by Andrew Hennessey

Robert MacLeod is an amazing character whose life is steeped in the artefacts of ancient warfare and historic swordplay.

He is founder of his own school and effectively of a movement for a Western Martial Arts system that he has developed, rediscovered and augmented.


‘Lifeforce is fencing,  fencing is Lifeforce’   is his motto.


He takes part in re-enactment battles from Scottish and English history with the Sealed Knot Society, a regular international tournament winner and is a consultant and choreographer of swordplay in film work.

Robert is also part of an International Alliance of Swordmasters and a skilled weapon smith.


When I first met Robert he related that he was part of an elite group of people who received special coaching.

Being interested in such things I pressed for more information and it turns out that Robert follows the script of the famous film starring Christopher Lambert and Sean Connery called the ‘Highlander’.


There an elite group of immortal swordsmen perpetually contested fighting for the rights to each other’s skills, knowledge and power in a victory that resulted in decapitation for one and a turbo superboost for the victor. Eventually, there could be only one left.


My goodness I thought, lets hope there isn’t any contest during our lunch in Doctor’s Bar – for sure the décor could improve but I wasn’t hoping to get an introduction to Darth Vader at least until I’d finished my bangers and mash ….


What happens suggested Robert is that at night his soul is spirited away to a meeting place in the Astral realm on a ‘mountain top’ – where this guy called the Master takes him and the five other international candidates from places such as Italy and America through some new moves.


The other people who Robert knows in real life have apparently discussed these sessions with each other on the telephone.


The Master obviously had some plans for this group of common destiny.


He also related that there was a price to pay for this instruction but that was his choice.

So far so good then.


Robert also related that he had been followed down the street by two small aliens in a glass bubble contraption that stayed at rooftop height, which in that neighbourhood would be three stories high. He also related that small glowing orbs of light would regularly appear in his house.


It did seem that he was under some form of supernatural surveillance.


At one of our meetings at Doctors’ Bar, Robert related that he had downloaded from some sort of otherworldly Internet a whole system of mathematical and spiritual relativity.


I was a bit wary of that idea since Robert occasionally presented knowledge of Masonic writings and I thought that maybe he had been given some secret Masonic textbook that he was currently reading up.


He then reached for a beer mat and started to draw out archetypal geometric shapes, and then in the next pub, he would write mathematical metaphysics on the corners of bar newspapers or napkins – it was as if his mind was full to overflowing of some ideas that he was not fully acquainted with.


His next production was to be an important philosophical treatise on the sword and its philosophy and his preliminary sketches were starting to take shape already.


I gave him a system with which he could take a comfortable metaphysical overview of these endless relationships he had uncovered.


I recognised the basic issue in the universal nature of his theory – that it appeared to present infinite labels for a series of infinite objects and suggested that he could overcome the paradox of endless recursion initially spotted by a scientist called Turing by anchoring his Theory around an ancient system of three ness.


Such were the conversations amongst SKY football screens and one-armed bandits.


Robert said that he had been out duelling at St Margaret’s Chapel on Arthur’s Seat the extinct volcano in Holyrood Park. This was a hill reputed to be haunted by the faerie people.


Their swordplay had been interrupted by a sparkling white light, which the two followed noting that it had disappeared into the hillside.


Traditionally there are entrances to the caverns and tunnels under Edinburgh in that park and there is a famous local story from folk tradition of a King chasing a white deer through the park.


This is traditionally symbolic of the presence of the faerie other world in this vicinity.


Definitely there was something otherworldly about Highlander MacLeod.


Robert allegedly continued to download more theory from some Alien Internet  – and I came more to believe that he was integrated with some very weird stuff.

I went round to his workshop and as he was busy working away on one of his beautiful swords I spotted a series of photographs taken in the park in central Edinburgh called the Meadows.


Here Robert was with a few others and engaged in the middle of combat.


In the photographs, Robert and the other duellist were surrounded by a matrix of twenty or so glowing orbs.


Next year, Robert came back to our Alehouse discussion with a new discovery. That somehow our notions of heaven and hell were all wrong and that what we took for Heaven was in fact hell and that what we took for hell was in fact Heaven.


Heaven for Robert was being centred in the Earth’s battery of energies, lux and flux and being part of the luminous central hierarchy at the heart of the Earth. From there, great powers and feats of superhuman capacity were possible.


On one of his many transatlantic flights Robert had a vision in the clouds, for it seemed that each cloud took on a demonic face. He was challenged to find the source of goodness, driven by a potential army of evil opponents and he related that his source of strength and life was the centre of the Earth.


For him, the traditional view of Heaven had become Hell and the traditional view of Hell had become Heaven.


His centre of power had become the ‘god’ within – and the god in the eternal energy at the centre of the world.


He didn’t feel too happy about being a ‘slave to Christ’.


Just as in the film ‘the Highlander’ – Robert feels ‘the quickening’ that turbo boost of energy that takes him beyond the normal time and space of human martial artists whose moves and minds become transparent to him. He said that he could read the move of an opponent even before it is made.


Whatever army of opponents face Robert MacLeod now or in the future it is certain that augmented by arcane powers and hidden masters and a fellowship of other acolytes that he could give Darth Vader a run for his money.