The above photo of Robert Anton Wilson, on the fabled Grassy Knoll, popped up on the Twitter a while back courtesy of Mustafa_al_Laylah, taken during a visit to Dallas circa 1998. In said photo, RAW is situated behind the picket fence separating the Grassy Knoll from the adjacent rail-yard bordering Dealey Plaza.
According to one assassination conspiracy theory (examined in the BBC series The Men Who Killed Kennedy), it was from this vantage point that the so-called Badge Man presumably fired the baleful bullet(s) that catapulted President Kennedy’s cranium into the great beyond, a theory based in part on photographic enhancement of the picket fence area at the time the fatal projectile(s) met their mark. Of course, the enhancement and enlargement of an old grainy photo (in this case the Mary Moorman photo) is like peering into a Rorschach Blot, and the longer you do so, the more figures your imagination brings to life, and thus fills in the blanks depending on what you expect to see, or desire to see, a la ‘Who Is The Master That Makes The Grassy Knoll Green?’.
During this tumultuous period, Garrison was viewed as a new darling of the “Radical Left,” presenting himself as a maverick prosecutor taking on corrupt authority in the form of the CIA and the military industrial complex, whom Garrison suggested (at one time or another) were part of the sinister plot that engineered Kennedy’s awful offing.
Due to this view of Garrison as some new hero of the Left, Thornley now found himself in a somewhat peculiar position, as he had long been involved with the burgeoning counterculture, having written for any number of underground magazines and newsletters, but now it appeared he was the odd man out. As RAW recalled in my book The Prankster and the Conspiracy:
“In ’67 or ’68, most of the underground press was publishing a lot of stuff pro-Jim Garrison, and this included Kerry’s role in the assassination. And I had lots of contacts in the underground press, so I starting sending out articles defending Kerry, which nobody would print, because the underground press was behind Garrison and the official corporate media was totally anti-Garrison—I was trying to send the message to the wrong place…”
Among those (in Thornley’s opinion) that had jumped aboard the Garrison bandwagon, was L.A. Free Press publisher/editor Art Kunkin, who, among other pro-Garrison articles, ran the following:
In response, Thornley sent the following letter to Art Kunkin, presenting his side of the story and requesting equal time:
In their efforts to provide counter-programming, Thornley, RAW, and their fellow Discordians launched what became known as Operation Mindfuck, a concerted effort to bombard Garrison and his enthusiasts with a steady diet of zany disinformation under the banner of the Bavarian Illuminati. To further illuminate (or confuse) Art Kunkin, RAW sent the letter below, under the auspices of the Order of the Peacock Angel, signed by his Discordian alter ego, Mordecai Malignatus.
In order to further expand their network of potential Illuminati collaborators, RAW sent the following missive to a select group of underground movers and shakers.
How the Discordian Society became synonymous with the Bavarian Illuminati can be attributed, to a certain extent, to a John Birch Society member named Allan Chapman, who also doubled as a JFK assassination researcher and “Grassy Knoll Irregular,” as they were dubbed; a legion of amateur sleuths who shared their investigative “fruits” with Jim Garrison, which then Garrison regurgitated to greater glory. RAW name-dropped Chapman in his infamous letter & answer in the April 1969 PLAYBOY Advisor.
As Thornley recalled:
“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).” (The Dreadlock Recollections, Kerry Thornley)
Chapman subscribed to the theory that the Illuminati (who he claimed controlled the Big Three TV networks) masterminded the assassination, and that one of the alleged assassins hid inside a storm drain in the picket fence area of the Grassy Knoll and then popped out of a manhole cover like some diabolical jack-in-the-box and peppered poor JFK with a barrage of bullets before returning to his underground lair there.
It should then come as no surprise that The Grassy Knoll played a part in the Illuminatus! Trilogy, embodied in the character of the Dealey Lama, a robed and bearded holy mad man who lived in the sewers below Dealey Plaza. In retrospect, the Dealey Lama sounds a lot like Kerry Thornley by the mid-1970s, when Kerry lived the life of a homeless holy man of sorts, sporting long hair and a biblical beard, and at one time or another actually lived in a storm drain for a spell.
In this vein, I thought I’d share further examples of Discordian parties starting with a shindig thrown by Tim Wheeler (aka Harold Lord Randomfactor) at his farm in Shelbyville, Indiana, billed as the “Grand National Founding Convention of Young Americans For Real Freedom.” The intent of this gathering was to draft “The Shelbyville Statement,” which would be the guiding document of the Young Americans for Real Freedom (YARF). Of course, all of this was merely an elaborate joke-parody riffing on a real organization called the Young Americans for Freedom that was prominent in conservative political circles during this period.
Moving on to other Discordian parties, here’s a note from Greg Hill (aka Mal 2) to Louise Lacey (aka Lady L., F.A.B. – Fucking Anarchist Bitch) composed on genuine Illuminati stationary created by the aforementioned Harold Randomfactor.
“…celebrated at our apartment house with weird and eldritch festivities. Arlen and I, representing the Discordian Society, together with Stephen upstairs (Reformed Druids of North America), Claire and Carol in another apartment (witches, connected with the New Reformed Order of the Golden Dawn), and the Great Wild Beast Furtherment Society (which is really Stephen and me and another neighbor named Charles), opened all our rooms to a Crowleymas Party and invited nearly 100 local wizards and mystics…”
In attendance were such illuminaries as ufological visionary Jacques Vallee, along with a flock of other furry freaks from a hodge-podge of mystical and religious (dis)orders, including Grady McMurtry, then head of the Ordo Templi Orientis in the USA.
Apparently, such Discordian frivolities carried on well into the early 1980s as demonstrated in a letter below to Greg Hill from Camden Benares (aka The Count of Fives aka Felix Pendragon) announcing a duel sponsored event orchestrated in cahoots with renowned pornographer, and sometime Discordian, Ron Matthies under the banner of “Fort Chaotic.” In said letter, Camden mentions a Discordian novel he was working on at the time called Another Howling Eighties Conspiracy that unfortunately never saw the light of day, although we know he finished at least five chapters, Hail Eris.
As revealed in my Thornley bio The Prankster and the Conspiracy, Camden and his wife June often attended parties dressed as a priest and nun. After one such party, Camden and June—still bedecked in their holy garbed—visited a Denny’s in West Los Angeles where they spent considerable time making out in their booth. As would be expected, people began freaking out upon witnessing this ungodly spectacle, as in between sacrilegious smooches Camden gave blessings and benedictions to the stunned Denny’s patrons.
The ideal celebration for this holiday is listening to bootleg recordings of the first Discordian rock band, Jay See and the Disciples of Eris. The rarity of these recordings causes most Discordians to celebrate in some other manner befitting the occasion.
Check out this Tom Jackson interview with Adam Gorightly about Caught in the Crossfire in the Sandusky Register.
Here’s a brief summary of the book:
Caught in the Crossfire: Kerry Thornley, Lee Oswald and the Garrison Investigation
By Adam Gorightly
Kerry Thornley never imagined that after starting a spoof religion in the 1950s dedicated to the worship Eris—the Greek Goddess of Chaos and Discord—that such an irreverent yet light-hearted endeavor would unleash, in the years to come, a torrent of actual chaos into his life and turn his world upside down.
In 1959, Thornley served in the Marines with Lee Harvey Oswald and was actually writing a novel based on Oswald three years before JFK’s assassination. These connections would later cause New Orleans District Attorney Jim Garrison to suspect that Thornley was one of the notorious Oswald doubles and part of a JFK assassination plot. Initially, Thornley denied these allegations, but later came to believe that he’d been used as an unwitting pawn in a conspiracy that ran far deeper than the JFK assassination and may also have included the RFK and MLK assassinations, as well as the disturbing specter of government sponsored mind control.
“Deep diving back into the New Orleans underbelly with noted author and crackpot historian, Adam Gorightly! We discuss his multipart article on the antics and associations of the shotgun toting Pastor himself.”
The handful of veiled (or perhaps not-so-veiled) drug references in the Principia Discordia include the ritual of Blessed St. Gulik the Stoned (pages 00027 and 00040), an allusion to a Discordian pot smoking ritual. (St. Gulik is a cockroach.)
Page 00068 of Principia Discordia featured “Plant Your Seeds,” a covert campaign to plant marijuana seeds throughout the cities of America to turn on the squares. “Lick Here” on page 00023 encourages the reader to stick their tongue on the dot for a special dose of you know what!
Principia Discordia (4th edition) evolved out of what were known as Groovy Kits, manila envelopes packed full of groovy goodies that were circulated by Greg Hill to a snail mail network of popes and momes during the Discordian Society’s halcyon days. Although Discordians have never been big on rules, it was encouraged that—upon receipt of said Groovy Kit—the recipient partook in the Ritual of St. Gulik to suitably prepare their heads before diving into the Groovy Kit goods and creating something likewise groovy to add to the package and then pass it along to the next Discordian on the list. (Rules is rules.) And so, in time, these Groovy Kits grew like some weird fungi, spreading their spores via the U.S. Postal System through the collective brains of those who elected to play the game; an art project made up of a communal Discordian stew of collages, counterculture memes, conspiracy theories, word games, irreverent humor, all of which contributed to the evolution of Principia Discordia which, in turn, provided inspiration for Robert Anton Wilson and Robert Shea’s Illuminatus!
Robert Anton Wilson (RAW) provided some of the earliest reports of Discordian psychedelic experimentation in Cosmic Trigger I: Final Secret of the Illuminati. In 1963, RAW lived in “an old slave-cabin in the woods outside Yellow Springs, Ohio. With my wife, Arlen, and our four small children, I had rented the cabin from Antioch College for $30 per month and had an acre of cleared land to grow food on, 30 acres of woods to seek Mystery in…” It was there, with the aid of peyote, that RAW was able to tap into those ancient nature spirits, this at a time when you could still legally purchase peyote buttons via mail order.
“By mid-1963 [RAW] had logged 40 trips to inner space” and “frequently had the hallucination of telepathic communication with plants, both when flying on the wings of peyote and when [I] was straight… The strangest entity I contacted in those twenty-odd months of psychedelic explorations appeared one day after the end of a peyote trip, when I was weeding in the garden and a movement in the adjoining cornfield caught my eye. I looked over that way and saw a man with warty green skin and pointy ears, dancing.” RAW “watched for nearly a minute, entranced, and then Greenskin faded away ‘just a hallucination…’ But I could not forget him. Unlike the rapid metaprogramming during a peyote trip, in which you are never sure what is real and what is just the metaprogrammer playing games, this experience had all the qualities of waking reality, and differed only in intensity. The entity in the cornfield had been more beautiful, more charismatic, more divine than anything I could consciously imagine when using my literary talents to try to portray a deity. As the mystics of all traditions say so aggravatingly, ‘Those who have seen, know.’ Well, I had seen, but I didn’t know. I was more annoyed than enlightened. But that was not to be my last encounter with that particular critter. Five years later, in 1968, [RAW] read Carlos Castaneda’s The Teachings of Don Juan, dealing with traditional Mexican shamanism and its use of the sacred cactus. Castaneda, an anthropologist, saw the same green man several times, and Don Juan Matus, the shaman, said his name was Mescalito. He was the spirit of the peyote plant…”00001
RAW’s enthusiasm for psychedelics led to his 1964 article for Paul Krassner’s The Realist, “Timothy Leary and his Psychological H-Bomb” the result of an interview he conducted with Timothy Leary in 1964 at the Millbrook Ashram. As RAW noted:
“Later [Leary] asked me if I had majored in psychology, and was surprised to find most of my college years had been in the physical sciences. My knowledge of psychology comes entirely from omnivorous reading and several friendships with people in the field, but it may partially explain why Timothy Leary and I had a different sort of relationship than Tim usually has with writers and journalists.”00002
RAW became an ardent Leary advocate, and in the years to follow the two would forge a close personal and professional bond, co-authoring a number of articles together, as well as developing “The Eight Circuit Model of Consciousness” concept.
RAW continued his psychedelic explorations into the 1970s, incorporating consciousness expansion techniques, wicca, magick, tantra, yoga and in particular a Crowleyean ritual known as the “Conversation with the Holy Guardian Angel.” On July 23rd, 1973—coming down off an acaid trip—RAW was performing this Crowleyean ritual when he came into contact with what he perceived to be entities from the Sirius star system. RAW later discovered that July 23 is the very day when Sirius rises behind the sun, the fabled “Dog Days” as they are called. During this same period, RAW was in correspondence with Leary. As RAW recalled:
“In January 1974, Dr. Leary published Terra II, in which he reported his experiments during July-August 1973, attempting to achieve telepathic communication with higher Intelligences elsewhere in the galaxy. Dr. Leary “received” 19 transmissions—the so-called Starseed Transmissions—which he cheerfully admits may be hallucinations. He presents evidence and arguments that they may also be not-hallucinations.
“As soon as I read Terra II, it was obvious to me that I had somehow, during my yoga [magick] sessions, tuned in on Dr. Leary’s brain-waves. My July 23 communication from Sirius was either part of the Transmissions from the higher minds of the galaxy or was part of Dr. Leary’s hallucination, telepathically shared with me. Dr. Leary, however, did not mention Sirius…”00003
Greg Hill chronicled his psychedelic experiments in a number of journal entries, including a three page account from April 1965 entitled “An Experience with Mescaline.” (Download here.)
Body becomes helpless with laughter
As whirly-gig bugs return,
Chills are back too
And the room is
Save one single point
Of life and warmth:
Far below on the floor.
As a Holy Guru
The Omniscient flame
Radiates its serenity
To all who
And body is once again granted
In the mid 1960s, Kerry Thornley joined Kerista, “a sexually swinging psychedelic tribe” into mate swapping, dope smoking and acid tripping. Renowned for their “beautiful weekend orgies,” Kerista was established in New York the late 1950s by John Presmont (aka Brother Jud). After running afoul of the law in NYC, Brother Jud and his crew moved to Southern California, where they joined forces with Kerry. During this period, Kerry’s income was a total of $50 a week, which he earned from writing “case histories,” most of them factual, for Monogram Publications—a southern California erotica publisher—based on his experiences with the Keristas.00004
In 1966, the group’s newspaper changed its name from Kerista to Kerista Swinger, presumably to generate greater appeal with a new generation of hip sexual experimenters. Kerry—calling himself “Young Omar”—wrote several articles for Kerista Swinger, including the group’s mission statement:
Kerista is a religion and the mood of Kerista is one of holiness. Do not, however, look for a profusion of rituals, dogmas, doctrines, and scriptures. Kerista is too sacred for that. It is more akin to the religions of the East and, also, the so-called pagan religions of the pre-Christian West. Its fount of being is the religious experience and that action or word or thought which is not infused with ecstasy is not Kerista. And Kerista, like those religions of olden times, is life-affirming.
By 1967—the so-called “Summer of Love”—Kerry’s politics had gone through a radical shift. His rallying cry was now “sex, drugs, and treason”—everything that flew in the face of a conservative agenda he’d previously embraced with his enthusiasm for Ayn Rand styled Libertarianism. As Kerry later wrote:
When the conservatives began complaining that radical students were interested in nothing but “sex, drugs, and treason” I realized that, instinctually, they had hit the nail on the head. Sex, drugs, and treason were the three things I stood for…. Regarding sex, I became firmly convinced that unless there were trends established in our culture in the direction of uncompromising sexual honesty, tolerance for minority sexual preferences, equal treatment of the sexes, rational openness concerning VD and birth control, and saner attitudes regarding sex and child-rearing, particularly with reference to masturbation—further meaningful social change would not be possible…
Regarding drugs, I gained a great deal of respect for psychedelic substances as powerful tools for restructuring portions of one’s personality which could not be reached by intellectual effort alone, for expanding one’s sense of identification and compassion, and for opening the narrow and dry Western ego to mystical possibilities. Zen and similar styles of meditation, along with the yoga disciplines, I came to see as methods for maintaining psychedelic levels of awareness, once the chemicals had demonstrated the nature of such modes of consciousness…
Regarding treason, I came gradually to a position of supporting nearly all factions on the radical left, except in their quarreling with each other and the dogmatic insistence of some of these groups on the insistence of political violence (or, in other cases, the immorality of violence under all circumstances). I came to this position without ever abandoning some of the more libertarian elements on the extreme right. Meanwhile, I continued to refine my own political philosophy of anarchism—not because I favored “violence and chaos” with which anarchism is nearly always falsely equated, but because of my opposition to violence and chaos, for which government military machines and bureaucratic structures are largely responsible in today’s world…00005
Kerry Thornley helped organize the Griffith Park Human Be-Ins, which were the perfect set and setting to display his irreverent brand of humor. At the first Be-In, Kerry cut a singular swath, equipped with a sign that read: “Stamp out quicksand. Ban LSD.” Fellow Discordian Louise Lacey (Lady L., F.A.B.) recalled the first Griffith Park Be-In thusly:
The weather was perfect. We were all stoned. A single engine plane came and circled, and I thought it was the media, keeping track of us, but then a man all in white dropped down with a parachute and the crowd roared with approval. Later I learned that an old friend of mine from Marin County was the pilot. He got that plane out fast, because it was illegal to parachute within the city limits.
The Be-In was fascinating because I had never seen such a large collection of freaks. I couldn’t keep from grinning. I was particularly interested because some hard assed sociologist had said that when you were on LSD you were extremely susceptible to being led. I was watching for people being led.
I saw a group of people organized into a crack-the-whip game. Twenty or twenty-five people formed and a man with a megaphone was giving them instructions. (Definitely planned.)
“Move up the hill, move down. Hang on tight. Join with more people.” I couldn’t tell if anyone was listening or just all having fun. The people at the end of the line were moving so fast they kept being thrown off, tumbling down the hill in the grass, laughing hysterically. Then some of the crack-the-whip people let go of the hands of the people around them and drifted off. The megaphone man yelled more loudly. “Hang on, don’t let go.” More people drifted away. He was screaming now. The group all dropped hands and disappeared in the crowds and the megaphone man was screaming at the top of his amplified voice, “Come back! We are playing a game here!” But the people were gone.
I didn’t worry any more about what that sociologist had said.
Many groups of people were gathered as “families of friends.” It was the first time I had seen this form of organization. So there were tents, and lean-to’s and lots of signs pounded into the dirt, describing one thing or another to identify who the friends were. (This is where Kerry’s sign fit in.) As I didn’t live in L.A., I didn’t recognize anyone other than Kerry’s friends, who didn’t stay around his sign, but it didn’t matter. I “knew” the strangers as friends, and we laughed and hugged and shared doobies, and listened to music and I moved on. Nobody got hurt, everyone had a good time (except, I imagine, the man with the megaphone). As the day progressed, I gravitated back to Kerry’s sign and others did, too, and we shared what we had experienced, eventually gathered our stuff and drove home to Kerry’s. A most successful day.00006
At the time, Kerry had moved into a house in the Watts section of Los Angeles that became a sort of psychedelic social center. One frequent visitor to this scene was Kerry’s friend, Bud Simco, who recalled:
“Kerry was charismatic and had the ability to attract diverse personalities, people who would normally not be associated with each other, except by the force of Kerry’s personality. For example, there were so-called hippie types tripping under the dining room table, holding burning candles in their hands, while right-wing types were holding forth in the kitchen. One such character I recall had never been to Watts before, and showed up wearing a bullet-proof vest and armed with a .45. He seemed reasonable enough, in conversation, but he was taking no chances [having never been around hippies before]. There were people from all walks of life… including a pilot for the Flying Tiger Airlines, a student from MIT, some swingers, a fashion model, some writers, some SDS student types, and various and sundry others whom I did not know. One of my guests at one particular gathering was a former motorcycle gang member who lost his foot in a motorcycle accident, and his beautiful American Indian wife, who was at the time a co-worker of mine. He had never seen such an assorted group of people in his life, for example, but with his tambourine, magic mushrooms and a Donovan LP loudly playing, asserted his presence along with all the diverse others in one righteous happening. The thing is, everyone was tolerant of the other, regardless of individual inclinations and/or politics. At such an event, many people would never even interact with other groups, in other rooms, although many did. That was the one universal factor re: being present at one of Kerry’s gatherings, either at his home in Watts, or perhaps at one of the original “Be-Ins” at Griffith Park…”00007
A frequent visitor to Kerry’s house in Watts was John Overton who after his first acid trip changed his name to Camden Benares, the idea of which was to bring the teachings of the East into the West: “Camden” for Camden, New Jersey, and “Benares” after Benares, India, the city where the Buddha delivered his first sermon. Benares went on to write the classic Zen Without Zen Masters and was a contributor to the Principia Discordia with “A Zen Story” on page 00005. Camden’s Discordian name was Felix Pendragon. Felix—according to Discordian legend—always carried a pen, and in said pen was a joint. So, when somebody asked Camden who Felix Pendragon was, he’d take out the pen, remove the joint, and “drag on” it.
While this scene was happening at Kerry’s Watts house, Greg Hill was finishing up his military service. After his discharge in early ‘68, he relocated to San Francisco, and ramped up his Discordian activities while immersing himself in the burgeoning counterculture. Among these endeavors included the “Plant Seeds” chain letter he anonymously forwarded to underground papers and news outlets courtesy of “The Discordian Society.”
In addition to disseminating Groovy Kits to his circle of Discordian co-conspirators, Hill interacted with many of the psychedelic luminaries (and trouble makers) of the era, including Tim Leary, Art Kleps of the Neo American Church (author of the Boo Hoo Bible) and Jefferson Poland (aka ‘Jefferson Fuck Poland’) of the Psychedelic Venus Church, among others, often joining their respective psychedelic churches and receiving certain sacraments through the mail. One batch of illuminating correspondence that Hill received from Kleps included a curious index card:
Dr. Robert Newport was another long time friend of both Hill and Thornley as well as contributor to the Principia Discordia with “The Parable of the Bitter Tea” (page 00037) In Brenton Clutterbuck’s book Chasing Eris, Newport recalled his introduction to LSD:
“I was in this psychiatric residency in California in the late 1960s, and the world was in turmoil…. I had been struggling to keep up with all of it, then Greg [Hill] showed up with LSD, and that was goodnight… I had taken LSD months before I left for Okinawa [drafted into the military]… my head was just completely blown apart. And the hostility and violence of the military—I was not obeying too much. I became a revolutionary; I was doing all kinds of things that could have gotten me court-martialed. I didn’t because I tended to be smart enough to stay ahead of whomever… But eventually I was totally stupid and got myself kicked out, which was OK. I didn’t belong there anyway.” 00008
Greg Hill addressed Newport’s troubled military service in his Discordian newsletter The Greater Poop:
The Rev. Dr. Hypocrates, [Newport], has returned from his Okinawa Mission and is presently at Norton Cabal awaiting developments. Brother Hypoc, as you may or may not know, is a POEE psychiatrist who completed his residency in Berkeley a year ago and then promptly got his ass drafted into the United States Air Farce. Poop readers may recall a Xerox of Hypoc’s dog tag which started “Erisian” for religion (issue #6)…
Brother Hypoc [Newport], narrowly escaping legal prosecution, for some LSD antics, because of his professional status as an MD and his privileged status as an Officer, is presently trying to discharge the Pentagon from his life. Human beings in comparable situations but without Privilege Status, of course, are routinely crucified, caged, or psychosmashed by the pig machine, but they couldn’t send Hypoc to the Base Psychiatrist because Hypoc was the Base Psychiatrist, and he advocates that military psychology be in the service of mental health. Due to the awkwardness of the Military’s position, a discharge seems realistic—as soon as Big Uncle finally understands that Rev. Dr. Magoun has sworn the Hippocratic oath as a healer and finds it his moral obligation to RELEASE every person he can from the destructive and corruptive state of being in which the government confines US Citizens for the purpose of turning human beings into soldiers…
This loose-knit Discordian network in which Greg Hill found himself front-and-center was similar to the scene that revolved around Kerry Thornley’s pad in Watts; a colorful coterie of personalities moving from one end of the political spectrum to the other; a melting pot of freaks interested in alternative religions, sexual experimentation, psychedelics, political activism, the civil rights and the back-to-nature movements—with a dash of whimsy and irreverence added in—all of these cultural currents were part of this Discordian letter writing circle that Hill orchestrated.
While some of the Early Discordians have been associated with Libertarianism, it should be noted that their brand of Libertarianism had more to do with hippies and Yippies and freaks of all stripes than it did with current Libertarian strains. The Discordian Society’s involvement in these earlier Libertarian strains concerned their opposition to government overreach into our bedrooms and brains; whereas, nowadays, those who identify themselves as Libertarianism are, in many instances, focused on gutting environmental regulations, which runs counter to where many of the Early Discordians heads were at, such as Louise Lacey, who was more of the Anarcho-Libertarian persuasion: pro-environment and at the same time anti-privatization of land. Louise was one of the founders of the Earth People’s Park.
How can one man own another man?
How can one man own another’s time?
How can he own another’s energy?
How can he OWN a piece of the sky, or the sea, or the earth?
“And who shall command the skylark not to sing?”
—Earth People’s Park brochure (2/70)
A couple other Early Discordians, Tim Wheeler (Harold Randomfactor) and his wife Mary Wheeler (Hope Springs) were about as conservative (politically) as you could get, although with an abiding enthusiasm for the Ritual of St. Gulik. To this end, Wheeler cultivated a marijuana crop on his farm in Indiana to help supplement his income as a humor writer for the National Review. As Mary Wheeler reminisced:
“When we moved to Indiana, we had 25 acres of land, and three acres surrounding the house; that is, not under cultivation. Yes, we grew a lot of pot—it kept us afloat through those years. It was an income for us, though it simply horrifies me now to think how reckless we were. I don’t know about the others [Discordians], but we smoked just for the feel good. No thoughtful insights, no magical apparitions. We smoked with a couple of our conservative friends, but I don’t know about the others. My guess is that everybody smoked, but most people didn’t gab about it…”00009
In the early-70s, Bob Newport relocated to the Russian River area, north of San Francisco. At the time, land was dirt cheap there and he was able to acquire a couple of properties, one of which was a five-hundred seat movie theatre—located in a converted military Quonset hut—named The Rio Theatre.
Newport enlisted Greg Hill and his wife Jeanetta to co-manage the theatre, and over time Cinema Rio became a community effort, a theatre by and for the local freaks, who had fled city life to live among the redwoods along the river in a back-to-nature setting. Cinema Rio was unique in the sense that it was a community effort, a theater by and for the local freaks. In this spirit, artists helped decorate the building, which included a marquee with a free-flowing Mayan theme painted by Wilfred dePaola. Once a month, all the locals who worked at the theatre would gather for a party/meeting and select the films for the following month, usually titles that reflected the counterculture, like Easy Rider or Woodstock.
During this period, Newport operated a psychiatry practice at a property he acquired in nearby Guerneville with a sign at the entrance that read: “Trespassers Welcome.” The property consisted of an acre and a half, with several cabins scattered throughout the redwoods. Newport was also heavily involved with the psych department at nearby Sonoma State; his “office” was located in a tree house on the property, in the center of a circle of redwoods, in addition to a fifteen-foot hot tub where Newport conducted group therapy sessions.
Newport became dissatisfied with the local public school system and decided to home school his children:
“I put together a small school on my property,” Newport recalled, “because I didn’t want to send my kids to the public school, which was horrendous; it was a redneck school and the teachers hated hippies and tortured kids—I mean they were just terrible to the kids who were going there—so I started a school for my kids and hired a governess out of San Francisco… a licensed, credentialed teacher who was also dropping out, and she came up, and that lasted about three days before word got out, and suddenly I had 20 kids in school, and that then started a home schooling movement and we had eight different schools. In all the satellite communities we had close to 300 kids from K to 12, all with teachers who were dropping out, but credentialed… we started a school board and my wife and I administered all of the schools on a budget of 50,000 bucks, which was like charging parents who could afford it 20 bucks a month to put their kids in school, and parents who couldn’t afford it put their kids in school for nothing because we were not in anything to make money…”00010
RAW—who had relocated just north of Guerneville, in Rio Nido—was a frequent visitor to the Russian River scene, and his son, Graham received psychological counseling from Newport, which in turn led to interactions with Tim Leary. As Newport recalled:
“[Leary] and I had an interchange one day. He wanted to talk to me about Bob [Wilson’s] son, shortly when he was breaking and coming apart. So I talked to him about it, and [Leary] had, as far as I could see as a psychologist, as little empathy, real empathy, and as little understanding of schizophrenia as anybody I’d ever met. And it just pissed me off. I was really hoping I was going to get something… So he and I never interfaced really well after that. And Bob sort of rescued Leary, over the objections of a lot of the hip community who felt that Leary had really sold out a lot of people to enumerate his own problems with the law. And there were a lot of people who were pissed off at Bob, too, for doing that. I would do anything to get anybody out of prison, but I don’t think I’d sell out my friends to get myself out of prison and he basically did that. So I basically didn’t have much regard for him after that. I like the stuff he wrote but I didn’t think much of him as a human being.”00011
Not long after opening The Rio Theatre, an old redwood dance hall across the street from the theatre came up for sale, which Newport and Hill purchased and started a community center there that included a restaurant called Stone Soup, in addition to a food co-op, a health clinic (ran by a doctor who had dropped out), as well as an office for the community newspaper.
“A few rock musicians would come through… and all summer long we had these concerts which we organized, and as part of the concert we fed people. A lot of kids would drop through with nothing and were on the road and hungry and on weekends they could sleep on the beach and count on getting fed…”00012
Meanwhile, Camden Benares had his own scene going on a few miles south of Monte Rio at Camp Meeker, which consisted of a cluster of summer cabins that had been overrun by hippies. Kerry Thornley joined Camden there in a lifestyle dedicated to hedonism and assorted forms of Discordian debauchery. At the time, Camden was married to his second wife, Melissa, and mate swapping was a common theme at Camp Meeker, as both Camden and Kerry had been into swinging going back to his days with Kerista in the mid-60s. Kerry and Melissa were an item for awhile; Kerry referred to her as “his ambassador to the world.” Another member of the party was a six-foot-two tall lady named Jerry.
During this period, Benares was writing erotica for The San Francisco Ball. Kerry was also a frequent contributor to The Ball, chronicling his opinions in a column called “Erotic Minority Liberation,” a 13-part series where he defended nearly every taboo under the sun, including exhibitionists, voyeurs, fetishists, transvestites, nymphomaniacs, obscene phone callers, animal lovers, and sadomasochists.
Benares was also working on a book project, Zen Without Zen Masters, which was subsequently published in 1977 and, like Illuminatus!, dedicated to the dynamic duo of Thornley and Hill.
Cinema Rio and the Monte Rio Community Center eventually folded in the spring of 1973, largely because Newport and Hill were over-extended financially. But there were other factors, as well, which caused the scene to run its course, namely the dissolution of Greg’s marriage to his wife, Jeanetta. As Newport recalled:
“It would have been a miracle if the marriage had survived. Life at the River was incredibly difficult. I mean it was wild, it was high and it was fun, it was creative… and there was no money, which meant that just trying to scrimp by with a living was hard to do… It was hard for me, too. I mean I had a little income because I had a practice going. But the theatre made no money—that cost us money. All these other activities we had going—none of them made money… So things were incredibly stressful. And when the marriage broke up, Greg became very depressed. And basically about that time, my mentor who lived next door to me, who had been a very interesting old man, who had dropped out as a President of Union Bank, and had come to the River, and had a very interesting Libertarian philosophy… ah, anyhow, he died, Jeanetta left, and pretty much everything collapsed…”00013
Psychedelic experimentation continued coursing through the Discordian bloodstream well into the 1970s. In a December 1974 letter, Newport reported to Greg Hill that “There’s a new psychedelic out – Legal, too, still – Ketamine HCL. Dosage 100mg. By I.M. injection – Cosmic consciousness in 4 min. Lasts 1 hour – 2 additional hours to come back down – Brand names Ketaject & Ketalar – Ask a long-haired doctor for a prescription.”
On November 23, 1976—which just so happens to be a holy Discordian Holiday, both due to the mystical manifestation of the number 23 and because it’s Harpo Marx’s birthday—an Englishman named Kenneth Campbell premiered a ten-hour stage production of Wilson and Shea’s Illuminatus! novel at the Science-Fiction Theatre in Liverpool. In true Discordian fashion, the production consisted of five plays of five acts (according with the Discordian Law of Fives) with each act 23 minutes in duration. As RAW wrote in Cosmic Trigger:
Campbell’s adaptation was totally faithful to this nihilistic spirit and contained long unexpurgated speeches from the novel explaining at sometimes tedious length just why everything the government does is always done wrong. The audiences didn’t mind this pedantic lecturing because it was well integrated into a kaleidoscope of humor, suspense, and plenty of sex (more simulated blow jobs than any drama in history, I believe.)00014
RAW and his co-author Robert Shea traveled to London to attend the production of Illuminatus! According to some accounts, RAW came bearing LSD tabs which he passed out to the cast members before the play commenced. As he recalled:
“The cast dared me to do a walk-on role during the National Theatre run. I agreed and became an extra in the Black Mass, where I was upstaged by the goat, who kept sneezing. Nonetheless, there I was, bare-ass naked, chanting ‘Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the law’… and I will never stop wondering how much of that was programmed by [Aleister] Crowley before I was even born.”00015
The following year, a Discordian reunion took place that included RAW and his wife Arlen, Bob Newport and his wife Rita, Louise Lacey and Greg Hill who traveled to Seattle to attend the U.S. performance of the Illuminatus! stage play.
‘Twas a chilly night in Seattle, so someone (who shall remain nameless) produced enough MDMA for one and all (ingested between the second and third acts) which in due time took the chill from the bones of the assembled Discordians—and cranked up the glow surrounding their collective auras—as they sat enraptured, entranced by the spectacle. Louise Lacey recalls the Illuminatus! stage production as a “sublime experience.” As usual, laughter was a common theme. On the plane to Seattle, the group laughed all the way there, and in Seattle they laughed all through the stage play, laughed the rest of the night, and laughed all the way back home….00016
Thought I’d share this semi-recent addition to the Discordian Archives, courtesy of my pal Mike Marinacci, who came across it in a collection of anarchist materials he purchased a few months back at a book sale in Berkeley, CA.
How Doc Jamison became acquainted with Rev. Broshears one can only guess, although it was probably due to their mutual affiliation with the Universal Life Church.
The Multiple Wave Oscillator (MWO) was invented in the 1930s by Georges Lakhovsky, and was said to produce healing therapies through the application of “ultra radio frequencies.”
The MWO has a long history in conspiratorial lore as one of those suppressed inventions along the lines of Wilhelm Reich’s Orgone Accumulator. Here’s a paper Jamison put together on the MWO, to further enlighten (or befuddle) your mind.
From what I’ve been able to piece together, Jamison acquired the MWO from someone in the San Francisco bay area, and Broshears was holding the unit in safekeeping until Jamison had an opportunity to pick it up. That’s when all the fun started.
On March 11, 1970, Jamison sent a letter to fellow Discordian Louise Lacey aka Lady L, F.A.B. (Fucking Anarchist Bitch) alerting her that “in a very few days, Rev. Ray Broshears should have a Lakhovsky M.W.O. unit in his possession…”
Lacey responded to the above letter on June 22: “I’m writing Rev. Ray Broshears about the Lakhovsky MWO unit, and hope to get together with him…” A short time later, Lacey received a phone call from Broshears, as documented in the letter below.
Broshears fired off a letter a few days later, on July 7, informing Jamison that the MWO unit had “gone with the wind” and that Lacey and “her bunch of rotten bastards can go to hell.” This letter included a mini-rant criticizing Jamison for apparently withdrawing support for “Light and Understanding” —whatever that actually entailed. (“Light and Understanding” was Broshears’ newsletter—maybe Jamison let his subscription lapse.) Broshears also notes that the “Council of New Age Churches (CNAC) Convention was an absolute financial disaster, and I resigned the presidency as the honorable thing to do. Dr. Stranges will make an excellent president…”
As noted in our first installment, Rev. Broshears was a key witnesses in Jim Garrison’s case against Kerry Thornley, which at this time was unresolved. When Thornley heard through the Discordian grapevine that Lady L. had been interacting with Rev. Broshears, he implored her: “Please don’t try and convert him; he is far more valuable on the other side as a hostile witness.”
In response, Lacey sent a letter to Thornley, dated August 1, 1970, chronicling her brief but befuddling interactions with Broshears, which she described as a “mind-cracking experience… 30 minutes of tortured insanity about his fear the cops were going to bust him because he had the MWO machine… His head is so messed up that I can’t think of a better hostile witness you could have… I have without a doubt established to my own satisfaction that he doesn’t know what he is talking about…”
The opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author, although the command staff here at Historia Discordia has no reason to doubt the central thesis presented herein, based–as it is–on evidentiary documentation referenced by Mr. Clutterbuck, not to mention his own personal journey down the sock-puppet filled Rev. Loveshade rabbit hole. – The MGT.
I am writing this article not just as a Discordian, but as an Award Winning Discordian, having been granted the Order of the Pineapple, an award that has been bestowed (dare I say, imposed) on other Discordians including Professor Cramulus, Adam Gorightly, Sondra London, Miley Spears, Pope Hilde, Gypsie Skripto and Princess Unicornia.
The order of the Pineapple was first presented in 1982 by the Ek-Sen-Trik-Uh Cluborguild. Except it wasn’t – which is the problem. It wasn’t invented in ’82, more likely it was invented in 2015. And many of the recipients – Spears, Hilde, Skripto, Unicornia etc – are entirely fictional.
This is just one symptom of the problem that lives very, very deep in current day Discordianism. It is the problem of Reverend Loveshade.
The Loveshade Family Tree
How do you write the history of a serial liar? It doesn’t make sense to simply assemble their lies and present them. Loveshade is a difficult liar because he is a Discordian liar – he is always winking at the camera. Many of the claims he makes are tongue in cheek and ridiculous, but there are certain ‘facts’ that are presented repeatedly. For instance, Loveshade’s involvement in adult film when younger, or his commune, or his persecution by the government—all are consistent moments referenced both seriously and playfully in different places. But why bother? If we can trust anything about Loveshade, it’s that we can rely on him to be a liar.
Loveshade appears to be a member of a large and eclectic community of Discordians, whose brand of Discordianism is liberty driven, owing much to the free love movements of the hippie scene. The community involves a number of young, often related young girls, including some of the above recipients of the Order of the Pineapple. There’s the Spears clan, the Black family, and the Loveshades, and a sprinkling of outsiders. Interactions between what we might call ‘the Loveshade family’ and others tend to be fraught with tension; some on philosophical grounds, some because I can tell you from experience that Loveshade’s adventures in forums and comment sections can be a tad antagonistic, and some because he likes to namedrop.
We can trace Loveshade’s internet history back to somewhere between 1998 and 2000. Loveshade’s mythology often references a bygone figure called Bloodstar/Alien Loveshade. Bloodstar appears real (in some sense), a figure on Geocities around the turn of the millennium. Bloodstar had some interactions with another Geocities user, A.D. Lea.
Between the two, the evolution of the Loveshade family can be seen. Both websites (Bloodstar and Alien Loveshade) have a fixation on copyright and image use that resembles current Loveshade family pages. Both pages pay tribute (including photos) to a model skull referred to as Binky the Wonderskull. Both pages link to the five key beliefs and other writings of Loveshade. A.D. Lea writes about gender in a passage called Gender Genesis – this is now on ‘Alden Loveshade’s’ page, attributed to him.
A.D. Lea also has photos of a Halloween party, some of which appear now on pages run by Alden Loveshade. This involved a kind of spooky tour, with pictures of wizards, wackos and wolfmen. The aforementioned ‘wacko’ is a bearded cleaver wielding maniac named Dr Sinister Craven. The man in that picture will come up again soon. The ‘Wizard’ is also later referenced as ‘The Wizard Lea’. It is a picture many will recognise as the self-portrait of Alden Loveshade. Most pictures are copyright A.D. Lea, but this one is attributed to another person called Dan, who will also come up again.
Bloodstar has another classic Loveshade attribute; he puts forward an interest in nudism, linking to several pages. Those pages often have a focus on selling images of ‘family nudity’. He also shares a ‘self-portrait’–a photoshopped floating head with exaggerated facial hair. The unedited image is commonly used as a self-portrait by Alden Loveshade.
Both A.D. Lea and Bloodstar link to Loveshade’s page at different times, often with the suggestion that it is coming soon – both linked to the Loveshade page as a work in progress. In fact, Bloodstar may even have alluded to creating Reverend Loveshade in his 1998 end of year letter (a tradition Alden Loveshade continues) – I established a Secret Earth Identity this year. I can’t talk about that too much, either.
We can assume A.D Lea and Bloodstar/Alien Loveshade are the same, and that they’re both Reverend Loveshade.
It wouldn’t quite be a Discordian story without dramatic jumps through space and time, but I feel this is a good time to talk about ‘The Biography of Alden Loveshade’ because I will be making references to it from here on, and I want to give credit where due.
The current Loveshade preoccupation of Wiki editing has not made Loveshade (or his ostensible community members ‘Pope Hilde’ and ‘Miley Spears’) many friends. In the SubGenius community in particular, there has been push-back against Miley Spears’ hostile takeover of the Subgenius Fandom Wikia. I’m unclear of the specific details, but around two years ago some members did some digging into Loveshade, and made a host of accusations, and were told to come back with proof.
They did. This PDF documents Loveshade’s court records from 2002 and identifies a few things about those early Geocities pages that I hadn’t spotted — in particular, his use of meta descriptions that seem designed to attract a… questionable community of fans.
“…closer inspection of the HTML shows a trend that becomes all too frequent in Loveshade-related online materials. Meta Descriptions, such as those seen in the screenshot below, containing tags like, ‘pregnant, pics, children, preteens, teenagers,’ and so on.”
I stumbled across this PDF through a series of leads, each more tenuous than the last. This lead—a guy I’d seen fall out with Loveshade on Facebook—was deeply paranoid of me when I introduced myself. Even after I sent a video of myself, clearly stating my name, it didn’t stop his suspicions that I was–or was affiliated with–Loveshade. I have to say, I don’t blame him.
In the end though, he was kind enough to decide to trust me. His name was M. Otis Beard, and he was himself an internet celebrity of a kind, a member of the Ur-Internet Troll association of ‘Kibologists’, and in particular had become a kind of unofficial spokesperson for faking your own death on the internet, something he did in 1999. Beard mentioned ‘the PDF’ offhand, assuming I knew of it, before directing me to a Subgenius group where I could find it.
Around this same time, I received an email from another individual, stating simply:
Heard your asking about Loveshade. I can tell you shit.
This was followed by a completely different document with an aesthetically similar cover. However the title was ‘The Biography of Reverend Loveshade’, and the content was wildly different. Without going into full details, there’s a simple reason for this; the person who sent it to me is Reverend Loveshade and he’s trying to muddy the waters, so that the reaction to the Subgenius document is the same as the current reaction to the whole of the Loveshade saga– ‘this is a weird mess, so I’m just not going to think too hard about it.’ In total, the moral of this second document is as follows – the man you think is Loveshade is framed, the real Loveshade is another person, and all his sock-puppets are real, too.
Like I said, I don’t blame Beard for his paranoia.
A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum
The first notable instances of Loveshade interacting with other Discordians is on a Yahoo group called Illuminatusinnersanctum. His first post is in July of 2001, and he speaks of being invited by user ‘Chezire_Katt’, who seems to have performed several membership runs to gather new users. His last is in 2012, by which point the forum was basically a wasteland of spambots.
This puts Loveshade as a participating member of Illuminatusinnersanctum forum at the time of his reported 2002 arrest by Texas Law Enforecement officials, which allows us to put together a timeline. Further details can be found in the PDF.
On March 19, 2002, Loveshade posts his last message on the Illuminatusinnersanctum forum, after being an incredibly active poster.
‘The Biography of Alden Loveshade’ lists March 29, 2002 as Loveshade’s arrest.
On May 13, 2002, Chezire_Katt mentions that they wonder where Loveshade is.
On Feb 14, 2003, George_W._Bust (could be Loveshade out on bail, or a friend) writes the following message:
Somebody brought up an old message of Reverend Loveshades so I thought I’d better comment.
For those who dont remember him, he used to be a frequent poster here. That was until he was investigated by the FBI and the Secret
Service and arrested on an imaginary charge. He’s currently being held in solitary confinement.
He’s been threatened many times with arrest because of his fights for freedom. Now that fundamental American freedoms are being
threatened in the name of security, we are all vulnerable.
His writings can be found on many web sites. Please read the first one below at least. It has suggestions for what you can do. Don’t bother emailing him now. He has no way to respond.
We are hopeful that the Rev will soon be released. Remember his words when he said:
“Don’t wait for your grandchildren to ask you why you watched fundamental American freedoms being stripped away and did nothing.”
Loveshade’s sentencing date is April 12, 2003.
Suddenly, on October the 18th, 2005, Loveshade reappears:
As Mark Twain once said, “The reports of my death are greatly exaggerated.”Yes, Ladies and Gentlemen, I’m back!
I’d like to clarify several things, but I won’t because other people are involved and everything is yet to be resolved. And frankly, I’m still a little scared myself (for a while, I was scared as hell). A lot of what I write is B.S., but the rest of this is as true as I can make it.
I and some of my associates were a part of a national investigation in the U.S.A. which may have extended internationally, we aren’t sure. This began not too long after Sept. 11, 2001. Part of that investigation, and perhaps only a small part, was an attempt to learn the true identity of the Discordian “BloodStar,” who still remains in “hiding,” and of “Reverend Loveshade.”
As I have no reason to want to pin down my “true” identity, I’ll leave it at this:
* we were investigated for a number of “crimes,” many having to do with freedom of speech. As one of our group is on the edge of having the last charge dismissed, I don’t want to go into details
* there were almost certainly bugs planted, and informants for government agencies planted as well (some of this was well done, and some was so clumsily handled as to be almost laughable)
* one of us was held for months in solitary confinement
* several of us were threatened by citizens/government agencies/police officers
* there were several searches conducted in various parts of the U.S.A.
* the work (writings, photos, etc.) of many of us were seized (including writings of some people who posted to this site, some of whom are likely still unaware of the investigations)
* at least two people who posted to this site were questioned in person by the authorities (we suspect more)
* at least a dozen agencies in the U.S.A. were involved in the investigation, including the FBI (we don’t have official documentation that the Secret Service was involved, and at this point their involvement seems doubtful. But an attorney said it appeared quite probable that a then-prominent person in the federal
government was our “enemy”)
* not a single agency found a single thing that agency identified as being illegal–except for a small-town police department. (Note that the “evidence” from this local cop was turned over to various agencies including the FBI, which had it for almost a year–after that cop held it for two years–before admitting they found nothing illegal).
As to posting “jokes” about Sept. 11, some of the postings almost certainly were a part of the investigation. Fortunately, some investigators had enough brains to realize the postings were jokes before more people who posted here were questioned.
Be careful what you kid about in a public forum; be careful what you take photos of (you never know what contemporary community standards are out there); be careful what you write in fiction that someone might think is true; and be careful claiming that the government is a bigger threat to freedom than terrorists–especially if they are.
So the timeline is consistent. Loveshade was investigated, arrested, found guilty, went to jail, and came out again, to resume his online Discordian career where he left off.
Co-opting Wikis For Fun and Profit
One oft repeated piece of mythology is a variation of this: ‘Loveshade married a 15 year old girl to three grooms and everyone was naked.’ The truth of that matter is that a bunch of people had a goofy conversation in chat in November 2001. Loveshade has tendency to exaggerate the innocuous and downplay the serious. But there’s some things to note. One is that one of the three grooms, Danacasso, is known to Alden in the real world. Remember the Wizard photo? On his website, Alden attributes it to the photographer’s real name; on Facebook he attributes it to Danacasso. I contacted Danacasso, but received no reply.
Not so notable, but interesting to see, are Loveshade’s interactions with Shereed Volva on Illuminatusinnersanctum. There’s no speculation here – Shereed Volva, the editor of an edition of Discordian Open Source periodical ‘Intermittens’ outed himself as Loveshade, and gleefully pointed out that his name was an anagram for Reverend Loveshade. So when you see Volva and Loveshade interact remember – this is a man conversing with his own sockpuppet account.
One of Loveshade’s goals, in both Discordianism and Church of the Subgenius, is to rewrite the history of both to his liking. There’s a few tools he’s used to achieve these ends. The absolute control of basically all Discordian and SubGenius wikis is one. (The simplicity of this is almost admirable. Disused wikis lie around everywhere, waiting to be infiltrated with a sock army.) Another is presenting things as rumour from a sockpuppet, followed by a kind of smirking not-quite-denial from Loveshade. This is the method he’s used to suggest that he may be the child of Robert Anton Wilson’s murdered child Luna Wilson (it goes without saying, but no). And the final, most ambitious, is the wholesale construction of historical figures.
Richard Marshall. Gypsie Skripto. Mike Quinn ‘The MGT’. All historical figures. All bullshit.
Here’s the rule for working out if it’s a Loveshade sockpuppet. Can you draw lines between one verified human and another? If not, it’s a puppet. And the same is true of these ‘historical figures.’ There’s no evidence for Gypsie’s existence, outside of being a construction of Greg Hill in the 4th Edition afterword of the Principia Discordia. There’s no evidence of Mike Quinn/The MGT existing outside of the character created by Robert Anton Wilson. And the proof of Richard Marshall is that an obituary exists for a James Richard Marshall… but the links to Discordians? Nada.
One strategy Loveshade used to create these characters is through the purchase of the website kerrythornley.com, run under the pseudonym ‘Johnny Shellburn’ (the protagonist from Kerry Thornley’s Idle Warriors). Apart from all of the other painfully obvious clues I managed to avoid seeing at the time, I realised this connection when interviewing Shellburn for my book Chasing Eris, and my email bounced, delivering this message:
Your mail message to the following address(es) could not be delivered. This is a permanent error. Please verify the addresses and try again. If you are still having difficulty sending mail to these addresses, please contact
Customer Support at 480-624-2500.
188.8.131.52 failed after I sent the message.
Remote host said: 554 Message not allowed – [PH01] Email not accepted for policy reasons. Please visit http://postmaster.yahoo.com/errors/postmaster-27.html 
The site exists to put ‘Shellburn’ in contact with seekers who he can baffle with bullshit. It also exists to muddy the waters of fact and fiction. Sondra London’s entirely credible interview with Kerry Thornley sits beside Richard Marshall’s fake interview with ‘Pope Hilde’. Possibly credible letters from Thornley sit alongside Thornley’s ‘Order of the Pineapple award.’
A Sea of Sock-Puppets
A few years ago, in a moment of astonishingly bad judgement, I agreed to do an interview with ‘Alden Loveshade’ for Yahoo News. (At the time, I regarded Reverend Loveshade as simply a troll, and Alden Loveshade as a separate person.) That news story never happened, and Alden instead, under the name ‘Johnny Shellburn,’ used my interview in his history-rewriting edition of Intermittens. In particular, he contrasted my entirely true allegations that ‘Gypsie Skripto’ and ‘Richard Marshall’ are bullshit, against his own evidence that they existed. It’s not enough for Loveshade to be able to make his own sandcastles in the sandpit – anyone who points out that the castles are made from sand must be punished.
Here’s another one: Reverend Loveshade developed a strong disagreement with a latter day Discordian who I refer to in my book Chasing Eris by the name ‘Smith’. Loveshade chased Smith around with a series of sock-puppets, and when Smith insulted Miley Spears, Loveshade looked up Smith’s address and mailed him cease and desist letter to demand a retraction for Smith’s supposedly defamatory statements. Then, in another scheme using sock-puppets, Loveshade tried to further entangle Smith into his web by posting in multiple places a lengthy conspiracy theory that he and Smith were the same person.
While googling Chasing Eris one day (vanity, darling), I discovered a website I hadn’t created called chasingeris.com. It had a decidedly Loveshadian look to it. Panicking, I contacted the webmaster to request they state clearly that they had no official connection to me, and to my great surprise they offered to transfer me the site. Phew! The owner then made a massive song and dance about how their name was a secret.
Now we’ll ask you a big favor. For me to do the transfer and for you to pay $30 into my paypal account, I’ll have to give you my real name. PLEASE don’t give this out. When you see my name, you may understand why. Or not.
Who am I.
Their first name was one that Loveshade commonly claims is his real name. Their surname was Smith’s real-life surname. I believe Loveshade was leaving breadcrumbs towards the theory that he and Smith were somehow connected. In fact, many of his schemes seem based on leaving little clues for internet detectives, surnames, anagrams, numbers, etc. It must be hard to be a big-brain genius that nobody appreciates.
Remember the trick to telling a human from a sock-puppet? A line between one flesh and blood human to another? I’ve only seen this twice – One between Alden and Daniel/Danacasso. The other is Alden and Doctor Sinister Craven.
Remember that Halloween party where many of Loveshade’s pictures come from? There’s a man with an evil grin and a meat-cleaver. He is the only person on that page that I’ve seen reappear over and over. He uses his real name, not Craven, however I won’t repeat it here. You’ve seen it though if you’ve viewed Loveshades’ blog – one clueless real human making comments in a sea of sock-puppets.
I bring up Craven because of what I’ve seen on his Facebook page. He writes a lot of poetry for Melissa Spears who is perhaps catfishing him, and has had disagreements online with members of the Loveshade clan. Craven posts online to say that his psychologist is telling him there is no such person as Melissa Spears, and Loveshade alts rush to contradict him. Alden warns Craven that MU Spears, who is defending Melissa’s honour, is a trained killer from the military. Bob Black scoffs at Craven, saying MU Spears could break his arm with his little finger. Of course, the Blacks, the Spears, the Loveshades; they’re all Alden.
Craven is not well, and Loveshade is using his army of sock-puppets to harass, threaten, gas-light and perhaps cat-fish him all at the same time.
It Gets Darker
By far the most creeped out I felt in the great Loveshade atrocity exhibition was in perusing the diary of Lorien Loveshade aka Princess Unicornia (but really, again, who cares – they’re all one person). Lorien’s diary, incidentally, is where scepticism about Loveshade’s sock-puppet army goes to die. Forget the ice-bucket challenge, forget the bird-box challenge, it’s time for the Loveshade challenge.
1. Spend 5 – 10 minutes perusing Lorien Loveshade’s page.
2. Look somebody in the eyes.
3. Repeat these words; “It’s totally plausible that this is the website of a 30 year old woman with a career in education.”
You just can’t do it.
The ‘Biography of Alden Loveshade’ covers this page quite well:
Lorien Loveshade is a webpage which began in 2005, presenting itself as that of an 18-year-old girl’s online diary, sharing intimate details of her life from pre pubescences forward, while simultaneously being heavily steeped in discussions of a sexual nature–Essentially erotic fiction geared towards pedophiles.
But this only gives a rough outline of the whole thing, and while I don’t want to be grotesque for the sake of it, I do want to give a sense of what’s there.
The diary entries are divided into three sections – preteen, teen and adult.
These diary entries include two preteen stories that are deeply uncomfortable to read. One is of a ten year old Lorien having her first tongue kiss while having her bottom fondled. Another is of a young Lorien having a fun day on the internet playing on chat with a stranger encouraging her and her friend to strip and touch each other (fortunately, that is not what happens).
There’s a narrative at play here. Compare to the story behind Miley Spears, or some of Lorien’s more vivacious friends. Lorien has been fondled, tongue kissed, exposed to internet perverts, visited the set of a porn shoot, and as a result? Has remained pure and virginal well past the legal age of consent. Miley Spears however was protected by her parents from sex, and as a result, had sex very early. Not only does exposure to sex apparently not harm a child, it actually is really good for them!
We don’t need to guess at this worldview – ‘Lorien’ spells it out for us in an article tastefully titled ‘Teen Sex.’
“One of my best friends was raised extremely strictly. Her father wouldn’t let her have email because he thought the Internet was a bad influence. She couldn’t even use it at school. He spied on her, searched her bedroom, called to check on her wherever she went, and wouldn’t let her go to parties unless it was all girls or there were a lot of adults there.
One day when she was 14, school was cancelled because of a teacher’s conference. She didn’t tell her parents school was closed that day. She left just like she always did. But she met her secret boyfriend near her school, then he took her somewhere and they had sex. All her father’s spying and trying to protect her meant nothing.”
We could get more examples from Alden’s various ‘community members’, but why bother? It’s there in black and white, for all to see, again, and again, and again.
It’s weird because, in case you forgot, NONE OF THESE PEOPLE EXIST. They are the creations of a 62 year old man who is writing the great American weirdo novel for people who aren’t allowed within 500 metres of schools or public parks.
But I’m sorry to say, dear reader, it gets darker. In 2013 Lorien’s diary went private. Alas, that doesn’t mean that ‘she’ took it offline like a normal person. If you access her diary in the conventional way, you’ll see mostly normal text titles, with a few hyperlinks that take you to stories, and a few hyperlinks that ask you to log in. Diary entry My and Beckys 14th b-day slumber party! Mar 15 2002 asks you to log in. So does the opinion piece I’M A VIRGIN AT A PORN SHOOT.
At http://lorien.loveshade.org/diary_public/special.html, the story is different. Every single diary entry is a hyperlink, and most invite the reader to log in. I’ve spent hours upon hours on Loveshade’s pages this week, and honestly don’t even remember how I found that this separate page existed, and was just fortunate to find it in again in my Internet history. My guess is that there’s some secret path in one of the many pages of utter crap. [My friends > Becky > Becky’s Mom’s Dog > Diary] or something. But the links on Lorien’s main page do not direct you to this page. It is hidden.
Who gets to log in? What do you think is on the other side of that login page? How do you get the login? Probably by sending a message to Lorien via the email ‘she’ puts on the front of her website. As stated on ‘her’ opinions page: “IF YOU WANT TO PRIVATE FILES, SEE SOME OF MY SEND ME A REQUEST EMAIL! MY ADDY IS ON MY HOMEPAGE”.
When a man who sees a diary filled with a young girl’s sexually charged experiences emails another man who fantasizes about young girls what happens? What do they talk about? What do they send each other? What plans do they make?
When All Else Fails Go Look At Goats
Very soon I will offer you a link to a funny goat compilation to shake off some of the worst vibes of this utterly horrible mess. But let’s go over it again.
Reverend Loveshade was arrested in 2002 for Obscene Wholesale Promotion. (Source: ‘The Biography of Alden Loveshade’)
Runs a massive sock-puppet army which essentially have full control over the SubGenius and Discordian wikis.
Actively constructs historical figures out of whole cloth and develops elaborate schemes to try to have them accepted as historical fact.
Runs ‘Lorien Loveshade’s Diary’ which contains a hidden page where all entries are accessible to persons who have obtained log-in credentials.