Ek-sen-trik-kuh Discordia: The Tales of Shamlicht
The collection Ek-sen-trik-kuh Discordia: The Tales of Shamlicht was previously known as Apocrypha Discordia, the Non-Existent Apocrypha Discordia, and Ek-sen-trik-kuh Discordia (without the subtitle). It is an evolving Discordian and personist work written primarily by Reverend Loveshade with members of the Discordian Division of the Ek-sen-triks CluborGuild and the Mythics of Harmonia, who created Principia Harmonia. It mixes humor and absurdism with serious philosophy, promotes freedom including nudism and sexual freedom, and stands against various forms of prejudice and discrimination including sexism and, controversially, ageism. The collection features factual articles about topics including animal sex, myths, humor, artwork, poetry, the Shamlicht Kids Club, songs, quotes, and other material.
Whereas the 2001 Apocrypha Discordia is a collection of pieces from various sources, most of the material in the Ek-sen-trik-kuh was created specifically for the work. The book claims its inspiration came from a dream-vision that featured Goddess Discordia, her sister Goddess Harmonia, and their daughter, the naked Cherub Princess Shamlicht, who had hundreds of monkeys flying out of her butt. These were actually Bonobo apes, who gave their tales to Loveshade to first digest, and then to “spread them far and wide, for digested flying monkey tales make great fertilizer.”
One of the included pieces is “The Myth of Starbuck” (originally called “The Myth of Ichabod”) from the long-missing first edition of Principia Discordia. Ironically, it was Apocrypha Discordia compiler Rev. DrJon Swabey who worked to get the myth released.
He, She, or E?
The work promotes personism by the use of the word “e” and its various forms as a genderless substitute for “he” or “she.”
- e (pronounced the same as letter 'e;' rhymes with 'she' and 'he'): Used instead of 'she' or 'he.' A person. Example: E went to the store and bought a pineapple.
- es (rhymes with 'his,' or, if you like, with 'eez'): Used instead of 'her' or 'his' as a possessor or agent. Example: On the way home, some enemies tried to steal es pineapple.
- es (as above): Substitute for 'his' or 'hers' for that which belongs to him or her. Example: Who were these foes of es?
- em (rhymes with 'him' or 'm'): Substitute for 'her' or 'him;' pronoun objective case. Example: They were The Agents of Greyface. When they tried to take es pineapple from em, e hit them with five tons of flax.
- emself (rhymes with 'himself,' or with the letter 'm' and 'self'): Substitute for herself or himself; used reflexively, in absolute constructions and for emphasis. Examples: Did e throw the five tons all by emself? No, fool, e didn't do it emself; e had help from a strong head wind.
The group's Patron Saint is Pat Pineapple, a gender-ambiguous symbol of sexual activity (the mascot predates by many years the "gender unknown" Saturday Night Live character Pat). Thus the "pineapple" in this story likely represents a prostitute, and The Agents of Greyface represent police officers.
The work adopted the “Five Basic Beliefs” of The Loveshade Family. The Ek-sen-trik-kuh's version of these are:
- ONE: We believe in the rights of an individual to be treated as an individual by society.
- TWO: We believe in the responsibility of the individual to society.
- THREE: We believe in the rights of a child to be raised in a loving, supportive manner that blends freedom with discipline to prepare that child for life, and in the responsibility of caregivers to provide that environment whenever possible.
- FOUR: We believe in personal freedom, in a free society, if it harms no one.
- FIVE: We believe in the principle of discordia concurs or harmonious discord, that accepting even discordant differences to achieve harmony is greater than excluding differences to maintain unity.
Five Blind Men and an Elephant
Perhaps the best known piece in the collection is Reverend Loveshade's "Five Blind Men and an Elephant." This is a Discordian version of an old Indian tale, and appears in the 1995 online Non-Existent Apocrypha Discordia, the 2001 Apocrypha Discordia (a distinct work--this story is the only piece found in both versions), Apocrypha Diskordia (German translation of the 2001 version), The Book of Eris, Principia Harmonia, in addition to Ek-sen-trik-kuh Discordia: The Tales of Shamlicht.
In this story, five blind men examine an elephant, but each feels only one part. The tusk-toucher says the elephant is like a spear, the leg-feeler says it's like a tree, etc. A blind, self-proclaimed Discordian oracle feels the entire elephant, and plans to profit from the mens' foolishness.
Child pornography, illegal drugs and terrorism
According to several websites (some of which are listed below), an early version of the work was seized by authorities, and the Discordian Division of the Ek-sen-triks CluborGuild that created it was the subject of a national and possibly international investigation by the American Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and several other law enforcement and government agencies. This was for alleged crimes ranging from promoting child pornography and illegal drugs to sexual predation to consorting with terrorists.
According to the work’s official website, the investigation stemmed from information on terrorism and the American government that the group gathered surreptitiously; postings and letters made after the September 11, 2001 terrorist attack in America that claimed governments were a bigger threat to freedom than terrorists (including “Stripping Away American Freedom: A Call to Action);” the group’s promotion of body acceptance, including nudism, for all ages; and their stand against ageism. Some of their group were also involved in Terrorists for Truth.
The group and their work opposes using “an arbitrary age” to determine when a person is too old to have the right to work and other rights, and too young to drink alcohol, drive, raise children, and most controversial of all, engage in sexual activity (most of these concepts are featured in "The Myth of the Adulthood Fairy"). Reverend Loveshade appeared in the British pornographic short "Schoolgirl Spank" with a woman who claimed to be age 16, which was then the legal age for appearing in pornography at that time. However, she may actually have been a 15-year-old girl who faked her age, but that is unsubstantiated. The site claims all investigations were eventually dropped, and all seized material was eventually returned by the FBI and other agencies.
Some members of the Ek-sen-triks were also members of Terrorists for Truth, which was investigated for such works as "How to Raise a Terrorist."
An index search of several websites do have a verifiable date stamp showing that discussions of the group's legal problems go back to at least December of 2001 ("Stripping Away American Freedom") and January 30, 2002 (Illuminatus Inner Sanctum). (While the dates listed on posted items can be faked, the date stamp appearing in a website's index can be used as admissible evidence in international courts--for example, to prove who first claimed a domain name). While the existance of the legal problems had been in doubt, they have since been verified by the FBI.
- Excerpts from Reverend Loveshade's 1995 online Non-Existent Apocrypha Discordia
- BloodStar's original site of the 1990s "non-existent" Apocrypha Discordia which became Ek-sen-trik-kuh Discordia
- Ek-sen-trik-kuh Discordia: The Tales of Shamlicht Homepage
- Wikisource: "Five Blind Men and an Elephant" by Reverend Loveshade
- George_W_Bust's post of February 14, 2003, discussing Reverend Loveshade's arrest
- Lorien Loveshade’s Crib featuring portions of her seized diary
- “Stripping Away American Freedom: A Call to Action,” by Reverend Loveshade, dated December 1, 2001 (this may actually have been written by Alden Loveshade)
- Logical Reality, which discusses the ageism, legal and sexual issues dealt with in Ek-sen-trik-kuh Discordia: The Tales of Shamlicht
- Adam Newton interview with Reverend Loveshade and other Ek-sen-trik Discordians