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On Sep 18, 2005, Bill Waters wrote to the DGML:
I was reading a book the other day when I ran across this word — bibliolater. I didn't recognize it, so I decided to look it up, and found out that it meant 'worshipper of books,' and I thought what a great word.
Of course, one of the first things that leapt to my mind was the Necronomicon. If there ever was a book that could garner worshippers, it would be the Big Evil itself. I started to wonder at the implications, though — if the Necronomicon was worshipped, did it deserve it? It certainly gave witnesses an uncommon, almost unique glimpse of the true nature of the universe. Often they are given mystic powers as a result of the exposure. Maybe each reader can become a messiah in the cult of the Necronomicon.
Then I took it out to the next step — if the Necronomicon deserved to be worshiped, could it be a GOO? What sort of being could it be? Perhaps it's some sort of entity that's so unlike human beings that we can't understand its nature let alone comprehend it as a being. I don't mean the book as a living entity — the book is a book, the paper is paper (or vellum or whatever), the ink is ink (or whatever). I'm thinking of the Mythos stories like 'From Beyond,' 'Colour Out of Space' and 'The Plains of Sound' — maybe it's an entity of ideas, that exists on the level of archetypes and concepts. A Meme Demon?
This could perhaps explain why mechanical copying doesn't truly recreate a potent copy. Perhaps it needs an understanding being to 'conceive' a new copy of the book, and that each copy or translation is a child of the original.
I also started to wonder what sort of people would worship this sort of god. The most obvious answer would be librarians. I'm sure that if they a bibiliolater didn't start off as a librarian, he would end up one. However, it did make me think — librarians are often thought of as neutral entities when thought of, of vaguely heroic like Henry Armitage or the guy from D Stacks. I wonder if someone who loved and worshipped the Necronomicon wouldn't end up in charge of the Special Collection at some library. What if the Necronomicon wasn't the only tome they had? What if he did something crazy like start to cross-reference a couple of the Mythos works, like so many investigators try to do? He wouldn't be afraid of a little insanity — it may even help.
Then I started to wonder — maybe there was more than one? Why not? Maybe there was a quiet network of tainted librarians exchanging notes about these dusty dark tomes sitting on their shelves. Oh, they'll help you find things when you want them, but make sure you put them back. I'm sure it will get mentioned in the next e-mail to the others in the network. And when you show up halfway around the world asking for another forbidden book? Maybe they'll say that it's unavailable, too fragile for circulation. Maybe they'll let you see it in a special cubicle where they can look at the notes you make. Maybe they'll just check out what other books you've been looking at. You may be getting a new enemy and not even know it….
Now that I think about it, the necronomicon is probably a gateway or manifestation of a GOO, most likely the big N or Y. Either way, the GOO spoke directly to Abdl and made their word manifest in his writing as a way to corrupt humanity. Ever since then, they have made sure that a few copies have survived one way or the other or perhaps it became an independent entity separate from its parent. This idea could work in conjunction with yours, perhaps as an explanation of how the necronomicon came into existence.
Also, working on your meme demon idea, the necronomicon infects the reader which then creates an aura of corruption around him subtley causing everything around him to fall apart. The reader is a mythos typhoid mary, which was bad enough in the old days but now with the internet (spread of information) and rapid travel, it becomes a new plague, an invisible plague that speeds up the end days.
Having read this right before going to church this morning gave me an interesting point of view during mass. In the Catholic mass, the book of the gospel (not the Bible, but a book containing the gospels) is carried in, in a procession, held high in display and followed by the priest and other participants. The person carrying it is the only one who doesn't bow or genuflect, and they carry it right up to and place it on the altar. The book's exterior itself is usually ornamented to some degree. It stays on the altar for the first part of mass and then, while everybody sings hallelujah, it is carried by the priest to the lectern where he reads aloud from it.
No doubt many (hopefully most) of the people there are correctly recognizing all this as paying respect the the word of Christ. But I'd be very surprised if there aren't some people (possibly many) who are praying to and idolizing that book. And they probably think that's what everybody else is doing too.
If the largest organized religion in the world has such a strong bent toward bibliolatry, then it's a very small leap to the idea of cults worshiping the writings of their leaders. Even if their leaders are still around writing more books.
How powerful would such a leader within his group be if the very stroke of his pen is all it takes to make his followers swoon into obedience? Stage a little theatrics, sway while you write with your eyes closed, babble a bit in tongues, and write. When you're done say, "Hey, wow! It says here in this note that God wrote through me that he wants you to go get me a burger and fries. Oh, and a milkshake. And don't forget to kill those infidels next door. Really, it says so right here. You wouldn't doubt the writing of God, would you?"
I've known High Anglican services where the priests, altar boys and so on pause while the book is placed on the altar, the carrier about faces and joins them *and then they all bow to the book*.
And I never thought it odd until today.
Take a look at how Muslims treat the Koran—it is to a devout Muslim the literal word of God, and defaming it or insulting it in any way is a mortal sin (to mix my religious metaphors).
When I read this, I immediately thought of Mao Zedong, and all the writing he did that lead to the Cultural Revolution. I always found the image of a crowd of people waving his Little Red Book a little creepy, after all.
And when I started to write this, I though of David Koresh and his Branch Davidians in Waco. He was a writer, too, and convinced his followers to do almost anything because of his interpretation of the Bible.
In both cases, they didn't need theatrics. They just needed enough believers around to make you afraid of your doubts.