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Tales of the Brunswick Shrine (Part 00002)

As a follow-up to a previous post on The Brunswick Shrine, here’s a pretty fun video from Historia Discordia staff member Brenton Clutterbuck.

After my apparent 2009 Brunswick Shrine discovery, (as noted in Brenton’s video) I came upon a handwritten note from Greg Hill which seems to identify the address of another Brunswick Shrine. And, of course, that’s what Bob Newport always insisted; there was more than one Brunswick Shrine and that it was actually several bowling alleys the boys would visit back in the day.

Note on the location of the Brunswick Shrine.
Courtesy of the Discordian Archives.

When I goggle-mapped the above address, it appears the Santa Fe Lanes bowling alley—if there indeed ever was one there—is long gone, and in its place is a CVS Pharmacy—which tells us that the Brunswick Shrine can be whatever you want it to be. Hail Eris!

Call it a Brunswick Shrine State of Mind.

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December 2014 Eris of the Month

Merry Christmas tidings from Sam Fielder in this month's
yuletide edition of The Eris of the Month Club.

Send us your Eris of the Month Club submissions (more info here) by using the form at the bottom of The MGT. page.

Hail Eris! All Hail Discordia!

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RAW 1975 Xmas Card

At the height of RAW’s involvement with the themes of space migration and life extension, he sent out the following 1975 Christmas card.

1975 Christmas Card from Robert Anton Wilson, front.
Courtesy of the Discordian Archives.
1975 Christmas Card from Robert Anton Wilson, back.
Courtesy of the Discordian Archives.
1975 Christmas Card from Robert Anton Wilson, inside.
Courtesy of the Discordian Archives.
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Recent Interviews with Adam Gorightly

Adam Gorightly at The Find The Others Conferestival, Liverpool, England, Nov. 23, 2014. Photo by Adam Clark.
Here’s some recent interviews. One wonders what 60 Minutes and TMZ are waiting for…?

An Offbeat JFK Murder Conspiracy Book
Read here.

“The assassination of President John Kennedy and the conspiracy theories that have developed about it might seem to have been covered in many previous books, but self-described ‘crackpot historian’ Adam Gorightly, who has written nine books so far, appears to have found a fresh angle. His new book, Caught in the Crossfire: Kerry Thornley, Lee Oswald and the Garrison Investigation details how Thornley, a little-known but influential counterculture figure, had to fight off accusations from conspiracy theorist and district attorney Jim Garrison of New Orleans.”


Jim Harold’s Conspiracy Corner
Listen here.

“Researcher and author Adam Gorightly joins us to discuss Kerry Thornley, a man who found himself in the hall of mirrors that was Jim Garrison’s JFK assassination investigation. We discuss on this Conspiracy Corner.”


Ground Zero with Clyde Lewis: The Tale of Two Oswalds
Listen here.

“One particular conspiracy theory that is compelling and is seldom talked about is the possibility that there were doppelgangers posing as Lee Harvey Oswald before the assassination even occurred. The idea of multiple assassins or Oswald doppelgangers running loose remains a troubling issue and adds a strange curve to the tragic event. It is one theory that only a hand full of JKF researchers wish to examine as it is viewed as one of those truth is out there topics, one worthy of bring a script for the X-Files.”


Coast To Coast AM JFK Assassination Special
Listen here.

“In the third hour, Gorightly spoke about Kerry Thornley, who met Lee Harvey Oswald in 1959 during basic training at El Toro Marine base and, rather curiously, began writing a book featuring a main character based on Oswald (after he defected to the Soviet Union). Gorightly speculated that Oswald was at El Toro as a spy on some sort of intelligence mission. Thornley claimed he never saw Oswald after 1959 yet both men ended up in New Orleans shortly before JFK’s assassination in 1963, he said. During that period Thornley met some shadowy characters, Gary Kirstein and Slim Brooks, that would later lead him to suspect he’d been unwittingly manipulated into a JFK assassination conspiracy, Gorightly explained, noting that Thornley had been specifically asked about how one could go about killing the president.”


Type 1 Radio Lounge with Adam Gorightly
Listen here.

“Adam Gorightly is coming to England, before that he will join the gang in the lounge to take us on a trip back to our conspiratorial roots.”

Check Out Art Podcasts at Blog Talk Radio with Type1RadioAshram on BlogTalkRadio


Adam Gorightly Interviewed on The Outer Edge 11/16/2014: Caught in the Crossfire
Listen here.

“This Sunday night, we talk to Adam about his ground-breaking new work Caught in the Crossfire, which examines the connections between Kerry Thornley (the founder of Discordianism) and Lee Harvey Oswald.”


Caravan To Midnight – Episode 173 UFO Sightings with Adam Gorightly
Listen here.

“Take a trip today with John B. and Adam Gorightly as they explore the hidden world of global conspiracies and UFO sightings with a few drops of psychedelia here and there.”


For a list of my books, check out my Amazon Author Page.

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Operation Mindfuck and the Georgia Guidestones

OM: Letterhead Bavarian Illuminati,
From Rev. Creepy to RC Christian.
After adopting his Discordian persona of Creepy the Inexcusable, our man Floyd Anderson wasted no time reviving Operation Mindfuck (OM) by way of the Bavarian Illuminati letterhead provided here free of charge at, your full service Discordian mischief provider.

Intent on recreating a Bavarian Illuminati letter in the same manner as such forerunners as Mord, Mal-2 and Lord Omar, Floyd took it even further back old school by purchasing a yellowish orange vintage typewriter on which to perform his mindfuck.

Creepy orange typewriter on lower right, just before Floyd bought it.

The target of Floyd’s OM missive in this instance was one R.C. Christian of Georgia Guidestones fame. For those unfamiliar with the Guidestones, refer to staff member Groucho Gandhi’s primer on the subject here.

The inspiration for Floyd’s letter was the recent appearance of a six-sided cube at the Guidestones with 2014 engraved on it, a mystery discussed on a recent edition of Greg Carlwood’s The Higherside Chats with Jay Weidner.

Guidestones Capstone
In his letter, Floyd (aka Creepy) makes reference to an “Untarnished Conspiracy,” a phrase that’s an apparent nod and wink to a monument located at the Guidestones that indicates the author is the aforementioned “R.C. Christian (A Pseudonyn)”, which is certainly peculiar because “Pseudonym” appears to be intentionally misspelled and “R.C. Christian (A Pseudonyn)” is an anagram for Untarnished Conspiracy.

One would think that if R.C. Christian paid for precise words to be carved in granite on a major monument like this, would he really have been OK with a misspelled word?

And is JAM (also engraved on one side of the six-sided cube) a reference to the Justified Ancients of Mu Mu?

art discordianism official business principia discordia

Eris In Space: UK’s first astronaut reveals mission patch!

This has definitely been the Year of Eris.

First the release of Historia Discordia.

Then the Cosmic Trigger Play.

And now this!

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Was the Discordian Society a CIA Front?

Caught in the Crossfire: Kerry Thornley, Lee Oswald and the Garrison Investigation by Adam Gorightly
An excerpt from my latest book Caught in the Crossfire: Kerry Thornley, Lee Oswald and the Garrison Investigation, available at Feral House and Amazon.

Among Jim Garrison’s more colorful unofficial investigators (otherwise known as the “Irregulars”) was Allan Chapman who subscribed to the theory that the JFK assassination had been orchestrated by the Bavarian Illuminati, that infamous secret society much ballyhooed in the annals of conspiracy lore.

After catching wind of Allan Chapman’s Illuminati theory, Kerry Thornley—with the support of some of his fellow Discordian Society pranksters—initiated what became known as Operation Mindfuck (OM), a campaign designed to screw with Garrison’s head by sending out spurious announcements suggesting that he (Kerry) was an agent of the Ancient Illuminated Seers of Bavaria (AISB). Among the culprits who helped perpetrate OM was none other than Robert Anton Wilson. As Kerry later noted:

Wilson and I founded the Anarchist Bavarian Illuminati to give Jim Garrison a hard time, one of whose supporters believed that the Illuminati owned all the major TV networks, the Conspiring Bavarian Seers (CBS), the Ancient Bavarian Conspiracy (ABC) and the Nefarious Bavarian Conspirators (NBC).

Another of the “Irregulars”—assassination researcher Harold Weisberg—was also on the business end of OM communiqués as demonstrated in the following anonymous letter authored by Robert Anton Wilson:

Robert Anton Wilson’s OM letter to Harold Weisberg.
From the Harold Weisberg Collection.

The above letter is unfathomable unless one is familiar with the Discordian antics that Thornley and his cohorts were engaged in during this period. Wilson’s prank letter to Weisberg mentions someone named Homer Ravenhurst, another named Hassan Saba X, in addition to Simon Moon and the Illuminat Eye. In Discordian lore, Kerry Thornley’s pseudonym was Omar Khayyam Ravenhurst, and so Wilson’s mention of a “Homer Ravenhurst” was a playful way of messing with Weisberg’s mind. As for Simon Moon, this was Wilson’s sometime alias and a character that later appeared in Wilson and Shea’s The Illuminatus! Trilogy. Hassan Saba X (or Hassan-i-Sabbah X) was a fictitious black militant character that Thornley and Wilson created to propagate the Illuminati mythology, later to be immortalized in a put-on letter planted in the April 1969 issue of Playboy during the period Wilson was an editor at the magazine. As for the Illuminati Eye mentioned in the Weisberg letter, this was an obvious wink and nod to that aforementioned all-seeing secret society from Bavaria. No telling what Weisberg thought of this letter; however, he found it important enough to place in his files for future researchers to ponder.

These OM communiqués led Garrison to suspect that the Discordian Society was a CIA front organization involved in the JFK assassination. As outlandish as this all sounds, those of a conspiratorial bent might find some merit to this theory, due to the fact that—among the handful of people involved in the New Orleans Discordian Society—each of them was, in one way or another, connected to the Garrison investigation as either a witness, suspect or correspondent.

According to legend, the first edition of the Discordian bible, The Principia Discordia: Or How The West Was Lost, was reproduced after hours on a mimeograph machine in Jim Garrison’s office, of which only five copies were produced. This clandestine copying operation predated Garrison’s investigation by nearly two years, and was allegedly perpetrated by a typist in the District Attorney’s office named Lane Caplinger, who was friends with Discordian Society co-founder Greg Hill. (Lane just happened to be the sister of a French Quarter poet named Grace Caplinger who was friends with both Thornley and Hill. Grace later ventured to Hollywood and changed her name to Grace Zabriskie, and has made numerous Movie and TV appearances, including the role of Laura Palmer’s mother in Twin Peaks.)

As for Greg Hill, his association with Garrison’s investigation was minimal, consisting of a letter he wrote to Garrison in support of Thornley. Garrison, most likely having already made up his mind as to Kerry’s guilt, probably placed said letter immediately upon receipt into his round file.

Greg Hill’s letter to Jim Garrison, February 19th, 1968.
Courtesy of The Discordian Archives.

While it’s a given that Hill and Thornley were both in possession of the first edition of The Principia Discordia, what is not commonly known is that Roderick “Slim” Brooks—another key player in the New Orleans Discordian Society—also received a copy of this rare first edition.

Slim Brooks—as it turns out—was the first person Thornley met when he moved to New Orleans. In early 1961, Slim and a shadowy character named Gary Kirstein—referred to as “Brother-in-law”—engaged Thornley in conversations about how to kill a president, and in particular, JFK. Thornley later suspected that he’d been manipulated into these conversations by Brooks and Kirstein with the intent of setting him up as a JFK assassination patsy.

It appears quite likely that Slim Brooks was actually Jerry Milton Brooks, a former Guy Banister employee and member of the Minutemen, a far-right anti-communist militia organization active during the 1960s. According to former Minutemen national spokesman R.N. Taylor:

The fellow mentioned as Slim Brooks, I think he was either Jerry Milton Brooks, or Jerry’s brother… If it was Jerry, that was one of the most bizarre individuals I have ever encountered. One of a kind. For better and worse. I know he spent some time down there with Banister and that crowd in the sixties. He was a walking card reference file of names, addresses, phone numbers, etc. Had a very photographic mind, quite amazing at times. Never knew re¬ally what side he was on. He will forever remain an enigma to me.

It can also be assumed, with some degree of certainty, that the other recipients of The Principia Discordia first edition were Barbara Reid and Roger Lovin, both New Orleans Discordian Society members. In fact, a Discordian Society business card from 1965 lists Lovin as head of the New Orleans Discordian chapter.

Discordian Society membership card.
Courtesy of The Discordian Archives.

Lovin—known in the Discordian Society as Fang the Unwashed—was identified by Garrison witness Bernard Goldsmith as being connected to Lee Harvey Oswald in New Orleans, as well as allegedly involved with the Bay of Pigs invasion. Whatever the case, Lovin had a reputation as a charming con man who, for all we know, might have been pulling Goldsmith’s leg about his connections to Oswald and the Bay of Pigs.

A rare photo of Barbara Reid.
Perhaps the single most curious member of the New Orleans Discordian Society was Barbara Reid, the person most responsible—other than the District Attorney himself—for dragging Kerry, screaming and kicking, into Jim Garrison’s three-ring circus. Reid claimed to have seen Oswald and Thornley in New Orleans during September of 1963, an allegation Kerry denied, insisting that the last time he’d been in contact with Oswald was at El Toro Marine Base in the fall of 1959. Curiously enough, Reid became one of Garrison’s “Irregulars” and often accompanied Harold Weisberg during his rounds questioning French Quarter witnesses.

Among the House Select Committee on Assassinations (HSCA) files related to Kerry Thornley (now residing in the National Archives) one will find excerpts from the first edition of The Principia Discordia. It seems unlikely that Kerry would have provided these documents to the HSCA, unless he was trying to make a case that the Discordian Society had been infiltrated by the intelligence community, a theory he entertained upon occasion, particularly during the period in the late seventies when his paranoias ran high.

However, I suspect that it may have been Barbara Reid who provided these Discordian documents to the HSCA, as included among the HSCA files is a Discordian Society membership certificate awarded to Reid and signed by none other than the Bull Goose of Limbo (a.k.a. Kerry Thornley) dated September 18th, 1964. Reid also claimed, at one time or another, to be the incarnation of Goddess Eris, which would certainly explain the unbridled chaos that entered Thornley’s life during the Garrison investigation period.

Barbara Reid’s Discordian Society membership certificate.
From the House Select Committee on Assassinations files.

Another way these Discordian documents might have found their way to the HSCA files was through Harold Weisberg, who noted in an interview he conducted with Roger Lovin, that Lovin “…acknowledged his membership in the Discordians. Today he gave me his files on that outfit…” It could then be assumed that Weisberg copied these files and later submitted them to Garrison and/or the HSCA. That Weisberg was willing to entertain the notion that a religion worshipping the Greek Goddess of Chaos and Confusion was somehow involved is certainly one of the wilder theories in JFK assassination lore, right alongside such other Garrison mainstays as the homosexual thrill kill theory and the involvement of the dreaded Bavarian Illuminati. As Robert Anton Wilson observed in Cosmic Trigger:

Try to picture a jury keeping a straight face when examining a conspiracy that worshipped the Goddess of Confusion, honored Emperor Norton as a saint, had a Holy Book called “How I Found Goddess and What I Did to Her After I Found Her,” and featured personnel who called themselves Malaclypse the Younger, Ho Chi Zen, Mordecai the Foul, Lady L, F.A.B., Fang the Unwashed, Harold Lord Randomfactor, Onrak the Backwards, et al….

Allegations that Thornley and Oswald met at Ryder Coffee House came courtesy of Barbara Reid, who claimed she had evidence backing this up in the form of a guest¬book belonging to the manager of Ryder’s, Jack Frazier, that both Oswald and Thornley had allegedly signed. In a memo Harold Weisberg sent to Garrison, he noted that “several names may be disguised in this book, for example, Thornley’s in the “Discordian” language on the ninth page. You have the Discordian files that I obtained on a previous trip. These will reflect which Omar Khyam is who….” Make of this what you will, but apparently Weisberg thought he was hot on the trail of a Discordian conspiracy and provided Garrison with Frazier’s guestbook as evidence of this. A review of the guestbook reveals that Thornley did indeed sign it using his Discordian persona of Omar Khayyam Ravenhurst, which indicates that Kerry visited Ryder Coffee House on at least one occasion. However, there’s no evidence that Oswald—using his real name or an alias—signed the guestbook. (Sometime Discordian conspirator Lane Caplinger’s name appears elsewhere in the guestbook, which provides further incontrovertible evidence of the Discordian Society’s sinister role in JFK’s assassination!)

Guestbook signed by Kerry Thornley’s Discordian alter ego,
Lord Omar Khayyam Ravenhurst.
From the Harold Weisberg Collection.

Robert Karno—who in the absence of Jack Frazier was managing Ryder Coffee House during the relevant time frame—stated in an interview with Garrison investigator James Alcock that he thought he met Oswald at Ryder’s on one occasion, although he didn’t sound completely positive: “Well, I—I believe I did. I’m almost sure I did…” As for Thornley, Karno remembered meeting him there only once as well, and said nothing about having seen Thornley and Oswald together.

Thanks to Tim Cridland for unearthing the Robert Anton Wilson letter to Harold Weisberg.

Purchase Caught in the Crossfire: Kerry Thornley, Lee Oswald and the Garrison Investigation from Feral House and Amazon.

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Tales of the Brunswick Shrine (Part 00001)

Trippy Dick Pickin' Up The Split
Not only is your humble author a card carrying Discordian (aka The Wrong Reverend Houdini Kundalini of the Church of Unwavering Indifference) but I also serve as the Northern California Bureau Chief for the League of Western Fortean Intermediasts (LOWFI), founded by my friend and fellow conspirator, Skylaire Alfvegren.

Over the past few years, LOWFI has sponsored a number of esoteric field trips. In early 2009—as a pilgrimage to the Nixon Museum was in the planning stages (in the prospects of summoning Tricky Dicky’s ghost!)—a Canadian-Discordian colleague contacted me (who was unaware of our forthcoming Nixon Museum freakout) and sent a couple of unsolicited Discordian Initiation Rites, which included a ritual dedicated to the legendary Brunswick Shrine, the Whittier, California bowling alley where Kerry Thornley and Greg Hill allegedly discovered Discordianism. It should be noted that the specter of Nixon is an integral part of this Discordian mythos, one of which involves Tricky Dick growing up in Whittier.

In the Principia Discordia the legend of the Brunswick Shrine is related, but I won’t spoil it for you right now, as at the end of this post I’ll share with you the aforementioned Discordian Initiation which relates the vision encountered in a long ago bowling alley that led to Discordianism’s un-maculate conception.

When I interviewed Discordian co-founder Dr. Robert Newport regarding the legend of The Brunswick Shrine, he claimed that no specific bowling alley was the site of the Discordian Society’s birth, and that it had evolved at several different bowling alleys located throughout the greater Whittier and La Habra area in the late 1950s. At the time, this revelation came as a devastating disappointment to your humble author, who—in the course of my research—had planned a grand religious pilgrimage to this envisioned holy site, where I would snap sacred photos and perhaps even fall to my knees before this fabled Mecca of Discordianism. But such was not to be my fate, or so I assumed at the time, because—according to Newport—the choice of a bowling alley really held no mystical significance, other than the fact that bowling alleys stayed open all night and served alcohol. Or at least this is what Newport claimed, explaining that Kerry Thornley, who—during that period looked old for his age—usually bought the beer for the rest of the Discordian gang, which all drank thereof and through holy intoxication summoned forth the chaotic spirit of the Goddess of Confusion and Discord. (So much for Hill and Thornley’s contention that they were busy sipping coffee in a Whittier bowling alley when the revelation of the Goddess Eris struck!) Thus, according to Newport, the revelation of the Goddess had as much to do with alcohol-induced reveries as it did caffeine-inspired visions.

Brunswick Shrine: Friendly Hills Lanes.
Courtesy of the Discordian Archives.

Nixon’s Museum is located in the town of Yorba Linda, not far from Whittier, the home of this fabled bowling alley/shrine. At the time I had no idea what I was getting into, but—for some inexplicable reason—decided to do a websearch for bowling alleys in Whittier. And in so doing, I stumbled across a flickr page that made me do a double take, depicting—as it did—a retro looking bowling alley that immediately struck a discordant chord, and somehow I felt this was THE PLACE. I noted the name: Friendly Hills Lanes, and said AHA! The clouds then parted and I knew that it was so; that I was gazing upon a photo of the one and only Brunswick Shrine, which I’d previously convinced myself—with the aid of Dr. Newport—had never actually existed. But I now believe it is the real deal: Friendly Hills Lanes = The Brunswick Shrine, and I will present my evidence for you now!

First, as mentioned in Principia Discordia, it was Kerry and Greg (aka Mal-2 and Omar) who bore witness to the mystical experience that transpired at the Brunswick Shrine. So—while there can be no doubt that Bob Newport spent many an hour hanging out with Greg and Kerry in a multitude of SoCal bowling alleys—on the particular night in question (when Eris first appeared and blew their minds), Newport was not in attendance, at least according to the Principia Discordia, The Bible of Discordianism. (And everybody knows that bibles never lie!)

Brunswick Shrine: A Sign From Eris.
Courtesy of Discordian Archives.

Secondly, in The Prankster and the Conspiracy it is recounted—from stories shared by Kerry’s brother, Dick Thornley—how as lads Kerry used to take his younger brothers to explore the Friendly Hills Development then under construction located nearby their Whittier home. And so we have in Friendly Hills Lanes a bowling alley that fits the timeline (constructed in the late-40s/early-50s) and located within walking distance from where Kerry Thornley grew up. As I was unearthing these amazing Discordian discoveries, I learned from LOWFI Chief Skylaire that not long ago a SoCal preservation society known as The Modern Committee was instrumental in saving the Friendly Hills Lanes “BOWL” sign. Little did they know they were also saving a piece of the Discordian legacy for the ages. As further evidence that Friendly Hills Lanes and the Brunswick Shrine are one and the same, when you walk through the main door the first lane that you see is Number 23! (Coincidence? You decide!)

Brunswick Shrine: Lane 23.
Courtesy of

As the revelation hit me that The Brunswick Shrine did indeed exist and was still in operation, I thought it might be cool—after visiting the haunted Nixon Museum—that our LOWFI group afterwards made a pilgrimage to the birthplace of Discordianism. To this end, I ran a Mapquest from the Nixon museum to Friendly Hills Lanes and discovered it would take approximately 23 minutes to drive from one locale to the other! When I floated this idea by Skylaire of visiting said shrine, she was down for it, and so I began contemplating what exactly we could do to consecrate the holy event and then remembered the Brunswick Shrine/Discordian Initiation rite with the Dick Nixon tie-in that had been sent to me by my Canadian/Discordian colleague, Mike Cook. And so it came to be, with me reciting the initiation along with Skylaire playing the role of Eris and throwing fairy dust on the assembled initiates gathered below the neon glow of the BOWL sign. Not to mention my wife squawking the ceremonial rubber chicken 5 times and another participant holding up a sign that said: “DOOM!”

Brunswick Shrine: Impending Doom!
Courtesy of the Discordian Archives.

But once again I’m getting ahead of myself, and I need to mention that prior to this Brunswick Shrine visitation/initiation rite, we did indeed pay tongue-in-cheek homage to the haunted Nixon Museum and I’ll be damned if our entrance ticket didn’t include a photo of a psychedelic Richard Nixon bowling! (We also learned that one of Nixon’s brothers died at age 23!)

Nixon Museum: Ticket with Psychedelic Richard Nixon Bowling.
Courtesy of the Discordian Archives.

And now, in its entirety, I present to you the Fifth Degree Discordian Initiation Rite (its narrative lifted from Principia Discordia), which was performed the evening of March 1, 2009, at the one and only Brunswick Shrine.

The Fifth Degree Discordian Initiation Rite

In the Los Angeles suburb of Whittier there lives a bowling alley, and within this very place, in the Year of Our Lady of Discord 3125 (1959), Eris revealed Herself to The Golden Apple Corps for the first time. In honor of this Incredible Event, this Holy Place is revered as a Shrine by all Erisians. Once every five years, the Golden Apple Corps plans a Pilgrimage to Brunswick Shrine as an act of Devotion, and therein to partake of No Hot Dog Buns, and ruminate a bit about It All. It is written that when The Corps returns to The Shrine for the fifth time five times over, than shall the world come to an end:


And Five Days Prior to This Occasion The Apostle The Elder Malaclypse Shall Walk the Streets of Whittier Bearing a Sign for All Literates to Read thereof: “DOOM”, as a Warning of Forthcoming Doom to All Men Impending. And He Shall Signal This Event by Seeking the Poor and Distributing to Them Precious MAO BUTTONS and Whittier Shall be Known as The Region of Thud for These Five Days. As a public service to all mankind and civilization in general, and to us in particular, the Golden Apple Corps has concluded that planning such a Pilgrimage is sufficient and that it is prudent to never get around to actually going. It was here that the following occurred…

Brunswick Shrine: The Ritual Unfolding...
Courtesy of the Discordian Archives.


Just prior to the decade of the nineteen-sixties, when Sputnik was alone and new, and about the time that Ken Kesey took his first acid trip as a medical volunteer; before underground newspapers, Viet Nam, and talk of a second American Revolution; in the comparative quiet of the late nineteen-fifties, just before the idea of RENAISSANCE became relevant. Two young Californians, known later as Omar Ravenhurst and Malaclypse the Younger, were indulging in their habit of sipping coffee at an all night bowling alley and generally solving the world’s problems. This particular evening the main subject of discussion was discord and they were complaining to each other of the personal confusion they felt in their respective lives. “Solve the problem of discord,” said one, “and all other problems will vanish.” “Indeed,” said the other, “chaos and strife are the roots of all confusion.”


Suddenly the place became devoid of light. Then an utter silence enveloped them, and a great stillness was felt. Then came a blinding flash of intense light, as though their very psyches had gone nova. Then vision returned. The two were dazed and neither moved nor spoke for several minutes. They looked around and saw that the bowlers were frozen like statues in a variety of comic positions, and that a bowling ball was steadfastly anchored to the floor only inches from the pins that it had been sent to scatter. The two looked at each other, totally unable to account for the phenomenon. The condition was one of suspension, and one noticed that the clock had stopped.

Brunswick Shrine Chimp
There walked into the room a chimpanzee, shaggy and grey about the muzzle, yet upright to his full five feet, and poised with natural majesty. He carried a scroll and walked to the young men. “Gentlemen, why does Pickering’s Moon go about in reverse orbit? Gentlemen, there are nipples on your chests; do you give milk? And what, pray tell, Gentlemen, is to be done about Heisenberg’s Law?” (pause). “SOMEBODY HAD TO PUT ALL OF THIS CONFUSION HERE!” And with that he revealed his scroll. It was a diagram, like a yin- yang with a pentagon on one side and an apple on the other. And then he exploded and the two lost consciousness. They awoke to the sound of pins clattering, and found the bowlers engaged in their game and the waitress busy with making coffee. It was apparent that their experience had been private. They discussed their strange encounter and reconstructed from memory the chimpanzee’s diagram. Over the next five days they searched libraries to find the significance of it, but were disappointed to uncover only references to Taoism, the Korean flag, and Technocracy. It was not until they traced the Greek writing on the apple that they discovered the ancient Goddess known to the Greeks as Eris and to the Romans as Discordia. This was on the fifth night, and when they slept that night each had a vivid dream of a splendid woman whose eyes were as soft as feather and as deep as eternity itself, and whose body was the spectacular dance of atoms and universes. Pyrotechnics of pure energy formed her flowing hair, and rainbows manifested and dissolved as she spoke in a warm and gentle voice:

ERIS: I have come to tell you that you are free. Many ages ago, my consciousness left man, that he might develop himself. I return to find this development approaching completion, but hindered by fear and by misunderstanding. You have built for yourselves psychic suits of armor, and clad in them, your vision is restricted, your movements are clumsy and painful, your skin is bruised, and your spirit is broiled in the sun. I am chaos. I am the substance from which your artists and scientists build rhythms. I am the spirit with which your children and clowns laugh in happy anarchy. I am chaos. I am alive, and I tell you that you are free.

During the next months they studied philosophies and theologies, and learned that Eris or Discordia was primarily feared by the ancients as being disruptive. Indeed, the very concept of chaos was still considered equivalent to strife and treated as a negative. “No wonder things are all screwed up,” they concluded, “they have got it all backwards.” They found that the principle of disorder was every much as significant as the principle of order. With this in mind, they studied the strange yin-yang. During a meditation one afternoon, a voice came to them:

ERIS: It is called the Sacred Chao. I appoint you Keepers of It. Therein you will find anything you like. Speak of Me as Discord, to show contrast to the pentagon. Tell constricted mankind that there are no rules, unless they choose to invent rules. Keep close the words of Syadasti: ‘TIS AN ILL WIND THAT BLOWS NO MINDS. And remember that there is no tyranny in the State of Confusion. For further information, consult your pineal gland.

What is this?” mumbled one to the other, “A religion based on The Goddess of Confusion? It is utter madness!” And with those words, each looked at the other in absolute awe. Omar began to giggle. Mal began to laugh. Omar began to jump up and down. Mal was hooting and hollering to beat all hell. And amid squeals of mirth and with tears on their cheeks, each appointed the other to be high priest of his own madness, and together they declared themselves to be a society of Discordia, for what ever that may turn out to be.

Grand Hailing Sign of Awkwardness and Confusion

As a Keeper of the Sacred Chao I now impart to you a secret Discordian sign. This sign originates from when Richard Nixon boarded his helicopter after he had resigned the office of the Presidency of the U.S. Put both hands in the “peace” sign and thrusting them forward on an upward 45 degree angle at the same time speaking the words “I am not a Crook.” Richard Nixon, having unconsciously taken part in our secrets as a Knight of the Five Sided Castle we rightly recognized this as the Grand Hailing Sign of Awkwardness and Confusion. It is only to be given when in of moments of extreme awkwardness or to display the feeling of total confusion, or when blatantly lying.

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