Nettime mailing list archives

[rohrpost] William S. Burroughs: The Electronic Revolution [3/3]
textz on 5 Jan 2001 19:44:38 -0000

[Date Prev] [Date Next] [Thread Prev] [Thread Next] [Date Index] [Thread Index]

[rohrpost] William S. Burroughs: The Electronic Revolution [3/3]

        Remember the life cycle of a virus ... penetration of a cell or 
        activation within the cell, replication within the cell, escape 
        from the cell to invade other cells, escape from host to infect 
        a new host. This infection can take place in many ways and those 
        who find themselves heavy with the load of a new virus generally 
        use a shotgun technique to cover a wide range of infection 
        routes... cough, sneeze, spit and fart at every opportunity, 
        Save shit, piss, snot, scabs, sweat stained clothes and all 
        bodily secretions for dehydration. The composite dust can be 
        unobtrusively billowed out a roach bellows in subways, dropped 
        from windows in bags, or sprayed out a crop duster ... Carry 
        with you at all times an assortment of vectors ... lice, fleas, 
        bed bugs, and little aviaries of mosquitoes and biting flies 
        filled with your blood ... I see no beauty in that. 

        There is only one case of favourable virus influence benefiting 
        an obscure species of Australien mice. On the other hand, if a 
        virus produces no damaging symptoms we have no way of 
        ascertaining its existence and this happens with latent virus 
        infections. It has been suggested that yellow races resulted 
        from a jaundice- like virus which produced a permanent mutation 
        not necessarily damaging, which was passed along genetically. 
        The same may be true of the word. The word itself may be a virus 
        that has achieved a permanent status with the host. However, no 
        known virus in existence at the present time acts in this 
        manner, so the question of a benefit virus remains open. It 
        seems advisable to concentrate on a general defence against all 

        Ron Hubbard, founder of Scientology, says that certain words and 
        word combinations can produces serious illnesses and mental 
        disturbances. I can claim some skill in the scrivener's trade, 
        but I cannot guarantee to write a passage that will make someone 
        physically ill. If Mr.Hubbard's claim is justified, this is 
        certainly a matter for further research, and we can easily find 
        out experimentally whether his claim is justified or not. Mr. 
        Hubbard bases the power he attributes to words on his theory of 
        engrams. An engram is defined as word,sound,image recorded by 
        the subject in a period of pain and unconsciousness. Some of his 
        material may be reassuring: "I think he's going to be alright." 
        Reassuring material is an ally engram. Ally engrams, according 
        to Mr Hubbard, are just as bad as hostile as pain engrams. Any 
        part of this recording played back to the subject later will 
        reactivate operation pain, he may actually develop a headache 
        and feel depressed, anxious, or tense. Well, Mr Hubbard's engram 
        theory is very easily subject to experimental verification. Take 
        ten volunteer subjects, subject them to a pain stimulus 
        accompanied by certain words and sounds and images. You can act 
        out little skits. 

        "Quickly, nurse , before I lose my little nigger," bellows the 
        southern surgeon, and now a beefy white hand falls on the 
        fragile black shoulder. "Yes, he's going to be alright. He's 
        going to pull through."

        If I had my way I'd let these animals die on the operating 

        "You do not have your way, you have your duty as a doctor, we 
        must do everything in our power to save human lives." 

        And so forth. 

        It is the tough cop and the con cop. The ally engram is 
        ineffective without the pain engram, just as the con cop's arm 
        around your shoulder, his soft persuasive voice in your ear, are 
        indeed sweet nothings without the tough cop's blackjack. Now to 
        what extent can words recorded during medical unconsciousness be 
        recalled during hypnosis or scientological processing? To what 
        Extent does the playback of this material affect the subject 
        unpleasantly? Is the effect enhanced by scrambling the material, 
        pain and ally, at very short intervals? It would seem that a 
        scrambled engram's picture could almost dump an operating scene 
        right in the subject's lap. Mr. Hubbard has charted his version 
        of what he calls the reactive mind. This is roughly similar to 
        Freud's ID, a sort of built-in self defeating mechanism. As set 
        forth by Mr. Hubbard this consists of a number of quite ordinary 
        phrases. He claims that reading these phrases, or hearing them 
        spoken, can cause illness, and gives this as his reason for not 
        publishing this material. Is he perhaps saying that these are 
        magic words? Spells, in fact? If so, they could be quite a 
        weapon scrambled up with imaginative sound-and-image track. Here 
        now is the magic that turns men into swine. To be an animal: a 
        lone pig grunts, shits, squeals and slobbers down garbage. To be 
        animals: A chorus of a thousand pigs. Cut that in with video 
        tape police pictures and play it back to them and see if you get 
        a reaction from this so reactive mind. 

        Now here is another. To be a body, well it's sure an attractive 
        body, rope the marks in. And a nice body symphony to go with it, 
        rythmic heart beats, contented stomach rumbles. To be bodies: 
        recordings and pictures of hideous, aged, diseased bodies 
        farting, pissing, shitting, groaning, dying. To do everything: 
        man in a filth apartment surrounded by unpaid bills, unanswered 
        letters, jumps up and starts washing dishes and writing letters. 
        To do nothing: he slumps in a chair, jumps up, slumps in chair, 
        jumps up. Finally, slumps in a chair, drooling like an idiot 
        helplessness, while he looks at the disorder piled around him. 
        The reactive mind commands can also be used to advantage with 
        illness tapes. While projecting past cold sore on to the 
        subject's face, and playing him back to him a past illness tape, 
        you can say: to be me, to be you, to stay here, to stay there, 
        to be a body, to be bodies, to stay in, to stay out, to stay 
        present, to stay absent. To what extent are these reactive mind 
        phrases when scrambled effective in causing disagreeable 
        symptoms in control volunteer subjects? As to Mr. Hubbard's 
        claim for the reactive mind, only research can give us the 
        The RM then is an artifact designed to limit and stultify on a 
        mass scale. In order to have this effect it must be widely 
        implanted. This can readily be done with modern electronic 
        equipment and techniques described in this treatis. The RM 
        consists of commands which seem harmless and in fact unavoidable 
        ... To be a body ... but which have the most horrific 
        Here are some sample RM screen effects ... 
        As the theatre darkens a bright light appears on the left side 
        of the screen. The screen lights up. 
        To be nobody ... On screen shadow of ladder and soldier 
        incinerated by the Hiroshima blast 
        To be everybody ... Street crowds, riots, panics 
        To be me ... A beautiful girl and a handsome young man point to 
        To be you ... They point to audience 
        Hideous hags and old men, lepers, drooling idiots point to 
        themselves and to the audience as they intone ... 
        To be me 
        To be you 
        Command no 5 ... To be myself 
        Command no 6 ... To be others 
        On screen a narcotics officer is addressing an audience of 
        school boys, spread out in front of him are syringes, kief 
        pipes, samples of heroin, hashiesh, LSD. 
        Officer: "Five trips on a drug can be a pleasant and exciting 
        On screen young trippers ..."I'm really myself for the first 
        time" Etc. Happy trips ...To be myself ...no 5 ... 
        Shot shows a man blowing his head off with a shotgun in his 
        Officer: "Like a 15 year old boy I knew until recently, you 
        could well end up dying in your own spew ..." To be others no 6 
        To be an animal ... A lone Wolf Scout ... 
        To be animals: He joins other wolf scouts playing, laughing, 
        To be an animal ... Bestial and ugly human behaviour ...brawls, 
        disgusting, eating and sex scenes 
        To be animals ... Cows, sheep and pigs driven to the slaughter 
        To be a body 
        To be bodies 
        A beautiful body ... a copulating couple ... Cut back and forth 
        and run on seven second loop for several minutes ... scramble at 
        different speeds ... Audience must be made to realise that to be 
        a body is to be bodies 
        ...A body only exists to be other bodies. 
        To be a body ...Death scenes and recordings ... a scramble of 
        last words 
        To be bodies ... Vista of cemeteries ... 
        To do it now ... Couple embracing hotter and hotter 
        To do it now ... A condemned cell ... Condemned man is same 
        actor as lover ... He is led away by the guards screaming and 
        struggling. Cut back and forth between sex scene and man led to 
        execution. Couple in sex scene have an orgasm as the condemned 
        man is hanged, electrocuted, gassed, garroted, shot in the head 
        with a pistol 
        To do it later ... The couple pull away ...One wants to go out 
        and eat and go to a show or something... They put on their hats 
        To do it later ... Warder arrives at condemned cell to tell the 
        prisoner he has a stay of execution 
        To do it now ... Grim faces in the Pentegon. Strategic is on the 
        way ... Well THIS IS IT ... This sequence cut in with sex scenes 
        and a condemned man led to execution, culminates in execution, 
        orgasm, nuclear explosion ...The condemned lover is a horribly 
        burned survivor 
        To do it later ... 1920 walk out sequence to "The Sunny Side of 
        the Street" ... A disappointed general turns from the phone to 
        say the president has opened top level hot wire talks with 
        Russia and China ... Condemned man gets another stay of 
        To be an animal ... One lemming busily eating lichen ... 
        To be animals ... Hordes of lemmings swarming all over each 
        other in mounting hysteria ...A pile of drowned lemmings in 
        front of somebody's nice little cottage on a Finnish lake where 
        he is methodically going through sex positions with his girl 
        friend. They wake up in a stink of dead lemmings 
        To be an animal ... Little boy put on a pot 
        To be animals ...The man has just been hanged. The doctor steps 
        forward with a stethoscope 
        To stay down ... Body is carried out with the rope around neck 
        ... Naked corpses on the autopsy table ... corpse buried in 
        quick lime.
        To stay up ...Erect phallus 
        To stay down ... White man burns off a Negro's genitals with 
        blow torch ... Theatre darkens into the blow torch on the left 
        side of the screen 
        To stay present 
        To stay absent 
        To stay present ... A boy masturbates in front of sex pictures 
        ... Cut to face of white man who is burning off black genitals 
        with blow torch 
        To stay absent ... Sex phantasies of the boy ... The black 
        slumps dead with genitals burned off and intestines popping out 
        To stay present ... Boy watches strip tease, intent, fascinated 
        ...A man stands on trap about to be hanged 
        To stay present ...Sex phantasies of the boy ..."I ponounce this 
        man dead." 
        To stay present ... Boy wistles at girl in street ... A man's 
        body twists in the electric chair, his leg hairs crackling a 
        blue fire 
        To stay absent ... Boy sees himself in bed with girl ... Man 
        slumps dead in chair smoke curling from under the hood saliva 
        dripping from his mouth... 
        The theatre lights up. In the sky a plane over Hiroshima 
        ...Little Boy slides out 
        To stay present ... The plane, the pilot, thew American flag ...
        To stay absent ... theatre darkens into atomic blast on screen
        Here we see ordinary men and women going about their ordinary 
        everyday jobs and diversions ... subways, streets, buses, 
        trains, airports, stations, waiting rooms, homes, flats, 
        restaurants. offices, factories ...working , eating, playing, 
        defecating, making love. 
        A chorus of voices cuts in RM phrases 
        To stay up 
        To stay down 
        Elevators, airports, stairs, ladders 
        To stay in 
        To stay out 
        Street signs, door signs, people at head of lines admitted to 
        restaurants and theatres 
        To be myself 
        To be others 
        Customs agents check passports, man identifies himself at bank 
        to cash cheque 

        To stay present 

        To stay absent 

        People watching films, reading, looking at TV ... 

        A composite of this sound and image track is now run on seven 
        second loop without change for several minutes. 

        Now cut in the horror pictures 

        To stay up 

        To stay down 

        Elevators, airports, stairs, ladders, hangings, castrations 

        To stay in 

        To stay out 

        Door signs, operation scenes ... doctor tosses bloody tonsils, 
        adenoids, appendix into receptacle 

        To stay present 

        To stay absent 

        People watching film ... ether mask, ether vertigo ... 
        triangles, spheres, rectangles, pyramids, prisms, coils go away 
        and come in regular sequence ...a coil coming in, two coils 
        coming in, three coils coming in ... a coil going away, two 
        coils going away, four going away 

        A coil straight ahead going away, two coils on the left and 
        right going away. three coils left right and centre going away, 
        four coils right left centre going away 

        A coil coming, two coils coming in, three coils coming in, four 
        coils coming in ... spirals of light ... round and round faster, 
        baby eaten by rats, hangings, electrocutions, castrations.... 

        The RM can be cut in with the most ordinary scenes covering the 
        planet in a smog of fear ... 

        The RM is a built-in electronic police force armed with hideous 
        threats. You don't want to be a cute little wolf cub? All right, 
        cattle to the slaughter house meat on a hook. 

        Here is a nostalgic reconstruction of the old fashioned Mayan 
        methods. The wrong kind of workers with wrong thoughts are 
        tortured to death in rooms under the pyramid ... A young worker 
        has been given a powerful hallucigen and a sexual stimulant ... 
        Naked he is stripped down and skinned alive ... The Gods of pain 
        are surfacing from the immemorial filth of time ...The Ouab bird 
        stands there, screams, washing through his wild blue eyes. 
        Others are crabs from the waist up clicking their claws in 
        ecstasy, they dance around and mimic the flaved man. The scribes 
        are busy with sketches ...Now he is strapped into a segmented 
        copper centipede and placed gently on a bed of hot coals ... 
        Soon the priests will dig the soft meat from the shell with 
        their golden claws ... Here is another youth staked out on an 
        ant hill honey smeared on his eyes and genitals ...Others with 
        heavy weights on their backs are slowly dragged through the 
        wooden troughs in which shards obsidian have been driven ...So 
        the priests are the masters of pain and fear and death ...To do 
        right... to obey the priests ... To do wrong? the priest's very 
        presence and a few banal words.... 

        The priests postulated and set up a hermetic universe of which 
        they were the axiomatic controllers. In so doing they became 
        Gods who controlled the known universe of the workers. They 
        became Fear and Pain, Death and Time. By making opposition 
        seemingly impossible they failed to make any provision for 
        opposition. There is evidence that this control system broke 
        down in some areas before the arrival of the White God. Stellae 
        have been found defaced and overturned, mute evidence of a 
        worker's revolution. How did this happen? The history of 
        revolutionary movements shows that they are usually led by 
        defectors from the ruling class. The Spanish rule in South 
        America was overthrown by Spanish revolutionaries. The French 
        were driven out of Algeria by Algerians educated in France. 
        Perhaps one of the priest Gods defected and organised a worker's 
        revolution ... 

        The priest Gods in the temple. They move very slowly, faces 
        ravaged with age and disease. Parasitic worms infest their 
        flesh. They are making calculations for the sacred books. 

        "400,000,000 years ago on this day a grievous thing happened..." 

        Limestone skulls rain in through the porticos. The Young Maize 
        God leads the workers as they storm the temple and drag the 
        priests out. They build a huge brush fire, throw the priests in 
        and then throw the sacred books in after them. Time buckles and 
        bends. The old Gods, surfacing from the immemorial depths of 
        time, burst in the sky ... Mr Hart stands there looking at the 
        broken sellae ... "How did this happen?" 

        His control system must be absolute and world wide. Because such 
        a control system is even more vulnerable to attack from without 
        than revolt within... Here is Bishop Luanda burning burning 
        sacred books. To give you an idea as to what is happening, 
        imagine our civilisation invaded by louts from outer space... 

        "Get some bulldozers in here. Clear out all this crap..." The 
        formulae of all natural sciences, books, paintings, the lot, 
        swept into a vast pile and burned. and that's it. No one ever 
        heard of it. 

        Three codices survived the vandalism of Bishop Landa and these 
        are burned around the edges. 

        No way to know if we have here the sonnets, the Mona Lisa or the 
        remenants of a Sears Roebuck catalogue after the old out-house 
        burned down in a brush fire. A whole civilisation went up in 

        When the Spaniards arrived, they found the Mayan aristocrats 
        lolling in hammocks. Well, time to show them what is what. Five 
        captured workers bound and stripped, are castrated on a tree 
        stump. the bleeding sobbing, screaming bodies bodies thrown into 
        a pile... 

        "And now get this through your gook nuts. We want to see a pile 
        of gold big and we want to see it pronto. The White God has 

        Consider now the human voice as a weapon. To what extent can the 
        unaided human voice duplicate effects that can be done with a 
        tape recorder? Learning to speak with the mouth shut, thus 
        displacing your speech, is fairly easy. You can also learn to 
        speak backwards, which is fairly difficult. I have seen people 
        who can repeat what you are saying after you and finish at the 
        same time. This is a most disconcerting trick, particularly when 
        praciticed on a mass scale at a political rally. Is it possible 
        to actually scramble speech? A far-reaching biologic weapon can 
        be forged from a new language. In fact such a language already 
        exists. It exists as Chinese, a total language closer to 
        multileval structure of experience, with a script derived from 
        hieroglyphs, more closely related to the objects and areas 
        described. The equanimity of the Chinese is undoubtedly derived 
        from their language being structured for greater sanity. I 
        notice the Chinese, wherever they are retain the written and 
        spoken language, while other immigrant peoples will lose their 
        language in two generations. The aim of this project is to build 
        up a language in which certain falsifications inherit in all 
        existing western languages will be made incapable of 
        formulation. The follow- falsifications to be deleted from the 
        proposed language.

        This IS OF IDENTITY. You are an animal. You are a body. Now 
        whatever you may be you are not an "animal", you are not a 
        "body", because these are verbal labels. The IS of identity 
        always carries the assignment of permanent condition. To stay 
        that way. All name calling presupposes the IS of identity. This 
        concept is unnecessary in a hieroglyphic language like ancient 
        Egyptian and in fact frequently omitted. No need to say the sun 
        IS in the sky, sun in sky suffices. The verb TO BE can easily be 
        omitted from any languages and the followers of Count Korgybski 
        have done this, eliminating the verb TO BE in English. However, 
        it is difficult to tidy up the English language by arbitrary 
        exclusion of concepts which remain in force so long as the 
        unchanged language is spoken. 

        THE DEFINITE ARTICLE THE. THE contains the implication of one 
        and only: THE God, THE universe, THE way, THE right, The wrong, 
        If there is another, then THAT universe, THAT way is no longer 
        THE universe, The way. The definite article THE will be deleted 
        and the indefinite article A will take it's place. 

        THE WHOLE CONCEPT OF EITHER/OR. Right or wrong, physical or 
        mental, true or false, the whole concept of OR will be deleted 
        from the language and replaced by juxtaposition, by AND This is 
        done to some extent in any pictorial language where two concepts 
        stand literally side by side. These falsifications inherent in 
        the English and other western alphabetical languages give the 
        reactive mind commands their overwhelming force in these 
        languages. Consider the IS of identity. When I say to be me, to 
        be you, to be myself, to be others- whatever I may be called 
        upon to be or to say that I am- I am not the verbal label 
        "myself." The word BE in the English language contains, as a 
        virus contains, its precoded message of damage, the categorial 
        imperative of permanent condition. To be a body, to be an 
        animal. If you see the relation of a pilot to his ship, you see 
        crippling force of the reactive mind command to be a body. 
        Telling the pilot to be the plane, then who will pilot the 

        The IS of identity, assigning a rigid and permanent status, was 
        greatly reinforced by the customs and passport control the came 
        in after World War I. Whatever you may be, you are not the 
        verbal labels in your passport. any more than you are the word 
        "self." So you must be prepared to prove at all times that you 
        are what you are not. Much of the falsification inherent in the 
        categorical definite THE. THE now, THE past, THE time, THE 
        space, THE energy, THE matter, THE unIverse. Definite article 
        THE contains the implications of no other. THE universe locks 
        you in THE, and denies the possibility of any other. If other 
        universes are possible, then the universe is no longer THE it 
        becomes A. The definite article THE is deleted and replaced by 
        A. many of the RM commands are in point of fact contradictory 
        commands and a contradictory command gains its force from the 
        Aristotelian concept of either/or. To do everything, to do 
        nothing, to have everything, to have nothing, to do it all, to 
        do not any, to stay up, to stay down, to stay in, to stay out, 
        to stay present, to stay absent. These are in point of fact 
        either/or propositions. To do nothing OR everything, to have it 
        all, OR not any, to stay present OR to stay absent. Either/or is 
        more difficult to fomulate in a written language where both 
        alternatives are pictorially represented and can be deleted 
        entirely from the spoken language. The whole reactive mind can 
        be in fact reduced to three little words - to be "THE". That is 
        to be what you are not, verbal formulations. 

        I have frequently spoken of word and image as viruses or as 
        acting as viruses, and this is not an allegorical comparison. It 
        will be seen that the falsifications of syllabic western 
        languages are in point of fact actual virus mechanisms. The IS 
        of identity the purpose of a virus is to SURVIVE. To survive at 
        any expense to the host invaded. To be an animal, to be a body. 
        To be an animal body that the virus can invade. To be animals, 
        to be bodies. To be more animal bodies, so that the virus can 
        move from one body to another. To stay present as an animal 
        body, to stay absent as antibody or resistance to the body 

        The categorial THE is also a virus mechanism, locking you in THE 
        virus universe. EITHER/OR is another virus formula. It is alway 
        you OR the virus. EITHER/OR. This is in point of fact the 
        conflict formula which is seen to be archetypical virus 
        mechanism. The proposed language will delete these virus 
        mechanisms and make them impossible of formulation in the 
        language. This language will be a tonal language like Chinese, 
        it will also have a hieroglyphic script as pictorial as possible 
        without being to cumbersome or difficult to write. This language 
        will give one option of silence. When not talking, the user of 
        this language can take in the silent images of the written, 
        pictorial and symbol languages. 

        I have described here a number of weapons and tactics in the war 
        game. Weapons that change consciousness could call the war game 
        in question. All games are hostile. Basically there is only one 
        game from here to eternity. Mr Hubbard says that Scientology is 
        a game where everybody wins. There are no games where everybody 
        wins. That's what games are all about, winning and losing ... 
        The Versailles Treaty ... Hitler dances the Occupation Jig ... 
        War criminals hang at Nuremberg ...It is a rule of this game 
        that there can be no final victory since this mean the end of 
        the war game. Yet every player must believe in final victory and 
        strive for it with all his power. Faced by the nightmare of 
        final defeat he has no alternative. So all technologies with 
        escalating efficiency produce more and more total weapons until 
        we have the atom bomb which could end the game by destroying all 
        players. Now mock up a miracle. The so stupid players decide to 
        save the game. They sit down around a big table and draw up a 
        plan for the immediate deactivation and eventual destruction of 
        all atomic weapons. Why stop there? Conventional bombs are 
        unnecessarily destructive if nobody has them hein? 

        Let's turn back the war clock back to 1917: 

        Keep the home fires burning 

        Through the hearts are yearning 

        There's a long, long trail awinding ... . 

        Back to the American Civil War... 

        "He has loosed the fatal lightning of this terrible swift 
        sword." His fatal lightning didn't cost as much in those days. 
        Save a lot on the defence budget this way on back to flintlocks, 
        matchlocks, swords, armour, lances, bows and arrows, spears, 
        stone axes and clubs. Why stop there? Why not grow teeth and 
        claws, poison fangs, stingers, spines, quills, beaks and suckers 
        and stink glands and fight in out in the muck hein? 

        That is what this revolution is about. End of game. New games?

        There are no new games from here to eternity. 


        no copyright 2001 textz.com - no rights reserved

# rohrpost -- deutschsprachige Mailingliste fuer Medien- und Netzkultur
# Info: majordomo {AT} mikrolisten.de; msg: info rohrpost
# kommerzielle Verwertung nur mit Erlaubnis der AutorInnen
# Entsubskribieren: majordomo {AT} mikrolisten.de, msg: unsubscribe rohrpost
# Kontakt: owner-rohrpost {AT} mikrolisten.de -- http://www.mikro.org/rohrpost