Big Sister Is Watching You

Texe Marrs

“Spawned during the ‘60s in the age of the Beatles, gurus, LSD and hippies, they are the misfits of society. But now the misfits are in charge. They are the feminist vultures who flew over the cuckoo’s nest.” Rev. Marrs, filled to overflowing with blessings of the Spirit, recounts the malevolent escapades of the Gals of the Clinton administration—”Hillary’s Hellcats,” as he calls them: Donna Shalala, Janet Reno, Ruth Bader Ginsburg and the Mother of Abominations herself, the First Lady. To hear Texe tell it, if she and her hosts aren’t running near-naked through the streets demanding that more Americans kill more babies in order to provide raw material for their debauched Wiccan rituals, they’re slipping each other tongue and wearing their hair in a suspiciously gender-free manner. The good reverend is troubled equally by Tipper Gore’s Deadhead preferences, Joceyln Elders’ tendency to refer to herself as a lightning bolt—it’s Satanic, somehow—and Maya Angelou’s poetic reference to her own “impertinent buttocks.” Rev. Marrs makes it very clear he’d like to punish them all; the mind reels, imagining how. JW

Publisher: Living Truth
Paperback: 207 pages

City of Quartz: Excavating the Future in Los Angeles

Mike Davis

In this already-classic work, Davis, native son of the Southland (Fontana), recounts Los Angeles’ past and present as if it had never been told before, or told truly. The chapters on “Fortress L.A.” and the LAPD alone are more than worth the price of the book. Through his observation of ongoing trends in the Great American Utopia/Dystopia Davis perceives the future of the city, and implies that it will be exactly as you’d expect it would be—sublime, horrible and ludicrous, all in the same breath. The best book ever written on the City of Angels, period—indispensable. JW

Publisher: Vintage
Paperback: 480 pages

Dark Majesty: The Secret Brotherhood and the Magic of a Thousand Points of Light

Texe Marrs

It’s a free-for-all cage match as good battles evil and both knock themselves unconscious against the turnbuckles. Marrs details in lively if yawn-inducing style the Vast, Shadowy Network that oversees the White House, the CIA, the Vatican, the networks, the banks, and all those annoying satanic day-care centers bringing down property values in your neighborhood. As police forever trot out the same wine-addled skells to flesh out their line-ups, so Marrs offers up his own usual suspects—Bilderbergers, Trilaterals, New Agers and George Bush (whose terror-inducing quality has faded, somewhat, since he so adeptly lost the 1992 election). On occasion the reader wonders if the eternally guileless Marrs might be working too hard to tie up all the loose ends—at one point he quotes humorist Russell Baker in order to prove that Gorbachev was a CIA mole—but truth is true, wherever you find it. “Once you read this book you will know for a certainty—if you don’t already know it—that there is a World Conspiracy by a hidden elite. You will just know it. Period.” Okay, if you say so, but this isn’t Texe at his best. JW

Publisher: Living Truth
Paperback: 288 pages

L. Ron Hubbard: Messiah or Madman?

Bent Corydon

Former Scientologist Corydon presents a remarkably disorganized yet wholly worthwhile account of L. Ron and attendant Clears. While in places the book reads as if it had been written by the author of Battlefield Earth himself (“They had this paper shredder which was so big!… It was a big big big giant munching shredder!!”), the story of how a pulp science-fiction writer created, maintained and left to his heirs, such as they are, one of this century’s most successful religions (now IRS-approved!) remains as disconcerting as it is unlikely, however often it is told. Considerable material here not found in other books on the subject, expressed whenever possible in the most melodramatic way. JW

Publisher: Barricade
Hardback: 464 pages

Mind Control in a Free Society: It’s a Bad Match

Edited by Elizabeth Russell-Manning

The redoubtable Russell-Manning gets out her scissors and hits the copy machine once again in order to produce yet another classic work in the great tradition of her earlier, and equally worthwhile, Mass Mind Control of the American People. A fascinating accumulation of material, at first glance seemingly unrelated, continues to retain its deepest secrets (Who pays the Xerox bills?) after a second, or even a third, reading, but the all-encompassing range of her interests is clear. Considerable effort has been channeled by the author into gathering together articles, interviews, clippings and the like pertaining to chemical, electronic, psychotronic and psychological warfare; ELF and VLF beams; Soviet microwaves; “homeosexuality,” mercury-laden dental fillings, potentially fatal carpeting and sewage-eating clams. Russell-Manning slights the reader on occasion—a chapter called “Interview With Lt. ‘Bo’ Gritz” consists of a badly reproduced photo and an address from which a copy of the interview can be ordered, for example. But plainly, a lot of things worry Russell-Manning and she wants her readers to be worried too. She succeeds; after reading this, one can’t help but be concerned. JW

Publisher: Greensward
Paperback: 145 pages

Trance Formation of America

Cathy O’Brien with Mark Phillips

O’Brien, “the only vocal and recovered survivor of the Central Intelligence Agency’s MK-ULTRA Project Monarch mind-control operation,” has a story to tell, and it’s some story—the most mind-blowing conspiratorial account to appear in recent years. Having undergone what must have been innumerable hypnotherapy sessions, O’Brien appears to have recovered the memories of dozens of people, and describes in detail the terror and torture she suffered at the hands of her mother, her father, Ronald Reagan, Dick Cheney, Bill ‘n’ Hill, Gerald Ford, George Bush, Kris Kristofferson, Larry Flynt, Sparky Anderson and “noted pedophile” Boxcar Willie. Senator Robert Byrd, of Virginia, inflicts unimaginable trauma upon her as he forces her to listen endlessly to his fiddle-playin’; and the favored text of the leaders of the American Empire would appear to be—The Wizard of Oz, although reinterpreted so as to allow for bleeding rectums. As you’d hope, there’s dialogue—lots of dialogue:
“How would you like to see where Uncle Ronnie really solves the world’s problems?” said President Reagan, shortly before poring over his collection of bestiality-themed pornography.
“Hillary had resumed examining my hideous mutilation and performing oral sex on me when Bill Clinton walked in. Hillary lifted her head to ask, ‘How’d it go?’ Clinton appeared totally unaffected by what he walked into, tossed his jacket on a chair and said, ‘It’s official. I’m exhausted. I’m going to bed.’” One reads the memoirs of O’Brien in awe, and stands back, equally exhausted. JW

Publisher: Reality
Paperback: 244 pages

Harem: The World Behind the Veil

Alev Lytle Croutier

A beautifully written and lushly illustrated guide to the lost world of the harem in the Ottoman Empire in the region of modern-day Turkey. Croutier draws upon not only historical records but also stories her grandmother and great-aunt shared with her to provide a full and fascinating account of the lives of women who were overseen, if not owned outright, by pashas and viziers. Chapters on costumes, the baths and food almost convince the reader that harem life wasn’t bad at all for the average odalisque, as long as the sultan didn’t go mad and decide to have you sewn into a bag and dumped with your sisters into the nearest river. Croutier also spills the beans on everything you’ve ever wondered about eunuchs. JW

Publisher: Abbeville
Paperback: 224 pages

Chopper: From the Inside

Mark Brandon Read

“Anything I know of the toecutting business I owe to the criminal memoirs of Mark Brandon ‘Chopper’ Read. Mr. Read is a great deal scarier than Blackwell, and has even fewer ears,” William Gibson writes, acknowledging the real-life model for a character in his novel, Idoru. Read’s three autobiographies have all been best-sellers in his native Australia. The moment you read the opening sentence of this, his first, you know you’re in the hands of a master. “I have been shot once, stabbed seven times, had a claw hammer stuck in my skull, been run over, beaten unconscious and left for dead.” Read relates in can’t-put-it-down style (and with considerable panache) the highs and lows of life as a toecutter—basically, an Australian term for a hit man who targets, robs and kills other hit men. There are some Down Under who doubt that Read actually did everything he claims to have done, whether with blowtorch, hatchet or razor, but it’s obvious he hung out for a long time with all the wrong people; and there’s no denying he has a flair for narrative, and for an unerring turn of phrase: “For him, it was too late. The spade was in his brain. Let’s say, for me it was a bit of a character builder.” Indeed! Read’s book also contains considerable handy information, such as why the human foot sizzles when it cooks. JW

Publisher: Sly Ink
Paperback: 212 pages

Death Scenes: A Scrapbook of Noir Los Angeles

Text by Katherine Dunn

“The purpose of this collection of homicide pictures is to show the work of the peace officer and his problems… after viewing this work it will undoubtedly bring about a better understanding between the law enforcement officer and the public which he serves.” So wrote LAPD Homicide Detective Jack Huddleston in this scrapbook which he kept for over 30 years. In her excellent introduction Katherine Dunn considers at length some of the reasons Huddleston might have kept such a scrapbook, but ultimately his rationale remains a mystery. Readers, beware (forensic fans, celebrate)—the photos herein are as intense as any that as have ever been published and unlike the oddly lovely images in Luc Sante’s Evidence, there’s nothing remotely aesthetic about them. After a single viewing, some of the images will be seared into your brain for the rest of your life, and you’ll wish they weren’t. No other book is remotely like this one. If you want to confront death without walking in front of a bus, this is the next best thing to taking that mortuary job. JW

Publisher: Feral House
Paperback: 220 pages

Fred and Rose

Howard Sounes

Fred and Rose West were your almost-typical English couple: quiet, attractive to each other if no one else, happy as clams and fond of killing hapless young women—including Fred’s stepdaughter, his first wife and the nanny—and then burying them in the cellar, the back garden, underneath the bathroom floor and in handy fields nearby. For over 20 years the Wests stayed busy, committing at least nine murders together, often sexually torturing the victims before dismembering and decapitating them. Sounes, who broke the case in the British press and gained exclusive interviews with the living participants, writes clearly if without inspiration; but the story of the Wests is remarkable enough to hold a reader’s interest even if Sounes had seemingly grown a little bored with it by the time he wrote the book. JW

Publisher: Warner
Paperback: 362 pages