- You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feelin’: Roger Lovin and the Dark Side of Discordia (Part 00003)
- February Eris of the Month 2017: Red Taste
- Kerry Thornley and Kerista
- You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feelin’: Roger Lovin and the Dark Side of Discordia (Part 00002)
- December 2016 Eris of the Month: Prunella Gee As Eris
- When Downard Met Discordia
- You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feelin’: Roger Lovin and the Dark Side of Discordia (Part 00001)
- Discordia Meets Academia
- November 27: This Day in Discordian History
- November 2016 Eris of the Month: Eris at the 1972 Rothschild Illuminati Party
- The Roger Spark and TeenSet Conspiracy
- October 2016 Eris of the Month: ‘Eris Discordia’ by ff
- RAW vs. Mae Brussell!
- Eris Gives The New York Times Magazine A Clue About The Principia Discordia
- Discordians In The News: WikiLeaks Exposes Hillary As A Secret Discordian!
- Discordianism Meets The National Review
- September 2016 Eris of the Month: ‘Goth Eris’ by Victoria Grimalkin
- Giger Meets Illuminatus!
- CHASING ERIS: On The Trail of Kerry Thornley (and his kitties)
- A Barrage of Three (3) Popes
- Discordianism Meets Ufology (Part 00003)
- August 2016 Eris of the Month: Eris Arrives At Festival 23
- Greg Hill’s Emperor Norton Poster
- Cosmic Trigger Online Reading Group, Week 19
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The Illuminatus! Trilogy the concept of Operation Mindfuck (OM) was introduced and in many ways Illuminatus! itself was an act of OM, which included the Discordians high-jacking the Bavarian Illuminati mythos and making it their own.In
Here’s a copy of the TeenSet article included in
The method to this madness included mixing fact with fiction so that you were never quite sure how many of the Illuminati references in Illuminatus! were based on “real” sources, such as a quote from a radical Chicago newspaper, The Roger Spark (July 1969), which stated that Adam Weishaupt had murdered George Washington and served in his place for his two terms as President. This article also promoted the theory that Mayor Richard Daley was “…one of the top agents of the infamous and long legendary Bavarian Illuminati.”
Robert Anton Wilson and Robert Shea , it so happens, helped publish The Roger Spark during the period the two worked at Playboy in the late 1960s. The article in question, “DALEY LINKED WITH ILLUMINATI,” contains a mix of fact vs. fiction (do we sense a theme here?) with no actual byline; it’s simply credited to The Spark, but in reality it was RAW/Shea who were responsible for the piece, so in essence they were quoting themselves in Illuminatus! (ala The Spark), another example of OM-styled Guerrilla Ontology. Grab the full issue in PDF here.
Elsewhere in Illuminatus! an article titled “THE MOST SINISTER, EVIL, SUBVERSIVE CONSPIRACY IN THE WORLD” by Sandra Glass (TeenSet Magazine, March 1969) is referenced concerning 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! This article, like the one from The Roger Spark, was surreptitiously written by RAW and Shea, and much of its content would later appear in Illuminatus!
According to the TeenSet article, Adam Weishaupt founded the A.I.S.B. in Ingolstadt on May 1st, 1776, and their slogan—or secret password—was “Ewige Blumenkraft” which translated to “Flower Power Forever.” At first glance, this motto seemingly refers to May Day, the date the A.I.S.B. officially came into existence. However—as revealed in Illuminatus!—the complete version of the motto was “Ewige Blumenkraft und ewige Schlangenkraft,” which translates to “eternal flower power and eternal serpent power” and apparently suggests that the fertility rites of spring are connected to the kundalini force—or serpent power—which itself relates to the practice of Tantrism, or sex magic. And that, in essence, is the True Secret of the Illuminati: Sex Magic.
The TeenSet article intimated that during the 1968 Democratic Convention, when Senator Abraham Ribicoff criticized police violence against anti-war demonstrators, Mayor Daley responded with an animated retort, and “…his lips were forming the words that by this time have become frighteningly familiar: ‘Ewige Blumenkraft!’”
The article further asserted that, “…the Ancient Illuminated Seers of Bavaria has infiltrated, allied itself with or taken over all TV networks and wire services, the Federal Reserve System, the John Dillinger Died For You Society, the Chicago Tribune, the Discordian Society, the Communist Party (USA), the Paratheo-Anametamystikhood of Eris Esoteric (P.O.E.E.), Hell’s Angels, the Sophisticated Sisters of Blessed Saints Claustrophilia and Theophobia, the Mafia, the Black Lotus Society, the Lawrence Talbot Memorial Society and enough additional organizations to fill a book the size of the Manhattan telephone directory (yellow pages).”
Here’s a copy of the TeenSet article included in
Greg Hill’s POEE Illuminati Recruitment Package as a PDF.
The spring 1977 issue of Conspiracy Digest featured an interview with Robert Anton Wilson (RAW) in which he discussed the full spectrum of where his head was at during the period.
In response, Mae Brussell—the Matron Saint of Conspiracy Theorists—fired off the following letter challenging RAW’s contention that Tim Leary’s stint in prison was anything but difficult, and in actuality (or at least in Mae’s reality tunnel) Leary had been coddled by the Feds (and fed steak!) and that his time in lock-up was actually a cake-walk.
Mae further employed the cake metaphor to explain how the likes of Leary, RAW and John Lilly were in cahoots with the CIA to corrupt the youth of America!
White sugar is a drug in cake icing used to induce us to consume white flour. Sugar is, literally, a reward for eating the cake. Lilly, [Bucky] Fuller, Wilson, and Leary are the white sugar frosting that sweeps people into happy time, scooping them up into a dream world so they will avoid the reality of a good diet of sound action. Leary, Wilson and their likes are used by the CIA Intelligence Community to sugar sweet the yellow brick road to Oz, while the means to enslave mankind are being manufactured under our noses…
In response to Mae’s missive, RAW came clean about his role in this diabolical brainwashing plot, confessing that he’d been a “high Official of the Central Intelligence Agency since July 23, 1973” and, further agreeing with Mae’s theory on the “white sugar” allegations, agreed that:
Dr. Leary didn’t merely have a high time at that great pleasure resort, Folsom Prison, as Mae has discovered; he had a great time in all the 29 prisons he visited during the last six years, although actually most of the time he was living (with a private harem) in the Taj Mahal, only appearing at the prisons often enough to keep alive the myth that he was a political prisoner…
One might conclude that Mae’s theory re: RAW and Leary as dastardly members of this “white sugar mafia” was, in essence, a metaphor to suggest that they’d been used by intelligence agency handlers to soft peddle psychedelics and space migration and all the other heady stuff they were entertaining at the time.
In this vein, I remember hearing one of Mae’s tape recorded radio shows (from the early 1980s) where she claimed that Leary, RAW and other unnamed “spychiatrists” were part of a mind control squadron that went around brainwashing important people. For instance, Mae claimed that this Leary-RAW MK-ULTRA tag team showed up at Larry Flynt’s mansion (during the period that Flynt was attempting to expose the Kennedy assassination) and effectively messed with Flynt’s mind and influenced him to drop his one million dollar reward to expose the assassination. Afterwards, Flynt became increasingly erratic, like showing up for his trial dressed only in a diaper made out of an American flag, and a number of other publicity stunts that gave the impression he’d gone off his nut.
(If anyone has a copy or knows which episode from the Worldwatchers Archive of this specific Mae Brussell tape please contact your humble chronicler here at HD hindquarters so I know I just didn’t imagine hearing it.)
Given these peculiar insights, one wonders if Mae, at some point, hadn’t been exposed to the rantings of Kerry Thornley, as it was during this period (late-70s/early-80s) that Kerry’s schizophrenia kicked into high gear and he was making similar claims that both RAW and Leary were working as his handlers, covertly visiting him in Atlanta to do whatever it is that diabolical mind control handlers do. It makes perfect sense that Thornley may have contacted Mae in this regard, as during this period he was firing off letters left and right to whoever would listen to his JFK Assassination revelations, and his suspicions that he’d been MK-ULRTA’ed.
Case in point: A 1975 “affidavit” in which Kerry talked about a “team” of handlers he met in Atlanta, one of whom “bore an uncanny intellectual and psychological resemblance to an anarchist writer friend of mine [RAW] who lives in California…”
In RAW’s intro to The Prankster and the Conspiracy, he wrote:
I remember my last phone conversation with Kerry, during which he announced that just a week earlier I had come to Atlanta, argued with him about my alleged CIA connections, spiked his drink with LSD, and brainwashed him again. I told him that I had not left San Francisco in months, and that if he had a bad acid trip the previous week then somebody else gave him the acid, not me. I insisted on this as persuasively as I could.
Finally, Kerry relented—a bit. “Well, maybe you believe that”, he said. “But that means your bosses have been fucking with your head and implanting false memories in you too!”
“How do you argue that you haven’t had your head altered? “Look,” I said, I’ll put my wife Arlen on. She’ll tell you I haven’t left here in months.”
“That won’t prove anything,” he said with the calm certitude of a Gran Master announcing checkmate. “They probably fixed her head too.”
I don’t remember the rest of the conversation. I felt lost in an Escher painting…
A 1976 letter from Kerry (to Greg Hill) claimed that both Leary and RAW visited him that year, and he went on to write that, “I am literally surrounded by the intelligence community, but after the first three attempts to murder me things seem to have cooled down and most of the spies now appear to be on my side…”
During this period, RAW and Leary wrote on article (June 1976 issue of Oui) entitled “Brainwashing: How To Fold, Spindle and Mutilate the Human Mind in Five Easy Steps” which may have further fueled the fire in the minds of some that RAW and Leary were taking names and washing brains!
Over on our The Early Discordians facebook group page, Johnny Walsh posted a sighting of the Principia Discordia in The New York Times Magazine crossword puzzle:
Johnny Walsh: This past Sunday’s New York Times Magazine crossword puzzle clue 50 Across: “‘Principia Discordia’ figure.” Answer: “Eris”
National Review, titled “Our People’s Underworld Movement” and written by famed Early Discordian Harold Randomfactor (aka Tim Wheeler).We share with you a long forgotten Discordian classic that appeared in, of all places, William F. Buckley’s
Download a PDF copy of the National Review article found in the Discordian Archives and labeled “POEE ARCHIVE LOAN COPY.” Please remember to return your PDF copy to the Discordian Archives after you are finished.
Let’s have Tim’s wife, Mary Wheeler (aka Hope Springs), tell us more:
“Tim wrote an article for National Review which Bill Buckley loved. He published the article and made it the cover story. It was all about conspiracy theories and all sorts of stuff he had picked up from these guys, so that makes me think that article came after our association with them [the Discordian Society]. But that article certainly would have cemented the friendships. Remember we were on totally opposite sides of the political fence… Well, maybe not too opposite. Everyone seemed to be a libertarian/anarchist at the time…
“In those early years when Tim worked in the office [of the National Review], as an editorial assistant, there was a lot of joking about the Illuminati. I can remember conversations with fellow conservatives where the conspiracy of the Illuminati ballooned into a conspiracy of left-handed people, or those with first cousins named Jeffrey. It spawned fantastic letterheads! Nobody at NR took it seriously, and we made fun of those that did. I think that is why it was so much fun to discover the Discordians, who also didn’t take any of that seriously. We had discovered like-minded people who tended to be liberals, or at least anarchists. And we were right-wing crazies, although Tim was very much a libertarian…”
Check out our full Mary Wheeler interview here:
Over at our Early Discordians facebook group, Sirius Mazzu posted a rather illuminating link that seemed to be news to everyone in the group concerning a 1978 H. R. Giger Illuminatus! illustration, which incorporated Tim Leary, H.P. Lovecraft, and possibly Aleister Crowley as characters in addition to little alien dudes on stilts numbered 5, 17, and 23!
For more on this fascinating story, navigate here.
The book documents my worldwide adventure to experience modern Discordian culture, meet its personalities, and discover elusive Erisian mysteries.
In our meeting we talk about what it was like to live with Kerry in Little Five Points, Atlanta. It seems important to mention that at the time they met, Kerry was, according to some, veering off into paranoia. I myself remain agnostic on some of his claims and skeptical of some others, especially his theory that his “real father” was a Nazi Admiral.
Tantra greets me at the entrance of her house, near a garden filled with gigantic cacti. She is smiley and excitable, and her passion for life is contagious.
She grew up in Indiana, in an area where very few people were around, few enough that one didn’t need to put clothes on to collect the mail on a hot day. She would go to Alabama, now and then, to see relatives. It was the kind of town where you couldn’t really admit to not being religious. She would attend Straight Creek Holiness Church, where people would yell and run around the congregation when the spirit seized them. When the spirit seized preachers, they would handle the snakes; a sign on the church quoted Mark 16:18, They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them. The spirit never seemed to seize them in her presence. When she was in Alabama, she missed the people she could engage with in California, and when she was away she missed the nature.
Tantra has a special relationship with nature. She spent years traveling the country in her van, sometimes driving out to a natural place, and finding a spot to sleep out in the open. It was during this period of travel that she began to develop her skills in Tantric yoga, healing, and her own construction of a form of effortless movement, called ‘Lucid Play.’
Tantra was in Little Five Points when she met someone who connected her with Kerry Thornley, who was to take a significant place in her life.
“I had been in Atlanta in Little Five Points and I met this guy who was the figurehead of Little Five Points. He would stand there and he would ring his bell and he would burn his sage and he would figure out who should meet whom. So he was telling me about Kerry Thornley and showing these broadsheets that he had put up and they were great political activism mixed with absurd, wild craziness. And so I wanted to meet him, and I thought, I want to come back to Atlanta to spend time with Kerry Thornley. And he was, I guess, 60 or something like that.
“And so then later I was going to Atlanta. I thought it was going to be just for a weekend but then my van broke down so I had to find a place to live. I was reading The Illuminatus! Trilogy. It was dedicated to Kerry. I stayed with that guy that I mentioned. His friend Wilson Leary, Timothy Leary’s cousin, came by, he and I started dating. So I’ve got all these things in the world of Kerry Thornley like…” she waves her arms and makes sounds to imitate the ineffable presence of Thornleyness that was entering her sphere.
“So I was trying to figure out where I was going to live and this guy just came up to me in Little Five Points and said, ‘If you’re looking for a place to live, you can live with me, I’ve got a porch.’ I checked out this house and they’ve got a big porch and so I moved in. It was a really wild artistic kind of place. I found out that Kerry Thornley lived there in this little mother-in-law right out the back. So I went there looking for Kerry Thornley, and moved in next to him without even knowing it.”
“Do you remember the first time you actually met him?” I ask.
“Uh-huh. Coming out of my room it was like, ‘There’s Kerry Thornley!’ Or, Omar Khyaam Ravenhurst.”
“What did you two talk about the first time you met?”
“Oh, I probably was just kind of squealing and telling him how glad I was, and him just doing this great laugh. I love his laugh. It was unlike anyone else’s. I wouldn’t even try to imitate it. He had thirteen cats or something like that, some huge number of cats so you’d always hear him calling them. He was just this really sweet little cat man, and son of a Nazi, such an odd combination, he claimed. In my life I always run into these MK-ULTRA kind of people, which was a little scary sometimes, that that happens, and that’s what he was, he said.
“I was also was a little bit uneasy about how much, living with him, was that going to involve me? How much was I being watched because of it? So it became like The Illuminatus! Trilogy. Black helicopters were going over all the time, and just becoming more and more like those books.”
Kerry said there were flying helicopters over his house,” I say. I was thinking of what a friend of Kerry, Louise Lacey, had told me of Kerry’s time in Florida when I said this, though I’d forgotten the details of what I’d heard. She had told me that Jim Garrison had sent helicopters over his house.
“They were, they were,” Bensko says. “They were doing it a lot. They would even follow me around. He seemed to know what he’s talking about. People always think that he was making up these stories in his head about the mind controllers and stuff, but I don’t know. He might have been.”
It was once while they lived in this close proximity that Tantra decided to perform a Discordian ritual, after a comment Kerry made.
“He said that the beauty of Discordianism was that he didn’t have to see any other Discordian-ists. And so there were no rituals. So to fly in the face of that then and give it a little chaotic shuffle, I told him, ‘we’ve got to do a ritual then.’ He thought that was a great idea.
“So I got a stick of butter and I molded it into the shape of Eris the Goddess and I put it on the floor. We said something over it you know, and his thirteen cats came and positioned themselves around the butter so there was no space in between them. They were all just jammed into where their tongues were right in there in the butter and they all started spinning around in a circle all at the same time, so you had this circling cat-thing around Eris, licking it until it was gone while Kerry and I were just laughing.”
“So that was the core moment that I remember about that ritual. His cats after that walked off but kind of continuing to circle and just ‘woah hey’ and wobble off to the edges.”
“Did you spend much time with Kerry after that?” I ask.
“Oh yeah, I spent a lot of time with him when I lived in Atlanta because I was there a couple of years, and so we were really good friends. I think I spent as much time with him over those years as everyone else did altogether. He didn’t really have a lot of people come by. And the other people in the house didn’t go to see him that much. But we were buddies. We hung out. I just deeply love Kerry.
“I don’t agree with some of his politics like, ‘Kill Kennedy.’ But yeah, I really liked Kerry a lot. I felt like his writing with Eris might have had something to do with his feeling like he did inadvertently kill Kennedy by suggesting someone like Oswald could be a patsy. But who knows; it’s one layer after another it’s so complex at the time.”
When I first talked to Bensko over the Internet she pointed out that she wasn’t a Discordian and wasn’t any kind of expert, but when I spoke to her in person, she said she was identifying sometimes with the title. I asked her to tell me what about the ideology meant to her.
“It’s postmodernist,” she says. “There’s many angles, and none of them are true.” She likes that Discordia is essentially difficult to take too seriously, and finds the attitude of believing without believing useful to her work. “There’s lots of Gods in Tantra Yoga too, and I see them as physics principles,” she tells me.
We chat for a long time; Tantra is someone who it is immensely easy to be around. She carries an effortless friendliness that invites you in and asks you to engage, without needing to say the words. She talks about many things, including her time in Little Five Points, her Yoga experience and her book, Collapsible Horizon.
I walk home. The air is warm and still. I arrive back to the marijuana-scented hostel doors, and make my way up the winding stairs to my room.