To demonstrate, here are some festive reason-for-the-season articles from the Discordian Archives about the pasts of Discordian Christmas.
Bless us, Eris!
Fa La La La La, La La La fnord La!
Merry Xmas All!
To demonstrate, here are some festive reason-for-the-season articles from the Discordian Archives about the pasts of Discordian Christmas.
Bless us, Eris!
Fa La La La La, La La La fnord La!
Merry Xmas All!
These letters aren’t dated—nor have I retained carbons of the originals from my end, so I don’t remember specific dates—but as I recall along with my letters I included an article I’d written for Paranoia Magazine that theorized that the Beat Movement and their subsequent Hippie/Yippie offspring—including the Manson Family—may have been part of a grand conspiracy that employed psychedelics as mind control agents (ala MK-ULTRA), all part of a plan designed to influence and undermine the 60s counterculture.
In response, Kerry shot back:
I harbor no conspiracy theories about The Beats, but did hear the rumor, several times, that Nixon and Nelson Rockefeller were behind them. Why, I don’t know. Dean Moriarty (Neal Cassady) was a lot like Nelson, evidently—an energetic psychopath.
I’m sorry to say I wasn’t impressed with your articles. You seem to have no conception of the effects of LSD, and your picture of Manson is fucked.
Why the CIA introduced acid, I have no idea. But I suspect they hadn’t the faintest notion of what to expect. I knew many people, including my ex-wife and one nuclear physicist, who gave up good defense industry jobs because acid turned them against war. And it certainly doesn’t turn the brain to mush, etc., etc.—quite the opposite!
Manson never held any mysterious power over anyone. That was a myth created by the girl’s attorneys to get them off with a lighter sentence. Read Manson In His Own Words by Eddowes [sic]…One of the most fascinating books I’ve ever read—a very no-bullshit account of what happened.
I suspect there may be some truth to the Oswald/FBI informant theory. I went to the FBI (five or six) times myself in the years after the assassination—exactly why, I don’t know (but suspect mind control may have been involved.) Right after Hoover’s death… I wrote some letters to Clarence Kelley, upon becoming convinced a bunch of local radicals were actually Nazis in drag. It is, however, incomprehensible to me that I would do anything so stupid, except once when I thought FBI agents were setting me up and wanted to cover my ass.
Robert Anton Wilson—whom you mention in connection with Leary (whom I hear was a munitions corporate espionage agent) was my mentor from 1967 until about 1971. I hear he was connected with a Nazi secret society known as MAAGI6 , because it infiltrated MAG-11 (Marine Air Group Eleven) to which both Oswald and I belonged at different times. But the same sources of information held him in great respect as someone who in spite of his affiliation was very independent and a sincere anarchist, etc. Wilson introduced me to the individual anarchists–Proudhon, Warren, Tucker, Spooner, Bersodi, Labadie, etc.
In the above letter, Kerry mentioned sending a letter to FBI director Clarence Kelley about his belief that he was being monitored by some secret society of sorts with connections to US intelligence which indeed was a sort of wild thing to do—sending a rambling letter like that to the Director of the FBI—but hey, we’re talking about Kerry here.
This missive to Kelley is in a batch of Thornley-FOIA documents I’ve collected over the years that I’ll post here at HD sometime in the near future. Kerry also states his belief (or suspicion) that Robert Anton Wilson was an intelligence agency spook or asset, aligned to some Nazi secret society. Make of that what you will!
In response to Kerry’s letter, I evidently brought up the Process Church of the Final Judgment, which—in turn—launched Kerry off on one of his classic conspiratorial screeds in this follow-up letter:
Page 1 of Kerry’s reply letter recounts a brush he had with the Process Church in New Orleans in 1967 when he’d returned there to appear before Jim Garrison’s Grand Jury looking into the JFK assassination. Weirdly enough, the person who took Kerry by the Process Church headquarters was none other than Slim Brooks, the same shadowy character who he suspected had lured him unwittingly into a JFK assassination conspiracy.
On Page 2, Kerry connects Robert Anton Wilson with The Process, referring to an incident that occurred in 1975 at a place called the Celestial Mansion where Kerry believed that Wilson and a group of clandestine intelligence agents/secret society adepts met with him as part of some sort of debriefing regarding the JFK assassination.
I know. It gets deep.
The August dog day’s edition of our Eris of the Month comes courtesy of Jason Atomic with a sketch of Oliver Senton in the role of RAW and Claudia Bolton as Goddess Eris (with a sword and one-eyed smiley-face shield) that Jason conjured up during the recent London run of Daisy Campbell’s Cosmic Trigger play.
I first became aware of Mr. Atomic’s magnificent artwork a few years back when he sent me a copy of Satanic Mojo Comix that—according to Jason—had been inspired in part by some of the more salacious sections from my book, The Shadow Over Santa Susana: Black, Magic, Mind Control and the Manson Family Mythos.
Other speakers include Daisy Campbell, R.U. Sirius, Erik Davis, Richard Rasa, Christina Pearson (RAW’s daughter), DJ Greg Wilson, among others.
The event is going down at the Museum of Art and History, Santa Cruz, CA, from 2pm – 8pm.
Link for the event is here:
Plucked from the ye olde Untamed Dimensions podcast archives, a Radio GoGo with Adam Gorightly rebroadcast presentation of an illuminating episode covering the many interesting idiosyncrasies and synchronicities of Discordian co-founder Kerry Thornley with guests Allen Greenfield and Synchronos23.
In the meantime, Bill shared this essay with us on the origins of the John Dillinger Died For You Society.
JOHN DILLINGER DIED FOR YOU
There I was, at The University of Texas, one evening in the summer of 1966, delivering a brilliantly-researched paper to a small but select American Studies class. They were spellbound by my argument that John Dillinger made a few unorthodox withdrawals from banks and therefore deserved much of the credit for improving their security at a time when Americans desperately needed a “People’s Bandit” to distract them from their Depression worries. (The fact that I also brought to class a modified tenor sax case containing a slightly-illegal Thompson submachine gun, for “show and tell,” fascinated everybody.) (You could get away with such things back then.)
As I pointed out, Dillinger had just the right style–a sense of humor, occasional pranks, treated his hostages like guests (he tied the Racine bank’s Mrs. Patzke to a tree with a shoe string), eluded every police and FBI trap, and when he broke out of the Crown Point, Indiana jail with a wooden pistol, he took a couple of happy hostages and motored out of town singing “Git along, li’l doggie, git along.”
He also was a ladies’ man—playful and romantic—until that terrible night on July 22, 1934, after he, his new girlfriend, and the duplicitous “Woman Red,” had enjoyed “Manhattan Melodrama” at Chicago’s Biograph Theatre. As they were leaving, a bunch of trigger-happy Feds set his spirit free.
(The fact that they also winged two bystanders is rarely mentioned.)
John died with his boots on, so to speak. He previously had stayed up nights nursing his girlfriend (who was ignorant of the plot) after she was banged up in a car wreck. My very own Aunt Meta was a student nurse at Cook County Hospital at the time, and she wrangled her way into the basement Cool Room to see his remains. The next day, despite the city’s hundred-plus heat wave, nearly a thousand Chicagoans patiently waited in line outside the morgue, where they were allowed to file past John’s bullet-ravaged body. Some no doubt wept. And what with the usual odors, the stench of formaldehyde, and the flies attracted to his terrible wounds, this may well have been the inspiration for what now is called “A Taste of Chicago.”
Back in 1966, however, when that particular college class had adjourned to the back-yard area of Austin’s historic Scholz Garten, our Pulitzer Prize-winning professor, Dr. William Goetzmann, after quite a few beers, proposed that we establish The John Dillinger Died For You Society. It was intended to be no more than a spoof of the Elvis Presley fan clubs that were springing up everywhere (and of the “Jesus Died For You” signs that were coming into flower), so you can imagine the enthusiasm that my Dillinger paper inspired among the other students, who also were chuckling over the Presley fan clubs and weary of hearing how anybody “died for you.”
By then Dr. Goetzmann was tipsy enough to further declare that the Society’s founder should be Horace Naismith, a mythical figure who would delegate his authority to me. That name, Horace Naismith, came out of nowhere, but it could easily be mistaken for the fellow who invented basketball. (I don’t believe anybody thought of that at the time, but it later would come in handy: “Naismith? Wasn’t he the guy who…”)
We soon had a few dozen more-or-less official members of the Society and had membership and credit cards printed, but it was not what you’d call a formal organization, like the American Legion or Rotary Club. Everyone in the Society was automatically an Assistant Treasurer authorized to sell memberships to anyone at any time for any amount and then keep it, Because John would have wanted it that way.
The “credit card” had a hole at the top and read simply, “Present this card on the end of a pistol and ask that your purchase be charged. In most states the charge will be armed robbery.”
Also, anyone in the Society could convene a meeting at any time, so long as they left one chair empty for the “Dear Departed Member.” (This would be Mr. Dillinger, of course, although some believed that it referred to his supposedly impressive Private Member, which the Smithsonian still insists it doesn’t have and refuses to display.)
In any case, we had our first official meeting at my residence (a one-time Elks Lodge) on East 12th Street in Austin, diagonally across from the state capitol, after which we amused ourselves with a little target shooting in the basement. Soon after that we instituted what we called The John Dillinger Died For You Society Picnic & Punitive Expedition which included a Thompson submachine gun, a case of ammunition, a case of beer, and a case of dynamite, because our host (who had a ranch west of Austin) was big into blowing things up.
As word got around, the Society grew until it could boast some forty or fifty members, and it had become international (I think we had one member in Canada) by the time I moved to Chicago in 1969, where John had fallen. There I encountered other Dillinger buffs (they just didn’t have a society), including two fellow Playboy employees—Bob Shea and Bob Wilson, who just happened to have offices on either side of mine—and were hard at work on Illuminatus!, which ultimately became a cult classic. (Shea would write a chapter that involved conspiracies within conspiracies and then turn it over to Wilson, sight unseen, who would take up the story and elaborate with even more conspiracies. Oddly enough, it held together and actually made sense!)
Needless to say, Shea and Wilson were both Dillinger enthusiasts because of their frequent patronage of the Biograph, and of course I helped them work Dillinger into their story. (Shea and Wilson even mentioned Dr. Naismith as something or other, and me, as the Reverend Mr. Helmer, although the rascals gave me a social disease.)
At the time I was endeavoring to give the magazine its “redeeming social value” by way of the Playboy Forum, which published letters and editorials, and the Playboy Defense Team, with offices in the Playboy Building at 919 North Michigan Avenue (formerly the Palmolive Building); and I fed Shea and Wilson enough Dillinger lore that we soon had not just one but seven Dillingers, thanks largely to a couple of goofy crime-writers who had just co-authored Dillinger: Dead or Alive? (It was our belief that since Mr. Dillinger had been accused of robbing banks all over the country, sometimes simultaneously, he therefore had to employ doppelgängers.)
Meanwhile, I kept encountering more Dillinger buffs, and after a while we began commemorating the passing of John every July 22 at the Biograph Theatre. The management even (grudgingly) cooperated, and that was how I met Richard Crowe, fabled Ghostbuster (I call him), whose several-times-a-week bus tours include Resurrection Mary, Al Capone’s old Lexington Hotel, and, of course, the alley down which the spirit of John Dillinger still walks.
Horace Naismith remained the mysterious master of ceremonies, usually masquerading as an equally mysterious Bill Helmer who maintained an eerie silence, wore a vintage straw boater, steel rim glasses, a pin-striped jacket, and an outrageous 1930s necktie. Mr. Crowe took over the Society, arranging for members (and anybody else) to meet at a nearby tavern and drink themselves into what we’ll call a wake. About 10 PM he would lead his congregation across Lincoln Avenue to the Biograph Theatre (that’s how they spell it) to hear an inspirational speech, after which Mr. Crowe would again lead the way to the nearby alley, accompanied by an honest-to-God, properly-kilted, bagpiper skirling the mournful strains of “Amazing Grace.”
Then everybody (everybody who could remember the words) joined the piper in that sad song because—we again have to presume—John would have wanted it that way.
I, under the nom de guerre Horace Naismith, have since “passed the torch” of The John Dillinger Died For You Society to Mr. Crowe, commonly known as Col. Richard Crowe. I am confident that the faithful will continue to pay their respects every July 22, commemorating the most colorful outlaw of the 1930s who never personally killed anyone.
Well, maybe one, but the cop had refused Dillinger’s admonition to stop bouncing slugs off his bulletproof vest–if it was in fact John, for he only was accused, but never had time to stand trial. In any case, he shot low, they say, and as the officer fell, one slug stuck him in the chest. When John himself later was killed, shot in the back, his pockets yielded a mere $7.71, no doubt because some $20,000 in “git” money had been stolen from his pocket by a rogue cop from East Chicago who had set up the shooting because he had been getting it on with Ana Sage, our “Woman in Red.” (Ana later confirmed that she had seen John count out the money at her place before they went to the movie).
Let’s all remember that Mr. Dillinger was crooked but not twisted, and that he disapproved of unnecessary violence. Unfortunately, he had some colleagues who did not share his otherwise conventional (if somewhat flexible) Family Values.
William J. Helmer, 1992
One of the crazier rabbit holes to emerge from the 2016 Presidential campaign was the viral meme of a frowning frog named Pepe, who in the election’s aftermath all of the sudden got this shit eating grin on his face (his frown turned upside down) and MAGA cap planted on his head.
For those unfamiliar with Pepe the Frog (aka Kek), there’s a whole mythology around this meme that’s indeed quite mind warping. Long story short, Pepe became a sigil for 4chan trolls to focus on; a sort of mental image for a magickal working. It’s a story filled with more sordid synchronicities than you can shake a magick stick at, all of which ostensibly got Trump elected.
A good overview of the Pepe mythos can be found here.
Pepe also had a hand (“some people are saying”) in creating—or giving some oomph to—the movement now identified as the Alt-right, which pretty much appeared out of nowhere not so long ago. And a faction of the Alt-right are those who frequent Reddit, 4chan and the deeper regions of the dark web doing whatever it is they do in dim-lit basements, their 400 pound fat guy faces illuminated by the eerie glow of computer screens. This, theoretically, included birthing Pepe into pop culture like some kind of right wing Rosemary’s Baby.
Some of the first articles on Pepe and the Cult of Kek linked the meme to Discordianism.
Just the same, these Pepe/Discordian comparisons could be considered valid in a limited sense, or as its writ in Principia Discordia:
“All statements are true in some sense, false in some sense, meaningless in some sense, true and false in some sense, true and meaningless in some sense, false and meaningless in some sense, and true and false and meaningless in some sense.”
Discordianism (such as it is) has greatly morphed over the years. Some who nowadays identify themselves as Discordians bring all sorts of divergent political baggage to the party—left, right, or off the map—hence the old adage: “We Discordians must stick apart!” In other words, there’s no formal agreement as to what a Discordian is—let alone what the meaning of “is” is— other than Discordians often agree to disagree—or agree on some things, but not so much on others. Hence what might be true for one is false for another. Much of what presents itself these days as Discordianism (ala social media) comes in the form of the sort of shitposting that Discordian founder Greg Hill would have no doubt recoiled from in horror.
Some have also compared Pepe-ism to Chaos Magick, which itself is tangentially linked to Discordianism. The Early Discordians, for the most part, were never all that much involved in ritual magick—chaotic or otherwise—except of course for Robert Anton Wilson (RAW), easily the most famous Discordian of all who dabbled in various forms of ritual magick.
There was a network of chaos magicians that emerged in the 1970s (many of them influenced in part by RAW) who were likewise into Quantum Physics theories in terms of influencing physical reality and consciousness using memes akin to sigils; for instance, the Discordian practice of focusing on the number 23, and the more you concentrated on it, the more it would manifest, the same sort of mindfuck more recently observed with the whole 11:11 phenomenon. Seek and ye shall find…
These earlier Discordian practices
Send us your Eris of the Month Club submissions (more info here) by using the form at the bottom of The MGT. page. (ala the 23 Enigma) were conducted on an informal and often individual basis or through small group experiments—or simply by those who stumbled upon RAW’s Cosmic Trigger Vol. 1—all of this occurring long before the Internet was but a glint in Al Gore’s eye.
Back in the day, it was word-of-mouth-high-weirdness; the memes spread gradually over time in contrast to the Internet age information overload where a simple meme (posted to social media) can spread like wildfire over the course of a few hours.
To this end, the Cult of Pepe is, in essence, a sort of chaos magick working that took some elements from all of the above and projected them across a cyber landscape gone wild, making The Illuminatus! Trilogy look comparatively like a Sunday stroll through the park.
Another Pepe/Discordian connecting point concerns elements of the hacker community (aligned with Pepe) pushing Operation Mindfuck “fake news” memes as a magickal working ostensibly designed to alter physical reality or create a new paradigm; in essence planting a weird seed to see how it will sprout throughout culture and grow tentacles.
With the early Discordians such OM endeavors took the form of injecting into pop culture a fake or alternative Illuminati mythos that was partly true and partly false, fact mixed with fiction which—in turn—created a viral mutation of how we now, as a culture, collectively view the Illuminati.
When Hill, Kerry Thornley, Wilson et al. first launched their OM Illuminati conspiracy, it was uncertain (at least to those of us now on the outside looking back) whether they had any sort of end game in mind—or if OM was all just good fun.
Conversely, the Cult of Kek’s modern and—some might say—twisted form of OM took stories that were partly true—like John Podesta’s real emails—and OM’d them into such beasties as Pizzagate, which is—in essence—a mash up of several pre-Internet conspiratorial yarns, including the Hillary-satanic-lesbian story that was first rolled out in one of the weirder mind control/conspiracy books of the early 1990’s, Cathy O’ Brian’s Trance: Formation of America (archive.org TXT file / Amazon).
Add to that secret tunnels below Comet Pizza—a throwback to the alleged McMartin Pre-School tunnels where children were purportedly transported and used as sex slaves during the height of the Satanic Panic craze—all of which has been recycled into this lurid story of a modern day pizza parlor gone bad!
So the modus operandi was similar (re: Cult of Kek vs. the Discordian Society’s OM) where you take factual elements and conflate them with misinformation/disinformation thus turning these stories into viral Molotov cocktail’s launched into the body politic, the end design to burn it all to the ground—or at least deliver a fully loaded monkey wrench into the works and gum the fuck out of The System.
Perhaps the foremost Pepe chronicler these days is a fellow named A.T.L. Carter who maintains a twitter page called—appropriately enough—“The Pepe Report” where I recently posited that perhaps this whole Pepe craze was on its last (frog) legs. In response, one agitated pro-Pepe commenter suggested I was nothing more than a worthless sack of you know what (ouch, that hurt!) and that if we sorry lot of Discordian losers were as adept as the Cult of Kek in the art of doxing, trolling, and shit posting, we would have elected our very own Discordian President by now instead of talking smack about poor little Pepe.
The agitated tweeter in question also posted a mash-up of Eris meets Pepe—green skin and all—which I must admit is pretty cool and sort of reminded me of an Orion slave girl, and for these reasons we have selected her our Eris of the Month!
In any case, I immediately screen-capped this Eris/Pepe mash-up because you know how these things have a tendency to disappear. This turned out to be a wise move because shortly afterwards our Green Skinned Lady of the Golden Apple was deleted for some reason—by the agitated tweeter in question, I presume—or maybe A.T.L. 86’d it because he didn’t want his Pepe Report devolving into a flame war about who is the superior agent of chaos: Pepe or Eris?
Just the same, A.T.L. referred to me as a “cuck” for my crack about Pepe’s possible demise, which I guess suggests that being called a cuck isn’t quite as bad as being called a worthless sack of stuff.
Whatever the case, A.T.L. seems like an alright (A.L.T. right?) guy, the cuck comment notwithstanding. Of course, I wasn’t entirely clear what “cuck” meant at the time, aside from being a popular Pepe enthusiast putdown.
‘Cuck’, it turns out—after some master class googling—has multiple meanings related to ‘cuckold.’ However, the more recent Breitbartian application (often employed by that creepy Milo guy) seems to describe your average limp-wristed liberal types who get their jollies letting black men do it to their wives while voyeuristically watching from the sidelines. (For further information on the meaning of “cuck” consult your pineal gland and/or Roger Stone.)
Discordian social media forums have been infiltrated—to a certain extent—by this Cult of Pepe crew with the sort of shitposting that some consider hip cutting edge political incorrectness. This type of political incorrectness—it could be argued—eventually led to Milo’s (whatever his last name is) fall from grace due to remarks made on the Joe Rogan Show implying he was cool with underage gay sex—comments that turned out to be a bit much for the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) organizers who had scheduled our favorite Alt-right rock star for a speaking gig at their shindig, but thought better of it once his creepy comments made the rounds of social media. Soon after, CPAC withdrew their invite to Milo, who in short order got the boot from Breitbart, as well, probably because it’s kind of hard to promote cheesy Pizzagate stories when your fair-haired Aryan boy is endorsing the very same illicit activities that John Podesta was supposedly party to at Comet Pizza!
Speaking of CPAC, one of the more Discordian acts I’ve seen of late was perpetrated by a couple young pranksters who had a bunch of Russian flags made up with “Trump” printed on them, and then passed them out to clueless CPAC participants entering the event who either weren’t smart enough to know better—or just plain didn’t care that they were waving around Trump/Russia flags. When CPAC organizers caught wind of this gag, they sent their goons into the crowd to retrieve them, but even then some of the recipients refused to hand-over their prized blue, white, and (commie) red banners, the treasonous bastards.
Afterwards, the two pranksters who pulled off this jake were interviewed outside the event, employing mock Russian accents.
Adam returned the favor, and granted me a short interview where—among other things—he explains what drew him to our Discordian Society co-founders.
Hail Eris! All Hail Hypernormality!
or listen at
Promo for CosmicTrigger the play
May 4th-27th The Cockpit, London.
Cosmic Trigger Broadcast 05//
Visual Propaganda meme for the Robert Anton Wilson
based, audio visual stage performance
extravaganza that is cosmictriggerplay.com
by Daisy Campbell
//made deep within thee state by amoeba