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Thursday, January 11, 2007

Robert Anton Wilson, RIP

I've just gotten the news that the great Robert Anton Wilson passed away early this morning. Perhaps that's why I couldn't sleep last night.

Although our paths had crossed previously, I had the pleasure of finally meeting RAW several years ago, at Tim Leary's memorial service in a hangar at the Santa Monica airport. Wilson was forlorn, but, as was to be expected, made a humorous send off of that singular character.

Some years prior to that, I had sent Wilson a letter - by snailmail! - giving him the skinny on the origins of Christianity. I was delighted to receive a missive in return from him - again, snailmail! - exhorting me to "convert to Islam, and everything would be all right!" Obviously, he was being his usual funny self. Somewhere around that time, I also became friendly with a person who had spent quite a bit of time with Bob, so I was regaled with Bob Wilson stories for months on end.

The most recent "encounter" I didn't have with Robert Anton Wilson was when conspiracy maven and RAW friend Kenn Thomas and I spent a couple of hours trying to find his home in Santa Cruz, California. We had asked Bob to write the foreword to my book The Christ Conspiracy and were very anxious to see him. Alas, the foreword and meeting never occurred, but Kenn and I did very much enjoy our drive to Santa Cruz and then up the California coast.

Other than those little tidbits and having read several of his books, I don't know all that much about Robert Anton Wilson. He appeared to me to be an extremely creative person who took life by its tail and gleefully ran with it. Certainly, RAW has left an indelible mark in the thinking of hundreds of thousands.

It is gratifying to know that in his last days Bob Wilson was bombarded with reciprocated love and generosity that lifted his spirits. Of course, RAW will be sorely missed on Earth, but we know that if there's a Discordian heaven, it is richer today.

Om shanti shanti om, Bob. Much eternal love to you. Have a great ride on infinity...

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