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Total Life Reform.

Operation Werewolf was conceived as an alchemical process designed to rebuild a complete human being.

This process is one of Total Life Reform- meaning a complete re-thinking and tearing down of the conditioned state of being, in order to rebuild the self as an archetype. 

In our present time, it is much more popular for people to treat things “cafeteria style,” taking this little choice piece or that one- disregarding the things they don’t particularly care for, or that seem a little too difficult or “extreme.”

Most settle on a mishmash of philosophies that “work for them,” or that make them feel good about themselves for a while, until they are discarded for the next big thing. 

12 Rules For Life. The 4 Hour Body. 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. 

Neatly numbered packages, put together in this way because marketing research has shown that “numbered list” articles and self-help books sell more copies. 

For those interested, the numbered list approach uses the way your own brain is wired to get you to click on those articles and buy those books- studies show that simply using numbers in article headlines make them perform as much as 71% better than those without.

This is one simple example of the way the human being is a product of his conditioning. 

In reality, the answers are not so simple. Life doesn’t break down into neat lists and “just make your bed” styled platitudes.

Humanity is so firmly entrenched in the programming of the modern world that most people are at the mercy of fear, depression, anxiety, weakness, addiction, and, perhaps most importantly, a lack of purpose and true direction.

Their purpose has been packaged and sold to them, and their direction has been whispered in their ear by the forked tongue of marketing and media. 

Incantations sung directly into the deep parts of the mind through television and internet, rooting ideas there with sinister purpose. The triune rites of the industrial megacity-


The original sin of the modern age is debt- from the moment you are old enough to enter into the working world, it has you by the throat, paying bills, selling you things you don’t need, utilizing sales strategies designed to leverage your own mind against you.

A generation of humans raised by the flickering screen, techno-priests on the other end beaming highly effective and well tested programs into the eyes and ears, cracking the brain just like hacking a mainframe, all too human, all too simple.


This world is owned and operated. Those who hold the glittering keys to this kingdom do not have your best interests in mind, and what they want from you is simple: everything you have.

But there is an answer. 

That answer is Total Life Reform.

In this alchemical process, we must first undergo Nigredo. Death, and the Black Work. 

A furnace that burns away everything that we were, and shows us that what we are is what we choose to make of ourselves- we become aware of our conditioned state, and we awaken to the knowledge that to create, we must first destroy.

As we awaken, we must realize that this is not a pick and choose operation, but one that must permeate us on every level of our being if it is to be successful in the long term. It requires total dedication on the physical level, on the mental level, and on the spiritual one.

We must begin to become healthy- a word that comes from the Proto-Germanic “hailaz” which means “whole.”

To become whole, it is needful for us to engage our being on all fronts, and to begin with a great purification, a disintegration of habit, of compulsion, fear, and the deeper anguish of our lonesome existence.

This Mahapralaya, or great dissolution, will come about as a product of our ongoing work, and is an active destruction. 

Through a devotion to physical strength and training, we engage with the rebuilding and purification of ourselves on a material level, which is the first stage, and the easiest to see and understand.

As we see our physical forms change, and become lean and strong, muscular and powerful, as the chariot and temple should be, our minds begin to grasp that this process exists in the mental realms as well. 

Through feeding it that which is needful, that which is healthy and whole, and by exercising the mental faculties in the same Spartan and energetic way we treat the body, our minds become sharp, effective, swift, and capable of force and intention. 

We choose what we put in, and what is produced therefrom. We are known by the fruit of our words and deeds.

But the spirit, too, must be engaged.

It must be roused from its deep slumber, ensorcelled to sleep by the dream weavers of Empire- because the awakened and strengthened human spirit is the greatest enemy known to them.

We must feed our spirit through ritual and discipline.

Fire and ash, the forest rites of power, blood on the stones, and words of might and myth spoken and roared to those who awaken with us. 

These primal ceremonies are needful, because they speak to the deep caverns of our being, back through time and space, and reverberate through our blood, raising us up and reminding us that we are creatures of mythological power, capable of harnessing the power of the thunderbolt, and the stars.

We have brought black liquid death up from the deep places of the earth and have made weapons that reduce entire cities to ashes!

We have built wonders and come together at various times and places throughout tens of thousands of years to overthrow and re-make the world in our image. 

The very act of remembering our incredible abilities and the awful wonder of the human mind is one of revolution.

All this and more makes up the process of Total Life Reform that we call Operation Werewolf. 

It is not a neat list. It is not for entertainment value. It is not a merit badge.

It is an ongoing project of the human spirit that calls out to those who would be awakened, and strong, but it asks of them:

What have you made of yourself? What are you making yourself into? Are you willing to engage fully, completely, in the battle against slumber and despair? Are you willing to exist all the way alive?

If your answer is a resounding “Yes!” to life, then you are now under a great responsibility to succeed. To help others succeed.

To see a desolation, and to make it your paradise. 

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Mannaz and Mantra.

This article was originally published in Issue 3 of the “The Inner Circle,” Operation Werewolf’s official monthly e-publication. Each month, a new Issue of the Inner Circle is published here on the website, accessible to subscribers for 10 USD a month, and containing several articles and essays, videos, insider news and more. You can subscribe by clicking the “Inner Circle” tab of the navigation bar.


-Paul Waggener

Most who are aware of Operation Werewolf are similarly aware of my interest in runes, both on a linguistic and historical level, as well as their application as a sort of psychological wrench- a mental and spiritual tool used for specific and repeatable purpose. 

Before we continue, because of language limitations and misconceptions, it is necessary to define what I mean when I use the word “spiritual:”

“In its simplest terms, when we use this word, we will be referring to the intangible thing within man which can be seen as the seat of his character, emotions, and connection with the unseen world around him. Also, his will, and other such unquantifiable concepts that man has felt, interacted with, and experienced, knows to be real, but cannot show in a physical form- but certainly can see the effects of.

Just as we cannot see “love” as anything beyond an assortment of chemicals in the brain, but can witness it in a mother’s devotion to her son, or a man’s to his wife; just as we cannot see “will” as chemical combination or a physical form, we can witness it in the determination of a mountain climber, a monk setting his body on fire, or even someone resisting the addiction of cigarettes or narcotics- we cannot see the “soul” or “spirit” of a man, or his “character,” but we can see the change they create in the world about him.”

-from ‘The Werewolf Manifesto,’ available in print from Operation Werewolf Spring 2018

Just as this term ‘spiritual’ is representative of an intangible, the runes themselves are intangibles, gigantic conceptual glaciers and mountains- titanic architectures of thought and experience that have become inseparable from my worldview through long use. A rune, simply put, is a letter in an alphabet- but it is so much more than this in the same way that the ocean is different from a glass of salt water.

One of the runes tattooed on my body is a large “Mannaz” on my right bicep. Mannaz is a word from the theoretical proto Indo-European language, from which the word “man” is derived, denoting man as a collective, “mankind,” and also the individual himself. Some scholars make the connection between *mannaz and the root words *men- (to think, as in, “mentality”), connecting the idea of man defining himself as a “thinker,” or a being of consciousness and thought. The Sanskrit word (a language that comes from the same root) manas has shaped my understanding of the Mannaz rune in many crucial ways, and whether or not linguistic scholars accept or deny the etymological connection between “man” and “mind,” the philosophical connection remains.

Manas is one of the four parts of the mind in Hindu thought, representing the faculty that with the help of the sensory organs, receives information from the world around us and presents it to the intellect. It is the instinctive mind, as well as the individualizing principle that allows man to see himself as an individual, separate from the collective. It is the seat of desire, as well, that undisciplined aspect of self that creates and moves us toward actions for the sake of satiating ourselves in some way or another.

It is divided into two parts, the “buddhi manas” and the “kama manas” which refer to the “higher mind” and the “lower mind,” another idea that has resonated strongly with me and been discussed often in my writing. Even in the shape of the *Mannaz rune, we can see two separate vertical lines “communicating” with one another with a kind of “wiring” that goes from one to the other and crosses in the center, creating a pictogram of balance, interconnectedness, and exchange.

The rune itself also indicates the idea of man in his highest potential- what he is ultimately capable of if he is performing at the greatest level possible through training the lower mind to be ruled by the higher mind. One of the techniques through which this can be encouraged is that of mantra. The word itself connects to the subject at hand, and is a Sanskrit word made up of the root, manas, and the suffix -tra, denoting a tool or instrument. Taken together, a “mind tool,” or “instrument of consciousness.”

In the runic tradition, formulas are created from various runes, and sung in a practice called “galdr,” which refers to the vocal nature of it, often seemingly gibberish words strung together for an initiatic meaning that only reveals itself through the repetition of the galdr. Mantra refers to this same practice, and by its definition, was seen as a tool for training the mind in a certain direction, or to change the thought process by controlling it in a specific way.

In short, one way of looking at mantra is words and sounds designed to produce something in one’s mind. What that something is depends on the mantra itself, as well as the individual’s intention. 

Applying this to our personal practice is an incredibly powerful method of quite literally altering our brains and consciousness in a similar way to how the body is shaped and altered during deliberate physical training.

The study of neuroplasticity has proven that brain activity is changed through practices such as mediation, but also that physical changes occur in the brain itself through training it via these “instruments of thought.”

We also know that physical exercise produces an increase in grey matter volume in multiple regions of the brain, proving that what we do, and the activities we engage in, alter the very seat of our cognitive abilities. 

Scientists have also proven that when we think or feel a certain way, neurons fire together, connect and begin to create a “neurological pathway.” The first time we think to ourselves “I am weak, I can’t do this,” for example, we can see it as walking through an untamed frontier, a difficult and arduous journey from one place to another, cutting through undergrowth and foliage, fording rivers, ultimately arriving at our destinations as trailblazers. The second time, a beaten path begins to appear, and the river fords are built into bridges. By the hundredth time, roads are being built, and train track is being laid, until some time in the future, flying cars are smoothly navigating the highways at blink of an eye speeds.

What this means is that the more times we give in to a negative thought or emotion, self-defeating internal talk, a difficult workout makes us quit- we are making it easier for ourselves to do or feel that in the future. This is not some white-light, hippie talk. This is scientific fact- the more we perform an action, but more importantly, think a thought, we cast a vote for more of the same. We lay down an infrastructure to build up that area of our brain.

This is why it becomes so vitally important for us to train to control our emotional responses to things early and often. Habits become difficult to break, modes of thinking or dealing with our problems become such monumental tasks, because we have spent years building that “muscle” in our mind, until we are fighting a 300 pound sumo wrestler each time we try to not fly off the handle when we can’t find our phone (something I’ve been guilty of many times!).

This is where mantra comes in. 

Developing the correct neurological pathways means treating the brain as a muscle and applying the same principles here that we would in the gym, or on the mats. Repetitive, consistent, correct training to achieve results. My jiu jitsu coach is fond of saying “practice doesn’t make perfect, practice just makes habit. Perfect practice makes perfect.”

We can’t just throw ourselves into something haphazardly, we need an organized training routine. 

My suggestion is that you start simple. There’s no need to learn another language, or pick up an entirely new verbiage in order to get started- although the study of language, traditional mantra and galdr is certainly a rewarding endeavor. Instead, begin by identifying a specific aspect of yourself that you are looking to get control over. In simple terms, this could be a lack of discipline getting out of bed in the morning, or a habit of losing your temper easily. 

You will create (and keep to yourself, for now), a mantra that identifies this by applying a positive approach. It could be something as simple as, “I am in control of myself and my emotions. My temper is a product of my lower self, and I am its master. I am calm, rational, and powerful.” There isn’t a need for flowery words or poetics, although if this helps you connect with the process, by all means, go for it. What we are looking to achieve here is the creation of small, simple tool to begin creating the pathway in your mind in a direction that will prove corrective for the problem you are dealing with.

While you recite your mantra, you will also keep firmly in mind that each time you master your temper, you are building a habit. Each time you give in, you are doing the same. If you master it next time, applying your mantra, being in control, calm, cool, powerful, and so on, you are weakening the neurological pathway that is lit up when your temper flares. By doing it time after time, each success makes it less likely that you will lose your temper next time. 

Success is a habit, as surely as anything else. We create it through developing a practice.

Going forward, each month, when the Inner Circle comes out, I will be presenting one rune each time, with a bit of information on its meaning, application and suggested meditation for it. You can apply these in your creation of personal mantras and “words of power,” that you can begin to see as tools- the kettle bells and barbells of the consciousness, affecting change there just as certainly as in all other forms of our training, *mannaz and mantra working together to build a complete human in the image we have chosen.

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I am addressing this article to men, specifically. This is not because the behaviors listed and detailed in this article are exclusive to men, but because I am not a female and have no interest in lecturing them on how to be “better women.” For the same reason I curl a lip in derision every time I see a woman lead off a sentence with: “real men do/don’t…”, I won’t presume to tell them how to do things.

While I won’t speak for women, I can, however, speak to men. As a man who grew up one of four brothers, has been in aggressive, hyper-masculine peer-groups and social circles since my early teens, and have founded two organizations that are male dominated- I know how men act. I know how they interact, and I know what they talk about, value, fear and desire. I also know what triggers their disrespect and scorn.

It’s been said that a woman’s highest need is to feel loved, but that a man’s highest need is to feel respected. We have spoken often in the past of the need for physical prowess, both in a strong physique and a personal relationship with violence, as a pre-requisite for respect in a male dominated honor-group. It should go without saying that any man reading this should be engaged in the cultivation of those physical attributes- here we are focused on a few of the more amorphous, “behavioral” details.

What follow are some of the ways men erode their respect from other men, often without even being aware of their behavior.

  • No Emotional ControlFor that matter, lacking self-control in general. Men don’t respect men who can’t “keep their shit together.” Whether this means getting a better grip on your temper to not fly off the handle in small, petty situations, or not acting like a wreck after a break-up- take stock of your current emotional self-control and determine where you are.This goes double for not publicly displaying weakness on social media, which is one of the most flagrantly weak ways of showing a need for self pity and validation. Basically, other guys know that if you can’t maintain an even balance and keep your head, you’re no good in any high stress situation, which signals your lack of value in a peer group.

    Combat this by exercising methods of self-control, programmed in the same way you might try to increase your deadlift.

    If you don’t understand it, or where it comes from, start by educating yourself on the topic. We can’t fight something we don’t know, or can’t identify. Here’s a video I shot on the topic a few weeks back, in case you haven’t seen it. Explore other methods of identifying and gaining control over your emotional state- in order to have the respect of others, you must have enough respect for yourself to be in control and mentally and emotionally organized.

  • BrokeNo matter how cool your buddy is who always “hooks you up” when you’re out is, and no matter how many times he says “it’s all good,” he will come to resent you, and other males will notice that you always need a “spot.” What you are telling your friends by always expecting them to help you out, is that your time is more important than theirs, because they are sacrificing time and personal wealth for you constantly, whereas you are sacrificing none (or not enough) of yours.There’s a big difference between having generous pals who have no problem kicking down every once in a while -generosity is a respected trait- but relying on the generosity of others is never respected.

    Get it together, and make your own scratch. If you are having a hard time with financial responsibility, look up a few ways to help budget what you do have, like the envelope system. Check out a few of the Fiscal Fitness videos I did last year to get you started, or pick up a copy of a popular start-up guide like “the $100 Start-Up” by Chris Guillebeau.

    Increasing your personal resources and cashflow is a critical part of not only living the way you want to, but also establishing respect with the men around you.

    The money is out there- get some for yourself, then do something nice for that friend of yours who used to always be the one helping you out. You’ll feel good, and people won’t resent you for being a leech.


  • Chronic ComplainerIt’s hard to like someone who always has some bitch or complaint. Again, venting to friends now and again? No problem. Constantly having something to be negative, downtrodden or whiny about? Sounds like you need to raise your test, stiffen your upper lip and set about improving what sounds like a really shitty life. It’s on you to fix your own problems, and no one really, truly, at the end of the day, wants to hear your problems.Remember that, because its true. No one wants to hear it. They might be ok with being the occasional emotional support if you’re going through a hard time, but they’d rather you didn’t. Your problems are yours alone, and complaining has never, ever helped resolve a bad situation.

    Problems are solved with a positive, head-on attitude and the correct application of force in the right direction. If you feel negative often, try writing some basic mantras to repeat to yourself in the morning- I know it sounds fucking tacky, but even this simple step of self-reinforcement and direction at the day’s start can really help change your mindset.

    Try to pay attention to the way you word things, and avoid putting a negative spin on them. Instead of complaining, focus on the positive aspects of things, or remove emotional connection to your problems and attack them rationally instead. Next time you find yourself complaining, just remind yourself of your goal, and remember that its all in how we look at it. The way a man deals with adversity even on a verbalized level tells a lot about him.

  • Thirsty”/DesperateThis one is huge. Not only are high-performing/confident males put off and disgusted by overt shows of “thirst,” or sexual desperation, the irony is that so are women. As a former musician, bartender, and bouncer, I have spent countless hours hearing women talk about the pathetic dudes who throw out weak pick-up lines, comment on their social media profiles, or send self-deprecating direct messages that they think are charming, but are really just sickening and creepy as hell.Avoid thirst traps, and don’t fall for them! A thirst trap is common parlance for a social media post put up for the sole intention of attracting attention from “thirsty” individuals- a classic example of this is a girl saying something like “loving this new hairstyle” with a close-up photo of her at an angle that aggressively advertises her rack, with her hair barely even on camera.

    Engaging with these sort of things is always the wrong move, for several reasons.

    When Ragnar Sonsofanarchysson posts a comment on some overweight “shieldmaiden’s” page, or acts like a little desperate puppy dog in the bar, or wherever, a couple of things happen. First, you actually do the female no favors, nor any other male, because you create a false sense of self image for the female. Inflating their ego to unreasonable levels with your “go-girl” fan comments, or your sexual predator-esque text-version-of-heavy-breathing-on-the-other-end-of-an-anonymous-phone-call is desirous to no one, ultimately not even them.

    The other kicker is, no healthy, normal woman really wants a man so weak and malleable that she can control or dominate them. Your desperation signals weakness to them, and inability. It’s elementary stuff, but women want men who are confident, self-controlled, and respected by other men. More often than not, it is the male with the highest standing in his male peer group or amongst his friends, who has the most desirable female. You can’t fuck with millions of years of human evolution.

    Think before you comment on a girl’s picture, or say something to her at the gym, bar, grocery store, or wherever you meet women- although with the levels of technological mediation at this far off the charts, I’m surprised when people even meet in person anymore without a swipe of the screen.

    Ask yourself, “am I signaling sexual dehydration, like a man crawling through a desert?” And then, just don’t- ultimately, men respect other men who are capable, and this includes being capable in the realms of male-female social interaction. I guarantee your “damn” and “looking good” posts are being noticed by your more self-aware friends and are a source of ridicule- and if they aren’t laughing at you for your desperate attempts, maybe your friends are part of the problem.


  • Try HardThis is similar as the last one, but it refers to men who are overly desperate, not for sex, but for the attention of other men. Try-hards are the kind of guy who will laugh loudly at jokes that you tell that aren’t very funny, act like everything you say is a work of art, and constantly self deprecate around you because they think it will make them likable.It doesn’t.

    No one likes a try-hard, because it is a display of feelings of inferiority. You don’t have to be a narcissist to be confident and have good self image. Cultivate this through spending time with strong, intelligent and capable people, embracing physical culture through fitness and strength training, martial arts, increasing your standing at work or in business and so on. But never by sucking up and exhibiting that hated characteristic of “please like me.”

  • Bragging/One UppingMy mom always used to quote, “let another’s lips praise thee,” when we were kids, and I took it to heart. I even get kind of uncomfortable when other people do it. Bragging and excessive showboating is sure to earn the ire of your peers, simply because they will get tired of your mouth, unless your bragging is seriously salted with humor.Even worse than this is the “one-upper,” who always has done just one more than whatever you did. You benched 315? He just did 320. No, “his phone deleted the video, bro. But it was solid.” You hooked up with a good looking girl the other night? He “totally snagged a ten, dude. Yeah, no, she wasn’t from here, and totally had to leave town, but damn, you should’ve seen her.”

    Let your achievements speak for themselves. Spend your time praising other’s achievements that you think are inspiring or meaningful- if what you do is awesome enough, there will be enough people praising you that you can give it a rest.

It is important to recognize these “respect killers” and work towards the respect of men you like, who are in your peer group, because this is one of the key elements of honor, the bedrock of any strong in-group.

Honor is a currency that can only be attained through actions that bring strength and increased reputation to your gang or crew, and through the adherence to that gang’s code of conduct. Sometimes this is written down somewhere in black and white, but often it is an unseen understanding between members of “respect.” Pay attention to the details, cultivate it, and value it higher than gold. Because unlike money- this currency, once lost, can sometimes never be regained.

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Death and Loss: Creating the Tribal Cult of the Dead

Yesterday morning as I walked into my home gym area, I noticed that something was out of place. A wooden plaque, carved for me many years ago by my friend, that has made many journeys with me, lay there on the floor- quite a ways from where it should have been hanging across the room on the wall.

Picking it up, I turned it over in my hands, as I had done a hundred times before, and read its hand-painted face.

“Whereupon a river of everything-ness and nothing-ness flowed forth from my skull
bathing me in Pain and Wonder.
The screaming of silent songs unto a pale, morose, celestial orb:
Tide of time and way of world. :ALU ALU ALU:
Rending and ascension of mournful mind,
weighted heavily by bitter thoughts- signs to darkness and flesh.”

The whole piece is shot through with symbols and bindrunes, and refers to a shared experience the two of us had years ago, one I will never forget. The friend who made this gift for me died January 7th, 2016. I had known him since he was 15, and watched him grow up around the Wolves, prospect, patch in to our organization.

His death had a hard impact on all of my friends- we all had known him for a long time, and loved him very much. Seeing a young man who all considered to be a brother, as close as blood, die- life unrealized, full of potential that would never be made manifest, is a difficult thing.

He had done so much, but there was so much more undone.

A select few of us were allowed to view the body, to say words to him, and place a few items with him for his cremation. That day, and those moments are burned into my brain forever. The way his body looked, so unlike him, solemn, something not quite “right” about the way he was positioned.

I shed a lot of tears with my brothers that day, and exchanged stories, and stayed at the wake to play his favorite songs on the guitar for his mom and dad, and extended family.

At the wake. January 2016. At the wake. January 2016.

Some time later, we threw a show in his memory at Ulfheim, the Appalachian Wolves’ tribal property. His father attended, drank with us, and gave us ash and bone from the cremation to place inside a stone cairn at the foot of our altar- a piece of our little brother there, where he liked to be the most.

My brother Coyote and I began a tradition, to go down there in the dark when we spend time at the land together- we take down a drink for Njal, or some smoke, and we sit together and tell stories and play songs that he loved, and converse with him, because we know that in some way, he is there.

Easing sorrow with songs.    Easing sorrow with songs.

During one of these conversations, with my brothers Hjalti, Galdr, and Coyote, we discussed death, loss, grief and tradition within our tribe. Njal is the first of the Wolves to die in our time as a tribe, but we know there will be more.

The feeling of loss is sharp, and the grief at first is overwhelming. For the first few weeks after he died, there was a feeling of such unbelievable sorrow that had settled over the tribe, it was hard to see moving past it.

Slowly, as stories were told, toasts made at our ritual drinking rounds in his honor, and traditions began to spring up around his death, we could see that organically, the way we dealt with death and loss was making itself ritualized, and becoming part of the greater expression of tribal life. His name became a thing that meant something more than it did in life, and in many ways, his death had brought the brotherhood together closer than it was before.

Through this painful experience, the group of men who went through it together were different than they had been. We have laughed and cried together telling stories, and we imagine our brother there with us still, painted in the ritual ash, walking with his strange, crooked-footed walk, his big, larger than life presence there at the edge of the firelight.

The grief is now a “sweet sorrow,” softened by time, but despite the modern admonition, we have not “let go.” We choose to believe he is there with us- that he followed the silver sun placed in his coffin back home, so that he can sing those songs in the woods with us, and be spoken of as something more than a man. Through death, my brother has become an ideal, a concept of togetherness and shared pain, and fellowship so strong that it often hurts.

I paraphrase my brother Galdr, saying that, Valhalla and immortality are just a man’s greatest stories being told by the voices of his sons and brothers after his death.

Tribes like ours, and yours, who are reading this, owe it to their brothers to make a better thing of a man’s death than the modern world- tearful men and women around an expensive casket as it is lowered into the earth. Hushed voices at a wake, and a few stories over the years.

The cult of the dead should be alive in our tribes, vital and strong- because our friends, our brothers, fathers and sons will die. When they do, what will we make of them? Corpses in the earth, or legends? We should light the fires for them each year on the anniversary of their death, and sing their songs, tell their stories, laugh and cry for their passing- celebrate them as gone beyond a mere life and become a tribal hero, eternal.

What should the hero cult look like, when it honors those who have died? What will your rituals and traditions be surrounding these concepts? How will you ensure that these names live forever?

What better place to die than within a cult who holds the dead as living among them?

What better way to live than to make certain there are more stories about your life than can be easily be told?

Hail the dead, who have lived a life worth telling of.

-PW 92

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Jealousy and Envy

Here’s a friendly heads up and a reminder for all of you reading this right now who are taking no prisoners on your way to living a strength-filled life of purpose:

When you start to get stronger, more successful, wealthier, healthier, or better in any way- there is a certain type of individual who can’t stand it.

Any positive change you make, there is going to be someone who hates you for it. These people are ruled by resentment, jealousy and anger. Their life is driven by a feeling inadequacy, so their ego creates an external enemy in order to insulate them from the truth:

their only real enemy is THEM.

When they see someone doing more than they are, it creates a venom-release within them. This bile rises up and they spew their vitriolic poison anywhere they can do so, as long as they can do it safely and anonymously.

These people have many terms attributed to them- you’ve all seen them, right?

Internet warriors, keyboard cowboys. Trolls.

What they really are, though, truly, at their core- are cowards. Failures.

These are people who have not been able to succeed on their own at whatever it is they wanted to do in life, whoever they wanted to be, down in those places they were too embarrassed tell anyone about, and too pathetic to go out and achieve: Leaders. Ladies men. Charismatic. Wealthy. Successful. Muscular.

They couldn’t become this, because they are their own worst enemies. They couldn’t get it together enough to make it happen, for whatever reason. Lack of willpower, dedication, or intelligence.

They see others receiving praise that they want for themselves. Others leading people that they wished they could have led. Giving up habits that they never had the strength or determination to give up. Putting in sweat equity to look and feel the way they can only imagine. Making the money they desperately wish they had- and the venom rises, and they lash out.

With words.

They use the weakest possible formats available to them. Safe, anonymous, protected places in order to work their weak will from behind a mask against those who wear no such protection against the world, because they do not require it.

Their arguments against strength are always the same, and make their resentment transparent every time. If you are muscular and fit, they will call you vain, or vapid. If you are charismatic, they will call you a conman. If you are financially successful, they will call you greedy and unscrupulous. They will more than likely not use terms like this- their reckless anger and feelings of inferiority manifest in drooling, wild condemnations, and long, rambling outlines of all ways they feel you live life wrong.

Somehow they imagine that their petty words and verbal stone-throwing will result in some kind of change. They imagine that you, like them, are a coward, and that you will be swayed by their poorly spelled rhetoric. They think that those who support you will see their evidence, and come over to their side of things.

In reality, they don’t believe any of these things, truly. They know that their words are hollow. They know that no matter what they do, they cannot stop your meteoric rise to meeting challenge and overcoming it. Those who must crawl will always despise those with wings- this knowing of their own impotence is the very thing that makes them hate you so much in the first place.

You have, and are doing, everything they want to have and do. So they will hate.

If you find yourself falling into this trap of envy and jealousy and resentment, take a moment and consider:

Would you be better served by being jealous of someone with an enviable life, or viewing them as a teacher and yourself as a student who could be learning? Every successful person’s rise to where they are now can be seen as a puzzle, a narrative to untangle in order to see the patterns and steps that they took to get where they are now.

When I spend time with someone who has more success in the gym than I do, or has a business plan that I admire, or is a high level martial artist- it doesn’t evoke resentment from me. It evokes respect. Admiration. It makes me want to emulate whatever character trait they possessed or unlocked within themselves in order to be more like them in the ways that I wish I was.

I have taken to using the phrase “None Ascend Alone.” What I mean by this is that somewhere along the way, all of us modeled ourselves after someone else that we admired, or took advice from someone smarter than we were, or emulated an individual who had already achieved what we were looking for. Success and achievement does not happen in a vacuum, and within Operation Werewolf, I believe it is fostered through challenge and networking with people who are accomplished and live lives worthy of emulation.

Strong people admire and emulate, until they are admired and emulated.

Cowards resent, sabotage, and ultimately- fail.

View every day as an opportunity to learn, to improve, to succeed. Against the reckless hatred of lesser men, your success is the boiling oil poured down on their heads, from the high walls of the castle that is your utter indifference to their very existence.

Always remember: I’m pulling for you.


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The Golden Mean

Written for Operation Werewolf by Joshua Buckley

The Golden Mean

From Stoic philosophers like Epictetus to the Nordic wisdom-tradition embodied by the Hávamál, moderation has always been regarded as one of the pre-eminent virtues. This is also one of the main strands informing the modern American political tradition, as the talking heads never tire of reminding us. In U. S. elections, or so the popular narrative goes, the deciding votes will be cast by the “moderates,” while any form of “extremism” is to be avoided at all costs. The one exception seems to be the marketing industry, where everything apparently keeps getting more extreme, from extreme snack chips to extreme laundry detergents, to lite beer for people who engage in extreme sports like rollerblading and “freestyle scootering.” (Somehow, these activities are more extreme than conventional sports like football or boxing, where men routinely suffer traumatic brain injuries and are occasionally killed.)

Now it shouldn’t be surprising that the people in power like the idea of the political moderate, and are quick to condemn anything that might be construed as just a tad too far left or right of center. Their job security—and possibly their lives—depend on the idea that we will continue to be satisfied with the choices that they give us, and won’t get any uppity ideas about blowing up government buildings or murdering politicians Hamas-style. If you were part of the Establishment, I’m sure you’d feel the same way.

Moderation is also an ideal that many people try to live by in their personal lives, but this can be harder to achieve than one might expect. Recently, an overweight acquaintance told me about his efforts to lose weight while mindlessly nursing a soda. I gently suggested that drinking carbonated sugar-water might be part of his problem. On the contrary, he informed me, he’d reduced his soda consumption down to just a few cans per day, rather than drinking the stuff continuously like he had done since he was a kid. So, in effect, he was being moderate. This is like someone who prides himself on watching only a few hours of television at a time, since the average American adult watches almost forty hours each week (while simultaneously drinking Big Gulps, no doubt). By comparison, it’s a moderate amount of viewing. But if you contrast this with someone living in a traditional society, or to our ancestors—who managed to thrive in a completely unplugged and off-line world—it’s a staggering amount of wasted time. And wasted time = wasted life.

There are similar problems with trying to be politically moderate, since the goal-posts of political acceptability keep moving around, and anyone can find themselves “on the wrong side of history” in a matter of a few years or even weeks. Just a decade ago, both Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton opposed gay marriage, supporting some type of legally-recognized “domestic partnership” as an alternative. At the time, this seemed like a moderate position. Gay couples would get most of the legal benefits of traditional marriage, without violating what religious conservatives view as the sanctity of the institution. Today, anyone who opposes gay marriage for any reason will be shunned and ostracized from polite society. They will be branded an “extremist,” and, if they belong to a club or other civic organization that espouses similar views, they might even find themselves placed on a “Hate Map.” What might seem politically moderate today, could make you a Nazi tomorrow.

However, my point is not to argue against the idea that practicing moderation has value. As I mentioned at the outset, this is an idea with venerable roots, even if its true meaning has been obscured over time. The problem is that there is nothing, absolutely nothing, that is “moderate” about the modern world. It’s a comforting delusion to tell ourselves that “things have always been this way.” They haven’t. Modernity is unique. Much of this is attributable to the technological upheaval which began with the Industrial Revolution in the nineteenth century (or maybe even with the advent of agriculture, if you follow the anarcho-primitivist line of thinking espoused by men like John Zerzan), and has built upon itself exponentially ever since. This has radically changed every aspect of human life, from the way we eat, to the way we work, to the way we interact with one another. Cultural theorists like Jean Baudrillard and Paul Virilio have written extensively on how technology has colonized our capacities to think and imagine, and has re-shaped almost every facet of how we see and understand our world. Our ancestors may have faced more uncertainty about their health, or where their next meal was coming from. But they could be certain about one thing: that in its fundamental outlines, the life they were passing on to their children would be very much like the lives they had led themselves. For us, this is not the case. Somebody somewhere once made the point that we have less in common today with someone who lived a hundred years ago, than someone a hundred years ago had with someone who lived a thousand years before them. This “generation gap” is widening all the time, to the point where it might now more accurately be described as a generational chasm.

Moderation is conventionally defined as something like the median option between two extremes. But in the modern world, which is characterized by its hyper-extremity, what can this even mean? Is there a “moderate” position on replacing human beings with machines, or the complete extinction of the natural world, or the global displacement of human populations, or the erasure of every meaningful distinction of gender, and culture, and ethnicity?

We can still cultivate the virtue of moderation, but only if we take a long historical view. In practical terms, this means that we must become traditionalists. We don’t have to ride around in buggies like the Amish, or grow ZZ Top beards like the Taliban. Nor does being a traditionalist necessarily imply a fascination with folk costumes, or fiddle music, or growing your own food, or drinking mead (although these are all good things). For me, being a traditionalist means trying to think about things the way our ancestors did for thousands uponthousands of years, before the aberrant historical disruption that is modernity. Just as proponents of the Paleo Diet will tell you that our bodies have evolved to eat a certain way, it’s perfectly reasonable to believe that our minds have evolved to think a certain way. And just as the modern diet creates men whose bodies are fat and flabby and weak, the modern way of thinking produces men with psyches similarly malformed. To be moderate in the modern world means that we must ignore the opinions and passing fancies of our contemporaries, and should look instead to the accumulated wisdom of the past. This is the only way to determine what “normal” really looks like. Edmund Burke described this traditional way of thinking—which represents true moderation—as “the democracy of the dead.”

Of course, none of this will gain you any friends among the living. Modernity is both a phenomenon and an ideology, and it brooks no dissent. Ironically, the man who tries to live according to principles which would have been considered timeless in any other historical epoch, may well find himself labelled an extremist by the standards (such as they are) of today. In the modern world, the wise man may appear as a thought criminal, the warrior will be branded an outlaw, and the shaman-priest will be counted among the mentally ill. Remember this when they chastise you for not being “moderate”—according to the terms that modernity itself has dictated. In the eyes of our ancestors, we are the moderate ones. It is everyone else who has gone insane.

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Discomfort Inoculation: Igniting the Inner Fire

In Yoga, there are 8 different pathways, or “limbs” that make up the various elements the yogi believes to be necessary for a strong practice. Within this eightfold blueprint of transformation, these limbs have their own branches, twigs and leaves that grow from them and hone down these bigger concepts into smaller sub-groups. Of these greater limbs, one is called Niyama, a sanskrit word that means “observance.” The five Niyamas are all connected in their own way, and of these, one is called Tapas- austerity.

The philosophy behind tapas is simple, minimalist, and beautiful- just like the lifestyle it calls for. At its core, tapas is about doing things that you don’t want to do, or not doing things that you do want to do, in order to create a positive impact on your life through the consistent practice of self discipline. It is not about torturing or harming oneself, but exercising control over ourselves, our habits and our desires in order to create a more highly functioning individual through mastering our relationship to passion, desire, and comfort.

I have adopted and adapted many elements of this concept into my life and utilize a three-fold method that I have taken to calling “Discomfort Inoculation.” My brother Jack Donovan has semi-joked with me before that I have the tendency to fetishize discomfort. In a way, he is not incorrect- for me, deliberately choosing minimalism, simplicity, and forcing myself to do things that I don’t necessarily want to do, but know will make me stronger or more focused, makes up a large part of the bedrock of my personal philosophy.

I have isolated and identified in this article three of the structures that form the architecture of my method: Solitude, Austerity and Trial. Together, they make up a foundation that I believe is crucial to the formation of a powerful, self controlled and self reliant individual.


“Solitude is independence. It had been my wish and with the years I had attained it. It was cold. Oh, cold enough! But it was also still, wonderfully still and vast like the cold stillness of space in which the stars revolve.”

― Hermann Hesse, Steppenwolf

“Whosoever is delighted in solitude, is either a wild beast or a god.”

― Aristotle

The importance of time spent alone cannot be overstated. In this day and age, we are constantly under bombardment from a thousand sources of stimulation at all times, and if one considers the elements of social media and technology use, we are almost never truly “alone.”

One of the reasons for this constant noise is for the individual to avoid this very thing- most people are both uncomfortable and disinterested in this solitary state, as there is nothing to do when we are in it but to explore the self and face the vast, tangled wilderness of the within.

The exploration of this wild frontier is a daunting and dangerous one, and its pay-off is not immediately visible or “shareable,” making it of seemingly limited value in this age of oversharing and premature enlightenment. It is easier to just quickly share a “meme” of the Buddha or the Dalai Llama with a quote beneath it, so that people know you are already enlightened.

For the intrepid, the internal exploration is a dark and endless journey and requires consistency and will. This makes time spent in solitude crucial, in order to become familiar with those deep, unknown places of ourselves, and to be able to take a critical and unattached look at our weaknesses, fears, inconsistencies and illusions- we absolutely cannot improve ourselves if we do not take the time to do this, and it must be done alone, in silence.

This involves taking the time to create a regular practice of meditation- my suggestions is to start simply, by waking up 5 minutes earlier than normal and starting the day in a quiet place of contemplation. Even this 5 minutes of self exploration and quiet before the madness of the day begins will have a positive impact on you as a human being, and allow you to build up a more in depth practice from there. Remember that starting is the important thing- we can always innovate later. Just pick a time and place an start doing it. Worry about the details as you go.

Solitude for longer periods of time has the other benefit of reducing chatter. The famous magician Aleister Crowley once said “The first discipline of education must therefore be to refuse resolutely to feed the mind with canned chatter.” From the newspaper to the “newsfeed,” many of us have the bad habit of beginning our day by feeding the brain a mainline of sewage, chatter, useless words, garbage thoughts. Like a diet of sugar and trash, this will serve to make the mind sluggish, fat, weak and unhealthy. What we put into our brains matters, and when we open up the floodgates to the lowest common denominator of humanity in the form of too much social media, comments threads, television, or otherwise, we are washing the walls of the inner temple with the excrement of the masses. Instead of opening your day with this storm of negativity and chatter, take the time to instead create silence. To establish calm and inviolability. To strengthen the walls that keep out negative thoughts and patterns, and to give power to your own mantras and prayers instead.

Extended periods of solitude in the form of days, weeks, or months spent in retreat should be sought out as well, when possible, but even a weekend camping trip by oneself with the phone turned off can be a massive current of clean energy reintroduced into one’s life.


“You will never have a greater or lesser dominion than that over yourself…the height of a man’s success is gauged by his self-mastery; the depth of his failure by his self-abandonment. …And this law is the expression of eternal justice. He who cannot establish dominion over himself will have no dominion over others.”

― Leonardo da Vinci

The word austerity derives from the Latin “austerus,” which translates as “severe.” It refers, in this case, to the concept outlined earlier, of self-discipline in the form of both living without the unnecessary and choosing those things which make us uncomfortable as a dedication to strength and self-mastery.

The meaning of austerity or tapas is not simply “discipline,” but “to burn.” It is a fervor for transcendence and transformation, quite literally a burning need to become more than we were. It becomes a conscious choice to limit ourselves or undergo some deprivation or hardship without complaint, emotion, or attachment in order to see what we are made of- how much control and mastery we have, and where our priorities lie.

We are offering something up as a blood sacrifice, a prayer to our higher selves in order to become that which we are meant to be, rather than what we exist as in the present time. We are acknowledging and giving ourselves wholly over to improving, to strengthening, and to overcoming our fear of discomfort, difficulty, pain, and adversity. Each time we undergo one of these austerities, we become more able to operate under stress, more capable of functioning at a high level in less than optimal conditions, and more in control of our selves- the masters of the temple.

This “severity” of praxis makes itself known even in our aesthetic and surroundings. Austerity includes the way we approach our personal possessions- a discarding of the unnecessary and the cluttered in favor of a streamlined, simple and minimal style. However, this severity does not mean we must be humorless and grim at all times- far from it! When we can strip away that which is not needed and that which does not add value to our lives, and isolate those things that truly matter to us, we can laugh easily, free from the stress of distraction and overstimulation, the jumble and disorder of too much everything. We remove this bedlam from our lives with the scalpel of austerity and create a singularity of existence and experience which allows us to live in the most effective way. Right action does not mean more effort in more directions- it means quality of effort in the correct direction.

Each day, we must ask ourselves, what is necessary for our highest value, and what is detracting from it? Both in our physical surroundings and the mental and emotional landscape, we are ready with torch in hand to create the fires of tapas and burn away the things that keep us bound to dissatisfaction and distraction.

We can begin with basic austerities- whether that means consistency in the gym, waking earlier for meditation, ice baths and cold water plunges, whatever- these discomfort inoculations lay the groundwork for other acts of devotion and fire, and allow us to start on the road to the high mountain of self mastery.


“War is the father and king of all: some he has made gods, and some men; some slaves and some free.” – Heraclitus

What follows in this section is taken from the working manuscript of my “Werewolf Method,” and appeared for the first time in the Reaver Training Protocol, available in e-book format on this website under the Equipment tab.

This life is war.

The entirety of an individual’s progression to the higher levels of self is based on the twin pillars of Trial and Ordeal.  It is from these principles that the triad of Physical, Mental and Spiritual strength are created.

These towering and awful monoliths are the altar upon which we sacrifice our lower self daily, in order to give everything we are now for everything we know we can become.

Without the trial of our developing abilities through resistance, experienced both internally and externally, there can be no honest assessment of ourselves and our progress, and without true ordeal, we cannot know how hot the inner fire burns, or if there is ash in a hearth that we thought burned brightly.

What differentiates the two is that a trial is something to be looked forward to, a real chance to pit oneself against some kind of resistance or opposition and overcome it. If he fails, he must reapply himself to his training and attain victory when his next opportunity arises. Trials come in a variety of forms and can be anything from a powerlifting meet to a street fight, a public dissertation or performance to martial arts competition. They are not to be confused simply with training, as all training and practice is, by its nature, done in preparation for trials or ordeals. Let’s clear something up now, while we are on the subject: physical training does not make you a martyr or a “lion”- just showing up to lift weights in order to look better naked is not some towering accomplishment. All across the world right now, soccer moms are waking up in the pre-dawn hours to run through a workout before loading the kids up for school. Your participation in what is for most essentially a hobby does not land you in the ranks of the immortals.

No, it is trial that makes legends of men. If you use that time spent in the gym to compete, to push yourself, break records held by those who exemplify the sport, and bring glory to yourself and those bound to you- then you are beginning to understand the great divide between entertainment and real trial. An amateur performs something, whether a writer or a martial artist, out of pleasure- he shows up and does the work when he “feels like it,” and does so largely out of a lesser form of self gratification that is not in itself a bad thing. Trial, however, is sought out by the strong for a satisfying feeling of true power when it is overcome. Those who seek trial put in the work day after day, with consistency and focus, in order to achieve greatness in their chosen fields. Not to simply write for enjoyment, but because he wants to master the craft and change lives. Not to carve wood or stone from a distracted place of occasional dabbling, but to bring images forth from the raw material that will outlive generations to come.

An ordeal, in contrast, is some heavy and almost always extremely painful experience, something that will push the individual to his absolute limit, where he will either endure the pressure to the end, coming through invariably transformed- or it will break him, possibly for good. No one necessarily goes looking for Ordeal- they will find you at various times throughout your life in diverse forms and threaten to crush you beneath their weight.

When they do so, it will be our fire built up from overcoming trial after trial that will save us from being extinguished. Our personal force has to become strong as we would build up a bonfire- from small stick to entire tree, one piece at a time until that fire is capable of consuming anything placed within its roaring heat. This fire, when it exists, is recognizable even to those who do not understand its source. For those who are initiated, and hear the call of this path themselves- they will know when they are in the presence of greatness.

Oftentimes, an inexperienced individual will mistake a trial for an ordeal. This usually comes from what has been termed a “victim mindset,” one of the greatest enemies of personal overcoming and empowerment that exists. A victim mindset always seeks to tell us that any resistance in our path, no matter how mundane, is “out to get us,” that the universe is somehow slanted against us. Usually, these same people exhibit poor decision making and extremely unproductive behavior with an emphasis on a lack of discipline and foresight, but blame all this on “bad luck,” or some other vague force that is holding them under its weight.

We see this in present day humans chronically blaming others for their lot in life due to oppression based on race, creed, orientation or otherwise, to the always popular “economic environment” argument for an individual’s poor decisions or ineffective lifestyle. These same individuals are the ones constantly shouting for equality, as though by throwing enough tantrums they will miraculously become “equals” in the eyes of those they believe to be oppressing them. Only the inferior strive for equality- those seeking to make more of themselves are not interested in the concept of egalitarianism or “fairness,” and reject that as a childish notion. In this life, we will have either what we can attain and hold for ourselves, or what those stronger than we are decide to allow us.

Getting caught up in victimization is something that we should be incredibly wary of and never tolerate in ourselves or those with whom we keep company. If we believe that we shape our own lives, as both the hammer, the anvil, and the material that lies on it, we have no time for such luxurious and poisonous self delusions. This is a way of sight and truth, and has no desire to assign blame elsewhere for our own failures. They belong to us and us alone, and should all be seen as either learning experiences to build from in the future, or false paths we have taken but are now wise enough to see for what they are.

Every individual who is working through this manual must absorb the concept that Trial and Ordeal are holy to us- sacred rituals that are also landmarks in this wild frontier of self creation. They are precious to us, both our victories and our failures, our great moments of pride and our depths of pain and suffering. These are the tools we hold dear, and our embrace of them is what ultimately will set us apart from the hollow ghosts who are content to live as slaves and victims.


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Porn and Football

Back by popular demand, this essay can be found in “The Complete Transmissions Volume 1” by Paul Waggener, available on this site.

Millions of people right now are glued to a screen watching their fantasies play out in front of them; toned, muscled bodies on camera performing just for them – sweating and grunting with exertion. The viewers are totally invested in the action, waiting with baited breath, their sweaty hands moist with anticipation of the main star making penetration…into the endzone.

This similarity between professional sports and porn does not end there – both take in billions of dollars each year, both create celebrity status for their participants which they use to market product, and both contribute to a sickness that is weakening (predominantly) males across the world. That sickness is mediation.

With sports, this is seen even in the language fans use to refer to their chosen team – “we,” “us,” words of identity, grouping themselves in with a team of humans they have never, and likely will never meet, who they roar support for in the coliseum, wear jerseys branded with their favorite players name and number, and debate endlessly with other fans about how good “our program is this year.” Sports fans participate in trivia nights at their local bars, citing endless statistic and minutiae – here’s a statistic: studies show that self-identifying sports fans are on average more unhealthy and in worse shape than those who are not.

The answer for this? Mediation. So much time spent sitting and watching others perform leads to a lack of desire to perform oneself. So too, with pornography – statistically, habitual pornography viewers are more likely to experience sexual dysfunction like ED, and have less grey matter in the brain areas related to sexual stimulation – like any drug, its continued use demands more and higher levels of stimulation in order to achieve the same levels of interest.

Observation instead of participation is the name of the game in the modern world. Video games, sports, pornography, movies, reality television, even the news – it can all lead systematically to becoming a “receiver” instead of a “sender,” which is, of course, what the leaders of Empire have in mind for you. If your switch is constantly set to “receive,” your brain becomes open, malleable, like a spongy mush ready to mop up and dribble out every bit of sewage they spill into it, an invertebrate fit only for couch-ridden outbursts of approval or dismay at “your” team’s escapades, “your” representatives political decisions, or to weakly leak out your pathetic seed as you savage yourself to another false representation of sexual contact between two slabs of painted meat slamming their surgically altered bodies together in feigned ecstasy.

This is not the life we were meant for: to wither or bloat like drowned corpses as the over-minds dangle pretty distractions in front of our milky eyes, working for our whip-holders for a pitiful wage or a massive sum, either way to be spent on frivolous trinkets or bourgeois comforts. We were meant to bite that hand that seeks to distract us! To tear free of that leash of mediation and docility, to rend the throats of those who would keep us in thrall!

Next time you sit down to play-off or jerk-off, consider what that time might be better spent doing – are you content to live in the cage that they’ve constructed for you, or would you rather bed down tonight after a real fight and a real fuck, with blood in your mouth, rebellion in your mind, and glory in your heart?

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This Is Only Temporary

All photos by Andrea Pagan

This weekend I had the honor of attending an Operation Werewolf event hosted by Leonardo of the “Dire Dogs” in the Venetian countryside. This was my second time as a guest in Europe, and just as before, every single mile and moment spent was one I wouldn’t trade for anything in the world.

To be present at the beginning of a new legend is a true privilege, and this is what I believe I was witness to in my time there. As someone who has been a member of a tribal organization for over a decade now, seeing these sparks roar to life as new tribes are built, new traditions are founded, and new members howl out their oaths to crew, gang and tribe around the fire beneath the bright moon takes me back to the beginnings of my own.

When the four founders of the Wolves (myself, my brother Matthias, and the Carnes brothers Sam and Nathan) decided to form our tribe some 11 years ago, it started from a tiny seed within which dwelt a vast and eternal need- to form a brotherhood that went beyond the bonds of the families we had been born into and to extend outward to men who we found worthy to speak an oath to. We wanted to create something legendary. For us, the need arose from its lack of existence- there was nothing in this world that we knew of that was like what we wanted to build.

From motorcycle club to esoteric order, there existed nothing that held both brotherhood and ritual, blood and earth, violence and love, loyalty and myth within its boundaries. Therefore, we set out to create it, and the Wolves were born. Oaths were conceived straight from the heart, and rituals were envisioned and enacted, growing and developing over years of practice and experience. Throughout the years, men have come and gone- those who have left our tribal boundaries have had their names erased from our histories, and those who have remained have grown in strength and character, and have had their actions spoken of and given honor to in countries all over the world by other strong men.

This is the soul of what we do. Our rites and rituals come not from the dusty pages of a book, to reconstruct what our ancestors have done, because we do not need to wonder what they would have done. We know what they would have done, now, here, in our time- because their voices sing and tremble through the blood in our veins, and their words have shattered the silence again. They have seen these new lands and this new age through our eyes, and breathed once more the cold night air with our lungs. There is no division between them, and us- just as there is no division between our gods and us. They are all living, inside our blood and hearts, and only those who have stood with us around the fire and shed their blood with us will ever know these truths.

Our greatest honor is to be remembered. To be spoken of by men who we respect, to have our names shouted to the night sky as others raise hands in salute of our deeds. This is because we know that all life is temporary, but that our deeds can live on forever- through the blood, through the stories of our lives as we weave them into the stories of others- and to do this so strongly and full of vitality that we are never forgotten.

And here’s the thing- those who always stay home are never remembered. As I walked onto the plane in Milan to return home to America, there was this little sticker on the wall, that read “This Is Only Temporary,” and the hairs on my neck stood up.

Images of the weekend flashed back through my mind, and I felt the shock up my arm as I punched Chris, a “Wuduwasa” prospect from England in the face during his “jump in” after ritual, saw the dark blood shining on his teeth in the moonlight. The buzz of the tattoo machine as I made tattoos with Tatiana’s machine, and the sound of laughter and fellowship around us. The overwhelming feeling of pride and honor in my heart to sing the ritual galdr with Marius from Norway’s “Ulvepels,” and Darko, the Serbian cannon-ball. 6 am conversations about truth, honor, and loyalty with Thorwald, Max, Svante.

Every time I see someone make the choice to stay home rather than to do whatever it takes to go forth and seek these experiences, these friendships worth crossing the oceans for, these times that will never be forgotten- I feel a brief and passing pity for them. Time is fleeting, and we will never be here again. This is all temporary. Only our legend will last- and in my life, every action is a prayer to send my names and the names of my brothers into eternity.


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Written for Operation Werewolf by Terence Mitchell

Every single day, throughout the day, we are faced with options; these are either soft options or hard options; and it’s our choice in the matter that determines our trajectory. It’s our choice wether we continue along our evolutionary paths toward a greater knowledge of self and exploration of potential via a revolution of spirit, or if we stagnate and further entrench ourselves within a quagmire of self-sabotage and self-deception, thus culminating in self-loathing.

Soft options are instantaneously gratifying; they petition to our perversities by appealing to our epicurean tastes, our shameless desire for comfort, ease, and first-world convenience. Soft options delay the inevitable; they hold us hostage to an ideal that cannot be maintained; they anchor us to an ideology that will eventually weigh us down and facilitate our demise. Soft options perpetuate that which we wish to overcome: addiction, apathy, obesity, disease, dependency, toxic relationships, eating disorders, and even personality disorders.

Soft options are weekend-long Netflix binges that offer zero value to our lives, and junk food binges that offer zero nutritional value to our bodies; they raise our cortisol levels, increase our estrogen, and lower our testosterone. They render us weak and incapable; they make us less than men by forcing to the surface that which is most deplorable in men.

But there exists another option, albeit a less popular one. An option that demands discipline; an option that is unwavering and thus unwilling to negotiate with resistance- an option whose only desire is to destroy it. One choice at a time. One day at a time. This is the hard option. And this is the option we must choose.

The hard option is choosing to live vigorously while the overwhelming majority live vicariously through the lives of other men and fictional characters. It’s the choice to move daily, without exception. It’s the choice to eat nourishing foods that heal and repair our bodies, despite the preparation required, and inconvenience thereof. It’s the choice to make the time to write down our thoughts and ideas so as to bring them into existence, and to read real books when it would be much easier to watch something mindless on TV.

Men are defined by the options they entertain. Hard options make harder, more resilient men; and it is these options that provide unlimited potential for physical, mental and spiritual growth, along with a deeper knowledge of Self. It is this knowing that leads to further doing; and so we do what we must.

We do this in the seemingly insignificant battles that belong to a greater war, fought in the dark and uncomfortable places- during the lonely hours while our loved ones sleep, and the rest of the world dreams.