“For too long man has been degraded and nature denied. The detractors of man, legislators, founders of societies, have made of him a monster. Through their blindness, through their corruption by which that band of barbarians, those devourers of corpses and skeletons reduce the human race to a condition inferior to that of animals. Those fortunate swindlers dominate humanity by their vices and sacrifice it to politics with acts of authority. All of those ingrates who can only sit on pillows impose work on man. In like manner they brutalize man with their pedantry, their religions and their arsenal of absurd and capricious laws which prevent him from feeling his degradation. They attribute to him bad instincts, they classify them as criminal in order to provide a justification, and make themselves his masters and guides. And proud and implacable masters at that who will not leave a man alone until the graveside. And these presumed heroes, these simonious destroyers, are the ones who have reddened the earth with blood. These same men have refused to recognize the savages as members of the human race, in order to enslave and slaughter them.”
– Taken from “Man and Nature” of Alfred Merne (Naturian writer), Revista Blanca N. 122, August 11th, 1903, Madrid, Spain.
Wild Reaction (RS) is dead. The project that united various ecoanarchist, anticivilization, and terrorist groups has finished, but the war continues. It was only a matter of time for the new groups to publish texts and justifications for their actions as has been the case in the past. The editors of this magazine (as was stated in the last RS communique of August 14th of this year) will continue their literary endeavor to cover all of the violent acts against civilization, technology, modernity, human progress, and artificiality. We have rejected the selectivism that previously characterized us and in our last publication, “Accursed Chronology: The History of Wild Reaction”, we have included many attacks that took place in Mexico as well as outside of this territory which weren’t necessarily the work of the factions of RS, but were done by groups that are beginning to demonstrate signs of conflict with the technological system. The war against harmful modernity takes place at multiple stages. Each one will know which one he or she is in, what necessity there is in a given context to undertake an extremist attack in defense of wild nature. The tendency of ecoextremism has been the stage that has appealed to us the most. Within RS we found many similarities between ourselves and others who follow this tendency. The individualists who once formed part of this completed project have sharing various qualities which we will mention below. With this we are not saying that everyone who ends up carrying out extremist acts against the technological system HAS to be this way, but these qualities should be taken into consideration at the very least.
Affinity with and respect for wild nature: There exists a very intimate and symbiotic relationship between nature and our species. We have been losing it little by little with the passing of the generations, but it is possible to reconnect ourselves, and to recuperate our wild nature (though not totally, sure). We hold nature in high esteem. We come forth from it and we will return to it. To defend it and defend our deepest roots which link us to it is merely a consequence of our still being human and not humanoids. The ability to survive, to recognize flora and fauna, hunting, gathering, and the imagination that makes possible a life as far from civilization as one can muster, are tools which assist the individualist and his circle of likeminded people.
Determination: Daring is one of the things that characterizes our factions. It is necessary to act coldly and without hesitation concerning bystanders during an attack, sabotage, or holdup. If there are any doubts or if they are not sure about defending themselves by any means necessary (to kill or be killed), they’re better off not trying it. In other words, one must be indiscriminate.
Austerity: This decadent society makes us want stuff that we don’t need, though some refuse to see this and are enslaved by the endless pursuit of more trinkets. The majority of people are trying to keep up with the Joneses, they dream of making it big, of having the latest gadgets and comforts, etc. For us, all of that is an abomination.
Simplicity: making do with what you have and rejecting civilized vices regarding coveting unnecessary things. These are wellknown traits of the ecoextremist individualist.
Sobriety: Keeping sober and rejecting all legal and illegal drugs is really important for our tendency, as we have to be on our toes for whatever might develop. Getting drunk, smoking cigarettes or pot, shooting drugs, huffing, trying to “cure” yourself with homeopathic medicines, or injecting your body with harmful substances makes you stupid. and shows that you don’t even respect yourself. It shows lack of selfcontrol, weakness and carelessness. Thus we reject this behavior totally.
Patience: This is one of the most respectable virtues. Desperation is a disease of civilization. Here we see everything going at breakneck speed, we’re running around like chickens with our heads cut off, and our humdrum provokes desperation in us. To be patient and be careful not only in our actions against the system but also in our daily lives keeps you from getting into problems that have befallen others (jail, accidents, death, etc.) But we repeat, this path is safer but it is by no means foolproof.
Constancy: Working on a project like this is never easy. Unforeseen problems will always arise, and you have to be ready for anything. Having real motivation will help you to be consistent as an ecoextremist individualist; to work hard and accomplish modest shortterm goals that will help you to achieve concrete objectives.
We at Regresion have the goal of publishing this journal, with the objective of providing an appropriate platform for this tendency. If something changes within someone and that person decides to individually join the war passed down to us from our ancestors, we wish him all the best, though this isn’t our goal specifically (to change people’s minds). If that happens, it’s by pure coincidence.
Responsibility: We define responsibility as accepting the aftermath of your actions and assuming the consequences of what you have done.
Realism: Reality often presents us with a defeatist and very pessimistic scenario. Nevertheless, accepting this reality is crucial for removing the blindfold and accepting things just as they are, even if this is difficult. This blindfold is of course utopia. Many have criticized Individualists Tending Toward the Wild or Wild Reaction and similar groups for rejecting the idea of a “better tomorrow”. They critique these groups for not expecting a positive result from fighting in this war, or for rejecting hope. But people are always going to hear only what they want, and not Reality. The ecoextremist individualist is a realist and pessimist at the same time. He doesn’t listen to the nagging of the puerile optimist; for him, the world is full of dark realities, and he must confront these with strength, defending himself from them with tooth and claw. Of course we have left out some points. We have chosen to mention the most important ones that occurred to us here. Ecoextremism is a tendency, not a theory. It is not a rule. All those who feel committed to wild nature will understand it; those who don’t will not.
Regresion Magazine: “A Journal Against Technoindustrial Progress”
Nietzsche and the actuality of his critique of scientism
The universe, or nature, has existed for millions of years, and the changes that have taken place in unknown time are measurable in gigantic or microscopic proportions. In this process of change or transformation, rational human beings do not matter, in spite of the fact that they believe with their arrogant intellects that they are the center of this universe. What a tremendously tedious misconception!
Nietzsche sees Nature as a total reality, the True Truth, the unknown hidden from the human being. He throws out all idealism and falsehood created by humans and their rational concepts.
“Nature does not know forms nor concepts, nor… species, but only an X that is inaccessible and undefinable for man.”
Nature in itself is in constant flux, in constant movement. The rational human, however, or the contemporary person, creates modern structures taken from his anthropomorphic consciousness, seeking to create from them a fully structured explanation of things.
We are witnesses of all of this in modernity. We can take, for example, the Hadron Supercollider, one of the largest and most ambitious experiments ever conceived. One of the experiments undertaken in this project seeks through machines to transform atoms into energy by various reactions. The investigators are trying to simulate the Big Bang in order to explain how it is that the great explosion of various elements brought forth the galaxy, the Earth, and all of the other objects and phenomena that are found in the Universe.
Before we proceed, I should clarify that I do not base my reflection here on the theory of the Big Bang that is found in research institutions that are rife with scientism. On the contrary, anyone who is familiar with the worldviews of the various ancient peoples (be they huntergatherers or “primitive” civilizations) would figure out that there were many similar stories of creation through a great explosion or the enormous manifestation of blinding light, and so on.
But we digress.
In this case, scientists believed erroneously that humans were the center of the universe, and as the center of the universe, they felt the necessity to create something that only Nature could bring forth in its own unknown and hidden manner.
Before this we too can affirm with Nietzsche that the search for answers by the slaves of scientism is something they feel they need to do in order to keep themselves sane. For, in this case, the supposed answers are merely the inventions of the limited human intellect.
Human beings utilize their limited intellect to ambiguously answer questions that weigh upon their minds. According to the author, the intellect is, “…given only as an aid to the most unfortunate, most delicate, most evanescent beings in order to hold them for a minute in existence.”
This human faculty is preceded by the art of simulation, which is like a shield for the weak, for those least prepared to survive. It is the cover of, “deception, flattering, lying and cheating, talking behind the back, posing living in borrowed splendor, being masked, the disguise of convention, acting a role before others and before oneself—in short, the constant fluttering around the single flame of vanity.” This notable vanity is evident in the scientists in the abovementioned project who believe that they are Nature itself, as they try to reenact one of the most important events from which emerges the universe as we know it.
The modern human is obligated to live in society, having to contend closely with his fellow man to sustain his existence. From this via language comes the law that upholds the social order. Based on this, supposedly man may live in peace within society without entering into conflict with others. This arrangement necessitates such concepts as “truth” and the “lie”. These designations concerning truth and falsehood are invented by rational man and are ascribed with certain validity, though they are merely anthropomorphic simulacra. From the ancient philosophers to the most stubborn scholar of any subject, man has sought the truth. But this truth is hidden by Nature; Nature hides it and the human intellect is confounded even more while trying to plug its concepts in the holes that is its hiding place. Rational man‟s arbitrary quest for the Truth begins to distinguish falsely between the truth and the lie. Today, as in Nietzsche‟s day, the truth can appear to be a lie, and vice versa. It‟s clear that the various opinions concerning this can take on different meanings for different individuals. For our purposes, what is really true is that which Nature protects, that which the Universe hides from the “vast” but at the same time limited human intellect. To say, for example, that the sky is blue is merely a metaphor, for this is not true. The metaphor of the blue sky is something that we have ourselves created using our our simplified collective and individual cognitive abilities. It is one thing, however, to discern something that is somewhat true but still a metaphor, and it is another to know that the sky truly is that color. In Spanish, we have assigned to the sky the masculine gender, “el cielo azul”, but why is it masculine? It‟s not a truth, it‟s a metaphor. Can we really classify the essence of things assigning them color, gender, and the rest? No, what we create are more simulacra, things that do not exist on the level of Nature, mere concepts that are supported by language that propagate themselves on the limitations created by human knowledge. “ We believe that we know something about the things themselves when we speak of trees, colors, snow, and flowers; and yet we possess nothing but metaphors for things—metaphors which correspond in no way to the original entities. In the same way that the sound appears as a sand figure, so the mysterious X of the thing in itself first appears as a nerve stimulus, then as an image, and finally as a sound. Thus the genesis of language does not proceed logically in any case, and all the material within and with which the man of truth, the scientist, and the philosopher later work and build, if not derived from nevernever land, is a least not derived from the essence of things.”
Society is full of rational humans aside from professional scientists. These are the people who seek to anticipate everything, those who cover themselves in false security, who believe that if they think before they act, everything will proceed as they planned. This is how the rational human is raised from birth, under the false concepts valued by society and the nuclear family. Since we can only appreciate surface appearance, sense does not guide us to Truth, it drives us to nothingness. For “the truth” as we conceive it is only an expression of standards established by human cognition. It is here that Science originates, from mundane questions without answers. Its light totally blinds rational man, giving him a false sense of security in false concepts in a false, created, and superficial reality. The rational man is convinced that his knowledge is transcendent; that its intellect has made it the center of the universe. What unfortunate hubris! The rational man fears the unknown, writes Nietzsche, because he is always trying to anticipate everything. He indicates that, if one thing gets out of control, Nature will make sure that the whole edifice comes tumbling down.
For the rational man, change is a frightening path with unknown obstacles which takes him to an unknown location. And as this ephemeral being is always trying to rationalize everything, he does not enjoy life as it comes. He always has self-imposed regulations and limitations. In a word, he is unhappy.
The modern era
Nietzsche asks: What does man know definitively about himself? The field of science has a tremendous scope that covers many subjects; from medicine, physics, chemistry, and biology, to genetic engineering, nanotechnology, neurology, geoengineering, etc. All of these subjects have a genealogy that until now aims to respond to many heretofore uncontested questions. All of these subjects have their own jargon, which is the result of those false concepts that I have spoken of previously, those which intend to name something unknown to the human being. Jumping to the 21st century, Science has advanced significantly in many realms. Many of these frantic innovations have left the society of rational people stupefied. In general, today‟s modern person believes all of the supposed Science that the talking heads feed him. We are supposed to be reverent toward their daily innovations and studies that proceed from the base human intellect. We have fallen in an even more false and atrocious reality than the one of Nietzsche in 1873 (the year in which the text quoted throughout this essay was written). That is why his criticism of scientism is so tremendously relevant in our modern epoch. What does man know about himself then? Through science modern man finds out only what he wants to hear: vague and illusory concepts concerning how things really are. For in the real world, we know nothing other than what we make up and perceive as “real”. Nature is and always has been detached from the laws dictated by physics and mathematics, for these two subjects are mere human inventions well within the parameters of artificial reality. Medicine for example knows that the blood stream should be unimpeded so that the blood can reach the heart, and this can increase in order for the bodily functions to benefit. But what is this? Is this real? It‟s real within the bounds of Science, but for Nature it means nothing. Astrophysics calls that invisible matter that does not emit sufficient radiation in the Universe “dark matter”. Astrophysicists have devised a hypothesis and constructed theories concerning its origin. That‟s just one example of the concepts that human reason has invented to try to find an answer to that conundrum. But their eyes are blinded by egocentrism and Nature justly hides the truth from them. Genetic engineering has gone even further, proposing cryogenics as a means to resurrect a person after death by means of freezing them in liquid helium, giving them another chance at life. That is the fear of the rational human that Nietzsche spoke of: since they can‟t have control over their own death, they wager that Science can resurrect them after their time. In that way they desire to vanquish the unexpected in life and even in death. Statistics is another science that is used as a tool for the rational human to evade the dangers of life as much as possible. Based on various studies it tries to avoid harmful and dangerous situations by recommendations guided by a false sense of security. These are broadcasted by the media to the average rational human who aims to avoid the unknown at all costs. He flees from change and seeks prudently to defend himself from all that he can‟t control. Seismological experts are daily updating machines that should predict earthquakes and other activity in certain zones. These scientists hope to develop these further so that their accuracy can help prevent severe human tragedy. Science is constructing new technology that seems to be getting closer and closer to making this endeavor a reality. What they are missing is that Nature isn‟t predictable. When it manifests itself there will be no warning, the needles of their machines will detect nothing. That‟s because Nature always ends up confounding all human efforts at prediction. With these contemporary examples, I wish to try to formulate a question for those who foolishly try to deny the obvious: So is Nietzsche‟s criticism of scientism valid for today?
The intuitive man
The rational human considers his foundation to be his own knowledge, rationalizing and fearing change that takes him beyond his predictions and into unknown realms. On the other hand, the intuitive man can be found scaling mountains with only the knowledge that he needs to live. He has come to understand that Nature and the Universe are constantly changing, they are ever-shifting and unpredictable.
The intuitive man understands that if he tries to rationalize at every step he will become the slave of the monotony that binds the rational human. He has thus left behind those chains and accepted what is before him. Happiness follows, but pain also afflicts him even more than the other man, because being irrational, he doesn‟t learn from his mistakes, nor does he takes these to be experience. Even so, the intuitive man is significantly superior to the rational human: “The intuitive man, standing in the midst of a culture, already reaps from his intuition a harvest of continually inflowing illumination, cheer, and redemption—in addition to obtaining a defense against misfortune. He wears no quivering and changeable human face, but, as it were, a mask with dignified, symmetrical features. He does not cry; he does not even alter his voice. When a real storm cloud thunders above him, he wraps himself in his cloak, and with slow steps he walks from beneath it.” It is in the intuitive man who is the foundation for his idea of the Superman, the man who does not fear what Nature has in store for him, who accepts change in his life and who gives himself over to happiness in the extramoral sense: “Man permits himself to be lied to at night, his life long, when he dreams, and his moral sense never even tries to prevent this—although men have been said to have overcome snoring by sheer will power.”
The importance of face ornaments in the Matis tribe
Contact undoubtedly disturbed the relationship of the Matis with their ornaments. Some fell into disuse, while new elements were incorporated and began to be used as traditional adornments: that is, they were only used after a certain age. Older people complained that the young men looked like women and the nawa, non- Indians. Formerly, they said, adults used the full set of ornaments. But over recent decades, most people have abandoned using them. Nonetheless, though the ideal of ornamentation is no longer realized, the Matis have not forgotten the order in which the ornaments should be acquired and accumulated. This sequence is described below.
The sequence of ornaments
Matis children receive their first piercing – on the ear lobe – at the age of four or five. Next a very fine stick may be inserted, the first paut („ear pendent‟). Over the years the diameter of the wooden sticks is gradually increased until the point when a finger can be passed through the hole, meaning the sticks can be replaced by a disc called a tawa. Some years after the ears are pierced, at around eight years old, the child‟s nose is pierced to insert the first pair of demush („whiskers‟, like those growing on the faces of mammals): these are fine, black needles made from palm fibre. As with the previous perforation, the process lasts for several years. The number of demush increases until the nostril is almost completely filled (a dozen in each one). The next stage involves the opening of the nasal septum to insert the pendent called detashkete. The principle of gradual enlargement continues, but as in the case of the paut („ear pendents‟), only men reach the last stage of substituting the small sticks with the more sophisticated detashkete, an artefact made from a part of the shell of gastropod molluscs. Next, at the time of puberty, comes the moment to pierce the lower lip. Women begin to use the kwiot („lip decoration‟) made from lightcoloured wood during the period of their first sexual relations and take good care of it. Men, by contrast, pay less attention to theirs which are much smaller. The heads of family generally use a lip decoration made from black wood. Men undoubtedly attribute less importance to these adornments, since they possess another which is placed through the upper lip. This reflects the fact that, for the Matis, the lower is female and the upper male (the man‟s hammock is always placed above the woman‟s).
Two or three years after the first kwiot – sometimes earlier, depending on the periodicity of the rituals – is the time of the first musha, or „tattoos‟: two parallel lines over the temples and cheeks are applied during a ritual, the culminating moment of Matis ceremonial life. In the ritual, young people of both sexes are tattooed simultaneously and in identical fashion: the motif used is the same for everyone (see The Musha Ceremony). Between the ages of 16 and 20, now fully adult, men pierce their face in the area of the dimple separating the jaw and the cheeks. This then allows them to insert the mananukit, relatively thick and long sticks made from a black palm. As in the case of the kwiot adornments, the number of mananukit used was much greater in the past than the present. During the second tattoo ceremony, each young man or woman is tattooed with a series of parallel lines (numbering from six to eight) on the left cheek and then the right. The number of lines designed on each cheek always differs. It can be observed that over the course of a single ritual, some youngsters are tattooed on the temples and forehead, while the oldest are submitted to the procedure on the cheeks. The Matis insist on a difference, though: the first procedure (forehead/temples) is more painful than the second (cheeks). The gradual acquisition of ornaments literally
points to the stages of the individual‟s maturation within a preestablished order. There is nothing surprising about this given that the Matis possess a fairly linear view of existence – which is seen as a succession of preordained stages, a gradual evolution towards a highly valued old age. Here the processes of maturation and the questions of relative age are of considerable importance, since they explain that everything must come in its own time: every food and every item of knowledge is likewise hierarchized. Meats, for example, are gradually introduced into the person‟s diet; a man should know how to hunt with a blowgun before hunting with a bow; a woman should know how to make a hammock before learning to make pots, and so on. Techniques and knowledge should be gradually acquired. The acquisition of ornaments forms part of the same logic. Imposed in a predetermined order, the ornaments constitute veritable age classes, giving an eminently concrete shape to the hierarchical predominance that the Matis attribute to seniority and maturity.
Toloache: The Devil’s Weed
From ancient times shamans (or men of knowledge) used plants for various purposes, ritualistic as well as therapeutic. In the modern era, specific plants have been defiled and used to augment the stupor of idiotic civilized youth. The text below contains valuable information concerning Toloache, its various ancient uses that groups had for it before the arrival of Western civilization, and also how shamans attributed to it magical qualities linked to love and eroticism, which caused much persecution of those who used it by the Inquisition.
The ensemble of narcotic plants in the ancient Mesoamerican territory are called generically toloache, toloachi, or toloatzin. These are plants in the nightshade family whose names come from the Nahuatl, toloa (bend one‟s head) and tzin (reverently): “the venerable thing that causes sleep,”that which causes nodding off.”
These plants have scientific names such as Datura stramonium, Datura ceratocaula, Datura inoxia, or Datura meteloides. The rural Mexican population knows them by such names as chamico, estramonio, tlapa (in the state of Guerrero), flower of the dead, nacazcul (in the state of Puebla), quiebraplato, tornaloco, tapate, xtohcu (in the state of Yucatan), and, of course, the Devil‟s Weed.
Daturas as hallucinogenic plants
Daturas as plants grow and are used as hallucinogens in the Northern and Southern Hemispheres.
They are annuals with a strong foul odor and white or purple flowers. They are often considered weeds in urban areas or in places that have suffered ecological damage or as opportunistic plants in regions in transition.
Datura stramonium, Datura inoxia, and Datura ceratocaula are most likely native to the northern part of the American continent (Mexico and the U.S.) but currently they can be found in all warm and subtropical climates of the world.
The psychotropic elements of the Daturas originate in their atropine alkaloids such as hyoscyamine and scopolamine, the concentrations of which vary from species to species and even in various parts of a particular plant such as the roots, the seeds, the leaves and branches.
The ingestion of these alkaloids can cause side effects ranging from drunkenness, delirium, confusion, disorientation, depression, and lack of concentration, to temporary psychosis from incoherent thoughts or the inability to distinguish reality from fantasy, leading to death or insanity in excessive doses.
After ingestion, specialists have recorded in subjects excessive perspiration, loss of appetite, followed by dilation of the pupils, rapid heartbeat, and fainting. Then begins the hallucination phase and delirium that can cause violent physical agitation. Afterwards, a state of sleepiness and disorientation is observed.
Daturas as ritual elements of indigenous people of the Americas
The ingestion of alkaloids found in the daturas was done in the ceremonial context, often adding crushed seeds, leaves, or roots to fermented drinks, or alternatively, soaking leaves or branches in water, which would later be consumed in a series of complicated rituals. Their use was documented by indigenous groups in the U.S. Southwest and in ancient Mesoamerican territory.
Among the Algonquin of the U.S. Northeast and southern Canada, toloache was the principal ingredient of wyssoccan, the sacred drink of initiation for young boys between 12 and 15 years of age.
The idea was that they would become adults by having visions and communicating with the world of spirits. A similar phenomenon can be found among the coastal people of U.S. Alta California such as the Luisenos and the Yokuts who lived in the hills and coastal areas of Los Angeles and San Diego in California. The Luisenos conducted initiation ceremonies where young men would ingest toloache and await supernatural visions of their ancestors and their god Chungichnich. The Yokuts on the other hands drank toloache in their Spring ceremonies to have visions which ensured good health and long life to the young men of the tribe. Jumano Indians, huntergatherers of west Texas and southeast New Mexico, tended to ingest toloache in initiation rituals. European chronicles document that the young men would drink it, and then dance and howl like animals until they collapsed and lost consciousness due to this diabolical drink. The Tarahumaras of northwest Mexico would add toloache to fermented corn in the preparation of tesguino (indigenous corn beer). They drank this during their ritual celebrations to increase the potency of the drink and thus see sacred visions. The Zuni Pueblo peoples of the U.S. Southwest considered toloache a sacred plant that was used as a narcotic, anaesthetic, and to prepare a poultice to cure various wounds and inflammations. Only the Zuni priest of the rain could collect the plant, which they used in petitioning rituals. The priests covered their eyes with crushed roots and then chewed pieces of it to have visions by which they could communicate with the spirits of the dead and their ancestors, asking them to intercede on their behalf and send rain. Among the Nahuas of Central Mexico, toloache (or better known there as tolohuaxihuitl) was used to diagnose illness, find lost or stolen objects, find thieves, and predict the future. In order to achieve an altered state, the participant drank the concoction and after a time, fell into drunkenness that escalated into a fit so violent that they had to be restrained, being tied down until the fit passes into a sleepy hallucinatory phase, as the drugged person would later recall. Then the person performing the ritual would hear and interpret the proceedings. They considered these visions to be the response to their petitions and communications produced by the divine spirit of the plant, which was the “sister of ololiuhqui”.
Toloache as therapeutic element in New Spain
In the 16th century, the plant known as “tlapatl” (medicine) and tolohuaxihuitl (the plant that causes the head to bow) were referenced in the CruzBadiano Codex. Some say that these were the Daturas stramonium and inoxia, respectively. In terms of its herbal usage, Martin de la Cruz stated that they were used to alleviate pain and treat swelling:
“… the ground leaves are rubbed under the ears to treat oozing from the ears, soft tumors, side aches, and in a oil for cracked feet.”
The Florentine Codex, written in Tlatelolco by tlacuilos who had learned Spanish in the 16th under Father Sahagun, indicates that this plant (called tlapatl in the text) was used to provide pain relief. It was used:
“for gout, swelling in the body, head wounds, and infected wounds. For acne on the back and for fever with intermittent cold.”
The real protodoctor, Francisco Hernandez de Toledo, observed in his investigation in the territory of New Spain between 1574 and 1577 that the plant known as “tlapatl” was Stramonium Datura in the ancient and medieval pharmaceutical texts. This was known as an hypnotic and poisonous plant that could be used in certain treatments.
In Hernandez‟s work, “Rerum medicarum Novae Hispaniae thesaurus,” that was published in the 17th century, tlapatl was mentioned as a medicinal plant used as a poultice. Ground leaves applied to the head relieved migraines. They were also applied to parts of the body swollen by blows or falls. Hung around the neck they relieved asthma. If overused, however, there was always the risk that they would induce many strange imaginings (hallucinations).
The Latin text stated that the Tlapatl plant had broad leaves with serrated fringes, always cabbage green, with white flowers and a long pointed roots. This plant was said to grow in warm humid climates such as in Tepecoacuilco (in the current state of Guerrero) and central Mexico. By nature cold, the plant had a pungent odor, and a concoction from the boiled leaves was used to cure fevers though with significant side effects. The leaves were also bunched up in a ball and applied to the chest or back. Its fruits cured chest pain. Auditory inflammations and deafness were treated by a concoction made from this boiled plant applied to the ears as drops. The plant or its boiled leaves were put in the pillow to treat insomnia. Its use needed to be closely monitored, as an overdose could lead to insanity or violent episodes in the patient. In ascertaining whether the plant was Stramonium or Datura, Hernandez concluded that the question was resolved through a comparison with Hyoscyamus, which had a much stronger association with narcotics.
Toloache as datura and ingredient in love magic
At what moment did toloache go from being a treatment for infections, pains, and skin rashes, to being a main ingredient in love magic spells that bound the wills of potential lovers and wayward unfaithful husbands? One hypothesis indicates that this plant, once used for religious and personal exploration, became increasingly associated with erotic magic along with peyote, common ceterach, puyomate, etc. during a long century of cultural integration, namely the 17th century in New Spain. The reason for this change was the spread in Portugal then Spain in the 16th century of plants from India that had the same effects as Datura but were used by East Indian women for the purpose of dominating their spouses. This is a little researched topic among historians, and such prejudices towards Datura spread to New Spain.
Daturas were also used in the Middle East. A species of Datura Metel and Datura Ferox are native to Eurasia and were used as a narcotic by various peoples in Pharaonic Egypt and the Indian subcontinent.
According to Portuguese and English explorers who traveled there in the 16th century, daturas were used in:
- Religious festivals dedicated to Shiva (specifically Shiva Ratri) where participants mixed datura dried leaves with ganja (hashish or marijuana) to either be chewed or smoked in pipes. These drugs were used to induce religious ecstasy during the ritual.
- By spurned wives or lovers, or manipulative prostitutes, who ground up the seeds of the spiny capsules of daturas, mixing a minimum dosage of around half a drachma in wine and giving it to their husbands or lovers. The intent was to stupefy by causing paranoia in them which altered their judgment for hours or days. They could thus either dominate or get rid of them.
This latter use was described by the doctor and explorer Cristobal Acosta, in his book, “Treatise on the drugs and medicines of the East Indies”, published in Burgos, Spain in 1578, after his stay in the Portuguese Indies (See “On Datura”, Chapter 9, pages 8590 in the 1578 edition): On Datura. Chapter 9 86: … There exist three species of this plant, of which this stamped one is the first. Being the most common one it is also the most used. A number of women in love often have it in their jewelry for reasons described below. It is an herb or plant like Malavavisco, with more branches, and very similar to Caule. It has very natural leaves, in shape and size like that of the Stramonia Diosorides paints in Book 4 folio 534, but the leaves are more striated all around in the same manner as Xanthio (which is commonly known as Lampazos), and white flowers and they appear with flowers of the Smilax leuis, which are called Corregula mayor in Spain. Its root is white, and its bark has a sour and unpleasant flavor, its stems and roots even more so. Its smell is
like that of Nabo, and smelling it too much causes sneezing.
Pg. 87 Its fruit looks much like that of (E)Stramonia: it is round like a walnut, green in color, and prickly: but these thorns don‟t prick. They emerge in shaded places, and close to water. This plant is called “Unmata caya” in the Malabar language, “Datyra” in Canarin; “NuxMethel” in Arabic, and Marana; the Portuguese call it, “Datura” and “Burladora”; the Parthenians and the Turks, “Datula”… The evil use of this plant by women in love is to put a half drachma of ground seed into wine, or into another desired drink, and the man who drinks this becomes deranged and laughs, cries, or sleeps for a long while, though effects vary as he can also talk and respond after taking the potion in this manner.
Pg. 88 … And he seems at times to be in his right mind, being in reality quite mad, not realizing who truly speaks to him, nor does he remember it, after he has become deranged.
So many of these frivolous women have mastered this and are quite experienced in the effects of this seed. This is the case to the point that they can administer it for a given number of hours at a time, the poor mark being asleep or indisposed.
And if I began to tell tales of what I have seen and heard of this, of all of the people I have seen deranged in this manner, much paper would be needed.
As this is not relevant, I will leave this aside for now. I will only say that I never saw anyone die from taking it. Though I saw some who were afflicted for some days after taking it, but this was only because they had taken a large amount.
For much does indeed kill, for this seed has poisonous parts, though the Gentiles give it to cause urination, with pepper and Bethel leaves.
The book was known in all of Europe having gone through various editions and influenced pharmaceutical medicine in the West. Thus it also influenced Spanish physicians at the end of the 16th century, and subsequently these practices were passed on naturally to those in New Spain along with the editions of Acosta‟s work in the 16th and 17th centuries.
Dr. Josep Ma. Fericgla posited in 1997 that the complex history of Datura stramonium had a confusing and controversial origin. Datura stramonium was one of the psychoactive ingredients commonly used in the potions concocted by medieval witches around the Mediterranean, and according to some authors, this plant was not native to Europe, but rather came from lands near the Caspian Sea in the Near East.
But according to other researchers, the Datura stramonium used in magical medieval practices had to be of Mexican origin and did not arrive in Europe until 1577, passing through Spain into the hands of doctors, herbalists, ritual specialists and colonizers. If this second hypothesis is true, Dr. Fericia asserts that Datura Stramonium had an unusually rapid diffusion throughout popular culture and in European magic. This would mean that 16th century Europe had a rather well-organized but previously unknown network of magical practitioners sharing knowledge of entheogenic plants as this plant had only arrived in the first trans-Atlantic voyages.
Accepting Dr. Fericia‟s hypothesis for the moment, it is possible that in a key moment, knowledge of the use of Datura as a love potion spread from the elites to commoners. In a process of cultural reinterpretation, Indian Datura was introduced to Europe and from there was reintroduced into the SpanishAmerican colonies, which led to the plant being given new use in the love magic of New Spain.
This can be seen as a sort of reinvention of tradition. This mechanism was described by the ethnohistorian and anthropologist J. Lockhard as a double mistaken identity. It was imposed on the population of New Spain, and over the course of three centuries, and the origins of Datura as a love potion were accepted even among specialists and scholars in the subject, even those of Mesoamerican origin, in a closedminded, provincial, and intellectually sloppy way. Toloache as an ingredient in love magic in trials of the Inquisition This would explain why, in revising the legal records and denunciations of the Inquisition that are kept in the National Archive, we only one find one very late case in the 18th century of the use of toloache as an agent to induce visions that assisted in finding and attracting lost lovers. The case took place in 1711 in Oaxaca. There Fray Juan de Alcantara of the Hippolyte Order denounced a fellow member of his order, Nicolas Delgado, before the Holy Office. He was compelled to do so by the public exhortation of the General Edict of Faith, which was promulgated in the city of Oaxaca that year.
The Hippolyte Alacantara stated that, on April 16th of that year, he was in the convent of San Francisco in the city of Oaxaca when he visited the cell of Fray Francisco Melo where he found as well the Spaniards Tomas de Bedolia and Antonio de los Angeles. There, Fray Melo called for a young man by the name of Nicolas de Chavez, who was a native of the town of Xalatlaco in the Valley of Oaxaca. Once the young man arrived, before witnesses Fray Melo asked him about what had transpired between him and Fray Nicholas Delgado, a fellow Hippolyte friar.
The young man answered that, a little before, a boy had escaped from Fray Nicolas Delgado, and desperate to know his whereabouts, Father Delgado called him, Nicolas de Chavez, and gave him an herb called toloache to drink, in order to find where the boy had fled. Nevertheless, after three days Nicolas de Chavez did not have any visions nor could he guess to where the boy had fled. Fray Nicolas Delgado then drank the toloache himself. Nicolas de Chavez then stated that, after drinking the toloache, Fray Nicolas lost his sight and was almost at the point of losing his mind, which the Spaniard Antonio de los Angeles confirmed before the court. He later added before the gathering that Fray Nicolas also, during a Mass on a feast, put a Host in the ciborium without consecrating it first, right in the middle of Mass.
For a plant that is so important for Mexican love magic, this sole reference in the vast sea of files of the Inquisition suggests the possibility that toloache went from being a external calming remedy known for its dangerous hypnotic effects in the 16th century, to becoming in the 17th century identified with the daturas used to dominate lovers and husbands, due mainly to the influence of European magicians and doctors. In this way, its new meaning and usage as love magic spread throughout the population of New Spain. It became in the 18th and 19th centuries an essential ingredient in love potions used to dominate wayward lovers and violent husbands.
Original by Jose Antonio Gonzalez Gomez
Corrected by “Espiritu Uaxixil”
Interview with Wild Reaction
Xaipiri Thepe (XT): This conversation took place electronically through the magazine Regresión and the website El Tlatol. Through these sources we asked for the opportunity to have this conversation via email, and this should not be interpreted as assent to or sympathy with the positions of RS. That out of the way, we would like to ask: In February the magazine, “Destroy the Prisons”, strongly critiqued your radical ecological positions. What do you have to say regarding the criticism of this anti-prison magazine? What criticism do you have of prison abolitionism? What is your position regarding this sort of abolitionism as an alternative to depriving people of liberty?
RS: First of all, we would like to thank Revista Regresión and the folks at El Tlatol for organizing this conversation, as well as for providing a forum in which we can give a response to those who desire to converse with us. Many of these ideas have already been expressed in a previous communiqué, “They Took Long Enough: Reacción Salvaje responds to Destroy the Prisons”, concerning the criticisms that these people expressed. We think that’s our final word, and we don’t want to dwell much more on the same points addressed elsewhere, so we will focus on the last questions. And that would be the abolition of prisons, correct?
XT: Yes, prison abolitionism.
RS: Well, to begin replying to that point, we would have to ask a series of other questions first, such as: How would this abolition be carried out? Would it be regional, international, universal, or other? Perhaps in that last question we are being facetious, as any person who is serious and realistic on this subject will realize beforehand that this is merely a childish fantasy and idealized utopianism. The jails will not be abolished if civilization continues, that’s obvious. But just to be clear, we are not saying by this that these people should struggle for the destruction of civilization instead. That would be falling into the same unrealistic trap.
Human jails were made to contain those whose impulses, reactions, and instincts made them incapable of living in society in a peaceful way. The technological system has an essential role to play in the penitentiary structure. There would be many more prison breaks if not for the security cameras, motion detectors, drones, electric fences, etc. One could thus quickly conclude that the object of one’s critique should not be prisons per se, but the giant technological corporations that ensure that prison really is a detention facility for those who are dangerous to the system.
Civilized life, sedentarism, to live with an abnormally large number of unknown people cooped up in the city, the frustrations, the artificial needs, the seeking of upward mobility, “stress”, junk food that poisons the blood, and many other things are actions that merit a reaction. Some people manifest this reaction by disregarding the legal structures and seeking out illegal activities. But this all comes back to the principle of causality, to action / reaction. If you live in civilization, no doubt that you will be affected by this way of life. Although we have to say that we too detest human prisons, the physical place as well as the domineering people who work there and the quarrelsome prisoners. They’re awful places. But when we talk about prisons we just don’t mean human prisoners and jails, but also all other types of prisons and cages. Another question that we can bring up here: What prisons are we talking about abolishing? Many times those who call themselves “anti-prison anarchists” are only committed, in some cases, to rejecting and attacking the prisons that hold their comrades. But they feel animosity for rehabilitation centers because these go against their principles since they limit the “freedom” for which they fight so adamantly. Many vegans, freegans, animal liberationists, ecologists and others would agree that prisons are not just these places, but also cages where they keep animals captive, be it in circuses, laboratories, universities, and nurseries.
Those who oppose formal education would agree with us that you can’t just talk about prison, we shouldn’t just mention jail cells, but also classrooms.
Those who oppose salaried labor would be in agreement that not only should the jails, the prison cells, the cages, and the schools be condemned, but also factories. And we can also point out here those who oppose psychiatrists, asylums, vices, and maybe even our own minds. But also the totality of these things, the Great Cage itself: civilization.
I once saw a cartoon of a famous cartoonist very well known in Mexico about a man who came and went to work every day and somehow tolerated his asphyxiating daily routine. But suddenly he realized that he had wings, so he spread them and began to fly. He flew over the cars stuck in traffic, and over the crowds of people, showing them that he could go wherever he liked with his wings. Smiling he flew higher and higher, feeling truly free, shedding his suitcase and his clothes. But then suddenly he hit a fence and fell. He wanted to fly higher than the rest, thinking that there were no more fences that could hold him down but he found out the hard way that there were. That’s the Great Cage we know as civilization. So the lesson is: anyone who thinks that they are totally free only does so because they haven’t yet flown high enough to hit the bars of the Great Cage. Many anti-prison anarchists, but not all, suppose that, like the man in the cartoon, getting their buddies out of jail will make them free, and that’s where the struggle ends. Many perhaps think that the prisons are the main objective, but hopefully one day they will also notice the Great Cage itself.
XT: In some of your writings you critique the positions of Kaczynski. You deny his importance yet you acknowledge him as a predecessor to your own work. Do you think that you are being unfair in not granting him a prominent place in the anti-technology movement? Aside from the contexts being obviously different, what would you say is the main difference between your position and that of the imprisoned mathematician?
RS: We gave credit where credit was due when it was appropriate. Many groups that joined RS took much from Dr. Kaczynski and they stated so publicly. This was no big deal until 2012 when the editorial group, Último Reducto, began to criticize us, and so we started to realize that we didn’t really agree with the idea of a revolution against the techno-industrial system and other things. Thus, we devised our own ideas in this regard. As we said, we always acknowledge Freedom Club’s work and the analysis of Uncle Ted, but later we had to reject them, and that’s when we stopped talking about them. But if you ask us now if he had an influence on us, of course we’d admit it. The main difference between what Kaczynski and his acolytes propose and our own position is rather simple: we don’t wait for a “Great World Crisis” to start attacking the physical and moral structures of the techno-industrial system. We attack now because the future is uncertain. You can’t create a strategy based on assumptions, thinking that all will go according to plan and with assured victory. We stopped believing in that once we grasped the enormity of the system itself, its components and its vast reach on this planet and even outside of it. If civilization collapses tomorrow, or within 30 to 50 years, we’ll know that we waged a necessary war against it from our own individuality. It’s funny, but they call us “anarchists” within the “anti-civ” movement of the early 21st century, just as they called the first people who didn’t wait for the “right” conditions to plant bombs and assassinate people “anarchists” in the 19th century. These people had serious difficulties with“legal” anarchists who wanted to wait for “revolution”, as they were often rejected by the latter as apolitical criminals. In making a comparison between us and theorists who wait for an “anti-tech” revolution, the analogy seems to stick. This is what our published words and deeds seem to be indicating.
The second difference is that we have modeled ourselves and are inspired by the resistance of primitive nomadic hunter-gatherers. Those who currently constitute RS still have in our blood the warrior spirit of our ancestors. Of course, it’s obvious to us that we are civilized individuals, but we still heed the call of the wild, and we give ourselves over to the attack on all that is unnatural. This compared to the theories of Uncle Ted which failed to go farther than a comparison between techno-industrial and previous ancient societies. Basically it’s something very similar, but we have focused on what we have in our own context here, in ancient Mesoamerica.
XT: In the United States there are radical ecologists who support a “post-apocalyptic” hypothesis. Their analysis is based on the idea that techno-industrial society has reached its peak, and its fall is inevitable. Richard Duncan has spoken of “Olduvai theory” which posits that our current industrial civilization can only have a maximum life of one hundred years starting from 1930, placing its end around 2030. The transition seems to have started in 2007 when world per capita energy production began to shrink due to falling rates of fossil fuel energy extraction, while at the same time demand increases due to the increase in population. This will cause a catastrophic economic and social collapse in the coming years, and little by little the human population will be reduced back to numbers seen in previous times. If Duncan’s hypothesis is correct, why act now instead of just waiting? And at the moment of acting, aren’t you just presenting yourselves as some sort of vanguard?
RS: Personally we don’t know how long the structures that support civilization on its decadent path will last. We can read much concerning various existing theories but still we’ll be left waiting for the appointed prophetic year in which maybe it’ll all end. But either way, all that the learned can propose are theories.
The here and now denotes all that is evil. People rot because they are content with conformism, a herd mentality, and technological “advances”. There are the technological advances invading our lives more and more and the ever-worsening economy. There are social explosions taking place everywhere you turn. Artificial reality consumes us, and it looks like things will explode sooner or later. As individualists we have decided to take the rest of our lives into our own hands and not wait for the crisis to happen. Why? Because we are already living it. We don’t want to wait because Nature encourages us to return the blows that it has received right now.
We’ll share a story with you. One night in August 2011, a section of the group Its broke into the Cinvestav of Irapuato, Guanajuato. We jumped the fence and we scaled the roof of the National Genome and Biotechnology Laboratory. From above we could see the guard at his post, speaking on the phone while we watched him hooded from the darkness. We walked to the place where they did tests. I was surprised to find in one of the rooms a large plant that was hooked up to cables so that various computers could monitor it. The only thing that I felt at that moment was disgust and the immense desire to destroy everything in that place. I saw the real manner in which technology tries to subjugate wild nature. Technology tries to obtain more information from nature under the scientific yoke, subjugating it and making it artificial. Do you think we can just sit back and wait until everything is in place for the system to fall, even when we see these horrid indicators among us even now? NO. And what if that supposed collapse doesn’t happen in 2030? We’ll put our faith in some other convincing theorist who asks that we wait until 2100? NOT THIS EITHER.
As for what you say concerning a vanguard, we don’t think we are or ever will be one. We have been a realist alternative to those who look to us, but our intention is not to guide on the straight and narrow those who consider themselves critical of the technological system. We have explained our motives from the beginning only because it seemed appropriate for us to do so, and that’s it. We don’t want to create a movement or anything like that. The only vanguard that exists here are the sincere acts of people who value nature and who have decided to take the extremist defense of wild nature to its logical conclusion. That’s all. There is no group behind any of this, or leading it.
XT: There are groups in the Southern Cone that seem to be echoing many of the same positions. Don’t you think they are franchising your ideas down there?
RS: Not at all. If those people are publishing our ideas, they have reasons that only they know. And as you say, what we are defending here is an open PROPOSITION for those who would like to take it up. Intelligent people who would like to take up some of our ideas and methods, if they are sincere, will always be looked upon in a good light by the various factions of RS.
XT: The historian Eric Hobsbawn considered the Luddite Movement as a form of “collective negotiation by uprising”, a tactic that had been used since the Restoration in Great Britain. This was the case since mass demonstrations were impractical due to the layout of factories throughout the country. Don’t you think that this anti-technological militancy serves as an overture to enact reforms favoring economic deceleration that the State must enact if it wants to continue to govern? Aren’t you doing the work of the State for it even if unwillingly?
RS: We can see today that there are growing criticisms of technology coming from many sources. There are many people who are starting to realize that the current system is rotten. So the inevitable question arises: Is this a beneficial development for the war against the technological system? If the criticisms entail refusing to negotiate with the system, this would be positive indeed. But looking at the situation we realize that the majority of criticisms of technology have a reformist slant to them. For example, they’ll say things like, “technology is making us less social and limiting interpersonal contact, it’s good if we limit its use,” “sedentary life in civilization causes a lot of health problems, we should work out more,” “we’re surrounded by artificiality and I can’t stand life in the city, let’s go live in the country,” “garbage is polluting the oceans, we should buy more environmentally-friendly products,” “technology isn’t the problem, it’s how you use it, etc,” These supposed criticisms are over negotiable things, and one could even consider them proposed measures that allow the reform of the system, as well as its strengthening and growth. But what if instead we said things like, “technology is the problem, let’s light some tech company on fire with everyone inside,” “civilization is dangerously expanding and destroying what’s left of nature in its path in the process, let’s assassinate the chief engineer of a major project,” “this idiotic society has laws that allow the machine to keep running, these are part of the problem, let’s go ahead and detonate an explosive in a public place of symbolic importance,” etc. These kinds of extremist criticisms are non-negotiable, and these are the ones we adhere to. Thus, in responding to your question, we find it difficult to believe that the system can use these ideas and praxis for reformist ends, or that these result in a means by which the system can propagate itself.
XT: To go up against the massive plot that is contemporary society is a titanic task. There are elevated chances that you could lose your life or end up in a jail cell for the rest of your lives. Why then assume defeatism as the final course of action? Don’t you see that this is akin to martyrdom?
RS: Pessimism seized us when the scales dropped from our eyes and we realized that it would be impossible to destroy the entire technological system from our individualist perspective. We do not aspire to its total destruction. This would entail convincing and leading the stupid masses at some point. We would rather work for destabilization. We would like it if the entire technological system would fall, but that’s something that we are not capable of carrying out. Último Reducto has painted us as defeatists, but we would say that this is in the eye of the beholder. We are pessimistic toward the point of view that a select group of persons can help to destroy the system through their actions, which is Último Reducto’s position. But we are not pessimists because we have surrendered. We will keep doing what we do as long as our strength and circumstances permit us to do so.
And that’s because there’s no other real thing to aspire to. We’d be fooling ourselves if we said that we are going to bring the whole megamachine down. That’s not what we want to do. We aren’t martyrs either. We’re only embarked on a mission of self-defense, to defend nature from that which opposes it, without concerning ourselves with what is to be won in the future. Nothing that could potentially happen interests us. The extremist war against the technological system should be disinterested, without expecting a positive outcome, nourished by sincere acts of reverence for and in defense of wild nature. That’s what guides us. Responding to threats is a biological need of warriors, and we behave accordingly.
XT: Wouldn’t it be better to publicly debate this position with different societal actors and let the people decide what will be their fate?
RS: The people would take the path that most suits them, namely the path of least resistance, while positions that criticize civilization are on the table so that they can decide whether to adhere to them or not. Our position is like a coin tossed in the air over this table. Whoever considers himself capable and with the right amount of guile to take it up will do so. We don’t want our tendency to be the “most coherent” among others. It’s the position we defend and that’s it.
XT: There is an issue of the U.S. magazine Green Anarchy that does a comparative study between primitivists in a group in Oregon and the agrarian communist experiment of Pol Pot in Cambodia which is entitled, “Did the Khmer Rouge practice primitivism?” Don’t you think that there is a certain continuity between your positions and those of the Khmer Rouge, with the obvious exception of the latter trying to construct a State? What would be the difference between your positions and the forced agrarian policies and primitivism that drove the Communist Party of Kampuchea at that time?
RS: What the leader of the Khmer Rouge led in Cambodia in those years was a Maoist dictatorship. It was communalism inspired by the ancient agrarian modes of life of the Khmers, the original people of that country. What most calls our attention in that period was the collapse of the infrastructure of civilization. Money ceased to exist, the schools and the markets closed, and thus they sought to transform the country into a self-sufficient extreme agrarian state. But in order for all of the country to cooperate in this endeavor and impose this way of life, large sectors of the population had to be forced to do so.
We don’t know how anyone can see continuity between our position and theirs. It wasn’t even primitivism, to tell the truth, if by “primitivism” we mean to take up again a form of life close to that of our hunter-gatherer nomadic ancestors, and not the way of life of the peasantry before the Industrial Revolution. A major difference between RS and Pol Pot is that we don’t want to force anyone to return to ancient lifeways. The people are stupid and they love to live in their modern shit. Only those few who reject civilization and go to live isolated on the mountain should be respected. We do NOT advocate communal life either before or after the collapse of the system.
XT: Kevin Tucker is another member of the inner circle of the English-speaking primitivists. He advocates a position called, “primal war”. This is a carbon copy of “social war”, posited by Johann Most and has spread among informal groups. Does your positing the warlike character of the Teochichimecas and Chichimecas, as well as your descriptions of the Mixton War, seek historical precedent for your acts? Is there any connection between Tucker’s positions and your own?
RS: To be honest we haven’t read much on Tucker’s positions, we only know that he is one of Zerzan’s colleagues, and that he was harassed by the FBI on the suspicion that he knew something about the actions of ALF/ELF. Either way, considering this question we would like to take the opportunity to clarify something that hasn’t been properly understood or something that perhaps we haven’t communicated clearly enough.
We in RS recognize and remember the Mixton and Chichimeca Wars as historical references SOLELY for the purpose of showing examples of group defense of ancient lifeways, beliefs, and places on the part of savage warriors. And some may think that, in mentioning these wars, we want to repeat these historical events in the 21st century. Maybe some thought erroneously that we really do advocate ethnic indigenous people rising up as one, or rather that they rebel and reenact what had previously been done, but that’s not the case either.
In studying these savage uprisings specifically, we felt that we had a historical foundation that linked us to the genuine extremist defense of wild nature in these areas. You could see that the indigenous Teochichimecas here did not surrender either to indigenous Mesoamerican civilization or the European one. They kept their fighting spirit, they defended their primitive origins and by extension their beliefs tied deeply to nature, which were considered pagan and thus punished by the Catholic Church. They were known for their “cruelty”, their indiscriminate attacks against soldiers, allied Indians, blacks, mulattoes, women, children, etc. Their nomadic or semi-nomadic life made them difficult to pin down, and the craggy mountains were their best hiding places. Nature hid them before and after the battle, their relationship with nature was totally developed in places like deserts, forests, or semi-deserts which the Spanish said no one could possibly survive in. We have learned about these things both from archeological and anthropological research, as well as from the elders of certain ethnic groups that still live up in the highlands, and these things fill us with pride, and we claim them as our inspiration. The souls of our worthy ancestors have seized our minds and bodies, and it is now time, today, to continue the conflict against civilization and all that would subjugate us.
XT: So social war is the same as primal war?
RS: Social war is a term embedded in and taken up by many insurrectionary anarchists, which is very much in fashion now. We in RS are in an individualist war, planned, unbound, and executed by us against a variety of targets that are at the same time real and/or represent modernity, technology, civilization, artificiality, progressivism, and humanism. The terms seem the same, you have read about the call to primal war and posit that there is a similarity between this and social war, and I guess in that you may be right. I can’t give a concrete response regarding something that we have not proposed and wouldn’t even know the details of.
XT: In a similar vein, in some of your writings we have read you criticizing anarchists for their hope for a future free society, but you give a millenarist character to wild nature. You demonstrate this in such archeological studies as “The Place of the Seven Caves” (Chicomoztok): aren’t you falling into the exact same error that you criticize? What’s the difference? Aren’t both sides pursuing an idyllic world which neither has experienced? Isn’t it a remnant of Christianity to seek redemption in an ideal world?
RS: We don’t believe in or have faith in a future society. We don’t hope to see that “Armageddon” where nature will destroy the evil of civilization. We don’t believe in any of this. If this were not the case, we would be in no position to criticize the anarchists who believe in a “better” future, since we would be advocating the same thing with some noticeable differences.
We don’t know if there will be a global collapse of the system one day. The experts say that there will be, but we cannot know for certain. It could be the case and nature will rise from the ruins. But it could be that the system is always one step ahead of things, and could become self-sufficient and repair itself with ease. As we said, we don’t know the future. We would like to, but the reality is otherwise. Chicomoztok is only a look to the past, in the codex in which we can see and interpret graphically the life that our ancestors led. We see how they used friction to create fire. We see how various tribes gathered in their respective caves. We see the fruits that they gathered, the fauna that lived around them, the hunt, their clothing, skins, jewelry, feathers, etc. There are even symbols of war. There are many symbols in that codex that seemed important and thus we adopted them, for it is a sort of window into the life of our ancestors when communing with nature.
It’s a mythical and unknowable place, so why do many of our factions sign that they are supposedly writing from Chicomoztok? When they sign their communiqués that way, it’s to mock the authorities since they can’t find us and we are in a place that doesn’t have an exact location, you see?
To clarify things, we cite here the opening of the introduction to our work, “The Place of the Seven Caves”, which we recommend be read in its entirety:
“In Wild Reaction, we understand Chicomoztok as that place isolated from civilization, the destination of many diverse savage nomad tribes, which represent the wild and full life that our ancestors enjoyed before they were convinced to adopt sedentary life.:
It is a look to the past which tends toward regression, and to that which we have been losing little by little.
It symbolizes our adherence to our primitive past and by extension to the extreme defense of wild nature, the first fire that initiates individual and group conflict against that which represents artificiality and progress.”
Many investigators have attempted to find that place called “the Seven Caves,” but until now it has been lost in a region that centuries ago constituted what is now known as the “Gran Chichimeca.” That’s a dark and shadowy place in which hides a savage essence, in which dwells a story never told before, the memory of innumerable lives, adventures and conflicts which the winter took away along with the ashes of the indigenous Teochichimecas. This is the place that the factions of RS remember in a pagan manner while we hide in plain sight, or in secrecy and terrorist anonymity.
XT: On this and returning to the publication Green Anarchy, historian John Zerzan is one of the important figures in primitivism. His positions on the negative dialectic though daring don’t lose any impeccability in their construction. What is your opinion of this historian, focusing on his positions and not on his life? What is your opinion concerning the use of language and arithmetic as tools for inter-species domination? Do you consider any of these arguments viable?
RS: In the past years, Zerzan has become one of the most “radical” theorists in U.S. primitivist circles. For us, however, he is a romantic, an optimist, and politically correct in the worst sense of the term. His positions have caused quite a stir and resulted in outright condemnation from some, especially those touching upon the theme of language. Just recently in an interview with the magazine, Vice, he said the following to a question concerning language and domination:
“I have to say this is the most speculative thing that I’ve written about. I’m not abandoning the argument, and I try to make a case for questioning symbolic activity, even including language, but it’s much more clear in terms of time, and numbers, and art. What makes it so speculative is that no one knows when speech started. There’s no way to prove it.”
As you can see, Zerzan isn’t really even sure of what he had posited many years ago.
We aren’t anthropologists who specialize in the theme of linguistics, and to tell the truth we aren’t familiar with that debate. It seems to us to be a bit petty, to be honest. Even so, we recently wrote something on this topic in an essay entitled, “Nietzsche and the actuality of his criticism of scientism”:
“The modern human is obligated to live in society, having to contend closely with his fellow man. From this through language comes law that upholds the social order, so that man may live in peace within society without entering into conflict with others. This arrangement necessitates such concepts as ‘truth’ and the ‘lie’. These designations concerning truth and falsehood are invented by rational man and are ascribed with certain validity, though they are merely anthropomorphic fantasies.”
Language in this (post)modern age has brought forth in anthropomorphic reason a scientism that tends towards artificial human progress, and for sure this attacks wild nature. The other variants of this postmodernism such as those found in art, language, arithmetic, etc. are the result of the complexity of civilization. They are tools which the system uses to make sense of all those things for which it does not have an exact or reasonable answer. These tools are only phantoms since in real life, or rather in the realm of nature, they don’t exist. Anthropomorphic thinking is nothing to the universe, but even so humans seek to falsely place themselves at the center of all things.
XT: In Mexico, do groups exists that choose voluntary isolation as happens in Amazonas and whose existence are on the margins of Western society, which is awfully close to some of the propositions of anarchism?
RS: The only groups that we are aware of that live in isolation are the Raramuris and the Wixarika, even if these are few. They inhabit the deserts and semi-deserts of northwest Mexico, even though we don’t doubt that there are others. These groups live a very simple life, they are semi-nomadic and they gather their food in the arid northern lands of ancient Mesoamerica as their Teochichimeca ancestors did. They hunt some animals and even have very unique beliefs, though it bears mentioning that these are often mixed with Catholicism. Nevertheless, it is inspiring to know that they have maintained the same perception of things that their remote and primitive ancestors had.
And quickly comparing their lives with the anarchism you are asking about, I see few similarities. First of all, there is in these ethnic groups an authority figure that the rest of the people follow, though not merely as an unjust authority. It could be the strongest or bravest man or the shaman. But it’s not up for dispute that there is an authority figure. That’s one thing that many anarchists don’t approve of: those who refuse any authority that seeks to govern since in their mind it might try to “impose” something on them.
Secondly, the people in these groups have a specific role to carry out, they have hierarchy. It may be that men have to work more in the hunting season, or it could be that women work more in the times of nomadic gathering. Or it could be that both work equally in the time of harvest if as semi-nomads they have planted something. This is all to say that there is no equality. The division of labor is considered acceptable and the role that each individual carries out is what makes the group stable and without major conflicts. These are their customs, this is how they have survived from time immemorial, Thus, one cannot say that their life is similar to anarchism since one of the qualities of the latter is equality, and this is not compatible with the lives of these indigenous groups.
Thirdly, anarchism pushes atheism, that is, not positing gods or divinities that exist above an individual. In contrast, these groups of semi-nomads (as we indicated) have a firm belief in natural divinities and spirits that are much more powerful than they are. Making gods or believing in a spiritual authority from which all emanates is something totally contrary to anarchism, or am I wrong?
Fourthly, it is the case that these societies do not have a state or police force. They are too small for someone to control them like that or for someone to assume that sort of responsibility. There are no judges either, but if the occasion arises that someone must be punished, the elders are the ones who carry it out or who indicate what would be the suitable punishment for the evil doer according to their traditions and customs. And while no one gets imprisoned, there are punishments.
Fifthly, one of the premises of anarchism is that we are all equal, that we should all have the same opportunities, and free association is one of the pillars of the construction of a “new tomorrow”. From our ecoextremist point of view, all of this is absurd. Equality does not exist, we are all different and we don’t all have the same opportunities. We accept free association not to build a new and better world, but in order to develop ourselves individually within our circle of allies and not with strange or unknown people. Anarchism’s position is very humanist and falls within the suffocating parameters of being Western. These values indicate a tendency toward progress within the human being, and thus toward the progress of civilization, even if it is one that is “freer,” “more just,” “more compassionate,” etc. All of this is still garbage. We should point out that this is our opinion concerning anarchism; anarchy, well, that’s a different story. This is how it was described by one of the most representative theorists of this anarchic tendency, Gustavo Rodriguez, when he stated the following in an interview:
“We don’t believe in miracles, even less in ‘utopian societies’. Thus, we don’t busy ourselves in trying to ‘improve’ the image of that intangible product known as ‘Utopia’. We are convinced that ‘anarchist society’ won’t suddenly materialize first thing tomorrow. To be honest, we are pretty sure that it will never materialize. But this doesn’t bother us in the least.”
“For us Anarchy is not only possible but it materializes in an ephemeral manner every time there is a successful expropriation. It is constituted in those little moments in which the night is illuminated by refractory flames. It is confirmed in every jail break, it is verified by every instance of physical elimination of our enemies.”
Although we digress a bit from the main subject at hand, I will continue. The main point is that these isolated societies do not have a moral code similar to that of anarchism. So as stated in the second point they do not have equal opportunity, and that is something that is incompatible with what anarchism proposes. I think that if you wanted to find a good comparison with another system that aligns better with the positions, values, and practice of anarchism, you would need to have recourse to the communities of free spirits, hippies, peasants, and others who have went off by themselves to live a more autonomous or sustainable life. But with the small societies in voluntary isolation there’s really no comparison there. Though, after discussing all of that, my own question would be: what does anarchism refer to then? For there seem to be infinite meanings and interpretations over which even the anarchists themselves have little control.
XT: It’s interesting that you bring up concerning the groups of voluntary isolation in Mexico, but what do you think of the anti-development theories of Miguel Amorós?
RS: Amorós’s anti-development propositions are interesting in terms of the megamachine, not only describing its economic aspects but also its civilizing elements. They describe quite well what modern progress has ended in, perverting ecosystems and how it is that population growth has invaded our natural surroundings.
However, we must state that there are things that didn’t really convince us in Amorós’s book, “Anti-development perspectives” in which he stated: “the salvation of our age depends upon the generalization of [anti-developmentalism] as a determined form of consciousness.”
“Salvation of our age?” Maybe the above-mentioned theorist believes that one day in the distant future, when his ideas are “generalized”, the survivors will somehow “save” the age from harmful development, which seems to fall again into the vague category of “revolution”. And we’re not just speaking off the cuff here. The “friend” of the Friends of Ludd proposes a “new type of revolution”.
It should be repeated that his critique is good and in that regard it draws attention to the idea that he hints at when writing against work and consumption, a necessary negation considering his anti-development ideas. What we are not in agreement with is when he proposes a perennial imaginary scenario about a possible “revolution”.
Is it possible for the critique to remain in motion, the negation of all that exists, and the drive that incites the individualist to take the reins of his own life, stealing it and appropriating it, without wanting something more transcendent, like a “revolution”?
XT: Almorós’s position for you is useful but you disagree adamantly concerning the positing of a future that undoubtedly implies a “revolution” of a new type. One thing we’ve never read about is your opinion on how other sectors of society are affected. You have no opinion on sexual preference, disabled people, indigenous people in struggle, political prisoners, etc. Don’t you think tha,t in focusing your criticisms on technological development, you are leaving behind a myriad of conflicts and submitting to the technological mindset at the same time in that you are becoming “specialists” in a manner of speaking which is of value to contemporary society?
RS: That’s a good question. Hold on to your hat because you are definitely not going to like our answer.
On “indigenous people in struggle,” as you have written, we have addressed this to the “Destroy the Prisons” group: We recognize the resistance of the Purepechas in defending and dying for the forests of Michoacán. We admire the rebellious Huichols who oppose with all of their might the development of mines in San Luis Potosí. We support the Chichimecas who resist the Christianizing of their native beliefs in Guanajuato. We back up the Mixtecos who reject at all costs the medicine of the city and prefer to continue to keep healing themselves with plants that they gather in the mountains of Oaxaca at the risk of being regarded as witches. We support the decision of the Kilwa who prefer extinction to being absorbed by Western life. We exalt the resistance that distinguishes some Raramuris as semi-nomads detached from civilization in the deserts of Chihuahua. The struggle against progress and in defense of the Earth encompasses indigenous people who resist in their homelands, as well as civilized people in the cities committing acts of sabotage and terrorism against that same progress. For the struggle in defense of Nature is not one alone. The strategy, contexts, situations, and risks all vary.
As for “political prisoners”, there’s not much to say. If we don’t share their political positions and activism, we find no reason to defend them. Those who are in the can for those activities have their own circle of supporters, those people can take care of them while in prison. It should be pointed out that RS does not have anyone imprisoned for anything related directly to our activities, and truth be told we’re proud to be able to say that. For those jealous anarchists who we know full well criticize us, we ask: how many people in prison does RS have? None. How many imprisoned anarchists are there? A lot. That speaks much to how careful we are in terms of security, and that in the face of a recent series of actions and robberies that we carried out (Note: this refers to the counteroffensive of April 2015). We’ve always come out unscathed from these due to our boldness and discretion. This isn’t arrogance, it’s the reality. People who can accept that, great, but those who can’t can continue with their sniveling and sterile criticism.
Some time ago, the Nocturnal Hunter Faction of RS detonated an explosive at the Mexican Telethon Foundation, over there in the municipality of Tlalnepantla in the State of Mexico. The butane pipe explosive exploded in the entrance of that place destroying the glass that protected a bunch of wheelchairs for kids, leaving them all burned. In its communiqué, the faction stated the following:
“The ‘Teletón Foundation’, is also an agency along with the two most prestigious universities in Mexico (UNAM and ITESM), in charge of the development of technological and scientific innovation with therapeutic purposes, to say, together they completely adhere to the idea of civilized progress, to make sure this system follows its course. Surely many will ask: And what harm is caused by the existence of these types of charities for disabled people? Perhaps the questioners have not taken into account that the system always dresses as a “well intentioned nun” to continue perpetuating itself. Complete technology will always have the same purpose in whichever of its forms, whether therapeutic or weaponizing, educational or of massive destruction, medicinal or poisonous. And that purpose is to continue existing over wild nature, because of this our attack.
Without more explanations: We are not Christians, nor do we characterize nobility, we do not seek nor defend charity from anyone or with anyone!”
Based on this attack many “Zerzanians” branded us as cruel, inhuman, even to the point of comparing us to ISIS, something that instead of bothering us, made us laugh out loud. And that’s because many “gringo primitivists” over there are so politically correct, so romanticist when it comes to their embedded image of the “noble savage”, that they are deeply scandalized when “Mexican” critics of the technological system do these sorts of things. We couldn’t care less about disabled people. Like persons without disabilities, they form part of the same complex system, and we attack their institutions regardless of if they are missing limbs or if they are sick or not. Yeah we did it, and we’ll keep doing it, regardless of what people think. Sexual orientation is a big thing now, the defenders of the rights of homosexuals and the rest of those people. They’ve won their struggle that they’ve been waging for years now and they can marry legally like everyone else. They can have jobs and even top level jobs, they can get medical attention if they are infected after some wild party, they can adopt kids, etc. Their struggle has meant that they can now integrate into society (with all of its prejudice) and be another cog in the machine. The same is the case for other previously vulnerable groups: feminists wanted gender equality, now they can be exploited by employers just like their husbands, fathers, and sons. Blacks can now hold important positions even in government (just like that bloodthirsty Obama!) which they were excluded from just 50 years ago; now they form part of the dirty system. It’s the same thing that happens with these disabled people. If we put in the same room an average man, a black man, a woman, a disabled person, a gay man, and an animal rights activist, you will see that they all have distinct personalities, thoughts, morals, abilities, etc. but one thing unites them. Every one of them has a role to play in society, and that’s to uphold the integrity of the system and make sure that it keeps on going. For us they are perhaps different but perhaps not, for we see one general rule followed here, and that is the HUMAN (such as it is) expressly contributes to the destruction of wild nature. His civilization is destroying all in its path, his technology is turning everything more and more mechanical and his science subjugates that which is natural and turns it artificial. We don’t focus on the problems of people, or on the problems of one sector in particular. I think that there are people who see, worry about, and fight on behalf of lesser causes, such as obtaining “rights”, new laws, reforms, support for oppressed groups, etc. That’s their specialty, not ours. We focus on the technological system, on civilization, for this is the root of all evils that besiege us as a species, the rest are symptoms of the real problem.
XT: In truth we have to agree to disagree (strongly) on these last points, from the way you tackle them to your opinion about oppressed groups. But let’s switch gears a bit and talk about the current low intensity war in Mexico centered around narcotrafficking. The escape of Chapo Guzman is clearly indicative of the complicity of some authorities with those elements. What’s your opinion on narcotrafficking?
RS: You know, Mexico is a steaming pile of shit. It’s conflicted, corrupt, and prostituted to the highest bidder, treacherous, run down, and even though there are people who say that there are “good things” about it, we see more bad things than good to be honest. Really we can’t even know if there person who was imprisoned in that maximum security prison and who escaped was actually Chapo Guzman, or an impostor. That’s for starters. Lies piled upon lies are daily fare here. Personally, I don’t trust anything that the media blabbers about, every one of them is blowing shit out of their ass. That there is a low intensity war going on, that’s for sure. But you can speak of this just not in terms of narcotrafficking, there are also groups, politicians, private interests, etc.
Drug trafficking continues because people consume a great quantity of narcotics, since city life has totally corrupted our species. They seek happiness in certain substances that only cause health problems. It’s a profitable business: as long as there are addicts, business is booming. But you know what? You’re going to say that I sound like a broken record, but the problem isn’t the addicts or the dealers, not the hired guns who kill defending their turf, nor the chemists who make the product, nor the politicians who permit the whole business, nor the drug lords who get rich off it all. The problem is civilization itself. And as long as the Great Cage exists, all of these problems, from narcotrafficking to corruption to prostitution to human and organ trafficking to pediophilia to rape and all of the other horrible things that we all know as those immersed in artificial reality will continue to exist as well.
Yes, it’s sad that entire families have to abandon their homes because of violence. It’s outrageous that one of your family members ends up being killed in the crossfire between drug cartel assassins and the Marines. It’s disturbing that the situation that we are living in Mexico is getting worse and more and more cynical by the day. But narcotrafficking and all of the things that go with it have only one cause, and that is civilization.
XT: That is an interesting point. To close, Mexico is living through a turbulent period, with an important social mobilization taking place. How do you see the future of this place? Are we getting close to a popular uprising?
RS: For a while we’ve been hearing about there being a popular uprising. There was one supposedly in Oaxaca in 2006, or a couple of years ago there was talk among experts of the right conditions for one in Michoacán. Even though this latter one was a bit different from what happened in Oaxaca, confrontation there died down gradually as the defense units started working with the government, whatever. They said 2010 would be the year, then 2012. After the disappearance of the students of Ayotzinapa there was a tense atmosphere in Guerrero as well as in the center and southern regions of the country. But what has happened up until now? Business as usual, injustices and massacres as in the past forty years. Repression of protesters and the indignant response to this repression… like a vicious circle, a circle in which the State comes out the winner. A large scale popular uprising? Yeah, whatever.
More to the point, two RS factions saw an opportunity to unleash a wave of violence and to inflict direct damage at the heart of Mexico City. On November 20th of last year, on the anniversary of the Mexican “Revolution”, there was a demonstration demanding justice for the 43 students who disappeared in Guerrero. Tensions were high and confrontation was a given. The “Blood and Flame” and “War Dance” Factions of RS were in attendance, with every intention of instigating a confrontation between police and protesters. Members of these factions stated that they saw plain clothes police agent provocateurs infiltrating the anarchist Black Bloc. RS infiltrated their ranks and began the provocation. There was a moment where, if the momentum had continued, the people would have taken the National Palace, at which point the military police would have opened fire on those folks. That would have been the precise moment to return fire and escalate the conflict, deepening the war against civilization. We should clarify that, as always, RS doesn’t take all of the credit, there were many hooded folks and common people in various groups who were in the thick of it, that’s true. Even though what the factions wanted at that moment didn’t come to pass, the disturbance worried the government greatly.
In their communiqué, the factions stated:
“One of our objectives on the path to destabilization is to provoke violent confrontations so that guards open fire against the citizenry and the latter decide to defend themselves, thus escalating the conflict. ‘For when the crisis becomes more acute, it’s better to push it along and make it worse…’
As we have written previously, RS is not a group that either ‘understands’ or ‘respects’ the masses. We don’t participate in demonstrations to express “solidarity”, not to ask for ‘peace’ and ‘justice’. The RS factions want to escalate them and see this system and this civilization burn and fall due to the problems of those who constitute it.”
XT: This seems like it will be the last RS communiqué after its self-dissolution, as was proclaimed in its August communiqué. This then is the swan song and the last words of the unburied corpse. Though we disagree with their tactics and we distance ourselves from their actions, we appreciate the efforts of the people at Revista Regresión as well as those of the now defunct blog Tlatol for making this electronic conversation possible.
The Chichimeca War
The Guamares Rebellion
The Guamar Chichimecas, or “Ixtlachichimecas” (“White Chichimecas”, who we have addressed in a previous issue) began a series of violent conflicts that peaked between the years 1563 to 1568. The continuous sieges by the Spanish armies and the constant betrayals of the natives in the zone known as Penchichitane (or Chichimequillas) are what led to the uprising. It should be pointed out that the two ethnic groups, the Xiconaques and the Cuxtaques, (seminomadic hunter-gatherers) formed part of the Chichimeca ethnicity. Oddly enough, it should be noted that former entered into contact with the Spanish in 1531, and the then leader named Xiconaque (from thence his name) warned them:
“Don’t come forward since you may perish, since beyond the Tzacatecas, who are of our kin, is a traitorous people, named Guachichila.”
The Guamares were the savage enemies of the Guachichiles, but they had to unite with them anyways against the invaders time and again. Thus we see the complicity of many diverse primitive peoples against the then common enemy. Getting back to the main theme, the indigenous Guamares of what is now Guanajuato (although incursions also extend into what is now Jalisco and Queretaro) focused their attacks on settlements and small towns strategically placed by the Spanish Crown to guard its interests in the territory. Their territories invaded, large groups of Ixtlachichimecas leveled the settlement of Penjamo, killing the pacified Indians, the colonists, and the Spanish soldiers.
Not long afterwards, the Chichimecas on the warpath directed themselves to the town of Comanja, and slaughtered all of the inhabitants, leaving only two survivors according to the chroniclers of the time. After these two severe blows to the Spanish Empire, authorities concluded that this type of Chichimeca could not be pacified.
Every time the Spanish thought they had vanquished them on the field of battle, they revolted in another region and they annihilated everything they could find that represented a threat to their way of life. Thus, the Crown entrusted the pacification of the aboriginal peoples mainly by religion to Alonso de Zurita, as well as granting land concessions in more strategic areas to Spanish families living in forts. Thus, the citizenry would assist in the labor of pacification without entering directly into war.
It was in that way that many White Chichimecas were attracted to a repugnant religion‟s promise of eternal life and the forgiveness of sins that was imposed on them by the colonizers. All the same, evangelization seems to have captured the imagination of many natives who came down from the mountains to hear the friars preach. While many of the natives accepted the new beliefs, others were more astute. They feigned acceptance of the worship, prayers, and teachings of the Westerners merely in order to familiarize themselves with the enemy. It was in this manner that the Guamares gained the confidence of certain Spaniards, who taught them how to ride horses, as well as use the sword and arquebus (a primitive type of firearm). The Spanish thus thought they could use the Guamares like they used the Mexicas and Tlaxcaltecas to combat the Huachichiles and the Zacatecos, the only two groups they mistakenly thought were still in hostilities with them. This strategy backfired when the soldiers encountered certain Guamares face to face in battle. They wielded ancient weapons such as the bow, arrow, and club, but more surprisingly they also had swords, arquebuses stolen from the towns, and they rode horses painted with the symbols of war. Making great tumult and letting forth ferocious yells, they mixed new and old methods of warfare with great physical agility, homefield advantage, and the ability to subsist on little food and water. This made the Guamares one of the greatest threats to the Spanish peace.
Thus the roads were closed, interrupting the traffic in silver between Zacatecas and New Spain. The mountains of Guanajuato were no longer secure. The towns were abandoned for fear of new massacres by the tribal warriors. Others were reduced to ash. Production in the great majority of mines was in danger to coming to a halt. It was literally “Teotlalpan Tlacochcalco Mitclampa” (the land of misery and death). The Spanish wanted to reconstruct the town of Comanja, but this was practically wiped off the map by a massive attack by the Guamares in 1568.
The only option left to the Europeans was to negotiate with the belligerent Indians. A contingent of friars backed by dozens of Spanish soldiers and hundreds of indigenous allies met with the leaders of the Guamar rebellion on many occasions. These efforts were generously funded by the Spanish Crown. They offered the chiefs land and gifts, and guaranteed that they would not sell them or their women and children into slavery. They also assured them that the various atrocities and damage to property that they committed during war would be forgiven. It was in this way that many rebel leaders preferred to accept the conditions of the invaders and stopped the attacks. While the Ixtlachichimecas ceded territory, the borderlands became more and more militarized. The friars came in peace to visit Chichimeca settlements, convincing the natives by peaceful means to view Biblical precepts in a more positive light. Still the attacks did not cease. In 1570, the year in which they began widespread construction of prison camps for the Chichimecas who would not be pacified, various Teochichimecas staged multiple attacks on the fort of Tazazalca, Michoacan, leaving many soldiers dead. A rebellion carried out by the White Chichimecas as well was suppressed that year, as many of the leaders were “pardoned” by the Spanish Crown upon accepting terms of surrender. There were many others, however, who were not permitted the option of negotiations, since they had been fingered out by the recently converted. The mostly Guachile Chichimeca leaders who continued the hostilities were:
-Bartolomillo, who was cornered and captured by Francisco de Sande, Borderland Administrator of the Viceregal Government. It is said that Bartolomillo had replaced Xale, the fierce leader of Tunal Grande, Zacatecas, after his death. (This place was discussed in a previous issue.)
-Anton Rayado, who succeeded Bartolomillo after he was hanged. They say he was called “Anton Rayado [Anton the Marked translator‟s note] due to the tattoos and scars on his body. They came to say that nature itself had marked him with rays as a sign of leadership of the Guachiles in their war to the death against the invader.
-Martinillo, the greatest and most destructive leader of the Guachiles who inflicted the most casualties on the Spaniards than any other group. He was based in Bocas de Maticoya, San Luis Potosi. Other Guachil leaders were: Acuaname, Juan Tensso y Vaquero, Machicab, Nacolaname, Moqiomahal, Guazcualo, Gualiname, etc. To continue its expensive campaign to the tune of many pesos of gold, the authorities of the Viceroyalty decided to raise taxes and impose wine production upon the pacified towns, thus brutalizing the Indians and keeping them from taking up arms again against the Spanish Crown. Another law was passed regulating the sale of beef, requiring licenses for slaughter and sale of the meat, which was intended to keep the Teochichimecas from stealing cattle. If the owners of these cattle guarded them better and none were missing, they would receive an additional reward.
Thus they cajoled cattle ranchers to guard their cattle better, preventing the savages from stealing them and eating their meat and using their hides, tendons, and the rest of the animal.
After this partial ceasefire, Teochichimeca forces were spent while trying to expel the invaders of their ancestral lands, and those who before had carried out attacks, ambushes, and massacres against the Spanish settlers turned against their old allies. They guided the whites to various hideouts and through territory of the stillinsurgent tribes. This is how more than 80 Chichimeca war leaders were killed or captured in 1574. Juan Bautista Orozco was in charge of this military pacification, but his fame for pacifying the insurgents would not have been possible without the turncoat natives. These latter peoples greatly impeded the war efforts of the warriors of the North. This alliance, along with other factors of pacification (militarization of the border, the founding of fortified towns, the building of forts, etc.) led to the decrease of resistance to the white man in these territories. Nomadic tribes had already been partially absorbed by the advance of the Aztecs, the Tarascos, the Tlaxcaltecas, the
Otomies, the Cazcanes, etc. who fought for the Spanish army. They dealt a severe blow to the Chichimeca warriors who continued to wage war. It was thus that the Guachichiles, the Zacatecos, the Guamares, and other ethnic groups disappeared little by little and the threat that they posed was no longer so apparent.
Even then, the problems that they caused did not end there. As Powell indicates in his book, The Chichimeca War:
“The Tarascos were a natural recourse for auxiliary troops and interpreters in the northern war; they had been in conflict with the northern nomads for many years before the arrival of the Spanish. But some of the Tascos, isolated cases, then seemed to abandon sedentary life to unite with the hostile Chichimecas, causing some difficulties to the Spanish.”
The punishment from Nature: The cocoliztli
In 1576, the indigenous allies were gaining ground in the Gran Chichimeca, winning sympathy from the Western invaders. In this year, however, an epidemic would decimate their numbers in particular. Few Spaniards and African slaves were afflicted with this new bout of unknown plague. It should be pointed out, however, that this plague first struck the newly formed Mexican people in 1545, two years after the official end of the Mixton War.Thus, as if Nature itself cast a curse upon them, the “coconoztli” (the Nahuatl word for illness) sapped the health of the allied group in particular. The symptoms of the coconoztli were high fever, a black tongue, nasal hemorrhaging, intense thirst, yellow eyes and skin, convulsions, delirium, greenish urine, among others.
Contracting this disease meant certain death. Neither the Spanish doctors nor the Mexica after contracting the disease could cure it. Because of this, the number of people in the fields, the mines, the shops, the military and the towns themselves was reduced drastically. This brought an end to the offensive against the still hostile Chichimecas, who exploited the opportunity to continue their vengeful efforts. One notable example of the losses that afflicted the auxiliary indigenous troops was that, fromthe one thousand Cazcan warriors who were quartered in the town of Tequaltiche in Jalisco, only two hundred survived. It should be pointed out again that the nation of CazcanesChichimecas were the first northern nomads and seminomads to join the Spaniards and agreed to help them in their fight against hostile Chichimeca warriors.
This plague would last over a year, afflicting those who had turned their back on their way of life dependent on Nature, leaving to come into the fold of the new civilization: the winner and expansionist that had declared a war of extermination against the natives.
The heightening of hostilities of 1580-1585
During this time, the attacks of the Teochichimecas increased exponentially. This caused an increase in the number of forts, the militarization of the border by captains who frequently provoked the insurgent natives, and the more frequent use of force to pacify warring tribes. Aside from being highly skilled in their traditional weapons and the ancient manner of warfare, the Chichimecas by this point also knew how to utilize modern weaponry that they had stolen in battles with the Spanish army. This included being able to fight on horseback. With this augmented means of war, they decided to fight fiercely for their traditional way of life and to seek revenge for their brothers who had fallen previously in battle. The Guachiles along with the Zacatecos were the most hostile towards the Spanish. Both convinced a great number of Pame-Chichimecas to unite with them against the foreign enemy and their native allies in defense of their huntergatherer way of life. Thus, the small groups of warriors attacked mines and halted production; they ferociously closed off roads and ambushed shipments of silver, fine linen, and foodstuffs destined for Mexico.
It was in this way that the famous mine of Chalchihuites in Zacatecas was abandoned, as well as towns such as Queretaro and San Juan del Rio. The road to Zacatecas that went to the northern mines was also left unused. A letter to the then Viceroy Manrique de Zuniga stated the following concerning these years:
“The Chichimeca attacks are intensifying, now they are descending from the mountains in great numbers and their attacks have reached twenty leagues from Mexico City. Their victories are leading many Indians, as well as mestizos and mulattos, to join them. A total war against the Chichimecas has thus been deemed necessary. They have begun killing Spaniards, burning churches and sacking the towns. Up until now they have destroyed twenty- two estates in the San Juan Valley.”
In the middle of 1585, a group of rebel Pame Chichimecas fiercely attacked the town of Zimapan, Hidalgo, killing Spanish as well as pacified Indian allies. This situation forced the Viceroy to spearhead efforts to repel the attacks. Zuniga would adopt new methods to obtain peace in a conflict that by then had lasted 35 years. He implemented the following policies: -Penalties for those who would enslave the Chichimecas. Having studied the course of the conflict, the Viceroy noted that the warriors were enraged when they learned that prisoners of war were enslaved to work in the mines, which caused them to attack mining operations. -The freeing of prisoners that were deemed innocent of any crime.
The Chichimeca leaders and warriors who were still deemed a threat were also freed but only in towns where they could be Christianized. -The abandoning of a system of fortified bases and instead negotiating with the rebels and buying peace with clothes and foodstuffs. -The dismissing of soldiers who had created unnecessary frictions with the Teochichimecas on the borderlands. -The establishment of towns closer to the sites of previous conflicts, where attacks were carried out more frequently. Instead of filling these towns with soldiers, houses of religious orders were erected and “civilized” Indians came to live there as well. Both groups would encourage the Chichimecas to abandon the armed struggle and demonstrate the benefits of civilized life. -Taking charge of the shipments of royal silver on the Zacatecas road and making sure they were escorted by armed guards to prevent ambushes from the Guachichiles and the Zacatecos.
In 1586, after implementing a new strategy to safeguard the silver coming from Zacatecas, the Viceroy was proud to report two victories over the native highway robbers. In one he told of how a great number of Teochichimecas tried to ambush a shipment of silver on the road from Mexico to Zacatecas. They were detected by the armed guards who engaged them in battle, and because of the new viceregal policy the guards were able to prevent the robbery, and even killed thirteen warriors in the process. In spite of this, the robbers were able to kill the chief of the guards and carried off one of the women. The Spanish soldiers then engaged in a rescue mission to find the woman, and were able to recover her.
Viceroy Manrique proudly proclaimed the news, and remained optimistic in spite of the fact that the measures to protect the Zacatecas road would not prevent the remaining belligerent Chichimecas from regrouping. Thus, days after this defeat, the nomad warriors ambushed a group of Spaniards heading toward the San Martin mines in Zacatecas, killing two and injuring others. Hours afterward, a Franciscan friar was killed trying to assist the wounded in this ferocious attack. The end of the conflict Nevertheless, the Viceroy‟s efforts yielded results in pacifying the groups that were still hostile to the European settlers. Many warring Chichimecas had laid aside their arms and accepted the overtures of the Spanish friars and cooperative Indians to make peace. Thus we can indicate here the Guachil Chichimeca leaders who made peace treaties and accepted the “kind” treatment of the invaders (especially of Gabriel Ortiz Fuenmayor), namely Juan Vaquero, Gualiname, Nacolaname, Juan Tenso, and Acuaname. The rest of the Guachil or Zapateco leaders who didn‟t accept the terms of surrender were either killed or they fled north toward the lands of the Tepehuans, the Raramuri, or the Apaches. In spite of the treaties, the conflict continued at a lower intensity in the subsequent years. For example, in 1588, a large group of resisting Chichimecas was stalking and attacking the Spaniards in Yuririapundaro (Purepecha for “blood lake”) in Guanajuato.
The attackers pretended to convert to Catholicism only to seek the first opportunity to flee into the mountains from which they came. At the same time of this rebellion, another broke out in San Andres, Jalisco in 1591. Here, various “pacified” natives rose up in armed rebellion. Fray Francisco Santos feared the natives and took refuge in the convent of Colotlan. The Spanish soldiers finally came and the friar indicated to them the place in the hills where the rebels were hiding. The Spanish surrounded the outnumbered rebels, who surrendered after calling upon the friar and promising to redouble their efforts at conversion.
After nearly forty years of war, the Europeans finally figured out how to engage the hostile northern savages. Many Chichimecas surrendered and ceased fighting once they saw that they would not be abused and would even be awarded with land, livestock, and work.
From the mixture of sedentary natives, nomadic savages, and the invading Europeans would arise the newly formed Mexican people.In 1595, the Chichimeca settlement of San Luis was chosen by the Spanish to be the home of multiple ethnic groups who would facilitate the pacification and Christianization of the savages of that region. The friars, followed by blacks, the Mexicas, the Otomies, the Tarascos, and the Tlaxcaltecas, came to reside there. In particular, the Chichimecas of that town and the Otomies had been in conflict previously, but their cohabitation led to the town being known as “San Luis de la Paz”, located in present day Guanajuato. Today it is the place of residence of the last Chichimecas in the Mission of the Chichimecas zone.
Some former Indian warriors frequently assisted the friars in locating the most stubborn hold outs so that they could come and see how civilized life was and be convinced to stay in the towns. In exchange, they were given food and clothing. This offer was almost always accepted by the intransigent warriors. In spite of this, it must be pointed out that a certain regression was occurring in some groups of exnomads. According to some chroniclers of the time, the Tlaxcaltecas with their increasing population took the most fertile lands, leaving the worst lands to the recently civilized and converted exnomads. Frustrated, the former savages renounced Catholic doctrine and returned to their old ways of life, departing towards unknown lands to the north.
The war ends (officially)
By 1600 the Chichimeca War was officially over, the attacks having been reduced to isolated incidents. There were however other notable uprisings in this period, two of which are worthy of mention here: the revolt of the Tepehuanes from 1616 to 1618; and the attacks of the Guachiles in Rio Verde, San Luis Potosi from 1628 to 1629. Overall, however, the leaders of these revolts were either bought off or executed. The friars propagated new beliefs to help the whites subjugate their fiercest enemy. Those who did not go along with it, those who shouted the frightening cry of “Axcan Kema Tehuatl, Nehuatl! (Until your death or mine!), those who preferred to die rather than renounce their ancient way of life and belief, were summarily killed. These are the lessons that history leaves us concerning the resistance to the death that took place in this region against the foreign ideas that sought to replace the ways of our ancestors. We must again take up these important lessons as we wage just war against the same perennial enemy. We speak of course of the alien, the harmful and the foreign that we, the inheritors of that warlike blood, call “civilized devastation,” “invasive technology,” and “human progress.” We continue to be on the side of wild nature. We continue to venerate the sun, the moon, the wind, the rivers, the coyote, and the deer. We continue to renounce Christianity with our pagan rituals in the dense woods. We continue to be the caretakers of the bonfires. We continue to dance around the flames.
Even though we are civilized, we continue to have the instinct to attack.
Authors of the work,
“Ancient Wars against Civilization and Progress”
-“Kill or Die” Faction
-“Stalking Mountain Lion” Faction
-“Thunder of Mixton” Faction
-“Council of the Uehuetlatolli”
Faction -“Uaxixil Spirit” Faction
The work, “Ancient Wars against Civilization and Progress” consisted of the following articles:
-El Chilcuague, los Chichimecas y el Cinvestav (Regresión n°1)
-Entre chichimecas y teochichimecas (Regresión n°2)
-La semilla de la confrontación: La Guerra del Mixtón (Regresión n°2)
-Lecciones dejadas por los Antiguos: La batalla del “Pequeño Gran Cuerno” (Regresión n°3)
-La Guerra Chichimeca. Primera parte (Regresión n°3)
-La Guerra Chichimeca. Segunda parte y conclusión (Regresión n°4)
-Algo para la revista Ritual (Regresión n°4)
*Bibliography available in Regresión No.4 in Spanish.
On Ritual Magazine
In June 2015 issue no. 0 of Ritual Magazine was published. The magazine addresses political topics, and analyzes and critiques various cultural, socioeconomic, and philosophical themes from an academic perspective.
This issue contains an essay entitled, “Toward Savagery: Recent Developments in Ecoextremist Thought in Mexico”, a Spanish translation of which is available at academia.edu. This interesting essay analyzes and describes the ideological inclinations of the various factions of Reaccion Salvaje, as well as its ideological development based on a rejection of some of Kaczynski‟s ideas as described in “Industrial society and its future” in 1995. The essay also analyzes the unique adherence in ecoextremism to the idea of taking up the mantle of huntergatherer nomadic warriors who waged war against invading Europeans and sedentary Indians in the sixteenth century, adapting this past ethos to the current invasion of technology and human progress into our lives.
The article was signed by Abe Cabrera, and though we enthusiastically recommend it, we would like to note the following points.
Regarding the last section of the essay, Conclusion
While Powell‟s book on the Chichimeca War describes in detail the end of the armed conflict against the Europeans and their Indian allies, it would also be appropriate to get to know what the members of the last Chichimeca settlement actually think about the end of that war.
San Luiz de la Paz in the state of Guanajuato is the last registered Chichimeca settlement, specifically in the Chichimeca Missionary Zone. Here can be found the last Chichimeca descendants, the ChichimecaJocanes, who preserved from generation to generation the memory of the conflict that threatened the Viceroyalty during those years. A member of RS was able to engage in conversations with some of the people of this town. We will keep these sources anonymous so as not to have them associated with our ecoextremist group. Those involved in these conversations confirm the fierceness of the Chichimeca-Guachiles and proudly emphasize their warlike past. They mentioned that, with the defeat of the last hunter-gatherer nomadic savage tribes, the surviving Chichimeca bands decided to concede and show the Spanish that they now followed the foreign religion; that they adhered to the new commandments and would adapt themselves to sedentary life. They only did this in order to preserve their language, their traditions, and beliefs. The elders as well as the shamans (madai coho), who came down from the mountains after many years of war with peaceful intentions, nevertheless decided to live apart so that their stories and customs would not be erased from memory. Thus they would be preserved as a legacy for coming generations. In this manner, the Chichimecas pretended to dance before the Virgin Mary, but they were really holding their celebrations in the context of their pagan traditions and were venerating their pre-Conquest deities. They pretended to attend Masses in the churches and listen to the priests, but they were just taking advantage of being able to assemble together and feast, as they did at the mitote of old. They pretended to offer incense to Catholic saints, but their adoration wasn‟t for them, but for the sun, the coyote, the moon, the deer, etc. They continue to incense the bodies of the dead with various resins as they did in pagan rites. The continue to dress in the skins of various animals to venerate them. This was looked upon by the Catholic Church as being worthy of condemnation in the past, but the Chichimecas continued to perform these rites as part of religious events in towns that had supposedly already converted to the Christian god. To summarize, the apparent surrender of the surviving Chichimecas was really a ploy to continue their resistance against their conquerors, with insincere conversion being an important weapon for them.
This is how this particular ethnic group has survived to this day, and it is evident that the majority of the unbroken Guachichiles and Zacatecos decided to die before surrendering and preferred to avenge their fallen brothers. How come there are no contemporary anthropological references to these two groups in particular, noted for their savagery and bravery in battle? Nomadic huntergatherers tend to leave few archaeological traces of their societies save for hunting implements, weapons, simple clothing, jewelry, primitive altars, cave paintings and other crafts. However, the artifacts that the most savage Chichimeca tribes left are few and far between even by these standards. If it weren‟t for foreign chroniclers, the codices of aligned indigenous tribes, contemporary native stories, and their wellknown violent resistance recorded in early colonial history, they wouldn‟t be known at all. It should be pointed out that the group we know as Chichimecas were actually constituted by various ethnic subgroups, some nomadic, some seminomadic, some more sedentary. It is an error (which the article in question has fallen deeply into) to generalize and say that the Chichimecas as a whole surrendered. It is known that some preferred to die before surrendering and others preferred to adapt underhandedly in order to continue with their traditions. Obviously our position as an ecoextremist group is not one under which we can compromise; we won‟t negotiate with the enemy, and we have stated this from the beginning. Our principles are squarely on the side of those who died defending wild nature and who resisted the new Western order without relenting.
That‟s why RS claims Bartolomillo, Xale, Anton Rayado, and Martinillo, the Guachichile chiefswho waged total war and inflicted harsh blows on the invading army. They preferred the gallows before negotiating with the white man. We claim for our own the minority that brought the conflict to the silver roads, the exploitative mines, the towns, the forts, the churches: those places where harmful unnaturalness hid.
b) Continuing with the conclusion
“Indeed, one cannot project an anticivilization discourse on them, because they would not know what this means.”
He‟s very much correct here. RS does not want to impose on these savage Chichimeca groups an anticivilization discourse. Rather, it‟s the other way around: we find the savage warriors of the Gran Chichimeca appealing because we want to find in them a unique discourse that stands against civilization and human progress. By this we don‟t mean that the Chichimecas in particular declared war on civilization explicitly. Their history is worth keeping in mind so that we realize that we have warrior blood running through our veins and as their heirs it‟s our turn to continue the war against the artificial, against that which is destroying us, and against that which is stripping us of all human qualities to make us hypercivilized automatons.We fully realize that we are civilized human beings. We have found ourselves within this system and we use the means that it provides us to express a tendency opposed to it, with all of its contradictions, knowing full well that we have long been contaminated by civilization. But even as the domesticated animals that we are, we still remember our instincts. We have lived more time as a species in caves than in cities. We are not totally alienated, which is why we attack.
The distinguishing feature of RS in this conversation is that we say that there is no better tomorrow. There is no changing this world into a more just one. That can never exist within the bounds of the technological system that has encompassed the entire planet. All that we can expect is a decadent tomorrow, gray and turbulent. All that exists is the now, the present. That‟s why we are not betting on the “revolution” so hoped for in leftist circles. Even if that seems exaggerated, that‟s just how it is. Resistance against the technological system must be extremist in the here and now, not waiting for any changes in objective conditions. It should have no “long term goals”. It should be carried out right now by individuals who take on the role of warriors under their own direction, accepting their own inconsistencies and contradictions. It should be suicidal. We don‟t aim to overthrow the system. We don‟t want followers. What we want is individualist war waged by various factions against the system that domesticates and subjugates us.
Our cry to Wild Nature will always be the same until our own violent extermination:
“And the nations were angry, and thy wrath is come… and the time when thou shouldest destroy them which destroy the earth.”