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A PROCESSION of the damned.
By the damned, I mean the excluded. We shall have a procession of data that Science has excluded. Battalions of the accursed, captained by pallid data that I have exhumed, will march.
You'll read them—
or they'll march.
Some of them livid and some of them fiery and some of them rotten. Some of them are corpses, skeletons, mummies, twitching, tottering, animated by companions that have been damned alive. There are giants that will walk by, though sound asleep.
There are things that are theorems and things that are rags: they'll go by like Euclid arm in arm with the spirit of anarchy. Here and there will flit little harlots. Many are clowns. But many are of the highest respectability. Some are assassins.
There are pale stenches and gaunt superstitions and mere shadows and lively malices: whims and amiabilities. The naïve and the pedantic and the bizarre and the grotesque and the sincere and the insincere, the profound and the puerile.
The aggregate appearance is of dignity and dissoluteness: the aggregate voice is a defiant prayer: but the spirit of the whole is processional.
The power that has said to all these things that they are damned, is Dogmatic Science.
But they'll march.
The little harlots will caper, and freaks will distract attention, and the clowns will break the rhythm of the whole with their buffooneries—but the solidity of the procession as a whole: the impressiveness of things that pass and pass and pass, and keep on and keep on and keep on coming.
“He began visiting the New York Public Library, searching the stacks. He studied philosophy, calculus, anthropology, or any other subject that caught his interest. Fort was an inveterate collector, and he assembled odd accounts of phenomenon that fell outside accepted theories.
He found them everywhere, especially in scientific journals and histories. He took notes on small slips of paper, sorting them by subject, cross-referencing them by date, and storing them in cardboard shoeboxes in his apartment. Soon he had tens of thousands of notes: things that had never been explained or that, according to science, could not be explained.
Fort’s research was distilled into two manuscripts, X and Y ( both later destroyed by Fort ), which proposed that humanity might be controlled by Martians or by a race of unknown beings at the North Pole.”
“Lands in the sky-
That they are nearby-
That they do not move.
I take for a principal that all that all being is the infinitely serial, and that whatever has been will, with differences of particulars, be again-“ “I take for a principal that all existence is flux and a re-flux, by which periods of expansion follow periods on contraction…”
“Anybody who broadly accepts the doctrine of relativity should accept that there are phenomenon that exist relatively in one age, that do not, or do not so pronouncedly, exist in another age”
“If, in other worlds, or in other parts of one (Ed.!?) relatively little existence, there be people who are far ahead of terrestrians, (Ed. As opposed to…?) perhaps teleportatively, beings from other places have come to this Earth. And have seen nothing to detain them.
Or perhaps some of the more degraded ones have felt at home here, and have hung around, or have stayed here. I’d think of these fellows as throw-backs: concealing their origin, of course; perhaps having only a slightly foreign appearance; having affinity with our barbarisms, which their own races had cast off. I’d think of a feeling for this earth, in other worlds, as corresponding to the desire of most of us, now and then, to go to a South Sea island and be degraded.
Throwbacks, translated to this Earth, would not, unless intensely atavistic, take to what we regard as vices, but to what their own far-advanced people regard perhaps as unmentionable, or anyway, unprintable degradations.
They would join our churches, and wallow in the pews. They’d lose all sense of decency and become college professors. Let a fall start, and the decline is swift. They’d end up as members of congress”
“Scientists, in matters of our data (Ed.forteana), have been like somebody in Europe, before 1492, hearing stories of lands to the west, going out for an hour or so, in a row-boat, and then saying, whether exactly in these words, or not: “Oh, Hell! There ain’t no America.”
“As an intermediatist, I find the principle of uncertainty unsatisfactorily expressed. My own expressions are upon the principled-unprincipled rule-misrule of our pseudo-existence by certainty-uncertainty-
Or, whereas it seems unquestionable that no man has ever been transformed into a hyena, we can be no more than sure-unsure about this”.
“Damn the particle, but there is salvation for the aggregate. A gust of wind is wild and free, but there are handcuffs on the storm”.
“Though just at present I am no darling of the popes, I expect to end up Holy, some other time, with a general expression that all stories of miracles are not lies, or are not altogether lies; and that in the primitive conditions of the Middle Ages there were hosts of occurrences that now, considerably, though not altogether, have been outgrown.”
"Would we if we could, educate and sophisticate pigs, geese, cattle? Would it be wise to establish diplomatic relations with the hen that now functions, satisfied with mere sense of achievement by way of compensation?
I think we’re property.
I should say we belong to something: That once upon a time, this earth was No-man’s Land, that other worlds explored and colonized here, and fought among themselves for possession, but now it’s owned by something:
That something owns this earth — all others warned off. … I don’t see how I can, in this book, take up at all the subject of possible use of humanity to some other mode of existence, or the flattering notion that we can possibly be worth something.
Pigs, geese and cattle. First find out they are owned. Then find out the whyness of it. I suspect that, after all, we’re useful — that among contesting claimants, adjustment has occurred, or that something now has a legal right to us, by force, or by having paid out analogues of beads for us to former, more primitive, owners of us
— all others warned off —
that all this has been known, perhaps for ages, to certain ones upon this earth, a cult or order, members of which function like bellwethers to the rest of us, or as superior slaves or overseers, directing us in accordance with instructions received — from Somewhere else — in our mysterious usefulness. Interesting observation Charles. Ve
Witchcraft always has a hard time, until it becomes established and changes its name. We hear much of the conflict between science and religion, but our conflict is with both of these.
Science and religion always have agreed in opposing and suppressing the various witchcrafts.
Now that religion is inglorious, one of the most fantastic of transferences of worships is that of glorifying science, as a beneficent being. It is the attributing of all that is of development, or of possible betterment to science. But no scientist has ever upheld a new idea, without bringing upon himself abuse from other scientists. Science has done its utmost to prevent whatever science has done.
“Phenomena of a man alone on a desert island can be explained in terms of "mass psychology" - inasmuch as the mind of no man is a unit, but is a community of mental states that influence one another.”
Charles Fort, 1923.
Girls at the front--and they are discussing their usual not very profound subjects. The alarm--the enemy is advancing. Command to the poltergeist girls to concentrate--and under their chairs they stick their wads of chewing gum.
A regiment bursts into flames, and the soldiers are torches. Horses snort smoke from the combustion of their entrails. Reinforcements are smashed under cliffs that are teleported from the Rocky Mountains. The snatch of Niagara Falls--it pours upon t he battlefield. The little poltergeist girls reach for their wads of chewing gum.