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A LETTER OF PROTEST

Introduction:

The Kooks Museum is a web site maintained by Donna Kossy in which biographies, photos, and documents relating to an assortment of kooky folks are archived. Kossy includes in her roster UFO believers, religious fanatics, race-hate mongers, schizophrenics, medical and scientific quacks, and millennial cultists -- as well as people who have built vernacular sacred sites. Several authors have contributed to Kossy's web site; their descriptive tones vary between light, cheerful smugness and sneering, mean-spirited snottiness, depending on what form of kookery is under consideration and who has written the piece. A short, highly innacurate (but illustrated) entry on the Watts Towers of Simon Rodia prompted my outraged response. (I have stolen both the illos -- of the Watts Towers and Simon Rodia -- to save you the trouble of having to go to the offensive web site itself.) This letter was sent to the arrogant author, "Dr. Ahmed Fishmonger," (with a copy to Kossy) on July 4th, 1996:

Dear "Doctor,"

I have very mixed feelings about the "Seven Wonders of Kookdom" page you wrote for The Kooks Museum web site. While it is nice to view photos of these places (and why no photo of Coral Castle or the Winchester House?), your tone of snide condescension interferes with my enjoyment at seeing these well-loved sites placed on the web.

You are so off the mark in your history of the Watts Towers -- and the motivation of the builder, Simon Rodia -- that i have grave doubts about your sincerity or capacity for factual research. Sure, the Watts Towers are unusual -- but they are not "hubcap- and bottle-studded radiomasts of the gods" by any means. The predominant surface decorations consist of broken tiles from Rodia's day job as a tile setter. Rodia envisioned no "radio mast" function for the Towers and saw no "gods" -- he erected them, he said, in grateful appreciation to the United States of America, to which he had emigrated from Italy. A "kook" he may have been, but a *pseudo-scientific religious* kook he was not. Also, he did not die "in obscurity" as you say. When he became too old to live alone, he moved to his daughter's home in northern California. Old age overtakes us all, but age did not find Simon Rodia lost to the world. He was interviewed several times while living at his daughter's and those interviews reveal him to be a self-aware man of limited education and high intelligence.

The Watts Towers are certainly wonderful -- but you do not make them any more so by imputing a false "obsession" to their builder. Rodia was an artist, and this was his art. Are you so wise that you know the inner, unspoken, never-revealed scientific-religious motivations of such a man despite what he himself had to say about his actual motivations? If so, YOU are the "kook."

Actually, i fear, you are not a true kook. You are simply a smug member of the white bourgoisie who thinks it the height of wit to lay low with self-congratulatory winks and nudges the aspirations of a poor Italian tile setter who would have, in a more just world, become an architect. "Isn't he kooky?" you say. "So quaint...and so...*obsessed*."

No, i do not think that every nut-case backyard builder was a Simon Rodia, but by lumping Rodia in with truly god-obsessed people like James Hampton, you abrogate any right to my respect, and you reveal yourself to be a class-conscious snob and a fabulizer.

I look forward to seeing some real information about the Watts Towers on the web soon. I hope you will be the person who writes it.

catherine yronwode


Lucky-Mojo-Pookline


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You can search our sites for a single word (like archaeoastronomy, hoodoo, conjure, or clitoris), an exact phrase contained within quote marks (like "love spells", "spiritual supplies", "occult shop", "gambling luck", "Lucky Mojo bag", or "guardian angel"), or a name within quote marks (like "Blind Willie McTell", "Black Hawk", "Hoyt's Cologne", or "Frank Stokes"):

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LUCKY MOJO is a large domain that is organized into a number of interlinked web sites,
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SACRED LANDSCAPE by cat yronwode.
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Here are some other LUCKY MOJO web sites you can visit:

OCCULTISM, MAGIC SPELLS, MYSTICISM, RELIGION, SYMBOLISM
Hoodoo in Theory and Practice by cat yronwode: an introduction to African-American rootwork
Hoodoo Herb and Root Magic by cat yronwode:a materia magica of African-American conjure
Lucky W Amulet Archive by cat yronwode: an online museum of worldwide talismans and charms
Sacred Sex: essays and articles on tantra yoga, neo-tantra, karezza, sex magic, and sex worship
Sacred Landscape: essays and articles on archaeoastronomy and sacred geometry
Freemasonry for Women by cat yronwode: a history of mixed-gender Freemasonic lodges
The Lucky Mojo Esoteric Archive: captured internet text files on occult and spiritual topics
Lucky Mojo Usenet FAQ Archive:FAQs and REFs for occult and magical usenet newsgroups
Aleister Crowley Text Archive: a multitude of texts by an early 20th century occultist
Lucky Mojo Magic Spells Archives: love spells, money spells, luck spells, protection spells, and more
      Free Love Spell Archive: love spells, attraction spells, sex magick, romance spells, and lust spells
      Free Money Spell Archive: money spells, prosperity spells, and wealth spells for job and business
      Free Protection Spell Archive: protection spells against witchcraft, jinxes, hexes, and the evil eye
      Free Gambling Luck Spell Archive: lucky gambling spells for the lottery, casinos, and races

POPULAR CULTURE
Hoodoo and Blues Lyrics: transcriptions of blues songs about African-American folk magic
EaRhEaD!'S Syd Barrett Lyrics Site: lyrics by the founder of the Pink Floyd Sound
The Lesser Book of the Vishanti: Dr. Strange Comics as a magical system, by cat yronwode
The Spirit Checklist: a 1940s newspaper comic book by Will Eisner, indexed by cat yronwode
Fit to Print: collected weekly columns about comics and pop culture by cat yronwode
Eclipse Comics Index: a list of all Eclipse comics, albums, and trading cards

EDUCATION AND OUTREACH
Hoodoo Rootwork Correspondence Course with cat yronwode: 52 weekly lessons in book form
Hoodoo Conjure Training Workshops: hands-on rootwork classes, lectures, and seminars
Apprentice with catherine yronwode: personal 3-week training for qualified HRCC graduates
Lucky Mojo Community Forum: an online message board for our occult spiritual shop customers
Lucky Mojo Hoodoo Rootwork Hour Radio Show: learn free magic spells via podcast download
Lucky Mojo Videos: see video tours of the Lucky Mojo shop and get a glimpse of the spirit train
Lucky Mojo Publishing: practical spell books on world-wide folk magic and divination
Lucky Mojo Newsletter Archive: subscribe and receive discount coupons and free magick spells
LMC Radio Network: magical news, information, education, and entertainment for all!
Follow Us on Facebook: get company news and product updates as a Lucky Mojo Facebook Fan

ONLINE SHOPPING
The Lucky Mojo Curio Co.: spiritual supplies for hoodoo, magick, witchcraft, and conjure
Herb Magic: complete line of Lucky Mojo Herbs, Minerals, and Zoological Curios, with sample spells
Mystic Tea Room Gift Shop: antique, vintage, and contemporary fortune telling tea cups

PERSONAL SITES
catherine yronwode: the eclectic and eccentric author of many of the above web pages
nagasiva yronwode: nigris (333), nocTifer, lorax666, boboroshi, Troll Towelhead, !
Garden of Joy Blues: former 80 acre hippie commune near Birch Tree in the Missouri Ozarks
Liselotte Erlanger Glozer: illustrated articles on collectible vintage postcards
Jackie Payne: Shades of Blues: a San Francisco Bay Area blues singer

ADMINISTRATIVE
Lucky Mojo Site Map: the home page for the whole Lucky Mojo electron-pile
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OTHER SITES OF INTEREST
Arcane Archive: thousands of archived Usenet posts on religion, magic, spell-casting, mysticism, and spirituality
Association of Independent Readers and Rootworkers: psychic reading, conjure, and hoodoo root doctor services
Candles and Curios: essays and articles on traditional African American conjure and folk magic, plus shopping
Crystal Silence League: a non-denominational site; post your prayers; pray for others; let others pray for you
Gospel of Satan: the story of Jesus and the angels, from the perspective of the God of this World
Hoodoo Psychics: connect online or call 1-888-4-HOODOO for instant readings now from a member of AIRR
Missionary Independent Spiritual Church: spirit-led, inter-faith; prayer-light services; Smallest Church in the World
Mystic Tea Room: tea leaf reading, teacup divination, and a museum of antique fortune telling cups
Satan Service: an archive presenting the theory, practice, and history of Satanism and Satanists
Southern Spirits: 19th and 20th century accounts of hoodoo, including ex-slave narratives & interviews
Spiritual Spells: lessons in folk magic and spell casting from an eclectic Wiccan perspective, plus shopping
Yronwode Home: personal pages of catherine yronwode and nagasiva yronwode, magical archivists
Yronwode Institution: the Yronwode Institution for the Preservation and Popularization of Indigenous Ethnomagicology


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