The Cyborg Chromesthesiac

Kandinsky's 1923 composition  Black and Violet . The pioneering abstractionist, a professor of law by trade, was inspired to pursue art after seeing Monet's "Haystacks" in a museum and hearing music akin to Richard Wagner’s  Lohengrin.

Kandinsky's 1923 composition Black and Violet. The pioneering abstractionist, a professor of law by trade, was inspired to pursue art after seeing Monet's "Haystacks" in a museum and hearing music akin to Richard Wagner’s Lohengrin.

Chromesthesia, a specific type of the neurological condition Synesthesia, is when an individual automatically, or involuntary, associates heard sounds with color.  It has been a documented condition among many musicians, reportedly affecting Richard D. James of Aphex Twin and producer Pharell Williams. Famous Russian abstractionist Wassily Kandinsky drew inspiration from sounds he heard from colors, painting his own perceived music compositions.

 It's a condition 1% of the world has, and a condition often documented as a disability because of the unintentional ability to "hear colors." But for 33 year old Neil Harbisson, who invented something with an ability to translate colors -into sound  - that perseveres the complete color-blindness that has plagued him since birth.

Born with the condition Achromatopsia, or the absolute absence of color vision, lead Harbisson through a grayscale life; only able to perceive the muted and shadowy tones of the gray color spectrum; only able to dream in black and white.  Yet, with the contributions of a plethora of scientists, Harbisson crafted a device so beautifully conceptual, that he now can perceive colors with correlating tones and frequencies.  

Referred to as "The Electronic Eye", the device is an antennae that drapes over his forehead, connected to chip in the back of his skull.  It emits vibrations while registering colors, causing unique software to translate these "light vibrations" into sonic frequencies.  "Each color has its own vibration, so each color vibrates differently in my head - then corresponds to a different note or sound."  Through relentless conditioning of his memory, he has since been able to automatically correlate these tones with colors.  

The media has dubbed him "The Human Cyborg" (a title he has adopted wholeheartedly) for specifically mending soft and hardware biologically with successful results.  In one of his many TED Talks, he describes hearing a symphony at an art gallery, or how fun the cleaning supply aisle of a grocery store is because of the cacophony of colors.  He describes dressing himself in attire that sounds good, and considering funeral dress to correlate with the note B minor.  

One philosophical quandary he supposes, is the social standards by which colors are attributed to feelings, yet he has a completely different assertion of each color's psychological affect..."Red, socially, is considered violent or passionate when, actually, it's the color with the lowest it's a very peaceful color... Red, for me, is very innocent."

We're happy to report that his grayscale dreams are now vibrant..."I, now, dream in color."

-Keats Ross is a writer, musician, and paranormal detective from Portland, Oregon. For more, follow him on twitter @dakota_slim and check out his latest project


Oregon, in true terra-aliena fashion, hosts a bevy of some of the most bizarre sites in the Northern United States.  From the dourly dirge of the Shanghai Tunnels, to the supposed birth of the Illuminati's most infamous American lineage, The Reynolds, Oregon is the divining rod for manifest destiny's most askew frontier oddities.  One such site is Damascus, Oregon's "Temple of Oculus Anubis" – a place so shrouded in the urban legend that many Oregonians deem it "the creepiest place in Oregon." 

The compound is a sprawling residence (?) supposedly consisting of two lavish houses connected by an underground tunnel system.  Yet, the subterranean mysteries surrounding the house aren't what keep the locals spinning yarns of occult sacrifice, or Illuminati and O.T.O. operations – that goose-bump-inducing accounts seem to be corroborated by the magnanimous Egyptian architecture and statues surrounding the outside of the compound.


We here at Esotericana thought we'd save everyone the trouble and discuss some of the many, many theories surrounding this place.


Some researchers discovered that searching companies associated with the compound's address directed them to a business under the name OCULUS INC.  The general info of the business is widely provided amongst forums:

"Professional Equipment Company"
Was founded in 2009 and is Privately held.
Has $260,000 in estimated annual revenue.
Employs 3 people.
Has 3 employees located here at the Single Location.

Most might remember the Heaven's Gate cult from their infamous mass suicide in 1996

Many commenters on past articles relating to the location often reassure readers that this is a legitimate company, run by the youngest son of the Neal Family, an optometrist (hence the word "OCULUS").  But what most commenters don't seem to account for is that the company's website on the business' general info is listed as .

Why the connection?  Perhaps some local kids thought to crank up the urban legends with this addition to their information? Please comment if you can shed light on this disturbing facet. poses a fantastic question about the temple's Heaven's Gate Connection:

If the Heaven’s Gate cult committed ritual suicide in 1997, why is their website listed with a business that wasn’t established until 2009? 

The "REDDIT /NOSLEEP" Development:

A REDDIT user took the infamously eerie driven "NOSLEEP" sub-reddit to stir more crazy into the Temple's lore, seemingly taking the urban legend of sinister under workings a step further with a first hand account:

Near my house, maybe twenty minutes away, is this really bizarre street of houses. It’s off the beaten path, smack dab in the middle of an area full of little country houses and farmlands. You drive down a one-lane gravel road with houses (really nice houses, actually – two stories, big garages, big windows. You get the idea.) on either side of you until you arrive at this miniature cul de sac.
Right when you pull into the turn around there are large pyramids on either side of the street, separating the gravel road from paved street. Starting at the pyramids and wrapping around the paved road are cobbled stone walls surrounding the property, leading up to a giant gate. Absolutely huge – as tall, if not taller, than a house. On top of the gate is imagery depicting what looks like a lion fighting some sort of dragon, topped with decorative leaf designs. Through the gates and down a grey-paved path, is the thing that really takes the cake: a giant statue of what I’ve assumed is an Anubis.
It’s awesome, to say the least. I found this place around two years ago when a past friend took me to gawk at this amazing property. Since then I’ve visited it every so often, not that much, until recently. My boyfriend, Mitch, had never seen the property. I decided to take him down there, let him get a look at it since I thought it was so cool, and he immediately took to it – not that I blame him. He found the whole area just as cool as I did – though instead of just gawking at the property, he wanted to do some research into it…

The post goes on to describe the home, and surrounding homes, being lit all hours of the day with each their drive ways fastened with white vans.  Its interesting to note that they report their radio being unresponsive near the compound. They say their research led them to understand that the compound claims to be a sort of Eye Clinic  (Thus the "Oculus") and here is where it gets stranger still; the poster describes being blankly stared at through the windows of the homes, no matter the time of day, by a multitude of residents who remained motionless.  

As we started to visit it more frequently, I noticed that these people would always stop and stare, no matter the time of day – though if it was daylight, everyone from every house would exit their homes and walk up to the end of their driveways to watch us drive down, then back up. One time when turning around, two men and a women were standing at the neck of the roundabout, staring at us before walking away back into the always-lit house. Spooky, but like I said, I found that kind of thing to be awesome.

The poster goes on to corroborate much of the aforementioned research, exclaiming public records that showed that there was a building permit for underground tunnels and claims that many of the forum users who claimed to know "the real story" were drastically different from one another and mostly, from users out-of-state.  But the poster concludes with what may be the most unnerving of accounts attributed to the compound:

Mitch and I drove down there, just wanting to look at it like the statue-stakers we had become, only to find the place completely dark. The houses weren’t lit up, the garages that were often times open were closed, even the house at the bottom of the street that always had every room lit was pitch-black. Nothing. The only lights on the street came from the under-lit Anubis statue. It was strange. Even our radio worked. When we turned around we noticed that every single white van was missing from it’s usual place. Confused, we drove home.
Everyday since then we’ve been seeing this strange looking man. He’s tall, well-dressed, wears a black fedora (or something similar to it) that covers up curly black hair. He’s fairly tan with what appears to be dark-colored eyes. Honestly, I wouldn’t have noticed him appearing everywhere we went if I hadn’t spotted him outside my bedroom window on multiple occasions (note: I live in a one-story house, so he’s very easy to see right outside my window). Every time he’s come around my home he has one of these nondescript white vans (I should have mentioned, but these white vans are the sorts with no side windows – only blacked-out windows on the front doors, wind-shield and back two doors), though I haven’t noticed it around my school or work place.
I know that I was doing the same thing by driving by their place to gawk, but it wasn’t like I followed themeverywhere they went. Nor do I have a really awesome statue in my lawn that begs people to come see it. Or attached to me, considering this guy is everywhere I am. He started with my bedroom window then moved to my school, my work, and occasionally, if I stay up later, he moves and stares in through my living room window. It’s creepy.
I’ve called the police but he’s never around when they arrive.
The thing that spurred me to even make this post was that last night, just a few minutes before midnight, I heard a knock on the door. I saw him stand there for a second, looking in through my door’s window, before walking off. I waited around thirty minutes before actually opening the door to find an envelope on my home’s welcome mat. I picked it up and brought it inside. Within was a note, with only the words:
“Here we are.” On it.

Now its important to note that much of our research into the place has found a large number of posters/commenters on other websites claiming to be neighbors to the family who resides in the compound, and one consistent claim is that the family is of Egyptian heritage (thus the statues and the description of the man from the Reddit User) and are profoundly private.  Now, we here at Esotericana realize that the SUBREDDIT /NOSLEEP is continually overwrought with what could be considered "CREEPY PASTA" or internet scary stories, so embellishments would have been warranted.  That being said, if the family of Egyptian Optometrists were exceedingly private, we don't find anything odd about the residents wanting people to vacate their premises.  That said, this whole take is life-giving to the mythos at large.


Damascus, Oregon is thought to be built on top of a "Ley Line:"

From Wikipedia:     

1.    Ley lines /leɪ laɪnz/ are supposed alignments of numerous places of geographical and historical interest, such as ancient monuments and megaliths, natural ridge-tops and water-fords.

So is the "Oculus Anubis" built in accordance with the sacred geometry of the earth?


During our research of the compound, we fell on to none other than Patriot News who posted about the compound on Facebook as well as their site:

There seems to be a sort of temple of Oculus Anubis in the middle of a forest in Oregon. There was a voucher found for $2M for underground building and heating (8 photos).
We were met by a group of hooded cloaked figures, who then guided us underground. Not a word was spoken. The tunnels are massive. We were handed a script - never to return or you shall never leave.
A gate to hell in Damascus.


It goes on to define Sekhmet, the Egyptian God depicted in the statue that greets outsiders to the compound:

"Sekhmet's blood-lust was not quelled at the end of battle and led to her destroying almost all of humanity" Its basically an Egyptian cult with a gate to hell (hence the god aker on the gate) aker = gate keeper of the underworld.

And that of The Akeru Cult, taken straight from The Encyclopedia of Ancient Egypt 
"The Akeru cult was involved in the worship of Ré. The Akeru, a pair of lions, guarded the sacred sites of the Ré cult and the "Gate of the Dawn," the mythical abode through which Ré passed each morning."
akeru = aker = gatekeeper to the underworld, re = egyptian creator god. So the creator god passes into the underworld each morning."

There is not much else to this post, and the article was adorned with photos relating to the subjects GENERALLY, as opposed to sites specifically cited to exist at the location, which makes us believe that these photos are not actually of the underground tunnels of the compound:

Tunnel that may or may not belong to the Oculus Anubis Compound.


If there's one thing to be said, its that Oregonians are keen on keeping their land strange (or..weird..uggh). The temple may be nothing more than a family with some awesome design flare, but be it as it may, conspiracy theorists, hucksters, naysayers, and ne'er-do-wells alike all agree that there's more than meets the eye.  Hell, what if, in a clever albeit half-baked scheme, the family had used social media to spark the urban legends surrounding the compound as a means to keep the proverbial kids off their proverbial land?  I mean, there is a Facebook page dedicated to the compound that even lists it as a religious organization, which leads researchers to an even more fascinating discovery, an "Angelfire" mid-90s like website dubbed "THE ISIS MOON TEMPLE".

This website is intended to serve both as an introduction and a guide to a way of life that serves this end. It also stands as a chronicle of our own progress in this endeavor. We have a great love and respect for the ancient Egyptians, but we live in a modern world. It is necessary that we translate who and what they were into a context that is suited to our place in the continuum. This having been said, understand that the liberties that we have taken with their deities, customs, rituals, and language are not the injustices inflicted by the dull knives of the character assassins of history. Rather, the materials on this site should reflect an introspective approach to the modernization of Egyptian spirituality.....a living, breathing system of legend and ritual that stands as an incredibly forward-thinking and concise approach to the archetypal elements of existence. We of the Priesthood of Aset of Isis Moon Temple have developed a personal relationship with Aset, our great Queen of Heaven, through the devotion of countless hours of meditation, ritual, reading and research. Each god or goddess is depicted as we ourselves perceive him or her. The ritual work that we outline is the very approach that has allowed us to come as close to the Neter as we have. It is our sincere hope that our work will open the way for others who seek to fall under the spell of the Black Land, to answer the call of Aset down the ages and to take possesion of their spiritual birthright. 

Just a clever way of dodging taxes?  Maybe not.

Whatever the case may be, it is private property and most certainly a residence, so we refuse to publish the address or condone any trespassing on any private property.  Please, leave the speculation to the internet and leave the residents be!

-Keats Ross is a writer, musician, and paranormal detective from Portland, Oregon. For more, check out his latest project We, The Hollowed

Discovering the Weird and Wonderful Lost Ghanaian Pop Sounds of Ata Kak.

In 2002, Brian Shimkovitz bought an old cassette from a roadside stall in Cape Coast, Ghana.

What he discovered was something wonderful. A wild mix of afro-house, proto hip hop and Ghanaian Highlife spun together with such unique charisma that it inspired Brian to found the inimitable Awesome Tapes from Africa label. 

Wanting to find out more about Ata Kak, the artist behind the tape, Brian began an exhaustive investigation to find the man behind that rad pair of shades. After a seemingly endless string of google searches, and un-answered phone calls, there were still zero clues among Ghanaian friends, acquaintances and music industry professionals, who had never heard of Ata Kak. 

Ata Kak chilling at home in Toronto. 

Eventually, Brian was able to track the man down. He learned that Yaw Atta-Owusu born in 1960 in Ghana had recorded the tape in his Toronto Apartment after having moved there in 1989 using mostly second-hand equipment: a computer with Atari Notator software; a new synthesizer with built-in drum sounds; a reel-to-reel recorder; a 12-channel mixer.  

Upon the record’s completion, Ata could not afford to release the record in Canada, so he had a small run of 50 cassettes made and distributed in Ghana in 1994 with the intention of gauging interest in the record overseas. Unfortunately, DJs wanted cash to play it. He couldn’t invest in promoting it further. Atta never once played it for anyone in Ghana and has never heard anyone talk about it. He believes approximately 3 copies were sold and the rest were scattered among family and friends in Ghana and Canada. A group of friends in Toronto for whom he played it loved the recording, but it didn't make an impact in Ghana.   

For the first time, Oba Simaa is available internationally both digitally and on vinyl. 

Pick the record up on iTunes, or grab the vinyl here