July 19, 2008 Disinformation
Disinformation and Information are the yin and yang of The Illuminatus Trilogy. Apollonian and Dionysian or Eros and Thanatos would also work. Instead of choosing war, death or drunkenness as their focus, they use the obscure Goddess Eris. She is the Goddess of Discord—a consort of war.
I read The Illuminatus Trilogy this week because the Lost writers (According to Lostpedia Article) claim that Robert Shea and Robert Anton Wilson influenced Lost a great deal. I can easily see why.
I have to wonder if the literature of Lost came mostly from the books referenced in The Trilogy or if someone noticed that their favorites were a part of this particular work. It is the chicken or the egg dilemma.
Anyway, I noticed these works appeared in The Illuminatus Trilogy and Lost: I Ching, The Epic of Gilgamesh and Alice in Wonderland. Also mentioned were: George Orwell, Ambrose Bierce, Ayn Rand and Aldous Huxley. Then there was also Jung. And let’s not forget the names Drake and Venzeti. Of course Madam Blatsvksy and theosophy is an undercurrent in both the Illuminatus Trilogy and Lost. Lovecraft and Joyce are in the Trilogy but thus far not in Lost.
Another parallel between the two was the mention of the Gobi desert. Shea and Wilson claim that the yellow sign holds meaning in the Gobi desert and Charlotte Staples Lewis is in the Gobi desert when we first see her in her flashback. Ben Linus there in his flashforward.
The 23 Synchronicity is also a crossover. The number 23 is on the Hatch. It is also at the center of The Illuminatus’s many conspiracy theories.
I noticed one of the character’s names in The Illuminatus Trilogy is Muldoon. Is this the inspiration for Mulder on The X-Files? It would surprise me greatly if Chris Carter hadn’t read the Trilogy. The scene or the episode where an agent in the Pentagon claims that all UFO conspiracies are “misinformation” deliberately leaked is right out of the Trilogy!
Overall The Trilogy was highly intelligent and densely packed with information. It is a labyrinth of language and an intense amount of information to process—especially in the short amount of time I took to consume it. It would have to be read repeatedly to untangle all of the possible threads or leads. Lucky for me, I’ve read most of it elsewhere. I don’t think I would have been able to skim unless I already understood the framework of references already.
The Illuminati Trilogy was written in 1975. Although Eastern Thought and Gnosticism were known then, they weren’t as mainstream as they are today in America. Much of the concepts in the book were tainted by the idea of magic as mayhem. There was more darkness and subversiveness surrounding the occult back then. The New Age Movement and the popularity of Wicca have done much to illuminate these alternative world views. Had the Trilogy been written in 1995 or 2005 the tone would have been much lighter and I would have liked it much better.
In any case, I also managed to read The Oath by John Lescourt. This book was seen on Jack Shepherd’s bookcase in “Through the Looking Glass.” One might think that the bookshelf was merely a prop and the books placed on it were random choices, but reading The Oath would change one’s mind quickly. The writer’s chose this book because it dealt with a doctor working at a hospital. He is caught drinking on the job (like Jack’s Dad) and stealing prescription drugs (like Jack.) There is a cover up involving an HMO called Parnassus. Parnassus is a mountain in Greece. It is where the temple of Apollo is located and the Oracle of Delphi. In addition to all of that, two of the characters names are Abraham and Isaac. The biblical story of Abraham and Isaac is referenced on Lost a number of times. There is also a character named Jack and one named Jackman in The Oath. The Oath references Shakespeare—particularly Othello and Julius Caesar. Very interesting indeed.
Combine this info with the 1980s movie Repo Man and Xanadu and it gets even more interesting. Repo Man is all about aliens and synchronicity—obviously influenced by The Illuminati Trilogy. Xanadu is a reference to Shangri-La (Also Kublai Khan by Coleridge.) Xanadu, as it turns out, is actually home to the Greek Gods. Olivia Newton John portrays a Greek Muse.
Could the island of Lost be Delos, the movable island of Apollo? The three toed statue, The Apollo Candy bars and the fact that Ben actually moved the island in combination with everything else points toward Delos. It would have never occurred to me even with all my reading on myths if I hadn’t noticed a website on Lost that suggested it first. The website looked like a book with tabs and hadn’t been updated in a long time.
My question then is how are Delos and Atlantis/Lemuria connected? How many of the readings are clues and how many are red herrings? What is information and what is disinformation?
Looking at Tami Hoag’s Dark Horse, I can’t see any connection to Lost. Valhalla Rising by Clive Cussler looks to have several parallels. We shall find out during next week’s reading. I will discuss that more when I finish those books!