Tuesday, 21 January 2020


The lineage of the Patriarchs, not only defines the structure of the tree-of-life, but delineates a cleansing process, whereby the holy sparks of life were separated from the inherent evil inclinations with each generation. 

Ishmael was born first and received the brunt of any negativity Abraham had to pass on. 

Esau was born first and likewise received most of the negativity that Isaac had to pass on, which set up the dynamic of good vs evil between the two brothers Jacob and Esau.

20 And Isaac was forty years old when he took Rebekah to wife, the daughter of Bethuel the Syrian of Padanaram, the sister to Laban the Syrian.

21 And Isaac intreated the LORD for his wife, because she was barren: and the LORD was intreated of him, and Rebekah his wife conceived.

22 And the children struggled together within her; and she said, If it be so, why am I thus? And she went to enquire of the LORD.

23 And the LORD said unto her, Two nations are in thy womb, and two manner of people shall be separated from thy bowels; and the one people shall be stronger than the other people; and the elder shall serve the younger.

24 And when her days to be delivered were fulfilled, behold, there were twins in her womb.

25 And the first came out red, all over like an hairy garment; and they called his name Esau.

26 And after that came his brother out, and his hand took hold on Esau's heel; and his name was called Jacob: and Isaac was threescore years old when she bare them.

27 And the boys grew: and Esau was a cunning hunter, a man of the field; and Jacob was a plain man, dwelling in tents.

28 And Isaac loved Esau, because he did eat of his venison: but Rebekah loved Jacob.

29 And Jacob sod pottage: and Esau came from the field, and he was faint:

30 And Esau said to Jacob, Feed me, I pray thee, with that same red pottage; for I am faint: therefore was his name called Edom.

31 And Jacob said, Sell me this day thy birthright.

32 And Esau said, Behold, I am at the point to die: and what profit shall this birthright do to me?

33 And Jacob said, Swear to me this day; and he sware unto him: and he sold his birthright unto Jacob.

34 Then Jacob gave Esau bread and pottage of lentiles; and he did eat and drink, and rose up, and went his way: thus Esau despised his birthright.


When Manwë heard of the ways that Melkor had taken, it seemed plain to him that he purposed to escape to his old strongholds in the north of Middle-earth; and Oromë and Tulkas went with all speed northward, seeking to overtake him if they might, but they found no trace or rumour of him beyond the shores of the Teleri, in the unpeopled wastes that drew near to the Ice. Thereafter the watch was redoubled along the northern fences of Aman; but to no purpose, for ere ever the pursuit set out Melkor had turned back, and in secrecy passed away far to the south. For he was yet as one of the Valar, and could change his form, or walk unclad, as could his brethren; though that power he was soon to lose for ever. Thus unseen he came at last to the dark region of Avathar. That narrow land lay south of the Bay of Eldamar, beneath the eastern feet of the Pelóri, and its long and mournful shores stretched away into the south, lightless and unexplored. There, beneath the sheer walls of the mountains and the cold dark sea, the shadows were deepest and thickest in the world; and there in Avathar, secret and unknown, Ungoliant had made her abode. The Eldar knew not whence she came; but some have said that in ages long before she descended from the darkness that lies about Arda, when Melkor first looked down in envy upon the Kingdom of Manwë, and that in the beginning she was one of those that he corrupted to his service. But she had disowned her Master, desiring to be mistress of her own lust, taking all things to herself to feed her emptiness; and she fled to the south, escaping the assaults of the Valar and the hunters of Oromë, for their vigilance had ever been to the north, and the south was long unheeded. Thence she had crept towards the light of the Blessed Realm; for she hungered for light and hated it. In a ravine she lived, and took shape as a spider of monstrous form, weaving her black webs in a cleft of the mountains. There she sucked up all light that she could find, and spun it forth again in dark nets of strangling gloom, until no light more could come to her abode; and she was famished. Now Melkor came to Avathar and sought her out; and he put on again the form that he had worn as the tyrant of Utumno: a dark Lord, tall and terrible. In that form he remained ever after. There in the black shadows, beyond the sight even of Manwë in his highest halls, Melkor with Ungoliant plotted his revenge. But when Ungoliant understood the purpose of Melkor, she was torn between lust and great fear; for she was loath to dare the perils of Aman and the power of the dreadful Lords, and she would not stir from her hiding. Therefore Melkor said to her: ‘Do as I bid; and if thou hunger still when all is done, then I will give thee whatsoever thy lust may demand. Yea, with both hands.’ Lightly he made this vow, as he ever did; and he laughed in his heart. Thus did the great thief set his lure for the lesser. A cloak of darkness she wove about them when Melkor and Ungoliant set forth: an Unlight, in which things seemed to be no more, and which eyes could not pierce, for it was void. Then slowly she wrought her webs: rope by rope from cleft to cleft, from jutting rock to pinnacle of stone, ever climbing upwards, crawling and clinging, until at last she reached the very summit of Hyarmentir, the highest mountain in that region of the world, far south of great Taniquetil. There the Valar were not vigilant; for west of the Pelóri was an empty land in twilight, and eastward the mountains looked out, save for forgotten Avathar, only upon the dim waters of the pathless sea. But now upon the mountain-top dark Ungoliant lay; and she made a ladder of woven ropes and cast it down, and Melkor climbed upon it and came to that high place, and stood beside her, looking down upon the Guarded Realm. Below them lay the woods of Oromë, and westward shimmered the fields and pastures of Yavanna, gold beneath the tall wheat of the gods. But Melkor looked north, and saw afar the shining plain, and the silver domes of Valmar gleaming in the mingling of the lights of Telperion and Laurelin. Then Melkor laughed aloud, and leapt swiftly down the long western slopes; and Ungoliant was at his side, and her darkness covered them. Now it was a time of festival, as Melkor knew well. Though all tides and seasons were at the will of the Valar, and in Valinor there was no winter of death, nonetheless they dwelt then in the Kingdom of Arda, and that was but a small realm in the halls of Eä, whose life is Time, which flows ever from the first note to the last chord of Eru. And even as it was then the delight of the Valar (as is told in the Ainulindalë) to clothe themselves as in a vesture in the forms of the Children of Ilúvatar, so also did they eat and drink, and gather the fruits of Yavanna from the Earth, which under Eru they had made. Therefore Yavanna set times for the flowering and the ripening of all things that grew in Valinor; and at each first gathering of fruits Manwë made a high feast for the praising of Eru, when all the peoples of Valinor poured forth their joy in music and song upon Taniquetil. This now was the hour, and Manwë decreed a feast more glorious than any that had been held since the coming of the Eldar to Aman. For though the escape of Melkor portended toils and sorrows to come, and indeed none could tell what further hurts would be done to Arda ere he could be subdued again, at this time Manwë designed to heal the evil that had arisen among the Noldor; and all were bidden to come to his halls upon Taniquetil, there to put aside the griefs that lay between their princes, and forget utterly the lies of their Enemy. There came the Vanyar, and there came the Noldor of Tirion, and the Maiar were gathered together, and the Valar were arrayed in their beauty and majesty; and they sang before Manwë and Varda in their lofty halls, or danced upon the green slopes of the Mountain that looked west towards the Trees. In that day the streets of Valmar were empty, and the stairs of Tirion were silent; and all the land lay sleeping in peace. Only the Teleri beyond the mountains still sang upon the shores of the sea; for they recked little of seasons or times, and gave no thought to the cares of the Rulers of Arda, or the shadow that had fallen on Valinor, for it had not touched them, as yet. One thing only marred the design of Manwë. Fëanor came indeed, for him alone Manwë had commanded to come; but Finwë came not, nor any others of the Noldor of Formenos. For said Finwë: ‘While the ban lasts upon Fëanor my son, that he may not go to Tirion, I hold myself unkinged, and I will not meet my people.’ And Fëanor came not in raiment of festival, and he wore no ornament, neither silver nor gold nor any gem; and he denied the sight of the Silmarils to the Valar and the Eldar, and left them locked in Formenos in their chamber of iron. Nevertheless he met Fingolfin before the throne of Manwë, and was reconciled, in word; and Fingolfin set at naught the unsheathing of the sword. For Fingolfin held forth his hand, saying: ‘As I promised, I do now. I release thee, and remember no grievance.’ Then Fëanor took his hand in silence; but Fingolfin said: ‘Half-brother in blood, full brother in heart will I be. Thou shalt lead and I will follow. May no new grief divide us.’ ‘I hear thee,’ said Fëanor. ‘So be it.’ But they did not know the meaning that their words would bear. It is told that even as Fëanor and Fingolfin stood before Manwë there came the mingling of the lights, when both Trees were shining, and the silent city of Valmar was filled with a radiance of silver and gold. And in that very hour Melkor and Ungoliant came hastening over the fields of Valinor, as the shadow of a black cloud upon the wind fleets over the sunlit earth; and they came before the green mound Ezellohar. Then the Unlight of Ungoliant rose up even to the roots of the Trees, and Melkor sprang upon the mound; and with his black spear he smote each Tree to its core, wounded them deep, and their sap poured forth as it were their blood, and was spilled upon the ground. But Ungoliant sucked it up, and going then from Tree to Tree she set her black beak to their wounds, till they were drained; and the poison of Death that was in her went into their tissues and withered them, root, branch, and leaf; and they died. And still she thirsted, and going to the Wells of Varda she drank them dry; but Ungoliant belched forth black vapours as she drank, and swelled to a shape so vast and hideous that Melkor was afraid. So the great darkness fell upon Valinor. Of the deeds of that day much is told in the Aldudénië, that Elemmírë of the Vanyar made and is known to all the Eldar. Yet no song or tale could contain all the grief and terror that then befell. The Light failed; but the Darkness that followed was more than loss of light. In that hour was made a Darkness that seemed not lack but a thing with being of its own: for it was indeed made by malice out of Light, and it had power to pierce the eye, and to enter heart and mind, and strangle the very will. Varda looked down from Taniquetil, and beheld the Shadow soaring up in sudden towers of gloom; Valmar had foundered in a deep sea of night. Soon the Holy Mountain stood alone, a last island in a world that was drowned. All song ceased. There was silence in Valinor, and no sound could be heard, save only from afar there came on the wind through the pass of the mountains the wailing of the Teleri like the cold cry of gulls. For it blew chill from the East in that hour, and the vast shadows of the sea were rolled against the walls of the shore. But Manwë from his high seat looked out, and his eyes alone pierced through the night, until they saw a Darkness beyond dark which they could not penetrate, huge but far away, moving now northward with great speed; and he knew that Melkor had come and gone. Then the pursuit was begun; and the earth shook beneath the horses of the host of Oromë, and the fire that was stricken from the hooves of Nahar was the first light that returned to Valinor. But so soon as any came up with the Cloud of Ungoliant the riders of the Valar were blinded and dismayed, and they were scattered, and went they knew not whither; and the sound of the Valaróma faltered and failed. And Tulkas was as one caught in a black net at night, and he stood powerless and beat the air in vain. But when the Darkness had passed, it was too late: Melkor had gone whither he would, and his vengeance was achieved.


The SEAL of the CIA:  
"You shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free." 
 We CRANE BACK, revealing that the seal is on the floor of the LOBBY as NIXON strides in with his ENTOURAGE.

LT. GENERAL ROBERT CUSHMAN hurries out, ruffled, to meet NIXON.

Mr. President, I don't know what to say. 
As soon as we learned from the Secret Service you were en route, the Director was notified. 
He should be here any minute.

Where the hell is he?

Uh, he's rushing back from his tennis game, sir ...

 NIXON (impatient) 
So ... let's go ...

 CUSHMAN (walking with Nixon) 
He told me to take you to his conference room.

No. His office. (aside) 
I want a very private conversation. I don't want to be bugged.

 CUSHMAN Then his office will be fine.


They walk past ANALYSTS laboring in isolation behind Plexiglass walls; the hum of computers, a dark austerity to the place. 
They all glance up as NIXON strides past.

How's the job coming, Bob?

Frankly, sir, it stinks. I have no access. I'm lucky Helms lets me have a staff.

 NIXON (ominous) 
We'll see about that ...

 CUSHMAN (sensing change) 
He's nervous, sir. He's heard you're looking for a new director.

Well, he certainly isn't acting like it.

That's Helms. He's "sang froid," a world-class poker player.

 NIXON (under his breath) 
Yeah? Well, I own the fucking casino.


A DUTY OFFICER opens the door of the director's office with a flourish. NIXON catches RICHARD HELMS throwing his trench coat and tennis racket on a chair, obviously hurrying in from a secret door. Helms spots Nixon, extends his hand with a reptilian smile.

I'm honored, Dick, that you've come all this way out here to Virginia to visit us at last.

My friends call me "Mister President."

And so shall I. 
(to Cushman) 
Arrange some coffee, would you General Cushman?

Cushman stares back a beat, bitterly. 
Nixon signals to Haldeman and Ehrlichman that he, too, wants to be alone. The door closes.

Robert Cushman is a lieutenant general in the Marine Corps, the Deputy Director of the CIA ... and this is what you use him for?

I didn't choose him as my deputy, Mr. President. You did.

Nixon paces the office, which is festooned with photos, awards and an abundance of flowers, particularly orchids. A collector.

You live pretty well out here. Now I understand why you want to keep your budget classified.

Helms sits on a settee, a hard-to-read man.

I suppose, "Mister President," you're unhappy that we have not implemented your Domestic Intelligence plan, but ...

You're correct. 
I'm concerned these students are being funded by foreign interests, whether they know it or not. 
The FBI is worthless in this area. 
I want your full concentration on this matter ...

Of course we've tried, but so far we've come up with nothing that ...

 NIXON (stern) 
Then find something. And I want these leaks stopped.
 Jack Anderson, the New York Times, the State Department -- 
I want to know who's talking to them.

I'm sure you realize this is a very tricky area, Mr. President, given our charter and the congressional oversight committees ...

Screw congressional oversight. I know damn well, going back to the '50's, this agency reports what it wants, and buries what it doesn't want Congress to know. 
I pay close attention to this.

Nixon fixes him with his stare. 
Helms clears his throat.

Is there something else that's bothering you, Mr. President?

Yes ... It involves some old and forgotten papers. 
Things I signed as Vice President. 
I want the originals in my office and I don't want copies anywhere else.

Now knowing Nixon's cards, Helms relaxes -- about an inch.

You're referring, of course, to chairing the Special Operations Group as Vice President.

Yes ...

Helms wanders over to his prize orchids, fingers them.

As you know ... that was unique. Not so much an operation as much as ... an organic phenomenon. 
It grew, it changed shape, it developed ... appetites
(then) It's not uncommon in such cases that things are not committed to paper. 
That could be very ... embarrassing.

Nixon is embarrassed, and does not like it. Suddenly, The Beast is in the room.

 HELMS (CONT'D) (reminding him) 
I, for one, saw to it that my name was never connected to any of those operations.

On Nixon, waiting.

 HELMS (CONT'D) (fishing) 
Diem? Trujillo? Lumumba? Guatemala? Cuba? 
... It's a shame you didn't take similar precautions, Dick.

 NIXON (very uncomfortable) 
I'm interested in the documents that put your people together with 
... the others. All of them ...

A beat. This is the fastball. Helms pours himself a coffee.

President Kennedy threatened to smash the CIA into a thousand pieces. 
You could do the same ...

I'm not Jack Kennedy. 
Your agency is secure.

 HELMS (stirs the coffee) 
Not if I give you all the cards ...

I promised the American people peace with honor in Southeast Asia. 
That could take time -- two, maybe three years 
... In the meantime, your agency will continue at current levels of funding.

 HELMS (sips his coffee) 
Current levels may not be sufficient.

The President would support a reasonable request for an increase.

Helms smiles.

And me? ...

Of course you'll continue as DCI, Dick -. 
You're doing a magnificent job.

And of course I accept. I'm flattered. 
And I want you to know, I work for only one president at a time.

Yes. And you will give General Cushman full access.

 HELMS (grudgingly accepts that) 
It will take a little time, but I'll order a search for your papers. 
Though it does raise a disturbing issue.


Mr. Castro.

 NIXON (tense) 

We have recent intelligence that a Soviet nuclear submarine has docked at Cienfuegos.

Well, we'll lodge a formal protest.

I don't think we can treat this as a formality. Mr. Kennedy made a verbal promise to the Russians not to invade Cuba. But you authorized Dr. Kissinger to put this in writing.

Nixon is taken aback by Helms's inside knowledge.

Are you tapping Kissinger...?

My job, unpleasant sometimes, is to know what others don't want me to know.

 NIXON (cold) 
Not if you have spies in the White House, it isn't your job.

It is not my practice to spy on The President. Doctor Kissinger manages to convey his innermost secrets to the world at large on his own.

 NIXON (absorbs this) 
We’ve  lived with Communism in Cuba for ten years ...

... But it has never been the policy of this government to accept that. 
And it is certainly not CIA policy.

CIA policy? The CIA has no policy, Mr. Helms. 
Except what I dictate to you ... (beat, they stare at each other
I try to adjust to the world as it is today, not as you or I wanted it to be ten years ago.

Is that why you and Kissinger are negotiating with the Chinese?

A beat. Nixon stares.

This is an extremely dangerous direction, Mr. President. 
Terrible consequences can result from such enormous errors in judgement.

But ... if we were able to separate China from Russia once and for all, we can -- 
we could create a balance of power that would secure the peace into the next century.

By offering Cuba to the Russians as a consolation prize?

Cuba would be a small price to pay.

So President Kennedy thought.

A disturbing image suddenly appears in Nixon's mind -- KENNEDY with his head blown off in Dallas. Followed by an IMAGE of his own death. In a coffin.

The smell of the orchids in the room is overwhelming. Nixon feels himself dizzy.

I never thought Jack was ready for the presidency. But I would never, never consider ... (then
His death was awful, an awful thing for this country. 
(then) Do you ever think of Death, Dick?

Flowers are continual reminders of our mortality. 
Do you appreciate flowers?

No. They make me sick. 
They smell like death ... I had two brothers die young. 

But let me tell you, there are worse things than Death. 
There is such a thing as Evil.

You must be familiar with my favorite poem by Yeats? "The Second Coming"?


Black Irishman. Very moving. "Turning and turning in the widening gyre / The falcon cannot hear the falconer / Things fall apart, the center cannot hold / Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world / And everywhere the ceremony of innocence is drowned / The best lack all conviction, while the worst are full of passionate intensity" ... But it ends so beautifully ominous -- "What rough beast, its hours come round at last / Slouches toward Bethlehem to be born?" ... Yes, this country stands at such a juncture. 

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