There was a meme
going around usenet
saying that science fiction
author and conspiracy buff Robert
had died under mysterious circumstances. This sparked
quite a few debates
but after the dust had settled the general consensus
seemed to be
that it was just a hoax
and that Wilson was indeed alive.
However, the first thing any newbie would ask the group was
"Uh... I heard Robert Anton Wilson was dead or something?"
which would cause excessive flamage from the regulars
who had after a while gotten quite fed up with the topic. Sometimes
this would also ignite a second wave of flames, this time
directed at the original flamers, regarding rudeness to
newbies. Not a pretty sight.
Of course, there were still people who insisted that Wilson was dead
as a doorknob, that the CIA/Mafia/Men In Black had snuffed him,
and that anyone who claimed otherwise must be a part of the
conspiracy. Some went as far as to speculate that he had been
replaced by and android or doppelganger.
I have since then seen Wilson in the flesh (I even managed to have a
private conversation with him but I was so nervous and awe-struck
that it'd be best forgotten) and I can report that he is very much
alive although he is pushing 80 and not quite as lively as he once
were. Some people would probably argue that the man I met was the
look-a-like but then again, some people would argue anything.
Wilson wrote about his experiences with being 'dead' in his book
'Cosmic Trigger Volume III' and it becomes rather tragic since his
close friend and sometimes co-author Robert Shea died while this
strange affair unfolded. It's all fun and games till somebody loses