ABOUT TIMOTHY LEARY

T' Tom

Robbins:

"The brave neuronaut
considerable
Irish

whom

I

believe to be the Galileo of our

a^e. albeit a Galileo possessed of

blarney,

viihich

makes him

all

the more

agreeable."

W
T"

William

S.

Burroughs:
spirit."

"A true visionary of the potential of the human mind and

Allen Ginsberg:
"A hero of American consciousness."

W

William Gibson:
"The '90s are here, and the Doctor
is

in!"

T' Mondo 2000:
"The cyberdelic yuru. ... The

MVP (Most

Valuable Philosopher) of the 20th Century."

W

Guide to Computer Living:
"One of the intellectual giants of our time. ... No one
else

had dared to publicly explore the

of the home computer." metaphysical and evolutionary implications

S"" Creem:
"The Grandfather of Slacker Prophets."

f"

Exposure:
"Inner-space pioneer. Outer-space
advocate. Computer enthusiast. Writer. Humorist. A West

Point man. An ex- Harvard professor. A former political prisoner. A provocateur extraordinaire.

A hi^h cat with Cary Grant

style

and ;race."

W~

Magical Blend:
"Dr.

and visionary." Timothy leary: psychologist, iconoclast, prophet, outlaw, historian,

W

Fad:
"In Leary's 25-plus

books and software one finds ideas pertinent to the present, not only to the
his ideas

'new.'

and psychology, mind and chaos, Touching on media and culture, politics

open up possibilities for the present."

f
5"

Time:
"Yes, he's back. At 72, the ex- Harvard professor
in,

who encoura5[ed
is

a

generation to 'turn on, tune

and drop

out'

now counts

himself as a cyberpunk. 'The PC

the LSD of the 1990s,' he says."

R. U. Sirlus:
"He's a
for individual freedom, advocate of tolerance ... but visionary, theoretician, fighter
lust for life

more importantly, Timothy Leary's

us on." always cheers

S'

Susan Sarandon:
"He makes the chaos of our everyday
lives

sexy."

The Acceleration of Brain Power

1950

1965

1980

1993

2010

?m
1

t.

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It-

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EDITOIt

@-MICHAEL NOIOWITZ

ASSOCIATE EDITOI@~VICKI

MAISHAU

z*
f

f

M
*

^.

>i
BOX

RONIN PUBLISHING, INC.
103$, BERKELEY.

CALIFORNIA 9^701

i

CHAOS I CYBER CULTURE
First Edition

Copyright

1994 Timothy Leary

All rights reserved.

No

part of this book

may be reproduced or transmitted in any form

or by

ISBN: 0-914171-77-1

any

means, electronic or mechanical including photocopying, recording, or by any

information storage and retrieval system, without written permission from the publisher,

except for the inclusion of brief quotations in a review.

PUBLISHED BY
Ronin Publishing,
Post Office
Inc.

Box 1035

Printed in the United States of America
First edition first printing:

Berkeley, California 94701

1994

98765432

PROIECT EDITORS

Sebastian Orfali, Beveriy Potter, Ph.D.

BOOK EDITORS
MANUSCRIPT EDITORS
ART DIRECTOR

Michael Horowitz, Vicki Marshall

Aidan

Kelly,

Ginger Ashworth

Carolyn Ferris
Brian

COVER DESIGN

Groppe

BOOK DESIGN
TYPE-SCANS-PRODUCTION
COVER ART

Judy July
Generic Type
Carolyn
Ferris,

Brummbaer, Vic

Keller,

Robert Williams

lUUSTRATIONS

Carolyn

Ferris, Vic Keller,

Andy

Frith,

Brummbaer

The

material herein

is

presented in the

spirit

of the First

Amendment for reference and

informational purposes, and should in no
laws.

way be construed as advocating the breaking of

U.S. Library of Congress Cataloguing-in-Publication

Data

Leary, Timothy Francis, 1920-

.

Chaos & Cyber Culture I by Timothy Leary: with guest appearances by
William
p.
S.

Burroughs... [et

al.]:

editor Michael Horowitz.

1st ed.

cm.

Includes bibliographical references and index.

ISBN 0-914171-77-1: $19.95

1.

Popular culture

United States.
.

2.
II.

Subculture

United States.
.

I.

Burroughs, Williams., 1914rv. Title:

Horowitz, Michael, 1938-

in. Title,

Chaos and cyber culture.

E169.04.L463

994
94-29511

306'.ir0973-dc20

CIP

I

TESTIMONY OF AFFECTION OR RESPECT

=:)

DEDICATIONS
DEFINITIONS: "DEDICATE"
AT
1
.

DEAREST FRIENDS!
Barbara Leary

To set apart and consecrate to a deity or to a sacred purpose.
To devote wholly and earnestly, as to To inscribe
(a

Rosemary Woodruff
Denis Berry
like.

S" S~

2. 3.

sonfie

person or purpose.

book, piece of music,

etc.)

to a person, cause or the

Aileen Getty

Angela Janklow
Siobhan Cyr

Momoko

Ito

DESIGN TEAMi
Sebastian Orfali Carolyn Ferris

:

THE CHILDREN!
Joi Ito

Mimi
Susan Martino
Jack Leary

Ito

Donna Wilson
Barbara Fouch

Mike Horowitz
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Zach Chase
Camella Grace
Dieadra Martino
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Brummbaer
Vic Keller

Ashley Martino
Brett Leary

Janice Gardner
Louise Schwartz

Andy Frith Howard Hallis
Ginger Ashworth

Annie Leary
Sarah Brown

Susan Sarandon
Diana Walstrom

Davina Suzanne

Joey Cavallo
Sunyata Palmer
Jubal Palmer

Judy July

Vince de Franco

Don, Holly

& Kenny

Noni Horowitz
Uri

Greater Talent

Horowitz

Network
Marianne Leary
Anita Hoffman

dementia
Jack Armstrong
Jerry Harrington
J.

R Barlow

Al Jourgenson

Tony Scott

John Roseboro
Chris Graves

Scott Fisher
Joel Fredericks
Eric

Gardner

Alan Schwartz

Tim Robbins

George Milman
Jas Morgan

Mondo 2000
Dave & Andy
Ron Lawrence
Michael Shields

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

I.

PHOTO CREDITS

Peter Booth Lee

Cindy Horowitz
Michael Shields

Jeremy Bigwood
Hi Leitz

Dana Gluckstein
Herb
II.
Ritts

PHOTOS USED TO RENDER
PAINTINGS AND DRAWINGS.
Morgan
Russell: William

Gibson

Allen Ginsberg: William S. Burroughs

Yvette Roman: David Byrne

III.

ILLUSTRATIONS.

Carolyn Ferris
Vic Keller

Andy Frith Brummbaer
Robert Williams
Keith Haring

Matt Gouig

Howard
IV.

Hallis

COMPUTER ART AND
COLLECTION ARCHIVES.
Michael Witte Michael Horowitz

Ronin Publishing,
Paul

Inc.

Kagan

Vicki Marshall

Mike Saenz

Mark Franklyn
Rick Griffin

V.

SPECIAL THANKS.

Special thanks for their help to the following:

Robin Kay

Ron Lawrence

Kenn Thomas
Joe Ranno
Flash Photo (San Anselmo, California)

The author has made every effort to

trace the ownership of all copyright

and quoted

material presented. In the event of any question arising as to the use of a selection, he
offers his apologies for

any errors and omissions and

will

make the necessary corrections

in future printings.

We aie mutating into another species-liom Aquaiia to
We

the Teriaiium, and

now

we'ie moving into Cybeiia.

aie cieatuies crawling to the centei of the cybernetic woild. But cybernetics are the stuff of which the

world

is

made. Matter

is

see everything simply frozen information. ... The critics of the information a^e

in the

negative, as

if

the quantity of information can lead to a loss of meaning. They said the same thin^

about Gutenberg.

.

.

.

Never before has the individual been so empowered. But in the information a^e you
it

do have to ^et the signals out. Popularization means making
the philosopher
is

available to the people. Today the role of

to

ideas so that people can feel personalize, popularize, and humanize computer
is

comfortable with them. ... The fact

that a few of us

saw what was happening and we wrestled the

power

of LSD

away from the

CIA,

and now the power
In

of

computers away from IBM, just as we rescued
I've

psycholo^ away from the doctors and analysts.

every generation

been part of a ^roup of people
to the individual."

who. like Prometheus, have wrestled with the power in order to hand

it

back

-TIMOTHY LEARY. PATAPHYSICS MAGAZINE (1990)

Give

me Timothy

Leary's

humourous, humane, entertaining challenge to our

sluggish perspectives any
I

day. This

book

is

a

romp

through history from
Aquaria to Cyberia.
'

I

feel

my

neurons perk-

ing

up and snapping to

attention as the fog of

mass-media disinformation
turns to high-definition
clarity.

He makes the chaos

of our everyday lives sexy.

Susan Sarandon

O 6

EDITOR'S NOTE

!<)
their earliest fonns,

^

most of the texts in this book first appeared in

an unusually wide array of publications, ranging from obscure,

In underground

'zines to university journals;

from

New

Age/New Edge periodicals to mainstream Sunday supplements;
and in fashion, computer, rock music, and adult monthlies.

The ideas expressed in these articles were also put forth in
spoken-word performances
at

hundreds of coUeges, in Whole Life Expo

workshops, at the Lollapalooza rock 'n' roll tour, from the stages of
Sunset Strip comedy clubs, and large rave parties
often accompanied

by computer-generated multimedia displays by some of the artists in
this

booL

A number of these texts were desktop-published and sold by mail
order

m the manner of samizdat (dissident, underground) publications
thanks to whom some of the

from a "cyberdeli" called KnoWare

buzzwords and soundbites in these pieces are sometimes worn as
buttons and displayed as bumper stickers.

Like ahnost

all

of Timothy Leary's spoken and written

transmissions since the 1960s, the works in this book

mostly published

during the

dull, repressive

Reagan-Bush years

are

marked by a tone of

entertaining dissent

and optimistic

critique, fueled

by humour and

brimming with novel perceptions.

Welcome to a cyberdelic Be-In!
-M.H.

EDITOI'S NOTE

MICHAEL HOROWITZ

ix

TABLE OF CONTENTS
PREFATORY NOTE by Susan Sarandon

.,.

viii

EDITOR'S

NOTE

by Michael Horowitz

ix

PREFACE: THE ETERNAL PHILOSOPHY OF

CHAOS

by Timothy Leary

xiii

I.

SCREENS
1
.

I

How Became an
I

Amphibian

3 9

2.

Custom-Sized Screen Realities
Imagineering

3.

17

II.

CYBERNETICS: CHAOS ENGINEERING
"i^'^J^ilB^^A
^

21 22

Conversation with William Gibson
Artificial Intelligence:

^
X&

2.

Hesse's Prophetic Glass

Bead Game

28 35 39
41

3.

Our

Brain

4.

How to

Boot Up Your Bio-Computer

ft*

^'

''''5"3l Computers, Personal Freedom

6.

Quantum Jumps, Your Macintosh, and You

44

III.

COUNTERCULTURES
1
.

51

The Woodstock Generation

53 57 62
71

2.

From Yippies to Yuppies
The Cyberpunk: The The
Individual as Reality Pilot

3.

4.

New

Breed

5.

Electronic Cultures

78
83

6.

The Next Twenty Years
The Godparent: Conversation with Winona Ryder

7.

86

IV.

INFO-CHEMICALS
1

DRUG WARS
.

93
S.

Conversation with William

Burroughs

94
97 104
1 1 1

2.

The Sociology of LSD
Just Say

,^

3.

Know: The Eternal Antidote to Fascism

4.

Czar Bennett

&

His Holy

War on Drugs

5.

MDMA:

The Drug of the 1980s
for Intelligent

116
1

6.

The Case

Drug Use

20

X

TIMOTHY lEAlY

CHAOS

I

CYBER CUITURE

.^
V.

CHAOS

CYBER CULTURE
123

E3^';

.:.

^
1
.

Hormone Holocaust
In

1

25 27

2.

Search of the True Aphrodisiac

1

3.

Operation Sex Change
Digital Activation of the Erotic Brain

135
1

4.

47

VI.

GUERILLA ART
1
.

155
Pranks:

An

Interview

1

57

2.

Keith Haring: Future Primeval

166
1

3.

Robert Williams: Power to the Pupil

69

4.

On

William

S.

Burroughs's /nterzone

172 174 177 179
181

5.

William Gibson: Quark of the Decade

6.

How to

Publish Heresy

in

Mainline Publications

7.

Reproduced Authent/c The Wizardry of David Byrne
Conversation with David Byrne

8.

VII.

DE

lOM/RE-ANIMATIOM
1
.

185
Alternatives to Involuntary Death

Common-Sense

(co-written with Eric Gullichsen)
2.

187

Hybernating Andy

204

VIII.

MILLENNIUM MADNESS
SRA'KSlJ^vAn^
1

2II
Soldiers:

Backward Christian
in

A

Brief History of the Warrior Caste

America
President on the Republican Ticket

213

2.

God Runs for

224 230 232

3.

Who Owns the Jesus

Property?

4.

High-Tech Paganism (co-written with Eric Gullichsen)

IX.

EPILOGUE

237

QH
X.

Brittig in

Cyberiand by

Wim Coleman

and Pat Perrin

239

RESOURCES
1
.

2$i
Checklist of Primary

Works by Timothy Leary

253

2.

W

Bibliographic Data
List

254
257

3.

of Illustrations

4.

Cybertising

260

TAIIE OF CONTENTS

BRUMMBAER

xil

TIMOTHY lEAlY

CHAOS

(

CYIEI CUITUIE

PREFACE

ThEternalPhilosophy
several thousand years
is
it

of

Chaos
IS

has seemed obvious that the basic nature of the universe
that mysterious, tangled magnificence

THIS BOOK

ABOUT

extreme complexity, inexpUcable disorder

popularly

known

as Chaos.

DESIGNING CHAOS

The

poetic Hindus believed the universe

was a dreamy dance

of illusion

For
maybe a

(maya).

The

paradoxical, psycho-logical Buddhists spoke of a void loo complex
to

AND FASHIONING

trillion

times too complex

be grasped by the

human A-B-C-1-2-3 word-proYOUR PERSONAL DISORDERS
is

cessing system (mind).

Chinese poet-philosopher Lao-tzu sardonically reminded us that the tao

forever

changing complexities
laboriously tapping

at

Ught speed, elusive and inaccessible to our fingers and thumbs

Sr ON SCREENS

letters

on our alphanumeric keyboards and mind-operating systems.

Socrates, that proud, self-reliant Athenian democrat, indiscreetly blurted out the

BJ WITH CYBERNETIC TOOLS f& FROM COUNTERCULTURAL
PERSPECTIVES

dangerous secret when he

said,

"The aim of human

life is

to

know thy selves. This is surely

"

the most subversive T-shirt flaunted over the centuries by humanists, the most confrontational

bumper sticker on

their neuro-auto-mobiles.
is

IndividuaUstic thinking

the original sin of the Judaeo-Christian-Islamic Bibles.

It

sabotages attempts by the authorities to order Chaos.

The

first

rule of every law-and-order system

is to

triviaUze-deemonize the dangerous
is

% WITH INFORMATIONAL
CHEMICALS (CHAOS DRUGS)

concepts of Self, Individual Aims, and Personal Knowledge. Thinking for Your Selves
heretical, treasonous,

blasphemous. Only
capital crime.
It

devils

and satans do
Strikes

it.

Creative thinking, commitfor several

ted out loud,

becomes a

was "Three

and You're Out"

hun-

dred thousand Protestant dissenters during the Inquisitions of the
get the witch burnings performed by the Protestants
control department.
It

Roman papacy

not to for-

when

they took charge of the Chaos-

was all very simple

to the

law-and-order controllers. There are the hnmortal Gods

and Goddesses up there
us

in that

Gated Community on Olympus Drive. And then there are
flatlands.

% WHILE DELIGHTING CYBEROTICS % GUERRILLA % WHO EXPLORE DE-ANIMATION
IN AS

ARTISTS

meaningless mortals, slaving around dovra here in the low-rent

ALTERNATIVES
total folly,

The concept of individuals with choice and
nightmare

identity seemed

the ultimate

not just of authoritarian bureaucrats, but of common-sense hberals. Chaos must
f&t

WHILE SURFING THE WAVES OF

be controlled!

The standard way to tame and domesticate
rounds us
is to

the impossible complexity that surinfantile the better,
etc.

MILLENNIUM MADNESS
logi-

invent a few "tooth-fairy" Gods, the

more

and

to lay

down
TO GLIMPSE THE GLORIOUS WILD

a few childish rules: Honour your father and your mother,
cal.

The

rules are simple

and

You passively obey. You

pray.

You

sacrifice.

You work. You

believe.

And

then, Praise the Bored, let there be
this

no terrorizing notions about individuals

IMPOSSIBILITIES AND

hanging around
selves

meaningless, disordered universe trying to figure

how to

design them-

some

individual selves.

IMPROBABILITIES OF THE

CENTURY TO COME.

CHAOS ENGINEERING
ENIOY
IT!

The

fu^t

Chaos engineers may have been the Hindu sages who designed a method

for operating the brain called yoga.

The Buddhists produced one of the

great hands-on do-it-

IT'S

OURS TO BE PLAYED WITH!

PtEFACE

THE ETERNAL rHIlOSOPHY OF CHAOS

yourself manuals for operating the brain; The Tibetan

Book of the Dying. Chinese

Taoists

developed the teaching of going with the flow

not clinging to idea-structures, but changing
is

and evolving. The message was: Be
possibilities.

cool,

Don't panic. Chaos

good. Chaos creates infinite

The wacko
cy, was

Socratic idea of Do

It

Yourself (D.I.Y.), which created

modem democrathis foolishness

a practical, common-sense, sassy Athenian version of the Hindu-Buddhist-Taoist yogas.

And remember where

got India, Tibet,

and China? Know-where!
idea
is this

The standard way

to

tame and domesticate the
crazed,

The most dangerous

megalomaniac Socratic notion of

that surrounds us is to impossible complexity

KNOW!
which defines the serf-human being
as a thinker. Outrageous impudence!
slave
is

invent a few "tooth-fairy" Gods, the more infantile
the better, and to lay

The

down

a few childish rules:
etc.

encouraged

to

become

a philoso-

pher!

The

serf strives to be a psychologist!

A

Honour your father and your mother,
are

The rules

potential yogic sage!

This heresy predicts
ist

why later atheand Darwin

simple

and

logical.

You passively obey.

evolutionists like Linnaeus

defined our super-chimp species as Femina

You pray. You sacrifice. You work. You believe.
THE CHAOS WITHOUT

(Homo) sapiens sapiens.

For centuries there existed a fanatic taboo against

scientific

understanding.

Why?

Because of the fear of Chaos. The
galactic

facts

about our (apparenfly) insignificant place in the

dance are so insulting

to

the conh-ol freaks

who try (so

manfully and diligently and

seriously) to

manage Chaos

that they forbade

any

intelligent attempts to look out there

and

dig the glorious complexity.

At one point consciousness-altering devices like the microscope and telescope were

criminaUzed for exactly the same reasons that psychedelic plants were banned in later
times.

They allow us

to

peer into

bits

and zones of Chaos.
for

Galileo got busted

and Bruno got the Vatican microwave

showing that the Sun

did not circle the Earth. Religious and political Chaos-phobes naturally

want the

nice, tidy,

comfy universe

to

cuddle around them.

In the last century science has developed technical extensions of the

human

senso-

rium

that specify the truly
Stellar

spooky nature of the complexities

we inhabit.

astronomy describes a universe of fantastic multiplicify: a hundred bilUon
billion galaxies

tiny star

systems in our tiny galaxy, a hundred

m our teeny universe.

THE CHAOS WITHIN
In the last decades of the 20th Century, scientists
to study the

began

complexify

within the

human

brain.

Talk about Chaos!
It

turns out that the brain

is

a galactic network of a hundred billion neurons. Each
is

neuron

is

an information system as complex as a mainframe computer. Each neuron

con-

xiv

TIMOTHY LEAIY

CHAOS

i

CYIEI CUtTUIE

nected to ten thousand other neurons. Each of us
plexity that
is

is

equipped with a universe of neurocom-

inscrutable to our alphanumeric minds.

This brain power is at once the most humiliating fact about our current ignorance,

and the most
ate

thrilling

prospect of our potential divinity

once we

start

leammg how to oper-

our brains.

HUMANISM: THE NAVIGATIONAL CAME PLAN

Galileo jot busted and
Chaos theory allows us
to appreciate

our assignment: the understandmg, enjoyincluding the totally

ment, and celebration of the delightful nature of the whole universe

Bruno jot the Vatican

mad paradoxes within our brains.
Activating the so-called right brain eliminates

one of the

last

taboos against under-

microwave

for

showing

standing Chaos and provides a hands-on

scientific basis for the

philosophy of humanism-

encouraging us

to

team up with others

to

design our

own

personal versions of Chaos.

that the Sun did not circle

the Earth.
This book, as you will discover, covers a decade of recent writing. Looking over
this

Religious and

verbal disorder so elegantly arranged by Michael, Vicki, Carolp, Sebastian, Aldan, Ginger,

political

Chaos-phobes

and Judy,

I

get that special, pleasurable, dizzying head-hit so prized by us
last

Chaos

addicts.

For the
thing.

few months

I

have been obsessed by the extreme complexity of every-

naturally want the nice,
tidy,

We don't know who, why, where, what, when we are. What a frightmare! Ignorant,
no
instructions.

alienated agents sent on a mission with

comfy universe to

My thrilling bewilderment about the Great Disorder (Chaos) is due, of course, to the
three

symptoms of senility which I have
1
.

diligently earned.

cuddle around them.

Short-term
are here.

memory

loss

means you forget exactly what's happening and why you

2.

Long-term memory gain gives you the ambiguous perspective of what our cultures
have come up with
in

the

way

of weird solutions to the Mystery.
. .

3. This

book

is

about redesigning Chaos and fashioning our personal disorders

.

On

screens

With cybernetic tools

From

countercultural perspectives

With informational chemicals (Chaos drugs)
While delighting
in

cyberotics

As

guerrilla artists

Who explore de-animation alternatives
While surfing the waves of millennium madness
to glimpse the glorious wild impossibilities and improbabilities
of the century to come.

Enjoy

iti It's

ours to be played with!

Signed with I^ve,

PIEFACE

THE ETERNAL PHILOSOPHY OF CHAOS

xv

=

="^

\

\,{.nl

H^

'

je-v

WlBT-

%

;^^^

^:

i.i.

How

I

Became an Amphibian
FROM AQUARIA TO TERRARIUM TO CYBERIA
In

1980 Ronald Reagan, a screen person, became the president of
the United States. At the

same

time, the screen

image of an
our eariy marine forms,
in

Iranian mullah, the leader of a notoriously irritable fundamentalist sect,

we

lived

underwater.

became

the rallying point of the Islamic world. In the
that the average

TVapped

Aquaria

we could

peer up through the

In same
ties

year,

surveys showed

American spent
the artificial realiIn the
is

sea ceiling and sense a wide worid up there.

more than four hours a day neuronarcotized by
and fake news-dramas on

Devonian period (400 million years ago) we started
1

television screens

more time than

developing the technology needed to migrate to the shoreline.
talking state-of-the-art terrawear: skin-tight dry suits to

am
Uve

spent on any other waking
It

activity in the flesh-material reality.
I

maneuver
to

was about then

that

too found myself mutating gradual-

around

in the

land worid. Thus

we became

amphibians, able

ly,

imperceptibly, into
the

an amphibious form. (The word "amphibian"
bios
[life].)

both in Aquaria and in Terrarium.

comes from
1

Greek amphi [double] and

During the THassic period
stage

we evolved to

the

mammalian

began spending around four hours a day producing and

and

lost

our

ability to inhabit

Aquaria. For the last 225 million

scripting and du-ecting the images on

my

personal screen.

Some

of

years, we mammals crawled and

ran around the Earth's surface,

these digitized words and images were

ed on

disks. Others

were phoned
at

to

my ovra. Some were encodme by

nervously improving our Terrarium survival technologies.

Then, during the
years,

last million

or so

friends

and colleagues

almost the speed

human

beings developed enormous

oflighL
In this

During
way 1 learned how to
file,

the

Roaring 20th

brains that we did not

know how to operate.
banded
in

Our

hairiess primate ancestors,

process, organize, clarify, store, retrieve,

Century, the equations
of

social groups, living in caves, fashioning

and fransmit

my

digitized thoughts in the
icons.
in translating

clubs to fight tigers,

were equipped with the

form of words and

These exercises

quantum physics
development

led
of

same

brain

model

that

we are just now

learning how to manage.

thoughts to digital codes and screen images

to the

And
more

for

thousands of years, the

have helped
works,

me understand how my brain
universe evolves in terms of

poetic or neuroiogically advanced
starry

how the

Information algorithms. And, in the most
practical

quantum

appliances that

among us have gazed upward on
universe exists in space and that

nights, beginning to realize that another

mode,

to

understand:

we are

allowed humans to
and

1.

How we can avoid television
dictatorships,

frapped in the Terrarium of Earth's surface.

Or what's
2.

a heaven for?
1900, physicists (Einstein,

How we can democratize the
cyberscreen politics of the future.

receive,

process, and

Around
Heisenberg,

etc.)

demonstrated that the elein the universe,

transmit electronic

ments of all energy matter
out there or

My experiences, far from being
original or unique, seem to be part of an

down

here, consist of quanta of

enormous

images.

information. LighL

cultural metamorphosis. Like
1

During the Roaring 20th Century,
the equations of quantum physics led to the

millions of others,

have come

to feel as

comfortable over there in Cyberia, 1\ibeland, on the other side of

development of quantum appliances that allowed humans
receive, process,

to

my elecfronic-reality window, as
Terrarium of the material worid.

I

do operating

in the closed-in

and fransmit elecfronic images. Telephone, cine-

My brain, Uke yours, needs to be
float,

ma,

radio, television, computers,

compact

discs, fax

machines; sud-

clothed in cyberwear and to swim,

navigate through the

denly

humans were

creating digital realities that

were accessed on

oceans of electronic data.
Surely

living-room screens.
if

we can

be forgiven

we are

confused by

all this.

This universe of electronic signals, in which
so

we now spend

Organisms

in the

process of metamorphosis are forced to use the
in

much

time, has been called Cyberia.

metaphors of past stages

order to anticipate future stages

an

Just as the fish brain

had

to

don dry-skin

terra-suits to

obviously risky business. "They'U never get
says the caterpillar to the butterfly.
So, let

me up in one of those,"

inhabit the Terrarium, so do our primate brains have to

don

Canaveral space
digital

suits in

order to migrate into outer space. And use

me venture some shaky allegories.
SECTION

appliances in order to inhabit cyberspace.

I.

SCREENS

HOW

I

BECAME AN AMPHIIIAN

THE BRAIN AS A DIGITAL

We til-brains who learn to
constiTict
it

TRANSMITTEI

and inhabit auto-realities
in tiie

E
ttie

As our brain evolves,
ops

devel-

spend some time

cyberworid

new vehicles and infor-

and some
worid.

in tiie material-organic

mation-processing devices in
its

We zoom tiuDugh Uie datinfo-bits

order to feed

insatiable

hunger

for

mosphere like Donkey Rongs and
Pac Women, scooping up

stimulation. Like

any adolescent oi^an,
enor-

human brain requires an

and spraying out
forms.

electixmic-realily
cheerftilly

mous, continual supply of chemical

And flien we
tiie

and electix)nic data to keep growing
toward
matiirity.

return to
ly

slow, lascivious, flesh-

material worid to indulge our

In the last eight years, Uie dendritic

bodies with sensory stimulation

metabolism of my information
to

and

to exercise

our muscles by
reali-

organ (brain) seems

have under-

pushing around mechanical
ties in sport

gone a dramatic change.

My

eyes have

or recreation.
skin-tissue plane,
to

become two hungry moutiis pressed
against
flie

On tiie

Terrarium vdndow flirough

our left brains are limited

vMch electix)nic pulses reach die
receptive areas of my brain.

mechanical-material forms. But in

My brain

ScreenLand our right brains are
free to imagineer digital dreams,
visions, fictions, concoctions, hallu-

seems

to require

a daily input of sever-

al biUion bytes of digital (light-speed)

information. In this

1

am no different tiian Uie average, televoid
tiie

cinatory adventures. All tiiese screen scenes are as real as a kick-in-

American sluggishly reclining on

bottom of the Terrarium.

My

the-pants as far as our brains are concerned.

Our brains have no

brain also requires regular diets of chemical foods. But

my Very

sense organs and no muscles. Our brains

command our bodies and

Personal Computer has ti-ansformed

my brain into an output organ
tfie

send spaceships
tic: flie

to flie

Moon by sending signals in only one hnguisof zeros

emitting, discharging digital Information tiirough

Terrarium

quantum language

and ones.

window into ScreenLand.
Just as
tiie

heart

is

programmed

to

pump blood, my sinewy
The screen
is

NO MORE MIND-BODY PARADOX FOR
TRI-BRAIN ORGANISMS

brain

is

now programmed to fire, launch, ti-ansmit, beam tiioughts
flie electix)nic

tim)ugh

window into

Cyberia.

die

niH
^;
life

We til-brain creatures seem to be resolving tiiat most
ancient philosophic problem. Forget
tiie

revolving glass door tiirough which

my brain botii receives and

emits her signals.

^fe^H
satisfied to
tiie

j

quaint,

mam-

malian dualism of mind versus body The interplay of
brain

As a result of personal computers and video arcades, mil-

now involves digital
Everyfliing

body matter

digital screen.

Uons of us are no longer
flirough
tiie

peer

like passive infants
filled witii

animal, vegetable, mineral, tangible, invisible,
flie

Terrarium wall into

ScreenLand

cyber-

electiic-is converted to digital food for

info-starved brain.

And

stars like Bill

and

Hillary and Boris and Saddam and Madonna and

now, using

flie

new digital appliances, everything fliat flie
in consciousness, to

Beavis and Butt-Head.
in Cyberia.

We are learning how to enter and locomote
as well as inhale

brain-mind can conceive can be realized in elechxmic patterns.

Our brains are learning how to exhale

To be registered
sensory stimulation

be "realized," every
digital-

in tiie datasphere.

must be deconshiicted, minimalized,
signal

Of course, not all humans will make

this

move. Many of our

ized.
les

The brain converts every pressure
genitals, delectables

from our skins,

tick-

finny ancestors preferred to remain marine forms. "You'll never get

from our

from our tongues, photons from

me up In one of Uiose," said tiie tadpole to tiie irog.
Many humans will be ti-apped by gene-pool geography or
compelled
by repressive societies or

our eyes, sound waves from our ears, and, best of all, electi^nic
buzzlness from our screens into

quantum

realities, into dfrectories

seduced by material rewards
worid of mammalian bipeds.
rest after tiieir oner-

and

files

of 0/1 signals.

and

tiius reside in tiie material-fiesh
tiie

We til-brain amphibians are learning how to use cyberwear
(computer
use
flie

Oh, yeah. To escape from

boredom and to

suits) to navigate

around our ScreenLands
to navigate

flie

way we

ous, mech-fiesh labors, tiiey will torpidly ingest electronic realities

hardware of our bodies

around

flie

material-

oozing from

tiieir

screens. But Uiey will not

don cybersuits and

mechanical worid, and the way
to navigate

we

use spaceships and space suits

zoom

into ScreenLand.

around

flie

outer space.

TIMOTHV LEAIY

CHAOS

I

(VIEI CULTUtE.

There are some amusing and alluring philosophic by-products.

for pleasure.

The only mechanical vehicles we will
will

actually climb

Quantum

psychology allows us to define, operationally, other

into
will

and operate by hand

be sports

cars. TVains, planes, boats
will transport

terms of classical metaphysics.

be used only for pleasure cruising, and

our bodies

for aesthetic, artistic, recreational purposes only.

Our bodily postures
delightful,

A DEFINITION OF "SPIRITUAL" COULD BE "DIGITAL"
Recite to yourself some of the traditional attributes of the

vvill

thus be graceful and proud, our body

movements

slow, sensual, lush, erotic, fleshly, carnal vacations from the accelerated, jazzy cyberreaUties of cyberspace,

word "spiritual":

mythic, magical, ethereal, incorporeal, intangible,

where the brain work

is

nonmaterial, disembodied, ideal, platonic Is that not a definition of
the electronic-digital?

done.

PERSONAL APPEARANCE
CAN WE ENGINEER OUR SOULS?
Can we engineer our souls? Can we
pilot

IN THE

PRECIOUS FLESH
inti-

Face-to-face interactions will be reserved for special,

our souls?

mate, precious, sacramentalized events. Flesh encounters will be
rare

The
your soul
its

closest

you are probably ever going to get to navigating

and

thrilUng. In the

is

when you are piloting your mind through your brain or
on cybernetic screens. Think of the screen as
track the vapor
trail

future each of us will be

external simulation

Imked in

thrilling

cyberex-

the cloud

chamber on which you can
movements.

of your

changes with

many others

Leainin; how
to operate a

platonic, immaterial

If your digital

footprints

and

spiri-

whom we may never meet
in

tual fingerprints look less than soulful

on the screen,

well, just

person and

who do not

change them. Learning how

to

operate a soul figures to take time.
of information defines

speak our phonetic-literal
language. Most of our

The quantum-electronic universe
the

new spiritual

state.

These

"spiritual" realms, over centuries

important creations

\v\[\

imagined, may, perhaps,

now be reaUzed! The more philosophic

take place in ScreenLand.

soul figures
to take time.

among us find this philosophically intoxicating.

Taking

off our

cyberwear to

confront another with

naked eyeballs

will

be a

AMPHIBIANS WILL NOT NEGLECT THE BODY
Those of us who choose the amphibian option will
spend some of our waking hours suited up and moving

precious personal appearance.

And

the quality of our

"personal appearances" will be raised to a level of mythic drama.

around

in the

cybemetic-psybemetic ScreenLand. But

please don't fret about our neglecting the wonderful body.

COMMON-SENSE QUANTUM PSYCHOLOGY
Until 1983,

The

first

point to register is this:
to

We tri-brains should not
not a sacrilegious desecratoil,

use our precious fieshware
tion to

work.

Is

it

when I acquired a personal computer, the prinseemed,
to

waste our precious sensory equipment on

chore,

ciples of quantum physics always

my immature material
totally

drudgery? We are not pack animals, or serfs, or executive robots

mind,
tical.

to

be incomprehensible, bizarre, absfract, and

imprac-

garbed in uniforms rushing around lugging briefcases

to offices.

Now that my digital brain lobes have been activated, quantum
make common sense and to define
a practical psy-

Why should we use our priceless, irreplaceable bodies to do work
that

physics seems to

can be done better by assembly-line machines?
But who will plough the
fields

chology of everyday Ufe in the tri-brain mode.
Einstein's theories of relativity, for example, suggest that
realities

and harvest the grapes? The
in

languorous midwestem farmer will don her qbersuit and recline

depend on points of view. Instead of the
reality,

static

absolutes of
realities are

her

hammock in Acapulco operating the automated plough on her
in his

space-time defined by material

quantum-brain

Nebraska farm. The Mexican migrant will recline

hammock

changing

fields

defined by quick feedback interchanges with other

in Acapulco using his cybergear to direct the grape-harvest

information sources.

Our computer brainware allows us

to

perform

machines.

Einsteinian-spiritual fransformations on our laptops.

When we finish our work, we will take off our cybersuits,
our brain clothing, and don body
migrants sweat,
it

Werner Heisenberg's principle
objective determinacy.
stantly changing, then
reality.
If everyone

states that tfiere is a limit to

clothes.

When we platonic

has a singular viewpoint, con-

will
it

be
will

in athletic or sensual pleasure.

When we

everyone creates his or her

own version of

exert elbow grease,

be

in

some form

of painterly flourish or

This gives the responsibility for reality construction not to a

musical

riff.

When we operate oil-gulping machines, we will joyride
SECTIOI

bad-natured biblical God, or to an impersonal, mechanical process

SCREENS

HOW

I

lECAME AN AMPHIIIAN

5

BRUMMBAE

of entropic devolution, or to an omniscient Marxist state, but to individual brains. Subjective detemiinacy operates in Screenljand.

street-smart

common sense. But Einstein and Heisenberg and Max
when they said that the basic
bits of ofl/on (yin/yang) information.

Our

Planck and Niels Bohr lost the crowd

brains create our ovra spiritual worlds, as they say along the

elements of the universe were

Ganges.

We get the realities we deserve. Or preserve. Or construct
And now our interactivated
brains can project wonderland

And that soUd matter is temporary clusters of frozen And that when material
gy:

information.

structures are fissioned, they release ener-

realities

onto our screens and hurl them around the globe at light

E = mc^.
These
brilliant physicists

speed. Notice the political impUcations.

Quantum psychology

stress-

were explaining electronic ideas

ing singularity of viewpoint

is

the ultimate democratic perspective.
controls our
it

by usmg thefr hands
black
slate!

to write

with paleolithic chalk on a slab of

The screen

is

the

window to the new world. Who

screens programs the realities
to control

we inhabit Therefore

behooves us

During the next twenty

to eighty years,

quantum appUances

our own reahty screens.

became household

items.

The

application of quantum physics to
circuits.

These two notions, of relativity and self-determination, are

engineering produced vacuum tubes, transistors, integrated

6

TIMOTHY lEAlY

CHAOS

(

(VIER (UtTUIE.

lasers, radio, television,
to

computers. These gadgets are not intended

The convergence

of these

waves of information, the inner
it

move "matter-energy" around. Instead, they move information. Data-buzzes. Electronic means "informational." Sticks and stones
break your bones, but information can never hurt you.
it

psychedelic and the ScreenLand cybemetic, made
first

possible for the

time for

human

beings to understand
brain
is,

how the brain operates.
most powerful

may

The human
control

by auto-definition, the
in the

Although

can, alas, totally control your mind.
it

communication unit

known

universe.

A

constellation

So
matter are

becomes clear that the basic "particles"
of "information." Matter
is

that

make up

of a

hundred bilhon

cells floating in

an ocean of info-gel. The brain
It is

bits

frozen information.

has no muscles and no sense organs.

a shimmering sea

swarm-

Energy

is

just the

dumb smoke and sweat that matter releases in its
The famous formula changes
to;

ing with microchip molecules packaged in

enormous hardware

lumbering transformations.

neurons,

all

linked by chemical-electrical signals.

We could not
to

I=mc^, where "I" = information.
At the

understand
to

how the bram

operates until our electrical engineers

quantum
It

level the

Newtonian "laws" turn out

be

had

built

computers. And now we are leaming how

beam our
and play

local ordinances.

turns out that the smaller the linguistic element,

brain waves into the Cyberia of electronic

reality, to think

the greater the

l.Q.

(Information Quotient).

The

larger

is

always the
it

and work and communicate and create

at this basic (0/1) level.

lumbering vehicle

for the miniaturized, platonic info-units
is

carries

Our hundred-billion-neuron computers
process digital signals at the rate of a hundred
ond. Each neuron can unfold as

are designed to
million per sec-

around. The universe

an intelligence system, and the elements of

fifty

intelligence are quanta.
is

And suddenly we understand
metabolize

that the brain

many

as ten thousand dendrite
its

an organ designed

to

digital information.

receptors to pick up information from

neighbors. Talk about

local-area networks! Talk about Central Intelligence Activity!

More

THE POPULARIZATION AND PERSONALIZATION OF

information

is

probably exchanged per second
in a

at
If

the
any.

site

of one

9UANTUM PSYCHOLOGY
Except
to

IN

THE ROARING 20TH CENTURY
studied the brilliantly intuitive

synapse than in the CIA headquarters
This
is

day

those

who had

the reality field that Plato described in the 4th

metaphors of oriental philosophy, these principles of quantum psychology sounded implausible and weird when they were
first

Century

B.C., that

quantum mechanics
to inhabit at the

intuited in 1900,

and

that

we

tri-brains

have begun

end of this Roaring 20th

announced around

A.D. 1900.

But looking back

we can

see that

Century.

every decade of the Roaring 20th Century has produced events that

have confirmed and applied quantum principles.

The philosophy

of our century, since Peirce and Saussure,
is

is

QUANTUM

POLITICS:

POWER TO THE SINGULARITIES
fabrication of quantum

linguistic, semiotic, semantic. So

the psychology,

and the

politics.

Modem art, modem writing, modern music made
able in the

us feel comfort-

the 1980s

we saw how the

quantum atmosphere. The

great artists dissolved repre-

sentational structure, freed elements to create

new forms, word

pat-

Bin
ances.

realities

empowered

the monopoUstic organizations that

manage

the careers of screen actors like Ronald Reagan

tems, sounds, and accepted the responsibility of subjecUve

reality-

and the Pope and Ayatollah Khomeini and Mikhail Gorbachev
In 1989 the nature of the

formation. As Walt Disney demonstrated, the brain loves to be electronized.

quantum

poUtics of thought pro-

cessing and the
interpersonal computers, Nintendo
electronic bulletin boards. All of

human-computer interaction was dramatically

And now we have

changed by the introduction and marketing of digital

home

apph-

power gloves, Sega CD-ROMS,

these relatively inexpensive gadgets place the
tonic, electronic realities in the

power to

create pla-

hands of interacting individuals.

We can now create electronic realiUes on the other side of the screen not just vrith a keyboard or a joystick or a mouse. We wear the interface. We don cybergloves, cybergoggles, cybercaps,
cybervests. Cybershorts!

THE DISCOVERY AND EXPLORATION OF THE BRAIN The advent of psychedelic (mind-opening) dmgs (1960-80)
produced a widespread fascination with consciousness alteration,

Our

bodily

movements

create the images

on our screens.
worlds, and we

We walk, talk, dance, swim, float around in digital
interact

on screens with others who are linked

in

mind
tal

exploration, inner searching, brain-stimulation gadgets, orienall

our

nets.

yoga

based on quantum principles. The advent of personal
digital editors,

Cyberwear is a mutational technology that allows individual's

and interpersonal computers,

and audio-video gear
electronic-

brains to experience O.O.B. (out-of-body) experiences just as
like legs

(I97&-90) turned the average American

home into an

landware

and lungs permitted the
will

fish to

escape the water
for individ-

information center. At the
their discoveries
cal nets

same

time,

neurologists were publishing
electri-

(O.O.W. experiences). Cyberwear
ual

make it possible

about

how neurotransmitter chemicals and

Americans

to cross the

Merlin Wall and to meet and interact in

move

information around the brain.

cyberspace.

SECTION

1.1

SCREENS

HOW

I

BECAME AN AMPHIBIAN

THE PIONEERS OF CYBERSPACE

process and emit electronic signals.

The main

function of a comput-

The

basic notion of O.O.B. artificial-reality appliances

was

er

is

interpersonal communication.

introduced by Myron Kreuger and Ted Nelson in the 1970s.
nitly-gritty realities of creating

The
were

Within ten years

many of us will be spending almost all our

and inhabiting

digital universes

screen time actively zooming around digital oceans interacting and
re-creating with other tri-brains.

described in 1985 by William Gibson in his

brilliant,

epic trilogy

Neuromancer, Count Zero, and

Mom Lisa Overdrive. Gibson
human
digital

Some

industrial-age cynics say that

humans

are too lazy.
active.

described the "matrix," the dataworlds created by

communication. By 1989 cybemauts Uke Jaron Lanier, Eric
GuUichsen, Joi
Ito,

They would rather sit back as sedentary couch slugs than be But we've been through these tech-jumps before in history.

Brenda Laurel, and Rebecca Allen were develop-

Before Henry Ford, only big-shot engineers and captains

ing cyberspace realities built for two.

Or more.

employed by corporations drove mass-media vehicles such as

trains

and steamboats.
REALITIES BUILT FOR

Now we recognize (and often deplore) this genetic
member of our species at

TWO

compulsion

to

grab the steering wheel, smoke rubber, and freely

Many ui the future human beings will be spending more time in
tronic realities, interacting with other electronic

people are understandably disturbed by the idea that

auto-mobilize that sweeps over every
puberty.

PlatoLand than in Flesh Play; piloting their brain-selves inside elec-

In ten years

most of our daily operations
will transpire in

occupational,

humans.

educational, recreational

ScreenLands.

Common
brain-

Like adolescents whose hormones suddenly awaken the

sense suggests that

we are more likely to fmd compatible

unused sexual

circuits of their brains,
is

we tri-brains are just now disfired,

mates

if

we are not restricted to local geography.

covering that the brain

an info-organ wired,

and inspired to

I

TIMOTHY lEAlY

CHAOS

i

CVIEI (UlTUIE.

thousands of years, since the

dawn

of tribal societies,

most

human beings have lived in drab

For

caves, huts, shacks, igloos, houses,

or apartments furnished and sup-

plied with

minimum information

equiptools.

mentoral-body language. Stone

In these shut-m, introverted,

mward-looking, data-starved abodes
occurred the practical maintenance functions that people

had

to

perform

to

keep the

ingestion of psychotropic vegetables has

The

task of luring the populace to

gene pool gomg. For most people the

always provided the sacramental energy for
the gene-pool gatherings. Wines, ferment-

hsten to the sponsors' messages
dal-industrial ages
cial caste called:

m the feuto a spe-

plumbing was

crude, the clothing hardly

was delegated
talent

seductive. Cosmetics

and perfumes were

ed grains, brain-change vines,

roots, leaves,

The

The

painters.
architects.

minimal

to say the

most
were no

flowers containmg the precious neurotransmitters prepared

The The

directors.

The shaman. The The
minstrels.

hi the tribal culture there

and administered by

entertainers.

The

storytribal

books, radios, or daily newspapers.

No

alchemical shamans produced the "high,"
the venerable, sacred, precious transcendental state of chaotics, ecstasy, possession,
revelation, trance

tellers.

Their function and duty in the
to

Vogue magazine loaded with five hundred
slick

economy was

cahn the fears of Chaos
titillat-

pages of silk fashion, voluptuous mod-

with dehghtful comforting fantasies,

els

pouting with desire, straining to arouse,

the mythic-genetic

ing ceremonies, and romantic dramas.

flashing wide-open, inviting legs in high-

right-brain vision.

The Holy Confusion.

We could let our swollen, tumescent eyeballs pop wide open and our turgid,

heeled shoes, and curving, suck-me

tits.

You know what I'm talking about.

No, the survival information needed to

What orgasm is

to the body, this
is to

shuddering

droolmg peasant tongues dangle as

we
and

maintain the

tribal

home was packaged in

psychedelic experience

the brain.

watched the

belly dancers

and muscular
jiggle,

rote, monkey-like signals expressed by the

At these treasured high moments,

dudes wiggle, writhe, sUther,
quiver until our loins ached.

body: oral grunts, gestures, bodily move-

we tribe members could escape the
and
cial

drab

When we

ments, crude

artifacts.

activate

our individual myths, our spe-

were back
flicker,

in the

dark cave/hut in fireplace

inner talents, and we could communiit

our plain, glamourless, loyal mates

cate

to others

who were navigating theu-

suddenly turned into the Whores of
Babylon! Rrishnas with glowing hard-ons! Talk about pornography inciting desire!

THE MARKETING MESSAGE

own personal neuroreaUties. These intense
communications, brain exchanges which

FROM THE PRODUCERS OF
THE TRIBAL-CULTURE

SHOW

CathoUcs

call

"Holy Communion," we call

The perennial problem with
directors

the

the Holy Confusion.

and the

talent is this.

To

attract

we wanted to experience a bit

At these ceremonies

we tribe

and dazzle villagers to Usten
mercials, they

to the

com-

Slf
had

of glamour,

if

we yearned to flirt
if

members could express our visions in communal
ster.

had

to

allow the public to

around, looking for a sexual part-

theatre. This

one becomes a joke-

vicariously experience this steamy,
ing-hot, exciting,

smok-

ner, or to check on what was happening,

Another sings. Another dances.
tricksters, artists,

naughty

stuff that

was
which

we needed a

battery recharge to

keep us

Suddenly

mimes

take the

absolutely taboo for the people, but

going as a loyal gene-pool serf-servant,
to exit the

we

center stage to act out the emotions and the
identifying

could be acted out in morality plays, racy
festival

home and amble up to the
the local gos-

themes

that held the tribe

performances, sculptures of naked

village

square. There we could get the
tribal

together.

bodies.

And here's where we

talents

come

evening
sip,

news, pick up

The sponsors
time?

of the tribal

show

in.

and make deals
our wives
in

for skins or fur coats
for a stone knife.

lb keep the folks tuning in, the

for

exchange

The
priests

clique that ran the tribe.
chieftains.

The

sponsors needed us performers. The sexy
musicians, well-endowed dancers, clowns,

On designated occasions, our
entire tribe

and the

The

lovable grey

would swarm together for cerePlanting. Harvesting.

beards, the stem, traditional Old Ones.
studio heads.

The

raunchy comedians

telling risque stories

monies of celebration:
Full

Those responsible

for holding

about adulteries and risky

new sexual

moons.

Solstice flings.

Weddings.

the tribe together for their
profit

own fame and

adventures, poets, X-rated storytellers,

Funeral orgies, hi agricultural societies the

comics, mimes.

It

was

the talent

who per-

SECTION

1.2

SCREENS

CUSTOM-SIZED SCIEEN lEAllTIES

9

formed the safety-valve function, who gave
the populace a fantasy taste of the rich

pulpits of the orthodox preachers,

and

PLEASE THANK

and

denounced as

C.I.A.

agents by Marxists.
tribal

GUTENBERG-NEWTON FOR
THE INDUSTRIAL AGE
The same McLuhan
trends con-

forbidden

fruits.

The sponsors of the
were selected for beauty,
priests

show, the

TEdents
erotic

and the

chiefs,

were kept busy not

charm, powerfid emotion.
to

We were

only producing the event, but also watching

expected

go too

far, to

push the envelope

and censoring and punishing

to

make sure

tinued in the industrial age. As
usual, the populace
in small,

of taboo, to test the limits of good taste.

that nothing got too far out of hand, or

was housed

Show our tits and asses. Act out wild copuwe were latory sex dances. Scandalize. And
required to suffer the consequences.

upset the sponsors.

dark rooms, but

now that big is
in enor-

And, of course, the gene-pool commercials were ever-present

better, the

rooms were stacked

We
the

We could
tal-

mous slum buildings.
The
factory culture created the
life

were banned.
river.

Blacklisted. Sold
harlotry.

down

never forget
rattles

who owned the drums and the

Forced into

Fired from

and the spears and the shamanic

highest form of intelligent
planet,

on

this

Harvard. Forever

shamed and exposed in

ent,

and the temples: The pafrons who paid

up

until

now: the mass-market

the local version of the perennial National
Enquirer.

for the tribal show.

consumer.

Denounced

as devils from the

The sponsors of the

factory econo-

my didn't really plan to create an insatiable

THANK GOD FOR FEUDALISM
Marshall

consumer class

that

would eventually overQuite the

whehn it with acquisitive desire.
McLuhan
spoke
wisely.
cul-

"Change the media and you change the
ture." Literacy

sonorous clang, the chanting of the monks, the colourful garb of the priests and mullahs.

confrary.

The sponsors

of the industrial cul-

upgraded the esthetic level and the efficiency of the entertainment packaging. The growth of cities and nations

Stained glass!

ture
fun-

were those who belonged to the one
fall

No wonder

these feudal religions

class that easily survived the

of feudal-

damentalist, fanatic, furious, passionate,

ism: the engineer-managers.

They were

by the 1st Century

B.C.

provided big bud-

paranoid

swept the Hooper

ratings!

The

sometimes

called Masons.

They were

continual gets and big crews to distribute from the gene-pool sponsors. messages

fellaheen could leave their scruffy hovels

and walk through cathedrals with golden
while candles ceilings stretching to the sky,
flickered

white, anti-papist. Northern European

The people, the average pack-Joe families, were now
or serfs or peasants. Their role
biformation

folk,

the

mechanics, efficient and rational, with a
scary hive mentality totally loyal to

six-

called plebes
in

on the statues of the Prophet.

A

The

the feudal-

panoramic mosque-church scene throbbing
with colour, pomp, grandeur, wealth, and

Order.

Stem puritans. They worked so

economy was not

that different

hard, postponed so

much pleasure, and got

from that of their

tribal ancestors.

The poor

people are always seen as primitive because
they are forced to
hoods, ghettos,
live in tribal

melodrama pouring into virginal eyeballs. The palaces of the secular rulers, the
and kings and dukes, were equally stunning,

obsessed with engineering so efficiently
that they

ended up flooding the world with

neighbour-

in huts,

shacks, windowless

much more

sexy. The priests

may have

an unstoppable cascade of highly appealing
products. Labor-saving devices. Better

rooms, slum pads, shabby urban caves where the signal rate was limited to immediate biological data exchanges from first
breath to death.

preached sexual abstinence, but the nobles fucked anyone they wanted to and celebrat-

medicines
lives.

to

save

lives.

Better guns to snuff

ed sexual beauty in the paintings they commissioned. The walls of the palaces glowed
with flamboyant celebrations of naked wan-

Books. Radios. Televisions.

This comucopian assembly line of
everything that a tribal hunter or a feudal
serf or a Holy

from political messages the sponsors of the feudal age were popularized and disseminated in spectacular pub-

The

cultural

and

tonness. Greek goddesses with pink,
swollen thighs and acres of soft, silky flesh

Roman Emperor could possifor required endless rotat-

lic

broadcasts. The church

in

the central
loaded

plaza

was

large, ornate, decorative,

sprawled on clouds of filmy desire, enticing their male counterparts to enjoy their
favors.

bly

have lusted

ing armies of indefatigably industrious con-

wKh

statues and paintings of truly inspired

sumers veiling
in

to

lift

items from shelves,

aesthetic genius.

The medieval crime-time

You could stand humbly with cap
and cheer the swells dressed up
lace
in

hand

haul grocery carts, unpack bags, store in
refrigerators, kick tires, read

show, both Christian and Islamic, was per-

opulent

manuals of
and then

formed by miraculously gifted talent. The tiled mysteries of the Alhambra and the ceilings of the Vatican Chapel
still

and leather

riding

by

in

gold-decorated

inspire the

You loved the changing of the Guard, probably not realizing that the
carriages.

instruction, turn keys, drive away,

religiously repair, until death, the appli-

breathless reflex reaction,

"Wowl

Praise the

troops were there to protect the sponsors
of the

ances that rolled Uke an endless river of
metal-rubber-plastic

Lord for sponsoring this great show!"

show from you, the people.
live in

dovm

Interstate 101 to

Every day the commercial logos and
mottos of the feudal culture were repeated.

The shack you
ankle
lar

may be

dreary, but

the shopping malls and into our factory-

downtown

to catch the big, spectacu-

made homes.

The muezzin's

call,

the church bell's

God-King show.

How can the sponsors keep the

10

TIMOTHY lEAlY

CHAOS

i

CYBEI ClltTUtE

people motivated to perform the onerous
tasks of producing and
feverish pace?

The

effect
sit in

consuming
old

at

a

No wonder

was astounding. Farmer
the village theatre

these

Brown could

and

The same

way by

there in front of him, thirty-feet high,

was

putting on a show and promising them a

feudal relijions-

the face of Clara Bow, her bulging red lips
glistening with moisture, her eyes

glimpse of the high

life.

But

this time, in the
sell

beaming

mercantile culture, they can
tickets.

'em

tundamentalist,
fanatic, furious,

nymphomaniac
had never

invitation!

Farmer Brown

in his wildest fantasies

dreamed

The

cultural celebrations that got

of this sultry thang! Meanwhile, Mrs.

people out of the house in the industrial
society

Brown

is

breathing hard and leaking her

were no longer religious-political

ceremonies. They occurred in commercial
venues. Public invited. Tickets at box office
or street comer. Every

passionate, paranoid-

precious bodily juices watching Rudolf
Valentino licking his
sual tongue!
full lips

with his sen-

community boasted

swept the Hooper

a theatre, concert hall, art gallery, opera

THE INDUSTRIAL MIND WANTS BIG

house, burlesque palace, vaudeville show,
sports stadium, bullring. Et cetera. These

The fellaheen ratings!
could leave their

SERVINGS OF MECHANICALLY

PRODUCED STIMULATION
Movies swept the worid. The film
industry naturally followed the

entertainment factories were built to

resemble the royal structures of the feudal
age. Theatres

commandis better.

were

called the "Palace"

and

scruffy

hovels and

ment of the mechanical age
Cloned quantity
is better.

big

the "Majestic" and the "Royal."
In these plastic-fantastic

Feature films
sizes.

whore-

walk through
cathedrals with jolden
ceilings stretching
to

were made
epic

in

two convenient

The was

house temples, workers could escape the
routine, drab signalry of the workday and
lose themselves in lascivious, wet-dream,

was very long. But

the industry

run by clothing merchants from

New York
two pants

who knew how to
to a suit.

sell,

cut-rate,

hypnotic states of erotic pleasure, tantalizing, carnal carnivals

So most films were manufactured

designed and pro-

in the half-size "double-bill." If and

when

duced by

us, the

shamanic profession, the

the

counterculture entertainers.

sky,

while candles

the people

left

their

homes and

traveled

downtown

to the theatre, they

expected a

The psycho-economics were
cut.
last

clear-

The consumers wanted the show to
as long as possible, anything to get out

flickered on the

good three or four hours of escape.

Over the

last twenty-five

thousand

years, until yesterday, the sponsors

had

of the hovel.
trick

More was

better.

The show-biz

statues of the

Prophet.

come and

gone, and the technologies had
to

was

to stretch out the

scenes of the

improved from oral-gestural

hand-tool

opera, stage play, concert as long as possible.

A

panoramic mosque-

to

mechanical-electric. But the goals, prin-

Give 'em their money's worth.

ciples,

and venues of human motivation
really

church scene
FILMS PRESENT ELECTRIC
REALITIES

and human communication hadn't

changed much, and the economics hadn't

throbbin5[

with colour,

changed. Big was always

better.

The

talent in tribal, feudal,

and
tasks.

industrial cultures

had two "charm"

O
r-^^
'

By the mid-20th Century,

at the

pomp, grandeur,
wealth, and

The

first,

and most important, was

to

. '11 peak

of the mechanical age, the

entice, beg, grovel, seduce, use

our sexual
spon-

relentless engineering search

wiles,

go down on our knees

to the

for labor-saving devices
tion naturally

and mass

distribu-

extended to the entertain-

melodrama pourinjf
into
virjiinal eyeballs.

sors to get the deal.

The second
was

job

was to

please the customers. This

easier,

ment

industry. The new McLuhan media

because the customers basically were begging to get
titillated,

was electricity. Stage

plays could be fdmed,

turned on, aroused.
to

the rdms duplicated and sent to hundreds

They had paid money

adore the

talent.

of theatres.

The

sponsors, of course, got their

SECTION

1.2

SCREENS

(USTOM-SIZED SCREEN REALITIES

%
*--:y.
-.,

h

^
^
r?s*
.

rxr

*^
V

"t.,

V^
*-

'

.

xv'

??^
>;

>^>^

.i'

^

^

niZ'

"They'll

never jet

me up
one of

in

those,"

says the

f'^f
caterpillar

to the

r&^V-'
butterfly.

cv:

1}

kicks from fucking over everyone, especially

Digital

communication

(i.e.,

the

the glamourous talent

When and

if

the

operation of the universe) involves massive
arrays of these info-units, trillions of infor-

THE CYBERNETIC BRAIN EXPECTS MORE DATA IN MUCH LESS TIME
Folks in the mechanical age

entertamers became superstars, they, natuoff their knees, rally, got

wiped

off their

mation pixels flashing

to create the

PI
LlJ

may be

mouths, and proceeded

to take exquisite

momentary
molecule.

hardware reahty of one single

revenge on the sleazy producers, the grub-

H

content to
ing the

sit

drinking tea and readfor

London T^mes

two

by studio heads, the rodent-Uke agency
executives, the greedy managers,

The Newtonian energy-matter
equations of the industrial age (the 19th

hours. But energetic smart people navigat-

and the and
us.

ing a postindustrial brain

move through an

assorted lawyer thieves with briefcases
fax

Century) defined a local-mechanical reahty

ocean of information, surfing data waves
breaking at light speed and stereophonic

machines who had formerly abused
"There's no business like

m which much bigger and more was very
much better. You remember the catchphrases in the old

show

CD (the current brand name here is Hypermedia or CD-I
compact disc-interactive).
This appetite for digital data, more

business!" As they

were fond of saying.

Newtonian heavy-metal

Dinosaur Marching Song? Force.

INDIVIDUALS LEARN

HOW TO
which

Momentum. Mass.
Thermodynamics.

Energy. Work. Power.

and

faster,

can now be recognized as a

CHANCE THE SCREENS
These ancient
endured through the
al ages,
rituals,

species need.

The bram needs

electrons

In the information age

we are com-

and psychoactive chemicals Uke the body
needs oxygen. Just as body
our daily requirements
nutritionists list

tribal, feudal, industri-

ing to reahze that in packaging digital data,

amazingly enough, began
in the last

to

much smaller is very much better.
The
basic principle in light-speed
is

for vitamins, so will

change dramatically

few years!

our brain-psybemeticians soon be Usting our daily reqiurements for various classes
of digital information.

Just before yesterday, around 1984, a

com-

communication
mation
is

that so

much more infor-

bination of American creativity

and

packed mto so much smaller
units.

Japanese precision suddenly mass-pro-

hardware

For example, the 2-pound
will

By the year 2000, pure information
be cheaper than water and
electricity.

duced inexpensive, do-it-yourself home
appliances for individuals to electronily,
digitize,

human brain is a digital organic computer
that processes a hundred miUion times

The average American home will be
equipped
to access triUions of bits of infor-

and transmit personal
Digital

realities.

more information
pound body.

(r.p.m.)

than the 200-

communication

translates

mation per minute. The credit-card-size

the recording of any sound or photograph

The almost invisible

DNA code

to interpersonal computer will be able

of any image

into clusters of

quanta or

keeps programming and constructing

scoop up any page ftx)m the Library of
Congress,
sift

fuzzy clouds of ofl/on information.

Any

improved organic computing appUances,
i.e.,

through the entire film
all

image

digitized

by an individual human
lines

generation after generation of better
brains.

library of MOM, sort through

the
(if it

can then be flashed on telephone

and more portable
old

A billion-year-

episodes of "1 Love Lucy," and slice out

around the world inexpensively
speed.

at light

DNA megaprogram of invisible molecumuch
smarter than the shudderbrain!

the origmal pleases you) paragraphs from

lar size is

Aramaic

Bible.

ingly fragile,

here-and-now

On a typical Saturday way back in
1990, Los Angeles residents with a competitive itch

BIGGER

IS

APPARENTLY

And

infinitely smaller.

People are

NO LONGER BETTER
The
basic elements of the youni-

learning to deal with
digital-electronic
light speeds.

enormous stacks of

could exercise the option to

flick

information presented at

on seven major-league baseball games,
nine college football contests, the Olympic

verse, according to quantum-digital

Telephone. Radio. Television.
discs. At

as consisting of physics, can be understood

Computers. Compact

home. In

games, two horse-racing fracks,

etc.

quanta
digital

of information, bits of compressed

their "head" quarters. Electronic info

By

the year 2000, the poorest kid

m

programs. These elements of pure

and poured out of pulled down from the sky
the portable stereophonic ghetto-blaster

the inner city will have a thumbnail-size

(0/1) information contain incredibly

and chip (costing a dollar) with the storage
processing power of a billion transistors.

detailed algorithms to

program

potential

perched on shoulder, jacked

into ear-balls

sequences

for fifteen biUion years

and

still

as the body dances along the avenue. This
"addiction" to electronic information has
drastically expanded the reception scope

He/she

will also

have an optic-fiber wall

running. These

information-jammed units

socket that will input a million times

more

have only one hardware-external function.
All

set signals than the current television

they do

is flash

ofl/on

when the immedi-

and lessened the
the 19th Century.

tar-pit attention

span of

Inexpensive virtual-reality suits and gogto interact gles will allow this youngster
vrith

ate

environment triggers a complex array
.
. .

of "if-if-if-if

THEN!"

algorithms.

people

all

over the world

in

any envi-

14

TIMOTHY lEAlY

CHAOS

I

CYBEI CUtTUIE

ronment he or she chooses

to fabricate.

prima-donna omnipotent

director.

gers can

punch

buttons.

As George Gilder says, "The cultural limitations

Before 1976, the bigger the movie
the better.

We are no
serfs pining in

longer sensation-starved

of television, tolerable

when

The

long, leisurely, time-con-

dark garrets, lusting, long-

there

was no

alternative, are unendurable

suming

film

was the great epic. A

director

ing, craving, starved for the technicolour

in the face of the

new computer technolotechnologies in

who came

into the screening

room with

fiash of soft curving fiesh.

On

late-night

gies now on

the horizon

anything less than 2

hours (120 minutes or

television

we can

bathe in sexual innuendo.

which the

U.S. leads the world."
in the

7200 seconds) was considered a breezy
lightweight.

We can rent X-rated films of every erotic
version and perversion ever dreamed.

The home

year 2000, thus

equipped with inexpensive digital CD-I
appliances,

Way
television,

back

in 1966, before cable

There

is

no longer

that desperate appetite,

becomes our private

television-

people loved long, slow films.

that starved hunger, that yearning itch, that

film-sound studio that programs the digital
universe
as

They

provided folks with a

welcome escape

raw hankering
For

for optical stimulation.

we choose to
inhabit

inhabit, for as long

from their info-impoverished homes. You

this

reason the long, slow, sym-

we want to
But
is

it.

went to the theatre

to

enter a world of tech-

phony-scored feature film has become a
plodding line of 150 elephants trapped in
the melodramatic

there not a danger of over-

nicoloured glamour and excitement that

load?

The

ability to

scan and fish-net minia-

could not be experienced at convenience in

swamp. Movies today are

turized, abridged, slippery bursts of

essence-aesthetic informafion from the salty

oceans of signals flooding the

home

becomes a basic

survival skill in the 21st

This appetite for

i\^M

data, more

and

faster,

can now

Century. Our bored

brains love "overload."
a hundred

They can process more than
million signals a second.

be reco5[nized as a species need. The brain needs
electrons and psychoactive chemicals like the body

Of course,

this acceleration

and

compression of information has already

become
aim

state of the art in television.

The
is to

of crime-time network television

needs oxy5[en. lust as body nutritionists

list

our daily

get people to

watch commercials. A 30-sec-

ond

slot

during the Super Bowl broadcast

requirements for vitamins, so will our brainpsyberneticians soon be
for various classes of
listinji

costs close to half a million dollars.

The
first to

advertising agencies

were the

our

daily requirements

pick up the handy knack of digital-

miniaturization.
ic,

They spurt dozens of erotinto a

di5[ital

information.

#
150 minutes

shocking, eye-catching images

half-minute info-slot convincing us that
"the night belongs to Michelob." For that
matter,

we select our presidents and

ruling

the living room. In the theatre you could be

far too long.

The information-age cyberper-

bureaucrats on the basis of 30-second

Queen

for a Night.

The

director, naturally

son simply
trapped
in

will not sit for

image

clips, carefully

edited by advertising

enough,

tried to stretch out the

show

as

Cimino's wonderfully operatic
intensifies.

experts.

long as possible to postpone the customer's
return to the

mind or Coppolla's epic

For

home dimly

lit

by three black-

many

of us, the best stufi'we see on a movie
trailers.

BICCER

IS

NO LONGER BETTER

and-white television networks.

screen are the

A new

art

form

is

(EVEN IN MOVIES)
Slowly, reluctantly, the factory-

emerging

the production of 3-minute

MINIATURIZATION
By 1988, however, most American
residences were equipped with cable
inputs and VCRs and remote
controls.

teasers about

coming

attractions.
fail to live

based film industry

is

being forced to con-

Electronic haikus! Most movies

dense, speed up. Veteran, old-school movie
directors don't

up

to the trailers that

hype them. The "high
flick

want

to

do

it.

They are

lights" of a

smash-grab action

can be

trapped

in the antiquated industrial-age

SitUng like sultans in botanical torpor,

we

fascinating for 3 minutes, but iethally bor-

models of the opera and the "legitimate"
stage play and the epic movie. And the

browse, graze, nibble as
flashing screen-flix as

many multitone,
little fin-

ing for 2 hours. Indeed, most of the

new
Scott,

our warm

breed of movie directors

like

Tony

SECTION

1.2

SCREENS

CUSTOM-SIZED SCREEN REALITIES

15

Ridley Scott, Nelson Lyon, and David Lynch

lem! You arrive at the cineplex and you

have learned their craft by making commercials or

make your menu
your ticket
If you

selection

when you buy

MTV clips, from which have
les-

want the super-giant 150-

come

the

new communication rhythms.
digital neurol-

minute version of Last Temptation of Christ you pay $15,
visit

Filmmakers are learning the
son of quantum physics and
ogy:

the rest room, pack a

lunch, cancel a few meetings, walk to the

much more data in much
It

smaller

long-distance room, settle

in,

and

let

packages.

turns out that the brain Ukes to

Scorcese leisurely paddle you

down his

have

digital signals

jamming the synapses.

cerebral canals. As a television person,

your attention appetite

at the visual

ban-

CUSTOM-SIZED MOVIES
In

quet table probably gets satiated after
obvious
fact,

an

response

to this

hour. So you'll tend to select the regularsize epic: Christ,

some
to

innovative filmmakers are beginning

$5 for 50 minutes.

experiment with customized movies,

But cyberpilots and brain jocks,
with an eternity of digitized info- worlds at
fingertip,
sine,
five

sized for length.
to

The idea

is this. If

you go
sit

a good restaurant, you don't want to

tend to go for the nouvelle cuibufl'et.

trapped at a table for 150 minutes eating
the

gourmet

You pay $5 and watch

same

Italian dish.

No matter how delithe chef

10-minute "best-of," haiku compres-

cious.

No matter how many Oscars
buff's

sions of five films.

Rve

"high lights"
filling!

has won, most younger film

are not

essence-teasers. Tastes great! Less
If you

gonna

sit still

during a 2V2-hour spaghetti

are really taken by one of

film by moody, self-absorbed auteur-directors

these specialite de maison and

want more,

from the operatic
But
if

traditions.

you either go to the box ofllce for a ticket or

long, slow flicks are

what you

you

stick

your credit card

in the dispenser

want,

if

you

really prefer to

absorb elec-

cabinet, dial your choice,

and out pops a

tronic information like a python ingests a
pig, if you

custom-sized rental video to take

home and

want to

stuff yourself and slowly

scan at your convenience.

digest a 150-minute film

why, no prob-

.DO-lT- YOURSELF
So
with

CYBERWEAR OFFERS PERSONAL ELECTRONIC
far

REALITIES

you have been a busy consumer
passive selective options.

Director software program to re-edit. You
digitize the torso of a stupid-looking gorilla,

many

But,

suppose you want to move into

you scan a wilted celery stalk or the
in

the active

mode?

Cliange the film? Script

limp penis of an elephant, you loop
voice of Minnie

the

and direct your own version? Put your personal spin on the great director's viewpoint? Heresy!

Mouse

in

the helium

mode
let

screaming the Stallone
us win this time?"

line:

"You gonna

Suppose, for example, that you're a 14year-old African or Asian
like
lion, girl

and you

dis-

tape,

You paste your version into the rented pop h: back in the box, and retairn K

the movie Rambo, which cost $40 mil-

to the video store. The next person renting

minimum, to make. You rent the video
it.

Rambo

will

be

in

for a laugh and a halfl
viral

for S1 and scan

Then you select the most offensive section. Maybe the one
Sly Stallone

Within weeks this sort of
individual choice could
In

contagion of

sweep your town.

where

the jungle into

comes crashing through the natwe village, naked to

the cybernetic age

now dawning,
cast,

"Digital

Power to the People" provides
produce, and distribute his

the waist, brandishing a machine gun with

everyone the inexpensive option to
script, direct,

which he

kills

several hundred Asian men,

women, and

children.

or her

To present your version, you digitize
this

lorized, in the convenient sizes

own movie. Custom-made, taimam-

30-second scene, copy it into your $100 Nin-Sega-Mac computer, and use the

moth, giant, regular, and byte-sized mini.

i6

TIMOTHY lEARY

CHAOS

l

CyBER CUITUHE

I.}.
I

IMAGINEERING

f

Does

this

sound too Star TVekky

to

be for real? Well,

it's

already happening.

Way

back

at

Christmas 1990 six hundred thou-

sand American kids equipped with Nintendo power gloves were

am

viewing a videotape filmed by cyberspace researchers

sticking their
riors around.

hands through the Alice Window moving ninja war-

at Autodesk, a Sausalito computer-software

company.

On the

screen, a

woman

The imphcations
wearing tennis shorts leans ahead
leisure

of this electronic technology for

work and

and interpersonal intimacy are staggering.
For example, within ten years

expecting a serve.
thin wires.

On

her head she wears a cap

woven with
In

many of us will
work.

not have to

Her eyes are covered by opaque goggles.

her

"go"

to

work.

We will get up in the morning, shower, dress in our
and "beam" our brains
to

hand she holds a metal tennis racquet with no
She dashes to her
left

cyberwear
strings.
air.

suits,

No more

will

we

have

to fight tralTic in

our air-polluting 300-horsepower cars, hunt

and swings furiously at the empty
disappointment. "Too low!"

for parking spaces, take the elevator to

our

offices.

No more

flying,

"Oh no!" she groans
She crouches again
in

in

strapped in our seats ui a monstrous toxic-waste-producing air-polluting jet-propelled sky-dinosaur,

readiness then runs forward, leaps up,
air

jammed with

sneezing, coughing

sardines, fighting jet lag to attend conferences

slams a vicious volley at the empty

and shouts

and meetings.

in

triumph.
I

Tomorrow our brains will soar on
into the offices of friends in Tokyo, then

the wings of electrons
at light

The videotape then changes point of view.

Now am seeing
the wall
ball in

beam

speed

to

a

what the player

sees.

I

am

in

the court. The

ball hits

restaurant in Paris for a Hirtatious lunch, pay a quick, ten-minute
visit to

and bounces back to

our folks

in Seattle

all

my

left.

My

racquet smashes the

a

vrithout physically leaving
calls

our

living

rooms. In three hours of electronic, global house

we can

low-angle winning shot.
This

accomplish what would have taken three days or three weeks of
ball.

woman

is

playing virtual racquet

Her goggles are

lugging our brain-carrying bodies like slabs of inert fiesh.

two

small

computer screens showing the
She

digitized three-dimenis in

This

is

the information age, and the generator-producers of

information are our deUghtful, surprise-packed brains. Just as the
sional picture of a racquet-ball court.

the court. As she

enormously powerful machines of the
bodies around, so, tomorrow, will our

Industrial age

moved our

moves her

head-left, right, up-orientation-direction sensors in
left wall,

cybemeUc appliances zoom

her cap show her the

the right wall, the ceiling. The

our brains around the worid

at light speed.

movement
and
spin.

of the ball

is

calculated to reflect "real-life" gravity

We won't travel to play. We press two buttons and we are
standuig on the tee of the
is sister

fu-st

hole at Pebble Beach. There to join us

Anita

(who

is

actually standing

on the lawn of her house in

am experiencing the current big trend in electronics. It is
called artificial reality or virtual reality or electronic reali-

ANDY

FRITH

I

ty.

Some literary computer folks call

it

platonic reality, in

honor of the Socratic philosopher who described a uni-

verse of idealized or imagined forms
years ago. Cynics
call
it

more than two thousand

virtual banality.

We no longer need to press our addicted optical nostrils to

the television screen like grateful amoebas.
clip

Now, we
in

can don cybersuits,

on cybergoggles, and move around

the electronic reality on the other side of the screen. Working,
playing, creating, exploring with basic particles of reahty
electrons.

This technology was
idea

first

developed by NASA. The
to

was

that technicians in

Houston could use their gloves

direct robots

on the moon. Architects and engineers are
to

experimenting with an Autodesk device

walk around

in the

electronic projections of the buildings they are designing.

Doctors can travel

down

arteries

and

veins, observing

and

manipulating instruments.

SECTION

I.)

SCREENS

IMACINEtRINC

I?

ANDY

FRITH

Atlanta)

and our

dearest, funniest, wonderful friend Joi,

whom we
human

Some

thoughtful critics are concerned by the prospect of

have never met
backyard

in the flesh

(and

who is actually standing in his

beings spending so

much time frapped like zombies in

the

m Osaka). Each of us in turn "hits" the platonic golf ball
soar

inorganic, plastic-fantastic electronic world.

They fear that this will

and

we watch them

down

the fairway. After finishing the
to

first

lead to a depersonalization, a dehumanization, a robotization of

hole,

we can dial-beam to Anita's patio
to look at that

admire her garden, zap

human

nature, a race of screen-addicted nerds. This understandis

over to the tee of the second hole at SL Andrew's, then

zoom

to the

able apprehension

grounded

in the horrid fact that today the aver-

Louvre

Cezanne painting Joi was

talking about.

age American spends around
in front of the

six

hours each day passively reclining
docilely into

Within ten years, most of us Americans will be spending
half our waking hours zapping around
in electronic

boob tube, and three hours a day peering computer screens.

environments
be dialed

Big Brother's

with our friends. Any spot in the world

we can thmk of can

The
three

optimistic,

human

scenario for the future involves

up on our screens with our friends. Any landscape, surrounding,
setting, habitat

common-sense
1.

steps:

we can think of or imagine can
friends.

be quickly fabricated

on our screens with our

Cure the current apathetic, torpid television addiction,

il

TIMOTHY lEAlY

CHAOS

I

CriEl CUlTUItE.

2.

End the monopoly of top-dovra, spud-farm, mass-media
centralized television,

and

once wrote, "Complete physical union between two people is the rarest sensation which hfe can and yet not quite real, for it provide
stops

3.

Empower individuals to actively communicate, perform,
create electronic realities.

when

the telephone rings."

Connolly's

comment is

useful because

he distinguishes

How? By means of inexpensive computer clothing.
Another example? A married couple,

between "physical" communication, bodies rubbing, and neurological signals words and thoughts transmitted electrically The solution to his

Tom and Jane, are
On

problem

is

simple. Electronic appliances are beautifully

walking down the Malibu beach. In material form, you understand.
Real foot-massaging sand. Real skin-tannuig sunshine blue sky
loving impulse, they decide to spend a funny, lovmg

cooperative.

(Hey

Cyril, if you don't

want to be

disturbed, just turn
it

the gadget off when you

head

for the sack,

and then turn

back on

mmute or two
their

when you wish to.)
But
let

with then- daughter, Annie,

who is in Boulder. They flip down

us examine a

more profound unphcation. Connolly
which

lens-goggles that look like sunglasses. Jane punches a few

numbers

refers to "complete physical union" as "the rarest sensation

on her styUsh, designer wristwatch.

Tom

turns on the one-pound

hfe can provide." brains"?

Is

he thereby denigratmg the "union of minds and

Walkman
"visit"
is

receiver-transmitter. In Boulder, Annie accepts their
dials

The

interplay of empathy wit, fantasy dream, whimsy,
Is

and

them

to a prefabricated
is

pix-scene of her patio. She

imaguiation?

he scorning "platonic love"?

Is

he unplying that sex

smiling in welcome. She
is in

actually

m her living room, but elecThey see exactly what they

tronically she

her electronic

patio.

would see

if

they were there.

When they turn their heads, they see
He
points out the roses

Annie's husband Joe walking out waving.
that

Intense chaotics
re-cieated

have

just

bloomed

in the garden.

Remember, at the same time
the Malibu beach.
in

waiting to be

Tom and Jane

are "really"

walkmg down

They
. . .

can look over the goggles and watch two kids
ing a dog.

bathing suits chas-

with our friends.

The four people sharing
to

the "patio" reality decide they

want

be joined by

sister Sue, in Toronto.

They dial her and she beams
to

over to the "patio" in Colorado. Sue wants
dress; so the gang
It is

show them her new

Reality desiyninj is a

team

sport.

beams up

to Sue's living

room.

logical for you, at this point, to

wonder about the
Is this

cost of

this h-anscontinental

home movie-making.

not another

should be mindless genital acrobatics? A grim, single-minded coupling that can be disturbed by the platonic rapture of metaphysical

expensive toy for affluent yuppies playing while the rest of the world
starves?

sex?
Happily, the

Or a phone
Here
is

call?

answer is "no." The equipment used by

this

a typical episode of erotic play that could

happen

family costs less than a standard 1990 television

set, that pathetic

the day after tomorrow.

The two

lovers, Terry

and

Jerry, are per-

junk-food spud-box with no power to store or process elech-onic
information. Designing and digitizing and communicatuig the electronic realities costs less than a

forming bodily intercourse beautifully with elegance and sensual
skill, etc.

They are

also

wearing platonic lenses. At one point Jerry

phone

call.

In ten years fiber-optic
all

touches her/his watch, and suddenly they are bodysurfmg twelvefoot

wires will receive-transmit

more information than

the clumsy

rainbow waves that are timed

to their physical erotic

moves.

air-wave broadcasting networks. A thumbnail-size brain-chip holding a bilUon transistors will allow us to store and process millions of
three-dimensional signals per minute. Intense chaotics waiting to be re-created.

Sounds of liquid magnificence flood

their ears. Terry giggles

and

touches her/his watch, and the waves spiral into a Umnel vortex

down which
Terry
is

they spin and tumble.

They intercreate

reality dances.

a seething volcano over

whom Jerry soars as a fearless
softly breathes.

What will we
of our brains?

possibly do with these inexpensive extensions

eagle, while birds sing
Plato,
it

and the Earth

The answer is

so down-to-earth

human.

We shall

use

turns out,

was magnificently on beam. He

said that

these wizard powers to

communicate with each other at unimaginis

the material, physical expressions are pale, crude distortions of the

able levels of clarity, richness, and intimacy. Reality designing

a

idea forms that are fabricated by die mind, the brain, die "soul."

We

team

sport.

are talking about learning

how to

operate our minds, our brains,

To help us imagine one dimension of the communication
possibilities, let

our

souls.

And

learning die rudiments of mind-fucking, silky body
. . .

us consider the erotic interaction. Cyril Connolly

juicy

fuckmg, and
hi fact,

brain-soul fucking.
sex,

most physical

even die most "complete unions,"

nCTIOH

1,3

SCUEHS

IMACINEEKINC

PETER BOOTH LEE

We

are

talking
is

about learning how
to

no more than graceful motions unless enriched by brain-fucking

imagination.

And here

is

the

charmmg enigma, the paradoxical
Usually,

truth that dares not

show its face.

even
is

in the deepest

operate our

fusions, neither partner really
delightful, adorable

knows what
other.

flashing through that

mind of the

In the future the wearing of cyberclothing will be as con-

minds, our brains,
our souls. And

ventional as the wearing of body-covering clothing. To appear with-

out your platonic gear would be like showing up in public stark

naked.
will

A new global language

of virtual-signals, icons, 3-D pixels

be the lingua franca of our species. Instead of using words,

we

shall

communicate

in self-edited

movie

clips selected from the

chaotic jungles of images stored on our wrists.

The

local vocal dialects will remain, of course, for intimate

learning

the

communication. Nothing fix)m our rich, glorious past will be eliminated.

When we extend our minds and empower our brains, we
abandon our bodies, nor our machines, nor our tender,

shall not

rudiments of

secret love whispers.

We vrill drive cars, as we now ride horses, for pleasure. We
will

develop exquisite bodily expressions, not to work like efficient

mind-fuckinj,
silky

robots, but to perform acts of grace.

The main
is

function of the

human

being in the 21st Century

"imagineering" and electronic-reality fabrication; to learn

how to

body juicy
and
. .
.

express, communicate, and share the wonders of our brains with
others.

fucking,

brain-soul fuckinjf.
20

TIMOTHY LEAKY

CHAOS

(

CYIEII

(UlTIIItt

^

IjF OO
CO'

T /^i

W"

^^

i?

S)!

=<u.

.

s:)^,.iafl

.

o^-

II.l.

CONVERSAIION WIIH

WILLIAM Gibson

imothy Leary.

If you

could put

TL That's a powerful scene! And you
describe the girls as like hoofed animals
heels.

T

Neuromancer into one sentence, how
would you describe it?

wearing high

William Gibson: What's most important to

WG: Yeah. The office girls of the Sprawl.

me is that it's about the present. It's not
really about

an unagined
to

TL Yeah, and they're wearing vagmas,
and
Oh, God! That's a powerful scene.
1

future.

It's

of trying to

come

terms with the

way awe and

a

terror inspired in

me by the world in which
know what they'll
I'm starting

WG:

like the idea of that

subway. That's
It

we live.

I'm anxious to

the state-of-the-art

subway

goes from

make of it in Japan. Oh, God
to feel

Atlanta to Boston, real fast.

Case could be one
of

Uke Edgar Rice Burroughs or some1

TL You've created a world.

thing.

mean, how did Edgar Rice
finally

Burroughs

come to feel about

WG: What you're
that

getting

when you
is

read

Burroujhs's

Tarzan in his

own heart, you know? He got Wound up Uving m Tarzana,

book

the impression
it's all

very compli-

real tired of IL
California.

cated, but
thick.

actually

one molecule
of a

Some of it is still pretty much
to

wild

boys
way.

.

.

.

TL You'll end up living in a space colony
called Neuromancer.

mystery
is

me. You know, the United States

never mentioned in the book. And there's
as to whether the United
if,

some question

in a

I'm

WG: That would be okay
think this book
is

1

don't think
1

States exists as a poUtlcal entity or
it's

in fact,

we're going to have this kind of future.
so

been Balkanized

m some weud way
of mme, that

much wtcer than what
1

That's

kmd of a favorite idea

deeply influenced

seems

to

be happening.
to visit.
1

mean,

this

would

the worid should be chopped

up mto

be a cool place
going there.
TL:

wouldn't mind

smaller

.

.

.

TL Me too, boy.
WG: West-coast separatism and stuff.
to that future.

by Burroughs.
In

.

.

.

Where?

WG: To the Sprawl,
TL:

Count Zero,

1

mention what's happening
bit.

m

he found

'fifties

California a httle

One

of the characters
city

Going up the well?

has a gjrlfriend who hves in a pontoon
that's tethered off

WG: Yeah. Go up the well and all of that A
lot

Redondo. Kind of like a
the Sprawl goes

science fiction

of people think that Neuromancer is a
1

hallucinated

.

.

.

it's

bleak book, but
TL: I do, too.

think

it's

optimistic.

SausaUto

the Sprawl but mellower.

At the end of Neuromancer, the
entire

and used

it

like a

Mahix is
will.

sentient

It

has, m some

WG: I think the future is actually gonna be
more
boring.
I

ways, one

And, as
it's

it tells

Case, kind of

thuik

some kind

of

matter-of-factly,

found another of its

rusty

can opener

Falwellian future

would probably be

my

kmd on Alpha Centuri or somewhere; so it's
got something to talk
to.

idea of the worst thing that could happen.

Count Zero
Yeats's

starts

TL Yeah. That was a wonderful scene
where you have those
were gonna
subway.
Christians

seven years about

later,

and Uke

poem

on society's
ju5[ular.

who
ed.
It

how the

center wouldn't hold, this
is

sort of God-consciousness

mug those girls in the

now fragmentit

hasn't

been able
cultists

to

keep

together.

So the voodoo

m the Sprawl, who
in fact

WG: It's not clear whether they're going to

beUeve that they have contacted the voodoo
pantheon through the Matrix, are

mug them or just
Personally,
I

try to force

some horrible

pamphkt on them or something.
have a
real
to

deaUng with these fragmented elements of
this

phobia about guys
.

God

tiring.

And

the fragments are

Uke

that

coming up

me on the street

.

.

much more daemonic and more human.
SECTION
II.
I

(VIEKNETICS

tONVEISATION WITH WIlllAM CJISON

23

reflecting cultural expectations.

WG: He wrote a book called 77k Iron
diiferent

Anyway,

I've got to

do a

Dream.

It's

a science-fiction novel by Adolf
Hitler

kind of book now, because I'm already getting

Hitler, in

an alternate worid where
science-fiction writer.

some reviews
it's

saying, "Well, this
stuff."

is

became a

It's

a

cri-

good, but

more of the same

I'm

tique of the innately fascist element in a lot

desperate to avoid that

of traditional science fiction. Very funny.

TL Frank Herbert, who was a lovely guy,
wrote a book
that's entirely different

For me, given the data in the books, the
keys to Case's personality are the estrange-

from Dune.

It's

about humans who

ment from

his body, the meat,

which

it

became insects up in Portland. Did you
ever read
it? It's

seems to me, he does overcome. People
have
criticized
to

a nice change. In

some
ing Case

Neuromancer for not bringof transcendent
I

some kind
But

ways,

I

like that

book as much

as Dune.

He got into an entirely different situation.
WG: Well, he was trapped! That's something I'm very worried about
1

experience.

in fact

think he does

have

it

He has it within the construct of the
it

beach, and he has

when he has his

get flashes

orgasm. There's a long paragraph there

off

don't

want to be Frank Herbert"

where he accepts
infinite

the

meat as being this
thing, hi

Because even as wealthy and as nice a guy
as he was,
1

and complex

some ways,

don't think he

was happy with
creatively.

he's

more human after that

what had happened to hun
did get trapped.
like
It's

He

TL In some ways he reminds me of some
of Burroughs's characters.

different for
I

somebody

Douglas Adams, where
started off as

think that the

whole thing

such a goof for

WG:

(Equivocally) Yeah. Case could be one

him
that

that

it

was just a

stroke of good luck
seri-

of Burroughs's wild boys ... in a

way
1

I'm

he

built on.

But Herbert was very
point And
to

deeply influenced by Burroughs.
tell

always

ous, at a certain

then, gradually,

everybody that there's a very strong
1

he wound up having
because,
I

do more of the same,

influence there.

didn't think I'd

be able

to

mean, how can you turn people
like that gets

put that over on the American science-fiction people,

down when something enough momentum?

because they either don't

know
did
is

who Burroughs is or they're immediately
hostile ...

that

Burroughs would

just glue the

he found
like

'fifties

science fiction

TL Douglas Adams told me that the three
books were one book, and the publisher
said to split

stuff down
it all.

on the page but 1 airbrushed

and used

it

a rusty can opener on soci-

them up into three. He made

ety's jugular.

They never understood. But I

was
and

like 15
it

when I read The Naked Lunch

TL Burroughs and I are close friends.
We've been through a lot together. I went
to Tangier

a million dollars on each one of them.

And they're nice. It's a nice tour.
walls.

sorta splattered

my head all over the
up

And I have my megalomaniac fantasy
little

m 1961.

1

was
in
I

m a hotel bar
with these two
started tellmg

WG: Yeah. They're funny.

of some

kid in Indiana picking

and Burroughs walks

TU These big books...
WG:
I

Neuromancer and pow!

beautfful English boys.

hun about these new drugs and, of
Don't
course, he

TL Well, that happens, dude.
can't

go for that

knew much more about drugs
I

worry. There's five hundred thousand
copies already.

than anyone in the worid!

was just this

TL Tm glad about that Norman
Spinrad
...

childish Harvard professor

domg my big
And
Here they

by the way

I

love

Norman.

WG: had
1

to

But

I

have a terrible problem with him.
too big. Did you read

teach myself not to write too

research project on drugs.

He makes them

much like Burroughs. He was that kind of
influence.
1

Burroughs

is

saying, "Oh, shit.

had

to

weed some

of that

come. Boy Scouts. And they're gonna
save the world with drugs. Yeah, sure."

Child of Fortune?
Burroughsian

stuff out of it hi

an interview

WG:

It

was

too big for

me.
it

in

London,
1

in

one of my rare lucid guy
that the difference
I

We brought him back to Harvard. He
came to the prison project and all. I got
to

TL Yeah,

ff he

had divided

down the
ui haff.

moments,

told this

center, ff he could only cut

between what Burroughs did and what
it

know him very well. He couldn't stand

us.

We were much too goody-goody. It's

beats the shit out of everybody.

TL Molly says, "You Uke to jack m. IVe
gotta tussle." That's a beautiful two-liner.

WG: 1 was originally gonna call this book
Jacked In. The people
at

Ace said

it

sound-

ed too

much

like "jacked off,"

but that was

my first thought for a title. Molly's tougher
than Case because Case
character,
is

the vievipoint

and 1 wanted an enigmatic char-

acter, so she's

more shut off from me.

It's

the symbolism of the sunglasses.

He never
are.

even fmds out what colour her eyes

TL And making love, she says

.

.

.

WG: "No fmgerprints." Yeah, she's a tough
one
for

me to do, because that's some kind my
. . .

of image from
ure.

She's a bushido fig-

When
And

she says she's street samurai,
it

she means
code.

quite

literally.

She has

this

it

may grow out of a

sort of

pathological personahty, but

it still is

her

code.

TL What was that segment where she
was
like in hypnosis; so

she didnt know

what was going on?
BRUMMBAER
implied that the crowd that Case hung out with
is

WG:

Oh, they use a sort of sensory cut-out,
isn't

so that she

conscious

when

this stuff is

WG: Yeah.

For cyberspace.

happening, but her motor system was being

a drug crowd.

run by a program. So, in

effect,

she became

TL Would you describe cyberspace as the
matrix of all the hallucmations?

WG: Yeah. This seems to be a world where
everyix)dy
is

pretty

much stoned most of

doll. Programmed. The people who write the program are in

kind of a living sex-shop

the time.

WG: Yeah, it's a consensual hallucination
that these people

Berlin.

She

says,

"They have some nasty

have created.

It's

shit there."
like,

TL:

That
I

first

chapter

.

.

.

whew!

with this equipment, you can agree to share
the

Actually, this starts in

Burning

WG: had to go over and over that I must
have rewritten
it

same

hallucinations. In effect, they're
It's

Chrome. That's where

it

comes from. One
is

a hundred

and

fifty

times.

creating a world.

not really a place,

it's

of the key things in that story

when

this

not really space.

It's

notional space.

guy

realizes that his girlfriend
in order to

is

working

in

TL Fll bet.

It's

like a

symphony or a

fugue. This
"It's

is

the

fifth fine

m the book:
this

TL See, we Uve m
hooked up

that space.

We that are

one of these places

buy herself
1

an improved pair of artificial eyes.
described
story.
it

Uke my body developed
It

massive

to Neuromancer are living ui

a

little

more

clearly in that

drug deficiency. and a Sprawl joke." (Laughs) Of course,
his life

was a Sprawl voice

that consensual hallucmation.

The

prostitutes aren't conscious. In

WG:

1

didn't think

women would go for the
I've really

They don't remember.
the guy says the

Burning Chrome,
like little sil-

was jacking in.
. . .

Molly character very much.
surprised at the

been

orgasms are

WG: Oh yeah. He just lives for

number of women who

ver fiares right out at the edge of space, and
that's the
. . .

have come up

to

me and said, "Molly's
1

TL Cyberspace.

greaL

1

really got off on her."
is

think

TL That's the guy's orgasm, not hers.
She's not

America

ready for a

female lead

who

even feeUng it.

SECTION

II.

CYIERKETICS

CONVERSATION WITH WIILIAM CIISON

25

WG: Well, she can

feel a little bit,

maybe

.

.

.

WG: Yeah? Really? WeU, 1 just try to reflect
the world around me.

And I decided I didnt want to do it. Fve
said this to
it

TL What would you say about Riviera?

many people, so I should say
Rainbow.

TL:

I

WG:

know. You're a mirror.

Yes.

Riviera

is

like

some kind of terminal
in a radioactive

How

to you.

Your book had the same effect

on me

bag-person.
pit,

He grows up

about Lucas Yonderboy?

as Gravity's

The way I read Gravity's Rain-

with cannibalism pretty
to get along.
It's

much

the only

WG: Lucas Yonderboy was my reaction to
the spookier and

bow is pretty interesting. At one point,
the American government

way

like

Suddenly Last
the guy's

more

interesting side of
to

was

trying to

Summer. Ever see

that?
little

Where

punk. Kind of young and enigmatic. Cool
the point of inexphcability.

get me to talk. They were putting incredible pressure

ripped apart by the
Well, Riviera

Mexican children?
a feral child. He's
all

And

he's a

mem-

on me. This FBI guy said If I
.

is like that,

ber of the Panther Modems. They're sorta
like

didnt talk

.

.

Veil put your name out at

smart, incredibly perverse. But

the stuff

Marshall McLuhan's Revenge. Media

the federal prison with the jacket of a

121 think America
that

is

ready for a female
snitch." So
1

he does

the

little

projected hallucina-

monsters.

It's

as though the worst street

ended up

in a prison called
1

tions

and things

are relatively low tech.

gang you ever ran into were, at the same
time, intense conceptual artists.

Sandstone. As soon as
there
said,

got

m there,

He's just projecting holograms.

You never

There's this amazing
realist sculptor

German

sur-

know what they're
TL:

going

to do.

was a change of clothes and they "The warden wants to see you." So
said,

named Hans Behner who
He made
a

the

warden

made a

piece called "The Doll."

What recent book have you most

"To protect you, we're

going to put you here under a false

doll that

was more

his fetish object than a

enjoyed?

name." And
science-

I

said, "Are

you crazy? Are

work of art,
that could

this totally idealized girlchild

WG: Bmce Sterling is my favorite
in
fiction

you gonna put
a fake name?"

me on the main line with
And he said "Yeah." 1 said,

be taken apart and rearranged

vmter. Schismatrix is the most

an

infinite

number of ways. So 1 have
"The
Doll." Belmer's

visionary science-fiction novel of the last

"What name are you going to give me?"

Riviera call his piece
doll. Riviera also

twenty years or so. Humanity evolves,

He said, "Thrush." And you know what a
thrush
biois?

represents the fragmenta-

mutates through

different

forms very

A songbfrd. So 1 said, "Uh-uh.

tion of the body. People see things like that,

quickly, using genetic engineering

and

In a prison filled with dopers, everybody's

sometimes, out of the
TL:

comers of their eyes.

chemistry.
first

It's

a real mindfucker.

When he

going to
Thrush.
We'll

know that my name isnt
1

What about Armitage?

got

it

out and

was

getting the reviews

refuse to

do it." He

says,

"Okay.
1

back, he

told

me, "There are so many mov-

have to put you

m the hole." And

WG: He's a synthetic personality, a character utterly lacking character.

ing parts, people are scared to stick their

said
to

"Do what you gotta do but 1 want

As Molly

says,

heads
ping
TL:

in

it."

People will

be mining

that, rip-

be out there in

my own name. 1 can
1

"This guy doesn't do anything
alone."
It's

when

he's

off ideas for the

next thirty years.

handle any situation.

can deal with

it

some kind

of post-Vietnam state.

Like Gravity's Rainbow.

Pve been in the worst fucking prisons

and handled it so far. So 1 can handle it

TL:

1

can see certain Gordon Liddy qualiArmitage.

ties in

WG: Yeah. That's one of my personal
favorites.

and you know it. So fucking put me out
there!"

Have you ever met Pynchon?

And he said, "Sorry." He was very

WG: Yeah, saw a video of his Miami
I

Vice

TL Ohhhh ... 1 had Mm tracked down
and
1

embarrassed because he knew.

performance without realizing
I

it

was

Liddy.

could've.

It

was a deal where there
wasnt

He was a prison warden. His job
to get people to talk or anything
like that.

When saw that, I thought of Armitage.
This book's fraught with psychotics.

was a People magazine reporter with an expense-paid thing. We were going to
rent a car and pick

He knew it was a federal-govthing.

ernment

TL (Laughing) You see, there are a few of us who think it's a very positive book
in spite of that

up Ken Kesey.

The reason they were

Pynchon was
Pennsylvania.

living

We

up near Redding, had him tracked there.

trying to get

me to talk was to protect the

top FBI guys that had committed black-

bag burglaries against the Weather

Underground; so they wanted me to testify in their defense.

with Gravity's Rainbow.

Bruce said

(in laconic

Southern drawl),
It's

They actually went

WG:
it

It's

to

trial, if you

remember, and got conCarter.

got eight billion times
It's

more

"beta-phenethylamine."
stuff in

in the book.

than Neuromancer does.

victed,

and were pardoned by
Well, they put

an encyclope-

Beta-P. Actually,

some people have

called
1

me on how
the

1

dic novel.

spelled this in the book.
I

me in the worst
and Td

never checked

lockup that rve ever been in,

TL But there's a tremendous relationship,
as

iL So may have misspelled name of the real brain chemical. About
I

been

in solitary
half.

confinement for over a
This was just a clean box

you well know, between Neuro-

a month aJler

fmished the book, there was
I

year and a

mancer and Pynchon. Because Pynchon
is

an

article in Esquire.

think

it

was called,

with nothing but a mattress. The only
contact
five
I

mto psychology. The shit he knows
It's all

"The Chemistry of Desire." And they talked
about beta-phenethylamine, which
hirally similar to
is

had with human bemgs was,
I

about!

about psychology. But

struc-

tunes a day,

could hear somebody

you've taken the next step, because

amphetamine. And

it's

lead

who beats the
ers.

shit out oi

everybody.
some
.

coming down the hall to open the "swine trough" and pass me my food. And Td
say, "Hey,

you've done that whole

thmg to computYou don't have any new drugs in

also present in chocolate. So there's
possibility
.
.

can

I

have something to read?"

Neuromancer.

TL Ohhh!
WG:
I've got the

I'm a chocolate addict. Notice

And they'd say, "No." One of the guards
was this black guy and, this one night, he

beta-phenethylamine.
out!

last night,

how the waiter automatically

came back. I could hear him walking
jmgle, jmgle, jingle

When that hits the street, watch

brought me an extra plate during
dessert?

walkmg down the

TL That's the one that makes your teeth
rattle the nerves.

They know

my weakness.

metal

hall.

He opens up the trough and
man," and throws

Double-dose Tim.

says, "Here,

m a book.
WG: Yeah. That's actually a brain chemical.

WG: Japanese

kids get high

on big candy

A new pocketbook. And it's dark, so I
waited
til

dawn and picked it up. And it

We all have a little bit, as we sit around the
table.

bars that are just sucrose and caffeine.

was

Gravity's Rainbow.
the books you could get,

But you'd have

to get

it

out of forty

They eat five or six

of these things

and go

to

concerts on this massive sucrose-and-caffeine high.

million people. Sort of Uke the Hunter

WG: Perfect! Of all
that'll last

Thompson

story about

adrenochrome.

If

you a while.
that

you could eat somebody's pineal gland, or

TL One of the things that's wonderful
about Neuromancer is that there
glorious comradeship
is this

TL'

You should only read

book under

something

.

.

.

those chcumstances.

It is

not a book you

TL That's a very powerful drug experience that you describe, where he can
it

between Molly and

could

.

.

.

feel

in his teeth.

And he smgs to her whUe she rubs her nipple and she's talking to him and
Case.

WG: It stopped my life cold for three
months.

teUing him.
I

My

university career went to pot,

WG: Yeah. I had
(Laughs)

a

lot

of fun writing that.

just sort of laid

around and read
first

WG: How they gonna do

that in the

movie?

this thing.

There's no Neuromancer Part II.

TL What I did
read
it all

of all,

I

just

read

it. I

TL I know you did. I appreciate the disclpUned work
that

day until dark when they
I

went

TL Case and Molly have children?

into that!

turned the Ughts ouL

woke up the next
I

WG:

WG: Son ofNeuromancer.
Beta-phenethylamine
is

the chemical

People have chil-

morning and read

it.

For three days,
I

did

nothing but read that book. Then

went

that the brain manufactures;
in love the level rises.
I

when you

dren in Count Zero, which was a real
fall

didn't
1

back and I started annotatmg it. I did the

know this

breakthrough for me.
ante.
I

1

was

trying to

up the

like
is

Count Zero

better.

same thing to yours. Yours is the only
book Fve done that with since. The fihn
industry's never been able to do anything

when wrote
I

the book.
I

called Bruce
for

Neuromancer,

SterUng in Texas, and

me,

like

said, "This guy's

my adolescent book. It's my
the one
I

been modified; so he
stimulants. So,

can't

do traditional

teenage book
ten
I

couldn't have writ-

what can he get off on?" And

when was a teenager.

SECTION

II.

CYlEtNETICS

CONVERSATION WITH WIlllAM CIISON

27

the 1960s, Hermann Hesse was revered by

col-

HERMANN

HESSE: PROPHET OF THE

COMPUTER ACE
may

lege students and art rowdies as the voice of the

But our patronizing pity for the washed-up Swiss sage

be premature. In the avant-garde frontiers of the computer culture,

decade. He was a megasage, bigger than Tolkien

around Massachusetts Avenue
the Carnegie-Mellon

in

Cambridge, around Palo
the back

Alto, in

In
lions.

A.I. labs, in

rooms of the computer-

or Salinger, McLuhan or Bucky

Fuller.

graphics labs in Southern California, a Hesse

comeback seems to be

Hesse's mystical, Utopian novels were read by mil-

The popular,

electrically amplified rock

band

IIJ. ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE

Steppenwolf named themselves after Hesse's psyberdelic
happening. This revival, however,
hero, Harry Hailer,
is

not connected with Hermann's
last,

who smoked those

"long, thin yellow

.

.

.

mystical, eastern writmgs.

It's

based on his

and least-under-

stood work, Magister Ludi, or The Glass

Bead Game.

immeasurably enlivening and delightful" cigarettes, then
to

This book, which earned Hesse the expense-paid brain ride

Stockholm,

is

positioned a few centuries in the future,

when

zoomed around the Theatre
where no
fictional

of the Mind, ostensibly going

human intelligence is enhanced and human

culture elevated by a

device for thought-processing called the glass-bead game.

heroes had been before.

Up here m the Elech-onic Nineties we can
Hesse did
at the

appreciate

what

very pinnacle (193 M2)

of the smoke-stack

The movie Steppenwolf was financed by Peter
Sprague, at that time the

mechanical age. He forecast with astonishing accuracy a certain
postindushial device for converting thoughts to digital elements and

Egg

King of

Iran.

I

lost

the male

processing them.

No doubt about it,

the sage of the hippies

was

anticipatmg an electronic mind-appliance that would not appear on

lead to

Max Van Sydow. Rosemary's
is

part

was played by
another data

the

consumer market
I

until 1976.

refer, of course, to that Fruit

from the Tree of Knowledge

Dominique Sanda. But that story
base.

filed in

called the Apple computer.

Hesse's picaresque adventure. The Journey to the

THE ALDOUS HUXLEY-HERMANN HESSE FUGUE
heard of Hermann Hesse from Aldous Huxley In the

East,

was

a biggie too.

It

inspired armies of pilgrims (yours

truly included) to hip-hike

somewhere

East of Suez, along

%

I first

ir^

fall of 1960, Huxley was Carnegie Visiting Professor at " MIT. His assignment: to give a series of seven lectures on

the subject, "What a Piece of Work

Is

Man." A couple thousand peo-

the Hashish

Trail

to India. The goal of this Childlike

ple attended each lecture. Aldous spent most of his off-duty hours

hanging around the Harvard Psychedelic Drug Research project

Crusade? Enlightenment 101, an elective course.

coaching us beginners in the history of mysticism and the ceremonial care

and handling of LSD, which he sometimes

called "gratu-

Yes,

it

was

that season for trendy Sufi mysticism,

itous grace."

Huxley was reading Hesse that
inner Hindu voyaging, breathless Buddhist searches for
ulti-

fall

and talked a

lot

about

Hermann's theory of the three stages of human development

mate meaning. Poor Hesse, he seems out of place up here
in

1.

The tribal sense of tropical-blissftil unity, The horrid polarities of the feudal-mdustrial societies,
good-evil, male-female, Christian-Moslem, etc.,

the high-tech, cybercool, Sharp catalogue, M.B.A.,

2.

and

upwardly mobile 1990s.

3.

The revelatory rediscovery of The Oneness of It All.

No

question about

it,

Hegel's three authoritarian
all

of Calw, Germany, the son of Protestant missionaries. His

home

thumbprints (thesis-antithesis-synthesis) were smudged
the construct, but Hesse and Huxley didn't

over

background and education,
cal, idealistic.

like Huxley's,

were

intellectual, classiIf

seem to worry about it;

His hfe exemplified change and metamorphosis.

we

so

why

should

we untutored Harvard psychologists?

accept Theodore Ziolkowski's academic perception, "Hesse's

liter-

We all dutifully set to work reading Hesse.
Huxley claimed that his own
spiritual-intellectual developlifeline

ary career parallels the development of modem literature from a fin

de sieck aestheticism through expressionism to a contemporary

ment in England followed the developmental

of Hesse in

sense of human conunitment."

Hesse's Prophetic G[ASSB[aoGame

Germany. Aldous delighted
that paralleled Hesse's.

in

weaving together themes from

his hfe

VOICE OF ROMANTIC ESCAPISM, DISILLUSIONED

BOHEMIAN, WARRESISTER
Hesse's
first

successful novel, Peter

Camenmd (1904),
Gay
Nineties, which,

PARODIES OF PARADISE
Huxley's last book. Island, presents an atypical, fropical
Utopia in which meditation, gestalt therapy,

reflected the frivolous sentimentality of the
like the

Roaring Twenties, offered a

last

fun froUc to a class society

and psychedelic cere-

about

to collapse.

monies create a society of Buddhist
I

serenity.

"From aestheticism he

shifted to

melancholy realism

spent the afternoon of November 20, 1963, at Huxley's

Hesse's novels fictionalize the admonitions of an outsider who urges

bedside, hstening carefully as the dying philosopher spoke in a soft

us to question accepted values, to rebel against the system, to challenge conventional 'reahty' in the light of higher ideals"
(Ziolkowski).
In 1911 Hesse
India,

voice about

many things. He fashioned a pleasant little Uterary
1984, and Hesse's Glass

ftigue as he talked about three books he called "parodies of par-

adise": his

own Island, Orwell's

Bead Game.

made the obUgatory mystical pilgrimage to
up the microorganisms

Aldous told

me with a gentle chuckle that Big Brother, the

and

there, along the Ganges, picked
later to

beloved dictator of Orwell's nightmare society, was based on

that

were

appear in a full-blown Allen Ginsbergsonian mys-

Winston Churchill. "Remember Big Brother's spell-binding rhetoric
about the blood, sweat, and fears requisitioned from everyone
defeat Eurasia?
to

ticism.

In 1914

Europe convulsed with nationalism and military

The hate

sessions? Priceless satire.

And the

hero's

frenzy. Hesse, Uke Dr. Benjamin Spock in another time warp,

name is Winston Smith."
Aldous was,
Tibetan
at that

became an outspoken

pacifist

and war resister. TVo months
titled

after

moment in time, fascinated by the
Victorian

the "outbreak of hostilities," he published an essay

"0
ft

Book of the Dying, which I had just translated from
into

Freunde, nicht dieser Tone" ["Oh FViends, Not These Tones"),

was

EngUsh

American. The manuscript, which was later published

an appeal
ter.

to the

youth of Germany, deploring the stampede to disas-

as The Psychedelic Experience,

was used by Laura Huxley to guide

His dissenting brought

him

official

censure and newspaper

her husband's psychedelic passing.

attacks.

From

this

time on, Hesse was apparently

immune to the

Huxley spoke wryly of the dismal conclusions of Island, The
Glass

ravages of patriotism, nationalism,

and respect for authority.

Bead Game, and Orwell's classic. His own

ideahstic island
Utopi-

society

was crushed by industrial powers seeking oil. Hesse's
it

PROTO-BEATNIK? PROTOHIPPY?
FATHER OF NEW-ACE PSYCHOLOGY?
hi 1922 Hesse wrote Siddhartha, his story of a

an Castalia was doomed because
realities.

was out of touch with human
power structure
in 1984.

Then

the crushing of love by the
I

Unhappy endings.

timidly asked

him

if

he was passing on a warn-

Kerouac-Snyder manhood spent "on the road

to

Benares" perform-

ing or an exhortation to me.

He smiled enigmatically.
His passing went almost

ing feats of detached, amused, sexy one-upmanship.
In the

TVo days later Aldous Huxley died.
unnoticed, because John
1965.
It

June 1986 issue of Playboy, the Islamic yogic master

Kennedy was a bad day for Utopians and fiiturists

F.

also died

on November 22,
all

and basketball superstar Kareem Abdul- Jabbar ("noble and powerfiil

over.

servant of Allah") summarized with his legendary cool the

life

stages he had experienced, using bead-game fugue techniques

to

THE ONTOIOCICAL EVOLUTION OF HERMANN HESSE

weave together the strands

of his biography: basketball, racism, reU-

Hermann Hesse was bom

in

1877

in the Uttle

Swabian town

gion, drags, sex, jazz, poUtics. "In

my senior year in

high school,"

SECTION

11.2

CYBEKNETICS

AKTIFICIAl INTELIICENCE

29

says Abdul- Jabbar,

"I started

reading everything

I

could get

my

Norman Mailer longings,

are dissolved in a whirling kaleidoscope of

hands on

Hindu

texts,

Upanishads, Zen, Hermann Hesse you

quick-flashing neurorealities. "1 knew," gasps H. H., "that all the

name it"
Playboy: "What most impressed you?"

hundred pieces of life's game were

in

my pocket

.

.

.

One day I

would be a

better

hand

at the

game."

AMul-Jabbar: "Hesse's Siddhartha. I was then going
through the same things that Siddhartha went through
cence, and
1

in his adoles

THE GLASS-BEAD CAME CONVERTS THOUGHTS TO ELEMENTS

identified with his rebellion against established pre-

What do you do

after you've

reduced the heavy, massive
If

cepts of love

and

life.

Siddhartha becomes an aesthetic man, a

boulder-like thoughts of your mechanical culture to elements?

wealthy man, a sensuous man
explores
all

he

you're a student of physics or
istry

chembits

these different worlds
find

you rearrange the fissioned
into

and doesn't

enUghtenment in

and pieces

new combinations.

any of them. That was the book's
great

Hesse,

of couise,

was not the

first to

Synthetic chemistry of the mind.

message

to

me; so

1

started to

Hesse was hanging out

in Basel,

develop my own value system

as to

home
anticipate digital thought-processing.
Solve

of Paracelsus.
et

Alchemy

101. in

what was good and what wasn't."
Steppenwolf (1927),
observes Ziolkowski,

coagule.

Recompose them

Around 600

B.C.

the Greek

new combinations. You become a
Pythagoras
master of the bead game. Let the

was greeted as

a "psychedelic orgy of sex, drugs,

(music of the spheres) and the Chinese Lao
(yin-yanj) Tse were speculatin^f that
all

random-number generator shuffle
your thought-deck and deal out some

and

jazz."

Other observers with a

more

historic perspective (present

new hands!
Understandably, Hesse

company included) have seen
Steppenwolfas a
final

send up of the

reality

and knowledge could and should be
in the

never gives a detailed description of
this pre-electronic data-processing

solemn

polarities of the industrial

age. Hesse mocks the Freudian conflicts,

expressed

play of binary numbers.

appliance called the bead game. But

Nietzschean torments, the
. .
.

he does explain

its

function. Players

Jungian polarities, the Hegelian
machineries of European civihzation.

We

reencounter here the a^e-lon^
of

learned

how to convert decimal

numbers, musical notes, words,

dream
Harry HaDer enters "The

philosophers, visionary poets,
of a

thoughts, images into elements, glass

beads that could be strung in endless

Magic Theatre. Price of Admission:
Your Mind."
First

and linguists

universitas.

a

abacus combinations and rhythmicfugue sequences to create a higher

he engages

in a

"Great Automobile Hunt," a not too

synthesis
subtle rejection of the sacred

of all

knowledge, the ultimate

level

language of clarity,

purity,

and

sym-

ultimate complexity.

bol of the industrial age. Behind the

door marked "Guidance

data base of ideas, a global lan^ua^e of

in the

A GLOBAL LANGUAGE BASED ON

Building-Up of the Personality.
Success Guaranteed!" H. H. learns
to play a

mathematical precision.

DIGITAL UNITS
Hesse described the game as
"a serial arrangement, an ordering,

post-Freudian video

game
soul has fallen to

in

which the

pixels are part of the trated concepts

grouping, and interfacing of concen-

personality.

"We can demonstrate to anyone whose

from many

fields of thought

and

aesthetics."

pieces that he can rearrange these pieces of a previous self in

what

In time, wrote Hesse, "the
into a kind of universal

Game of games had developed

order he pleases and so attain to an endless multipUcity of moves in
the

language through which the players could

game of life."
This
last

express values and set these in relation to one another."

sentence precisely states the basis for the

postindustrial religions of self-actuahzation. You learn

many how to put

In the beginning the

game was designed,

constructed, and

continually updated by a guild of mathematicians called Castalia.

together the elements of your self in what order pleases you! Then
press the advance key to continue.

Later generations of hackers used the
lectual,
al

game

for educational, intel-

and

aesthetic purposes. Eventually the

game became a

glob-

The

mid-life crisis of the Steppenwolf, his overheated

science of mind, an indispensable method for clariiying thoughts
precisely.

Salinger inner conflicts, his

Woody Allen

despairs, his unsatisfied

and communicating them

TIMATUV IIIIV

ruiAt

(

rvKi

riiiTiix

THE EVOLUTION OF THE COMPUTER
Hesse, of course,

In this last sentence, Hesse describes the theory of digital

was not the

first to

computmg. The wizard programmer can convert any idea, thought,
or

anticipate digital tliouglit-processing.

number into binary-number chains that can be

sorted into

all

Around 600
(music of the spheres) and the Chinese
speculating that
all reality

B.C. tiie

Greeii Pytiiagoras
-tzu

kinds of combinations.

We reencounter here the age-long dream of

Lao (yin-yang)

were

philosophers, visionary poets, and linguists of a imiversUas, a synthesis of all

and knowledge could and should be

knowledge, the ultimate data base of ideas, a global lan-

expressed in the play of binary numbers. In 1832 a young

guage of mathematical precision.
logic.

Englishman, George Boole, developed an algebra of symbolic
In the next decade Charles

Hesse understood that a language based on mathematical
elements need not be
cold, impersonal, rote.

Babbage and Ada Countess Lovelace

Reading The Glass

worked on the

analytic thought-engine.

A century later, exactly
bril-

Bead Game we share the enthusiasm of today's hacker-visionaries

when Hesse was constructing his "game" in Switzerland, the
liant

English logician Alan "Riring

was writing about machines that
artificial intelligence.

who know that painting, composing, writing, designing, innovating with clusters of electrons (beads?) offers much more creative free-

could simulate

human thinking.

A.I.

dom than expressions limited to print on paper, chemical paints
smeared on canvas, or acoustic
sounds.
(i.e.,

Hesse's unique contribution, however,

was not

technical,

mechanical-unchangeable)

but social. Forty-five years before Toffier and Naisbitt, Hesse predicted the

emergence of an information

culture. In

The Glass Bead

Game Hesse presents a
this

sociology of computing. With the rich detail

HESSE'S GOLDEN AGE OF MIND
In the

of a World-Cup novelist (he

won

the Nobel Prize for Literature with

Golden Age of Chemistry
molecules and
to

scholar-scientists learned
into

book) he describes the emergence of a Utopian subculture cen-

how to dissolve
endless

recombine the freed elements

tered around the use of digital mind-appliances.

new structures.

Indeed, only by precise manipulation of the

Hesse then employs his favorite appliance, parody (psyberfarce), to raise the disturbing question of the class division

play of interacting elements could chemists fabricate the marvels
that

between

have so changed our worid.
In the

the computer hip and the computer

illiterate.

The

electronic elite

Golden Age of Physics,

physicists, both theoretical

versus the rag-and-glue proles with their hand-operated Coronas.

and experimental, learned how to
the freed particles into

fission

atoms and
In

to

recombme

The dangers

of a two-tier society of the information rich and the

new elemental structures.
of Mind.

The Glass Bead

information have-nots.

Game Hesse portrays a Golden Age
mation programmers of Castalia,

The knowledge-infor-

like

chemists and physicists, dis-

GLORIFICATION OF THE CASTALIAN HACKER CULTURE
The Glass Bead

solve thought molecules into elements (beads)

and weave them

into

Game is the story of Joseph
and educated

Knecht, whom

new patterns.
In his

we meet as a brilliant grammar-school
into the Castalian brotherhood

student about to be accepted
in the intricacies of the

poem, "The Last Glass Bead Game," Hesse's hero
. . .

Joseph Knecht writes, "We draw upon the iconography
like crystal constellations."

that sings

authorized thought-processing system.
are charmingly pedantic.

The

descriptions of Castalia

The reverent reader is awed by the sub-

lime beauty of the system and the monk-like dedication of the
adepts.

TECHNOLOGY INVENTS IDEOLOGY
Hesse apparently anticipated McLuhan's
First

Law of

The
This

scholarly narrator explains:

Communication: The medium
use
to

is

the message.

The technology you

Game of games ...

package, store, communicate your thoughts defines the limits

has developed into a kind of

universal speech, through the

medium

of your thmking. Your choice of thought tool determmes the limitations of your thinking. If your thought technology
is

of which the play-

words-carved-

ers are able to express values in lucid symbols

and to
can

place

them

in relation

to each other ...

A game

into-marble,
ble thinker.

let's

face

it,

you're not going to be a Ught-hearted flexia

originate, for example,
uration, a

from a given astronomical config-

An oU pamting or a wrinkled papyrus in

Damascus
fihn.

theme from a Bach fugue, a phrase of Leibnitz

library cannot

communicate the meaning of a moving-picture

or from the Upanishads, and the fundamental idea awak-

New thought technology creates new ideas. The printing press created national languages, the national state, literacy, the industrial
age. Television, like
it

ened can be

built

up and enriched through assonances

to relative concepts. While a moderate beginner can,

or not, has produced a global thought-pro-

through these symbols, formulate parallels between a
piece of classical music and the formula of a natural law,

cessing very different

from oral and Uterate cultures.
tells

Understanding the power of technology, Hesse
the

us

tiiat

new mind culture of Castalia was based on

the adept and Master of the

Game

a tangible mental
child's abacus,

can lead the opening

theme

into the

freedom of boundless combinations.

device, a thought machine, "a frame

modeled on a

a

SECTION

11.2

CYIERNETICS

AITIFICIAL INTIIUCENCE

Ji

frame with several dozen wires on which could be strung glass
beads of various
sizes,

created a "hacker culture," an

elite sect

of knowledge processors

shapes, and

colours."

who

lived within the constructions of their

own minds, disdaining
describes the

Please do not be faked out by the toy-like simpUcity of this
device. Hesse has

the outside society.

Then Hesse, with uncanny insight,
that has

changed the units of meaning, the vocabulary of
stuff.

emergence

of a

phenomenon

now become the fad in the
v

thought This

is

serious

Once you have defined the

units of

information sciences.

thought in terms of mathematical elements you've introduced a

major mutation

in the intelligence of your culture.

THE ARTIFICIAL-INTELLIGENCE CULT
By 1984
so-called Fifth
billions of dollars

were being spent in Japan
in

(the
to

Generation projects), in America, and

Europe

THE EVOLUTION OF THE CAME
The glass-bead appliance was
"The wires corresponded
used by musicians:
musical
staff,

develop artificial-intelligence programs. Those nations that afready
suffer fix)m a serious inteUigence deficit
first

Soviet Eurasia

and the

third-world nations

seem to be

left

out of this significant develop-

to the lines of the

ment.

the beads to the time values of the notes."

The aim

of A.I. projects

is to

develop enormously compUcat-

A bare two or three decades

later the

game was taken over
and
be

ed smart machines that can reason, deduce, and make decisions

by mathematicians. For a long while indeed, a characteristic feature
of the game's history

more

efficiently

than

"human

beings."
large bureaucracies,
oil

was that it was

constantly preferred, used,

The megabuck funding comes from

further elaborated by whatever branch of learning

happened

to

federal, corporate, the military, banks, insurance firms,
nies,

compa-

experiencing a period of high development or a renaissance.
At various times the nearly
all

space agencies, medical-hospital networks. The mental tasks
A.I.

the scientific

and scholarly

game was taken up and imitated by disciplines. The analytic study

performed by the

machineries include:

of musical values had led to the reduction of musical events to physical

Expert systems that provide processed information and
suggest decisions based on correlating enormous

and mathematical formulae. Soon afterward, philology borthis

rowed

method and began

to

measure

linguistic configurations arts

amounts of data. Here the computers perform,

at

almost

as physics measures processes in nature.

The visual

soon

fol-

the speed of light, the work of armies of clerks and
technicians.

lowed suit Each disciphne

that seized upon the game created its own language of formulae, abbreviations, and possible combinations.
It

Voice-recognition programs; the computer recognizes

mstructions given

m spoken languages.

would lead us too

far afield to

attempt to describe in detail
for itself in

Robotry.

how the world of mind, after its purification, won a place
the state. Supervision of the things of the

mind among the people
to the

A.I.

has become the buzzword

among investors in the com-

and

in

government came

to

be consigned more and more

puter industry.

There seems

little

doubt that reasoning programs
society,

intellectuals.

This was especially the case with the educational sys-

and robots will play increasingly important roles in Western
and, of course, Japan.
Just as the bead

tem.

INTIMATIONS OF ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE AND
ALIENATED HACKERS
"The mathematicians brought the game
flexibiUty and capacity
to a

cism, so has there

game became the target of outside critibeen much grumbling about the A.I. movement
is

Some have
high degree of
to

asserted that the very term "artificial intelligence"

an

oxymoron; a contradiction

in terms, like "miUtary intelligence."
A.I.

for sublimation, so that

it

began

acquire

Other critics point out that
with individual

programs have

little

to

do

something of a consciousness of itself and its possibilities" (emphasis
mine).
In this last phrase, Hesse premonitors Arthur C. Clarke

human beings. These megamillion-doUar machines
to solve

cannot be applied

personal problems, to help Ashley get a

and

date on Friday night, to help Dieadra's problem with self-esteem.
A.I.

Stanley Kubrick's nightmare about neurotic

artificial intelligence:

systems are designed

to think like
it

super-committees of experts.
oft" a

Remember the decision
"Open
the pod doors, HAL."
is

that

was cheaper to pay

few large

injury/death claims than to change the position of the gas tank on

"Sorry about that, Dave. This mission
tant to

too impor-

the Ford? Recall those Pentagon figures about "tolerable loss of civilian lives in a nuclear war"? That's top

be threatened by human

error."

why many feel that these toys of
than intelligent.

management are more
As
it

artificial

Hesse

tells

us that the

first

generations of computer adepts

turns out, our

HAL paranoias are exaggerated.

T

I

UA

T

I

I

E A

W

ruinr

t

runrn

riiiTiiitr

Computers will not replace

real people.

They will replace middleyou only
to the extent
life

and low-level bureaucrats. They
that

will replace

you use

artificial

(rather than natural) intelligence in your

and work.

If you

think like a bureaucrat, a functionary, a manager,
player,

an unquestioning member of a large organization, or a chess
beware: You

may

soon be out-thought!

Hesse seems
that there
is

to

be sending

NATURAL INTELLIGENCE
Humanists
in the

computer culture claim

only

warning signals that are relevant
to the situation in 1986.
First,

one form of inteUigence

natural intelligence, brain

power which
is

resides in the skulls of individual
genetically wired

human beings.

This wetware
to

%

and experientially programmed

manage

the

personal affairs of one person, the owner, and to exchange thoughts

he sujjests that

human

with others.
All

thought-processing tools

hand-operated pencils, print-

beinjs tend to center their
religions

ed books, electronic computers
ural intelligence.

can be used as extensions of natfor packaging, storing,

They are appliances

com-

on the thought-

municating ideas: mirrors that reflect back what the user has

thought As Douglas Hofstadter put
self comes into

it

in Godel, Escher,

Back "The

processing device their culture
uses. ...
of the

being at the

moment it has the power to reflect
is

itself

And that power, Hesse and McLuhan,

determined by the

%

Second, control

thought tool used by the culture.
Individual

human beings can be

controlled,

managed by

thoujht-processinj
oi

thinking machines

computers or bead games

only to the extent

that they voluntarily choose to censor their
ing.

ovm independent think-

machinery means control
society.

The underlying

MACISTER LUDI BEGINS TO QUESTION AUTHORITY
In the last chapters of

antiestablishment tone oi

The Glass Bead

Game the hero,
Glass

The Glass Bead
surely
of

G^

Joseph Knechl, has risen to the highest post in the
Castalian order.

He is "Magister Ludi, Master of the
has become a global

have caught the attention

Bead Game."

The game, by

this time,

artificial-intel-

George Orwell, another

ligence system that runs the educational system, the military, sci-

ence, engineering, mathematics, physics, linguistics, and above
aesthetics.

all,

prophet oi the information
society.

The

great cultural ceremonies are public thought

games

watched with fascination by the populace.
At this
doubts.

...

%

Third, Hesse

moment of triumph the Mind Master begins to have
two-tier society in

He worries about the
elite

which the CastaUan

suj^ests that the emergence of

"computer"

run the mind games of society, far removed from
life.

the realities of human

The

Castalians,

we recall, have dedicated

new intellipce machines
create

will

themselves

totally to

the

life

of the mind, renouncing power, money,
is

family, individuality.

A CastaUan

the perfect "organization man," a
is

new

relijfions.

monk of the new religion
Hesse seems

of artificial intelligence. Rnecht

also

concerned about the obedience, the loss of individual choice.
to

be sending warning signals that are releFirst,

vant to the situation in 1986.

he suggests

that

human

beings

SECTION

11.2

CYBEKNETICS

ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE

n

Computers

will not

replace real people. They will replace middle- and low-level
will

bureaucrats.

They

replace you only to the extent that you use artificial

(rather than natural) intelligence in your life

and work.

If

you think
of a

like a

bureaucrat, a functionary, a manager, an unquestioning
organization, or a chess player, beware: You

member

lar^e

may soon be out-thought!

tend to center their religions on the thought-processing device their
culture uses.

mystical experience Knecht suddenly sees that the Castalian A.L

The word

of God has to

come though normal channels
to

community "had been
hood

infected by the characteristic disease of elite-

or

it

won't be understood, from the stone tablet of Moses
industrial product that
is

the

hubris, conceit, class arrogance, self-righteousness,
. . .

mass-produced

the

"Good Book" of funda-

exploitiveness

"!

mentalist Christians and Moslems.

And, irony of all irony, the

member of such a

thought-pro-

Second, control of the thought-processing machinery

cessing bureaucracy "often suffers from a severe lack of insight into
his place in the structure of the nation, his place in the

means

control of society.

The underlying antiestabUshment tone of
attention of

world and

The Glass Bead

Game must surely have caught the

world

history." Before

we

in the sophisticated

1980s rush to smile at

George Orwell, another prophet of the information society. Like
Joseph Knecht, Winston Smith, the hero of 1984, works in the
Ministry of TVuth,

such platitudes about bureaucratic myopia and greed,

we should

remember that Hesse wrote
Hitler, Stalin,

this

book during the decade when
terrorizing

reprogramming the master data base of history.

and MussoUni were

Europe with

totalitari-

Smith
hero

is

enslaved by the information tyranny from which Hesse's
escape.

anism.

The

cliche Athenian-democratic

maxim

"think for yourself;
in civilized

tries to

question authority"

was decidedly out of fashion, even

Third, Hesse suggests that the emergence of new intelli-

countries like Switzerland.

gence machines

will create

new religions. The CastaUan
cults,

order

is

Gentle consideration for the touchiness of the times was,

reminiscent of the mediaeval monastic
ers with security clearances,
Latin,

communities of hack-

we assume, the reason why Hesse, the master of parody, leads his
timid readers with such a slow, formal tempo to the fmal confrontation

who knew the machine language,
and dukes.

and who created and guarded the big mainframe illuminated

between Alexander, the president of the Order, and the

dissi-

manuscripts located in the palaces of bishops

dent

game

master. In his most courteous
will not accept

manner Knecht explains to

Most important, Hesse mdicated the appropriate response
of the individual
ation

Alexander that he
above."

obediendy the "decision fix)m

who cannot accept the obedience and self-renunciartificial-intelligence priesthood.

demanded by the

The president gasps
of the thought-processing

in disbelief.

And we can imagine most

elite

of Europe, the professors, the intel-

TO ACT AS

MY HEART AND REASON COMMAND
some hundred pages of weighty
introspection

lectuals, the linguists, the literary critics,

and news editors joining
to

After

and

Alexander when he sputters, "not prepared

accept obediently
aright,

.

.

.

confessional conversation, Joseph Knecht resigns his post as the

an unalterable decision from above? Have
Magister?"
Later,

1

heard you

high priest of artificial intelligence and heads for a
individual in the "real world."

new life as an

Alexander asks

in a

low voice, "And how do you act

He

explains his

"awakening"

in a letter to the Order. After

now?"
"As

thirty years of major-league thought-processing,

Knecht has come

my heart and reason command," replies Joseph

to the conclusion that organizations

maintain themselves by

Knecht

rewarding obedience with privilege! With the blinding force of a

II.2.

Our Brain
oxymoron is organized religion.

#

When you think of
to

it,

the ultimate wicked

hnagine a group of control-freak

men getting together and saying, "We're going
that's

impose our order on the fifteen-billion-year evolutionary chaotic process
this planet,

happening on
bureaucracy

and

all

over the galaxy. We're going to chisel out the rules of a

to

keep us

in power."

The human
edge system

brain

the most complex, infinitely and imaginatively complex knowl-

has a hundred billion neurons, and each neuron has the knowledge-process-

ing capacity of a powerful computer.

The human

brain has
to

more connections than
even
realize that

there are

atoms in the universe.

It

has taken us thousands of years

we don't undera

stand the chaotics of this complexity.
million signals a second

The human

brain can process

more than

hundred

and counting.
the evolution of the
If you

The

best

way to understand

human race is in terms of how well
it,

we have learned to operate our brain.
ies are

think about

we're basically brains. Our bodall

There

is

here

to

move our brains around. Our bodies
to bring

are equipped with

these sensory

inputs

and output ports

information into the neurocomputer. In just the last ten

i

the ability

t

years, our species has multiplied the ability to use our brains by a thousandfold.

to boot
it

The way to understand how efficiendy you're using your brain
realities

is to

clock

in

rpm

up or add

per minute. Just on the basis of input/output,

my brain is now operatmg at a hun-

dred times more

rpm than in

1960.

new
but we had the

diiectoiies.

When we were back in the caves a million or so years ago, we were just learning to
chip stones to begin making tools.

We Uved on a planet where everything was natural. There
same
brains.

was almost nothing artificial or even handmade

Each of our

To activate the
biain
K
!

ancient ancestors carried around an enormously complex brain that eventually fissioned the

atom, sent human beings to the Moon, and created rock video. Long ago
brains, but we weren't using the abiUties.
If

we had the same
trick is to

the brain

is

Uke a computer, then the
to

is

called

know how to format your brain
If you

to set

up operating systems

run your brain.
If

yovic

have a computer, you have choice. You can have word processing or not
all

you have word processing, you have WordStar or WordPerfect,

these choices.

Once you've

or

formatted your brain, trained your brain with that method, you have to go through that pro-

psychedelic.

W

gram

to

use

it

The process
is

of formatting your brain

is

called imprinting.
it's

Imprinting

a multimedia input of data. For a baby,

the

warmth of the mother,

the softness, the sound, the taste of the breast That's called booting up or formatting.
baby's brain

Now

the

is hooked to Mama and then of course from Mama to Daddy, food, etc., but it's Mama file that's the first imprint

There

is

the ability to boot

up or add new

directories.
is

To

activate the brain is called

yogic or psychedelic. To transmit what's in the brain

cybernetic.

The

brain,

we are told by

neurologists, has between seventy and a hundred buttons

known as receptor sites that can

imprint different circuits. Certain biochemical (usually botanical) products activate those
particular parts of the brain. In tribal times, before written language,

communication was effected through the
tribes

human voice, small groups, and body motion. Most pagan
harvest time, in the springtime, or at the
collective boot-up system.
full

had

rituals that

occurred at

Moon. The

tribe

came

together and activated a

They hooked

all their

computers

to the

same tribal language. This

often involved the use of psychedehc plants or vegetables.
In terms of modem computers

and electronic devices,

this

would be a multimedia

imprinting ceremony. The

fire

was the center of light and heat There were symboUc

SECTION

II.)

CYlEtNETICS

out IIAIN

3S

objects,

such as feathers or bones. This

experience booted up the brains of all present so they could share the basic tribal sys-

tem. But each person could have his
vision
like

own
hoot

quest He could howl
roll

like a wolf,

an owl,

around

like a snake.

Each

tribal

member was learning how to actiand accept the

vate, operate, boot up,

uniqueness of his/her own bram.

A human being is basically a

tribal

person, most comfortable being together in

small groups facilitating acceptance and

understanding of each other as individuals.
Later forms of civiUzation have discredited

individuaUsm.
of the

The

history of the evolution

human spirit has to do with new

methods of media, communication, or language. About five thousand years ago, after
the species got pretty good with tools and
building,

somewhere

in the

Middle East

(possibly also in China) people

began mak-

ing marks on

shells

and on pieces of

papyrus. This allowed for long-distance

communication.
Handwriting, which linked up

hundreds of thousands of people,

gave

total

power to

the peo-

ple

who knew how to control the writing.
McLuhan reminded us that
history,

Marshall

throughout human
trols the

whoever conis

media controls the people. This

French semiotics. Literacy is used
the poor.
trol

to control

The educated use

literacy to con-

the uneducated.

A typical feudal oi^anization, such
as the Catholic Church, restricted the

power to send a message

like this to a

very

special class of computer hacker-nerds

called

monks. Only theyv/ere authorized
the illuminated

to

touch the mainframe

manuscripts up

in the castle of the

duke or

cardinal. But to the others

no matter how

important a person in the village or the
city

the

word came down from

the Higher

Ups.

Once people

start

organizing in

large groups of thousands, or hundreds of

thousands, the tribal situation could no

longer be controlled.

If a

hundred thousand

people are

all

hooked up,
it

like a hive or termite colony, there

has to be some central organi-

zation that keeps

going.

Wth thousands of people carrying rocks to build a pyramid, or thousands of people
building the churches of the pope, a feudal society can't function
if

the workers are access-

ing their singular-brain programs.
situation, consider the basic

To

illustrate the totahtarian

power control of the feudal
is

metaphor of the "shepherd" and the "sheep." "The Lord
to lie

my
is

shepherd;

I

shall not

want He maketh me

down

in

green pastures." Now,
flies

if

the Lord

your shepherd, who the fuck are you? Bah! Even today, when the pope
world countries, they speak of "the pope and his
flock."

around

to third-

Another example of brain control preventing the individual from accessing his or her own computer is the
first

chapter of the Bible.

The opening text of Genesis lays

it

right

out God
planets,
I
1

says, "I

made the skies, 1 made the
I

made

the earth,

made the water,

made the land, I made the creepy-crawly
and 1 made you, Adam, to be in and 1 put you
is

things,

my

And
.i

a
il

new philosophy emei^ed
i-

called
i

quantum physics, which su^^ests

likeness,

in the ultimate desti-

i

j

p
s

i f

i-

nation .^sort, which

the Ganien

of Eden.

that the individual
.

unction
i-

IS to

i il t i .. n inloim and be inlormed. You really

Boy, you can do anything you

want

I'm

,

i

i

^^ist

goingtopuiioutaribandgiveyouaheip-

Only

when you
,
,

le

m a field sharing and exchan^in5[ information.
l

1

1

i

i

i

.

i

mate

like a little kitchen slave,

named Eve.
Yo

lx

Youcandowhateveryouwanudam.This
is

"^ate the

lealities

you inhabit.

paradise.

"However, there are two Food and Drug regulations. See that tree over there? That's
the Tree of Immortality.
It

offers cryonics

and cloning. You

shall not eat of the fruit of that lest

you become a God
dangerous. You

like

me and hve forever. You see that tree over there? That's even more
because that is the TVee of Knowledge.
It

shall not eat of the fruit of that

offers expansions of consciousness."

Genesis makes
fabricated by one

it

clear that the

whole universe

is

owned, operated, controlled, and

mind

drugs. The one

God and he's a big, bad-tempered male. That's why we have a war on thing that no mass society can stand is individuals and small groups

that go oif to start learning

how to program, reprogram,
The

boot up, activate, and format their

own brains.
There's a good reason for these taboos.
feudal and industrial stages of evolution

are similar to the stages in the evolution of individuals. Young children are glad to have

Daddy be shepherd, but after a while

the child has to take responsibility.
to totally

Feudal societies imprinted millions
animals. Imagine living on a farm
fifty

devote their lives to being herd-flock

miles from Chartres during the 15th Century.
little

On

Sundays you walked

five

miles to get to a
all

village.

There the

priest told you, "Listen, six

months from now we're

going to Chartres. There's going to be a big ceremony because

the archbishop will be there."

You spent a week

to

hike there. You walked into the central square of Chartres. You
taller

looked up and saw a cathedral
glass

than any trees, ahnost like a mountain, with
all

its

stained-

windows and

statues,

and there were
in,

those people the priest told you about. They're
at the

seven or ten feet

taU.

You walked

looked up

towering Gothic arches, the rose win-

dows, heard the organ music and chanting, smelled the incense.
Talk about multisensory, multimedia imprinting!
light show is something,
If you

think that the Grateful

Dead

for almost

two thousand years the wizards of the Catholic Church

have orchestrated one

hell of a

show. The smell of perftmie, the candles, the chanting get-

ting louder and louder, until suddenly the bishop appeared, bejeweled, carried in on a big

SECTION

II.)

CYBERNETICS

OUI IRAIN

u

golden throne. You'd never seen anything
*AII right,

like that

back on the farm.

down on your knees. Say after me: Thine
all

is

the kingdom and power and glory.'

Now

I

want you

to go to the Middle East and

kill

heathens for Christ"
x.

"Sure, anything you say."

An
Christ.

earlier

multimedia imprinting event took place near Athens before the birth of
rite

The Eleusinian mystery

was an annual

religious event that reoccurred for over a
to the

thousand years. The wisest people as well as ordinary folk came
participate in the secret ceremony.

temple of Eleusis to

An LSD-type

drink

made from ergot of barley was drunk
was per-

by

all

the initiates.

An extravagant Ught show and

a powerful dramatic reenactment

formed, resulting in a group experience of chaos and rebirth for the audience.
It's

no accident

that the

Greek philosophers, dramatists, and poets

left

an incredible

record of creative self-expression and polytheism.

When

Socrates said, "The function of

human Ufe is to know yourself; inteUigence
humanism
that

is

virtue,"

he was invoking the Greek notion of

was

to later influence the

Renaissance and the romantic periods.
is

Far more than by weapons, society
imprinting. Marshall

controlled by multimedia, neurological

McLuhan reminded

us that the

medium is the message.
Crown. Within a few decades,
do.

When Gutenberg invented moveable type, it empowered dukes and cardinals to
print

and

distribute thousands of Bibles

and

histories of the

many Europeans were learning how to do what only the monks could
the one device that
for

Gutenberg created

was

basic to the future industrial-factory civihzation

mass production

consumers.
hi the industrial age, the virtuous person

was good, prompt,

reUable, dependable,
for the individual to

efficient, directed, and, of course, replaceable.

There was not much need

operate his or her ovra brain in a factory civilization.

The bosses

can't

have people on an

assembly

line

becoming too

creative, as

m the Cheech and Chong movie where cars are

coming down the Ime.
'Hey, Qieech, I'm gonna go eat now."

"You

can't,

not yet"

Why not?"
"You can't eat
until

the bell rings."

"Okay, lefs paint the next car rainbow."

You cannot operate indushial
multimedia capacities of the brain.

society with too

much individuaUty and access to the
and time only
an

Around 1900 Einstein came up with the idea
interactive field,

that space

exist in

and Max Planck devised a theory

that the basic elements of the universe are

particles of information.

Then came Heisenberg's proof that you
called

create your

own reality. And

a

new philosophy emerged
is to

quantum physics, which suggests

that the individual's
in

function

inform and be informed. You really exist only when you're
realities

a

field

sharing

and exchanging information. You create the
What's the brain for?

you inhabit

Why do we have this incredible mstrument? Our brains want to

be hooked up with other brams.
forth bytes

My brain is only in operation when she's slamming back and
Multimedia intercommunication.
that the individual has divinity within.

and

bits of information.

The
There
is this

original basic

dream of humanity is

enormous power within our bio-computer brains.

We are going to have to learn

how to use this power, how to boot it up.

II.4.

How

TO BOOT Up Your bio-Computer

human

brain,

we

are told,

is

a

The
puter.

galaxy of over a hundred billion neurons, any two of which can organize and

using cybernetic terminology to describe mind and brain functions, we can add to

our knowledge about the varieties of
thought-processing experiences. This use of a manufactured
artifact like the

communicate as much

complex information as a mainframe com-

computer to

Many

cognitive psychologists

now

see

help us understand internal
biological processes
to be a normal stage

the brain as a universe of information
processors. Our minds, according to
this

seems
in

the

metaphor, serve as the software that programs the neural hardware (or wetware).

growth of human knowledge. Harvey's notions about the heart as pump and the circulation of the blood obviously stemmed from hydraulic engineering Our
tion inside the

Most of the classic psychological terms can now be redefined in terms of computer concepts. Cognitive functions like

memory, forgetting, learning, creativity, and logical thinking are now studied as methods by which the mind forms "data bases" and stores, processes, shuffles,
and retrieves information.
Noncognitive functions such as
tions,

understanding of metabolism and nutribody had to await the sci-

ence of thermodynamics and energy
machines.

emo-

cal

moods, sensory perceptions, hallucinations, obsessions, phobias, altered
intoxications, visionary images, and psychedelic perspectives can
glossolalias,

Two hundred years ago, before electriappliances were commonplace, the brain was vaguely defined as an organ

Those young, bright baby-

states, possession-trance experiences,

that secreted "thoughts" the way the heart processed blood and the lungs

boom
been

Americans,
dialing

who had

and tuning

processed

air.

Forty-five years

ago my

now be viewed
cuits or

in

terms of

ROM

brain

cir-

Psychology 1-A professors described the brain in terms of the most advanced infor-

television screens since
infancy,

autonomous-sympathetic-mid-

mation system available

an enormous

and who had learned
activate and turn

brain sectors that are usually not accessed

by

left-brain or forebrain conscious deci-

telephone exchange. This metaphor obviously did not lead to profitable experi-

how to

on

sion.

can, as

These nonlinear, unconscious areas we well know, be activated inten-

mentation; so the brain was generally

tionally or involuntarily

by various means. The pop term "turn on" carries the fascinating cybernetic implication that one can
selectively dial

ignored by psychology. The psychoanalytic theories of Freud were more use-

their brains using chaotic

drugs

in

serious introspective

and comprehensible, because they were based on familiar thermodynamic
ful

experiments, were uniquely

up or access brain sectors

principles: Neurosis was caused by the

that process specific channels of information signals normally unavailable.

blocking or repression of surging, steamy, over-heated dynamic instincts that

prepared to engineer the
interface

between the

These concepts could emerge only

in

exploded or leaked out
matic behavior.

in

various sympto-

an electronic culture. The mystics and altered-state philosophers of the past,
like

computer and the cybernetic
organ known as the human
brain.

the Buddha or

St.

John of the Cross

During the early 1960s our Harvard Psychedelic Drug Research project studied the reactions of thousands of subjects

or William

James

or Aldous Huxley, could

not describe their visions and illuminations

and ecstasies and enlightenments

in

during psilocybin and LSD sessions. We were able to recognize and classify the

terms of "turning on" electronic appliances.

standard range of psychedelic-hallucinogenic experiences, and to distinguish

There

is

no naTve assumption here that
is

them from the

effects of other drugs like

the brain

a computer.

However, by

uppers, downers, booze, opiates, tran-

SECTION

II. 1

CYIEIINETICS

NOW TO lOOT Ur YOUl IIO-COMPUTEI

H

quilizers.

But

we were

able to categorize

Americans were puzzled and
by this mad attempt on the part of the mystical milirritated
lions to enthusiastically

them only in terms of subjective reactions. There was simply no scientific language to

communicate or model the wide range and "strange" effects of these chaotic

embrace
self-

chemical

insanity

and

phenomena.
moralists,

Psychiatrists, policemen,

and people who did not use drugs accepted the notion of "psychotomimetic states." There was one normal way to see the world. Chaotic drugs caused all users to lose their grasp on the

induced chaotics. Epistemological debates about the definition of
reality

terical social

soon degenerated into hysextremism on the part
all

of almost

company

included.

concerned, present Arguments about
hands-

one-and-only authorized
mimicking
insanity.

reality,

thus

the nature of reality are always heavy, often bitter and emotional.
Cultural, moral, political, racial,

on experience of moving flashy electronic, digital information

and

above
involved

all,
in

generational issues were the Drug Wars of the late 20th

around on screens.

It

was no accident that

Century.

of the early designers and marketers of these electronic appliances lived

many
in

otic.
al

But the basic problem was semiDebate collapsed into emotionbabble because there was no
lan-

the San Francisco area and tended to
intelligent

be

adepts

in

the use of psyche-

delic drugs.

guage or conceptual model of what

Those young, bright baby-boom
Americans,

happened when you got "fucked "stoned,"

"high,"

who had been
how

dialing

and tun-

up,"

ing television screens since infancy,

and

"loaded," "wasted," "blissed,"

who had
on

learned

to activate and turn

"spaced out," "illuminated,"
"satorized," "god-intoxicated,"
etc.

their brains using chaotic

drugs

in seri-

ous introspective experiments, were
uniquely prepared to engineer the interface between the computer and the

Here again, external technolo-

gy can provide us with an updat-

ed model and language to
understand inner neuro-function.

cybernetic organ known as the human brain. They could handle accelerated
thought-processing, multilevel realities, instantaneous chains of digital logic much

became popularized 1950s. Many psychedelic trippers
Television

in

the

of the

more comfortably than

their less-playful,

next decades tended to
MIKE SAENZ

buttoned-up, conservative,

react To talk and think about drug-induced experiences, the Harvard drug experi-

like

television

MBA
IBM.

viewers passively watching the pictures flashing

"If

thou write stoned,
edit straight.

rivals

at

Much

of

Steve
devel-

menters and other researchers were
forced to
fall

on their mind-screens.

Jobs's astounding

back on the ancient

litera-

The semantic

level of

If

ture of Christian mysticism and those oriental yogic disciplines that had studied

the acid experimenters was defined by the word

thou write straight,
edit stoned."

success

in

oping the Apple and the Mac was
explicitly motivat-

visionary experiences for centuries.

The

"Wow!" The research
groups
I

scholars of mysticism and spiritual tran-

worked with

at

ed by
1960s counterculture.

his

crusade

scendence snobbishly tended to view "normal reality" as a web of socially
induced
illusions.

Harvard, Millbrook, and Berkeley fell back on a gaseous, oriental, Ganges-enlighten-

against IBM, seen as the archenemy of the

They tended to

define,
life,

ment terminology
apologize.

for which

I

humbly

as the philosophic-religious goal of the attainment of altered states.

By 1980 millions of young Americans had become facile in digital thought-processing using inexpensive
ers.

Needless to

say,

enormous confusion
sensible, practical

Then, in 1976, the Apple computer was introduced. At the same time video

home computunderstood

Most of them

intuitively

was thus

created.

Most

games provided young people with

a

that the best

model

for understanding

Personal Computers,
and operating the mind came from the mix of the psychedelic and cybernetic cultures.

Personal Freedom

gists, like

Hundreds of New-Age pop psycholoWerner Erhard and Shirley

MacLaine, taught folks

how

to re-pro-

nee upon a time.

. .

knowledge-

gram
ing.

their minds, write the scripts of

their lives,

upgrade thought-processAt the same time the new theories
i.e.,

information was stored in extremely
expensive mainframe systems called
illuminated volumes, usually Bibles, carefully

of imprinting,

sudden programming

of the brain, were popularized by ethologists

and hip psychologists like Conrad Lorenz, Niko Tinbergen, and John Lilly.

Once
the brain

again, external engineered tools
If

helped us understand inner function.
is

guarded in the palace of the duke or bishop, and
accessible only to security-cleared, sociaUy alienated

viewed as bio-hardware, and

psychedelic drugs
mitters,"

become "neurotrans-

and

if

you can reprogram your

mind, for better or for worse, by "turning
on," then

new concepts and techniques

hackers called monks. Then in 1456 Johannes Gutenberg
invented a most important piece of hardware: the moveable-type

of instantaneous psychological change

become

possible.
arises.

Another relevant question

Can

the computer screen create altered states? Is there a digitally induced
"high"? Can psyberdelic electrons be

printing press. This knowledge-information processing system could

packaged like chemicals to strike terror into the heart of the Reagan White

mass-produce inexpensive, portable software readily available for home use:
the Personal Book.

House?

Do

we

need

a

Digital

Enforcement Agency (DBA) to teach kids to say "No," or more politely, "No, thank

Until recently,

computers were in much the same

sociopolitical situation as the pre-

you" to

RAM
I

pushers?
is in
I

opinion what do no?

My

the negative. But
currently enjoying a
it
I

Gutenberg systems. The mainframe knowledge-processors
oly of governments

that ran society

were the monoppriestly techni-

am

and large corporations. They were carefuDy guarded by

mild digital dependence, but

seems

cians with security clearances.

The average person, suddenly thrust into

electronic illiteracy

manageable and socially useful. follow the ancient Sufi-Pythagorean maxim
regarding creative writing:
"If

and

digital helplessness,

was understandably threatened.

thou write

stoned, edit straight.
straight, edit stoned."

If

thou write

THE MAINFRAME MONOPOLY My first contact with computers came in
when 1 was director of a
Raiser

And always

with a team.
1950,

Foundation psychological research project that developed mathematical profiles for the
inteipersonal assessment of personality. In line with the principles of humanistic psychology,
the

aim of this research was to free persons from dependency on
and diagnostic-thematic
interpretations.

doctors, professionals,

institutions,

To

this end,

we elicited clusters of

yes-no responses from subjects and fed back knowledge in the form of profiles and indices
to the patients themselves.

SECTION

II. s

(VIEINETICS

PCISONAl COMPUTEIS, PEISONAL FIEEDOM

Relying on dimensional information
rather than interpretative categories, our

If

we

are to

Gutenberg mutation. Religion was the uni-

stay free,
to
it

fying force that held feudal society together.
It

research

was ideally suited

to

computer

analysis. Routinely

we sent stacks of data to

we must see
tlie
rijilit

that

was

natural, therefore, that the first

Personal Books would be Bibles.

When the

the Kaiser Foundation's computer room,

where mysterious technicians converted our

to

own

reUgion market was

satiated,

many entre-

dijita

preneurs wondered what other conceivable
use could be

numbers

into relevant indices.

Computers

were thus helpful, but distant and unapproachable.
I

data processors

made of this newfangled softamus-

ware. How-to-read books were the next
phase.

distrusted the

mainframes

because

1

saw them

as devices that

would

becomes as inalienable
as the constitutiona

Then came game books.

It is

ing to note that the second book printed in
the English language

merely increase the dependence of individuals

was on chess a
its

upon

experts.
1

game
became a
director of the

that

became, with

knights and

In 1960

Harvard PsychedeUc Drug Research program. The aims of this project were also
humanistic: to teach individuals

guarantees of free

bishops and kings and queens, the Pac
of late feudalism.

Man

We can see this same patis

how to self-

speech and a free press

tern repeating during the current transition.

Since money^usiness

the unifying force
first

administer psychoactive drugs in order to
free their psyches without reUance

of the industrial age, the

Wozniak

upon
spreadsheets.

bibles were, naturally enough, accounting

doctors or institutions. Again

we used mainframes to index respons-

Then came word

processors, and games.
is

es to questionnaires about drug experiences, but
this
als.

1 saw no way for awesome knowledge-power to be put in the hands of individuI know now that our research with psychedehc drugs and, in

The

history of human evolution

the record of technologiefforts

cal innovation.

Expensive machinery requiring large group

for operation generally
state.

becomes a

tool of social repression

by the

fact,

the drug culture

itself was

a forecast
it

of,

or preparation

for,

the

The tower clock. The

galley ship.

The cannon. The

tank.

personal-computer age. Indeed,

was

a brilliant

LSD

researcher,

Instruments that can be owned and operated by individuals inevitably produce democratic revolutions.

John

Lilly,

who in

1972 wrote the seminal monograph on the brain

The bronze dagger. The

cross-

as a knowledge-information processing system:

Programming and

bow. The pocket watch. The automobile as self-mover.
This
is

Meta-Programming in the Human Bio-Computer Psychedelic drugs
expose one
to the

raw experience of chaotic brain mind temporarily suspended.

function, with the

the hberating

protections of the

We are talking here

"hands-on" concept.

about the tremendous acceleration of images, the crumbling of analogic perceptions into

"Power to the people"

vapor

trails

of neuron off-K)n flashes, the mulslipping in

means personal
nology available
individual. D.I.Y.

techto the

tiphcation of disorderly

mind programs

and out of

awareness

like floppy disks.

Do It

The seven
some

million Americans

who experienced the awethat the term

Yourselves.

potentialities of the brain via
It is

LSD certainly paved the way for
"LSD" was used
it

the computer society.

no accident

twice in Time magazine's cover story about Steve Jobs, for

was

Jobs and his fellow Gutenberger, Stephen Wozniak,
the personal brain with the personal computer
sible a

who hooked up

and thus made pos-

new culture.
EVOLUTION/REVOLUTION

HANDS ON/TUNE

IN
a step of

Digital-graphic appliances are developing a

The development of the personal computer was

parmership between

human

brains and computers. In evolving to

Gutenberg magnitude. Just as the Personal Book trans-

more

physiological complexity, our bodies formed symbioses with

formed human society from the muscular-feudal

to the

armies of digestive bacteria necessary for survival. In similar fashion,

mechanical-industrial, so has the personal electronic-knowledge

our brains are forming neural-electronic symbiotic linkups with
computers.
It is

processor equipped the individual to survive and evolve in the age
of information. To guide us in this confusing and scary transition,
is
it

solid-state

useful to distinguish here

between addic-

tions

and symbiotic partnerships. The body can become passively
e.g.,

most useful

to look

back and see what happened during the

addicted to certain molecules,

of heroin,

and the brain can

become passively addicted to electronic signals,
sion.

e.g.,

from

televi-

encourage individual access
software.

to

knowledge-information-processing

The human

body, as

we have noted, also requires symbiotic

partnerships with certain unicellular organisms. At this point in

New associations of individuals hnked by computers will
surely emerge. Information nets will encourage a swift, free inter-

human evolution, more and more people are
this happens, there

developing mutually

dependent, interactive relationships with their microsystems.

When

change among expand the

individuals.

Feedback peripherals

will dramatically

comes a moment when

the individual

is

mode of exchange from keyboard punching to neuroThe key word is,
of course, "interaction."
is tiiat it

"hooked" and cannot imagine Uving without the continual

inter-

physiological interaction.

change of electronic signals between the personal brain

and the

The

intoxicating

power

of interactive software

eliminates

personal computer. There are interesting political impUcations. In
the near future,

dependence on the enormous bureaucracy of knowledge professionals
tiiat

more than twenty milhon Americans will use com-

flourished in the industiial age. In Uie factory culture,

puters to estabUsh intense interactive partnerships with other
inhabitants of cyberspace. These individuals will operate at a level

guilds

and unions and associations of knowledge-workers jealously
tiie

monopolized

flow of information. Educators, teachers, profes-

of intelligence that
ic

is

quahtatively different

from those

who

use

stat-

sors, consultants, psychotherapists, librarians,
ists,

managers, journalall

forms of knowledge-information processmg. In America,
is

this dif-

editors, writers, labor unions,

medical groups

such roles

ference

afready producing a generation gap,

i.e.,

a species gap.
of individual

are

now threatened.
It is

After Gutenberg, Personal Books created a

new level

not an exaggeration to speculate about

tiie

develop-

thinking that revolutionized society.
tion in

An even more dramatic muta-

ment of very different postindushial
will

societies. SoUd-state literacy

human intelligence will occur as the new digital-Ught apph-

be aknost universal

m America and tiie oUier Western democtiieir rulers.

ances will permit individuals to communicate with individuals in
other lands.

racies.
will

The

rest of tiie worid, especially tiie totalitarian counhies,

be kept electix)nically ilhterate by

At least half tiie

United Nations's

members now prohibit or limit personal possesimpUcations of home computers become more

CHILDHOOD'S END?
It

sion.

And, as

tiie

seems clear that we are facmg one of those genetic cross-

clearly understood, restiictive laws will

become more apparent

If

roads that have occurred so frequently in the history of primates.

we are to stay free, we must see to it ttiat flie right to own digital
data processors

The members of the human gene pool who form symbiotic links
with soUd-state computers will be characterized by extremely high
individual intelligence

becomes as inalienable as

tiie

constitutional guar-

antees of free speech and a free press.

and

will settle in

geographic niches that

... to teach individuals
order to free their
institutions.

how

to self-administer

psychoactive drujs in

psyches without reliance upon doctors or
Psychedelic drujs expose one to the raw

...M

experience of chaotic brain function, with the protections of the mind
temporarily suspended.
acceleration of

We

are

talking

here about the tremendous

images, the crumbling of analogic perceptions into

vapor

trails of

neuron off-on flashes, the multiplication of disorderly
in

mind programs slipping

and out

of

awareness like floppy disks.

SECTION

II.

(

CVIEINETICS

PEISONAl COMPUTEKS. PEKSONAL FIEEDOM

U

II.6.

Quantum Jumps,

Your Macintosh, ano You

Chalk:

A soft,

white, grey, or buff limestone

composed

chiefly of the shells of

foraminifers.

Quantum: The

quantity or

amount of something; an

indivisible unit of energy;

the

particle mediating a specific

type of elemental interaction.
in

Quantum jump: Any

abrupt change or step, especially

knowledge or information.

Chaos: The basic state of the universe and the human
Personal computer:

brain.

A philosophic digital
in

appliance that allows the individual to

operate and communicate

the quantum-information age.

A UNIVERSE OF USER-FRIENDLY BITS AND BYTES

^^ fc^
K jj J

The

great philosophic achievement of the 20th Century

was the discovery, made
is

by nuclear and quantum physicists around 1900, that the visible-tangible reality
written in BASIC.

We seem to inhabit a universe made up of a small number of

elements-particles-bits that swirl in chaotic clouds, occasionally clustering together in geo-

metrically logical temporary configurations.

The

solid

Newtonian universe involving such immutable concepts as mass,
all

force,

momentum, and inertia,
good versus
evil,

bound

into a

Manichaean drama involving equal reactions of
evolution, produced such pious

gravity versus levity,

and entropy versus

Bank-of-England notions as conservation of energy. This General Motors's universe, which

was dependable,
into digitized,

dull,

and predictable, became transformed

in the

hands of Einstein/Planck

shimmering quantum screens of electronic probabiUties.

In 1989

we

navigate in a reality of which Niels Bohr and

Werner Heisenberg could

only dream, and which Marshall
in their

McLuhan predicted.

It

turns out that the universe described

psychedeUc equations

is

best understood as a super

mainframe consteUation of infor-

mation processor with subprograms and temporary
stars;

ROM states, macros called galaxies,
known
as molecules,

minis called planets; micros called organisms; metamicros
last,

atoms, particles; and,
It

but not

least,

micros called Macintosh.
challenge of the 20th Century

seems

to follow that the great technological

was to

produce an inexpensive appliance

that

would make the chaotic universe "user friendly,"
to digitize, store, process,

which would allow the individual human

and

reflect the subpro-

grams

that

make up his/her own personal realities.
devoted

Murmur the word "Einstein," put your hand reverently on your mouse, and give it
ANDY
FRITH

an admiring paL Your modest,

faithful,

Mac is an evolutionary celebrity! It may be an

advance as important as the opposable thumb, face-to-face lovemaking, the Model-T Ford,
the printing press!
ological,

Owning

it

defines you as

member of a new breed

postindustrial, poslbi-

post-human

because your humble
It

VM (Vollis-Mac) permits you to think and act

in

terms of clusters of electrons.

allows you to cruise around in the chaotic post-Newtonian

information ocean, to think and communicate in the lingua franca of the universe, the binary dialect of galaxies

and atoms. Light

A PHILOSOPHIC APPLIANCE CONCEIVED BY

QUANTUM PHYSICISTS

E
reality.

The chain
tronicus,

of events that elevated us to this

new genetic status, Homo sapiens elec-

began around the turn of the century.
the nature of Physicists are traditionally assigned the task of sorting out

So

it

was Einstem,

Planck, Heisenberg, Bohr,
that

et al.,

who

figured out that the units of

energy/matter were subatomic particles
off-on, 0-1, yin-yang probabilities.

zoom around in clouds of ever-changing,

Emstein and the quantum physicists digitized our universe, reduced our
ties into clusters

solid reali-

of pixels, into recursive

stairways of Godel-Escher-Bach paradox.

No

one understood,

at first,

what they were

talk-

ing about They expressed

their unsettling

Is

it

not true that freedom in any country
perfectly by

is

lTb^^^ch2TeTephT^^^
cists

flieasured
,

the

percentajfe

of Personal

thought and communicated

vrith

a

neolithic tool: chalk

marks on the blackboard
Einstein

Computers

-iLL J 1*J**J It m tlie hanos ot inoivKluals?

of the cave.

The paradox was this:

and

his brilliant colleagues could not experiat a

ence or operate or communicate

quantum-electronic

level. In a

sense they were idiot

savants, able to produce equations about chaos and relativity without being able to maintain

interpersonal cyberrelationships with others.

Imagine

if

Max

Planck, paddling around in his chalkboard skin-canoe,

had access

to

a video-arcade game! He'd see right

hivaders could represent the

away that the blips on Centipede and the zaps movement of the particles that he tried to describe in

of Space

chalk-

dust symbols on his blackboard.
Reflect

on the head-aching adjustment required here. The universe described by
is

Einstein and the nuclear physicists
Uterally a wild acid trip!
It

alien

and

terrifying. Chaotic.

Quantum

physics

is

quite

postulates an hallucinatory Alice-in-Wonderiand universe in
is

which everything

is

changing. As Heisenberg and Jimi Hendrix said, "Nothing
is

certain

except uncertainty." Matter
Particles dissolve into

energy. Energy
is

is

matter at various forms of acceleration.
in a four-dimensional movie.
It all

waves. There
i.e.,

no up or down

depends on your attiUide,

your angle of approach to the real worlds of chaotics.

In 1910, the appliance

we call the

universe

was not user friendly and
felt

there

was no

hands-on manual of operations. No wonder people
ing in the solid, mechanical worid of 1910 could no
Einsteinian universe than
Einstein

helpless and

superstitious. People liv-

more understand or experience an
and write English. and sober theologians who

Queen

Victoria could levitate or fish could read

was denounced

as evil and immoral by Catholic bishops

^

sensed

how unsettling and
In retrospect

revolutionary these

new ideas could be.

we see that the first sevenfy-five years of the 20th Century were devotand
initiating

ed

to preparing, training,

human

beings to communicate in quantum-speak,

SECTION

II. i

CYBERNETICS

QUANTUM JUMPS, YOUR MACINTOSH, AND YOU

;;

ANDY

FRITH
i.e.,

to think

and

act at

an

entirely different level

in

terms of digital clusters.

The
formed by

task of preparing

human

culture for

new realities has traditionally been perperformers.

tribal

communicators called

artists, entertainers,

When Greek
it

philosophers

came up

with notions of humanism, individuality, and

liberty,

was the

painters and sculptors of Athens who produced the commercial

logos, the

naked statues of

curvy Venus and sleek Mercury and the other randy Olympian Gods.

When the feudal, anti-human monotheisms

(Christian-Islamic) took over,

it

was the

"nerdy" monks and painters who produced the commercial artwork of the Middle Ages. God as a bearded king swathed in robes. Madonna and Bleeding Saints and crucified Jesus, wallto-wall anguished martyrs.

These advertising logos were necessary, of course,

to

convince

the serfs to submit to the All-Powerful Lord.

You

certainly can't

run a kingdom or empire

with bishops, popes, cardinals, abbots, and chancellors of the exchequer joyously running

around bare-assed

like

Athenian pantheists.
a humanist revival preparing Europeans for the industrial age.

The Renaissance was

When Gutenberg invented the cheap, portable, rag-and-glue home computer known as the
printing press, individuals had to be encouraged to read and

vmte and "do

it

yourself!" Off

came

the clothes! Michelangelo erected a statue of David, naked as a jay bird, in the

main

square of Florence.
the hired

Why David? He was the young, punk kid who stood up against Goliath,
we can see that the 20th Century
(1900-1994) proall

Rambo hit man of the Philistine empire.
this historical perspective

With

duced an avalanche of artistic,
shared the same goal:
structure; to loosen

Uterary, musical,

and entertainment movements,

of which

to strip off the
rigidities

robes and uniforms; to dissolve our bUnd

faith in static

up the

of the industrial culture; to prepare us to deal with para-

dox, with altered states of perception, with multidimensional definitions of nature; to

make

quantum

reality comfortable,

manageable, homey,

livable; to get

you

to feel at

home while

bouncing electrons around your

computer screen. Radio. Telegraph.

Television. Computers.

DfCITAL ART! D.I.Y. (DO
In

IT

YOURSELF!)

modem art we saw the emergence of schools that dissolved reality repreflect-

resentation into a variety of subjective, relativistic attitudes. Impressionists

used random spots of color and brush strokes, converting matter to ed
light waves. Seurat and the
Pointillists actually

painted in pixels.

Expressionism offered a quantum
yourself!

reality that

was almost totally spontaneous. Do it
planes and volumes reflecting the

Cubism sought to portray common

objects in

underlying geometric structure of matter, thus directly illustrating the

new physics. The
and
bytes.

Dada and

collage

movements broke up material
slick,

reality into diverse bits

Imagine what lames
by

Surrealism produced a
Sony. In Tokyo
1

smooth-plastic fake-reality that

was

later perfected

have listened

to electronic anthropologists

argue that

Dali's

graphic "The

loyce could have done

Persistence of Memory" (featuring melting watches) created

modem Japanese culture,

which no one can deny is eminently surreal.
These avant-garde
art,

with MS Word or a
was learning to Uve with
the shifting-screen

aesthetic D.I.Y.

experiments were quickly incorporated into pop

advertising,

and

industrial design. Society

CD-ROM graphic system
or a

perspectives and pixillated representations of the universe that had been predicted by the

equations of the quantum physicists.

When the Coca-Cola company uses the digitized face of

modern data base!

Max Headroom as its current logo, then America is comfortably living in a quantum universe.

Well,

we don't have

to

HACKING AWAY AT THE WORD LINE
These same
aesthetic trends

Imajine-he actually
to

appeared in English Uterature. Next time you boot up

El

your Mac, breathe a word of gratitude
Beckett, Orwell, Burroughs, Gysin

Emerson,

Stein, Yeats,

Pound, Huxley,

managed
his

to do

it

usinjf

all

of whom succeeded in loosening social,

political, religious linearities,

and encouraging

subjectivity

and innovative reprogramming

own brainware.

of chaotic realities.

The most influential

literary

work of this period was produced by James Joyce.

In

Ulysses and Finnegans Wake, Joyce fissioned and sUced the grammatical structure of lan-

guage

into thought-bytes. Joyce

was not only a

writer, but also a

word processor,
them

a proto-

hacker, reducing ideas to elemental units and endlessly recombining

at will.

Joyce

programmed

reahty using his

own basic language, a quantum

Unguistic that allowed
(It

him

to

assemble and reassemble thoughts into

fugal, repetitious, contrapuntal pattems.

also

helped that he was semi-blind and dyslexic.)

Imagine what James Joyce could have done with
system or a
using his

MS Word or a CD-ROM graphic modem data base! Well, we don't have to imagine he actually managed to do it

own brainware.

lAZZ

m

The most effective pre-computer rendition
found in a certain low-life high-tech

of quantum-digital art

was to be

style of spontaneous, cool, subjective,

improvisational sound waves produced by a small group of black audio engineers. Jazz suddenly

popped up

at the height of the industrial age, eroding its linear values

and noninteractive styles. A
predictability, conformity.

factory society
is

demands regularity, dependability,

replicability,

There
it

no room
left to

for improvisation or syncopated individuality

on

a Newtonian assembly line; so

was

the African-Americans,

who never really bought

SECTION 11.6

CYIEINETKS

9UANTUM lUMrS, YOUl MACINTOSH, AND YOU

U

the factory culture, to get us boogying into the postindustrial

quantum

age. Needless to say,

the moralists instinctively denounced jazz as chaotic, low-life, and vaguely sinful.

RADIO
The most important factor in preparing a
factory
society of assembly-line

workers and

managers for the quantum-information age was the invention of a userappUance called
radio.

friendly electronic

We

Radio

is

seem

to inhabit a

the communication of audible signals, such as

words or music, encoded

in

electromagnetic waves. Radio allows us to package and transmit ideas in digital patterns.

universe

made up

The

first

oi a

use of Vireless" was by government, military, and business, but within one generato turn

tion the

home micro-radio allowed the individual

on and tune

in a

range of reahties.

small number oi
elements-particlesbits that swirl in

When Farmer Jones learned how to select stations by moving the dial,
the
'n'

he had taken

first

hands-on step toward the information age. By 1936 the comforting sounds of Amos
for the

Andy and swing music had prepared human beings

magic of quantum-electronic

communication, as well as the brainwashing powers of political leaders.

THE MOVIES PROIECTED REALITIES ONTO SCREENS

chaotic clouds,
occasionally
clustering together
in

a
It

The next step

in creating

an electronic-computer culture was a big one. Light
images on screens,

waves passed through

celluloid frames projected life-like

producing new levels of reality that transformed human thought and com-

munication.

was a

big step

when computer designers decided to output data on
The
silent

screens mstead

of those old green-white Gutenberg printouts.
ble. It
is,

movies made

this innovation possi-

perhaps, no accident
in
its

that in the 1980s

IBM used the

lovable, irresistible icon of the

geometrically logical

Little

TVamp

commercials.
direct

The next time you

your hypnotized eyeballs toward your lit-up terminal,

temporary
configurations.
.

remember that it was
the implausible
. .

cheerful Charlie

ChapUn who

first

accustomed our species
flat

to

accept

quantum

reality of electrical

impulses flashing on a

screen.

TELEVISION BROUGHT THE LANGUAGE OF ELECTRONS INTO OUR HOMES

War 11 was the first high-tech war.
radar, sonar.

It

was fought on

electronic screens:

The

Allied victory

was

enormously aided by Alan Tbring, the father

EWorld
codes.
use.

of artificial inteUigence,

who used primitive computers to crack the German new technologies became available
for civilian

As soon as the war was over, these

There

is

simply no way

that a culture of television addicts

can comprehend or appreci-

ate the

changes in

human

psychology brought about by the boob tube.

The average American spends more time per week watching television than in any other social activity. Pixels dancing on a screen are the central reality. People spend more
time gazing at electrons than they do gazing into the eyes of their loved ones, looking into
books, scanning other aspects of material
reality is
reality.

Talk about appUed metaphysics! Electronic
is

more real than
to the

the physical world! This
to shoreline,

a profound evolutionary leap.

It

can be

compared

jump from ocean

when land and air suddenly become more

real to the ex-fish than water!

TELEVISION PASSIVITY
first

generations of television watching produced a nation of "vidiots": pasin front of the feeding-screen

HThe

sive

amoeboids sprawled

sucking up

digital infor-

mation. Giant networks controlled the airwaves, hawking commercial products

and packaged

politics like carnival snake-oil

salesmen.

Perceptive observers realized that Orwell's nightmare of a Big-Brother society
too optimistic. In 1984 the authoritarian state used television to spy on citizens.
is

was

The

actuality

much worse:

citizens docilely, voluntarily lining themselves

up

in front of the authority

box, enjoying the lethal, neurological fast food dished out in technicolour by Newspeak.

Visionary prophets Uke Marshall
said,

McLuhan understood what was happening. He

"The medium

is

the message." Never

mmd about the junk on the screen. That will
on the screen. McLuhan
the

change and improve. The point is

that people are receiving signals

knew that the new electronic technology would create the new global language when time was ripe, i.e., when society had been prepared to take this quantum leap.

It

seems to follow that the

jreat technological
COMPUTER PASSIVITY
The
first

T
efficiency

generations of computer users similarly did not understand the

challenge of the 20th
Century was to produce an

nature of the quantum revolution. Top

management saw computers

as

Invaluable Business MachinesTi'. Computers simply produced higher

by replacmg muscular-factory-clerical labor.
rest of us

And the

recognizing in the 1960s that computers in the hands of the

inexpensive appliance
that would

managers would

increase their

power to manipulate and

control us

developed a fear and

loathing of computers.

make the

Some

sociologists with paranoid-survival tendencies have speculated that this pho-

bic revulsion against electronic
eral
trol

communication shared by millions of college-educated,
Authorities'''i'

lib-

chaotic universe "user
friendly,"

book readers was dehberately created by Counter Intelligence

whose con-

would be eroded by widespread electronic Uteracy.

which would

The plot further thickened when
combining the insights and liberated

countercultural code-cowgirls and code-cowboys,
'n' rollers,

attitudes of beats, hippies, acidheads, rock

allow the individual

hackers, cyberpunks, and electronic visionaries, rode into Silicon Valley and foiled the great
brain robbery by developing the great equalizer: the Personal Computer.

human

to

digitize, store,

The
like

birth of the information
in a

age occurred in 1976, not in a smoky industrial town

humble manger (garage) in sunny, postindustrial SiUcon Valley. The Personal Computer was invented by two bearded, long-haired guys, SL Stephen the
Bethlehem, PA, but
Greater and SL Steven the Lesser And to complete the biblical metaphor, the infant prodigy

process, and reflect the

subprograms that make up
his/her

was named

after the Fruit of the

TVee of Knowledge: the Apple! The controlled substance
original sin:

with which Eve committed the

first

Thinking for Herself!
in the age-old

own personal

The Personal Computer triggered
social-political competition: control

a

new round of confrontation

by the state and individual freedom of thought.
like Socrates

realities.

Remember how the Athenian

PCs, goaded by code-cowboys

and

Plato, hurled

back the mainframes of the Spartans and the Persians? Remember how the moveable-type
press in private hands printed out the hard copy that overthrew theocratic control of the

papacy and
in

later
is

disseminated the Declaration of Independence?

Is

it

not true that freedom

any country

measured perfectly by the percentage of Personal Computers in the hands

of individuals?

THE ROLE OF THE FREE AGENT IN THE COMPUTER CULTURE
Those who
like to think for

B

themselves

(let's call

them

free agents) tend to see

com-

puters as thought-appliances. "Appliance" defines a device that individuals use in
the

home for their own comfort, entertainment, or education.
the applications of a thought-appliance? Self-improvement? Self-educa-

What are

SECTION M.6

CYIERNETICS

9UANTUM lUMrS, YOUK MACINTOSH, AND YOU

19

liligaBlillliiiQaii .3l!IBSII15l9iilSSII iBii; ffiiailll

fwtw

Son?

Home entertainment? Mind interplay with friends? Thought games? Mental fitness?
Free agents use their minds not
to

Significant pm^uits?

perform authorized duties for the soviet

state or

the International Bureaucracy Machine^'' but for anything that

damn well suits their fancies

as Americans, hi the old industrial civilization you called yourself a worker, but in the infor-

mation age you're a free agent As you develop your agency, you develop your skills in communication.
Personal Computer owners are discovering that the brain
is:

the ultimate organ for pleasure

and awareness;

an array of a hundred billion microcomputers waiting to be booted up,
activated, stimulated,

and programmed;
headware, thoughtware that pays respect to

waiting impatiently for software,
its

awesome potential and makes possible electronic internet linkage with other
>

brains.

$t

TIMOTNY lEAlY

(HAOS

(

(VtEl

CUlTllltE

^Si^''

m(^Y^Tsm

sa

iii.i.

The Woodstock Generation
summer
more
The Woodstock festival was an
and most basic religious
ritual:

t

was twenty years ago
-

this

that

all-star revival

of the oldest

a pagan celebration of life

and raw

than four hundred thousand young Americans
spent three days and nights carousing spectacu-lariy at the

nature, a classic group "possession ceremony" in

which worship-

pers "go out oftheir minds" to recklessly confront the chaotic

Higher Sources, protected by the power of group support.

Check the anthropology texts. Read Campbell, read
and
you'll see that these rituals date

Frazer,

Woodstock rode

festival.

It

was simply
in

way back

before the upstart,
reli-

aggressive, pushy, puritanical monotheistic

(One Male God)

the biggest and wildest and most influential party
all

gions.

Pagan

rites

always celebrate the same natural, instinctive,

-

If

guileless, eternal Utopian values: Peace.

Pure ecstatic sexuahty.
Joy.

of history!
learn

not, please
-

prove

me wrong,

so that

Equality in the eyes of the

Higher Powers.

Endemic rapture.

Mirth. Tolerance. Affirmation oflife,ofthe

human spirit The honest

we can

how to improve.

naked human body Irreverence. And merry laughter.

It
-

was twenty years ajo
field

today...
oldest

For one weekend this farm
third largest city in

became the

Such
tionsofthe

festivals

reawaken the

and most Utopian

aspira-

human brain.
if you

New

York state. Almost half a

However, be warned,

stand up as an individual and

declaim these goals, you are sure

to

be derided by the

million spoiled, affluent,
-

educated young Americans

Rambo-Uddy-Ollie North

steroid

gang (and probably by most of the

important adult authorities in your sector) as a hopeless, naive idealist

crowded, jammed, squashed into a small cow
pasture
-In

"The world

is

a tough,

mean neighborhood," you will be told

by the conventional-wisdom experts.

upstate

New York.
'''^

But when four hundred thousand energetic, educated

young people assembled,

in

August 1969,

to

proclaim these venera-

There was minimum sanitation. Minimum food
(which was, of course, k>vingly shared). Wall-to-wall
-

pagmn values

in action, the effect

was

contagious.

A fearless con-

fidence flared up in young adults. You've seen the fihns of the 1960s.

Sunny, impertinent smiles were infectious.
togetherness.

A sense

of undeniable

No

secrecy.

No shame

for experiencing

pagan

mud. ThafS the down

side.

moments. Psychedelic herbs proudly and openly exchanged. Can
you imagine anyone sneaking
off at

Woodstock

to

shoot heroin

On

the up side these concert-goers experi'n' roll

behind a bush? Or surreptitiously tooting cocaine? Or sneakUydropping steroids

while Ustening

to Jimi

Hendrix and the Grateful

enced the greatest pagan, Dionysian rock

i^^^d?

This "Woodstock experience" became the role model for

musical event ever performed, with plenty of joyous
-

*c counterculture of that time. The Summer of Love kids went on
to

permanently change American culture with principles that the

nudity, and wall-to-wall psychedelic sacraments.

Soviets in 1989 called glasnost

and perestroika.

Hippies started the ecology

movement They combated

And
--

click

on

this:

not one act of recorded

racism.

They liberated sexual

stereotypes, encouraged change, indl-

vidual pride, and self-confidence. ism. in four years they

They questioned robot materialstop the Vietnam War.

vblence!

managed to

They got

SECTION

III.I

tOUNIEKUlTyiES

THE

WOODSTOCK CENEIATION

jj

marijuana decriminalized
administration. Etc.

in fourteen states during the Carter

There was another by-product of the
obvious that
it is

'sixties

generation so

rarely considered.
nubile,

When more than four hundred

thousand

virile,

homy young men and women assembled in
It's

the atmosphere of life aiTirmation there was, inevitably "a whole
lotta

shaking goin' on."

possible that ten thousand babies

were

conceived that magical weekend in 1969.

Where
are they?

are these "kids of the

'sixties kids"

today?

And who

The babes
ty years old. In the

of the Woodstock season are now, in 1989, twen-

next twelve years their younger cohort
the college campuses.

members

will be

swamping

Will these college kids of the 1990s, the grandchildren of Dr.

Spock, be different from the conservative college kids of the 1980s?
If

your Mom was running around bare-ass
levitate the

at

Woodstock

.

.

.

The War on Drujs made mellow
marijuana prohibitively
expensive. The
that the

if your

Dad helped Abbie Hoflman
. . .

Pentagon and helped

end the Vietnam War

if your

parents

smoked dope during their

formative years while hstening to Dylan, the Rolling Stones, and the
Beatles
. . .

if

DA made sure

they wept at the fascist-assassination deaths of the
Jr.,

Kennedys, Martin Luther King,
folks turned on,

and John Lennon

.

.

.

if your

tuned

in,

dropped out ... are you going to major in
sell illegal

peaceable, visionary

Business Administration and stampede to Wall Sfreet to

junk bonds?

elixirs like 'shrooms, mescaline,

The

poor, conservative, fearful, conforming college stu-

dents of the Reagan years were stuck with

Moms and Dads who

LSD. and

MDMA became
jood-bye
drop out
to

grew up
decade

in the

bland Eisenhower 1950s. The ghosts of that

Senator (Red-Scare) McCarthy and General Douglas

inaccessible. So

("nuke the slant-eyes") MacArthur and John

Wayne and Father

Knows Best came back to haunt the

colleges in the 1980s.

turn on, tune

in,

.

.

.

and hello
1980s:

to the

motto of the

THE REAGAN GENERATION
The Woodstock
1976,

Hanj

on.

Hanj

in.

^^^T^

revolution started in 1966, peaked in

Hanj

over.

9L^^ "^ ^

and

hit the wall

with a thud! in 1980 with the

election of Nancy Reagan.

During the 1980s the gentle tolerance of Woodstock was
replaced by a hard-Une Marine Corps attitude.

The pacifism

of

"Give Peace a Chance" gave

way to a swaggering militarism. The
tent.

conquest of Grenada. The glorious bombing of Qaddafi's
covert

The

war against Nicaragua.

Star TVek gave

way

to Star

Wars.

The War on Drugs made mellow marijuana prohibitively
expensive.

The DEA made sure

that the peaceable, visionary elixirs

like 'shrooms,

mescaUne, LSD, and
in, in.

MDMA became inaccessible. So
. . .

good-bye

to

turn on, tune
on.

drop out

and

hello to the motto of

the 1980s:

Hang

Hang
the

And what did
ic.

Hang War on Drugs produce? A booze epidem-

over.

Alcohol

the drug of choice of the NRA, the Bubba hunting

S4

TIMOTHY lEAlY

CHAOS

(

(YIEI (UlIUItE

crowd, the American Legion
the saddle.

is

back in

watchful eyes of the security guards, but

The 1980s have
sequel
to

5[iven

us a

the lyrics are not high

m socially
to

Thrn down! Time out!

redeeming value, while the anger of

Throw up!
And
toot, snort,

McCarthyism. The

young activist musicians is Umited
tiie

cocaine.

An epidemic of

denigrated punk-club scene.

snow, blow, base, crack has

Civil

War on

M^% has
ed by
fessors

Conservative poUticians and

the inner cities wired and fired.

fundamentahst preachers were delight-

Cocaine, the drug that fueled Hitler's SS

unleashed federal a5[ents

tiie

new conformity.

College pro-

and the Nazi

Blitzkrieg suddenly is turn-

who were proud veterans of Uie
counterculture vainly expected
individ-

ing the inner cities of Reagan-Bush

and hard-line police 5[oons
(led, believe
it

'sixties

America

into battlegrounds!

Guns,

rifles,

the

new students to carry on tiie

automatic weapons conveniently supplied by the

or not,

by

a

ual-freedom h"adition. The more
tiioughtiul students sensed that tiiey

NBA and your govemment-

Ucensed gun dealer. Just walk up and

"czar") to harass
ibertarians, intelligent

were somehow missing sometiiing. The
sad nostalgia of tie-dye T-shirts couldn't
revive die spirit

name your weapon. Bucko. No questions asked.

TUrn out! Shoot up! Drop dead!

ledonists,

and

thirty
THE

And
plus for the

here's a pharmaceutical

SUMMER

OF LOVE

post-Woodstock America;

million marijuana fans

who
How did the Summer of Love
turn into die Winter of Irangate and
drive-by shootings?

what unique new Rambo drug did the
stand-tall,

muscle-bound Reagan-Bush
to replace the

don't want the jfovernment
tellin5[

regime give our youth

wimpy

Carter years?
Steroids!

them what

to

do
is

How long will this conservatism
last? Will tiie

1960s renew?
tiie

The answer

Tlirn off!

Tune out!

with their minds.

easily

found in

demographics.

Pump up!
(Thanks a
lot,

These conformist kids who
Nancy.)
college kids?

were 20 years old

in

1980 were raised
social ideals

What about the
Remember, the
es. Berkeley.
'sixties

by parents whose teenage

counterculture

was centered on

the campus-

emerged

in the

button-down 1950s. The replay

is

uncannily precise.

Rent State. Columbia. Madison. Austin. Boulder.
however, the colleges, the source of our future,
in

Back
Ike

tiien

we had a lovable old doddering president named
were a reassuring
grin.

Seattle, hi the 1980s,

whose

political tactics
tiiat

There was a big

have "seethed with rest" While brave students
China, the Soviet Union

South Korea,

Evil

Empire Crusade

led to die pointiess slaughter of tiie
if your

were exhibiting the ideaUsm they dutifully

Korean War. And

parents could tolerate TVicky
in 1959, Uien

learned from Woodstock, back in America students have
conservative, materialistic, career-oriented, like Uie
versities,

become

Dick Nixon as vice president
able to swallow
in 1989!

you are more

Japanese uni-

Dan Quayle

as our second-in-command

and

like the

Russian colleges under Brezhnev.

In the last ten years there has for social issues.

been

httie

campus concern
system
flourtiiat

In

tiie

1950s,

tiie

domestic cancer

tiie

number-one peril

The Dan Quayle

fraternity-sorority

was

tiireatening our nation from
to

witiiin

was subversive comFBI agents

ished agaui.

The

ultimate college clowns,

ROTC

students,

grown

munism. Welcome

a

tiirilling Civil

War tiiat unleashed

men and women dressed like Boy Scouts sporting Ollie North crewcuts,

and hard-lme police goons
munist sympatiiizers,
ported un-American

to

crack

down and

harass pinkos, com-

became,

if not

popular, at least acceptable.

ti"aitorous

peaceniks, and liberals

who supThe

The
1980s
is

audible symbol of this change from the 1960s to the
If you
tiie

plots to bring

about racial and sexual equality.

the music.

want to

find the soul of a culture, hsten to
Civil

The 1980s have given us

a sequel to McCarthyism.

the lyrics that direct

sounds, the beats, the rhythms.

War on Drugs has unleashed federal agents and hard-line
it

In the 1960s Dylan sang:

"We

ain't

gonna work on Maggie's
tiie

police goons (led, beUeve ans, inteUigent hedonists,

or not, by a "czar") to harass
tiiirty

libertari-

farm no more." Lennon sang: "Give Peace a Chance." In

som-

and

milUon marijuana fans

who

nambulant 1980s Michael Jackson, Prince, Madonna, George
Michael kept us moving in
tiie

don't

want tiie government telling tiiem what to do

witii tiieir

big auditorium-arenas under the

minds.

SECTION

III.

COUNTEICUITHES

THE

WOODSTOCK CENEKATION

SS

The

'eighties witch-

defend us against our
deadly foes abroad and the

hunt uivolves, not
tests

loyalty

by the FBI, but manda-

enemies

in

our urban

tory urine tests by the DEA.

slums and ghettos.

The same
fanaticism

inquisitional
is at

By 1989, however,
this right-wing fantasy

work.

was

Careerism and
unquestioning acceptance
of authority were valued in
the 1980s as then, in the
1950s.

beginning
light of the

to

erode in the

new explosions

of youthftil idealism.

TVventy years after

There was not a
the 1950s

Woodstock, the national

whimper in

when

news once again

is

featur-

miUions of youth were
drafted

ing hundreds of thousands
of young people behind the
Iron Curtain, their faces

and sent six thouto

sand miles away
Korea.

invade

The most visible
Elvis

glowing with patriotic idealism, peaceably
sfrating to

rowdy culture hero,
Presley, reported

demon-

dutifully to

overthrow an

his local draft board,

aging federal bureaucracy.
It's

dressed up hke a cute soldier boy, saluted smartly for

powerful dejd vu

to wit-

ness long-haired

German

the cameras, and coached

kids wearing headbands,
for-

by his father figure. Colonel Parker, proclaimed, "I'm looking

flashing the universal peace sign,

and putting

their bodies

and

ward to serving in

the Army.

I

think

it

will

be a great experience for
in

careers on the Une for democracy and individual rights.

Once again

me." (Sometime after his military service

Germany,

Elvis

wob-

the confrontations with students peacefully defying the National

bled into the office of J. Edgar Hoover while loaded on prescription

Guard. Once again the daring yet

playfiil tactics

of television agit-

drugs and volunteered

to

be a drug informant for the FBI. He boast-

prop theatre substituted for violence. Thousands of protesters riding
bicycles
(!)

ed that his contacts with musicians would make him an ideal double

to

the revolution!

What would

Karl

Marx make of that

agent No John Lennon

he.)

maneuver?

For an 'eighties college student whose parents' wildest

Where

did those Chinese students learn these clever methto

moments of cultural
raids
for

individuality

and

social passion involved panty
is it

ods of grabbing the news screens

express their ideals?

Where

did

and fraternity-house telephone-booth pranks,
to

surprising
peri-

they learn the techniques of media savvy to counter the
forces of the state?

armed

them

appear apathetically cheerful

in the

Reagan-Bush

From

the newsreel films of the

American cam-

od? Right-wingers and fundamentalists have exulted in the apathy

pus protests of the

late 1960s,

whose

ideals are not dead.

They were
as

and conformity of

'eighties campuses. "America," they exult, "has

more powerful than ever in
in the USSR,
individual.

China's Tien

An Men Square, as well

come to its senses. Father knows besU"
The
ideals of the 1960s

where

glasnost

and perestroika define ft^edom

for the

of individuaUty, personal freedom,
off as adolescent delinquen-

kick-out free expression
cy.

were written

The youth
are the kids of the
revival of this

in China, Russia, Czechoslovakia,
'sixties kids.

South Korea
you'll

American
of history

kids,
to

thank God, have assumed the sober responsibilithe Cold War, to go to church and vote
it

Keep your eyes open, and
to

see a

ties

wage

freedom movement coming soon

a college campus

Republican (or Democratic, since

doesn't really matter), to dress

near you.

and behave with decorum,

to

support the military

and

police who

a

TIMOTIV lEAiy

CHAOS

i

(YiEl (milllE

III.2.

From Yippies to Yuppies

my deportation from Harvard
University

showed up

at the airport

wearing long
cheerful,

hair,

protest, up-to-date

developments

in the

many years ago, I have
other things, a free-

sandals, blue jeans,
grins.

and

impudent

ever-changing metaphysical philosophies
of rock stars: Yoko Ono's theory of astrology; Peter

been,

among

The

radio

would be

blasting out Mick

lance Since college professor paid by students for one-night-stand lectures about
topics too hot for salaried professors.

Jagger and Jimi Hendrix as

we drove

to the

Townsend's devotion

to

Baba

Ram

campus. The students eageriy asked me
about "high" technologies
consciousness expansion,

Dass.

I

kept abreast of these subjects and

methods of

tried to give responsive

answers.

Back

in the

1960s

when I flew in

new brands of

Today

it's

different

The

lecture

for a lecture, the student

committee

wonder drugs, new forms of dissident

committee arrives

at the airport

wearing

This

much we know:

The yuppies aie a new
bleed.

They're

the

first

members

of the

electronic

society.

They're
of

the first crop

bewildered mutants

climbing out of the

muck

of the industrial

(late neolithic

smokestack) a^e.

h

.

.

.

These postwar kids
first

were the

members

of a

new

species,

Homo

sapiens

electronicus.

SECTION

III.

2

COUNTEICUIIUIES

FIOM YIPPIES TO YUPPIES

JJ

three-piece suits, briefcases, clipboards

beginning
sumption.

to

be available for

civilian con-

with schedules.

No music. No

questions

about Michael Jackson's theory of reincarnation or Sheena Easton's concept of sugar
walls.

Something

else important hap-

pened

in 1946.

The

birthrate in

America

The impudent grins

are gone.

The

unexpectedly doubled. Between 1946 and
1964, 76 million babies

young people are cool,

realistic,

and corpo-

were bom. That's
prefirst

rate-minded. They question

me about comand

40 million
dicted.

more than demographers

puter stocks, electronic books,

These postwar kids were the
species.

prospects for careers in software.

members of a new
electronicus.

Homo sapiens

From

the time they could peer

out of the crib, they were exposed to a con-

The phrase "younj
urban proiessionals"
doesn't
I

ANATOMY OF A YUPPIE
The phrase "^oung urban professionals" doesn't
tell

stant

shower of information beaming fix)m

screens.

They were,
treated
history.

right

from the
in

start,

us much.

I

guess the

Uke no other generation

human

tell

us much.

implication

is

that they are not

ORAs

(old

Their parents raised them accord-

rural amateurs). But

who are they?
left

ing to Dr.
right

Benjamm

Spock's totally revolu-

The

moralists of both

and

tionary theory of child care. "TVeat your

juess the implication
that they are not ORAs
(old rural amateurs).

can fro\h with righteous indignation about
this

kids as individuals," said Spock. "Tell
that they are special! Tell

them

army of selfish,

career-oriented, entre-

them

to think for

is

preneurial

individualists who apparently

themselves. Feed them, not according to

value

money and
lofty

their

own interests more

some

factory schedule.

Feed them on
'em eat what they

than the

causes of yesteryear. But

gourmet demand,

i.e., let

But

who

are

behind the trendy hype,

we

sense that the

want when they are hungry."
This generation gent group of human
the planet
is

they?

twitchy media may be

reflecting

some

the

most

intelli-

authentic change in the public consciousness.

bemgs ever to inhabit
The most

The yuppie myth expresses a vague

The

best educated.

sense that something different, something
not yet understood but possibly meaningful, is

widely traveled.

The most sophisticated.
to

They have grovm up adapting
erated rate of change that
prehensible.
is

an accel-

happening

in the day-to-day

Uves and
in this

ahnost incom-

dreams of young people growing up
very unsettlmg worid.
Surely
it's

They became highly selective
to

consumers, expecting
to

be rewarded

important

understand

because they are the

best.

what's going on with this most mfluential

Let's hasten to clear

up one mis-

group of human beings on the planet

the

conception here. This postwar generation
of Spockies

76 million materialistic, educated or streetwise, performance-driven Americans

was not docilely manipulated

between the ages of 22 and
This
are a

40.

by greedy admen or the cynical media. Nor was it the so-called imagemakers, the rock
stars

much we know: The yuppies
first

and

television

programmers and

new

breed. They're the

members
first

moviemakers, teUing the kids what to do.
Quite to the contrary.

of the electronic society. They're the

The Spockies themand marke-

crop of bewildered mutants cUmbing out of
the

selves dictate to the imageers
teers about what they want

muck of the industrial

(late

neoUthic

smokestack) age.

They showed up on the

scene in 1946, a watershed year, marking
the end of World

War 11

the

war that

BABY-BOOMERS GROW UP
The
rapidly changing style
last

induced the birth of electronic technology:
radar, sonar, atomic fission, computers. In

and
four

1946, this incredible high-tech gear

was

tone of American culture in the

SS

TIMOTHY lEAlY

CHAOS

i

CYBER CUtlUIE

decades has reflected the
tions of this

elitist

expectait

The 1960s were
more

unflurried, unworried,

Speck generation as

passed

erotic than neurotic.

We're not gonna

through the normal stages of maturation.

be wage slaves or fight the old men's wars. We're
all

During the 1950s, kids
cut

were clean-

gonna

live in a

yellow submarine!

and easygoing. The tumultuous 1960s
the stormy adolescence of this

It

wasn't just middle-class white

marked

males calling for changes. The blacks were
ready. years.

astonishing generation and bore the hippies,
ists

They had been waiting four hundred

bands of cheerlxil, muddUng sensual-

The race

riots

and the

civil-rights

and self-proclaimed dropouts. By the

protests and the freedom marches were an

Any

predictions

about the

1970s, Spockies

were busy stopping the

unexpected
ft is

fallout of Spockian philosophy,

Vietoam War, peaceably overthrowing the
Nixon administration, and mamly trying
figure out
to

hard

to

overestimate the effect of the

futuie that the

yuppies aie

black culture on the Spockie generation.

what to do with

their lives.

The

There was the music, of course. The

style,

curiently creating must be

1980s brought us a
ists

new breed of individual-

the grace, the coobiess, the cynical zen

turned professional.

detachment from the system came from the

based on the fact that they aie
the fiist

The 1950s are
as the child-centered,

fondly

remembered

blacks.

No white

professor had to
in,

tell

the

home-based decade.

blacks to turn on, tune
conformity.

and drop out of

members

of the

Popular music, being most free from
parental control, provided the clearest

Then
ation

there

was the women's

infoimation-communication
liber-

expression of youthful mood.

The

first stir-

movement, perhaps the most significulture.
.
. .

rings of adolescence changed the beat

cant change impulse of the century. This

Intelli5[ence

is

Spockies wanted to wiggle their hips tentatively; so the hula-hoop craze swept the

was

the smartest, best-educated group of

women in history, and they expected to be
treated as individuals.

their ethos

and

their model.

land.

The music picked up
'n'

the beat with
'n' roll,

And the

gay-pride

rhythm

blues, rockabilly, rock

concept was
ents

stirring.

Apparently their partoo.

They understand that the smart
thin^ to do
is to

the Surfer and the Motovra sound. Just as
cute, fuzzy caterpillars suddenly

had read Spock,

Not since the

metamor-

democratic, human-rights
the 18th Century
feverish
order.

movements

construct a

of

phose

into

gaudy

butterflies, so did the

had there been so much and
free social

sweet, cuddly Mouseketeers moult into
high-llying, highly visible, highly vuhiera-

hope

for a fair

peaceful, fair, just,

ble hippies.

But by the end of the decade

it

compassionate social order.

The Spockies emerging into
teenage pubescence
in the 1960s

became apparent that Utopia wasn't going
to

changed

happen

that easily, for three obvious rea-

our traditional notions about sex, duty,
work, conformity, and
sacrifice.

sons:

The

post1
.

war kids never really accepted

the values of

There were powerful forces dead-set against any change

in

the industrial society or the aesthetics of the

American
2.

culture.
practical blueprints or role

Depression era. They never bought the
Protestant

There were no

models for harnessing a

work

ethic. After

watching

televi-

vague philosophy of individualism
3. Basically,

into a functioning social order.
still

sion six hours a day for fifteen years,

would

we were

not quite ready: The Spockies were

kids

they settle docilely for a hard-hat job on the

outnumbered demographically and unprepared psychologically to
create the postindustrial phase of

assembly

line?
set the tone for the ado-

human

culture.

Bob Dylan

lescent rebellion: "Don't follow leaders/

The

opposition to change

had

watch your parking meters." The Beach
Boys offered a California
style of personal

made itself very apparent in the

cold-blood-

ed assassinations of Jack Kennedy, brother
Bobby, Malcohn X, and Martin Luther King,
Jr.

freedom. The Beatles picked up the theme
of bouncy irreverence.
It

seemed so natur-

Lyndon Johnson, Richard Nixon, and

al

All

you need

is

love.

Do your own thing.

the

new cowboy governor of California, one

SECTION

III.

2

COUNHICUITIIIIES

FIOM YIPPIES TO YUPPIES

S9

R.

Reagan,

made it perfectly clear that they
to protect their sys-

THE NEXT PHASE
By 1968, many young people had

would happily use force
tem.

The
pies

social philosophy of the hip-

lost

confidence in the old establishments.

was romantically impractical.

Sure,

The phrase "Don't trust anyone over 30"
reflected a disillusioned realism;
n't

they weren't gonna work on Maggie's farm

you could-

Back

in the 1960s

when

I

no more, but what were they gonna do
after balling all night long?

fmd answers

in the

grand

ol'

party of

Some

retreated

Nixon or the Democratic party of Hubert

flew in foi a lecture, the

to gurus, others

went back to a new form of

Humphrey. Big business and big labor were
both unresponsive to the obvious need for

antitechnological chic Amishness.

Urban

student committee showed

political activists

parroted slogans of

change; the high ideals of socialism

European or third- world socialism and

seemed to

translate into just another word

up

at the

aiipoit wearing

made pop stars of totahtarian leaders Uke
Che Guevara and Ho Chi Minh. The debaAltamont and the conjunction of

for police-state bureaucracy.

By the end of
any sensible

the decade,

it

was

also clear to

lon^ hail, sandals, blue

cle at

young

person that individuaUsm

and doing
If

overdose deaths of rock stars JopUn,

your own thing had a certain drawback.

jeans,

and cheerful,
The radio

Hendrix, and Morrison symbolized the end
of the 1960s.

you weren't gonna work

for Maggie's

pa no

more, how were you gonna make out?

impudent

^rins.

The obvious answer You were

would be blasting

.

.

.

^
THE YUPPIES AS Free Agents
Before 1946, youngsters absorbed and
sents real people

Today

it's

different.

The

lecture committee arrives at

engaged

in

actions that

the

threeairport wearing

joined their culture

by means of personal

are existentially true, credible, and scientifically

observation of significant grown-ups. You

objective are the sportscasts. This

piece suits, briefcases,

watched the neighborhood doctor and
the local carpenter and the nurse or the

may

explain the

enormous media

atten-

tion given to organized

athletics.

The

clipboards

with schedules.

maiden aunt, and you drifted
Books, sermons, magazine

into a job.

average kid watches Fernando Valenzuela
or Joe

articles

about

Montana or Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
is

No music.

heroic or antisocial figures also helped
define the nature of the social game.
Television

perform and

then exposed to endless

interviews with and stories about these
successful, self-made professionals. Their

changed

all

that.

The avertelevi-

age American household watches

opinions, moods, physical ailments,
philosophies, and lifestyles are presented
in

sion more than seven hours a day. This
statistic

means that yuppies learned
absorbed the
roles, rules,

microscopic detail. People
"real

know more

about

culture,

about Larry Bird as a

person" than

rituals, styles,

and jargon of the game,

they do about Walter Mondale or George

not from personal observation but from
television images.

Bush or Dan Rather.
It

The cartoons, soap operas, prime-time dramas, and game shows tend to be escapist. The news
broadcasts tend to feature victims and
righteous whiners rather than successful
role models. Politicians reciting rehearsed
lies

can be argued that professional ath-

letes

were the

first

group to work out the

tactics for surviving
postindustrial world

and excelling

in

a

and have thus provid-

ed

role

models for the yuppies. Before

the 1960s, professional athletic heroes

are not seen as credible heroes.

were
alists

serfs indentured to baronial industri-

The only aspect of television that pre-

who

literally

owned them. The own-

io

TIMOTHY LEAIV

CHAOS

I

CYIEI (ULTUIE

gonna believe
1970s were
all

in yourself. That's

what the
million

the Spockies boycotted the election; so the

operate,

and assume

risks.

They employ

about More than 76

country went to an aging man who pro-

themselves, they train themselves, they

Spockies reached the venerable age of 24

ceeded

to

heat up the threat of nuclear war
deficit, a

promote themselves, they transfer themselves, they

and faced a very practical chaDenge: Grow
up!

and run up an enormous national
debt to be paid by

reward themselves.
exactly those func-

Mure generations.
don't
that

They perform
tions that can't be

The

focus

became

self-improve-

Most young Americans today

done by CAD-CAM

ment, EST, assertiveness training, personal
excellence, career planning.

want to be forced to work at jobs

can

machines, however precisely programmed.

Tom Wolfe,
coined the

be done better by machines. They don't

They gravitate
fields
tion,

naturally to postindustrial

always the shrewd social

critic,

want to stand on assembly lines repeating
mindless tasks. Robots work. Citizens in

electronics,

communication, educa-

term "the me-generation."

merchandising, marketing, entertain-

Then

the recession

hit.

Arab-oil

sociahst workers' countries work. Grizzled

ment, skilled personal service, health and

blackmail pushed up inflation rates. Adult
society

veterans in the steel towns of Pennsylvania

growth enterprises, leisure-time professions.

had no expansion-growth plans

to

work. Third-world people have
survive.

to

work

to

harness the energies of 40 million extra
people. Indeed, growing automation

They are

poUtically

and psychologidentify

was

What do

self-respecting, intelli-

ically

independent They do not

reducing the
crisis

work

force.

The

h"an hostage

gent, ambitious young Americans do? They

with company or union or partisan party.

lowered morale. In the malaise of

perform. They master a
excel in a personal
skill.

craft.

They learn to

They do not depend on
tenure.

organizational

1980, the voters chose the smiling Ronald

They become

They are notoriously nonloyal to

Reagan over a

frustrated Carter. Actually,

entrepreneurs,

i.e.,

people

who organize,

institutions.

W^

ers could trade them, fire them,
at

pay them

that,

through the magic of television, he
his

a

12-year-old could imitate Ronald
in

whim. The rare athlete who "held out"
a troublemaker.

and

colleagues were providing
style that

Reagan, but every day

the playground,

was considered The
first

America with a new, personal

classroom, and video arcade, he could

wave

of athletes from the
hit

was making fortunes
the networks.

for the

owners and

emulate the young professionals

whom

he

Spock generation

the big leagues

in

the mid-1960s, and they immediately

A

basic concept here

was

attitude.

The

saw performing on the screen. The emergence of the electronic ministry

changed the

rules of the

game.

In

con-

post-Chamberlain players realized long
before the yuppies that free agents have
to

and the television flock
like

is

pure

trast to the older athletes, they

were bet-

1980s. Preachers,

other professionals,

ter educated, politically sophisticated, culturally hip individualists. In a curious way,

depend on themselves. The players

are judged by their ratings.

even had to violate management regulations to conduct their physical fitness.

Any

predictions about the future that

young
tion in

athletes accomplished the evolu-

own programs

of

the yuppies are currently creating must be

American society that the hippies
starters,

The

grizzled, potbellied

based on the fact that they are the

first

were dreaming about. For

they

coaches were convinced that weight-training

members

of the information-communicaIt

eliminated their legal status as serfs. They

and personal-exercise programs
and then the
Jean King and

tion culture.

is

inevitable that they will

became

free agents,

and hired

their

own

would hinder performance.

become more
more

realistic,

more
is

professional,

lawyers and managers.
It

The blacks started
athletes
is

it,

skilled. Intelligence

their ethos

was no accident that black

women

caught on.

Billie

and their model. They understand that
the smart thing to do
peaceful,
order.
fair, just,

led this evolution. Wilt Chamberlain

Chris Evert and Martina Navratilova

is

to construct a

credited as being the

first

super-pro to
first-

demanded
And

to be treated as individuals.

compassionate social

make gourmet demands on owners:
class

to add to the singularity, they

made

accommodations, hotel-room beds
his individual

the public accept the fact that they ran
their personal
their
lot of

that

fit

dimensions! Wilt

was

and sex

lives

according to

not a worker; he was a performer.
figures to prove his worth.

He had

own gourmet

styles. All this

made

a

He understood

sense to the kids. There was no

way

SECTION

III.

2

COUNTEICULTUIES

flOM YIPriES TO YUPriES

61

III.3.

the cyberpunk: The Individual as Reality Pilot

Your true pilot cares nothing about anything on Earth but the

river,

and his pride

in his

occupation surpasses the pride of Icings.

Mark Twain,

Life

on the

Mississippi

"Cyber" means

"pilot."
is

A "cyberperson"

one who

pilots his/her

own

life.

By definition, the cyberperson

is

fascinated by navigational information

especially maps, charts, labels, guides,

manuals that help

pilot

one through

life.

The cyberperson

continually searches for

theories, models, paradigms, metaphors, images, icons that help chart and define

the

realities that

we

inhabit.

"Cybertech"

refers to the tools, appliances,

and methodologies of knowing and

communicating.

Linguistics. Philosophy. Semantics. Semiotics. Practical
life.

epistemologies. The ontologies of daily
screens, keyboards, computers, disks.

Words,

icons, pencils, printing presses,

"Cyberpolitics" introduces the Foucault notions of the use of language and linguistic-tech

by the

ruling classes in feudal

and

industrial societies to control children, the

uneducated, and the under classes. The words "governor" or "steersman" or

"G-man" are used to describe those who manipulate words and communication
devices
in

order to control, to bolster authority

feudal,

management,

government

and to discourage innovative thought and free exchange.

WHO

IS

THE CYBERPUNK?
Cyberpunks use aU available data-input
You know who they
are.

to thinii for

themselves.

Every stage of history has produced
stubborn, creative individuals

names and

heroic legends for the strong,

who explore some

future frontier, coUect

and bring back new

information, and offer to guide the

human gene pool to

the next stage. Typically, these time

mavericks combine bravery, and high

curiosity, with super self-esteem. These three charac-

iz

TIMOTHY lEAlY

CHAOS

I

CYlEt (UlTUIE

teristics

are considered necessary for those engaged in the profession of genetic guide, aka

counterculture philosopher.

The
cal genius

classical

Olde Westworld model for the cyberpunk

is

Prometheus, a technologi-

who "stole" fire from the Gods and gave it to

humanity. Prometheus also taught

his

gene pool many useful arts and sciences. According to the official version of the legend,
to

he/she was exiled from the gene pool and sentenced

the ultimate torture for these unau-

thorized transmissions of classified information. In another version of the
rized),

myth (unautho-

Prometheus (aka the Pied Piper) uses his/her

skills to

escape the sinking kinship,

taking with him/her the

cream of the gene

pool.

The Newe World version

of this ancient

myth

is

Quetzalcoatl,

God

of civilization,

high-tech wizard who introduced maize, the calendar, erotic sculpture, flute-playing, the
arts,

The

classical Olde

and the

sciences.

He was driven

into exile by the

G-man in power, who was called

Tezcatlipoca.

Westworld model for
the

Self-assured singularities of the cyberbreed have been called mavericks, ronin, freelancers, independents, self-starters, nonconformists, oddballs, froublemakers, kooks, visionaries, iconoclasts, insurgents, blue-sky thinkers, loners,

smart alecks. Before Gorbachev, the

cyberpunk

is

Soviets scornfully called

them

hooligans. ReUgious organizations have always called

them

Prometheus, a
technological genius

heretics. Bureaucrats call

them

disloyal dissidents, traitors, or worse. In the old days, even

sensible people called

them mad.
clever, creative, entrepreneurial, imaginative,

They have been variously labeled

enterprising, fertile, ingenious, inventive, resourceful, talented, eccentric.

who

"stole" fire from
it

During the tribal, feudal,
cal survival fraits

and

industrial-literate

phases of human evolution, the logi-

were conformity and dependabiUty. The "good serf or "vassal" was obedireliable.

the Gods and
to

ent The "good worker" or "manager" was

Maverick thinkers were tolerated only

jave

at

moments when
petition.

innovation and change were necessary, usually to deal with the local com-

humanity.

T^

In the information-communication civilization of the 21st Century, creativity

and

Prometheus also
taujht his jene pool

mental excellence will become the ethical norm. The worid will be too dynamic, complex,

and

diversified, too

cross-Unked by the global immediacies of modem (quantum) communi-

cation, for stability of thought or dependability of behaviour to

be successful. The "good perthink for themselves.
the one

sons" in the cybernetic society are the inteUigent ones

who can
Century

The

"problem
obeys,
cates

person" in the cybernetic society of the 21st

is

who automatically who pla-

many

useful arts

who never questions authority, who

acts to protect his/her official status,

and sciences.

and

politics rather than thinks independently.

Thoughtful Japanese are worried about the need for ronin thinkmg in their obedient culture, the postwar generation

now taking over.

THE CYIEIPUNK COUNTERCULTURE IN THE SOVIET UNION

The new postwar generation

of Soviets caught

on

that

new role models are necesis

sary to compete in the information age.

Under Gorbachev, bureaucratic control

being

soft-

ened,

made

elastic to

encourage some modicum of innovative, dissident thought!

Aleksandr N. Yakovlev, Politburo
describes that reform: "Fundamentally,

member and

key

sfrategist of the glasnost policy,

we are

talking about self-government

We are movactivities

ing toward a time

when people will be able to govern

themselves and confrol the

of

people that

have been placed

in the position of learning

and governing them.

"It is

not accidental that

we are talking about 5e(/^govemment, or se(/^sufficiency and
and
self-\hal
It all

se^T-profitability

of an enterprise, self-tius

concerns the decentralization of

power."

SECTION

III.

3

COUNTEtCUlTUIES

THE CYlEirUNK: THE INtlVIDUAL AS lEALITY riLOT

63

The cyberpunk person, the pilot who
electronic appliances

thinks clearly

and

creatively, using

quantum-

and brain know-how,

is

the newest, updated, top-of-the-Une

model of

the 21st Century:

Homo sapiens sc^iem qybemetkus.

THE GREEK

WORD FOR "PILOT"

A great pilot can sail even when his canvas is rent
Lucius Annaeus Seneca

The term "cybernetics" comes from The
Hellenic origin of this

the Greek

word kubemetes,
it

"pilot"

word

is

important

in that

reflects the Socratic-Platonic

traditions of independence

and mdividual
Greek

self-reliance which,

we are told, derived from

geography. The proud

little

city-states were perched on peninsular fingers wiggling

down

into the fertile

Mediterranean Sea, protected by mountams from the land-mass

armies of Asia.

Mariners of those ancient days had
seas without

to

be bold and resourceful. Sailing the seven

maps

or navigational equipment, they were forced to develop independence of
thought.

The

self-reliance that these

Hellenic pilots developed in their voy-

ages probably carried over to the

In the intoimation-coininunication civilization of the zist Century,

democratic, inquiring, questioning

nature of thefr land Ufe.

and mental excellence creativity
will

will

become the

ethical norm. The

work
pilots,

The Athenian cyberpunks, the made thefr own navigational

be too dynamic, complex, and diversified, too cross-linked by the
for

decisions.

These psychogeographical

fac-

modern (quantum) communication, global immediacies of
of

stability

tors

may have contributed to the
of the Hellenic reUgions that
joy, cele-

humanism

thought

or

dependability

of

behaviour to be successfu

.

emphasized freedom, pagan
bration of life,

and speculative thought
polytheistic religions

The humanist and
of ancient Greece are often

compared with the austere morality of monotheistic Judaism,

the fierce, dogmatic polarities of Persian-Arab dogma, and the imperial authority of Roman
(Christian) culture.

THE

ROMAN CONCEPT

OF DIRECTOR. GOVERNOR, STEERSMAN
franslated to Latin,

The Greek word kubemetes, when
This basic verb gubemare means

comes out as gubemetes.

to confrol the actions or behavior, to direct, to exercise

sovereign authority, to regulate, to keep under, to restrain, to steer. This
obviously very different
It

Roman concept is
word stare, which

from the Hellenic notion of "pilot"
Latin term "to steer"

may be relevant that the

comes from
is

the

means "to

stand," with derivative meanings "place or thing which

standmg." The past

participle of the Latin

word produces "status,"

"state," "institute," "statue," "static," "statis-

tics," "prostitute," "restitute," "constitute."

ii,

TIMOTHY LEARY

CHAOS

I

(riElt

(UlTURE

CYBERPUNK PILOTS REPLACE COVERNETICS-CONTROLLERS

Society everywhere
its

is in

conspiracy against the self-hood of every one of

members. The
It

virtue in

most request

is

conformity. SeH-reliance

is its

aversion.

loves not realities

and creators, but names and customs.
Ralph Waldo Emerson, Nature

Who so would be a man must be a nonconformist.
Emerson, op. at.

The word "ofbemetics" was coined
decided
to call the entire field of control

in

1948 by Norbert Weiner,
theory,

who wrote, 'We have

and communication

whether in the machine

or in the animal, by the
[sicf

name of Cybernetics, which we form from the Greek for steersman.
(in the American

The word "cyber" has been redefined

Heritage DiOionary) as "the

theoretical study of control processes in electronic, mechanical,
cially the

and

biological systems, espe-

flow of information in such systems."

The

derivative

word "cybemate" means "to

control automatically by

computer or to be so

controlled."

An even more ominous
control

interpretation defines cybernetics as "the study of human

mechanisms and
Note

their

replacement by mechanical or electronic systems."

how Weiner and the Romanesque engineers have corrupted the meaning of
"pilot"

"cyber."

The Greek word
control."

becomes "governor" or "director"; the term "to

steer"

becomes "to

Now we are liberating the term, teasing it free from serfdom to represent the
autopoetic, self-directed principle of organization that arises in the universe in

many systems

of widely varying sizes, in people, societies,

and atoms.

OUR OPPRESSIVE BIRTHRIGHT: THE POLITICS OF LITERACY
The etymological
distinctions

between Greek and Roman terms are quite relevant to

the pragmatics of the culture surrounding their usage. French philosophy, for example, has
recently stressed the importance of language and semiotics in determining

human

behav-

iour

and

social structures.

Michel Foucault's classic studies of Unguistic
that

politics

and mind

control led

him to beUeve

human consciousness
is

as expressed

in

speech and images,

in self-definition

and mutual designation
are

.

.

.

the authentic locale of the determinant politics of being

What men and women

bom into is

only superficially this
birthright
is

or that sodal, legislative, and executive system. Their ambiguous, oppressive

the language, the conceptual categories, the conventions of identification and perception
largely,

which have evoh/ed and, very

atrophied up to the time of their personal and sodal existence.

It is

the established but customarily subconsdous, unargued constraints of awareness that enslave.

Orwell and Wittgenstein and
dissent
is to

McLuhan agree. To remove the means of expressing

remove the

possibility of dissent "Whereof one cannot speak, thereof must one

SECTION III.)

COUKTEICUtllllES

THE CYIEIPUNK: THE INDIVIDUAL AS lEALITY PILOT

a

remain silent" In

this light the difference

between the Greek word

'^ilot"

and the Roman
flexibility

translation "governor"

becomes a most significant semantic manipulation, and the

granted to symbol systems of all kinds by their representation in digital computers becomes
dramatically liberating.

Do we pride ourselves for becoming ingenious "pilots" or dutiful "controllers"?

WHO. WHAT. AND WHY

IS

COVERNETICS

Damn the torpedoes,

full

speed ahead.
his

Captain David Glasgow Farragut's order to
at the Battle of Mobile Bay,

steersman
5, 1

August

864

Aye, aye,

sir.

Unknown

enlisted steersman

at the Battle of Mobile Bay,

August

5,

1864

The word "govemetics"
self or others.
Pilots,

refers to

an attitude of obedience-control

in relationship to

those

who navigate on the seven seas or in the sky, have to devise and exeThey respond
continually to feedback, information about

cute course changes continually in response to the changing environment.

the environment. Dynamic. Alert Alive.

The Greek word kubernetes, when translated to latin, comes out Cyber:
as 5[uberiietes. This basic verb ^iibernare

The
trast, is in

Latinate "steersman," by con-

the situation of foUowing orders.
recall,

means

to control the actions or

The Romans, we

were great organiz-

ers, road-builders, administrators.

The

gal-

behavior, to direct, to exercise sovereign authority, to regulate, to keep

leys, the chariots

must be

controlled.

The

legions of soldiers

must be directed.
individ-

under, to restrain, to steer. This

Roman concept

is

obviously very
their

The Hellenic concept of the
ual navigating his/her

own course was an

different from the Hellenic notion of

"pilot" [making

own

island of humanism in a raging sea of totalitarian empires.

To the East (the past) were

navigational decisions!. ... the meanin^i of "cyber" has been corrupted.

the centralized, authoritarian kingdoms.

The

governors of Iran, from Cyrus, the Persian

The Greek word "pilot" becomes "governor"
steer"

or "director"; the term "to

emperor,

to

the recent shah and ayatoUah,

have exemplified the highest traditions of

becomes

"to control." ...

The terms "cybernetic person" or

state control.

The Greeks were flanked on

the

"cybernaut" return us to the original meaning of "pilot" and puts the
self-reliant

other side, which

we

shall designate as the

West (or future), by a certain heavy concept

person back in the loop.

called

Rome. The

caesars

and popes of the
the next

Holy Roman Empire represented

grand phase of institutional control. The governing hand on the wheel stands for
stability, durability, continuity,

permanence. Staying the

course. Individual creativity, exploration,

and change are usually not encouraged.

ii

TIMOTIY lEAlY

CHAOS

i

CYIEI (UlTVIE

CYBERPUNKS: PILOTS OF THE SPECIES

"The winds and waves are always on the side of the ablest navigators.'

Edward Gibbon

The terms "cybernetic person" or "cybemaut" return us to the
"pilot" and puts the self-reUant person back in the

original

meaning of

loop.

These words (and the more pop

term "cyberpunk") refer to the personaUiation (and thus the popularization) of knowledge-information technology, to innovative

thinking on the part of the individual.

According to

McLuhan and Foucault, if you change the

language, you change the society. Following their lead,
gest that the terms "cybernetic person,

we sug-

cybemaut" may describe a

;rckdoII
SONPAY, JOLY

new species model of human being and a new social order.
"Cyberpunk"
vations,
It's it

is,

admittedly, a risky term. Like

all

Unguistic inno-

must be used with a tolerant sense of high-tech humor.

4JHI25

a stopgap, transitional meaning-grenade \brovm over the lanto describe the resourceflil,

guage barricades

skillM individual

who accesses and steers knowledge-communication technology
toward his/her own private goals, for personal pleasure,
principle, or growtii.
profit,

Cybeipunks are
nofrontier
artists,

flie

inventors, innovative writers, tech-

risk-taking fikn directors, icon-shifting

com-

posers, stand-up comedians, expressionist artists, free-agent scientists, technocreatives,

computer visionaries, elegant hackers,

bit-blitting

Prolog adepts, special-effectives, cognitive dissidents,
pilots,

video wizards, neurological test
tiiose

media explorers

all

of

viho boldly package and steer ideas out fliere where no

thoughts have gone before.

Counterculhu^s are sometimes tolerated by the governors.
fliefr

They can, witii sweet cynicism and patient humor, interface
singularity wifli institutions.

They often work witiiin tiie

"governing systems" on a temporary basis.

As often as not,

tiiey

are unautiiorized.

THE LEGEND OF THE RONIN

The ronin ...has broken wfth the

tradition

of career feudalism.

Guided by a personally defined code of adaptability, autonomy and excellence, ronin are employing career strategies

grounded in a premise of rapid d)ange.

BeveHy
Ronin

Potter,

The Way of^e Ronin

is

used as a metaphor based on a Japanese word for lordless samurai. As

early as the 8th Centiiry, ronin

was translated literally as "wave people" and used in Japan to

SECTION

III.

3

(OIIITdCllTIIES

TIE CTIEIPtNII: THE INIIVIiaAl AS lEAllTY

PHOT

67

describe those
left

who had left their allotted, caste-predetermined stations in life:
become masterless.

samurai

who

the service of their feudal lords to

Ronin played a key role

in

Japan's abrupt transition from a feudal society
rule, warriors
will.

to industrialism. Under feudal
freely,

were not allowed to think
having been

or act according to their

On the other hand,

forced by circumstances to develop independence, [ronin] took more
readily to
in

new ideas and technology and became

inaeasingly influential

the independent schools.
Potter, op.
cjt.

The West has many historical parallels to the ronin
has
its

archetype.

The term

"^e lance"

origin in the period after the Crusades,

when a large number of knights were separatfor hire." for the ronin archetype. "Maverick,"

ed from their lords.

Many hved by the code of chivafry and became "lances
frontier

The American

was

fertile

ground

derived from the Texan word for unbranded steer,
directed individual.

was used to describe a

free

and

self-

Akhough many of the ronin's roots ...are in the male culture, most
career

women are well acquainted with the way of the ronin.
.
. .

Career

women left their traditional stations and battled their way into the
recesses of the male-dominated workplaces

Uke the

ronin

who had

no

clan, professional

women often feel excluded from the corporate
Potter, op. at.

cliques' inside tracks, without ally or mentor.

SOME EXAMPLES OF CYBERPUNKS
Christopher

Cdumbus (1451-1506) was bom in Genoa. At age 25 he showed up in

Lisbon and learned the craft of map-making. This was the golden era of Portuguese exploration.

Indies

and other unknown lands could be found by crossing the western

Many pilots and navigators were convinced that the Earth was round, and that the seas. What was
Columbus was his persistence and eloquence
in support of the

special about

dream
to

of dis-

covery. For more than ten years he traveled the courts of Europe attempting
deal"; to find backing for his "enterprise of the Indies."

make "the

According
skill

to the
it

Columbia Eruydopedia, "Historians have disputed
has been recently proved
that with only

for centuries his

as a navigator, but

dead reckoning Columbus
seas."

was unsurpassed in charting and finding his way about unknown

Columbus was a most unsuccessful governor of the colonies he had discovered. He
died in disgrace, his cyberskills almost forgotten. (At least that's what they
tell

us in the

authorized history books.)
In 1992 the PoUtical Correction

Department dismissed Columbus as a

racist colo-

niaUst

Mark Twain. He purchased the Remington typewriter when
$125. In 1875 he
publisher.
It

it

appeared

in

1874 for

became the

first

author in history to submit a typewritten manuscript to a

was The Adventures of Tom Sawyer.
It

"This newfangled writing machme," TWain wrote, "has several virtues.

piles

an

it

TIMOTHY lEAlY

CHAOS

i

CYIEI (UlTHIE

awful stack of words on one page.
it

It

don't

muss

things or scatter ink blots around.

Of course

saves paper."

Mathias (Rusty) Rust, a 19-year-old loner fix)m Hamburg, Germany, attained all-star
status as a

cyberpunk when, on

May 28,

1987, he flew a one-engine Cessna through the
in

Impenetrable" Soviet air defenses and landed

Moscow's Red Square. There were no

gubemal or organizational motives. The technological adventure was a personal mission. celebrated the event, callRusty just wanted to talk to some Russians. German newspapers
ing
it

'^e

stuff of dreams,"

and comparing the youth

to the

Red Baron Manfred von

Richthofen and Charles Augustus Lindbergh.

4

The "jfood persons" in
the cybernetic society
are the

THE CYBERPUNK CODE: TFYQA
fVar Games
is

an electronic quantum
that illustrates

signal, a

movie about high-tech computers

intelligent

and human evolution

and condemns the use of quantum-electronic knowl-

ones who can think
for themselves.

edge technology by governors
cyberpunks

to control.

The

fihn celebrates the independence

and

skill

of

who think for themselves and innovate from within

the static system.

The

The

Captain and his wife use high-tech agriculture methods to enhance the potency of unauthorized botanical neuroactivators.

The Captain makes an unauthorized

decision to abort

World

War in.

In both instances the Captain follows the

cyberpunk code: Think for yourself; ques-

"problem person" in
the

tion authority (TFYQA).

The cyberkid Matthew Broderick is
bright

equally courageous, outrageous, creative, and

cybernetic society

When the audience is introduced to the
game
vrith poise

hero of War Games, he
proficiency.

is

in a video arcade

of the 2ist

playing a space-adventure

and

An

electron jock.

Century

is

Late for school, he's pulled into the classic confrontation: the authoritarian teacher
humiliates and punishes the

the one

who

Tom Sawyer kid, sends him to the principal's office. There he
home, he uses
his

obtains the code for the school's computer system. Back

PC

to

access the

school records.

He changes an

unfair grade to a passing level.

He

thinks for himself and

automatically obeys,

questions authority.

At the crucial

moment he rushes to the
files

library

and researches the

life

of a physicist,

who never questions
authority,

scans scientific journals, scopes microfilm
his

not to please the system, but in pursuit of

who

acts to

own personal grail.
Note that there
is

a

new dimension

of electronic ethics

and quantum legahty here.

The Captain and Matthew perform no act of physical violence, no theft of material goods. The Captain processes some computer data and decides for himself Matthew rearranges
clusters of electrons stored

protect

his/her

on a

official status,

who

chip.

They seek independence, not control over others.

placates
THE CYBERPUNK AS ROLE MODEL FOR THE 2iST CENTURY
tradition of the "individual

and

politics

rather than thinks

who thinks for him/herself extends to the beginnings

of recorded

human history.

Indeed, the very label of our species.

Homo sapiens,

defines

independently.

fThe the animals who think. us as
If our

genetic function
far,

is

computare

("to think"),

then

it

follows that the ages

and

stages of human history, so

have been larval or preparatory. After the insectoid phases of

submission to gene pools, the mature stage of the
thinks for him/herself.

human

life

cycle

is

the individual

who

Now,

at the

beginnings of the information age, are

we ready to

assume our genetic function?

SECTION III.]

(OIINTEICUITUIES

THE CYIEKPUNK: THE INDIVIDUAL AS lEAllTY rilOT

69

>

>

111.4-

The

New Breed
cultural mutations.

Memes:

Self-replicating ideas that
(1)

sweep across human populations, bringing about

Neoteny:

attainment of improved functional maturity during the

larval stage; (2) retention of

survivally optimal larval or

immature characters as

adults,

i.e.,

refusal to stop growing, extension

of the developmental period.

November

9,

1989. None of us

will

forget those pic-

had

finally

happened; the inevitable and long-awaited cUmax of

the youth revolutions. "They aren't going to

work on Brezhnev's

tures of that menacing meme-icon, the Berlin Wall,

aumbling

Itfarm no more." The Dr. Spock-memes of self-direction had
swept the world
in less than three decades.
it's

in

minds

all

over the world.

We

saw the faces

of those young,

This
evolution.

is

not a political revolution;

more hke

a cultural

A tsunami of electronic information. The emergence of a

upwardly mobile people

in

blue jeans and white running shoes

new breed. Young people all over the world are mutated, as
Marshall

McLuhan predicted, by highly communicable memes:
'n' roll

who, for the first time

in their lives,

were experiencing

self-nav-

documentary footage, rock

music, MTV, pirate broadcasts,
television screens.

all

coming to them through American-Japanese
igation, free to

choose

their

life

options outside the control of

This

new breed is centered on selfdirection and individual choice,
politics,

a genetic revulsion for partisan

a species horror of central-

the authorities.
ized governments.

November

24, 1989. The demonstrations

This global youth
in

movement cannot be

discussed in the

Prague

terms of politics or sociology or psychology.
new, post-Darwinian, genetic science.

We are dealing with a

led to a nationwide strike. Grizzled, hard-hat workers

marched

This emergence of youth power has been called sociogenet-

out of the factories shouting, "Long

live

the students!" The

ics,

cybernetic evolution, cultural genetics, memetics.

It

has

to

do

with die communication and h-ansmission of new ideas and
tudes.

atti-

next day the Czech hard-line regime resigned.

Dawkins has suggested the word "memes"

to describe these

self-replicating ideas Uiat

sweep across human populations, bring-

December
Ceausescu has

28, 1989.

The repressive regime of Nikolae

ing about cultural mutations.
In the last thirty years,

we have witiiessed a new breed
society.
is flie

fallen.

emerging during the juvenile stage of industrial-age
key word here
is

(The

juvenile, as

opposed

to

adulL Adult

past par-

"It

was a

children's revolution," said

an elderly

woman

ticiple of the

verb "to grow.") This
of individuals in

new breed appeared when enorjuvenile stage

mous numbers
to a reporter.

tiie

began intercom-

municating some new memes, mutating togeUier at the same time. The Japanese brand of this youth movement call themselves Ho Ro

"Yes, the students," a

young woman

said.

Ten, "the

new society."
works through
flie

Biological evolution

competitive spread
involves

"No, no, not students," a

woman

said.

"The

children.

of genes. Logically, the

mechanism of cultural change

com-

munication. Individuals are activated to change

when they pick up

Our

children saved us.

They did

this for us." (Los

Angeles

new meme-signals from others of their cohort. The mode of communication determines not just the speed of the change, but the
nature of tiie change.

Times, 12/29/89).

SECTION

III.

4

COUNTEICUllUtES

THE NEW

HEED

Ji

THE MEDIUM

IS

THE MESSAGE
political

As soon as cybernetic communication appliances emerged,

OF CULTURAL EVOLUTION
The Ten Commandments,

power was

seized by those

who control the airwaves. We've
totalitarianism.

seen
chiseled on stone tablets, created

this since the rise of fascism

and

American

elections of 1980, 1984, 1988 produced

an ominous demonstration

a fundamentalist culture that discouraged change and democratic
participation.

of tele-democracy in a centraUzed country.

There

is

one God, the author-creator, and

his

words

Less than 50 percent of the eligible voters bothered
ter or vote in these three presidential elections.

to regis-

are eternally true. This stone-tablet meme-carrier spawns a culture

More than

half of

ruled by the inerrant "good book" and a priesthood of those
preserve, interpret, and enforce the

who

adult Americans

were so

disillusioned, apathetic, bored that they

commandments.

made the intelligent decision to vote, in
a

absentia, for

"none of the

The

printing press mass-disseminates

memes that create

above." According to exit polls,

more than

half of voting Americans
evils."

factory culture run by managers.

glumly admitted that they were choosing "the lesser of two

The

electronic,

McLuhanesque

Reagan and Bush were elected by
around 25 percent of the
citizenry.

meme-signals

that

produced Woodstock

The

nation and the Berlin Wall deconstruction are

more

a matter of attitude
television

and

Gorbachev was dismayed
to find that

only ones
elections

who really cared
from the

about these
to benefit

style.

were those who stood
results.

The

news has trained
the

us to recognize "the robe-memes"

many

Soviet

financially

The "appa-

ratchiks"

and govemment-payroUed

feudal pope (or the Iranian mullah) and
his

solemn piety-reeking

priests.

We recof

youth, jiven freedom
the press, were more interested in UFOs,
rock, astrolo5[y,

"nomenclatura" of the two contending
"parties" choose the "leaders"

who would

ognize "the

suits," the adult politicians

preside over division of the spoils.
History will note that the 1980s

the industrial age, with their no-nonsense
sobriety.

We observe "the uniforms,"
And
since 1966,

armed, booted, hehneted.

punk

regimes of Reagan-Bush exquisitely mirrored the Brezhnevian anomie in the
Soviet Union.
It is

we have observed

and
politica

now shockingly clear
Communist party in

this

new breed, "the students" who tend to

that the Republican party in this country

wear blue jeans and running shoes. Their
dress and gestural signals are as important as the idendlying

lashish than in
issues.

plays the role of the

the pre-Gorbachev USSR: an entrenched,
conservative, mihtaristic,

markings and

unashamedly

scents of different species of mammals.
Just like any

corrupt, secretive, belligerently nationalistic

new breed of mammals,
The
same glow as
Meanwhile, the
ization,

bureaucracy.

It

gave the country twelve

these kids recognize each other across national boundaries.
faces of the Chinese youth shine with that

years of stagnation, spiritless boredom,
all-star

and cynical greed.

the faces

huckster of freedom and decentral-

photographically captured in Berlin and Prague and
previously
in

twenty years

Mikhail Gorbachev, in five remarkable years persuaded an

Woodstock.

entire subcontinent to "drop out" of Stalinism.
In this climate
it is

obvious that the party apparatus with the

biggest budget

for television advertising

and the marketing ability

to

CYBERNETIC CULTURE, DEMOCRACY BECOMES PRIME-TIME AUTHORITARIANISM
IN A
It is

focus on the most telegenic, shallow, flamboyantly lurid issues
(abortion, drugs, pledge of allegiance, school prayer,
jingoistic, bellicose nationalism)

no

taxes,

and

would sweep

to a landslide

win on

important to note that these students are not demon-

the votes of the 25 percent majority.
It is

strating for "socialist

democracy" or "capitalist democracy." They
pohtics

ironic that in the oldest democracy, the U.S., partisan
lost its

are for "individual freedom." In the cybernetic age, "democracy"

seems to have

touch with

reality. In

the elections of

becomes majority-mob rule and the enemy of individual freedom.

the 1980s, millions
Elections

were expended on

political advertising.

Democracy works just fine
which the men walk or ride horses

in a preindustrial, oral society in
to the village

were won by paid-time commercials involving moralistic

center and talk

images, emotional theatrics, and malicious fabrications. Old-fash-

things over. Industrial societies produce a factory system of politics

ioned rehgious daemonology and fake patriotism,

skillfully

splashed

run by managers. Representative government involves full-time
professional politicians
predictable.

across the television screens, replaced rational discussion of issues.

and partisan

parties.

The dismal

results are

U

TIMOTHY lEAlY

CHAOS

i

(YIEI (UlTUIE

THE END OF MAIORITARIAN DEMOCRACY
In the feudal

and

industrial ages, majoritarian

democracy

was usually a powerful

libertarian counterculture force defending

'^
The
aie
postpolitical

the individual against regal tyranny

and

class slavery. In the early

years of the electronic-information stage (1950-1990), the ability of
the religious-industrial-military rulers to manipulate television con-

verted town-hall democracy into majoritarian, prime-time, sit-com
totalitarianism.

Cybernetic media in the hands of politicians with shockingly large advertising

infoimation

society,

which we
the

budgets

plays to the

dread

LCD

(lowest com-

mon denominator). The new fragile democracies in
will

eastern Europe

now developing, does not operate on

probably have

to

pass through

this

phase of marketeer, televoid

elections manipulated by "spin doctors"

and dishonest advertising.

basis of obedience and

confoimity to do^ma.

So
ic

much for the dovra side. The good news is that cybernetcontrolled. Electronic signals flashing

media cannot be

around

It is

based on individual thinking, scientific
of facts

the atmosphere cannot be kept out by stone walls or border police
dogs. Japanese tape-decks, ghetto-blasters, digital appliances in the

know-how, quick exchange

aiound

hands of the individual empowers the
denominator).

HCD (highest common
feedback networks, hi^h-tech ingenuity, and

THE SOCIOLOGY OF

QUANTUM PHYSICS
this

practical,
not capital-

front-line

creativity.

The society of the

The philosophy that predicted
ism or socialism.
It is

movement is

not industrial democracy (the tyranny of the
like glasnost

future no longer ^rud^in^ly tolerates a few

25 percent majority). Psychedelic concepts
stroika are

and pere-

based on the common-sense principles of quantum

open-iinded innovators. The cybernetic society
is

physics

relativity, flexibility, singularity.

Werner Heisenberg's equations described the
singular, personal reahties

fabrication of

totally

dependent on a lar^e pool of such

based on

free,

open communication.

Objective indeterminacy, that
individual determinism

bane of the mechanical mind, means
the mottoes of the

people, communicating at li^ht speed with each

and

self-reliance

new
other across state lines and national boundaries.

breed.

DR. SPOCK PERSONALIZES
In 1946,

9UANTUM PSYCHOLOGY
translated into

quantum physics was

common-

sense, hands-on psychology by a pediatrician.

The youth movement
taught two gener-

was generated by a

genial child psychologist

who

ations of postwar parents to feed their children

on demand. "TVeat
radito

your kids as individuals, as singularities."

Here was the most
it

cal, subversive social doctrine ever proposed, and

was directed

the only groups that can bring about enduring change: parents,
pediatricians, teachers.

This postwar generation of indulged, "self-centered" individuals started to appear exactly
netic brain-change technologies

when

the

new psychedelic-cyberto individuals.

became available

MARSHALL McLUHAN EMPOWERS QUANTUM PSYCHOLOGY
The baby-boomers were
the
first

television species, the first

human beings who used
tune in
realities;

electronic digital appliances to turn

on and
to

the

first to

use neurotransmitting chemicals

SECTION III.;

(OUNTEKUITUIES

THE NEW IKEED

73

change

their

own brains; the first members of this "global village"

the

new breed the

notion of "poUtical power"

is hateful, evil, ghastly.

made possible by television. The fall of the Berlin Wall was accomplished by youth seeking individual freedom. This student counterculture started in

The

idea that any group should

want to grab domination,
is

confrol,

authority, supremacy, or jurisdiction over others

a primitive per-

versityas loathsome and outdated as slavery or cannibalism.
It

America

in the 1960s,
is all

and

it

was spread via

electronic media.

was not the

Berlin

WaU of concrete and guard houses that
was the
electronic wall that

"Hongk
It's

the rage in the Mongolian People's Republic.

protected the "evil empire";

it

was

easily

a key part of the Shineshiel (perestroika) that has been sweeping

breached by MTV. McLuhan and Foucault have demonstrated that

the remote

communist nation
'n' roll

for

weeks now

.

.

.

Hongk

is

the

name

freedom depends upon
your brain
screen.

who controls the technologies that reach
facility,

of the rock

band

that has

been playing

its

powerful, dissident

telephones, the editing

the neurochemicals, the

songs

to

packed audiences

in the

state-owned auditoriums of
Its

Mongolia's capitol of Ulan Bator for months now.

music has

become

the unchallenged

anthem of the

city's

fledgUng protest

MASS INDIVIDUALISM

IS

NEW

movement" {LosAngeks

Times, 1/24/90).

This sudden emergence of humanism and open-mindedness on a mass scale
is

new.
is to

In tribal societies the role of the individual

be a submis-

THE FUNCTION OF POSTDEMOCRATIC GOVERNMENT

sive,

obedient child.

The

tribal elders

do the thinking. Survival pres-

sures do not afford

them the luxury of freedom.
is

HH^
^l
ry,

>^||^ The primary function of a free society in the postdemocratic

In feudal societies the individual
chattel,

a serf or vassal, peasant,

age

is

the protection of individual freedom from
limit personal freedom.
histoIt

peon, slave.

The nobles and

priests

do the thinking. They

pohticians who attempt to

are trained by tradition to abhor and anathematize open-minded-

This individual-freedom

movement is new to human
politics, class,

ness and thinking for yourself.
After the tribal (familial)

because
to

it is

not based on geography,
in the

or religion.

and feudal (childhke) stages of
(insectoid) society,

has

do with changes, not

power structure, not in
It is

who con-

human evolution came the industrial
individual
is

where the

trols the tion:
self."

pohce, but in the individual's mind.
affair. It

a "head" revolu-

a worker or manager, in later stages, a worker-con-

a consciousness-raising

involves "thinking for your-

sumer.
hi all these static, primitive societies, the thinking
is

This cultural

meme involves intelligence, personal access to
common sense, mental
The memeHermes

done by

information, an anti-ideological reUance on

the organizations
individuals to

who control the guns. The power of open-minded
own Ues is severely limwhich we are now

proficiency, consciousness raising, street smarts, intelligent con-

make and remake decisions about thefr ovm lives, to

sumerism-hedonism, personal-communication
idea
is

skills.

fabricate, concoct, invent, prevaricate their
ited.

not new. Countercultures go back at least as far as

Youth had no power, no voice, no choice.

THsmegistus, and include Socrates, Paracelsus, the Renaissance,
Voltaire,

The

postpoUtical information society,

Emerson, Thoreau, Dada,

Gurdjieff,

and Crowley.

developing, does not operate on the basis of obedience and confor-

But the rapid spread of this mutational
1990 was due
to the

meme from

1960

to

mity to dogma.

It is

based on individual thinking,

scientific

know-

sudden, mass availability of neurochemical and

how, quick exchange of facts around feedback networks, high-tech
ingenuity,

electronic technology.

Demand feeding. Chemicals and screens
world are wearing jeans and

and

practical, front-line creativity.

The

society of the

spraying electronic information into eyedrums and earballs, activating brains. Suddenly, youth all over the
listening to

future
tors.

no longer grudgingly tolerates a few open-minded innovacybernetic society
is totally

The

dependent on a large pool of
speed with each other across

John Lennon's "Give Peace a Chance." The individuaUty
1960s has infected the

such people, communicating
state

at light

meme that swept American youth during the
world.
In the 1970s, the

Unes and national boundaries.

Electrified thoughts invite fast

feedback, creating

new global societies that require a higher level of
sophistication,

Spock-McLuhan epidemic spread around

electronic

know-how, psychological

and open-mind-

western Europe. The signs of this awakening are always the same.

ed

intelligence.

Young minds exposed

to the free spray of electronic

information
that to

This cybercommunication process

is

accelerating so rapidly

suddenly blossom Uke flowers
strations in Tien

in the spring.

The June 1989 demon-

compete on the world information market of the 21st

An Men square were a classic replay of Chicago
That may

Century, nations, companies, even families must be

composed of

1968 and Rent State 1970. Power, Mao said, comes from the
barrel of a gun.

change-oriented, innovative individuals
nicating via the

who are adepts in commuthe old

new cyberelectronic technologies.

have been true

in the industrial past, but in cybernetic 1990, the

The new breeds are simply much smarter than
guard.

very notion of political "power" seems anachronistic, kinky, sick. For

They

inhale

new information the way they breathe oxygen.

n

TIMOTHY lEAlY

CHAOS

I

CYIEI CIIITUIE

They stimulate each other to continually upgrade and reformat
their minds. People

who

use cybertechnology

to

make

fast decisions

on

their jobs are not going to

go

home and passively let aging,
make decisions about their

closed-minded white, male politicians
lives.

The emergence of this new open-minded
countries around the world
forty years.
is

caste in different

the central historical issue of the last

THE REVOLUTIONS OF 1989 BEGAN WITH THE BEATS
In the 1950s in America, at the height of the television

The beats stood

foi the ecstatic vision

and

foi

individual fieedom in revolt

against

all

Cold War, there appeared a group of free people
created highly communicable counterculture
that

who
bureaucratic, closed-minded systems. They saw

memes

were

to

change

history.

The

beats stood for the ecstatic vision

and

for individual

freedom

in revolt against all bureaucratic, closed-

themselves as citizens of the world. They met
with Russian poets to denounce the Cold War.

minded systems. They saw themselves as citizens of the world.

They met with Russian poets
ticed oriental yoga.
turies,

to

denounce the Cold War. They pracartists

They experimented, as

have

for cen-

with mind-opening foods and drugs and sexual practices.

They practiced oriental yo^a. They experimented,
as artists have for centuries, with mind-opening

Most important,

vtith thefr

minds himing like

satellite dish-

es to other cultures, they had an historical sense of what they were
doing.
tual

They saw themselves as
artistic

heirs to the long tradition of intellec-

and

individualism that goes beyond national bound-

foods and dru^s and sexual practices.

aries.

What made
artist

the beats

more

effective than

any dissident-

Most important, with their minds turning
like satellite dishes to other cultures, they

group
it

in

human history was the timing.
bohemian memes,

Electronic technology

made

possible for their
to

their images,

and

their

had

sounds

be broadcast

at

ahnost the speed of light around the

world. Just as soap companies were using television and radio to

an historical sense of what they were doin^.

market

their products, so the beats

used the electronic media

to

advertise their ideas.

The

hippie culture of the 1960s and the curin Eastern

They saw themselves as heirs to the lon^
tradition of intellectual and artistic

rent liberation

movements

Europe are indebted

to the

libertarian dissenting of the Tifties counterculture.

IIINCINC THE 1960S TO CHINA The original Be-In (San Francisco, January
an ocean of youth who gathered
solidarity.
It

individualism that ^oes beyond national
1967) produced

to celebrate their be-ings

and their

boundaries.

turned out to be the dawning of the psychedelic-cyberit

netic age (or glasnost, as

is

now called). This first San
word
of mouth. Three

Francisco

Be-In

was not organized. The word got out via

the underground

press, progressive radio stations,
later the First

months

(and only) International Monterey

Pop

festival har-

nessed the flourishing psychedelic
music.

spirit to electrically

amphfied

The symbol of the counterculture was the widely repeated
image of a young
National

man putting a

flower

m the gun barrel of the

Guardsman who was threatening him. The students in

SECTION 111.;

CO

U

NTE ICU ITU lES

THE NEW

HEED

75

Tien An

Men Square in June
to bring the

1989 remembered. Their stated pur-

pose was

1960s to China. The epidemic of freedomjust like

memes in China caught the authorities totally off guard
the

numbers at the Woodstock festival.
V

SELF-GOVERNMENT ENDS REPRESENTATIVE GOVERNMENT
Partisan politics
is

over. In the postpoUtical age, people are

catching on to the bottom-Une fact
party
is to

The only function of a poUtical

keep

itself in office.

This free-speech/iree-thought movement emerges routinely

vihen enough young people have access to electronic technology.

When the rulers of China made telephones and television sets available to millions of people, the

swarming of activated youth in Tien

An Men Square was guaranteed. Many of the Chinese students had
seen television coverage of student demonstrations in other countries.

When East German television stations began transmitting proBerlin Wall

grams from the West, the
nation, the free-thought

was on

its

way down, hi each
was produced by
electronic appli-

movement of the

1980s

students

and intellectuals who learned how to use
digital

ances and

computers

to think for

themselves, fabricate their

personal mythologies, and communicate thefr irreverent aspirations.

PETER

BOOTH

LEE

THE POLITICS OF PRO-CHOICE: THE RIGHT TO CHOOSE YOUR COLLEGE MAJOR

The

social

and

political implications of this

lar,

means something singuunique, personal for each and every person. The Chinese stuis

Freedom

an individual

thing.

It

democratization of the screen are enormous. In the

dents want something that

is

not mentioned by Marx or Margaret

Thatcher. They want to say what's on then- minds.

The

right to

past, friendship

and intimate exchan^fe have been
5[eo^raphy
or occasional visits.

make their own career decisions. The right to choose their college
major.

The

right to be silly

and have fun. The

right to kiss your

limited to local

Now

boyfriend in public.

The

right to

mug in fh)nt of a television camera.

The

right to flaunt their

own personal Ues, concoctions, invented

you can play electronic tennis with a pro in Tokyo,
interact with a classroom in Paris, cyberflirt with

truths in competition with the old official hes.

Gorbachev was dismayed

to find that

many Soviet youth,
in

given freedom of the press, were more interested
rock, asfrology,

UFOs, punk

and hashish than

in political issues.

cute

^uys in any four cities of your choice. A

^[lobal

fast-feedback lan^uaje of icons and memes,
facilitated

BLUEIEANS. RUNNING SHOES. AND DESIGNER MEMES

by instant translation devices,

will

MWpBH
^v^^M^J

Most young people

in the liberated lands

want to

depoliticize, demilitarize, decentrahze, secularize.

smoothly eliminate the barriers of lan5iua^e that

have been responsible for most of the war and
conflict of the last centuries.

dustrial, global

The new breed is jumping the gene pools, forming postinmeme-pools. They are the informates. From their
most of their definmg memes have come flashing
at

earliest years,

Ught speed across borders in digital-electronic form, Ught signals

7i

TIMOTHY LEAIY

CHAOS

I

CYiEl CULTUKE

received by screens and radios and record players. Their habitat
the electron-sphere, the environment of digital signals that the info-world.
Is

is

called

The

global village.
first

They

are the

generation of our species to discover and
a

explore Cyberia.

They are migrating not to

new place, but to a

wide-open new time. The

new breed will fashion, conceive, and

design the realities they inhabit

THE DESIGNER SOCIETIES OF THE 2lST CENTURY

Who controls the screen controls the mind of the screen
watcher.

The power-control

struggles of the 1990s will occur

on

screens in the Uving rooms of individuals.
In nations

where

religious or partisan

wi,

pouticai groups control the screens to fabricate

""o
,

,

,

contiols

tlic

scicen contiols thc mind ot thc sciecii watcher.
,

paranoias, the people will be incited to fear,
anger, and moral outrage. In the
ttip Islflmip stfltps rind

i

i

l

last

ten years,

The pOWei-COntlOl StlU^f^lCS Ot the I99OS
the

Will OCCUI

OR SCieCnS

ill

thp IIS

iirifipr

Reagan-BushhaveeffectiveiymadethispoinL

Hvln^ looms of indlviduals.

.

.

% Ik

manufactuie and

The manufacture and

distribution of

inexpensive communications appliances and
software will be ofenormous importance. Just
as the

l j x distiiDution ot
i

incxpensivc communications applianccs and
j

n
n

i

ussRandtheu.s.controued the world
by distributing weapons
to

sottwaie Will bc of enoimous impoitancc. lust as the USSR and the
x

for forty years

every
I'-S-

j xl

mi
,

t

x

l

j- x -l

x-

compuantdictatorship,now Japanese and
Silicon Valley

contiolled thc woild toi
,

foity yeais

by distiibutin^ weapons to
Silicon

companies are Uberating the

world with an endless flood of electronic
devices designed for individuals.

cveiy Compliant dictatoiship,
,,

now lapanese and

Valley

hiexpensive apphances will allow individuals to write

companies aie liberating the world with an endless flood ot
. ,

on

their screens the

way

Gutenberg haniware-software allowed individuals to write

clectronlc devlces

dcsl^ned tor indivtduals.

on pages

five

hundred years ago. and editing devices are ah^ady trans-

These inexpensive
forming the

digitizing

home into a cyberstudio in which individuals will
and transmit memes on
their screens.

design, edit, perform,

Individuals clothed in cyberwear will be able to

meet each

other in virtual realities built for two.

The worid becomes a neigh-

bourhood

in

which a person eight thousand miles away can be
your windowpane."
implications of this democratizapast, friendship

"Vight there in

The social and political
tion of the screen are

enormous. In the

and

inti-

mate exchange have been limited
visits.

to local

geography or occasional

Now you can play electronic tennis with a pro in Tokyo,
any

interact with a classroom in Paris, cyberflirt with cute guys in

four cities of your choice.

A global

fast-feedback language of icons
will

and memes,

facilitated

by instant translation devices,

smoothly

eliminate the barriers of language that have been responsible for

most ofthe war and

conflict

ofthe

last centuries.

SECTION 111.^

COUNTEtCULTHES

THE NEW

I

II

E E

D

77

iii.s.

Electronic Cultures

Let the
that

word qo

out, to friend

and \o&

alike,

we are passing the torch to a new generation.
J.F.K.,

Inaugural Speech,

1960

impassioned rhetoric was the

first

time that the leader of a superpower or empire
J.F.K.

had ever used the powerful meme: "generation."

was a memetic

agent, hteraUy

This creating a new breed!
Did the speech writers
"torch" quote intuit

who in

1960 passed along

to

Jack Kennedy that famous
that the next

what was going to happen? Did they foresee

two decades

would produce,

for the first time in

human history, an economic, poUtical power base called

"the youth culture"?

The neuiolo^ical
this:

situation

is

hi the 1950s, this

new baby-boom generation was tuning in the dials of a new elecAnd
ui

tronic-reahty appliance called television to Leave It to Beaver and American Bandstand

The lan^ua^e circuits of
imprinted between

they were being
dutifully

lovingly

guarded

maximum-security homes by devoted parents who had
to Child Care.

memorized

Dr.

Benjamin Spock's Common-Sense Guide

the brain are

The

basic

theme of Spock's manual (we parents actually

called

it

the Bible)

is:

TVeat

your children as individuals.

a^es three and ei^ht. The media
perity

This irmocent bombshell exploded at a pregnant

moment of postwar national

pros-

and global self-confidence. The Marshall Plan was pouring bilhons into the

rehabilita-

used in the home will format the

tion-recovery of former enemies. Instead of looting, raping, and occupying the defeated ene-

mies,

we treated them hke errant offspring who had become deUnquent gang members. We

brain of these children.

.

.

If

helped them get on their feet again and gain self-respecL
the
first

We postwar Spock parents became

generation to honour and respect our children and to support their independence

the parents do not read and
there are no newspapers,

if

from

us.

The importance of this event is hard
the
first

to overestimate.

The baby-boomers became
ten, their brains

generation of electronic consumers. Before they
"reahties per day" than their grandparents

were

were pro-

cessmg more

had confronted

in a year.

magazines, or books in the
house, the kids are at a

THE IMPORTANCE OF PARENTAL HOME MEDIA
humble black-and-white

tremendous disadvantage when
they timidly walk (or swa^^er)
into the scary, impersonal first-^rade classroom.

In 1950, the
ic culture.

television set

marked the birth of the

electronto

Suddenly,

humans had developed

electronic technology

and the know-how

operate the brain and reprogram the

mmd.
The language
in the circuits of the brain are imprinted

The

neurological situation

is this:

between ages three and eight The media used
children. linguist-psychologists

home will format the brain of these
have demonstrated that languages

(Noam Chomsky,

Piaget)

are imprinted during this brief window of imprint vuhierability. This

means

that the

home

media used by the family formats the thought-processing files

(left-brain mind) of the chil-

dren. Mind-change (reformatting) could occur only under conditions that dupUcate "the

home culture."
If the

parents do not read and

if

there are no newspapers, magazines, or books in

7l

TIMOTIV lEAlY

CHAOS

(

CVItl CUIIUIE

the house, the kids are at a tremendous disadvantage

when

they timidly walk (or swagger)
this prin-

into the scary, impersonal first-grade classroom. (Most
ciple,

good teachers understand

and convert the schoohDom

into a

homey, supportive environment)

We also sense the implications for reformatting mind-files (formerly known as
remedial reading). Cultures or individuals

who vrish to change must use different language

media. For the

iUiterate,

delinquent gang member,

we

offer a

maximum-security, homelike
to

environment jammed with media coaches. Malcolm X, for example, was taught
stem,
loving parent figure in a

read by a

Massachusetts prison.

And the

rest

you oughta know!

THE STAGES OF HUMANIZATION
As
back on

1

flash

my seventy-plus years of service as Selfthis vievvpoint

Appointed Change Agent and Evolutionary Scout,
into focus.

comes

Our species

has, in seven decades, surfed bigger, faster,

more

complex waves of brain change than our species experienced during the
last

25,000 years.

Number of (tribal)

generations from cave-wall painting to hand-

writing and large-scale, public Egyptian art (3200 B.C.)?

"

About 1,500.

Number of (feudal)

generations from the pyramids to Notre

Dame Cathedral, oil painting, and book literacy?
I

gr

About 320.

Number of generations from
first

first

factory-printed

book (the

home media)

to the radios, telephones,

record players, movies of

A.D. 1950?

S"

About 23.

Number of generations from passive, black-and-white television
(1950) to

multichannel, multimedia, interactive digital home-screen

ANDY

FRITH

design?

f

3.

THE GENERATIONAL THING
Each generation since 1950
history.
is

the equivalent of an age or an epic or an era in past
tools.

Each succeeding generation has accessed more-powerful electronic-language
first

For the

time, we can understand the mechanics of evolution

the language and techrate.

nology. Finally, the evolution of human brain

power is reaching the optimum mutation

Electronic brain tools change so rapidly that every fifteen to twenty years the
tion creates a

new genera-

new breed.
in

Each stage of human culture defines memetic evolution
language. And
the

terms of its media,

its

media and languages of cultures determine whether they or if they remain passive and unchanging.
Static cultures

actively evolve

have

built-in, iron-clad linguistic protections against
etc.

change. Their

media-languages self-replicate via repetition, rote-learning,

Their reproductive media-

SECTION

III.

5

COUNTEICUITIIIIES

ElECTIONIC (UlTUIIES

79

languages glorify death as the step to eternal hfe in well-advertised, perfectly run retirement

communities called Heaven,
to,

etc.

Their media-languages prevent fliem from being exposed

infected by, or fertilized by otiier languages.

To illush^te

tiie

importance of language in cultural soUdarify,

we cite tiie case of Uie
Rushdie

Iranian Shi'ite ayatoUahs
for a

who put a $5 million price "on the head" of autiior Salman

few taboo words

in a novel published in far-away

England. Or the case of militant

Christians

who tiy to force tax-supported schools to teach biblical creationism.
when ttieir media-languages have built-in programs:

Cultures evolve only
1.

To discourage rote self-replication; To stimulate self-change via shock-humour, irreverent counterculture,
chaotics, etc.;

2.

3.

To invite ftision with other cultures, and fusion with otiier media-languages.
Feudal languages gave no words or graphics
tiiat

encouraged, tolerated, or even
creates

Our species has,

in

mentioned the notion of evolution during earthly
conti^ls.

hfe.

The ahnighty male God

and

Heaven

is tiie

destination. Chaos, complexity,

change are daemonized, tabooed.

seven decades, suife(
als,

The tech-mech engineers

of Uie industrial age (1500-1950) published texts,
in

manu-

and handbooks defining evolution

terms of a Nevrtonian-Darwinian-Gordon Liddy

)i5[5[er,

faster,

more
ot brain

competitive

power

stiuggle: survival of ttie

most

brutal,

and by the book.

complex waves
chan5[e

THE INFORMATION ACE (i9$o-20io)
hi
tiie

information age, evolution

is

defined in terms of brain power.

than our species

The ability to operate the brain: activate, boot up, turn on, access
neurochannels.

the experienced durin5[
ast 25,000 years.

The ability to reformat and re-edit mind-files.
The abiUty to receive, process, send messages at light speed. The ability to communicate m the multimedia mode; to invent audiograpliic
dictionaries

-5^
will

and audiographic grammars.

By 1995 the mainsti^am home-media array of inexpensive multimedia appliances
have combined the computer,
television, video-cassette recorder, fax,
tiie

compact-disc
feudal culture,

player, telephone, etc., into

one personal home-digital system. During
from century to century. In
tiie

brain

power changed
like

litUe

mechanical culture, media
after their

machines

telephone and radio reached Main

Sti^et

homes a few decades

mvention. But tiie explosion of brain power

in tiie electi^nic culture

from 1950-1995

requires precise birthdates for each generation.

THE FOUR ELECTRONIC (LIGHT) CULTURES AND COUNTERCULTURES
As brain power accelerates exponentially, we can locate with precision the
dates of the post-mech cultures.
birth-

Americans who were ages Uiree
electi-onic culture.
in,

to eight

around 1950 became the

first

primitive

As

kids, Uiey sat in front of tiie television
call

and learned how

to turn on,

tune

and turn

off'.

Let us

tiiem

tiie

"Ike-Rnows-Best-Leave-lt-to-Beavers,"

whose parents

were sometimes known by tiie term "conformist"

They were happy But tiiey were not
antidote
tiie

hip.

Their bland passivity instigated
tiie

tiie

perfect

countercultiire,

which

initiaUy

appears during

sociosexual imprint vrin-

dow known as adolescence.
The
television.

Beats! Hipsters! Rebels!

They smoked weed and scored junk. They despised

They were shockingly hterate. They wrote breaktiirough poetiy and poetic prose,

honored jazz by ulti-hip African-Americans. They were sexually experimental.

lo

TIMOTHY lEAlY

CHAOS

(

(YiER CULTUIE

Evolution

of

Countercultures

The

zist

Century

will witness a

new global

culture,

peopled by new breeds who honour human
individuality,

human

complexity, and

human
at

potential,

enlightened immortals

who communicate

li^ht

speed and design the technologies for their
scientific re-animation.

It is

usefiil to

see that the beats were older than the Beavers. In the 1940s,

when the

beats

were three

to eight years old, their

home media were radio, fdms, records, books. The

baby-boomers (76 miUion strong) were the television-watching Beavers of the 1950s and
evolved into the hippies of the 1960s. Affluent, self-confident, spoiled consumers, ready to

use their television-radio

skills to

be imprinted by turning on Bob Dylan, tuning in the

Beatles, turning off parent songs,

and fine-tuning colour screens.

The Nintendo generation of the 1980s became a pioneer group of cybemauts. They were the first humans to zap through the Alice Window and change electronic patterns on
the other side of the screen. the 21st Century.

They will operate

in cyberspace, the electronic

environment of

MILLENNIUM MADNESS (CHAOS COMING)
k

The next uncontrollable

fifteen years (1995-2010) will accelerate this dizzy

^^=r

^

explosion of bram power.

The fragmenting remnants of the old
industrial civilizations are

centralized social

systems of the feudal

and

crumbling down.

The 21st Century vvill witness a new global
honour human
immortals

culture, peopled by

new breeds who

individuahty, human complexity, and human potential, enlightened

who communicate at light speed and design

the technologies for their scientific

re-animation.

l2

TIMOTHY lEAlY

CHAOS

i

CVIEI CytTDIE

III.1

The Next Twenty Years
Psybernetic
one
is

asked to predict the next

dal

kings and to establish the

stage of

human

evolution, practical

mechanical assembly-line managerial
sodety.
In this

(management
rijht brain).

of the

common sense suggests selecting the If
identifying survival characteristic of our
species.

age, the technologies

of thought-communication were

Mapping

What

are our survival assets?

mechanical printing presses, typewriters, telephones,
effident woriters
factories, run
in

The

instant glib
is

answer would be that

and colonizing the next
frontier-one's
brain.

produced by

our species
brains.

defined by our enormous
is

highly organized

own

Our

survival asset

not hive

intel-

by centralized bureau-

ligence, as in the social insects, but indi-

CTades.

vidual intelligence.
fied as

Our species

is

classi-

Constructing

Homo

sapiens sapiens. Victorian

By now,

in

1988, most people

in

the

industrial sectors are

scholars apparently decided that

we

are

extremely depenlight

info-environments in
one's

dent on

the creatures

who

"think about thinking."

digital

thoughts and

images

Our growth
ability

as a species centers

on our

presented on screens. The average American household watches television
7.4 hours a day. Almost
all

own neuroworld.

to

think

and

communicate.
business trans-

Predictions about our future

would focus
think.

Linking one's

on improvements

in

the

way we

actions are run by software programs

communicated on screens. Without conrecently
intelli-

Our young, rookie species has

neurospace to others.
Marketing, leasing,

scious choice or fanfare

we

passed through several stages of
gence:
1.

have migrated

from the

"real worlds" of voice, hand,
var-

machine into the digitized info-worlds
For at least 22,000 years
B.C.)

Tribal:

iously called hyperspace, cyberspace, or
digital physics.

sharing one's brain

(approximately 25,000 to 3000

the technologies for sapient thinking-

This migration across the screen into

power with others.
Protecting
one's brain

communicating were those of
five-year-old
oral-gestural.
2.

a

the digital info-world marks the
phase of the postindustrial
society.

first

child:

bodily,

i.e.,

By 2008 most humans
dustrial habitats will

living in postin-

Feudal: During an exciting period of

be spending as much

from invasion and
exploitation

approximately 3,350 years (3000
to A.D. 350)

B.C.

time "jacked in" to info-worlds on the
other side of the screen as they spend
in

humans

living north of

from

the 35th-parallel latitude devel-

the material woHds.
will

In

twenty years

we

oped organized
societies.

feudal-agricultural
for think-

spend seven hours a day actively navi-

without.

^

The technologies

gating, exploring, colonizing, exploiting

ing-<ommunicating were hand-tooled
statues, temples,

the oceans and continents of digital data.
Interscreening
realities
will

monuments. Their

creating mutual digital-

philosophy was enforced by emperors, caliphs,
3.
It

be the most popular and

and

kings.

growthful form of

human communication.

took approximately 1,250 years

Interscreening does not imply a dero-

(A.D.

350 to 1600) to coopt the

feu-

gation or neglect of flesh interactions.

SECTION lll.i

COUNTEICUITUIES

THE NEXT TWENTY YEAIS

n

T^

w w T^ A T^ T^ T^ F? F? T^ F? F? A A A A A A A A A
.F^ -F^
Digital business will

Intimacy at the digital level programs and

be run by multinain

enriches exchanges

in

the

warm

levels.

tional corporations

based

Japan and
will

You do not lessen the richness of your

Switzerland. The "multinates"

use

Our genetic
assignment
the
is

murmur-touch-contact with your lover

individual brains as tools. Just as slaves,
serfs,

because you can also communicate by
phone,
fax,

and prostitutes were forced to lease

and hand-scrawled notes.

their bodies during the three predigital

Warm-breath interactions with your touchfriends will

stages, people
their brains.

in

2008
will

will

be leasing Most

be more elegant and pleasant

Work
will

hardly exist.

with the digital-reality option added.

physical tasks

be performed by autowill

Future global business

will

take two

receiving,

directions:

mated machines. Body work sidered a primitive form of

be con-

slavery.

No

human

will

(P

Cybernetic (management of the
cal

be forced by economic-politi-

processing,

left brain).

Mapping and colonizing the

pressure to perform muscular-mechani-

cal tasks that

digital

data-worlds located on the other
robots.
In

can be done better by

side of screens. Interpersonal computing.

and producing
of

Interscreening with others. Building com-

the 21st Century, the old
will

Judxostill

Christian-Moslem sects
around, but they
will

be

munal info-structures. Protecting cyberspaces from invasion and exploitation by

have

little

power

digital

others.

beyond entertainment and amusement.
The future global
religion will

be

intelli-

g~

information.

right

Psybernetic (management of the brain). Mapping and colonizing the
one's

gence

increase.

Upgrading rpms. The two

main functions of a human being are consumption and production of thought. Our

next frontier

own

brain.
in

Con-

structing info-environments

one's

own

genetic assignment

is

the receiving,

neuroworld. Linking one's neurospace to
others. Marketing, leasing, sharing one's

processing, and producing of digital
information.
>

brain

power

with others. Protecting one's

brain from invasion

and exploitation from

without.

ii,

TIMOTHY lEAlY

CHAOS

i

CVIER CULIUIE

BlIBfBJBIEMBJBIBlBlBlBJBJBJBIBIBIBMBJBIBIBlBJBJBMBlBIBIBIBIBMBMBJB^^

i
I I I

I I I I
I I I I I

Themes Which Define Cultures
THEME
CULTUIE
COUNIERCUITUIIE

1^-

EMOTIONAL Attitude
Based on

-Optimism

I i I I i
I I I I I I I I I I I

Based on Fear
Slow-steady or impulsive
Serious-solemn; worker

Scientific

Animated-radiant

Happy;

playful

Arrogant or self-effacing

Self-confident; candid

Tough-dangerous or meek-submissive

Friendly-sympathetic

'4.
ly^ind

Mental Skills

#Self

Programmed by Obedience
By the book
Conservative thinker

Mind Programmed by
Curious-open-minded
Creative-original

Pious, reverent to organized religion
Loyal, unquestioning patriot

Cheerfully irreverent to organized religion
Irreverent to organized politics

#- NEUROLOGICAL REALITY
Passive Reality
Conforms to

#-

Consumer
life

Electronic Reality Skills
Invents personal style
Sensual-sensitive

culture's

style

i I i i
I I I I I I I I

Conventionally moral

&

immoral

Avoids brain change; accepts

cultural imprints

Passive electronic consumer

Operates own brain: psychedelic Electronic communication skills: cybernetic

4.
Deeply
identified with

PHILOSOPHICAL APPROACH
Pluralistic
sex,

^
all

Sin-Driven own race,

Viewpoint
differences

age &

nation

Humanist: respects

Believes nature should

be dominated

Ecological: earth conscious

Pessimistic about evolution

Optimistic about evolution

Order-control person

Chaos designer

BuBfBMBIBMaMBlBIBIBIBlBlBlBIBIBIBMBMBIBlBMBJBJBJBJBIBIBIBMBM
SECTION

III.

6

COUNTEICUITUIES

THE NEXT TWENTY YEARS

5

III.I.

The Godparent: Conversation with

Winona Ryder

the old days there

was

less

menu choice of one's life's decisions. Marriages were
to

TIMOTHY LEARY: You know, this is the
twentieth anniversary of Interview,

arranged byfamily and church

make sure that offspring would remain
also

within the

In

flock. Selection of one's religion

was

prearranged Soon

after birth the

newborn

which of course started before you were

bom. This is the year of other anniversaries, too.

infant

was rushed to church for baptism and enrollment in

the familiar creed

We had the Chicago trials

In our secular society the tradition of the godparent

seemed to be fading away like the
in the

twenty years ago, and the Vietnam anti-

myth of Santa Claus or the Tooth Fairy or the Virgin Mother Indeed,
the term godfather had taken

war mobilization, the Weathermen
age of Coppola,

on a sinisterflavour What reasonably good-natured adult

WINONA RYDER:

Woodstock.

would want to play the role of the dread Don Corleone in the overheatedfamily drama?
These were

TL Woodstock ahnost to the day. What
do you make of it
all?

my thoughts on the subject until a few years ago, when Winona Ryder

made me an offer I couldn't refuse: She chose me to serve as her gocifather
So lam here to cheer this
freely consenting people
It is

WR:
it is

Well,

it's

weird

...

you know

how

I

institution

of godparent-godchild

when

arranged by

grew

up.

Even though 1 grew up
I

in the

1970s and the 1980s,

who have reached the age of reason.
1

could almost say that

grew up
like a

in the 1960s,

because our house

the duty of parents and guardians to rush
Teresa,

around acting likefamily ther-

was

library-museum of books and

apist,

FBI agent, Mother
office.

Tommy Lasorda, and the neighbourhood savings-

paraphernalia from the 1960s. All

and-loan

The duty of the teenager is precisely spelled out: to do everything con-

my life my dad has talked about that time, and 1
still

think he's

living in the 1960s in a way.

ceivable to drive parents

and guardians up the wall

TL Not to mention
The godfather, however, has a role that
is

the cast of characters

simple

and simply divine:

to

be a friend
to

that

came to visit your house.
Yeah.

and admiring student. The duty of the goddaughter is more complicated
entertain the godfather and to educate

It is

her pleasure

WR:
him diligently about current events, new developments,
to deal with the mysterious future. I now feel sorryfor

hot happenings,

and thus prepare him

TL
WR:
TL:
I

Allen Ginsberg.
Yeah, you! {laughs]

any adult who does not have a supportive, caring godchild to Winona 's parents, Michael and Cindy Horowitz,

act as guide

and role model.

started the world's largest collection

And of course I was there as much as

of books and materials about the use ofpsychoactive plants, foods, and drugs. Michael and I

could be.
All the 'sixties

have worked together very closelyfor almost twenty years
lished

he was

my archivist and pub1972, while
I

WR:

and

'seventies fashion

is

a three-hundred-page bibliography of my
Switzerland

writings.

He came to visit me in

interesting.

You walk down Melrose

was

in exile in

He had with him a photograph ofWmona taken when she was
an
inscription

Avenue now and you see platform shoes
and
all

the psychedelic colours.

about a week
Earth.

old; so I wrote

on

the picture

welcoming a new Buddha

to planet

TL: Tie-dyes.

The first time I met her she was perhaps seven years old I visited herfamily's commune-estate in Mendocino county

WR:
to

Tie-dyes and

all that.

How does it feel
this trend
1

have your past become

now?

We walked hand in hand and Winona said that she had

The other day 1 was
group of girls

driving and

saw this
were

wanted to meet me because she had heard that I was a
pretty good description; I marked her as
since then.

mad scientist. I thought that was a

who looked
1

like they

a comer right there. We've seen each other regularly
she and herfather are great fans.

right out of the 1960s.

started thinking:
to

We used to go to Dodger games together

Here are these teenagers who are trying

be nostalgic about a generation they were

Winona has so many talents
witty-wise, thoughtful,

that I hope to emulate.

She

is

modest, changeable, solid,

never a part of

and full-tilt here and now: exuberant,
prepared

intense, bouncy, passionate.

TL

Well,

it's

the duty, the genetic respon-

Winona does her homework and comes fully

sibility,

of every 16-year-old kid to do

And so she arrived at my homefor this interview. She helped me activate and test the
tape recorder,

everything possible to drive their parents

and we began a

typical godfather-goddaughter conversation.

My stepson Zachary has done the one thing that could offend his mother.
crazy.

SECTION

III.

-

7

COUNTEICULIUIES

THE CODPAIENT: (ONVEISATION WITH WINONA RYDER

S/

who loves him deariy, and that is, he's
become a 'sixties freak (laughs].
Deadhead, and
He's a
he's letting his hair

Maybe they were punk they certainly
were not braids and beads and barefoot
stuff.

grow.

Up on the commune you were
I

And he's not lookuig fashionable.

Bill

probing, which

thought was charming.

Walton, the basketball player who was a
hippie
activist, is

Do you remember that?
WR:
Yeah. Very well [laughs].
to the fact that
I

a longtime friend of

mine, and he has taken Zach and
Grateful

me to

think that
1

was all due

ever since

Dead concerts. There's a feeling
the revival of the ancient

can

remember I've been
movies.

so obsessed with

of communion there that you could cut

with a knife.

It's

pagan people getting together to have possession and trance experiences,
festival:

And my mom ran a little movie house up in Elk, where we lived for a
while,
That's

and she would show old movies.

and to share that communion.
I

how 1 got introduced to the whole
It

have been not surprised but

thing.

was

like

a warehouse. There were

I

think the ^leat
is

offended by the
ialized

way the media have trivAll the

couches and beds, and people would pay
fifty

cents or a dollar to
sort of lie
1

come

in.

And we'd

Woodstock.

mterviews

have been about the promoters.

Who

all just

around and watch movies.

That's

thin;

that

where

first

saw A Facx in the Crowd
all

cares that the promoters lost

money? There was an emphasis on the mud and
the lack of housing.

and East of Eden and
movies.
1

these great

What mterested me
week of the twenti-

think

it

was that that made me
start

instead of

was

that exactly the

want to go home and

designuig

clothes for Patricia Neal or

Lauren

Bacall.

I

eth anniversary of Woodstock, there was

a rock concert in

Moscow that over a

had no idea that they were

older, or that

watching TV

hundred thousand Russian kids came
to

they were retired, or they were dead, or

whatever.

1

with Ozzy Osboume, of all people

really thought that they
like thaL

were

[laughs].

And they were wearing jeans

walking around
TL:

we would make
things up.

and headbands, and talking about peace and love. In America you're not allowed
to

Some of your mterviewers have comthat

mented
ties

you seem more

like a 'thir-

mention the fact that Woodstock was
It

or Torties movie person than a Rrat

We

a kid caper.

was happening again that

Packer.
style,

They were talking about your

very weekend in Russia. It happened in

or your approach. Over and over

May in China. You had a million kids.

again they say, "She's 16 going on 40," or
"She's 17

would use oui

That was a Be-In. Nobody called
in.

it

a Re-

gomg on 50" [laughs].

That's a

The connection between Woodstock

wide span and scope of input

there.

and our 'sixties movement and the

WR:

Yeah.

It's

imagination

.

.

.

Chinese and the Soviets
tioned, because that

is

never men-

very flattering, but at the

same time

it's

a

little

would unply that

frightening,

1

think.

the

same thing is happening there that

TL
up

[with
to.

humour] It's a hard job to live

happened here.

One of my memories of you dates
from the time that you were on the com-

WR:

Yeah! /tou^fey

mune in Mendocino. Rarbara from the
first

TL: You'll

have to take it day by day here.

time she met you

has raved about
is,

Another thmg that uitrigued

me about

your style. And Rarbara

as you know,

your past, Noni, is that there was not

an obsessive perfectionist about such
things.

much television. There was no electricity
for a while,
television

that

was always amused by the fact you used to send us letters and little
I

and there was actually no

on the ranch.

style

drawings and pictures every few

weeks. And they were very avant-garde.

WR: No, none.

II

TIMOTHY lEAIV

CHAOS

I

CYIEI CVlTUtE

TL Now, that is a blessed and singular
advantage you liave. You're
start

WR:

Yeah! [both laugh] Wtat

was

also real

worked with me.

off to a fast

neat about the land

was

that there
I

were

on a different

track.

Because most

about three hundred acres.

forget

how

TL Now, wait a minute. You started writing at an early age?

kids

were watcliing television and didnt

many people lived there,
had a name.

but every house

really get involved in movies.

We lived in "the Mansion."
"the A-Frame,"

WR:

Yeah.

I

have been writing ever since
it

I

Then there was

WR:

Yeah. There

was no TV. One

and then

can remember, be

my journal or short
I

person,
there

who Uved on the next piece of land, had a
TV, but they only got one channel.

was "the Cabin." Every Uttle house

stories or whatever.

acUially wrote a short

And

so

had a name, and every time something was
built,

novel
Kill

when I was

12, which was about To
I

sometimes,

if

we were lucky [TL laughs], if

we would name it
was named.

Everything

even

a Mockingbird.
10. It

read

it

when 1 was

a field

we wanted to we could see some fuzzy
episode
of,

about

was one
same

of my favorite books.

you know, Starsky and Hutch or
it

TL
WR:

So
It

1

told the

was

story

about Tom

personalized.

whatever [laughs]. But
thuig
great

was never any1

Robinson, the black guy
Exactly.

who was convicted
of

we really wanted to do.
Ihmg
is

think the

There were so many opportu-

and

killed

from his

Uttle sister's point

nities to

that instead of watching

TV

use our unagination. People always

view.

What really has
1

infiuenced

me with

we would make things up. We would use
our imagination, and
skits

we would make up
at the

assume that I got frustrated and bored up there. But I was really blessed, because it
taught

my writing is music. wake up in the morning,

and

1

put

some tape or record on
that sort of determines

me how much there is in here
her head] to use.

and perform them

main house.

immediately, and

Remember the main house?

[points to

how my day is going to be.

TL Sure do.
WR: Or we would make up
and
different

TL

Also,
all,

you grew up with a lot of books.
your father and mother had

TL You have to be pretty careftd of that.
It's

After

Uke planning your wardrobe. You're

games

published three or four books. IVe never

planning your mood for the day.

When

we would have contests. We would do
our mind much more

seen a person more obsessed with books

was the

first

time that you ever heard of

shiff that exercised

than your father.

Andy Warhol?
WR:
I

than just

sitting in fh)nl of a screen
I

and

WR:

staring at it What's shocking,
this

think, about

[laughs]

1

know.

fu^t heard of him because

I

became

day and age
I

is

how much television

TL When he goes to a new town, he
immediately heads for the secondhand
bookstores.

fascinated with Edie Sedgwick
11 or

when 1 was

kids watch.

mean, I have friends back

121 read that book about her.

home who can't miss a show. They just
can't

TL The one that George Plunpton and
Jean Stem
did.
I

do

it. I'll

go back

to

Petaluma and

I

think, "Oh, well, I'm here for a couple of

WR: And he doesn't come back [laughs] for
a long time!

knew Edie.
it

He

some time with my fHends." And some people 1 know would
days;
I'll

get to spend

literally

moves m.

WR:

Yeah.

1

read

driving with

my dad to
it

actually love to see me, but they can't miss

TL Like "Daddy's down at the saloon. Let's get him home."
WR:
Yeah!

L.A. to visit you.
trip,

It

was about a nme-hour
just as

and

1

remember 1 fmished

we

part two of Family Ties, or whatever they

were pulling up your driveway.

watch. I'm sure there's a

lot

of good TV, but,

TL
TL You were exposed to more books
than most kids your age. That was part of
the sea that you

You've never been around

New York

you know,

television is just TV, as far as I'm

that

much.
Well, I've been there a
lot,

concerned.
TL:

Going back to that commune scene

swam through.

WR:

but

1

basi-

cally went to Brooklyn
ents.
I

to visit

my grandpar-

of a small group of young people with
intelligent, college-educated

WR:
it's

Absolutely

My dad would give me
age because he was

wasn't in the Manhattan scene too

parents

books

at a really early

much.

like a

movie set They're on a spaceship,

so impatient.

Some of the books I just was
end up having to

or they're somehow isolated from the

not old enough to understand. But he could

TL During the late

1960s, as

you know,

main currents of America, such as TV, so
they begin making up their own nunds.
It's

never grasp thaL So

I'd

my family and my friends were living in
Millbrook, about an hour and a half

read them once and then have to read them

almost like an episode of Star TYek.

agam about a year later and hope
were so encouraging.
ever suice
I

north of New Yorii City, which was ideal.

that

1

Captain Kirk finds this Mendocino

would get them. But both of my parents
I've

We could be out all day hiking and playuig around and just being with nature. At
five o'clock,

conunu

.

.

.

been writing

we'd take a shower and

can remember. They really

SECTION

III.

7

(OUNTEICUIIUIES

THE CODPAIENT: CONVEI$*TION WITN WINONA IVDEI

I9

jump in the car, and by seven we could be at a cocktail party in New York. And
then
at

and Huckleberry Finn long before I read
Catcher in the Rye. But

TL Of course, ft didnt imply that he'd
read them.

two o'clock we'd get
three.

in the car

and be home by

So

we had the
It

TL Did they affect you?
WR: A
great deal.
1

WR:
it's

Just that

he had them there on the
Rolling Stone,

best of both worlds there at Millbrook.
also

think

safe to say that

nightstand

... In

maybe a
on

meant

that

on weekends many of

month

Holden changed
so

my whole life as it did for
it

ago, right after they did a story
in

the

New York people would come up.
The Grateful Dead would be there
and fashion people too. So I knew

many young people. What was amazing
I

me, somebody vm)te
Ryder is
tered.

and

said,

"Winona

The Mellon family had this big house
there.

about it was,
it

read

without knowing that
that

my role model." I was really flat1

But then

was

a

famous adolescent book,
it
1

got to thinking about

it,

a lot At the same time we'd have the top
artists

and
everybody read
thought
1

I

it

was

this

started getting scared. I'm really
to

sleeper or something.

didn't

know.

going
1

have
1

to

watch what 1 do, watch

guess

Andy very well during those days, and I used to go by the Factory and the loft. I
think

what 1
ty-

everyone

felt

that

say.

feel

an

way

instinctive responsibili-

Andy has had a great effect on
culture.

TL You discovered it, huh'! [laughs]
WR:
Yeah. After
1

TL But your role is not to defend
it

American

Andy used to take a
say, [doing AfVs

read

it,

from then on

Christianity or the middle class.
role is to

Your

Coca-Cola bottle and
voice] "Isnt
it

was me and Holden
team. And then
1

we were like this

be an mdependent, fresh,

wonderful?

A peasant in

found out that everybody
I

Indochma can drink out of the same
wonderful, shapely bottle that Liz Taylor
can." That's Pop.

had read
Finn was

it
. .

What
.

loved ahoul Huckleberry

always-changmg person. So they can never model themselves after anything
you've said, because you've
gone.
left it

well, obviously, that
to do,

he did
iree-

and

what he wanted
thinker.

and was a

And

1

WR:

Recently, you've

been talking a

got a sense of that in Holden

lot

WR:

too.

1

about increasing your intelligence.

How

think they would have probably been

Yeah. /fau^fey

fiiends.

TL

would you advise kids

to

become smarter?

You've got to have that confidence,

Navigate their own reality?
along?
Is
it

Move

things

TL They were both aUenated in the best
sense of the word. Holden was watching
the craziness that was

Noni. Fve had that

same problem. Fve

possible to question authority

been in many great mstitutions where

and respect it at the same time?

TL

Well,

my
is:

only advice and

my only

gomg on around him. I did that as a kid. And obviously
Buck did that too.
WR:
I

some of the leading figures come up and
say,

"Tun! You have always been
I

my role

model. Everything I have

owe to you."

message

Think

for yourself and ques-

And of course they're prisoners at
think both Holden
1

TFYQA. But "thmk for does not mean "thmk selfishly." yourselT
tion authority.
It

and Huck are the
little

Folsom.

perfect role models.

guess I'm a

dis-

means Ihink independently." And

WR: Ohnol

appointed in the role models that kids are

[laughs]

questioning authority doesn't
ply rejecting authority.
tion authority,

mean sun-

choosing now. You know, Axl Rose &x)m

TL Yeah, [laughs] But you cant worry
about
that.

Maybe you quesand 80 percent of what
1

Guns

'n'

Roses.

People say to
I

me that they
"You can't
fol-

authority says, you buy. Good!

don't

TL He gives some pretty raw mterviews,
doesn't he? Is

want to be followers.

say,

care what people think as long us they

he just bemg deliberately

low me. I dont know where Tm gomg,
for

one

have thought for themselves. So

bad, or is he stupid?

thing.

And number two, rm gone

you end up a RepubUcan, right wing, it's okay
with me, as long as you have done
it

if

by the time you get there."

WR:

1

think he's stupid, actually.

WR:
thing

hav-

Kids today tend to think the ultimate
is to

TL

I

ing had a gourmet, a connoisseur's selection of all the options.

hate to hear you say that, because
to

be a movie star or a rock

star.

To

he claims

be a fan of mine. You know
to

be

like Axl or like

Madonna.
. . .

As long as you

what he said

haven't done

it

out of fear or lazmess.
like to

me? He said, [doing
I

TL Or an athlete

Rose's voice] "Man,

Well, there

is

a

love yoah books,

WR:

Yeah.

I

would
I

ask you about

lit-

'cause

I

just take

yoah books and show
I

tremendous change happening m the
world today, as we move from the mdustrial-factory society. In

erary heroes.
is

know that Huckleberry Finn
And I found

'em

to girls,

and I can get any gW

one of your literary heroes, and Holden
is

want."

a factory society

Caulfield

defmitely mine.
bit similar.
1

everybody wants

to get to the top of that

them a little

read

Tom Sawyer

WR: What a compliment' [laughs]

particular factory.

You want

to

be the top

movie star, or the top rock star, or the top

>

TIMOTHY LEAIY

CHAOS

(

(VIEI CULTIilE

The jieat
and
I

tiling

about bein? in movies is-

think the movies and

modem
and

piotessional spoits

aie the economic

cultural model of the futuie-that you're a
free

a^ent.

And

that's

^oin; to be typical
in the

of

more and more people

information a^e.
banker. That's the industrial age, which
is

modifies. But that's

all

gomg to change.

you're Dr. Spock's grandkid. Your generation
ed,
is

a pyramid going up. hi the information
it's

Everyone
movies.

will

be making their own

simply hipper, more sophisticatless apt to

age

all

changed. Singularity, individuis

And there are going to be net-

and

become 'fifties-type

alityeveryone
star within

gomg

to

be a movie

two or three years. I'm going
Uttle

works set up so that every kid can be Marilyn Monroe, or can actually be like
Jack Nicholson. You simply tape five

stars. Isn't that

being a good role model?
suppose. As
I

WR: [embarrassed laughter] 1
said before,

to

have you come and look at this

film in a
less

mmute, and show you how, for

mmutes of Jack Nicholson and put it m
your computer. And then you can be him
walking around on the screen. The average kid will have access to film libraries

my day is determined by what 1

put on in the morning.
TL:
I

than a hundred dollars, a kid at

Christmas in 1990 will have lens goggles,

hate to ask this question, Noni.

a

little

cap,

an electronic glove, and a

What did you put on this morning?
WR: Oh, 1 put on The Mission sound
It's

bodysuit so that they can put them-

and tapes. And even the news. Anything
that's

track.

selvesand they can be dancmg, walking,

on your television you can
it

tape,
ful.

jumpmg on the other side of the
is

gomg to be du^cting and acting m their own movies.
screen. Everyone

and put yourself m it. So that these monopoUes, which are typical of
change
the industrial age, are not going to be as

my

favorite thing
I

now.

It's

really beauti-

But

don't know. I'm at that age
is

where

every day

different

One day I

think to

myself, I'm going to do this for the rest of

WR:

Well, that's wonderful! Because that's

powerful

playing off yourself.
self.

And dealing with your-

WR:

[laughs] Well, that's

a very reassuring

my life. And the next day 1 think, I'm going to do that for the rest of my life. And one
day
1

thought

think I'm going to take everything
life is

TL Think of how the Hollywood system
and the music system have become like a factory. They even call it the movie
mdustry.

TL

There's a

new generation coming up.

light and

great,

and I'm

just

going to
to live

rm sure you know this, but during the
1980s young people in this country

take things day by day,
in the

and I'm going

moment and all that stuff. And then

And they talk about this softat
all.

became veiy conservative. For the next
In

the next day I'm going to plan out everything. I'm going to

have a map, and

my

ware industry, when it's not that
the old days the studios
out;
it

ten or fifteen years you're

gomg to see

road

is

paved. So I'm constantly changing,

would grind it

the colleges
kids.

filled

with kids of flower

and

I

was like an assembly line for

You were not a flower chUd, but you

really
1

do believe

in living

life

in the
1

moment

movies.

And the stars were the com-

were the child of a flower ctuld. And

think that that's important

got

SECTION 111.7

-

(OUNTEICUITUIES

THE COVrAKENT: (ONVEISATION WITH

WIHONA lYDEI

91

n^r
a great piece of advice from TVey Wilson,

who was in
Arizona.

Great Balls of Fire and Raising
said,

He

"You always have
a good time.

to

remember to have

No matter
time.

what you're doing, just have a good
Enjoy
it.

Because
it

if

you don't, then what are
I've

you doing

for?"

Of course,

gotten this

advice before, but for
said
iL
it

some reason when he

^
TL-

to

me

I

really started to think about

When was that done?
It

TL The great thing about being in
movies
is

WR:

was made

in 1961,

and

it

was based

and I think the movies and

on a novel that was
called
little

really big in the 1950s,

modem professional sports are the economic and cultural model of the future
that you're a free agent.
to

Mary Ann.

It

novels, but

it

was a

was one of those cheesy great movie. And

And that's going

The Stripper, with Joanne Woodward.

be typical of more and more people in the information age. I have a game I used
to play at parties in

TL Would you ever want to direct?
WR: Maybe.
I've fantasized

1^
TL:

Hollywood.
to

I

would

about it.

I've

ask people,

"If you

had

go

to

another

done seven movies. And

I've

learned so

So

you'll

have

to learn

how to tell sto-

planet and you could take ten movies

much about good directing from bad directing.

ries to

your actors. That's the tradition of
Sufi storyteller.

with you, which ten would you take?"

And

I've

learned from bad lighting
is.

how

the

Zen person, or of the
tell

Which would you take, Noni?
WR: A Face
in the

important good lighting

In terms of

You

a funny story and then pretty

Crowd. To Kill a

working with actors,
is

my

favorite

approach

soon

it's all

happened.
usually get involved with whatit

when

Mockingbird. Opening Night, a John
Cassavetes movie. The Tempest
TL:
in.
. . .

I'm directed without being inten-

WR:

Yeah.

1

tionally directed.

Michael Lehmann, the

guy who directed Heathers, was amazing.

ever I'm doing and

becomes my

life

for

Oh, the one that Susan Sarandon was

We'd be
would

setting

up

to

do a scene and he

those couple of months. Because I've

start to tell

me a story, and I would
it

immersed myself so many
lot

times,

1

know a

about
in

have no idea that

WR:

Let me see

had any relevance

it,

but

it's all

sort of in this hurriIt's

to

.

.

.

Picnic at Hanging Rock,

the scene

we were about to shooL But

cane
all

my head. It's not very clear yet.
any

probably.

Maybe
that

Gallipoli.

Don't Look Now.
before
in
1

Of course,

knew it, we would have shot the
into

up

there, but not in

sort of order.

would be hard to watch

scene.

He would have maneuvered me
and put me

TL

space [laughs], because we'd probably get
really scared. Walkabout.
1

That's the quantum-physics theory of
It's

the scene

in the perfect state of
little

the universe.
order.

love Nicolas

up

there, but

it's

out of
that

Roeg.

Then maybe West Side Story. And
Something Wild,

mind just by telUng me some weird
I

You don't have

to apologize for

story. It gets really distracting

when

direc-

really love the original

You're right on

beam

/tougfey.

with Carroll Baker and Ralph Meeker and

tors start saying [in

a

'serious' voice],

Mildred Dunnock.

"Okay, this
hate
it

is

what we're going to
they
start

do."

I

when

out with that

>2

TIMOTHY LEAIT

CHAOS

I

(YIEI CIlTttlE

>
s>'

^v**

Of THE lit,,

.VkV"

W
\^^
<^^
^*

^y^MvU^W'

Moe

Us

Wi
Xfvf^y-

IV.I.

Conversation with

William

S.

Burroughs

IMOTHY LEARY: Do you want to do

How about postbiologic possibilities?

T

this,

William?

Moravek

all

of that.

He says you

WILUAM S. BURROUGHS: Why not?
TL The first topic
know, I signed up
is

can download the human brain and fit it

m computers and build a new body with
bnish-hke antenna software
. . .

unmortaUty. You

for cryonics.

Have you

WSB:

thought about cryonics?

Certainly, certainly.

WSB: Ah
no.
I

...

I

thought about

it,

but no, no,

TL How about language as a virus,
Michel Foucault?

feel that

any

sort of physical immortalIt's

ity is

going in the wrong direction.

a

WSB: Language
depends on
topics do

is

obviously a virus, as

it

question of separating whatever you

replication.

What other weighty

choose

to call

it

the soul

from the body,
I

we have?

not perpetuating the body in any way.
think any perpetuation of the body
in die
is

a step

TL Your pauitings, shotgun and otherwise
. . .

WSB:

One-half the
is

wrong direction. The Egyptians

of course, Brion Gysin

was

made their mummies, and preservation of
the

always the one doing the painting.

people-this
was

a sex

mummy was essential to their immorthink you

WSB: You

see,

1

could never have started

tality. I

want

to

get

away from

the

painting really until after Brion Gysin

survey-thoujht anal
intercourse could
result in AIDS even

body, not get into IL

dead.

1

could never have competed with
I've

TL Why not have the option of readily
jumping consciousness back mto the
body? You know, the Egyptians are really
uiteresting.
I

him. But now

made more money dian

he did his whole

Ufe.

TL You've made probably more money

see the tombs basically as

tmm your paintings than your books,
huh?

though neither one
the
I

of

re-animation capsules.

WSB:

That's exacUy ...

WSB:

It's

pulled

me out of a fmancial hole.
pistols.

participants was

TL They used the highest science at the
time. Fve
tists

can buy flintlock

infected with the AIDS
virus.

been working with some scien-

TL Good for you. It's an easier way to

in this

new field called bio-anthro-

make money than running around giv-

The Immaculate

pology. During twenty-five centuries

mg

lectures

and debating G. Gordon

there were four waves of tomb robbers.

Uddy.

Conception!
are great

The first wave took the gold, the second

wave took the art, and then came the
British

WSB: FlmUock pistols

and the French.

All these looters
clot-

TL And what do you think about Liddy?
You know Liddy's a big gun man.
WSB: Yes, I know. I know as much about
guns as he does.

threw the vn^ppings
ted with dried blood

which were

TL: The Immaculate
Infection!

into the comer.

But

now microbiologists can get DNA

from the bio-remains. So the Egyptian
plan has actually worked. Within ten
years we'D be able to clone the pharaohs!

TL Let's go on to the Drug-War hysteria.
WSB: Oh, now listen. Just a couple
whole drug debate,
of tips,

Of course, the problem

is,

there would be

no memories. But that's why they included then- software in the form of the jewels

something that nobody has gone mto, in
this
is

the simple fact

and

artifacts.

I

admire that

that before the Harrison Narcotics Act in

Your book on The Western Lands
fascinated me.
again,
I

1914, diese drugs

were

sold across the

counter.

read

it

over and over
in the

and 1 quote you quite a bit
about cryonics.

TL Opium, cocame?

stuff I write

SECTION

IV.i

INFO-CXEMKAIS

i

DlUC WAIS

(ONVEISATION WITH WILUAM

S.

lUIIOUCNS

>5

WSB: Opium,

cocaine, morphine, heroin.

idea that the individual has a right to

Sold over the counter. Well, these were in
the days that the conservatives evoke as
"the good old days."

pursue happiness, and they're after you.
It's

basically inquisitional

.

.

.

religiose. I

Was America flounder-

blame the

Puritans.

ing?

Of course

it

wasn't And

how well the
WSB: Well, perhaps, yes. But the
1

English system woriied, until the American
.

thing
basic

is

. .

.

before the Harrison

Brain Commission
talked

came over there and
in

don't quite agree with that
is

The

them out of it When 1 was there

thing

how that creates a desire, a necesminds to control the whole popthe gener-

Narcotics Act in 1914,

1967 and took the apomorphine cure with
Dr. Dent, there

sity in their

ulation.
al

And the extent to which
is

were about six hundred
all

these drujs were sold
across the counter.
.
. .

addicts in the U.K.,

registered

and all

public has been stupidized

appaUing.

known because

they could obtain their

Have you heard these

statistics?

The polls

heroin quite legally
tincture, too.

cocaine and cannabis

show that one-half of the high-school graduates could not locate Vietnam on the

Now that they've made it

map

Opium, cocaine,
morphine, heroin. Sold
over the counter. Well,

impossible, and the doctors won't prescribe
to addicts,

and did not know that we had fought and
lost

a
it!

God knows how many addicts
get

war there? When you
They never heard

take

WWII, for-

we have. God knows how many narcotics
agents.

of Churchill,

couldn't locate France.

The only one they

knew about was Hitler.

TL:

Once I took heroin in London with
Ronnie sent out to the

TL Costumes! He had the best wardrobe,
that's

these were in the days
that the conservatives

R. D. Laing.

chemist. Ronnie Laing shot

me up in the

why.
the

house of Alex TVocchi. Do you remember
TYocchi?

WSB: And 8 percent couldn't locate
United States on a map.
It's

absolutely

evoke as "the jood old
days."

WSB: Knew him

appalling. Now listen to this one. One-half
well.

the people
TL: Svritzerland is Interesting.

this is

a sex survey

thought

Was America

They have in Zurich and other places where parks

anal intercourse could result in AIDS even

though neither one of the participants was
infected with the AIDS virus.

floundering? Of course
it

junkies can go.
tic.

The attitude is humanisall

The

"We're one family; we're

Swiss.

Immaculate Conception!

wasn't.

And how well

And if our junkies want to shoot up, well
provide clean needles." There's no criminality involved.

TL The Immaculate Infection!
WSB: Can you imagine such nonsense?
Such a complete lack of logic. One-hall!
[James Grauerholtz announces
it's

the

English system
WSB: I remember at one point 1 was at one
of these Dutch places
dles

worked, until the

where they had nee-

time to

and works

you put a coin in a thing

go

to the

Leary-Liddy debate.]

American Brain

and out came the needle.
TL:

TL I want to say one more thing,
William. You're with

Commission came over
there and talked them

Works-o-matic.
at the history,

me every day. 1 talk

WSB: Works-o-matic! Look
the fact that for years there

about you

all

the time. Fve learned so

was no

much from you, with you. And ITl be
back.

British

heroin problem.

The system worked very

out of

it.

well.

WSB: And

I

think about you.

TL WeU, the problem is the Puritan,
Cromwellian moralists who have

imposed

theu- fucking neuroses

on
hun-

America and England

for the last

dred years. Any sort of pleasure, or sort of

'

TIMOTHY LEAIY

CHAOS

(

(VIE> CULTUIE

iv.li.

The Sociology of LSD

n

1973 the federal drug agency estimated that more than seven

million
in

Americans had used

LSD.

When

this

number of young and/or

influential

people engages

an activity passionately

denounced by every respectable organ of society as dangerous,

chaotic, immoral,

and

illegal,

we have
sin!

a social

phenomenon

that

is

worthy of study. Here
crime.
will

is

a fascinating development: a

new

A new counterculture. A new evil
I

hope the following observations

encourage anthropologists and sociologists to under-

take more systematic analysis of the survival implications of this mass behavior. Even a Gallup
poll in

which users could describe the effect that LSD tripping had on their
if

lives

might produce

provocative data

we

are ready to face the facts.

IT

WAS JUST ONE OF THOSE TIMES
al

.y
n.1
life.

The postwar baby-boom generation that came into adolescence during the 1960s was probably the most affluent, confident, mdulged crop in human history. Many social forces conspired to encourage this group to expect and demand more fh)m
idds

The 'sixties

were

free

from the economic fears that had dominated the

lives of thefr

depression-scarred parents. America

was

in a period of expansion

and growth. Recruiters
to

from large businesses used
jobs!

to line

up on campuses to beg students

consider well-paying

The nuclear fears that plagued the 1950s were quiescent The new psychology of
Rogers,

This had happened
before. At similar

humanism and personal growth, developed by Carl
groups, and other developments of the

Abraham Maslow, encounter
the basic

human-potential movement reactivated
self-reliance,

Emersonian values of self-exploration,
doxies.

franscendence of fear-inspired ortho-

moments

in

The

art world,

always seminal in countercultural change, seethed with the effects of
sci-

history

expressionism, improvisation, individualism. Chaos engmeering. Even the staid physical

when

cultures reached

ences were exploding with theories of Einsteinian
ties,

relativity, Heisenbergian alternate reah-

expanding universes.
This had happened before. At similar

similar states oi
moments in
history

when cultures reached

similar states of national security,
inevitable next step has

economic prosperity, and imperial confidence, the

been

to look within.

A counterculture encourages

novel art forms

national security,

and

lifestyles, tolerates

individual search for

new meaning

self-indulgence, as opposed to

survival drudgery

and coerced mdulgence of elite

rulers. Exactly at these times

when philos-

economic prosperity,

ophy, science,

art,

religion vibrate with transcendent energies,

two things often happen:

external exploration into undiscovered geographical reahns, and

mner exploration using
at the

and imperial
confidence, the

brain-change drugs.

The

first

book of the Vedas, the West's oldest extant

spiritual text,

emerging

time of the Aryan conquest of India, defined the drug
inquiry.

soma

as the basic tool for philosophic

inevitable next step has

The Athenians were pioneer navigators:
The Greek mystery cult of Eleusis, which
Uiries,

self-rehant, empirical, antidogmatic people.

been

to look within.

invigorated Mediterranean thought for
its

many cen-

used an I^SD-type substance {from ergot of barley) in

annual rebirth ceremonies.

SECTION

IV.

2

INFO-CNEMKAtS

I

DItUC

WARS

THE SOCIOLOGY OF LSD

97

The Renaissance eruption of individuality and free thought inspired
rations, east

great exploto the

and west, which brought back herbs, spices, unguents
time.

that

added

hedo-

nic

movements of the

K Gordon Wasson, Richard Evans Schultes, Jonathan Ott, Terence McKenna, and
other ethnobotanical scholars have argued that most of the great world religions were based

on inner exploration employing brain-changing vegetables. The
ported for over a century by the opium trade, which

British

Empire was supthe flowering of

was clearly related to

romantic, mystical, transcendental thought in England. Darwin, for example,

was a chronic

hypochondriac and a respectable opium addict

THE SOUTH INVADES THE NORTH WITH BOTANICAL AGENTS
The acculturation of psychedeUc drugs by Americans in the 1960s provides a powerful

endorsement of rehgious

rituals

from the

tropical latitudes.

The psychedelic drugs are

all

derived from tropical plants. Psilocybin from mush-

rooms, mescaline from peyote,

LSD from grain ergot,
on the

DMT and ayahuasca from tree bark and vines, and, of
course, marijuana the oldest cultivated plant

planet These are not the euphoriants, or energizers, or
intoxicants favored by urban dwellers. Psychedelics

produce states of possession, trance, deUghtfiJ chaoticness,

expanded consciousness,

spiritual illumination,

powerful, mystical empathies with natural forces.

These experiences, which are the aim of the ancient
humanist, pagan religions, are the worst nightmares of
the organized religions.

The
campus fad;
est religions.

so-called 'sixties "drug culture"
it

was not a
of the oldas they

was a world-wide renaissance

The hippies intuitively sensed this

proudly wandered around barefoot, playing

flutes.

Paganism 101 suddenly
pus
elective.

became

the

most popular cam-

Psychiatrists

and law-enforcement

officials

and

politicians automatically assumed that psychedelic

experiences were self-induced bouts of mass insanity,
i.e.,

hallucinatory psychosis. There

were no terms or

MARK McCLOUD

PSYCHEDELIC SOLUTION

paradigms in the Western
explain this bizarre chaotic desire to "go out of your mind."
It is

intellectual tradition to

of sociological interest that the drug culture in America and Western Europe
of Eastern Europe) dutifully re-enacted the rituals of pre-

(and

more recently in segments
and

Christian pagans

polytheists. hi the 1960s

and 1970s, millions

living in industrial nations

used psychedehcs in the context of Hmdu, Buddhist, and pagan practices. Psychedelic drugs

were taken

in

groups and in public celebrations. The acid
for social

tests.

The

love-ins.

The com-

munes. The need

bonding and

tribal rituals

was intuitively accepted by most psy-

chedeUc-drug users.

The importance of group support expressed in pagan-psychedeUc experiences cannot be overestimated. The psychedeUc culture proudly flaunted drug-taking because it was
designed to produce nature-loving,
tribe-solidarity,

humanist experiences. The

first

San

X

TIMOTHY lEARY

CHAOS

i

(YIEI (UlTIIIE

Francisco Be-In
Grateful

was advertised

as "A Gathering of the TVibes." This happens today at

Dead

concerts,

when twenty thousand Deadheads routinely mingle together in

dancing celebration.

INNER AND OUTER SPACE
Is
it

entirely accidental that

our own space program, booming out

to the stars,

occurred exactly
national pride

when our LSD-inspired inner-tripping was at its height? When the sense of
years, both inner

and confidence diminished during the Nixon

and outer

exploration decreased.

No

surprise to

any student of cultural evolution.
fail to

Can any acceptable
tures
arly

history of our species

note the effects of drug counterculIs
it still

and hedonic booms on the evolution of art and knowledge?
its

too early for schollet's

examination of our current drug culture,

antecedents and consequences? Well,

The

last

two decades

make a small beginning.

WHY

DID THE LSD

BOOM DECLINE?

have just whetted
humanity's eternal
appetite toi

We have just considered some factors that lead to the emergence of an hedonicphilosophic drug culture. Conservatives are quick to point out that transcendental,
self-

indulgent

movements

usually lead to the

fall

of civilizations. Did not hot tubs. Eastern drugs,

and

mystical cults sap the martial vigor of Imperial

Rome?
was
natural and right that

Probably But we must hasten

to

add

that

it

Rome

fall.

In

the unbroken migration of intelligence
its

and individual freedom from east
be ruled today fh)m
Italy?

to west,

Rome had

day

in the sun.

But would you want

to

High civihzations do not

fall;

they blossom and send their seed pollens westward. Have not the descendants of the

technologies to
activate

wily Sicilian Itahans planted their roots today in Hollywood and Las Vegas? According to

such observers as Kissinger,

Herman Rahn, Reverend

Falwell,

and the Shah of Iran, our cur-

and diiect

rent hedonic drug culture represents a sophisticated corruption of the puritan American
ethos. But in their self-serving zeal to restore the old morality, these imperialists
ize that
fail to

real-

hedonic movements go through predictable states of growth just
that the current
first

like other social

one's

own biain
diuj
just

phenomena, and

American transcendentalism has hardly gotten

started.

Hippies were the

naive, innocent, idealistic babies of the

new neurologicalchildish Utopi-

information society. Hippies were passive consumers of the

new technology,

function. The

ans

who beUeved that tie-dyed clothes. Grateful Dead concerts, and parroted love slogans
The
wave decUned because

were the ultimate flowers of evolution.
hippie
its

members were

too passive, opting for enlight-

movement has

enment at the nearest dealer's pad.

Advertising usually does get ahead of production in the
I

development of new culture-changing technologies, and
for that

am ready to accept responsibility
it

No blame,

though. When

a species wants an evolutionary tool,

will get

it

in a

gen-

eration or two.

By 1970 there were, apparently, some seven milUon lazy consumers expect-

bepn.

ing to be given the easy ticket to brain change.
reliable manufacturers. Predictably, the land

Meanwhile the feds had snuffed out the few
unreliable, low-quaUty acid.
to distribute

was flooded with

Good-hearted amateurs combined with unscrupulous scoundrels
product.

an

inferior

Thus the wholesome decline
culture needed. Smarten up. Sister.
Utopian.

in

LSD

use,

which stimulated exactly what the drug

Smarten up. Brother! People were no longer so naively
tripping.

They warily thought twice before
resist, to

And

the challenge,

which no

sophisticat-

ed chemist could

produce high-quality LSD, was thrown down.

SECTION

IV.

z

INFO-CHEMICAtS

i

DlUC WAItS

THE SOCIOLOGY OF ISD

99

THE THIRD CENEIATION OF

BRAIN-CHANCE DRUGS
The
first

generation of psy-

chedelic technology involved primitive

preparation of botanicals: joint-rolling,

hashish hookahs, bongs. The second
generation of psychedelic technologies involved the synthesis of mescaline, psilocybin,

LSD, DMT, STP,

MDA

all

crude, Wright brothers,

Model-T stuff.

The

third generation of brainis

BIGWOOD
change drugs

now appearing in
Designer drugs.

plentiful quantities.

Just as computers today are

more

efficient,

cheaper, and more

reliable than those thirty

years ago, so are the
ple.

new drugs. Home domestication of mushrooms is one charming exam-

The time-consuming, complex, deUcate, unwieldy procedures for synthesizing LSD
have been streamhned so
that,

from police reports of arrests and sociological observations,
in the 1960s.

Psychedelics

we learn that more LSD is being used today than
because drug usage
is

There

is

ahnost no publicity,

no longer a trendy topic

for the

media and poUticians. We have new

produce states oi
possession, trance,
delightful

problems

oil,

economics, crack, the
is

new Cold War. There are ahnost no bad trips being

reported, because the acid

pure and the users are sophisticated. The average suburban

teenager today knows more about the varied effects of brain-change drugs than the most
learned researchers twenty years ago.

The proUferation

of knowledge always as the use

works

this

way.

The

sociaUzation of drugs has followed the

same rhythm

and abuse of automo-

biles, airplanes,

computers.

chaoticness,

And

the next decade will see the

emergence of dozens of new, improved,
is

stronger,

safer psychoactive drugs.

Any intelligent chemist knows it There

an enormous market of

expanded
consciousness,
spiritual

some

fifty

million Americans today

who would joyfully purchase a safe euphoriant, a precise
effect,

psychedelic of short duration and predictable

an

effective inteUigence increaser, a

harmless energizer, a secure sensual enhancer. An aphrodisiac! For millennia, intelligent
persons undergoing the vicissitudes of aging have longed for an effective aphrodisiac. Only
recently have

we reaUzed that the ultimate, indeed
two decades have

the only, pleasure organ
to

is

the brain, an

enormous hundred-biUion-cell hedonic system waiting

be activated.

illumination,

The
to activate

last

just

whetted humanity's eternal appetite for technologies

and direct one's own brain

function.

The drug movement has just begun.

powerful, mystical

empathies with
natural forces.

THE RESURGENCE OF GOOD OLD LSD
The increased usage of acid is the forerunner of what is to come, and much can be
learned from
its

resurgence.

Now that the hysteria has died down, is it not obvious that LSD,
dope
is

pure LSD,

is

simply the best recreational/enlightenment drug around? A curious reversal of
to operate. If good

Gresham's law seems
in short supply,

available,

it

will

be preferred.

If

good dope

is

then bad drugs will be used.

Good dope drives out bad dope

During the recent LSD shortage did
alcoholism? Don't you

we not see a shocking emergence of teenage
in the 1960s?

remember how drunks were scorned
is

The

horrid

PCP

mania

is directly

caused by the acid drain. So

the cocaine mania, the post-Shah heroin epi-

III

TIMOTNY lEAlY

CHAOS

(

CVIEI (UtTUIE

demic. Looking at the shoddy replacements,

is it

not clear that psychedelic drugs are exactly

what our Harvard research showed them

to

be

in the 1960s?

Wonderful

gifts

ih)m the plant

queendom

to the

animal kingdom; activators of those

circuits of the brain that lead to philolifestyle,

sophic inquiry, scientific curiosity, somatic awareness, hedonic

humourous detachUtopian com-

ment, high-altitude tolerant perceptions, chaotic
munality.

erotics, ecological sensitivity,

Weren't the 1960s,

in retrospect, a

decade of romance, splendor, optimism, idealism,

individual courage, high aspu-ations, aesthetic innovation, spiritual wonder, exploration,

and

Since our research

search? As President Reagan might have

said, weren't we happier about each other and

more

optimistic

when the high times were rolling?
1980s,

had demonstrated that
set

In the alone.

Rambo

drugs were

tooted, shot, free-based, cracked in secrecy. Often

and

settinji

Drug-taking becomes drug abuse
thirty million

when practiced in narcissistic solitude, hi
safely,

1988,

Americans used

illegal

drugs

and

fifty

million used booze moderately

determine the course
of

Indulgence in group rituals protects against abuse. Beer busts. Cocktail parties. Smoking
grass or eating
It is

mushrooms with

friends.

an altered-state

important to note that the only effective rehabilitation program for alcohol and
is

drug abusers

A.A.

The

stated

aims and

tactic of A.A. are pagan-spiritual.

Surrender to a

experience, we
consistently

higher power in an intense support-group setting.
salaries.

No

churches.

No government officials. No

No

funding. Just village-type group support.

broadcast

signals ot intelligent
THE WINTER OF FEAR AND DISCONTENT

reassurance: "Trust
Our psychedeUc-drug research
projects at Harvard

and

later Millbrook vigorously

addressed the task of developing brain-change methods for eUminating

human ignorance
down

your nervous system,

and

suffering.

We knew it could be done and that, eventually, it would be done. Biochemical
be applied
to

knowledge

will

manage

the synaptic patterns which keep people bogged
is

^0 with the flow,
the universe
is

in repetitious helplessness.

Self-managed brain control

in the future deck.

This seemed so commonsensical that it

was hard

for us to understand, in 1962,

how

any open-minded person could oppose the planful accessing of altered states of consciousness. Granted that the field
to the discovery of the

was new and the avalanche

of new data confusing, the parallels

basically

a beautiful

microscope and telescope were so obvious that we were naively
expressed by so

unprepared for the

instinctive revulsion

many inteUigent, distinguished scilook through Galileo's

and safe place."

entists at the notion of brain

change. Alan Watts, always the wry student of history, never
to

tired of remindmg

us that Vatican astronomers consistently refused

telescopes.

Our initial romantic ideahsm was soon sobered by the reahzation
powerftil genetic mechanisms, reinforced by society, geared
to react

that there are

with fear at the

approach of the new. This neophobia obviously has a survival value. At every stage of
evolution each gene pool has been protected by those with nervous systems wired to cry

Danger! Caution!

The evolutionist urging change
Tlie sunivalist repUes, "There
is

says.

There is nothing to fear except fear itself."
except fear itself." At most periods of

everything

to fear

human history those who promote fear have been m ascendance. When we examine every
other form of Ufe,
occupation.

we see that a nervous, jumpy ammal alertness to danger is a constant pre-

At certain times in the emergence of civilization, optimistic change-agents, believers
in progress,

manage

to

push our species

into

new adventures. Then, inevitably, the forces of

SECTION

IV.

2

INFO-CHEMICAIS

i

D I U G

WAIJ

THI SOCIOIOCY OF

IS

III

caution, reason, tradition reimpose fear to preserve

what tiie change-agents have created.

America has, since
probe of the
World,

its

conception, represented an optimistic, progressive future

human race. Our country was founded by restless visionaries lh)m the Olde
up excitement and adventure and unsettUng discovery. This redit

who decided that anything new was better than the status quo. Such people are
seems to me, peaked
in the

genetically wired to stir

white-and-blue romantic pursuit of liberty and happiness,
1960s.

A generation of young Americans threw caution to the winds and recklessly rejected human society surviving
the

the fear-imposed systems that have kept

work ethic, male

domination, racism, Ufestyle conformity, inhibition of sensuality and self-indulgence,
reliance

on

authority.

Fear,

which has always been the glue

that holds

human hives together, was tem-

porarily replaced by audacious, grinning confidence in a self-directed future.

Since our research had demonstrated that set and setting determine the course of an
altered-state experience,

we consistently broadcast signals of intelligent reassurance:
is

"TVust

your nervous system, go with the flow, the universe

basically a beautiful

and

safe place."

We were amazed to witness otherwise inteUigent and open-minded persons doing everything in their
recall the

power to instill

fear, to

cry danger, to slander the brain with negativity.

Do we

hoax perpetrated by the Pennsylvania Hospital director who invented the he that

eight patients

were blinded by looking at the Sun while high on LSD? The chromosomeofficials visiting

breaking prevarication? The armies of poUce

high schools to warn that

/Oj ^
^
\
i

smoking LSD would lead

to

rape and murder? We were forced to conclude at one point that
in bureaucrats

LSD does indeed cause panic and temporary insanity
touched the
stuff.

who have never

We were comforted by the history of science. Every new technology that compels
change
in Ufestyle or in

understanding of human nature has always taken one generation to

be sociahzed and domesticated. The more furious and extravagant were the attacks on LSD,
the

more

certain

we became that an important mutational process was involved.
lost in the furor

What was

was any rational attempt to assay what was
drug culture

really

happen-

\

ing. Few Americans realized,

for

example, that the

was

the purposeful creation

of an extraordinary group of scholars and people-movers

who worked in loose but conscious

coordination to sponsor self-directed brain change: Aldous and Laura Huxley, Gerald Heard,
R. D. Laing,

Thehna Moss, Alan Watts,
Ken

Adelle Davis,

Gordon and Valentina Wasson,

Stanislaus Grof, Joan Halifax,

Kesey, Allen Ginsberg, Paul Bowles, John and Louis
lyrics to

"Timothy Leary,
surprise,

much

to our

Aiken, Huston Smith, Gary Grant, the brigades of philosopher-musicians who used
teach, the armies of writers

showed,

m 200 cells,
each
cell.

and underground newspaper editors, the fihnmakers, the

or)ly two with chromosome

chemists. Never, perhaps, since Athens and the Renaissance had so
This
tial

many culturally influen-

aberrations,
finding
is

one

in

people been aUied around a philosophic concept.
Also discarded in the controversy

about as spectacular as

was any rational,

scientific

attempt to keep score.
for their

must be the amount of LSD that
he probably has taken
eight years.
I

Granted, a

lot

of mentally disturbed persons took acid

and then blamed the drug

in

the past

genetic instability, but there

was never any comparative census count Now that the smoke
dropped during the LSD boom. Suicide

am at a loss to
this

has cleared,

we see that far from inducing window-jumping and self-destruction, the suicide
is

understand or explain
negative finding."

rate for young people actually

caused by boredom
1960s.
vio-

and hopelessness
Lisco,

and

certainly these factors
that

were lowered during the

Hermann

M.D.

And surely it is obvious
lence indices. There are

psychedeUc drugs, including cannabis, lower the
of violence in one

Cancer Research

Institute

more alcohol-induced episodes

weekend these

New England

Deaconess Hospital
Boston, Mass.

days than in the twenty years of psychedelic drug-taking. More kids are killed and crippled
in

any weekend by booze plus automobile-driving than during two decades of psychedeUc
is

consumption. There

no evidence

to

counter the claim that

LSD drasticaUy lowered the

incidence of physical danger ui those

who tripped. It was Vietnam that kiUed more than fifty

102

TIMOTHY LEARY

CHAOS

(

CYIER CUtTUIE

thousand young Americans and several million Vietnamese.

There are more alcohol-induced episodes of violence

in

Add is probably the

one weekend these days than
psychedelic drug-taking.

in

the twenty years of
Acid
is

healthiest recreational pursuit ever devised

by humans. Jogging, tennis, and skiing are
far

...W

probably the

more dangerous.

If you

disagree,

show

healthiest recreational pursuit ever devised

by humans.
If

me your statistics.
This
gers of LSD
is

not to say that the real dan-

Jogging, tennis, and skiing are far more dangerous.

were exaggerated.

you disagree, show
to old cus-

me your statistics.

.

.

.

^

Now,
brains to

Consciousness-altering drugs change

minds and loosen attachments

more than ever before, we need to gear our
multiplicity, complexity, relativity,

toms. Change triggers off intense fear reactions.

change. Those

who

Acid

is

a scary thing.
said
it

No one
ple,

was going to be sim-

can handle acid

will

be able to deal more comfortably
. . .

and here

is

another compUcation. Acid

with what

is

to come.

il

should not be taken by scared persons or
a fearful setting. America
is

m
A
is

a spooked
operating in
full voice.
is

country these days.

The

genetic caste of danger-criers

Never in our

history has the national

mood been

so

gloomy and spooky. The cause

obvious.

Change

causes

fear,

and the change

rate is accelerating

beyond comprehension and

control.

Chaotics! All the familiar comforts of yesterday are eroding with

ominous rapidity. While the
civility,

population

rises, all the indices

of intelligence, educational achievement,

and physiaccompUsh-

cal and economic security are plummeting. At the

same

time, paradoxically, the

ments of our scientific
Geneticists

elite

are elimmating the basic, eternal causes of human helplessness.
illness,

and immunologists predict enormous advances against

agmg, and death.

The space program has opened up a new frontier of unUmited energy, unUmited raw materials, unlimited room for migration. The new information society based on computers and
home-communication centers is multiplying human
ties.

intelligence to

undreamed-of capaci-

We are being flooded with new and better brain-change drugs.
The only way to understand and keep up with
this acceleration of knowledge is to

accelerate brain function. There are three suggested solutions to the seething, volatile situation that

we now face.

f ^

The

religious

answer

is

that since apocalypse

is

inevitable, the only thing to

do

is

pray.

The

polltidans assure us that the only thing to

do

is

grab what you can and protect what

you've

got

9~ The scientific answer is to

increase intelligence,

expand your consciousness,

surf the

waves

of chaotic change planfully.

The

fiiture is

going to spin faster and wilder, of that we can be sure.

If you

don't like
to

acid, rest assured you're not going to

Uke the

future.

Now, more than ever before, we need
change. Those

gear our brains to multiphcity, complexity,

relativity,

who can handle acid will

be able

to deal

more comfortably with what is to come.

APEISONALNOTE
People often ask
sight,
is:

me

if,

in hindsight,
it

1

would do

it

all

over agam.

My answer, in fore-

Like

it

or not, we are doing

over again. And better.

SECTION

IV.

2

INFO-CHEMICAIS

i

D

II

U C

WARS

THE SOCIOIOCY OF LSD

103

Fascism:

A

philosophy or system of government that advocates or

exercises an authoritarian rule of the extreme right, typically

through the merging of

state, military, religious,

and

industrial

leadership, together with an ideology of belligerent

Pa
America, strangely enough,
the
is

nationalism. For synonym, see

Communism.

iv.|.

Just say know:

primitive

mammalian emotions

FANATIC RACE:
Since this peril threatens our very

becoming

global

leader in

of fear and fight are mediated by

developing new forms

of fascist

When The
duce
in

the autonomic nervous system.

aroused, these reflexes pro-

way of life, a fever of national belligerence is clearly in order. War frenzy is mobilized
via

herd animals (including the most

metaphor and symbol. The enemy

is

repression:

mind control via

civilized

human

beings) the familiar, invol-

powerful. Everywhere.

A cancer. An
A moral

Evil

untary, irrational, pleasurable behavior

Empire out to destroy us.

plague.

control of brain-chance

called tantrum.

We all have, somewhere in our jitone strategy and four stanto

There

is

tery midbrains, those ancient,
turf-territory, snariing, racial

down-home,

medications. ... The original

dard

tactics

used by certain male castes

programs
anger

maintain mastery over the herd, troop,

which

trigger

ofl" violent

rage. Hey,

model of a

""people's

flock, etc.

These domination signals invoke

can be a powerful kick! There's the parox-

this fear-fight reflex.

ysmal convulsion that Dad uses
is to

to control

democracy"

(or a third reich or

The

strategy
is

invent or provoke

the family. There's the cold, implacable,
slit-eyed pressing of the

herd panic. This

variously called jihad,

Pentagon button.

a dictatorship of the proles)

crusade. Holy War.

The four classic

control

And then
cratic

there's the impersonal, bureauto humiliate those

tactics are daemonization, fanatic rage, sac-

compulsion

under

was none other than the
In 1866, Republican party, USA.

rifice,

and repression.

your control, for example, by forcing them
to urinate,

on command,

into a bottle.
to per-

D/EMONIZATION:
To arouse the fear reflex one must

Moral outrage allows one

form extreme, genocidal cruelties upon the
daemonic enemy vrithout guilL The Holy

while the European powers were

convince the flock that
deadly
evil.

it is

menaced by a

This peril

must be more than a

War brings undeniable satisfaction to those
trapped in any form of inhibited or frustrat-

our stru^^lin^ out of feudalism,

negotiable pressure from competitive

neighbours.

It

must involve a moral

differ-

ed boredom.
torate

When the mob or the elec-

very

own GOP produced

the

ence.

The

alien

enemy must be seen
way
of life.

as a

go crazy together, there's a certain

Satanic threat to "our"
first,

To comthis

blood-warm sense of secure togetherness,
ofhive or herd unity.

and most successful,

promise in the
implacable foe

slightest

degree with

would betray fatal weak-

fascist state.

ness.

IM

TIMOTHY lEAlY

CHAOJ

i

CYIEI ClllTtlE

SACRIFICE:

is

the numier-one

enemy to be eradicated

To combat the deadly peril, great
sacrifices

totally

by

"final solutions" involving "zero-

must be made. Our defenders,

tolerance."

the brave soldiers, the valiant policemen, the concerned politicians,

America, strangely enough,

is

must be given

becoming the

global leader in developing

money, without
citizen could

stinting.

What concerned

new forms of fascist repression: mind control via

be niggardly when our very
is at

control of brain-change medica-

moral existence

stake? Who could
to

tions.
It

oppose increasing taxes
sade?

fund

this cru-

was not always

this

way in the

United States. After its founding (1776) the
fledgling

American Republic presented,

THE Eternal Antidote to Fascism

REPRESSION:
During a crusade of this
is

perhaps for the
intensity,
it

first

time in

human history

(Australia

and

New Zealand came later), a
The extraordinary

only logical that the normal, easygoing

most inhospitable habitat for the authoritarian-military impulse.
isolation

individual freedoms, the lax tolerance, the
civil rights,

the civilian protections of

from external threat afforded by

peacetime and logical debate must be sus-

the ahnost

empty new continent, the WASP
tiny population, the

It is

no accident, obviously,
yeai 1988, the ruling

pended for the duration.
Party propaganda replaces truthful
discourse.

homogeneity of the

exciting challenges of building frontier set-

that in the

The "big lie" is eagerly accepted
citizen's

tlements

made it ahnost impossible to whip
caste in Ameiica, the source
the Salem

and repeated. The
all-out

duty during an

up a true Holy War.

war is unquestioning obedience,
is

Oh yes, there had been
witch
trials.

which

enforced by the no-nonsense

The
up

silly

low-budget War of

nation of fieedom and affluent

police. Difference of opinion about the wis-

1812, stirred

by the "Hawks," provided a

dom

of the

war is

intolerable.

The
rival justifies

existence of a strong, visible

few naval slogans. And the fortuitous presence of those pesky, omniscient heathen
hidians produced a few
leaders Uke General
pitiful

consumerism, decided that
medication

self

the authoritarian control.

The

national

is

the number-one

stronger and
the better.

more menacing the enemy, The basic threat to the authoriis

Andrew Jackson and

General (Tippecanoe) Harrison.

enemy

to be eradicated

totally

tarian system

not the external enemy, but

By 1860 the adolescent America

dissident citizens

who question authority

was

suffering

from an acute "enemy depriout, there
to

by "final solutions" involving
"zero-tolerance."

and think for themselves. The fascist-communist
state is obsessively alert to detect

vation."

With the natives wiped

just wasn't

any

Evil

Enemy on whom

and destroy

self-reliance, self-confidence,

commit
itary

belligerent nationalism. So the milfell

self-discipline, self-respect, self-direction.

Hawks, West Point trained,

to

And now to ehminate

the

new and

quarreUng amongst themselves. The War

ultimately dangerous threat to an authoritarian system

between the

States (1861-^5) was, at that

self-medkation. Self-manbrain. that in

time, the bloodiest conflict in history. All

agement of one's own
It is

wars are convulsions of paroxysmal
lence, but in retrospect,
to

vio-

no accident, obviously,

our Civil

War has

the year

1

988, the ruling caste in America,

be one of the most

irrational:

West Point

the source nation of freedom

and

affluent

classmates leading mechanically equipped

consumerism, decided that self-medication

armies against each other.

SECTIOH

IV.

3

IHFO-CHEMICAtS

I

D I

II

G

WUS

lUST SAY

KNOW

lOS

There was
a genetic logic
at play

its

historical importance.

The

original

model

of a "people's democracy" (or a third

reich or a dictatorship of the proles)

was

here.

none other than the Republican party, USA.
In 1866, while the

European powers were

struggUng out of feudalism, our very

own

GOP produced the first, and most successftil,

fascist state.

The

ruling "industrial-mili-

tary party" in

America organized

during the Lincohi administration

has managed

to

keep one Holy War
after

another

going for

more than a
hundred years. The
genocidal hidian Wars

gave us the

final solution to

the redskm problem.

The

Spanish War, sparked by the big
lies
ifest

of Mr. Hearst, announced our

man-

destiny to

become a superpower. Our
World War I?
II?

pointless participation in

BeUigerent nationahsm! World War

The

The

nuclear holocausts of Hiroshima-Nagasaki?

CM War
produced, for
the
first

The endless Cold War against the

Evil

Empu^?

Korea? Vietnam? Belligerent

time in

nationahsm! hi 1980 Americans elected as
president Ronald Reagan, a cheerM,

human history, the
new update on the old
feudal-authoritarian program: the emer-

mmd-

less fanatic totally dedicated to the party's

authoritarian-military compulsions.

Once a^ain,
in the stiuj^le
foi

gence of the industrial-military society.
Let's give credit

But a pesky problem emerged. The
fiasco of Vietnam

where

credit is due. Forget

had

left

the country in

no

that upstart Prince Otto

Edward Leopold

mood for a war buige.
"standmg
tall

Rhetoric about

von Bismarck. Forget the copy-cat Vladimir
Dyich Lenin and the
icry of StaUn
later impertinent

against the Evil

Empu*"

mim-

could get record funding for the defense
industry, but there

and Brezhnev. Forget even

was no

target-outlet for

Benito Mussolini. Credit our very own,

the frustrations that
for decades.
tvritch.

had been building up

liberty,

home-grown, WASP, Yankee-Doodle ingenuity.
It

Grenada was a meaningless
Uttle dictators in
later,

was Honest Abe Lincohi who

creat-

The annoying

the motto becomes:

ed the

first

and enduring model of a fascist

Nicaragua, Libya, and
hardly be taken

Panama, could

society
trial

the authoritarian-mihtary-indus-

seriously.

complex controlled by an eUte

The Reagan Hawks were armed to
the teeth,
all

lUST SAY KNOW.

"nomenclatura" known in every modem
state as "the

dressed up in uniforms, but
to go. So,
fell

grand old

party."

had nowhere

once again, the

The Heritage House think tank
(Edwin Meese
today
is

"nomenclatura"
by: a Civil War.

back on the old stand-

et al.) that guides the party

A jihad against an insidious

understandably quite modest about

domestic enemy corrupting us from within.

106

TIMOTHY lEAlY

CHAOS

i

CriEl CUITUIE

The new scapegoat victims. The perverted
smokers of the Assassin of Youth, the
weed.
killer

Inquisition's witch-hunts.

And

still

no audible

protests against

this blatant fascism!

Why were the ACLU
so silent?

and the

civil-rights

movement

Where was Amnesty International? Where

THE HOLY

WAR ON

were the

A

libertarian traditions of this land

Holy War on Vegetables was

SELF-MEDICATION
During the
last

of freedom?

declared.
Democratic

...%

Children

admmCRITICS OF THE

istration (1976-80), fourteen states decrimi-

WAR ON DRUGS

were applauded for in turning
their
Fill

naUzed marijuana, and President Carter

announced

his intention to

do the same at
also active in

Three recently published books
deal brilhantly with the evils
ties

parents.

the prisons.
tests

the federal level. Carter

was

and absurdi-

promoting

civil

and human

rights.

of the

War on

Drugs.

Han^ the peddlers. Urine
for civilian workers.

Shortly after the

Grand Old Party
Dealing with Dru^ Consequences
of Government Control, ed. by

assumed power m

When

1980, the standard beloff.

Ugerent nationaUsm ploy was dusted

The Cold War against the

Evil

Empire was

Ronald Hanowy. Lexington Books,
1987.

marijuana arrests reached five

re-declared. Military budgets

and the

national deficits suddenly launched toward
all-time peaks. But the Soviet

hundred thousand a
Breaking the Impasse in the War on
Drugs, by Steven Wisotsky.

year,

Nancy

Union under

Gorbachev wouldn't play the game, and the
threats

Reagan's

Civil

Warriors were far

from Iran-Qaddafi-Grenada-

Greenwood

Press, 1986.

Central America

were

too feeble to justify a

outstripping the Inquisition's

war economy
So the
Civil

Why We Are Losing the Great War
War card was played. A
on Drugs and Radical Proposals That
Could Make America Safe Again, by
Arnold TVebach. Macmillan, 1987.

witch-hunts. And

still

no

Holy War on Vegetables was declared.
Illegal

herbs were denounced as "cancers,"
lethal threats to national

audible protests against this
blatant fascism!

moral plagues,

security. PoUticians of both parties immedi-

Dealing with Drugs

is

a collection

Why were

the

ately

fell

into line,

and the media, sensing and an audience hunger
to

of essays by ten distinguished university
scholars

circulation boosts
for

who demonsfrate with

fact

and

ACLU and the civil-rights

moral outrage, scrambled

dramatize

logic that the

War on Drugs is futile, harmimmoral,
illegal.

the menace.

movement so

silent?

Where was

ful, irrational,

There was no debate! No rational
public discussion about the

Professor Hanowy's collection con-

wisdom

of wag-

cludes with a magnificent essay. The

Amnesty International?

...^

ing a Civil

War against some thirty million

Morality of Drug Controls. The author, psychiatrist

fellow-Americans

who knew from experiless

Thomas Szasz, is one

of the

most

Once a^ain, we are reminded
that the only solution to

ence that grass
booze.

is

dangerous than

important intellectuals of our times. For
thirty

No

questions about the

common-

years Szasz has brought to the dark,
of psychiatry the

human

sense practicality of violating that most
basic frontier of liberty, the body
brain.

swampy field

same pene-

and the

frating social logic

and laser-sharp morality
linguistics

problems are intelligent
thought and accurate, open

that

Noam Chomsky has given to
politics.

Children were applauded for turning in their parents.
Fill

and

And more, because

Dr. Szasz

the prisons.

Hang

adds a certain down-to-earth, humanist

the peddlers. Urine tests for civilian worfiers.

common

sense.

He

communication.
writes here, not about

When marijuana arrests reached five
year,

drugs, but about drug control as a moral
issue, the "drug-user" as scapegoat.

hundred thousand a
Civil

Nancy Reagan's

Warriors were far outstripping the

SECTION IV.}

INFO-CHEMIC/ttS

I

DRUG WARS

lUST SAY

KNOW

10?

I

believe that just as

we

regard freedom of speech and

day,

from a

fatal social

cancer to a treatable

religion as fundamental rights, so should

we

regard free-

health annoyance.

dom

of self-medication as a fundamental right; and that,

instead of
ing
this
will
illicit

mendadously opposing or mindlessly promot-

drugs,

we should,
rule:
I

paraphrasing Voltaire,

make
I

THE WARONPSYCHEDELICS
The most pernicious and
cal aspect of the current

maxim our

disapprove of what you take, but
it

defend to the death your right to take

hypocritiis

drug situation

Breaking the Impasse in the

War On

the criminalizing of psychedelic drugs.

Drugs

Is

a carefully researched, chilling

Used with a minimum of common sense,
marijuana, LSD, mescaUne, and psilocybin
are valuable tools for exploring the brain

account of the incalculable damages

wrought upon our country and our south-

em neighbors by the Reagan regime's War
on Cocaine. Long sections describe the
assault

and changing the mind. "Psychedelic"

means mind expanding. These vegetable
products have ahnost no effect on

on

justice

and

civil liberties,

the

mood or

growth of big brotherism, the corrosion of
the

energy

level.

They are the very opposite of

work ethic,

the corruption of public

offi-

the "opiate anaesthetics," in that they pro-

cials,

disrespect for the law, the internation-

duce hypersensitivity

to external sensations

al

pathology of the

War on Drugs,

instability

and accelerated thought processing. They
are not addictive.
effect

and narco-terrorism, the drug-problem
problem.

They have ahnost no

on physiology. They change con-

Arnold TVebach, the author of Why

sciousness.

They are information

drugs.

We Are Losing the Great War on Drugs and
Radical Proposals That Could Make

They have been used

for millennia in reli-

gious ceremonies. Because they alter consciousness

America

S(tfe Again,

examines

in scholarly

m such intense, individual ways,
develop
to

fashion the failures, the hypocrisies, the
corruptions, the repressive illegalities of the

group

rituals

support and protect
rarely used
solip-

the visionary france.

They are

Holy War, and presents fourteen commonsense, practical, compassionate "peaceful

alone, because soUtary visions create
sistic

"space-outs."

compromises." TVebach goes behind the

Psychedelic vegetables

when
set-

grim

statistics to

address the personal,
interviews with

used with optimum regard for "set and
ting"

human side of the conflict:
and case

are arguably the safest food sub-

histories of the victims

young

stances that

human

beings can ingest They

people kidnapped by their own misguided
parents; moderate, intelligent users harshly

obviously represent an ancient symbiosis

between the sexual organs of flowering
plants

penalized; cancer, AIDS, and
patients prevented

glaucoma

and the nervous systems of mammutual benefit of all concerned.

from usmg appropriate
caught
in a sys-

mals

to the

medication; street addicts

Since the dawning of the information

tem

that treats

them as criminals rather

age

m 1946, these psychedelic plants

than as patients.
In the three

have become extremely popular in regions
books discussed, a
total

where
vision,
last

cybernetic-digital technologies (tele-

of twenty experts

m the field agree that
pills)

computers) have taken over. In the

legal energy-mood-anaesthetic drugs

twenty years the influence of psyche-

(booze, nicotine,

are certainly as distheir illegal counter-

delic drugs

on

art,

music, literature, fash-

ablmg and abusive as

ion, language, electronic graphics, fihn,

parts (heroin, marijuana, cocame).

They
that

television commercials, holistic medicine,

come

to the

common-sense conclusion

ecological awareness,

and New-Age psyto

by decriminaUzing and regulating the

latter,

chology has been so pervasive as
invisible.

be

we could reduce the "drug problem," in one

Itl

TIMOTHY lEAlY

CHAOS

I

CYIEI (UlTUtE

Psychedelic vejetables-

when used with optimum
rejfard

for "set

and

settinj'-are aijfuably
the safest food

substances that

human

beinjs can injest. They
obviously represent an
ancient symbiosis

between the sexual
organs of flowering
plants

and the nervous

systems of mammals to
the mutual benefit of

all

concerned.

It is

interesting that psychedelic

why millions of non-addicts prefer to

use

substances are rarely mentioned by the

marijuana or LSD, or the benign and gentle

Drug-War crusaders. Government experts
and Newsweek editors rave and writhe
about the dangerous pleasures of cocaine,
the uresistible ecstasies of crack, the addictive

MDMA. The law-enforcement doctors
at that

mumble about "gateway" drugs and let it
go
That which you cannot possibly
("killer

daemonize

weed") must be systemtactic is the
is

seductions of heroin.

One hit of these
slave to their

atically ignored.

The

famihar
for logi-

siren substances

and you're a

fear-fight line. Hey! This
cal,

no time

power. But they never discuss the reasons

academic discussions or treasonous

SECTION

IV.

3

INFO-CHEMICAIS

(

DRUC WAtS

lUST SAY

KNOW

109

undermining of the war effort!
Foe has our backs
It is

It's

an

all-out conflict

between good and

evil!

The Daemon

to the wall!

interesting that the authors of those three logical, scientific, Ubertarian books

discussed above do not deal with the positive aspects of the psychedehc drugs, nor do they
refer to the

hundreds of scientific papers about the

benefits, personal

and

cultural,

which

can occur if these drugs are used with prudence and planning. They are
not psychologists or humanist philosophers, after all. Thank God!

With cahn unammity these gentlemen come on as sober,
academics. The attitude
is

rational

magisterial, ahnost judicial.

They express not
ille-

one dot of approval
gal.

for the use of mind-changing substances, legal or
intoxication.

They condemn

They are opposed to

the

War on

Vegetables only because
Occasionally they sigh in regret for the

it is fiitile

and aggravates the problem.
to

human weaknesses that lead people

seek change

and solace

in drugs.

(It

appears unlikely that any of these prudent academics has ever been
is

high.) Their prescription

simple: Substitute government regulation

and education for

repression.
I

enthusiastically applaud this statesmanly approach.
in Afghanistan,

It

could work in Belfast, in the

Middle East,

and here

in

our ovm

Civil

War on Drugs.
intelli-

Once

again, we are reminded that the only solution to human problems are

gent thought and accurate, open communication.

Once

again, in the struggle for liberty, the motto becomes:

JUST SAY KNOW.

110

TIMOINY LEAIY

CHAOS

I

CVIEI CULTUIE.

Czar Bennett &
:His

Holy

War

on Drugs,

pP pP pP

Czar:

(1)

a king or emperor. (2) a tyrant, autocrat.

Cossacks: D.E.A. agents.

Pogrom:

(1)

a

domestic police action ordered by the Czar.

(2)

an organized

and often

officially

encouraged persecution or massacre of people.

It is

interesting to speculate

why America is the only coun-

ners.

Throughout history,

this

view has

justified

any number of cru-

try in the

world where self-medication has been decreed "Public

sades, morality crackdowns, witch-hunts,

and Holy Wars.

Enemy Number One."
Since 1776, the U.S. has been engaged in a moralistic tugof-war.

Inflammatory Holy-War rhetoric, especially

when spouted

by politicians and governmental authorities, drug of all.
It

is

the

most dangerous
self-

On one

hand, America sees

itself as

the guardian

and inven-

arouses

fear.

It

robs people of common sense and

tor of individual liberty, tolerance, secular plurality, ethnic diversity,

confidence.

cultural idiosyncrasy, scientific inventiveness, free enterprise,

and
social

Most

recently, this
is

view has fueled the Drug War, creating a

independent thinking.
taught us that
it is

Much of our literature and mythology has
and
every attempt on

atmosphere that

violently impatient with hedonists of any
is

the sacred duty of the patriotic American to mainto resist

kind.

The War on Drugs
it, we

the quintessential American morahty

tain a healthy disrespect for authority

play In

see clearly the distinctions between good and bad;

the part of religious or political officials to intrude into our private
lives

insidious sinners

and angry samts; outlaw gangs and the innocent,

or to impose cultural or reUgious conformity. The mythic
is

victimized majority.

And

this scenario is

preached

to

us in easy to

America

good natured,

individualistic

and

creative:

rowdy Ben

assess images in our newspapers and on our television screens.

FranUin; sturdy rebel David Thoreau;
Fuller; irreverent

feisty,

elegant Margaret

The Drug War is

fueled by the fact that at this historic
free enterprise

Mark Twain.

moment, when American Uberalism and

have "won"

At the same time, there has been, lh)m the beginning, a
severe and moralistic Calvinist side to American culture that
thetical to the "liberal society" described above. Like
is

the Cold War, our politicians are suffering from

enemy

deprivation.

anti-

Faced with the
petitiveness,

real

problems of urban decay, slipping global com-

fundamentaUst

and a deteriorating educational system, the governinstead to turn
illegal
its

Islam, the American puritans beheve that people are divided into

ment has decided

energies toward the sixty mil-

the Select

and the Damned, the chosen people and the satanic

sin-

Uon Americans who use

psychoactive drugs.

At the same time, there has been, from the be^innin^,
culture

a severe

and moralistic Calvinist side

to

American

.

.

.

Like fundamentalist Islam, the American believe that puritans people are divided into the Select

and the Damned, the chosen people and the satanic sinners.

SECTION IV.^

INFO-CHEMICAIS

i

DlUC WARS

CZAI lENNETT

E

HIS HOLY

WAK OH DIUCS

CZAR BENNETT

any other

sort of strengthened political authority.

Drug abuse

in

these geographic areas has fairly obvious causes: poverty, despair,

pP

Czar:

(1)

a king or emperor.

(2)

a tyrant, autocrat.

and the enormous
bitionists,

profits created

by criminalization. But the prohi-

who have injected

the debate with the hyperbolic lanto

The use of this pre-Soviet Russian term could be viewed
only as comic in a rational atmosphere.

guage of sin

and savagery, escape without having

address these

The

official

use of this

complex

social issues.

loaded term suggests that D.E.A. agents be called "cossacks."

A

How should we deal vrith Americans who advocate this
Rambo-concept "war" as a fmal solution
First offenders like to

domestic police action ordered by the Czar is usually called a

our inner-city problems? warned. Regular

"pogrom," defined as "an organized and often
persecution or massacre of people."

Dan Rather should be

sternly

officially

encouraged

offenders should be banned from the

Supreme

Court, the NFL, the

Drug Czar William Bennett says

that "with the

ABA, the ABC. Holy-War advocates should have their driver's licens-

weakening
beheves

es revoked

of political authority, the drug user, dealer,
that the laws forbidding their activities

and

trafficker

and be sent to boot camp.

no longer have

teeth,

and

Multiple-offending adults like Nancy Reagan or Czar

they consequently feel free to violate those laws with impunity."

Bennett or Jesse Jackson,

who hang around schools shamelessly
to

This
ished inner

is

bombast. At least

in the

demoralized and impover-

dealing and advocating Holy War, should be committed

Abbie

Hoffman De-Tox and

Rehabilitation Centers.

city,

the crack-cocaine trade will not be eliminated
facilities,

through beefed-up law enforcement, expanded prison

or

DEFINITIONS AND CATEGORIES

DRUG:
1.3 substance used as medicine
disease; 2. a narcotic, especially
in

MOOD-CHANGE FOOD & DRUGS:
the treatment of
is

are basically uppers or downers. Caffeine, heroin, cocaine,
pills.

one that

addictive.

Mood

changers tend to be private, loner

medicaments, thus leading to addiction and alienation.

LEGAL DRUGS:
Nicotine, alcohol, prescription
tranquilizers, prescription

Alcohol, the

most popular mood changer, has been
in

acculturated

the industrial Western world and

is

used as a social-bonding, ceremonial,
agent. Solitary use leads to abuse.

festival

sleepizers, prescription energizers.

ILLEGAL DRUGS:
Cocaine, heroin, marijuana, LSD, psilocybin

PSYCHEDELIC FOODS & DRUGS:
Marijuana, peyote, mushrooms, ergots (LSD),

mushrooms, peyote (except for Native American
Church members),

empathogens (MDMA) have been used throughout
history in social-bonding ceremonials, festive

MDMA,

etc.

celebrations,

and shamanic

rituals.

They

usually

do not

DANGEROUS DRUGS:
(deaths per year) alcohol (60,000), prescription drugs
(30,000), nicotine (25,000), cocaine (3,000), heroin (1,000).

energize. They are not addictive. They are not injected.

The

rare cases of solitary ingestion are considered eccentric
freely shared.

and alienated. Psychedelic drugs are usually

They are

pacifistic, nonviolent, reflective,

and, with

SAFE DRUGS:
(deaths per year) marijuana
(0),

appropriate set-setting, aphrodisiac.

LSD

(0),

psilocybin

Public officials of the prohibitionist persuasion

who lump

mushrooms

(0),

peyote

(0),

MDMA (0).

marijuana with cocaine and heroin are hypocritical, cynical,
and, to borrow their term, "wicked."

112

TIMOTHY lEAlY

CKAOS

(

CYIEI (UlTUIE.

USE AND ABUSE

Any rational
tion

solution to this situation requires the distinc-

between use and abuse.
Social use implies that the self-medicator

knows what

she/he

is

doing and weaves the ingestion into a planful, productive,
Social

rewardmg lifestyle.

drinkmg

is

a classic example. Reactions to

psychoactive foods and drugs are strongly overdetermined by set

and

setting. In

other words,

mind

state

and envm)nment determine

what happens.
adults use
results.

In supportive, low-stress social settings, 90 percent of
positive

normal doses of psychoactive substances with
is

This

as true for illegal drugs as for legal drugs like alcoset

hol.

Common-sense education about

and

setting elimuiates

90

percent of the problems.

As wise societies throughout history have known, people

have

to

be tramed in the use of mind changers. "Safe drug use"

is

a

common-sense truism now accepted by the alcohol industry.
"Harm-reduction"
is

a current (1993) term for minimizing a drug's

dangers by having knowledge of such things as purity and proper

dosage

level.

HI

LEITZ

THE SOLUTION TO DRUG ABUSE
Drug addicts are a
population
is

Under no circumstances
About 10 percent of any

^g
r 1

special category.

should druj use by minors be

J^

physiologically unable to handle certain stim-

ulants. Diabetics

must say "know"

to the ingestion of sugar

condoned; yet responsibility
for their care

or glucose substances, regardless of peer pressure.
Responsible education would prepare people to recognize
the signs of addiction. Addicts are sick, bored people. Therapeutic
intervention

and education

and unmediate treatment are

called for. Although
specific treatment of

should be undertaken by
family members, peers, and

counseUng may comfort and rehabihtate, the
addiction
is

chemical. Counsehng does not prevent diabetes. InsuUn

does. Hospitals

and chnics do not cure

tuberculosis. Antibiotics do.

Researchers have located several promismg compounds
that inhibit addictive behavior. Addiction to cocaine

honest educators-not by the

and heroin

could be cured in two years
moralistic attitude of the
ceutical firms should

if

normal medical research replaced the
In addition, private

government
not with

or the

police,

and

government

pharma-

be encouraged

to

develop

mood changers that

propaganda and

are safe, nonaddictive, and precise in theu- effects.
Inner-city drug addiction

and

trafficking presents a cata-

hypocritical pieties.

strophic problem.
1.

There are two causes:

poverty and despair, and
the enonnous profits created by criminalization.
solution
is

2.

The
more

not to hire more "cossacks" and throw

youths

in prison.

The solution
and

is

to

eUminate the

poverty-despau-,

to eliminate the profits.

SECTION

IV.

i

INFO-CHEMICAIS

i

DlUC WARS

CZAR BEHMETT

HIS HOLY

WAR ON DRUCS

11}

t

ss^i

.:0mt0l*^

rffitffw -fmf'f -"niMffif 'iti r

"
iff-

If

rmw

*i,!f<-f^9Ba^PB

vie keller

The former will
be accomplished
in

take years and

much money. The latter can
tax.

Under no circumstances should drug use by minors be condoned; yet responsibihty for their care and education should be

one week. DecriminaUze, regulate,

With

one stroke of the pen, President Clinton can put the

cartel gangsters

undertaken by family members, peers, and honest educators

not

out of the picture, thus saving $8 bilUon in prosecution costs and
diverting their $150 billion annual profits to legal enterprises that

by the government or the
ocritical pieties.

police,

and not with propaganda and hyp-

can be regulated, controlled, and supervised.

America's love fest with drugs presents a tremendous chal-

lU

TIMOTHY lEAlY

CHAOS

i

CriEl CUITUIE

The only
catch
is this.

With the
Cold War
over and the

War

oti

Dru^s

peacefully

ended, upon

whom

will

the puritans

wa^e

their

next Holy

War?
bB2
^&.imam^mm,v,'....
v:^....

lenge to liberal society. Essentially,
testing

we are engaged
in liberty

in a Civil

War,
to
is

quarter fighting to keep their opinions heard at
stoned on narcotic prime-time

all;

and half too
their

whether our nation

conceived

and dedicated

TV to care what is happening in
neighbouring inner city.

the ideals of civil society

and individual
of whether

rights

can endure. This

own neighbourhood, much
The only catch

less in the

an uncivilized war, a
civic understanding,

test

common

sense, compassion,

is this.

With the Cold War over and the War

and tolerance of difference can keep us from

on Drugs peacefully ended, upon
next Holy War?

whom will the puritans wage their

becoming a divided nation with one-quarter screaming "No!"; one-

SECTION IV.;

INFO-CHEMICAIS

(

DlUC WAtS

CZAR lENNETT

C

HIS HOIY

WAR ON DRUGS

115

I

IV.

MDMA:
THE DRUG OF
THE 1980S

tell

us that every stage of

The perception of things and people
is

human culture produces its own art, its own music, its own literary mode, Sociologists its own sexual style, its own unique slang, and its own ceremonial drug.
Take the 1980s, for example. The style of this decade comes from our leader,

not altered;

lives

are held

in

abeyance and replaced by unconditional acceptance. This
is

much

like

Nietzsche's

amor fetf

love of fate,

love of one's particular circumstances.

Let's face

it,

we're talking
experience.
is

Ronald Reagan, who has given us an
inhibited sexual style, a nostalgic 'fifties
aesthetic, a series of

The HeaI'mg Journey, 1976.

about an

elitist

Moral-Majority witch-

MDMA is a drug that
known by word
of
sophisticated people
sincerely

hunts as public sport, a gloomy Cold-War paranoia, and an uncharitable ethic of cor-

A SENSUAL APHRODISIAC
The eminent Cornell psychopharmacologist Thomas Pynchon suggests that "the
circuits of

mouth to

porate selfishness. As an antidote, this decade of harsh
rhetoric has witnessed a
called

who

new type

of drug

the brain which mediate alarm,

want to

attain a

empathogen, referring to a state of clear empathy and compassionate understanding activated in the user's brain. [Later, the terms "entactogens" or "touching with'm" also

fear, flight, fight, lust,

and

territorial para-

high level of self-understanding and empathy. We're

noia are temporarily disconnected. You see everything with total clarity undistort-

ed by

animalistic urges.

You have reached

came mto

favor

Ed.]

a state

which the ancients have called

An

earlier version of this

drug was

talking about dedicated

MDA-the
more

Nirvana, all-seeing bliss."

"love drug" of the 1970s. The best-known current version is a rather
refined and shorter-acting analogue

searchers who've earned a bit

The effects generally peak after a couple of hours and last around five hours;
there
is if

no distortion of

of Ecstasy...^

of the
Ecstasy,

MDA

reality,

and you

family

known

as

MDMA,

can

you have to

XTC, X, Adam, Venus, or Zen. Dozens of researchers have described

functions.

perform normal But you don't want to. Who'd
a car

want to play tennis or drive
you're sitting

when

feelings of profound well-being, insight,

on the mountain of

blissful

understanding, empathy, and ease of communication that are activated by

wisdom?
THE DANCERS OF ECSTASY
The experienced person, hearing of a
drug described with such pushing superlatives, is led to inquire:

MDMA.

Claudio Naranjo, the distin-

guished Chilean psychologist, has published this report on the very similar
effects of

MDA:

Come

on,

what are

the drawbacks?

The

MDA peak experience is typically
in

Clinical reports

suggest that around 25

one

which the

moment that is
grati.

being lived becomes intensely
fying in
all its

circumstantial reality
is

.

.

percent of first-time users experience a brief period of mild nausea, jaw-clenchGo and ing, or eye wiggle, before passing
proceeding to Nirvana.

The dominant feeling
serenity, love as
in
it

of calm and

were,

embedded

The experience is so powerful that everyone feels a bit drained the next day.
Most users take the drug
in

calm.

the afternoon

lit

TIMOTNY lEAlY

CHAOS

i

CYIEI (UlTUIE

...>.

If

you want

this

experience, start hanging

around smart,

spiritually

ambitious people
in their

who

exhibit

behavior the qualities

that the drug promises. Even
if

you aren't interested

in

the

MDMA,

you could do worse

than be on the lookout for

people and places that give
off that glow.
MARK FRANKLYN
and by midnight are ready
ful

for a

wonderin

refreshing sleep, preferably arms of a loved one.

the

halted, despite an enormous lobbying effort by therapists who had achieved

MDMA

good
al

results with the substance,

and

is

not a genital aphrodisiac.

against the recommendation of the feder-

The extraordinary sensuality of the experience is generalized over the body.

judge who heard the voluminous testimony. By 1994, a small number of bad trips had been reported, usually resulting
from excessive use, impurity of substance,
or dehydration.
Ed.]

LEGALITY
At the present time,
lar

MDMA

and

simi-

drugs are legal. Why? Because there are no cases of abuse. The drug is not
doesn't distort reality or lead to antisocial or destructive behavior.
addictive;
it

One
to

reason for the positive response
is

MDMA

consumer expectation,

its

There has never been a recorded case of

word-of-mouth reputation emphasizes love and peace. If you're a belligerent
biker or a bar-room
fight,

bad trip. [By 1986, as a Schedule I drug,
a

MDMA was classified
and
all

rowdy

itching for a
is

research was

the

last

drug you'd take

MDMA.

SECTION

IV.

-

$

INFO-CNEMICAIS

I

DlUC WAIS

MDMA: THE DRUG

OF THE

iM*S

n?

A TYPICAL ECSTASY EXPERIENCE
In
I

ty circuit in the brain.

drug seems to activate the empathy-clariOnce it's turned on,
it

the

fall

of 1978

my

wife Barbara and
City.

stays operative.

It's

like

booting up your

were

visiting

New

York

We

had

home computer.
Barbara and
I

cocktails
Brian,

one evening with a

friend

named

have taken
in

MDMA

who

told us of this wonderful "love
I

around twelve times

the past

six years.

drug." He gave us a few tabs. Now must add, Brian was not a dealer hanging

We

can return to that blessed state of

fusion without the drug

around dark
a

alleys pushing dope. He was well-known psychologist using IVIDMA in his psychotherapy practice. He advised us

by lying close to each other or by looking at each other in a serene environment.

And

since our brain-marriage in 1978,

to take the drug on an

empty stomach
I

we have watched dozens
share the experience.
It's

of our friends
a

And

since our brain-

and no

alcohol.
later,

90 percent

Three hours

Barbara and

had

success rate,
motives
in

marriage in 1978, we

just tipsily finished a

gourmet dinner at
cockall.

taken with the right the right place. It surely does
if
if

the 5-star restaurant, Chez Estuvay
tails,

help things along

wine, brandy, cordon-bleu, and

get there.

And you must take
to love.
is

you sincerely want to it with

have watched dozens
our friends share the
experience.
It's

oi

Feeling mellow, Barbara looked at
with that "let's
eye.

me

someone you want
Ecstasy

do
I

it,

What could
in

baby" twinkle in her do? The greatest suc-

not a party stimulant. It's not a recreational hit. It's not a street drug.
[Ecstasy became,
for a
in fact, all

cesses

my

life

have come from saying

these things

yes to Barbara's invitations.

a

We
half

each dropped one tab. About a
by.

segment of users once it was outlawed and available only from underground chemists.
It

hour rolled

became

a staple of

Zap!

90 percent success rate,
if

Barbara looked at

me and

laughed.
"It

"You're so lucky," she sighed.
hits

always

rave culture by the late 1980s in Texas and the U.K., spreading soon after to

taken with the ri^ht

you

first."
I

Europe and the

U.S.

Ed.]

I'd

motives in the rijht
place.

Before long was feeling better than ever felt in my life (and I've had some

pretty

good

times). Barbara

was coming

"INSTANT-MARRIAGE

[MDMA] surely

on to the same exquisite sensations. Without a second's delay we stripped off our clothes and hit the bed. lay on my
I

SYNDROME"
In

the past six years

we have

heard

does help things alonj
if

back. Barbara sat on top of me, her head

many
try:

enthusiastic reports of

MDMA expe-

and chest next to mine. Our bodies were
glowing. A film of scented moisture, like the sheen of a lotus blossom, covered our
skin.

riences from high places around the coun-

you sincerely want to
there.
it

Manhattan and Maui, San Francisco
etc.

and Santa Fe, Austin and Ann Arbor,

Many New-Age
looked into each other's eyes and was it. We both understood

psychologists use
all,

MDMA

^et

And you must

We

with their clients. After

calm

clarity is

smiled. This

take

with someone

everything. All our defenses, protections,

the aim of any program of self-improvement. The drug seems to especially benefit

We

you want to love.

and emotional habits were suspended. realized joyfully how perfect we were
designed to be. Apparently the only thing to do was caress each other.

victims of trauma and people

in rela-

tionship therapy.

One new "problem"

has emerged: the

Ecstasy instant-marriage syndrome.
Lots of people who didn't know each other very well have shared the experience, activated the love-empathy circuits,

The experience went on and

on.

When

we

started to

come down
another
hit.

after three

hours,

we took

Funny things

happened. We chatted away like newborn Buddhas just down from heaven.
The next day we flew back to Hollywood. Three days later we were married.

and rushed
ried. In

off the next

some

day to get marcases, after the rosereal-

coloured smoke cleared, the couple

ized that although they did, for a while,

Here the cynical observer says, "So you had to take more Ecstasy to get back
to that narcotic state of bliss."

share the highest region of love, the practical aspects of their life were not in sync.

You might say
works. The

it's

a

cosmic summer

Nope.

That's not the

way

it

romance.

Ill

TIMOTHY lEAlY

CHAOS

i

(VIER CULIUIE

ANDY

FRITH

It

got so bad

in

Boulder, Colorado,

that

bumper

stickers

and

T-shirts

were

empathy. We're talking about dedicated searchers who've earned a bit of Ecstasy.
If you want this experience, start hanging around smart, spiritually ambitious people

printed with the message:

"DON'T GET MARRIED FOR 6 WEEKS AFTER ECSTASY."
The
basic rule of neurological

who

exhibit

in

their behavior the qualities
if

that the drug promises. Even

you aren't

common

sense applies. Don't take any drug unless you know, trust, and admire the person
providing it. There's little chance that you can get your hands on

you could do worse than be on the lookout for people and places that give off that glow.
in

interested

the

MDMA,

MDMA

through

[Editor's

Note: For a

fuller description

of

the usual channels of drug distribution. Colombian gangsters and Mafia pushers
aren't interested in selling a love-peace-

MDMA and its subsequent history, see Bruce Eisner, Ecstasy: The MDMA
Story;

wisdom drug.
Let's face
elitist
it,

we're talking about an

Alexander and Ann Sbulgin, PIHKAL (Phenethylamines Have Known and
I

experience.

MDMA

is

a drug that

is

Loved); or
Nicolas Saunders, E for Ecstasy.]

known by word of mouth to sophisticated people who sincerely want to attain a high level of self-understanding and

SECTION

IV.

5

INFO-CHEMICAIS

(

DRUC WAKS

MDMA: THE

D

It

U C

OF THE 19801

119

MACLEAN'S:

Why did LSD become so
it

al

change but they were an mevilable byit is

popular in the 1960s? Was

because of

product of it And

no accident that 1 am

the times, or did the drug act as a catalyst to

now inundated by requests from computer
companies
to act as

speed the process of cultural

a consultant
in

The

change and its own acceptance?
LEAR\^ The demographic situation was
that you

younger generation involved

computer

technologies recognizes die positive
aspects of die consciousness

movement of

had 76 million baby-boomers in

die 1960s and sees

me sympadieticaUy.

MACLEAN'S:

How do you explain the
it

decline in the use of LSD. Is

not a dead

The use

ot

im^i, which are brain-chan5[e

drug?

instruments, perfectly synchronized with

home
later,

LEARY:

Actually, police seizures of LSD

have gone up 1,000 percent in Los Angeles County
a
in the past year.

appliances like television, stereo players, and,

But there had been
it hi

downward trend, and 1 applauded

computers. Dru5[s that alter states of consciousness
are

die 1960s and 1970s diere
lion people

were seven mil-

takmg it,

but diere

was not

naturally ^oin^ to be an intejfral part of an
.

always good LSD available, and bad LSD is
a pharmaceutical disaster; so
tic to
it

was realisaround

back away The LSD

tiiat is

information-intelli5[ence-knowled5[e society.

now is much purer and packaged in smaller doses.

the U.SA.

who happened to be the first
society.

MACLEAN'S: What do these changes
indicate?

members of the information
you had Marshall McLuhan,

And
and
LEARY: That people are more concerned
about die practicalities of their lives and
less witti philosophic

television,

the beginning of computer technology.

The

use of drugs, which are brain-change
insfruments, perfecdy synchronized with

meaning. There are
scan and scope

times

when it is good to
tiiere

home apphances like television, stereo
players, and, later, computers.

widely, and

are times

when it is nec-

McLuhan

essary and appropriate to fine-time and

forecast this.

Drugs

that alter states of con-

become more practical.
diere has been a

In

pharmacology

sciousness are naturally going to be an
integral part of an information-intelligence-

h^mendous development
diat

of new drugs

MDMA, for example

knowledge

society.

has enormous vogue
the cultur-

m intelligence-

The drugs did not cause

increased circles.

121

TIMOTHY LIAIY

CHAOS

i

(VIEI CULTUIE

n<i^ii> WORLD'S HOT p5TG
%

^^
f
riiniiiiiriiiiiiii

Sounds

like

science

technology exists and

is ci

Virtual Reality. In this exc techno''^'v will be derr

Tlmoth Tf}j^

*amed w

Drug guru

V* ^a.! Ti

iSnr
I'

'Vl^

-II*
*^

leary s
ii:.

^iiiiin

#tiiiiPiiiiililitiiiiiiiiiiiiiiMiiiiiiiiiiiiiMiiiiriJ'iiiiiiiiiiiiiii^# iiiitiMiMiiiiiiiiiiipiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii

shocking confession:

Mr><.><

y

the most excitn\ computers
today.

expenences. The spiritl ^^en sexual '/Jd possibX
ei,
!;

?

^

',

-fAPxN '^^^ \.>y ^f^^^^l^ An

VV*'

-*

The Lonely M~
.

fffS

^'y
3 O

---'loiner shocker from the new book ITt book. ; by Charles uy v-iiuiio Higham a;>; Ri iiigham avX ni '^ timothy Learv savs in *'the boo^ .V''''no'hy Leary says t^-f. .y involved w-yn the drug. Insf/^ of the drug >>|psj^h7d;ui got Tim in- Dr. Tim. -^ -^* **' *
.

'

^Jh;;^.s

tha

^^^n\. m.

''

a
0^
r -''imo'thyleary 1960s who became the venturer in chemica
.

?ii^;
,

mind-alienng trip y But it is not a jo.^ vou to drop ac-'
'

>^> 5^>
-%^
s

5. o ac
Q-.2

V.'.

i-caL'

.':.*!^

.^.-simulate;

^
.

J transform and travel.
j^forpnce
ork

"e-f.y.^TSAV.lk'ivo";^ Mouuuj'^*'^
tn usp
-',

Do

11

nov

d?
dUln't

;.

>2

V
th'

..''

\,^

bariai

^

know how
a

to

op

ate

outfit

^v?nng

mildly

psychedelic

O

w

\4-

"^i'jartual realitiej
\:. ^n 'Ten mind.

^
<?? JS:

<?>^:
O O x: o
CO
>. "D

^!i
fc:

c c
0)

0)

^^tJ^1

v;-:

i
I

m
of them,

4
whethei
life.

am

100

percent

in

f

avoi of the intelligent use of diu^s, and

1,000 percent against the

thou^Iess use

caffeine oi LSD.

And diu^s aie not central

to

my

MACLEAN'S:
person?
LEARY:
ty
It

How does MDMA affect a

to

be limiting ourselves

to alcohol

and

cocaine.

We are going to have entirely new
which vriU have the best

families of drugs,

does not provoke the quick

reali-

aspects of the earlier generation but with

change, the hallucinatory Niagara of per-

spectives of LSD. This drug and

improvements
its

in safety

and precision.

ana-

logues give a very clear, quite deeply affectionate experience.

MACLEAN'S: With all the negative publicity

on the use of drugs, have you

MACLEAN'S: Does the renaissance of
psychedelic drugs signal an eventual
return to a time

changed your position on the use of any
of them?

when people will

LEARY:

I

am continually experimenting.
1

become more inner-directed? Are we
going in cycles?
LEARY: Not
cycles, predictable stages.
first
It is

For example,
use
it

was off caffeine and now I The same with other

selectively.
I

drugs.
cise

am much more selective and preintelligent in the timing of how,

and

predictable that the

wave of babypositions of

boomers is now getting into

why, and

when

I

use a drug.

I

am

100 per-

cent in favor of the intelligent use of drugs,

responsibility in laboratories

and research
would
and 1,000 percent against tiie
tiioughtless

centers.

It is

inevitable that they

use of them, whetiier caffeine or LSD. And

bring back research on improved psychoactive drugs.
It is

archaic and barbaric

drugs are not centi^ to

my life.

122

TIMOTHY lEAlY

CHAOS

i

CYlEt (IIITUIE

^aWANCE

v

L\^^
^^^^
^^'*

^

HkOOT/f

%ltel

'"^^Swfc

f\
.#
.5.

,,M^^^K||^^^^W

'fl

11

V'

.

h^

li

lii

.3,",

v.i.

Hormone Holocaust

recall eyeballing

with dreamy lasciviousness a Saturday Evening Post (1 936)

illustra-

I

tion of a

young woman swinging on a hammock, her head tossed back

in

a gesture

of innocent merriment, her white dress and lace petticoat pulled up, revealing

two inches

of milky, white, soft, tender, moist, kissable inner thigh.

The year was 1938.

Place: a small

town

in

Western Massachusetts. Cultural back-

ground:

Irish

Catholic. Erotic climate: dry

and

frigid.

Growing up

in this chill

environment

I

was taught there was

virtue

and mortal

sin

nothing

in

between.

Good was to think and

act like the neighbours, to

be proper and decent. Bad? The human body Any passing

ref-

erence to sexual functions was very bad. The mention of genital organs was taboo! Erotic

feelings

bad. Sexual desire
In

beyond bad.

It

was

evil!

my family, morality was administered by my mother and her two spinster sisters.
I

As a youth

became aware

of their strange obsession with sexuality.
for

I

watched with fascina-

tion as they

scanned every work of art, every movie, every song,

any signs of what they
that

referred to as "funny business."
family,

And it soon occurred to me

with genetic dismay

my

dominated by such anti-sex

fervor, was dying out! Of my generation 1 was the only

one

to carry the paternal

name and one

of only two survivors on the maternal side. This

reaUzation so disturbed

me that 1 became determined to fight back. As the last remaming life
resolved that

form

in

my gene pool,
I

I

my family and by extension, society's great Anti-Sex

Gang
ids.

would not gain control over my precious bodily flu-

In short order,

managed

to

develop an equally sensi-

tive

counter-radar system that scanned every word and
in a fervent search for

image

something

anything

mis-

Sexual arousal

is all

in the mind.

chievous, racy, erotic.

My first experience with erotic literature was provided by the Bible.
I

would

sit

poring over Old Testament descriptions of lasciviousness,
in

bumingly aware of the fundamentahst erection bulging
aunts

my trousers while Mother and
eyeballed with

beamed approval from
Soft-core

the living room, sure that

1

would become a priest
I

pom abounded in the

1930s. Endlessly
its

dreamy

lust the

Montgomery Ward mail-order catalogue with

pictures of young trollops shamelessly
in

modeling silken underwear. Pert wantons in nylon hose! Housewife harlots
corsets.
ly to

steamy
hugging
tight-

Voluptuous nymphomaniacs

in one-piece bathing suits, crotch panels

the firm, labial curves. Sexual repression

had created such a steamy hot-house atmos-

phere that the slightest spark could produce in

me a pulsing flame. me a valuable lesson about the thermoSECTION
V.I

This secret erotic library of my youth taught

CVIEIOTICS

HORMONE HOLOCAUST

125

dynamics of sexual expression and repression. Sexual arousal is

all in the

mind. The

human

being comes equipped with sexual organs wired to the brain and booted up by hormones. The hardware is activated by various cues your brain has learned to associate with sexual
invitations

and

availability.

These cues, as shared by a particular society, become the pornog-

raphy of that culture. Each society and each person develops unique trigger stimuli.
stimuli

The

may change from
to

person

to culture to

time frame.

The

giri in the

hammock who was

unbearably erotic

me in the

1930s would leave

me yawning today. Even Jerry Falwell
environment, the

would rate the picture wholesome
But to someone
innocent illustration
trigger stimuli

in the context of the 1980s.

else, in a personally or socially highly repressed
its

may retain

tang of arousal.
this

The sexual

brain

is

vrired to imprint as
last

any cue that turns you on. In

way, our brains always have the

laugh

on the Anti-Sex Gang. The more

that political or religious officials censor

words and images

about sex, the more suggestive and arousing becomes the lightest hint of double entendre,
the slightest glimpse of a bodily part.

Or consider a photo of young men wrestUng in Olympic competition, bodies locked
and straining
in

muscular embrace. Such clean-cut,

athletic activity could, for

male homo-

sexuals or certain homy, imaginative young
holocausts.

women, became

the

pom trigger for hormone

The pmdish Arabs swathe
sight of a bare ankle.
this

their

women in veils, and then writhe with lust at the
aware of the
allure.

Westem feminists may wonder why their Islamic sisters put up with
ladies are
I
1

male repression, but the veiled
S.

learned this in 1961

when

Allen Gmsberg, William

Burroughs, and

started flirting with a

Moroccan singer in a

Tangier cafe, and suddenly found ourselves being pulled into enormous, luscious nympho-

maniac brown eyes as warm and melting as chocolate-pudding vaginas. I'm

talking about
skillfully flut-

two X-rated, hard-core eyeballs whose wet nakedness was demurely veiled by
tering eyelids.
I

have an innate, physical
It

Those sexy

Italians

who grow and blossom

in a

Vatican-dominated black-robed
soft

repressive culture have developed an

amazing shorthand for

pom. Almost every fmit or
is

revulsion to violence.

vegetable, every household appliance
ble meaning.

broom, rake, hammer,

mop

endowed with dou-

Order a zucchini from the waiter in Naples, and a ripple of giggles goes 'round

disturbs

me

to look at films

the table. Watch lusty Luigi hold a peach in his hot hand. Observe
slowly.

him

slice

it

open, slowly,

Watch him dreamily extract the

stone, lovingly gaze into

and then
is

start to

hck the

that involve

fi^htin^,

pink-scarlet oval indentation! For Luigi, at that

moment, no centerfold

as erotic as that

hard-core, porno peach!

bloodshed. The gunfire,

Pomography, then,

is

whatever tums you on. The dictionary agrees. Pomography

is

defined as written, graphic, or other forms of communication intended to excite sexual

Rambo

type,

to me, is a

desires.

What

could be clearer?

Or healthier? I happen

to

belong

to that large

percentage of
is

human

beings who believe that sexual desire,

being the undeniable source of life,

sacred,
it

subhuman monstrosity.
Written or graphic

and that when expressed by those whose motives are reasonably healthy and

loving,
1

cre-

ates the highest form of human communication. And, to complete this confessional,

have

an innate, physical revulsion
gunfire, bloodshed.

to violence.

It

disturbs
is

me to look at fdms that involve fighting,
monstrosity. Written or graphic

The Rambo

type, to

me,

a

subhuman

expressions that stimulate
violent

expressions that stimulate violent impulses
the expressions that are of no

these are the

tme

obscenities.

And yet these are
Hawks, the

concem

to the

anti-pom cmsaders, the

militaristic
It is

impulses-these are

evangelical Rambos, the

Thought

Police,

and the whole Anti-Sex Gang.

no coincidence:

The Anti-Sexers
the true obscenities.

haven't the love or the tendemess or the hominess or the balls to appreciate
it's

pomography. Violence or sex

one or the

other,

it

seems, and

I

know where
in

I

stand. As

Mae West said to the guy with
you glad
to

the bulge in his trousers, "Is that a

gun

your pocket or are

see me?"

\H

TIMOTHY LEAIY

CHAOS

i

CYIEI CUITUIE

0'

^
V.I. In

^

Search of the true aphrodisiac

/

want a nevi drug

.

.

.

One that won't make me nervous,

wonderin' what to do...

One that makes me feel like

I

feel

when

I'm with you.

Huey Lewis and the News

a very early age, after comparing the rather routine exis-

the library and consulted every encyclopaedia available. Not a
tion of aphrodisiac.

men-

At
rior,

tence of my family with the heroic adventures
In books,
I

I

read about

concluded that the well-lived

life

would necesIgnored.

How curious that such an important topic was totally
Oh well, here was another unexplained, mysterious facet of

sarily Involve quests. Grail adventures for fabled goals to save the

human race.
During these younger years
I

dreamed of becoming a warsage. During adolescence

adult

life.

Lindbergh could

fly

the Atlantic.

We could put a man on
of the most important

an explorer, a great scientist, a wise

the South Pole. But
part of our body.

we couldn't get control
this

a

new noble challenge emerged.
Sex.

Maybe
1

was what philosophers meant by the
file this

"mind/body problem."
great

resolved to

away for future

study.

And here 1 encountered a
the

and enduring paradox of

After

1

helped win Worid War II and then dutUully graduat1

human condition
to

(male division). To wit Although sex was obvi1

ed from college,

decided
If you

to

be a psychologist This seemed

to

be

ously important

a happy Ufe,

did not have perfect control over

the key profession.
clearly,

could understand your

own mind, think

my erections. Apparently many other males shared this same inefficiency.

and not be victimized by emotions, you could then master
life.

the other issues in

The

first

problem was

that the erections

came when

I

By 1950, sex was no problem. 1 was

settled Into the suburbs,

couldn't use them.

The terrible embarrassment of the unexpected The
inabUlty to get

happily married, and productively domesticated.

My erections

arousal in social situations.
the

up and walk across
there.

reported to duty promptly on

schedule just as

1

did at the office.

room because
Later

of that mind-of-his-own

down

came

the nervousness of "making out."

The wild

excitement of foreplay. The unbuttoning of the bra. The removal of
the panties.

The wiggUng into

position in the front seat of the car.
zipper.

THE QUEST FOR THE GOES TO HARVARD

MACK

POTION

Would you

believe a

rumble seat? The

The arrangement of

the contraceptive.

The heavy breathing. The

anxieties.

Do you hear
was

In 1960, that
setts, to join

magic

year,

I

moved

to

Cambridge, Massachu-

someone coming? The maneuvering for penetration. Whew! What
happened
to

the Harvard faculty.

My

sexual situation

was changed.
thrills,

I

my unit?
critical Issue.

a 40-year-old single person, facing, once again, the
1

the

This interaction between the willing mind and the willful

chills, the spills of the mating ground. At this point

found that
selective.
1

my
no

body suddenly became a most
there

And

In puritanical 1936,

sexuality

(how

shall

1

put this?)

was very

eUtist

and

were no manuals on the care and use of this complex equip-

longer felt that incessant, throbbing teenage desire to fuck any consenting

ment
I

warm body in the vicinity. A one-night stand could be a lust

consulted the dictionary and discovered that something
1

or a bust, depending on
tional condition,

my feelings toward the woman, my emo-

called

an "aphrodisiac" Increased sexual performance.

rushed to

my state of mind, and my period of heat

SECTION V.2

CYIEIOTKS

IN

SEAICH OF THE TIUE APHRODISIAC

12?

Sex

means cheerfully jivinj

To find out more about
these matters,
the subject
I

read extensively on
to

and talked

up control to receive
pleasure. The less sex, the

my friends
and per-

in the psychiatric, cUnical,

sonality departments.

1

learned that

male sexuahty

is

not an automatic
erotic

macho

scene.

The male

more compulsion

to contro

.

response turned out to be a most

complex, delicate

situation.

More

than two-thirds of the male population over the

age of 35 reported less

4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4
I2i

than perfect control over their
desire. Adult

males seemed

to

have

cycles and rhythms and
ally attributed to the

all

sorts of fragile sensitivities that are usu-

Veaker sex." Scientific observers agreed
total virility

that

most of the guys who claimed
primitive

were

either lying or too

and callous

to appreciate the exquisite

complications of

erotic interaction

m the fast-moving, ever-changing, postindustrial,
It

interactive civilization.

So here was an interesting social phenomenon.
erally believed

was gen-

by psychologists back there

in

1960 that

much of the

conflict, aggression, paranoia,

and sadism

that

was plaguing society

was due

to

sexual frustration. FYeud started this Ime of thought
it

Wilhehn Reich carried

to its logical political conclusion.

Sex

means cheerfully giving up control to sex, the more compulsion to control.

receive pleasure.

The less

Take, for example, a control freak like

J.

Edgar Hoover.
col-

Here was a 70-year-old drag-queen who got his FBI kicks from
lecting sexual dossiers on rival politicians.

Take, for example, Richard Nixon,

whom no one ever
if a safe,

accused offender erotic feelmgs.
At this time, spring of 1960,
1

concluded that

dependable aphrodisiac were available, many of the psychological

and

social

problems facing our species would instantly be amelio-

rated.

So

1

descended on the Harvard Medical School
assistants.

library with a

team of graduate
journal
files for

We scoured the bibhographies and

data about aphrodisiac drugs and discovered an

enormous hterature on the subject

The mandrake

root

was apparently

the fu^t sex stimulus.

It

was mentioned

twice in the Bible. Pythagoras "advocated" it

Machiavelli wrote a

comedy about it
in

The

flesh

and organs of homy animals had been used

ahnost every tune and place. Hippomanes, flesh from the forehead
of a
colt,

was mentioned

in Vfrgil.

Mediaeval Europeans regulariy

used the penis of the
Ambergris, a

stag, bull, ox,
jelly

goat

from the innards of the whale, was used
Barry and the insatiably curious
favorite of erotic searchers;

by the royal mistress

Madame du

James Boswell. Musk was a perennial
so

was shellfish,

of course, especially oysters

and mussels.

In Japan,

TIMOTIY lEAlY

(8A0S

i

CYIEI CUlTUtE

the fugu fish, a form of puffer,

is still

used by hopeful

lovers.

Each year more

than five hundred Japanese die while on
this

dangerous quest
All the texts

agreed that canis

tharides, Spanish Fly,

a "most certain

and

terrible aphrodisiac."

An overdose

causes unbearable itching and irritation
to the genitals.

Over the centuries the plant

kingdom has been ransacked by the
uaDy ambitious.
ian,

sex-

Many

believe that satyr-

a mythic herb mentioned by the

Greeks and Romans, was nothing else
than good old marijuana and hashish.

Then

there's truffles

and mushrooms.

The South American yage. The South
Seas root kava kava. Damiana. The royal
jelly

ANDY

FRITH

and pollen from bees.
And, of course, the coca plant

Pre-Columbian Peruvian ceramics portrayed pornographic scenes on pots used
to
Is

Thiou5[hout the ajes. intelligent, affluent, ambitious,

prepare the nose candy of the Andes.
cocaine an aphrodisiac? "First you're

and

just plain horny

human beings have

continually

hot and then you're not," reported most
sophisticated researchers.

sought the alchemical

jraiHhe

true

aphrodisiac.

Casanova attributed

his record-

making lust to raw eggs.

The

strong, hard, up-jutting horn of the rhino has caught

At

this time, spring of
if

1960,

1

the imagination of erection-seekers for centuries.
into

You grind it up

concluded that

powder and eat or toot it hi the Orient today, rhino dust goes
an ounce. In Hong Kong restaurants
they'll sprinkle

a safe, dependable

for $2,000

some
bill.

aphrodisiac were available,

many

of

riiino-hom powder on your dinner for a heily addition to your

My

research at the Harvard Medical School library thus

the psychological and social

demonstrated that

my quest was not a lonely one. Throughout the
and
just plain

problems facing our species would
instantly

ages, inteUigent, afiluent, ambitious,

homy human
the true

be ameliorated.

beings have continually sought the alchemical grail
aphrodisiac.

So what does

modem science have to contribute to this

noble search? Nothing. Nada. Zilch.

Not only was there no proven aphrodisiac in the current
medical hterature, there was apparently no research being done on
this

most important

topic.

How curious. Here was a medicine that
and psychological problems, and
around the subject on the medical
faculty

could cure
there

many
to
1

of our medical

seemed

be a

veil of secrecy

When

tried to talk to

my

friends

about this subject, they clammed up. Finally an endocrinologist pal
explained
taboo.
If
it

to

me.

"Listen, Timothy, the subject of aphrodisiacs

is

any medical

scientist or physiologist here, or in the Soviet

SECTION V.z

(YIEIOTICS

IN

SEAICH OF THE TIUE AMIODI$IAC

129

Union, were to apply for a grant
researdi this
Tield, his

to

For twenty minutes this
acrobatic

reputation

young man pranced
total self-mastery

would be ruined. He'd be considered a flake." "But it's a great research
topic,"
I

around with

in front of an

audience of two

hundred! We're talking Olympic
gold-medal time! "That guy's stamina
impressive,"
hosts.
ful,
1

protested.

"The

first sci-

entist

who discovers an effective

is

aphrodisiac will be a savior of

said to

my German

mankind and make a bundle of
money."

They scoffed in that scorn-

jaded

Hamburg style.

"No question of it," said
the endocrinologisL
that if a crack

"That's not the real
thing," said the editor. "He's taken

"We all know

team of psychopharto

some

drug."

macologists were
topic, they

research this

The psychiatrist agreed,
waving his hand
I

could

come up with an
It

in dismissal.
to

aphrodisiac in a year.

will hap-

leaped

my feet

pen. Someday someone will win a

"What drug!" 1 shouted. "What's it
called? Where

Nobel prize and make a
dollars

billion
is

can you get it?"

maiteting one. But this
is

No answer from my
sophisticated friends.
just couldn't

only 1958. Eisenhower

presi-

They

dent Khrushchev is premier.
There's an overpopulation prob-

admit to being

interested.

lem.

The culture

isn't

ready for a

medicine that would have the

male population running around
with erect dicks bulging out of
their pants. Jeez, we're just

THE APHRODISIAC EFFECT
OF PSYCHEDELIC DRUGS

comIn August 1960,

mg up vrith a poUo vaccine. Come
back
we'll in twenty years,

and maybe
injection."

beside a swim-

have an erection

ming pool in
Mexico,
I

There was no doubt about
it

ate psilocybin

mush-

There was a

social taboo
pill

rooms and discovered the power
of psychedelic drugs to repro-

against the idea of a

that

would give man a cahn,

certain

gram the brain.
I

control over his precious equip-

rushed back
1

to

Harvard.

ment 1 couldn't understand it If
your car decided
right
at
its

vicl<eller
it

Frank Barron and

started the

to

run when

it

wanted to, you'd have

adjusted

Harvard Psychedelic Drug Research project Aldous Huxley and

away If your television set was temperamental and turned off own whim, you'd take steps to put you back in charge.
This resistance to self-improvement became really obvious

We assembled thirty of the brightest young researchers in the area. We were on to something that could change human nature. We felt like
Alan Watts and Allen Ginsberg were our advisors.

wlien

I

was taken to see a sex show in

the Reeperbahn of Hamburg,

Oppenheimer after his Ahnagordo bomb, except better, because
psychedelic drugs allowed you to release the nuclear energies
inside your

Germany.

My guides were a very sophisticated editor of DerSpeigel
psychiatrist

and a well-known
flicking

The show amazed me.

Straight-out

own head.
two years the Harvard Psychedelic Drug

on

stage!

I

was most impressed by a
set with this

big Swedish youth

who

In the next

bounded around the
this fiery

enormous hard-on, fucking first

Research project studied the reactions of a thousand subjects to

red-head who wrapped her legs around him, and then a

LSD.

We discovered that the key to a psychedelic drug session is set
Set
is

sultry brunette

who lay on a couch holding up her arms invitingly,

and

setting.

and then pleasuring the saucy blonde who bent over, leaning her head against the wall with her backsides wiggling.

your mind

fix.

Your psychological

state.

Be very care-

ful

what you want from a session, because you're Ukely to get it

I3t

TIMOTNY lEAlY

CHAOS

i

CVIEI CULTVIE

Setting

is

the environmenL
If your

If your

surroundings are scary,

MANDRAKE ROOT
STAG PENIS

*iS?'

HIPPOMAKES

^^
MUSK

then you'll be scared.

surroundings are beautiful, then you'll

have a beautiful experience.

^5^

AMBERGRIS

*^
FISH

Our sessions at Harvard were designed for self-discovery.

"^

OYSTERS

^*^

BULL PENIS

S^
^*^
'^^

The

sessions

were held in groups. So neither the

set

nor the setting

emphasized

sex.

MUSSELS

^"^
*#i^

FUGU

My colleague Richard Alpert, who later became the famous holy man Baba Ram Dass, was much more hip. He quickly discovered that if the set (and expectation) was
his
erotic,

CANTHARIOES
ATYRIAN

OX PENIS
i

and the

setting

was
I

bedroom, then psychedelic drugs were powerfiilly aphrodisiac.

give the wily

Ram Dass a lot of credit for this breakthrough. He was

^

*^

MARIIUANA
^*^

HASHISH

HORSE PENIS

TRUFFLES

S^

[Baba

Ram

Dassl: "All this inner exploration stuff is It's true jfieat. you can

access
it's

any circuit in your brain and

ctian5[e

your mind. But

time you faced the facts, Timothy. We're turning on the
or5[an
in the universe!

most powerful sexual
certainly way
1

The brain."

ahead of me.
to

remember the day he came
It's

me and said, "All this inner

KAVA KAVA

^^
^^^
IS

COCA

'^^

COAT PENIS

exploration stuff is great

true you can access any circuit in your
it's

*^
HIPP

RAW ECCS

*^

RHINO HORN

brain and change your mind. But

time you faced the

facts,

Timothy. We're turning on the most powerful sexual organ in the
universe!

OHIMBE

MANDRAKE ROOT
PENIS

The

brain."
to

Other sophisticated people came
to the

Harvard and tipped us

secret

The philosopher Gerald Heard. The beat poet Allen

HIS

*^ STAC *^ MUSK

'^ ^^ '^

#'

OYSTERS

The Buddhist sage Alan Watts. The western folk hero Neil Cassady. We were just rediscovering what philosophers and poets
Ginsberg.

^

HORSE PENIS

^^
*^

MUSSELS

^^
OX

and mystics and musicians and hedonists had known

for centuries.

Marijuana, hashish, mushrooms, LSD were powerful sensory experiences.

^
-^

iTHARIDES
SATYRIAN

-"^

MARIIUANA

For the next twenty years,

like

everyone

else,

I

multiplied

^

BULL PENIS

*^
^^'

HASHISH

my sensory pleasure, learned the techniques of erotic engineering.
Everything became a source of aesthetic-erotic pleasure,
effect
etc.

'^
GOAT PENIS

KAVA KAVA

-^^

The

was in the head.

If you

knew how to dial and tune your brain,
beyond your wildest dreams.

RAW EGGS

you could enrich your sex
But there was
still

life

UNO HORN
KE

*#*

YOHIMBE

that matter of controlling the rod of flesh.

We could boogie around in our brains. Good! But why couldn't a
man
be able
to

ROOT

'^

HIPPOMANES

^^ ^e
MUSK

operate his penis at will the

way he moves the vol-

PENIS

^^ ^^

AMBERGRIS

^^
FISH

untary organs of his body?

^*^
A IISKY ENCOUNTER WITH MEDICAL SCIENCE

OYSTERS

^^
'^

BULL PENIS

""MELS
RIAN
IN

FUGU

One

night in 1983,

1

was having dinner with a friend who

woriied at the

UCLA Neuropsychiatric Institute. During the

HARIDES

OX PENIS
i

^^ ^^ ^^
IJI

evening, he mentioned that a breakthrough in the erection depart-

i^

MARIIUANA

HASHISH

SECTION V.2

(VBEIOTKS

SEARCH OF THE TIUE APHRODISIAC

ment was

at

hand.

He

said that a Stanford University research

team

dictable erections.

I

just
it

wanted the pill! The technician was very
he
said.

was developing a pill that would
erections!

give immediate control of your

understanding. "TeU

to the doctor,"

The

active ingredient

was

called yohimbe.
It

The doc was very cordial and understanding. He evaded my
could

This

was a discovery

of historic importance!

mean

questions about the aphrodisiac.
field

He

explained

how compUcated this

the end of male insecurity, cruelty, and war! This could break the

was

the mind, the brain, the hormones, the circulatory sys-

wretched addiction

to

prime-time television!

tem, phobias, repressions, venereal diseases, herpes, AIDS, alcohol

My friend also said that a local group, the Southern
California Sexual Dysfunction Clinic,

and drug abuse,
sitions, early

fatigue,

overwork, marital discord, inherited dispolife

was

giving these

new pills to

fraumas, fetishes, anxieties, menopausal
it

stages.

research subjects.

I

phoned and made an appointment with the
1

At this point
it

dawned on me
was

that this cUnic, supposedly set

director. If the pill existed,

wanted to

try

it

out,

and help make

up

to deal vrith

sexual arousal,
I

the most antiseptic, mechanical,
1

available to the pubUc.

unerotic place
in the

had ever encountered.
If
I

could feel
didn't

my reservoir of
This place

The
was

clinic

was

Cedar

Sinai Medical Center.

There

sexual desire rapidly draining away.

have an erection
in here.

a large waiting room. About eight very old
over, staring glumly
at the

men were sitting

problem
could

before,

1

was very Ukely to catch one
a

slumped

carpet A couple had crutches.

make Casanova take
I felt

vow of chastity.
starlet

Two old geezers were drooUng.
The nurse greeted me
form.
I

Uke the ambitious

who undressed for the pro-

cordially and asked

me to fill out a

ducer, the casting director, the script writer, the director, the director's

said, "I'm

here to discuss research on aphrodisiacs with the

brother Max, and
to live in

won a part in a safari movie that required her
fuck to get out of this sexual-dysfunction

a tent on the wind-swept, dismal Sahara desert.

"Who do 1 have to
movie?"
I

thought to myself.
relentless.

Everything became a source of aesthetic-erotic pleasure, etc

The doctor was

He

insisted that

1

take the

The effect was in the head.

If

you knew how to dial
life

am

erection-frequency test You took the gadget

home and wired

up your module during sleep

to

measure the number and
1

tune your brain, you could enrich your sex
wildest dreams.

beyond your

strength of nocturnal hard-ons.
all

explained that
wife.

1

had them

the time. "Listen, just

phone

my

She takes Richter-

scale readings every night"

The male nurse
doctor."

outfitted

me with the peter-meter,
men in the waiting
case.

She smiled compassionately and said she understood, but
fill

stored for travel in a large suitcase. All the old

would I please

out the forms. So

1

did.

room looked up

sadly as

I

bounced by with the

After a while a

male technician, about 40, with the graceful

My
rushed
to

wife

was intrigued. She
set
it

couldn't wait for

me to try it We
so science-

charm

of a cliic hair-dresser, asked
1

me to come to a back room. I
doctor.

the

bedroom and
hooked

up by the side of the bed. Velcro and meters.
It

explained that

wanted to discuss research with the

He

straps, wires
fiction

to dials, clocks,
I

was

smiled understanding^ and asked
point
1

me to take some tests. At this
that this
frontiers of

sexy that, in spite of myself,

got an erection.

My wife

was about to say "forget it," but it occurred to me

applauded.

would be a great opportunity see what happens in these
medical science. And
I

"That gadget is wonderful!" she marveled.
"Hey, look out,"
I

realized that the doctor wasn't going to give

shouted. "You'll ruin the experiment"

me pills untU
So
I

I

had taken the tests.
tests.

"Fabulous,"
"Hey,"
patiently
I

murmured my wife.
is

took the standard blood and urine
mad-scientist
stuff.

worried, "everything we're doing

being

Then came the

The technician

recorded!"

explained that we had to find out flow of blood to

if there

was a

strong and steady

"Three cheers for science," said

my wife.
off.

of my module, and an artery in

my unit So he wired the tip of my module, the base my leg to an amphfier and we sat
.

WeU, we broke the machine. Wires puUed
apparently short-circuited.

A cable

The clock motor heaved a buzzing sigh
red, flickered,

back

to hsten.

BOOM

.

.

BOOM

.

.

.

BOOM! My genital bloodstream
me.

and stopped. AU the meters went over the
to a satiated rest

and came

fiUed the

room with

its

strong staUion pulse! Sounded like the

riiythm section of a heavy-metal rock group to

"Fabulous,"

I

said.
I fell

The

technician nodded in approval.

Next Monday I returned the destroyed gadget
guilty.
I

very

Next he had

me jog in place, my unit stiU wired for sound.
off.

tried to explain

what had happened

to the technician.

He

The percussion

section reaUy took

Boom

.

.

.

da

.

.

.

BOOM!

AU the Hme I kept explaining that I had regular, if unpre-

gave me a stem look. When I asked about the aphrodisiac piU, he made an appointment for me to see the doctor.

i}

TIMOTNY lEAIV

(NAOS

i

CVIEI (tlTUIE

That weekend

my wife and

I

took

some mushrooms and

had

a wonderful time.
doctor.

On Monday morning I reported for my interraced back to

view with the

The

old

men were still in the waiting room. 1
him about the
at

see the male nurse and told

great sex party over the

weekend. He looked
I

me coldly

told the doctor about the wonderftil effects of the psyche-

He seemed unimpressed. 1 asked him for the aphrodisiac piD once again. He flatly denied that such a potion existed. His position
delic.

I

told the doctor about the

was

clear. If you didn't

have a circulatory problem that could be

treated by

normal medicine, your penile control and enhancement
shrink, or your rabbi, priest, or

wonderful effects of the
psychedelic. He seemec

program was to be handled by a
minister.

A THRILLING BREAKTHROUGH IN MEDICAL SCIENCE
#/

unimpressed.
it

I

asked him for

W
was

1

It

was August 1984 when

the

news we had been awaiting for

hit the wires. Physiologists at Stanford University
cial.

made

ofTi-

the aphrodisiac once pill

wm.

They had developed a potent aphrodisiac. The potion
yohimbe
tree of tropical
It

extracted from the bark of the

West
that

ajain. He flatly denied that

Africa. Tests

on laboratory rats proved "sensational."
fifty

seemed
an

the surprised and delighted rodents produced
hour. Fifty times

erections

such a potion existed. His
position was clear.
didn't have a
If

more than normal!
that they

The researchers announced
testing the

were ready to begin

you

drug on humans. The news flash stirred up the pre-

dictable enthusiastic response.

A spokesperson at the Stanford

circulatory

Medical

News Bureau reported that the item had "been accorded a

good deal more space and time than most of the bureau's reports on
medical progress."

problem that could be treated
by normal medicine, your
penile control and

The expected puritan reaction was not long in coming. One
Daniel
S.

Greenberg, publisher oiScierux and Government Report,
traditional quest for ftmdais

complained that "in terms of science's

mental understanding, yohimbe research

pretty thin stuff." Mr.

Greenberg prudishly asserted that

this interest in

happmess was a

enhancement

propm

was

to

sign of passion, vanity, and self-indulgence

as opposed to a space

shot to study the surface of Mars.

even

in the

The essay was widely reprinted staid Los Angeles Times. The purpose of the piece was
and discourage
its

be handled by a shrink, or
your rabbi, priest, or
minister.
. . .

to

ridicule the research

continuation.

The

poUtics of senility prevailed once again. If any scientific
for aphrodisiac research,
it

commission recommended funding

What normal,

would be opposed by the Moral Majority and the
cians. If a large pharmaceutical

right-vring politi-

house

tried to

market a sexual-

lealthy person would not

enhancement drug
another sin
cies
to

imagine the

furor!

The

moralists

would have

denounce! Laws would be passed! The narcotic agento persecute.

want

to

try

a

new

love

potion?

would have another victimless crime

bnagine the black market that will spring up. College campuses. Yuppie parties.

Even the senior citizens' centers would be
healthy person

buzzing. A new drug underground? What normal, would not want to try a new love potion?

SECTION V.2

CYBEtOTICS

IN

SEAKH

OF THE TK

U

E

APHRODISIAC

135

V

me to try
^

i

We

rushe

the side of the bed.

etrs.

rself,

I

got an erection.

Do you want to be the
"Do you

center of attention at your next party
tip.

without disrobing or

throwing up on the hostess? Here's a sure-fire
ask this question:
last five

Turn to the person sitting next to you and
in

think America has

undergone a change

sexual morals during the

years?"

Almost everyone
emotion. Most
will

in

a reasonable state of mental alertness will respond with

some
If

say "Yes!"

Some

will

say, "It

depends." But everyone has an opinion.

you

ask enough people, you'll get

some thought-provoking answers.

WHAT HAPPENED TO THE GOOD OLD-FASHIONED SUBURBAN
ORGY?
My ultra-jaded friend Larry Flynt, a
one-time Olympic erotic athlete, groaned

grin,

and rubbed

his belly

and shook

his

head. "Okay. Imagine

Max the dentist He's
away
at

happy as a toothless oyster sucking
that cute
little

Georgia Peach married

to the

insurance agent

dovm

the street.

And then

he looks over and ya know what! There's
his

when 1 popped him the "sex-change" question.

own

sweetie-pie wife, her legs planted

"What happened

to sexual

freedom
"1

firmly in the air, merrily boffing
stranger, a

some

total

and the open marriage?" he complained.

TV weather reporter from
And what's worse,

remember this
1972.
1

party in Atlanta around
into this large

Birmingham, Alabama, with a pot-belly and
a twelve-inch erection!
she's got this ecstatic,
face!

walked

house and

there

were

like a

hundred
all

(!)

men and

dazed look on her

women, ya know,
Talking!

nude. Drinking!

Smoking funny cigarettes!
Flirting!
all

"Well! Dentist

Max freaks out. You
to

Dancing!

gotta be very secure sexually
sort of scene."

handle that

"And ya know what? They were
there to fuck as

many new and different

people as the flesh could stand! Hey, I'm

speaking about middle-class

folks!

A CONCERN FOR THE PURITY OF

Lawyers. Dentists. Accountants. And thefr
ever-loving wives! Occasionally a couple or

OUR PRECIOUS BODILY FLUIDS
Maybe. But most people
er obvious reason for the
cite

a

trio

heads

for the heated pool or the hot

anoth-

tub or the

rumpus room. In every bedroom

new morahty.

you got two, three, four couples making out

Fear of the

new sex-related diseases.
to

on big round beds. Hey, they're swapping
partners back and forth
like elastic

According

Susan, an attractive

orgasms

(one might say voluptuous) psychologist in

had

just

come on

the market! Jeez, you

her

thirties, "It started

with herpes.

Then

sure don't hear of those goings-on today!"

AIDS put everyone
mode.

into the diagnostic

Larry had his
explain the

own theory to

new celibacy.

"There's another health-related sex
inhibitor.

"Jealousy. Yup! Plain, old-fash-

Female contraceptives have been

ioned,
ping."

male jealousy stopped

all

the swap-

given a very bad press recently.
"Let's face
it,"

said Susan,

"it

was

Larry smiled to himself, a real dirty

the

pill

and the lUDs

that kicked off the

SECTION V.3

CyiEtOTICS

OPEIATION SEX CHANCE

IJ5

sexual liberation of the late 1960s. But now,

talk.

So I pop the sex-change question.

many women are having second thoughts about the side effects. What can a homy
young woman do? Barrier devices like
diaphragms are undignified, and rubbers
are crude."

Works Uke a charm. Everyone has an emotional reaction.
"It's

frightening," said June, a liber-

al lawyer. "It's part of the

Reagan conser-

vatism. These right-wingers
told a story
clinic.

want to turn

Susan
doctor at her

about Fred, a

America

into a prudish police state like

"He's a real cute guy.

fran, vrith all the

women in black veils and
a

Cool, athletic, charming. Prides himself on

chastity belts."
"It's

being a playboy stud.

Now,

frustrating," said Charies,

weVe been

eyeing each other for

sturdy, thoughtftil aspiring screenwriter

a long time,

and one night

after

who had just moved to Hollywood. "I'm
looking for a girlfriend out here, and
score a date.
1

work Fred invites me to his
place for a drink. I'm really

can't

The women seem aft^d of

turned on and thinking

human contact It's a lot easier to meet giris
as

some steamy thoughts

m Chicago."
"Shave your beard,
sell

we walk into his living
room. Well, one thing leads
to

a

script,

buy a Porsche.
ing
girls,

You'll

have no trouble

find-

another

erotic music,

beUeve me," purred June.

drinking margaritas, candle
Ught, smouldering glances,
secret
little

"This

new puritanism is a fad," said

Jon Bradshaw, a cynical journalist just in

smiles. Fred

moves

from the TWpoli front "Morality fluctuates
with the

next to

me on the deep, soft couch,

economy When

the stock market

and begins caressing my neck.
"Oooh! Delicious!
"1

goes

up, skirts rise.

When people are worless. Period."

ried about

money, they fiick

relax

and

shift

my weight to be
hand on

Bradshaw took a long sip from his
scotch-rocks, unsheathed his war-corre-

more

comfortable. Fred puts his

my knee. 1 open my legs just a little. He
sUdes his hand up

spondent leer, and scoped
tion.

it

in June's direc-

my

smooth thigh

slowly,

"But

I

like that stuS' about the

slowly. I'm about to go crazy,

you under-

Ayatollah's dancing girls with black veils

stand. His

hand moves up more and I'm
legs wider.

and the

belts.

Sounds

like fim."

opening
I'm
his!

my

One

false

move and

"It's all

about fiiendship," said

Natalie, a producer's mistress. "People are

"At this crucial

moment Fred starts

definitely less

promiscuous these days.

thinking about his precious bodily fluids.

And mine. So he pulls back
clears his throat

his

hand and
clinical

Why? Because they want a relationship not a one-night stand. And you're more
Ukely to stay healthy and swing a movie
deal
if

and initiates the

interview.

He says, 'I've been tested recentand VD. Including

you make it with a pal."

ly for herpes, AIDS,

chlamydia. I'm clean as a bean, Susan.

How
A PASSIONATE ATTACK ON

about you?

"

Susan sighed and shook her head
sadly "Sorta puts a
ical
chill

MALE DOMINATION
I

on the steamy tropcontinued

romantic climate, doesn't it'"
the chic

my research at Oasis,
Dallas. Richard

new restaurant in

FRIGHTENING? FRUSTRATING?
FADDISH? FRIENDLY?
I'm sitting in the Polo Lounge of
the Beverly Hills Hotel, bored with movie

Chase, the suave owner, sat
Patricia,

me next to

a beautiful brunette glowing with

pregnancy.

The sex-change question

set

her off!

l]i

TIMOTNY lEAlY

CHAOS

i

CYIEI CULTUtE

According

to Patricia,

'Women

are

down in green pastures! The Lord strokes

more
days.

self-confident

and

assertive these
just can't deal
intelliIt's

mah

big udders.

Oh praise the Lord, cause
knocks

The male department
I

he spraids
Glory be!

mah laigs. He

me up.

with it

hear

it

all

over Texas from

gent, beautiful, successful

women.

these

"Male monotheism! You know

gun-slinging cowboys

who are causing the

what that means? One God. Whose God?

new Puritanism. Scared by the competition.
Can't get
it

My God! And guess what! He's a man! A
totalitarian, all-powerful,

up for a self-confident Southern

bad-tempered

woman."

male. All the Bibles, Korans, Tahnuds agree
this big

numero-uno God is of the male

A LIMP DEFENSE OF MALE CHASTITY

gender.

The guy next to
executive

her, a young

oil

"And,
Allah

let's

face it This big-shot

named Nick, reacted defensively
"Men I know are more
inter-

may own the oil fields of the Middle
The
last

to this notion.

East, but he's a bad-ass Persian!

ested in

making money
Playing around

than making a
is

guy you'd want to have a date with.
one, wouldn't go on that
yacht,

I,

for

woman.
college

high-school and

Mohammed's

These religious men
are so thieatened

stuff.

When you get out in the real
Make
a deal for a pipeline

would you?
"And, to be
fafr

world, you realize that you driU a gal, that's

about

it,

how about
mind

by

one-night crude.

our pal Jehovah? Who

in thefr right

women

that

and you got almost

tax-free security,

would want Him

to

move into the house

they jrab

assuming you survive
ers."

OPEC

roller-coast-

next door, issuing

commands and ruining

property values by causing floods and turnPatricia sniffed with impatience.

swords, flajs, crosses,
juns, power,

ing people's wives to salt?"

"What is
drilling a

this grease-rigger talk

about

At this point Nick wiped his

brow

woman, Nick? How about a part-

with a napkin. watch.

I

did too. Nick looked at his

nership with an equal?"

uniforms, anything
that will
teel

"No room on

my busy schedule for

There was no stopping
She was on a
roll.

Patricia.
all

make them

merger propositions. Have your lawyer ring
mine, and maybe

"Notice that in

these

we can set up a confer-

fundamentaUst
rabbis

sects, the

mullahs and the

ence

call," said

Nick with a nervous laugh.

and the

priests actually

keep the

adequate. They

women out of sight, behind veils, or bareMEN WHO MAKE WAR, NOT LOVEARE THEY THE PROBLEM?
This really provoked Patricia. "For
foot in the kitchen, or in the balcony of the

make war because
they're

synagogue, or in the nunnery."
At this point Nick got up and
tered off irom the table.
Patricia didn't
tot-

afraid to

thousands of years power has been monopolized

make
men are so threat-

love."

by men who hate women. These

miss a beat

sexists can't stand the idea that

women are
beautiful

"These religious

smarter, nicer,

more loving, more

ened by women
flags, crosses,

that they grab swords,

than men. So they form these men's-club
religions that put

guns, power, uniforms, any-

women down. Judaism.
They
all treat

thing that wiU

make them feel adequate.
to

Christianity. Islam.

women as

They make war because they're afraid

slaves, property, serfs, assistants to the boss.

make love."
The two other Texas
table
ladies at the
stuff, thefr

Women can't play any active role in the
ceremonies or the
politics.

seemed

fascinated by this

"Boy, yall get out there and lasso a

eyes bulging, thefr pretty

heads nodding

in

purty gal

and brand her and

stick

her in the

agreement Me, I'm listemng and taking
notes on an Oasis linen napkin.

breeding

bam with a copy of the Bible to
know how it says: The

comfort her. You

Lord

is

my shepherd! He maketh me lie

SECTION V.)

CYIEIOTKS

OPEIATION SEX CHANCE

137

WHAT ABOUT THE SEX CHANCES
OF THE 1960S?
"But weren't things different ten
years ago?"
I

they wanted and how-some-ever they

wanted.

It

was the women who learned

about slow, serpentine, Hindu, fuck-me-

Ruddha

sexuality.

inquired of Patricia.
it,

"Yup,

it

was the cowgjris who
variation

"You better believe
Patricia.

Doc," said

demanded some
ary position.

on the mission-

"There was that one amazing four-

And

gently pulled the heads of
to the

teen-year period between 1966 and 1980

thefr astonished

boyinends dovm

when four thousand years of male dommation

promised land and taught white lads
to

how

were

briefly

overthrown. The key to

make girls feel good.
"And
it

this 'sixties cultural revolution

was wom-

was the women who

en's liberation!

The

hippies represented a

demanded

the

new aphrodisiac drugs from
you remember the motto

The hippies representee
a feminization,

feminization, a sensitization of consciousness, a gentle, erotic mellowing.

thefr guys. Don't

The

hip-

of the Hippie Girt from Galveston?
high,

Keep

me

pies totally ridiculed the

male power struc-

Long Horn, and

I'll

ball

you

all

night

tures just by grinning at the cops.

long."

"Here, 1986, in

a sensitization ot

America,

it's

hard

to

Rambo-Reagan remember that back
were
public.

BUT WHAT HAPPENED TO THE SEXUAL
LIBERATION OF THE 1960$?
Patricia looked at

there in 1972, Vietnam soldiers

ashamed

to

wear their uniforms in

me, shook her

consciousness, a
erotic

5[entle,

The Texas Rangers freaked out because
their

head, and sighed. "Don't you get the point?
It

swaggering authority was being

wasn't 'sexual liberation,'

it

was freedom
repressed by

mellowing.

ignored.

The

draft

and the drug laws were
politicians

for the

two groups

who were
it

publicly defied.
ists

Male

and moralciv-

the

male

morality. First

was the women

went crazy, warning about Western

who

took off their aprons and

came

out of

ihzation collapsing before this

wave

of

the kitchens.

Then

it

was

the gays

who
be

paganism and hedonism and
feminism.
Mitchell,
It

wild, bra-less

came out of the
beautiful

closets, insisting that sex

was

a feisty

woman, Martha
the

and elegant and long and slow

who first blew the whistle on

and graceful and funny. Mr. Redneck

Nixon Watergate cover-up.

Macho from

Fort

Worth had

to

change

his

"Remember long hair? Long hair
on Texas dudes! That
started the country-

heavy-breathing, bar-room, slam-bam,
steer-bull ways,

and learn how

to

boogie

rock scene at the Armadillo in Austin,
Texas.

and

ball

and

fool

around and be sweet and

What did

that long hair

mean? Men

tender with his big red chap-stick.

accepting feminine erotic power.

"The Texas
guy and says,
45
in
'Is

A&M co-ed looks at the

Remember that cop in Houston who
requested permission to grow his hair long
so that he could relate to

that a stupid jive-ass Colt

your pocket, John Wayne, or have you

members

of the

suddenly learned
to

how to express affection
is

opposite sex
"It

namely, his wife?
the

a

gfrl?'

Hey, Buck, the penis
to

not a

was

women who made all
The sexual
free-

Bowie knife

be plunged into the gaping
victims!

this 'sixties stuff happen.

wounds of your prosfrate
penis
is

The

dom was really women's freedom. God
knows
the

a shaft of pleasure and delightful

men didn't need Uberation. The
Texan

fusion.

Judaeo-Christian-Moslem double standard
always
let

"What's changed from the 1960s
this:

is

men do what they wanted.

Smart, self-confident

women,

after

lis-

North,

know what it was like up but dovm here in Texas honey,
"I don't

tening to Mick Jagger and Jimi Hendrix

and WiUie Nelson, weren't gonna go back

'round 1969,
that they

women suddenly understood
free to fuck

were

whom-so-ever

down meekly, spreading thefr legs anytime some Rice University frat-kid
to lying

|}I

TIMOTHY lEAlY

CHAOS

i

CYIEK ClltTUIE

v^i

> >
CI

decided he wanted

to get his

rocks

off.

I

asked Julia Andrews, a successful

"No way, Don Jose. Smart women,
like that
lil'

geologist from Boulder, about this, and she

ole Jerry Hall, learned to be

selective

and more demanding. Today,

came up with a word that I was to hear more and more as I researched the sexchange
issue.

women talk about the men they know and
compare them
for size

and

fit

and perfor-

The word

is friendship.

Many

mance and wit and charm. And wow! Does
that threaten the
tration majors!

women complain that it's almost impossible to maintain a friendship with a straight

SMU business-adminis-

No wonder poor Nick tot-

guy whom you don't want
the 1950s the

to fuck.

Back

in

tered off to the, excuse the expression,

men hung out with and enjoyed
talking about

men's room a few minutes ago."

company of other men,

The

three

women

at the table

sports, hunting, careers, entertainment,

looked at each other and smiled in some
sort of secret

business, politics.

And in

the old days,

agreement

women busied themselves with cooking,
washing,
the softer
aesthetics, fashion, families,

and

human interests. Men and

SCIENTIFIC POLL REVEALS

women lived in different worlds.
According
changed.
to Julia, "All this

DIFFERENCE BETWEEN MEN AND

has

WOMEN
My head spinning from Patricia's
unorthodox theories, I phoned the research

Many inteUigent, educated, alert

women these days are equally interested in
careers, political issues, IRAs, adult-education courses,

and prime

rates.

Of course,

department and requested some hard

data.
lit-

they're

still

into fashion

and elegance and

A diligent scan of the

scientific

high culture; so they're looking for wide-

erature revealed that in 1984, Newsweek
polled students at ninety-eight campuses to
find out
if

gauge

men who can

share thefr

fiill-spec-

trum

interests.

And a lot of men just won't
where the gays come

morals were changing. The

get hip.
"That's
in.

major results: "Students are against casual
sex, for fidelity in marriage,

As

and spUt on the

a group, homosexual

men make more
They are more

question of living together."

money, are better educated, are more
real

According

to

Newsweek, "The

sophisticated than sfraights.

legacy of the sexual revolution

and per-

open

to

make friendships with women.
more
sensitive.

haps the women's movement as well
lie in

may

They're

And

to

many of us,

how men and women think about
sig-

sensitive

means

smarter. Like there's this

each other. Six out often say there are
nificant differences in the

professor, Bruce, in
I

ways men and

women think."
Confirming
Patricia's

my department He's We can gay. discuss our research projects. We can goshave great times with him.
sip

cocky views,

about office
I

politics.

He knows more

24 percent of women beUeved that females
are

than

do about French and Japanese dress

more

inteUigent than males!

And only

6

designers,

and

he's hip

on the music and

percent thought men were smarter.

movie scene. He reads cookbooks and
understands

how erotic eating and food
is,

MACHO MEN LOSING OUTTO
THE CAYS?
Patricia

can be. But the main thing
to

he's sensitive

my moods, my
that,

little

double meanings,

and other sophisticated

my ftmny little jokes. There's the added
advantage
with Bruce, there's no

women 1 interviewed kept making the
point that today, during this confusing time
of shifting sex roles, they feel
fortable with gays.

problem about exchanging contaminated
metabolic liquids."

more com-

uo

TIMOTHY lEAlY

CHAOS

(

CYIEI CUITUIE

BUT HASN'T THE CAY SEX SCENE

Jack quietly, "these days in the gay
nity

commu-

COOLED DOWN?

you bugger your friend or you don't
all."

My next expert witness was a wise
old closet homosexual. Jack Black
is

fuck at

a 55-

year-old ordained Episcopalian minister. As
it

happens, he doesn't practice his clerical

FAREWELL SEXUAL FREEDOM?
'Riming from the holy
lar side of the debate,
I

calling. Sensibly enough, he's a full profes-

sor at an Ivy

League

divinity school.

Jack

is

to the secu".
.

smart, scholarly, cynical, a skillful politician. He's got a satirical sense of humourdry, desiccated,

found that Futurist

.

the uncontrollable

magazine, true to

its

belief that our future

wizened as a vulture's claw.

Ues ahead of us, has recently offered some
sobering predictions about a
Victorianism." Editor

hysteria about herpes

At the

moment, Jack has mixed feelings

"New

about the

New Morality.
side, the

Edward Cornish

and AIDS now sweeping
the Midwest and South

On the down

AIDS epibeheve
it,"

expects that the uncontrollable hysteria

demic had him crushed.

"1 can't

about herpes and AIDS

now sweeping the
to realize their sex-

he moaned. "After thirty years of hiding
the closet,
I

in

Midwest and South

will lead to a return to

finally see this wonderful gay-

romantic love. "Unable

will lead to a return to

pride thing emerging. Political strength,

ual longings, people will do a lot of pming

economic
ters

clout, gay churches, gay minis-

and

fantasizing. Popular
to love

music

will

move

romantic love."

preaching from pulpits!
. .

A real

sense of

back

themes."

gay power, and then

."

"Have gay morals changed?"
asked.

I

"Family

life will

seem

safer."
less
.

"Pornography will become
"Changed! Totally! Facts are,
if

you

acceptable in polite society

.

.

cruise the boulevard these days, the

but covert interest will intensify,
as pornographic materials offer a
substitute for risky live

chances are 100 percent that you'll get the
virus. Promiscuity is

down 80 percent. The
The bar traffic is
practices

bath houses are

all

closed.

encounters."
"Traditional religious practices

down 40 percent And the sex
have changed. Safe
cautions.

sex. People take pre-

may revive."
This
is

No exchange
the

of Huids."

On

up

side, the

new cehbacy

probably the only time, past,

has done wonders for the tranquilUty of
Jack's relationship with his gorgeous, 23year-old, live-in lover.

present, or future,

when Jerry Falwell will

find himself Uking Futurist.

Now that he has
cloth.

become an aging man of the
vigorously preaching
"That's

Jack

is

monogamy.

what happenmg, by God!

THE LAW-ENFORCEMENT VIEW ON THE NEW SEXUALITY
To resolve these wildly differing
opinions,
I

Monogamous relationships! People are staying home with their mates. Or if you
don't have a steady, then

you stay home
"

went next door to get a more

alone and watch Dynasty.

conservative slant on things.
I

I

And here

in this biblical context

My right-wing neighbour, Clyde, is
an
assistant district attorney.

heard again that label for the
Friendship.

new sexuality.

He awaited

me at the door, escorted me to the study,
and brought

"Friendship. Agape. Monastic with-

me a regulation Miller Lite. He
Perrier.

drawal from temptation. Male bonding

in

drank standard-issue
blue suit

Clyde wears a

the spirit of the twelve apostles. Christian
fellowship. Brotherly love. Yes," said Father

when he sweeps and dusts for
around
his

footprints

swimming pool.

SECTION V.}

CYBEtOTKS

OPERATION SEX CHANCE

141

When making social conversation, Clyde
stands at attention like G. Gordon Liddy
giving a lecture on the Red Menace.
I

with each other. Smart ones with their

chums."
Basically Barry thought that
talk
all this

wasted no time

in

popping the

about the

new morahty was just tired
their

w

sex-change question. You don't pull punches with Clyde.

grown-ups talking wistfully about

own problems with waning sexual desire.
"Most kids think about sex
all

And
all

too often
nic

"Sex practices depend on the eth-

the

and

class

demographics of the neigh-

time," said Barry with a shy smile. "At our
parties,

bourhood," said Clyde with that clipped,

we

get X-rated movies

and they

you can jet
is

know-it-all, law-enforcement cadence. "In

play

all

night To give an atmosphere, you

the poor neighbourhoods,

it's

low-life,

mis-

know?"
"Are you saying that teenage boys
still

demeanor mischief as

usual.

With those

your hands on

people, every man

fornicates illegally

and

want to fuck anyone they can get their

immorally with everyone. Lower-class
individuals
still

hands on?"
Barry laughed sheepishly "Yeah,

coercively obtain the sexual
girl

your own
friend,

best

favours of any helpless

they can comer.

something Uke that And too often
can get your hands on
friend,
is

all

you

Lower-class fathers

still

copulate with their

your own best

daughters, cousins, you

name it They're
he

you know,

yourself."

We both

you know,

animals, pure and simple." Clyde cleared
his throat.
1

laughed.

had a strong gut-feeling
this conversation, in

that

"Haven't kids always been hung up

was enjoying

some

on sex?" asked

Barry.

"Look

at the Fort

yourself."

weird way.
"Middle-class people, as

Lauderdale deal. In most Eastern schools,

we well

kids can't wait to cut loose.

The weeks

know, tend

to restrict their

immoral

before spring break you can cut the tension

We both laughed.

impulses and

when

they indulge, at least

with a knife. Girls can't wait to pile into a
car and head south. Boys too.

(here he coughed) they're discreet

Thank

And you

God.
"As for the kids! Nothing
there.

know they're not going to

Florida to ski."

new
FAST TIMES AT THE LOCAL

Spank 'em or spoil 'em, rotten
they're in

through and through. As usual

HIGH SCHOOL
To check
the source.
I

severe need of guidance, discipline, law

this

out

I

went right to

and

order."

interviewed Marilyn, a senior
1

At this point Clyde rested his case

in a Seattle-area high school.

was

and was excused from the witness

stand.

impressed by her poise and wisdom. To
every question she responded, "That

THE POLICEMAN'S SON'S OPINION OF THE 'EIGHTIES MORALITY
To check this
out,
I

depends." "Are kids doing
vious generations?"
I

it

as

much as prearound

spent an hour

asked.
fool

talking to Clyde's son, Barry. He's a fresh-

"That depends. People
with the kids they hang
jocks, they

man at a small Eastern college. He
that there
floor,

said

out with. Like the

were nineteen

kids in his
virgins.

dorm

make

it

with the cheerleaders.

and only two were

They were

The

girls

run around with bobby-sox and

both hopeless eggheads. Sexual activity

tended

to

be located

in

your chque. The

pom-poms screaming, 'All the way, Bears!' And the guys are always talking about getting their rocks off and crude stuff like that

dopers, the jocks, the intellectuals fooled

around with members of their own groups.
"You mean, friends do
friends?"
I

These bonehead jocks go
stuff.

for that sloppy

it

vrith

Crushing empty beer cans on their

asked.

foreheads before they jump into the sack,

"Yeah, for sure.

Dumb kids make it

you know.

142

TIMOTHY lEAlY

(NAOS

i

CVIEI CUtTUtE

%fell^JI'^^%fell%fe^1t^1fcM^^1fcll
"The
fraternity-sorority kids act
It's

the Christian girl

is

a real knock-out, she

sedate, but don't be fooled.
their parents.
'fifties

a scam on
in

tends to forget Jerry Falwell
glands
start
I

when the

These Idds get dressed up

gowns and dinner jackets and dance

night this
party,

pumping. remember one kid whose folks were away gave a
into a

the fox-trot in the gymnasium, and their

and 1 walked

bedroom, and

parents are so pleased they're so conservative.

there

was this real hot-looking bom-again
on her knees
in front of this

Like

little

grown-ups. Well, hey! By

Baptist girl

midnight

at the

freeway motels, those lace

football player.

And she wasn't praying.

dresses are being pulled off and
ly on

chairs.

hung neatAnd the yuppie drugs like

"Come to think of it," said Marilyn,
"the

most sincere Christian kids tend

to

be

cocaine and quaaludes are being passed

pimpled and chubby and running low on
animal magnetism
to

around."

begin with."

According
ty

to Marilyn,

sexual activi-

In general, Marilyn thought that

among high-school kids also seems to
religious
straight,

kids today were pretty selective,

and

laid

depend on the family racial and
beliefs. Oriental kids

back. "They do

it,

but keep

it

quiet

It's

seemed more

kinda

invisible.

Friendship

is

important"

prudish, and hardworking. Kids from bom-

"Is there a different

standard for

again Christian families appear to be
conservative. Anti-abortion
all

more
They

boys and for girls?"

1

asked.

and

stuff.

"For sure. Guys that screw around
a
lot

love Reagan.
"It

are considered hot
to a lot of guys

stuff.

And

girls

who

sorta depends," said Marilyn. "It
are. If

come on
wild."

are considered

depends on how good-looking they

VOICES FROM THE 19TH CENTURY

My
me
in

editor-archivist Michael

wife/writing-partner Cindy

and his came to visit

sexual experimentation. Her most famous
stories in this

genre had the theme of

Beverly

Hills. In

their research for

seduction under the influence of hashish

Shaman Woman, Mainline Ijdy, an anthology of the drug experiences of famous

and opium. She shared

this interest with

another

women

writers, they discovered that not

only had

many famous female authors

great writer of that time, Mark Twain. Most people do not realize that the creator of Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn wrote essays in praise of open sexuality. After his death his very proper wife

experimented with the drugs of their time, quite a few of them had also linked
drugs with sexual experimentation. Of course, these worb were often published

burned most of
1601 survived
sic

his erotic

works. At least
clas-

under pseudonyms and not discovered
until

the American sexual

much

later.

of the period.
If

One
Alcott,

of their most interesting pieces of

detective work concerned Louisa

May

American
to the
1

these two icons of 19th-century literature could be teleported
980s, they would probably be less

who, while writing Little Women and other books, secretly published
"blood and thunder tales" under various

shocked and more fascinated than most
of their contemporaries by the cool hedo-

pseudonyms. Among other things, she explored the link between drug use and

nism flourishing today.

SECTION v.)

CYIEIOTKS

OrEMTION

SEX CHANCE

14)

HOW COME KIDS DON'T KNOW WHERE BABIES COME FROM?

their lives."

Fred thought that television and
films

may have dulled consciousness and
Rambo

^
far as

Next,

I

arranged a lunch with

my

desensitized kids from the real, flesh-and-

4^^^ ^^^ selor
drop

friend Fred. He's a biacii counin

blood world. "You know, they watch
in the theatres,

an urban high school. As

bare chested, sweating,
of gooks, and they

he was concerned, there had been no

gunning down armies

in sexual activity.

watch Reagan smiUng and waving while
he's sending

"What new puritanism? This country is

bombers over Grenada and
difference.

floating in a sea of sexual stimulation.

Libya, and they don't realize the

How about all these R-rated fUms on cable
beaming
into

They seem

to think that

sex

is

having aerolike

homes? Thirteen year olds

bic fun rubbing

body parts together

on

watching naked bodies writhing away! In
the past you could only see this stuff at

the

TV screen. They don't seem to connect
the yuppie-'eighties

sex with the deep significance of the procreative act
tude.
It's

American Legion smokers. Now,
there in the living room!

it's

right

atti-

How about the X-

Sex

is

healthy exercise, good for your
self-esteem. Like danc-

ing and jogging and

They

just

won't take precautions. These kids apparently haven't figured out where

bowUng.
"As
ber,
it

I

remem-

babies come from! They cheerfully ^et themselves pregnant, not just once, but severa
times. These are not

was different in
It

the 1960s.

may sound

just

unwanted pregnancies. They're unconscious pregnancies."

naive to say this today,

but during the hippie
years there

was a

big

rated cassettes! Over a hundred

pom

sense of the sacredness of life.

movies a month coming on the market!
Middle-class families screening hard-core

Consciousness was the key. Everything was
very important. Holy! They even called psy-

on

their

home TV! And the

Calvin Klein ads

chedeUc drugs sacraments. Can you beheve
that!

and the raunchy

MTV cUps! Madonna and
has an adolescent

Prince prancing around half bare-ass.

"And sex was an
bration.

act of yogic cele-

Never before

in history

A resurrection

of the body! Sounds

generation been exposed to such wall to
wall sexuality.

corny

to say this,

but there
life in

was an undeni-

And

it's all

hooked up

to

able reverence for

the 1960s. Anti-

advertising and merchandising."

war. Peace and love, baby! People talking

Fred was worried. Not about
immorality, but about the alarming

about raising consciousness. Kids putting
in

jump

flowers in the barrels of National Guard
rifles.

pregnancies.

"1

can't figure

it

out,"

he

said.

Ecological concern for the oneness

"They just won't take precautions. These
kids apparently haven't figured out

of life.
gooiy,

Which

led to vegetarianism.

And

where
get

pompous ideahsm. And gee-whiz
it's

babies

come

from!

They cheerfully

spiritualism. But

a

statistical fact that

themselves pregnant, not just once, but
several times. These are not just

the teenage suicide rates
in the 1960s

were way down

unwanted

and so were the unconscious

pregnancies. They're unconscious pregnancies.
"1 can't
all this

pregnancies.
"In the 1960s there

was ahnost no
blissed out,

understand

it

They have

personal violence. People
I

were

information about sex. Manuals and
articles,

guess. All

the violence
for

was governmental.

how-to books and magazine

and

Take Woodstock,
imagine
it?

example. Can you
five

yet they're not using the data to

manage

For three days

hundred

lU

TIMOTHY lEAlY

CHAOS

i

CVIEI CUITUIE

thousand kids in gangs rolled around in the

ticated,

and more

selective about sex.
is

mud,
ly

listening to

rock music, and apparent-

Frenzied promiscuity
fashion, especially

certainly out of

There

is

no new

not one act of violence.

Rape was

among gays.

The

highly

unthinkable. Fighting

was uncool, man.

pubUcized orgies, the swinging, the swappings of the past turn out to be mainly

"By contrast, during one week of
spring break in 1986, seven college kids

sexual conseivatism.

media hype.

It

ain't

happening

at all
it

now.
less.

died in Fort Lauderdale, falling off hotel
balconies, drunk.

Everyone

is

talking about
cool,

And in

the Palm Springs
streets,

The current attitude: Be
do
it

do

it

wisely,

Nor

is

hedonism

Easter

riots,

kids

roamed the

drunk,

well,

and

don't flaunt it
find the

puUing bikinis

off

women in cars.
state of con-

You won't

New Women

"hnagine the low
sciousness of these kids

hanging around the 7-Eleven reading Jerry
Falwell's biography You'll locate

destroying our

when they get

New
and

drunk and

fuck.

No wonder there are so

Women m that third of the population that
is

many

unconscious pregnancies.
"I'm talking about the coarseness,

better educated, upwardly mobile,
sophisticated.

republic.

Your

more

the meanness, the thoughtlessness, the

The

rise in

teenage pregnancy is

materialism, the low consciousness of the

also for real, but mainly

m urban ghettos

daughters are safe,

Reagan

years. Rids

seem

to
if

be fuckmg

and among the underclass.

more and enjoying it less,
So said Fred.

you ask me."
YES, VIRGINIA, THERE IS

NO NEW

Archie Bunker. They

PURITANISM
What about that new conservatism
IS

THERE A GENERATION

that you've

been reading about?

It's

a media

are more realistic.

SEX CAP?

hype. Network executives and magazine
editors creating fads to boost

newsstand

^^y^

The bottom Une
sion?

to this discus-

^T

cu-culation, reacting to the wishful thinking

They are smarter. They want
to fuck

of vocal moral minorities.

Well, based on

more than a hun-

Reformers and moralists come and
go, but sexual attitudes today
basic, earthy
still

dred interviews and an extensive review of
the available scientific data, the
1

reflect the

conclude that

American virtues of tolerance,

amount of sexual

activity today, as

good humour,

common

sense,

and fan* play.

always, depends on age.

The

friends, not

older you are,

Sure, the right-wing fanatics continue to

the less you think about and indulge in sex.

wring their hands
are
still

at the idea that

people

The wild gang of rock

'n'

rollers

who were

pursuing

life,

hberty,

and happi-

our models in the past have unquestionably
cooled down. I'm only talking about the
ing here, so to speak.
liv-

ness. But rest assured;

American

women

strangers.

And that

are not going to
veils

let

themselves be put in

and

chastity belts. Despite
still

Nancy

has to be beneficial

But look
they're doing
it

at those kids! If anything

Reagan, Americans

want to have fun

more and

earUer.

The 1984

and enjoy Ufe.
There
vatism.
is

Newsweek poll revealed

that,

by the age of

no new sexual conser-

for the

mind, for the

23, only 10 percent of college kids were virgins.

And

adults, as always, are

wringing

Nor is hedonism destroying our
republic.

their

hands about youthful promiscuity.

Your daughters are

safe,

Archie

body, for the soul,

There does, however, seem
one consistent sex change
culture. in

to

be

Bunker. They are more
smarter.

realistic.

They are

our American

They want to fuck

friends, not

strangers.

And

that has to be beneficial for

and

for the

American

The

quality

and variety has

the mind, for the body, for the soul, and for the American

improved. Especially for Americans in their
twenties and
thirties.

way of life.

They're

more

sophis-

way
StCTION V.3

of life.

CYBEROTKS

OPERATION SEX CHANGE

H5

Digital Activation

OF THE Erotic Brain

tP
l\
"

young woman named Vicki

is

alone in her bedroom. She
is

sits

on the edge of the chair

with her legs spread wide. She

looking intently at a

computer terminal on the

deskinlh)ntofher.

Wcki

is

a novice cybeipunk. She

is

using an electronic-communication device for

her own private pleasure, without
At the

institutional or

government authorization.
letters that

moment, Vicki's eyes are
is

fixated

on

wiggle across her screen. Vicki
into a

blushes with excitement. She
position, not taking

breathing heavily She squirms

more comfortable

her optics

off the letters squirting across the

screen like spermatozoa.

Suddenly the words stop.
Vicki smiles.

With her right hand she begins typing

letters

on the keyboard

m front

of her.

VICKI IN THE

AROUSAL MODE

Vicki's words now appear on screen:

RECEIVE

OH RON

...

I

FEEL SO BAUDY

WHEN WE'RE ON

LINE.

YOU'RE SUCH A

GOOD TRANSMITTER!
.

AND YOU DOWNLOAD SOOOOO GOOD!

OOOH
I

YOU'RE SO COMPATIBLE-LET'S INTERSCREEN
BIG,

.

.

STRONG HARDWARE. (WHERE?) WANT TO PUT LOVE-BYTES ON YOUR KEYBOARD AND SLIDE YOUR JOYSTICK INTO MY F-SLOT. TELL ME HOW YOU WANT ME TO ACCESS YOU. PRESS ENTER AND I'LL BOOT UP MY MALE-MERGE FUNCTION! OOOH! DISK OVERLOAD! MY SYSTEMS ARE CRASHING!
LIKE
I

YOUR

CYBEINETWORKS
Vicki
cuits in
is

using her Macintosh computer to boot up and artfully program the lust
is

cir-

her brain. Her software

linked up, via telephone, to the
in the flesh.

Amiga

of a

man named

Ron whom she has never met Well, never seen
Vicki

and Ron

first

interscreened in a computer network.

They

started off quite

sedately, both contributing ideas to a public-access conference on "CIA Terrorism in

Nicaragua." They

came to

like

each other's ideas; so they agreed

to

chat on a private line-

just the two of them exchanging electronic signals to each other through their computers.

Well, one thing led to another

as

it

often

happens

in

male-female conversations. At

SECTION V.4

(VIEIOIICS

DIGITAL ACTIVATION OF THE EIOTIC IIAIN

U7

first

they joked and

flirted.

Then they started having imaginary

dates. First, they'd select a

No one

is

implying that the
is in

movie. Afterward they'd select a restaurant, then type in their wine and dinner orders. While
waiting, they'd discuss their reactions to the movie.

basic skin-tissue hardware

any

Then, as the imaginary, transcontinental night-on-the-town started winding down,

way outmoded. Nothing can
replace the kissing, cuddling, licking, nuzzling, nibVICKI,
I

RON TYPED:

THINK YOU'RE BEAUTIFUL.
LIKE

bling, smelling,

murmuring,

I'D

TO

KISS

YOU GOODNIGHT

sucking, joking, smoking,

honey-moaning, fondling,
biting,

Vicki wasted

no time typing her answer

entering, and

receiv-

ing the tender

exchange of

iHER ANSWER:

love's soft bruises.

WHY NOT COME
MENU.

IN

FOR A NIGHTCAP.

I'LL

SHOW YOU MY

DISPLAY

But,

however enjoyable,

our bodily contacts exist for
us only as registered
brains.
in

our
Well, the next steps

were

quite predictable. Both got slowly carried away. Vicki put a
lit

We

sense the touch and

compact

disc in the

boom-box. Ron

the

fire.

Slowly, timidly, they started typing out their

taste and perfume and the

mem-

sexual fantasies, step-by-step descriptions of foreplay, sly suggestions about what they would
like to

do

to

each other, and what each would

like

have done. Like most computer kids they

brane softness of our lovers only
in

are smart, inventive, and very shy, but just then, they

were

getting bolder

and

saucier.

Whew!
clusters of electric signals

After fifteen minutes of this cyberaphrodisia, they

had constructed the most

romantic, elegant, sophisticated, all-out, wanton, mutual sex affair imaginable. Prefrontal
nudity, floppy disco, sloppy disco, hard disco,

picked up by our neurons and pro-

cyberpom.

grammed by our mindware.

Imagination, the creation of mental images in the brain,

was

realized in electronic

form.
party.

The computer screen became

the vehicle of their inner steamy, fantastic, cyberotic

THE ZEN OFCYBERFUCK
Ron and Vicki were using the power of modem
up
their

electronics to brain-fuck,

i.e.,

to link

nervous systems by means of carefully selected signals transmitted between their
lines.

computers by the phone
erotic
is this:

These lovers have thus become members of a fast-growing,

network

those

who have discovered the intimate possibilities of cybersex. The secret
their fast-feedback

Computer screens have a powerful, hypnotic ability to create altered states in the

brain.

TWo people conununicating through
This

computers can access a range

of brain circuits arguably wider than can be reached by bodily contact
is

because the brain and the computer work the same way

in the

language of

electric impulses, of Ught.

THE BODY-BRAIN RELATIONSHIP
All of us,
soft tissues
1

am sure, want to improve the wondrous pleasures that come through the
membranes. Tender hands.
Soft,

and

silky

probing fmgers. Wet lips.

Soft,

curving

Ul

TIMOTHY lEAlY

CHAOS

I

CYIEI CUlTUtE

thighs. Sweet, satin

mounds and bulging protuberances.

No one
ware
is

is

implying that the basic skin-tissue hardkiss-

"Tin'*""*!" T 1
paac

in

any way outmoded. Nothing can replace the

ing, cuddling, licking, nuzzling, nibbling,

smeUing, mur-

muring, sucking, joking, smoking, honey-moaning,
fondling, biting,

entering, and receiving the tender
soft bruises.

exchange of love's
But,

however enjoyable, our bodily contacts
our brains.

exist

for us only as registered in

We sense the touch
softness of our

and

taste

and perfume and the membrane

lovers only in clusters of electric signals picked

up by our

neurons and programmed by our mindware.

9UANTUMSEX
People

who use computer signals to arouse each
have stumbled onto the next evolu. . .

others' sexual desires

tionary step in

human interaction: quantum sex
arts.

cyberlust

Lotus 2-5-4. Electronic

Radio shacking? Broderbund? The Commodore, after all,

^j
.

multimate

.

.

.

infocum.
is

ANDY

FRITH

the

commander of a
It

fleet of pleasure craft!

has been

known

for years that people

who communicate via computer-phone
It

link-ups can reach amazing levels of intimacy. This was a surprising development Most

has been known
years that people
via

respected newspaper columnists, pop psychologists, liberal ministers, and conservative

had been warning that computers will depersonalize humanity, ahenate us more from each other.
moralists

for

These media experts made the

classic,

dreary conservative mistake: trying to under-

who communicate
computer-phone
link-ups can reach

stand and explain the fuhire in terms of the past. Bureau-stats and managerials, their eyes
firmly fixed on rear- view screens, think of the

computer as a machine. A metal product of

the industrial age. Sexless. Hard.
tite,

No

one, except certain decadent, black-leather, transves-

hair-dyed, mechanico-fi^aks in the decaying slums of factory suburbs, fans of kinky,
to

techno-punk musicians from Lou Reed, Talking Heads, and Devo,
in Toyland, Pearl

Pomos

for Pyros,

Babes
ball

Jam, Ministry, and White Zombie, would think of using machines with
to

amazing

levels of

bearings and fransmissions and smoky, metal parts
ence.

enhance sexual and romantic experi-

intimacy.
IS

THE IIAIN

THE ULTIMATE ORGAN OF PLEASURE
It's

But the computer is not a machine.

a silicon subcircuit of an electronic brain.

It's

an interpersonal communication device, a cyberphone. Now, think about it
thighs.
for a

moment: The brain has no

eyes, ears, full lips, strong
in,

The

brain

is

a powerful knowledge processor packed away

and protected

by, the

bony case of the skull.

The same

is

true of the computer, a powerful thought-processor

packed away

in,

and protected

by,

the metal case.
sort,

Both the brain and the computer receive,
tric

and output "ideas" in

clusters of elec-

on/off signals.

The
if

brain, lest

we forget, is the ultimate pleasure organ. And the personal computer,
it,

we know how to

use

is

a powerful organ for neurosexual intercourse.
interscreening.

When two people link up via computers, their "naked" brains are
Directly. All the

complicated apparati of bodily contact

garter belts, bedrooms, zippers,
slide

bras, contraceptives,

body parts-are bypassed. Your electronic tongue can

along the

0-links into his soft pink receivers with

no clumsy props

to get in the

way

SECTION v.;

CViEIOIICS

IICITAl ACTIVATION OF THE

EIOTK IIAIN

U)

THE EMBARRASSINC COMPLEXITIES OF THE TISSUEWARE
Suppose that Ron and Vicki had met
the coffee shop.
at a discussion

group and started dating.
first

First at

Then maybe

a cociitail lounge.

Then dinners and movies. The

fumbling

steps at intimacy

holding hands, knees rubbing under the table.
familiar mating-ground questions.

What to wear? The
Then

My place or yours?
of the person

the complicated dance of mutual seduction.

The nagging worries

with no more than average sexual competence.

He thinks: Shall make my move now?
I

She wonders:
Is

Will

he think I'm a

slut

if

I

grab a handful?
it

she smart?

Is

she pretty enough? Can get
I

up? Does she

like

to transmit head? Receive head?

300,1,200 or 2,400 baud?
32-bit
Is

dean?
it

he hip enough? Too hip? Handsome enough? Can he get

up? Can he boot me up the way want it?
I

Who is this guy anyway?

Who is thts dame anyway?
Wony. Worry.

TELESEX ENCOURAGES BRAIN PLAY
Digital foreplay is a wonderfully natural

way for two people

to start their

mating

dance.

Why use the word "natural" to describe communication via phone-linked computers? Actually, almost every animal species has developed distance courting, tele-arousal sig-

nals to pave the
tion of sperm.

way for the

eventual sweaty, writhing contact of genital sex and the ejacula-

Insects telecommunicate their sexual desires with

amazing

gusto. Every

little

cricket

you hear scrapmg his violin-string wings on a hot
ladies exactly

summer night is telUng the neighbourhood

how he'd like to do it to them. The homy boy cicada is talking directly to the
giris.

brain of the neighbourhood

The chemical
messages
tastes.

scents (pheromones) of the female dog in heat are Uke telephone

telling

every lusty male within miles

how the homy young bitch

smells, looks,

and

THE BIRDS AND BEES DO

IT

Bird songs are a compelling
usually in the spring, the

way for arousing

sexual desire. At the right time of year,
the

male songbird's body swells with testosterone

male sex horthat
is

mone. He bursts into song. He sends a long-distance, mating-dating message

picked

up by every female

in the

neighbourhood. The song boots up the sex circuits

in the female's to

brain and she suddenly starts thinking
nibble her wiUing neck and stroke her

how nice
soft,

it

would be

to

have a lusty guy around

feathered body with his wings and climb on top
his straining hard

with his wiry, strong,

warm body and open her up with
tells

modem and make

her feel

just the

way her brain

her a young bird should

feel in the springtime.

ASTONISHING EVIDENCE ABOUT NEUROTUMESCENCE
Femando Nottebohm and his colleagues at Rockefeller University have recently
announced a discovery that "shakes the conventional wisdom of brain science
in birds
.
. .

Nerve

cells

go through giant cycles of birth and death ... At the time of hormonal changes, the

S

TIMOTHY UAIY

(NAOS

i

(YIEI CVIIIIIE

ANDY

FRITH

brain anatomies change.
is

The

specific portion of the forebrain responsible for singing,

which

large in the spring,

becomes

half as large in the

fall ..

.

Furthermore, talented canary
less talented."

singers have larger specialized regions than those
hi other words, the brain
is

deemed

a sexual organ that can swell and subside Uke the pink
the steamy brain gets turned on by compatible signals.

membranes of penis and vagina. And
And
for

the songbirds
sex!

who can

give "good phone"

grow bigger brains! What an advertisement

quantum

TELEPHONE SEX
Telecommunicated sexual messages have become a standard courtmg technique
industrial-urban societies
in

where boys and

gjris don't get to

meet and look each other over

around the

village square.

How do city kids get to know each other, test each other out as mating partners? The
use of the telephone by courting adolescents
is just is

an inevitable step

in

human

evolution. Q-sex
is

adding a

new dimension to

the conversation of good, honest boy-girl lust. Appletalk
circuits of our brains.

a direct way of turning on the teenage

THE CYBERNETICS OF THE ADOLESCENT BRAIN
At the onset of puberty,

new circuits of our brains activate. The human body underto butter-

goes a sudden change, almost as dramatic as the metamorphosis from caterpillar
fly.

All sorts

of new

bumps and protuberances emerge on
little

the nubile

body Breasts begin

to swell

and

strain to

be caressed. The

worm-penis of the school boy grows into a

SECTION V.4

CYBEDOTICS

DIGITAL ACTIVATION OF THE EROTIC BRAIN

The brain

is

a sexual or^an that can swell

and subside

like the

pink membranes of penis and vagina. And the steamy
brains!

brain ^ets turned on by compatible signals.

And the songbirds who can ^ive "^ood phone" ^row bi^^er

What an

swelling, red tube of incorrigible desire.

New circuits of the brain suddenly turn on, flooding

the body with impetuous

hormones and hot mating juices. The teenager becomes obsessed

with sex.
Psychologists
tell

us that the teenager thinks of sex several times an hour.

Involuntary erections strain the jeans of the embarrassed lad. Hot steamy currents of desire
lash the body of the perturbed

young lady

she screams at rock stars and swoons over the

pinups of handsome movie
Let's face
it,

stars.

teenagers are often coarse, crude, and insensitive to the delicate needs

Telecommunicated sexual
messages have become a
standard couitin^ technique in
industiial-uiban societies

of others. In the desperate grip of passion, they trip over themselves and hurt each others'
feelings.

That's

where

electronic foreplay

comes

in.

CYBERFUCKINC AND ELECTRONIC FOREPLAY
Teenagers use any means possible
study magazines
Girls
to turn

on and channel

their sexual drives. Boys

like Hustler, letting the pictures

and the

text trigger off their imaginations.

devour magazines about rock

stars

and movie

actors.

The

pictures activate the swelling

"sex areas" of the brain.

where boys and
to

^irls

don't ^et

Remember the homy songbirds? Morahsts condemn solitary sex and try to suppress erotic-aesthetic publications that
ban Penthouse, Playboy, and Hustter.

meet and look each other over

people use to trigger oft' their unaginations and boot up the "sex areas" in their brain. The

Moral Majority gets convenience stores

to

around the village square.

EAR SEX IN THE CONFESSIONAL BOX

When 1 was a teenager in the
manuals
that masturbation

dark ages of the 1930s,

we were warned

in the

sex

caused nervousness, mental breakdown, and eventual brain
its

damage. The Catholic Church was pursuing

insane policy of stamping out genital plea1

sure and preventing the "sex areas" of my brain from swelling.
versations in the confessional box.
I

remember the kinky con-

would kneel

in the

dark booth and whisper through the screen into the invisible

ear:

"Forgive me, Father,

1

am guilty of impure thoughts."

"Which impure thoughts,
"I

my son?"
to

my cousin Margaret because of her dimpled knees, to Dr. O'Brien's wife because she is blonde and has big boobs, to Clara Bow, to all the memthought about making love
bers of the chorus hne of the Radio City Rockettes, to a
"That's enough, son," Father
giri
I

saw on the bus

.

.

."

Cavenaugh sighed. "Have you used any

sinftil

books or

magazines?"
"Yes, Father." Spicy Detective. Spicy Adventure. Spicy Western.

Film Fun. Cq)tain

BUlfs Whiz Bang Joke Book. Atlantic City Bathing Beauties. Hollywood Starlets.

"Enough, enough!" cried the flustered priest "Such books and magazines are occasions of sin.

You must destroy them."

"Yes, Father."

"Now, say a heartfeh Act of Contrition. And as your penance, say

five

Our Fathers

and

five Hail

Marys."
"tell

This whispered

and

listen" ritual did Uttle to

prevent the "sex areas" of my brain

from growing. Might as well

try to stop the

testosterone-drenched songbirds from singing!

152

TIMOTHY LEAIY

CHAOS

I

CYIEI CUIIUIE.

advertisement for quantum sex!

Your brain wants to be stimulated, opened up, caressed, jacked into by a sure

mind

If

you don't use your head for your own pleasure, entertainment, education, and growth, who will?

Confessions were heard by bored or sex-tortured priests because
erotic contact

it

was

their only

They obviously got off on

it.

In a

way we

sinners

were giving the good Fathers
little

aural sex by kneeling there in the dari; box, whispering our sweet

dirty secrets into the

warm, open, trembling ear of the

priest
flirting

Teenagers today spend hours on the phone joidng and

because

it's

a safe and

calm way

to explore erotic interests

without being swirled into grappling scenes. They stim-

Confessions weie heaid by

ulate each other's imaginations, exploring

and experimenting with

erotic signals.

boied 01 sex-toituied piiests
CYBERVAMPS: TELEPHONE CALL GIRLS
The telephone-sex
call services

advertised in the back of magazines like Hustler are

because

it

was

theii

only eiotic
off

another step forward in the art and science of brain sex.
Sandi's phone-sex ad invites
to

you

to "Talk dirty to

me!

I'll

rub

my nipples hard. 1 want
all

contact.

They obviously ^ot

cum with your phone fantasies."
Anal Amiabelle promises,
"I'll

spread myself wide open and give you

of me, Big

on

it.

In a

way we sinneis were

Boy."

"Beg

for

it!"

says Mistress Kate. "I
hot, wet,

know what you deserve."
Lisa.

^ivin^ the ^ood Fatheis auial
sex by kneeling theie in the daik

"Climax with me! I'm

and waiting!" murmurs

IMMORAL EXCHANGE OF ELECTRONS?
Maybe you've
girl
felt

that this stuff is a bit kinky. Perhaps

you

felt

that telephone call-

box, whispering oui sweet
seciets into the

sex

is

a masturbation aid for lonely people with low self-esteem.
spoilsports

Maybe not The moraUsts and

want us to

feel guilty

about phone sex.

little

diity

Bureaucratic cyborgs are automatically offended by any frivolous, hedonic, dilettante use of

technology for personal delight Phones are leased to us by
citizens

Ma Bell to help us become better

warm, open, tiemblin^ ear
of the

and

to call

home

at holidays.
link, if employed

Actually,

neurophone sex

with a light touch-tone, can be a won-

priest.

derful

way

to learn

how to become skilled at telefucking.

TAPPING THE EROTIC MEMORY BANKS
The archives of our brains carry electric memories
of our earUest teenage passions.
at will?

So why not retrieve them, turn them on, and enjoy them

The

trick is this:

You learn how

to

format your brain to receive the cues, the sensory

signals that activate your homiest 16-year-old

memories. You can use a telephone
to

call ser-

vice or do

it

with a friend. Ask her or

him

to

whisper

you the coded
You'll

names and phrases of

your first crushes. The songs of your heated season of rut your adolescent
circuits with the

fmd yourself booting up

teenage access codes. You are performing a neurolinguistic

experiment You are executing a self-hypnotic age regression. You are "commanding" your

own brain to expand the "sex areas."

Now here is some good news: Your brain is apparently eager to oblige. Your brain
wants
to

be stimulated, opened up, caressed, jacked into by a sure mind.
If you

Your brain hates boredom.
tape, month
after

keep your brain repeating the same old

reality

month, your brain

will sigh

and give up on you, just like a neglected

lover.

For many people, cybersex
is

using the telephone or computer to arouse the brain-

easier than ruiming around like a

homy robot, pulling clothes off and on, jumping in and
it's

out of sacks with strangers. Unless you are incredibly cool and poised,

difficult

on a

first

SECTION v.;

CYIEIOTICS

DIGITAL ACTIVATION OF THE ElOTIC IRAIN

153

For
or

many

people, cybersex-usinj

the telephone

computer to arouse the brain-is easier than

running around like a horny robot, pulling
clothes off and on, jumping in and out of sacks

with strangers.

date to teach a

new partner how to turn on your imagination and then start acting it out,
to

while at the same time trying

master the private signals that turn his or her brain on.

COMPUTER SIMULATIONS
Cybersex
cybercourse.
is

a relaxed

way of learning how to explore

this

brand-new

frontier of

The computer is

a wonderful appliance for simulations
is

and "as if experiments.

The

hottest seUing software in the hobbyist mariiet

simulation games. Flight simulation:
act out the Battle of the North

practice takeoffs
Atlantic.

and landings. Submarine commander;

Wall Street simulations: pretend you're a hot-shot broker.

Now,

if it's all

right to use software to simulate war,

why is it not okay to simulate the

most important game of all?

Why not get on line and link up with the brain of your partner? Murmur teenage
sweet nothings into her brain-ROM? Stick your floppy disk in his cerebral software and whisper exactly the things he wants
to

hear?

Simulation: You are back again in your parent's house flirting with your high-school
crush! the

And while you are taking advantage of your parent's absence by disporting naked in rumpus room of your cerebellum, give yourself some credit You are a neurosexual pioYou belong to the first generation of your species
to

neer!

use your magnificent brain as a

sexual organ. Without guilL With healthy curiosity.

And a desire to please your cybermate.
communica-

Cybersex uses the powerful instruments of knowledge processing and
tion to

perform the most important task of this stage of human evolution.

You are learning how to use your head,
brain. Surfing

to take

over the programming of your bored

your own brain waves.
to

Cybersex and brain-fticking could be a key

freedom and growth.

If you

don't use

your head for your own pleasure, entertainment, education, and growth, who

will?

is;

TIMOTHY lEAlY

CHAOS

(

CyiEt CULTUIIE

VI. I.

Pranks: An Interview*

JUNO:

V.

Vale and

I

are

innovation. There's something exploratory

doing a book on pranks, but not
just run-of-the-mill college

about pranks--shaking things up, which, of
course,
is

the basic technique of evolution.

ANDREA We're interested in pranks pranks.
as they reveal linguistic
insights

Chaos engineering.
AJ:

and behavioural

Can you recall the early days of LSD

research at Harvard and Millbrook?
TL:

TIMOTHY LEARY: Performance art, in a
way...
AJ: In a way.

When we were at Harvard we were for-

tunate enough to have wonderful coaches,

We interviewed Paul

people like Aldous Huxley and Alan Watts.

Krassner and Abbie Hoffman because
theu* activities stand outlined against a

There was a wonderful Englishman named
Michael HoUingshead

who had a very mis-

whole social and

historical

miUeu of

chievous sense of humour. His brain was so

spontaneous pranksterish comments on
politics

addled with mystical experiences that he

and society. Just as m a sense the

saw everything
assistant at

as a prank.

He was my

whole history of LSD was a prank. You
helped shape a key period of history.

one time;

we were trying to test
we went to
a prison,

the abihty of psychedelic drugs to change
people's behaviour. So

TL

llike the idea of "prank" in the sense of

because

that's the

play.

What does
little

a prank do?

obvious place where you

It's

sponta-

neous, a
vous, a

shocking, a

little

mischie-

little

jab in the ribs, or a
different, hi

push
I

toward something
sense
1

a general

think the entire consciousness
rather
levi-

have always seen evolutionary steps, or psychedelic dru^s, or

movement was dedicated to a playfiil

than a serious approach, and certainly
ty rather

tremendously life-chan^in^ events as bein^ basically joyous, in the
sense that you're liberating yourself and empowering yourself to

than gravity. Following great psy-

chological teachers as Alan Watts, for

example,

who described everythmg as a
change. You're recognizing the basic fun of the
life

play of energy or Goddess playing hide-

adventure.

and-seek with herself, things

like that

To

me the essence of consciousis

ness change

humour and gerUk satire.

It

can measure change: whether they go back

actually gets quite theological.

One

of my ten favorite movies

and commit more crimes, or whether they
is

Monty
the

Python's The

Meaning of Life. What is
is it all

stay out of prison.

So

meaning of hfe

just

a joke? So

we were taking LSD and similar

many theories of God have God as a very
worried, compulsive, power-oriented per-

drugs with maximum-security prisoners

who were all volunteers. We explained
what we were doing. We weren't doing
anything to them;

son trying to keep everything in order.
theology just as plausible to

A

me is the
.

we were

doing

it

with

them.
.
.

We would take LSD with them in the
The
first

notion of chaotics of play and delight

prison.

time

we did it, it seemed

'HE/Search Ml: Pranks!

SECTION

VI.

I

CUEIIllA AIT

riANKS: AN INTEIVIEW

15/

like the

most

scary, reckless, insane thing

homes

after

working

in the prison,

we were

we

could do: to be going out of our minds

exultant What a prank! Here

we were, takcheer-

in a

maximum-security prison with the
in

ing these wild drugs inside a prison, while
the criminal-justice ofllcials

most dangerous, evil, homicidal people
the world!

were

all

ing us on! Meanwhile

we were seeing the

We got to a moment in one of the
first

comedy

of life

and the fooUshness of repetiand having a good chuckle.

sessions

when we were all lookmg at
were

tious behaviour

each other.

We psychologists were afraid of
afraid of

The same

thing

was

true after the Divinity

the prisoners because obviously they

School project

It

started out so

solemn and

dangerous maniacs, and they were
us because

so serious with the

hymn

singing and the
it

we were

crazy scientists.

dean of the chapel giving sermons, and

Suddenly we were looking at each other,

ended

vrith

a fremendously life-afllrming

and they

said,

"What's happening?" and

1

sense of joyous laughter.

We got back to my

said, "Well, I'm afraid of you," and they aU

house and were drinking beer afterward,
feeling that

I

think the philosophic

laughed, "Well, we're afraid of you," so then

we had tested ourselves, and
nervous system

we just broke up in

laughter.

tested

human nature, and tested the
limits of the
in a

)rank, the intelligent piank,

For the next two years the entire
prison experiment continued (which

exfreme

was

way

that

would seem almost unbelievable.

the life-affirming prank,

is

very scientific; we had personality tests,
controls,

We were taking "dangerous" drugs in a
prison or giving "dangerous" drugs to
Divinity Students with the top professors

and the usual procedures), but

one that ^ives people a
)roader perspective or a

basically everyone

who was involved in it we

knew it was a big escape plot We were try-

from Harvard, the Newton Seminary, and
Boston University

new

ing to help

them

get out of prison

and

it

all

turned out to

would get them

paroles,

and

in general

be a
AJ:

human coming-together!

insight,

so that they're not

help them get going in
thing was a

life.

The whole
sense that
it

How did they react afterward?

big joke in the

taking themselves so

seemed

so simple to rehabilitate prisoners
it

TL They laughed their heads oft' with
relieved joy.

and make
it

into a prank, rather than

make

solemnly,

and realize that

into a crime-and-punishment saga of

AJ:

grand-opera criminality. That was an
to

And what about even later? Do you

ife is

basically supposed

experiment which did

in fact cut

down

think these people
the

made profound

changes in thefr lives?

prisoners' recidivism rate in Concord,

be joyous and merry.

Massachusetts, about 75 percent

TL

Well, that's something else. Having a

Another prank
at

that

we performed

revelatory experience or a deep mystical

Harvard was

for the Divinity School.

We

experience
it

is

one

thing.

What you do about

worked with about thirty

Divinity students.

depends on an enormous number of facEveryone's lives were changed by

We had several professors from the
Harvard Divinity School, famous ministers,

tors.

these in one

and the dean of the Boston University
Chapel involved.
It

behaviour
wives, and

way or another, but as for thefr well, some would leave their
get married.

was on

a

Good

Friday,

some would

We
for

and

we gave

half of the Divinity students
(the other half didn't

had three ministers quit the church,
example,
ing!
1

psilocybin

mushrooms
if

to

go out and

make an honest Uv-

take them) to see
cal experiences.

they indeed had mysti-

It

developed into an

think the philosophic prank, the

incredibly wonderful,

warm, funny mystical
most Ughtheart-

intelligent prank, the life-aflfrming prank,
is

experience

in

which

in the

one

that gives people a broader perspec-

ed way

we were helping people get beyond

tive or

a

new insight,

so that they're not tak-

the confines of the church and the ritual.

ing themselves so solemnly, and realize
that Ufe
is

When we would come

back

to

our

basically

supposed

to

be joyous

"5

TIMOTHY lEAlY

(HHS

(

CYIEI CUtTOlE

ANDY
and merry.

FRITH

because
of the problems with the
'six-

it's

scary to start evolving your

One
ties

consciousness.

consciousness

movement was: some

people's pranlis are other people's hurt feelings.

TL

So there's an

(esthetic courtesy

about

always seen evolutionary or psychedelic steps, drugs, or tremendousI

But

have

There's
ly

pranks. Forcing your sense of humour on

life-changing events as being basically

something exploratory

somebody else, or disrupting people in a way that makes them angry, is not a proprank. A productive prank which you're not doing something
ductive
body, but there's
there's
is

joyous, in the sense that you're liberating

yourself and
in

about

empowering yourself to

pranks-shaking things

one

change. You're recognizing the basicjm qf
the
life

to

some-

adventure.

up, which, of course, is the

some

invitation for
to iL

it,

and

Looking back, you could say that
everything
ten years

some openness

we were

basic

doing over a period of

technique of evolution.

was

basically a prank.

Ren

AJ:

Your worii with LSD opening up

Kesey,

of course, called his group the
Pranksters.

Chaos

Meny

engineering.

consciousness did
fearftil,

make some people
from

resulting in your being fired

Harvard.

A lot of people stop

AJ: Tell us about Millbrook.

opening up,

SECTION

VI.

I

CUEMLLA

AH

-

MANKS:

AN INTEIVIEW

159

TU
in

Millbrook

was a very special moment
I

a very innocent sort of adventuring.
AJ:

modem history,

think.

We had 3,200
mad

acres on an incredible estate where a

Can you recall any peak moments?

Bavarian millionaire had built castles,
drawbridges, gatehouses, and extraordinarily

TL There were an endkss number of peak
moments
it's

hard

to pick out one,

architected forests, shrines, hidden

because there was such a rich texture of
events flowing one into another.

lakes,

and secret groves.

It

was like a

Tolkienian situation where

we were almost
middle of a

Okay

I'll

tell

you a prank. There

totally protected, being in the

was a professor from Princeton who was a
lifetime student of Persian mystical poetry.

3,200-acre reahn.

It

was very difficult for
to get to us.

law enforcement, or anyone,

He had done a great deal
wrote
us,

of translating.
visited.

He
He

We were on our own property
nunding our own business; yet the whole
adventure was so mind-boggling and scary
to those people

and then came up and most of the
wrong,
e.g.,
'a

said, "Obviously,

translations that

into English are
line

famous

who wanted to see it that we used this won-

from the Rubaiyat,

loaf of bread, a

way. For about five years

jug of wine, and thou.'
don't drink vrine.

The

Islamic people

Well

.

.

.

this

mad Englishman,

derful geographic base station as a place to

The

original Persian sig-

explore human consciousness and the far
antipodes of the

nified hashish." But this

word was not in

human brain.
we'd keep changing the

Michael Hollin^shead. had a

the vocabulary of people like

Edward

Basically,

Fitzgerald and other Oxford dons who were
translating Persian poetry into

typical piank.

... he would

script I've talked to

many people who were
they
it

some kind of

there for a

week or a month and
like this.

Scoutmaster Upper High Anglican prose.

would say it was

But actually

Having dedicated his

life to

the study of this

solemnly

tell

everyone that

would change each month. A teacher of
Gurdjieff would come along and for many

mystical state, yet never having experienced
it,

there was a

this Princeton professor

was very eager
him.

mysterious cave or

weeks we would study and live
to

out and try

to

have us provide an
So

"initiation'' for

imprint the ceremonies and the notions

tunnel under the castle where
of that particular approach.

we set up an LSD experience
enormous baronial
lived in,
"living

The next week

for

him

in the

some crazy vegetarians would come and

room" of this castle we

which
fire-

you could confront "the wisest
person in the world."

we'd

all

go on nonprotein
to

diets for awhile.

boasted high arched ceilings and a

..

There was an openness

change, and

to

place that could hold twenty people.

We

experiment, and to innovate. Usually once
a

transformed

this

room into

the motif of a

week

there would be a psychedelic expe-

Persian paradise, bringing in mattresses
that we covered with silken tapestries.

rience;

someone would guide
it:

it

That per-

On

son could design
rituals,

choosing the music, the

the walls

we hung Sufi paintings and
The whole room

the aesthetics, the schedule ... taktrips.

embroidered wall hangings, and scattered
Persian artifacts about.

ing people basically on

There was a sense of adventure

was

lit

with Aladdin's lamps. The music

and a sense of excursion. There was always
a sense of prankiness because

playing

was Persian music and Sufi
had provided.

chants,

we felt that

some

of which he

what we were doing was the most innocent
and the most ideaUstic
ultraromantic in a
of his

The professor was having the tune
life

his eyes

were

closed,

and he

way based on books like Hesse's Journey to the East and Mount Analogue by Rene
Daumal: the
classic stories of the epic

was chanting

along, and so

forth.

Then

three of the young

women of the staff came

dancing

into the

room wearing belly-dance

adventures of the mind.

costumes. They were carrying trays of fruit,
fine wine,

So on the outside what we were
doing might seem very dangerous to society

and beautiful

cutlery.

It

was the
not

most elegant kind of presentation

and threatening to the police, but it was

bawdy in any

sense;

it

was just as though

lit

TIMOTIY lEAlY

CHAOS

I

(YIEI CUITUIE

they had walked right out of the canvas of
that famous Haroun
al

TL: Well,

I'll

give you another

example of a

Raschid painting.
1

I

prank. Richard Alpert was

iuiow that when
believe
it

I

looked up,

couldn't

my partner at Harvard. He came from a wealthy New
England family;
dent of the
his father

either

but the amazed professor
felt

was the presi-

from Princeton

he had

definitely

gone

New York/New Haven/Hartford
had his own
private plane.

into Allah's reahn!
Incidentally, apparently there are

raifroad. Richard

We would fly around the country in
his Cessna, basically dosing people.

some

sections in the

Koran

that describe
this

One

heaven where Allah Uves as being
of situation; so

kind

morning we left New York and flew down
to

we were literally makmg
transitioned
it.

Duke

University

m North CaroUna,

heaven come

true! At first the professor

where

.... With dilated eyes and
spinning heads, people would
follow

Dr. Joseph B. Rhine, the worid's

was quite stunned, but he
smoothly
into the

leading authority on extrasensory perception,

program, and enjoyed

had kept

his

parapsychology laborato-

But do you think that was a prank?
AJ:

ry

gomg for years.
Rhine was a Harvard graduate. His
so mtent
it

him down

into the

Of course!
Well
... this

main problem was: He was

on

basement, which was kind of old

TL

mad Englishman, Michael
LSD
every-

proving that

it

was

scientific that

was

Hollingshead, had a typical prank. During
the heightened suggestibility of an

impossible for anything telepathic to hap-

and dark. And then,
lead you

.

.

.

he'd

pen!

He was using cards, and sorting, and

experience, he would solemnly

tell

using the rituals of highly experimental
contrived psychology. But at least he
still

down

into a tunnel

one that there was a mysterious cave or
tunnel under the castle where you could
confi^nt "the wisest person in the world."

was

gung

ho. He'd

been studying parapsy-

chology for twenty years,

and nothing

where you'd have to

start

He would have everyone hold
burning candles. With dilated eyes

much had happened; he needed all the
help he could get
I'd originally er,

and

crawling under the foundation
of the house, holding your

spinning heads, people would follow him

met Rhine

a bit earU-

down
old

into the

basement, which was kind of

when he came to Harvard and gave a
It

and dark. And then, with the torches

lecture.
in

was

the

first

time he'd been back

candle.

.

.

.

burning, he'd lead you

down into a tunnel
crawling under

twenty years, because he'd been kicked

then suddenly

where you'd have

to start

out for parapsychology.
ulty

No one on
I

the fac-

come around a corner where the
mischievous prankster
Hollingshead had put a mirror!

the foundation of the house, holding your
candle. You'd crawl through various pas-

would introduce him.
a

did; so there
us, besides

was

bond of affection between

sageways, then suddenly

come around a

the Harvard connection.

comer where

the mischievous prankster

Richard and

I

flew

down

to

Hollingshead had put a mirror! That was
the ultimate conirontation with the wisest

Durham; we taxied over to the Duke
University laboratory. Rhine

had assembled

That was the ultimate

person

in the worid!

Some people
.

got

about eight or ten of his

staff to take psilo-

freaked out by that, but

.

.

cybin or mescaUne or something.

We sat
all

confrontation with the wisest

Most of the time
sorting through
all

at Millbrook, after

around the laboratory where he had

the Buddhist

and Hindu

these experimental devices set up. You'd be

philosophies (some of which can get pretty
tedious, pretty solemn,
tic),

working cards or be predictmg movements
on graphs
these

person in the world!

and pretty morahsSufi

were highly structured

we tended to end up with a
in

experiments.

approach,

which there was
that
if you

that hght

People took the psychedehc drug

touch, and a sense

take enlightit

he gave, and

after

about a half hour he

said,
It

enment too
dojrn
it's

seriously, then you've pulled

"Everybody hne up

for thefr assignment."
I

got to

have a bounce or a joyous
smile on
it.

was hard

to

keep people disciplined

movement and a
AJ: Please
tell

remember that one

Indian gentleman, a

more!

famous Hindu professor fix)m Benares, a

SECTION Vl.i

CUEtlttA ART

PRANKS: AN INTEKVIEW

i6i

ANDY

FRITH

very serious, nontrivial student of parapsychology, just wandered
off.

we're not getting more results. We've been
too
. .

Someone went

."

Then he

led a free-form discussion

with him, because
just

we didn't want people
outside

of changes in their plans that

went on

for

wandering around the Duke campus.

about two or three hours. Then people
brought
in fruit juice

He wandered
rose and

and picked a

and

fruit
I

and cheese

came

back.

He handed it to

and crackers. Richard and

saw that everyto planet Earth;

Professor Rhine, and said, "This represents
the ultimate in parapsychology." That's an
old

one had been brought back
so

we looked at our watches and said, "See
we grabbed a cab and

Hindu

trick.

Somehow this seemed very

you around!" Then

profound and impressive.

drove to the airport.

Soon Rhine "got the message" and
called us all into his office.

We jumped into the plane and flew
back
to

He

sat

down on
the
first

New York. We landed at La Guardia
and took a cab
into

the floor with his shoes

off. It

was

at Butler Aviation

New

time anyone had seen him with his shoes
off

York.

The New York/New Haven/Hartford
had a
suite at the Waldorf-Astoria

he was a "dignified professor gentle-

railroad

men."

that Richard could use; so

we walked into

He was

sitting there leaning
let's

the hotel, ordered

champagne, and laughed

against the wall; then he said, "Well,

our heads

off at the implausibility of flying

figure out where we're going to take this
thing. I'm beginning to understand

dovm

to

North Carohna, turning on ten or

why

twelve very prominent and serious-minded

162

TIMOTHY lEAlY

(NAOS

i

CVIEI CUITIIIE

academicians, leaving them in a wonderful

was because demographically there were
twice as

kind of creative shambles, and then jumping on the plane and coming back!

many of them.

It

boom, histead of 36

million, there

was the baby were 76

That was an example of the way
Richard and
I

million. So they could just call a mobilization,

looked at each other. There

or call a celebration, or call a Be-In,

was a sense

of real basic healthiness

and

and plenty of people would show up.

openness about what we were doing.
simply couldn't make any mistakes,

We
juana
at

And 5,000 people smoking maria Be-hi, or 14,000 at a mobihzation

There was a sense of

leal basic

because our hearts were

in the right places.

against the war, or 500,000 at the Pentagon,

healthiness and openness about

And we were watching carefully, and we
would not let anybody go
There was
just

was a show of presence

that

was very simi-

off on their

own.

lar to the flocking of birds at tvvllighL

what we were doin^. We simply

such an aura of youthful

There's a certain survival tendency on the
part of the gene pool

innocence (although
ties)

we were in our forin the

and I'm talking genfor

couldn't make any

mistakes,

and a confidence

goodness of

erational genetics here

groups to

human nature that during those days bad
trips

check each other out

to

see

who are we,

because oui hearts were in the

were almost impossible.
Richard in particular always had

and what are we doing, and how healthy and big are we.
I

ri^ht places.

And we were

that mischievous sense.

For a while he

respect and honour that aspect of
I

became a holy man
got a
little

Baba
little

Ram

Dass

and me.

the big mobilizations. But basically

watching carefully, and we

preachy; a

too holy for

thought

it

was
I

silly to try to levitate

the

He'd

say, "God, I'm a Jewish boy from

Pentagon. remember we

would not
1

let

didn't go;

think
I

anybody ^o

off

on

Newton, Massachusetts, and

now I'm a holy

we had something going on at Millbrook.
thought they were
positive, but
1

their own. There

was

man!" But Richard always had that twinkle
in his eye

was never

just

such

and

that saving grace of Jewish

involved in them. There were

many groups

humour that could always bring you down
to earth.

zooming around the country

in those days:

an aura of youthful innocence
(although we were in our
forties)

the Psychedelic Rangers, the Diggers from

IVe often compared Richard Alpert

San Francisco, and Emmett Grogan, who

me to Huckleberry Finn and Tom Sawyer. We were going down that river
and
having these adventures with,
quite pure motives.
I

was

a great, mischievous,

and somewhat

and a confidence

in the

hard-minded prankster. There were a

lot

of

must say,

pranks going on. Ken Resey is, of course,
the

We were not out to win
make money
is

number-one prankster.

goodness of human nature that
during those days bad trips

the Nobel prize or to

AJ: Are there

Mark TXvain

one of my favorite
is

any more anecdotes from

authors of the 19th Century. There

such a

that period before

we jump ahead?
more example.
Allen

prankish

quality to his

wisdom. He was a

TL

I'll

give you one
to

were almost impossible.

very, very

powerfid philosopher. A

Ginsberg came

Harvard when

we were
This

Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court

very square professors, and he

just laid

and Puddin'Head Mlson with
ile twists.

all

those Ut-

down

the whole trip to us and said.

There

is

a sense of pranksterism

has been going on for centuries." He

knew

that runs all through his writings that influ-

a lot about Buddhism, Hinduism, the beats,

enced us and guided
AJ;

us.

dharma, Rerouac, and

all that;

so he a deal

Can you describe that event when

became our "coach." Allen and 1 had
that we

people tried to levitate the Pentagon?

were going to turn on the most

influential people in

New York. Allen had
it

7L I was never very involved in mass
meetings Uke
that,

this thick

address book, and he'd peer at

although

1

think they

with his thick lenses and say,
next weekend.
I'll

"Come down

were useful

in the sense of a

demographic
things could
in the 1960s

call

Robert Lowell. Or

show

of strength.

One reason

Charles Mingus."

be done by the young people

One

afternoon

I

flew down to

New

SECTION

VI.

I

GUEIIUA AIT

PIANKS: AN INTERVIEW

16}

York and got to Allen's tremendous, flamboyantly impoverished,
filthy

selves
to

and knowledge of the yogic process

apartment

do

this.

And when
at

it

was all

over,

we

There was something so emblematic about
his disdain for middle-class values,

looked back

what we had done, and

which
psilo-

could hardly believe

we had performed

was very interesting for me. We took

these implausible acts.
AJ:
I

cybin or something with Jack Kerouac and

PldCC VOUI idVOritS
DUllOUOtG ^ ^
11616'

others.

The next momlng, without any

assume that you're against spiking
giving

sleep

and with Peter Oriovsky, we took the
to the

people

them LSD without their

subway and went uptown

Hudson

knowledge?

River westside-view apartment of Robert
Lowell, the great Pulitzer Prize-vraming
poet,

Tb

Oh, yeah! That's very unethical:

to

use

something as powerful as that involuntarily.
That's

and we turned him on

very cau-

what the CL\ was doing. There's a
by Marty

tiously,

because he'd had a long history of

new book out called Acid Dreams,
Lee, which
is

psychotic episodes and manic-depressive
flights.

an annotated

story of the

CIA

But anyway, Allen sat vrith him
1

experiments. There were hundreds of

while Peter and

hung out with

his wife.

experiments in which they would dose
unwitting people.

And we

finished that

and got him

safely

landed back onto planet Earth.

We had one involuntary dosing at
cab and
Millbrook.

Then we jumped
went over to

into a

Someone had been keeping LSD
1

the house of Barney Rosset,

in a sherry bottle

forget

what the exact
bottle,

who at that time had Grove Press and
Evergreen Review. Here's a classic

rationale was. No;

it

was a

and

we

New

put sherry in

it

that was
in
it

it

but

we had

York neurotic intellectual with
trists

five psychia-

had some LSD
that

before, and

we thought

and worry, worry, worry, and with a
aesthetic

we'd washed

it

out

wonderful, extremely elegant, and

Apparently what happened was: A

apartment in Greenvrich

Village.

And we
it

very famous Canadian television joumaUst
with a crew had

took extremely powerful mescaline ...

come down

to fihn us.

He

was a very memorable,

aesthetic experi-

was

a very large gentleman; he

must have

ence. Most of the time Barney

was in

his

weighed two hundred pounds and was
about 6'2".

study worrying and complaining

to Allen

My wife and I were sitting
fire. I'd

Ginsberg that he paid psychiatrists $70 an

around

in

our hving room with a bunch of

hour to keep him from having visions
that!

like

people watching the

had the sherry

Anyway,

it all

worked out
the next

and

my

wife had had

some sherry too, and

Then

it

was dawn
all

morn-

after

about ten minutes

we looked at each

ing and there was snow

over New York.

other and realized,
loaded.

Wow! This sherry was

We left Barney Rosset's apartment The
snow had
fallen

on the garbage cans,
glistening,
it

And just at that minute

the

everything

was

and the

sun was
to

Canadian producer came barreling up and
said, "Boy, this is wonderfiil sherry!"

coming up, and
tear your eyes

was ahnost impossible
this blanket of

And

away from

we looked at each other and said, "Well, sit
down because
sorry about that, but

magic
York.

that covered the squalor of New

we

just found out ourselves." And that guy had

Finally

we got back to Allen's apartphilo-

a real wing-ding of an experience.

ment and had another one of those

AJ: Did

he relax

into

it

at all?

What was

sophic laughs, just thinking of what we'd

his reaction

done

in twenty-four hours.

We had turned
TL:

when you told him?

on Jack Kerouac, and then Robert Lowell, and then the top publisher in
took courage and
it

He was pretty scared, because he

New York.

It

assumed that he had been deliberately
dosed.

took confidence in our-

He was trying to call

Pierre

TVudeau

164

TIMOTHY LEAIY

CHAOS

i

CYIEI CULTVIE

and have the Mounties sent down
him! For several hours

to protect

we hung in with
it

one of the greatest pranks that
summer, hanging around Millbrook, we
decided to have a

I

enjoyed was escaping fiom prison.
the assistant prosecutor in

him and saw him through
day he

And the next

was

Duchess

slept well, got up, took a shower, got

summer school. We were
The summer

County, near where
Millbrook, and he
time.

we were living in
raiding us
all

out and took a walk, and

was feeling fine.

not allowed to use drugs (although people
did

was

the

And this was an experience he'd never forget
For him
it

on

their

own, I'm

sure).

He did drive us out of the

county.

school ended with a pageant in which

we

Although he never got us for any drugs, he
took credit for our leaving. As a result of his

was a very powerful

used Hermann Hesse's Steppenwolf. The
last

experience, because at that time Allen

chapter

is

the

Magic Theatre of the

midnight raids on us he was brought
Washington, and
raids
this led to the

to

Ginsberg was there, chanting and playing

Mind

Price of Admission Is Your Mind.

midnight

drums, and there were a bunch of Hindus

Harry Haller, the uptight, worried

on Watergate.
1

wandering around the house as

well; so the

European

intellectual, is

guided by Pablo,

would

say,

as a finale to this

hmny

whole thing was
for

like the

worst nightmare
to

and he has some kind of psychedelic experience.

conversation, that one of the greatest

an uptight Canadian
weird
situation.

be suddenly in

He runs through all these incredible
and inner trips.

pranks that
prison.
tests
1

I

enjoyed was escaping from

this

hallucinations

had to take a lot of psychological

But the next day 1 went out for a

So

we acted them out, and there

during the classification period, and
tests
1

walk with him, and he was
back up
to

fine.

We came

were about two hundred people attending a
masquerade party. You'd wander from one
part of the castle to another, as you went; people

many of the
1

had designed myself; so

our living room and sat down.

took the tests in such a

way that I was pro-

My wife said to him, "Would you Uke a
drink?" and he turned white and said, "No,
thanks!"

and be

"set

up"

filed as a

very conforming, conventional

would be acting out
It all

person

who would not possibly escape, and
great interest in gardening

sections of Steppenwolf.

ended up

in

who had a
forestry.

and

That was not a prank, and 1 would
consider that an unfortunate event But
it

the bottom of a big

basement where we

acted out the last scene
tries to

where the hero
gonna go
guilt trip,

So they put me on as a gardener in
a prison where
it

turned out

all

right

I

was

reacting to your

hang himself

he's

was

easier to escape.

It

question about dosing people.
AJ:

through the Judseo-Christian
at the

and

was a very acrobatic and dangerous escape,
because
it

What did he think about it later? Did

end the young woman
It

says, "Take off

was under the
1

lights of sharp-

he have a beneficial experience? Do you
think he was glad afterward?

the noose."

was all done

in silhouette

and

shooters and so forth.

hit the

ground and

pantomime with the rope and the noose,
and 90 percent of the people there were

ran out and got picked up by the escape
car.
1

wanted

to
If

be able

to get

out at least to

TL

Well, yes.

He

felt

he'd gone through an
to

probably pretty loaded.

the highway.
least
1

they caught
it

me after that, at

ordeal,

and was proud

have survived
lot

it

Some producers who were present
were so impressed by it that they
"Let's put
it

had made

that far.
1

In general, Canadians have a

of ballast

said,

The

feeling that

had made a nonof fremendous
joy.
1

and
AJ:

solidity!

on Broadway!"

We brought it
started

violent escape
exaltation

was a sense

You used to put on these huge multi-

down

to the East Village

and then

and humour and

laughed

media shows; you pioneered these spectacles and extravaganzas that almost
simulated an

doing psychedelic celebrations.

They were

and laughed and laughed, thinking about

multimedia events vrith a tremendous

what the guards were doing now. They were going to discover my absence, and
then they'd phone Sacramento. Heads

LSD experience.

amount

of script

and sound and

lighting.

This was a very innovative art form that in

7L

Well,

we had been working for several
to

essence led

to a lot of special effects.

A

lot

of

would be

rolling.

The bureaucracy would

years at Harvard and Millbrook to develop

people from Hollywood came and saw

it It

be in a stew. This kept
or three weeks.
I

me laughing for two
had been a very suc-

a language

express the so-called "vision-

was in the
AJ:

afr at that time.

felt it

ary" experience. So

we were experiment-

ing with slides, anatomical designs, and
cellular

One more question about your
It

cessful piece of performance art. Providing

programs that then developed

into

debates with G. Gordon Liddy.

almost

an example, a model of how
the criminal-justice system

to deal

with

what was
slide

called "psychedelic art," like the

seems
the

like

a weird prank for you to be on

and the police

shows at rock

concerts.

same stage with him.

How did those

bureaucracies. Nonviolent theafre. That

was

We were developing libraries of
sounds and of mythic icons and so
forth;

shows come about?
TL:

a good prank

.

.

.

which was never

appreciated by the law-enforcement

We had the same agent You see,

people

developing a language of the ineffable.

One

Gordon got to the White House because he

SECTION

VI.

I

CUEIIllA

AH

PIANKS: AN INTEIVIEW

lis

eith

Haring was

life

embodied. He glowed, sparkled,
living colours

danced through our visibilities; splashed
across our pop-eyes.

Was he not our graceful blonde Greek god Pan in
track shoes spraying retinal trails of rainbow rods

and techni-

coloured cones behind him as he buzzed our minds, zooming by at
ninety smiles-an-hour, revving up his

rpms

(realities

per minute)

to

record speeds?
Keith Haring played a vital role at a crucial time in world
history.

He accompUshed his mission during the
this

1980s, a turbulent

scary decade of negative pandemonium. At lapse and social chaos, Keith took

time of cultural col-

up the

traditional role of performillustrat-

ing philosopher

humanizing, popularizing, personalizing,

ters to

communicate

is

the major barrier between classes, races,
It

ing the great pagan insights of our race.

He

celebrated

life,

intoxi-

nations. This

new language will be iconic.

will

be communicated

cated dance, the jumping-jack-jill-joy of vrise children, erotic energy,

in digital patterns
virtual-reality

through fiber-optic lines flashed on screens and
is

daemonic confrontations.
Barry BUnderman

eye-phone receivers. Graphics

the key to the infor-

has described the nature of Keith's play

mation world of the future. Television passivity will be replaced by
personal expression. Just as everyone

as "the hallucinatory interface of biology

and technology

in

our
for the

was expected

to

"read and

increasingly cybernetic society." Future Primeval, Barry's

title

write" in the factory society, everyone will be expected to "receive

Keith Haring Exhibition, really gets
history of the

it

right. Keith's art

spanned the

and graphicize"

in the future.
artist.

Everyone

will

use

digital

appUances

to

human

spirit Keith could

have jumped out of a time

become
cities is

a graphic

The

graffiti

impulse seen
art

now in our inner
this

capsule in the paleoUthic age and started drawing on cave walls,

an interesting forecast. And whose

has most inspired

and those people would have understood and laughed
the kids.
initiated
1

particularly

future?

showed

his

drawings

to the Australian aborigines

who
com-

There

is

one fmal point

to

be made about the Dionysian

me, and they grinned and nodded

their heads. Keith

power of Keith Haring.
with,

In his last years

he confronted, wrestled

municated

in the basic global icons of our race.

and triumphed over the ultimate-major daemon of the human

And here we see another awesome dimension
genius. As we move
is

of Haring's
it

existence. Death.
hi his legendary 1989 Rolling Stone interview,

into the information

age of the 21st Century,

David Sheff

clear that a global language

will develop. Literacy

the use of let-

asked Keith

how having AIDS changed his life.

1(6

TIMOTHY lEAlY

CHAOS

i

CYltl COtTUIE

When you
to the

are

jettinj

close

end of the

story,

you

have to start pointing

all

the

thinjs to one thinj. That's

the

point that

I

am

at

now,

not knowing where
Keith responded: "The hardest thing
is just

it

stops

ioiowing that there's so

much more still to do. I'm a complete workahohc. I'm so scared that
some day I'll wake up and I won't be
David Sheff: "Do you
able to do it"

but knowing how important

make time for life outside of work?"
it is
1

to

do

it

now."

Keith: "You force yourself to. Otherwise

would just work. 1 spend
at
all.

enough time enjoying,
way,
felt
it's

too.

1

have no complaints

Zero. In a
kid
I

ahnost a privilege. To know.
1

When I was a httle
in
I

always

that

was going to die very young,
I

my twenties or something.
it
1

So in a way

always lived
still

my life as if
words

expected

did everything

I

wanted

to.

I'm

doing whatever I want"
in the Sheff interview:

Here are

Keith's final

"When

you are getting close to the end of the story, you have to start pointing
all

the things to one thing. That's the point that
it

1

am at now, not
way
it's

knowing where

stops but knowing

how important it is to do it now.
articulate. In a

The whole thing is getting much more
liberating.''

really

I

SECTION

VI.

2

CUEIIllA All

KEITH HARING: FUTURE

MIMEVAl

i7

literacy-thc use of letters to communicate-is the major barrier between classes, races,
nations. This

new lan^ua^e

will

be iconic.

It

will

be communicated in digital patterns

through fiber-optic lines flashed on screens and virtual-reality eye-phone receivers.
Graphics
is

the

key to the information world of the future. Television passivity will be

replaced by personal expression. lust as everyone was expected to "read and write" in
the factory will be society, everyone expected to "receive and ^[raphicize" in the future.

Now these are words. Strong words. Wise words. But still
words.
Keith

was repeating thewisdomofthe Buddhist mystics
Tibetan

who wrote The

Book of the Dying. There they listed the

stages experienced as people face the ultimate event in their lives.

Modem psychologists agree. First there is denial, then total anguish,
and then,
hopefully, the liberating acceptance.

What is

so

moving is

that Keith lived out, acted out, realized these powerful emotions in

his last works.

In 1987, at the time

he learned he was HlV-f ositive, he protitled

duced an astonishing drawing
shockingly different

fVeeping

Woman. This work is
It

from

Keith's usual expressions.
felt

conveys the

anguish, the terror, that he

and

that

we aU felt when we learned

of Keith's condition.

A year later he was producing the most radiant paintings of
birth

and

life

celebrations.
later Keith, in collaboration with his idol

And two years
mentor, William
S.

and

Burroughs, produced the monumental piece.

Apocalypse, consisting of twenty silk-screens of poetry and inspired

drawings celebrating the end of the Christian millennium and the
beginning of the

new paganism.

In the elegantly rendered inttx)duction to Apocalypse,

Burroughs precisely outiines the

virtual-reality art of the future:

When

art leaves the

frame and when the written word leaves the page

not merely the

physical frame

and page, but the frames and pages of assigned categories-^ basic
. .
.

description of reality itself occurs; the liberal realization of art

Each dedicated

artist

attempts the impossible. Success
mirade, the painter
rent
in

will

write Apocalypse across the sky. The artist aims for a

wills his pictures

to

move

off the canvas outside of the picture,
sluice through.

and one

the fabric

is all it

takes for

pandemonium to

lit

TIMOTNV lEAIV

CHAOS

I

CYIEI CULIUIE

%M

aterial

matters

from flashy atoms to

THE COMICS
In the decades before television,

"general public" to create "authorized realities." Oil,

canvas, and written

word are the
by

sacred

tools,

monopohzed

for centuries

comics

for obvious neurological

reasons-

popes, kings, authorities, to program authorized realities.

were a most influential media

for express-

Now here comes Robert
graffiti

ing "unauthorized" thoughts. Comics are

Williams, scrawling

on the Vatican

Speaking of "chaotics"
always reminds

visual, colourful, nonverbal, unreal, fantastic,

Ceilings and the Oval Offices of our minds.

nonserious, irreverent.

They appeal

to

Williams's paintings disturb the

me

oi

juveniles

and adults seeking escape from

"general public"

but they delight and

serious, respectable, authorized realities.

inspire the "specific public," those millions

Robert Williams,
I

who enjoy right-brain ftizzy chaotics and
BLAME
IT

ALL ON FELIX THE CAT
at the

hunger
1

for "unauthorized realities."

because his
optical wizardry
script,

Looking back,
embarrassed

age of 72,

am

His prefaces to

Low Brow Art and

to discover that

my basic biowas

Fisual Addiction are brilUant literary events.

down

to the smallest details,

Like his paintings, Williams's writings are
multileveled.

based on a cartoon hero

who was bom, like

He blends biting

satire,

comic

and his

retinal

me,

in 1920.

wit, blazing hbertarian bravado with a pro-

Fehx the Cat was this cheerful,

found understanding of the psychology of
visual-optical perception.

philosophy-lyrics

bouncy, black-on-white figure whose

mouth emitted musical

notes.

He whistled

and his elegant
eye-catchinj
scholarisms are
the clearest, most
brilliant, down-for-real,

through

life.

In his
rette

hand he

often carried a cigaglass.

and a champagne
so

This was dur-

CHAOS ENGINEER AND UNAUTHORIZED REALITY
DESIGNER
Like Geiger, the spooky Swiss wizard, Williams

mg Prohibition
licly

Happy the Cat was pub-

indulging in an illegal drug.

Fehx was continually getting
scrapes, running

into

up against "authorized

combines the mechanical

reahties" headlined in the other grey-print

with the bodily The most banal, ordinary
familiar objects merge,
into disordered

pages of the newspaper. At these moments, an
electric bulb

morph, blend, melt

would hght up over the

heaps of garish, techni-

flesh

and bone
of

cat's

head, and he would "think" himself

coloured garage-sale piles of thoughts,
icons, images.

out of the scrape.

expositions

quantum
COMICS AND OIL PAINTING
Although his work emerged in the
counterculture underground press in the

Williams has mastered the jumpy,

mind-jamming art of mixing

left-brain-

dynamics, quantum
neurology, and chaos

focused realisms with the jumbled, unfo-

cused phantasms of the right brain. He

1960s and 1970s, Williams considers himself a painter rather

overwhelms

us, dizzies

us by jumping our

than a cartoonist

1

do

focus from figure to ground.

theory

herself.

2.

A Robert WiUiams canvas explodes
Please do not be confused by the

with dozens of eye-grabbing images,
objects, events

appearance of comic-book, kid-stuff prankishness. Williams typically

rendered in

irresistible

wraps

his

pamt-

screams of colour.

ings with precise, sophisticated, scientific

Any comments about Robert should
pay
tribute to his wife,

explanations.

Suzanne,

who is

He has not been accepted by the
serious East-coast art establishment for

beautiful, elegant, witty,

and a

brilliant

designer of chromatic geometric paintings.
I

obvious reasons. Oil paintmgs from Titian
to

consider

hun

to

be one the best

Warhol have

traditionally

been used

to

informed, effective

communicators

program

the eyeballs

and brains of the

around.

170

TIMOTHY LEAIY

CHAOS

i

CYIEI CULTURE

ROBERT WILLIAMS

A

Robeit Williams canvas

explodes

with dozens of

eye-^iabbin^ images,

objects, events lendeied in
iiiesistible

screams of colour.

SECTION

VI.

3

CIIEilLl* AIT

lOIEIT WILLIAMS: POWER TO THE MPIL

171

Vl.i.

On William

S.

Burroughs's

Iiiteiizone

>^BHH||^HHMMM|^^S '^^B^K^^^^Sm^K^^'
^^vWi^^iU^^S^T^S"
^^^^wVlK^^'^^j kV^vMl^^K^ j^' \^^^l

III
I^B
Wlf

'"''"^ ^-

Burroughs

is

one of

Joyce and Pynchon and Burroughs

flssion,

with laser precision, the grammatical struc-

three 20th-century literary

tures

and semantic machinery of the
language of Shakespeare.
It is

old,

classic

B

9<3"ts

who

fissioned, dissolved,

no accident that physicist

W''ir^mL'wf',r MT^ Al^m -..:^^^IL ^''^^r
'
'

Murray Gell-Mann, who discovered the
1

^HH

transformed, and digitized the

basic elemental unit of information,

named

'wE^K^^IMr^M? \^^

English language;

who beamed

it

epic Finnegans Wake.

MMHHnJ^^SS^^

v!!^;^i

and strobed

it

in

holographic images

partner Brion Gysin,

who invented the "cut-

into the 21 st Century.

graphs from different writings
novels, instructional manuals,

news

clips,

Burroughs paints with words.
The
American
his

pomograph-

William

S.

ic

scenes

and

splicing

them together in

He

slashes at the

page with
Burroughs,

randomorder.

compatriot Thomas

hi the

words of Burroughs's friend
repeti-

expressionist, surrealistic
Pynchon, and the Irishman James

and e^'or James Grauerholz, "This

tion lends a kaleidoscopic quaUty to the

word-strokes and verbal
Joyce are the alchemists who

writing

and what is a kaleidoscope but a

device to reassemble endlessly the
particles? As
if

same

shotgun

blasts.

anticipating modem quan-

applied quantum dynamics and
chaos theory to

turn physics, his world

model

is

that of an

indeterminate universe of endless permuta-

linguistics.

These

tion

and recombination."
Burroughs was

bom in

1914 in

St.

three wizards are not writers as

Louis. His grandfather, for

whom he was

named, made important contributions to

much

as they are "word procesors."

the development of a computer-like

machine

tiiat

was marketed

in

America as

"The Burroughs Calculator." After a modJust as theequationsofthe three
estly affluent childhood.

Burroughs attendhis intelli-

great

German philosophers

Einstein,

ed Harvard

University,

where

Heisenberg, and Planck reduced Newton's

gence, homosexuahty, Uterary sophistication,

laws

to local

ordinances and dissolved soUd,

and wide-band

dmg addiction

molecular-atomic matter into clusters-

launched a hfelong odyssey into altered
states

waves of electronic information, so did

and neurological realms which have

172

TIMOTHY LEAIY

CHAOS

I

CYIEI CUITUIE

been charted by mystics throughout

history.

death-immortality: Cities of the

Red Night,

Since 1938 Burroughs has operated
as a visionary archaeologist; as an alienated,

The Place of Dead Roads, The Western
Lands.
Interzone
is

deep-cover espionage agent reportmg

a collection of dusty

about the

human condition
gritty,

as observed

fragments and

lost

manuscripts that were

from the seamy,

sordid underworld

rediscovered in the archives of Allen

of port tovms, exile colonies, border crossings,

Ginsberg in 1984.

It

has been beautifully

and

cultural black-market interzones.
City.

edited and introduced by

James
satire.

lust as the equations of the thiee

Tangier. Times Square. Mexico

Grauerholz.

The

story? A savage

A
^leat

Panama

City.

The

Left Bank.

The Amazon

dour, sour, grim, cynical exposure of official hypocrisy, puritanical repression, reli-

German philosopheis
and Planck

jungle. Etc.

Burroughs describes the visionary
landscapes, the detailed sociologies of

gious authoritarianism. Interzone provides
a cool, dry, jaded, semi-tender glance at the
social rejects, the dispossessed, the outcasts

Einstein, Heisenbei^,

imaginary

tribes, hallucinatory cities, scisil-

reduced Newton's laws to local

ence-phantasy showers of steaming hot

of the underworlds.

A weary cheer for
ordinances and dissolved solid,
postliter-

ver sperm sprayed by Venusian transvestites

humanity

in all

its

messy forms.

with platinum skin. While 'Ihe

Burroughs has invented a
ate language, a

Jordanian soldier, convicted of selling a

new medium

in

which
clusters

molecular-atomic matter into

map of the
hanged

barracks privy to Jewish agents,

words become clouds or clumps or

in the

marketplace of Amman,

of meaning sprayed relentlessly at the read-

dusters-waves of electronic
information, so did loyce and

crawls up onto the gallows poop-deck to
hoist the Black

er like the explosive technicolour jungle of

Wind Sock

of the Insect

neon

signs in Tokyo's Roppongi district

ThisL"

Burroughs paints with words.

He

slashes at

And
Bill
ist

so forth.

the page with expressionist, surrealistic
is

Pynchon and Burroughs

fission,

Burroughs

a master journalis

word-strokes and verbal shotgun

blasts.

because he describes what

really hap-

Like pictures in a gallery, Burroughs's para-

with laser precision, the

pening
people.

in personal terms about specific

graphs need not be scanned
His

in linear order.

Danny the junkie car wiper. The
in the

work has been

called "hologramic" or

grammatical structures and
semantic machinery of the old,
classic lan^ua^e of Shakespeare.

pimps and hustlers
Heroin cures
at

Socco Chico.

"fractal," in that

any paragraph might con-

Benchimal Hospital. The

tain

compressed sequences that unfold and

Interzone Cafe, reeking of rotting, aborted,
larval archetypes. Etc.

recycle in later versions.

Above
the story
Soft Machine,

all,

Burroughs's work

is

The book
Junkie, Queer,

titles tell

humourous. He sees through the
jumble of raw sweat details

tinsel

Naked Lunch,

to the eternal

The Ticket That Exploded, Nova Express, The Wild Boys, Blade Runner And the magnificent final trilogy about apocalypse-

comic

strips of life. If any.
Bill

Burroughs

is

a very

hmny man,

and one of America's greatest

artists.

SECTION

VI.

4

CUEIIllA

UT

ON WIUIAM

S.

lUIIOUCHS'S INTERZONE

173

1984 William Gibson has

cally stake out, colonize,

and exploit a

class

Since splashed across our screens with four
flashy, sexy,

or region or genre.

The mystery story. The
historical

romance. The biography. The
novel.

21st-century cybertexts.
first

The Southern novel.

Poetry.

The

Jewish novel. Science
Gibson's
novel,

fiction.

literary factory assembly lines.

The

Neuromancer, swept the sdence-fiction

highly profitable Book-of-the-Month currently
lists.

awards and defined the cyberspace

owned by Time-Life,
The Nobel

bic. best-seller

Crown and Waldenbook

chains.

The

game. He imagined
gave names,

digital

cycology and

Pulitzer Prize!

Prize!

Newton,

roles, rules, rituals,

and geo-

Darwin, and the engineer scientologists of
the 19th Century sought to impose law

and

graphical labels to those big, new, scary,

order upon a chaotic universe. So did the
authoring world.

abstract algorithms that are changing our
virtual realities.

The name was "cyber-

PERFORMING PSYCHOLOGY
punk." The role was quark. The
tal terrain

new

digi-

And here comes
electronic age.

the postindustriallinguistics.

the "matrix," aka cyberspace,

Quantum

Einstein, Heisenberg, Planck, Bohr, Fredkin

aka Cyberia.

faxed us the scary news.
like

Who among us
that the universe,

Gibson writes

a cyber-reggae

could handle

it? It

seems
is

from galaxy
musician, translating implausible, impersonal, unpopular, indecipherable equa-

to

atom,

made up of bits of

very highly miniaturized units of data.

These singular bit-izens of the galaxy are
called quarks. This fifteen-billion-year-old

tions into hip

human terms. He turns

information array

is

literaDy

an electronic
is

quantum

physics into Electric Ladyland!

telecommunication show. The universe

a

bunch of digital programs running, running,
running. There are no "laws."

And no

PERFORMING PHILOSOPHY
The
the science
literature

"orders." Evolution

is

and

art of any culture

perfoims (popularizes)
sci-

cent geometry of cellular automata recursion.
ing every second with or without you or me.

programmed by algorithms that use the adjaThe universe is evolv-

and philosophy of that epoch. For one example: The
is

ence of feudalism
ture,

theology. Therefore the art, literature, architeccele-

Here come the quarks!

and music of the Cat Stevens cross-and-crescent crowd

There goes the von Neumann neighbourhood!
It

brates the religious myths and the luxurious lifestyle of the nobility,

gets worse! Realities are determined by

whoever deter-

and the stem sword-and-dagger symbols wielded by the
appointed special agents of God.

self-

mines them. The elements of the universe are
linguistic.

digital, electronic,

Matter and energy are transitory hardware constructions.
out,

(Plato

and Buddha, it turns

were

early cyberpunks.)

The human

brain

is

hereby and henceforth owned and

PERFORMING INDUSTRIAL SCIENTOLOGY
A second example: The science
involves Newtonian law of the industrial age

operated by an individual.

It is

equipped with a hundred
is

billion

micro-info-centers called neurons, and
resentation of the galaxy,

a miniaturized digital repbillion

and order and the equally dogmatic, macho

which

is

equipped with a hundred
is

injunctions of genetic competition (unnatural selection) hallucinat-

mini-info-centers called stars.
rally)

The universe

equipped with (natu-

ed by Darwin. The art/literature/music of this factory culture
institutionalized, socialized, formalized. Like
it is

is

a hundred billion mega-info-centers called galaxies.
Let us not be confused by outmoded tech-mech, latch-jock-

contemporary science,
ey,

obsessed with

size, quantity,

and

replicability.

engineer-hardware Newtonian bullshit hi the feudal and indusages, size

Please meet the cast of characters; orchestra directors, art
gallery owners,
officials

trial

was everything. Bigger was better. Danvin was all

and members of the Writers Guild who

typi-

about big numbers. Viral genetics. Spread that sperm, Mr. Macho

174

TIMOTNY lEAlY

CHAOS

I

CYIEI CUIIUIE

Male! Infect every dumb egg you can bang your penetration stinger
into. Replicate yourself.

Hendrix tapes, interpersonal computers, and the enigmatic smile on

More

is better. is

your lover's face
beautiful.

at the

moment of orgasm.

Good news,

Ladies! In the info-world, smaller
it

Smaller is more. Because

means

singularity. Selectivity.

Q.

Who can

explain these mysterious digital programs?

Miniaturization-compaction means "power to the
noisy, polluting, factory-made

individual."

That
that

Who can
stories to

read us young, wanna-be quari(s nice bedtime

mass-matter-energy-momentum
It

make

us feel secure about loosening up?

Who

the male-order

crowd enjoys?

works

off static

hardware con(!),

can

make

us feel comfortable with the chaotic science

structed by robotic

Newtonian laws governing gravity

matter

of our wild times?

Who can make us laugh at the
and the
fractal natures of

lumbering along

at a snail

pace of c, the speed of light Matter is
is

structures crumbling before our eyes in Einstein smiles

frozen boulders of information. Matter
Start dissolving matter,

thinking by committee.

because

relativity

the running

and you
is

free individual intelligence.

programs are always funny? (Why? Because they
surprise us.)

"Individual intelligence"

a redundancy, just like "Harvard
is

Who will

get us giggling
life?

like

shocked
us with

Square." Artificial intelligence

an oxymoron. The alchemists
it

schoolkids at the facts of

Who

will tickle

knew this. Solve et coagulare. Warm

up. Loosen

it

up, and you free
link

accurate disorder?

the units of intelligence (quarks). Quarks are

programmed to

up with other individual data-pax. This is called "jacking in."
Digital-information cloud constellations are what count in

A. TTje artists-poets-mus/dans-stofytellers. The popularizers
It

of quantum

linguistics.

the info-economics of nature.

A quark is ahnost pure

information.

has only one hardware function: "off-on."

A quark probably has as
gigantic

James Joyce (who coined the word "quark") taught us
mentary word processing and demonstrated how to atomize

ele-

much cyberpower as an atom. Don't be so impressed by the
electrons

the

atom, spinning around with heavy nucleus and myriads of planetary

molecules of grammar. Think of Joyce as a primitive, predigital
visionary like Alan 'Ruing. William
S.

and space

debris.

The average atom
is

is

the vehicle navigat-

Burroughs was the next
the chains of static

ed and programmed by quarks. This

not to depreciate the atom,
in

alchemical writer to slash the word

line, dissolve

an info-center that has as much cyberpower as a neuron, which,
turn,

grammatical form, cut up pages of prose, free the squirming atomic
words, and
let

has as

much cyberpower as a galaxy.
information. Granmiatically speaking, the
first

them reassemble

in

random

disorder.

E = nu^ is an engineering blueprint The basic equation is
I=mc^, where "/"am
quark should be thought of as
person singular.

A single neuron
is

has more information power than a sun! The exploding star
noisy hardware! Your brain has

just
it

Gibson writes

like a

more information crammed into

cybei-ie^^ae musician,

than

all

the stars in the galaxy.

A brick-size cram of digital informatranslating implausible, impersonal, unpopular,

tion is

more powerful than Mount Everest
Here's a pop version of this principle: an invisible packet of

DNA has enough algorithms to grow you an Amazon rain forest!
This quantum reality
is

indecipherable equations into hip

human

terms.

unbearably

light stuff for

a culture

of God-fearing, up-tight farmers

and factory engineers. This simple
Burroughs and his pal Brion Gysin knew how the algorithms unfolded. IF you free the individual info-units,
singularity, quark, or

minimalist mathematique of apparent disorder seems to offer no

mercy

to the

unprepared. None!
it'

THEN they
no
acci-

fc

Well, fuck

What self-respecting

will

combine
the
first

in the natural

way

(i.e.,

as programmed). Burroughs

neuron wants mercy, anyway? And,
self-appointed feudal judges

for that matter,

who are these

was

author to use scientific concepts in his art

and

industrial

managers who want to

dent, perhaps, since his grandfather
first successfiilly

and namesake invented the

convict a bram-carrying

human, at birth, of indescribable
power
to give

marketed mechanical computer.

sins/crimes and claim for themselves the

mercy? Give

Thomas Pynchon was the greatest and last of the "quantum
Unguists."

mercy to a quark? To a brain? To a galaxy? To a strand of DNA?

(We do not use the nervous term "science

fiction" to

We are stuck with these jolly Sartrean, Foucault, Fredkin
algorithms that

describe the quantum-science writers.) Classical science fiction

was

have been churning out radio and television signals

tech-mech

fantasy, a serious attempt to impose engineering law and
ilk

for fifteen billion years

and the meter

still

running.

The

realities

order on the future. Asimov, Heinlein, Lucas, and their

were

include Koran, Bible, Talmud, in addition to peacock feathers, passionflowers, aphrodisiac resins of certain aesthetic vegetables, Jimi

loyal company men usmg art in a last attempt to impose mechanical

order on the postmechanical future. The ultimate writer of the

SECTION

VI.

S

(UEIILIA AIT

WILLIAM GIISON: 9UAIK OF THE DECADE

175

Gibson has produced nothing less than the underlying myth, the
core

legend,

oi the next

staje

of

human

evolution. He is

performing the philosophic function that Dante did for feudalism

and that
industrial
industrial

Melville, Tolstoy,

Mann, and Lawrence did

for the

aje.
Cyberpunks are bored with "hard
reaUty."

age was

L.

Ron Hubbard. His fac-

tory-writ tin-can booiis, engineered by

They are happiest when operating

"Hubbard,

Inc.," still sell millions of copies.
is

in the inner or outer matrix.

Timing

everything in the info-

Dixie Flathne

is

the code-cowboy

world. After fifteen billion years of evolution,

whose wetware-brain was scrubbed and whose

Gibson

hit that

small window,

bom between
target!

ROM version coached Case through
As his reward, he
alone in the matrix
to

1946-64 in North America, right on

his epic adventures.

As a member of the
sion) generation,

first

cybernetic (televiavail-

wished only

be

left

he was not the only

with no mvolvement in the hard world.
Gibson's defmition of women in the
cybernetic age also deserves admiring
scrutiny. Unlike his males, his

able brain-carrying info-unit Ilip on."

programmed to
a miUion

The program had readied

or so baby-boom quarks with the same
if/then algorithms.

female char-

acters are strong, independent, effective,
heroic,

Let

me suggest some of the techto illus-

and powerfully

attractive.

They are

niques used by WiUiam Gibson
trate/personalize
(cycology).
First

shaman
ful,

ladies, sophisticated wizards, play-

quantum psychology

humorous, hip

diviners. Gibson's

women have more material power, worldly
we note that all of Gibson's vmtings, like those of
know-how, poUtical
"trodes."
juice,

although they rarely "jack
at

m" with
as though the

Pynchon and Burroughs, humanize high technology. His cybertech
characters are street-smart inhabitants of countercultures. Digital

They seem more

home in the matrix.

It's

women are out there in Cyberia already, watching
ing fondness
ial

with patroniz-

appUances and space-tech gadgets jam the landscapes through

the klutzy guys

scrambUng around

in both the

mater-

which his characters move.
His anti-heroes

and the

digital worids.

Case, Bobby

Newmark

[sic],

Bobby

Nor can we ignore the
nature of his casting.
oriental wit,

global, international interracial

Quines, Johnny Mnemonic, Fox's partner in New Rose Hotel, are

We note his slick mixture of voodoo power,
21st-

"cyberpunks." They

are

human versions of the basic element of the
divided by

and American innocence. He wisely bases his

quantum

universe.
1.

They are quarks. Prime numbers

century cyberculture on pre-Christian, premdustrial pagan, feminine, france cultures. His use of voodoo foundations
is

themselves and

inspired.

Quarks are loners. Free agents. Quarks have minimal hard-

Gibson has produced nothing

less than the

underlymg

ware power in the material worid. They have no
loyalty to, institutions.
is to

httle

mterest in, and

myth, the core legend, of the next stage of human evolution.

He is

They

are alien-ates. Outsiders. Dropouts.

performing the philosophic function that Dante did for feudahsm

Their function

activate themselves

by "turning on"

to psyber-

and

that Melville, Tolstoy,

Mann, and Lawrence did for the

industri-

space within and to be ready to "tune in" 0ack in) to cyberspace on
the other side of the screen.

al age.

Gibson gives us the cast of characters and the landscapes of
flip "in" to receive

Quarks are free-radical individuals who

the immediate ftiture. Other,

more

influential

performing Homeric

the algorithmic instruction from their neurons and then

flip

"out" to

philosophers may come along to
fiitures,

script, direct,

and screen our

Cybertown.

When they are operating "in" psyberspace or operating

but they will consciously and gratefully build on the founda-

"out" in cyberspace, they are pilots navigating the oceans of digital

tions given us by Bill Gibson.

information.

I7

TIMOTNY lEAlY

CHAOS

(

CVIEI CIILIUIE

t

f*

^^^^

MM
ANDY
FRITH

*

vi.i

How

TO Publish Heresy

in

Mainline Publications

French semiotix, Michel
Foucault, has demonstrated that

known
dits

columnists. These syndicated pun-

are selected to give the illusion of a

Ohe
trol

those

who control the thought(i.e.,

variety of viewpoints, but in reality such

engines

the

mass media) con-

columns cover only a narrow spectrum
between the extreme right wing of the
CIA-Pentagon fan club
Buckley,
etc.)

the

minds of the people. The Tien An

Men

students in China learned

how to

use

(Safu-e, Will
platiIf

television to create history

from American
geriatric

and the bland, tame

dissidents of the 1960s.

The

Deng

tudes of the loyal "liberal" opposition.

clique learned to deal with student revolts

somebody
or Noam

like

me

or Alexander

Cockbum

by watching Nixon's Kent State massacre

Chomsky

or even Gore Vidal
to the
I

on

television.

were

to

submit a truly dissident essay
press,

have a high rate of success
I

Like

many outsiders,

1

have

mamstream

no matter how convinc-

when

become

fascinated by the manufacture of

ing the facts and witheringly brilliant the
logic, there is little
1

write under pen
if

"news" by those who control our press and
television. Therefore, for the last

chance

that

it

would be

names, particularly

the

few years

pubUshed.
"Letters to the Editor"
section of the paper
is

social-ethnic flavor of the
the only

have experimented with methods by which
the lone individual can insert irreverent,
dissident,

where

far-out opinions

name

fits

the content.

and

libertarian perspectives into

are expressed.

The

publicity

wings of the

the information assembly lines.

various political and religious groups
this,

know

For example, the editorial pages of

and tend

to flood the editorial offices

newspapers publish opinion pieces by well-

with their boiler-plate propaganda.

SECTION

VI.

i

CIIEtltLA

AH

HOW

TO PUIIISH HERESY IH MAINLINE PUIIICATIONS

177

Extreme

fascist opinions,

which

retired rabbi, to criticize Zionist extremism.

"respectable" columnists dare not mention,

Zachary Chase was a junior-high-school
student

can be published

this

way; and sometimes
views

who was disturbed by the bloodmany quotes

even libertarian or

truly heretical

bath mentality revealed in the

can also creep into print this way.
In the last ten years
1

from President Reagan.

have written
nique

The most effective
is to

info-raid tech-

hundreds of letters

to the

Los Angeles

avoid stating dissident opinions

The most

effective info-iaid

Times, the Los Angeles Herald Examiner,

openly Simply adopt the current establish-

srA Los Angeles Weekly. Letters signed with

ment line.

Select the

most outrageous,

technique

is to

avoid stating

my own name usually vanish dovm the
memory hole and do not appear in print
However,
1

flamboyant aspect of the hard-line position.

Exaggerate
Voltaire),

it

a bit (in the
it

manner of
in the passionate

dissident opinions openly.

have a high rate of success

and "defend"

when I write under pen names, particularly
Simply adopt the cuiient
establishment line. Select the
if

jargon of the true beUever. Satire teaches
those deaf to logic and evidence.

the social-ethnic flavor of the
1

name fits

the content. For example,

invented the

Here, for example,

is

a letter that

name of Mary Agnes O'Brien, to question
the position of Mother Teresa and the pope

addresses the recent Bush-generated hysteria

about the American flag-burning

most outrageous, flamboyant
of the hard-line

on

birth control.

I

invented

I. J.

Ratz, a

episode.

aspect

DearEdi

position. Exa^^erate
(in the

it

a bit
Even flaming
liberals

agree that scrawling anti-American or anti-religious

graffiti

on the

manner

of Voltaire),

Washington Monument should not be constitutionally protected. Nonetheless, some cardcarrying

ACLU

lawyers apparently convinced the Supreme Court that a flag bought and
individual mental patient
is

and "defend"

it

in the

paid for by
Surely,

some

not a national monument.
lawyers
will

now

other self-appointed

civil-liberties

defend the more insidious

of the true passionate Jargon

case of "doset aeeps"

who will undoubtedly continue

to burn flags in the privacy of their
if

own homes,
believer. Satire teaches those
is

thus evading detection and prosecution even

Bush's proposed
in

amendment

passed. Can not our schools and
In this

police educate children to turn

such parents?

current dimate of global disrespect for authority and for sacred symbols, should
sell

deaf to lo^ic and evidence.

not the right to possess, transport, and

sacred symbols

like

the

flag,

the Blessed

Sacrament, guns, and Bibles be resbicted to
alties are

patriotic

and God-fearing

citizens
in

whose

loy-

beyond suspidon and who can be counted on not to desecrate

public or in pri-

vate? For example, suppose you saw a Jesse Jackson follower
like Willie

Norton swaggering

down the

street with an

American

in his flag in his hand, or a Dukakis follower with a Bible

hand. Wouldn't this
sacred
relics

make you wonder

uneasily

what people

like

that might

do with these

when nobody b watching?

Mary Agnes O'Brien

Readers are encouraged

to

experiment with

this

American method of samizdat,

info-guerilla tactics.

i7

TIMOTIY lEAlY

CHAOS

i

(VIEI CUITUIE

Reproduce: to generate offspring by sexual or asexual union; to
produce again or renew; to recreate.
Authentic: Entitled to acceptance because of agreement with known
fact or experience, reliable, trustworthy. For example, an

authentic portrayal of the past, present, or future.

vim

REPRODycEi AoiHfNiic: The

Wizardry

of David

Byrne

Reproduced Authentic is a magnificently bound art book containing five
paintings by David Byrne and four other
artists that

To the feudal aristocrat as well as the

Manhattan

art critic, "authentic"

means

a

"rare original": a

commodity traded by

David Byrne

is

a

member

were converted to 8V2 x

"
1 1

gallery merchants and monopolized by

images transmitted from Tokyo
via

New

York to

owners. The politics of solid-state aesthetics is

of a small group of
illuminati

telephone

line

by facsimile.

authoritarian

and one way. There are

who perform

They were exhibited
a

at Galerie Via Eight,

the owner-producers.

And

there are the

show curated by Joseph Kusuth.
I

the important role of
navigating our future.

gawkers.

consider this apparent oxymoron,

"Reproduced Authentic," to be the most
fascinating issue confronting us as

we

TRANSMISSIBILITY REPLACES RARITY
According to the German philosopher,

Multimedia wizards

who

move from the

solid,

possessive material-

experiment with new

ism of the feudal-industrial societies to
the relativity-recreativity of the electronic
stage.

Walter Benjamin, "The authenticity of
thing
sible
is

a

the essence of
its

all

that

is

transmisits

forms of reproducing

from

beginning ranging from

and transmitting. People

Now

that Newton's laws have

become

substantive duration ... to the history

local ordinances, clunky, static art trea-

which
is

it

has experienced. Rarity

.

.

.

now

who perform philosophy,
if

sures of wood, marble, canvas, and steel

a

.

.

.

mask of

art's potential for

meancri-

you

will.

become crumbling

curiosities, their value

ing ..

.

and no longer constitutes the
.
.

insanely inflated by well-marketed "rarity."

terion of authenticity

.

Art's

meaning

These archaeological antiques are

then becomes socially (and

politically)

huckstered at Sotheby auctions, guarded

formed by the
These

living."

by armed guards
in

in vault-like galleries,

or

liberating, egalitarian notions of
transmissibili-

the mansions of wealthy collectors.

"reproduced authentic" and

Thus the wretched caste-class possessiveness of feudal and industrial cultures
that prized "rarity." Thus the

ty are the application of quantum-field

dynamics and Einsteinian

relativity

and

$80

million

interpersonal psychology to humanist
electronic communication.

market for canvases that the unauthentic
painter Van Gogh could not "transmit" for
a 5-franc meal at the local bistro.

The implications are profound and timely. The politics are interactive. The

SECTION

VI.

7

CUEIILIA ART

lEriODUCED AUTHENTIC: THE WIZAtDRY

OF DAVIO lYRNE

179

passive consumers

become

active agents

ting.

People

who perform

philosophy,

if

who

receive electronic patterns on their

you

will.

What

is

"authentic"

is

not

screens, disks, fax machines, and then

For starters, David helped found The
Talking Heads, arguably one of the ten

transform

.

.

.

transmit

.

.

.

re-create

.

.

.

the possessed object but the
ever-changing network, the

re-animate.

most important rock bands of
"authentic"
is

all

time.

He

What

is

not the pos-

directed two innovative films
Stories

True

entangled

field of electronic

sessed object but the ever-changing networl<, the

and Ik Aiye, a haunting documen-

entangled

field of electronic

tary about Brazilian religious festivals.

He

interactions through which

interactions through which the essenceicon
is

won

an Oscar for scoring The Last

the essence-icon

is

conmated.

continually re-created and re-ani-

Emperor.
His publishing house, Luaka Bop,

tinually re-created

and

The 12-year-old

kid in the inner city

transmits global sound. His album

Uh Oh

re-animated.

slides the disk containing the

Mona

Lisa

fuses the best of Byrne: biting hard rock,

into her Macintosh, colours the eyes

pulsing Latin drive, 21st-century
Talking

flair,

green,

modems

it

to her pal

in Paris,
it

who

Head

sass.

adds purple

lipstick
it

and runs

through a
the

David Byrne transmits the message of

laser copier;

is

then faxed to Joseph

new breed, the Mondo 2000

spirit.

Kusuth for the next Galerie Via Eight

Human. Funny. Global. Passionate. Laid
back. Friendly. Ironic. Wise.

show
It

in
is

Tokyo.
this transmissibility, this global

And, oh, yeah
Reproduced.
Re-creational.

.

.

.

interactivity that David Byrne authenti-

cates so gracefully.

David Byrne

is

a

member

of a small

Authentic.

group of

illuminati

who perform

the

important role of navigating our future.
Multimedia wizards

who experiment

with

new forms
180

of reproducing and transmit-

TIMOTHY LEARY

CHAOS

I

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CAROLYN

FERRIS

VI.S.CONVERSATION WITH

David Byrne

TIMOTHY LEARY:
lecture
I

I

mention you

in every

Muddy Waters and Howling Wolf I'm not
doing
it

give,

because you represent the

intentionally, but

it

has that effect

21st-century concept of internationalglobal

TL What music do you Usten to? Who
are your favorite musicians

coming together through

elec-

tronics.

How did you get into that?
television

now?

DB: The

last

DAVID BYRNE: With

and movies

Pubhc Enemy record was just
lot

amazing
and records being disseminated
globe,
all

a dense collage with a
1

of real

over the

you have instant access
it's

philosophy
to

listened to die last Neil

Young

ahnost
record.
1

have some records from Japanese

anything, anywhere. But

out of congroups, and Brazilian and

Cuban

stuff

all

With

television

and movies and

text

free-floating. People in other parts of

the sUiff we've been putting out
label.

on the

the world

India, South America,
to

Russia-

lecoids bein^ disseminated

all

have access

whatever we're doing. They
vrith
it,

can play around

misinterpret
free to

it,

or

TL
DB:

Tell us

about Luaka Bop.

ovei the ^lobe, you have instant

reinterpret

il,

and we're

do the
1

same.

It's

a part of the age

we live in.
even

put together a compilation of songs
artists
1

by important Brazihan

a couple of
it

access to almost anything,

There's that kind of communication

years ago, and afterward

thought

could

though

it's

not always direct

be an ongoing

tiling.

I

figured Uiat

I

might
so

anywhere. But

it's

out of

TL The young Japanese particularly.
in

as well have an umbrella
diat people

mechanism
label

Read those Tokyo youth magazines!

might see

tiie

and check it
way.

context-free-floating. People

They pick up on everything. Rolling
Stone
is

out

It

was a practical

tiling in Uiat

like

other parts of the world-India,

a Uttle village pubUcation

We're

now slowly getting into a greater
tiie fiiture

compared to Japanese mags.
DB: They're very cathoUc
TL:
in that sense.

range of tilings. In

we're going to

release soundti-acks for Indian movies, an

South America, Russia-have
access to whatever we're doin^.

Okinawan pop group, and
England. That
will

a

duo from

What's your unage in the global new-

be one of our few

breed culture?
Brazil, for

How are you seen m

releases in Enghsh.

mstance?

They can play around with
it,

it,

TL

Marshall

McLuhan would be very
globalization.

DB: I'm seen as a musician

whom some
lot

happy with that

What

misinterpret

or

reinterpret

it.

people have heard of

not a

who has

about your symphony, The Forest?
DB:
It

an appreciation of what Brazilians are

was

originally

done

for a Robert

and we're

free to

do the same.

doing.

Sometimes

it's

confusing for them,
I

Wilson piece. The idea was dial we'd take
tiie

because some of the things
It's

like are not

same

story
it

tiie

a part of the a^e

we

Gilgamesh legend.

live in.

always what their critics Uke.

For instance, some of the records

He'd interpret
fihn.

for stage

and

I'd

do

it

as a

We'd use

There's that kind of

on Luaka Bop
Northeast,

Uke music from the
Uiat

my music. The hope was
in die

and even some of the Samba
die

we'd present tiiem

same

city at

same

time. So

communication-even though
it's

stuff

is

considered by the middle and
to

you could see two vastiy

different interpretations of a reinterpreted

upper class and inteUigentsia

be lower-

not

always direct.

class music. Like Ustening to country

and

ancient legend.

1

found

it's

die oldest story

we know. We

updated

it

to tiie industiial

western or rap here. They're surprised that
this "sophisticated"

guy from

New York

revolution in Europe.

likes

lower-class music instead of their

TL Cosmology and immortality.
DB: h was written
in die fu^t cities
it

fine-art music.

ever

But sometimes

it

makes tiiem look
built Oddly enough,

deals widi

tiie

same

agam

at their

own culhu* and appreciate
in the

what tiiey'd ignored. Much

same way

questions diat
al revolution

came up during
persist today
at a

die industii-

and

when cities

that die BeaUes, RoUing Stones, and Eric

Clapton

made young Americans look at

and indushy expand

phenomenal rate.

llz

TIMOTNY lEAlY

CHAOS

I

(YIEI CUlTttlE

The Africans who were
It

deals with

what

it

means to be

civilized

forcibly

brought here have

about an African religion
since slavery times.
It's

that's

been there

versus natural. So

it

has a current resoas old as you can get.

nance, although
TL:

it's

colonized us with their music,

mutated and

The older I get, the more I see everyui stages.
I

with their sensibility and

evolved over the years to the extent that

now it could
religion

be called an Afro-Brazilian

thmg move through the feudal, Gilgamesh, the
start

with the tribe and

rhythm. They've colonized
their oppressors.
the samurai, identify with your enemy.

there's a lot of African elements.

The ceremonies,
of drumming,

the rituals consist of a lot

industrial ...

But what's impressed
is

me
Become one with your enemy, understand
it,

people occasionally go into

about your music

that regardless of the

trance, offerings are

made,

altars are
. . .

settmg, there's always the African body
beat.

made

...

the occasional sacrifice
it

It's

an

or you won't be able to fmd your way out

ecstatic religion

feels good.

of the maze.

DB:

It's

part of our culture now.

It's

some-

TL IVe never seen so many dignified,
happy human bemgs in any place
time. For over
is filled

thing we've been inundated
Africans

vrith.

The

TL The Soviet Union is a great teacher
about the horrors of fire power and

at

any

who were forcibly brought here
and rhythm. They've colo-

mnety minutes Uie screen

have colonized us with their music, with
their sensibiUty

machuie

tech.

You see the smog and

wiUi Uiese stately older black
. . .

those grizzled old miners

commg out of

women
DB:
It's

nized their oppressors.

the deep, sooty mines with then- faces
black.

Tb Michael Ventura, who explains how
Voudoun came from Alnca, says the same thing. I wrote an article about
Southern vegetables

On the other hand, there was a
can't cut out the
it

very joyous and regal.

When

the

drums and dancing kick

in, it's like

grandeur to it, and you

a really

hot rock or rhythm-and-blues show.
the music hits that level

When

mdustrial side of our nature, because

we colonials gomg
and grabbmg

has brought us to

this

room where we
our converI

where everybody

tunes into

it, it's

the

mto Southern

can use machines
sation. That's

same kind of feeling.

to record

cultures

their sugar, coffee,

and bananas. The
estmg

somethmg
which
is

that

find inter-

TL
it's

That's

what religion should be. But
joyous. At times Uiere's a stern-

industrial people arrive, build factories,

in Japan,

the perfect

not

all

machine

and then they become countercolonized
by the music, the food, and the psychoactive vegetables.
It

society. There's not

much pollu-

nessa sphinx-like trance to it.
DB:
ing
It

tion there
street.

you never see any filth on the

deals with

acknowledging and pay-

happened

to the

homage

to the natural forces.

Some

of

British

m India.
it

DB: No,

it's

cleaned up pretty quickly. You

those are deadly,

some are joyous, some some are
life

DB: In a subtle way

get scolded for tossing a can out your car

are dangerous, and

giving.

changes people's

window.

I've

ways of thinking;
ties for

it

increases the possibilifeel.

seen people get scolded for
It's

That's the flux of nature,

and Candomble

what they could think and

not washing their car!

a matter of face.

acknowledges the entire dynamic.

And

they're not always

aware of what's happen-

ing to them.

TL And nothing is old there. I didn't see one car that was more than four years
old or with a dent in
it.

TL You also said Uiat Uie aim
ceremonies
deities
is

of Uiese

to bring Uie Orixas

TL

who serve as intermediaries

I

see the industrial age as a stage

a
DB: That's taking LA. one step further.

very tacky, messy, awkward stage of

between mortals and Uie supreme force
of nature. Tell us about that.

human evolution. We had to have the
smoky factories, and we must mature
was very touched by your comments about The Forest. You were
I

TL

I

spent

some time today watching

DB:

beyond them.

your video Tfe 4^.
DB:
It's

When the vibe is right somebody gets
like in ancient

possessed by one of the Gods. There's a

about an Afro-Brazilian religion
in Yoruba,

pantheon of Gods

Greece or

trying to

acknowledge the romance and

called

Candomble. "He Ayie"

an

Bome. The God
room,

is

said to be there in the

the grandeur of the factory civiUzation

African language, roughly translates as the

in the body, so

you can have a con-

even though
up.

it

was fucking everything

house of life or the realm that we

live in.

versation with him, or dance with him.
isn't

God

TL The biosphere I

up there unreachable, untouchable.

.

.

.

It's

DB:

My instinctual
It's

something that can come right down

reaction

is

that this stuff
in.

sucks.

created the mess that we're
to find

DB: Yeah, the dimension that we

live in
It

into the

room with you. You can dance with

But you're never going

rather than other existing dimensions.

God or ask direct questions.

your way out

was done

of the mess unless you can somehow, like

in Bahia, in the city of Salvador,
Brazil.
It's

on the coast of northeastern

TL The great Uiing about Uie Greek
Gods was
Uiat Uiey

had human

qualities.

SfCIION

VI.

I

GUtmiA UT

CONVEISATION WITH DAVID lYINE

183

DB: These as well. They can be sexy,
ous, vain, loving, whatever
all

jeal-

Anarchic Adjustments. The front reads
"Ecstasy,"

the attribut-

and on one arm

it

reads "Egos

es of people.
TL:

In, Egos Out."

William Gibson has written about

DB: Joseph Kusuth would have a definition
of a

Voudoun. Many of his Voudoun people
talk about the

word and just frame that He

invited

human being as a horse,
rides

me to be part of this exhibition in Japan
where the idea was
machine.
I

and how the God comes down and
the

to create art

with a fax

human being.
the

did something equivalent to the
sins.
it

DB: That's the Haitian metaphor
horse.
It's

seven deadly
it,

It

didn't exist

I

coUaged
it

sandwiched

in the fax

the

same

idea.

machine, and

came out the
TL:

other end. They took the fax
to

The healer, the warrior, the mother

and blew

it

up

the size of a painting.

bubblmg one after another these archetypes of characters or natural forcesbasic

When

it

was
it

transmitted, rather than
it

receiving
acetate.
tive.

on paper, they received
acetate
fax

on

human situations, roles

.

.

.

The

became

a photo negathat can

DB: The nurturing mother or the warrior

They have

machines

man or woman, the sexy coquette

.

.

.

receive other materials,

and then they can

blow

it

up

to

any

size.

But you're never
to find

TL The seductive female warrior

that's

jfoinj

Yarzan.

I

became confused when that

TU You say you didn't want to be a scientist

man dressed as a Catholic priest ranted

because you liked the

graffiti in

the

your way out of

about

false prophets.
is

art

department better.

scientist

If you had been a what would you have been?

DB: The Airican religion

periodically

tlie

mess unless you can

being persecuted by the Catholic Church,

DB: At the time

I

was

attracted to pure sci-

by the Protestant Church, by the govern-

encephysicswhere you
and be
creative.
It's

could speculate

somehow,

like the

ment. They go through waves of being recognized and persecuted and going under-

equivalent to being an

artist. If you
fall right,

get the chance,

and the cards

ground and coming back up again and

there's

no

difference.

The

intel-

samurai, identify with

being recognized and pushed
TL:
I

down

again.

lectual play

and spirit are the same.
it's

know the cycle well.
fictional

TU Nature is that way
playful.

basically
is

your enemy. Become one with your enemy,

Murray Gell-Mann, who

one of

DB: So that was a scene from a

America's greatest

quantum physicists,

film there dramatizing persecution by

used the word "quark" to describe the
basic element from a funny line from

orthodox religion.

TU You wrote it m

.

.

.

James Joyce, "three quarks from Muster
Mark."
in a Brazilian

understand

it,

or

you

DB:
fihn.

It

was something 1 found

It

was an example
I

of recent persecu-

DB:

I

had a math teacher in high school

won't be able to find

tion; so

threw

it

in.

who included Lewis Carroll and Alice in
Wonderland
in his

TU

higher math studies.

I

That's a very powerful
it

moment, beIt

thought, "This guy

knows what he's doing."

your way

out of

cause

wasnt

orchestrated.

was
say.

authentic, as your friend here

would

the maze.

(Points to
tic./

a copy of Reproduced Authen-

TU Dodgson, the fellow who wrote it, knew what he was doing. That metaphor
o{ through the looking glass on the other
side of the screen. Talk about your

Would you comment on this book?
artist

DB: An

named Joseph Kusuth

orga-

Yoruba Gods and Goddesses. Talk about
Yarzan and Shango. Alice
of the electronic age.
is

nized it He's most well-known for art that
looks like your
shirt.

the Goddess

TU

[Displays shirL] It's designed by

'4

TIMOTHY lEAlY

CHAOS

i

(VIEI CIILIUIE

v3.

VIIJ.

Common-Sense Alternatives to Involuntary Death
co-iiiiifEN

'mi'm 'immii

Death

is

the ultimate negative patient health outcome.
William
L.

Roper, Director,

Health Care Financing Administration
(which administers Medicare)

est

human beings face death

with an "attitude" of helplessness, either resigned or

fearful.

Neither of these submissive, uninformed "angles of approach" to the most

crucial

event of one's

life

can be ennobling.

Today, there are

many

practical options

and methods available for navigating the

dying process.
der. Pascal's

Passivity, failure

to learn about them, might be the ultimate irretrievable bluntranslates into

famous no-lose wager about the existence of God

modern

life

as a

no-risk

gamble on the prowess of technology.
For millennia the fear of death has
sacrifice of your individuality.

depreciated individual confidence and

But for the humanist who believes
in the sanctity of the mdividual, these tradi-

Note the calculated
To die
is to

negativity.

increased dependence on authority.
Thie, the loyal
ial

members of a

famil-

tional prospects are less than exalted. Let's

cioak. to ^ive

up

or racial gene pool can take pride in the

be honest here.

How can you be proud of
tall

successes and survival tenacity of their kinship.

your past achievements, walk

in the

the

^host. to bite the dust, to

For example, around the year 1600, at

present, or zap enthusiastically into the

the height of the obedient, feudal stage, the

future

if,

awaiting you implacably around
is

kick the bucket, to To perish.

Chinese philosopher, Li Zhi, wrote a
revealing essay outlining "the five
die":

some
to

future comer,

Old Mr. D, the Grim

ways

Reaper?

become inanimate,
What a PR job the wordmakers did
death concept into a prime-

lifeless,

to build this
1.

defunct, extinct, moribund,

death for a worthy cause, death in
battle,

time horror show! The Grave.
Mortification. Extinction.

2.
3.

death as a martyr, death as a loyal minister, unjustly
attacked,
Catastix)phe.

Breakdown.

cadaverous, necrotic. A corpse,
a stiff, a cadaver, a relic, food

Doom.

4.

Finish. Fatality.
Obitiiary.

Mahgnancy. Necrology.
Note
5.
tiie

The End.
To

premature death after finishing

calculated negativity.

some good piece of work.
Thus we see
that the
life"

die

is to

croak, to give

up

die ghost, to bite

for

worms, a

orf yMf lecti.

the dust, to kick the bucket, to perish. To

aim of the

become inanimate,
extinct,

lifeless,

defunct,

a carcass.

What a miserable

"good (G. Gordon Liddy)
submission to authority.

was one of was

moribund, cadaverous, necrotic. A
stiff,

If your life

corpse, a

a cadaver, a

relic,

food for

ending to the ^ame of

life!

dedicated to serving the gene pool, then,
logically,

worms, a mrpus delecti, a carcass. What a
miserable ending to
flie

your death

is

the final, crowning

game of life!
TO INVOIUNTAIY DEATH

SECTION VII.

I

DE-ANIMATION/iE-ANIMATION

COMMON-SENSE AITEINATIVES

187

FEAR OF DEATH WAS AN

tribal

and feudal

societies. Personal innova-

EVOLUTIONARY NECESSITY
IN THE PAST

tion is sternly

condemned and

ostracized.

Industrial democracies vary in the sexual

freedom aUowed

individuals, but in totahh-an, for

t^
In the
the reflexive past,

In the past, the reflexive

tarian states,
rigid prudish

China and

example,

^^JBL^

genetic duty of top

manage-

moraUty controls the mating
boy-girl relations.

ment
genetic duty of top

(those in social control

reflexes

and governs

of the various gene pools) has been to

Under the Chinese

dictator

Mao,
it

make humans feel vt'eak, helpless, and

"romance" was forbidden because

weak-

management (those

in social

dependent in the face of death. The good of
the race or nation

ened dedication
gene pool.

to the state,

i.e.,

the local

was ensured

at the cost

If teenagers

pUot and select their
likely

control of the various

^ene

of the sacrifice of the individual.

own mating, then they wiU be more
to fertilize outside the hive,
insist

Obedience and submission were
)ools) has

more

likely to

been to make

rewarded on a time-payment plan. For
his/her devotion, the individual

on directing

their

own lives, and,

was

worst of all, less likely to rear their offspring with bUnd gene-pool loyalty.

lumans

feel

weak, helpless,
in the face o

promised

immortality in the

postmortem
as heaven,

hive center variously

known

Even more
rituals

rigid social-imprinting

and dependent

paradise, or the

Kingdom

of the Lord. In

guard the "dying reflexes." Hive
is

order to maintain the attitude of dedication,

control of "death" responses

taken for

death. The ^ood of the race or

the gene-pool

managers had to control the

granted in all

precybemetic cultures.

"dying reflexes," orchestrate the trigger-

In the past, this conservative degra-

nation was ensured at the cost

stimuli that activate the "death circuits" of

dation of individuality was an evolutionary
virtue.

the brain. This

was accomplished through
dependence and
docility

During epochs of species

stability,

of the sacrifice of the

rituals that imprint

when the tribal, feudal, and industrial technologies
tuned,

individual.

%

when the "dying alarm beUs" go off in the
Obedience
brain.

were being mastered and finein the

wisdom was centered

gene

Perhaps

we can better understand

pool, stored in the coUective linguistic con-

and submission were rewarde(
on a time-payment plan. For
lis/her devotion, the

this imprinting

mechanism by considering

sciousness, the racial data base of the hive.

another set of "rituals," those by which

Since individual Ufe
brutish, aimless,

was short,

human hives manage the conceptionreproduction reflexes, the fertilization
als.

what a singular learned

ritu-

was nearly irrelevant The world was
changing so slowly that knowledge could be embodied only in the breed-culture. Lacking technologies for the personal mastery of transmission
tion, the individual

A discussion of these is less likely to
The mechanisms of control

alarm you.

individual was

promisee

imposed by the operation of social machin-

and storage of informa-

immortality in the postmortem
live center

ery are similar in the two cases. Let us
"step outside the system" for a

was simply too slow and

moment, to

too small to matter. Loyalty to the racial
collective

variously

known
or the

see vividly what

is

ordinarily invisible

was the virtue.

Creativity,

prema-

because

it is

so entrenched in our expecta-

ture Individuation

was anti-evolutionary; a

asheaven, paradise,

tion.

weirdo, mutant distraction. Only village
At adolescence each kinship group
idiots

would try to commit independent,
UioughL
eras,

Kingdom

of the Lore

.

provides morals, rules, taboos, ethical prescriptions to

chaotic, unauthorized

guide the aU-important sperm-

In die feudal

and indusdial

egg situation.

management used

die fear of death to

Management by the individual of
the

motivate and control individuals. Today,
politicians use die death-dealing military,

homy DNA machinery is always a

threat to hive inbreeding. Dress, grooming,
dating, courtship, contraception, abortion

the police, and capital punishment to protect the social order.

Organized religion

patterns are fanatically conventionalized in

maintains

its

power and wealth by orches-

ill

TIMOTIT LIAIY

CHAOS

{

CYIEI (IlIIIE

ANDY

FRITH

trating

and exaggerating the fear of death.

the "last rites." Every

army

unit has

its

Among

the

many

things that the

Catholic chaplam to administer the

pope, the ayatollah, and fimdamentalist
Protestants agree on
is

Sacrament of Extreme Unction (what a
phrase, really!) to the expiring soldier.

that confident

The

miderstanding and self-directed mastery of
the dying process
is

ayatollah, chief mullah of the Islamic death
cult,

the last thing to be

sends his teen-aged soldiers into the
dog-tags guaranteeing
Allah's destina-

For millennia the
fear of death has

allowed

to the individual.

The very notion

haq minefields with
tion resort, Koranic

of cybernetic postbiologic intelligence or

immediate transfer to the

consumer immortaUty options is taboo, sinfid, for

Heaven.

A terrible auto

formerly valid reasons of gene-pool

crash? Call the medics! Call the priest! Call
the reverend!
In the industrial society, everything

protection.

depreciated individual

ReUgjons have cleverly monopo-

confidence and
increased dependence

Uzed the

rituals of dying to increase control

becomes part of big business. Dying
involves Blue Cross, Medicare, health-care
delivery systems, the Health Care

over the superstitious. Throughout history
the priests and mullahs and medical

experts have

swarmed around

the expiring

Flnancmg Administration (HCE^), termmal
patient wards. Undertakers. Cemeteries.

human Uke black vultures. Death belonged
to

on authority.

them.

The fimeral rituals. The monopoUes of reliAs we grew up
in the 20th

Cenhuy,

gion and the assembly lines of top manage-

we were systematically programmed about
how to die. Hospitals are staffed with
priests/ministers/rabbis ready to perform

ment control the dying and the dead even more
efficiently

than the

living.

We recall that knowledge and
(OMMON-SENSE AITEINATIVES
TO INVOLUNfAIV lEATN
ilf

SECTION VII.

I

DE-ANIMATION/IE-ANIMATiON

selective choice about

such gene-pool

issues as conception, test-tube fertilization,

pregnancy, abortion are dangerous enough
to the

church

fathers.

But suicide, right-to-die concepts,
euthanasia, life-extension, out-of-body

experiences, occult experimentation,

The cybernetic aje we
are

astral-travel scenarios, death/rebirth

reports, extraterrestrial speculation, cryo-

entering could mark

genics,

sperm banks, egg banks,

DNA

banks, artificial-intelligence technology

the

anything that encourages the individual to

bejinninj

of a

engage

in personal speculation
is

and experi-

mentation with immortality

anathema

period of enlightened

to the

orthodox seed-shepherds of the feuindustrial ages.

dal

and

and

intelligent
poUtical

Why? Because if the flock doesn't
fear death, then the grip of reUgious

and

individualism, a time

unique in history when
technology
is

of the gene pool

management is broken. The power is threatened. And when

control loosens in the gene pool, dangerous

genetic iimovations and mutational visions

available

tend to emerge.

to individuals to
THE ACE OF INDIVIDUAL

support a hu;e diversity
oi

RESPONSIBILITY AND

SELF-CONTROL

personalized

lifestyles

and cultures,

The cybernetic age we
could
enlightened and

are entering

mark the begiiming of a period of
intelligent individualism, a

programmed, quantum-linguistic appliances, individuals can choose their
social

own

a world of diverse,

time unique in history when technology is
available to individuals to support a

and genetic future, and pertiaps
"die."

huge

choose not to

small social interacting,

diversity of personalized lifestyles
tures,

and cul-

groups whose

a worid of diverse, interacting, small
groups whose initial-founding

initial-

social

mem-

THE WAVE THEOIV OF EVOLUTION
Current theories of genetics suggest that evolution, Uke everything else in

bership

number is one.
The exploding technology of light-

founding membership

number

speed and multimedia communication lays

the universe,

comes in waves.

is

one.

a delicious feast of knowledge and personal
choice within our easy grasp. Under such
conditions, the operating wisdom
trol naturally

At times of "punctiiated evolution,"
collective

metamoiphoses, when many

and con-

things are mutating at the

same time,
"old ones"

the

passes from aeons-old power

ten

commandments of tiie

of gene pools, and locates in the rapidly
self-modilying brains of individuals capable

become

ten suggestions. At such times of

rapid innovation and collective mutation,

of dealmg vrith an ever-accelerating rate of

conservative hive

dogma can be dangerous,
and

diange.

suiddal. Individual experimentation

Aided by customized, personally

exploration, the thoughtiiil meUiodical sci-

ift

TIMtTIT LEAIT

(IJtIS

i

(YIEI (IITIIE

ANDY

FRITH

entific challenging of taboos,

becomes the
school.

should not impose the values or vocabulary
of the past species
culture.

key

to the survival of the

gene

on the new cybernetic

As
arrive at a

we enter the cybernetic age, we
new wisdom that broadens our
and

Would you

let

the buzzwords of a

definition of personal immortality

preUterate, paleolithic cult control your life?

gene-pool survival: the postbiologic options
of the information species. of gourmet

Will you let the superstitions of a tribal-vil-

A

fascinating set

lage culture

(now represented by the pope
you
off"

consumer choices suddenly

and the

ayatollah) shuffle

the scene?

appear on the pop-up menu of The
Evolutionary Cafe.
It is

Will you let the mechanical, planned-obso-

lescence tactics of the factory. Blue Cross
to

beginning

look as though, in

culture

manage your existence?

the information society, individual

human
own

beings can

script, produce, direct their

RECREATIONAL DYING
Let us have no
talk

hybernation and re-animation. Dying

more

pious,

wimpy
to talk

becomes a "team sport"
Here we face mutation shock most panicky form. As we have done
in its

about death. The time has come

cheerfully and joke
responsibility for

sassily about personal

ui

managing the dying
dying
for con-

understanding earlier mutations, the first
step
is to

process. For

starters, let's demystify

develop a

new language. We

and develop

alternative

metaphors

^ ^ m m ^ ^ ^ ^ m ^ m ^ ^ ^ m m ^ m m m m m m ^ m ^ ^ ^ m ^ m m ^

It is

be^innin^ to look

as though, in the

infoimation society,
individual

human beings

can script, produce, diiect
theii

own hybernation and

le-animation. Dyin^

becomes a "team sport."

SECTION VII.

I

DE-ANIMAIION/IE-ANIMATION

COMMON-SENSE AITEINATIVES TO INVOLUNTAIY DEATH

1)1

ANDY

FRITH

sciousness leaving the body. Let us speculate

cessing involved.
Let's collect

good-naturedly about postbiologic

some data about that

options. Let's

be bold about opening up

a

even more intriguing zone
to

now beginning
as artificial

broad spectrum of Club-Med postbiologic

be researched

in the cross-disciplinary

We

recojfnize

that the

possibilities. Let us explore the option of re-

field of scientific
life.

study

known

creational dying.

What knowledge-information-process-

dyinj process, which
for millennia has

For

starters, let's

replace the

word

ing capacities can be preserved after botii

death with the more neutral, precise, scien-

body death and brain cessation? What natural

been

tific

term: metabolic coma.
to

And then

let's

and

artificial

systems, from

tiie

growth

go on

suggest that this

temporary

state of

of mineral stinctures to the self-reproduction of formal matiiematical automata, are

blanketed by taboo and
primitive superstition,

coma might be

replaced by auto-metamor-

phosis, a self-controlled change in bodily

promising alternative candidates to biology
for the support of life?

form,

where the
his or

individual chooses to

change

her vehicle of existence with-

And then
mate

let

us perform

tiie ulti-

has suddenly become
accessible to

out loss of consciousness.

act of human inteUigence. Let's ven-

Then,

let's

distinguish

between

ture witii cahn,

open-minded tolerance and
mysteques-

human

involuntary and voluntary metabolic coma.
Reversible and irreversible dying.

scientific rigor into that perennially

rious terra incognita
tion:

and ask

tiie final

intelligence.

Let's explore those fascinating bor-

What knowledge-information-pro-

derlandsthe periods between body dying
and neurological dying and

cessing possibilities can remain after die
cessation of all bio-logical
neurological, and genetic?
life:

DNA dying in

somatic,

terms of the knowledge-information pro-

192

TIMOTHY LEAIY

CHAOS

(

(YIEIt

CUITURE

How can human consciousness be
supported in
digital, light-wave,

pools,

advanced

viral

forms resident in

zero-one

world computer networks and cyberspace
matrices of the sort described in the

wafers outside the moist envelope of gracefiil,

attractive, pleasure-filled

meat we now

"sprawl novels" of William Gibson.

inhabit?

How can the organic, carbon-conbecome the
silicon but-

The second

step in attaining postis to shift

structed caterpillar
terfly?

biologic, re-creational awareness

from the passive
bidustrial-age

to the active

mode,
trained to

humans were

await docilely the onset of termination, and

The time has come

to talk

POSTBIOLOCICALRE-CREATIONAL AWARENESS
We recognize that the dying
process,

then to turn over their body for disposal to
the priests and the factory (hospital) technicians.

cheerfully

and joke sasslly about

Our species is now developing the
cybernetic information
activists'
skills

personal responsibility for

which

for millennia

has been blan-

and the

keted by taboo and primitive superstition,

confidence to plan ahead, to

make

mana^in^ the dyin^ process. For
Starters, let's demystify

has suddenly become accessible to
intelligence.

human

one's will and testament prevail.

The smart

thing to do

is to

see dying as a change in

dyin^ and

Here

we experience the sudden
need not "go
quietly"

the implementation of information processing: to orchestrate
it,

insights that we

and

manage

it,

anticipate

develop alternative metaphors for

passively into the dark night or the neon-lit,

and exercise the many available options.

Muzak-enhanced Disney-Heaven of the
Jesus Corporation.

We consider here twenty-three distinct

consciousness leaving the body.
Let us

We reaUze that the cona lethal, feudal
tactic of

methods of avoiding a submissive or

cept of involuntary, irreversible metaboUc

fearful dying.

speculate ^ood-naturedly

coma known

as "death"

is

superstition, a cruel

marketing

about postbiolo^ic options. Let's

industrial society.

We understand that one

POSTBIOLOCICALRE-CREATIONAL

can discover dozens of active, creative
alternatives to going belly-up clutching the

PROGRAMMING INTELLIGENCE
In previous writings the authors

be bold about opening up a broad

company logo

of the Christian Cross, Blue
eligibility

spectrum of Club-Med postbiolo^ic
Let us

Cross, or Crescent Cross, or the

have defined eight stages of intelligence:
biological, emotional,

cards of the Veterans Administration.

mental-symboUc,

possibilities.

explore the

Recognition

is

always the begin-

social, aesthetic, neurologjcal-cybemetic,

ning of the possibiUty for change. Once

we

genetic, atomic-nanotech. At each of these

option of re-creational dyin^.

comprehend

that "death"

can be defined as

stages there

is

an input recognition

stage,

a problem of knowledge-information

mem-

followed by a programming-reprogram-

ory processing, solutions to this age-long

ming stage, and an output communication
stage.

"problem" can emerge.
inteUigent thing to do
is

We realize that the
to try to

keep one's

In order to reprogram,

we must
which

knowledge-processing capacities around as
long as possible. In bodily form. In neural
form. In

activate the circuits in the brain

mediate that particular dimension of intelligence.

DNA form. In the silicon circuitry

Once this circuit is "turned

on,"

we

and magnetic storage media of today's
computers. In molecular form, through the
atom-stacking of nanotechnology in tomorrow's computers. In cryogenic form. In the

can re-imprint or reprogram.
Cognitive neurology suggests that
the most direct
al

way to reprogram emotionreactivate the emotional

responses

is to

form of stored

data, legend, myth, hi the

stage and reprogram, replace fear with
laughter.

form of offspring who are cybemetically
trained to use postbiologjc inteUigence. In

To reprogram sexual responses,
reactivate

it

is logical to

and re-experience and
to re-

the form of postbiological gene pools, info-

the original teenage imprints

SECTION yii.i

DE-ANIMATION/IE-ANIMATION

COMMON-SENSE ALTEINATIVES TO INVOIUNTAIY DEATH

193

imprint

new erotic stimuli and

We

realize that the

new sexual responses.
intelligent

The

circuits of the brain

thin^ to do
one's

is to

tiy

to

which mediate the "dying" process

keep

are routinely experienced during

"near-death" crises. For centuries

knowledge-processing

people have reported:
life

"My entire

capacities aiound as lon^ as
In

flashed before

my eyes as I

sank into the water."
This "near-death, out-ofthe-body" experience can be

possible.

bodily

fom.

In

neuial form. In

DNA

form. In the

turned on via certain anaesthetic
drugs. Ketamine, for example.

Or

silicon

circuitry

and magnetic

by learning enough about the
effects of out-of-the-body

drugs so

storage media of today's

that

one can use hypnotic techcir-

niques to activate the desired

computers. In molecular form,

cuits without using external
ical stimuli.

chem-

through the atom-stacking of

We see unmediately that
the rituals intuitively developed by
religious groups are designed to

nanotechnolo^y in tomorrow's
computers. In cryogenic form. In
the form of stored data, legend,

mduce hypnotic-trance
related to "dying."

states

The

child

grow-

ing up in a Catholic culture

is

deeply imprinted (programmed)

by funeral

rites.

The

arrival of the

myth. In the form of offspring

solemn

priest to administer

extreme unction becomes access
codes for the pre-mortem
state.

who

are

cybernetically trained

Other cultures have different rituals for activating

to use

and then controlcir-

postbiolo^ic intelligence.
Ung (programming) the death
cuits of the brain. Until recenUy,

In the form of

postbiolo^ical

very few have permitted personal
control or customized

consumer

^ene pools, info-pools,
choice.

advanced

viral

forms resident in
fests

Almost every animal species mani
"dying reflexes."

Some animals leave

up like a priest, rabbi, minister, and mimic theudressing

world computer networks and
cyberspace matrices of the sort
described in the

the herd to die alone. Others stand with
legs apart, stolidly postponing the last

solemn, hypnotic

rituals.

Visualize. Recite the prayers for

moment Some species eject the dying
organism Jrom the
social group.

the dying.

Do these things m the
mind.

virtual reaUty of your

"sprawl novels"

To gain navigational

control of

Officiate at

your own platonic

one's dying processes, three steps suggest

funeral.

of William Gibson.

themselves:
2.
1.

TVace theu* origins; then

Activate the death reOexes

imprinted by your culture,
experience them. Imagine

3.

Reprogram,

install

your own pre-

mortem plan for immortality.

iM

TIMOTHY lEAlY

(HHJ

i

CVIEI CUITOIE

The aim is to develop a

scientific

model of the chain of cybernetic

(linowl-

edge-information) processes that occur as

one approaches

this

metamorphic stage
develop options for

and

to intentionally

taking active responsibility for these
events.

ACHIEVING IMMORTALITY
Since the

davm

of human history,

philosophers and theologians have speculated about immortahty. Uneasy, aging

kings have

commanded methods for

extending the Ufe span.

A most dramatic example
age-long impulse
is

of this

ancient Egypt, which

produced mummification, the pyramids,

and manuals

like the

Book of the Dying.

The Tibetan Book of the Dying presents a masterful (Buddhist)

model of postfor guiding

mortem

stages

and techniques

the student to a state of immortality
is

which
scien-

neurologically "real"

and suggests

tific

techniques for reversing the dying

process.

The new field of molecular engineering
is

producing techniques within the

framework of current consensus Western
science to implement auto-metamorphosis.

The aun

of the

game is to defeat death

to

give the individual mastery of this, the final
stupidity.

We do not endorse any particular
technique of achieving unmortality. Our

BRUMMBAER

aim

is to

review all options and encourage

creative thinking about

new possibilities.

We

do not endorse any particular technique of achieving
Our aim
is to

immortality.

review

all

options and encourage

creative

thinking about new possibilities.

SECTION

VII.

I

DE-ANIMATION/IIE-ANIMATIOII

COMMON-SENSE ALTERNATIVES TO INVOLUNTAIIY DEATH

19$

AP[|[[IMINAiyLlS10FR[-Cl]EAllONAlOPllOiS
(TO REPLACE INVOLUNTARY IRREVERSIBLE METABOLIC

COMA)

PSVCHOLOCICAl-BEHAVIORAL
TRAINING TECHNI9UES The techniques in

4.

Sensory deprivation.
Primarily accomplished in isola-

this

category do

tion-tank immersions, a

method most comLilly.

not assist in attaining personal immortality

prehensively investigated by John

per se,

but are useful in acquiring the expe5.

rience of "experimental dying," reversible-

Reprogramming

exercises.
socially

voluntary exploration of the territory

Suspending and replacing
imprinted "death" imprints.

between body coma and brain death, sometimes called out-of-body experiences; or

near-dying experiences. Others have

6.

Development of new

rituals

to

It

seems likely that,

termed these experiences
reincarnation memories.

astral travel or

guide the post-body transition.

Our cultural taboos have

prohibit-

by the year 2000,
ceremonial dignified
celebration of one's

ed the development of much detailed work
1.

Meditation, hypnosis.

in this area,

but

some important research
J.

The

classic yogic routes to explo-

has been done by E.

Gold and others.

ration of nonordinary states of conscious-

ness,

well-known

to

be labor and timeattain

7. Pre-incarnation

exerdses.

intensive.

The aim

is to

an out-of-

Using the preferred altered-state

body experience.

method
voodoo

(drugs, hypnosis,
ritual,

shamanic trance,
frenzies) to cre-

bom-again

own

transition will
delic)

2. Psychedelic

drug experiences.

ate future scripts for oneself.

The use

of re-creational (psyche8.

be considered a basic

drugs

to

access information and

Voluntary dying.
This procedure
is

operational programs stored in the brain of
the individual. In normal states of coni.e.,

called "suicide,"

"self-murder," by

officials

who wish to

human

ritual.

sciousness, these states are not available
for voluntary access.

control the

mortem

process. Until recently,

self-induced death has been considered a

cowardly or insane attempt
3.

to interfere

Recreational anaesthetics.
Carefully designed for experimen-

with the natural order. Anyone
to

who wished

manage and

direct their

own dying was

tal

out-of-body experiences. John Lilly has

condemned by law and custom.

written extensively about his experiences

with small dosages of anaesthetics such as

f^

f^

Ketamine.

It is

possible that the out-of-body
In a

subjective effects of such substances are
interpretations of proprioceptive disruption.

pagan or nature-attuned
is

tribal

culture, there

a common-sense genetic
in this passive

Nevertheless, information

is

available

wisdom implied

acceptance

through these investigative routes.

of one's termination.

The

brain continually

i;6

TIMOTHY lEAlY

CHAOS

i

CYIEI CUtlUIE

monitors the vital ftuictions of the body, and
as the body starts faihng, terminal pro-

units

when termmally ill and in great pam

passionately beg to be put out of their hopeless misery.

grams take
dov

over.

The

brain quiefly shuts

the body and during the few minutes

Fundamentalist religious groups

between body death and neurological
death, the brain's

and neofeudal

officials

oppose any "pro-

hundred billion neurons

choice" initiative that allows individuals to

probably enjoy an astonishing "timeless"

manage their own

lives.

These groups also

review of all and everything.
In the late 20th Century, however,

are actively opposed to "euthanasia."
1

mechanical medical science started

[By
"inter-

990 a growing movement had
in
ill

fering" quite dramatically with the "natural" order. Tlibes

developed
terminally

California to allow

and machines are now
after the

patients to arrange

t

^

for their

own

used

dying: Americans
Suffering (Freedom

to

keep patients "alive" long

cessation of consciousness.

A stroke victim

Against

Human

who twenty years ago might have died in
an hour can now be revived, only
years
to

of Choice for Physician Aid-in-Dying). In
Holland, "euthanasia on request"
is

made

spend

m machine-induced coma.
Most people are shocked and out-

available after a prudent, suitable period

of review. Since 1992 Michigan doctor Jack Kevorkian has repeatedly tested the

raged by mechanical-medical methods that
strip dignity

and human consciousness

law by helping his terminally

ill

patients

from the terminal-coma patient The

exercise their right to choose the time

and manner of
It

their death.]

The brain

is

American Medical Association has supported the right of the family
to

beautifully

remove medical
comatose

seems

likely that,

by the year

treatment from terminally
patients.

ill

2000, ceremonial, dignified celebration of
one's

geared to slowly,
gracefully
lights
for

own transition will be considered a

turn out the

Then there

is

the problem of

basic

human ritual.

intractable pain suffered by patients termi-

humans-as

nally

ill

from

"artificial"

diseases caused by

9.

Pre-mortem hybernation.
hi the last section

industrial pollution

hke cancer, which

we have considown

cause agonizing pain. The brain housed in
the body of a person living in the industrial
low-rent, tacky culture of the late 20th

ered active management of one's

they do for other

dying: voluntary irreversible metabolic

animals.

.

.

.

coma. This planful procedure takes on a
different

C5

Century is not programmed to handle these

meaning when the person does

new diseases. The brain

is

capable of pro-

not "die," but slides into cryonic or brain-

wolves and dojs and
cats (for example),

ducing endorphin pam-killers naturally

bank hybernation. This option
"pre-mortem suspension."
ruled legal in California,
It

is

called

The

brain

is

beautiftdly geared to slowly,

has been

graceftilly turn out the lights for

humans

m a case brought

as they do for other animals.

Our sisters
like

by the Alcor Foundation.

manage

to die in

and brothers, the other pack animals
wolves and dogs and cats
(for

example),

manage

to die in dignity

without screaming

SOMATIC TECHNIQUES FOR LIFE EXTENSION
Techniques
to inhibit the

dipity without
process of

to veterinarians for sedation or priests for

screaming to
veterinarians for

extreme unction.
But the factory-hospital environ-

aging comprise the classic approach to
immortality. In the present state of science,

ment, run
(doctors

efficiently

by factory managers
is

these serve to buy time.

and nurses),

a very strange envi10. Diet.

sedation or priests for

ronment for any normal hundred-bilhonneuron brain. Hospitalized patients whose
brains are imprinted to perform as factory

extreme unction.
on
diet

The

classic research

and

longevity has been

done by Roe

L. Walford,

SECTION VII.

I

DE-ANIMATION/IE-ANIMATION

COMMON-SENSE ALTEKNATIVES TO INVOLUNTARY DEATH

197

coma. They are alternatives

for preserving

the structure of tissues until a time of more

advanced medical knowledge.

16. Cryonics or vacuum-pack
"pickling."

body

Letting one's body

and brain

rot

seems
future.

to

imply no

possibility at all for

your

Why let the carefully arranged tanyour nervous
store all yoiu"

gle of dendritic growths in

system which

memories

get

eaten by fungus? Perpetual preservation of

your tissues by freezing

is

available today at

moderate cost

17. Cryonic preservation of neural

tis-

sue or

DNA.
to

Those not particularly attached
their bodies

can opt for preservation of the

essentials: their brains

and the

instructional

codes capable of regrowing something
genetically identical to their present

biomachinery.

BIOGENETIC METHODS FOR
M.D. (The 120-Year Diet; Maximum Life
Span). The bottom
line: gluttony

LIFE

EXTENSION
Is

and greed

there any need to experience

are the killer addictions. Skinny folks live

metabolic coma? We have mentioned ways
to

much

longer.

gain personal control of the experience,
it

Techniques are

now
11. Life-extension drugs.
Anti-oxidants, etc.
sive reference
is

to stave

off by "conventional" longevity

emerging to permit a

techniques, to avoid irreversible dissolution
of the systemic substrate. Techniques are

A comprehen-

much more

vivid

Sandy Shaw and Durk

now emergmg to permit a much more vivid
guarantee of personal persistence, a

guarantee of personal
persistence, a

Pearson's Life Extension.

smooth metamorphic transformation
12. Exercise regimens.
different

into a

smooth

form of substrate on which the

computer program of consciousness runs.

metamorphic
transformation into a
different

13.

Temperature variation. Heat

kills.

18. Cellular/DNA repair. 14. Sleep treatments (hybernation).

form of

Nanotechnology

is

the science and

engineering of mechanical and electronic
15. Immunization to counter aging

substrate on which the

systems

built to

atomic specifications.

computer program of
consciousness runs.

process.

Nanotechnology has a potential for production of self-replicating

nanomachines
cells.

living

SOMATIC-NEURAl-CENETIC
PRESERVATION
Techniques
in this class

within individual biological
artificial

These

enzymes will

effect cellular repair,

do not

as

damage

occurs from mechanical causes,

ensure continuous operation of consciousness.

radiation, or other aging effects. Repair of

They produce

reversible metabolic

DNA ensures genetic stability.

i9

TIMOTHY lEAlY

CHAOS

I

CVIEK CULTURE

19. Cloning.
Biologically based replication of

ed mainly for inducing genetic variation in
species that
still

advance through the acci-

genetically identical personal copies of
yourself, at

dents of luck in
idea
is to

random combination. The

any time desired,
is fun,

is

approach-

reserve sex as a
to

means

of com-

ing the possible. Sex

but sexual

munication and

reproduce asexually!

reproduction

is

biologically inefficient, suit-

CyBERNEIICMElHOOSFORAllAININGlMyORIAlllY
(tITIIItlAlllFE "INSILKO"). BV EIIC GVllKHSEN

silicon visionaries believe that nat-

mization theory. Beyond this horizon,

Some
tion.
ly

ural evolution of the

human
is

species (or

which humankind has reached,

lies

the

at least their

branch of it)

near comple-

unknown, the scarcely imagined. We will
design our children, and co-evolve intentionally

They

are

no longer interested

m mere-

procreatmg, but in designing their suc-

with the cultural artifacts that are

cessors. Carnegie-Mellon robotics scientist

our progeny

Hans Moravec writes.

Humans akeady come

in

some
sizes.

variety of races

and

We owe our existence to organic evolution. But we owe little loyalty. We are on the threshold
it

In comparison to

what

"human" will mean within
the next century,

we

of a change
transition

in

the universe comparable to the
life.

humans are

at present as

from nonlife to

mdistinguishable from one

another as are hydrogen

Human

society has

now reached a

molecules.
decrease.

Our anthropocentrism will

turning point in the operation of the

process of evolution at which the next evolutionary step of the species
control. Or,
is

Consider two principle categorizations of the

under our
next steps,

form of the human of the

future,

more

correctly, the

one more biological-Uke: a bio/machine
hybrid of any desfred form; and one not
biological at
all:

occurring in parallel, and resulting in an
explosion of diversity of the

human

species.

an "electronic

life"

on the

We are no longer dependent on fimess in
any physical sense
for survival.

computer networks.

Human as machme,

Our quan-

and human

in

machme.

tum appliances and

older mechanical

Human as machine is perhaps
more
easily conceived.

devices provide the requisite

means in all
the

We afready have
artificial

circumstances. In the near

ftiture,

(now

crude prosthetic implants,
valves,

lunbs,

merging) methods of computer and biological technology
vrill

and

entire organs.

The continumg
mechanical

make the human form a

improvements

in the old-style

matter totally determined by individual
choice.

technology slowly mcrease the thoroughness of human-machine integration.

As a flesh-and-blood species we
are moribund, stuck at "a local optimum,"
to in

The
machine

electronic

life

form of human
to

is

even more alien

our cur-

borrow a term from mathematical

opti-

rent conceptions of humanity.

Through

SECTION VII.

DE-ANIMATION/IE-ANIM/ITION

COMMON-SENSE AITEINATIVES TO INVOLUNTAIY DEATH

19)

storage of one's belief

information habits and

systems as on-line
data structures, dri-

mental performances.

They will be

able to

ven by selected control structures (the

"share and relive

experiences" in considerable detail.

electronic analog to

To

From

wiD?), one's neuronal

take a

mundane
if

this

apparatus will operate
in silicon as
it

example,
ual's

an

individ-

did on
brain,

moves

in a chess

the

wetware of the
faster,

game

are stored, the
relive,

viewpoint,

the

although

more
self-muta-

descendants can

accurately,
bly,

more

move by move,

a

game

and,

if

desired, immortal

played by Great-Great-

immortality

ly-

Grandmother in the past century.
As passive reading
is

replaced by
vrill

become options
methods cybernetic
of

[end of Eric GuUwhsen]

"active rewriting," later generations

be

able to relive

how we performed the great
the possibili-

20. Archival-informational.

stories of our time.

One standard way
"immortal"
is

of becoming
trail

Yet

more

intriguing

is

by leaving a

of archives,

extractty of implementing the knowledge

biographies, tapes, films,

computer files,

ed over time from a person; their
preferences, and tendencies, as a

beliefs,

and pubhcized noble deeds.

The

increasing
in

set of

preserving

one's

presence of stable knowledge media
cybernetic society make this a more

our

algorithms guiding a program capable of
acting in a

rigor-

manner functionally

identical to

ous platform for persistent existence. The

the person. Advances

in robotics technolo-

unique signal
capacity.

knowledge possessed by an individual
captured in

is

gy will take these "1\iring creatures" away

expert systems and world-scale

from being mere "brains

in bottles" to

There are

hypertext systems, thus ensuring the
longevity and
accessibility of textual

hybrids capable of interacting sensorily

and

with the physical world.

graphical

memes.
self,

Viewed from outside the

death

22.

Nanotech information storage:
direct brain-computer transfer.

as

many

souls as

is

not a binary phenomena, but a continu-

ously varying function.
in Paris at this

How alive are you
the city in which
lete,

When a computer becomes obsoone does not discard the data
it

moment? In
room
in

con-

there are ways of

you

live? In the

which you are

tains.

The hardware

is

merely a temporary

reading this?

vehicle of implementation for structures of

information.

The data

gets transferred to
use. Decreasing

storing

and

21. Personality data-base

new systems for continued
costs of computer storage,

transmission.

CD-ROM and

"Head Coach"

is

a system develfirst

WORM memory systems mean that no
information generated today ever need be
lost

communicating
data.

oped by Futique,
ples of a

Inc.,

one of the

exam-

new generation of psychoactive
software.

computer

The program allows
and
store
cial

We can consider building an artificomputational subsfrate both function-

the user (performer) to digitize

thoughts on a routine daily basis.
leaves, let

If one

ally

and

structurally identical to the brain

us

say, twenty years of daily

com-

(and perhaps the body) of a person. This

puter-stored records of thought-perfor-

can be achieved with predicted future
capabilities of nanotechnology.

mance, one's grandchildren, a century

down the line, can "know" and replay your

Communicating nanomachines

that per-

2IC

TIMOTHY lEAlY

CHAOS

(

CYIEI CVITUIE

BRUMMBAER

vade the organism may analyze the neural

information that "Uves,"

i.e.,

that is capable

The previous

option permitted per-

and

cellular structure

and transfer the

of being retrieved and communicated.
All tests for

sonal survival through isomorphic
of neural structure to sihcon (or
arbitrary

information obtained to machinery capable
of growing, atom by atom, an identical
copy.

"death" at every level of

mapping some other
It

measurement

(nuclear, neural, bodily,

medium of implementation).
what amounts

galactic) involve signal unresponsiveness.

also suggests the possibihty of survival as

According to the American Heritage
Dictionary, "soul"
vital principle in
is

From

this viewpoint, the

immortality
of pre-

an

entity in

to a reification of

Ihe animating and
and emotion, and

options become cybernetic methods

Jung's collective unconscious: the global

man credited with the fac-

serving one's unique signal capacity. There

information network.
In the 21st Century imagined

ulties of thought, action,

are as

many souls as there are ways of stordata. TYibal lore
is

by

conceived as forming an immaterial entity
distinguishable firom but temporarily coexistent with his body."

mg and communicating
defines the racial soul.
ular soul.

noveUst WiUiam Gibson, wily cybemauts
will not only store
ly,

The DNA

a molec-

themselves electronical-

From

the perspective

The brain

is

a neurological soul.

but do so in the form of a "computer

of information theory, "immaterial" can be

Electron storage creates the siUcon soul.

virus," capable of traversing

computer net-

understood as "invisible
i.e.,

to the

naked eye,

Nanotechnology makes possible
soul.

the atomic

works and of self-replication as a guard
against accidental or malicious erasure by

atomic-molecular-electronic," and

"soul" refers to information processed

and
23.

others or other programs.

stored in microscopic-cellular, molecular,

Computer

viral

existence

in

the

Given the ease of copying computer-stored information, one could exist

atomic packages. "Soul" becomes any

cyberspace matrix.

....

SECTItN VII.

DE-ANIMUION/IE-ANIMMION

(OMMON-SENSE AITEINATIVES TO INVOIUNTAIY DEATH

2(1

In the 2ist Century

imagined by novelist
William Gibson, wily

cybernauts

will not

only

store themselves

ANDY

FRITH

but do so electronically,

in the

form of a

simultaneously in

many forms. Where the
matter for philos-

Preserve your

body-

"1" is in this situation is a

ophy.

We believe that consciousness would
each form, running independent-

preserve your brainpreserve your

"computer virus,"

persist in
ly

(and ignorant of each other's self-mani-

DNA.
digitize!

festation unless in

communication with

it)

capable

of

traversing

and cloned

at

each branch point

To immortalize:

[Note: The above options for voluntary

computer networks and
as a

reversible metabolic

coma and auto-meta-

morphosis are not mutually exclusive. The
intelligent

person needs
all

little

encourage-

of

self-replication

ment to explore
to design

these

possibilities,

and

many new

other alternatives to

going belly-up

in line

with

management

juard ajainst

memos.]

KONTIKI OF THE FLESH

accidental or malicious

In the near future,

what is now

taken for granted as the perishable
creature will

human

be a mere

historical curiosity,

erasure by others or

one point amidst unimaginable, multidimensional diversity of form. Individuals, or
groups of adventurers,
will

be free

to

other programs.

choose

to

reassume llesh-and-blood form,

constructed for the occasion by the appropriate science.

202

TIMOTHY lEAlY

CHAOS

I

CYIEI CUtTUIE

SECTION VII.

I

DE-ANIMATION/IE-ANIMATION

COMMON-SENSE AITEINATIVES TO INVOLUNTAIY DEATH

20}

This
in

is

an excerpt from a forthcoming novel about high-tech decadence
film,

the

computer, and art-fashion-literary worlds, as they interface

the frontiers of pop sdence.

The

narrator, Dani

Mellon du Pont,

is

currently

on assignment as

publicity director of the Alcor Foundation, Riverside, California, to

popularize the cryonic-hybernation re-animation option.

TRANSFER
atdtl 71 47361 703

connect 14,400

OK
I

ay. Let's

get organized here.

that
J.

moment when his body had been "flat-lined," i.e., when he was
let's

am on American Airlines flight

103 from

Rtz. R. to

being evicted from his current (and

face

it)

tacky, mittel-

Miami, Florida,

my flop-top computer lapping-flapping away, writhow the cryonic suspension
was accomplished.

European, washed-out, low-energy, unstylish, albino
1

meat vehicle.

ing to the Alcor Foundation to report on

"undertake" (ha ha) this assignment because the fimereal

(hybernation) of Andy Warhol's body and soul

dread

I

sense in American culture, the very concepts of cemeteries,
life-

undertakers, tombs, burials, crematoriums, obituaries, and

ANDY WARHOL'S SECRET DESIRE TO REIOIN
WALT DISNEY
Andy became
quaintly called
it)

HIS IDOL,

insurance policies (which are,

when you think about it, death assur-

ance
interested in cryonic immortality (as he so
(brain)

policies),
1

have become a nightmare of insanity.

when he learned that Walt Disney's soul
and preserved

May put it bluntly in four-letter words? 1 did not want worms to eat Andy Warhol.
And neither did he!

and

flesh is being hybemetically frozen

until Eric

Drexler's M.I.T. nanotechnology (atom stacking) has mastered the
logical steps to re-animate

and restore him,

i.e.,

Walt Disney.

THE LEGAL AUTHORIZATION FOR LIBERATING ANDY

Andy shared the abnost universal belief that Walt Disney

WARHOL'S BODY AND SOUL (BRAIN)
The
first logical

was one
see,

of the

most important members of the 20th Century. You
entities of such global-

question in anyone's

mind is: Did Andy

Walt Disney created "screen-iconic"

choose neurological (head-soul) freezing? Or total body cryonic
hybernation?
At
first

mythic attraction that they are immediately recognized and loved by
ahnost every quark on
this globe.

Andy

told

me over and over again

he was undecided. Andy could, of course,

afford total

that Walt Disney created pop culture. By pop, Andy means the popularization,

body ($100,000), but he seemed
option ($35,000).

more

interested in the neurological

humanization of ideas.
publicity director

Andy liked

the idea that,

when his meat functions

Andy was well aware of my assignment as

flat-lined, his

brain (soul) could be preserved, awaiting the kinky

of the Alcor Foundation to personahze, popularize, humanize,

moment when an attractive young person of eitiier or botii sexes
would
as the tragic result of some car accident afler
tiie

Disneyize the cryonic-hybernation re-animation option.

Junior

Andy
body and soul

shared with us the reasonable aversion to having his
(i.e.,

Prom or a crack-house

shoot-out

be lying comatose

in the

emerfrom

brain) eaten by

maggots or burned

in

an oven.

gency ward, a brain-dead neo-mort, available
a super-atti^ctive brain.
I

for a transplant

For this reason (and others) he had discussed with

me the proceme a
at

dures involved and shyly, as was his wont, wrung from

promised Andy, on three occasions, that 1 would do every-

promise that 1 would arrange for his "hybernation re-animation"

ttiing

necessary to prevent him fh)m being buried by the

MOMA or

itl,

TIMOTNY UAIV

CHAOS

i

CYIEI CUIIUIE

Andy Warhol
His

is

not dead. He hybernates. a

re5[al

Ice l)ueen in cool serendipity.

new Hie

cycle

has bejun!

No thanks

to

medical silence (and ^[iven a

little bit of luck),

Andy

will return to

paint and paradox ajaini

the equally insidious Valerie Solanis/Saint Patrick Cathedral gang,

2.

to assist in the cryonic freezing of Andy;

or turned over to the

M&O (maggot and oven) crowd,
I

i.e.,

destroyed
5.

by legally sanctioned DNA-killers. In return for this promise, Andy

to ship the cryonic patient (Andy) to the California

gave me his power of eternity, which
Express.

transmitted by American

depository;

On these three occasions, Andy begged me, "Please don't let

4.

to attend the

Andy Warhol funeral at Samt

Patrick's

my body be exhibited publicly in the Museum of Modem Art or
Saint Patrick's Cathedral."

Cathedral and the subsequent ghoulish bodydestruction festivities to see if there were any signs that

The documents signed by Andy authorizing his hybemation-re-animation have been properly affidavitted. Andy's plans will

anyone was aware that Andy's body had been liberated
from Christian neuro-terrorists

who were so
all

remain, as per his wishes, secret

enthusiastically driven to consign
Violet,

of Warhol's organic

There were several witnesses: Ultra
to

who still wants
become a

tissue-mformation banks to the ever-hungry worms.

rock

'n' roll

hke days of old despite the
1

fact that she's

Mormon

or a Christian Scientist.
fine pioneer

have witnesses! Viva, two. These
port to

My flight was delayed; so
tell

1

called

Grace Jones from the

air-

were two,

women that Andy signed up in his weirdo

her

I'd

be

late.

wagon

train.

Edie Sedgwick, three.

Grace was not part of the freezing operation, although she
played major roles in

Andy, by the way, recorded these conversations and shot
Polaroid pix of all present

some of Andy's

last

pubUc triumphs. Andy

symbolically married Grace in public shortly before his hybernation.

His very

last

video performance occurred on Grace's
Peri'ect,

MTV produc-

A DISTRESSING PHONE CALL TO GRACE lONES
At 6:00 A.M.
fied that Andy's

tion of "I'm
noti-

Not

But I'm Perfect for You." Andy, a Cabalist
it

PST on Hybemation-Day-minus-1, 1 was

and numerologist

(to

put

mildly),

knew at the time that his nights

meat vehicle was deteriorating sharply and that car1

were numbered.
1

diac arrest was, at most, two days away.

reserved space on the
ic state.

suggest you play this

MTV tape and observe Andy's comat1968
ilhiess!
It

noon

flight to

New York. My cover for this mission was to model a

How well he concealed his

Guess gene commercial shoot by Hehnut Newton.
was:
to assist in the removal of Andy's
to

My

true mission

Andy's chronic impression was contagious.
brain like worms. These are certainly strange daze!

nibbled at

my

1.

body from the hospital

Writing becomes

difficult,

and

1

have

to

be careful not
is

to let

our mortuary on West 91st

my imagery become

too disteanciated.

My writing

nothing

if

not

Street;

SECTION VII.

2

DE-ANIMUION/IE-ANIMATION

HYIEKNATINC ANDY

ZOJ

the history of my illness.

The

entire slaSf oUnterview

magazine

is in

danger of suffering from the same chronic impression.

The

role of the

Museum of Modem Art in this matter is not
And then they go
is

exemplary. They showed no great enthusiasm for Andy during his
long, long period of dying (1968-87).
after

him con

brio as soon as they think (erroneously) that he

dead.

The hake-

meats are barely frozen cold upon the funeral table when

MOMA

announces the palladium of a

full-scale retrospective!

Well, the joke's on they

who are marketing Andy like a comdon't realize that

bination of Jesus Christ

and Donald Duck, and
.

...

all this for a

barbaric

Andy

is

not dead, but sleeping. Next to

.

.

guess who?

WHY

I

RAN UP A $3,500 PHONE BILL WHILE ALOFT
1

tissue-destruction
to

was, at this point in time, fucking 35,000 feet high, a ner-

vous wreck, suffering mental fatigue with the portable phone linked

my Toshiba laptop, jacking into certain counterculture sectors of
literally infinite

ceremony.

I

can no longer

cyberspace, of which there are

numbers.

I

was not
I

phoning

my bookmaker,
1

undertaker, pimp, wall-street pallbearer.

was not ordering

call giris

or fast pizza delivery.

remain silent when the
Interpol

spent a most pleasant hour on "interscreen" digitizing with

the Chaos Hacker group in Germany,

who are very well knovm
you, you can learn a

to

and the RGB.

We have developed these hilarious, internaromances.
I

people

I

love

wind up

in

tional, digital intersex

tell

lot

about

human nature quarking around in Cyberia!
the best

Digital intercourse is

way

to

prepare for the juicy, sweaty,

warm-flash transaction

squirm holes and
cremation barbecues.

of "hard

reality."

At

last,

my touchdown in Eastern Metropolis! Am I happy?
I

No way! My bumper sticker reads:

N.Y.

THE SWITCHING OF THE BODIES; THE RAPID COOLING OF ANDY'S
Within an hour, Court Hay from
hotel-room door and

Team B knocks on my

murmurs

the password.

We drive in Couri's
atten-

limo to the hospital. Our people
dants, security guards

nurses,

ward physician,
1

are in total control of the ward.

wait

down

the hall with the perfusion team.

And

the substitute corpse,

whom

we Andy fans remember from
At 3:45 A.M.
ing
final,

the hoax in Salt Lake City.

EST we were notified that Andy was experienc-

agonal respirations. At 3:59 A.M. our man. Dr. Mellon

Hitchcock, pronounced Andy legally dead.

The switching of corpses was performed

swiftly.

We imme-

a heart-lung resuscidiately started cardiopulmonary support using
tator.

We employed an esophageal gastric tube airway to secure
showed good chest expansion. He

Andy's airway against stomach secretions and ventilate him. Andy
quickly regained colour and

looked better, in

fact,

than he had since 1968, the year he was shot
at

by Kynaston McShine, one of the hangers-on at his studio

MOMA.

Andy was then packed
tor.

in ice

and wheeled

to the

back eleva-

We arrived at our mortuary on West 91st Street at approximately

206

TIMOTHY LEAIY

CHAOS

i

CYIEI CUIIUIE

This weird ritual
demonstrates that We

cannot escape Their
mortal
coil.

The

semiotic message
clear.

is

Everything

in

this mediaeval stone

castle warns us

it is

folly

for individuals

to seek

immortality

faith except through
in one of the three

Mediterranean

monotheistic mafias.

4:30 A.M. and began administration of transport medications at 4:40
A.M.

the hybernation table,

no longer looking
is

like the last

dandy.

By 5:25 A.M. Andy was positioned on the mobile advanced

life-

Flushing with cool blood, he

no longer the

figure of the Artist as

support system, and surgery was underway to raise his femoral
artery. In addition to his continuing

Nobody, but the Romantic Stereotype of the

Artist

pinkish,

good skin

color, Andy's arterial

involved, grappling with fate and transcendence.

blood was bright tomato red (indicating good oxygenation), and he

He had
started,

already cooled to
to

29.3C by the time bypass was

had bright red
all

capillary bleeding into the

wound during surgeryteasing in
its

and he rapidly cooled

a rectal temperature of 9C over

good

signs.

The coy blandness, pervasive and

the next forty-five minutes. Imagine that!

appeal to the media,
gone!
1

was gone! The deathless, albino pallor was
A REGAL ICE fUEEN AWAITING THE KISS OF RE-ANIMATION

know,

1

think,

how Andy felt at this moment
ably,

After supervising this delicate business,
1

I

am, understandbar,

Andy

often experienced the stigmata of the insane science-

thoroughly descoobied. So went out to an Eighth Avenue

fiction artist; aUenation, blurred reality, despair.

And here he

lies,

on

which was noisy with kinky sexual innuendoes.

My whole head

SECTION VII.

2

DE-ANIMAIION/IE-ANIMATION

HYIEINATINC ANDY

2o;

revolved around laughter and crying, as

my life turns down.
1

By

the time

1

returned, blood washout and cryoprotective

perfusion had progressed nicely. At 8:43 A.M.
sion to discontinue perfusion.

approved the deci-

Was this fair to Warhol? No, if you are

among those who think he had about five remarkable years
(1962-67) followed by a long down-slope decline into

money-mak-

ing banality with his silk-screen editions of dogs, famous Jews of
the 20th Century,

and Mercedes Benzos. Yes,

if

you think that

Andy was the most important
Jackson Pollack. In any

They were lined up behind police
at celebrities

fences, ^apin^
at the

American

artist since

case, following the closure of the scalp

and
two

talking

and ^rinnin^

wide-eyed

chest incisions,

Andy was placed

inside

heavy

plastic

bags and submerged in a silicone

cameras celebrating

the destruction oi

Andy's

oil (Silcool)

bath that had been precooled to

-17C.

so they hoped!) precious tissues. (Or
lay in

Warhol's

life

force,

uneven as

it

was,

an emotional

fiction that contradicted the

cold, fixed, iconic surface,

lowered at a rate of

approximately

rC per hour to -17C by gradual addition of dry ice
My sense of Jamais Vue could hardly

to the artificial (fake?) calm.

be blamed on the
capacity

MOMA curator who selected these icons. A highpatient. This technique completely

pump was used to circulate the oil through a spray-bar

assembly positioned over the

ehminated the "hot spots" and "cold spots" that have plagued other
artist's

careers.

At 19:42 EST, the dewar

was completely filled with

nitro-

gen, and Andy Warhol had entered long-time hybernation! With

him was put to

rest

gloomy images of foreboding and death,
first,

like the

skulls that plagued the last years of his

brief life.

That night,

at the

Gramercy Park

Hotel,

how

1

envied

Andy's cool tranquillity as the hot fevered

hand of sleep sucked

me

down

into the grave-ity of that dark ground.

Andy Warhol
in cool serendipity.

is

not dead.

He hybemates, a regal

Ice

Queen

His

new life cycle has begun!
to

No thanks
Andy will return

medical silence (and given a

little bit

of luck),

to paint

and paradox again!

THE PUBLIC CELEBRATION OF ANDY'S DESTRUCTION
Dateline: Aprill, 1987.
Fifth

Avenue

in front of Saint Patrick's Cathedral

was teemof

ing with spectators the

and photographers and these
in giant

last survivors

human

race

who live

time-warp bubbles that they leave

only to go to funerals, cremations, autopsies, and airplane crashes.

They were hned up behind poUce

fences, gaping at celebrities talk-

ing and grinning at the wide-eyed cameras celebrating the destruction of Andy's precious tissues. (Or so they hoped!)

The

large doors of Saint Patrick's Cathedral

opened

this

time portal into the Muddle Ages, high Gothic arches designed to

zol

TIMOTHY lEAlY

CHAOS

(

(YIEt CUlTUtE

dwarf the
ing, not

spirit

of us individual quarks. Inside, this organist

is

play-

Lower Eastside punk rock, not Velvet Underground, but
unhappy expressions. Young men vdth
and
ties.

flicking Bach!

People

file

in with

rainbow-dyed hair looking uncomfortable in suits
this for a barbaric tissue-destruction

And

all

ceremony.

1

can no longer

remain

silent

when

the people

1

love

wind up in squirm holes and

cremation barbecues.

HOMAGE TO THE MAGCOTS. THE DREAD SIGN OF CRUCIFICTION. THE CLOWN OF THORNS.
The orthodox
Catholic witchcraft rituals begin predictably

The dread Sign
Meanwhile, the
unsmiling

of the Cross!
clerical

The ominous kneeling in submission.

ahens quietly observing the humans,
(!)

in black-cloth

garments, family and friends

sitting in

peaceful twisted apathetic conformity. Don't be fooled by them,
these Catholic-Jewish-lslamaniacs

who sit brooding silently in

darkened stone buildings. Behind their frozen faces they are thinking about their loved ones in the grave. Don't be fooled by this fake

Bible-Talmud-Koran

piety.

Their Holy Books are male-order cata-

logues of death worship. Their minds are busy thinking about the

maggots eating the
ones.

flesh

and brains

(souls) of their

presumed loved

Or about the

cruel oven flames (dials turned to roast!) crack-

ling the skins of their dearly departed.

Do you

seriously think that

they can repress, just ignore the culinary

facts?

Not hear the squish-

ing noises of the maggots breeding cheerily in the tissues of their
sincerely departeds?
bly pondering their

The more honest of these mourners are probain the fire

own fate that awaits them

and worms

departments.

The

grisly papist plot

crumbles

to

Gothic horror! To put it

charitably, Andy's funeral

m Saint Patrick's Cathedral is not an
coil.

immortalist commercial. This weird ritual demonsfrates that We

cannot escape Their mortal

The semiotic message
warns us
it is

is clear.

Everything in this mediaeval stone castle

folly for indi-

viduals to seek immortaUty except through faith in

one of the three

Mediterranean monotheistic mafias.

WOULD ANDY

LET ALIEN PRIESTS

SEND HIM PACKING, SOUL

AND BONES, TO THE MAGGOT FARM?
Our little,
silver-haired pal, the solemn, socially insecure.

East European waif from Pittsburgh got the point Andy understood
the cold, mechanical impersonality of the industrial culture. Didn't

he

just

blow

into the Big

Applesauce factory from Pittsburgh, PA,

and

call

himself the Pope of Pop? Call his studio the Factory? Send a

reasonable facsimile, silver-wigged model of himself around to give

Warhol lectures

at colleges?

Enter the Campbell Soup contest? Paint

reasonable facsimiles of soup-can labels and Marilp Monroes to

win gigantic cash prizes? And admission
schools?

to

correspondence art

SECTION VII.

2

DE-ANIMATION/M-ANIMATION

HYIEINATING ANDY

209

You think

this crafty fox

would

let

them pack him, brain
maggot farm?
this public

and bones,

in a factory carton for easy delivery to the

Can you

possibly think that

Andy Warhol would allow

snufRng of his essence by black-garbed minions of the cardinal?

Who, come

to think of it,

never tended

to

hang out at the Factory

and the office oflnterview magazine.

ANDY INVITES YOU TO
1

HIS RE-BIRTHDAY PARTY

understand that members of the Alcor Cryonics

Foundation and thoughtful people around the four worlds

who

know about the
celebrating

hybernation of Walt Disney and Andy Warhol are
toasts to the brave

and drinking

team who snatched

By the way!

Andy,

literally,
I

from the mouths of the maggots.

also understand that

some members of the Alcor

Foundation, being of the very sincere, sober, scientific extraction,

Andy asked me
to

are concerned that a person of my colourful reputation could

undermine

Alcor's respectability

and

credibility. Particularly since

disrespectability and

incredibility are

my predestined career goals
is

inUfe.

especially
needed

1

worry, myself, that since Alcor's important work

the

ultimate threat to religious

and

political control, the last thing
jet-

invite all of

is to

take on the negative pubUc baggage of a notorious

set victim of the National

Enquirer mentality.
a

Then 1 remember that to be

member of Alcor is to elect who are about to save
irreversible, metabolic
eccentricity,

you to his
le-animation paity.

oneself as part of a noble band of heroes

humanity from the horror of involuntary,

coma. And therefore Alcor members are tolerant of my

knowing
to

it is

a hard job, in this weirdo, death-worshipping culture,
in these

be continuaUy recast

"Oscar Wilde" sequels.

By

the way!

Andy asked

me to especially invite all of you to
at the glorious

his re-animation party.

Andy was very insistent that,
animation, when
that
his friends gather

moment of recrystal,

around his hybernation

you be

there. Either in the ice fray or
if you

on the

hoof. Write the
to

Alcor Foundation
the party.

have any questions about fransportation
is

"PLAN A HEAD"

our motto!

The
Bill

grey-haired black

man warned Andy, as he did me and
the key to the shit house.

Burroughs: Stay out of prisons and hospitals, son. Avoid minis-

ters, priests,

and

rabbis. All they got
will

is

And

promise me, boy, you
if you

never wear the badge of a lawman. And
in the

do end up serving time

white man's body factories

(complete service from
will

womb to tomb), join a gang of friends that
if

cover for you. And

you have
is

to

be admitted
marketing

to the disposal

room (planned obsolescence
someone make

thefr

sfrategy), just

be

sure you've got friends hanging around, watching over you day and
night, lest
off with

your beloved albino animal skin.

And

contents thereof.

lit

TIMOTIV lEAlY

CHAOS

I

CYIEI (UlIUIE

-*

J*

VIILfl.

BACKWARD CHRISTIAN SOLDIERS:
A BRIEF

HISIDRY OF THE WARRIOR EAST[

IN

AMERICA

Legionnaires' disease: so called from

its first

recognized occurrence

during the 1976 Annerican Legion convention: a lobar

pneumonia caused by

a bacterium (Legionella pneumophila).

magazine says war is the secret love of a white man's

life.

The cover of its

November 1984 issue shows a gorgeous young white

woman wearing a Marine hehnet

Esquire brown Gl T-shirt. and torn
The
effect

was

sexually ambiguous, but steamy!
It is

Great cover lines: "War!
best

a sexual turn-on

It is

a brutal, deadly game, but the
It is

game

there

is. It is

for

men what childbirth is for women.
what is underneath."

Uke Uiting the comer of

.

.

.

Reagan was lobbying

to

the universe

and looking

at

At the hallway point of the Brezhnev-Reagan era. Esquire's motto

is,

"Man

at His

bully

oui Latin nei^hbouisIt's

Best" The

title

of the cover story:

"Why Men Love War." The subhead is lyrical; "The once a^ain.
a recuiience of

Awesome

Beauty, the Haunting
Jr.,

Romance, of the Timeless Nightmare." The piece was writ-

ten by William Broyles,

a white Protestant ex-Marine from Texas,

who made

a good

liv-

ing in the 1980s refighting the Vietnam
tion of the

War in magazines and glorifying the enduring addicits

that old Caribbean fever, a

American warrior caste and

sponsor, the Republican party, to killing coloured

people with high-technology weapons.

that plagues paroxysmal virus
bully our Latin

The Esquire piece appeared just when Reagan was lobbying to
neighbours

once again.

It's

a recurrence of that old Caribbean fever, a paroxysmal virus
after

the White House. Apparently the Oval Office can't be

that plagues the

White House. Apparently the Oval Office can't be disinfected. President

president keeps coming

down with the

Latin-basher Legionnaires' disease.
1980, everyone
just

When Ronald Reagan was elected president in
and feverish
bully
to

knew he was itching
had
to stand taU

send American troops into action. Somewhere. He

and

disinfected. President after

some

third-worid country to regain the American
lost in

manhood

that General William

Westmoreland and Rambo say we
But where
to

Vietnam. easy
to win,

president keeps coming
ego-massagjng war?

down

conduct a nice,

little,

The

Russkis? Too mean.

with the Latin-basher
MacArthur in Korea and
for

Asians?
in

The

slopes proved too tough for

Westmoreland

'Nam.

Legionnaires'
East?

disease.

The Middle

Much too volatile. Ronnie blustered a bit in Lebanon, but pulled

out quickly after frivolously, whimsically wasting the lives of hundreds of U.S. mihtary personnel.

Oh well, back to the old, familiar playground for the Republican party and the warrior caste. Let's snuff some Latins for

God and manhood.

Cuba? Too

risky.

Grenada was fun

for a

warm-up, but short and hmited and

easy.

SECTION VIII.

I

MILtENNIUM MADNESS

lACKWARD CHRISTIAN SOLDIERS

2IJ

Hnunm

.

.

.

Well, there's always good old Nicaragua. Since the 1890s, the American

military has occupied or controlled this least-populated nation in Central America.

And

for

almost a century, guerriUa forces there have opposed American intervention. In 1933,
pulled out our occupation troops and set up a puppet dictatorship run by the

we

Somoza

family.

The younger Somozas were proteges of the American warrior caste.

Anastasio

Somoza

Debayle, for example, graduated from the U.S. Military Academy, returned home, and, at age
21, took
ratic

command of the National

Guard. Because of the brutality of this regime,

all

democ-

elements of the Latin Worid despised America. In 1979, the Sandinistas overthrew the
to the

Somozas,

dismay of the West Point Academy classmates of Somoza.

IT

STARTED WITH THE SPANISH

CONQUISTADORES
Lincoln, as would Lenin sixty years later, created a centralized,

The
industrial, militaristic, expansionist government. lust as the

first

Europeans

to

subdue

Cuban, Nicaraguan, and South American
natives for Christ

and Plunder were the

Spanish. In 1493, Christopher

Communist party has managed the USSR since

1921, so

has the

(Christ-Carrier)

Columbus returned

to the

Newe Worid with a disorderly rabble of male
buccaneer thugs seeking gold.
It

was hard

Republican party, USA, controlled the police, the military, the banks

going.

No quick payoff.

So, to

man his third
to

expedition in 1498,

Columbus was forced
rapists,

the manufacturing plants, the organs of information.

impress hooligans, convicts,
thieves.

and

An ominous precedent for Ollie
The next centuries

North.
of Spanish inter-

vention were not designed to raise the morale of Caribbean natives,
looted, raped, baptized,

who were immediately

and reduced

to

serfdom by hoodlums representing Crown and
rigidly controlled

Church. The Spanish settlements were

by Madrid. The colonists were the
to

scum

of Europe

soldiers, priests,

and plunderers. Black Africans were kidnapped

work

as slaves.

Few Spanish women were involved in the first expeditions;
forcible interbreeding vrith Indian

so there

was much

and African slave women. This ancient custom produced
these
fertile lands.

the rich mestizo races, which

now people

On the up side, Latin America

was

at least

spared the shameful genocidal policies that characterized the North American

colonization. Better to use the

Cathohc plan,

to

rape 'em and enslave 'em, than use the

Cromwell-Protestant-Puritan tactic of spermless genocide.

When the South American countries gained independence from Spain, the feudalmihtary-Catholic traditions remained.
tural

Thus was created

the unstable, volatile, romantic cul-

environment that has

left

Latin America masochisticaUy vulnerable to enduring and

relentless Protestant,

Yankee adventuring.

THE REPUBLICAN PARTY AND THE WARRIOR CASTE LOVE
Esquire's ex-Lieutenant Broyles tells us that he

WAR

and

his

Marine Corps buddies

adored Viemam because war

"offers a sanction to play boys'

games."

zu

TIMOTHY lEAlY

CHAOS

i

CYIEI CUITUIE

.

Because "war replaces the

difficult

grey areas of daily

life

with an eerie, serene

clarity."

'.

.

.

Because "war

is

the best

game

there

is."

.

Because "no sport

I

had ever played brought
limits."

me to

such deep awareness of

my

physical and emotional

\.

.

.

Because the "love of war stems from the union, deep

in

the core of our being,

between sex and

destruction, beauty and horror, love and death."

Believe me, ex-Lieutenant
,

.

Because some youths "who never suspected the presence of such an impulse

in

themsekes have learned

in military life

the

mad excitement

of destroying."

Bioyles,

the

people who

.

.

Because war

is

funny. "After
soldier.
I

one ambush

my men

fsicj

brought back the body of

founded our country-

a North Vietnam
C-ration boxes.
lap;

later

found the dead man propped against some

He had on

sunglasses, and a Playboy magazine lay

open

in his

thoughtful

men such
and

as

a cigarette dangled jauntily from his mouth; and on his head
shit.
I

was perched a

large and perfectly formed piece of

pretended to be outraged, since

Thomas

lefferson

desecrating bodies

was frowned on
I

as un-American and counterproductive. But

K wasn't outrage
laughing."

I

felt.

kept

my

officer's face on,

but inside

I

was

.

.

.

Ben Franklin-would not

have considered this funny.
Believe me, ex-Lieutenant Broyles, the people
ful

who founded our country
would not have considered

thoughtthis funny.

men

such as Thomas Jefferson and Ben Franklin
billion

Nor would three billion

Nor would three
Thily.

non-Caucasians with

whom we share the planet. Including Yours
non-Caucasians with

whom

we share the

HOW AN INDIAN
IN

CHIEFTAIN'S HEAD ENDED UP ON A POLE

planet.

MASSACHUSETTS
In the early 17th Century,

Including Yours Truly.

New England was controlled by a wise and benevolent
In 1620, the
first

leader. His friends called

him MassasoiL

wave

of immigrants from Europe

started arriving in the lands of MassasoiL

The

original

Plymouth colony was dominated by a

Moral Minority, a small sect of fanatic fundamentalist CromweUian Protestants. These
Puritans

were regenerate (bom-again) Christians who held a

strict Calvinist

beUef in "the

Elect versus the

Damned," and who

publicly confessed their conversion experiences.

These

mihtant, fanatic Protestants doggedly believed that
evil.

human

nature was inherently sinful and

Over the decades the actions of the RepubUcan party (exactly Uke the Nazi party in Germany and the Communist party in Russia) can be understood only if we recall that they

were bred

to the terrible notion of

being the Elect of God. Ronald Reagan deeply believes

that there can be

no mercy

for nonbelievers.

Those who are not "one of us" deserve no

pity.

Remember how Ronnie called the Democrats "immoral" when
tary budget? Recall

they didn't vote for his mili-

how he gave bloodcurdling sermons about the need to destroy Godless
not election rhetoric.

communism? That's

The guy beheves

it.

He

really feels that

he and

his

military friends are agents of the totalitarian God.

Brezhnev and his friends believed that

they were agents of their own weird totalitarian prophet, Karl Marx.

SECTION VIII.

I

MILIENNIUM MADNESS

BACKWARD CHklSTIAN SOLDIERS

215

When the Puritans showed up in Plymouth, they considered it their right and religious duty to plunder the land of the heathen Pequot Indians. Poor King Massasoit wasn't

ready for a Jesse Hehns approach. In

all

good

faith

he had signed a peace
for

treaty in 1621, to

which he and

his son,

King Phihp,

faithfully

adhered

many years in spite of continued

land-grabbing by the white setflers.
hi 1675, a typical colonial-liberation

war broke out King Phihp's forces

successfully

avoided pitched battles and kept the conflict going until the European invaders, using
"search and destroy" methods, and with the help of local contras, overthrew the native gov-

ernment

Philip,

betrayed by a Christian convert, was drawn and quartered, and his head

stuck on a pole in front of the church in Plymouth. This
It

was known

as the final solution.

was

all right,

you understand, because these heathens were ah^ady damned. In

I'm a

total, all-out loi

peicent

the 365 years since the Pilgrims landed at Plymouth Rock, the holy-war faction of the white,
spiritual fathers of the

Republican party has kept up a continual series of expansionist cru-

patriot, lack.

I

yield

to

no one in

sades against people with darker skins.
Indeed, for the bom-again militants,
it

has become a

tradition,

a

rite

of passage, a

my contempt
communism,
fieedom.
1

foi socialism,

religious ritual. This is not just

my opinion; Mr. Broyles agrees.

or

any enemy of

A RELIGIOUS KICK
In Esquire, William Broyles tells us that

war provides

aesthetic

and

religious

also believe in a strong,

ecstasies.

He

recounts the case of a "sensitive" Marine officer who watched

enemy bodies

being disposed of "like so

much garbage" with a "look of creative contentment on his face
It

intelligent,

effective

military

to

that

I

had not seen except in charismatic churches.

was

the look of a person transported

into ecstasy."

defend our beloved land.

"War is

beautiful," Broyles gushes.

"There

is

something about a

fire fight at

night

.

. .

briUiant patterns that seem, given their great speeds, oddly timeless, as

if

they had been

That's exactly

why

I

oppose the

etched in the night" Here Broyles soars into elegant gourmet connoisseurship. "Many
loved napahn ...
I

men

preferred white phosphorous."

Christian fanatics and the war

Intoxicated by this toot of white phosphorous, ex-Lieutenant Broyles invokes his

white Calvinist divinity. "And then perhaps the gunships called Spooky come in and

fire their

win^

of the

Republican party.
I

incredible guns like

huge hoses washing

down from the sky, like something God would do

when He was really ticked off."
That's

why

write about the con

Here

we have the official Republican-warrior-caste version of the Christian God: a
who irritate Him.

vengefiil colonial deity casually wasting third-worid peasants

job

that

they have pulled off for
THE ELECT AND THE DAMNED

the past hundred years.

The RepubUcan

party

is

the warrior caste.

The Republican

party,

white and very

Protestant, has always represented the

militarist tradition in

America.

The Democratic party, by and large,
During
this

represents the anti-warrior constituency.
Catholics, passivists, sci-

century Democrats have been the party of progressives.
Jews, blacks, Latins

entists, gays, intellectuals, ecologists, agnostics,

minority groups that

have always been barred from the highest ranks of the miUtary.
In the 1985 budget fight,
al
it

was the Republicans who wanted
to

to cut social-education-

programs and the Democrats who wanted

him the military ftmds.
is

The warrior caste in America
ingly RepubUcan. This
this century, is
is

the generals, the admirals, the cops

overwhehn-

ominous. George Marshall, the only famous Democratic general of
for his plans to

most renowned
of the

wage peace.

This Imkage

GOP and the warrior caste is not new. From the Civil War

through Eisenhower, seven out of twelve Republican presidents have been ex-generals or

glamourous warriors.

2i6

TIMOflY lEAlY

CHAOS

i

CVIEI CUITUIE

H

4
This tradition of the warrior president goes bacii to the beginning. George

4
A A A

Washington, the Father of our Country,
It is

won his first fame in the

Indian Wars.

important

to

note that the other "Father of Our Country,"
It

Thomas Jefferson, the

spiritual

founder of the Democratic party, was an antimilitarisL

was Jefferson who iramed

the philosophic and legal

documents

that led to the Revolution

and who wrote the
to protect states'

Declaration of Independence. Their Constitution
rights

was exquisitely designed

and individual

rights against a centralized federal authority.

A A
A

A lEFFERSONIAN PRESIDENT MAKES A SENSIBLE PROPOSAL TO AVOID WAR WITH EUROPE
President

A
A A

James Monroe, a disciple of Jefferson,

is

known
to

for the treaties

and

diplo-

matic accords with England, France, and Spain that managed
without war. The Monroe
Doctrine
is

expand American

interests

his

most famous
It is

achievement There were two
unportant and interdependent
clauses in this manifesto.
first

important to note that the other "Father of Our Country," Thomas lefferson,
It

The

the spiritual founder of the Democratic party, was an antimilitarist.

was

was

a formal restatement of

the Washingtonian America-first
neutrality.

lefferson

who framed the philosophic and

le^fal

documents that led

to the

Beware of foreign

entanglements! America

Revolution and

who wrote

the Declaration of

Independence. Their Constitution

promised not

to intervene in

European and

(implicitly)

Asian

was exquisitely designed
a centralized federal

to

protect states' rights and individual rights a5[ainst

politics, hi return,

America

declared the
its

Newe Worid off Umintervention.

authority.

for

European

Modem American presidents such as Kennedy and Reagan are on solid historical
and common-sense ground when they object
America.
to

Russian

We all want to ban Soviet weapons from the

meddhng in Cuba and Newe Worid. But Reagan

Central
is in

direct

violation of the

Monroe Doctrine when he turns around and meddles

in conflicts of the

Olde

Worid. Arms to Pakistan and Tlu-key. More than two hundred thousand U.S. troops in

Germany. Forty thousand

in Korea.

Marines landing

m Lebanon to protect our oil interests.

A A A A A

THE FILIBUSTER PRESIDENT

A A
in

Rlibusten ...
country
. . .

An adventurer who engages
freebooter
.

a private military action
vnjbufter, pirate,

in

a foreign

(originally

.

.

from Dutch

"one who

A A

plunders freely").

A
In 1818, Jackson, then a

The

classic device of using a foreign adventure (the fiUbuster) as a stepping-stone to

the presidency

was invented by Andrew Jackson.

major general,
employing

was

sent off to Florida to

campaign against the Seminole Indians. These

natives,

standard liberation

tactics, fled across the

border to Spanish Florida. Disregarding his orders

and

violating international laws, Jackson invaded Spanish territory

and wasted various

natives.

He

also executed

two

British subjects. Jackson's

own private war created an intema-

A A A A A
217

S(TION

VIII.

MIllENNIUM MADNESS

lACKWAID (HIISTIAN SOLDIERS

tional crisis. Responsible

American

ofTicials

denounced the action, but Jackson's

illegal

wog-bashing won

support from populists, expansionists,

ultranationalists, imperialists,

and

Calvinist Protestants looking for a crusade against the heathen.

Jackson rode a wave of personal popularity that almost won him the presidency in 1824. In 1828, he swept into office, and for two terms
ulist

was

able to use his pop-

Western support

to protect

Eastern financial interests. Sound familiar,

Ronnie?

IS IT

A CONDITION OF

MANHOOD

TO LOVE WAR?
mechanized
less

In his Esquire piece,

which passionately

glorifies the

mass murder of Orientals, ex-Marine William
entific.
if
it

Broyles,

Jr., is

than

sci-

He

writes, "Most

men who have

been

to

war would have
it

to admit,
. . .

they are honest, that

somewhere
to

inside themselves they loved

loved

as

much as anything that happened
But wait a minute.
Isn't

them before or since."

ex-Lieutenant Broyles describing a well-known

altered state of consciousness that can be
less-violent

and usually

is

attained by

many other

means?
seems
to

The
in the

scientific situation

be something like

this.

There are

circuits

human brain that when activated produce heightened states of awareness. Among
These ancient primitive
circuits are involved in height, flight, territorial

these are certain neural tracts, mainly centered in the midbrain, which mediate convulsive
survival behavior.

There are
brain that

circuits in

the

human
defense,

and male dominance.

When a guy engages in violence,

he

falls into

a trancelike

when

activated

state that

produces an incredible adrenaline rush. Some

call this the

mad-dog reflex, or

produce heightened states of
awareness.

going berserk.
This sympathetic-nervous-system hit is necessary for our survival repertoire.
It's

like

Among

these are

the endorphin-opiate rush that protects us from pain. Useful for desperate survival, but dan-

gerously addictive.

certain neural tracts, mainly

At this point we must remind ex-Lieutenant Broyles that the destructive paroxysmal
state (DPS),

centered

in

the midbrain,

which he glamourizes and

politicizes, is

not restricted to war.

We have all felt on occasions this seductive invitation to "flip out" in wild destruc-

which mediate convulsive
tiveness.

You don't have

to ship eight million

young Americans eight thousand miles across barroom

survival behavior.

These

the Pacific to waste a small Asian country. Just go downtown, Broyles, and catch a

brawl in a Burt Reynolds-Clint Eastwood movie.

Tme into a prime-time television show like

ancient primitive circuits are

TheA-Team.
Alcohol trips off the DPS. Drop into any redneck saloon in Texas, Broyles. Visit a

involved

in

height, flight,

territorial

defense, and male

chnic for battered wives, ex-Lieutenant Broyles, and you'll get a glimpse of your favorite

"comer of the
express their
city

universe." Put

on some black leather and
in

join a bikers' club. Bullies love to

dominance.

When

a guy

manhood by riding

male-bonded packs. Jom the Mexican Mafia, an innerit.

engages

in

violence, he falls

gang. Cops and Bloods in the ghetto feel

The Waffen SS felt it.

It's

called "warrior

love."

into a trancelike state that

produces an incredible
adrenaline rush.

FROM THE HALLS OF MONTEZUMA TO THE SHORES OF TRIPOLI
call this

Some

The Mexican War (1846-48)

is

another good example of the fun-fame-fortune

the mad-dog reflex, or going
berserk.

rewards of Latin-bashing. After this
America. Are you hstening, Adolf?

conflict

Mexico conceded

two-fifths of its land to

2il

TIMOTHY lEAlY

CHAOS

I

CYBER CUtTUIE

The Mexican War was
politicians.

a bonanza for the warrior caste and for ambitious Republican
starters,

Take Zachary Taylor. For

Zach earned

his general's stars

by snuffing

Sac,

Fox, and Seminole Indians, for which he won the

label "Old

Rough and Ready." His

Mexican War triumphs assured him the presidency

at the

age of 65.

General Winfield Scott had good wog-busting credentials. He fought the Creeks and
the Seminoles

and supervised the removal of the Cherokee
and proceeded
to defy the U.S.

to the

Southwest

Scott

won

the

battle of Mexico City

envoy during the peace negotiations,

causing considerable embarrassment in Washington. Agents of God shouldn't have to obey
diplomatic rules; Reagan and Ollie North understand thaL So did Adolf and Brezhnev!

THE RECENT REHABILITATION OF THE FREEBOOTER ETHIC
This Christian-soldier stuff
How, we wonder, can a presumably respectable
journalist like

is

Wilham

Broyles,

Jr.,

not limited to the redneck South

get away with a cover story in Esquire celebrating the wanton, lustful Nazi-Stalinist-Marxist

Pol-Pot slaying of millions of Asians in the
Broyles, for self-esteem

name

of self-fulfiUment? Well,

it

turns out that

and Southwest.

It

and

profit, was shrewdly surfing the wave

of neomilitarism generat-

plays

well all

ed by the Reagan regime.
During the humanist "give peace a chance" antiwar movement of the 1960s, and the
human-rights moments of the Carter period, the Puritan-killer ethic got pushed around a
but
it

around white, Calvinist
America. The American Legion,
the National Rifle Association,

bit,

never disappeared. The Schwarzenegger-Stallone hero figures were

still

packing them

into the theatres.

The Reagan administration

briUiantly rehabiUtated militarism. Ronald

was

a fihn

star.

He knew how to put the
It

adventurist hero back in the saddle! Wog-bashing

was

back

in style.

was

the triumphant return of the Wild West, John Wayne-Ollie North pirate

who scornfully ignores the legalities of effete politicians and takes the law into his own
hands.

the Hell's Angels, the Marine

Lieutenant Galley, you're forgiven.

The heroes of My Lai

are marching

down

Fifth

Corps Association, the
survivalists, the G.

Avenue

in

a ticker-tape parade. Crank up OUie North.
It

Gordon

This Christian-soldier stuff is not Umited to the redneck South and Southwest
plays well
all

around white, Calvinist America. The American Legion, the National Marine Corps Association, the
tips

Rifle

Association, the Hell's Angels, the

survivalists, the G.

Gordon

Liddy crowd, and Soldjerd

Liddy crowd, and Soldier of Fortune readers are visible

of a profoundly deep, white

American need

to get kicks

from wasting coloured people.

Jqrtune readers are visible tips
of a

profoundly deep, white

A STRANGE LITTLE EPISODE IN

NICARAGUA
American need to ^et kicks from

William Walker (1824-60) merits a footnote in history as a classic case of an OUie

North American warrior compulsively involved in private,

illegal

plundering raids of

wasting coloured people.

Caribbean countries. In 1853, Walker led a group of frontier hoodlums in quest of Latin

American plunder.

First

these white, American thugs tried Sonora, Mexico.

The fi^ebooting

mission failed miserably Walker was arrested for violation of neutrality laws.
standing frontier

An under-

American jury acquitted him. He was apparently a charismatic, John

Wayne kind

of thug.

A good communicator, you might say And

after

all, it

was only

Mexicans he had wasted.
In 1855,

Walker joined a group of confra

terrorist revolutionaries in

Nicaragua. After

overthrowing the government, Walker obtained recognition ftum the U.S. State Department

and

set

himself up as dictator of Nicaragua. But the real power in Nicaragua those days

was

American tycoon Cornelius Vanderbilt, whose Accessory TVansit Company monopolized

SECTION VIII.

I

MIltENNIUM MADNESS

lACKWAKD CHRISTIAN SOlDIEtS

21)

trade in that inviting land.

When Walker's operation became competitive, Vanderbilt ran him

out
But Walker
still

suffered from that old Caribbean Freebooter Legionnaires' disease,

as recurrent as malaria. In 1860, based
to take

now in Honduras, he led still another pirate attempt
and Latin-basher William Walker was
finally

over Central America.

It

failed,

done

in

by a Honduran government
today.
It's

firing squad, leaving

behind a book that has some relevance

called

War in Nicaragua!

Onward

Christian

THE COMMUNIST PARTY TAKES OVER AMERICA
The American

Soldiers! It's another

Civil

War (1861-65), one of the bloodiest conflicts in history, was prosuppress the independence of the southern states and force
this

voked when a manic-depressive, psychotic. Christian bully strongman, Abraham Lincohi,

crusade against Satan.
It's

used federal troops

to ruthlessly

jihad

time.

M

them

unwillingly into the

American Union. Before

"Brezhnev maneuver," the United

Blow

States of America

was

a loose confederation of small sovereign, agricultural states. Lincohi,

as

would Lenin

sixty years later, created a centralized, industrial, militaristic, expansionist

it all

up

for Allah! Kill

for Qaddaii!

W
pass

government

Just as the

Communist party has managed

the

USSR since

1921, so has the

Republican party, USA, controlled the police, the military, the banks, the manufacturing

Praise

plants, the organs of information.

This change from small, feudal, independent-interdependent agricultural states to a

the Lord and

the

highly organized, mechanistic, imperiaUstic, monolithic, state-centered society
inevitable stage in

is

an

human

evolution. Let us not daemonize

Abraham

Lincohi.

The time had

ammunition! Hand me
that red phone, boy.

come

for the industrialization stage. In the eighty years after Lincohi

and the "party" seized
Russia
set

confrol of America, other smokestack countries

Japan, Germany,

Italy,

up simi-

lar cenfralized military-industrial systems controlled

by a "party."

After the Civil

War the party leadership in the American Union automatically went

Howdy
to

there, God.

Time

to military

men. U.

S.

Grant was succeeded by Major General Rutherford B. Hayes. Then

Major General James Garfield, a lay preacher in the Disciples of Christ, was succeeded by

drop the Bij One on

Quartermaster General Chester
general.
All,
ft

A. Arthur. President

Benjamin Harrison was a brigadier

of course, were party members.
stage of industrial-miUtary growth that the glorification of the
city:

the Godless heathens
like the

was during this
hit its

warrior caste

peak. Statues were raised in the center of every town and
off to war.

a general

Good Book

(and party leader) on a bronze horse, riding
before!

With the Cross of Jesus going on

says!
THE REIICIOUS ISSUE lUST WON'T fUlT

Now comes Esquire magazine, publishing an inflammatory moral justification of
warfare at a spooky
religious right

moment in history when nuclear conflagration threatens and when the
this

wing in

country and in several Islamic theocracies speaks approvingly of
It's

Holy Wars, Evil Empires, and Armageddons. Onward Christian Soldiers!
against Satan.
It's

another crusade

jihad time.

Blow it all up for Allah!
that red phone, boy.

Kill for

Qaddafi! Praise the Lord and

pass the ammunition!

Hand me

Howdy there, God. Time to drop the
Glazed-eye babble

Big

One on

the Godless heathens hke the
Reflect for a

Good Book says!

moment on the quotes from the Broyles article.
among
the napahn, and

about brotherly love

God

as the gunner in a helicopter gunship,

and

blissed-out looks on the faces of charismatic Protestants, and the psychotic Marine assassin

with "Just You and Me, Lord" tattooed on his shoulder.

221

TIMOTHY IIAIV

CHAOS

i

(YIEI CUITUIE

My wife
She thinks that I've ^one too
to
fai.

is

woiried about this article.

She fears that this expose of the warrior caste
is

is

^oin^

sound unpatriotic. "America

a

youn^ country without traditions," she explains.

"We need heroes and a glorious

history."

CARIBBEAN FEVER STRIKES AGAIN
The war for Southern independence ended
of Wounded
in 1865.

Between 1869 and

1878,

more

than two hundred pitched battles were fought against a newly invented enemy: the Plains
Indians.

The Massacre

Knee was the

final solution for this

overpopulation probkilled.

lem. More than two hundred unarmed men, women, and children were
later
to

"The

soldiers

claimed that

it

was

difficult to distinguish the

Sioux

women from the men," a complaint

be heard again

in later

wars against coloured people.

By 1898, the expansionists and war lovers and heretic-bashers had simply run out of
poor neighbours
beauty, the
little

men hungered for the "awesome haunting romance, the timeless nightmare" of a colonial war. Well, how about a
to invade.

A new generation

of young

rumble
It

in

Cuba?
that there

so

happened
with
its
It

were heavy American investments

to protect

on the

island.

The

military,

eye on

Panama and Nicaragua
for the press to

for a canal, stressed the strategic posi-

tion of the island.

was easy

whip up support for the contras

fighting against

Spain.

Cuba was

a

media war. William Randolph Hearst broadcast fake propaganda. There
Air Lines Flight 007 faked incident involving the American bat-

was a Gulf of Tonkin-Korean
tleship

USS Maine. The war itself was
a pushover.

The Spanish put up token

resistance.

The

biggest

winner was a wealthy

politician

named Teddy Roosevelt, who organized his own

semiprivate

regiment (Western cowboys and "adventurous blue bloods from Eastern universities") and

whose routine

exploits

were highly pubhcized. Quick

results:

Within three years Roosevelt

a swashbuckling, militaristic, Reagan-type

was

in the

White House. Roosevelt's regime was

continually involved in Latin-bashing, dollar diplomacy, Venezuela,
infuriated all of Latin

and the
U.S.

Philippines.

He

America by placing,

in the

Dominican Republic,

customs

officers

who stole revenues for the benefit of American
hijacked

business.

He backed

a group of contras

who

Panama from Colombia.

Just eight years ago,

when Jimmy Carter returned the

canal to Panama, the Repubhcans screamed, "TVeason!

We stole that canal fair and square!"

Teddy
gressives,

Roosevelt's jingoistic imperialism

and Jeffersonian Americans. And

in 1906, Teddy, the ultimate

made him the scourge of Democrats, prowar freak and ultra-

imperialist,

won the Nobel Peace Prize. Shades of Henry Kissinger!

A BUSY TIME FOR THE WARRIOR CASTE
During the 20th Century, every generation of young Americans has been offered a
foreign expeditionary war.

Worid War I against the Huns. Worid War
fascist

II

against the Nazis and

Japanese. To prop up the unspeakably

regime of South Korea, our generals sacrificed

more than

fifty

thousand American

lives.

General Douglas MacArthur, the ultimate freeboot-

SECTION VIII.

I

MIllENNIUM MADNESS

lACKWAKD CHRISTIAN SOLDIERS

221

ir ir ir ir ir
1^
i^-

As

I

review American

history,

I

see a

larje 5ilorious

t^

i^

f^

1^
company

of heroic

men and women who

represent

ir ir ir i^
i^

1^

i^

i^

m
iic
-sd?-

our red-white-and-blue ideals of initiative,

ir ir ir ir

intelligence, tolerance,

humour, compassion.

^^
i^

A^

^7^

s6^ /^

7^

k
i^

-A-

tV

^

tV tV

^
c4v
l!Tr

4^ ^A^ j^
-A-

^
)^
"nM:^'

^7^

wage his own psychotic war against a bilUon "slant-eyed" Chinese was forcibly removed by President Thiman. "Dugout" Doug returned as a hero and
er, started to

Me

until

he

iV iV iV
sjc^

^
nk?' y!^

announced his candidacy for the presidency. On the Republican ticket, of course. Then came Vietnam. And Cambodia.

iV
''smt'

i^

^vK?'

/^

W

were dropped on Vietnam than during all of our two hundred years of warfare. Not to mention a small sea of Agent Orange, which has left much of that unfortuexplosives

More

7^

nate land blighted for years to come.

We have listened recently to a deafening chorus of
feel

aggrieved-victim complaints from Vietnam vets who

unrewarded; we hear very little

ir ir ir i^ ir
SB7
'=A=='

about the punishing casualties we

inflicted

upon the peoples of Vietnam and Cambodia. We
soldiers, civilians,

won the Body Count War! We wasted 'em

women, and children.
to tell their stories

\7

'stt?'

SM7

Esquire

is off to

a good

start. Let's

encourage these psycho vets

^ ^*
'^

ik
*-

^^ *^

about the fim of body desecration, and the "perfectly formed piece of shit" on the nonCaucasian's head, and "the
talk

mad excitement of destroying." And about how impossible it is to
It's

about it unless you were there.

good Freudian

catharsis.

And let's build them a mon-

ument where they can weep, not for Metnam and Cambodia wasted, not for America rent by
conflict,

not for Jeffersonian ideals

lost,

but in pity for themselves.
isn't

ir i^ ir ir ir

But the ticker-tape parade led by General Westmoreland
stories in national

enough. Even cover

^ ^ -^ ^ ^ i^ ^ ^ i^ it ^ ^ 7^
7^
-s^ f^

magazines can't heal the scar of ex-Lieutenant Broyles. Even a

M-page

picture of him in natty suit
ker, standing in front of a

and tie, lookmg very serious-grim

like

a young Dallas stockbro-

war memorial with his blonde kid

(a boy, of course) in his arms,

holding (no

shit)

the American flag in front of an

enormous bronze

statue of three real
raising
still

young, clean-cut, good-looking white soldiers

Texas

A&M types

another

7^

-s^ 7^

sip

American

flag

over Iwo Jima, Managua, or even Havana?

ik

iic

i^ i^

i<:

PATRIOTISM AND THE CHRISTIAN SOLDIERS

^-

^
"nK^'

^-

ik'

^
^C*?"

^^
W
^db'

^ ^ ^
'd^

My wife is worried about this article.
She thinks that I've gone too
going
to
far. is

She fears that this expose of the warrior caste

is

sound

unpatriotic.

"America

a young country without fraditions," she explains.

"We need heroes and a glorious
no one

history."
let

7^

7^

"N*?"

7^

7^

Her warning is well taken; so
Jack.
I

me explain. I'm a total, all-out 101 percent patriot,
miUtary to defend our beloved land.

iV iV iV iV
7^
iw
sip 7^

^
s^' 7^
i

I

yield to

in

my contempt for socialism, communism, or any enemy of freedom.
intelligent, effective
I

also

beUeve in a strong,

^7^

That's exactly why

oppose the Christian fanatics and the war wing of the

s4^

7^

Republican party. That's why I write about the con job that they have pulled off for the past

222

TIMOINY lEAlY

CHAOS

CYIEI (UlTHE

common

sense, optimism,
of

and 5[ood-natuie(
So
let's

skepticism

bureaucracy and authority. People

issue

some

patriotic

who

believe in fair play and

who

dislike

armed
American commands to

bullies running around in uniforms.

ex-lieutenant Broyles
hundred
years.
history,
I

As I review American

see a large glorious

company of heroic men and

women who represent our red-white-and-blue ideals of initiative, intelligence, tolerance,
humour, compassion, conmion sense, optimism, and good-natured skepticism of bureaucracy and authority. People

and his comrades.

who beUeve in fair play and who dislike armed bullies running
WiUiam Penn, founder of

around

in uniforms.
Let's Ust a

few examples of true American heroes

gentle

Philadelphia, city of brotherly love;

Henry David Thoreau, the Concord libertarian; Edgar
star,

ABOUT

FACE!

ORDER ARMSI

Allan Poe, a West Pointer who
Fulton,

became a literary

inventors such as

EU Whitney, Robert

and Thomas Edison; Ralph Waldo Emerson, philosopher of self-reliance; Walt
Mark. TVain.

Whitman and

Let's recall the long

hne of blacks who have provided us models of noble humanity,

creatively waging peace, not

war George Washington

Carver, Ralph Bunche, and Dr.

AT EASE!

Martin Luther Ring,

Jr.,

among others.

THE CIVILIZED AMERICAN HERO
any thoughtful American gomg

Hear this, lads:
to feel

We have

What, indeed,

is

when exposed to this
are descendants of those

American Legion, bom-again fake patriotism?

Most of us

CathoUcs, Jews, Latins,

women, and men

called off the Christian

who came to the United States of America to escape militarism and to create a better social
order. Basically,

most of us don't want to

stir

up foreign adventures and Umi our countiy
the complicated

into

a Christian empire. We've got enough real problems here at home
tion

ti-ansi-

from an industiialized economy;

tiie

agonizing racial tensions; the collapse of our edu-

cation system.

There

is

a need for heroes, not to lead religious crusades, but to apply goodtime.

crusade. You don't have

will, tolerance,

and intelligence to make the American Dream come
issue

So
comrades.

let's

some patriotic American commands to ex-Lieutenant Broyles and

his

to

ABOUT FACE! ORDER ARMS! AT EASE!
Hear tiiis, lads: We have called
ers to prove your manhood!
off tfie Christian crusade.

bully

others to prove

You don't have

to bully oth-

@
your manhood!

f
SECTION VIII.
I

MILLENNIUM MADNESS

lACKWAlB CNIISTIAN SOIDIEIS

223

race yourselves, folks. The Roaring 20th Century
In

Is

boiling

up to a Chaos Climax.

the next few years Millennium Madness

is

gonna inundate this planet!

viiij.

God Runs for President on the Repudlican Ticket

Check out the
to 1000. In

history books
lot

and read about the years 987

headline: The

$70

Million Miracle

Named CBN.

It

was

subtitled:

those days a

of fruit loops were running

"With the Lord's Grace, Pat Robertson Builds a Cable Empire."

around

stirring

up

trouble. Exactly

one thousand years

Huh? A presumably
invokes the Deity in
its

rational,

mainstream newspaper

ago Grand Prince Vladimir of Russia

started a religious Cold

War by

discussion of a political candidate?

What is

joining the Eastern Orthodox CathoUc Church.

The

Persians and

Chicago coming

to?
is

Arabs and Christians were waging a Holy War. People were scared

Robertson's platform

not surprising.

It's

your standard

and confused back then

just as they are today.

right-wing, strident, millenarian

kook show. Predestination, here we

And

in the next

few years,

I

believe

we will

see similar irra-

come. The familiar Jimmy Swaggart, Oral Roberts, Pat Buchanan,
Ronnie Reagan platform. An appeal
tation of the
to the

tional kookiness, messianic
lyptic paranoias,

megalomanias, mass

insanities, apoca-

chosen people. An expec-

end-of-world prophecies; demented demagogues.

imminent and miraculous intervention of God or his

Holy Wars, crazy crusades, lunatic leaders, disharmonic divergences, and thousands of just plain old four-square evangeUcal bad
trips.

messianic prophet.

A belief in

the total fransformation to the perfect

kingdom. An

eternal struggle against the Evil Empire.

OUie North, Jim Bakker,

Muammar Qaddafi, Shirley
for the eccentricities

Fiercely ascetic white-bread puritanism. Anti-abortion, anti-

MacLaine, the AyatoUah Khomeini, Oral Roberts, and, yes, Pat
Robertson
activated
they're just
to

gay witch-hunting. Pro-school prayer, pro-creationist "science."

warm-ups

and

terror-

What most astonishes and

disturbs,

however,

is

the shamanic
is

power

manias

come.
it,

of Robertson's evangelical television show.

The "700 Club"

No

question about

most of the violence and angry
one
seat.

politics

designed

to

produce an altered

state of consciousness, a classic

that are apparent these days pit

biblical
It's

God

against another.

voodoo hypnotic trance.

The Cold War has taken a back

as

if

America and Russia
It's

To begin
art

with, the show's production

is

that of state-of-the-

have become mere pawns on God's chessboard.

the Roaring 9th

prime-time television, using the

same

slick,

commercial tech-

Century all over again! Feudal Super Bowl crusader time!
versus your Great Satan! Israel versus
Shi'ites

My God

niques that seduce us into buying Coors beer and Extra-Sfrength
Tylenol.

Rome versus Byzantium.
for the

The

actors

who appear on the show look like local news
Danuta

versus Sunnis. Hindus versus Buddhists. Hindus versus

anchors. Dignified Ben Kinchlow with his white trimmed mustache
looks like a

Sikhs. Bosnia, Croatia, Serbia.

Jehovah versus Allah

worid

Supreme Court justice. The

lovely assistant,

championship.

Soderman, looks like a model for
the

some

sensible

home product such

And now, with

emergence of the

militant evangelicals
jealous,

as

Drano or Roach Motel.

and the candidacy of Reverend Pat Robertson, the angry,

The program

builds efficiently toward

its

climax, namely

fundamentahst God has thrown his beUicose hat into the American
poUtical ring.
I

the invocation of the Deity. Buckle your seat belts, trippers, while

Shaman
skillfully vvritten press releases of the

Pat leans over, his eyes clenched

m painful concenfration.

have studied the

Hey, the guy's possessed!
sic france state

When the audience is whipped into a clasHe
dials

Christian Broadcasting Network, a monstrously successful

media

and

is

neurologically vuhierable, Robertson starts to

empire that had a take of $182 miUion
stacks of lavishly adulatory

in 1987.

1

have pored over

imprint the commercials.

up the sponsor and

starts to dis-

columns on Robertson from small-town
articles in

cuss God's agenda

namely His impatience with what's happening
"sick

newspapers and unashamedly adoring
tions.
I

mainUne pubhca-

on the planet Both Robertson and the Ahnighty Lord are
tired" (the candidate's favorite

and

was stunned,

for

example,

to

read this Chicago THbune

buzz phrase) of God's country being

2U

TIMOTNV lEAlY

CHAOS

I

CYIEI (UlIUIE

taken over by sinners, homosexuals, Democrats, secular humanists,
atheistic scientists,
all,

communist dupes, pomographers, and, above

the anti-Christ Iranians.

Meanwhile, the older pious-looking chap next
Robertson

to
is softly

the guy wearing the Episcopal clerical collar
It's

singing, beseeching, "Jesus! Jesus!"

a gentle, soothing, implor-

ing chorus behind

Shaman

Pat.

Eventually Robertson begins to beg the Lord to strengthen

and arm

his people to deal with his enemies.

The

"Jesus! Jesus!"

chorus increases in volume and tempo. Soon the two of them have

worked up a voodoo rhythm. The cameras zoom
the audience, their faces twisted with

in for close-ups of
self-pity.

awe and

righteous

Soon the

folks are holding hands, softly chanting

and sighing the

name of Jesus.
Hey, I've participated in as

many trance experiences as anymesmerized

one. I've tripped out to voodoo rites in Haiti. I've been

... our

middle-a^jed leaders simply don't

by Gnaoua drummers

in Tangier. I've attended
tests,

Navaho peyote cere-

monies, Ren Kesey's acid

ganja funeral rituals along the
rites in the Rif

Ganges, sacred mushroom chants in Oaxaca, Pan

understand altered states of mind. They're

mountains of Morocco.

I've

seen folks holding hands,
I've

softly

chantin

ing and sighing the name of Jerry Garcia.

even participated

neurological innocents. They never had to talk

sunrise davening prayers with Hassidic rabbis.

So swear me
that the

in, bailiff,

and

I'll

testify

as an expert witness

down

a

bom-again

rituals of our
trips,

homegrown southern

Pentecostals

trippin^f colle^fe

roommate. They're

are authentic head

and

that preachers

such as Pat Robertson
totally

are performing the classic shamanic role of brainwashing.

unequipped

to handle cabinet-level

kooks

The problem 1 have with these
has
to

Bible Belt altered-statesmen

do with

their motive

and

cultural
is

framework.
to

When

the

and White House zealots who use

slick television

power

of the shamanic tripping

hooked

a confrontational,

monotheistic religious dogma, you've got the potential for major

mind games. Reverend
Eastern
given
to

Pat taps into the old
is

"One God," Middle
and

advertising techniques to rave about their

Numero Uno, who
vengeful genocide

congenitally jealous, possessive,

if and

when

His monopoly

is

challenged.

biblical revelations

and millennium dreams.

("And the Lord was sorry that
it

He had made man on

the Earth, and

grieved

Him to His heart," reads Genesis: 6. "So the Lord said, 'I

will blot out

man whom have created ftx)m
I

the face of the ground,

man and beast and creeping things and birds of the air, for 1 am
sorry that
I

have made them'.")
incite hatred of nonbelievers,
I

As I watch Robertson

am
in

reminded of those familiar television news scenes

in

which mobs

the streets of Tehran lash themselves with chains into frenzies of

sorrowful rage against the Great Satan. Discounting superficial cultural differences, there

do seem

to

be striking

similarities

between
elec-

Robertson and the AyatoUah. They're both media shamans
tronic wizards

who are able to use television

to

convey magnetizing

charisma.
tions.

And they both head

highly efficient political organiza-

Come to think of it, Robertson and the AyatoUah are
images of each
other. Their beliefs

mirror

stem from the same monothe-

SECTION VIII.

2

MIllENNIUM MADNESS

GOI lUNS FOI PIESIDENT ON THE RErUlllCAN TICKET

22$

^ZC!7

ANDY

FRITH

ism.

And when they look

at

each other, guess what they

see: the

4. Their

opponents are treated without tolerance or mercy.

Great Satan.

Robertson, for example, publicly wished for the deaths
of

Supreme Court justices

Marshall, Brennan,

and
all

For instance:

Stevens. (Scientific duty compels

me to

admit that
after
I

three justices were hospitalized within
1.

weeks

They both present themselves as agents of God. Those

Robertson's curse.

In fairness

to the Ayatollah,

must

who oppose them

are,

by

definition, evil.

They aim to

also note that every

American move against

Iran has

create a theocratic state.

mysteriously backfired.)

2.

They both whip up hatred of nonbelievers

a condition
is divi-

5.

They're both

full

of biblical sternness for unrepentant sin-

that leads to holy-war crankiness. Their approach
sive

ners. They're for the death penalty, punitive police
action, a big military,

and confrontational.

and an aggressive foreign

policy.

They don't blink at nuclear weapons.
3.

As God's agents, they can allow no compromise with
Satan. This leads to a profound impracticality. They can't
6.

They believe that women should be subservient to men.

be bothered with such prosaic human concerns as
liberty,

life,

and the pursuit of happiness. They're engaged
Holy War
against
evil.

in

7.

Both exhibit obsessive prudishness and a hatred of modern lifestyles; they believe
in

an

all-out

the censorship of books,

226

TIMOTHY lEAlY

CHAOS

(

CytER CUIIUIE

drama, music, movies.

8.

They're committed to an apocalyptic vision. Both of

them yearn
reward His

for the
faithful.

end of the world, when God

will

9.

They

distrust sdence,

Western

culture,

and secular edu-

cation.

10.

They appeal to the
been
left

dissatisfied

who

feel that they've

out of the secular mainstream. The American

fundamentalists have been scorned by the mainline
Protestant sects and ridiculed by such intellectuals as
Sinclair Lewis, H. L.

Mencken, and Garry Trudeau. Their

followers include hardworking. God-fearing, small-town
folk

who

bitterly resent the

freedom of

liberals,

hedonists, and other urban followers of Satan.

111

testify

as an

expert witness

11.

They long for a return to a
sodety.

simpler,

more ordered

that the

born-ajain rituals of our

12. They're intensely antihumanist.

They see humanism as a

Satanic attempt to place worldly issues before the will of

homegrown southern Pentecostals
are authentic head

God.

13.

They seek

political

power to

further their religious aims.

trips,

and that

They're unconcerned with social and economic issues.

Robertson's platform doesn't seriously address nuclear dis-

preachers such as Pat Robertson

armament, the budget deficit, racism, the agonizing conversion
postindustrial society, the trade imbalance,

to

a

and the environment.

The

Ayatollah

is

unperturbed by the slaughter of his young soldiers

are

performing the classic

on the

Iraqi front

They don't worry about social

injustice

and the

fate of the Earth,

because they're counting
left

down to Armageddon.

With only a few years
is

before the millennium, prayer in schools

shamanic

role of

brainwashing.

obviously a key survival issue.

Since 1946 the Cold

War has obsessed the planet's politics.

Why

did

we support a monster like Ferdinand Marcos? Why are the
on an incompetent megalomaniac like
Fidel

Soviets wasting billions

Castro?

Why

are

we in the Persian Gulf now? Why are the Soviets
children?
It's

using toy

bombs against Afghan
worid
is

because every coun-

try in the third

a

pawn on the red-black chessboard.
to a

The American obsession with the Cold War came
screeching halt in the mid-1960s,

when

the fu^t waves of the baby-

boom generation 76 million
Spock people are the
Churchill and
first

strong

started to hit college.

The

Dr.

post-Cold

War generation. Winston

Omar Bradley are as alien to them as Ulysses Grant
initiations of the

and General Jack Pershing.

The group

Spock kids occurred not at

SECTION VIM.

2

MIllENNIUM MADNESS

COD lUNS FOI PIESIDENT ON THE lEPUIUCAN TICKET

227

Anzio Beach or Normandy but
Lauderdale. They were the
the
first

at

Malibu Beach and Fort
first postindustrial,

first

postnuclear, the

electronic generation. Extremely individualistic, supremely

seU-confident, indulged,

and ennobled by demand feeding, these

affluent children of a doting adult culture are obsessed with such
practical, down-to-earth

matters as enriched sex,
physical comfort, aesthet-

Mainstream America

is

now learning what psychedelic

researchers learned in the

ic style,

and personal
all,

growth. Above

they

early 1960s

and what most baby-boomers learned

in the 1970s: Religious, mystical,

were and still are
tently antiwar
antidraft.

consis-

and

visionary possession states are powerful and wonderiul-they open the doors
perception, polish our sensory lenses, shake up the autonomic nervous system,

The 1976
tion pitted a

elec-

dependable

Cold Warrior, Gerald
Ford, against

and ^et the hormones sur^in^-but they're intimate and precious. They shouldn't
be

Jimmy

Carter, who actuaUy

imposed on others. And above
is

all,

they should be kept out of politics. The rea

quoted Bob Dylan in his
speeches.

The

election
milisplit

issue here

the separation of state and religious visions.

was a toss-up. The
tant Bible vote

was

Carter, after

all, was a

bom-again Southerner.

The
landslide of 1980
talist Protestants,

election

was produced by an

alliance

between fundamen-

fundamentalist Catholics, and cold-war conservasurely go

tives.

The Reagan Revolution will

down in history as the
history.

most zany,

irrational, unrealistic period in

American

Common sense has floated out the window. The national debt has
exploded, the trade balance has collapsed, the industrial base has

shrunk, the educational system has

failed,

and Reagan's ring-ding

regime has launched military strikes in Beirut, Libya, Central
America, Grenada, and the Persian Gulf, not
to

mention

its

highly

pubUcized and

ineffective

War on Drugs. So what's going on here?
It's

Oh, have you forgotten?

Millennium Madness. Just a

few more looney-tune years
thousand years. Ronald Reagan,
script.
let

to

go

until A.D. 2000.

Happens every

us not forget, believes in the apocalyptic

George Bush

is

an EpiscopaUan Christian. Can you imagine
if

what Pat Robertson would do
under
his

he had the Pentagon and the CIA

command?
stuff?

How, you wonder, can these nitwits get away with this

Why do the Democrats and the
sions

liberals

and the moderate
sit

Republicans and other practical people

by with dazed expres-

and

let

harebrains like Pat Buchanan, Richard Secord,

Thomas Clines, and Manucher Ghorbanifar run U.S. foreign policy?

Why? Because our middle-aged leaders simply don't understand altered states of mind. They're neurological innocents.

They

22a

TIMOTHY lEAlY

CHAOS

I

CYBEI CULIUIE

Oh, have you foi^otten?
It's

Millennium Madness.

lust a few

more looney-tune yeais

to

^0 until A.D. zooo.

Happens every thousand years.

?

9

f

99%
and millennium dreams.

%%%%%%%%
totaUy

never had

to talk to

down a tripping college roommate. They're

unequipped

handle cabinet-level kooks and White House zealots
rave about their

who use slick television advertising techniques to
biblical revelations

The same
class

thing happened in Tehran.

The

Iranian middle

and the technicians and the merchants watched with amaze-

ment as madman Khomeini whipped up holy-war passions.
Mainstream America
is

now learning what psychedelic

researchers learned in the early 1960s and what most baby-

boomers learned

m the 1970s: Religious, mystical, visionary possesand wonderftil
they open the doors of

sion states are powerful

perception, polish our sensory lenses, shake up the autonomic ner-

vous system, and get the hormones surging

but they're intimate
others.

and precious. They shouldn't be imposed on
they should be kept out of poUtics.
tion of state

And above

all,

The

real issue here is the separa-

and rehgious

visions.

As we approach the millennium, our survival could depend

upon

staying

cahn and cooUng out the crazies among

us.

SECTION VIM.

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MIllENNIUM MADNESS

COS IUN$ FOI riESIDENT ON THE lEPUIllCAN TKKET

22)

VIII.^.

Who Owns

the

Jesus Property?

been trying to make sense
out of the current flap about the

ered, century after century, about the trinity

guns and gelignite. Just
Ages, except for

like

the Middle

or the virgin birth or that always explo-

improved weaponry.
the U.S. our sectarian

Q've

sive topic, the personality, habits,

and

But here

in

human/divine endowments of Jesus.

Christians merely quarrel like talent agencies disputing

film version of

The Last Temptation
are fundamentalist

The sides

in

these well-publicized

who owns

the screen rights

debates are usually drawn along geo-

to the Jesus Christ story. We're hassling

of Christ.

Why

graphic

lines. In

general, the people from

over the ownership to one of the most
valuable properties of
all

North Europe tend to define Jesus and

time. Look at

Protestants attacking this movie
a novel

the

women

in his life

as less emotional

the script: The birth

in

the manger. The

than people from the Mediterranean do.

walking on water. The loaves and fishes.

inspired by

penned

by a tor-

The Nordics want a Jesus
cold and repressed.

like

themselves,

The scourging of the money lenders from
the Temple. (Well, on second thought,
let's

The Southerners want
again, like

mented Greek

Catholic,

adapted by

a passionate, volatile Jesus

not stress that scene.) The betrayal
(I

themselves.

by Judas.
a fascinating parallel here with

wouldn't mention the thirty
to spare Jerry Falwell's

a guilt-ridden Protestant, and direct-

There
Islam.

is

pieces of
feelings.)

silver,

The angry born-again fundamentalthe moderate Sunni and Saudi
just trying to

The crown of thorns. The ever-

ed by

a

moody
all

Italian Catholic?

ists in Iran;

popular Crucifixion Climax. The surprise-

Arabs who are

make

a buck
oil

ending Resurrection.
Jones, doesn't
it?

It

beats Indiana

Since they

claim to be sincere

on the Mecca tourist trade and the
wells, but

who

are forced to band togeth-

Our fundamentalists and
evangelists understandably

television
insist that

Christians,

why

all

the rhubarb?

er to resist the highly impractical Iranian
militants.

they have a monopoly on the Jesus

This relativistic speculation cheered

me

Property.

Of

course, there's no shred of
in

What we have here

is

a typical bunch

up.

It

showed me, once

again,

how

far our

evidence to support this

any court.

of quarreling Christian sects

exactly the

American Christians (and American Jews

There's not a single paper anywhere that

and Moslems) have
evolved from their

says the Christ family, Jesus, Mary,
Joseph,
etc.,

signed away these valuable
rights to North

... the ancestors of these bad-tempered

pesky counterparts
in

docudrama

European
in

European Bible thumpers were running
around bare-assed
virgins to
in bearsl(ins, sacrificing

the Olde World.

In

Protestants and their descendants
right

the

the

Middle

East
difstill

wing of the Republican

party. Hey,

these theological

these Johnny-come-lately Protestants didn't

Thor the Thunder God, when the

ferences

are

appear on the scene

until

fourteen

being fought out

centuries after the death scene went

original Christ script

was penned.
who have
Ireland, the

with

tanks

and

down. To be absolutely
tors of these

frank, the ances-

bombers and poison

same
been

noisy cast of characters

gas;

in

Northern

Bible

bad-tempered European thumpers were running around
in

profiting from similar theological

dour Protestants and passion-

bare-assed

bearskins, sacrificing virgins

battles for

two

millennia. They've bick-

ate Catholics have at each other with

to Thor the Thunder God,

when the

origi-

230

TIMOTHY lEAlY

CHAOS

i

(VIEI CyiTUIE

ANDY

FRITH

nal Christ script

was penned.

grubby wrangling for the screen
their story. After
all,

rights to

In

general, the people from

The televangelists are obviously worried that their alleged

the Jewish Jesus, or

$50

billion a

monopoly on the Christ Market will be year

Yeshuah

the prototype, even older than

North Europe tend to define
Jesus and the
life

Greek-Latin versions

seems to have

women

In his

threatened by passionate Latin and Greek

been an easy-going Reform rabbi with a
sly

versions that attribute Mediterranean

sense of humour, a genial, Hin-Jew

as less emotional than

humanity to Christ
blonde, plastic

in

contrast to the pale,

rabbi like

Ram
if

Dass.

people from the
demand
residuals for

doll,

blue-eyed

killer ver-

Anyway,
interest,

the Writers Guild takes an

sion that they are peddling.
dial

The primor-

they should

Mediterranean do. The
Nordics want a Jesus
themselves, cold and
repressed. The Southerners
like

Greek-Latin image of J. C. is too "human" and emotional for dogmatic

Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, those
four hard-working, ink-stained wretches

Jerry Falwell or shy, onanistic

Jimmy

who penned

this eternally interesting

and

Swaggart, or sexually naTve Jim "Motel"
Bakker.
In

controversial script.

my

scenario of these events, Jesus

want a passionate,
Jesus
again, like

volatile

and Mary Magdalene and Peter the
Fisherman and the rest of the rowdy gang

would be laughing

their haloes off at this

themselves.

SECTION VIII.)

MIILENNIUM MADNESS

WHO OWNS THE lESUS PIOPEITY?

231

f

VIII.4.
God
is

not a tribal father,

nor a feudal lord, nor an

HiGH-JjCHjAMNISM
co-wmiiENwiiH[RicGyiucHrrN

engineer-manager
universe. There
is

of the

no God

(in the

singular) except you

THE CYBERPUNK AS

MODERN

CRT/monitor display and harnessing die
creative force of die operator. Spinning disk

ALCHEMIST
at the

moment.

.

.

.

Since Go(
baby-boom generation grew up in

drives are die pentacles, inscribed widi

complex symbols, earthen

tablets to receive

"1

appears

to be held

hostage
-

The

an electronic world (1960s

to

1970s)

the input of "air," resulting in die crackling
intellectual electricity of the processor-chip

of turn-on, tune-in television and per-

lack there

by the blooc

sonal-computing screens. The cyberpunks,

circuitiy
literally,

programming. The

RAM chips are,

growing up
thirsty Persian ayatollah,

in the 1980s

and 1990s, develop

die buffers ("buffer pools"), die

new metaphors, rituals, and lifestyles for
dealing with the universe of information.

water, the passive element capable only of

receiving impressions and reti-ansmitting,
reflecting.

ly

the

telegenic Polish pope,

More and more
logic

of us are

becoming fuzzy-

shamans and

digital alchemists.

Iconic visual

programming lan-

and the Moral Majority,
there's

The parallels between

the culture

guages are a Tarot, the pictorial

summa-

of the alchemists and that of cyberpunk

rization of all possibilities, activated for div-

only one logical

computer adepts are numerous. Both

ination by juxtaposition

and mutual

influ-

employ knowledge of an occult arcanum
alternative. You "steer"

ence.

It is

a Periodic Table of Possibilities,
I

your

unknown

to the

population at large, with

die Western form of die Eastern
TVaditional word-oriented

Ching.

secret symbols

and words of power. The

programming

own

course. You and

your

"secret symbols"

compose the languages of

languages-FORTRAN, COBOL, and die
rest

computers and mathematics, and the

are a degenerate primitive form of

dear friends start

your own

"words of power" instruct computer-operating systems
to

diese universal systems, grimoires of profitoriented corporations.

complete Herculean

tasks.

religion.

The Temple, o
a digital

Knowing die precise code name
program permits
it

of
ity

Detailed data-base logs of the activ-

to

be conjured

of operating systems form die Akashic

course,

is

your body.

into existence, transcending die labour of

records on a microscale. At a macroscopic
level, diis is die

muscular or mechanical search.

Rites of

"worid net" knowledge

Your minds write the

initiation or

apprenticeship are

common to
and

base, die worid-vride online hypertext net-

boUi. "Psychic feats" of telepresence

work

of information soon to be realized by

theolo^iy.

And the holy

spirit

action-at-a-distance are achieved by selection of die

die storage capacity of CD-ROM

and die

menu option.
at

data-ti-ansmission capabiUty of optical
fiber

emanates from that infinitely
their

Young digital alchemists have

William Gibson's cyberspace

command tools of a clarity and power
their predecessors.

"matiix."

mysterious intersection

unimagined by

Personal transmutation (die ecstasy of die "ultimate hack")
is

Computer screens are magical mirrors,

a veUed goal of

between your brain and the
)rains of

presenting alternate realities at varying

bodi systems.

The

satori of harmonious

degrees of absti^ction on

command

(invo-

human-computer communication
from die

resulting

your team.

cation).

The mouse or pen

of die digitizing
fire

infinite regress into metalevels of

tablet is the

wand, contix)Uing the

of die

self-reflection is die

reward

for

immaculate

conceptualization and execution of ideas.

232

TIMOTHY lEAlY

(NAOS

i

CVIEI (UlTVIE

BRUMMBAER

The

universality of

and

1

the

baby-boom generation

will

be

digital

or

throughout magic and religion

yin

and
are

(to

use the old paradigms) philosophic-spir-

yang, yoni and lingam, cup and wand

itual.

manifested today in digital signals, the two
bits

During their teens the boomers

underiying the implementation of all

went on an adolescent spiritual binge
unequalled since the Children's Crusade,
hi their revolt against the factory culture,

As Buddha, Krishna,
have Gurdjieff. eliL,
taught:

digital

programs

in the

world

in

our brains
it

and
bit,

in

our operating

disks. Stretching

a

even the monad, symbol of change and

they reinvented and updated their tribal-

the tao, visually resembles a superimposed

pagan

roots

and experimented with

The aim

oi

and

1

when its curving central Ime is

Hinduism, Buddhism, American Indianism,
Magic, Witchcraft,

your

stretched through the action of centrifugal
force from the ever-increasing speed of
rotation of the

Ann Arbor Voodoo,

life is to

take care oi
so you can take

Esalen Yoga,

1

Ching, Taoism, Exorcism of

monad.

the Pentagon, 5-D Re-lncamations, LoveIns,

and Psychedelic Celebrations.

yourself

Bom-again Paganism!

care oi others.

CYBERRELIGIONOFTHEIAIYROOMERS
By
the year 2000 the concerns of

Pan-Dionysus on audiovisual

cassettes.

Mick Jagger had them sympathizing with
the devil.

The BeaUes had them

floating

upstream on the Ganges. Jimi Hendrix

SECTION VIM.;

MIllENNIUM MADNESS

HIGH-TECH PACAHISM

2)}

taught

them how to be a voodoo

child. Is

As Buddha, Krishna, Gurdjieff,
aL,

et

there one pre-Christian or third-worid

have taught The aim of your life

is to

metaphor

for divinity that

some rock group

take care of yourself so you can take care of
others.

has not yet celebrated on an album cover?

You and youi

friends can do

ONTOLOGY RECAPITULATES THEOLOGY
The baby-boomers
in their evolv-

WITH A LITTLE HELP FROM YOUR
FRIENDS
This generation, we
recall,

anything that the ^leat

ing Ufe cycle

seem

to

have recapitulated the

was disand eco-

theological history of our species. Just as

illusioned by the reUgions, politics,

leli^ions

and empiies and

monotheism emerged to
mto
nations, so did

unify

pagan

tribes

nomics of their parents. Growing up with
the threat of nuclear war, the assassination
of beloved leaders, a collapsing industrial

some boomers rediscov-

racial

groups have done in
of their God.

er fundamentahst, bom-again Judaism and
Christianity in their young adulthood.

Even

system, an impossible national debt, reU-

the

name

And
better

far-away Islam attracted gourmet blacks

gious fundamentalisms (Christian-JewishIslamic) that fanatically
intolerance, acquired

and ex-hippies Uke Cat Stevens. Bob Dylan
to do you're certain
it

scream hatred and

nicely exemplifies the
to rehgion.

consumer approach

immune deficiencies,

For twenty-five years Dylan has

and uncomprehending neglect of the ecology,

because

.

.

.

well, look at

continued

to

browse through the

spiritual

they have developed a healthy skepti-

boutiques, dabbing on a dash of Baptist

cism about collective solutions.

their track records. There's

"bom again," nibbling at Hassidism, before
returning
to his old-time faith of sardonic

No wonder the baby-boom generation has created a psychology of individual

no way your Personal State
could produce the
persecutions and massacres

reformed humanism.

navigation. Singularity.
self-responsibility.

The

basic idea

is

We can laugh at this trendy shopping around
for the custom-tailored,

You

just can't

depend on

anyone

else to solve
it all

your problems. You
. . .

designer God, but behind the faddism

we
for
to

gotta do

by yourself

with a

little

fmd a powerful clue. Notice how Dylan,

help lh)m your friends.

example, preserved his options and tried

and bigotries

of the

and past

avoid shoddy or off-the-rack soulware.
"plastic Christs that

No

glow

in the

dark" for

A DO-IT-YOURSELF RELIGION
God #1 appears to be held

present.

There's

only one of

Bob!

The

real religion here is

Since

with the help you, and even
of

Evolutionism, based on the classic
ist,

human-

hostage back there by the blood-thirsty
Persian ayatollah, by the telegenic PoUsh

transcendental assumptions:

your friends the amount of

pope, and the Moral Majority, there's only

God is not a tribal father, nor a

one

logical alternative.

You "steer" your
start

damage individuals can do

is

feudal lord, nor an engineer-

own

course. You

and your dear friends

manager of the universe. There is
insipificant compared with
that of a collective.

your own
is

religion.

The Temple,

of course,

no God

(in the singular) except

your body. Your minds write the theology.
the holy spirit emanates irom that
infi-

you at the moment. There are as many Gods (in the plural) as can
be imagined.
Call

And

nitely

mysterious intersection between your

them whatever

brain and the brains of your team.

you want. They are free agents like you and me.

The attainment of even

the suburbs

of paradise involves good navigation and

planning on your part. Hell

is

a series of

You can change and mutate and keep improving. The idea is to
keep "trading up" to a "better"
philosophy-theology.

redeemable
ure
to

errors.

A detour caused

by

fail-

check the

trip

maps. A losing streak.

Reward yourself for making choices that lead to friendship and pleasure.
Build a cybernetic cycle of positive feed-

in

TIMOTHY lEAlY

CHAOS

i

(VIEI CyiTVIE

"UMtJt

v?

j

I

S S i

""^iPft^

B

A

E R

BRUMMBAER

back. Only fh)in a stale of free selfhood can

educational and recreational events.

any

truly

compassionate signals be sent

to

On

the

up

side,

one

is

free

from
ines-

others.

dependence on bureaucracies, an

timable boon. (Free agents can, of course,

THE ADMINISTRATION OF A

make temporary deals with organizations
and
officials

PERSONAL STATE
The management and piloting of a
singularity leads to a very busy career.

thereof)

And

if countries

have

histories

and mythic

origins,

why

shouldn't

Write your very

own

you?

Once

the individual has established herself

Newest Testament,
remembering that
own
Search and research your very

as a religion, a country, a corporation, an

THE PERSONAL MYTHOLOGY

information network, and a neurological
universe,
it is

necessary to maintain per-

genetic
of your

memory banks, the Old Testaments
DNA-RNA,
including,
if

voluntary martyrdom
tacl<y,

is

sonal equivalents of all the departments

you

like,

and

crucifixions,

and operations of the bureaucracies that
perform these duties.
This means forming private
alliances, formulating personal political

past incarnations, Jungian archetypes, and

like
funky pre-incamations in any future you

nuclear war, can

can imagine. Write your very

own Newest

ruin

your day

Testament, remembering that voluntary

platforms, conducting one's

own domestic

martyrdom

is

tacky,

and

crucifixions, like

and foreign
policies,

relations, establishing trade

nuclear war, can ruin your day.

defense and security programs,

You and your friends can do any-

SECTION VIII.

4

MIttENNIUM MADNESS

HICH-TECH PAGANISM

235

thing that the great religions

Human as program. Or human in
programs.

Jack Merer!

and empires and
have done
their God.
to

racial

groups

in the

name of
certain
.
.

Through storage of one's belief systems as data structures online, and driven
by desired programs, one's neuronal apparatus could operate in "silicon" basically as
it

And you're

do

it

better because

.

well, look at their track

records. There's no

way

did in the

meatware of the

brain, though

your Personal State could

faster,

more predictably, more
desired, immortally.

self-mutably,

produce the persecutions

and,

if

and massacres and
otries of the past

big-

Intelligent post-humanists will not

and

only store themselves electronically, but

present. There's only

may do so in the form

of a "computer

one ofyou, and even
with the help of your

virus," capable of traversing

computer net-

works and of self-replication as a guard
against accidental or mahcious erasure.

fa^ff

^-"''"

friends the

amount of

damage
^udiio"""

individuals
is insignifi-

can do

"What's on this CD?"
"Ah, that's just boring, adolescent Leary. Let's go ahead

cant compared with

^""TiSt;;"^^
T.^'5>S3.I""'U'^

that of a collective.

Besides,

and reformat

it."

you're children of
the 1960s

nc^H"^to

and

One

speculation

is

that such vfral

1990s. You're imprinted

human forms might afready inhabit our
computer systems. Cleverly designed, they

want a

peaceful, tolerant, funny world.
to

You can choose your Gods

be smart,
gooiy.

would be very difficult if not theoretically
impossible to detect Current programs do
not permit

funny, compassionate, cute,

and

matchmg the

real-tune opera-

"IRREVERENCE"
Intelligent post-humanists
will

IS

A

PASSWORD FOR

tion

speed and

parallel complexity of con-

THE 2l$t CENTURY

ventional brains. But time scale of operation
is

not only stoie themselves

Human society has now reached a
turning point in the operation of the digital

subjective

and

irrelevant, except for

the purposes of interface.

electronically,

but may do so in

programs of evolution, a point

at

which the

Of course, there is no reason
restrict one's manifestation to

to

next evolutionary steps of the species

a particular

the form of a

become apparent to

us, to surf at will.

form. With ever-loosening physical constraints (through

"computer virus,"

In the near future, the

methods of

perhaps inescapable eco-

capable of traversing computer

information technology, molecular engineering, biotechnology, nanotechnology

nomic

constraints),

one

will

be able

to

assume any desired form.
Given the ease of copying computer-stored information,
to exist
it

networks and of self-replication
as a ^uard against accidental
or malicious erasure.

(atom stacking), and quantum-digital pro-

gramming could make

the

human form a

should be possible

matter totally determined by individual

simultaneously in

many forms.
at

whim, style, and seasonal choice.

Running independently and cloned

each

The

sanctity of our body image,

branch point, intelUgence would persist in

along with the irrational taboos about sex

each of these forms. Where the
this situation is a

"I's"

are in

and death, seems
sistent

to

be one of the most per-

matter for high-tech

anachronisms of industrial-age

pagans and digital philosophers.

thought The

human being of the

future

may

be a bio-computer hybrid of any

desfred form, or an "electronic entity" in the
digital info-universe.

236

TIMOTHY lEAlY

CHAOS

(

CYlEt (UtTUtE

^^_0^mm

f.

2)1

TIMOTHY lEAlY

CHAOS

i

CYIEI CIIITUIE

t
It

was a

void.
It

wasn't darkness or silence.
in

was the absence of all

sense.

J.

X.

Brilllg

couldn't think

terms of blindness or deafness, because there was no such

thing as sight or sound

and certainly not touch. She couldn't remember
itself

words

like

eyes and ears. Space

had no meaning.

IX.

Brillig

in

Cyberland

BYWIUCOIEMANANDPATPERRIN
FEATURING A CONVERSATION WITH JlMOTHY LEARY

"I guess this is

what thatfirst line of Genesis meant,
void.

'

"Good.

Do you recognize either of us?"
answered
Brillig.

thought

Brillig.

She floated through the

She had no idea for

"I don't believe so,"

"I'm not sure."

how long. Time didn't mean

anything, either.

"Well,

first off, let

me introduce you to Upton Omdorf, datathis

Then came a voice: "Hey, Josie. Can you hear me?" The voice was warm and full of good humour.
'Sound!'' thought Brillig.

base cowboy extraordinaire." "Not so 'extraordinaire' just
minute,

damn it," grum-

"What a novel concept!"
"Yes,
I

bled the cowboy, looking up from his console. "Something's not

She heard herself answer

can hear you." She was

working

right, here."
"Orruto/;;^''

surprised at the lighhiess, the lilting
didn't yet

buoyancy of her

own voice. She

thought

Brillig.

"The

name is familiar. Where

know why "Can you hear me?"