Robert Anton Wilson

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(January 18, 1932 – January 11, 2007)

Robert Anton Wilson (born Robert Edward Wilson), an American author, futurist, and self-described “agnostic mystic,” helped publicize Discordianism through his writings. He is best known for The Illuminatus! Trilogy, written with Robert Shea.

He launched The Network with Ray Nelson in the mid-1970s. He wrote a semi-regular column for the fanzine New Libertarian Notes.

Fanzines and Apazines:

Awards, Honors and GoHships:

The Illuminatus! Trilogy[edit]

Written with Robert Shea and published as three volumes in 1975, The Eye in the Pyramid, The Golden Apple and Leviathan, promoted as "a fairy tale for paranoids," is a satire that philosophically and humorously examines, among many other themes, occult and magical symbolism, the counterculture of the 1960s, secret societies, H. P. Lovecraft and Aleister Crowley, and American conspiracy theories. It popularized Discordianism and the word fnord.

Illuminatus! was adapted for the stage in the UK in 1976.

Awards and Honors


In the Illuminati program, children are taught to be unable to consciously see the word fnord and every appearance of the word generates a subconscious feeling of unease and confusion, preventing rational consideration of the text it appears in. Scattered through newspapers and magazines, the word causes fear and anxiety to those reading about current events. However, there are no fnords in the advertisements, encouraging a consumerist society. The government acts on the premise that a fearful populace keeps it in power.

“I can see the fnords” means to be unaffected by the hypnotic power of the word or, more loosely, of other fighting words. The term may also be used to refer to the experience of becoming aware of a phenomenon's ubiquity after first observing it.

More reading[edit]

Person 19322007
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