Rituals - E47 • The Countercultural Life of William S. Burroughs

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Back in the 40s and 50s writer.

William esper has helped create the Beat Generation which was a counterculture movement, the documented drug culture and inspired generations of artists.

So that should tell you that burrows was never part of a mainstream mindset, like most people in the world of rituals, the world of rituals, it’s full of weirdos like us.


We have ourselves a little Universe.

At this point, we’re all a bunch of oddballs.

I think in the The rituals.


And and for that reason, we all well I feel like some of us aren’t invited.

Oh not naming names but definitely some of the people we’ve covered.


I don’t want to hang out with, that’s fair.


Yeah, we definitely report on people that can stay a good arm or two away from us.

But here’s the thing about William, esper owes, then he kills his wife.

Oh okay wait.

All right, I’m glad I didn’t say he’s welcomed into the fold yet.

I’m just he’s at arm’s length at the moment.


Yes, and her killing led him on a path of spiritualism and the Occult because he thought he could get rid of the spirit that he thought entered his body at the time of her murder.


This is way more convoluted that I thought, I think I’m just going to have to wait it out before I determine whether he’s in the Cinematic Universe or not.


There’s never been a simple.

Storyline and the no multi Cinematic Universe of rituals.

Hi everyone, and welcome to rituals a Spotify original from par cast.


I’m M Schultz and I’m Christine Schieffer.

Every week, we’ll explore the evolution of spiritualism, and the Occult through stories practices and the impact on Modern culture.

Today we are talking about William esper.

Owes he was a beatnik, he was a poet, he has a very, very trippy story.


So let’s crack into To it.


We sort of talked about this before, what kind of outlook on life?

Do most people have that you find in this world of spiritualism in the occult we have covered it before.

I feel like we’re pretty much on the same page.

We think of people who are open-minded and creative interested in discussion.

Am I missing anything?


I feel like no, I like that summation.

I feel like open-minded for sure.

Be sometimes, I guess, open-minded.

Probably covers that, but, like, have some may be off the wall theories about the universe.

Yeah, yeah.

Just opened up possibilities that whatever your belief is, might not be the right one if there is a right one, but I think people that are more willing to talk back and forth and ask questions.


I think it just it’s easier for them to fall into thinking about other worlds and the why we’re here and what the point of all this is, and I think that is also a slippery slope right into spiritual.


So right?

So have you actually read any books by William Burroughs before we talk about him today or any other Beat Generation writers know, I feel like I sort of know about him but I never really got into that whole genre.


What about you?

I don’t even think I really knew it was a genre which I’m a little embarrassed by now because I knew of the Beat Generation but I didn’t know that as a writing genre if that makes sense.


Are there any other authors Do you have a Sir, I don’t think I’ve ever asked you that.

Oh, I mean, I would say em Schultz, the author of the road, atlas is one of my all-time favorites, just like a one-and-done classic, you know, I’m flustered Times bestseller.


I don’t know.

I don’t know if you knew that, but, no, I’m trying to think favorite author.

I really like, oh, Henry’s short stories.

I was just talking about that, I don’t know.

I’m, I’m a pretty broad spectrum reader.

I like it.

I like all sorts of genres abroad.



Yeah, that’s me abroad.


Ow, a broad broad if you will.

Well, to throw it back to you.

My favorite author has to be Christian Schieffer, New York Times bestseller.

Good answer, good answer.

I don’t know.

She certainly helped me on my book.

She was a mentor of sorts if you will.

So, oh, wow.


It’s almost like she wrote half my book.

That’s how it felt.


That’s like a real ghost writer.


Oh yeah, yeah.

Well, no, I have not read any William Burroughs books.

I do know of his books.

I know of naked, lunch.

I know there’s one that’s about time travel.

You know Blaze just read Naked, Lunch, I forgot.


I’ll have to ask him what he thought because he borrowed it from the library.

So I did not get a chance to read it afterwards, so I’m just going to have to actually go borrow it myself.

If I want to peruse, I think Naked.

Lunch was like band and I lie for a while is Banner in a few places for being so, wow, controversial.


So very excited to hear what Blaze has to say.


Me too.

So, William us Burrows.

I know we already mentioned this but he’s part of the Beat Generation and the Beat Movement.

What’s your initial thoughts of the Beat Movement?

Do you know too much about it?

Do you have Of a us, a picture come to mind when you think about the Beat Movement, kind of like, I might even be wrong, but kind of like hippie-ish, right?


Like kind of like counterculture youthful.

This is my word cloud that I’m creating in my own mind.

I don’t know if it’s true open-minded.

Yeah, yeah, open-minded is the big cloud that covers all of it.

That’s kind of what my thought on it is, but I don’t really know much more than that.


I think of the I think of like hippie culture counterculture, anti-war movement, psychedelics, real of basically.

If it’s against the societal values.

I mean, the time the mainstream.


Did you know anything about Burroughs before we get into him and I maybe say something you already know.


No, I’m pretty much Blank Slate here because, okay, I know Blaze was reading Naked, Lunch.

I said how is it?

He’s like, I just started it.

That’s the extent of my understanding of this fella.

Okay, perfect.

T’, which is 0, which is to say none.


I did try to look up fun facts for you about him.

And the one that I think would matter the most to you is that apparently one of his last Works, was called the cat inside and it was about all of his cats that he’s had in his life.

Well, looks like I need to go to the library today and read a book about all of his cats.


I feel like he had so many other Monumental things we could talk about, but I knew that fun fact was going to be the one that really sold you on him.

So that’s the one I’m in.

You got me?


Hey, I’m so glad.

Okay, well I guess let’s get into talking about him then.

So William esper Rose was born to a well-off family and Missouri in 1914 and his parents apparently paid him an allowance until he was 50 years old. 50, 50, 50, forget it.


I mean, that’s great for him.

I’m just a little, I think I’m just a little jealous.

I think I better.

Yeah, I’m like, okay.

Well, how do I get in on that must be nice.

If your parents gave you an allowance?

Would you take it?

I would take it.


I mean listen we’re all out here.


Trying to do our best.

I don’t know.

That’s the end of my reasoning.

Oh, okay.

Sure during his childhood long before he was a world.

Renowned writer Burrows, experienced hints of the occult which I love that.

There was a little foreshadowing here, so did dabble.


It’s a dash a zip.

If you will, to of his caretakers, actually were an Irish cook and a Welsh Nanny and they taught him how to curse people, which is like, what a mutual, what a neat trick today.

The children of the home, they’re like, I’ll teach you your ABCs, but now that you’ve mastered that we’re on to bigger and better things.


I like to thank ABC, is they went alphabetically through curses, that would be fun.

Oh, the practice.


And their teachings, apparently stuck author.

Ted Morgan wrote that burrows.

Cursed, several people as a child, including a boy who rejected him, which I love that.


We now have some queer Notions to this little undertone of sorts interesting.

Is it rejected?

In in the romantic way or do we just not know?

I don’t know about this particular story but he is absolutely involved in the community.

Oh great.

Okay, okay.

That I didn’t you’re just assuming that I don’t know.



You know, I just want to say that’s the danger of teaching children, powerful things like curses.

I don’t know if they’re really equipped to determine from the person who would have happily cursed somebody who rejected her in high school.

Absolutely do that.


Didn’t you curse somebody?

I ask people all the time but to be They’re mine was like, my own made-up thing.

If someone had genuinely taught me, I think it would have been a lot more dangerous.

And I’m saying, right now, as someone who has experienced, this probably a dangerous road to teach children how to curse and hex people.



Well, you heard it from The Source folks just saying, okay?

So apparently, you do not stand alone and this person has also learned to curse people that are rejecting them.

So there you have it.

Mmm later on, in life.

Tell me if anything else about his life by the way, sound similar to yours.


Just For fun.


To be fair to, I want to point out, I hex people in a pot in a positive way that doesn’t sound right.

But I hex people trying to make them like me, you know what I mean?

It wasn’t like, oh, I want something bad to happen to them.

I think that was never my intention.


You just want something really good to happen to you to me.


Now, you’re getting the Nuance of it.

Yeah, I’m picking it up.

Okay, good to know that so quickly, you have things in common with this guy.

So later on, in life Burroughs wrote this about The power of curses.


Maybe it’s I don’t know, a direct quote from you that he took it from my attitude is that nothing happens by accident.

Of course, if you put a curse on someone, it may Boomerang but you take the chance it’s like the old west.

If you shoot somebody, there are going to be 10 people looking for you.

You may have to do it in self-defense.


It’s nothing to be undertaken lightly.

But in many cases, it has to be done.

So, he’s very much like what I do.

I don’t make the rules sometimes you just gotta curse people, you know I like that it gives a little wiggle room.

I also like that he acknowledges like it’s a dangerous game.


So you have to know what you’re getting into.

I do appreciate that, I do like that.

He took ownership of the fact that people will be after you.

Yeah, at least, you know what’s coming.

So the first piece of writing the borough’s ever published, by the way, he was 15 years old, I was an article keep that in mind when I tell you what it, what the article was, it was called.


Personal magnetism about mind control methods.

I’ve pretty sure I wrote something similar, but nobody date, and to Publish it.

So I’m a little offended on my own behalf.

Well, I was going to say since you’ve already got some things in common with him, did you happen to write any particularly interesting things for school at 15, that sounds similar to this was it I’m sure I wrote all sorts of Bologna bull hockey as my dad would say, I really I think I thought I was really saying something, at that age.


I thought, I thought I had things to say you had words and you weren’t afraid to use them.

Exactly beyond the bend, the pain, which Each won an award in second grade been the pain.

My, my acclaimed poem about a pen name, Ben, I didn’t really write anything of great magnitude back then.


Well, I think the people of rituals, especially all of Spotify in general.

I think we would love a rendition of bend, the pain.

The next time we see each other, okay, it’ll cost you five bucks a piece.

This is a critically acclaimed Paulo, I’m gonna charge entry for for the sake of getting all these years give us the moral of the story.


What happens to bend the pain?

What’s his journey?


Ellie goes on.

Quite a journey to find paper at any point, you know?

I don’t remember.

So I’m gonna have to ask my mom to dig that out of the old baby box.

Find it in there somewhere.

So we’re paying entry for you to tell us what your mom reminds you of.



Got it.

I think then the pain needs a Redemption story.

Just so we’re clear.

Maybe all these years later he needs a broader Arc.

Yeah, broader narrative Arc, this is the season of reboots.

I don’t know why we’re not.

Bring about the pain.

Alright we are right now right here right now.


Okay, so he’ll handle on Kamal, William Burroughs has personal magnetism.

You’ve got been the pain.

I’m glad we’ve covered all of our bases.

Yeah, same difference.

So, William apparently was not a follower of any one religion.

Instead author, Ted Morgan wrote that burrows believed in the reality of, this is a quote, the reality of spirit world of psychic visitations of curses or possession and Phantom beings.


What I can get on board, I can totally going to her solutely.

Totally later in life, Burroughs identified as manichean and Gnostic.

Here’s a quick explainer of those.

In case you do not know what those are because I didn’t, I mean, I totally do but I’m glad that you’re going to give me an explanation.


Just for everybody else, who totally doesn’t know what that is.

Let Me Guide everyone else in, absolutely not you, okay?

Great manikyam.

Taught that salvation could be attained through knowledge of spiritual truths and the truths were a set of methodologies that Fine.

All of the known religions of the time, dealing specifically with the soul and its Return To Heaven School.


I’ve been to that.

I think it’s certainly sounds interesting.

Oh yeah.

Gnosticism is a religion focused on reflecting on existence, who we are as human beings, where we came from and where we’re going.

So he was a meaning of life, kind of person and wanting universal truth, which I personally can respect.


But I also think he must have been such an annoying fifteen-year-old.

Like, you know, yes, again speaking as someone who Only thought they were seeking the answers the universe.

This is Ben Ben pain.

Aside, I definitely went through like kind of an emo phase where I thought like what does it all mean?


You know and I it is a very annoying you know reflecting back it can be a very annoying trait you know.

It was interesting gnosticism versus agnostic which I’m assuming is the opposite of gnosticism as an interesting.

I don’t know dichotomy there.


I’m I’m intrigued as someone who used to be an annoying teenager who always wanted to be.

So Oh, deep about stuff, I know that I would have been great friends at this guy, but as an adult, especially as he’s like making his way through college and everything and he just wants to know the meaning.

I’d be like, okay can we relax for like 5 Seconds?


Like can we just like just hang out and not talk or at a keg party?

Yeah, exactly.

Well anyway while he may have been a notch up there while growing up, Burrows was also a great student.

He studied literature at Harvard and he graduated with honors in 1936.


Okay, I like that.

You just said, oh, in college, I would have said and I’m like, neither of us would have been around this person at Harvard first.

We have to get to Harbor to avoid him not happening.

Plus, he’s a lit major, which would have already thrown me off.


That doesn’t surprise me though.

Based on the rest of his history because it involved critical thinking and kind of reading into the Poetry of things I get it.


I feel like that was a good fit for him and after trying a few different jobs and traveling around Europe Burrows ended up in New York City in the early 1940s and And that’s where he met Jack Kerouac and Allen.

Ginsberg this group of friends were credited with starting the Beat Movement mmkay, so they all saw the world differently and they’re like, we got to do something about this.


We gotta write it out folks.

And the Beats looked down on American society and its consumerism following World War Two.

The group was instead drawn to Eastern religion, sex and drugs and experiences that they described as more real interesting.


Other famous writing to come from.

Group was Jack, Kerouac.

Saint the road and Burroughs Naked Lunch, which your husband has recently read.


Apparently, I never read Jack kerouac’s on the road.

I feel like I should have.

I feel like it’s one of those things I always feel like, oh, I should know more Jack, Kerouac work.


But I just, I just have to be honest here.

I die simply don’t.

I do know his name is that at the end of the day at the end of the thought.



I thought I had a moment where I remembered something more about him and then my brain went, nope, that was it.

The file folders are just all empty nothing I yeah it was like one of those like tabs on my computer and you think it’s something really important but it’s just like the main page like you never typed anything in.


That’s definitely how my brain just felt.

I was like oh Jack you’re back.

Nope never mind.

Oh boy I have heard his name.

I don’t actually know any other works Beyond on the road but he’s done.

So something to look into later tonight in the middle of the night.

Instead of sleeping I suppose and despite the taboo of the time, Rose, as we talked earlier, was openly bisexual.


Oh, great.

And the beat poet Allen.

Ginsberg was his lover at one point Barry.

Hey, happy for the two of them, unless it didn’t work out.

But anyway, good luck to them.

I hope they had a really happy time in 1945, he met and began a long-term relationship with a woman.


And influential poet named Joan Vollmer who would alter the course of his life forever.

Intriguing intriguing and also I wonder what The drama was there with Allen, Ginsberg, are you going to tell me?

I was really rooting for him and Alan.

So I want to know what happened.

Oh, I see the drama there.


I see because I was going to say you already told me somebody dies, so I know there’s drama a-comin but we don’t know how he and Alan split and all that.



But I would like to look into that eventually, but you are right because more drama is coming and it happens to be with Joan Vollmer.

Up next, The Accidental killing of his wife apparently fills boroughs with evil spirits and sinks him into a hole that he must write his way out of.


Well, now that you throw the word accidental and front of it, I feel bad for rejecting him.

Earlier, once again, I’m just I’m on tender hooks.

I’m going to, I’m going to leave this open.

I’m going to be open-minded about it and see what see what’s coming.

You gotta be ready for all the twists and turns of William S Burrows and the what was it?


The universe of Jewels, in a world of deep fake technology, fake news and revisionist history.

How do we know the difference between what’s official?

And once, just fishy, that’s where we come in.


Hi, it’s Molly and Carter from the Spotify original from Park cast conspiracy theories, every Monday.

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We’re curious rigorous.

And in the end, we let you decide catch new episodes of conspiracy theories each week, follow and listen for free, only on Spotify.

All right, Christine.


Well, we just kind of hinted at you.

I think you said you were on tender hooks, but what do you think of William Burroughs so far?

He seems like an interesting dude.

And I will say up to this point I’m all about it.

He intimidates me a little bit.

I think that whole world of sex and drugs and you know, all that I’m not cool and hip enough to be part of it, but I’m intrigued by him.


I feel like he he’s got an interesting outlook on life.

Yeah, he founded a movement, I love that.

He Was queer at a time when it was probably not the best time to be queer.

Seems to have, as we said earlier, very open-minded, he very spiritual.

He’s got a lot of things going on, Harvard grad.


He already seems to have a bit of a has lived many lives.

That’s how it feels.

Mmm, so by the time that William Burroughs and Joan bulmer began their relationship.

This was around the mid 1940s.

They were both reportedly struggling with drug, and alcohol problems.


And Burroughs, was addicted to morphine and heroin and Joan.

Amphetamines, I feel like that’s a danger with these kind of groups that always made me nervous is like getting into, you know, the spiritualism and all that is one thing.

But then when it’s sort of like they were into drugs, it’s sort of like that and to use your phrase, a slippery slope.


I think in the most direct sense as far as it’s pretty easy for many people to fall into Addiction in that kind of thing.

So I’m not terribly surprised that this became a struggle.

I’m not either especially with his own.

Spiritual beliefs getting into a world where I mean the Beat Movement was known for psychedelics the hippie movement.


So he kind of was already probably in those circles and maybe he felt the need to experiment with drugs, to maybe reach some sort of transcendence or Ascension.

And I mean, I don’t really know.

I’m, it’s totally conjecture over here.

I think a lot of it was just being able to experience the here and now I feel like a lot of those groups, the interest in drugs and sex was just like Let’s focus not on stuff.


Trying to make us happy but experiences and what we can feel here and now and so I think yeah well you’re right because he said it was to make things feel more real right about?

Yeah, exactly.

I’m I’m sensing that.

That’s the yeah.

You start taking heroin.


I mean pretty real.

That’s not going to probably end.

Well, yeah, yeah.

So the couple was struggling with that and they eventually became married under common law.

Law and had one child named Billy Burrows, jr.

And they traveled often and ended up in Mexico City.


And in September 1951, Joan and William were drunk at an afternoon party and William pulled out a gun and told Joan.

I think it’s time for our William Tell routine.

Oh no.

William tell by the way is a legendary Swiss hero who was forced to shoot an apple off of his own son’s head.



So You can kind of guess where this is going, Joan placed, a shot glass on the top of her head and William fired at the glass.

But the bullet hit an inch too low and hit Joan in the forehead and killed her.

Oh my God.

That is not what I was expecting me either.


I don’t know what I was expecting when I heard accidentally but it was definitely dangerous from the beginning.

I’ll tell you what.

I was expecting it was a drug overdose.

Oh well, they were intoxicated.

I don’t know if that counts in your book but it does seem like they were not in their right mind.


Yeah, it sounds like his judgment was, not at all their battle.

So well.

So, it ends up killing Joan and Burrows was convicted of manslaughter and received a suspended sentence of two years.

So that means he didn’t serve any time in prison beyond the 13 days, he sat in prison immediately after her death.


And in more recent years, people have pointed out that Jones killing is often treated as a footnote and Burrows life As a prolific and revered writer probably doesn’t get the type of attention that it deserves or Joan, doesn’t get the attention.

She deserves following Jones death Burrows, began to write and he claimed that the killing happened because he was possessed, by an evil spirit, mmm-hmm.


This is where things get topsy-turvy for me.

I’m like, okay, we were I was on board up until this last couple of minutes of talking.



So in the novel queer Burroughs wrote this I am forced to the appalling conclusion that I would never become a writer.


But for Jones death, the death that brought me into contact with the Invader, the ugly spirit and maneuvered me into a lifelong struggle, in which I had no choice except to write my way out.

So now, he thinks the he’s being invaded by this ugly Spirit.


Mmm, I don’t love this take, but okay.

And keep in mind, he was suffering from a drug addiction and I’m imagining he was not often in his Mind, especially now feeling haunted after killing his wife.

So yes, I also am not saying, wow, he should have handled her death, so much better, be sure.


I know that that’s an easy thing to say, looking back but I agree that maybe this isn’t the healthiest outlook on how this worked, but who am I to say?

I guess, I agree with you wholeheartedly after Joan’s death Burrows, drifted around the world while writing some of the books that he would become known for in 1953.


He Published the semi-autobiographical novel junkie about drug culture.

And while living in Tangiers, he wrote his most.

Well-known book Naked Lunch, which was published in 1959 around the time.

Naked, Lunch was published Burroughs landed in Paris at nine.

Russia liqueur the address of the beat Hotel.



And the surrealist painter Brion gysin also lived in the building and the two struck up a friendship.

Oh that’s nice.

A friendship, wink or a friendship, just a friendship.

I don’t know, I really don’t know.

But I just wanted to be juicier than it is.

So, in my mind, everything is romantic.


I don’t care who he runs into.

But no, I just a friendship.

As far as we know the author of the book, The Magical Universe of William S Burroughs Matthew.

Levi Stevens wrote that the pair’s life was quote steeped in the occult with daily experiments in Mirror gazing, scrying, trance and telepathy, all fueled by a wide variety of mind-altering drugs.


Oh boy.

So I don’t know about the drug part but that was, I said earlier that I wanted something in there.

Relationship to be juicy.

That’s pretty juicy to me.

That was good.

That’s why I feel like taking LSD and staring into a mirror for hours, has got to be quite a bonding experience.


For two friends, it at least has to be the most intriguing journal entry I’d ever read.

It has to, for sure to meet someone and strike up a relationship.

I wonder how quickly you’re able to morph it into like, oh, I just met this guy who lives in my building to, we are mirror gazing and scrying together on a daily routine.


Need, I remind you that we started hanging out and about three hangout sessions in.

We decided to start a career together in podcasting about ghosts, so it’s not that off the wall in my experience.

You know what?


I’m glad that they had each other because again, avoiding the drug part.

I do like to think that you and I are quite the combo.

Just like them where we probably actually also steep ourselves in the occult as it says here.

So oh yeah.

Yeah, absolutely.

They have each other.


We have each other.

Our friendship could also be a friendship wink.

If you wanted it to be, Christine, I’m just saying, oh, you never know know.

I’m open.

I’m open minded.

That’s the seems to be the word of the day today.

Okay, well, you talk to your girlfriend and then see what happens.

But I could talk to your husband and your baby but I am, you know, you know, we get along very nicely.


I think together, it’s true.

We do know that we have the same interest in like Ouija boards and that kind of thing.

So we’re starting off strong, the dates would be just absolutely Lily mind-blowing, we would that’s type of great time.

That’s true, the pair were focused on conscious exploration and gysin once reported tuberose that he had experienced meditation induced hallucinations while writing a bus.



Apparently his eyes have been closed and sun, light flickered across his eyes which to be fair.

I feel like that’s generally what happens when the Sun hits your eyes?

You kind of see colors and things like that but they’ll have you done that when you’re sitting in the car and you close your eyes, in the light is kind of flashing and you feel like you’re hallucinating.


Eating almost.


And I imagine this guy like also taking psychedelics at the same time was tripping balls.

Just sitting on the bus.

Well, it said he was just experiencing meditation induced hallucinations.

Mmm, I don’t know.


That’s a good point.

Maybe he was just hallucinating like any of us.

Could in that moment, I bet you’re right.

If it were exaggerated, I always get a little wigged out when that’s happening.

When the sun is kind of flashing and I feel a little bit startled and I imagine that you if you kept Going for a long time you probably could get into some sort of weird meditative State especially if you were on drugs.


Yeah, yeah.

Even if you’re not on drugs, it is a Trippy time to have the light at you.

In the eyes Earl has recommended a book on Flickr induced hallucinations which the pair focused on to the point that they designed a device meant to induce the phenomenon, which they called The Dream Machine.


That’s our couple named by the way, in case you’re wondering, That’s also our boy band name if we were to ever start one?


Dream machine.

And so it sounds seizure-inducing in all seriousness, it does sound.


Like it should have come with a lot of like warning labels on it.

It actually a lot it was never it never made it to Market but if it did I feel like the warning stickers in the tags, we’ve been all over the thing.

Hmm Burroughs wrote a letter to Allen, Ginsberg describing the work that he and Dyson were doing that led to the dream machine.


And this is what he wrote to Allen, Ginsberg, I’ve been making such incredible discoveries in the line of psychic exploration.

What is happening now, is that I literally turn into someone else not a human creature.

But man, like he wears some sort of green uniform.

The face is full of black boiling fuzz and what most people would call evil.


So this guy’s going through it.

He’s okay.

Yeah, I guess it’s definitely a conversation starter.

Does him having these drug induced?


Discredit his work to, you know, well, I guess, what are you saying?


Work is writings or you talkin his work in, like, the cult spiritual space.

I think in the occult spiritual space?

Is it hard to believe the things?

He thinks he’s discovering or do or even his own just beliefs in general?

Is it hard to?

Yeah, especially if there are mind-altering, if they’re hallucinogenics then yeah.


I feel like you know, if somebody’s smoking weed or something like that, maybe not as it wouldn’t alter.

As much in my mind.

But if you’re taking hallucinogens and then saying, oh no.

But that’s different.

My my my spiritual hallucinations are totally different thing.


Yeah, I don’t know, I don’t know.

I think there are certainly talking about things.

Nobody else has.

I’ve never heard of boiling, black fuzz and all that but scary, definitely take it with a grain or 10 of salt.

Yes, that’s the best way to put it.

I like I’m not saying oh well it’s all baloney but it does change change it a little for me.


Me makes you rethink a little bit.

This is an ignorant take because I don’t know enough about the world of psychedelics, to make a totally great call on it, but going into it, I would, I would understand if someone feels the need to take the something when they’re trying to really have a deep conversation with themselves on the meaning of life.


Because maybe it really will put a different perspective on that for them that we can’t just see with our own everyday brain.

But it also could absolutely go the wrong way and derailed their points and they’ll see things that aren’t really.

You’ll and then they’re getting.


Wrong information, the skewed?


Yeah, sort of, yeah, I totally agree.

I know that there are people and I’m not really into the world of I’ve just never experimented with, like hard drugs or anything.

But from what I’ve heard, there are definitely people who take, like, very carefully measured out doses of things like DMT.


And, you know, I know people have Jen mushrooms and really have said, like it open them up to a lot of new ideas and thoughts about the world and the universe and help them psychologically.

Speaking help them spiritually.

So, yeah, I’m definitely that’s a great Point.

Like it doesn’t necessarily mix.


Everything he’s saying but I can see how it would also have like just plain old drug-induced effect on your hallucination.


It becomes a real messy ball of wax of like I’m sure parts of it are totally stand.

Wonderful truth and some are just not so just like a weird trip, you know.


Coming up, Burrows continues, his spiritual quest, which takes him to some unlikely places, a Navajo sweat lodge being one among many stops on that.

Esoteric Journey.

Okay, I’m intrigued again.

I feel like you haven’t had a chance to not be intriguing to you.

I did not see.


I was going to say not that.

I haven’t been this whole time but it’s just one more facet in this beautiful story.

You’re telling.



William esper is spiritual seeking continued after he left Paris.

He spent the 1960s and 70s in London writing an esoteric column called Burrows Academy which ran an adult men’s magazines.

First of all, this guy I keep waiting for him to have like a boring stint but he just keeps know you’re told.



It’s like, oh, New York City.

Mexico City Paris.

Anyway, I’m bored of that next London.

Also, here’s my esoteric column in adult men’s magazines today.

It’s just one thing after another.

Just so, you know, the lovely researchers of par cast, they tried to find some samples of this column Burroughs Academy.


They were able to find the titles of a few articles which I would like to read to you now.

Pretend you’re reading an adult men’s magazine.

You’re like, oh I obviously I’m here for the writing and the stories in the car.

Columns of course, no no imagery whatsoever.

Just the Articles just the dry text and there’s no title that would capture my.


I quite like these.

Oh God get me out of this the virata’s.

I got that’s the title.

That’s a title of one of the Articles.

Another one is the voracious aliens.

Another is the brain Grinders.

Oh, Ivan a okay.


This is Okay.

Oh God.

Get me out of this.

Really got me.

I’m like, get me out of this magazine.

Like, what are you talking about?

I think that actually want that one.

Has the most Allure to it.

I know voracious.

Aliens and brain Grinders sound interesting, but you already know where you’re going with that.


Until God get me out of this has a mysterious like get me out of what?

What’s out of what?


And also I am loving that he found a way to bring Cryptids and spooky stuff into adult men’s magazine.

I feel like if I had to write for an adult men, magazine, it Would probably end up just about the same way.


Yeah, I feel like I’d be like protein powder.

Also, something about aliens.

I guess that’s all I know.

I don’t really know anything else.

I love that.

This is all under the umbrella of what he calls the borough’s academy column, which like, the academy, what a curriculum, like, sexy Cryptids, you know, Mothman got a moment in the spotlight at some point.


I sure hope so, I sure hope so.

And so on top of that, and every place he’s lived, Burrows captain.

Or gone.

Accumulator, which have you ever heard one of one of those?

I haven’t what the f.

No, an Oregon.

Accumulator, it’s a metal wind box created by this controversial.


Dr. William Reich and the Box supposedly captures Cosmic and Sexual Energy, which can then be harnessed to cure cancer and heal wounds.

Yeah, it worked.


And it said, Einstein once sat in one of these boxes which lets, you know, how big the Box could be and he disapproved Of it.


He was like, this is not real so I do like that.

He gave it a chance.

He’s like I’ll take a seat in the sex box of yours but I don’t know what I’m gonna say like in this box.

Is there just a stack in the corner of like this Magazine with his column?


In it?

I do this is so odd, Cosmic and Sexual Energy chamber.

That’s and also it said to cure things that are not curable.

So no, no not it, not buy a box.

Do you would you sit in it?


I would sit in it, but I would also probably end up like Einstein.

This is the only time, you know, Einstein have anything in common.

By the Light, I would leave the box and go.

I’m not too sure about that experience.

Would you send the Box?


I’d be right behind you and Albert.


I’d be right.

Third in line.

The three of us would get drinks afterwards.

And go.

That was bullshit.

That was weird.

We gotta remember this one for the Memoir, for sure.

So, yeah, at this point, I’m no longer on Board with Williams theories just so we’re clear.

I am too suspicious of the lack of logic but I have not fallen out of Interest with him.


I am just say, now thinking we live on two different planes of existence, and a sad conclusion to the family that William Burroughs created with his wife Joan, their son, Billy died in 1981 at the age of 33 after suffering from addiction and alcohol problems and Burrows claimed that he felt that he had Adequately explained, the ugly Spirit to him.


Oh, jeez.

This is this is dark.

Yes, that’s a pretty morose Twist of your son’s dead and your comment is that you didn’t explain the ugly Spirit well enough.

So, so in 1992 Burrows, participated in a sweat lodge session led by a Navajo Shaman and the goal was to get rid of this ugly spirit that you’ll remember, he said, At his body after he killed his wife and during this session, apparently the smoke and heat of the ceremony became too much for Burrows and he asked for them to cut it short.


I don’t know if that ruined the ceremony or what, but I guess we’ll never truly know what happened with the ugly spirit because William Burroughs died in 1997, that was five years later at age 83, but his legacy and influence on artists of every stripe.

Still lives on.


And everyone from David Bowie to The Beatles to Bob Dylan named him as an Once in their music.


And Burros, even appears next to Marilyn Monroe and the Beatles cover art for their album Sgt.

Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band.

Wow, you know, something weird, I had a dream about that album last night.


I really that’s too freaky to me.

This is so weird.

I had a dream that I was seeing a psychic and she had one glass eye and she said you have to already like done and I had to select three vintage quote, unquote song, Songs before this reading could begin.


And the only one I could think of was A Day in the Life by The Beatles And she was looking among her like albums to find it.

And I said, oh, it’s if you’re looking for its on the album.

Sergeant, Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band.

That’s the dream.

So anyway your dreams every time, every time I let you tell me about a dream of yours.


I hope you never do it again because they really try not to.

I do try not to, but when you ask, I can’t help myself.

Well, it’s just because also in our personal Anna lives.

You’ve been telling me more that you’re getting into lucid dreaming and some actually freaky things have been happening.

So now when you talk about your dreams, I feel like it’s actually something in another existence.


You get, you get a little on edge, I can tell and I do apologize.

The fact that someone with a glass eye and like an alternate reality, very close to ours is making these demands.

This is very odd to me.

Okay, so anyway, Burrows has been influential on a bunch of musicians.


Also singer Patti Smith said that burrows was on par with the Pope.

Okay, Patty, that’s a bouquet very large statement.

Is it like what on par with what like on par with like I guess in terms of like, in Fame?

Yeah, yeah.

Okay, I guess that’s fair.


Maybe not quite the same level, but maybe importance to some people probably definitely needs to elaborate because it could be like on par and accuracy.

E or something like, exactly.


Kurt Cobain asked for Rose to appear in a music video for the Nirvana song, Heart Shaped Box.


And he was to be seen on a crucifix, but Burrows turned down the video appearance as he didn’t want to be shown dying on camera.

Very interesting.

Whoa, that’s yeah, that’s wow.

That’s a lot and five days before he did die, Burroughs wrote this in his journal.


Why who where when can I say tears are worthless and less?

Genuine tears.

From the soul and the guts tears.

That ache and wrench, and hurt, and tears are Tears For What was, oh, no.

Now I’m going to cry.

If I were an English teacher, I would make people analyze that that just hurts me.


That’s so deeply sad.

Yeah, maybe he, I guess.

He knew his time was coming.

I don’t know.

Yeah, maybe not to end on a sad note but that is the story of William.

S Burroughs.

What do you what do you think of burrows?

Why do you think he became such an influential character I guess.



I mean, he definitely is a character.

I feel like a lot of the people we talked about in this ritual, Cinematic Universe of ours, definitely deserve their rightful place as a character in history because I mean just the amount of places he lived, the amount of genres.


He what he dabbled in the occult experiments, he did.

I mean it sounds like he really analyzed the world with a unique.

I let’s put it that way.

Like with a unique angle, he was just doing and talk.

About things that hadn’t been heard of before.


So yeah, definitely even though they were really wild, it was I think probably really simple for him to be able to stand out in a time where counterculture was just beginning, right?

So I think he was probably just respected or inspirational to this whole wave of hippies who were like, oh, we just want to look up to someone who is going against the grain?


Yes, absolutely.


What do you think?

Pushed Burrows into his spiritual life into looking?

Into that world.

You know.

It makes me wonder if he was always going to be kind of this way.

Like if he just this was his not to say Destiny but like maybe his he was taught how to curse people as a child.


You know.

And he seemed like he was already intrigued.

So it sounds like this was blossoming in him from a young age.

It also sounds like the death of his wife.

Really tipped him into a new level of of this spiritual.


Speaking of his, I also I think he grew up in a time of War Two and got into drugs pretty early.

So point I’m wondering if maybe it all started as an escape and after his wife, it was very easy for him to start wondering why he was even here or what the point of all of it was, right.


So right.

Yeah, he was seeking answers at Harvard and then, yeah, I feel like that never stopped.

Wow, what a poetic way to end this?

Listen this has been Christine cheaper author of been the pain speaking.

Founder of the RC you rituals in America, founder or CEO dabbler in multiple genres, seeker of the occult.


Oh, so!

Yes, and me and every Schultz and be just watching from the sidelines with all of you.


Thanks so much for listening.

We’ll be back next week with another great episode.

Mission on today’s episode came from the article, what most people would call evil, the are chantek spirituality of William esper has by Tommy Cowan.

The Wall Street Journal, Wisconsin, Public Radio, the New York Times the New Yorker, bitch, media and open culture.


Remember, to follow rituals on Spotify to get a brand new episode every week and you can listen to this and all other episodes of rituals for free exclusively on Spotify.

And if you liked this show, follow at Park asked on Facebook and Instagram and at podcast Network on Twitter, you can find me at the MSHA.


Schultz and you can find me a text.

EG fur.

Thanks again for listening and we will see you next week.

Rituals is executive produced by Max Cutler and is a Spotify original from par cast.

It was created by Max color, sound design by Kristen Acevedo with associate.

Sound design by Jamie Ryan research by Chelsea would fact-checking by Cheyenne Lopez.


It’s produced by Kristen Acevedo and Jonathan Ratliff with production assistants by Ron Shapiro.

We’re your house, Christine cheaper and M Schultz.

Hi, it’s Carter and Molly from conspiracy theories.

This February.

Join us for to Stand Out specials.


First celebrate Super Bowl Sunday with a two-parter on one of the most dominant and dubious teams in history.

The New England Patriots, then a two-part Valentine’s special on the mysterious murder of Charles Walton Journey Back was as nearly 80 years as we comb through the details and rumors surrounding his death.


With pitchfork Witchcraft and all catch new episodes of conspiracy theories, every Monday and Wednesday, follow and listen for free only on Spotify.