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Robert Anton Wilson

Rev. Ivan Stang writes about Robert Anton Wilson:

"Pope Bob (Robert Anton Wilson) loaned us SubGeniuses a LOT!

"Most of what he loaned us were ideas. We took those ideas and ran with them. We did all KINDS of things using his ideas. We started every manner of experiment, inspired by his experiments. Many of those experiments PAID OFF.

"I have said many times to interviewers that were it not for Robert Anton Wilson (and the late great Robert Shea, who co-wrote ILLUMINATUS), there would be no Church of the SubGenius.

"I finished the Schrödinger's Cat series while tripping, on an airplane, and immediately wrote him a gushing fan letter there and then, on the vomit bag. I had sent previous gushing fan letters (which he ANSWERED!!) but that was one he remembered. I also got to gush fannishly in a more formal way when "opening" for him at a few lecture show things.

"When it came time for the Maybe Logic guys to do that documentary about him, WHO had the Hi-8 video originals of so many lectures? FANBOY STANG, that's who.

"I once was lucky enough to sit around in a Winterstar cabin in the early '90s listening to Wilson AND Shea, AND Wavy Gravy, getting high and talking about MOVIES. They're all intense movie buffs, way more than me (and I was originally going to be a movie maker). It was one of the geekiest conversations I have ever heard in my life. Any of those guys could win a nerd trivia game show easily.

"At RAW's last Winterstar talk in 2001 (I think), the latest Hannibal Lector movie had come out, Hannibal, and he wanted to discuss the movie vs. the book with his lecture audience… but I was the only person in the whole room that had also read and seen any of the Hannibal Lector stuff, so he had to move on to his main topic.

"The ending of the book is WAY WAY cooler than the ending of the movie, incidentally.

"Although Pope Bob was tough enough to beat childhood polio in his youth, now that he is old, it has returned to harass him. He busted his ass his whole life, writing, lecturing, and selling books – and if you think those jobs are EASY, TRY IT YOURSELF. He shared part of his mighty brain with the world, supported his family, and even survived the loss of a child and his wife without GIVING UP. But nothing lasts forever, and now it's down to the wire.

"Princess Wei, Pater Nostril and I got to hang out with Pope Bob a couple of times in recent years, at Winterstar. The polio had already put him in a wheelchair, and it must have been hurting all the time, but Bob was as cheerful and snappy as I'd seen him in the '80s and the '90s, and he delivered one of the most brilliant talks I've ever seen at an A.C.E. event. He was still writing books (and plugging SubGenius!) and doing everything he could physically and financially to pull his own weight.

"I 'saw' him more recently in the excellent film, Maybe Logic. It was agonizing to watch Pope Bob demonstrating that he can still walk, with effort, because the polio had obviousl gotten much worse. But he was STILL TRYING TO WALK and STILL WORKING!

"Do you imagine that writers like Wilson make a lot of money? Well, if he was the kind of writer whose books are in airports with embossed covers showing blurbs like "ANOTHER BEST SELLING CORPORATE THRILLER," then you might be right.

"However, Robert Anton Wilson didn't write the kind of books that Hollywood likes to make movies of. He wrote the kinds of books that weird individuals make their very LIVES from.

"Earlier this year – when finally he could no longer sit at a machine and type all day – rather than asking for charity, he started SELLING OFF HIS OLD STUFF. Autographing and selling all the spares of his books. Now even those are gone, and there's not much he can do but hope that people remember what they owe him.


"Any donations can be made to Bob directly to the Paypal account You can also send a check payable to Robert Anton Wilson to:

Dennis Berry c/o Futique Trust
P.O. Box 3561
Santa Cruz, CA 95063.

"I am emptying the SubGenius Paypal account into his Paypal account, and we are mailing monthly $50 checks as suggested.

"Here is another testimonial and some more info, from Douglas Rushkoff:

"Other top RAW info site:

Update, October 3, 2006:

"SubGeniuses, you helped out Reverend Magdalen when the Conspiracy took her child away. (Incidentally, the child is still away (!) and she still has huge legal bills.) You helped her out even though many of you never met her or her child. You took our word for it that the situation was dire and that the call for help was justified. Well, you may not have ever met Robert Anton WilsonŠ you MIGHT not even have read any of his booksŠ but if you're a SubGenius, he has sure as hell helped you out. He has given you Slack, BIG TIME.

"Now, you can give him Slack at a time when he REALLY NEEDS IT. He will almost certainly never need your help this way again. The kind of Slack he most immediately needs is the peace of mind of knowing he can fucking DIE IN PEACE, at home, in bed, and not in the middle of a HOUSEHOLD MOVE watching the loss of his home and last possessions.

"If you love 'Bob,' then you will send money to Bob. For without Bob, we would never even have heard of 'Bob.'


Rev. Ivan Stang
See also: Discordianism
Also: a review of his published book Everything Is Under Control