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Spring Newsletter 2017
Content by Kenneth Fahy:


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In the latest newsletter, I promised to give an account of my re-enactment of St Sebastian's martyrdom as portrayed in a DVD. So, here it is!

The video he made in January about Sebastian is intended to be factual, reconstructing the beauty of his martyrdom. Eric is also a supporter of the Sodality of St Dismas: he highlights the parallels between Dismas and Sebastian, as both were executed in not dissimilar fashion,by Roman Imperial Authority. In the video, I "became" Sebastian, being taken over by his character and mind-set, in the same way that I am the alter ego of Dismas. The video was made in London, in one of the studios used by Malejunction near the Hackney marshes, and very well equipped for the story of Sebastian. In particular, it had a large, conservatory where the principal scene -the firing of arrows into my body- took place. There was also a convincing earth trench, representing the cloaca into which, as the dead Sebastian, I was tipped after being executed.

Eric made the video to commemorate the exact month of the 730th anniversary of Sebastian's martyrdom. He took his cue from Derek Jarman's film "Sebastiane" made in 1976 (which had dialogue entirely in Latin!) but he thought it was not entirely accurate in telling the story of Sebastian's execution. Sebastian did not die after being pierced with arrows. His body was claimed by Irene of Rome (later St Irene), widow of Castulus, a martyred Christian and a friend of Sebastian,, who discovered he was not dead when she was washing and preparing him for burial.

The video tells how, as one of the Emperor Diocletian's 's Praetorian guards, Sebastian witnessed what was happening to Christians, who were seen by Roman power as seditious and a threat to their pagan Gods, and he was deeply affected by the joyful and submissive way they went to their slaughter. It was not long before he was baptised into their faith. So strong was his faith that he desired to join them in holy martyrdom, and like them to die as Christ died, naked and unashamed before the world and to be received into the Kingdom of Heaven.

The sexuality of Sebastian's relationship with Diocletian is a fundamental part of Eric's video, and it is depicted head-on.. It starts by showing how Diocletian was aroused by seeing Sebastian's beautiful body, exercising naked in the military gymnasium. The relationship of the Emperor and Sebastian was highly erotic: I am shown being taken to the Emperor's private quarters, where his household slaves prepared my bare body. I am shown being beautified, anointed with scented oils, all body hair shaved off with a strigil , lubricated. and laid out ready for his imperial pleasure. The role of Diocletian was played by George Clarke, a London taxi driver and experienced life model; I've worked with George before, in life drawing gigs and as the practice body for his tantric massage sessions. He made no bones about the fact that he fancied me, so the scenes of seduction were the real thing. The penetration depicted in this part of the film foreshadowed my subsequent penetration by the arrows in the execution field - crude, but true..

And so to the essence of the story: after the Emperor had finished banging away inside me and was lying back, his lust spent, I decided the time was ripe to tell him his murderous policy of persecution was thoroughly evil, and said he would burn in hell for it. Eric thinks that Sebastian deliberately manoeuvred himself into being seduced by Diocletian - he felt that Sebastian said what he did with the full knowledge that Diocletian, not a man to be criticised, would fly into a rage and order his execution. So Sebastian got what he wanted! With the Emperor's fury ringing in my ears, I was immediately taken away, and led to an open place where I was tied to a post to be killed by arrows (fired by two Mauretanian archers, according to legend.).

The two of them were as naked as I was. They took the opportunity to use me to slake their own lust as they prepared me for execution. Their hands roamed all over my body as they fixed me to the post, opening me up and putting their fingers inside me, with coarse remarks about what they were going to do to my corpse once it had been taken down after death.

I didn't count the number of arrows fired into me, but they were VERY PAINFUL. Most were blunt and some really big, fired with such force they thudded into my body and left several nasty bruises and cuts (some of them, slightly smaller, had sharp ends and drew blood.) They were also intended to stay stuck to my skin, adding to the realism. Belly, thighs, breasts, neck, arms, throat, pudenda, all were targets. But the pain did not matter, as I was in a state of spiritual ecstasy, filled as I was with the presence of Sebastian himself. I have modelled before for portraits of Sebastian, but nothing could compare to this experience, undergoing the same living ordeal as he did.. I was in such a state of rapture that I passed out in a faint. Only then, when the archers thought that I was dead, did the cascade of arrows cease. Eric thought that my complete identification with Sebastian, writhing ecstatically whilst tethered to the post, and then seeming to give up the ghost, was brilliant.

When Irene came to retrieve my body, the two archers made her pay money to untie me from the post and put me on the cart she had brought with her. My body was brought back to her villa, where Irene and one of her slaves began to wash and prepare it for burial. But as it was turned over and laid on its front, she noticed a slight shiver pass through the buttocks. Examining me more closely, she realised that rigor mortis had not happened. With skill, she was able to resuscitate me. The cleansing of my body was certainly realistic, as she used antiseptic - very painful and stinging - to treat the cuts made by the arrows.

On revival, I felt Sebastian's sense of disappointment that his martyrdom had not happened. In the final part of the DVD, I appear naked on a staircase in the bath house used by Diocletian.. As he appears, I harangue him again, vehemently criticising his cruelty to Christians, who pose no threat to his authority. As expected, he is contorted with rage, particularly as he believed I had already been put to death. He gave orders for me to be seized and taken away for immediate execution which he would personally witness. It has never been properly established how Sebastian was finally killed - some say he was clubbed to death, others that he was beheaded or strangled. Since past artists have depicted Sebastian's body as being intact and seemingly in good condition when being cast into the cloaca, Eric chose strangulation.

The last scenes show me being delivered to one of the Emperor's executioners, who stretched me out on a marble slab and despatched me quickly and efficiently. Eric, who performed the executioner's role, and an expert at this kind of thing, knew on which part of my windpipe to apply pressure to create unconsciousness, risking my actual death but nonetheless adding more realism to the scene. My body was presented to Diocletian to prove to him that this time I was dead. He commanded me to be flung into the municipal cloaca rather than be buried. But, later on, a lady called Lucinda had her slaves go to the cloaca and retrieve my cadaver. having been extracted, I was once again laid out to be thoroughly washed and oiled prior to burial in one of Rome's catacombs, where now stands the basilica bearing Sebastian's name.

The DVD, which took a day and a half to shoot, made minimal demands on Malejunction's costume department: the participants were either naked (and I did not wear a stitch throughout the filming) or had "barely-there" loincloths. Irene, Lucinda and their slaves were played by guys from Malejunction Quite legitimate, as the theatre has a tradition of actors swapping sexes -I've played the part of a naked woman on a number of occasions.

Brian Passmore, my religious mentor, has told me that my experiences in the video were a significant step in my spiritual journey towards the time when I am called before God to face his judgment. Eric has further roles of this kind lined up for me, such as the crucifixion of St Peter this coming June. And if anyone is interested in securing a copy of the DVD, the contact address is gymnos.550@hotmail.co.uk

God bless

Kenneth 5th May 2017: My email is kandjfahy@aol.com.
And I can be reached on 07890 661717.
I can also provide plenty of images of my work.

The Kent
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