In honor of the 5th anniversary of Wilson’s departure from the physical plane, Boing-Boing is celebrating RAW Week with contributions and remembrances by Paul Krasner, Douglas Ruskoff, Antero Alli, Jay Kinney, R.U. Sirius, Erik Davis, Ivan Stang, Richard Metzger, David Jay Brown, RAW blogger Tom Jackson, and more.
Here is Wilson’s talk at the December 2000 Prophets Conference. I appreciate Richard Metzger’s commentary on this appearance as I recall that Wilson was banned from appearing the next year due to the organizers taking offense at his swearing. In fact, somebody once posted the rejection letter “they” sent him to the usenet group alt.fan.rawilson:
As you will not be joining the Monterey and Santa Fe conferences as faculty please remove these events from your website.
I WANT MY FUCKING MONEY
“Shit, motherfucker! I want my fucking money, motherfucker!”
The opening lines of your web page are an example of why we have discontinued presenting your work. Even though you are quoting Spike Lee and leading to a significant point, we were set back by the above intro.
This has increasingly become the case at the conferences. What we feel to be your important insights are being lost to the audience when packaged in hard and harsh language. It has become increasingly clear that this is not your audience. The complaints have become too numerous. They are not hearing you.
“The Prophets Conference dropped Robert Anton Wilson as a speaker for using the ‘dirty’ words long ago liberated by the likes of Lenny Bruce and George Carlin. I was reminded of when Acharya S., great chronicler of the conspiracy known as Christianity, was kept off the dais at one well-known UFO conference in Nevada because her topic might have offended one of the other speakers. Then I thought of what Jerry Lucci wrote in the last issue of ‘Saucer Smear’, about the same people ranting on and on about the same things. Small wonder, considering the kind of decision making that apparently goes into these conferences. Too bad, since they should be places where free speech and new ideas reign. I called for Ram Dass to remove himself from the Prophets Conference in protest!”
And, the one & only ROBERT ANTON (“BOB”) WILSON writes:
“Enclosed is background info on the Prophets and their excommunication of me from their Elite circle… which I have thoroughly enjoyed. In fact, I haven’t felt so flattered since Barnes & Noble removed my books from ‘New Age’ and placed them in ‘Philosophy’.”The androphagian joke at the end of my offensive essay (on the Net) refers, of course, to Swift’s demonstration, in ‘A Modest Proposal’, that those who can stomach imperialism should not gag at cannibalism.
“Some of my fans have discussed staging a protest outside the ProfitsCon, but I don’t know if anything will come of that.