List of Discordian works

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Discordian works include a number of books, not all of which actually exist. Among those that have been published are Principia Discordia, first published in 1965 (which includes portions of The Honest Book of Truth); and The Illuminatus! Trilogy, which had its first volume published in 1975.[1]

Early Discordian works[edit]

Works by members of the original Discordian Society.

Principia Discordia[edit]

Principia Discordia is a Discordian religious text written by Greg Hill (Malaclypse the Younger) and Kerry Thornley (Omar Khayyam Ravenhurst). It was originally published under the title Principia Discordia or How the West was Lost in a limited edition of five copies in 1965.[2]

The Illuminatus! Trilogy[edit]

One of the most influential of all Discordian works, The Illuminatus! Trilogy is a series of three novels written by Robert Shea and Robert Anton Wilson purportedly between 1969 and 1971,[3] and first published in 1975. The trilogy is a satirical, postmodern, science fiction-influenced adventure story; a drug-, sex- and magic-laden trek through a number of conspiracy theories, both historical and imaginary, which hinge on the authors' version of the Illuminati. The narrative often switches between third and first person perspectives and jumps around in time. It is thematically dense, covering topics like counterculture, numerology and Discordianism.

In a 1980 interview given to the science fiction magazine Starship, Wilson suggested the novel was an attempt to build a myth around Discordianism:

We felt the [Discordian] Society needed some opposition, because the whole idea of it is based on conflict and dialectics. So, we created an opposition within the Discordian Society, which we called the Bavarian Illuminati [...] So, we built up this myth about the warfare between the Discordian Society and the Illuminati for quite a while, until one day Bob Shea said to me, "You know, we could write a novel about this!"[4]

Zen Without Zen Masters[edit]

Zen Without Zen Masters is a book by Camden Benares (The Count of Five), published in 1977, of koans, stories and exercises of a Discordian nature. It includes tales of several early Discordians including Hill (as Mal) and Thornley (as Omar and Ho Chi Zen). "Enlightenment of a Seeker" from this book is also present in Principia Discordia as "A Zen Story".[5][6][7] There are references to this story in The Illuminatus! Trilogy, as well.


Zenarchy was first self-published by Thornley, under the pen name Ho Chi Zen, as a series of one-page (or broadsheet) newsletters in the 1960s,.[8] A selection of the material was later reedited and expanded by Thornley and republished in paperback by IllumiNet Press in 1991. The book describes Thornley's concept of Zenarchy "a way of Zen applied to social life. A non-combative, non-participatory, no-politics approach to anarchy intended to get the serious student thinking."[9]

Summa Universalia[edit]

Summa Universalia was another work by Malaclypse the Younger, purported to be a summary of the Universe. It was excerpted in the first edition of Principia Discordia but never published. It was mentioned in an introduction to one of the Principia editions, and the work was quoted from in the first edition.[10][11]

The longest known fragment of the text is the Myth of Ichabod (alluded to as the "Myth of Starbuck" in the 4th edition of the Principia) which was circulated independently.[12]

The Honest Book of Truth[edit]

In addition to Summa Universalia, Principia Discordia also included selections from Kerry Wendell Thornley's writings, which he named The Honest Book of Truth. These sections are clearly marked, and are subtitled in parody of the bible's books.

The Honest Book of Truth was for a long time not available to the general public, but a copy of it was published in Historia Discordia.

Selections from this work can also be found within The Illuminatus! Trilogy.[13]

Natural Law, Or Don't Put a Rubber On Your Willy And Other Writings From A Natural Outlaw[edit]

Natural Law, Or Don't Put A Rubber On Your Willy, originally appeared in 1985 as an essay in New Libertarian. It was subsequently released as a standalone pamphlet in 1987. In 2022, Natural Law, Or Don't Put a Rubber On Your Willy And Other Writings From a Natural Outlaw was released. The collection features the original Natural Law article, but also includes an additional 12 Wilson writings: essays, interviews and a short story, all expounding upon the themes in Natural Law.

Later Discordian works[edit]

Apocrypha Discordia[edit]

Apocrypha Discordia was compiled by Rev. DrJon Swabey, later known as His Holiness The Rev. DrJon, and published in 2001. Steve Jackson and Reverend Loveshade had previously considered publishing a book by the name suggested by Russel Dalenberg on the usenet group[14][15] The book contains material by both original and later Discordians and is illustrated by Pope Phil Wlodarczyk III. It was translated into German as Apocrypha Diskordia[16] and because of it DrJon with Adam Gorightly were chosen to write an "outroduction" to a hardback edition of Principia Discordia.

The Black Iron Prison[edit]

The Black Iron Prison was an effort to create an updated, modern book that would function as Principia Discordia did when released. The collaborators stated that "while the original Principia Discordia holds important messages and philosophies, we wondered if some of the humor and language might be dated and lost on a younger generation of Discordians. We wanted to crystalize some of our favorite themes from the Principia, those of radical free will and self-emancipation." The goal was to encourage "critical thinking and self awareness" in the reader.[17] The Black Iron Prison has influenced Discordian communities in various parts of the world.[5]

Historia Discordia[edit]

Historia Discordia was compiled by Adam Gorightly with foreword by Robert Anton Wilson.[18] It is a compilation of early Discordian photos, tracts, art collages, and more including works by Discordianism founders Greg Hill (Malaclypse the Younger) and Kerry Thornley (Omar Khayyam Ravenhurst).[19] Among other things, it contains the long-missing The Honest Book of Truth and the first edition of Principia Discordia.[20] It features a blurb by comic book writer Alan Moore.[19]

Principia Entropius[edit]

Principia Entropius is a gathering of material from early Discordian message boards of the 1990s. Brenton Clutterbuck describe the book as "a terrible mess that makes one’s head hurt", but also as "a rare and valuable (historically if not creatively) snapshot of Discordianism in the 90s".[5]

Works about Discordianism[edit]

The Prankster and the Conspiracy[edit]

The Prankster and the Conspiracy: The Story of Kerry Thornley and How He Met Oswald and Inspired the Counterculture focuses on Kerry Thornley AKA Omar Khayyam Ravenhurst, co-founder of Discordianism. It was written by Adam Gorightly, self-proclaimed "crackpot historian."

Chasing Eris[edit]

Chasing Eris by Brenton Clutterbuck is a snapshot of the state of international Discordianism sixty years[21] after its foundation, documenting "a cross-section of international Discordianism"[22] and exploring its influences on counterculture, nerd culture, the copyleft movement, pop music and other art forms as well as connections to the assassination of John F. Kennedy, Charles Manson and the German secret service. The book includes several interviews and reports from the author's travels in North and South America, Australia, and Europe to meet Discordian individuals as well as whole groups.[23] It also includes an interpretation of the Principia Discordia chapter "The Parable of The Bitter Tea" by its original author.[24] It has gained the attention of websites such as RAWillumination.[25]


  1. ^ Cosmic Trigger I: The Final Secret of the Illuminati (1977), page 167. ISBN 1-56184-003-3
  2. ^ Malaclypse and Ravenhurst: Principia Discordia, page 00075
  3. ^ Illuminatus! was written between 1969 and 1971, but not published until 1975 according to Robert Anton Wilson, Cosmic Trigger I: The Final Secret of the Illuminati (1977), page 145. ISBN 1-56184-003-3
  4. ^ "Robert Anton Wilson: Searching For Cosmic Intelligence" by Jeffrey Elliot Archived 2006-06-14 at the Wayback Machine Interview discussing novel . Retrieved 21 February 2006.
  5. ^ a b c Brenton Clutterbuck, "Discordian Works[citation needed]" (March 15, 2014), Retrieved 14 January 2015
  6. ^ Malaclypse and Ravenhurst: "Principia Discordia", page 00005
  7. ^ Camden Benares: Zen Without Zen Masters (1977), pages 40-41. ISBN 978-1-56184-073-1
  8. ^ Groover, Joel (1998-12-03). "Kerry Thornley, philosopher, writer, friend of Oswald" (fee required). Atlanta Journal-Constitution. p. F8. Retrieved 2008-03-24.
  9. ^ Kerry Thornley, "Zenarchy" (1991), ISBN 0962653411
  10. ^ "By no means is the Principia our only scripture. All along Greg has been writing what he says is a summary of the Universe, but evidently it will be quite some time before he completes it." Thornley, Kerry: "Principia Discordia", page ix. Illuminet Press, 1991. As quoted at
  11. ^ Malaclypse and Ravenhurst: Principia Discordia, pages 2, 10, A14."Excerpted from a treatise concerning The Nature of Gods and The Eristesque Movement, to be found in the SUMMA UNIVERSALIA, the Holy Work of MALACLYPSE (THE YOUNGER), K.C., Omniscient Polyfather of Virginity-in-gold, and High Priest of The Heretic Fringe and Protestant Persuasion of the ERISIAN MOVEMENT of the DISCORDIAN SOCIETY " As found at Archived 2007-04-27 at the Wayback Machine, Archived 2007-04-10 at the Wayback Machine , Archived 2007-04-02 at the Wayback Machine .
  12. ^ Malaclypse and Ravenhurst: Principia Discordia, edition in possession by the National Archives and Records Administration. "For a more complete dissertation on The Principles, see "The Cosmology" in the incompleted Holy Work of Malaclypse (The Younger), H.C., Summa Universalia ("A Summation of the Universe) which is probably not yet available. Also, for a more complete rendition of The Eristesque Principle in particular, read his "Myth of Ichabod", included in the same Holy Work but also distributed alone on occasion [sic]."
  13. ^ Shea, Robert and Wilson, Robert Anton: The Illuminatus! Trilogy, pages 7, 141, 217, 657. Dell Publishing, 1988
  14. ^ Jackson, Steve (1994). Principia Discordia (introduction). Steve Jackson Games. ISBN 978-1556343209.
  15. ^ "The Apocrypha Discordia". Archived from the original on 2012-03-09. Retrieved 2007-02-08.
  16. ^ "Apocrypha Diskordia". Retrieved 2013-01-24.
  17. ^ "The Black Iron Prison".
  18. ^ Historia Discordia. RVP Press. 2014. ISBN 978-1618613219.
  19. ^ a b "Historia Discordia". RVP Press. 2014. Retrieved 2016-07-26.
  20. ^ Griffin, Andrew W. (August 6, 2014). "BOOK REVIEW: "Historia Discordia" by Adam Gorightly". Red Dirt Report. Retrieved 2016-07-26.
  21. ^ Vincent, Cat (30 July 2018). "Review – CHASING ERIS". Daily Grail. Retrieved 16 February 2021.
  22. ^ Cusack, Carole M. (6 May 2016). Invented Religions: Imagination, Fiction and Faith. Routledge. ISBN 9781317113256.
  23. ^ Clutterbuck, Brenton (2018). Chasing Eris. ISBN 978-1387943883.
  24. ^ Gorightly, Adam. "The Early Discordians: Dr. Robert Newport". Historia Discordia. Retrieved 16 February 2021.
  25. ^ Jackson, Tom. "Review: 'Chasing Eris'". RAWillumination. Retrieved 16 February 2021.