Hi, I met BOB a number of times between 2000 and 2005 in the USA, and regret not being allowed back into the U.S due to VISA issues, to see him again before he passed on. While he was still with us I already started a piece of writing that started to describe his influence upon me and how that amplified since traveling to America to meet him and having a most excellent adventure.
The following is what I wrote in mid 2006 while living with my parents at their home near Stourbridge in the West Midlands of England. I thought it was about time I put this up, as its just sitting on my hard-drive gathering moss, enjoy, love, steve.
P.S I now have the audio recording I made from the Prophets conference I can share here.
I first met Dr. Wilson on the 17th December 2000 A.D at the Prophets Conference in Palm springs, California, only 4 days after Al Gore said “”This is America, and we put country before party.” conceding to Bozo the clown in what might have been the most crooked election in U.S history, although the 2004 election may prove to even topple that. RAW opened his presentation titled “The Universe contains a maybe” with the line “George W. Bush is the president of the United States…maybe?” and continued to keep the audience smiling and in high spirits all throughout his epic, encyclopedic sit-down comedy cornucopia.
Six years on, and RAW seems as optimistic and cheerful as he ever was, perpetually glossing the world and its “other” with practical and scientific solutions, models, metaphors for our human condition. His alchemical unity of science and mysticism through the lenses of social psychology, humor and poetry illuminates, to me in (2006), the observation that language and the “other” places beyond language will provide us, the stewards of spaceship-earth, with new portals of discovery that can help nurture communication between different people’s, nation’s and species. His humble wisdom and teachings are an immortal kind of “Timespace capsule” as any bookshop or internet search will indicate his increasing presence throught the mediasphere, to not speak of his rather under acknowledged shadow as countercultural legend and outer head of the inter-galactic super Illuminati.
I would like to extend my gratitude to Dr. Robert Anton Wilson for his time and patience towards his merry tribes of interacting readers and processing patients everywhere. I will also take this opportunity to thank my family, friends and fellow poets for their critical support and optimistic humour that helped sustain me, as an independent artist within various challenging environments. – I first met Dr. Robert Anton Wislon in Palm Springs California at the Prophets conference where i was fortunate to have been asked to provide assistance to Bob throughout the conference, we enjoyed dinner together and had a Manhattan or two together with Paul Krassner and his wife.
Later in different company we shared a fragrant bit of Marijuana – a recent cannabis-cup winning weed called Williams Wonder which transformed Bob into the image of Yoda before my eyes, wise, old and green. The wonderful weed was provided courtesy of Richard Metzger. Earlier that day i had offered Bob some Liberty Cap mushrooms i had carried some 6000 miles with me in my pants, Lovingly picked from the Wychbury hills in the West Midlands of England close to where i grew up, alas Bob turned down my offer but seemed to enjoy my wry smile and laughed with surprise when i produced the mushrooms.
AHA! At the Prophets Conference 2000 A.D in Palm Springs i had gave Bob a copy of a book called the Stargate Conspiracy by Lynn Picknett and Clive Prince and he was reading it while at the conference and even talked a little of his initial impressions of the book. I gave this book to him because he was mentioned in the book and i felt an author should at the very least have a copy of any book they are mentioned in. Two and half years later i gave another text to Bob at his home in Santa Cruz, the book was “The Cosmic Serpent” by Jeremy Narby that i had with me and wanted to leave with Bob when i discovered he had not read it plus the fact that it had recently come up in an e-mail Bob received. Another 2 years later – September 2004, myself and over 50 other critters were exchanging blooks, essays, poetry, art and music with Bob during various courses he led at the new internet based Maybelogic Academy.
In San Francisco i saw Bob on four occasions, two at the learning annex San Francisco and one of these events i was an assistant in video taping the event for Soundphotosynthesis archive. I also worked upon some editing of this presentation afterwards but am unsure if the recording is finished and available at Soundphotosynthesis. Another in S.F event was called Pantheon conference 2001, held at the Renaissance hotel – i sent a Manhatten to his table as i knew what his favorite drink was.
On september 10th 2002 i travelled to Bob’s home in Capitola and spent three or four hours that felt like several days in fascinating conversation with him. A partial textual transcription of the recording from this afternoon has been published in the online magazine (Maybelogic Quarterly Vernal Equinox 2006) co-created by members of the maybelogic academy. Considering that i turned up to Bob’s house with no credentials, without flashing an I.D card, or waving a press pass or PHD.
I introduced myself as Fly Agaric on BOB’s intercom and he simply asked me if i wanted to come up. He treated me with upmost respect and trusted me in his own personal home space, he allowed me to set up some recording equipment and fiddle with his electric plugs, drink cans of Guinness and smoke weed on his balcony. I mean… What a Giza! And to then continue to entertain me with his razor wit and encyclopedic trademark intelligence, me, a nobody from England, a young cosmic Schmuck with a passion to know more about what the hell is REALLY going on, and a lad who had found the living oracle and was now engaging with him, laughing a lot, feeling comfortable and having fun.
You might ask yourself how many other 72 year old celebrity writers, comedians and philosophers would tolerate such things, i mean imagine tracking down Dan Brown to his house, getting buzzed in and then only 20 minutes later drinking Guinness, smoking pot, eating Marijuana brownies and having a right good chin wag? More reasons to read Robert Anton Wilson, i discovered that day another secret of the Illuminati – be humble.
The next time i met Bob was at the launch of his first and only biographical Movie premiere in Santa Cruz on the auspicious date 23 July 2003 (30 full years after his first telepathic experiences with doggies from the double star system Sirius.) On this occasion i was also celebrating my own contributions to this movie project and the very generous title given to me by Deepleaf productions of “Associate Producer”. I felt ecstatic! After the show i saw Bob briefly while getting into a jaguar and riding off into the Santa Cruz night like the final scene from the Usual suspects. This was the last time i saw Bob in the flesh, he had the physical attributes of a Chan Buddhist monk, an Irish Bard and a witch. He also looked to me like Xavier from the X-men in the year 2023 but with wild Einstein-white hair. Always well dressed in a dinner jacket and a ruffled enbroidered silk shirt, his Celtic spiral ring beaming off his large blue eyes, his speech slightly slurred due to a recent pair of teeth i believe, he must have wore out his last pair on that senator from Washington D.C? Yeah, i suppose Bob was like a grandad figure to me because of his age and appearance but also his influence upon this particular journey (all the way from New orleans) and my current life in America to some extent, having originally came to America to hear his presentation “The Universe contains a maybe” at the Santa fe Prophets conference, but he became Ill and could not make it.
This incident led to me being asked to help Bob at the next conference in Palm Springs – Dec 2000 A.D, and so it goes. My own journey into Chapel perilous had begun. Fortunately i was among kind family in the Bay area and got treated with much love and respect by the inhabitants, i was given food, lodging, access to the internet, gigs and the kind of trust and respect you might expect from close neighbors of fifteen years.
The Utopia i had only imagined was real, San Francisco, Oakland, California, with all the creative forces and cultural waltzing, i was living in a novel, and my friends reflected for me the kind of hero’s and positive forces within classic stories and myths, tales – lending a helpful hand, asking you to come to the party, the show, the art opening. I began to feel and tune in the vibe, you know the VIBE, it seemed everybody was from somewhere else on the map, all around the world. I could feel the same kind of optimism and technological embrace and multicultural celebrations that i often get from reading RAW in some sense, although my gloss is skewed or maybe not skewed in a RAW fashion because i read him so damn much.
Steven James Pratt (September 2006)