BOOK REVIEW

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TSOG: The Thing That Ate The Constitution
 
by Robert Anton Wilson
 
 
New Falcon Publications
October 2002
224 pages, paperback
 
Review by Jim Walker


I enjoy reading from Robert Anton Wilson, perhaps more than from any other writer. Although a prolific author of fiction and satirical non-fiction, he hasn't written a book for a long time and I have sorely missed him. Happily, he has finally come out with a new book, and I can report that his mind remains in fine form but, sadly, his body hasn't. In the book he explains that he now needs the aid of a walker most of the time and sometimes a wheelchair to get around because of a reoccurring polio disease. His beloved wife, Arlen died and Bob suffers from a lot of pain, except when taking certain illegal drugs which our dear federal gubment doesn't want him (or you) to use, and he explains his reasons why.

TSOG stands for Tsarist Occupation Government, where Wilson sees the elimination of American representative democracy by a Tsarist style of dictatorship such as the appointment of a Drug Tsar and the infestation of American government which started with "Bushware 1.0," and continues with "Bushware 2.0." This second version has virtually put the U.S. Constitution into mothballs. Most of our congressmen, especially those of the Republican Religious Right, have ignored or trampled over the Constitution (a document that does not mention God) and for which Wilson can only react with tragic satire. I found this quote sadly revealing:

Congress shall make no law abridging freedom of speech or of the press...
-- Anon (allegedly found in some little-known historical document)
 
This little book has so much information (and perhaps misdirection) packed between its covers that I won't even try to cover all of its topics. As any R.A.W. fan knows, he has the RAW courage to think about or investigate any topic, including: UFOs, astrology, science, religion (faith-based organizations), politics, philosophy, cults, clans, and conspiracies. These controversial subjects puts him out of the camps of conservative politics, science, and religion, so many see him as scary, a kook, a threat, an enemy, a liberal, insane, a devil, a terrorist, or an evildoer. But in discussing these topics, it does not mean he believes in them (or disbelieves in them). He claims that he simply doesn't know, but leaves the door open anyway, just in case. He wants the readers to think for themselves instead of letting others think for them, including himself (Tsarist governments don't like their subjects thinking). That gives the reason why he opens his book with a contract to the reader:
 
1. The author of this book hereby warrants and gives assurance that the readers have no obligation to believe everything-- or anything-- in it. Nor does he hope to reveal the absolute & final truth about any topic discussed.
 
2. Readers must warrant and gives assurance that they will not believe or disbelieve any part or parts of this book until they have given some time to careful examination of such a part or parts; and that they will file everything herein under "maybe" until or unless slowly arriving at "true" or "false."
 
3. Let communication between us begin.
 
Now that would make an excellent contract for any non-fiction book, including history, or science. Can you imagine what such a contract would mean for a bible?
 
Just as occurs in many of Wilson's books, TSOG consists of a collage of paragraphs, quotes, chapters, and short stories. Many of the excerpts come from his web site (www.rawilson.com) over a span of a year or two. I found many passages hysterically funny (especially when he discusses the benefits of faith-based organizations), sad (when showing the erosion of the U.S. Constitution), and awe inspiring (when putting subconsciously obvious but difficult to explain realities into sweet succinct sentences). He also alludes to a possible conspiracy and gives website addresses for you to investigate, but I'll let the reader discover that for himself/herself. In short, this book will inspire you to think instead of believing.
 
I have dedicated this web site's name to a few of my favorite freethinkers for which I have volunteered Wilson as an honored member (without asking for his permission). I hope ol Bob lives to a ripe old age, writing many more books along the way, so please, please U.S. gubment, don't put this humane freethinker in jail. And in spite of the hilarious implausibly of it, I also imagine how great for freedom if Robert Anton Wilson, or someone like him, became a representative in our government. I wouldn't mind that at all, at all.


A few quotes from the book:

I no longer fear the TSOG (Tsarist Occupation Government). If they throw my arse in jail, well, there's more pot inside than outside; and convicts & Congress, our two criminal classes, are the only ones who have full medical coverage.

"Mystical Tsarism," a holy religion, or crazy superstition-- as you will-- has two major tenets: (1) The Tsar is guided by God and can do no wrong, and (2) Reason is "cold" and inhuman, faith is "warm" and human; therefore we should ignore reason and guide ourselves by faith in the Tsar, our "Little Father."

Death makes me realize how deeply I have internalized the agnosticism I preach in all my books. I consider dogmatic belief and dogmatic denial very childish forms of conceit in a world of infinitely whirling complexity. None of us can see enough from one corner of space-time to know "all" about the rest of space-time.

Catholic nuns and priests vowing amoeboid asexuality seem no more or less weird than Heaven's Gate members who also make that choice.

Belief Systems contradict both science and ordinary "common sense." B.S. contradicts science, because it claims certitude and science can never achieve certitude: it can only say, "This model"-- or theory, or interpretation of the data-- "fits more of the facts known at this date than any rival model." We can never know if the model will fit the facts that might come to light in the next millennium or even in the next week.

We know that our sense impressions can mislead us, for instance. If we see somebody who looks like Joe across the street, we are aware that it may be Joe or it may be some ginkus who looks a lot like Joe. We examine him empirically before classifying him quickly as Joe or not-Joe. We have learned that slow tentative judgments are safer than rapid certitudes.

Human brains are as individualized and unique as human fingerprints. We all live in different sensory universes, and nobody has a guarantee that his/her universe corresponds more exactly to the alleged "real universe" than anybody else's.

Now, maybe you have enough vanity to think you are more than twice as good at philosophy as Ted Williams was at baseball, but even then you'd only have an average around .600. To assume an average of 1.000 is to assert that you are a bit more than three times as smart with words as Babe Ruth was with baseballs-- rather a conceited view, nu?-- and yet that's what every faith based Belief System (B.S.) claims.

The function of religions and cults, including the political or Ideological ones, is to short-circuit the normal "common sense" process of doubt, investigation, further doubt, further investigation, further doubt, etc. The person with B.S. knows the "right answer" at all times and knows it immediately. This makes them very happy-- and very annoying-- because most of their "right answers" don't make sense to the rest of us.

Common sense and/or science require investigation and revision, etc. B.S. only requires a Rule Book (sacred scripture, Das Kapital or whatever) and a good memory.

Belief Systems, "faith," certitudes of all sorts, result from deliberately forgetting the fallibility of human brains, especially the brains of those who wrote your favorite rule book, and this leads to a paradoxical rejection of the best functions of the brain-- namely, its ability to rethink, revise and correct itself.

If the world seems full and overstocked with stupid, crazy and half-asleep people, that is because it remains dominated by Belief Systems. Whether this B.S. operates under the label of religion or cult or Political Correctness, it shuts off all brain functions except memorization, and represents the strangulation of intelligence.

I suspect... that most people do and say most of the things they do and say for exactly the same reason: they never stop to think about it. I know that sounds brutally cynical, but at least it explains the religious and political behaviors of our species, which otherwise seem totally beyond rational comprehension.

The Holy Inquisition did not end in 1819, as most historians claim; the U.S. government has taken over where the Vatican left off.


CONTENTS

Contract

The Old World

The New World

The New World Order

The Tale of the Tribe

About the Author


To obtain this book, click below:

TSOG: The Thing That Ate The Constitution


Other books by Robert Anton Wilson:

Cosmic Trigger III : My Life After Death, (paperback)

Chaos and Beyond: The Best of Trajectories, (paperback)

Reality is what you can get away with (paperback)

Nature's God (Historical Illuminatus Chronicles, Vol. 3) (paperback)

The Widow's Son (The Historical Illuminatus Chronicles, Vol. 2) (paperback)

The Earth Will Shake (The Historical Illuminatus Chronicles, Vol. 1) (paperback)

Cosmic Trigger II : Down to Earth (paperback)

The Walls Came Tumbling Down (paperback)

Quantum Psychology: How Brain Software Programs You & Your World (paperback)

Principia Discordia: Or How I Found Goddess, and What I Did to Her When I Found Her (Wilson contributed) (paperback)

Ishtar Rising: Or, Why the Goddess Went to Hell and What to Expect Now That She's Returning (paperback)

Coincidance: A Head Test (paperback)

Wilhelm Reich in Hell (paperback)

The New Inquisition: Irrational Rationalism & The Citadel of Science (paperback)

Natural Law, or Don't Put A Rubber On Your Willy (out of print)

Prometheus Rising, Feb. (paperback)

Right Where you are Sitting Now (paperback)

Masks of the Illumaniti (paperback)

The Illuminati Papers (paperback)

Schrodinger's Cat Trilogy: the Universe Next Door/the Trick Top Hat/the Homing Pigeons (paperback)

Cosmic Trigger [I]: Final Secret of the Illuminati (paperback)

Sex, Drugs & Magick (paperback)

The Illuminatus Trilogy: The Eye in the Pyramid, the Golden Apple & Leviathan (paperback)

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The following books I suspect got written by R.A. Wilson under an alias name (same publisher, same writing style, similar subjects, etc.):

The Sapiens System: The Illuminati Conspiracy, by Donald Holmes, M.D. (paperback)

Undoing Yourself, by Christopher S. Hyatt, PhD. (paperback)


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