The Dimension of Excellence: Interview With Jason Sorrell (Co-Host of the Ooze)
When I reflect of the name Jason Sorrell, I am reminded of the term excellence. Our regular subscribers may have noted that a few of Sorrell’s writings have been featured on this blog page. He is not only a wise mystic and mage in the making, but has a way of making the mystical practical. He is a free-thinker, the self-made man. While Sorrell appears to be an outspoken gentleman at times, his persona is also shrouded in a great deal of mystery as well. Skilled in various subjects, both in the occult world and practical day-to-day living, he remains humble in respects to the depths of his consciousness. He is also an integral part of The Ooze. I got a chance to talk with the Satanic legend recently, and I am sure you will appreciate his many insights.
Warlock Asylum: Many of our readers may have noted a few articles appearing on this blog page that were authored by you, Jason Sorrell, how would you describe yourself to our readers who are not familiar with you?
Jason Sorrell: “Evolving” would probably be how I would describe myself today. I have the feeling that I am on the cusp of something new. For the last couple of decades, I have identified myself as a Satanist, thinking that such a definition would be sufficient, but what I am finding is that the term Satanist is becoming ever more muddled by people who have their own ideas as to what “Satanist” means. The term I am currently mulling-over is “Individualist”, which is the cornerstone of my Satanist identity. The title of Satanist was meant to shock both the people who heard it and the person who claimed it into the recognition that something other than the accepted values, morals, and behaviors were possible. It was novel at the time of its introduction, but I think I have out-grown it. In fact, the only reason I would even need a word to begin to describe myself would be in order to communicate with others. I have made some artwork, I have written a few books, and have lived a relatively intense life. I am thinking now is time for a new chapter.
Warlock Asylum: What were your reasons for getting involved in occult studies?
Jason Sorrell: Oddly enough, I think I became involved in Occult Studies because I hungered for truth. I was drawn at a very early age to questions of theology and spirituality. The standards answers did not ring true to me. My father was very progressive in his own views on religion, and he encouraged my brother and I to explore the concept of religion and to develop our own ideas. Christianity was just another set of myths to me, but myths that clearly had some basis in fact. I studied other myths and saw all the parallels across cultures and time, hinting at a truth that all the myths only scratched the surface of. I began moving from study to application in my teens as secondary goals became ever more pressing; especially discovering a route to having more freedoms for myself and the development of advantages over others. Truth, though, remained always the ultimate goal.
Psychology seems to be my particular area of focus, along with linguistics and ritual magic. It is odd how these things have managed to influence my practical life as well. I almost did a stint as a translator while I was in the military, but could not bring myself to make the 10 year commitment that would have been required. Europe is where I truly flourished as a student of the Occult, studying and partying with some of the least sane and most brilliant people I have ever had the privilege to be in contact with. Now, in my search for truth, I seek a means to nudge our species in a direction that I think will be most favorable.
Warlock Asylum: Some of our readers who may be familiar with your work associate you with The Ooze Blog Talk Radio, what events led to you becoming a part of such an informative radio team?
Jason Sorrell: That is a long story that has mostly to do with the tenacity of TC Downey and his own urge to nudge the evolution of our species. TC and I met through a social forum, the United Order of Cerberus… kind of a pre-SIN on Yahoo! Groups (way back when that was the hot place to be on the ‘net). TC and I stayed in contact even after the UoC fell apart. TC eventually began doing an internet-radio broadcast, Twizded Radio. He and his co-host talked about crazy, silly shit and did some advertising of my artwork. I would occasionally chime in or even act as a co-host myself.
TC and his original co-host had a falling-out, and TC began trying to come up with a new show format. He decided to do something with the Occult, and he decided to look into the Cult of Cthulhu. At the time, I had a link to the CoC site on my own site, but was not yet affiliated. TC did an interview with Darrick Dishaw (Venger Satanis), and the two enjoyed working with one another, so they decided to make it a regular gig. This was the birth of The Ooze. TC asked if I would be interested in calling in now and then, and occasionally co-hosting. He also encouraged me to check out Darrick’s trip, which Darrick was peddling as Satanism, Lovecraft, and the Fourth Way. We both (TC and I) dug into the subjects in our typical fashion, and saw tremendous potential in what was being offered by the CoC. Problems arouse, however, when we discovered that what we were sold was not the reality of the CoC, and that Darrick was mistaken in assuming two hard-line Satanists would be content with the role as boot-licks. There was a falling out, and The Ooze became short on host.
Part of TC’s plan for the CoC was to expand it beyond the limited framework that Darrick was managing. TC wanted the CoC to become ground-zero for pro-active Satanism. The Fourth Way is an amazing route for self-development, the Lovecraft symbolism was edgy but still close to the mainstream, and our combined infernal-slant seemed like a good mix. TC made his case to what could be considered the Illuminated Satanists of our time, and even those who had written off the CoC and Darrick Dishaw took a second look because TC and I had signed-on. If TC hadn’t made those connections, then the Ooze might have died with the fall-out. Instead, TC used the network he had developed to jump-start the Ooze into a new format with multiple co-hosts that double and tripled its listeners.
For my part, I missed Twizded Radio… the opportunity to be a little goofy once a week. TC needed a break from the heavy intellectual lifting with the other shows. We developed the Outbreak Edition of the Ooze and merged it all onto one account. The show is still Occult themed, but with our tongues firmly planted in our cheeks. We have talked about pedophile teachers, sexual fetishes, morons in Satanism, the UFO conspiracy, and we were even “taken over” by a couple of Southern Baptist Ministers. All the shows are on archives somewhere, and the live show is on at 11pm EST, The Ooze
Warlock Asylum: There are several episodes of The Ooze where you expressed comments that seem to be related to the school of Fourth Way thought, when did you first learn about the teachings of Gurdjieff and Ouspensky?
Jason Sorrell: To be honest, my first actual encounter with the Fourth Way was from a scene in “Monty Python’s the Meaning of Life”. There is a boardroom scene where they are having a metaphysical discussion, and one of the characters mentions the idea that we are not born with a soul, but rather a soul must be created during our life, otherwise we are born again in order to repeat the same life… or something to that effect. This is straight from the Fourth Way, and it really caught my attention, though I had no clue where to start looking into it. From then on, bits and pieces of Fourth Way material made its way into my circle of attention now and then. I had a friend in the Army that discussed this “Russian Philosopher” ( I was stationed in Germany, so talking about Russia was one way to be “cool”). A few of my German friends who were interested in the Occult talked about “centers” and “the un-reality of the way we see things”. I read some of Gurdjieff’s work while in college studying philosophy.
My encounter with the Cult of Cthulhu encouraged me to really focus in on it and to bring together what I had learned. I am still a student of Mr. Gurdjieff’s Work. I meet weekly with a local study group, and my friends often discuss the different concepts. We are always reminding one another of our potential, challenging each other with different ideas, and sharing our small triumphs on the road of self-development.
Warlock Asylum: What are your thoughts about H.P Lovecraft?
Jason Sorrell: Lovecraft was a man born out of his time… he arrived too early. If he were born in the 50’s or 60’s, he would have been a giant in horror-fiction like King or Barker. However, if he had not been born and lived in his time, there would be no King or Barker. I don’t think much of Lovecraft’s writing style, but his imagination was unmatched, and his influence is beyond any questioning.
Warlock Asylum:After viewing your website Distorted Brainwaves, which can be accessed at the following link; http://creativeodditiesstudios.blogspot.com/?zx=a1d93c4d3ddf6490 it seems that you have a strong love for art and writing, what are some of the things that inspire you in your work as a graphic artist?
Jason Sorrell: I grew up in love with comic books. My father invested in about a dozen different subscriptions when I was in kindergarten to support a fund-raiser for my school. He would read them then I would read them. I was a Spider-man fan, along with Conan the Barbarian (a Lovecraft connection!). This was in the 70’s and early 80’s, just when the X-Men was coming into its own and the Phoenix Saga was kicking off… good times to be a comic-reader. I already enjoyed drawing, but comic-book art really drew me in.
The plan early on was to become a comic-book artist, and I was drawing my own action-adventure comics by the 5th grade. There was another, subtler influence, however. My dad was what you could call a “hippy”, and I was no stranger to the local head-shops. I soon discovered underground comics, as well as the Graphic Novel via “Heavy Metal”. I heard the siren-song of erotica, and began to loose interest in the monthly comics for the more mature and harder-edged one-shot GNs. By the 1990’s and the obvious corporate influence in the comic-biz, I looked strictly to underground comics and Graphic Novels.
My artwork was also heavily influenced by mythic illustration (ala the art featured in “Heavy Metal”), skateboard art (I was an avid ‘vert skater in Europe), and tattoo art. Tattoo art had been pulling at me and pulling at me even in Junior High. I designed a tattoo per the request of one of my Drill Sergeants in Basic Training… drawing in the Drill Sergeants office with all your DSs looking over your shoulder is intense. In Europe, I hung-out in tattoo shops and made a little money on the side drawing designs (the European underground sub-culture was a bonanza of opportunities for an individual with an entrepreneurial spirit and a different perspective).
I studied art for four years at Indiana University’s Fort Wayne Campus after I did my four years in the Army. I took classes in drawing, figure-drawing, water-color, oils, airbrush, photography, digital imaging, website design, illustration, metal-working, print-making, sculpture, computer graphics… basically any class that would give me another tool to use in my art. Still, there was always a “pop-culture” edge to my work, a grungy, underground element.
My first attempt at merchandising my work was through Primal Aesthetic, a cabal of artists (as many as 7 but usually just three core artists) who were supposed to do their own thing independently and advertise the groups efforts with their own. What really happened was a fellow calling himself Corvis Nocturnum (http://www.corvisnocturnum.com/) and I hustled to get shows while everyone else just showed up when we landed a gig. We did shows at festivals, coffee-shops, head-shops, and sex-shops. All the while, people kept telling me “you should be a tattoo artist”. Corvis and I both agreed that we were tired of carrying everyone else and that our portfolios had each grown enough to stand on their own. We disbanded Primal Aesthetic and starting working on our solo careers. I always draw what I want to draw for me first. Then I look for ways to make a buck. I started designing tattoo “flash”, the art you see on the walls at tattoo shops, and selling the flash-sets on-line.
What was odd was that, as well as the sets sold on-line, the local shops were not usually interested in buying directly from me. Shop owners and tattoo artists always asked if I did tattoos, or if I was trying to learn. Finally, one of the shop-owners, who was a former high school art teacher and a fan of my work, told me that the problem was that my work was too good for someone outside the industry, and many of the local artists were concerned about what might happen if I were given a little encouragement. When he said “you should be a tattoo artist”, I listened.
The work I do for the public tends to have that “pop-culture” vibe that I love. Most of the work I do privately is what I would call “fine-art”, and is rarely seen by the public. I dig graphic art because it is art on a “street level”… it can be appreciated and even purchased by just about anyone. Every now and then I will slip into a judged show or a local group-show with a painting just to prove to myself that I can hang with the drinks-with-their-pinkies-up club, but I am more excited about my stickers being on a guitar or skateboard than my paintings on a gallery wall.
Warlock Asylum: Are you able to funnel the love that you have for the arts into your spiritual development?
Jason Sorrell: My “Black Tarot” was that kind of project. I designed a Major Arcana after doing a ridiculous amount of research and reading Tarot for others for years. I poured what I knew at the time about the Tarot into a book presenting my own theory, which brought me no love from the Tarot Community, and designed my set based on the classic Italian designs with a modern and Satanist twist. The set was limited to a run of 666, with the cards being printed through a local printer and then being processed by hand. They have long since sold-out.
My fine-art is probably where the most of my spiritual introspection is expressed. I use the canvass, or the material I am using if I am sculpting, as a window both outwards and inwards. Normally, our perspective moves from the real, through the filter of our sense, and into our minds. With art, I try to draw out of my mind, through the filter of my talents, into the real. Usually, it results in a circuit, with the work flowing in and out of my mind until it is satisfactorily manifested.
Warlock Asylum: Over the past few years there seems to be an increased interest in matters pertaining to the occult, in your opinion, what is the basis of this growing interest and do you see it as something that is beneficial?
Jason Sorrell: This phenomenon appears to be cyclical, with each cycle becoming more intense. With the leaps being made in our scientific community, the lines between magic and reality are beginning to seriously blur. We now have virtual realities, instantaneous digital communication, cybernetics, life-expanding medical procedures… We also exist in a social environment where potential is often ignored or even punished, where people sense that the opportunities these technologies represent are being denied them. As the wisdom of the Ancients appears to be more valid, and the people find less opportunity in the methods of today, they are turning to the methods of cultures past and the Occult. The Occult makes no distinction between social classes. It demands only intelligence, imagination, and the strength of will to apply that which is discovered.
It is both beneficial and dangerous. The spiritual world can bring enlightenment or mire the individual in delusion. The key is to balance the mundane and the mystical within the self, to recognize that the unified consciousness of our species manifests internally and externally. We as a people cannot be satisfied with the experiences of the ritual chamber while being denied our birthright as a star-fairing species.
Warlock Asylum: How did you get involved in the Satanic International Network, and what is your view of Satanism in the world today?
Jason Sorrell: With the fall-out from the Cult of Cthulhu after the “Decree of Heresy” (to whisper that phrase in the CoC’s virtual halls sends people into a panic), TC suggested that we move our efforts to another space on the web. Zach Black was kind enough to promote our efforts and to welcome us with open arms. SIN is not a school, it is not even a good forum for philosophical debate (though some very impressive debates have occurred there). SIN is a social network, a place where those with the proper disposition and mental fortitude can experience what is offered by Satanists in all its forms, from the very best to the very worst.
In my view, there are different degrees of Satanism, while all being correct, some more relatively correct than others. It seems popular, for example, to call yourself a Satanist when you are in fact closer to a Pagan or Wiccan… or even a Christian in a reverse-sense. For those people, Satan is akin to some dark-god from their own mythology and less an entity or concept in its own right. They are intent on making Satan, and Satanism, fit their particular point-of-view, rather than accepting Satanism as it is.
Another degree are the iconoclasts. For them, Satanism offers no means to accomplish anything, so they are left with nothing but the effort to entertain themselves by tearing down the efforts of others. They have all the ear-marks of Satanism; self-reliance, fierce Individualism, an aversion to authority, the urge to manifest their will… but they lack any sense of direction and see any sense of direction in others as a threat to themselves. Direction in other Satanists high-lights their own short-comings.
Then there are the “old-guard” Satanists. These are the people who, for whatever reason, are the classic luminaries of Satanism. They live Satanism as it was developed in the 60’s and 70’s, and staunchly refuse to advance or evolve. They are mired in thinking that the successes of their past should now garner them some kind of respect or privilege in the present. Satanism is about “vital existence”… meaning you have to LIVE LIFE! Life evolves, it changes, it progresses. The old-guard longs for a world that they might have had or which they almost manifested, but the opportunity has past them.
For most of its history, Satanism has been reactionary. It was conceived as a response to the major religions of the day, to the denial of the Individual that was the undercurrent of the “Flower Power” movement, and to the moral-uprightness of the 50’s. Satanism reacted to attacks during the “Satanic Panic” of the 80’s, and reacted to the decline in its own shock-value in the 1990s. Today there are those Satanists who fear the back-lash of fundamentalism, from Christianity or Islam, and are wrapped-up in reacting once again, though how and to what is difficult for anyone to say.
The degree of Satanism that I see the most promise in are the pro-active Satanists. They have been called “Post Modern”, “Evolutionary”, and even “Next Phase”. These are the Satanists that stand as Individuals, but recognize that in order to bolster their Individualism, they need to stake a claim in the direction of our society and species. They recognize that Satanism is about “vital existence”, and they work along three lines; self-development, establishing an example through their efforts for others and the working toward mutual benefit, and working for the development of Satanism as a philosophy. They tend to avoid the forums unless there is some need for them to be there, and are more often expressing their Satanic Will in some manner in the real world rather than on the internet. These are the Satanists on the cutting-edge, the ones nudging the whole society toward that potential that exists but is denied.
Warlock Asylum: I would like to congratulate you on all your success in your endeavors and personal goal, as well as, taking the time to make this interview possible. In your own words, what advice would you give to practitioners of the Simon Necronomicon and the occult world in general?
Jason Sorrell: To the Practitioners of the Simon Necronomicon… the Gate Walkers, I would call upon you to remember the example and mandate of Inanna. Inanna journeyed to the Underworld as was stripped of every power GIVEN to her to face her enemies named to her ESSENSE. She discovered the knowledge of the Underworld, and then used that knowledge to EARN her powers back and she returned to our world, and there she MANIFESTED her will through APPLICATION of her knowledge.
Power and knowledge are meaningless without application. Find ways to make what you have discovered of value in a practical manner, and set an example for others to witness, marvel, and emulate. The more people that Awaken to their potential and see what is really possible, the less likely that YOU can be enslaved by those who would keep you Asleep.
I would like to that Jason sorrell for taking the time to answer a few questions and sharing your insights with the Gate-walking Community. We look forward and support your future endeavors. Stay Blessed!