The Chronicle Of Higher Jubiliation
An Introduction to the Jubilee Sainthood Project
Every fifty years the Ancients observed the jubilee — a time of renewal when all slaves were freed, all debts were cancelled, all prisoners were released, all fields lay fallow, and all laborers observed feast days and festivals of zerowork!
For 500 years the ‘New’ World has been sentenced to life at hard labor, death in the fields, mines, big houses, schools, prisons & factories of competing cabals. But the Capitalist/Socialist Planetary Work & War Machine will not rule forever! In the cracks and on the margins of this Wetiko-diseased world, Temporary Autonomous Zones flourish! Sound the ram’s horn! We call for a celebration of the Grand Jubilee of the New World’s discovery. In advance of the feasting and revelry we are preparing a Calendar of Saints, with each and every day a Feast Day! We invite your nominations! Sponsor a saint today!
In 1984 the United States government established the Christopher Columbus Quincentenary Jubilee Commission to plan and co-ordinate nation-wide celebrations of the 500th anniversary of Columbus’ first landing in the so- called New World, the traditional starting point for the European Invasion of the Americas.
Columbus, Admiral of the Ocean Sea, or, as he liked to call himself, the Christ-bearing Dove, was a religious nut of the first order. He had two great obsessions. The first was to loot the gold of the heathen world in order to finance a triumphant Crusade by the Roman Church to retake Jerusalem, the center of the Christian world. The second was to sew-up the world for Christ, in preparation for the Millennium.
If Columbus had had the slightest interest in the possibility that he had discovered a “New World,” we would most likely have continents named North and South Columbia today. He had no such interest. The last thing he wanted was a New World to worry about. It was a considerable complication for his simple-minded faith. He wanted to show that the world was of manageable size; the aging world made whole, holy, harmonious — a small world after all. A “New World” with countless lost and scattered tribes to find and convert was a serious set-back, forcing unavoidable delays; a major pain in the ass. In his will he directed his son to establish a fund for the reconquest of Jerusalem. Someone else’s children could shoulder the burden of a “New World.” Chris was disgusted with the whole business.
We, in turn, are disgusted with the official Quincentenary hype designed to celebrate one of Europe’s premier imperializing cannibals. But we take some ironic pleasure in the fact that the U.S. government has settled on that far more convivial Biblical tradition, the Jubilee.
It is quite likely that the Christian conception of the Millennium evolved out of ancient Hebrew Jubilee legislation. In the Gospel according to Luke, especially, the coming Kingdom of God has very much the character of a divinely-ordained, universal Jubilee, a great social leveling. When Jesus went to Nazareth to begin preaching, the first thing he did was open the scroll to the words of the prophet Isaiah which proclaim the “acceptable year of the Lord” — in other words, the year of Jubilee. Then he said, “Today, this scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing.” Jubilee evolves in the Bible from the legal ideal of social justice in Leviticus, through the poetic prophecy of Isaiah, to the fulfillment announced by Jesus in Luke.
Historically, Jubilee began as an ancient prerogative of kings, a kind of social safety valve. Later it was codified as law, though probably never fully enacted. Finally, with Jesus, the trumpet (ram’s horn or jubel) is sounded for all who have ears to hear; for all who are in touch with the spirit within; the Millennium, the kingdom of God is here and now — a timeless, universal Jubilee. The Empire of Lies is exposed and the chains of the law are broken.
Needless to say, this is no way to run a profitable Church, and so the official line has always been “Look sharp, it’s coming soon! It’s right around the corner!” And a hundred generations have dutifully watched for signs of the coming of the Paraclete, rather than discovering the divine spark within; rather than saying, with the Ranters, “All is ours and all is well!”
The spirit of the here-and-now Jubilee never died. It is a nourishing underground stream, the “Medicine of the Mole.” It tends to rise to the surface amid the most desperate and mean-spirited Millennial hopes and fears. The time has come again for a long, clear blast of the ram’s horn! Let the new Jubilee begin!
In the ancient Hebrew tradition, Jubilee was celebrated every fiftieth year. It was supposed to be a great festival of social leveling, a time when all debts were cancelled, lands were returned to their traditional inhabitants, slaves and prisoners were set free, all taxes were suspended, fields lay fallow, gleaning rights were extended to all, people quit their labors and joined in all manner of feasting and revelry.
Those with a mundane and practical turn of mind will protest that the feasting could not have gone on for long, with no one in the fields or the kitchens.
We will complicate your distress. Since Jubilee was proclaimed for one year every fifty, and since there has not been a proper Jubilee in the five hundred years since the European invasion of the Americas began, we are proclaiming a Grand Jubilee of ten years duration — October 1992 to October 2002.
And now, regarding your mundane concerns, we refer you to Charles Fourier’s theory of “attractive labor,” which suggests that in a convivial and harmonious social environment many of the activities we tend to think of as hard labor become a kind of playful celebration for those who are inclined towards them. We don’t pretend to have solved all of the problems of alienated labor, particularly in a world which appears to have lost even imaginative alternatives to the planetary work machine. But we think things may yet find a way of working themselves out. We all certainly feel worked out.
Of course, there may be people quite unable to hear and heed the trump of Jubilee, unfortunates so damaged by the machines of work and war that they mistake the ticking of the time-clock for the beating of their own hearts. They might go on working, oblivious to the good times rolling on around them. Much of the work they continue to do is quite useless — often even very harmful. Perhaps they can be subtly steered toward more suitable machines.
In any case, full zerowork is what is called for, and we’re not backing down from that goal. A Jubilee is a Jubilee. The Bible said it! We believe it! That settles it!
In the earliest days of Christianity, cults grew up around certain individuals, and grew until that person was proclaimed a saint. Martyrdom practically assured sainthood, though official public honor required the authorization of the local bishop. The anniversaries of notable martyrdoms were celebrated by the faithful.
The worship of saints really got into full swing when the Roman Empire, under Constantine, adopted Christianity as a state religion. It became a profitable thing to be a Christian, in name, at least. Gradually saints were found to take the places of all the old deities, and the old rites were given a Christian gloss. Icons and relics became the centerpieces of these cults. A lucrative trade in relics developed, enjoying a huge boom during the Crusades. Crowns of thorns, crosses, holy coats, tears of Our Saviour, tears of the Virgin Mary, tears of the Saints, the blood of Jesus and the martyrs, the milk of Mary, toenails of the Saints, holy ones, teeth and hair all became hot commodities. Wars were fought for their possession. Monasteries raided one another for their relics. At the height of the boom the extant fragments of the True Cross were sufficient to build a cross a mile high.
But then the spoilsports of the Reformation got up their own Crusade to root out pagan idolatry, to do away with the cults, the icons and relics, the Feasts and Festivals. Even Christmas was attacked as an evil influence by the Puritans. In an effort to shore up its power base, the Roman Church officially cleaned up its act. The stone bestiary of the Gothic cathedral was cut loose from its Holy Roman moorings to wander the countryside along with the more marginal of the Saints, who now seemed to resemble… well, witches. The Church cut itself off at its living roots and hung itself >from an antiseptic Heaven, inviting the Faithful to do the same, that they might rise from their graves about twenty times lighter than a dehumidified air bubble.
The root of religion is the desire for accommodation with the mysterious forces in our lives, one of the most mysterious being the way in which our ancestors seem to be with us, though they are gone. The ancestors are inextricably linked to our beginnings, and, by association, with all beginnings. Thus the ancient pantheons were essentially deified ancestors, representing various aspects of the human psyche and corresponding to various phenomena of the natural world.
The Saints are precisely the same thing, though placed under the umbrella of monotheism. Looked at in this light, it becomes immediately apparent that the Catholic Saints reflect an extreme obsession with passive submission to grisly torture and death by violence. This is perhaps appropriate to the mission of the Roman Church — the continuation of the Roman Empire — but entirely inappropriate to the mission of the Jubilee Church — Universal Jubilation. You may wonder where we will find so many saints for a church that has just come into being, especially if we stipulate that the living are, by and large, ineligible. There are plenty of precedents. Mother Ann of the Shakers had little difficulty converting all of her favorite historical personages to her cause. The Mormons do the same. The surrealists pulled the same stunt in the secular realm. Anyone who in any way furthered the cause seems to us a likely candidate for Jubilee Sainthood. For the most part we have decided to rule out popes and heads of state, though there may be miraculous exceptions. Essentially, we are attempting to reconstruct a spiritual family tree of venerable ancestors. Our new liturgical calendar will be open-ended and non-repeating. Individual Jubilators and branches of the Mother Church may feel free to establish tradition by honoring the same saints on the same days from year to year, but we shall continue to encourage the growth of our tree for the duration.
Jubela, Jubelo, Jubelum
It is quite reasonable to describe the founding of the United States as the triumph of a conspiracy of wealthy Anglo-American males against the powers of Church and King. Through a covert network of Freemasonic lodges they plotted and carried out their bid for power, accumulating great wealth through slave trading, smuggling, swindling, and other forms of free enterprise. They consolidated their position by orchestrating a revolution and by designing a government and economic system which would ensure their maintenance in positions of power and privilege. We overstate the case, to be sure, but the lineaments are clear.
We don’t mean to trot out the old Masonic Conspiracy routine again, but stay with this just a moment longer. The central figure in the rituals and legends of freemasonry is one Hiram Abiff, the Master Builder of King Solomon’s Temple. The temple was of course the greatest symbol of Solomon’s power and authority, built with the forced labor of prisoners of war and “free” Israelites (under Solomon’s system of corvee, the Israelites weren’t much better off than they had been under Pharaoh). Before the Temple is completed, Hiram Abiff is murdered by three underlings. Perhaps they thought him a cruel taskmaster. Perhaps they were revolting against involuntary servitude. Perhaps they objected to this Phoenician-style monument to Solomon’s brand of state capitalism, his avarice, his disregard for traditional tribal authority and religious tradition. Perhaps it was a combination of all these things.
At any rate, the names of these three great villains of masonic legend are Jubela, Jubelo, and Jubelum, collectively known as the Juwes. Since all explanations of masonic symbolism are pretty far-fetched, we do not hesitate to advance our own. The murderers of Hiram Abiff and the greatest threat to the freemasonic project are the remnants of the ancient Hebrew tradition of Jubilee. This lingering sentiment was one of the reasons Solomon was so anxious to bust up traditional tribal authority and structure. Yet Jubilee spirit remains.
Grand Jubilee Calendar
It now appears that the United States Christopher Columbus Quincentenary Jubilee Commision has been so battered by storms of controversy, by scandal, corruption and mismanagement, that it is almost sure to sink before reaching its destination. This means that the Jubilee is now entirely up to us. This is probably for the best, of course. They really didn’t have the slightest idea of what Jubilee is supposed to be. We could make a great fuss and demand some of their funding, but why bother? Instead, we are devoting our meager resources to spreading the good word and soliciting nominations for saints. We will be producing a “regular” newsletter, and, sometime in late summer 1992, we will unveil the World’s Columbian Grand Jubilee Calendar of Saints, to be published by Autonomedia. The calendar will be the first installment, covering the period from October 1991 through December 1993. Completing one or more copies of the attached Saints nomination from is one way in which you may make a material contribution to this project.
And the founder and Chief Iconographer of the Jubilee Church, Frater Harpo Ben Ishmael Bey, offers his services in return for contributions to the Mission fund. Supply him with some form of portrait, and he will produce a holy icon for your veneration. Spurious relics of the saints will also be available, complete with the Church Imprimatur. He remains open to your suggestions, and will personally answer all mail possible. The Jubilee Church awaits your active participation; nominate and/or sponsor a Saint today!
For Universal Jubilation,
Frater Harpo Ben Ishmael Bey
c/o Jubilee Koehnline
PO B 85777
Seattle, WA 98145–1777
Nomination For Sainthood & Inclusion In The World’s Columbian Grand Jubilee Calendar Of Saints
Please copy this form [or make your own] to offer any number of candidates you wish, and circulate additional copies to friends throughout the world.
Saints need not have lived in the last 500 years. They need not have any direct connection with the New World. Living persons may not qualify for sainthood. No popes or heads of state please.
1. Sponsor: (you may be anonymous if you prefer) Name: ______________________ Address: ___________________ City: ______________________ State: ___________________ Country: ___________________ Telephone: _______________ 2. Name of Candidate (groups will also be considered): __________________________________________________________ 3. Proposed Feast Day: ___________________________________ 4. Alternate Feast Day: __________________________________ Reason for Day ___________________________________________ 5. Brief Argument for Inclusion: _________________________ 6. Brief Biographical Sketch: ____________________________ __________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________ 7. Suggested Symbols and Motifs for Artwork: _____________ __________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________
Biographic references and supporting materials are very welcome. We especially seek portraiture and other graphic work, original or copies, in color or black and white. Documents, quotations or miscellaneous ephemera will all be very helpful. The decisions of the Committee for the Causes of Saints will be final only in the context of the first calendar, which is meant to be spiritually nourishing and inspirational, not authoritative or exhaustive. Thanks in advance for your help.