Saturday, September 21, 2013

James Michener analysis - part 5: Michener's 'Space': Rel. to the film 'Pulp Fiction'


Pulp Fiction is a 1994 American dark comedic crime film directed by Quentin Tarantino, who also co-wrote the screenplay along with Roger Avary. The film is known for its eclectic dialogue, ironic mix of humor and violence, nonlinear storyline, and a host of cinematic allusions and pop culture references. Directed in a highly stylized manner, Pulp Fiction connects the intersecting storylines of Los Angeles mobsters, fringe players, small-time criminals, and a mysterious briefcase. Considerable screen time is devoted to conversations and monologues that reveal the characters' senses of humor and perspectives on life.[a]

From Pulp Fiction: Mobster Vincent Vega, high on heroin, driving on his way to pick up Mia Wallace. The music playing during this scene is the song Bullwinkle Pt. II, originally from the album Surfer's Pajama Party (1964) by the surf rock band, The Centurians (formerly, The Centurions) (listen on YouTube here). Surf music is a genre of popular music associated with surf culture, particularly as found in Orange County and other areas of Southern California. It was especially popular from 1961 to 1966, has subsequently been revived and was highly influential on subsequent rock music.[b] The use of surf music in this scene serves as a reference to something in Michener's 1982 novel, Space, that is, that one of Space's characters, Millard Mott, is involved in surf culture. This reference is discussed in more detail below.

Michener's Space is a fictionalized history of the United States space program, with a particular emphasis on manned spaceflight. In order to further elucidate the connection between Space and Pulp Fiction, we begin by listing the four main husband-wife pairs in Michener's novel, then we go over preliminary information from the novel. Following this is quoted a section of dialogue from the novel, in which all four of the couples are gathered together, interacting with each other. The children of these couples are included in the list. (In the below, 'Fremont' is a fictional American state created by Michener, and 'Clay' is a fictional city in Fremont).

List of major characters and their children
Mott, Stanley. Born Newtown, Massachusetts, 1918.
Mott, Rachel Lindquist. Born Worcester, Massachusetts, 1920.
      Millard, born 1943.
      Christopher, born 1950.

Pope, John. Born Clay, Fremont, 1927. U.S. Navy.
Pope, Penny Hardesty. Born Clay, Fremont, 1927.
No Children, but have tried.

Grant, Norman. Born Clay, Fremont, 1914.
Grant, Elinor Stidham. Born Clay, Fremont, 1917.
      Marcia, born 1939.

Kolff, Dieter. Born near Munich, Germany, 1907.
Kolff, Liesl. Born Peenemünde, Germany, 1916.
      Magnus, born 1947.

Preliminary information
By the time the reader gets to chapter 7 of Space, which is set in the year 1969, it has already been revealed that Millard Mott is gay (and that his parents know this), and he has also spent a lot of time hanging out with a group of like-minded surfers while living in Southern California. The other Mott son, Christopher, has gotten into trouble for exposing himself to a female. Marcia Grant has become somewhat estranged from her father. She has been 'seduced' by an unscrupulous man named Strabismus, into working for his organization, which pushes the idea that 'little green men' from outer space are about to invade Earth. She has also been seduced by Strabismus, who is significantly older than she, in the literal sense. Strabismus is known for having quick sex with younger women, then 'dumping' them. Marcia's mother, Elinor Grant, has also fallen prey to Strabismus to the extent that she believes in his 'little green men theory', and contributes money to his organization. Magnus Kolff is quite accomplished, learning to play trumpet at an early age, and is now playing in a formal orchestra. All four fathers in the above-listed group work for the space program, and two of the wives, Penny Pope and Rachel Mott, work in related fields. Liesl Kolff devotes her time to being a homemaker. Stanley Mott started out as a rocket engineer, but has relatively recently become more of a space scientist, working with more 'abstract' ideas than do engineers. Stanley's devotion to his work results in him being a 'distant' father to his two sons, and it is implied in the novel that his indifferent and uninvolved parenting is one of the main factors in his two sons becoming 'dysfunctional'. As of 1969, Norman Grant is a Senator, John Pope is an astronaut, and Dieter Kolff is a rocket engineer.

Dialogue from Space, Chapter 7 ("The Moon")
Near the end of chapter 7, the four couples listed above (minus their children) are all sitting together eating a meal. There are several switched-on television sets visible from their table, so that they can simultaneously watch different views presented by live network TV programs, covering current events of the space program. Part of their conversation is here given:[c]

[Norman Grant] asked the Kolffs, 'How did your son learn the young?'
Liesl Kolff answered eagerly, 'In America you want people to learn. Mrs. Mott, here, she taught us English at El Paso. No charge. When we move to Huntsville, first day they give out band instruments. How old was Magnus? Four maybe, he took one.'
'But we had trouble,' Dieter said. 'You might say the big decision, when he wanted to do funnies with the football band. I put my foot down. "You do not do funnies with Beethoven." He wanted to cry.'
'How were you able to make him see things your way?' Rachel Mott broke in.
'You tell him once, he don't listen,' Liesl said. 'You tell him twice, he shout at you. So you don't tell him a third time. You get a hammer and smash his trumpet.'
Dieter laughed. 'It belonged to the school. We had to pay for it. Magnus was so ashamed, he said a truck ran over it, his fault.'
'We got him a better one, and with it he joined our little orchestra. Then University of Alabama. Then Munich for one year. Now Boston, maybe forever.'
'You must be very proud,' Rachel said.
'We are,' Liesl replied.

Grant turned to the Motts. 'Weren't you having a little trouble with your son?'
'Both of them,' Rachel said. 'And not just a little.'
'In what respect?'
Stanley Mott was hesitant to speak of family troubles, but his no-nonsense-wife was not, and appearing almost prim and an epitome of rectitude, this forty-nine-year-old New England woman said, 'Life styles, I think, our eldest son-' She corrected herself. 'Our elder son seems not to like girls. He's living with a young man about his own age in Skycrest, Colorado. They run a shop featuring health foods.' And before anyone could comment, she added quite firmly, 'We've made our peace with Millard. He's a fine, gentle boy and we have no doubt he'll be the same kind of man.'
'He's twenty-six,' Mott said.
'I think of him still as a boy,' Rachel said, and her husband added, 'It's a shock when your son exhibits traits that you, well...' He stopped in confusion, then blurted out: 'We're sending him money to get his store started, and I for one am proud of what he's been able to accomplish. He's well spoken of in the Skycrest community.'

'Young Christopher's troubles are more serious,' Rachel said. He's been arrested for selling marijuana.'
'Drugs?' Liesl asked.
'I'm afraid so. Tell me,' Rachel asked, throwing herself, as it were, upon the mercy of her audience, 'How do you keep your children out of trouble in this permissive society?'
'There is a vast difference,' Senator Grant said as he watched the televisions. 'When I was a boy in Clay, every element in the society was supportive. The police were friendly. Sunday School teachers wanted to do the right thing. Our football coach was an admirable figure, and I remember one day when I sneaked into the poolroom to see for myself what infamous things were going on, and two of the town roustabouts took me aside and said, "Norman, you're supposed to grow up into a fine man. Maybe marry the judge's daughter or something like that. You're not meant to be in poolrooms. Now get out."'
'It's not that way any longer,' Rachel Mott said. 'Right now our son's in Miami chanting "Ho ho ho! Ho Chi Minh!"'
Senator Grant turned from the televisions. 'He's what?'
'It's a childish nonsense. They think it's funny to make us older people angry.'
'But what's the Ho Chi Minh nonsense? Surely your son is not...'
'They want the war in Vietnam to end. They insist we get out.'
'That's government policy,' Grant snapped. 'That's not for puling children to determine on their own.'
'Christopher's no child. He's nineteen. He's terrified of the draft.'
Grant rose. 'When we faced a much more terrible enemy, two of them, my generation volunteered. You did, didn't you, Mott?'
'The Army picked me up,' he said evasively, not wishing to admit on this night that he had not been in uniform.
'How about you, Pope? You volunteered, didn't you?'
'I was playing football, sir. Still in high school.'
'But in Korea?'
'I was already in uniform, sir, but I did a lot of combat flying over there.'
'You certainly volunteered for the German side, didn't you, Kolff?'
'I fought on the Russian front,' Dieter said, not caring to explain that it took four Nazi detectives to find him in the fields of southern Germany before the Army could throw him in uniform.

'In time of crisis,' Grant said, 'men rally to the support of their homelands.'
'Millard, out in Colorado, denies it's a crisis. He told us in his last letter that he's sure the whole thing's contrived.'
'Contrived?' Grant snorted. 'When the Congress of the United States...'
'That was his major point,' Rachel said. 'Congress has not had the courage to declare actual war. Millard said it's all a political game, an avoidance of reality.'
'Your Millard had better watch out, Mrs. Mott.'
'He says it's what he calls a ploy. A way to get the children of the poor to defend the privileges of the rich without disturbing business as usual.'
'He sounds like a Communist.'
'He tells us that most of the young people in Colorado think the same way. Two of his friends have escaped to Canada. To avoid the draft.'
'Escaped? America's no prison. If they ran away to Canada, they did so because they're cowards. President Nixon and Congress have laid out certain plans, and it's the duty of all citizens to obey them.'
Stanley Mott, not wishing this argument to proceed any further, asked, 'In a time of wildly changing mores, what can a parent do to keep their children stable?'
'Sometimes,' Liesl Kolff said, 'sometimes you have to take a hammer and smash the trumpet.'

[At the end of chapter 7, it is revealed that Millard Mott has gone to Canada to avoid the draft.]

Correspondence with Pulp Fiction
As mentioned above, the fact that surf music is playing while Pulp Fiction's Vincent is high on drugs, indicates a connection between Vincent and Space's Millard Mott, who was, for some time, involved in Southern California surf culture. Also, Pulp Fiction's Maynard (a 'voyeur' of gay sex; sitting on the far right in the screencap at below left) corresponds, to some degree, to Millard, who is himself gay. (Note the similarity of the names Maynard and Millard).

Above left: From left to right: Zed, 'The Gimp' (a gay sexual 'submissive'), and Maynard, in the basement of Maynard's shop. The shop, though it is portrayed in the movie as being located in Los Angeles, represents a perverted gay 'enclave' whose existence lies elsewhere (as described below). Above right: Maynard looks on as Zed anally rapes their captive, Marsellus Wallace. The music playing during this scene is another 1960's surf song, The Revels' Comanche.

The 'theme' of gay sex in Southern California surf culture, is the connection between Space and Pulp Fiction. As indicated by the modern-day setting of Pulp Fiction, the presence of The Gimp as a character in the film, and the portrayal of Vincent as a drug user, Tarantino not only implies that current Southern California surf culture consists largely of gay men, but also, that some of these men participate in perverted (e.g., 'dominant/submissive' sadomasochistic) sex with each other, and that sometimes, drug use is involved in the commission of these acts. When Michener has Millard's mother, Rachel Mott, describe her son as "gentle" (in the dialog quoted above), what's being suggested is that most people outside the gay surf culture view surfers in a neutral manner, and don't realize that its members are committing savage sexual acts upon each other. As an aside, many surf rock bands were and are using their music as a 'covert' attempt to get across to the general public, that this type of behavior is going on in the surf culture. This is evident not only in the sound of these bands' music, but in the titles (and where present, lyrics) of some of their songs as well. For example, the title of the song Comanche is a reference to the savagery of the aforementioned sex acts: The Comanche were an American Indian tribe whose name is derived from a Ute word meaning "anyone who wants to fight me all the time."[d]

Above left: The portions of a Confederate flag in Maynard's shop, indicates not only that perverted gay sex occurs to an inordinately common degree in the American Southeast, but it also indicates the 'geographical metaphor' in use here: Orange County itself lies to the southeast of Los Angeles. Above right: A rectangular variant of the Army of Northern Virginia battle flag under General Robert E. Lee (during the American Civil War), often referred to simply as the Confederate flag. [Image from the Wikipedia 'Modern display of the Confederate flag' page, public domain, via Wikimedia Commons.]

a. Wikipedia, 'Pulp Fiction'. Web, n.d. URL =
b. Wikipedia, 'Surf music'. Web, n.d. URL =
c. Michener, James A. Space. Random House, 1982. pp. 530-533.
d. 'Comanche'. Encyclopædia Britannica. Encyclopædia Britannica Online. Encyclopædia Britannica Inc., 2016. Web. 25 Aug. 2016. URL =


Tuesday, September 10, 2013

James Michener analysis - part 4: 'The Novel'; various geometrical patterns; links


The Novel was written by Michener in 1991. A departure from his better known historical fiction, The Novel is told from the viewpoints of four different characters involved in the life and work of a writer of historical novels concerning a picturesque district (Grenzler) in rural Pennsylvania. There is much discussion of writing, not all of it in support of Michener's own style. Many story devices discussed by the characters are later used by Michener in this same story.

Chapter Summary
The Writer - Lukas Yoder: Narrated by the author of a popular series of historical novels as he works on his "final" novel.
The Editor - Yvonne Marmelle: The personal and professional life of Lukas Yoder's editor.
The Critic - Karl Streibert: A new literary star appears in Grenzler, and tries to rise from Lukas Yoder's shadow.
The Reader - Jane Garland: Told in the voice of an avid reader and prominent citizen of the Grenzler area.[a]

Hex signs
Early in The Novel, we find that Lukas Yoder has a hobby of sorts: He locates, restores, and then sells (or sometimes gives away for free), hex signs.

Above left: Barn with a five-pointed hex sign in Berks County, Pennsylvania in 1941. [Image from the Wikipedia 'Hex sign' page, public domain, via Wikimedia Commons.] Above right: Barn with compass rose hex signs at the historic Mascot Mills in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania.[b]

Hex signs are a form of Pennsylvania Dutch folk art, related to fraktur, found in the Fancy Dutch tradition in Pennsylvania Dutch Country. Barn paintings, usually in the form of "stars in circles," grew out of the fraktur and folk art traditions about 1850 when barns first started to be painted in the area. By the 1940s commercialized hex signs, aimed at the tourist market, became popular and these often include stars, compass roses, stylized birds known as distelfinks, hearts, tulips, or a tree of life. Two schools of thought exist on the meaning of hex signs. One school ascribes a talismanic nature to the signs, the other sees them as purely decorative, or "Chust for nice" in the local dialect. Both schools recognize that there are sometimes superstitions associated with certain hex sign themes, and neither ascribes strong magical power to them.[c]


Shown at left is a pentagram. [Image from the Wikipedia 'Pentagram' page, public domain, via Wikimedia Commons.]

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints began using both upright and inverted pentagrams (five-pointed stars) in Temple architecture, dating from the Nauvoo Illinois Temple dedicated on 30 April 1846. Other temples decorated with five-pointed stars in both orientations include the Salt Lake Temple, and the Logan Utah Temple.[d]

According to the Dictionary of Symbols, "Pentagrams can take either pentagonal or star shape. Their symbolism is manifold, but is always based upon that of the number five, which expresses the conjunction of inequalities. The five points of the pentagram come together in the fruitful marriage of three (the male principle) with two (the female principle). In this context, the pentagram symbolizes hermaphroditism. Pentagrams were used as recognition signs between members of the same group or society, as for example the followers of Pythagoras in Classical antiquity. The pentagram unified them: it was one of the keys to Higher Knowledge and opened the door to what was secret. ...

"In Europe the pentagram of Pythagoras became that of Hermes Trismegistus and was regarded, not simply as a symbol of knowledge, but as a means of casting spells and of obtaining power (Ghyka, Matila C., Le nombre d'or, Vol. 2, Paris, 1931, p. 77). ...

"In its stellar, rather than pentagonal shape, Masonic tradition calls the pentagram the Blazing Star. With some reservations Boucher quotes Ragon's interpretation of the Blazing Star as being 'the image in ancient Egypt of the son of Isis and the Sun, begetter of the seasons and emblem of motion, of that Horus, symbol of primeval matter, inexhaustible well-spring of life, spark of holy fire and universal seed of all beings. To Masons, it is the emblem of the Genius which raises the soul to great deeds'.[e] ...

"The pentagram gives expression to a force which is the synthesis of complementary powers."[f]

Compass roses

Shown at left is an eight-point compass rose.[g]

Above left and right: Note the compass rose-like eight-point star figure on the wall in this scene from Stanley Kubrick's 1999 movie, Eyes Wide Shut. The star here represents, in part, the Egyptian Ogdoad, which, as described in part 1 of this analysis, is a set of four male-female pairs of deities that was worshiped in ancient Egypt. Each of the eight points on the large, outer star here represents one of the Ogdoad's deities, with the four larger points representing the four male deities. Kubrick uses the star to draw a correspondence between the four male deities of the Ogdoad, and William Blake's four Zoas: Each Zoa was associated with one of the four major compass directions: north, east, south, and west. As denoted on the right-hand screencap above, each of the four large outer points on the star from Eyes Wide Shut, can be taken to be pointing to one of these four directions, and thus, each point can be taken to represent one of the four Zoas; thus the correspondence Kubrick is drawing, between the four male deities of the Egyptian Ogdoad, and the four Zoas. Blake, in his later mythology, developed an ogdoad consisting of the four Zoas and their four feminine emanations. He called them the Eight Immortal Starry-Ones.


Above left: The Jewish Star of David is a hexagram: Two equilateral triangles, one upright and the other inverted, overlapping each other. Note that the boundary of the interior region of the star has been traced out in heavy lines - this interior border is a regular hexagon (a six-sided figure). Above right: As described in the analysis of Stanley Kubrick's 2001: A Space Odyssey on this blog, Kubrick uses a hexagonal shape for each of the three rear thrusters of the Discovery One spaceship (shown here). The disproportionate extension of the hexagons in the vertical direction here indicates the predominance of the unconscious mind, which in a man (i.e., 2001 astronaut David Bowman), has feminine characteristics. (For more on the symbolism of the Discovery One spaceship, see the analysis of 2001).

In Jungian psychology, the hexagram "expresses the union of opposites - the union of the personal, temporal world of the ego with the non-personal timeless world of the non-ego. Ultimately, this union is the fulfillment and goal of all religions. It is the union of the soul with God."[h]

Hexagrams are also featured within and on the outside of many Masonic temples as a decoration. It may have been found within the structures of King Solomon's temple, from which Freemasons are inspired in their philosophies and studies. Like many other symbols in Freemasonry, the deciphering of the hexagram is non-dogmatic and left to the interpretation of the individual.

The Shatkona is a symbol used in Hindu yantra that represents the union of both the male and feminine form. It is a hexagram and looks exactly like the Star of David.[i]

Links between Freemasonry, Judaism, and Rosicrucianism
1. Kabbalah, an esoteric method, discipline, and school of thought that originated in Judaism, is studied in certain non-Jewish organizations, such as Freemasonry, Rosicrucianism and the Golden Dawn.
2. The Order of the Golden and Rosy Cross (Orden des Gold- und Rosenkreutz, also the Fraternity of the Golden and Rosy Cross) was a German Rosicrucian organization founded in the 1750s by Freemason and alchemist Hermann Fichtuld. Candidates were expected to be Master Masons in good standing. Alchemy was to be a central study for members. Much of the hierarchical structure for this order was used in Societas Rosicruciana in Anglia (SRIA) and from there, the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn.[j]

Links between Mormonism and the 'occult' (e.g., hermeticism and alchemy)
See The Refiner's Fire: The Making of Mormon Cosmology, 1644-1844 by historian John L. Brooke, Ph.D.
Excerpt from this book: "Quite simply, there are striking parallels between the Mormon concepts of the coequality of matter and spirit, of the covenant of celestial marriage, and of an ultimate goal of human godhood and the philosophical traditions of alchemy and hermeticism, drawn from the ancient world and fused with Christianity in the Italian Renaissance. Mormonism and hermeticism both propose a distinct relationship between the visible and invisible worlds. The classical Mormon theology announced by Joseph Smith at Nauvoo in 1844 cast the Mormon faithful not in traditional Christian terms, supplicating divine favor, nor in the role of magicians, manipulating and coercing supernatural forces. Rather, Mormons were to expect, as hermetic perfectionists, to be coparticipants in divinity and to play a direct role in the supernatural cosmos of the invisible world."
(--Brooke, John L., The Refiner's Fire, Cambridge University Press, 1996, pp. xiii-xiv.)

a. Wikipedia, 'The Novel'. Web, n.d. URL =
b. Image from the Wikipedia 'Hex sign' page; Mascot Mills Barn w Hexes LanCo PA by Smallbones, licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons.
c. Wikipedia, 'Hex sign'. Web, n.d. URL =
d. Wikipedia, 'Pentagram'. Web, n.d. URL =
e. Boucher, Jules, La symbolique maçonnique, 2nd edition, Paris, 1953.
f. Dictionary of Symbols. Ed. Jean Chevalier and Alain Gheerbrant, Trans. John Buchanan-Brown. London: Penguin Group, 1996. pp. 747-748.
g. Image from the Wikipedia 'Compass rose' page; Compass rose en 08p by ElfQrin, licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons; edited for clarity.
h. Man and His Symbols. Ed. with introduction Carl G. Jung. London: Aldus Books, 1964. p. 240.
i. Wikipedia, 'Hexagram'. Web, n.d. URL =
j. Wikipedia, 'Order of the Golden and Rosy Cross'. Web, n.d. URL =


Wednesday, July 31, 2013

James Michener analysis - part 3: Ancestry of Native Americans; societal breakdown


We begin this post by reviewing the dispute between Mormons and conventional scientists, regarding the ancestry of Native Americans (i.e., American Indians). The making public of this dispute, along with general societal breakdown, are designed to help certain high-ranking Mormons, along with other conspiratorial parties, in establishing their Zion, i.e., their 'paradise'.

The Book of Mormon is one of the four books of scripture of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. It was first published by Joseph Smith, Jr. in 1830 in Palmyra, New York.

Beginning with the title page of the online Book of Mormon that appears on the LDS dot org website:[a]

The Book of Mormon

An Account Written by the Hand of Mormon upon Plates Taken from the Plates of Nephi

Wherefore, it is an abridgment of the record of the people of Nephi, and also of the Lamanites — Written to the Lamanites, who are a remnant of the house of Israel; ...


Picking up again at the introduction,[b]

The Book of Mormon is a volume of holy scripture comparable to the bible. It is a record of God’s dealings with ancient inhabitants of the Americas and contains the fulness of the everlasting gospel.

The book was written by many ancient prophets by the spirit of prophecy and revelation. Their words, written on gold plates, were quoted and abridged by a prophet-historian named Mormon. The record gives an account of two great civilizations. One came from Jerusalem in 600 B.C. and afterward separated into two nations, known as the Nephites and the Lamanites. The other came much earlier when the Lord confounded the tongues at the Tower of Babel. This group is known as the Jaredites. After thousands of years, all were destroyed except the Lamanites, and they are among the ancestors of the American Indians. ...



The Book of Mormon (in the portions quoted above) states that the Lamanites "are a remnant of the house of Israel", and that "they are among the ancestors of the American Indians." These statements, taken together, serve as a basis for the modern-day belief of some Mormons, that the American Indians are descended from Israelites. What we need to do is to see if any scientific evidence exists, that either supports or refutes the historical authenticity of the Book of Mormon, regarding its claim for the American Indians' Israelite ancestry.

Some researchers, such as anthropologist Thomas W. Murphy, argue against the claim of Israelite ancestry of the American Indians. In the abstract for one of his journal articles, Murphy states, "The Book of Mormon claims that the principal ancestors of the American Indians came from the ancient Middle East, an historical assertion now repudiated by [mitochondrial DNA] evidence."[c]

Some of the arguments based on DNA research were disputed by David G. Stewart, in a 2006 edition of FARMS Review :

"In recent years, some critics have alleged that research demonstrating considerable homology between modern Native American, Mongolian, and southern Siberian DNA, as well as a seeming lack of homology between modern Jewish and Native American DNA, provides conclusive proof that the traditional Latter-day Saint view of Native American origins is false. Some Latter-day Saint defenders have attempted to explain the data by invoking limited geography theories proposing that Nephite and Lamanite activity was restricted to a small area in Central America and that any trace of "Israelite" DNA was lost by intermixing with larger indigenous groups. A closer examination demonstrates that modern DNA evidence does not discredit traditional Latter-day Saint beliefs and that the views of critics are based on nonfactual assumptions and unsupportable misinterpretations of genetic data."[d]

Followup of genetic claims in the media
A 2006 article written by William Lobdell and published in the Los Angeles Times, stated, "For Mormons, the lack of discernible Hebrew blood in Native Americans is no minor collision between faith and science. It burrows into the historical foundations of the Book of Mormon, a 175-year-old transcription that the church regards as literal and without error."[e]


Since some Mormons believe in the American Indians' Israelite ancestry, and since some of these Mormons are currently (i.e., in recent times) arguing in favor of this theory (as indicated by the ongoing dispute over the issue),[f] then it stands to reason that some Mormons (e.g., at least some of the very high-ranking members of the Mormon Church), are still pursuing the agenda laid out in the Articles of Faith, insofar as they are still hoping to establish a new Zion (that is, some sort of 'utopia'), composed, in part, of the members of certain American Indian tribes (as already mentioned, these Mormons are now working alongside other evil parties, to establish the new Zion). Part of these Mormons' reason for arguing the American Indian ancestry issue scientifically (and publicly, to at least some degree), is to help convince the Indians themselves that they are in fact descended from Israelites, and thus to make them willing participants in the plan to establish 'paradise'. Arguing in favor of the Israelite ancestry within the context of debates with conventional scientists, would do more to convince the Indians of the theory's veracity, than if the Mormon scientists only tried to persuade these Indians directly. Of course, it would also lessen the likelihood of the Indians getting suspicious about the motives of the Mormons involved. Involving scientists in the debate, combined with coverage of the debate in various mainstream media sources, makes things appear to the general public as if the issue is of mainly academic interest. However, certain Mormons are hoping that there will come a point in time, when a sufficient number of Indians have accepted these Mormons' ideas regarding the Indians' Israelite ancestry as true, so that the Indians will more willingly participate in the establishment of 'utopia'.


Certain evil conspiratorial parties (evil hermaphroditic Jews, certain high-ranking Freemasons and Mormons, and other parties), have been working to cause general societal breakdown, such as by dismantling the basic family unit, and by creating a general state of chaos, so that the remainder of the populace, i.e., all those not destined to inhabit the new Zion, will lack any sort of unifying principle or strength of character, and thus be easier to 'herd', maintain surveillance over, and control, placing them in a state of subjection. One very effective way to contribute to societal breakdown is to remove the father from the family unit, both literally (via processes such as no-fault divorce), and effectively, by taking away fathers' authority and status (for example, via denigration of them in the popular media). (According to the National Center for Fathering, "[C]hildren from fatherless homes are more likely to be poor, become involved in drug and alcohol abuse, drop out of school, and suffer from health and emotional problems. Boys are more likely to become involved in crime, and girls are more likely to become pregnant as teens."[g])

One way in which the status of fathers can be weakened, is by undermining men in general, for example, by framing men's tendency to be self-sufficient as if it is problematic (i.e., "He doesn't know when to ask for help."). This is not to say that no one ever needs help, but generally speaking, a society composed primarily of non-self-reliant individuals is going to be less able than a fit society, to resist those bent on destroying it.

The popular and news media, being largely controlled by the evil parties, not only help keep the public addicted to change, resulting in discord among successive generations, but they also cover news and other issues in a polar, 'oppositional' manner: Black versus white, men versus women, etc. The purpose of this is to sow discord, i.e., to divide up society into opposing factions, so as to take away our ability to recognize, and fight against, that which Kubrick and Michener believed to be the real threat, that is, the planned establishment of Zion/New Jerusalem and the subjection of the general populace. The basic idea is to weaken our ability to fight back as a unified force, by getting all of us at each others' throats. "United we stand, divided we fall."

The planned establishment of Zion/New Jerusalem will be further discussed, later in this analysis.

a. The Book of Mormon, An Account Written by the Hand of Mormon upon Plates Taken from the Plates of Nephi. Title Page. Website of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Intellectual Reserve, Inc. Web. URL =
b. Ibid., Introduction. URL =
c. Murphy, Thomas W. "Genetic Research a 'Galileo Event' for Mormons." Abstract. Anthropology News 44.2 (2003): 20. Web. URL =
Murphy's article was was published several years before the wording in the Book of Mormon introduction was changed, from "principal ancestors" to "among the ancestors"; the latter phrasing in what is used in the current LDS dot org online version of the book, that was quoted above.
d. Stewart, David G., Jr. "DNA and the Book of Mormon." FARMS Review 18.1 (2006): 109–138. Web. URL =
e. Lobdell, William. "Bedrock of a Faith Is Jolted." Los Angeles Times. 16 February 2006. Web. URL =
f. There is a page on the LDS dot org website called 'Book of Mormon and DNA Studies' here. The posting on this page lists footnotes citing items dated as recently as the year 2013. The fact that this page exists is itself evidence, that the dispute over the issue of the (supposed) Israelite ancestry of American Indians, is currently ongoing.
g. National Center for Fathering, "The Consequences of Fatherlessness". pp. 1, 2. Web, n.d. URL =


Tuesday, July 23, 2013

James Michener analysis - part 2: The Articles of Faith



Above left: James E. Talmage (1862-1933). [Image from the Wikipedia 'James E. Talmage' page, public domain, via Wikimedia Commons.] Above right: Joseph Smith (1805-1844). [Image from the Wikipedia 'Joseph Smith' page, public domain, via Wikimedia Commons.]

The Articles of Faith: A Series of Lectures on the Principal Doctrines of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is an 1899 book by James E. Talmage about doctrines of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The name of the book is taken from the LDS Church's "Articles of Faith", an 1842 creed written by Joseph Smith.

Smith's "Articles of Faith" became part of the LDS Church's scriptural canon in 1880 as part of the Pearl of Great Price. In 1891, when the First Presidency of the LDS Church asked Talmage to produce a work of theology that could be used in church schools, Talmage decided to use Smith's Articles of Faith as an outline of his work. He first delivered the material that he would organize into a book, in a series of lectures in 1893 at Latter-day Saints' University in Salt Lake City, Utah, which Talmage was the president of at the time.

First published in 1899, Talmage's work is composed of 24 chapters. The first edition was published by the LDS Church, and has gone through over 50 English-language editions. It has also been translated and published in 13 other languages. The book continues to be published today by Deseret Book, a publishing company owned by the church.

Like Talmage's later work Jesus the Christ, Articles of Faith is today regarded as a Mormon classic. For many years, Articles of Faith and Jesus the Christ were among the few non-scriptural works that full-time LDS Church missionaries were asked to study. However, Articles of Faith is no longer part of the approved missionary library.[a]

In the below are quoted certain parts of the Articles of Faith that show the LDS Church's thinking behind their former plan, to get the Lost Tribes of Israel together, by assembling certain North American Indian tribes all in one place, as part of the goal of establishing Zion. (As we will see later in this analysis, the current plan, established by certain high-ranking Mormons working with other parties, is to build Zion at a different location than that indicated in the Articles).




The Deseret News, Salt Lake City, Utah, 1899.


Entered According to Act of Congress,
in the Year 1899,
By James E. Talmage,
In the office of the Librarian of Congress, at Washington.


Article 4.—We believe that the first principles and ordinances of the Gospel are (1) Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ; (2) Repentance; * * *
15. Faith Essential to Salvation.— Inasmuch as salvation is attainable only through the mediation and atonement of Christ, and since this is made applicable to individual sin only in the cases of those who obey the laws of righteousness, faith in Jesus Christ is indispensable to salvation. But no one can believe in Jesus Christ, and at the same time doubt the existence and authority of either the Father or the Holy Ghost; therefore faith in the entire Godhead is essential to salvation...

Article 8.— * * * We also believe the Book of Mormon to be the word of God.
30. III. Concerning the Advent of at least One Division of the Ancient Americans from the East, probably from Asia; and their Israelitish Origin.— Confirmatory evidence of the belief that the aboriginal Americans sprang from the peoples of the eastern hemisphere is found in the similarity of record and tradition on the two continents, regarding the creation, the deluge, and other great events of history...
39. IV. Concerning the Common Origin of the Native Races on this Continent.— That the many tribes and nations among the Indians and other "native races" of America are of common parentage is very generally admitted; the conclusion is based on the evident close relationship in their languages, traditions, and customs. "Mr. Lewis H. Morgan finds evidence that the American aborigines had a common origin in what he calls 'their system of consanguinity and affinity.' He says, 'The Indian nations from the Atlantic to the Rocky Mountains, and from the Arctic sea to the Gulf of Mexico, with the exception of the Esquimaux, have the same system. It is elaborate and complicated in its general form and details; and, while deviations from uniformity occur in the systems of different stocks, the radical features are in the main constant. This identity in the essential characteristics of a system so remarkable tends to show that it must have been transmitted with the blood to each stock from a common original source. It affords the strongest evidence yet obtained of unity in origin of the Indian nations within the regions defined.'"
[Here a footnote is added:] (Baldwin's "Ancient America," p. 56; see citations of conclusions regarding the characteristics of aboriginal Americans by Bradford, in the same work.)
7. Survival of the Hebrew Language among American Tribes.—"It is claimed that such survivals are numerous in the religious songs and ceremonies of many of the tribes. A number of writers who visited or resided among the tribes of the northern continent, assert that the words Yehovah, Yah, Ale, and Hallelujah, could be distinctly heard in these exercises. Laet and Escarbotus assure us that they often heard the South American Indians repeat the sacred word Hallelujah."— Elder George Reynolds, The Language of the Book of Mormon.

Article 10.— We believe in the literal gathering of Israel, and in the restoration of the Ten Tribes, etc.
20. The Lost Tribes.— As already stated, in the division of the Israelites after the death of Solomon, ten tribes established themselves as an independent kingdom. This, the kingdom of Israel, was terminated, as far as history is concerned, by the Assyrian captivity, 721 B. C. The people were led into Assyria; and later disappeared so completely that they have been called the Lost Tribes. They seem to have departed from Assyria, and while we lack definite information as to their final destination and present location, there is abundant evidence that their journey was toward the north. The Lord's Word through Jeremiah promises that the people shall be brought back "from the land of the north," and a similar declaration has been made through Divine revelation during the present dispensation.

Article 10.— We believe in the literal gathering of Israel, and in the restoration of the Ten Tribes, etc.

1. The Gathering Predicted.— Terrible as was the chastisement decreed on Israel for their waywardness and sin, amounting, as it did, to their dissolution as a nation, and to a virtual expulsion from the sight of the Lord's favor; fearful as has been their denunciation by Him who delighted to call them His people; through all their sufferings and deprivations, while wandering as outcasts among alien nations who have never ceased to treat them with contumely and insult, when their very name has been made a hiss and a byword in the earth;— they have ever been sustained by the sure word of Divine promise, that a day of glorious deliverance and blessed restoration awaits them.
NOTES. 1. Gathering Now in Progress.— The Latter-day Saints "are building up stakes of Zion in the Rocky Mountain valleys, and in this way are fulfilling predictions of the ancient prophets. Isaiah hath it written, 'And it shall come to pass in the last days, that the mountain of the Lord's house shall be established in the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow unto it. And many people shall go and say, Come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths; for out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem' (Isaiah ii, 2-3). It is remarkable how minutely the Latter-day Saints are fulfilling the terms of this prophecy: 1. They are building the temples of God in the tops of the mountains, so that the house of the Lord is truly where Isaiah saw it would be. 2. The Saints engaged in this work are people gathered from nearly all the nations under heaven, so that all nations are flowing unto the house of the Lord in the top of the mountains. 3. The people who receive the gospel in foreign lands joyfully say to their relatives and friends: Come ye, and let us go up to the house of the Lord, and he will teach us of his ways and we will walk in his paths."— Roberts' Outlines of Ecclesiastical History, p. 409.

Article 10.— We believe * * * That Zion will be built upon this [the American] continent, etc.
(material inside square brackets in original).
15. The Book of Mormon is explicit in foretelling the establishment of Zion on the western continent; but the precise location was not revealed until after the restoration of the priesthood in the present dispensation. In 1831, the Lord commanded the elders of His Church in this wise:—" Go ye forth into the western countries, call upon the inhabitants to repent, and inasmuch as they do repent, build up churches unto me; and with one heart and with one mind, gather up your riches that ye may purchase an inheritance which shall hereafter be appointed unto you; and it shall be called the New Jerusalem, a land of peace, a city of refuge, a place of safety for the saints of the Most High God; and the glory of the Lord shall be there, and the terror of the Lord shall also be there, insomuch that the wicked will not come unto it, and it shall be called Zion."
[Here a footnote is added:] (Doc. and Cov. xlv, 64-67; read further, verses 68-71.)

16. Later revelations called the elders of the Church to assemble in western Missouri, and designated that place as the land appointed and consecrated for the gathering of the Saints. "Wherefore this is the land of promise, and the place for the city of Zion." The town of Independence was named as "the center place," and the site for the temple was designated, the Saints being counseled to purchase land there, "that they may obtain it for an everlasting inheritance." On August 3rd, 1831, the temple site thus named was solemnly dedicated by the prophet, Joseph Smith, and his associates in the priesthood. The region round about was also dedicated, that it might be a gathering place for the people of God.

17. Such, then, is the belief of the Latter-day Saints; such are the teachings of the Church. But the plan of building up Zion has not yet been consummated. The Saints were not permitted to enter into immediate possession of the land, which was promised them as an everlasting inheritance. Even as years elapsed between the time of the Lord's promise to Israel of old that Canaan should be their inheritance, and the time of their entering into possession thereof,— years devoted to the people's toilsome and sorrowful preparation for the fulfillment,— so in these latter-days, the Divine purpose is held in abeyance, while the people are being sanctified for the great gift, and for the greater responsibilities associated with it. In the meantime, the honest in heart are gathering to the valleys of the Rocky Mountains; and here, in the tops of the mountains, exalted above the hills, temples have been erected, and all nations are flowing unto this region. But Zion shall yet be established on the chosen site; she "shall not be moved out of her place," and the pure in heart shall surely return, "with songs of everlasting joy to build up the waste places of Zion."

18. But gathered Israel cannot be confined to the "center place," nor to the region immediately adjacent; other places have been and will be appointed, and these are called Stakes of Zion. Many stakes have been established in the regions inhabited by the Latter-day Saints, and these are to be permanent possessions; and thence will go those who are appointed from among the worthy to receive possession of their inheritances. Zion is to be chastened, but only for a little season, then will come the time of her redemption.

19. That time will be appointed of God, yet it is to be determined according to the faithfulness of the people....


As stated in part 1 of this analysis, the action in part of Michener's Centennial is a partial 'microcosm' for what he believed the Mormons are currently doing, in order to establish Zion. This will be discussed as the analysis proceeds.

a. Wikipedia, 'Articles of Faith (Talmage)'. Web, n.d. URL =
b. James E. Talmage. The Articles of Faith, first edition (1899). Google archived public domain book. pp. 2, 98, 110, 281, 291, 296, 300, 304, 307, 326, 338, 341, 355, 356, 363-365. URL =


Monday, July 8, 2013

The Steely Dan Lexicon - part 1: Analysis of 'Only A Fool Would Say That'


[Image at left from the Wikipedia 'Can't Buy A Thrill' page; "Cant buy a tcant buy a thrill" [sic][a], licensed under fair use via Wikipedia.]

Welcome to the Steely Dan Lexicon. Buttons at the bottom of each post enable navigation through the parts of the analysis.

Any fan of Steely Dan, a successful jazz/rock band who released their first album, Can't Buy A Thrill, in 1972, can verify that there is hardly a single song written by band members Donald Fagen (vocalist and keyboardist) and Walter Becker (guitar), which doesn't leave the listener baffled as to its full meaning. The song Only A Fool Would Say That, appears on the album Can't Buy A Thrill. In the first three parts of the Steely Dan Lexicon, we will be analyzing the lyrics of this song.[b]

Only A Fool Would Say That (henceforth: Only A Fool) has the appearance of being an 'answer song' to John Lennon's hit song Imagine (released in 1971), with references to Lennon, and the band which he was formerly a member of, the Beatles,[c] placed throughout (links to the lyrics of Only A Fool and Imagine are provided at the bottom of each post in this analysis). In Lennon's song, the narrator calls himself "a dreamer", and speaks of a (supposedly) idyllic world in which there are no wars, and no separate countries or religions. Only A Fool starts out on a dismal note - "A world become one / Of salads and sun / Only a fool would say that." The "world become one" is a reference to Imagine's narrator's 'utopia' ("And the world will be as one"), and "salads" is a reference to Lennon's own vegetarianism. "Fool" here is a reference to the Beatles' hit song The Fool On The Hill (1967), with Imagine's narrator being the fool for proposing an ideal world.

Only A Fool continues, "A boy with a plan / A natural man / Wearing a white Stetson hat." "Natural" refers to John Lennon and his wife, Yoko Ono, appearing nude on the cover of their Two Virgins album (1968); and, it is also a reference to the concept of a natural man who lives a virtuous, uncomplicated existence - this fitting with Imagine's notion of an ideal world.

Only A Fool Would Say That
Listen on YouTube
Lyrics (scroll about half way down in the separate window that opens)

Listen on YouTube

a. Cover for the album Can't Buy A Thrill by the artist Steely Dan: The cover art copyright is believed to belong to the label, ABC, or the artist(s) who produced the recording or created the cover artwork.
b. Steely Dan consisted of other members, in addition to Fagen and Becker, at the time that Can't Buy A Thrill was recorded, but these two men have been the only steady members, from the time the band was founded up through current day. In essence, these two are the band.
c. The Beatles no longer existed at the time Lennon recorded Imagine.

All song lyrics in this post are believed to be used in accordance with the U.S. Copyright Fair Use Act (Title 17 U.S. Code).

Sunday, July 7, 2013

The Steely Dan Lexicon - part 4: Donald Fagen's 'The Nightfly' album - rel. to '2001'


This post consists of a list of observations on the meanings of the lyrics to some of the songs on Donald Fagen's 1982 album, The Nightfly, and how they relate to Stanley Kubrick's 1968 movie, 2001: A Space Odyssey. Certain items in this post will be best understood by those who have read the analysis of 2001 on this blog.


Above left: The cover of Donald Fagen's 1982 album, The Nightfly.[a] Above center: Italian explorer Giovanni Battista Belzoni.[Image from the Wikipedia 'Giovanni Battista Belzoni' page, public domain, via Wikimedia Commons.] Above right: The camera 'eye' of A Space Odyssey's HAL computer.

The Nightfly album lyrics here

Songs on The Nightfly album
1. I.G.Y. (What A Beautiful World) (listen on YouTube): According to the NASA IGY page, it was from the IGY (International Geophysical Year) rocket and satellite research that the US developed its space program. Therefore, it is not completely surprising that the lyrics in this song have to do with 2001: A Space Odyssey's (fictional) voyage in space.

I.G.Y. begins with the lyrics, "Standing tough under stars and stripes / We can tell / This dream's in sight." The way that Fagen, the song's vocalist, says, "We can tell", sounds similar to the words 'we count down'; this, taken together with "stars and stripes", is a reference to Discovery One, the spaceship in A Space Odyssey, and to the fact that it is a United States spaceship. It is aboard Discovery One that the two main characters in Kubrick's film, astronauts David Bowman and Frank Poole, are voyaging toward Jupiter. "This dream's in sight" is a reference to how a portion of Kubrick's movie depicts a dream David Bowman experiences, and to how the movie is dominated by visuals ("sight"), with relatively little dialogue. In the verse of I.G.Y. that reads, "Under sea by rail", "Under sea" refers to the fact that part of Bowman's journey on Discovery One, is symbolic of the three days that the biblical prophet Jonah spent in the belly of a whale.

Top left: A Space Odyssey's Discovery One spaceship, viewed from the rear. Top right: Frank Poole (left) and David Bowman, aboard Discovery One. Above left: By the point in A Space Odyssey pictured here, Bowman is the only living man left aboard Discovery One. Bowman is here about to leave Discovery One in an EVA pod, symbolically depicting the biblical Jonah (represented by Bowman) being vomited out from the whale's belly, the whale here being represented by Discovery One itself. Above right: This room appointed in Louis XVI-style is part of a dream Bowman experiences, late in A Space Odyssey.

The I.G.Y. lyrics that say, "Get your ticket to that wheel in space / While there's time", are to be interpreted as follows: The "wheel in space" is a reference to the round, rotating space station from A Space Odyssey, and the "ticket" being referred to is a movie ticket - to A Space Odyssey. The lyrics that read, "The fix is in / You'll be a witness to that game of chance in the sky", refer to how the odds are stacked against Bowman and Poole, who have been set up to fail in their mission to Jupiter, by mission control on Earth and by HAL, the Discovery One on-board computer. These lyrics are also a reference to the billiard ball 'metaphor' in A Space Odyssey ("game of chance"): Frank Poole, wearing a yellow spacesuit, is hit by the white EVA Pod, which looks like a billiards cue ball, and which is here under the control of HAL. This attack sends Poole drifting off into space. In the British-style version of billiards known as blackball, the object balls (the balls to be pocketed) are solid red and solid yellow.

Above left: The round, rotating space station from Kubrick's film, orbiting Earth. Above right: Frank Poole and his EVA Pod go careening off into space, after Poole has been struck by the pod (which is here under HAL's control). Note that Poole is wearing a yellow spacesuit.

Above left: In accordance with the above-mentioned billiard ball metaphor in A Space Odyssey, David Bowman wears a red spacesuit. Here, he is getting ready to perform a repair on Discovery One's communications satellite antenna. Above right: The rack set-up for the billiards game known as blackball.[Image from the Wikipedia 'Blackball (pool)' page, public domain, via Wikimedia Commons.]

The lyrics, "A just machine to make big decisions / Programmed by fellows with compassion and vision", are a reference to the computer ("machine") HAL, who has control over almost all aspects of Discovery One's operations. HAL is intelligent enough to make decisions. However, he has been intentionally wrongly programmed for the mission by scientists on Earth, who have evil intent, so "just" and "compassion" in the I.G.Y. lyrics are being used sarcastically.

"We'll be eternally free yes and eternally young" is a reference to the end of A Space Odyssey, when the 'starchild' (the fetus inside an orb of light, shown at left) is born (thus "young") - with "eternally free" being spoken sarcastically, since the reality is that in A Space Odyssey, one thing being symbolized is Kubrick's prediction that we'll eventually be controlled by certain evil parties (elite elite hermaphroditic Jews, certain evil high-ranking Mormons and Freemasons, and certain other groups, as detailed in the Space Odyssey analysis).

2. The Nightfly (title song) (listen on YouTube): The lyrics at the very beginning of the song, "I'm Lester the Nightfly / Hello Baton Rouge", indicate that the D.J., Lester, is in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, but he (voiced by Fagen) later says, "With jazz and conversation / From the foot of Mt. Belzoni ", and Mount Belzoni isn't in Louisiana, it's in Mississippi. The fact that Lester is 'fooling' us about his geographical location, is a reference to how the Space Odyssey Jupiter mission, which is being broadcast to audiences on Earth, is designed to fool these audiences, in the sense that not all of the mission is actually being broadcast from Discovery One - some of it is being televised from the above-mentioned space station. Also, the way Fagen says, "foot of Mt. Belzoni", makes it sound like 'foot-in-mouth Belzoni'; Giovanni Battista Belzoni (shown in the center screencap at the top of this post) was famously clumsy. "So you say there's a race / Of men in the trees": The second verse here can also be heard as, 'Of men in latrines', which is a reference to Heywood Floyd preparing to use the zero-gravity toilet in A Space Odyssey (by reading its instructions).

Heywood Floyd reads the instructions for the zero gravity toilet in A Space Odyssey.

3. Ruby Baby (Fagen's cover of the song originally performed by The Drifters) (listen on YouTube): The use of the word "Baby" in the song's title, and the use of it in the lyrics as well, are references to Kubrick's 'some women are childlike' theme in A Space Odyssey. The verse, "I'm gonna steal you away from all those guys", is a reference to Kubrick's 'women is space as prostitutes' theme in the same film. Note that The Drifters originally released Ruby Baby in 1956, before Kubrick's movie was released; but nevertheless, Fagen included the song on his album and intends for the lyrics, as he sings them, to be the references to Kubrick's film as described.

The fact that this stewardess takes small 'baby-steps' as she walks around the circular passageway in the lunar lander spacecraft in A Space Odyssey, is meant by Kubrick to be a metaphor for the idea, that certain women are childlike. (see YouTube video here).

a. Image from the Wikipedia 'The Nightfly' page; "Donald Fagen - The Nightfly", licensed under fair use via Wikipedia. The cover art copyright is believed to belong to the label, Warner Bros., or the artist(s) who produced the recording or created the cover artwork.

All song lyrics in this post are believed to be used in accordance with the U.S. Copyright Fair Use Act (Title 17 U.S. Code).

1) In certain instances it has been determined that the creators of some of the productions analyzed on this blog, and/or the creators of source material(s) used in the making of these productions, may be making negative statements about certain segments of society in their productions. These statements should be taken as expressing the opinions of no one other than the creators.

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All images on this blog are used solely for non-commercial purposes of analysis, review, and critique.

All Wikipedia content on this blog, and any edits made to it, are released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.

Marcus Aurelius's Meditations - from Wikisource (except where otherwise noted); portions from Wikisource used on this blog are released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.

Saint Augustine's Confessions and City of God from Wikisource (except where otherwise noted); portions from Wikisource used on this blog are released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.

Saint Thomas Aquinas's Summa Theologica from the 'Logos Virtual Library' website (except where otherwise noted), compiled and edited by Darren L. Slider; believed to be in public domain.