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.”)