a l a m u t

the eagle's nest

Alamut was the mountain fortress of Hassan i Sabbah and the later heads of the Assassins. Alamut represents more than just a physical place, more even than a symbolic home of the movement. Alamut was with you in what you did; Alamut was in your heart from the moment of your arrival and introduction to "Heaven" until the moment you died.

Alamut might be an example of a permanent autonomous zone, a p.a.z. Certainly it's status as a mountain fortress unassailable by outside forces for over a hundred years would seem to make it more likely a candidate than anything seen in America today. Bey rightly notes that sincere attempts to create independent socities have always been either crushed or absorbed, up through today's Branch Davidians or MOVE, both of which met firey reprisals from the State.

On the other hand, Alamut might be seen as a temporary autonomous zone as well. The Assassins (and the Ismaili) continued to function after the Mongols had driven them away. (In fact, I believe that the Egyptians later recaptured the fortress and returned it to the Assassins, but like so much else about the sect, I'm not sure if this is fact or myth). The Assassins had Alamut as symbol and unification for their secret society; the Alamut in their hearts & souls could never be captured.