Monday, June 16, 2014

Illuminatus online reading, Week 17

The execution of Dutch Anabaptist Anneken Hendriks  by the Spanish Inquisition.

(This week: Page 164. Muldoon grinned, For once I don't have to play Watson, he thought, to Page 173, “Now is that communism, or isn't it?”)

One of the great themes of Illuminatus! is introduced in this section – mass murder, and the people who do it.

It's framed as a clever conspiracy theory about Satanists in the Catholic Church. The book cited on Page 165, Rome's Responsibility for the Assassination of Abraham Lincoln, is in the public domain and available on the Internet Archive. But although Satanists are explicitly cited and linked to the Illuminati, other forms of mass killing are cited, including nuclear weapons (page 169) and to Hitlerism and the Aztecs (page 170). The mystical aspects of killing also are discussed.

There is more about this in the appendix in "Appendix Lamed, The Tactics of Magick,"  pages 768 to 783. I don't quite follow all of the discussion of sex and death, but this seems clear: “We conclude with a final warning and clarification: Resort to mass sacrifice (as among the Aztecs, the Catholic Inquisition and the Nazi death camps) is the device of those who are incapable of the true Rite of the Dying God.” (Page 783.) (I mostly followed the discussion, I think, but I did not get the bit about "the sword doing its necessary work" on page 780. Perhaps I need to finally read Sex, Drugs and Magick, one of the few RAW works I don't have.)

The political aspect of this would be opposition to almost all wars, as an unjustified slaughter of people by governments. Many of Wilson's writings mention his antiwar beliefs.

A couple of notes on the text:

“Back at the Watergate,” page 167. This must have been added late in the editing process, as Illuminatus! was written 1969-1971.

(“Here, kitty-kitty,” Hagbard repeats), page 167. The self destructing mynah birds, turned loose in New York City to freak out the population as part of Operation Mindfuck. This is not explained in the version of Illuminatus! which most of you have, the one volume Dell omnibus. The birds are explained in the prologue for the second volume, The Golden Apple. The synopsis was not reprinted when the original three books were collected together into the one volume.

I was suddenly called out of town on family business, so this entry will have to be a little shorter than usual. 

(Next week: Page 173, “Welcome to the Playboy Club,” the beautiful blonde said,” to Page 184, “I can make bail for this man.”)


michael said...

RAW and Leary liked to repeat that the easiest way to become brainwashed in to be born into a culture.

The fabulous duo of Saul and Barney seem to have "bought" ideas about "satanism" that the kulch at large believes too.

My personal story: I wasn't brought up in any church, and when I was around age 12 one of my friends' "cool" mom dropped three of us off at The Exorcist and vouched that we were cool to see it. I found it very creepy, but didn't understand the main idea of "possession." So I spent the next few months reading about the idea and found it patently absurd, age 12-13. From then on, the idea of "Satanists" who were at large in society doing mayhem or influencing minds? I always suspected it was adolescents doing what they believed was "satanic" because of what they heard their minister (or indeed, the Kulch) say it was, and rebelling. Or it was bogus.

In Kembrew McLeod's new book on the history of pranksters he covers Anton LaVey.

Barney's brother Father James Augustine Muldoon gives his expertise on gnostics, who want to end the world - immanentize the eschaton - and they've infiltrated the RCC. Compare this to RAW's discussion of "immanentizing the eschaton" and Catholic intellectual Eric Vogelin's ideas about it, in Illuminati Papers.

This sheds a lot of light (HA!) on what RAW and Shea might think of who might be considered as the true "Illuminati" which RAW thought probably didn't exist in the sense that Birchers, hip-hop fans, Pat Robertson morons, William Cooper followers, think It exists.

The McLeod book is interesting to me because he frames Discordianism, Illuminatus!, and Operation Mindfuck as social reality hacks that eventually brought on "blowback."

The paragraph, pp.166-167, where Saul seems to paraphrase the message of cultural anthropology's cultural relativism, ending with Saul telling Barney to wake his brother up because he wants to find out more about Satanism, seems somewhat out of character and tone for Saul, but then look at the Author(s).

-Bernard Barker Wiki:

author of Rome's Responsibility For the Assassination of Abraham Lincoln: Major General Thomas Harris:

Tom's right about the later interpolation of Watergate stuff in the text. Also, Liddy here appears to fit in with RAW's usage of Wilhelm Reich's "emotional plague" carrier. I like to think about the first readers of these texts when they came off the presses: how weird it must have seemed to witness Leary and Liddy developing and "act" and taking it on the road, both needing the money after being caught up in the bizarre gears of Unistat political kulch, early 1970s.

I hope everything's okay with your family, Tom.

Arvid Cristina said...

Page 173. - "Homosexuality and lesbianism are being taught in our schools and we're paying for it out of our Tax Money."
This reminded me of a political ad I saw recently in The Georgia. (Living in the deep south, I find no shortage of political kooks.) this was a Republican primary election where all of the candidates were trying to out-conservative each other. One ad attacked the incumbent senator ( a self styled cinservative republican) for helping to advance the homosexual agenda, Almost 40 years after Illuminatus was published. Plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose.

beowulf1723 said...

This is the 17th post.

Today is also Bloomsday.

I echo @Michael's concern about your family, Tom.

beowulf1723 said...

@Arvid Cristina:

If you think its bad in Georgia, you should be in Texas.

Yes, indeed: Plus ça change, plus c'est la même merde.

Cleveland Okie (Tom Jackson) said...

Thanks for your thoughts, guys. My mother in law, a nice lady, died at age 90, and I spent Bloomsday at her funeral.

Eric Wagner said...

Sorry to hear that.

Oz Fritz said...

Condolences to you and your family, Tom, for your loss.

The paragraph on p. 169 that begins: "The Manicheans reject the physical universe..." relates a concept aka a Demiurge, the God of the physical universes doesn't = the ultimate Creator. The Demiurge, in Judeo-Christian terms Jehovah, gets assigned to the 4th Sephiroth, Chesed, whose chapter we now live in.

Chesed = the first Sephiroth below the Abyss that separates the ideal from the actual. The God of Chesed or the Demiurge would appear as the ultimate Creator below the Abyss.

Thanks for the link to the prologue. The Self Destructing Mynah Birds represent the 2nd Mynah birds to get programmed in literature that I know of after the ones in Aldous Huxley's "Island" programmed to say "attention" The connecting link may be that in "Island" the mynahs get called "reminder" birds, they remind people to pay attention ie mindfulness. The Illumintus! mynahs also appear as reminder birds to remind people of death.

p.167: "( Here, kitty, kitty, Hagbard repeats for the 109th time)" - This phrase programs the mynahs to self-destruct. The word "here" as a zen pun directly references/pays homage to Huxley's mynahs.

109 = an Angel of Jupiter in Crowley's "777", Chesed corresponds with Jupiter meaning both its planetary associations and its role as the Demiurge in Roman mythology.

Tom, your question about the Sword could best get answered by referring to the chapter called The Sword (not long) in part 2 of Crowley's Magick Book 4. Your thoughts about the theme of mass death is interesting. I'll comment more perhaps after reading Appendix Lamed. It reads as a major theme in Illuminatus! to me.

Thorfinn Axelson said...

Mass Death. You contain multitudes. As out there, so in here.
French call it the little death. petit-morte d'Arthur-the microdeath-Graal - death of the ineffible s(E)lves, a BALANCING ACTION that Ego-Slayer Allan Watts is still, on YouTube, telling us to Watch for. Macrodeath, FLESH&EGO-death, is the fundamental view, and Megadeath is an extrapolation that is CARNAL RED BALANCING ACT em mass graves, and the micro, SEXMAGICK. The Dying God poster by Wally Wood for Kransner?
Even the contrary clowns of the Plains Indians had 6 foot long wooden dicks to do ceremonious tricks with. Yes, the festivals did result in real sex, death & the maiden, or something. Maybe this will remind someone of something else. Bobby Campbell on the prospector quote/Joyce was great!

Oz Fritz said...

The Self Destructing Mynah Birds could also = ego death through Joycean pun: mynah = mine, the territorial imperative.

RAW and Shea communicate on multiple levels in Illuminatus! like Joyce, like Crowley, like Pynchon in their books. They can tell a joke and transmit pragmatic esoteric information at the same time. Loads of puns. The sensation of living in this novel may seem akin to looking from the center of a room full of mirrors, archetypal motifs from the book reflected back at the reader to stimulate and trigger the subconscious making it more conscious (hopefully).

fuzzbuddy said...

Pg. 165. Rome’s Responsibility for the Assassination of Abraham Lincoln by General Thomas M. Harris can be read online.
Coincidentally, a different Thomas Harris is the creator of Hannibal Lecter, one of RAWs favourite characters.
Pg. 167. CREEP.
- Not sure who plants this bug or what Creep stands for?
Pg. 171. she’s disappeared too. - Alluding to Pat Walsh disappearing.
Pg. 172. galoot - This is Harry Coin.

JCG said...

"Modern psychologists say that the force released is Freud's libidinal energy" p.170

I am under the impression that W. Reich reinterpreted and reworked Freud libido into his notion of the orgone. That said, it is interesting to note that, as an enthusiastic reader of Reich, RAW explains gnosis as the release of inhibited "libidinal" or sexual energy, or at least, puts this explanation in the mouths of "modern psychology". The linking of gnosis to sexual energy is central in a number of Crowley's later works and as such it is not surprising to find it here.

(I reckon it is RAW wrote this section)

bunga desa said...