Thursday, July 25, 2019


by John Grauerholz


Get away. Stay out. Keep your distance. It is fine as it is. Don’t even go near it. Back off. Leave it alone. 
Don’t touch it. Don’t disturb it. Don’t do it. You’re not improving anything. You’re only making it worse. You don’t know what you’re doing. You’re not making anything better. You’re only fucking it up. 

Look at the mess you made. I told you that you would break it. How could you be so stupid? 

Nobody ever wanted you to get involved. Nobody asked you to interfere. Nobody asked you to intrude. Nobody ever asked you to help. Nobody ever wanted you to meddle. 

 Why can’t you just mind your own business? Why can’t you keep your hands to yourself? Don’t you have anything better to do?

You are just hopeless. And the reason you are so useless is so obvious: you are completely worthless because you just can’t accept things as they are.

Tuesday, May 21, 2019


 by John Grauerholz

If you want to understand human behavior, you need to look at things coldly – and, perhaps the least emotional framework comes from game theory.  Social interaction is more like a poker tournament than any sort of group hug.  A convincing pokerface is a necessary thing if you have the misfortune to be surrounded by other people.

Existence is not about giving to the unfortunate, as much as “making a killing.”  A modern American citizen does not contribute to charity, but bides his time until he can “cash out.”  A wise man cares nothing about the greatest good for the greatest number – no, indeed; an enlightened mind is only concerned about “looking out for number one.” (Even the obvious English-language idioms put the lie to empathy.)

You might well ask the initial & immediate question: if you know that other people are out to take advantage of you, what is the best strategy to avoid losing everything?  If you know that the other people in the game are out to cheat you, then what is the best strategy to keep your neighbors from stealing your grub-stake?  When you come to understand that you are on the verge of becoming a victim of your fellow man, then there are just two realistic strategies: (1) withdrawing before it is too late or (2) cheating your opponents before they can cheat you.

Retreating only becomes a valid strategy is you have already formulated a long-term exit strategy.  You need to have a hideout at the ready if you are secretly planning to make a run for it.  Escape is much like murder – some things must be premediated if you really want to get away with it.

If other people are trying to swindle you, then it is perfectly legitimate to scam them back.  A successful lie often requires you to utilize a strategic quantity of deception: if a player can get away with mere misdirection as in a card game – then, by all means, use this penny-ante bamboozle.  In everyday life, however, sometimes it is necessary to go all-in when it comes to misrepresenting yourself.

Be honest to yourself, but hostile toward others.  Be sincere in your thinking, but insincere in your speech.  Be genuine only when solitary, but be guileful in the midst of society.  You can only afford to be authentic when you are alone. 

Just as bluffing is an essential element of any game of poker, so trickery is going to become any eventual part of your societal existence.  If other people give you misinformation, then you need to mislead them back. – in spades.  The truth is merely something that will ultimately be used against you.  At a moment of history when everything around you is an elaborate fabrication, then you need to be skilled enough to fake you neighbors out. 

You might well be thinking: what, then, is the optimal survival strategy if you do not know for certain – but only suspect that others are out to get you?  Based solely on how you have been treated by human beings in the past, you can draw some pretty reasonable suppositions about human behavior.  But even if you have no direct evidence of the actual duplicity of your neighbors, then you actually are in even more immediate danger.  You need to operate from the premise that your powers of observation are not what they should be – you should have already seen them scheming.  You need to realize that your very own situational awareness has already let you down.  The only viable strategy is to deceive everyone – friend and foe alike.  From this point in the game, you have got to remain resolute that everything – every last thing- you now utter is an untruth; you need to resolve that everything you might disclose about yourself is a calculated deception.  You cannot just walk away from the game if there remains a possibility that you are about to be ambushed – after all, you can’t just leave the table if your fellow players are scheming to jump you in the parking lot. 

You need to recognize that those people closest to you will know your vulnerabilities – and use those very same weaknesses against you.  Those acquaintances that care about you the most will, naturally, be the very same friends who take advantage of you the most.  The more that someone professes to care about you, the more you need to suspect that they are bluffing.  You only lose when you come to believe what other people say.  There is no greater dupe than a fellow who actually imagines that other people will be honest with him.

In your day-to-day existence as much as in the nearest Indian casino, you will need to con other people before they can cheat you.  A professional gambler always operates from the awareness  that daily life is just another game – albeit with somewhat different stakes.  The player who puts out the greatest misinformation ultimately wins in the end.  An effective lie is always stronger than the absolute truth. 

You might well ask the age-old question: how do you win at life?  I have a one-word answer: cheat.  A successful gambler is always willing to do anything to win.  Obviously, the most certain way of “getting yours” is to take someone else’s. 

Thursday, February 21, 2019


by John Grauerholz


A medicine bag is a small pouch that contains objects that are of magical significance to a particular individual.  Traditionally worn around the neck, a medicine bag is a sort of portable holy-of-holies. The medicine bundle carries items of spiritual importance to the owner and to the owner alone.

You have got to realize that the medicine bag is not some ornament beneath the repulsive tie-died shirt of some repugnant hippie.  No, indeed; a medicine bundle is a malefic and malefic tool that might be used against your adversaries.

A medicine bag is generally the size of a closed fist, tiny enough to secrete beneath your garments, inconspicuous enough to stash in a pocket.  The smaller the medicine bundle, the more powerful its energy.  Just as miniaturization makes computers more effective, so the compact dimensions of the medicine packet make the magical current all the more evocative.

The pouch allows spiritual energies to be channeled into the possessor.  Like something akin to a receiver, the medicine bundle directs magical power into the keeper.  A medicine pouch focuses supernatural forces into the believer’s psyche.

A medicine bag is unique to the possessor; pouches are always distinctive in exterior form and internal content.  The objects are of importance only to the bearer – there are no particular items that would be found in all medicine bundles everywhere.  The medicine pouch has power precisely because it is not for the unworthy.  The longer you conceal the artifact, the greater its potency.  The last thing you want to do is to show the contents to others.

The medicine pouch is a sort of portal to something of deeper significance.  The holder might not be able to explain those implications precisely, but the objects are portents to a greater mystery just beneath the mundane.  The medicine bag connects the proprietor to something hidden just below the surface of sensory experience.

None of the items in a medicine bundle have any great monetary significance.  The actual components would appear merely as mundane things to a stranger (the kind of stuff that an academic anthropologist would dismiss as mere detritus).   If something were to happen to the medicine bag, the owner should be able to quickly reassemble another.  The objects themselves are not scarce – what is sacred is the significance for the possessor.

Above all else, a medicine bag is a concrete object – as mystical power needs to be conducted through the medium of material things.  In most religious systems, spirituality is not about what you sense in your heart – as much as what you can hold in your hand.  Faith is a matter of what you own, not what you feel.   The medicine bundle is not something to get emotional about, but a sort of tool-box to help you get through existence.  Sorcery arises out of something you have and handle.

The medicine bag works its magic not as the result of some mysterious occult force, but because the sacred objects seize the imagination of the owner.  A medicine bag is designed to focus and fixate the will of the individual sorcerer.

Traditionally, the container for the medicine pouch should be made of leather from an animal that you hunted and killed yourself.  The animal skin should be against your skin.  The life force of the dead creature should quicken and amplify your own existence.   Medicine often requires that something die in order for you to remain alive.

The medicine bag contains a mixture of organic and inorganic material, a combination of carbon-based and man-made.  The medicine bundle should contain a relic from the animal realm; a piece from the geologic world; a cutting from the herbal environment; and a trinket from human culture.

An example of the mammalian realm might be a tooth or a claw.   The magician should make every effort to acquire something from his own personal “spirit animal.”   The medicine pouch draws upon the exact same atavistic part of your brain as does communication with a “witch’s familiar.”

A specimen from the rock strata could include a quartz crystal or a carved stone.  The geologic specimen connects your sorcery to a particular geographic space.   If, for instance, a possessor of a medicine bag were to relocate to another continent, he would need to obtain an entirely new mineral for his occult workings.

A sample from the plant kingdom might vary from an aromatic herb like white sage to a hallucinogenic cactus like a peyote button.  The vegetable matter is periodically swapped-out at the end of each season; the old discarded herb is burned to prevent your enemies from getting their hands on the ritual item.

And a suitable manufactured object could range from a single bullet to a machine-produced amulet.  That man-made trinket is all the more potent if it evocative of death and demise.  We exist in the terminal stage of Western civilization, and your sorcery needs to reflect that awareness.

The medicine pouch layers the natural and the artificial upon each other – a bit similar to a galvanic pile.  The juxtaposition of disparate keepsakes is supposed to produce a sort of spiritual electricity.  The medicine bag bears an uncanny resemblance to a device manufactured by Wilhelm Reich; the collection of objects in a medicine bag resembles a sort of a miniature orgone box.

You learn which items to place in a medicine bag on your own private, personal vision quest.  You see particular things on a vision quest – these appearances are not hallucinations, but precise scenes and scenery that could be photographed with a camera.  The tangible items in a medicine bag make your visualizations touchable and tactile.  If you see a raptor on a vision quest, you might want to acquire an eagle feather.  Since your vision quest will always takes place in a peculiar terrain, you ought to obtain a geologic specimen from that selfsame spot.

You should always carry the medicine bag on your person during the day and keep the pouch beneath your pillow at night.  It should be close enough to grab in an emergency, near enough to conceal from the sight of other people.  Just as a bug-out bag contains items you will need for physical survival, so the medicine pouch contains all your spiritual essentials should you need to “get out of Dodge.”  A medicine bag is carried by a sort of spiritual survivalist; a medicine pouch is prep-work for an eschatological emergency.

Like all magical implements, the medicine bag must be fed.   If you do not keep the medicine bundle continually nourished, it will turn on you.  The medicine pouch needs to be satiated on more than just the sweat and dried skin of the owner; the ritual tool must be given blood.   If you have every wondered why your mojo bag has stopped working, perhaps the reason is because the instrument is hungry.  If you want to do sorcery, you have got to be prepared to bleed.

The medicine bag protects you, just you.  The medicine pouch keeps you orientated on your own spiritual journey, on your own private quest – but your medicine bag is not for other people.  The stuff and substance are as personal as contraband in your sock drawer.  In some ways, the medicine pouch preserves your own individuality.  If an outsider were to gaze upon the contents, the objects might well lose something of their spiritual significance.   Medicine is not something that should ever be shared.  You keep the actual contents to yourself. Just as salvation is something you do for yourself – medicine is a private matter.  Secrets are powerful things, even more so when they are embedded in religion.

Every individual ought to assemble his own medicine bag.  Because the medicine is crucial to self-preservation, the collecting needs to be done on the sly.  When you create a medicine pouch, you take the spiritual into your own hands.  The medicine bundle allows a person to control his own health and holiness.