Tag Archives: incunabula

¿VIAJES A UNIVERSOS PARALELOS? AQUÍ ALGUNOS CASOS DE ESTOS SUCESOS

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Translated from Spanish

3. Ong’s Hat.
Translation: Ong’s Hat, New Jersey, was founded somewhere in the nineteenth century by a man named Ong after he tossed a hat into the air and it got caught on the branch of a tree … very interesting about hats history, but anyway, put that aside and turn our attention to parallel universes.
Already by the 1930s, the city had become a ghost town, but despite this, it was never forgotten: this abandoned city became the subject of one of the first conspiracy theories of the Age of the Internet.
Theory has it that during the 70s and 80s, a new scientific paradigm called “Chaos”, which sought to find the relationship between everyday situations, such as tying shoelaces or reading a book and all the consequences that each could bring – for example, you are going to tie your shoes, you find a book under the bed, you take the book with you, you’re going to read it to a place, a person goes, read the title on the cover, it seems curious, decide to buy the book, read the book and becomes a serial murderer because of that, that is, if you had not tied the laces at that exact moment, there would not have lost a serial murderer – began to gain popularity.
Two groups of researchers, led by one Dobbs developed the theory that through awareness could model the universe itself, provided the ability to control the chaos and had, consequently, making available to the observer the journey other dimensions. Dobbs even have invented a machine that developed the brains of people to confront this strange complexity: the first sensory deprivation chamber dubbed “The Egg”. However, like any good story, this alternative has even more sinister than what you just read.
One version says that Dobbs did nothing more than finding an interdimensional portal. Remember to Ong earlier this sub? Urban legend has it that he was a man who was always well dressed in a suit and a silk hat, who founded the city in 1920 and had serious problems with his hat did not stay on his head. Ong was a pretty weird guy and no one knew where he came from nor where he was … to be exact, no one knows where were all the villagers after 1936. All were very demure and only had contact with the inhabitants of the same village . Still, back in 1932, according to a local urban legend, things got weird. Gradually, the city seemed to be disappearing. In early 1936, there was no trace of the city, leaving only the brick structures that once stood up there and an old shed. No inhabitant, nothing but the wind always Ong defeated the hat.
In 1970, Dobbs had come to the small left with a team of specialized scientists is populated Underground Constructions. For some reason – that is not entirely clear – Dobbs was aware that there was something on this village.And his hunch was correct, Dobbs supposedly found in a bunker sort of a machine called “The Egg” that allowed any man could travel between dimensions.

Also a similar Portuguese story 

Translation: Ong’s Hat, New Jersey, was founded sometime in the 19th century by a man named Ong after he threw his hat in the air and lost it on a tree branch … a very interesting story about hats, but anyway, let’s leave it and then went back to the focus of the post!
By 1920, the city became a ghost town, but despite that, she has not been forgotten: the abandoned town became the subject of one of the first conspiracy theories in the Internet Age.
Account the theory that during the 1970s and 80s, a new scientific paradigm called “Chaos”, which is concerned with finding the correlation between everyday situations, such as tying your shoes and read a book and all the consequences that each of them can bring – for example, you were to tie the shoes, found the book under the bed, took the book with him, was read in a square, one person went, read the title of the cover, found curious, decided to buy the book, read the book and become a serial killer because of it, ie if you had not tied the cardaço that exact moment, there was no serial killer – began to gain popularity.
Two groups of scientists, led by Dobbs developed a theory that through consciousness can model its own universe, since it is able to learn to control the chaos, and therefore providing the observer travel to other dimensions. Dobbs would even made ​​up a machinery to develop people’s brains to meet this strange complexity: the first sensory deprivation chamber called “The Egg”. However, like every good story has even more sinister alternative versions that you just read!
One of the other versions say that Dobbs did absolutely beyond finding a Interdimensional Portal! Ong remembers the beginning of this item?For the urban legend is the fact that he was a man always very well dressed in a suit and silk hat who founded this city in 1920 and had serious problems with his hat that he kept in his head. Ong was a very strange guy and nobody knows where it came from or where it was … to be exact, no one knows where all the villagers were after 1936. All were very modest and only maintained ties with the residents of the home village. However, around 1932, according to local urban legend, things got weird. Gradually, the town seemed to be disappearing! In early 1936, there was nothing else in the city, but bricks representing the structures that once were there and an old shed. No inhabitant, nothing but the wind that always knocked the hat Ong.
In 1970, Dobbs would come to the small abandoned village with a team of scientists specializing in Underground Structures. For a Reason- it was unclear – Dobbs would have known that there was something beneath the village. And it seems that his hunch was right! Dobbs would be found in a bunker sort of a machine called “The Egg” that allowed that any man could travel between dimensions.
When this urban legend on the Internet came around 1999, received a new look at the story of Joseph Matheny. The urban legend hoax and ended up turning meme and eventually won hundreds of versions. The truth is that the towns of Burlington County always told lurid stories about this ghost town, though, where reality ends and fiction begins only Dobbs – if it exists – can say (although it is difficult to contact him now that he is in another dimension).

Legend Tripping Online:: Supernatural Folklore and the Search for Ong’s Hat reviewed by Lynne S. McNeill for Western States Folklore Society

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Legend Tripping Online:: Supernatural Folklore and the Search for Ong’s Hat reviewed by Lynne S. McNeill for Western States Folklore Society

http://folklore.usu.edu
http://www.folkloristics.com

 

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Also: Lynne and Legend Tripping Online:: Supernatural Folklore and the Search for Ong’s Hat are cited in this examination of the Slenderman phenomena over at Semiotic Review.  – http://www.semioticreview.com/index.php/thematic-issues/issue-monsters/22-the-sort-of-story-that-has-you-covering-your-mirrors-the-case-of-slender-man.html

Legend-Tripping Online: Supernatural Folklore and the Search For Ong’s Hat Review from Religious Studies Review

coverReview by Joseph Laycock for Religious Studies Review

Texas State University, Philosophy, Faculty Member

Article first published online: 12 SEP 2014

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Legend-Tripping Online: Supernatural Folklore and the Search For Ong’s Hat Review from Religious Studies Review

Link: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/rsr.12144/abstract

Audiobook- The Incunabula Papers: Ong’s Hat and Other Gateways to New Dimensions

Above image used with permission of the artist.  Courtesy of James Koehnline : http://www.koehnline.com/

Available now:

A professional version of The Incunabula Papers: Ong’s Hat and Other Gateways to New Dimensions is currently available for Audible.com, Amazon.com and iTunes.com. (coming soon) It is narrated by the inimitable James Lewis.

REVIEWERS: Contact me for a free review copy. Just let me know what podcast/show/blog you intend to review it for.

Note to creatives reading this: If you have any audio v/o projects and you want to work with a consummate professional and all around nice guy, you can’t do better than James.

Of course, the free radio play version P. Emerson Williams and I did years ago remains and will always remain available for free in the commons

Here’s a sample of my conversation with Nick Herbert, read by James, so you can get a sense of the quality (Click the blue “Listen” button below to hear the sample).

Listen

 

Life in the Pines: Ong’s Hat

Story from the Asbury Park Press, a New Jersey newspaper on the legend(s) of Ong’s Hat.

Some excerpts:

“Two weeks ago there were these young kids, like 19 or 20, who came by asking about Ong’s Hat,” said bartender Jacky Colon. “I looked it up on my phone. It was this weird interdimensional thing. Hold on, I have to look it up, this is how I got all my information on Google.”

Very short synopsis of said legend: Mash-up of religious sect, jazz musicians, native Pineys and rogue physicists settle in Ong’s Hat, open a portal to other dimensions. More on this later. First, that name.

——-

During a lull, you can ask about those legends. The modern one about Ong’s Hat — that portal to another dimension somewhere out in the pitch pines — was popularized in the 2002 book “Ong’s Hat: The Beginning” by writer Joseph Matheny, who creates transmedia works and is a prominent figure in alternative reality gaming.

“Nineteen eighty-nine, I think this started. I had a friend who had a cabin out there in the Pine Barrens, and he hosted these parties. He was very bohemian and had artists and writers of all kinds out there,“ Matheny said. ‘He gave me a pamphlet that purported to be this story about Princeton scientists and something called the Ong’s Hat Rod and Gun Club, where they used to hang out and relax.“

During World War II the Pine Barrens were a testing ground for weapons development. Princeton scientists did explosives and ballistics work in the Forked Ruiver Mountains, and a Johns Hopkins University team fired crude surface-to-air missiles from the Project Bumblebee site at Island Beach. “There are kernels of reality to this legend,“ Matheny said.

With Matheny and other contributors writing, the story line arose ithrough the 1990s, first on computer bulletin boards frequented by gaming enthusiasts, generating online versions of urban legend that’s grown to an elaborate body of work. One consequence is an uptick in younger visitors seeking Ong’s Hat. Hence Colon’s close encounter at the Magnolia Bar.

 Folklorists call it legend tripping — the urge to visit supposedly haunted houses and the like. One infamous place is Leed’s Point near Smithville in Atlantic County. The supposed birthplace of the Jersey Devil — a half-human monster said to haunt the forest since the 1700s — attracts people around Halloween.

But the Ong’s Hat story is one of the first examples of “legend tripping online,” said Michael Kinsella, a scholar who studies new religions, paranormal beliefs and folk traditions at the University of California Santa Barbara. He’s author of the 2011 book “Legend-Tripping Online: Supernatural Folklore and the Search for Ong’s Hat,” published by the University Press of Mississippi.

“I’ve always been fascinated by supernatural beliefs,” said Kinsella, who like Ong’s Hat enthusiasts stumbled across the story online, and wrote a whole dissertation on it for his master’s degree in 2007, which led to the book. The cross-connections of various enthusiast websites — whether gaming, UFOs or conspiracy theories — lead like a trail of digital bread crumbs to Ong’s Hat.

He sees it as technology simply extending an ancient human compulsion. “People really want to seek out the eerie and paranormal,” Kinsela said.

There are other snippets from actual history in the Ong’s Hat portal legend, like radioactive waste. Around the time the legend was developing, the Department of Defense was figuring out what to do with thousands of tons of soil contaminated with plutonium when a nuclear missile burned up a few miles away at Fort Dix in 1961. That’s how modern legends grow, Kinsella said.

“It’s typical for these kinds of stories to mix up history and facts and legend,” he said. “So much weird stuff and stories seems to come out of the Pine Barrens, they reinforce each other.”

“If nothing else, it is a vortex of mysteries, legends, tradition and folklore…I’m interested in tracking it back as far as I can, but I don’t want to puncture that bubble,“ Matheny said. “There’s nothing in the structure of the story that I haven’t heard, in one form or another, from people in the area.”

Read it all here.

2014 Literary References to Ong’s Hat in Other Works: A Collection

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A few collected Ong’s Hat literary references from 2014. Other references pre-2014 can be found on the Reviews page. I only include the ones which directly relate to the legend as told in my works, not the historic references about the lost town itself.

Notice: Inclusion in this list in NO WAY IMPLIES AN ENDORSEMENT 

Ong’s Hat spin off novels by other writers:

Other references (non-fiction)

News and Popular Media

  • A political post from Salon, , AUG 26, 2010 which has the quote: “The summer of 1963, then, was marked by graduation from the liturgical approach of loose, liberal Christianity to the crazy quilt Moorish Orthodox Church of America, my natural next home. An offshoot or perhaps incarnation of the Moorish Science Temple, the MOCA comprised a group of jazz musicians, poets, artists, improvisational comics and a few deeply weird people like the guy with the mustache and cape (that’s all I ever knew of his identity — he much resembled Brian Stack’s “The Interrupter” from the Conan O’Brien show decades later). As an acolyte of Salvador Dali (along with one of my close friends from school, who also taught martial arts and built explosive devices), the MOCA was a natural magnet for someone like me. It’s served me well off and on over the years as it has waxed and waned as a force. The nominal headquarters still operate in Ong’s Hat, N.J., in case anyone might conceivably be interested.”

Destinations Across Paranormal America 2

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Chapter dedicated to Ong’s Hat in Destinations Across Paranormal America 2  by Hugh Mungus

Excerpt:

It’s a widely held belief the legend of Ong’s Hat is the fictional brainchild of author Joseph Matheny. Matheny posted his saga on the Internet in the early 1990s, in attempts to insert the story into the collective consciousness of the then-burgeoning World Wide Web. If you’ve ever watched the lonelygirl15 webisodes on http://www.youtube.com, you’ll understand this anecdotal blending with online reality. To those not familiar with lonelygirl15, it was the precursor to Destinations Across Paranormal America 20 vlogging, videotaping oneself rambling about various subject matter, and posting it on the Internet for the world to view. Debuting in 2006, lonelygirl15 was created by a group of young filmmakers. Although fictional, the show was initially believed by its audience to be fact. The story followed the everyday existence of a teenaged girl named Bree. As the production gained popularity, and its fanciful nature was revealed, two derivative series — centered around conspiracy theories — were produced.

Back to Ong’s Hat, baby! There are those who claim Matheny’s legend is true. Whether or not one believes the Ong’s Hat saga is beside the point, contends its creator, who asserts his work stemmed from an actual written narrative known as the Incunabula Papers. To be certain, it’s a lot of information to digest. Reading Ong’s Hat: The Beginning, listening to the Incunabula Papers on-line (see the Bibliography) or visiting southern New Jersey, would be great initial steps to unraveling this mystery.

Much more in the book! Read it all on-line (Ong’s Hat chapter is  chapter 13)

or get it at Amazon

In Beautiful Dreams – Nurturing narratives and the forgotten potentials of digital culture

“Might we contrive one of those opportune falsehoods … so as by one noble lie to persuade if possible the rulers themselves, but failing that the rest of the city.”

- Plato in The Republic

“If you read it, you will be infected. If you are infected you will be InFicted. If you are InFicted, you will get UnFucted.”

- Joseph Matheny

 

Matheny was one of the first to recognize the power inherent in the interconnected culture that is developing through the rapid technological progress driving globalization. His insights and accomplishments help us to understand the intricacies of transmedia arts and provides a valuable tool in becoming a co-creator in the world wide game already in progress called the “21st Century.”

Read more: http://realitysandwich.com/216411/in-beautiful-dreams-nurturing-narratives-and-the-forgotten-potentials-of-digital-culture/?u=22407

English 3700: American Folklore: Legend, Rumor, and Conspiracy Theory

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Sec. 1: MW 2-3:15 & T 6:30-9 (film screening) / Sec. 2MW 4-5:15 & T 6:30-9 (film screening)
This course examines three major folklore genres – legend, rumor, and conspiracy theory – focusing especially on those that manifest in different forms of media (film, television, Internet, social media, newspapers). From AIDS aggression and cannibalism to aliens, ghosts, and zombies, this class explores a range of “belief complexes.” In doing so, the class seeks to answer key questions, including: How are legends related to rumor, conspiracy theory, and myth? How and why are legends transmitted and performed? How do they shape human behavior? All films, research assignments, and in-class activities are geared toward providing the content knowledge and skills necessary to identify variants of contemporary legend, rumor, and conspiracy theory in context, analyze different variants in light of the above questions, and engage in a process of critical discussion and debate about these important genres. Cross-listed as Anthro 3150 and Film Studies 3005.

Required texts:
Aliens, Ghosts & Cults: Legends We Live (Ellis 2001); Bodies: Sex, Violence, Disease & Death in Contemporary Legend (Bennett 2005); Film, Folklore & Urban Legends (Koven 2008); I Heard It through the Grapevine: Rumor in African-American Culture (Turner 1993); Legend-Tripping Online: Supernatural Folklore and the Search for Ong’s Hat ( Kinsella 2011).

http://english.missouri.edu/resources/196-courses/spring-2014/3000-level-courses/1312-english-3700-american-folklore-legend-rumor-and-conspiracy-theory.html

Alternate Reality Games | Ong’s Hat | Know Your Meme

Precursor: Ong’s Hat

In the 1980s transmedia artist Joseph Matheny[2] launched the Ong’s Hat game, inspired by play-by-mail multiplayer games run by Flying Buffalo.[3] Though Ong’s Hat may not have set out to be an ARG, the methods by which the author interacted with participants and used different platforms to build and spread its legend has been reflected in later games.[4] Also known as The Incunabula Papers, the game incorporated the practice of “legend tripping”[6] in which a group of people visit sites known in folklore for horrific or supernatural events. Matheny built a mythos around a supposed ghost town in New Jersey throughout the 1980s through works disguised as research shared on bulletin boards and physical zines.[8] One of the earliest archived theories about the alleged legend appeared in the October 1993 issue of Boing Boing and was posted online as early as February 11th, 1994.[7]

Between 1994 and 2000, posts about Ong’s Hat were planted on a number of different Usenet groups to spark discussion, including sci.math[9], alt.illuminati[10], alt.conspiracy[11] and alt.society.paradigms[12], among others. In 2001, Matheny stopped the project[13] and went on to publish two books about it, as well as archiving all the materials on the Incunabula website.[5]

http://knowyourmeme.com/memes/subcultures/alternate-reality-games

Ong’s Hat: Piney Ghost Town or Gateway to Another Dimension?

ONGS-HAT-ILLUSTRATION

If one takes the Turnpike to exit four and follows Route 70 east, they will come to Route 72 at Four Mile Circle. Taking a hard left leads to a place known as Ong’s Hat, and a trail that some say leads to a mysterious portal to another dimension.

The New Jersey Pine Barrens have a plethora of deserted villages, most of them simply abandoned decades, even centuries ago. One of the most infamous of these is Ong’s Hat in Burlington County. The true reason as to why anyone would name a village Ong’s Hat may be shrouded in mystery forever. The facts are not clear, but the folklore surrounding the town’s name is well known.

Legend has it that at one time a resident of the area was a flashy young gentleman by the name of Ong (while his first name is unknown, Ong is an old time Pine Barrens name––one of the earliest Pines settlers was Jacob Ong). He was a fixture at local dances, where he was famous for being able to woo the ladies with his fancy dance moves and suave attire––most notably his silk hat.

Apparently, Ong was something of what modern youth call a “player,” in that he would flirt and dance with all the ladies he could. One of his love interests caught on to this practice at a dance and attacked Ong, taking his hat and stomping on it. Ong, who was very drunk and very upset that his chapeau had just been ruined, ran outdoors and tossed the hat into the air out of frustration. It caught in the high branches of a pine tree and stayed there for years. It became a landmark by which people could find the small village, and the area was dubbed Ong’s Hat.

As the Pine Barrens themselves became less and less populated with the dying out of local industry, Ong’s Hat was all but forgotten. Today Ong’s Hat is home to no residents. Instead, there are piles of rubble, overgrown building foundations, and other reminders of a bygone age. Ong’s Hat might have been nothing more than a footnote in the local history books were it not for a very weird development that some believe occurred there in the last quarter of the twentieth century––the opening of a gateway to another dimension.

The following, more recent, history of Ong’s Hat and its mysterious inter-dimensional portal can be found in a book entitled “Ong’s Hat: The Beginning.” The author of the book, Joseph Matheny, is coy as to whether he intended the work as fact or fiction. “The split between who believes the book is fiction vs. nonfiction is pretty even,” he has said. Some claim that the book is pure fantasy, and has set up a hoax that many have come to accept as real.

According to Matheny’s history, the Moorish Orthodox Church of America was founded in the 1950’s by a group of white jazz musicians and poets who were formerly members of the Newark founded Moorish Science Temple. The members of this small sect traveled the world, learning different philosophies and spiritual practices from all different masters of the eastern world. One of these travelers was known as Wali Fard.

When Fard returned from his travels abroad in 1978, he spent all of his savings on 200 acres in the New Jersey Pine Barrens. Along with a group of runaway boys from Paramus and two lesbian anarchists, he moved onto the property and formed a newer, even more exclusive sect, the Moorish Science Ashram.

Fard published a series of Xeroxed newsletters proclaiming his beliefs. Those on the fringe who had read his words began flocking to his land. Among these refugees were two scientists looked down upon for their radical views, Frank and Althea Dobbs.

The Dobbs twins were raised in Texas, among a UFO worshipping cult founded by their father. Needless to say, they were used to life on the outskirts of the mainstream. When they arrived in the Pines they set up a laboratory inside a ramshackle trailer. They began making discoveries that shook the small commune to its core.

The siblings had previously been working at Princeton, where they submitted as their PhD theses a series of equations that led to what they called “cognitive chaos.” They were dismissed from the university and found their way to the Pines. In the remote locale they were free to work further on their ideas, whether the academic establishment wanted them to or not. Their theories promoted the idea that people could tap into the unused portion of their brains and do things such as stop their aging and purge diseases from their systems. The Ashram used their research to found the Institute of Chaos Studies.

Progress occurred even quicker than the scientists involved could have predicted themselves. Within three years they had stumbled upon an extraordinary, bizarre device that came to be known as “The Gate.” This was one of a series of devices the scientists referred to as “The Egg.” They hooked people up to computers and charted their brain waves. By experimenting with sex, drugs, and other mind wave manipulators, the scientists learned how to control the chaos they found within the mind.

The fourth version of the Egg was tested on one of the Paramus runaways. When it was activated, he and the device itself disappeared. Moments later it rematerialized. The boy claimed that he had traveled to the dimension next door to ours. This was the opening of The Gate.

 

The members of the ICS had to leave their Pine Barrens compound due to a chemical spill from Fort Dix that was leaking nuclear material into the area. Instead of fleeing outward, they fled inter-dimensionally. They used the Gate to transport themselves and all of their possessions into an alternate dimension. In this dimension they still lived in Ong’s Hat, but humankind did not exist.

According to some, the experiments at Ong’s Hat led to a violent and bloody confrontation. They claim that the government got wind of the experiments being conducted at Ong’s Hat and stormed the compound there, killing seven members of the group. Some say it was Delta Force who did the killing, while others blame operatives of the Russian or Danish militaries.

Skeptics of this far-fetched tale believe that Joseph Matheny’s book “Ong’s Hat: The Beginning” is nothing more than a work of pure fiction, bolstered by an elaborate Internet hoax. Others claim that Matheny has had to hint at the book being a hoax to preserve his efforts to tell the truth and to protect his own safety.

Matheny first became involved in the Ong’s Hat saga when he posted a book catalog he had found, known as the “Incunabula Catalog,” on BBS and FTP systems around the Internet at the turn of the 90’s. Then he produced one of the essays reviewed in this catalog. From there he claimed to have interviewed one of the physicists mentioned in these papers, as well as the original author of the book catalog he had posted. These four documents make up what are known as the “Incunabula Papers.” It is somewhat unclear as to whether there ever was any documentation of these alleged events other than the ones that Matheny “found” and posted himself.

So was Ong’s Hat ever the home of a mysterious cult of science nerds, or is this inter-dimensional Gate merely one of the earliest known Internet hoaxes? Whatever the case may be, the story of Ong’s Hat is truly a bizarre one, and believed to be more fact than fiction by more than just a few sci-fi fanatics.

http://weirdnj.com/stories/ongs-hat/

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This Internet story is only an excerpt of the information we have published on this subject. For the full story we suggest you refer to past issues of Weird NJ Magazine.  To keep up to date on this story and all the other weird goings on in the state subscribe to Weird NJ and we’ll deliver it to your door. If your local book seller, newsstand or convenience store doesn’t carry Weird NJ, just tell them to call us toll free at 1-866-WEIRDNJ and we’ll be happy to stock your favorite store for you.

A Hat, a Hut, or a Tavern: The Tale of Ong’s Hat

By Ben Ruset on NJPinebarrens

It all started with a road map of New Jersey. A little north of the Red Lion Circle, in the heart of the Burlington County Pine Barrens, the map depicted a tiny hamlet marked with the unusual name of “Ongs Hat.” In the early 1930s, Henry Charlton Beck, a reporter with the Camden Courier Post, became curious. After convincing his editor that a story could be found there, he and a photographer packed up a car and set off to investigate.[1] Little did he know that his explorations at Ongs Hat, and a succession of later voyages to mysterious places in the hinterlands of New Jersey, would inspire generations of other “lost town hunters” –pouring over ancient maps, exploring dismal cellar holes in the middle of nowhere, and sharing their discoveries with one another – first by telephone and letter and presently through online forums.

Continue reading A Hat, a Hut, or a Tavern: The Tale of Ong’s Hat

The Surprising Online Life of Legends – Legend-Tripping Online: Supernatural Folklore and the Search for Ong’s Hat

A very interesting article/review of Legend-Tripping Online: Supernatural Folklore and the Search for Ong’s Hat.

From The Chronicle of Higher Education: Now, from the you-can-learn-something-new-every-day files, comes Michael Kinsella’s Legend-Tripping Online: Supernatural Folklore and the Search for Ong’s Hat.

Read it here: http://chronicle.com/blogs/pageview/the-surprising-online-life-of-legends/29221

From the article:

The response of Joseph Matheny to Legend-Tripping Online suggests the success of Kinsella’s read on the Incunabula Papers. On his Web site, Matheny wrote that Kinsella “did an excellent job and only missed the mark with two or three of his conclusions,” which Matheny said he would clear up by writing a complementary account.

Continue reading The Surprising Online Life of Legends – Legend-Tripping Online: Supernatural Folklore and the Search for Ong’s Hat

Legend-Tripping Online: Supernatural Folklore and the Search for Ong’s Hat

Legend-Tripping Online: Supernatural Folklore and the Search for Ong’s Hat

My review: I was expecting to hate this book, but I didn’t. Michael Kinsella did an excellent job and only missed the mark with two or three of his conclusions. Of course, this is forgivable since he wasn’t in possession of all of the facts from behind the scenes. As a remedy to those few slight errors, and in interest of keeping the record straight I will issue a free companion guide to this book in a few weeks.  Since the book is primarily about myself, my friends, my project and my methods, I do admit to being  somewhat close to the subject.  However,what colors my decision to release the guide is simply that I’d like the record to be as clear as possible if this is to become a subject of “study” by academia.

Other than a few forgivable gaffs (and I do mean a very few), this book is quite enjoyable, insightful and entertaining.  I’m glad someone in academia was able to decipher many of the the objectives and methodologies of this project and I highly recommend it (with the soon to be released companion guide, of course).  If you choke at the price of $55 USD, you may want to wait for the paperback (if they publish one) or the inevitable ePub that’s sure to show up in the wild. (added 8-12-11: Looks like it showed up on Google Books.)

Continue reading Legend-Tripping Online: Supernatural Folklore and the Search for Ong’s Hat

Legend-Tripping Online: Supernatural Folklore and the Search for Ong’s Hat Review for Fortean Times

289 COVER UK.indd

As is the custom with “conspiracy/paranormal” types, this article tells you to dismiss the “Ong’s Hat” project (the subject of the book) as “a post modern art project” and a “prank”. I was thinking the other day about this kind of attitude and recalled someone once expressing disappointment that Incunabula: Ong’s Hat was JUST ART, which was pronounced with a dismissive sneer. Are you as puzzled and even slightly disturbed as I am by the statement and/or attitude that something is MERELY ART ? Well, each to his/her own I guess.

Anyway, here’s the review, for what it’s worth.  It’s the first “sort of negative” review  of “Legend Tripping” I’ve seen to date and mostly the  reviewer just wants to snark on Ong’s Hat.

Of course, this is a review from a non-academic source, by a non-academic conspiranoia type,  about an academic subject, so the expectation bar should be low to begin with. :-D

pdficon_largeFortean-Times – June-2012-Ongs-Hat

 

Free and Not So Free Versions of Ong’s Hat: Incunabula

 

Legend-Tripping Online: Supernatural Folklore and the Search for Ong’s Hat Reviewed by The Journal of Folklore Research

From The Journal of Folklore Research

Reviewed by David J. Puglia, The Pennsylvania State University, Harrisburg

In a day and age when legends are as likely to be transmitted online as they are face-to-face, folklorists have begun assessing how our established concepts apply to the digital realm. The convergence of different forms of media has increasingly diminished the traditional boundaries between folk and popular culture and the digital and analog world. If the legend continues to thrive under these new conditions, folklorists will want to determine how the closely related legend-trip has similarly transitioned to the online environment.

Continue reading Legend-Tripping Online: Supernatural Folklore and the Search for Ong’s Hat Reviewed by The Journal of Folklore Research

Monoskop Log reblog – Michael Kinsella: Legend-Tripping Online: Supernatural Folklore and the Search for Ong’s Hat (2011)

Sourcehttp://monoskop.org/log/?p=8717

On the Internet, seekers investigate anonymous manifestos that focus on the findings of brilliant scientists said to have discovered pathways into alternate realities. Gathering on web forums, researchers not only share their observations, but also report having anomalous experiences, which they believe come from their online involvement with these veiled documents. Seeming logic combines with wild twists of lost Moorish science and pseudo-string theory. Enthusiasts insist any obstacle to revelation is a sure sign of great and wide-reaching efforts by consensus powers wishing to suppress all the liberating truths in the Incunabula Papers (included here in complete form).

In Legend-Tripping Online, Michael Kinsella explores these and other extraordinary pursuits. This is one of the first books dedicated to legend-tripping, ritual quests in which people strive to explore and find manifest the very events described by supernatural legends. Through collective performances, legend-trippers harness the interpretive frameworks these stories provide and often claim incredible, out-of-this-world experiences that in turn perpetuate supernatural legends.

Legends and legend-tripping are assuming tremendous prominence in a world confronting new speeds of diversification, connection, and increasing cognitive load. As guardians of tradition as well as agents of change, legends and the ordeals they inspire contextualize ancient and emergent ideas, behaviors, and technologies that challenge familiar realities. This book analyzes supernatural legends and the ways in which the sharing spirit of the Internet collectivizes, codifies, and makes folklore of fantastic speculation.

Publisher University Press of Mississippi, 2011
ISBN 1604739843, 9781604739848
208 pages

  • review (Peter Monaghan, Chronicle of Higher Education)
  • review (David J. Puglia, Journal of Folklore Research)
  • review (Óli Gneisti Sóleyjarson, Folklore)
  • Legend tripping at Wikipedia

publisher
google books

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THE BUSINESS OF STORYTELLING: PRODUCTION OF WORKS, POACHING COMMUNITIES, AND CREATION OF STORY WORLDS

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THE BUSINESS OF STORYTELLING: PRODUCTION OF WORKS, POACHING COMMUNITIES, AND CREATION OF STORY WORLDS
by Bakioglu, Burcu S., Ph.D., INDIANA UNIVERSITY, 2009, 402 pages; 3373494

Accepted by the Graduate Faculty, Indiana University, in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy.

pdficon_largeA paper [PDF] that uses copious quotes from This is Not a Game: A Guide to Alternate Reality Gaming and has  section about the Ong’s Hat project.

Abstract:

My study is an analysis of the divergent ways the materiality of works affect the process of meaning-making across various media and investigates how it influences the production of works. A work born in media convergence inevitably elicits hybrid forms of story-telling that offer immersive and interactive environments in which users are expected to perform certain activities. In such an environment, I argue that storytelling becomes a collaborative, and more importantly, a participatory process. My dissertation, ultimately, interrogates the nature of performativity and collaboration in works that extend across various media. I develop the model of performative narratives to refer to works that encourage and rely on such activities for the formation of their texts, such as experimental novels, YouTube videos, Alternate Reality Games, and multi-user virtual environments that are based on user-generated content such as Second Life. As such, my study investigates how works become sites of struggle because the stories that they narrate are in a state of constant negotiation between its producers/creators, the medium of the work, and the communities that these works mobilize.


Scans of the original mail-art version of the Incunabula: Ong’s Hat documents: PDF

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Incunabula Originals Incunabula Originals Scans as a PDF

 

Mail Culture and Historical notes:In the late 70s and early 80s a network culture emerged that pre-dated information exchange via BBS/Fidonet/Internet (Arpanet) type networks. This was known as the “Mail Culture”. Using the guerrilla tactics of information networking started by such underground movements as the radical underground of the American 30’s, 50’s and 60’s and the Soviet Block ‘Samisdat” culture, the “Mail Culture” used the postal systems of the world to tie together outposts of radical/fringe thought and art into a loosely affiliated info-network. (All of course paying homage to the “chapbook” and “Pamphlet” cultures that sparked so many revolutions, including the American and French)

It worked like this: In the very early 80’s I became aware of a anarchist art collective in the Madison Wisconsin area known as “Xexoxial Endarchy” which for all intents and purposes functioned as a jumping off point for “Mail Culture” activity. One could write to XE, include a SASE, and receive in return a catalog (Xeroxed of course!) of weird pamphlets, catalogs and audio tapes of “experimental” music/sound collages, from the fringe of society (and beyond in some cases). Also, a list of names, addresses, and requirements (send us one of your things, we’ll send you one of ours, or send a SASE, etc.) which you would then add names of places/individuals that you had collected (as well your own)in the mix, make copies, and distribute in kind. I was putting out a xerox zine at the time called SNARF and used that as my coin to trade with. Over the course of a few years my collection of crackpot literature from this source grew to encompass 3 bookshelves. It is apparent from anyone who has been in contact with this culture that the first iterations of the Inunabula catalog as we know it today came from/was tailored for this underground movement. I put a xeroxed copy of the original color , in circulation in 1990/91 or so and watched several iterations of xerox of xerox of xerox- sans illustrations, plus new illustrations, appear from time to time in fringe science and crackpot literature catalogs, sometimes “for sale.It is still unclear who circulated the original color version and for what purpose.

Later, several compendium books appeared (late eighties, early nineties) that were commercially available such as:

High Weirdness by Mail
Factsheet Five
Fringeware Review and many others

Historical Notes

Dear DW,

Thanks so much for this! I’ve compared these to the color edition I have in a safe deposit box, as well as several other iterations I’ve seen and collected over the years and have the following to report:

Document 1. Xerox of a Xerox made from the original color catalog. By comparing a few markings made by scratches on the now ancient (heck, even then it was kinda old!) machine, I can tell that this is a Xerox made from a Xerox of the color brochure which I gave to a friend at Aries Arts in Capitola and which was sold for $2.00 (copy, handling, and postage costs) through a conspiracy mail-order catalog that the owners husband ran in the back.

I have seen several different versions of copies made from that original before, with artwork added, subtracted, etc. The main difference here from the original color is the puzzling absence of the other 13 pages of illustrations that was included with the color version. The cover of this one however is definitely a copy of the original cover. I can also attest to the fact that the text sections are exact replicas of the original color (done on a sandstone vellum bond). Maybe they left out the 13 pages of illustrations for the purpose of saving paper. Who knows?

I plan to make a high quality color PDF copy of my one and only color copy available in a few months to coincide with the release of some other material. All in all, this is still a cool collectors piece and I’ll put the copy you gave me in a polybag and store it with the rest of my “iterations” collection.

Document 2. This is not the original brochure but in fact a Xerox copy of the 1988 Edge Detector article. Note that is says (as I have said time and again in public) PLW’s admonition that he was merley “passing it on”.

A few years ago, I talked to a ranger at the Lebanon State Forest Ranger Station (some kind of tourist welcome center) and a lady who worked there told me that in fact a brochure that fit the description of the one in my possession had been in the racks for a while, but she was unclear where they had come from. This would have been mid-eighties or so by her recollection.

Since then two other people (Parsifal on DP and another lady who claimed to have known the Ashram residents) have repeated a similar story. Again, when I scan the color catalog, I will scan and include the copy of the brochure that I have in my possession.

Additional Notes: Originals-1 contains the Edge Detector version of the OH Brochure that is the origin of the “written by PLW” rumor, and on page 16 of the PDF, the illustration has a black and white reproduction of the actual cover of the brochure, bottom left of the page.

This is undoubtedly the version a certain psycho was passing around in the early nineties, with PLW’s name blacked out with a marker. I also remember him saying on the some long gone web-board that the “original” brochure had plans or a schematic inside. This is what he’s talking about, since he was obviously using the ED version. This “schematic” is an artisitic rendering, added by the publisher of Edge Detector and does not exist in the original brochure. Anyone who’s read the catalog and brochure would be able to recognize that this image in no way represents the vehicle described in those documents.

Ruins Left Behind by the California Travel Cult: Incunabula- Ong’s Hat

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Recently I found myself in the northern California town of San Jose on business. Looking at the map I realized that I was only minutes away from the infamous Santa Cruz mountain region. On a lark I decided to drive my rental car up and see if I could scout any of the infamous travel cult sites. If you remember from the Incunabula
catalog, page  67 in Ong’s Hat: The Beginning,  it is stated that Nick Herbert came into contact with a California Travel Cult while writing Faster than Light. In Advances in Skin Science (pg. 109) and in a later video document, a Travel Cult is said to reside near Boulder Creek, California, which is in the center of a large wilderness area known as Big Basin.

Taking highway 9 out of Los Gatos I ventured into this wilderness area and eventually came across the town of Boulder Creek. The first thing I saw upon arriving in the city limits was none other than Adelita’s Mexican Cantina, the place that is noted as the spot of both interviews.

Pulling over I intended to take a picture but noticed that my disposable camera only had 11 pictures left on the roll so I decided to wait and see if anything better presented itself. If not I planned to snap a picture of Adelita’s on the way back out. Before you ask, I did check around the town to see if I could buy another disposable camera somewhere but it was Sunday and they seemed to have rolled the sidewalks up. I guess that’s the perils of a small mountain town. I asked around at the diner and a person or two actually knew Nick but didn’t know where he lived or at least they weren’t telling me.
pdficon_largePt. 1 of story with pictures The mysterious shacks

pdficon_largePt. 2- Ruins found in the Santa Cruz Mountains Down the hillside from the shacks
Showed signs of recent “ceremonial” activity with small stone piles and incense ashes.

INCUNABULA: A Catalog of Rare Books, Manuscripts & Curiosa Conspiracy Theory, Frontier Science & Alternative Worlds

This material is also available in tablet and ebook reader friendly formats at Archive.org , Smashwords and as a Kindle version on Amazon.com


Color Tint- INCUNABULA CatalogINCUNABULA
A Catalog of Rare Books, Manuscripts & Curiosa
Conspiracy Theory, Frontier Science & Alternative Worlds

Emory Cranston, Prop.Incunabulum: cocoon; swaddling clothes; cradle; in-cunae, in the cradle; koiman, put to sleep, winding- sheet; koimetarium (cemetery); printed books before 1501, hence by extension any rare & hermetic book… Introduction

This catalog is a reproduction. This is not a commercial advertisement. ECommerce links to the available books are offered a as courtesy to researchers. Consider this first file an unusually complete bibliography to the story that unravels in the companion files.

No book for sale here was actually printed before 1501, but they all answer to the description ” rare and hermetic” – even the mass market paperbacks, not to mention the xeroxes of unpublished manuscripts, which cannot be obtained from any other source!

The symbol INCUNABULA was chosen for our company for it’s shape – cocoon, egg-like, gourd-like, the shape of Chaos according to Chaung Tzu. Cradle: beginnings. Sleep: dreams. Silken white sheets of birth and death; books, white pages, the cemetery of ideas.

This catalogue has been put together with a purpose: to alert YOU to a vast cover up, a conspiracy so deep that no other researcher has yet become aware of it (outside certain Intelligence circles, needless to say!) – and so dangerous that the “winding sheet” imagery in our title seems quite appropriate; we know of at least two murders so far in connection with this material.

Unlike other conspiracy theories, such as Hollow earth, Men In Black, cattle mutilation, UFO, Reich & Tesla or what have you, the INCUNABULA Theory harmonizes with genuine frontier quantum mechanics and chaos mathematics, and does not depend on any quack nostrums, psuedoscience or ESP for proof. This will become clear to anyone who takes the trouble to read the background material we recommend and offer for sale.

Because of the unprecedented nature of the INCUNABULA File we have included short descriptions of some of the books, pamphlets, flyers, privately-circulated or unpublished manuscripts, ephemera & curiosa available through us. Some of this is highly inflammable and sexual in nature, so an age statement must be included with each order.

Cash (or stamps) only. No cheques or money orders will be accepted.

Thank You,
Emory Cranston,Prop.
INCUNABULA PRESS

order on-line

1. Wolf, Fred Alan.
Parallel Universes: The Search for Other Worlds
(New York, Simon & Schuster, 1988) cloth; 351 pp.; $25

Written by a scientist for non-scientists, simplistic and jokey, makes you feel a bit talked-down-to. Nevertheless Wolf uses his imagination (or other scientists imaginations) so well he seems to hit accidentally on certain truths (unless he knows more than he reveals). For example: the parallel universes must have all come into being simultaneously “at the beginning” in order for quantum uncertainty to exist, because there was no observer present at the Big Bang, thus no way for the Wave Function to collapse and produce one universe out of all the bubbles of possibility (p.174). If an electron can disappear in one universe and appear in another (as suggested by the Everett/Wheeler material), a process called “quantum tunneling”, then perhaps information can undergo a similar tunneling effect. Wolf suggests (p. 176) that this might account for certain “psychic phenomenon, altered states of awareness,” even ghosts and spirits! Actual travel between worlds must of course involve tunneling by both electrons AND information – any scientist would have predicted as much – but the mention of “altered states” of consciousness is extremely revealing! Elsewhere (p.204), Wolf speculates that a future “highly developed…electronic form of biofeedback” will allow us to observe quantum effects in the electrons of our own bodies, making the enhanced consciousness and the body itself a “time machine” (which is what he calls a device for travel between universes). He comes so close to the truth then shies away! For instance (p.199) he points out that the Wave Function has a value BETWEEN zero and one until it collapses. If the wave function does not collapse, the “thing” it describes exists in two universes simultaneously. How strange of him not to mention that fractal geometry also deals with values between zero and one! As we know the secret of travel between worlds is rooted in the marriage of quantum and chaos, particularly in the elusive mathematics of fractal tesseracts (visualize a 4-dimension Mandelbrot Set – one of the simplest of the trans-dimensional “maps” or “catastrophic topologies”). Wolf appears so unaware of this, we must sadly conclude that he’s not part of the conspiracy.

Particularly interesting – and not found in any other material- are Wolf’s speculations about schizophrenia. Are schizophrenics receiving information from other worlds? Could a schizoid observer actually observe (in the famous double slit experiments) a wave becoming two particles and then one particle? Or could such an observation be made by an extremely blank and simple-minded watcher (a sort of Zen simpleton perhaps)? If so, the perfect subject for parallel-worlds experiments would be a paradoxically complex simpleton, a “magnetized schizophrenic” who would be aware of the split into two worlds which occurs when a quantum measurement is made. Oddly enough, such a mental state sounds very close to the “positive schizophrenia” of certain extreme psychedelic experiences as well as the meditation-visualization exercises of actual travelers between worlds.

Despite it’s flaws, an essential work.

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2. Herbert, Nick.
Quantum Reality
(NAL,1986) Cloth, $40

A masterful and lucid exposition of the different versions of reality logically describable from various interpretations of quantum mechanics. The Everett/Wheeler Theory is here given it’s clearest explanation possible in lay persons terms, given the authors awareness (at the time) of experimental verification.

order on-line

3. ibid.
Faster Than Light:Superluminal Loopholes in Physics
(NAL,1988) cloth, $30

Some of the theorists who touch on the Many-Worlds “hypothesis” place too much emphasis on time distortions and the implication of “time travel”. These of course seem present in the theorems, but in practice have turned out (so far) to be of little consequence. Chaos Theory places much more emphasis on the temporal directionality than most quantum theory (with such exceptions as R. Feynman and his “arrow of time”), and offers strong evidence for the past-present-future evolution that we actually experience. As K.Sohrawardi puts it, “the universe is in a state of Being, true, but that state is not static in the way suggested by the concept of ‘reversibility’ in Classical physics. The ‘generosity’ of Being, so to speak, is becoming, and the result is not reversibility but multiplicity, the unmeasurable resonant chaos-like fecundity of creation. “Nevertheless, Herbert’s second book is a brilliant speculative work – and it led him directly to a certain circle of scientists and body of research concerned with dimensional travel, rather than “time travel,” with the result that his third book (see next item) finally struck paydirt.

This document is still being sought out...

4. “Jabir ibn Hayaan” (Nick Herbert).
Alternate Dimensions
(publication suppressed by Harper & Row, 1989); bound uncorrected galleys, 179pp. $100. (We have 5 sets of proofs for sale, after which only Xerox copies will be available at $125)

While working on Faster Than Light Herbert came into contact with one of the “travel cults” operating somewhere in California, perhaps one with a sufiistic slant (“Jabir ibn Hayaan” was a famous 10th century sufi alchemist); according to the preface of Alternate Dimensions, which is irritatingly vague and suggestive, this group seems to have trained him and sent him on at least one trip to America2. Herbert suggests that he already had so much experience of altered states of consciousness and ability to visualize complex space/time geometries that only a minimum of “initiatic” training proved necessary.

In any case, despite it’s vagueness and brevity, this book is the most accurate and thoroughly-informed work on travel between worlds in our entire collection. So far we have been unable to obtain any deep theoretical work, and only a few papers dealing with practical aspects – but Herbert provides a magnificent overview of the entire field. Written for the lay person, with his usual clear and succint approach to theory, Herbert’s is the first “popular” study to make all the basic links: the Everett/Wheeler hypothesis, Bell’s Theorem, the E/R Bridge, fractal geometry and chaos math, cybernetically-enhanced biofeedback, psychotropic and shamanic techniques, crystallography, morphogenetic field theory, catastrophe topology,etc.

Of course he’s strongest in discussing the quantum aspects of travel, less sure when dealing with the math outside his field, and most inspiring when describing (pp.98-101) visualization techniques and “embodied ecstasy” (ex-stasis, “standing outside” the body; hence embodied ecstasy paradoxically describes the transdimensional experience).

Herbert makes no claim to understand the traveling itself, and goes so far as to suggest that even the (unnamed) pioneers who made the first breakthroughs may not have completely understood the process, any more than the inventor of the steam engine understood Classical physics (p.23). This definitely ties in with what we know about the persons in question.

Unfortunately the six illustrations promised in the table of contents are not included in the galleys – one of them was a “Schematic for a Trans-dimensional Express” which might be worth killing for! – and the publishers claim that Herbert never supplied the illustrations. They refuse to say why they suspended publication of Alternate Dimensions and in fact at first denied ever having handled such a title! Moreover Herbert has apparently dropped out of sight; if he hasn’t met with foul play, he may have returned permanently to Earth2.

We regret having to sell copies of a flawed book for such an outrageous price; we’d like to publish a mass market edition affordable by all – but if Harper & Row ever find out what we’re doing, we’ll need the money for court costs and lawyers’ fees! So get it while you can – this is THE indispensable background work for understanding the Conspiracy.

This document is still being sought out...

5. Thomsen, Dietrick E.
“A Knowing Universe Seeking to be Known”
(Xerox offprint from Science News, Vol.123, 1983); $5

Unwittingly demonstrates the resonance between quantum reality theory and the sufism of (for example) “the Greatest Shaykh” Ibn’Arabi, who discusses in his Bezels of Wisdom a saying attributed to God by Mohammed (but not in the Koran): “I was a hidden treasure and I wanted (lit.’loved’) to be known; so I created the universe, that I might be known.”

5a. We also have a few offprints (at the same price) of Thomsen’s witty “Quanta at Large: 101 Things TO DO with Schrodinger’s Cat” (op.cit,129,1986).

order a search for this OOP book

6. DeWitt, Bryce S. & Neill Graham.
The Many Worlds Interpretation of Quantum Mechanics
(Princeton, NJ, 1973); cloth, $50

The standard (and far from “easy”!) work on the Everett/Wheeler hypothesis – a bible for the early pioneers.

This document is still being sought out...

7. Cramer, John G.
“Alternate Universes II”
(Analog, Nov. 1984)

A popularization of the Theory by a prominent physicist – no knowledge of the Conspiracy is detectable. We’re selling copies of the SciFi mag itself for $10 each.

order a search for this OOP book

8. Greenberg, D.M., ed.
New Techniques & Ideas in Quantum Measurement Theory
(Vol. 480 Annals of the NY Academy of Sciences, 1986); cloth, $50

Contains the valuable if somewhat whimsical article by D.Z. Albers,”How to take a Photograph of Another Everett World”. Also the very important “Macroscopic Quantum Tunneling at Finite Tempatures” by P.Hanggi (we suspect him of being a Conspiracy member).

This document is still being sought out...

9. (Anonymous).
Course Catalog for 1978-79, Institute of Chaos Studies and Imaginal Yoga (no address);
Xerox of mimeographed flyer, 7pp, $15

An in-house document from the Institute where the first breakthrough was attained (probably in the late winter or early spring of 1979) – therefore, although it makes no overt mention of Travel or the Egg, the Catalog is of prime importance for an understanding of the intellectual and historical background of the event.

According to an unreliable source (see ESCAPE FROM EARTH PRIME!, #15 in this list), the Institute was located somewhere in Duchess County, New York, where the founder and director, Dr. Kamadev Sohrawardi, was employed by IBM in the 1960’s, “dropped out” and began investigations into “consciousness physics”; it is also claimed that Sohrawardi was a Bengali of mixed English, Hindu and Moslem origin, descended from an old sufi family, and initiated into Tantra. All this disagrees with clues in other sources and is perhaps not to be trusted. Other groups take credit for the Breakthrough, and sohrawardi may have been a fraud – but we’re convinced that the Catalog is authentic and Sohrawardi’s claim the most certain.

At first glance, the Catalog appears an example of late-hippy/early-New-Age pretentiousness. Thus there are courses in “Visions of Color & Light in Sufi Meditation,” “Inner Alchemy in Late Taoism,” “Metaphysics of the Ismaili ‘Assassins,'” , “Imaginal Yoga & the Psychotoplogy of the Imagination,” “Hermetic & Neo-Pagan Studies,” (apparently based on Golden Dawn teachings), “Visualization Techniques in Javanese Sorcery,” “Stairways to Heaven: Shamanic Trance & the Mapping of Consciousness,” “Stirner, Nietzsche & Stone age Economy: An Examination of Non-Authoritarian Hunter/Gatherer Societies,”, and – interestingly enough! – “Conspiracy Theory”.

The “shamanic” course may have been a blind for research in psychotropic drugs, including such exotica asahuasca (yage, harmaline), ibogaine, yohimbine, Telepathine and Viatmin K, as well as the more standard psychedelicatessan of the late 70’s.

However, the Catalog also contains amazing courses in frontier science, any combination of which could have provided the key or final puzzle-bit to the Breakthrough: apparently Sohrawardi taught or supervised most of them. Thus “The Universe in a Grain of Sand” promised information on models of brain activity, cybernetically-enhanced feedback, Sheldrake’s morphogenetic field theory, Rene’ Thom’s Catastrophic Theory as applied to consciousness, lucid-dreaming research, John Lilly’s work on “altered states” and other mind-related topics. Then in “Strange Attractors & the Mathematics of Chaos,” Sohrawardi discussed discussed matters unknown outside of the margins of academia till the mid-80’s,and made the astounding prediction that Chaos in the macroscopic world somehow be found to mirror Uncertainty in the microscopic or Quantum World, a truth still unrecognized in “official” scientific circles today.He felt that n-dimensional strange attractors could be used to model the quantum behavior of particles/waves, and that the “so-called collapse of the wave function” could actually be mapped with certain bizarre ramifications of Thom’s catastrophic topology. Making references to work by Ilya Prigogine which was still being circulated in private “preprint” or samizdat form at the time, Sohrawardi suggests that “creative chaos” (as opposed to “deterministic” or entropic chaos) provides the link that will unify Relativity, Quantum, Complexity and consciousness itself into a new science.

Finally in his “Advanced Seminar on Many Worlds,” he states baldly that the alternative universes predicted by Relativity (Black Hole Theory) are the same as the many worlds predicted by Quantum, are the same as fractal dimensions revealed in Chaos! This one-page course description is the closest thing we have to an explanation of why travel to other worlds actually works. Hence the Catalog is an indispensable document for the serious student of the Conspiracy.

This document is still being sought out...

10. Beckenstein, J.
“Black holes & Entropy”
(Xerox offprint from Physical Review, Vol.D7, 1973; 28pp), $15

An early (pre-Breakthrough) speculation with suggestive hints about quantum and chaos-as-entropy – although no knowledge of actual Chaos Theory is demonstrated. This paper was referred to in an in-house memo from the Inst. for Chaos Studies & Imaginal Yoga, believed to have been composed by K.Sohrawardi himself (see #9).

This document is still being sought out...

11. Sohrawardi,Dr Kamadev.
“Pholgiston & the Quantum Aether”
(Offprint from the J. of Paranormal Physics, Vol.XXII, Bombay, 1966), $40

An early paper by Sohrawardi, flooded with wild speculations about quantum and oriental spirituality, probably dating from the period when he was still working for IBM, but making visits to Millbrook, nearby in Duchess Co., and participating in the rituals of the League of spiritual discovery under Dr.Timothy Leary, and the psychedelic yoga of Bill Haines’ Sri Ram Ashram, which shared Leary’s headquarters on a local millionaires estate. The basic insight concerns the identity of Everett/Wheeler’s “many worlds” and the “other worlds” of sufism, tantrik Hinduism and Vajrayana Buddhism. At the time, Sohrawardi apparently believed he could “prove” this by reviving the long-dead theories of phlogiston and aether in the light of quantum discoveries! (Phlogiston Theory – based on the thinking of the sufi alchemist Jabir ibn Hayaan – the original Jabir – was propounded seriously in the 18th century to unify heat and light as “one thing”.) Totally useless as science, this metaphor nevertheless inspired Sohrawardi’s later and genuinely important work on alternate realities.

This document is still being sought out...

12. ibid.
Zero Work & Psychic Paleolithism
East Village Other, Vol.IV #4 (Dec.1968)
Xerox reprint, single sheet 11 1/2 x 17 $5

Unfortunately no scientific speculations, but a fascinating glimpse into the political background of the inventor of Travel (or rather, one of the inventors). Making reference to French Situationist and Dutch “Provo” ideas which helped spark the “Events” and upheavals of Spring ’68 all over Europe and America, Sohrawardi looks forward to a world without “the alienating prison of WORK,” restored to the “oneness with Nature of the Old Stone Age” and yet somehow based on “green technology and quantum weirdness.”

Wild and wooly as it is, this text nevertheless poses a fascinating scientific question in the light of the author’s later accomplishments – a question still unanswered. All the “First Breakthroughs” we know of with any degree of certainty (those in New York, California, and Java – the actual sequence is unclear) without exception entered parallel worlds without human inhabitants, virtual forest-worlds. Most science fiction predicated other worlds almost like ours, populated by “us,” with only a few slight differences, worlds “close” to ours. Instead-no people!

Why?

Two possible explanations:

1. We cannot enter worlds containing “copies” of ourselves without causing paradox and violating the consistency principle of the “megaverse” – hence only wild (or feral) worlds are open to Travel.

2. Other worlds exist, in a sense, only as probabilities; in order to “become fully real” they must be observed. In effect, the parallel universes are observer-created, as soon as a traveler “arrives” in one of them. Sohrawardi wanted a Paleolithic world of endless forest, plentiful game and gathering, virgin, empty but slightly haunted – therefore, that’s what he got! Either explanation raises problems in the light of what actually happened; perhaps there is a third, as yet unsuspected.

on-line here

13. (Anonymous).
Ong’s Hat: A Color Brochure of the Institute of Chaos Studies
(photocopy of the original color brochure) $25

*Note - I am in the process of putting this into an ASCII file that will be available here or in my home directory. This is the only rare pamphlet from this series that I have been able to procure besides Alternate Dimensions. - Joseph Matheny (07-23-92)

This bizarre document, disguised as a brochure for a New Age health retreat, reveals some interesting information about the activities of Sohrawardi’s group or a closely-associated group, a fairly accurate description of the Egg is provided, as well as a believable account of the first (or one of the first) Breakthroughs. However, everything else in the pamphlet is sheer disinformation. The New Jersey Pine Barrens were never a center of alternate-worlds research, and all the names in the text are false. A non-existent address is included. Nevertheless, highly valuable for background.

This document is still being sought out...

14. “Sven Saxon”.
The Stone Age Survivalist
(Loompanics, UnLtd., Port Townsend, WA 1985), Pb, $20

“Imagine yourself suddenly plunked down buck-naked in the middle of a large dark forest with no resources except your mind,” says the preface.”What would you do?”

What indeed? and who could possibly care? – except a trans-dimensional traveler! Loompanics specializes in books on disappearances and survival involving a good deal of escapist fantasy – but as we know, this situation is all too real for the Visitor to Other Worlds.

Part I: Flint-knapping, an excellent illustrated handbook of Paleolithic tool-production; II Zero-tech hunting and trapping; III, Gathering (incl. a materia medica); IV, Shelter; V, Primitive warfare; VI,Man & Dog: trans-species symbiosis; VII, Cold weather survival; VIII, Culture (“Sven” recommends memorizing a lot of songs, poems and stories – and ends by saying “Memorize this book – ’cause you can’t take it with you.” Where is Mr.Saxon now, we wonder?).

This document is still being sought out...

15. Balcombe, Harold S.
Escape From Earth Prime!
(Foursquare Press, Denver, Colo., 1986), Pb, $15

This – unfortunately! – is the book that blew the lid off the Conspiracy for the first time. We say “Unfortunately” because ESCAPE!, to all appearances, is a piece of unmitigated paranoid pulp tripe. Written in breathless ungrammatical subFortean prose, unfootnoted and nakedly sensationalistic, the book sank without trace, ignored even by the kook- conspiracy fringe; we were able to buy out unsold stock from the vanity press which published it, just before they went out of business and stopped answering their mail.

Balcombe (whom we’ve been unable to trace and who may have “vanished”), is the author of one other book we’ve seen – but are not offering for sale – called “Drug Lords from the Hollow Earth” (1984) in which he claims that the CIA obtained LSD and cocaine from Dero-flying-saucer-nazis from beneath Antarctiac. So much for his credentials. How he got hold of even a bit of the authentic Other Worlds story is a miracle.

According to Balcombe,the first breakthrough was due not solely to K.Soharawardi – despite his importance as a theoretician – but also a “sinister webwork of cultists, anarchists, commies, fanatical hippies and renegade traitor scientists who made fortunes in the drug trade” (p.3). Balcombe promises to name names, and out of the welter of rant and slather, some hard facts about the pioneers actually emerge.

Funding (and some research) emanated in the 70’s from a “chaos cabal” of early Silicon Valley hackers interested in complex dynamical systems, randomicity, and chance, and-gambling! – as well as a shadowy group of “drug lords” (Balcombe’s favorite term of abuse), with connections to certain founders of the Discordian Illuminati. Money was channelled through a cult called the Moorish Orthodox Church, a loose knit confederation of jazz musicians, oldtime hipsters, white “sufis” and black moslems, bikers and street dealers (see” A Heresologist’s Guide to Brooklyn”, #24 in this list) who came into contact with Sohrawardi in Millbrook in the mid-60’s.

Sohrawardi was a naive idealist and somewhat careless about his associations. He received clandestine support from people who were in turn connected to certain Intelligence circles with an interest in psychedelic and fringe mind-science. According to Balcombe this was not the CIA (MK-ULTRA) but an unofficial offshoot of several groups with Masonic connections! The Conspiracy was penetrated almost from the start, but was actually encouraged in the hope of gleaning useful information about parallel worlds, or at least about the “mental conditioning techniques” developed as part of the basic research.

By the mid-70’s, Sohrawardi and his various cohorts and connections (now loosely referred to as “the Garden of Forked Paths” or GFP) had become aware of the Intelligence circles (now loosely grouped as “Probability Control Force” or PCF) and had in turn planted double-agents, and gone further underground. In 1978 or 79 an actual device for trans-dimensional Travel, the “Egg” (also called the Cocoon or the Cucurbit, which means both gourd and alchemical flask) was developed in deepest secrecy, probably at Sohrawardi’s institute in Upstate New York, certainly not at a branch lab supposedly hidden away in the NJ Pine Barrens near the long-vanished village of Ong’s Hat (see #13 in this list), since no such lab ever existed, nor does it exist now, despite what some fools think.

The PCF were unable to obtain an Egg for several years and did not succeed in Breakthrough until (Balcombe believes) 1982. The California groups, however, began Egg-production and broke through (into “BigSur2″) in early 1980 (again, Balcombe’s chronology). (Balcombe clearly knows nothing of the situation in Java.)

It remains unclear whether the East Coast and West Coast groups both entered the same alternate world, or two different but similar worlds. Communication between the two outposts has so far proved impossible because, as it happens, the Egg will not transport non-sentient matter. Travellers arrive Over There birth-naked in a Stone Age world – no airplanes, no radio, no clothes … no fire and no tools! Only the Egg, like a diamond Faberge easter gift designed by Dali, alone in the midst of “Nature naturing”. Balcombe includes a dim out-of-focus photo of an Egg, and claims that the machine is part computer but also partly- living crystal, like virus or DNA, and also partly “naked quantumstuff”.

Eggs are costly to produce, so the early pioneers had to return after each sortie and forego permanent settlement on E2 until a cheaper mode of transport could be discovered. However, emigration via the Egg proved possible when the “tantrik” or “double-yolk” effect was discovered: two people (any combination of age, gender, etc.) can Travel by Egg while making love, especially if one of the pair has already done the trip a few times and “knows the way” without elaborate visualization techniques and so forth. Balcombe has a field day with this juicy information and spends an entire chapter (VIII) detailing the “perversions” in use for this purpose. Talent for Travel ranges from brilliant to zero – probably no more than 15% of humanity can make it, although the less-talented and even children can be “translated” by the tantrik technique – and extensive training methods have somewhat improved the odds. California2 now contains about 1000 emigrants scattered along the coast, and the eastern settlements add up to 500 or 600. A few children have been born “over there” – some can Travel, some can’t, although the talented percentage seems greater than among the general population of Earth-prime. And being “stuck” on E2 is no grave punishment in any case!, unless you object to the Garden of Eden and the “original leisure society” of the Paleolithic flintknappers.

Balcombe claims that the PCF was severely disappointed by the sentience “law” of Travel, since they had hoped to use the parallel worlds as a weapons-delivery system! Nevertheless they continued to experiment, hoping for a more “mechanistic” technique; meanwhile they devote their efforts to (a) suppressing all information leaks, (b) plotting against the independent GFP and infiltrating the E2 settlements, (c) attempting to open new worlds where technology might be possible. They are however handicapped by a shortage of talent: the kind of person who can Travel is not usually the kind of person n who sympathizes with the “patriotic discipline of the PCF” and rogue Masonic groups, but some of these end up defecting and “doubling”, and anyway most of them are much too weird for the taste of the rigidly reactionary inner core of PCF leadership, who wonder (as does Balcombe) whether these agents are “any better than the scum they’re spying on?”

More worlds have been discovered – E3 and E4 are mentioned in ESCAPE! (and we know that E5 was opened in 1988) – but all of these are “empty” forest worlds apparently almost identical with E2.

In summary, Balcombe’s style is execrable and attitude repulsive, but his book remains the most accurate overview of the Conspiracy to date. If you’re only going to order one item from us, this is it.

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16. (Anonymous).
“Bionic Travel: An Orgonomic Theory of the Megaverse”,
(Xerox of unpubl. typescript headed “Top Secret – Eyes Only”; 27pp), $15

If this paper emanates from PCF sources, as we believe, it indicates the poor quality of original research carried out by the enemies of Sohrawardi and the GFP, and may explain the PCF’s relative lack of progress in the field (especially considering their much larger budget!). The author attempts to revive W. Reich’s Orgone Theory, with “bions” as “life-force particles” and some sort of orgone accumulator (Reich’s “box”) as a possible substitute for the Egg. An unhealthy interest is shown in “harnessing the force of Deadly Orgone” as a weapon for use on other worlds. References are also made to Aliester Crowley’s “sex magick techniques” of the Ordo Templi Orientis – even speculations on human sacrifice as a possible source of “transdimensional energy”. A morbid and crackpot document, devoid of all scientific value (in our opinion) but affording a fascinating insight into PCF mentality and method.

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17. Corbin, Henry.
Creative Imagination in the Sufism of Ibn’Arabi
(trans. by R.Mannheim; Princeton, NJ, 1969), cloth, $50; Pb, $20

One of the few books mentioned by title in the Catalog of the Inst. of Chaos Studies & Imaginal Yoga (see #9 in this list). The “mundus imaginalis”, also called the World of Archetypes or the “Isthmus” (Arabic, barzakh), lies in between the World of the Divine and the material World of Creation. It actually consists of “many worlds”, including two “emerald cities” called Jabulsa and Jabulqa (very intriguing considering the situation on Java2!). The great 14th-century Hispano-Moorish sufi Ibn’Arabi developed a metaphysics of the “Creative Imagination” by which the adept could achieve spiritual progress via direct contemplation of the archetypes, including the domains of djinn, spirits and angels. Ibn’Arabi also speaks of seven alternate Earths created by Allah, each with its own Mecca and Kaaba! Some parallel-universe theorists believe that Travel without any tech (even the Egg) may be possible, claiming that certain mystics have already accomplished it. If so, then Ibn’Arabi must have been one of them.

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18. Gleick, James.
CHAOS: Making a New Science
(Viking Penguin, NY, 1987), cloth, 254pp, $30

The first and still the most complete introduction to chaos – required reading – BUT with certain caveats. First: Gleick has no philosophical or poetic depth; he actually begins the book with a quote from John Updike! No mention of chaos mythology or oriental sources. No mention of certain non-American chaos scientists such as Rene Thom and Ilya Prigogine! Instead, alongside the admittedly useful info, one gets a subtle indoctrination in “deterministic chaos”, by which we mean the tendency to look on chaos as a weapon to fight chaos, to “save” Classical physics – and learn to predict the Stock Market! (As opposed to what we call the “quantum chaos” of Sohrawardi and his allies, which looks on chaos as a creative and negentropic source, the cornucopia of evolution and awareness.) Warning: we suspect Gleick of being a PCF agent who has embedded his text with subtle disinformation meant to distract the chaos-science community from any interest in “other worlds”.

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19. Pak Hardjanto. “Apparent Collapse of the Wave Function as an n-Dimensional Catastrophe”
(trans. by “N.N.S.” in Collected Papers of the SE Asian Soc. for Advanced Research, Vol.XXIX, 1980), 47pp, Xerox of offprint, $15

An early paper by the little-known scientific director of the Javanese “Travel Cult” which succeeded in breakthrough, possibly in the year this essay was published or shortly thereafter. Hardjanto is known to have been in touch with Sohrawardi since the 60’s; no doubt they shared all information, but each kept the other secret from their respective organizations. The pioneers of Java2 became known to the GFP and PCF only around 1984 or 85.

This article, the only scientific work we possess by Hardjanto, shows him to be a theoretician equal or even superior to Sohrawardi himself – and if Hardjanto is also the anonymous author of the following item, as we believe, then he appears a formidable “metaphysicist” as well!

“Apparent Collapse”, while certainly not a blueprint for Egg construction, nevertheless constitutes one of the few bits of “hard” science published openly on our Subject. Unfortunately, its theorems and diagrams are doubtless comprehensible only to a handful of experts. The topological drawings literally boggle the mind, especially one entitled “Hypercube Undergoing ‘Collapse’ Into 5-Space Vortex”!

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20. (Unsigned, probably by Pak Hardjanto).
A Vision of Hurqalya
(trans. by K.K.Sardono; Incunabula Press, 1988), Pb, 46pp, $20

The Indonesian original of this text appeared as a pamphlet in Yogjakarta (E.Java) in 1982. We ourselves at Incunabula commissioned the translation and have published this handsome edition, including all the illustrations from the original, at our own expense.

If one knew nothing about the Conspiracy or Many-Worlds Theory, A Vision would seem at first to be a mystical tract by an adherent of kebatinan, the heterodox sufi-influenced freeform esoteric/syncretistic complex of sects which has come to be influential in GFP circles, inasmuch as the idea of “spiritual master” (guru, murshed) has been replaced by “teacher” (pamong); some kebatinan sects utilize spontaneous non-hierarchical organizational structures.

However, in the light of our knowledge of the material existence of other worlds, Vision takes on a whole new dimension, as a literal description of what Hardjanto and his fellow pioneers found on Java2.

They discovered another uninhabited world, but with one huge difference. The author of Vision steps out of his “alchemical Egg” into a vast and ancient abandoned City! He calls it Hurqalya (after a traditional sufi name for the Other World or alam’e mithal). He senses his total aloneness, feels that the City’s builders have long since moved on elsewhere, and yet that they still somehow somewhere exist.

The author compares Hurqalya to the ancient ruined city of Borobadur in E.Java, but notices immediately that there are no statues or images, all the decoration is abstract and severe, but “neither Islamic nor Buddhist nor Hindu nor Christian nor any style I ever saw”. The “palaces” of Hurqalya are grand, cyclopaean, almost monolithic, far from “heavy” in atmosphere, despite the black basalt from which they seem to have been carved. For the City is cut through by water … it is in fact a water-city in the style of the Royal Enclave of Yogjakarta (now so sadly derelict), but incomparably bigger. Canals, aqueducts, rivers and channels crisscross and meander through the City; flowing originally from quiescent volcanic mountains looming green in the West, Water flows down through the City which is built on a steep slope gradually curving into a basin and down to the placid Eastern Sea, where a hundred channels flow dark and clear into the green salt ocean.

Despite the air of ruin – huge trees have grown through buildings, splitting them open – mosses, ferns and orchids coat the crumbling walls with viridescence, hosting parrots, lizards, butterflies – despite this desolation, most of the waterworks still flow: canal-locks broken open centuries ago allow cascades, leaks, spills and waterfalls in unexpected places, so that the City is wrapped in a tapestry of water-sounds and songbird voices. Most amazingly, the water flows at different levels simultaneously, so that aqueducts cross over canals which in turn flow above sunken streams which drip into wells, underground cisterns and mysterious sewers in a bewildering complex of levels, pipes, conduits and irrigated garden terraces which resemble (to judge by the author’s sketches) a dreamscape of Escher or Piranesi. Viewed from above, the City would be mapped as an arabesque 3PD spiderweb (with waterbridges aboveground, streams at ground level and also underground) fanning out to fill the area of the basin, thence into the harbor with its huge cracked basalt-block docks.

The slope on which the City is built is irregularly terraced in ancient SE Asian style – as many staircases and streets thread their way up and down, laid out seemingly at random, following land-contours rather than grid-logic, adding to the architectural complexity of the layer of waterways with a maze of vine-encrusted overpasses, arched bridges, spiralling ramps, crooked alleyways, cracked hidden steps debouching on broad esplanades, avenues, parks gone to seed, pavilions, balconies, apartments, jungle-choked palazzos, echoing gloomy “temples” whose divinities, if any, seem to have left no forwarding address … all empty, all utterly abandoned. And nowhere is there any human debris – no broken tools, bones or midden heaps, no evidence of actual habitation – as if the ancient builders of the City picked up and took everything with them when they departed – “perhaps to one of the other Seven Worlds of the alam’e mithal” – in other words, to a “higher dimension.”

Thus ends the Vision of Hurqalya, raising more questions than it answers! There is no doubt that it describes exactly what was discovered in Java2 in 1980 or 81. But if the “observer-created” theory of other-worlds travel is true, “Hurqalya” represents the “imaginal imprint” of what Hardjanto (or whoever) expected to find. Yet again, if that theory is false … who built Hurqalya? One current explanation (arising from time-distortion theorems which have so far remained unsolvable) suggests that the Builders “moved” in prehistoric times to Earth-prime and became the distant ancestors of the Javanese (“Java Man”). Another guess: the Builders have indeed moved on to a “distant” alternate universe, and eventually we may find them.

A small settlement now exists in Hurqalya. Once the American groups heard of the City’s existence, members of both the GFP and PFC were able to visualize it and Travel to it from America (the Javanese can do the same from Java-prime to America2). Since 1985 all three groups have expanded most of their exploratory effort on “opening up” new worlds in the Java series. Apparently Indonesian sorcerers and trance adepts are very good at this, and we believe they have reached Java7 – without, however, finding replications of the City or any trace of the Builders – only more empty forest.

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21. Von Bitter Rucker, Dr R.
” ‘The Cat Was Alive, But Looked Scared As Hell': Some Unexpected Properties of Cellular Automata in the Light of the Everett-Wheeler Hypothesis”
(Complex Dynamical Systems Newsletter no.8, 1989), offprint, $10

Who is this man and what does he know? No other serious mathematician has so far made any connection between cellular automata and the Many Worlds. Tongue-in-cheek (?), the author suggests that Schrodinger’s poor cat might be both alive and dead, even after the box is opened, IF parallel universes are “stacked” in some arcane manner which he claims to be able to demonstrate with a piece of software he has hacked and is selling for an outrageous sum; we have also seen and ad for this program in a magazine called MONDO 2000, published in Berkeley and devoted to “reality hacking”. We’d love to know what certain members of the Conspiracy would make of this bizarre concept!

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22. Kennedy, Alison.
“Psychotropic Drugs in ‘Shared-World’ & Lucid Dreaming Experiments”
(Psychedelic Monographs & Essays, Vol.XIV, no.2,1981, offprint, $5

This writer appears to have inside information. The notion of a drug-induced hallucination so powerful it can be shared by many (in a proper “blind” experiment) and can actually come into existence, into material reality; the idea that drug-enhanced lucid dreaming can be used to discover objective information from “other ontological levels of being”; and finally the “prediction” that “a combination of these methods utilizing computer-aided biofeedback monitoring devices” will actually make it possible to “visit ‘other’ worlds in ‘inner’ space” (which suggests that the author adheres to the “observer-created” theory of parallel universes) – all this leads us to believe that the author is probably a member of one of the California Travel Cults – as well as an expert bruja!

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23. (Anonymous). A Collection of Cult Pamphlets, Flyers, Ephemera & Curiosa from the Library of a traveler
(Looseleaf portfolio of photocopied originals) sold by lot, $25

The unknown compiler of this Collection (whom for convenience we’ll call “X”) left it behind when he “vanished”, whence it came into our possession. We know something of the compiler’s career from an untitled document written by him and found with the Collection, which we call “The Poetic Journal of a traveler” (#24 in this list), as well as a pamphlet believed to be by the same author, Folklore of the Other Worlds (#25). (The Ong’s Hat Color Brochure was also discovered in the same cache, and is sold by us as #13.)

The Collection contains the following items:

1) A History & Catechism of the Moorish Orthodox Church, which traces the origins of the sect to early (1913) American Black Islam, the “Wandering Bishops”, the Beats of the 50s and the psychedelic churches movement of the 60s – deliberately vague about the 70s and 80s however.

2) The World Congress of Free Religions, a brochure-manifesto arguing for a “fourth way”, a non-authoritarian spiritual movement in opposition to mainstream, fundamentalist and New Age religion.The WCFR is said to include various sects of Discordians, SubGeniuses, Coptic Orthodox People of the Herb, gay (“faery”) neo-pagans, Magical Judaism, the Egyptian Church of New Zealand, Kaos Kabal of London, Libertarian Congregationalists, etc., and the Moorish Orthodox Church. Several of these sects are implicated in the Conspiracy, but no overt mention of the Travel Cults is made here.

3) Spiritual Materialism, by “the New Catholic Church of the Pantarchy, Hochkapel von SS Max und Marx”, a truly weird flyer dedicated to “Saints” Max Stirner and Karl Marx, representing a group claiming foundation by the 19th century Individualist Stephen Pearl Andrews, but more likely begun in the 1980s as a Travel Cult. Uses Nietzsche to contend that material reality itself constitutes a (or the) spiritual value and the principle of Infinity “which is expressed in the existence of many worlds.” It argues for a utopia based on “individualism, telepathic socialism, free love, high tech, Stone Age wilderness and quantum weirdness”! No address is given, needless to say.

4) The Sacred Jihad of Our Lady of Chaos, this otherwise untraceable group calls for “resistance to all attempts to control probability.” It quotes Foucault and Baudrillard on the subject of “disappearance”, then suggests that “to vanish without having to kill yourself may be the ultimate revolutionary act … The monolith of Consensus Reality is riddled with quantum-chaos cracks … Viral attack on all fronts! Victory to Chaos in every world!”

5) The Temple of Antinous, a Travel Cult of pedophile boy-lovers and neo-pagans devoted to Eros and Ganymede. (Warning: this leaflet contains some just-barely-legal graphic material.) “Wistfully we wonder if the boygod can manifest only in some other world than this dreary puritanical polluted boobocracy – then, gleefully, we suddenly recall: there ARE other worlds!”

6) A Collage, presumably made by X himself, consisting of a “mandala” constructed from cut-outs of Strange Attractors and various Catastrophic topologies interwoven with photos of young girls and boys clipped from Italian fashion magazines. Eroticizing the mathematical imagery no doubt helps one to remember and visualize it while operating the Egg.

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24. (Anonymous).
Poetic Journal of a traveler; or, A Heresologist’s Guide to Brooklyn (Incunabula Press, pamphlet, $15. Believed to be by “X”, the compiler of the Collection, & transcribed by us from manuscript.)

Apparently X began this MS with the intention of detailing his experiences with a Travel Cult and eventual “translation” to the various alternate-world settlements, but unfortunately abandoned the project early on, possibly due to PCF interference.

It begins with a summary account of X’s spiritual quest, largely among the stranger sects of his native Brooklyn: Santeria in Coney Island, Cabala in Williamsburg, sufis on Atlantica Avenue, etc. He is disappointed or turned away (and even mugged on one occasion). He becomes friendly with a Cuban woman of mixed Spanish, black, amerindian and Chinese ancestry who runs a botanica (magical supplies and herbs). When he asks her about “other worlds”, she is evasive but promises to introduce him to someone who knows more about such matters.

She orders her grandpdaughter, a 14-year-old named Teofila, to escort X through the “rough neighborhoods” to the old man’s shop. The girl is wearing a t-shirt that says “Hyperborean Skateboarding Association”, and indeed travels by skateboard, “gliding on ahead of me like Hermes the Psychopomp.” X is clearly attracted to Teofila and becomes embarrassedly tongue-tied and awkward.

The old man, called “the Shaykh”, who claims to be Sudanese but speaks “pure Alabaman”, runs a junk shop and wears a battered old Shriners fez. His attitude toward X is severe at first, but X is enchanted by his rather disjointed rambling and ranting – which reveal a surprisingly wide if erratic reading in Persian poetry, the Bible, Meister Eckhardt, William Blake, Yoruba mythology and quantum mechanics. Leaving the girl in the shop, the old man takes X into his back office, “crowded with wildly eclectic junk, naive paintings, cheap orientalismo, HooDoo candles, jars of flower petals, and an ornate potbellied stove, stoked up to cherryred, suffusing waves of drowsy warmth.”

The Shaykh intimidates X into sharing a big pipe of hashish mixed with amber and mescaline, then launches into a stream-of-consciousness attack on “Babylon, the Imperium, the Con, the Big Lie that there’s nowhere to go and nothing to buy except their fifth-rate imitations of life, their bullshit pie-in-the-sky religions, cold cults, cold cuts of self-mutilation I call ‘em, and woe to Jerusalem!”

X, now “stoned to the gills”, falls under the Shaykh’s spell and bursts into tears. At once the old man unbends, serves X a cup of tea “sweetblack as Jamaica run and scented with cardamon”, and begins to drop broad hints about “a way out, not to some gnostic-never-land with the body gone like a fart in a sandstorm, no brother, for the Unseen World is not just of the spirit but also the flesh – Jabulsa and Jabulqa, Hyperborea, Hurqalya – they’re as real as Brooklyn but a damn sight prettier!”

Late afternoon; X must return home before dark, and prepare to take leave of the Shaykh – who gives him a few pamphlets and invites him to return. To X’s surprise, Teofila is still waiting outside the shop, and offers to escort him to the subway. The girl is now in a friendlier mood and X less nervous. They strike up a conversation, X asking about Hyperborea and Teofila answering, “Yeah, I know where it is, I’ve been there.”

The main narrative ends here, but we have added some other poetic fragments included with the original MS, despite the fact that they might offend some readers, in light of the importance of the “tantrik technique” of other-world Travel. (And let us remind you that a statement of age must be included with every order from Incunabula Inc.). These rather pornographic fragments suggest that X, too shy to attempt anything himself, was in fact seduced by Teofila, and that his subsequent “training” for Egg-navigation consisted of numerous “practice sessions for double-yolking” with a very enthusiastic young tutor.

We believe that X subsequently made an extended visit to America2 and Java2, that he returned to Earth-prime on some Intelligence or sabotage mission for the GFP, that he composed a paper on Folklore of the Other Worlds (see #25), that he and Teofila somehow came to the attention of PCF agents in New York, aborted their mission and returned to Java2, where they presumably now reside.

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25. (Anonymous). Folklore of the Other Worlds (Incunabula Press, pamphlet,$15. By the same author as #24, transcribed by us from manuscript.)

Our anonymous traveler from Brooklyn appears to have composed this little treatise after his first extended stay in E2. It deals with tales of Travellers and inhabitants of the other-world settlements, pioneers’ experiences and the like. Of great interest is the claim that ESP and other paranormal abilities increase in the parallel universes, that the effect is magnified by passing through the series of discovered “levels”, and that a small band of psychic researchers has therefore settled on Java7, the present frontier world. The “temple” of Hurqalya (or whatever these vast buildings may have been) are used for sessions of meditation, martial arts and psychic experimentation. X claims that telepathy is now accepted as fact “over there,” with strong evidence for telekinesis and perhaps even Egg-less Travel.

Also intriguing are various accounts of “spirits” seen or sensed around the settlements, were animals supposedly glimpsed on higher levels, and legends which have arisen concerning the lost Builders of Hurqalya. Something of a cult has grown up around these hypothetical creatures who (it is said) are “moving toward us even as we move toward them, through the dimensions, through Time – perhaps backwards through Time”!

X points out that this legend strikes an eerie resonance with “complex conjugate wave theory” in quantum mechanics, which hypothesizes that the “present” (the megaverse “now”) is the result of the meeting of two infinite quantum probability waves, one moving from past to future, the other moving from future to past – that space/time is an interference effect of these two waves – and that the many worlds are bubbles on this shoreline!

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26. Eliade, Mircea.
Shamanism: Archaic Techniques of Ecstasy
(Univ.of Chicago Press),Pb,$30

This “bible” of the modern neo-shamanic movement also served as a metaphorical scripture for the pioneers of interdimensional consciousness physics and alternate-world explorers.Not only does it contain innumerable practical hints for the traveler, as well as a spiritual ambience conducive to the proper state of mind for Travel, it is also believed that Eliade’s mythic material on the prototypal Stone Age shamans who could physically and actually visit other worlds, offers strong evidence for the possibility of Egg-less Travel – which however so far remains in the realm of “folklore”, speculation and rumor.

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27. Lorde, John.
Maze of Treason
(Red Knight Books, Wildwood, NJ, 1988), Pb, 204 pp, $10

You may remember that after the Patty Hearst kidnapping it was discovered that a cheap pornographic thriller, published before the event, seemed to foretell every detail of the story. Jungian synchronicity? Or did the Symbionese Liberation Army read that book and decide to act it out? It remains a mystery.

Maze of Treason is also a pornographic thriller, complete with tawdry 4-color cover, sloppy printing on acidulous pulp, and horrendous style. It’s marketed as Science Fiction, however. And there is no mystery about the author’s inside knowledge. “John Lorde” not only knows about the Conspiracy, he’s obviously been there. This book is probably a roman a clef, as it appears to contain distorted portraits of Sohrawardi and Harjanto (depicted as Fu-Manchu-type villains) as well as several actual agents of both the GFP and PCF – and even a character apparently based on the real-life “X”, author of several titles in our list (#s 24 & 25).

The hero, Jack Masters, is an agent of an unnamed spyforce of American patriots who jokingly call themselves the Quantum Police. Their mission is to regain control of the alternate worlds for “the forces of reason and order” and “make trouble for agents of chaos in every known universe.” The Q-Cops’ secret underground HDQ contains a number of Eggs granting access to hidden bases on the other worlds, including “the Other America” and “the Other Indonesia”.

Jack Masters is investigating the activities of a Chaote named Ripley Taylor, a “child-molester and black magician who runs a Travel Cult out of a comic book store in a “racially-mixed neighborhood” of New York. The Cops hope to catch Taylor with his “juvenile delinquent girlfriend”, blackmail him and turn him into a double agent.

The hero now becomes involved with Amanita, a beautiful woman performance artist from the Lower East Side who seems to know a lot about Taylor and the Travel Cult, but also seems quite attracted to the virile Jack Masters. At first he suspects her of duplicity, but soon decides he needs to “convert” her by making her “fall for me, and fall hard.” Jack’s problem is that his own “talent” will not suffice for solo Traveling, and in fact he has never managed to “get across” – since the Cops do not practice Tantrik techniques! He suspects her of being an “Other-Worlder” and hopes she can convey him thence via the “infamous ‘double-yolk’ method.”

Meanwhile Taylor has laughed off the blackmail attempt, burned down the comic shop and escaped “into the fourth dimension – or maybe the fifth.” Masters heats up his affair with the artist Amanita, and finally convinces her to “translate” him – after three chapters of unininterrupted porno depicting the pair in many little-known ritual practices, so to speak. (The author rises above his own mediocrity here, and attains something like “purple pulp”, an inspired gush of horny prose, especially in the oral-genital area.) Masters now rises to the occasion for yet a fourth chapter in which a “government-issue Egg” becomes the setting for a “yab-yum ceremony of searing obscenity.”

Immediately upon arrival in “Si Fan” (the author’s name for Hurqalya), Amanita betrays our hero and turns him over naked to one of the tribes of “chaos-shamans who inhabit these Lemurian ruins”. At this point Maze begins to add to our knowledge of the real-life situation by depicting more-or-less accurately the state of affairs and mode of life in present-day Hurqalya, at least as seen through the eyes of a paranoid right-wing spy.

The thousand or so inhabitants have made few changes in Hurqalya, preferring a life of “primitive sloth” and minimal meddling with Nature. Sex, hallucinogenic mushrooms and song-improvisation contests comprise the night-life, with days devoted to the serious business of “sorcery, skinnydipping, flintknapping and maybe a couple of hours of desultory fishing or berrypicking.” There is no social order. “People with bones in their noses sitting around arguing about Black Hole Theory or recipes for marsupial stew, lazy smoke from a few clan campfires rising through the hazy bluegold afternoon, children masturbating in trees, bees snouting into orchids, signal drum in the distance, Amanita singing an old song by the Inkspots I remember from my childhood…”

Masters, or rather the author, claims to be disgusted by all this “anarchist punk hippy immorality, all this jungle love!”, but his ambivalence is revealed in his continued desire for Amanita, and the ease with which he falls into his own curmudgeonly version of dolce far niente in “Si Fan”.

We won’t give away the rest of the plot, not because it’s so great, but because it’s largely irrelevant (Taylor flees to distant dimensions, Masters gets Girl and returns to Earth-prime in triumph, etc.,etc.) – the book’s true value lies in these pictures of daily life in Hurqalya. Sadly, Maze of Treason is still our only source for such material. The Conspiracy to deny the world all knowledge of the Many Worlds is maintained by both the forces active in the parallel universes – the GFP and PCF both have their reasons for secrecy, evasion, lies, disinformation, distortion and even violence. Maze of Treason is not our only source for claiming that people have lost their lives as a result of getting too deeply involved in all this. But we at INCUNABULA believe that truth will out, because it must. To stand in the way of it is more dangerous than letting it loose. Freedom of information is our only protection – we will tell all, despite all scorn or threat, and trust that our “going public” will protect us from the outrage of certain private interests – if not from the laughter of the ignorant!

Remember: parallel worlds exist. They have already been reached. A vast cover-up denies YOU all knowledge. Only INCUNABULA can enlighten you, because only INCUNABULA dares.

Thank You,
Emory Cranston, Prop.

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