November 12, 2004

23 Fnord Illuminati (Don't let them immanentize the eschaton.)

"I'm just going out to the shops to get some bread. Will you keep an eye on the children. Oh, and don't go in the attic." - Genesis P'Orridge

I've been asked repeatly lately about the issue of the number 23. Or as the original questioner asked, "Anyone think it slightly suspicious that Ken Bigley was held for exactly 23 days before being decapitated by those CIArabs? Saddam was in power for exactly 23 years until the Illuminati terminated his contract!" Yes, twenty fnord three is a common sight. How common?

Well, that's tough to tell because the accidental 23s are intermingled with the deliberate 23s. Michael Jordan's jersey number, chosen to honor his lifetime allegience to the Illuminated Elders of Mu, and the fact that the Unibomber killed or wounded 23 people are very different sorts of 23-numerology phenomena.

Burroughs (and friends) and the 23 Enigma

The '23 Enigma', as discovered by William S. Burroughs, presents itself as a good omen for some - disaster for others. Trying to convey the phenomenon to the uninitiated is as easy as describing the night sky to someone who has been blind from birth.

When Burroughs was in Tangiers, he knew a Captain Clark who ran a ferry over to Spain. One day, Clark told Burroughs that he had been doing the route for 23 years without an accident. That day, the ferry sank . . .that evening, while Burroughs was thinking about the incident, a radio bulletin announced the crash of Flight 23 on the New York-Miami route. The pilot was another Captain Clark!

Burroughs began to keep a scrapbook of 23s. When writing about Dutch Shultz, he realized that when the New York City gangster had put a contract out on 23-year-old Vincent 'Mad Dog' Coll, who met his end on 23rd St. Shultz himself died on October 23rd, 1935. As Robert Anton Wilson writes in 'Cosmic Trigger', the same night, Marty Crompier, another gangster was shot, but not fatally. "It's got to be one of them coincidences," he told police.

Speaking of October 23rd, Seventeenth century scholar Archbishop Ussher reckoned that the earth was created on October 23rd, 4004 BC, while the Mayans believed the world will end on December 23rd, 2012.

Hexagram 23 in the 'I Ching' oracle means "break apart." 23 in telegrapher's code means "break the line." Aleister Crowley defined number 23 as "parting, removal, separation, joy, a thread, and life . . ."

Parents each donate 23 chromosomes to the fertilized egg . . .the human biorhythm cycle is generally 23 days, and it takes 23 seconds for blood to circulate through the human body.

And so on . . .

This inexplicable fascination with 23 has become a mind-virus, seeping into the music of 'Psychic TV', the art of H.R. Giger, the comics of Jamie Hewlett and Grant Morrison, the literature of Robert Anton Wilson, Arthur Koestler, Umberto Eco, and countless others. The pages of the 'Principia Discordia' supply another feast of 23s. It now reached a point where one has to be sharp to differentiate between the 23s meant as signposts for those in the know, and those which appear for no obvious reason, in the damndest of places. The Internet is these days littered with lists of historical and scientific '23s', some of which are not so ` - i.e. mere coincidence, some mind-boggling - beautiful synchronicity.

The '23 Enigma' has its skeptics - those who say that it's a focusing of attention on just one number. This may be true, but as mentioned above, some folks have fun with 23s - the day-to-day synchronicity that raises a private smile - while for others it can be sheer hell, and we're not just talking about Burroughs' two Captain Clarks. Genesis P. Orridge (his band, 'Psychic TV', released 23 albums on the 23rd of each month for 23 months) told the members of another British band, 'Cabaret Voltaire', about the enigma. They showed interest, but skepticism. Two days later, Genesis received a phone call from them:

"You bastard! . . . We've come to Holland to do three gigs, and in ever hotel we've had room 23, and the gig on the 23rd was a complete disaster. And everywhere we turn, there are 23s. What have you done?"

"Well, I did say you'd start noticing it," answered Genesis.

This 23 shit just goes on and on...... this comes from The Mirror.....


By Ryan Parry And Rebecca Smith

IT might be just a squad number to David Beckham fans, but many believe 23 has mystical properties.

Pop stars and writers are among those fascinated by it.

Late author William Burroughs was so gripped by numeric coincidences surrounding 23, he kept a scrapbook of his findings. It is said he was alerted to the number's power when a Captain Clark told him he had run a ferry from Spain to Morocco with no problem for 23 years. Hours later it sank, killing the skipper.

Band Psychic TV were obsessed with 23. They released 23 live albums, each on the 23rd day of 23 months running.

Whether Becks is touched by the number's supposed magic at Real is yet to be seen.

But if he scores 23 goals to help Madrid win the league, no doubt he'll start believing there's something in it.

Basketball legend Michael Jordan wore 23 for the Chicago Bulls. His dad was also murdered on July 23, 1993, during a botched robbery. Real's choice of number is a coup for agency SFX who handle both Jordan and Becks' affairs.

William Shakespeare was born and died on April 23. His first folio of plays came in 1623. Wife Anne died in 1623.

US catchphrase "23, skidoo" is thought to have come from A Tale of Two Cities by Dickens. In it a woman counts guillotine victims.

As she says "23" the hero Sydney Carton is beheaded in the last act.

Author William Burroughs kept a scrapbook about 23 and its appearances in history.

He first spotted its power when a Captain Clark told him he had run a ferry without incident for 23 years. It sank and killed Clark hours later. That day Burroughs heard a radio report of a flight 23 which had crashed in the US - operated by a Captain Clark.

World record-breaking basketball boy wonder LeBron James also wears the number 23 shirt.

The 18-year-old recently signed for Cleveland Cavaliers after agreeing a four-year, 12million contract. And the much-hyped star, dubbed the "Chosen One" signed a 60million endorsement deal with sportswear giants Nike.

Car giant Nissan is touched by a numerical coincidence. In Japanese, "ni" is 2, and "san" is 3. So Nissan would be 23.

Writer Burroughs inspired author Robert Anton Wilson. It was from one of his books that the 23-letter name, Justified Ancients Of Mu Mu, was taken for the band which later became KLF.

A US police car used in the video for the group's hit Doctorin' The Tardis had 23 painted on the roof, and their final performance lasted 23 minutes. They incinerated 1million on a Scottish island on August 23, 1994.

William Burroughs' final TV appearance was in U2's Last Night on Earth video. The letter U is the 21st in the alphabet and adding the 2 gives 23.

Sesame Street's Bert is a member of the national association of W lovers, the 23rd letter of the alphabet.

When 23 or more people are in the same room there is a better than evens chance that at least two share the same birthday. Class sizes in schools are larger than 23, so more than half in Britain have two pupils with the same birthdays.

The Latin alphabet has 23 letters. The German movie 23 explored an obsession with the number, based on a real-life story.

On average, every 23rd wave crashing to shore is twice as large as normal.

In the disaster movie Airport, the bomber has seat 23.

It takes 23 seconds for blood to circulate through the body.

In the Beatles film Yellow Submarine, The Butterfly Stomper, who destroys all things of beauty, wears a shirt with the number 23.

Weird pop band Psychic TV are so obsessed with 23 that at one point they made the Guinness Book of World Records by releasing 23 albums on the 23rd day of 23 months in a row. They were influenced by the occultist Aleister Crowley who had been convinced of the power of 23.

Parents each contribute 23 chromosomes, pictured below, to start a new human life during reproduction.

On July 23, 1996 the "Mysterious Eyes" of comet Hale-Bopp are first sighted.

The earth rotates on an axis of 23 and a half degrees. Alright, that's not strictly 23, but it's near enough to be considered a numerical coincidence.

Rock star Kurt Cobain was born in 1967 and died in 1994. Both years bizarrely add up to 23 if counted as individual digits: 1+9+6+7=23. 1+9+9+4=23.

ROMAN Emperor Julius Caesar was stabbed 23 times when he was assassinated.

The average smoker gets through 23 cigarettes a day.

In Oliver Stone's Nixon, Tricky Dickie's football shirt at Whittier is number 23.

Twenty-three was the shirt number worn by tragic footballer Marc-Vivien Foe when he was at Manchester City. The Cameroon international died after collapsing on the pitch during a Confederations Cup semi-final last week.

In Hollywood blockbuster Die Hard III the train derails in subway station 23.

The human biorhythm is generally 23 days.

The first song on Side A of the Beatles first album took 23 takes to record.

US Cavalry legend General Custer was promoted to the senior military rank at the age of 23. The soldier was the youngest general in the US army at the time.

In the final assault on the Death Star in Star Wars, Luke Skywalker is in Red 5. Red 2 and Red 3 start bomb runs at 23 degrees. The cell block holding Princess Leia, right, was AA-23.

Gotta love 23 and you might as well check out Robert Anton Wilson's political party The Guns and Dope Party.

Posted by duver001 at November 12, 2004 11:24 AM