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Week 59 of Illuminatus! Group Reading: The Pentagon (Part 00001)

The Illuminatus! Trilogy,
'candy apple red' edition by
Dell Trade Paperback,
January 1984. Courtesy of the Discordian Archives.
On page 621 of Illuminatus!, Wilhelm—of the diabolical rock super-group, The American Medical Association—states that the “Eater of Souls” is still “imprisoned inside the Pentagon,” an apparent allusion to the March on the Pentagon, the October 21st, 1967 anti-war protest that included an exorcism intended to levitate The Five-Sided Temple in a ritual of cleansing and purification.

Some suggest that the Pentagon actually was levitated on this date, such as the ever reliable Abbie Hoffman in his auto-biography Soon To Be A Major Motion Picture—but who knows what Abbie was smoking that day!

In the early stages of the March on the Pentagon, event organizer David Dillinger—of the National Mobilization Committee to End the War in Vietnam (The Mobe)—appointed Yippie rabble rouser Jerry Rubin to lead the march. Rubin, in turn, invited his buddy Abbie Hoffman to join in the fun, as well as such luminaries as Allen Ginsberg and Ed Sanders of The Fugs—and before you knew it this mad cap plan to levitate the Pentagon was set in motion.

Handbill written by Ed Sanders with instructions for the Pentagon levitation, October 21, 1967.

According to Rubin, Abbie Hoffman was the key figure who first came up with the Pentagon levitation bit, and in advance of the protest Abbie paid a site visit to the Pentagon with a two-fold purpose: 1) Drum up media interest in the march, and, 2) calculate how many bodies would be needed to completely encircle, hand-in-hand, the Five-Sided Temple during the course of the exorcism-levitation.

Apparently, Hoffman was fumbling around on the Pentagon grounds with a measuring tape (back in the days when one could actually show up unannounced on the Pentagon grounds) when he was informed by the National Guard to cease and desist and then escorted from the premises. On his way out, Abbie made a formal request for a permit for the proposed Pentagon levitation, which—according to Abbie—would lift the building 300 feet. In response, the military actually granted this surreal permit request with the following stipulations: Abbie and his hairy freaks would only be authorized to elevate the Pentagon a mere three feet off the ground (so as not to damage the foundation!) and that the protesters could not surround the Pentagon, but only gather in front of the building.

In total, 50,000 peaceniks descended on the Pentagon that long ago and very strange day brandishing all the accoutrements of the era: long hair, flowers and peace signs—including Eye-In-The-Pyramid banners which it appears the Yippies adopted as their own esoteric coat of arms during this period.

October 21, 1967 Pentagon Peace Marchers Illuminati Flag.
Above photo and caption lifted from John Steinbacher’s anti-Illuminati tome
Senator Robert Francis Kennedy: The Man, The Mysticism, The Murder

In response to this massive influx of anti-war demonstrators, 10,000 military troops were called in to “keep the peace.” One of the most iconic images from this confluence of Eristic vs. Aneristic forces was the photo of the hippie chick sticking a flower into the bayoneted barrel of a rifle poised to blow the smile from her face.

Where have all the flowers gone, anyway?
October 21, 1967: March on the Pentagon Flower Child.

The Pentagon—as we’ve noted countless times here at Historia Discordia—is an integral part of the Discordian mythos, not to mention the V-for-victory peace sign which the Discordians had adopted years prior to it becoming synonymous with the counterculture. So all of these symbols loom large in the Discordian and Illuminatus! (Amazon) iconography and it seemed that a certain amount of cross pollination was going on during this period between the Discordians and Yippies—although the Discordians were largely (Greg Hill in particular) working in a somewhat subliminal and introverted manner as opposed to the Yippies who were right there in your face, taking their theatre to the streets and TV screens of America.

Peace in the Principia Discordia.
The original Sacred Chao image created by Greg Hill circa 1964 incorporating the Pentagon (Aneristic) and Golden Apple (Eristic) in a yin-yang/hodge-podge counter push pull of opposing chaotic forces. Courtesy of the Discordian Archives.

RAW—as we well know—was out in the streets during the Chicago Democratic Convention demonstrations and witnessed up close and personal the heavy handed tactics of Mayor Daley’s goon squad, a narrative that wove itself in and out of Illuminatus! There’s also a good chance that RAW caught a glimpse of the Yippie “Now” freak flag flown during these demonstrations, which most likely had some influence on his fondness and subsequent use of Eye-In-The-Pyramid imagery and mythology.

Yippie NOW flag flown at the Chicago demonstrations, October 21, 1967.

The counterculture’s use of the Eye-In-The-Pyramid conjured evil spectres in the minds of John Birch Society members like John Steinbacher who authored an anti-Illuminati pamphlet entitled Senator Robert Francis Kennedy: The Man, The Mysticism, The Murder which contended that the founder of the Illuminati, Adam Weishaupt, had a profound influence on one Madame Helena Blavatsky of Theosophy fame. Due to this insidious influence, Blavatsky cooked up in her occult cauldron an ideological mix of Communism, Illuminism, and Satanism that insinuated itself into the 60s counterculture and ostensibly motivated Sirhan Sirhan to assassinate RFK. In the assassination’s aftermath—according to conspiratorial legend—Sirhan requested a copy of Blavatsky’s The Secret Doctrine which sent the heads of conspiracy buffs spinning with the sinister implications this implied.

An unflattering portrait and caption of Madame Blavatsky lifted from
Steinbacher's Senator Robert Francis Kennedy: The Man, The Mysticism, The Murder.

The late, great John Steinbacher reveling
in his trophies and awards.
In Senator Robert Francis Kennedy: The Man, The Mysticism, The Murder, Steinbacher asserts that Blavatsky had penned a murderous tome entitled “Manual for Revolution” as a blueprint for the Communist Revolution which indoctrinated the gullible drug addled dupes of the 60s anti-war movement as part of a plot to bring about a One World Government controlled by Jewish Bankers. The only problem with this theory was that Blavatsky didn’t author “Manual for Revolution”—nor, for that matter, did the book even exist. In addition, Steinbacher claimed that Sirhan had infiltrated a branch of the Students for a Democratic Society (SDS), all part of a grand design to undermine the 60s counterculture and bring the United States to its knees.

Such speculations were prime fodder for Wilson and Shea who incorporated into Illuminatus! these elements of a vast conspiracy that was playing both ends of the political spectrum against the middle. RAW’s infamous letter and answer in the Playboy Forum was an initial outgrowth of these Illuminati conspiracy influences, later to be expanded upon in Illuminatus!

For more Discordian knowledge as fiction that is fact but fiction contained within Illuminatus!, point your browser to the book’s group reading page at

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Ewige Blumenkraft! MEGA POST: Week 15 of the Illuminatus! Group Reading

Eternal Flower Power!: Anti-Illuminati Discordian business card created by Arthur Hlavarty. Courtesy of the Discordian Archives.
No time to lose, so diving right into The Illuminatus! Trilogy (Amazon) book’s Group Reading.

Let’s fnord! On page 108 (more or less depending on how my ipad kindle reader syncs up with the paperized version), the ’68 Chicago riots were first introduced into the kaleidoscopic Illuminatus! narrative:

…Liberalism, clubbed to death by Chicago’s heroic peace officers.

Surreal street scenes such as these reappear periodically throughout Illuminatus!, as Simon Moon and Hagbard Celine stumble through the teargas madness and good-ol’ fashioned ass whuppins doled out by the Chicago cops during the ’68 Democratic Convention.

There was a sound from the crowd, like a subway opening all its doors with a suck of air, and I saw the police coming, crossing the street to clear the park.

“Here we go again,” I said. “All hail Discordia.”

Scenes such as the above snippet from page 150—where we currently reside in the Illuminatus! reading group timeline—illustrate the autobiographical nature of the series.

Chicago Mayor Daley in a fez.
RAW participated in the ’68 Democratic Convention demonstration, marching (and sometimes running!) shoulder-to-shoulder with counterculture figures such as Ginsberg, Hefner, Mailer and Burroughs. This event no doubt had a profound impact on him, as it did to so many other millions of Americans (either witnessing the confrontation firsthand on the front lines in the streets of Chi-town or viewing the mayhem from their TV screens); a nation outraged by the heavy-handed tactics of Democrat Mayor Daley, who was meanwhile supposedly shouting “Ewige Blumenkraft!” from the convention floor, all part of an apparent Illuminati plot to Immanentize the Eschaton, which can never be a good thing—especially if it’s happening during your lifetime!

Illuminatus! often seems a collection of composite characters sewn together from those Robert Shea and RAW met, and corresponded with, during those heady days of the 60s-and-70s, and in many ways Simon Moon resembles RAW (or at least certain aspects of RAW) as well as others, such as Neil Rust, another of the purported Simon Moon composites who was featured in a recent blog post.

Page 151 introduces ILLUMINATI PROJECT: MEMO #16, (for a second time!) as another ILLUMINATI PROJECT: MEMO #16 previously appeared on page 146 which could perhaps be chalked up to some sort of mix-up on the part of RAW or Shea or both… or perhaps our heroes did this intentionally for Goddess knows what reasons… or maybe it was a mistake on the part of the Patricia Walsh character… or maybe Pat was intentionally messing with Joe Malik’s mind, although JM didn’t seem to notice the MEMO #16 duplication and I’m starting to think that perhaps I’m the only one who has noticed this anomaly—if this second memo does indeed actually exist—as meanwhile fnords march across the page and my ruminations about all this are making me suspect that I’m the person (what’s my name… Barney Muldoon?) who actually created this second ILLUMINATI PROJECT: MEMO #16—although I have no actual memory of creating it which can only mean that I was brainwashed to forget it!

(Now back to our regular “programming…”)

Los Angeles Free Press, July 26, 1968: RFK: Sirhan Blavatsky Capote.
Clipping courtesy the Discordian Archives.
ILLUMINATI PROJECT: MEMO #16 (on page 150) concerns a rumor Truman Capote spread claiming that Sirhan Sirhan had been negatively influenced by the writings of Madame Blavatsky—to the point that it blew Sirhan’s mind, which is what he literally (or allegedly) did to RFK—all part of an insidious Illuminati/Communist plot that somehow got mixed up with Madame Blavatsky and Theosophy.

Apparently Capote got hipped to this Blavatsky trip from a couple of John Birch Society members—Anthony Hilder and John Steinbacher—who shortly after RFK’s assassination held a press conference exposing this aforementioned Illuminati-Commie-Madame Blavatsky plot. In subsequent talk show interviews, Hilder created further confusion (Hail Eris!) by alleging that Sirhan was a Eugene McCarthy supporter, which ostensibly connected elements of the political Left to RFK’s assassination.

Previously, Hilder self-published It Comes Up Murder which outlined a vast conspiracy starring Adam Weishaupt in the leading role, who in Bavaria in 1776 organized “the secret and evil cult of the Illuminati in order to wage Satan’s war against Christian civilization.” In due time—according to Hilder—the Illuminati coalesced into the modern International Communist Conspiracy which, in turn, evolved into such evil New World Order fronts as the United Nations and the Council of Foreign Relations. Such worldviews as these became an easy target of Operation Mindfuck as documented in Bavarian Illuminati hoax letters that the Discordian Society sent to leaders of The John Birch Society during this period.

Hilder’s Hens from Conspiracy Con 7.
Courtesy of the Discordian Archives.
As for Hilder, he remains active on the current-day conspiracy research scene appearing at such events as Conspiracy Con held each year in San Jose, CA where you can find him holding court while peddling DVDs along with an occasional Rotisserie chicken or two!

Here’s a current vid of our man Hilder still bustin’ the Illuminati’s chops! Hail Eris! (Editors Note: He makes some good points.)

In The Assassination of Robert F. Kennedy (1978),
authors William Turner and Jonn Christian suggest that Steinbacher and Hilder’s Illuminati-Commie assassination plot theory was actually a well-orchestrated disinformation campaign designed to create a general theme that stuck in the public mind, whether people accepted the theory or not. According to Turner and Christian, one effect of this Commie-Illuminati disinformation campaign was that it permitted the LAPD to suppress evidence leading in the opposite direction of the true assassin, toward the Far Right of the political spectrum from whence the authors suspected that the assassination plot had been hatched.

All of this, of course, is almost as convoluted as some of the conspiratorial scenarios that Shea and RAW played around with—a case of life imitating art or vice versa, perhaps—as, throughout Illuminatus!, the authors seemed to have been channeling the rampant paranoia that became so prevalent following the almost endless parade of political assassinations that assaulted America in the late-60s.

Hilder and Steinbacher, as it turns out, had been protégés of another famous Bircher named Myron Fagan. Fagan was a prominent player in the McCarthy Era Hollywood blacklisting brigade. Curiously enough, Hilder and a band of brother Birchers had visited the Ambassador Hotel the night before RFK’s assassination, passing out anti-RFK handbills.

This story gets even more curious with the involvement of a fellow named Ed Butler, a former Army intelligence officer who was the person that arranged the Hilder-Steinbacher press conference. Earlier in the 1960s—it so happens—Butler had been based out of New Orleans, LA during the period that future alleged JFK assassin, Lee Harvey Oswald, was going around handing out pro-Castro leaflets and coming across like some sort of commie symp.

Discordian co-founder Kerry Thornley was also in NOLA during this same period, which is way too much to get into at the moment, but you can find out much more on the topic in my forthcoming book Caught in the Crossfire: Kerry Thornley, Oswald and Garrison’s JFK Investigation.

On August 16th, 1963—as Oswald was handing out his leaflets in front of the New Orleans Trade Mart, he was physically confronted by a surly anti-Castro Cuban named Carlos Bringuier—who supposedly just happened on scene—thus inciting a shoving match which a local news camera crew from WSDU-TV also just happened to capture on film. Not long after, WSDU’s sister radio station, WSDU-AM, conducted a live radio debate between Oswald and Bringuier, which was “moderated” by the aforementioned Ed Butler. It’s a small world after all…

In the aftermath of JFK’s assassination, the Oswald/Bringuier radio debate was pressed to vinyl on the recording Self-Portrait In Red, which presented posthumous evidence that Oswald was inspired to blow the proverbial crown from Camelot’s head due to his Marxist affiliations. The organization that produced Self-Portrait In Red was the Information Council of the Americas (INCA), with whom Ed Butler was associated. In retrospect, many now suspect that the Oswald/Bringuier confrontation was staged, the ultimate design of which was to build a false history around Oswald that could later be used against him.

The theory that a red herring Commie-Illuminati-Blavatsky plot was orchestrated to muddy the RFK assassination waters (and divert attention from the Right side of the political spectrum) seems not so far-fetched a notion when one delves deeper into the involvement of the LAPD, who set up a unit named “Special Unit Senator” (SUS) to investigate RFK’s assassination. SUS included in its ranks a couple of former CIA agents named Manny Pena and Hank Hernandez, who are alleged to have destroyed crucial RFK Assassination evidence, including door jambs and ceiling panels containing multiple bullet holes, suggesting that more than one shooter was involved. (Enter Thane Eugene Cesar…) It was SUS who put together the evidence that later formed the basis for the prosecution’s case against Sirhan.

SUS discovered, among Sirhan’s possessions, Healing, the Divine Art (Amazon) by Manly Palmer Hall, founder of the Philosophical Research Society which was tangentially connected to Blavatsky’s Theosophy, Freemasonry and other mystical schools, and it was alleged that Sirhan attended Hall’s Institute of Reflection in Los Angeles. Among Hall’s clients was Los Angeles Mayor Sam Yorty, which provides another strange twist to this caper, as it was Yorty—following Sirhan’s arrest—who branded Sirhan a commie-influenced occultist who had been brainwashed by Leftist and New Age propaganda.

During the RFK Assassination investigation, Mayor Yorty visited LAPD’s field command post set up near the Ambassador Hotel where the dirty deed had gone down. While rooting around through evidence there, Yorty discovered some Rosicrucian literature and a pair of spiral notebooks belonging to Sirhan which provided alleged evidence that he’d been involved in the occult.

Afterwards, Yorty informed the press that Sirhan was “…a member of numerous Communist organizations, including the Rosicrucians.” When it was pointed out to Yorty that the Rosicrucians were not Communists, he amended his miscue by stating: “It appears that Sirhan Sirhan was a sort of loner who harbored Communist inclinations, favored Communists of all types. He said the U.S. must fall. Indicated that RFK must be assassinated before June 5, 1968.”

As it turns out for us, this was today in RFK Assassination history.