hastur cf’ ayak ‘vulgtmm
vugtlagln vulgtmm!
Ai! Shub-Niggurath!
cf’ tagn!
Ia! Ia! Hastur!

And so it goes on, for three pages, the details becoming ever more disturbing. Mackintosh and Macdonald are exposed as dedicated practitioners of the Black Arts!
There are also indications that he was making a desperate attempt to cure his recently diagnosed cancer (of the tongue) by way of these sickening rituals.
Perhaps his despair at approaching death had catapulted both him and his wife over the edge and into madness. (Macdonald was visiting London to see a heart specialist.) The invocation of strange and terrible ‘cthonic’ or Elder Gods is surely the last act of a desperate man?

Mackintosh’s masterpiece, the Glasgow School of Art, also reflects his and his wifes esoteric preoccupations.
As well as the obvious symbolism of the building itself (numerous roses, circles, squares, tetrahedron and other masonic/occult effluvia) there are veiled references in the letters to ‘propitiatory rituals’ carried out on, or near the laying of the keystone. In fact, the contents of said keystone may be the crucial factor in bringing to light the true extent of Mackintosh’s and his circles devotion to ritual magic. Sources have informed me that the keystone delineates a major ‘ley-line’ or spirit path that runs directly underneath the building and on to, amongst other places, the Necropolis in the east of the city and the recently discovered remains of the prehistoric city of Cathures at Rottenrow.

Is not this an art full of secrets?
Artehil Liber Secretus 12th Century

The keystone appears to have been the repository for a special ‘sacrificial’ offering, dedicated to ‘Great Cthulhu’, a particularly unpleasant member of the black magic pantheon. Rumour amongst Glasgows thriving esoteric fraternities of the period hint at the creation of a ‘moon child’ or a ‘Babalon Working’. Both of these are major acts of sexual magic, the former is the creation of a child invested with great occult power and the latter is some kind of attempt to bring about radical spiritual/political change in the ‘profane’ world.

It appears that the members of the ‘Spook School’ as Mackintosh and his circle were known had contacts far beyond the parochial substratum of Scotland. WR Lethaby, whose masonic tome ‘Architecture, Mysticism and Myth’ was oft quoted by Mackintosh, helped to introduce him to the strains of continental esoteric masonry exemplified by the ‘Fraternatis Rosae Crucis’, who produced a series of sensationalist pamphlets under the direction of one Johan Valentin Andreae who claimed to direct a world-wide order of initiates dedicated to the spiritual and physical emancipation of mankind. These proto-communists wished to impose some kind of ‘Magical Enlightenment’. Mackintosh’s School of Art was dedicated as a temple to the New Order.


“From the manifestly fabulous and impossible ‘history’ of the brotherhood, it was apparent that it depended on ‘mystification’.”
The Catholic Encyclopedia

Under the apophlegmatic of the Rosicrucian ideal Mackintosh and Macdonald renounced the rational ideals of enlightenment thought and embraced the shadowy and indefinable goals of the irrational. Theirs was a world of grandiose schemes within which man’s place in the universe could be so reconfigured as to enable him to don the mantle of Godhood. Theirs was the ancient drive to transcend the supermundane reality of corrupt and self-serving government, widespread inequality, and the everyday shackles of a bourgeois morality.
The leitmotifs in their work (and in particular The Glasgow School of Art) point to a desire to ‘magically’ reorder the place of man in the Grand Scheme. This ‘entheogenesis’ or birth of the God within, was the ‘Great Work’ of the alchemists and the avowed intention of all occultists. They did not succeed. Yet their progeny are everywhere. Is it only a matter of time before a vast pyramid topped by an unblinking, all-seeing eye watches over us all?

Sunday, May 25, 2003

ST PETERS SEMINARY near Cardross on the River Clyde


The journey to this quietly crumbling ‘retreat’ begins to take on all the trappings of a Holy Quest! By train to the small, Clydeside village of Cardross, then up to the local post office to ask directions. Various muddy tracks and a dangerous manoeuver between two golf courses brings me to a winding forest path. This is where I started to think, ‘where the fuck is this place?’
Perhaps at this point I should back track and attempt to explain why I am searching for a ruined catholic seminary in the first place?
This isn’t just any old seminary, this was a piece of state of the art modernist architecture. Everything about it screams ‘the sixties’. Dreadful pebbledash cladding, nasty white window frames. Its as if a bit of Cumbernauld retired to the country and quickly succumbed to cancer. Or perhaps this is the place old shopping centres come to die? Either way this place is redolent
with symbolism. Is this where modernism breathed its last? How could I not come?
The path veers sharply to the left and there it is. A brutally linear shape nestling close amongst some tree’s, only relieved by those odd rounded protruberances grouped to one side. It is very beautiful. Like a JG Ballard scenario brought to life.
I climbed the recently erected fence and made my way into the dripping wet interior. The place had been trashed. Well and truly. The roof gaped at the sky as I made my way up a curving ramp leading to the main hall. This was incredible. A huge concrete slab sat at the top of a wide set of steps. I imagined a cabal of new-brutalist architects and catholic priests gathering here to sacrifice beautiful doe-eyed supplicants to some stygian deity.
But something peculiar was going on here. Why were Isi Metzstein and John Cowell of forward-looking architectural practice Gillespie, Kidd and Coia collaborating with the Vatican in the first place? Recent research has revealed that Jack Coia (founder of the firm in 1927), was a member of the secretive and authoritarian Catholic organisation Opus Dei. He designed many buildings for the Vatican , here in Scotland and elsewhere.
Yet Opus Dei were (are) slippery customers. There are certain indications that their reputation as the thought police of the Catholic church is just a clever ruse to disguise their real proclivities. As practitioners of the ancient craft of Alchemy and titular heads of the Order of the Golden and Rosy Cross! In other words Master Masons and dedicated Occultists! So the peculiar elision of the Vatican with New-Brutalism begins to make a certain kind of sense. Since the avowed intention of such organisations is the imposition of a world-wide New Order of Anarcho-Situationist priests dedicated to the overthrow of rational thought by any means necessary.
At the moment their plans are limited to semiotic terrorism and Ritual Magickal assaults on the foundations of our society. Yet already their plans are well underway, as can be seen in the work of their close associate, that High Priest of Kali, Goddess of Destruction, Osama Bin Laden.
I determined to find a way to psychically reconstitute the space. To reignite the qliphotic energies of all those furiously masturbating priests in their little floral cells at the top of the building (now decorated with Satanic graffitti by the locals). A recent encounter with a stoat in the process of killing a rabbit had reminded me that a blade of grass pressed between both thumbs and then blown on hard will reproduce the high-pitched screams of a dying rabbit.
I positioned myself in the centre of the vast refectory space, facing the altar. Naked and daubed with entoptic and occult symbols I filled the building with a banshee concerto! After around fifteen minutes the hairs on the back of my neck began to rise, and I knew that I was having some sort of effect. Fear being the first sign of the manifestation of the entities.
At this point I decided that I had done enough. This magnificent building was now safe from the depredations of developers, and others who might wish to resurrect it. Its slow disintegration would continue to mirror the dissolution of the dream of Progress and the perverted enlightenment ideals which have led us to this sorry pass. Yes, I too am a member of that shadowy affiliation of dreamers who wish to see the chains of rationalism loosed (just a little), so that, by means of sympathetic magick, we can rediscover the vast and unruly realms hidden within our skulls. By which subtle craft we will (in the end) dispossess the Capitalist Archons of all their worldy power!

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