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The Death of Ior Bock

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« on: October 26, 2010, 02:15:19 am »

Death Of The Week: Ior BockBy Andrew Tijs on October 25th, 2010 at 7:47 pm
Only naked cult leaders are taken seriously. Image: Sweded.

Only naked cult leaders are taken seriously. Image: Sweded.

Dearly Departed: Finnish actor, minor cult leader and Wikipedia-approved “eccentric”, Ior Bock, 1942-2010.

Cause Of Death: Stabbing.

Greatest Achievement: Claiming lineage to an ancient Finnish saga, with a life that was a bizarre saga of its own.

Most of us think of loopy ideas about taxation or a laissez-faire attitude to dentistry as ‘eccentric’. So when someone who has sadly passed is described on their Wikipedia entry as an eccentric, we don’t necessarily think of someone who was the product of an incestuous coupling, who was framed for the manslaughter of his brother as a child, claimed he was part of a Finland’s pagan heritage, and was stabbed on two separate occasions before he died.

Meet Ior Bock.

Since I’m not fluent in Finnish, what I’m cobbling together about Bock’s bizarre time on this earth is as accurate as the internet allows, but if it’s a shaggy dog story, it’s the shaggiest of them all.

In the mid-’80s, Bock claimed that his family line, the Boxströms, were “keepers of an ancient folklore tradition” of the icy nation’s pagan history. While this ancient story of animism and sexual fertility rites (including a particular focus on autofellatio, as far as I found) was probably humdrum for its time, and was sniffed at by Finnish academia, his more immediate family history was hardly, shall we say, ‘incident-free’.

For starters, in his autobiographical book The Bock Saga he claimed that his father was sea-captain Knut Victor Boxström; the last man to hold the secrets. Knut was also apparently his grandfather, having knocked up his daughter, and Bock’s mother, Rhea.

This was contested, that he was actually adopted by Rhea and her husband Bror Svedlin, but Ior claimed that the adoption story was merely a cover-up for the terrible tale of incest.

This wasn’t the first sordid family tale he contested. His brother, Erik Svedlin, was shot dead at 23. Ior signed a statement that he threw the gun at Erik  and it went off. He was party to manslaughter and served four months probation for his involvement, but later he claimed that no such incident happened. He said Erik committed suicide due to a “tragic family drama”. And this was only the beginning.

Well, after Ior became a lighting technician and theatre actor, he became a tour guide at the 18th-century sea fortress of Sveaborg, but he began telling more and more elaborate stories to tourists about the heritage and about history, and was sacked.

Following this, Bock rounded up some Finnish history buffs who were willing to chance it, and excavated historical sites to prove his odd conjecture about his nation’s history. Nothing was found, and he lost funding after a drug arrest tarnished his not-so-unimpeachable name.

Then, in 1999, he was stabbed and was left a paraplegic. That much can be verified.

Eleven years later, he was stabbed again, this time fatally, in his Helsinki apartment. Two men who served as his personal assistants were arrested. This can also be verified.

If you want to explore the details of the Bock Saga, head to this barely-post-Geocities site which aims “to afford, over time, a comprehensive understanding that Bock Saga is logical, honest and true” with eerie music that autoplays. Or explore it here in regular text, written by an Australian. Or just Babelfish his Twitter. Or listen to Finnish prog rock band Kingston Wall, who incorporated the Bock Saga into their album III – Tri-Logy.

Sometimes there’s a conspiracy. Sometimes you have to make one. Sometimes, the truth could be stranger than any fiction… especially is its embellished. The verified bits of Ior Bock’s story are mystifying, and the rest is just good mythologising.

He will be missed.
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