The Mind Diddlers

Published in Do Androids Sleep With Electric Sheep?, RE/SEARCH and monochrom, 2009

weird cut-up word-collage psychodramas courtesy of one Jason Brown (rather like the wisecracking ghost of Bill Burroughs bumming cigarettes in the lobby, and equally as gnomic, to be honest)
review: Do Androids Sleep With Electric Sheep?

Happy Trails

In 1929 William S Burroughs was sent to Los Alamos Ranch School in New Mexico. Upon arrival, each boy was assigned a horse, and they were divided into patrols (Piñon, Juniper, Fir and Spruce) by size and ability rather than age. While at Los Alamost, Burroughs had his first sexual experience with another boy at the school.

From the Los Alamos Ranch School anthem:

Hio, we sing of the happy days
Hio, we sing of the days of joy
Winter days as we skim o’er the ice and snow
Summer days when the balsam breezes blow
Los Alamos!

Burroughs left Los Alamos in 1930 (the year J G Ballard was born). Perhaps he was expelled after taking chloral hydrate with another student. Or perhaps he simply persuaded his family to let him return to St. Louis.

In November 1942, the Los Alamos Ranch School was purchased by the United States Army’s Manhattan Engineering District, who took control of the property in February 1943. The facility was first known as “Site Y” and eventually as Los Alamos National Laboratory. The buildings where Burroughs first explored his sexuality were used by the scientists and engineers to design the world’s first atomic weapon.


In 1939, Jack Parsons and his wife Helen joined the Agape Lodge of Crowley’s O.T.O.
Agape refers to spiritual or “higher” love as opposed to Eros, the “lower” or sexual love.

Rim Job

[A] distinction has to be introduced here between two types of lack, the lack proper and hole: lack is spatial, designating a void WITHIN a space, while hole is more radical, it designates the point at which this spatial order itself breaks down (as in the “black hole” in physics). 2 Therein resides the difference between desire and drive: desire is grounded in its constitutive lack, while drive circulates around a hole, a gap in the order of being. In other words, the circular movement of drive obeys the weird logic of the curved space in which the shortest distance between the two points is not a straight line, but a curve: drive “knows” that the shortest way to attain its aim is to circulate around its goal-object. (One should bear in mind here Lacan’s well-known distinction between the aim and the goal of drive: while the goal is the object around which drive circulates, its (true) aim is the endless continuation of this circulation as such.)
— Slavoj Žižek

Desiring Machines

It might be a Scottish name, taken from a story about two men in a train. One man says, ‘What’s that package up there in the baggage rack?’ And the other answers, ‘Oh that’s a MacGuffin.’ The first one asks, ‘What’s a MacGuffin?’ ‘Well,’ the other man says, ‘It’s an apparatus for trapping lions in the Scottish Highlands.’ The first man says, ‘But there are no lions in the Scottish Highlands,’ and the other one answers ‘Well, then that’s no MacGuffin!’ So you see, a MacGuffin is nothing at all.
— Alfred Hitchcock

What we have here is a failure to communicate

From the magickal diary of Jane Wolfe, December 1940:

“Unknown to me, John Whiteside Parsons, a newcomer, began astral travels. This knowledge decided Regina to undertake similar work. All of which I learned after making my own decision. So the time must be propitious.

Incidentally, I take Jack Parsons to be the child who “shall behold them all” (the mysteries hidden therein. ALI, 54-5).

26 years of age, 6’2″, vital, potentially bisexual at the very least, University of the State of California and Cal Tech., now engaged in Cal. Tech. chemical labratories developing “bigger and better” explosives for Uncle Sam. Travels under sealed orders from the government. Writes poetry – “sensuous only”, he says. Lover of music, which he seems to know throughly. I see him as the real successor of Therion. Passionate; and has made the vilest analyses result in a species of exaltation after the event. Has had mystical experiences which gave him a sense of equality all round, although he is hierarchical in feeling and in the established order.”

From a letter by Crowley to Wilfred Talbot Smith, undated, postmarked November 3 1943 (from The Unknown God, Martin P. Starr) :

“Apart from all else, your sexual acrobatics tended to give the Order the reputation of being that slimy abomination, a “love cult.” Already in 1915 in Vancouver, all I knew of you was that you were running a mother and her daughter in a double harness. Since then, one scandal followed another.

“Your attempts to seduce newly-initiated women by telling them that you were now in a position to order them to sleep with you were acts of despicable blackguardism. What grosser violation of the Law of Thelema can one imagine? Not to mention that by English law, you might if successful have been found guilty of rape, and I should have heartily approved a sentence of penal servitude.”

From a letter by Jack Parsons to Alesiter Crowley regarding his first meeting with Marjorie Cameron

“The feeling of tension and unease continued for four days. Then on January 18 [1946] at sunset, whilst the Scribe and I were on the Mojave Desert, the feeling of tension suddenly stopped. I turned to him and said ‘it is done’, in absolute certainty that the Operation was accomplished. I returned home, and found a young woman [Marjorie Cameron] answering the requirements waiting for me. She is describable as an air of fire type with bronze red hair, fiery and subtle, determined and obstinate, sincere and perverse, with extraordinary personality, talent and intelligence. During the period of January 19 to February 27 I invoked the Goddess Babalon with the aid of magical partner [L Ron Hubbard], as was proper to one of my grade.”

Crossing the Abyss

On 10 August 1946, L Ron Hubbard and Sara Northrup were married. Hubbard was still married to his first wife, Margaret Grubb.

On 1 December 1947, Aleister Crowley died of a respiratory infection in a boarding house in Hastings. His doctor died within the day. Some claimed that the doctor had refused to continue Crowley’s opiate prescription so Crowley cursed him.

On 23 April 1951, Sara Northrup Hubbard sued L Ron for divorce on the basis of bigamy, torture, kidnapping, and Ron’s demands that she commit suicide.

On 17 June 1952, Jack Parsons was killed in an explosion of fulminate of mercury at his home laboratory in Pasadena. His last words were reportedly: “I’m not finished.”



Hio, we sing of the youth time
Hio, we sing of the open sky
Ever true to Los Alamos we shall be
Pledge anew forever our loyalty
Los Alamos


In 1949, George Adamski composed a science-fiction book—-ghost written by Lucy McGinnis–entitled Pioneers of Space. At one point he submitted the manuscript to editor Ray Palmer.

On 20 November 1952, Adamski…

(wiki) November 20, 1952 Adamski and several friends were in the Colorado Desert near the town of Desert Center, California when they are said to have seen a large submarine-shaped object hovering in the sky. Believing that the ship was looking for him, Adamski is said to have left his friends and to have headed away from the main road. Shortly afterwards, according to Adamski’s accounts, a scout ship made of a type of translucent metal landed close to him, and its pilot, a Venusian called Orthon, disembarked and sought him out.

In 1953, Adamski published a book he coauthored with Desmond Leslie, Flying Saucers Have Landed. This book marked the beginning of the modern alien contactee movement.

In 1954, Marjorie Cameron starred in Kenneth Anger’s film Inauguration of the Pleasure Dome, which also featured Anais Nin and director Curtis Harrington.

Adamski published Inside the Space Ships in 1955, ghost written by Charlotte Blodget. Though it was presented as a true story, Inside The Space Ships is a close re-write of the sci-fi novel Pioneers of Space.


Men have gained control over the forces of nature to such an extent that with their help they would have no difficulty in exterminating one another to the last man. They know this, and hence comes a large part of their current unrest, their unhappiness and their mood of anxiety. And now it is to be expected that the other of the two ‘Heavenly Powers’… eternal Eros, will make an effort to reassert himself in the struggle with his equally immortal adversary. But who can foresee with what success and with what result?
— Sigmund Freud, Civilization and its Discontents (p.145)

Colonel Tom Edwards: Why, a particle of sunlight can’t even be seen or measured.
Eros: Can you see or measure an atom? Yet you can explode one. A ray of sunlight is made up of many atoms!
Jeff Trent: So what if we do develop this Solar-thing-a-ma-call-it? We’d be even a stronger world power than now.
Eros: A stronger world power. A stronger world power! You see? You see?! You’re stupid! Stupid!
Jeff Trent: That’s all I’m taking from you! [punches Eros in the face]
— Plan 9 From Outer Space

Bela Lugosi’s Dead

In 1959, Naked Lunch and Plan 9 from Outer Space were first released. Both of these literary experiments are non-linear works on the fringe of science fiction dealing with horror, sex, death, and the alteration of consciousness, with extensive use of cut-up technique. But of the two, Plan 9 makes the most sincere gestures towards a plot: Aliens are trying to communicate with humans who studiously avoid paying attention to them, no matter what the aliens do. In a desperate bid for attention, the aliens initiate “Plan 9” — the re-animation of dead bodies as a means of communication.

This question–how would we know non-human life forms were communicating to us–was not new.

In 1950, the physicist Enrico Fermi had a conversation with his colleagues at the Los Alamos National Laboratory while walking to lunch. Among other things, they discussed recent UFO reports and the possibility of alien life. Suddenly Fermi asked: “Where is everybody?” He did some quick calculations in his head, concluding that extraterrestrial life was not only probable, the Earth should have already been and many times. So then where were the aliens? For this lunchtime insight, the Fermi Paradox was named in his honor.

A New Science of Mental Health

On the cover of the May 1950 issue of Astounding Science Fiction, there’s a creature like a caveman with cat’s eyes, hairy arms folded high, thick metal bracelets crossed at the wrists. He is wearing a blue fur tunic with a broad leather belt. The words “Dianetics A new science of the mind” aim the reader’s eyes directly at the space caveman’s gigantic eye-shaped belt buckle.

L. Ron Hubbard’s book Dianetics was published the same month. A new religion was born.

The Ordeal terminates by failure—the occurence of sleep invincible–or by success, in which ultimate waking is followed by a final performance of the sexual act. The Initiate may then be allowed to sleep, or the practice may be renewed and persisted in until death ends all. The most favourable death is that occurring during the orgasm, and is called Mors Justi.
— Aleister Crowley, LIBER CDLI: Of Eroto-comatose Lucidity


In 1972, CIA director Richard Helms ordered the destruction of all documentation related to MKULTRA.

In 1972, U.S. health officials admit that African-Americans were used as guinea pigs in the Tuskegee Study of Untreated Syphilis in the Negro Male.

In 1972, the International Astronomical Union named a crater on the dark side in honor of Jack Parsons.

In 1972, the band Steely Dan chose their name based on a dildo in Naked Lunch.

In 1972, a Hungarian-born Jewish Australian geologist named Laszlo Toth attacked Michelangelo’s Pietà statue with a hammer shouting, “I am Jesus Christ, risen from the dead!”

Laszlo Toth

The alias used by Don Novello (Father Guido Sarduci) in his letters.

From: Lazlo Toth – March 13, 1974
To: Mr. Rawleigh Warner Jr., President, Mobil Oil Corporation

I would like you to know that many Americans appreciate all the oil companies have done for this country and want you to know that just because the press plays up people complaining, a lot of people know the oil crisis is not your fault any more than it is our President’s. There just isn’t enough oil, why can’t people understand that? Don’t be discouraged, the American people will someday see that you were telling the truth! God bless your people all over the globe!

Stand up for our President!
An American, Lazlo Toth

To: Lazlo Toth – February 28, 1974
From: Thomas J. Fay, Manager, Corporate Services, Mobil Oil Corporation

Dear Mr. Toth: Mr. Warner has asked me to thank you for your very gracious note of February 15. With all the criticism we have been receiving lately from some areas of the public, the press, and the government, it is nice to know that we have support from people like yourself. Thank you again for writing. Sincerely…

Our William Tell Routine

Pauline Robinson Pierce married publisher Marvin Pierce in 1919. On June 8, 1925, Marvin and Pauline had their third child, Barbara.

September 23, 1949, Marvin lost control of his car as he tried to keep a cup of hot coffee from sliding onto his wife. The car crashed into a stone wall, killing Pauline instantly.

January 6, 1945, Barbara Pierce married George Herbert Walker Bush. Their first son, George Walker Bush was born July 6, 1946.

November 6, 1963, Laura Welch ran a stop sign, broadsiding another car. She killed the other driver, who happened to be her classmate and ex-boyfriend Michael Dutton Douglas.

January 30, 1976, President Ford made George H. W. Bush the Director of the CIA.

November 5, 1977, Laura Welch married George Walker Bush

November 25, 1981, George and Laura had twin daughters, Barbara and Jenna.

May 29, 2001, Barbara was charged with attempting to use a fake ID with her paternal grandmother’s maiden name (Barbara Pierce) to purchase alcohol.

May 29, 2001—-the same day his daughter was caught trying to use her grandmother’s name to buy booze-—George W Bush announced his refusal to stop Enron from shutting down the California power grid. “We will not take any action that makes California’s problems worse and that’s why I oppose price caps.”

Around the same time, Enron traders recorded bragging about the money they stole from poor grandmothers in California. “Yeah, now she wants her fucking money back for all the power you’ve charged right up, jammed right up her asshole for fucking $250 a megawatt hour.”

On May 25, 2006, Kenneth Lay was found guilty on all six counts of conspiracy and fraud by a jury, and in a separate bench trial, found guilty of four counts of fraud and false statements. He was facing up to 40 years in jail.

On July 5, 2006, Kenneth Lay “died.” His ashes were buried in a secret location. Because he died prior to exhausting his appeals, his conviction was abated.

In 2007, three of the hundreds of Enron electricity traders who jammed their fictions up the asshole of grandma were convicted. They were each sentenced to brief probation and small fines.

Solutions to the Fermi Paradox

There are no other civilizations in our galaxy, human beings are a cosmic fluke, and that which we see before us is the very best the Universe can do. Alone. So very alone…

Or… This is what God wants, so shut up!

Or… The Prime Directive, or “Zoo” Hypothesis. (“No talking to the monkeys.”)

Or… Other civilizations do exist and for some reason we just can’t detect the evidence of the existence with our primitive monkey brains.

Or… Other civilizations do exist and the evidence is everywhere, but we don’t realize it. Most likely because someone is totally fucking with us.

Hio, for the sunsets glowing rose
Hio, for the glorious opal dawn
Pueblo land of the caveman vanished long
Mystic land hear the echo of our song
Los Alamos!