• Category Archives Not Just for Laughs
  • Zombies, Vampires and Stupid Viruses

    “Against stupidity the gods themselves contend in vain.”— Friedrich Schiller


    I hate trendy. Anything trendy is, by definition, part of pop culture – the zeitgeist of the mindless follower¹ – and makes me want to bob for hand grenades in a vat of sulfuric acid. I can’t stand anything about pop culture: pop art, pop music, pop television, pop psychology, pop fashion, popcorn, Pop Rocks, Pop-Tarts…Okay, I like Pop-Tarts. And popcorn is okay too, but the rest of that stuff sucks.

    Vampire Caricature Judging by this, you’d probably think that I hate vampires and zombies as well. These two beasties have dominated all aspects of the horror genre for years, primarily for two reasons, both of them bad. The first is that most horror writers don’t know anything about the supernatural, so they just copy what’s already popular. The second is that publishers and showbiz types, despite some of them claiming to be looking for projects that are new and different, are really only looking for more of the same. Take it from someone who’s played this game, if it’s not about vampires or zombies, they don’t want to hear it. I said ten years ago that I was going to upchuck the next time I saw a vampire book on the bestseller list. As you could probably guess, I’ve thrown up a lot since then.

    Personally, I blame Anne Rice, Alex Garland and Danny Boyle, the author of The Vampire Chronicles and the writer and director of the film 28 Days Later respectively. I mostly blame them because it’s all their fault, but I bear them no ill will. Both works are solid contributions to the genre, and they had no way of knowing what they were unleashing on the world. You can’t hold Anne Rice responsible for Twilight.

    So anyway, the answer is yes, I absolutely do hate anything related to vampires, but not so much zombies. The main reason is probably that, when I was originally trying to get my own horror novel published, vampires were all the rage and just about the only thing that publishers cared about, but the zombie craze hadn’t really taken hold just yet. Therefore, I don’t feel that I’ve been made to suffer unfairly at the hands of the zombies. Also, my brother is a huge zombie fan. Two years ago, he bought the whole family zombie insurance for Christmas. I’ve since let my policy lapse, but I’m sure that his is up to date. Another reason that I’m probably not as hard on the whole zombie thing is that 28 Days Later was essentially a low budget indie project, most likely because none of the big movie studios were interested in it because it wasn’t about vampires. The zombies have had to go toe to toe with the bloodsuckers themselves, and so far they’ve at least held their own.

    Zombies have their origin in the folklore of Haiti, which isn’t surprising since that’s probably the only country in the world where they actually exist. No one outside of Haiti really took zombies seriously until Harvard ethnobotanist Wade Davis traveled there in 1982 and learned of a man named Clairvius Narcisse. Narcisse had been pronounced dead at an American run hospital two years earlier and had been buried but was nevertheless later discovered walking around in reasonably good health. Davis began researching the whole zombie thing and published his controversial findings in the Journal of Ethnopharmacology in 1983 and later wrote a book about his adventures in the real Zombieland called The Serpent and the Rainbow. It turns out that Narcisse had been completely paralyzed and unable to speak while at the hospital, but he had heard himself being pronounced dead and remembered being buried. He was later dug up by a bokor (a Haitian sorcerer) and informed that he was now a zombie under the bokor’s control. He had been used as a slave laborer on a farm for the previous two years before he was rescued.

    The Serpent and the Rainbow Book CoverDavis’ research led him to conclude that the process of turning someone into a zombie was accomplished using two different sorts of drugs: tetrodotoxin, the highly lethal neurotoxin found in puffer fish; and datura, an extremely potent hallucinogenic plant which can also be fatal in high doses. Using powders made from these two substances (and some fairly grisly additional ingredients), the bokor is able to induce a death-like coma in the victim using the tetrodotoxin, which completely paralyzes them and slows their breathing and heart rate to a barely perceptible level, while the datura leaves them in a disoriented and highly suggestible state. The combination of these two drugs, along with the widespread belief in zombies among Haitians, leads the victim to believe that they have actually died and been raised from the dead by the bokor, whose control they are then under. Some suspect that a form of hypnosis may also play a role in all of this as a means of maintaining control once the drugs have worn off. Some academic types, most of whom have never been to Haiti, reject Davis’ findings, apparently because they just can’t believe that something like this could be real.

    While all of this may have been shocking and hard to believe for the rest of the world, it wasn’t news to the Haitian government. They passed a law way back in 1864 making the use of toxins to fake a person’s death illegal. Anyone caught trying this could be charged with attempted murder, but they didn’t stop there. Just to show that they weren’t screwing around, this law also states that if the victim is actually buried, then the individual who poisoned them will be charged with murder whether the person died or not. So one burial equals one homicide in these cases, even if the victim lives, which there’s a good chance they won’t. There’s no good way of knowing for sure, but it’s suspected that most attempts at creating a zombie result in the victim’s death, either because the tetrodotoxin kills them or they suffocate because they weren’t dug up in time. That would be a truly crappy way to go, especially because you would probably remember the whole thing just like Mr. Narcisse did.

    Okay, that’s enough of boring old reality. Let’s get to the hypothetical, much less likely stuff.

    While some of the more popular zombie franchises of recent years have stuck with the more traditional undead variety of ghoulies, others have portrayed them as having been turned into hordes of bloodthirsty psychos as the result of becoming infected by some type of virus, which could theoretically happen. So I’m going to be at least somewhat trendy now and take a look at the possibility, however remote, that something like this could really happen.

    When most people think of a zombie virus, they probably imagine some ill-conceived biological weapon that was cooked up in a government laboratory somewhere that somehow got turned loose on society. In reality, there’s already a virus that meets most of the requirements for being able to unleash a zombie apocalypse on the planet, and it’s fairly common in some parts of the world. It’s the reason that it’s a red tape nightmare to transport most animals, even house pets, into Europe. If you have a dog or cat, you should know that the law says that they have to get a shot for it every once in a while despite the possible risk of inducing canine/feline autism. It is, of course, rabies.

    Pretty much everything that zombies do in fiction, rabies infected animals do in real life. Basically, they lose their freakin’ minds and start trying to bite everything that moves. This is because rabies in predominantly transmitted through saliva, which is also why they foam at the mouth. An excess of saliva increases the likelihood of the disease being spread, and biting is obviously the most effective delivery system. Some strains of rabies also make it difficult and painful for the victim to swallow. The reason for this makes bone-chilling sense. If the infected creature can swallow, this means that there will be less saliva in their mouths to infect others. The virus “knows” that keeping its host from swallowing increases its odds of being passed on to others. Viruses are really good at working out how to spread themselves around, which is pretty impressive seeing as how they don’t have actual brains. (Any of this sound familiar to you World War Z aficionados?) Fortunately for us, rabies doesn’t seem to be the smartest kid on the viral block. It has some shortcomings that have mostly held it in check over the years without our having to do all that much to stop it. The two main things which have prevented rabies from bringing about a zombie holocaust are its method of transmission and its incubation time.

    My Zombie Insurance CardIt’s harder to bite living things that don’t want to get bitten than they make it look in the movies. I guess that’s why movie zombies can only be killed by shooting them in the head or decapitating them. In real life, being attacked by a rabid human wouldn’t be all that different from being attacked by a normal one, at least in theory. If some drooling psycho came after you in an alley, you could just bash him in the head with the closest heavy object you could find, call the police and that would be that. The almost complete inability to think rationally would probably mean that the guy wouldn’t even bother to duck. The bottom line is, regardless of what Hollywood tells us, having to have your host sink their teeth into someone just isn’t a very efficient way for a virus to have to spread itself around.

    If rabies were to mutate or somehow combine with another virus to make it an airborne contagion, then it would be a different story. Combining with the flu would probably be the worst case scenario. Influenza is highly contagious and, being airborne, is much easier to spread around. We still have massive flu outbreaks several times every century with hundreds of thousands or even millions getting sick. During the Spanish flu pandemic of 1918, an estimated 40 million people died, and hundreds of millions were infected. Imagine all of those people also having rabies, going nuts and actively trying to infect others with a strain of the disease that could be spread by just coughing in an elevator or sneezing on a crowded train.

    Which brings us to factor number two. With almost all infectious diseases, including rabies, it takes at least a few days for symptoms to appear and the person to become contagious. Epidemiologists who are whimsical enough to humor us by talking about such things point out that even a day or two is plenty of time to identify and isolate individuals at risk for infection. Even if a strain of rabies became resistant to the vaccine, which isn’t that unlikely, victims could still be removed from the public before they posed any serious threat. For a real rabies-zombie apocalypse to happen, people would have to become infectious within a few hours. It wouldn’t have to be almost immediate like in the previously mentioned films, but it would still have to be a whole lot faster than it is. So until rabies finds a way to make it over these two hurdles, it can probably never be the global catastrophe that it dreams of someday becoming.²

    If both of these things do somehow manage to happen, then we might be in trouble. I’m not sure how we would deal with it, but one thing that I am sure of is that the second that the zombie insurance companies get wind (pun partially intended) of an airborne zombie virus, they’ll be cancelling your policy for any piddly little reason they can think of. If you’re even a day late with your monthly premium, have visited Haiti in the last ten years, or have ever had unprotected sex with a rabies infected lunatic, good luck getting them to cough up one bloody dime for your daughter’s lifesaving total body blood transfusion or brain replacement surgery. You’ll regret not having signed up for that monthly auto-pay option when that happens, if not the rabies infected lunatic sex you had in Haiti back in college. It was Spring Break after all.

    “But what about bovine spongiform encephalopathy?” you ask. To which I reply that people don’t get mad cow disease. In humans, it’s called variant Creutzfeldt–Jakob³ disease (vCJD). It is nasty stuff, and you definitely don’t want it, but a lot of the rumors about mad cow were the result of misinformation and people panicking. While it’s true that cows with BSE may become aggressive, it’s also true that it’s a hard disease to pass along to others. By far the easiest way to catch it is to eat the flesh of a cow with BSE or a human with vCJD. Neither form is a virus, but if they Goofy Mad Cowwere, they would have to be the Einsteins of the viral world in order to figure out a way to get uninfected people to eat infected ones. Making your host want to bite everybody is one thing; making others want to bite your host is something altogether different. My first thought was that it could make them taste like bacon, but then I remembered hearing somewhere that we already taste like pork, and yet most of us still somehow manage to refrain from engaging in cannibalism. So much for mad cow disease taking over the world.

    Of course, the far more insidious scenario for a global zombie meltdown would be the widespread proliferation of the recently discovered stupidity virus, ATCV-1, which was the actual inspiration for this piece. (Now I’m being trendy and topical!) Researchers from Johns Hopkins School of Medicine and the University of Nebraska4 first discovered the virus in throat cultures taken from subjects while researching something completely unrelated. ATCV-1 is a virus that was thought to only infect certain kinds of freshwater algae, and they’re still not sure how it got into humans. What they do know is that when they performed tests on cognitive functioning, the 40 of their 92 subjects (43.5%) who had the virus had shorter attention spans, slower visual processing and visual motor speed, and decreased spatial awareness. Overall, their tests showed that ATCV-1 impaired memory and learning and that those infected had IQ scores seven to nine points below average. So around 44% of us already have this and more may be likely to catch it. That’s not good. And seven to nine lost IQ points is bad enough, but imagine if the virus manages to mutate into a more powerful strain capable of dropping intelligence levels by two or three times that. The average IQ is already an embarrassingly low 100, and anything less than 70 is considered severe mental impairment. There are already far too many people on this planet who are just scraping by with the limited brain capacity that they’ve got. If this thing ever becomes rampant and drops the average IQ to less than 80 in nearly half of the population, we’re all doomed.

    The ATCV-1 VirusThose with a tendency to look for things to be offended by might think that I’m just writing about this to poke fun at the mentally impaired, but nothing could be further from the truth. I’m more serious about this than anything I’ve written on the subject thus far. If our population ever gets to a point where the number of people who need constant supervision exceeds the number of people available to supervise them, we are in deep trouble. The stupidity virus5 truly could be the one that brings our civilization to a crashing halt. In a way, it would be ironically appropriate if stupidity were to be our final downfall. I think that many of us have suspected all along that this would be the case, but probably not like this. I think most of us thought it would be the politicians who got us all killed.

    So there’s your zombie apocalypse update. As far as the vampires are concerned, they can all kiss my lily white ass. I spent three months in Transylvania a few years ago, and in all that time none of those bloodsucking pantywaists ever managed to so much as lay a single claw on me right there on their own home turf. Freakin’ pretty boy pansies.


    ¹Which is actually not a bad definition of a zombie.

    ²Even so, it does manage to take out around 50,000 or so people each year. That’s more than lightning strikes, shark attacks, snakebites and peanut allergies combined, but still far less than diseases like the much more destructive malaria, which kills an estimated one million people annually. Yes, mosquitos are more dangerous than sharks. Who’d of thunk it?

    3Named for the 19th century Austrian actor Johann Creutzfeldt, who was mad, and early 20th century Norwegian socialite Marion Jakob, who was a cow.

    4Now that’s an odd pairing.

    5They do need to come up with a better name for this thing though. We really can’t expect doctors to tell their patients “I’m sorry Mr. Harrison, but you have stupidity.”


    and all the devils are here


  • Discordian Atheology

    “It turns out that an eerie type of chaos can lurk just behind a facade of order – and yet, deep inside the chaos lurks an even eerier type of order.”—Douglas Hofstadter


    “Honesty is the best policy, but insanity is a better defense.”—Steve Landesberg


    The Sacred Chao
    The Sacred Chao

    Whenever people ask me about my religion and I don’t have to care what they think, I tell them the truth, more or less. I’m a Discordian. More specifically, I’m the Episkopos of the Disenchanted Disorder of the Carnivorous Chicken (DDOTCC), Keeper of the Sacred Chao, Worm of the Golden Apple Corps, and a Centicenturian in the Legion of Dynamic Discord. That really doesn’t cover the full spectrum of my spiritual hunches, but it raises enough questions all by itself that I tend to leave it at far less than that in most cases. A more complete answer might cause a brain aneurism in the less sophisticated, i.e., sane people.

    Most people who know anything about Discordianism (approximately 0.0001% of the population) mistakenly assume that it is merely a joke disguised as a religion. In reality, it is a religion disguised as a joke – enlightenment through absurdity, guerilla ontology in action, insanity as an art form, Zenarchy made manifest. Am I rambling? Sorry.

    “Ye have locked yourselves up in cages of fear – and, behold, do ye now complain that ye lack FREEDOM!”—Eris Discordia

    Discordianism is an ancient religion dating all the way back to 1959 when the Sacred Chao was divinely revealed by a messenger of Eris, Greek goddess of chaos and confusion, to Lord Omar and Malaclypse the Younger at an all-night bowling alley in Whittier, California. Five nights later, after much getting nowhere trying to decipher the cryptic symbol, each had a dream of Goddess in which it was revealed that humanity had become enslaved by the rigidity of embracing order while shunning the creative beauty of disorder. From this was born the Society of Discordia, and its influence on the social and political renaissance of the 1960s is still largely unknown, even to many of the participants.

    Some of the above is actually true. The rest is merely accurate. Fnord.

    “My dogma got hit by a karma.”—Cardinal Sin

    I originally discovered Discordianism by accident, a thing which doesn’t exist, back in 1992 while reading an enigmatic tome penned by Mordecai Malignatius, Episkopos of the Ancient Illuminated Seers of Bavaria sect (aka Robert Anton Wilson, Cosmic Trigger). Wilson had stumbled upon Discordianism because he hung out with a lot of weirdos in the 1960s, which I’m sure was a lot of fun. At that time, Discordianism was very much a word of mouth movement, meaning that the only people who had heard of it were people who knew Malaclypse or Omar and whoever those people passed it along to. Finally, sometime in the late ’60s, Mal-2 got it together long enough to assemble a Discordian bible entitled Principia Discordia, and it quickly became an underground classic. Trying to explain a literary masterpiece like this would be an exercise in stupidity, which I normally can’t resist, but it would also be pointless. Besides, you can download a copy of the Principia for free on a number of websites and just read it for yourself. There has never been a copyright on it. (Anyone who has ever tried to make a buck off of Discordianism has completely missed the point anyway. They might not exactly be guilty of simony, but at the very least they’ve committed garfunkely.) It is one of the most brilliant and enlightening pieces of philosophy that you will ever have the privilege of reading. The fact that it’s also immensely entertaining and hilarious should not blind you to this fact.

    Principia Title Page

    “Laughter is the music of Goddess. So what if she’s tone deaf?”—Alexander the Cluless.

    Things really took off in 1975 when Wilson and Robert Shea’s Illuminatus! Trilogy was published. It featured the Bavarian Illuminati as the evil bad guys and the Discordians as the heroes. They also included quotes from the Principia on many chapter heads (I hate it when people do that), and this led to some non-hippies and other relatively normal people becoming curious about the disorganization and whether or not it really existed. Most conspiracy-minded people were already convinced that the Illuminati was real, but they weren’t so sure about Discordians. It is an ironic twist that likely brought a smile to the face of Goddess herself that it may well be that the complete opposite is true.

    I’m assuming that you stopped reading this after the last paragraph at the very latest, went and found a copy of the Principia in your favorite format, have now read it cover to cover, and have only come back here to see what I think that I could possibly have to add to that. Fair enough. So I’ll give you a few things that aren’t in the book.

    “I find the Law of Fives to be more and more manifest the harder I look.”—Lord Omar Khayyam Ravenhurst

    Principia Title PageJust in case, wonder of wonders, you have not yet obtained and read the Principia, the Law of Five simply states that all things happen in fives, or multiples of five, or are somehow, directly or indirectly, connected to the number five. Most Discordian sects, including Omar’s Hidden Temple of the Happy Jesus and Mal-2’s Paratheo-Anametamystikhood of Eris Esoteric, also accept Mordecai’s Hidden Law of 23 (2 + 3 = 5). What the Principia does not tell you is where he got it from.

    In 1966, Mordecai met William Burroughs, the brilliant surrealist author. Burroughs told him about the time when he was living in Tangier and was friends with a man named Clark, who was the captain of a ferry than ran between Tangier and Spain. One day, Clark told him that he had been running the ferry for 23 years without an accident. Later that day, the ferry sank, killing everyone on board. As Burroughs was pondering the cruel irony of this later that night, he heard a report on the radio of a plane crash in Florida. The plane’s captain was also named Clark, and the flight number was 23. Burroughs began keeping notes about odd coincidences and found that the number 23 pops up fairly often in them. Wilson started doing the same thing and he noticed this as well.

    When I was reading about all of this back in December of ’92, I was living in Texas, which had just recently approved and begun holding a state lottery. One night I was watching the news and saw a story about how one number kept coming up in the drawings against all reasonable odds. Naturally, I immediately knew what it was going to be, but even I was a little stunned when I turned out to be right. It was, of course, 23. It came up five times (!) in three weeks. Look it up if you don’t believe me.

    In working out Dedotcacy, the philosophy of the DDOTCC, I decided that there must be five sacred numbers (in accordance with the Law of Fives) and concluded that they were 5, 8, 17, 23 and 40. Seventeen was easy because Wilson and Shea mentioned that it was a Discordian holy number in Illuminatus! I’ve never seen any mention of 17 in any Discordian writings, but they were two of the first Discordians, so I give them the benefit of the doubt. Besides, it works. I deduced that eight was the fourth number based on the fact that 2³= 8, and then 40 just fell into place: 5 х 8 = 40 and 23 + 17 = 40, so 40 is connected to all four of the other numbers. In addition (pun only slightly intended), all five numbers added together equal 93, and our old friend Aleister Crowley found that most important words had a numerological value of 93 and began referring to his magickal workings as “the 93 current.”

    Of course, this is all just playing silly mind games with numbers. You could take any group of numbers and screw around with them until they start to appear to have some significance. That’s the whole idea of the Law of Fives: to show how creative we can be in finding apparent meaning and order in places where there is none. Still, I must admit that when I discovered that my five “sacred numbers” added up to 93, the whole thing did start to seem a bit contrived.

    Crazy Man“And though Omar did bid the Collector of Garbage, in words that were both sweet and bitter, to surrender back to him the cigar box containing the cards designated by the Angel as the Honest Book of Truth, the Collector was to him as one who might be smitten deaf, saying only: ’Gainst the rules, y’ know.—HBT; The Book of Explanations, Chap. 2

    Yet another example of how we invent order is The Myth of Ichabod, later changed to The Myth of Starbuck. It was included in the extremely hard to find first edition of the Principia, but was omitted from later editions, an omission that Greg Hill (Malaclypse the Younger) later said that he regretted. As far as I’m concerned, if you haven’t read this, then you haven’t read the whole Principia. So here it is.


    The Myth of Ichabod (aka The Myth of Starbuck)

    There once was a huge boulder, perched precariously, on the edge of a cliff.  For hundreds of years this boulder was there, rocking and swaying, but always keeping its balance just perfectly. But one year, there happened to be a severe windstorm; severe enough it was to topple the boulder from its majestic height and dash it to the bottom of the cliff, far, far below.  Needless to say, the boulder was smashed into many pieces.  Where it hit, the ground was covered with a carpet of pebbles – some small and some large – but pebbles and pebbles and more pebbles for as far as you could walk in an hour.

    One day, after all this, a young man by the name of Ichabod happened on the area. Being a fellow of keen mind and observational powers, naturally he was quite astounded to see so many stones scattered so closely on the ground. Now Ichabod was very much interested in the nature of things, and he spent the whole afternoon looking at pebbles, and measuring the size of pebbles, and feeling the weight of pebbles, and just pondering about pebbles in general.

    He spent the night there, not wanting to lose this miraculous find, and awoke the next morning full of enthusiasm. He spent many days on his carpet of stones.

    Eventually he noticed a very strange thing. There were three rather large stones on the carpet and they formed a triangle – almost (but not quite) equilateral. He was amazed. Looking further he found four very white stones that were arranged in a lopsided square. Then he saw that by disregarding one white stone and thinking of that grey stone a foot over instead, it was a perfect square! And if you chose this stone, and that stone, and that one, and that one and that one you have a pentagon as large as the triangle. And here a small hexagon. And there a square partially inside of the hexagon. And a decagon. And two triangles inter-locked. And a circle. And a smaller circle within the circle. And a triangle within that which has a red stone, a grey stone and a white stone.

    Ichabod spent many hours finding many designs that became more and more complicated as his powers of observation grew with practice. Then he began to log his designs in a large leather book; and as he counted designs and described them, the pages began to fill as the sun continued to return.

    He had begun his second ledger when a friend came by. His friend was a poet and also interested in the nature of things.

    “My friend,” cried Ichabod, “come quickly!  I have discovered the most wondrous thing in the universe.” The poet hurried over to him, quite anxious to see what it was.

    Ichabod showed him the carpet of stones…but the poet only laughed and said “It’s nothing but scattered rocks!”

    “But look,” said Ichabod, ‘see this triangle and that square and that and that.” And he proceeded to show his friend the harvest of his many days study. When the poet saw the designs he turned to the ledgers and by the time he was finished with these, he too was overwhelmed.

    He began to write poetry about the marvelous designs. And as he wrote and contemplated he became sure that the designs must mean something. Such order and beauty is too monumental to be senseless. And the designs were there, Ichabod had showed him that.

    The poet went back to the village and read his new poetry. And all who heard him went to the cliff to see firsthand the carpet of designs. And all returned to the village to spread the word. Then as the enthusiasm grew there developed a group of those who love beauty and nature, all of whom went to live right at the Designs themselves. Together they wanted to see every design that was there.

    Some wrote ledgers about just triangles. Others described the circles. Others concentrated on red colored stones – and they happened to be the first to see designs springing from outside the carpet. They, and some others, saw designs everywhere they went.

    “How blind we have been,” they said.

    The movement grew and grew and grew. And all who could see the designs knew that they had to have been put there by a Great Force. “Nothing but a Great Force,” said the philosophers, “could create this immense beauty!”

    “Yes,” said the world, “nothing but a god could create such magnificent order. Nothing but a God.”

    And that was the day that God was born. And ever since then, all men have known Him for His infinite power and all men have loved Him for His infinite wisdom.

    The Beginning


    “Reality is the original Rorschach”—Malaclypse the Younger

    And finally, allow me to accost you with one last old Erisian tradition also not mentioned in the Principia: Project Jake, originally initiated by Harold Lord Randomfactor. Whenever some public figure truly distinguishes his or herself by doing or saying something supremely idiotic above and beyond the call of the usual level of expected stupidity, they may be selected to receive a Jake. All known Discordian sects are contacted and made aware of who is to receive the honor, and on the designated Jake Day, all send this individual a letter using their official Discordian letterhead (which are all pretty weird, as you might imagine) congratulating them on their idiocy and welcoming them into one of the Five Orders of Discordia. Membership in one of these orders is reserved for those who are blinded by the Aneristic Illusion and are, therefore, hostile toward the Principle of Disorder. These orders are:

    1. The Military Order of the Knights of the Five Sided Castle.
    2. The Political Order of the Party for the War on Evil.
    3. The Academic Order of the Hemlock Fellowship.
    4. The Social Order of the Citizens Committee for Concerned Citizens.
    5. The Sacred Order of the Defamation League

    Shea and Wilson included a sample Jake letter in Appendix Yod of Illuminatus! And look, here it is now! Probably in violation of copyright law!



    House of the Apostles of Eris

    (X)  Safeguard this letter; it is an important historical document.

    (   )  Burn after reading – subversive literature.

    (   )  Ignore and continue what you were doing before opening this

    Dear  (X) Sir     (   ) Madam     (   ) Fido

         It has recently come to Our ears that you, in your official capacity as principal of Aaron Burr High School, said in a public meeting, with your bare face hanging out, that death by napalm is “really no more painful than a bad cold” and that Orientals have “tougher epidermi than whites and feel less acutely.”

         In Our official capacity as High Priest of the Head Temple of the House of the Apostles of Eris, We congratulate you for helping to restore American education to its rightful position as the envy and despair of all other (and hence lesser) educational systems.

         You are hereby appointed a five-star General in the Bureau of the Division of the Department of the Order of the Knights of the Five Sided Castle, Quixote Cabal, with full authority to shrapnel your friends and bomb your neighbors.

         If you have any answers, We will be glad to provide full and detailed questions.

    In the Name of La Mancha

    Theophobia the Elder, M.C.P.

    High Priest, Head Temple

    Hail Eris – All Hail Discordia – Kallisti

    For maximum effect, copies of these letters might also be sent to those hostile to or sympathetic toward the target, whichever would most effectively drive home to them the magnitude of their colossal stupidity and make sure that they would hear more about it later. Also, it was hoped that by receiving letters from people all over the country that the recipient would not be able to dismiss this honor as being merely the work of a few lunatics, which of course is precisely what it was, but they didn’t need to know that. Besides, just because we’re a bunch of lunatics doesn’t mean that we’re wrong. Even a broken clock is right twice a day.

    Discordian Pope Card

    “When not in doubt, get in doubt…Convictions cause convicts. What you believe imprisons you.”—Lord Omar 

    So that’s a ridiculously brief introduction into the mysteries of Discordianism, the world’s only really true religion. I hope that I enjoyed bringing it to you as much as you enjoyed having it brought. At the very least, if you’ve read any of my other posts, this might help you to better understand just what in the hell is wrong with me. Fnord. That will put you at least five steps ahead of the shrink that my mother sent me to when I was a teenager. Poor guy.


    and all the devils are here