Friday, January 20, 2006

The Holy Order of the Lemon

From 1991 to 1996, Robert Anton Wilson and I were penpals. Before email, even. We used to write and type letters to each other and then put them into envelopes and put stamps on them and put them into little slots at the post office. Once in his magazine Trajectories, he referred to me as "the bravest man in America." I never believed what he said, about me being brave, especially since no book has ever scared the hell outta me quite like his novel Eye in the Pyramid did, the first time I read it back in the late 1970s.

Eye in the Pyramid is the first part of his (and co-author Robert Shea's) massively entertaining Illuminatus! Trilogy. It's a cosmic tale of Good vs. Evil, with many secret societies of various shades of Gray competing for control of the World. Each group is either trying to Immanentize the Eschaton, or stop another group from doing so. It's a must-read for anyone interested in, well, in ANYTHING. It's a great book.

Bob Wilson (who likes that his initials spell RAW) has been called by people more famous than I "a super-genius" (by fellow super-genius Dr. John Lilly), "the funniest, most insightful social critic around," "the most important philosopher of the [20th] century" (by important philospher Dr. Timothy Leary), "deliberately annoying," and a "21st century Rennaisance Man."

RAW wrote in Everything is Under Control:
The Holy Order of the Lemon, another offshoot of Freemasonry, was either founded by Lord Glendale in 1798 or by a group of pranksters in 1996, who performed the first public Lemon Order event by dumping lemons — lots and lots of lemons — into the River Liffey in Dublin, Ireland. This mystic brotherhood declares itself frankly devoted to seeking large grants from corporations dealing in lemon products (such as Lemon Pledge) to sponsor rituals, primarily consisting of long, dour marches wearing drab suits and "lemon-colored derbies," through "places of no historical interest," holding aloft "rampant or couchant, fresh lemons in hands sinister." Patron saint of the order is 19th-century French socialist Charles Fourier, who believed in the overthrow of civilization and the founding of a "society of harmony" in which all passions and manias would be encouraged, after which the ocean would turn to lemonade.

According to another version, the actual founder of the Lemon Order was Elizabeth Adworth (1695-1775), the only woman ever initiated into Freemasonry (in Doneraile, County Cork) after being discovered asleep behind some curtains in the lodge. In her memory, the Lemon Order is bisexual, i.e., open to all genders.

The manifesto of the Holy Order of the Lemon begins, "Razorryn orderruin, XTCronny rocket..., John Lemon, lemon soda pop, Bellemon Laswellemon, Lemon flesh, Irish Spermanent lemonadelic, AC/DCitron, Vincent Van Gogh: Teller und citronen, The Lemonheadfucks, Babelllemon, Prince Lemon Crush, Better Lemonade..., Make Lemon not Orange...," etc. (We don't have enough space to quote it all here.)

See also: Golden Apple Corps, Grand Orange Lodge of Ireland, Noon Blue Apples

Obviously, RAW likes to amuse himself by amusing others.

The man can write some powerful fiction. His Historical Illuminatus Chronicles — three novels: The Earth Will Shake, The Widow's Son, and Nature's God — are set in the 17th and 18th centuries. Characters include several Freemasons. These three books shaped much of my early thoughts and beliefs about Freemasonry. My real life adventures in Masonry haven't been nearly as exciting as his books, though.

Another of Robert Anton Wilson's thought-provoking novels is Masks of the Illuminati. This book follows the fictional (?) friendship of drinking buddies Albert Einstein and James Joyce. Pay attention to your dreams while you're reading this book. You will be stunned by their intensity and by what you learn about yourself through analyzing those dreams.

And finally, on the subject of RAW's books: reading the original Volume 1 of Cosmic Trigger will change your Life, and the way you view (and experience) Life. You will be forever changed. Be ready.

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1 comment:

  1. Wow, this is weirding me out. I am a tremendous fan of RAW. I credit him with changing my life by changing my outlook on the world and setting me on a path towards self-realization. He began this path by forcing me to confront the idea that I didn't necessarily know everything that I thought I knew to begin with.

    I have tried to carry on in his tradition by practicing a form of guerilla ontology ever since.

    What I find odd is that now that I have become a Freemason, and it seems to fullfill some very basic spiritual needs while at the same time, appealing to my rational mind, is when I find that other Freemasons are themselves friends of RAW too.

    Curiouser and curiouser said my friend Alice...


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