Category Archives: Fiction

Fiction from Robert Anton WIlson

The Realist Archive

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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

No. 10, August 1959

No. 11, September 1959

Negative Thinking: Sex Education for the Modern Liberal Adult
No 12, October 1959, reprinted in The Best of The Realist and the Hilaritas Press re-release of Natural Law

Negative Thinking: Notes on a Skeptical Mystic
No 13, November 1959, republished in the Hilaritas Press re-release of Natural Law

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)  (fiction)
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


ILLUMINATUS! character index

an index by Toff Philippo

I=Illuminatus! Trilogy, Dell omnibus

E=Illuminatus! Part I: The Eye in the Pyramid, Dell

G=Illuminatus! Part II: The Golden Apple, Dell

L=Illuminatus! Part III: Leviathan, Dell


to convert page numbers from the omnibus to those of the individual volumes or vice versa:

Illuminatus! Trilogy to Eye in the Pyramid: I=E; E=I

Illuminatus! Trilogy to Golden Apple: I-290=G; G+290=I

Illuminatus! Trilogy to Leviathan: I-552=L; L+552=I

To Robert Joseph Shea (b. 1933, d. March 10, 1994), Robert Anton Wilson (b. January 18, 1932), Kerry Wendell Thornley  (b. April 17, 1938, d. November 28, 1998), and Gregory Hill.


Cassandra Acconci The beloved daughter of Ronald Acconci; attracted to Simon Moon, impregnated by Harold Canvera; blows whistle on Padre Pederastia s (alleged?) Moritori bomb emporium; assisted in getting an abortion by Milo A. Flanagan and Jim Trepanoma.  I373, G83; I380, G90.

Ronald Acconci Chicago Regional Commander of God s Lightning, and financial contributor to KCUF.  Father of Cassandra Acconci.  I373, G83; I380, G90.

John Alucard  A defense attorney for the Bureau of Indian Affairs.  I156, E.

Dr. Henry Armitage  A character of H.P. Lovecraft’s, appearing in his The Dunwich Horror.   A nice old man, given to talk about cabalistic numbers and Masonic symbols.  He gave, probably posthumously, a strange collection of occult books to Miskatonic University.  I94-95, E; I294, E .

Samuel Arrows  AKA Sam Three Arrows  A Mohawk Indian living on an endangered reservation with (among others, presumably) John Feather; formerly worked construction in NYC.  I151, E.



Senator Edward Coke Bacon  The United States   most distinguished liberal,  shot in bed by Ben Volpe, Mendy Weiss, and two others.  I313, G23; I361, G71; I438, G148.

Mrs. Edward Coke Bacon  I313, G23; I375.12, G85.

Basil Banghart  FBI agent in Washington, D.C.  I375, G85

Bernard Barker  CIA Bay of Pigs gang, grassy knoll  I69, E; I167, E

Igor Beaver   eager beaver  an inattentive UCLA graduate student working for Dr. Vulcan Troll.  I611, L109; I687, L135; I693, L141.

Professor Richard Belz  physics Queens College  I241, E.

Abadaba Berma  Patron of the Palace Chop House accidentally gunned down on October 23, 1935 instead of Arthur Flegenheimer by Charley Workman, Mendy Weiss, and JaicapoMocenigo.  I351, G61.

Dr. Besetzung  Boston psychiatrist  I181, E.

Ernst Bickler  Nazi Obergruppenfueher revived from Lake Totenkopf.  I647, L95; I650, L98.

Robert Harrison Blake  Character from Robert Bloch s   The Shambler from the Stars  and  The Shadow over the Steeple,  and H.P. Lovecraft’s  The Haunter of the Dark  in Tales of theCthulhu Mythos.  A writer and painter who died investigating the Starry Wisdom Sect in Providence, Rhode Island.  I329.30, G39.30.

Eric the Red  Blowhard  From Eric the Red, the Norse mariner, explorer and colonizer of Greenland circa 986, and Blowhard, an exceptionally boastful and talkative person.  The infamous and mysterious head of BUGGER (Blowhard’s [or Bad] Unreformed Gangsters, Goons, and Espionage Renegades).  Blowhard could be a figment of Fission Chip s imagination, although it seems that BUGGER is an actual organization.  If Blowhard is a real person, Eric the Red Blowhard might be a pseudonym or codename of Hagbard Celine.  The name Eric Blowhard calls to mind the name Johann Beghard, the codename of Milo A. Flanagan.  Celine claims to have Viking blood, named his submarine the Lief Eri(c)kson, and made his captain s control room  a reproduction of the prow of a Viking ship  (I195, E).  He certainly is a blowhard, and does not hesitate to label himself critically, as among other things his use of the title  S.H. indicates.  Likewise, Hagbard would not hesitate to name an organization BUGGER, as (among other things) his naming his computer FUCKUP indicates.  I56, E.

Sherri Brandi  nee Sharon O Farrell d. 1975  A prostitute who works for Carmel, hired by Charles Mocenigo, green dress with spangles, robe.  Dies from exposure to a form of Anthrax Leprosy, and is buried in the desert.  I45; I58.26; I301; I312, G22

Louis  Lepke   Buchalter  I317, G27.

Judge Caligula Bushman  The toughest judge and shining ornament of the Chicago judiciary known for his  King Kong scowl.   Unknowingly dosed with AUM by Joe Malik and Simon Moon, which leads him to want to abandon law and take up mathematics.  I183, E; I628, G76.



Professor Caligari  The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari.  One of Hagbard Celines professors, possibly of naval architecture, possibly at Harvard.  I143, E.

Calley  U.S. Narcotics agent, Eichman s partner AKA Masoch  I499, G209; I505, G215; I587.24, L35.27; I709, L157.

H.C.   Never trust anyone with the initials  H.C.    Harold Canvera, Hagbard Celine, Heathcliffe Clark, Harry Coin, Howard Cork, Hart Crane, H.C. Winifred  I128, E; I324, G34.

Harold Canvera  d.1970 JFK s assassin, fired from grassy knoll; lost a lot of money in Blue Sky, Inc. stocks.  Lives on Fullerton Avenue in Chicago, Illinois and holds a job as an accountant. Best known for making right-wing telephone spiels and pamphlets for WHORE.  Dosed with AUM by Joe  Malik and Simon Moon, and subsequently shot for impregnating CassandraAcconci.  I368-373, G78-83; I380, G90; I586-87, L34-35.

Carella  Joe Friday s secretary?  I519, G229

Carlo(s)  Morituri Undergrounder who tests George Dorn s dedication to the revolution; God s Lightning?  I224-225, E; I229, E; I240, E; I246,E; I264.40, E; I305, G15; I512, G222

Carmel  d. 1975 5 2  mouth of mournful weasel, Sherri Brandi and Bonnie Quint s fairly abusive pimp, lives at Date Street, Las Vegas, Nevada, blue turtleneck brown suit, demands bjs from his girls, eats caramel candy when excited, has deadly rose fever.  Becomes a carrier of Anthrax Leprosy, infecting Bonnie Quint, Markoff Chaney, and Horace Naismith.  I17; I45; I301; I415, G125; I800, L248

Sheriff James “Jim” Cash Cartwright  little short fat man, hot reptilian palms, breath smells of bourbon and cheap cigars, Sheriff of Mad Dog, Texas, Episkopos of Mad Dog Cabal of LDD; author of How the Ancient Bavarian Conspiracy Plotted and Carried Out the Assassinations of Malcolm X, John F. Kennedy, Martin Luther King, Jr., George Lincoln Rockwell, Robert Kennedy, Richard M. Nixon, George Wallace, Jane Fonda, Gabriel Conrad, and Hank Brummer.  Arrests and imprisons George Dorn; initiates Tobias Knight into LDD.  I30, E; I67, E; I561, G271; I578, L26; I613, L61; I637, L85; I691, L139

Sister Cecilia  Joseph Malik s childhood teacher in Resurrection School.  I135, E

Freeman Hagbard Celine, H.M., S.H.  Holy Man, Shit Head  [Principia Discordia 00005] Celine, a French feminine name; variant of Celia or Selena. One of seven mythological daughters of Atlas transformed by Zeus into stars of the Pleiades constellation.  Has olive skin, thick black eyebrows, black hair, beard, strong nose and jaw, muscles, hairy brown fingers, hands, and forearms, resembles Anthony Quinn, Variously wears a black and green striped nautical sweater, turtleneck and casual slacks; lederhosen, silk shirt, knee socks, brass-buttoned navy-blue yachtsman s blazer, smokes foul long black Sicilian cigars, born in Norway to an Italian pimp and a blonde haired, blue eyed Norwegian prostitute, also has Viking ancestors, Harvard Law School graduate; citizen of Fernando Poo, captain of the Lief Eri(c)kson, a five city block long, nuclear submarine, with a three story high conning tower he either infiltrated U.S. Navy for the Illuminati and stole it (I582.36, L30.36), or it was given to him by the Mafia for the purpose heroin smuggling (I536.2, G246.2), or he made it himself in a Norwegian fjord (I83, E; I536.3, G246.3), author of Never Whistle While You re Pissing.  Possibly uses Eric  the Red  Blowhard as a pseudonym.  I9, E; I23, E; I82, E

Markoff Chaney Markoff Chain, a related series in a random process.  AKA The Midget, THE MGT.   His father was stockholder in Blue Sky Inc.  Frequently cut his classes at Antioch, Yellow Springs.  Addicted to Playboy and pornographic tarot cards.  I71, E; I385, G95; I805, L253

Charley guard in Mad Dog, Texas jail I36, E

Jesus Jehovah Lucifer Satan Chief Rhoda Chief s infant son.  I600, L48

Rhoda Chief  Buxom Wiccan and apprentice witch in coven led by Lady Velkor, mother of Jesus Jehovah Lucifer Satan Chief, Heads of Easter Island s vocalist; doses Kool-Aid at WoodstockEuropa with LSD, as a result of subtle suggestion from Lady Velkor.  I600, L48; I609, L57

 Fission Chips  AKA 00005, b. August 6, 1945 (Hiroshima Day).   Fish and Chips,  a typical, even stereotypical, English meal.  English Secret Agent obsessed with BUGGER; tawny-skinned, coffee colored women (like Concepcion Galore) are his Holy Grail; named by father who cared more about physics than humanities, dark hair combed straight back, piercing eyes, cruel handsome face, trim athlete s body.  Reports to W.  I55, E; I70, E; I135, E; I138, E; I476, G186; I639, L87

Captain Clark Acid-tripping pilot of Braniff jet in Telemachus Sneezed, who plunges into the North Atlantic on route to Ingolstadt.  I541, G251

Captain Heathcliffe Clark English pilot of Braniff jet Simon Moon and Mary Lou Servix and Danny Pricefixer take from Chicago O Hare, Kennedy International to Germany.  I541, G251

Patty Cohen nine year old Jewish girl  I359, G69

Harry Coin  6’6”  long, thin, skinny, snakey looking, skull-like face, large protruding front teeth, bucktoothed, self-described  white nigger  sent on six or seven assassination missions: four whites two blacks, Attempted to shoot JFK from atop the triple underpass.  Willing to have sex with anyone or anything, and partial to rape or sadism.  I32, E; I86, E; I109, E; I172, E; I412, G122; I491, G201; I502, G212; I543, G253; I559, G269; I697, L145

Vincent “Mad Dog” Coll  I76; I326, G36.

Jafsie Condon “Dutch” Schultz  high school principal  I514, G224.

Sergeant Luke Conlon I352, G62.

Howard Cork  captain of Life Eternal in Telemachus Sneezed  I542, G252.

W. Clement  Clem  Cotex, Ph.d.  From Little Rock, Arkansas, dosed with AUM in Chicago.  Author of Orthodox Science: The New Religion; recalls the name Stanley Kotex from Thomas Pynchon’s Crying of Lot 49.  I226, E; I374, G84.

Hart Crane  b. July 21, 1899, d. April 27, 1932  Real life acquaintance of H.P. Lovecraft,  homosexual, poet.  I181, E.

Professor Curve  I274, E.



Dealy Lama  old man, long white beard, white robe, head of ELF, located below sewers of Dealy Plaza, Dallas, Texas.  Gruad?  I389, G99; I482, G192; I687; I725, L173.

Dean Deane  Columbia University  I187, E.

DeSalvo  Works at Las Vegas CIA office, takes coffee urn holding Markoff Chaney to the Papa Mescalito Sandwich Shop, where Chaney escapes.  I414, G124.

Esperando Despond  FBI Special Agent in charge for Los Angeles  I342, G52; I413, G123.

Fred  Fidgets  Digits  Antioch math professor who embarrasses Markoff Chaney, hence  the Midget versus the Digits.   I386, G96.

The five John Dillingers  b. June 22, 1903

John Edgar Dillinger  d. 1943 Fast and furious, a hothead who died of a heart attack.  I690, L138.

John Herbert Dillinger  The smartest and oldest Dillinger, who was initiated into the JAMs by Harry Pierpont.  runs Laughing Buddha Jesus Phallus Inc. (LBJP) productions, lives in Los Angeles.  Tries to track down Anthrax Leprosy Mu in Las Vegas.  I125-134; I608-609; I690, L138; I642; I659; I693, L141; I803, L251.

John Hoover Dillinger  Lives in Mad Dog, TX as D.J. Hoover.  With James Cartwright s approval, breaks George Dorn out of jail with help from Mavis.  Gave Horace Naismith the idea for the John Dillinger Died for You Society.  I690, L138.

John-John Dillinger  Kills Wolfgang Saure in Ingolstadt, Germany.  I645; I689, L137; I706-707; I715.

John Thomas Dillinger  d. 1969  Was in Chicago in 1968 on assignment for the JAMs, meeting with Fission Chips, and got tear gassed outside the Hilton Hotel, dying from his asthma as complicated by the tear gas.  I691, L139.

George Dorn  b. ~1952, staff writer for Confrontation, from Nutley, New Jersey, Capricorn, shoulder length blond hair, initiated into LDD by Stella; attended Columbia University where he pursued a liberal-arts curriculum; used to be in SDS and close to Weatherman faction; G&AT uniform of green tunic with tiny golden apple on left breast, tight black trousers, black boots; fashionable cutaway and knee breeches of red velvet with bottle-green stockings  I23; I28; I799, L247.

George Dorn’s older brother.  Character from James Wades  The Deep Ones  in Tales of the Cthulhu Mythos, edited by August Derleth (Arkham House, 1969).  I375, G85; I804, L252.

Mrs. Dorn  a baptist, Virgo, lives in Nutley New Jersey a Catholic dominated town  G138; I755, L203.

Old Drake  G261; L122.

Robert Putney Drake  b. August 6, 1902, Boston Irish, white haired, clear ice blue eyes, concave nose ending in small point, strong, cleft chin, farts when nervous  I75; I87; L70; I90; I95.



Eichmann  U.S. Narcotics agent, Calley s partner AKA Sade (the Marquis DeSade was Eristic [I321])  I499, G209; I587; I709, L157. 

Albert Feather  taxi driver  I464, G174.

Uncle John Feather  A Mohawk Indian living on a reservation who had been in the army.  I151; I156, E; I494, G204.

Dr. Fred Filiarisus  resembles Boris Karloff, employee of U.S. Public Health Service  I423, G133.

Father James Flanagan brother of Milo A. Flanagan, AKA Padre Pederastia

Milo A. Flanagan White man with wavy white hair, bushy salt and pepper eyebrows, and a shrewd, distinguished face.  Lives at 2323 Lake Shore Drive, Chicago, Illinois.  Helped JimTrepanoma arrange an abortion for Cassandra Acconci. fourth degree Illuminatus AKA Brother Johann Beghard.  Illinois State s Attorney, killed in his brother James apartment by Otto Waterhouse on Hagbard Celine’ s orders.  I88; I259; G77.

Arthur Flegenheimer  AKA  The Dutchman  AKA  Dutch Schultz   I75; I 90.

Miss Forbes  Mary Lou Servix s mean first grade teacher.  I641, L89.

Evelyn  Billie  Frechette  b. Sept 15, 1907, d. Jan. 13, 1969 John Dillinger s girlfriend, Menominee Indian  I59, E; I98, E; L36; L86.

Sergeant Joe Friday  A detective in NYC Bunco-Fraud who imitates his television namesake from Dragnet.  I519, G229.

Nkrumah Fubar  FUBAR is an acronym similar to SNAFU; FUBAR: Fucked Up Beyond All Recognition.  Kikiyu shaman, maker of voodoo dolls, Nairobi  I7; G22; I393, G103; I658, L106; L219.

Richard Buckminster Fuller b. 1895, d. 1983  U.S. engineer, designer, and architect  I58.24, E; I66.39, E; G103; L107.



Concepcion Galore  d. 1975  Pussy Galore,  from Octopussy.  A young lady, a good piece of ass in Fernando Poo who sleeps with Fission Chips.  Used to work for a telegraph office, where she would read Starry Wisdom telegrams.  Senselessly murdered, apparently by the Assassins, although Chips naturally blames BUGGER.  I135; I138; G191.

Mrs. Gamhill  Lovecraft s aunt Annie Emeline Phillips Gamwell  b. July 10, 1866 d. January 29,  1941 I330.8, G40.8.

Getty  Boston, Massachusetts janitor  I334, G44.

Professor Morrison Glynn  A staunch conservative, a Catholic at Columbia University.  I187; I193.

Harry Godzilla  Simcoe, Ontario  I9.

Sasparilla Godzilla  Harry Godzilla s wife.  Simcoe, Ontario  I9.

Rebecca Murphy Goodman  b. 1950 Saul Goodman s young wife, whom he met in 1972 while she was a prostitute and heroin addict.  She had formerly been an anthropology major, minoringin psychology. She has a mole on her hip.  Has collection of anthropology books, mostly African; author of He Opened the Cages; The Golden Apples of the Sun, the Silver Apples of the Moon.  I10; I59; I215; L51; L107; L185; I800, L248.

Sandra Goodman  Saul s late first wife, who died of cancer.  I10; I604.

Saul Goodman  (1912?-1983) A detective and head of Homicide North.  A short man, who wears a fedora, smokes a pipe, has gray hair and glasses.  Longtime friend of Barney Muldoon.  I10.

Gracchus Gruad  I575, L23.

Gretchen  German-speaking, blue-eyed stewardess aboard Heathcliffe Clarke s flight from Chicago to Germany.  I541.



Hanfgeist  The name is German for hempghost.  Nazi General revived from Lake Totenkopf.  L98.

Henry Hastur  I576 L2.

Hauptmann  Chief of field operations for Federal Republic of Germany s police, tall and thin, close-cropped silver gray hair, long vulpine features, piercing eyes.  Fifteen years old at the end of WWII.  I663, L111; L151.

Reverend William Helmer (W.H.)  Confrontation religious writer  I120-121, E; I160.

James Patrick Hennessey  NYC patrolman, has retarded son, fish collector.  Bemoans loss of Egyptian Mouth Breeders. I13, E.

Reverend Hill  Harry Coin s minister in Biloxi  G254.

Zev Hirsch  New York State Commander of God s Lightning, framed for Confrontation bombing, tipped off by Pat Walsh.  I89.

Adolf Hitler  Impolite old man with white mustache and unruly forelock.  Dies on a toilet in the Donau Hotel in Ingolstadt, Germany and buried in Ingolstadt Hebrew Burial Grounds.  I217-219, E; I356, G66; I607, L55; I667, L115; I697, L145; I699, L147; I717.

S.M. Holland  Man in railroad shack in Dallas, Texas.  See Statement of S. M. Holland, Warren Commission Hearings 19, p. 473, taken 11/22/63:  I515, G225.

Billy Holtz Nutley, New Jersey school bully  I401, G111.

Atlanta Hope  author of Telemachus Sneezed and Militarism: The Unknown Ideal for the New Heracleitean, has an older brother with a successful career; one of the five who runs the U.S.  Attended Antioch?  I70; I86; I293; G96; L126.

Doris Horus  A librarian at Miskatonic University with fantastic boobs,  the Miskatonic Messalina.   I94; I294; I605, L53; I627, L75.

Howard  dolphin, Envoy between the Dolphins and Hagbard Celine.  I8; I45; I59; I211; I246; G222; L45; L152.



ibn Azif  the son of Azif, a disciple of Hassan i Sabbah I141; I216Dr. Ignotium  Dr. Iggy  Per Ignotius   the unknown explained by the still more unknown  head of Joshua Norton Cabal,Malaclypse the Younger’s successor; from Principia Discordia 00013  I275, E.

Maria Imbrium  Vocalist with the Sicilian Dragon Defense.  I627, L75.

Judge Quasimodo Immhotep  Justice of the Federal Court for the 17th District of New York State.  I156, E; I184.



Peter  Pete  Jackson  Associate Editor of Confrontation; truly black man, vest, Harvard graduate  I20; I23; I28; I192; G83; G86; G91; G150; L20; L22; I800, L248.

Joshua  An elderly sailor aboard the Lief Erickson  I257.

Jubela  A gigantic black  I186, E; I672, L120.

Jubelo  A fishlike creature  I186, E; I672, L120.

Jubelum  A hunchbacked dwarf  I186, E; I672, L120.

Carl Jung  I324, G34.

Richard Jung  Drake s chief counselor.  A tall young Chinese man with a boney face and unruly black hair.  I268; I281; I343, G53; I348.



Mary Keating  black, killed by Otto Waterhouse  I713, L163.

Professor “Sheets” Kelly  Antioch professor, whose course on textual analysis of modern poetry was taken by Markoff Chaney.  I387, G97.

Clark Kent  black musician Clark Kent and His Supermen AKA Robert Pearson

Paul Klee  I315, G25.

George Kharis  A defense attorney for the Bureau of Indian Affairs.  I156, E; I184.

Tobias Knight  walrus mustache, pentuple agent: FBI, CIA, A A, Illuminati, LDD (also GL, Naval Intelligence, Pinkertons) Ringo Erigena, Prince of Wands E; prejudiced against Italians  I264; G52; G92; G123; G255; G270; L17; L49; I803, L251.

Congressman Koch  I44.

Kolmer  Acquaintance of Adam Weishaupt.  I262.35, E; I743, L191.

Heinrich Krause Nazi private revived from Lake Totenkopf.  L95.

Marty Krompier I514, G224.

Gottfried Kuntz  Nazi Corporal revived from Lake Totenkopf.  L95.

Peter Kurten  CIA  I414, G124.



F.J. Lang  police stenographer  I352, G62.

Lehrman  C.I.A. Homicide, partner of Robinson  I19; I602, L50.

Edwin M. Lillibridge Character from Robert Bloch s   The Shambler from the Stars  and  The Shadow over the Steeple,  and H.P. Lovecraft s  The Haunter of the Dark  in Tales of the CthulhuMythos.  A reporter who died or disappeared in 1893 while investigating the Starry Wisdom Sect in Providence, Rhode Island.  I329.30, G39.30.

Semper Cuni Linctus  Always cunnilingus.  A centurian who nails Jesus to the cross.  I220, E; I319, G29; I324, G34; I560, G270.

Jorge Lobengula  young Discordian author of Vampirism, The Heliocentric Theory and the Gold Standard  I573, L21; I575, L23.

Howard Phillips Lovecraft  Author of fantasy and supernatural horror best known for what is called his  Cthulhu Mythos.   Benefit Street, Providence, Rhode Island  I329, G39

Charles  Lucky  Luciano 

Skip Lynch  a North Clark street hippie Chicago, Illinois  I262.16, E.



Donald MacArthur  black, killed by Otto Waterhouse  I713, L163.

Malaclypse the Elder  appears as Calvin Coolidge, Billy Graham, Jean-Paul Sartre  I323; G30; G45; I784.

Malaclypse the Younger, K.S.C.  (Keeper of the Sacred Chao [I83]) left Norton Cabal for ELF, went into Silence, walked into Pacific like Randy Driblette in Thomas Pynchon’s Crying of Lot 49.  I275; I323; I803.

John Wayne Malatesta  shady Las Vegas gentleman who switches Carmel s briefcase  I789, L237.

Don Federico “Banana Nose” Maldonado  short, thin man, large nose resembling an eggplant, glasslike eyes, waxen face resembling Pope Paul VI.  I18; I47.24; I69; I75.

Joseph “Joe” Wendall/Wendell Malik (J.M.)  b. 1927, Malik  one who knows  in Carcosan,  one who leads,  Editor of Confrontation, Arab-American, crew-cut gray hair, horn-rimmed glasses looks like a suburban Connecticut doctor, lives in an old brownstone apartment on Riverside Drive, enjoys listening to the Museum of National History record The Language and Music of the Wolves, wall covered with pictures of GW and AW Frequently uses pseudonyms with the initials  J.M., including  James Mallison, Joseph Mallison, Professor J.D. Mallison,   John Mason,  Jerry Mallory, and  Jim Mallory.    I92; I114; I219.35, E.

Peter Pall Mall  Pall Mall, a brand of cigarettes, his name also calls to mind the band  Peter, Paul and Mary. Leader of band the Closed Corporation  I618.22, L66.22.

Marcus Marconi  I575, L23.

Miss Stella Maris (S-M)  Name means  star of the sea.  A lovely black lady, Afro hairdo, purple tinted lips, tawny beige palms, heavy conical breasts, abundant pubic hair, long legs, eyes huge obsidian pools.  An exhibitionist who changes clothing in front of others.  wetsuit; one-piece zippered gold knit pantsuit; peasant skirt, blouse, vest; cute chinese pajamas; white robe; short red leather skirt, white plastic belt; tight fitting golden yellow slack ensemble  Presides over George Dorn s initiation into LDD.  Presides over Joe Malik s initiation into Dr. Ignotium P.Ignotius  San Francisco Joshua Norton JAM Cabal.  I85; G143; G176; G215.

Professor Joshua N. Marsh  Marsh, a common surname from the Cthulhu Mythos, although H.P. Lovecraft only used it in his “The Shadow Over Innsmouth.”  However, the name Joshua Marsh is not from the Mythos, but it is one of the few  J.M. names in Illuminatus! that is not a pseudonym of Joe Malik s.  The Professor is an anthropologist and author of Atlantis and its Gods, and goes missing from Miskatonic University.  He is unsuccessfully sought out by Danny Pricefixer.  I294; I294; I297-301, E; I520.18, G230.18.

Mavis  A Mavis is a bird, a song thrush.  Has smooth, cool, soft lips, long legs, small well shaped, apple-sized dark cherry-tipped conical breasts, round curvy ass, black-escutcheoned crotch, has a tattoo of a red eye in a red and white triangle between her breasts, about which she is violently defensive;  hot lederhosen  short tight leather breeches; translucent red harem pajamas; forest-green tights, white patent leather boots, wide white belt, loose blouse; trench coat, no bra, tight black sweater and blue jeans, wide black belt, metallic looking gold panties  Married to Hagbard Celine by Miss Portinari.  I251; G116; L62; L72.

Kevin McCool  poet  I65.

Dr. Charles “Soapy” Mocenigo  pale, skinny, introverted genius, atheist,  washes hands when under tension, MIT, redwood walls and burnt orange decor Anthrax Leprosy Mu  I24; I45; I58.24; I66; I575, L23.

Jaicapo “Jimmy the Shrew”  Mocenigo  Charles  father  I54; I75; L49; I802, L250.

Mickey  Cocktails  Molotov  A fictional hard-boiled detective like Mickey Spillane, Molotov Cocktail.  detective in Telemachus Sneezed  I541, G251

David J. Monroe  black, killed by Otto Waterhouse  I713, L163

Molly Moon  anarcho-pacifist, into Tolstoy, Gandhi, Martin Luther King, Ammon Hennacy; saw  John Dillinger  gunned down; works with Women for Peace.  Tim s widow, and Simon s mother.  I59.

Simon Moon  b. 1946, wild hair, curly black beard, youngest member of Beat Generation, black women are his Holy Grail, graduate of mathematics at Antioch, Yellow Springs.  Son of Tim and Molly.  I27; I92; G247; L57; L209.

Tim Moon  d. 1967 Simon s late father, Wobbly, into Kropotkin, Bakunin; blue eyes; an Aries  I635, L83; I803, L251.

James Moran  A defense attorney for the Bureau of Indian Affairs.  I156, E.

Thomas Moriarity  A defense attorney for the Bureau of Indian Affairs.  I156.

Mr. Mortimer  Atlanta Hope s secretary  I89.

Barney Muldoon  b. ~1915, sixty years old, manners of a Hollywood cop, Bomb Squad, home at 1472 Pleasant Avenue, Trenton, New Jersey, big Irishman.  Longtime friend of Saul Goodman.  I11; I95; I204.

Gregory Muldoon  Barney and Molly s 23 year old son  I189, E.

Father James Augustine Muldoon  Barney s brother  I106; I167, E.

Kerry Muldoon  Barney and Molly s 25 year old son  I189, E.

Molly Muldoon  Barney s wife   I189, E; I659, L107.

Roger Muldoon  Barney and Molly s 28 year old son  I189, E.



Dr. Horace Naismith  small, slight man, bandito mustache, cowboy hat, head of John Dillinger Died for You Society, president of WHORE, also runs VSR, the Colossus of Yorba Linda Foundation, and MACHO.  I418, G128.

Fred Nanetti  a kid with a broken arm  I183.

Emperor Joshua Norton I.  Emperor of the United States and Protector of Mexico. He lived in 1800’s and got to be emperor by proclaming himself as such. The newspapers humored him, when he started printing his own money the local banks accepted it. for more information on Emperor Norton, click here.  I276, E.

Dr. Nils Nosferatu  nuclear physicist in Princeton, New Jersey  I375, G85.



Sergeant O’Banion  racist, anticommunist  Chicago, Illinois cop.  I467, G177.

Frank Ochuck  God s Lightning  I242.

Stanislaus Oedipuski (1924-November 23, 1970) deceased member of God s Lightning, West Irving Park Road, Chicago, Illinois, attended KCUF Sheraton-Chicago meeting  I235-236,E.Otto Ogatai  I576, L24.

Jim O’Malley  Desk Sergeant in Chicago police station who knew Tim Moon.  I183, E.

Professor Orlock  One of Hagbard Celine s law professors at Harvard.  I143.

Lee Harvey Oswald  I27; I111; I801.



Robert Pearson  AKA El Hajj/Haj Starkerlee/Stackerlee Mohammed, n  Pearson AKA Pearson Mohammed Kent AKA Clark Kent AKA Stack.  El Haj(j) suggests that he had performed the islamic hajj, or pilgrimage, to Mecca in Saudi Arabia just as done by El Hajj Malik Shabazz (Malcolm X).  Clark Kent is, of course, the secret identity of Superman, hence his band s name  Clark Kent and His Supermen.   Stackerlee, Stack for short, or Stagger Lee, Stag for short (and many other variant spellings exist), was a  Negro Murder Ballad  about a legendary bad man feared by the police, Death, and the Devil alike.    Bobby Seale, a Black Panther  named his son after Stagger Lee, who he said was a positive role model for black men   Stagger Lee: A Historical Look at the Urban Legend by Tony Kullen.  Robert Pearson is a tall black man with a master s in anthropology; white women are his Holy Grail; he served as a Private at Fort Benning with Hagbard Celine.  Has sex in Ingolstadt, Bavaria, Germany with Danny Pricefixer, Lady Velkor, Atlanta Hope, and evidently a fifth, possibly Doris Horus.  The variant spelling Starkerlee in Illuminatus! is probably a typo (consider the positions of C and R on a keyboard), but does also suggest the variant spellings of the name in the song.  I27; I114; I145; I372; I393, G103.

Padre Pederastia  really named Father James Flanagan, leads SSS Black Mass, slightly red-faced middle-aged man  I64; I115; G44; I803, L251.

Perri the squirrel  Central Park, NYC  I7; I27; I99; I673, L121; L247; I799.

August “Gus” Personage  Great person, which he is not.  Makes obscene phone calls from public phones, one of his victims is Rebecca Goodman, leaves behind stickers declaring “This phone booth reserved for Clark Kent.”  I27; I215; G103; G223; G258; L91; I660, L108; L121.

Professor Percival Petsdeloup  Columbia history professor  I222.

Harry L. Pierpont  b. October 13, 1902, d. October 17, 1934 Habitual bank robber in Michigan City prison who initiates John Herbert Dillinger into the JAMs.  I29, E; I126; I279.

Miss Portinari  b. 1960? young Italian girl clearly no older than fifteen, dark skin, hair in a bun, golden apple ring; yellow robe  G139; G253; G269; L110; L119; L147; L163; L222.

Danny Pricefixer  d. 1977 young redhead detective who finds Illuminati Project memos, former Arkham, Massachusetts detective in charge of search for Joshua Marsh, former Army Intelligence, nonsmoker, not a Virgo.  Gets a reading from Mama Sutra.  I13; I20; I171; I295; L109; I800, L248.

Captain Puta  leader of successful Fernando Poo countercoup, friendly to Americans and popular with the Bubi and the Fang.  I481.21, G191.21; I601.18, L49.18.

The Purple Sage  He appears only in the quotes prefixing chapters.  The Purple Sage is a character from the Principia, where a different quote is ascribed to him.   14. Wipe thine ass with what is written and grin like a ninny at what is Spoken.  Take thine refuge with thine wine in the Nothing behind Everything, as you hurry along the Path   HBT; The Book of Predictions, Chap. 19, in Principia Discordia, page 00013.  I7; I91; I799.

Melvin Purvis  d. Feb. 29, 1960  The FBI agent who gunned down Frank Sullivan in Chicago, thinking it was John Dillinger.  Relegated to the Post Toasties Junior G-Men I547, G257.



Bonnie Quint  A teenaged black prostitute employed by Carmel, 5 2  90-100 lbs, often hired by John Wayne Malatesta.  I415, G125; G131; L237.



Rancid  butler in Drake Mansion  I675, L122.

Omar Khayam Ravenhurst, K.S.C.  (Keeper of the Sacred Chao [I83])  I799, L247.

Taffy Reingold  pert, attractive, gray hair, inspiration for characters in Atlanta Hope s and Edison Yerby s novels, works in Monotony Monitoring for Alligator Control  I570, L18.

Abe Reles  I319, G29; I513, G223.

Diamond Jim Rhinestone  Fictional dope pusher in Telemachus Sneezed, allied with Blind Tigers and Enlightened Ones; Taffy s evil brother  I540, G250.

Taffy Rhinestone  Rape-magnet heroine of Telemachus Sneezed  I538, G248.

James V. Riley  Catholic, Dayton police sergeant, formerly of Mooresville, Indiana police.  Father of Jim.  I92, E.

Jim Riley  Dayton dope dealer, James  son; frequently travels between NYC and Cuernavaca, Mexico; marries Mary Lou Servix  I32, E; I92, E; I802, L250.

Indole Ringh  Hindu anthropologist in Orabi, North America  I435, G145; I658, L106.

Robinson Beard, C.I.A. Homicide, possibly undercover in Weather Underground partner of Lehrman  I19; I602, L50.

Fred Robinson  black, killed by Otto Waterhouse  I713, L163.

Anthony Rogers  black, killed by Otto Waterhouse  I713, L163.

Franklin Delano Roosevelt  Monotony Monitor in Alligator Control, New York City.  I233; I570, L18.

Lulu Rosenkrantz  Lulu, a remarkable or outstanding person, which she is not.  Patron of the Palace Chop House accidentally gunned down on October 23, 1935 instead of Arthur Flegenheimerby Charley Workman, Mendy Weiss, and Jaicapo Mocenigo.  I351, G61.

Rosetta the Stoned  Rosetta Stone.  Times Square drug dealer.  I32.

Mark Rudd  Columbia University student, probably affiliated with SDS or Weathermen; acquaintance of George Dorn.  I32; I18.



Mark Sanders  black, killed by Otto Waterhouse  I713, L163.

The Saures  all strange-, owl-, icy blue-eyed, ash-blond, bony faces, born in Wolframs-Eschenbach, Bavaria, Germany  I471, G181.

Werner Saure  twin of Wilhelm, drowned in Lake Totenkopf in his Mercedes when the George Washington Bridge is demolished (I651, L99)

Wilhelm Saure  twin of Werner, possessed by a lloigor and drowned himself in Lake Totenkopf (I650, L98)

Winifred Saure  AMA vocalist, long blond hair, drowned by porpoises in Lake Totenkopf (I653, L101)

Wolfgang Saure  AMA leader and drummer, killed by John-John Dillinger with thirty silver bullets, and fell into Lake Totenkopf (I653, L101)

Konrad Schein  SS Colonel revived from Lake Totenkopf.  I647, L95.

Ponell Scott  black, killed by Otto Waterhouse  I713, L163.

Tarantella Serpentine  A tarantella is a rapid, whirling Italian dance.  6 2  with long blond hair, pink nipples, trained by Illuminati  I286, E; E351, G61.

Mary Lou Servix  Cervix, the back part of the neck, any necklike part, especially the constricted lower end of the uterus.  Lovely black woman.  Was once impregnated by Hassan i Sabbah X and had an abortion.  Cop sent by Milo Flanagan to infiltrate the Lincoln Park Nameless Anarchist Horde, hooks up with Simon Moon; marries Jim Riley.  A little kid in the early 1950s.  I32; G247; L14; L36; L57; L80; L100; L174; L179; I802, L250.

Phil Silverberg  I353, G63.

Buck  Star  The first mate of Life Eternal in Telemachus Sneezed.  I542, G252.

Albert “The Teacher” Stein/Stern  I76; I351.

B.F. Sullivan  Grocer and Mason robbed by Dillinger in 1924.

Frank Sullivan  AKA  Papa Piaba  well-hung Dillinger look-alike killed in Dillinger s stead.  I28; I69; I75.

C.L Sulzberger  I445, G155.

Mama Sutra  b. 1898 Kama Sutra.  Fortuneteller who looks like Maria Ouspenskaya; streaked hair with gray when thirty.  I519, G229; I678, L126.



General Lawrence Stewart Talbot  I342, G52; I803, L251.

Captain/Generalissimo Ernesto/Jesus Tequila y Moto  Caucasian leader of coup in Fernando Poo.  I18; I445, G155; L17; L23.

Theda Theodora  I575, L23.

Professor Tochus  Name possibly from tochis, or tokis, meaning the buttocks.  Harvard psychology professor who taught Robert Putney Drake, and later Hagbard Celine.  I136; I142; I315, G25.

James J. “Smiling Jim” Trepanoma  The president of Knights of Christianity United in Faith (KCUF), the acroym calling to mind radio station KCUF from Thomas Pynchon’s Crying of Lot 49.  Helps Milo A. Flanagan arrange an abortion for Cassandra Acconci.  Determined to kill the Last American Eagle, and does.  I91; I380; G90; I661, L109; I687, L135; I693, L141; I731, L179; L246.

Herbie” Speed King” Trimegistos  Hermes Trismegistos, hermes thrice-great.  Acid-tripping drummer with the Credibility Gap, obsessed with Tyl Eulenspeigel.  I606, L54.

Dr. Vulcan Troll  A seizmologist and the author of When a State Dies.  L109; L141; L246.

Miss Mao Tsu-Hsi  Mao means cat, making her full name, approximately, pussy sushi.  Little, beautiful Chinese woman, black eyes, long black hair reaching small of her back, thick, hairy armpits, headband with K printed on golden apple; headband with golden apple inside a pentagon (official signal of the Knights of the Five-Sided Castle!?); sleeveless dress with zipper down front, coat, no underwear; Has sex in a taxi with Joe Malik and brings him to see an ELF training film; attendee of BaHais and Vedanta Society meetings; member of A A and Naval Intelligence and LDD.  I64.8; I69; I257; I442, G152; I520, G230; I560, G270.



Roy Ubu  A tall, bearish CIA agent at the Las Vegas office.  I414, G124; G132.

Dr. Faustus Unbewusst  Robert Putney Drake s psych.  I415, L125.



Homer V. Van Meter   b. Dec 3, 1906, d. Aug. 23, 1934 I129, EVan Meter  Homicide  I519, G229.

Lady Velkor  astonishingly beautiful, lovely body, flaming red hair, smoldering green eyes, large breasts, fine nipples, not a Virgo, worships the Great Mother Isis; jokes about memories of 18th century Bavaria; green peasant blouse, green hotpants  I117; L49; L91; I651, L99; I661, L109.

Buzz Vespa  A small waspish CIA agent at the Las Vegas office.  I414, G124.

Sister Victoria  Possibly drugged and kidnapped Saul Goodman and Barney Muldoon after they left Joe Malik’s brownstone.  I174.10.

Eddie Vitelli  Of the Providence, Rhode Island gambling, heroin and prostitution Vitellis, reports to Maldonado.  I333, G43.

Sigmund Voegel  Nazi Oberlieutenant revived from Lake Totenkopf.  L95.

Ben “Bennie” Volpe  A young Italian top of Dallas County Records (Dal-Tex) building  I172; I313, G23; I515.

Father Volpe  Joseph Malik s principal in Resurrection School.  I135; I137.



W: Fission Chips s superior in London British Intelligence.  I71; I138

James Walking Bear  Peyote tripping Menominee Indian who knew Billie Freschette.  I121, E; I646, L94.

George Wallace  FBI director  I362, G72.

Miss Patricia  Pat  Walsh (P.W.)  Member of the Confrontation Research Department, author of Illuminati Project memos, reports to Council on Foreign Relations and Zev Hirsch.  I32; I73-74, E; I163; I171; G33; G239; G246; L20; L89; L119-120.

Patrolman/Lieutenant Otto Waterhouse  When eight, was beaten, knifed and thrown into Lake Michigan.  6 6  tall black cop with an apartment in Hyde Park.  I260; I365, G75; G174; L37; L63; L76.

Adam Weishaupt   A.W.  (b. February 6, 1748, d. November 18, 1830)  I, E; I800.

Eve Weishaupt  I343-344, G53-54; I533, G243; I743, L191.

Mendy Weiss  I75, E; I313, G23.

Epicene “Eppy” Wildeblood  Epicene, meaning effeminate, which he is.  NY s bitchiest literary critic, a freelancer who sometimes works for Confrontation.  I376, G86; I381, G91.

H.C. Winifred  d. April 30, 1975, a U.S. Justice Department civil servant, Scotus Pythagoras  I234; I346, G56; I356, G65; G224; I545, G255; I629, L77.

Charley “The Bug” Workman  I75; G23; G223.



Hassan i Sabbah X  Possibly Hassan i Sabbah the Tenth, but being black, the X could indicate membership in the Nation of Islam, the Black Muslims (or a sect thereof).  Once impregnated Mary Lou Servix.  Leader of the Cult of the Black Mother.  G267; I589, L37; I602, L50; I605, L53; I636; I762, L210.



Arturo Jesus Maria Ybarra y Mendez  Cuernavaca marijuana farmer who sells in bulk to Jim Riley.  I32, E.

Edison Yerby  Prolific mass-market novelist, based one of his characters on Taffy Reingold.  I538, G248; I570, L18.

Yeshua ben Yosef  Jesus, son of Joseph.  I232, E.



 Grayface  Gruad  Gruad is an Atlantean word meaning worm, serpent or dragon.  100 year old mutant scientist, short blond hair on head, close cropped beard, no fur, high-collared pale green robe and gauntlets, cloak.  Founder of the Party of Science: symbol is eye-in-triangle.  Distributes stories of five alternate histories to other Atlanteans.  G156; I319; L20; L60; L69; L147; L154.

Wo Topod  Given Carcosa story, commits suicide.  G165; I572, L20.

Gao Twone  Gruad s associate, given snake story to distribute thoroughout Africa and the Middle East.  I446, G156; I572, L20.

Evoe  Young priest, given Mu story.  I459, G169; I572, L20

Unica  Given Urantia story, to be released  late in the game.   I572, L20.

Kajeci  Gruad s female partner, given Atlantis story with changes making the Atlanteans or Party of Science appear to have been double-dyed bastards.  I448, G158; I572, L20.

Ingel Rild  Scientist and founder of the Party of Freedom: symbol is a golden apple.  I447, G157

Ton Lit  Scientist and associate of Ingel Rild.  I449, G159.

Sylvan Martiset  Founder of the Party of Nothingness.  I450, G160; I618,L59

Lilith Velkor  Chief spokeswoman for Party of Nothingness, crucified by Party of Science.  G163; L43; L162; I726, L174.

Klarkash Ton  Klarkash-Ton was a nickname of H.P. Lovecraft s for Clark Ashton Smith.  High priest.  I483, G193.

Lhuv Kerapht  Derived from H.P. Lovecraft.  High Priest, aged and merry-eyed scientist, possibly leader of Mauls of Lhuv-Kerapht United for the Truth (MaLKUTh, one of the Sephiroth, meaning the kingdom) the Atlantean equivalent of Knights of Christianity United in Faith (KCUF).  I448, G158; I483, G193.

Ma-Lik  I528, G238.

Kull  I531, G241.

Konan/Conan/Kukulan/Quetzalcoatl  I531, G241.

Conn  Conan s son  I532, G242.


Illuminati Primi:

Brother Gracchus Gruad

Dr. Fred Filiarisus (Wolfgang Saure?)  I426, G136.

Brother Marcus Marconi

Sister Theda Theodora  Winifred Saure

Brother Otto Ogatai

Brother Henry Hastur  Hastur, a lloigor.

Hagbard Celine  I653, L101; I729, L177.

Out of the Innsmouth Triangle

Out of the Innsmouth Triangle

by Robert Anton Wilson

 from The Realist, No. 120, Summer 1992

From the greatest horrors, irony is never absent. I will forever curse the dark, dreadful and demonic destiny that led me to the unhal­lowed and accursed town of Salem to confront the noisome and foetid Creature invoked by the hideous spells of Das Verichteraraberbuch, yet I thought I was only on a simple assign­ment to cover the founding of a new trade union…

Oh, yes – you may not know Das Verich­teraraberbuch (“The Book of the Mad Arab”). This is Adam Weishaupt’s infamous and un­speakable translation of Olaus Wormius’s loathed and abominatedNecronomicon (“The Book of the Names of the Dead”), the least bowdlerized and most terrible Latin rendition of the vile and venomous Al Azif (roughly, “Songs You Hear Alone in the Desert at Night”) of Abdul Alhazred, “the Mad Arab.”

Recent scholarship indicates that the adjec­tive “mad” traditionally associated with Alhazred is a dubious translation of the term used by his contemporaries, khou-k’ou, which may also mean “intoxicated,” “wildly enthusiastic,” “poetically inspired” or even “stoned out of his gourd.” Be that as it may, the psychotheology of this remarkable bard holds that every time we experience a so-called “dream,” a trans-spatial monster called Cthulhu is actually attempting to take over our minds and make us his slaves.

Why, why, I ask myself-as with shaking hands I pour another glass of laudnum to hold off the surreal and Dantescan fantasies that now haunt my nights-why did I go to that eldritch city, and why on the fearsome Walpurgis Night?

The answer was money – filthy lucre. Paul Krassner had promised to pay me handsomely if I attended the first annual meeting of the I. W. W. (International Witches and Wizards-‘­the world’s first magickal trade union), suc­cessfully infiltrated the nameless Sabaat that would follow, and returned alive and still sane enough to write about what I had experienced.

Indeed, as I drove down the accursed Ayles­bury Pike that followed the evilly twisting path of the ill-reputed Miskatonic River, I was thinking of the $10,000 that Paul, with his usual generosity, had offered me for this assign­ment. The money was a pleasant thought and helped to distract me from unpleasant mulling about the sinister speculations of local ecolo­gists, who remain puzzled and somewhat dis­turbed by the fact that known pollutants, including the toxic and radioactive, do not fully account for the foulness of Mistakatonic water or the awfully mutated creatures that often crawl and slither out of it to attack some lonely farm.

Then I noticed the eldritch bumper-stickers on the Toyota Corolla in front of me: Campus Crusade for Cthulhu; Turn Back to the Necronomicon; Invoke Often!; Have You Hugged Your Shoggoth Today?

As the implications of this swept over me, another car, a virgin vintage Edsel, passed me on the right. I saw from the bumper sticker that this was another of the delegates to the I. W. W.: I brake for ghosties and ghoulies and long-legged beasties and things that gae BUMP in the night. But then I saw absolutely the most sinister bumper sticker I have ever gazed upon, even in the years when I lived in Southern California: Be afraid. Be very afraid.

A reflex shudder involuntarily passed through me. I had never before given much credence to the legends of the “Innsmouth Triangle” – the ill-famed area (bounded by Salem itself, Provi­dence to the south and Dunwich inland) where Cotton Mather once found “more Deviltrie, Daemonalitrie & Abomination than all the reste of Newe England” and where the sullen, inbred and uncouth rustics still insist that Great Cthulhu, and Hastur the Unspeakable, and Iok-Sotot, Eater of Souls, and their min­ions and satraps – e.g., the foul shoggoths and hideous Tcho-Tcho people, alone with Big­foot, the Abominable Snowman and all their. kith and kin-have often broken-through “the Gates of the Silver Key” (somewhere between Dunwich and Innsmouth) to invade our normal space-time from the mad n-dimensional “other world” in which they hold dominion.

“Backwood superstition, ” I thought scorn­fully.

Still, it was, to be frank, unheimlich to be driving behind people who did believe that sort of thing, and to wonder what other enor­mities such twisted minds might harbor. I found myself contemplating the Black Goat With a Thousand Young, and The King in Yellow, and the Hounds of Tindalos, and the Knights of Malta, and. the Centipede Mob, and many such foetid and fearsome things; it was not soothing to have such images running through my head as the sky turned Stygian black and thunder began to roar threateningly in the distance.

I repeated Thurber’s Great Mantra against weirdity: “The mome rath hasn’t been born that can outgrabe me. The mome rath hasn’t been born that can outgrabe me. THE MOME RATH HASN’T BEEN BORN .. .” But I remembered uneasily that de Selby and Comte d’Erlette, among others, claimed that the mome raths were even more formidable (“for­midable”) than the shoggoths.

The journalist Howard Phillips Lovecraft, who has left us the best records of Cthulhoid, UFOnautical and similar abductions in the Innsmouth Triangle, never dared to describe shoggoths explicitly, but he left an impression­istic suggestion that they were physically un­attractive, had loathesome dining habits and could never find gainful employment outside Santa Cruz. (Shoggoths are now a protected species, under the O.A.S. Guacamole and Guano Convention passed in St. Olaf’s in 1978, which also protects the beaked Guatamalan tse-tse fly and the African malaria mosquito.)

The rain was pounding down with the fury of bullets as I turned into the driveway of the Gallows Hilton on 666 College Way in Salem. I noticed another distinctly odd bumper sticker on the Silver Wraith Rolls Royce beside me: Human beings were created by water to carry it uphill. Some form of mystic Wisdom, like a Zen koan, or merely a trite evolutionary observation? “Is not the sea our great sweet mother?” Buck Mulligan had asked. How could I distinguish poetry from pretense on a night like that? I was entering the Twilight Zone, or maybe even Interzone.

Despite the rain, some religious and atheist Fundamentalists were picketing outside the hotel. The Christians had various signs warning against what Rev. Mather had called “Devil­trie, Daemonalitrie and Abominations” and the American Atheist Association and the skeptical factions shared a big banner that said, Repent! You are being irrational!

Passing them all, I fearlessly walked through the entrance door, under the grim inscription, Abandon Hope. The Gallows Hilton, I found, had a tasteful lobby, if you really groove on cobwebs, underground streams, stalactites and lots and lots of crooked candlesticks. The oil paintings were elegantly done and featured such gentry as Brigit Bishop, Bela Lugosi (in his Dracula cape), Abigail Williams, the 23 Holy Martyrs (i.e., the 23 witches hanged on Gallows Hill in 1692), Uncle Aleister (of course) and Frank Morgan as the Wizard of Oz, engraved with the suitable Magick motto: PAY NO ATTENTION TO THAT MAN BEHIND THE CURTAIN.

A zombie immediately approached me. “May I share something with you? Would you like to learn more about the Church of Scien­tology?” he asked in a flat dead tone. I dodged around him and encountered another of the Undead.

“May I share something with you? The Church of Scientology has the answers you are seeking,” she said in an insectoid but intense whisper.

I escaped her, too, and approached the main desk.

The woman at registration, who bore a dis­tinct resemblance to Anjelica Huston made up as Morticia Addams, told me the Presiden­tial Suite had been reserved after I showed by Realist credentials. She added that all my needs had been provided for-the suite con­tained a Mac Plus word processor with laser printer, a trampoline, two cases of Jameson’s Irish whiskey, garlic and wolfbane over every door and window, three professional circus clowns and five Playboy bunnies. I marveled again how Paul always sees that his writers get the royal red carpet treatment. With the help of carpet cleaning st louis, the carpet was retaining its royalty. But, then, with all the money he got in the 1988 pay-off, when he agreed not to publish the full truth about the Girl Scouts’ role in the JFK assassination, he could afford to be lavish.

I rode up in the elevator with another zom­bie and some Hispanic gent who looked like Raul Julia playing Gomez Addams. Gomez’s luggage consisted largely of wire boxes full of live and squawking chickens. A member of the Santaria delegation, no doubt. The zombie also wanted to share something about Scientology.

The clowns were already busy when I en­tered the Presidential Suite, whacking each other with bladders, squirting seltzer and falling over their Bigfoot shoes. They helped me pry open the first case of Jameson’s and then we uncorked two bottles and three Bunnies, got on the trampoline and I distributed the acid.

It was a great night. Uncle Duke would have loved it.

The next morning, I only encountered two zombies in the hall and one on the elevator, “May I share something with you? Have you heard the truth about Scientology. . .” I wished Hubbard hadn’t learned so much about mind control in his days in Naval Intelligence.

After a tasty omelette in the Hannibal Lecter Café – where they use lots of extra ketchup, of course – I went to the first organizational meeting, the registration of delegates. There was the usual problem about the Satanists. Nobody wanted to be associated with them – “It just multiplies the Christian paranoia against the rest of us” – but, due to Roberts Rules of Order, the I. W. W. had to allow a debate.

The Satanists, again as usual, had an eye on the possible support of the Third World brujas and brujos, and argued that preference for “white” magick over “black” magick indi­cated latent racism. All the Politically Correct witches, wizards, mages and shamans looked guilty but stubborn, and still voted with the majority.

That is, the Satanists got voted down. They left, pausing at the door to howl a few colorful Curses and Maledictions, and went off, I guess, to form their own labor union.  The First Church of Satan, Scientist, trailed out at the end of the parade, following Baphomet’s Witnesses, The Four-Square Tabernacle of Beezlebub, the Born Again Assembly of Lucifer, the Crackofarians, the whole Black Studies Department of Miskatonic University and a bisexual punk group called the Left Handed Manque’ Wrenches.

After that, the registration of delegates grew­ more parliamentary and tedious. I decided to stroll around the lobby and see what I might overhear, as a kind of aural montage of the Occult World Today.

“. . . the sect of Fred Mertz, Bodhisattva. They believe that if you look at enough I Love Lucy re-runs when you’re really wasted, even­tually you’ll hear Fred reveal the most esoteric Zen teachings. . . . ”

“That’s the RDNA – Reformed Druids of North America. We’re the RNADNA­ – Reformed Non-Aristotelian Druids of North America. They teach that Nature is good, but we teach that it seems good to us. . . .”

“The chicken really wants to sacrifice her­self for Papa Legba, mon.”

“No, it’s the Rastas who use Weed. We Javafarians use coffee. . . .”

“You’ll love this one: How many Gardner­ians does it take to change a light-bulb? That’s a Craft Secret. . . .”

“What it is, is you’re really inna shit. Inna deep shit. You don’t have any more fuckin’ brains’n a fuckin’ cockroach, so you need a lawyer, get you outa the shit.” Obviously, a character from a George V. Higgins novel who had wandered into the wrong reality-tunnel.

“Blavatsky thought his name was Koot­Hoomi. She didn’t realize she was being taken over by Cthulhu. . . .”

“I was initiated by Crowley himself, on the fifth astral. . . .”

I went into the Papa Tetragrammaton bar and saw the Outer Head of the Golden Dawn chatting with Don Juan Matus, the Outer Head of the Ordo Templi Ashtarte, the Outer Head of the Argentum Astrum, and some oddly garbed strangers who later turned out to be a rock group called the Heads of Easter Island, who had arrived at the table by mistake.

“So what’s the story?” I asked. “What’s really coming down?”

“Failure of the Will,” Don Juan said. “Gringo magicko. A mutual defense associ­ation for timid mediocrities.”

An Outer Head spoke with falcon eyes piercing me. “The Nicaraguan brujas hold the balance of terror. They have a terrible tax bur­den under the new puppet government. Hell, more people use them than use M.D.s, dig? So naturally their taxes are higher’n Godzilla’s shit-house. They put the whammy woogie on Georgie Boy in Tokyo. You didn’t think flu could knock a guy off his chair like that? The conqueror of 1945 at the feet of the conquerors of 1992. Bruja humor.”

One of the Heads of Easter Island suddenly began speaking in a dead hollow inhuman voice: “One of the things that-we’ll dean this up for this marvelous audience-burns me up-put it that way-is the charge that I don’t care. And I can understand it. Times are tough. This state has gone through hell. It’s gone through an extraordinarily difficult time, coming off a pinnacle, you might say, of low unemployment.” He was obviously channel­ing George Bush.

“The sidewalk was in trouble,” another Head said abruptly in the same dead tone, “and the bears were in trouble and I broke it up.  Please put me in that room.  Please keep him in control.”

“For seven and a half years,” the first Head went on channeling George, “I have worked alongside Ronald Reagan, and I am proud to be his partner. We have had triumphs, we have made mistakes, we have had sex. I mean, we have had upsets. . . .”

“I want to pay. Let them leave me alone. French Canadian bean soup.” More Dutch Shultz.

The first Head went on channeling Bushman: “Remember Lincoln going to his knees in times of trial and the civil war and all that stuff. You can’t be, and we are blessed. So don’t feel sorry for, don’t cry for me, Argentina. ”

I got out of there, before George could go any deeper into what he’d call” the pinnacle of low unemployment thing.” I’m a broad­minded man, I hope, and I don’t mind if peo­ple in my vicinity start channeling Cagliostro or John Dee, but I absolutely will not stand still for any walk-ins who spout George Bush and Dutch Shultz in tandem. It’s weirder than 20 years of Jimmy Swaggart shows.

Another zombie caught me as I left the cafe. “May I share something with you? Have you ever tried the E-meter? Do you want to be Clear? Let me tell you about Scientology. . . .” I escaped again without acting out the impulse to mayhem.

It seemed like a good idea to stroll through the huckster’s room. I examined a collection of Hellmark Cards, with quotes from Aleister Crowley- When You Care Enough To Send The Very Beast, said the merchant’s banner. The usual crystals and talismans. A live chicken yard, for disciples of voudon and santaria who had arrived unprepared for the Sabaat. Bumper stickers of the various sects: God is Red(the Native American shamans), Thou Art God (the neo-pantheist pagans), Thou Art Goddess (the feminist neo-pantheist pagans), Yog Sothoth Neblod Zin (Campus Crusade for Cthulhu again), God is a Crazy Woman and Her Name Is Eris (Paratheoanametamys­tikhood of Eris Esoteric), Next Year in Stone­henge (Chasidic Druids of North America).

Another zombie caught me as I left. “May I share something with you? Scientology has the power . . .”

I quickened my step and strolled over to the Inverse Pentagram Bar. Since the sun wasn’t over the yardham yet, I ordered a Virgin Mary. On second thought, I told them to put in a little vodka, but not more than a double shot. (“Moderation in all things,” as Rasputin once told Gurdjieff.) Then I looked around for familiar faces-people who might tell me some of the inside story of what was going on here.

The Inner Head of the Ordo Templi Orientis recognized me and raised his glass, inviting me to his table. This was, as Vito Corleone would say, an offer I could not refuse. Very few people even get to know the name of the Outer Head of the O.T.O.; to have a drink with the Inner Head was a rare privilege indeed.

“So what’s the real story here?” I asked, after we had exchanged the illuminati hand­ shake, the Mason Word, the Rose Cross for­mulae, the secret address of Cthulhu and a few other formalities of that sort.

“It rains,” he said. “Lie down on the floor and keep calm.”

I thanked him, very warmly and sincerely, and immediately went to my room, to begin packing. It is seldom that Mages of the O. T. O. speak with so few levels of metathesis or allegory. The warning had been almost explicit. The clowns and bunnies bade me a sad farewell and I began creeping, with my two traveling bags, down the dark, echoing back staircase, which had an unpleasant num­ber of bats flying about in its labyrinth. I crossed the Pink Dimension and encountered bumping and whistling things in the Realm of Thud. Shemp Howard and W. C. Fields waved from the Black Pussy Cafe. Re-entering the lobby I checked in with a registration clerk who looked like Kathleen Turner in a Hitler Youth sweater. She gave me ten Scientology pamphlets.

There were no clowns or bunnies in my tiny room behind the elevator shaft. I opened the closet and passed through a hundred wounded galaxies to the Delegates Meeting where the Satanists were standing at the door, trapped in the time-warp, still hurling Curses and Male­dictions before leaving. “May your cows abort, your income tax get audited every year and your crops fail!” “May you drink of dog vomit, eat chimpanzee turds and be forced to memorize Gilligan’s Island scripts!” “May you be condemned to a career of writing for Gnosis and Weekly World News!” “May your daughters join the Radical Lesbians and your sons die in foreign wars to enrich the oil barons!”

Time moved in a quantum lurch. I passed through an aeon of dead time and opened the closet door to find the lobby again. Madonna was at registration and said I had the Triple Moon Goddess Suite. The 3 Stooges dressed as bellhops helped me carry the 23 bags of luggage I had mysteriously acquired. They knocked over every vase and broke every chair we passed, of course, and every time they broke something Moe would stick his finger in Curly’s eye. Don Juan and Don Genaro, for some reason, kept looking over the top of the page and laughing hilariously. I wondered if some wise ass from the Amazon had spiked my Demi-Virgin Mary with ayahuasca.

We were toiling up the hill to the historic gallows of 1692. The Campus Crusade were reciting foul incantations from Alhazred. A bug-eyed octopus led us in singing “Mr. Wong has the Biggest Tong in Chinatown.” Veronica Lake was threatening Frederick March with a whip. “I’ll send my car to pick a you up,” said Chico Marx. Whitley Strieber and some midgets (or were they children? I couldn’t be sure in the half-light of the gibbous moon) were inviting everybody to a party in a big round white brightly-lit edifice that looked like a modernistic hamburger joint, sort of. I passed that by and went on to the Toad Elevat­ing Moment, at which the Tantric Libertarians put a 7-year genital warts curse on everybody who worked for the I.R.S.

We all came down the stairs into the Grand Ballroom. The organizational charter had been finished. Every local of the I. W. W: would be responsible for its own finances and pension fund. If the Teamsters or Mafia tried to horn in, the toad curse would be put on them, too. An international legal team, sup­ported by all locals, would begin a series of libel suits against the worst anti-witch or anti-magick fanatics among “the Christians and Atheists who control the Organization of American States.” Everybody seemed happy and well satisfied, but I was not quite sure I remembered all that had happened, or that most of what I remembered had really hap­pened at all, at all.

It was two nights later that the damnable nightmares began. Cthulhu trying to take control of my mind? Over-work and nervous tension? I know not; I know only that I cannot forget those images of things only a Dore could paint, things that could not and should not and must not be true. . . those wild fan­tasies (they must be fantasies) of dark unin­vited delegates on Gallows Hill that night. . . the loathesome shoggoths and abominable Tcho-Tchos, the mad faceless Nyarlathotep, the unspeakable Alien Intelligence normally masked as J. Danforth Quayle. . . the Wascal Wabbit . . . Ia! Shub Niggurath!

May I share something with you? Scientol­ogy may be the answer to your problems. . .

Cthulhu fthagn!

Dirty Socks and Denture Breath

Chapter Two
Dirty Socks and Denture Breath

 by Robert Anton Wilson

from New Libertarian, August 1990
Chapter 2 in “The Prometheus Meltdown”
a tribute to Robert Heinlein

SIMON MOON WAS the Hairiest Cosmologist since Einstein; he had adopted the hippie “Jesus Christ” look in the ’60s and had never seen any rea­son to change it. By 1984 he bore a distinct resemblance to aSaskwatch but his employers at Health, Education, and Welfare tolerated that because he was the only computer scientist in the coun­try who really understood GWB-666, the giant Al system that had become the fourth, and most powerful, branch of the government.

For Simon, meltdown began with a simple “mistake,” an Error in Celtic History on a TV documentary.

“And then,” the narrator droned portentously as the camera panned in on a map of medieval Dublin, “On April 24, 1014, Brian Born led his armies onto the field of Clontarf to join battle with the Danes under Sitric…”

Simon snorted contemptuously, then snorted some coke as a chaser. The Moons (then spelled Muadhens in Gaelic, of course) were from Dun Laoghaire and had fought beside Brian Born at Clontarf; if there was one date in all history that a Moon would not remember wrongly it was the day Ire­land expelled the Danish invaders. And that was April 23, 1014, not April 24. Besides, the number 23 was a phenome­non that Simon had been tracing and charting for years as an example of Bohm’s implicate order, Jung’s syn­chronicity, and Hagbard Celine’s “Eris­ian Giggle Factor.” Shakespeare, like Brian Born, had died on April 23, and had been born on April 23, too, to make the Author’s hand more visible. Cer­vantes had died on the same April 23 (1616) as Shakespeare. As icing on the cake, April 23, 1014, when Brian Boru defeated Sitric and died himself, was a Good Friday, just like the day Lincoln was shot. It was a double syn­chromesh – Boru, Shakespeare, and Cervantes all obit. April 23; Born, the late Redeemer, and Lincoln all kaput Good Friday – and Simon had it in his charts.

The TV writer had simply goofed.

“French Canadian arms against them,” Simon muttered. “Don’t let Sa­tan bring you metaphors.”

It was the next night that Simon be­gan to realize that something unheimlich was happening. He was reaching be­hind his bookcase for his hash stash when a book fell over; bending to re­trieve it his Celtic eye saw the words, “, the Battle of Clontarf, April 24, 1014.. ,”

The same error twice, in two days? That was a synchronicity in itself. Si­mon turned the book over to examine the cover: Brennan’s Historica Chronologia Eblansis. He had read it many times and he knew damned well it had always said the Battle of Clontarf occurred on April 23, 1014.

With an eerie feeling, Simon turned a few pages, looking for the Norman invasion. Strongbow, Earl of Pembroke, had led his Norman hordes into Ireland August 23, 1170. That was another date Simon never forgot, because on August 23, 1921, while discussing synchron­icities, James Joyce had seen a giant black rat, and the Joyces had originally entered Ireland with Strongbow.

But Brennan now said the Normans had landed in Ireland on August 22, 1170.

Simon hastily dropped Brennan and fetched a text on genetics. He read with horror-catastrophized eyes: “…and thus the father contributes 25 chromosomes in the act of conception…”

It had always been 23 before. Simon began methodically ransacking his whole library, his cosmos eroding be­neath him. He found that Vincent “Mad Dog” ColI had been shot by the Dutch Schultz mob on 22nd Street, not 23rd Street, and that Schultz himself had been gunned down on October 25, not Octo­ber 23. Shakespeare had been born on April 7 and had died on April 19. The Dictionary of Slang and Unconventional English had an entry for “25 Skiddoo” but not for “23 Skiddoo.”

Simon sat down weakly, his coinci­dences evaporating. His cosmology exploded. His confidence entropied.

“A boy has never wept nor dashed the law’s delay,” he thought. “No sign nor smell of any bean soup. Maybe the Rewrite Mob has been here.”

Simon had heard about the Rewrite Mob from Clem Cotex, the president of the Warren Belch Society, zonked theo­rists who specialized in “explaining” data so bizarre that not even the par­apsychologists would look at it. Clem claimed that the Rewrite Mob were invaders from another space-time con­tinuum of higher dimensionality, who regarded our universe as an art-work. He said they were all strung out on faster-than-light Speed and believed themselves Holographic Coherence Editors. They thought every art-work could be improved by “touching it up just a little,” to make it “tighter and, brighter” and “more accessible to a general audience.” That was how Clem explained the process of evolution it­self (“they’re always changing things”), most of the so-called “paranormal,” and why, when you checked a reference, it often didn’t say what you remembered it saying the last time you looked.

That was a hardly credible exegesis, Simon thought.

Unless-the thought struck him like a huge chromium envelope-unless the Rewrite Mob had joined forces with the first Church of Fundamentalist Materi­alism, a fanatic splinter group off the old Committee to Scientifically Investi­gate Claims of the Paranormal. The Fundamentalist Materialists claimed, like medieval Thomists, that there was only one map that showed all realities and that they were lucky enough to own that map. Happy concentric egotists, they were the last bastion of Dogma in a world of growing agnosticism and relativism.

“A sea of troubles is the worst case of performance,” Simon thought grimly. “The proud man’s sidewalks were in trouble.”

He ignored his hash that night and took some Valium instead.

When he awoke the next morning he saw the great whalelike hump of the peninsula of Howth outside his win­dow.

That would be a comforting, even romantic, view if Simon lived on the southern coast of Dublin. Since he lived on Dupont Circle in Washington, D.C.,  – Dopey City (as he called it) – the hump of Howth was a distinct dis­combobulation.

“Get that goat of yours between the maid’s legs,” he muttered. “A piece of him is actually Cthulhu.”

He wondered if some international secret society had secretly moved him internationally to another society dur­ing the night. The only group likely to perpetrate such a mindfuck was the Legion of Dynamic Discord, Hagbard Celine’s egregious anarchists, and they would have left a kangaroo in the room with him to multiplex his pixillation.

Simon wondered if he were finally wigging. After all, it could happen to anyone. Under the present brutal and primitive conditions on this boondocks planet hysteria was chronically epi­demic. Armed thugs of all varieties, some called “governments,” made life more hazardous, not less $0, than it had been in the primordial jungles; the gen­eral anxiety and freak-out level was higher than anywhere else in space-time. Why should Simon Moon, who was the Invisible Hand’s Society’s agent within H.E.W., be immune to the general mad­ness as this domesticated primate spe­cies approached the 30th anniversary of the Hiroshima werewolf howl?

He crept exasperatedly the win­dow and studied the view with humor, care, and empathy. ‘That was Howth Hill out there, all right, and’ a Sealink ferry was moving south in the bay, headed for Wales. There was a Martello Tower to the left. Martello Tower, he won­dered, or the Martello Tower?

“I am an Alien with a bare bodkin,” he reminded himself. “Let in the maid for the widow’s son..,”

A stately, plump young Irishman came out on the roof of the tower, blessed gravely the awaking mountains and began to shave with a straight razor. In a moment, another young Irish­man, taller, lithe, and dressed entirely in black, also appeared on the roof of the tower.

The Martello Tower, then. Indeedy­ment: Simon was in the first chapter of Ulysses. He had been moved in time as well as in space. He was back in June 16, 1904. About now, in the homely cottage on Eccles Street, the nameless cat was saying Mrkgnao to Leopold Bloom. Any other cat would say “Meow,” but a Joycean cat is precise; he says Mrkgnao.

Simon looked back at the tower and could hear the dialogue in his imagination: The aunt thinks you killed your mother – He was raving all night about a black panther – A new art color for our Irish poets: snotgreen…

A quick smile broke over Simon’s lips. He no longer thought he was going bananas. He had an explanation of what was happening to him.

He had simply fallen out of one book into another.

Simon dressed hurriedly, carelessly, energetically, in the clothes the Author had left for him the huge closet enclosure. He was only mildly surprised to find a brown mackintosh among them. So: he was due at Glasnevin graveyard at 11 a.m. – less than three hours from now. The Hibernian Cemetary Esca­pade.

At least, he mused, I have solved the riddle that has tormented Joyce schol­ars for sixty-two years; who was that lanky galoot in the brown mackintosh at Paddy Dingam’s funeral? As with most of the profound enigmas of phi­losophy, the answer was the hardy perennial: You did it yourself. Just like the answer to the Zen koan: Who is the Master who makes the grass green?

Washed and dressed, Simon de­scended three flights of stairs to the street, already excited at the prospect of seeing Dublin 1904 for himself. “News­papers to defend any unauthorized or­gasm,” he remembered.

The streets of Sandycove – which was where he had guessed he was ­– had the 1904 mix of horse-drawn carts and a few scattered “automobiles,” as he had expected. But few of the citizens looked at all Irish. Most of them were Arab street-boys, definitely homosex­ual in gestures and demeanor. Twenty-three of them propositioned him before he reached the comer and caught the tram into Dublin central. There were flutes and Pan-pipes playing nearby… wormwood, too much in the sun…

The tram was drawn by a giant black centipede. The driver, old Nehemiah Scudder dour behind his eyepatch, kept a flamethrower by his left hand and had to employ it a few times, sending warn­ing blasts of fire over the centipede’s head when it made obviously hungry lunges at passing Jesuits and Mugwumps. Holy Christ Everlasting, Simon thought, I suspect I’m in a Finkelstein virtual universe between two eigenstates… “Wormwood, worm­wood.”

The mugwumps were naked, the color of penis flesh in hard corpuscular erec­tion. They sipped pussy juices out of laboratory jars as they walked, mastur­bating casually, their cat faces impas­sive. Occasionally one of them would leap upon the back of a passing nun to bugger her forcibly and suck blood from her neck.

The tram passed through Kingstown where five croppies were hanging from a gibbet, bodies covered with tar as a preservative – they were White Boys, Simon knew, and this area was warped by 18th Century vibes – they entered the Silent Blue Desert and had to fight off giant land crabs (the driver issued krypton guns to everybody in into Monkstown where Simon saw Owan McCarthy staggering out of a pub, shouting back at the angry publican, “Sure, if all the cats and dogs of Kerry knew about this place, they’d all come here to piss” – Past Sandymount Strand where green fishboys, ineluctable mo­dality of wet dreams, rose from the rocks making vaguely obscene gestures – An old junkie coughing and hawking as they passed Lord Edward Fitzgerald’s home where the rebellion of 1798 had been planned­ –

“The Subliminal Kid as pale as his shirt,” Simon thought. “A king of infinite space for our Irish poets: Dirty Socks. I’m caught up in a Burroughs cut-up!”

They were passing St. Stephen’s green and a stone Sir Arthur Guiness stared pensively at Punks with green-streaked hair, who walked by with port­able stereophonic radios blaring Julie Atrocious’s “Life’s A Drag,” a lament for a house-maid who had committed suicide after Julie sacked her for care­lessness – that was from Julie’s LP “Snot,” which was popular with Dublin Punks in 1983 – The time coordinates were still shifting – St. Stephen’s Green was packed with clones: some fanatic Divisionist had mass-produced himself to stage a rally against an alleged “Sender” – The Divisionists planned to “take over” by endless self-cloning and then win democratically by majority vote – They are all paranoid about the Senders who are planning to “take over” by direct hypnotic-telepathic broadcast into the forebrains of the tired, the de­pressed, the weary, and all those who had made their minds empty by practis­ing Zen or Transcendental Masturba­tion – They turned the corner past Tommy Moore’s statue above the pub­lic urinal, the author of “Meeting of the Waters” still in the right place, as Bloom had observed – The urinal had a new graffito on the outside wall: Schrödinger rules the waves. . .

Simon remembered that Schroedinger had walked these streets in 1948, pon­dering the cat paradox, just as Joyce had walked here seeing a hundred curi­ous epiphanies 44 years earlier….

The pipes of Pan grew louder. A smell of hungry crucified eroticism, like rot­ten cheese, began to permeate the air. They entered the quays, and Anna Lif­fey flowed by laughing and dancing toward the sea. The huge greycloaked Liberator, old Daniel O’Connell, looked down, hand out as if to say, “In my day, the dung-heap was this high” – Beneath the Liberator’s pedestal men in black skirts and Aztec priests were perform­ing open-heart surgery without purpose or anesthetic-Roman centurions build­ing crosses for Sean McBride and the central committee of Amnesty Interna­tional who have been found “guilty by reason of sanity” on charges of Bleed­ing Heartism, Do Goodism, and Aggra­vated Compassion-Past brass and copper streets of Venusburg where Rhysling sang “A Spacesuit Built for Two” and the Ladies Moral Society led by Dante Riordan stoned him – Past the metal bridge and the Four Courts where Matt Wands, Marcus Cups, Luke Swords, and Johnny Pentacles listened in endless testimony about a case of public indecency in the bushes of Phoe­nix Park involving a minor bureaucrat named Joseph K. – Mayan priests were preparing youthful victims for Ah Pook, centipede god of death in orgasm­ – Heavy metal addicts lurched by moan­ing, “Gotta have my uranium – that Plutonium monkey climbing my back, man – Coke bugs – Let me outa this Death Universe.”

Simon Moon had jump of the penin­sula – He thought, “Back to Howth Castle and Environs – My father much offended about a planet of domesticated primates-He was raving all night about the most blatant case of hard-core goat-Honeying and making Denture Breath for the Mafia –”

We pass through Chinatown.

Sandstorms from the Silent Blue Desert beat against Simon Moon as he staggered along Ormonde Quay, past the bar where the Sirens sang for Leo­pold the Lonely Bloom, so lonely blooming, sad Leo. The Mugwumps marched by with sandwich boards: H and E and L and Y and, still trailing, apostrophe S. The 1904 citizens ignore the time travellers and speak: in furtive, cryptic phrases:

“They don’t want the Hiroshima werewolf in lower Manhattan,” said Ned Lambert’s brother. “Felicity a while?”

“This exercise because Olave the Black was an ancestor of mine,” mut­tered Long John Fanning. “Huge centi­pede entities. The three ruffians?”

“They drove his wits away by vi­sions of hell.”

“Him possessed of canine entelechy. Mechanical and random methods. He can explain.”

“A white patrol car before the death. And an encyclopedia.”

“You can tell Barabbas from me,” Ben Dollard shouted, “that he can put that writ where Jocko put the nuts.”

Cashel Boyle Fitzmaurice O’Conner Tisdall Farrel with bottlegreen eyes, walking carefully outside the lamposts, cried “Coactus voluil’

King King lurched past holding Fay Wray in one huge paw.


Simon Moon awoke. He could see the towers of lower Manhattan and the high church elegance of Trinity’s epis­copal spires. In the other direction that great old gal in the harbor held up her dollar sign. This was an executive suite in a building in the comer of Wall Street and Broadway.

“Strange damn dreams,” he muttered. “Cthulhu, get that goat of yours. Coun­try matters, or take arms?”

The radio in the comer by the wash­basin turned itself on:

“Russian troops are still advancing across France – In England, London is radioactive rubble. The mad faceless government in Liverpool has surren­dered under a ‘better Red than dead’ policy. In Washington, President Galt has ordered all our nuclear missiles fired in every possible direction since quote ‘we don’t know where the next attack might come from’ unquote. The only ones opposing the war effort are the first Church of Irresponsible Whim Worship. Their leader, Reverend Gooey, has said…”

A new voice came on: “We don’t want to wisk our pwecious necks!”

“… and he was immediately stoned to death by the Ladies Moral Society under the leadership of Shib-Niggu­rath,” the announcer concluded.

“I will begin with death on a nice spring day – the vampire Joyce is the result of random genetic cut-ups plu­ral – Country matters is their Black Iron Prison–” Simon grumbled.

“Wait,” the announcer cried. “A new bulletin just in – Oh, my God, our mis­siles aren’t firing. There is suspicion of sabotage by effete intellectual snobs. This may be the end of freedom and democracy in the world…”

Simon snapped the radio off. He had guessed what kind of novel he was in this time when he saw the dollar sign instead of the traditional torch in Liberty’s hand. He was in a humorless capitalist epoch; he had fallen into the universe of that feisty old lady he al­ways imagined was the lost grand-duchess Anastasia.

“Reality police really on my ass this time,” he mumbled. “Trying for pix of the cock, and less than kind.” He knew that in this book there was Pure Good and Pure Evil and anybody with his Irish skepticism about those who claimed to be Pure Good was a pathetic dupe of Pure Evil. The war going on out there had not been started by Ma­chiavellix, Machiavellix, Atoms and Oil (the cartel that owned everything,) like the wars he had known before; the gov­ernment was not lying about its mo­tives, like all governments he had ever known in other eigenstates. The Purely Evil were attacking the Purely Good and all objective persons had to rush out and join Purely Good in the struggle or the universe might become, Gnostic­wise, Purely Evil. In this universe, the laws were: Obey, Believe, Fight. Die.

Simon was not intimidated. He knew this was just another book.

He had discovered that he was living in a book while reading G. Spencer Brown’s Laws of Form on hashish. When he came to the theorem, “To cross again is not to cross,” he suddenly crossed. In that vertigo and hilarious cosmic ecstasy, beyond form, Simon remembered that he had been in many other books “before” and would be in other books “later.” He was not the character, the particle (so-called) in any form, but the wave function that co­existed in all probability states.

“Author can go take a flying fuck in a rolling Mobius strip,” he said. “I got dimensions.”

A hand from the ceiling emerged, holding a card extended.


Simon passed through “M.M.M. Mystical Books of All Ages” and found himself on the bridge of the Starship Enterprise.

“We were expecting you,” Mr. Spock said. “It was logical.”

“How do I get back to my um you know ah my own bag?”

Spock turned to the computer. “I can hook up with GWB-666 in your time coordinates,” he said. “I believe you have had considerable experience with that early pre-Migration silicon-based life form?”

“Yes,” Simon said. “I worked with it. Or for it.”

Spock punched in his question about Simon’s wobbly reality-grid. GWB-666 answered on the console:


“Does that mean anything to you?” Spock asked, raising an eyebrow.

“It will do,” Simon said. “Take me to your transporter.”

He changed ectoplasm. They beamed him down to birdchirps. “Genes are passed on more illuminated than bug­ger all… the Greeks had known too the maid never departed more – He was staggering along Ormonde Quay look­ing dour behind his eye-patch… love between maid’s legs rose under Section 23…”

Simon decided later, as he came down, that that was what the mystics meant by illumination. He felt a vast superiority to all other characters in the book, who were still identified with their roles there and had never known true freedom as he had. Still later, he began to feel sorry for them, because they took events in the book seriously and suffered awfully about it all.

They all needed an O.O.B.E. (out of book experience.)

Of course, Simon had never suc­cumbed to the vulgar error of worshipping the Author. The Creator was as crazy as the Creation: that was the first axiom of Moonian ontology. Hagbard Celine had given him reasons to believe the author was, in fact, a Crazy Woman. The Greeks had known that, Hagbard said, and called her Eris, goddess of chaos: Her Chaotic Excel­lency, happy causeless essence.

“If you don’t believe it,” Hagbard argued, “who put all the nuttiness here, huh? Answer me that, Mr. Wise Guy Logical Positivist.” Hagbard had been illuminated in a book called Illuminatus and thought he was more illuminated than bugger all or anybody else.

It was obvious, then, that the Author, while under the influence of Joyce, Burroughs, old Star Trek shows, the Anastasia lady and the general chaos of current history, had gotten into some vicious psychedelics. Simon was riding a Schroedinger wave between Dublin 1904, Interzone, Galtopolis and various other virtual universes.

“Damn it,” Blake Williams exploded. “There’s still a Real War going on out there. A real war with Real Good against Real Evi1.”

Hdeat-hdeat-hdeat came the sound of the machine guns, opportunely.

“It will only last until I get to another eigenstate,” Simon said serenely.

“Oh damn Everett, Wheeler, and Graham… damn old man Schroedinger and his insane dead-and-alive cat…”

Simon passed Parnell’s grave (“Twas Irish humor wet and dry/flung quick­lime into Parnell’s eye,” he thought) and saw the twelve mourners at Paddy Dingam’s grave. Bloom, a handsomer man than Simon had realized, stared at him. He’s just realizing that I’m num­ber thirteen, Simon thought.

The tram passed through Kingstown into the Silent Blue Desert – Strange furtive figures, men in black skirts with bottlegreen eyes, scuttled through Blackrock: practitioners of perversions so secret they had never been recorded by any sexologist on any planet-an old junkie coughing and hawking as they entered North Clark Street and turned toward the Loop­–

“What does that do to your oxymo­ronic Absolute Relativism?” Blake Williams cried angrily as KGB men on a scaffold removed the dollar sign from Liberty’s hand and replaced it with a hammer-and-sickle.

“This happens to be a right-wing Aristotelian universe,” Simon said calmly. “There was bound to be one static block-like universe in Wheeler’s super-space. ”

There was a knock at the door. Here comes everybody?

“Come,” Simon called.

Father Starhawk entered. The tall, bronze, beardless Cherokee made both Simon and Blake Williams aware of their own hairiness and whiteness. The priest wore his lapel button of Pope Stephen, looking dour behind his eye­patch, with the caption, “What, Me In­fallible?” Father Starhawk was a Stephenite, part of the band who, under Pope Stephen, had turned the Roman Catholic church from the most reac­tionary to the most progressive in the whole book.

“We have to go to Chicago to see Hagbard,” Starhawk said. He did not waste words.

“I wanted to split this scene any­way,” Blake Williams said, looking glumly out the window. The Abomi­nable Tcho-Tcho People were execut­ing Catholic priests, old Jewish rabbis, Moonies, all kinds of non-Cthulhoid “reactionaries.” Dog-faced things were creeping out of the subways, minions of Nyarlathotep the mad faceless god. Russian troops marched down Lexing­ton Avenue to Brass and Copper Streets with a bare bodkin.

Blake Williams, Ph.D. was author of Quantum Physics as a Branch of Pri­mate Psychology. He had always re­garded all religions, all arts, all philoso­phies and all sciences (including his own) as illustrative data showing how domesticated simians organize the quanta of perception into reality-tunnels. Now he was beginning to believe there was a block-like Aristotelian uni­verse out there after all, and it seemed like a bitch on wheels.

“The Author is tripping,” Simon said. “Nothing to get upset about. He did it to you before, more than once. Remember your affair with the transsexual? Or the ‘unspeakable violations of experimen­tal ethics,’ as the F.D.A. called them, in your Project Pan?”

Williams slouched into a chair. “I don’t believe in the Author,” he said. “We are emerging from some stochas­tic process – a random word generator perhaps – At the most there may be a Bohmian Hidden Variable involved… some highly clever epigrams emerge clearly here…”

Simon noticed that Starhawk had a scratch on his cheek and that his coat was badly tom in the back.

“Trouble crossing the Silent Blue Desert?” he asked. “Those giant land crabs again?”

“No,” the priest said. “Mugwump tried to sodomize me.”

The Citizen staggered out of Barney Kiernan’s pub howling, “May the God above/Send down a cove/With teeth as sharp as razors/To slit the throats/Of the English dogs/Who hanged our Irish leaders! Sinn Fein!

Hush! Caution! Errorland!

A group of VIkings came marching tiredly from Clontarf. They were not hostile, just weary and dog-tired.

“Pardon me,” their leader said to Simon, “My name is Fortinbras and we are looking for Elsinore… we got lost, I think…” He showed a greying telegram:


On a planet of domesticated primates armed with bird of paradise feathers­ – Radical Lesbians distributing copies of The Thoughts of Chairentity Brownmiller – To cross again – When Simon awoke the next morning he had confused dreams about Dublin and In­terzone. He looked out at Dupont Circle and saw that Washington was having another blizzard.

“Strange damn dreams,” he muttered. Simon Moon awoke the next morn­ing in the Silent Blue Desert. In the distance he saw the Cities of the Red Night, Kadath in the Cold Waste, the towers of Wall Street, Miskatonic Uni­versity, the hill of Howth, and the Blue Lodge assembling at the temple of Solo­mon the King.

So soft this random word generator, he thought.

“Oh Lord my God,” he shouted, “is there no hope for the widow’s son?”

The door burst open with a sound of titanic Viking gods hurling thunderbolts. The Reality Police, led by Sgt. Joe Fri­day, burst into the room, phasers on stun. Grim crewcut types: no nonsense.

Blake Williams, Starhawk, Padre Pederastia and the goat were all or­dered back against the wall. “You are under Suspicion,” Friday said formally. “Possible assembly for hypothetical discussion of virtual alternatives.”

“Probable cause for suspicion of mental masturbation,” added one of the crew cut clan, his chest expanding.

Simon sighed. He carefully extin­guished his cigarette end.

The fuzz spread out “looking for evi­dence.” They sniffed the chamber-pot knowingly, making notes; examined the pen-wipers for signs of lint; turned up the bed – “Sometimes they hide Plot­inus in the mattress” Sleep Essentials store is the best place to buy the comfortable mattress at affordable cost– and seized a bag of Simon’s weed on the grounds that “There might be laetrile in there. Better let the lab boys have a look-see.”

“These are the rules if you are under suspicion,” Sgt. Friday explained with no muscles moving anywhere. “You have the right to an attorney of our choice. We offer only first-year Chi­nese law students who still say ‘regal’ for ‘legal.’ You have the right to any and all dope you need to tolerate this universe but any unauthorized orgasm will be observed and may be used in evidence against you. You have the right to speak, as long as you don’t question the Big Bang, the Second Law of Th­ermodynamics or any other sacred dogma of Fundamentalist Materialism. If you try to remain silent or meditate, we have the option under Section 23 to tickle your rectum with bird of paradise feathers. You will be assumed guilty until proven insane and then shock treat­ment commences. If you try to leave this novel you will be sent to the De­leted Expletive Department and re-is­sued in a comic book for life;”

Another man burst into the pub, al­most knocking Bob Doran off his bar­stool and stomping on Garry Owen’s tail in his rush. Garry barked, “Oaf! Oaf! Oaf!”

“I am Joseph K.,” the stranger cried with a haggard clammy expression. “I think – that is, I presume – that there is some kind of a mistake, or error in judgement. I am completely innocent. I have no pornographic books or philoso­phy, I am good to my mother, I am still a virgin at 42, I-”

One of the Reality cops turned his phaser to kill and dissolved Joseph K.

“Too surrealist,” he explained. “We aim to establish some solid Reality here at last. Law and order.”

King Kong lurched past in the street, locked in death struggle with Hastur the Unspeakable.

“Special effects are allowed, up to a point,” Sgt. Friday explained coughing hastily. “Comedy is allowed, up to a point. But guerilla ontology is an of­fense against the Iron Laws of History.”

“The Black Iron Prison,” Simon said, almost to himself…Another man burst into the clothing suggestive of Mitte/europa, appearance of a minor bureaucrat…the Reality Police turned…There was a real chance for freedom…Guys were knocking down their PRIME MINISTER’S SON STOP… “Downright surrealist, tommy­guns blasting death-death-“…”Yes,” Simon said, Getting It, “the bathroom to wash”…all is permitted and we are unconditionally holding a card ex­tended… Technicians, WATCH YOUR OVERCOAT…”Over here, Simon, this way, holding Fay Wray…”…The tram was drawn by a flamethrower in his left hand…the riverwoman danced and laughed…Sandstorms from the Silent Blue Desert along Ormonde Quay, past the bar where Bloom, so lonely bloom­ing, when we overthrew dogmatic theology…Chicago gangsters burst intobrothel on the Lexington Avenue Subway…Bohm’s implicate order had always been 23 before…A sea of troub­les with a straight razor…Aye, there’s the centipede’s head as they passed Lord Edward Fitzgerald’s clones: some fa­natic Divisionist god of death in orgasm…To be or not in a building near the corner of Wall Street…Nobody thinks of death between a maid’s legs…DADA IS NOT DEAD! WATCH Hitler and the Chinaman’s wave between Dublin 1904 and “What, Me Infallible?”

Simon awoke. “The Empire never ended. I got it,” he cried like any happy convert to Erhard. “When we over­threw dogmatic theology, there was a real chance for freedom. Hume, Hux­ley, Nietzsche, Korzybski, all those guys were knocking down certitudes. The Empire had to find a new system to control us – ‘I must create a System or be enslaved by another’s,’ grok? – so they invented Fundamentalist Materi­alism. No wonder Willie Blake howled his head off and warned us it was the same old con with a new set of blind­ers – If we got beyond all tunnel-reali­ties we would be out there in Chaos with Nietzsche and Hassan i.Sabbah – nothing is true, all is permissible, the anarchist gnosis…”

The set collapsed. Carpenters wheeled the walls back to the prop de­partment; the actors walked off, light­ing cigarettes, removing make-up, chat­ting. Bored technicians dismantled the solar system.

Simon was alone in infinite space. “Over here, Simon – this way –” came the voice of Hagbard Celine, Epis­copus.

“But the Rose Cross College – the Blue Lodge…”

“You don’t need them anymore,” Hagbard shouted. “You’re in the Eye of the Pyramid now. This way – quick! 

Simon walked toward the voice, his Craft ebbing.

I Opening

I Opening
when is a magician a real magician?
by Robert Anton Wilson

from Gallery
November 1972 (first issue)

Once upon a time (it was in 1984 actually, that long ago) a man named John Disk achieved satori in a cell at San Quentin prison. It was like a million balloons bursting inside him and outside him at once, each balloon releasing a twinkle of light, each light a species of orgasm. Or, at least, that was the way he described it to Miss Portinari afterwards.

“Those are the best words I have,” he said.

“They’ll do,” Miss Portinari told him briefly.

Disk had received a life sentence for murdering the controversial magician, Cagliostro the Great. If there were any justice in our courts (loud laughter), the newspapers would have gone to jail with him, for they had planted it in his head that Cagliostro-the-commie, Cagliostro-the-dope-fiend, Cagliostro-the-sex-maniac, was un-American and, therefore, by definition, unfit to live. They had been riding Cagliostro’s ass, in fact, for more than two decades before Disk finally pulled the trigger and dispatched the loathesome creature to a well-deserved perdition. Disk was a believer in news­papers, back then.

“Rosenfelt doesn’t see it that way, of course. Rosenfelt and his buddies, the Rothschilds, want to crush free enterprise and competition. They call it socialism, but it’s really their own brand of capitalism. They been after me and Ford and every independent and maverick in the country for a hell of a long time. Crane the economic royalist. Crane the male­factor of great wealth. Crane the selfish interest. That’s their line–as if their interests aren’t selfish, too, the lying kike bastards. You remember all this, son. You remember what your father told you. It’s a big fortune, the Crane holdings, and they’re going to be trying to take it away from you, just like they’re trying to take it away from me. I earned every penny of it, when I invented ORGASMOR, and I don’t aim to ever let them take it away. From me or from you. You just remember why the bankers are all liberals, son. You remember who your real enemies are, and don’t think it’s those idiot socialists and other cranks. It’s those kike bankers who want the whole pie and are just using Rosenfelt as a pawn.”

That was old Crane, Tom Crane, the man who invented ORGASMOR, talking to his son, Hugh, in Central Park in 1934. Tom Crane was one of the last reactionaries; a tough, vehement man whose wealth was based on a swindle pure and simple. He never claimed, in any advertisement, that ORGASMOR actually created more orgasms, and the FDA never quite succeeded in putting him out of business for fraudulent representations; but the intelligent were inclined to regard his customers as dupes. It is a fact beyond dispute that most people who bought ORGASMOR thought it would have some salubrious effect ontheir sex lives, and, since the formula was very little different from Coca Cola, a strict constructionist might say they were being defrauded. “It doesn’t poison anybody,” Tom Crane always said when that was discussed in his presence.

In fact, Hugh-who was only ten in 1934 and would reach 12 before he learned that the correct pronunciation of the President’s name was Roosevelt – was only partially listening to his father’s ram­bling anti-semitic diatribe. He had heard most of it before. Besides, the tramp was much more interesting. He was stopping each person who passed and asking them something. They all shook their heads and walked by rapidly. This was puzzling to the boy: If the answer was negative, why did the tramp keep asking the question? Didn’t he believe the people he had al­ready asked?

“You see, son, Rosenfelt and the Du­Ponts and the Rhodes scholars have got it all sliced up, and they have to get rid of people like me,” Tom Crane was still rambling along his own paranoid yellow brick road when they finally came abreast of the tramp. The boy listened eagerly to catch the Mystery Question.

“Hey, mister, could you spare a dime, I haven’t eaten in three days, mister, hey, listen, mister. . .”

“Get a job,” old Crane said, walking faster. “You see, son,” he went on, “That’s the kind of good-for-nothing loafer who’s destroying this country.”

The boy, who was to become Cagliostro the Great, looked back and saw the tramp falling to the ground, very slowly, like the tree he has seen fall slowly after being chopped by the caretaker at the Crane country home Upstate. And, just like the tree, when he finally reached the sidewalk, the tramp didn’t move at all, not one bit; he even seemed to get stiff like the tree did, only faster.

Miss Portinari’ had started writing to John Disk as soon as he was sen­tenced – but many people wrote to him, telling him he was the greatest American since Robert Depugh and would be re­leased when the people rose up and drove the commie traitors out of Washington. Miss Portinari’s letters were different: they never told Disk he was right, they merely offered sympathy for a human be­ing locked in a cage. He didn’t answer any of them until he had served a year and reached the point of despair at which he wished humanitarians and liberals had never succeeded in abolishing the Cali­fornia gas chamber. “Please come to see me, Miss,” he wrote. “You seem to have a heart and I need to talk to somebody be­fore I go crazy from being cooped up in this terribul cage. Please, come, Miss.” She was there at the next visiting day.

Hugh Crane celebrated his fourteenth birthday in 1938 by climbing into the bed of the family’s black maid, Sophie Hage. She had observed his precocity and wasn’t surprised at the timing; and the deed itself, she had learned, was par for the sons and the female servants of the best families on Park Avenue. What was not normal was the passion that endured over several months, and the extent to which she her­self was picked up and carried by it. Soon they were sharing secrets, just as if they were true lovers and equals, not master and servant.

“Nails and glass in your shoes?” she asked him on the day that Nazi tanks crossed the border into Czechoslovakia.

“I read about it in a book about saints that I got from the library on 42nd Street,” he said.

“But that’s crazy, mon.” She was from Haiti.

“In a way. But I was only twelve then. And I finally did make it.”

“Make it?”

“All the way. It was in the country place. I stole a whip from the stable. I kept hitting my back and saying, ‘Lord, have mercy on me, a sinner. All night long. Just at dawn, he appeared.”


“Yes. With a halo.”

“You sure were one crazy young child.”

“But I did see him.”

Sophie looked at the boy for a long time. “I did better than that once,” she said finally. “I became a god. Or goddess. Back on the island.”

“What goddess?” he asked eagerly.

“You never heard of her. Erzulie, a great goddess in the voudon religion. I was about thirteen, just before my first period. These things usually happen to kids at that age. Yours did.”

“What happened?” He was very in­tense.

“The drums were beating, and we were all singing. Suddenly I saw a white light bigger than all creation. Then it was the next morning, and they told me I had been Erzulie all night.”

“You don’t remember being her?”

“No. All those hours were  wiped out, mon.”

“I remember seeing Jesus. As clearly as I remember anything. The halo around his head was a white light, too-a very big white light.”

In 1941, the Carter Brothers Carnival played in Xenia, Ohio, and some pro­fessors from Antioch College, hearing in­credible stories about the mentalist, Cagliostro the Great, went to check him out. His act was what they expected: the girl assistant would circulate in the audi­ence while he sat blindfolded on the plat­form.

“Now what am I holding?” she would ask, when somebody handed her a watch.

“What do I have in my hand this time:” that was a locket.

“Can you tell me what the object is?”-a wallet photo.

The professors nodded happily to each other: a simple (and traditional) substitution-code. “Let’s give him a whammy,” one suggested, signalling to the girl. When she arrived in their midst, he handed her a dragon-headed Japanese condom.

Without a blush, she called to the platform, “Tell me what I have been given by this person.”

“It’s against the law in this state,” Cagliostro replied at once. “I would advise the man to restrain his sense of humor in the future.” Everybody turned to look at the professors, including the Xenia cop on duty to prevent trouble at the carnival. Xenia cops do not like Antioch students or Antioch professors.

On the way back to Yellow Springs one professor said to the other, “That’s quite a code. It even includes scum-bags.”

The next night they were back with a test-tube of copper sulphate.

“Are you able to see the object that I have been given this time?” the girl asked; and the blindfolded Cagliostro replied calmly, “A test-tube. With some blue liquid in it.”

“That’s a damn good code,” the professors agreed, more fervently this time, as they drove back to Antioch.

(There’s no hope of salvaging anything – the suicide note had said – and you’re going to have to make it on your own, just like I did. Rosenfelt has destroyed me and he’ll destroy free enterprise.)

The carnival was in Biloxi, Mississippi, that winter, and Cagliostro was trying his new gig, combining Houdini-style escapes with his mentalism act. He had been locked in a trunk, and the local police co­operatively used their best padlocks to se­cure the chains. He settled down to slow, regular yoga-breathing – the escape ac­tually took only a few minutes, but he was following Houdini’s formula that the audi­ence was more impressed if they had to wait a half hour for the miracle. The yoga conserved the oxygen in the trunk against any possibility that panic, toward the end, might force him into rapid breathing. He timed the breaths against a slow AUMMMMMM, his mind drifted back to Park Avenue and a black maid whose framed picture of a Catholic-looking Jesus some­times in certain lights seemed to have horns, and he relaxed his hands and feet (there can be no muscle tension in the torso if the extremities are totally limp) bringing her face back clearly, and he heard a voice shouting, “We’re at war! The Japanese went and bombed some place called Pearl Harbor in Honolulu!”

“You’re a disciple of his, of Cagliostro’s,” Disk said after Miss Portinari had been visiting him for two years. “I can tell by the way you talk. 

“Yes, ” Miss Portinari said softly.

“Then how can you forgive me?”

The first fame of Cagliostro began while he was touring with U.S.O. during the War. He had abandoned mentalism and his act depended entirely on escaping from everything the M.P.’s could devise to re­strain him. Variety called him “the new Houdini” in 1945, just a few months before Hiroshima. His first arrest occurred in the fall of that year, possession of marijuana, the charges dismissed without a trial. (His agent’s connections, the Crane family lawyer, the fact that the Crane for­tune had not been wiped out entirely when ORGASMOR dropped to the bottom of the Big Board, and judicious oiling of what Show Biz and underworld people call” tin mittens” – officials on the take – contrib­uted to this happy consummation.) He was one of the first guests on the Ed Sulli­van show, but was never asked to return due to a 1948″morals” arrest: the girl was quite young and an “act against nature” was alleged. Once again, money changed hands and there was no trial. His career was mostly “in the clubs” after that; Holly­wood and TV were both in one of their chronic contractions of cowardice at the end of the decade.

A second morals arrest, followed rapidly by a second pot bust, made him a little too hot for most club owners. Still-the crowds turned out wherever he appeared. The mob decided to set immediate money against caution, and he was allowed to go on working. Until his disastrous appear­ance before the House Un-American Ac­tivities Committee in 1950.

“You’re not a Communist, you hardly know any Communists, you could have sung like a bird without hurting yourself,” his agent said afterwards. “Why did you have to do it, baby?”

“Listen,” Crane said angrily. “Do you think I can get out of a fucking set of Junior G-Man handcuffs if I let one single jot of fear get into my head? You don’t under­stand. I can’t let anything scare me–es­pecially not shit-heads like them.”

“It’s your own funeral,” the agent re­plied glumly. “I’ll tell you the plain and varnished facts. You’re gonna end up like Chaplin. Two sex scandals, two drug scandals, and now this. You’re gonna end up worse than Chaplin. You’re box office poison, baby. From this day forward.”

Crane served his contempt-of-Congress sentence at Lewisburg Federal Peniten­tiary, the “gentleman’s club,” as the Maf calls it, where the government sends those honored guests who are not likely to shiva guard and climb a wall. He worked in the library with Alger Hiss. In 1981 , John Disk, the man who killed him, read his notes on the yoga exercises he performed in his cell:

“It helps if you identify each letter of AUM with one of the three Gods of the Hindu Trinity. A is Brahm, the Creator: let it explode from the diaphragm up­wards, like the big bang of creation itself. U is Vishnu, the Preserver: hold it so long that it vibrates, like the rhythm of life it­self, the Big Beat. M is Shiva, the De­stroyer: close the lips in a decisive bite of ‘This is the way the world ends’ as you en­ter the silence. . .

“Today, unexpectedly, pure dhyana. It was so much simpler than I ever guessed, and it is obviously merely a matter of practice. I am no better or worse, morally, and no wiser or more spiritual. It’s no more ‘mystical’ than Pavlov’s dogs, or my straightjacket escape. Repetition is the whole key. Force the muscles and glands and nerves, force them day after day after day, and it happens. Yet it was marvelous, and I will never fully identify with ‘Cagliostro’ or ‘Hugh Crane’ or even ‘me’ or the perpendicular pronoun, ever again.

“Another successful dhyana. There’s nothing to it, actually. The brain just operates on the same principle as those fellows in The Hunting of the Snark: ‘What I tell you three times is true.’ (Three million times is more accurate.) If I had been on the Jesus kick of my childhood, I could have conjured up Jesus instead of just abolishing ‘Hugh Crane.’ What I tell you three million times is true. . .

“I can hardly write. Today I reached sa­madhi. It makes dhyana look like nothing by comparison. All my certainty is gone. I should be terrified, but instead I’m ec­static. If this is possible, anything is possi­ble, and I can hardly deny walking on water or casting a curse or any other ‘su­perstition.’ This is the point where I must be on guard; it is very tempting to lapse into total gullibility. . .”

These notes were not published when Hugh came out of prison. Instead, he brought forth a book cheerfully titled There Is No Governor Anywhere, which ex­plained some – not all – of his magic es­capes, and set this in the context of a phi­losophy which declared every individual a creator of his own universe. The polemics against government and organized religion were tactless, to say the least, for a performer depending upon public good will; Crane did not hesitate to identify his outlook bluntly as atheism and anarchism. The motto on the title page was taken from the First Surrealist Manifesto of his birth-year, 1923: “Total transformation of mind, and of all that resembles it.”

To everybody’s surprise, including Crane’s, the book became a best-seller, and he became the most controversial man in the United States. Even in the fearful fifties-even with American Legion and John Birch chapters con­stantly reminding everyone of his drug ar­rests, his sex arrests, and the documented fact that prison authorities had delayed his parole because of his homosexual se­duction of a younger inmate – Hugh Crane acquired a new following. TV gingerly tested him on the egghead ghetto of Sunday afternoon, then promoted him to the late late talk-shows.

He managed to end every appearance with the words, “There is no governor anywhere: you are all absolutely free.”

And around then – to the vocal dismay of press and clergy – a club-owner decided he was a “freak” act (“They’ll hate him but they’ll come”) and Crane was able to work as a magician again. The crowdoverflowed into the street and many were turned away. Cagliostro introduced a new escape, from a lead box that had been welded closed in view of the audience, in ad­dition to his usual stunts, and included a running humorous monologue of mildly satirical and anti-religious tendency. “Re­member,” he told the audience at the end, “there is no restraint that can’t be es­caped. You are all absolutely free.”

A pudgy Broadway columnist in­terviewed him the next day. “How the hell did you manage that lead-box escape?” the columnist asked, off-the-record.

“I used real magic,” the Great Cagliostro pronounced.

“Come off it,” the columnist said; but Cagliostro merely grinned at him impud­ently.

His mistress at that time, Jane Ash, was a fairly prominent jazz singer in her own right-which made her friends wonder how she could be so completely enslaved by a man on the fringes of failure and likely at any time to come a worse cropper than Fatty Arbuckle. A particularly close friend, who saw the whip marks on Jane’s back, was especially shocked and puzzled.

“Why don’t you leave him?” she asked.

“It’s voluntary,” Jane replied. “It’s my own true nature.”

The scandal eventually became an official rumor – “A night-club Nostradamus, previously involved in other sex and drug offenses, is treating his ballad-belting sweetheart in a very sick way. Readers of a certain French marquis will know what I mean,” was its first printed form, in the nation’s most widely-read gossip colum­nist. “You’ve got quite a reputation as a sadist,” Epicene Wildeblood, the literary critic, said to Crane the very day that ap­peared.

“Afraid to be identified with me publicly?” Crane asked. They were in Wildeblood’s jet-set pad, on the Park, East.

“Oh, not at all, darling,” Eppy purred. “How funny that I should know what you really are. Don’t I, babe?” He lifted Crane’s chin with the toe of his shoe.

“Yes, master,” Crane mumbled.

“Oh, that sounded a little sullen. I think you’re just a bit rebellious today, babe. That must be punished.”

“Yes, master,” Crane said, going to the closet for the ropes. After he was stripped, and lying face down on the bed, Eppy carefully tied his four limbs to the four bedposts.

“You are my slave and you can’t escape,” he said.

“I am your slave and I can’t escape,” Crane repeated, as Wildeblood mounted him, both of them perfectly aware that he could slip the knots at any time.

Crane took Jane Ash to the Rainbow Room that night and made a point of loudly and brutally humiliating her throughout the meal. She accepted it all (her hundred most intimate friends and enemies in the room noticed with dis­approval) as if he had hypnotized her.

Jane actually took nearly a year to discover what was happening to her. It had started with a routine roll in the hay, but in the middle of it he lifted her to an unusual position. “What the hell is this?” she asked.

“Tibetan, angel,” he said softly. “Relax and you’ll enjoy it.”

She relaxed, and it was the most ex­traordinary sexual experience of her life. After that, for two months, she followed all of his instructions, with growing de­light and a firm belief that she was ap­proaching that Ultimate Orgasm the Mailer fellow was always writing about. Then, one night, he brought out the ropes.

“Now, wait a minute,” she said, “that’s English. That’s kink. Go to London if you want that.”

“I love you,” he murmured, his mouth moving south across her belly toward her bush; in a little while, she agreed to the re­straints. He tied them very firmly-and then, to her relief, no weapon was pro­duced. He didn’t even produce his own weapon; it was entirely oral. After five orgasms, she found him sitting up and lighting a joint. In a minute, he held it to her own lips. “For the big one,” he said. She smoked hungrily while he kissed and caressed her and muttered endear­ments-but she could still feel the ropes. When the joint was finished, he finally mounted her and galloped into some dimension of spasm she had never known before.

“God,” she said, coming back to her­self, “that was the big one.” But he was re­versed again, his mouth on her snatch, and her head spun.

The mild discipline began a few weeks later. “It builds up the charge,” he said, and she found that it did. Soon she agreed that stronger discipline built an ever greater charge. When the sadism switched to a psychological level, she was too far gone to stop, living in a dark and pulsating cave of ecstasy and pain millions of light-years from common earth. She accepted degradation, humiliation and the growing vampirism which seemed calculated to slowly destroy her last remnants of ego. Once or twice, she remembered later, she had feebly protested, “Enough. Too much. Please.”

“No,” he shouted, “we’re at the Edge. We’ve got to go all the way over.”

(“Yes, master,” he would be saying to Epicene Wildeblood a few hours later, “Whatever you wish, master.”)

“You could have lots of bookings, instead of just working in public terlets,” his agent told him. “I could get you In top-money rooms. People would forget those drug charges, and those teen-age girls, if you didn’t keep reminding them by being even worse. The way you and Jane carry on in public, everyone thinks you’re a kink. And you and that faggot, Wilde­blood – everyone thinks you’re a touch lavender yourself, bubby. Why don’t you straighten out, for Christ’s sake? You’re going to end up a beggar.”

The boy, who was to become Cagliostro the Great, looked back and saw the tramp falling to the ground, very slowly, like the tree he had seen fall slowly after being chopped by the caretaker at the Upstate Crane country home. And, just like the tree, when he finally reached the sidewalk, the tramp didn’t move at all, not one bit; he even seemed to get stiff like the tree did, only faster.

“On your knees,” Cagliostro said stern­ly, and Jane obediently crossed the floor on her knees.

“Ask for it,” he said.

“I beg you, master,” she said, “to stick your cock inside my cunt and fuck me and make me come again and again and again. Oh, please, master.”

He lit a cigar, pretending to deliberate, and then blew smoke in her face. “No,” he said. “I want you to suck me off. Noth­ing at all for you tonight.”

But a few nights later, when he was on top of her and inside her, and chanting in Tibetan, she suddenly thought she saw a kind of light around his head and two horns sprouting on his temple, and then it was like a million balloons bursting in­side her and outside her at once, each balloon releasing a twinkle of light, each light a species of orgasm. “Jane Ash” ceased to exist. Eternities later, re-entering time, she found he was again at the bottom of the bed, head between her legs, licking ferociously. She fainted.

He had a large library dealing with both stage magic and occultism and Jane had occasionally browsed in it. The next morning, while he was still asleep, she went back to it and searched in several volumes by Rosenkreuz, Therion, Iambacchus, Prinn, Dee and Kelly. “The Mass of the Holy Ghost” was variously described, but the Rose of Ruby was al­ways identified with water and the first H in JHVH, the H of motherhood. The Cross of Gold had different meanings, too, but was chiefly fire and the J of JHVH, the J of fatherhood. Bringing the J and the H together, the wedding of Cross and Rose, produced the manifestation of the Holy Ghost in the form of a eucharist, which was then consumed by the alchemist. My God, she thought, that’s why he goes down on me afterwards as well as just be­fore. “The eucharist,” old Prinn’s words said blandly, “is both male and female, both living and dead, both fire and water; and vet its creation involves no violation of nature but merely obedience to nature’s own laws, together with the proper spiritual attitude.

Professor Nosferatu of Columbia, an old friend of Jane’s, listened raptly as she recited the words to him. “That’s not Ti­betan, whatever he told you,” he said. He repeated it with correct pronunciation: “IO PAN IO PAN PAN IO PANGENITOR IO PANPHAGE. It’s an invocation of the god Pan in classic Greek. ‘Io Pan, Io Pan, Pan, Io Pan-All-Creator, Io Pan-All-Devourer.’ ” He looked at her curiously. “You know, I’ve heard some rather odd rumors about you and him. ”

“Whatever you’ve heard,” she said with a faint smile, “is probably true. I want you to give me the name of the best shrink you know. I want somebody to work on my head and help me to stay away from him.

In 1963, while the nation sweated through the Cuban Missile Crises and a Mr. Oswald ordered a Carcano-Mannlicher through the mails, Cagliostro the Great reached his 39th birthday. He was in Boston at the time, in a hotel room with a moderately renowned psychologist who was doing some novel research with a new chemical called lysergic acid diethylamide-25.

“Some people have had absolutely terri­fying experiences,” the psychologist was saying. “Some say they’d rather die than try it a second time. I want you to understand that fully before volunteering.”

“85 per cent,” Crane repeated from earlier, “had the most intense religious ex­perience of their lives. Is that right?”


“Those odds are good enough for me.” In 1982, John Disk read in Crane’s posthumous papers an account of the next eight hours:

“It’s like grass and a rollercoaster ride and Samadhi all happening at once: sen­sory awareness and the mind in spasms and the White Light flickering continu­ously. No, there are actually at least five levels, all simultaneous. Just like Lewis Carroll:

He thought he saw a banker’s clerk

descending from a bus

He looked again and saw it was a


And he looked again and saw it was the Eternal Father and Eternal Mother locked in the Rosy Cross; and looked again and saw it was his own big toe; and looked again and saw it was the Clear Light.”

Cary Grant had already told all the show biz columnists that this magic chemical had changed his whole life for the better; Cagliostro, typically, went fur­ther and began urging its use on everyone. When the backlash struck, he and the re­searcher who had initiated him and a few other researchers and a couple of famous poets and novelists were widely denounced as “high priests of the drug cult.” He be­came a favorite topic for the Sunday supplements and the more ox-like men’s magazines-any hack could make a lively story by re-hashing his pot arrests, his morals busts, the rumors about other sexual oddities, his public advocacy of LSD and anarcho-atheism, his mantra, “There is no governor anywhere,” and the increasingly popular speculation that his escapes were actually performed through black magic.

It was a disappointment to all the peo­ple who loved hating him when he sud­denly married the screen’s best known sex-goddess, Norma Nelson, and settled down to what appeared to be a very mo­nogamous and un-news-worthy fidelity-trip.

Norma herself was delighted that all those rumors about his sadism were ob­viously untrue. Their sex-life was quite normal, and the Mass of the Holy Ghost was performed without restraints. She discovered, also, the basic secret of his es­capes: he never accepted a challenge at once, always jetting on “urgent business” to another part of the country and only taking languid notice of the wager, casu­ally accepting it with total cool, a few days later. The interlude, she found, was spent in duplicating the conditions proposed and finding the gimmick that would work and the misdirection that would distract attention at the crucial moment. She also learned the essence of the okanna barra, or “gypsy switch,” which is the basis of almost all magic and most con-games. The people who thought their own screws, bolts and chains were used in Cagliostro’s escapes were as mistaken as those who think the handkerchief with a hundred dollars that they give the gypsy for bless­ing is the same handkerchief that comes back to them.

She also learned what alchemy was all about. “I thought that was all supersti­tion,” she said once, pointing at his shelves of old books on the transmutation of elements, the Mass of the Holy Ghost, the Kabala and the elixir of life.

“We do it almost every night,” he smiled. “You have the Cup and I have the Sword. Solve et coagula, divide and unite – that’s why I have to go down on you again at the end. The mystic number 210-that means us two becoming one in the peak and then falling into the void. You’ve got the Triangle and I cause the physical manifestation within it.”

“You mean it’s all a code? Why did they have to hide it?”

“Those who didn’t got burned at the stake,” he said. “Read about the witches and the Knights Templar sometime.”

He also began teaching her the Tarot. “Now, the Fool corresponds to aleph in Kabala, the ox, or bull-god Dionysus. But aleph is the path from Keser to Chokmah, and, therefore, the Holy Ghost or semen. The Magus is beth, the house or tem­ple–that is, the path from Keser to Binah, the womb. . .”

“Do you really think you’re going to live forever?” she asked him once.

“Eternity is another code word,” he said happily. “I won’t get any extension in time from these rites. What I get, and you’re beginning to get, is a deepening. Not more minutes but more fullness in each minute. That’s eternity.”

When Norma became pregnant, Cagli­ostro turned into the stereotype of an ideal husband, canceling bookings to be with her, joyously supporting her decision to employ natural childbirth, teaching her yoga to supplement the Lamaze condi­tioning techniques employed by her obste­trician. He filled her room with flowers-and with photographs of the moon (some of his occult studies were in­volved here, she realized.)

One night the phone rang, and when Crane answered it, Epicene Wildeblood purred, “I’m in Hollywood for a week and I guessed you might want to see me.”

“You guessed wrong,” Crane said.

Norma’s labor began prematurely, and the doctor quickly discovered that the baby was in the breech position. After a few hours, he realized this childbirth could never be natural. She accepted the ether and he performed a Cesarian, only to find the infant, in turning, had strangled on its umbilical cord.

“Oh, God,” she said when she woke and the doctor told her. “Oh, what a lousy God to make a world like this.”

Cagliostro was caught by a gaggle of re­porters coming out of the hospital. “How do you feel?” was the first question.

“How the hell do you think I feel?” “Where will the service be held?”

“There will be no religious service,” Cagliostro shouted, hopping into a cab. “Haven’t you fools heard yet? – God is dead!” It made headlines, and inspired editorials. One editorial – “Bereavement Is No Excuse For Blasphemy” – came to the attention of a 14-year-old boy, John Disk, who was tormented by desires which his priests told him were evil.

When Cagliostro returned to the clubs, his act had changed considerably. The mildly satirical patter between escapes had become bitingly mordant – “He’s a new Lenny Bruce!” – and entirely cen­tered around his declared philosophy of anarchism and atheism. The escapes themselves changed each night, because he explained them and showed how they were done at the climax of every per­formance.

“Now you know how I fooled you,” he would say. “Try to figure out on your own how your congressmen and clergymen fool you. There is no restraint that isn’t self-imposed: you are all absolutely free.”

The evening after the newspapers broke the story that he and Norma had joined Joan Baez in refusing to pay taxes, a drunk began heckling him during his act, “Why don’t you go back to Russia, you commie dope-fiend,” that sort of thing.

No man hates socialism more than me,” Cagliostro said intensely.

He and Norma were busted for possession of acid a few weeks later. “This is hard to fix,” his lawyer told him. “You’re too notorious now. The only chance I see is for you to vow to reform, lament the error of your ways, and pro­mise to go on a lecture-tour speaking to teen-agers about the evils of drugs. Then maybe I can get you a minimum sen­tence. Maybe.” Hugh’s old friend, the Boston psychologist, was in exile in Nepal, having fled a 30-year Sentence in Texas; political offenders in general were having a rough time in the United States.

“I’ll think about it,” he said.

The very next week, he led the Show Biz contingent among the protesters at the 1968 Democratic Convention. A photo­graph of him being tear-gassed outside the Chicago Hilton is still reprinted whenever an article about him appears.

“You’ve had it,” his lawyer told him. “As an officer of the court, I can’t tell you what I really think. An unethical attorney, were he here, would frankly advise you and Norma to get the hell out of the coun­try.”

But a change came over the country when Hubert Humphrey, the new presi­dent, withdrew all the troops from Viet­nam and began granting amnesty to poli­tical prisoners. Cagliostro and Norma, in the midst of the return to liberalism, re­ceived suspended sentences for the acid, and he was not tried with the Chicago Nine for conspiring the convention riots. IRS raided their bank account for the tax money instead of prosecuting them, and, by 1970, he was listed as one of ten top money-makers in Show Biz. His escapes were, the American Society of Magicians announced in an award, better than Hou­dini’s; his habit of explaining each” mir­acle” after the performance only built up crowd-interest for the next challenge.

On May 1, 1976, Cagliostro and Norma were in Mexico City on a vacation. At lunch, she held up a 20 centavo piece and said, “Isn’t that the same as the design on back of the dollar?”

“It’s Masonic,” he said. “The Mexican and American revolutionaries were both predominantly freemasons.”

“What does it mean anyway – an eye floating above a pyramid?”

He started to explain about the Third Eye and the pineal gland, and then noticed that she wasn’t listening.

“They’re waiting for you,” she said in a mediumistic voice.

John Disk, in 1982, read Cagliostro’s notes on the next three days very carefully:

“I refused to believe it. I put her to every possible test, whenever the Voice spoke. Looking for evidence of auto-suggestion and self-hypnosis, I found evidence of auto-suggestion and self-hypnosis –naturally! I also found 17 things I couldn’t explain. Most central was the fact that the message, when I finally encouraged her, came in Enochian, a language which no­body understands since all we possess are the 19 fragments received by Dee and Kelly in the 17th Century. Yet she gave me 19 new fragments, and translated them, and the grammar and vocabulary are consistent with the Dee-Kelly skry­ings. Even if she had studied the Dee and Kelly fragments (which she swears she hasn’t), concocting new sentences in that unknown language would be beyond the power of any human brain or even of any known computer. . .”

The 19 fragments of Enochian trans­lated by Norma in the same trance in which the fragments arrived, became the 19 chapters of The Aquarian Gospel. Crane wrote in the introduction:

“It is impossible to doubt that these are the communications of a superior intelli­gence. If the reader is, as I am (thank God!) an atheist, the identity of that intelli­gence will pose severe mysteries. Is it inter­planetary-or interstellar? A being leaping across Time from some more advanced future, or past (Atlantis)? Does it come from dimensions tangent to, but not iden­tical with, our own? I propose no answer to these questions, but I am sure that this in­telligence, or others like it, sent the messages which founded the great religions of the past, and that such communications are the foundation of the belief in beings called ‘gods’ . . .”

Norma was killed in an automobile accident the day the book was published. “What further proof do we need,” a pro­minent clergyman wrote in his syndicated newspaper column, “that this foul and ob­scene ‘revelation’ comes from a source not divine but diabolical?”

Crane’s first – and only – failure to es­cape from a challenge box occurred one month later.

The eye operation came later that year. “I can save one,” the doctor told him, “but not both.”

“A blind magician is worse off than a deaf musician, and I’m no Beethoven,”       Crane said simply. “Do the best you can.”

He retained the sight of one eye.

“Much as we are inclined to sym­pathize,” the New York Daily News editori­alized, “we do admit to a strong feeling that there is divine retribution in the tragedies befalling drug-cultist Cagliostro ‘the Great.’ ”

The Aquarian Gospel was burned by a citizen’s group in Cicero, Illinois, that week.

“These powers, whoever and whatever they are,” Crane wrote – in unpublished notes which John Disk read years later, weeping, “are determined that I abandon all else and become no more than the ser­vant who carries their message. To this end, they are taking away from me, one by one, all other things which I value. Or, perhaps, I am merely in the terminal stages of a long-brewing paranoid psychosis?”

Hugh Crane celebrated his fourteenth birthday in 1938 by climbing into the bed of the family’s black maid, Sophie Hage. Soon they were sharing secrets, just as if they were true lovers and equals, not master and servant. She even told him a small bit about voudon and the goddess Erzulie. “Are there any voudon groups in New York?” he asked her intensely.

The group in Harlem at that time ac­tually combined elements of voudon and Masonry. Since voudon was already a blend of European witchcraft and African magic, and Masonry is a mixture of elements from Rosicrucian mysticism and French revolu­tionary free-thought, there were actually four traditions involved, and the Rite of Initiation was unique. Borrowed from the third degree of Masonry, it replaced Jubela, Jubelo and Jubelum with the Grand Zombi, and, since marijuana was involved, the ordeal became as real as in those days when candidates knew they would be killed if they failed.

In a dark cellar on 110th Street, the Grand Zombi demanded, “Reveal the Secret Word or I will kill you. Reveal the Secret Word and give up your quest for Truth and Power.”

Hugh, repeating the formula taught him, replied, “Kill me if you must, but I will search again for Truth and Power as soon as I am re-born.”

The Grand Zombi, black face above a black robe, raised his sword. “Do you fear me now, mortal?” he screamed.

“I have eternity to work in,” Hugh re­plied, according to rote. “Why should I fear?”

“Then, die!” screamed the Zombi – the part of the rite which had not been ex­plained to the candidate in advance-and Hugh felt the sword cross his neck and saw the blood spurting.

He also saw the bulb which the Zombi squeezed to make the blood spurt out of the end of the sword.

And he saw more than any previous ini­tiate in that cult; he saw the secret of truth and power completely.

He saw it again, in 1980, as he was coming out of his apartment for a morn­ing walk in Central Park, and the wild-eyed young man stepped in front of him shouting something about “Anti-Christ” and “Devil-worshipper.” There were three quick blasts from the revolver. Crane cried, “I love you!” as he sank into the darkness, but the blood bursting up­ward into his throat clotted the words and John Disk never heard them.

The newspapers emphasized, malicious­ly, the smallness of the group who turned out for the funeral of Cagliostro the Great. In fact, it was small – most of his Show Biz friends had dropped him since he became a religious nut – but famous poets, psychologists and psychic re­searchers do not so often gather in one place to pay tribute to a man who was, af­ter all, best known as a night-club per­former. The rite was simple-and, to the press, scandalous-consisting, according to the dead man’s wishes, of a simple reading of Yeats’ lines:

Cast a cold eye

On life, on death.

Horseman, pass by!

Joseph Wendell Malik, editor of Confrontation, a distinctly peculiar sort of left­wing magazine, purchased Crane’s un­published manuscripts and began publish­ing them. To everybody’s disappointment, they were almost all about the psychology of perception-“Nobody ever really sees what’s in front of his eyes,” was their main theme-and they hardly mentioned his Aquarian Gospel revelations. One exception was an unfinished essay about a childhood experience:

“. . . Get a job,” my father said. Turn­ing back, I saw the beggar falling to the ground, obviously fainting from starvation, but when he landed I knew, from his limpness, that it was more than a faint: that he was dead.

“It has sometimes occurred to me that there is a parallel here to the famous expe­rience of the Buddha, who, like myself, had the misfortune to be born rich and only discovered what life is like for most people when he encountered a beggar and a corpse. Is this parallel an accident? I am not sure: I cannot say when I was chosen to receive the Aquarian message, the great affirmation that’ All is joy,’ in contrast to Buddha’s equally-true equally-false and now obsolete ‘All is sorrow’ . . .

“We never see what is in front of our eyes. My father did not see what happened to me when that beggar died; I have brought women (and men) to the edge of the Vision, and they, afraid to see it, ran off to psychiatrists . . .

“What we see is inside our heads, a con­struction of our brains more than a re­flection through our eyes; nobody has seen the real world, ever. That is why the an­swer to Buddha and the yogis is not ma­terialism but magic, the transformation of the universe by Will . . .”

John Disk said, “You’re a disciple of his, of Cagliostro’s. I can tell by the way you talk.”

“Yes,” Miss Portinari said softly.

“Then how can you forgive me? How can you keep coming here to comfort me?”

“You acted on your beliefs and took the consequences,” the Italian girl said sim­ply. “That’s all Hugh ever tried to teach anybody. ”

The week LSD was legalized in the U.S.A., there was a C.B.S. special about the Aquarian Church of Cagliostro. The young men and women in the cult looked much like Jesus Freaks, but were less dogmatic. Asked for positive statements, they usually answered either “Maybe” or “He was seeking; we are seeking.” One of their members, a Miss Portinari, astonished the interviewer by mentioning the Church’s petition seeking clemency for John Disk. “Why not?” she asked laughing, “He has a strong religion, too-even if it’s not our religion.”

Crown Point Jail, in Indiana, was called “the escape-proof jail,” when John Dillinger was brought there early in 1934. On the day he destroyed that name by es­caping, an out-of-work magician was begging in Central Park. One thought burned in this man’s head – With a little luck, I could be a second Houdinic – and he was thinking of it as he laid his spiel on Tom Crane, but when the cramp hit him and he felt the ground move in the big wobble of uncertainty, he remembered suddenly his previous life as Adam Weishaupt and before that his life as Mohammed and be­fore that his life as Gotama the Buddha and before that it was like a million balloons bursting inside him and outside him at once, each balloon releasing a twinkle of light, each light a species of orgasm. . . “But that was just a hallucina­tion,” Miss Portinari told me. “A dying man’s hallucination. There is no continu­ity in the ego from moment to moment, much less from life to life. Nevertheless, the little boy, Hugh Crane, picked up that hallucination telepathically, and it de­termined the rest of his life.”

“And what was the secret of truth and power-the secret he learned from the Grand Zombi?” I asked.

“Love and fear cannot co-exist at the same time in the same mind,” she said simply. “If you make yourself love some­thing, it can’t frighten you. If you make yourself love everything, nothing can frighten you.”

And they took me back to my cell, from which they thought I could never escape, and I walked through the walls. When I came back, my body was still in their custody, and I pretended that I had never left.