It was the rains, I swear-the interminable, unspeakable Irish rain-that drove us over the edge. My old Gothic castle, located high atop the hill of Howth facing Dublin Bay, was not only damp, dank and dark (due to the omnipresent clouds) but rapidly becoming decaden( noisome and foetid. In fact, it looked like the set for a Bela Lugosi film-an appropriate scene, I thought later, for the terrible encounter ofProfessor de Selby and J. R. "Bob" Dobbs.
The rain had gone on for two months this time, bringing a clammy, enervating muskiness to everything. In the library, even the pages of my prized German translation ofthe banned and forbidden Necronomicon (Das Verichteraraberbuch, von Juntz, 1848) and de Selby's disturbing and debatable Teratologica Ontologicum were sticking together unwholesomely.
Rancid, the butler, was falling-down dmnk every day and I could hardly blame him. The maid-dark, sensuous Immaculata and blonde, buxom Concepcion-were not only dykes, as I suspected from the first, but speed freaks as well.They spent all day in their room, injecting and 69ing, injecting and 69ing. They totally neglected their duties and the entire castle had begun to look like the bottom of a box where the cat had kittens. Adam, the gardener, had been tripping his brains out on LSD since the third week of the rains and the grounds had the eldritch and nameless appearance of the swamps of Yuggoth redesigned by Salvador Dali. If the damnable downpour did not cease soon, I feared that we all should become mad. I think I myself would have been sunk in lethargy and existential despair if it were not for my mescaline and XTC stashes.
Worst of all, it was drawing near the aeon-cursed Walpurgis Night, and Professor de Selby had come to pay his annual visit again.
Of course, I personally have always liked de Selby, who is not at all a bad chap in his own weird way. But he lives always, not just in the turmoil of academic controversy, but in the epicenter of a veritable spider's web of clandestine operations: where de Selby walks, the CIA and KGB are sure to skulk close behind, and the IRA and even the PLO may be showing interest also, not to mention the Knights of Malta the Illuminati, the Priory of Sion, the Campus Crusade for Cthulhu and other secret societies and cults whose reputations are unsavory and whose goals remain inscrutable to ordinary wholesome men and women. Some of these types would be beyond the comprehension of the Los Angeles Vice Squad or the specialists in abnormal psychology at the Kinsey Institute, I swear.
As usual, de Selby has a new obsession this year. He is determined to discover the exact dimensions of the penis of a fictitious gorilla. Any ordinary scholar, however eccentric, might decide to write a paper on the dimensions of the wingwang of a real gorilla, dead or alive, but de Selby wants to discover the magnitude of the Willy of a gorilla who never really existed at all-King Kong in the famous horror film of 1933. Naturally, being de Selby, he has reasons for this which no normal person can understand. He says 1932 (when King Kong was being produced) was a pivot in evolution, in some mystic sense that only he comprehends.
"In 1932," he was telling me at breakfast this moming, "Alice Pleasance Liddell died, and so did John Stanislaus Joyce."
"Who the hell were they?" I asked irritably.
"Alice P. Liddell," he said somberly, "was the model for Alice in Wonderland. Charles Dodgson and/or Lewis Carroll-the world's most successful dual personality-loved her um ah er 'not wisely but too well.' Too well, at any rate, to avoid the speculations of Freudians. And John Stanislaus Joyce was the father of James Joyce. Do you see the connection?"
I admitted that the linkage evaded me.
"Alice Pleasance Liddell or APL," de Selby said simply, "is one aspect of Anna Livia Plurabelle or ALP, the superwoman who contains all women, in Joyce's Finnegans Wake."
"Oh," I said. It seemed the only adequate comment.
"I have wondered," de Selby went on, "if one can equate APL with ALP on Cabalistic grounds, since both equal 111, what of PLA? But that is an irrelevance, I've decided. What is important is that in 1932 not only did Alice P. Liddell and John S. Joyce die, but the atom was split for the first time, and the 92nd chemical element was discovered-the last natural element, you see. For the first time in history humanity had access ta the energy of the stars and possessed a full catalog of the basic building blocks of the universe. And, of course, Roosevelt II was elected in America, and Hitler in Germany, that very same year, 1932, which incidentally adds numerologically to 15, the number of the Devil card in the Tarot. King Kong, you see, had to emerge from the collective unconscious at exactly that point, especially since Cary Grant was 28 years old on January 18 that year."
De Selby went on in that vein for quite a while, but I sort of lost the thread of his argument-something that often happens to readers of his books, as numerous critics have complained . All I could ever remember afterwards was that Cary Grant was 28 when I was born and 28 is a number connected with menstruation, the ancient Celtic moon goddess, Bridget, and the synchronous link fr6m Lewis Carroll's obsession with premenstmal girls to Cary Grant's habit of avoiding the Academy Award dinners, staying home, taking LSD and watching the award ceremonies on TV while "laughing uncontrollably and jumping up and down on the bed," according to the testimony in his third divorce trial.
Eventually, we finished our leisurely breakfast, it was ten thirty and the pubs opened, so de Selby put on his brown mackintosh (he seems to have worn it since 1904, 1 think) and sallied forth in search of Irish Inspiration.
I went to the study and tried again to work on my new science-fiction novel, Wigner's Friend, which deals with a parallel universe where de Selby is Pope and Adolf Hitler migrated to the United States and became a popular writer of Western movies. As usual lately, my creativity was dampened by the depressing rain, the eldritch, unhallowed and Peter Lorre-like giggles of the gardener after his day's dose of LSD took effect and the strange, foetid and nameless fungi that have grown on the fumiture since the maids got hooked on methamphetamines and stopped even pretending to clean up.
Rancid, the butler, lurched into the study, staggered, knocked over a Ming vase, puked into the potted fern, and asked if I needed anything. I sent him away with no rancor. He was too drunk to understand anything I said, anyway. I did wish, however, that he looked a little less like Boris Karlolfi as the alcoholic land eventually homicidal) butler in The Old Dark House. The rain continued to fall and the sky remained overcast and gloomy, turning my thoughts to the most morbid subjects imaginable. I was actually happy when de Selby returned, in a car driven by an American tourist he had met at the Royal Howth, a Mr. J. R. "Bob" Dobbs.
"Bob," de Selby said grandly, "meet "Bob." " I could see that de Selby had put away at least five or six pints of Guinness stout already, and I tried not to become uneasy or let my imagination run riot over the simple fact that "Bob" had a Campus Crusade for Cthulhu bumper sticker on his Toyota. Americans often have a strange sense of humor. Nonetheless, as we entered the castle, I looked back at the car and shuddered involuntarily at the other words on the bumper:
Have you hugged your shoggoth today?
" "Bob" has some real data on Kong's dong," de Selby began at once, finishing the rest of the bottle in a gulp.
I raised an enquiring eyebrowi a trick I had learned from Basil Rathbone movies. "Bob" was busy relighting his Pipe for a moment but then he spoke in a mellow Texas drawl.
"The average man," he saidi "stands between about five foot eight and about six foot, right? And the average human erection, at least according to my wife, "Connie"-who is more of an expert on males in heat than I am-is between five and seven inches. The nine-inchers and twelve-inchers you see occasionally in porn movies are freaks of nature, like Watusis or basketball players who can be seven or eight feet tall. Follow me? So the average human male, statistically, has about six inches. Kay? Now in the case of Kong, we have an anthropoid standing at least twenty-four feet tall, as you can judge by the scene in the theater. That means he would have about four times as much as a man of six feet. Four times six is twenty-four, so Kong had twenty-four inches or two feet."
"No wonder Fay Wray did so much screaming," I said. "She'd be in the position of the young lady from Sidney in the limerick." De Selby raised an enquiring eyebrow (he's seen a lot of Basil Rathbone movies, tool and courteously opened another bottle of my Tullamore Dew. To explain my remark, I recited the immortal lines from Tennyson:
"Well," I said to him cheerfully. "Your mystery is solved. There's no prob with "Bob." "
"I don't know," the Sage of Dalkey replied thoughtfully. "We may be approaching this matter from the wrong angle entirely. "Bob" is treating Kong as a creature in biology, which is emphatically what the Big Fellow is not at all, at all. Kong is a creature in mythology, in um ah er the collective unconscious."
"Why, sure," said "Bob" quickly. "Hellfire, boy, there ain't no twenty-four-foot gorillas in the real world. But if we grant that, for argument's sake, how in hell do we reason about Kong at all? What are the dimensions of a myth, a dream, a Special Effect? Tell me that." And he grabbed the Tullamore Dew and poured another hearty slug. I could see we were in for a day of heavy going.
"Well," de Selby said, "we must take our clues from the records of the collective unconscious itself. Kong is a Nature Divinity, to say the least of it, and, considering his um concupiscence-that means horniness in American, "Bob"-he's more specifically a Fertility God. We must approach this from the perspective of patapsychology ."
"What are you getting at?" I asked uneasily. In the distance, a dog barked and, further off, there was an ominous rumble of thunder.
"Well," de Selby said. "We know one thing about Fertility Gods. Anthropologists call them ithyphallique and not without reason. They make the studs in porn movies look puny by comparison. Osiris is portrayed in Egyptian art as having about three times as much Willy as one would expect in a man, or god, of his size. In Greece, Hermes was usually depicted with a tool almost the size of his body-why, statues of him look almost like a bureau with the middle drawer pulled all the way out. As for Finn Mac Cool, some of the most powerful verses in the Finn epic-the most beautiful lines of Gaelic in our tradition, although usually expunged in English translation-describe him as, well, virtually a pole-vaulter with a built-in pole."
"Why, hell's bells, son," said "Bob" chortling, "that's the most persistent of all legends. When I was young everybody in the States believed Dillinger had twenty-three inches and it was preserved in alcohol at the Smithsonian after his death. Later on, the myth got attached to an actor named Errol Flynn. Long cmllers, the kind you call Berliners over here, were called Errol Flynns."
"Say," I interrupted, smitten with whimsy, "when John Fitzgerald Kennedy went to Germany and said, 'Ich bin ein Berliner,' was he just being diplomatic, or was he bragging?"
They ignored me. "Dillinger and Mr. Flynn had become semidivine in folklore," de Selby said, pouring more Tullamore Dew, "and so naturally they were expected to have semidivine prongs, two or three times the norm. Truly divine beings have much, much more. Considering Osiris and Hermes, I would say a divine being would have six times the norm, at least. As a fertility spirit, Kong must have, not the mere two feet that a biological twenty-four-foot gorilla would possess, but amund twelve feet."
"That fits with the anthropological books I've read," I agreed. "The primitive theory is, the greater the Willy, the greater the divinity indwelling."
We paused to consider the patapsychological ramifications of our theorizing. Thunder rumbled closer to my castle and more dogs began howling in anxiety.
"You know, fellers," Dobbs said, filling his Pipe again-I had begun to recognize the aroma of what he was smoking and understood why he always had the same contentsd grin-"I come from Texas, where we got ourselves almost as many Catholics as here in Ireland. There's a big donnybrook going on in the Catholic church these days because some nuns have become Feminists and are demanding the fight to say Mass. The Pope absolutely refuses to consider it. He says you absolutely have to have a Willy to perform the sacrament."
De Selby had been hunting in my bar for more Tullamore, and, finding none, opened a bottle of my Jameson. "Why, of course a priest must have a Willy in Catholic theology," he said mildly. "The priest represents God, who has the biggest Willy of all-ven bigger than Kong's."
"What was that?" I objected. "There was a quantum jump or something there. Run that by me again."
"You said it yourself," de Selby drawled. " 'The greater the Willy, the greater the divinity indwelling.' Yahweh, the Jewish God who became the Christian God, always claimed to be bigger and better than any of the other Near Eastem gods who competed with him. He would have to be endowed with a schlong that would make Osiris or Dionysus, say, look almost impotent by comparison."
"Just how big would it be?" I challenged. If de Selby and "Bob," with only two bottles of malt in them, could deduce the size of King Kong's dong, I was sure that with another bottle they could do the same for Yahweh.
"Well," de Selby said, "Yahweh himself isn't much bigger than Kong. He walks around Eden at twilight without smashing down the trees or causing any notable wreckage of the sort Godzilla would leave in his wake. He shows his backside to Moses and nobody in Greece or even Babylon sees that cosmic spectacle. I would. say he couldn't be more than forty or fifty feet tall. In bio-logic, he should have about four to five feet. In mytho-logic, if he were any ordinary fertility god like Hermes or Finn, he would have six times that or around twenty-four to thirty feet. As the Lord of Lords and King of Kings, etc., he would double our expectations at least. He should have around fifty feet. In passion, he would be symmetrical, fifty feet high and fifty wide in the middle, sort of like a giant F with the top stroke missing."
"I begin to feel the same sympathy for the Virgin Mary that I experienced earlier for Fay Wray," I said, finishing off my own shot of Jameson. But then another thought struck me. "Yahweh may have been about that siz-probably was that size, I think-back in Biblical times. The scriptures are full of lots of other references that show him about the height of Finn Mac Cool or Zeus, say. But he has grown during the scientific epoch. Every new advance in astronomy has necessitated that the whole Judeo-Christian tradition has had to make him bigger and uh er more gaseous, as it were. By the time of Newton, he had to be at least millions of miles in circumference to create the known universe. Since we started finding other galaxies in the 1920s, he has swollen to billions and billions of light-year-at least."
"Yes," said "Bob" thoughtfully. "To be consistent with known cosmology, theJudeo-ChristianGodwould have to bebodacious, to say the least ofit. And the size of his Willy-gol dang, the mind spins at the thought."
"And yet if we accept Christianity in any sense, even as metaphor à la Mr. T. S. Eliot," de Selby muttered pensively, "the metaphor demands such a whang for its divinity. billions of zillions of parsecs from foreskin to base. The only way out of that logic is the Feminist path. Neuter the divinity. He has no dong at all. He isn't a he anymore. A cosmic eunuch."
"Well, there's also the Radical Feminist-path," I suggested. "He's a she."
"Lawdy, lawdy," said "Bob" dazedly, quickly gulping some more Jameson. "Now we have to try to visualize a vagina quadrillions of parsecs deep."
It was at this point, alas, that the whiskey began to go to my head and I nodded off in my chair. De Selby and "Bob" politely did not try to arouse me, reasoning that I needed the rest, and went ahead helping themselves to my rare cognacs, now that the Jameson was exhausted. In that hypnopompic state midway between drunkenness and coma, I was half aware, or dreamed I was half aware, of the continuing conversation.
Somehow de Selby and "Bob" wandered from the high theological contemplation of divine dongs back to the King himself, and were united in condemning the cheap remakes produced by some Japanese studios and the abominable caricatures of De Laurentiis. Still: They thought it was time for a "sincere" remake, and soon had sketched out a film which I, in my reverie, could see as clearly as if they had already shot it.
Ann Darrow, this time, would be played by Marilyn Chambers, on the pounds that Behind the Green Door was, psychoanalytically considered, already a part of the Kong mythos. Like Fay Wray in the original, Marilyn in Green Door is kidnapped and o&ered as a mate to a divinely endowed Fertility Spirit. "Bob" and de Selby agreed heartily that the black superstud in Door, with his gargantuan tool (and the "savage" bone in his nose) represented the same primitive generative force as Kong. "Pornography," I heard "Bob" say profoundly, "merely makes explicit what is implicit in folk art like Kong."
In the new Kong, Marilyn Chambers and a porno producer, played by Al Pacino, sail to Skull Island to make the ultimate wet-shot epic. Kong appears with his five-foot whang clearly visible in every shot. "No fig leaves!" said "Bob" emphatically. The giant dinosaurs and other monsters run amok, as in the original, creating ample mayhem for the S-M crowd, and Marilyn is rescued by a different crew member each time Kong or one of these reptiles menaces her; she expresses her gratitude in traditional Chambers fashion, for the voyeur majority.
At the climax, when Kong is running wild in New York, looking for his mate, Marilyn, his giant tool attracts the horrified notice of Andrea Dworkin, playing herself. She quickly rounds up a crew of five hundred fat ladies from circuses and they overrun and bring down the Big Fellow without any help from airplanes. They then emasculate him in gory detail, on wide screen with Technicolor. The oI?ensive organ is then weighed down with a lead block and thrown in the East River so it will never rise again.
While Dworkin leads a horde of Radical Feminists in a victory celebration, the film cuts to a conference room at a university and switches to documentary style. Various leading spokesentities for the Committee for the Scientific Investigation of Claims of the Paranormal-e.g., Carl Sagan, Martin Gardner, James Randi and Professor vonHanfkopf- are then given equal time to persuade the audience that gorillas never grow to twenty-four feet tall and that the film just shown has been fantasy and therefore nefarious. Von Hanfkopf gets the microphone first, but his talk soon degenerates into incoherentravings about cocaine abuse in Hollywood, CIA plots, the "Vatican-Mafia axis," etc., and he is gently persuaded to relinquish the podium. Randi begins denouncing everybody who disagrees with him about anything, saying they are all frauds, felons and child abusers. Martin Gardner gets the microphone away from him and argues that all the wreckage in midtown Manhattan does not prove the existence of giant apes and can be "more economically and scientifically explained" by positing the crash of a giant meteor. Dr. Sagan then approaches the podium and urges everybody to beware of wild and fanciful ideas. He rambles off into lyrical exposition about billions and billions of galaxies with billions and billions of stars, and is about to proceed further in that vein when suddenly a huge black hand crashes through the floor and grabs him by the testicles.
At that point, I drifted into deeper sleep. In a while, however, I was either startled awake or fell into the worst nightmare of my life-I have never been sure which-but it seemed to me that de Selby had returned to his original subject, the dimensions of divine dongs, and was arguing that Catholicism remains the last survivor of the ithyphallic cults of the ancient Mediterranean. Not only must one have a Willy to be a priest, he was saying, but the Pope continues to insist on that because the inner order within the church-I think he meant the Knights of Malta-still holds the antediluvian credo about the biggest Willy containing the greatest Animal Magnetism, or magic, or indwelling divinity, or something like that. He proposed a totally new, and shocking, theory as to how Popes are selected by the College of Cardinalsi and why these proceedings are always hidden from the public behind locked doors and no details are ever revealed. Evidently, he was seriously suggesting that, just as it requires a Willy to tum a piece of bread into the body of a dead Jew, it requires the biggest Willy on the planet to anoint others and pass on the power to perform this astounding alchemical transformation.
While I was grappling with this thought, imagining the secret conclaves of the Curia looking like the casting sessions for male lead in a porn epic, and wondering why Kong had not been appointed at least an Honorary Pope, Rancid the butler suddenly burst into the room, carrying a Thompson submachine gun.
"This has gone far enough!" he shouted, glassy-eyed and foaming a bit.
"Come, come, o'd man-" I began gently, as one must begin with drunks.
"Don't 'old man' me, you Unitarian pervert," he screamed hysterically. The tommy gun, aimed loosely at all of us before, now pointed directly at my gut. "I am no damned butler. I am Cardinal Luigi Mozzarella, of the Holy Office for the Doctrine of the Faith, and Grand Master of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta."
There was a stifled silence, as we all took this in.
"We don't have the Maltese Falcon, honesL-" said "Bob" weakly.
"Fuck that damned bird," Cardinal Mozzarella shouted. "We've wasted eight hundred years looking for it, and eight hundred years is more than enough on a losing project. I am one of the thirty-two agents assigned to monitor the heresiarch, de Selby, and it is just as we feared. You have guessed the inner secrets of our Holy Order and you will have to be eliminated. All of you."
He raised the tommy gun and I felt that sinking sensation which Chandler, I believe, has defined as the acute consciousness that one is not bullet-proof.
"All right, Luigi, drop the gun!"
All of us spun about to stare at the door, where Adam, the wand o'd gardener, stood, no longer wand or old. He had removed his white wig and abandoned his crouched posture. He was a young and dangerous man, and he carried an automatic rifle.
Cardinal Mozzarella dropped his tommy gun, stunned. De Selby darted forward and picked it up.
"Permit me to introduce myself," said the stranger who had once been my gardener. "I am Adam Weishaupt IX, primus illuminatus, and Grand Master of the Ordo Templi Orientus, the Scotch Rite, the York Rite, the Egyptian Rite and the Rite of Memphis and Mizraim. In shod," he summed up, "I control every Freemasonic conspiracy on the planet. We have been watching and protecting you for a long time, Professor de Selby, since we knew the Knights of Malta would eventually attempt to take your life."
De Selby carefully placed the tommy gun on the writing desk, in the corner. I absently noticed that "Bob" wandered off in that direction and sat casually on the edge of the desk, relighting his Pipe. Just then the French windows smashed open and the maids, Immaculata and Concepción, burst into the room, each carrying a bazooka. "Put down that rifle, Illuminati dog," cried Immaculata. "We are taking charge here."
"Who the hell are you?" Cardinal Mozzarella gasped, evidently un- able to believe there could be so many conspiracies afoot in one Gothic castle.
"We are the High Priestesses of the Paratheo-Anametamystikhood of Eris Esoteric, or POEE," Concepc16n said. (POEE was pronounced "poo- ey," at least in her dialect.)
"Eris?" cried the primus illuminatus.
"Ens, goddess of chaos, discord, confusion, bureaucracy and intema- tional relations," Immaculata explained. "Our slogan is 'Disobedience was Woman's original virtue.' Too long has the world been run by male conspiracies. We are the first all-female conspiracy."
"Heresy," hissed the cardinal venomously.
"The inevitable yin balance to our yang energies," the Illuminatus muttered thoughtfully.
"Are you going to kill us?" I asked, being practical about the situation.
"No, of course not," Immaculata said. "Chaos is our Lady's natural mktier. We came here to stop you from killing one another. We want you all alive, so you can go on spreading disputation and confusion and Chaos will always steadily increase. Hail Eris. All hail Discordia."
"So," Concepci6n said, "we must ask all of you to move the guns-with your feet please-to the center of the room. And then you must leave by separate doors. Go forth in peace," she added piously, "and continue to preach false doctrines."
"Just a minute, ladies," said de Selby. "I have abriefstatement to make. Professor de Selby died in his sleep, peacefully, over ten years ago. I have been impersonating him ever since. I am a time traveler, in your terms. I was originally bom in Damascus over a thousand years ago. My name was Abdul Alhazred and I was the first to leam the art of positronic reincarnation. In lay terms, when one brain wears out with age, I simply move my quantum energy into another brain. I took over de Selby as he was dying and simply continued the Great Work to which the Order of the Hashishim have been dedicated for a millennium-the lletum ofthe Great Old Ones, or GOO, as we call them."
"Goo?" Immaculata cried, stunned.
"Well, they are kind of slimy," Abdul admitted, "but they are stronger than your Eris, or the other gang's Yahweh, or any of these recent parvenu gods. And now that I have the leaders of all the other and hence lesser cults assembled in one place, I shall summon Great Cthulhu to eat your souls." And he began chanting in a nameless Elder Tongue:
"Ia, Shub-Niggurath! Cthulhu fthagn! Yog Sothoth neblod zin! Ia! Io! Nov shmoz ka pop! Ph'nglui mgIw'nafl1 na gcopaleen Baile atha Cliath wgah'nagl fthagn!"
As he chanted this blasphemous and nameless invocation, the mad Arab began to metamorphose before our very eyes, growing, swelling, becoming like unto a huge bowl ofgreen yogurt, then changing into a jellyfish with a million bloodshot ayes, then becoming a pit bull with AIDS, then a Republican attorney general, a werewolf, every fearsome creature ofnightmare and horror imaginable by a hashish-crazed brain, for all these horrific visions were, I now realized, individual aspects of the multiple monstrosity that was Cthulhu, the Interstellar Banker, source of all evil and conspiracy, inventor of punk rock, Eater of Souls, the Thing in the center of the Pentagon!!!
And then, "Bob," so drunk that he had lost track of who was in charger tried to kick the tommy gun into the center of the room, as the Erisians had demanded, and the gun began to spray bullets in all directions. I dived for the window and rolled dizzily down the lawn, my brain temporarily unhinged by the terrible visions I had seen.
They tell me that neighbors found me wandering in the rain, gibbering incoherently. They called an ambulance. I have been in St. John of God's Hospital for alcohol abusers for two weeks now. They think the terrible things I was muttering when brought here indicate too much Irish whiskey, and I am willing to let them think that. I dare not tell the good nuns here how Popes are actually chosen, or why it requires a Willy to perform the transubstantiation of molecules in the eucharist . . . or that in the last mind-numbing moment before "Bob" accidentally set off the tommy gun I saw the tme face of Cthulhu, the master of this Death Universe, and recognized that it was my own ... for now the positronic transformation is being accomplished again. Yes, Abdul Alhazred lives anew, for I am he, and I know now that I was wrong in my youth to believe that good was better than evil because it is generally nicer. Now I know, from one thousand years of memories of many lives, that evil is better than good because it always wins in the end. . . . Ia! Shrug-Yrsh'ldrs! Notary sojac! Sinn fein amhain!
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De Selby was the most controversial Irish philosopher of the later twentieth century. For biographical details, see O'Brien, Dalkey Archive, Picador Books, London,' l976, and/or Wilson, The Widow's Son , Bluejay Press, New York, 19S5. Highlights of the de Selby furor will be found in Conneghen, The de Selby Codex and Its Critics, Royal Sir Myles na gCopaleen Anthropological Society Preas, Dalkey, 1937; Flahive, Teratological Evolution , Royal Sir Myles na gCopaleen Biochemical Institute Press, Dalkey, 1972; Vinkenoog, De Selby: De onbekende filosoof , De Kosmos, Amsterdma, 1951; La Foumier, De Selby: l'Enigme de l'Occident, University of Paris, 1933; Han Tui Po, De Selby Te Ching , University of Beijing, 197S; La Toumier (not to be confused with La Foumier), De Selby: Homme ou Dieu? , Editions J'ai Lu, Paris, 1904; von Hanfkopf, De Selbyismus und Dummheit (6 vols.), University of Heidelberg, 1942-52; La Puta, La Estupidez de Hanjkopf , University of Madrid, 1975; Turn-und-Taxis, Ist de Selby eine Drage oder haben wir sie nur falsch verstanden? , Sphinx Verlag, Basel, 1922; O'Broichnan, A Chara, na caith tabac , Royal Sir Myles na gcopaleen Zoological Institute Press, Dalkey, 1992. BACK
The Knights of Malta-or, more properly, the Sovereign Military Order of Malta (abbreviated SMOM)-is the eight-hundred-year-old Vatican "secret police" or "dirty tricks bureau." According to Covert Action Information Bulletin #25, Winter 1986, notable recent members of SMOM have included Dr. Otto von Hapsburg (a prime organizer of the infamous "Bilderbergers"), Franz von Papen (the man who persuaded President von Hindenburg to resign and appoint Hitler chancellor of Germany), William Casey (the CIA chief who died mysteriously during the Iran-Contra hearings), Major General Reinhard Gehlen (vice supra), General Alexander Haig, William F. Buckley, Jr., Clare Boothe Luce, and the three ringleaders of the P2 conspiracy in Italy-Roberto Calvi, Michele 8indona and Licio Gelli. Bai gent, Lincoln and Leigh in The Messianic Legacy (Henry Holt, New York, 19S7) have added to the list of BMOM members Alexandre de Marenches, former chief of Wench intelligence, and claim mysterious links between SMOM and the Priory of Sion. Gordon Thomas and Max Wittman in The Year of Armaggedon (Corgi, London, 1984) claim that BMOM members act as couriers between the Vatican and the CIA. Most scholars dissent vehemently from von Hanfkopfs ill-documented charge that de Selby, Flahive, La Toumier and the shadowy La Fournier are all members of SMOM. BACK
The Illuminati, founded in Bavaria in 1776, was (or is) a secret society within a 8ecret society, since all members were first Freemasons before being invited into the Illuminati itself. See Nestawebster, World Revolution , Christian Back Club of America, Hawthorne, California, n.d.; "Inquire Within," The Trail of the Serpent, Christian Book Club of America, Hawthome, California, n.d. ; and Wilson, Cosmic Trigger, Falcon Backs, Santa Monim, 1987. The Illuminati technique of forming a secret society within another secret society was later imitated by the Molly Maguires, an Irish revolutionary group within the Ancient Order of Hibernians, and the P2 conspiracy which recruited within the Grand Orient Lodge of Egyptian Freemasonry in Italy-although secretly managed, as noted above, by three members of the Vatican secret service, SMOM. Professor Flahive was under great personal stress when he began his campaign to convince the learned community that von Hanfkopf was actually the ringleader of an Illuminati conspiracy against de Selby. BACK
According to Paoli (Les Dessous d'une ambition politique, Hurhaus Verlag, Basel, 1973), the Priory of Sion is a serious political conspiracy of aristocratic Wench Freemasons who intend to restore monarchy in France. According to de Sede (La Race fabuleuse, Editions J'ai Lu, Paris, 1973), the Priory is descended from superhumans born of matings between ancient Hebrews and extraterrestrials from Sirius. According to Baigent, Leigh and Lincoln (Holy Blood, Holy Grail, Delacorte, 1982), the Priory is descended from the royal line of Jesus and Mary Magdalene. According to Michael Lame (Jules Verne, initiate et initiateur, Editions J'ai Lu, Paris, 1985), the Priory is a front for the Illuminati and Veme's "science fiction" novels are subtle Illuminati recruiting manuals. De Selby claims (Golden Hours, Royal Sir Myles na gcopaleen Philosophical Society Press, Dalkey, 1957) that the IlluminatilPriory axis is an attempt to spread electric light everywhere, thereby banishing the "teratclogical molecules" which move backwards in time and generate Chaos, but this must be considered one of the more imaginative flights of the Dalkey sage. BACK
The Campus Crusade for Cthulhu has been alleged to be responsible for the recent crop of child murders and cattle mutilations elsewhere attributed to Satanists; see Rev. Jedidiah Blather, The Cthulhu Cult, Interstellar Bankers and Punk Rock, True Christian Book Club of America, Tulsa, 1987. Although few credit this wild charge, the CCC is definitely responsible for the bumper stickers that say things like IT FOUND ME, ABDUL ALHAZRED WAS NOT MAD, YOG SOTHOTH NEBLOD ZIN, etc. Von Hanfkopes attempts to link La Puta to the CCC are best described as tenuous and (as Ferguson said) "clutching at straws." It was after Professor Ferguson uttered these dews on the BBC that the police of his hometown, Loch Pockah, received letters claiming he, Ferguson, was the Yorkshire Ripper. These letters were in clumsy English ("rather like that of the Katzenjammer Kids," according to Inspector MacAndrew, who handled the investigation) and had Heidelberg postmarks. BACK
The de Selby controversy originally empted into political mania after Professor von Hanfkopf charged (see his Werke, vol. XXIII, pp. 506-36ff.) that some of the moneys embezzled from Banco Ambrosiano of Milan in the early 1980s (by the bank's president, Roberto Calvi, and his associates in the P2 conspiracy) had been "laundered" through a Dublin bank account which de Selby allegedly used to finance IRA terrorism in Northem Ireland. Although this charge was unsubstantiated, Professor Flahive rebutted it at great length (Proceodings of the Royal Sir Myles na gCopaleen Institule of Internotionai Relations, vol. LVI, pp. 309-417) and it was after this that the Special Branch of the Gardld (the police of the Republic of Ireland) began receiving lettem with a Heidelberg postmark charging (in broken English) that Flahive himself was involved in running guns for the IRA. This was immediately after the unfortunate and much-debated incident involving Professor Flahive and the fourteen-year-old Girl Scout from Sallynoggin, and the distressed savant, a devout Catholic and conservative, began making wild charges about "intemational plots" and "frameups" and, sadly, eventually degenerated to the same tactics as von Hanfkopf, claiming that the Heidelberg philosopher was formerly associated with the Gehlen apparat and the CIA's "Russian" branch-the group, under Mqor General Reinhard Gehlen, Knight of Malta and former head of army intelligence for Hitler, which conducts espionage within the Soviet Union itself of course, the crude (and ineffective) letter bomb sent to Professor Flahive at this point, although postmarked Alexandria, Virginia, could have been sent by anybody (and one assumes the CIA are at least clever enough not to mail such devices from a city universally known to be their international headquarters); but after Roberto Calvi, President of Banco Ambrosiano, was found hanging from Blackfriars Bridge in London that same week, and his secretary, Ms. Graziella, fell or was pushed from a window of the Milan office of that bank, sheer paranoia descended upon all those involved in the de Selby feud or even in the abstract mathematical arguments about de Selby's "plenuminary time" and teratclogical molecules." As La Puta has incisively remarked, "The entire de Selby debate is degenerating into the worst academic schelmozzle since the Bacon-Shakespeare lunacy." BACK
"PLA" is Dublin slang for Portlaois Lunatic Asylum, the place which many of de Selby's critics claimed would be his ultimate destination. As La Foumier wrote (De Selby: l'Enigme de la Occident, p. 23), "While much about the sage of Dalkey remains in dispute, none have denied that he held a greater number of totally original ideas than any philosopher in history not known to have been kept in a padded cell." Von Hanfkopfs claim that Le Fournier was a mask, a nonentity, a fiction, a stalking horse behind which de Selby wrote commentaries on himaelf, in French no less, has not been conclusively verified, and La Puta claims to have refuted it entirely in his La Estupidez, op. cit. It was after this work was published that the Spanish police began receiving letters, with a Heidelberg postmark, alleging in bad Spanish that La Puta was the chief opium smuggler in Madrid and a KGB agent. Professor Hamburger's attempts to link La Puta to the Illuminati (Proceedings of the London Musicological Society, vol. XXIII, pp. 7-133) do, however, appear to be well documented and possess some merit, although Hamburger's argument that it was La Puta, not de Selby, who laundered the cocaine money for the P2 conspiracy is far from convincing. Aa Penny Lemoux documents in her In Banks We Trust (Anchor Press/Doubleday, Garden City, New York, 1984), most of the cocaine money went through the World Finance Corporation in Miami and the Cisalpine Overseas Bank in the Bahamas, which was owned by the deceased Robert Calvi and Archbishop Marcinkus. The argument of Yallop (In God's Name, Bantam, New York, 1984) that Calvi and Marcinkus collaborated in the murder of Pope John Paul I is, of course, highly speculative. BACK
As du Garbandier has written (De Selby et l'or de Rennes, p. 17) "Le suprême chorine qu'on trouve à lire une page de de Selby est qu'elle vans conduit inexorablement à l'heureuse certitude que des sots De sent pad les plus grands." Van Hanfkopfs charge (Der Spiegel, 2/2/1982) that de Garbandier was a member of the shadowy and sinister Priory of Sian seems, for once, adequately documented and in comunction with the links established between the Priory of Sian in Paris and the Italian P2 conspiracy (see Baigent, Lincoln, and Leigh, The Messianic Legacy, op. cit., passim) lends at least a tinge of near credibility ta the alleged P2 account at the Bank of Ireland in de Selby's naale, although Ferguaon's attempts (Armageddon, Ed Smith University Press, Biloxi, Mississippi, 1983) ta link de Selby to the cocaine laundering ofRobertc Calvi, Michele Sindona and Archbishop Paul Marcinkus still renwins dubious, Kertloaey's thesis of the double de Selbys and the linkage from the Knights of Malta ta the Campus Cmsade for Cthulhu (The Second De Selby, Thelema Books, Dallas, 1983) is patently absurd. If Kerflooey had not been present in Dealey Plaza on November 22, 1963, and had not died in a hit-and-mn auto accident the week his bock was published, this nonsense would never have been taken seriously by anyone. BACK
De Selby's lifelong enthusiasm for Alfred Jarry and Pataphysics had led him to name his own System "patapsYchology." (Like all Irish miters, de Selby was convinced he had to cream a System, and the more inscrutable the System was to the non-Céltic reader, the better.) Due to a printer's error parapsychology was misspelled as parapsychology in the first edition of his Teratologica Ontologicum, and La Puta has always claimed that it was this misreading that motivated the vehement, venomous and vitriolic polemics von Hanfkopf was to write, denouncing first de Selby himself and then all quantum physicists who claimed to find value in de selby's concept of plenumary time. (Von Hanfkopf was the organizer of the SS, or Scientific Skeptics, the German branch of CSICOP, the Committee for the Scientific Investigation of claims of the Paranormal.) Parapsychology is defined by de Selby as the study of "unique, statistically improbable, nondeterministic mental processes," or, more elegantly, "neurological negative entropy." BACK
This myth continues to live, largely due to the publicity campaign of the John Dillinger Died for You Society, headquartered in Austin, Texas, and led by the shadowy Dr. Horace Naismith, who claims to be the illegitimate son of Mr. Dillinger. Although Kerflooey, op. cit., attempts to link the John Dillingsr Died for You Society to the ill-reputed Campus Crusade for Cthulhu and the even more infamous Parathec-Anametamystikhood of Eris Esoteric (POEE), his evidence is as unconvincing as hid "two de Selby' and "three Oswald" theories. See Malaclyuse, Kerflooey Is Koput, Discordian Press, San Francisco, 1987. It is sad to report that when Malaclyuse invited Kerflooey to San Francisco for what he called "a serious, adult discussion" of their differences, Professor Kerflooey arrived armed, as the subsequent police report showed, with three revolvers, two pistols, five semiautomatic rifles, several vials of poison, two dirks, five swords, a meat cleaver, a flamethrower, a bazooka, several pounds of plastique explosive and 20 grams of gelignite. As Flahive said after the subsequent inquest, "Simple good taste and elementary decency should set certain limits on the inteugity of even the most vigorous academic debate." BACK
I have often thought, later, that it was this conversation which inspired de Selby's most controversial essay, "Can Goddess Create a Stone So Heavy That She Herself Cannot Lift It?," which he optimistically submitted to several Radical Feminist journals in San Francisco. It was after this that WITCH (the Women's Intemational Terrorist Conspiracy from Hell) began picketing de Selby's home in Dalkey. It is unfortunate that Flahive, in his passion to defend de Selby against all detractors, attempted to prove the WITCHes were a "front" for the Knights of Malta. If Flahive had not been himself a former CIA agent and coincidentally present, like Kerfooey, in Dealey Plaza on November 22, 1963, not even the wild-eyed Hamburger would have claimed evidence of foul play in FIahive's subsequent tragic death in a hunting accident with Professor La Puta. BACK
I am deliberately avoiding the human chauvinism of spokespersons. BACK