All Writing & Content © Nick Kushner Unless Noted Otherwise
If you die when there's no one watching / then your ratings drop and you're forgottenMarilyn Manson, Lamb Of God
but if they kill you on their TV / you're a martyr and a lamb of god.
The sister site of MarilynManson.com launched in the Summer of 2000. The site went through five transformations/additions all to illustrate Manson's own transformation and to illustrate the five pillars and themes most prevalent throughout Holy Wood; Christianity/Martyrdom and mankind's morbid fascination with it, Alchemy, Death Valley, JFK as the second Christ in the eyes of America and the Occult. Click on any of the headings as well as the BBS link to navigate through the site in its original configuration.
Original Hidden Link to TheLambOfGod.com from the Official Marilyn Manson BBS in the Summer of 2000. Illustration taken from "The Tree Of Life: An Illustrated Study in Magic" by Israel Regardie, Aleister Crowley's one time personal secretary. It is a book that Manson very evidently owned and used due to the number of images from it which he used as well as the themes discussed within, primarily Hermetic Kabbalah, which is the Westernized version of Kabbalah absorbed with Egyptian mythology, Alchemy and Sex Magick. It is the type of magickal practice which Aleister Crowley most widely used, which was popularized at the turn of the Nineteenth century by The Golden Dawn and continues to be currently practiced by the OTO, or Ordo Templi Orientis, of Order Of The Eastern Temple. Manson has revealed attending functions conducted by the OTO but has denied any further connections to the group. But regardless, that Occult standpoint is the one utilized within Holy Wood. See 'Adam Kadmon' for more references to this figure within the artwork and lyrics of Holy Wood.
Behold the Lamb Of God which taketh away the sins of the world.John 1:29
The first image added to the MarilynManson.com sister site of which it takes its name. In the New Testament Christ is referred to as The Lamb Of God, the sacrificial offering which God sent down to Earth to take away the sins of the world. It illustrates the most prominent theme within Holy Wood of celebrity and martyrdom, and most specifically celebrity through death and martyrdom as is illustrated through Christ, JFK, and John Lennon, the theme that Holy Wood consistently revolves around as well as to illustrate the morbid fascination mankind has inherently felt towards the theme. Hence the lamb bleeding into the grail, whose blood we drink and whose body we feed upon in the form of a communion wafer; the idea of Celebritarianism, the devouring of celebrity as demonstrated by the first celebrity, Jesus Christ. This particular image is a detail of the centerpiece of the painting 'Adoration Of The Lamb' by the 15th century Northern Renaissance painter Jan Van Eyck, which in itself is the lower-center panel of the much larger polyptych, The Ghent Alterpiece. The inscription on the alter reads: ECCE AGNUS DEI, QUI TOLLIT PEC(CA)TA MV(N)DI, or the Latin translation of St. John quoted above.
O Lamb of God, that takest away the sins of the world, have mercy upon us.'Agnus Dei' or Lamb Of God litany from the Roman Catholic Mass
O Lamb of God, that takest away the sins of the world, have mercy upon us.
O Lamb of God, that takest away the sins of the world, grant us thy peace.
lamb of god have mercy on us / lamb of god won't you grant usMarilyn Manson, Lamb Of God
"when the lion swallows the lamb"...
By clicking on the bleeding wound on the Lamb's pierced chest we are taken to the second image added to site. Although the text being of undetermined origin the theme illustrated is the alchemical treatise which is also an underlying but prevalent aspect of Holy Wood. Using Biblical imagery the theme illustrated is similar to that of the well-known drawing It Is Finished When Seven Are One. The text seen here is an alchemical treatise illustrating the theme of divine unity through the amalgamation of opposing elements. The principle involved is that when the Alchemist amalgamates these metals and achieves the divine mixture it represents his own transformation and his soul ascended. Also in that the the elements purified and combined is a microcosm of the Alchemist's own spiritual purification as he dedicates his entire being to the pursuit of such, so the work of the Alchemist and the Alchemist himself become One. It has to do with the reoccurring theme of rebirth and transformation which is what the entire Triptych revolves around. Where the work of the alchemist is used to transform the alchemist himself; like Manson's art and his own transformations. It's not necessarily limitted to metals, the premise of alchemy can be used in any type of pursuit where the person performing the work is so deeply involved enough to commit their entire being to their work. Again like Manson has done, wholeheartedly dedicating his life to his art. Several elements the text mentions are echoing Manson's themes and Biblical inspirations : the lamb to begin with, the King, which can relate to Christ or Kennedy, in the context of King Kill 33°, but also Satan's "bottomless pit" previously mentioned by Marilyn Manson in the song 'Little Horn', and which also relates to Charles Manson and his Goler Wash home in Death Valley as we'll develop below.
Left; Devil Tarot card from the Holy Wood artwork, with Manson in the Baphomet pose and wearing the head of a ram instead of the traditional goat (an apropos inversion as the Baphomet or Sabbatic Goat was perceived by Christianity as a perversion of its Lamb Of God), with the animal's split body forming the demon's wings in the fashion of Francis Bacon's 'Figure with meat'.
"the valley of death we are free / your father's your prison you see"Marilyn Manson, Target Audience (Narcissus Narcosis)
The third image, a map of Death Valley found linked from the Lamb's right eye. Arguably the most obviously fitting addition of the site as the album was first announced to be titled solely 'In The Shadow Of The Valley Of Death', which is also a perversion of the verse "Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death" from Psalm 23. This section of the site acts to represent one of the most prevalent elements in Holy Wood, the theme of the end of the Sixties mirrored the turn of the Millennium; from Columbine paralleling the Manson Murders to Woodstock '99 paralleling the deaths at Altamont, and the respective media witchhunts that ensued after both. Just as the papers ran the headlines, "Nixon Says Manson Is Guilty" in 1970, the papers ran the same "Manson Is Guilty" headline in 1999 and 2000, if not literally it was at least an undoubted insinuation, in regards to another Manson. The Death Valley theme and imagery stems from in part identifying with the plight of Charles Manson and his Family, who were 'going to WAR' against Hollywood and the world they felt was evil, the actions of which, whether or not they were right or wrong, parallels in many respects with another Manson's struggle against the America that has attempted both the muzzle and destroy them. The title of the album itself is evocative of this, the struggle between the two metaphorical worlds of Holy Wood and Death Valley. Throughout the recording of the album the band holed themselves up in Death Valley and attempted to capture in music the atmosphere of the desert and being forced into persecution. In theory and in theme Marilyn Manson became the Manson Family and waged their WAR against the world that had beaten them down after the media witchhunt after Columbine, but instead of using the futility of murder to wage their WAR Manson put the scathing counteraction into the imagery and music to fight back which is by far the more wide reaching retaliation.
the valley of the dolls is / the valley of the deadMarilyn Manson, Born Again
"Making the album, there were a lot of rituals--wether it was something as simple as absinthe, or just achieving a mindset that took you out of the regular world so that you could concentrate on what you were creating. We took a lot of field trips out to Death Valley just to try to imprint the feeling of the desert into our minds, so that when we were writing the songs and trying to capture that feeling, it was not being forged, it was real."Marilyn Manson, Hightimes, February 2001
As further illustrative of this theme is the path to the next page of the site which is reached by following the hidden link at Goler Wash, the Death Valley home of Charles Manson and the Family. Also related is the previous addition to the site, the Prophecy which evokes verse One of the Ninth chapter of Revelations :
"And the fifth angel sounded, and I saw a star fall from heaven unto the earth: and to him was given the key to the Bottomless Pit".
This angel, whom Charles Manson believed himself to be, 'fell to the earth' where he and his Family dwelled, in Death Valley, The Bottomless Pit. As can be read in Helter Skelter by Vincent Bugliosi. This obviously links back to the enigmatic prophecy above, as well as the song 'Little Horn' in Antichrist Svperstar which borrows from another passage of Revelation (and from the book of Daniel) with the lyrics "Out of the bottomless pit comes the little horn", as detailed in our article 'The Third and Final Beast - The Antichrist'. Both verses about the bottomless pit happen to feature amongst the passages included in Manson's 2004 'God Bandaid' watercolor collage.
Put me in the motorcade / put me in the death parade...Marilyn Manson, A Place In The Dirt
The fourth addition to the site was a photo of Kern Gate, also known as The Gate Of A Thousand Doors. It's creator, Peter Kern, a turn of the Twentieth Century Mason, created it both as an entrance to the village of his namesake, Kern Place, which is easily read across the gate, as well as the creation of a symbolic and metaphorical gateway into death. The gate also marks the entrance to a strip of land known as the Jornada Del Muerto, or Journey Of The Dead Man, near El Paso in the extreme west of Texas. It is also alleged that its creator was also ritualistically beheaded beneath it. This image is the element which represents JFK and his assassination in the public eye which led to him being hailed as the Second Christ, through his death in the spotlight. It is believed that JFK ritualistically passed under the gate and through the Jornada Del Muerto as part of a freemasonic rite. It is this theme which ties into King Kill 33°. Manson made first reference to Kern Gate in a post to the BBS on August 19, 1999 where he stated:
August 16, 1999 Author: [omega symbol] Subject: this is the end, my only friends Article: thank you all, far and away for helping us live through such a tumultuous tour..... I am writing to you from Kern's Gate and from Death Valley the birthplace of our new album. Details to follow. With the shedding of skin we have discarded our Mechanical Animal clothes, costumes stage items, etc. This will be available for auction and a portion of the proceeds will go to charity. I love you all in the only true sense of the word. In the Name of Jehovah, Lucifer, Satan and their union through Christ and JFKTHE THIRD AND FINAL BEAST
Upon adding this image to the site Manson had this to say on the Official BBS in response to mixed reactions about it stemming from its use of swastikas as symbolic decor :
To clarify any unnecessary rumours...Peter Kern, a turn-of-the-century Mason built a ceremonial entrance to his land to represent an esoteric gateway to death. This is the Jornada del Muerto, the journey of the dead man. Some believe that JFK passed through here on his way to Trinity and on to Dealy Plaza. It is located near El Paso. To my knowledge, it has no affiliation with Nazis nor do I CONDONE or PROMOTE any such beliefs. This is merely a mystical and bizarre piece of architecture I discovered on my quest for knowledge. If you look deeper, you will see its connection to Adam Kadmon as well.MARILYN MANSON
Manson's hint about the Gate's relation to Adam Kadmon can be taken two different ways. More obviously that gate represents transformation as a metaphorical gateway to change, similarly how the succession of the sections of Holy Wood, sectioned off and abbreviated as ADAM follows the evolution and transformation of Adam himself, but another interpretation of this linkage is the fact that Kennedy alleged traversed through this gateway on his way to the Trinity atomic bomb testing site. In ancient Kabbalah there's a certain belief that the Adam of the Old Testament, the first man on Earth, was actually a metaphorical personification of the first Atom of the creation of the world by god. Thus making Kern Gate the passage to the site where the splitting of the first atom took place, which was metaphorically and Kabbalistically represented as Adam.
The atom of Eden was the bombMarilyn Manson, Cruci-Fiction In Space
The following is an excerpt of an article on the history of Kern Place, the whole of which appears on the community's website, which the accompanying photos also appear from.
Kern Place was created by local businessman Pete Kern, and construction began on Nov. 21, 1914. Earliest construction began on Cincinnati Street, and by 1917 about 40 homes had been built. Though urban today, when Kern Place was built, it was on the edge of the desert and was well removed from the populated areas of El Paso. The entrance to Kern Place was a lively arch across North Kansas Street near the Robinson Avenue intersection. The arch was built in 1916 and was designed by Pete Kern. It consisted of two rock and mortar pillars bounded on top by a myriad of artistically arranged pipes and 333 lights. The arch was decorated with swastikas and sauvastikas, which at that time were considered good symbols with positive connotations. At Kern's insistence, the arch was built by workmen who were descendants of the Toltecs of Mexico. Through neglect and street widening projects, the arch eventually fell into ruin and is no longer present.http://www.kernplace.org/
You can find a number of historic photos in the Kern Place Photo Gallery.
Later replacing the photo of Kern Gate, the fifth and final addition to TheLambOfGod.com which brings all the esoteric elements of Holy Wood together as with its inclusion all are represented. The image is known as the Third Pentacle Of Mercury as given in one of the most famous of all occult books, The Key Of Solomon The King translated by S. Liddell Macgregor Mathers, co-founder of the occult organization The Golden Dawn, the predecessor to the OTO. To anyone confused as to why it's referred to as a pentacle is because the word 'pentacle' is actually a Latin word meaning roughly, 'little picture', so as to differentiate this from a 'pentacle star'. In regards to the significance of this pentacle, which in it's original orientation is actually rotated 90° to the left :
Figure 46 - The Third Pentacle of Mercury.- This and the following (meaning the following pentacle within the book) serve to invoke the Spirits subject unto Mercury; and especially those who are written in this Pentacle.The Key Of Solomon The King
Editor's Note - Mystical Characters of Mercury, and the Names of the Angels: Kokaviel, Ghedoriah, Savaniah, and Chokmahiel.
The god Mercury, or the Greek god Hermes, is known as The Messenger Of The Gods, bearer of wisdom. Used metaphorically in the occult, when invoked, Mercury aids in intellectual abilities as well as artistic and poetic flair, and with that being said should make Manson's use of the symbol all that much clearer. Let it also be known that the original image of the Pentacle was also simply called 'Key', which after being replaced by the image of Kern Gate we arrive at the symbol of Mercury via Goler Wash, THE KEY TO THE BOTTOMLESS PIT.
Sources & references of interest within THE LAMB OF GOD.COM section of The NACHTKABARETT:
- The Tree Of Life: An Illustrated Study in Magic by Israel Regardie, Third Edition
- Van Eyck - The Holy Lamb by Leo Van Puyvelde (OUT OF PRINT)
- The Alchemists by F. Sherwood Taylor (OUT OF PRINT)
- The Arts Of The Alchemists by C. A. Burland (OUT OF PRINT)
- The Holy Bible
- Helter Skelter: The True Story of the Manson Murders by Vincent Bugliosi
- King Kill 33 by James Shelby Downard & Michael A. Hoffman
- Secret Societies and Psychological Warfare by Michael A. Hoffman
- The Key Of Solomon the King (Clavicula Salomonis) by S. Liddell MacGregor Mathers