Tag Archives: Wilhelm Reich

The Future of Sex

The Future of Sex

Cybernetics, Bio-Feedback, Neurology and Plenty of Old Fashioned Dickie Dunkin’
by Robert Anton Wilson

 from Oui, November 1975

The patriarchal age is over. The monogamous age is over.  Everything is over. Buck Rogers is the name of the game from here on out.  As Alvin Toffler noted in Future Shock there are more scientists alive and engaged in research right now than there were in all previous human history.  This means that along with everything else, human sexuality will be transformed in the next 30 years than it has been in the previous 30,000.

Scan the acceleration of contemporary events: Only ten years after Lenny Bruce was busted and hauled off to jail for saying the word cocksucker in public, Linda Lovelace, Georgiana Spelvin and 99 44/100 percent pure Marilyn Chambers are having their cocksucking styles shown in public and soberly evaluated by erotocritics, who sometimes score the ladies’ talents on Peter-Meters.

The speed of travel has increased a hundredfold; know energy resources have increased a thousandfold; weaponry, a millionfold; data processing, a millionfold; and the speed of communication has increased ten millionfold in this century and is still increasing.  J. R. Plat of the University of Michigan, the man who made these calculations, has this comment on their import: “None of our social organizations is prepared to deal with change on such a scale. . . . We may oscillate, or we may destroy ourselves, or we may reach a high-level steady state.” In other words, 2001 and Flash Gordon are more attuned to emerging fact than the most soberly intelligent social scientist in the college of your choice.

“We are living in science fiction,” as poet Allen Ginsberg said years ago.

Run this through your computer: “Our future will be one wherein sex is linked to procreation even less than it is now. . . . And procreation itself will be virtually emancipated from sexual intercourse in a world of sperm banks, surrogate mothers, test-tube babies and the utter asexuality of cloning. . . . Homosexual acts, for instance, will be seen as merely one sexual possibility among several open to every person, so long as he or – she is not inhibited by contrary programming.”

Now anyone who thinks that’s Dr. Tim Leary, Norman O. Brown, Charles A. Reich or some other prophet of futurism is missing the beat of the mutation. The speaker is a Roman Catholic theologian – Professor Michael Valente of the department of religious studies at Seton Hall University.

Some people, of course, insist that the pendulum must swing back to the uptight ethic of yesteryear. Arnold Gingrich, editor in chief of Esquire, for instance, has prophesied such a retreat since the mid-Fifties. Even today, “Esquire is eager to publish any neophobic Nostradamus who predicts a swing back to Gingrich’s mother’s notions of decorum, while in the real world, society has advanced rapidly from the nude breasts of the Fifties to the dawning of a muff-buff’s paradise, as the sacred snatch itself came out from behind the staples in the late Sixties; from a hullabaloo over use of the word virgin in a Fifties film (The Moon Is Blue) to ho-hum on camera fucking in the Seventies; from the time that mere mention of the abortion issue was political suicide to the day when legislators legalized abortion; from the acknowledgment that homosexuality really exists to gay pride and bisexual chic; from parental agony that their kids might engage in heavy petting (1955) to worry that they might actually have intercourse (1965) to nervous curiosity over whether they’re swinging both ways (1975).


-Newspaper headline of the 1980s

One reason the pendulum will not reverse is that it is extremely unlikely that any American woman will get pregnant accidentally in the 1980s. The contraceptive devices known to grandma and grandpa – mostly douches and condoms-averaged about 70 to 80 percent effectiveness; the I.U.D.s and coils of mom and pop raised the protection effectiveness to 95 to 98 percent; the pill is at least 99 percent effective. Today we have voluntary sterilization-which, though 100 percent effective, is presently irreversible-as well as a morning-after pill that is totally effective, although its side effects are questionable.

Foolproof contraception and, more socially important, the eradication of the fear of accidental pregnancy are just the overtures to the oncoming biological revolution-an upheaval that Dr. W. H. Thorpe of Cambridge University has predicted will create social consequences “at least as great as those arising from atomic energy and the H-bomb. . . . They rank in importance as high as, if not higher than, the discovery of fire, of agriculture, the development of print­ing and the discovery of the wheel.”

“I’m taking a half hour off this afternoon,” says the president of Chase Manhattan Bank, Ms. Linda Gotrocks. “Going down to the lab to pick up my new baby.”

“A he or a she?” asks her secretary.

“Oh, a he this time.”

                        -Office conversation, 1985

Fertilization of human eggs in the laboratory has already been accom­plished by three separate scientific groups; Cambridge University physiolo­gist Robert G. Edwards and gynecologist Patrick C. Steptoe are currently research­ing the implantation of artificially grown embryos in the wombs of women unable to conceive normally; embryo transplants have been accomplished at Columbia-Presbyterian Medical Center.

If some women can have sex without pregnancy and other women can have pregnancy without sex–or if the same women can have either choice at different times-then the moral codes based on the axiom of sex equals preg­nancy are as obsolete as witchcraft laws.

The transfer of human pregnancy to artificial wombs (which Aldous Huxley, in Brave New World, placed 500 years in the future) can’t be more than ten or fifteen years away. General applica­tions will inevitably follow, first for wom­en who can’t bear children and then for women who want children but don’t want nine months of discomfort and time lost from careers. The Hallmark card people will probably encourage the next generation to send Mother’s Day cards to Johns Hopkins or Walter Reed with verses such as: “Put them all to­gether, they spell OBSTETRICS / The ward that means the world to me.”

When pregnancy is entirely separated from the human body, all that will re­main of the purpose of sexual inter­course is fun; the old insistence that sex shouldn’t be fun, or that it should be more than fun, will sound even sillier than the claim that there are cosmic moral dimensions in a football game.

“l’ll have a few inches more height this year, Sam. The board has given me an executive post on Mars, and executives have to be dominant, you know. And I’d like a 12-inch penis; competition for women is fierce out there. Blue eyes, I guess. Trim down the waist a little.”

-Instructions from a businessman to his biotailor in the future

Artificial fertilization is only part of what Gordon Rattray Taylor character­ized as The Biological Time Bomb. The bigger part is the concept of genetic engineering, which can be practically defined as the science of redesigning humanity to become anything it wants to become. As Nobel laureate Joshua Lederberg puts it, “The ultimate applica­tion of molecular biology would be the direct control of nucleotide sequences. . . to regulate, for example, the size of the human brain by prenatal or postnatal intervention.” When pregnancy regularly occurs outside the female body and inside the -laboratory, such interventions will become common.

Some molecular biologists already have carried the concept of genetic en­gineering to the point of seeking physi­cal immortality in this generation. Paul Segall of the University of California at Berkeley, for instance, has in­vested 17 years in a search for the for­mula to reverse aging, and reports are that he will have a dramatic announce­ment about the time this article is pub­lished. Dr. Jose Froimovich, president of the Chilean Society of Gerontology and II-time nominee for the Nobel Prize in medicine, has also announced a major breakthrough “in the fight against aging,” and Dr. Johan Bjorksten is working on a formula that he says might raise aver­age life expectancy to a minimum of 150 years. Dr. Timothy Leary, always the bard of the avant minority in science, argues plausibly that if we mount a national campaign similar to the atomic Manhattan Project of the Forties or the space race of the Sixties, we can have immortality before 1990.

Another brave futurist, Dr. Isaac Asimov, points out in The Genetic Code that there seems to be a basic 60-year cycle between an intellectual break­through in the sciences and a total transformation of society by the new technology it unleashes. For instance, Edison noted electronic energy in 1883; 60 years later, electronic technology was phasing out electric technology, radar had helped win the war and TV had been perfected (although not yet on the mar­ket). Similarly, Goddard fired his first rocket into the air in 1926, and 60 years later, in 1986, we will be well along in the exploration of the inner planets. As Asimov concludes, since DNA was iden­tified in 1944, genetic technology should have revolutionized society by 2004; 1974 was the mid-point of that cycle, and the applications should be raining on us every year from this point forward.

At a minimum, genetic engineering will produce newborn humans within 30 years who will be a quantum leap ahead of modern humanity (which already has a life span 30 years longer than the aver­age in 1840 England). As F. M. Esfandiary baldly proclaims in his Up-Wingers, “A Futurist Manifesto,” “Today, when we speak of immortality and of going to another world, we no longer mean these in a theological or metaphysical sense. People are now striving for physical im­mortality. People are now traveling to other worlds. Transcendence has become a reality.”

“Oh, baby, that was fantastic. I felt as though I came for hours.”

“You did-just under twenty hours, in fact.”

                        -Postcoital intimacies of the near future

Another trait of tomorrow’s lovers will be their ability to turn on at will with a little help from their chemical friends. Nathan S. Kline, M.D., says in Psychotropic Drugs in the Year 2000 that we can expect real and specific aphrodisiacs by that date, as well as drugs that “foster or terminate mother­ing impulses.” The former class of drugs, increasing maternal behavior, will no doubt be joyously endorsed by gentry like Billy Graham and widely prescribed by doctors and psychiatrists grappling with the housewife syndrome; but the latter group, terminating the whole mothering program, will be seized upon by dedicated career women and, if outlawed by establishment pressures, will be bootlegged by women’s lib groups.

And this is only the new stuff. Many currently popular counterculture drugs are, if not real and specific aphrodisiacs, certainly powerful enhancers of sexual­ity, and they will not disappear-despite witch-hunts, secret-police tactics, mid­night raids and a general reign of terror against users. They will remain and become a larger part of the general public’s ecstasy arsenal. As Baba Ram Dass has testified: “Tim [Leary] is absolutely right about LSD enhancing sex. Before taking LSD, I never stayed in a state of sexual ecstasy for hours on end, but I have done this under LSD. It heightens all of your senses, and it means that you’re living the sexual ex­perience totally.”

One of the interviewees in Barbara Lewis’ The Sexual Powers of Marijuana testifies to curing herself of frigidity by use of the devil weed: “We turned on, and I can tell you, I’ve never been so turned on in my life. I was really turned on. . . . We spent two hours at loveplay, the most intense loveplay, just letting it happen. . . . Finally, I went out of con­trol-my facial muscles were twitching. My arms began to tingle. . . like it was just too much, as if I would explode. I just couldn’t stand it. Then, when he got on top of me and we started fuck­ing, I knew that it was going to happen and that nothing could stop it. It sounds silly, but I felt out in the universe. . . and I saw myself out there surrounded by stars.”

Drugs that are either safer or less like­ly to spook the herd than grass, coke and acid are certainly on the way. Dr. Kline predicts that by 2000 we will have drugs to control, reverse, accelerate or extinguish virtually any emotion or com­pulsion. Katamine (researched by Dr. John C. Lilly and allegedly given to astro­nauts to prepare them for zero gravity) seems to detach brain from body (and from body emotions) and leave one suspended in the yogic samadhi state for an hour at a time, as compared with the brief seconds of samadhi at LSD peak.

“Hey, man, I’ve got some Ein­stein RNA-perfect for that physics exam you’ve got coming up. Only barter, no money. I’m looking for X-adrenaline for the track meet. Can you score it for me?”

“Well, I’ve got some triptophan­the stuff that stops time-and there’s a guy in the philosophy depart­ment who’s always trying to score more of that. I’ll see if he knows where X-adrenaline is being dealt.”

-Two technology junkies doing business, 1990

Bio-feedback promises even more than biochemicals-especially since Americans are not as paranoid about technology as they are about chemistry. Brain-wave research has already shown how to program oneself for the alpha, beta, theta and delta states, which makes about 50 percent of the traditional yoga blissouts readily available to us today in somewhat less than two weeks-com­pared with anywhere from one to several years of orthodox hath a-yoga training. Continuation of this research can be expected to yield precise control of sex­ual-peak states (along with other de­sirable neural states) within a decade.

In fact, shortly before completion of this article, a major breakthrough in sexual bio-feedback was announced jointly by Rutgers Medical School in New Jersey and Harvard University in Massachusetts, involving research in which male subjects tried to control the allegedly involuntary function of erec­tion, with and without bio-feedback. The group using bio-feedback showed a 60 percent increase in voluntary control, while the other group showed only ten percent. In related research, bio-feed­back has helped a subject-previously homosexual and then totally asexual as a result of crude behavior-modifica­tion techniques-to once again develop normal sexual functioning and to use it heterosexually.

Projecting such voluntary control over previously involuntary sexual functions only one or two decades into the future, one can easily see how the feats of tantric yogis or such LSD specialists as Dr. Leary and Ram Dass – e.g., staying in sexual ecstasy for hours on end-will be possible to anyone with a few weeks’ training in bio-feedback.

“Oh, darling, remember the night we met-the stars, the music and . . . us? I’d give anything to be back there again.”

“Hold on, while I plug you in.”

            -50th wedding anniversary conversation, 2001

Meanwhile, ESB – trade jargon for electrical stimulation of the brain – is opening as many neural doors as psyche­delics and bio-feedback combined. In one famous ESB experiment, a group of rats became so turned on by pressing a button that sent current into the pleas­ure center of their brains that they starved to death, ignoring the food button in order to go on pleasuring themselves. In another test, an enraged bull was stopped in mid-charge by an ESB wave activated by Yale physiolo­gist J. M. R. Delgado.

Dr. Delgado has more recently specialized in retrieval of sensation by ESB. From his reports, it appears as if the sexual gourmets Of 1990.not only will have aphrodisiacs to intensify pleasure, bio-feedback training to con­trol the previously involuntary functions (thereby abolishing frigidity, impotence and premature ejaculation) and freedom from worry about unwanted pregnancies, they will also be able to re-experience any particular sexual sensation at will.

It staggers the mind to project what future sexologists will accomplish when they learn to combine the Masters and Johnson retraining techniques with bio­feedback, neurochemicals such as LSD and katamine, and ESB. Only those who already know such arcana as “A blow­job is ten times better with pot” or “Any orgasm is 50 times wilder with coke” will be able to imagine the sensual re­birth in store when, the taboos crum­bling, science is able to frankly explore and teach the magnification and inten­sification of sexual experience.

The “hedonic engineering” forecast by Dr. Timothy Leary will then become a reality. His general scenario for the outcome is as plausible as any and more likely than most: “[The future] will be scientific in essence and science fiction in style. . . . Politically, it will stress individualism, decentralization of au­thority, a live-and-let-live tolerance of difference, local option and a mind-your-­own-business libertarianism. . . . It will continue the trend toward open sexual expression and a more honest, realistic acceptance of both the equality and the magnetic difference between the sexes. . . . Advances in modern science now make it possible to develop an understanding of the nervous system, its evolution in the individual and the species, and the effects of chemical and electrical adjuvants on its expanding functions. . . . This understanding. . . is leading to a truly scientific philosophy of a self-responsible human nature.”

In other words, .as we gain precise control over our nervous systems (a practical science that Leary calls neu­rologic), we will have less and less re­semblance to the glandular-emotional robotism that the behaviorists found in studies of animals. Instead of being programmed and controlled by “involun­tary” functions, we will program and control those functions ourselves. Then, at last, the alleged purpose of political democracy – “the pursuit of happi­ness” – will be more than a wistful phrase; it will become a practical goal.

The self programming man or woman has no quarrel with deviates, heretics and subcultures of bizarre belief, so long as they in turn remain nonviolent and noncoercive. This is why those with the greatest joy in life – the economical­ly secure aristocracies, the bohemian drop-out groups who accept poverty as the price of freedom-have always had the greatest tolerance for sexual (and other) heretics. As general misery de­creases and self-programming skill in­creases, a similar tolerance will spread into all segments of society. The quarrel between the Playboy bachelor and the women’s lib careerist, or between the hetero and the gay, will seem as absurd as the War of the Roses or the feud between Big-endians and Little-endians in Gulliver’s Travels.

The loose tolerance introduced by such overtouted and imperfect systems as psychoanalysis and behavior modi­fication will escalate into real tolerance when true neurologic and hedonic en­gineering are unleashed in the next decade or two. Norman O. Brown’s visionary version of Freud’s “polymor­phous perversity” (total sensory turn ­on) will inevitably follow.

“Hi, I’m Joe and this is my sub­stitute, ACE-IV,”

“Gee, he’s cute.”

                        -Singles’ bar come-on of the Eighties

The vibrator – first a, shady joke, then a growing fad – has already pre­pared us for the technologization of sex, so introduction of the artificial sex part­ner will come as little surprise. Rudi­mentary doll-like models are already for sale; one (called the Deep Throat model, naturally) is even capable of performing fairly realistic fellatio. Hedy Lamarr’s autobiography, Ecstasy and Me, reveals that a former lover of hers had a very elaborate imitation – Hedy manufactured to give him solace when their affair went on the rocks. Such developments indi­cate that in sex, as elsewhere, desire plus money equal results – or, as George S. Kaufman once said of a friend’s new estate, “This is what God could have done, if He’d had money.”

Are we talking about substitute sex for the crippled, the malformed, the hopelessly ugly or neurotic? Only in the first generation of such technology. Brain-wave and other bio-feedback studies lead inevitably into the concept of cybernetic sex robots programmed to scan neural signals from the human partner and provide exactly, precisely, exquisitely what is desired in every second of sexual union. In fact, reports from Masters and Johnson indicate that their crude and precybernetic (brainless) ACE model (artificial coital equipment) produced glorious orgasms and no psychological frustration in the women who tried it. Eventually such mechanized substitutes can be programmed for an effect “better than the real thing,” as William S. Burroughs fantasized in his Sixties sci-fi novel The Soft Machine.

Right now, as you read, Johns Hop­kins Applied Physics Laboratory in Baltimore possesses a 100-pound robot, affectionately dubbed The Beast, that knows how to “feed” itself; i.e., to seek electric outlets and recharge its circuits when its power runs low. Sim One, an experimental robot at University of Southern California, has the external features of a man, stands over six feet tall and has a normal pulse rate, blood pressure and heartbeat; is white-skin­ colored, moves its diaphragm and chest in simulation of breathing, and even possesses a tongue, teeth and vocal cords. Sim’s keepers plan improved models that will sweat, bleed, cry out in pain and eventually ‘replace cadavers in training medical students. The Sim One of today combined with the Masters and Johnson ACE of today would ‘already constitute a crud_ artificial playmate for women. A more complete Hedy Lamarr doll (or Linda Lovelace, or Raquel Welch) cannot be far away.

“Wonder why Smith 23X hasn’t come out of his house in the past week? And what are all those buzz­ing and humming mechanical noises?”

“I dunno. But a truck marked Artificial Paradise made a big delivery there last Thursday”

                        -Back-fence gossip, circa 1985

Yes: why not a totally programmed sexual environment? Saul Kent, who has described this concept as “multi­media masturbation,” envisions sex tapes for the house computer, programmed for the ideal all-around sexual trip – with or without partner. Already, X-rated motels in California provide water beds and closed-circuit, TV featuring porn films, so that a shy couple can have a simulated orgy and share their real selves ‘with each other and the images of Georgina Spelvin, Harry Reems and Marilyn’ Chambers. The next step, easily obtainable for the rich even now, is to program the whole inner environment of the bedroom for a fantasy that goes well with the sex act. ES.B control of brain centers via this computer-pro­grammed artificial environment would give, in Burroughs’ perfect phrase, “pre­cise control over thought, feeling and apparent sensory impression” (italics his). Reality in that room would be whatever you wanted it to be.

Multimedia pornography will enthrall millions when it first appears; porn light shows, porn 3-D and porn holograms are the dawning intimations of a revolution that will climax – certainly by the early years of the next century – when the difference between porn and the arti­ficial sex mate will no longer be visible: Multimedia solipsism and all-channel masturbation will be the pleasure norms.

Such a sensory revolution would amount to the creation of a fifth brain, or neurosomatic brain, according to Dr. Leary, who contends that we al­ready have four: a survival-program brain, an emotional-territory brain, a symbolic-logic brain and a sex-bonding brain. The new neurosomatic brain will give us eventual total control of sensa­tion for a state of rapture. Yogis, sha­mans and modern research subjects in sensory deprivation (i.e., environmental monotony) turn on this fifth brain, at least temporarily, and forever after rave about the pure bliss they have experi­enced – the sheer godliness of it an: “I AM who AM.” “I have become God,” wrote Baudelaire, the French poet, and he was under the influence of only a single crude neurochemical (hashish) and never knew the effects of the bio­feedback and brain-wave technology currently dawning.

There is also, according to Dr. Leary, a potential sixth brain in which “neuro­physical transformations can be ac­complished,” or that which our ancestors called magic or sorcery; a potential seventh brain containing the “neu­rogenetic archives,” which will allow us to tap the DNA/RNA dialog and to consciously recall all incidents in evolution and all lessons previously kept on autopilot (the unconscious), thus mak­ing us consciously 3.5 billion years old and consciously immortal; an eighth brain, or metaphysiological circuit, link­ing us to all other high intelligences in the galaxy. This last has also been re­ported by Dr. Lilly in hisSimulations of God.

Another road to godsmanship is mapped by physicist R. C. W. Ettinger – the man who started the” immortality (called, more properly, cryonics) movement of the Sixties’ with the utopian slogan “Freeze-wait-reanimate!” Pro­fessor Ettinger now argues, in Man into Superman (1972), that after molecular biology really gets into high gear, “the sexual superwoman may be riddled with cleverly designed orifices of various kinds, something like a wriggly Swiss cheese, but shapelier and more fragrant; and her supermate may sprout assorted protuberances, so that they intertwine and roll over each other in a million permutations of The Act, tireless as hydraulic pumps . . . A perpetual grap­ple, no holes barred, could produce a continuous state of multiple orgasm.”

It will be noted that Professor Ettin­ger gets to the same projected desti­nation (ecstatic mind) by a totally different line of scientific projection. Most of the bright-eyed young guys in molecular biochemistry these days have their own personal road maps to that destination. One physicist, with whom I recently participated in a radio discussion of futurism, even has a plan for man­kind to achieve ecstatic immortality by its becoming lasers.

A significant-though subtle-part of this sexual transformation of humanity has already occurred in the Western world. Few realize today that the church fathers’ horrible anal metaphors for sex (stinking, filthy, putrid, etc.) were largely accurate in a literal sense, until modern medicine and the development of soap made bodily sweetness accessible to more than the very rich. As Aldous Huxley paints out in hisTomorrow and Tomorrow and Tomorrow, these puri­tanical put-downs of the body as well as the old aristocratic sneers at “the stinking masses” were quite natural to the fastidious of those days. R. Buck­minster Fuller remarks in his Utopia or Oblivion that members of the average workingman’s family in 1905 – when Fuller’s family first moved to Carbondale, Illinois – were foul-smelling, toothless and ready far death at age 42.

The sexual revolution, like the world’s political-economic revolutions, stems from the disfavor that people don’t have to remain foul, and the future shack of our time is due entirely to the acceleration of technology, since theological and political terrorists have not been able to punish researchers (except far non-Lamarckian geneticists in Russia and psychedelic therapists in the U.S.A.).

“Sylvia, will you marry me?”

“Yes, but we’ll have to wait­ – I’m going male for the next couple of months, to do research for my new tape novel.”

-Two lovers, circa 2025

Peeking further into the mid-dis­tance – early m. the next century – the rise of life expectancy to 500 years (the goal far which biologist Paul Segall is aiming right now) wm probably make sex-change operations fashionable for many who are not psychological trans­sexuals in the traditional sense. Rather, many will want to became the opposite sex temporarily for such purposes as (1) curiosity-scientific, sexual or otherwise; (2) “personal growth,” i.e., the artistic, literary or philosophical stimulation; or (3) entering a new extraplanetary environment where either the small, tough, long-lived female body or the large-muscled, quickly aggressive male body might be decidedly advantageous aver the other.

A great deal of the erotic realism of such writers as Joyce, D. H, Lawrence, and even, at times, Hemingway, is an attempt to get inside the female mind and see men – in the sex act and in other relationships – as women see them. Pre­sumably, many gynecologists and obstetricians share empathetically in the female functions they tend to, and many an artist has decidedly fused into the glorious nude female models he paints. The desire to became the opposite sex far a while is also evident in women’s writings, especially women’s lib tracts. Sex change in the future will not be restricted to compulsive people.

“She’s wearing see- through shoes – must be a foot fetishist, too.”  – Street comment of the next decade

Buckminster Fuller and Robert Hein­lein, among other futurists, have pre­dicted that clothes will be phase out as temperature and climate control are realized. My own hunch is that nudity will be everywhere (already many California beaches are as casual as Den­mark’s), but that clothes will also be everywhere; the difference will be that clothes will serve primarily as sexual signaling devices, which, according to one school of anthropology, was their original function.

Kubrick’s joke in A Clockwork Orange, imagining a revival of the Ren­aissance codpiece, or enlarged peter-heater, may be a quite accurate prediction. Similar declarations for the female breasts already exist in porn and in other entertainment, and may soon escape into the streets. The old homosexual code – green on Thursdays – may be flooded in an ocean of similar sartorial signals as S/M people, exhibitionists and other erotic minorities go public.

“I didn’t get any last night-my clone had a headache.”   – Locker-room lament of the year 2000

If eugenists’ dreams are to soon come true, so then will same of their nightmares. As hundreds of Albert Schweitzers and Albert Einsteins are reproduced in the laboratories when genetic roulette has a fixed wheel, then the public, having other interests besides humanism and science, will demand and get real-life duplicates of contemporary Mick Jaggers and Marilyn Monroes.

The Mick Jagger of 2005, in fact, will probably graduate from millionaire to billionaire by selling clones of himself out of which millions of Mick Jaggers will be mass produced for all the lust­ful lads and lassies who dig the real Mick Jagger. Why not? Any guy today can already have Norma Jean the Angel Child just by closing his eyes. A millionaire with a cosmetic surgeon and a female subject possessing (to start with) 70 percent of the basic physical equipment can have her with eyes open.

“Are you still hung up on that Sophia Loren gyndroid? Let me show you how to tune your brain waves into this euphometer and focus into perpetual ecstasy. . . .”

-Evil social influence, 2025

Could sex, after achieving its full flowering, wither away entirely? Is the true future of sex no sex at all? When reproduction is confined to the laboratory and sex has only the function of pleasure communication, it may well develop that even the most intensified sex cannot compete with generalized neural pleasure. This may or may not define eternal masturbation, depending on haw strictly one identifies sex with genitalia.

Herbert Marcuge predicts, in Eros and Civilization, that such a hedonic technology will retool the human nervous system in the same general direction of continual rapture foreseen in Norman O. Brown’sLove’s Body. (Same adepts of yoga and LSD claim to have achieved this already.) It is striking that the Dionysian visions of Brown and Marcuse, based entirely an Freud’s anal­ysis of what the Unconscious mind really wants, are quite similar to the consensus of futurist probes into what the oncoming biotechnology can deliver. This can hardly be coincidence. Evidently, we have always sought our deepest yearn­ings, though consciously only daring to express them as myths or fantasies, while pretending to ourselves that we were accepting the grim, pessimistic, hardnosed view of the hurt-child aspect of ourselves.

Commenting on Dr. Otto. Fenichel’s observation that “behind every farm of play lies a process of discharge of masturbatory fantasies,” Brown says: “Nothing wrong, except [Fenichel’s] refusal to play: When our eyes are opened to the symbolic meaning, our only refuge is lass of shame, polymorphous perversity, pansexualism; penises everywhere. As in tantric yoga, in which any sexual act may become a farm of mystic meditation, and any mystic state may be interpreted sexually.”

The civilization of polymorphous perversity forecast by Brown, the society without repression described by Marcuse, the hedonic engineering of Leary, are dawning, and those who. think I’ve been writing about our children or grandchildren are mistaken.’ If star flight and immortality arrive when same futurists expect (1990 to. 2010), then, even as the last of the anxiety-ridden terrestrial mortals are reading and re­jecting this article, some of the first of the ecstatic cosmic immortals are also reading it and accepting it.

In Search of the Apocalyptic Orgasm

In Search of the Apocalyptic Orgasm
Do Various Pills Make for Sexual Thrills?
by Robert Anton Wilson

from Oui, January 1975

One of the most persistent metaphysical questions of mankind has been: “Can sex be made even better?” Open any sex tabloid and you will be confronted with a wide va­riety of products, all promis­ing to deliver the expected miracle. And even if the best of the brews and chemicals won’t actually kill you, the majority are certainly useless. Nonetheless, the search for what Norman Mailer calls the’ apocalyptic orgasm con­tinues, and with good reason. It is emphatically false that there are no real aphrodisiacs.

There are indeed chemicals that have served to enhance and glorify the sex act for many users, and the discour­aging explanation that all such effects are due to self-suggestion is not at all certain. The only scientific verdict at this time must be a large and provocative ques­tion mark. Were we to accept anecdotal testimony as our criteria (which is all the evi­dence we possess right now), the weight of the data would suggest that there are real aphrodisiacs after all.

In traditional folklore, an aphrodisiac is supposed to:

1. Create a sexual desire in the seeker; i.e., cure lethargy or even impotence.

2. Create a sexual desire in some unwilling and unwarned victim; i.e., aid in seduction.

3. Enhance, beautify, in­tensify or glamorize the sexual experience.

There is no magic potion that can be guaranteed to de­liver all three of these results, or even one of them, for all users at all times; in other words, miracles are still known only to the devout. The first law of psychophar­macology is that any reaction to a drug depends on (A) the dosage, (B) the set – the user’s expectations, hopes, fears, beliefs, etc. – and (C) the setting, including not just the physical environment but also the emotional and ideo­logical atmosphere.

To illustrate: Alcohol is the drug most often used as an aphrodisiac in the second sense given above – a tool of seduction. Folklore says that it often works, and as distin­guished a drug expert as Dr. Joel Fort, former consultant to the World Health Organi­zation and author of The Pleasure Seekers, agrees that it does work a lot of the time, both heterosexually and homo­sexually.

Folklore also tells us, and police records confirm, that the results of this booze-to-boudoir strategy are far from certain. If the victim holds puritanical beliefs, it the set­ting is unpropitious or down­right ugly, if the dosage goes too far, the result can be illness instead of bliss, and even cries of “Rape.” All this, of course, flows from the fact that the basic purpose is ex­ploitative and antisocial from the beginning. Similar prob­lems often arise when one attempts to use alcohol as an aphrodisiac in the first sense­ to stimulate oneself. Mas­ters and Johnson bluntly declare booze to be the single most frequent cause of what they call secondary impo­tence – sexual failure in men who are normally virile. This occurs when the dosage is too high: The sedative effect of a little alcohol (which is basi­cally a depressant) makes sex better because it temporarily knocks out the inhibition center in the brain, but the same sedative effect spreads to more and more of the nervous system as the intake increases. One can be sexual­ly hors de combat long before the paralysis has reached the balance centers; i.e., before one is falling-down drunk. One therefore feels high rath­er than blind, and the sexual impotence can be a shock. Masters and Johnson say that many cases of impotence that lasted for years began this way, though it takes a lot of worry and self-doubt (aided by more booze) to keep the pattern going after a single catastrophe.

In general, the same param­eters apply to other chemi­cals. Some users insist that these are aphrodisiacs, without qualification or definition. Others claim that it’s all auto­suggestion. The evidence to date is that the dosage, the set and the setting are all inti­mately involved in the results, which are therefore predicta­ble only in very loose generali­zations.

Spanish fly, or cantharides, the most famous of all al­leged aphrodisiacs, is hardly controversial anymore. Everybody agrees that it’s a bummer. The actual effect is to irritate the genitourinary tract; in a few cases, this irri­tation, coupled with strong autosuggestion, has seemed aphrodisiac. More often, the irritation has been merely ir­ritating. Heavy doses are also poisonous: The Marquis de Sade owes much of his infa­mous reputation to an incident in which he poisoned two pros­titutes by feeding them choco­lates diluted with cantharides. He always insisted that he intended only to inflame their passions.

Other traditional aphrodis­iacs, such as rhinoceros horn, shrimps, oysters, etc., are equally ineffective, if less toxic. Their reputations, an­thropologists agree, are due to the shamanistic habit of thinking analogically. The rhino horn looks like an erect penis, the oyster like a vagi­na, and thus, to the primitive sorcerer, it is logical to hope for stimulating sexual effects. Actually, a diet high in oys­ters and other seafood will keep a man potent if other factors are not depressing his virility. This is true of any diet that stresses protein and avoids excessive carbohy­drates. But there is no special magic in seafood.

Before going further, some definition of terms: A drug is any substance that changes the human being who consumes it. (This is a very general definition, of course; it in­cludes gold, which creates hallucinations, among other symptoms of stress, for those unwise enough to try to digest it.) Drugs that primarily af­fect the mind are usually called psychoactive drugs, or, to use the vernacular, dope.

Dope consists of:

1. Tranquilizers, such as Miltown, Librium and Thor­azine.

2. Barbiturates, such as Seconal, or the derivatives of barbiturate acid.

3. Narcotics, such as alcohol, heroin and morphine.

4. Cannabis, which is in a class by itself.

5. Psychedelics, such as LSD, peyote and psilocybin.

6. Energizers, such as co­caine and the amphetamines.

7. Miscellaneous.

If we forget the question “Are there real aphrodisi­acs?” that hinges on the metaphysical meaning of aphrodisiac and hence can be debated forever, and instead ask “Do any drugs affect sex?,” the answer is a resounding yes! The first three groups on this list have all been linked with impotence, at least for some users. While this is negative knowledge, it at least gives us some grounds for hope that positive effects claimed for other chemicals are not all the result of auto-suggestion.

Male patients on heavy dosages of tranquilizers often become impotent; the dose is then cut and combined with an energizer, whereupon the problem usually clears up. Tofranil in particular has been linked with impotence so often that doctors now warn about this when pre­scribing it, telling the patient to discontinue use if sex­ual functioning is hampered. The same problem arises with heavy use of barbiturates. With opiate narcotics, such as heroin, morphine, Pantopon and Demerol, total impotence is almost invariable once ad­diction has been established. While it is conceivable that studies may someday show that all this is autosuggestion, the weight of the evidence is that these central-nervous-sys­tem depressants also depress the physical sex functions. Those who enjoy these seda­tive or depressant drugs will reply that sex is more trouble than it’s worth. “It was a wom­an that drove me to drink;” W. C. Fields commented, “and I never even thanked her.” Or, as a heroin addict says in Aleister Crowley’s novel Diary of a Drug Fiend, “I have gotten into all sorts of messes with women in the past. Hero­in has destroyed my interest in them.”

Cannabis has been used for sex, reli­gion, medicine and recreation through­out history, worshiped as a god in parts of India and Africa, banned and feared in places as diverse as ancient China and modern America. George Washington thought so highly of this herb that he wrote frequent letters to the gardener at Mount Vernon about its cultivation; Richard Nixon thought so poorly of it that when the National Commission on Marijuana and Drug Abuse reported it harmless, he told them, in effect, to go fly a kite.

Depending on the user’s personality or mood, Cannabis acts like alcohol in de­creasing inhibitions, creating an energetic mood. It also acts like a narcotic in diminishing pain. It acts like the hypnot­ics, such as nitrous oxide (laughing gas), in provoking alternating moods of hilarity and deep introspection. Finally, it acts somewhat like LSD and the psy­chedelics in enhancing colors, sensations and music, and sometimes in producing semi-hallucinations. Sexually, Cannabis has long had the reputation of being the most powerful aphrodisiac in the world. This was part of the folklore cited by the authorities when making the herb illegal in 1937.

This, of course, is the kind of think­ing associated with the mythical concept of aphrodisiacs. If we remember that psychoactive drugs function synergeti­cally within the context of dose, set and setting, we will not be surprised to learn that R. E. L. Masters, surveying the lit­erature from ancient times to the present, found a minority of users re­porting sexual desensitization or out­right impotence while on the weed.

Most recently, a research study group that included William Masters conclud­ed that men smoking between 5 and 18 joints of marijuana a week had expe­rienced reduced levels of plasma testosterone and lower sperm counts. High testosterone levels in the blood have long been associated with the tend­ency toward aggression, and this study suggests that there may be a correspond­ence between high marijuana use and impaired sexual performance in males. One subject of the study group devel­oped potency problems while using marijuana, but his condition quickly reversed when he stopped.

However, another survey of some 300 American users indicated that most of them find marijuana quite stimulating sexually. For example, A.P. reporter Barbara Lewis’ book The Sexual Power of Marijuana reports on women who were (or think they were) cured of fri­gidity by smoking this herb. Similarly, Drs. William McGlothlin and Louis Jolyon West, in a survey published in The American Journal of Psychiatry, found that 73 percent of the pot smokers in their sample said they turn on to enhance sexual enjoyment.

During a good sex-marijuana session, the whole body becomes an erogenous zone. This is sometimes described quite colorfully by adepts: “My whole body was a penis,” one will say, or, “She was allpussy, from head to toe.” Timo­thy Leary referred to the onset of this sort of consciousness as opening “the Rapture Circuit,” one of the seven cir­cuits he claims are built in when a human nervous system is born. (Most people use only four of these seven cir­cuits, Leary asserts, but yogis, shamans, schizophrenics and dopers may be using all seven.)

The mouth is often especially sensi­tized, and oral sex can be lingered upon to an unusual extent. This, again, may or may not be the result of autosugges­tion; it is strikingly similar to the delight in food experienced by many on non­sexual Cannabis jags-the well-known “marijuana munchies.” A 38-year-old radio announcer, quoted in The Sexual Power of Marijuana, put it this way: “A woman’s body becomes a cafeteria. You want to eat every part of it. No part is sacred, yet everything is sacred.”

The most interesting reactions occur, of course, in the genitals. A 22-year-old coed, quoted by the same book, says: “After smoking, there are times when I literally feel as if I’m a huge cunt.” Similarly, a 32-year-old pharmacist said: “I sometimes feel like a huge sexual or­gan, like I’m duplicating the thrust of the penis. And that the woman’s body has the proportions of one large vaginal tract. ”

This peculiar centering of conscious­ness within the genitals is the first stage in cosmic consciousness as practiced by the Tantric Hindus of northern India and the Tantric Buddhists of Tibet. The sexual rites of the Tantrists have traditionally used a Cannabis drug, charas, to achieve this felicity.

Of course, such a separate reality-as these states are called by anthropologist Carlos Castaneda – Is quickly catego­rized as hallucination or worse by older psychiatrists and the governments of the Western world. Younger social scien­tists – Drs. Leary, John Lilly, Humphrey Osmond, R. D. Laing and many others­ reply in rebuttal that these states are as valid as ordinary consciousness. Both consist of subjective and objective ele­ments mixed together. This, of course, opens the most accursed question in philosophy: What is real?

More serious is the establishment’s second warning that these unusual states of consciousness, hallucinatory or not, lead to physical damage. Again, there is quick rebuttal. The British Indian Hemp Drug Commission of the Nineties, the U. S. Army Canal Zone study of the Twenties, the LaGuardia Commission of the Forties, the Weil, Zinberg, Nelson study in Boston in the Sixties and a U. S. Food and Drug Administration study in Jamaica in 1971 all found no clear-cut physical damage from Cannabis drugs, even though the first, third and last of these investigations included a large num­ber of users who had been smoking Can­nabis for decades. The establishment, however, is always quick to come back with another study suggesting that some subtle damage might exist after all.

The psychedelics-hallucinogens bring these debates to greater emotional inten­sity than do the Cannabis drugs. The sexual side of the LSD revolution was stated bluntly by Leary in a 1966 Playboy Interview:

The sexual impact is, of course, the open but private secret about LSD which none of us has talked about in the last few years. . . .

Sexual ecstasy is the basic reason for the current LSD boom. When Dr. Goddard, the head of the Food and Drug Administration, an­nounced in a Senate hearing that ten percent of our college students are taking LSD, did you ever wonder why? Sure, they’re discovering God and meaning; sure, they’re discover­ing themselves; but did you really think that sex wasn’t the funda­mental reason for this surging, youthful social boom? You can no more do research on LSD and leave out sexual ecstasy than you can do microscopic research on tis­sue and leave out cells. . . .

Mature and responsible voices were prompt to announce that Leary was ex­aggerating wildly. Voices from the un­derground were just as prompt to assert that he was telling it like it is. Typical is this testimony of one interview subject, who described an identification-with-the-genitals experience much stronger than those recounted by Cannabis users: “I was fucking Sandra and the acid made all my consciousness go into the very top eighth inch of the head of my penis. That’s all I was – just that fragment of flesh entirely surrounded by cunt and pulsating with joy. Then-boom! – I wasn’t even that. I was nowhere, and yet I was everywhere.”

Alan Watts, the late exponent of Zen, on the other hand, testified that for him LSD was always an “above-the-belt experience. ”

The resolution of such contradic­tions – without accusing anybody of being a liar or a fool – may perhaps be found in Dr. Lilly’s concept that LSD is a “metaprogramming substance.” This nicely sidesteps the debate between those who regard acid favorably as a psyche­delic and those who regard it unfavora­bly as a hallucinogenic. According to Lilly, a metaprogramming substance acts upon the human biocomputer (brain) so as to make it easier to change pro­grams. Thus, if one wants to change philosophical or perceptual programs, LSD is an above-the-belt experience; but if one wants to change sexual pro­grams, it’s a below-the-belt experience.

A psychedelic that can be described as sui generis is MDA (Methylenedioxyam­phetamine), a blend of the psychedelic mescaline (normally found in the peyote cactus) and the stimulant amphetamine. Since both psychedelics and stimulants are found to be sexually exciting by many users, one would expect MDA to be a somewhat erotic potion, and in­deed some underground alchemists have claimed it is “the only true aphrodisiac known.” Again, we must remember that effect depends on dosage, plus set, plus setting; some find MDA a totally above-the-belt experience.

As is now the norm in drug lore, vast contradictions appear in the reports of those who have sampled black-market MDA on the streets. This is largely due to the fact that street drugs are often impure or mislabeled; much of what the MDA people think they have had has been cut with amphetamines, cocaine, atropine, etc., or is an LSD-ampheta­mine compound. Yage is a Peruvian vine even spookier than LSD – occult events are so often connected with it that it is also called telepathine-but there are no sexual claims for it in the literature.

In the last few years one drug, above all, has increasingly acquired a reputa­tion for sexual enhancement-cocaine. It is the strongest of the energizers and, in some circles, has long enjoyed the reputa­tion of being the most licentious drug in the world. Users talk more of a flash than a high, and their imagery tends to sound highly orgasmic, even when they are not combining it with sex.

Orgasmlike sensations are monoto­nously reported in cocaine literature round the world. The Peruvian Indians say of this chemical, with simple awe, “God is a substance.” The Mexican dealer in Easy Rider tells Peter Fonda, “jEsta es fa Vida!” (“It is the Life!”). William Eurroughs, whose career as multiple-drug abuser extended from the Thirties until 1957, says that cocaine is “the most exhilarating of all drugs.”

Old coke paranoias were extraordi­nary. Burroughs tells of a friend who suffered the presence of “Chinese cop­pers . . . with meat cleavers” and of another who literally thrust his head into a garbage can, like an ostrich, to hide from the demons pursuing him. More common were the legendary “coke bugs,” microscopic insects that were experi­enced just below the surface of the skin.

If the current revival of cocaine has not provided any yarns similar to such Twenties horrors, one explanation may be that most of the cocaine available these days is, like most of the heroin, cut by as much as 80 percent or more. In many cases, it is actually Novocain Gust as much of the “acid” for sale in the street is really mescaline). Then, again, because of the high prices, few can afford to sniff the crystals all night.

There is a tradition of saving the coke until the moment before orgasm and then sniffing it, so that the two flashes occur at once. To devotees, this is in­deed heaven on earth; but the purer the cocaine (i.e., the higher the ecstasy), the more likely is the sequel of depres­sions and paranoid anxieties.

Quite similar in its results is another stimulant, methamphetamine, or Methe­drine. Psychologist David Cole Gordon has written: “The users of Methedrine or ‘speed’ have reported unrivaled orgas­mic experiences – which is why, even though users are aware of its destruc­tive qualities, they take it again and again.” While the slogan “Speed kills” ­invented by the counterculture itself­ has some element of exaggeration, the paranoias and malnutrition of this form of drug abuse (which kills appetite to an astonishing extent) are considered by some (e.g., Dr. Fort) more damaging than heroin addiction.

The other stimulants, such as Ritalin, the Benzedrine compounds and uppers in general, are also found to be sexually stimulating by some users. Each contains its own possibilities for abuse. Some who like this “speedy” kind of nervous sex have therefore resorted to amyl nitrite, a compound sometimes used by doctors to revive persons who have fainted.

Poppers (the slang name for amyl ni­trite) seem to have few of the bad aftereffects of the stimulant drugs, although a user in poor physical or men­tal condition can go into shock. Also, they can be easily obtained without pre­scription in many places, and are hence something of a fad in showbiz and swinging circles. Some medical authori­ties, alas, warn that circulation of the blood is adversely affected by chronic use. And then, some who have tried once have never repeated it, saying that the rush is not pleasant at all but resembles being in a falling elevator.

Under our last category – Miscellaneous – there are such oddball kicks as nutmeg, or hanging your head over a bucket of ammonia (“the washwoman’s trip”). Nutmeg is frequently resorted to in prisons; the effect is like peyote, includ­ing vomiting and some dizziness. Am­monia, like carbon tet or airplane glue, is a solvent: The effects it has are hardly aphrodisiac.

Finally, there is methaqualone, also marketed as Quaalude, Sopor, Parest, Optimil and Somnafac, and known on the street as sopers. This has quite an erotic reputation in some circles, but, since the drug is basically a downer or sedative, eroticism can be obtained only with small doses; as with alcohol or bar­biturates, a larger dose depresses the en­tire system and leads to sleep – or, with a high-enough dose, to coma or death. Habituation occurs easily, and some in­vestigators already suspect the possibili­ty of physical addiction, although this is still disputed. (It’s safe, however, to say that the drug is extremely habit-forming.)

In summary, then, marijuana, am­phetamines, cocaine and the psyche­delics are probably quite effective aphrodisiacs for those who have learned how to use them. Marijuana has proba­bly become the most popular illegal drug – despite the very real war against it by Government officials.

Is grass, then, the wave of the future, as its cultists believe? In one limited sense, yes. It is still growing in populari­ty and will continue to make converts.

Another factor, meanwhile, is inevita­bly going to enter the picture. Drs. Wayne O. Evans and Nathan S. Kline, in their Psychotropic Drugs in the Year 2000, predict that a real, specific aphro­disiac will be available in this decade. Some who are familiar with the pace of discovery in psychochemistry will agree. Obviously, some new drugs will evoke the kind of panic that centered on LSD in the Sixties; that is, they will be de­clared illegal and immediately will appear (cut and diluted into monstros­ity) on the black market. There should be some memorable bad trips in the years ahead.

Sex and the Mind-Expanding Drugs

“Sex and the Mind-Expanding Drugs”
by Robert Anton Wilson

Cavalier, April 1966


Hallucinogens – the authorities notwithstanding – will be used from now on by some of the people to escalate their sexual ecstasies.

Several years ago, Paul Krassner started a rumor that the government possesses a super-super-weapon known as the O-Bomb-O for Orgasm – which would defeat an enemy by rendering him into such ecstatic transports of delight that he would have no energy left to fight, Naturally, various hipsters, lunatics, philosophers and other social deviates began wearing buttons demanding lewdly:


Like many another wistful and mordant satire on our times, this O-Bomb joke has shown a recent tendency to come true. The O-Bomb, otherwise known as the psychedelic chemical, has been dropped right in the middle of Whitest America. The initials LSD are now better known than LBJ. Marijuana is growing in 97 per cent of the nations window boxes. Peyote is the only Indian word, aside from tomahawk, that every freshman could spell correctly on a recent examination at a well-known university. In short, we are living in the early Zonked epoch of the Orgiastic Age. While authorities have been wondering how to head oft the Hallucinogenic Revolution, the revolution has already occurred.

A dozen consciousness-expanding and sensation-magnifying drugs are available, at reasonable prices, anywhere in the country, and there are no specific laws yet against most of them.  And the word is out that – in addition to creating hallucinations, visions of God, instant psychoanalysis, telepathy, and various creepy and/or ecstatic sensations nobody has yet been able to verbalize – these potent potions also can lead one into sexual fulfillment beyond anything imaginable to those who haven’t had it themselves.

It is this last aspect of the psychedelics that accounts chiefly for their sudden popularity. “Americans,” as Tallulah Bankhead said long ago, have sex-in-the-head, and that’s a hell of a place to have it,” All of us are hipsters in the special meaning that Norman the Mailer gave to the word hipster in his White Negro: “The hipster’s search is . . . a religious quest . . . for the perfect orgasm.” No matter what his sex life is like, every American harbors the Promethean dream that it can be bigger, better, more cosmic, more earth-shaking. God is not dead; His name has been changed to Simultaneous Climax.

The psychedelics are the answers to our dreams (and, as Goethe remarked with typically Teutonic gloom: Beware of what you dream of – you night be so unlucky as to get it). There can be no doubt, in spite of the attempts of the au­thorities to cover this up by emphasizing the occasionally nightmarish side effects of these chemicals, that every psychedelic is also a magnifying glass which expands orgasm into three or four new dimensions,

A Harvard research project, to quote just one bit of “scientific evidence, gave LSD or psilocybin to twenty-five married couples in their own homes, and all reported a remarkable intensification of the sexual experience. Such terms as “cellular orgasm,” “pulsating energy patterns,” “internal fireglow” and “melting and flowing of the entire body” were used by the lucky participants. The report states that the drugs created “profound feelings of interpersonal communion and unity which endowed every action with beauty and significance.”

Cannabis sativa, also known as grass, pot, marijuana, reefers, boo, etc., is the safest, most erotic, mildest and most pop­ular of the perception-boosting drugs-but it is also the most heavily sanctioned, legally. For possession of more than one ounce of cannabis, you can be sentenced in New York State, to ten years’ imprison­ment and penalties are about equally severe elsewhere. There isn’t a college in America today where cannabis isn’t known, and used, by a minority; in several col­leges known to the author, the majority is zonked on canabis every weekend.

Last January New York University or­dered a number of students (variously reported as from six to twenty) out of a dormitory in its Washington Square com­plex because of reported use of mari­juana. At press time no other discipli­nary action had been taken against the students who included some girls living in a separate wing of the dormitory.

Show biz people use it continually. A professional marijuana “dealer” told me recently that his clientele included, along with bohemians and musicians, many young office workers, professional people and one lawyer.

The effect of pot, initially, is intensifi­cation of sound and color awareness, together with an erotic tingling of the whole body. Some psychologists regard this tingling as the re-establishment of “polymorphous perversity” (non-genital sexuality), which Freud thought was born into all infants and destroyed by social repression. Sex with pot is not goatish and brutal, as it often is with booze: it is a slow, loving, very gentle, exquisitely intense experience. Before trying it, brethren, remember: If the state catches you having this kind of unauthorized orgasm, your rump will land in The Joint for ten years.

The effects of cannabis last from about twenty minutes to about one hour, but often seem much longer due to distortion of the time sense. Habitual users say that sex can be had, ecstatically, at any time after the pot has begun to take effect. With prolonged use, the drug tends to create a feeling of religious brotherhood with other pot-heads and a paranoid dis­trust of non-users; the pot-head never knows when somebody will turn out to be an FL (fuzz-lover) and turn him in.

Not a psychedelic, and not illegal, is a drug similar in some ways to cannabis as an orgasm-booster: amyl nitrate. A cousin of ordinary smelling salts, amyl nitrate, when inhaled, creates an intense, cocaine-like exhilaration for something less than a minute. Faggots have used it for years, and the word began spreading to the rest of us only recently: If you and your girl sniff this stuff just before orgasm, you will have an experience unlike anything you can imagine in advance. Amyl nitrate is known as “poppers” and is used, both sexually and non-sexually, on many col­lege campuses. Medical authorities re­gard it, like pot, as harmless.  These are grade school level in the psychedelic hierarchy, however. High school is peyote, psilocybin and mescaline. (Reform school, to follow the meta­phor until it staggers, is Jimson weed, yage and belladonna.) Peyote, a cactus, and psilocybin, a derivative from a mushroom, have been used in Mexico for more than 2,000 years. Peyote spread to the Indians of the United States about 70 years ago and is now used in religious rites by the Native American Church. Both peyote and psilocybin have been traditionally connected with telepathy, clairvoyance and “projection of the astral body.” Mescaline is one of the four active ingredients of peyote and is available in most metropolitan areas.

The effects are approximately the same whether one uses peyote, mescaline or psilocybin, although there is some ten­dency toward side effects of nausea with peyote. The experience lasts from six to twelve hours, and, typically, includes anx­iety, bolts of quick terror, beautiful hallu­cinations, telepathy, sudden self-insights, moments when “time stops” and you dwell in Eternity, space-disorientations, and a growing sense of tranquility and love for all living creatures. The body-tingle, or general eroticism, of cannabis also appears and much stronger and with more benevolence in a peyote or psilocybin high.

The pot-head feels sexy; the peyote user, more likely, will become loving, and sex will only be part of the feeling. Ex­perienced voyagers say that peyote sex is superb, much better than pot-sex, but should not be started until late in the “trip” – earlier hallucinations are apt to destroy one’s ability to focus on the loved person. By the fifth or sixth hour, when the hallucinations have passed and typi­cally benevolent tranquility has begun, sex – with a truly compatible partner – is an unspeakably sacred and ecstatic ex­perience. Sex with an incompatible part­ner can send you spiraling back into hallucinations or anxiety.

Psilocybin and mescaline are illegal, but they are not under the control of the Harrison Act and hence do not concern the U.S. Narcotics Bureau. The dangers of getting busted are small unless you make a lot of noise and the neighbors call the gendarmes. Peyote is legal every-where, except in New York, Massachu­setts and Pennsylvania.

Jimson weed, belladonna and yage (pronounced yah-hay) are the Vietcong of the psychedelic world. Three kids were arrested in California recently running down the street howling at passersby to get the red, white and blue alligators off them; it turned out that they had been eating Jimson weed. Belladonna is simi­lar. A friend who tried it told me of seeing giant gorillas, Nazi storm troopers, naked witches, and polar bears wearing black turtleneck sweaters. Yage, typically, transports you to Yage City, which is said to be a cross between Easter Island and ancientEgypt, and telepathy is very common, (yage is called telepathinein some medical books). Temporary blindness, unconsciousness, psychoses and acute vomiting are recorded side effects of all three of these.

A dose of belladonna that’s safe for one person can be fatal for another, which is one more reason for avoiding this kick. It is noteworthy, however, that bella­donna was used in the medieval period as a sex-booster by the so-called “witches.”

Morning-glory seeds, which are coming into wide use, are the college-level in the psychedelic hierarchy. The varieties that cause sensation-magnification and mind-expansion are Heavenly Blue, Pearly Gates, Flying Saucers and Wed-ding Bells. A hundred seeds are said to be perfect for a sexual “trip” (200 take you into hallucinatory and religious experi­ence; 250-500 will bring you all the way to ego-loss and the heights of mysticism; above 500 is dangerous).

On 100 Heavenly Blue seeds, erotic sensitivity becomes acute all over the body, color and form take on new beauty and “depth,” and everything appears pro­foundly meaningful, in a definitely re­ligious sense. This is a surprisingly “cool” experience – cool as heroin and other ad­dictive drugs are cool – and lacks the nervous, rapidly “flowing” emotional tone of peyote, psilocybin and LSD. It is an experience “of the mountains,” of clarity and calm and clear air, with profoundly pantheistic tranquility at the heart of it. Orgasm becomes more an act of giving than of taking – an act of giving in, of surrender in the widest sense, of happen­ing rather than doing. The seeds are legal everywhere.

Lysergic acid diethylamide tartrate-25, or LSD, is post-graduate work. It is the best, and most dangerous, of all psy­chedelics. It is the joker in the pack, acting sometimes like the seeds, some-times like belladonna or Jimson weed, sometimes like peyote, and frequently acting like nothing ever recorded before even in its own weird history. It has cured schizophrenia, alcoholism, criminal psychopathy, frigidity, and, it has been said, even cancer, in some cases and has been ineffective against them all in others; it has created the most mystical and God-centered of all psychedelic experiences; it has often led to temporary psychotic breakdowns; a few people have been driven to suicide by it. Nobody should ever try it without professional supervision.  LSD is illegal throughout the nation, but easily available in cubes retailing for $3 to $7 in most big cities through extra-legal sources. The morning-glory seeds can be purchased legally anywhere, and $1 will buy enough for a hundred-seed sex-jaunt, or you can grow your own. Belladonna can be purchased, in various medicines, at drugstores, and $1.50 can buy ten “trips.” Jimson weed you have to find growing wild. Yage, imported from South America, costs about the same as LSD; so do mescaline and psilocybin. Prices on cannabis vary widely, but $1 for a “roach” (cigarette) is typical; three roaches, passed around a circle one by one, will get a group of six to eight peo­ple quite happy.

These prices are especially remarkable when you remember that an alcohol-head, not necessarily an alcoholic but a “heavy drinker,” can spend $15 to $25 a week on his habit, and an addict of heroin call quickly reach the stage of enslavement where his need costs him $65, or more, per day.

Psychedelic prices are misleading, be-cause hardly anybody, except pot-heads, ever wants to take more than one or two “trips” per month. The afterglow and the intellectual stimulation always take a few weeks to wear off, and you just are not interested in another “trip” for a while.

Such a cheap Instant Transcendence, obviously, is not going to be effected by laws or persecutions anymore than booze was affected by the Volstead Act. The Psychedelic Revolution has occurred; society is going to have to learn to live with the fact that a certain not-very-small minority is hereinafter going to insist on, and practice, the right to make them-selves more sensitive than the majority, both erotically and otherwise. The O-Bomb has fallen, right in our midst.

The Religion of Kerista and Its 69 Positions

“The Religion of Kerista
and Its 69 Positions”
By Robert Anton Wilson

from Ralph Ginzburg’s fact:
 July-Aug 1965
Volume 2, Issue 4

Beatniks, swingers, and hippies all over the world are banding together to create a society where anything – but anything – goes

Eight years ago, an ex-Air Force officer named John Presmont was sitting in his room on East 31st Street in New York City when a voice spoke to him and told him he would be the founder of the next great world religion. Presmont, after leaving the Air Force with an honor-able discharge, had become, by the age of 38, what nice people call a “bohemian” or beatnik.” At the time the Voice spoke to him, he had been reading the Koran and smoking marijuana rather heavily for 6 weeks. For several months before that, he had been laboriously plowing through all the scriptures of the great religions-Hindu, Confucian, Buddhist, Taoist, and so forth. Earlier still, he had chewed and digested a great deal of modern psychology and sociology. Like most of us, he was concerned with the growing horror of this age and, like a few of us, he had felt this concern grow within him until it overmastered and all but obliterated all his other interests. Nonetheless, he was abashed by the Voice.

“Why does it have to be me?” he cried.

BECAUSE YOURE SO GULLIBLE, the Voice answered solemnly.

“But what should I do?” Presmont continued to object. “I don’t know anything about founding a religion.”

PEOPLE WILL COME TO GIVE YOU STRENGTH,” said the Voice unperturbed.


Today, a chubby and cherubic 44, John Presmont has become Jud the Prophet to a few thousand followers scattered in such odd places as London, Berlin, Tangier, New York City, San Francisco, and Passaic, New Jersey. For the first 5 years, his religion was called our thing” by its adherents because the Voice had said that THERE IS NOTHING YOU CAN DO TO PREVENT THIS THING FROM HAPPENING. Three years ago, however, the word got out that the Mafia is called “our thing” (cosa nostra) by its members, and Jud soon had another vision, seeing a colony of Buddhas (Enlightened ones) living on an island with a huge mountain by the sea, and it was revealed to him that the island would be called Kerista (derivation unknown). His followers now call themselves Keristans, and the religion is called Kerista.

The rule of the religion of Kerista is the rule of Rabelais’s abbey of Theleme: Do What You Will. Kerista is a religion of joy and freedom, a religion without dogma or restriction, and a religion of ecstasy, for the Voice had told Jud the Prophet, HAVE A BALL, ENJOY YOURSELF TO THE UTMOST. The Keristansuninhibitedly follow this injunction, and Kerista is, therefore, utterly unlike the dominant forms of religion .in Judaeo-Christian cultures. The New York police have been harassing the New York Keristans for quite a while, and on Oc­tober 16, 1964, they arrested Jud the Prophet and 1I. others for possession of marijuana. The police, obviously, don’t believe that anybody who is having a ball is really religious. Jud the Prophet, like Jesus and Mohammed before him, will have to endure the persecution of the infidels.

 *     *     *

A few weeks ago, I journeyed down to the eastern part of Greenwich Village – where the bohemians now hang out – to meet nine members of Kerista and learn about the essence of their faith. Do you know the East Village? You can walk for 10 blocks and never see a building that doesn’t look as if it should have been condemned during the reign of Warren Gamaliel Harding. Puerto Rican kids, sleepy from marijuana, lounge in windows watching you with insect eyes of indifference or brush past you angrily on the sidewalk and the mes­sage Screw white America comes off them like garlic from an Italian kitchen. Negroes loiter about with no more hope of the future or despair for the present than a rock has. The smell of poverty comes back to you, and if you haven’t smelled it in 20 years you still recognize it – it is a blend of cooking that is too spicy (to hide the fact that the food is too little) and the reek of the dying bodies of old men who have known despair for too many years and the odor from the always-slightly-plugged-up hall toilets – and you see teams of cops pacing nervously around and they look at you with mean cop eyes won­dering if you’ve got $100,000 worth of Heroin in your attaché case and what you are doing here in your uptown clothes anyway. Yes, this is a good place for a religion to be born; in such squat hutches Peter and Paul and Matthew must have preached.

My appointment was with a 24-year-old C.C.N.Y. graduate who called himself Dau. When I found his apartment, a good-looking brunette who said her name was Tre let me in and said Dau would be back shortly. (Most of the Keristans eventually take these new names, which, like the Black Muslim “X” or the Catholic confirmation-name, symbolize a new identity.) The apartment consisted of just two rooms. A monument-sized American flag acted as a room divider-, another American flag hung over the window in lieu of curtains. There were no lights.

Dau suddenly charged in behind me, a hyperactive boy with a short, neat beard, and announced that the “vibrations” were better in the “nursery,” so we would conduct the in­terview there. We tramped down the stairs into the building next door and went to another apartment where seven other members of Kerista were waiting.

“I’m E.Z.,” said a giant of a man who re-minded me vaguely of the illustrations to Paul Bunyan stories. He was wearing trousers, but nothing above the waist and no shoes or socks. His thick black hair hadn’t been inside a barbershop for at least a year and his curly black beard was as wild as Rex Barney’s pitching the season the Dodgers retired him. Three naked babies, all less than a year old, were playing on the floor. (The Keristans share everything, including the care of babies.) A blonde young lady wearing nothing but a pair of black panties came out of the kitchen, nodded at me, and went into another room, from which she soon emerged in a bathrobe and joined the discussion.

“You see?” Dau said. “Aren’t the ‘Vibra­tions better here?” Everybody agreed that the vibrations were better.

I asked if Jud was present, and it turned out that he wasn’t. “But I wanted to speak to the leader,” I complained. A 22-year-old boy named Good quickly explained, “No, no, man, you don’t get it. Kerista has no leader. Jud is the prophet. Kerista doesn’t need leaders, or teachings, or theories, or stipulations, or restric­tions. Kerista is freedom.”

“Kerista is freedom and love,” E.Z. corrected.

What I had heard around town was that Keristans were all bisexual, promiscuous, and 99% of the time zonked out of their skulls on marijuana, peyote, LSD-25, or some other psychedelic drug. As delicately as I could, I in­quired about this aspect of their freedom.

“Well, first of all,” Good said, “we’re not trying to enforce anything on anybody. That goes against freedom, and freedom is our first law. People can keep any hang-up they’ve got, as long as they want to keep it. Of course, if they want to get over their hang-ups, we’ll help them. But we don’t pressure anybody to try anything that they’re still square about. We have one member who’s still a virgin.”

It developed that this apartment – which belonged to E.Z. and Marquel, the blonde girl who greeted me in her panties – was the “nursery” only today. The three babies belong to all of this Kerista cell, and whichever apartment they are in for a day is the “nursery” for that day. All in all, there are 10 such apartments in the EastVillage now.

The interview proceeded:

Q: Well, what happened after Jud heard the Voice?

A: [By Good] Nothing. He had to wait for the people to come, like the Voice said. One by one, over the years, we’ve found him.

Q: Do you take these odd names when you join Kerista?

A: [By Dau] Well, first you got to get in contact with your pure self, through Buddho, the art of no-defense. That means not defending the social self with all the usual hang-ups and bullshit. When you find the pure self, you take a new name.

Q: How do you get the new names?

A: [By Dau] From a Ouija board.

Q: I see. What is Buddho, the art of no-defense?

A: [By Dau] You get rid of bullshit.  You stop defending yourself. Dig? You don’t put up a front. You admit who you are. You don’t play-act, you don’t put people on.

Q: But how do you Learn Buddho?

A: [By Good] We teach it. You name the price, half-price for the first lesson. You start with conversation and learn how to stop de-fending yourself on that level. Then you move in and get rid of the more subtle defenses.

Q: Did Jud invent Buddho?

A: [By Tre, 23, female] Dau invented Buddho. It’s a contraction of Buddha and judo. We’ve all added something to Kerista. There’s no one truth.

Q: Now, about this voice that spoke to had. Do you believe it was the Voice of God?

A: [By E. Z.] If you want to call it that. You could call it Jung’s “collective uncon­scious” or the Zen “not-self” if you wanted. We’re not particular. The important thing is not theories. The important thing is living accord­ing to the pure self, not full of a lot of bullshit.

When you ask the Keristans about the “vibrations,” they are rather vague. “You know, man, the vibrations.” When you ask if they mean the hypothetical “orgoneenergy ocean” suggested by Freudian heretic Wilhelm Reich, they disagree. Some think Reich’s orgone energy is the vibrations, some doubt it. Reich and Freud, chiefly, they blame for the conservatism of modern psychiatry, and recently they sent out advertisements to all the psychiatrists, psy­choanalysts, and psychotherapists in New York City offering to help them. “Let us solve your problems,” the ad said. “We have none of our own. Learn Buddho, the art of no-defense. You name the price. First visit half-price.” There have been no takers.

The Keristans I interviewed come from a variety of backgrounds and it was hard to find a common denominator among them. E.Z. is 28 and grew up in the slums of the lower East Side, not far from where Kerista now flourishes. Although he was born of poor Russian immi­grants and didn’t finish junior high school, E.Z. acquired an education in the Air Force and worked for the Federal Aviation Agency after his discharge. “I was a good, middle-class square for 5 whole years,” he says of his period with the F.A.A. His salary finally reached $10,500 and he acquired a wife and a home in a fashion-able Long Island suburb. But all the time he was “reading, reading, reading” and brooding over the meaninglessness of his job and his life. One day, he says, “The bullshit got to be too much for me. I just said to myself, `This is no way for people to live.’ ” He quit his job, left his wife, and moved to the East Village and “became a beatnik,” in his own words. Two years later he met JohnPresmont and was con­vinced that Kerista was the proper way for peo­ple to live. “Our society is all warped and fucked-up,” he says.

Onn, a divorced 22-year-old with one child, was born in Alaska. Her parents were both teachers. Onn attended Northeastern University before making the EastVillage scene. She was converted to Kerista after her first LSD session with Keristans because “they looked so beau­tiful and everyone else looked so ugly.”

Fly, an intense, highly-charged girl, is also 22 and has a B.A. in philosophy from Brooklyn College. Before becoming involved with Kerista, she was a member of the Committee for Non-Violent Action, an uncompromising pacifist group that practices hard-core Gandhian civil disobedience and is always going to jail for it. Fly is convinced that Kerista will be “the next great world religion.” Self-consciously hip, Fly told me that she has sampled “pot, hashish, and Heroin,” quickly amending the last to “uh, I mean, junk.”

Dom, 21, a bearded giant, comes from a Ukrainian farm family in Pennsylvania, “real European peasants,” he says. He attended the University of Pennsylvania and later lived for a while in the Glen Gardner community in New Jersey, a religious (mostly Roman Catholic) anarchist group.

Good, 22, comes from a lower-class Hungarian-American family and summed up Kerista for me by quoting a line of poet Lawrence Ferlinghetti’s: “Everybody has his own hole to climb out of.” He has attended C.C.N.Y. and joined Kerista as soon as he heard of it. “Like as soon as it came along it was the thing to do,” he says.

Marquel is an attractive 29-year-old blonde who was born of a middle-class Irish-American family and attended Bennington. She worked as a researcher for a leading advertising firm for 3 years, then, in disgust, went on unemploy­ment “while I tried to find myself.” When un­employment ran out, she waited on tables and posed for artists. Later she went to Paris and lived on a houseboat on the Seine for a year. She has had two children, by natural childbirth, and has never married. Along with the standard psychedelic drugs, she also has tried belladonna, an unpleasant experience which she finds im­possible to talk about.

Tre comes from a middle-class German family in Pennsylvania and is 23. She attended Maryville College and now lives with Dau, who is 24. “The first time I was turned on LSD,” Tre told me, “I wanted to see Dau, so I picked up his vibrations and followed them. I went right into a park, following the vibrations, and there he was.”

 *     *     *

All of these Keristans were either born into the middle-class, or, like E.Z., achieved middle-class status through their own talents, and all have rejected it. They have turned their backs on the Affluent Society and now squat in the slums of the East Village convinced that they have liberated themselves from a living death. Their poverty does not bother them much, ex­cept to the extent that it handicaps them in fending off the police, who are taking an in-creasing, and unwelcome, interest inKerista.

All that is central to Kerista, as it was ex­plained to me, is Buddho, the art of no-defense; there are no regulations or stipulations. Buddho, it seems, is a technique, invented by Dau, for escape from other-directedness. It begins with watching yourself in ordinary conversation and observing how often you are “defending” against implicit (or projected) criticism from the other party. More advanced Buddho in­cludes the conquest of greed, sexual jealousy, and other “hang-ups.” “We’re trying to live ac-cording to the pure self, not full of bullshit,” E.Z. says. When asked how Kerista differs from the many other swinging, free-living people in the East Village, San Fran, and other pockets of bohemia, E.Z. answers, “No difference. Except we have purpose, direction, goals, and love.”

The economics of the Keristans, I learned, are as strange as their religion and their sexual practices. At present, in the East Village group, four are working, four are receiving compensation from the Department of Welfare, and 18 are living hand-to-mouth. In practice, the eight are supporting the 18-or, if you prefer, the four who are working and the State of New York are supporting the 18. (Whenever anyone is in danger of eviction, for example, the group raises the money for that month’s rent on that apartment.) What keeps this from being pure parasitism is that the ones who are working and the ones who are sponging are continually changing places, and that the ones not working are providing services for the entire group, such as baby-sitting or shopping or carrying clothes to a laundermat. When money gets especially short, a few members will return to their parents’ homes for a while. (The groups in Passaic and Paterson each have a high-salaried executive in them, and the group in Las Vegas are all said to be comfortable.) John Presmont’s Air Force pension guarantees that the New York group will always have an apartment on which the rent is paid up to date.

It was getting late, and Dom was eager to brew up some peyote tea, so I left, after making an appointment to meet Jud the Prophet.

 *     *     *

Two days later, I went up to the Radio City office of a man named Desmond Slattery to meet Jud the Prophet. I found Jud to be a large, amiable, bearlike man with a shock of white hair that made him look more elderly and patriarchal than his 44 years. I started by ask­ing him about the Kerista philosophy of sexual freedom. “We believe in love,” he said. “People shouldn’t be like balloons, ready to explode if they’re touched. We believe in total sharing, and that means sharing love and affection as well as property. In Kerista, the only standard of a sexual relationship is mutual consent, by the two or three or four or however many parties are involved. We only have one full-time homosexual member that I know of, but most of us are bisexual. People either dig that this is the natural, decent, loving way to be-have, or they don’t. I won’t give you a lot of details for pornographic readers to drool over.

Look,” Jud said, “my work is over, in a way. I had the vision and communicated it, and now I’m finished. It’s up to Des here to take the next step. You should really interview him. Des is the most important man right now, because the most important part of -Kerista right now is building an island colony, and that’s his territory.”

Desmond Slattery, a man of 50 with a short, gray beard that made him look like Walter Huston playing Satan in The Devil and Daniel Webster, took the ball immediately. “Get this clear,” he said. “I’m not religious. I abominate all religions, without exception. To me, Kerista is a social movement, and Jud knows how I feel.”

“I don’t care whether people call it a re­ligion or a social movement,” Jud said. “The important thing is that they act naturally and decently.”

Desmond Slattery began to explain the island colony to me. He had voluminous papers, maps, booklets, charts, and other paraphernalia to illustrate everything he said. A graduate in sociology from the University of Wichita, Slattery went into the jungles of British Honduras 5 years ago and created a new industry-the breeding of bees in a new environment and the extraction from them of a special honey obtain-able only from bees fed on jungle vegetation – and his success was written up enthusiastically in an article in Bee World, the beekeeper’s journal. Slattery sold the business as soon as he had proved it could be done, for profit-making is the least of his interests. He has been a merchant seaman, a pilot for Pan Am, an Air Force officer, a hobo, a movie actor, and a TV producer, but most of the time he has preferred agricultural work in such odd corners as Tahiti, Japan, and South America. His real love is ecology, the science of biological balances that reveals the interdependence of all living beings. “That’s my religion,” he says. “Ecology.” The Kerista island colony is to him a scientific experiment. “We’ll put Jud’s ideas to work in a natural environment and find out what they can do,” he says. All the laws relating to agricultural co-operatives in British possessions are before him on his desk, together with maps of several possible islands; you believe, suddenly, that he will do what he says he will. He may well be the Pied Piper who will pull out the Swinging People.

But a doubt remains. “How do you get the money to start?” I asked.

Slattery hauls out a piece of paper. “Here’s four plans,” he says. “I’m cooking up a few others if these all fall through.” He has set his goal at $50,000 and each plan seems like a fairly possible approach. One plan starts with 200 members, and another with 100 members. “If we can’t get all the bread we really need,” he says, “I go in with only 14 people, hire a few Indians, and start clearing the jungle with machetes.” He means it. He has done it before. “Of course,” he adds, and his eyes twinkle, “I’1I pick those 14 damned carefully.”

After the island is founded, Slattery plans to make it a tourist attraction for hipsters. “Kerista will become the hip San Juan,” he says enthusiastically. “We’ll keep our rates low, so people without a lot of bread can afford to come. There’ll be thousands every year. Instead of living in a hotel with a lot of rich squares for 3 days, they can be with other swingers for a whole month. Every hippie in the States will eventually come down to make the scene with us.” He is expecting to charge $120 for a year on the isle of Kerista, payable at $10 per month for the previous year. (Further details about the island colony can be found in Keristan Flyer, 25 cents from Box557, Radio City Station, New York.)

A friend of mine asked Jud, 4 years ago, why he founded Kerista, and Jud had answered, “I don’t want to work for a living.” I asked him about that, and he answered, “That’s right. When we get the colony going, nobody will work. When you’re doing what you want to do, it isn’t work; it’s play. One cat is raising rabbits, another is raising chickens, somebody’s growing vegetables, they’re all having a ball, is that work? Work is when you’re taking orders from somebody you hate.”

“How would you sum up Kerista?” I asked,

“Total sharing,” he said. “Getting rid of masochism and sadism, inferiority and superiority. Being yourself.

“Kerista is the essence of hip,” Jud went on. “There are millions of hipsters all over the world who have part of it. They’re looking for Kerista without knowing it. Norman Mailer said that hip was going to give birth to the next re­ligion. He was right and we’re it.”

When I had entered Slattery’s office, I had been introduced to a young Negro girl, Joy, who then proceeded to sleep through most of the interview. Just before I left, I. asked Jud if Keristans objected to monogamy-I was think­ing of the Oneida colony in 19th century New York which regarded monogamy as antisocial selfishness-and he said, “You still don’t understand. Kerista is freedom. People can have one partner, if that’s what they really want. I’m married to Joy. We were married 7 weeks ago.”

Joy, who is 19 and came up from Alabama a year ago, told me how she got into Kerista. “I was taking around a petition to ask the city; to keep Mobilization for Youth open, and I met Jud in a bar and asked him to sign. ‘Sure,’ he said, ‘I sign everything.’ Then he started telling me about Buddha, and I agreed to come to aKerista meeting. After I heard them all I said, `You people are crazy.’ But I thought it over. Two days later, I joined up.”

 *     *     *

About a week afterwards, at my invitation, Jud and Joy came out to spend a weekend with my family in our home high in the mountains of Sussex County, New Jersey. Unlike many hipsters we have had over, Jud and Joy were excellent guests, and my four children quickly fell in love with Joy. After the first meal, Jud insisted onwashing the dishes. Joy cooked the big meal on Sunday. Jud also forced us to let him pay for some of the food for the weekend.

In the relaxed atmosphere of my own living room, I probed Jud for some more information about the unconventional sexual practices of the Keristans. I soon learned, for one thing, that it is not at all unusual for two or three Keristans to be engaged in sexual hi-finks on a couch while several others carry on a conversa­tion in the next room. I then inquired about the problem of contraception.

“Most of the Keristan men detest condoms,” Jud said, “so it’s up to the girls to protect themselves. They use the usual things, dia­phragms and coils and pills.”

This is protection against unwanted births, but it seemed to leave the venereal-disease problem unchecked. I asked about the rumor that Kerista had suffered a gonorrhea epidemic a few months ago.

“Yeah,” he said morosely. “That was Dau’s fault. He went balling with outside chicks and brought back a beautiful case of the clap. It spread to nine of the downtown Keristans in a week. But then we caught it and everybody went down to the Public Health Service and had shots. It’s all cleared up now. On the island, we’ll take precautions and make visitors submit to a medical before mixing with the community.”

None of the unmarried Keristan girls has yet become pregnant through Keristan group-sex, Jud said. “At least,” he added, “not in the New York groups.” The three babies I had seen were all born before the mothers joined Kerista. Feeling the lack of a definitive summary of Kerista, Jud has been working on a kind of statement of principles. Since Moses had his 10 Commandments, Luther his 95 Theses, and the Anglo-Catholics their 39 Articles, Jud has decided to have 69 Positions. “This is just tentative, though,” he said. “You don’t have to agree with all of it to be a Keristan.” He has written 25 of the 69 Positions and showed them to me:

Legalize group marriage. Legalize indecent exposure. Legalize trial marriage. Legalize abortion. Legalize miscegenation. Legalize religious intermarriage. Legalize marijuana. Legalize narcotics. Legalize cunnilingus. Legalize transvestitism. Legalize pornography. Legalize obscene language. Legalize sexual intercourse. Legalize group sex. Legalize sodomy. Legalize fellatio. Legalize prostitution. Legalize incest. Legalize birth control. Legalize Lesbianism. Legalize polygamy. Legalize polyandry. Legalize polygyny. Legalize homosexuality. Legalize voluntary flagellation.

“You see,” he said, “it’s all common sense. Almost all intelligent people are Keristans al-ready, without knowing it.” He has a half-formed plan to amalgamateKerista with LEMAR (the League for Legalized Marijuana) and form a new political party with the 69 Positions as its platform. “We’ve still got a secret ballot,” he said, “and people who are afraid to stick their necks out in public could go into the voting booth and, for once, stand up for what they really believed. I bet we’d get a lot of votes and scare the pants off the squares.”

Later, Jud was reminiscing about the loft in which 22 Keristans had lived together for a while last year. “It was groovy,” he said. “The rent came to $10 a month for each person.” It had its drawbacks, though: Dau brought in some really weird types. “There was one guy who showed up, balled 20 girls in a week, and never came back or paid for anything. And there was a girl who was pretty far out, all she ever said was the word ‘fuck.’” Jud is trying to persuade the other Keristans to screen out “the wrong types.”

Joy is pregnant and Jud is shortly coming up for trial on a marijuana charge, but his spirits remain high. “Kerista can’t fail,” he says, “because people need it. We’re all isolated in modern society. Isolation makes men paranoiac: They’ve proved that in the laboratory. Cut a man off from all human contact and he starts going mad in about 6 hours. We’re all too isolated and cut-off since the old religions died and commercialism began. We need a new religion-Bernard Shaw said it, Koestler said it, every intelligent man has said it. Kerista is the new religion. Nothing can stop Kerista. Noth­ing.”

The Voice that spoke to Jud 8 years ago had more humor than the Voices that have spoken to other visionaries in the past, and Kerista may even seem, to the skeptical, a satire on religion. But there could be no doubt of the fervor, and the sincerity, of Jud when he said, “Nothing can stop Kerista.” Kerista might very well become, like Zen in Japan, the church of an intellectual and artistic minority. There is certainly a market waiting for Jud’s product. Three-quarters, at the very least, of the creative people I have met have been living as if they were members of Kerista without knowing it.




mattachette REVIEW, Vol. 8, No. 8, August 1962

THOSE WHO BELIEVE IN, and seriously advocate and practice, sexual free­dom are, and always have been, a minority. If there is one generalization that truly applies to the majority of men and women in all civilizations, ev­erywhere, it is that they fear sexual freedom more than anything else, more then death itself, even. This is the crucial mystery of human nature and, quite properly, it has been the area of most intense investigation by depth psychologists from Freud and Reich to Marcuse and Brown.

A. S. Neill, the founder of the Summerhill school, was once asked where in the civilized world a man could practice homosexuality without fear of legal persecution. Neill replied that he knew of no such place, adding that he didn’t even know of a place where a man could practice heterosexuality without being persecuted for it. Homosexuals, Dr. Albert Ellis wrote, think that they suffer because they live in an anti-homosexual culture, but the truth is, he added, we all suffer because we live in an anti-sexual culture.

Eschewing depth psychology for the moment and taking a deliberately superficial view, why does the “man in the street” fear sexual freedom? That is, what reason would he himself give for the irrational taboos to which he submits and tries to inflict upon others? The answer is a truism. “Sex­ual freedom,” the man in the street will tell you, “leads to anarchy and the collapse of Order.”

Instead of automatically denying this (as most advocates of sexual free­dom do), let us consider it for a moment. The architect of modern anarchism, Michael Bakunin, wrote in his God and the State that without “God,” the State is impossible. He instances as proof the Republics of France and the United States, both of which were founded by free-thinkers and atheists, but which both embraced the “God” idea very rapidly when the practical de­tails of governing had to be faced. Wilhelm Reich’s Sexual Revolution and Mass Psychology of Fascism document that pro-State attitudes and authori­tarianism are usually joined with dogmatic religion and anti-sex fears, where­as anti-State and libertarian attitudes are generally coupled with free thought and pro-sex affirmation. Adorno’s classic Authoritarian Personality gives reams of statistical proof of the Reichian thesis. A governor, we can safely say, has less problems in enforcing obedience if his subjects are mystical, religious and frightened of sex.

The reason for this is easy to understand. Sex denial is very close to be­ing absolutely impossible, and – as the subtle Jesuits knew long before Freud – even when the would-be ascetic thinks he has “triumphed” over the flesh, it sneaks up on him from a new direction and takes him by surprise. Thus, the inevitable consequence of sex denial is guilt: that special guilt which comes of continual failure to accomplish that which you consider “good.” (This continual failure is the “dark night of the soul” lamented by medieval monks). Now, a guilt-ridden man is an easy man to manipulate and force to your own will, because self-respect is the prerequisite of indepen­dence and rebellion, and the guilt-ridden person can have no self-respect. Modern advertising revolves around this central fact as a great safe lock pivots on a single jewel: from “B.O.” and “97 pound weakling” to the soap that makes you feel” clean all over,” advertising has inculcated self-doubts and guilts in order to persuade that the sponsor’s panacea will cure these very doubts which the sponsor himself through his ad agency has created!

What does “government” mean, after all? Control of Mr. A by Mr. B – or, in other words, the subordination of me man’s will to another’s. We have been taught that society cannot exist without government and that this sub­ordination of wills is existentially necessary and unchangeable; hence, we accept it. But anthropology presents a different picture. As the anthropolo­gist Kathleen Gough has written, “The State as a social form has existed for about one-two-hundredth part of man’s history… it may be one of the shortest-lived forms of human society.”* What we call anarchy –i.e., volun­tary association-has been man’s dominant pattern for 199/200ths of his history. It should be no surprise that, as Rattray Taylor shows in Sex in History, these pre-State societies were not sexually repressed and did not fear sexual freedom to the utmost extent.

Enforced conformity of human beings – the subjugation of society to the will of the State – leads to generalized stress upon the total organism of each. Modern psychosomatic medicine makes abundantly clear that all life (proto­plasm) consists of electro-colloidal equilibrium between gel (total disper­sion) and sol (total contraction), and every stress produces contraction, as is seen in exaggerated form in the typical withdrawal of the snail and turtle, a human infant visibly cringing with fear, etc. It is this (usually microscopic) contraction of the physical body that we experience psychically as “anxi­ety.” When it becomes chronic, this contraction effects the large muscles and creates that “hunched, bowed” look which actors employ when portray­ing a timid and beaten man. The tendency toward this “posture of defeat” is visible in all State-dominated societies, as it was conspicuously absent in the bold carriage of the State-less Polynesians and American Indians when first contacted.

But the chronic anxiety which is the subjective aspect of this physical “shrinking biopathy” leads to a defensive attitude and a philosophy of con­trol. Government per se consists of this compulsion to control in its most highly developed form, and war represents the most coercive and ultimate form of control. No government lasts more than a generation without plung­ing its subjects into war; even the government founded by the pacifist Gandhi has plunged its subjects into war eight times in the generation since his death. Four wars per century is the average ratio for a long-lasting govern­ment.

Geldings, any farmer will tell you, are easier to control than stallions. The first governments, which were frankly slave-states, inculcated sexual repression for precisely this reason. Besides creating loads of guilt and self-doubt in the slaves, thus making them easier to intimidate for the rea­sons previously explained, sexual repression is itself a contraction of the large muscles. You cannot banish a wish from consciousness, as Groddeck demonstrates in The Book of the It, without contracting your abdominal muscles. Sexual repression in particular means what Neill calls “the stiff sto­mach disease,” because the only way the genitals can be stopped from live­ly activity is by deadening them through abdominal armoring. It is Wilhelm Reich who deserves credit for seeing the ultimate implications of this. Reich pointed out that loosening of the chronic muscle contractions which charact­erize submissive “civilized” man must be a process of physical pain and psychicanxiety. We are now able to understand the two great mysteries of social behavior: why sexual repression is accepted and why government is accepted, when the first diminishes joy and the second is leading obviously to the destruction of the species. Submissiveness is anchored in the body. The anti-sexual training of infants, children and adolescents creates mus­cular tensions which cause pain whenever rebellion is attempted. This is why homosexuals and sexually free heterosexuals are so conspicuously “neu­rotic”: besides the condemnation of society, they suffer also the “condem­nation” of their own muscles pushing them toward conformity and submis­sion.

Freud’s famous pessimism is rooted in understanding of the psychic side of this process which I have described physically. “Man is his own prison­er,” was Freud’s final, gloomy conclusion. But recent thinkers have been less sure of this. Reich’s Sexual Revolution, Brown’s Life Against Death and Marcuse’s Eros and Civilization all look forward toward a “civilization without repression,” and all three tend to recognize that this would have to be a State-less civilization.

Before the murder of Mangus Colorado and the betrayal of Cochise, Apache society represented an approximation of such a free culture. Until marriage, all were sexually free to enjoy themselves as they wished (the same free­dom returned when a marriage was dissolved) and if the chief’s wishes were not acceptable to anyone he was at liberty to enter another Apache tribe or start one of his own if he had enough followers. (Geronimo did just this when Cochise made his treaty with the U.S. government.) The tribe, thus, was held together by what anarchists callvoluntary association and did not contain an authoritarian State apparatus.

In a technologically more advanced society the same principle can be car­ried out. Proudhon’s famous formula for anarchism, “the dissolution of the State into the economic organism,” means, basically, the substitution of voluntary contractual organizations for the involuntary coercive authority of the State. In such a system, whatever voluntary associations a man joined would be truly an expression of his will (otherwise, he would not join them). Such a State-less civilization could be as sexually free as the State-less bands, tribes and chiefdoms of pre-history; repression would have no social function, as there would be no need of creating guilt and submissiveness in the population.

Such a picture is not as “utopian” as it may seem – and “utopianism” is not something to despise nowadays, when the very survival of mankind is, as Norman Brown has noted, a “utopian dream.” Cybernation has created, ­as Norbert Weiner predicted it would, and as writers like Kathleen Gough and Henry Marcuse are beginning to note with mixed joy and fear – the possi­bility of a society of abundance in which there will be very little need for work. Traditional humanity is at the end of its tether, due to the two great achievements of modern science, nuclear energy and cybernation. If we as individuals manage to survive the first, our culture certainly cannot survive the second. When it is no longer necessary for the masses of men to toil “by the sweat of their brows” for bread, one of the chief props for social repression will fall. Large-scale unemployment up to the level of massive starvation has, it is true, occurred in the past, and the ruling class has man­aged to remain in their saddles; but the large-scale unemployment to which we are now heading will make all previous “depressions” seem minor by comparison, and there will be no hope of relief ever coming – there will be no way to create new jobs. Undoubtedly, the ruling classes will allow the starvation to reach epic proportions; and, undoubtedly, the muscularly re­pressed masses, conditioned to submission and self-denial, will accept it ­except for a few rebels, as always; but, eventually, perhaps when cannibal­ism sets in, the whole edifice of culture based on repression will come tumb­ling down and, like Humpty Dumpty, nobody will be able to put it together again. Those now alive may live to see this.

The unrepressed man of the future – if there is a future – will look back at our age and wonder how we survived without all landing in the madhouse. That so many of us do land in madhouses will be accepted as the natural consequence of repressed civilization.

* Tbe Decline of the State, by Kathleen Gough. Correspondence Publishing Com­pany. 1962.