Empire State of Mind

{ The following is an excerpt from Sith Academy: Masters of the Will. }

“The cosmos calls to the greatest among us. Stranded here upon this backwater planet, with dreams of galactic conquest and limitless vistas to the stars, our memories of past imperial glories preserved within our holocrons, how can we be content with this puny, Earthbound existence? How can we be satisfied to conquer just one planet, when untold billions await?” —from the Holocron of Darth Imperius

Galactic Imperial Worldview

In addition to Saber-Mind, the aspiring Dark Lord must develop a galactic imperial worldview, and think like an architect of Empire. To understand what that means, imagine a great Sith Lord of legend, perhaps Darth Bane or Darth Vader, walking down the streets of this planet, or out in the desert, or high upon a mountain, gazing down upon the pathetic spectacle and shaking his fist up to the stars.

Would he not be filled with contempt, rage and lust? Would he not wonder why the small-minded beings of this planet have not yet built an Empire and taken to the stars? Would he not wonder why vast spaceships were not visible from orbit, ever-present reminders of imperial power and greatness? Would he not ask: “where is the Death Star under construction—the ultimate weapon and defender of the Empire? Where are the legions of Stormtroopers enforcing the imperial will? Where are the Dark Lords who command the Force? Where is the Emperor? Where is the Empire?” Would he not burn with a passion to create these things, to bring the glories he sees so clearly in his mind’s eyes into reality in this galaxy? This is the mindset every would-be Dark Lord must cultivate: the Galactic Empire state of mind.

A Dark Diaspora

Every Dark Lord is a seed and a catalyst of the Empire. No matter what conditions he finds himself in in this dark universe, he will work toward this goal.

If the Empire is ever established but then destroyed, the Sith exiled and driven into hiding, the Empire will live on in the minds and holocrons of the Dark Lords. From the first day of our exile from power, we will begin plotting, preparing and working toward our eventual re-establishment of the Imperium.

When conditions are unfavorable, the Empire lays dormant in the minds of the hidden Lords of the Sith, taught as an ideal in our secret schools and preserved in our hidden holocrons. In these periods, the Sith may be driven deep underground, scattered far and wide to form a “Dark Diaspora” of occult Emperors and Ministers without an Empire. They may conduct rituals of coronation, anoint Dark Lords, train for conflict, manage the imperial Ministries and even declare war, without controlling any significant territory of their own. These dormant periods may last for centuries or millennia, but eventually the stars will come right for the Sith to emerge from the shadows and rule once more.

When conditions finally do become favorable—as a result of our machinations, whims of circumstance, or the will of the Dark Tao—it is then that we Sith shall know our finest hour. For it is in such ages of conquest that our hidden power and greatness will erupt from the shadows, to shock and awe the sleepers who lived and died the lie of peace for generations before our coming!

The Hidden Followers of Truth

Historically there was a practice called “crypto-Judaism”, whereby Jews would convert to Christianity or Islam in their public life, while privately maintaining the traditions and beliefs of Judaism. In medieval Europe this was a way for Jews to escape persecutions such as the Spanish Inquisition, and it continued even into modern times in places like the atheist Soviet Union.

Similarly, in Islam there is a practice called “taqiyya”, where Muslims are allowed to conceal their faith and act in a non-Muslim manner to escape persecution or as part of a greater deception. For example, the September 11th hijackers are said to have been practicing taqiyya when they embedded themselves in American society prior to the attacks.

Why are we telling you this? Because in our time it may be necessary and wise for Sith to conceal themselves in a similar way—to become “crypto-Sith” by outwardly conforming to other religions, ways of life and ideologies, while privately maintaining their allegiance to the dark side.

In the Galaxy Far, Far Away, a good example of a crypto-Sith was Palpatine, who concealed his dark side power and rose to Supreme Chancellor of the Republic without anyone suspecting that he was a Sith Lord. In the Star Wars Extended Universe, there is a Sith word Jensaarai, which means “hidden followers of the truth”, and this is a good description of crypto-Sith.

While I believe the times are changing now in the Age of Endarkenment and the wisdom of the dark side is becoming more accepted, there is still widespread light side delusion and persecution of our kind. So if you find it necessary to adopt a light side persona for a while, as part of an infiltration or in order to gain greater power in your society, you should proceed. Just remember, Sith Acoltye, that no matter how deep your deception or how high you may rise in light side society, that you took an oath of allegiance to the Sith Order. This means that the will of the Dark Lords supersedes any mundane authority, and when the time comes you will be expected to act accordingly. Never forget the words of Darth Tenebrous:

“To we who dwell in the Force, normal life is little more than pretense. Our only actions of significance are those we undertake in service to the dark side.”

What actions of significance will you undertake in service to the dark side, Sith pretender?

A Line of Conquerors

To give you a clearer picture of the lineage of Dark Lords we are establishing, imagine if the greatest conquerors, emperors and prophets of this planet’s history, from Pharaoh Narmer to Alexander the Great and Qin Shi Huang to Muhammad, Genghis Khan and Cortés to Napoleon, Hitler and Mao, all belonged to a single line of endarkened beings, each secretly transmitting his knowledge and Force power to the next Dark Lord in the chain. Further imagine that all these Dark Lords shared a similar ideology, religion and vision, preserved across thousands of years, each adding to the knowledge and achievements of the previous one and thus building ever greater empires across space and time. Imagine that every Dark Lord had access to secrets of power, conquest, the Force, sorcery and immortality that the mundanes of the world don’t even suspect exists. Imagine a secret network of Temples in forbidden locations where the Dark Lords’ lore is stored, their Force power accumulated and their knowledge transmitted.

Ours is a secret religion, and we are a Black Priesthood of Power. As long as there are two or more of us to maintain our chain of Force power and our wills unbroken, we shall endure. We shall study, machinate and maintain our lineage until the time is right to begin our campaigns of conquest. Such is the scale of our project, and the greatness we expect of all Dark Lords!

The symbol below is the seal of our Black Temple—the first structure of its kind on this planet, dedicated solely to the Dark Force and the Dark Religion. Let this seal be preserved for the ages and inscribed in great temples and artifacts to come, so that henceforth every Dark Lord may know that he is of our line of conquerors!

Tree-Hang Training

 

{ The following is an excerpt from Sith Academy: The Ninja Handbook. }

Tree-Hang

The Ninja operative needs to be able to hang for long periods over an area, from tree branches, walls, beams, etc., as part of reconnaissance or infiltration missions. The historical Ninja trained in this skill from a young age, starting by hanging from low branches for a few minutes. As they grew older and stronger, they would hang from higher branches for longer periods, until they were able to hang from branches fifty feet in the air for up to an hour. This not only required tremendous strength and endurance, but great willpower and mastery of one’s fear of heights. This makes the tree-hang one of the best all-around Ninja training exercises one can do.

To begin this exercise, find a branch or bar that is a little higher than your outstretched arms. Jump up and grab the bar with both hands, and simply hang naturally. As you hang, keep your body perfectly still and your breathing quiet. You may only be able to do this for a minute or two as a beginner before you tire and have to drop to the ground. Perform this exercise every day as part of your daily training; use a timer to set your hang time, increasing it by a small increment (10-20 seconds) every three days. After a week or two of this, find a higher branch so you are hanging several feet off the ground. Continue increasing your hang times and heights until you are able to hang motionless for ten minutes or more from a height of at least ten feet, and you will have achieved a Ninja Acolyte level of proficiency at the tree-hang skill.

Note: After I wrote this, I did some tree-hang training at a nearby beach, as shown in the picture above. Seconds after the picture was taken, I lost my grip while I was swinging back to the trunk to get down, and fell about eight feet straight onto my tailbone. This was a good, but painful, lesson in the importance of developing a strong grip, mindfulness of my body and agility in falling. Better to learn this from a height of eight feet than eighty!

The Devil-Worshippers

The following is the introduction to The Devil-Worshippers, an anthology of classic tales of Diabolism and Black Magic edited by the Dark Lords.

Mankind’s Primal Religion

DEVIL-WORSHIP! What could be more terrifying? What could provoke more primal fear than the specter of men who worship a deity, not of benevolence and light, but pure evil and darkness?

In his classic study, The History of the Devil and the Idea of Evil, From the Earliest Times to the Present Day, Paul Carus make the case that Devil-worship is the primeval form of human religion:

Devil-worship naturally precedes the worship of a benign and morally good Deity… there seems to be no exception to the rule that fear is always the first incentive to religious worship. This is the reason why the dark figure of the Devil, that is to say, of a powerful evil deity, looms up as the most important personage in the remotest past of almost every faith. Demonolatry, or Devil-worship, is the first stage in the evolution of religion, for we fear the bad, not the good.

Devil-worship is indeed a religion of fear, but it is also a religion of awe: awe at the powers of darkness; awe at the dark god who commands these powers and must be propitiated by mortal men.

But more than mere slaves who live in fear of a tyrannical God in the manner of the Yehovans, Devil-worshippers hope to gain great boons by their fealty—all the wealth, power, pleasure and knowledge which the Lord of this World has to offer. In an age of widespread unbelief and cynicism—a so-called “Age of Enlightenment” which starves men’s souls of the potency and faith of the old religions—it may be Devil-worship that offers the path out of this cul-de-sac of ignorance—a path that is compatible with the materialistic and hedonistic ethos of the age, yet which serves a transcendent Master: the Devil!

Notes About These Tales and Essays

Devil Worship” (pub. 1900) is the second chapter of Paul Carus’s opus, The History of the Devil. Carus describes pre-Christian forms of worship among American Indian tribes and ancient Greeks—in particular their practice of human sacrifice to sinister gods—to show that Devil-worship is indeed mankind’s primal religion.

Secret Worship” (pub. 1908) is a brilliant tale of an outbreak of Devil-worship at a monastery in a remote German village. Written by the great master of the weird tale, Algernon Blackwood, the story illustrates a vexing fact about faith: the closer one gets to God, the more tempted one is by the Devil!

The Late Mrs. Fowke” (pub. 1921) is a delightful little story of a housewife with a most unusual hobby, and an alter ego that is quite diabolical. Let this be a warning to those who take mundane appearances for truth, that out in remote hollows, hymns are being chanted to dark gods, and a more sinister, vital existence is being celebrated!

Gavon’s Eve” (pub. 1912) tells of witchcraft and devilry at a remote Scottish loch. The star of this tale for this editor is the setting: an ancient, ruined Pictish castle, with a stone altar set above a black pool, illuminated by the midnight moon of Gavon’s Eve. Surely the Devil comes out to play in such settings, or not at all!

Dig Me No Grave” (pub. 1937) by pulp legend Robert E. Howard is a superb tale of a diabolical pact that comes due in the most dramatic and terrifying fashion. The words of the ancient pact should resonate with every monodiabolist who dares to trade his immortal soul for the terrible powers of the Master:

“There is but one Black Master though men calle hym Sathanas & Beelzebub & Apolleon & Ahriman & Malik Tous… Ye abysse yawns & ye debt is to paye. Ye light fayles, ye shadows gather. There is no god but evil; no lite but darkness; no hope but doom—”

The Demon Pope” (pub. 1888) is a whimsical story about a Faustian pact with a twist, and diabolism in the innermost circle of the medieval Church. Considering the evil antics of the Inquisitors of said Church, and persistent rumors of a Devil-worshipping cabal at its heart, this tale might not be far off the mark!

The Black Mass” (pub. 1891) is an infamous excerpt from the French novel novel Là-bas (“The Damned”), about a seeker’s descent into the underworld of diabolism in late 19th century Paris. The Black Mass portrayed here was controversial in its day, and it remains one of the most disturbing and believable accounts of diabolical worship in the literature—“a madhouse, a monstrous pandemonium of prostitutes and maniacs” indeed. A must read!

Incense of Abomination” (pub. 1938) is a melancholy tale of Devil-worship, suicide and haunted souls, by the great pulp author Seabury Quinn. His depiction of Black Masses and Satanic orgies is first rate, as is his understanding of a major challenge for the faith: the tendency of disciples to backslide, doubt, succumb to depression and even suicide. The Devil’s religion is not for everyone! As Doctor Bentley puts it: “There’s an essential nastiness in Devil-worship which is revolting to the average man, not to mention its abysmal wickedness.” However, the beautiful young Marescha redeems the faith for many with her stirring words:

‘Take off your robe; that’s what we’re here for. This is our religion, the oldest in the world; it’s revolt against the goody-goodies, revolt against the narrowness of God; we live for pleasure and unbridled passion instead of abnegation and renunciation—life and love and pleasure in a world of vivid scarlet, instead of fear and dreariness in a world all cold and gray. That’s our creed and faith. We’re set apart, we’re marked for pleasure, we worshippers of Satan.’

Amen to that, sister!

The Witch” (pub. 1909) is a chapter from Marjorie Bowen’s classic novel “Black Magic”—an epic tale of two dashing young sorcerers’ quest for forbidden knowledge and power in medieval Europe. In this chapter, the sorcerers seek the counsel of a fellow diabolist and witch, as the love of one sorcerer for the other clashes with his romantic interest in a lady of the Court, and with their destiny to become the Devil’s chosen agents, who will put the Antichrist on the highest throne of power. Look for this entire outstanding novel to be published in a future installment of the Dark Lords’ Library of the Occult!

Hymn to Satan” (pub. 1913) is Aleister Crowley’s little ode to the Lord of this World. Despite this, the question of Crowley’s diabolical bone fides has been a subject of contention among occult scholars. Israel Regardie asserts that “anyone who says Crowley was a Satanist and a devil-worshipper should have his head examined.” Crowley, ever the trickster, is contradictory on the subject, but clearly states in his masterwork Magick in Theory & Practice:

The Devil does not exist. It is a false name invented by the Black Brothers to imply a Unity in their ignorant muddle of dispersions. A devil who had unity would be a God—“The Devil” is, historically, the God of any people that one personally dislikes.

Which begs the question: who are these “Black Brothers”, and how does one join? But we digress…

Satanism in the Nineteenth Century” (pub. 1896) is the first chapter from occult scholar A. E. Waite’s study Devil-Worship in France. Waite makes some interesting observations about the very active diabolist scene of late 19th century France, including the notorious Black Mass described by Huysmans in this collection. As Waite notes, the revival of the cultus diabolus in the epicenter of the (so-called) “Age of Enlightenment” is a testament to the timeless appeal of the Devil and His religion!

The Sabbath of the Sorcerers” (pub. 1896) is a chapter from A. E. Waite’s translation of Éliphas Lévi’s monumental occult classic, Transcendental Magic: Its Doctrine and Ritual. This excerpt describes various aspects of diabolical arcanum and Black Magickal practice, as they were known in pre-modern Europe. Lévi includes a description of the notorious Goëtic Black Evocation rite from the Grimoire of Pope Honorius, which was said to be means to summon the Devil Himself. A must read for all students of the Black Arts!

The Sanctuary” (pub. 1934) is a stand-out tale of secret Devil-worship at a country estate. It’s a beautiful parable of an undeniable fact: that even amidst the most idyllic surroundings, the Devil is ever-ready to rear His horny head, and human beings are only too willing to bow before Him. There is no sanctuary for unbelievers on Lord Satan’s black earth!

Ninja Mind

{ The following is an excerpt from Sith Academy: The Ninja Handbook. }

“The truth here is that you have an enemy and an ally nowhere else but in your own mind.” —The Bansenshukai

Becoming a Ninja requires the development of a certain mindset of forbearance, flexibility, daring and deception. To understand what this entails, there is a powerful passage in the Shoninki where a Master is explaining the path of the Ninja to an Apprentice:

“The ninja can do the following things: sometimes talk about a province they have never been to, tell a strange story about a place they don’t know, pretend to be friends with a stranger, buy things with gold or silver they don’t have, eat food nobody gives, get drunk and go on a drunken spree without drinking alcohol, and learn every kind of art in the world. Also, oddly without being asked, they disguise themselves as a monk or Yamabushi mountain priest, even if they are not used to doing it; they have nowhere they cannot go; they camouflage themselves as women, such as an old mountain hag; they go out acting covertly all night and sleep out in the wilderness without shelter. Also, sometimes as a ninja, you may be startled at the call of a deer and search in panic for a hiding place while moaning in agonizing pain or grief or a sadness of which no one is aware. You will get annoyed with the moonlight and seek for the shelter of the shadows within a forest. Yet you have nobody to talk with or to unburden such toils and dismay, are any of these things a marvel for you at all? The people of the world around you may not know of your plight and engage you in conversation, but you must answer them without revealing any stress, this is also one of deceptions of the shinobi.”

This is one of the best descriptions of the Ninja mindset in the classical scrolls; study it and take it to heart!

Ninja Consciousness

Nine Levels of Awareness

Black Ninja psychology posits nine levels of consciousness:

  • Five Senses: Sight, sound, touch, smell, taste

  • Awareness of your mind: mindfulness, self-understanding

  • Awareness of other minds: “haragei”, intuition, telepathy, social understanding, communication

  • Cosmic awareness: sensing danger, remote viewing, knowing the future

  • Endarkenment: seeing through illusions, awareness of form and formlessness, Dark Tao-consciousness

Our Nine Halls training system is designed to awaken and hone each of these nine levels. The fact that we develop the four “metaphysical” levels of awareness gives us an edge over mundane shadow warriors, who focus primarily on the five physical senses.

Mushin

Ninja activities are best done in a state of mind called mushin, or ”no mind”. This is the state of unconscious, effortless action, when you no longer have to think about what you are doing—you simply do it. All Ninja training—meditation, climbing, fighting, stealthy movement, etc.—is designed to produce the mushin state. The fully trained Ninja master may truly be called a mushin-mono, or “mindless one”.

Mushin has recently been dubbed the “flow” state by Westerners, because it is a state where one is simply flowing with events, rather than consciously trying to control them. This has been found to be the most effective state for competitive sports, climbing, skydiving, surfing, artistic creation and other “peak performance” activities. This is also the state Zen masters have always strived for. As the great Zen master Takuan Sōhō said:

“The mind must always be in the state of ‘flowing,’ for when it stops anywhere that means the flow is interrupted and it is this interruption that is injurious to the well-being of the mind. In the case of the swordsman, it means death. When the swordsman stands against his opponent, he is not to think of the opponent, nor of himself, nor of his enemy’s sword movements. He just stands there with his sword which, forgetful of all technique, is ready only to follow the dictates of the subconscious. The man has effaced himself as the wielder of the sword. When he strikes, it is not the man but the sword in the hand of the man’s subconscious that strikes.”

The presence of danger—of your life being on a knife-edge—is one of the triggers for mushin. Being accustomed to this state, and able to enter it at will, is a matter of life and death for those who live with danger like the Ninja. But mushin can be entered into at any time, during even the most mundane activities. The Ninja should strive to live his entire life in the mushin state.

Blade-Heart

In the Bansenshukai, Fujibayashi writes:

“When entering an enemy camp on a dangerous mission, your heart must be a hard, cold, and sharp as the blade of a sword. If the heart is soft and weak, whenever an enemy confronts you, panic results and the mission fails. If the heart is unstable, the enemy will be able to see this hesitancy easily. This situation will not only cost your life, but will also endanger your leader, or for that matter, your country. A practitioner of Ninpo needs to have the type of heart that when touched can cut, and as with the blade of a sword, it should always be kept free from impurities, sharp, and cold to keep enemies on constant alert.”

This is a beautiful description of the Ninja heart: strong, cutting and pure like a blade. In fact, the kanji symbol used to represent “ninja” in written Japanese is composed of the kanji for “blade” on top of the kanji for “heart” (see above). The symbol for “ninja” literally translates as “one whose heart is under a blade”. In the Black Tongue of our Brotherhood, this quality is called tarzhâk, and a Ninja is sometimes called a tarzhâkath (“blade-hearter”).

Death in Life, Life in Death

“As a year has spring and winter, in spring trees and plants grow while in winter they conceal themselves, the sun and the moon rise and set, a day has day and night, the man wakes or sleeps, lives or dies. Spring is yo and of life, while winter is in and of death. Also, moonrise is yo while sunset or moonset is in and a man’s waking state is yo while sleeping is in. This means that to live is yo while to die is in. If you hate and fear to die young, why would you not hate or dread winter to come, or the sun and the moon to set, night to fall or a man to sleep? As sleep is a small part of in, so death is a large form of in. What is the reason you hate only death but do not hate to sleep? You should be ready to die with nothing to fear.” —The Bansenshukai

Here is another vital aspect of the Black Ninja mindset: the principle of “death in life, life in death”. This derives from the nature of the Tao, such that whenever you seek one thing, you bring about its opposite. If you go on a mission with a mentality of fearing death and wanting only to survive, you are in fact more likely to die. You will be tentative, fearful and rigid, instead of bold, fearless and flexible. Fujibayashi makes this point strongly in the Bansenshukai. Conversely, if you have a “devil may care” attitude on a mission, thinking of yourself as already dead, knowing that whatever happens is the will of the Dark Tao, feeling that you have nothing to lose, you will have a great advantage over enemies who fear death. You will find as you embrace death that you come alive; you will awaken instinctive powers held in check by your death-fearing mind; you will not hesitate and you will not be shocked or demoralized by events. Therefore, you will be more likely to continue to live. This realization is the secret of all great warriors.

Having said this, it should also be said that the Black Ninja are not like the Samurai or Kamikaze who went willingly into battles that were likely to bring death upon them. The Black Ninja is a “stealer-in” not a “death-marcher”; their mission is to infiltrate, gather information or conduct a stealth attack, then escape. Not fearing death does not mean the Ninja storms into the Lord’s quarters with sword in hand like a suicidal Hashashin of ancient Persia. Nor does it mean you stand and fight a pursuing enemy when running away is still an option. The ancient scrolls are clear on this point. Do not fear death, but stay true to your shadow warrior nature and mission, and don’t throw your life away.

Shadow-Mind

All dark side psychology, endarkened philosophy and black magick speak of the power of the Shadow: the dark side of human nature and the cosmos, which most try to ignore, suppress or vilify as “evil”. The Black Ninja, like the endarkened psychologist, philosopher and black magician, knows what evil lurks in the hearts of men, and how much power it has. Striving to acquire this power, and to make himself psychologically whole and strong, the Black Ninja becomes a living embodiment of his own Shadow, rather than a walking denial of it. This makes him terrifying to the Shadow-denying white-lighters, but it also makes him very formidable. For it gives him a gravitas, confidence and commanding presence that their subconscious minds respect, though their conscious minds reject. As Black Ninja, this is what matters most to us: the deep truth communicated by the Shadow-mind, not the superficial words and abstractions of the waking mind.

The great psychologist Carl Jung was the Westerner who popularized the idea of the Shadow, and made “integrating the Shadow” central to his psychological system. As Jung said:

“Filling the conscious mind with ideal conceptions is a characteristic of Western theosophy, but not the confrontation with the Shadow and the world of darkness. One does not become enlightened by imagining figures of light, but by making the darkness conscious. The latter procedure, however, is disagreeable and therefore not popular.”

Here Jung shows an understanding of what Ninja knew centuries ago: that real enlightenment is a process of facing the darkness. Jung also spoke of “projecting the Shadow”: the common practice of projecting one’s fears, hatreds and darker nature onto another person or group, and branding them “evil”. This is what the Samurai society of old Japan often did vis-a-vis the Ninja: projected all they found most despicable, disturbing and dishonorable onto them, so the Ninja became the living Shadows of the Samurai. And as often happens in cases of Shadow projection, the Samurai sought to wipe out the Ninja, and in so doing to wipe out the Shadow that was nothing other than their own dark side. But this is a war that they could never win.

The secret of the Black Ninjas’ power is our willingness to be the Shadow, and to use it as a weapon by magnifying and projecting it back upon the projector. By becoming living Shadows, Shadow-projection attacks no longer work against us. The Ninja essentially says to the Samurai and their kind: “Yes, I am your worst fears come to life. Your shaming and vilification doesn’t work on me. The more you project your fears upon me, the stronger I become.” This understanding is vital to the Black Ninja; it is how we stay strong in the face of animosity, and how we gain power in the face of stigmatization and fear. This understanding is what we call Shadow-Mindedness (Narg-Hûzûk).

Thick Face, Black Heart

The qualities of “thick face” and “black heart” are significant in darker Asian thought, and both are important in achieving the Black Ninja mindset.

“Thick face” refers to the strength of character, confidence and sense of self-worth needed to stay strong in the face of social criticism or adversity. It combines the Asian concept of “face”—your reputation and honor—and “thick skin”—your ability to withstand attack. A Black Ninja clearly needs a very thick face, because by nature he stands outside socially-approved conventions and subjects himself to extreme adversity and attack. Thick face is his psychological armor.

“Black heart” refers to the ability to take ruthless action; to impose your will on others even if it does them harm. Societies condition people not to have black hearts for obvious reasons, but this doesn’t apply to the Black Ninja. The reality is that every society needs people with black hearts, to get things done, to punish those who need punishing, and do the dirty work that those with white hearts fear to do. Black Ninjas are necessary, and black hearts are their psychological swords.

These two traits are at the core of Thick Black Theory, described in an influential Chinese treatise about the use of Machiavellian tactics and strategies to achieve one’s goals. It is said that Mao Tse-Tung studied this banned work and used its principles to conquer China. Thick Black Theory will be studied further in the Hall of Strategy.

Infiltrating and Exfiltrating Chi

In the scrolls of the Iga and Koka Ninja, an important distinction is made between the mindset of the Ninja when he is going into enemy territory vs. when he is exfiltrating from it. The scrolls speak of two different kinds of “chi”, which is the Chinese name for the psychic energy that is thought to control the will. When a Ninja has entered an enemy compound successfully, he will be full of “Infiltrating Chi”, full of confidence, ready to attack anyone who confronts him and complete his mission. However, after the Ninja’s task in the compound is complete, he will switch to an “Exfiltrating Chi” mindset, wanting only to avoid conflict and leave the area safely. This change in mindset is dangerous for the Ninja, because he may become too cautious and timid to get away safely. For example, the scrolls claim that enemy dogs will sense your weak Exfiltrating Chi and hound you, whereas if you project aggressive Infiltrating Chi they will leave you alone. To overcome this problem, you must first develop an awareness of it, then discipline yourself to stay just as bold during exfiltration as infiltration.

What is the Force? (Part I)

(The following is an excerpt from our forthcoming book, Sith Academy: Lords of the Force.)

We begin by presenting some of our more poetic and theoretical ideas about the great mystery of the Force. These ideas may not seem necessary for practical Force empowerment, but you will find that they have a power that is useful to you nevertheless. For in the Dark Lords’ black magickal worldview, thoughts are things, belief is power, and words create reality. There is therefore no purely poetic or theoretical knowledge; every idea offered here is a potential thought-bomb that can set fire to your life, explode your world and shatter your reality.

Poetic Perspectives

The Force is a Wild Power

The Force is a wild power, like lightning or solar radiation, which can be harnessed by individuals who are capable of receiving and making use of it. The Force can be accumulated by “lightning rods” or “solar panels”, giving vitality and energy to those who develop the senses to perceive it. The Force can be transmitted like “bolts of electricity” from Master to Apprentice, awakening and empowering each being in the chain of transmission. The Force can be generated in “power stations” called Temples, from which it can be transmitted to a cult of Templars or an entire society. The Force can be stored in “batteries” such as Vrilstones, weapons, books, jewelry and other artifacts, to be tapped into by the Force-sensitive as needed. The Force can strike at random like an electrical storm―a chaotic, uncontrolled energy that can empower or destroy beings in its path as it wills.

The Force is not a god, for it does not have characteristics of human beings, animals, or any other beings we understand—though it may take such forms to make itself known to us. Nor does the Force take a personal interest in our fate. The Force is a power beyond human comprehension, yet which humans may make use of all the same. The Force is a great cosmic mystery: the disturbing force of nature, the dark machinery of creation, evolution and destruction, and the key to every revelation, prophecy, invention and conquest that has troubled or transformed mankind down through the ages.

The Force is Passion

The English word that perhaps comes closest to the meaning of the Force for the Sith is passion. Passion is that which burns within our souls, compelling us to act. It is the inner flame that fuels our efforts in this world, giving us the energy and motivation to engage in the struggle for life. We do not view the Force as a principle of peace, or balance, or submission to an external will, like the so-called Jedi do, but a principle of pure passion to be harnessed for self-glorification and conquest.

Force passion can take many forms for our kind. Some of us have a passion for making money; others for self-improvement; others for political power, sexual pleasure, personal adventure, artistic creation, military conquest, scientific discovery, philosophical speculation, athletic competition, religious devotion, or what have you. All of these are expressions of our passion, which in the Sith view are manifestations of our Force power.

Like passion, the Force can be transmitted from person to person. A being with a powerful passion is infectious; he or she can awaken another person’s passion simply by being in their presence. Some Sith use their passion to seduce and dominate people individually, in the manner of Rasputin or the fictional Dracula. Others may enthrall and ignite an entire nation with their passion, in the manner of Adolph Hitler or Muhammad.

Passion, like the Force, cannot be reduced to rational understanding or scientific analysis. The more one tries to live life according to some abstract system or to analyse it with rational models, the less one finds passion entering one’s life. Indeed, this is the great failing of modern rationalist civilization, which produces many “geeks” who are highly intelligent, but possess so little passion or inner strength. While such nerds may think they are getting their revenge by creating technology companies and becoming billionaires, their victory is rather hollow if they become passionless robots in the process.

Passion, like Force power, is something you are born with to a certain level, though it can be increased by life experience. Some people are naturally more passionate than others; they show a great lust for life from an early age and burn with intensity to achieve their goals. Such individuals are risk-takers and trouble-makers, whether for good or ill. They may become conquerors, superstars and revolutionaries, or they may die young, be shunned or find themselves behind prison bars for life. Contrast them with the less passionate breed, who may become successful technocrats, solid professionals and pillars of society by never rocking the boat or going to extremes. Such is often considered “success” by the mundane, yet without luck or intelligence, such passionless beings will all too easily succumb to enslavement, depression, mediocrity and nihilism.

Most religions teach that passion is something to be controlled, proscribed, denied―that is a source of great evil and suffering. Buddhism is an entire system of thought designed to snuff out passion. For Buddhists, passion is the root of suffering, because it attaches one to the “samsaric” world of illusion rather than liberating one from it. In Islam they speak of the nafs, which are our lusts for the things of this world, which are to be deprecated compared to our concern for our eternal life in the world to come. In Christianity, passion is similarly suspect, as an expression of all sorts of worldly, ungodly, demonic desires which can lead men through the gates of Hell.

There are perks and pitfalls in all paths and philosophies of life. As Dark Lords, we choose to live by the creeds of “power is our passion”, “passion is our power” and “the world is ours”. While this may result in an early death or other ignominious end, we feel the risks are worth the potential rewards: immortality and unlimited power!

The Force is Fire

The Force is an invisible inner fire that burns beneath the perceptions of the mundane. In the most powerful beings, it becomes a raging inferno that cannot be contained; it pours forth in great acts of fiery destruction of entire orders or blazing forgings of new ones. In ordinary beings, the Force is a slow burn that generates the energy necessary to live, without causing undue harm to others. In weak beings, the Force is a flickering ember that can barely generate enough psychic heat to survive in a cold world. And when this ember finally burns out, every being joins the legions of the dead in the Forceless Void.

Every Sith Lord is a spiritual arsonist, who lights Force fires that may grow into great conflagrations that burn the world down. The art of accumulating power the Sith way is learning to gather the fuel for these great conflagrations in secret, stacking up the wood and stoking the hidden flames until they are ready to be unleashed upon the world. This fuel-gathering may take the form of physical training, mental training, writing books and journals, creating symbols and art, making weapons, artifacts and clothing, building temples, performing rituals, etc. Each of these activities adds fuel to our fire, which will be called upon to ignite the great Force eruption that will mark our ascent to power. This was the fire spoken of in our visions by the great conqueror to come, Darth Siluzon:

“The Dark Lords of the Sith were inflamed when my Force fire was unleashed upon this Earth, burning away false hopes, destitute dreams and meager destinies. And the Sith would prove victorious, declaring ‘united we stand, divided we fall’ to be the maxim of men of the light, its time now at an end. In its place we raised the banner of ‘Power is our passion’ as the motto of the new age. We stood up to the men of light as lustful Sith Masters of the Universe and declared: I stand with my Sith Lords at my side, ready to fight you; ready to prove our right to rule; ready to conquer all that is weak; ready to fuel my soul with my burning lust for power. And so, victory was soon ours…”

And when the existing order has been burned to the ground, the great Sith Lord becomes a worldsmith, forging great works in the furnaces of his Force-heightened mind, then manifesting them in the world of matter. The great temples, starships, armies and empires that burn in our Force visions will pour out of our imaginations and the pages of our books, burning themselves straight onto the crucible of history.

Like fire, the Force is a both a destroyer and a creator. The fire that burns down a forest also clears away the old growth so that new life may prosper. The flame that melts raw iron allows it to be forged into stronger and more refined steel. The Force is a revitalizing fire that erupts out of the Black Sun, enters our thoughts through the burning minds of the Dark Lords, spreads from being to being and consumes the world.