Silent, The

Strange cult of squatters, apparently a kind of silent order, that occupies 33 Bristol Gardens, and of which Abschnitt bassist Charlie Cousins is a member. Later, in Chapter 49, it transpires that they have been tortured in Raguly and Nebuly's snuggery, on behalf of the impresario.

Chapter 14

There was some sort of secretive religious cult at Number 33. They kept to themselves and the house always looked clean and tidy, but to the other squatters they were ‘the Weirdos’ or, more politely, ‘the Silent’.


The squatter factions were connected anarchically, much like their illicit, underground utility cables and gas pipes. Some of the links weren’t even apparent to the squatters and others were as makeshift as Fraser’s mains coat hanger; like the one between Scrooch’s embryonic graphic design cooperative, Primo Beans, and the Silent, for whom they designed and printed a run of flyers.

Fraser, Chapter 14: “but what’s the point of it? What kind of a world are they trying to create and why are they so eager to obliterate the one we have? It makes about as much sense as the Silent and whatever they’re on about in their funny flyers”:

“If you want an education
in the science of being a human being

If you want to be more than a conditioned cultural unit

If you would like your children balanced and good natured and not angry or autistic

If you recognise that Reality is One

If you know already that you were not created just to be a consumer of goods and a wink-slave

If you would like to be able to say, ‘I am not content with myself but I am content with what comes to me’


There is nothing but totality

there is no split in existence.”


But not long after this the Silent became the Invisible. There were claims their lease on Number 33 expired but those of us with a few living brain cells knew that no one in the Gardens had a lease. I didn’t see it for myself but Fraser told me Big John and a contingent of Razor Gang members turned up on the doorstep of Number 33 one night, determined to rouse Charlie Cousins and the other occupants.


But there was something else about the Silent we wouldn’t find out about until much later, and by then it was like seeing the first leaf fall from a dying tree.

Chapter 49

I was about to apologise until I realised what it was and noticed, standing rather hunched some way off, cowl drawn up and looking damp and dishevelled, one of the Silent. He, she or it shuffled from foot to foot as though eager to say something to us. I couldn’t see the eyes or the face beneath that hood but whoever it was seemed to be staring at Fraser, who was still watching the progress of the busking boy dodging from doorway to doorway down Karcasey Street, eyes peeled for Raguly and Nebuly – who dutifully appeared out of nowhere as they’re inclined to do, to flank the still shuffling Silent one. Raguly, emitting his usual unpleasant odour and grinning ingratiatingly, moved towards the Silent one, yanked at the cowl and revealed a face I could only assume had seen better days.

“Squealing feedback,” said Fraser in a sort of stunned whisper. “Isn’t that Gavin Carswell?”

Carswell?” said Jacky. “Gavin Carswell of Wirrwar?