The dream was born when I was a small boy,
watching Sword & Sandal epics with my dad on our small black and white TV.
Greek heroes, played by Reg Park, Steve Reeves and a handful of other peplum-clad musclemen, routinely fought
monsters and toppled tyrants who sought to oppress a struggling humanity. I was totally enthralled and my life-path was firmly
Being of Greek descent and raised with
mythic tales of high adventure, I was especially drawn to the Hercules movies and the Sons
of Hercules TV show, a series that followed the adventures of those who were descendants of Hercules by blood or in
spirit. They appeared in the world when humanity most needed them, and then, like many other pop-culture heroes, they
wandered off into the sunset.
I was proud of my Greek heritage. How could I not be? These were my ancestors on the flickering screen! I longed
to be worthy of them and imagined myself continuing their noble work when I was older. While my playmates declared their desire
to be policemen, firemen, teachers or nurses when they grew up, I firmly maintained that I would be a mighty Son of Hercules.
The dream stayed with me and influenced almost everything I've done in my life so far.
For my career path I chose to battle monstrous social conditions and to help people transcend their circumstances
in the Social Services and Academic arenas. In this way I could help to bring about positive change in people’s lives
like my strong-man ancestor.
I had Herculean theatrical adventures as
well. By the early dawn of this new millennium I was wandering through the concrete canyons of New York City, sword in
hand, while a band of modern minstrels armed with mini-dv cams chronicled my journeys for my local cable show, Thor the
As I worked with talented, creative and socially aware people over the years I often wondered: What if we could
band together and actually BE Hercules in today's world, guided by our deepest wisdom to create a wonderful
world beyond our wildest dreams?
I decided to find out. I declared that the Age of the Victim was finally over and that the Age of Heroes had begun.
In Greek Mythology the Age of Heroes was a time when people strove to actualize their full potential and embody
the Highest they could conceive. It was an age when individuals and groups, through their actions, shared their
divine gifts with their communities and transformed the world.
Surprisingly, I found that many others
were also inspired by the Sword & Sandal entertainment of the late 50s and early 60s and wanted to be Sons (and Daughters) of
Hercules as well.
The Age of Heroes initiatives harnessed
the creative energy and focused the attention of many heroic individuals with radically diverse backgrounds over the years.
Together we brought into being a drop-in Computer Center in downtown Brooklyn,
an innovative Internship Program and lots of instructional multimedia. As
with the Argonaut expedition of old, this was an interfaith effort. The children of many different religions joined together
to do something both fantastic and memorable for the benefit of the humanity we all shared.
During the course of these adventures I
met Muninn, a truly remarkable woman. We fell in love, got married and moved to Northeastern Pennsylvania.
the dream lived on. Muninn had been inspired by the same heroic tales in her youth and partnered with me in actualizing my
dream here in the Pocono Mountains.
I started to work for Northampton Community College and held diverse classes through
Wallenpaupack Community Education and the YMCA. We volunteered our time towards championing local literacy, mostly through
the Hawley Public Library. We met a handful of kindred spirits who were quick to lend a helping hand. In time we developed
our own programs and formed a non-profit corporation.
Hercules Invictus picks up where our Age
of Heroes initiatives of 2000 - 2005 left off, and takes them a step further.
It is our belief that the human spirit is essentially heroic and always seeking ways to express its innate nobility
and greatness. And that a life fully lived, dedicated to actualizing the Highest we can conceive, is the noblest form of existence.
All humans have unique talents and gifts
that can be cultivated and applied to the betterment of the world around them. And everyone is endowed with creativity, a
truly divine power. We ask: If not you, then who? If not now, then when? Once you commit to doing something great, your heart
will guide you on your path. Of that we are certain.
Our beginnings as a local organization are humble, but our dreams are bold. We’d love to invite you to
join us on our real-world adventures!
Article by Thor the Barbarian published in Mulligan Printing's Fall 2007 Lifestyles magazine.