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Week 9 of the Illuminatus! Group Reading

A Discordian bumper sticker promoting Illuminatus! Courtesy of the Discordian Archives.

The most intriguing passage—at least for yours truly—in Week Nine of the Illuminatus! group reading (other than the introduction of The Golden Apple on page 85!) is the following quote on page 91:

The Purple Sage cursed and waxed sorely pissed and cried out in a loud voice: A pox upon the accursed Illuminati of Bavaria; may their seed take no root.

May their hands tremble, their eyes dim and their spines curl up, yea, verily, like unto the backs of snails; and may the vaginal orifices of their women be clogged with Brillo pads.

For they have sinned against God and Nature; they have made of life a prison; and they have stolen the green from the grass and the blue from the sky. And so saying, and grimacing and groaning, the Purple Sage left the world of men and women and retired to the desert in despair and heavy grumpiness.

But the High Chapperal laughed, and said to the Erisian faithful: Our brother torments himself with no cause, for even the malign Illuminati are unconscious pawns of the Divine Plane of Our Lady.

—Mordecai Malignatus, K.N.S.,“The Book of Contradictions,” Liber 555

This passage seems quite similar to other excerpts in Illuminatus!—by Lord Omar Khayyam Ravenhurst (aka Kerry Thornley) and Malaclypse the Younger (aka Greg Hill)—that are taken from the Discordian Holy books, such as Lord Omar’s The Honest Book of Truth, and that were also previously quoted in the bible of Discordianism, Principia Discordia.

For years, many suspected that The Honest Book of Truth never actually existed, other than a few quotes that Kerry Thornley cooked up… but now, at last, the truth can be told! Lord Omar (Kerry) did indeed compose a work called The Honest Book of Truth, a 15 page irreligious tract that will be reproduced in its entirety in my forthcoming book, Historia Discordia: The Origins of the Discordian Society.

As a sidebar, when I was talking to RAW once regarding his thoughts on Thornley as a writer, he told me that Kerry’s most significant work was The Honest Book of Truth—a comment I didn’t know what to make of at the time, because I, like most everyone else, believed that the book never actually existed.

Mordecai Malignatus, of course, was RAW’s Discordian alias, and in the above passage he speaks of The Purple Sage, a character Thornley first introduced in The Honest Book Of Truth. As for “The Book of Contradictions,” Liber 555, I’m guessing this was a made-up Discordian Holy book that RAW never actually composed, excerpt for the above passage which seems like a takeoff on The Honest Book of Truth.

It can indeed get quite confusing trying to make sense of all this, Hail Eris!

4 replies on “Week 9 of the Illuminatus! Group Reading”

I assumed “The Book of Contradictions,” Liber 555 was a transparent reference to “The Book of Lies – Which is also Falsely Called BREAKS. The Wanderings or Falsifications of the One Thought of Frater Perdurabo, which Thought is itself Untrue. Liber CCCXXXIII”, one of Wilson’s favorites of Crowley’s works.
Were any other original Discordians serious students of Crowley?

While RAW was the most hardcore into Crowley of the early Discordians, most were aware of The Great Beast to some extent, and much of this knowledge was probably due to RAW’s influence. As I recall, Bob Newport (Hypoc Magoun) told me once that he was involved in RAW’s magick ritual workshops that were conducted in California in the mid 70’s, although it doesn’t seem that many of the others were ever really much involved in the whole ritual magick scene of the period.

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