to the Loompanics Edition of _Principia Discordia_
G.H. Hill, San Francisco, 1979
All Rites Reversed (K) Reprint What You Like
26 November 1979
INTERVIEW WITH NORTON CABAL
by Gypsie Skripto, Special Correspondent
It has been ten years since I met the mysterious Malaclypse the
Younger. I was free lancing for the underground papers and went by
POEE Head Temple at 555 Battery Street to try for an interview.
I found him in the Temple P.O. Box busy wrapping up the new Fourth
Edition of _Principia._ He seemed impatient with me, insisting that
he didn't have the time or inclination for foolish questions from
reporters. Undaunted, I burst out with questions like whether he
preferred Panama Red or Acapulco Gold and how the fuck did we manage
to fit inside of a tiny post office box and other things a propos a
naive young semiliterate dropout hippy writer. He asked me if I
wanted to drop mescaline and fuck all night and said he knew how to
turn himself into a unicorn and there might be room for a tiny
interview on the cover of the _Principia_ if I wanted to work for the
_Greater Poop_ so I said sure, okay, I've never dropped mescaline in a
post office box before.
It turned out I was among the last to see Malaclypse. As subsequent
issues of _Greater Poop_ revealed, he was to disappear and POEE
business was to be assumed by his students at Norton Cabal. Professor
Ignotum P. Ignotius, Department of Comparative Realities, was assigned
the Trust of the POEE Scruple and Rev. Dr. Occupant became Keeper of
the Box. The newly published copies of _Principia_ were distributed
by Mad Malik, Block Disorganizer, who had distribution contacts with
the Aluminum Bavariati. Practical relations remained in the hands of
concept artist G. Hill.
When the 1,000 _Prinicipias_ were gone the _Greater Poop_ stopped
publishing, Head Temple closed down and the Cabal just seemed to
evaporate. Finallly even the box was closed. But over the years I
noticed that copies were still circulating, and that independent
Discordian Cabals would occasionally pop out of nowhere (and still
do). And I would wonder what ever happened to Malaclypse.
When I read the _Illuminatus_ trilogy I resolved to again find and
interview the denizens of Joshua Norton Cabal of the Discordian
* * *
As I cabled over Nob to San Francisco's Station 'O' Post Office I
couldn't help but wonder at Goddess' hand in assigning street
addresses to Her outposts. Mal-2 had told me that Good Lord Omar
always filed everything under "O" for "Out of file."
"Maya is marvelous" I was thinking when I rapped on the little metal
door and was greeted warmly by a huge beard who introduced himself as
Proessor Ignotus. He ushered me into a spacious would paneled and
tapestry hung parlor where three others were laughing and passing
around a wine jug. The sunny one in a tunic was the Reverend Doctor
Occupant, the trim khaki and jeans was Mad Malik and the wine jug
claimed to be Hill. I got the recorder on....
GYPSIE SKRIPTO [in response to a question]: ...1969 but only briefly.
I guess I missed you guys.
MAD MALIK: No wonder, he was pretty much a one man show then. We
were just his students and were usually off on errands. You
worked for the _Poop?_
Gypsie: Well, for one night anyway. The inteview is in the
REV. DR. OCCUPANT: Malik was the only one he would ever let write for
the _Poop_ or get on the letterhead.
Gypsie: Did you [Malik] have higher authority than the others?
Malik: No, [but I was allowed to speak to the _Poop_] because
[Malaclypse the Younger] hated politics. He was infuriated with
Johnson and Nixon over Viet Nam because it was turning the
renaissance into a political revolution and was stealing his
sacred thunder. So he trained me in Zenarchy, which he learned
from Omar, and I was the official anarcho-pacifist for the Cabal.
Also I was liaison to The Ancient Illuminated Seers of Bavaria,
the Chicago Discordians. Later Omar activated the Hung Mung Cong
Tong and ELF, on zenarchist principles, and also Operation
Mindfuck. I was also into those. Though at that time I was
masquerading in _Greater Poop_ as a cremated cabbage to throw off
Gypsie [to Hill]: Since you wrote it, I take it you are an anarchist?
G.H. HILL: Since then I have given up anarchy. Too many rules --
hating the government and all that stuff.
IGNOTUM PER IGNOTIUS: It's like hating your own fantasies.
Malik: [Anarchy] is also standing up and proceeding forward,
fantasy rule or not. The condition is the same.
Occupant: Brother needs some wine!
Malik: We have had this argument before, Reverend Doctor
Brother. But wine before platitudes, fill it up.
Gypsie [to Hill]: And pacifism?
Hill: I'm not sure I ever was one. Mal-2 was not, Malik was.
Personally I accepted self defense yet I could never reconcile
that with the ideal. I finally gave up on that one too. Actually
I just gave up on idealism.
Ignotius: Idealism lives with rules. Realism lives with rocks.
Hill: Yeah. I get along better with rocks.
Malik: Mal-2 once told me that pacifism was a dilemma. If
everybody was a pacifist then everything would be perfect. But
nobody is going to be a pacifist unless I am first. But if I am
and somebody else is not, then I get screwed. He said that there
were five choices under that circumstance. The first was
napalming farmers and the second was executing your parents. The
third was hypocrisy, the fourth was cowardice, and the fifth was
to swallow the dilemma. Zenarchist are trained in dilemma
Occupant: So are other Erisians, like POEE.
Ignotius: That is characteristic of the Discordian perspective.
Hill: But of course training contradicts Discordian
Malik: Oh so what. Contradictions are nothing to Discordians.
Occupant: Dilemma, Schlimemma. [to Gypsie] What do _you_ think
of this, pretty ma'am? We don't get to hear your thoughts.
Gypsie: I'm reporting now, you talk.
Occupant: Later then?
Gypsie: Perhaps. Later.
Occupant: You are smiling.
Gypsie: Hey, guy, later. [to Hill] Doesn't this leave you a
Hill: It's okay, I'm half Gemini.
Gypsie: What's the other half?
Hill: Taurus. That makes me stubborn schizy.
Ignotius: I'm a Whale.
Occupant: I choose Satyr.
Malik: Spirits don't have signs.
Hill: A character can have a sign if I want it so.
Occupant: Well I can have a sign if _I_ want to and screw both of
Malik: Come on Greg, you just think that we are your
Occupant: You were inhabited by Malaclypse the Younger. He caused
you to create roles and those roles are being performed by us
Ignotius: A perfectly normal pagan relationship.
Hill: Well you can look at it like that if you want to, but I
created Mal-2 to my specifications just as I conceived all the
rest of you.
Occupant: You didn't invent Eris. She _caused_ you to think you
created the spirit of Malaclypse.
Hill: Oh bull! Besides, I changed her so much the Greeks
would never recognize her.
Occupant: That's what She wanted!
Ignotius: Deities change things around all the time.
Malik: What you don't realize is that a spirit has a self
Hill: Nope. A spirit is a product of definition and the one
who is doing the defining around here is me. Your identity is
what I say it is. Just to prove it, I'm going to change your
SINISTER DEXTER: It's okay with me. Fate is fate. I never much
liked "Mad Malik" anyway.
Ignotius: Besides people confused him with joe Malik in
Dexter: I sort of enjoyed the confusion part.
Occupant: Doesn't prove anything anyway.
Gypsie: That name sounds familiar. Where is it from?
Hill: It's a name I came up with in the old days and never
used much. It's on page 38 of the _Principia_ referring to Vice
President Spiro Agnew. I always thought I invented it but now it
sounds like a Stan Freberg name now that I think about it. It may
have stuck in my preconscious memory from early TV.
Gypsie: Can you use it without his permission?
Hill: If it is his? I don't know. I hope so. It means "left
right" in Latin and is a perfect name for libertarian anarchist.
Actually in my kind of art the question of what can I use freely
and what can I not is a very tricky problem.
Gypsie: How do you mean?
Hill: Well, take a collage for example. Like the early one on
page 36 of the _Principia._ Each little piece was extracted from
some larger work created by some other artist and published and
maybe copyrighted. I find them in newspapers and magazines
mostly. Often from ads. With a collage you select and extract
from your environment and then assemble into an original
The _Principia_ itself is a collage. A conceptual collage. All
of it happens simultaneously. But visually it is a montage,
passing through time, like a book does.
There is a lot of pirated stuff in the _Principia,_ especially in
the margins. But also I sympathize with artists who must own and
sell their works to earn a living. Art, like knowledge, should be
free fodder for everyone. But it isn't. It is perplexing.
Gypsie: Where did all the things in _Principia_ come from?
Hill: Well, a full answer would take a whole book in itself.
Most of the writing credited to a name is a true person and almost
always a different name means a different person. Most of the
non-credited, you know, Malaclypse, text is mine although some
things credited to either Mal-2 or Omar were actually co-written
and passed back and forth and rewritten by each of us. The
marginalia, dingbats and pasted in titles and heads and things
came from wherever I found them -- some of which is original but
uncredited Discordian output, like the page head on 12 and other
pages which is from a series of satiric memo pads from Our Peoples
Underworld Cabal. All page layout is mine and some whole graphics
like the Sacred Chao and the Hodge Podge Transforme are mine but
mostly I just found stuff and integrated it. Mostly I did
concept, say 50% of the writing, 10% of the graphics, all of the
Gypsie: Specifically, what are some of the sources?
Hill: Well, the poem on the front cover is by Walt Kelly and
was spoken by one of his characters in _Pogo._ The government
seals starting on page 1 are from a book of sample seals fro the
U.S. Government Printing Office. Western Union on page 6 got into
the act because I used to be a teletype operator and had access to
blank forms. Rubber stamps came from all over the place and some,
like the apple on page 27, I carved myself. A few I ordered to my
specification, like on page 1. The quote on top of page 8 might
be from Barnum, I'm not sure. The jumping man on page 12 is from
an advertisement. I recognize the style -- a popular commercial
artist -- but I don't know his name. The Chinese on that page is
a grocery ad, I think. The Norton money on page 14 is historic,
plus my little additions. The apple on page 17, as well as the
triangle on 23 and the Sacred Chao on 50 are, believe it or not,
pasteups from _mimeographs,_ from Seattle Cabal. That group
produces the best damn mimeography I've ever seen. The Lick Here
Box on page 23 is one of many tidbits making the rounds in
alternative/underground newspapers these days. Trip 5 page header
on 29 was a chapter title in one of Tim Leary's books. The Knight
on the bull with the TV antenna on his helmet on page 46 came from
a very artistic magazine called _Horseshit_ and put out by two
brothers from Long Beach. I don't remember their names.
Occupant: Eris told Mal-2 what to use and where to find it.
Hill: Yeah, in a way that is right. That is why my name does
not appear anywhere on the _Principia_ and why it wa spublished
with a broken copyright -- Reprint What You Like. I knew I was
taking liberties and didn't want my intentions to be
misunderstood. It was an experiment and was intended to be an
underground work that involves a different set of ethics than
Gypsie: There are no real names at all?
Hill: Oh, some. Camden Benares is a real name because he
legally changed his original name to his Holy Name. Also, instead
of using Mordecai Malignatus I used Bob Wilson's real name on page
12 because _Werewolf Bridge_ was a work before Discordianism. And
of course real people like Neils Bohr crop up in quotes.
Gypsie: What do you think about the _Principia_ now? Would you
want to change it?
Hill: I consider it a successful work and I wouldn't want to
change it. In some ways it is immature and I am not the same
person I was 10 years ago, but it accomplished the objectives I
set for myself and it has trhe effect I want it to have. There
are a few errors though.
Gypsie: Like what?
Hill: Oh, I changed a quote from Tom Gnostic on page 61 and I
don't think he ever did forgive me for it. He's righ. Starbuck's
Pebbles should have been preceded by the Myth of Starbuck which
was being saved for something else and never got used. I should
have used it when I had the chance. And then Eris did a neat
little trick on me by having IBM make the Greek selectric
typewriter element not coincide with all the characters on their
keyboard. So the little "kallisti" that first appears on the
title page and lastly on the back cover came out "kallixti" and I
was too dumb to know the difference.
Gypsie: Will there ever be a Fifth Edition?
Hill: There already is a Fifth Edition, by Mal-2. It is a one
page telegram that reduces everything to an infinite aum. I found
it at Western Union where a machine got stuck and kicked out
hundreds of pages of nothing but M's. He made it the Fifth
Edition and then left.
Principia/Malaclypse was a very personal work for me and actually
took 10 years to culminate. It was one single statement that
included my adolescence in the 50's and my young adulthood in the
60's. When I finally had the pasteups done I knew that I had
finished it. That is why, quote, Malaclypse left. I knew it was
finished. I didn't know exactly what it was, but it was done?
Gypsie: Earlier you said that you met your objectives. Just
what were those objectives?
Hill: Well, that's hard to answer because it kept refining
itself over the years. In 1969 I mainly thought of myself as a
cosmic clown and I set out to prove, by demonstration, that a
deity can be anything at all.
In other words, people invent gods and not the other way around.
Later I decided that I was doing some kind of conceptual art.
In the 50's my culture taught me that I was created by and for a
deity, a specific male deity, and that all other deities are
FALSE. Yet my growing experience showed me that any deity is true
in some sense and false in some other sense. So I set out to do
what my society told me is impossible -- make a real religion from
a patently absurd deity.
In the 50's a female deity was blasphemy. In the 70's a humorous
deity is still considered impossible, ridiculous and blasphemous.
Eris is a real deity and even though I don't promote Erisianism as
a serious religion....
Occupant: I do!
Dexter: You speak for yourself.
Ignotius: Here, here.
Hill: ...I do point out that it makes just as much sense from
its own perspective as all the others do from each of their own
Occupant: I think paganism is a valid spiritual path. I encourage
Erisianism because it makes fun of itself. I think this is
Ignotius: If you can live rewardingly with Goddess Eris you can
live with any deity, including none at all.
Dexter: I don't much go for the worship business but I agree
with Occupant about the spirit of the thing. We live in a time of
turmoil, the whole planet is in a state of change. If we, as a
species, cower from the confusion then we die with the dying.
This is revolution.
Ignotius: I am an atheist myself. There is no Greg Hill.
Gypsie [to Hill]: What do you think of _Illuminatus?_
Hill: Oh, I love it. I was finishing _Principia_ when Shea
and Wilson were working on _Illuminatus._ It took Dell five years
to publish it...maybe that is significant. The 1969 Discordian
Society was a mail network between independent writers of various
kinds. Norton Cabal was just me and my characters and I used the
other cabals as a sort of laboratory. In return other Discordians
would bounce their stuff off of me. We would toss in ideas and
anybody could take anything out. It was a concept stew. The
exchanging of ideas and techniques broadened and encouraged all of
I like _Illuminatus_ for the surrealism. A very effective method
Ignotius: I got misquoted. Worse, I wasn't even in that scene and
if I had been then I would have said something else.
Dexter [to Ignotius]: That was me in that scene.
Ignotius: Oh, is that what it was?
Dexter: He got our names mixed up.
Hill: He got mixed up about me, too, in _Cosmic Trigger._ BOb
says that when Oswald was buying the assassination rifle, my
girlfriend was printing the first edition of _Principia_ on Jim
Garrison's Xerox. It wasn't my girlfriend, it was Kerry's; it
wasn't the _First Ed Principia,_ it was some earlier Discordian
thoughts; it wasn't Garrison's Xerox, it was his mimeograph; and
it wasn't just before Kennedy was shot but a couple of years
The _First Ed Principia,_ by the way, was reproduced at Xerox
Corp. when xerography was a new technology. Which was my second
New Orleans trip in 1965. I worked for a guy on Bourbon Street
who was a Xerox salesman by day.
Dexter: I think that George Dorn took too much guff from
Hagbard. If someone pulls a weapon on me, I'm more inclined to
either leave or kill the sonofabitch.
Occupant: You are supposed to be a pacifist.
Dexter: I'm speaking figuratively of course. I'll tell you
Gypsie [to Hill]: Did you really translate erotic Etruscan poetry?
Hill: Sure, but I used a pen name. I signed it "Robert Anton
[a quick rap is heard on the door]
Gypsie: I have only one question left...
Dexter: I'll get it.
Gypsie: ...what I really want to know is how can we all fit
inside of a tiny little post office box?
Dexter [to Gypsie]: It's a telegram for you, from Mal-2.
Gypsie: To me?
Gyspie [reading]: "If I told everybody how they could live inside of
a post office box then everybody would stop paying landlords and
go live inside their post office boxes. It would collapse the
building! Can you _imagine,_ post offices collapsing all over the
country, the hemisphere, the PLANET! The whole world's
communication system would be destroyed. No, no, I must not say.
I _dare_ not!"
# # #
* I checked this further with Mr. Thornley. He says that the woman
in question was not his girlfriend, she was just a friend, and it
wasn't a couple of years before Kennedy was shot but had to be a
couple of years after (but before Garrison investigated Thornley).
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