Malaclypse the Younger (short Mal-2) is the author of the Principia Discordia. He is also a character in The Illuminatus! Trilogy. The name is a pen name used by Greg Hill, comrade of Kerry Thornley (aka Lord Omar Khayyam Ravenhurst). During the early years of circulation of the Principia Discordia, rumors claimed that the author of the book was Richard Nixon, Timothy Leary, or Robert Anton Wilson; or that the book and Malaclypse the Younger were both fictional inventions of Robert Anton Wilson, à la H.P. Lovecraft's Necronomicon.
Theories of Malaclypse's true identity range from Timothy Leary to Richard Nixon. Many, including Greg Hill himself, have claimed that Greg Hill is the true Malaclypse the Younger, but this is not completely proven.
Possessing many titles, including "Omnibenevolent Polyfather of Virginity in Gold", Malaclypse's true identity or position within the Erisian religion is completely unknown. He is frequently mentioned in the Principia Discordia. Credited with wiring telegrams to God from the Celestial Hotel and decrying the usefulness of prayer, these claims are in the absurdist nature of the Principia Discordia.
Very little is known about Malaclypse the Elder, the father of Mal-2. The Principia Discordia merely mentions him as a "non-prophet" and that he was mistaken for a doomsayer when carrying a sign that read "DUMB."
((spoiler)) Malaclypse the Younger also appears in The Illuminatus! Trilogy by Robert Shea and Robert Anton Wilson. According to Iluminatus!, he founded the Norton Cabal, and then left the cabal to join the very esoteric Erisian Liberation Front. The character Dr. Ignotum P. Ignotius says the last thing Mal-2 wrote before he left for the ELF was, "Everybody understands Mickey Mouse. Few understand Hermann Hesse. Hardly anyone understands Albert Einstein. And nobody understands Emperor Norton." This is the slogan of the Joshua Norton Cabal of San Francisco.
Malaclypse the Elder has an even larger role in The Illuminatus! Trilogy. In fact, he is an important shape-shifting character in the book, posing as Jean-Paul Sartre, Billy Graham, and the Devil. According to Malaclypse the Elder himself, he is a 4th century B.C. Erisian priest (who was also prepared to perform services to Hermes, Dionysus, Heracles, Aphrodite, Athena and Hera) who achieved "transcendental illumination" in the course of the massacre at Melos in 415 BC. The Illuminati believe that death releases a certain form of energy. Given enough death and a person intent on capturing said energy, a person may be transformed into an immortal, immaterial being, or so the plot element goes. Malaclypse the Elder also posed as Jesus after Jesus was crucified. In the form of Jesus, he introduced Bingo, but asked Luke to not record it.
Greg Hill describes Mal-2 as a spirit sent into him by Eris that helped him write the Principia Discordia over the course of ten years in his early adulthood. An interview included in the fourth edition of the Principia Discordia by Loompanics Press reveals that Mal-2 left once the book was finished. He claims Mal-2 returned to leave a fifth and final edition consisting solely of a Western Union telegraph form filled with the letter "M". Greg Hill also reveals that he had access to Western Union forms when he worked at Western Union.
Malaclypse in popular culture
The Discworld game Discworld Noir contained a reference to Malaclypse, a priest by the same name dedicated to the Discworld goddess of confusion and chaos. Malaclypse's primary purpose in the game was to spout insane conspiracy theories and generally mislead the protagonist, although some of these theories did actually serve as valid clues.
Other Discordian writers
Lord Omar Khayyam Ravenhurst is the nom-de-plume of the other principle author of the Principia, Kerry Thornley.
Bibliography and references
- Malaclypse the Younger (Greg Hill); Principia Discordia, 4th Edition, June 1, 1980, Loompanics Unlimited. Introduction by Robert Anton Wilson. Afterword by Greg Hill.
- Malaclypse the Younger (Greg Hill); Principia Discordia, 5th Edition, September 1, 1991, IllumiNet Press. Introduction by Kerry Thornley.
- Gorightly, Adam; The Prankster and the Conspiracy: The Story of Kerry Thornley and How He Met Oswald and Inspired the Counterculture, Paraview Press, November 2003. Foreword by Robert Anton Wilson.