A Mystery Portrait of Greg Hill

Liberated from the Discordian Archives:

A continuous-line contour drawing portrait of Greg Hill, by an unknown artist (Morna, Morua?), dated 1973.

Portrait of Greg Hill, by an unknown artist (Morna/Morua?), dated 1973.
Courtesy of the Discordian Archives.

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Greg Hill:
Some Useful Information Regarding Simple Cyphers, undated.
Courtesy of the Discordian Archives.


The Discordian Archives are filled with Greg Hill’s interests and hobbies. One such hobby of Hill’s was the use of simple ciphers.

Hill’s dabbling in cryptography and the promotion of secure communications is evident in this undated, but most-likely late 1960s, missive from the Joshua Norton Lodge entitled “Some Useful Information Regarding Simple Cyphers,” probably sent to his Usual Suspects zine mailing list.

In it, Hill lays out a simple algorithm that replaces the same number of characters for each letter to encrypt and decrypt a given message. So not a secure code, per se, but a simple substitution cipher, used through-out history going back to at least Julius Caesar’s reign of the Roman Empire and all the state secrets he had to secretly and securely communicate about across the World’s Most Successful Empire to keep that shit going right-as-rain on a daily basis. Julius did a pretty damn good job with his ciphers and kept things a-moving for the Empire until he got him all stabbed-up by his buddies in the Senate. Yet, his cipher lived on. Hail Caesar!

Page 00071 of the Sacred PUD (the original Paste-Up Discordia): Discordian Society Super Secret Cryptographic Cypher Code by Greg Hill from the Principia Discordia.
Courtesy of the Discordian Archives.

An interesting 21st Century Internet cypherdom tie-in to note is Hill’s usage of the term “cypher” vs. “cipher” in the late 1960s, a very prescient pre-cyberpunk name-styling considering the era of the original missive in the 60s and how such geek-spellings were later adopted by fringe computer users and hackers starting in the mid-to-late-80s. Whether this is a “style” choice or a simple misspelling by Hill is hard to determine. Yet, also of note, is that Hill includes a “cypher” in the Fourth Edition of the Principia Discordia on Page 00071 entitled “Discordian Society Super Secret Cryptographic Cypher Code,” a wonderful silly cryptic redundancy.

In the Principia Discordia, Hill encodes “HAIL ERIS” as the example and provides a step-by-step encryption methodolgy of the phrase that produces a nonsensical result once decrypted. In this Principia Discordia example, “HAIL ERIS” = “AEHILRS” as the decoded term. And then Hill declares, “This cryptographic cypher code is GUARANTEED TO BE 100% UNBREAKABLE.” Indeed, it is.

On a side-note, this “cypher” page of the Principia Discordia appears in the Rip-Off Press Fourth Edition with the Eye-in-the-Pyramid base pasted-on the lower-right facing outwards towards the book’s bleed, while the Loompanics Fourth Edition reproduction of the page has the Eye-in-the-Pyramid base facing inward towards that edition’s staple binding.

I’m sure this is an encoded message I have yet to decypher.


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Greg Hill Article for Robert Shea’s Underground ‘No Governor’ Zine: ‘Why I Am Not An Anarchist’

Greg Hill: Why I Am Not An Anarchist, cover mailing,
June, 1975.
Courtesy the Discordian Archives.

With the approaching release of Illuminatus! way back in 1975, Robert Shea was still producing underground zines, in particular Shea’s then-new endeavor NO GOVERNOR (issues of which can still be had as PDFs on bobshea.net thanks to Shea’s son, Mike).

During this pre-release era of Illuminatus!, Shea and Discordian co-founder Greg Hill were furiously exchanging letters and articles. Of course, “furious” being defined at this time, a decade before publicly available email, as maybe half-a-dozen letters over as many months. Crazy stuff.

Hill submitted an article to Shea’s NO GOVERNOR and Shea responded via letter:


“Why I am Not an Anarchist” will be a welcome addition to NO GOVERNOR #2. I like it. It says something that needs saying—at least once a year. Also, I am very grateful to you for sending me something I can publish.

For your pleasure and research purposes, here is the original article ‘Why I Am Not An Anarchist’ by Greg Hill, including the original proofing notes. Hail Eris!



Gregory Hill
June 1975

Greg Hill: Why I Am Not An Anarchist for Robert Shea's No Governor, June 1975, Page 00001.
Courtesy the Discordian Archives.

About five years ago I considered myself an anarchist (anarchopacifist, in particular), because I believe that the highest authority available to any individual is one’s own honest experience and that any other authority provides only vicarious information at best.

I’ve not changed my opinion about this, but I have ceased referring to myself as an anarchist. The reason is basic and simple: TOO MANY DAMN RULES.

OK, it’s a joke. But it’s a TRUE JOKE. The incompatibility is not between my position and some anarchist theories, but between my position and the position of most of those who use the label “anarchist.”

It seems that Rule Number One of anarchy, as understood by authoritarians and by most who call themselves anarchists, is that a government is an enemy. Rule Number Two is that to gain freedom the individual is politically or morally or somehow obligated to fight this enemy.

Greg Hill: Why I Am Not An Anarchist for Robert Shea's No Governor, June 1975, Page 00002.
Courtesy the Discordian Archives.

In my opinion, these rules represent a position which would be better referred to as anti-archy. The prefix “a” means “without” and it need not imply “against.” There is an exact parallel with the word atheist—it is usually used and understood, by those for it and against it, as thought eh word was anti-theist.

I can respect the anti-archist position, but I don’t share it. The government is not my enemy because there is no government. OK, another joke, but still a TRUE joke. I know good and well that there are people with guns who restrict my free decisions, and I know about groups of people collecting taxes from me, and all of the rest of this government business. I perceive it in the same manner that I perceive (for example) a big rock in my path which necessitates stepping around and compromising myself. Frankly, I don’t believe in rocks either—I just step around and compromise (which is actually easier than is believing in them). I think that there is a big difference in degree between (a) existentially responding to a phenomenon and (b) conceptualizing it as an “enemy.” If everything in the universe that has ever thwarted my purpose is my enemy, then only nothing can be my friend—and that excludes even myself. But, still, I respect the anti-archist position. After all, if one does perceive a phenomenon to be an enemy then one would be a damn fool to do other than defend ones’ self.

Greg Hill: Why I Am Not An Anarchist for Robert Shea's No Governor, June 1975, Page 00003.
Courtesy the Discordian Archives.

Much of this essay is futzing around with labels. Still, I feel free to futz, and in any case what I’m trying to do is to avoid the assumption by others that I am at war with certain people just because those people think that they are a government and go out of their way to forcibly impose their notions on me.

I’m not at war with them or with them or rocks either. And insofar as anyone thinks that an anarchist is one who is supposed to believe something or another, or is obligated to do something or another, then there are too damn many rules for me and to hell with the whole business.

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Photocopy of Greg Hill Photo

There’s not a whole lot of Greg Hill photos extant, so I submit the following, a photocopy of a Greg Hill photo that looks to be from the mid-to-late-70s. In said photo, Greg reminds me of Walt Whitman, for some reason.

A contemplative Malaclypse the Younger.

Photocopy of a mid-to-late 1970s photo of Greg Hill. Courtesy of the Discordian Archives.

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A Discordian Dispatch from Rev. Dr. Occupant

After the mysterious disappearance of Greg Hill‘s Discordian alter ego Malaclypse the Younger in the late 1960s, his immediate successor was Dr. Ignotum P. Ignotius aka Dr. Iggy. Following Greg’s move to NYC in the early-70s, the next successor emerged, a certain Rev. Dr. Occupant, K.B.O. (Keeper of the Box) who released the following Discordian dispatch in the year of our Goddess, 1974.

Rev. Dr. Occupant: Discordian Dispatch, December 1974.
Courtesy of the Discordian Archives.

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Week 7: Illuminatus Group Reading: Kerry Thornley

My comments on Week 7 of the Illuminatus! group reading will deal primarily with Kerry Thornley’s influence on Illuminatus! and, conversely, how some of the Illuminatus! characters began to manifest themselves in his life—the imaginary manifesting as real—at least from Kerry’s perspective.

By the time Illuminatus! was published in 1975, Kerry began suffering severe bouts of delusional paranoia along with his growing belief that the shadowy character he’d met in New Orleans in the early-60s (referred to as “Brother-In-Law”) was actually legendary CIA spook E. Howard Hunt, and that Hunt had manipulated Kerry to later set him up as an unwitting dupe in JFK’s assassination. During this period, Kerry began to suspect that he’d also been a victim of MK-ULTRA mind control, that Robert Anton Wilson (RAW) was involved in a plot to deprogram him, and that Illuminatus! was at the root of a lot of the high weirdness then going down in his life. As RAW told me in The Prankster and the Conspiracy:

“(Kerry) had the impression that I came to Atlanta more than once and that I had given him LSD and had removed the programming the Navy had put into him when he was in the Marines—and that I was one of his CIA handlers.”

When RAW informed Kerry that he didn’t remember any of this taking place, Kerry said that was because they had brainwashed him (RAW), too. Because of these suspicions, the two eventually ceased communication because as RAW later explained:

”It’s hard to communicate with somebody when he thinks you’re a diabolical mind-control agent and you’re convinced that he’s a little bit paranoid.”

On page 69, the character of Atlanta Hope is introduced, leader of God’s Lightning, a group who are opposed (at least on the surface) to all things fun and immoral. Atlanta Hope has always reminded me as a sort of Anita Bryant type: a seeming Miss All America goody two-shoes who, in reality, is willing to sleep her way to the top of the Illuminati pyramid while using the trappings of Christian fundamentalism to further her own duplicitous ambitions.

Kerry came to believe that the Atlanta Hope character was actually modeled after a woman he knew in Atlanta, Georgia named Mary Jo Padgett who belonged to a group of Quakers that provided ministry and group counseling sessions. At the time, Kerry sought counsel through this group and, in time, came to believe that they had been infiltrated by the intelligence community. Mary Jo Padgett, Kerry surmised, was:

“…an extremely high-level intelligence community dirty work organizer for elements of the Southern Rim (military-industrial complex) of the ruling class, including very probably the Dupont family. I believe these elements have been conducting a virtual reign of terror in this area for some years, not to mention corruption of the various levels of government, and that they must have been involved rather deeply in the assassinations of John F. Kennedy and Martin Luther King, Jr…. I’m rather strongly convinced that the Illuminatus! character, Atlanta Hope, is based substantially on Mary Jo Padgett…”

Letter: Kerry Thornley to Greg Hill, 1976. Courtesy of the Discordian Archives.

Back in 1966, Kerry was editing the libertarian newsletter, The Innovator, which had published an article entitled “Postman Against the State” dealing with various non-governmental postal systems throughout history that had functioned more effectively than government operated systems. As the “Playboy Forum” was then receiving a slew of complaints from readers about snooping on the part of the U.S. Postal Service, Kerry persuaded The Innovator’s publisher to send a copy of the “Postman Against the State” issue to Playboy. RAW—then an associate editor at Playboy—received this issue of The Innovator and, in turn, responded to Kerry, which initiated a longstanding correspondence between the two.

Kerry and RAW discussed, among other things, the American Letter Mail Company operated in New England in the mid 1800s by the individualist anarchist, Lysander Spooner. The American Letter Mail Company, at the time, offered cheaper postage rates than the U.S. Postal Service, gave more deliveries per day, and earned a profit to boot. Spooner was finally put out of business when Congress made it illegal to deliver a first class letter for profit. Both Kerry and RAW agreed that the U.S. Postal Service was once again ripe for change, and the concept Spooner had spawned one hundred years earlier was the direction the current mail system should go.

Thornley later described his correspondence with RAW as “one of the longest, most intense, most stimulating, rewarding, enriching, enlightening—and certainly the most unusual—of my entire life.”

As RAW noted in Cosmic Trigger:

“We began writing long letters to each other… astonished at how totally our political philosophies agreed—we were both opposed to every form of violence or coercion against individuals, whether practiced by governments or by people who claimed to be revolutionaries. We were equally disenchanted with the organized Right and the organized Left while still remaining Utopians, without a visible Utopia to believe in.”

During this period, Kerry was promoting the idea of “floating ocean utopias” where Anarcho-Libertarians—such as he fancied himself—could live high and free on the sea. This is a concept that RAW and Shea entertain in Illuminatus! embodied by the character of Hagbard Celine and his golden submarine, the Lief Erickson, which first emerges on page 71.

Celine—like many other Illuminatus! characters—seems a composite of much of the idealism after which Kerry aspired during those heady days of the 60s: the dream of living on the high seas—like swashbuckling Captain Celine—free of governments and any limitations on the individual, devoted to pursuing true freedom and sensual pleasures while engaged in a battle to free men’s minds.

'The Gypsies of the Sulu Sea,' Kerry Thornley’s short article on 'aqua-libertarians'
from Ocean Living magazine, 1968. Courtesy of the Discordian Archives.

Posted in book, brother-in-law, discordianism, greg hill, illuminati, illuminatus!, kerry thornley, letters, robert anton wilson, writings | Leave a comment


Greg Hill Letter to Timothy Leary

Submitted for your approval, a letter from Greg Hill (aka Malaclypse the Younger) to Timothy Leary, High Priest of LSD, from February 8, 1969.

Not sure if Greg enclosed anything else with the letter, or if there was any particular reason behind it other than to try to blow the mind of the very same man who had done so much to corrupt the youth of America.

Greg Hill letter to Timothy Leary, February 8, 1969.
Courtesy of the Discordian Archives.

Posted in discordianism, greg hill, letters, timothy leary | 3 Comments


Cosmic 23

A snippet from Daisy Campbell and John Higgs’ recent interview with Alan Moore was posted this morning over at the Cosmic Trigger Play Facebook Page on which I immediately clicked, and lo and behold, mine was the 23rd viewing of the vid, Praise Goddess!


Posted in daisy eris campbell, discordianism, illuminati, illuminatus!, interview, play, robert anton wilson, robert shea, video | 1 Comment


Hymn Again! Another Discovered Discordian Hymn

Note sure if Daisy Eris Campbell is still on the look-out for more Erisian inspired songs, but if so, I just stumbled upon another here in the Discordian Archives courtesy of an Early Discordian named Dr. Mungojerry Grindlebone (aka Bob McElroy), apparently composed in 1965 during the infamous New Orleans period.

The word in the last sentence is a bit hard to read, but I think it’s “Blffffffft”… whatever Blffffffft is.

A Discordian Hymn by Dr. Mungojerry Grindlebone, dated October 18, 1965.
Courtesy of the Discordian Archives.

Posted in daisy eris campbell, discordianism, music | 1 Comment


Modern Day Discordian Artifacts

I just received some cool Discordian artifacts gratis from the fine folks at the Discordia Culture Shop, including a golden apple belt, pope card and Erisian-styled buttons.

If you like what you see, please visit their internet storefront at this link:


Modern Discordian artifacts courtesy of the Discordia Culture Shop.

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