Going Away

December 15, 2016

all-my-bags-are-packed

Well, boys and girls, Peedeel is off and away, from now until after Christmas! His bag is packed with basic essentials. And he will be enjoying a festive holiday in elegant seclusion somewhere around the Cotswolds.

Do not despair ! He will return !

In the meantime, he wishes you one and all –

A very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

santa-zack-ahern-photography

After Dead Souls

December 15, 2016

173

Where O America are you
going in your glorious
automobile, careening
down the highway
toward what crash
in the deep canyon
of the Western Rockies,
or racing the sunset
over Golden Gate
toward what wild city
jumping with jazz
on the Pacific Ocean!

Allen Ginsberg

Emotional trauma

December 15, 2016

books2

a-fate-worse-than-death

The most absurd apology for authority and law is that they serve to diminish crime. Aside from the fact that the State is itself the greatest criminal, breaking every written and natural law, stealing in the form of taxes, killing in the form of war and capital punishment, it has come to an absolute standstill in coping with crime. It has failed utterly to destroy or even minimize the horrible scourge of its own creation.

Emma Goldman
What is Anarchy?

wreakers-donald-macleod

Daniel Coppinger was an eighteenth-century smuggler, boys and girls. Not a very nice man. Cruel Coppinger, the locals called him, a Dane whose ship was wrecked on the north Cornish coast during a bad storm. The coast was lined with wreckers who had gone out to lure any ships in distress onto the rocks. All they got was Coppinger, which was perhaps even worse than they deserved.

A giant of a man, they saw him by lightning-flashes at the wheel of his ship, cursing his crew, until the vessel struck and sank, when he hurled himself into the sea. When he came out of the maelstrom, he snatched a cloak from an old woman, jumped up on a horse behind a young girl called Dinah Hamlyn and galloped to her home.

Coppinger made it his home as well. Farmer Hamlyn took a liking to him, and his daughter fell in love with him. They married, the farmer suddenly died, and Coppinger spent his wife’s inheritance on wild living and whores. The money gone he started a smuggling gang. His headquarters was at Steeple Brink, a precipitous cliff with a cave at its foot that could be reached by sea. He had a short way of dealing with revenue men, cutting their throats or disembowelling them before dumping them in the sea. He was a superb navigator, and one time led a revenue cutter into a death-trap channel that he knew and they did not; it struck the rocks and sank with all hands.

Cruel Coppinger terrorised the district. He was heard to boast ‘I rapes real good when I’ve a mind’; a boast he carried out with sickening frequency. He threatened to kill anyone outside his gang who used the cave or public paths leading to Steeple Brink. When the local parson demanded tithe-money, the huge Dane flayed him with a double-throng whip. He threatened the same treatment to his wife when her mother refused to tell him where she kept her money; Mrs Hamlyn gave in when she saw her Dinah tied naked to a bed-post and Coppinger with his sea-cat out. The people used to sing:

Will you hear of the cruel Coppinger?
He came from a foreign kind;
He was brought to us by salt water,
He’ll be carried away by the wind.

And so he was, on the stormiest night since his arrival. The wreckers were out as usual, and the last they saw of him, in a lightning-flash, was as they’d first seen him, holding the wheel and cursing his crew…

RIP

Essential reading

December 14, 2016

xmas-read

If I could

December 14, 2016

if-i-could

Nude Sensuality

December 14, 2016

akseli-gallen-kallela-study-of-a-nude

Desnudo sensualidad – a painting by Francisco Alarcón

Dew point
looks to you to chase

the delicate moths of mists
on your short tether.

To put red lips
on pencilled life models,

you don’t have long.
A glare of winter,

a wink long enough
for a rumour to start.

Gordon Mason

giovanni-boldini-the-divine-in-blue

A woman travels by train to Heidelberg. The year is 1934 and the woman (later to be called Mrs E in the German press, although at this precise moment she is Miss E) is on her way to consult a doctor about her stomach pains. She falls into hesitant conversation with a fellow passenger, a man who claims to be a natural healer, no less, and in whom she confides the purpose of her journey. The man’s name is Franz Walter, and he tells her he can cure her illness.

‘You can…?’

Walter invites her to join him for coffee when the train pulls into the station. She is most reluctant but allows him to persuade her. On the platform he grabs hold of her hand, and Mrs E feels abruptly lost, without a will of her own.

‘Come with me,’ he tells her.

He takes her to a room in the city, places her in a trance by touching her forehead, then rapes her. She tries to push him away, but can’t move. She strains more and more but it doesn’t help. He gently strokes her face.

‘You sleep quite deeply, you can’t call out, and you can’t do anything else.’ He presses her arms behind her. ‘You can’t move anymore,’ he says. ‘When you wake up you’ll remember nothing of what has happened.’ He also tells her, her stomach pains are gone and will never return.

Then he rapes her again; finally he sodomises her, before helping her to readjust her clothing. He leads her back to the street after emptying her purse of the money she’s saved to pay for her doctor’s visit…

Walter had, during their conversation on the train, hypnotised the highly susceptible Mrs E. On their parting in Heidelberg that day, Walter, using a ‘control word’, instructs Mrs E to return to him the following week. Her ordeal is only just beginning.
#

Over the course of the next few years, Walter prostituted Mrs E. He gave her to other men, or to friends – often telling these friends the ‘control word’ that would leave her helpless for them. In return he earned hundreds of thousands of marks. Time and again he would meet her at either Karlsruhe, or Heidelberg railway stations, take her to rooms where he could have his way with her before the arrival of her first ‘customers’ of the day.

Walter would also, using hypnotic suggestion, give Mrs E muscle cramps and even, on one occasion, paralysed her left hand. He would only remove these terrible afflictions on receipt of sums of money from Mrs E.

During the course of Walter’s criminal depredations, Mrs E, his young victim, married. Her husband became another source of wealth for Walter. Allowances made by Mr E to his wife, soon ended up in Walter’s greedy pockets.

But, as with all the best laid plans, Mr E became suspicious of his wife’s behavior. He began to make awkward inquiries. Walter, fearing discovery, instructed Mrs E to kill her husband.

He, poor man, after her sixth failed attempt on his life, decided to involve the police. They in their turn decided Mrs E must have been mad, and called on the services of a psychiatrist, Dr Ludwig Mayer, who succeeded in releasing the suppressed memories of Walter’s hypnotic sessions by re-hypnotising her. After a somewhat sensational court case, Walter received a sentence of ten years penal servitude.

Read Mrs E’s own words in Hammerschlag, Hypnotism and Crime, pp. 120-121:

‘I’m no longer the same person as before. Something different controls me. I don’t want to do something, but I do it. Or I want to do something, and yet I don’t do it…in the end I thought of nothing more than doing what Walter wanted. If I obeyed I always felt more at ease. Within me I was never free there was always something oppressing me….I can’t struggle against these pressures…the pressure vanishes when I obey the commands of the inner voice.’

Mayer wrote a post verdict book on the subject of Mrs E and the criminal uses of hypnosis. Here he described how it works:

“…a person in somnambulic hypnosis is not able to take up a critical attitude on his own behalf … subordination to the hypnotiser, and dulling of his consciousness takes place, regardless of whether he is the subject of a legitimate experiment or is being hypnotised for other purposes … Just as suggestions can be employed therapeutically … they can equally well be used for criminal purposes.”

So there we have it, boys and girls. Strange but true – although I have a strong suspicion, Mrs E’s story would NOT be accepted in a courtroom today; she, I suspect, would find herself charged with theft and attempted murder. However, an interesting if very bizarre case.