I have known the man who is now Father Martin since I was basically a kid. He went off to seminary, and I went off to YWAM Texas. Our connection through Christ had been an interesting one. He is celibate, I am in my second marriage. I eventually left the faith, but our connection continued. He currently lives 3/4 of his year in Vatican City with a level of pomp and pageantry that I have playfully chided him for over the years.
Our differences are paramount, and that is probably why we have always gotten along with each other so well. We have both been incredibly respectful of each of our respective "life spaces." For example, I prefer to listen to heavier music, to view violent movies and read vintage comics. Father Martin however, swears by the Beatles and spends his spare time reading philosophy (I have been teasing him since the early 90s about the spelling of Søren Aabye Kierkegaard). I spend a lot of time online whereas he does not. I prefer to drink a bit of vino on the weekends and his alcohol intake is limited to communion. I drink coffee, he drinks tea and so on.
I have watched Father Martin degrade at an accelerated rate over the past several years. I thought that it was just age and travel. We're both close to 50 years old and Father Martin travels around the world extensively on Vatican business. The wear and tear that I have noticed on him of late is beyond age and travel fatigue though. What is aging him? Father Martin is lost in the throes of FEAR.
In our last conversation, he confided in me how FEAR has been wearing him down. Initially, I wasn't going to post any more than the last post that I had referencing his insanity. In truth, I thought that the "insanity argument" still harnessed a bit of favor for my writing projects that he has had a hand in. Well, he saw my "FATHER MARTIN'S INSANITY" post and contacted me.
Father Martin made it clear in no uncertain terms that his sanity is intact. He actually requested that I remove the post. I made it clear to him that I wasn't going to remove the post, but I would post clarification if he would allow it. I am still a little miffed that he has cut me off from the Vatican intel that I'd had unfettered access to.
"Tell them that fear is what drives me," he said.
This led to an incredibly long conversation where he explained this fear. The connection over the phone wasn't the greatest, but I will do my best in this blog post is to clarify the so-called "insanity" of Father Martin.
Before I do clear up where Father Martin is coming from, I need you to know a few things though. First is that I never wanted to hurt Father Martin by telling the werewolf story. Initially, he was "into it," and he directed aspects of my prose.
I also know that I desperately wanted to sink the GONTEEKWA concept somewhere. If you have been reading this blog, then you know my connection to the word and how badly I wanted to use it.
I needed a new werewolf concept, and in talking to Father Martin, I found one. Like I said, Father Martin was into it initially, but I believe his personal issues have gotten in the way.
The way that I anchored the story was simply too much for him. Part of the problem is that I am no longer a believer, and Father Martin is still serious about his relationship with Jesus Christ. I get where he's coming from. He gave me the lost book of the Rephaim KING OG concept and I ran with it, never taking it too seriously.
I used the text that he gave me as the Rephaim King Og's last words (Chapter 7) and I used the word "GONTEEKWA" which is in the text. Like I said, this was originally approved by Father Martin, but he has since then really second-guessed himself. The way he has pulled away from me has made me consider taking all of what I have written in this season offline. Our relationship suffers because of it, but not entirely, because he providing links to both sites on his own personal website.
I feel that I have given a passable, concise explanation of what Father Martin and I have been up to. Now I need to clear up where exactly he seems to be coming from:
Towards the end of our last conversation, he told me what his real problem is. You see, Father Martin researches for the Vatican, and he gets access to a lot of documents that the average person can't get their hands on or hear whispers of. Father Martin has had direct access to the missing book of King Og and has actively participated in its translation. Father Martin told me that he believes that the story that I am telling with the GONTEEKWA is too close to the truth.
"So what?" I said.
"So what? The creature that you speak of should be unnamed." He responded.
Upon further conversation, what I have learned is that the "werewolf spirit" that the GONTEEKWA represents is a spin on demon possession and lycanthropy that was used for war and profit in antediluvian times. In short: The spiritual parasite that I have been talking about (and used its proper name) shouldn't be mentioned. My writing about it, allegedly draws it out of the shadows and brings it closer to me and the people I deal with.
"The creature is referenced throughout the KING OG book, but shouldn't be spoken of." he said.
Father Martin's fear is that with his revelation of the behavior and the historical context of it all, that he is now a target of the spirit that I have named.
Father Martin's fear is that this "werewolf spirit" knows that he is the very human who exposed knowledge of it to the modern world.
The creature has been on the loose since 1400 BCE, and the more information that gets out about it, the less it can operate in the darkness. Because of the spotlight that Father Martin has created through the lens of my fiction, he feels himself to be the primary target.
He and I discussed the attacks and possession of the werewolf spirit/barghest ad nauseum while I was writing the bones of The GONTEEKWA. I had no idea that I was really scaring Father Martin with my presentation of his story. Its the story of a spirit that can force-possess a person, change that person's physical shape, and is immune to any of the Christian or Catholic rites of exorcism. I do believe it was the outright blasphemy that caused Father Martin to turn from me. I get it. I have flipped his concept of "God" into a coma with my book's religious argument. I do believe that I have unraveled a layer of his Christian faith.
Truthfully, if this evil is what Father Martin thinks it is, then he needs to find the proper armor for warfare.
I was raised a Christian. I, Like Hank Maldita, was a missionary in Grenada. I too went into the woods. I also met a man. We spoke of lycanthropy. I was 19 years old. An experience of such weirdness, coupled with my experiences in YWAM observing verbal spiritual warfare perplexed me for years. In truth, serious deliverance from evil spirits is never immediate. Part of what is awesome about being out of the Evangelical scene is that I can tell stories of the practice of Christian deliverance that I have witnessed.
Those two factors: 1) my experience in the jungle and 2) my experiences observing Christian deliverance rituals created the foundation for the Gonteekwa, but I needed Father Martin's insider, forbidden knowledge to fill in the gaps.
As an American, born-again Christian, I was taught that the name of Jesus "bound and cast" demons because they were subjected to the blood of Christ. I was taught that these weapons of spiritual warfare were the equivalent of .45 rounds to the face.
But this demon that I speak of will not be bound or cast by Jesus Christ. This demon has no respect for the blood of Christ. Where is Father Martin's savior now? This is the evil that he faces.
The truth in Father Martin's fear is the linchpin that I thought my entire story turned on: This spirit is outside of the Christian system, with absolutely no respect for the name of Jesus Christ. The legitimacy of the entire system is called into question.
As a writer, I thought that the concept of a spiritual parasite that cannot be controlled by deliverance, exorcism, etc was a beautiful notion. I thought that it tilted the tone of the story into the direction of true horror and fear.
Writers have tackled these ideas before, but they haven't used the Bible or Catholic connections to stay close to the Christian dogma. But the heretical story that I am telling is actually too raw, its blasphemy too concise for modern horror.
I had no idea that my approach would actually affect the man who had been such an incredible resource. The fear that I am trying to charge my book with is actually the true horror and fear that Father Martin lives through on a daily basis.
I tried to get more out of Father Martin on this subject, but he kept quiet. He told me that he would reveal as much as he could on his own website. He very graciously also told me that he would place links to both the GONTEEKWA and THE LOST BOOK OF KING OG on his website, because of the research we've both done and his relationship to me.
What I have come to conclude (it has been 3 days since I last talked to him), is that Father Martin has had some sort of actual experience with this "werewolf spirit" and that is what drives the rift between us. I don't think that the encounter happened recently though. In fact, I think it happened before he even started talking to me about the concept.
What I think has happened is that he has been exposed to a bunch of spiritual intelligence that the Vatican had squirreled away. I believe that in his research, he saw something that scared the hell out of him. I believe that in his talking to me, he was trying to assuage the very real fear that he has in his heart. But I think that this fear that he recently revealed to me has always been there. Father Martin thought (possibly) that in his talking about this "werewolf spirit" that he might be able to achieve some peace. I guess it is a compliment to my final GONTEEKWA manuscript that today he is so distraught by the subject. It is a "horror novel" after all.
I'll admit that I am about to sound pissy here, but come on. I can say this with all the love in my heart because I am close to the man: The Reverend Father Martin can sometimes be a real motherfucker. I thought that I was writing a HORROR NOVEL to get published here. But he's whinging now about how scared he is of what HE SUGGESTED I put in the novel.
Father Martin shared with me that he feels more exposed and vulnerable than ever to "the forces of darkness" as a result of my online push of the GONTEEKWA.
I really hope he comes to terms with this acute fear that he is dealing with. I mean, he is deep within a spiritual hierarchy, and he has like-minded Jesuits to talk to on a regular basis. I hope that he finds the right people to talk to and a solution to whatever it is that plagues him so.
I'll tell you this though, the last words that he spoke in that phone-call chilled me more than anything we ever discussed in regards to spiritual evil.
"Fear is my salvation now." He said.
I have no idea what that means, but what a dark place to be in.
I really hope that through all of this, we can restore our relationship to what it was. The past year and a half of correspondence with the man has been a catalyst for some impressive inner-growth of my own.
God Bless Him.