The Discordian Society is, in its own words "...a tribe of philosophers, theologians, magicians, scientists, artists, clowns, and similar maniacs who are intrigued with ERIS GODDESS OF CONFUSION and with Her doings." The existence of the Discordian Society was first popularised in Robert Anton Wilson & Robert Shea's blockbusting 'Illuinatus!' trilogy, and also in Malaclypse The Younger's book 'Principia Discordia' which sets out the basic principles of the Discordian Religion - a religion based around the Greek Goddess, Eris.
Traditionally, Eris was a daughter of Nox (night) and the wife of Chronus. She begat a whole bunch of Gods - Sorrow, Forgetfulness, Hunger, Disease, Combat, Murder, Lies - nice kids! The ancient Greeks attributed any kind of upset or discord to her. With the fall of the ancient empires, Eris disappeared, though it is suspected that she had a hand in 'manifesting' the first bureaucracies, triplicate forms, and insurance companies. She didn't put in a personal appearence again on spaceship Gaia again until the late '50's, when she appeared to two young Californians, who later became known as Omar Ravenhurst and Malaclypse The Younger. Eris appointed them the "Keepers of the Sacred Chao" and gave them the message to: "Tell constricted mankind that there are no rules, unless they choose to invent rules." After which Omar and Mal appointed each other High Priest of his own madness, and declared
Phil Hine themselves each to be a Society of Discordia, whatever that may be.
Greater Poop: Is Eris true?
Malaclypse: Everything is true.
GP: Even false things?
Mal: Even false things are true.
GP: How can that be?
Eris has since climbed her way from historical footnote to mythic mega-star, and the Discordian Movement, if such a thing can be said to exist, is growing on both sides of the Atlantic, helped by the Discordian tactic of declaring that everyone is a genuine Pope. More people are getting into the idea of a religion based on the celebration of confusion and madness.
The central Greek myth that Eris figures prominently in is the ever-continuing soap opera of 'Mount Olympus - Home of the Gods'; the episode which inadvertently brought about the Trojan War. It seems that Zeus was throwing a party and did not want to invite Eris because of her reputation as a troublemaker. Infuriated by the snub, Eris fashioned a golden apple incribed with the word Kallisti, ("to the prettiest one") and tossed it into the hall where all the guests were. Three of the invited Goddesses, Athena, Hera, and Aphrodite, each claimed the apple for themselves and started fighting and throwing food around. To settle the dispute, Zeus ordered all three to submit to the judgement of a mortal over just who was 'the prettiest one', and said mortal was Paris, son of the King of Troy. Zeus sent all three to Paris, via Hermes, but each Goddess tried to
Oven-Ready Chaos outwit the others by sneaking out early and offering a bribe to Paris.
Athena offered Paris victory in battle, Hera, great wealth, while Aphrodite 'merely loosened the clasps by which her tunic was fastened and unknotted her girdle', also offering Paris the most beautiful of mortal women. So, Aphrodite got the apple, and Paris got off with Helen, who unfortunately happened to be married to Menelaus, King of Sparta. Thanks to the meddling of Athena and Hera, the Trojan war followed and the rest, as they say, is history.
Nowadays, in our more chaos-positive age, Eris has mellowed somewhat, and modern Discordians associate her with all intrusions of 'weirdness' in their lives, from synchronous to mischevious occurences, creative flashes of inspiration, and wild parties. She does get a little bitchy at times, but who doesn't?
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