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James Haughton wrote (DGML 19627)
Since Tim Powers came up, I thought I'd mention Three Days to Never. Without giving away much plot, it involves a branch of the Israeli secret service who are pretty heavily into the paranormal, and were given a bunch of info way back when by Einstein, who was a magus as
well as a scientist. As well as being a good story, it features an interesting take on magic, involving multiple dimensions and astral projection among other things, and less Kaballah than one might expect.
Anyway, this set me thinking about the question "What does Israel know"? It's pretty certain that they have a some knowledge of the Karotechia - gets mentioned both in the core book and Eyes Only. Would Einstein (who was cleared for Rainbow) have leaked some of his knowledge about such things to Israel in addition, as Powers postulates? Would Israeli intelligence be small, flexible and lateral-thinking enough to connect the dots of these isolated bits of Cthulhu Mythos knowledge, or would such things have been compartmentalised among different agencies and never pulled together? Any other CM Israel
might have come across?
A. Scott Glancy responded
Are you forgetting that in the old testament, the Phillistines stole the ark of the covenant and secreted it away in a temple of Dagon? Come on, sir! They had their very own Innsmouth right on their doorstep.
Jaron Bernstein brought this into the modern era with
…..and then the Palestinians start to dig up the lost temple of Dagon. "What, another major tidal wave hitting Tel Aviv!?" "Fatima's new child doesn't leave her house very much in Innsmouth (er Khan Younis)" "The Gaza fisheries sure are doing well" "Hamas goes after a schismatic Islamic sect (actually a revived local version of the EOD)" There is vast potential here for bring the mythos to the modern middle east.
Joe Crazyperson added
As for the idea that Israel has a sort of DG-style organization that investigates the Mythos, this makes perfect sense. How often does Mossad do things that enrage even its allies by sending agents on near-suicide
missions in hostile countries to kill only a few survivors of some sort of terror plot. Have you ever seen the movie Munich? It would work very well I think.
Gregory Muir blasphemed
If one wanted to get very blasphemous, one could imagine that the entity known as YHWH is a GOO and the Jews are a race of humans made servitors, like the Tcho-Tcho. I'm sure this would go over smashingly if you tried to include it in the source material.
James then remarked
Actually, IIRC, Richard Tierney wrote a mythos novel based on the premise YHVH = Yog-Sothoth. And as ASG points out, they had their own brush with the Deep Ones. I'm a bit dubious as to how much of the ancient mythology would make it into the modern state though. Still, I can see Mossad having an attitude of "if this magic stuff works, we'll use it, and worry about whether its impossible later".
Martin Andersson clarified
Correct: THE WINDS OF ZARR. Excellent little novel. But it should be pointed out that in Tierney's take on the Cthulhuverse, the GOO aren't the bad guys. Sure they're pretty bad, but the Elder Gods are actually worse, because they thrive on the suffering from all the countless beings that are caught in the middle between the EG and the GOO. The GOO just want to wipe out everything so they can create a new, better world, essentially the same but without those nasty EG.
There's another Tierney novel coming (supposedly; I first heard about it in 1994, so it's been a long time coming) called DRUMS OF CHAOS, in which the magician Simon of Gitta and the time traveller Taggart both appear. They meet a certain Son of YHVH (or should I say, Spawn of
Yog-Sothoth?) in Jerusalem…
Mattias Hunger injected a note of sanity with
I think the idea of the Hebrews being a servitor race somewhat weird and unlikely. However, there is a certain Mythos-aware group in the DG-universe that might "inform" people about just this "hideous truth". Think about a group or network of investigators who are presented with irrefutable proof that yews are little more than Miri Nigri (there are similarities between the description of the Miri Nigri and the racist stereotype of "the Yew"), and they then go on a crusade to save the world from this inhuman menace. Given that Der Führer knows the Mythos by heart, He probably could cook up a convincing story we limited humans are in no position to disproof (or maybe even to doubt). A Karotechia
Bischof then presents this tale to a group of investigators, preferably a conservative or reactionary one, all the while disguising his own Mythos connections. Watch well-meaning idiots perform pointless racist atrocities in a
futile attempt to save the world. The worst case scenario is that DG agents are the ones duped, but even if they are NPCs, there is an element of uncertainty in the face of the perfect forgery of the "evidence". (This works even better if
they know about the Tcho-Tcho, who really are a servitor race.)
One explanation could be that the high priests are faking the religion. The average Israelite would assume things are as portrayed in the Bible and the high priests make use of suitable magick to support the religious teachings they spread. That way there is no GOO directing them, just them making use of their system of understanding
Mythos magick, kaballah, to support their own policies and goals.
he then continued
Well, you don't have to go with the whole servitor race route to run with the Indiana Jones level of mysticism, the Jews have an ancient understanding of magick that ties in with some heavy-duty shit. Not all of them know about it just like not every chinese dude knows kung-fu, but a few do. They'd have occult knowledge that blows away
anything DG or the US gov has, probably more than the Tcho-Tcho, maybe on the same playing field as Alzis and the other top human sorcerers.
As far as the Karotechia angle, racial superiority motivated their initial hatred of Jews but maybe an occult understanding made them fear instead; what could these people do to Germany if they abandoned all humanity and gave themselves over to vengeance? I saw a West Wing
ep tonight where the Iranian ambassador is being read the riot act over a possible nuclear test.
Iranian: You people fear an Islamic bomb.
Prez; And you fear a Jewish bomb.
Iranian: Einstein, Teller, Oppenheimer; they're all Jewish bombs.
The episode pointed out that the bomb's creators ended up being the strongest advocates against their use. Well, what if the Jewish occult knowledge is that dangerous? They would then feel the same constraint against using it that an American president would when considering the
nuclear option. And that hesitation would be mistaken by the Karotechia as weakness.
he further invoked market forces when he said
Here's another thought. In sunday school, all the OT prophets were always lamenting how the Israelites were turning from God and that's why the latest catastrophe was happening. In church, of course, cause and effect here was obvious. In reality, it's more likely a catastrophe happened and the prophets picked a lack of piety to
explain it. They write the books, their version wins.
Anyway, when I still believed everything literally, I always wondered how the Jews could turn away from God when the miracles were made so manifest. Why are you going to worship foreign gods when the God of the Israelites is obviously here, obviously jealous, and obviously into smiting the unfaithful? Even crazier, there was the talk of the Molech cults, sacrificing children. Now some might say this was just propaganda on the part of the priests, making rumor official in the scripture. But as a kid, I assumed what was written was fact. And hell, we've seen some pretty fucked up cults in meso-america. So, what
could possibly convince parents to sacrifice their first born? We're not talking about using religion as an excuse to drink and have orgies, we're talking about killing your first born! Well, it would make sense if that sort of thing worked!
It would make sense to assume that there were powerful wizards working for kings in those days. Now some of the wizards might be secular, promoting no particular god and keeping the details secret, just offering their services for a fee. But there would also be true believers, wizard-priests as with the Dagon cult as previously mentioned.
This makes more sense to me. Great is what the god asks of you, but great, too, are his rewards. If the priests of the foreign gods make divine intercession and access easier than the Jewish priests, it would be no wonder that the Israelites would flock to the new gods.
The Jewish priests would be aware of the magick being worked by the foreign priests and know that human sacrifice is far more effective than sticking with animals and plants but they also know that the cost to the soul is unbearable. It's like crack is a stronger rush than pot
but pot ain't gonna kill ya. Steroids really, really work and you'll kick the ass of any non-steroid competitor for a few years …. then your nuts fall off. The priests understand that any society embracing such dark magick will burn brightly and then burn out. As proof that
the priests knew what they were talking about, the Jews are still around but you don't see too many hittites these days.
This is true. Plus, it was still early into that whole civilization thing. The Gods and GOOs may not have understood human stress tolerances. They may have
asked for too much too soon and watched their throngs burn out. Or the stars may have gone wrong again, and they had to take a powder, and their priests couldn't
hold it together without occasionally pulling back the curtain to reveal… GOD!
Who's to say?
Jaron Bernstein authoratitively stated
I am both a Jew and a die hard DG fan, so I have something to contribute to this one. I am thinking more along the lines of Archaelogical Int. The Dead Sea
scrolls are quite well known. How about another set of scrolls (perhaps captured Assyrian ones, or ancient Hebrew ones) from that epoch, found at an
archaelogical dig……all kinds of plot hooks should naturally flow from that.
1. Interesting things happen during the excavation.
2. When off for translation, some leading bible scholars and archaeologists get to find out first hand what mythos tomes (er, scrolls and tablets) do to the mind.
3. Then the spooks (from any number of agencies) step in…..
4. Perhaps a map is included which points to similar material in a ruin that is today under Gaza….("you want a Sayeret commando team to excavate an ancient ruin under the Gaza soccer stadium!?").
Adam Scott Glancy enthused
And why are the Dead Sea Scrolls well-known? Because they freakin' old, that's why. The climate out in that neck of the woods is perfect for preserving parchment and
vellum and paper. Throw in something like 10,000 years of human habitation and there's all kinds of goodies waiting to be found beneath the sands of the Holy Land.
Another tack. Jewish mysticism (Kabballah) was created in a very old city called Tzfat (Sefed in English). Kabballah itself isn't really into heavy duty magic type stuff. However, to mix some DG into it:
1. A chance discover (a wall falls down, digging for new construction, an archaelogical dig, take your pick) in Tzfat turns up some hitherto unknown pre-kabbalistic source texts, with magic formulae. Some overenthusiastic
Yeshiva student accidentally reads the wrong thing out loud….and it works. In steps the spooks and the great book hunt is on. Perhaps this would in turn lead
to the foundation of an Israeli PISCES type agency.
2. Out in the Saudi Desert….Irem, the city of pillars is found. Some books and knowledge from there end up in the hands of some cuddly Al Queda friendly Saudis…..