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Monday, March 10, 2014

Illuminatus group reading, Week Three

 Sir John Sinclair (1754-1835)

Page 23 "Hagbard Celine's gigantic computer" to Page 32 "Clark Kent and his Supermen swing into a reprise.". I'm using quotes as well as page numbers to make things easier for folks who may be using ebooks. -- The Mgt.

Page 23. Hagbard Celine's computer uses the I Ching, among other systems/sources of information. Philip K. Dick's famous science fiction novel, The Man in the High Castle, made extensive use of the I Ching. Robert Anton Wilson was a big fan of Dick's writing; I'm guessing Shea was, too, but I can't confirm that.  The Man in the High Castle was published in 1962 and won the Hugo Award in 1963. RAW may have known that John Cage used the I Ching when composing "Music of Changes" in 1951.

Page 26. "By golly," the President said. "By golly. We won't use that out in the open. My speech'll just talk Bomb, but we'll leak it to the boys in the Kremlin that we've got this anthrax gimmick in cold storage, too."

This passage is not as satiric as some might imagine, although Wilson and Shea may not have realized it at the time. When the Illuminatus! trilogy was written, the president of the United States was Richard Nixon, who utilized what has come to be known as the Madman theory in his foreign policy. This is how Nixon explained his theory to one of his trusted aides:

I call it the Madman Theory, Bob. I want the North Vietnamese to believe I've reached the point where I might do anything to stop the war. We'll just slip the word to them that, "for God's sake, you know Nixon is obsessed about communism. We can't restrain him when he's angry—and he has his hand on the nuclear button" and Ho Chi Minh himself will be in Paris in two days begging for peace.

Page 26, "and he genuinely loved children and dogs, unless they were on the site of something that had to be bombed in the National Interest." Don't you love that line?

Page 27 "Rock Around the Clock" by Bill Haley and the Comets is considered one of the earliest rock and roll songs. It was written in 1952  and recorded in 1954.

Page 27, "George Dorn." Notice how his last name resembles the last name of the famous radical Bernardine Dohrn, who is married to Bill Ayers. She was one of the founding members of the Weather Underground, which in 1970 helped Timothy Leary escape from a California prison.

Page 29, Harry Pierpoint, friend and mentor of John Dillinger. He outlived Dillinger by a few months, but was executed in Ohio in 1934.

Page 30, It Can't Happen Here, Sinclair Lewis, 1935 novel which warned about the possibility of fascism in the U.S., considered by some Lewis' last important novel. It won the Prometheus Hall of Fame award in 2007, the same award Illuminatus! won in 1986.

Page 31, "It is forbidden to dream again" etc., from "Why I Write" by George Orwell.

Page 32, Mark Rudd, another famous Weather Underground member.

Page 32, Sir John Sinclair,  according to Wikipedia he made important contributions to scientific agriculture. For more on George Washington and hemp, see the first item in the Appendix.

Next week: Page 32 "George's cellmate in Mad Dog County Jail had a skull-like face" to Page 42, "the monster who founded the order of the Illuminati on May 1, 1776."


Unknown said...

Giovanni Mocenigo was the one who delivered Giordano Bruno to the Inquisition. Wilhelm Reich coined the term Modju for his enemies from the two names Mocenigo and Djugashvili (Stalin)

"El Hajj Starkerlee (probably a typo) Mohammed" is an eclectic name. "El Hajj" is a title, rather than a name, given to anyone who has made the pilgrimage to Mecca. We recall from the discussion of Coincidance that Stackerlee was a baaaad motherfucker.

Mannlicher-Carcano, not "Carcano-Mannlicher"

Scott said...

El Hajj(page 27)- An invitation only organization that to be eligible to join you must first be a Mason & a Shriner.
Part of the worldwide Shriner conspiracy mentioned later on page 52?
(Sorry for the jump ahead but it is a non-linear story)
{Current Freemason, former Shrine Clown, never invited to join El Hajj}

Is Howard a Dolphin(page 8) or a Porpoise(page 27)?
Or are they 2 different characters?

Lee Harvey Oswald-former Marine(56-59)
BASS(page 28)
When I was trained as a basic rifleman at Edson Range-Camp Pendleton in 1973 during boot camp, this was taught as BRASS:
B-breathe: Take several deep breaths and hold the last one so you are not moving the rifle up & down with your breathing
R-relax: Calm focus
S-slack: Gently take up the slack in the trigger
S-squeeze: Using the tip of your finger
This procedure was taught using methods that left it permanently etched in your psyche
{Former Marine 73-77}
As a strictly personal observation, this sequence would be very difficult to engage for 3 rapid fire shots at a moving target with a mail order-bolt action-surplus Italian rifle.

Manic The Doodler said...

Saul Goodman is also a shyster lawyer on the show Breaking Bad...

michael said...

As Hlavaty points out about Mocenigo: the overtones of germ warfare and the Terry Southern-ish splashes about 55 yr old alpha males as world leaders and "all-out thermonuclear heck" (the parody of Nixon) are very much in keeping with RAW's deep reading of Wilhelm Reich. See in _Selected Writings of Wilhelm Reich_ the chapter ,"Mocenigo: The Murder of Christ in Giordano Bruno", pp. 488-494

In scientist Charles Mocenigo's dream (pp.24-25), where he has a vision of irregularities on the double helix and idea for Anthrax-Leprosy-Mu, this seems influenced by Kekule's dream in which he saw the structure of the benzene ring.

FUCKUP's analysis, line: "unbalance between technological acceleration and political retrogression...": obviously a main theme that runs through almost all of RAW's work.

pp.30-31 reek (to me) of dope-smoke overtones: Historically: Leary getting busted in Texas for a miniscule amount of pot and (cinematically): Orson Welles playing "Hank Quinlan," a hulking fascist desert-southwest of US/Mexico cop in Touch of Evil. "Cartwright" taps into the cowboy vibe of the then-hit TV show "Bonanza." The bit where George tells Cartwright it wasn't "telepathy" that told him about his possession of pot but Cartwright says it was telepathy: in Touch of Evil, Quinlan/Welles thinks he has a special intuition about who's really guilty and who isn't. (All of this has W. Reich vibes for me, too.)

Hippie intellectual-wit: storing your stash in a hollowed-out copy of It Can't Happen Here, and in the goals of growing long hair, smoking dope and becoming a rock musician, succeeding in two of three. The head space of cannabis and speculating on the universe expanding, or objects becoming smaller, what's "outside" the universe, etc, and "you're just playing with words, man": the juxtaposition of this line of hedonic inquiry and the fascist political/geographical milieu: a sharp articulation that the Writer(s) had a special , fairly well-delineated audience in mind?

Yeroshka said...
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Yeroshka said...
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Yeroshka said...

'Stackerlee' is immortalized in the legendary American folk song "Stagger Lee." It's been covered by countless musicians, from Woody Guthrie to Grateful Dead. Definitely a folk standard.

FUCKUP's analysis, especially the bit about "technological acceleration," recalls Buckminster Fuller's work. After TIL, RAW wrote and talked about "technological acceleration" with what he called the Jumping Jesus phenomenon. RAW got his data (1, 1500, 1750, 1900, 1950, 1960, 1967, 1973) from an economist named Georges Anderla, who never named the "units" of information. RAW decided to call them Jesuses, and thus carried the model forth.

Yeroshka said...

I was wondering if anyone has attempted to create a timeline for the Illuminatus! Trilogy. Something maybe like the "xkcd movie timeline" or even just a traditional timeline. There's a list of important dates (spoilers) here: ... seems legit.

Or does anyone here have the Insider's Guide to Robert Anton Wilson by Eric Wagner? That link above says there's a more detailed Illuminatus! timeline in that book... I'd like to see it.

Oz Fritz said...
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Oz Fritz said...

p.24 - they connect 23 with death.

RAW first heard about the 23 conspiracy from Burroughs in connection with death as told in Cosmic Trigger.

BrentQ said...

"The Fear came over George. Whenever he was high, the least little detail wrong in his world would bring the Fear, irresistible, uncontrollable"

This sounds like a reference to a scene in Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas when Dr. Gonzo enters a casino and becomes paranoid.

Was R.A.W. a fan of Thompson?

gacord said...

Feb 2 is Joyce's birthday. I think most dates will have some import.

Also, whilst reading this whole chapter I'm trying to keep this snippet from Dion Fortune in my mind. It's taken from "The Mystical Qabalah"

"The Yetziratic Text descriptive of Kether, like all the sayings of the Sepher Yetzirah, is
a hidden saying. It calls Kether the Hidden Intelligence, and this appellation is confirmed
by several other of the titles given to Kether in Qabalistic literature. It is the Concealed of
the Concealed, the Inscrutable Height, the Head which is not. Here again we get
confirmation of the idea that the crown is above the head of the Celestial Man, Adam
Kadmon; that pure being stands behind manifestation and is not absorbed into it, but
rather emanates or projects it. As we express ourselves in our works, so does Kether
express itself in manifestation. But a man's works do not constitute his personality, but
are the expression of its natural activity. So it is with Kether; its mode of existence is not
manifested, but is the cause of manifestation."

Eric Wagner said...

When writing my analysis of Illuminatus! I would read the entries in row 1 of 777 each day while analyzing The First Trip, row 2 for The Second Trip, etc.
When starting a new trip I would read the section on the appropriate Sephiroth in Robert Wang's The Qabalistic Tarot.

Oz Fritz said...

I love this fragment from p.32:

"After it was resold to a Times Square dealer named Rosetta the Stoned ..."

fuzzbuddy said...

@ Daddy - I hope Eric doesn't mind this link. I recommend buying his book though!

George Dorn. Dorn = Thorn = Thornley?

pg. 24. Probability of such avoidance is 0.17 +- 0.05.
17 is mentioned alot in the book and linked with Burroughs I think although possibly never explained?

pg. 28. possibly links to Harry Coin being a failed assassin - I think he "is" over by the triple underpass.

Pg. 29 - "No I'm not"... I think links later to a telepathic conversation involving Hagbard Celine or The Dealy Lama.

@ Michael. That cop in Bonanza looks right. I had in my head the cop from a bond film.

@ Oz - Got to love the name Rosetta the Stoned.