The philosophy, stories, poetry, social commentary, religion and Satanism of Michael Foord a Jewish, British, socialist, feminist, witch, middle aged, middle class, pansexual, ex-christian, ex-homeless, ex-prisoner, GenX, neurodiverse, cult survivor, body positive, sex positive, switch, gamer, raver, hippie, polyamarous, psychonaut, white, cis, mostly male identifying geek. A technomancer, an ordained Dudeist priest and a Rational Theistic Luciferian.
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A Collection of Short Memories: The Great Work, Karen, Homophobia, The Police & more
The only work worth doing is the great work
The Great Work
Here's an example of the great work. Once in a fetish club in Bedford I met a man who said he was learning to be a hypnotist and he asked if could he try and hypnotise me.
He was small and bald and bespectacled and looked exactly as an aspiring hypnotist should look.
I'm sceptical of and intrigued by hypnotism so naturally I agreed. After an initial preamble he proceeded very assiduously as far as I could tell to do nothing for some moments after which he declared that I could not be hypnotised and bid me good day.
I do wonder if he's going around and trying to hypnotise people into believing that they can't be hypnotised. I approve.
I grew up in the days of the hippy convoy. Two girls who liked me, Karen and Debbie, called me the hippy convoy when I was walking past Badger's Close to Tytherington Comprehensive school in Macclesfield, carrying my beaten up cornet case as it was the day of my music lesson. I was twelve. Karen was chunky and Debbie was tiny and blonde; all of us in school uniforms. We were walking past a block of flats with me dawdling along the sun bleached concrete capping of a brick wall that enclosed the grounds of the flats and their car park. They walked alongside me hurling insults. We were just opposite the house where the daughters of Mrs Gottleib, my favourite primary school teacher, would sunbathe in bikinis in the front garden. I may have been in the house and seen the back garden once, but it's a very distant memory.
The Worst Story in the World
On the way back home from a trip to the States I once heard the worst story in the world. I was sitting in the heat of the morning sun outside one of the Heathrow terminals waiting for Delia to pull illicitly into the drop off zone and pick me up.
A homeless man came near me, scruffy khaki coat wrapping him in the sun and raggedy trainers and just as raggedy a beard. After a while he started to tell me his story. He's from India and he used to live with his wife and family, He'd never quite got round to sorting out his immigration status but worked in restaurants where that wasn't so much an issue.
Unfortunately he'd taken to beating his wife and eventually she'd gone to the police and he was thrown in prison. Now he was out, a convicted domestic abuser and the judge placed a restraining order so he's not allowed back near the house. So he's also homeless and of course his unsettled immigration status didn't go without notice, so not only does he have to report to probation but he's not getting any benefits and obviously he won't be able to stay in the country if he lets them take him away*. Looking as homeless as he is none of the restaurants will hire him.
His wife wanted him back, he told me. She was going to ask the judge to lift the order he said and he showed me his prison release papers. He so clearly and desperately wanted money. You'll have to beg I told him. He didn't ask me for any money so I didn't give him any. I asked him why not go back to India. He looked at me in horror and told me there was nothing for him there and he wasn't going back, no matter how bad it was here.
Funnily enough one of the reasons I'm so passionately against homophobia is because of being bullied for being gay when I was at school. I wasn't gay and the bullying was awful. So I know what it feels like. Evil fuckers.
When I left the school where I feared for my life because of the bullying a teacher told me I'd deserved it.
I was beaten up on the streets by rich fuckers in Cambridge just for being homeless. They threw coins at me before starting and then I was rescued by a woman passing by.
I was thrown out of home and into prison for being mad.
I know a bit about darkness. It's not all bad!
Isaiah 45:3 I will give you hidden treasures, riches stored in secret places, so that you may know that I am the Lord, the God of Israel, who summons you by name.
On the cusp of insanity on a cold night in Cambridge I jumped into the river Cam. It was cold, so cold it knocked the breath out of me sharply and the current started to take me downstream. The stone bank I'd jumped from was a few feet above the water. Cold slimy stone that I couldn't grasp, and I couldn't swim against the current to the steps just a few yards away. I couldn't cry out but there was no-one there anyway. That was it I was going to drown.
So I relaxed. What else could I do. The current swept me further downstream and the stone turned to mud and I scrambled out of the river and away onto the grand college dinner in the grand college hall, the only one I attended.
In the face of death anyone who doesn't say I don't know is a fool. We all get to find out one way or another.
My weirdest experience of the police here in the UK was very soon after I'd been enlightened, when I was mad.
I was walking the road from Harpenden to St Albans, Verulamium the Romans called it and the A5 runs right through it. The A5 is an old Roman road from London to Wales. It was Wales where the Romans slaughtered the druids and years after this tale I found myself living in a farmhouse called New River belonging to a cult. On the A5.
Anyway, no-one would give me a lift so I was walking in the middle of the road. Some police arrived and with the help of some handcuffs persuaded me to join them in their car. I remember the bite of the cuffs against my wrists.
In a police cell in St Albans I was sure I would ascend so I removed all my clothing and passed them through the hatch. The police women in attendance giggled and took my clothing.
After some time I was cold. My time had not yet come. I think they gave me back my clothes.
Then I walked to Cambridge. I did get one lift for a few miles. From a police car.
"The religion of Thelema: The systematic pursuit of knowing and exercising your true will, in accordance with the great work, understanding that love is the law. Every person is a star."
A Christian understanding of homosexuality is a topic I've shied away from, although I obliquely address it in The Liberal Agenda, because it can be so divisive. That it is a divisive and difficult topic makes me deeply sad. A refusal to face a topic because it is difficult could reasonably be called cowardice, so here we are.
People love to know the rules don't they. It's a fact of human nature that we want to be told what we're allowed to do and what we're not allowed to do. This is "the law" and the old testament of the bible is largely the story of humanity understanding God's nature and how to be right with God through a very detailed set of rules.
In Jesus' time there was a group of religious people who particularly loved the rules. Read Matthew 23 for some of the choice things Jesus had to say to these men, the Pharisees: Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You shut the door of the kingdom of heaven in people’s fa…
I posted this meme on Facebook, I think he's right, and someone made this response about Alan Moore: I'm going to ignore the fact that this is coming from a man who claims both that he is a wizard, and that the comic book industry was run by the mafia.
Now I'm pretty sure DC and Marvel do in fact count as a mafia. As for calling himself a wizard, that's clever. You don't do it because you believe it, that would be daft it doesn't even mean anything, you do it because some people will believe you and have faith in you which is powerful.
Personally I identify as a Witch, but that's just my religion. My favoured flavour of witchcraft is a syncretism of Druidism and The Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn. Druidism is the religion of the land of the Britons, from the time of Boudica and now my land. The magical system of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn is based on Hebrew mysticism. I'm Jewish and lived in a Christian cult as a true believer, without mon…
For more tales from the past, short horror stories from my life, see the links and the stories here:
Those Times Psychosis Nearly Killed Me
It transpires I've never told the story of how I ended up in prison. Like most stories it's hard to know where it begins, but maybe we can pickup the thread in my darkest hour in Verulamium. There, like the Romans before me, I faced a savage and wild horde of natives before whom I genuinely feared for my life. That is at the Verulam School for Boys in St Albans, the new school I had started at having moved from the northern industrial town of Macclesfield where what childhood idyll I knew remained behind to the commuter town of Harpenden. Full of estate agents and Italian restaurants and a higher class of savage natives than we'd known before.
I had been taught not to fight back, and although I'd been in a few fights I'd always brought them to an end fairly quickly and refused to fight, so I hadn't practised fighting much. …