Thee Temple ov Psychick Youth

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Thee Temple ov Psychick Youth or TOPY was a fellowship founded in 1981[1] by members of Psychic TV (including later members of Coil and Current 93) and a number of other individuals.[2] The network is a loosely federated group of people operating as a blend of artistic collective and practitioners of magic.

Creation and influence[edit]

Their early network consisted of a number of 'stations[3] worldwide including TOPY-CHAOS for Australia, TOPYNA for North America and TOPY Station 23 for the United Kingdom and Europe. Smaller, "grass-roots"-level sub-stations called Access Points were located throughout America and Europe.[4]

Throughout its existence, TOPY has been an influential group in the underground chaos magic scene[5] and in the wider western occult tradition.[6]

Theory and praxis[edit]

TOPY was regarded by its founders as a loose, worldwide network of individuals dedicated to liberating themselves from the shackles of societal control via magic and other methods of individuation. The manifestation of magical concepts in TOPY specifically lacked mysticism, the worship of "gods" and other magico-religious dogma. The group focuses on the psychic and magical aspects of the human brain linked with "guiltless sexuality". TOPY's research has covered both left hand and right hand ritual magic and elements of psychology, art and music. Brion Gysin, the Process Church of the Final Judgement, William S. Burroughs, Aleister Crowley and Austin Osman Spare stand out as major influences.

Potential TOPY members were encouraged to make magical[7] sigils of a certain proscribed nature. These acts were to be performed on the 23rd hour (11:00pm) of the 23rd day of each month. If an individual chose to do so, they were invited to mail their sigils to a central location where the magical energy in them could be used to enhance others.[5]

The reason for the use of the "TOPY cant", such as the spelling of "thee" and "ov" in the network's name, derives from the writings of Genesis P-Orridge, which advocate a deconstruction of "normal" or consensus modes of communication in order to achieve a more integrated understanding of the Self (a la the cutups of William S. Burroughs). The anonymity of individual members was frequently protected via the use of pseudonyms, often including the use of "Kali" for a female and "Eden" for a male member.

Schisms[edit]

In the early 1990s, a "rift" occurred[citation needed] within the network when Genesis P-Orridge of Psychic TV, one of the few founding members still involved at that time, and probably the most famous public face of TOPY during the 1980s, announced their departure from the organization. This was later exacerbated with Genesis P-Orridge later claiming to have shut down the network upon leaving and requesting that the group no longer use the registered trademark of thee Psychick Cross.[citation needed] Some of the remaining members of the network chose not to go along with this and carried on with their activities.[citation needed] TOPY continued to grow and evolve throughout the 1990s and into the 21st century while Genesis P-Orridge moved on to other projects such as The Process, as well as a similar project to TOPY called Topi.

In 2008, some members of TOPY evolved into the Autonomous Individuals Network (AIN). Others continue to work as individual autonomous creators and practitioners in the realm of chaos magick. AIN was built on the foundations of the TOPY network and "all the history and knowledge that community has gathered since its creation in the 1980s".[8]

In December 2010, Genesis P-Orridge activated the One True Topi Tribe,[9] a reactivation of sorts of the original Temple Ov Psychick Youth, this time with focus on creating an intentional artists community.

Key texts[edit]

There have been a number of texts produced by Thee Temple ov Psychick Youth to expound its philosophies. Some of the key texts produced over the years have been:

  • Axiom 23
  • Thee Sigilizers Handbook
  • Thee Grey Book[10] (which was important during the 1980s but is no longer distributed by TOPY)
  • Thee Black Book[11]
  • Broadcast (the journal of TOPY)
  • Thee Psychick Bible is a compilation of all past TOPY literature, with updates and personal additions by Genesis P-Orridge, edited by Jason Louv.

References[edit]

  1. ^ chaosmatrix.org copy of email(?) "TOPY ON-LINE TRANSMISSION 1.06", dated 23 June 1991
  2. ^ Keenan, David; England's Hidden Reverse, SAF Publishing Ltd, 2003
  3. ^ "Psychic TV: First Transmission". Film Bizarro.
  4. ^ An Introduction to Thee Temple ov Psychick Youth. Brighton, Sussex, UK: Temple Press Limited, 1989
  5. ^ a b Greer, John Michael; New Encyclopedia of the Occult, Llewellyn Publications, 2005
  6. ^ Burton, Tina. "Intuitive Magick?": A Study of the Temple ov Psy-chick Youth, 1981-1989. Unpublished paper in the American Religions Collection, Davidson Library, University of California—Santa Barbara, 1989
  7. ^ "T.O.P.Y. Manifesto".
  8. ^ as stated on the Autonomous Individuals Network official site
  9. ^ "Genesis Breyer P-Orridge".
  10. ^ "bob's been really crazy lately". Kondole.com. Retrieved 18 March 2012.
  11. ^ "bob's been really crazy lately". Kondole.com. Retrieved 18 March 2012.

External links[edit]