Eris comes to us in many guises (“my father’s house has many mansions”), sometimes even in the form of St. Valentine’s Day cards, such as the one we see here sent to the founding father of the Discordianism, none other than Malaclypse the Younger aka Greg Hill in February 1977, apparently alerting him to a Discordian soiree of sorts. It’s not clear who the sender of said Erisian Valentine was, although the card says “Gnostic” on it, so I guess it’s possible it was sent from Thomas the Gnostic aka Tom McNamara.
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.
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.
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.
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.
So there you have my Five Discordian Rituals.
I could probably name another 23, but not right now fnord.
One of Greg Hill’s more colorful correspondents was a self-styled hippie psychedelic superhero named Silver Blade (aka Tom Nolan) whose adventures were first chronicled in this Los Angeles Free Press article from 1969.
In Silver Blade’s postcard to Greg Hill he says that “The Blade is not Nolan, he is Mason”—which can only mean that a Freemasonic conspiracy was behind all this mischief! Silver Blade also says this information is confidential, so all of you reading this now are sworn to secrecy.
The Blade—or Nolan or Mason or whoever he actually was—asks if the “address on the other side” is correct which is kind of a weird statement because if it was incorrect then it would have never made it to Greg Hill in the first place and Hill wouldn’t have been able to confirm it yay or nay.
Curiously, Silver Blade requests that Hill not send him anymore stuff. However, he still wants to receive the Greater Poop newsletter.
That Silver Blade—whoever he or she was—was one weird dude or dudette.
In The Prankster and the Conspiracy (Amazon), Chris Wilhoite—a wandering minstrel who made his way to Little Five Points (L5P), Atlanta in the early-90s—remembered how he first became acquainted with Kerry Thornley:
“I had just read the Illuminatus! Trilogy and was pondering what was what when I noticed the pages of a xeroxed novel about Oswald and JFK on the telephone poles in L5P. The last page had the name Kerry Thornley on it. Synchronicity #1. Around the same time, I noticed an unusual/ enigmatic/ groovy looking fellow in tie-died cotton who occasionally strolled through the park with the smile of a Buddha, and somehow I knew there was something special about him. One night, I was playing one of my songs on acoustic guitar in the park and this Buddhaesque being stopped and listened and paid me a compliment. I still didn’t catch his name. A friend had told me more about the mysterious author of the JFK sheets and said he’d written a book called Zenarchy, a name that appealed deeply to me, but I still didn’t match the person with the name.
“Then, one day a friend told me that Kerry Thornley had, in the course of one day, been called by Oliver Stone to be a consultant for the JFK film, (shortly afterward) had dual kidney failure and his landlady flipped a mental cog and kicked everybody out of the boarding house where he lived. So, Kerry needed a place to stay. I immediately volunteered space in my duplex. My friend told me to talk to Kerry, he was in front of A Capella Books, signing and selling his work. Who did I see in front of the store, but the groovy Buddha I had noticed before! I invited him to crash at my pad, and this became the beginning of a long and fruitful friendship.”
Chris bore witness to any number of Kerry’s surrealist pranks, such as one that occurred on Halloween morning of 1993:
I was living in a VW campervan behind a restaurant in L5P. I had just had breakfast and was standing at the corner across from the park, when Kerry comes walking from the far end of the square, wearing a white cloak with a hood and carrying a sign reading “World Will End SOON. Get your tickets NOW!” As he passed down the street, snowflakes (unseasonal for Oct 31 in Atlanta) began to fall right behind Kerry, and as he passed across my field of vision, the snow came in like a curtain drawn by Kerry. My friend Wolf, standing directly behind me said: “Yep, hell just froze over!”
One day, Kerry and Chris were hanging out in front of the Tête-à-Tête Café in L5P with a wooden box full of copies of The Principia Discordia and Zenarchy, which Kerry was selling/giving away. (Buyer: “How much?” Kerry: “How much do you have?” Buyer: “A quarter.” Kerry: “That’s plenty!”) On Kerry’s wooden box was a sign that said: Principia Discordia—much funnier than the bible!
At one point, a Christian zealot happened by, noticed Kerry’s sign and started shouting, “Much funnier than the Bible!? The Bible’s not funny!” In response, a local zealous Marxist—seated behind Kerry and Chris—jumped up and started shouting down the Christian. Kerry, smiling, closed his box and walked away, with Chris following after, exclaiming: ”Hail Eris! All Hail Discordia!”