The Rauschmonstrum and Situationism

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I’ve been reading about Situationism and Guy Debord’s work “Society and the Spectacle.” It got me thinking how my character. The Rauschmonstrum fits into this philosophy, particularly the concept of detournement. Namely, both of them exist for the purpose of chaos.

Detournement is French for “hijacking.” In Situationism it refers to the process by which previously created pieces of art are altered so that their new purpose is counter to what their original purpose was. When I wrote my book “The Gospel of the Rauschmonstrum,” I had never heard of Situationism or any of the concepts associated with it before. However my purposes for writing it were very similar to why people use the detournement technique.  I wanted to use The Rauschmonstrum to turn the Gospels, and the whole Christian narrative against itself.  I wanted to expose its flaws and make the mythological aspects of the story more apparent by injecting it full of a myth of my own creation. 

I have also inserted the image of the Rauschmonstrum into previously created paintings, as well as photographs of different famous people. I think of this as Rausch Grafitti.

rauschmonstrum-jacknicholson      rauschmonstrum-napoleon

The fact that the Rauschmonstrum is extremely crudely drawn is not lost on me; it’s kind of the point. His grin is just too much! To me it all has a “Memento Mori”-ish quality, which suits him.  On top of all this, he’s pretty easy to draw this way.

I never liked the poem “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner” and so I revised into it my own “Rauschmonstrum Remixed” version in order to flip the entire story on its head. I plan on doing this to other previous pieces of literature for further “Rauschmonstrum Remixes.” I think the Rauschmonstrum could really liven up the books “Dracula” and “Frankenstein,” and due to ol’ Rausch’s characteristics as a shape shifter and immortal, the possibilities are endless.

Ultimately my wish is for others to use the Rauschmonstrum for similar purposes on their own. In this way, the Rauschmonstrum will play a sizable role in “disrupting the flow of the spectacle” which is everything detournement is meant to do.

Cheers!

{The Rauschmonstrum’s Press Agent}

 

Alan Watts, Jokers, and The Rauschmonstrum

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“The fool’s standpoint is that all social institutions are games. He sees the whole world as game playing. That’s why, when people take their games seriously and take on stern and pious expressions, the fool gets the giggles because he knows that it is all a game.”

-Alan Watts

“All humane people should admit that they are jokers; that they are playing games and playing tricks.”

-Alan Watts

 

I’d like to go a little bit into Alan Watts’ idea of jokers (or fools), and how the characteristics of Watts’ Joker can be related to the character of The Rauschmonstrum in my book “The Gospel of the Rauschmonstrum”

Watts discusses his idea of jokers in several of his lectures. He describes the archetype of the joker as followed:

Qualities of Watts’ Joker

  • Has a Flexible Sense of Reality and Morality
  • Is Humorous
  • Is Not Interested in the Status Quo
  • Is Anti-Establishment
  • Engages in Trickery and Thinks of their Trickery as a Valuable Service

 

The Rauschmonstrum has many similarities with Watts’ Joker. For one thing The Rauschmonstrum is as slippery as they come, always changing his appearance, and altering the pillars reality is based on wherever he goes. To him, everything is constructed out of deception, the way he is constructed out of smoke. His humor is dark, and he seems to take joy in the joke he is playing, while Jesus and everyone else in Judea take it all quite seriously.

The Rauschmonstrum is clearly anti-establishment After all, at the get-go of the book it is made clear he does not like the Roman’s occupation of Judea and does not like the laws of Judaism. It is for this reason he decides to see them done away with and transforms Jesus into a false messiah. This is matched with Ol’ Rausch’s desire to play a big trick on mankind. At the start of the story the Rauschmonstrum wants to trick mankind with a false messiah simply to amuse himself, but as time goes on he decides he may well be performing this trick for humanity’s own good as well.

Interestingly enough Watts once described Jesus himself as a jester, saying “of course the church formed itself around a particular jester who couldn’t be stood and thus had to be crucified, it was just too much.” Jesters all abound!

Sam Harris, Free Will, Jesus, and the Rauschmonstrum

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I think about Sam Harris’ book “Free Will” a lot. When it comes to moments in my life which do not sit well with me I often reflect if whether these things were bound to happen due to a combination of events which came before it and which I had no control over.  When I was facing a fork in the road could I have simply ignored that impulse to go the way I did, and instead go the other way? If I had, would it have mattered?

For this post I am going to take some of the things Harris brings up in “Free Will” and apply them to my book “The Gospel of the Rauschmonstrum.”

The Rauschmonstrum’s Free Will

As “The Gospel of the Rauschmonstrum” points out at the start of the story the Rauschmonstrum is alone.  He has been thrown into this world with no sense of where he came from. He has no family and there are no creatures resembling him.  Immortal, he has no better way to occupy the time but to wander the Earth.  The thing which interests him the most is observing humans. Although he has a genuine interest in them, he also despises them due to the flaws in their nature.  It is for this reason he decides to play a trick on Jesus of Nazareth to make him think he is the son of God, putting the events into place which lead to the establishment of Christianity, and the consequences thereof.

However, were the Rauschmonstrum’s actions voluntary? Did he have free will? He took lots of time to put his plan into action, but did he have a choice to make these plans? Was it simply something bund to happen out of a combination of the experiences ol’ Rausch had had up to that point along with the thoughts which appeared in his mind? If these were the only variables in play I would say he does not have free will. However, there is more.  Later on in the story when Jesus is in the Garden of Gethsemane, the Rauschmonstrum considers everything he has done to this point and has second thoughts about leading Jesus off to his doom. He considers changing course and allowing Jesus to live on, unburdened of his delusion he is the son of God. If somebody takes opportunities to reflect on what they have been doing, and consider changing before going right back to what they are doing is this not a utilization of free will? I would say yes it is.

Then again, there are aspects about the Rauschmonstrum which make things all the more complex, in that he has the power to do just about anything. (Shape shifting, making things appear and disappear, healing the sick, raising the dead, etc.) Humans have limitations to what they can do and this limits their ability to do as they want. The Rauschmonstrum does not have this problem. I think this only strengthens the case for him possessing free will.

Jesus’ Free Will

In “The Gospel of the Rauschmonstrum” Jesus is just plain duped by the Rauschmonstrum. Ol’ Rausch appealed to false conceptions Jesus already had about himself and reinforced these beliefs again and again and again. How would Jesus have been able to break away from the Rauschmonstrum’s puppeteer strings and live out his life in a different way? The only way would have been for the Rauschmonstrum to change his mind about what he was doing to Jesus, and stop. Since this means Jesus’ behavior was directly dependent on another being’s decision there is no way Jesus possesses free will in “The Gospel of the Rauschmonstrum.”

 

In the future I’ll probably make a post about the version of Jesus presented in the Gospels and examine whether that character possesses free will.

On How Cool Christopher Hitchens Was

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Hitchens was by far the greatest orator I’ve ever seen. He was also the finest advocate for atheism to be found on the web. (much love to Dawkins and Harris.) Who knows how many he won over thrashing persons of faith in debates, and through his prolific appears on the talk show circuit, his powers on best display on the Charlie Rose Show and Real Time With Bill Maher. In print Hitchens wasn’t quite as effective. His articles and books rarely live up to the power of his speaking ability, but then again how could they? That being said, the wisdom he shares in print is quite palpable, as he thrashed against Mother Teresa and Henry Kissinger for their fraudulence and ill-will, and praised Jefferson and Paine for their rationalism.

Nobody outside of a handful of legendary actors, musicians and novelists ever looked as cool with a cigarette in their hand as much as Hitch. (Never touch the stuff kids, it eventually killed him.) He looked damn good with a drink in his hand as well. Hitchens was oh so brash and smug, and never back away from a fight, though I wish he had backed off his support of the Iraq War. He was one of those rare people who gave off the impression of knowing everything, rather than just somebody who pretends to know everything; those people are a dime a dozen. And oh how he hated religion! He treated it with the contempt it deserved and wouldn’t give an inch to anyone who thought otherwise. His quote on the then recently deceased Jerry Falwell, “if you gave Falwell an enema, he could be buried in a matchbox” is one for the ages. Perhaps the biggest shame about his early death is that it happened just as both he and his views on religion were hitting the mainstream.

Reptilians and the Rauschmonstrum

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Recently I was lucky enough to hear the Opie & Anthony clip where Louis CK asked Donald Rumsfeld if he was a lizard from outer space. (He never gave a straight answer. It makes me wonder…)

Whoever came up with the idea of Reptilians and convinced some people to believe in them scored quite the coup. After all, it’s entered the cultural lexicon. Let me see if I can come up with a conspiracy theory to rival the Reptilians in the time I’m writing this:

Throughout human history we have been overseen by a shape shifting monster known as the Rauschmonstrum. He can do all types of magic and is immortal.  The Rauschmonstrum occasionally intervenes in human affairs. Sometimes he does this out of boredom and sometimes because he thinks it’s the right thing to do. In example, he goaded Julius Caesar to take over Rome, he conned Jesus of Nazareth into thinking he was the son of God, ad more recently he tipped the election for George W. Bush in 2000. (He regrets this one.) Sometimes the Rauschmonstrum is benevolent and sometimes he is malevolent, for he is a bipolar sort. Anybody who denies the Rauschmonstrum’s existence is simply a shill of the Rauschmonstrum trying to lead you off the trail of discovering the true nature of the world you live in.

There we have it, The Conspiracy of the Rausch. If you wish to believe in it, that’s fine with me. If not, that’s also fine. Maybe somebody will like to combine the Reptilian and Rauschmonstrum conspiracies into one, which would be groovy.

Cheers,

{The Rauschmonstrum’s Press Agent}

Discordianism, Eris, and the Rauschmonstrum

As we roll along on our merry Rauschmonstrum train it’s time to tell the story of Discordianism.  I am very interested in Discordianism, because of similarities between it and my character The Rauschmonstrum and the mythos I’ve been creating of him.  Depending on whom you ask Discordianism is either a religion or a parody of religion.  More often than not though, it’s taken as parody. Discordians worship Eris the Greek goddess of discord, or…maybe they just pretend to worship Eris.  The holy book of Discordianism is the Principia Discordia, written by a fellow who went by Malaclypse the Younger.  If you were to read Principia Discordia you’d be faced with a chaotic mess, which is the point. It feels like a collection of unfinished sketches which barely fit together.

There are two main themes which run through the book. The first theme is reality is bendable and by realizing this we are able to change our realities. (Just like my boy RM!)  Secondly, order and disorder are simply illusions of ours in order to categorize chaos, which is the essential element of the universe. As one passage in the book goes:

“Pick a grid, and through it some chaos appears ordered and some appears disordered. Pick another grid, and the same chaos will appear differently ordered and disordered. Reality is the original Rorschach. Verily! So much for all that.”

Discordianism has five rules, called the Pentabart. There are as so:

  1. There is no Goddess but Goddess and She is Your Goddess. There is no Erisian Movement but The Erisian Movement and it is The Erisian Movement. And every Golden Apple Corps is the beloved home of a Golden Worm.
  2. A Discordian Shall Always use the Official Discordian Document Numbering System.
  3. A Discordian is Required during his early Illumination to Go Off Alone & Partake Joyously of a Hot Dog on a Friday; this Devotive Ceremony to Remonstrate against the popular Paganisms of the Day: of Catholic Christendom (no meat on Friday), of Judaism (no meat of Pork), of Hindic Peoples (no meat of Beef), of Buddhists (no meat of animal), and of Discordians (No Hot Dog Buns).
  4. A Discordian shall Partake of No Hot Dog Buns, for Such was the Solace of Our Goddess when She was Confronted with The Original Snub.
  5. A Discordian is Prohibited of Believing What he Reads.

Riveting stuff isn’t it?

Another thing to know about Discordians is it has a rule about popes. To them every person on Earth is a pope, and if you’re just learning that for the first time, congratulations on your papacy. As a staunch anti-cleric I strongly approve of this dogma.

If you want to strip all this down, Discordianism is a philosophy encouraging you to fuck with everything and be a trickster, advising you trickery is a central aspect of the universe and should thus be embraced. My boy the Rauschmonstrum is a fictional character who lives by this type of creed. Ol’ Rausch has a lot in common with Eris, both are supernatural immortal and both distrust in mankind’s ability to make out an objective reality. As he would say “what is truth?” It may be that in the future the Discordians could incorporate the Rauschmonstrum into their philosophy, or Discordianism could be absorbed into the Rauschmonstrum mythos for the formation of Rauschmonstrumism. Perhaps the Rauschmonstrum and Eris could be husband and wife, or brother or sister, or both.  Ultimately I’m sure everyone will do what thou wilt.

Cheers!

{The Rauschmonstrum’s Press Agent}

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Trump’s Death Drive; The First True 21st Century Presidential Candidate

“That’s not the way the world really works anymore. We’re an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality. And while you’re studying that reality—judiciously, as you will—we’ll act again, creating other new realities, which you can study too, and that’s how things will sort out. We’re history’s actors … and you, all of you, will be left to just study what we do.”

-Karl Rove in 2002, unintentionally explaining how the 21st Century will function

 

Ah Donald, your time grows short…

Books will be written and video lectures will be uploaded to YouTube for hundreds of years about what occurred from May 2015 up until the Old Yeller-ish end on November 8th, 2016. I want to throw in my two cents now on why the Donald means more to us at this particular moment in human history than he has been given credit for.

Donald, your politics are bullshit!

Donald appeals to fascism, he appeals to racism, he appeals to sexism and xenophobia…yada yada yada, etc. More important than this, he appeals to a hope that America may be able to go back to a time when manufacturing was king, and that globalization could be blown to bits. (The digital age and globalization are the best of friends so that’s never going to happen.)

Oh Donald, if only you were on the ball enough to realize that the skills you are elite at; speaking, persuading, branding, and keeping the attention on yourself, were all you needed to find yourself elected President if you didn’t handcuff yourself to a demographic and worldview which is growing smaller and older with every year. Without the birther nonsense you championed in 2011 I’m sure you could have run on a center-left platform for the Democrats and be elected handily. (Then again, the sexual assault allegations would have crushed Trump anyway, so Donald you also should have kept your hands to yourself, and kept your words away from Billy Bush.)

 

Donald Trump, the First 21st Candidate, or How the Internet is Huuuuuuuge

We’re overexposed to information nowadays, and this overexposure is only going to heighten, and I doubt there will be a solution to this in the near future. The more information is out there, the harder it is to discern lies from reality. (“What is truth anyway?” would say our friend The Rauschmonstrum.) It is this quality which makes the modern world the perfect lair for The Donald. Everything he has ever done his entire life has prepared him to thrive in this current environment.

For him, blurring fact and fiction has just been a way of life. Case in point; take a look at the term he invented, “truthful hyperbole,” which means to lie in a way where it sounds plausible. The Donald is also a positive thinking junkie, (the minister at his old church, Norman Vincent Peale, invented it after all) so he’s incapable of thinking anything flawed about himself. If something is wrong it is somebody else’s fault, and if the majority of expert opinion say he is lying about something then that means powerful forces are conspiring against him in a sinister plot, and have altered time and space specifically to screw him.

Most important to Donald’s success is the combination of a burning desire to get himself as much exposure as possible, matched with a top-notch understanding of how to use both traditional and digital media in order to get this exposure. For his campaign Trump took a gambit, a gambit which ran successful way past the expiration dates most pundits gave it. Trump’s gambit was that truth is absolutely irrelevant, that it is something which had a good run and should now be put out to pasture.  Trump didn’t get this quite right, but how close was he?

The Donald wouldn’t be able to d this is he had the empathy levels of normal people. If he did, he’ feel guilt for his behavior. Trump doesn’t care if he lies or if he’s caught lying because he does not sense consequence the same way regular people do. Thus he can keep tweeting his blend of self-promotion and disinformation with much greater quantity and effectiveness than at least 99.999% of the world, and definitely 100% of American politicians.

Trumpian Death Drive

If you’re a young male hothead who just can’t follow orders, and you have your own ideas about how everything should be done, you’re probably going to have an ever-tougher time in the labor markets of the future. There won’t be much room for a ‘rebel without a cause’ or, for that matter, a rebel with a cause.

-Tyler Cowen

“Average is Over. Powering American Beyond the Age of the Great Stagnation”

Not everyone can discharge their furies on an analyst’s couch, for some angers can be relaxed only by winning power, some rages are sufficiently monumental to demand that one try to become a hero or else fall back into that death which is already within the cells. But if one succeeds, the energy aroused can be exceptional.

-Norman Mailer

“Superman Comes to the Supermarket”

 

Few will argue that the bulk of Trump’s supporters fear a future where they are less relevant. This dread of living insignificant lives plagues white working class American men For these people, the pipedream of a 50s utopia is easy to yearn for, and Trump taps into this yearning. In their malaise, it must have been ecstasy for them to see Trump crash the Republican primary process. The GOP just wanted him and his unorthodox style to go away, yet no, he wouldn’t go away, and he trolled his way to the nomination with the entire party kicking and screaming behind him the entire time.

For men stuck in a rut dreading the future, The Donald offered them a potential cure. His solution? Completely shift the way society is going through pure “triumph of will”; kill globalism and political correctness, and restore the white working class to their pretend former glory. In other words, Trump ran on a platform of parting the sea and raising the dead. He also captured their imagination for how they may change their own lives. “Gee if that orange billionaire is able to beat the odds and do the impossible, maybe I can do the same thing too.”

And of course, there’s the little matter of Freud’s concept of the death drive, which is unalterably linked to the Trump Campaign. I’m sure deep down The Donald’s deepest supporters understood that victory had little chance of happening. However, when you feel as though you are doomed for destruction anyway, you may as well have fun during the process. It is this death drive which I’m sure is most responsible for the rapid way in which devotees drove to him, why they stocked up on those red hats, and why they don’t care that he’s apparently abused several women. It’s because in an ailing sort of way in the reptilian part of their brains, they thought “If I have to go out, I might as well go out pedal to the medal with my adrenaline flying high. And hey, maybe the stars will somehow align in just the right way and the Donald will pull out a victory, and then my dread will go away.”

Running for president was Trump’s way of undergoing his own particular brand of death drive. Psychological Biographies will be written on his campaign for hundreds of years, and even then we’ll never get a handle on why Trump made the decision to run. He did so many things during this time which would have destroyed any other candidate yet somehow only made him stronger, in a way tempting destiny in every turn to leave him with a shattered reputation and an irreparable self of self. And what about this? I wouldn’t be surprised if a great number of his supporters think somewhere in the back of their mind that his election may have caused total disaster, and they may have welcomed it because it would have been flashy, fun, and brought them rest.

Finally   the fatal blows seemingly have struck, and nobody can say they are surprised its gone down so disastrously for him. Ultimately that’s the problem with running a campaign based on death drive, your end is already predetermined.

The Rauschmonstrum Rule

As some of you know I am in progress on another Rauschmonstrum story, “The Rauschmonstrum & Moses” where the Rauschmonstrum plays his tricks on Moses, aiding him in freeing the Israelites from Egypt and then bears witness to all the terrible things Moses does afterwards. This Rauschmonstrum Remix tale is a lot less fun than “The Gospel of the Rauschmonstrum” mainly because the bible books Moses is a character in (Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy) are terrible pieces of works.

Despite the obvious flaws in the morality Jesus of Nazareth prescribes, they are at least reasonable flaws! The Gospels never get close to the disastrous instructions Moses gives the Israelites. For one thing, murder and rape seem perfectly fine to Moses as long as it is done to people from outside groups. Slavery is also inexplicably allowed despite Moses having just freed his own people out of slavery. Reading this nonsense, I couldn’t believe any of these stories play any role in the 21st Century, they are simply the worst.

However, enough with bashing monotheism, there’ll be enough of that in future posts. All in all, Moses’ world is not a welcome one for the Rauschmonstrum. Moses is in charge of doing too many bad things for the Rauschmonstrum to gloss over them. Ol’ Rausch has too sophisticated a morality to let Moses give out such terrible laws and start such barbaric warfare.

This experience has caused me to create the Rauschmonstrum Rule, which will serve as a critical standard for all forms of literature, and perhaps other mediums.

 

The Rauschmonstrum Rule: The more feasible it is to add the Rauschmonstrum into a story in a major way, the better a story is.

 

To explain further, since the Rauschmonstrum is an immortal, ageless, shape-shifting monster, he is better suited  than perhaps any other fictional  character in history to be edited into any piece of literature. However, some pieces of work are set up in a way where adding in the Rauschmonstrum would turn it into a garbled mess. Or, as is the case above, the story may have too flawed a morality for the Rauschmonstrum to take part in it in good conscience.

Some of you will argue that the more complex a work, the harder it would be to insert the Rauschmonstrum, and that this is a flaw in my theory. I disagree. Take the example of Ulysses by James Joyce; certainly one of the all time most complex pieces of English literature. I think the Rauschmonstrum would fit in quite well in that story. For example, he could be a fictional character Stephen Dedalus makes up during a philosophical brain storm. Or he could follow Leopold Bloom around during the course of his day, shape shifting into different people Bloom meets as he goes from place to place.  Now, it would certainly be time consuming to insert Rauschmonstrum into Ulysses but that is a different matter entirely.

As you, my loyal Rausch Pals, create your own Rauschmonstrum Remixes, our community will get a good sense of what works and what doesn’t. I’m sure many discussions will be had based on this, and I look forward to it all.

Till then,

Tally-Ho

-{The Rauschmonstrum’s Press Agent}-

Cut-Ups, William S. Burroughs, and the Rauschmonstrum

Language is a virus from outer space” – William S. Burroughs

Cut-up: A literary technique performed by taking a finished and fully linear text and cutting it in pieces with a few or single words on each piece. The resulting pieces are then rearranged into a new text.

William S. Burroughs is probably the most famous literary figure to utilize cut-ups in his work, and his popularization of them led to certain musicians to use them for their lyrics. (i.e. David Bowie, Kurt Cobain).

Burroughs believed that since language has a colossal impact on how we see the world, and that it also traps us into certain frameworks of thinking. Therefore, he reasoned that if we change the words we use then our realities would change as well. This was a cornerstone of Burroughs’ conception of the magical universe,the belief that our minds have control over the inter-workings of the universe, thus a change of mind equals a change in universe.

This brings us back to our pal the Rauschmonstrum. In my first blog post I described the Rauschmonstrum as a “narrative virus” because of how easy it is to insert him into stories. By inserting the Rauschmonstrum into the Gospel story for “The Gospel of the Rauschmonstrum” my intention was to alter the readers’ viewpoints of the original text, hopefully so that they could then see the absurdity of the Gospels, and in my own way play a role in the continuing decline of religion in the United States. If it turns out that I am a success in this goal then I will be a happy fellow. I’ll be making some more Rauschmonstrum stories using this method, taking previous works of literature and using them for my own purposes, and I invite all of you to do the same. (Not for commercial purposes of course, that’s my racket.)

-{The Rauschmonstrum’s Press Agent}-

The Rauschmonstrum, E-Prime, and a Call to Storm the Public Domain

In college I became a fan of the writer and philosopher Robert Anton Wilson.  One of the more intriguing ideas he introduced  me to is “maybe logic” and “E-Prime.” E-Prime is English in which the word “is” is done away with.

In example:

1A. John is lethargic and unhappy.

1B. John appears lethargic and unhappy.

 

2A. John is bright and cheerful.

2B. John appears bright and cheerful.

 

3A. This is a fascist idea.

3B. This seems like a fascist idea to me.

 

Wilson’s advocacy for using E-Prime was because he felt it caused people to express less certainty in their words, which in turn would lead to people having less certainty in their thoughts, all of which would lead to people having more flexible minds. A video of Wilson explaining this idea is below.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eOay3StbNNE

 

I believe our pal the Rauschmonstrum relates quite a bit to Wilson’s ideas, since the Rauschmonstrum’s purpose is to serve as a symbol of fluidity and chaos. Inserting him into a narrative causes the narrative to lapse into chaos, which is just the way I like it.

If I had unlimited time I would take thousands of pieces of public domain literature and rework them so that they were Rauschmonstrumified. Alas, I do not have enough time to do this. Therefore I call upon you, my loyal Rausch Pals to help in this task.  Storm the public domain by force and deface it with Rauschmonstrum infused revisions.  If you are particularly proud of what you have created, send them to me.

Suggestion: Start with the holy books, I’ve already done the Gospels so make your way to the other ones.

—The Rauschmonstrum’s Press Agent—

 

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