Monthly Archives: November 2001

Morning all

1. I did a radio interview this morning at 8:30 AM on CFNY. I hope some of you got to hear it… It was pretty funny. I was half asleep, and I think I told the story about doing my first meatotomy, bleeding heavily, and freaking out and going to the hospital. The DJs were really cool about every — it was a good time and I'd be glad to go back any time.

2. As most people know, I resigned as a minister in the US branch of the church, and there has been some back-and-forth unpleasantry because of it. While I have some serious concerns about how the church is being run from a business point of view, none of that affects my feelings about the church's mission. What the church is trying to accomplish, is 100% valid, and I 100% support that mission.

I'm not sure what the best way for people in the US, in the general public, is to proceed, but I can tell you what I did: Act locally. The main reason I resigned from the Phoenix branch was that I was putting in a lot of effort but not seeing many results. I know that many of you feel the same way.

I'm now able to focus my efforts locally, and work with people hands-on locally, and I believe we are acheiving very positive changes in the Canadian branch. There are a few changes that the US branch needs to make in the application processes both for minsiters and members that I believe would make things run more smoothly, and give local congregations the ability to act with autonomy. I will continue to push for these things even though I'm not a minister there any more.

I know it sucks to keep waiting and waiting and waiting for things to happen that should have happened ages ago, but, they are happening. If you want speed them up, there is the option of working with ministers locally. I know it's not fair, especially to those that have sent money and gotten nothing, but remember why you first sent that money — I hope it was because you believed in what the church stood for, not for the people who ran it…

Always use lube!

Double meaning anyone?

Alchemists not welcome in USA?

First, Ryan gets the credit for pointing this out to me.

As some of you may know, the Harry Potter movie is called “The Sorcerer's Stone” in the US, but “The Philosopher's Stone” in the rest of the world (including here in Canada). They even renamed the book (along with Americanizing the spelling), and every scene in the movie that mentions the “philosopher's stone” was re-shot for the US release to say “sorcerer's stone”.

I was trying to figure out why, and did a lot of searching, and found nothing giving a “why” for the name change. Well, I did find one kooky Christian site complaining about the name change trying to make an evil movie more “harmless”, but I'm not sure that counts.

The only reason we could come up with was that it was simply another example of “dumbing down” a piece of media so it can be served to a US audience. I suspect it's common knowledge in Europe, but the philosopher's stone was a substance that could transform lead into gold — one of the main goals of alchemy. Crazy stuff!

Deep thoughts?

Interviews are fun… this is from a recent interview. If it's not obvious, it's me answering the questions. Hopefully what I've written makes sense:

>How long have you been involved in the body mod scene?

I've been involved with body modification since puberty — that is, I was born with the drive and that's when it showed itself. As far as how long I've been involved in the “scene”, about ten years now.

That said, I'm not sure the time matters — many body artists have done their best and most creative work very early in their careers.

>In your opinion, how is body modification essential to human
>life?

I believe that a healthy person is a self aware person, and thus, a spiritually healthy person is spiritually self aware. It is my belief that the way body modification forces you to interact with both yourself physically and the world in general is the safest and most effective way to become spiritually aware. I know that doesn't answer the how question… that's very hard to explain.

>Have you ever gone through a rite of passage through
>modification?

Most recently my “suspension”.
http://www.bmezine.com/ritual/A11112/ritmyalm.html

I have also gone through rites of passage via other means — one good example would be exploratory use of psychedelic drugs. However, every method like this I've tried is, I believe, extremely dangerous. Body modification rites of passage are dramatically safer.

>Where do you see yourself if modification had never been a
>part of your life?

I'd be dead. I can guarantee that.

There was a low point in my life, where I felt everything had been taken away from me — my first big company had failed and we'd just blown a $2 million deal. On top of that, my girlfriend of five years had just broken up with me. Then some doctors misdiagnosed me as being schizophrenic when I was just depressed from having my life threatened repeatedly by my father, and put me on anti-psychotic drugs. Since I was not psychotic, it screwed up my brain chemistry. I'd lost all my money, I'd lost what I thought was the love of my life, and now I was losing my mind. I overdosed and when I came to about a week later, I found myself inside a locked ward asylum.

It was only being able to assert control over my body in a positive way that I was able to climb out of this pit. I remember the satisfaction I got from stretching my ears, and looking in the mirror at them. It wasn't narcissism, or self abuse, or anything like that… To me, these things represented freedom, and proved to me that no matter what happened, I would always have that freedom.

It showed me that ultimately, I controlled my physical destiny, and that through that, I became connected to my spiritual nature. I learned to see not just my own life, but the life — and life force — of everything else in this universe in a different and far more positive light. A secret had revealed to me that no unfortunate twist of fate could ever take away.

>What part do you play in I Was Cured?

I am an advisor and I suppose from time to time a patron, and occasionally a performer. They are my friends, and they are doing “the good work” and they have my support.

>Do you believe there are any wrong reasons for being
>modified? If so, what do you think they are?

There are wrong reasons for doing everything. I try not and judge people as far as their motivations go, but what I do want everyone who gets mods done, is to THINK ABOUT THEM. If you want something, just be careful that you know why you really want the mod, and are ok with that reason. If you are self aware and take responsibility for your actions, then it's no one's business but your own.

>Do you think that suspensions such as O-Kee-Pa are "mocking"
>or disrespectful to the culture that started it?

I think that using the name O-Kee-Pa is deeply disrespectful since “O-Kee-Pa” is a name that has a profound cultural meaning. The offense though is not in doing a chest suspension — the offense is simply in claiming it is an “O-Kee-Pa”. Physically and even spiritually it might resemble it, but culturally it will never be the same.

>Do you think many modifications/suspensions that are
>practiced today have been brought back from other cultures?

I do not believe that modification and rituals like suspension are a product of any culture. I believe that they are a natural drive that all of us as humans share. Cultures simply explain this drive with a mythology that makes sense for them, and some repressive cultures, like modern Western culture, attempt to repress them.

Quickie

The church meeting went great — I'll post the minutes tommorrow. Also, I've thrown I think 17 new experiences onto BME, including one in Macedonian…

This week's to-do list, outside of the obvious:

  • Ring
  • Put together some more stuff for the Canadian church ministers' packs (ID cards, etc.)
  • If Rev. Azl's lawyer falls through, contact the CCLA for advice.
  • Put the Vette into winter storage :(

Oh, and if anyone wants to buy me a Boss Hoss for Christmas, I'd be real happy. Or maybe this trike — it's got the funk.

PS. Our dog farts so much, and so toxicly, that we've taken to wearing gas masks around the house. I'm not even kidding. Her favorite food is her own feces.