The Witch’s Bookshelf (Book Review): The Long Hard Road out of Hell

In my opinion the apocalypse… Must be primarily an internal, spiritual event, and only in a secondary way an external catastrophe. The gates of the Watchtowers… are mental constructions. When they are opened, they will admit [Satan] not into the physical world but into our subconscious minds…. The apocalypse is a mental transformation that will occur, or is presently occurring, within the collective unconscious of the human race.

-Donald Tyson, “the Enochian Apocalypse”, as quoted in chapter 15 of “The Long Hard Road out of Hell” by Marilyn Manson (with Niel Strauss)

The Long Hard Road out of Hell: Marilyn Manson, with Niel Strauss

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There are few people in this day and age with the brutal notoriety of Marilyn Manson, which is ironic, since honestly all he’s done is create art, deep and sometimes disturbing art, but just art.

Of course the people who have made him so notorious are the same people who eventually put Gallello on house arrest for continuing to stand by his idea that the earth revolves around the sun. Not that Manson seems to mind, he knows very well that his popularity would be hard won without the churches constant opposition, much the same way that LaVey maintained that his church would not exist without Christianity. You could say that they are the unwitting, and unwilling catalysts.

With all of this uproar it sometimes feels difficult to separate the man from the legend. This book goes a long way towards that.

I’ll admit that I’m a big fan. Why? Because I can relate, as a person, as an artist, plain and simple. I am part of the apocalypse. Christianity had died within me, has been buried in a small unmarked grave in my soul. Why would I want to remember my torment anyways?

So I suppose it won’t surprise anyone that I really enjoyed this book. I don’t suggest it as reading for just anyone, but if you’re a fan, or you’re willing to take a trip into the darkness, then this book is for you.

Manson (Brian Warner) starts with his formative years, as any sensible person would. It is a story much softer than his namesake (Charles Manson, who’s formative years were full of abuse and abandonment of the deepest kind), but still no bed of roses. These formative years are often were we as humans begin to lose or gain our ability for things like empathy and emotion, and that seems to be the common thread throughout this book, Manson’s struggle to maintain his empathy and emotion.

His recounting of his childhood bleeds into a drug fueled rebirth as a godforsaken rock star. This centers chiefly around the struggle to complete Antichrist Superstar, which in turn portrays Manson’s rebirth.

It is here, in my opinion, that his true depth as an artist shines through. We all have our demons, and we all use our art to exorcise them. We all have something to say, something to share. This is our stage.

Turn away if you must.

 

 

 

 

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