The Pranksters' Plot

The tale of Operation Mindfuck.


I have an article up at called "Robert Anton Wilson & Operation Mindfuck." It's an excerpt from my book The United States of Paranoia; here's an excerpt from the excerpt:

Hello, Bob.

Wilson laid out the basic instructions for Operation Mindfuck in a memo sent to several friends….Participants were "to circulate all rumors contributed by other members," and they were "to attribute all national calamities, assassinations or conspiracies to the other member-groups." The one great risk, he cautioned, was that "the Establishment might be paranoid enough to believe some wild legend started by one of us and thereupon round up all of us for killing Abraham Lincoln."

So they sent a letter on Bavarian Illuminati stationery to the Christian Anti-Communist Crusade, just to confirm that "we've taken over the Rock Music business. But you're still so naïve. We took over the business in the 1800s. Beethoven was our first convert." Robert Welch of the John Birch Society got a letter informing him that Gary Allen was an Illuminati agent. When a New Orleans jury refused to convict one of the men Jim Garrison blamed for the JFK killing, Garrison's booster Art Kunkin of the leftist Los Angeles Free Press received a missive from the "Order of the Phoenix Angel" revealing that the jurors were all members of the Illuminati. The telltale sign, the letter explained, was that none of them had a left nipple.

In related news:

• We're having a party to celebrate the book's release at Reason's D.C. headquarters tonight. If you'd like to come, you can RSVP here.

• Steve Malzberg interviewed me about the book yesterday for Newsmax's radio/video operation. Our conversation can be heard here.

• The book and I have a cameo in a column in The New York Times.

• Robert Herritt has reviewed the book for Commentary. The piece is behind a paywall, so you'll just have to trust me when I tell you it's a positive review.