I was very happy to be able to interview Richard Marshall. He was friends with
some of the founders of the Discordian religion and other revolutionaries of the
1960s and 1970s. He told me about Discordian founders Omar Khayyam
Ravenhurst (Kerry Thornley), Malaclypse the Younger (Greg Hill), Robert Anton
Wilson, The Midget, Operation Mindfuck, The Illuminatus! Trilogy, Principia
Discordia, Fernando Poo, and many other people and places. To clarify some
points that were not clear in the interview, I have added notes in parenthesis.
HILDE: Thank you for agreeing to be interviewed.
MARSHALL: You're welcome. Sorry I wouldn't talk to anybody for so long. I don't
trust the press, but, well, guess you're all right. And I'm retired now--"can't fire the
retired." But I won't answer personal questions. And can't go overtime. Doctor's
HILDE: I have to ask you one that's personal. Do I call you Richard, Rich, Mr.
MARSHALL: Marshall. No "Mister." I call everybody by their last name, Hilde.
HILDE: All right, Marshall. I understand you knew Greg Hill, Kerry Thornley, Robert
Anton Wilson, Timothy Leary, Ken Kesey, and were one of the original Discordians.
MARSHALL: No, I wasn't ever really a Discordian, just hung out with them. I liked
Kesey's Merry Pranksters and Leary's books, but never did acid. I was more
Eristic, you could say, but wasn't an Erisian either.
HILDE: What's the difference between a Discordian and an Erisian?
MARSHALL: Discordian is more carnal, physical, like flyers and Jakes and rubber
stamps. Erisian is more spiritual, philosophical. I was a Christian, a "Jesus Freak."
Still am, I'd say. Not if you ask a Baptist. I don't believe in Hell, Jesus' resurrection,
or immaculate conception. Pure fantasy, all that. But I believe in Jesus' message,
"love your neighbor as yourself." And challenging the establishment.
HILDE: Doesn't "Jesus Freak" mean a Christian fundamentalist?
MARSHALL: No! Those days it didn't--different generation than yours. To us,
Jesus was a radical, anti-establishment rebel. We were into love and universal
peace, and back-to-the-land, what's now called "being green." I still grow most of
my own vegetables, and I'm still a Jesus Freak.
HILDE: There's a group called "Discordians for Jesus.".
MARSHALL: They probably get Jesus. Fundies don't.
HILDE: Many of the people you knew advocated drug use, such as marijuana and
LSD. You said you didn't take acid, but did you do anything else? Even being a
Christian, it would be hard not to, living in the '60s.
MARSHALL: Nothing personal! Oh, guess it doesn't matter now. Last three
presidents admitted smoking pot. You couldn't hang out with that crew and not do
something. Not unless you're Frank Zappa. I never did acid because it was
manmade. The Bible says God gave us all plants which are good for us. Tried
mushrooms--psilocybin--peyote, did pot of course. The three p's.
HILDE: Did you have any drug-related experiences you'd like to share?
MARSHALL: No. But I never had any problems, no addiction, no bad trips. Now,
did reds once, but didn't know what it was. Never tried opium. Should have done
that--poppy, the fourth "p." (Laughs)
HILDE: Back to the early days of Discordia. Because of conflicting accounts, it's
hard to tell how it all began. Sometimes it's even hard to tell who was a real person
using an alias, and who was a fictional character. Gypsie Skripto, Onrak the
Backwards, The Midget--
MARSHALL: Don't know Gypsie and Onrak. Onrak was real--lived in Wyoming or
Colorado, never met him. Gypsie might have been Louise (Louise Lacey--P.H.);
she liked gypsy things. The Midget was real. Just wasn't a real midget.
HILDE: Robert Anton Wilson said many times that The Midget was a real person,
but Wilson was known for twisting fact and fiction.
MARSHALL: Wasn't a real midget--that's what's fiction. The Midget was a boy
named Quinn, I think Art Quinn. No, Mike Quinn. He was I guess about 10 or 12
when we first saw him, back in the '60s. Ran away from home, wanted to be a
hippie--but with money. And a revolutionary, Black Panther--they started in the Bay
area, too--author, Rastafarian, president of the United States, everything.
Whatever it was, it was going to make him rich. He was a lot like that redheaded kid
on The Partridge Family. (The TV character was Danny Partridge, played by
Danny Bonaduce. --P.H.) Clever schemes, new games and variations, something
you wouldn't expect. A greedy little genius.
HILDE: You mentioned the Bay area--I thought Discordianism began in Whittier,
which is in Southern California.
MARSHALL: It was the Bay Area, northern California.
HILDE: I believe both Hill and Thornley said it began in a bowling alley in Whittier.
MARSHALL: They both lied a lot.
This is kerry thornley dot com, a site about kerry wendell thornley aka lord omar khayyam ravenhurst, co-conspirator with gregory hill aka greg hill aka
malaclypse the younger, contributor to principia discordia, worker on operation mindfuck, investigated by im garrison, friend of robert anton wilson and
robert shea, supposed co-assassin of president john f. kennedy, and fnord
|An Interview with Richard Marshall
June 10, 2009
by Pope Hilde
|This is part A of the first of a series of three interviews with
original Erisian Richard Marshall conducted by Pope Hilde.
We have them all.
Louise Lacey told us she is not
Gypsie Skripto and does not
know who the Gypsie was.