This guy (author) is SO funny, I had to share it. We can all use a good laugh. Just check out his introduction, hilarious!:
“Why I wrote about a “crazy idea”
“In the spring of 1966 I was thirteen and surfacing from a fearful childhood. For longer than I could remember I had been terrified of a thousand monsters lurking on the fringes of my life, none of which I had ever actually seen. At the age of four they were formless beasts with huge mouths, waiting to gobble me wherever it was dark and I had to go alone—in my bedroom closet, the basement, or the garage. At five there was a skeleton lying among the dustballs under my bed, waiting to grasp my wrist in its cold white fingers if I thrashed in my sleep and thrust my hand out from under the covers. At eight there were the “Watchers,” shrouded figures with phosphorescent eyes. The Watchers stepped silently into my room once my eyes were closed and stood at the foot of my bed and watched me—and all they did was “watch” me, as long as I kept my eyes closed. At ten there were a thousand shiny green devils, their bat-wings greasy like olive skins, passing to and from Hell through a secret door that lay beneath a thick patch of ivy beneath my bedroom window. I had seen the devils and the secret door in a particularly vivid nightmare, and even when we prepared to move away from the house two years later, I could not bring myself to walk into that patch of ivy to check whether that secret door was really there. At eleven I was still nervous in the bathroom at night; I knew that one evening, after washing my face, I would wipe my eyes, look into the mirror, and see a reflection that wasn’t mine. Even the toilet held a demon, a long arm covered in scales that would reach out of the bowl and pull me down into the dark sewer if I lingered alone in the bathroom too long.
Yet if someone had asked me, even when I was small, whether any of the monsters were real, I would have answered, “No.” As long as I wasn’t alone and the lights were on. I knew they were only in my imagination.
Nonetheless it shouldn’t be surprising that I grew suddenly obsessed with the Occult and the Unknown in the spring of 1966. I read every occult book and magazine I could find, from the most esoteric text—and I will admit that the metaphysical and linguistic intricacies of the Kabbalah were beyond my understanding, and are as much now, I fear, as they were then—to the glossiest “Witches in America Today!” sort of article, with color photos of naked witches dancing in a suburban living room. I suppose I was asking myself subconsciously “What have I been so afraid of?” But at the same time I was only aware of an almost sexual excitement in the presence of Ancient Secrets, of instructions for raising and controlling the demons and spirits which had so terrified me.
It was in the spring of 1966 that I discovered “Fate” magazine in the rack at the supermarket, and I quickly became a regular reader. While the “true psychic experiences” and reports on hauntings and poltergeist phenomena intrigued me, I was most attracted by the pages of advertisements, which were a strange department store of esoterica. There were free catalogs available from spiritualist supply houses that peddled black mirrors, spirit trumpets, and “Expelling Demons” Brand Incense (I bought and burned the last item, and the smell, something like cork soaked in perfume, permeated the house for nearly a week; my parents were not happy). There were ads for tarot readings by mail and amulets to increase wealth and attract romance. There were invitations to join the Rosicrucian Order, the Astara Foundation, the Lemurian Fellowship, and other organizations claiming to possess the Ancient Secrets.
But there was one full-page ad that intrigued me more than the others with its sheer strangeness. I saw it in most issues, and I always read it all the way through, and then read it aloud to friends. Beside the picture of what appeared to be a wise and hoary Old Testament prophet—but was actually supposed to be Admiral Richard E. Byrd—I read in bold insistent type:
IS IT TRUE?
The Underground World of
Supermen Discovered by Admiral Byrd…
Under the North Pole…
and Kept Secret by U.S. Government”
—Anyway, it’s just hilarious. But it’s also informative. Here’s some of the titles to the chapters:
-The Man Who Lived Inside the Earth
-The Hidden Master’ Hiding Places
-The Secret War with the Snake People
-The Nazis and the Inner World
“Subterranean Worlds,” by Walter Kafton-Minkel