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Robert Anton Wilson

Robert Anton WilsonBorn: 18-Jan-1932
Birthplace: Brooklyn, NY
Died: 11-Jan-2007
Location of death: Santa Cruz, CA
Cause of death: Illness
Remains: Cremated (ashes scattered)

Gender: Male
Race or Ethnicity: White
Sexual orientation: Straight
Occupation: Author

Nationality: United States
Executive summary: Illuminatus Trilogy

Science fiction author, comic, and social philosopher Robert Anton Wilson is known for such works as Schrodinger's Cat, The Illuminatus!, Cosmic Trigger, Prometheus Rising, and The New Inquisition, as well as for his unconventional proclamations and social agendas. A founder of the Guns & Dope Party, Wilson stated, "The government [...] spends more and more of our tax money financing 'faith-based organizations'. Without faith we might relapse into scientific or rational thinking, which leads by a slippery slope toward constitutional democracy." The solution, said Wilson, is for every man and woman to arm themselves, write their own name in for President, and appoint "ostriches as 1/3 of the legislature".

Born 18 January 1932 in Brooklyn, New York, Wilson was raised a Catholic and became a Marxist when he was 16 (he would later abandon both belief structures). He attended Hawthorn University where he earned his Ph.D in psychology. His doctorate dissertation dealt with how people adjust their perceptions to fit their belief systems. Strongly influenced by semanticist/philosopher Alfred Korzybski, Sufism, and fellow reality mapper and friend Timothy Leary, Wilson sees himself as a "model agnostic": that is, while he plays with various models of reality he does not wholly subscribe to any of them. Many of his works flip back and forth from one paradigm or point of view to another, confounding the intellect in an effort to wean the reader from dependence on his own conditioned belief structures. Author Philip K. Dick once said of him, "Wilson managed to reverse every mental polarity in me, as if I had been pulled through infinity. I was astonished and delighted."

A proponent of medical marijuana and a genuine and authorized Pope, Wilson has been accused, by Lyndon LaRouche, of being the secret head of the ancient Illuminati Brotherhood. Ironically, Wilson's Illuminatus, the science fiction trilogy co-authored with Robert Shea, examines American paranoia about conspiracies. Illuminatus! was adapted as a 10-hour science fiction rock epic and performed (under the patronage of Queen Elizabeth II) at Great Britain's National Theatre, where Wilson appeared in a special cameo role. Another Wilson play, Wilhelm Reich in Hell, was performed at the Edmund Burke Theatre in Dublin in 1986, as well as many other theatres. In 1984 Wilson collaborated with the punk rock group The Golden Horde on their album The Chocolate Biscuit Conspiracy. In 1986 Wilson, whose poetry has been widely published, was a guest of the Norwegian government at the Oslo International Poetry Festival.

A frequent lecturer at Esalen and other New Age venues, Wilson was also a stand up comedian (with an album is entitled Secrets of Power). Wilson authored over 26 books, was Associate Editor of Playboy magazine from 1966-1971, and later co-edited the futurist journal Trajectories with his wife Arlen. He lived in Santa Cruz, California. He had decreed in his will that upon his death his body be cremated and the ashes thrown in Jerry Falwell's face. The executor of his will was to then shout one word only: "Gotcha!"

Wife: Arlen Wilson (d.)

    University: Brooklyn Polytechnical College (1952-57)
    University: New York University (1957-58)
    University: PhD Psychology, Paideia University, San Francisco, CA (1979)

    Playboy Associate Editor, Playboy Forum (1966-71)
    Church of the SubGenius
    Esalen Speaker
    Risk Factors: LSD

    The Gospel According to Philip K. Dick (2-Mar-2001)
    23 (2-Jul-1998) · Himself

Author of books:
Playboy's Book of Forbidden Words (1972)
Sex and Drugs,A Journey Beyond Limits (1973)
The Sex Magicians (1973)
The Book of the Breast (1974)
Illuminatus! (1975, with Robert Shea)
Cosmic Trigger, The Final Secret of the Illuminati (1991)
Principia Discordia, Or, How I Found the Goddess and What I Did to Her When I Found Her: The Magnum Opiate of Malacypse the Younger (1980)
Neuropolitics (1978, with Timothy Leary and George Koopman)
The Illuminati Papers (1980)
Illuminatus! (1975, with Robert Shea)
The Homing Pigeon
Masks of the Illuminati (1981)
Right Where You Are Sitting Now (1983)
The Earth Will Shake (1983)
The Widow's Son (1985)
The Book of the SubGenius (1987)
Nature's God (1991)
Prometheus Rising (1983)
The New Inquisition (1986)
Wilhelm Reich in Hell (1987)
Natural Law or Don't Put a Rubber on Your Willy (1987)
Coincidance (1988)
Ishtar Rising (1989)
Quantum Psychology (1990)
Cosmic Trigger II (1991)
Reality Is What You Can Get Away With, An Illustrated Screenplay (1992)
Chaos and Beyond,The Best of Trajectories (1994)
Cosmic Trigger III (1995)
The Walls Came Tumbling Down (1997)
Everything Is Under Control (1998, with Miriam Joan Hill)
TSOG, The Thing That Ate the Constitution (2002)
Tale of the Tribe (2004)
The Earth Will Shake (2004)

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