Join the Eris of the Month Club Today — If Not Sooner!

July 2014 Eris of the Month
by Michele Witchipoo.
Click to Embiggen.

For many years on my Untamed Dimensions blog, I featured a Devil Girl of the Month.

But after forsaking Eris and giving Christianity another whack, I stopped promoting Devil Gals and now spend most of my time posting Christian album covers, although I sometimes backslide and find myself posting pics of crazy Bongo Broads, of whom I also have a great fondness.

In the spirit of crazy bongo broads, devil girls and kooky Christian album covers, we present to you now a new feature here at HistoriaDiscordia.com called

Eris of the Month

where we’ll post a pic of Eris, yes, you guessed it, on the 23rdish of each month!

We launch the inaugural edition of the Eris of the Month with a contribution from HD staff member Michele Witchipoo—but then after that it’ll be up to you, dear readers, to keep the Golden Apple rolling.

In other words, we’ll need your submissions to keep the Eris of the Month Club alive.

So don’t delay!

Send your submissions by using the form at the bottom of The MGT. page.

Please obtain permissions and provide credit to the artists featured in your submissions.

Photos of Eris are acceptable, as well. Provided she is holding a Golden Apple. (‘Kallisti’ optional.)

Goddess speed to you!

Posted in art, discordianism, eris of the month, official business | 1 Comment

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Chasing Eris: Emperor Norton, Discordian Saint

The following article is yet another draft excerpt from my forthcoming book Chasing Eris. The book documents my worldwide adventure to experience modern Discordian culture, meet its personalities, and discover elusive Erisian mysteries.
Brenton Clutterbuck

 

Emperor Norton materials found in the Discordian Archives.
Courtesy of the Discordian Archives.

One of the Saints of Discordia (and saints do not have to be dead, agreed upon or even have a factual existence) is a historical figure by the name of Emperor Norton.

I set off on a mission to visit Norton’s grave, while I was in San Francisco. It turned out I wasn’t the only one who would do so with some frequency. After I walked all the way up, to the top of the steep hill of the graveyard, I gave up on finding Norton’s grave by myself and walked back down to the reception space to ask for help.

“I’m looking to visit a particular grave,” I said. “They’re a well known figure, known as Emperor Norton.”

The lady behind the desk knew immediately who I was after, and produced a photocopied map out from behind the desk.

“We get a lot of people coming to see the Emperor,” she said.

Emperor Norton was born in 1819 in England, but was taken very young to South Africa from where he emigrated to San Francisco in 1849. He made his money as a business person for sometime, until he lost his fortune in a bad investment in Peruvian rice. Norton claimed the supplier had misled him and appealed to the courts to help him out. While early rulings were in his favor, the Supreme Court of California ruled against him. He left San Francisco after this poor fortune, but returned again years later. When he did, he was to become a local legend.

On Norton’s return he no longer took the name of Joshua, and now claimed to be of royal lineage. In a conversation with his friend Nathan Peiser, he explained that he believed himself to be French royalty, sent to England as a child for his own safety, as indeed many children of French Royalty had done during the French revolution, as a response to the generally negative health implications of combining guillotines with angry mobs. Norton realized he had been given the Jewish name Joshua from his adoptive parents as a way to protect him from assassins.

Upon his return, he demanded the dissolution of the United States Government and declared himself Emperor of the United States of America, through the following notice, published by the San Francisco Bulletin in 1859;

At the peremptory request and desire of a large majority of the citizens of these United States, I, Joshua Norton, formerly of Algoa Bay, Cape of Good Hope, and now for the last 9 years and 10 months past of S. F., Cal., declare and proclaim myself Emperor of these U. S.; and in virtue of the authority thereby in me vested, do hereby order and direct the representatives of the different States of the Union to assemble in Musical Hall, of this city, on the 1st day of Feb. next, then and there to make such alterations in the existing laws of the Union as may ameliorate the evils under which the country is laboring, and thereby cause confidence to exist, both at home and abroad, in our stability and integrity.
—NORTON I, Emperor of the United States.


Norton, in many other cities, would have been a curiosity quickly forgotten, but San Francisco embraced him wholeheartedly. It had after all, become a tourist destination in recent history, and Norton had proved himself a character worth writing home about. Tourists were good for Norton personally, as well as San Francisco, providing a market for his Imperial Treasury Bond Certificates (to be repayed, apparently, at 7% interest in the year 1880).

As an additional title, for a little under a decade, Norton also took on the title of Protector of Mexico. He eventually gave up the title, stating “It is impossible to protect such an unsettled nation.”

While certainly destitute and possibly mentally ill, the city of San Francisco celebrated Norton so that he was never plunged too desperately into despair. While some tales of Norton seem suggest that his eccentricity allowed him to effectively live the regal life of an emperor, this seems to be quite the exaggeration. William Drury’s biography Norton I, Emperor of the United States seems to be the main source of most information available anywhere on Norton’s life, painting a somewhat less rosy picture of Norton’s economically challenged existence. However, some companies would set aside tables or seats for Norton’s use and deliver him meals in specially reserved plates and accept his self-issued currency, generally given out in 50 cent denominations.

Norton would be dressed in a blue uniform, with gold-plated epaulets provided by army officers and a beaver hat further decorated with a peacock feather and rosette. There are accounts that say he was known to inspect the condition of public property and the dress standards of police officers, to give philosophical expositions, to attend plays in seats reserved for him, and to eat for free in establishments that valued his presence for the publicity, sometimes with brass plaques under the entrance declaring “by Appointment to his Imperial Majesty, Emperor Norton I of the United States.”

The Encyclopedia of San Francisco suggests he spent 50 cents-a-night (not self-issued currency) for accommodation. He would walk to the Empire Hostel to read his paper, then spend the day on a park bench with friends including the Chinese man Ah How. Norton would decry the unequal treatment of the Chinese in San Francisco.

One story suggests that Norton once stood between a violent mob and Chinese workers during an anti-Chinese riot, protecting the Chinese workers by repeating the Lord’s Prayer until the rioters dispersed.

Norton was said to be good at chess and a great reader who spent much time in these activities at the libraries of various San Francisco clubs. He also used their stationary for the purpose of writing some of his proclamations. He attended church on Sundays, alternating the church he visited. On Saturdays, he attended a Jewish temple. Of this, Norton said, “I think it is my duty to encourage religion and morality by showing myself at church and to avoid jealousy I attend them all in turn.”

William Drury said of Norton, “He carried a dignified and regal air about him, but was seen as a kind, affable man, inclined to be jocular in conversation. He spoke rationally and intelligently about any subject, except about himself or his empire.”

It is suggested, by Samuel Dickinson in Tales of San Francisco, that Norton would be accompanied at plays by two other San Francisco celebrities, a pair of mongrel dogs named Bummer and Lazarus, who were by some accounts, pets of Norton. Stray dogs were, by law, destroyed, but these two had been adopted by the Board of Supervisors, as a reward for their duties in killing the rats that overran the city. Both dogs were well known in San Francisco, and SF resident Mark Twain provided a eulogy for Lazarus when he died. Twain also knew Norton, and based the character of “the King” who appeared in The Adventures of Huck Finn on him. Of Norton he said; “O dear, it was always a painful thing for me to see the Emperor begging, for although nobody else believed he was an emperor, he believed it.”

In 1867 Norton was arrested and placed in a mental institution, though outrage from the public ensured his release. He offered an Imperial Pardon to the policeman responsible, and thereafter was saluted by the police as he passed.

Norton was occasionally the victim of practical jokes in this mode. He was occasionally sent telegrams that alleged to be from other political figures of the time, or he would discover that some other bright spark had been issuing proclamations in his name. As far as can be known, he seems to have suffered these indignities with good grace, with the exception of a broken window in the case of a particularly insulting cartoon. Certain falsified telegrams, perhaps a prank on the emperor, were found amongst his possessions upon his death, along with very small amounts of money.

Norton died in 1880, succumbing to a sanguineous apoplexy. His funeral was large, by some accounts having 30,000 attendees. He was buried in a rosewood casket, provided by a business men’s association, the Pacific Club, at the Masonic Cemetery and at the expense of the city of San Francisco.

Adam Gorightly on pilgrimage
to Emperor Norton's gravesite.
Courtesy of the Discordian Archives.

Norton now lies with the other previous residents of the Masonic cemetery, in the graveyard in Colma. His grave is between two trees atop a hill, a large dark grave with deep gold letters emblazoned in it. In front of his grave is a surprising second; the grave of The Widow Norton, who I later discovered was reserved for the still living drag queen Jose Sarria, a San Francisco feature, the first openly gay person in the USA to run for political office. Only a few months after my visit, Jose continued his journey to the big drag show in the sky. At his funeral, “fit for an empress” Bay Area Reporter columnist Donna Sachet performed a song titled “The Norton Family” to the tune of “The Addams Family.” The Gay and Lesbian Freedom Band played “As The Saints Go Marching In” as his casket was lowered.

I spent a little time at Norton’s grave site. In a funny way I felt thankful to him for his example, for the audacity of his madness, and the way in which he gave an example of creating a new reality through consensus, by inviting others to play along. I left some coins, as others had, at the base of his tombstone, and a Pope Card too.

The group E Clampus Vitus hold a party yearly at Norton’s grave. Other groups, such as one assembly of KallistiCon as mentioned in the Portland chapter, as well as individual Discordians, hold events or pilgrimages to Norton’s grave.

Norton’s laws and directives included the following;

1859: Congress is to be abolished.

1859: Gov. Wise of Virginia is dismissed from office, for the hanging of John Brown.

1860: Congress, having refused Norton’s imperial decree is to be forcefully disbanded by the United States Military.

1861: A new theater, Tucker’s Hall, opened with a performance of “Norton the First,” or “An Emperor for a Day.”

1862: The Roman Catholic and Protestant church need both publicly recognize Norton as Emperor.

1869: The Republican and Democratic parties of America are both abolished.

1869: Sacramento is required to clean its muddy streets and install gaslights.

1872: A $25 fine is issued to any person who refers to San Francisco as ‘Frisco.

1872: A suspension bridge is to be built between Oakland and San Francisco. (This one was eventually obeyed long after Norton’s death)

Norton influenced the works of writers such as Twain, Neil Gaiman and Robert Lewis Stevenson. He is also heavily represented in Discordianism.

Norton is listed in the Principia Discordia as an example of a second class saint—being Saints who, by their existence, are ineligible for higher levels of Sainthood, which are reserved for nonexistent saints.

Page 14 of the Principia is taken up entirely by an altered image of Norton’s money.

One manifestation of the Discordians Society in San Francisco was titled The Joshua Norton Cabal. Their slogan was: Everybody understands Mickey Mouse. Few understand Hermann Hesse. Only a handful understood Albert Einstein. And nobody understood Emperor Norton.

This cabal was fictionalized in Robert Anton Wilson and Robert Shae’s classic Discordian work Illuminatus! as a renegade gang poised to resist the Illuminati. Character Doc Iggy gives the following explanation of the cabal

Well, chew on this for a while, friend: there were two very sane and rational anarchists who lived about the same time as Emperor Norton across the country in Massachusetts: William Green and Lysander Spooner. They also realized the value of having competing currencies instead of one uniform State currency, and they tried logical arguments, empirical demonstrations and legal suits ‘to get this idea accepted’. They accomplished nothing. The government broke its own laws to find ways to suppress Green’s Mutual Bank and Spooner’s People’s Bank. That’s because they were obviously sane, and their currency did pose a real threat to the monopoly of the Illuminati. But Emperor Norton was so crazy that people humored him and his currency was allowed to circulate. Think about it.

In the introduction to the purple cover edition by IllumiNet Press of the Principia Discordia, Kerry Thornley has the following to say on Norton:

We asked Goddess if She, like God, had an Only Begotten Son. She assured us that She did and gave His name as Emperor Norton I—whom we assumed was probably some Byzantine ruler of Constantinople. Diligent research eventually turned up the historical Norton, as we call Him, in the holy city of San Francisco—where He walked His faithful dog along Market Street scarcely more than a century ago….

He ended by saying:

Perhaps occasionally the soul of Emperor Norton descends once more into the world to momentarily inhabit the body of an otherwise undistinguished infidel. One day I was sitting in a hamburger stand in rundown Midtown Atlanta. A burned-out speed freak at a nearby table looked at me with a pleasant smile and said, “I’m King of the Universe. I don’t know what I’m doing in a place like this.”

And perhaps that’s the big attraction of our faith. If you want, you can be King of the Universe. Jesse Sump is Ancient Abbreviated Calif. of California. I am Bull Goose of Limbo and President of the Fair-Play-for-Switzerland Committee. Camden Benares is Pretender to the Throne of Lesbos. Greg Hill is Polyfather of Virginity-in-Gold. Sabal Etonia is High Constable of Constantinople. You can declare yourself Archbishop of Abyssinia or Curator of the Moon—we don’t care, but your mailman will be impressed.

* * *

The final version of this article will appear in my forthcoming book Chasing Eris.

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Daisy Eris Campbell: Letter from RAW to Ken Campbell

Posted in daisy eris campbell, kenneth campbell, letters, robert anton wilson, timothy leary | Leave a comment

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And now for something completely fnord…

Historia Discordia staff member and video gurumph Floyd Anderson has released a new viddy-ditty that we thought would be of fnording interest to sombunall trouble-making Erisianoids.

Enjoy if you dare!

9/11: A Mega Fnord from Floyd Anderson on Vimeo.

“With this video I had in mind the Sacred Chao and what the reaction to 9/11 did, imposing more order upon society and at the same time being the trigger for a great awakening.

http://discordia.wikia.com/wiki/Sacred_Chao
Floyd Anderson

 
 

Posted in art, discordianism, floyd anderson, music, video | 2 Comments

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Adam Gorightly interviewed on The Opperman Report

Ed Opperman interviews Adam Gorightly about his lastest book,
Historia Discordia: The Origins of the Discordian Society,
and all kinds of other odd and fun High Weirdness.

Hail Eris!

Posted in audio, book, charles manson, discordianism, greg hill, interview, jfk, jim garrison, kerry thornley, lee harvey oswald, official business, video, warren commission | Leave a comment

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Greg Hill’s Note To Self

Here’s a page from Greg Hill’s notebook, date unknown.

Apparently, Greg planned to ordain David Ossman of the Firesign Theatre at one point, although I don’t know if this Discordian ordination ever actually occurred, short of Greg sending Ossman a Pope Card, which probably did nothing more than mystify the poor fellow, wondering who the heck this Malaclypse character was.

Greg Hill's note to ordain David Ossman as a Discordian Pope.
Courtesy of the Discordian Archives.

Posted in discordianism, greg hill, writings | Leave a comment

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Caught In The Crossfire: Triangulating On Your Brain Soon!

AP photo of Kerry Thornley during the Jim Garrison investigation.

Slated soon for publication from Feral House is my long awaited epic, Caught In The Crossfire: Kerry Thornley, Oswald and the Garrison Investigation, a topic I first broached ten years ago or so in The Prankster and the Conspiracy (Amazon).

Several years after the release of The Prankster, your humble reporter stumbled upon a wealth of new information related to Kerry Thornley and the Jim Garrison case which, in turn, led to an ever-deeper examination of this seemingly never-ending rabbit hole that encompassed such a large and troubling part of Kerry Thornley’s life. (And mine, as well!)

Caught in the Crossfire, Pre-Order from
Amazon Today
!

You can order an advanced copy of Caught In The Crossfire at Amazon and be the first one on your block to know the complete, mind-blowing story!

On a related note, I share with you now a Historia Discordia Exclusive snipped from Rev. Wyrdsli’s seminal 1992 video interview with Thornley at A Cappella Books, wherein Kerry discusses many of the strange and intimate details that will further emerge, and be expanded upon, in Caught In The Crossfire.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IN-gFt2exHw

Posted in book, brother-in-law, discordianism, interview, jfk, jim garrison, kerry thornley, video, warren commission, writings | 2 Comments

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Chasing Eris: The RAW Deal on Illuminatus! ’76/’77

Chasing Eris by
Brenton Clutterbuck

The following is another draft excerpt from my forthcoming book Chasing Eris. The book documents my worldwide adventure to experience modern Discordian culture, meet its personalities, and discover elusive Erisian mysteries.

Here’s a hint of what went down in London.
Brenton Clutterbuck

 
 
 
 
We’ve reached part two of the Chasing Eris adventure. I’ve taken my accommodation in Bristol, a city full of artistic energy, close to my intended interviewees. On one of my first days in the city, I jump on a train to London.

There are two great stories of Discordia waiting to be told here. One is of The KLF, the superstar band that took the world by storm, before quitting the music business and burning a million pounds of cash. The starting point of that first story grows out of the fertile, imaginative ground of our second story—the Illuminatus! Play of November 23, 1976.

Robert Anton Wilson first discovered Discordianism through his mail correspondence with Kerry Thornley in 1967. In a 1992 interview with Reverend Wyrdsli, Thornley discussed Wilson’s interest in Discordia:

He said, very early in our relationship that one of the things we needed were God models that were appropriate to anarchism. And he had written some stuff about Taoism and the spirit of the Valley Lady: the eternal female, and about Shang Dynasty matrism and so on and so forth. So I suggested to him Eris Discordia and told him about the Discordian Society, and he was just very enthused about it, plunged into it, got very active in it, and was responsible for a lot of our creeds and dogmas and so on and so forth.

Robert Anton Wilson would become involved in Operation Mindfuck that next year, participating in various Discordian shenanigans, including the development of a large mythos built-up around the Bavarian Illuminati. This mythos would appear to have gone on to influence the modern pop-cultural idea of the Illuminati, from books such as Umberto Eco’s conspiracy classic Foucault’s Pendulum (Amazon) to the pop-culture runaway successes of Dan Brown’s novels The Da Vinci Code (Amazon) and Angels and Demons (Amazon), and the film adaptation of Lara Croft: Tomb Raider (Amazon Instant Video), though Wilson’s influence is seldom credited.

Robert Shea, the editor of anarchist zine No Governor was Wilson’s partner in crime. The pair were working together editing the Playboy Forum letters section. A number of the letters they received were from paranoids (or most likely letters Shea & Wilson planted), alleging that they were the target of various conspiracies. Using the concept that perhaps every single one of the alleged conspiracies was true, they began work on the Illuminatus! Trilogy (Amazon).

One of the plot devices of Illuminatus! was that it featured a long-running feud between the Discordians and the Illuminati. This was a theme that had previously been carried through a number of Discordian writings in the zine scene, and was invoked in the Illuminatus! Trilogy at Shea’s suggestion.

The first volume of Illuminatus! was released in 1975, and did a great deal to popularize Discordianism. Readers mistakenly assumed the mysterious Principia Discordia mentioned in Illuminatus! was one of the many fabrications of Shea and Wilson, and were later often stunned to learn the Principia Discordia was, in fact, real.

* * *

Brenton Clutterbuck and
Ken Campbell's daughter,
Daisy Eris Campbell. Check out
her production of
RAW's Cosmic Trigger.
Courtesy of Brenton Cluttberuck.

In 1976 Ken Campbell went into Compendium, a bookshop in Camden town. He was looking for a work to perform at the Liverpool Theatre of Language, Music, Dream and Pun, the site founded by poet Peter O’Halligan, who based the location of the theatre on a dream recounted by Carl Jung. In this store he spotted a copy of Illuminatus!, a yellow submarine on the cover. This was a possible synchronicity to the Liverpool music scene that spawned The Beatles who once sang about such a submarine. He opened it to a random page to see what he’d find, and the line he read was all about Jung. Synchronicities were plentiful.

As a result, Illuminatus! became the first project to be performed in Liverpool Theatre of Language, Music, Dream and Pun.

Anyone who has seen a copy of Illuminatus! has had the sheer size of the work impressed upon them. Completing it is no mean feat. Adapting it down to the size of a typical play would be an even more daunting feat. However Campbell took it a step further; instead of cutting out huge chunks of the text he kept the work at largely its original size, and developed eight-and-a-half hours of performance. In Liverpool he presented five plays over five nights, with the fifth being a presentation of all five; one after the other in a mammoth all day performance.

The creative team behind the play included Chris Langham—who helped produce the play alongside Campbell—as lead role George Dorn, Jim Broadbent in a number of minor roles including biological weapon designer Dr. Charles Moncenigo and the sadistic Sheriff Jim Cartwright, Bill Nighy as magazine editor Joe Malik, David Rappaport as Markoff Chainey, and the work of Bill Drummond, later of The KLF fame, as a set designer.

I walked up to the National Theatre. After the Liverpool shows the play moved on to performances in Amsterdam, before finally coming to London. I had come here just to stand in front of the theatre and do a small video talking about the play, but thought I’d try my luck wandering on in and asking at the theatre shop if they knew anything about the Trilogy. They referred me to the National Theatre Archive which, in my ignorance, I had not known about.

Brenton Clutterbuck and the Illuminatus! play manuscript. Courtesy of Brenton Clutterbuck.

The next day I went to the archive and was given a large case full of documentation from the play. The most voluminous (and for reasons of copyright, the most off-limits, with no photocopying permitted) was the play itself, an enormous pile of A4 paper resembling more a Joycean manuscript than any play I’d ever seen. Sketches of Eye-in-the-Pyramid and designs of sets or advertising were scrawled across the backs of several of the pages.

I pulled out several newspaper articles. Most were reviews, but a small number stood out in particular as bizarre oddities that contributed an additional layer of weirdness to the already larger than life Illuminatus! saga.

One article was titled “Horror Mission of an Actor Obsessed with the Occult” from the Daily Mail, dated September 7, 1982 about Illuminatus! cast member Chris Taynton whose roles included the pimp Carmel and Robert Putney Drake, the head of the American Crime Syndicate. The article told of how Taynton, believing he had been overcome by alien forces, attacked Adrena Smith, a 57-year-old lady, by stabbing her multiple times. He blinded her in one eye, and killed her pets, including cutting the ears off her dog. Taynton’s involvement in the Illuminatus! play was raised in court by his defense lawyer, Patricia May, specifically in regard to the play’s supernatural and occult themes.

“Having taken an extremely exciting part in a somewhat bizarre play he became more and more involved in the principles that were propounded in that play,” said May.

It seems a number of the cast went on to have troubled futures. David Rappaport, a dwarf actor, who also played a main role in Terry Gilliam’s movie Time Bandits (Amazon Instant Video), struggled with depression in his later life and ended up shooting himself fatally in the chest in 1990, in Laurel Canyon Park, California.

Chris Langham too was jailed for 10 months in 2007 for possessing Level Five child pornography, which he claimed was both part of researching a character and helping himself deal with his own abuse as an eight year old child.

Before we enter into The Curse of Tutankhamen territory, it’s worth noting not all actors in Illuminatus! had such tragic futures waiting for them. Jim Broadbent and Bill Nighy continue to enjoy prosperous acting careers, and Ken Campbell left a legacy of genius (as well as a record for longest play ever—not in fact for Illuminatus!—but for his 22-hour long The Warp). He was remembered by Liverpool Everyman Theatre and Playhouse Artistic Director Gemma Bodinetz as “The door through which many hundreds of kindred souls entered a madder, braver, brighter, funnier and more complex universe.”

Another, less ghoulish article I read was titled “Raising School Fees for Gorilla,” and was published in The Guardian on April 19, 1977.

Brenton Clutterbuck on the Illuminatus! play. Clutterbuck: 'I mix-up facts and say LSD where I should say MDMA. I mix two stories from Gorightly and Higgs together.' Hail Eris!


In Illuminatus!, our intrepid heroes encounter a group of gorillas. Hagbard Celine, played by Neil Cunningham, has a conversation with them in Swahili (the gorillas all speak English, but are much more comfortable with Swahili). When Malik (Bill Nighy) asks if Celine taught the gorillas to speak, he responds that the gorillas have always been able to speak, but have largely kept their abilities secret:

“…the gorillas themselves are too shrewd to talk to anybody but another anarchist. They’re all anarchists themselves, you know, and they have a very healthy wariness about people in general and government people in particular. As one of them told me once, ‘If it got out that we can talk, the conservatives would exterminate most of us and make the rest pay rent to live on our own land; and the liberals would try to train us to be engine-lathe operators. Who the fuck wants to operate an engine lathe?’ They prefer their own pastoral and Eristic ways, and I, for one, would never interfere with them.”

Meanwhile in the “real” world at Stanford University, apparently unaware of the gorillas’ long term bluff, Miss Penny Patterson was busy trying to teach English to Koko the Gorilla.

Koko, according to the book Drawing the Line: Science and the Case for Animal Rights (Amazon), knew 2000 spoken English words and 1000 words in American Sign Language as of 2003. However, in 1977, the project was in very real danger of running out of money, the result to be that Koko would find herself returned to the San Francisco Zoo.

Perhaps because of the plot connection, or perhaps for other more incomprehensible and possibly synchronistic reasons, the Science Fiction Theatre of Liverpool (the organization run by Campbell and Langham specifically to produce the play) decided to support the project, even going as far as to consider adding an optional 50p levy to the audience in addition to setting up a stall to raise money.

“It was exactly the sort of research we think should be continued,” said Nighy.

“You never know what might be found out,” Campbell was quoted as saying.

* * *

The complete version of this article will appear in my forthcoming book Chasing Eris.

Posted in art, book, brenton clutterbuck, daisy eris campbell, discordianism, illuminati, illuminatus!, kenneth campbell, kerry thornley, play, principia discordia, robert anton wilson, robert shea, video, writings | Leave a comment

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First Gorightly Interview About Historia Discordia The Book

Historia Discordia:
The Origins of the
Discordian Society
.
Get Your Copy Now!

Expanding Mind Podcast June 29, 2014
with Adam Gorightly
:

Anarchism, synchronicity, and the joke religion spawned by the vision of a Goddess in a bowling alley: a talk with “crackpot historian” Adam Gorightly about his new book Historia Discordia: The Origins of the Discordian Society.

Hail Eris!

Posted in audio, book, discordianism, interview, official business, principia discordia, writings | 1 Comment

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Roger Lovin: Illuminatus! Group Reading Weeks 18 & 19

Early Discordian Roger Lovin,
photo from his classic book
The Complete Motorcycle Nomad.
Courtesy of the Discordian Archives.

During Saul Goodman’s visit to the Playboy Club in Illuminatus! (Page 173, Week 18)—where he was apparently drugged, abducted and subjected to all sorts of MK-ULTRA-style perversions straight out of A Clockwork Orange—Saul (or Barney Muldoon, or whoever he actually is now) finds himself in a hospital room (Page 189, Week 19) attended to by a doctor who informs him that he’s really Barney and that ‘Saul Goodman’ was actually a dual identity that Barney created to compensate for never being promoted to detective.

The doctor further informs Saul/Barney about certain details of his life, one of which is that his children are named Roger, Kerry and Greg, which is a certain nod to not only the founders of Discordianism—Greg Hill and Kerry Thornley—but also to Roger Lovin, who could be considered the third member of the Holy Trinity of Discordianism that haunted the New Orleans French Quarter during the early 1960s. The Discordian business card below illustrates that Lovin (aka Fang the Unwashed) had a major role in spreading the Discordian Gospel during this period and oversaw the French Quarter Cabal after Thornley and Hill returned to Cali in late 1965.

Discordian Card of Thornley, Lovin, and Hill, 1965. Not a law firm.
Courtesy of the Discordian Archives.

In many ways, Illuminatus! authors Robert Anton Wilson and Robert Shea seemed to be describing what happened to Kerry Thornley in the following passage:

…A few years ago, you started a game with your wife; she thought it was harmless at first and learned to her sorrow that it wasn’t. The game was, that you pretended to be a detective and, late at night, you would tell her about the important cases you were working on. Gradually, you built up to the most important case of all—the solution to all the assassinations in America during the past decade. They were all the work of a group called the Illuminati, who were surviving top level Nazis that had never been captured…
—Illuminatus!, Page 189

 
This description of Saul/Barney’s apparent mental deterioration certainly relates to Kerry Thornley. During the late-60s, Kerry—in his writings—often parodied what he considered “paranoid” conspiracy theories, including the various Illuminati conspiracies at which he and RAW had such a high time poking fun. But after going through the Garrison meat grinder, Kerry came out on the other end with his head spun, at first thinking Garrison was totally off his rocker for believing that he (Kerry) was part of an insidious CIA funded homosexual thrill-kill plot (or something of that sort.)

However—as time passed—and Kerry began to reflect on his past (while enhancing those reflections with an occasional dose of LSD!), he started toying around with different theories to explain what had gone down with the JFK assassination, and how this related to his association with Oswald and the other disturbing string of synchronicities that occurred during his time in New Orleans—until eventually certain far-flung theories about Nazis and the Illuminati began to make more and more sense to him. And while he didn’t turn into Barney Muldoon per se, Kerry did develop a more paranoically inclined personality, as opposed to younger years when he was prone to be dismissive of “paranoids.”

Kerry’s growing paranoia (starting in the early-70s) was an outgrowth of his belief that he’d discovered the true assassins of JFK—or at least certain individuals that were involved in a plot to kill JFK, namely Gary Kirstein (aka Brother-in-Law) and Roderick “Slim” Brooks, a couple of shadowy characters Kerry met during the New Orleans period. According to a letter from Greg Hill to RAW dated September 1975, Slim Brooks was also an early member of the Discordian Society and was one of The Chosen Five who received the rare 1st edition of The Principia Discordia of which only five copies were produced (in accordance to the Law of Fives!).

It was long-held and universally believed that most—if not all—of those original sacred Five Copies were lost with the passage of time to mankind; that is until your humble author discovered the only surviving copy—Greg Hill’s personal copy—tucked away in the Discordian Archives for all these years and which now has been re-published, at long last, in the companion volume to this website, Historia Discordia: The Origins of the Discordian Society (Amazon). So get your copy now before it disappears again!

Hill and Thornley—as Discordian history instructs—moved to New Orleans in 1961, and at some point became friends with Roger Lovin, who Kerry later remembered as “…a dashing, talented and handsome con artist who was too shallow to settle into any one thing. But for years and years after he read the Principia, under his Discordian name of Fang the Unwashed, he consistently and with unswerving devotion to the task excommunicated every new person any of the rest of us initiated into the Discordian Society.”

On his first sojourn in New Orleans, Greg Hill only lived there a few months before moving back to Southern California, but Kerry lived in NOLA (for the most part) over the next three-and-a-half years before relocating to Arlington, Virginia in late 1964.

Sometime in ’64, Hill moved back to The French Quarter, which led to one of the most intense and productive periods in the early evolution of the Discordian Society—1964 and 1965—as documented in several dozens of letters in the Discordian Archives exchanged between Hill and Thornley.

The Early Discordians become famous for their humorous letters, and one of the funniest I’ve come across is this missive dictated by Roger Lovin (aka Fang The Unwashed) dated December 17, 1964, addressed to Greg Hill (aka Malaclypse The Younger), who appears to have been staying with Bob Newport in Chicago at the time.

Letter: From Roger Levin to Greg Hill, December 17, 1964, Page 00001. Courtesy of the Discordian Archives.

Letter: From Roger Levin to Greg Hill, December 17, 1964, Page 00002. Courtesy of the Discordian Archives.

While I’ve shared quite a bit in my books—and on this website—about Hill and Thornley, I’ve been reluctant to tackle Roger Lovin’s Discordian legacy just because it’s a pretty tangled web to attempt to unravel some of the more sordid aspects of his life.

Like Thornley, Lovin became ensnared by the Garrison investigation—although briefly and to a much lesser degree than Thornley. Garrison’s interest in Lovin was partly due to his association with the Discordian Society, which the New Orleans D.A. came to suspect was some sort of CIA front organization that had a hand in orchestrating Kennedy’s assassination. Hail Eris!

Lovin—from the stories I’ve heard—was a man of many talents: a writer, poet, musician—a silver-tongued devil and con man—who operated a French Quarter art gallery during the early-60s. From 1968/69, Lovin published a weekly New Orleans newspaper, The Ungarbled Word, that from time to time ran Discordian recruitment advertisements, in addition to articles by Hill and Thornley, and in particular, an ongoing series by Greg Hill entitled Etcetera Pacifica that gave a monthly run-down of what was happening with the West Coast counterculture scene.

The Ungarbled Word, Revelation of Eris, August 1968. Courtesy of Tim Cridland.

The Ungarbled Word, Zenarchy, August 21, 1968. Courtesy of Tim Cridland.

The Ungarbled Word, Ecetera Pacifica, September 12, 1968. Courtesy of the Tim Cridland.

Lovin later moved out West and worked as the environmental editor for the Los Angeles Free Press from 1969-73, as documented in this article from 1971.

During that same period, Lovin wrote and published pornography, maintaining contact with Greg Hill throughout. I found one letter in the Archives where Lovin offered his services to help Greg publish a mass market edition of Principia Discordia, although nothing ever came of this.

Letter: Roger Lovin to Greg Hill, June 6, 1970. Courtesy of the Discordian Archives.

For the most part, though, Lovin was pretty much a Mystery Man to me, and the correspondences between he and Hill over the years—while colorful—were few and far between. When I asked some of the Early Discordians about him, they only vaguely remembered the name. At some point, I came across the following clipping which appeared in a 1979 edition of the Science Fiction fanzine Locus and hinted at certain darker aspects associated with Lovin.

Locus zine: Roger Lovin. Courtesy of the Discordian Archives.

While scouring the web, I came across other information which suggested that Lovin had gone to prison for these activities, although there was conflicting information, which of course can always be expected when the sources are various people posting different accounts to web forums.

Such as in the following link from Ancestry.com.

At one point in the thread someone claiming to be Lovin’s sister said that the charges against her brother were true, and then posted a photo of herself with Lovin in his later years—after he had been released from prison—and stated that he had died of a heart attack in 1991. The photo indeed looked to be Roger Lovin, however these posts from his alleged sister (which I think legit) were later removed from the thread.

Here’s another related post.

It should be noted that I haven’t seen any of Lovin’s criminal records, and so I can’t definitively confirm any of the charges.

Thanks to Tim Cridland for the scans from The Ungarbled Word.

Posted in book, brother-in-law, discordianism, greg hill, illuminati, illuminatus!, jfk, jim garrison, kerry thornley, pope cards, robert anton wilson, robert shea, warren commission | 1 Comment

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