We’re The Upside Down People
The POEE Disorganizational Matrix describes the “hierarchy” of the POEE side of the Discordian Society.
The first thing to note is that it’s reversed. The people who know the most about Eris have the lowest rank in the society. The people who have never heard about it (most people) are the highest rank and the best Discordians.
Discordia is not about creating an elite sect of people who “get it”, and impart their enlightened wisdom onto the unwashed masses. No, we Discordians have a lot to learn a lot from those spags. Following a lesser-known Greek Goddess? We’re clearly wired all wrong.
A few weeks ago, somebody at a party asked me what Discordia was about. He had seen the Chao Te Ching on my facebook wall, and he really likes the Tao Te Ching you know, and so I found myself in the unfortunate position of having to “explain” Discordianism.
WELL, I said, We’re a disorganized religion. Or maybe we’re a joke, it’s hard to tell. We reject dogma and definition. The Discordian hierarchy is reversed… the most informed people about Discordia are at the bottom. The people who have no idea what it is [the popes] are at the top. So the fact that I’m even explaining this to you means that you get Discord better than I do.
My friend said, “So the point is to stop the mind?”
and I said, “Well, uh, kinda… some people treat it that way… It’s like this…”
He said, “You missed it. You can’t tell me what it is or isn’t about, I’m the fucking POPE, MOTHERFUCKER.”
The Classic Discordian Society
Once upon a time, there really was an office of the polyfather. There really was an organization called POEE. Both of these things have faded into the purple haze of history, but that hasn’t stopped them from being part of the Discordian society. There’s still a Discordian society, but they’re (dis)organized differently.
Today, there are two groups that use the name POEE (the Para-theo-ana-meta-mystikhood Of Eris Esoteric). The people who run Poee.org have a bunch of links to Discordian literature. An awesome guy named Synaptaclypse KSC runs Poee.co.uk, which operates as a Discordian publishing house and propaganda depository. Among other things, Syn prints the Hardcover edition of the Principia Discordia, which is gorgeous. Sadly, neither of these websites represent real communities anymore.
Needless to say, anybody can be a member of POEE. You don’t have to get anybody’s approval anymore, you just declare yourself a member. POEE has a bit of a mystical connotation – it appeals to Discordians that experiment with the occult or other esoteric approaches to reality.
The Golden Apple Corps
The Golden Apple Corps are the activist wing of the Discordian Society. If you do pranks, projects, or mischief in the name of Eris, this is your crowd. Their primary project is Operation Mindfuck, an ongoing mission to snap people out of their robotic thought patterns.
The Golden Apple Corps have no leader and accept anybody as a member.
In recent years, the Golden Apple Corps have used OMGASM to collaborate on projects. Briefly, OMGASM is the idea that Discordians should participate in other pranks by Discordians (“Sticking apart is most fun when we do it together!” -St Mae). Sometimes Discordians come up with projects and name them with a -GASM on the end. This is a signal that “you’re invited to participate, collaborate, and expand on this”.
For example, FnordGASM is the project to write “Fnord” one paper currency. Anybody can do it. The more people do it, the more people will look up Fnord and find a trail of breadcrumbs leading to MADNESS.
My hope is that as Discordia becomes better represented on the web, we’ll have a larger pool of pranksters to collaborate with. This could lead to larger and larger projects, more golden apples being tossed into people’s brains.
Episkopos is an Ancient Greek word meaning “overseer”. In a modern religious context it refers to the Bishop who presides over a group of churches. Protestants don’t have a pope, but they do have Bishops. Being an Episkopos means that you’ve got your own version of Discordia, your own revelation from Eris, and you accept nobody else’s authority to tell you what’s up.
There are a lot of Episkoposes. If you have an interpretation of Discordia that doesn’t jive with POEE or the Golden Apple Corps, you’re probably in charge of your own Episkopos. Discordia encourages this sort of thing – it’s better that we have 10,000 conflicted versions of Discordia than one “true” version with its own tribes of believers and skeptics.
The Legion of Dynamic Discord
The LDD is comprised of Discordians who don’t belong to any of the above groups. This is sometimes seen as the “entry path” into Discordia. You are in the LDD while you don’t have your mind made up about this stuff.
The stereotypical legionnaire enjoys telling other Discordians that they’re doing it wrong and their tribe is bad, but doesn’t himself have a clear idea of what “doing it right” would be. St. Vincent Verthaine used to call them the “Little Deluded Dupes”.
The House of the Rising Hodge
This sect represents the Discordian elements that are ordered. Discordian Historians, Dictionaries, and this series of blog posts attempting to “explain” the Principia Discordia belong in this category.
The House of the Rising Podge
This sect refers to Discordian advocacy for Disorder. Mal and Omar warn us that a little disorder can be good, but don’t go too crazy with it. Too much Wisdom is Insanity. Too much Beauty is Outrageous. Overemphasis on Integrity leads to Arrogance. And while bullshit makes the flowers grow, too much of it really smells.