Originally posted by Bumbaclat
The only Free Mason I've ever met was a tattoo artist at New Tribe.
Will - if you get in, sponsor me in! no joke, I've always wanted to join.
023: What is The Illuminatus! Trilogy and what are the connections between it and the KLF?
Its a huge cult sex-drugs-occult-paranoid conspiracy theory-science fiction book, where reality shifts and nothing is as is seems. Or is that what I want you to believe? It was first published in the mid seventies, written by Robert Anton Wilson and Bob Shea (who were employees of 'Playboy' when they wrote it), originally as three separate novels: 'The Eye In The Pyramid', 'The Golden Apple', and 'Leviathan', but now most available as the collected Dell edition (ISBN 0-440-53981-1).
'Illuminatus!' tells the tale of the international conspiracy the Illuminati, who attempt to order and control mankind, and receive individual power (become illuminated) by causing mass deaths. Their arch enemies The Justified Ancients of Mummu (The JAMs), are "an organisation (or disorganisation) who are at least as old as the Illuminati and represent the primeval power of Chaos". Along with affiliated groups the LDD and the ELF (Erisian Liberation Front), the JAMs are engaged in a secret war to prevent the Illuminati from 'immanentizing theeschaton' (bringing closer the end of the world). "Whether the above is fact or fiction is irrelevant. What definitely is the case is; 'The Chaos versus Order War' has been raging on, ever since Time first *got it on* with Space and created the Universe." The JAMs were members of the Illuminati, but were expelled at the behest of a faction protesting "kick out the JAMs". The Illuminati control all the record companies, which is why all music is very dull, and how they managed to incorporate the anti-JAMs gibe "kick out the jams" into an MC5 song. The JAMs started their own company to bring out good music, and combat the Illuminati.
The book is obviously a product of the sixties US counterculture, and of the liberated sexual attitudes prevalent in the Playboy offices. It mixes factional sources with fiction and constantly re-interprets and changes the 'facts' until the reader is left utterly confused. It makes a use of the concept of synchronicity, where connections are made between apparently unrelated incidences, and of numerology, and brings to the readers attention the occult significance of the number 23. Whether there is more significance to 23 than any other number is questionable, but what is definitely true, is that once the reader is informed, and shown where 23 crops up, they will notice 23's popping up oddly themselves. A large part of the fun the book introduces one to, is either spotting 23's or hiding them in works deliberately for others to spot. Finally the book promotes discordianism, "a religion disguised as a joke or a joke disguised as a religion?" Discordians worship the female god of chaos Eris, and are involved in the chaos vs.order war.
Drummond was 'involved with the set design' for the first ever stage production (adapted by Ken Campbell and Chris Langham as a 5 part 10-hour science-fiction rock-opera epic), which opened in Liverpool on the 23rd of November '76. Drummond was at art college at the time. The play featured 'Illuminatus!' author Robert Anton Wilson as a naked extra, and the 23-strong cast contained a number of actors and actresses, who would later be quite successful. The play moved to London where it was seen by the young Jim Cauty who would read the books because of the production.
When Drummond and Cauty decided to "kick out the old" and attack the music industry, they named their group the Justified Ancients of Mu Mu and their record company the Kopyright Liberation Front (The KLF). Much of their recorded output features chants of Mu Mu! And their recordings are (c) the sound of Mu (sic). They took many concepts from the book and incorporated them into their work. If you haven't read the book you might want to spot them yourself (that was a poor attempt at a SPOILER WARNING): 'What Time Is Love? and the original version of 'All You Need is Love' feature a sample of the MC5 shouting "kick out the jams motherfuckers". 'All You Need is Love' also features the lyric: "We're back again/ They never kicked us out/ 20000 years of shout shout shout" which must refer to the real JAMs and also after suggesting an AIDS conspiracy ("Southern Texas seventy-nine/ Killer virus meets the world outside... With this killer virus who needs war?...Swinging sixties all part of the plan"), King Boy shouts "Immanentize the Eschaton". Then in 'The Porpoise Song' on JAMS LP2 King Boy meets a talking porpoise who tells him to join the JAMs! (While on the huge submarine, the 'Leif Erikson' several of the books characters meet Howard, a talking porpoise). Scott Piering, their radio and video plugger announces the motto of The JAMs 'OK everybody lie down on the floor and keep calm...' at the beginning of 'Last Train To Trancentral' as does John Dillenger when he robs banks. The Stadium House video is supposedly a KLF live concert at Woodstock Europa. At the real Woodstock Europa Maria Imbrium vocalist with the 'Sicilian Dragon Defense' hallucinates angels in golden robes coming out of Lake Ingolstadt. At the Rites of Mu (which of course was held on the lost continent of Mu) the four Angels of Mu rose out of the water at sunset in white robes. The confusion over their name (Kopyright and Kallisti Liberation Fronts, and Kings of the Low Frequencies) may just have been journalistic cleverness inventing them, or the KLF may have deliberately put them about, to mirror Hagbard Celine who keeps changing the name of the LDD (Legion of Dynamic Discord, Lawless Delicacy Dealers, Little Deluded Dupes). I think the multiplicity of names that they took on may be related to 'the JAMs can't do it alone'. The JAMs need help from The ELF and The LDD in their battle with the Illuminati. The JAMs need help from The KLF, The Timelords, Disco 2000 and The Fall in their battle with the music industry. The KLF stated all through their career that they intended to buy a submarine, and at the end of the 'Justified and Ancient (Stand By The JAMs)' video, they climb into a submarine and are waved off by the rest of the cast, 'all bound for Mu Mu land'. An insert shows the JAMs-mobile driving off into the sunset, with "The KLF would like to thank the five for making all of this impossible" superimposed.
The five of course are the secret leaders of the Illuminati. Allegedly, there is a reference to "3am eternal" somewhere in 'Schroedinger's Cat', and another obscure reference to an art gallery with a "picture" consisting of a frame with lots of bills nailed to it, but these have yet to be found.
The KLF also hid many 23's in their canon of work for 'Illuminatus!' readers to spot. 'Justified Ancients Of Mu Mu' is 23 letters long. Kopyright Liberation Front unfortunately has one too many letters. The first single 'All You Need Is Love' was JAMS 23. Then "23 years is a mighty long time" is a line in 'Next' on 1987. Also on 1987 is the song 'Rockman Rock (Parts 2 and 3)'. The JAMs-mobile (Ford Timelord) has 23 on its/his roof (all US cop cars have a two-figure number on their roofs). It can best be seen in the 'Doctorin' The Tardis' video. The model car in the 'Last Train To Trancentral' and Stadium House videos also has a 23 on its roof. The Italian bootleg of the Madrugana Eterna club mix has a cat. no of ETERNAL 23. At the Disco Mix Convention in Amsterdam in late Oct 1990 (it may well have been the 23rd!) they played a 23 minute version of 'What Time Is Love?' additionally they did a PA at the Heaven club at the end of December 1990 (could it have been?). The KLF's appearance at the Liverpool Festival of Comedy was on Sunday June 23rd 1991. The final KLF Communications info sheet was #23. There's a Cauty drawing of the cop car in this info sheet, it has a 23 on its side. The K-F's award was announced on the 23rd of November (the 17th anniversary of the opening of the Illuminatus! Liverpool production). The K-F's award was the 1994 award, while the Turner award it was subverting was the 1993 award; could it be because 1+9+9+4=23?.
There are some other poor ones which only fit if you force them, but are often mentioned by fans as possible ones (its also stretching a point to believe that the KLF with their shortattention span would bother to count up how many of each thing they had or hadn't done). However: There are 23 bricks in the KLF's pyramid blaster logo. Well there are 22 complete rectangular bricks. If you count either the ghetto blaster or the top triangle or the bottom left hand almost complete brick as the missing brick then yes. You can also manipulate the KLF's releases to produce 23 releases. There's JAMS LP1-6 (six) JAMS 23-28T (six) KLF 001-005, 008-011 & 99 (ten). So you need to dig up one more possibly the Stadium House video or ETERNA1 or the unreleased Black Room. Personally I don't like this one as I feel that their actions/stunts/pranks should be counted too, as well as just the records, book and videos. Then there's definitely not 23 mixes of 'What Time Is Love?' but by selectively discounting some or including some based on your own prejudices you can come up with either 13 or 17 (other significant numbers)[however the latest total count is 33!!]. Taking the alphabetical positions of the letters KLF (K=11, L=12, F=6) you can get: K+L= 11+12 = 23, and K+F = 11+6 = 17.