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The Prankster and the Conspiracy: The Story of Kerry Thornley and How He Met Oswald and Inspired the Counterculture (2003)

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One of the 1960s counterculture's most fascinating characters was Kerry Wendell Thornley -- a writer, philosopher, Zen dishwasher, enlightened prankster, and, possibly, an Oswald double with disturbing ties to the Kennedy assassination. A lifelong provocateur, Thornley was linked to many of the fringe elements of the time. He helped create the spoof religion called the Discordian Society and its tract, the Principia Discordia. He coined the term "paganism" to describe various nature religions. And he befriended Robert Anton Wilson, inspired the Illuminatus, and gave his anarchic support to the Bavarian Illuminati, a brilliant prank.

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He coined the term "paganism" to describe various nature religions.

Nonsense! The word is over 1600 years old. It predates the English language.

ConCen wrote:

He coined the term "paganism" to describe various nature religions.

Nonsense! The word is over 1600 years old. It predates the English language.

100% correct there!

My reading of the etymology shows that it dates to 1400s for "heathen" (specifically "non-christian" or "non-jewish").
https://www.etymonline.com/search?q=pagan

Maybe that's the distinction? It was used to describe heathens for centuries but it was only more recently used specifically to refer to witches and "nature religions"? (just offered as speculation, I was not familiar with any of this history)

euxconcen wrote:

It was used to describe heathens for centuries but it was only more recently used specifically to refer to witches and "nature religions"?

Since t's always been used to describe any religion outside the Judeo-Christian dogma, the new age religions would be no exception, so it's IMO ridiculous to claim he coined a word that's so ancient and common. It's like claiming you coined the word "structure" because you used it to describe a new structure design. Gnome sane?

Is this inspired by the new Adam Curtis doc? Wild coincidence if not.

I want to know if Myron Fagan was a part of this lark, or not. His Illuminati LP is interesting. Some of it seems to have come true.

zoopenhoff wrote:

Is this inspired by the new Adam Curtis doc? Wild coincidence if not.

What are you, some kind of coincidence theorist???? There's no room for your kind here! On your bike!!