The History of Dagobert’s Revenge Magazine
By Tracy R. Twyman, Owner, Editor
I started out my career as a journalist writing for my college newspaper at age 15. I was the editor of the Commentary Section for The Bridge Newspaper, and every two weeks I would crank out a lengthy, convoluted opinion piece based on various occult conspiracy theories that I was learning about at the time. They were ideas that are quite familiar now, regarding a network of secret societies – consisting of the Bilderberg Group, the Trilateral Commission, the Skull & Bones Society, Bohemian Grove, the Illuminati, the Freemasons, etc. – that allegedly controls the world, and manipulates world events for evil purposes. It caused quite a stir on campus, not only because the conspiracy theories themselves were controversial, but also because the positions I took on the issues I wrote about tended to be from a pro-conspiracy point of view. I found the idea of an elite brotherhood of chosen people ruling the world in secret to be very exciting, and rather than fighting the so-called “Illuminati”, I wished to join them. My pieces often expressed the opinion that the masses needed to be controlled from above, and deserved to have their freedoms suppressed if they were not willing to fight for freedom, or capable of using it responsibly.
My study of occultism, secret societies, and conspiracy theories progressed for the next couple of years, until, just a few months shy of my 18th birthday, I read the book Holy Blood, Holy Grail by Michael Baigent, Richard Leigh and Henry Lincoln. This book had a profound effect on me, for it seemed to tie together all of the loose connections I had observed on my own between secret societies and the history of Western civilization. The book proposed the now well-known theory that Jesus had a bloodline of descendants which had resulted in the Merovingian Frankish dynasty of kings. This bloodline, it was said, had been driven to near-extinction by a Catholic conspiracy intent on covering up the truth about Jesus’ descendants. Allegedly, Mary Magdalen was his wife. The truth about this bloodline had purportedly been preserved over the years by a group called the Priory of Sion, which had created the famed Knights Templar as their military arm. A secret, occult war was supposedly being waged because of this between the Priory of Sion and the Catholic Church, which had seemingly been the hidden impetus behind a number of historical events. I found this fascinating, because it implied a biological basis for why people from certain pedigrees connected to European nobility always seemed to end up in positions of power throughout vast spans of history. This was the case even long after monarchy had ceased to be a functioning political system and the royal families had lost all of their wealth. It seemed these people must have a Divine Right to rule, something in the blood that overrides other forms of recognized power, and propels them to positions of influence despite all opposing forces.
Then one day, not long after reading Holy Blood, Holy Grail, I was studying for my final exam in a Calculus class. I had been up all night studying math, and I was in a very peculiar state of mind. All of the sudden an idea came to me in a flash of insight, and I had to stop what I was doing so that I could jot down some notes. I conceived of a small pamphlet that I would leave lying around in various places for people to find. This pamphlet would promote the idea that there was a royal Grail bloodline descended from Jesus, and that these people should be returned to the thrones of the Earth to rule us all by Divine Right. I would use cryptic phrases and images throughout to create the illusion that it was the publication of a secret society dedicated to these ideals, perhaps even the Priory of Sion itself.
I was directly inspired by the vivid descriptions I had read in Holy Blood, Holy Grail of the magazines Vaincre and C.I.R.C.U.I.T., which had been created by the Priory of Sion’s Grand Master, Pierre Plantard, in decades past. At the time, I knew little of Portland, Oregon’s thriving ‘zine culture, which I was surrounded by but largely oblivious to. I didn’t think of it my creation as a contribution to underground culture. I simply wanted people to find it laying about somewhere and think “What the heck is this?” I was unaware at the time that what I was creating was a prime example of the French modern art tradition known as “Oulipo”, in which cryptic codes and obscure symbolism are embedded into art without any ultimate meaning or purpose. The idea is to make the consumers of this art look for the meaning themselves, and they are sure to find whatever suits them best. This is definitely what happened to the people who read the first issue of Dagobert’s Revenge Magazine, as I decided to call it – named after a Merovingian king who had been assassinated by a Catholic conspiracy in 679 AD.
The first issue was produced immediately, in the Summer of 1996. It was laid out by hand, reproduced on Xerox paper, then distributed for free in record stores, book stores and coffee shops around Portland. The circulation was 100 copies. It was more collage art than anything, with a little bit of poetry. I used pictures that I Xeroxed from books, and some that I printed off from the internet. (This was back when my only online access came from the computer lab at my school.) There was only one article in the ‘zine, cribbed off the internet from Jonathan Vankin and John Whalen. The sub-headline on the cover was “Committing quality copyright violations since bygone days.” I listed myself as the Editor under the pseudonym “Imogene Mutation.” Each copy had a business card stapled to it with a P.O. Box address for “Exalted Grand Master, Imogene Mutation”, next to the symbol of a crown. I did everything I could to give the impression that Dagobert’s Revenge was the publication of a secret society without overtly stating it. I was hoping that someone from the Priory of Sion would end up finding it, and I would be tapped to join the order. However, I never did get any mail at that PO Box, and the only reaction I ever got to that first issue I learned about years later, when I found a review of it in the online version of the ‘zine Ben is Dead.
After that first issue, Dagobert’s Revenge lay dormant until 1998, when I decided to revive it, with the help and encouragement of my friend, Brian Albert, who created a website for the magazine, and contributed some money to the publication. We decided that this time it would contain real articles, written by me, about issues like: the Holy Grail; the Priory of Sion; the Templars; Baphomet; the Ark of the Covenant; the mystery of Rennes-le-Chateau, France; Freemasonry; the Skull & Bones Society; ritual magick; and other occult subjects. Perhaps the most unusual aspect of our content was our emphasis on royal bloodlines, and the promotion of Monarchism as a form of government. I lived in Union City, New Jersey by this time, just across the river from Manhattan, and I had an internet connection in my apartment, so I was in a much better position to run a magazine than I had been in before. I discovered that there were actually quite a few people who were into these Grail-related occult subjects, and thus, I saw the potential for my ‘zine to have a national, niche audience. I was able to get interviews with representatives of something called the Royal House of Stewart, headed by a man who claimed to be the rightful heir to the throne of Scotland, the Grand Master of the Knights Templar, and a direct descendant of the Grail blood. This made up the prime content of the second issue of Dagobert’s Revenge. To this, we added record reviews for music with occult themes (Goth, Noise, etc.) I convinced a few record companies to send me promo material. This content allowed us to place the magazine in several record stores that otherwise would not have carried it. I listed myself under my real name as the Editor-in-Chief and “Exalted Grand Master.” I also wrote several articles under pseudonyms, including Imogene Mutation, as well as Vivienne Petruveus, Edouard de Legionnaire, Count Backwards, and Mason Dixon. Our tagline now was “Dagobert’s Revenge: Musick, Magick, Monarchism.”
This time with Dagobert’s Revenge, it wasn’t just an experiment. We had a plan. We wanted to create a new subculture revolving around the ideals of Monarchism and Grail mysticism, by infiltrating existing subcultures and introducing them to our new paradigm. We targeted the Goths, the Wiccans, the Crowleyites, the Satanists, the WWII aesthetes, the college intellectuals, the conspiracy theorists, the radical anarchists. We told some other people in the zine underground about our plans, including Fred Berger of Propaganda. They all thought we were nuts. They thought that the subject matter we’d chosen to concentrate on was way too obscure, and way too cerebral, for public consumption. (George Petros of Seconds later told me to concentrate on the record reviews and scrap everything else.)
But people did take notice. The 100 copies that I distributed throughout Manhattan ( made possible by an X-Mas gift from my parents) sold out immediately, and I had to run a second printing, which also sold out quickly. The zine store See Hear did particularly well for us, and the proprietor, Ted, told me that his customers were eagerly awaiting the next issue. One of his customers was Richard Metzger of The Disinformation Company, who quickly contacted me, and interviewed me for his online TV program, The Infinity Factory. I started to get enthusiastic, fanatical letters in the mail from people who couldn’t believe there was a magazine out there representing all of their obscure interests. People liked our non-hysterical, pro-elitist position on conspiracies. People sent money for subscriptions even though we weren’t selling subscriptions. People sent money for ads, even though we weren’t selling ads. So we decided to start selling subscriptions and ads. That, along with a $300 gift from my parents, is how we raised money for the next issue, which was actually a proper offset print run of 1000 copies.
Next we got an interview with author Peter Levenda, so we made Nazi occultism a theme for the third issue. We put a WWII propaganda poster of Hitler on the cover. We thought it was a good, striking image that would make it stand out on the magazine rack. Boy did it ever. Many people automatically thought that we were promoting Nazism, and became enraged. Bleecker Bob refused to take it, and chased me out of his record store. But I didn’t care. I was having fun. Tower Magazines and Desert Moon picked us up, so now we had national distribution. A brilliant artist and musician named James P. Bergman joined us to edit and lay out the “Musick” section. I sent interview requests to some of my favorite musicians, including Death in June and Rose McDowall, and they responded positively. I was so thrilled when Douglas P. of Death in June wrote me back a letter praising the magazine and agreeing to an interview. I started seeing Grail-related and Monarchist themes pop up more and more in underground music. It was as though we had suddenly made it safe to go there by being the first to venture forth into this area. It seemed like our goal of combining subcultures to create a new one was taking form more quickly than we had expected.
Affiliated with Death in June was a “noise musician”, Boyd Rice, whose work I was unfamiliar with. But I started hearing about him from different sources, including George Petros, and they recommended that I contact him for an interview for the Musick section. But then a funny thing happened. I got a letter from Mr. Rice in reply, saying that when my letter to him had arrived, he was already at the Post Office to send a letter to me, because he had heard about the magazine from Adam Parfrey and was interested in the Grail. It seemed like an extraordinary coincidence. After I interviewed Mr. Rice, he said it was the best interview he’d ever done, and that Dagobert’s Revenge was his favorite magazine. He began to call me frequently, and we would have long talks about occult subjects of mutual interest.
From the second issue of Dagobert’s Revenge onward, I began to study the subjects we covered very seriously, forming my own theories regarding the mystery of the Grail, the Priory of Sion, and Rennes-le-Chateau. The articles for Dagobert’s Revenge soon became more in-depth and full of more original material. I was now developing the concepts well beyond the core ideas that had been established by Holy Blood, Holy Grail in 1982 regarding a bloodline descent from Jesus, which I have already outlined. These ideas were radical enough, and had created a firestorm of controversy throughout the Christian world when Holy Blood, Holy Grail was first published. But to this Dagobert’s Revenge now added an even more controversial element. I proposed that the “Grail bloodline” was actually older than this: that if Jesus’ blood was special, it was because of his descent from King David, and if David’s blood was special, it was because of his descent from … something else. All of my research tended to indicate that royalty and kingship, along with all of the basic arts of civilization, had been brought to mankind by a superior race, called “fallen angels”, or “the Watchers” in Judeo-Christian tradition. They were called the Annunaki in ancient Sumeria, the Annedoti in Phoenicia, and similar names throughout the ancient world.
My research revealed that these people had at one time been the Lords of the Earth. They had interbred with human women to create a hybrid race – a royal race of supermen who had become the world’s first human kings. The original king was known as “Kan” to the ancient world, and was also called “Cain” in the Bible. These Watchers were described in the Bible as fallen angels, who had disobeyed God by breeding with human women, and were cast into Hell as punishment. A curse was put on their bloodline, and the Flood of Noah was brought by God to cleanse the Earth of their seed. But some of them survived the Flood, and their descendants continued to rule the world for literally thousands of years. In many ways, I said, they continue to rule to this very day, for most European royal houses can ultimately be traced back to the Watchers, and many people in positions of power have royal blood in their pedigrees.
This then, I felt, was the origin of the Grail bloodline. The Grail was both the bloodline itself, and an emblem for the superhuman origin of its royal power, which descended to man from Heaven, just as the Grail stone is said to have fallen from Heaven. Indeed, the Grail stone was said to have been a jewel that fell from Lucifer’s crown when he was cast out of Heaven. To me, it was a symbol indicating the descent of the Grail family from Lucifer, Cain, and the fallen angels. I purported that this was the origin of all royal power, including that of the bloodline that had resulted in, and then descended from, Jesus. This is why I chose the Cross of Lorraine to be the Dagobert’s Revenge logo: an insignia directly associated with the Grail bloodline, which is said to be the Coat of Arms for both the “blood of Jesus” and the “blood of Satan.” The Grail, and the Grail bloodline were both symbols of the same concept which lies at the heart of all occultism: combining the powers of good and evil to create a transcendental, omnipotent power that is beyond good and evil.
To suggest that Jesus was a descendant of the Devil himself was about the most heretical thing you could say, and it surely riled people up. What many people don’t realize is that blasphemy (outright denial of God) is far less threatening to the Church than heresy (suggesting an alternate interpretation of accepted religious concepts). The Inquisition burned more heretics than blasphemers in medieval times, and the same is true today with the modern Inquisition. Several Christian websites, mostly those already promoting “Illuminati” conspiracy theories, began to warn their readers that the Anti-Christ was coming, claiming to be a descendant of Jesus. They would quote our magazine for proof that the Grail bloodline was actually Satanic.
I knew I had truly arrived the day I heard Jack Van Impe quote me and my magazine as part of his Bible prophecy program on the Trinity Broadcast Network. Dagobert’s Revenge even showed up in the flow charts of several conspiracy theorists – you know, the charts that they always make connecting the banks with the mafia and the CIA and the Trilateral Commission and the International Congress of World Jewry, etc. I never considered myself a Satanist, but the smell of sulfur definitely permeated everything connected with Dagobert’s Revenge. One of our writers, William H. Kennedy, was a Traditionalist Catholic. His priest denied him Communion that week when he found out William was working with me. We also started getting tons of letters from prisoners – people who were in jail for horrible things like rape, murder, and brutal assaults. Some of them even paid to subscribe to the magazine, but if we sent it out, it would usually get sent back to us, rejected by the prison security personnel. One came back with a note that said it had been rejected because of “content related to Satanism.”
Throughout the issues, I made sure to keep the editorial position of Dagobert’s Revenge vague, confusing and contradictory, which assured that we would be regarded with suspicion and never fully accepted by any of the existing subculture groups. Liberals and anarchists found our Monarchist, pro-elitist stance to be “fascist.” The Wiccans and neo-pagans thought we were simultaneously left-hand path Satanists, and a conservative Catholic conspiracy to infiltrate the occult underground. The Satanists and Thelemites thought we were Christians, because we emphasized the importance of the bloodline of Jesus and explored Judeo-Christian mysteries. Freemasons were mad at us for exposing their “secrets.” Other secret societies that I had never even heard of before attacked us in public, accusing us of being agents of unnamed enemy forces. I already told you what the Christian militia types and Illuminati conspiracy believers thought about us. The racialist neo-Nazi aesthetes didn’t like us because they knew that we weren’t promoting any of their ideas. But a lot of outsiders assumed that our monarchist philosophy was based on neo-Nazi racialism, and lumped us into that category, much to my dismay. As a result, many of the underground ‘zine distributors wouldn’t touch us. The Independent Press Association took our money for membership, but refused to list us in their roster of members.
It didn’t help that I began to associate much more closely with Boyd Rice, who already had a sinister reputation for flirting with neo-Nazi symbolism. He told me that this was embarrassing to him, and he hoped that he could rebuild his public image in a more positive light by associating himself with Dagobert’s Revenge. He wrote a few articles for the magazine, and eventually he proposed that we write a book together, which I agreed to. Around the same time, I got invited to do an interview for a new Fox Television program called “In Search Of”, a revival of the program once hosted by Leonard Nimoy. They wanted to do the interview in Rennes-le-Chateau, France, the center of the mystery of the Grail bloodline. Seeing this as a tremendous opportunity to do first-hand research into the subject of our book, I arranged for Mr. Rice to come along as well. The trip to France yielded a wealth of information that enhanced my research. In the summer of 2001, I moved to Denver, along with my partner Brian Albert, to continue with the book and the magazine.
The rest of the story is publicly documented. We continued to publish for three more years, and Boyd & I wrote our book. I appeared on Coast to Coast A.M. a couple of times, and on several other shows as well. We learned that Danny Carey of the band Tool was a big Dagobert’s Revenge fan. James P. Bergman interviewed him for us, and wrote an article for Dagobert’s Revenge with the band’s manager, Blair Mackensie Blake. Things seemed to be going well. I scored us a book contract with a sizable publisher. Then, in 2003, before the book got published, Boyd Rice and I had a disastrous falling out. It seems he didn’t want to share credit for anything with anyone, especially a young woman less than half his age. For my part, I got tired of doing all of his work for him, letting him take credit for my ideas and covering up for his appalling ignorance of high-school-level math, science, and history. I went on to write and publish my own version of the book, entitled The Merovingian Mythos and the Mystery of Rennes-le-Chateau. I ended the magazine in 2004, and sold our subscriber list to an Australian New Age magazine called Nexus. Then I went on to work on other books and writing projects.
But there is another aspect to this story as well. Behind the scenes, there were some other forces at work behind Dagobert’s Revenge. I knew I was in contact with something from another world the day I came up with the idea for Dagobert’s Revenge, and I had felt as though I was being guided by that same force ever since: the spirit of the Grail. When Brian Albert and I decided to continue publishing Dagobert’s Revenge in 1998, we did so with the expressed intention of releasing a Grail-related zeitgeist upon the world, and creating a new subculture. In the year 2000, Brian, me, Boyd Rice, and a writer for Dagobert’s Revenge named Vadge Moore (formerly of the punk band The Dwarves) decided to form a secret society to promote this endeavor. Instead of just hinting that there was a secret order backing the publication of Dagobert’s Revenge, there really would be. We called it the Ordo Lapsit Exillis, meaning “The Order of the Stone That Fell From Heaven.” The OLE went on to evolve into a very weird shape that is beyond the scope of this essay, and ended without ever having accomplished anything tangible, or so it seemed. But I do think that the day we created the OLE, we released something into the atmosphere, or perhaps gave new strength to what we had already released. I believe there were supernatural forces at work helping me to discover the mysteries of the Grail, and to spread what I had learned to the rest of the world.
Perhaps a good piece of evidence for this is the Wolfzeit phenomenon. I vividly remember the day in 2001 that I received a package in the mail from Wolfzeit. A shiver that went down my spine when I saw what looked like a German-language version of my own magazine, complete with the Cross of Lorraine logo and a subtitle, “Mythos, Mystik, Minnesang” very similar to my own “Musick, Magick, Monarchism.” There was a letter from the Editor, Peter Felsch, which stated that he had started his magazine a few months earlier (and thus much later than Dagobert’s Revenge had started in 1996), but was unaware of my magazine until someone told him that his own magazine looked like “a German version of Dagobert’s Revenge.” He researched the name and, sure enough, there was already an American magazine almost identical in content and design to the one he had published. We both agreed that we must have been channeling the same muse.
But beyond Wolfzeit, I believe that what Dagobert’s Revenge released into the atmosphere has had a hand in creating many of the latest cultural trends. The obvious development to point to would be the huge success of The Da Vinci Code. Back when I started Dagobert’s Revenge, none of the gatekeepers in media believed that themes of the Grail bloodline and the Priory of Sion could have such mass appeal. Even though Holy Blood, Holy Grail had been huge in the ‘80s, for some reason nobody saw the potential for these ideas to catch on and transform culture. Dagobert’s Revenge softened up the appetites of the people it influenced, making these ideas palatable, associating them with other ideas already accepted as “cool” by the underground elite, and paving the way for the occult/secret society-related trends that now surround us. I’m not saying that Dan Brown owes me any royalties. But I do believe The Da Vinci Code, phenomenon is spiritually connected to the spell we cast upon Western civilization when we created the OLE and Dagobert’s Revenge. We were not only influence, but certainly we were at least an indirect yet nonetheless important influence. I definitely believe it is directly a result of my own endeavors that we now see the Cross of Lorraine used in all sorts of underground art and music.
In addition to my broader influence on various subcultures, and on the culture at large, my work has transformed the existing field of Grail studies, and broadened perspectives on the issue, forcing those who write about these subjects to consider the older, pre-Christian elements of the mysteries. I forced a new interpretation of the enigma of Rennes-le-Chateau, the antics of the Priory of Sion, the origin of the Grail bloodline, and the symbol of the Holy Grail itself. It is now common for writers on these subjects to interject ideas related to the Nephilim race, the Hollow Earth, the Black Sun, and the bloodline of Satan and Cain, but few people were doing this before Dagobert’s Revenge came around. I see my work quoted all the time by other authors, and even more often, I see my own ideas referred to indirectly, prefaced by the words “some authors suggest…” I have been interviewed as an expert on the Grail by National Geographic and the History Channel. My work has ended up as course material in university classes. It is funny to think that Dagobert’s Revenge started out as a crappy art zine, drifted towards yellow journalism, and ended up as weighty pseudo-scholarship that was taken seriously by other serious, successful authors.
However, I couldn’t have done it without my partner (and now my husband) Brian Albert, or without the generous support of our family, friends and fans, who on more than one occasion donated financially and helped in numerous other ways. For these things, we will always be eternally grateful.