On page 621 of Illuminatus!, Wilhelm—of the diabolical rock super-group, The American Medical Association—states that the “Eater of Souls” is still “imprisoned inside the Pentagon,” an apparent allusion to the March on the Pentagon, the October 21st, 1967 anti-war protest that included an exorcism intended to levitate The Five-Sided Temple in a ritual of cleansing and purification.
Some suggest that the Pentagon actually was levitated on this date, such as the ever reliable Abbie Hoffman in his auto-biography Soon To Be A Major Motion Picture—but who knows what Abbie was smoking that day!
In the early stages of the March on the Pentagon, event organizer David Dillinger—of the National Mobilization Committee to End the War in Vietnam (The Mobe)—appointed Yippie rabble rouser Jerry Rubin to lead the march. Rubin, in turn, invited his buddy Abbie Hoffman to join in the fun, as well as such luminaries as Allen Ginsberg and Ed Sanders of The Fugs—and before you knew it this mad cap plan to levitate the Pentagon was set in motion.
According to Rubin, Abbie Hoffman was the key figure who first came up with the Pentagon levitation bit, and in advance of the protest Abbie paid a site visit to the Pentagon with a two-fold purpose: 1) Drum up media interest in the march, and, 2) calculate how many bodies would be needed to completely encircle, hand-in-hand, the Five-Sided Temple during the course of the exorcism-levitation.
Apparently, Hoffman was fumbling around on the Pentagon grounds with a measuring tape (back in the days when one could actually show up unannounced on the Pentagon grounds) when he was informed by the National Guard to cease and desist and then escorted from the premises. On his way out, Abbie made a formal request for a permit for the proposed Pentagon levitation, which—according to Abbie—would lift the building 300 feet. In response, the military actually granted this surreal permit request with the following stipulations: Abbie and his hairy freaks would only be authorized to elevate the Pentagon a mere three feet off the ground (so as not to damage the foundation!) and that the protesters could not surround the Pentagon, but only gather in front of the building.
In total, 50,000 peaceniks descended on the Pentagon that long ago and very strange day brandishing all the accoutrements of the era: long hair, flowers and peace signs—including Eye-In-The-Pyramid banners which it appears the Yippies adopted as their own esoteric coat of arms during this period.
In response to this massive influx of anti-war demonstrators, 10,000 military troops were called in to “keep the peace.” One of the most iconic images from this confluence of Eristic vs. Aneristic forces was the photo of the hippie chick sticking a flower into the bayoneted barrel of a rifle poised to blow the smile from her face.
The Pentagon—as we’ve noted countless times here at Historia Discordia—is an integral part of the Discordian mythos, not to mention the V-for-victory peace sign which the Discordians had adopted years prior to it becoming synonymous with the counterculture. So all of these symbols loom large in the Discordian and Illuminatus! (Amazon) iconography and it seemed that a certain amount of cross pollination was going on during this period between the Discordians and Yippies—although the Discordians were largely (Greg Hill in particular) working in a somewhat subliminal and introverted manner as opposed to the Yippies who were right there in your face, taking their theatre to the streets and TV screens of America.
RAW—as we well know—was out in the streets during the Chicago Democratic Convention demonstrations and witnessed up close and personal the heavy handed tactics of Mayor Daley’s goon squad, a narrative that wove itself in and out of Illuminatus! There’s also a good chance that RAW caught a glimpse of the Yippie “Now” freak flag flown during these demonstrations, which most likely had some influence on his fondness and subsequent use of Eye-In-The-Pyramid imagery and mythology.
The counterculture’s use of the Eye-In-The-Pyramid conjured evil spectres in the minds of John Birch Society members like John Steinbacher who authored an anti-Illuminati pamphlet entitled Senator Robert Francis Kennedy: The Man, The Mysticism, The Murder which contended that the founder of the Illuminati, Adam Weishaupt, had a profound influence on one Madame Helena Blavatsky of Theosophy fame. Due to this insidious influence, Blavatsky cooked up in her occult cauldron an ideological mix of Communism, Illuminism, and Satanism that insinuated itself into the 60s counterculture and ostensibly motivated Sirhan Sirhan to assassinate RFK. In the assassination’s aftermath—according to conspiratorial legend—Sirhan requested a copy of Blavatsky’s The Secret Doctrine which sent the heads of conspiracy buffs spinning with the sinister implications this implied.
In Senator Robert Francis Kennedy: The Man, The Mysticism, The Murder, Steinbacher asserts that Blavatsky had penned a murderous tome entitled “Manual for Revolution” as a blueprint for the Communist Revolution which indoctrinated the gullible drug addled dupes of the 60s anti-war movement as part of a plot to bring about a One World Government controlled by Jewish Bankers. The only problem with this theory was that Blavatsky didn’t author “Manual for Revolution”—nor, for that matter, did the book even exist. In addition, Steinbacher claimed that Sirhan had infiltrated a branch of the Students for a Democratic Society (SDS), all part of a grand design to undermine the 60s counterculture and bring the United States to its knees.
Such speculations were prime fodder for Wilson and Shea who incorporated into Illuminatus! these elements of a vast conspiracy that was playing both ends of the political spectrum against the middle. RAW’s infamous letter and answer in the Playboy Forum was an initial outgrowth of these Illuminati conspiracy influences, later to be expanded upon in Illuminatus!
For more Discordian knowledge as fiction that is fact but fiction contained within Illuminatus!, point your browser to the book’s group reading page at RAWIllumination.net.
One reply on “Week 59 of Illuminatus! Group Reading: The Pentagon (Part 00001)”
‘V’ and ‘5’ are also confused in Alan Moore’s “V for Vendetta” graphic novel.