Gillig Phantom

Four-Way Pink Awakening

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After living in Santa Cruz for several years, having been drawn there by organic food, drugs, and the ocean, I began to investigate the New Age movement. It is an important part of Santa Cruz culture. I began critiquing the New Age as part of a process of intellectual yet adolescent rebellion because the New Age seemed to have a characteristic smell, color and sound by which it was advertised. I was struck by the comparison one could make between a New Age aesthetic and a pornographic aesthetic, especially in the photography of sacred places and the photography of profane women - all soft focus and sublime, radiating otherness. The parallels between Sacred Love as it exists in New Age culture and as it exists in exploitation films, began to excite me. The secret worlds of Tantra and Bondage: swinging cultures that frequently cross over started to intellectually obsess me. I began to hypothesize that the differences were frequently superficial aesthetic choices. I am not suggesting that at the core the New Age is exploitational, or that hard-core sex scenes are transcendent. To the side I would suggest that any strict religion or perversion is a channel to altered consciousness. Ultimately the New Age movement will have to absorb and enjoy the widest possible selection of cultural sacraments without being bound by guilt or fear of provoking a dangerous reaction from an old age minority. The New Age transformation is a process of moving the individual from a spiritually connected existance through a materialistic seperation and back to an increased identification with the universal. This is the essence of the Great Work. The difficulty lies in the speed at which the planet should be transformed. The threshold of alienation must be respected. Some practices may be untimely. This raises the question, who is the avant-garde of the New Age?

Of course the answer is Gillig Phantom. The 4-Way Pink Awakening delivers the goods. Four people are bound to a 4-way crucifix, hand to hand, back to back, facing outward. Gillig Phantom's coordinator/top operates mostly from within the structure. The crucifix may be the most direct turn-off, not only to the fundamentalist to whom this will be proof positive that the New Age movement is a movement of false prophets manipulating the life of Jesus and mingling truth with lies, but this will also be a stumbling block for those who wish to leave Christian symbols in a forgotten yet still sacred realm (childhood). It is a direct reference to the New Age concept of "Christ-consciousness" which acknowledges the validity of the Christ model but denies the singular phenomenon of Christian faith. Rather, every person can step up to the cross and achieve the perspective of Son of God. This is a step in the direction of metaphysical stardom. Four are bound, not three. Four is of the earth and is grounded like the tarot fortress. Crowley's four-gated fortress mimics, mocks and reinterprets previous heavenly palaces from the various world religions. Three is always equated with divinity in the highest sense. Three were crucified on Golgotha. Three are Father, Son and Holy Ghost. Four are daughter, son, father, and mother. Four is a materialistic, earth-bound number. Being in the center gives Gillig Phantom's coordinator/top the Wizard of Oz credential; "the man behind the curtain", because the transfixed initiate can only see projections. Indeed, Gillig Phantom is handing out diplomas of "Christ-consciousness". Rather than nailed, the initiate is bound to the cross. Soft- core compared to the standards of a religious flagellant, the inspiration comes from the world of gay male bondage. Elements of bondage encourage body awareness revelations comparable to those imparted by Yoga. The child-play ritual of the tie-up evokes sensuality on a most benign plane, a sort of pleasant innocence, like a haircut. Something happens to the initiate in the process of the tie-up that gives the 4-Way Pink Awakening a safe positive ambiance and removes whatever misconceptions of the intentions of Gillig Phantom the initiate may have developed. Here is a direct explanation of Gillig Phantom's 4-Way Pink Awakening: as a result of immobilization the initiate experiences a series of states that are both emotional and physical, ranging from frustration to boredom and anxiety. Time displacement, and eventually a trance-like state of peaceful mind/body separation can be achieved if enough time is allowed to elapse. Using different sensory stimuli, Gillig Phantom aspires to gain control of the stream of swirling anxieties that occur before separation. Gillig Phantom will attempt to direct the initiate through new mental spaces, and could possibly speed up the process toward an altered state of the transcendental variety. It seems an honest approach to entertainment, and unlike current virtual reality pipe dreams, it acknowledges the value of feedback from the environment as necessary, because without feedback from the environment, the imagination is a boring place. The experience is unidirectional like most entertainment scenarios. Four at a time take the role of crucified and many more actors/musicians/artists can play some role in crucifixtion. It is a component of role playing that enables participants to learn about themselves. Role playing offers the chance to deliver stimulation and forces the dominant to consider their humanity. After all, "turning the tables" is biblical. In most cases, the negative interpretations of the 4-Way Pink Awakening reveal short-comings of the process of deconstruction. Power relationships, having been revealed by deconstruction, are seen as things to be dismantled rather than explored. Appropriated symbolism of the 4-Way Pink Awakening are bound to push the buttons of individuals with inflexible attitudes for sloppy or loose play of symbols out of historically accurate exoteric context. The 4-Way Pink Awakening is an Epicurean sampling of esoteric practices and symbols. Gillig Phantom is a name I lifted from a beautiful sky blue and chrome I.D. plate which was mounted on the back of a Santa Cruz transit bus.

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