Tuesday, 31 December 2013

          Statement — Bishop Seán Manchester

Statement issued on 13 December 2013 by Bishop Seán Manchester regarding his status altering from public figure to private person:.

“I find today's world, particularly the cyber-world, all too frenetic and reactive. This jars with my own desire for creative contemplation instead of the tumult I see around me which being a public figure only serves to exacerbate. This reflective approach to everyday existence is at odds with being under public scrutiny, somewhere I have found myself for the past forty-four years. What most brought me to public attention were the television and radio programmes I regularly appeared on and also the books and documentary films associated with topics which hold the public imagination in thrall. It is for that reason I have not submitted a book for publication since the beginning of the 21st century. Likewise, I scaled back my broadcasts in the media to a point where I no longer make them. I ceased giving interviews to the print media decades ago and only then in quality magazines. Moreover, it will soon be three years since I declared I am no longer prepared to provide interviews on matters relating to Highgate. What there was to say has been said many times over. I found myself answering the same questions over and over again; questions which invariably are already answered in my published accounts. One of the problems, I quickly came to realise many years ago, is that interviewers, regardless of the subject, simply do not know the right questions and the questions are every bit as important as the answers. Another problem in the new century has been one of trust. Seldom have I encountered an interviewer in recent years who keeps his or her word. Consequently, any condition I might have set for providing a contribution was frequently and almost immediately compromised. Without trust and a sense of honour there is nothing. I cannot interact in that way and would rather stay silent than witness yet another agreement broken. I am still having to regularly turn down television and radio interview requests, along with a plethora of other invitations to partake in projects that would maintain a perception of me remaining a public figure, which, I accept, is exactly what I have been for most of my life. What made me so, however, is very much in the past. The memoir I began to write a decade ago will probably never see the light of day. This is for the best if I wish my privacy to be respected. The concomitants of being a public figure have slowly eroded over the last thirteen years to a point where I stand at the threshhold of finally achieving meaningful privacy. Hence, I have now stepped over that threshhold and become a private individual. This will not affect my episcopal duties, sacerdotal ministry, art and music etc, but involvement in secular preoccupations and the expression of views on same in the public hemisphere is now at an end.”   † Seán Manchester

Tuesday, 15 May 2012

Official Statement — Isaac Ben Jacob

Official Statement sent on 15 April 2012 by Isaac Ben Jacob and his wife to Bishop Seán Manchester regarding David Robert Donovan Farrant and the person calling herself "Della Farrant":.

"Me and my wife have discovered with a lot of surprise the existence of several blogs where we are notably being associated with David Farrant and his wife or girlfriend (I don't know if she is his wife or his girlfriend), whereas we have absolutely no contact with him, and we absolutely do not share his ideas.
"I wish to underline that my wife met David Farrant once or twice during meetings, and that it was David Farrant who started to talk to her, whereas she didn't know anything about him or his past. We recently found out that the reason why David Farrant initially made contact with my wife was in order to manipulate us, and to make you believe she was Della. If you look closely at the pictures of Della [posted in blogs], you will notice that the Della shown on the photos is always hiding her face, and that she always takes a posture which does not allow anyone to determine exactly how tall she is.
"I have attended a meeting myself three months ago, and I have seen Della and David Farrant together at this occasion. And when I tried to take a picture of them, Della immediately threw herself at me and my wife in order to force us to delete the photo from our camera.
"We do not have any relation or contact with Della and David Farrant, and we don't want to be associated with these two persons in any way, shape or form, because they have a sulfurous past, they have a reputation of being Satanists, and they are acquainted with people like Jean-Paul Bourre, whom I don't want to hear about.
"I know you have done research about me, and consequently you know I am an earnest academic researcher who uses scientific methods. Therefore you also know that I reject and condemn all magical practices, heretical deviancies, and obviously people, such as David Farrant, who have practised Satanism.
"I think that you and I have been manipulated in this case, and that you could help us reestablish the truth."

Friday, 13 January 2012

Coming Soon: The Vampire In Europe

A new edition of Montague Summers' The Vampire in Europe will be published later in 2012.

This will be a special edition with freshly contributed additional material. Watch this space ...

Thursday, 12 January 2012

Shadows In The Nave


Shadows In The Nave: A Guide to the Haunted Churches of England 


Paul Adams, Eddie Brazil & Peter Underwood (Authors)

Publisher: The History Press (2011)

Co-written by Bishop Seán Manchester's friend and colleague of many years, Peter Underwood

Saturday, 1 October 2011

Out Of The Shadows

The Exorcist: Out of the Shadows


Bob McCabe (Author)

Publisher: Omnibus Press: Re-issue edition (1999)

Bob McCabe is a movie buff who has written books about the work of Seán Connery and Terry Gilliam. He has also produced a rough guide to the comedy film genre. The Exorcist: Out of the Shadows, however, concerns itself with something much darker: the three films made about demonic possession in The Exorcist trilogy, but principally the first and by far the best of the three movies.

The 1973 horror film The Exorcist is probably one of the most effective ever made about demonic possession. Movie patrons and critics alike praise the film which is still considered to be one of the scariest ever made. The film is based on a William Peter Blatty novel, but the novel found its inspirations from a source based in reality, the exorcism of Robbie Mannheim.

Released around the time of The Exorcist's cinema re-release in the UK in 1998, preceding its long-awaited release on home video formats, it's an excellent overview of the making and release of this classic about the possession of a young girl. McCabe also includes small sections on the sequels, including Exorcist II: The Heretic, which is definitely very bizarre, and, of course, The Exorcist III.

Bob McCabe's The Exorcist: Out of the Shadows is an entertaining book about an interesting set of films.

In The Shadow Of The Vampire

In the Shadow of the Vampire:
Reflections from the World of Anne Rice


Bob McCabe (Author)

Publisher: Thunder Mouth Press: Re-issue edition (1997)
Award-winning documentary photographer Jana Marcus has always been drawn to the fringe. One of her earlier collections was entitled Midnight in Manhattan: A Decade of Subcultures and the Alternative Scene. Staying with that theme,  In the Shadow of the Vampire assembles portraits of and interviews with the devotees and acolytes of Anne Rice. And who are these people? Office administrators, translators, shop owners, students, and the more flamboyant (blood drinking vampiroids, assorted perverts, role-players etc).
"Her books allow people to think about their place in society and identify their feelings through her characters' exploration of unconventional lifestyles," she opines. "It is extraordinary how many people I've spoken to who had never read a book before they read an Anne Rice novel." It might come as a culture shock to think of Anne Rice as an inadvertent champion of literacy! As may be expected, the reflections are a mixture of the banal and the more provocative. The phenomenon of Anne Rice's celebrity is, after all, phenomenal. The enormity of her appeal has given birth to the annual Gathering of The Coven Ball in New Orleans, cinema films, an Anne Rice tour company, a perfume line, a Lestat wine, and T-shirts emblasoned with an MRI of Rice's brain. If all that leaves the reader colder than sleeping alone in a coffin, then Goth-types and vampiroids might want to pick up a copy for tips on wardrobe and make-up.  
Its easy to have preconceptions about this book, obsessed individuals and excessive make up immediately spring to mind. But this book is not like that. In fact this book is very touching. The people who have contributed in interviews and photographic portraits within this book represent a fair cross section of society. Their stories are told with feeling and honesty. Most write in some way about the way Anne Rice's books have reflected or have helped in some way with their lives. Many feel parallels with the loneliness or isolation of her vampire characters, but the message is not depressing for many more seem to have found a sense of belonging or uplift from the Anne Rice books. This book presents a range of characters to the reader with glimpses into each of their lives and finishes with a pictorial overview of the Memnoch Ball, New Orleans, annually held by Anne Rice.
This book also gives a partial glance into the world of Anne Rice fans. However, it may affirm or disprove the notion that her fans are all weirdos. The book features college students, accountants, writers, exotic dancers, make-up artists etc. While it features intriguing people from all walks of life, it is probably not an entirely accurate view of her fans. The book perpetuates a certain fan stereotype, as though reading Anne Rice makes you estranged from the rest of society.  
It has been noted by others that Anne Rice is mainstream. Admitting you are a fan is not a taboo like declaring you are a dominatrix. There are fans who never made it to the infamous Balls when they were still in progress; there are fans who have no interest in exploring New Orleans outside of the books; and there are fans who detest Goth subculture, but still devour every single book Anne Rice releases. It would have been a far more representative book had it featured a larger diversity of fans.
However, the book is still wonderfully constructed. The photographs are nothing short of superb, the fan accounts fascinating to read, and one really does walk away feeling that maybe those stereotypes are wrong.
"Photojournalist Marcus compiles the thoughts and moody, moony photos of a hundred attendees at Rice's annual Gathering of the Coven Ball. For every partygoer who enthuses about blood-drinking rituals, ten more thoughtfully grapple with Rice's work, persona, and commercialism (they're not thrilled with her Lestat-themed restaurant). This passionate subculture comes, if not quite alive, then certainly undead on the page." Entertainment Weekly

Friday, 30 September 2011

Klinger's Annotated Dracula

The New Annotated Dracula 


Bram Stoker Klinger 

Publisher: W W Norton & Co (2008)

Travelling through two hundred years of popular culture and myth as well as graveyards and the wilds of Transylvania, Leslie S Klinger illuminates aspects of Bram Stoker's gothic novel, including an examination of the original typescript with its shockingly different ending. He investigates the many subtexts - from the masochistic, necrophilic, homoerotic and dentophilic implications of the story to its political, economic, feminist, psychological and historical threads. Employing his literary detective skills, Klinger mines this 1897 masterpiece for nuggets that will surprise even the most die-hard Dracula student and enthusiast.

The New Annotated Dracula is a feature-packed presentation of Bram Stoker's original 1897 novel, presented in its unabridged version, together with 1500 notes, maps, illustrations, points of history and trivia, excerpts from Stoker's edited additional material. In brief, everything the Dracula acionado could want in a volume, including additional chapters on Stoker's life, information on TV and Film versions of the story etc.

The editor has applied his brand of detective work to the Victorian novel about vampires that has no equal, and his edition is an extension of Stoker's attempt to give a work of fiction authenticity by telling it in the form of letters, diaries and such like. Examining their often faulty chronology has given commentators much entertainment. The notes are quite informative. For example, the hair-raising arrival of the Russian ship Demeter in Whitby harbour with the dead Captain lashed to the wheel was based on a real-life (but less unpleasant) incident from 1885. Bram Stoker, who made little money from his vampire novel, would have been surprised, but surely pleased, if he could have known what an impact it has had on our culture.

The illustrations, though interesting in themselves, however, are very poorly reproduced. This is a hefty tome, and the notes are informative for any scholar of Victorian literature. Less impressive are the essays on vampire films and subsequent literature which are little more than Klinger's personal taste and biased opinion. 
The editor's conceit of taking the text as a factual narrative is at first amusing, but for some will be found ultimately unsatisifying. Leonard Wolf's 1975 edition is vastly superior in this regard, and somehow has an impact and atmospheric effect which Klinger's more recent effort does not achieve.
Bram Stoker deserves to be taken more seriously as a writer in the Anglo-Irish tradition and a more precise approach to this great cultural influence is deserved. Klinger's edition will still appeal to many collectors.