Robert Anton Wilson on Money

Back in the summer of 2006 I created a novelty currency for Robert Anton Wilson to use in a crowd funding effort to help pay for his end of life care. The idea, as conceived by Vincent Murphy, was to print up some RAW money, Emperor Norton style, which Mr. Wilson would then autograph, and auction off on eBay. A plan which was pulled off w/ modest success, and ended up chipping in around about $1,000 to RAW’s medical bills.

(Eventually Douglas Rushkoff & Mark Frauenfelder would initiate a much more substantial fund drive, which afforded RAW the opportunity to pass away in comfort & levity.)

At that point I’d been studying w/ Bob for 2 years, and had become accustomed to regularly learning mind blowing life lessons from that damn old crank, but this one got me good!

See at that time I couldn’t sell any of my artwork to anyone at any price. Hell, I couldn’t even give the shit away! But in his hands 10 scraps of paper I made were worth $100 + each. Now the obvious difference is the autograph right? Except at the same time the RAW bills were selling on eBay, I won an auction for a signed coffee mug of his for $10. So what made the difference? How did RAW transform my paper into money? Well, magic, of course!

RAW had a bit about the surreality of the Federal Reserve, a private bank, printing money into existence, ex nihilo, which begged the question: what transforms that paper into money? And why does only the paper printed by that particular institution pass for money, and all else is considered counterfeit? RAW mused that the Federal Reserve must have a magic wand! After they print paper bills they wave the magic wand over the paper and presto change-o: the paper transubstantiates into money.

And the truth in that joke makes for some very funny money indeed!

So as to honor the lesson learned from this almost decade old caper, I should like to release the RAW currency into the wild. Print it, enjoy it, spend it, whatever you want it!

A 2 page pdf, which if you print on a duplex (double-sided) printer, will give you 3 RAW bills per sheet.
(Cut out along the front page for correct trim size)

Bobby Campbell (CC BY 2.0)

Bobby Campbell (CC BY 2.0)

Bobby Campbell (CC BY 2.0)

Bobby Campbell (CC BY 2.0)

“Wealth is nature’s abundance, freely given, plus the exponential advance of technology via human intelligence, and as Korzybski and Fuller demonstrate, this can only increase at an accelerating rate. Money is just the tickets or symbols to arrange for the distribution—either equitably, in a free money system, or inequitably, as under the tyranny of the present money-cartel.”

From: Illuminating Discord: An interview with Robert Anton Wilson

I was reminded of all this recently after watching the entirely excellent film “The Big Short” wherein the absurdity of the finance industry is elucidated w/ stunning clarity. As the movie so bluntly states: “It’s possible we are in a completely fraudulent system.”

bc (CC by 2.0)

bc (CC BY 2.0)

In other RAW related news: A new eBook edition of Cosmic Trigger has been released by Hilaritas Press & the RAW Trust!


Bobby Campbell

“I seem to be a verb.” – Bucky Fuller
Artist • Writer • Graphic Designer
Creator of Weird Comix & Agnosis!
Credits include cover artwork and illustrations for:
Robert Anton Wilson, Douglas Rushkoff, Timothy Leary, Robert Shea, Christopher S Hyatt, Antero Alli, Toby Philpott, The Headies, Power of IV, and untold thousands more.

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