History

Lucifer Unemployed

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If those old issues of The Realist that I blogged this morning are just too contemporary for your blood, here's an alternative: Shawn Wilbur has scanned and posted several editions of Lucifer the Light-Bearer, an individualist-anarchist paper of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.

Despite what you might assume from the title, Lucifer wasn't published by some precursor to Anton LaVey. Editor Moses Harman, a crusader for sexual liberty who was frequently imprisoned for his views, claimed that he picked the term because

Lucifer, the ancient name of the Morning Star, now called Venus, seems to us unsurpassed as a cognomen for a journal whose mission is to bring light to the dwellers in darkness.

The paper eventually changed its name to the American Journal of Eugenics. It says something about the changing times, or maybe just about me, that I find that title infinitely creepier.

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  1. The greatest trick the devil ever played was convincing the world he didn’t exist.

  2. The greatest trick religion ever played was coming up with that saying.

  3. “Lucifer, the ancient name of the Morning Star, now called Venus, seems to us unsurpassed as a cognomen for a journal whose mission is to bring light to the dwellers in darkness.”

    I’m not buyin’ it. I’d still bet they used the name for effect.

  4. Editor Moses Harman, a crusader for sexual liberty who was frequently imprisoned for his views

    [raises glass]To Moses Harman[drinks]
    Anyone frequently imprisoned for his views is a big damn hero in my eyes. And you say he was a crusader for sexual liberty? All the better.

  5. “Anyone frequently imprisoned for his views is a big damn hero in my eyes. And you say he was a crusader for sexual liberty? All the better.”

    So you’re a big fan of NAMBLA?

  6. “I’m not buyin’ it. I’d still bet they used the name for effect.”

    That’s kind of why I posted the “trick” comment, not because of religion, per se.

  7. As to the “Eugenics Journal”:

    During the Comstock regime (pre-Ulysses decision), it was possible to get away with content of a sexual nature by publishing it under the auspices of Scientific, particularly Social Darwinist-type labels.

    One of the few publishers of quasi-erotica able to function even somewhat above ground at this time was the Eugenics Publishing Company.

    This site lists a few of their reprints. There were others.

  8. Timmy,
    No, I draw a sharp bright line around consenting adults.

  9. “No, I draw a sharp bright line around consenting adults.”

    Mmmmmm! That sounds sooooo hot!

  10. Warren says, Anyone frequently imprisoned for his views is a big damn hero in my eyes.

    To which Timmy replies So you’re a big fan of NAMBLA?

    How could that follow at all from what Warren said?? Are NAMBLA members imprisoned for their views? I’ve never heard of such a thing, and if not, then Timmy’s response makes no sense.

    Even if they were imprisoned for their views his response would be a stretch at best. I would take Warren’s statement as expressing the general view that people should not be imprisoned for holding certain opinions, however unpopular they may be, and expressing a certain respect for those that have been so imprisoned. I would whole-heartedly concur. Nobody should ever be imprisoned for a thought or an opinion. Saying that does not in any way mean you must agree with whatever those thoughts or opinions are, nor must you be a “fan” of those views to express sympathy for someone wrongfully imprisoned.

  11. Step away from the hammer Brian. It’s gonna be okay.

  12. In reply to this: “Anyone frequently imprisoned for his views is a big damn hero in my eyes. And you say he was a crusader for sexual liberty? All the better.”

    Timmy says: “So you’re a big fan of NAMBLA?”

    Obvious snarky reply: So you’re a big fan of locking up people for advocating extremely unpopular views? Say, anyone advocating views that get less than 1% of the vote in presidential elections?

  13. I’ve been planning on making a Zine that spouts insane-o political opinions (Mexicans are stealing our nuclear secrets!) to rile people up. I’m now going to call it Lucifer the Light-Bearer.

  14. I wish I had a pet polar bear. I would name it Lucifer the Light Bear.

  15. GEEK ALERT! GEEK ALERT!

    “Lucifer” was also the name of the star that used to be the planet Jupiter in Arthur C. Clarke’s 2001 novels.

  16. There’s also an egoist-anarchist magazine (started in the 1990s) called “Non Serviam”.
    http://www.nonserviam.com/magazine/

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