|Robert Anton Wilson Interview
Introduce Robert Anton Wilson, how?
Blockade dissolving bardmon. Courageous Renaissense historian
Heretickle Head-peeping shamanticist. Rebel mathematician
Multi-Modal Ha gnostiQ . Bold crunk langwisp. Social scientest
Futurist peaceniq for Taoist President. Ghetto syner jesta’
Holographi K playwrite. Past-modem’ Trippoet and Essayeast
Sit-up comediown. Hip chill-out couch doc. Futurevast translator
TSOG dissenter. Optimust Illuminist. Hyper -Relativast
Side-tearin’ Novelist. Tella’-the-tribe. Liberteas’ sage defender
Episstemological insurgent guerrilla’. Doctor
Non-euclidean politiq’ subgeni’. Hannibal Lecturer
Non-Aristotelian NU Scientific philosofar
With a quad pack of Guinness and some kind Humbolt nuggets I embarked upon my otherwoidly trip to powwow with Bob Wilson at his humble home in Santa Cruz County, California on 10 Artemis. 81 P.S.U. [ 10th September 20002 ]. We had a hearty good belly-laugh together to be fair, Bob’s subtle accenting and comedic timing turned what might be read silently as some kind of anarchist plot to overthrow ALL world government tomorrow – into softly glistening satirical situationism, exploding koans and hilarious loopy equations. I hope that through sharing this interview bright KNU sparks can ignite other critters everyware into reading and re-reading RAW’s encyclopedic playtimespace . – fly agaric 23, Wordsley, England, 18.104.22.168.16 – 8. Cib – 14. Mac [ 20th September 2006] 16.22 PM
Photograph – 16th December 2000, Palm Springs
“This book intends to change your way of perceiving/conceiving the world, without drugs or drums or Voodoo, simply by using words in certain special ways.” – Robert Anton Wilson, E-mail to the Universe.
RAW : – “A boy has never wept nor dashed a thousand Kim” [sound checking]
[When was the last time you ate some L.S.D?]
RAW : About a year or two years ago, a friend of mine named Joe – I don’t think I’ll give his last name, brought some over for the night of the first debate between Gush and Bore and we thought it would be a great idea to watch them on acid, we looked at a 3 stooges comedy first to build up our enthusiasm and jeez I must say that the three stooges are lot more fun than Gush and Bore. They’re a lot funnier, and there are more nuances, the characterizations were deeper and more convincing, Bush and Gore, Gush and Bore – whatever their names are – they’re just two lying bastards with straight faces telling the same damned lies. The 3 stooges are continuously inventive and we enjoyed them much more. I don’t do acid much these days, I got enough problems getting around due to my leg problems and I’m alone in this apartment most of the time. Besides, I’m usually stoned which relieves the pain. I don’t wanna do acid because acid – I know from experience – doesn’t relieve pain. I wouldn’t want to fall down on acid, I’d have a whole lot of trouble getting up and I do fall about 3 times a year, about 3 times a year it averages out, that’s because i get used to walking around with the walker instead of the wheelchair, suddenly the walker is going one way and I’m going the other and I don’t know where I’m gonna land, I don’t want that to happen while I’m on acid.
[How does the spirit of the Cannabis protest movement today differ from its 60s counterpart?]
RAW : Well, besides the people who want it legalized because they enjoy it, for one reason or another the medical Marijuana issue which is especially good because – how can I say this – it takes a great deal of faith, blind faith in the government to believe that by taking medicine away from sick people they’re doing something to protect us from terrorism which is their official line, and I have the feeling this is gonna – clearly I’m overly optimistic, I often am – but, I think this is gonna bounce back in their faces. They raided the Women’s Alliance for Medical Marijuana which distributes marijuana to about 300 cancer and AIDS patient’s, and a few with muscular dystrophy and post polio syndrome and other problems which are clearly helped by Marijuana very clearly and obviously, and they – the D.E.A – swooped down and arrested the two people who own the farm where most of it is grown and chopped down all the plants and carted them away to destroy them presumably, many believe they sell them on the black market, that’s the most popular belief in the counterculture; they only seize them to resell on the black market at higher prices.
Legalization of medical marijuana has a lot more support across the board, even Diane Feinstein, who I think is one of the most reactionary people in congress, she’s come out in favour of leaving the marijuana cooperatives alone, the medical Marijuana cooperatives. She’s one of my Senators, and my representative Sam Fark, called it an outrage. And we’re getting more and more support on that issue. All the enemies of medical marijuana point out as soon as that’s legalized there’s gonna be no control, how they gonna know who’s got a medical problem? You can arrest and harass a lot of people with that kind of conviction stick. It’s only the federal government doing it anyway, what’s very curious is that where I live 55 percent of the voters of California voted to make medical marijuana legal and in Santa Cruz county 85 percent in the county-wide ballot voted to make it legal for any purpose, so if you need it for medicine or you just wanna get high, use it for meditation and religious purposes or just because they all know it makes a blow job even better, I think, for these legitimate reasons marijuana is the test case.
They’re taking medicine away from dying people in pain, I mean gee, that’s worse than anything they’ve done internationally, it’s happening right here to American citizens, I think it’s gonna bounce back and hit them in the face, maybe it’s because I hope it will but as stupid as the American people seem to be a lot of the time I don’t believe they are stupid enough to believe in taking medicine away from dying people, and most of the members of WAMM are dying, most of them are terminally ill cases; and they’re in pain most of the time and the marijuana takes the pain away or at least eases it and in most cases it takes it away for hours you know. And the idea that these people with AIDS and cancer should die in pain because God doesn’t want them to have any relief from the pain, I don’t see how long they can hang on, it’s like something out the middle ages you know, it’s worse than medieval, it’s the dark ages. I don’t think they can hold onto that position very long but they sure as hell are trying. I get my pot absolutely free from the Women’s Alliance for medical marijuana which doesn’t charge, its a cooperative and we do what we can to keep it going, now they have been raided we’re gonna have to do more, we’re gonna have to decentralize even further, decentralize the production, the making of the tinctures, the cookies, the brownies and whatever forms we wanna take it in that’s best for our condition, some people still smoke it, and were gonna have to decentralize the growth and production and distribution. What are they gonna do if 85 percent of the people in Santa Cruz County area are against the D.E.A coming in? They gotta arrest the whole Goddamn county, they gotta build a fence around the whole damn county and say were all in jail now! I dunno they might do that. I saw somebody who was kidding but he sounds just like George Bush suggesting we build a bomb that will blow up the whole world and cut a hole in the middle the shape of the United States and we’ll survive after we blow everything else up, sounds like a great idea to me, there’ll be no more enemies to fear, no more wars to fight, then we can spend our money getting a health plan like the civilized world has so everybody has health care. If we didn’t spend all this money fighting the rest of the world we might have a health plan like England or Ireland or France or Germany, Canada or Israel, or any civilized country. We can’t afford it because were so busy fighting the whole fucking planet at once, their not even finished in Afghanistan, and I doubt they ever will be. And they’re getting ready to start a war with Iraq now, and Saudi Arabia or Iran is next on the list, they’re not quite sure which is gonna be the third but it’s gonna be either Saudi Arabia or Iran. All the Muslims in the world, which is between 1 billion and 2 billion, depending upon which estimate I believe, say one and a half billion; their all gonna hate the United States even more than they do now. Here we have a planet of six billion people, one and half billion people hate the United States, I don’t know, ITS SO FUCKIN CRAZY I CAN’T BELIEVE IT. Who’s running this show, the three stooges ? [laughs]
[In 1972 the drug war budget was 100 million dollars, by the beginning of 2000 the figure was 20 billion dollars, yet there seem to be more drugs available?]
RAW: There’s more of everything, the more they fight it the more drugs appear, it’s like Lao Tzu said “The more laws they pass the more criminals they create and the more weapons they create the more terror stalks the land” – the more clearer the explanations the more frogs fall out of the sky.
Yeah, when they made marijuana illegal in 1937 according to sociologists who have studied the growth of the thing, there were around 100,000 – 500,000 pot smokers in the United States, most of them in Texas and New Orleans, now the estimates run between 20 million and 70 million after all this money that’s been spent, and it’s the same with heroin – there are more heroin users in the country now than there were when that was illegalized, it doesn’t matter whether it’s a good drug or a bad drug, make it illegal and people get attracted to it, and of course the damage increases. I forget who said that “no drug is known to science that becomes purer and cleaner, safer or easier or better to use when turned over to the criminal classes” – The United States has taken a whole variety of drugs and turned them over to the criminal classes and of course they have bad results, you don’t expect criminals to be as careful as doctors do you? And doctors don’t have all that good a reputation, somebody on e-mail a month or so ago sent an article claiming that more people die in hospitals from wrong prescriptions than die of all the illegal drugs combined, so even doctors aren’t infallible and were gonna trust criminals! We’re not supposed to trust them but – leaving aside the medical marijuana – the people who just want pot to get stoned and get high and relax, they’ve got to go to the criminal classes. Why? Well, actually when it comes down to it I trust the Mafia a little bit more than I trust the United States Government. [fly laughs]
What I’m really afraid of is when they decide to legalize it and they come up with a pill, some squib, probably Eli Lilly – as the Bush family own a lot of Eli Lilly – they come up with a pill that contains the derivative of cannabis that kills pain, but it doesn’t get you high and then they’ll charge about 50 dollars a pill, so for real relief from pain it’ll be out of reach for most of the population and they will still go on suffering or buying from black market dealers, meanwhile they’ll have a better excuse to close down the medical marijuana cooperatives – “Hey we got a legal form here and it doesn’t produce that terrible euphoria that’s bad for you” [laughs, smiles] They all complain about euphoria as one of the bad side effects of cannabis, apparently you’re not in your right mind in this country unless you feel vaguely miserable, apprehensive and depressed. If you start feeling euphoric there must be something wrong with you, what the hell! I think euphoria is part of the treatment! There’s a hell of a lot of evidence and a hell of a lot of books starting with Wilhelm Reich on, Prescott, DeMeo, oh there’s ton’s of evidence that feeling good is good for your health. So their attempt to take the joy out of marijuana just means they want you to take longer to heal whatever you use it for if your using it for medical purposes.
[So how can we be more socially synergetic and responsible with drugs and attaining higher consciousness?]
RAW : I think the scientific evidence from the early 60’s – before the government banned all scientific research and revived the inquisition – there were quite a lot of scientific studies published and I think it clearly indicates that psychedelics are good for almost everything they were used for – almost every disease – with some kind of positive result in one study or another and certainly produces religious experiences with only minimum suggestion to get them moving in that direction. Like in the Good Friday study that was done at Harvard; you put the subjects in a church and gave half of them acid and half of them a placebo and the ones on acid almost all had religious experiences. I look at Leary’s convict rehabilitation research, he reversed the recidivism rate, most of his convicts last heard of were still not committing new crimes, the average new convict is back in prison within one year, Leary’s convicts – almost about 80 percent of them – seemed to have stayed out of prison which means either the acid made them more compassionate and they stopped committing violent crimes or it made them more clever and they’re not getting caught, I dunno which, but it keeps them out of prison anyway. We think it made them more compassionate, besides they weren’t all in for violent crimes, a lot of them were in for non-violent crimes like drug use, embezzlement; things like that. Embezzlement is not nice though, I would not like people to steal money out of my bank account, though it’s not a violent crime.
[How would you describe Compassion?]
RAW: Well, actually it means to feel with, “com” is “with” in Latin and “passion” is emotion. In German it’s Mitleid – to feel somebody else’s pain, to feel their pain with them. It seems to be a natural human phenomenon unless it gets destroyed by unfortunate early experiences. All my children when they were babies and I took turns feeding them, there would come a point when they would try to take the spoon away from me and try and feed me, they were trying to show gratitude for being fed by feeding me, my wife told me they all did it to her too. I spoke to a lot of women about this, they all do it, the natural tendency of the human species is to be kind to one another, but of course you got a child that gets beaten up and brutalized and sodomized and goes through all sorts of hell; they’re gonna grow up as cold, they’re gonna grow up as sociopaths without any positive reaction to human beings at all except how can I get his money from him; how can I screw them, how can I torture them for the longest time and get the most fun out of it, bright ideas guys, we’re not going that way though, that takes a really brutal upbringing. Serial killers for instance, almost without exception had incredibly brutal childhoods, incredibly cruel parents or foster parents so that’s how they get to feel that way about human beings – human beings are no good, they’re not to be trusted and they’re a bunch of bastards and lets get even with them – that’s the way serial killers think, to the extent that they think at all. Mostly they have one standard victim they go after over and over, a certain type you know. Ted Bundy went after college girls or women of that age, Geoffrey Dahmer went after black adolescents, he even went after white adolescent males, they all have a standard type, they’re committing the same crime over and over again and – how did I get on to serial killers? – Hannibal Lecter is the exception though, no one can predict who’s gonna be his next victim because he’s whimsical about it , [laughs]
[Long pause, smiles] he’s fictitious though – I hope.
[I noticed a cup around here that says something like: forget all this self improvement, I want an honest meal?]
RAW: That’s in the third volume, he said “Damn all this self improvement I want a pleasant dinner!” [fly laughs]
Another great saying; a lesbian patient of his who meets him after he’s been in the nut house and escaped and has been at large for 10 years and they accidentally meet again and she says “you know what I remember best was when I told you I was a lesbian and you said there’s nothing wrong with being weird dear, you have no idea how weird I am,” – you never understand anything until you try it . [fly laughs] He must have been a great psychiatrist, I mean speaking of fictitious characters, If he was real. No patient could bring in anything that he couldn’t understand and appreciate. [laughs]
[So why would Hannibal Lecter make a better president than George Bush?]
RAW : Well, everybody agrees that you need a serial killer in the White House, I mean the patriotic line is we’re surrounded by enemies on every continent except Antarctica , the world’s full of people armed to the teeth who hate us just because they hate our freedom. I don’t know what freedom we’ve got that they could possibly hate? We don’t have any freedom left in this fucking country, but they believe we’ve got freedom and people hate us for it so we need a serial killer in there to keep killing all these people who don’t have any freedom and even hate us for our freedom. On the other hand the left wing attitude is that these are all wars for oil or other natural resources, the government lies all the time and what they try and do is rip off the rest of the planet so we still need a serial killer in the White House, so either from the left wing or the right wing perspective we need somebody with the personality of a serial killer, so what type of serial killer do we want? I say Hannibal Lecter has a lot more culture, a lot more wit – George “Bozo” as I call him, George Bush “Bozo” his royal fraudulency George the Second, he has about as much wit as a box of kitty litter – Hannibal Lecter is witty, educated, erudite, multi-lingual he would make a tremendously great impression upon foreign leaders and if he eats a couple of Senators occasionally well hell – we could loose a couple of those geological specimens in the Senate and with no loss, with a great gain to the country. And so he ate the brains, the forebrains of a congressman once – so what do you need a forebrain for in congress anyway? – they all act from the back brain now, they don’t need frontal lobes.
[What’s your favourite sound?]
RAW: The end of Beethoven’s ninth; male and female voices singing together about joy and brotherhood and peace.
[Do you think that the American government produces disinformation to discredit conspiracy theories and make them seem more absurd?]
RAW: I don’t think they are smart enough to do much of that, maybe the CIA has one guy in one office who’s in charge of confusing conspiracy theories by putting out false conspiracies, but I’ve seen enough of the conspiracy buff world, they don’t need that, they make up their own crazy theories to disgrace the research anyway.
[How is it that so many convicted felons back in the U.S administration?]
RAW: Like I said; we need that type. Since we got enemies on every continent, either because they hate our freedom as Bush said or they hate us for ripping off their land and their people and their natural resources and murdering them en mass. You know 193 million people have been killed in wars since the end of World War 2 – that’s the estimate of the World Game Center in Philadelphia – that makes Hitler look like a piker. [fly laughs] Most of these are Brush wars – small wars – most of them are the western world against the southern and Asiatic world or the third world trying to get out from under the control of the major banks in Hamburg, London, New York, Boston et cetera; what I call the real DEA – the Dutch English American alliance between the Royal families and the bankers; they’re all inter-related to one another, when you start getting into it you find that George Bush for instance, is related to the Queen of England who’s related to Prince Bernhard of the Netherlands who’s related to most of the major bankers – it’s all one big happy family when you get up there at the top.
[Can you give me a description of LAWCAP?]
RAW: Oh, that’s a term coined by Buckminster Fuller for Lawyer-run capitalism, he thinks that the attempts to control Capitalism by passing laws has turned control of the corporations over to their Lawyers whose job it is to tell them how they can rob as much as they want without breaking the law technically, and if they do break the law what kind of defence to mount against any prosecution. Lawyers are really running the system, and considering the low opinion everybody has about lawyers that’s more terrifying than any other conspiracy theory – like the Jewish conspiracy, I’m not afraid of Jews, all the Jews I know are very nice people, the Jesuit conspiracy – well it’s a little frightening but I met a lot of good Jesuits too, the freemasonic conspiracy; every freemason I know I like, but the idea of a lawyer conspiracy! Really, those bastards are capable of anything. And thus when you’ve got to argue both sides of any case, that’s very good education if your gonna be a philosopher, but it’s not a good education for anybody who’s gonna have any power over other people, cuz whatever they wanna prove they can prove it to themselves anyway. They can make a pretty good argument in most cases, that’s what legal training is all about. “NO, my defendant did not set fire to the building he was merely smoking in the hay barn.” That wasn’t a very good example, sorry.
[Have you wrestled with the Octopus lately, and how do you remember Princess Di ?
RAW: What octopus?
RAW: Danny Casolaro? I’m more worried about the TSOG . [fly laughs] That’s the Tsarist Occupation Government. Now that we got an official Tsar he’s in charge of American medicine, if there’s enough disputes going on in the other sciences then eventually the Tsar is going to be deciding all scientific questions the way he decides medical questions, according to public opinion pole – and, I think that’s the worst threat confronting us. I don’t know how the hell we ended up with a Tsar, this country was supposed to free us from a king, now we got a TSAR in place of a king! That’s progress? I’d rather have the English Queen back rather than have a goddam Tsar settling scientific questions. And Princess Di – when she died there was a lot of sentimentality about her – I said to my wife, what the hell did she ever do other than marry a rich man and take a lot of his money in the divorce – she was leading the struggle against land mines, O.K, O.K she did something for us so I’m not against Princess Di any more, so she got a lot of money from a rich man and she did a lot of good too, plus she was a cute looking women I must say, besides – I like her for dating an Arab, that shows the cosmopolitan spirit, that’s why she got murdered according to one conspiracy theory you know – the British Royal family didn’t want her to marry an Arab because then the future King of England would have an Arab father who might be related to Osama Bin Laden for all we know.
[Yeah, you ever hear of Don Cashogy, I read somewhere he’s deeply involved with this Octopus]
RAW : – Hey! Can you straighten out my god damn Loch Ness monster , somebody last night thought they were being funny obviously and discombobulated it. The head goes in front, the loops go in the middle and the tale goes at the end. There we are. Now my cable box looks the way it should look. Thank you. Don’t you think that’s one of the more appealing decorations in the room? I think so. The Loch Ness monster on the cable box. That’s little Nessy. [smiles]
[Did you read the Cosmic Serpent by Jeremy Narby? Are you familiar with his work?]
RAW: No, but I think I read a quote from it just recently in a debate that went through my e-mail, I’m on several e-mail lists, there was a physicist debating with a philosopher and I think the philosopher was arguing that the DNA of all living beings make up a creature very much like the cosmic serpent. Is that the book? – the physicist called it ‘ cargo cult new age psycho babble’ . [fly laughs]
[Did Ezra Pound have some idea that the Phoenician’s split the word up into the tower of babel ?]
RAW: Well, NO, that’s an exaggeration of his views, Pound believed everybody should learn Chinese or anybody who wanted to be a writer, no politician should get elected unless they can pass an exam in Chinese, that makes even more sense today than it did when Pound wrote it because China is one of the major powers in the world, everybody wants trade with China nobody wants war with China, everyone wants to trade with them, that’s about 2 billion customers, something like that, that’s why Nixon decided to end the cold war with China – all those customers American business couldn’t reach, so they lifted the bans. For the sake of commerce, business and the general world, I think everybody should know some Chinese, Pound thought that alphabetical languages teach us to think in a certain way which you might call linear or, Aristotelian – and Ideogrammic languages like Chinese teach us to think in terms of relations and concrete specifics and don’t connect them always by causality, a lot of them are just connected by synchronicity and to the extent that I know any Chinese at all – it’s due to Pound’s influence and I’m very grateful to him for it. I think everybody should learn Chinese, one of the things I feel regretful about is at the age of 70 I still only know about 100 ideograms, damn – I should know a few thousand by now; I got distracted by other things.
[How do you see India and Africa becoming more integrated into the online community?]
RAW: To me that’s the most desirable goal right now, to get Asia and Africa online seems to me the way were gonna have globalization without corporate control of globalization, I think we need globalization, I don’t like the use of that word as a negative because global corporations know a sensible way to use the resources of the planet, but there’s got to be cooperation not just a bunch of Dutch English American bankers and Royals running the goddamn world, it’s gotta be a grassroots globalization, and the more people who get on-line the better. I met an African guy on a plane to Portugal a few years ago and he was running a computer company in some country in Africa so small I never heard of it, and I forgot its name, so he wanted to get his whole country on-line within 10 years, so I was delighted to know there are people in Africa thinking that way and the more it happens in Africa and Asia the more we’re gonna get a world Union that’s not based on force but on communication, that to me is the real hope, just about the last hope we’ve got. Until were all accessible to one another at least temporarily and can communicate with one another we’re gonna be mismanaged, lied to, abused and generally exploited by our own governments or other governments who come in and throw out our government and say we’ve come to liberate you, and they’re still a dictator. The guy that the United States installed in Afghanistan to hurrahs and hallelujahs last year – there were two attempts to assassinate him last week! obviously the Afghani’s are not all delighted to be liberated you know. After we liberate Iraq – We , there I go again, after they , I don’t like to say we when I refer to government it’s not my government it’s their government – after they get rid of Saddam Hussein , how many times are they gonna have to go back to Iraq to reinstall a new dictator after the last dictator gets bunked off? You know England first entered Afghanistan in 1849 and they had to go back again and again for regime change because everyone installed kept getting thrown out by the various tribes who would get pissed off at ’em. Doctor Watson in the Sherlock Holmes stories got his war wound in Afghanistan, by 1919 after 70 years the British finally smartened up enough to say “Oh fuck Afghanistan, you can’t control a bunch of religious maniacs who live in mountains,” and they got out. Then the Russians in the 80s; they fought for 10 years, then they got out showing they’re 7 times smarter than the English, it only took them 10 years to learn their lesson. Assuming that we had an unbroken succession of Bushoids I imagine the United States will be there for 170 years and going back for more regime change every five years or so.
[Do you recall the last time you saw the movie Lawrence of Arabia ?]
RAW: Oh it was only about a year ago or so, maybe even more recently. I’m a Peter O’Toole fan, he seems to be one of the two or three greatest actors in the world, or four or five anyway – that’s one of his best performances. I also like him a lot in My favourite year where he plays Errol Flynn or a character based on Errol Flynn and also The Stuntman where he plays the character based on John Huston who Clint Eastwood also played a character based on in “White Hunter Black Heart” I’m sorry, I’m rambling. [fly laughs, no, no,] – John Huston is a fascinating character; both Peter O’Toole and Clint Eastwood play him.
[Why should you never whistle while you’re pissing?]
RAW: Oh that’s the Zen idea of single mindedness, besides you’re more likely to pee on your trousers if you’re concentrating on your whistling. See what I mean by single mindedness?
[Have you any tricks you can share with us on how to create Satori during the daytime?]
RAW: Well, I can offer a simulation of Satori I learned from Aleister Crowley who learned it from a Buddhist monk in Ceylon. You simply sit down where you know you’re not going to be interrupted for at least a half hour and try and answer the question I am sitting here doing this exercise because… Well firstly you’re doing it because I suggested it, why did you take my suggestion seriously, what makes you think I have something that’s worth learning et cetera. Then you’re doing this exercise because you’re interested in trying to achieve something like Satori – why are you interested? How has your whole life led up to that, what happened in the womb that you may be able to find out? What was your childbirth like? What was your infancy like? Why am I sitting here doing this exercise? Why here and not in London or Berlin or Hong Kong? And why am I here? Why am I here to do this? Why did my parents meet? Did they intend to have a child or was I like most of us; an accident? And you go on and on. Eventually you find yourself coming up with things like; “I’m sitting here doing this exercise because the Scandinavian’s overfished the North Sea in the 5th Century” [fly laughs] – they did! – they took to piracy when they ran out of fish temporarily, and during their piratic raids on Ireland some of them decided to stay and I’m descended from the Old Lochlan which means son’s of the Dane , so that’s one of the reasons – that the Danes overfished the North Sea. Another reason is because I had Polio at the age of four which gave me the kind of personality that’s attracted to exercises like this. I was always more interested in books than sports unlike most boys because my leg was so dammed weak I was no good at any sports, you couldn’t find a sport I was any good at, at least I never did, but I was good at chess, you see what I mean?
[Would you be able to talk a little about Von Neumann and Games Theory and how they influenced the cold war?]
RAW: Yeah, I think were all still alive because of John Von Neumann. Von Neumann was the pioneer, or certainly one of the pioneers of programmable computers. The first computers at MIT were put together to solve specific problems then take them apart, put them together again and add another problem and Von Neuman drawn and invented a distinction between hardware and software and how you could use the same computer to do many classes of problems. He also wrote one of the best books on quantum mechanics but that’s a digression. He also invented mathematical game theory which he showed could be applied to poker and other games like that, strategy, and to tactics, and to war – pretty soon the Pentagon had a big budget to build computers and play war games on them. “If we attack Russia this way, how much can they hit us back” and the answer was always that the losses were too unacceptable, most of them were usually total obliteration so they went on playing their war games for 30 years until the funding ran out and they decided not to have the war at all because Von Neumann showed that by solving these things in advance then when you know you can’t win. Why go ahead and fight? why why why why why wipe yourself out, cut off your nose to spite your face? So that’s why we’re all still here and that’s why most of the controversy and opposition about Bush’s desire to invade Iraq, comes from the military because their the ones with the computers who are working out War games with Iraq on their computers, and they know it’s not gonna be the cake walk that George Bush imagines. This has been all over, even on television news, all over internet – that the people in the Bush administration, the people leading the rush to war have never served in a war. The opposition is almost entirely military men, they call them Chicken Hawks ; the guys who want war because they have never been in one and have no idea what its like. I can see the United States 20 years from now still bogged down in Afghanistan, still bogged down in Iraq, and attempting to fight Saudi Arabia! OY! – Never underestimate the power of stupid people in large groups. [laughs]
[Why do you think some people might perceive it dangerous to understand things too quickly?]
RAW: Oh, the first one who said that was Josiah Warren , one of the founders of modern anarchist thinking, his book True Civilization begins with a single page with a single sentence – “It is dangerous to understand new things too quickly” – and then he explains why the constitution could not preserve liberty in the United States and invents general semantics 100 years before Korzybski did, he argued that words on paper can always be reinterpreted. Law schools teach you how to reinterpret them, a good lawyer can take a will that says “all my money goes to my son” and prove in court that it means “my money goes to my daughter,” that’s what law school is all about; learning how to prove things like that, the words on paper can never control government, the only thing that can control government is to keep it small and decentralized, and rotating. His idea of two civilizations is that every community appoints a bunch of people, maybe kidnaps them and tells them – “you’ve gotta take care of the garbage and the Police and things like that for the next 6 months then you can go back to your regular life”, and well – I’m exaggerating a bit, but you get the point I hope? The idea is you don’t want a professional politician class, and you don’t want them all in one place especially now that running for office is so damn expensive that they have all got to be in the bag to the corporations or they don’t even get on the ticket. That’s so damn obvious, it amazes me how all these people on T.V news who look like they’re awake; they look like they are semi-conscious, they look like they have some kind of intelligence, and yet none of them ever, ever seem to notice the fact that politics in the United States has become a choice between two candidates picked by the major corporations, and that’s the only choice we get. If you want, as a protest, you can go for one of the third parties but I don’t see how that’s any better than staying at home and not voting at all. You know the guy you vote for isn’t gonna win it’s gonna be one of the two major corporate party candidates; and nobody on T.V seems to know that! Everybody else in the country does, that’s why 55 percent didn’t vote in the last presidential election, they know it doesn’t make a damned bit of difference. Now you’ve got these sentimentalists on about if only Gore would have won – if Gore had won he’d be doing the same Damn things as Bush, they’re in the bag to the same major corporations – General Electric , Westinghouse – I mean – you can run down the list of all the contributors. Enron was a major contributor to both of them, so was World Com . [fly: oh my!]
[You once said that every publisher should have a pimp for an elder brother, I forget; why is that?]
RAW: So he’ll have somebody to look up too! [laughs]
[Can you identify the source of some of your most immediate worries and challenges?]
RAW : I do very well not worrying. But the one thing I do worry about is that I’m gonna have a stroke that will leave me too weak to protest or do anything about it – I’ll just have to lie there dying slowly. My mother, my father, my brother, they all died of sudden massive strokes; [RAW snaps fingers] – just like that – they were gone in about 30 seconds, that’s the way I wanna go. My wife died from a series of strokes, horrible, terrible, horrible to me and it was horrible for the whole family – I don’t wanna go that way, so if I have even one mild stroke I’m not gonna go through a series of mild strokes, after the first mild stroke I’d pick the suicide, I’m not gonna hang around dying slowly and losing all my savings, I wanna leave something to my children – I don’t wanna let it all go to the goddamned greedy hospitals and the goddamned greedy doctors and the goddamned greedy pharmacies and the goddamned politicians who represent those goddamned greedy types – is that clear Mr. Bush!
[What gives you the strength and courage to face your daily challenges?]
RAW: Well I see as many positive possibilities as negative ones, and since the conclusion has not yet arrived I don’t know which is going to happen, so it seems to me that worrying about the bad possibilities just gives you ulcers and makes you a generally miserable person and drags down the party wherever you go, whereas looking at the positives and spreading word about the positive possibilities keeps you high and happy and might even cheer up a few other people too, so since we don’t know why not choose the happy path? Besides, as a Buddhist I really profoundly don’t give a fuck! [fly laughs] There’s a little Chinese saying – “The wise become Confucian in good times, Buddhist in bad times and Taoist in old age” – that makes more sense to me all the time; I believe in Confucianism given in the sense of etiquette and good manners, courtesy and at least a minimum standard of decency for everybody. I believe in Buddhism to the extent of detachment because this is a pretty bad planet and a lot of bad things happen so you don’t wanna get too attached to anything, and I’m becoming more and more of a Taoist because after reading about 20 different translations of the Tao Te Ching and looking up some of the Ideograms in my Chinese English dictionary and reading commentaries I think the basic message of Taoism is that it doesn’t matter, fuck it all [laughs] – I have all three attitudes simultaneously, I can make things better by being nice to people, it doesn’t really matter in Taoism and it’s all a burning house anyway, so don’t get too attached to it – that’s Buddhism. I think it makes a nice mixture . I admire the Chinese more than any other culture on the planet.
[Such beautiful paintings as well, those landscapes…]
RAW: Oh yeah, and you look at some of those statues of Buddha – those sculptures – you need to be in a deep meditative state just to get the expression just right, and the subject had to be there too. The whole culture knew things about the mind that our culture is just beginning to tentatively discover.
[Can you describe some things that help to bring solutions to your challenges? I suppose you just answered that question.]
RAW: Well yeah, that’s personally, socially I think if anybody goes to the Buckminster Fuller websites on line you’ll find that solutions have already been worked out by Fuller and his associates at the World Game. All it takes is for the governments of the world to give up their attempts to conquer one another by killing one another or by killing one another off and realize – that’s not working. I don’t know how long it’s gonna take, but eventually – as Fuller said “humanity as a whole always does the most intelligent thing after all the stupid alternatives that fail.” Once all the stupid alternatives fail they have no option left but to try Buckminster Fuller’s world game solution in which everybody gets clean water, good food, good healthcare and most of the major forms of exploitation are made non-economical by synergetic cooperation between peoples and then we can have a kind if virtual utopia, and the only question is will the governments discover that on their own or do we have to get rid of them – if so how do we get rid of them non-violently? but I can understand why some people get so goddamned frustrated they start throwing bombs, I believe that only makes them stronger, it’s what’s called counter supporting – counter supporting is opposing something in a way that makes it stronger by your opposition. A classic example, or at least when I read the book, I happened to be in Ireland – and right away I thought of the Ulster Freedom Fighters and the IRA, each one makes the other stronger. The same thing is going on now in Israel between the Israeli right wingers and the suicide bombers, each one makes the other stronger, so I think we gotta outsmart them instead of trying to out bomb them, outsmart the goddamned governments! Fortunately internet exists already and its international already and were learning more about how to use it, were learning more and more about how to get accurate news over internet and we’ll learn how to make our own agreements and bypass the governments eventually until they have nobody to govern but themselves [fly laughs] and congress will sit down there in Washington passing laws binding upon the 540 members, but not on the rest of us.
[How do you plan to keep pot heads busy for the next ten years?]
RAW: Well one way is to print a card up with one side that says “secret message on other side,” on the other side it says “secret message on other side” – this should keep the average pot head busy for at least 15 minutes I don’t know about the other 45. In the next 45 minutes they can run around showing it to their friends and watch how long it takes them to figure it out. [laughs, smiles]
[Is President boy- shrub the legitimate president of the United States of America?]
RAW: Not by my standards. It appears that Al Gore won the popular vote, nobody disagrees with that, the only disagreement is who won the Florida vote and therefore the electoral college, as far as I know there were four newspapers that collaborated in a post election study and they all concluded that Gore won even counting that way, then the establishment press came back, not by doing their own study; but by claiming methodological defects in the studies that had been done, that’s just like CSICOP , they never do their own research they just look for methodological defects in the research they don’t like and as far as I’m concerned Al Gore is the legitimate President of the United States but that doesn’t mean much to me because the legitimate President of the United States means to me the same as the Godfather of the Mafia [laughs] or imperial wizard of the Ku Klux Klan , or general all round anti-christ . [laughs]
[What are some of your lasting impressions of William S. Burroughs]
RAW: He was one of the most intelligent people I ever met. If I had a list of people who I regard as the most intelligent, Burroughs would be up there along with Buckminster Fuller and Timothy Leary and George Carlin and my wife Arlan and a few others – anybody who plays this tape and you’re not included, I’m just absent minded, Ken Campbell, Orson Welles , although I never met Orson, Arlen met Orson . Burroughs had very high intelligence and a great deal of anxiety which he tried to control in various ways including being a junky off and on for most of his life, he tried other methods too, and when I knew him in 1965 he was entirely off junk and he couldn’t get through an evening without getting drunk, it was a choice of narcotics or drink, he had terrible anxiety left over from god-knows-what events in his childhood, very bright, very pressed in his emotional reaction, although not in his sex life so I hear, and very funny too. Humour is one of the best cures for anxiety and if junk doesn’t work and alcohol doesn’t work you can always try making a joke out of it. That’s the Taoist solution.
[Who was Hassan-i-Sabah?]
RAW : He was the original model for Osama Bin Laden; he lived in Afghanistan too, in a mountain retreat with a bunch of religious fanatics and he convinced them they would get transported to heaven. He had an absolute guarantee if you die in the service of Hassan-i-Sabah you will go right back to heaven which is full of gorgeous virgin dancing girls all ready to satisfy you in every sexual way you can dream of – oh, and dancing boys too – Hassan-i-Sabah knew all about those near Eastern peoples. His agents pretty much discouraged people from invading Afghanistan for a long time because he had agents in most of the neighbouring governments and any government that decided that it was time to attack Hassan-i-Sabah would wake up with his throat cut the next morning, always with a dragon with the assassin’s symbol on it – one of the servants who had disappeared in the night so people lost interest in attacking Afghanistan. Hassan-i-Sabah and Osama Bin Laden both seem to be historically related to Fu Manchu; these are all images of Oriental revenge for occidental Imperialism, they’re all the nightmares of the ruling elite over about what the rest of the planet is secretly plotting. Then there’s Ming the Merciless of course, now he’s distributing free cannabis in Ireland – have you heard about that? [laughing “NO”] – yeah, on election day he sent letters to all the members of Doyle with cannabis in them, all of which were rushed to the army to be tested for Anthrax and none of them had Anthrax in them, they just had cannabis in them, every member of Doyle is in danger of having Cannabis in their desk – if it hadn’t been for the Anthrax scare running at the same time. His real name is Flanagan – Ming the Merciless. I think there’s lots of fun in Flanagan’s work – That’s a quote from an old Irish song [RAW singing] “Lots of fun at Finnegans Wake, there’s lots of fun in Flanagan’s work” – Ming the Merciless. [smiles]
[Paul Krassner recently dedicated his new book “Murder at the Conspiracy Convention” to you, do you think there is a lack of original humour in mainstream media at the moment?]
RAW: Well, let’s go back to the beginning, Paul Krassner – he dedicated the book to me, he sent me an e-mail along with the dedication long before the book was published and asked me if I found it satisfactory and wanted to change anything to make sure I’d be pleased by it. I was so delighted I dedicated my next book to him which is due out any day now, it’s called TSOG: The thing that ate the constitution and its dedicated to Paul Krassner – Zen Bastard. I originally wrote “Paul Krassner – “Zen bastard and all around good guy” or something like that, and sent it to Paul, and Paul said “Zen Bastard is just what I want,” so some people might think I’m insulting him but that’s what he wants that’s his sense of humour so I let it stand, the book says – “To Paul Krassner – Zen Bastard.”
[Yeah, he has a great sense of humour and integrates it into some of the most awkward and difficult situations – which seems needed today. People don’t seem to be able to make fun anymore without getting ridiculed.]
RAW – Well humour is always subversive, Arthur Koestler wrote a very technical analysis of humour in a book called, “inside and out book” or something like that – one of those books with three word titles connected by and with two opposite nouns like The Yogi and Commissar , Inside and Out , Arrival and Departure , – he had that outlook. He did a 400 page analysis of humour showing that it works the same way as artistic creativity and scientific discovery, it results from looking at a familiar thing in two opposite ways, so that’s always subversive, that’s why there were no jokes about 911 until only in the last month – accepted in the most deliberately far out and offensive media, nobody else dared to joke about it; hell HYPERLINK “http://www.billmaher.com/” Bill Maher didn’t joke, he just made one sensible comment and he was out of work which reminds me of what Pound wrote about London in 1919: “one intelligent remark can ruin a man’s whole career.” [fly laughs]
[Why would T.S Eliot’s writings provide the best book bombing propaganda for the U.S?]
RAW: Who the hell thought up that question, is that yours or did somebody else suggest it? – T.S Eliot makes a justification for American bombing?
[I heard they book-bombed Korea with T.S Eliot books one time?]
RAW: They were dropping T.S Eliot on Korea! [laughing out loud] – They should have dropped Pound’s Cantos , at least they could have read some of the Chinese Ideograms [fly laughs] even if they couldn’t decipher the rest of the text. I don’t know, that’s like why are the United States dropping food supplies and bombs on the same people at the same time and those who manage to escape the bombs will go for the food and will have to walk across possible land mines to get at the food, sometimes I think this whole planet is bat shit crazy except me – and then I realize all lunatics think that way so I gotta get a wider perspective.
[I equate the removal of you from the Prophets Conference with the banning of Bird from bird land.]
RAW: That’s a great comparison, i really appreciate that, that’s wonderful – yeah Bird was banned from bird land and it was named after him, well, the Prophets Conference wasn’t named after me anyway.
[I remember that in Palm Springs; December 2000 you said: “If the United States government wasn’t trying to dominate the whole world, we wouldn’t be threatened by terrorism.]
RAW: That’s just before they fired me, [laughs] isn’t that an odd coincidence?
[some “Prophecy” from the Prophets Conference, I reckon]
RAW: Yeah well, that’s why if your gonna run a commercial Prophets’ Conference you don’t want any real prophets so they’re not gonna disturb everybody. In Illuminatus! I had terrorists blow one wall off the Pentagon – just like happened, and in Schrödinger’s Cat I had Wall Street blown up just like what happened and I don’t claim this is ESP or precognition, it’s just common sense. The United States cannot go on bombing two thirds of the world year after year, decade after decade, over and over without somebody hitting back eventually, I knew it had to happen, you don’t need ESP you just need a little horse sense. CNN keeps referring to it as “the day the world changed,” well the world didn’t change; people have been dropping munitions on one another ever since Nobel invented modern munitions. People love dropping bombs on one another, it’s one of the favourite human pastimes, they’re almost willing to give up football , I mean – it’s been going on for ages, the only thing that changed is that the United States has been doing most of the bombing for the last 50 years and everybody got used to that, oh yeah we got to bomb another country for their own good, it’s only collateral damage. The United States gets bombed and they say the world changed. The world didn’t change, it’s just the United States got included in with the rest of the world. If you go around bombing people year after year, decade after decade; you’ll have somebody bombing you back, Jesus!, no, no; that’s not the reason they did it, they hate us for our freedom , all the freedoms like the freedom to pee into a jar before you get a job interview, that’s the kind of freedom we really need.
[Instead of throwing shit we might just “pee” on one another you know] [laughs]
RAW: I’m more and more examining Jerry Falwell’s idea that God joined Al Qaeda, you know he said that right after the thing; he said – “God joined Al Qaeda because there were too many gays, feminists and ACLU lawyers in the United States,” – and apparently he thinks there are no gays, feminists or ACLU lawyers in the territory controlled by Al Qaeda, so that’s where his god is obviously strongest, or that his god helped the planes hit their targets, and I’m more and more inclined to believe that. God seems to me – as my leg problems get worse and worse – God seems to me like the character described by Jerry Falwell and Osama Bin Laden – he’s a mean, rotten, Sadistic son-of-a-bitch, that’s the only kind of god that makes any sense to me, which is why the three religions I like most; Confucianism , Buddhism and Taoism never say anything about God at all, they don’t even deny god, well Buddhism does, or some Buddhist sects do very explicitly. I remember the first time I ever heard the Dali Lama was on BBC and the interviewer said “some people say Buddhism has no god is that right,” and the Dali Lama said “yes very true,” and the interviewer said “but isn’t the Buddha mind something like god?” and the Dalai Lama said – “the Buddha mind is the inside of all things, it is not an almighty creator,” – Jee a religious leader who makes some sense. I read a book by him and I didn’t find any bullshit in it at all. As the one living 100% bullshit free religious leader on this planet, they haven’t found another – well maybe Bob Dobbs , [laughs] O.K; he seems bullshit free too – well he’s not bullshit free, but the bullshit is highlighted with jokes and so you know it’s a joke. All the rest of them remind me of “pay no attention to that man behind the curtain” the wizard of Oz.
[Did you ever meet Chogyam Trungpa ?]
RAW: No, I met at lot of his people – I’ve been to Boulder several times after his death and there’s lots of amusing legends about him including one about a meditation class being led by somebody or another and suddenly Trungpa appears at the door with a can of beer in his hand, he yelled – “why are you meditating, I will tell you why you are meditating, you’re all scared shitless about the atom bomb, [laughing] I tell you, you don’t need to be scared shitless, the atom bomb will not fall on you” – I don’t know whether that’s true or not. That was told to me by somebody who lived in Boulder who swore it was true, there’s all sorts of fascinating legends about him.
[Leading on from some earlier e-mail interview question’s you answered for me, can you expand upon why Finnegans Wake, Cannabis seeds and a Rottweiler are essential elements for a 21st century survival kit?]
RAW: You need Finnegans Wake to understand the merging world village that’s appearing; Finnegans Wake is the only book that’s written from a global perspective, well Pound’s Cantos are almost global, they include China , parts of Africa, most of Europe and the United States and some ancient Sumer, Egypt. Joyce is much more universal, he includes a lot more of Africa than Pound does – a hell of a lot more – and a lot more of Asia too. That’s part of your education to live in the 21st Century, you gotta master Finnegans Wake, and then you need what? – [Cannabis seeds] – Obvious, that doesn’t need any explication does it? And the Rottweiler ….[GAP IN RECORDING WHILE TAPE IS CHANGED]
[What are some of the prerequisites for Discordian math 101?]
RAW: First of all there’s the law of five which states that all things and events are directly or indirectly connected with the number 5. The second law is if you can’t make them connect that shows your too dumb to be a Discordian.
[Can you explain Sturgeon’s law?]
RAW: Sturgeon’s law . Yeah, that was created by a very good science fiction and fantasy writer named Theodore Sturgeon, he was on a panel discussing science fiction and the speaker before him was a professor of English who denounced science fiction up hill and down dale, smoted hip and thigh and ended up by saying that 95 percent of science fiction literature was crap, and then it was Theodore Sturgeon’s turn to talk and he began with what became known as Sturgeon’s law – “but professor, 95 percent of everything is crap” and that’s true, 95 percent of Opera is crap, 95 percent of the novels published are crap, 95 percent of the movies are crap, 95 percent of the histories are crap, 95 percent of the soap operas are crap, 95 percent of the paintings are crap – it’s the five percent that are interesting whether it’s science fiction or modern art.
[How do you feel about the many synchronistic and numerological factors surrounding 911?]
RAW: 9+1+1 does not add up to 23 , so I gave up on that and decided to hell with it. Even 9 x 1 x 1 does not make 23! [fly laughs]
[Along with “food clothing and shelter” what are some of the essential elements for life support as cosmic citizens?]
RAW: Love. Of course that helps get food clothing and shelter, or i mean its part of the whole package. It seems life is happier synergetically interacting at least to most people anyway, more may not be desirable, I’ve lived in a couple of communes and extended families, I had a marriage that lasted 42 years, now I’m alone I find more interesting states to be in, of course I find everything interesting – it’s the only alternative to being bored – to be interested.
[Can you explain why thinking, writing and speaking in Irish seems difficult to understand in English?]
RAW: Yeah, I’ll try [fly laughs “In English”] yeah well, if you take a classic Irish play you find somebody saying – “My grandfather said ‘and I a child of nine at the time’,” now, in normal English you would say “when I was a child,” and “I, a child of nine” is Gaelic grammar superimposed on English words and this is the way they talk in western Ireland a lot or the way most of them talk either in English or in Gaelic which is the old fashioned grammar which does not put things in sequence like English does, it puts things into concentric relationships, sort of like the way Chinese does, which is why William Butler Yeats said “Ireland was a part of Asia until the Battle of the Boyne ,” and you can find the strain of Asiatic, or what we call Asiatic thinking or pre-Anglo Saxon , pre-Aryan, I don’t know what the hell it is – we find this kind of thinking in Ireland very strongly and in Wales, and in parts of Spain, and over most of Africa and the Orient, it’s a way of thinking just as legitimate as the dominant paradigm of the Western world. It highlights some things and ignores other things just like the western paradigm does, I have never been in favour of junking the western paradigm and adopting the Eastern, I’ve always felt we should learn the most of what we can from both of them and Ireland’s a good place to do that, an excellent place to do that.
[That reminds me of Jeremy Narby’s idea in his book The Cosmic Serpent relating to what he calls stereoscopic thinking – a little bit like perceiving something with your mind that’s both internal and external at the same time, creating this kind of stereo effect.]
RAW: That’s like Bertrand Russell’s two heads paradox, you know that one? [fly smiles and nods slowly] – you must have two heads. Then there’s J.W Dunne ; if you have two heads you must have an infinite series of heads because in the two heads model you have another head thinking about all this, once you realize that there’s another head thinking about that , you know that the heads go on till infinity in an infinite number of time dimensions, this was developed by Dunne in two amazing books called The serial universe and An experiment with time . It’s the wackiest model in modern cosmology and in some ways the most fascinating. He makes it sound so plausible.
[How do you see Vision quests?]
RAW: Let’s see what I can do with that topic. Well first of all there’s the ordinary brainwashing which is called a culturalization in the social sciences – this is how they take an infinitely malleable infant and hammer it into the shape acceptable in the local tribe or as acceptable as possible, then there’s vision quest which is the attempt by some individuals who are not quite satisfied with the process who try to discover the rest of themselves – “what did they murder while they were hacking me into this Procrustean bed?” So vision quest is always some part of the population varying in size depending upon how the quests condition are I suppose, I suppose the number of vision quests has increased astronomically in the last 50-60 years because these are the bloodiest and most terrifying years of human history – I mean the 100 years war was no picnic, but that was restricted to a rather small part of the planet – in the current rumble the whole planet is under threat, everybody feels the same kind of terror – to have a religious nut like Osama Bin Laden fighting Bozo the clown, his Royal fraudulency Bozo the clown – the first non elected president of the United States who can never produce a grammatical sentence without a teleprompter in front of him, even then he reads them wrong part of the time. [Laughs, more laughs]
[What can we expect from your writing in the next 12 months?]
RAW: I have a new book coming out called TSOG: The thing that ate the constitution and I’m working with Lance Bauscher on a movie called Maybelogic: Robert Anton Wilson, His lives and ideas . That’s ‘lives’, not ‘lies’. And I’m also working on a book called TheTale of the Tribe by New Falcon press and – if I’m up to it physically – I’m teaching at a Neuro-Linguistic Programming workshop in Florida next February, I would love to get out of here and to Florida in February if there doesn’t seem to be too much strain and stress on my leg. I think I’m gonna do it, I’m gonna have to be in a lot of pain the week before to cancel that.
[What are some of your favourite music albums and recording artists?]
RAW: Well, I like and Bach , I like Charlie Parker and Thelonius Monk and John Coltrane . I like Harry Belafonte and The Weavers and a lot of other music. I like Mahler ; I like a lot of music. Next question.
[Did you ever get into the Grateful Dead ?]
RAW: Not really deeply, I like them but I never became a dead head, I know a lot of Dead Heads. If the dead decided they wanted to play in the South Pole these people would find some goddamned way to get to the South Pole . [fly laughs]
[What are some of your fondest memories from living in Ireland?]
RAW: Well, this might be just silly – but these are my fondest memories – when we first lived in Sandy Cove I could see the James Joyce tower from my kitchen window, that was the first thing I saw every morning – the tower where stately plump Buck Mulligan bravely blessed the awaking mountain and intoned in Troy; “Introibo ad altare. Come up, Kinch! Come up, you fearful Jesuit!” – that’s the tower where it all happened right outside my window. Another fond memory is just after we moved over to Howth the first time, Arlan and I went to the rhododendron gardens with a copy of Ulysses trying to find the exact spot where Bloom made love for the first time, but we could never decide because too many spots seem to fit more or less Joyce’s description which he gives us and considering the fact that Molly has memories of an earlier sexual experience in Gibraltar mixed up, we couldn’t find the Spanish wall for instance because that was in Gibraltar and lumped together. All the hours and hours in pubs with Irish friends just listening to Irish conversation and how they use words. Oh, and reading the complete works of Jonathan Swift which I got out of the local library one book at a time; it seems to me Swift’s wit and the wit of the native Dubliner is sort of like the two aspects of the same thing which is in Joyce in one way and in Oscar Wilde in an entirely different way. And it comes from looking at the same thing two different ways simultaneously, it’s the so called Asiatic part of Irish culture. [Long pause] – “Life and death were not until man made up the whole, Made it lock stock and barrel out of his own bitter soul.” – William Butler Yates .
[How did the town of Wolverhampton find its way into your novel The Widow’s Son ?]
RAW: Some English witches asked me to write a free article for their magazine and they said it could be as short as I wanted and so I wrote them a page and half or two pages and they sent me their magazine from then on until they went bankrupt, or out of business, or forgot about me, I don’t know which – but it did finally stop. In one issue of that I saw an ad for the Order of the Illuminati with an address for central enquiries and possible admission and then I decided to include that in The Widow’s Son for any readers that want to enquire beyond the book and into the reality behind it, whatever that may be. Another time I wrote to an American neo-pagan magazine called The Green Egg and signed myself as outer head of the Ancient Illuminated Seers of Bavaria and I got a letter from somebody who called themselves Philip count the something or other, sanctuary of the Gnosis – who announced he was the real head of the Illuminati and if I didn’t stop posing as the same he would have his lawyers sue me [laughs] and so I wrote back and said – “your letter will not program into my computer in its present form could you please re-submit it in log,” [fly laughing hard] – I never heard from him again. He lived in 1000 Oaks. I love the idea of the Illuminati having its headquarters in 1000 Oaks.
[What are some of the perils of cocaine abuse?]
RAW: Well, in the first place Wavy Gravy pointed out way back in the early 70’s in a conversation with me that every coke freak he knew seemed to die of a heart attack between 30 and 50. I began to notice that pattern myself after Wavy pointed it out to me, another thing I noticed was that everybody I knew who got heavy into coke turned paranoid and nasty after a while and I also noticed they mostly quit, which convinced me it’s not as seriously addicting as heroin if your worried about addiction, but it’s a very dangerous drug considering the psychological changes it triggers, it seems to be a great deal of Euphoria at first and then a great deal of nastiness. Coke freaks are great to know the first week on coke, you don’t wanna meet them after that – close the blinds don’t answer the telephone and pretend you’re not home. And then look at the political record; we have had two politicians in the last 100 years who were both rumoured to be coke freaks and they both broke into office by non electoral and very irregular methods, which in both cases were followed by the destruction of a beloved national monument, which in both cases they blamed on an ethnic minority, in both cases they had a witch hunt against this minority, in both cases they cut off all previous liberties and installed a totalitarian state, and in both cases they declared war on more and more parts of the world quicker and quicker, one of them had a funny moustache, I’ll let you guess who the other one was. The thing is that this is what cocaine abuse leads too inevitably in every case I’ve seen, tragic. Chris Langham said you can get the same effect by stuffing talcum powder up your nose, rubbing it in with sandpaper and then running around the house burning all the money you can find, after a month the results – especially in your bank balance – will be exactly the same as after a month on Cocaine. Relating to the last aspect I have known three or four coke freaks who were in show business and earning big money and they all ended up in bankruptcy court before they kicked their cocaine, I mean they were making millions and they managed to loose it all, or it went somewhere mysterious – they were so goddamn freaked out they didn’t know their business manager was robbing from them, I dunno, but they all ended up bankrupt and had to remake their careers after they emerged from the world.
[How do you feel about Ozzy Osbourne being invited into the White House?]
RAW: I guess they’re having a coke head convention. [laughs]
[Have you ever experienced Ayahuasca or been to South America and hung out with the Shamans.]
RAW: No, No.
[What you think about these modern vision-questers who are heading down to the Amazon to meet the shaman?]
RAW: Bless them all, bless them all, the large and the thin and the tall. Everybody should go where they want to go. Timothy Leary called it “the first step of evolutionary intelligence” – finding the right ecological niche for your species or sub species, he thought California was the right ecological niche for his species, that’s why he lived here till death. I’m leading the California seccession movement and it doesn’t exist beyond my e-mail yet, but if it’s as popular as I think it is then it’s time for this serious issue!
[Yeah, I’m thinking of moving to Siberia.]
RAW: You’re moving to Siberia? That’s not such a bad idea, I thought about moving to Amsterdam.
[I found the city of Amsterdam to be one of the more liberal thinking cities of Europe.]
RAW : Yeah, it’s been that way for a long time, when the queen who sponsored Columbus’s voyage, Isabelle – when she expelled all the Jews from Spain, Holland accepted them, which has made it a very liberal country ever since and that’s where Spinoza wrote and most of the major philosophers you find spent a couple of years in Holland because they were banned in their own country and had to run for their lives, some of them died in Holland. Descartes lived in Holland for a while so did Spinoza, so did a lot of them and they have always been very forward thinking and according to a friend of mine in southern California they own most of the banks which own most of the English banks which own most of the American banks which own most of the corporate capitalist world – at the same time; it doesn’t matter how much their people fuck and smoke dope and get high and enjoy themselves. [laughs]
[Can you clear up the rumours about how involved Aleister Crowley was in the secret services?]
RAW: That has been a matter of debate between Crowley’s biographers ever since the beginning; I don’t know any two biographies of Crowley that agree. My impression is that in the first world war Crowley was working for British intelligence and had penetrated German intelligence for them, I think in the second world war all the evidence is that he was only working for British intelligence – suggesting a few minor things like symbolic gestures to boost allied moral such as the “V” for victory sign – which is invoking Satan in Crowley’s magickal thinking, [Laughs] or the thumbs up that invokes the divine phallus. [laughs]
[How about Ian Fleming and his relationship with Aleister Crowley?]
RAW: I didn’t know they had any relationship at all but Ian Fleming worked for the 20 Bureau during world war 2 which was involved with catching and turning all the German agents in England and they succeeded – totally – they succeeded to an extent that they could not believe them, some of them did not believe that they had total control of German intelligence in England so they didn’t use them to their maximum potential and after the war, they got the German records and found out they had every German spy in England really working for them because once your caught – if your a spy you have two choices in war time – you can hang or you can go to work for the other side, most of them go to work. You’ve only gotta hang one of them and then all the rest of them become quite eager to go to work for the British, and the pay was better than what Hitler was paying them anyway, so they were totally in control of German information but they never trusted it enough. They used it a bit though, that’s why most of the V2’s didn’t hit London and they landed in the country north of London [tongue in cheek laughs] – by sending back false reports of where the damage was to throw the engineers off, that’s one thing about the 20 bureau – that was Ian Fleming and HYPERLINK Alan Turing – who was sometimes considered the father of internet, except by those who consider John Von Neumann or Norbert Wiener or Claude Shannon the father of the internet . Dennis Rawlins – who wrote Occult thrillers and really believed in them, he seemed convinced that every conspiracy that he could think up himself for British intelligence was not only the work of enemy intelligence but of Satanic intelligence! They were a rare bunch they were,[laughs] I think that kind of thinking gradually took over the CIA after James Jesus Angleton became chief of counter intelligence, he was a devout student of all their ways and works.
[Have you a favourite Bond movie?]
RAW: I don’t really like the Bond movies. My favourite Harry Palmer movie is the first one The Ipcress file . My favourite all time spy movie is The Russia House with Sean Connery and Michelle Pfeiffer – who was born without stain or original sin and could do no wrong, not in front of a camera anyhow, I know nothing about her private life but I never saw her do anything wrong in front of the camera.
[Do you have a new perspective upon the movie 2001 by Stanley Kubrick in light of recent events?]
RAW: Yeah, do we need more wars to find that god damned monolith? [laughs]
[Maybe you could speak a little about Saul Paul Sirag and his possible influence upon some of your works?]
RAW: Well, Saul Paul lives in Berkeley and after i moved to San Francisco i saw him once a week at the physics consciousness research group so we had lots and lots of conversations about quantum physics and I had conversations about consciousness physics with others too, like Fred Alan Wolf, Nick Herbert, Jack Sarfatti, David Bohm , John Gribbin – anyway Saul Paul was a major influence and I got most of my information from him and I told him what I thought about it and he told me – “that’s the Copenhagen interpretation ” – and I found out I was part of modern physics without even knowing it, except that I apply the Copenhagen interpretation to everything, not just applied to the quantum realm.
[Is that equated with what you often call model agnosticism?]
RAW: Model agnosticism yeah – don’t believe in your own models, they have got to be changed regularly and be kept up to date, if you believe in your own models then you won’t be willing to change them and that’s where people get stuck and that’s where the horrible accidents happen, you look back and think how could they be so stupid, your talking about our ancestors, they all did stupid things because they could not change things fast enough. Of course that makes you feel gloomy, remember that most of our ancestors were pretty smart, we know that because they lived long enough to reproduce, that shows at least an average intelligence.
[Have you read the sensational book The Stargate Conspiracy ? You’re mentioned in connection to Esalen conferences along with many others?]
RAW: I have never heard of this book, I have no opinion about it whatsoever; all I can do is sit quietly and let you tell me more about it.
[Well, from what I can gather – it proposes that many events surrounding the Millennium were a kind of spiritual hijacking by a cross between the military, E.T and some people from the New Age movement. It ties together many great thinkers and almost every great conspiracy of the 21st’ century into a kind of extraterrestrial 3 stooges show!]
RAW: Yeah, I’ve heard of this a few times, I forgot about it. A few times I have seen reference to it in my e-mail, I’m on a few other e-mail lists and i have picked up a few things about this yeah. There’s also “the hidden dangers of the rainbow” which is by a Christian women who claims Buckminster Fuller and dope culture and television and rock and communism are all fronts for the Illuminati takeover, I just mentioned a few of those, the list is much longer and includes Marylyn Ferguson, the Brain Mind Bulletin, anybody who uses the word synergy should be regarded with suspicion, it’s part of their secret language of their cult that is taking over the world. [laughs]
[Featuring throughout the Stargate conspiracy book is Andrija Puharich who published three major books; The Sacred Mushroom , Beyond Telepathy and Uri …]
RAW: I read the Sacred Mushroom . I also read the Sacred Mushroom and the Cross by John Allegro, which curiously enough came up in my e-mail three times in the last week, that’s the first time this book has been mentioned in my e-mail. Suddenly three people are writing about that book all at once. And now you’re asking about it.
[Well, I hear so many wild stories about Andrija and obviously the Uri Geller biography he did was pretty far out you know, so it makes me wonder. He had a background in electronics too.]
RAW: Yeah, he has somewhere between 20 and 30 patents on electronic devices, he was also a qualified and certified psychiatrist and if you read his books he sounds like he’s a raving nut. I don’t know what to say about Puharich, he just leaves me stunned in wonder [fly “me too”] and then you read Uri Geller’s book and you find out he doesn’t disagree with Puharich at all, but he claims there’s a major difference – neither one of them can define the difference. I don’t know what the hell is going on.
[Last year I saw Uri Geller in my home town called Sturbridge doing his book tour and at the end of the show he produced a little seed in his hand, he brought some children up onto stage, they touched his hand and then this seed started to sprout something]
RAW: Is there a question?
[fly long pause]
[It’s not how many seeds are in an apple, but how many apples are in a seed?]
RAW: Yeah, Ezra Pound in 1940 wrote to T.S Eliot – “and now that I’m through the economic part I gotta get some philosophy for my paradiso , the only thought I’ve had so far is that there is an intelligence in the cherry stone that knows how to grow cherry trees” – that’s the DNA ! He almost had it; he was a poet not a scientist though. That becomes a major theme in the later Cantos – the intelligence of the cherry seed – he even found an ideogram in Confucius which means when translated – “the intelligence in the Cherry seed” – The other translations say vegetative spirits . [RAW smiles, fly laughs]
[I read that when you first got to Ireland, within being there a day or so you heard a show on the local radio about a farmer from County Kerry talking about the Pooka?]
RAW: Yeah, it was part of the aural history of Ireland or something like that on RTE-Radio – the government radio-TV monopoly – and it was about the Pooka which is a 6’ft tall white rabbit that often grabs people on their way home at night from the pub and takes them off into alternate universes where they meet Fionn mac Cumhail and all the great Irish heroes, Princess Leia, Luke Skywalker, Shiva , Krishna, Tim Finnegan, Adam and Eve and the whole gang from Finnegans Wake and the rest of world mythology. After the Pooka gets tired of playing with them for a few billion years he puts them back on the road and it’s only a few minutes after they left the pub on our clock time but in a parallel universe it’s 3 billion years, and the interviewer said with what I later came to recognize as a Dublin upper class; university college accent – “do you believe in the Pooka yourself,” and the Kerry farmer replied “that I do not, and I doubt much that he believes in me either.” – I thought that was the greatest example of Irish logic I ever heard, that’s why I liked to stay in that country a while. I was hardly an eccentric there.
[So, I’m working upon a project called World Piss at the moment…]
RAW: World peace or world piss?
RAW: World piss [laughs] – Tell everybody next time they gotta take a good hardy piss, put it in an envelope and mail it to George W. Bush at the white house. They want to know what everybody’s bladder is like these days so don’t make ’em send the agents out to your house to collect the samples, send them to him voluntarily .[laughs] You love big brother, big brother loves you, war is peace, freedom is strength, ignorance is slavery – no, ignorance is strength freedom is slavery. The enemy is Iran, no the enemy is Iraq we just got one letter wrong – the enemy is Iran .[laughs] Hold on for the revision! DO NOT ADJUST YOUR MIND IT IS REALITY THAT IS MALFUNCTIONING! [fly laughing hard]
[So, I think that should conclude this recording. I’d just like to say thank you very much from the bottom of my heart, and Peace.]
RAW: Yeah, Peace indeed.
September 10th 2002, Capitola, California, United States of America.
(I manufactured hyperlinks throughout this interview to serve as footnotes, helping expand the context & subject matter under discussion. This relatively new phenomena of hyper-linked encyclopedias [web pages] has emerged as a powerful tool for positive globalization that can help humanity better process the on many levels; simultaneously. Scaffolding the cheerful spirit of free-flowing, unclogged communication and global sharing RAW cybernetics are spreading faster and further to more and more critters every day. So why not Turn on, tune in & drop out again?)
Copyleft: Fly agaric 23/Acrylifga – [Steven James Pratt] 2112.2012