If you don't

see the FNORD

it can't eat you

Don't see the Fnord. You may have searched for the fearsome Boojum. You may have hunted the dreaded Wumpus. You may even have defeated the mighty Jabberwock. But Don't See The Fnord! If you don't see the Fnord, it can't hurt you. Just look away. Forget it's even there. Because, after all, it isn't. There is no Fnord, and you are perfectly safe as long as you remember this.

No, don't be alarmed, there's no need to run.
Fnords are rare (Perhaps there's only one?)

It will not snatch or claw or tear.
(And in fact, it is not there).

But if you think a Fnord might be creeping near,
say loud these words: "There be no Fnords here!"

It should be made clear that seeing the Fnord will most certainly make you disappear. Whether you will be disposed of by being eaten or otherwise is a matter of speculation.

This Bavarian Fire Drill has been brought to you by the Discordian Tribunal.

In the Illuminati trilogy, the word Fnord was a tool used by the Illuminati as a type of subliminal suggestion. The book describes kids in kindergarten being hypnotically conditioned to react with fear and revulsion whenever they saw the word Fnord! anywhere. Then, of course, they were conditioned not to realize they had seen the word at all.

The Illuminati would then seed news articles and advertisements with Fnords whenever they wanted something to be avoided, feared, or simply ignored. Reading a news article describing a politician the Illuminati frowned upon would be lousy with subliminal Fnords, whereas the articles describing the Illuminati lackey would be Fnord-free.

Being able to see the Fnords is said to be one of the first steps in evading the Illuminati's control and becoming enlightened. Sometimes this could lead to even more bizarre occurences, however, such as having sex with giant golden apples, or battling undersea with telepathic dolphins as your allies.

I've been a fan of Illuminatus! ever since I read it at age 13.
Since learning HTML, I've always wanted a <fnord> tag in html.
Its purpose would be to make text one shade darker, or perhaps to hide a subtext as well.

The <fnord alt="We own the world.">Bavarian Illuminati</fnord> do not exist.

would appear in your browser window as

The Bavarian Illuminati do not exist.

only with perhaps a slight shading of the words "Bavarian Illuminati." If you let your pointer hover over that particular phrase, the following would appear at the bottom of your browser window where link destinations usually appear:

We own the world.

Hail Eris!
5th writeup in an Illuminatus! node!
All hail Discordia!


fnord n.

[from the "Illuminatus Trilogy"] 1. A word used in email and news postings to tag utterances as surrealist mind-play or humor, esp. in connection with Discordianism and elaborate conspiracy theories. "I heard that David Koresh is sharing an apartment in Argentina with Hitler. (Fnord.)" "Where can I fnord get the Principia Discordia from?" 2. A metasyntactic variable, commonly used by hackers with ties to Discordianism or the Church of the SubGenius.

--The Jargon File version 4.3.1, ed. ESR, autonoded by rescdsk.

It seems common on some other sites to state that the Fnord theory is not falsifiable - in fact searching for "fnord falsifiable" on google gives several very similiar results.

This is not true. To begin with, there is no perfect conditioning - and anyone who broke this sort of conditioning would very likely point the fnords out to his/her friends - the idea would spread too quickly to be surpressed.

Also, typesetting is largely automated now - it may not have been when Illuminatus! was written, I am not sure. If more characters were in an article than were visible, or if one required more space on the page than the author wrote it, editors would undoubtedly notice something was amiss. In short, the Fnord conspiracy theory is nonfalsifiable in only the sense that all conspiracy theories are. Some cranks will always feel that anyone denying the conspiracy MUST be part of the conspiracy, and to them no conspiracy can be falsified.

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