ILLUMINATI PROJECT: MEMO #9
The following chart appeared in the East Village Other, June 11, 1969, with the label "Current Structure of the Bavarian Illuminati Conspiracy and the Law of Fives":
The chart hangs at the top of the page, the rest of which is empty space- as if the editors originally intended to publish an article explaining it, but decided (or were persuaded) to suppress all but the diagram itself.
"This one has to be some damned hippie or yippie hoax," Muldoon said after a long pause. But he sounded uncertain.
"Part of it is," Saul said thoughtfully keeping certain thoughts to himself. "Typical hippie psychology: mixing truth and fantasy to blow the fuses of the Establishment. The Elders of Zion section is just a parody of Nazi ideology. If there really was a Jewish conspiracy to run the world, my rabbi would have let me in on it by now. I contribute enough to the schule."
"My brother's a Jesuit," Muldoon added, pointing at the Society of Jesus square, "and he never invited me into any worldwide conspiracy."
"But this part is almost plausible," Saul said, pointing to the Sphere of Aftermath. "Aga Khan is the head of the Ishmaelian sect of Islam, and that sect was founded by Hassan i Sabbah, the 'old man of the mountains' who led the Hashishism in the eleventh century. Adam Weishaupt is supposed to have originated the Bavarian Illuminati after studying Sabbah, according to the third memo, so this part fits together- and Hassan i Sabbah is supposed to be the first one to introduce marijuana and hashish to the Western world, from India. That ties in with Weishaupt's growing hemp and Washington's having a big hemp crop at Mount Vernon."
"Wait a minute. Look at how the whole design revolves around the pentagon. Everything else sort of grows out of it"
"So? You think the Defense Department is the international hub of the Illuminati conspiracy?"
"Let's just read the rest of the memos," Muldoon suggested.
(The Indian Agent at the Menominee Reservation in Wisconsin knows this: from the time Billie Freschette returned there until her death in 1968, she received mysterious monthly checks from Switzerland. He thinks he knows the explanation; despite all stories to the contrary, Billie did help to betray Dillinger and this is the payoff. He is convinced of this. He is also quite wrong.)
"… children seven and eight years old," Smiling Jim Trepomena is telling the KCUF audience, "are talking about penises and vaginas-and using those very words! Now, is this an accident? Let me quote you Lenin's own words…" Simon yawns.
Banana-Nose Maldonado evidently had his own brand of sentimentality or superstition, and in 1936 he ordered his son, a priest, to say one hundred masses for the salvation of the Dutchman's soul. Even years afterward, he would defend the Dutchman in conversation: "He was OK, Dutch was, if you didn't cross him. If you did, forget it; you were finished. He was almost a Siciliano about that. Otherwise, he was a good businessman, and the first one with a real CPA mind in the whole organization. If he hadn't gotten that crazy-head idea about gunning down Tom Dewey, he'd still be a big man. I told him myself. 'You kill Dewey,' I said, 'and the shit hits the fan everywhere. The boys won't take the risk; Lucky and the Butcher want to cowboy you right now.' But he wouldn't listen. 'Nobody fucks with me,' he said. 'I don't care if his name is Dewey, Looey, or Phooey. He dies' A real stubborn German Jew. You couldn't talk to him. I even told him how Capone helped set up Dillinger for the Feds just because of the heat those bank-heists were bringing down.
You know what he said? He said: 'You tell Al that Dillinger was a lone wolf. I have my own pack.' Too bad, too bad, too bad. I'll light another candle for him at church Sunday."
HAND IN HAND TOGETHER WE SHALL NOT BE MOVED
Rebecca Goodman closes her book wearily and stares into space, thinking about Babylon. Her eyes focus suddenly on the statue Saul had bought her for her last birthday: the mermaid of Copenhagen. How many Danes, she wonders, know that this is one form of representation of the Babylonian sex goddess Ishtar? (In Central Park, Perri the squirrel is beginning to hunt for the day's food. A French poodle, held on a leash by a mink-coated lady, barks at him, and he runs three times around a tree.) George Dorn looks at the face of a corpse: it is his own face. "In Wyoming, after one sex-education class in a high school, the teacher was raped by seventeen boys. She said later she would never teach sex in school again." Making sure he is alone in the Meditation Room of the UN building, the man calling himself Frank Sullivan quickly moves the black plinth aside and descends the hidden stairs into the tunnel. He is thinking, whimsically, that hardly anybody realizes that the shape of the room is the same as the truncated pyramid on the dollar bill, or guesses what that means. "In Wilmette, Illinois, an 8-year-old boy came home from a sensitivity training class and tried to have intercourse with his 4-year-old sister." Simon gave up on his pentagons and began doodling pyramids instead.
Above, beyond Joe Malik's window, Saul Goodman gave up on the line of thought which had led him to surmise that the Illuminati were a front for the International Psychoanalytical Society, conspiring to drive everyone paranoid, and turned back to the desk and the memos. Barney Muldoon came in from the bedroom, carrying a strange amulet, and asked, "What do you make of this?" Saul looked at a design of an apple and a pentagon… and, several years earlier, Simon Moon looked at the same medallion.
"They call it the Sacred Chao," Padre Pederastia said. They sat alone at a table pulled off to the corner; the Friendly Stranger was the same as ever, except that a new group, the American Medical Association (consisting, naturally, of four kids from Germany), had replaced H. P. Lovecraft in the back room. (Nobody knew that the AMA was going to become the world's most popular rock group within a year, but Simon already thought they were superheavy). Padre Pederastia was, as on the night Simon met Miss Mao, very serious and hardly camping at all.
"Sacred Cow?" Simon asked.
"It's pronounced that way, but you spell it c-h-a-o. A chao is a single unit of chaos, they figure." The Padre smiled.
"Too much, they're nuttier than the SSS," Simon objected.
"Never underestimate absurdity, it is one door to the Imagination. Do I have to remind you of that?"
"We have an alliance with them?" Simon asked.
"The JAMs can't do it alone. Yes, we have an alliance, as long as it profits both parties. John- Mr. Sullivan himself authorized this."
"OK. What do they call themselves?"
"The LDD." The Padre permitted himself a smile. "New members are told the initials stand for Legion of Dynamic Discord. Later on, quite often, the leader, a most fetching scoundrel and madman named Celine, sometimes tells them it really stands for Little Deluded Dupes. That's the pans asinorum, or an early pans asinorum, in Celine's System. He judges them by how they react to that."
"Celine's System?" Simon asked warily.
"It leads to the same destination as ours- more or less- by a somewhat wilder and woollier path."
"Right-hand or left-hand path?"
"Right-hand," the priest said. "All absurdist systems are right-hand. Well, almost all. They don't invoke You-Know-Who under any circumstances. They rely on Discordia… do you remember your Roman myths?
"Enough to know that Discordia is just the Latin equivalent of Eris. They're part of the Erisian Liberation Front, then?" Simon was beginning to wish he were stoned; these conspiratorial conversations always made more sense when he was slightly high. He wondered how people like the President of the U.S. or the Chairman of the Board of GM were able to plot such intricate games without being on a trip at the time. Or did they take enough tranquilizers to produce a similar effect?
"No," the priest said flatly. "Don't ever make that mistake. ELF is a much more, um, esoteric outfit than the LDD. Celine is on the activist side, like us. Some of his capers make Morituri or God's Lightning look like Trappists by comparison. No, ELF will never get on Mr. Celine's trip."
"He's got an absurdist yoga and an activist ethic?" Simon reflected. "The two don't mix."
"Celine is a walking contradiction. Look at his symbol again."
"I've been looking at it and that pentagon worries me. Are you sure he's on our side?"
The American Medical Association came to some kind of erotic or musical climax and the priest's answer was drowned out. "What?" Simon asked, after the applause died down.
"I said," Padre Pederastia whispered, "that we're never sure anybody is on our side. Uncertainty is the name of the game."