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Behind the Bastards - Discordian Edition

Started by Scribbly, August 08, 2023, 08:04:39 AM

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I recently listened to the Behind the Bastards series on the history of the Illuminati. It is 6 hours long and the last 3 hours or so focus on Discordianism, with a more in-depth history of Hill and Thornley than I had heard before.

In particular I didn't know that Thornley was accused of pedophilia back in 2003, nor the extent of his psychological break or his involvement in a number of other cults both as leader and follower. Which, as someone who got stuck in a cult herself for a while, was interesting to hear.

There's a lot of interesting stuff in there in general, particularly around the way Operation Mindfuck pioneered many of the tactics that have since been picked up by the alt right.

I think it is interesting to note that Thornley locked himself into a toxic mindset that hurt the people around him and Hill ultimately warned people away from such thinking and drank himself to death after entering the corporate workforce.

Wilson said that if you enter Chapel Perilous you leave as an agnostic or a paranoid. But Wilson was also locked into his biological evolutionary worldview and could not escape that (Prometheus Rising has some wild bullshit in it in retrospect). He still very much had his grounding principles and they were wrong.

I've spent a lot of this year reassessing my relationship with Discordianism and I am coming to the conclusion that nobody leaves Chapel Perilous truly agnostic. Everyone ultimately imprints a schema. What it does do is throw you into a mindset where it is easier to be manipulated by charismatic or persuasive individuals into accepting their schema over your prior conceptions. Which is something that the alt right have taken advantage of to lead people towards the comfort of paranoia.

I think the basis of Discordianism - the irony, deliberate obfuscation, and baked-in conspiratorial antagonism - ultimately undermines the useful truths. When we look at what the legacy is, we have to reckon with the fact that we are in some sense responsible for some of the most damaging memetic weapons that have infected the modern internet. And one of our founders did massive harm directly in the real world too, because this way of thinking left him open to getting caught in his own delusions.

Which is not to say that there are no good ideas within Discordianism, but I also don't think those ideas are unique to it or need to be expressed within the existing Discordian framework.

2023 might be the year it is time to kill the joke by overexplaining it and start again.

Anyway, that's where my head is at - thoughts sparked by a bunch of stuff but crystalised by this podcast. If you have six hours(!) spare I think it is a good listen. Discordian specific stuff begins, I believe, around episode 3.
I had an existential crisis and all I got was this stupid gender.


Quote from: Scribbly on August 08, 2023, 08:04:39 AMWhich is not to say that there are no good ideas within Discordianism, but I also don't think those ideas are unique to it or need to be expressed within the existing Discordian framework.

I've heard this referred to as post-Discordianism, and it's more or less where I think things have gone here and in the most closely-aligned splinter groups of this place for a long while.
"I am that worst of all type of criminal...I cannot bring myself to do what you tell me, because you told me."

There's over 100 of us in this meat-suit. You'd think it runs like a ship, but it's more like a hundred and ten angry ghosts having an old-school QuakeWorld tournament, three people desperately trying to make sure the gamers don't go hungry or soil themselves, and the Facilities manager weeping in the corner as the garbage piles high.

Q. G. Pennyworth

In some ways, that's kind of what Holy Nonsense is doing. I've been called "not a real Discordian" plenty of times for the shit I included there.