Talpa europaea = Mole
Fel. talpa = Leber des Maulwurfs
Pel. talpae w = Fell des Maulwurfs (Haarausfall)
Euph-l. (= Wolfsmilchsamen/= Kreuzwolfsmilch/= Springwolfsmilch/= Maulwurfskraut).
Der Maulwurf fängt Regenwurm in Gängensystem, wann Regenwurm morgens zurückkehrt in tiefere Lagen/sind Raben.eltern.
The mole came to us gratis, up out of our lawn, and was bagged thanks to our cat’s alacrity: a sudden pounce and the deed was done. I chopped off his paws (for he was male) and pickled them in a small bottle containing absolute alcohol. There they remained in the dark and the cool for some years awaiting the day of the proving. The tincture was run up to C 30 in the classroom (substance unknown to provers),
with provers taking turns at dilution and sucussion, using Korsicovian methodology. The final potency of 30 c was used as the proving dose. As is our custom at the School of Homeopathy, just one dose was taken. Proving diaries commenced from this point, as did one-to-one supervision, and continued for two months.
The mole in nature
The mole, because of its underground habit, is a creature we know little about, yet its very visible molehills evoke a universally negative response, “Get rid of that mole!” Until recently, and the advent of video-aided research, scientists have had limited information about the mole due to the impracticalities of studying them in vivo – the chief reason being that they gobble too much food to allow for a viable period of observation in captivity. They gather and guzzle in an almost non-stop cycle to fuel their incessant labour of tunnelling. They can excavate 25 meters a day, and continually tunnel to renovate and extend their home and larder. They are by far the most industrious of mammals! They work in a shift pattern of 4 hours at a stretch; during periods of rest, moles will either sleep or consume the food needed to keep going for the next work stint. The mole’s upper body and strong spade-like front limbs are perfectly designed for moving heavy soil and when digging, a specialised bone structure allows the mole to project a lateral force equivalent to 32x its body weight.
The mole is a solitary creature, except in circumstances where a group are forced to co-habit in neighbouring tunnels, or when female moles are on heat. Apart from these occasions, moles are extremely territorial creatures and have been known to fight to the death. The mole is the only known mammal in which the female has been found to possess features of both female and male reproductive organs. The mole produces very high levels of testosterone, which may account for their aggressive nature and look-alike external features. High testosterone levels promote bone growth that link to the evolution and development of a sixth digit that is in fact a modified wrist bone.
The gestation period for female moles is 4 - 6 weeks and they will give birth to 3 - 6 live young each year. After just a few months of growth, adolescent moles will be totally selfsufficient and will leave the adult home to find residence elsewhere, taking over unoccupied tunnel systems or digging their own. It is during this crucial time that they venture above ground and become vulnerable to predators such as stoats, owls, foxes and badgers.
Moles have been known to live to the age of 6 years provided they are not picked off by predators or killed by humans, most live for 4 years. The physical form of the mole lives up to its Latin meaning of ‘massive heap’ or ‘large mass’. It is not that massive though, typically being a mere 12 cm long. Its fur is black and velvety allowing the mole to move both forwards and backwards through the underground passageways with ease. The mole has poor eyesight but can differentiate between light and dark. Its other senses are extremely heightened to compensate for this, for example, the mole has ultra-sensitive whiskers on its pointed pink snout, a highly accurate sense of smell and it is able to sense the slightest of underground vibrations. This allows gardeners to discourage moles from an area by submerging vibrators. Moles can tolerate higher carbon dioxide levels than other mammals, permitting them to survive underground for extended periods. They have modified red blood cells with augmented haemoglobin. Some biologists have speculated that moles have magnetic sensors in their nose, enabling them to move with precision and purpose around in their underground homes. As yet there is no clear evidence in favour of this hypothesis.
The mole’s appetite is colossal; it needs to consume 70 - 100% of its body weight per day. Because of this, the mole needs to store enough food to keep it going. Earthworms are the main source of food (winter), but it will eat all manner of insect larvae and grubs dependant on availability. To ensure that it has a sufficiently fresh supply of food, the mole will bite the head of a captured worm, rendering it immobile while still alive.
Moles are most commonly found in fertile soil with adequate drainage; however, they are good swimmers and can escape from flooding. The mole favours deciduous woodland as its habitat, and grassland, where its burrowing habit and molehill production, may create conflict with farmers and gardeners. Many people are unaware that molehills are created only once, while the creatures establish or extend their home.
An adult mole will only come to the surface of its underground habitat to collect materials for a nest. During this time a much larger molehill (called a fortress) will be created under which the mole will rear its young. The deepest tunnels are used during times of extreme weather, for example cold or drought. If left to their own devices in a well-established tunnel system, most people would scarcely notice the many moles residing underneath their land.
At present, the mole has no legal protection in the UK. They are not protected by conservation legislation, only having basic protection from cruelty under the Wild Mammals Protection Act 1996. Moles are prone to being poisoned and trapped, a practice that is widely practiced even though in the long run, it is ineffective. New moles quickly move into old tunnels!
The mole in literature
The depiction of Kenneth Grahame’s industrious, initially solitary yet loveable character fits with what we know about this creature’s behaviour and habits. In the opening chapter we see mole frantically spring-cleaning his house, mention is made of his aching back and arms, which bear the brunt of most of the mole’s activities. An air of ‘discontent and longing’ is hinted at throughout the novel. Mole’s journey of discovery lies in his realisation that there is a whole other world above his dark, underground sanctuary.
The mole in the Chinese calendar
According to Chinese tradition, moles are born during the Chinese zodiac’s year of the sheep. It is believed that people born at this time are generally hardworking and loyal, but have a tendency to take things to heart, easily becoming offended. They will put on a front to hide this but are plagued by feelings of self-doubt. They work best when striving towards a goal or purpose, they want to ‘get it right’ all of the time. They are extremely strong both physically and mentally, often more so than anticipated by those around them.
The mole in mythology
The story of how the mole came to be underground is told in a Cherokee folk tale. Here the mole is depicted as a shifty, untrustworthy character who puts a deceitful plan into action and when confronted about the consequences of his actions, retreats to his underground sanctuary in fear of punishment.
The mole in espionage
Within the realm of espionage, the mole is somebody who works for an organisation whilst continually feeding information to a rival from within, posing as an ally to the original establishment.
By his or her very nature someone who is to succeed as a mole must be deceitful and cunning. They must be well practised in the deception of others in order to gain their friendship and trust. The fact that the mole
is acting mainly alone and does not care for allies can be linked to its animal counterpart, in so far as the animal works alone and has been observed to be fiercely territorial towards others of its kind.
We need cured cases to confirm, but suggest Ringworm miasm in Rajan Sankaran's schema, and stage 8 in the periodic table.
Considering unremitting work, “got to get it done” personality, tunnelling habit and sensation of compression, would take us to Ferrum and its salts, and row four metals in general and their respective salts.
Is of course general themes of all mammals arise (closest relative, unproved, the shrews). We will differentiate primarily from other mammals on the uniqueness of the mole family: constant activity, huge energy, relentless pursuit of territory... and add to these concepts, the fact of high testosterone levels in both sexes, and come up with a highly industrious personality, like Nux-v.
Unlike the typical Nux-v. though, most provers felt quite calm in relation to things they needed to do that previously might have riled them – action with a Zen-like clarity rather than with a ‘must do it’, driven imperative, yet with the desire to do the work all day long until the job was complete.
Time almost stopped, no pressure of time
Lack of direction
Natural vs. manmade
Before we present the detail, here is a selection of ‘overview’ essays. These provide a quick insight into how mole nature has been interpreted through the medium of six individual provers. They were written
two months after the proving experience had ended, and with full knowledge of what they had just proved.
1 The most significant aspect of the proving for me is the fact that a long standing blockage in my neck seems to have been cured. I made a direct connection between this pain/blockage and my frequent stupefying headaches which I have had for several years. The headaches have also cleared up. I experienced double vision the evening of taking the remedy and moments of double vision continued throughout the proving.
The other noticeable feature was that I experienced a steady energy which enabled me to keep going long into the evening: determined energy with clear-headedness. The energy was expended on dealing with
small matters, many of them household chores, which I had been ignoring for a long time.
By complete contrast, I sometimes experienced a great sense of fatigue, which I noted down less often than I might have done, because I do a lot of physical work which is inherently tiring.
2 The most remarkable thing for me was the fact that over the time of the proving I did experience a profound drop in both my pulse and blood pressure. This has now stabilised to a reasonable, in fact very
reasonable, level, but is still much lower than previously recorded. In addition I experienced a slowing down, and at times a contentment and acceptance of some change and unexpected events in my life that
would otherwise have bothered me.
During this time my cats became very much calmer and affectionate!
3 The lethargy felt in the first couple of weeks comprised of me sleeping, getting up and doing what had to be done and then going back to for another nap.
During the entire proving I had a post-nasal drip and the start of my nostrils were very sensitive to cold air.
It took quite a bit of rubbing to relieve the burning pain caused by the cold. My sense of smell amplified, to such an extent that I wanted to have the bathroom flooring replaced due to the urine smell.
No-one else could smell the urine. Initially I had a genuine compassion and concern for people who were ill-treated but this progressed into a lack of empathy and morbid fascination. At the sight of road kill or other dead animals I felt pure interest. I passed a couple having a squabble in the street and my leading thought was to have the shouting man’s head chopped off to silence him. Thoughts of decapitation did surface throughout the proving.
My fingernails have become very soft and bend, break and tear easily; I have resorted to keeping them short. They have also developed ridges on them, particularly my thumbnails.
4 I confess that there are aspects of mole I would dearly like to keep. The steady industry and achievement of mole has been very useful in getting a lot of work done and thrusting me into practice. The lessening
Of emotional involvement in the day - to - day tribulations of life (under the influence of all that testosterone perhaps) has made for an easier, calmer and more centred attitude - a welcome relief from my usual
frenetic, nervy pace. The slightly ‘tipsy’ feel to the proving has made this an often joyful - if sometimes superficial - experience.
My personal experience of the proving was mostly through dreams whose themes and energy seeped gently into my patterns of behaviour, emotional responses and life events. I experienced little on the physical
plane although the dominant eye symptoms of the group were reflected in the multiple sight/vision/looking events of my dreams. I am astonished and amused to see how much of my experience relates to that of
the mole as a creature, word and symbol.
5 For me the main issue of the proving was experiencing the polarities. First there was calmness, carelessness or carefreeness and giddiness and frivolity (with a lot of laughing – incl. laughing things off -
and swearing) and a lovely light-heartedness. This was all light and fun and joy. And then there was tiredness and detachment. I had days were I thought of killing someone but I didn’t feel it. The negative
feelings didn’t really register and there was no aggression or guilt (and I am usually guilty of the bad state of the planet...). Unfortunately the guilt-freeness doesn’t last too long...
The carelessness comes with a difficulty of thinking and making decisions. The brain seems to be bypassed, decisions are not made but action just happens. On the physical side there was painlessness
(menstruation). Disconnection happens on various levels: Electricity (power-cuts; dream about not being able to switch of the television), computer cannot connect, communication with my supervisor doesn’t
happen on some days etc.
The idea of just getting on with things without thinking about it led one student and me to the conclusion that we are proving “The Power of Now”. I have never before been so much in the NOW for such a length
of time and I don’t want to miss this experience for anything (oh, well, there are things...)
Dominant, recurring, SRP symptoms
There were lots of hormonal issues (romantic dreams and dreams about menstruation and pregnancy), menstrual changes and even a dream where I had to smell someone first before I could go any further (in light
of the mole-substance it doesn’t surprise me anymore). Taste and smell symptoms weren’t dominant like in some of the other provers but for me they were still noticeable. There are issues around the abdomen
Darkness is a problem (early and long nights); I can hardly cope. It adds to the tiredness and lack of energy.
Interestingly I find it easy to drive in the dark.
I have problems with my right eye: itching and difficulty to focus.
Dreams of getting somewhere or doing something that needs to be done; even one dream about a tunnel.
My left hip was playing up more often than normal (others had worse joint symptoms, though)
6 The strongest most memorable part of my proving experience was the overall increased level of energy combined with the calmness and feeling of just getting on with things that would normally cause a level
of stress. In comparison a number of the other provers had the opposite of an increased level of energy with complete exhaustion; one comment was “I lost days to the tiredness”.
From a group perspective ‘calmness’ was the over-riding theme that seemed to fit with all. This was a calmness in situations where calmness would not have been a normal response. For me it was calmness in
terms of the amount of work I had to do or a pressurised situation at work, I approached everything as if it were possible, with no panic or concern and the absence of physical signs of stress that I would normally
feel at those times e.g. perspiration under the arms. Others in the group described calmness in other situations but the commonality was that they were situations where calmness would not always be present.
There was a theme of violence but detached and with no emotion. I didn’t experience this myself but a number of the provers did – there was swearing and chopping people’s heads off.
Generally we saw a needle or pin like sensation running through the physical symptoms whether it was a foot or stomach. There were many eye symptoms from the needle - like feeling to double vision.
Eyes were described as dry as was skin.
On the opposite side of dryness there was diarrhoea, phlegm and dreams associated with water.
An interesting observation made by a couple of people, not all provers but some supervisors of the proving was issues with writing words and sentences. This could be thought of as a theme of communication
– two provers also lost their voices.
Again a theme was seen in both provers and a couple of supervisors – a number of provers experienced a heightened sense of smell of urine. I also had a heightened smell towards fish. A couple of supervisors lost
their sense of smell completely (one could only smell pheromone) and one also lost their sense of taste.
On reflection since coming out of the proving experience I think the best way to describe the general feeling I had was on of disconnection from the rest of the world. The feeling of calmness and just getting
on with things was also one of being slightly removed from the situation and not involved or affected by the rest of the world – quite happy in my own little bubble. This has only become apparent really as the
feeling of calmness has reduced and most recently completely gone and what has been left is the connection and the effects of my surroundings and experiences.
Provers ‘speaking as one’ arranged in themes Productive/industrious I have leapt into supervised practice. I am seeing my first patients. This was something I have become increasingly nervous and stuck
about. I have enormous industry and enthusiasm for the task and have got 3 patients to see in just 10 days. I work all day, sort my children out and work again until bedtime after they are tucked up.
The amount of energy, industry and focus in unusual as is the detached way I go about it without engaging myself emotionally in the fears and nerves that I had. P1 44/X NS
 Dream - I am gardening and it is satisfying work, I am clearing a natural space of man-made objects which offend me.
 I dream of a structure made of wood that is at once man-made and natural. It is my job to clear the forest floor of debris so that the structure is revealed.
 I have a strong desire to do some gardening when I normally would avoid it at this time of year. I sign up to help with all the clearing of the school garden before winter.
 I dream of a natural occurrence in a man-made setting – a seal gives birth in front of a crowd in a perspex tank.
 I pick up an anthology of poetry and randomly come across an Alan Ginsberg poem ‘Sunflower Sutra’ which sounds a deep note of recognition ‘I sat down under the huge shade of a Southern Pacific
Locomotive to look at the sunset over the box-house hills...we sat surrounded by the gnarled steel roots of trees of machinery’.
 I cannot bear the idea of going to London for my birthday as usual. I persuade my husband to take me somewhere wild instead. ‘I can’t bear the idea of being in the city’. I have ‘an abhorrence of things
 Dream of a city. The artificiality horrifies me
 Dream - I swim in a natural pool, free of interference from man or chemicals. Beautiful
 Dream - I have to return to the city but keep finding myself in the countryside.
 Dream - A flower rots under a film of heavy tar.
 I can see inside the human body. I can see that something is out of place and I am able to move it to
the right place. It's
more like being a mechanic than dealing with organic matter.
[19 Stuck in a car park in a car. I am desperate to leave, to get off the [impenetrable] tarmac and onto
earth [where I can dig?]
 I dream of keeping pets in the city. The pets were hamster o
r guinea pig. I do not consider these
animals natural as such. They had worn all the grass away to mud.
 Dream - ...There is a sense of clearing the garden ready for winter. My son is with me and I suggest he plays with a pile of stones, leaves and pine cones that have collected in a corner. I am annoyed to see that
some plastic toys, like ping pong balls have found their way into the pile. They should not be there, they are plastic - not natural (there is a sense of pollution or corruption by the artificial of the natural).
 I dream that I am in a littered and worn out back garden in a town (it is the grass that is worn out to bare earth). The gates are falling off and the screws are coming out of the back door. The woodwork is damp and rotting, the screws are rusty. Everything man-made in the space is broken, rotten or dilapidated in some way...
 I flick idly through the channels on the television and come to rest on a programme called 'Amazon: Unnatural Histories' about mounting evidence that the Amazon was not as pristine and unspoilt as first
thought. Precolonisation and exploration by Europeans, a great number of tribes existed in the area. The remains of hundreds of large advanced settlements have been found. The evidence (this is the strange
bit) was the discovery of very large geoglyphs -deep geometrically- shaped trenches that had been found etched deep in the earth where deforestation had cleared the supposedly pristine forest (these shapes
were made by deep trenches like the ones I was swimming around in an earlier dream, and the idea of clearing forest to uncover a man-made structure is very resonant). The hypothesis was that these structures,
which served no practical use, must have been created for some religious purpose up to 2000 years ago. The situation in this programme significantly reflects the dream I had on day 5. Also captivating
to me was the notion that far from damaging the Amazon, these past colonies and peoples had done much to encourage different plants to grow and had changed soil conditions considerably, to the extent that huge swathes of the Amazon to this day could be said to have been anthropogenerated - man-made!
The value of the man-made 'dark earth' of the Amazon was similar to the value of the earth I was searching for in another dream. The idea here was that unlike my dreams, man was not antagonistic to nature but fundamental to it. It felt like a bit of a resolution to the feelings I have of disgust at human's intereference with naure, even though, as my own gardening activities show, I've been engaged in a bit of natural engineering myself. The echo of this with my preoccupation with manmade and nature, strikes me as weird. The few villages they had found were in circular clearings with the long rectangular buildings
arranged around the edge - just like the many - sided polygon of my dreams.
 Dream - I am in a car, trying to get into a forest but I am prevented from doing so by man-made barriers which prevent access. I am frustrated. The barriers and road are covered in damp moss, it looks like
they are being reclaimed by nature.
 I spend all day gardening and clearing leaves. I do most of it with my bare hands and find it satisfying work whereas normally I would hate the job. I don’t like the bare patches of earth in the lawn and sew
lawn seed even though it's late in the year.
Moles remove the heads of their worms to keep them immobile and captive in their larder.
 Dream – decapitated baby. The head is removed with secateurs by doctors and nurses whose heads are ‘cut off’ by the frame of the shot. I find the severed head and body in a muddy bag in the wood.
 I feel like I'll either burst into tears or bite his head off and shout at him.
 I wake up after a dream knowing that my head has been cut off. I feel quite ambivalent about this and am not aware of any violence or the dream that led to this thought.
 Something loses its head in my dream. A baby or small child. It’s something that is done to the child but without a sense of violence or blood.
Soiled and digging in the soil
It amuses me to reflect on my role over the proving as a gardener in sleep and waking hours. The mole is a gardener after his own fashion although his type of landscaping marks him as a pest to most human
,  Things are covered in soil, which is wiped off: a carrot, a dead baby.
[?] Dream - I pick up a lost infant – it soils me.
 Digging in the soil in a survival situation. Wary of competition. Scrabbling in the earth with my hands.
 Dream - A flower rots under a film of heavy tar, heavy tar covering a beach.
 I am captivated by the ‘dark earth’ of the Amazon film that I watch.
 Dream - Dead sunflowers are planted in orderly, even ranks in my garden. I pull them up and search frantically in the earth for the seed from which they grew.
 I spend all day gardening and clearing leaves. I do most of it with my bare hands and find it satisfying work whereas normally I would hate the job. I don’t like the bare patches of earth in the lawn and
sew lawn seed even though it's late in the year.
A group of moles is called a labour
 Dream - decapitated baby
 Dream - Lost infant in my arms
 Dream - I give birth to a transparent baby (*NB moles are born with transparent fur)
 I dream of a pregnant friend who is about to give birth
 There are many babies in my thoughts and dreams. Babies everywhere.
 Dream - Pregnant and trying to find somewhere to give birth.
 I dream that I am giving birth or my sister is giving birth. It seems difficult to find the space where we will be free from interruption to complete the process.
 Dream I give birth to a transparent baby
 I dream there is a girl, a dancer, who has a very painful foot. She is being interviewed and tells us how she was actually very relieved to have her foot and ankle removed and replaced with glass.
I had pimples and eruptions on my face and especially my chin. I considered these to be pre-menstrual although the hormonal effect lasted through much of the proving.
. They conformed in type, location and sensation to the pimples I usually get before menses begins. These pimples were my strongest physical symptom.
 I feel hormonal. I feel irritable as I would with PMS but it’s the start of my cycle.
 Pain in region of my left ovary. Feels like it is being needled. Intermittent for 3 hours. It seems like I'm ovulating early. I'm sure this is the same ovary as last month too.
 The proving time span has been full of maternal issues, giving birth and breastfeeding. Lots of maternal issues around birth, breastfeeding and nurturing from my own past have been brought up both
in my dreams and waking hours.
This is the strongest pointer to the animal kingdom. I feel mostly like prey with a sense of some larger force out there. The cat is out there and I am on the menu!
 Dream – something wants to break into the school and get me. I return inside the school whenever danger approaches. Feeling of being singled out.
 I feel like something’s got me by the throat.
 I dream of a deadly threat from a man with great power over us.
I have several occasions to remark upon a needle - like sensation. The needle feels somewhat blunt (like a darning needle or knitting needle). It’s not a sharp scratch but a concentrated, hard pin
- point pressure.
 After a nightmare I awake with my skin prickling all over my back and down my legs.
 A stabbing pain through the top of my left breast.
 Getting up and walking every step is like that of the little mermaid. Every step is painful, like nails being pushed into the joint.
 Pain in region of my left ovary. Feels like it is being needled. Intermittent for 3 hours. It seems like I'm ovulating early.
There’s much giddiness and light - hearted interaction under the influence of the proving remedy. There’s frivolity, banter, joking and laughter. It’s wonderful but quite superficial. It is accentuated when the
proving group is all together.
 The whole weekend feels very giddy, superficial and frivolous. It is as if everyone is just a little bit tipsy all the time. Everyone seems to make light, poke fun and laugh. All very good fun.
 It's a perfect day. I am driving down to the coast for a weekend in the country with my husband. As I drive I experience sensations of complete and utter joy and happiness for my husband and myself.
There is a feeling that we are in that moment, both standing on our individual pinnacles of achievement - he has won an award, and I have taken my first case. I am extremely happy and full of joy for us both.
The image I have in my head is of me rolling around on the floor, clutching my sides with tears of mirth streaming down my cheeks. It feels like I have just heard or seen the funniest thing in the world.
 I lose my appetite at first and don’t eat proper meals for 13 days after taking the remedy and then develop a voracious appetite which remains for the duration of the proving.
Moles have eyes that are very little use to them and they are nearly blind.
I feel either visually assaulted or like I want to look away.
 I ‘cannot watch’ a group of women having brutal sex. It’s unnatural.
 In a dream I am viewing a spectacle in a crowd. The feeling, after my initial curiosity and desire to see has waned, is ‘I cannot watch...I shouldn’t be watching...this is not for my eyes...nobody should watch’.
 Dream – in the city I saw things I didn’t want to see...It assaulted me visually, I need to get the city out of my field of vision.
 Dream – sensitivity to artificial light of the city (Neon) and then plunged into darkness.
 I cannot see for looking. All day I have been intensely frustrated by looking for a thing which I know is in my immediate vicinity without being able to find it. Some hours later, the thing will appear as
if by some cruel joke.
 Dream - My daughter appears. It's time for her to get ready for school but she is ignoring me and I get angry with her. She won't show me her face. When
I spin her round, I see she has painted her face ice blue. It's rather beautiful. I want to take a photograph of her but every time I try to frame the shot in the viewfinder the image jumps or is wrong in some way. When I finally get her image centred and the distance right, I see she has washed her face.
 I realise that the 'echoes' I have been experiencing are more prolific than I thought. The dream I had on Day 16 where I am swimming closely and very intimately with a child prefigures exactly the actual swim I had with my son on Day 21. When I went to visit my sister in Yorkshire, the first thing I saw when
I pulled off the motorway was a red kite bird. Without me mentioning this, my brother in law started telling me about red kites the next day, and when I turned
on the radio whilst we were leaving Yorkshire, there was a lady on the radio discussing red kites again. I dreamt that the lights go out in the street
because the local authority cannot afford to keep them on. The next day I read that this is actually happening. Today I find myself singing a song in my head about guilt. As I hum the song a county court summons drops onto the doormat at my feet. I open it and the first thing it asks me is whether I will be admitting guilt.
Relating experience to signature
 Dream – something wants to break into the school and get me. I return inside the school whenever danger approaches. Feeling of being singled out.
 I feel like something’s got me by the throat.
 I dream of a deadly threat from a man with great power over us.