Gen's upcoming events and Misc.upcoming projects...

GENS MISC. UPCOMING PROJECTS: Heartworm Press are publishing “Collected Lyrics and Poems of Genesis Breyer P-Orridge – Volume One 1961 to 1971. Later they will publish Gen's first novel, written in 1969, “Mrs. Askwith”. Other books will follow.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Interview w/GPO extracted from SECONDS magazine. Issue 29.

Interview w/GPO extracted from SECONDS magazine. Issue 29.
"OUR AIM IS WAKEFULNESS, OUR ENEMY IS DREAMLESS SLEEP." This mottois applicable to all the work of GENESIS P-ORRIDGE. Since theSixties, he has been at the forefront of controversy and in thethick of the fight against the power structures that insidiouslyeat away at individual freedoms. His work has ranged from theAvant-Industrial-Noise project Throbbing Gristle, whose influencehas made possible the work of most subsequent Industrial bands, toPsychic TV, who incorporated dolphin songs, bizarre "ApocalypticFolk," and pure Acid House Rave into their music. He's done video,art exhibitions, spoken word, and collaborations with TimothyLeary, Pigface, Lab Report, etc., and his booik Thee Psychick Biblehas just been published. In order to disseminate his ownsubversive, enlightening propaganda, he utilizes the same mediathat are used by the power structures he seeks to undermine. Hisart investigates government, Pop Music, and religion- testing bothexternal and self-imposed boundaries.
Genesis has never been a political mouthpiece spouting P.C.platitudes. His philosophies are deeper than the latest Left Wingtrend. His art is about spiritual transcendence and searching-without a trace of pseudo-Hippie New Age bullshit. He has beengenuinely extreme- because in order to test boundaries one must beextreme. He has expressed himself through body modification, Trancemusic and video, erotic sex-magick, Psychedelic experience, etc.His influence has been an integral factor in the modern primitiveresurgence, and his ideas have touched many people.
Genesis' impact was first effected by the network of like-mindedindividuals called The Temple of Psychic Youth, a project which heinitiated in 1981 and which spread to become an extended globaltribe. The Temple project ended in 1991, avoiding the trap ofbecoming that which it was meant to stand against: dogmatic,fundamental, resistant to change. A group called T.O.P.Y. stillexists, declaring itself separate, claiming members, and becoming a"church." But Genesis and his tribe, now known as TOPI, continue.Genesis' explanation: "These letters do not stand for a series offour words, as T.O.P.Y. does, rather, they are an integrated whole.TOPI is one unified word. A place where each unique individualstands."
But advocating individuality and awareness is not smiled upon bythe status quo, which can recognize a threat when it speaks outloudly enough. Therefore it's really no surprise that Genesis hasbeen attacked for his views. While he was working in India as avolunteer at a soup kitchen for Tibetan refugees, his house inEngland was raided, irreplaceable items and informationconfiscated, and suddenly his photo was plastered across thetabloids, in which it was claimed that he was the leader of aSatanic cult. He has not officially been charged with any crime,but he, wife Paula, and their two daughters wisely decided not toreturn to England. They currently live in California, continuingtheir work, and are involved in the project known as The Process,which is "an interaction, and an alliance of many cultural andTransmedia groups: artists, writers, videomakers, bands,philosophers, quantum physicists, pranksters, and even bikers."Ogre of Skinny Puppy is also intimately involved in this project,and information is available on the Internet by ftp, as well as by SASE to Transmedia Foundation, Box1034, Occidental, CA 95456. Many musicians and artists attempt tostand for something larger than just themselves, while trying toaccomplish something meaningful- changing the world. Genesis is oneof the few who have made, and are continuing to make, a realdifference.
SECONDS: When did you move from England to California, and why?
GENESIS: Towards the winter of '90-'91, I was just getting reallyfed up with England. But, interestingly enough, we were in a reallystrange predicament before we left, which was whilst we were doinglive events- Raves, but more like events in that we'd haveanarchist book shops, lots of alternative information stalls...theonly places we were able to do those events in the end, withoutbeing harassed by the police, was a series of clubs in England thatactually were owned by the Irish people. The myth went that theywere owned by the IRA, and since people didn't want conflict withthe Irish community to inflame the political situation, the policejust didn't go into those clubs. So we found this neutraldiplomatic immune zone, where we could do our events. So we weredoing these very, very overtly psychedelic events where all kindsof states of consciousness were free to all who were inside, andthere was no trouble because everything was was gettingso that without any adverts in the papers, with only our mailinglist and word of mouth, we were getting three or four thousandpeople. Each time we did one it was in a bigger place with morepeople, and yet the distributors and the music press werecompletely blacking out our activities- not mentioning us at all,not admitting these things were happening. All the top DJs werecoming and doing it free. I was actually on the dole before I leftEngland. I was in a strange position- doing some of the mostsuccessful parties but having no money, because we did them asnear-free as we could. During that last year Mr. Sebastian, who didall of our piercings and tattoos- he worked in the Gay community,but from him, we moved it out into the bigger community, and thenwhen Modern Primitives came out that consolidated the informationfor people...about a year before we left, the police raided Mr.Sebastian's tattoo and piercing studio. They went into his place-which was completely legal; he had a license from the LondonCouncil- and they went through his appointment book and picked outfourteen names at random, whilst claiming they were investigatingsnuff movies, which, of course, was never mentioned again- that wasjust an excuse. One of the names they took was mine. He wasoriginally charged by this team of detectives, who calledthemselves the "Spanner Squad"- their little joke about nuts andbolt in the human body- on fourteen counts of Grievous Bodily Harm.Now, no one who had the piercings had complained. They neverinterviewed any of the fourteen names, they just took hisappointment book, and the fact that the name was down for apiercing they considered was proof of Grievous Bodily Harm. InEngland, Grievous Bodily Harm is one charge below manslaughter, itcarries a seven-year sentence. And they were trying him on fourteencounts or near-murder, for doing piercings legally on people whowere happy with them, with a license. Then they dropped my namefrom the list, bringing it down to thirteen, which made ussuspicious. We thought, why have they dropped my name? Logicdictated that it was probably because they had other things in mindfor me and didn't want to spoil one case with another. We wereaware that they knew of my existence, both in connection with Mr.Sebastian and for my proselytization of Acid House Raves and theresurgence of Psychedelia, and all the things they're not veryhappy about. So to cut a long story short, they accused all theseGay men who did not know each other of being an S&M torture ring,and tried them all at once on different charges. So ultimately itwas a lifestyle attack. The case was tried without a jury, only aHigh Court Judge, which in England means they're setting a new law-that it's political. The judges are appointed by the government,and are usually seventy-year-old men who are completelyconservative in their attitudes. In this particular case, the judgelistened to all the evidence, found everyone guilty, and thenstated that the law was now that it was illegal to actually have apiercing done, because that was an injury to the body, and toinjure the body was GBH. A piercing or tattoo wounds the skin. Hewent further and said it was illegal to give a lover a hickey, andit was illegal to scratch a lover during sex. Having one earpierced is OK, but more than one is GBH. Having your nose piercedis only legal if you're Asian, because it's religious then. All ofthese carry a sentence of seven years. It's insane! It's like MontyPython! But of course, like all great governments, they onlylegislate the people they don't like. It doesn't mean they'rearresting every single person, it means they've criminalized a newcommunity. A growing, developing community that they feelthreatened by. As a law, it's insanity. He went on to say not onlywas that legal, but once the piercing had healed, it was notillegal, because it was then decorative. All right? You can't getthem, but once you have them, it's OK. Except at no time oncethey've healed are you ever allowed to receive or feel any sexualor sensual erotic pleasure from any of those piercings. Nor mustany piercing in any way be part of sexual activity or sexualintercourse. So the basic result you have is you can get genitalpiercings or nipple piercings, however you must never every againhave an orgasm when it's healed. You must never ever have sex withanyone, even if you're married. You must never have an erection,and you must never touch someone and feel pleasure from them. Thenit's OK. But if at any time, even accidentally, you feel pleasurefrom them, or they're utilized in any way during sensual pleasure,that is absolutely illegal in England. He then went on to say itwas illegal to own or have in your house any leather thongs, whips,belts, handcuffs, masks, ropes, string, or any item that at anytime in any way could be possibly used for sadomasochistic sexualpractices. Which basically means anything. A chair. A bookcase. Abed. A broken plate. I mean... hot water... milk... matches,candles.
SECONDS: They can prosecute anyone wherever they want.
GENESIS: Exactly. It was also declared illegal to have any sort ofscarification on your skin, to cut your own skin or have someoneelse cut it for you for any kind of pleasure or decorative reason.GBH to yourself. All of these carry a sentence of seven years plusfines. Which is pretty significant in terms of a cultural attack!Now obviously they're not going to run out in vans and arrest everysingle person with piercings and tattoos. As a matter of fact thereare more piercing parlors in Britain now than there have ever been,despite this. But, theoretically, at least, everyone is vulnerableto being raided at any time, arrested, and literally thrown injail. I mean, in England right now it is illegal for me to everhave an orgasm... my arm is illegal... So that's the background towhere we were when we left. You can see why we were just gettingfed up with it.
SECONDS: Wasn't there also something about them trying to take awayyour kids?
GENESIS: Well, this is where I'm getting to. That was the politicaland social climate at the time. Mr. Sebastian is still doingtattooing and piercing. Believe it or not, after the case they saidhe could still have his license, and continue. Now you tell me whatthat means! But they never gave him back his photo albums. Theytook his entire archive of his life's work. And of course, he'salways frightened. Now one thing that was really clear, was thatall the men were Gay men. The Gay community obviously ralliedaround and said, "This is an attack on Gay people." Finding a newexcuse to harass and humiliate them. What that led to was that theywanted to have a test case of some kind involving heterosexuals,and be able to say, "No, no, no, we hate everyone, not just gays!We hate all of you weird people!" During that twelve months whenthings were relatively quiet after the case, when my namemysteriously disappeared off the charge sheet while the othersstayed on, the same squad of detectives were investigating me. Sowe were the next target. We were involved with anti-apartheid, Gayrights, animal rights, the Rave movement- which was causingproblems for them- the Temple of Psychic Youth, which was somemysterious tribal magickal movement which seemed to incorporate allthe things they didn't like: positive sexuality and spiritualityand tribal culture. The next target was bound to be us. Since theSixties, I've been involved in all the movements they despise. Sowe basically decided we needed to go away and ponder what we wantedto do next, and whether we even wanted to stay in Britain. Duringthat year we'd already gone quite a few times to a Tibetan Buddhistmonastery in Scotland, called Samye Ling. The main monk there, LamaYeshe- we got on well with him. And we were talking about going tothe Far East, as we'd been to Thailand before, and we were thinkingof going, just to rest and think, absorb all the information anddecide what would be a good thing to do, and he said, "Well, whydon't you go to Nepal as well, to the Himalayas, and you can visitour monasteries there. We thought, that's good. It's nice to notjust go for yourself, but to go for a reason. So we did a mailout,and got a huge, huge crate of children's clothes from our mailinglist, we packed that and took it with us, and what was left of ourcredit card and royalty money, and locked up the house, with oneperson as a caretaker, and went to the Far East. We did Thailandfor a while, then did some work for Panasonic in Tokyo to get moremoney so we could stay longer, and then we went to Nepal. And wedid help, every morning we'd get up and go and help with thekitchen, and feed anywhere from three hundred to eight hundredTibetan refugees, lepers, and orphan children. It was actually abrilliant experience. I wasn't sure if it would seem patronizing,but from the first smile you get when you hand somebody a goodmeal, you just think, "I'm glad I came." It was really one of thebest experiences. We gave all the clothes to be distributed to theorphan children. So we felt like Psychic TV was actually givingback something, which is always something we tried to do. And wevisited monasteries and obscure places, and had an amazing time.And actually discovered that there, walking around with tattoos andpiercings and gold teeth, and my hair, they would just say "NagaBaba," which means "holy person." All the other holy men would sortof bless us. It was really quite an affirming experience, to walkaround and suddenly be seen as someone who must be devotional intheir life. Everyone assumed that, since we had the trappings of adevotional life, and the attitude, in that we were sharing what wehad. The Naga Baba are actually one of the more extreme sects ofHindu. They're mostly naked, and wander around and are given food.And they have certain rituals which involve piercing. Genitalpiercing, and they have this great big ring through the center ofthe ear. It's a seven-year initiation and learning process. At theend of the seven years, if the guru feels that you're ready, thenyou do a whole meditation and ritual and jungle retreat for Shiva,and then the actual final part of the ceremony is they get a redhot piece of iron and plunge it through the ear while you'remeditating and focusing on a mantra. You're not allowed to make asound or flinch. Some people actually die from the physical traumawhich means that you weren't ready. And some people go mad. But notoften, because it's up to the holy man to be really sure, and bythen they usually know if the person can trance out enough to feelnothing. A friend of ours, Trilochan, who introduced us to a lot ofpeople- he's an amazing man- told us about a friend of his who didthe seven years, and asked to do the initiation, and the holy mansaid, "No, you're not ready, you've got to do another seven years."And this man said "No, I want to do it, I am ready." And the holyman said, "No, I know you're not." And in the end, he said, "If youdon't let me do this I'm just going to kill myself, because I knowI'm ready." So he said, basically, "Well, it's your problem fromnow on, but I think it's a terrible mistake." So this man did theinitiation, and when they did the part where they plunge the rodthrough his ear, he went insane. Went totally insane. Threw himselfoff a bridge and was impaled on a Shiva Lingum, the big penis wherethey sacrifice to Shiva. Because he wasn't ready. Heavy stuff.Scotland Yard wouldn't like it! But on the other hand, you can seehow reassuring for us it was to be in a culture where all of thatwas seen as an option- a holy option, as far as understanding lifeand existence, and not something to be afraid of. Everyone takestheir devotional life to whatever point they want. Most peopledevote their entire life to the most extreme rituals. So there weare in this amazing culture- the most integrated spiritual,physical culture I've ever seen. It felt very psychically clean,balanced, that everything was seen as part of an integrated whole.The simplest event and the most dramatic event were all equal. Theyhave a word for that, agori. That means "the path of nodistinction." That there is implicitly no better or worse way toview something, that everyone's idea of what is pleasant or good isbased on an imprint that we choose. It wasn't good in advance. Arose is not more beautiful than a weed. They're both equallybeautiful. Or they're both equally uninteresting. But nothing isbetter than the other. It's human beings that put these valuesystems on them. Then they build moral systems. And the moralsystems build legal systems, and those build policing systems whichbuild oppressive systems, which build political systems which breedmisery, hypocrisy, and bigotry. So their way of analyzing that isto say "agori," the path of no distinction. You make all yourdecisions based on your own path. And the things in yourenvironment, everything around you is just around you and itfunctions that way. We should try not to have moral, aestheticopinions about it. So there's maybe six, maybe eight Agori Babas inthe whole of India and Nepal. They live the life of the Agori,which is the most difficult of all the Sadhus, the holy men. We metthe chief Agori Baba. We were at this place outside of Katmanducalled Pasparti. We were with Trilochan, looking around. There'sthis whole area that no one except the very holy people are allowedto go, even other Hindus and Asians. And we saw this guy with longgray dreadlocks who stood behind us, just appeared out of nowhereand said, "Ah, Trilochan, come with me and bring your friends." Andinvited us into the most sacred chamber, the most secret part. Theyeven have military police guarding it, so no one goes in bymistake. His chamber is right next to the burning gas where theyburn the human bodies, so there's the smell of burning flesh allthe time inside this chamber, which is carved out of the rock.Inside he has all these beautiful flowers, all around his altar, sothere's the scent of the most beautifully scented flowers of Nepal,and the scent of burning flesh all the time, which is the agori-they're both the same. His discipline is that they smell the same,beautiful or unpleasant, none is better than the other. And in thatroom there's a fire burning that they known has been burningwithout ever going out for over a thousand years. It's the fire ofShiva. And he anointed us with the ash from this fire, which is oneof the most powerful blessings anyone could ever get. It was as ifhe knew something was going to happen, because he was giving us allthese blessings and sort of saying, "I want to give you all thisextra power," and he gave us a little jar with ash from the fire,and said, "Take this to America." Well, it's like, "OK." And wewent back to the hotel, and the next day we got a fax, and it said,"Phone home, no one's died, but there's trouble." So we borrowedthe phone, rang up, and they said, "Your house was raided byScotland Yard this morning at six a.m." Twenty-three detectives,which is funny. It would be, wouldn't it? It was the only funnybit, really. What had happened, it turned out, was, we hadoriginally booked our flights back for the day before. We wouldhave got back on Friday night and at six a.m. on Saturday morning,we'd have been back with the children, jet lagged and asleep-that's when they'd've raided the house. So they had been looking atthe air flights. What happened was- we were just getting ready topack, and then Paula said to me, "You don't want to go back, doyou?" And I said "No, not really, I like it here." And she said,"Yeah, I can tell. Let's just stay as long as we can." And I saidyeah. What's going to be at home? There's going to be bills andpost and we'll be on the dole again... why rush back? Let's stay aslong as we can, just be really frugal and see what happens." So itwas because of her saying that that we weren't on the plane. Wejust didn't bother to go to the plane. That's what changedeverything. What happened was our friends that ran Temple Press forus three doors down the street were just walking along, walkingtheir dog in the morning, and saw a policeman with a sledgehammerabout to smash the front door of our house. They said, "Why are youdoing that?" They said, "We've got a search warrant." They said,"Well, why don't you ring the bell? There's someone livingdownstairs, looking after the house." They had a video camera, andthey were setting up the camera angle so they could film the doorbeing smashed in. So they didn't really want to ring the bell, theywanted it to be very dramatic- it was a propaganda thing. You don'ttake video crews every time you go to someone's house. You don'ttake twenty-three detectives. So, very begrudgingly, they rang thebell, and this friend of ours, Alice, came and let them in, and wascompletely terrified. They spent all day in there. They took awaytwo tons of my archive. Video, photo documentation of myperformance artwork. Coum Transmissions, unpublished films by DerekJarman of William Burroughs in London, the only copy of the print,videos of Bryon Gysin, whom I interviewed... irreplaceable stuff,going way back to 1970-69. All the photos of the children growingup, the videos of the children being born, everything that wasfilm, video, or photographs. Visual material. Also they took allthe Tibetan artifacts. Tibetan trunks, museum pieces that I'd spentyears gradually acquiring.
SECONDS: What are art objects supposed to be evidence of?
GENESIS: Well, we still don't know! That was Saturday. On Sunday,The Observer newspaper published an article saying, "Finally,Absolute Proof That Satanic Ritual Abuse and Murders Really Do TakePlace," with our logo, the Psychic TV skull and cross. And it said,"The police and other groups have finally proved that ritualmurders, forced abortions, rapes, human sacrifices, and all thesethings that have been said to be born-again Christian myths, areactually real, and this group led by Genesis P. Orridge are thepeople in England doing it. They are the proof that Satan really ison the planet!" On Monday, all the gutter press- tabloidnewspapers- come out with stories. They were obviously all readyand prepared, with big pictures of me, saying "This Man is the MostEvil Man in Britain," and all this. Then on Tuesday, thedocumentary was on Channel 4.
SECONDS: Was the documentary on you, or on Satanism?
GENESIS: The whole thing. With bits of our videos cut in, with thevoice-over changed, and also they claimed to have two women whowere ex-members of our "cult" who had been forced to have abortionsand ritual sex, and then eat their own babies, whose faces wereblurred out and voices altered "to protect them." They made thesebig confessions about what happened in the "cult," in the basementof our house. So that's what happened while we were in Katmandudoing soup kitchens for refugees! To this day, no one has mentionedwhat we were actually doing! Now, in the documentary, luckily foruse, one journalist who worked for the Daily Mirror noticed thatwhen they talked about the secret leader of this Satanic cult thatthe image that was flashed was actually Derek Jarman, the Gayfilmmaker. And they thought, "That's a bit strange." So they wentto Derek's house- this was when he was really ill with AIDS, anddying- at two in the morning there's all these journalists on thedoorstep demanding interviews with the leader of the Satanic cult.To his credit, Derek, who was a very brave, wonderful man- I knewhim since '68-'69- he said to them, "Why don't you go do some realresearch and just grow up? How could you be so ridiculous? Go takea look and you'll realize it's a complete fabrication. Those videoclips used on Channel 4 were actually made eleven years ago,commissioned by Channel 4 for an arts program that Genesis did forthem about William Burroughs. Bryon Gysin, and his own work withvideo, and he was asked to show ways that people think they seethings that are not there, and the power of video editing tomislead people. Don't you think that's ironic?" And he said, "I wasactually in it as the figure of a politician, to show thatpoliticians will say anything if it represents the people in power.So just go look at it now and try again." Now, to recap on yourquestion about the children, there'd been a history of two or threeyears with this Satanic ritual abuse scare, and it had got to thepoint where if anybody phoned up the police or Social Services,didn't give their name, rang from a call box once, and said, "Ithink that George Petros is a Satanist," and he had children,they'd take the children into care for two years. Based on oneanonymous phone accusation. With no evidence. So if the childrenhad been there with us, they would have automatically taken theminto care based on that precedent. Which is outrageous! So we werejust really, really blessed that we stayed in Nepal. We went to seethe Tibetan Rinpoche. We said, "Guess what? We're exiles too now!We're refugees!." And they gave us a free room in a hotel, theygave us food, and they started taking care of us. So that's wherewe were in England. Just in the last few weeks they got auniversity professor to do a government report, and the bottom linewas that she said, quite categorically, there is not, and never hasbeen any ritual Satanic abuse, it's a complete myth, it wasinvented by the Christian Right as psychological warfare againstpeople and groups they don't like. It never did exist. It's acomplete fabrication. This was partly a result of what's happenedto us. To this day we've been charged with nothing. Because wehaven't don anything! Then gradually journalists, starting to checkthings through, found the two women "witnesses," and whattranspired, briefly, is that a group of evangelical Christians,financed by evangelical Christians in America, wanted to set up thesame sort of scare tactics and social attacks that they've had overhere, so they gave them lots of money. Now the TV company that wascommissioned to make the documentary was never a TV company, it wasjust these Christians. The person at Channel 4 who commissioned itwas also an evangelical Christian. So he lied in the paperwork,pretending this was a bona fide TV company. It wasn't. Anevangelical Christian attorney in Liverpool illegally went throughmental hospital documents and found these two women, who hadalready had breakdowns over having abortions or having theirbabies adopted when they were young. They then took them to aborn-again Christian evangelical house in the north of England andheld them for two days without sleep, harangued them, and accusedthem of being possessed by demons and having done all these thingsuntil in the end, just to get out, they confessed. And that waswhen they filmed them. Not one of these people has ever beencharged with anything, accused of anything, questioned aboutanything... not even an apology to us or a statement to the papersthat accused us of everything except The Daily Mirror. All theothers pretended that they didn't know it was all untrue. To thisday. So the myth still persists.
SECONDS: So these women were never involved in any kind of cult?
GENESIS: No. They didn't even know my name, or the name of TOPI.They called it something else. They made up a name when they wereasked, called it "The Satanic Coven of something-or-other." Theywere just two unstable, unhappy women who were exploited. It wasn'ttheir fault. If they hadn't done it they'd've got actresses to doit. So a lot of really illegal stuff went on. It took a lot ofmoney, and a lot of political power to set that up. To this day, wecan't sue them, because we have no money. We lost our house inEngland, which was worth $200,000. We lost our car, we lost...everything, financially. I mean. I just got a letter saying I owethe bank in England $43,000. I haven't even got a thousand dollars!So it was a very calculated attempt to completely destroy oursocial and political base. Actually, I contacted a friend not longafter we arrived in the U.S. to try to see through their contactsin the intelligence community, and they said it was actuallyorchestrated by MIC, which is like your CIA, that they wereinvolved, and it was all political. It wasn't that they personallyhated me, so much as the scenario involving us was perfect fortheir social control...
SECONDS: There was T.O.P.Y., which they didn't know much about, soI'd imagine they'd find that unknown quantity threatening.
GENESIS: Yeah. I've been questioning and challenging their statusquo since '65, so it's like, "This is someone who won't go away,so..." From their point of view, you can see how it all makessense, if they had an agenda of that type. I know for a factthey've kept a massive file on me since the Sixties, way back whenI was doing underground newspapers. I was in Gay Lib streettheater, I helped set up prisoners' rights organizations. I wouldinevitably be drawn toward those controversial places, becausethey'd be the most exciting! So it was my turn, I guess. So we'reat a point now where they still have two tons of our archive, allthe photographs and everything, and it's two years later. We'vebeen charged with nothing. The police have admitted on televisionthat they knew there was no Satanic involvement of any kindwhatsoever but that they have to investigate it if there's anaccusation. Meanwhile they've got all the stuff. Timothy Leary'stheory is that that's what they wanted all along. They wanted thearchive. They didn't really care about all the rest, that was justsmoke clouds they could just dismiss later and go, "Oh, sorry aboutthat. Made a mistake. But, you know, we do have to check if someoneaccuses you of something."
SECONDS: Now they have information on other people as well.
GENESIS: Exactly. They've got this nice big archive of all of mycollection, and the collection and investigation of lots of peopleI know into social control, the media, cut-ups, and howgovernments and private power cabals operate. That's what myarchive was- that was the topic. How do they do it? How does themedia do it, and what might they do next? So Timothy Leary ispretty adamant that that's what they wanted. Because when theyattacked him, they took his archive. It was the first thing theywere looking for. They didn't get it all, because friends hid a lotof it, but that was the thing they kept asking him, "Where's thearchive?" So he says there's a certain precedent, that's what theydo sometimes, go for the information whilst making a lot of noiseabout the individual. So we went back to our Tibetan friends, andsaid, "What do you think we should do?" And the most holy of theTibetans, after the Dalai Lama said, "Go to California." Which wethough was interesting, seeing as the Hindu agori had said, "Go toAmerica." So we said, "OK." So people in America sent us tickets.Because we had no money by then, we'd spent it all on the soupkitchen! So we came to California, and Michael Horovitz and hispartner Cindy let us live at their house. Michael was actually theperson that hid and kept safe Timothy Leary's archive, one of thosefunny little ironies! So he was very aware of the implications, andreally, they were so amazing. They let us just live in their houseuntil we could sort things out, find somewhere to rent. Then we metTimothy Leary, and he said, "Come down and stay with me., I knowwhat it's like." It turned out in the end to have a really positiveeffect, in terms of networking on a more global level. It did getus out of the claustrophobia of England and that sort of parochialidea that everything that happens in Britain is the's not. So that's how we got here!
SECONDS: Since you've been in America, what have you been doing?
GENESIS: Well, we ended up in the Bay Area, and one of the firstthings we started doing was working with Timothy Leary and doingvideo and audio mixing when he did his lectures and talks. I'd alsotalk in the Question and Answer section, and kind of pass the mikeback and forth. I'd talk about the implications of what washappening with us, and he gave us a really good platform. I stillsee Timothy whenever I can- he was really helpful. And we also metthe Rave community, they heard we were in California, found outwhere we were, came to see us, put on a benefit Rave to raise moneyfor us to rent somewhere. People were incredibly supportive. Thatwas very gratifying, to realize that what we'd been doing all theseyears had made enough sense to people over here that theunderground community was prepared to actually do somethingpractical to help us! So we did some stuff with Raves, and throughthat we met lots of computer people. Somebody gave me a computerwith a modem, and I got more involved with what's become known ascyberspace. Right now, in terms of interesting projects, I gotasked to be in Pigface! Through Pigface I met Ogre and Skinny Puppyand other musicians, so I connected with the musical community thatway.
SECONDS: Are you on the Pigface recordings?
GENESIS: Yeah, I'm on the live one, called The Truth Without, andthere's a new studio one called Notes From thee Underground, withtwo songs I do with Ogre, and one of mine. I found that I got onreally well with Ogre, we just became really good friends, so whenSkinny Puppy was signed to American Records, he asked me to getinvolved in the project because he wanted it to also be aboutcomputers, and the Internet, and the possibilities for socialcontrol inherent in a blanket of computer information. Becausewhilst you can all contact each other, you can also all be watched,and located. We'll deal with all those issues- the moral,political, and sociological, even the spiritual issues of what doesit mean when everyone's part of this larger brain?
SECONDS: How do you think this emphasis on technology connects withmusic, and when the music becomes very technological, how does ittie in with the spiritual and psychological aspects of music?
GENESIS: That's a very interesting question. When people look back,this will be the Computer Age, the Digital Age. I'm only beginningto see that it needs to be speculated on, so I don't have a fullyformed picture. But what I want to do working with Skinny Puppy,Media Chaos, and other people is to sit down with a think tank andlook at exactly that question. I think that is one of the mostimportant questions we can ask at the moment. And the implicationshaving to do with anything concerning cyberspace, technology, andpeople. One of the great advantages of modern technology to peoplewho are making music is that for the very first time, every soundof everything that was ever recorded is theoretically, and probablysoon, practically available to everyone else. And as they start tofill up databanks with audio sounds, people will continue topreserve with DATs all over the world in a kind of data glut-anything and everything that's ever been made recordable. We allhave access to everything, we can assemble and change everything.Everything can be manipulated, so we're at this rather strangepoint in history where nothing is real in a way. It really hasbecome like the Buddhist interpretation that it's all illusion. Anysound, any image that can be recorded can also be manipulated andaltered, or reassembled in a way that didn't exist before, and soon ad infinitum. I don't think any of us really know what thatmeans. I think it's such a big thought that it's going to takeawhile to come to terms with that, and what it's going to do to howwe perceive reality. But I think it is going to change thatpermanently. I think there's going to be a psychological andbehavioral mutation based on that. It could be quite radical. Wecan now travel anywhere we want in history, in time, withoutleaving the room. We really can. And we'll be able to do so in moreand more of a real way as more and more information is loaded intodatabanks and Gopher sites.

SECONDS: Why did you get involved with computers?
GENESIS: I think it's just "hot spots." I've always had a naturalinclination to move toward anything that seems like a hot spot inthe culture to see what's really there and what the implicationsare. Because to maintain any sense of personal freedom, you have toknow what the enemy is. I've always had a very strong sense thatmaintaining one's personal freedom and intellectual survival arereally to be treasured, and that one of the most exciting andinteresting parts of culture are those people- artists, thinkers,writers, creative minds that maintain some kind of balance betweentotalitarian ways. So far, unfortunately, our species seems to veryrelentlessly move toward its own suppression. It's more and moreefficient and effective at controlling itself. Which I find a verypuzzling phenomenon! Yet within that there's always been analchemical underground that challenges and speculates and sometimesmakes the most important breakthroughs in terms of thinking thatthen become adopted by the powers that be- and then the alchemicalunderground has to go on. So there's this ongoing tension betweentwo camps, which so far seems to characterize the development ofthe human species. I don't really know why that should be. I wonderif it's in the DNA program, maybe it didn't even come from us. Maybewe were really seeded through DNA and nanotechnology to build somestructure, eventually, for some other intelligence. Maybe theInternet is actually our final project, and when the Internet isbuilt, it will manifest separately as an alien intelligence. Maybethat was always the whole point and we were only here to do that,no matter how long it took, and the suffering and deaths and warsand speculations and affiliations- that was just our own ego.Actually we were programmed ants sent to make a machine for someoneelse. It's possible!

SECONDS: What will people trying to connect in cyberspace do topeople connecting on the personal, without-any-technology level?
GENESIS: I think we're going to have a haves and have-notssituation. I've started writing a short story about it, where therecomes a point in time where almost everyone, like worker ants, areall plugged in. Everyone's all home, plugged into their computerterminals, and there's ultimate surveillance as well as ultimatecommunication. And a sign of status is to have a vocatomy, to haveyour vocal cords cut out, because you no longer need to speak, youcan do everything through cyberspace. And in the middle class it'sa symbol of having enough money to not have to speak. They prove itby the scar on their neck proving they don't have to speak anymore.But the incredibly rich and powerful, of course, continue to speak,but only for social interaction. And also, because speech is theonly way to avoid surveillance. There's no need to havesurveillance on the spoken word anymore. Therefore you would endup, I speculate, with some sort of guerrilla tribe or group thatwould actually have false scars on their necks, but who would talkin public places in order to conspire to overthrow the system,because that's the one safe place. And while this is only aspeculation, and it's very science fiction, the implication ofwhat's going to happen is there. And also, you'll have the peoplewho have no access to computers. Not just the poor, but theabsolutely disenfranchised. They will not have communication, noway to purchase. And we're going to split into two species,basically. It's always been the job of the artist and the creativethinker and the innately rebellious person to really speculate onthese issues and find ways to expose them and actually use them insuch a way that they're exciting and positive again. To make theissue itself the art. That's what we've always been here for. Soyou can't run from it, you have to find ways to play with it thatare anarchic, challenging, and also entertaining and pleasurable,so that people hear the story you're telling them, the dangers andthe potential. It's not inherently a dangerous scenario, butunfortunately the powers that be are inherently callous. Theyalways have been. I see no change in that. It's our job to exposethat, to comment on it, and to challenge it, and to undermine itforever, whatever new form it takes.

SECONDS: Do you think the urge toward artistic body modificationthat's called "Primitive" is also connected to this?
GENESIS: I think that's a response to a deeper sense of alienation.And also it's part of an instinctive move toward the link of theoutside and the inside, the passage. An opening. I always think ofa cut in the skin as being a doorway that lets my consciousnessout, and also I can access back into my body. The surface of ourbodies is being more defined as a boundary between certain means ofcommunication and others. That's why it's becoming significant.It's a nonverbal appreciation of the problem of where we exist. Arewe just inside our minds, or are we in our bodies, are we outsidethe environment? And the skin is the boundary between that, soworking with that skin is discussing that scenario, "Where am I,and how real can I feel? Am I just an illusion on the TV set, am Iin the media, am I just in cyberspace, am I one tiny molecule ofthis amorphous, despicable immoral society, what am I, and how do Ifeel, even for a second, that I have some power and control over myphysical sense of being?" I certainly feel it that way. I feel itmore as an affirmation that I exist and feel alive than I do as adecorative thing. It's not so much a display as a need to feelalive. And that's actually very healthy, I think, because I thinkit does connect us with older traditions and older lineage that'sbeen hidden for awhile in our society. I think it's a hopeful sign,a sign of a breakthrough, of a newly mutated and appreciatedattitude of life. That's very spiritual!

SECONDS: How does the link with the erotic energy tie in?
GENESIS: That's another reclamation. To use an example of what'shappening to us, if society is now legislating that you do not ownyour own skin, which is what's being done, and no right on anylevel, to own their own sexual activity, then the reassertion andthe reclamation of those very powerful, magickal aspects of ourlife becomes more and more significant. And people are not drawntoward piercing and tattooing and so on unless it makes sense tothem. Some people may just feel that it's fashionable, but one partof them still feels a resonance that's important with it. Whethersome people want to be skeptical about that, I really feel that noone does it purely and utterly for a fashionable or status reason,even if they think they do!

SECONDS: So why some people and not other people?
GENESIS: Why did some people take acid in the Sixties and somedidn't? I think it's just an aspect of human society, the ratio ofpeople that are prepared to live on the edge and explore whathappens, that have an innate need to discover, what it is to bealive, and what that means, and what sexuality means, and I thinkwe've all been really lucky that we've been in a time where,despite all the problems, we do have the chance to discuss more andmore aspects of what culture can be, and what our own human bodyand mind can be within that culture. There's no question in my mindthat one of the most important traditions in human history that'sworked in terms of that power is sexual magick in various forms.It's taken a long time for the Christian Church to erode it enough,in real terms, for some of the old traditions to resurface. Theynever disappeared. I think that despite the burning times, when somany women were destroyed and their children destroyed, in order toeradicate the pagan nature religions of the West, by the Church,and by politicians, that those secrets were buried within our society
SECONDS: How do drugs figure in your scene?
GENESIS: Well, the most significant thing about psychedelic drugsis that for the very first time, in the last fifty years, at leasttechnically, every human being has the ability to experience someform of religious, shamanic vision. I think that anything thatbreaks down the walls of control is healthy. Being anarchist bynature!

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