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teraphim mystery recordings | confused processed field recordings | backchatter from diseased intelligences

I sat in the field with my tape recorder and shortwave radio and handheld whip antenna in the summer of 1997, soon to travel for the first time to the city of Austin, where I would attempt to tell my friends of my initiation in dream and static, but no one much listened to me, and so I returned to Iowa to finish what I had started. I was on my back, staring up, free of the city light and open to the ahkam al-nujum, setting myself adrift on chaomancy. The sound in the headphones like the Telephone Anamoly voices I would hear in the winter of this year, a pirate station of the Enochdiani hidden outside the gaze of God in some sidereal pocket universe, aware that I was not only overhearing their discussions, but making a permanent document which I would revisit over and over until I felt the lessons had become habitual, echoes bouncing around my skull like a witches' mirror multiplying starlight. I thought initially that I was simply witness to some elaborate VLF transmission picked up by an accident of my equipment, that first night, or else some next-generation Numbers Station, and then nervously considered the potenial of Electronic Voice Phenomena, the voices of the dead desperate to warn those they had left behind that the afterlife is not as it was promised. I tried to listen to the half-voices I heard over the airwaves, imagining that if I could translate a phrase I could identify the aims, if not the names, of the voices I heard. Finally one cleared in a gap of the static: "arcanum of human blood". I knew this as a term of philosophic Mercury, but also knew there were contemporary necromancers who took the term at face value against the warnings of Flamel, and I warily thought on reports of corpses face-down in cornfield culverts, their veins as dry as the dust in the air. I realized I was listening not to the dead, but to those who seek to cheat death, some hidden conversation between revitalization technicians, and that if I listened long enough, I would come to know their secrets.

This was the summer when I was regularly using 4-Methylaminorex in an attempt to focus enough to finish my first novel. This plan failed entirely, although I did do a massive amount of writing during sleepless weekend binges. I tell you this in the spirit of full disclosure, and to explain why certain things which may seem trivial seemed to me of great interest. When I could no longer write, late at night, I drove around the empty dirt roads while listening to the radio, listening to anything, and it was there I first heard the voices, the slightest buzz on the edge of the station, and I drove around in widening spirals to hunt down the signal, strongest in an empty field just north of the Cedar River, but even there I could not really hear anything distinctly. I went back to the house and gathered my equipment, the reciever and antenna and tape recorder, and went back to the field, the grass wet enough with dew that I had to lay a blanket on the ground to keep the machines dry. There was only the most minimal light back towards Waterloo, and the red blink of an antenna downriver, and the light of the stars, as it was a new moon, and dark enough that I normally would have been a bit afraid, but in the crystaline precision of my current condition I did not think of my normal fears, too busy in an attempt to sift the signal from noise. I do not know if the voices of the technicians were the sound I sought, or if that sound was a fluke, some trick of the wind though the open window of my car, some artifact of the drugs, some entirely other transmission which would have led me down an entirely different path were I to find it, but at the time I was convinced that this is what I sought, and was delighted in my discovery when a new voice changed my understanding entirely, took the breath from my body -- the technicians were not speaking live, but were voices on tape, played by something which called itself Teraphim Mystery Station Three. This narrator, whose voice was some midpoint between male and female, broadcast "proof of the mystery", an attempted expose' of the mundus subterraneus of this work, the last science, pure and applied immortality. The voice spoke only to explain the sources of the recordings, and sometimes not even for that; there was a minimum of exposition, and no conclusion at the end, just a pulling of the plug.

On the way home, I put the audio cassette in my car stereo and listened to the recording I had just made, and found that the voices were gone, replaced by a strange series of tones. I thought that perhaps there was a technical error, or that I had accidentally forgotten a connection, but in hearing the audio coming from the speakers I realized this was the sound I had heard, and in my memory I could translate the droning pulse into speech, like a picture containing two different images depending on the way the eyes focused. To hear the dialogue required an unfocusing of the ears.

In giving away these tapes as part of a prior life, I do not mean to suggest that the hidden component of these recordings will offer itself to you. I am no longer certain that this hidden component even exists outside of my own memory. It is possible that these signals are in effect an auditory scrying mirror within which each listener hears something different and strictly personal. It is also possible that this audio is nothing more than noise, and all I have done is recreate the Ganzfeld experiment as though it were a revelation. I do not know. It is possible that by telling you my story I am predisposing you to seek out certain interpretations, so that you only hear what you are led to hear. Perhaps all this bluster and backtrack will bore you, and you will never listen to the tape, and perhaps that is for the best. I do not know. I can only state the details of my experience as clearly as possible, which is to say not clearly at all, as in the process of my initiation I became something else from which I am currently trying to recover, and am uncertain of almost everything, my brain like a box of broken glass.

teraphim mystery recording tapes