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Monday, October 8, 2012

Quantum Psychology, Chapter 16

[The original exercise, with an Internet link added. -- The Mgt.]

Obtain a copy of High Weirdness by Mail, by Rev. Ivan Stang, (Simon and Schuster, 1988), a catalog of dissident groups in the U.S., covering the full spectrum from the fairly plausible (and possibly important) to those that appear totally "nutty" to almost all the rest of  us. Pick out five groups that seem sane and plausible, and five that seem totally crazy, and send for a packet of their literature. (Stang gives mailing addresses for all of the groups he reviews). Study the literature and discuss in the group.

Do some of the plausible groups look less plausible when analyzed operationally and skeptically? Do some of them seem, maybe, as important as a dissident group in Nazi Europe publishing evidence that the moon doesn't consist of ice? And -- do any of the "nut groups" look less nutty when you analyze their arguments?

[The Church of the SubGenius has assembled a handy list of "High Weirdness by Web" links, so that you don't have to track down a revised copy of the book and wait for the literature to arrive! The link is here. All praise to the Rev. Ivan Stang, the Discordian Pope of Cleveland. -- The Mgt.]


phodecidus said...

I looked forward to this exercise and the brain machine exercise most of all. I find myself especially excited now that Ivan Stang's DIY Cult course has come into full swing at the Maybe Logic Academy since this chapter dovetails with that course rather nicely.

Rev. Stang has recently shared some High Weirdness sites with plenty of interesting links of their own (I'll post them at the bottom) but I'd still like to obtain a copy of the High Weirdness book and contact the addresses listed - the resulting correspondences might end up MORE interesting and hilarious than they would if the listings were still up-to-date!

Eric Wagner said...

Groups that seem sane and plausible: L5,
The Church of the Subgenius,
Saucer Smear,

Thom Foolery said...

I performed this "experiment" in 1995 when I was doing graduate work in Buddhist studies at The Naropa Institute and getting into St. Bob's work for the first time. His Sounds True audio cassette Religion for the Hell of It was my first real exposure to Bob, and the weirdness he discussed there (including the Javacrucians and the Church of Fred Mertz, Bodhisattva) led me to purchase High Weirdness by Mail and order lots of the literature. I gave them weird misspellings of my name, so I could see what other mailings lists each "cult" got me onto, and for a while it was a touchy situation with my then girlfriend over the crazy shit that ended up in our mailbox. Some favorites of mine included the Flat Earth Society, Dr. Bronner's All-One-God-Faith (DILUTE DILUTE OK!!), the Universal Life Church (ordained since May, 1995), and the Mayan Order (AMORC on the cheap).