An essay by Leonard Smok, as presented by Jeffery Scott Sims
Photography by Eleanor Leonne Bennett
In this latest edition of “Weird Case Files” we consider the curious new book, just published by Starfire Press, entitled Holobiologia: Unlocking the Ultimate Secrets of Life. This largish volume, by one Anton Vorchek, Professor of something-or-other, purports to be the latest entry in the “life, the universe, and everything” contest, and seems to be making quite a splash in certain fringe circles. The book has not yet received wide distribution but, if it should do so, may excite the fantasies of die-hard true believers everywhere. As always, this is a pity, for despite some more than usually imaginative elements, Vorchek’s work is merely another contribution to the pseudoscientific literature of the abnormal and the hypernormal.
First it must be noted that, by even stooping to review this work, we are violating our standard policy of not paying attention to strange claims without possessing adequate background data. Vorchek, and for that matter, Starfire Press, are quite unknown to us. The latter, to the best of our knowledge, has never previously published anything. Its personnel, and the location of its offices, remain obscure. The distinct possibility exists that Starfire is one of those “home presses,” operating for the sole purpose of putting out this book, in which case it may well be the brainchild of the author himself. If so, he has done a fairly good job of printing, but we learn little more from this deduction, for Vorchek, as of this writing, remains a complete man of mystery. Frankly, we are not convinced that there is such a fellow; the name may be a pseudonym. On the title page, and in the introduction, he identifies himself as a professor–he omits, however, his actual profession–but otherwise provides no personal information of any kind. After considerable checking, we may state with near certainty that the name of Vorchek appears in no recent academic listings; he is associated with no prior publications; and all attempts to make contact with him have been fruitless.
Secondly, it should be pointed out that Holobiologia, on the question of style, is a terrible book. This volume clearly received no quality editing: grammar is often weak, and the structure is hopeless. Vorchek rejects the tried and true formula of stating a claim, amassing the evidence for it, and then presenting his conclusion. Instead, what we find is argumentative chaos, with data scattered willy-nilly throughout the four hundred closely written pages, conclusions preceding evidence, claims separated from argument by many chapters, and odd anecdotes distributed randomly. In short, the book is a mess. In this critique we will do our best to sort the material, create order where it is not originally found, and explicate the grandiose and bizarre views of this remarkable man.
Vorchek argues that all systems of human thought, including the scientific and religious, have missed the boat when it comes to understanding the nature of life and consciousness. Although he gives passing credit to all, he rejects the “fragmentary approach” which fails to “realize a coherent theory” which covers all known facts. The basic facts in question, as he assures us, are: the existence of self-perpetuating organic forms; the impossibility of such forms in a purely material universe; the ubiquity of consciousness in all living things; and the necessity for a higher mind underlying life. Some of this sounds drearily familiar to students of the weird. If one presumes, however, that Vorchek is just another creationist on the rampage, presume again. He actually has very little to say that they want to hear, and nowhere in the text does one find evidence that he is the orthodox religious type. He passes himself off as a true scholar. On the other hand, he has no use for what he styles the Darwinian “dead dust hypothesis.” Our budding biologist (he may be, for all we know) tells us that evolutionary theory explains only the form, not the substance, of life and mind. Complex, willful action is invariably a sign of a higher, thinking mentality.
The substance of life is far different from what we have supposed. Living creatures are not specific, concrete entities connected only by descent, but rather tiles in an unseen mosaic, organic shadows cast by an overarching being of infinite possibility. In all their variety they are products of “mind/energy templates,” which must be seen as deliberate conceptions of the “Ultimate One.” More will be said about him later. What matters here is that life, these template images, are embedded within a “cosmic matrix,” which supersedes the universe as we know it, especially in relation to time. At the cosmic level, there are no temporal bounds; in a very real, though untraditional sense, the consciousness of living forms inherently possesses immortality.
While this is the least of his findings, Vorchek claims to have conducted experiments which prove the underlying intelligence of all living things, even at the microbial level. In a long, involved passage he describes chemical tests performed upon “living material”–which range from dogs to bacteria–tests which reveal “mental components” in all cases. The same tests, performed upon dead specimens, yield similar but more diffuse results. We must consider ourselves enlightened.
To read the rest of this story, check out the Mad Scientist Journal: Summer 2012 collection.
Unresponsive to queries–indeed, his current fate entirely unknown–it may nevertheless be possible to identify the author of Holobiologia. This writer has been equated with a Professor Anton Vorchek, researcher at a small Arizona college. His position there surprisingly informal, this Vorchek has, in years past, developed a peculiar scholastic career devoted to investigating strange mysteries beyond the purview of conventional science. Though esteemed in certain extremely narrow circles, Vorchek lost favor among his colleagues due to his evident respect for ancient and unusual sources of esoteric knowledge, especially the morbid writings of the infamous Jacob Bleek, medieval chronicler of the bizarre. Until recently Vorchek claimed considerable success in probing odd and terrifying aspects of higher reality, which suggest a gloomy and insignificant role for man in the cosmos.
Jeffery Scott Sims is an author specializing in the weird and the fantastic. He resides in Arizona, his home of many years, which has formed the setting for several of his strange and frightful tales. A life-long student of anthropology, his hobbies include photography, star-gazing, and wilderness travel. Among his numerous published works, his most successful creations to date are the cycles of stories starring Professor Anton Vorchek, scientific investigator of the lurid unknown, and Jacob Bleek, medieval wizard and adventurer in search of forbidden lore. The latter character appears in the recently published novel, The Journey of Jacob Bleek.
Eleanor Leonne Bennett is a 16 year old internationally award winning photographer and artist who has won first places with National Geographic, The World Photography Organisation, Nature’s Best Photography, Papworth Trust, Mencap, The Woodland trust and Postal Heritage. Her photography has been published in the Telegraph, The Guardian, BBC News Website and on the cover of books and magazines in the United States and Canada. Her art is globally exhibited , having shown work in London, Paris, Indonesia, Los Angeles, Florida, Washington, Scotland, Wales, Ireland, Canada, Spain, Germany, Japan, Australia and The Environmental Photographer of the Year Exhibition (2011) amongst many other locations.Follow us online: