book camden benares discordianism greg hill illuminati illuminatus! kerry thornley principia discordia robert anton wilson robert shea

Week 6 of the Illuminatus! Group Reading

The Illuminatus! Trilogy, 'candy apple red' edition from Dell Trade Paperback, January 1984. Courtesy of the Discordian Archives.
And now yet more revelations of certain Erisian Mysteries in Week 6 of the Illuminatus! group reading…

On page 54, 00005 (Of Her Majesty’s Secret Service) is introduced, otherwise known elsewhere in Illuminatus! as the character Fission Chips.

00005 is the first reference in Illuminatus! to the Discordian Law of Fives, which states that all things happen in fives, or are divisible by or are multiples of five, or are somehow directly or indirectly related to five.

Page 00005 of the Sacred PUD (the original Paste-Up Discordia): A Zen Story by Camden Benares from the Principia Discordia. Courtesy of the Discordian Archives.
00005 is also an example of the same five digit numbering system Greg Hill devised for the Principia Discordia. Illuminatus! is permeated with such Discordian allusions, which very few people at the time of its publication in 1975 would have been able to pick up on—or had even heard of Discordianism, for that matter. During this period there were only a few hundred copies of Principia Discordia in circulation, and so these Illuminatus!-Discordian allusions (such as this obscure reference to The Law of Fives) were initially inserted into the narrative as nothing more, it would seem, than inside jokes to the few who would understand them: a small cabal of Early Discordians numbering no fewer than five and probably not more than 23. The ultimate design of including all these Discordian winks and nods in Illuminatus! was part of a well thought out (albeit semi-covert) Discordian campaign to bring the Principia Discordia and Discordianism to a larger audience. The subsequent success of Illuminatus!, as a result, led many in turn to seek out the Principia Discordia, which was no easy task to track down at the time given its limited availability.

This limited availability of the Principia Discordia—coupled with its repeated referencing in Illuminatus!—no doubt intrigued and motivated the likes of Michael Hoy at Loompanics, and later Steven Jackson Games, to come out with new editions in the years to follow, thus unleashing an insidious plague that would soon envelop the planet, and usher in modern day Discordianism as we now know it.

On page 58 is a direct quote from Malaclypse the Younger, aka Greg Hill:

Hang on for some metaphysics. The Aneristic Principle is that of ORDER, the Eristic Principle is that of DISORDER. On the surface, the Universe seems (to the ignorant) to be ordered; this is the ANERISTIC ILLUSION. Actually, what order is “there” is imposed on primal chaos in the same sense that a person’s name is draped over his actual self. It is the job of the scientist, for example, to implement this principle in a practical manner and some are quite brilliant at it. But on closer examination, order dissolves into disorder, which is the ERISTIC ILLUSION.
—Malaclypse the Younger, K.S.C., Principia Discordia

From this passage one can see the philosophical inspiration Greg Hill provided to RAW and Bob Shea, which once again attests to the overarching role that Hill, Kerry Thornley and Discordianism played in the creation The Illuminatus! Trilogy.

As for the “K.S.C.” tagged on to the end of Malaclypse the Younger, this appellation is an acronym for Keeper of the Sacred Chao, which we will of course learn more about as we progress further down the Illuminatus! rabbit hole.

A John Dillinger Died For You Society Membership Card, Courtesy of the Discordian Archives.
On page 59, the legend of John Dillinger is first introduced, a mythology that’d been evolving in certain Discordian circles since at least 1970 in the form of the John Dillinger Died For You Society (JDDFYS), a legend largely inserted into the Discordian mythos by RAW.

Camden Benares sent Greg Hill this article on Mad Dog, Texas from the November 1970 Playboy, Page 00001. Courtesy of the Discordian Archives.
An early mention of JDDFYS appeared in one of the more obscure articles found in Playboy magazine, no doubt penned by RAW and/or Shea or both when they were editors there. As I’ve mentioned in previous reading group posts, many of the conspiracy theories in Illuminatus! contain equal amounts of fact mixed with fiction, although it’s hard sometimes to figure out where one ends and the other begins. Included in this Playboy “After Hours” article from November 1970 is an early reference to the JDDFYS, which was a real society created in a large part by RAW and based on fanciful legends mixed with an equal measure of historical fact. So once again we have a real article in a real magazine, about a group of writers, artists and radicals launching their own “independent republic” in Mad Dog, Texas—that was probably totally made-up although the article included some elements of truth mixed with fiction, as well as real people (such as Warren Hinckle and George Plimpton) co-existing with some imaginary people mentioned in the article. Reality tunnels within reality tunnels…

Camden Benares sent Greg Hill this article on Mad Dog, Texas from the November 1970 Playboy, Page 00002. Courtesy of the Discordian Archives.
Mad Dog, Texas—as the reader shall soon discover—later plays a key role in the Illuminatus! narrative, although it really seems to have next to nothing to do with the Mad Dog, Texas group discussed in the Playboy “After Hours” article.

All Hail the Goddess of Confusion!

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Letters: Robert Shea and Greg Hill: ‘We are definitely dealing with volatile materials.’

Discordian Guerrilla Ontology advert for the release of The Illuminatus! Trilogy.
Courtesy of the Discordian Archives.
Several posts ago, we presented a letter from Robert Shea to Discordian co-founder Greg Hill concerning the Illuminatus! book cover art proofs that proved quite interesting with some great background insights into that effort before the release of the book.

After the release of Illuminatus!: The Eye in the Pyramid, co-author Shea and Hill continued their correspondence through the fall of 1975, attached below for your reading pleasure. Shea is referenced and signs as “Josh” in two of these letters acknowledging his Discordian nom de plume “Josh the Dill.”

From this exchange, we learn some interesting tidbits about the publication of Illuminatus!, such as the book’s publisher, Dell, initially printed only 75,000 copies of The Eye in the Pyramid. We also gain some insights into how the book was being received and what efforts were being made by Shea and his co-author Robert Anton Wilson to market the book via radio interviews.

In the November 11, 1975 letter from Hill to Shea, Hill enclosed a copy of the fake Illuminatus! review he and Wilson had been working on under the name of Mordecai Zwack and were sending out to various newspapers like The New York Times as a part of their ongoing “Operation Mindfuck.”

This exchange of letters also contains an extensive discussion and analysis of Discordian co-founder Kerry Thornley’s recent-at-the-time state of mind, his growing paranoia, and his theories regarding his involvement in the JFK Assassination, including Thornley’s experiences with the mysterious “Brother-in-Law” Gary Kirstein. Shea and Hill’s take on Thornley and what he was personally going through around this time is quite revealing in context of what this whole era of realization would eventually mean for Thornley and his life in the years to come.

Also of note is Shea’s response to various Illuminati “true believers” during his promotional radio interviews leading him to confide to Hill, “We are definitely dealing with volatile materials.”

Indeed, Hail Eris! Enjoy.

Letters: Robert Shea and Greg Hill, Fall 1975

Letter: Robert Shea to Greg Hill, October 1, 1975, Page 00001. Courtesy of from the Discordian Archives.
Letter: Greg Hill to Robert Shea, November 11, 1975, Page 00001. Courtesy of the Discordian Archives.


Letter: Greg Hill to Robert Shea, November 11, 1975, Page 00002. Courtesy of the Discordian Archives.
Letter: Greg Hill to Robert Shea, November 11, 1975, Page 00003. Courtesy of the Discordian Archives.


Letter: Robert Shea to Greg Hill, November 22, 1975, Page 00001. Courtesy of from the Discordian Archives.
Letter: Robert Shea to Greg Hill, November 22, 1975, Page 00002. Courtesy of from the Discordian Archives.

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Week 5 of the Illuminatus! Group Reading

Get your fnord on with the Illuminatus! Reading Group.
Here’s my thoughts on Week 5 of the Illuminatus! group reading…

On Page 45, a haunting specter from Kerry Thornley’s past is summoned in this passage:

(Back at the Grassy Knoll, Howard Hunt’s picture is being snapped and will later turn up in the files of New Orleans D.A. Jim “The Jolly Green Giant” Garrison: not that Garrison ever came within light years of the real truth…)

For those unfamiliar with Thornley’s strange journey down the JFK assassination rabbit hole, I’ll refer them to a previous Historia Discordia post:

JFK Assassination Day and Discordianism by Adam Gorightly.

How E. Howard Hunt fits into Thornley’s JFK assassination odyssey dates back to the period in the early-60s when he was living in New Orleans and met a shadowy character referred to as “Brother-In-Law.” Kerry later grew to suspect that “Brother-in-Law” was actually the legendary aforementioned CIA spook, E. Howard Hunt, and that Hunt had manipulated Kerry into the role of a potential JFK assassination patsy had the Lee Harvey Oswald setup gone awry.

The Dealey Plaza 'Old Man Tramp,' left,
and E. Howard Hunt, right.
As for photos of Hunt in Dealey Plaza that later turned up in Jim Garrison’s files, Robert Shea and Robert Anton Wilson were no doubt referring to the photos of the infamous Three Tramps that were picked up by the Dallas Police right after the assassination and then subsequently released, one of whom was dubbed the Old Man Tramp that many suspect was actually Hunt in disguise. Garrison contended that the Three Tramps were trigger men in the assassination, and Garrison actually showed the Tramp photos for the first time to a national TV audience on Johnny Carson’s Tonight Show on January 31, 1968. During this period, Kerry Thornley became one of Garrison’s suspects in the case. In this regard, Kerry found himself in a somewhat awkward position, that of being a target of the underground press, as over the years he had written for such publications as the L.A. Free Press who now embraced Garrison as a counterculture hero, and so accepted the Garrison party line that Kerry was somehow involved in a JFK assassination conspiracy. This irony did not go unnoticed by RAW, who encountered a media blackout when trying to address Kerry’s case. As RAW later explained:

Newspaper photo of
Kerry Thornley, 1968.
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 started 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.

On Page 50, Saul Goodman and Barney Muldoon examine three alternatives to explain the apparent Illuminati plot they’ve uncovered:

(1) It is all true, exactly as the memos suggest; (2) it is partly true, and partly false; (3) it is all false, and there is no secret society that has endured from 1090 A.D. to the present.

In a previous post, I commented how Illuminatus! is a mental exercise of sorts in trying to distinguish what is true and what is false in the book. In their quest to bust the Illuminati, Goodman and Muldoon arrive at the theory that the clues they’ve uncovered suggest the same thing: that the reality of the Illuminati is both true and false. And perhaps that’s the final secret of Illuminatus! (maybe): that it’s partly true and partly false and it’s ultimately up to the reader to decide for themselves which parts are true and which are false—so it becomes a different reality tunnel for each reader/experiencer.

As I previously noted, the Teenset article was a perfect example of this, a real article in a real magazine, featuring a mix of fact and fiction, credited to a certain Sandra Glass, who never really existed to begin with and was actually Bob Shea in drag (and probably to some extent, RAW) making modern myths out of conspiratorial legends and pop culture influences while smoking a fair measure of pot for inspiration, one would imagine.

In Week 4, the “Illuminati Project: Memo #7” quotes The Roger Spark article “Daley Linked With Illuminati” which was another real article in a real newsletter (originating from the Chicago neighborhood, Roger’s Park) written by an anonymous author who once again was either Shea or RAW or both. This was during the time frame both Shea and RAW worked for Playboy magazine in Chicago, so I imagine one or both lived in or near Roger’s Park.

The Roger Spark piece contained a lot of the same information as the Teenset article, repeating the spurious rumor that Mayor Daley had shouted “Ewige Blumenkraft!” at the 1968 Democratic Convention, all part of Bavarian Illuminati shenanigans.

Photocopy of The Roger Spark Vol 2, No. 2 linking Daley with the Illuminati, Page 00001. Courtesy of the Discordian Archives.
Photocopy of The Roger Spark Vol 2, No. 9 linking Daley with the Illuminati, Page 00002. Courtesy of the Discordian Archives.


Photocopy of The Roger Spark Vol 2, No. 9 linking Daley with the Illuminati, Page 00003. Courtesy of the Discordian Archives.
Photocopy of The Roger Spark Vol 2, No. 9 linking Daley with the Illuminati, Page 00004. Courtesy of the Discordian Archives.

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Before Moving On To Week 4… A Little More On the Week 2 Illuminatus! Reading

As RAW mentioned on numerous occasions, Illuminatus! was an exercise of mixing fact with fiction, and in particular the many conspiracy theories presented willy-nilly in the book. Years after its publication, RAW admitted that even he was unclear as to which of these theories—in the final analysis—were ultimately true or false, and that some might have been both true AND false at the same time. In this regard, the book is a mental exercise of sorts in unraveling the many mythologies swirling around the kooky conspiratorial landscape of the late-60s and 70s.

During the Week 2 group reading, I neglected to mention a reference to the Berkeley Illuminati, which was indeed a real group based out of the U.C. Berkeley campus in the mid to late-60s that ran concurrent to the Discordian Society’s Bavarian Illuminati activities. Like RAW and Kerry Thornley, the Berkeley group sent out spurious announcements about far flung conspiracies just to see how people would react and possibly even piss themselves in the process. I’ve never actually seen any of the Berkeley Illuminati materials, but Jesse Walker in The United States of Paranoia: A Conspiracy Theory interviewed one of the members of the group, Sharon Presley, who stated that: “We actually had a recognized student group at Cal called the Bavarian Illuminati. The by-laws were a hoot; obviously no bureaucrat actually read them.”

So, in essence, they were a real group that put out false announcements, so they were both true and false at the same time, a prime example of Operation Mindfuck run amok.

As for the Week 4 reading, I don’t have a lot to comment on, other than to note that the Teenset article mentioned on Page 40 (“The Most Sinister, Evil, Subversive Conspiracy In The World”) was indeed a real article in a real magazine, written by someone named Sandra Glass (who was, most likely, Robert Shea), which documented an investigation into the mysterious Ancient Illuminated Seers of Bavaria (A.I.S.B.). This article was ominously prefaced with an editor’s note: “Before her recent death, Miss Glass was an expert on subversive affairs.” The source— for many of the revelations in the article—came allegedly from an anarchist named Simon Moon, who would later turn up as a character in Illuminatus!.

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Letter: Robert Shea shares the Illuminatus! Cover Artwork Proofs with Greg Hill

Robert Shea letter to Greg Hill, discussing Illuminatus! book cover proofs, Page 00001,
dated June 25, 1975.
Courtesy of from the Discordian Archives.

One of my favorite finds in the Discordian Archives is this letter from Robert Shea to Greg Hill sent the summer before the release of Illuminatus!.

The letter includes some great Erisian Mysteries insights. Such as Shea’s back-story on how cover artist Carlos Victor (Carlos Ochagavia) learned about Illuminatus! to create the individual book covers. I find this amusing as it must have been quite an endeavor by editor Fred Feldman and the interpreter to communicate to Victor such a strange and bizarre concept, which Victor nails solidly.

Another great nugget is Shea’s admiration for the latest in 1975 photocopier tech, provided by his employer, Playboy magazine, used to photocopy the Illuminatus! book cover proofs attached to the letter.

Photocopiers as hip-tech were something Shea and the Early Discordians used-well in the production of personal zines, like Shea’s No Governor mentioned in the letter, and various Erisian tracts, including the Principia Discordia.

Robert Shea letter to Greg Hill,
The Eye in the Pyramid book cover
proof attachment, June 25, 1975.
Courtesy of
from the Discordian Archives.
Robert Shea letter to Greg Hill,
The Golden Apple book cover
proof attachment, June 25, 1975.
Courtesy of
from the Discordian Archives.

Greg Hill had, by the time of this letter, long-ago hacked how photocopiers could be used with paste-ups to produce artwork that left no cut-marks or seams when reproduced and liberally employed this production technique for Third and Fourth Editions of the Principia Discordia. Eventually this approach was ubiquitous in the mid-to-late-80s zine scene explosion, no doubt also helped along by Kinkos’ great photocopier equipment and liberal policies of photocopy production (while looking the other way on copyright infringement).

One can imagine “Faster/Clearer/More Gradients!” as a mantra that Shea and Hill would have embraced in their pursuit of top-notch photocopier tech of the time.

More to come of such correspondences betwixt these Erisian Masters. Stay fnord!

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More On The Illuminatus! Trilogy Group Reading and ‘The Honest Book of Truth’

Gorightly's copies of the 1975 edition of
The Illuminatus! Trilogy.
Courtesy of the Discordian Archives.
In advance of the Illuminatus! reading that kicked off on Feb 24th over at (why it wasn’t launched on Feb 23rd is beyond me!), I had to do a little rummaging around to track down my Illuminatus! copies, which I’m glad to say I was able to locate amidst all the other quaint and curious volumes of forgotten lore lining my shelves.

Although yellowing and frayed, this almost now forty year old classic—published in the Year of Our Goddess 1975—continues to evoke a sense of wonderment ever since that immortal day back in the summer of ‘84 when I happened upon this “fairy tale for paranoids” during the wee, weird hours while passing by Bart’s Books in Ojai, California—as the spirit of Krishnamurti hovered nearby. (As a sidebar, an early and part-time Discordian named Alan Kishbaugh is now a high ranking muckety-muck with the Krishnamurti Foundation in Ojai. Kishbaugh’s Discordian handle back in the day was “The Earl of Nines,” a title concocted as an effort to combat the chaos unleashed by The Law of Fives.)

Bart's Books, Ojai, California.
As has been the honor system policy at Bart’s all these years, when the store is closed you can still buy books lining the outside shelves and toss money for them through a slot in the door, which explains my reference to “wee, weird hours.” Envision me then, a long haired reprobate, toking on the herb superb as I stumbled upon—in my intoxicated haze—this weirdo cover of the One-Eyed Pyramid with a dolphin swimming over it and such. Which takes us to the present…

So—as I reintroduce myself to Illuminatus! by way of the group reading—I plan to point out the many Discordian references I’ll encounter along the way, the first of which happens immediately in the dedication page to none other than Greg Hill and Kerry Thornley. (And if you don’t know who these dudes are by now, just start poking around here at Historia Discordia and all will be revealed!)

The next Discordian reference occurs on the first page of the opening chapter, an introductory quotation that is lifted directly from some obscure religious (or irreligious) tract called The Honest Book of Truth by an equally obscure character named “Lord Omar Khayaam Ravenhurst, K.S.C.”:

The Purple Sage opened his mouth and moved his tongue and so spake to them and he said:

The Earth quakes and the Heavens rattle; the beasts of nature flock together and the nations of men flock apart; volcanoes usher up heat while elsewhere water becomes ice and melts; and then on other days it just rains.

Indeed do many things come to pass.
—Lord Omar Khayaam Ravenhurst, K.S.C.,
“The Book of Predictions.” The Honest Book of Truth

First page of The Honest Book of Truth, March 1969. Courtesy of the Discordian Archives.
Omar Khayyam Ravenhurst, despite the misspelling in Illuminatus! of Khayyam as “Khayaam,” and more commonly seen as just “Lord Omar,” was, of course, Kerry Thornley’s Discordian name—or at least one of them, with the K.S.C. standing for Keeper of the Sacred Chao. As for The Honest Book of Truth, it has been commonly held over the years that no such book actually existed, because all that anyone had ever seen of it were short quotations from either Illuminatus! or the Principia Discordia.

During a conversation with RAW once, I asked him what he thought of Thornley’s writings, and he stated unequivocally that the best thing Kerry had written was The Honest Book of Truth. Of course, sometimes I’d wonder if RAW was pulling my leg about certain things, so I filed this anecdote away in my memory banks for future pondering. Later, after having acquired the Discordian Archives, I one day happened upon a most amazing discovery: none other than The Honest Book of Truth, which is 15 pages in length and includes “The Book of Uterus,” “The Book of Explanations,” “The Book of Predictions,” “The Book of Advice,” “The Book of Gooks,” and “The Gospel According to Fred.”

The Honest Book of Truth will appear in its entirety in the forthcoming book compilation, Historia Discordia: The Origins of the Discordian Society.

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Discordian Artifacts Framed!

Framed Discordian Artifacts. Courtesy of the Discordian Archives.
A couple years ago or so, I was given Emperor Norton’s gravestone rubbing from an East Coaster named Fred McCann, a young twenty-something fellow who had read my book The Prankster and The Conspiracy and, due partly to it, traveled out to California to interview Early Discordians Louise Lacey and Bob Newport.

Along the way, Fred made a pilgrimage to Emperor Norton’s grave and the rest, as they say, is history.

Afterwards, I got the notion to take said rubbing and combine it with some other Discordian Archives artifacts, which I only finally got around to doing the other day. Anyway, here ‘tis, including the third edition of Principia Discordia, flax notes from both Omar and Mal, not to mention a Hail Eris bumper sticker designed by RAW himself, as well as several fnords!

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Fnord: The Illuminatus! Trilogy group read starts Monday, February 24

Discordian Guerrilla Ontology advert for the release of the Illuminatus! Trilogy.
Courtesy of the Discordian Archives.
Tom Jackson, who runs the right-fine site, has organized a group reading of The Illuminatus! Trilogy set to begin this coming Monday, February 24, 2014.

Here’s more info from the press release for the group reading:

The ostensible subject of the book is the Illuminati, an alleged secret society that seeks to control the world and is still the subject of many conspiracy theories. Many of the book’s protagonists are either battling the Illuminati or struggling to figure out what is really going on.

The Illuminatus! Trilogy, 'candy apple red' edition from Dell Trade Paperback, January 1984. Courtesy of the Discordian Archives.
The work makes liberal use of Discordianism, a tongue-in-cheek religion devoted to worship of the Greek goddess Eris, who was blamed for starting the Trojan War, and of the Kabbalah, an esoteric mystical system that began as part of Judaism. The text also reflects the authors’ strong interesting anarchism and libertarianism.

Readers of the website will participate in an online discussion of the book beginning on Feb. 24. The discussion will proceed at a pace of 10 pages a week, to give readers time to untangle many of the esoteric references and meanings in the text. The slow pace also will allow time for readers who missed the initial announcement to get caught up and participate. The standard paperback edition has 805 pages, so the discussion is expected to take well over a year.

Each week, an entry on a 10-page section of the book will be posted on the website’s blog, and readers will be invited to weigh in using the comments.

If you’ve never read The Illuminatus! Trilogy, this is a fine opportunity to get in on this underground classic of subversion.

As one character in the book, Epicene Wildblood, puts it while reviewing Illuminatus! in Illuminatus!, it’s “a fairy tale for paranoids.”

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An Illuminating Day With Robert Anton Wilson

In 1976, pioneering underground newspaper the Berkeley Barb published the below article on a then 44-year-old Robert Anton Wilson written by Ray Ramsay. The article posted below contains some interesting history on the writing and publication of The Illuminatus! Trilogy.

Greg Hill was thoughtful enough to stash a copy into the Discordian Archives.

Hail Eris!

Berkeley Barb article on Robert Anton Wilson, March 12-18, 1976 edition. Click to Embiggen.
Courtesy of the Discordian Archives.
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Kenneth and Daisy Eris: A Campbell Clan Discordian Continuum

Illuminatus! poster for the Science Fiction Theatre of Liverpool production, 1976.
On November 23rd, 1976 (which just so happens to be a high holy day in Discordianism, 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 Robert Anton Wilson and Robert Shea’s Illuminatus! (Amazon Kindle, Paperback, Hardcover) at the Science-Fiction Theatre in Liverpool. In true Discordian fashion, the production consisted of five plays of five acts each, with each act 23 minutes in length. As Wilson wrote in Cosmic Trigger (Paperback):

Ken 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.)

Working with the National Theatre (under the Patronage of Queen Elizabeth, no less!), Campbell arranged for the two Bobs, Wilson and Shea, to be flown across the pond for the London production premiere. In appreciation of Her Majesty’s largesse, Wilson made a cameo appearance: “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’ under the patronage of Elizabeth II, Queen of England, and I will never stop wondering how much of that was programmed by Crowley before I was even born.” According to Michael Coveney’s Ken Campbell bio, RAW was so nervous about his nude cameo that he dropped some acid before going on stage, as well as doling out hits to other actors in the play.

At some point, during the course of the production (if I got the story straight), Kenneth Campbell’s daughter, Daisy Eris Campbell, was conceived backstage. More on the adventures of Daisy Campbell in a bit….

A year after of the Illuminatus! stage production, a Discordian reunion of sorts took place that included Bob and Arlen Wilson, Louise Lacey, Greg Hill, Bob and Rita Newport, as well as several other friends of the Wilson’s who traveled to Seattle to take in the Illuminatus! stage production during its stateside run.

‘Twas a chilly Seattle night (as the story goes), so someone (who shall remain nameless) produced enough MDMA for Wilson and all his colleagues (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 collected auras—as they sat entranced by the spectacle which unfolded.

Wilson (l) and Shea (r) during the Illuminatus! publication period.
The MDMA notwithstanding, Louise Lacey recalls the Illuminatus! stage production as a “sublime experience” which had one and all rolling in the aisles.

In the spirit of the Illuminatus! stage play—and filled with the same sort of Erisian inspiration as her dearly departed father—Daisy Eris Campbell has taken on the task of creating a stage adaption of Wilson’s Cosmic Trigger, which you can find out more about in the YouTube video to follow.

Here’s a great article on Ken Campbell, Illuminatus! and other Liverpool romps.

And this just in! An update from Daisy Eris!

UPDATE: January 8, 2014: More on the 1978 Seattle Stage Production of Illuminatus!.