book kerry thornley letters writings

Reprogram Yourself For Freer Swinging

Michael Marinacci, author of Weird California and California Jesus sent me this short Kerry Thornley article he came across entitled “Reprogram Yourself For Freer Swinging” that appeared in EROS LIB Issue #2, a newsletter published by the San Diego Sexual Freedom League, circa 1975.

On the same page is what appears to be a short-short by Ray Faraday Nelson who is the author of “8 O’clock in the Morning” a short story later adapted into the paranoid cult classic They Live.

1975 newsletter EROS LIB Issue #2, article by Kerry Thornley.

4 replies on “Reprogram Yourself For Freer Swinging”


Good catch on the Nelson story.

The EROS LIB zine is from the personal archives of the late Jefferson Poland, founder of the Sexual Freedom League and a lifelong activist, who passed on last November in San Francisco.

Oddly enough, Poland, whom I knew in his last years, had a general physical resemblance to Thornley, especially in his younger adulthood. And there were other parallels as well:

* Like Thornley, Poland was both highly intelligent and deeply disturbed, spent most of his life living in voluntary poverty, and had *boundary issues* when it came to sexuality (he molested a preteen girl in San Diego during the 1980s, and earned jail time and Sex Offender status for that act.)

* Like Thornley, he operated under *noms de guerre* for his communications. In his last years in San Francisco he called himself “Tortuga Bi-Liberty”; earlier he’d used such monikers as “Tahanga” (“naked” in Maori) and “Jomo Kabouter.”

* Like Thornley, he spent much of his life publishing crude broadsides and zines to publicize sexual/body freedom and other causes he advocated.

* Like Thornley, he founded his own half-serious Goddess-centric religion: The Psychedelic Venus Church, an early neo-Pagan sect that used cannabis as a sacrament, and held nude orgiastic rites among Bay Area hippies.

* Not sure if the two ever met in real life, but they have a connection: Richard Thorne, a ranking member of the East Bay Sexual Freedom League, was a close associate of Poland’s. Thorne, you may recall, called himself “OM” and led nude parades through the streets of Berkeley and San Francisco, which earned him Discordian Pope status and a story in the SF CHRONICLE that was reproduced in HISTORIA DISCORDIA.

I’m writing about the PsyVen Church, and Poland’s involvement with it, for my next book. May also do a bio of the man himself; like Thornley, he had a big — if largely obscure — impact on the Sixties and Seventies countercultures, and his story needs to be told.

Hail Eris!


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