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Madeleine McCann and the city of the dream

The Madeleine McCann case has gripped the world’s imagination for almost two decades; it belongs with a certain class of criminal case, easily recognisable from the JoBenét Ramsey murder and the Lindbergh Baby kidnapping, where a crime takes on mythical proportions, not unlike Big Foot or the Loch Ness Monster. The commonality is the “man bites dog” angle: a child murder or disappearance hits a wealthy and educated family, hits people to whom such things do not usually happen; naturally, the public is gripped—the exceptional always attracts, whereas people expect slags and slappers to disappear “off the estate” to be found in a drainage canal that runs parallel to a disused air base strangled with their own tights (how the mascara runs).

A natural coda to these exceptional cases is the allegation “the parents did it”. The reason for this to be so is that the media thrives on envy creation—the democracy thrives on envy—and so there is a natural desire to prompt envy against successful people. The McCanns are both well-educated attractive doctors but they practice in the poorer industrial North, hence the envy machine had a ripe target to manufacture animus against—similarly, in the Ramsey case the father was a successful arms executive. The body language used by the McCanns indicates they are innocent, not that that will convince the determined envy-mongers.

Really, you know the type to murder or rape their own daughter—it’s the Fred West type. The carny, the redneck, the Worzel Gummidge type: the incestuous type who seems a bit weather-beaten, brown like a nut, and just happens to have grown up curled into the same big bed with mum, dad, brothers and sisters, the dog, and plenty of zider (insider inside her insides). All families have skeletons in their closets, but in these families it’s literal. When a West daughter asked what had happened to Heather, her sister, West remarked that he had buried her under the patio (ha-ha). Except it was a known unknown in the family that the patio was where West buried his victims—the joke was true; and, indeed, she was under the patio.

The McCanns, however, are not like that. The salient fact in this case is that Portugal is very close to Morocco—and, indeed, the resort from which Maddy (as we say in colloquial tabloid-speak, “our girl” just like “our lads in Afghanistan”—bless ’em) disappeared is on Portugal’s south coast, close to the point where Spain and Morocco almost touch at the Pillars of Hercules. Morocco is a magic land. In the 1960s, William S. Burroughs lurked about Morocco and encountered real magic in Tangiers—“the city of the dream”, as they call it.

Take Burroughs associate Brion Gysin. Before he became a painter, he ran a restaurant in Tangiers—he had terrible trouble with the staff. One day, he disassembled an air vent in the kitchen. Inside he found a little folded packet, enveloping it were seven mirror shards, seven spotted pebbles, and seven large seeds. These were stuck together with chewing gum, pubic hair, and menstrual blood. In the packet was a message in Arabic and two little objects carved from lead sheeting—the head of a bull, as big as a fingernail, and a silhouette of Gysin. The message: “May master Gysin disappear as the black smoke disappears up this chimney.” The kitchen staff fled immediately, it was magic; and three days later the restaurant’s owner fired Gysin. This is the magic to be found in “the city of the dream”.

To return to McCann, there is a type of Moroccan magic, still practiced, called Zouhri. It is primarily known—insofar as it is known—as a means to locate buried treasure and propitiate the spirits that guard it through ritual child sacrifice. Its practitioners are known as “treasure-hunters” and cases have been reported as recently as 2013. The Zouhri child must have certain characteristics: it should be blonde, have dissymmetrical eyes, have a damaged iris, and have certain marks on the palm—not all are necessary. Almost all these conditions are fulfilled by Madeleine McCann—indeed, the strange problem with her eye, known as a coloboma, has been used as the logo for a charity devoted to her.

What happened is easy enough to discern: a Moroccan—given the migrant interchange between the nearby countries—noticed a perfect Zouhri child at the resort and decided the opportunity was too good to waste. After all, how many blonde children with dissymmetrical eyes and a damaged iris do you find in Morocco? Not many. Hence the opportunity was seized and Madeleine was child-sacrificed in Morocco (or at the very least had her blood used ritually—though I suspect the worst).

It would be easy enough to whisk her from the country, especially with help from certain occult brotherhoods—magic itself may have been used to throw the investigators off the scent. Finally, I would ask you to consider that the “treasure” sought by Zouhri practitioners—as with the alchemist’s “gold”—may not be literal buried treasure but more akin to some spiritual operation. Rationalists claim that the “treasure-seekers” never seem to get rich (though why they would publicise their success is beyond me)—yet I suspect the treasure sought by such means is not of this earth.


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