My daughter told me a couple of months ago, “You’re lucky, you can speak to Jasun on Zoom and he would probably give you an autograph,” while lamenting that she can’t reach a couple who host her favorite show.
When 16 Maps of Hell finally arrived, she picked it up and said, “It’s really heavy.”
To be honest, I felt that I wouldn’t be able to review this book. It’s too loaded. There’s too much going on. It’s a multipronged attack on consensus reality. However, I have to share my impressions. It’s as well written as any of Jasun’s work that I’ve ever read, but there’s a different flavor to it. It’s like a nuanced avalanche where the reader can experience every snowflake trapping them. What is so striking (and always is) is how much the author’s words betray his ability to perceive/feel/recognize/understand/know the subject matter. I caught myself thinking ‘Why isn’t every text this well researched?’ Well, it takes effort and a lifetime of inquiry, and an honest appraisal of oneself. The latter being an anathema for most (un)living walking souls.
Being familiar with Jasun’s work, I wasn’t surprised by the relentlessly and pedantically structured argument. What is striking and genuinely impressive (I simply missed it in the other books) is that he can hold the entire picture in his head, the overall argument AND the fine details which underpin it. Maps is solid. It’s tight. Waterproof. I grant that some prerequisites are necessary. The reader has to have some background knowledge on at least some of the topics which are explored (I’m sure that everyone who’s bought it does). But a reader who needs a push… it’s all there.
While reading the book, a comment Jasun made on the blog kept floating around in my awareness. These people in positions of power are geniuses. Sociopaths, psychopaths, corrupt, etc. Yes, yes, and yes. But, to implement their vision successfully (which they clearly are doing to the extent only known to them) is an unimaginable project. It really is the Great Work, just not the kind I want for any of us.
An interesting side effect of the argument presented is that it provides concrete proof, as far as I’m concerned, of the nation-building process which was rolled out in the 19th Century and continues these days in the form of identity politics. It also plays into my Yugoslavia case study very neatly.
I just YouTube-ed Sebastian. It never occurred to me before to look him up. I vaguely recall his name from a Time Out article or review, the rest I heard from Jasun. He was clearly fiercely intelligent, with a great sense of humor, faultlessly charming, and so very obviously extremely vulnerable and hurt/damaged. Truly Hollywood celebrity potential. His appearance on a talk show I watched reminded me of an interview with Quentin Crisp (just an aside). I don’t pretend to know Jasun very well, but I see him as the very opposite of what I gauge Sebastian to have been (perhaps not opposite, but rather so different that it’s difficult to compare, although similarities are obvious, intelligence, wit and need to be recognised for them). From my experience of him, Jasun is an ultra-alpha, above and beyond the pack, the one who saves the clan from self-aggrandizers. He may need saving too, but not through mass appeal. Might be another reason why he never made it big. Just a thought.
The wholly autobiographical Chapter 9 (“The Player”) is crucial, it works perfectly. It’s wonderfully personable, it explains why the book and the author’s interest exists at all, and it’s hilarious in well-selected parts. Although far from being light material, if we consider the author’s state of mind at the time, it’s a welcome break from the fact driven evidence-based onslaught. I was wetting myself occasionally. As Dostoyeskian as they come.
The boy cave reminds me of my own room as a teenager. Posters, VHS cassettes (including pirate copies), daydreams of greatness and recognition, award speeches in the bath. Adolescents primed for cultural submersion. Looking at the state of the world, I’d say that many of us chose to disassociate and are willing participants in the cultural soulscaping.
Two things I didn’t expect from Maps:
First and foremost, I no longer see a boundary between entertainment and news/journalism, written or audio/video. It’s obvious how the journalism manipulates information, but the analysis of Hollywood and social engineering is applicable to all media content. The lines are not only blurry but it’s reasonable to wonder if any delineation exists at all. It’s the same psyop, just a different department.
Secondly, I didn’t expect parenting advice. My daughter is allowed to watch TV and play games on my old mobile but only for what I consider to be reasonable stints. We also discuss how media content influences perception. I’m careful not to chew her off and to offer age appropriate information. Propaganda and psychological manipulation 101. But I’m just a father doing his best to provide his daughter with a skillset with which she can at least be conscious of the manipulation directed at her and all of us. Also, I don’t want to prevent her from ‘enjoying’ these things for fear of ostracizing her from her peers and to avoid creating a taboo. Unfortunately, 16 Maps is presenting the impossibility of the situation parents find themselves in. I hope to at least help my daughter navigate. In time, the Jasun Horsley bibliography will be mandatory reading, part of the family curriculum.
Two things Maps is:
1. Proof that being a well-researched investigative author is a profession that most people cannot do.
2. A demonstration that there’s no excuse for following the official narrative. The clues are everywhere and so is excellent, readily available material on a myriad of relevant subjects. Anyone who gives a fuck can at the very least dispel the most obvious narratives foisted upon us. Instead, we are so unbelievably pliable that I’ve lost hope.
Page 499, third paragraph, last sentence:
I wrote: “David Lynch is God!” It’s as if, the more I have matured and extricated myself from slavish devotion to cultural creatives and their products, the more the world has sunk into that same swamp, until such misplaced religiosity has become the norm.
The same applies to anyone who is slavishly devoted to any cultural product. Be it politicians, philanthropists, athletes, artists, etc. And, from what I’ve observed, everyone is hooked. Now, perhaps, and it’s fair to assume, many people are starting to see through the magick tricks and stage theatrics. Probably why so many are drawn to conspiratainment. They’re struggling to find a way out/in. We are in dire need of the exit.
For good measure, the last chapter made it personal. Yes, I’ve had my own Liz. Yes, it was destructive and, yes it was like possession. We both knew it at the time. Destructive forces were activated by our own energies and we embodied them. While my Liz was a very different woman to my mother, they shared certain characteristics. My ingrained Oedipal complex was triggered and I projected my complexes onto her. The female character blueprint overlapped to such an extent that I couldn’t see the woman before me from the projections. The relationship was all about re-traumatization, at least from my end. I didn’t succeed in achieving my (sub)conscious goal, to free myself from my mother’s gaze. Instead, I ploughed through re-victimizing myself and hurting her. It was then that I realized that I was after revenge not resolution. Or rather, resolution through revenge.
Sadomasochism didn’t facilitate therapeutic re-enactment. To no ones’ surprise. While I didn’t recreate an extreme surrogate reality like Polanski in The Tenant, I did resolve most of my mummy/relationship issues in my dreams (superficial passing relationships, avoiding attachments and an interest in psychology notwithstanding). At least well enough to finally embrace an actual committed relationship in my early 30s. My wife is unlike anyone I’ve ever met (unless I include one of my best friends). While my wife is nothing like my mother, I was drawn to her on a deeper lever, above/below the blueprint I was conditioned with.
I have little doubt over the claim of “the primacy of the female gaze over the male’s.” Like our dear author, I knew it from as long as I can remember, even though I needed a destructive relationship to bring it into consciousness. For a good chunk of my life, my sense of self-worth was established by my mother’s gaze, which seemed to follow me across continents and time.
The aim of the sorcerers to recreate the original womb in order to colonize the mother’s gaze is fraught with deeply faulty reasoning. If used solely for purposes of manipulation, then it makes sense to an extent. But, if it was or is an actual attempt to heal, then it’s as ridiculously futile as it is destructive. Re-traumatization, most of us should know from simple life experience, can never bring about healing.
Trauma is so omnipresent in our daily lives we hardly need films and culture to instruct us. Methods described in the book are so deeply embedded in our way of being that parents implement them without knowing it. A mix of shock/fear and direction to a surrogate reality. After all, forming a character is how parenting duties are defined. I firmly believe that we have all been raised by a system of “beneficial shocks”… If we were so lucky.
Speaking for meself, on this long road I have managed to heal. I abandoned all need and desire for a love substitute and opted for love instead. Not being loved. Loving. Loving my wife and daughter, rather than giving in to the need for control, has resulted in the abandonment of my wounds. I opted for love rather than to pursue being loved according to defective criteria. The quality of loving supersedes any need to revisit old wounds.
What I didn’t like about the book: The asterisks are far too small. My vision is 20/20 but the font is small and the asterisks almost imperceptible.
But nothing’s perfect. 16 Maps of Hell is an outstanding piece of self-exploration through social analysis, a class act. I wonder what Jasun’s posthumous market price will be. I might just make big bucks one day. No, not Bitcoin, Ja-Ho’s originals! I’ll take JaHo’s diamond in the rough over any polished lump of coal any time.
I reckon there’s something holy/whole to finding like-minded souls (open to interpretation and qualification) irrespective of status, alive or dead. If I perceived the world as I do and had no one else (I do have a handful of friends and dead authors) with whom at least to share my wonder and questioning thereof, I might very well have committed myself to an institution. Oh, the joy of knowing one isn’t entirely alone in standing out from the crowd, even if to show a simple nod to an inquiry well done or a choice of subject researched.
My daughter is right. I’m lucky to have made contact.
P.S. “Fantasies of unhealthy minds are now treated as proven facts.” Was Roman P talking about Covid?