Category Archives: Letters

Letters from Robert Anton Wilson

The Realist Archive

realist banner

With the completion of The Realist Archive Project, we present an index of contributions to The Realist by Robert Anton Wilson:

Man Becomes What He Hates (short poem)
No 6, February 1959

The Semantics of ‘God’
No. 8, May 1959

“Splitting Bad Hairs” and “Wilson Replies”  (letters on “The Semantics of ‘God'”)
No. 9, June/July 1959

Negative Thinking: DETERGENT DEMOCRACY
No. 10, August 1959

Negative Thinking: A COLUMN OF MISCELLANEOUS HERESIES
No. 11, September 1959

Negative Thinking: Sex Education for the Modern Liberal Adult   (text)
No 12, October 1959, reprinted in The Best of The Realist 

Negative Thinking: Notes on a Skeptical Mystic
No 13, November 1959

To the White Citizen’s Councils
Negative Thinking: The Morality of Head-Hunting
No 14, December 1959/Janurary 1960

Negative Thinking
No 15, February 1960

NEGATIVE THINKING: The Doctor with the Frightened Eyes
No. 16, March 1960, reprinted in Coincidance

Negative Thinking: Letter to a Lady in Iowa (on Caryl Chessman)
No. 17, May 1960

An Impolite Interview with Albert Ellis questions by Krassner and Wilson
Supplement  – May 1960, reprinted from Issues 16 and 17

NEGATIVE THINKING: The Semantics of the ‘Soul,’ Part One
No. 18, June 1960

negative thinking: Ezra Pound at Seventy-Five
No. 19, July/August 1960

negative thinking: The Semantics of ‘Soul’, Part Two
No 20, October 1960

negative thinking: The New Art of the Brave
No 22, December 1960

negative thinking: Is Capitalism a Revealed Religion?
No. 27, June 1961

negative thinking: What I Didn’t Learn at College   (text)
No. 29, September 1961

negative thinking: Letter to a Man in Washington
No. 30, December 1961

negative thinking: [on Hugh Hefner]   (text)
No. 41, July 1963

Timothy Leary and his Psychological H-Bomb   (text)
No. 52, August 1964

The Anatomy of Schlock by A Nonymous Hack   (text)
No. 62, September 1965, reprinted in The Best of The Realist

The Fatal Snowball Fight on Cumberland Avenue
No. 65, March 1966, reprinted in The Illuminati Papers

Three Authors in Search of Sadism or Thirteen Choruses for the Divine Marquis
No. 67, May 1966, reprinted in Coincidance

The Cybernetic Revolution   (text)
No. 72, December 1966

The Great Beast – Aleister Crowley   (text)
Nos. 91-B, 91-C, 92-A, 92-C; Winter 1971-72

Married: Connubial Bliss Blues
No. 100 – Jan-Feb 1986

Why I Voted For Michael Dukakis
No. 108, Winter 1989

The Future is Coming!
No. 111, Winter 1990, reprinted in part in Cosmic Trigger 2

Is Alan Cranston Full of Shit?
No. 114, Fall 1990

The First International Orgasm Conference
No. 117, Summer 1991

Out of the Innsmouth Triangle   (text)
No. 120, Summer 1992

The Persistence of False Memory
No. 124, Summer 1993

Tim Leary is Tripping Again
No. 133, Summer 1996

excerpts from Everything Is Under Control
No. 140, Autumn 1998

 

ronald-reagan

1990 Letter to LAT

Los Angeles Times

May 14, 1990

In Academe, Misogyny Meets Its Match: Misandrosy: Behavior: The uproar at Mills College illustrates a nasty new trend: man-hating. What parent would send a son into such an environment?

Author: PATRICK M. ARNOLD; Father Patrick M. Arnold, SJ, assistant professor of theology at the University of San Diego, is writing a book on masculine spirituality

Op Ed Desk
Edition: Home Edition
Section: Metro
Page: B-5
Index Terms: Opinion

The images in the news were startling: distraught women students sobbing uncontrollably, their faces contorted in pain and anger. The ensuing interviews bespoke rage and revenge: student strikes called, resignations demanded, marches organized, donations cut off. What atrocity had merited such an outbreak? What injustice had the students suffered?

The trustees of all-women Mills College in Oakland had just decided to permit young males to begin their college education at this school. Next year, unless the protests succeed, a few teen-age boys will arrive at Mills and, amid 772 women, start using the library, taking notes, reading and–worst of all–asking questions in class. Which is exactly what the hysterical students and some of their ultra-feminist professors are afraid of. Why? Because, a Mills teacher tells us, research “proves ” that the presence of men victimizes women students: that male students talk too much, ask too many questions and interrupt too often, thereby intimidating women and preventing their education. (This, by the way, was news to my students at co-ed University of San Diego.)

All of this uproar and rhetoric, and the pseudo-research behind it, exemplifies an emerging social force that is increasingly making itself felt on modern men, especially the young. It is the shadow side of the extreme feminist movement, an ideology of hate whose name is not yet found in the dictionary. I term it misandrosy (Greek: “hatred of men”), the mirror opposite of misogyny. Misandrosy, not yet as widespread or harmful as misogyny but not yet as well recognized, either, is beginning to show itself mainly in liberal circles in the arts, literature, religion, media and academia.

In general, this man-hating ideology holds that most males are naturally violent, dominating and patriarchal, and therefore forever on the verge of rape, child abuse and wife-battering. Talk-show hosts like Oprah Winfrey traffic in this male-bashing prejudice with lurid programs during the afternoon television hate-hour (“Male Child-Molesters and the Women Who Love Them”). Popular novels and movies portray males, especially African-Americans, as inevitably cruel and nearly worthless (“The Color Purple,” “The Women of Brewster Place”). Shelves of sexist books (Riane Eisler’s “The Chalice and the Blade”) claim that men (and their male gods) have ruined all history since the idyllic days of the Neolithic Age when women (and their goddesse s) held beneficent sway. Carl Sagan even pompously informs us that the whole planet is imminently endangered by “testosterone poisoning.”

In this climate, any pride in being male is quickly squelched (“male chauvinism”). Men are supposed to submit to continual brow-beating about their “problem” of masculinity in order to expiate for their past sins and, possibly, get the cure.

Like all hate ideologies (racism, anti-Semitism, homophobia), misandrosy portrays itself as righteous and its purveyors as victims, put-upon, endangered and beleaguered. Special steps are therefore demanded to prevent the dangerous “them” from living in “our” neighborhood, taking “our” jobs, or, in the case of Mills, going to “our” schools. The rest of “us,” in turn, are supposed to feel sympathetic to such victimization and therefore supportive of the protests, demonstrations and strikes.

In the case of Mills, the rhetoric seems to have worked. None of the many media stories that I saw contained the slightest criticism or questioning of the professors’ “research” or the students’ demands. Yet these attitudes are no less hateful than white students screaming at James Meredith in Mississippi or ignorant teachers trying to prevent Ryan White from studying in Indiana. In those two cases, public opinion rightly rejected the notion that a young black man or an AIDS sufferer pursuing his education endangered or victimized anyone. Not so at Mills.

Perhaps that is because misandrosy is more widespread and subtle than we thought. Remember: The Mills trustees voted to allow males at their school, not because young men in Oakland might desperately need more opportunities for obtaining a solid education, or even to expose female students to different companions and viewpoints. Men will come to Mills, we are told, solely to bring in more revenue. Because that is the one thing people think men are good for–making money.

That is why I would discourage parents from sending their teen-age boys into the toxic sexist environment at Mills. Send them to a mature co-ed college instead, a school where they can study, read, think and ask all the questions they want–and not feel hated for it.

—————————————————————————————————

Los Angeles Times

May 31, 1990

Misandrosy and Mills College Students’ Battle to Bar Men

By Letters Desk
Edition: Home Edition
Section: Metro
Page: B-6
Index Terms: Letter to the Editor

As a male who has suffered the slings and arrows of outrageous feminism, I have some sympathy for the complaints of Arnold about the blatant misandrosy now raging in the land.

However, Arnold’s debating techniques do not inspire confidence. In referring to the research cited by the Mills rebels he calls it “pseudo-research.” He does not offer any rebuttal; he evidently thinks name-calling can pass for argument.

Also, in attacking misandrosy, Arnold picks some mighty strange targets. Riane Eisler seems to me entirely free of misandrosy; indeed her book is dedicated to her husband, and her ideal “partnership society” is one of equality, unlike the matriarchies posited by the real man-haters in the feminist movement, such as Robin Morgan or Susan Brownmiller.

It is a pity that Arnold has discredited his argument with these shoddy techniques because misandrosy is a real and dangerous trend. If anybody spoke of Jews, African Americans, Latinos, gays, or even foot-fetishists in the way many leading feminists speak of men in the major media he would be suspended, forced to apologize and perhaps successfully sued for libel.

Incidentally, the misandrosy of our time, nutty as it is, is a direct response to the misogyny spouted by the Christian clergy for 2000 years. Why does not the Rev. Arnold address that issue?

ROBERT ANTON WILSON

Los Angeles

 

(submitted to RAWilsonFans.com by RMJon23)

Brief letter to High Times

From High Times, July 1976, letters to the editor.  Responding to something psychedelic church founder and former Millbrook resident and author Art Kleps asserted in the March ’76 HT interview: that Timothy Leary wrote Illuminatus!

Illiteratus!

We noted Art Kleps’ plug in your March interview and we appreciate his efforts to promote our book by surrounding it with a little mystery and allure. In the interest of accurate transmission, however, we must state that the Boo Hoo made a boo-booo. Dr. Leary is a good friend and a great scientist, but he did not write Illuminatus!Countless wives, sweethearts, friends, intelligence agencies, secret societies, visiting extra-terrestrials, et cetera, had us under close observation in 1969-71, while the pages of the trilogy emerged from our typewriters and Dr. Leary was imprisoned in the California archipelago, in North Africa and in Switzerland.

A solipsist to whom it makes no difference whether he is smoking Colombian gold or oregano, Kleps is welcome to remain owner and sole proprietor of his own universe, in which Dr. Leary wrote Illuminatus! But in the objective universe of factual validation, the only begetters of that accursed neo-Necronomicon were – and remain – very truly yours.

-Robert Shea, Glencoe, Ill., and
Robert Anton Wilson, Berkeley, Ca.

(submitted to rawilsonfans.org by RMJon23)

Letter to Green Egg, March 1976

letter to the Forum of Green Egg
from Vol. IX, No. 77, Ostara, March 1976

Dear Green Eggers:

Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the law.

Comments on the Oimelc issue:

1. Thanks for the kind words about ILLUMINATUS.

2. If Phoenix and Theos are weeping in their pillows about being excommunicated by Lady Ariane, let them take heart from my own career.  I’ve been excommunicated from the Discordian Society over 50 times now.  Every now and then, I still experience buzzing and tingling sensations, shooting bolts of blue energy in the frontal lobes and weird neo-Bartok melodies; then I realize it’s just another Discordian cabal excommunicating me again.

3. Jana Hollingsworth made an excellent point in noting that a male can be a radical feminist, by Webster’s definition of “radical” and “feminist.”  Yea, verily, and indeed.  Intelligence is a process of detecting, and detaching oneself from, all local parochialities and chauvinisms, including racism, sexism, nationalism and the recently noted “type G star chauvinism” (Sagan) and “electro-magnetic chauvinism (Sarfatti.)

Alas, Hollingsworth, who made her point in rebuttal to Herman Slater’s broadside blast against radical feminists, immediately repeats Slater’s error by issuing a broadside blast against “libertarianism,” without definitions or qualifications.  Libertarianism includes, along with Smith and Locke, Spooner and Tucker and Spencer and Kroputkin and Baez and Heinlein and Goodman and Stirner (to name a few.)  It is to be hoped that next time around Hollingsworth will define what kind of libertarianism she dislikes.  That might even inspire Slater to define what type of radical feminism he dislikes.

Although the general exchange of semantically-meaningless insult is fun (for some readers), intelligent and meaningful debate is also fun (for other readers.)

4. R. Myron deserves great credit for his (or her) honesty in admitting the inability to understand Crowley’s books.  Indeed, Myron deserves sympathy and encouragement, and maybe even a fund to provide a few courses in semantics and remedial reading.  Alas, Myron deserves a horse laugh also, for the vulgar error of assuming that “what R. Myron can’t understand is not understandable.”  There are quite a few around who have been able to understand (and apply) Crowley’s system, with much fun and profit.

5.  I am totally unequipped to evaluate Daniel Blair’s revelations about the lost continent of Atlantis, but I will venture that I hope he knows more about that than he knows about science in general.  His argument (“My criticism of science is that its premises, that experimentation and logic can lead to truth, is neither locally nor experimentally proven.”) is a semantic blob, a verbal knot without content.  Of course, one cannot (should not) use logic to prove logic, which is as absurd as trying to use one’s teeth to bite one’s teeth.  But this is a seeming problem, not a real one.  One uses logic everyday (e.g. in crossing the street, or in looking for a lost fountain pen, etc.) not because it has been proven logically, which would be circular reasoning, but because it is that which seems to work.  That is, the mental processes which seem to give predictability over the hundred thousand years are those which have been codified verbally by Aristotle and mathematically by Boole, Russell et al and called logic.

The same applies, of course, to experiment.  Those procedures which, over the long evolutionary haul, seem to work, are those which are regularly employed by experimenters in strict fashion (and by you and me and probably Blair, when looking for that lost fountain pen, in a less strict fashion.)  We then call them ”experimental method.”  Again, the fact that experiment can’t prove experiment is as irrelevant as the fact that my teeth can’t bite my teeth.

The same circularity infests any human system developed by experience over the aeons.  E.g., “pleasing sounds,” on the ground that musicians have never “proven” that their sounds are more pleasing than, say, a garbage can thrown down the stairs.  Again, this reverses the cart and the horse.  Music is defined as those sounds which human experience has found more pleasing than others.

S.M.I.2L.E.,

Robert Anton Wilson
2510 College
Berkeley, Cal 94704

Letter to Green Egg, September 1975

letter to the editor of Green Egg
from Vol. VIII, No 73, Mabon, September 21, 1975

Dear Green Eggers,

Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the law.

Z Budapest seems to have a positive genius for insulting/offending earthian bipeds of the male gender. Such persons, of course, do not HAVE TO re-act in a mechanical insulted/offended manner. (we are all dreadfully free.) For instance, when I am insulted or offended, I absolutely refuse to re-act. Instead, I act. That is, I use the non-identification technique of Korzybski and Gurdjieff, the so-called “cortical delay” or “Self Remembering,” in which one opens a void within the hyphen of the stimulus-response of the Behaviorist mechanism. In that silent void, anything can hap­pen. Alternatives to being insulted or offended, automatically appear: one can be amused, or find some constructive use for the aroused energy in one’s inner Work, or one can logically analyze how one provoked the insult or offense, etc. etc. etc. (If one finds that one provoked the insult or offense by the garb one happens to be wearing–rich or poor, a male or female body, white or black skin etc.–then one can analyze how the other party was conditioned into such a mechanical emotional reflex and use the insight to search for whatever similar reflexes may still be active in one­self. E.g., having gotten past racism, sexism, human chauvinism and G-Star chauvinism–the latter thanks to Carl Sagan – I am currently working on my vitalism, the bigoted assumption that organic compounds are somehow higher or better than inorganic compounds.)

But I digress (as usual). To return to my point, analogically, a survivor of Buchenwald told a French journalist. “When they came for the Jews, I didn’t protest because I’m not Jewish. When they came for the Communists, I didn’t protest because I’m not a Communist. When they came for the Trade Unionists, I didn’t protest because I’m not a Trade Unionist. Then they came for me.” We owe what remains intact of the Bill of Rights to a motley assortment of Jehovah’s Witnesses, communists, Trotskyists, nazis, atheists and bigots of various stripe who were fanatic enough to fight for their own rights (even while being eager, in many cases, to deprive the rest of us of our rights). The resulting Supreme Court decisions in these “unclean” cases are precisely what, paradoxically, preserved the liberties, such as they are, of all of us. I have never met Z Buda­pest, but I doubt that she can be more difficult or pugnacious than Madalyn Murray O’Hair. We all owe a lot to Madalyn, and we will probably end up owing a lot to Z.

In important civil liberties cases, the ac­cused is often as megalomaniac as Giordano Bruno, as paranoid as Wilhelm Reich (in old age), as conceited and grandiose as Galileo, or as putrid as the local neo-nazis. It doesn’t matter. CIVIL LIBERTIES ARE INDIVISIBLE. I leaped to the defense of Wilhelm Reich, M.D., in 1957, because government book-burning is an attack on all of us, period. It was only 3 years later, in 1960, that I began to suspect there might be some truth in Reich’s “crazy’ orgone theory. CIVIL LIBERTIES ARE INDIVISIBLE. (“If they can take John Han­cock’s wharf, they can take your cow or my barn.” –John Adams) Every day Timothy Leary spends in jail is a day that you or I can spend in jail later, if the Leary convictions are not overturned and ruled unconstitutional. If any belief can be punished on Tuesday, any other belief can be punished on Wednesday. CIVIL LIBERTIES ARE INDI­VISIBLE. Those who will not fight for the civil liberties of those they detest as hard as they will fight for the civil liberties of themselves and their friends, do not deserve, and will not retain, any civil liberties. Government is a hungry monster, and every bite it takes into any­body’s liberty encourages it to take ten bites more.

If the history of Hitler, Stalin and Amerika-unter-Nixon teaches anything, it teaches that the State is the real, immediate enemy of all decent, natural people; and that the heretic of any stripe (even if SHe is plotting to become the next State) is (while SHe remains a heretic and not a State) a valuable ally in two ways (1) SHe can provoke us into new thoughts, which those who agree with us can never do, and (2) by fighting like hell for hir own civil liberties SHe is indirectly helping all the rest of us.

This does not mean or imply that I like Z Budapest personally or that I dislike her. I haven’t met her. If I do meet her, it won’t matter to this position whether I like her or not. The issue is historical; the local actors are unimportant.

Since Walter Breen has revealed (on the authority of two anonymous sources) that Dr. Leary has been brainwashed by the FBI, let me reveal (on the authority of another anonymous source) that Dr. Leary actually died of a sex-change operation in Las Vegas last November. The latter rumor has actually been broadcast on several underground radio stations and is, therefore, even more reliable than Breen’s rumor. Just to add to the fun, let me assure you all that I have in my files a letter in which Leary confesses to working for the Central Intelligence Agency since 1962. (I suppose if he’d said the Illuminati, some fools would think he was joking, but since he said it this way the same fools will think he’s serious.) Behind the mythology, the real Leary has produced his most brilliant two scientific books in the last year and is currently editing a special issue of Spit in the Ocean magazine on Contact with Higher Intelligence; the calibre of the contributors, and of Leary’s own commentaries, will make this issue a landmark in American scientific and literary history.

Why do so few Pagans understand the real rela­tionship between Bugs Bunny and Elmer Fudd? (I will leave it to the engenium of the reader to de­cide whether that koan’s a commentary on the last paragraph of the next paragraph.)

J. Gordon Melton’s statement that Israel Regardie “is said to belong” to the O.T.O. run by Kenneth Grant and (locally) David L. Smith will certainly be news to all three of those earthian bipeds. I certainly hope that they manage to retain their sense of humor when writing to set the record straight. If not, let them recall that Uncle Aleister himself once stated that A.E. Waite was “the disciple Crowley loved best.” (“Whom the Lord loveth, he chastiseth.”) We are all quite comical creatures, when you come to think of it.

I have even heard rumors that I’m the Head of the Bavarian Illuminati, while, as everybody really Inside knows, that monster has two heads, namely Richard, Duc de Palatine, and Daffy, Duc de Hollywood.

J.E.A. Martin’s thoughtful “The Twilight of Science” makes some good points but is, for me at least, vitiated by missing the Most Important Point. (i.e., the one that seems most important to my nervous system…) Classical science was the synergetic product of two previously separate traditions: namely, empirical manual doings (out of the medieval guilds and crafts) and abstract symbolic thinkings (out of rediscovered Greek logic-dialectic). When these two came together, classical science (= logical empiricism) emerged, a synergy, greater than the sum of its two parts. In 300 years, this made more changes, good and bad, than the planet has experienced in the previous 300,000.

Today, a new science is emerging, at a higher synergetic level, combining craft doings, logical thinkings and yogic-shamanic beings. (Or becomings.) The psychedelic research of the 1950s – early 1960s opened the door, which has been opened wider by: the emergence of parapsychology out of the shadows into respectability; the occult revival (and its effect on the more open-minded parapsychologists); the Orientalization of America via yoga, Zen, I Ching, etc. etc.; various feedbacks and interfaces between the above trends; and the continual advance of physics into – well, into the state where a serious research project should be named “The Hunting of the Quark,” after two fantasies by James Joyce and Lewis Carroll respectively. The new science of logical-empirical shamanism will probably be even more revolutionary than the classical science was. (Already it has shaken the Establishment enough to have its own martyrs to set beside Bruno, Gali1eo, Servitius, etc.: in this country, Reich and Leary; in Mexico, Dr. Salvador Roquet; etc.)

Which brings me back to my original point. At such historical junctures, when a new Gestalt is emerging and transformation is rapid, there is an escalation of anxiety, which easily becomes paranoia, and witch-hunts result. Those who do not put maximum effort into defending all civil lib­erties, at such junctures, may be the very next victims of the rising hysteria.

Immortality, Starflight, Higher Intelligence, and hope,

Robert Anton Wilson