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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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More On The Kabouters, Operation Mindfuck and the Lemuel P. Grant Influence Lodge

The Kabouters article in question.
When researching the roots of Discordianism, I’ve found that one rabbit hole inevitably leads down another and so it’s best to just keep on burrowing.

Such is the case of our last post about an article on the Kabouters that Lord Omar (aka Kerry Thornley) co-opted and redistributed (via kopyleft) under the auspices of the Ancient Seers of Bavaria, all of this part of Operation Mindfuck (OM), the Discordian Society’s covert campaign to illuminate the masses.

While reviewing the Kabouters article in question, I noticed that in the right margin Thornley wrote: “Stolen for you by the Erisian Liberation Front of the Lemuel P. Grant Lodge” which I figured was just some vague reference that popped out of Lord Omar’s pineal gland to confuse us all the more.

Kerry Thornley's Paranoid Flash Illuminator zine, July 1970. Courtesy of the Discordian Archives.
Kerry Thornley's Paranoid Flash Illuminator zine, June 1970. Courtesy of the Discordian Archives.
Afterwards — in the same section of the Discordian Archives where I’d discovered the Kabouters article — I came across a couple copies of Thornley’s Discordian newsletter The Paranoid Flash Illuminator, one of which stated: “Lemuel P. Grant Influence Lodge grows rapidly on both fronts presently active, E.L.F. and the Uncle Remus Chapter of the Black Lotus Society…” and that “…Operation Mindfuck is gathering momentus…”

Of course, none of this helped clarify what the Lemuel P. Grant Lodge actually was until I read through the next copy of Paranoid Flash Illuminator, which elaborated further:

In case you were wondering, Lemuel P. Grant Lodge of the Bavarian Illuminati is named after its founder: “At 327 St. Paul Avenue SE stands what remains of a house which survived the burning of Atlanta only to be consumed 100 years later by the ravages of neglect. It was built in 1858 by Col. L.P. Grant…When General William Tecumseh Sherman’s forces put the torch to Atlanta on November 14, 1864, they left the engineer’s mansion unscathed despite that fact that it had been used as a Confederate hospital because paraphernalia used in Masonic rituals had been found inside. They had instructions not to harm the homes of Masons.

Kerry Thornley during his Sacred Mind Ashram period in Atlanta, 1972. Courtesy of the Discordian Archives.
All of which suggests a Freemasonsic conspiracy of epic proportions that continues to this very day!

Although it’s sometimes near impossible to separate fact from fiction with much Discordian Society propaganda, the Sacred Mind Ashram referred to later in the above newsletter was an actual concept that Kerry and his wife Cara entertained during the period they lived in Atlanta in the early-70s. However, this idea of a “hip school for little kids” apparently never progressed beyond the concept stage.

As for the Good Vibe Machine, I have no idea what that actually was, though it would have made a great name for a 1960s sex toy.

discordianism robert anton wilson

Yesterday’s Synchronicity

The Axe Murderer and The Buddha
This is a photo of RAW and yours truly from the spring of 2001. In it he is sporting a shirt that says “I have seen the fnords” and of course wearing his famous ring with the spiral on it. A couple years back I had a dream with RAW in which we engaged in a deep discussion about the meaning of his ring, and how it was an allegory to The Buddha.
Photo courtesy of Greg Bishop.

Yesterday I was reviewing a list of potential posts for Historia Discordia, one of which is a piece I wrote on
Robert Anton Wilson’s passing back in 2007. So I got to wondering what day RAW died, and thought it would be apropos to coincide posting the piece on that date.

I did a quick Google search and, as our crazy Goddess would have it, RAW died on the date of January 11th, which is just the sort of stone cold synchronicity one encounters when pulling cosmic triggers and rolling golden apples. Perhaps a day late and a dollar short, we share with you now my RAW eulogy.
Adam Gorightly


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The Discordian Sci-Fi Series That Almost Never Was

Left to right: Camden Benares and John F. Carr at Camden's cabin in Tujunga, California circa late-70s. Photo courtesy of John F. Carr.
John F. Carr has just recently published the long ago written and much anticipated (at least by me!) first book in the Crying Clown series, A Certain Flair For Death (Amazon Kindle, Hardcover), a collaboration with his good friend and fellow Discordian, the late, great Camden Benares, a result of their many “pot and plot” sessions of the mid-70s through late-90s.

Robert Anton Wilson once described A Certain Flair For Death as “The best psychological science-fiction novel since The Demolished Man… the tension mounts and mounts… I couldn’t put it down… it might do your head as much good as an Encounter Group with the Marx Brothers!”

I recently contacted John to get some background about how and when the Crying Clown series were written, and he was kind of enough to share the following response.
Adam Gorightly

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Kerry Thornley: Anarchist, Bard, Etc.

Kerry Thornley sketch by Barbara Blackman. Courtesy of Barbara Blackman.
Kerry Thornley was many things to many people. Discordian, anarchist, Zen Buddhist, JFK assassination conspirator, acid gobbling hippie, pornographer, paranoid schizophrenic and MK-ULTRA mind control victim—to name but a few of his many personas, or how he was perceived.

The old Kris Kristofferson song sums up Kerry quite succinctly:

“He’s a walking contradiction, partly truth and partly fiction, taking every wrong direction on his lonely way back home.”

Or to quote Walt Whitman:

“Do I contradict myself? Very well, then I contradict myself. I am large, I contain multitudes.”

Kerry Thornley sketch by Barbara Blackman. Courtesy of The Discordian Archives.
One person who saw Kerry Thornley in a quite positive light was Barbara Blackman who was friends with both Kerry and Greg Hill during the 70s.

In the following passage, Barbara recalls how she first met Kerry:

“My friend was taking her children for the prerequisite visit to their father during summer vacation. He had kindly arranged for us to stay at Stone House, a Quaker Commune. I was trying to find my spiritual self I suppose & connected with Kerry on a very high level. I had never sat with someone & meditated in the purpose of the two beings focused together in meditation. For me he was very much the Indian Yogi walking a path of spiritual awareness. Sometimes he was a whirling dervish, others a Shakespearean bard, then Krishna with his lovers. He was asexual in that he made love with the world.”

Below: Letter from Kerry to Barbara Blackman dated January 1, 1971. Courtesy of Barbara Blackman.

Letter from Kerry to Barbara Blackman dated January 1, 1971, Page 00002. Courtesy of Barbara Blackman.
Letter from Kerry to Barbara Blackman dated January 1, 1971, Page 00001. Courtesy of Barbara Blackman.