Posts Tagged ‘hot tub mystery religion’

"The Great Red Dragon and the Woman Clothed in Sun," by William Blake

“We are more closely connected to the invisible than to the visible.”

Beginning in 1990, the [Eulessynian] Hot Tub Mystery Religion (HTMR) celebrated Greater and Lesser Mysteries in two sanctuaries, both on Silent Oak Drive in Euless, Texas, bounded by miles of dark woods surrounding the Trinity River. Fueled by Dionysian excess and theme park aesthetics, Epopts sought to create installation-variations on the ideal of the pleasure dome, inspired by the imaginations of Samuel Taylor Coleridge and Moorish Luminary Doctor Jabir ‘abd al-Khaliq. Prince Krazie, Son of Yippie, a reformed COINTELPRO fink, artist and charter Epopt, described a typical rite as,

“A small speck of light and beauty in an unreal, sick world…receiving the most holy sacraments from the most high of the highest…black light…strange sounds, music…naked nymphs splashing in the rippling water.”

It was in this heady vat of high-minded fun that Forbidden Books, a local cafe and bookstore, rose to the surface, caked in luridly colored sargassum like some rubber-clad, hyper-saturated B-movie creature. ‘Zines, Re/Search, the Amok catalog, titles from AK Press and Autonomedia all found their way into our hearts and minds through that tavern of blameworthiness. It also served as a community center for the extraordinarily weird. HTMR pamphlets and samizdat erupted like wildflowers proclaiming “Big FUN!” and urging the reader to contemplate the koan: “How much fun can you have before someone tries to stop you?” Oh, how we’ve tested this axiom and its boundary repeatedly and under conditions both mad and sensible.



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Peacock Angel camp, Flipside 2006, TX*

I was a senior in high school when I first heard of the Pleasure Dome. I had just been kicked out of J.R.O.T.C. for a series of subversive pranks, and an agreement was reached with the Drama Department that I could finish out the year there and receive full credit. My drama teacher was a Rosicrucian who was having a fling with my best friend at the time, who was a sociopath. She gave me Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s “Kubla Khan” to read for a UIL competition. “I think this fits you,” she told me. I went on to give a listless reading but the poem haunted me afterward.

In the early ‘90s, I read an interview with physicist Nick Herbert in Mondo 2000 in which he suggested diverting a portion of U.S. military spending to fund a series of pleasure domes. It seemed like an inspired idea. I returned to Coleridge’s poem, finding fresh inspiration, and began to do some research, learning that the dome had actually been a large yurt, Xanadu’s Summer Palace of Kubla Khan, grandson of Genghis.


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