Heroes: Robert Anton Wilson


It was with great distress yesterday that I read Dougie Rushkoff’s blog entry concerning Robert Anton Wilson’s current, dire financial straits, so this (first entry in a series) will perhaps be more rushed than (and not as complete as) I’d like.

Robert Anton Wilson

Robert Anton Wilson‘s been an enormous influence on me for over 30 years, starting with his Illuminatus! and Schröedinger’s Cat trilogies and continuing through his master-stroke, Cosmic Trigger: The Final Secret of the Illuminati, in addition to many other books, essays and recordings.

Illuminatus!, like All-Star Crowley’s Book of Lies, purports to be a work of fiction — equals lies — masquerading as a secret encyclopedia masquerading as fiction. (Or is it?) It’s not just a compendium of every conspiracy theory ever formulated, but is, in itself, a holographic conspiracy in that all the tiny conspiracies eventually conspire together to form the grandaddy conspiracy of them all, snaking out from the page and into your newly-swollen pineal gland.

Also? It’s exciting and funny and dirty, too. It also heavily influenced early acid-technotronica pioneers The KLF, in whose recordings a considerable number of references can be found. And if you’ve ever wondered what the fuck the “23” in my nom de net is all about, look no further than RAW’s Illuminatus!.

Cosmic Trigger brings the conspiracies closer to home, and the nonfiction story of RAW’s personal, psycho-spiritual journey to Quantum Psychology, with a cast of characters as diverse as the Illuminati and Tim Leary, is riveting. Ultimately, he reaches a point where anger (at the insanity and stupidity of the world) and optimism (for our awareness of the interconnectedness of everything) are inextricably bound together. I try to fnord live by that philosophy: anger + optimism.

A useful Wilson primer is Maybe Logic, a wonderful DVD snapshot of the man, his work and his whimsy. I’d recommend reading his stuff first, but if you go the DVD route, please be aware that he suffers from post-polio syndrome, which seriously affects his mobility and exhausts him before he even gets out of bed.


Robert Anton Wilson will one day be remembered alongside such literary philosophers as Aldous Huxley and James Joyce.

But right now, Bob is a human being in a rather painful fleshsuit, who needs our help. I refuse for the history books to say he died alone and destitute, for I want future generations to know we appreciated Robert Anton Wilson while he was alive.

So, yeah, one of my heroes is in trouble. And if he’s one of your heroes, too, here’s how you can help him make the rent, cribbed totally from Rushkoff’s site:

Any donations can be made to Bob directly to the Paypal account olgaceline@gmail.com

You can also send a check payable to Robert Anton Wilson to
Dennis Berry c/o Futique Trust
P.O. Box 3561
Santa Cruz, CA 95063

More on Bob as befits the occasion. Hail Eris. All hail Discordia.

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