Behind the Bastards

There’s a reason the History Channel has produced hundreds of documentaries about Hitler but only a few about Dwight D. Eisenhower. Bad guys (and gals) are eternally fascinating. Behind the Bastards dives in past the Cliffs Notes of the worst humans in history and exposes the bizarre realities of their lives. Listeners will learn about the young adult novels that helped Hitler form his monstrous ideology, the founder of Blackwater’s insane quest to build his own Air Force, the bizarre lives of the sons and daughters of dictators and Saddam Hussein’s side career as a trashy romance novelist.

Part Six: A Complete History of the Illuminati

Part Six: A Complete History of the Illuminati

Thu, 09 Mar 2023 11:00

The Epic story of the Illuminati concludes with some, admittedly, messed up stuff.

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Cheers to the any times, any reasons, and the anything in between. Starbucks delivery now available on DoorDash. Menu limited, see the DoorDash app for details. Tap the banner to order now. Welcome back to the conspiracy cast with Robert Evans, where every week I try to put irresponsibly out something that sends a chunk of our listeners down a very dark road. Margaret, you were just telling us all that you've been snowed in recently? Yeah. Why don't you talk to me about that just a little bit? Okay, it's snows, I live early, I can only, I can get out with my, you know, giant pickup truck or whatever, but the mail can't cut up the driveway. The gravel road. So you were, you know, what happens when there's so much snow that it's difficult to leave your house? How would you describe that state of affairs? I love it, I'm a prepper, my house is completely self-destining. Even if the power goes out, I like. Yeah, Margaret, is it true that you secretly were in the United States military and stole government documents? Oh, I'm snowed in. That took a lot of setup that was mostly failure, but I know it was all work that in the end. Was it really? Yep, it sure was. I was surprised that you're sticking to these like low level. I mean, that stuff you were just saying is true, but I'm surprised that you haven't gotten into the real conspiracy about how gold is actually corrosive and it destroys your brain if you're near large quantities of it. Wow, Margaret, I mean, what's the responsible thing to do then with all of your gold if you have it and you can feel it impacting your brain? Robert, you should bury your gold. I think that's too dangerous. I think people need to send their gold to our PO box and are specially trained, our O-mancers will decontaminate the gold and find a safe place to bury it. We'll put the mightest touch. That's right. We have to get all the last bits in and out before it ends. That's right. Speaking of ending, it's about to be the end of Kerry's life, not a particularly long life, but the exception of Bob Wilson, none of the most prominent early discordians live crazy long lives. A couple of them that are going to be the most prominent early discordians. There's a lot of guys. James still bouncing around down in Texas after fighting that mummy. He's kind of like the last years of his life. He spends rambling throughout the South and making zines in Atlanta's little five points neighborhood. One of the ways he gets by, he never really makes a profit at it. If you send him a dollar, he will send you a bunch of random wall newspapers. If you send him a letter saying, I don't have any money, he'll also send you a bunch of random wall newspapers. If you send Kerry either currency or anything else, he'll send you a bunch of his zines. He's kind of able to maintain a marginal living by doing that. That's what we do. But with gold, if you send us gold, we will either send you a zine or not. If you send us gold, we will either send you a zine or not. Yeah. One of those two things will happen. If you later encounter a zine in a bar or something, just assume that was us too. That way, if you don't receive anything, you won't feel ripped off. The other thing that happens in this is that all these kind of punk kids are coagulating in little five points because it's a place you can get by without having a very regular income. There's not a lot of attention from the local government on that part of town yet. All of these people, particularly a lot of young punk ladies, find Kerry and adopt him as a guru. That feels like a physician. Yes. There are some problems with this. These young women who call themselves the Thorn Leets. That's not good for Kerry. That's not the thing with this guy's brain needs. Now, again, Kerry never seeks treatment or help in any meaningful way. And his conspiratorial beliefs continue to evolve. This starts with kind of his anger at his ex-wife, but it eventually he becomes convinced that both her and every woman that he has ever slept with, like every woman who approaches him, who hits on him, are all part of a conspiracy. They're all Nazis who were secretly sent over to the United States to have sex with them. And breed a future führer. Oh, no. He is just fully fallen into his own whole that he dug. That's actually very sad, but it is also kind of funny. Like the kid on TikTok. There's a kid on TikTok who's like a fan fiction kid who does some sort of part of nerd culture I'm not familiar with. But he has convinced himself that he's the reincarnation of Adolf Hitler and has gotten a nose piercing that when his hair is styled a certain way, he looks kind of like, honestly, not a bad resemblance. And I'm going to be, again, totally fair. If Hitler was reincarnated, that's exactly the kind of person he'd be in 2023. I bet his dad knows that. Robert. Oh, yeah. Robert can't take all the blame for that one. No, no. I get it. Get ready for the six part series on twink Hitler. Oh, I that's that's going to be more than six parts, Garrison. Behind the twinkler, we're just launching a new weekly. Oh, God, keep, keep it up with him. So one thing that seems undeniable is that Carrie's belief in a conspiracy behind the JFK SS and Asian only deepened with time. Um, he came to be convinced that he was a central part of the plot. And one of his last public appearances was in 1992 on a TV show called A Current Affair. We're going to play a segment from this. Let's just let's just watch this incredible piece of 1990s television, uh, starring our friend, Carrie Thorneley. She emerges from the shadows, grim shadows that have cast a pull over a man with a frightening secret, a terrible post. I wanted to shoot him. I wanted to assassinate him very much. You have just seen and heard a man called Carrie Thorneley who used the exotic background of New Orleans as his headquarters for a deranged plot to assassinate President John F. Kennedy. His wife and regret, his good friend and marine buddy, Lehigh V. Oswald, got there before him. In fact, he was so close to Oswald that he even wrote a book about him before the assassination. Now, Jen, listen to the words of Carrie Thorneley and Shada. I wanted you to get, I would have shot him myself. I would have stood there with the rifle and pulled the trigger by the head of the tent. Carrie Thorneley talked for the first time in history about the Iblius competition imaginable. I raised the kill President Kennedy. And Thoreny wants the world to know he tried his heart. I told the secret service, I said the only reason I didn't kill him was because I wasn't in the right place at the right time with the gun. The world met Carrie Thorneley in 1964. So, you see what's happened here at number one, Carrie. It's moved on from like, you know, I was mind-controlled to like, I had my own plan to kill Kennedy. And I was like fighting with Oswald to pull it off. But what's really happening here more than anything is that these like sleazy daytime TV fucks are using a very sick man in order to make content. And like, this is mustache. They stole this mustache. He does have like an amish beard, do. But that's pretty messed up. And these, they're like framing all of this almost like an episode of like unsolved mysteries in between as they cut through to like this footage of Carrie walking down like a dark and street and everything. It's pretty exploitative. But yeah, that's kind of like the last big public thing that Carrie does. I'm not one for conspiracy theories. It is kind of sad. You know, one for conspiracies, but from just in order to be perfectly responsible, I do think I need to show you both the logo for the show that he has his last appearance on. Oh, it's a pyramid. It's a pyramid. Yeah, there's a pyramid directly behind the current affair logo. So interesting. Interesting. What year was this? This is 1992. This is a year after he published a Zenarchy, which is kind of one of one of your weirdly long lasting text that he wrote towards the end of his life. Yeah. And yeah, that's that's kind of his last like TV type appearance. Although I think the last appearance he actually makes is right before he passes on. He dies in 98. A bunch of because discordians were some of the very first people on the internet. Like, use net days and like there were a bunch of different kind of fan websites to Thornley and Bob Anton Wilson and all of these other guys. And one of them gets him and like sits down with him and conducts a live chat session interview where a bunch of discordians around the world are able to like ask him questions. And I think it's one of the first times anyone had done this. This is the late 1990s. So there's not a lot of people who beat him to that sort of thing that is now like the language through which fandoms are conducted. Which is also interesting. I was I was a terminally online in the late 90s. And I was telling Garrison about this that I was a lot of overlap with them. Discordian and especially like church of subgenius and all of these sorts of things. And so just like that just really tracks to me and it was like these like slightly older people who were like the cool weirdos on the internet that I was like, well look at these cool weirdos on the internet. And I would go on IRC chat and like, yeah, meet all these discordians. Now, unfortunately, Carrie in the state that he's in is not taking. He's not like visiting a doctor regularly and he also just doesn't have access to particularly good health care. And this becomes particularly a problem when he gets evicted by the city. They kind of like come in and clean house and little five points and kick out a lot of like the crusty radicals. And so he and a bunch of these kids all wind up sleeping in a very specific forest in Atlanta where he gets sick and is eventually hospitalized and dies. That happens in November of 1998. He is 60 years old when this occurs. And yeah, I think that's interesting. And is that the specific forest that is now being turned into cops city? As far as I can tell, yeah, I mean, it's right outside of little five points. If you have more details on that, I could probably confirm that. If you have not found them, but I, yeah, it's worth looking into. Because it is the Muloney forest is just like a few miles directly south from little five points. There is a road that connects you straight from from little five points to that section of the forest in the late 80s. That would have been right after the city shut down that area of forest that operated as a prison farm. So that would have been it kind of entered its first stage of like not really being used for anything for the next like 20, 20 years or so. Yeah. Yeah. It's not a kind of thing I know exactly. They just say like the forest kind of near little five points, but interesting. Yeah. It's kind of one of the last places he spends any time. So he's actually still living. I'm sorry. This all made me a conspiracy thing. It's too much fun. So he's still living under the forest and I don't know where to go from there. If only. Obviously, he is not a man who had an easy life. The high-discordian leaders did not in general have easy lives. Greg Hill, as we've said, kind of collapses mentally after his divorce from his wife. He gets a job. He eventually becomes a like upper mid-level executive at Bank of America. Oh, that's such a bummer. Well, yeah. It's even better than that because he will work as a bank executive during the day. And then for the rest of his life, he just comes home. He does not interact with anyone and he drinks himself to death. He drinks himself to death like it's a job. Yeah. And that is that is how Greg Hill leaves the world. Robert Anton Wilson lives the longest of the guys we've been talking about into the early 2000s. He is a much healthier person. There are some like criticisms of him. He kind of he has some like very specific critiques of feminism that I think some people have uncharitably compared to being an early men's rights advocate. That's not actually what I mean from one thing his wife was a fairly influential feminist activist in her day. He had a lot of specific issues with specific things certain feminists were saying that he criticized but was not like anti woman in any particular way. Now he is he is a guy in whose writing shit in the 60s and 70s, which is over. Right. Right. Like there's some misogyny you can find in his early stuff. He's an editor from playboy. Yeah. Yeah. At the time when a lot of the feminism is specifically anti porn also. Yeah. Yeah. He is someone who changes over time and nothing that I've seen of his is like like hateful you know like he's not like a cruel or a violent person. You just you know if you if you go in and read a bunch of his stuff you'll find some stuff that doesn't age well and some stuff that you disagree with. Yeah. Which is going to be the case with everybody who thought of things that were interesting at any point in history. Not me. Not not not Margaret. I feel secure in my work actually. Yeah. Yeah. And not me. You can find Maya. It's actually kind of a sequel to Zenanarchy. It's called put the lead back in the gas tanks. Come off. Fuck them kids. And it's sort of my manifesto. And I think really people are going to get a lot of good out of that. I also think bicycle helmet should be illegal. You know check that book out. Follow my five pillars of making sure children don't graduate school at accelerated rates. All good stuff. School's on speed limit should be 55 miles an hour. It's interesting because as we're kind of discussing like the the end of the lives of these people. A few years before of a few years before Greg Hill died. He gave an interview to Lume Pannex. Yeah. He Lume Pannex was a publisher for both weird left wing and right wing as Oterraka. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. He talked about how like his pen name Maliklips the younger he described it as like a spirit that like entered him. And he was he was he was he was he was he was he was he was he was like channel writing through through the spirit, which is why he credited the work to to this to to this entity. But he also says that like that the entity kind of left him once. Yeah. Once. Principia was done writing. He kind of like it left and like that. Yeah. Part of him is like it like disappeared over time. We'll actually talk a little bit more about that in a second. I've got a good from him. You'll find interesting. Oh awkward interjection. Robert forgot to do the ad break back when he was supposed to. So we're editing this in crudely probably in the middle of a sentence being spoken by garrison and will probably come back from this ad break mid sentence spoken by garrison. Just just to fuck with him. This show was sponsored by better help. Life is a process of learning more things about yourself. For example, I recently learned that reading about terrible people all the time can sometimes make you sad. And when you're sad, it helps to talk to people. If you think you might need to talk to someone therapy is a great way to do that. It's all about deepening your self awareness and understanding because sometimes you don't know what you want or why you react the way you do until you talk through things with an objective observer. So if you're thinking about starting therapy, better help might be a good option for you. It's entirely online. It's designed to be convenient, flexible and suited to your schedule. Just fill out a brief questionnaire to get matched with a licensed therapist. For your potential with better help, visit slash behind today to get 10% off your first month. That's better help slash behind. If saving more and spending less is one of your top goals for 2023, why are you still paying insane amounts of money every month for your phone bill? Watching to Mint Mobile is the easiest way to save this year. 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We take you to the events, times and people that shaped America and Americans. Our values, our struggles and our dreams. In our latest series, a disgraced Aaron Burr conspires to break off America's Western frontier and found a new independent nation with himself as Emperor. When President Thomas Jefferson discovers the scheme, Burr becomes the highest ranking official in US history ever to be charged with treason. Follow American History Tellers wherever you get your podcasts and you can listen and free on the Amazon Music or Wonder App. But yeah, Bob Wilson is the guy who kind of lives the longest and he, you know, the last years of his life are racked with pain due to post polio syndrome. But he remains extremely productive and the thing that he has that I don't think really any of the others had, particularly not Hillin Thorneley. Bob Wilson is a weirdo. He's into all this esoteric shit. He's also a professional, like a professional writer who writes for a massive publication. He knows how to package ideas in ways to get a lot of people to pay attention to them. And so it's Bob Wilson, it's his work that's going to kind of bring discordianism to its widest audience and also have the biggest long term cultural impact in mainstream conceptions of the Illuminati. Because that's the thing that Wilson does the most, that Wilson's work does the most. In 1975, Robert Anton Wilson and Robert Shea, his fellow editor at Playboy, start to publish a series of three novels, eventually known as the Illuminatus Trilogy. The book is a very weird piece of fiction. One of the things they're doing during this is like every chapter basically they switch off. And so they were kind of trying to write each other every chapter into a corner that the other couldn't get out of. So it is an asshole. It's not structured the way most books are. The foundational premise is that all conspiracy theories, even the conflicting ones are true. And the history of the world is largely determined by a secret war being waged between the all controlling Illuminati and the discordians who are like the insurgents fighting against the Illuminati and also are part of the Illuminati. It's a very, it's that kind of book. And again, one of the things actually because like everyone is a double agent, right? And like the discordians are actually deeply enmeshed in the Illuminati. One of the things that's happening here that Wilson is talking about is the fact that if you were a radical in the 60s, you came to the realization that like a significant chunk of the people you organized with were feds. And so like that's one of the reasons why all of this is like that's such a like there's so many different like quadruple agents and stuff in this in this series. So just like working for like mainstream publications. Yeah. You're critiquing capitalism or participating in capitalism. And I don't actually think that's like a bad obviously. But it's it's messy and I could leave you with that sort of sense of. Yeah. And it's it's it's a very messy book. And so this is a hugely influential book. You'll you know of we'll talk about this in a second, but like you it's one of those things that's influential in ways that are mostly not super visible because when people put hints and references to this stuff in their work, they're often very coy about it. And just because of how influential this was and sort of conceptions of the illuminati and conspiracies, a lot of it's faded into the background since then. But yeah, I want to I think probably a best way of kind of talking about the way the stuff works is the the idea of the 23 and Nigma, which is a big thing in the illuminatus trilogy. And it's it's basically what like one of the things that Wilson does in this book is he finds there's all these different specific dates in history that are influential that involve the number 23. There's a lot of like very specific fucked up historical shit that happens in 1923 and he'll he'll pull all of these different dates and moments and stuff together. Because if you start listing enough stuff like that, the kind of pattern recognition chunk of your brain lights up and you start to attach a specific like significance to the number 23. And so like Wilson's kind of goal here, this was another little way of bringing people to chapel perilous is if you kind of like list out all these different ways that the number 23 is significant in history. Maybe people will start to question whether or not the illuminates like picking spicks, you know, is there a conspiracy that's doing certain things that's carrying out all these assassinations and revolutions on dates that have a 23 in them. Are they doing it because like they're trying to signal to people what they're doing is this some sort of message or is it just like, yeah, you know, a bunch of like if there's enough things happening in the world that if you like pull out every significant event that happened on the 23rd day of a month, you'll get a bunch of weird shit, right? Which is the where I tend to land on things. But um, this kind of like works. Number one, if you read the Illuminatus trilogy, you're going to wind up like just noticing 23s forever. But also because of how influential the books are, sit down and watch the fucking wire, right? And see how many 23s you see on the back of squad cars or in people's shirts and jackets. Watch like any big show and keep an eye out for the number of 23 and you'll note that it shows up more often than it seems like it should. And is this just because Michael Jordan is a popular basketball player? That's certainly some of it. Or does a lot of it have to do with the fact that a bunch of the people who were making particularly the TV shows that would big in the late 90s, early 2000s had been fans of this stuff and stuck 23s into their work. Well, that's also the case. And because of like how effectively Bob does this and how many people pick up on this and start sticking 23s into art and television and stuff, a conspiracy and actual conspiracy develops over the number 23 that it somehow tied, you know, the secret society running the world, which culminates into 2007 film starring Jim Carrey titled 23. What I'm everything. Oh, yeah, it was it was a big deal back in the day. I guess this is like the hero and I like really lived under a rock. Yeah. But I mean, the thing that Bob Wilson is doing is he's he's basically taking advantage of the human brains gift for pattern recognition because it it can kind of for one thing when you get people locked into this pattern. Then when you reveal things that have to do with like the number 23, it feels like more of a reveal, right? It's just kind of like works narratively and also Bob Wilson liked fucking with people and it this like had a clear impact, but it also has kind of formed this is the baseline of a lot of the tactics that are used by conspiracists today. Because the way that social media works, if you can start like seeding in references to conspiracies and a bunch of ways that go viral when people start seeing all this shit popping up on their timeline, maybe it comes up on their timeline in a moment that's particularly significant to them and then they put more weight into it. Like all of this stuff is a lot easier to do Bob had to draw you in to a thousand page fiction book to like tweak people's heads with this shit. Now you can do that at scale using algorithms on Twitter and YouTube and shit and people have. It's like publicity stuff. It's like in publicity, you you expect someone to not buy a product until like the 10th time they hear it. And this is a this is true for fucking anarchists and radicals and whatever also right like it like if you're trying to sell a book. Or you're trying to get people to have interest in a book. They're not going to do anything about it the first several times they hear it. And so it is really interesting that it's the same strategy. Yeah. And it's it's the goal of my operation mind fuck Bob Wilson's goal and these guys are all folks who are on the left. They're all people who are also activists is like to kind of Robert Guffy who's written a book called Operation Mind Fuckin rights about this summarizes the goal is like they want to break the trance that kept America at work. It's the fact that kept America at war blindly consuming and oblivious to its impact on the rest of the world destabilize the dominant cultural narrative through pranks and confusion like that was essentially the goal but as Guffy notes over the ensuing decades it was the progressive left whose ideas wound up being mainstreamed really from all in the family onward it was progressive values in fictional TV mod to mash Murphy Brown to the West Wing. And as that became the dominant cultural narrative operation mind fuck became a tool of the old right. Yeah, that is over time kind of what you see is as a lot of the stuff not all of it obviously these guys are much more radical than the fucking West Wing. But as some of this like these attitudes towards you know militarism and shit and attitudes towards like sexual liberation and like that kind of stuff like radical political equality and whatnot as those become more mainstreamed the it's like the toolbox loses its power for that side right but becomes a more powerful tool of the people who are now kind of the insurgents. Yeah, and that's kind of the point that Guffy is making there's degrees to which I disagree with him but I think he's kind of like broadly looking at this in a way that's that's useful. Well, so why we don't assign like we don't hold tactics sacred is because like tactics themselves are applicable in certain context and not another context and can be used by all kinds of people. So if there's not a moral weight attached to a tactic then I don't feel bad if the right wing is using operation mind fuck type stuff because of course they are because if they're the underdogs that's what they'll use like yeah it's like I said it's a gun on it on the table right. Yeah, that's what they've done is they've built a gun and they set it down on a table. Yeah, you know they tried they used it first and we can I think it's you know arguable like the degree to which it was successful or not. And I do think it's interesting because I one of the things like we're trying both to talk about sort of the broader impact on American politics and culture. That the aftershocks of operation mind fuck had but the other story is the impact that it had unlike conspiracy culture itself and even like the conception of the illuminati and this has a lot to do with the fact that again Robert Wilson and Robert she are both really good. Right is from like a capitalist standpoint in terms of their ability to write things that spread and can be sold and this has led a lot of creators to adapt their work they're also very influenced by HP love craft who was kind of an early creative comments. And so there's a lot of advocate and a lot of ways like they wouldn't have used those terms but he was this advocate of like yeah people should be taking my stories in this mythos that I've built and writing their own stories in it. And that's also kind of the attitude that Wilson and Shay seem to have towards a lot of this and so a lot of people adapt versions of the illuminata strategy. And this leads to in the early 1990s when a carry thorny is going on that TV show to talk about how he was racing his buddy Oswald to kill Kennedy a little Austin based pen and paper game company called Steve Jackson games makes a card game and Steve Jackson games makes a lot of card games they munchkin is probably their biggest seller now. But they make a game in the early 90s called illuminati new world order and it's based in part on the illuminatis trilogy and in part on just like shit in the news. And the 1994 edition of this game includes a card called terrorist nuke and market how would you describe that card that is a picture of the world trade centers. And not from the bottom like no not from the bottom from about where that plane hit. And this car gives plus 10 power or resistance your choice to any violent group you control with violent is capitalized that's right. Well, it certainly gave plus 10 power to the American government. There's another card I forget what it's called but it just it shows the pentagon exploding in a particular section in the way the binoculars. Yeah, I mean the band the coup put out like them hanging out in front of some blowed up world towers like I think that week or some shit like it's just an idea whose time it. Am I going to finish that sentence no it was an image that many people had thought of before it happened. There's even stuff like in the simpsons that there is there's stuff all over of things resembling 9 11 that happened in like the two decades prior. I will say none of them quite as much as this. Yeah, absolutely. It is a little striking. Yeah. Now the almost startling pressants of this card and the fact that it came from a card game called illuminati new world order led to viral conspiracy theories that the actual illuminati had found. The fact that the 9 11 attacks and used this card game as what Alex Jones called predictive programming to see the awareness of their crimes. The crowning moment of this particular conspiracy theory came when Osama bin Laden was assassinated in 2011. The CIA gained access to his hard drive and the contents of this hard drive are now all publicly available. They contain a PDF titled smoking gun proof that illuminati planned terrible events many years ago to bring down our culture. The article that follows as an exhaustive dissection of the illuminati card game. Osama bin Laden's hard drive. I know again Steve Jackson's game must have made bank off of this. They were just sitting back being like, yeah. The other thing that happens right around this time is they're making like a cyberpunk role playing game which includes a bunch of hacking shit. And because the FBI especially in the early 90s is not very doesn't know anything about computers. They like freak out and raid Steve Jackson games. So like after this comes out there's a massive federal raid on this game company. It's all a coincidence. I mean this is and especially when this shit shows up on bin Laden's hard drive like this is a lot of people's chapel pair with a moment right. You're like, well, would this be in his hard drive and obviously there will never no shit on his hard drive. There was so much shit including like all of the fucking looney tunes cartoons you can ever want. But if you're if a part of your brain at any point in this went like, I wonder if something we're just going on. I mean, you know, that's operation mindfuck working as intended. Now the illuminati strategy ironically made the illuminati real to millions of people. This is due in part to the relevance of the books themselves in the late 1980s. The illuminati strategy was made into a stage play which was so popular it launched the careers of Bill Nye and Jim Broadbent. The Queen of England attended the opening. It is a weirdly influential play. So yeah, the Queen of England attends this play based on this ridiculous series of books. And of course illuminati imagery. We're just we're posting this on a day when like Elon Musk posted an illuminati meme. Jay Z and Beyonce have incorporated illuminati symbolism in that their acts which have convinced a lot of people that they are in fact in the illuminati. In 2015 research suggested that about half the US population believes in at least one conspiracy theory. And one of the most popular is the existence of the illuminati. I suspect it's probably over half at this point. The QAnon conspiracy theory. A lot has happened to reality since 2015. And honestly, if you look at reality stopped existing. Yeah, we well consensus reality took a big hit. We all there was it's almost like, you know, if you want to view society as like some fucking like warm traveling through the soil. We hit a rock and burst into pieces. And like that's now you've got a bunch of little worms that formed out of the carcass of that big worm. And we're all tunneling in different directions. And some of us have wound up in piles of shit. Yeah, no, that maybe is better. I use it. Oh, that's good for worms. As the like the way of understanding majority reality is like the ISIS thicker where more people are and stuff. And like out on the edge is like where some of the more fringe things happens. And there's no value in something being fringe or not. Right? Like much like operation mind fuck. It's like there's no value in fucking what people said. And so yeah, sometimes it just feels like we fucking the ice flow just split in half. Yeah. And this is, you know, obviously like QAnon conspiracy theory is a rebranded illuminati conspiracy theory. They are taking the joke that these guys made about how the CIA and the Republican party and the Democratic party and the anarchists and yet, we're all, you know, part of the conspiracy together. The academics taking the university. Exactly. The people in the media, the anti-files. Even even the current fucking stuff with like, you know, the the elites pushing gender ideology and all like the anti-trans stuff is just another version of the illuminati. Like it's all the same shit. And it's also those people would get my pronouns right as if any of the people that they think are like controlling trying to make everyone trans would like fucking get my pronouns right. Yeah. And it's interesting too because what you actually kind of see here, because it's not just the discordians that like discordian attitudes towards the illuminati that have been taken up by QAnon. They're kind of merging the discordian depiction of the illuminati with the John Birch society's depiction of the illuminati. So like that's really what you've seen happen here, which is such a strange thing, but I don't see any other way to kind of parse out the intellectual DNA of this movement. Yeah. And it's interesting because at this point for one thing, some of the first people to recognize what was happening with the alt right and like what was happening kind of with all of these different social movements, these right wing social movements that have spread through conspiracies over the internet were old discordians. And a lot of these people have kind of come to the conclusion that not only did operation mind fuck fail and its initial noble goal, but it had been subverted and turned into a weapon. And I'm going to quote from Guffy here again. The parallels between the discordian goddess Ares and the Egyptian frog headed God kek should be obvious both were created to represent the spirit of chaos, disruption and anti-authoritarianism. And many alt right memes kek resembles Donald Trump with a frog like face oddly enough, depicting Trump as a half human half reptilian hybridism to be a compliment to the president. In the 1990s conspiracy theorist David Ick grew to fame by traveling around the world accusing various world leaders of being shapeshifting reptilians and disguise. Today Trump supporters clothe him in a reptilian form as a tribute they perceive him to be a cold blooded agent of pure chaos. I was literally just looking up all of the stuff linking the pepe kek the thing to the. The entire way that fortune was using this like specifically influenced by the operation mind fuck stuff specifically influenced by like the chaos magic stuff. Yeah, yeah, it's it's fucked up and you're not going to obviously the odds that Donald Trump himself knows any of this are basically zero. But the odds that there are people in his orbit who were aware of a lot of this history are quite a bit higher and that you're not going to find smoking guns here. But there there are some things that I've read over the years that set like send me back to that Jack Paul perilous space. I'm going to quote from an article in the Guardian and this is from way back when the Cambridge Analytica scandal broke like if you can remember then. So this is this is an article about the Cambridge Analytica scandal. As Wiley describes it, he was the gay Canadian vegan who somehow ended up creating quote Steve Bannon psychological warfare mind fuck tool. In 2014 Steve Bannon then executive chairman of the alt-right news network Breitbart was Wiley's boss and Robert Mercer the secret US hedge fund billionaire and Republican donor was Cambridge Analytica's investor. And the idea they brought into being was to bring big data and social media to an established military methodology information operations then turn it on the US electorate. Now is Wiley using the term mind fuck just because that's the term that is most appropriate is he using it because as the kind of guy who'd get this job he's familiar with this history or is he using it because it's a term that he heard around the office. And then why were the people using it like right you can you can drive yourself into some interesting areas if you read too much into a fucking quote from a guardian article where a guy happens to use the word mind fuck while talking about a psychological warfare tool. But I do that sometimes when I'm reading about the illuminatiate for in the morning because you're in the chapel perilous right now almost permanently. So research in 2016 by viran swammy a psychology professor suggests that conspiracy theory believers are more likely to be suffering from stressful life situations than non-believers. And what I find interesting about this is that the toolbox built by the discordians merged with the reach of social media gives bad actors away to create stressful life situations for millions of people which draw them deeper into conspiracies and while alienating them from their families and this making them more vulnerable right. Right. This is a good big thing on cue and on a lot of people that fall into this are not are not actually like like they're actually doing fine like a lot of them are like suburban Republican moms who like are living life pretty good but the invention of this conspiracy theory throws their life into shambles because they know they like it creates these stressful conditions that otherwise kind of well off and privileged people are already existing in. Yeah and it's it's that that is like part of you know to the extent that you want to throw put blame on the original discordians some of what makes this tool set so dangerous didn't exist when they invented it right like all of the stuff that has been done using kind of the basis they established wasn't possible back in the 1960s. But yeah it is worth noting though that like I just said that but as Garrison brought up earlier among the first discordians there was a pretty widespread understanding that they were at least potentially fiddling with something dangerous and I'm going to quote from JMR Higgs here Greg Hill was an atheist who intended to be a satire of religion he certainly did not start out taking the idea of goddesses or spirits seriously by the late 70s however he was convinced that his discordian adventures had stirred up something that he was unable to explain as he told his friend Margot Adler if you do this type of thing well enough it starts to work I started out with the idea that all gods are an illusion by an end I had learned that it is up to you to decide whether gods exist and if you take the goddess of confusion seriously enough it will send you through his profound and valid and metaphysical trip as taking a god like yaw and the other one. So I was taking a god like yaw way seriously. Yep. Yeah. This is funny just right before we started recording this video came out of Charlie Kirk talking about how he got sick because some witches like like cursed him and like the first step for magic to be effective is that you have to believe in the magic. The fact that Charlie Kirk believes that witches can make him sick means that he has now opened up the possibility in his brain to get sick because of magic so now people can do that and he will get sick because this is how your brain works like this is like actual like science stuff with the placebo fact with the no placebo fact that the fact that he's decided that witches can can cause some physical damage means that witches could now cause some physical damage because we have so many listeners to this podcast and and I think there is a great stored potential in their mental energy if you have some time today when you listen to this everyone just think about giving Charlie Kirk to the media. Let's all just let's all just work on that together psychically just a little bit of the clap for old Charlie Kirk. I think we can do it all you have to do is visualize his face getting smaller and smaller until he can develop a serious horrible rashes. So throughout the 1990s in particular the tactics of the discordians merged with things like the situationists and groups like up against the wall motherfuckers which had all kind of existed in the same period that the discordians got started one of the things that gives the discordians longevity is that there are kind of follow up cults to the original cult the church the subgenius being the most well known that is basically rebranded discordian Bob Wilson is a part of it. And this kind of keeps a lot of like the stuff that they had been putting out relevant and as a result they have a big influence in the spread of a widespread left wing cultural practice called culture jamming by anti-consumerist activists in the 1990s. Well and speaking of anti-consumerism and and and church at the subgenius one thing they put out was a lot of fake advertising. Just like real just like the fake ads you are about to hear nothing you're about to hear is a real product. No, this is a show is entirely supported by the CIA working with the John Birch society. All fake products but you still have to listen you still have to listen to them or else it won't work so yeah yeah it'll break the illusion. If saving more and spending less is one of your top goals for 2023 why are you still paying insane amounts of money every month for your phone bill switching to meant mobile is the easiest way to save this year as the first company to sell premium wireless service online only meant mobile lets you order from home and save a ton with phone plan starting at just $15 a month. 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I do not miss the chicken nuggets on the back of our freezer I do not miss them at all. Book a virgin voyage by March 31st for 50% off your second sailor and up to $600 in free tricks ask your travel advisor or visit 13voidges dot com now we're voyaging. All right we're back my favorite of those ads was the one where JFK was talking about his new podcast where he talks to celebrities. The deep fake JFK podcast is actually pretty good it is it is shocking how clear they make his voice and it flows very consistently a lot of AI voices are kind of janky but the deep fake JFK voice is actually one of the better ones that I've heard I do or said interview it about Carrie Thorneley at a little bit in there. The cyber problem is way more confusing than I was led to believe by playing shadow as a kid well it's part of this is actually part of why it's confusing so the basic idea of culture jamming is that you repurpose and co-op symbols and figures of established power turn them into memes and use that to subvert capitalism. A good example of this would be the billboard liberation front who started hacking billboards in their terms in the 1970s. One of my favorite pieces of their work is an AT&T billboard which originally said AT&T works in more places and the BLF added like NSA headquarters. The billboard liberation front and other culture jammers influenced and inspired a lot of modern activists and artists but you might note they seem to have made a lot less progress in their culture jamming than later adopters on the right wing since 2014 when gamer gate roared to life in a hail of memes and repurposed bits of mass media different once fringe chunks of the radical right have forced their way into the mainstream often co-opting not just the imagery of other artists like Pepe but co-opting actual people to spread their message. In fact, we have evidence that ad busters perhaps the premier clearing house of leftist culture jamming up to the present day was used by the alt right as a textbook in their 2015 2016 meme operations Aaron Gallagher was one of the very first researchers on this beat in a medium right up titled alt right culture jamming she sites a September 2015 poll post read ad busters don't follow the left hard propaganda but look at the examples. And that's so frustrating it's deeply frustrating I feel like the only way that is but like this. I don't know market I think the only way out is through we have to keep going just keep posted harder for the to eventually yeah it's one of two things it's either uh earnusness or it's getting things weird enough and fucking with people's heads enough that we make everybody a furry and then people are too busy trying to make you know various genital sheets for their first suits to have a second civil war but see they will be earnestly looking for genital sheets for their first that is the strength of the furry movement is an iron is thing that everyone else views ironically. This is something actually I've been thinking about a lot the past week and how these these tactics that they do seem to be successful in the ways that the right uses them. The left anarchists have seen success in the same tactics but this this type of like well in the last is previously in our series we talked about like a determined versus recuperation and how these these two things they're kind of the they're kind of two sides of the same coin actually like they're kind of they operate they operate the same and. They both and same thing with like culture jamming they they all do contribute to this like fracturing and this opening up of reality but and what that does is that it creates these brief windows of opportunity where like reality is extremely malleable and it can be shaped by collective groups of people but yeah so as these things are useful tactics for creating these these areas of possibility and these and these and these small windows. And one of the kind of risks of using these tactics and we kind of saw this with occupies all this with a few other kind of very very culture jamming based movements is that once this reality has been fractured in a specific way. If if if we don't win this battle it can never be attacked in the same way again so if you're if you're going to use these culture jamming tactics as a part of a diversity of tactics to kind of a factor reality to to open up these fractures once once they've been once they've been attacked and if we lose this method of attack in this and the location of attack is going to be so much stronger than it was like pre the pre the fracture and yeah that's one of the fighting the board exactly it says it's one of these things where you have to be very careful when using these tactics because you could inadvertently you know make make the attack surface actually you know much harder in the future if you don't actually you know succeed at your goal well it's the idea that like you have to think about some of this stuff like operation mind fuck the way that like a hacker would think of a zero day exploit a zero day exploit is like basically a fuck up in code that can allow you like a method to do that. So you like a method to get in and and you know access a thing that you're not supposed to access but the instant you use it the people who are responsible for defending whatever it is your hacking will know what you've done and fix it so you can use a zero day once right you have to be careful about when you deploy something like that. Like you have this thing where it's like okay if where we perceive reality is going from a garrison saying earlier if where we perceive reality is like kind of fixed point and you want to move that but it's a pin stuck in the political map the pin is stuck in the political map and everyone who wants to change it wants to pull the pin out of the map so it can be moved and the pin is now out of the map but the problem is is that everyone now can fight over the pin and move it and so really you always want to pull the pin out of the map. When you're positioned to be the one who can move it instead of the other team. Yes, fast on that shit. And it's one of those things obviously in terms of like determining a bastardry there's there's bastardry and carries personal life when it comes to what the discordians were doing I think it'd be a trap to fall into too much recrimination here. We know carrying particular was a reckless guy this was not not a reckless thing to do operation mind fuck that said it's hard for me to blame an acid drenched young man and his friends for thinking that they're extended joke about the John Birch society would unleash a torrent of chaos upon the world although I have to say he's at least is surely pleased. Yeah, I mean yeah absolutely they did exactly what they said that they were going to try and do and it works and they got shocked that it worked. It is interesting to note that whatever you want to say about their aims the impact of the discordian society and global politics and the course of mankind far outweighs any other real secret society that I can name like objectively they had more of an impact on politics than the real illuminati. They also succeeded in forcing their names into the story of the illuminati forever and as evidence of this I want to read a quote to you from a wild ass illuminati conspiracy book by Jim Mars. It is critical at this point to understand that illuminism is an ism not unlike national socialism Nazis that's an that's in parentheses communism capitalism and socialism. It is a belief system that is not relegated to any one individual or group in any given period of time. The beneficial goals of the illuminati such as freedom from church dogma and government tyranny lived on to modern times in France, America and Russia but the more sinister aspects of the order such as inherent secrecy duplicity, violence and the drive for absolute power lived on to win unscrupulous men. Robert Anton Wilson opined the one safe generalization one can make is that vice-hopped intent to maintain secrecy has worked no two students of illuminology have ever agreed totally about what the inner secret or purpose of the order actually was or is as Wilson once fancifully told a radio audience maybe the secret of the illuminati is that you don't know your remember until it's too late to get out. That is such an interesting way to frame that though yeah is that coming out is in the illuminati to us or is that Robert telling us that we're in it now. Interesting interesting. Well decision for for everyone at home to make that kind of just is like hindsight is twenty twenty though like you don't know how much you're going to affect history or like reality until it's already happened and even still I don't think Robert Anton Wilson and the discordion guys knew how much this stuff would be impacted because they all died in the they all died in the early two thousands and this stuff like kind of reach reached the peak of its power from twenty sixteen to like the present. And yeah that is that is a very a very concise way to to to frame membership of the illuminati I would yeah I would love to die before I find out that my life's work fuels all of my ideological enemies. Yeah that parts of bummer I don't know I think about it a couple of ways one of them is that like as I think about Robert Anton Wilson's ideas of reality tunnels and pan agnosticism I kind of think that one of the healthier terms that social media has given us is the idea of head canon right which initially came out of like the fan fiction universe is a way of talking about like well I've done it. I'm not talking about like well I've deciding this is true about Star Wars or whatever but yeah it's a term that gets used more broadly by people on the internet and I think maybe even if you're talking about loopy stuff when you use it the idea that this is canon that is inside my head as opposed to this is my view of reality is is maybe in a subconscious way an inherently healthier way to talk about shit. True I like that idea. Yeah anyway that's a more or less complete history of the illuminati we do I love that the actual history of the illuminati is like there's this guy he wanted to be a nerd and the fucking Christians wouldn't let him so he did some weird Christian looking science shit and that lasted for a little while and then God struck one of them down and now there's fucking pyramids on the dollar bill. And reality TV stars of the president. Yeah it is kind of the story of like two different groups of well meaning nerds who like fucked around in order to try to make the world a better place but the only language they had was lies and so a number of problems were created as a result. Yeah and that's why I mean that's actually why I believe I think that like jokes and lies and there's like some interesting and good shit that can be done through all this and but I think that's why just like people being earnestly about what they're about feels like yeah much like head canon as like a way to and you're ourselves from this kind of nonsense. And I actually think we've been talking a lot about this about how the different cultural weapons that the left and the right use to kind of get around each other. That these are not static battle lines and that tactics are adopted and altered in change over time. One of the things that made Trump potent and that made you know the alt right and the initial Trump movement potent was a fact in fact a kind of honesty or at least authenticity and I talk about I've talked about this a few times over my career I had a series of interviews with a guy Rick Wilson who was an objectively unpleasant man in a lot of ways he was one of the chief Republican like dirty tricks media guys he did a lot of really ugly attack ads in the Obama era. And then became an anti Trumper but like one of the things he will he would point out when he was and this was and I was talking to him as the election was going on and we were kind of analyzing the Clinton campaigns ads as he was like these all feel like something somebody cooked up in a Madison Avenue ad come agency because they are and Trump adds feel like something some guy made on his computer at three in the morning after like slamming a bunch of monsters and that's what worked about Trump there's something authentic about that that's not going to be a lot of fun. And then take about that that like in raptured people because it felt more honest than the politicians we were used to does mean he was a fundamentally honest man but there was a central honesty in his approach and like his willingness his unwilliness even like pretend that he felt bad for doing bad things that was that that was like this authenticity that was an effective weapon in their quarrel and I think over the years they've gotten so up their own there's an extent to which I think they've gotten up their own ad. And I think they've gotten up their own asses about the you know saying the quiet part you know and and and kind of like wrapping their actual intense and layers of subversion and all of this fuckery and I think there's a degree to which that may have thrown people off who would have otherwise been appealed to them and I think there's also kind of the period we're seeing right now from the right is where they've they're discarding these tactics and they're trying authenticity again. And in terms of like we're just going to straight up talk about wanting to erase transgender people from existence we want to ban books we want to make it illegal to learn you know take AP African American history all this kind of shit like the mask is kind of off. And I think maybe they may be miscalculating and we have some early signs that the maybe the case the degree to which that kind of authenticity is a selling point. And so yeah Margaret I think there's a good chance that you're right in terms of like what our response needs to actually be because they're showing their faces now and it's a pretty ugly one so maybe this is the time to to show ours rather than you know trying to make our little illuminati and hide our enlightenment values from the people who can't possibly understand it well enough yet I don't know. And I think part of that has to do with like you know like many people listen to this probably identifies liberals but there's a sort of joke that everyone hates liberals basically from all other every other position and also possibly including the liberal position. And I think that a lot of it has to do with this like having people be sort of wishy washy or having people yeah not quite say what they're about you know and I don't know just being like yeah. I often see that you actually get more people not necessarily a green with you but able to make their own decisions about what where they agree with you and where they don't when you're just like well this is what I'm about what are you about you know instead of being like oh yeah totally this is how I don't know this like false. I don't know the media has to because by at least according to Gallup public trust in the media about 23% of the American population thinks that journalists are basically honest like so people do not believe that the media is telling them the truth like this New York times idea of like the importance of you know honest unbiased journalism that is not a thing and it's not a thing because no one believes you're unbiased so the honest thing to do yeah. It's not to be like well we can't have trans people reporting on trans or black people reporting on you know issues that affect the black community because they're biased like no just like have people report on shit and be honest about what they believe if you're a fucking Marxist or a fucking conservative walking into you know a protest or a movement or whatever X tell people what you think about the world when you go to report on that thing obviously like if you're reporting on like a tornado your ideology is not important but I would much rather know where I'm from. Yeah exactly. Yeah we don't need we don't need you we don't need to know that you like have a Marxist to take on on the economy or whatever if your job is to report on a hurricane although maybe that'll influence the way you talk about like the but whatever how I just yeah have people handle it let let I mean don't like it it's this it's the fat like the the reason people don't trust the media big part of it is that you can't be an unbiased journalist it's simply not a thing that exists in the same way. In the same way that like the very way you see the world and the way that it feels to you even down to the way things taste is impacted by your expectations this is a biological reality that is undeniable your expectations your personal biases everything including like how much sleep you've got the night before changes the way you interact with physical reality as is the things you believe so it's actually fundamentally dishonest to pretend that you're coming at anything. From some sort of point of objectivity and everyone knows that at some level which is why nobody trusts journalists right that's my take and we we should work to like part of being open about our biases is to also kind of like no okay like my weak spot is that I want to believe that someone who calls themselves this or that label is fundamentally good or fundamentally bad yeah and so I should be aware of my own biases even for myself so I can move towards objectivity. I have when I went into this this is the second version of this that I've done the first one was a much shorter version that we did as part of a live show. And it was much less complicated and towards the discordians and delved into a lot less of this and you know that's part of it's because I these these guys were my heroes when I was a very young man yeah and I didn't want in a lot of ways to learn things like the fact that carry Thorneley attempted to molest us a young girl like that is an unpleasant thing to realize and have to adapt into because that you know that that actually does mean something about the things that he believed and one of the things that it means is that you should always be careful about how much you believe anything right because belief can lead you to some very frightening areas even if even if that is a belief in the value of love and and you know physical autonomy and stuff right because that's how carry would describe the underpinning of the horrible thing that he did. And yeah, I don't know I think we've probably talked enough about this kind of stuff sure have or you guys want to plug anything stop doing that or have no no no no yeah so if by the way when you sent me that text last night you know saying saying that your your Uber wouldn't pick you up outside of the senator's house and that you had a hot firearm you had to discard did you ever wind up getting that Uber. Well here's how we know your conspiracy is wrong not take it Uber I would call your ass. Oh I'm going to say lift this is all been an extended ad for lift if you're going to carry out a political assassination it is better be in a lift. We do not ask questions seriously. That's offering that as something that we do. Here at lift we make sure every one of our drivers has a hidden area in the car that you can police a hot firearm. Lift we go the extra mile. If you want to look at my slightly unhinged ramblings about Chaos magic you can follow my Twitter count at hungry bow tie. As this is airing I will probably probably be in Atlanta for the week of action which is going on to defend the forest there if you want to support people in Atlanta you can donate to the Atlanta solidarity fund. I would say I have a two book novella series that came out a little while ago the called the Danielle Kane series the first ones the lamwell slaughter the lion. The second one is the barrel will send what it may they're both really short and they deal with more. Stuff and more stuff about how we shape reality then some of my other writing so maybe you'll like them if you like this episode and you can get them wherever books are sold. Read those books because I have been using a series of fake cut out social media accounts in order to harass and threaten Margaret into writing a third one. But it's not working so help help me out people. Anyway this has been behind the bastards a podcast about the illuminati that also is the illuminati so whatever conspiracy you believe about me and my friends here on the show it's probably real in some way. Happy 2023. Behind the bastards is a production of cool zone media from more from cool zone media. Visit our website or check us out on the iHeart radio app Apple podcasts or wherever you get your podcasts. When you woke up this morning before you knocked over your water feeling around for your glasses or stumbled to the bathroom to put in your contacts. Stepping on every small toy along the way what did you see a world that was dull and fuzzy instead what if when you woke up you saw a world that was bright and clear. It's a possibility with lacic at lacic plus lacic only takes minutes with most patients back to normal activities the next day so don't wait make your mornings brighter with the help of lacic plus. 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