The Illusion of Animal Rights

Russ Carman

It’s all a class struggle! It’s the privileged, drug-using movie stars against the poor simple trappers engaged in their humble pursuits for the “physical and spiritual health it provides” but also for the extra income, which allows them “to buy Christmas presents” for their loved ones. While making a few valid points about the ecologically uninformed emotionalism of certain city-dwelling activists as well as their use of some suspiciously sensationalist photos, Carman strays magnificently off his tether in his description of the “religion” of film-industry activists, who depict animals as possessing “godlike qualities, the ability to communicate with man, to walk on air, never age, and survive great injury without blemish, [who] are born without sin and have life eternal.” His personal view is more down-to-earth: “After cleaning their dung, working hard in the hot fields to harvest their feed, and putting up with their often stubborn behavior, it was never hard to butcher them.” And Jesus told him to. RA

Publisher: Krause
Paperback: 160 pages

Execution: Tools and Techniques

Bart Rommel

Not quite the how-to manual the title would suggest, but chock-full of fun facts and conversation starters like: Did you know prison guards commonly force those who are to die by electrocution to wear special diapers or even tie their penises with rubber hose to contain urine involuntarily released? Or that the first guillotine was built by a German harpsichord maker? Or that guards during the Inquisition took special delight in raping women during execution by the “peine forte et dure” (“pain both long and hard”) because of the extreme vaginal tension produced by the piling of rocks upon a victim’s torso? And so forth. Obligatory lamentation over the squeamishness of juries and “bleeding hearts” who pooh-pooh the direct correlation between capital punishment and deterrence. Rommel concludes that “executions will never go out of style” and sees hope for the future in new technologies, such as his own brainchild: a “zapper box” for microwaving the head of the condemned. RA

Publisher: Loompanics
Paperback: 119 pages

Sex Crimes Investigation: A Practical Manual

Burt Rapp

This slim gray volume, “sold for entertainment purposes only,” offers the sort of rarefied entertainment derived from forensic checklists: Don’t forget to swab for semen in the rectum of the corpse as well as the vagina! And while looking through the garbage for bloody underwear may not be a pleasant task, the reader might be consoled by the fact that the murdered victim at least will not offer the emotional resistance so often encountered from the living. Learn the trade secrets of the “Murphy Man” or the “Badger Game”! How much booze can a vice officer consume in the course of his undercover work? Learn how to spot pimps: it’s “fairly simple. Many wear the pimp uniform: long coat and wide-brimmed ‘Superfly’ hat.” All in all, the street-level insights seem to have some basis in reality, but the latter chapters regarding “sex rings” of the telecommunicative sort seem technically clueless and outdated. The author’s suggestions on composing “deviant” letters helpful in busting sexually oriented mail fraud alone are worth the price of the book. RA

Publisher: Breakout
Paperback: 196 pages

The Apocalypse: Understanding the Book of Revelation and the End of the World

George T. Montague, S.M.

While the cover blurbs tantalize with promises of literalist hysteria and blockbuster special eschatological effects, there are actually disappointingly few references to imminent global warfare. Professor Montague provides instead a scholarly overview of the Book of Revelation, treating it less as cosmic vision and more as consciously constructed parable both chastening and edifying the ancient churches of Asia Minor. Minimizes Revelation’s role as linear historical chronicle, emphasizing instead the reinforcement of ideas through parallel and overlapping narrative, and images borrowed from Hebrew, Classical, Assyrian and Persian mythologies. Along the way, our mild-mannered interpreter fulfills his pastoral duties by deriving a contemporary homily or two from the welter of battling monsters, falling stars and burning mountains. RA

Publisher: Servant
Paperback: 246 pages

The Evil Eye in the Bible and Rabbinical Literature

Rivkah Ulmer

Though mentioned only a few times in the Hebrew Bible, the notion of the “evil eye” figures frequently in the Talmud, Zohar and midrashim. It was, in fact, commonly assumed that many of the most revered rabbis themselves wielded this power against listeners unreceptive to their message. Much of the evidence produced in this volume demonstrates how this belief has been used to reinforce obedience to the mitzvahs. We learn that the evil eye was often equated with an envious glance, and that the sin of envy, in turn, was often produced by ostentatious displays of wealth or some form of vanity which would bring the recipient into a position of high visibility and therefore vulnerability. The evil eye is also associated with the taboo on the exchange of prolonged gazes between the sexes, a reason for the veil and the expression “setting one’s eye on” to euphemistically denote sexual conquest. The hypnotic power of the kohl-blackened feminine eye is discussed as is the inescapable gaze of the Angel of Death, whom the Talmud describes as being completely covered with eyes.
The representation of ritualistic countermeasures by magical charms, such as a “spoken” spell worn as a scroll or a protective gesture of the hand “frozen” in a five-fingered amulet is likened to the religious use of phylacteries worn in the temple, the household mezuzah (inscriptions on door post) as well as later more secular forms of feminine jewelry. Spitting and obscene gestures, it turns out, are also particularly efficacious against the evil eye, and the various rabbinical sources quoted on these topics are by turns entertainingly self-effacing and earthy. RA

Publisher: KTAV
Hardback: 213 pages

The Pagan Book of Days: A Guide to the Festivals, Traditions and Sacred Days of the Year

Nigel Pennick

What is a favorable time for divination by fire? On which days can I expect the portals of the underworld to open? Written by a native practitioner of East Anglican pagan traditions, this calendar focuses primarily on classical and northern European earth religions, but also includes significant dates from Babylonian, Persian, Egyptian, Jewish, and medieval Christian cultures. Tracks dates from the Celtic tree calendar, “Goddess Days” of the moon, medieval “stations of the year,” significant birthdays, as well as runic and zodiacal highlights. Beyond the calendar there are brief essays on folklore surrounding the days of the week, and months, the celestial and tidal movements, as well as some interesting remarks on the syncretism of pagan and Christian celebrations. Lavishly illustrated with etchings, woodcuts, petroglyphs, etc. RA

Publisher: Destiny
Paperback: 160 pages

The Joy of Solo Sex

Dr. Harold Litten

Presented as a liberating godsend for the poor mythical bastard who thinks he’ll grow hair on his palms if he soaps up too vigorously, this preachy wannabe whack-off rag will better serve as a bedside conversation piece to amuse your guests. Oh, sure there’s a smattering of interesting anecdotes: fruits, vegetables and a carp used as vaginas, the requisite list of funny things doctors have pulled out of people’s rectums, and an unfortunately brief mention of an experimental subject in a Nazi Konzentrationslager who passed two years in incessant and compulsory masturbation. But the bulk of it’s pretty tame slumber-party-grade anecdotes.
The real humor comes from the “helpful” naiveté shining through in chapters like “An Evening Alone With You.” That’s right, gentlemen: It’s time for you to cook yourself a frozen lobster tail, take a bubble bath, and powder your body in front of a full-length mirror! Or take yourself out before-hand (so to speak) like the young man who shares THIS sex secret: “I’d walk to town, have a leisurely vanilla milk shake, easy on the syrup and lots of ice cream. I owe my sanity to that milk shake ritual.” Lots of normal-guy losers talking about their disgusting preferences along with pages and pages of remedial male masturbation techniques featuring REALLY CREEPY language like “His Excellency La Dong.” Concludes with the suggestion that we all drive around with bumper stickers proclaiming, “Up With Solo Sex,” while on the back cover we learn that our crusading “Dr. Litten” actually hides behind a pseudonym! I hate him. You’ll love it. RA

Publisher: Factor
Paperback: 193 pages

Penny Wonder Drug

Eugene P. Cisek and Robert S. Persky

The German chemical company A.G. Bayer introduced two important pharmaceuticals between 1898 and 1899—aspirin and heroin. Unfortunately this book is about the former. However, today, in what the authors call “the golden age of aspirin,” people are woefully unaware that aspirin can actually help prevent or alleviate symptoms of thrombosis, pregnancy-related hypertension, pulmonary embolism, etc… Conspiracy? Yup. Patent ran out years ago, so there’s no profit to be made pushing this “wonder drug.” Book is printed in very large double-leaded type, possibly in consideration of headache-inclined connoisseurs of the drug. RA

Publisher: Consultant
Paperback: 128 pages

The Origin of Race and Civilization

Charles A. Weisman

All in all, everything you would expect from a volume featuring the word “subhuman” in one of its many subtitles. Seems that the problem with the fundamentalist Creationists is that they’re nothing more than Evolutionists in sheep’s clothing—how could they actually believe that the various races could have possibly descended from Adam and Eve, when, according to medieval and renaissance artists, the primal couple was white? Weisman views the non-white races as “pre-Adamic” practice runs, as our Neanderthal and Cro-Magnon ancestors are also thought to be. In fact, the serpent of Eden turns out himself to be a treacherous member of one of the non-Adamic races, hence the “enmity” God places between him and the “children of Eve” is actually divinely ordained racism. The repopulation of the earth after the flood through the lineage of Noah is another fundamentalist lie. The flood was a localized event having no effect on the pre-existing non-white races. The Ark actually landed in Northern India, and Noah’s Aryan genes obviously made their way westward in the cultural advancements of the Hebrews, Egyptians, Chaldeans and Phoenicians, the last of which sailed to the Americas to become Aztecs, Incas, etc. Somehow, however, Weisman still clings to the Old Testament’s stories of the Hebrew god’s jealous protection of the Israelites against some their “Aryan” siblings (like the Egyptians) as a primary narrative of the “white race.” The New Testament is good news for whites only, and since the “wandering Jew” did not lay claim to the sort of “mighty nation” promised Abraham, Weisman awards the title of “True Israelites” to more active players in recent Western history such as “America, Canada, Australia, and South Africa” (!). And speaking of South Africa, it soon becomes clear that the author’s most virulent hatred is reserved for the black man, who in the book’s obsessive cataloging of physiological differences is distinguished by his “sooty complexion,” “fetid scent,” and “prominent muzzle.” These remarks, and in fact roughly a quarter of this 1990 publication, are drawn directly from 19th-century sources, including some of the book’s most memorable pages devoted to illustrations of “comparative anatomy” juxtaposing non-whites with apes, opossums, and rats. RA

Publisher: Weisman
Paperback: 176 pages

Secret Societies and Subversive Movements

Nesta H. Webster

A dense and tangled work on a topic, which by its very definition would seem difficult to document. If it happened before 1924, was committed to paper, and bears some tenuous link to the history of secret societies, it probably is referenced somewhere in this book. What’s more—it’s probably the fault of the Jews. Mostly polite and extremely well-researched, this volume nonetheless functions above all as a monumental testimony to the productive power of human paranoia. The 420-page volume descends occasionally into unreadable minutiae, as it chronicles not only the major occult and utopian entities (Gnostics, Knights Templar, Rosicrucians, Theosophists, Freemasons, and Illuminati) but also traces the intricate lineage of each, closely examining the theoretical disputes resulting in division and subdivision of even those movements quite small to begin with.
What keeps the book compelling, however, is the author’s slow progression from insinuation to full-blown rant. From the beginning the Kabbalah is frequently cited as a source of inspiration for a variety of “subversive” ideologies, and yet as the histories of the various movements unfold, it seems for many chapters that the Kabbalah may only be an ancient red herring, a minor influence on Grand Orient Freemasonry, the ultimate villain. But by the final chapter, “The Real Jewish Peril,” the blue-blooded paranoiac is out of the closet. Given the historical and public policy of exclusion practiced by the Freemasons against the Jews, Webster’s suggestion that a timeless Jewish conspiracy lies hidden behind Freemasonry has the appeal more of novelty than credibility. It’s the typical paranoiac punch line in which the least likely explanation proves itself by the rigor with which all evidence must have been removed.
More strange bedfellows enliven the book: A chillingly misinformed chapter on the burgeoning Pan-Germanism (circa 1924) ends with the conclusion (with Henry Ford) that Jewish money fueled the Prussian war industry. Adam Weishaupt, despite his public contempt toward the Jesuits, is supposed to have patterned the Illuminati after their organizational ideals. The Knights Templar, guardians of Christian pilgrims, were heathen secretly associated with the Islamic Assassins. The ascetic Jewish Essenes are linked with the orgiastic Gnostics sects. Occult illusionist roustabouts Cagliostro, Mesmer and Crowley draw comparisons with the founders of Hassidism. The list goes on… isometrics for the mind. RA

Publisher: A&B
Paperback: 420 pages