29. “Don’t let them see us ! Don’t tell them what we are doing !”
30. Are these the words of the all powerful boards, syndicates, cartels of the earth ?
31. The great banking families of the world
32. French, English, American ?
33. Like Burroughs, that proud American name ?
34. Proud of what exactly ? Would you all like to see exactly what Burroughs has to be proud of ?
In the interest of lightening things up a bit, and since Tim had a good idea to sort of plumb the roots of what we call counter culture, I thought I’d play a little bit.
And ya know, if you’re gonna do it, do it properly. If you want counter culture, look no further than Old Bull Lee, The High Priest of Junk, William S. Burroughs.
Everyone with even passing familiarity knows the writer aspect of Uncle Bill, but did you know that he was a pioneer of psychedelic fiction? Not only did he write about yage ( ayuhausca ) long before Terrence Mckenna, but he wrote Naked Lunch while tripping on a cannabis/hash jam native to Morocco, where he was living at the time. In fact, he hardly remembered writing any of it. You could almost consider Naked Lunch channeled prophecy, certainly on the par of the Book of the Law.
Is that a bold statement? It might be if you didn’t know Burroughs was a magician too. Probably the formative magickal pioneer of the latter half of the 20th century. He was introduced to sorcery by Brion Gysin in Tangiers who was himself educated by the natives of morocco. Pretty much all of his work after Naked Lunch is undertaken with some kind of social mutation or subversive intent in mind. His methods were as occult as occult gets. The agenda with Uncle Bill was always escape from the systems of control.
And why? Well maybe because he was a gay man, persecuted and ostracised by his family. A family where his uncle, Ivy Ledbetter Lee, was a publicist for the Third Reich, and who is considered the father of modern ‘public relations’. And we all know the Nazis were into ‘public relations’ don’t we? Burroughs later married a Jewish woman to help her escape the Nazis. That’s a fairly extraordinary step for a gay man. His shame in his family is quite evident later in life.
It’s hard to underestimate Burroughs’s influence. He was a formative mentor to the Beat Generation authors, like Jack Kerouac and Allen Ginsberg, who seeded the sixties counter culture to a large degree. He developed a satirical, horrific, highly sexual aesthetic which achieved that highest of artistic goals: non-commercial. Lots of people have ripped Uncle Bill, but no one has translated his vision with any degree of success into a commercial medium, with the possible exception of David Cronenberg‘s adaptation of naked lunch.
Through his life, Burroughs was obsessed with freedom from control. He despised ‘narcs’ of all kinds, and his personal cosmology was populated with authoritarian horrors that make the archons look weak. He spent most of the sixties in London publishing underground screeds such as the ‘revised boy scout manual’ which is semi satirical treatise on guerilla warfare which ranges from biological terrorism, to overthrowing cultures and assassination by list. He walked around armed at all times and was not at all shy about using his weapons.
His magickal methods were innovative and by all accounts highly effective. He experimented with his famous ‘cut-up’ methods to the point were he was using sampled sounds at ambient volumes to influence what he called the ‘reality film’ He could cause riots or accidents on the street, or change the mood of a crowd.
Much of his magickal knowledge was passed onto Genesis P-Orridge of the pioneer industrial band Throbbing Gristle, who went on to form postmodern magick collective Thee Temple Ov Psychick Youth , who are generally attributed with inventing the sigil method which is the backbone of modern chaos magick. Indeed, Burroughs postmodern sensibilities and collage aesthetic were instrumental in the current movements of the occult community.
He took pretty much every drug there was, experimented with Wilhelm Riech’s orgone accumulator, joined the church of scientology, and then told them to fuck off.
Burroughs and Gysin modeled themselves on the historical/mythical Hassan Sabbah, old man of the mountain, head of the order of assassins, and the two of them used the pseudonym interchangeably. The hashishshin were fanatical mystics who held their sanctified fortress against all comers with a campaign of terror and blackmail, safe to pursue occult knowledge and absolute freedom.
So am I saving Uncle bill intentionally seeded an occult counterculture to subvert the system of ‘narcs’, to wage a guerrilla war for human freedom? No, I kind of doubt it. Do I think he would’ve been pleased to see just such a thing unfold?
63. Are these the words of the all powerful boards and syndicates of the earth ?
64. And you want the name of Hassan Sabbah on your filth deals
65. To sell out the unborn ?
66. “Protect us from our gooks, our dogs, our human animals !”
67. Are these the words of the all powerful boards, your powerful syndicates
68. Your powerful governments and nations of the earth ?
69. Liars ! Liars! Liars! Cowards! Cowards ! Cowards!
70. Who cannot even face your own dogs !
71. Traitors to all souls everywhere ! Sold out to shit forever :
72. You, miserable collaborators,
73. Now ask protection of Hassan Sabbah ?
74. “Protect us from our gooks, our human animals ?”
75. No, no, no, I will not protect you,
76. And you will never use the name of Hassan Sabbah – William Burroughs to cover your green shit deals with crab-men.
-what do you think?