“Consensus reality” is a funny term. There are some things we can all agree on. The earth is round (Flat Earth Society). Kittens are cute (I Hate Cats Tees). The external world exists (David Icke’s Saturn/Moon Matrix theory). For every absolute you can state, there’s someone out there who will draw a line in the sand and tell you that you’re wrong wrong wrong. The DKMU turned those lines into trenches, huddled down for the long haul, and started bombarding the rest of us with glitterbombs.
DKMU was a loosely affiliated group of artists and occultists, connected through the internet, who declared war on reality in 2007. “We cast spells, scribe sigils, open doorways, summon spirits, generate hauntings, design deities, perform rituals on skyscrapers while dropping acid, evoke archetypes around bonfires, imbue our intents within media of all sorts and anything else we might find useful in making the world a more wild, mysterious and liberating place to be.” (dkmu.org)
Members of the group came from all walks of life and traditions, bound together by their desire to make the world a more magical place and amp up the weirdness of everyday life. There were no leaders, and there seemed to be no coherent philosophy shared by its members. With heavy nods toward Chaos Magic and Discordianism, the DKMU released a series of videos, music, and visual art that they called, “propaganda,” describing the consensual reality as a kind of prison for creativity and personal freedom. Their focus was on the practical application of magical techniques, particularly the use of sigils (a symbolic representation of an idea or intent), and the treatment of the individual’s psyche as a laboratory.
The origins of the group can be traced back to a thread on occultforum.com in 2004 about buying ad space in newspapers with the message, “Magick is real!” Over time, the thread evolved into a plot. At it’s center was the L.S. (Linking Sigil), which would later become “Ellis.”
Ellis (pictured left) was a symbol that could be attached to any other spell, place of power, or anywhere the practitioner wished. Each copy of Ellis would be connected to all the others in a web, with each feeding off of the others in a massive feedback loop. DKMU Oistar Guide (anonymous) says, “The only point of the linking sigil is to form a magick net, all working to increase the levels of magick in the world, like a giant spell that evolves and grows each time we add to it.” By placing the sigil somewhere, the magician was said to be creating a space of high weirdness, not only affecting any magical working it was connected to, but also affecting any random passerby in the area. For this reason, spray painting, stickering, or chalking Ellis in highly trafficked urban areas was encouraged.
Ellis became a widely used sigil even outside of the group. I’ve come across it many times without knowing what it was. It would pop up in different occult forums, or would be listed among other “Illuminati” symbols in conspiracy blogs. It gained notoriety amongst Chaos Magicians in general, nabbing the attention of such notable authors as Peter J. Carroll and Joel Biroco.
Soon, the central group of magicians using the Ellis sigil formed into the Marauder Underground, and on July 17, 2008, four members performed what they called “The Chelsea Working,” an invocation of Khaos which resulted in a recorded prophesy.
It is unclear how, but the interpretation of the prophesy led to the creation of a project named, “Domas Kaotica,” the scope and goal of which is also unclear. It is from this project that the name DKMU is derived (Domus Kaotica and the Marauder Underground). The group’s first order of business was “Operation: Virus,” an upgraded version of the Ellis work, with the added elements of guerrilla marketing: YouTube videos, flyers, pamphlets, books, articles, “glitterbombs,” etc.
By 2009, the DKMU Way-House, a space in New Jersey where members could meet and perform rituals, was announced. A pantheon had developed: godforms with names like Warbringer, Ole Zalty, Trigag, and others. Ellis was deified as a “middle-aged redhead woman (sic)” who was seen as an initiating force, bringing new members to the group.
Other than a gathering in 2011, the DKMU seems to have quieted down in the past few years; the majority of their texts seem to imply that the group had run its course. Their last known base of operation was deathbylollipop.com, which was shut down in 2012 after a bot infestation. There has, however, been a recent attempt to revitalize the group (dkmu.org).
Although they seem to be mostly inactive now, the DKMU’s influence over our modern world might be more prevalent than one would imagine. In the past handful of years, the topography of our culture has totally changed. With the internet and free information exchange, we are seeing society mutate beyond recognition. We now have more access than ever to the strangest worldviews, which can, within moments, be transmitted between minds across the globe. The hacktivist group Anonymous has become the real-life internet Robin Hood. Joe Rogan (podcasting purveyor of fringe thought) has over a million followers on Twitter. Engaging in a conspiracy conversation with your mom is easier than ever. Is it really all that hard to believe that the Ellis sigil might have had a hand in all this?
“There are more realities these days than there are television channels.”
(Grant Morrison, The Invisibles)