Operation Mindfuck or OM is an important practice in the religion Discordianism. The term was coined by Robert Shea and Robert Anton Wilson in The Illuminatus! Trilogy. Its Patron Saint is The Midget.
OM was originally instigated by Ho Chi Zen, of the Erisian Liberation Front, who is the same person but not the same individual as Lord Omar Khayyam Ravenhurst, author of The Honest Book of Truth. The guiding philosophy is that originally proposed in The Theory of Games and Economic Behavior by von Neumann and Morgenstern: namely, that the only strategy which an opponent cannot predict is a random strategy. The foundation had already been laid by the late Malaclypse the Younger, K.S.C., when he proclaimed, "We Discordians must all stick apart." This radical decentralization of all Discordian enterprises created a built-in random factor even before Operation Mindfuck was proposed. To this day, neither Ho Chi Zen himself nor any other Discordian apostle knows for sure who is or is not involved in any phase of Operation Mindfuck or what activities they are or are not involved in as part of that project. Thus, the outsider is immediately trapped in a double-bind: the only safe assumption is that anything a Discordian does is somehow related to OM, but, since this leads directly to paranoia, this is not a "safe" assumption after all, and the "risky" hypothesis that whatever the Discordians are doing is harmless may be "safer" in the long run, perhaps. Every aspect of OM follows, or accentuates, this double-bind.
There is a disagreement among Discordians as to whether or not, through OM, they should seek to improve society, topple it or claim that the practice is in fact only for entertainment. Because much of Operation Mindfuck itself involves hyperbole and exaggeration in regard to discussing the Discordian Society, it is difficult to determine the actual scale of the campaign, be it large or practically non-existent.
In The Illuminatus! Trilogy, Operation Mindfuck is epitomized by a protagonist named Markoff Chaney, an anti-social dwarf who engages in subtle practical joking, in a deliberate attempt to cause Discord, as a protest against his mistreatment by society. One such joke involves the forging of signs that are signed by "The Mgt." (leading people to believe they're from "The Management" instead of "the Midget") that contain absurdities, and placing the signs in stores and other establishments.
The Midget was named the Discordian Saint of Operation Mindfuck. The character was inspired by Michael Arthur Quinn aka The Game Master of Florin.
There are several projects that claim to be involved in Operation Mindfuck.
- Project Jake: "Instigated by Harold Lord Randomfactor. Once or twice a year, a public servant who has distinguished himself by more than common imbecility is selected as target for a Jake and all Discordian cabals are alerted." The official being honored receives mail from all the cabals at once on Jake Day. The letters should be printed on the official letterhead of each of the cabals and ask for help in "some complicated political matter that passes all rational understanding." Arguably the most wide-reaching Discordian Jake was The Jake that Changed a World.
- Project Eagle: "Day-glo posters have been printed which look like the old Eagle proclamation saying TO THE POLLS YE SONS OF FREEDOM. The new, improved Discordian posters, however, have one slight word change, and say cheerfully BURN THE POLLS YE SONS OF FREEDOM. Like the old ones, they are posted in prominent places on election day."
- Project Pan-Pontification: This project consists of the distribution of "Pope cards" claiming every man, woman, and child on Earth as a Pope of Discord. POPE Cards can be gotten from Discordia Culture Shop
- Project Graffito (and Project Bumpersticker): "Anybody can participate by inventing a particularly Erisian slogan and seeing that it is given wide distribution. Examples: Your Local Police Are Armed and Dangerous; Legalize Free-Enterprise Murder; Why Should Governments Have All the Fun?; Smash the Government Postal Monopoly; If Voting Could Change the System, It Would Be Against the Law; etc."
- Citizens Against Drug Abuse: "This organization possesses elegant letterheads and is engaged in a campaign of encouraging Congressmen to outlaw catnip, a drug which some young people are smoking whenever marijuana is in short supply." The idea behind this is that because the government lost much credibility in its war on marijuana, a campaign to outlaw a "similar, but more comical herb" will result in a complete loss of faith in government.
- Improv Everywhere organizes citizens to perform specific, bizarre, and orchestrated actions, such as Operation Human Mirror. The group, of course, denies being involved in OM.
- The Random Initiation Project seeks to find like-minded souls and confused the rest.
- Main article: OMGASM
- BookGASM - the project to sneak Discordian or other controversial books into places they'd never be found
- Litgasm - the misson to tag all Discordian works on the net
- GASMGASM - The project to inform others about the word GASM and encourage them to help out with each other's projects.
- POSTERGASM - The project to put posters, flyers, and meme bombs in public places.
- EggGASM - aka Erister Egg Hunt, project to put meme bombs, Discordian quotes, surreal things into hidden plastic eggs near Easter
- Colbertgasm - The project to recruit Mr. Colbert and Mr. Stewart to the secret societies that they would best benefit
- MileyGASM - The project to recruit Miley Ray Cyrus into Discordian ranks and acknowledge being a Discordian American Princess
While many of the alternate names for Operation Mindfuck are classified, unclassified ones include OM (which appears to be an abbreviation) and Operation Mindfool (used by Shamlicht Kids Club).
By definition, all projects of Operation Mindfuck are false, including this one.
- OMGASM, an ongoing branch of Operation: Mindfuck which attempts to network activist Discordians
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