APPENDIX YOD: OPERATION MINDFUCK
OM was originally instigated by Ho Chih Zen, of the Erisian Liberation Front, who is the same person but not the same individual as Lord Omar Khayyam Ravenhurst, author of The Honest Book of Truth. The guiding philosophy is that originally proposed in The Theory of Games and Economic Behavior by von Neumann and Morgenstern: namely, that the only strategy which an opponent cannot predict is a random strategy. The foundation had already been laid by the late Malaclypse the Younger, K.S.C., when he proclaimed, "We Discordians must stick apart." This radical decentralization of all Discordian enterprises created a built-in random factor even before Operation Mind-fuck was proposed. To this day, neither Ho Chih Zen himself nor any other Discordian apostle knows for sure who is or is not involved in any phase of Operation Mindfuck or what activities they are or are not engaged in as part of that project. Thus, the outsider is immediately trapped in a double-bind: the only safe assumption is that anything a Discordian does is somehow related to OM, but, since this leads directly to paranoia, this is not a "safe" assumption after all, and the "risky" hypothesis that whatever the Discordians are doing is harmless may be "safer" in the long run, perhaps. Every aspect of OM follows, or accentuates, this double-bind.*
* The double-bind, first defined by anthropologist Gregory Bateson, is a situation in which you must choose between two alternatives both of which are unpleasant. A beautiful example, suggested by Mr. William S. Burroughs: Condition a draftee so that he will immediately obey either the order 'Stand up" or the order "Sit down," if given by a superior officer, then have two officers simultaneously order him to stand up and sit down. Obeying the first order means disobeying the second, and obeying the second means disobeying the first. Presumably, the subject would wig out.
OM projects vary from the trivial to the colossal.
An example of the former is a rubber stamp owned by Dr. Mordecai Malignatus, which says SEE MENTAL HEALTH RECORDS. (Dr. Malignatus casually picked this up from a public-health clinic while nobody was looking.) Any mail which Dr. Malignatus considers impertinent or insulting- especially if it comes from a government office- is stamped with this motto and sent back, otherwise untouched. This causes considerable puzzlement to various bureaucrats.
An example of the latter is Project Jake, instigated by Harold Lord Randomfactor. Once or twice a year, a public servant who has distinguished himself by more than common imbecility is selected as target for a Jake and all Discordian cabals are alerted- including the various branches of the Erisian Liberation Front, the Twelve Famous Buddha Minds, the St. Gulik Iconistary, the Earl of Nines, the Tactile Temple of Eris Erotic, the Brotherhood of the Lust of Christ, Green amp; Pleasant Enterprises, Society for Moral Understanding and Training, the In-Sect, the Golden Apple Panthers, the Paratheo-Anametamystikhood of Eris Esoteric, Sam's Cafe, the Seattle Group, the Stone Dragon Cabal, the Universal Erisian Church, and the Young Americans for Real Freedom.* On Jake Day, the public servant being honored receives mail from all of these, on their official letterheads (which are somewhat weird, it must be granted), asking for help in some complicated political matter that passes all rational understanding. The official so honored can conclude either that he is the target of a conspiracy composed entirely of lunatics, or that the general public is much more imaginative and less stodgy than he had previously assumed.
* All these are real groups, currently active in the U.S A. (Do you believe that?)
Between the trivial and the colossal there is a variety of OM which can be called the chronic.
Most notable is the honorary membership. Not wishing to exclude anybody from membership in the Erisian movement for such a technicality as being non-Erisian, the legendary Malaclypse the Younger invented several honorary Aneristic groups. It is now the tradition for any Discordian cabal to appoint anybody to one of these groups if his or her behavior is notably Aneristic. For instance, a high-school principal who has given a particularly stirring assembly speech on some such topic as "The Draft as a Protection for Our Freedoms" (or "Taxation as a Protection for Our Property" or any of the other oxymorons beloved by educators) might thereafter receive some such mailing as this: