Author’s Note: The following is actually intended as a chapter in what will eventually be a ‘book’ of memoirs. I thought that this section would have the most general interest, and so decided to submit it, realizing I lacked the time to write my planned article on micronational dissent. Given the similarity of the topics, I think it still proves useful in that field, but I apologize for the crudity of the narrative, and also its extreme length.–J. fonn Klosso
Menelmacar: that giant of giants, land of unspeakable joys and woes. That is how micronationalism has come to remember this once great nation. Perhaps Julian Starr was in fact correct when he called it “Menelmacar the Great.” For those of you not biblically versed, “Fallen is Babylon the Great” should clear up your memory, as Babylon was the “city of sin.” Menelmacar ultimately grew too greedy and great for her own good, and collapsed in upon itself in civil war and strife. But before it did it was one of the most wonderful micronations that ever existed, and I think anyone who was a member during its Golden Age would agree.
My original reason for joining Menelmacar was purely political. I had founded an international Corporate Statist Party (pretty soon after Cranda joined EZboard) and needed other nations to have branches to make it truly ‘international.’ So I joined Menelmacar, and founded one. At the time, there were two other parties, the Left Coalition (they couldn’t officially be called communist because communism was banned in the Menelmacari constitution) and Sirithil, Menelmacar’s leader’s party. I joined shortly before elections for Elentari, Menelmacar’s executive, and decided to run. But I discovered foreign heads of state were constitutionally prevented from being Elentari, so I got Sam Buckley (a fellow Crandishman) to join, and had him run instead. I tried to make a coalition with the Left Coalition, but didn’t succeed. I also wanted to kick out all the old ministers par the spoils system used in the US. Needless to say we lost in a landslide, and Sirithil remained Elentari, despite two very vocal parties against her. Shortly thereafter the political parties voluntarily disbanded, because Bill Dusch didn’t like them or something. I had encountered a great deal of hostility from Dusch from the moment I joined, and I was, more or less, an outsider. I’m not sure if Menelmacar and Cranda had a formal alliance at this time, but we did establish a tacit relationship via our dislike of Baracão.
Menelmacar and Baracão were two nations that hated each other’s guts. I wasn’t privy to very much insider information, but sabotage and espionage were frequent. It was later discovered that Fidel Nico’s Left Coalition had in fact been working for Baracao to destabilize Menelmacar, Nico only disbanding when it was clear it wouldn’t work. I spent a lot of time in Menelmacar, voting in the conclave and such, and observed its rise to power as it “ate” one nation after another. One important citizen, Philip Locke, whom I would later consider an enemy, even protested the Atteran “attack” on Cranda. Despite being in the nation for several months, and enjoying the Tolkien-esque environment, I was not able to do very much in Menelmacar. I had no official positions, and no influence or prestige. And I didn’t like Dusch, who didn’t like me, and that probably also meant Jason Steffke didn’t like me, and therefore most likely Sirithil, though she was always too polite to state that. Volkov (essentially second in command of Cranda) came around every now and then, and made friends with the authorities, although he didn’t believe in dual citizenship, and thus wouldn’t join. I had no idea about the secretive plotting that was going on in the administration to gain land, such as Tymaria, nor did I, or anyone else, have any idea how unstable the reactionary Sirithil Regime was. This state of existence could have continued indefinitely had two things not occurred.
The first was the bombing of Menelmacar by Bob Silby, a generally evil member of Baracao’s military who had also bombed Tymaria, with a special type of spam-cannon, the porn bomb. Baracao’s chairman at the time, Dafydd Young (who would later change his name to Ramon or something– I could only figure out who he was after he, and everyone else in Baracao, changed their names to Spanish, because he kept the same avatar) disbanded the Baracaoan army, and apologized. This caused a big power struggle in Baracao, with a vote of no confidence in Dafydd, but he won by a large margin, and Silby and his ilk left and formed Politika, the only micronational terrorist state ever to exist. Politika generally just supported whatever seemed to cause the most trouble, as its turncoat activities in Menelmacar would later show. The cold war with Baracao was over, and Menelmacar, at the height of its Golden Age, seemed like it would last forever. The second was that a man claiming to be a ‘psion’ named Archetype23 had joined Menelmacar and been put in charge of its intelligence agency. Archetype was a very unstable man, as the fact that he was claiming to have psychic powers should have tipped us off to. But what’s one really insane person among many slightly less insane people? We all failed to notice. Archetype started to have a break with the administration, and noticing that I usually voted the same way as him in the Conclave of Equals, Menelmacar’s direct democratic legislature, asked me if I wanted to start a political party with him. And thus the Menelmacar Truth Party came into being.
Archetype had approached me about a political party maybe a month or two before the next election for Elentari. I said sure, but we should wait until after the election, because at the time I was a supporter of Sirithil. He said okay, and we kept on talking about how to change Menelmacari policy. We both had big problems with Bill Dusch, and thus arguments began with him, me, and Archetype, and several other “Followers of Yellow,” a religion worshipping a telepathic banana, which had been founded by Archetype in his own country, the Collective Unconsciousness, and spread to Menelmacar via him and some other immigrants. Promoting another micronational religion besides Solorism, Bill Dusch’s strange mix of Tolkien and what would appear to be too many psychedelic drugs, made the two natural enemies, although they started as friends within the regime. Initially Dusch was somewhat tolerant, but alarmed by the growing number of Yellowists within what he basically considered his own country, he tried to make the Yellow Banana a god of Solorism, something that Archetype would not hear of. Precisely why is besides the point; just because both religions were essentially idiotic didn’t stop it from being a big deal, although I would submit that the telepathic banana was funnier, if not more idiotic. Micronational religion was big at the time– the best one was probably Yuriism, in which we were all really Yuri Andropov, who was also the savior, or something. Anyway, Bill seemed to be trampling on the Yellowists rights, or wanted to, possibly, so there were big heated discussions between me, Bill, Archetype, and some other people too. Eventually, Sirithil got tired of Bill and Archetype fighting, and so asked Archetype to leave. To Archetype, this was a huge stab in the back, and from then on he dedicated himself to the destruction of Sirithil, and shared with me some of her darker dealings. I then agreed to found the Truth Party, to “defend the rights of normal citizens and immigrants” or something to that effect. I was second in command, while Archetype actually led the party initially. The name was probably derived from a much earlier party in Istvanistan, I believe, founded by Caesar Augustus, who was also a Menelmacari. Archetype claimed to have read all the old issues of the Apollo Fireball, something I only attempted to do recently, and thus would have known about such things. It’s stated aim was to “root out corruption in government,” which to us meant dethroning Sirithil.
Before I continue, let me state my honest opinion: Sirithil deserved to be dethroned. Her actions in office were, quite honestly, often despicable, and her reactionary regime was sure to slowly choke off all growth and activity. Without the common enemy of Baracao, there was little reason to keep her in office from a logistical standpoint, as, though she had proven herself most capable of dealing with the communist threat, it was no longer an issue. She had been trying to stamp on the rights of the private citizen for a while before the Truth Party was founded. The way she and Bill had been acting towards people outside of their cabal was sure to cause her eventual loss of power, or the death of the nation. Archetype wanted the former and got both. As the battles leading up the election got more brutal, the nation divided into two angry, armed camps. On one side were the Yellowists and a few other people, who, like me, who felt ignored by the old regime. Contrary to what the Sirithilites claimed, there were only two Crandishmen in Menelmacar at the time of the election, Dilerr Karlsesson, and myself and no more ever joined. Thus we did not form anywhere near a significant portion of the Truth Party’s malcontents. On the other was the old regime, an odd assortment of people, most of whom had been their longer than the rest of us, but some of whom had arrived after me, all of whom disliked Yellowism, Archetype, or both. Sirithil was the nominal leader of this motley collection, but she never controlled it the same way Archetype was able to control the Truth Party. She refused to step out and confront the situation, hoping it would blow over initially, and then adopting the underhanded methods that had been used by Dusch in Apollonia to attempt to rig the election, by getting new people to join just for the election, and getting inactives to vote for her. Despite this, Archetype ultimately won the day by several votes. Admittedly, his victory had come from the utter defamation of his opponent over such stupid things as that she had ordered him to alter other citizens’ minds, but he won nonetheless. There was great jubilation and happiness in the Truth Party. But Bill Dusch wasn’t out of the ring yet.
Bill closed Menelmacar’s forums and proclaimed it dead, apparently without authorization from Sirithil. When Sirithil saw it, she decided that so long as it had already been done, and she couldn’t directly be blamed for it, she might as well just let it stay that way. After all, Menelmacar had fallen from grace by virtue of her having lost the election, right? The rest of the country went up in arms at these words, and Philip Locke, formerly one of Sirithil’s strongest supporters, opened a secret forum for Menelmacari revolutionaries to make sure Archetype’s government could take office. My leadership position in the struggle ended here, because I had to exit the secret chat before the forum was formed or anything had been decided. To my chagrin my name no long ranked as a leader among the Archetype supporters, replaced instead by the very people we’d been fighting against. Sirithil gave in after a day or so, and Archetype got read to take power. I became the new Truth Party head, and spoke often of how the old regime had been ‘swept away’ to make way for the freedom of all citizens, and equally hackneyed bullshit. Sirithil faded away for a time, but she would return later, with a vengeance. For a time peace seemed to have returned to Menelmacar, and Archetype immediately set about consolidating his power. More Yellowists were imported from the Collective Unconscious, and when Mari Greenwood, the Prefect of Immigration, prevented one from entering, for reasons that remain unclear. Archetype immediately sacked Greenwood, who probably shouldn’t have held the office to begin with (she had the intelligence of a cantaloupe), which caused a bit of a stir. Never mind the reasons for the refusal to admit the Yellowist– the traditionalists correctly assumed that Archetype was attempting to flood the nation with his own followers. I was appointed the new Prefect, and then ordered not to let Solorists proponents, most of whom had fled following the Revolution, back in. I argued with him about it, but he held the power, not me. To the traditionalists, this served as proof of Bill Dusch’s theory that Archetype was out to destroy native Menelmacari culture. My speeches about sweeping away the old regime probably didn’t help much either, as Jason Steffke called me the only honest man in the new administration for admitting that was our only goal. Greenwood proceeded to found the MET; Menelmacari Elvish Traditionalists, a party dedicated to Solorism and opposing Archetype. Most of its members claimed to be elves, or ‘microns,’ an imaginary race Bill Dusch made up for some reason, something which they wanted all Menelmacaris to claim to be, but which the Archetype supporters refused to do. For some reason ‘Crandish’ was available as an ethnic group on the surveys Menelmacar periodically gave, so I always put that down. The MET on its own probably wasn’t a big threat to Archetype’s power, especially the way Archetype was handling immigration, but the émigrés outside of Menelmacar would prove his, and Menelmacar’s, undoing.
It is easy to realize now that Menelmacar had merely moved from one highly corrupt leader to another. And worse, this one was unstable and paranoid. He made enemies with Shireroth, though this was probably inevitable, and generally turned on everyone he knew over time. I hadn’t realized it at the time, but the real reason he wanted to oust Sirithil and company was that he thought they threatened him. He had a great deal of power under the old regime, and there was no logical reason for him to decide to turn on Sirithil, given the benefits he had under the old system. The three reasons why he might have made the choice to oppose Sirithil are, in my opinion, these, 1) he honestly wanted to purge corruption: his later actions show this wasn’t really on his agenda, 2) he was power hungry: this is certainly possible, and even very probable given the way he went about shoring himself up once in power, or 3) he was paranoid and thought that if he did not expose the things that Sirithil had done, many through his own good graces, she would turn on him and try to make him a scapegoat to get rid of him. This last one strikes me as most likely, given the way Archetype came to treat even me near the end. I didn’t really see how unstable he was at the time however, and had no problems allying Cranda with Menelmacar’s new government.
To be fair to Archetype, he was a very well liked and well-respected leader in most corners of the microworld. One of his major goals was to make Menelmacar a serious nation, and a major power in the microworld. I truly believed that he was the best ruler for Menelmacar, and that his policies would establish her as one of the most important and lasting micronations in the world, of the likes of Shireroth, Babkha, and Attera. He even succeeded for a while, making rather complicated diplomatic maneuvers, and being treated by an equal by the governments of the aforementioned nations, except Shireroth, which hated his guts. I talked about sweeping away the old order within the country, Archetype talked about sweeping away the old order in the world. He believed that nations like Attera had grown weak, and could no longer effectively govern the microworld at large. Menelmacar, bursting with new energy, activity, and vitality, was the perfect candidate to help rule the microworld with the other nations in his cadre – and stop destructive forces like Karnali and Politika from overturning peace and stability. This overriding goal and arrogance had the same effect on him as it has had on almost all ultra-nationalist movements; he put this goal above the values he professed to his nation, and set about sanitizing, and indeed, attempting to destroy Menelmacar’s elvish culture, though this would not be terribly noticeable until after the coup d’état. He tried to keep Menelmacar unique originally, commissioning me to make a unique Menelmacari language besides Quenya, for instance. My plans were ultimately disrupted by the split of the two Menelmacar’s, but more on that later.
I had inherited the Truth Party leadership, which no longer seemed to have a purpose immediately after the Revolution. I decided that, to keep to the principals I believed the party had been founded on, I would try to get the members to support a reduction of power for the Elentaran (male of Elentari) to prevent the abuses of the Sirithil administration from ever occurring again. I got a very cold reception; people simply weren’t interested in continuing the Truth Party, and those that were had no problem with what was essentially too much power invested in one person. I think that if I had been able to convince people to reduce the power of the Elentaran, the abuses of the Archetype administration, and thereby the coup, might have been avoided. Frustrated, I finally decided to call a vote to disband the party, but the same people who weren’t interested in actually doing anything couldn’t have that. Thus the party plotted aimless until we had the MET to spar with, and even then was essentially an empty and useless instrument. Most of Archetype’s new citizens didn’t bother to join, while almost all new ‘elves’ joined the MET. I wonder now if the reason the party stagnated was because it could have represented a threat to Archetype’s power. I know he attempted to find ways to ban the MET by connecting it to Philip Locke’s “Solorist Liberation Armed Militia,” or SLAM, a terrorist organization dedicated to destroying Archetype slightly more openly than the MET was, and which took to heart Bill Dusch’s calls to “scorch out the banana” out of Menelmacar. Archetype finally got tired of making people immigrate, and had the Collective Unconsciousness join Menelmacar as a province known as the Yellow Fields. My job as Prefect, which I had done very poorly (I usually skipped the required interview and just let people in), got slightly easier. Then the coup happened.
The degree to which Sirithil had fallen in leadership of her devotees can be seen by the fact that Locke, and not her, came up with the idea of the coup, and she was initially unwilling to participate. The other “Six Patriots” (a popular number for ‘revolutionaries’ it seems) finally convinced her to participate, and in a day and a night, Menelmacar’s forums had fallen and Archetype had regrouped on a new board. Looking back, it was obvious this would happen, especially when one of the Solorist fanatics was Philip Locke. Locke had been a citizen of Menelmacar in the Golden Age, and was insanely devoted to her survival, as his actions during the Revolution show. His prior track record shows that he was in himself a source of discontent at least as big as the entire nation of Somalia, and it was only a matter of time before he brought this power to bear against Archetype. He, and at least half of the Six Patriots, had left Menelmacar before they agreed to reestablish their ruling cabal, while the other three were MET members like Greenwood. The traditionalists with fanatic desperation wanted to remove Archetype, and realized that so long as he controlled the immigration process he could stack the deck for himself, which he had busily been doing. So they overthrew him, and apparently hoped he’d just sort of go away. They didn’t know Archetype very well if they really thought that – when slighted he would go to extreme lengths to get back at his opponents. Why he didn’t agree to have the old Menelmacari forums hacked and returned to his control is beyond me. Perhaps he thought the Revolutionaries would just give up. They didn’t. And so Menelmacar began to die, piece by piece.
The Patriots recruited some new blood, as the majority of Menelmacar’s population, including some MET members, had stayed with Archetype. They established Sirithil as the “Eternal Queen of Stars,” who would not be ousted again in an election, and established a chancellor-like rank to give the impression of democracy. Everything’s name was changed to Quenya, without translation as was done on Cranda or Attera’s forums. The forum colors were changed. And everything that Archetype had ever done was put into locked invisible archives and forgotten about. The nation dissolved into a state of role-playing anarchy, as Sirithil still held near absolute power, and promptly disappeared. Nothing really could be done, and one by one the six patriots left, until only Mari Greenwood remained. Sirimacar, as it was called, never officially died. Mari and her mother, ‘Kathyrn,’ who was a Politikan (the Politikans apparently hated Archetype more than they had hated Sirithil, whom they had actually bombed, and supported the Patriots) and possibly even stupider than Mari, used the forums as a sort of chatroom and made stupid jokes and that sort of thing there. They also changed the nation of Delvenus, which had originally been neutral and interesting, into a clone of what Menelmacar had become. Eventually they just stopped posting, and Menelmacar was spared any further indignity to her bones.
Meanwhile, Archetype set about on a mission to destroy everything that had made Menelmacar unique and fun. In his own Menelmacar (Archimacar, as we called it, though he hated that name) he made sure everyone knew it was a ‘multi-culture,’ which in fact meant Yellowist, and opposed any settlement with the OAM, the Quenya acronym for Sirimacar. I variously sparred with him about this point, but we never could make peace with them. My relationship with Archetype began to suffer during this period because of the relationship between Cranda and Menelmacar. Crandish Chancellor Vladimir Volkov, who, held great sway over my decisions, had been friends with the old regime in Menelmacar and wanted Cranda to recognize and support the OAM. I, having been in Archetype’s regime and head of the Truth Party, wanted it to support the IoM (Imperium of Menelmacar). After he contradicted me in public over this issue, we were forced to become neutral, and Archetype could never forgive what he felt was a betrayal of trust by Cranda, which meant me as well. Archetype didn’t run for re-election, and Caesar Augustus became the new Elentaran – but he promptly disappeared. I, playing the role of corpse raider, decided I would try and annex the parts of Menelmacar left to Cranda, and I mentioned the problem to Archetype. He responded differently than was hoped, and we held a revolution, in which we threw out the Elentari, having all decisions be made by the Conclave. This worked much worse than you might think– every single detail of policy had to be voted on, and the procedure grew so complicated that I finally gave up on doing it. Archetype and I finally fell out once he found out I’d called this new Menelmacar “a monster.” Not unexpectedly, Menelmacar only lasted a few more months as a cultureless nominally direct democracy under the unofficial leadership of Archetype, and then, with Archetype’s leaving, died. Hurmu joined Cranda shortly before this occurred, and Menelmacar soon went dark forever.
There will never be another Menelmacar, not with today’s climate, and for this I am both saddened and praise God. It was a tragedy from the beginning, we just never realized it. ‘Good night Menelmacar’ indeed.