Category Archives: Joseph Matheny

Repost: CORRECTIONS TO BRIAN DUNNING’S SKEPTOID PODCAST ABOUT ONG’S HAT

A rebuttal on the site josephmatheny.com regarding a recent podcast and article that ran on Skeptoid, by Brian Dunning.

An excerpt:

There’s a podcast/website called The Skeptoid that is run by one Brian Dunning. The website seems to consist of a collection of transcriptions of the Skeptoid podcast, links to the podcast and a personal vita for Mr. Dunning. I learned that recently, Brian Dunningran an episode of the Skeptoid titled: Ong’s Hat, which was, predictably about the Ong’s Hat literary game.

Brian Dunning claims that his podcast, “Skeptoid: Critical Analysis of Pop Phenomena is an award-winning weekly science podcast. Since 2006, Skeptoid has been revealing the true science behind popular misinformation and urban legends.” His words.

While I haven’t sampled any of the other offerings on that Skeptoid website, I did read the text transcription of Mr. Dunning’s “investigation” into the Ong’s Hat urban legend and found it dismissive and misinformed in the following areas.

Link to full article: https://josephmatheny.com/2019/03/18/corrections-to-brian-dunnings-skeptoid-podcast-about-ongs-hat/

The tl;dr version

 

Advances in Skin Science: Quantum Tantra An Interview with Nick Herbert by Joseph Matheny

This material is also available in tablet and ebook reader-friendly formats at Archive.org , Smashwords and as a Kindle version on Amazon.com

This interview also appeared in Boing-Boing  11  when it was still a print zine in 1993.

Also see: 2019- Scientific American: Chasing the Quantum Tantra
Hippy physicist Nick Herbert pursues a lifelong love affair with nature


adelitas

Advances in Skin Science:
Quantum Tantra
An Interview with Nick Herbert
by Joseph Matheny

“It’s always gooiest before it solidifies”
Beverly’s Ovation, Beverly Rubik Ph.d 

“Quantum Tantra is not just another way to get high using common objects you can find around the house… Caution: Practicing Q.T. before you understand Bell’s Theorem of interconnectveness is like walking into the Amazon jungle without a map.” – Alternate Dimensions. Jabir ibn Hayyan

Journal entry:

October 13,1992

I finally get a line on INCUNABULA. Following a lead from a culture-jamming club in San Francisco (MediaKaos 415-789-8350), I arrive in the small New Jersey town of Ong’s Hat. The address that I have for INCUNABULA is a P.O. Box. The local postmaster/general store operator was very helpful. Almost too helpful! He told me that Cranston and INCUNABULA books had fled the area one night about a month ago. I gained access to Cranston’s P.O. Box key while the owner had his back turned and returned later to examine the contents. All I found inside were overdraft notices from his bank and some solicitations from a church of geniuses in Dallas, Texas or some such nonsense. Another dead end.

October 14, 1992

I arrive in New York City, get a room, restock supplies and think. I call New Jersey information to get the phone number for the Ong’s Hat general store and post office so I can ask the postmaster a few more questions. I am told by the inbred boob on the other end of the line that there is no such town listed in New Jersey, and after a long and heated debate, we terminate the phone call by mutually insulting each other’s gene pool. God, I hate the phone company.

October 16, 1992

Two days (and two bottles of Johnny Walker Black Label) later, I finally get lead on one of the most intriguing authors listed in the INCUNABULA Catalog, Nick Herbert, author of Quantum Reality, Faster Than Light: Superluminal Loopholes in Physics, and of course, the legendary Alternate Dimensions.

Herbert was a former SDI scientist turned renegade researcher. His past areas of renegade research involved pleasure dome technologies, Quantum Tantra (the Egg Yoke method), Time and Dimensional travel theories, and gelatinous substances.

I’ll give you a little background on Alternate Dimensions (A.D.). It was written in 1989 by Herbert, but was suppressed by the publisher, Harper & Row, for unexplained reasons in 1990. INCUNABULA was offering bound, uncorrected galley copies for $100.00 each, or at least they were, until Cranston disappeared with the whole kit-n-kaboodle. In A.D., it seems that Herbert gave away the inner secrets of a Tantrik-dimensional travel cult based in northern California. Using techniques that combined Herbert’s own theory of Quantum Tantra, and hardware technology, consisting of an egg-shaped craft of some sort, members of the cult were able to penetrate into other dimensions. There were also intense visualization techniques, and Tantrik-Egg-Yoke postures involved, but the Xerox copy I had purchased from MediaKaos seemed to be missing some of the key technical portions.

Herbert was now hiding out in the backwater town of Boulder Creek, CA, deep in the heart of the Santa Cruz mountains.

I hopped aboard a plane to San Jose, and drove a rental car up to Boulder Creek. About a mile away from Herbert’s farm house, I called him on my cellular phone. Surprisingly enough, Herbert was very cordial, and agreed to meet me in town for lunch and conversation. He suggested Adelita’s Mexican Cantina, gave me directions, and promised to meet me there in an hour.

I drove into town and went over my notes while I waited. About an hour later, Dr.Herbert appeared in the parking lot driving a electric Stutz Bearcat kit car. I recognized him instantly from his book jacket photos, even with the recently acquired beard. Was he attempting to change his appearance? Was he preparing to flee, like Cranston had 30 days ago?

I casually reached into my jacket and activated my pocket recorder. I waved him over to my table, and after shaking hands we settled down to a lunch of Dos Equis and Gorditas.

“Okay” I said, after some pleasantries about the weather, “let’s start with the obvious question: What is Quantum Tantra?”

“Well, psychology has used a lot of classic metaphors to explain the mind, like the hydraulic metaphor of urges building up, an even when repressed, they’ll find some way to spurt out to the surface. We’re told that releasing your repressions will relieve the pressure, and you’ll become healthy. That’s a very classical metaphor. Now we have this marvelous new way of thinking called quantum mechanics, and it seems right to use these metaphors to explain human behavior. So, what’s the most interesting human behavior of all? Sexual, of course. That’s the idea, to use quantum mechanical metaphors to explore sexuality, to look at it through the lens of quantum physics. I would consider Q.T. successful if we could find new things to do that never would have been thought, of using the old metaphors. I mean, of course, pleasant things. (laughter). The core idea of Q.T. stems from Heisenberg’s statement that “atoms are not things.” So, Q.T. naturally extrapolated that statement into “well than people are not things, either.” People are not things in the same way that atoms are not things.”

“What are things?” I asked

“Things are entities that have attributes, whether you look at them or not. They’re big, they’re solid and such. You can list their attributes. Non-things, or Quantum objects, like atoms or molecules, don’t have attributes. They are basically clusters of oscillating possibilities, the possibilities not even being well-defined. It might reward us to look that way at people, as oscillating possibilities.” He took a long draw off his Dos Equis, and signaled the waiter for another.

” So, try and think of what the essence of quantum theory is,” he continued,

“Three adjectives: Randomness, thinglessness, and interconectiveness. Randomness I associate with the spontaneity that is within people. Uncertainty is the very essence of romance. It’s what you don’t know that intrigues you.” “Now, thinglessness is even more renunciatory'” he went on. “The notion of treating people like possibilities rather than fixed structures is a healthy one, I think.” “Interconnectiveness is the most fantastic feature of Q.T. Things are connected in the quantum world in such a way that only did we not think of it before the discovery of quantum mechanics, but I don’t think we could have thought this way at all. It’s so strange. The terrestrial belief system that comes the closest to quantum connectiveness is VooDoo.”

“Sympathetic magick?” I queried. This was getting good.

“Yes, sympathetic magick,” he replied.

“Of course, the VooDoo conception is naive in comparison to Q.T.’s connectiveness. In VooDoo, you do something like burn someone’s hair to give them a headache. The Quantum connection isn’t that crude. It has more to do with timing. In the Quantum world, you burn someone’s hair, and maybe they miss an appointment. The Newtonian world view emphasized control over the world, whereas, the Quantum world view doesn’t emphasize control so much as timing. You could say that the Newtonian view emphasized force, where the Quantum world emphasizes finesse.” “One analogy is ordinary, steerable dish radar versus phased array antennae. Steerable dish physically moves the whole antenna structure. In the phased array antennae, you have a whole array that are all fixed. None of them move, but by changing the timing on these antennae, you get a virtual antenna that’s pointed in any direction. That’s an example of finesse, rather than force. Quantum connection is like that. It is set up like VooDoo by having something that the other person has interacted with, some sympathetic object.”

“But what does this have to do with sex?” I asked.

Herbert was quick to answer.

“I’m getting to that. In Q.T., the tantra part has to do with sex as well as religion. Every religion has their symbol. The Christians have the cross, Islam has the crescent and star, the Pagans have the pentagram, the wheel for Buddhism, and so forth. Q.T. has it’s symbols, also. One of them is this fork.”

He picked up a salsa-encrusted fork, and stared at it rapturously.

“It reminds us to see the world as possibilities,” he continued, “In the Newtonian world, starting from now, only one thing could happen.Q.T. sees the future as open possibilities, like the tines of this fork. Actually, if this fork were fuzzy, like Man Ray’s fuzzy cup and spoon…”

I was beginning to understand. That or the Dos Equis was kicking in. I felt lightheaded.

“So the borders would not quite be defined…” I replied.

“Yes,” he said, eyes twinkling in the candlelight.

“The possibilities are defined only by your intentions, by how you construe the moment. Quantum possibilities are not quite as defined as dice possibilities, even. With a die, only one of six numbers will come up, whereas with Quantum possibilities, it depends on how you look at the moment, and that again, is part of thinglessness. All of these elements have resonances in popular literature. Like the talk of the inexplicable chemistry that occurs between two people, or this notion of ‘it’s bigger than both of us’. The type of connectivity that’s possible in quantum theory allows two connected entities to be in indefinite states , but allows the couple itself to be in a definite state! The mathematics on this are clear. As Heisenberg said, ‘quantum theory has changed our way of thinking completely,’ and it’s changed in such a way that it didn’t dissolve into some unclear, fuzzy fog, but into this absolute clarity of a new mathematics. Now the mathematics describe the fog in a very precise way. So, it’s this kind of very precise unclarity.”

“You’re talking like a lot of mystics I know!” I scoffed.

He replied laughing, “Except, this is found in ordinary physics! This is stuff that was discovered 75 years ago, it’s not new stuff at all. It’s only now beginning to permeate popular culture. So, we have this system where each member of the pair, say, a man and a woman, or a man and a man, or a woman and a woman, or whatever, are defined. They’ve gotten themselves into a state where their individualities are not as clear, but the couple itself as an entity, is better defined than the individual members of the set. We use symbols, like the fork, to remind ourselves of these things, because the human mind is not yet used to thinking in parallels.” “Our data rate is miniscule, compared to say, television data rates equivalent to megabits per second, or telephones, which are equivalent to thousands of kilobits per second. Morse code is about 10 bits per second, and that’s pretty close to our attention rate! I mean, when we’re not on robot, when we do come to attention, we don’t bring much to this moment in terms of quantity. It’s been estimated at about 16 bits a second. So, people need simple graphic symbols, like the fork, or the cross, or the crescent, to remind themselves that they’re Moslems, or whatever. So, one symbol I’ve invented to epitomize Randomness, Thinglessness and Interconnectiveness is the trinity of White, Hot and Sticky. White corresponds to Thinglessness, Hot to Randomness, and Sticky to Interconnectiveness. By white, I mean like white light, all the colors together, all human sexual potentials. Thinglessness is wrought with possibilities. As David Finklestein, the inventor of quantum logic said, ‘We are all white light, in the sense that we are all possibilities.’ Hot has to do with newness, spontaneity that we can bring to the moment to remind us that the moment can be ever new. That’s a hard thing to live up to, sexually, and otherwise. Sticky, of course, typifies the new kind connectiveness. A metaphor for achieving stickieness, are objects that you break in two, and each partner keeps one half. The fracture is unique, that I will only match one other person in the whole world! Quantum objects help to enhance this two-person white, hot, sticky state. And music is the connection in this technology.”

“Why music?” I asked.

“Because, these possibilities are vibratory.” he answered. ‘In the physical world, every atom, or possibility is vibrating at a certain frequency. The higher the energy level, the higher the frequency or pitch of the vibrations. We can’t hear, smell, see, or taste any of these vibrations except indirectly. I’m doing more research with solid state technology, sound sequences.”

“Ok, now what about Alternate Dimensions, the egg craft, the travel cults, Tantric-Yoke techniques, I mean, what about all this stuff!” I finally blurted, unable to hold back any longer.

“Young man, I have no idea what you’re talking about. All I can say is there are some questions that you should not ask directly, and some answers that may come as a result of finesse over force. This interview is now concluded.”

Joseph Matheny’s Journal: The Emory Cranston Interview

This material is also available in tablet and ebook reader friendly formats at Archive.org , Smashwords and as a Kindle version on Amazon.com Cranston also gave one more interview to a Greek magazine in 2002, archived here.


Cranston

1/23/94 After interviewing Nick Herbert and being stuck with the check for lunch, I discovered that Mr. Herbert had scribbled a phone number on the back of the receipt before leaving. It was a New Jersey exchange, I recognized it almost instantly,and underneath it the letters E.C. were scrawled. Finally, a lead ! This had to be the phone number for none other than Emory Cranston, proprietor of INCUNABULA books. So, Cranston was still on Earth Prime, and accessible by phone. I went back to my motel room and dialed the number. [ring] [ring] EC: Hello ? JM:: Hi, is this Emory Cranston ? EC: Who wants to know ? JM:: My name is Joseph Matheny. I got your phone number from Nick Herbert. I’m a reporter investigating the Ong’s Hat story, and I thought you might give me some insight into where you came across all the material in INCUNABULA. I got the Catalog from a group of Culture Hackers in San Francisco. (silence) Is this Emory Cranston ? EC: Who did you say you were again ? JM:: A freelance investigative reporter, doing a story on the travel cults and the Ong’s Hat Institute. EC: And who gave you this phone number ? JM:: Nick Herbert. I was trying to find out where INCUNABULA is located now. EC: (Audible sigh on other end of line) Oh, well. At least he could have warned me. But it doesn’t really matter…after all, there’s no “here” here anyway, so I won’t be here tomorrow. Does that answer your first question ? JM:: You mean INCUNABULA is located in “virtual space” ? EC: As far as you’re concerned, yes. JM:: Well, in the introduction to the INCUNABULA Catalog, you stated that you had uncovered “…a conspiracy so deep that no other researcher has yet become aware of it (outside of certain intelligence circles, needless to say)…” Is that still true? Why hasn’t this become a more popular conspiracy theory? How did you come across this information? EC: No, it’s no longer true. Since I published the Catalog, everything has changed. everything ! And look, this is no longer a “theory”. I admit, when I first published, I really didn’t know jack-shit about anything. Yes, I was a “conspiracy theorist”, how pathetic! Let me ask you, what kind of epistemological black hole…I mean, if the conspiratoligists “know” anything it wouldn’t be a “theory” anymore, would it? It’d be “fact”. Who killed Kennedy? Where are the UFOs from? They don’t “know”, do they? JM:: You have answers to these questions ? EC: Pal, I’ve got lots of answers! Alternative answers. Get it? But that’s not important. You ask why “my theory” isn’t better known or more “popular” ? Why aren’t they discussing it at UFO conferences, eh? Why isn’t it on TV? Well, there’s an easy answer to that. The truth is never popular, and it’s never seen on TV ! You know in your heart I’m right about this don’t you? If you think about what’s really important to you, you’ll realize it’s not popular and it’s never been seen on TV (or if it has…well then I’m sorry for you). It’s true, when I first came across the information…I was living in Chatsworth, in the Pine Barrens, near Ong’s Hat…I was doing a Catalog…Tesla, Reich, Bioshamanics, Hollow Earth, crop circles, Mae Brussell…that sort of thing. Strange stories were circulating about the Institute out at Ong’s Hat. They wouldn’t talk to me. Then they disappeared. That’s when I got “really” interested, and began collecting the literature. A few years later I published the Catalog to see if they’d get in touch with me. I wanted to flush them out. I wanted to know. JM:: So what happened? EC: Let’s just say I succeeded in stirring the shit beyond my wildest expectations. You know, most conspiratologists would die of shock if they suddenly received proof that their theories were real. You’ll notice that not one UFO “expert” has ever been abducted. And not one Kennedy-Conspiracy nut has ever been assassinated. These things happen to other people, not to Conspiracy Theorists, right? Well, let’s just say…that’s what I mean when I say…this isn’t a “theory” anymore. JM:: Do you feel endangered in anyway, being so outspoken about info that has obviously gotten some people killed? How do you deal with the danger, what precautions have you taken? Why are you talking to me for example? EC: Why am I talking to you? There are reasons…reasons you don’t really need to know. Just go ahead and do what ever you intend to do. Publish. But be careful. At this point, the cat’s out of the bag, as Alice Schröedinger would say, (laughs). I doubt they…I don’t think anyone would bother anymore…it’s gone so far beyond that. Now, as to my state of savvy when I published the INCUNABULA Catalog…you know how conspiracy buffs like to pretend they’re running a great risk…that hidden forces will try to silence them, blah blah. So buy my stuff now, before it’s too late, etc., etc. Not one of them really believes it. I didn’t believe it. I was extremely fortunate. The Catalog fell into the right hands…just about five minutes before it fell into the wrong hands. I was contacted. I was protected. Literally whisked away. In the nick of time. Next question, please. JM:: But… EC: No no no. Read the Catalog. Think about it. Chance are you’ll figure it out. You were smart enough to find this phone number, after all. That’s why I’m talking to you. Next question. JM:: Ok. How many books have you sold? How many people do you think you’ve convinced? EC: I’m not really running the catlogue anymore. It can’t be suppressed – it’s out there, it’s circulating. But I’m not selling the books now. Those who need the books, get the books. I don’t need the money, after all. Those who can really read the Catalog and figure out the next step…well, not everything in INCUNABULA is accurate, of course. But the clues are there. Follow the garden of forking paths. Ah, how many, you ask? I can tell you exactly. The answer is precisely 16 people have followed the thread so far. We’re aware of another dozen or so who are working on it. At a certain point in their researches they’ll be helped…if possible. One may blunder, you see. Some tracks lead to the Minotaur, know what I mean? And some of those dozen or so are working for the wrong people. They won’t be helped. JM:: How did you obtain the more “esoteric” material, like Alternate Dimensions by “Jabir ibn Hayaan” aka Nick Herbert? EC: Oh, Alternate Dimensions can hardly be called one of the more “esoteric” titles in the list. After all, Herbert was still a Theorist when he wrote it. The book is actually wrong on a number of points, though quite brilliant as an approach. The fact is, I tracked down Dr. Herbert when I was assembling the Catalog. I’d read his other work, and realized he must be heading in the right direction. At first he wouldn’t talk to me at all. He suspected I was an agent of whatever Shadowy Forces were trying to suppress the book, and succeeding. From various angry remarks he dropped I was able to piece together the story. His manuscript and files had been stolen right out of his house, and the publishers refused to return their copies, or any of the page proofs. They were stonewalling him. So I…well, I stole it. JM:: What? EC: I went to the publisher. I had a very strong intuition as to which group was blocking publication. I posed as an agent of that group. Apparently I was correct, and it seems I knew enough to convince the publisher of my bona fides, so to speak. He was so glad to hand over the book you’d’ve thought it was a bomb! Later he was fired. I suppose he’s lucky to be alive, the schmuck. I copied the proofs and returned the originals to Dr. Herbert. He agreed to let me list it. After all, it was the only way his work was ever going to be distributed. Of course it’s a moot point now. I mean, the book is seriously out-of-date and there’s not going to be a revised edition. JM:: Well, it’s obvious that you’ve been in contact with some of the travel cult members. Can you tell me who? EC: That would be telling. JM:: Aw, come on! This is not turning out to be much of an interview. EC: Nonsense, young man. What I’m giving you is gold, pure gold. All right, then…would it surprise you to hear that you’ve already met a fair number of “cult members”? The heiress in the Berkeley Hills who knows all about Tarantula venom? That Irish humorist who lives in James Joyce’s Martello tower in Howth, outside Dublin? The aging psychedelic guru…the so called Persian Anarchist…the so called Satanic rock-star…the Montana cowboy-secret-agent-hacker…the cyberpunk SciFi Surrealist… JM:: No! They would’ve told me… EC: Guess again. JM:: I believe you’re…you’re misinforming me here, Mr. Cranston. EC: Check it out. JM:: I will. EC: Do. Next question. JM:: Um, ok. Uh…what new information have you come across since the catlogue was published? What new developments have there been in this “science” of travel? EC: I can’t really tell you that. “Cult member” means nothing now. All the players know who the other players are. I’m not giving anything away. But…new developments on the tech end? No. Certain people could gain an edge just from a vague description…well, I can tell you a few things. A paper came out right after my Catalog, so it’s not listed, but everyone knows about it by now. It’s by Suhrawardi, it’s called Not the Egg, the Joke, a bad pun on yoga. Eggless travel has become S.O.P. for advanced travellers. Some permanent doorways have been constructed which work even for non-initiates, sort of like The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe. They’re very nicely camouflaged – Fu Manchu couldn’t do better. And of course they’re guarded. JM:: Raiders of the Lost Ark… EC: Eh? Oh yes…booby trapped. Definitely. It’s a zero-sum game I’m afraid. Either you’re on the bus or you’re not on the bus. The Gateways…that’s what we call them, the Gateways have to be there for those few who, shall we say, solve the Catalog without any help from any group. People that smart do exist – I have to admit I wasn’t one of them! I compiled the Catalog and even I didn’t “get it”! But people who are capable of such…such quantum jujitsu, are people we need. For them the Gateways aren’t guarded, but protected. As for the others who might somehow locate the translational nexi…well, you know who I mean… JM:: No, who? EC: The Tri-Lateral Commission! Read the Catalog! Figure it out! Who knows? Maybe you’ll need to know, one of these days. JM:: Is the secret government still active in this area, and if so what do they hope to achieve? EC: Are you implying that because a “liberal” regime has taken over from a “conservative” regime, that you people are free of “secret government”? Haven’t you heard of the present leader’s fascination with “virtual reality”? Where do you suppose power comes from, an” Invisible College” of “Illuminati”? (I use the terms metaphorically , of course.) Nothing has changed – only gotten hotter. In Baghdad…no, forget I said that. Scratch that. Dump the whole file. Next? JM:: Hmmmm, ok. Have you been to Earth2 or any of the other “worlds” and is this where you’ve been hiding? EC: Well, no harm in telling you I suppose. Yes, in fact I’ve been spending quite a lot of time in Java2. It’s not even a security thing anymore, really. Or not always. The truth is that, well, you can’t possibly imagine – a whole world for a utopia, complete with flora, fauna, picturesque ruins, and maybe, oh, ten people per square continent. Fresh air! That alone is enough to…a universe next door, let’s go! (was it e.e.cummings who said that?) JM:: And if that one gets too crowded? EC: Precisely. A number of Davy Crockett types have already “moved on” where they can’t see the smoke of their neighbors fires, to put it mildly. We have no idea of the extent of the Series – it may be “infinite” for all practical (or impractical) purposes. JM:: Why not just tell everybody, then? EC: Would you want to be responsible for infecting the halls of infinity with, say the L.A. Police? Do you think the Pentagon deserves infinity? (and what if it isn’t infinite?) Etcetera? JM:: Who were the occupants of Java2 , that left behind the ruins? EC: Well, that’s the biggest news of all really. We found them – or rather they’ve found us. They claim to be an alternative evolutionary branch of Homo Sapiens through h.Javanesis and h.Neanderthalensis. They look like they’re descended from lemurs rather than chimps, like us. A bit like the characters from Javanese shadow puppet plays. They discovered how to travel long ago, in a time we might think of as the time of Atlantis or Mu (only we would be wrong…) It’s all rather Lovecraftian, in as much as they claim to be responsible for certain aspects of human culture, aspects which are uncanny, but not maleficent. Not only in Java. The Tuatha de Danaan of Ireland who vanished “underground “, and other “faery” and “hollow earth” clues…the whole idea of another physical world, not a heaven or hell, but a Magickal universe next door…anyway, we were wrong about them. Traveling in time, either fast forward or backward. They simply set out to explore the Series. They think it may be endless, and some decided to return “home” to Java2. They’re a completely non-hierarchic segmentary society, like primitive hunter/gatherers, but with a highly evolved culture. A lot of Terrans have completely “converted” to their way of life, even their language. You should hear their music! The returnees brought back some of their artifacts and…well, “furniture” I guess you’d call it. Their ancestors built a city during a “High Civilization” period in their history, but they rejected hard technology for cognitive sciences long ago. Our travel techniques are crude by comparison and lacking their whole mythopoetic value system. We’re planning soon to release certain archival material here in Earth Prime, certain bits of art and music, which we expect to act in a viral fashion to produce profound paradigm shifts. The traveller’s culture is now, I believe, our most effective “weapon”. JM:: So what’s your bottom line, is this all co-creative or what? EC: A smartass question. JM:: No, really. EC: Who can say? What about our own cosmic locale, our own provincial reality? You can’t make it go away by ceasing to believe in it. “Give me a place to stand and I’ll move the world” – but there is no place, no “outside” vantage point, from which to challenge consensus reality. “Magick” is notoriously difficult and vague, and terribly incremental – the utopian imagination seems futile – reforms of consciousness appear to fail, unless they implement the emergence of new ruling classes or elites. “Religion” is a perfect case in point. But was religion the cause of “civilization” – or the effect? Now, however, you see, it’s a whole new game. There is an “outside” now, maybe an infinite number of outsides, places to stand with a lever in one hand – and a magic mushroom in the other. The dispossessed have always believed in a millennium, a magickal resistance, a heaven on earth, a world turned upside down. This is it. Well, time’s up. JM:: I had a million more questions. In fact… EC: This phone number and address will become inoperative. Don’t call us, we’ll call you. And don’t worry. The Reality check is in the mail. [click] (JM’s note: the phone was indeed disconnected the next day, and the premises it was registered to vacated with no forwarding address left)

DOWNLOAD THE AUTHORIZED EDITIONS OF ONG’S HAT BOOKS AND ASSORTED EPHEMERA

Media

The original interactive ebook: On Archive.org

PrintAmazon (exclusively)

DigitalKindle or Free

Audiobook: A professional version of The Incunabula Papers: Ong’s Hat and Other Gateways to New Dimensions is currently available for Audible.comAmazon.com and iTunes.com. Also, see the free version below, The Incunabula Papers- Platinum 20 Year Anniversary Audio Book Edition.

OtherFree versions and other ephemera

Etc

Previous versions of this website here.

False Documents

Legend-Tripping Online: Supernatural Folklore and the Search for Ong’s Hat

Wikipedia

Various other related


AUDIO

Decoder Ring: The Incunabula Papers
What lies at the heart of Ong’s Hat?

The Incunabula Papers- Platinum 20 Year Anniversary Audio Book Edition

Incunabula: Ong’s Hat- Joseph Matheny on Art Bell

The Digital Underground and FAKE LORE, DARK MEMES’ with Joseph Matheny

Ong’s Hat Ashram Survivors?

Transcript of Survivor’s Interview. (PDF)

MORE AUDIO AT JOSEPHMATHENY.COM 


VIDEO

THE MYSTERY OF ONG’S HAT

Ong’s Hat: The Original ARG – Sex, Drugs & Quantum Physics

The Grimerica Show #335 – Joseph Matheny – Denny Unger

Dead Rabbit: Eggless Travel

Ong’s Hat: An Early Internet Mystery

MORE VIDEO AT YOUTUBE


MORE MEDIA AT JOSEPHMATHENY.COM 

Assorted Interviews With Joseph matheny

A entire site full of interviews can be found at josephmatheny.com here’s a selection of the latest:

Gizmodo: ONG’S HAT: THE EARLY INTERNET CONSPIRACY GAME THAT GOT TOO REAL

DECODER RING: THE INCUNABULA PAPERS

GRIMERICA: DENNY UNGER AND JOSEPH MATHENY – ALTERNATIVE REALITY GAMES AND CONSPIRACIES

BEST FRIEND SIMULATOR EPISODE 16: THOSE MUMMY FLIPPIN’ FLINTKNAPPERS/ ONG’S HAT

SPECIAL EPISODE: ‘FAKELORE, DARK MEMES’, WITH JOSEPH MATHENY

THE RISE OF THE ARG: GAMES™ INVESTIGATES ALTERNATE REALITY GAMES AND WHAT THE FUTURE HAS IN STORE FOR THE CURIOUS EXPERIMENT

ALTERNATE REALITY GAMES | ONG’S HAT | KNOW YOUR MEME

THE SURPRISING ONLINE LIFE OF LEGENDS – LEGEND-TRIPPING ONLINE: SUPERNATURAL FOLKLORE AND THE SEARCH FOR ONG’S HAT

 

You may find many more audio, video and text links at josephmatheny.com

 

  • The Surprising Online Life of Legends- The Chronicle of Higher Education –He holds the original Incunabula documents, in all their oddness, in high esteem, he adds: “People inserted themselves into the story; the story seemed to take on a life all its own; and it had this far-reaching narrative. I thought it was absolutely brilliant, but I didn’t know what exactly was going on,” he says. Unmistakable, however, was that the writings and their Satan’s spawn were suspending acolytes’ disbelief, and feeding their fantasies.
  • UFO Digest – Back to Ong’s Hat, baby! There are those who claim Matheny’s 1990s legend is true, as the author remained vague concerning the authenticity of his posts. Whether or not one believes the Ong’s Hat saga, is beside the point, contends its creator, who claims his work stemmed from an actual written narrative known as the Incunabula Papers.
  • The Guild Of Pedestrian Wonder
  • The Journal of Borderland Research – Warning! This book will make you think.
  • The Ong’s Hat Mystery Revealed New World Disorder – The Ong’s Hat meme – and its curious and intoxicating blend of quantum physics, tantric sex, chaos magick/theory, parallel universes, and conspiracy theory – has spread through the noosphere over the last decade or so and developed into a mini-mythos, eventually transmitting itself through such mass media portals as Coast to Coast AM (the Art Bell show) and Jane Magazine, even becoming the starting point for successful alternate reality game Chasing the Wish.
  • Jane Magazine(April 2003) A Target-Marketing Success Story I got really into this “time-travel cult” called Ong’s Hat when a computer-game programmer I know told me she was contacted by a physics scholar who said that a bunch of her recent games reflected their canon. This dude told my friend that someone from Ong’s Hat had befriended her and inspired her to create certain games without her realizing it. Whoa, right? I started researching them on the Internet and mailed off $18 for Ong’s Hat: The Beginning, a typo-riddled yet super-fun book explaining their “clandestine” beliefs (a bunch of LSD-popping physicists figured out interdimensional travel through a portal in New Jersey’s Pine Barrens in the 1970s, among other things). Anyway, 85 years after it should have, it dawned on me that the whole thing is probably a hoax. “The split between who believes the book is fiction vs. nonfiction is pretty even,” says the nice but evasive author, Joseph Matheny. It’s too bad–I think we all want to believe in scientists who party. –Kate Hambrecht
  • Galidor– A kid’s television show show wherein a kid from New Jersey travels across dimensions in a interdimensional travel device called The Egg. (Wonder where they got that idea?) There was even a Lego Egg.
  • November 2000 Coast to Coast Am Show: Ong’s HatShow Info (Nov. 1, 2000)After trying in vain for 2 years to negotiate with Coast to Coast (Clearchannel geeks) and getting what amounts to the royal run around, we have decided to release the November 2000, Coast to Coast AM (Art Bell show) on MP3, via Kazaa. Keywords for finding the files are: Joseph Matheny, Art Bell, Coast to Coast AM, Ong’s Hat. They are broken into eight separate 30-minute segments and numbered accordingly. Download them and share them off your P2P clients so others may more readily access them. We will be releasing these files via the web here for a short time, due to popular demand.
  • Disinfo.com Ong’s Hat Dossier You’ve got your chaos; sex magick; applied quantum physics; shadow conspiracy; crypto-palaeontology and enlightenment hopes all wrapped up in one neat package. What the Hell more do you want?
  • Magdalen Sez…Joe Matheny’s been documenting a man who literally travels to the Other Side… or does he? The secret lies in Ong’s Hat… Find out for yourself by gettin’ the book Ong’s Hat: The Beginning.
  • technoccult.net a web portal for free thinkers – Few “conspiracy theories” are quite as bizarre as the legend of Ong’s Hat. The confused story is told through a book catalog and numerous interviews and contains many contradictions.
  • AOI This is a story, which is told, for the most part, in the descriptions of the books in a Catalog of Rare Books, and in a brochure for the Institute of Chaos Studies. We were first pointed to this material nearly two years ago, by a correspondant who found parallels between the egg-shaped capsule, and the material we started writing about in the Crowley’s Egg? series…Did the events that are written of in these various works, actually take place? Do any of these books exist in reality, or their authors? All we know is that the story given does parallel in some ways, things taking place in the late 70s, in the group surrounding the Consciousness / New Physics / Psychotronics crowd; in the late 80s / early 90s, in our own circle and among the Typhonian OTO people, involved in the “Secret Dikpala of LAM” – see our comments on The LAM Statemen…In the Catalog, we can spot at least a couple of familiar names — Nick Herbert, Fred Alan Wolf, both players in the New Physics crowd mentioned above; as well as Henry Corbin, whose writings we have run across, and of course, Mircea Eliade. It would be nice to find out: does Escape from Earth-Primeactually exist? Is it a real book? That one we find interesting. And, too, the story involving Dr. Kamadev Sohrawardi. Some of these events seem (to us at least) to parallel the events taking place in the 1970s, around the work of Puharich, Bearden, Sarfatti, Ira Einhorn, which involved developing Psychotronics, Tesla Tech, Free Energy, receiving science from the future, etc.Five Stars for the whole work. This is really excellent material.
  • Borderlands Sciences Fiction as reality and reality as fiction, breaks one away from the restraints of what is possible. The Incunabula Mystery provokes such evolutionary mentation. I’d like to see every hip kid in America to smirk knowingly about the dimensional egg. Kind of like the old Sub-Genius Rant, too absurd too be true..but too true to be comfortable. It can be unnerving when you stumble on the ether-ship in the basement and whirl down to the hollow earth dance club for the first time. If your imagination has been well conditioned with high weirdness, one can function with relish in bizarre alternate realities as they manifest themselves to the individual.
  • Cameron Wilson Columnist for The Inverness Herald(July 2002) Judging from the advanced copy I received unsolicited (how they found my address, I’ll never know), it is easy to see the reason why that malefactor lad Joey is in hiding these days. No? Find out for yourself and order the Great American Noodle from Amazon.Com and crack the code to his real whereabouts if you can. It is hidden somewhere in the subtext as the semioticians say. As you Americans are found of quipping: In order to make an omlette, you need to break some real synchronicity inducing eggs. The proof is in the albumin. Go see for yourself!
  • obsucrantist_to_zota Marketing as NarrativeThere’s an old conspiracy theory/secret history/urban legend narrativized in the form of a book catalog.(Oh yeah, it’s true — disinfo has all the dirt on Ong’s Hat , if you’re sure you want to know. But that’s a whole other story. )Using epiphenomenal commercial structures to create an ambient narrative through accretion. That was the genre used by Henry Raddick, star Amazon Reviewer, who became a famous [123] for being tangental in review comments. For example his take on the book God, Why Did Dad Lose His Job? A truly wonderful guide which has enabled me to explain my recent sacking for vandalising company property to my children in terms of a minor act of redemption. First rate.
  • That Blasted Catalog One of the oldest and most twisted of the scraps that one can find on the web is the story of the Incunabula Catalog. I’m not sure exactly how old it is, but the catalog is reported to date back to BBS’s back in the early 90’s. And I’ve found, what look to be, logs from old BBS’s that are now on the web, and sure enough the catalog is listed in some of these.One of the first summaries of the story that I came across is atTechnoccult.net. A quick look through there shows that the story is long and twisted, and makes the Illuminatus Trilogy look like a children’s tale.I do not think the catalog’s meme will ever fully die. I think it will bop around the fringe, occasionally being picked up by new comers who’s eyes are wide and are willing to experiment with anything.
  • The 23 Apples of Eris Dr Cornelius Confusion The Ong’s Hat conspiracy has just come to my attention, thanks to someone asking if it bore any relation to the Dimensional Gateway Technicians League (an allied branch of our tentacular conspiracy, which it didn’t really before, but now really does. Rumour has it this is entirely partially realmaginary but also a long running Hakim Bey und RAW mindfuck. I spent two days travelling the Ong’s Hat Chapel Perilous, delighting in my rapid total confusion, and the fact that the more I looked the more complicated everything got…
  • MSP University Maybe it was the weed. I’ve taken to mixing up the sativa with Yerba Mate, the south american ibogaine-cousin alertness herb, and strange things happen, is all I can say. Strange things happen.I’d read the Incunabula (“rare texts”) once before: didn’t really pay attention, so it seemed pretty boring, like a dumb practical joke laid out by a tripping mathematics major. It’s worth noting, here at the outset, that it could actually be a dumb practical joke laid out by a tripping mathematics major.Cheese, yeah, but lots of interesting tidbits that really jump out at you after you’ve read all the Incunabula material. If this is all a web hoax, these cats are flat-out fricking geniuses.So maybe Ong’s Hat is a little bit not-so-true. The usual reaction of con-heads, when faced with such ugly possibilities as Reality, or, say, the Truth, is to make things even more convoluted: Ong’s Hat is CIA disinformation. The purpose of this whole wild goose chase is to take the spotlight away from the sinister Montauk Project, which is about as insane, deeply disturbing and totally paranoid as conspiracy theory gets.
  • Robert Forte Filmmaker/Editor/AuthorThe Road to Eleusis, Entheogens and the Future of Religion andTimothy Leary Outside Looking InI’m sitting down for my third reading of Ong’s Hat since November when Joe and I synchronistically renewed our friendship after not seeing each other for many years; a friendship that began a decade and half ago at that marvelous nexus, 321 2nd Street in Santa Cruz we were both lived, fortunately graced by the embodied wisdom of Nina Graboi, our psychedelic god mother, who lept from this plane in 1999, who I am sure is delighted at all this occuring. Ong’s Hat isn’t just a book to me. Its a cipher of mystery, the dimensions of which I am just beginning to grok….
  • Curiouser and Curiouser I never know what to make of this site; mainly because it seems to change dramatically every few months. Right now it’s a blogwith assorted news of interest, and an ad for the book about Ong’s Hat, which is what brought me to this site to begin with. But don’t ask me to explain it. I’m writing this review to get this one out of my “to review” folder; I don’t know what else to do with it. (Reviewed January 2003)
  • Some Amazon Reviewers said- William Courson – Since before the continents assumed their present shape, countless ages before intelligent proto-hominids walked erect and began using sticks to scratch signs in the mud, immeasurable aeons before alphabets and settled agriculture were new-fangled, Ong’s Hat – a now deserted (?) village in southernmost New Jersey – was fated to become the most important locale in humankind’s history, a critical juncture in time and space, and the nexus of a vast, uncountable quanta of probability matrices joining at the confluence of those temporal streams called past, present and future.Since the event referred to as the “Opening of the Gate” occurred at Ong’s Hat some thirty-three years ago on a spring equinox, much of the paltry amount of writing on that cosmic shifting of gears has been of an intendedly “disinformational” character for reasons apparent to all serious students of alternative history in general and OH in particular. The time has arrived when the truth can be told, neat and naked, complete and uncensored. And that story is, to put it mildly, a circuitous one.In brief, a black Sufi cult founded in Newark, New Jersey in the 1920s by a circus magician has (with the help of a small group of Columbia University students, jazz musicians, beatniks, homosexuals and LSD experimenters) evolved by the late 1960’s into a techno-tantric Moorish Orthodox commune and physics research institute centered in Ong’s Hat, New Jersey, whose members managed to escape from this addled dirt-ball into a parallel universe through the intermediary of the “Egg” – a mechanism that enabled trans-dimensional travel into other worlds in other dimensions.Add to the story a benevolent race of red-necked humanoids descended from Javanese lemurs on a parallel Earth, chaos magick, alternative sexualities, applied quantum physics, conspiracies galore, and heretical Eastern Orthodox bishops and you have an epistemological smorgasbord fit for a king.This is a delightful piece of writing that leaves its reader hungry for more (and we are assured there will be more), that deserves to be read and read again, believed or disbelieved, shared with someone you love, and maybe even memorized!
  • Bishop Sotemohk A. (“Billy”) Beeyayelel Ong’s Hat: A Moorish Orthodox ViewBefore the continents assumed their present shape, countless ages before intelligent protohominids walked erect and began using tools, aeons before alphabets and settled agriculture were new-fangled things, Ong’s Hat – a now deserted village in southernmost New Jersey (USA) – was fated to become the most important point in all of space and time, the nexus of uncountable quanta of probability matrices joining at the confluence of those temporal rivers known as past, present and future. Dr. Joseph Matheny and his collaborators have produced a breathtakingly scholarly work in writing “The Incunabula Papers: Ong’s Hat and Other Gateways to New Dimensions,” which is a tour-de-force not only of the Ong’s Hat incident, but of quantum mechanics, temporal theory and the systematic theology of Moorish Orthodoxy as well I wholeheartedly and unreservedly recommend this masterwork to all serious students of the Ong’s Hat phenomena.
  • MEDIAGAB How could anything that has Javanese Lemurs in it be less than a masterpiece?
  • abuddhas memes They tell us how to get there, where they went, and invite us to join them; but leave to serendipity and intent our ability to do so. Ong’s Hat – Gateway to the Dimensions describes a disparate group’s journey to the shore of chaos, where they discover surfing.
  • Leading Edge Review Allegedly, the experimenters achieved the success with the accessing of parallel universes. Up to now, the truth about the cult has been vague and indecisive, but the legends, technology and quantum theory surrounding it are more than tangible.
  • Incunabula/Ong’s Hat was a August 2000 “Cranky Award” winner on CrankdotnetAlso:See this this month’s issue of Commander X’s Conspiracy Journal (Print Edition)
  • Arcturus Books Inc. Catalogue (Print) Ong’s Hat is one of those odd places in central New Jersey, supposedly the site of a “clubhouse” where a group of Princeton physicists experimented with time travel and were successful in accessing parallel universes. … it gets all mixed up with the usual mis-wired, schizophrenic-type hallucinating …-and is therefore likely to appeal only to drug-freaks (who will no doubt understand) or overdosed video gamers.
  • Quiche.org I had to think long and hard before including these papers within this website. It’s a difficult subject.I eventually came to the conclusion, that this is why it fit so perfectly within Quiche – it is just so ambiguous, it’s wonderful.
  • What really, really, really, really, really, happened at Ong’s Hat???– Darkplanet Ong’s Hat/Incunabula has always been about levels of understanding. As you research each aspect of the story you are presented with a challenge. That challenge is usually based on twisting and distorting your belief systems. For example: You find a piece of compelling info that takes you down one path only to find that its a invalid path but wait…it turns out that the path you thought was a false path is actually the correct path and so on, and so forth. This is the dance of the Incunabula. Destroying rational assumptions of what is true and what is false.Also: More at the EGGROOM
  • The Elusive Ong’s HatThe WandererOK, so if there’s nobody there and the town’s gone, what’s the point of looking for it? Well, this story is similar to others I’ve heard. I heard that there was a group in the woods near Fort Dix that had a compound (Ong’s Hat is very close to Fort Dix; one of the base’s fences is about a mile from the old town, and if you look at any map, the base’s property actually makes a crescent around where the group supposedly was). Sometime in the 80’s, the army base (Dix) was called in to smash this compound. About 10 of the cult members were killed. None of this ever hit the press. So then why am I searching for this place? These people obviously knew what they were doing if the army had to go in and stop them and destroy the place. I’m hoping something is left over from either the group or the smashed compound. And again, most of this is based on things I’ve heard; none of this is guaranteed. But remember, every story is based on some truth. And at very least, I’ll see the remains of a town that is nearly 200 years old.
  • Virus! – Danish (Expanded Print Article ) Also, Ong’s Hat was a special 2 hour segement on Danish Public Radio.
  • Fringewire Review Out of all the fringe stories on the net I’ve read about over the years, the story of Ong’s Hat and the Incunabula Catalog has to be the single most bizarre tale ever told as it involves every freaky motif you could ever want in a conspiracy theory – drugs, hippies, renegade physicists, sex, magic, time travel, parallel dimensions, quantum mechanics, lies, truths, deep throats, missing persons, fiction, and reality (whew). It’s the perfect combination of elements to create a story that will surely be debated over a century from now.
  • Casusbelli– (French review) Incunabula, un texte bizarroïde en version PDF avec pleins d’illustrations et de liens vers le net. De quoi ça parle ? Disons que c’est une nouvelle écrite sous la forme d’un catalogue commenté de livres rares. L’ambiance y est franchement à la conspiration sous l’angle techno-anarchiste-fringe-science-réalités parallèles. Difficile à décrire sans dévoiler l’histoire qui se développe au fil des commentaires des ouvrages cités. Ajoutez à ça que de nombreux livres réels y sont référencés et vous obtenez une confusion totale entre le réel et la fiction. Un objet bizarre, en anglais uniquement.
  • 404 Not Found – Weirdest of the WeirdThis is easily the weirdest site that we have ever come across. Purporting to be the work of an underground community of persecuted heretical scientists and chaoticians, this site truly is a gateway into the Twilight Zone. It contains links to a vast network of sites that just get stranger and stranger as you delve more deeply into the dark genius of their creators. Chaos theory, metaphysics, time travel, alien entities, the ultimate conspiracy. Beware: not recommended for the unstable or the unhinged!