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NEW: Robert Anton Wilson: Beyond Conspiracy Theory

(8 customer reviews)

$20.00

Robert Anton Wilson (1932-2007; author of The Illuminatus! Trilogy (with Robert Shea), Cosmic Trigger, Prometheus Rising, and Schrodinger’s Cat) was a writer, eclectic philosopher, and noted conspiracy theory expert.

The core of the book is a lengthy 1985 interview, where common and pernicious errors in language are examined in detail, along with a discussion of Wilson’s favorite writers (such as William S. Burroughs and Philip K. Dick) and a critique of occultist Aleister Crowley. He humorously illuminates how to use your brain “better,” and how to be agnostic about all ideas.

Included is a list of fifty book recommendations from his library, letters, a list of lecture topics (funny!) and more. RE/Search finally presents this lost interview—and its publication couldn’t be more timely. With the election of Donald Trump, conspiracy theory and “fake news” has become mainstream—and Robert Anton Wilson seemed to have prophesied it all.

Orders will include a photo print of Robert Anton Wilson, signed by photographer V. Vale, while supplies last.

Description

Robert Anton Wilson (1932-2007; author of The Illuminatus! Trilogy (with Robert Shea), Cosmic Trigger, Prometheus Rising, and Schrodinger’s Cat) was a writer, eclectic philosopher, and noted conspiracy theory expert. 

The core of the book is a lengthy 1985 interview, where common and pernicious errors in language are examined in detail, along with a discussion of Wilson’s favorite writers (such as William S. Burroughs and Philip K. Dick) and a critique of occultist Aleister Crowley. He humorously illuminates how to use your brain “better,” and how to be agnostic about all ideas.

Included is a list of fifty book recommendations from his library, letters, a list of lecture topics (funny!) and more. RE/Search finally presents this lost interview—and its publication couldn’t be more timely. With the election of Donald Trump, conspiracy theory and “fake news” has become mainstream—and Robert Anton Wilson seemed to have prophesied it all.

Orders will include a photo print of Robert Anton Wilson, signed by photographer V. Vale, while supplies last.

Additional information

Weight .5 lbs
Dimensions 8 × 5 × .5 in

8 reviews for NEW: Robert Anton Wilson: Beyond Conspiracy Theory

  1. V. Vale

    Review of ‘Robert Anton Wilson: Beyond Conspiracy Theory’

    Robert Anton Wilson: Beyond Conspiracy Theory (ReSearch #18) edited by V. Vale, is a nice treat for the hardcore Robert Anton Wilson. It has a very good, long interview by V. Vale and includes other items, some of them arguably unique. It is well produced and edited. It’s not an essential part of the RAW canon, and at 138 pages it’s arguably less substantive that Beyond Chaos and Beyond, this year’s other posthumous RAW book (466 pages), but it’s so well designed it almost seems like an art book.

    The bulk of the book is Vale’s interview, and fortunately it’s valuable. I want to be careful not to give anything away, which would be unfair to Vale, but I also want to try to characterize it. There is a particularly good discussion about Aleister Crowley and magick. There is a good, long answer to a question about Wilson’s “key books,” good discussion of William Burroughs, discussion about what it’s like interacting with fans and a nice anecdote about RAW meeting a famous American writer.

    The book also includes Wilson’s 172-question “International Conspiracy Trivia Quiz” (with Wilson’s answer key), a list of 50 books from Wilson’s library that Vale requested, a marketing document on the lectures that Wilson could offer, two letters from Wilson and an introduction by Andrew Bishop (quite well done.) Bishop is the person who found the forgotten interview.

    The book is illustrated by Vale’s photographs of Wilson, plus some irrelevant but artistic “street photography” by Yoshi Yubai.

    The book had originally been planned as a special issue of RE/Search while Wilson was alive. It was never published and parts of it later were included in Wilson’s Coincidance. The remaining material was rediscovered in 2016. There’s an Editor’s Note that carefully explains all this, an example of the book’s meticulous editing.

    Robert Anton Wilson: Beyond Conspiracy Theory has a list price of $20; with fees, it cost me $25. “While supplies last” a small photo print of RAW signed by Vale is included, a nice bonus.

    You can also read my Beyond Chaos and Beyond review. Since I published the review, a paperback edition has been issued, available for $20.

    Probably coincidence, but both of the new books have “beyond” in the title.

  2. V. Vale

        Robert Anton Wilson (A.K.A. RAW) has been one of the most important literary figures in my life, ever since I first picked up the Illuminatus Trilogy around age 19-20.  I devoured almost all of his books, even digging up the out of print ones through the internet.  His ideas on philosophy, language, reality tunnels, and general agnosticism are deeply important to me and help drive my intellectual curiosity and awareness of the world around me.  Through his work I have been introduced to other awesome writers and thinkers such as Buckminster Fuller, Alfred Korzybski, and Benjamin Tucker.  His passing in January of 2007 from Post-Polio Syndrome complications was felt very deeply by me, especially as I thought it silenced a voice that had so much more to share.  This is what he posted online just a few days before his death, after a groundswell of support managed to raise money for his crippling medical debt, “I look forward without dogmatic optimism but without dread. I love you all and I deeply implore you to keep the lasagna flying. Please pardon my levity, I don’t see how to take death seriously. It seems absurd.”
     
                A few months ago, as I was perusing the internet, I saw a post about a new book being published, containing a recently re-discovered interview of RAW from 1985 found in the RESearch Publisher archives.  What a surprise!  I placed my pre-order and waited.  When it arrived in my mailbox I was so excited.  When I began reading it, and could hear RAW’s voice in my head again, I was thrilled.
     
                Reading so much in the field of occult knowledge, conspiracy theories, and such high weirdness sometimes leaves me with a deep need for some humor, as so many of the writers of these books seem humorless.  They feel like they must take themselves very seriously or else their ideas will not be properly considered.  Robert Anton Wilson never fails to be hilarious.  Reading this interview reminded me of how funny RAW was, and how much his humor actually shines a light on our reality.  He who cannot find something to laugh at is not looking hard enough.
     
                This book not only contains the aforementioned interview, but also several other sections that Robert Anton Wilson had prepared for publication.  These items were to be part of a book about RAW to be published by RESearch Publications in the mid-1980’s, but the project was shelved, and the interview was archived and forgotten.  These parts include a list of 50 books from RAW’s personal library, which is bad-ass for a book nerd like myself!  It also includes a section with a 120+ question International Conspiracy Trivia quiz he created, and a listing of 8 different lecture titles and descriptions, lectures that RAW was available to deliver to any group or organization that wished to invite him to speak.  Many of these are available to view on YouTube.
     
                One of the greatest things about Robert Anton Wilson was that his ideas were not framed as high intellectualism, suitable solely for the refined mentalities of elite thinkers.  His work speaks directly to the normal human, hoping to stir something in them that will improve their life and the lives of those around them.  Not only did he describe his ideas in his fiction books, but he expounded upon them in his non-fiction work, providing methods and techniques by which to help expunge the conditioned reactions we all have, and allow us all to understand ourselves and the world around us as much more than an either/or scenario.  This is the core of his “Guerrilla Oncology,” which is how RAW described his writing.  It sucked you in with a good story while at the same time rewriting the way one thinks.  He fought an endless battle against what is called Aristotelian logic, the idea that every question can be answered solely by a Yes or No.  This faulty logic has caused so much trouble to our world, and has invaded our collective thought so successfully that no one thinks about it anymore. 
     
    RAW pushes a “Maybe Logic” where every question has many more possible answers than just Yes/No.  For example, “Does acupuncture actually work?”  The answer could be Yes, No, Maybe, I Don’t Know, etc.  Nothing in our experience just “IS.”  Instead of “You are evil,” RAW would state it as “You seem evil to me at this time.”  Instead of the statement “Beethoven is better than Mozart,” which is inherently meaningless, RAW would say “Beethoven seems to me to be much better than Mozart.” This is a true and verifiable statement, applicable only to the mind that is speaking, and not a wholesale generalization.  This is how scientists talk, because it is the only really truthful way to convey information and it allows for the variety of experience and chance that is inherent in our existence.  Our language is limited and unless we recognize it and fight it, our thinking is also limited.
     
    I am so glad I got a chance to order this book and add it to my Robert Anton Wilson collection.  I highly recommend his books, and hope that more and more people will read them and understand the point.  Thanks to V. Vale from RESearch for sending me the book, and for including such a cool photograph of Robert Anton Wilson alongside!  Much appreciated!

    http://rxttbooks.blogspot.com 

  3. V. Vale

    I have been reading the volumes published by RE/Search since 1982, and I have to say, there is no one in the States that has investigated, catalogued, interviewed, pestered, exposed, praised and continuously supported all the fringe, industrial, literate, subversive, and all other outsiders, better than Vale. He deserves all the support you can give him!

  4. V. Vale

    Great for the RAW fans out there.

    Now that he is no longer with us, I am trying to soak up as much Wilson as I can, so it was great to find this unexpected gem, well worth the read.

  5. V. Vale

    Great interview, a must for the Robert Anton Wilson fan. Very accessible & a good introduction to Wilson’s philosophy

  6. V. Vale

    Quick delivery with a personal note. V. Vale is keeping it real and I felt a direct connect to him and RAW. Thanks!

  7. V. Vale

    RE/search has done it again! This is an amazing print, if you’re into RAW then you need this.

  8. V. Vale

    Great interview between Vale and Robert Anton Wilson. The discussion forced me to take notes on all the books and subjects I’ve been meaning to get to, but haven’t yet – Joyce’s Ulysses,Nietzsche, quantum physics and Bell’s theorem (there’s a great intro to Bell’s theorem in Spit in the Ocean #3, Communication with Higher Intelligence). Alarm bells, though, over his adulation of Bertrand Russell, who was a ‘deep state’ mind control scumbag, doing the British Empire’s black psy ops. Here’s a quote:
    “Almost all will be normal, happy, healthy boys or girls. Their diet will not be left to the caprices of parents, but will be such as the best biochemists recommend. They will spend much time in the open air, and will be given no more book-learning than is absolutely necessary. Upon the temperament so formed, docility will be imposed by the methods of the drill-sergeant, or perhaps by the softer methods employed upon Boy Scouts. All the boys and girls will learn from an early age to be what is called “co-operative,” i.e. to do exactly what everybody is doing. Initiative will be discouraged in these children, and insubordination, without being punished, will be scientifically trained out of them.”
    — Bertrand Russell, The Scientific Outlook (p. 182)

    That’s the kind of bs that Aldous Huxley and Orwell were exposing in Brave New World / 1984.

    The re/search product line featuring RAW, Burroughs, JG Ballard, Leary, etc, is a great chronicle of beatnick travels into the unknown.

    Paul Kelley
    Real Value Productions

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