Perhaps the most titanic battle in the entire Spanner cycle is the recurring magic war between Eleanor Richter, the Richter-Thomas matriarch, a shaman and witch, and Drusilla Becket, channeller and designated guru to the Becket clan and their cult. Their first matchup in the series is during the middle of Bad Company; their battle, occurring in what in Spanner I call "dream reality", is over the souls of Nelly's lost granddaughters and Dru's prodigal daughters, the main characters of the novel, Charlie and Desiree Richter-Thomas. No doubt the two bitter enemies, rival leaders in the New Age movement, at least in the Seattle area, will have several rematches and grudge matches before the cycle ends. Who knows — they might even deserve their own story dedicated entirely to their decades-long war, somewhat in the tradition of the Thing vs. the Hulk in superhero comics.
But from the sheer hatred they show each other in their earliest appearances in Bad Company, you wouldn't guess that originally they were inseparable friends. But this is a friendship that ended badly. Dru claims that she fell in with a bad crowd before, as she likes to put it, she saw the light and turned back to the straight and narrow. But Nelly insists that Dru became corrupted by her increasing power as a guru and callously abandoned her friends. In fact, Nelly says, Dru turned on her so violently as to almost kill her in a psychic blast. The two have never forgiven each other, and so they've been at war since 1986.
In Bad Company specifically, the two battle over the souls of Charlie and Desi. Nelly attempts a shamanic soul retrieval on her granddaughters, only to find herself doing battle with Dru, who refuses to relinquish control of her daughters. It seems Dru deliberately broke up their souls and scattered the fragments to the four winds in order to keep them under absolute control and keep them from developing into independent persons with minds of their own. Nelly is so outraged that she organizes a magic attack on Dru. It has to be a carefully planned sneak attack, for Dru is overvigilant to the point of paranoia (which just happens to be an occupational hazard among all-powerful gurus anyway, something I learned in another of my major sources, The Guru Papers by Joel Kramer and Diana Alstad). Surprise is needed because there is an interval of only a split second in which Nelly and her shamanic power animals and other allies can steal away Charlie and Desi's souls from their mother. The sneak attack works, but it so enrages Dru that Nelly and her allies must battle for their lives even after they emerge back into the real world to restore the girls' souls to their bodies. It's extremely urgent in Desiree's case, because the voodoo curse Shira laid on her during a break in Desi's trial will kill her in a week, and the only way to save her is to take back her soul, remove her posthypnotic mind control, and then break the curse.
Dru Becket's ongoing feud with Nelly Richter is not just part of the family feud between the fascist Beckets and the populist Richter-Thomases. It's also part of the Beckets' war against the people on all levels, from the political to the corporate to the spiritual. Their Platonic, Social Darwinist/eugenicist, and synarchist principles make them an extremely dangerous clan, and a menace to even a world as violent and dangerous as ours is today. So don't be surprised to find that the war is being fought even within the New Age movement. In their book The Stargate Conspiracy, Lynn Picknett and Clive Prince reveal the existence of a high-level plot to hijack the New Age movement and the mysteries of Egypt for the benefit of a power-hungry cabal that wants to establish an occult theocracy over an American Empire hellbent on conquering the world. This is also the book that exposed the synarchist conspiracy to the world. (Their later book The Sion Revelation gives more on the history of the synarchist conspiracy, and in their report on the synarchist Henri Coston shows precisely why Lyndon LaRouche and his cult must not be believed when they rave about Synarchy.) Once again, on the spiritual level as well as the political, the Becket/Richter-Thomas feud is ultimately over the fate of the world and who controls the future.
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