Last updated on February 13th, 2021
Book of Lies: The Disinformation Guide to Magick and the Occult
Richard Metzger (Editor),
Grant Morrison (Introduction),
Michael Moynihan (Contributor),
Tracy R. Twyman (Goodreads Author) (Contributor),
Vere Chappell (Contributor),
Mark Pesce (Contributor),
Genesis P-Orridge (Contributor),
Paul Laffoley (Contributor),
Daniel Pinchbeck (Contributor),
Nevill Drury (Contributor),
Donald Tyson (Contributor),
Erik Davis (Contributor)
First published in 2003, Book of Lies was hailed as a 21st century grimoire and instantly became a cult classic. Now reformatted for the next generation of magicians and all counterculture devotees, it gathers an unprecedented cabal of occultists, esoteric scholars,and forward thinkers, all curated by Disinformation’s former “wicked warlock” Richard Metzger.
This compendium of the occult includes entries on topics as diverse and dangerous as Aleister Crowley, secret societies, psychedelics, and magick in theory and practice. The result is an alchemical formula that may well rip a hole in the fabric of your reality:
- Mark Pesce, author of The Playful World, compares computer programming and spellcasting.
- Genesis Breyer P-Orridge, father of Industrial Music and Rave culture explains how samples in a rave song can have magical consequences.
- William Burroughs and the occult.
- Nevill Drury, Australia’s most noted occult writer, tells of Dion Fortune, Austin Spare, and Rosaleen Norton.
- Donald Tyson’s “The Enochian Apocalypse Working” ask if the seeds of the end of the world sown in the Elizabethan era.
- A biographical essay on Marjorie Cameron, the fascinating character from Los Angeles’ occult and beatnik scene.
- Hitler and the occult–Peter Levenda interview by Tracy Twyman.
- Robert Temple on how his book The Sirius Mystery’s, controversial thesis (for which he was ridiculed) was proven by the Hubble telescope twenty-five years late.
- An exclusive Anton LaVey interview by Michael Moynihan, author of best-selling book Lords of Chaos.
- Erik Davis, author of Techgnosis, looks at H. P. Lovecraft’s Magick Realism
- Robert Anton Wilson on Timothy Leary and Aleister Crowley
- Comics genius Grant Morrison offers Magic for the people.
It’s all here and more!
Richard Metzger Book of Lies (48 downloads)
An imprint of Red Wheel/Weiser, LLC
with offices at:
665 Third Street, Suite 400 San Francisco, CA 94107 www.redwheelweiser.com
Copyright © 2003 The Disinformation Company Ltd. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from Red Wheel/Weiser, LLC. Originally published by The Disinformation Company Ltd., 2003. ISBN: 978-0-9713942-7-8. Reviewers may quote brief passages.
All the articles in this book are copyright © by their respective authors and/or original publishers, except as specified herein, and we note and thank them for their kind permission.
Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data available upon request
Book design: Tomo Makiura, Paul Pollard, and Kate Bingaman for P&M, NY
Cover design by Jim Warner
Printed in the United States of America EBM
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Disinformation is a registered trademark of The Disinformation Company Ltd.
The opinions and statements made in this book are those of the authors concerned. The Disinformation Company Ltd. has not verified and neither confirms nor denies any of the foregoing and no warranty or fitness is implied. The reader is encouraged to keep an open mind and to independently judge the contents.
WE COME TO IT [WISDOM] … A MAGICAL CALL TO ARMS
Magic, you say?
Me, I’m a hard-nosed skeptic, when all’s said and done. Try as I might, I can’t find any convincing evidence to support the notion that flying saucers come from other planets to visit us, I don’t “believe” in reincarnation, the Loch Ness Monster, ghosts of the dead, news reports, the objectivity of Science or the literal truth of Bible stories. In an overloaded, supersaturated mediasphere, my own best compass is the evidence of my senses.
Having said that, in the course of 24 years of almost daily occult practice and exploration, some very bizarre things have manifested in front of my lovely, flaring nostrils and I’ve been forced to alter my view of life, death and “reality” accordingly.
Because whether you “believe” in it or not, whether you like it or not, magic WORKS (I use the devalued word “magic” precisely because I’m amused by its associations with illusion, conjuring and deception, whereas Richard Metzger prefers to use the High-spelling form “magick,” in honor of the heroic and misunderstood Aleister Crowley who broke centuries of Church- imposed silence and obscurity when he published the “secrets” and techniques of magic in his great, democratic work Magick in Theory and Practice, published in 1929). Magic has worked for all of the contributors to this book, as you will see, and it can work for everyone. Personally, I don’t need to know HOW it works—although I have bucket loads of colorful theories—just as I don’t seem to need to know how my TV works in order to watch it, or how a Jumbo Jet stays up when I’m dozing through in-flight entertainment at 35,000 feet. What I do know for sure, based on the evidence of my senses and on many years of skeptical enquiry, is that magic allows us to take control of our own development as human beings. Magic allows us to see the world entire in a fresh and endlessly significant light and demands of us a vital and dynamic collaboration with our environment. Magic brings coherence and structure to psychological “breakdowns,” psychedelic experiences or transpersonal encounters. Magic allows us to personify our
fears and failures as demons and outlines time-honored methods of bargaining with these feelings or banishing them. Magic is the sane response to a world filled with corporate ghost-gods, roaming, mindless laws and peering surveillance lenses. Above all, magic is about achieving results. It’s about manipulating real-time events, dealing with devious “spirits” and other autonomous energy sources. It’s about conjuring dead pop icons to do your bidding and writing it all down so that it reads like an exciting adventure story and changes the world around it. Magic is glamorous, dark and charismatic. “Magic” is the hopelessly inadequate Standard English word for a long-established technology which permits access to the “operating codes” underlying the current physical universe. Becoming a “magician” is a developmental skill, like learning to talk, to reason, to empathize or to see perspective.
Magic, in short, is Life as it is meant to be Lived by adults.
Disinformation’s Book of Lies is a 21st century grimoire, a How To book designed to inspire the young magician-warriors of this new and turbulent century. In the apparent derangement of our times, this book is both a call to arms and an armory also. Read on, get tooled up, get out there… and start bending reality.
And welcome, one and all, to the New Magical Century.
“The best place to hide something is right out in the open. No one ever thinks to look there.”
-Robert Anton Wilson
“Can you teach me how to do a magic trick?”
At first this question used to really flummox me—did they expect me to do like a card trick? A little sleight of hand perhaps? What did they expect me to whip out and impress them with? By now I’m used to this line of inquiry and interestingly, the question is always asked with complete sincerity, never with sarcasm or scorn, just an open attitude to the idea of “magick.” In situations where my reputation has preceded me, I think this is kind of fun. I’ve even come to enjoy this question, as it sure beats making normal small talk.
So the first time I ever jerked off, it was to a picture of a butt- naked Maxine Sanders, Queen of the Witches. I think this explains a lot about me, actually…
But to answer the question, well, yes, I can teach you how to do a magick, uh, trick that will most assuredly bring you dependable results (within reason) and I can likely explain it to you within 10 minutes time. If you did what I told you, things would start happening, but before you go feeling all impressed with yourself, if you’d ask someone to teach you a song on the piano in 10 minutes, they could do so, but you’d still only be playing “Chopsticks.”
Just to put that into perspective…
For some reason, I have always considered myself to be a warlock. Even when I was very young. I don’t know why, really, but it is true. I have had
this self-identity for as long as I can recall. There was never a time when I didn’t feel this way. I don’t remember how I gravitated towards magick in the first place, but when I was a little kid I really loved Bewitched. These were people who I could relate to and all the comics I liked had heroes who were sorcerers and warlocks: Dr. Strange, Adam Warlock, and Captain Marvel.1 My parents even have a Super8 film of me dressed in a “wizard” costume replete with cloak and Merlin cap, reading my “grimoire” and “scrying” into a makeshift crystal ball that doubled as a funky early ’70s ashtray. I was about five years old when this was shot. Thirty some years later I look back on this and laugh at how consistent I have been. The older I get the more I see a fairly straight trajectory from there to here. It’s weird to contemplate it.
One strong shove in the direction of magick might have something to do with a book called Witchcraft, Magic and the Supernatural, a full color hardback picture book that came out in the 1970s with a bloody goat head on the front cover and an Austin Spare painting of a demon on the back. Since the audience for such a book was undoubtedly on the young side, this book—like many such occult tomes published by Octopus Books—had several pictures of foxy “sky-clad” witches nestled within its pages to attract more horny young buyers. I convinced my mother to purchase this book for me at the mall. I smiled sweetly, such a good little boy.