ONG’S HAT: GATEWAY TO THE DIMENSIONS!
A full color brochure for the Institute of Chaos Studies
and the Moorish Science Ashram in Ong’s Hat, New Jersey.
You would not be reading this brochure if you had not already penetrated half-
way to the ICS. You have been searching for us without knowing it, following
oblique references in crudely xeroxed marginal ‘samsidat” publications,
crackpot mystical pamphlets, mailorder courses in “Kaos Magick”-a paper trail
and a coded series of rumors spread at street level through circles involved
in the illicit distribution of certain controlled substances and the
propagation of certain acts of insurrection against the Planetary Work Machine
and the Consensus Reality-or perhaps through various obscure mimeographed
technical papers on the edges of “chaos science”-through pirate computer
networks-or even through pure syncronicity and the pursuit of dreams.
In any case we know something about you,your interests, deeds and desires,
works and days-and we know your address. Otherwise…you would not be reading
During the 1970s and ’80s, “chaos” began to emerge as a new scientific
paradigm, on a level of importance with Relativity and Quantum Mechanics. It
was born out of the mixing of many different sciences-weather prediction,
Catastrophe Theory, fractal geometry, and the rapid development of computer
graphics capable of plunging into the depths of fractals and “strange
attractors; “hydraulics and fluid turbulence,evolutionary biology,mind/brain
studies and psychopharmacology also played major roles in forming the new
The slogan “order out of chaos” summed up the gist of this science,w hether it
studied the weird fractional-dimensional shapes underlying sworls of cigarette
smoke or the distribution of colors in marbled paper-or else dealt with
“harder” matters such as heart fibrillation, particle beams or population
However,by the late ’80s it began to appear as if this “chaos movement” had
split apart into two opposite and hostile world-views, one placing emphasis on
chaos itself, the other on *order*. According to the latter sect-the
Determinists-chaos was the enemy, randomness a force to be overcome or denied.
They experienced the new science as a final vindication of Classical Newtonian
physics, and as a weapon to be used *against* chaos, a tool to map and predict
reality itself. For them, chaos was death and disorder, entropy and waste.
The opposing faction however experienced chaos as something benevolent, the
necessary matrix out of which arises spontaneously an infinity of variegated
forms-a pleroma rather than an abyss-a principle of continual creation,
unstructured, fecund, beautiful, spirit of wildness. These scientists saw
chaos theory as vindication of Quantum indeterminacy and Godel’s Proof,
promise of an open-ended universe, Cantorian infinities of potential…chaos
Easy to predict which of these two schools of thought would recieve vast
funding and support from goverments, multi-nationals and intelligence
agencies. By the end of the decade, “Quantum/Chaos” had been forced
underground, virtually censored by prestigious scientific journals – which
published only papers by Determinists. The dissidents were reduced to the
level of the *margin* – and there they found themselves part of yet another
branch of the paradigm, the underground of cultural chaos-the “magicians”-and
of political chaos-extremist anti-authoritarian “mutants”.
Unlike Relativity, which deals with the Macrocosm of outer space, and Quantum,
which deals with the Microcosm of particle physics, chaos science takes place
largely within the Mesosphere-the world as we experience it in “everyday
life”., from dripping faucets to banners flapping in the autumn breezes.
Precisely for this reason useful experimental work in chaos can be carried on
without the hideous expense of cyclotrons and orbital observatories.
So even when the leading theoreticians of Quantum/Chaos began to be fired from
university and corporate positions, they were still able to pursue certain
goals. Even when they began to suffer political pressures as well, and sought
refuge and space among the mutants and marginals, still they perservered. By a
paradox of history, their poverty and obscurity forced them to narrow the
scope of their research to precisely those areas which would ultimately
produce concrete results- pure math, and the mind-simply because these areas
were relatively inexpensive.
Up until the crash of ’87, the “alternative network” amounted to little more
than a nebulous weave of pen-pals and computer enthusiasts, Whole Earth
nostalgists, futurologists, anarchists, food cranks, neo-pagans and cultists,
self-publishing punk poets, armchair schizophrenics, survivalists and mail
artists. The Crash however opened vast but hard-to-see cracks in the social
and economic control structures of America. Gradually the marginals and
mutants began to fill up those fissures with the wegs of their own networking.
Bit by bit they created a genuine black economy, as well as a shifting
insubstantial “autonomous zone”, impossible to map but real enough in its
various manifestations. The orphaned scientists of Q/C theory fell into this
invisible anti-empire like a catalyst-or perhaps it was the other way around.
In either case, something crystallized. To explain the precipitation of this
jewel, we must move on to the specific cases, people and stories.
The Moorish Orthodox Church of America is an offshoot of the Moorish Science
Temple, the New World’s first Islamic heretical sect, founded by a black
circus magicain named Noble Drew Ali in Newark, New jersey in 1913. In the
1950s some white jazz musicians and poets who held “passports” in the M.S.T.
founded the Moorish Orthodox Church, which also traced its spiritual ancestry
to various “Wandering Bishops” loosely affiliated with the Old Catholic Church
and schisms of Syrian Orthodoxy.
In the ’60s the church acquired a new direction from the Psychedelic Movement,
and for a while maintained a presence at T.Leary’s commune in Millbrook, New
York. At the same time the discovery of sufism led certain of its members to
undertake journeys to the East. One of these Americans, known by the Moorish
name Wali Fard, travelled for years in India, Perisa, and Afghanistan, where
he collected an impressive assortment of exotic initiations: Tantra in
Calcutta, from an old member of the Bengali Terrorist Party; sufism from the
Ovayssi Order in Shiraz, which rejects all human masters and insists on
visionary experience; and finally, in the remote Badakhshan Province of
Afghanistan, he converted to an archaic form of Ismailism (the so-called
Assassins) blended out of Buddhist Yab-Yum teachings, indigenous shamanic
sorcery and extremist Shiite revolutionary philosophy-worshippers of the *Umm
al-kitab*,the “Matrix Book.”
Up until the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan and the reactionary orthodox
“revolution” in Iran, Fard carried on trade in carpets and other well-known
Afghan exports. When history forced him to return to America in 1978, he was
able to launder his savings by purchasing about 200 acres of land in the New
Jersey Pine Barrens. Around the turn of the decade he moved into an old rod &
gun club on the property along with several runaway boys from Paramus, New
Jersey, and an anarchist lesbian couple from Brooklyn, and founded the Moorish
Through the early-to-mid-’80s the commune’s fortunes fluctuated (sometimes
nearly flickering out). Fard self-published a series of xeroxed “Visionary
Recitals” in which he attempted a synthesis of heretical and antinomian
spirituality, post-Situationist politics, and chaos science. After the Crash,
a number of destitute Moors and synpathizers began turning up at the Ashram
seeking refuge. Among them were two young chaos scientists recently fired from
Princeton (on a charge of “seditious nonesense”), a brother and sister, Frank
and Althea Dobbs.
The Dobbs twins spent their early childhood on a UFO-cult commune in rural
Texas, founded by their father, a retired insurance salesman who was murdered
by rogue disciples during a revival in California. One might say that the
siblings had a head start in chaos-and the Ashram’s modus vivendi suited them
admirably. (The Pine Barrens have often been called “a perfect place for a UFO
landing.”) They settled into an old Airstream trailer and constructed a crude
laboratory in a rebuilt barn hidden deep in the Pines. Illegal sources of
income were available from agricultural projects, and the amorphous community
took shape around the startling breakthroughs made by the Dobbs twins during
the years around the end of the decade.
As undergraduates at the University of Texas the siblings had produced a
series of equations which, they felt certain, contained the seeds of a new
science they called “cognitive chaos.” Their dimissal from Princeton followed
their attempt to submit these theorems, along with a theoretical/philosphical
system built upon them, as a joint PhD thesis. On the assumption that brain
activity can be modeled as a “fractal universe,” an outre’ topology
interfacing with both random and determined forces, the twins’ theorems showed
that consciousness itself could be presented as a set of “strange attractors”
(or “patterns of chaos”) around which specific neuronal activity would
By a bizzare synthesis of mandelbrot and Cantor, they “solved the problem” of
n-dimensional attractors, many of which they were able to generate on
Princeton’s powerful computers before their hasty departure. While realizing
the ultimately indeterminate nature of these “mind maps,” they felt that by
attaining a thorough (non-intuitive and intuitive) grasp of the actual
*shapes* of the attractors, one could “ride with chaos” somewhat as a
“lucid dreamer” learns to contain and direct the process of REM sleep.
Their aborted thesis suggested a boggling array of benefits which might accrue
from such links between cybernetic processes and awareness itself, including
the exploration of the brain’s unused capacities, awareness of the
morphogenetic field and thus conscious control of autonomic functions, mind-
directed repair of tissue at the cellular/genetic level (control over most
diseases and the aging process), and even a direct perception of the
Heisenbergian behavior of matter (a process they called “surfing the wave
Their thesis advisor told them that even the most modest of these proposals
would suffice for their expungement from the Graduate Faculty-and if the whole
concept (including theorems) were not such obvious lunacy, he would have
reported them to the FBI as well. Two more scientists-already residents of
Ong’s Hat-joined with Fard and the twins in founding the Institute of Chaos
By sheer “chance” their work provided the perfect counterparts to the Dobbs’
research. Harold Acton, an expatriate British computer-(and reality-)hacker,
had already linked 64 second-hand personal computers into a vast ad-hoc system
based on his own _I_ Ching_ oriented speculations. And Martine Kallikak, a
native of the Barrens from nearby Chatsworth, had set up a machine shop.
Ironically, Martine’s ancestors once provided guinea pigs for a notorious
study in eugenics carried out in the 1920s at the Vineland NJ State Home for
the Insane. Published as a study in “Heredity and Feeblemindness,” the work
proclaimed poverty, non-ordinary sexuality, reluctance to hold a steady job,
and enjoyment of intoxicants as *proofs* of genetic decay-and thus made a
lasting contribution to the legend of bizarre and Lovecraftian Piney backwoods
people, incestuous hermits of the bogs.
Martine had long since proven herself a *bricoleuse*, electronics buff and
back-lot inventor of great genius and artistry. With the arrival of the Dobbs
twins, she discovered her tre metier’ in the realization of various devices
for the implementation of their proposed experiments.
The synergy level at the ICS exceeded all expectations. Contacts with other
underground experts in various related fields were maintained by “black modem”
as well as personal visits to the Ashram. The spiritual rhythms permeating
the place proved ideal:periods of dazed lazy contemplation and applied
hedonics alternating with “peak” bursts of self-overcoming activity and
focused attention. The hodgepodge of “Moorish Science” (Tntra, sufism, Ismaili
esotericism, alchemy and psychopharmacology, bio-feedback and “brain machine”
meditation techniques, etc.) seemed to harmonize in unexpectedly fruitful ways
with the “pure” science of the ICS.
Under these conditions progress proved amazingly swift, stunning even the
Institutes founders. Within a year major advances had been made in all the
fields predicted by the equations. Somewhat more than three years after
founding there occurred *the* breakthrough, the discovery which served to re-
orient our entire project in a new direction:the Gate.
But to explain the Gate we must retrace some step, and reveal exactly the
purposes and goals of the ICS and Moorish Science Ashram-the curriculum upon
which our activities are based, and which constitutes our *raison d’etre.*
The original and still ultimate concern of our community is the enhancement of
consciousness and consequent enlargement of mental, emotional and psychic
activities. When the Ashram was founded by W.Fard the only means available for
this work were the bagful of oriental and occultist meditational techniques he
had learned in Central Asia, the first-generation “mind machines” developed
during the ’80s, and the resources of exotic pharmacology.
With the first successes of the Dobbs twin’s research, it became obvious to us
that the spiritual knowledge of the Ashramites could be re-organized into a
sort of prearatory course of training for workers in “Cognitive Chaos.” This
does not mean we surrendered our original purpose-attainment of non-ordinary
consciousness-but simply that ICS work could be viewed as a prolongation and
practical application of the Ashram work.
The theorems allow us to re-define “self liberation” to include physical self-
renewal and life-extension as well as the exploration of material reality
which (we maintain) remains *one* with the reality of consciousness. In this
project, the kind of awareness fostered by meditational techniques plays a
part just as vital as the *techne’* of machines and the pure mentation of
mathematics. In this scenario, the theorems-or at least a philosophical
understanding of them-serve the purpose of an abstract *icon* for
contemplation. Thus the theorems camn be absorbed or englobed to the point
where they become part of the inner structure (or “deep grammar” ) of the mind
In the first stage, intellectual comprehension of the theorems parallels
spiritual work aimed at refining the faculty of *attention*. At the same time
a kind of psychic anchor is constructed, a firm grounding in celebratory body-
awareness.The erotic and sensual for us cannot be ritualized and aimed at
anything “higher” than themselves-rather, they constitute the very *ground* on
which our dance is performed, and the atmosphere or *taste* which permeates
our whole endeavor.
We symbolize this first course of work by the tripartite Sanskrit term
*satchitananda*, “Being/consciousness/bliss”-the ontological level symbolized
by the theorems, the psychological level by the meditation, the level of joy
by our “tantrik” activity. The second course (which can begin at any time
during or after the first) involves practiacl instruction in a variety of
“hard sciences”, especially evolutionary biology and genetics, brain
physiology, Quantum Mechanics and computer hacking.
We have no need for these disciplines in any academic sense-in fact our work
has already overturned many existing paradigms in these fields and rendered
the textbooks useless for our purposes-so we have tailored these courses
specifically for relevance to our central concern, and jettisoned everything
Limited Details of the EGG
At this point a Fellow of the ICS is prepared for work with the device we call
the “egg.” This consists of a modified sensory-deprivation chamber in which
attention can be focused on a computer terminal and screen. Electrodes are
taped to various body parts to provide physiological data which is fed into
The explorer now dons a peculiar helmet, a highly sophisticated fourth-
generation version of the early “brain machines,” which can sonically
stimulate brain cells either globally or locally and in various combinations,
thus directing not only “brain waves” but also highly specific mental-physical
The helmet is also plugged into the computer and provides feedback in various
programmed ways. The explorer now undertakes a series of exercises in which
the theorems are used to generate graphic animations of the “strange
attractors” which map various states of consciousness, setting up feedback
loops between this “iconography” and the actual states themselves, which are
in turn generated through the helmet simultaneously with their representation
on the screen.
Certain of these exercises involve the “alchemical” use of mind-active drugs,
including new vasopressin derivatives, beta-endorphins and hallucinogens
(usually in “threshold” dosages). Some of these tinctures are simply to
provide active-relaxation and focused-attention states, others are
specifically linked to the requirments of “Cognitive Chaos” research.
Even in the earliest and crudest stages of the egg’s development the ICS
founders quickly realized that many of the Dobbs twins’ PhD thesis predictions
might be considered cautious or conservative. Enhanced control of autonomous
body functions was attained even in the second-generation version, and the
third provided a kind of bathysphere capable of “diving “down even to the
Certain unexpected side-effects included phenomena usually classified as
paranormal. We knew we were not hallucinating all this, quite bluntly,
because we obtained concrete and measurable results, not only in terms of
“yogic powers” (such as suspended animation, “inner hearing,” lucid dreaming
and the like) but also in observable benefits to health: rapid healing,
remission of chronic conditions, *absence of disease*.
At this point in development of the egg (third generation) the researchers
attempted to “descend” (like SciFi micronauts) to the Quantum level. Perhaps
the thorniest of all Quantum paradoxes involves the “collapse of the wave
function”-the state of Schrodinger’s famous cat.
When does a wave “become” a particle? At the moment of observation? If so,
does this implicate human consciousness in the actual Q-structure of reality
itself? By observing do we in effect “create?”
The ICS team’s ultimate dream was to “ride the wave” and actually experience
(rather than merely observe) the function-collapse. Through “participation” in
Q-events, it was hoped that the observer/observed duality could be overcome or
evaded. This hope was based on rather “orthodox” Copenhagian interpetations
of Quantum reality.
After some months of intensive work, however, no one had experienced the
sought-for and expected “moment”…each wave seemed to flow as far as one
cared to ride it, like some perfect surfer’s curl extending to infinity. We
began to suspect that the answer to the question”when?” might be “never!”
This contingency had been described rigorously in only one interpretation of
Q-reality, that of J.Wheeler-who proved that the wave function need never
collapse provided that every Q-event gives rise to an “alternating world” (the
Cat is both alive and dead).
To settle this question a fourth generation of the egg was evolved and tested,
while simultaneously a burst of research was carried out in the abstruse areas
of “Hillbert space” and the topology of n-dimensional geometry, on the
intuituve assumptions that new “attractors” could thereby be generated and
used to visualize or “grok” the transitions between alternate universes.
Again the ICS triumphed…although the immediate success of the fourth-
generation egg provoked a moment of fear and panic unmatched in the whole
history of “Cognitive Chaos.”
The first run-through of the “Cat” program was undertaken by a young staff-
member of great brilliance (one of the original Paramus runaways) whose
nickname happened to be Kit-and it happened to take place on the Spring
Equinox. At the precise moment the heavens changed gears, so to speak, the
entire egg vanished from the laboratory.
Consternation would be a mild term for what ensued. For about seven minutes
the entire ICS lost its collective cool. At that point however the egg
reappeared with its passenger intact and beaming…like Alice’s Cheshire Cat
rather than Schrodinger’s poor victim. He had succeeded in riding the wave to
its “destination”-an alternate universe. He had observed it and-in his words-
“memorized its address.” Instinctively he felt that certain dimensional
universes must act as “starnge attractors” in their own right, and are thus
far easier to access (more “probable”) than others.
In practical terms, he had not been dissolved but had found the way to a
“universe next door.” The Gateway had been opened.
Where is Ong’s Hat?
According to Piney legend, the village of Ong’s Hat was founded sometime in
the 19th century when a man named Ong threw his hat up in the air, landed it
in a tree and was unable to retrieve it (we like to think it vanished into
another world). By the 1920s all traces of settlement other than a few
crumbling chimneys had faded away. But the name appealed so much to
cartographers that some of them retained it-a dot representing nothing in the
midst of the most isolated flat dark scrub-pines and sandy creeks in all the
vast, empty and perhaps haunted Barrens.
W. Fard’s acreage lies in the invisible suburbs of this invisible town, of
which we are the sole inhabitants. You can find it easily on old survey
maps, even trace out the the old dirt road leading into the bogs where a
little square represents the decrepit “Ong’s Hat Rod & Gun Club,” original
residence. However, you might discover that finding the ICS itself is not so
If you compare your old survey map with the very latest, you will note that
our area lies perilously close to the region infamous in recent years, the
South Jersey Nuclear Waste Dump near Fort Dix. The “accident” that occurred
there has made the Barrens even more empty and unpopular, as any hard-core
Pineys fled the pollution melting into the state’s last untouched wilderness.
The electrified fence shutting off the deadly zone runs less than a mile above
our enclave. The Accident occurred while we were in the first stages of
developing the fourth-generation egg, the Gate. At the time we had no idea of
its full potential. However all of us, except for the very youngest (who were
evacuated), had by then been trained in elementary self-directed generation.
A few tests proved that with care and effort we could resist at least the
initial onslaught of radiation sickness. We decided to stick it out, at least
until “the authorities” (rather than the dump) proved too hot to endure.
Once the Gate was discovered, we realized the situation had been saved. The
opening and actual interdimensional travel, can only be effected by a fully
trained “cognitive chaote;” so the first priority was to complete the course
for all our members. A technique for “carrying” young children was developed
(it seems not to work for adult “non-initiates”), and it was discovered that
all inanimate matter within the egg is also carried across with the
Little by little we carted our entire establishment (including most of the
buildings) across the topological abyss. Unlike Baudelaire who pleaded,
“Anywhere! – so long as out of this world!” we knew where we were going.
Ong’s Hat has indeed vanished from New Jersey, except for the hidden
laboratory deep in the backwoods where the gate “exists.” On the other side of
the Gate we found a Pine Barrens similar to ours but in a world which
apparently never developed human life.
Of course we have since visited a number of other worlds, but we decided to
colonize this one, our first newfoundland, we still live in the same
scattering of weather-gray shacks, Airstream trailers, recycled chicken coops,
and mail-order yurts, only a bit more spread out-and considerably more
We’re still dependent on your world for many things-from coffee to books to
computers-and in fact we have no inclination of cutting ourselves off like
Anchorites and merely scampering into a dreamworld. We intend to spread the
The colonization of new worlds-even an infinity of them-can never act as a
panacea for the ills of Consensus Reality-only as a palliative. We have
always taken our diseases with us to each new frontier…everywhere we go
we exterminate aborigines and battle with our weapons of law and order against
the chaos of reality.
But this time, we believe, the affair will go differently-because this time
the journey outward can only be made simultaneously with the journey inward-
and because this bootstrap-trick can only be attained by a consciousness
which, to a significant degree, has overcome itself, liberated itself from
self-sickness-and “realized itself.”
Not that we think ourselves saints, or try to behave morally, or imagine
ourselves a super-race, absolved from good and evil. Simply, we like to
consider ourselves awake when we’re awake, sleeping when we sleep, we enjoy
We have learned that desire demands the *other* just as it demands the self.
We see no end to growth while life lasts, no cessation of unfolding, of
continual outpouring of form from chaos. We’re moving on, nomads or monads of
the dimensions. Sometimes we feel almost satisfied…at other times,
Meanwhile our agents of chaos remain behind to set up ICS courses,distribute
Moorish Orthodox literature (a major mask for our propaganda) to subvert and
evade our enemies…We haven’t spoken yet of our enemies. Indeed there
remains much we have not said. This text, diguised as a sort of New Age
vacation brochure, must fall silent at this point, satisfied that it has
embedded within itself enough clues for its intended readers (who are already
halfway to Ong’s hat in any case) but not enough for those with little faith
CHAOS NEVER DIED!