In an exclusive interview with Good Times, author and conspiracy theorist Robert Anton Wilson reflects on a world gone mad
By Charles O’Neill
Despite the internet rumors that he was assassinated by the CIA in 1994, Robert Anton Wilson, the man Timothy Leary once called “one of the most important scientific philosophers” of the 20th century, is alive and well and remains an influential voice in the American counter-culture. On September 18, 2002, he was the first patient to receive medical marijuana from members of the Santa Cruz City Council.
A former Associate Editor of Playboy, Wilson is perhaps best known for the classic Science-Fiction opus, Illuminatus!, co-authored with Robert Shea, in 1975. His subsequent trilogy, Schroedinger’s Cat, was hailed by New Scientist magazine as “the most scientific of all science fiction novels.” The scope of his work ranges from sci-fi and historical fiction to erudite and witty commentaries on psychology, the paranormal and quantum physics.
In his latest work, TSOG: The Thing That Ate The Constitution, Wilson takes the reader on a wild ride from the optimistic emancipation of Amsterdam to the Nazi-influenced inner workings of the U.S. Government. It is social satire and political revelation all in one – exposing the hypocrisies of faith-based organizations and revealing why Hannibal Lecter would make a better president then Dubya. He is subject of the documentary film, Maybe Logic: The Lives and Ideas of Robert Anton Wilson (www.maybelogic.com).
Wilson recently sat down with Good Times and, from his apartment overlooking the Monterey Bay, shared his impressions of the current political situation in America and around the world.
Good Times: What is your opinion of George W. Bush?
Robert Anton Wilson: I like Bush a lot. He gives me a deep sense of self-satisfaction. Despite all my suspicions, I am not the dumbest schmuck on the planet after all. That’s nice to know. He constantly reminds me of that. Bush was C-student in both high school and college. His former speech writer described him as incurious and uninformed. That is exactly the ideal president for this time in history. Most of the public is made up of C-students who are incurious and uninformed. What Bush says makes sense to them because they don’t know any more about the world then he does. No wonder he is so popular. The dumber you are and the dumber you appear, the more popular you will be with the public.
GT: How do you feel about this administration’s opposition to cloning?
RAW: They want to ban cloning which will put the United States, in the life sciences, decades behind the rest of the world. They don’t mind that we are behind in the life sciences, which primarily deals with the preservation of life, as long as we are ahead in the death sciences, which is how to deliver more and more explosive power over longer and longer distances in shorter and shorter times to kill more and more people. As long as the United States stays ahead in the death sciences the government doesn’t mind how far behind we fall in the life sciences. They are going to ban cloning and they won’t let you use the medicine your doctor believes in. Your doctor has no more rights then you do now.
GT: What is happening in Iraq right now?
RAW: It has to do with the life sciences vs. the death sciences. They don’t want anyone to have any weapons of mass destruction except governments they have under their own control, like Israel. Israel gets 3 billion dollars a year from the United States to kill Arabs. They don’t want the Arabs to get any money to fight back because Israel is the United States colony in the Mid-East. As long as they have access to atomic weapons and the others don’t then the others are all going to be terrorized. The United States doesn’t have to do its own fighting except when somebody gets especially uppidity like Saddam Hussein. Besides, that son of a bitch is sitting on our oil.
GT: Do you believe there is a link between the al Qaeda and Iraq?
RAW: Look at CNN and MSNBC or any of the corporate media, you can see the women in Iraq going around with their bare faces hanging out. Do you think Osama bin Laden approves of that? They are a very westernized country. They have no connection with al Quada at all. They are both on opposite poles in the Moslem world. All these attempts to link them to al Quada are like trying to link the Pope to Jerry Falwell. They are in the same general racket but they disagree with each other on every point of doctrine. There is no real connection between Iraq and al Quada. That is just the smoke screen they are putting up. It’s the oil. Everything is oil until the oil runs out and then they will find something else to fight over.
GT: What are your thoughts on Osama bin Laden?
RAW: If he hated freedom he would have bombed someplace like Amsterdam, where they have real freedom. He wouldn’t have bombed a country like this one that is run by a Tsarist Occupation Government. He doesn’t hate us for our freedom. He hates the West because the West is attacking the Arab world all the time.
GT: What do you think of the War on Terror?
RAW: It should be called the “War on Some Terrorists,” unless he plans to bomb the CIA headquarters in Langly, VA. If Bush was serious about making a war on terrorists, that is the first place he would bomb because they have been the worst terrorists in the last 50 years.
GT: How much of what we see of George W. Bush is the real George W. Bush?
RAW: When the teleprompter breaks down and he has to ad-lib, that’s when we see the real George W. Bush. When the teleprompter breaks down that’s when he comes up with those wonderful Bushisms like “they mis-underestimated me,” or “it would be a hell of a lot easier if this were a dictatorship and I was the dictator.” Otherwise he is just reading what’s written by professional liars that know how to stack the lies in a way to fool a population of C-students. The whole secret of how to run a government was reveled by J.R. Bob Dobbs (founder of the Church of the SubGenius) who said, “You know how dumb the average guy is? Well, mathematically, by definition, half of them are ever dumber than that.”
GT: Why is there a difference in the ways we are dealing with North Korea?
RAW: North Korea threatens to catch up with us in the death sciences so we are a bit afraid of North Korea. If we start heaving nuclear bombs at them, they may start heaving nuclear bombs back. The reason they keep talking about Saddam Hessein posing a threat is because he might have access to nuclear weapons and we want to get him before he gets the nuclear weapons because once he gets the nuclear weapons, we will have to treat him with diplomacy, like North Korea. That is very frightening for this administration because diplomacy requires the ability to think and the ability to negotiate and see the other guy’s playing field. All this is completely foreign to Dubya and his terminal gang. They understand war. They don’t understand diplomacy. North Korea frightens them much more than Iraq.
GT: What is your opinion of Bush’s proposed medical coverage for seniors?
RAW: I am a senior citizen, which means I am an old fart. Bush is offering us a choice between staying on Medicare with no prescription drug coverage or joining an HMO and getting prescription drug coverage, which means they are going to screw us every way they can. Everybody I know in my age group that has ever joined an HMO has quit it because it doesn’t do a damn thing. They take your money and they don’t give you anything in return. Nobody wants to belong to an HMO. Now he is trying to force us into the HMO’s by offering free prescription drugs, and it will turn out that’s another fraud, too, I’m sure. They are worse bandits then the Jesse James Gang. The only difference I can see between the HMO’s and the James Gang is that the James Gang rode horses.
GT: What is your feeling about this administration’s favor towards faith-based organizations?
RAW: Bush wants to put his money into faith-based organizations. You know what faith means? Huckleberry Finn explained it at the beginning of that great novel: Faith is believing what you know ain’t so. That is what Bush’s whole career and the whole Bush crime family career is based on: getting people to have faith in what they know ain’t so – like his prescription drug plan.
GT: Concerning the battle between the states and the feds over medical marijuana?
RAW: The 10th Amendment says very clearly that powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution are reserved to the states and the people. It seems very clear that 55 percent of the voters in California voted to let me have marijuana for my leg pains and the state agreed, but then the Attorney General of the United States said, “Well that doesn’t count.” States have no rights. The people have no rights.
GT: AIDS treatment in Africa?
RAW: All the AIDS relief for Africa means, to me, is that they are going to sell them more drugs from the big drug companies, some of which the Bush family has major interests in.
GT: What is your opinion of the anti-war movement?
RAW: I am really happy to see the extent of the protest even before this war has started. The last protest in Washington (on Jan. 18, 2003) was bigger than the biggest anti-Vietnam protest. So the protest has started before the war and that gives me some hope.
GT: Are the protests having any influence eon Middle America?
RAW: The average people in Middle America, despite all the sarcastic things I have just said about them, aren’t quite as dumb as I usually think because there have been more objections to this war than any war in my lifetime. Either the Bush gang are less talented liars than our previous governments, or this war is so goddamn absurd, no matter how they dress it up, they can’t sell it to the majority.