Oh, great. I found the forum a few years ago and finally registered a few months ago. I read a ton of pages, and, being somewhat visual, had not noticed the avatar back then (please, please tell me that you have changed it so that I don't feel quite so stupid. Seriously, lie to me if necessary...)
I suppose that I am impressed that a forum composed of people whose only unifying characteristic is a hatred of a late night radio host has been able to work things out and get along (for the most part) through several years with minimal moderation. I thought that I would mention it and I find that I am telling a founding member about the history that you experienced first hand.
Hot damn; every now and then I feel humbled, embarrassed and stupid. Can I give you any more unsolicited lessons on the history of this forum?
Being A Considered Response To WOTR
Good Sir, I am indebted to you for providing an opening, a rare opportunity that allowed me to legitimately impart such specific and obscure information regarding my being an early member of this wondrous club.
You are correct. I have changed my representational likeness several times over the years. There was little if any chance of a visual cue with which to correlate a past missive you may have read.
In addition to providing said appreciated opening, your accurate comment(s) on the longevity and apparent immunity of this forum readily disproves Mr. G----- N------'s claim that such groups are irrevocably destined to implode due to ego, infighting, etc. Such wisdom and observation must be shared.
Please excuse the somewhat formal tone of this lengthy reply. I am currently mining the complete works of Robert W. Chambers for suspected cryptograms which, if cracked, would reveal a complete description of the dreaded "Yellow Sign," heretofore assumed a construct of complete fiction. I feel that I am halfway done in recreating its original and powerful form.
I've been at it for quite some time now.
Ever since I learned Mr. Chambers was buried TWICE – first under an oak tree on his personal property in Broadalbin, NY, then, at his wife's behest, disinterred and then relocated to Broadalbin Cemetery – I theorized Widow Chambers retrieved something of great import from her husband's final corporeal dinner jacket. (Similar to my believing there was an ulterior motive when Elvis Presley was disinterred by the Colonel and relocated to Graceland, but I will not address that subject here.)
I became obsessed with RWC and my theory was just that, a theory, until quite by chance I managed to secure via auction a very critical document – the diary of one "Cecil C. Finch" who mentioned RWC throughout its many pages.
After reading the thing, I learned RWC's grieving desperate widow herself learned only later the nature of what one entrusted bearer slipped into RWC's coffin during graveside ritual at burial number one. According to Finch's own diary RWC had left implicit instructions to Finch regarding "the purple silk sporting the damnable gold threaded sigil should go out of this world with me. The burden should not be passed down, especially to my son, whose generous spirit but delicate mind would be ill equipped to withstand such a living terror."
A living terror? Well dip me in the occult and call me Jimmy Page's red-eyed Black Dog.
While I am not foolish enough to believe I can recover the original silk, once I was sure all was not fiction, I began the tedious cryptogram research for a written record of the Yellow Sign, a search which extends even into RWC's "romance" novels. It has long been a puzzle as to why RWC - who could write so well of the strange and unknown – would later fall short of the mark, writing apparent "trashy busy wallpaper."
The answer was there all along. Certain cryptogram limitations REQUIRED various choices of words in order to function with respect to the master cipher which had grown increasingly complex over time - to the perceived detriment of RWC's writing.
As it turns out, the later books often serve as mere scaffolding onto which the clues may lay hold a firm and undeniable purchase! Thus, the more unbearable the story, the more LIKELY the fact the tale contains within it treasures that can be but imagined. Ironically, the original story, "The Yellow Sign," has no significant hidden clues of this nature.
As you can readily attest, WOTR, if you've suffered this far, this very intense research in which I am engaged seems to be exerting a specific effect (toll?) upon my written correspondences. I'm talking about a big bag of wind here. The affliction ebbs and flows, it waxes and wanes like some rogue moon. Because of my actions, my very sanity has come into question by various associates who believe I am barking up the wrong Tree of Life! While yet others more blatantly accuse me of being "turned about in the head" due to my not being specifically invited into Joseph Pulver's recent project(s)!
(whether I wished to make an appearance in Mr. Pulver's literary explorations is neither here, nor is it there, and is completely irrelevant to my current pursuit of the Yellow Sign)
I shall persevere with my cryptogram work - despite the blasted cuneiform path to which it seems to be pointing. I am halfway to "the mark."
Not all believe me mad. Another member of Vandevan's original start up crew could vouch for the sincerity of my quest – a certain member going by the moniker of "MABUSE" who once passed onto me critical information regarding a legendary Edison Cylinder inscribed with Enochian chants as vocalized/realized by the dark magician who shall not be mentioned here. I encountered MABUSE at GLP. When GLP became unbearable, MABUSE joined several of us in Vandevan's bitchin' new GNS lair - a lair that promised minimal interference to reasonable persons fleeing GLP like termites departing a boardwalk heavily laced with arsenic.
Reading the postings of MABUSE was an education unto itself I will not soon forget. He was always several steps ahead in whatever I was investigating at the time, be it the evocation of questionable spirits or the distillation of actual spirits of an altogether different "nature." "I'm tinkering with the alcohol still, tonight, JTC. Come, let's hold palaver and discuss the end of the world and how far behind you are in the understanding of things no longer dark to me." (for JTC is what he called me, not for Jesus the Christ, but for John Titor's Clock, my previous title at GLP.)
Indeed. I sometimes wonder if MABUSE is even now in the RWC crypto game, but much farther on ahead of me. I can easily envision an amorphous presence laughing in the glow of that dangerous yellow sign I have yet to build - MABUSE appearing to my tired eyes as some blurry alcohol imbued dancing figure, refracted in a gimcrack of the Divine.
"....of things no longer dark to me," he said.
I have digressed enough, WOTR, and probably.... revealed too much. I apologize for rambling on and I am grateful for your indulgence. Such a loss of control is my weakness at this stage, and yes, at this advanced age. At times I have little vote over what I type. (It occurs to me just now that RWC may have experienced a similar awareness. )
Conversely, if MABUSE can confirm my sanity, MV can verify the existence of my private letters over the years which amount to thousands of pages of at times unintelligible ravings of a mad man. Add to this, odd packages in the U.S. Mail – trafficking esoteric technological artifacts. But he's too loyal in heart to reveal me in such an unpleasant light and if asked details about my research or state of mind, MV will most likely claim "Cam's simply horsing around again with that grandiose Crowley schtick. Good times. Who's up for a good pizza pie?"
It is not my place to direct MV in how to respond to specific queries regarding my stability or lack thereof.
Regardless, my burden is heavy, even if only at this unfinished stage of recreating the Yellow Sign.
The drama, whatever it entails, (funny, I almost typed "entrails" just then) is my own. And where it leads... is a choice I have made.
In closing, if I might return to topic and add with a sincere and rejoicing enthusiasm:
Mr. G----- N---- inhales mightily! The depth and breadth of his inhalation challenges our very perception of the darkest recesses of The One True God's great and unknowable universe!
(as you readily intuit, that means you suck, Mr. Noory, and I appreciate you and Tommy checking in all these many years that WOTR so kindly referenced.)