Comrades: I find myself in the midst of an Illuminati plot. Or possibly just perpetrating a postal crime. Unclear.*
My current Theory of Everything is I’m a recurring character in a Robert Anton Wilson novel that he’s writing while on a particularly strong acid trip. Timothy Leary is in the kitchen making pancakes, and you – dear reader – are the product of his occasional contributions in between puffing on a joint and searching for maple syrup.
In keeping with my character, I can be quite the conspiracy theorist – it’s good brain exercise – and I was onto what Beyoncé neatly summed up as ‘that Illuminati mess’ long before I even knew who the Bobs actually were. In fact, I’m sure if you made a study of my internet browsing history from a couple of years back you would find ‘Illuminatus!’ faithfully rewritten on Google Chrome.
‘What the fuck are the Freemasons up to?’ became a hobby of mine. I kept a watchful eye out for the ‘square and compasses’ symbol of Freemasonry and basically stomped about London confirming my suspicions that those bastards are, well… Up To Something. I spent a particularly busy afternoon at Highgate Cemetery, I recall, where I searched for significant names and numbers among the Freemason-sponsored graves (five and 23, of course). I was quite, quite mad.
But if there is, indeed, a secret to Rhonda Byrne’s ‘The Secret’, it is surely to ask the Universal Catalogue for something so completely pointless and preposterous that the magical Amazon in the sky decides to deliver – just for shits and giggles. For my long-since forgotten question – of ‘What the fuck are the Freemasons up to?’ – has been answered in a pleasingly perplexing way…
I’ve lived in a one-bedroom flat in Brixton for about a year now. A couple of months ago, I opened what I assumed was junk mail… only to find myself holding a copy of ‘Freemasonry Today’ – the official journal of the United Grand Lodge of England, according to its strapline.
I first confirmed with the person staying with me at the time that I wasn’t hallucinating. Then I wondered what the fuck sort of Freemason is living in a fairly unspectacular complex of flats in South London? Piecing together the plastic mailing bag, which I’d helpfully torn across the address, I saw that the address details were correct, but that the intended recipient was (from what I could make out) an ‘R Warr’.
‘Our war..?’ Geez.
Surely someone was screwing with me? Attempting to turn me into a paranoid schizophrenic as part of a cruel psychological experiment? Or, I’d started buying obscure books from magicians and mentalists on the internet of late – maybe this was a test akin to the plot of ‘Now You See Me’ and ‘Now You See Me 2’? Or, since I didn’t recognise the name from previous occupants, perhaps there really is an R Warr sitting somewhere in my flat complex patiently awaiting his Freemasonry periodical? Either for realz or as an Illuminati front.
ONE, TWO, THREE O’CLOCK…
I told myself I couldn’t be sure I’d seen the words ‘R Warr’ (seriously – ‘our war’!) and so stuffed the journal and accompanying bundle of ads into the back of my bookcase.
Some weeks later, another one turned up. To ‘R Warr’.
I decided that, on measure, being found guilty of mail crimes was a small price to pay for foiling an Illuminati conspiracy. So I unashamedly ripped open R Warr’s post and sat down to make a study of what the fuck Freemasons are up to.
1. These publications are reminiscent of my granddad’s reading paraphernalia of the late 90s. Think: ‘Radio Times’, ‘Reader’s Digest’ and golf club journals.
2. Most of the content comprises stories of raising money for charity or Freemasonry. All very worthy, I’m sure – but what of the weird handshakes and ritual sex? Disappointing.
3. There’s a lot of insight into the garb – and swag – of a Freemason. Ads for comfy chinos and slippers are interspersed with those for formal wear, fancy robes and even fancier bling.
4. I love the politics and lingo. The Grand Master addresses them as ‘Brethren’. There are multiple references to ‘The Craft’ (which just made me think of the Neve Campbell 90s witchcraft movie). Surprise inspections from high-ranking Freemasons are ‘ninja visits’. There’s a problem with ‘irregular Freemasonry’…
5. Unsurprisingly, most faces are white, male, and middle/old-aged. There is, however, a recruitment campaign, and so one black and one Asian member feature prominently in these ads. Plus a few handsome young fellas occasionally pop up. Presumably Freemasons are bringing sexyback with Brixton-massif members like R Warr.
6. There are ladies nights. These look like ghastly affairs at local golf clubs, where women in Debenhams evening wear are regaled by Del Boy impersonators and creepy clowns while their husbands, presumably, compare robes and plot for world domination.
7. The Grand Chancellor is prominently quoted as saying that Freemasons are “advising but never interfering”. What the WHAT?! Where is the fun in being in a secret club of power-mongers if you can’t interfere?! This has cured me of my obsession once and for all. When I start the Illuminati 2.0, rest assured we will ALWAYS interfere.
*A classic Operation Mindfuck tactic, of course. ALL HAIL DISCORDIA!