The "paranoic" world view is one that has always interested me, not because I necessarily believe in the various conspiracy theories, but because of its unique position in that liminal state on the border between reality and imagination. In this respect, the expressions of the paranoid are not very different from the emanations of an artist – both are trying to use their vision to bring significance to the apparent world, to read meaning in the smallest of finely observed details, to uncover some kind of higher truth in an attempt to create a comprehensible pattern out of what, let’s face it, gives every indication of being a chaotic and incoherent cosmos. There’s even an intriguing Gnostic side to it, the belief that this world is ordered by an overwhelming intelligence, a demiurge or two, even if sadly, these entities are malevolent. And besides, as the saying goes, maybe they really ARE out to get you.
Though I often poke fun at the more bizarre products of the new "Print on Demand" universe, I am also deeply grateful for some of the fringe literature it has made readily available. In the past a work such as Deadman Switch’s Conspiracies & Brainwashing: The Epistle of Napoleon to the Dinosaurs (OutskirtsPress.com) would perhaps have been mimeographed and distributed in the park by a wild eyed gentleman, or maybe written out in longhand and simply abandoned in a library carrel or men’s room, but thanks to the technology of today such epistles can be presented in a professionally printed, quite respectable looking volume, one that, while not available in every bookstore, can be had by any bookstore from their book distributor and by any consumer on line.
The thesis of Conspiracies & Brainwashing: The Epistle of Napoleon to the Dinosaurs (evidently the subtitle is presumed to be self evident, as it is never explained in the body of the work), is basically that there are three competing conspiracies, the Feds, the Nazis and the Mafia, who constantly struggle to hypnotize and enslave mankind. More interesting to me than Switch’s theoretical constructs are the rare glimpses of his own life, and the unique view of the world that has lead him to his theories:
Once I was in a room with two windows in the wall toward the public street. I saw an automobile traveling up the road in one of the windows. When it went behind the section of wall between the windows, I looked at the second window and watched for it to appear. It failed to appear. I went to the window and looked up and down the road and it had disappeared. The explanation is that I went under hypnosis during the few seconds that the automobile was between windows, and stayed under hypnosis long enough for it to travel up the road out of sight. Then I came back to normal consciousness and resumed what I had been doing without being aware of any interruption. There wasn’t any feeling of having been under hypnosis, just the disappearance to prove it.
Afterward the conspirator who owned the house kept the windows covered with Venetian blinds. This proves it was from hypnosis,
Of course this is a series of events that could haven "proven" any number of things to differently predisposed minds, but Mr. Switch’s interpretation is certainly creative, if nothing else. And how about his personal life?
One of my hypnotized relatives married a hypnotized person, and another relative had a friend whose parents were both hypnotized. Those marriages ended in divorce. I cannot remember having been married, but I have reason to believe that I was married to a hypnotized girl during the 1970’s.
Yeah, for various reasons that decade’s a blur for a lot of people. But the most startling personal revelation remains vague:
The fact that my death is a trigger for nuclear genocide has kept the conspirators from killing me for twenty years. Publication of this will probably trigger the nuclear war eventually even if I’m still alive, but I must refuse to explain why my death will trigger it because the explanation would trigger it immediately.
There’s also a section about the consumer products the Feds poison:
Someone gave me a code signal at the supermarket that paper towels are poisonous, but I don’t know whether they all are, or just the brand I ordinarily buy.
Then there are the one the Feds are content to perversely "mess with":
12. Beaters of electric mixers. Recently I’ve seen beaters of electric mixers made in an unconventional shape. The conventional shape is just as wide at the bottom as at the top. The no-good ones are narrower at the bottom than at the top…But I saw the no-good beaters after I started writing this, so if no one else has ever seen those no-good beaters, then the conspiracy was setting me up to look crazy.
According to Switch, the major ways the various conspiracies communicate is via coded messages contained in commercials TV shows and popular songs. His chapter decoding this information approaches dada poetry:
– dance, coffee, football, poker, poke, canoeing, key, picking pockets, wrestling.
Breasts – bees, tomatoes, cones, martini.
Sex Hypnosis by Nazis –
go, room (for murder), big, hope, KIM, time, John, Johnny, Paul, Gomer, Rambo, Jimbo, bimbo, Bojangles, MEG?, retro?, London?, hamer, hammer, rush?.
But unlike the playful dadaists, Switch is in deadly earnest. Salvador Dali invented a technique he called the "paranoic-critical method," in which seemingly illogical connections between things are made, but yet manipulated for best effect by the artist’s critical eye. Similarly, he also said "The only difference between me and a madman is that I am not mad." If that statement can be made about Deadman Switch, then we’re all in a lot of trouble:
A movie made 30 years ago says that they’ll kill everyone in my family after this is published. But it’s my responsibility to warn you about the nuclear war because no one else is going to. And this is a God-given opportunity to expose conspiracies and hypnosis. As for what’s going to happen to me; you’ve seen that movie too. But I’m not any crazier than nay other hypnotized person. When the atomic bombs explode, that will prove I was telling the truth and all of the experts who said I was crazy were lying. I expect the attack to occur during a recess of Congress within 40 days after they kill me.