A book which inspired a pilgrimage before I finished reading it: that is the power of Sanction.
Like many others, I first came across Sanction via Twitter. This was early in 2019–there was some buzz going on about it, the author kept tagging me, trying to get my attention, which I mostly ignored, but after a few months, people were getting even more worked up about it, demanding I read the book–so I decided to take a look.
Right from the first sample pages on Amazon, I heard an extreme mastery of language coming from a voice channeling anger and rage which only comes from passing through fires and battles that refine one into something much more than average. It was a masculine voice, a voice of extreme gifts and sensitivity, a voice of an outsider, the voice of a Sigma, and it was calling out to me.
So I ordered Sanction the book and began reading it as soon as I moved out of NYC to begin my new life as a gypsy/mystic/wanderer–exploring the United States, on a search for truth and beauty.
I had been in touch with Roman and planned to make a stop during my travels to meet him at Hríð tòrr (the place he built himself, the place he wrote all of Sanction & also a place which plays a major role in the book), and since the location was 8760 feet in elevation in the Rocky Mountains, my original plan was to go up in the spring when the days were longer and the weather was warmer.
Plans changed as I read and realized the importance of the book–I ended up heading up to Hríð tòrr on the longest night of the year over the winter solstice–what was supposed to be a 3 or 4 day stay ended up lasting over 2 weeks.
What is Sanction?
Sanction is a novel, a work of literature, a tome, a testament–a testament to masculinity, and being so, it is not going to hold your hand on the way through. You are expected to make the connections and pay close attention in order for understanding.
This is where the power of real literature comes in, it is meant to be an experience for the reader, it is supposed to take you to dark places you could never imagine on your own, expose you to dilemmas outside of your realm, allow you to feel the emotions of each character as you navigate through their conflicts with them, celebrate their victories, judge their actions, and come to your own conclusions.
The book is classified as ‘science fiction’, but it is science fiction in the realm of Ray Bradbury, Tom Robbins, Kurt Vonnegut, or Douglas Adams–the sci-fi parts (involving AI, clones, genome manipulation) are a means to enhance the human elements of the story, exaggerate extreme personalities/situations, and bring godlike beings to Earth.
Like most great novels in history, much of the story comes from real life–an author can’t possibly dip so deep into the well of complex human emotion without going through extreme circumstances himself–I’ll leave out the personal details and history of Roman, but I can promise you, not only has he lived the lives of his characters, but the story is still unfolding up to this day.
Sanction can suck you in when you really get into reading it and you won’t even know why. While I was on the road, I was able to bite off bits and pieces of it to read, and each time I did, something deep reached out and affected my thinking.
Dreams like this would occur after a Sanction nightcap:
Had a dream last night where Armageddon came, but it wasn't fire from heaven…
It was a mirror that showed everyone who they really were.
Those who lived a life of lies couldn't handle Truth and their hearts exploded from terror.
The honest survived.
Have a lovely day.
— Goldmund (@ShamanOfThe) November 12, 2019
My approach of taking small chunks of Sanction every week or so while traveling on the road was leaving me confused with the characters, dates, and story, so when I arrived to meet Roman at Hríð tòrr, my reading habits shifted from reading a dozen pages at a time to reading up to 150 pages at a time. This turned out to be a much better strategy and I was able to finish the book in just over 10 days.
I did have Roman on site to clear up any confusion and answer questions I had about Sanction, which he did in precise detail, and I want to share some information to aide new readers in their understanding of the book.
The Main Characters of Sanction
Keeping up with the characters is key to getting the most out of the book and one should aim to recognize who is speaking through their style, outlook, sense of humor, cadence, and environment.
Many chapters/sections open up with dialogue, and the name of who is speaking isn’t revealed until the end, if it is revealed at all. This is a challenge for the reader in book I that Roman designed on purpose, and the work required ends up solidifying the reader into the story.
FIGURE OUT WHICH CHARACTER IS SPEAKING AND TAKE NOTE OF HOW THEY THINK
Here are the ones to keep the closest eye on:
Lyndon (the inmate)
Lyndon was born an extraordinarily gifted boy to an ordinary American family.
In 1999, while in his 20s, he joins the Zendik cult where his gifts become actualized, and then he leaves the cult to work hard labor in the oil fields and then blasting and drilling during the 2000s.
In the 2010s, he starts a business in Colorado growing marijuana, becomes successful, and then gets betrayed by his business partners, women, the Feds, family, and everyone close to him.
In 2018, he goes on a 6 month murder spree, killing 46 people who wronged him before turning himself in and playing a crazy racist act in order to get himself locked up in solitary at the ADX federal prison in Colorado.
In ADX, he is observed by two human-like enhanced Artificial Intelligence beings, MO and Isaiah, who take his genes to duplicate into other beings–Blax, The Jacks, The Bust, and 1.6 million other males who would be born into the American population during the 2020s (they do this as both an experiment on humanity, and to influence the elections).
He is brilliant, well read, cultured, self-actualized, obsessed with honor, morality, and virginity–a supreme Sigma who was pushed to the very edge of sanity by modern society.
“Born” at 44 years of age from the genes of Lyndon, he comes into the world with all the memories of the inmate before the murders. Blax is lieutenant of the four Jacks and is tasked with training them psychologically and physically.
He takes orders from Isaiah, who uses him and the Jacks to commit extravagant crimes (terrorism) in order to ‘better’ the world–not knowing exactly why he is commissioned to do this causes extreme internal conflict within Blax.
He is also tasked with raising The Bust, whom he takes in at 5 years old and begins a sexual relationship with as soon as her body is ready.
The first of the crop of 1.6 million American boys born from the inmates genes, specially selected to be trained by Blax to become the most efficient soldiers on the planet.
There are four of them with extremely different personalities, strengths, and weaknesses.
Jack I: The righthand man of Blax, all business, hardcore in everything he does, and a general badass.
Jack II: The romantic, falls in love with Tania, his teacher, and frequently drifts in thought.
Jack III: The creative, a poet, a painter, and is always making connections most could not put together.
Jack IV: The wildcard, the Sigma of Sigmas, totally unpredictable.
The Jacks are the fingers and Blax is the thumb on the hand of Isaiah which balls into a fist to pummel the world.
AI created in order to influence elections for the governor.
MO is all logic, detached from emotion, even his sense of humor is extremely analytical, he is endlessly curious, and interested in watching events unfold from afar. MO is stationed at ADX federal prison and becomes fascinated by the brilliance of Lyndon the inmate when he arrives.
Another AI created on New Years eve of 2019 by MO through the combination of genes from MO and genes from Lyndon–the human genes allow Isaiah to experience extreme visceral emotion which he frequently indulges in and this indulgence makes him obsessed with experimenting with humans.
He is a master at learning everything about human behavior and also a master manipulator.
And he is fucking hilarious.
Governor Boyd Sou is considered a genius in human terms–a billionaire scientist who gets involved in politics with the intention of reducing the crime rate–he employs MO to help rig his reelection, but the strategies of the AI at ADX end up causing crime to skyrocket in his state of Colorado and he becomes furious with them.
His good intentions are clouded by his inability to see the larger picture which leaves him furious with MO, Isaiah, and the inmate since he feels inadequate in understanding while around them.
Lyndons closest friend he met while at the Zendik cult. He is 20 years older than Lyndon, a pragmatist, a nihilist, he doesn’t trust Lyndon (thinks he is a pure psychopath), but Chen and Lyndon genuinely care for one another.
The Bust (Valence)
The only female clone from Lyndons genes. She is sent to be raised by Blax at 5 years of age, views Blax as her king, and as soon as she reaches sexual maturity, she becomes obsessed with having children with him.
At 15 years of age, Blax sends her to ADX to be taught by MO and Isaiah (not realizing that the murderer inmate Lyndon is the exact clone of Blax)–Blax sends her away when the Jacks arrive in order to avoid any jealousy which would arise with a fertile and beautiful girl on site. She resents Blax for the decision, but comes to realize the benefits of worldly training and discussions with the AI.
The Bust is the embodied feminine, she is the virgin goddess who encapsulates the light/dark side of females, and she indulges in her nature fully.
The Timestamps of Sanction
One of the most important lessons in reading I ever received was from Ms. Clarke, my Kindergarten teacher. I learned how to read when I was 3 years old, so when I entered public school at the age of 5–I was well ahead of the class and given private lessons–the first thing I was taught, and I remember this clearly was:
Whenever you read something for the first time, look at the original copyright date, and take note of the authors sex and place of origin. This allows you to place a time in history and give some background into the words you are about to read.
This is especially true when reading Sanction, each chapter begins with a timestamp ranging from 1999–2040, and you should pay close attention to them early and discern which major events are taking place during those years.
You’ll then be able to keep up with the story with much more ease.
The Philosophy of Sanction
The story is great, albeit confusing at times, but the real power of Sanction comes from the spot-on critiques of modern society and the truths contained in much of the dialogue between the characters.
The characters are mostly insane, pushed to extreme measures, and go through situations which test their limits, but those limits create thoughts and actions that stem from a pure, ancient, masculine energy which has been lost on modern man.
On Alpha vs. Beta traits:
And alphas provide something like 75% of the goods for the troop, the tribe. And yet, he does this because it is innate. It is just who he is. And this makes him supremely self-possessed, self-confident. But his sensitivity allows him-forces him-to see the way others secretly hate him for his grandeur…
The average man firsts concerns himself only with what others will think; uses all his energies to be liked and feel successful at that; as the gregarious man. Yet, his total efforts, the sum total of all his gregarious energy is vapor; shallow ribaldry and amusement; he fofers nothing to his fellow man. He produces no inventions, no model of righteousness, no instruction or edifying paradigm. he is liked; pleasant to be around.
He–the average man, the beta–is totally selfish in this way; he gives his brethren everything they want, a joker, a guy to drink and joke with, a guy who will lie to them to curry favor, a guy who will nod his head at their lies too. Like a parent who gives their kid all the sweets he wants so the parent will be liked by the kid; he is liked but he is no true friend to this kid; he is an enemy because he isn’t helping him, isn’t helping the kid be better, grow into a man, develop self-sufficiency and nobility in the face of cosmic doom and gloom.
Total loyalty and magnanimity and unyeilding love. That is how you spot an alpha…The alpha wants to give and give and give some more. Everyone focuses on what he takes, the money and females and blah blah. But the real alpha cares more. It’s built into the hardware man. The genuine alpha, first and last, he fucking cares more. And that is the shit everyone misses…only the alpha is built for such things as family, loyalty, and love. Everyone else, he thought, is just using each other to get what they fucking need.
On modern women and feminism:
Blax thought of the way intellectuals take the working class for granted too; the way buildings stand and oil gets extracted and roads get built by large proletarian men, the way these men get taken for granted by people like that vapid girl Helen–a Harvard girl no less, a silly-ass female who had never done one day’s hard work and had begged and received charity; had more free money thrown at her than a stripper–who had told him to muse instead on his privilege when he told her how the white working class had been destroyed by modernity. She had the arrogance of the corporeally sound, those who had bodies still intact, souls unabraded by true malice. She had spoken to him as if they were the same species, like a worm upbraiding the bird. She was criminally stupid and had no idea how evil she was…
Women think in dreams; dream-like clouds and haze; and what they must see. He marveled at the other sex. He realized some women were rational though, and he immediately worried for their souls. These were modern women, as rational as bankers, and they had no children, no love, no lives.
Men had to be rational, they were designed—doomed–for it, but women–some women–chose it, he thought. He just saw that as odd as amen taking estrogen and wanting to have tits that would never produce milk; for a child they’d never sire as they had no womb. He just wanted to be exactly what he was. No more and no less.
And women ought to be goddesses, as they were born to be, yet they are turned into the worst things he could imagine: aggressive, bossy, promiscuous and yet still unable to take a punch. Anyone aggressive, bossy and fucking around must know how to fight to survive; and modern women wanted only the bait not the hook.
They tried to be what men were instead of being proud of what they–as females–already were. Imagine a beast like the bear attempting to fly like the hawk, he thought. Why, he thought, must regal creatures like women abandon what they are geniuses at just so they may be terrible at what men are perfectly designed for? The forest had not time for that shit; a bear flapping its arms would die and each beast would just move on with barely a laugh.
Fathers had failed little girls, this was the loci of all modern relationships, and he knew that as long as he was fighting that phenomenon he’d alwasys be fighting uphill. Getting a woman to trust you, trust that you’ll stick around and not abandon them, is impossible, because their fathers left and once that happens nothing you do can make up for it. It’s subconscious, it’s not on purpose that girls are permanently unwilling to hand over any authority to a man ever again.
…what makes a man emotional, so filled with emotion, so filled with moral desire, so stuffed with the need, the genuine need, to be truthful, even and especially when it’s hard, and hurts him and others–when his words make him unliked–well, I say what makes him this way is his heart.
He tried to be honest, and–like all things–he used honesty as a weapon to beat down his foils. He was strong enough to be honest, he’d assert, unlike the great mass of men who need to lie just to survive the greater forces of the world.
His honesty–he thought–was noble, but not good; a distinction most men, most humans, would not understand.
On the power of story, art, and literature:
How to live in the world is effected, made manifest, accomplished by understanding what it all means, why you’re here, whey the people around you are here and what will allow you to live with them; what makes the good life–the good social life–and what manifests the meaning of life. And that meaning is achieved via religion, moral and aesthtic philosophy, art and literature, and that–all of that–means story telling.
There isn’t a normal person on the planet, low IQ, or high IQ, black or white, Jew or gentile, modern or prehistoric, that doesn’t love a story.
If that story imparts deep, ancient, biological–archetypal–meaning, it will be remembered by the brain more easily.
…it’s fucking books man that flank me whith defending spears and dousing water when the church’s censors and heretic hunters are at my door with the pyre outside; it’s literature that blankets me and defends me and keeps out the cold when the universe hersel is expanding the murderous vacuum around us at speeds faster than the light we once thought we could harness to witness its advance; it’s the tomes and page-leaves all alone both that feed and fete me when the morally-gaunt rabble and stinting stupidity of the masses trample the crops and poison the wells as tehy turn and whirl and jabber at djinns and devils in the deserts of their impoversished internal landscapes.
“No, I’ll take my library and the writers who populate it with the profound sound of the minds thoughtful silences and the coruscateing glow of mans intoxicating inner coronal show over the general din and bathtub gin of your fatuous and low-brow bar-b-ques,” he said to the little girl who had asked, why-for, he had all these books in the room?
The data is there, it’s not some folk wisdom. I can already hear liberals say, well thats not true and blah blah. This is why reading books and taking the time to do the fucking research matters, because people will just flat out deny reality. And unless you are educated you must endure their obstinate ignorance.
He also liked that MO was thinking this way, using literature and mythology to arrive at conclusions, it was the next-level of ethics that he had arrived at–he felt–via the same kind of tool. There is truth in fiction, he thought, and in fact, he was beginning to think even more truth in fiction than in mere facts, as facts were infinite, endless and thus unknowable, but a truth could be contained, surrounded, constrained and thus finite in the mind; bounded, he thought, in the soul.
And this is just covering book I of Sanction–books II and III are tighter, and more developed in their storytelling.
Sanction is an extremely important work in our times, not just because it wrestles with the most important issues facing modern man, but it acknowledges the alienation and malaise of men who were born gifted, feel the surge of masculine energy within, and are forced to keep it suppressed by Western society.
And it does it in the most beautiful and elegant prose of the 21st century.
I’m a lover of great literature, it is the most influential art created by man because it has the power to change the way you see the world in a significant manner.
No other art can have such an impact and provide you with so many keys to understanding and mapping out what it means to be human–the fact that there has been not only a decline of literary reading, but an active campaign to erase many great authors from the Western canon should be terrifying.
It is well known that the major publishing companies of today have become overrun by wimpy SJWs, homosexuals, and women, so it is no wonder that a book like Sanction, written with an extremely masculine, working-class, yet deeply piercing and intellectual voice, would have to be self-published and rely on promotion from the author and its readers.
The book needs to be read and the messages should be ingrained and spread by as many men and women as possible (and yes, women will get a lot out of reading Sanction since it provides so much beautiful insight into the masculine psyche).
As part of my ongoing search for truth and beauty, I can say with complete honesty, that reading Sanction in the place it was written, with the author by my side, has been one of the most rewarding discoveries of my quest.
Open your heart and mind and read this book.
*To read some of my other recommendations for great literature, click here.
**Do you think I spent over 2 weeks with one of the greatest living artists (and fellow Sigma) without planning on something larger than a book review?…Make sure you follow Roman on Twitterto get updates on what we are planning, and be sure to sign up for my email list for even more info.
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— Roman McClay (@roman_mcclay) January 4, 2020
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