Reza Negarestani is an Iranian writer and philosopher who has worked in different areas of contemporary philosophy, speculative thought, and politics. These studies inform his stories, which tend to use the shell of nonfiction forms in a Borgesian way, often as a delivery system for the weird. His most recent book is Cyclonopedia: Complicity with Anonymous Materials (2008), which is at once a horror fiction, an atlas of demonology, a political samizdat, and a philosophic grimoire. Perhaps the most innovative and audacious weird text of the decade, the book fuses Lovecraftian horror and Middle Eastern history with occult war machines and the U.S. “war on terror.” “The Dust Enforcer,” a chapter from Cyclonopedia, was selected for inclusion in The Weird: A Compendium of Strange and Dark Stories. We’re honored to reprint “The Dust Enforcer” as part of our 12 Days of Monsters. – The Editors
Pazuzu, the Sumero-Assyrian demon of epidemics (the southwestern desert wind) is an occultural operative of the xero-informatic Abomination or Dust (= 100 = NO GOD), and possibly the most awe-inspiring cultist of Tellurian Dustism in ancient Mesopotamia. For wind is truly the high acolyte of dust, as well as being the dust-enforcer. In his Notes on Reliquology, Parsani put forward Pazuzu as a schematic diagram of the middle-eastern population and its peculiarities.
Pazuzu specializes in scavenging the stratified Earth and its biosphere in the form of dust, which then is uplinked to alien currents flowing in the universe. These combinations of dryness and wetness are carried back to earth to disseminate disease. According to the Assyrian axis of Evil-against-Evil, Pazuzu the demon feeds on dust, which is qabbalistically equal to No God (=100). Pazuzu scavenges the surface biosphere of earth as dust clouds or inorganic bacterial relics; then conducting them to xenochemical hydro-currents, or what in ancient Greece was called cosmic wetness (hydrochemical singularities). This is why Pazuzu is associated with the emergence of plagues. Pazuzu then carries the plagues back to the surface biosphere in the guise of dust-soups, arid floods, messy rains, unheard-of epidemics and xero-informatic communications which usually manifest in the form of demonic possession (The Exorcist). This process of dust-scavenging and plague-engineering takes the form of an accelerating non-Aristotelian spiral or cycle when the terrestrial hygiene industry incrementally spreads more anti-pest agents and over-produces defense mechanisms (to ward off plagues) which once again are scavenged by Pazuzu’s pest-industry. In this sense, the accelerated rate of resistance ironically intensifies the emergence of plagues and dust-floods, speeding the journey of plagues back to the surface biosphere. When it comes to recollecting all that exists as dust, there is no need to be fastidious.
The horror of Pazuzu is usually embodied as a winged bipedal human-like beast with talons instead of feet and a head concretized through an almost fleshless dog- or lion-skull. The long reptilian penis of Pazuzu (a pest-seeding machine or a disseminator, according to glossaries of epidemiology) is a later pestilential modification to its body, which strangely has two pairs of wings instead of one, as if two wings are not adequate for its missions. Pazuzu is also visualized with the right hand upward and the left hand downward, heralding the Pest-Cycle of dust whose axis is a double-flight (Pazuzu’s tetra-winged body) or a ferocious inter-dimensional ‘line of flight’ (Deleuze and Guattari) from the Earth to without, and from without to the Earth: the tactical line of the xero-informatic Abomination (dust) and the traffic zone of its bacterial data. Pazuzu exhibits several morphological anomalies and peculiarities which separate him from other Akkadian, Babylonian and Assyrian demons. According to the first excavated Bronze statue of Pazuzu (Iraq, post-Paleolithic era, 800-600 BC) these morphological features include:
• Extremely thin legs bearing an unusually skinny torso. Chest bones are clearly visible as if it suffers anorexia or fatigue; a body struck by famine and carrying its ailing flesh with difficulty. Its wasting body narrates the cyclical desert famine of the Middle East, accompanied by vast locust-swarms (as vehicles of desolation) and other pestilential omens. If the body of Beelzebub (ba’al zebub) insinuates a legion of flies, with their perverse collective enthusiasm to come together over a fresh deliquescing carrion or a yellowish lump of excrement, Pazuzu’s anthropo-insectoid body bears the black humor of all bodies it overruns, strips naked of flesh, all the bodies chewed and peeled off by a sky-blackening swarm of locusts, by the hurtling body of Pazuzu, dehydrated and reduced to a twisted spectre of bone and wrinkled skin. Make yourself many, like the locust! Make yourself many, like the swarming locusts!
• Four wings instead of two: The wings seem to be feathered (later statuettes confirm this hypothesis: the feathers become visible as remiges, the powerful flight feathers which provide the main propulsive force during the powered flight of the rapax bird) and emphasize a demonic lust for flying, for speed and migration. Such wings engineer a flight corresponding to desert whirlwinds, dust devils and other meteorological phenomena of deserts which are believed to have been created by Anzu, the beast of flight, who stole the tablet of destiny and eventually was slain by Ninurta. The Sumero-Akkadian epic of Ninurta portrays Anzu as the forerunner of later flying demons, the engineer of demonic flight and of beasts with feathered wings which are linked to cyclogenesis, sonic havoc, spiraling storms across deserts and dust devils. These four wings render the demon a perfect vehicle for carrying pestilential particles (Namtar) and delivering them to their destination without delay, always promptly on time.
• A snake-headed penis, a pest-fertilizing machine which confirms Pazuzu’s kinship with Humbaba (Khombabos, the guardian of cedar forests and the city of gods, who was defeated and killed by Gilgamesh and Enkidu). Humbaba has the same reptilian phallus and is believed to be the son or brother of Pazuzu. Both Humbaba and Pazuzu are able to reflect a prognosticated future of each individual: Humbaba’s labyrinthine face (with unicursal human entrails as the beard) recalls the early art of Haruspicy (divination using the liver or entrails) in ancient Mesopotamian cultures, later developed by the Etruscans. Pazuzu as the demon of the south-west wind is associated with Rammalie (an Arabic word for communication with other worlds and aeons through patterns on pebbles and desert sand). His roaring flight introduces rhythmic ripples as crypto-vermiform parasites upon dunes which cumulate transiently as short-term inorganic memories of desert winds; then, ripples and other intermittent patterns can be deciphered as runic alphabets of epidemic journeys and plague-propagations aerated by desert winds and narrated on sand. Abdul Al-Hazred as an adept rammal (sand-sorcerer) probably wrote Al Azif through the dust-infested language of Pazuzu, who constantly enriches its howls with pest-spores in order to expand the hallucinatory space of progressive arid diseases.
• A dignatory’s beard, bringing Pazuzu into the fold of Evil-against-Evil and making of him an apotropaic character. Pazuzu, like other demons who belong to the axis of Evil-against-Evil (for example Ugallu), can simultaneously spread terminal plagues and cure certain maladies. According to the Assyrian Axis of Evil-against-Evil, every human is constantly a puppet of demons, suspended from the labyrinth of their strings. During illnesses, witch doctors attempt to repel hostile demons from the patient and summon a protector-demon to possess the sick person. Pazuzu is among the chosen demons, one who could even pass the last guardian Lamassu or the Repellent of Evil: a Pazuzu-demon guards the niche in the bathroom of Ashurbanipal’s palace at Nineveh, Iraq.
• An almost fleshless head that cannot be distinguished clearly, Pazuzu’s head diagrams the metamorphosis of three carnivorous animals frequently appearing in the Babylonian / Assyrian pandemonium: the rabid dog, the Shogal (jackal) and the Kaftaar (hyena). Ibn Hamedani, in his book Aja’ib Nameh (The Book of Marvels), calls Kaftaar ‘a terrible beast’. The hyena, from an afro-asiatic lineage, is possibly the most cursed, obscene and lewd animal in Mesopotamian folklore. Ibn Hamedani tells horrifying stories about this desert-beast who has sex with its prey while devouring it. The Hyena emits high-pitched cacophonic cries of mirth, enough to drive a lone desert traveler mad. Rabid dogs are the spawns of Abzu (Abyss), and the Shoghal or jackal connects Pazuzu to the Egyptian Anubis and the dead.
The face is of limited relevance for a rigorous archeological investigation into the demonic. Even the most distorted, disfigured and grotesque faces cannot be identified as evidence of a demon (xeno-agent) — that is to say, (de)faciality cannot be a constitutive element in diagramming a demon (especially in the period from the rise of Mesopotamian civilizations to the end of antiquity and the early Middle Ages). All radical xeno-demons have a diagrammatic seal of their own; they are always delineated by anomalous cartographies or diagrams based on which their bodies, positions, and arrangement of their appendages (organs?) are presented, built and (re)composed. Or else they are identified by their coming in pairs (one a recognizable entity and the other an obscure twin of the familiar entity; examples include the Phoenician and Etruscanian demons). The most well-known demonograms are as follows:
The right hand upward, and the left hand downward suggests a swash-backwash model of epidemics; it is the seal of pest enforcers.
Outstretched hands, one pointing east and one pointing west — solar demons. The Romans borrowed the same diagrammatic position from Babylonians for their crucifixions. This demonogram later influenced the religious iconography of Mithraism and then Christianity, the most prominent examples being, of course, the iconographic portraits of the crucified Jesus.
Bodily organs (appendages) connected to each other by curves and circles which construct a closed or sealed labyrinthine convolution.
Smaller wings attached to the main wings, or possession of more wings than are necessary for flying and migration.
Horns forming spirals (in contrast to general belief, horns are not satanic agents) or horns pointing to each other which signify arch-demons.
Legs open, far apart so as to draw a triangle, also known as the three-dotted profanity, which is among the most significant diagrams of unlocalizable or betraying demons.
The demonogram of Pazuzu (the right hand upward, and the left hand downward) is the unique ABYZmal cartography of disease; it signifies the rotation of The Wheel of Pestilence. This demonogram confirms that Pazuzu (like Ugallu) belongs to the legion of plague-dissipating demons. Demonograms demonstrate the abstract distribution of demons; they are plans for demonic mobilization — mobilization in a military sense.
They believe Mesopotamia and the whole Middle East is overclouded by some kind of fog of war which is peculiar to the near and middle-eastern regions of Asia. That you must practice blindness, must dry out your lungs and return to dust in order to coalesce with the reeking pit of the Middle East. The inhabitants of a village near Tell-Kuyunjik, which is believed to be the ancient site of Nineveh, told us that this arid fog is the haze of Pazuzu, the searing mushroom cloud of Middle East. To live in dust requires a certain degree of demonism which western people deem too much for humans. Jackson West does not think the Middle East is a geopolitical region, he thinks that the Middle East is alive. Not metaphorically; it is alive in a real sense, waiting to let loose its sentience. ‘It is alive but it doesn’t need to survive, because it has a life of its own’ — this was the last thing West told me before reconnoitring Mosul with his sons to locate that Iranian oil smuggler and that guy Omar who claims to have the diaries of Ibn Maimum, the Persian occult-saboteur, guerilla expert and conspiracist who assisted the Al-Fatemid to overthrow the Caliphate regime in Egypt. (1st Lt. Ali Osa, US 1st Battalion, 41st Infantry Regiment)
Tell-Kuyunjik: Nineveh 36o 24´ N 43o 08´ E
Excursus VI (Xeno-agents and the Assyrian Axis of Evil-against-Evil)
The human defense mechanism is the most consistent entity on this planet; its self-fertilizing paranoia is capable of grasping and identifying every contact only in terms of a potential incursion. When this paranoid consistency (or consistency of paranoia, since paranoia, ironically, tends to be consistent) attains autonomy, it becomes ruthlessly schizoid by passively opening itself to unknown threats from the Outside or xeno-agents. The anthropomorphic security system is a Pandora’s Box of unrecorded diseases, emerging from the consistent resistance of the system to outside invasions on the one hand, and the consistently-escalating invasion on the other hand. In this sense, the human security system is a projection of the intensity of the conflict between the xeno-agent (demon) and the system that registers new indefinable plagues mapped at the outer limits of the demon and the system.
Unlike Martin Bergman’s still profoundly religious demonology — which insists that a demon should be exorcised not to save the possessed but to assist the demon to escape from the ‘mammal meat’ — according to the Assyrian Axis of Evil-against-Evil, the demon infects a person to extract a wide array of pest-insurgencies from the security system not by possessing it (in the sense of seizing a property from the monopoly of the Divine — for example, the human as belonging to God), but by turning the Divine and its secured properties into intermediate parasites (pimps) for incoming diseases. In the Assyrian politics of demonism, the Divine and its world are turned into a pest-feeding farm. Their resistance and blind oppositions are encouraged because each instance of resistance harbors more incursions from the Outside. Pests, xeno-excitations, cosmic diseases kick in when capacity is reached and the security system of the anthropomorphic agency starts to crack and waste, consequently trying to survive at all costs which in turn causes a wider array of pestilential activities. In this panorama, survival and security reinforcement (as opposed to the dying system) ‘turns on’ the demon to no end. Modern criminology refuses to acknowledge the presence of demons, in the same way that secular disbelief condemns the inanity of a demon possessing a helpless human: if demons exist and are that powerful then why would they possess a wretched anthropian? Such an objection misunderstands the mechanisms involved in the communication between xeno-agents and the human security system. For demons maintain their outsideness precisely through a power of overkilling (sheer exteriority of a force), inflicting more power than is needed just to unlock a gate. Demons simply crack open the prey. The overkilling power effectuates an openness outside the system’s capacity to afford it. Once openness cannot be afforded by the system’s capacity, it turns into an instance of butchery rather than an act of emancipation characterized by human ‘access’ to the outside. Overkill is a spectacle staged on the fundamental incapacity of the system to cope with the outside. Through overkill, the xeno-agent performs its demonic spectacle and effectuates its exteriority which the system cannot afford. The exteriority of the demon cannot be captured by the desire of the system for openness, and for this reason such exteriority overkills (butchers open) the system. To possess a strong man is certainly enough to flaunt the demon’s power, but all the better if the possessed is a child or old woman, to signify the outsideness of the demon through which overkilling power is generated.
On the Assyrian Axis of Evil-against-Evil, the demon does not seek to dismantle (anthropomorphic) identity; instead it tries to make identity a gate for summoning new demons from the furious clashes between xeno-particles and the resisting system. Beyond the borders of identity lies the indifferent realm of unconditional (absolute) madness, or that which can never be schizoid, since schizophrenia germinates on the wasted remains of boundary, territory and capacity. Schizophrenia needs a minimum degree of organization and system to spread, to be mobilized, to transform into agitations and to interlock with xeno-excitations and demons. Schizophrenia is engineered through the synergetic oppositions between xeno-excitations (demonic particles of the Outside graspable as uncontrollable intensities) and the forces of the boundary; it is restlessly mobilized through attacks and counter-attacks, one attack from xeno-particles, two or more counter-attacks from the system. The furious resistance is exponentially intensified and progressively overrun by xeno-agents until meltdown, the becoming-GAS of all particles.
Schiz-fluxes only flow on differentiated zones, meaning that there must be at least two opposite sides — identity and its nemeses. Since the rise of Foucauldian psychoanalysis, the only image of a schizo represented in pop-culture is the external image of madness, that of an inconceivable, semi-paralyzed madman lurching in the manner of an intoxicated spider. The schizo can be found everywhere except in madness. Schizophrenia comes with delirium (Jnun), the passion for terminal disease (which presupposes health), war-torn realms of organic survival, attacks and increasing counter-attacks diagrammatically narrating their tireless, attritional engagement on a draco-spiral which sometimes melts, sometimes evaporates, burns incompletely and blurs into particles instead of dissolving into nothingness. Everything excitingly schizoid, capable of attracting the merciless invasion of xeno-particles and igniting criminal excitations, happens on the borders of identity and its regimes which balefully put up their resistance against any malicious force. In order to draw schizo-lines of communication from the Outside, a rigorous course for dismantling identity is necessary, yet any serious attempt for total eradication of identity intrinsically excludes the space of xeno-excitations and ends up in autistic nihilism.
In the Middle East, the Arabic word Jin (or Jinn) refers to a race created by Allah prior to the creation of humans, made of fire and thus capable of shape-shifting (unlike the human, which was created from dust and water, the bacterial mess of dust-soups). In the Quran and in Islamic demonology — unlike in Christianity — Shaytan (Satan) is not a fallen angel but the first Jinn (Man’s nemesis) created by Allah. According to the Quran, angels have no Will; as a result, they have no ability to disobey or choose. However, Jinns, with their unfathomable intelligence, can choose their paths; they have the Will to disobey or obey, be loyal or be a traitor (Khazoola: ). A Jinn or Djinn is male, the female side of this race is called Jnun (in plural form: ), a polysemous word which also means delirium, maddening love and terminal schizophrenia (corrosive tidal waves of xeno-excitations).
In Persian mythology, Jnun are descended from Jeh or Jahi, the first anti-creationist agent engineered by Ahriman’s own body, the daughter of Ahriman who awakened her father from ten thousand years of slumber to spawn a pest-legion. Jahi is the first woman whose mission was to undo the entire pro-creationist project of Ahura Mazda. In Arabic folklore, Jnun are daughters of Lilith. Rûb-al-Khâlie, the dreadful desert where Abdul Al-Hazred settled for ten years, was inhabited by Jnun — not Jinn — which operate as female gates to the Outside. Al-Hazred must have communicated with the female side of the Outside (i.e. Jnun) in writing his nocturnally-encrypted Necronomicon, a chef d’œuvre on cosmodromic blasphemy and on the realism of openness.
Jnun possess men, yet they do not occupy or colonize their hosts. Instead they lay open male hosts to the Outside, an openness in the sense of being laid, cracked, butchered open (as in the case of the Moroccan jinniya, Aisha Qandisha, or Aiesheh Ghediseh, who is also called ‘the Opener’). Possessed by Jnun, Abdul Al-Hazred found this path the only reliable polytics to communicate with the cosmodrome of the Outside demarcated in the Numogram as the region of Djynxx or more precisely, XX-djinns. The path to Djynxx or the region of XX-djinns is mapped as becoming-woman via Jnun who, according to Arabic and Farsi folklore, narrate untold stories for the one who is opened and devoured by them. Lilith tells travelers forbidden stories before opening and devouring them. In this sense, Jnun (mapped as the region Djynxx in the Numogram) is a direct link to the cosmic blasphemy and the female current of the Outside. The reason that Lovecraft frequently calls Al-Hazred the ‘mad’ poet or the ‘mad’ Arab is that communicating with Jnun, as the female gates (vulvo-cosmic singularities) to the Outside, has one inevitable consequence — radical delirium. In Arabic and Farsi the word Jnun also means delirium, maddening love, terminal madness as the result of being laid open by the female cutting-edge of the Outside. However, Jnun is not compatible with the western definition of Madness. It cannot be translated properly, but suffice to say that it is mainly comprised of three elements and is developed through their compositions: Possession, Love and utter Openness. Abdul Al-Hazrad is a majnun (), a man laid open by Jnun and at the same time, a majnun man, a madman (majnun) who immediately reminds us of the melancholic tale of Leyili and Majnun, their love story which converges in madness, openness, and a delirious love — the Forbidden.
Aisha Qandisha or Aisha Qadisha or Ghediseh is one of the most popular and fearsome Jinniya (female Jinn) in Moroccan folklore. Beliefs and rituals for Aisha have continued into the twenty-first century. She is both a hunter and a healer, sometimes appearing as a beautiful (irresistibly seductive) woman and sometimes as a Hag. When she possesses a man, she does not take over the new host, but opens the man to a storm of incoming Jnun and Jinns, demons and sorcerous particles of all kinds; making the man a traffic zone of sweeping cosmodromic data. This is why she is feared. And she never leaves — she always resides in the man to guarantee his total openness, which is not always pleasant. According to the Moroccans, the only way to feel comfortable with Aisha (the new mistress / lover) is by participating with her, feeding her, exciting her through passionate and barbaric music rites with cacosonic rhythms.
 Vising the lawyer (10:00), Bazaar / Güleç Stone Tasçilik (10:40), Ayasophia (12:00 shouldn’t forget the flash card), Rami (1:00 lunch and meeting Z or his brother)