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#56629 - 07/08/11 03:16 AM Re: Some criticisms/questions for Satanists [Re: Michael A.Aquino]
MatthewJ1
Unregistered



Damn Dr. I need to read The Dark Side ASAP.

The problem is that I am currently enjoying the shenanigans of the tricky and mischievous Conchis. Picked up the movie with Caine and Quinn and it looks promising as well. Not watched yet, after I finish the book.

My Fowles book, by the way, has a great cover of a tiny little man looking around a corner. The little man is being watched by an enormous ancient Greek marble face.

I have to review that sucker here if possible, hope to do justice to it.

Yes, give us a Sithian religion!

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#56634 - 07/08/11 09:52 AM Re: Some criticisms/questions for Satanists [Re: ]
Autodidact Offline
member


Registered: 01/23/10
Posts: 428
I have also picked up, but not yet read, this book. Two, actually - upon careful reading of the reviews, it appears there are actually two versions of this book, the original and the "stylistic revision" version. Fowles says in the Forward of the latter that "A number of scenes have been largely rewritten, and one or two new ones invented."

I had ordered what I thought was the original, via Amazon used, but got the revised edition. At the time, it was so cheap I elected to keep it for comparison, and got an original separately.

My revised is a Dell paperback, copyright 1978. The one I believe is the original is a Little&Brown hardcover, copyright 1965. But I haven't actually read them yet.

(Anybody see the movie "The Ninth Gate"?)
_________________________
An nescis, mi fili, quantilla prudentia mundus regatur?

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#56638 - 07/08/11 12:09 PM Re: Some criticisms/questions for Satanists [Re: Sean the Mystic]
Dan_Dread Offline
stalker


Registered: 10/08/08
Posts: 3810
Loc: Vancouver, Canada
As has been mentioned, and as a point of interest regarding Satanism and Satanists in general, it is always best to have your shit in order and get what you can on your own legs before coming to play.

With that said, Satanism can be a tough bird to nail down. I can only offer my own perspective - http://autodiabolic.wordpress.com
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ADM
ideological vandal

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#56639 - 07/08/11 12:29 PM Re: Some criticisms/questions for Satanists [Re: Sean the Mystic]
Michael A.Aquino Offline
stalker


Registered: 09/28/08
Posts: 2515
Loc: San Francisco, CA, USA
 Originally Posted By: Sean the Mystic
Thank you for that story Michael Aquino, it looks very interesting. I agree that a real Sith religion is a great idea, but I suppose you would get sued by Lucas if you tried it.

The Dark Side doesn't present a "Sith religion", but it does touch upon Sith per se, which I won't "spoiler" here. ;\)

The original Star Wars movie (later renamed A New Hope) was a stand-alone. The prequels and sequels were a later add-on following its success. And the original film borrowed heavily, and openly, from a variety of sources and inspirations. Darth's armor came from the Japanese samurai, C-3PO came from Metropolis, and Luke Skywalker was originally a girl. And what many people don't know is that the entire movie spun off from Apocalypse Now, which was the on-again/off-again brainchild of Lucas' friend Francis Coppola. When FC was busy with The Godfather, he invited GL to do AN (as an anti-American-imperialist essay on the Vietnam War). Then later FC decided to do AN himself, so GL changed the Vietnamese into Rebels and the Americans into the Empire and set out to do the thing sci-fi. So there is something of an inside joke in Harrison Ford cameoing in AN as an American colonel named "Lucas" \:\)

 Quote:
I actually wrote a little story yesterday wherein I am contacted through the Multiverse by the last of the Sith Lords, with instructions to found a new Sith Order on my homeworld in preparation for a new Galactic Empire. I thought it was pretty clever; you can read it here.

I'll take a look. \:\)
_________________________
Michael A. Aquino

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#56640 - 07/08/11 12:35 PM Re: Some criticisms/questions for Satanists [Re: ]
Michael A.Aquino Offline
stalker


Registered: 09/28/08
Posts: 2515
Loc: San Francisco, CA, USA
 Originally Posted By: MatthewJ1
Yes, give us a Sithian religion!

The funny story here: After I wrote the first part of The Dark Side in 1977, Magister Michael Grumboski called me from Detroit and said, "No, no, Mike, you've got it backward. First you write the sci-fi, then you start a religious cult based on it!" [He was of course referring to Ron Hubbard, whose "Scientology" spun off from his sci-fi stories.]
_________________________
Michael A. Aquino

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#56643 - 07/08/11 02:13 PM Re: Some criticisms/questions for Satanists [Re: Autodidact]
Michael A.Aquino Offline
stalker


Registered: 09/28/08
Posts: 2515
Loc: San Francisco, CA, USA
 Originally Posted By: Autodidact
I have also picked up, but not yet read, this book. Two, actually - upon careful reading of the reviews, it appears there are actually two versions of this book, the original and the "stylistic revision" version. Fowles says in the Forward of the latter that "A number of scenes have been largely rewritten, and one or two new ones invented."

Having read both, I unhesitatingly recommend the Revised Edition, generally for the same reasons that JF himself gives in his Foreword.

Here are some Magus-meditations:

THE GODGAME
- by Michael A. Aquino VI°
The Scroll of Set, June 2003

In John Fowles’ novel The Magus (Reading List #6I), the old Greek Maurice Conchis creates an artificial fantasy “universe”, or rather a constantly-changing kaleidoscope of them, into which the unsuspecting Englishman Nicholas Urfe ventures. First assuming Conchis to be mad, Urfe gradually realizes each of these designs - but only to fall into the next one. He assumes he is witnessing a masque. He then believes Conchis’ pretense to be a psychologist running an experimental clinic. Then a producer creating a spontaneous/living film. After a climactic bizarre, frightening, and humiliating Black Mass “disintoxication”, the shattered-nerved Urfe is confronted by Conchis for a last time: “I come to tell you that you are now Elect.”
From Chapter #3 of Black Magic:

 Quote:
Individuals who find their way to the Temple of Set are known as the Elect. This term has a subtle significance of its own. It means “chosen” - but it does not identify the chooser. That chooser may be Set; it may be oneself; it may be pure hazard (#6I). Nor does it imply privilege, aristocracy, or guaranteed success. It is, simply, an acknowledgment that the aspirant stands at these gates which only a comparative few have encountered. Like Parsifal (#14C, #14U), Jonathan Harker (#8B), Her-Bak (#2L), or Nicholas Urfe (#6I), the aspirant either steps forward into the Temple - or turns back into profane existence.

Later Urfe learns that he was randomly chosen to be the annual subject of an initiatory experience which Conchis and his colleagues call “the godgame”. The Magus does not define this curious term, but in his nonfictional Aristos (also #6I) Fowles does:

 Quote:
Imagine yourself a god, and lay down the laws of a universe. You then find yourself in the Divine Predicament: good governors must govern all equally, and all fairly. But no act of government can be fair to all, in their different situations, except one.

The Divine Solution is to govern by not governing in any sense that the governed can call being governed; that is, to constitute a situation in which the governed must govern themselves.

If there had been a creator, his second act would have been to disappear.

Put dice on the table and leave the room; but make it seem possible to the players that you were never in the room.

The good human and the good universal upbringing gives freedom to develop, or hazard, within fixed bounds.

The whole is not a pharaonic cosmos: a blind obsession with pyramids, assembling, slaves. Our pyramid has no apex; it is not a pyramid. We are not slaves who will never see the summit, because there is no summit.

Life may be less imperfect in a hundred years’ time than it is today, but it will be even less imperfect a hundred years after that.

Perfectibility is meaningless because whenever we enter the infinite processus we can look forward with a kind of nostalgia for the future, and imagine a better age. It is also evil, because a terminus of perfection breeds a cancer of now. For perfectibilitarians perfect ends tomorrow justify very imperfect means today.

We build towards nothing; we build.

Our universe is the best possible because it can contain no Promised Land, no point where we could have all we imagine. We are designed to want; with nothing to want we are like windmills in a world without wind.

Emily Dickinson: “If summer were an axiom, what sorcery had snow?”

We are in the best possible situation because everywhere, below the surface, we do not know; we shall never know why; we shall never know tomorrow; we shall never know a god or if there is a god; we shall never even know ourselves. This mysterious wall round our world and our perception of it is not there to frustrate us, but to train us back to the now, to life, to our time being.

Profane religions are not “godgames”; they are merely fantasy/propaganda businesses to control and exploit their targets. It makes no difference whether it goes by the name Christianity, Islam, Judaism, or any number of others; it is all the same imbecilic garbage and nonsense.

It didn’t take me all that long as a child to realize this: About the same time I stopped believing in Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny I also threw out the rest of the silliness. For the several years before I encountered the Church of Satan in 1968, I, like Fowles, was an Existentialist - merely attempting to evaluate and react to all encountered phenomena reasonably and practically.

What I lacked, though like Nicholas Urfe I didn’t even remotely suspect it at the time, was initiation: exposure to and awareness of magical existence, that is to become aware of all phenomena external to the self as Wonderful Things to be understood, interrelated, and creatively manipulated.

The Church became the Greek island on which I entered a supernatural masque, the Nautilus aboard which I traveled 20,000 leagues under the sea, the Keep, Castle Dracula, Shangri-la, the City of Dreadful Night, Prospero’s island, Shaolin, Arda, and Oz. Crude and amateur though it was, it nevertheless catalyzed Elect and alert Satanists’ mutation from the mundane to the magical. One entered the Church asleep, emerged from it awake. The external world, formerly a tediously ordinary active/reactive chore, became transformed into a swirling, roaring mælstrom of raw magical material.

For me, as well-known, this Journey to the Center of my Soul culminated in the ecstatic shock of the Book of Coming Forth by Night.

Thus the founding of the Temple of Set was far more than “just organizing a religion based on an old Egyptian god”. That could be [and has been] done by any aficionado, dilettante, or role-playing gamer.

No, the Temple of Set had to be a godgame. As others than myself had not personally experienced the Book of Coming Forth by Night, it was essential to communicate its principles in a form, a context, an opportunity such that others could apprehend them, exercise them, embrace with them, and ultimately self-transform through them to that same magical awareness of self and the Universal source energizing all such awareness.

Further to Fowles’ prescription, the Temple of Set, immediately after the most emphatic affirmation of its existence and sanction, dissolves beneath the feet of every new Setian to become a phantom religion. There are no required meetings, services, rituals, absurd behavioral constraints, communes, haircuts, or circumcisions. The startled Setian discovers that his focus of reverence is internal/ central, indeed to his very ability to focus and revere, and that true worship of Set comes only as a harmonious echo to this focus.

In support of this godgame, the archives, communications, and activities of the Temple are properly seen, as our General Information Letter states, as a “toolbox” into which each Setian magician may reach to refine his skills, strengthen his awareness, and extend his will to create and alter subjective and objective reality.
In a perfect world, that would be the extent of the Temple of Set. Aspirants would arrive, drink deeply at its fountain, and emerge as Magicians.

Unlike Conchis’ perfectly-contained godgame (as is possible only in novels!), however, the Temple exists physically in a very imperfect world. It is Wells’ Country of the Blind, Nietzsche’s Last Man, Verne’s “hated nation”, Oceania, Metropolis, and Trantor. In this World of Horrors an entity as alien as the Temple of Set must walk a precarious tightrope to appear both irrelevant and unthreatening to non-initiates. Through our initiatory protocol we similarly guide our Initiates along their individual tightropes, so that they may work their magic “between the raindrops”.

 Originally Posted By: Captain Nemo, 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea
In the sea is supreme tranquillity. It does not belong to despots. Upon its surface men can still exercise unjust laws, fight, tear one another to pieces, and be carried away with terrestrial horrors. But at thirty feet below its level their reign ceases, their influence is quenched, and their power disappears. Ah! sir, live - live in the bosom of the waters! There only is independence! There I recognize no masters! There I am free!

That, of course, was 1866, and 137 years later not even the sea offers sanctuary from those of the Ninth Part of the Word of Set:

 Quote:
And in the twilight of your time, you shall confront the priests and armies of death, enraged by the intoxicant of destruction, who slay themselves even as they would you and whose piety is that of decay and dissolution. They cherish the fruits of Earthly decay as the richest of treasures. Accursed are they for this foulness! You shall know them by the dullness of their eyes and the savagery of their speech, despite the jewels with which they adorn themselves and the marble they may work. Look on them and be prideful that you do not worship their god of death. Beware of them and of their intoxicant! Your endurance depends on your essence.

In 2003 the World of Horrors has reached new extremes of deceit, violence, destruction, cynicism, horrific injury to and extermination of other species, reckless overpopulation of its own, rampant disease, and poisonous degradation of the Earth’s biosphere. The challenge to the Setian Magician is thus no longer within the luxury of the godgame; like the Istari of Middle-earth, we must quietly, skillfully extend our arts and spells towards the healing of this poor planet. Thus we remain Elect.

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#56650 - 07/09/11 09:53 AM Re: Some criticisms/questions for Satanists [Re: Michael A.Aquino]
William Wright Offline
active member


Registered: 10/25/09
Posts: 860
Loc: Nashville
 Originally Posted By: Michael A.Aquino
There are no required meetings, services, rituals, absurd behavioral constraints, communes, haircuts, or circumcisions.

That’s not entirely accurate. First Degree Setians must become “Recognized” by a Priest as Adept Black Magicians (Second Degrees). For this to happen, the Setian must seek out a Priest and communicate with that Priest on a regular basis. If the Priest is located within driving distance, the Setian is expected to physically meet with the Priest both individually and in meetings with other Setians (Gatherings). Additionally, Setians are strongly encouraged (pressured?) to attend much larger annual meetings called Conclaves, which have been held in various places around the world.

If the First Degree Setian doesn’t establish communication with a Priest and play along, including attending meetings and generally doing whatever it takes to show that he is worthy of the Great Red Cookie (Red Pentagram Medallion signifying the Second Degree), he won’t remain in the ToS. First Degrees have two years to become Second Degrees (sometimes a little longer if granted an extension). If Setians do not attain Second Degree status within that time, they will be kicked out of the ToS.
_________________________
In Minecraft all chickens are spies.

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#56652 - 07/09/11 02:03 PM Re: Some criticisms/questions for Satanists [Re: William Wright]
Michael A.Aquino Offline
stalker


Registered: 09/28/08
Posts: 2515
Loc: San Francisco, CA, USA
 Originally Posted By: William Wright
 Originally Posted By: Michael A.Aquino
There are no required meetings, services, rituals, absurd behavioral constraints, communes, haircuts, or circumcisions.

That’s not entirely accurate. First Degree Setians must become “Recognized” by a Priest as Adept Black Magicians (Second Degrees). For this to happen, the Setian must seek out a Priest and communicate with that Priest on a regular basis. If the Priest is located within driving distance, the Setian is expected to physically meet with the Priest both individually and in meetings with other Setians (Gatherings). Additionally, Setians are strongly encouraged (pressured?) to attend much larger annual meetings called Conclaves, which have been held in various places around the world.

If the First Degree Setian doesn’t establish communication with a Priest and play along, including attending meetings and generally doing whatever it takes to show that he is worthy of the Great Red Cookie (Red Pentagram Medallion signifying the Second Degree), he won’t remain in the ToS. First Degrees have two years to become Second Degrees (sometimes a little longer if granted an extension). If Setians do not attain Second Degree status within that time, they will be kicked out of the ToS.

My statement above remains accurate. The II° evaluation process to which you refer is a completely personalized one, and obviously the evaluating Priest or Priestess must have reasonable contact to be able to offer any requested guidance and make the evaluation.

The Temple of Set is not a magazine subscription or Internet forum; it is an initiatory school, no less than those of ancient Egypt, the Pythagorean Brotherhood, or the Platonic Academy. The I° is not somewhere to dawdle and linger; it is an opportunity to learn and become Adept in the Black Arts. We have found that two years is sufficient for actively-interested and capable persons to accomplish this. If they cannot, or will not, we see neither reason nor obligation to bother further with them.

Upon II° Recognition, the Adept's participation in any Temple activity is completely personal-discretionary. As previously, we regard the Temple as a "toolbox" which Initiates may use [and add tools to!] as desired.

Our international & national conclaves, and regional/local gatherings are completely optional; many Setians in fine standing have not been to any of them. I have missed several. You mistake recommendation and encouragement for "pressure"; these events are almost always hugely enjoyed by those who attend them, and they thus recommend the experience to others who haven't yet, that's all. We have these things literally all over the world, and the international/intercultural enrichment is a big part of the picture.
_________________________
Michael A. Aquino

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#56655 - 07/09/11 03:15 PM Re: Some criticisms/questions for Satanists [Re: Michael A.Aquino]
William Wright Offline
active member


Registered: 10/25/09
Posts: 860
Loc: Nashville
I would argue that, at least in my case, local gatherings were not optional. My Priest gave me the third degree (no pun intended) when I balked at the idea of continuing to drive with him four hours away to gatherings. Eight hours of driving plus meals and time spent at the gatherings meant I was away from my family from early morning until late at night. Working two jobs, I barely had enough time for my family as it was. The Priest’s reaction was a major (though not the only) factor in my decision to leave the ToS.

My intention here is not to whine, only to set the record straight. As with any school, there are obligations to be met. Anyone thinking about joining the ToS or any other such organization should give careful consideration to those obligations before jumping in.
_________________________
In Minecraft all chickens are spies.

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#56657 - 07/09/11 04:06 PM Re: Some criticisms/questions for Satanists [Re: William Wright]
Jake999 Offline
senior member


Registered: 11/02/08
Posts: 2230
 Originally Posted By: William Wright


My intention here is not to whine, only to set the record straight. As with any school, there are obligations to be met. Anyone thinking about joining the ToS or any other such organization should give careful consideration to those obligations before jumping in.


Well... we all set our personal price in social (and philosophical) currency and you simply reached the point of diminishing return, in your eyes, for your inclusion in the Setian initiatory system. But those who support through action and service often "put themselves out" for something they truly believe in. You just have to decide if it's worth it in your individual case.

For example, while I was working as Administrator at the Black House, I was also in the military and, as most often 10 hour days, and some times 12. My job was in combat mobility. During peacetime, we trained for war, so this meant moving heavy equipment and troops for deployment on a daily basis. Physically demanding and mentally demanding, often dangerous and always exhausting. My normal duty shift was 7AM to 5PM (0700-1700).

The Church of Satan had no "days off," and virtually all of the day-to-day activities were conducted from 8PM until 3 or 4 AM. Often, several times a week, I was needed for normal duties of something special that Dr. LaVey needed to get done, so I would get off my military job at 5PM, shower and sleep until 7-7:30, drive to the city and be in place by 8 to 8:30, work until 3:30 - 4 AM, drive back home and get some sleep between 4:30 and 6:45 AM. Luckily, the drive to and from San Francisco was "reverse commute" both ways, so traffic was generally very light, crossing the long plain between Vallejo and Novato, headed for the Golden Gate.

Was it physically tiring? Yes. Was it mentally tiring? Yes. Was it demanding? Yes. Could someone else have don the job instead of me? Probably. But it was MY JOB. I signed on for it, I knew that it was benefitting both Dr. LaVey and the Church of Satan. I was learning some of my greatest lessons of life and human nature and survival and adaptation and flexibility and power and ... where does the list end? But the exhaustion and the loss of family time (and she was working her military schedule as well) was something I could justify by what good my "sacrifice" could achieve for a cause I truly believed in.

Were there perks and benefits? Undoubtedly. I would be a liar if I said that I didn't gain somewhat in "political capital" within the Church. I became recognized as someone who'd get the job done... same as in the military. As above, as below. A soldier who did what was needed to complete his mission... kind of corny in today's "why should I work do anything more" atmosphere.

So you're right. You have to decide whether you're going to be able to meet your obligations before deciding that you're going to go above and beyond. I could have simply been happy to have that blue card and just "been a member." I could have simply been happy to have that red card and just "been a player," but I wanted more and I wanted to earn it, and the only way was to take the pain and soldier on.

LaVey used to joke on nights when we were tired and quiet and concentrating on a project, "You're a slave in here so you can be a master out there." Damned if it didn't turn out that he knew what he was talking about. Sometimes slavery can be a drudge... and sometimes it gives the slave a hell of a lot of FREEDOM in the end.
_________________________
Bury your dead, pick up your weapon and soldier on.


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#56658 - 07/09/11 04:06 PM Re: Some criticisms/questions for Satanists [Re: William Wright]
Michael A.Aquino Offline
stalker


Registered: 09/28/08
Posts: 2515
Loc: San Francisco, CA, USA
 Originally Posted By: William Wright
I would argue that, at least in my case, local gatherings were not optional. My Priest gave me the third degree (no pun intended) when I balked at the idea of continuing to drive with him four hours away to gatherings. Eight hours of driving plus meals and time spent at the gatherings meant I was away from my family from early morning until late at night. Working two jobs, I barely had enough time for my family as it was. The Priest’s reaction was a major (though not the only) factor in my decision to leave the ToS.

If you felt there was inappropriate pressure, you were completely at liberty to contact and work with any other Priest or Priestess. If you felt that your initial one was abusing his office, just contact any Master IV°, or the Executive Director, for help. The Crystal Tablet discusses all this in the "Protocol" section.

 Quote:
My intention here is not to whine, only to set the record straight.

You did the former, not the latter. The Temple of Set has made it abundantly clear that it is not an institution in which anyone is expected to "suffer in silence". Everything usually works pretty pleasantly; but when something doesn't, we do have the systems in place to fix it. Except of course in cases where people shoot themselves in the feet, which can range from the simple to the Morbius level.
_________________________
Michael A. Aquino

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#56663 - 07/09/11 05:15 PM Re: Some criticisms/questions for Satanists [Re: Michael A.Aquino]
William Wright Offline
active member


Registered: 10/25/09
Posts: 860
Loc: Nashville
Listen, dude. I didn’t “suffer in silence” – I left. My point was simply that there’s an obligation, stated or implied, to participate in group activities when joining an organization such as yours. I’m not telling you anything you or anyone else here doesn’t know.
_________________________
In Minecraft all chickens are spies.

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#56677 - 07/10/11 12:26 AM Re: Some criticisms/questions for Satanists [Re: William Wright]
paolo sette Offline
member


Registered: 12/12/08
Posts: 263
Loc: IL, USA
 Originally Posted By: William Wright
My point was simply that there’s an obligation, stated or implied, to participate in group activities when joining an organization such as yours. I’m not telling you anything you or anyone else here doesn’t know.


Just say it:

How does the painter get into the spirit of the plant, if he/she wants to paint a hibiscus? The secret is to become the plant itself. But, can humans turn themselves into a plant? Inasmuch as humans aspire to paint a plant or animal (or to become a Setian), there must be in that human something which corresponds to it in one way or another. If so, humans ought to be able to become the object they wish to paint (a Setian).

The Temple of Set is not for you, and it looks like Satanism applies more to the path your on.

Ciao.


Edited by paolo sette (07/10/11 12:27 AM)
_________________________
tathagata-svapratyatma-aryajnana-adhigama
666
[nig]-ge-na-da a-ba in-da-di nam-ti i-u-tu

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#56681 - 07/10/11 05:28 AM Re: William's ToS experience [Re: William Wright]
Jason King Offline
Banned/Martyrdom Denied
active member


Registered: 10/24/10
Posts: 731
Loc: 65?1%833Q!92A24 (It's a code)
Will, you made the right valuation when you placed your family and career above meetings with some guru. Normally such a stance would garner respect from Satanists/LHPers, but sometimes there is an apple cart precariously off-balance.

JK
_________________________



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#56691 - 07/10/11 06:54 PM Re: Some criticisms/questions for Satanists [Re: Michael A.Aquino]
Oxus Offline
member


Registered: 04/15/10
Posts: 509
I will confess that I had personal anxiety with Pylon meetings, and certainly with Conclave. Even though I am 20-30 minutes from the meetings, (I work an hour from home and that didn't help), it is a horrific transit into this city, I was not prepared for this when I joined. It would also cost too much for my family every month (I wouldn't be driving in because there is no parking close to the meeting and my vehicles suck, LOL) and of course conclave would be out of the question being that I am putting two boys through college (my wife & I haven't taken a real vacation in years).

That said, I did feel pressure to participate because of my own expectations, but I was never pressured by another ToS member, actually I was relieved by many members (ToS members are very comfortable to be around).

In the end I did feel an anxiety towards reaching my 2nd year and hoping to be recognized to II° . . . fortunately, I managed to fuck the whole thing up by acting like an ass and dismissed myself.

All in all, I would say that the ToS is not for everyone, and the two years is a sufficient time to realize this on both ends.

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