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lunedì 20 maggio 2013

William S. Burroughs: "We walked many hours"

We walked many hours and it was dawn when we came to a clearing where I could see a number of workers with sharp sticks and gourds of seed planting corn—The boy touched my shoulder and disappeared up the path in jungle dawn mist—
As I stepped forward into the clearing and addressed one of the workers, I felt the crushing weight of evil insect control forcing my thoughts and feelings into prearranged molds, squeezing my spirit in a soft invisible vise—The worker looked at me with dead eyes empty of curiosity or welcome and silently handed me a planting stick—It was not unusual for strangers to wander in out of the jungle since the whole area was ravaged by soil exhaustion—So my presence occasioned no comment—I worked until sundown—I was assigned to a hut by an overseer who carried a carved stick and wore an elaborate headdress indicating his rank—I lay down in the hammock and immediately felt stabbing probes of telepathic interrogation—I turned on the thoughts of a halfwitted young Indian—After some hours the invisible presence withdrew—I had passed the first test
During the months that followed I worked in the fields—The monotony of this existence made my disguise as a mental defective quite easy—I learned that one could be transferred from field work to rock carving the stellae after a long apprenticeship and only after the priests were satisfied that any thought of resistance was forever extinguished—I decided to retain the anonymous status of a field worker and keep as far as possible out of notice—
A continuous round of festivals occupied our evenings and holidays—On these occasions the priests appeared in elaborate costumes, often disguised as centipedes or lobsters—Sacrifices were rare, but I witnessed one revolting ceremony in which a young captive was tied to a stake and the priests tore his sex off with white-hot copper claws—I learned also something of the horrible punishments meted out to anyone who dared challenge or even think of challenging the controllers: Death in the Ovens: The violator was placed in a construction of interlocking copper grills—The grills were then heated to white heat and slowly closed on his body. Death In Centipede: The "criminal" was strapped to a couch and eaten alive by giant centipedes—These executions were carried out secretly in rooms under the temple.
I made recordings of the festivals and the continuous music like a shrill insect frequency that followed the workers all day in the fields—However, I knew that to play these recordings would invite immediate detection—I needed not only the sound track of control but the image track as well before I could take definitive action—I have explained that the Mayan control system depends on the calendar and the codices which contain symbols representing all states of thought and feeling possible to human animals living under such limited circumstances—These are the instruments with which they rotate and control units of thought—I found out also that the priests themselves do not understand exactly how the system works and that I undoubtedly knew more about it than they did as a result of my intensive training and studies—The technicians who had devised the control system had died out and the present line of priests were in the position of some one who knows what buttons to push in order to set a machine in motion, but would have no idea how to fix that machine if it broke down, or to construct another if the machine were destroyed-

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