I’ve just had the opportunity to appear on a podcast conversation broadly concerning Hellier with Allen Greenfield. He talks for about an hour and then I get to air some of my thoughts on the second series.
I felt it was worth expanding my notes for some of the things I say there and to include things there wasn’t time for. I have to assume some familiarity with Hellier in the reader. It’s not my intention to go into detail on the programme but to provide what I consider to be useful feedback stemming from my background in psychic questing and multiple readings of Cosmic Trigger! Having written Aleister Crowley and the Aeon of Horus a decade ago with its lengthy consideration of UFOlogy, particularly in the section Chapel Perilous: Adventures in the Goblin Universe, was also useful. The book also included a chapter on the work of Allen Greenfield and the secret cipher code he used to link Crowleyan occultism with UFOlogy. This came to be of increasing significance in Hellier, with Greenfield himself being interviewed in the second series. I welcomed the invite from Frank Zero and Steve Snider to participate in their Farm programme with Allen himself.
The first five-episode series of Hellier was screened in January 2019 and immediately got my attention. Ghost-hunting paranormal TV shows have tended to be a big turn-off for me, generally being embarrassingly mediocre and featuring total dorks. This new show was a lot different. The production values were very high. The team were immediately a likeable and credible bunch. They were involved in an investigation that ticked a whole load of the right boxes for me.
John Keel’s The Mothman Prophecies is a classic case study of how UFOlogy is often part of a far wider paranormal spectrum of what came to be called High Strangeness, involving strange creatures from the American night, goblins, bigfoot, Men in Black, and an intensification of synchronicity. The Hellier team are steeped in Keel and their investigation of a mystery featuring weird creatures and underground caves centred around a particular locale had a strong mood of the mothman mystery.
I also felt that the way the team approached their work and how it developed very strongly reminded me of something I’ve had rather a lot of involvement in myself.
Andrew Collins and Graham Phillips developed psychic questing in the late 70s in the UK. This involves getting psychics out into the landscape, visiting strange sites, often under cover of darkness, interacting with spirit forms and entities and following visions and synchronicities to investigate mysteries. Some of this resulted in seemingly coming into contact with the bad guys. Outrageous manifestations often accompanied all this. Questing evolved out of an investigation of the earliest UK abduction case in 1974, a classic that shows the connectedness of the paranormal spectrum to UFOlogy. Andy’s recent book Lightquest was a USA guide to interacting with light and plasma phenomenon. There’s a lot in the Hellier story that resonates with psychic questing. Graham Phillips and Martin Keatman’s books The Green Stone and The Eye of Fire, Andrew Collins’ The Black Alchemist, The Second Coming and The Seventh Sword and my own Avalonian Aeon and Atargatis demonstrate the enormous scope of the subject.
I settled down to binge the hell out of the second series in my hometown of Glastonbury in the county of Somerset in the UK. It was intriguing to see that a Somerset USA became central to the activity in the story and that cross-referencing with faery lore concerning its UK namesake was occurring. I watched all ten episodes in one massive session starting in the afternoon.
Amazon Prime premiered Hellier series 2 on Nov 29th in the UK, the 333rd day of the year.
Firstly, this is a huge number in Crowley studies as it represents Choronzon who is dweller on the threshold of the abyss, and fucks peoples brains up bigtime with lies and dispersion and madness. He stands on the portal of Daath which in Kenneth Grant’s system is the entry to the qliphotic averse tree he calls the Tunnels of Set where the Lovecraftian dudes hang out. I have a feeling that these cave portals and tunnel systems potentially give entry to just such realms and understanding them as such is useful.
Secondly, I’m sure nobody involved with the show chose the date deliberately. This emphasises to me how important the medium is that the message is manifesting through. The internet is a vehicle for magic and synchronicity. External forces can use it. And the fact that this whole thing is playing out in the era of e mails and mobile phones and Amazon and YouTube enables it to develop in a way previous epics never could. Feedback and interaction and generation of new material can happen at a rapid rate, followed by widely disseminated discussion Imagine Crowley tweeting, vlogging , and posting pics from the Enochian episode in the Algerian desert that featured the Choronzon ceremony. Imagine articles and podcasts and videos following on within months and tens of thousands of people engaged with it. The intelligence behind this is making use of the modern forms for a reason. Something uniquely collective might be brewing.
I note what I would term an archetypal pattern that sometimes activates when the mysteries of a particular locale are investigated. One starts with a distinct oddity and it then expands until lines are getting drawn on maps, secret societies become visible, and the scale rapidly spirals outwards. Rennes Le Chateau kicks off with the mystery of Berenger Sauniere. Priory of Sion and Knights Templars come into view. Lines drawn on maps. Massive sacred geometry seemingly revealed. All placed on global grid amidst big game players. Montauk. Air force base and timespace experiments. Crowley and the Babalon Working appear and the mystery schools become players. By the 3rd book the global grid of secret sites is a vital ingredient. Nazi Tibetan malarkey. Bad guys. Horrorshow of fear to test resolve. And the UFOlogical aspect is there all the way though with the contentious contactee Preston Nicholls driving the initial developments and then synchronicity becoming the major tool of “research” as the perspective endlessly expands. It seems obvious to me that the Hellier team will come up against a giddying expansion of what they are looking into that gallops off as far as Rennes and Montauk. This is not necessarily bad but it can be a test of focus.
As the second series progressed it was obvious to me that we are moving into Robert Anton Wilson Cosmic Trigger territory. This was made so clear in the final episode that I’m amazed it wasn’t picked up on.
The Hellier team are actually reading from Crowley’s The Book of Lies and stating how they feel they’re on the threshold of some great mystery. They are pondering the chapter featuring the Star Sapphire ritual and stalling over what it’s about.
I would remind everyone of RAW.
‘I entered Chapel Perilous quite casually one day in 1971 while reading The Book of Lies by the English mystic Aleister Crowley.’
Wilson had a kind of revelation that concerned sex magic and how it, along with drugs, was a major feature in the lineage he ultimately identified as maybe stretching back to Egypt and Sumeria and ET contact from Sirius. The revelation happened through Chapter 69. That chapter is actually a commentary on the Star Sapphire.
A key Wilson concept that has found its way into a lot of discourse is Chapel Perilous.
.‘In researching occult conspiracies, one eventually faces a crossroad of mythic proportions (called Chapel Perilous in the trade).’ ‘Everything you fear is waiting with slavering jaws — but if you are armed with the wand of intuition, the cup of sympathy, the sword of reason and the pentacle of valor, you will find there (the legends say) the Medicine of Metals, the Elixir of Life, the Philosopher’s Stone, True Wisdom and Perfect Happiness.’ ‘You come out the other side either a stone paranoid or an agnostic; there is no third way. I came out an agnostic.’ There are ‘those without the pentacle of valor who stand outside the door of Chapel Perilous, trembling and warning all who would enter that the chapel is really an Insect Horror Machine programmed by Death Demons and dripping fetidly with green goo.’
This is very much the mood that increasingly builds in Helier as more and more horror stories and strange situations abound. It really seems to me that the team are in that territory as series 2 ends.
Sirius has already got a few mentions in Hellier. Wilson gets famously primed by a number, in this case, 23. Wilson finds the Illuminati investigation opens up into an enormous consideration of secret societies, bad guys etc and the extent to which UFOlogical high strangeness gels with occultism.
The name Parsons keeps getting flagged in Hellier. Even to the extent of it being found carved into the pavement. Jack Parsons was perhaps an even greater devotee of Pan than Crowley. He recited Crowley’s Hymn to Pan at wild parties and rocket launches. It’s surely only a matter of time before the Babalon Working crops up and Kenneth Grant’s idea that it opened a portal for the UFOs and whatever the hell else.
The team are being led into an American shadow psychosphere which has echoes of Levenda’s Sinister Forces, Maury Terry’s Ultimate Evil, Underground Bases, the Shaver Mystery, a waft of Montauk, the whole enchilada. At one point, when they feel surrounded by the bad guys, I’m reminded of the 70s movie Race with the Devil.
The phenomenon requires humans of a particular type to break through into our realm. John Keel played down the idea he was in any way a catalyst in the mothman story but it’s obvious he was and his autobiog of his early days, Jadoo, makes this clear. This guy spent his 25th birthday with the Yezidis. Had Yeti adventures on Himalayan slopes. He was not Mr Normal and from the moment he arrived in mothman territory the whole thing intensified. The group alchemy of the Hellier team is notable in series 2. Their respective qualities gel very well. The team themselves are a vital ingredient in what they are investigating. The mysteries of this become apparent when one of them realises he has wandered into the territory of an ancestor.
As the series went on I kept thinking about George Hansen’s The Trickster and the Paranormal. At one point I was actually shouting at my TV, so it was great when it got mentioned as so many themes in there are pertinent. My own personal takeaway from that book didn’t get mentioned and I take it as one of a number of very important definite warnings concerning the territory the team are entering.
Barre Toelken was an exemplary academic investigator of the Trickster. He hung out with the Navajo for decades, totally respecting their culture and being accepted by them. He collected coyote trickster stories and because they were only told in the winter he would only play tape recording he had made in that season etc. He was even invited to talk about the trickster to an exclusively Navaho audience. It was only then that he got hints that some of the lore had been kept from him, even after 30yrs of study.
To quote Hansen
‘As Toelken was interviewing an eminent singer (medicine man) about coyote stories, the singer asked him if he was prepared to lose a member of his family. The singer explained that though parts of the tales could be used for healing, some could be used for witchcraft. Toelken’s analytical dissection of the tales suggested that he intended to use them for that purpose, and losing a family member was the price to be paid for becoming a witch. The singer went on to tell him that even if he had no such intention, his inquiries would lead others to suspect him of being a witch, and to try to kill someone in his family. Toelken was understandably shocked, and a bit alarmed, and he began to reassess his interpretations. There came to pass several events that gave him pause. His informant’s family suffered a series of accidental deaths and other misfortunes. Toelken could not logically link them to the revealing of the tales to outsiders, but he could not dismiss the possible connection either. He considered the risks to his informants and family and eventually decided to halt his inquiries into the coyote tales. In April 1981, some months before his late-night talk with the singer, Toelken had taken part in a conference that discussed the trickster. It was out of season to tell the stories, so he obtained a special dispensation from a medicine man. Even so, as he was about to leave for the conference, he bent over to pick up his luggage and passed out. He struck his chin and bled profusely; this was followed by other problems and several synchronicities involving coyotes.’
RAW’s daughter was murdered. Leary’s wife committed suicide on his 35th birthday. His daughter followed decades later. Brian Barritt’s daughter was killed in a car crash just up the road from Glastonbury (Barrritt accompanied Leary on their mysterious Algerian Crowley Choronzon synchro-mesh). Jack Parsons was killed in an explosion. Victor Neuberg ruined for life after his desert jaunt with Crowley. The centre of gravity of the Mothman story is the bridge disaster. Keel came to feel that the communicating entities were ultimately evil.
A real test can be failed. A real initiatory ordeal can mash your entire life. Any fault-lines in your health, sanity, finances, material stability, relationships etc may be subject to eruptions. Cultivate your consensus reality strength. You cannot anticipate where things might get difficult. And the bridge disaster shows how these things ripple out from the personal. Good luck to the Hellier team.