~ An Introduction to the Temple Ov Psychick Youth ~
= Interview conducted by Tom Vague and John Travis in September 1984.
When PSYCHIC TV consisted of Genesis P. Orridge, Paula P. Orridge, Alex
Ferguson, John Gosling and Paul. They had just finished a series of
performances at - a squatted synagogue in Drayton Park, Gen's old stomping
ground the ICA (backing Kathy Acker), the prestigous Hammersmith Town
Hall, the Everyman Cinema (a filmshow), and an appearance on Channel 4's
Which is where we join the interview with Gen warming up, defending the
right of his pet snake to take up as much of the programme as it wanted.
Aint nothing here now but the recordings ==
= GPO: I don't think Bella the Snake is irrelevant in herself. Because the
reason we have a snake rather than another cat is because of the way we
think and believe and the imagery that we choose to use. A snake to us is
magickal and has lots of symbolism, apart from it being exotic and we think
that life can be a lot less banal than people have normally.
It's also like in the Garden of Eden, the Snake is the tempter and is
supposedly the person with knowledge, that gives knowledge. Although
they're always cast as the baddie by Christians, in reality what they're doing
is giving wisdom and knowledge and sexuality. So for us that's a positive
thing as well and we actually use Bella as a symbol of our philosophy. So I
mean it's perfectly reasonable for the snake to be present, but I suspect that
the main reason they chose to have the snake there was because it looked
visually interesting or it was novel.
But you've got to go from the over all effect on the person whose watching
the thing in an educated way... We have had a lot of positive feedback off
people. It was also presented differently to the way they normally present
groups. It wasn't just talking about which guitars we use and what the next
record's going to be and all this. It was actually trying to talk about ideas
and attitudes, what is done to people by television, even people who watch a
programme like that.
They left out a lot of that but we talked mainly about the way that television
is edited and presented to them and said that that was our main concern
now, the way that people are manipulated by television. But it's like the
wedge in the door. It's set a precedent. We can be on television. Whereas up
to now we couldn't, we were just not allowed to be on. And they had a lot of
pressure, even on the Friday before it was on, they were ringing us and
saying that Channel 4 was still getting cold feet and had trimmed 5 minutes
and were really panicking about it.
So the fact that people there insisted on it being on, I think is in their favour.
And it shows, that for all its faults, they were trying to be fair and trying to
give us a chance. And they've already rang up today and said they want to
do a longer piece with us and do it better and in more depth. Everything
serves its purpose. It's an ongoing thing, from that little bit we have a bit
more chance to do more and other TV people see it and think, 'Oh, they're
quite articulate and it looks quite interesting', and that gives us more
openings later. TV's never perfect because of the people who run it.
= PPO: You have no say in the way they're going to portray you and the way
they're going to edit but you just have to try.
= V: Awhile ago there was talk that you were trying to get a Cable TV
= PPO: That was with Stevo in America but we're no longer on Some Bizzarre.
We're just trying, bit by bit, to be able to put the group over as a television
group more than a music group. I mean, we say that we do background
music for television.
= GPO: Well, I don't think we on our own would have enough material to fill
up a Cable TV channel, on our own, but to have time on one would be nice.
Even if it was only one evening a month or something like that. I think we
could handle an evening a month and do something interesting each time -
Like an anarchic, free-flowing evening. There's lots and lots of things that
can be done with television.
= V: Do you think Cable in this country will offer that opportunity?
= GPO: I think that the odds are on that you'll get more opportunities on
Channel 4 when Cable TV starts - because they'll feel threatened, so they'll
take more risks and I think Cable TV will remain mainly a business thing. So
I think, ironically, it will be the networks that will actually open up more
when Cable TV comes out.
= WE STRUGGLE
= PPO: It's also going to be a hell of a lot of work. Because at the moment
there's only two of us really working full time, I mean from when we get up,
it's phonecalls, then it's mail orders, then it's business meetings, then
rehearsing and then playing. We need probably ten people working full time
= GPO: At the moment we cant afford to do that. Some people in the group
still have to be on the dole just to eat. We're not o the dole but we actually
live off money from things that have happened in the past. We don't have an
income as such at all. We're living on not paying bills and juggling what we
get around so we just keep going... We haven't even got somewhere definate
to live, we're still at that stage. That's why I get angry when people say
we've sold out. How can people possibly say that? Sold out to whom? For
what? What does it mean? It's ridiculous, crazy...
= PPO: I just don't know how people can have the cheek to say we've got a
load of money, especially when they come round to our house. We've got an
outside toilet. (Very nice it is too, Paula. Ed.) It might be quite together in
here but we're still under court action for not paying rates...
= GPO: I don't know where this fantasy comes from. I don't know what the
evidence is, when we walked out on record contracts - we walked out on
Some Bizzarre and we haven't even bothered to advertise or announce the
records, we just let them come out. When you don't even tell people what
you're doing anymore, because you can't be bothered, because you're fed up
with all that aggravation and business.
= PPO: The people at Some Bizzarre who were working in the office were
earning more money than we were. Somebody whose meant to be working
for you, who can go on holiday for 6 weeks to Morocco at any time they
want. That's pretty ridiculous if you ask me. It's like when we were on CBS,
we never got one penny out of them, instead we got a bill saying how much
we owed them and the record reps at CBS were earning so much money they
had Swiss bank accounts and they're working for you! It's ridiculous. It
should just be money that's available.
= GPO: Our main objective to begin with is just that Paul and Alex and John -
all of us can actually get just enough to be able to do it all the time. From
zero income to having the equivalent of the dole is our first objective really.
Once we all have somewhere, a flat or a room even and we all get enough to
eat regularly - that's basically all we require.
After that the rest always has gone into what we do - Any extra money Paul
gets, he spends on equipment or effects or borrowing stuff to learn how to
make new noises or whatever it might be - film for cameras... but it all goes
on doing things and the same with us, everything we get goes straight into
the group, paying for more recording time or typesetting or T-shirts or
anything else. Because that's what we do. That's all we're interested in. We
don't feel like we're doing anyone a favour that's what we want to do...
= MORE CHAINSAW IN THE MIX
= V: Have you had a long standing battle with the ICA since the 'Prostitution'
show? At the Neubauten gig I heard you saying, 'I've wanted to do that for
= P: I don't know about a battle... it didn't help when him and Neubauten
started drilling holes in the place.
= GPO: I think that the weakness of that whole thing, in retrospect, was the
fact that the PA was left. It dawned on me that although it was supposedly
very destructive and anarchic and anti-music and anti-rock'n'roll - they did
a soundcheck and they kept the PA all the way through, so everyone could
hear it. Whereas if it was really anti-rock'n'roll the PA should have got
trashed first - because that was ultimately the symbol of what they were
attacking. But it was left intact. Obviously it would have caused a true riot, in
terms of theory. The PA should have gone as well. Don't know if you noticed
but I was going round with a megaphone saying "Get the PA!" They nearly
did. They started making for it but the roadies stopped them.
= P: Who was it - the one at the Everyman - said it was his PA. I knew there
was something familiar about him. When we walked in he said, "We need
more chainsaw in the mix"...
= GPO: Yeah, when we walked in he said, "Oh, it's you!" Turned out it was the
same PA. Luckily he didn't seem to hold us accountable.
= P: No, I don't think he was too sure what to say.
= GPO: He went off to the pub and let us get on with it.
= P: And we blew his right hand speakers.
= GPO: Yeah, we did get his PA in the end! He thought, 'Oh, these people don't
do music so I don't need to be there.' So he went off to the pub with his mate
and left us in charge of the mixing desk and Paul destroyed the PA, just
overloaded it, one whole side was just blown out. So we did get the PA the
second time. (makes a cackling noise) Apparently even some of the roof was
falling in upstairs.
= P: Those are particularly resonant sounds that would do something like
= GPO: It's funny in some ways the effect at The Everyman was closer to the
effect we tried to get at Hammersmith. And I think that was basically due to
= P: And the fact that it was a more oppressive place. We were right on top
of them and they couldn't get away from it.
= GPO: It was more claustrophobic and dark. I think there's a problem with
scale. When it's a bigger place it's much harder to be on top of everyone.
That's one of the things I like about Heaven I think. Although I don't like
Heaven as a place, the actual room you play in is very claustrophobic and
dark and sweaty and I think it's more practical for what we're doing.
We saw New Order there and that reminded me, for all the faults of Heaven,
you can get that overbearing sensation with quite a lot of people squashed
in. So we might try and do something there... But there's nowhere that's
really good enough except that place in Drayton Park...
Enter John Gosling.
= GPO: Have we talked about the videos?
= JG: They threatened to sue Final Solution didn't they?
= GPO: It's ridiculous. They can't because it's only their memory. It's gone. So
they'd be relying on their memory of something that's no longer there. Too
vague... But it'll probably mean there wont be anymore gigs at Hammersmith
= JG: aaaahhh.
= GPO: First and Last.
= JG: Didn't like it anyway. It didn't have any atmosphere. Too upwards.
= GPO: There was too much light. Too tall. I like places where, like you say,
people can't get away from it.
= JG: That's why Heaven's good.
= GPO: For all its other faults, it's good in terms of just the geometry of the
rooms, that's the most important part and it's sort of seedy and dingy and
it's got a vaguely sexual vibe I suppose. The best of bad lot...
One thing that I noticed at Hammersmith, that was good, and a few people -
not everyone - that I've spoken to since also did. At certain points, not all
the time but about the middle onward, there was a really sexual feeling.
There were a lot of people near the front - when I jumped into the front,
there were all these people touching each other up. I got touched up all over,
it was good. It wasn't like grabbing and pulling, it was all actually quite
sensual touching. It wasn't nasty or crude. And there were all these people
building up this sensual sex.
= ROCK'N'ROLL AND FUCKING
IN THE STREETS
[HOW WAS IT FOR YOU DARLING?]
= V: Do you think you hit upon certain vibrations in the sound to cause that?
= GPO: I think it's partly certain rhythms and also the release sensation and
possibly too some of the videos engender that as well.
= V: Possibly = GPO: Depending on your particular decadence. It just
reminded me that that is actually one of the primal functions of Music
anyway. And that's what's missing now. Basically it's Fuck Music. Even if you
don't necessarily go there and get a hard on. But you get excited, the same
way you get excited just before your first sexual adventure with a new
person. You, know that special excitement when you realise that you are
going to have sex with somebody and it's just a matter of time before it
happens. And I think the best live music or live events have the same
excitement to them. And afterwards if it's not consummated you feel really
frustrated. I think that's why that was going on. It was this build-up to
wanting to fuck or the equivalent of fucking. The best gigs are basically
when the audience and you are fucking and it becomes completely blurred
and you don't even remember what you've done. Like in Rouen it was like
that, at times. It was just like this blur. It was like everything had fussed.
You could sense it. The entire place and everyone in it was fused. That was
like a really amazing fuck and afterwards everyone was charged like that.
= JG: It's also the same kind of thing as the losing of the ego, that kind of
feeling, isn't it? Rouen was better than Hammersmith for that.
= GPO: Yeah, where at the point of orgasm, the conscious and the unconscious
are all fused and you don't have the normal perceptions. But even so there
was a sexual charge at Hammersmith. We felt frustrated afterwards as well.
Like if somebody knocks on the door when you're in the middle of having it
off with somebody, coitus interuptus if you like, technical things can spoil a
fuck the same as...the parallel still holds true. We felt like we knew we
couldn't have got there and it didn't quite happen for us. And I think the
audience were building up too. But nevertheless it was just there and I think
that's what we want to pursue now. To get more - not just saying "Let's
Fuck" in the lyrics, but work on that principal, that the idea is the excitation
to that point, that that's what Music was originally. You know the best Rock
Music is about - whether it's the Velvets just having those amazing pulsing
sound walls that are exciting and generating that feeling. Or whether it's Jim
Morrison, on a good day, being much more blatant about being the Lizard
King, the Snake, turning people on, literally, and again using space and
rhythm for the same sort of sensual feeling. The best music is, in one form or
another, a form of fucking. Rock'n'Roll meant Fuck and so did Jazz. All those
words actually mean Fuck.
And that's the big problem now, the groups in the charts now are
masturbating, but not in the creative sense of masturbating, not aware of it
and the use of the orgasm and the loss of the ego and the way that you can
actually learn about your subconscious. They are just masturbating over
their own image. The worst form of masturbation. Without any consciousness
at all. And there is no pop music or popular music which is actually just wild
sex, real sex, not talking about 'Relax and Come' or anything, but real sex.
there's no real sex, not even Frankie Goes To Hollywood, they're nowhere
near it. Even them. I don't think they've touched on what it's really about.
They just hint at it. But at the end of the day Frankie Goes To Hollywood are
not a Sex group. They're not the sort of group where you think much about
what they do at all. Or they don't engender a cult of sexuality or anything
And I think that's what's good with Bee's songs. His approach is different and
I think that's where that link comes. His sexuality and his ideas on sexuality.,
I mean before he was ever in Getting the fear, were totally parallel with
ours. He's taken those ides to Getting the Fear rather than reverse. But
obviously the reason that they accepted him into the group and developed it
within it was because it made sense to them as well. Which is why they're all
getting pierced, apart from Aky! I mean I don't suppose they would
articulate it the same way, but Bee probably could. Out of all his songs,
basically 50% are about sex and the other ones are about rather dubious
moral characters. It is Fuck Music.
And lets remember what it's actually about - Excitation. That's why it's got to
be loud and pulsing. It doesn't matter how long it is. It can go on for as long
as you like. If you get the right Pulse it can last 20 minutes. It doesn't have
to be a 3 minute perfectly executed thing. The imperfections and the
mistakes and the physicality of it - that's why we're using real drums - is
what everyone has lost track of with all this technology. I mean it's ironic
because we've always used technology and then, in a sense, reverted to the
primitive. We're still aware of technology and we play with it in the studio
and backing tapes and certain gadgets, but we actually attack the sound in a
totally primitive way.
That's why we're pagans. I mean we are pagans, but we're musical pagans as
well as moral pagans. That's why the only thing that's exciting now, about
the idea of making music for me, is the fact that I want to just build that up
so people come to our events because it's just like going to bed with
somebody. They come for the physical sensation, not to go away and say,
"they did a great guitar solo" or "that was a good song" or "that was a good
lyric" or anything. I mean half the time there aren't any lyrics, it's just total
gibberish. Because it's the noises from the throat. The animal aspect of it is
actually having an effect and if there aren't any particular noises around
then you just make the noises. This is talking about live, on a record there's a
different approach. You have to get that effect but it has to be more
controlled because of the situation being an over controlled situation.
= V: After Drayton Park someone came up to me and said 'how long was
that?' And I didn't have a clue. I'd lost track of time.
= GPO: Yeah, we did as well. We completely lost track. We were only going to
do about 20 minutes.
= JG: It was one hour 40 minutes, all in all, with everything.
= GPO: Is that what we did? Isn't that weird, I thought it was about 30
minutes or something.
= P: Oh yeah, everybody's timers went off at different times. yet they were
all set at the same time.
= V: Everybody was just standing there taking it in. Nobody was worried
about getting the last bus or anything.
= GPO: yeah, but I just wanted to keep going. I felt like we had only just
started and I could have kept going and I really wanted it to go on about
another 2 or 3 hours, but we were getting all these messages about the
police getting heavier and heavier. That was the only thing that frustrated
me about that, because I'm sure we could have gone on and on and on and
everyone could have ended up in an interesting state.
But there's so little groups that even bother to explore that possibility, that
time can jump, that you can do things like trick time and so on, trick the
body and trick the mind. It's such a potent force and there's people just
driveling. Everywhere you turn it's drivel. Even on our worse days I don't
thing we drivel. We might be misguided occasionally but basically the
intentions are always to reach that potent or magickal point where
something that can't be done any other way can be done, with sound, and
now with sound and image.
We are from the Television and Film Generation. We've been trained and
brought up on sound and image and editing and it's a whole language and it's
so sort of rigid, the way the boards that control the media use it, that as soon
as you play with it at all, strange things happen. Like people go away saying,
"I watched scenes of outrageous torture". And of course they did not at all. If
you take them through the video and showed it to them frame by frame and
asked them, "Where is it then?", and they say, "Oh, somebody's being cut on
the arm". But it's like 3 little tiny nicks. But because it fills a TV screen and
it's red on flesh, they think it's really heavy. But they watch News at Ten,
people blown away, maimed, pools of blood, executions, Clint Eastwood
movies. My mother was complaining that they said we had torture on this
thing on 'Earsay', and I said, "We don't". And she said, "But they said you do".
"But", I said, "It doesn't mean it's true. Did you see any?". She said, "No," so I
said, "So you've only got their word for it." Then she sat through Clint
Eastwood and she didn't think that was at all heavy.
P: Torture is when you do something to somebody, against their will, to make
them do something. And there was none of that in the video.
= GPO: That's one of the most banal, crass things you can point out to people.
How come we're not allowed to even think about dealing with anything to do
with violence or sado-masochism, even in the most obscure ways - Like
sado-masochism in terms of the way that people control the society and
other people submit to it. Which is S + M. Margaret Thatcher is actually a
madame and we're the slaves, if you like.
And yet they can put all they want on TV, they can write about it in the
newspapers, sell newspapers totally on that - you know 'News Of The World'
and things like that's OK. But if we even mention it or deal with it, we're
outrageous and to be avoided like the plague and decadent and weird and
horrible and nasty.
I mean it's ridiculous. It's completely illogical and it just shows you how
deep the conditioning has gone and how powerful the enemy is. Because I
mean even people who think they're radical thinkers, you know THE NME. A
prime example. Being the worst puritans and the most ridiculous moralists,
and they're so patronizing to their readers and the public, and they're so
arrogant that their view is correct. They're like born again Christians!
= THE ENEMY
= GPO: They sit there and what they say is true and what they don't like is
bad and if you don't agree you're bad, just like the worst kind of Christians,
hypocrites. And, yeah, ultimately that is a fascist stance. If you don't agree
you're wrong and we will try to destroy you and destroy your career and
reputation and make people ignore you, because we don't like you.
= V: Like Mark E. Smith said, it's McCarthyism in reverse.
= GPO: They should give over whole issues to people they hate. They should
say - I mean I don't like Whitehouse, because I think they're very
unsophisticated mainly and I don't find their records interesting to listen to -
they're actually not very well constructed, even given what they say they're
trying to do. But I think they should have a whole issue were they say -
Crass can have 4 pages, Whitehouse can have a page and a half, we can have
2 pages - people they don't like can actually say their piece and if they
really are as bad as the NME say they are it will be very clear from what
they write. Let the public decide, on what people actually say.
If we're so stupid and so moronic, then why not let us reveal that from what
we say? Why are they scared of letting us have that platform to speak? Why
are they trying to discourage people from listening to us or even going to see
what we do? Because they're obviously aware that people are interested in
what we do and they do listen and a percentage of them think it makes
sense and they don't want people to actually feel that. Therefore they're
trying to censor and suppress and that is like the worse kind of
I mean they don't even try to analyze the implications of anything, those
journalists. That's what's so annoying. They don't look at the videos and even
begin to try and say why it's like that, why it's edited like that or that it's
had an effect on them - because they feel it. They don't go, "how amazing, I
thought television was boring and couldn't be powerful and I've gone
somewhere and it's freaked me out". That is a hell of an achievement - To
turn something that we all know can be on and we don't remember it's on
(The actual Psychic TV set has been on all the time with the sound turned
down.) To turn that into something that can make people faint is quite an
achievement in itself and it's not that easy. I mean horror movie makers
don't manage it do they.
= JG: That's it. We're not sculpturing it specifically to make people faint.
That's just a side effect...
= V: I'd like to get onto 'the Temple' next. Are you all members?
= P: Yeah, the Temple first, because originally there wasn't supposed to be a
band. There was just going to be the Temple of Psychick Youth.
= GPO: People get interested in the ideas and the theories and the
philosophies or the attitudes or just the encouragement to try and wake up.
But they get frustrated if it stays just there. There's a limit to what sending
letters back and forth can do. People feel the need to probe us more and
there always has been a ritual need - A need for ritual and celebration and
so on. So that's why there is that primitive side to the way we do live things.
We're not trying to be - although there is a group at the moment -
rock'n'roll. It's to get the effect, through the instrumentation, of a ceremony
or an initiation or a ritual or a celebration or an ecstatic state - It can vary,
we're not sure always what state it is - or a sexual arousal state. But just that
the sound is used to function, not to entertain. It might happen to also
entertain, but that's not it's prime objective.
That's the big difference with us, and they go, "I wasn't entertained, it wasn't
rock'n'roll". We don't want to do that. We want it to function and effect
people and it does - they go away and talk about their mental state having
changed and their physical state having changed and the way it made them
feel or whether it was like such and such a drug! They don't go, "really good
songs", they talk about the effect it had. Music is functional. This is the big
thing that everyone seems to have forgotten. It's primary use and it's
origination was function. It was to celebrate or to initiate certain states of
mind or physical states and that's what it's for and that's what people have
completely forgotten and that's why we use it in such a thrusting and tribal
= JG: It's used very much as valium these days. Like the radio is to keep
people's minds turned off while they work, to keep them quiet.
= GPO: It's used like TV and that's why it's true what we say, you can't say it
too much, it's incredible. In different forms - John's been in things before as
well, and so has Paul - Paul's still got his own projects going - but we've all
been doing things. I personally have been doing it for 10 years now! And we
still come up with something that surprises people and still has an effect and
there's no other group I know of ever that has kept that going, even in
different forms, for 10 or 15 years and people still say "I've never seen
anything like it, I've never heard anything like it, I'm frightened by it" or "I
feel incredibly excited by it". I mean it's just not happened before and
people don't give us any credit for that. Or that we have actually regenerated
interest in Television - that television can be used and thrown around, just
like guitars and music can, you can just abuse it and fiddle with it and chop
it up and see what happens.
= TELEVISION: TURN ON, TUNE
IN AND FIDDLE ABOUT.
DON'T IGNORE THE MACHINE
= V: That's really necessary because TV's the main form of control...
= JG: It doesn't have to be like that. Television can be a very creative thing if
you play around with it. Just play around with the colours.
= GPO: We're in the age of TV. We've got no choice. It has to be dealt with.
It's actually a matter of human survival, basically. Mentally and physically.
Because it is being used to hammer people into the ground. To make them as
stupid as possible. To keep them quiet while they're on the dole queue. It's
used as literally as that. As John said it's used like valium.
= P: People that say they don't watch it and it's rubbish are actually
admitting that it's sacred.
= GPO: And also that it's very powerful and they're scared of it. It's not the
answer. You go and you kick it in the face, which is what we're doing. We
kick TV right in the face, ram our fist right into the centre of it and rip its
guts out and spill'em around an just see what's going on.
And it's very interesting that with the minimum amount of money and help,
what a few hundred quid we've spent on our videos, we've actually managed
= THE REVOLUTION WILL BE
to dig out and reveal a lot of weird things - worms and reverberations that
people didn't know were there. And instead of going away and saying, "this
is quite amazing, I didn't know TV was that powerful", they say, "Uh, I don't
Not everyone. The majority don't. The majority go away - the basic public
that came to Hammersmith were very glad of what happened and were
quite stimulated by the TV's. It's just one or two suppressed and repressed
journalists that try and give a false impression - But ironically, like John said
and like you were saying, those reviews are so over the top, they're actually
so unsophisticated those people, that they don't realise that what they're
doing is describing what we've done and how powerful it is. But they do it as
if we don't know, as if we're not aware of what television can do or that it's
dangerous or that it's weird.
= V: That could be because so many people have slides and videos just to be
arty or weird.
= JG: That's why we've got them right up the front...
= GPO: We're quite happy to not be visible at all and to be totally subservient
to the televisions., I mean they are at least 50% of Psychic TV - Like at the
Everyman it was irrelevant whether people could see us or not.
= P: I was at the back mixing but I actually felt hot and things like that
myself and I know more or less what was going on.
= GPO: Nobody's yet investigated just what television does to anybody. Did
you know there's never been any proper investigation? They don't even
know what the rays from it do to people yet. All they've found out - There
was one report: I knew this doctor in Portland in Oregon (Al Ackerman), and
he showed me and told me about this study that was done for the American
There was this school in Portland, that had the highest rate of hyper-activity
and instability in its children. So they got these scientists in to try and find
out why, and after awhile they took out the fluorescent tubes and they put
in ordinary lightbulbs. And immediately, I can't remember the right figures
but say there was 20% unstable children, it dropped to less than 1%. Just by
changing the lightbulbs.
Fluorescent tubes have one colour of the spectrum missing and they flicker
as you know. So there was a couple of kids that were left who were really
hyperactive and delinquent, and they went to their houses to find out
whether it was because of something at home, as it wasn't the school
anymore. And the one kid who was a prime problem slept in this one
bedroom and the head of his bed was against a wall with the colour TV on
the other side of the wall, that his parents watched when he was asleep. So
they moved the TV to the other side of the room and he was perfectly
normal the next day and from then on.
That report was suppressed and never published - Because the implications
of it were contrary to Big Business and TV Culture and everything else. But if
that's true. Then all of us are more neurotic than we need to be, because of
just the TV set. That's just the technology of it is dangerous. And nobody
knows yet, but there is a theory that it can engender cancer and it can
engender certain psychotic states. But nobody's bothered to check, nobody
knows, they don't know how long it might take, they don't want to know
But then also, the way it's edited. One of the obsessions we've got with
editing and the way that what we show proves that it's true - like you said,
if you close in on something so it fills the screen, it's significance changes
immediately. Just the same as the music that's with it can make it change -
If it's powerful, violent music it seems violent. If it's gentle music it seems
poetic. And there is a whole language which can't be written down, that is
the way television is now edited.
People who make TV programmes, part of the time unconsciously, are
editing it to put across their own secret viewpoint. I was talking to the guy
from Earsay about it and he said it was true, that just changing a word here
or where you cut - We all know it really - Where you cut or the way it's lit
totally changes the way people interpret it. The fact that they used that
word torture in our thing completely alienated a percentage of our viewers.
Just because they used that word and it was a lie. I rang him up and said it
was a lie and he said, "Yes, I know," but he didn't write the script, it was
someone else. Cop out time.
= JG: Also the way they lit you during the interview was classic evil lighting.
This is an evil person!
= GPO: In here with TV lighting you can't see that, it just looked brighter.
Actually they'd done the old Halloween light under my face, lit from below,
so it looks more malevolent. But the way it's done - like with a picket line. If
you film from behind the pickets, it looks like the police are being violent,
attacking the Picket. You put the camera behind the police line and it looks
the other way around, that the pickets are being violent to them. Which is
basic prejudiced technique and they do that all the time. And there is a
whole power language now, embedded in the way that TV's constructed and
basically the people that are doing it don't even know the language. They're
just like bulls in a china shop, they've go no conception of what they're
doing, nobody has. Nobody's checked. They don't even know what damage
they're doing to people's psychology or people's unconscious mind. The only
ones who are even close to knowing are advertisers. They're about the only
ones who sit back and deliberately plan it that way. Because they've got 30
seconds and they plan everything in minute detail. And one of the biggest
threatening problems that's happening to TV is a lot of those directors of
adverts are now starting to do programmes, especially in America.
= PTV REACHES CHANNELS
THAT ORDINARY TV CANNOT
= P: And advertising is becoming politically controlled as well. Saachi and
Saachi doing Margaret Thatcher...
= GPO: Luis Palau went straight to something like a million pounds on
advertising. But it is a magickal language. It's an incantation. They actually
are basically casting a spell over everyone, but half of them don't know what
the spell is or what it's point is. So it's like brainwashing people so their
minds are empty and then leaving them empty. At least with brainwashing
you fill it with something else. But what they're dong is getting you into the
state of being brainwashed and then leaving you suspended with a vacuum.
They're not putting anything in, no real content. Which is why it works like
valium, it suspends time.
What we try to do, and why we say in a sense what we do with television is
magickal, is in magick get to the state to open up your conscious mind to
your conscious and you fill the gap with the unconscious, with visions, with
inspiration, whatever you want to call it. But you let all that extra part of the
brain, the same way that LSD does it, just open up channels that other things
cannot reach. But we try and fill that vacuum with content and that's
probably why it shocks people. Because they don't even know that's what's
happening. That television is being moved on that whole step further. Of
course they normally feel comfortable with it. Suddenly the hole that it
makes is filled up again.
= P: From the inside, not from the outside. That's what bug me about this
'voyeurism' thing in NME. Where he said we're encouraging voyeurism.
Voyeurism wouldn't exist if there wasn't a need for it and voyeurism comes
from within. It's the need to watch something. We're just showing people
that they can enjoy this sort of thing. We're not saying it's a good thing that
= GPO: I don't even think it comes down to enjoying it. I actually think that
when we present it, we leave it very very objective. And we are doing
research and in research you have to experiment and you carry on the
experiment for awhile and then you do it differently. Like those videos are
being phased out because we've used them and now they've been written
about. They've served their purpose.
= JG: They're more metaphor anyway than actual instruction.
= GPO: What we want to do now is get more and more precise and really
start to articulate this invisible language, this new language. What is it?
Make it more precise but also more visual. That's like with the Cerrith (Win
Evens), the one on the big screen, take that direction more. Where it's still
implying all the things that the other ones have but you're also, in a sense,
being more subtle, you're actually sneaking into the subconscious direct.
Instead of shocking the conscious to let it through, we're actually now going
to try to go straight round into the subconscious. And the subconscious will
recognize those images because that's where they come from, it won't need a
And at the end of the day the most exciting thing about almost any human
being is the subconscious, the unconscious, the place where all the dreams
and fantasies and ambitions and experiences are, and where the creativity
comes from - and that's just bits of the subconscious spilling out, no matter
what anyone might say. It's not divine inspiration at all. It's a bit of the
brain popping out. And the looser the brain is, the less rigid, the less logical,
the more at ease with its instincts and it's intuition, the more exciting and
radical and stimulating what comes out.
And that's what we're doing and that's what we try to do ourselves with
everything - the Temple, the rituals, the live things, the writings, the videos
- is to get into an intuitive state where the best can come out, or whatever's
there can come out. Rather than what has been pushed in.
Once you've learnt to be at ease with the whole of your mind and state and
character then you're far more useful to everyone else. Because you're more
balanced in the true sense. You're not normal but you're more balanced. All
that normal means is that you cling onto what's been pushed in and you're
terrified of anything coming out. And that's why people who are so normal
end up so fucked-up. Because they are perpetually killing themselves. Day
by day they're killing themselves.
And that's why it makes me angry when they say there's no love in what we
do, because it's the opposite. It's because we care so much that we push
ourselves to the limit, to demonstrate by example that in fact it's healthier.
It might be painful sometimes but it's healthier and it's done with
compassion. Both for our situation, for us to feel alive and to show other
people that they can do it too.
And that scares people, that we're digging that deep. But it is compassionate,
everything we've done. Nothing we've done out of cruelty at all. Just as
anyone whose in the videos, anything that's happening to them, it's done by
friends, with friends, to friends and they're...I mean obviously there's not a
subtitle saying that at any moment this person can say "No". Everything that
is done is what they say they wanted done and stops when they say they
don't want it done. There is no way that that has any relationship with the
way people try to portray it.
And life is full of tests and initiations anyway. That's why people go out and
get drunk, that's why they go out and fight each other, that's why people get
tattoos or run until they get exhausted or climb mountains. There is a basic
need in human beings to be tested physically. To have that ritual, that
initiation and that being thrown to one side and discarded, and then people
say that they can't understand football hooligans, and they kind of bring that
back and say it's a form of modern ritual. But they don't actually think,
maybe if the culture started to be more tribal and ritual in a sort of healthy
way, the whole... pervading the whole culture, not just in enclosed places like
football grounds, then the need for ritual and initiation would be satisfied
without the need for violence.
Surely it's better for me to have 3 little cuts here than go out and beat
people up in the street and it's actually the same function being served at
the root of it.
It's very hard to really feel alive. One of the few times, say you're incredibly
depressed, you've had a love affair that's broken up, you feel like
everything's been sucked out. But that doesn't last. You can't remember pain.
= JG: It's always better to be really depressed or really happy, just to feel
alive. Anything's better than feeling uhhh...
= GPO: You have to push yourself onto edges. You have to take risks with
your own emotions. Because if you don't you might as well be asleep. You
don't find anything out. All the great discoveries, whether they're scientific
ones or literary ones, are based on people pushing themselves to the edge or
an accident really. There isn't any methodology for finding anything out. It
is all random chance. Anyone who says anything else is an idiot because it's
not. It's all random chance. There's no method to anything. I mean it's
intuition. Man invented language, he didn't find it. And he invented
alphabets and he invented images and everything else. It didn't exist and
none of it has permanent value. It changes because man's needs change and
man is the one who controls it and man's brain, although it basically resides
on his brain.
But they try and tell you otherwise - That it's outside you, it's outside your
brain, someone else knows, or it's maths, or it's science, or someone else has
the key, or someone else is better equipped or qualified than you to be in
charge of whatever it is. All the time you're being told it's not inside you. All
society is based on, it not being your business, not being you that has the
right or the responsibility to be in charge of whatever's happening to you.
In fact the entire opposite is true and that's why all the time we're in such
conflict with most of this society. Because we take the complete opposite
view to what they say, all the words they might use, what's inside us and
what we feel is actually inside other people and in fact other people
recognize it. It must be inside us. If it is then we've got to look at it. Nice bits
and nasty bits. Until we look at what's inside then we might as well have
The next stage of human evolution has to be mental. It's not going to be that
we're going to grow bigger ears or anything. Or huge brains - All we have to
do is learn to use the brain we've got. Because it's not used at all at the
moment. They don't know anything about the human brain.
= V: What is it, we only use 10% of our brain?
= GPO: Yeah, so what's the rest able to do, if the 10% has done this much?
Just on that purely, just if we could learn to do the equivalent of weight
training with what's left of the brain that's not used, then we could literally
travel through time and teleport and exist forever. We must be able to, just
because there's so much brain left to use.
= V: Taking the 10% to be the ego.
= GPO: That must be the most kind of crass bit of the brain. The rest must be
pretty good, which is why we have to look for it.
(As if to illustrate what Gen's been saying a picture of Salvador Dali comes
up on the TV. Gen turns it up to catch; "...lives the life of a recluse since the
death of his wife two years ago/despite burns over a fifth of his body/he
refused medical treatment and today his surgeons say he's also suffering
= GPO: Hmmm, he's a weird character - He wanted to feel alive, that's why he
refused medical treatment - But what other explanation is there for
somebody like him? He's a prime example. He's spent his whole life trying to
tap his subconscious, hasn't he? People we know who live in Spain have told
us that he's been really ill, hovering on senility and everything. If he got
burned like that he probably thought, although he was in pain, he probably
went with it and revelled in it, rather than fight it, because it made him feel
alive again, because he's the sort of guy that would think it's for real...
And what was the next question?
= V: Uuurrghhh!?!
= GPO: We may be abused but we're not bowed!...We are not like a normal
group. We do deal with very complicated and far reaching subjects, to do
with the entire way society's structured and controlled and conditioned and
has been always. And that to us there are certain escape routes out of that,
but all of them deal with the subconscious, which is uncharted territory.
And whether it's privately using orgasms and rituals to make contact with it,
or publicly using a multi-media TV barrage, the motives are always 100%
sincere and the intention is always constructive. But obviously we are
pioneers of that - there isn't anyone else doing it, even scientifically, never
mind popular culture - So we're bound to get people confused and we're
bound to have problems with communication.
And you can't spend your whole life trying to explain it, otherwise you'd
never get anything done. That's why we've been concentrating on doing a lot
more things and talking a lot less. This is the first interview we've done for
10 months, ages. Because we weren't totally clear, we wanted to clarify for
ourselves what we were doing and get the group clearer and stronger and
just be sure of what we were doing. And we've thought a lot about it and
we're clearer what the subjects are, which I think has come out a bit tonight
= PTV are such a prolific, creative organization that it would need at least the
rest of this issue to cover all their activities. And, although that did cross my
mind, I do think there are some other things in life of interest. And it would
truly be pissing in the wind to attempt a summary of these activities in some
form of postscript/update, as I had planned. Besides every time I call them,
often at great risk to my psychological stability, all I get is a bleeding
Of course PSYCHIC TV don't really exist, they're simply a series of messages
left on a cosmic ansaphone. Anyway, this is my attempt to clear a few things
up, which it certainly has done for me. Further than that, all I can do is
suggest that you at least investigate PTV for yourself, and don't believe
everything that you read.