The Burning Blade

Fireaxe Newsletter - edition 14.4

September 3, 2011

"I prayed for the first time in a very long time today. I explained
to God that unless he wanted the Marxist-Islamic alliance and the
certain Islamic takeover of Europe to completely annihilate European
Christendom within the next hundred years he must ensure that the
warriors fighting for the preservation of European Christendom prevail."

- Anders Breivik, Norwegian extremist who
murdered 69 people on Utoya island

"When feelings of divine abandonment are instilled and exploited
in members of a society, the members of that society become both
highly motivated and easier to manipulate. The last three millennia
have been a race to see which ideology can utilize this psychological
mechanism to the fullest."

- The Burning Blade edition 4.4

"I do a mental check almost every day through meditation and
philosophising. I simulate/meditate while I go for a walk,
playing my Ipod in my neighbourhood. This consists of a daily
40 minute walk while at the same time philosophising
ideologically/performing self indoctrination and the mental
simulation of the operation while listening to motivational
and inspiring music. I simulate various future scenarios
relating to resistance efforts, confrontations with police,
future interrogation scenarios, future court appearances,
future media interviews etc. or I philosophise about certain
articles in the book. This daily mental exercise or ritual
keeps me fully motivated and charges my batteries.
And I'm sure it can work for other people as well."

- Anders Breivik

"Feelings of divine intervention can be stimulated by various
rituals such as prayer, reading the bible, going to church,
and so forth. To the convert, these feelings appear to be
coming directly from a god when in reality they are coming
from a primitive area of their brain. These feelings can be
stimulated to a greater degree in the presence of suffering.
Activities such as fasting, sacrificing a prized possession,
accepting hardship, or agreeing to a serious undertaking
without compensation, have the collateral effect of increasing
the pleasurable feeling of divine presence."

- The Burning Blade edition 4.4

As we near the tenth anniversary of perhaps the most famously disregarded Presidential Daily Bulletin in history it's a perfect time to look back at all that has changed since then. Ten years ago I was just beginning to record the longest and most acclaimed Fireaxe work: "Food for the Gods"; and was in the process of writing a series of essays entitled "On the Origins of Violence" for the Burning Blade. After the September eleventh terrorist attacks I paused writing that essay series to show how the theories which I was expounding matched the things that were happening in the real world. To that effect I linked what was known about the hijackers to what I had predicted would be their sources of inspiration and motivation and found that the two aligned rather well.

The essay went on to compare the mentality of the September eleventh hijackers to a pair of mass murderers who showed similar resolve and efficacy in their crimes: the Columbine killers Dylan Klebold and Eric Harris. At the time I had noted that most murder/suicides were more spontaneous in nature, following the pattern of "the slightly obsessed and eccentric but otherwise well mannered individual who one day snaps and goes on a murderous rampage." To the contrary, "Klebold and Harris were able to control their emotions despite being in a state of suffering so severe that only death could relieve it. But [theirs] couldn't be just a normal death, it had to be a spectacular one, since only a spectacular death, shocking to behold and full of retribution would ease the pain they were feeling." In order to be psychologically sated by their final act, their retribution could not have been a mere spur of the moment rampage but had to be well prepared and methodically carried out, which I wrote was something relatively new to the world. What our modern ideologies have given birth to are individuals who can reach their breaking point and "snap", choosing a path that will lead them to murder and suicide, but who are so well conditioned to suppress their emotions that they can make elaborate preparations for a spectacular and destructive event and then carry them out with ruthless efficiency. Furthermore, even though the emotions that led to them reaching their breaking points had long since subsided by the time they acted, the scars that those emotions left behind were deep enough to keep driving them onward down the path to self-destruction. This is a remarkable development.

The essay credited the source of these new murder/suicide perpetrators as being the psychological pressure cookers that are our modern ideologies. Our ideologies need us to be successful, and need us to do great things on their behalf to help them to survive and thrive. They propel us toward success by promising us great rewards, making us feel woefully inadequate when we fall short, and repressing any and all behaviors in us which are seen as unproductive or dangerous to the ideology. As ideological conflict has raged and the world has become more competitive, the pressure on the individual to become a success and help their ideology thrive has been ratcheted up to new levels. This pressure has produced many truly exceptional successes but it has also produced many highly volatile failures which, when they break down and explode, leave tremendous damage in their wake. In producing the former, the latter are inevitably created. Adding to these pressures are the increasing number of political, religious, and ideological conflicts and hostility around the world which draw us in and make us sympathize with those upon whom great violence and suffering is inflicted. As the conflicts drag on and the suffering worsens it's not unusual to find oneself wanting to settle such conflicts with heavy-handed measures like assassination, revolution, and war. Pundits work tirelessly to evoke and manipulate such feelings, encouraging the motivated individual toward supporting their ideological cause, but not all individuals select peaceful outlets for their outrage.

Ending chillingly, as so many of these essays do, I predicted that "As social orders grow stronger, the acts of violence and rebellion [will] grow more extreme. The atrocities of the past [will] pale in comparison to those that will come in the future." Unfortunately I appear to have been proved correct. In the last ten years we have seen Seung-Hui Cho murder thirty-two people and injure twenty-five others at Virginia Tech, Bruce Jeffrey Pardo dress up as Santa Claus and murder his ex-wife and eight others on Christmas Day, Nidal Malik Hassan murder thirteen fellow soldiers and injure twenty-nine others at Fort Hood, Jared Loughner murder six people and injure thirteen including a Congresswoman in Tucson, and now Anders Breivik murder a total seventy-seven people and injure ninety-six in Norway. All of them planned their attacks and methodically carried them out, showing no signs of remorse for their victims. To this list we could also add the scores of suicide bombers and "gunmen on one-way missions" in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and elsewhere, which have become so numerous that we no longer seem shocked by them. I dare to say that the last decade has made this style of atrocity so commonplace that we scarcely bother looking into the details of the event and just pass them off as just another nut case "going postal". We should be more concerned as this trend shows every sign of worsening.

In many of these cases the blame has been placed on the fiery rhetoric that allegedly influenced the killers to commit their acts: Hassan is said to have read numerous websites espousing radical Islamist ideals; Loughner had ranted about notions of the government brainwashing people through grammar, a theory which he picked up off of the internet; and Breivik quoted extensively from neoconservative and anti-Muslim bloggers as well as the infamous Unabomber in his manifesto which runs over fifteen hundred pages long. Of course, one would have to be a fool not to realize the impact that such inflammatory rhetoric has on individuals, especially those who are already close to their breaking point. It's without question that violent imagery, hyperbole, and distortion of the facts can deepen a troubled person's persecution complex or push him past his breaking point and those who spread their messages in such ways are partially responsible for the extreme actions of murderers no matter how much they disavow them. And what's worse is that such inflammatory rhetoric is everywhere these days. It seems that one can't go three clicks on the internet without reading a harshly worded blog saturated with half-truths and outright lies that is intent upon angering its readers into a state where they will demand change using whatever means necessary. And no matter what your beliefs, it seems that you can find online communities of like-minded individuals who are even more fanatical than you are which can help to solidify sketchy or doubtful ideas in your mind and push you to take actions you wouldn't have considered before. And it isn't hard to find sites which purport to have proof of some sort of conspiracy theory or another that portrays the world as a desperate struggle between a tyrannical oppressor and a few enlightened individuals. These conspiracies can be very well presented and seemingly supported by the facts and all sorts of reasonable and intelligent people have been taken in by them. Being intelligent doesn't prevent one from falling victim to the persecution paradigms upon which ideologies are built. The truth is that we are all uniquely vulnerable to inflammatory rhetoric and conspiracy theories, they being specifically targeted at our weak points in an attempt to motivate us into action for their cause. All that we require is for them to speak to us in a way that appeals to our inner vulnerabilities. Of course, most of the authors of angry blogs and conspiracy websites are not intending to motivate their adherents to commit murder, but they play an important role in those acts nonetheless.

Now, my point is not to advocate that all sites which contain harsh language be shut down out of fear that they will push an unstable person over the edge, nor do I feel that premeditated acts of extreme violence can be eliminated if everyone toned down their rhetoric a little. Calls for such actions are merely cover for ideological warfare with one side trying to score a few political points by blaming the other for mass murder. I remain in support of unrestricted free speech, as violent and offensive as it can sometimes be, for if we lose this essential right then our ability to effect change is greatly limited. My point instead is that if the idea is to effect change in the world, then it would be better to use methods that aren't so ideologically antiquated. In short, if you want to change the world, you must first change with it.

This hits home for Fireaxe, and while no one has ever been caught shooting up their school or workplace while "Black Knight" was blaring on their iPod there is no shortage of depictions of persecution and violent retribution on Fireaxe CDs. I've strived to keep my music and writings free from persecution paradigm style of rhetoric though, avoiding notions of "us versus them" and instead focusing on a more balanced understanding of the way the world is, but there's always the chance that someone will be inspired to commit murder after listening to my music or reading my newsletters. It's not something that I'm particularly afraid of, my readership is tiny and tends to be peaceful rather than large and prone to violence, but it has made me rethink the idea of how people should try to effect change in the world. Blogs, websites, books, music, videos, radio, television, seminars, sermons, and so forth are all good ways to disseminate your ideas to potentially a large audience, but if the communication with that audience is purely one way then you end up having no idea whether your ideas are valid, whether they worked for people, or what affect you are having on your audience. By standing on a virtual soapbox you can easily become like an insulated dictator, spouting off whatever thoughts cross your mind and pretending to yourself that you are spreading mana from heaven among the unwashed masses, at least until you discover otherwise with an arrestingly harsh wake-up call, such as someone calling you out and making you look like a fool. Even then, the narcissists among us have found ways to ignore our critics and drone on and on as if hypnotized by the sound of our own voice.

This "proselytizing", as the spreading of all ideas to an audience in an authoritarian style manner should probably be termed, is old world thinking. Ideologically speaking, disseminating ideas to a crowd seems to be becoming less and less relevant as systems are progressively becoming more complex than one person or a few people can control or even understand. And even if one could learn enough about a complicated subject to write a manual about it, like how to run an economy, how to plan the growth of a city, or how to run a successful counterinsurgency, by the time that one is finished writing the manual would probably be obsolete. Also, the lack of uniformity across such systems, and in the general population in modern times, makes mass any advice irrelevant to all but a small minority of the target audience. For example, it's easy to tell everyone that to survive the recession they should work harder and cut back on expenses, but when you start to look at the particulars of people's budgets, the complexity of their lives, and the unique opportunities they have and see how widely varying they are from one person to the next, you will find that your sound advice will really only work well for a few people and can certainly harm others if they follow it. So when you proselytize, the majority of your audience will just nod in agreement to your generalities and then hope for you to say something specific that applies to their situation. Of course, you can't address every specific issue, or very many or them, so mostly you are wasting your time and your audience's time.

Furthermore, even if you could get feedback from everyone who heard you proselytizing, it would be difficult for you to gain insight about how you should change your ideas to make them work better. You'll get conflicting advice, wrong advice, unsupported notions that might or might not work, arguments over tiny issues that matter to only a few, and a huge number of honest questions about how to apply your ideas to their particular case which cannot be solved with generalities. That's reality, and reality doesn't have a simple solution. None of this stops our legions of proselytizers who compensate for the inadequacies of their advice by being so loud, outrageous, and extreme that sometimes they inspire people to commit spectacular murder/suicides. And they spout off about everything from politics to economics to religion to music to art to literature and everything else as if they a) could easily solve our current complex problems with a few simple measures, b) could make their solution work for a wide variety of people in a wide variety of situations, and c) don't need to refine their theories through the painful process of trial and error in the real world to make sure that they work. So in essence we've all become street preachers, ranting on and on about how the end of the world is coming and telling everyone how they can be saved, but never bothering to set an actual date for when the rapture will occur for fear that we will be exposed as a fraud when that day comes and goes and nothing happens. Obviously we need to move in a new direction.

And thus I believe that it is time for myself and others to step off of our collective soap boxes do something truly radical: either put our high and mighty advice to the test or kindly shut our mouths. If we truly know how to fix the world, we should first start by fixing our little corner of it. This seems so obvious but it is so often ignored. Why take marriage advice from divorced people or take economic advice from someone who is always in debt? We should first all make sure that we can show that our advice at least works for ourselves before we try to improve someone else's life with our helpful advice. Then, when we do seek to aid others we shouldn't just tell them what to do and then wag our fingers and say "I told you so" if they don't take our advice. That accomplishes nothing. We must first understand the scope of their problem before we come up with our solution, then we need to give them advice that they are willing and able to follow, and lastly we need to follow up on them to see if our advice actually worked. Admittedly that's a lot more difficult than just talking at someone, and might involve a lot of hard work, plus there's always a risk that we might be proved wrong, but on the good side we might actually help more than just a tiny handful of people if we do all that. Then, once we've achieved success with someone else it's time to spread our advice to a third person and a fourth and so forth, again making sure that we follow the same steps as before: understanding the problem, giving useful advice, and following up to see if it worked. Chances are that we'll learn something new with each person we help and probably find that our advice needs to be changed and expanded upon to meet people's actual problems instead of the simple ones that we imagine them to have. Yes, the real world is a harsh mistress, demanding that a lot of hard work to be done to appease her. So if that sounds like too much work for you then try writing a book, it's much easier.

So let's imagine that we've helped a lot of people with our advice, working with them on a personal basis and following up to make sure that our advice is sound. Is it now time to write a book or start a business or blog with an air of arrogant self-assuredness? Perhaps, but again, it's old world thinking. It's still following the authoritarian model of disseminating the truth as a complete, rigid, and self-contained package. That may be good for capitalism, mass production, and acquiring wealth and fame, but I think that it's becoming less and less useful for a diverse and interconnected world. More and more it seems that we need solutions that can apply to a variety of people, or that each person can customize to their particular needs. For instance, we can buy a computer game and play it according to how the authors intended it to be played: as a hero on a quest with a relatively predetermined plot. We can't play as one of the enemy creatures, or change the rules or the plot to fit our tastes, or pull out the graphics engine or the artificial intelligence module and plug them into some other game or into a game that we made. Instead it is given to us as is, to be played as intended and to be discarded when it is no longer useful. Compare that to the way that we used to play with our toys as kids, coming up with our own games and doing what we wanted to do with them rather than what the manufacturer might have imagined. Something has been lost. Also, we need flexible sources of information too, ones that can be easily disassembled, analyzed, and reassembled. We need to be able to pull facts and ideas from similar but conflicting sources so that we can use them to see the bigger picture and how the issue impacts us specifically. How often do we find ourselves confronted with two opposing viewpoints with no way to resolve the differences between the two? Where did each author's facts come from? Are either of them hiding something? How did they arrive at their conclusions? We have questions and we can't get answers because the communication only goes one way and the sourcing is woefully inadequate. Why aren't we demanding better?

The internet might yet change all this. It is the first medium that can connect masses of people and give them all two-way communication. It also allows the delivery of many forms of content at very little cost which could revolutionize the world, changing the authoritarian model of information dissemination into an interactive, collaborative experience. This idea isn't new and has had a few fits and starts, Wikipedia being the most notable example and which has had serious problems – it is somehow both too easily changed and too tightly controlled at the same time - but people have not given up on the concept of mass collaboration because the potential upside is so huge. The trouble with collaboration at this level is that we currently do it so poorly. Most collaborative ventures inevitably lead to arguments about which direction to go in and often end with one person settling the dispute by making a final decision or with each person disowning the collaboration and going off in their own direction. Because of this, our collaborations are often less productive than if one person was in complete control or if we all just did things our own way. This is unfortunate, and I see a few reasons why it hasn't been working.

One reason is that we've all been brought up to think and do things using the authoritarian model: from our childhoods, where our parents are all-powerful authority figures; to our schools, where our teachers hand down lessons which we must learn or be failed; to our workplaces, where our bosses control what we do and how we do it; to our communities, where the police and judges wield great authority to keep us in line; to our religions, where our priests, ministers, imams, etc. deliver the word of an omnipotent power to the masses; to our political systems, where although we elect our leaders, we then hand over a great deal of power to them and are unable to change them for years. Because of our immersion in such systems we instinctively expect things to follow an authoritarian model and are confused about what to do when things are different; and, unfortunately, when given the freedom to act without the threat of punishment from a central authority too many of us tend to abuse that power. One of the biggest challenges for collaborative systems is preventing the abuse of power without resorting to authoritarian control.

Another reason why we have trouble collaborating is that collaborations prevent people from doing things the way that we want to do them. If we have a great idea that we want to make real, we know that if we enter into a collaborative process that others will try to change that idea, fitting it better to their vision, or, in our eyes, screwing up something perfect and wonderful. Instead we like to do things our way, producing our vision the way that we want it to be, and if people don't like it then that's their problem, not ours. We tell them that if they want something different than what we're offering them then they should do all the work necessary to make their vision a reality. Sometimes they take us up on that offer and we become rivals, letting our audience decide whose idea is best through popular support. Thus, instead of collaboration we favor competition, which can be beneficial, but sometimes such competition is wasteful and counterproductive.

A third reason why we have trouble collaborating is that it's not clear who gets the credit for the success or failure of a collaborative venture. It's almost impossible to point out each individual's contribution to a project and measure how much it helped or hurt the overall performance. Oftentimes when a project is successful, everyone takes more than their share of credit for it, and contrarily, when a project fails everyone blames somebody else. This fracturing of collaboration into competition greatly damages the process. For instance, when political struggles erupt between the collaborators involving who gets to decide in which direction the venture will go, the losing side often chooses to obstruct progress and both sides end up blaming the other. We can see this pathology clearly enough in our democratic systems. If credit and blame can be rightly shared, our collaborations would likely be more productive.

But what I think is that main reason why we have trouble collaborating is that it is an inherently unnatural process, at least to the degree that is necessary to make authoritarianism obsolete. Of course, it's natural for humans to cooperate and work in groups, as we have been doing since long before the Stone Age, but thinking in groups is something that we humans don't do well. Thinking in groups resembles brainstorming, which is something that we tend to do in a special session, held rarely if at all, where we collectively figure out what to do and then all go off on our own to do our parts. I think that we need to brainstorm more frequently, perhaps continuously, with people chipping in ideas whenever they occur to them. With the internet and cell phones and tablets, this constant connectivity is possible, but the way in which we communicate poses an additional limitation. Up until very recently our ability to communicate has been limited to linear forms: speech and writing; where an idea is presented using a single medium, is told from beginning to end, and where any outside references must be already known to all parties or explained in a haphazard, off the cuff manner. Because of this we find it much easier to communicate our ideas using the autocratic model of one person presenting a complete idea and others absorbing the information, and thus we spend most of our time either being active, that is, delivering communication in authoritarian form, or being passive, that is, taking in what someone else is communicating to us, and spend little time interacting. But using our mass, two-way communication networks which can relay more dynamic forms of communication: images, videos, whiteboards, and more, and through multiple mediums simultaneously, we have the tools that can allow us to communicate more at a deeper level and be far more interactive than we are now. Developing this approach could even push us to the next level of ideological evolution.

Experiments in this sort of dynamic communication are going on as I write this from Wikipedia to Second Life to business management software to what we are seeing during the "Arab Spring" and to all points in between. All over the internet people are trying to harness the power of group intelligence to reliably produce superior results to what individuals can do on their own. Watching this phenomenon unfolding I feel that my time would better be spent working with those models of communication rather than continue to produce this authoritarian style newsletter every few months. How much does writing it actually accomplish? To be honest, most of the people who received this e-mail probably didn't read it this far for one reason or another, and those who did probably didn't understand what I have written completely, or disagreed with some things without trying to resolve them, or skipped over the more tedious parts, or reacted in some way that demonstrates the failure of this mode of communication. In other words, I got up on stage, I did my thing, a few of you clapped, and then we all went about our lives almost completely unchanged. That's old world thinking. We can do better.

Speaking of trying to do better, finding answers to my ongoing health problems is still very frustrating. Over the last three months I made some good progress and then had an annoying setback. I'd like to say that I am closer now than I have been for a while but who knows what the next three months will bring. I still cannot plunge my spare energy into making music and I may never get back to the point where I can truly create with the same zeal as I have done in the past. I sometimes feel that the musical chapter of my life may be over and that I should be moving on. Of course, as long as I am alive I will fight for my health. The battle will continue.

A big ‘Hello' to anyone receiving the Burning Blade for the first time. This is the Fireaxe newsletter.

The Last Fireaxe Newsletter?

For fourteen years I've been writing this newsletter and it appears that it's time to bring it to an end. A number of reasons come to mind not the least important of which is the fact that there has been no new Fireaxe music since January of 2008 and it doesn't appear that there will be anything more in the near future. This doesn't mean that I've given up writing and recording music, in fact I've got my guitar sitting beside and I practice on a daily basis, some times to the point of having sore fingers, but what it does mean is that I'm going to formally set the song writing hobby aside for a while until such a time as I am as healthy and as highly motivated as I need to be to produce inspired music. The new licks and song ideas that I've sketched out are safely tucked away and all the tools I use in making music are ready to be dusted off and brought back to life again, so I can always pick up where I left off without much delay. So don't worry that I might have sold off all of my gear and wandered off into the desert to live out a nomadic existence free of everything modern. I haven't quit, I'm merely acknowledging that I'm not as close to getting back in to the studio as I've liked to believe all these years and may not get there for some time to come.

Another good reason to set aside the Burning Blade is that it's no longer about music or Fireaxe anymore. Mostly that's because there has been no Fireaxe music to talk about. And so it has become more or less like my personal blog where I pontificate, or rather proselytize as I've defined the term above, about whatever issues I choose. I think that there is enough of that type of thing going on online and it seems that it's becoming counter-productive to add more noise to the cacophony. Furthermore, the essays in this newsletter tend to run on too long, the subject matter too difficult to understand, and the conclusion always seems to be that we're screwed no matter what we do. I know that the newsletter's readership is probably a mere fraction of the mailing list, if that much, and I can understand the reasons why. So if you want to know more about what I think about a given subject, feel free to communicate with me directly instead. That should be a much more productive use of our time.

A third good reason to set aside the newsletter is that I'm finding it more and more difficult to gather the motivation to publish it. Part of my switching to writing newsletters every three months instead of every two months was in the hopes that my creative energies would return and that I would be able to write more profound and inspired material, but that hasn't happened. I used to be much more enthused about probing into the important issues of our time, using my esoteric "Fireaxe Theory", and I still need to find a good name for that, to unlock fascinating and often unexpected conclusions, but now it too often feels like I'm just running over the same old tracks. I know what I would need to do next were I to take the theory to the next level: do some serious research and perform experiments to test my conclusions and see if they stand up to reality. That sounds more like a doctoral thesis and lies outside of my area of expertise, so it appears that I've taken the idea as far as I can go with it.

And the final, and probably the best reason of all to make this my final newsletter is that the world is changing and I need to change with it. It's time to explore alternatives to the authoritarian models of communication and interaction and see if they can live up to their potential. Currently I'm not exactly sure what direction I'll be going in to do that, but hey, that's life.

So fourteen years of newsletters is a good run, perhaps one that went on a few years too long, but I feel that there were plenty of good moments throughout. I've enjoyed writing it and especially getting feedback from time to time so I don't consider any of my time truly wasted. And I'm glad that I've inspired at least a few of you to think deeper thoughts and reach beyond your horizons. Take care and I wish you all the best of luck.

And in closing, and you all know what's coming by now: we are Food for the Gods.

The Fireaxe theory - Outline

I. Basics - well established theories

  • 1. Emergent systems - that complex systems can arise from the interactions of simple things
  • 2. Natural selection - that organisms mutate, proliferate, and compete, with the "losers" becoming extinct
  • 3. Behavioral science - that neurological systems, at their core, function according to the rules of conditioning
  • 4. Entropy - that within a closed system, entropy always increases, which limits the amount of transformation that can occur

II. Extensions

  • 1. That consciousness is an emergent system: a complex system arising in the human mind from the interaction of simple neurons.
  • 2. That civilizations are emergent systems arising from the physical interactions of humans whether conscious or not.
  • 3. That ideologies are emergent systems arising from the psychological interactions of conscious humans
  • 4. That emergent systems follow the laws of natural selection in much the same way that organisms do
  • 5. That the universe is, by definition, a closed system

III. Contentions regarding consciousness

  • 1. That consciousness is a survival advantage
  • 2. That being a member of an ideology is a survival advantage
  • 3. That making its members conscious is a necessary part of an ideology's survival
  • 4. That consciousness is created by instilling within a person a permanent sense of inadequacy - in essence a state of constant fear
  • 5. That the deeper the sense of inadequacy, the stronger the person is motivated - generally to serve their ideology

IV. Contentions regarding ideological struggle

  • 1. That ideologies fight for survival using many methods including, but not limited to, war and enslavement
  • 2. That aggression is a survival advantage
  • 3. That survival in the short term outweighs survival in the long term prompting ideologies to pursue shortsighted and sometimes suicidal strategies
  • 4. That aggressive ideologies make members of rival ideologies feel afraid and inadequate which in response become more aggressive, thus creating a vicious circle
  • 5. That aggressive ideologies must continue to grow or face internal strife as their aggressive members will feed on each other to satisfy their needs
  • 6. That internal struggle results in ideological mutation

V. Contentions regarding the future

  • 1. That internal strife is inevitable since the laws of entropy imply that continuous growth is not sustainable
  • 2. That the abstract bases for ideologies transcend mortality and thus suicidal aggression is not restrained by fear of death
  • 3. That technological progress has made the destruction of the world through ideological warfare possible and will continue to make it easier to effect
  • 4. That ideological mutation will eventually result in the creation of a suicidal ideology which will destroy the human race in the attempt to save it

How to order Fireaxe CDs

Ordering Fireaxe CD's is an informal process as I am selling them personally out of my apartment. Simply mail me a letter which contains the following:

  • 1. The names of the CDs that you want to buy.
  • 2. The address where you want the CDs sent.
  • 3. Cash, a check, or a money order for the total cost.

Or if you want to do PayPal, just send me the answers to 1 and 2 above in an e-mail and I'll tell you where to send the money.

Here is a price list. The first number is the cost for U.S. based customers, the second is for outside the U.S. The prices include shipping and handling.

Eternal Devotion to the Dark Goddess: $6 / $9
Food for the Gods: $12 / $15 (SOLD OUT)
Victory or Death: $5 / $8 (free with any purchase)
Lovecraftian Nightmares: $5 / $8 (SOLD OUT)
A Dream of Death: $3 / $6 (SOLD OUT)

Send everything to:

Brian Voth
1301 Medical Center Dr. #415
Chula Vista, CA, 91911 USA

If you review CDs on a website or in a magazine, any one of the single CDs (Not "Food for the Gods") is free of charge in exchange for the review. In this case all I need is a request by e-mail. Please send me the URL of your review site or copy of your magazine with the review in it when it is done. If you want to exchange CDs, tapes, or stuff of equivalent value, make these requests via e-mail and we'll arrange a trade.

The CDs come with a booklet filled with awesome art, a letter about the project, and some information about the CD which can also be found on the Fireaxe site.

Lastly, if you want to print and distribute Fireaxe CDs I can send you an additional CD which contains tiff files for all the booklets, tray cards, and labels for each project. The tiff disk is free so just say the word.

Rights to duplicate Fireaxe materials

Currently Fireaxe is not for profit. I sell the single CDs for $5 or $6, $12 for "Food for the Gods" since it is three CDs, which covers the production and mailing costs. For CDs sent out of the country, I'll have to charge an extra $2 per disk to cover the additional mailing cost. If you write reviews or put samples on your website I'll give you a CD for free. Since I am not making any money with the current recordings, you are free to make duplicates of them to distribute as long as you obey the following guidelines:

  • 1. You can only sell the duplications for the price of the medium or less, plus any delivery cost. You are not allowed to make any profit with the music.
  • 2. You should tell me how many copies you gave out and who got them so I can keep track. Also, if they have an e-mail address I'd like that as well so I can add them to the mailing list.
  • 3. You are likewise free to adorn any webpages or duplications with the gifs and jpgs on my website as long as you include an obvious link back to my website. This includes putting Fireaxe song samples on your site as well.
  • 4. You are free to play any Fireaxe songs (in unaltered form) provided you are an unsigned band without a marketting tie-in. You are not allowed to record those songs onto anything that you will sell.
  • 5. Do not fall in love with the Dark Goddess. I mean, seriously. She's the goddess of death after all. It's not a good idea. Furthermore, do not have sexual fantasies involving the Dark Goddess. She does not have a womb and thus lacks the entrance to that particular organ. Also, attempting to use other entrances will likely result in castration. Again, it's not a good idea.
  • 6. You are vehemently discouraged from doing anything depicted in the CD "Eternal Devotion to the Dark Goddess" such as: torturing someone, lying for corporate profit, rationalizing greed, beating, raping, and murdering your girlfriend, destroying the lives of those who've wronged you and their families, corrupting the government, trying to kill yourself with pleasure, kidnapping and ransoming people, committing atrocities, cutting someone's face to pieces, destroying half the world as revenge, and especially stating that any of these things are okay because "God is on your side." Please, think before you act.
  • 7. You are food for the gods.
  • 8. You are required to crank the song "Hounds of Tindalos" as loud as you can as often as you can. It's your only defense against THEM. Be warned, they come through angles. Note that the CD is round. Are your speaker cabinets square?
  • 9. Cthulhu, the Necronomicon, Hastur the Unspeakable, and all other mythos creatures are purely the inventions of Lovecraft and other fiction authors. None of it is real, at least that's what I'm going to say in court if you try to sue me for destruction of your property, house, city, or soul as a result of listening to the "Lovecraftian Nightmares" CD too much.
  • 10. You are free to play "The Rack" in school or church or any other institution bent on crushing your will and turning you into a mindless zombie slave of the corporate dominated world. Try not to develop a bad attitude about it.
  • 11. You are not free to commit suicide while listening to any Fireaxe song. I'm sorry, I'll have to prosecute. On a serious note, if you are thinking about doing it, please e-mail or call me if you have no one else to talk to. When I was in my teens the album "The Wall" by Pink Floyd used to really get to me. Just hearing songs like "Comfortably Numb", and "Hey You" would get me pretty depressed and mildly suicidal. I'm just trying to say that I've been there. If my music is having that effect on you, please get in touch. You aren't alone.

The gist of it is that you can do just about anything with the music as long as you don't profit from it and that I get some sort of credit for having written it. I'm open to any methods of distributing my music, such as compilation tapes or CDs, radio play, or recording label distribution. However, you will need my direct permission to do so or some kind of legal agreement.
Brian Voth - Creator of Fireaxe

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