Every Chappies bubblegum that will ever be produced until 2020 has already been made. Production ended in 1990.
This is a bold and dangerous statement. But the truth seeks out its own path to expression. I was at first a reluctant vessel, but the Sirens’ call of the truth eventually overpowered my better and more comfortable judgment. And although I reveal only a shadow of a mystery here, it is often the case that a small revelation can protect a larger secret.
About now you will be dismissing this as nonsense. If production ended in 1990, how then are subsequent events and discoveries chronicled in the “Did You Know” vignettes that adorn the inner surfaces of the wrapping? Trivia about Mark Shuttleworth, Pirates of The Caribbean, Titanic etc? All events that happened after 1990.
There are mysteries in this world. They are both sought after and protected by a range of organizations peopled by individuals who could queue behind you at the grocers and appear as ordinary as the rest of the world. Oracles and their associated cults have been present through every era of man in every civilization. Some traditions are new, some claim their lineage back to pre-history. Whatever the scenario, the greatest treasures and secrets are often hidden in plain site. Decorated with apparent banal symbols which only initiates can appreciate and decipher.
The young man who opened up a grocers in Birmingham in 1824 and later made the transition to focusing on drinking chocolate laid the foundation for what was to become Cadbury Limited, one of the world’s largest chocolate producers today and also the holding company of Chappies. The man was John Cadbury, a Quaker. The Quakers movement was established in the 17th Century and was born out of protest to the increasing power and formalism of the Church. A central tenant to their ideals was the belief in equality and social justice, coupled with a drive toward social reform and the eradication of poverty and deprivation. This played a part in his choice of trade, he saw alcohol as a major cause of social ill and unhappiness and in many ways saw cocoa as a healthier and less socially destructive alternative. Amongst other social campaigns John was against animal cruelty and in his lifetime formed the Animal Friends Society, the forerunner of the modern Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.
Along with the plate glass windows that fronted his shop (rare in those days when cheaper bottle glass was the store front norm) another piece of flair was the Chinaman, who always wore national dress, who manned the counter. The man was exotic by all accounts, but the only Chinese thing about him was the costume. Cocoa was imported largely from Central and South America; and Cocoa was not the only thing that John and the spiritual brothers whose ships and services he hired brought back from the Americas.
Chance or synchronicity brought these men into contact with an ancient society, Tomorrow’s Keepers. A veritable Knights Templar of the Aztec peoples. Explicitly the Conquistadors invasion of Central America in the 1500s centered around converting heathens and claiming wealth for the church. But really, the Book of Days was the true El Dorado of the campaign and not an imagined city of gold. Not a literal book, but a stone Idol, fed for centuries on the blood of worthy and pure sacrificial victims. Its mysteries and ritual kept by the cult of Tomorrow’s Keepers; whose members existed secretly at every level of Aztec society. Those who possess the idol and are initiated in the teachings were said to be able to foretell both natural and man made events. A powerful and dangerous relic. It was dangerous enough to the security of the church that such an item existed, it was unthinkable that it should be wielded by heathens.
But how does one steal a scrying stone from its reader? It is a fool’s errand. The Tomorrow’s Keepers knew of Cortes’ arrival and ambitions before he and is men had even laid their eyes upon the Aztec capital of Tenochtitlan. It was taken away, and hidden from the invaders. With the collapse of the Aztec civilization in the wake of Cortes and his Conquistadores campaign much of the racial memory of the people was disrupted. As public history became myth and rumour, older rumours of secret orders completely dissolved in the social dilution that took place with the introduction of Western ways and religion.
So the idol wasn’t found, the Tomorrow’s Keepers went to ground and the Book of Days disappeared. Just in case the idol had been secretly hidden or buried in the city precinct of Tenochtitlan, or even lost amongst the ruin accidentally, the city was destroyed by the invaders. The lake upon which it sat, protected by two causeways, was filled in and the city which we know as Mexico City was built upon the spot. It was galling enough that the conquistadores did not find it, but it would be worse for someone else to find it. So the civilization and its physical and cultural memory were largely destroyed. (As a footnote, many other sacred relics were captured by the Spanish and sent to the Vatican, who in turn had gifted some of them to non-Catholic Christian sects and denominations. The Mayan Calendar does not in fact end on 2012, the other tablets that look further to the future are in the Vatican vaults amongst other treasures.)
It would not be until three centuries later that a member of the order of Tomorrow’ Keepers (who like his brothers, lived in a society where their kinsfolk had forgotten their cultural and religious history, worshipped the living yet dead God of their invaders, and were economically yoked to powers across the ocean) would meet a Quaker trader. A white man who spoke honestly and passionately about equality, social freedom and the eradication of slavery. Not to mention an organized set of beliefs and grievances against elements of the Christian Church. These men were not cut from the same cloth as the Conquistadores that destroyed his culture.
Over the years a relationship and trust developed between the men and the Quaker was eventually initiated into the order and introduced members of the Tomorrow’s Keepers to like-minded Quakers. Very aware and sensitive to the loss and destruction that was brought upon this civilization in the name of religion he and his closest Quaker brothers, who were captains of commerce and industry forged a bond with the Tomorrow’s Keepers to restore what they could to these guardians of a dying light. The fellowship was called the Brotherhood of Tomorrow, and the principles of humanism which bonded these men outweighed any religious and spiritual differences. John Cadbury was amongst these men.
They sent a letter of grievance to the heads of the different Christian denominations asking for the return of the stolen artifacts to the people of Mexico – the children of the Aztecs. They mentioned nothing of the Book of Days in this first request, but made the appeal on the grounds of fundamental principles of humanism, equality and respect. The first request was unanimously scoffed at, and the general spiritual cancer that the heathen relics represented was laboriously lectured on. The second appeal mentioned the Book of Days and the reasons behind the conquest of Aztec Central America. These were violently denied and rubbished by the Vatican. The third letter requested nothing. It was an almanac of sorts. 365 bullet points. An event for every day of the next year. It included things as inconsequential as the changing price of commodities (Cocoa amongst them); what gifts they would receive on their Birthdays, through to the deaths of European monarchy and natural disasters. After only two months everyone was prepared to listen to the proposal of this secret clique of Quakers and their Aztec friends. One member of the Tommorrow’s Keepers eventually moved to England to help facilitate trans-Atlantic communication. By now you should be able to guess who hosted him and what the cover story was.
In return for keeping the Book of Days and its power secret and out of public knowledge the heads of the different Christian Denominations returned some of the most sacred cultural and religious relics to not just the Tomorrow’s Keepers but also others who guarded and passed on the memories of civilizations destroyed by colonial expansion.
All was well, the different parties were appeased; but it placed the Brotherhood in danger – for by playing the card they proved the Book of Days existence and there were many within Christendom and beyond that still coveted this relic. In order to ensure the continued protection of the artifact and prevent its power being wielded against the principles of equality and freedom mechanisms were put in place to ensure a succession of membership within the Brotherhood. A secret society, entrusted solely with the protection of the Book of Days, with the dream of equality and social justice for all mankind being the central principal that binds its members, who today are drawn from beyond even the ranks of Quakers and the Keepers of Tomorrow.
In the late 1980’s the Brotherhood of Tomorrow came under a concerted attack. High ranking members’ identities were somehow betrayed and although the Brotherhood’s vow included not using the Book themselves several of the ancient prophecies also fell into the hands of those who were so ruthlessly seeking to destroy the guardians and usurp the artifact. The subsequent invasions of Iraq are a direct consequence of these leaked prophecies. Fortunately those who stole the information were not initiated into the mysteries and could not interpret the dates of the foretold events. Regardless, the objective had been identified.
In an act of desperation, in order to lever some support, to protect the Book of Days and to threaten their adversaries, the Brotherhood had to break one of their vows. They needed to remind the Church leaders and those who sought to destroy them of the card they held.
The warning needed to be clearly understood by those for whom the message was intended; and it needed to exist in plain sight; the revelation of its profundity balancing on a knife’s edge. The only credible threat a humanistic and pacifist society could make.
Enter Chappies Bubblegum. Part of an interesting and problematic Southern African country’s cultural landscape. A ubiquitous product which is known for the little morsels of largely unremarkable knowledge on the inside of its wrapper. In 1990 the little morsels of information that had not yet come to pass for the next 3 decades (a decade for each member of the Brotherhood who had been assassinated) were printed onto the coloured wax paper, with its Chipmunk Motif. These were transported to several secret warehouses from where their distribution to the open market is controlled so that their secrets only reach your corner café after the fact is public knowledge. But, for these three decades, there are a select few who receive their Chappies just that little bit earlier than the rest. The predictions they are privy too are banal at best – but the constant reminder and threat hovers always in their combined consciousness.
Despite this, the clandestine battle continues still. At least the Brotherhood of Tomorrow is protecting their charge from a more equal position of power. But, just as the Brotherhood wields its threat publicly, so do their combined enemies communicate publicly through coded messages and symbols.
There is a publicly viewable blog called “Chappies Wrappers”. I am not sure whether it is run by an enthusiast who is unaware of the larger battle of which Chappies Bubblegum is a part; or whether it is a decoy put out by the Brotherhood of Tomorrow to track interest; or whether in fact it is a virtual meeting place for all those who desire to claim the Book of Days for themselves and eradicate the Brotherhood. Regardless of who runs it the comments betray a more sinister line of communication. Look at the comments of this posting: http://chappieswrappers.iblog.co.za/2007/08/02/chappies-bubble-gum-the-story-of-did-you-know/
In between the banal chatter are coded messages. “Jon Doe” (Comment 5) does not even hide his code in a narrative façade. “Patience” (Comment 8 ) is desperately seeking to enter the ranks of any society with links to the “Book of Days”. “Dine” (Comment 28) is seeking the location of the artifact in her rather transparent coded message. There are also more subtly crafted messages in some of the other comments too. It is all around us, and in plain sight.
But to possess the Book of Days is to protect a great power from being wielded for evil. And good works in quiet and mysterious way. Chappies Bubblegum was created by the Chapelat Sweets Factory, in the 1950’ before being absorbed into Cadburys. A little later the potential this innocuous product had for being a tool in the constant battle against dark forces was recognized by the Brotherhood of Tomorrow. This lead to the inclusion of the Chipmunk image on the wrapper, and the eventual take-over of the brand by Cadburys. Top executives of which continue to guard the light as their founder had.
What about the Chipmunk? In American Indian mythology and mysticism the Chipmunk is believed to play an important part in determining the proper measure of things as well as being a messenger from many realms. It is no accident that a Chipmunk is the mascot of Chappies bubblegum for it is the totem of the original Keepers of Tomorrow.
So next time you buy 25c of joy from a corner café or petrol station take some time to feel the weight of it on the palm of your hand. Take comfort in the Chipmunk’s smile too, for he is your friend and the friend of all mankind.
The prophecy that lead to the Iraq invasions? In Iraq there are two rivers that run parallel, the Tigris and Euphrates.
In Judeo-Christian belief the Garden of Eden lies somewhere between. Archeological fact shows this region be the place of the earliest literate urban civilizations on the planet. And when whatever it was that created, gave or brought man and this knowledge to this place returns; those who control the space can control the welcome party. And which ever nation controls the welcome party will be in a better position to gain greater favor than the other nations of man. Oil is just a short-term bonus.