by Rev. Ivan Stang

Above: Stang, Princess Wei R. Doe, Pope Robert Anton Wilson and Pater Nostril



WHY DO I ALWAYS COME HOME FROM THESE THINGS FEELING LIKE I'VE BEEN FACTORY TENDERIZED, with every muscle hurting, every joint swollen, and tired as a grave digger on his third straight shift?

I now suspect that it's from SCHMOOZING ALONE!

Wei and I both were TRASHED when we got home Sunday night from Winterstar. We could barely make it through Futurama awake. To be trashed, bashed, fashed and fagged after Tucson, that was understandable -- long trip, violent preaching at a noisy bar, hikes in the desert, fending off groupies (like most DEVIVAL-type devivals).

But why would Winterstar have wrung us out like this? I only had to preach for an hour, and that was to a relatively sedate and polite audience of mostly unsaved neopagans, or whatever one might call this diverse group of wierdos; a more relaxed and explanatory type of hollering and gesticulating was called for, downright slow paced and "laid back" by my standards. Chas Smith of ESO was doing church music on keyboards but it too was quiet, nothing I had to shout over.

Swaggarting at the swag table wasn't especially challenging since none of our STALKERS were making themselves obvious. Wei and I stayed up late, but we slept late too... we didn't dance naked on tabletops... we didn't drink anything but coffee, water and Dawn dishwashing liquid... we didn't "trip", "flip" or "blip out" as the youths say. We stuck to our prescribed Industrial Diets, and we performed ALL the Salutes. The resort where Winterstar is held is only about 2 hours from Cleveland, so it wasn't the drive that killed us.

It must be simply the SOCIAL INTERACTION that wears one out -- it's the SMILING I tell you! Just the hideous Dobbsian smiling, and the YAKKING AND YAK-BACKING!! Not to mention the LISTENING, which can be TRIPLY taxing, depending.


Mainly because we get to see so many of our COOL FRIENDS at Winterstar. And sometimes we meet frightening strangers who later turn out to be cool friends in disguise. Whereas Starwood, also sponsored by A.C.E., is a big outdoor event with 1500 attendees in tents and teepees, and a couple of dozen bands and speakers, Winterstar is more like a "minicon" in a hotel. There are always a few actual pagan-pagan workshops in shamanic blah blah and mystic drum-making, and a couple of featured speakers on "consciousness," such as Robert Anton Wilson, Timothy Leary, Wavy Gravy, Terrence McKenna, Robert Shea, folks along those lines. (DAMN, half those guys are DEAD! OH, SHIT!!!) And a whole bunch of famous witch women and goddess lawyers, though I steer clear of that stuff because I am afraid of ghosts, witches and lawyers. But I think the main reason the Winterstar REGULARS come are the CABIN PARTIES.

At this lake resort, Atwood Lodge, see, there is a hotel with meeting rooms, restaurant, etc., but one can also elect to instead stay in a room of many 4-room cabins along a wooded lane. During Winterstar weekends, at night, there are maybe 100 "neopagans," druids, witches, Klingons, philosphers, and even SubGenii wandering amongst these cabins like a bunch of drunken hobbits and trolls (luckily most of them don't dress like wizards and "faeries"). What goes on in some of these cabins is a mystery to me. I usually frequent three special cabins, as follows.

The ESO Space Jam Cabin, features live music ALL DAMN NIGHT with Chas Smith, Lonesome Cowboy Dave, The Drummer Bob Mozick, and Ron Slabe performing improvisational "Witch Disco" along with anybody and everybody who wants to join in -- mostly drummers. Chas always decorates the place with his elaborate collection of black lights and black light gimmick props, and when the joint fills up with swaying and gyrating hipsters, freak-o-zoids and Youths, it looks just like a government sponsored anti-drug film from the '60s, with a stern narrator saying, "THESE TEENAGERS ARE HIGH ON A DRUG CALLED "L.S.D."" Most aren't teenagers or on LSD, they just look that way from a distance.

I got a pretty good recording of both nights (filled 7 90 minute tapes) including interesting new variations of Chas' Dobbsongs, "Wilderness of "Bob"" and the singalong "Us and All Our Friends Are So Fucked Up". They did the SMOKINEST YET version of Screamin' Jay Hawkins' "I Put a Spell On You". ESO violinist Michele George is still with the band, but wasn't at Winterstar.

Most people never know that this cabin also has the best FOOD, because it also boasts SubChef deluxe, Pater Nostril, as a dweller, and the most creative of gastronomic astronauts, Princess Wei "R." Doe. (Fiance of the VERY LUCKY and INCREASINGLY WELL FED YOURS TRULY!)

Another cabin that is packed to the rafters (and smells accordingly) is the DRUM CABIN. This is where the more serious old school pagans congregate to cavort like cave men around a bunch of candles. Sometimes the cave gals cavort like cave women with their shirts off. Some chant evocative "Olde Celt" sounding songs (most actually written in 1980s California, I imagine). Although I am not any kind of pagan, and I only dance spazz-style to rock bands, I have several good friends among the pagan old-timers, such as my fellow cult administrators Dennis and Linda Murphy (the Cult of Bull) ((NO RELATION, incidentally, to the entity posting under the name "Azo the Bull God" on alt.slack.))

Although some pagans are as humorless and judgemental as the worst Southern Baptists, or recent alt.slack posters, most of them can take a joke, or tell one, and a LOT of them are either dues paying SubGenii or at least are SubSymps who buy Dobbshead t-shirts. So don't you go be blanket badmouthing m' pagans. We might have to share the real Mars with them someday.

And finally there is the Inner Sanctum cabin, the Chameleon Club cabin. The Chameleon Club is the heretofore secret core group of A.C.E. co-founders and sub founders who organize Starwood, Winterstar and these other nutty fests of cosmic phun and phuckery. They have been doing this for so long that their parties are indistinguishable from their ordinary lifestyles -- laid back and "slacker" style in the TrendoCon sense of the word.

I sense that the next stage in this august and venerable assemblage's evolution is to become a rest home. Most of the members are almost as old as I am.

Of even greater antiquity, though, is Pope Bob, who delivered two lecture-workshops-rants at Winterstar. Pope Bob is temporarily in a wheelchair, due to complications from the polio he had as a child. (He has had to learn to walk TWICE.) Despite this setback and recent widowerhood, Pope Bob displays truly inspirational good cheer and the sharpest, meanest Conspiracy-bashing I have had the pleasure to hear in the age of a 'coon! His two Winterstar rants were classics of the inimitably deadpan RAW style. He discussed current events, ILLUMINATUS, COSMIC TRIGGER, Leary, his years at Playboy, etc., and even hit on FINNEGAN'S WAKE in a way that proves one can discuss it WITHOUT being insipidly pretentious. Throughout, he worked in his latest one-liners. What REALLY got Pope Bob fired up, however, was Hannibal Lecter. RAW had enjoyed the hell out of both the book and movie of THE SILENCE OF THE LAMBS and that new one, and was in the middle of reading HANNIBAL for the second time. Lecter was Robert Anton Wilson's ShorDurPerSav this weekend. He lit up when he talked about Lecter.

Lecter was also the main subject at lunch; Pope Bob recited Lecter's most famous recipes while we ate, slaveringly, since I too am a Hannibal Lecter fanboy. I read all three novels twice. I used to keep a little black and white photo of Anthony Hopkins as Lecter next to my computer in the 90s. is a must-see which Pope Bob updates daily.

Ah, Winterstar. So cornily-named yet so Slackful. The Chameleon Club built another MAZE this year, with 8 black-lit curtained-off "rooms" full of props and actors loosely representing Leary's 8 circuits of the brain. Once the attendees were set loose in there, the scene resembled yet another anti-drug propaganda film crossed with a low budget sci fi movie. Weird videos and sound effect CDs, accompanied by dizzying light displays and costumed human cartoons, may have triggered psychotic reactions in some few Other Half Takers, but I'm sure most of them got over it after a few injections of Thorazine.

Apparently my association with the Association in Cleveland has given some newbies the wrong idea. Not once but TWICE I was approached by strangers at Winterstar who said they had "heard that you could get mushrooms from Rev. Stang." Apparently that is one of the many rumors that go around. I should therefore make myself very clear about this:

I DO NOT SELL DRUGS, GIVE AWAY DRUGS, OR EVEN HOARD DRUGS!! Never have, never will! I don't even LIKE mushrooms! I quit smoking cigarets 4 years ago and about the only time I drink alcohol is at Burning Man and weddings. Sure I brazenly smoke pot -- IN HOLLAND!!! The ONLY brain-removing herb that gets packed up my E.W. is *habafropzipulops*. If I was selling drugs, would I CONSTANTLY WHINE ABOUT MONEY like I do?? Hauling huge suitcases full of Dobbsheads around and preaching in BARS like a TRAINED APE?? Selling my home-made CDs on the Internet like some homeless arts and craft hippie hawking beadwork on the sidewalk?? MY GOD MAN! Maybe I SHOULD start selling drugs!

Kids, with "Bob," you NEVER COME DOWN. The way I get my intense "TRIPPY KICKS" these days is by READING!! This sounds like UTTER SHIT from some LOCAL LIBRARY COMMERCIAL, but I'm dead serious. Kids. BOOKS are your gateway to an insane universe a thousand times more intense and revelatory than any acid trip. I read a science fiction story and a science article every week; my mind is FRIED. I'm completely TOASTED. BAKED. It's JUST AS IF I AM ALWAYS IN ANOTHER WORLD, a new fantastic world each time, yet I'm simultaneously doing my mundane chores in THIS world. Some websites and newsgroups can also get you majorly fucked up the same way.

And BEST of all, it's EXACTLY what the Man DOESN'T want you to do: LEARN!!!

The fact is, when you take drugs, the Conspiracy is GLAD. You're right where they want you -- GUILTY of violating one of THEIR LAWS and thus READY TO BE QUICKLY RENDERED HELPLESS and with society's tacit agreement to boot. When you LEARN, on the other hand, you gain a MASTERY over what THEY have mastered -- BULLSHIT!! And bullshit can be more powerful than bullets, in the ears of dumb enough people.

As for combining books and learning WITH drugs, obviously the dangers of both would be multiplied. Any soapbox I would attempt to stand on would crumple instantly, but what I can offer is some PRACTICAL ADVICE that I know -- I *KNOW* -- to be true. It was Pope Sternodox Keckhaver who Spouted this, in the '80s:

"Anything that makes it harder to pee is antislack."

Many variations of that statement are also true, but that is the BASE FACT, the nearly MATHEMATICAL fact that holds up EVERY TIME. Just as you and I and every living thing will all someday "end up on our heads," so too does this eternal verity withstand the test of time and experimentation across ALL cultures, all human AND SubGenius physical types. It is the closest thing to a hard and fast rule that you will find in this Church's liturgy, aside from "Fuck 'em if they can't take a joke."

*** for more on A.C.E. and Winterstar, see

PHOTOS by PATER NOSTRIL (click to enlarge)

We drove home from Winterstar with the windows down, trying to outrace a rainstorm -- for, crammed into the back seat, so large that both windows had to be opened for it, was THE PATER NOSTRIL DOBBSHEAD.


Well, maybe not one million, but way over one thousand surely. This thing CANNOT be described, scanned, photographed nor even NUMBERED; it can ONLY be SEEN. And it WILL be seen, for it will be always displayed in the outer sanctorum of the Starwood Center (aka the Secret Cult Headquarters) that A.C.E. opens (sometimes) to the public.

And that reminds me, I better get off my ass and set up another Cleveland devival and Einstein's Secret Orchestra concert, at the Euclid Tavern or else the Secret Cult Headquarters. To tell the truth I had not been pursuing devivals because I have so damn much stuff I want to do at the home studio. And like I say, even the easiest devival MAKES ME TIRED!! Physically. However, Wei and I will be moving the home studio to a larger building soon, and the larger cost of the bigger big things means I will again have to SIMPLY FOREGO my brave and crucial adventurous delvings into the most advanced surrealistic realms of experimental artistical technoconcepts, for such delvings are still deemed not "commercially viable" by the human "EXPERTS" -- and instead must force myself again to PANDER and PROSTITUTE my so-oft-abused talents on SHORT TERM INSTANT-PAYBACK VAUDEVILLE in DAMP NIGHTCLUBS on BEER STAINED TABLES, just because the HUME-RUBES would rather see SPECTACLE and BEAR BAITING than lay back at home for a sublime and terrifying descent into some fine, multilayered SUBGENIUS "RADIO-THEATER" CD or carefully crafted BOOK or CD-ROM of written dogma and color computer graphics. OH the angst of the Great and Sensitive Arteest, reduced from lofty heights to mere glorified circus clown for the masses... and WHY? Only in order to avoid a "REAL" job, that is all. Is that so much for an old Sacred Scribe to ask? Simply to always avoid any "REAL JOB", forever? EH??

But NO friends, I WON'T go down! My rent may be going up. But that just means my RANTS go up too, and we GET DOWN to BIZNESS!! That means I say "NO SIRREE DICK" to the Commercial Website Design Devil -- and keep my DAY GLO FEATHERED PREACHIN' JACKET ON, NO MATTER how badly it needs to be washed!

IF THEY KEEP PAYIN' ME, I'LL KEEP ON A PREACHIN'! BUT unless they pay me a lot MORE, which is DOUBTFUL, THIS year, that means I have to PREACH more... to quit sittin' on it and SELL it... GOD DAMN IT!!! Filthy Mammon raises Its ugly head again... tryin' to GIT ME!!! But NAY I say NAY! I QUIT not quittin' quittin' my job! From now on I'm gonna KEEP on QUITTING MY VERY JOB!!! PRAISE FUCKING "BOB"! GOD DAMN YOU KIDS! Now keep quiet and stay in the rumpus room, us grown ups have important uh WORK to do.

BONUS: ANNOUNCING: the Resurfacing of an ancient, yet clear BOOGER 9000 Austin live performance recording, at the Fringeware Devival! Pater Nostril had videotaped Booger 9000 (including THE SWINGING LOVE CORPSES' Sphinx Drummond and THE RUDY SCHWARTZ PROJECT's Joe Newman) while getting an audio feed from the board. This soundboard recording is the most valuable bootleg CD on the planet AS OF NOW.

Speaking of DISTURBING, and this has nothing to do with the foregoing, the absolute scariest and most disturbing thing I have witnessed so far all year has been that Disney movie, DINOSAUR, which we rented the other night. I have been having nightmares ever since I saw that monstrous disfigurement in the very skein of reality. It is WRONG, WRONG WRONG.