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My Five Discordian Rituals

Discordian Rituals take many forms.

Here are my Five.

Discordian Ritual #1

They can be lump free, chunky, or smooth textured. Many of us perform Discordian Rituals without even knowing. Case in point: as a hirsute, dope smoking teen—long before my Discordian Pope-hood—I oft times visited Fresno’s Fashion Fair Mall, and above the urinal in a restroom there (a urinal can double as an irreligious altar) there was a chalk board with chalk on a string that allowed the user to scrawl lewd crudities as opposed to the walls of the stalls, such as “for a good time call…”

Anyway, with said chalk—and without premeditated thought—I wrote “Jesus is pregnant!”

This was Discordian Ritual #1.

Fashion Fair Mall postcard, circa 1970s.
The restroom was to the left of the fountain, next to See's Candies.

Discordian Ritual #2

My second Discordian Ritual occurred once again in magical Fresno when a colleague and I ingested LSD and went out trippin’ into the streets of our fair city. At some point in our adventure, one of us said: “What if we saw a UFO right now, no one would believe us,” which made us laugh somewhat uncontrollably.

After uttering those immortal words, Eris called down a surreal squadron of psychedelic saucers which blew our minds.

This was Discordian Ritual #2—although I didn’t know I was a Discordian Society member at the time.

Hail Eris!

Discordian Ritual #3

Discordian Ritual #3 was also initiated by psychoactive substances, this time those crazy little mushrooms Eris transported to Earth.

The set-and-setting was out on the beach at Half Moon Bay when the spirit of The Monster Tamer entered my body and gave a blow by blow account of every monster he’d battled and destroyed—from Frankenstein to the Wolfman—to name just a few.

This was Discordian Ritual #3. (You really had to be there.)

Discordian Ritual #4

Discordian Ritual #4 occurred when I lived in an apartment in Clovis, CA, and sculpted a strange bust of a tormented little green creature with pointed ears named GLIB.

When I moved out, I left GLIB in an empty closet alongside a copy of The Book of Mormon, which though I didn’t know it at the time, was a very Discordian thing to do, and may well have lit up the pineal gland of who ever discovered GLIB sharing a closet shelf with Joseph Smith’s holy book.

Discordian Ritual #5

Discordian Ritual #5 actually occurred after I became a Discordian Pope when myself and some friends who didn’t realize they were Discordian Popes—but now understand that they may or may not be—conducted “The Fifth Degree Discordian Initiation Rite” in the parking lot of the fabled Brunswick Shrine bowling alley where Mal and Omar experienced the Revelation of Eris.

The performance of 'The Fifth Degree Discordian Initiation Rite' at the Brunswick Shrine.

So there you have my Five Discordian Rituals.

I could probably name another 23, but not right now fnord.

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Discordianism Meets Ufology (Part 00001)

Discordians have enjoyed a long and perplexing connection with UFOs, dating back to around the time when the Revelation of Eris first lit up Greg Hill and Kerry Thornley’s pineal glands in the late 1950s.

As Greg Hill recalled: “Thru our mutual general interest in wondering just what was going on out there in that gigantic world, and our many common specific interests in Humanism, anti-religionism, an enjoyment for Omar Khayyam, a curiosity for the bizarre like black magic and hypnotism, plus our common warped sense of humor, (Kerry and I) formed a close friendship.”

Some of Greg and Kerry’s first outings together included attending meetings of a flying saucer club (or saucer cult, depending on your perspective) called Understanding Inc. located in El Monte, California not far from where our dynamic Discordian duo grew up in the conservative Orange County enclave of Whittier.

The leader of Understanding was famed UFO Contactee Daniel Fry, who in the late 1940s worked as an explosives technician at the White Sands Proving Ground in Alamogordo, New Mexico. According to legend, it was there on July 4th, 1950 that Fry witnessed what he referred to as an “oblate spheroid” come to a silent landing. Intrigued by the strange craft, Fry passed his hand over the exterior to test its temperature, and a telepathic voice cried out: “Better not touch the hull, pal, it’s still hot!”

After exchanging more telepathic pleasantries with an extraterrestrial named A-lan (pronounced “a-lawn”)—who remotely piloted the “oblate spheroid” from a “mother ship” located some 900 miles above Earth—Fry was whisked away for a quick show-me trip to New York and back in an astounding 30 minutes. In the weeks to follow, Fry was treated to additional trips as A-lan supplied him with a stunning array of knowledge on such subjects as advanced physics and the hidden history of Earth. Fry later recounted these extraterrestrial interactions in The White Sands Incident (1954).

After having all this Universal Wisdom dropped on him, Fry decided to expand his knowledge base even more by receiving a “Doctorate of Cosmism” from Saint Andrew College, a mail order outfit located in London, England that was keen on dispensing doctorates for the right price. Fry later remarked that he was “recognized by many as the best informed scientist in the world on the subject of space and space travel.”

In 1955—armed with all his new found cosmic knowledge—Fry founded Understanding Inc. which would expand to a nationwide network of “study groups” that at its height boasted 1,500 members in several cities in the U.S. According to Saucer Smear editor Jim Moseley, most of these “study groups” were headed by middle-aged ladies with whom Fry—during his many lecture tours across the country—could always find “understanding” and “a warm bed each night.”

From 1956 through 1979, Fry published a monthly newsletter, Understanding, and was prominent on the flying saucer lecture circuit.

The January 1956 cover of Daniel Fry's Understanding newsletter.

In 1972, Fry hooked up with fellow UFO Contactee Gabriel “Gabe” Green to serve as his running mate during Green’s 1972 Presidential run on the Universal Flying Saucer Party ticket, a campaign that was ultimately unsuccessful—at least in this space time continuum. Green—it just so happens—made his home in Whittier, the same youthful stomping grounds of Hill and Thornley, and home to the fabled Brunswick Shrine where they first received The Revelation of Eris.

1972 Gabriel Green Presidential UFO Flyer.

In 1974, Understanding Inc. was gifted a fifty-five (there’s that Law of Fives, again!) acre property in Tonopah, Arizona by one of Fry’s many aging female admirers, a Mrs. Enid Smith. A couple years later, Fry moved to the Tonopah property and established it as his base of operations. Not long after, an arson fire destroyed the Understanding Inc. library among other buildings at the site. This event—in combination with the dwindling funds in Understanding Inc.’s coffers—signaled the beginning of the end for Fry’s Ufological empire.

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Discordian News Roundup

Inspired by last year’s production of Daisy Campbell’s Cosmic Trigger Play and Find the Others Festival, an intrepid group of Discordians across the pond are crowdsourcing a Disco free-for-all called Festival 23 slated for the weekend of July 23rd, 2016 that is described as “An interactive celebration of literature and the arts; of theatre, playshops and music inspired by the Discordian movement; a society of philosophers, theologians, magicians, scientists, artists, clowns and similar maniacs who are intrigued with Eris, Goddess of Confusion, and with her doings.”

One of the organizers of the Festival 23 event recently appeared on the Cult of Nick which you can hear here.

Hear, hear!

Word on the street is that Daisy Campbell and her band of merry misfits will also be involved with Festival 23, all of which will presumably keep the Golden Apple rolling in a positive direction all the way to Santa Cruz, California where Daisy and the troops intend to stage the Cosmic Trigger play in 2017—on July 23rd to be exact—the same date of the annual Robert Anton Wilson Day in Santa Cruz as well as the day when RAW originally pulled the cosmic trigger back in 1973, which is what all this fuss is about.

For more of a tease, read Daisy’s update here.

To coincide with all these Cosmic Trigger related happenings, the RAW estate has just announced the official launch of its publishing arm Hilartius Press and re-release of a whole slew of RAW titles. First out of the chutes will be—you guessed it!—Cosmic Trigger I: The Final Secret of the Illuminati with a brand spanking new intro by John Higgs author of the fabulous Discordian title KLF: Chaos Magic Music Money that if you haven’t read, you really should, and quickly.

Brunswick Shrine: A Sign From Eris.
Courtesy Discordian Archives.
And if all of that wasn’t enough jolly good news to keep all you greyfaces out there from totally immanentizing the eschaton, Tom Jackson over at just the other day reported that the fabled Brunswick Shrine has apparently been rescued from the wrecking ball!

Hail Eris! All Hail Dick Weber!

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Adam Gorightly Interviewed by Jim Harold — Discordianism, Kerry Thornley, 23

Gorightly interviewed by Jim Harold on Discordianism, Kerry Thornley, 23, The Church of the SubGenius, Robert Anton Wilson, and more!

Video by Floyd Anderson located here on The YouTube.

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The Brunswick Shrine Has Gone Dark!

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

Sad news, my fellow Discordians. The Brunswick Shrine has gone dark!

The announcement came through the following news reports detailing the end of an era, the closure of the birthplace of Discordianism, the Friendly Hills Bowling Alley:

Whittier’s Friendly Hills Lanes closes
Three Historic L.A. Bowling Alleys Go Dark

And now, let’s take a look back at the Brunswick Shrine and its Erisian vibe with a series of Historia Discordia posts we like to call…

“Tales of the Brunswick Shrine”

Tales of the Brunswick Shrine (Part 00001)
Tales of the Brunswick Shrine (Part 00002)
Tales of the Brunswick Shrine (Part 00003)
Tales of the Brunswick Shrine (Part 00004)
Tales of the Brunswick Shrine (Part 00005)

Brunswick Shrine: A Sign From Eris.
Courtesy of Discordian Archives.
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Tales of the Brunswick Shrine (Part 00005)

Last but not least in our spectacular 5 Part Brunswick Shrine series is another curious little ditty I discovered in the Discordian Archives:

A poem dedicated to some gal named Rosie who sure loved to roll that Golden Apple.

In Memoriam: Rosemary Crowell.
Courtesy of the Discordian Archives.
Rosie applying the Law of Fives. Long may she roll.
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Tales of the Brunswick Shrine (Part 00004)

Cedar Lanes Bowl
My own personal Brunswick Shrine closed in 2012, the very same year the world was supposed to end—and it might as well have for all I care!—because Cedar Lanes is where I’d spent much of my wayward youth bowling and playing Pong and pinball and enjoying the most wondrous cheeseburgers that your belly-brain can imagine! It was like a central meeting place where myself and my hirsute colleagues would congregate on a Friday night before venturing out to a kegger or some other stoner dude outing straight out of Linklater’s Dazed and Confused.

When I caught wind of Cedar Lanes impending closure, I arranged a get together with some Discordian colleagues to enjoy a toast or two and partake of the holy hamburger (sorry, not hot dogs without buns) and bid farewell to this landmark of my youth where last I heard they were going to build an aneristic Wal-Mart in its place.

Golden Apples in the Sun.
After high school, I drifted off to other parts of the Golden State then returned to Fresno in the late-80s and made a habit for awhile of visiting Cedar Lanes for an occasional hang over-breakfast (eggs over easy, hash browns and bacon, keep the coffee coming!). This was during the period Dr. Hunter S. Thompson was writing a weekly column for the San Francisco Examiner, and so I fondly recall on several occasions slurping my coffee with great gusto as I read the good Dr. Gonzo’s latest while awaiting my bacon and eggs in the old school padded leather booths of yore.

Wall of Discordian Saints.
During our final Cedar Lanes pilgrimage we never actually got around to bowling but spent the preponderance of our time in the dim lit bar among a gaggle of regulars enjoying their Bud Lights, one of whom I later noticed in the photo below appeared to be a shapeshifting reptilian, just starting to shapeshift. Notice the eyes…

Reptilian Discordian.
Of course, Fresno has always been home to strange occurrences such as these, including my own psychedelic UFO encounter way back when. After reviewing the remaining photos from our pilgrimage, I noticed what appeared to be a saucer-shaped UFO hovering to the right of the Cedar Lanes sign!

Cedar Lanes Credit Card.

Back in the day, Cedar Lanes used to issue their own credit cards, something I’d hung on to over the years, as it occupies a special place in my wallet right alongside my Discordian Pope Card. Of course, they hadn’t accepted these credit cards for over a decade or so, but just the same I thought I’d lay it on the bartender to see if I could stiff him for a few drinks. This gambit didn’t work, but just the same the bartender didn’t hold it against us, and actually treated us to a toast on the house, which was some sort of lemon lime concoction that was damn good, I might add.

Cedar Lanes Neon Sign.
The last vestige of Cedar Lanes now resides in a neon sign bone yard in northwest Fresno, a testament to a bygone age.

Find out more about fabulous Fresno here, the city of the future!

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Tales of the Brunswick Shrine (Part 00003)

“No Muse-poet grows conscious of the Muse except by experience of a woman in whom the Goddess is to some degree resident; just as no Apollonian poet can perform his proper function unless he lives under a monarchy or a quasi-monarchy. A Muse-poet falls in love, absolutely, and his true love is for him the embodiment of the Muse…

But the real, perpetually obsessed Muse-poet distinguishes between the Goddess as manifest in the supreme power, glory, wisdom, and love of woman, and the individual woman whom the Goddess may make her instrument…

The Goddess abides; and perhaps he will again have knowledge of her through his experience of another woman…”
—Robert Graves, The White Goddess

Robert Graves—in the above passage—was obviously referring to Eris, although he tried to sugar coat the whole thing to make it appear as if our Lady of Perpetual Chaos is all sweetness and light, which is totally missing the point. Or as Eris herself once said in a certain SoCal bowling alley:

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.

In The Big Lebowski, the Coen Brothers use the holy bowling alley metaphor to further expound upon the Erisian mythos, featuring Jeff Bridges in his classic role of The Dude, the embodiment of Southern California-cool-Eristic-forces-in-action. The last line he delivers in the film is: “The Dude abides,” which certainly seems a wink and nod to a certain Goddess who also abides—or as a way of saying that the Goddess abides in The Dude.

An erstwhile political activist—fond of White Russians, smoking dope and bowling (but not The Eagles)—The Dude goes with the Erisian flow, unconcerned about paying his rent and, in fact, it appears he has no visible means of support and relies entirely upon the will of Eris to guide his chaotic movements and settle his bills. Here the Dude expounds upon The Eagles:

At the eighteen minute mark in the film we see The Dude’s bowling lane identified as the holy Discordian number 23.

The Erisian forces are then set in motion when a guy named Smokey from the opposing bowling team steps over the line during a league match, which sends Walter (John Goodman) on a tirade; Walter brandishes his gun, aims it at Smokey and screams: “Has the whole world gone crazy?” Some may see Walter as an out of control gun wielding wacko, but in reality he’s channeling the chaotic Erisian forces in an attempt to bring some semblance of real order and sanity to a world gone mad with lane violations.

With all his ups and downs, The Dude always seems to land on his feet (more often than not in slippers… or bowling shoes) which attests to the fact that if you put your trust in Eris (In Goddess We Trust!) then some spectacular shit is bound to happen along the way—or at least you won’t be bored!

Conversely—on the other side of the yin-yang coin (or the Hodge-Podge, have you)—there’s that big meanie Jeffrey Lebowski; a man—due to his fucked-up control freak nature—who is crippled, both literally and karmically; a constricted and conniving sour-pus possessed by The Curse of Greyface.

Thus you have the two competing Lebowski’s, a veritable yin-yang/hodge-podge of counter push pull contrasting styles. First, Jeffrey Lebowski (The Big Lebowski played by David Huddleston) who has employed his wealth and power in an attempt to control others; whereas The Dude, well, you know how he rolls. Or as Sam Elliot (as “The Stranger”) says: “Dude, I like your style” …or something to that effect.

The grey-faced aneristic order the Big Lebowski conjures into existence is a group of nihilist Nazis ne’er-do-wells who attempt to rob The Dude of his Erisian powers. In the final showdown, the nihilists attempt to harness Eris and control chaos, but end up getting their asses handed to them when Walter invokes Goddess and launches a bowling ball (the symbolic Golden Apple) knocking the crap out of one of the nihilists along with chomping off the ear of another. Although a glorious Erisian victory, a casualty is unfortunately suffered during the melee when their buddy Donny (Steve Buscemi) dies of a heart attack. Here is Walter’s moving eulogy for Donny.

Goddess reveals herself in many others ways throughout the course of the film, one of which comes in the form of the Big Lebowski’s free spirited and fun loving wife, Bunny, who embodies the trickster spirit of that Great Discordian Saint, Bugs Bunny.


And of course the Goddess manifests in the Big Lebowski’s daughter—Maude (Julianne Moore)—who has rebelled against hers father’s control and chooses The Dude to impregnate her with a magickal child of Chaos; an intentional act to get that old Hodge-Podge-counter-push-pull moving in a positive direction, Eristic vs. Aneristic.

At the 20 minute mark, another deity in the Discordian pantheon appears, none other than his holiness Richard Milhous Nixon shown in full stride as he prepares to roll a Kallisti-inscribed bowling ball into the dark, savage heart of the American dream. Just one more among many apparent Discordian winks and nods imbedded in The Big Lebowski.

I must also mention another Nixon-related synchronicity that occurred not long ago when Andrew West Griffin of the Red Dirt Report tweeted a pic of Historia Discordia: The Origins of the Discordian Society with the very same Tricky Dick image in the background. And if that wasn’t enough, on Andrew’s table rested a copy of Jung’s Red Book—another stone-cold synchronicity which I probably shouldn’t need to explain.

When I asked if he’d intentionally placed the Nixon bowling photo in his Historia Discordia pic—or Jung’s Red Book, for that matter—Andrew replied it’d happened by pure dumb luck, which once again confirms the spirit of Eris busy at work directing human affairs and simultaneously blowing our brains.

If all of this wasn’t enough, I just recently discovered a religion dedicated exclusively to The Dude called The Church of the Latter-Day Dude.

In this regard, it should also be noted there are now more Dudeist Priests in Ireland than Catholic ones. Hail Eris!

Included in the Dudeism iconography is a yin-yang like symbol, which seems also a twist on The Sacred Chao but instead of the Golden Apple yin-yanging the Pentagon you have the bowling ball symbol with finger holes balanced against one another in the cosmic drama of life.


 And just like Mal-2 back in the day, The Church of the Latter-Day Dudes likewise issues their own certificates of ordination if you so desire to become a Dudeist Priest.

And now, here’s the greatest musical interlude in… well… musical interlude history:

Eris abides.

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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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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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