Bedlamites contest entries from Adam and Tony

Wm says: I’m proud to bring you two more excellent entries from the Bedlamites contest.

Adam Greenwood’s entry:

Jibr Archaelogic Catalogue
Fragment XVIII, Menninger Expedition

Wo unto the mites of Bedla
And unto Ylum’s ass.
For in Bedla [there] is no people
And in Ylum no corn.
The mosquitos mourn that once sucked blood
in Bedla,
and in Ylum,
the locust hungers.
Wo also unto those who dwell in Sane,
For the Mighty One is angry,
Yea, He is mad, He rageth,
And their idols Sup and Erego, their Apy and their Putic,
He will smash, yeah, He will smash.
He is done with counselings,
let the men of Sane be afreud.

Comment: A post-exilic composition, perhaps originating in the Bin Luny cultic complex. The association with the god Talt, as suggested by the Vienna School, must now be dismissed as a guess.

Tony Allen’s entry:

From the diary of Glorfinda L. Jackson, Martian Mormon

18 Kumbha 2524 (Darian Calendar): Brother Keane and the elders came over today to clean up the mess left by the bedlamites last night. The ion capacitator was in a shambles, which left the air in the house all purple-tinged and tasting like burnt licorice. They’d somehow gotten into the ration pantry and ate nearly a month’s worth of lime gelatin compound, and what they didn’t eat, they spilled all over the kitchen. It looks like the snows of Olympus Mons in here.

* * *

15 Pisces 2524 (DC): The discovery of life on Mars was a big deal, so I’m told, but no one really figured the kind of nuissance [sic] the bedlamites would turn out to be. Everyone was expecting either some form of advanced “little green men” or some stupid germs stuck to some ice somewhere. Turns out, bedlamites are somewhere in between–little red men that are just smart enough to get into all sorts of things they shouldn’t, but stupid enough to make us settlers rue their very existence!!

* * *

4 Mina 2524 (DC): Brother Keane says this is the worst bedlamite infestation he’s ever seen, and he’s seen a few. Turns out they’ve built a colony in the basement–bored right through the cement foundation. I can’t even get down there without them throwing things at me and trying to trip me when I walk down the stairs. He said that if we don’t take care of them now, they’ll get into the life support. Not good.

The extermination of bedlamites is banned by law, unfortunately. Luckily, Brother Keane says there’s a non-violent means of getting rid of them: you can use loud music to flush them out. He says that something from the 1980s–a kind of music called a “hair band,” whatever that means–will usually get rid of them. I’ll see what I can drum up in the library archives.

* * *

26 Mina 2524 (DC): Well, it’s been three weeks, and this so-called “hair band” music has just about driven ME out of the house, not to mention the bedlamites. I don’t know how the old-timers could stand to listen to that stuff–it’s just noise! And the silly costumes “¦ good grief!

But it seems to have worked. I went down into the basement this morning and only saw one of the nasty boogers. It ran into a hole in the wall which I blocked up with Insta-crete. Hopefully that was the last of them.

Brother Keane told me how the music works. Bedlamites, it turns out, are terrified of earthquakes. They don’t actually hear the music–since they don’t have ears, not in the human sense, anyway–they feel it. The vibrations of this “hair band” music feel like an impending earthquake, and that sends them scurrying away like so many vermin. All I can say is GOOD RIDDANCE!

More Bedlamites entries: two from TV Mc Arthur

Wm says: and now more entries from the Bedlamites contest — today, two from Terrance V. Mc Arthur.

Entry 1:

“SONG OF THE BEDLAMITES

(tune: Men of Harlech)

Men of Bedlam[1] rise and holler[2]

Roll around in mud and waller[3]

Frighten off the unsought caller

Make them think you’re mad[4]

Men of Bedlam graze on grasses

Horrify the Gentile masses

Caw like crows and bray like asses

Make them go away.

If they think we’re crazy,

Making chains of daisy

They won’t attack,

They will stay back

Until their memories of us are hazy.

If they think that we are barmy,

They won’t attack us with their army

Act the fool, and they won’t harm ye![5]

Bedlamites, be daft![6]

________________________________________

[1] The Bedlamites, more formally known as the Men of Bedlam, was a group formed in 1838 in Missouri to protect the Saints (members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, commonly known as Mormons) from mob violence. They were founded by Demetrius Jones, a Welsh convert, who adapted an old Welsh tune as their anthem. Unlike the Danites, who sought to fight their enemies with violence, the Bedlamites feigned insanity to protect their settlements.

[2] One of the techniques of the Bedlamites was to enter the camps of the opposing militias, screaming and shouting nonsensical gibberish, to frighten the mobocrats into confusion, a variation of the methods used by Gideon in chapter 7 of the book of Judges.

[3] Some Bedlamites coated their bodies in mud and refuse, hoping that the repulsive sight would drive off their attackers.

[4] The Bedlamite tactics were rooted in the legend of England’s Wise Fools of Gotham, who, to dissuade King John from seizing their lands for a castle site, pretended madness when royal surveyors arrived. Convinced that something in the air or water caused insanity, the party returned to the King and convinced him to build elsewhere.

[5] Unfortunately, the Bedlamites were all killed by Missourians who used the unarmed Saints for target practice. They were wiped out. All that remained was their song.

[6] They were.

Entry 2:

BEDLAMITES: a proto-punk heavy-metal group formed in Missouri in 1837. The founding members were Joseph Smith Jr. on lead guitar, Hyrum Smith on rhythm guitar, Brigham Young on stand-up bass, and Orrin Porter Rockwell on percussion. Joseph played a cast-iron guitar, as steel was not readily available. Hyrum played rhythm, as he was used to supporting and backing his younger brother. Brigham, known for his carpentry and woodworking skills, built his own instrument, the only known bass equipped with three drawers. Rockwell was always armed with multiple firearms and could shoot off up to 71 rounds without reloading, enough shots to keep the beat for most songs.

The group was named during a practice session in Joseph’s carriage house, so they were the equivalent of a modern garage band. Hearing the loud music, Emma Smith confronted Joseph, telling him, “It sounds like Bedlam out here,” to which her husband replied, “Then we must be The Bedlamites.” The name stuck.

One lyric fragment of a Bedlamites song has been found in the History of Joseph Smith, the source material for the Documentary History of the Church, which was drawn upon by B. H. Roberts for his seven-volume history:

“Taking back Zion,

Throw the rascals out.

Taking back Zion

Even if they shout.

Taking back Zion,

Get rid of the pukes” (a name used in other states for Missourians)….

The lyric was unfinished, possibly because a suitable rhyme for “pukes” could not be found.

A playlist has been found with the titles of songs in the group’s repertoire, including “Come Latter-Day Morning,” “Mommas, Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up to Be Prophets,” “Joseph B. Goode,” “Rockwell Around the Clock,” and “The Igham Brigham Song.”

When Joseph and Hyrum were arrested with other leaders in 1838, the group broke up, although reports still exist of a second version of the Bedlamites and the legendary Liberty Jail sessions, with percussion provided by a small shovel Rockwell had smuggled in to Joseph. The shovel broke before the prisoners could dig through the last layer of the stone walls, but it may have been weakened by the energetic drumwork of Sidney Rigdon.

from Musical Mormons: a History by Alexander Q. Baird

The Ballad of the Bedlamites by Laura Craner

Wm says: the Bedlamites contest is over, but the fun continues as we reveal more of the submissions we received — starting with this gem from Laura.

The Ballad of the Bedlamites

by Laura Hilton Craner

The story’s told at family nite near e’ry twenty-fourth of July.

The Miller clan remembers them with ice cream and dried apple pie.

Not impressive like the seagulls or cherished like the lilies,

The Bedlamites are stranger things. Yep, give some folks the willies.

Once everyone is seated, pie and forks in hand,

Grampa LeRoy clears his throat then slowly comes to stand.

Cousins, kids and uncles, aunts and Granny too,

All can the chatter; they know what matters, what LeRoy has got to do.

“It wasn’t all that long ago our ancestors crossed those plains.

They scrimped and saved, they gave their lives, Zion to proclaim.

They loaded up their wagons, leaving cherished things behind.

Our freedoms and our God they trekked out west to find.

“Our pioneer kin was strong of heart; “˜twas with spiritual muscles rippling

They filled their cart with dried apples and Aunt Franny (who was crippling).

Now it ain’t no secret it was hard to walk and walk and walk

But Great-great-granny Bess sure was blessed when Trouble came to knock.

“It’d been more than one week since Great-great-grandpa Gene

Had kicked the bucket, sold the farm–you know what I mean.

They buried him right quick in dusty desert sand.

But all his seven kids were fussin’ yet, fit to beat the band.

“Bess, she shed just two tears then started to drive the wagon

Shoutin’ back to all her kids to quit their lollygaggin’.

The littlest one, Vidalia, just couldn’t stop her wailing.

So Aunt Franny , unbeknownst to Granny, left dried apples trailing.

“What the old bird was thinking no one’s sure at all.

Inspiration or insanity? You can make the call.

She dumped those chunks of has-been fruit completely overboard,

Piece by spongy piece Franny emptied all their hoard.

“Poor, hungry, tired Vidalia stuffed her face but couldn’t eat them all.

Her jaw got sore, her stomach hurt, and she “˜ventually took a fall.

When she woke back up “˜twas nearing dark, her family was nowhere.

She was lost, her cookies tossed, plus she thought she’d heard a bear.

“It was about this time that Bess had noticed her little sweet Vidalia

Was missing ; Oh! you should have heard her gasp and gulp and holla,

“˜Vidalia! Vidalia! Come to me! We can’t lose another!’

She fell to her knees and whispered, “˜It would kill your mother.’

“Again our Bess shed just two tears then got that shoulder to the wheel.

Right then and there she grabbed her kids and forced them all to kneel.

The biggest boy (Bess’ other Gene) was pegged to say the prayer.

He stumbled and he mumbled, then he shouted to the air,

“˜Vidalia is our baby and we do love her tight.

If you give her back to us we’ll always do what’s right!’

His words echoed strangely against the nighttime sky,

And in that moment Dear Aunt Franny knew just what to try.

” “˜The Bedlamites,’ she whispered in her crackling voice.

“˜You Bedlamites! You Bedlamites! We have made our choice!’

Triumphant now, she raised her arms straight above her head.

Then she howled and she growled fit to wake the dead.

“Lil’ Vidalia, all alone, was getting downright worried,

Imagining some crazy beast who’d eat her in a hurry.

And indeed, there was some rustling “˜neath the bits of scrub and sage

But no beady eyes were beaming, no jaws frothing in rage.

“What appeared right then was cute, except for its pig-like nose,

And more of them kept popping up, rows and rows and rows.

Little beasts like monkeys but also like pixies too,

They smiled and beguiled saying, “˜We know what to do!’

” “˜We’re Bedlamites’ they snickered. “˜We’re here to help you out.

We’ve been summoned by a yell; someone gave The Primal Shout.’

Vidalia scrutinized those Bedlamites and was no longer tearful.

She gave them all dried apples (although their teeth she found quite fearful).

“The Bedlamites fingered the apples slowly, sniffing them with piggy noses.

“˜What is this new thing?’ they muttered and squished them with their toeses.

“˜You eat it,’ Vidalia prompted. The creatures took small bites.

Then sloshed and mashed , and noshed and gnashed, their eyes becoming bright.

“Aunt Franny, miles away, said, “˜Bedlamites, you Bedlamites, I know that you are greedy.

“˜Bring Vidalia back to us. We’ll make sure your stomachs’re never needy.’

At once the Bedlamites stood up and smooshed themselves together

Making a bigger creature that lifted Vidalia like a feather.

The Bedlamites chanted as they carried her through the night,

Their spindly legs and hairy chests hurtling with otherworldly might,

“˜The Bedlamites are running, running up to the old wagon floor.

“˜The Bedlamites are running, running , hung’ring for some more!’

“Before an hour was past Vidalia was with her mother.

The whole family rejoiced, each sister and each brother.

They covered her with kisses, not noticing the creatures

Who’d brought her back or their clever, cunning features.

“The Bedlamites scrambled up to Franny and prodded her ungently,

Rummaging through her bedding disturbingly intently.

“˜More,’ they murmured. “˜More and more. We do want some more.

“˜It’s time’ they twittered and they skittered “˜ to even up the score.’

“Aunt Franny, herself now scared, began to turn the barrels over,

And when they came up empty she got real sober.

“˜Bedlamites, um, Bedlamites, “˜ she stammered as they sneered

“˜Unfortunately, it would seem, um, your payment isn’t here.’

“They turned on her with teeth like daggers in the night

They jumped. She screamed. They covered her, completely out sight.

Now Bess and all her kids, each and every one,

Hurried to the wagon, their tender spirits flaggin’, to see what Fran had done.

“Instead of Franny’s funny face they saw instead a melee,

A million beasts and their crippled aunt were going at it freely.

This time it was Vidalia who shed just two tears.

She told them all to stop it and grabbed “˜em by the ears.

” “˜What do you think you’re doing to my dear Aunt Franny?’

The Bedlamites were still, their faces strange–uncanny–

As Bess stood up and with arms straight above her head,

She growled and she howled, fit to wake the dead.

“The Bedlamites shimmered and began to disappear.

Looking quite surprised, Franny let out a cheer.

The Bedlamites said one last thing before they snuffed right out,

“˜You haven’t gotten rid of us, even with that Primal Shout.’

“Bess did sigh and looked at Franny. “˜They’ll be back, you know.

I guess we’ll just have to reap whatever you did sow.'”

But Bess and Franny never saw another Bedlamite.

Not hide nor hair showed anywhere; it never seemed quite right.”

At this LeRoy sips some water and looks around the room,

The glinting in his eye a sure harbinger of doom.

“Those Bedlamites have not forgotten that we owe them one.

They don’t care how long it’s been. Their story isn’t done.

“Sometimes on Family Nights, when you moms and dads get lazy

Those Bedlamites, they infiltrate making little ones act crazy.

They climb all over furniture and refuse to say the prayer.

They kick with glee, they sing off-key–oh! it’s hard to bear.

“It isn’t until treat time that they sit themselves right down.

Their piggy noses sniffing, rooting all around,

For something sweet and puffy like Vidalia gave them,

Something that is yummy will stop their misbehavin’.

“How long those Bedlamites will keep returning no one can right say.

They’ll make mischief when they can, all along our way.

Yes, those Bedlamites are running, running for our door.

Those Bedlamites are coming, always hung’ring for some more.”

At this the family all stands up with arms above their heads–

The pie is gone, the story’s done, and they’re ready for their beds–

But before they go and say goodnight there’s one last thing to do

It starts like a howl, then grows to a growl, and ends in a great “Wahoo!”

The family gives the Primal Shout and dissolves into great laughter.

Looking just like Bedlamites, it’s what LeRoy was after.

Hugs and kisses all around and then it is, “Sleep tight.

Love you all and don’t forget to always choose what’s right.”

Bedlamites contest winner: Heather’s entry

Here is Heather Harper’s winning entry in the Monsters & Mormons Bedlamites contest.

hppt://www.fake-url-snopes.com/bedlamites

Claim: A group of men, chosen by Satan and made immortal to do
his work on Earth, attack and/or seduce the unwary.

Status: FALSE

Example (collected from the internet): “Holy cow, you guys, the
Bedlamites are REAL!  My roommate’s cousin was visiting and shared
this warning from her Stake President. Last weekend, he was driving
by Yosemite National Park when his tire blew out. While he was trying
to fix it, three men stopped and asked if he needed help. When he
said “yes,” they laughed at him. Then one took out a gun and shot a
hole in one of the other tires. He protested and another took his
tire iron and smashed in his headlights! They were really getting
nasty; they even started hitting him! Thank God he was wearing his
garments. When his clothes got ripped the holy glow from his garments
burned their hands and they dropped their weapons and ran. They MUST
have been Bedlamites! So everyone remember, always be on your guard
and BE WORTHY AND WEAR YOUR GARMENTS!”

Origins: The so-called “Silver Plates,” revealed by Latter-Day Saint
“prophetess” Dinah Kirkham in 1843 include the story of a city called
Bedlam. According to the story, Bedlam was a wicked city on par with
Sodom and Gomorrah from the Bible and, like them, was destroyed for
it. The only “sin” specifically mentioned is that of “un-charity.”
Though what precisely is meant by that is unclear, popular belief has
been that the Bedlamites lived the Law of the Jungle, going so far as
to murder the sick and elderly.

A series of suspicious events and sightings in Utah in the 1850’s,
coupled with a disputable reading of Elisa 11:7, have given rise to
the folk belief that there is a group of men who, like the Three
Nephites, have had their lives supernaturally extended. The
difference is that the Three Nephites are supposed to have had their
lives extended by God in order to bring souls to him, whereas the
Bedlamites are survivors of the destruction of Bedlam whose lives have
been extended by Satan to sow fear and pain and in general do evil.
In the usual fashion of folklore, no one credible can be found who
claims to have actually encountered the Bedlamites. It’s almost
always someone’s father’s brother’s nephew’s cousin’s former roommate.
Also, given the nature of these encounters, it is difficult to assign
supernatural origins to what is most likely plain old human nature.
The temptation to blame events like the Mountain Meadows Massacre on
“the Devil” must be strong, but which is more likely: a posse of
anti-angels or a gang of human thugs?

Heather “silver plates sound hard to keep clean” Harper

Last Updated:
13 April 2011

Sources:

hppt://fake-url-wikipedia.com/bedlamites
hppt://fake-url-lds.org/scriptures/bible_dictionary/bedlamites

Bedlamites contest winner: Adam’s entry

Here is Adam K. K. Figueira’s winning entry in the Monsters & Mormons Bedlamites contest.

For months now, reports have been circulating online of the discovery of a document attributed to Emma Smith discussing certain passages from the Book of Lehi, which of course was written on the 116 manuscript pages infamously lost by Martin Harris. In the letter, Sister Smith mentions a conversation she had with her husband, the Prophet Joseph, regarding the work that he was translating. Apparently she was intrigued by Joseph’s description of certain happenings shortly after the arrival of Lehi’s family in the Promised Land, and referred to these events in her document, which is most likely a journal entry as it seems to have no specific intended recipient.

The story in question is of one Beidl, described in the ancient record as a short, dark, exceedingly round being who entered the camp of the Lehites on an evening. After attracting Laman’s attention, Beidl led a small party back to his home, which was in a “great hole in the rocks” located “a long distance” inland of the camp. Beidl had seemingly been cut off from his people somehow, but his strange language made it impossible for the children of Lehi to understand exactly how.

According to Emma’s report, the Book of Lehi ends by mentioning the marriage of Beidl to one of Laman’s daughters, and Emma speculates that the union with this strange personage may have been the beginning of the curse which plagued the Lamanites ever after.

After finishing her summary of the scriptural account, Emma mentions that during their conversation on the topic, Joseph told her of a vision in which he saw the history of Beidl and Laman. He described Beidl as a “grotesque person with an unusually large nose,” and told of a split among the children of Beidl and Laman, in which the majority stayed with the newly formed group thereafter known as Lamanites, while the remainder, who had inherited Beidl’s unfortunate facial characteristics, went their own way back to the great hole and were referred to generally as Beidlamites.

But all this is old. The exciting new news has only come in the last few hours.

Latter-day Saint archaeologist Moab Young has discovered what he describes as a “Beidl-like” skeleton in the region of Neuquén, Argentina, near the site of the unlisted El Sauce crater. El Sauce, a 20 km wide hole in the ground of unknown age, has been generally thought to be an impact crater, but a lack of convincing evidence for this theory has kept it off the official Earth Impact Database list.

Young’s theory is that El Sauce is, in fact, the “great hole in the rocks” mentioned by Emma Smith and that far from being impact related, the crater is the collapsed entrance to the subterranean home world of Beidl and his mole-man ancestors. The close proximity of the Beidlamites hole to the original Lehite camp suggests that the original landing site may have been much further south than generally thought.

NOTE: Adam has also created a magazine-style version of the story complete with images.

Monsters & Mormons: Bedlamites contest winners

Many thanks to all who entered the Bedlamites contest. Theric and I have each selected a winner. Congratulations to Heather  Harper and Adam K. K. Figueira! You each win an electronic copy of the Monsters & Mormons anthology as well as fame, honor and glory. In fact, we’ve written awards citations for you. But first two notes:

1. This won’t be the only Monsters & Mormons contest. There will be more chances to win as the publication date draws near.

2. Many thanks to our other entrants. We will be featuring your entries here at AMV in the coming weeks. And to quote Th:

I must say that the overall quality of submissions made this the most fun I’ve had today. (Of course, I’ve also been stuck at a car dealership all day over a steering recall. The competition isn’t fierce. But don’t let that subtract from my enthusiasm.)

A Snopes entry? Brilliant idea! The Book of Asherah? Give me more! Little green Bedlamites of Mars? Why not?

Thank you so much, everyone who contributed. I have so many of you tied for second place that I can hardly bear it.

Wm adds: Yes, thank you. Of course, me being the cruel, cruel man that I am — I can bear it. So I’m holding the line at our two winners. Sorry. More chances to win later.

Th.’s Award Citation for Adam:

This story felt so much like a real news article I kept googling some of its elements to see if at least this part were real. The story came together with the right mix of deadpan journalistic earnestness and ennui that I think there’s a solid chance you could pull this hoax off and make people believe it for a while. The way he casually brings in Book of Mormon-geography theory and other elements serve to ground his new tale in already existing crazy and the whole thing comes together in way that feels both blandly real and exotically aesthetic. Which is a long-winded way of saying I like it a lot.

Wm’s Award Citation for Heather:

Nothing quite captures the tone of internet discourse like Snopes — informed, authoritative, footnoted, drily witty, often irreverent or condescending, and sometimes goofy. And Heather packs those qualities in there with her amusing yet almost truthy enough to be real fake Snopes entry. Heather won me over not only with her notion of Bedlamites as a reverse Three Nephites, but by getting the details just so — the fake URLs, the silver plates, the references. Besides what could be more hilariously delightful than debunking something that isn’t real in the first place?

The winning entires will be posted in the coming days. Monsters & Mormons is still in the editing phase. More updates as progress warrants.

Bedlamites extended! Deadline now April 18

So here’s the deal: I’m confident that we’ll have enough entries to pick winners and surprise and delight you. But people are putting some real effort in to these entries so Theric and I have decided that an extra weekend is in order. So the new deadline for the contest is 10 p.m. CDT, Monday, April 18, 2011.

Remember to submit through this Google form. And to follow the submissions guidelines found in the original blog post about the contest.