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Science fiction author, winner of the 1986 Prometheus Hall of Fame Award
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  • Robert Anton Wilson

    Robert Anton Wilson (born Robert Edward Wilson; 18 January 1932 – 11 January 2007) was an American author, novelist, essayist, editor, playwright, poet, futurist, and self-described agnostic mystic. Recognized as an Episkopos, Pope, and saint of Discordianism, Wilson helped publicize the group through his writings and interviews.

    Images - Robert Anton Wilson
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    18 Jan 1932, in Brooklyn, New York City


    11 Jan 2007, in Santa Cruz, California

    Awards Received

    1986 Prometheus Hall of Fame Award, by Libertarian Futurist Society, Prometheus Hall of Fame Award
    For The Illuminatus! Trilogy

    Websites - The Robert Anton Wilson Website
    Personal website, now maintained by Wilson's daughter, Christina; sections include biograhy, books (with excerpts), thoughts, poetry, jokes and related links

    Web Pages

    Robert Anton Wilson - Libertarian: Advocates for Self-Government
    Includes biography, photo, quotes and remembrances from libertarians
    A college newspaper called him a 'sage, a prophet, a psychologist, a guru, a futurist, a guerilla ontologist, an adept, and a postmodernist.' An audiotape company called him a 'visionary, poet, futurist, and libertarian philosopher.' And a movie reviewer called him a 'raconteur, gadfly, libertarian, conspiracist, stand-up comedian, poet, prankster, mystic, and madman.' Take your pick; they may all be true.
    Robert Anton Wilson -
    Short profile and links to essays, videos and other resources about Wilson
    Dr. Robert Anton Wilson was the author (along with Robert Shea) of the popular Illuminatus! trilogy, which won the Prometheus Hall of Fame award for science fiction in 1986. His other books have found great acclaim as well, many of them achieving 'cult classic' status. Wilson has been described at various times throughout his life as a novelist, philosopher, psychologist, essayist, editor, playwright, poet, futurist, civil libertarian and agnostic mystic.


    Check Your History, by B. K. Marcus, 11 Mar 2014
    Discusses the leftist meme "check your privilege" (criticized in another article by Sarah Skwire) and offers a second, historical point based on the etymology of the word "privilege"
    My own path out of the default leftism I grew up with ... did not begin with Ayn Rand or Murray Rothbard. Of greater influence was Robert Anton Wilson's Illuminatus! trilogy. In a scene ... we find our anarchist hero Hagbard Celine ... undercover at a Council on Foreign Relations banquet. The topic of conversation is Mortimer Adler's claim that "we and the Communists share the same Great Tradition ... and we must join together against the one force that really does threaten civilization—anarchism!" Our hero interrupts the ensuing conversation:
    "I can put the Great Tradition in one word," he said calmly. "Privilege." ...
    Related Topic: The State
    Illuminated Manuscripts: The legacy of Robert Anton Wilson, by Jesse Walker, 16 Jan 2007
    Short memorial essay, noting the paucity of attention to Wilson's death in the mainstream press contrasted to the multiple tributes on the internet
    The novelist, satirist, journalist, and philosopher Robert Anton Wilson passed away last Thursday, just a week shy of his 75th birthday. When he was alive he sometimes complained—or maybe it was a boast—that his books were never reviewed in The New York Times. The paper of record did pay its respects when he died, though, with a brief piece about his life and work. It wasn't entirely accurate, but the author of Illuminatus! would have enjoyed that. ... Given his enormous influence on pop culture, from Lost to Laura Croft, you might have expected Wilson's death to get more attention in the mainstream press.
    Live From Chapel Perilous: We're living in Robert Anton Wilson's world, by Jesse Walker, Reason, Dec 2003
    Contrasts Thomas Pynchon's Gravity's Rainbow and Wilson's (and Robert Shea's) Illuminatus! and argues that Wilson has had a much larger cultural influence than Pynchon
    Robert Anton Wilson is the unacknowledged elephant in our cultural living room: a direct and indirect influence on popular books, movies, TV shows, music, games, comics, and commentary. ... Wilson is a primary source for the ironic style of conspiracism, a sensibility that treats alleged cabals not as intrigues to be exposed or lies to be debunked but as a bizarre mutant mythos to be mined for laughs, metaphors, and social insights. ... Somewhere between absolute belief and absolute incredulity, he tells us, the universe contains a maybe. To which anyone who follows the news these days can reply: No doubt.
    Robert Anton Wilson, by Jeff Riggenbach, 15 Aug 2011
    Biographical essay, including a lengthy digression on the thought of Ralph Borsodi, founder of the publisher of a magazine co-edited by Wilson in the early 1960's; transcript of "The Libertarian Tradition" podcast of 4 Aug 2011
    Robert Anton Wilson was born January 18, 1932 in Brooklyn ... From Brooklyn Tech he went, in 1952, after a couple of years of working and saving his money, to the Polytechnic Institute of Brooklyn ... As the early sixties became the midsixties, he moved on to Ralph Ginzburg's Fact back in New York, and then to Hugh Hefner's Playboy in Chicago. He stayed there seven years ... The biggest success of his subsequent freelance career was Illuminatus!, a three-volume satirical novel written in collaboration with fellow late-sixties Playboy editor Robert Shea.

    Books Authored

    The Illuminatus! Trilogy: The Eye in the Pyramid, The Golden Apple, Leviathan
        by Robert Shea, Robert Anton Wilson, 1975
    Contents: Illuminatus! Part I: The Eye in the Pyramid - Book One: Verwirrung - Book Two: Zweitracht - Illuminatus! Part II: The Golden Apple - Book Three: Unordnung - Book Four: Beamtenherrschaft - Illuminatus! Part III: Leviathan - Book Five: Grummet
    Prometheus Rising, 1983
    Partial contents: The Thinker & The Prover - Hardware & Software: The Brain & Its Programs - The Oral Bio-Survival Circuit - The Anal Emotional Territorial Circuit - Dickens & Joyce: The Two-Circuit Dialectic - The Time-Binding Semantic Circuit
    Schrödinger's Cat Trilogy, 1979
    Contents: The Universe Next Door - The Trick Top Hat - The Homing Pigeons


    Dr. Demento, Walter Block and Robert Anton Wilson: Sex, Drugs, and Rock n' Roll, by Walter Block, Dr. Demento, Robert Anton Wilson, 5 Sep 1987
    Panel discussion at the 1987 Libertarian National Convention
    Related Topic: Libertarianism

    Subversion for Fun and Profit: An Evening with Karl Hess and Robert Anton Wilson, by Karl Hess, Robert Anton Wilson, Sep 1987
    Wilson and Hess at the Libertarian Party national convention, fielding questions from the audience on numerous topics
    Related Topic: Libertarianism

    The introductory paragraph uses material from the Wikipedia article "Robert Anton Wilson" as of 19 Jul 2018, which is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.