The mental conflict that occurs when beliefs or assumptions are contradicted by new information. The unease or tension that the conflict arouses in a person is relieved by one of several defensive maneuvers: the person rejects, explains away, or avoids the new information, persuades himself that no conflict really exists, reconciles the differences, or resorts to any other defensive means of preserving stability or order in his conception of the world and of himself.
Cognitive Dissonance was on Excommunicate’s old site but due to technical matters had to be removed. Now we proudly repost this classic text. Cognitive Dissonance is by the author of “Skull and Bones: The Order of Death”.
Table of Contents
3. HOW YOU’RE BEING FUCKED BY YOUR PUBLIC EDUCATION
4. GEMS FROM THE PRINCIPIA DISCORDIA
5. THE STRAIGHT TALK ON DOPE
6. THE GREAT (UN)AMERICAN UNDERGROUND
7. THE HELL WITH JESUS!
8. THESE BODIES THAT BREAK
9. THE AMERICAN ARISTOCRACY
10. CHEAP SHOTS SOUTH OF THE BORDER
11. THE DECLARATION OF EVOLUTION
12. SOME SCIENTIFIC AND PHILOSOPHICAL CONSIDERATIONS ON ALTERING YOUR MIND
13. FUCK VIRGINITY!
14. THE PROMISED LAND
15. FURTHER RESOURCES
The author of these articles has been accused of being a punk, a goth, a dirty hippy, an anarchist, an atheist, a Satanist, a rebel, a radical, a dope fiend, a queer, an extremist, and a devilishly handsome hedonist. While the author has neither confirmed nor denied any of these accusations, it is advised that readers believe nothing they read by persons of such repute unless they’ve confirmed for it themselves. Furthermore, the writing in this booklet may be found offensive and objectionable by anyone who could be classed as one of the
“orthodox, upstanding, clean-shaven, whiteuppermiddleclass SUV-drivin’ votin’, supportin’, beer guzzlin’, flag-wavin’, undertouched, undersexed aseptic All-Americans”
who might be said to make up a large percentage of our country’s population. This having been said, the author divorces himself from any responsibility for causing indigestion, headache, anger, or aneurism in said forewarned parties who read on at their own risk.
Some people, on the other hand, may find it alternately hep and wise or shocking and thought-provoking, and hence the author would be honored to accept partial responsibility for causing the reevaluation of cultural, political, and spiritual standards, social action, the rejection of eMpTyV and McDonald’s, the desire to take mescaline and travel to India, or otherwise drop out, turn on, and tune in. This document may be reproduced and distributed freely, used as toilet paper, or cut up into pieces to make a modern art collage, as the spirit moves you.
Any questions or concerns regarding Cognitive Dissonance may be directed to INFO@EXCOMMUNICATE.NET, it should also be known that the views of the author do not necessarily represent those of Excommunicate.Net. So before proceeding we ask that you refer once more to the TERMS AND CONDITIONS of the site. We would also like to let the reader know that this article was written by someone other than the creator of the site and he/she would like to remain anonymous in the matter.
This booklet has a very simple purpose, and for that reason, it will doubtless be widely misunderstood. The purpose of this text is to help you free your mind. I who write these words am no great sage or savior to guide you to Truth. A certain combination of genetics and environmental conditions have led me to understand certain things; tentative experiment and inquiry suggest that they may apply to more than my personal universe. And Truth cannot, after all, be communicated in words, it can only be indicated, as a finger pointing at the moon: “I can only show you the door; you must walk through it”. Further, most of what I have written here is borrowed from greater sources, and no doubt degraded in the process. I am merely a useful idiot who is able to convey certain greater concepts, so please do not judge their merits by my own shortcomings.
Even as you are reading these words, you have already coped with a certain degree of cognitive dissonance. Most everyone has had the inkling that there is something drastically wrong with the world, yet no one seems to do anything to find out what this something is or to change it. This is because you have been conditioned into ignorance and inaction. The powers that be have it pretty well: 8% of the world’s population controls 50% of its material wealth. Consequently, this elite doesn’t want any major disruptions to the status quo. Alcohol, mass media entertainment, lavish comforts, slavish social and religious doctrine… all these opiates are heaped upon you to quell that little voice inside of you, that itch, that “sliver in your mind” calling for a cure.
Some people who read this booklet will believe what is written herein. Some people who read it will not. But both of these groups will be missing the point. There are many statements made in this booklet which will no doubt incite controversy, indignation, or anger. As pointed out in the disclaimer, there is a large body of people who will take issue with at least one topic covered in these pages. But please do not discard the entire text as worthless due to prejudices you hold against one section, because there are such important ideas here, and if you investigate (not believe in!) even one of them, then my purpose will have been accomplished.
Some subversive savants have given us a hint of the struggle we face when we explore such ideas in the movie, The Matrix. There has been a long tradition in religious literature of explaining social and spiritual conflict through actual battle. A prime example of this is the Bhagavad Gita, an ancient Hindu scripture which explains these conflicts in the symbols people of Medieval India would understand: the warrior-prince Arjuna is visited upon the battlefield by the god Krishna, and his physical struggle becomes an allegory for much more. If you have not seen The Matrix, I cannot recommend it highly enough. I consider it the allegory of social and spiritual conflict for the modern “civilized” world. In this masterpiece, the American Propaganda Machine is described in the clearest, simplest language possible:
Morpheus: The matrix is everywhere. It is all around us, even now, in this very room. You can see it when you look out your window, when you turn on your television. You can feel it when you go to work, when you go to church, when you pay your taxes. It is the world that has been pulled over your eyes, to blind you from the truth.
Neo: What truth?
Morpheus: That you are a slave, Neo. Like everyone else, you were born into bondage, born into a prison that you cannot smell, or taste, or touch: a prison for your mind.
Morpheus: What is the matrix? Control. The matrix is a computer-generated dream world built to keep us under control in order to change a human being into this: Morpheus holds up a battery.
The Matrix got onto the big screen because it was an action-filled sci-fi epic which afforded American corporations a means to advertise their products in a big way. Basically everything in the movie is something you can buy, from Neo’s Airwalk boots to his Panasonic stereo system and alarm clock, to the slick, futuristic looking chairs in the office building towards the end of the movie. The directors and producers sold out in a big way. But what clever, clever whores they were. They made their product marketable so that they could deliver one of the most brilliantly subversive messages every conceived to a mass audience. They did in a movie what The Beatles, Tool, Rage Against the Machine, and other fine bands did in music. They gave the look and feel of their artistic creation just enough mass appeal to assure that their message would be heard by a wide audience.
And what is that message? It is the same gospel that avatars of liberation have been whispering in the ready ear for years: the defiance of programmed and regimented government, religion, society, and reality. What is the matrix? The matrix is very real. It is the electronic dreamworld of MTV, Playstation, Superbowl Sunday, and Mission: Impossible 2 that has been pulled over your eyes to blind you from the truth. It is the comfort of feature-packed SUVs, triple-jet hot tubs, and five-way multi-disc stereos which you have been swaddled in. It is the collage of anorexic supermodels, media portrayals of Islamic terrorism, and gilded rat-race competition which has played on your fears and insecurities so you don’t see the real atrocities taking place in your back yard. It is the prison for your mind which prevents you from realizing that from the day you are born you’re being programmed to be just a part of the machine. Like the citizens of Ancient Rome, you are being entertained by a flashy, often violent circus, that you might dismiss the oppression to which you are being subjected. Alan Moore, contemporary underground performance-poetry genius, analyzed our oppressors astutely thus:
“They unfold our greeds And our anxieties. They tell us when to cry, And how to vote, And who to think of When we masturbate.
They are the engineers of our exhaustion, Crushing pressure from defect and innuendo, Booming in these subtle latitudes”.
Another bright fellow named Althusser wrote the famous critique “Reproduction of the Means of Production” describing how and why the corporate state manipulates the public. I highly recommend reading it, but as it is a fairly dense piece of writing, and may be difficult to procure, I will summarize the main points here.
Basically, every corporation needs to sell a product in order to prosper. In order to buy the product, people need money. People work for corporations to make money then give it back to corporations for the products those corporations produce. So far this seems relatively reasonable, right? People work; they get goods in return.
But the cycle needs to go on if corporations are to continue to grow. Corporations need people to need their product. In order to sell their product, corporations need to create a demand for it. In order to create a demand for what is often a useless item, corporations need to make the working class think they need it by enforcing certain ideas about what will bring happiness, what is normal, what is to be feared. They need to reproduce the means by which their production continues. These ideas are written into our minds through various institutions controlled or supported by said corporations: the media, the entertainment industry, public education, the government, and mass institutional religion. Althusser defines each of these as an Ideological State Apparatus. The corporate-state ideology is enforced both home and abroad through the use of the appropriate Repressive State Apparatus, be that the National Guard, the police, the US Marines, even your fellow civilians. It has gotten to the point that many people are so inured, so helplessly dependent on the system, that they will fight to protect it.
The rest of this booklet discusses in greater depth some of these ISAs and RSAs, and ways to combat them, to get unplugged from the matrix. The fight requires a radical internal revolution on the part of each individual. Each step is infinitely difficult; the chains that bind us are not only numerous but often invisible. But each step is also infinitely rewarding, and once you take the first step, you will have defeated inertia and may be able to help others do the same with whatever skills you possess, with little e-publications like this, or by any other means your wild imagination can devise.
The problem with public education is that its goal is not to educate America’s youth, but to turn them into either productive members of society (wage slaves) or the robotic enforcers of this society (RSAs). Everywhere things aren’t as bad as in Texas, where the teaching of Creationism is still favored over evolution, but everywhere students are still being sold short. Although state laws officially support alternative forms of education (magnet schools, home schooling, etc) where real learning might take place, both state and school administrations make it very difficult to participate in these activities. “Hold on,” says the skeptic. “You expect me to believe that the purpose of public schools isn’t to teach me things?” Well sure, you’re taught things but take just a moment to consider what you’re being taught. How many years now have they been teaching you that in fourteen hundred and ninety two Columbus sailed the ocean blue? What is the purpose of that? Could it be, perhaps, that despite claims of honoring cultural diversity, the State really wants you to scoff at alternate social systems and mindlessly embrace the narrow version of history endorsed by pale male Christian bureaucrats? And in how many classes have you studied World War II? Granted, this was a major event in human history. But you don’t need to study it every year to know basically what happened! What I’ve come to realize is that during WWII was the one time America actually did anything good for the world. Stopping the Nazi regime was really swell of us, but it happened over half a century ago, and ever since then America’s been boning every developing nation our politicians can get their greasy hands on. Of course, neither the state?run education system nor the corporate?controlled media is going to make any effort to remind us of these sordid chapters in America’s past (and present). When’s the last time you heard about Colombia, Taiwan, or Chiapas on the news? Do you even know where these places are? If not, don’t feel too bad, because in every public school children have been lied to. It’s not entirely the teachers’ faults; they’ve been lied to as well, and the state mandates that certain topics are covered in the curriculum (and that certain topics are not).
Okay, say I’m starting to buy this conspiracy theory. What can I do about it?
Whether a student or an adult (or both), demand better. Tell Social Studies teachers you’re tired of hearing about D?Day and Columbus. Tell them you want to learn about the School of the Americas and the Zapatistas. Tell them you want to know who Mumia Abu Jamal and Sub? Commandante Marcos are. Tell them you want to learn about social issues which are current and relevant to your lives. If they can’t accommodate you, you could go to the next level. Add courses to the curriculum if need be. But in the mean time, learn about these issues outside of school. The Internet is a great place to start. It seems like there’s a lot of emphasis in school on how unreliable Internet sources are, when in actuality, it’s one of the only reliable sources of information left, because (thanks to our friendly anarchist hackers) it is not yet completely controlled by either the government or the corporations running the government.
Tell your Health teachers that you’re tired of hearing that drugs are bad (adding the appropriate voice from South Park if you feel it is necessary). Ask them why psychedelic drugs are illegal when they’ve been proven to have definite clinical value in treating alcoholism and rehabilitating violent criminals. Tell them you want to learn about the psychoanalytical and spiritual value of these chemicals.
Tell Economics teachers you’re tired of hearing the same old clap?trap about statism and capitalism. Ask if they even know anything about other systems. I remember quite clearly a certain “Western Civilizations” teacher of mine denouncing anarchy as a bunch of crazies running around “packing a rod” and asking rhetorically how we thought we could ever survive in such a system. Had I not been an impressionable and naive young sophomore at the time, I would have jumped down his throat about what anarchism is really about. Tell your English teachers that you’re tired of reading Huck Finn for the millionth time, and that you want to read something that’s really controversial or thought provoking, like the works of William S. Burroughs or Aldous Huxley. Tell them you want to read the Outlaw Bible of American Poetry.
You could even just drop out of school. You can learn a lot more from staying home and reading books and Internet articles than you can in that place. I have certainly learned more useful information on my own than in highschool. But staying in school has its uses as well. Playing dumb for a while may allow you to work your way into a position of influence. But in any case, demand to know what has been denied to you. Refuse to conform to the mold the state is trying to fit you into. Think for yourself; question authority.
The Principia Discordia (or How I Found Goddess & What I Did To Her When I Found Her) is a book of unknown authorship that appeared during the second half of the twentieth century. It is the primary text of what is called the “Discordian” or “Erisian” movement, which is made up of “Surrealists, Harlequinists, Absurdists and Zonked Artists,” among other folk. Some people have suggested that it’s merely an elaborate practical joke disguised as a religion while others have suggested that it is a religion disguised as an elaborate practical joke. The Discordia itself says, “We are a tribe of philosophers, theologians, magicians, scientists, artists, clowns, and similar maniacs who are intrigued with ERIS, GODDESS OF CONFUSION”.
Regardless of exactly what it is or where it came from, the Principia Discordia has been a source of inspiration and amusement for free thinkers for several generations now. I cannot include the whole book but it may be found online at www.cs.cmu.edu/~tilt/principia/body.html For now I simply offer a small selections of choice excerpts for your benefaction. Do enjoy.
GREATER POOP: Are you really serious or what?
MAL2: Sometimes I take humor seriously. Sometimes I take seriousness humorously. Either way it is irrelevant.
GP: Maybe you are just crazy.
M2: Indeed! But do not reject these teaching as false because I am crazy. The reason that I am crazy is because they are true.
GP: Is Eris true?
M2: Everything is true.
GP: Even false things?
M2: Even false things are true.
GP: How can that be?
M2: I don’t know man, I didn’t do it.
GP: Why do you deal with so many negatives?
M2: To dissolve them.
GP: Will you develop that point?
GP: Is there an essential meaning behind POEE [The Paratheo-Anametamystikhood of Eris Esoteric]?
M2: There is a Zen Story about a student who asked a Master to explain the meaning of Buddhism. The Master’s reply was "Three pounds of flax."
GP: Is that the answer to my question?
M2: No, of course not. That is just illustrative. The answer to your question is FIVE TONS OF FLAX!
The Five Commandments (The Pentabarf) The PENTABARF was discovered by the hermit Apostle Zarathud in the Fifth Year of The Caterpillar. He found them carved in gilded stone, while building a sun deck for his cave, but their import was lost for they were written in a mysterious cypher. However, after 10 weeks & 11 hours of intensive scrutiny he discerned that the message could be read by standing on his head and viewing it upside down.
KNOW YE THIS O MAN OF FAITH!
I. There is no Goddess but Goddess and She is Your Goddess. There is no Erisian Movement but The Erisian Movement and it is The Erisian Movement. And every Golden Apple Corps is the beloved home of a Golden Worm.
II. A Discordian Shall Always use the Official Discordian Document Numbering System.
III. A Discordian is Required during his early Illumination to Go Off Alone & Partake Joyously of a Hot Dog on a Friday; this Devotive Ceremony to Remonstrate against the popular Paganisms of the Day: of Catholic Christendom (no meat on Friday), of Judaism (no meat of Pork), of Hindic Peoples (no meat of Beef), of Buddhists (no meat of animal), and of Discordians (no Hot Dog Buns).
IV. A Discordian shall Partake of No Hot Dog Buns, for Such was the Solace of Our Goddess when She was Confronted with The Original Snub.
V. A Discordian is Prohibited of Believing what he reads.
IT IS SO WRITTEN! SO BE IT. HAIL DISCORDIA! PROSECUTORS WILL BE TRANSGRESSICUTED.
A Zen Story by Camden Benares, The Count of Five, Headmaster, Camp Meeker Cabal
Aserious young man found the conflicts of mid 20th Century America confusing. He went to many people seeking a way of resolving within himself the discords that troubled him, but he remained troubled.
One night in a coffee house, a self?ordained Zen Master said to him, "go to the dilapidated mansion you will find at this address which I have written down for you. Do not speak to those who live there; you must remain silent until the moon rises tomorrow night. Go to the large room on the right of the main hallway, sit in the lotus position on top of the rubble in the northeast corner, face the corner, and meditate."
He did just as the Zen Master instructed. His meditation was frequently interrupted by worries. He worried whether or not the rest of the plumbing fixtures would fall from the second floor bathroom to join the pipes and other trash he was sitting on. He worried how would he know when the moon rose on the next night. He worried about what the people who walked through the room said about him. His worrying and meditation were disturbed when, as if in a test of his faith, an ordure fell from the second floor onto him. At that time two people walked into the room. The first asked the second who the man was sitting there was. The second replied "Some say he is a holy man. Others say he is a shithead." Hearing this, the man was enlightened.
Western Union Telegram To: Jehova Yahweh Care: Celestial Hotel (Suite #666) Presidential Tier, Paradise
Dear God, This is to inform you that your current position as deity is herewith terminated due to gross incompetence STOP Your check will be mailed STOP Please do not use me for a reference
Respectfully, Malaclypse the Younger/Omnibenevolent Polyfather POEE High Priest
Zarathud’s Enlightenment Before he became a hermit, Zarathud was a young Priest, and took great delight in making fools of his opponents in front of his followers.
One day Zarathud took his students to a pleasant pasture and there he confronted The Sacred Chao while She was contentedly grazing.
"Tell me, you dumb beast," demanded the Priest in his commanding voice, "why don’t you do something worthwhile. What is your Purpose in Life, anyway?"
Munching the tasty grass, The Sacred Chao replied "MU".*
Upon hearing this, absolutely nobody was enlightened. Primarily because nobody could understand Chinese.
- "MU" is the Chinese ideogram for NO-THING
Here Follows Some Psycho-Metaphysics. If you are not hot for philosophy, best just to skip it.
The Aneristic Principle is that of APPARENT ORDER; the Eristic Principle is that of APPARENT DISORDER. Both order and disorder are man made concepts and are artificial divisions of PURE CHAOS, which is a level deeper than the level of distinction making.
With our concept making apparatus called "mind" we look at reality through the ideas?about?reality which our cultures give us. The ideas?about? reality are mistakenly labeled "reality" and unenlightened people are forever perplexed by the fact that other people, especially other cultures, see "reality" differently. It is only the ideas?about?reality which differ. Real (capital?T True) reality is a level deeper than the level of concept.
We look at the world through windows on which have been drawn grids (concepts). Different philosophies use different grids. A culture is a group of people with rather similar grids. Through a window we view chaos, and relate it to the points on our grid, and thereby understand it. The ORDER is in the GRID. That is the Aneristic Principle.
Western philosophy is traditionally concerned with contrasting one grid with another grid, and amending grids in hopes of finding a perfect one that will account for all reality and will, hence, (say unenlightened westerners) be True. This is illusory; it is what we Erisians call the ANERISTIC ILLUSION. Some grids can be more useful than others, some more beautiful than others, some more pleasant than others, etc., but none can be more True than any other.
DISORDER is simply unrelated information viewed through some particular grid. But, like "relation", no-relation is a concept. Male, like female, is an idea about sex. To say that male-ness is "absence of female-ness", or vice versa, is a matter of definition and metaphysically arbitrary. The artificial concept of no?relation is the ERISTIC PRINCIPLE.
The belief that "order is true" and disorder is false or somehow wrong, is the Aneristic Illusion. To say the same of disorder, is the ERISTIC ILLUSION.
The point is that (little-t) truth is a matter of definition relative to the grid one is using at the moment, and that (capital?T) Truth, metaphysical reality, is irrelevant to grids entirely. Pick a grid, and through it some chaos appears ordered and some appears disordered. Pick another grid, and the same chaos will appear differently ordered and disordered.
Reality is the original Rorschach.
Verily! So much for all that.
You’ve heard the propaganda all your lives. You’ve been told to say no to drugs, because drugs are bad. You’ve been made to think, by cops and Health teachers, D.A.R.E. Officers and politicians, that drugs will ruin your lives, your careers, your mental and physical health. You’ve been taught that your brain on drugs is somehow analogous to an egg in a frying pan. The typical image painted of any long-term drug user is that of a low-life junkie who will resort to prostitution, theft, or murder for the next fix.
Yes, it is true that a life of depravity may be the result of the indiscriminate abuse of heroin, cocaine, and the like. Yes, even drugs without a component of physical addiction can lead to a downward spiral if they are being used as an escape from the problems of everyday life. Yes, I would even concede that they are likely to do so in people who begin to experiment with them in their turbulent teens before hormone levels have stabilized and the body is done growing. Some very fundamental issues are, however, being glossed over in the stories about the dangers of drug use.
One issue here is this: that in the land where we are supposed to be free to pursue happiness each in our own way, the government is telling us that we cannot have control over our own bodies and minds, even in the privacy of our own homes. One of the main claims by those in power is that if drugs were legalized, everyone would start doing them and society would go down the drains. Are we really all such irresponsible children? Do you shoot heroin now? (I hope not.) Would you if it were legal? (I doubt it.) People who have made the decision to put these substances into their bodies are not deterred by the fact that they are illegal. Over 20 million Americans smoke pot, for Jah’s sake. Even if there is an increase in drug usage, they could be taxed just like cigarettes, and that money could go towards rehab-centers, which are a far more effective way of dealing with drug abuse than prison anyway.
And drugs were not made illegal in America to protect our health in the first place. They were made illegal in order to criminalize portions of society that didn’t fit into the American Dream. Subversive artist-types who enjoyed psychedelics and desperate poor and homeless persons resorting to narcotics could suddenly become legal targets for police and were jailed away where they wouldn’t prove a nuisance. Consider that nationwide, penalties for the use, distribution, etc. of crack-cocaine are much worse than those for cocaine. One is not especially worse than the other, yet crack-cocaine is much more popular in poor, black communities, while cocaine is more popular in rich, white communities. And the distribution of LSD is now considered an act of terrorism, as if with anthrax and nuclear armaments floating about, terrorists have nothing better to do than make us all trip out for a day.
If health issues were the concern, it should be easy to see that legal drugs would also be much safer than black market drugs. The FDA could impose strict regulations on their manufacture, so people who chose to do them wouldn’t have to wonder what sort of random adulterants and poisons they were putting into their bodies. With the unrealistic goal of eliminating all illegal drug usage in the U.S., the government has also managed to make reliable information about recreational illicit substances extremely hard to come by. If drugs were legalized, people could make informed decisions about their use thus preventing a lot of overdoses, dangerous combination, and unsafe activities while under the influence.
With all the fear-mongering about their dangers, drugs have become a convenient scapegoat for the ills of our society. Until recently, the “War on Drugs” provided an excuse for the state to monitor its own citizens and also provided a convenient excuse to commit all sorts of atrocities in other countries. I say until recently, because these actions are now excused as part of the “War on Terrorism”. For example, the US spends millions of tax dollars every year spraying herbicides over Colombia, allegedly to destroy coca crops. This intervention is completely ineffective for its stated purpose (cocaine imports to the US from Colombia remain constant), yet it is remarkably effective in making life hopeless and miserable for indigenous farmers who sometimes rally together to try and stop US corporations (like President George W. Bush’s oil company) from exploiting the natural resources of their country. The US now supports the Colombian government militarily against these rebels, calling them “terrorists”.
Meanwhile, in our own country, 85% of all violent crime is drug-related. This figure doesn’t represent crimes done by people on drugs, but mainly gangs and dealers killing one another to defend their black market turf. If we legalize drugs we end 85% of all violent crime. Additionally, a lot of people will be able to spend their time doing much more socially useful things than they are now. There would be no need for DEA officers, narcs, border patrols, or search teams. We’d need fewer police. Thousands of non-violent drug offenders could be released from our overcrowded prisons.
A final point against the absurd war on drugs is that not all drugs are bad for you. In fact, some might even be good for you. I speak of the class of drugs known as psychedelics. Given that there has been no reliable evidence that LSD, mushrooms, mescaline and the rest have any negative long-term effects on physically and psychologically healthy adults, and that many users have reported them to be, in fact, vastly useful for personal growth and exploration, it is especially curious (by the party-line logic) that these drugs are illegal. “Isn’t it funny,” said the late Bill Hicks, “how the drugs that are legal, alcohol and cigarettes, do absolutely nothing for you, but the drugs that are illegal are the ones that make you realize that you’re getting fucked every day of your lives. Well, I’m sure they all have our best interests in mind”. I’m sure too, Bill.
The Great (Un) American Underground
the Great (un)American Underground
besides some half-elucidated reference
in the poems of american gypsies?
too vast to be named
knowable only through those
who have sacrificed their egos
to the archaic archetypes
swimming in the suspended songs
of qabalah and quantum mechanics
we are not the hypocrite hippies
kept warm in the glow of nuclear power
naively reciting the retro-rhythms
of guru ginsberg
making all the robot motions of revolution
but never achieving the orgasm
we are the hermits,
the homeless, the hidden,
circus clan wanderers,
learning in fight clubs
through fist and fractured rib
that these bodies that break
are not ourSelves
we are the women who don’t shave the hair
from our legs and armpits and mons pubis
beautiful, erotically aware,
refusing barren, painted, and frail submission
we are the masses of raving youth
willing to poison our minds with e
for just one night
of electronic tribal freedom
we are the artistic hedonistic
in forbidden positions of intercourse
while listening to the word rapture
of dead beat poets captured
in mp3 format
from censored internet sites
into a mainframe full of hacks
and illegal software
and bootleg copies of books
by the wickedest man in the world
we are the malcontent mystics
who imagine new poems while masturbating
and must stop to hastily scrawl down
the images spurting from our minds
no less holy
than any other act
we are the dreamers
who coagulate and dissolve
in polyamorous relationships
you call promiscuous
but in which love is known
more intensely than can be understood
in two-car garage houses
where cardboard couples
have stopped having sex
and meaningful conversation
at age 40
we are the godless prophets
because in our passivity
we are a threat
to your schizophrenic
because our self-determined elitism
is open to all
because we live outside the
conventional cognitive model of reality
and forge our own perceptual constructs
from that self-same radiance
by which we illuminate
the inadequacies and injustices
or your capitalist-classism.
we are the despised and primal god
you don’t understand
because with our drugs
and counter-cultural perversions
we are trying to mutate
to morph into the new age nephilim
the ubermensch union of angel and man
ripe and ready to evolve beyond because
so join us,
before you rot on this vine
of phallic obsession with cars
and skyscrapers and church obelisks.
we are the new generation
of no god no state no universe
child-like in our wisdom
ageless in our experience
what a piece of work
we are coming to:
we are brahman’s breath,
and when we speak:
h2. The Hell With Jesus
For hundreds of years, Christianity has been an immense social and political force in the lives of people around the world. Since its adoption by the Roman Emperor Constantine it spread quickly, and since Theodosius and Constantine systematically eliminated those who opposed it in Europe, it quickly became the dominant religion of the western hemisphere. Though the history of the religion has quite the dark underbelly, its continuing popularity cannot be denied, particularly in America. While only 33% of the world’s population is Christian, over 75% of the citizens in the United States follow the faith.
I would propose that, in fact, it is only the popularity of Christianity which has quelled popular investigations into its true nature. In addition to their long history of bloodshed, various Christian institutions have done great amounts to repress scientific knowledge and advancement of the species. Darwin and Galileo were persecuted for shredding the Christian myths about Creation and Earth’s place in the cosmos. When Magellan set out to prove that the world was round by circumnavigating it, he proclaimed, “The church says the earth is flat, but I know that it is round, for I have seen the shadow on the moon, and I have more faith in a shadow than in the church,” and was subsequently denounced as a heretic.
These, it may perhaps be argued, are the faults of Christians, not Christianity. For even if it hardly compares with the amount of evil, Christians have also done some good things for humanity. But I propose that such people could have done much more good, had they not been so mentally shackled. The world and humanity would be a better place without Christianity. This is also true of other monotheistic religious institutions, but for now, let us make a case study of the effects Christianity itself has on humans. Christians would claim that the effect of Christianity on people is to save their souls and grant them a happy afterlife in the kingdom of God. This we can neither confirm nor refute with the tools of modern mundane science, but we can study the effects which Christianity seems to have on our more earthly systems, such as our minds and bodies.
The negative effects of Christianity on the human psyche are dramatic. Christianity contributes to (a) a patriarchal attitude of male dominance and female subordination, (b) homophobia, repression of homosexual feelings, and sexual repression in general, leading to severe guilt and sin complexes which can cause immense psychological trauma, © cognitive laziness and diminishment in personal introspection and critical thinking, (d) feelings of insignificance and worthlessness and the trivialization of individuality, disempowerment and feelings of loss of control in one’s own life, and (e) intolerance, hatred, violence, and separatist attitudes towards people of other creeds and religions.
A final point, (f) may be stated thus: as a society, we are quick to point out the dangers of esoteric cults and religious factions, but the psychological manipulation used in widely-accepted Christianity is usually overlooked. Upon closer examination we find that Christianity uses many of the same methods as “cults” to persuade people into its flock and influence their behavior and lifestyle. These methods include recruiting people through fear and by taking advantage of their insecurities, promulgating false propaganda about other religions and their followers, group pressure, and brainwashing.
Granted, the most which can be determined with science about the negative psychological effects of Christianity are correlations between certain attitudes, behaviors, and symptoms and the act of ascribing to the Christian faith. Nevertheless, I postulate that while Christianity may not be the direct cause of every attitude and dysfunction just mentioned, it certainly contributes largely to, and acts as an excuse for, such attitudes. This having been said, let us examine each of these six factors in detail.
a) Patriarchy “… it’s all relative to the size of your steeple.” ~Marilyn Manson
To understand how Christianity disempowers and subjugates women, it is helpful to understand a bit of religious history. The crucifix was a used as a religious symbol long before the birth of Christ. It was used in many pagan religions as a phallic symbol of power and virility. The difference between its underlying connotations in ancient religions versus Christianity was that in pagan religions it was combined with a circle which represented the equal female powers of wisdom and fertility. The icon, commonly known as the Celtic Cross, united male and female, heaven and earth. In Christian ideology, the feminine aspect is lost, and the male is given supreme and solitary power.
This corrupted symbolism has led to the development of some dangerous and unbalanced attitudes. Where God serves as the Father in Heaven, the man in the Christian family serves as the source of authority while the role of the women is “to be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed” (Titus 2:5).
The effects of such an attitude are evidenced in the high use of Valium by housewives in the 50’s when society most openly promoted this view. Despite advances in the women’s liberation movement, “disobedient” wives are still battered and abused by husbands in an alarmingly high percentage of American households.
Women’s reproductive rights have also been subject to control by the Christian patriarchy since ancient times. Another short examination of history shows us one such example. Beltane (sometimes spelled Beltain or Beltaine) was an important yearly ritual in various pagan cultures of Europe, in which men and women gathered in large celebrations and engaged in sexual relations with anonymous strangers. This practice was put to an end by Christian rulers under the guise of moralism, but the real reason the ritual was banned was that it took from men the ability to control or dictate their progency or bloodlines. This matriarchal system of family development was simply unacceptable to the Christian ego. And, of course, in modern times, various churches still try to dictate whether women should be allowed to have abortions or use various methods of birth control.
What are the results of such oppression? Exact figures are difficult to determine, but various studies have shown that, unsurprisingly, women living in conditions where such attitudes are prevalent seem more prone to damaging anxiety, depression, anger, and stress.
b) Sex and Sexuality "I do understand what love is, and that is one of the reasons I can never again be a Christian. Love is not self denial. Love is not blood and suffering. Love is not murdering your son to appease your own vanity. Love is not hatred or wrath, consigning billions of people to eternal torture because they have offended your ego or disobeyed your rules. Love is not obedience, conformity, or submission. That is a counterfeit love that is contingent upon authority, punishment, or reward. True love is respect and admiration, compassion and kindness, freely given by a healthy, unafraid human being." ~Dan Barker, "Losing Faith in Faith"
As one doctor recently noted in his article on the psychology of religion, “It is said that the two things that are most important to people are religion and sex. According to some psychologists one of the most common and most destructive elements in mental illness is guilt. Interestingly, religion and sex are often linked by guilt.” Indeed, while modern Christianity claims to be open-minded about sexuality, the image it really projects is that sex is sinful, dirty, and base.
The effects of such a negative view of sex are pronounced. Innumerable case studies have shown how sexual guilt has contributed to frigidity, impotence, personal insecurities, loss of feelings of sexual pleasure, and difficulties in relationships, among other symptoms. By repressing natural desires for sexual activity, and combined with its regime of male dominance, Christianity also nurtures the development of outbursts of sexual violence.
But perhaps even more pronounced than its effect on people’s attitudes towards sex in general is Christianity’s effect on people’s view towards homosexuality and homosexuals. It is no doubt difficult to be accepting of homosexuality when one’s holy book dictates that “Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is abomination.” (Leviticus 18:22). Despite psychologists’ findings that it is normal for even heterosexual people to feel some homosexual urges, and that same-sex parents do just as good a job at raising children as opposite-sex parents, Christianity nevertheless promotes that on a metaphysical level, there is still something wrong with homosexuality.
There exists an obvious and strong correlation between homophobia and Christianity. The Bible is full of quotes which, even if they were not originally intended as an attack on homosexuality, are certainly used as such by modern theologians. Consider the following passage: “Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God.” (Corinthians 6:8-9) Even if such passages do not cause homophobic attitudes, they are certainly used to reinforce such attitudes.
A stark example of this can be seen in the way Christian protestors acted at the funeral of Matthew Shepard, a young man murdered because he was gay. Evangelical Christians gave speeches about how Jesus could save gays from themselves, and outside, the dozens of news trucks sent images to the world of people bearing signs which read “No Fags in Heaven” and “No Tears for Queers”.
c) Cognitive Laziness "Believing is easier than thinking. Hence so many more believers than thinkers." ?Bruce Calvert
Human beings are, on a normal basis, cognitively lazy, meaning that they will generally process information and make decisions in the manner which requires the least amount of effort on their part. One of the things which occasionally hinders this easy process is cognitive dissonance, which occurs when two thought processes come into conflict, for example, a person who thinks they would look good in a certain leather coat, but is a vegetarian and doesn’t believe in harming animals. Cognitive dissonance is often the result of our morals or self-perceptions checking the actions we take. Certain things, like the consumption of alcohol, can significantly reduce cognitive dissonance in an individual, substituting for the justification or re- evaluation process we sometimes go through to work out cognitive dissonance.
I would argue that the blind faith espoused by Christianity acts in a similar way. Because logic is condemned as “a tool of the devil”, and because faith “transcends rational examination or questioning” (common arguments used by Christians in defense of blind faith), the need to rationally consider why one is feeling cognitive dissonance is removed.
This fact is especially dangerous when seen in context with the obedience to authority tendency revealed by Professor Milgram’s experiments in 1974. Milgram found that test subjects would obey figures of authority even when it involved, against the subject’s better judgement or wishes, apparently placing another human being in severe and debilitating pain. The subjects in Milgram’s tests felt cognitive dissonance when they carried out their assigned task, delivering (what they believed to be) powerful jolts of electricity to other people. But what happens when people blindly obey an authority and also obey this authority without feeling any hesitation due to cognitive dissonance being eliminated? The results have been evident in the centuries of bloodshed caused by followers of Christianity. The Bible praises Abraham for being willing to kill his own son merely because God commanded it. “Men,” points out Blaise Pascal, “never do evil so completely and cheerfully as when they do it from religious conviction.”
d) Disempowerment, Loss of the Self “Religious bondage shackles and debilitates the mind and unfits it for every noble enterprise.” ~James Madison, 4th President of the United States
In a variety of ways all organized monotheistic religion takes power out of the hands of the people who practice it. People are asked to place their faith in “the Lord’s mysterious ways” and subsequently fail to take matters into their own hands when action on their own part would be much more effective than waiting for divine intervention. Christian Science takes this to the extreme by teaching its followers to forego medical treatment by professionals since “God is the only doctor they need”. Consequently, followers of this practice often die as a result of easily preventable diseases, lending credence to the saying “Give a man a fish and he’ll be fed for a day; give a man religion, and he’ll starve to death praying for a fish”.
Further evidence of the way in which Christianity detriments people’s ability to accomplish things for themselves can be seen throughout history. Scientific and artistic advancements have been greatest in an inverse proportion to the times when the popularity and influence of Christianity have been the greatest. As one anonymous critic pointed out,
The Dark Ages was the direct result of the Christian ascension. The Dark Ages embodied better than any other period in time the manifestation of theocracy on Earth. Theocracy and Christian Living bring ignorance, disease and death. Christianity, when adopted by society, impedes progress and lowers standards of living.
In other words, Christianity is a stagnating force which saps from individuals the vital and creative energy needed to bring about positive change in society. Christianity also lends to a person’s feeling of insignificance and sabotages the importance of individuality by viewing members as merely part of a flock, as helpless children. In much the way that an employee of a large corporation is made to put aside his own wishes to follow the orders of his boss, Christians are told to put aside their personal goals and desires to follow the will of God, or rather of their preacher. Studies of employees of such companies have revealed that feelings of trivialization, unimportance, and low self-esteem were common, and in some cases led to antisocial behavior or even violence towards fellow workers.
It would not be a far stretch to imagine similar psychological problems developing in members of churches, particularly when one considers the Self-Perception Theory, which states that we, as people, don’t actually know ourselves all that well, and consequently tend to base our perceptions of ourselves on the actions we take. If we are constantly bowing down to and supplicating some god through prayer, it follows that we may begin to become the slaves we act like in church.
Worst of all, however, is that Christianity robs from its followers the very spiritual illumination which religion is supposed to offer. Church-goers are expected to take the Bible’s word on the working of the universe without any investigating on their own. Christianity used to involve some element of divine union, but the books including such practices were omitted from the Bible by political forces which recognized that spiritual gnosis was a threat to their power. Spiritually liberated individuals cannot be controlled with the means which are effective on an ignorant herd. Therefore, the one gnostic text which was allowed to remain in the Bible was the infamous Book of Revelations, mainly due to its apparent emphasis on fear of divine wrath.
A wide variety of mind-broadening spiritual practices have existed throughout time. The eastern practice of yoga and the western practice of ceremonial magic, so called, both contain simple instructions for control of the body, the breath, thoughts, passions, and emotions thus paving the way for revelation. Yet both are denounced in the most dire of terms by modern Christianity. Psychoactive compounds used for centuries in religious rituals have been banned in Christian-controlled countries around the world. All Christianity offers is the mostly ineffectual practice of prayer. Christianity has replaced contact with a higher power or reality (or at the very least a useful and beneficial expanded awareness) with a social ritual which offers nothing but arbitrary dogma to mindlessly follow.
e) Intolerance “Jesus, forgive your followers; they know not what they do.” ~prayer by a pagan high priestess on her way to being burned at the stake
One of the saddest things, in my opinion, about Christianity, is despite all the love and peace they claim to preach, what many people are actually taught is hatred and bigotry. Hatred is usually not a healthy emotion to harbor in oneself, as it sometimes manifests in violence towards oneself or others. Christianity teaches that other religions are false and evil, and for those unsure how to react to such teachings the Bible gives plenty of examples. “Do not I hate them, O LORD, that hate thee?” proclaims the book, “and am not I grieved with those that rise up against thee? I hate them with perfect hatred; I count them mine enemies.” (Psalms 139:22-23)
Teaching this sort of view to people unfamiliar with other religions is particularly dangerous because of the psychological phenomenon of anchoring and adjustment. This theory states that when forming attitudes, people place the most value on the first information they receive about a given subject, and that information learned later has much less influence. It is very hard to change or broaden views once they’ve been set in people’s minds. One cannot discount the negativity bias either, which states that people tend to place more emphasis on bad things they hear about people or groups than good things. So if people are hearing predominantly bad things about other religions, and they’re hearing these things first, it is not hard to see how many Christians over the years have developed a rigid intolerance for other faiths, even other denominations of their own faith.
f) The Cult of Modern Christianity “All national institutions of churches, whether Jewish, Christian, or Turkish, appear to me no other than human inventions, set up to terrify and enslave mankind, and monopolize power and profit.” ~Thomas Paine
In addition to contributing to a number of harmful psychological effects and attitudes, Christianity utilizes many of the same methods as esoteric cults to bring and keep people in its grasp. It often uses many of the often-stated objections to such cults (deception, emotional manipulation, isolation from former family and friends, and coercion, etc.) yet only recently have researchers linked the coercive persuasion used in cults to that used in accepted religions like Christianity.
It has already been discussed how Christianity, like small cults, uses false propaganda about other religious groups to sway people away from them. The portrayal of pagan religions is especially distorted. Pagan rituals are often described as involving human or animal sacrifices and sexual abuse, but even a cursory examination of modern Wicca or even the Church of Satan reveals that no such activities go on.
Another large factor linking Christianity to cult recruitment is its use of fear. Dr. Robert A. Morey, well-known Christian evangelist, in his (in)famous “Letter to Teenage Witches” states, “The occult has nothing to offer that compares with the love of Jesus. Turn to Him in repentance. Renounce your witchcraft and the works of the devil. Burn your magic books and smash your altars. Turn or burn. Repent or perish! Jesus is the answer.” Fear-based tactics are used to convert people of other religions, not only in the works of present-day Christians, but in the Bible itself, which says that the faithful will enjoy a happy afterlife, “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their place in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.” (Revelations 21:8)
Once brought into a congregation, church-goers are subjected to heavy group pressure to comply with the views and wishes of their sect (more so with some denomination than others). Participants are asked to donate their time and money to aid the church. As in other cults, they take part in group chants, mantras, and songs which reinforce their dedication to the church. Perhaps they and their fellow cult members aid some sort of charity out of an ego-inflating sense of pity (an emotion stemming from the learned belief that you are a pathetic, sinful slave, as opposed to compassion, which can only come from one who knows him or herself to be good and powerful; see Nietzsche’s Genealogy of Morality). Members who later on find themselves questioning why they’ve put all this time and effort into the church ultimately find some way of convincing themselves it was for a good cause. Freud discussed how the memory and ego can sometimes come into conflict with one another, and how the ego usually ends up winning to save a person embarrassment or shame. No one likes to admit they’ve been deluded into accepting something false.
There is a great deal of subtle brainwashing which occurs in institutional Christianity as well. Repeated exposure to certain sermons and stories leads people to buy into a schema where they see their god’s hand in everything around them, and begin to ignore or dismiss anything which might later disprove or discredit their view. This known as the Impression Perseverance Phenomenon. Instrumental conditioning rewards the faithful with promises of eternal happiness and punishes those who are outside the faith with threats of eternal damnation. It is a sort of Induced Compliance Paradigm which offers the illusion of free choice. When you consider that “…the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord” (Romans 6:23), however, it is not really much of a choice.
The psychological damage caused and aggravated by modern Christianity should now be apparent. Considering the harm Christianity seems to cause and the unethical methods used to convert people into its flock, it would seem that many more people would avoid it. Yet, as with all cults, it difficult to see the truth of one’s situation once one is inured into a system. In the time I spent with a certain youth aid group, I visited a religious drug rehabilitation home where the goal was to get people “off of heroin and on to Jesus!” Personally, I would rather be a junkie than addicted to the dogma of the church, for while drug addiction is a disease of the body and mind, it seems to me that Christianity is a disease of the soul.
Christianity always glorifies suffering, so maybe the trauma it subjects its believers to is meant as a lesson about the price to be paid for salvation in the afterlife. It is true that scientific methods cannot be used to prove that Christianity is metaphysically wrong; they can only demonstrate its inhumanity. Nevertheless, I do not believe it matters whether the Christian view of how the universe works is correct or not, for I will content to simply agree with Samuel Clemens, the American writer who had the wit and audacity to say, that if such a God exists, “then he is a malign thug.” I, for one, think humanity can live under much better conditions than the bondage and humiliation brought about by that imagined God and His Son.
I’ve always wondered: Why does the Vatican have lightning rods?
After limping across campus and up three flights of stairs, I’ve finally reached my room. Upon entering I drop into my chair with a groan and look over to my refrigerator. I consider mixing myself a stiff drink. It feels like someone’s broken a plank across my back. I get up and take stock of myself in the mirror. My hair is an unkempt mane and there are faint bruises around both of my eyes. The vodka in my refrigerator comes to mind again, but I decide a hot shower would feel better at this point.
Peeling off my sticky wrestling sweatshirt is somewhat difficult as my right arm doesn’t want to bend quite as far as it should, but I eventually manage. My forearms and biceps are marked with angry pink splotches where fists or feet were deflected away from my stomach or ribs at the last moment.
As I make my way to the shower, Aaron appears in the doorway at the end of the hall. I call a greeting to him and he grins. He is shirtless, and his lean torso shows the same telltale marks as my own.
“Hey, what’s up?” he calls, “I just wanted to say thanks again for bringing me.” “You liked it?” “It was incredible.” “Glad you had fun.” “Yeah, well just wanted to say thanks.” “Hey, no problem. So you think you’re gonna come again?” “Definitely.” “Right on. Alright, well I’ll see you around then.” “Cool. Talk to you later man.”
The shower eases the soreness in my muscles somewhat. As I flop down on my bed, I’m glad I skipped the drink. I am tired, aching, and utterly satisfied. Dulling the pain with alcohol would have ruined my reflection on another fulfilling night at Fight Club.
We started calling it Fight Club after the movie came out, but we’d been doing it long before then. Since middle school, a couple of friends and I would get together every so often and scrap it out, never because we were mad at each other, or really wanting to hurt anyone, but just to fool around, maybe test ourselves, even better ourselves. A couple of us knew some martial arts, and we taught each other what we knew: how to move, how to breathe, where to hit. We were just kids playing around, but it grew from there.
What is Fight Club about? Most obviously, it’s about fighting. On the physical plane, knowing how to fight is knowing how to defend yourself, working to be a master of your body and environment rather than their slave. We all understood this part. As the years went on and some of us became more serious about Fight Club, we began to understand a new level to it. As we got better at fighting with our fists we got better at fighting in other ways too. We looked around us and saw a generation of men and women who didn’t know how to fight anything at all. Most of them watched TV six hours and night and mindlessly worked another eight. We suddenly understood Malcolm X’s deeper meaning when he said, “It’s criminal not to teach a man to defend himself!” And we began a regime of intellectual defense against unjust authorities that now seemed a little less powerful and scary.
Here is a secret of Fight Club: you ought to know how to defend yourself, but you need to know how to defend your Self. The media has us worried about gang violence, city muggings, terrorism. These dangers are superficial compared to the corruption of who you are. Lose a limb and you are still the individual you were before. But give in to the conforming pressures of society, mass institutional religion, country, family… the purity of your unique essence becomes clouded and lost, and that is truly a tragedy.
If you are interested in starting a Fight Club of your own, you should come up with a simple set of rules like the following:
1. Don’t talk to the administration about Fight Club. They don’t like us and they seem to think we can’t take responsibility for our own actions. [The club I started was on a college campus.]
2. It’s fine to watch your first night to see what you might be getting into.
3. Fighters may lay down any rules or restrictions they’d like before they fight. The only house rule is common sense.
4. A fight can be as serious or as light as you want it to be, but “As brothers fight ye!”. Get as much as you can out of a fight without seriously injuring or permanently maiming your partner. Learn from one another.
5. A fight lasts until one of the fighters wants or needs to stop.
Decide how you want your own Fight Club to be run. If you want to just take it easy and tap one another, do that. If you want to be as hardcore as the people in the movie/book, well, go for it, but you may regret it. When you’ve begun to learn how to fight for yourself, consider how you can fight for others. I must give at least partial credit to Fight Club for giving me the courage to participate in several acts of civil disobedience where I risked violent opposition from which I would be more or less unable to defend myself, for in Fight Club I had unlearned the fear of pain.
Lastly, consider the proverb of the samurai that “a fighter is not a warrior unless he is also an artist”. If fighting emboldens you to the realization of your true status as a warrior-prince with a duty to awaken others to the same, realize that there are many ways to do this. The State would have us believe that anarchists are a bunch of crazies running around and throwing bombs, that anarchism is about Darwinian survival of the fittest. For anyone with eyes to see, however, it should be obvious that it is really the State throwing around the bombs and capitalism which is predatory and cruel.
Anarchists cooperate with one another because we recognize the absolute sovereignty of every individual. In your group, recognize that the skills of each person are valuable in some way. For personal liberation, yoga, magick, and psychedelics are all useful in addition to fighting. For liberating other, I advocate the use of agitprop, shock art, and meme guerilla warfare as described in Hakim Bey’s T.A.Z. Manifesto (full text available HERE) or DIY-IndyMedia as described in Gareth Branwyn’s Jamming the Media. Use what you have, and have fun with it. It is important to have fun as an anarchist, because the State keeps us under control partly by keeping us from having fun (Seriously! The “entertainment” they offer us isn’t fun, it’s boring and stupefying). But you can have fun with the State… there are security guard’s to play hide-and-seek with, vast miles of concrete canvases to paint, and hundreds of crumbling and abandoned corporate structures waiting to be turned into glorified club houses and fight arenas. The neon-painted sky’s the limit, so go get ‘em, comrade.
As a result of what passes for capitalism these days, 8% of the world’s population controls over half of the world’s material wealth. The idea that this systems rewards people who work hard is a farce. It rewards people who make a living from knowing and manipulating the insane bureaucracy which makes up our body of federal and state law. These people are known as lawyers. It rewards people who make a living from knowing and manipulating the insane bureaucracy which makes up the body of our economic system. These people are known as CEOs. It rewards those who take advantage of our meager health care and insurance programs to charge ridiculous prices for their often ineffectual services and goods. These are known as hospitals and pharmaceutical companies. It rewards those who utilize American tax dollars to exploit third-world countries. These are known as politicians.
People who work hard to make a useful contribution to our society– farmers, artisans, builders, scientists– struggle to maintain middle or lower class levels of living. Aside from the rare .com prodigy who makes an overnight fortune, the prospects for social advancement in our society are nil. Our economy is designed to make the rich richer, not give the poor a chance to become rich. The poor are allowed to vote between candidates from two parties, neither of which has their interests in mind, and political decisions are made by the rich. This is not a democracy, this is an aristocracy.
18 out of the 19 members of Bush’s Administration cabinet are millionaires. 7 of them are worth more than $10 million. That government policies are bought and sold by rich industrialists is evidenced by the way reactionary bills allow our big corporations to adhere to environmental standards far behind our counterparts in the democratic nations of Europe. Our military budget is so ridiculously huge because it is a major source of profit for several large corporations. Motorolla, for example, makes the microchip for our newest land mine, which evades traditional scanning methods and can blow up after counting, say, 20 people walking over it, making it damn hard to tell when an area has been safely cleaned up, and making the devices even more excellent than regular mines at killing and maiming innocent civilians long after a given armed conflict is over. Most nations in the U.N. have, by the way, signed a treaty banning the use of all land mines, period.
This illegitimate elite is rightly afraid that the rest of the world might not agree that the elite deserve that wealth if the world were to realize that the elite’s wealth was sequestered by placing personal profit ahead of human life and the life of this very planet. To keep mankind from realizing its natural rights, and to keep mankind from claiming those rights by its rightful means, the secret elite bought a staggeringly complex veil of media propaganda. It’s time to take a peek behind that veil.
America is, and has always been an evil empire. Our highschool history books tell us of America’s War for Independence from Britain. They tell us how the noble founding fathers created a new nation with a humanitarian constitution to protect the rights of all people and to ensure that the people’s will was enacted through a fair and democratic system. The truth is that the wealthy elite of America simply wanted a bigger slice of the pie, and used the lower classes to drive out their economic competitors from across the Atlantic. George Washington was the richest man in America, and the troops he led were mostly unwilling peasants, drafted while George’s rich friends paid to have substitutes fight for them. The lower class of America never wanted to fight in the revolution because the were not stupid, and realized they’d be dying to replace one tyranny with another. The American Revolution did economically benefit some lower Americans, the ones who agreed to lick the boots of the rich for a little land and influence. This group became the middle class, and served as a useful buffer between the rich and the poor for absorbing the angry violence of the dispossessed.
Since that time, the elite has given the middle class a few minor concessions from time to time to keep them hard at work chasing an illusory American Dream. To reproduce their means of production today, the elite must convince the middle class that it needs money to buy all sorts of useless shit. The elite has learned how to do this very well, but the fear of poverty is given as an additional incentive. The current economic system is set up so that there will always be a certain percentage of the American population that lives in third world conditions. As an abstract threat, poverty works quite well in keeping the middle-class in line. What the elite have learned over the years, however, was that this abstract threat occasionally becomes material in the form of uprisings and class riots. So over the past quarter of a century, the solution of the elite has been to neatly round up and secure the potential troublesome poverty-stricken members of society.
Consider that over the past 25 years, violent crime in the U.S. has remained approximately the same, yet the rate at which people have been incarcerated in this country has almost quadrupled. Only 25% of these have committed a violent crime, and while it costs more to send a person to prison for a year than to Harvard for a year, U.S. prisoners are also serving longer terms than in the past. Meanwhile, studies have shown that higher imprisonment rates do not lower crime rates. America, with 5% of the world’s population, has 25% of its prisoners. And not only are more people being locked up, but international human rights organizations have cited prisons in the U.S. for practicing psychological torture.
Into these hell-holes are thrown any dissidents the government can find any reasons at all to imprison. A prime example of how this system is used to crush anyone who dares question it is the case of Mumia Abu Jamal. Mumia Abu Jamal is an award winning journalist writing about the injustices of the criminal injustice system, an opponent of police brutality, and a prisoner on Death Row in Pennsylvania, convicted of killing a police officer.
December 9, 1981 Officer Daniel Faulkner pulled over a car driven by Mumia’s brother in down town Philadelphia. Mumia was driving his cab nearby, saw the incident, got out, and went towards Faulkner. It is unclear what happened next, but both Mumia and Faulkner were found shot, and Faulkner later died. Mumia was convicted and sentenced to death in 1982. So what’s the big deal? A darkie shot a cop and got busted. He’s getting what he deserves, right?
Maybe. Many people believe Mumia’s trial was set from the start to put Mumia down because of his outspoken political views and his former involvement in the Black Panther Party. For this, he has been under police surveillance since he was 15. The judge who heard his trial was elected with the support of the Fraternal Order of Police. Most black jurors were deliberately excluded from the trial. Witnesses who claimed they saw a third person running from the crime scene were not allowed to testify. Experts disagree about the caliber of the fatal bullet. The prosecution’s key witness was a police informant, and her testimony didn’t correspond with the trajectory of the bullet which struck Mumia. Mumia had an unwilling, court-appointed attorney and no funds for investigation or expert witnesses. The same judge heard Mumia’s appeal in 1995 and ruled all new evidence as unbelievable and irrelevant. Mumia’s prison, SCI Greene has 200 people on death row (85% African American) and recent Supreme Court decisions have made it harder to get a full federal hearing and easier to carry out the death penalty. All in all, a pretty sketchy situation. To learn more about this, visit www.mumia.org.
A few more random facts about our prison system:
- The incarceration rate for black people in the U.S. is approximately 8 times that of white people. * Black people are 4 times as likely to be arrested on drug charges as white people, even though the two groups use drugs at almost the same rate. * Penalties for the use of crack cocaine, a drug often used in poorer black communities, are much higher than penalties for the use of cocaine, a drug preferred in wealthier white communities. * In 1992 the incarceration rate for black people in the U.S. was 4.5 times as great as that for black people in South Africa. * There are more black men in prison today than are attending college.
The rich keep getting richer, middle class workers live pitiful and robotic lives, the poor starve, and anyone who does more than whimper in complaint gets thrown into a prison to be beaten and raped. Unplug yourself from the matrix and you will realize that this is not the inevitable outcome of human evolution, but the result of a irrational system held totteringly in place and given the illusion of stability through wrongly amassed wealth and power. This account of the way power and money really work in America has been short and somewhat rambling, but hopefully it gives some glimpse of the oppression to which the vast majority of American citizens are being subjected. I hope it inspires some readers to investigate further and take action, before we’re all nothing more than prisoners and slaves.
While the American Aristocracy is using the American population as cattle to feed from, what it is doing to the populations of Central and South America is far worse. The situation in the countries of Mexico and Colombia are given here as two examples of American foreign policy. For those shocked by the attack of 9-11, let it be known that the tenor of American foreign policy in the Middle East is the same as that discussed below. Read on, and find out why the world hates America.
While bombs rain over Al-Qaeda camps and nearby towns in the Middle east, various centers for US terrorism continue to operate smoothly here on American soil. One such center is known as the School of the Americas. Located at Fort Benning in Georgia, the SOA is part of the program where troops from other countries come to expand their soldierly skills. There is nothing inherently exceptional about this, as allied countries often send their troops-in-training abroad to learn new tactics and perspectives. What is special about the SOA is that there the American government trains troops from Mexico and South America in not only regular army skills, but in techniques for assassination, bombing, starvation, torture, and various terror tactics designed to keep indigenous populations under control. You see, there are these pesky revolutionaries down there that are demanding all sorts of unreasonable things like democracy and the return of their farming land, and their getting what they want just isn’t in the economic interests of several major U.S. corporations like Chiquita Banana and Chase Manhattan. Many U.S. corporations, in fact, have very lucrative financial arrangements with some of the countries south of us, and they don’t want to lose those arrangements because of a few oppressed peasants. So the land of freedom and liberty is supporting fascist dictatorships to make a quick buck.
Why haven’t you heard about this? Well, neither the corporate media nor state-run public education is likely to keep you informed of America’s dirty dealings with third-world nations. In fact, I recently heard a news broad-cast saying how happy the people of Mexico were to have access to the billion-dollar U.S. market. Somehow I don’t think a poll of Mexico’s oppressed civilians would support this view. That’s why a few intrepid souls have been risking their safety and freedom to get the word out. In 1990, 17 people gathered at the gates of the SOA in protest. Ten years later, 5,000 people crossed the line into Fort Benning in an act of non-violent civil disobedience in the hopes of gaining the public attention. Each of them bore a white cross on which was inscribed the name of someone who had been murdered or “disappeared” by graduates of the SOA.
The SOA has recently tried to clean up its image, changing its name to the “Western Hemisphere Institution for Security Cooperation,” on January 17, 2001. Don’t let this fool you; the same sorts of humans rights violations and atrocities are still going on. To learn more, visit the SOA Watch website.
The Zapatista Army of National Liberation is a guerilla organization which formed in response to the rights of indigenous peoples in southern Mexico being trampled in the name of greed. What started as a militant uprising has become an uneasy battle of words and public relations thanks to the ingenuity one of the Zapatistas’ mouthpieces to the world, the man known as Sub-Commandante Marcos. By using the Internet, Marcos has appealed to the global community to take notice of the injustices occurring in Chiapas and other parts of Mexico.
What makes the Zapatista movement different from previous revolutionary movements in Central America is that they do not hope to place one of their own in power, they simple wish to reclaim the basic rights guaranteed to their people in the Mexican Constitution. Through a system of direct democracy, though it is slow, the Zapatistas serve the interests of all the people of their home communities.
Though Mexico is, on paper, a democratic nation, candidates opposing the ruling party have a tendency to end up dead, and shady elections rarely seem to represent the will of the people. Their current president is a former executive of Coca-Cola who, we can imagine, hardly has in mind the interests of people trying to resist big business. And though Chiapas is, on paper, a wealthy city, housing several hydro-electric power plants which supply much of Mexico’s electricity, most of its residents live in squalid, third-world conditions. A privileged minority exploits a beleaguered populace. Thanks to the meddling of organizations like The World Trade Organization, the IMF, NAFTA, and FTAA (basically NAFTA on steroids) cheap U.S. corn has flooded into the area, destroying the indigenous peoples’ way of life. And the land which once belonged to these people has been given away to white ranchers, making readjustment impossible.
To learn more about this situation, visit www.zapatistas.org (how clever all these revolutionaries are, making their URLs so easy to remember) or read Shadows of Tender Fury, a compilation of communiques between Sub-Commandante Marcos, his superiors, and the world at large. And if you can find a copy of it, there exists a really excellent documentary film about what’s been happening, A Place Called Chiapas.
In Colombia, we find a situation even more desperate for the peasants than in Mexico. The troubles again started when NAFTA allowed cheap US corn to flood the area, putting large sectors of the rural population out of business. Starving and desperate, many of the natives (who had no say in the NAFTA decision) sold their land to US Corporations and members of the Colombian elite at a great personal loss, since inflation skyrocketed after the US dollar was introduced to the Colombian economy. While rich Colombian ranchers began to grow vast monoculture crops, sometimes genetically altered, and always treated with chemicals, to export at profit, US corporations began to systematically strip the remaining land of its natural resources.
A guerilla army formed among the peasants who had been robbed, and a militant resistance began. Penniless, the displaced peasants began to grow coca, as the only way to raise cash for their cause. They began to make small victories against government troops sent to suppress them and succeeded in reclaiming some of the land taken by the wealthy ranchers. For a time they were granted a demilitarized-zone of at least semi-tillable land, but after the ranchers organized a ultra-violent paramilitary group to join in the fight against them, the Colombian government took back the land it had granted the native peasants. And when the US stepped in, things really started to get bad.
As part of its “War on Drugs,” the US government decided it would be a good idea to start spraying herbicides over areas where coca fields were being grown in Colombia. The manufacture of the herbicide was contracted to Monsanto. For a brief aside, Monsanto is the company who, in the past, brought us such wonderful concoctions as Agent Orange, DDT, the ‘terminator’ gene, and genetically-altered pest-resistant food crops, all products of maliciousness, stupidity, and greed. The ‘terminator’ gene renders the seeds of altered plants sterile so that farmers can’t use them to replant next season. This innovation has no practical value whatsoever; it simply forces farmers to buy new seeds every year from the companies that make them. Pest-resistant crops kill pests that land on them, but they also kill useful insects like monarch butterflies, disrupting the food-chain. And since, in the plant kingdom, species interbreed like nobody’s business, it is altogether likely that the pest-resistant trait will eventually be passed on to wild plants. Anybody who’s taken elementary-level biology knows that almost all plants breed via the pollination by insects, and if that becomes impossible, we could be looking at a very serious environmental disaster. Clearly, Monsanto cares about profit, and not human life, which brings us back to their magical coca herbicide.
Monsanto claims that the herbicide they are using is harmless to humans, yet one of the chemicals in it is industrial-strength RoundUp (which Monsanto also produces). Now, as even ordinary household-grade RoundUp says right on the label that you shouldn’t spray it near water, this claim is already a bit curious. It is even more curious because Monsanto refuses to release to the public the rest of the ingredients in their coca herbicide. On-site evidence is the most damning, however, because since the spraying began, children and animals have started developing all sorts of new diseases which they never had before.
The process by which the spraying takes place is also horrendous. After spy satellites have detected a coca field, war planes fly over and drop a few three-ton bombs in the area to clear out any rebels who might be lurking nearby. Next, one of the 18 Black Hawk helicopters the US just donated to Colombia’s military flies over and guns down any rebels who might be left. The planes and helicopters are piloted either by Colombian military or by DynCorp, a mercenary group. While DynCorp is technically an independent organization, something like 95% of its contracts are to the Pentagon. The Pentagon finds them particularly useful because there is a quota limiting the number of US military personnel in Colombia. DynCorp, despite the high number of ex-military and ex-CIA types who make up its ranks, is a civilian organization, so US tax dollars can pay for as many of them to be in Colombia as our government wants.
The spray planes fly over next, using their “pin-point” targeting systems to eliminate coca crops. When local farmers complained that huge areas of legitimate subsistence crops were being sprayed as well, some delegates from the US came to investigate. To demonstrate their accuracy, the pilots managed to find a miraculously large and level piece of ground, which is relatively rare in Colombia’s mountainous countryside. Even under these perfect conditions, the pilots managed to fuck up, and ended up spraying the US representatives standing off to the side to observe. The representatives, healthy adults, developed painful skin rashes soon afterwards. But the spraying continues.
If the spraying is so bad, it must be having some very good effects to make it worthwhile, one would think, but in fact, the importation of coca from Colombia to the US has remained virtually the same since the process began. But perhaps this is because the spray planes never target the vast coca fields owned by the Colombian elite whose paramilitary groups help to fight the rebels. So the US is carrying out what basically amounts to chemical warfare against a civilian population that is rebelling against a system which robbed them of their lands and livelihoods. Why would the United States do this?
The United States would do this because Colombia, it turns out, sits over more oil than is to be found in the entire Persian Gulf. The United States would do this because several US oil companies are making millions pumping oil from South America to North America. The United States would do this because the major shareholder of one of the largest oil companies in Colombia is President George W. Bush.
The original agreement between America and Colombia was for 50% of the oil drilled to stay in Colombia. Now 30% stays in Colombia, and a deal is in the works to reduce this to only 5%. Similar arrangements exist for Colombia’s other natural resources like rubber, coffee, and cut flowers. Peasants who have banded together to sabotage oil lines to stop the rape of their country’s natural resources have been hunted down relentlessly, and when they have killed the ranchers who stole their land, entire villages have been massacred by graduates of the School of the Americas.
Since 9-11 there has been much talk about fighting terrorism. Lest anyone think me un-American, let it be said that I wholeheartedly agree with this idea. Instead of dropping bombs on civilians in other countries in the War on Terrorism, though, I think we as a nation need to shift our attention a little closer to home, for a candid examination of the facts reveals that the worst terrorist organization in the world is the United States government.
“The propaganda campaign about "Islamic fundamentalism" has its farcical elements???even putting aside the fact that US culture compares with Iran in its religious fundamentalism. The most extreme Islamic fundamentalist state in the world is the loyal US ally Saudi Arabia, or to be more precise, the family dictatorship that serves as the "Arab facade" behind which the US effectively controls the Arabian peninsula, to borrow the terms of British colonial rule. The West has no problems with Islamic fundamentalism there.” ~Noam Chomsky
The Declaration of Evolution by Dr. Timothy Leary, Ph.D.
When in the course of organic evolution it becomes obvious that a mutational process is inevitably dissolving the physical and neurological bonds which connect the members of one generation to the past and inevitably directing them to assume among the species of Earth the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and Nature’s God entitle them, a decent concern for the harmony of species requires that the causes of the mutation should be declared.
We hold these truths to be self evident:
That all species are created different but equal; That they are endowed, each one, with certain inalienable rights; That among them are Freedom to Live, Freedom to Grow, and Freedom to pursue Happiness in their own style; That to protect these God?given rights, social structures naturally emerge, basing their authority on the principles of love of God and respect for all forms of life; That whenever any form of government becomes destructive of life, liberty, and harmony, it is the organic duty of the young members of that species to mutate, to drop out, to initiate a new social structure, laying its foundations on such principles and organizing its power in such form as seems likely to produce the safety, happiness, and harmony of all sentient beings.
Genetic wisdom, indeed, suggests that social structures long established should not be discarded for frivolous reasons and transient causes. The ecstasy of mutation is equally balanced by the pain. Accordingly all experience shows that members of a species are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, rather than to discard the forms to which they are accustomed.
But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, all pursuing invariably the same destructive goals, threaten the very fabric of organic life and the serene harmony of the planet, it is the right, it is the organic duty to drop out of such morbid covenants and to evolve new loving social structures.
Such has been the patient sufferance of the freedom?loving peoples of this earth, and such is now the necessity which constrains us to form new systems of government.
The history of the white, menopausal, mendacious men now ruling the planet earth is a history of repeated violation of the harmonious laws of nature, all having the direct object of establishing a tyranny of the materialistic aging over the gentle, the peace?loving, the young, the colored. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to the judgement of generations to come.
These old, white rulers have maintained a continuous war against other species of life, enslaving and destroying at whim fowl, fish, animals and spreading a lethal carpet of concrete and metal over the soft body of earth. They have maintained as well a continual state of war among themselves and against the colored races, the freedom?loving, the gentle, the young. Genocide is their habit.
They have instituted artificial scarcities, denying peaceful folk the natural inheritance of earth’s abundance and God’s endowment.
They have glorified material values and degraded the spiritual.
They have claimed private, personal ownership of God’s land, driving by force of arms the gentle from passage on the earth.
In their greed they have erected artificial immigration and customs barriers, preventing the free movement of people.
In their lust for control they have set up systems of compulsory education to coerce the minds of the children and to destroy the wisdom and innocence of the playful young.
In their lust for power they have controlled all means of communication to prevent the free flow of ideas and to block loving exchanges among the gentle.
In their fear they have instituted great armies of secret police to spy upon the privacy of the pacific.
In their anger they have coerced the peaceful young against their will to join their armies and to wage murderous wars against the young and gentle of other countries.
In their greed they have made the manufacture and selling of weapons the basis of their economies.
For profit they have polluted the air, the rivers, the seas.
In their impotence they have glorified murder, violence, and unnatural sex in their mass media.
In their aging greed they have set up an economic system which favors age over youth.
They have in every way attempted to impose a robot uniformity and to crush variety, individuality, and independence of thought.
In their greed, they have instituted political systems which perpetuate rule by the aging and force youth to choose between plastic conformity or despairing alienation.
They have invaded privacy by illegal search, unwarranted arrest, and contemptuous harassment.
They have enlisted an army of informers.
In their greed they sponsor the consumption of deadly tars and sugars and employ cruel and unusual punishment of the possession of life?giving alkaloids and acids.
They never admit a mistake. They unceasingly trumpet the virtue of greed and war. In their advertising and in their manipulation of information they make a fetish out of blatant falsity and pious self?enhancement.
Their obvious errors only stimulate them to greater error and noisier self?approval.
They are bores. They hate beauty. They hate sex. They hate life.
We have warned them from time to time to their inequities and blindness. We have addressed every available appeal to their withered sense of righteousness. We have tried to make them laugh. We have prophesied in detail the terror they are perpetuating. But they have been deaf to the weeping of the poor, the anguish of the colored, the rocking mockery of the young, the warnings of their poets. Worshiping only force and money, they listen only to force and money. But we shall no longer talk in these grim tongues.
We must therefore acquiesce to genetic necessity, detach ourselves from their uncaring madness and hold them henceforth as we hold the rest of God’s creatures ? in harmony, life brothers, in their excess, menaces to life.
We, therefore, God-loving, peace-loving, life-loving, fun-loving men and women, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the Universe for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the name and by the Authority of all sentient beings who seek gently to evolve on this planet, solemnly publish and declare that we are free and independent, and that we are absolved from all Allegiance to the United States Government and all governments controlled by the menopausal, and that grouping ourselves into tribes of like-minded fellows, we claim full power to live and move on the land, obtain sustenance with our own hands and minds in the style which seems sacred and holy to us, and to do all Acts and Things which independent Freemen and Free women may of right do without infringing on the same rights of other species and groups to do their own thing.
And for the support of this Declaration of Evolution with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, and serenely confident of the approval of generations to come, in whose name we speak, do we now mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes, and our Sacred Honor.
An objection I’ve often heard about assertions of the beneficial uses of supranormal states of mind is that anything you learn from such experiences is ultimately invalid because the things you felt or perceived are not real. This is obviously a misleading assertion, since even “unreal” experiences may be beneficial, as one may learn something from a dream. The issue runs deeper than that though. To say that what one perceives while in such a state isn’t real ignores a fundamental fact of nature: nothing you perceive is real. What you perceive is an interpretation of reality which is useful for getting around in our everyday lives, but the phenomenal world we see is not the objective reality of the universe. If this sounds like acid-head-mystic nonsense to you, consider the following:
1. Everything you perceive is due to an electrochemical change in your brain. You only smell, taste, touch, see, and hear because your brain is interpreting the electrical data sent to it by your nerves. Being on a psychedelic substance, in a trance, etc. also causes an electrochemical change in your brain. This change may cause your brain to interpret the usual electrical signals in a new way, but this new way is no less valid than the old because:
2. Man’s senses, and the way they cause him to perceive the universe, are merely the product of evolution. Man sees the universe in a radically different way than a bee, a frog, an eagle, and so on, but in each case the information received is merely that which evolution has determined to be the most useful for the survival of that particular organism. Man’s range of sensoria is certainly not the most all-encompassing, even within the animal kingdom. In fact:
3. Modern science has shown that our perception of “things” as “solid matter” is inherently incorrect. From our normal vantage point we are merely unable to perceive that “solid matter” is a time-based illusion created by electrons cycling the nuclei of atoms so fast that they appear to be solid spheres, much as the blades of a fan seem to form a solid disc when in motion. (Actually, even this explanation is a much simplified version of what is going on. Electrons are only particles when examined from a certain perspective.) Further:
4. The famous physicist Neil Heisenberg has demonstrated with the method of science that any view taken of reality excludes the possibility of viewing another equally “real” aspect of the universe. His Uncertainty Principle shows that “…in the subatomic world, we can never know both the position and momentum of a particle with great accuracy. The better we know the position, the hazier will its momentum be and vice versa. We can decide to undertake a precise measurement of either of the two quantities, but then we will have to remain completely ignorant about the other one. It is important to realize that this limitation is not caused by the imperfection of our measuring techniques, but is a limitation of principle. If we decide to measure the particle’s position precisely, the particle simply does not have a well-defined momentum, and vice versa.” (From Capra’s The Tao of Physics… great book, you should read it sometime.) What this suggests, therefore, is that:
5. Everything we perceive is equally valid. Every occurrence in our phenomenal world is equally real to us, yet equally illusory when considered from the standpoint of the objective universe (the real world outside the matrix).
Great, well, now you can skip over Kant in your course of reading, but the question remains: what are the uses of altering your mind? The most obvious benefit is simple pleasure. Psychedelic drugs offer the responsible user pleasure and harm no one, and taking pleasure in an activity which harms none is something I fully endorse, even if it accomplishes nothing else. Remarkably, however, psychedelics do accomplish other things.
Scientists have discovered that every animal naturally seeks to alter its consciousness. Animals eat fermented fruit and children love to be spun until they’re dizzy. Our government tells us that we need to either suppress our natural inclination to alter our consciousness, or that we need to do it with alcohol, and neither of these is a healthy option. In contrast with the propaganda that the use of psychedelics lead to psychoses, their occasional use may actually stave off the development of neuroses which are the inevitable result of repressing natural instincts. People I know who have undergone the psychedelic experience certainly seem to have less fears and insecurities than those who have not. And far from being stupefying, the experience seems to have galvanized them into an even greater passion for life and learning.
Also, there is an obvious tactical advantage to be gained from viewing any situation from many angles. The temporary ego-loss phenomenon which can be experienced while in a psychedelic state allows the user to consider any problem without the interference of personal tendencies and biases. The narrow limits of one’s previous beliefs and prejudices about life are apt to become embarrassingly obvious from this vantage point. Quandaries which the rational intellect has been unable to unravel may be solved in a flash of intuition while in a psychedelic state, and artistic genius becomes much more readily available. Psychedelics will not make anyone into a great artist, but they may certainly help to unearth latent talent. People of any walk of life may find inspiration for taking their work in a new and fulfilling direction.
Such are but a few of the practical benefits of altering one’s consciousness via psychedelic drugs; many more await intelligent and intrepid explorers. Such benefits are also available from the ancient mind-altering practices of yoga and ceremonial magick, and thus I strongly encourage the development of proficiency in these areas as well. Yet both take months or years to make substantial progress in, and in the meantime, we are all in desperate need of a shortcut to unplugging ourselves from the machine which has imprisoned our minds.
A woman was riding on a train one day when she noticed a man seated across the aisle from her with a rather oddly shaped package. Curious, she asked, “Excuse me, sir, but if I may inquire… what is it you have in that strange box of yours?”
“Mongoose,” came his terse reply.
Somewhat taken aback, she nevertheless ventured to continue, “Why, whatever is a mongoose?”
“Eats snakes,” he answered. Then, seeing that she was still unsatisfied, he went on, “It is a present for my cousin. He sees snakes.”
The woman pondered this in confusion for a moment. She didn’t want to keep pestering her fellow passenger, but had to finally ask, “But, sir, those… they’re just imaginary snakes, right?”
“Well of course,” replied the man, “but this is an imaginary mongoose!”
“The contemporary World War on Drugs is nothing more nor less than the modern manifestation of the millennial struggle between state power and individual freedom; between the proselytizers of purely symbolic simulacra of religion ? propagandists of what Blake called ‘pale religious lechery’ ? and the practitioners of the real thing ? for religion is an experience, not merely a ‘social activity with mild ethical rules.’ This War on Drugs originally started as a War on Religious Experiences, and it is nothing new.” ~Jonathan Ott
For a long time, it seemed like the Puritans had lost their battle over the notion that only married people should have sex, and then only when absolutely necessary. Such ideas had simply become too outdated it, seemed. Yet once again, corrupt Christianity has reared its ugly head, today in the form of President Bush’s sexual morality campaign for teenage abstinence. Certainly health issues are of concern, but you can observe safer methods with many people as easily as with one. And more people would be more inclined to protect themselves all the time if we were taught to respect rather than loathe and be ashamed of our physical body and its normal biological functions.
So it will not be surprising if most people simply laugh at this reactionary attempt by a state official to push church doctrine, and go on having sex before they’re married. Even so, old and malicious restrictions on our sexuality still hold a powerful sway over many people’s attitudes towards sex. Many people feel like it’s alright to have sex outside of marriage, but certainly only with their devoted partner! People are expected to engage in some sort of mini-marriage before having sex with someone, or they are called sluts and players. Having sex with someone other than your mini?marriage partner is called cheating, and is considered a deceitful betrayal.
Maybe for some people, having a slowly developing monogamous relationship is really the thing to do. But is anonymous sex really evil? It has been denounced as alienating, and indeed anonymous sex has an alienating effect on some people. Yet this is hardly surprising considering our society’s prevailing negative attitudes towards sex. But it is not sex itself that alienates us from one another. Rather it is our society, with its plastic beauty molds and expectations of ideological conformity. Our society concedes our right to touch one another physically (in certain circumstances) but makes it impossible for us to touch one another emotional or spiritually… how could we share those parts of ourselves with one another when they’ve been plastered over with so many layers of cosmetics?
And why this limitation to just one partner? Look at the word ‘play’. It has come to mean something sleazy and dishonest. How warped this is from its true meaning of innocent fun and exploration. Why this idea of ownership of another person? Are we slaves? No! I say that we are kings and queens in our own right, coequals in the company of heaven. Let us cast our insecurities aside. Two shining stars may share their light for mutual benefit without either laying claim to the other. The word of Sin is RESTRICTION.
As a remedy to the backwards attitudes about sex that plague America, I propose the play party. A play party is basically an orgy with the aim of increasing the sexual liberty of its participants through exploration and experimentation. Even for a small group, this experience can be incredibly empowering and educational.
Participation in such event obviously requires a certain degree of maturity and responsibility, but equally important is adequate planning to ensure maximal safety and comfort for all. Hopefully the following hints and instructions will be helpful to those persons wishing to attempt this revolutionary act (true pleasure and joy are rebellion against the malaise and drudgery of the machine).
Once a suitable location has been found, the first question to consider is who to invite. For your first play party, you may wish to have a group of people who all know and trust one another. Slightly more adventuresome folks may wish to allow each member of the core group to invite one other person that the others may or may not know. Some sort of guidelines should be agreed upon, common sense things like respecting one another’s boundaries, and allowances that nothing is expected of anyone, and that it should even be fine if some people just want to watch. One very important condition to establish is protection. At an event like this, the only sensible route is to demand that everyone use condoms and dental dams and latex gloves for any sort of genital or anal contact, even between partners who don’t usually use such protection. Things like the use of non-lubricated condoms for oral sex or the use of latex gloves may seem to some people like a bit of overkill, but it is important to stress the need for added precautions in a situation like this.
Things to have on hand at a party like this are: lots of safer sex supplies of various sorts (obviously), a waste basket for used supplies, a variety of non-alcoholic beverages, a variety of snack food or finger foods (pot lucks are nice) to be set off to one side of the main playing area, and some towels. Some people may also wish to bring various sex toys. If they wish to allow other people to use these, it is important that they instruct them in their proper and safe usage (especially in the case of things like floggers, etc). Things not to bring are alcohol and drugs. They point of a play party is not to just get all fucked up and do whatever. The point of a play party is for those involved to conscientiously explore and/or expand their sexual identities. If someone doesn’t have the courage to do this with a level head, a play party is not the place to do it.
When everyone is assembled for the party, a good way to get started is to have a check-in with everyone so that they can let the group know where they’re at and what they’re hoping for. It can be as simple as: “Hi, I’m John. I’m mostly straight, but I’ve been kind of curious to fool around with a boy a little and see what that’s like.” or “Hi, I’m Jane and I’m bisexual, and I’m interested in learning about bondage if anyone knows anything about it.” or “Hi, I’m Julie and I guess I’m straight and I’m a little nervous about this because I’m pretty self-conscious about being naked in front of anyone. I’ve never been naked in front of a lot of people before, so maybe I’ll just be naked, and watch for a while.” Concise is good, but anyone with any questions or concerns should be given all the time they need to speak.
Really, the mechanics of a play party are pretty simple, the hard part is pushing yourself and others to evolve as human beings so that you are able to actually carry it out. These instructions have been fairly simple, but with them in mind, creative persons have a tool for exploring deep into hidden corners of the human psyche and emerging with compassion for others and knowledge for oneself.
Some terms to know and explore at a play party:
bio-boy: someone who is biologically male by birth (see transgendered, q.v.)
bio-girl: someone who is biologically female by birth (see transgendered, q.v.)
BDSM: short for bondage, domination, sadism, and masochism, practices which can lead to considerably altered states of consciousness
bisexual: someone attracted to both men and women
bondage: restraining a consenting partner via ropes, handcuffs, or other implements; this can be a somewhat dangerous activity and should not be attempted by someone who has not read about it or received instruction from a knowledgeable friend
bottom: person taking the submissive role in BDSM play
cane: a straight rod used for beating someone in SM play
domination: the act of ordering or commanding a consensual partner
fetish: something out of the ordinary which one finds sexually stimulating
flogger: a short whip, often with multiple tails, used for beating someone in SM play
heteroflexible: someone who is under ordinary circumstances attracted only to members of the opposite sex, but who is occasionally attracted to members of his or her own sex; this category makes up a much larger percentage of the population than would like to admit it, despite it being entirely healthy
masochism: deriving pleasure from pain; SM play can be dangerous and should only be attempted by knowledgeable and experienced persons
paddle: another basic SM toy
polyamory: the practice of having multiple sexual partners who are aware of one another’s roles and are accepting of such. All partners involved need not be involved with all others- A, B, and C may all be lovers, or A may be B’s lover, and B may be C’s lover, but A may not be C’s lover.
sadism: deriving pleasure from inflicting pain on another
top: person taking the dominant role in BDSM play, also used as a verb: to engage in taking the dominant role in BDSM play
transgendered: someone who was born one sex, but identifies psychologically with the other. A transgendered person sometimes takes hormones or undergoes surgical operations to alter him or herself physically, sometimes they are simply transvestites (q.v.), sometimes neither.
transvestite: someone who dresses in the manner typical of the opposite sex; transvestites can be, but are not necessarily, gay or transgendered people
trysexual: someone who’s willing to try anything sexual at least once
h2. The Promised Land
O you filthy, huddled masses,
cowering in the shadow of the
Statue of Liberally Boning Third World Nations
obscuring with the blinding torch of bureaucracy
the small print on the
book of the rights of the digital divine,
O you wretched amalgam from far off lands:
A Blatha Abeu Ebeu Phi–
Did you know that the US Government regulations
on the sale of cabbage
is 26,911 words?
I bet you didn’t,
stumbling through the electronic dreamworld
of MTV, Playstation2, and five-way multi-disk stereos;
choked by a placebo for religious experience,
dumbed, numbed, and stunned by media warnings of Islamic Fundamentalist Terrorists
Ar Thiao Rheibet Atheleberseth!
can’t you see the real threat?
Welcome to AOHELL
Marked, scorned, arrested, tallied–
just for attending a protest rally!
permission to walk, permission to sit,
permission to work, permission to shit;
encouraged to drink
encouraged to smoke
forbidden to swim
forbidden to toke;
close the gap
don’t buy Jap
4th of July- hooray, hooray!
but remember Kent State?
fuckers red white and blew them away
No, too easy
and to formulate into
orthodox, upstanding, clean-shaven,
beer guzzlin’, flag-wavin’,
Thiasoe Ib Thiao
the hell with you and your
scrambling, desperate greed
I spit on your crapulous creeds.
But I know there are some
who jive with my rhythm
I’ve got an idea
to form a great schism
all you daring and willing and knowing young men
and women and children
and others who ken
that it’s time to wake up from the American Dream
come hither, my friends, and here out my scheme
we’ll leave them behind
and head to the promised land
where we can march to the drum
of an entirely different band
The promised land– what’s that? you ask
getting there sounds quite the task
yes, the problems are thick and keep getting thicker,
but hold onto you hats, ‘cause here’s the
in the promised land
things like space and time
dissolve: so here and now
I end my rhyme
journey to the promised land:
worth taking or not?
debate rages in social-sexual cortex
news at 11
take a guided tryp,
see the sights:
ride the crowned and conquering undercurrent
aboard the bornless one
Ieou Pur Iou Pur Iaot Ieou Ioou
Abrasar Sabriam Do Uu Adonaie
Angelos ton Theon
Aniaia Lai Gaia Ape
I invoke Thee, Bornless One!
in the streets:
bodhi-sativas, sidereal pilgrims, psychonauts,
ravers in shamanic dopamine ectasy
supraliminal light paterns
grasping and scratching at
the border between Leary’s 5th-circuit hedonic rapture
and the non-Euclidean void beyond;
on our left dorothy rides the wind
“see you auntie, see you auntie!”
on our right
mobius strip drag racing with Shiva.
there’s Krishna in his Smurf abode
and straight ahead, please note:
you can do anything that thou wilt
in aleister’s restaurant
then, out of the city
through the tangled underbrush of the ego
a quantum leap
off the precipice of Heisenberg’s Uncertainty Principle
down into the surging sea of the cerebellum
pushed by pranayamic pressure
to the metaprogramming port
at LS eyelanD
take a shock like a TAZer
the joy of dissolution is your reward and
Rhoubriao Mariodam Balbnabaoth
Assalonai Aphniao I
I, open your I!
has it been enough?
don’t be afraid, come:
come together to the promised land
from the land of here and there and because and before,
(break on through
as it’s sung by The Doors)
leave them behind for the promised land
it’s your birthright and death rite
take my hand
h2. Further Resources
Snow Crash by Neal Stephenson -a brilliant cyber-punk novel that is many things: a satire of modern America, an exposition on meme warfare, a myth both ancient and new, and a fast-paced thriller
Neuromancer by William Gibson -the book that made the father of cyber-punk and Internet visionary famous
Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll -along with its sequel, an amusing allegory, particularly informative for those familiar with Qabalah
The Illuminatus! Triology by Robert Anton Wilson and Robert Shea -sex, drugs, rock&roll, quantum mechanics, magick, and conspiracy theory in a hilarious novel which starts out from a mind-bending god-like point of narration
Naked Lunch by William Burroughs -a wonderful mindfuck full of secrets
Finnegan’s Wake by James Joyce -another novel that challenges all expectations of what a novel should be
Jitterbug Perfume by Tom Robbins -a witty, raunchy novel whose cast of characters include the god Pan and a thinly-veiled Timothy Leary persona
The Invisibles by Grant Morrison -a revolutionary metaprogramming experience cleverly disguised as a comic book series
The Sandman by Neil Gaiman -another comic book series which forms a delightful and sometimes even insightful myth
The Matrix -the modern allegory of social and spiritual ®evolution
Star Wars -a classic mythic tale
Dark City -both fine allegories of breaking out of an artificial and controlling Spectacle
Fight Club -poetic terrorism and social liberation
American Beauty -a simple and truthful film
Pi -chaos, qabalah, and the greedy manipulations of religious and social institutions
Three Kings -accurately portrays the US not giving a fuck about oppressed and displaced refugees in Kuwait during the Persian Gulf War
Chomsky’s Politics by Milan Rai -a great introduction to the otherwise difficult-to-approach work of one of this century’s greatest geniuses, and incidentally, anarchists
A People’s History of the United States by Howard Zinn -some tidbits that usually get left out of most history books
The World’s Religions by Ninian Smart -an impressive overview of the world’s various major belief-systems, leading one to realize that beliefs are only what we’ve been taught and not necessarily the truth
The Ego And Its Own by Max Stirner -a classic of anarchism
People Without Government by Harold Barclay -an anthropology of societies that have existed (yes, they have existed!) over the ages without governmental structures
SACRED TEXTS -a huge library of religious scriptures including often-overlooked ones from dis-organized, self-empowering, anti-authoritarian religions like Discordianism’s Principia Discordia and Thelema’s Book of the Law
INDYMEDIA -real news that you’ll find little or no mention of in the corporate media
ANARCHYFAQ -the domain names say it all
EROWIND -basic facts about any drugs you might want to try, and some advice on how to use them wisely and productively
Book 4: Parts I-IV by Aleister Crowley -99% of the fluffy new age wicca crap that’s come out in the past 50 years is a very sad degeneration of Crowley’s system. If you’re interested in learning to control and transform yourself, or in magick as a system of serious spiritual development, this is the place to start looking. Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law.
Prometheus Rising by Robert Anton Wilson -though it must be taken with a large grain of salt, a useful text which draws from Crowley and Timothy Leary’s metaprogramming practices and model of consciousnessLiber Null and Psychonaut by Peter Carroll -sometimes useful, sometimes frivolous, nevertheless a classic of the Chaos Magick school, which is the offspring of Crowley’s skeptical Scientific Illuminism and Austin Osman Spare’s Zos Kia Cultus
any and all essays by Hakim Bey -escaping the consume/produce cycle of death through Immediatism, poetic terrorism, ontological anarchy, and the creation of temporary autonomous zones Jamming the Media by George Branwyn -using the machine against itself
RUCKUS SOCIETY -gems of information for non-violent civil disobedience
TURNPOINT -counter-information ads concerning major issues of the new millennium
THE RAINFORESTSITE -along with its related sites, you can make a tiny difference each day in just a minute
WITNESS FOR PEACE -socially conscious travel