Tuesday, June 29, 2004

Witch hunts and a flying girl/boy...

It was my intention not to mention Neurocam anywhere in today's post but I was just over at egotript's blog and saw his mention of the Neurocam witch hunt that was occurring over at Funny Face, I love you (See Katie's post dated Thursday June 24)...

Jeez people! You all need to chill out just a little... In the past I've hinted strongly about what I suspect Neurocam may be, and, even if I'm wrong, it seems mostly about having an experience a little outside the norm... I'm not discouraging people from trying to figure out what it's all about, but I'd like to echo Egotript's call for you all to put down the pitchforks and extinguish the torches.

Mind you, it doesn't help that Iocus Severus seems to be standing ready with a sharpening stone and lighter.

Now on to what I had intended to post about -

I wanted to offer HUGE congratulations to my very dear friend Petra who will be performing as the title role of the Street Theatre's upcoming production of Peter Pan.

Very cool indeed. I must admit that I do find it hilarious that she's cut her hair short and dyed it blonde for the role. She always assured me that NOTHING would ever make her red locks blonde... Just goes to show what the lure of fame and fortune will do to a girl...

While I'm singing the praises of my friends (as opposed to talking about myself or Neurocam) I thought I'd take a moment to point you all towards Living Space, the new webcomic written and drawn by Ratbat and Tim. It's early days yet, but it's starting to look promising...

Good work you lot!

That's all from me for now. If anybody needs me I'll be down at the witchburnings...

Monday, June 28, 2004

Is Iocus Severus Yellow?

Yesterday I was bemoaning the fact that I hadn't heard from either Neurocam@usa.com or RJHenley@hotmail.com. Well it seems that at least one of them heard my cry for attention. I received this e-mail earlier today:

Sender: Robert Henley (neurocam@usa.com)
Subject: Iocus
Date: Monday 28 June, 2004


New information has some to light regarding Iocus Severus. Some preliminary investigations have revealed that he may in fact be affiliated with some of our top level players in a sector known as Yellow 1. Y1 operatives are generally involved with operations designed to test the integrity of aspiring members who move up through the ranks relatively swiftly. Their tasks usually involve taking a 'devil's advocate' role and putting agents through the proverbial ringer prior to promotions. We know that your activity with Neurocam of late may perhaps warrant interaction with a Y1, so perhaps this explains it.

I am aware that this may all sound terribly confusing but unfortunately this is how it works with Neurocam. Part of our internal structure involves almost total separation between departments and a veil of secrecy surrounding most operation. As you know my own position in Neurocam is in fact only slightly higher than yours, so I only gain access to a certain degree of information. Even my knowledge of the Y1 team is based entirely on rumour alone.

I would like to advise you to cooperate with Iocus and keep me informed of any developments. I would also like to advise you to pass this information on to your own team.



This is a rather interesting development. Y1? What the hell? I can't say I surprised that any knowledge of Y1 is based on rumour alone, it seems that everything Neurocam based is drawn predominately from rumour and supposition.

Cooperate with Iocus Severus? I'm not actually sure how Robert intends me to do that... I assume he merely wants me to keep e-mailing Iocus Severus. I don't see how that counts as cooperation though... Cooperation would imply that I will be required to perform some kind of task for Iocus Severus, which is something that hasn't occurred as of yet. Up until this point my relationship with this mysterious participant has been entirely based on e-mail correspondence.

Also, "your own team"? I have a team? Nobody told me I had a team. Unless he means "C" who I haven't heard from in ages. I suspect that Robert's starting to get a tad confused... Perhaps he thinks he's speaking to someone else...

Sunday, June 27, 2004


Due to my recent time constraints (which I've discussed ad nausuem so I won't be going into again now) I haven't had much time to pursue all things Neurocam. Now that I have a day off I have finally had time to compose a response to Iocus Severus' most recent e-mail. Here's what I had to say:

Subject: Mvfilxzn
Sender: Graham Henstock
Date: Sunday 27 June, 2004.

Dear Rlxfh Hvevifh

Firstly let me express my apologies for the somewhat extensive pause in our correspondence. The demands upon my time have been many and varied and I hope that I have been correct in assuming that your preference would be to wait a little longer for a carefully considered response as opposed to receiving one which was expedient but compromised due to my time constraints.

I find it interesting that you identify with the Devil's Advocate. The Devil's Advocate, although fulfilling an essential role in the Vatican's hierarchy, only possesses their power due to the will of The Pope that they do so. In fact you have said as much yourself in your most recent e-mail- "He is *given license* to employ every means, malicious or otherwise to obstruct, discredit and dishonour the office and the person of the Holy Father"(my asterisks).

Taken at face value, then, your statement would suggest that you are nothing more than an employee of Neurocam and Robert Henley, fulfilling the necessary role of protagonist and possessing only as much power and knowledge as your employers deem required for you to be able to fulfill your task. Throughout our correspondence I had envisioned you to be a more independent player than your statement would imply, so it is my hope that this was simply a poor analogy on your part.

Whilst on the subject of poor analogies it is my turn to confess that, by identifying myself with Kerry Thornley, I may be guilty of the same sin. If pressed, however, I'd be more inclined to suggest that you may aptly fill the role of Hagbard Celine, but, as I have already confessed, this is a poor analogy and thus not worth dwelling on.

Now onto matters a touch more cryptic. Try as I might I could not decipher the meaning of Jasmine, Jackpot, Juniper. At first I assumed that you were proffering a clue by mentioning the Atbash Cipher, but on second reading I have taken you at face value and assumed that you had "given anything or anybody away by revealing this." On the matter of my search for the tome "Jocus Severus" you stated in a previous e-mail (dated Saturday 12 June, 2004) that "it was not my intention to send you on a wild goose chase". Although it may have not been your intention was in that instance I strongly suspect that it was indeed your intention on this occasion.

I have no doubt that you did indeed see me at the launch of Happiness(tm) as I suspect that you were intrinsically involved in the proceedings. It's a shame that Shelly didn't make an appearance as I'm sure that many of the people present were looking forward to seeing her in person, although I suspect that some harbored more malicious intent. You have, no doubt, read the accounts of the proceedings available on both Egotript's (whom I see you are now also corresponding with) and my blogs, if you haven't, then I suggest you do so. You may even spy yourself in some of the photos taken on the day.

It is with regret that I have once again run out of time, and thus must complete this e-mail and let it begin its journey to you. In keeping with habit, though, it is my intention to ask you just one question during this e-mail. In a change of tact I have decided to complicate matters ever so slightly. I'm sure, however, that this won't provide any major inconvenience for you.

My question is:
2421 24 2245154343 54344542 111344451131 2414153344244454 52243131 543445 14423435 442315 13231142111415?

Warm Regards,

Graham Henstock.

P.S: fhv gsv klobyrfh

It'll be interesting to see how he responds to that. Also interesting is the fact that I haven't received any further correspondence from RJHenley@hotmail.com or Robert Henley at Neurocam@usa.com... I wonder why they have both been so silent?

I'm positive that they're both aware that I have completed my latest assignment, but neither of them seen to deem it necessary to contact me. Perhaps they've been under similiar time constraints to myself... Oh well, patience is a virtue...

Let me clear my throat!

According to my tracker I've had in excess of 200 visitors this week, making it my second biggest week ever. So how many posts have I put up?

Just 1.


Do I feel guilty? Yeah, a little, but I swear that I've got a pretty good excuse...

As I stated in my last post, last week was the production (read set-up) week for "Amigos". The latest play in the Melbourne Theatre Company season. It's a new David Williamson play and stars a pretty amazing cast.

Production weeks always mean long hours. During the average production week I'll generally work somewhere between 70 - 80 hours. Now I know that sounds insane, but the payoff is meant to be that from there on the company is only doing show calls, which means we all rock up at about 6pm, do a show and head to the pub, so one 80 hour week a month (on average) generally isn't too nasty. And, I've got to admit, the overtime pay is pretty sweet too.

Unfortunately this last week has been particularly nasty due to the fact that I've had a throat infection. Since Tuesday my throat has been conducting a series of union meetings, complete with lots of noise, demands for better hours and more cough drops, and finally culminating in a stop-work decision that left me practically speechless for almost two days.

Sadly, I couldn't afford to take time off because I was busy learning the show that I'll be running for the next six weeks. Missing the production week means missing the season, not a decision I would make lightly.

So I soldiered on and somehow endured through the week. It was all rather less than pleasant, but I made it and last night Amigos opened in Melbourne.

The audience seemed to love it, but I'm still a bit torn about how good it actually is. David Williamson is, without a doubt, one of the most important Australian playwrights of the last 50 years. Many of his plays (such as "The Club", "Don's party" and "Third World Blues") are considered to be pivotal works of the Australian theatre industry. It's due to this that I find myself expecting a lot from a David Williamson play. Sometimes, however, he fails to meet those expectations.

"Amigos" is one of those times.

It's not a bad play. The cast is fantastic. The set looks amazing. So do the lights. It's just that the script isn't as strong as it could be. If "Amigos" had been written by a up and coming playwright I would probably describe it as a solid, clever piece of theatre, but because it's written by David Williamson I find that it's a little disappointing... That's just my two cents worth...

In other news... Well, truth be told there is very little other news as I have mostly just been working 14 hour days, whinging about my throat, then headed home, whinged about my throat some more, gone to sleep and then awoken to repeat the process.

I did notice, however, that Cyzilla has been making completely unfounded accusations about Neurocam, Shelly Innocence, Egotript and myself. I suspect that he's just been injecting too many beats when he really should have been listening to them. Still, that doesn't explain how he could sit through an Eric Clapton concert without a breaking into a shuffle or two...

Cyzilla, I just thought we should stop the hate for once and share the love, but I guess that thought just supports your theory. If it's hate you want then - Bring it on!

Perhaps, however, I can placate you with some gratuitous humiliation and mocking instead (stolen from The Age):

I'm so proud that he's our leader.

Monday, June 21, 2004

An attempt at a brief update.

I imagine that after the last few posts you're all pretty Neurocamed out... If I'm wrong and you just can't get enough of the whole Neurocam tale, then you should head on over to Egotript's blog and check out his alternate description of last weekend's assignment. I guess that answers the question of who "Steve" is...

Briefly, in other Neurocam news, I noticed today that the Happiness booth is now set up in the entry to Flinders Street Station. Today's happiness rating? 25%

Also, whilst on my way to work, I noticed that the Neurocam billboard that had been near my work (the one that started this entire adventure) has been taken down/destroyed. I wonder why?

That's all I'm going to say about Neurocam for now, it's probably about time we returned you to your regularly scheduled program, so here's some news from my life:

I've just got home from work. At present we're into the second day of bumping in (i.e: setting up) Amigos. Amigos is a new David Williamson play, and this particular production is a version that MTC has bought from Sydney Theatre Company.

It's features a fantastic cast, but I've heard mixed reports about the play itself. I'll let you know my thoughts on the matter once we get into the season.

I'm going to be kept pretty busy doing the bump in this week, which means that you may not hear much from me. Starting from next week, however, I'll be in show mode. That's right, I'm actually doing the show this time!

Normally I set up one show and then move immediately on to the next one, but this time I'll be operating the automation for the entire seven week season. What's automation? That's when various set pieces have motors and moving parts which make them move on their own... Kind of cool... In Amigos the automation takes the form of a travellator, similar to those found in airport terminals.

It feels strange to admit that, although I work in theatre full time, this will be the first time this year that I've ended up doing the whole season of a show. What does that mean? Well predominately it means that for the next few weeks I'll be just doing show calls. Lots of sleeping in. At the theatre by 6pm. Home (or at the pub) by 11pm. It should make a nice change to the insane hours I usually work.

In other news, I went and saw "Super Size Me" on Saturday afternoon (whilst waiting for photos to develop) and was most impressed. Admittedly I wasn't particularly surprised by anything that occurred in the documentary, but maybe I've been ruined by Eric Schlosser's book "Fast Food Nation".

I did find it ironic, however, that there was a McDonald's ad shown before the movie. It's interesting to see how quickly McDonald's have begun their attempt to counter the bad publicity they are receiving.

Also extremely interesting was Mark Latham's recent announcement. Inspired by "Super Size Me"? I'd say so, but that doesn't alter the fact that I support the suggestion.

I have, however, experienced an unexpected effect from my viewing of "Super Size Me" - For the last two days I've been craving a quarter pounder...

Mmmmmmm... Gherkins..... Mmmmmmmmmmmm.....

Sunday, June 20, 2004

Who is Robert Henley? - The DVD.

I've just finished having my second watch of the DVD that was handed to me by Neurocam operative "Steve". It's quite a fascinating watch, and seems to draw many of the the Neurocam themes (and players) together.

Before I briefly describe the contents of the DVD, I'd like to say that, similar to the Neurocam interactive CD I was given in an earlier assignment, the DVD is remarkably well produced. The editing, animation and overall quality on the DVD is really quite remarkable. Also, like the Neurocam interactive CD, it appears that the DVD originates from around 2001.

The DVD opens with an animated title sequence. There is a small window on he right hand corner of the screen which shows a mysterious figure, wearing a white suit, black tie and white fedora, walking down a city street. The words "Who is Robert Henley?" flash across the screen. It appears that we are watching a documentary about Robert Henley.

Interestingly enough, the first face to appear after the title sequence is that of Robin Hely, the artist whose name has been mentioned more than once during my experiences with Neurocam. Hely explains to camera that the documentary is a record of what started out as an art project but turned decidedly more sinister. It seems that his initial idea for the project was to investigate, track down, and ultimately film a near mythical Melbourne identity named Robert Henley.

The DVD then cuts to an image of someone (Robin?) putting up posters which ask the public for help in the task of locating Robert Henley.

From here we are greeted with a grainy photo of Robert and the sound of someone leaving a message on an answering machine. The message starts "Hello, I'm calling because I've seen Robert Henley..." It then goes on to explain where the caller believes they saw Robert. Throughout the DVD this technique is employed on a number of occasions. Between each interview about Robert, or apparent footage of Robert, the documentary cuts to another message that has been left on the machine. All of the reported sightings appear to be in Melbourne.

After this first message, the DVD starts to cut in and out of a series of interviews with people who claim to have seen or met Robert Henley.

There's quite a few of these interviews and almost an equal amount of points of view on Robert Henley's personality and behaviour. Interestingly one of the interviewees is Jason Mailing, the artist behind Pic Poc Poe and splint.

In the midst of these interviews, the DVD cuts occasionally back to Robin Hely. Hely admits that, after a while, he was pretty sure that Robert Henley was aware of Hely's surveillance.

About ten minutes into the documentary a distinct narrative starts to emerge. This begins with the interview of a man who reports that he was hired to recover a suitcase Robert Henley had lost. As the interviews and footage continue it all turns a touch more sinister. If the interviewees are to be believed, Robert Henley had his suit and suitcase stolen and an "assault squad" had been given the the task to recover the suitcase. It's a task that apparently ended in an extremely violent altercation.

When asked what was in the briefcase one interviewee responds that it was details of a secret technology that Henley was developing. Innocuous enough, except that the image that flashes across the screen look awfully familiar.

All of this information is combined with footage that seems to collaborate the story. Interestingly, there is a small window in the top right corner which alternatively displays the phrases "file footage" and "dramatisation". Often both of these phrases are displayed at different points during the same piece of footage.

Once this part of the narrative and interviews concludes, the documentary then returns to Robin Hely. Hely explains that, after he had unearthed all of this information about Henley, he decided that he should confront the mysterious man in the white suit.

His confrontation makes up the final few minutes of the documentary. Hely relates how, one evening, he managed to track Henley to the casino. When Robin attempted to approach Robert, Robert makes a run for it.

The footage at this point in the documentary seems to be from Robin's P.O.V as he chases Henley through the Casino. The pursuit is quite extensive, but finally ends with Hely cornering Robert in a bathroom. It's here that the tables are turned on Hely.

Robin, voice cracking, explains that Henley, possessing a gun, proceeded to beat him up and steal his clothes. He states that when cornered Henley "Stole my identity." Is this why so many people have thought Robin Hely might be Robert Henley?

The documentary ends with Robin explaining that Robert apparently disappeared after the confrontation. He goes on to say that he still doesn't know that much about Robert Henley (although he still has the white suit that Henley left in the cubicle) and that it's his hope that by producing the documentary he may be able to draw Robert Henley out into the open. The documentary is 21 minutes long.

So there you have it! That's the contents of DVD handed to me by "Steve". Does it answer any of the questions I have about Neurocam? It certainly does, although it leaves me with a few more. Exactly how this all fits into the current Neurocam events I'll leave up to you to decide. I've got a pretty good idea, but it would be a shame to reveal everything now.

It'll be interesting to see how things progress from here.

Saturday, June 19, 2004

Happiness (tm) Launch - Part 2.

Explain this to me – Why is it the Kodak photo booth gives me a free film after I’ve handed them a disposable camera?

I don’t have the answer to that, but I do have the photos from today. So, without further ado, here’s my version of events, aided by quite a few pictures.

I arrived at Federation Square at around 11.45am. I was wearing my “G” around my neck and I had a slightly unwell Sharn in tow. It was immediately obvious that proceedings were already underway. There were Shelly Innocence™ signs everywhere, and a number of Shelly “look-a-likes” some of whom were decidedly masculine in appearance.

In addition there were also a large number of cardboard boxes with the word “Happiness” stamped on the side, presumably containing the actual Happiness product. The “Shellys” were busy handing out flyers and flowers, doing their best to encourage people to hang around for the launch of Happiness™.

Near where the stage was set up there was an extremely odd construction, which seemed to double as an art installation and information booth. Describing itself as a “Happiness” meter, the booth had a percentage graph on one side which claimed to display the “Happiness Level” for the day.

Apart from the paraphernalia near the booth there was another aspect of the launch occurring on the large video screen in Federation Square proper. A long TV commercial advertising Shelly Innocence and Happiness™ was repeated throughout the entire event.

As a crowd began to gather, obviously waiting for the launch to properly begin, a youngish man with short blonde hair approached me.

“G?” He asked.

“Yes” I replied.

“I believe I’m meant to make contact with you. I’m Steve.”

Steve led me to one side and then explained that I was to exchange contact details with him (a la the assignment where I met “C”) and that he had something for me. I wrote down my phone number and he promptly handed me what appeared to be a DVD. There was a slip of paper in the DVD container.

“My details are in there.” He said, and sunk back into the crowd.

I slipped the DVD into my bag and turned to re-join Sharn near the stage. As I did so a man wearing a suit jacket (whom I’m positive was the man accompanying Shelly Innocence during my last assignment) pointed at me and exclaimed “Blogspot!” Before I could respond he quickly turned away and began a conversation with one of the Shellys.

Bemused, I continued back to Sharn and waited for the launch to begin.

We didn’t have to wait long. A rather energetic man named Ryan (apparently the Marketing Manager for Innocence) MC’d the proceedings.

He began by assuring us all that Shelly would shortly be along in person (apparently she was busy finishing a shoot at “Fox” studios in Docklands). He then proceeded to describe the wonders of “Happiness™” and explain how it and its fellow products (Integrity™ and Honesty™) could greatly enhance our lives.

Then he announced that they would be auctioning off the first few boxes of Happiness™. A spirited auction began, with boxes going for as much as $3000. Admittedly I didn’t see any actual money change hands when the winners (including a girl who must have been around 10 years old) came up and collected their purchases. Maybe they had some sort of credit arrangement ;)

At this point the proceedings were suddenly interrupted by a cacophony of noise. Everybody turned to face the source of the racket. Marching around the corner, holding placards over their heads, chanting “We Don’t Trust Shelly,” was a group of around ten protestors.

The protestors forced their way through the crowd and began heckling Ryan.

Obviously perturbed, Ryan did his best to continue. Next he introduced a “Market Analyst”. She joined Ryan up the front and proceeded to tell us all that “Happiness” levels were up 200%, “emotional expenditure” was high, and “Integrity” and “Innocence” were a complete “sell-out”.

Throughout her speech the protestors continued to interject. They repeatedly demanded to know “Where’s Shelly?” and exclaimed that happiness was a human emotion and thus couldn’t be “sold as a commodity”.

Once the analyst was finished, Ryan resumed control. He again insisted that Shelly would be along shortly, but stated that, in the mean time, he’d like to get some testimonials from people who were satisfied with “Happiness™”.

One by one a number of people came forward and spoke about the wonders of “Happiness”. One claimed that it had made him satisfied and content. Another claimed that it had helped he and his wife conceive. Whilst yet another speaker spoke about how it had no side effects and “minimal toxic emissions”.

Once the testimonials were complete, Ryan, still struggling to be heard over the protestors, invited yet another guest speaker to the stage. This time he brought up Peter Burke, founder of Innocence ™. I shouldn’t have been surprised (but I was) when the man who had yelled “blogspot” at me took the stage. Well at least I now have a face for the name.

Peter Burke attempted to thank those who had helped set-up Innocence (including, interestingly enough, Arts Victoria), but could barely be heard over the top of the protesters who had worked themselves into a heckling frenzy. With a tentatively whispered “they’re getting a bit rowdy”, Peter quickly retreated from the podium.

By this point the protestors were making one thing evidently clear – They wanted to see Shelly Innocence.

Ryan began, yet again, to assure us that Shelly was on his way, but he was interrupted by his ringing phone. Apologising to the crowd, he answered it and held the earpiece near his microphone.

“Hello Ryan?” A very feminine voice asked, her voice amplified through the speakers.
“It’s Shelly here. I’ve been held up and I’m not going to make it.”

The crowd gasped with disappointment.

“But Shelly, everybody’s here waiting for you.” Ryan exclaimed.
“Really? I’m so sorry. I’m sorry Melbourne, I love you.” Shelly professed from the other end of the line. She then continued to tell us who much see loved us, and how we should all continue to buy Happiness, before hanging up and leaving us all standing in the newly started rain.

“I’m awfully sorry ladies and gentlemen. It appears that Shelly’s not going to be able to make it.” Ryan explained. “Still the show must go on. Is anybody willing to volunteer to launch Happiness™?”

When no one came forward Ryan reached down and started handing out the remaining boxes. Frustrated the protestors marched off. And then, eager to get out of the rain, Sharn and I did likewise. As I left Federation Square, however, I did watched a few people open their “Happiness ™” boxes.

They were empty!

And, with that realisation, my latest Neurocam assignment ended. Definitely one of the more interesting assignments I’ve attended.

I haven’t had a look at the DVD yet, but it’s high on my list of priorities. I’ll let you know what I discover on it once I have.

Until next time, this is agent “G” signing off!

Neurocam Assignment: Happiness (tm) Launch. Part 1.

I've just arrived home from the Shelly Innocence/Happiness (tm) product launch which, as you probably know, was the location of my latest Neurocam adventure.

I've got to say that I was extremely impressed with the quality of Happiness(tm) and Innocence(tm) that were on offer, but I seriously doubt the Integrity(tm) of some of the organisation's representatives.

I've currently got some photos being developed, so I'll hold off reporting the actual event until I'm able to incorporate them into the post. There are, however, two Neurocam issues that I should mention before I do that, so that's what I'll devote this post to.

If nothing else it means that you'll be up-to-date before you read the details of the launch. Also, it'll serve the purpose of making what is going to be a VERY big next post a little bit smaller.

For about a week now I've been aware that there was a new participant in the Neurocam mystery. Early in the week when I was looking at my web-site tracker (the little blue and black square at the bottom of my side-bar) I noticed that quite a number of people visiting my blog had been referred by another blogger. Intrigued, I decided to go and check out the site.

EgoTript is a Melbourne based artist and blogger, and it seems that recently he's joined the Neurocam team. From the little information I have garnered from his website, it seems like he's already been given at least two assignments. It would also appear that he's been reading my blog. In fact, in one of his latest posts, he offers me some advice in regards to dealing with RJHenley and Iocus Severus:

Some advice G, The Page of Wands is usually seen as:

"Actively intellectual, though not active on the physical plain. Knowledge for knowledge's sake--the universe exists to be understood. Though an "idea" man he works behind the scenes. Of strong convictions but subtle in implementation. Can signify rational debates, mischievous behaviour, manipulation-but usually not for personal gain. Badly influenced can mean random cruelty, nihilism, stalking."

Don't trust RJ, The Prince signifies the airy part of fire.
Hot Air.
In my dealings with RJ I've realised he's all talk and no trousers.
so I've stopped talking back.

Thanks for the advice EgoTript! I'll keep that in mind. Egotript's last two sentences imply that he's caught RJ with his pants down... What happened, I wonder?

It's interesting that RJ's been contacting both of us... Very interesting indeed.

I suggest that the rest of you go and check out Egotript's blog for the rest of what he has to say. More Neurocam intrigue, and a damn good read as well. I'll be fascinated to see where his Neurocam adventures lead him.

Considering EgoTript has warned me off Iocus Severus, now's probably an appropriate time to reveal that this morning, just prior to my leaving for the assignment, I received another e-mail from Iocus Severus. It reads:

Sender: Iocus Severus
Subject: Henley
Date: Saturday June 19, 2004

Dear Graham,

I trust you are well.

Your instinct serves you well. Allow me to confirm for you that the email you received from Robert Henley, dated Thursday 17 June, 2004 whose subject, "RJ and Iocus" is from the REAL Robert Henley. This is confirmed for me, by his use of the title "Prince of Wands" in referring to mine own self. Forgive me if I don't explain further. But this...

It is said that one man, at any one point in time, within Vatican City is appointed Lucifer's lieutenant, the Devil's advocate. It is his task to oppose the Pope in any and every way he sees fit. He is given licence to employ every means, malicious or otherwise to obstruct, discredit and dishonour the office and the person of the Holy Father. This is so, that the Pope himself, the office and policy of the office, might be tested and found to be whole, without blemish, absolutely and resolutely above and beyond blame. Amen.


I note with interest your identification with Kerry Thornley. I wonder if you're expecting me to suggest, that I identify with Brother-in-law. Lee Harvey Oswald perhaps? Slim Brooks? Who do you say I am?

The email you published to your journal (Tuesday, June 08, 2004) from RJHenley is valid. You are right to question the identity of the author. Fortunately, my arrangement with this individual is not subject to your doubts. At the end of this sentence you will read the words, "Atbash Cipher". I've not given anything or anybody away by revealing this.

I say; doesn't Robby make some extraordinary claims about me! I won't deign to deny them, because of course, within the context of the Neurocam dialogues, all denial veils admission. There's a thought...reread everything, pass it through that filter.

Neurocam is not this.
Neurocam is not that.

If I've not already done so, I will see you at the Innocence (TM) launch. Good luck with your assignment.

Yours sincerely,
Iocus Severus

Is it just me or are the Iocus Severus e-mails getting ridiculously cryptic (read: obtuse)? I'm currently composing a response, but it may take some time, as I have no doubt that the next few posts (describing the launch and it's aftermath) will take a while to complete.

That all for now! Consider yourself up-to-date! Once the photos are developed I'll begin the description of everything that occurred during the assignment.


Friday, June 18, 2004

Some Reassurance ...

Just to assure those of you have been expressing some concern that my life was now being entirely dictated by Neurocam, I thought I'd take a few seconds to update you on some of the other things that I've been doing.

Last weekend Lunch, Matt and Tim all made the journey down from Canberra so they could spend the weekend watching AFL. I didn't see much of them on Saturday (too busy not dealing with Pentecostal Christians), but saw plenty of them from Sunday night onwards.

Sunday night itself was awash with Ginger Martinis and other "medicinal" alcohol concoctions, and then on Monday (slightly hungover) we all faced the bitter cold and went to see Melbourne beat Collingwood at the MCG.

The boys left on Tuesday, which was also the day that the latest MTC show, "The Daylight Atheist", opened. I didn't go to the opening night, but the set-up for it has been a pretty major part of my last few weeks.

Then last night Sharn and I went and saw "The Jaundice Table." A bizarre, incredibly absurd play which I think failed to hit the mark. On thing the actors did manage to hit, however, was each other. Today I was informed by a reliable source (who was also at last night's performance) that during one of the fight scenes one of the actors perforated the other actors ear drum.... INTENSE! There's one version of suffering for your art.

Tonight Sharn and I are off to see "The Daylight Atheist" after which we're off to shake our booty at the Resin Dogs gig. Should be a blast!

Then tomorrow it's the Happiness launch and more Neurocam then you can shake a stick at.

Anyway, Sharn's just arrived here so it's time for me to go. More news tomorrow.


Thursday, June 17, 2004

Will the real Robert Henley please stand up?

I arrived home from Aikido today to discover this e-mail which claims to be from Robert Henley. Admittedly this one is from the neurocam@usa.com address so I assume it's authentic.

Sender: Robert Henley
Subject: RJ and Iocus.
Date: Thursday 17 June, 2004.


Things are getting out of control. I have been in hiding for several weeks but must resurface to put some things right. RJ Henley must be eliminated. He has infiltrated out operation and is planning on shutting down our Melbourne operations. He must be stopped at all costs. He is in fact in league with Iocus Severus as well. They have found a way of hacking into our servers and have been setting assignments for many of our operatives. Several of these assignments have involved illegal activities and we know of at least one operative who has been apprehended by the Police after being dobbed in by RJ or Iocus (also known as 'Prince of Wands'). I gather their plan may involve leading several other operatives down this path.

We need to draw these two out of the woodwork and eliminate them. To do this we need to gain the support of all our remaining loyal operatives. I think this should go down on Sat, so it is imperative that RJ and the Prince are present.

For the time being I suggest your full cooperation with both of them.


PS: This Saturday please wear a "G" somewhere on your person.

Who to believe? My gut instinct is that this e-mail is genuine. If that is the case, however, then it's the first e-mail I've received from the REAL Robert Henley in a number of weeks. Of course Robert Henley and RJ Henley may in fact be the same person and the use of the two e-mail addresses may just be a way of throwing me further off the scent.

I'm intrigued by the fact that Robert refers to Iocus Severus as "Prince of Wands". I wonder why he has made this reference. I've found one explanation of the "Price of Wands" which states:

"He is impulsive, intuitive, and highly creative. This card symbolizes swiftness and strength in word and deed. Inherent in this are his qualities of individuality, ambitiousness, justice, and straightforwardness."

That may be judged an apt description of Iocus Severus' nature. Personally, though, I prefer this description from a little further down the page:

"This individual can also be an extravagant boaster. He loves to argue simply for the sake of arguing; the original devil's advocate."

Sounds more like the Iocus Severus I've been corresponding with.

That doesn't, however, explain why Robert would give him that title. What is it that Robert knows that I do not? I'm now considering the possibility that Robert, RJ and Iocus are all in fact that same person. If that is the case, then there is obviously many more layers to the Neurocam mystery than I had previously suspected.

It'll be very interesting to see what happens on Saturday...

Wednesday, June 16, 2004

All hail!

The Holy Empire of the Penguin Army!

Following Euan's lead. I have formed my own Nation State.

Seems like a pretty cool idea, I'll let you know how it goes.

Hateful Christians Poker.

In a recent post Cyzilla saw my Pentecostal Christian singers and raised me some hate-spewing fundamentalists who claim that "God Hates Fags".

Well Cyzilla, I'll see your fag hating god (who doesn't DESERVE a capital) and raise you one "God Hates Shrek".

Seriously though, this sort of shit just makes me feel ill. There are a lot of people throughout the world who spend a lot of time and effort (not to mention money) complaining about Islamic fundamentalists, but Christian fundamentalists are just as evil. These narrow-minded bigots are so insecure about their place in the world that they need to demonize anyone they perceive as different just so they can feel empowered... And the scary thing is it seems like they've got the ear (and the pledge) of the American Government.

Whenever I think about this stuff I end up feeling incredibly torn.

One of my core beliefs is that there should be no censorship. I'm a firm believer in free speech and believe that nobody should be able to dictate what other people are and aren't allowed to say (although the path should be open for lawsuits in the case of defamation). When, however, I find myself faced with the sheer ignorance and stupidity that these hateful shallow-minded human beings (if they even qualify) sprout on a daily basis, I am forced to seriously re-consider my stance.

Maybe it's time to gather the guns, find a compound, and begin my secular, broad-minded, intellectual cult.

Who's with me?

I bags first go at being the messiah though...

Tuesday, June 15, 2004

Neurocam HQ?

It's shaping up to be quite a big Neurocam week. The Happiness(tm) launch is this Saturday. I've already received another e-mail from Iocus Severus, as well as one from RJHenley (who I still suspect is NOT the Robert Henley I've been dealing with), and I've bought a new book that might reveal something more about the current going ons.

I won't go into too much detail here, because it's all in the e-mails, so let's just get stuck into them.

On Saturday night I received the latest e-mail from Iocus Severus. It reads:

Sender: Iocus Severus
Subject: Neurocam
Date: Saturday 12 June, 2004.

Dear Gilbert,

Apology accepted. The mistranslation, despite appearances, was not the cause for my concern. It was rather, a certain lack of vigilance in your apprehension of detail. Did you not say so yourself;

"The devil is in the details"(?)

You appear however, to have begun considering every word, every turn of phrase, every reference as having bearing on your adventures. I am encouraged by your reading my mention of Maier's, "Jocus Severus" as a text worthy of your attentions. Perhaps it is. Like the vast majority of alchemical libri, Maeir's "Jocus Severus" is a highly codified text. Even in its own day, the symbology contained therein was transparent only to a select fraternity. Add to this, the liquidity of a living language subject to the filtration of nearly four hundred years and you're faced with a particularly challenging read. Indeed. Nevertheless, it was not my intention to send you on a wild goose chase; the book won't help you in your dealings either with me, Neurocam or Innocence. You will enjoy Katzenbach's, "The Analyst". Make this your priority.

The email you received from RJHenley@hotmail.com was not for you. The email is a Trojan Horse of sorts whose payload was intended for me. The message,(which incidentally, has nothing to do with the Innocence(TM) launch)
contains a challenge.

Shall we peer through the doors of perception? Whether or not Robert Henley is presently affiliated with Neurocam is of no consequence. He is and always was a construct, a puppet. Nothing has changed.


I trust you are familiar with the Gecko's response to the predator who seizes its tail. The predator with some little intelligence discards the decoy and goes after the better meat. Nothing has changed.

Now, in my last email to you I promised you a special treat. This is for you and RH both. As recently as February 2003, Neurocam HQ was situated in this building, and may very possibly still be.

Yours Sincerely,
Iocus Severus.

Attached with the e-mail was this picture:

Neurocam HQ? Maybe... At least at one point. In fact I was already aware of this building - It's where Neurocam's website is registered to.

This evening I discovered in my inbox another e-mail from RJHenley@hotmail.com. I included it's contents in my response to Iocus which reads:

Sender: Graham Henstock
Subject: Re: Neurocam
Date: Tuesday 15 June, 2004

Dear Rumplestiltskin.

As you have no doubt gathered from the manner in which I have opened this round of correspondence, I now possess a copy of "The Analyst" by John Katzenbach. It's not exactly the type of book I imagined would be part of your library, but, even from the briefest perusal of the cover, I have already begun to see it's possible connection to our current predicament.

I only hope that your intentions are a little less homicidal than those of the novel's antagonist.

My thanks for your gentle guidance in regards to my search for "Jocus Severus". Although it remains on my list of texts intended for future consumption I have greatly reduced the intensity of my search for it.

I'm fascinated by the fact that you see a personal challenge within the e-mail I received from "RJHenley@hotmail.com", especially since I still have my doubts as to it's validity. These are doubts, however, that have been addressed, albeit in a thoroughly unsatisfactory manner, by the author of said e-mail.

Their latest e-mail to me reads:

"Sender: RJHenley
Subject: Trust No One
Date: Tuesday 15 June, 2004


It has come to my attention that you doubt the validity of the e-mail sent from this address.

I assure you that any e-mails from this address are genuine.

Renegade factions within Neurocam have hijacked the Neurocam e-mail system, so I am forced to use this
alternate address. Trust nothing that comes from neurocam@usa.com until I inform you that the renegades have been dealt with.

It is also essential that you do not trust Iocus Severus. He is known to me and will only lead you astray.

You must stay on the correct path if you wish to learn the true secrets of Neurocam.

I will try to contact you on Saturday following your assignment.

Until then,

Robert Henley."

Robert Henley may indeed be merely a construct, but, because of that very fact, we must operate under the assumption that any information claiming to originate from him is suspect. Of course this does leave us in the potentially unfortunate position of boxing with shadows.

As the layers of intrigue increase I find myself wondering if I am metamorphosing into a shadow of Kerry Thornley. If that was indeed the case then I wonder exactly where you would fit into the picture.

Speaking of pictures, thank you for yours. Like most treats it was lovely and colorful but ultimately lacking in worthwhile substance. Please, however, do allow me to return the favour, though admittedly my version is a smidgen more drab.

In regards to your post scriptum, it's not so much the term "initiation" as it's implication that I have reservations about. Admittedly this may merely be the result of my own internal game of word association and therefore is perhaps a matter best dealt with internally. As such I am prepared to let the matter lie for the time being.

As always, I would like to finish by asking a single question of you. In this instance it is one which I suspect I already know the answer to, but still believe needs to be asked - Will you be at the launch of Happiness (tm) on Saturday?

I eagerly await your response.

Warmest Regards,

Graham Henstock.

As I said before, it's shaping up to be an extremely interesting week indeed...

Shameless Self Promotion...

Every time I've been to see a Resin Dogs gig I've had a ball!

They are without a doubt one of the most amazing live acts currently gigging in Australia.

Because I'm a lucky, lucky boy, I managed to score an interview with Chris Bosley, the band's bass player.

You can read the whole article here.

When he describes his worst gig ever I can't help but think that, although it would have been hell for him, it was probably one of the most memorable gigs his fans had ever been to.

"Technical nightmares can make performing a living hell, but out of them a lot of improvising and new ideas can spring up. A generator blew at the Woodford Folk Festival one New Year’s Eve, leaving us with no power for sound or lights, so we jammed on percussion with the guys from The Bird, with the B-Boys breaking by torchlight."

Sounds ultra-cool to me!

Saturday, June 12, 2004

Shark Poo and Communion Wafers.

It's been a very strange day...

Normally anything that occurs in my bedroom would stay in my bedroom, but, due to the extremely strange nature of my day, I thought I'd share with you exactly how my day began.

For once, when Sharna's alarm clock woke me up at 6am, I was glad to be stirred from rest. Not because I needed to get ready for work (although I did), and not because I woke up feeling fantastic (which I didn't), but because the alarm woke me from a rather disturbing dream.

It went a little something like this: I was minding my own business, swimming in a rather idyllic ocean, when suddenly I was attacked by a shark. Now normally when I die in a dream I immediately wake up (generally covered in sweat, gasping for breath, and wondering exactly how I'd managed to lock myself in the microwave and THEN turn it on) but not this time, this time I was witness to my own death.

In my dream the shark swallowed me with two large bites. I was then completely aware of being digesting in the sharks stomach. For the record, the experience was quite slow and painful, although I did feel a brief moment of wonder when I noticed my severed fingers float past me.

After what seemed like an eternity, nature took its course and I was expelled into the ocean as small pieces (each part individually aware) of shark excrement.

It was then that Sharn's alarm clock woke me up.

As the alarm clock had also woken her, I decided that I should share the details of my dream with her. Being her normal comforting and supportive self she wearily informed me that it would be a terrible occurrence if I was to be eaten by a shark because, and I quote, "shark poo wouldn't be very nice to cuddle". She then promptly went back to sleep.

My dream was foremost in my mind when I arrived at work about an hour later and, as a result, I was a little distracted. The fact is, if I hadn't been so shaken by my new intimate knowledge of shark digestion, I probably would have noticed that something was a little strange. As it was, it took about an hour of work before I realised that it wasn't just the lingering memory of my dream that was making the day a touch surreal.

I didn't know much about this gig before I had arrived. I'd merely agreed to help my friend Brian for the day at the theatre where he is Technical Manager. He had described the gig to me as a "singing competition", so I was expecting a slightly more amateurish version of Australian Idol. Little was I to know...

At first everything seemed to be fine. I arrived, started to set up the lights, and slowly met all of the people involved with the project. Admittedly, and this should have clued me in, they were all remarkably nice. Big smiles, generous with the "lovely to meet you"'s and the "glad to be working with you"'s and just all round pleasant. At this point I should have known that something was wrong - nobody normal is that cheery at 8am on a Saturday.

As the day progressed I began to realise that these people weren't just "nice", no, they were positively "wholesome". Capital W "wholesome". They were to wholesome as the Marianas Trench is to holes. These were the sort of people that I immediately assume are secretly serial killers. I began to envision that maybe they're the type of people who have collections of pig-tails that they've cut, with rusted scissors, from the heads of unsuspecting school girls on trams. It was as I had this devine vision that realisation dawned on me.

Yep! You guessed it! I was surrounded by Pentecostal Christians!

Now, as any of you who have tried to speak to me about religion would know, a funny thing occurs when I am faced with fanatics of any faith. At first my eyes glaze over. This is the beginning of my innate defence response. Then I begin to grind my teeth and chew the inside of cheek. This is followed by me twitching uncontrollably and either fleeing from the scene or bursting into flame. Needless to say, I don't handle religious fanatics particularly well and I especially don't like it when people ask me "Have you met Jesus?" whilst I'm trying to work (or, more importantly, when I'm being paid enough to ensure that I respond pleasantly).

The rest of the day, then, was a lesson in patience and tolerance.

Their religious fanaticism doesn't mean that the performances weren't any good. In fact the majority of the 50 odd perforers were fantastic. Aged between 10 and 50 most of them had absolutely incredible voices. It's no wonder that Pentecostal churches spend a lot of time singing if that's general quality of the voices in their congregations. I could definitely see why they are considered to be one of the charismatic religions. It's just that I find something a little disturbing about twenty-something year old women, in low cut dresses, singing "take and eat, this is my body"...

I was also stunned by the number of self composed "hymns" that were belted out. All in all, it was a battle to bite my tongue... Especially since the sound technician I was working alongside was a member of the congregation.

My thanks, then, go out especially to Euan, whose low-brow SMS conversation with me throughout the day managed to make the whole thing slightly more bearable. His suggestion about where I should balance a communion wafer was particularly inspired. It's great to know that I won't be alone of the fast train to hell.

As with most of life's trials, the end was the most challenging bit. Once the awards ceremony began, the winner's were quickly announced so that the thanking of God could begin. I have never heard God thanked so profusely, by so many, so often. I was hoping that God would show a little modesty, open up the heavens, and respond with a hearty "Enough already, you're embarrassing me", but it wasn't to be.

It was during the awards presentation that the final piece of my surreal day fell into place. It occured when the organisers of the event announced who the judges were. I hadn't realised that God had so much sway in the music industry (he certainly doesn't with the majority of muso's I've met), so I was surprised that the judges for the competition were Jack Howard from "Hunters and Collectors" and the Australian Manager of "Sony" records... Suddenly the quality of current Australian pop music starts to makes sense.

Eventually, after everybody had thanked God a few more times, the show ended and everybody began to pack up. The contestants and the organisers all said farewell (with only two of them inviting me to "Give me a call if you ever want to come meet Jesus.") and I was finally able to go home.

All in all, a very strange day.

Sorry for venting my spleen at you all, but, rest assured, it was all a vaguely traumatising experience... at least this way I don't feel like I went through it entirely alone.

Now I just need to find a beer, some porn and some heavy metal music, and I might begin to feel like myself again.

Thursday, June 10, 2004

Knowing your audience.

I've got to admit that I found this story to be quite entertaining.

Apart from being amusing it is also vaguely disturbing, though not overly surprising.

Mind you I thought that this quote was an absolute corker:

"I've been in country music since 1972, and I think every conflict is that way," said Hart, a Vietnam veteran. "Everytime we bomb somebody it's 'Hell yea!' Let's kick their ass.' That's where country music is coming from."

And here was me thinking that country music came from musicians who didn't know how to play the blues...

Time to get some sun...

Jared may have a pretty cool picture on his blog of Venus passing in front of the sun, but here's some news for I-Merge who really should get out and soak up the sun's rays more often.

It seems that at least one of his possible excuses for not doing so may be about to become invalid.

I also heard a representative of the relevant institute interviewed on the ABC, and they said that they're hopeful that the vaccine may also be effective against other types of cancer - including lung cancer, liver cancer and bowel cancer...

I can hear the smokers I know wheezing with relief already...

Wednesday, June 09, 2004

And now for something a little more British...

I arrived home last night just in time to catch the end of Lateline on the ABC.

I'm extremely glad I did, because I was able to catch this interview with Sir Jeremy Greenstock, former British Special Envoy to Iraq.

There are lot of quite interesting moments in this interview which provide, I believe, an insight into the British stand on Iraq. One moment that stood out was this response from Sir Jeremy:

"I felt that it would have, in the end, been better if we'd allowed more time for the inspections, because three or four months for that kind of complicated inspection exercise doesn't look like very much.

Although we also made the judgment at the time that Saddam Hussein's attitude was wrong, it just wasn't a question of timing, it was a question of his attitude to UN resolutions, but it would have been better, in the view of many of us, to have collected more international partners.

And I'm sure that Australians would have felt more comfortable with that as well.

Nevertheless, we had to go with the one country that had the power to make the change and have the courage to do so, which was the United States, so we weren't able, necessarily, to go for our optimum position.

It was a question of relative judgments.

Those were made.

We went in there.

We did it.

I think that there was some misanalyses of the situation, we would find, after the conflict. But a lot of things have gone right, a lot of energy, money, courage and effort has been put into this.

I still think we're going somewhere, but in the end historians will say it was dodgy, it was difficult, it was rather predetermined but in the end there was a change to the region which was beneficial in the long term.

I hope that that will be the final position."

All in all, I found his arguments for why the British supported the war on Iraq to be quite sound, and, truth be told, decidedly reasonable, although I did do a double-take at this little gem:

"...We all regret having our soldiers exposed to danger out there, it's an expensive, and to some extent obviously, a messy business, but they're achieving something..."

I find it fascinating that "expensive" is the first word he uses to actually describe the conflict in Iraq. I wonder if his definition of "expensive" encompasses more than just a financial cost... What do you think?

Tuesday, June 08, 2004

Iocus and the latest assignment... maybe...

I'm just about to head to work, but I thought I'd take a moment to share with you my latest e-mail to Iocus Severus. Within it I have included details of what may be my latest assignment.

It reads:

Sender: Graham
Subject: Neurocam
Date: Tuesday, June 8, 2004

Dear Iocus Severus

It seems that, despite my best intentions, I continue to misrepresent you. I apologise for my poor translation of your name and, rest assured, have now purchased a Latin to English (and vis versa) Dictionary for reference purposes throughout the remainder of our correspondence.

Despite my slight faux pax you were still able to put aside any offense long enough to congratulate me on achieving 7th Kyu, this act was very considerate and for that I thank you.

On the matter of correspondence, the details contained in your most recent e-mail were highly informative. Although I had previously discovered the VCA connection between Peter Burke, Jason Mailing and Robin Hely, it was comforting to have my findings verified. I am currently looking into the other names you have provided me with.

The further I delve into the Neurocam mystery, the more complex the web of intrigue appears. I suspect that Robert Henley fancies himself a modern-day Sir Francis Walsingham (c.1530 - 1590). The only question is - shall I be his Anthony Babington (c.1561 - 1586) or his Gilbert Gifford (c.1561 - 1590)?

My thanks, by the way, for pointing me towards "Jocus Severus" by Michael Maier. I am endeavoring to secure myself a copy of the work. Once I have done so, and found the time to complete it, I'm sure that my literary education will be suitably enriched. This, however, may take some time as my present work commitments are considerable, but I assure that this task is high on my list of priorities.

Nor have I forgotten your recommendation of "The Analyst" by John Katzenbach, once again I am in the process of securing a copy of said work.

Now on to Neurocam - In your last e-mail you asked if I would be willing to share the details of my latest Neurocam assignment. The short answer is yes, but within the long answer there is some extremely important detail, so that is the path I shall take.

Around two weeks ago I received an e-mail from someone claiming to be Robert Henley. I use the word "claiming" because the e-mail did not come from the normal "Neurocam@usa.com" address. Instead it was from "RJHenley@hotmail.com". It reads:


Your latest assignment has been set!

As you are no doubt aware, Shelly Innocence will be launching Happiness (tm) at Federation Square at 12 noon on Saturday June 19. You must be there!

We suspect that someone may try to sabotage the launch. It is essential that everything runs smoothly.

It's important that you trust no one who claims to be involved with Neurocam.

I will try to contact you after the assignment is complete.


Robert Henley."

I have naturally assumed that this e-mail may be a prank, sent by someone who has been following my blog. My attempts to verify (or debunk) the assignment, however, have been thwarted due to the fact that I have received no response from either e-mail address.

As it was already my intention to attend the Happiness (tm) launch, I did not feel that it was necessary to report this development on my blog. Truth be told, I was hoping for some verification from Robert before I informed the world. If the e-mail is actually from Robert, however, then it may shed some light on another e-mail I have become privy to. That e-mail states that Robert is no longer affiliated with Neurocam.

Considering of of this, my question for this e-mail shouldn't by surprising - What are you thoughts on this latest development?

I eagerly await you response.

Warm Regards,

Graham Henstock

P.S: Both Robert and yourself (though admittedly you were referencing Robert) have used the word "initiation" when referring to our correspondence. I must confess that it as a term that I am not entirely comfortable with. Perhaps you could endeavor to use another term which I may find more comforting. It can, however, have essentially the same meaning as I am not a pedant when it comes to semantics.

No more time to muse on it right now. I'll let you know when I've received his response.

Friday, June 04, 2004

Surely it's not an election year???

It's been a very big day for George W Bush. Considering what he's been up to, it's a wonder he's still looking so perky.

His day started with a quick meeting with Australian PM John Howard (fresh from his own meeting with California Governor Arnold Swarzenegger), after which Bush took a few moments out to take a swipe at Mark Latham, call John Howard "Candid", reassure Australians that Hicks and Habib would get fair treatment at Guantanamo Bay (even if he couldn't bring himself to say Habib's name), and re-introduce me to the word "embolden".

From there it was quick flight to Normanby where Bush (with Howard in tow) took the time to remember an important day in a war which Bush is doing his best to compare to his own ongoing war-like situation in Iraq.

Now for most jet-setting world leaders that would be sufficient, but for The New And Improved, Election Year Re-Energized George W Bush (tm) it was only the beginning.

I've gotta admit that I was more than a little stunned when I changed the TV channel and saw this:

Here's George W. Bush "honoring" The Pope with his presence. The political play here is brilliant... Let alone the imagery.

Let's have a closer look...

Firstly, what an amazing image! George W. Bush, christian fighter extrordinaire seated at the RIGHT HAND of The Pope, or, if you want to really run with the symbolism, at the RIGHT HAND OF GOD HIMSELF. That'll go down well with the Southern Baptists... Who said this wasn't a religious war?

Secondly, and this isn't just a matter of camera angle (check out the video footage if you doubt me), Dubya is seated in a chair that is BIGGER than The Pope's. Who's bigger than Jesus now? The arrogance of implication is astounding.

And while we're talking about arrogance, the fact that George W Bush acts like the greatest honor The Pope could possibly receive is an American "Medal of Freedom" leaves me flabbergasted. Now hold on just a moment! Wasn't The Pope against the war in Iraq? I wonder how that fits into a "With Us or Against Us" philosophy...

In case you haven't already guessed, I'm a little angry about this whole incident. I know that in today's climate anything goes in the quest for re-election, but the advisor who suggested this stunt must have balls the size of Texas.

I'll stop ranting about this for now, but, rest assured, once I've had a moment to calm down and collect my thoughts I'll be raising this issue again...

Thursday, June 03, 2004

Lost in Translation????

Not a lot of time to post this week. Although it's been a quiet week work-wise, I've been pretty busy with other things. I'm about to head out and see a friend that I haven't seen in over a year, but I thought I'd use the small amount of time I had available to update you on my latest correspondence with Iocus Severus.

Earlier today I received the following e-mail:

Subject: Neurocam
Sender: Iocus Severus
Date: Wednesday 2 June, 2004

Dear Graham,

You are misinformed. You ought to have turned to a latin-english dictionary for the translation you were seeking.

iocus -i m. (plur. ioci and ioca) , [a joke, jest].
severus -a -um [grave, serious, strict, stern, hard]; adv. severe.

Transliterated this becomes "a/the serious [grave, strict, stern, hard] joke", which renders a meaning altogether different to "total/complete joker" as suggested by your friend Cyzilla. The latter is a name, a title perhaps, while the former is a process.

Consider this: In 1617, alchemist Michael Maier (1566-1622) published his book "Jocus Severus" in which he deals with certain processes of initiation, couched in the languages of satire and allegory.

And this: In your journal entry, dated January 29, 2004, you published an email you received from Robert Henley. I quote,

"As a kind of introduction (we prefer this term to *initiation*) we would like to set you an assignment. ...It is an important part of *a process you will soon come to understand.*" (my asterisks)

You may infer from this, that Robert Henley and I have similar concerns.

To other matters;

I must insist that Robert Henley be drawn on the events leading to the closure of Neurocam NewZealand. Let him confess, equivocate or deny. Whatever the case, *his* version of events must go on record.

Google isn't an especially occult engine. My intent in posting you the Henley/Hely URL's was to simply confirm your early researches. In my first email to you I wrote the following;

"Early in your NEUROCAM experience you conducted some research. You may have already seen this web page. Look again. Point your web browser to:


This is one of a number of interesting pages. The URL's are yours for the asking."

I acknowledged your early research and that it was possible my information not be new to you. Whether the phrase, "...a number of..." approximates the word you use in your journal, "plethora" is moot. Please don't misrepresent me.

There is indeed a connection between Innocence(TM) and Neurocam. Each of the following people listed as "key personnel...friends, supporters, stakeholders and affiliates" of Innocence(TM) are Victorian College of the Arts Alumni and/or past/present sessional lecturers.

Peter Burke
Robin Hely
Mandy Morgan
Irene Crusca
Irene Wellm
Susan Kneebone
Lily Hibberd
Richard Lewer


Peter Burke and Robin Hely were collaborators in the performative art work, "Delivery", presented in Oporto, Portugal in September 2001. Conical Galleries later hosted an exhibition that presented the video footage obtained covertly in Portugal.

Jason Maling (http://www.splint.info/), whose performance, "Pic Pac Poe" you attended at Conical Gallery on the night of Friday, February 13, 2004 is listed as a collaborator in Innocence(TM) and features in the "Who is Robert Henley?" website (http://www.new-media.com.au/index2.htm)

Finally, Both www.neurocam.com and www.shellyinnocence.com are hosted by www.futurequest.net.

Of course, none of this proves anything at all. At all.

I'm pleased you're enjoying our correspondence. I'm having a rather fine time myself. Do be aware however, that the core of this matter is unequivocally [grave, serious, strict, stern, hard]

Congratulations on attaining 7th Kyu.

Would you like to share the details of your new Neurocam task with me?

I will leave it at that for now. Quite a bit to chew on I expect.

Do write soon, I have a special treat for you.

Yours sincerely,

Iocus Severus

I'm currently in the process (which may take a few days) of composing my reply to Iocus Severus. I'm willing to take some suggestions about whether or not I should let my mysterious pen-pal in on the latest Neurocam developments... What do you think?

One development that I will be willing to share is the following e-mail I received from a fellow Neurocam partcipant.

Subject: Robert Henley.
Sender: *********
Date: Tuesday 1 June, 2004

Hi Graham,

I've been following your blog and, considering recent developments, thought you might find elements of my last two Neurocam e-mails interesting.

After the last assignment I received an e-mail from Robert. Part of it read - "Your performance rating with Neurocam has gone from good to excellent and we would like to offer you a promotion. Part of the promotion involves a detailed explanation of our next level of operations, and how this will affect you. This information is highly classified and will have to be given to you in person. This will happen some time over the next two weeks, perhaps you could give me some idea of when you might be available?

By the way the person in drag was in fact Shelly Innocence, not me. Shelly will be featured on a number of billboards next month for a new product range from Innocence. Neurocam has a business arrangement with Innocence, and Shelly is one of our leading operatives."

Not long after that I received another e-mail that was quite confusing. It reads - "I regret to inform you that Mr Henley is no longer with our
organisation. I would ask you to not to persue this matter any further. Here is a link that may answer some of your questions: http://www.new-media.com.au/index2.htm


Dean Godmann"

Does this help with your investigation? I hope so.



Robert Henley no longer with Neurocam? Sounds like another red herring to me. Still, it'll be interesting to see what Iocus Severus makes of it. Especially considering that his beef seems to be specifically with Robert Henley.