After a long hiatus, we’ve reemerged with a new domain. We strive to be the online archive for Sombunall Things Robert Anton Wilson. To keep current all things RAW, we suggest Tom Jackson’s RAWIllumination blog.
Over 10 years ago, I discovered that I could save MSword documents as html files and upload them to my ISP user home page, and RAWilsonFans was born out of the alt.fan.rawilson FAQAFUQ (Frequently Answered Questions and Frequently Unanswered Questions), the Crowley article from The Realist, and The Chocolate Biscuit Conspiracy mp3s I liberated from Napster. Marc “elmyr” Lutter developed the original FAQAFUQ with the help of many of the alt.fan.rawilson regulars back around 1999-2000 and I always felt it needed a more prominent presence on the web. Over the years, I’ve received contributions from a variety of folks across the infosphere and wish I had kept better records on all that. Wilson-heads Eric Wagner and Michael “RMJon23” Johnson deserve special mention for their extensive help, advice, and contributions, and now RAW blogger Tom Jackson deserves a shout-out for his recent efforts in analog to digital conversion.
A few years ago, Joseph Matheny began hosting this site on the Alterati servers, and now he has converted the base site to this new platform. With the new platform, we’ve gone through and updated all the links and content, and added a wealth of new material that has emerged over the past year or two. Take a look around and fnord.
It has been a long while since this site has had an update and many of the links below may have already crossed your path.
One of the most requested items (2nd only to The Sex Magicians) I’ve had over the years is the Mystic Fire movie Borders, with Steve Buscemi, which has only very recently been uploaded to YouTube in one full, uncut video by the prolific RAWarchive channel.
I’ve completed and published a long anticipated index of the Realist Archive Project.
If you’ve never been to Tom Jackson’s RAW Illumination blog, set aside some time prior to venturing into the featured contents including a dozen new essays, two new interviews, and a handful of collected letters.
Other videos incude the Prophets Conference from Dec, 2000 and a gig with Leary from 1998 in LA. Meanwhile, 3 new interviews have been added to the roster: Obscure Research Interview 1991, Rabbit Warren Report 1997, and Future Life Interview, Sept 1981.
Last but not least, we have an audio interview on Finnegans Wake and Joseph Campbell.
Scott writes a series of three posts on Wilson including a round about discussion on Wilson’s influence on comic books.
In honor of the 5th anniversary of Wilson’s departure from the physical plane, Boing-Boing is celebrating RAW Week with contributions and remembrances by Paul Krasner, Douglas Ruskoff, Antero Alli, Jay Kinney, R.U. Sirius, Erik Davis, Ivan Stang, Richard Metzger, David Jay Brown, RAW blogger Tom Jackson, and more.
The RU Sirius Show, #78: Robert Anton Wilson Lives! with Lance Bauscher and Eric Wagner.
“We talk about the great writer/ philosopher/ prankster Robert Anton Wilson with Lance Bauscher, director of the documentary “Robert Anton Wilson – Maybe Logic” and the force behind the “Maybe Logic Academy.” And we talk to Eric Wagner, author of “An Insider’s Guide to Robert Anton Wilson.” And best of all, Bauscher brought in some reading/performances from the upcoming audio book version of The Illuminatus Trilogy!, which will be released by his Deepleaf Production company.”
(Wilson posted the following to the Maybe Logic Academy main forum back in April of 2005)
My first interview with a Russian magazine….
1. Tell something about yourself for Russian readers.
I have 35 books in print in my own country, and they seem to stay in print. Some also have infiltrated Germany, Greece, Japan, Brazil, the Scandanavian countries etc. This seems remarkable to me because I don’t believe in anything — my whole philosophy consists of non-philosophy: persistent and vehement agnosticism — but I still remain just popular enough to stay in circulation. I’m not sure I understand why. Maybe the world has more cynics and relativists than any of our diverse Establishments suspect?
2. It seems like you want to see marijuana regulations liberalized, why?
Right now, I have personal reasons — marijuana helps a good deal with my post-polio symptoms – but I have always opposed the currentUSAanti-drug laws since I first heard about them, for three reasons.  the drugs on the Tabu list seem selected by highly eccentric and unscientific methods; I suspect commercial motives. As Lenin said, when you see injustice, ask: cui bono? I suspect that “our” government acts to support the major drug corporations and to stifle competition. 2. Because of its very nature, a War Against Some Drugs cannot succeed without the full apparatus of a totalitarian state, and I dread that; need I explain why? 3. At 73, I don’t feel like a child and i resent being treated like one by our Drug Tsar. I supported a wife and 4 children for most of my adult life. I think me and my doctor know what’s best for my health better than a Tsarist bureaucrat 3000 miles away, who hasn’t even given me a medical examination. I mean, it’s like living in a Kafka novel.
3. Is there any correlation between Taoists sense of humor and your sense of humor?
I often quote the old Chinese proverb, “The wise become Confucian in good times, Buddhist in bad times and Daoist in old age.” Since we live in good times [technologically], bad times [politically], and I feel as old as the last dinosaur, I’ve become Confucian-Buddhist- Daoist all in one package. I try to treat all people kindly, or at least politely, in Confucian terms; my empathy with all sentient critters has increased, in quite Buddhist manner; and I grow increasingly detached from fixed ideas and emotions, in the Daoist mood. I don’t know whether to consider this Wisdom or just senility, but it appears harmless and doesn’t seem illegal, immoral or fattening.
4. Is there any real conspiracy that affects global processes?
I suspect that not one “conspiracy” but dozens —or hundreds — of competing gangs of goons affect global and local processes. On any given day, one of these bands of Great Pirates might have more clout than the others, bit it’s seldom the same gang for two days, much less two years. Not to appear evasive,the gangs I would worry about the most, if still inclined to worry, would include the Vatican/Mafia mob, the Orange gang [Dutch-English bankers, who own American banking, too]], the CIA, fundamentalist Islam in general, and the World Bank. But they all have lots of rivals.
5. What would you say to someone claiming there is Global Government?
I think I already said it.To say it again, I’ll quote Juang Ju: “There is no governor anywhere.”
6. What is the most disgusting prejudice can you point out?
That seems totally relative…asked the most disgusting, to me, I’d have to say the American prejudice against intelligence in politics. I don’t know where that began– we didn’t start that way — our first three presidents included two of the best minds of their century, Adams and Jefferson, and George Washington doesn’t seem a nitwit either….but nowadays any inadvertent revelation of intelligence by anybody in politics means their career dies immediately. We have lots of intelligent people in the sciences and arts, but politiics remains closed to them. I guess that results from the success of what George Bush calls “faith-based organizations.”
7. Tell us, what do you think of democracy?
CONSTITUTIONAL democracy, with strict limits on government powers, seems to me the best possible government, if we must have government. Without constitutional limits, democracy easily becomes another damned tyranny. I’d also accept a constitutional monarchy, like the Decembrists. But I remain, in my heart of hearts, an anarchist. I’d prefer contractual syndicates to any government.
8.AmericaandRussia, how do you see relationship between our countries?
I don’t feel informed enough to speculate, beyond saying I feel damned glad the Cold War has ended and I don’t have to fear that either of our crazy governments will start heaving H-bombs around
9. What do you think of the works of L. R. Hubbard?
What do you think of Stalin and Hitler?
10. What is conventional logic down side?
Aristotle’s damned either/or doesn’t make any sense to me. My thinking — or my stumbling and fumbling efforts to think — derives largely from non-Aristotelian systems. That includes von Neumann’s three-valued logic [true, false, maybe], Rappoport’s four-valued logic [true, false, indeterminate, meaningless], Korzybski’s multi-valued logic [degrees of probability.] and also Mahayana Buddhist paradoxical logic [it “is” A. it “is” not A, it “is” both A and not A, it “is” neither A nor not A]. But, as an extraordinarily stupid fellow, I can’t use such systems until I reduce them to terms a simple mind like mine can handle, so I just preach that we’d all think and act more sanely if we had to use “maybe” a lot more often. Can you imagine a world with Jerry Falwell hollering “Maybe Jesus ‘was’ the son of God and maybe he hates Gay people as much as I do” — or every tower in Islam resounding with “There ‘is’ no God except maybe Allah and maybe Mohammed is his prophet”?
Why, the world might go stark staring sane!
11. In Maybe logic when one would encounter multiple options where to forward one’s conclusions, what is a guiding light for those who implement maybe logic groundings in applied studies?
Don’t believe ANYthing. You will, of course, still have some suspicions and prejudices, but keep them in that category. Don’t ever elevate any of them to dogmas. Be prepared to learn more, even in startling and annoying ways.
12. Do you agree with such popular inRussiadichotomy (Due to Marx heritage) – mind – matter?
I rather tend toward the view of physicist David Bohm that the words “mind” and “matter” create endless confusion and should get put on the back shelf in a box labeled “Discarded Nonsense.” At most we should speak of “mind-like and matter-like phenomena.”
13. If there were Aliens what do you think they would be up to humankind-wise?
Any aliens aware of humanity would probably find us cute but possibly dangerous — sort of like I feel about polar bears. Or maybe that represents projection on my part — I find most humans cute but dangerous, not as cute as the bears but much more dangerous
14. How would you correlate Oriental and Western cultures?
I don’t know enough to generalize beyond their religions. I have a strong affinity with Confucianism, Daosim and Buddhism, which gives me a slight pro-Oriental bias. I regard Judaism, Christianity and Islam as three of the worst cults ever invented. Monotheism seem like intellectual poison to me. I fear all faith-based systems, including secular ideologies, which all seem like hangovers from the monotheistic dark ages.
15. If someone asked you – ‘Do you believe in God’ – what would you say?
Hell, no! Oddly, I don’t consider myself an atheist, though– not in the ordinary sense. The universe seems fundamentally rational to me, but I see no signs of a central government or a Tsar. The cybernetic concept of feedback and the Chinese concept of the Dao account for the intelligence I see in the world. To me, in my ignorance, Juang Ju’s axiom “There is no Governor anywhere” implies that “government” resides non-locally, as in a cybernetic system… or an anarchist syndicate maybe….
16. What is your favorite book?
Beyond all doubt, Joyce’s FINNEGANS WAKE.
17. What would you recommend to young people?
Don’ believe anything i say: think for yourself.
18. There is a prejudice among some Russian people that Americans are stupid, how would you comment on that?
I feel staggered. I can’t and won’t deny it. I just don’t know enough to generalize about 200,000,000 people, especially since that group includes me…For all I know, our Nobel scientists compare unfavorably with other Nobel winners, our dentists with other dentists, our carpenters with other carpenters, our grocers with other grocers , and [gulp] even our novelists with others, and so on. I simply haven’t done enough travel to offer an informed opinion, and I defer to those who have.
19. What future according to you mankind is facing today?
I’m an unabashed optimist. I agree with Marx that politics follows economics, but I also agree with Buckminster Fuller that economics follows technology — and technology seems to lead more and more to decentralization of control or “Green” alternatives. Also we’re doing more with less energy every decade. Once we reach the point where Internet replaces all — or most — functions of government, we’ll solve the rest of our problems easily.
20. Do you think formal education is necessary?
That would depend on your ambitions. Most questions have no one answer. What you want determines what you have to do to get it.
21. What do you consider your most important single idea?
My “Idiot of the Century” Law. This has two sides. First, if you occasionally suspect that you have acted like the Idiot of the Century, you will act a little less like the Idiot of the Century, and the more often you entertain that suspicion, the less of an Idiot you become. Conversely, if you never confront such dark suspicions, every idiocy that ever enters your head will stay there and you might actually become the certified, undisputed Idiot of the Century, despite the heavy competition.
22. What do you think of George Bush?
Well, he never suspects he might qualify as the Idiot of the Century, so I think he has a good chance…
23. Where can people learn more about your ideas?
But be careful. It just might be me, not Bush, who really qualifies as the Idiot of the Century….
Introduction to Adam Weishaupt’s Diogenes’ Lamp
by Robert Anton Wilson
Rarely is the question asked: Is our children learning? –George W. Bush
The only book you’ve got to read is The Godfather. That’s the only one that tells how the world is really run. –Roberto Calvi, President, Banco Ambrosiano; stretched, London, 18/6/1982
Adam Weishaupt founded — or revived — the secret Order of the Illuminati on May 1, 1776; that much seems like Historical Fact. All else remains disputed and heatedly controversial.
Most historians believe the Illuminati originally recruited only high degree Freemasons, and every generation since 1785 — when the Bavarian government discovered and outlawed the Illuminati — Freemasons have faced the charge that they remain “under Illuminati control.”
They all deny it, of course.
Well, not all of them; a Scotch Freemason, John Robison, in his Proofs of a Conspiracy , claimed the damned Illuminati had taken over Continental European Masonry; he wrote chiefly to warn the lodges of England, Scotland and Ireland against a similar coup.
Ever since Robison, the Masonic/Illuminati debate has included those who think the Weishauptians have taken over all Freemasoic lodges, those like Robison who think they’ve only infiltrated some, and those, including the Encyclopedia Britannica, who see Illuminism as a “short-lived movement of Republican free thought” which never had a major influence on Masonry — or on anything else.
But the Illuminati debate covers a lot more ground than that.
For example: Kris Millegan in his Fleshing Out Skull & Bones presents that Yale society as a branch of the Illuminati. In case you don’t know, some prominent Bonesmen have included Bush I, Bush II, Henry Luce of Time, Justice Potter Stewart, an all-star cast of the Captains of American banking, publishing and politics, and most of the directors of the C.I.A….. oh, yes, and John Kerry.
Sure you really want to know more about this?
From another angle, Akron Daraul, in his History of Secret Societies, argues that Weishaupt did not invent but only refurbished the Illuminati, which he relates to earlier movements known as the Holy Vehm (Germany), Allumbrados (Spain),Roshinaya (Persia) etc.; while the more exuberant John Steinbacher in Novus Ordo Seclorum traces them all the way back to the Garden of Eden! They were founded, he says, by Cain, the son not of the holy marriage of Adam and Eve but of an illicit and Satanic coupling between Eve and the Serpent.
How’s that for Hot Stuff? Bestiality, Satanism and all the themes for a new X Files movie……
Meanwhile, Eliphas Levi’s History of Magic traces the Illuminati back to Zarathustra and claims its secret doctrine came down to Weishaupt via Manichaeism, the Knights Templar and Freemasonry. This places them as part of the same occult tradition as Giordano Bruno, Dr. John Dee, Aleister Crowley and the Sufis of Islam.
But on the fourth or fifth hand, a British researcher named Nesta Webster sees the Illuminati as the brains behind socialism, communism, anarchism, and the Prussian government from 1776 to 1918. [She wrote shortly after England’s first war with the latter.]
On the sixth hand, J.F.,C. Moore argues that the Illuminati, a secret source of fascist occultism, inspired such odd birds as Aaron Burr, Adolf Hitler and J. Edgar Hoover; but Philip Campbell Argyle-Smith clams they are extraterrestrial invaders from the planet Vulcan. They call themselves “Jews” on this planet, he adds.
Whether that means all Jews “are” Vulcans or only some of them seems unclear to me, but the most famous Vulcan, Mr. Spock, “is” Jewish insofar as being performed by a Jewish actor makes one at least partially “Jewish,” whatever that means.
Maybe Argyle-Smith has looked at too many Star Trek movies.
He also credits the Illuminized Vulcans with managing the Thugs of India, the Zionists in Israel, the Rothschild banks, the Communist International, the Theosophical Society, Freemasonry and the Assassins of medieval Afghanistan. I don’t know why he left out George Bush and Al Qaeda; probably he just wrote too soon.
Another Cosmic Illuminati theory appeared in the East Village Other June 1969; it included Skull & Bones, the Rothschilds, the Nation of Islam [“Black Muslims”], Richard Nixon, the Black Panthers, the Bank of America, the Rosicrucians, the Holy Vehm, the Federal Reserve and the Combine’s Fog Machine. That one must contain some hidden jokes [I hope].
According to the RogerSpark, a radical Chicago newspaper [July 1969] Weishaupt actually murdered George Washington and served in his place for his two terms as president.[Then who wrote Weishaupt’s books? Hegel maybe; they sounds like him at times……]
The John Birch Society, of course, has a different slant on all this. According to Gary Allen, the editor of their news magazine, American Opinion, Adam Weishaupt “was” a “monster” but the Illuminati only got really monstrous after its capture by English adventurer/billionaire Cecil Rhodes, who used it to establish British domination of the world. The Council on Foreign Relations acts as its most important “front” in the U.S. today, according to Allen.
Sandra Glass, however, thinks of the Illuminati as a group of clandestine pot-heads [cannabis abusers] which included the medieval Assassins, Weishaupt, Goethe, Washington, the first mayor Richard Daly of Chicago and Ludvig van Beethoven.
“Beethoven?” you may gasp. Well, oddly enough, a recent, scholarly and non-conspiratorial biography of the great Ludwig van, by Maynard Solmon, says Mr B wrote some of his music under commission from the Illuminati and had many friends in the Order itself. Solomon doesn’t mention the pot, though; maybe Ludvig, like a recent president with a perpetual hard-on, didn’t inhale.
Then again, Adam Gorightly in The Prankster and the Conspiracy claims that all recent Illuminati research [post-1960s] has become confused and chaotic because of a hoax conspiracy, also called the Illuminati, founded by one Kerry Thornley, a man accused of involvement in the JFK assassination by New Orleans D.A. Jim Garrison. According to Gorightly, this neo-Illuminati aims only to bedevil and mock the efforts of sincere conspiracy researchers, and he even accuses the author of this essay [me, R.A.W.] of involvement in this Fiendish Plot!
I, of course, refuse to dignify this absurd charge with a denial, which nobody would believe anyway. Besides, as Rev. Ivan Stang of the Church of the Sub-Genius says in Maybe Logic, “Well, if I was a member of the Illuminati, I wouldn’t say so, would I?”
We are not victims of the world we see, we are victims of the way we see the world.
— Dennis Kucinich
I think God is sending us a message: “If you can’t take a joke, go fuck yourselves.”
What does this book reveal about the “real” Adam Weishaupt and the “real” Illuminati?
A book works like a mirror, somebody said once: when a monkey looks in, no philosopher looks out. I can only tell you what this book seems to me; others, I feel certain, will find other things in it — including coded references to Vulcans, Skull & Bones, Zarathustra, the Holy Vehm, communism, Mary Magdalene, the Federal Reserve, the Combine’s Fog Machine et.al.
To me, this book seems to support the most cautious and conservative of my sources, the Encyclopedia Britannica, and old Adam looks much like a weary defender of “Republican free thought,” 18th Century style. In other words, he seems a distant relative, philosophically speaking, of Adam Smith, Hume, Voltaire, Jefferson, Franklin, Tom Paine — i.e. of all those libertarian ideas currently as unfashionable in this country as in the Bavaria in Weishaupt’s day. I know why he seems weary to me: trying to teach liberation to people who feel reconciled to their slavery can really grind you down, in 1804 or 2004…
I also think I see an influence of Kant, and perhaps a foreshadowing of Hegel, in the semantic structure used continually by Weishaupt — “X seems true; not-X also seems true; we’ll have to think more about that.” Aquinas did the same trick, but always comes down on the side of safe orthodoxy, Papist flavor. Weishaupt throws the ball back to the reader,although you may not always catch him doing that.
I do not see any conclusive proof that the Illuminati plotted anything nefarious or even illegal, except insofar as free thought itself remained illegal in southern Europe. But I also don’t see any conclusive proof that they wouldn’t and couldn’t and didn’t do nasty things. As a secret society hidden inside the secret society of Freemasonry, the Illuminati will always remain somewhat mysterious, and pedants and paranoids will argue about it until the last galoot’s ashore.
Perhaps Tom Jefferson got it right, when he said that secret societies seemed necessary in Europe, haunted by monarchy and Papism, but not in the United States. Certainly, when the Constitution remained the law of the land [i.e. before the Supremes (s)elected Bozo] no sane person would feel the need for secret societies here. Do I dare add “But now with the Constitution in cryonic suspension –“?
No: I better not….better safe than sorry….
On the other hand, not just secret societies but secrecy itself or even privacy seem increasingly impossible under the reign of George III.
They have hidden cameras everywhere.
They bug our phones.
If they want to, they can “read” every keystroke on my computer, including this one:
They can even pry into the contents of our bladders, in random tests explicitly forbidden by that wonderful, moribund Constitution. Sweet grieving Jesus, there’s no place we can escape or hide or feel alone, is there?
Sometimes, tossing and trying to sleep in the wee hours, I explore the ideas rejected by my skeptical waking mind. Maybe the most paranoid fantasies about the Illuminati contain some truth. .. maybe….
Maybe the All-Seeing Eye on the dollar bill does represent the totally fascist state those bastards want.
Maybe all those Internet rants about Skull and Bones serving as a recruiter for the Illuminati have some foundation in fact, after all.
Maybe we should really worry when the choice in the next election remains limited to two rich Bonesmen…What is it Weishaupt wrote?– “Whoever is rich — very rich — can do anything….”
Maybe we should regard “Illuminati” as a generic term, or a metaphor?
Maybe every Power Structure acts a lot like the most paranoid fantasies about the Illuminati, especially when it feels threatened.?
No, no — that way lies madness, schizophrenia and Usenet trolls. After some sound sleep, I wake, the shadows flee, and I remember that “all’s for the best in this best of all possible worlds.”
Voltaire didn’t intend that as sarcasm, did he?
Robert Anton Wilson
Somewhere in Occupied U.S.A.
23 February 2004
Recommended Reading and viewing:
Argyle-Smith, Philip Campbell — High IQ Bulletin, Colorado Springs 1970, IV, 1
Bauscher, Lance — MaybeLogic, http://www.maybelogic.com
Daraul, Akron — History of Secret Societies, Citadel Press NY, 1961.
Ellul, Jacques — Violence, Seabury Press, NY,1969.
Glass, Sandra — “The Conspiracy,” Teenset, March 1969.
Gorightly, Adam — The Prankster and the Conspiracy, ParaView Press, NY, 2003.
Gurwin, Larry — The Calvi Affair, Pan Books, London, 1984.
Knight, Stephen — The Brotherhood, Grenada, London, 1984.
Levi, Eliphas — History of Magic, Borden Publishing, Los Angeles, 1963.
Millegan, Kris — Fleshing Out Skull & Bones,Trineday, Walterville, OR, 2003.
Moore, J.f.C. — “The Nazi Religion,” Libertarian American, August 1969.
Morals, Vamberto — Short History of Anti-Semitism, Norton, NY, 1976.
Robison, John — Proofs of a Conspiracy, Christian Book Club, Hawthorn, CA, 1961.
Solomon, Maynard — Beethoven, Schirmer Books, NY, 1977.
Vankin, Jonathan — Conspiracies, Cover-Ups and Crimes, IllumiNet Press, Lillburn,GA, 1996.
Webster, Nesta — World Revolution, Constable, London, 1921.
Wilgus, Neal — The Illuminoids, Sun Press, Albuquerque NM, 1977.