"Once a Catholic, Always a Catholic."
An Interview with Pogo, a.k.a. "Madonna Wayne Gacy."
By Boyd Rice
Note: Pogo, a.k.a. “Madonna Wayne Gacy” is the
keyboardist for Marilyn Manson’s band.
DR: I remember when Columbine happened,
and the media blamed your band. You guys cancelled the Denver
show, which was scheduled for just a couple weeks after. And
then it turned out that the media had just jumped to conclusions
in implicating you guys. But they never said, “Oh, we
were wrong”, so there’s still this general consensus
that these kids listened to one of your records and went on
Pogo: I don’t believe that’s
so. Ultimately, the music they listened to had nothing to
do with what they did. I wish music was that powerful.
DR: Well, do you think people overestimate
the influence of music, or are they underestimating it? The
influence can be profound.
Pogo: But the action is up to the individual.
I mean, you can be profoundly influenced by a lot of things,
but your ultimate actions are your decisions, your choice,
and they’re completely separate from your influences.
Some people are completely ineffectual, and have lots of grandiose
ideas, but never do anything. Other people are a little bit
overactive. They sometimes take those things which should
be fantastic and introspective and make them appear on the
outside world. I mean, everybody has dreams of doing terrible
things to other people all the time. I know for a fact.
DR: And you didn’t as a teenager?
Pogo: I did more as a teenager. I was way
more mean-spirited then.
DR: I talked with Marilyn Manson at the
time of Antichrist Superstar, and that’s the one where
he credited you with formulating some of the numerological
principles which were used in the record. What exactly were
you trying to accomplish with that? Was it just an experiment?
Pogo: I think that’s the true name
of God. Math is like the mind of God. Numbers are the mind
of God. That’s why music is so beautiful and harmonious.
DR: That’s something that Pythagoras
got from the antediluvian forgotten race.
Pogo: I don’t know where he got it,
but Pythagoras was the Man. I love that guy. He knew that
music and math were the same thing in the mind of God. It’s
like, universal in a strange way. It sounds so cliche to say
that music and math are the universal language, but it’s
DR: You can’t refute it.
Pogo: It’s such an abstraction of
the universe. Such a complete abstraction. You know, 0 is
illegal, because if God is everywhere, then he can’t
not be somewhere. And 0 is a place that doesn’t even
have God, so it’s heretical. And people used to be so
freaked out about infinity. Everyone accepts zero with such
ease, but not infinity. I mean, the calculator still goes
“Eeek!” when you try to do anything with it. All
you’re doing is dividing by zero. That’s all you’re
really doing, because they are full reciprocals of each other.
1 over infinity is zero, or the limit of it is as it approaches,
and 1 over zero is infinity. So you have infinity to deal
with as soon as you bring in zero. It’s the same concept,
the concept of every number. There are more numbers that are
irrational between zero and one than there are prime numbers
in the universe. One infinity is bigger than another infinity.
It’s just so insane. The set of all numbers is infinite.
The set of all positive numbers is infinite. But I know that
at any given point, one infinity is smaller than the other
infinity. It’s just goes to show you that math is still
truly mystical and magical. It’s still cabalistic when
you get into higher math. People don’t realize that
this was shit that you weren’t allowed to know in the
past. You’re lucky that the Church lets you read this.
You’re lucky that you’re allowed to know all the
secrets of math. And I think people go to school, and they
don’t want to learn about, and they don’t want
to know about it. They don’t realize that people died
just to have the chance to look upon this information. It’s
tragic in a strange way. The appreciation of knowledge has
decreased so much in my lifetime. It’s very sad that
people like information more than knowledge. And they’re
not the same thing.
DR: Now it’s like disinformation.
Pogo: Everything’s been reduced down
to the easiest decision-making process, and computer’s
make that especially easy. It’s binary. It’s ‘yes’
DR: Have you ever read The Book of Enoch?
It was kicked out of the Bible. And it’s obviously something
that was written exactly after the Babylonian captivity, because
it is the first book that sort of has this Luciferian thing
going on. It has symbolism that is precisely like the symbolism
of Revelation. It’s like Zoroastrianism, where there’s
this everlasting conflict between light and darkness, good
and evil. And it describes “the Watchers”, which
are these angels that fell to Earth, that fucked the wives
Pogo: Yeah, yeah, when giants walked the
Earth. The fields of the Nephilim. I remember that.
DR: Absolutely. The Watchers are the prototypes
Pogo: There’s so much stuff out there
like that, too. Like that Gnostic stuff. It’s much related
to that, where Christ is very different from Jehovah and Yahweh.
Like the Yezidi, and that weird Luciferian Christ. Yahweh
was the demiurge.
DR: He was the Lord of the Earth. The Gnostics
very much thought that.
Pogo: And Jesus is closer to the Old Testament
Lucifer in some ways, as a rebel, someone who was even above
and outside the demiurge.
DR: The only thing that I thought was cool
about the story of Jesus is that it’s funny that God
couldn’t forgive us until he had to walk in our shoes.
You know, in a way, Jehovah was real arrogant. He was a real
dick. But then after God became man, then he could forgive
us for the sin of Adam. It’s a strange story of a father
having a Freaky Friday and turning into his daughter. A Disney
movie, like Big, or some shit. It’s strange territory.
God makes man, man goes and eats, and becomes as smart as
God, with knowledge of good and evil. God gets freaked out.
“Oh my God. Don’t eat from the Tree of Life. Get
the fuck out of here.” Then he sent these fuckin’
badasses to kick us out, curses us forever, and then says,
“Oh, I finally forgive you because I didn’t realize
how hard it was to not be a pig and fart in public, and not
rape people, just ‘cause there’s a law against
it. God was a really harsh judge until he got to be a person
and then he realized, “Hey, I need to calm down and
go to the desert.”
DR: Well, it seems like in the Old Testament
the Devil was a bit player. I feel that the Lucifer/Satan
figure hadn’t fully coalesced yet. The Watchers in The
Book of Enoch were the prototype of it. In the Old Testament
God had this dual nature. He would bless people, he would
curse people, he was loved, he was feared. Jehovah was the
good cop and the bad cop.
Pogo: I agree. He started out being bipolar.
Because “I am the father, and the father is me.”
That sounds like that Charles Manson rap. The Trinity is a
weird thing. When the New Testament came out, Jehovah became
a triple personality, instead of just a dual personality.
And I agree with that, because I’m into Freudian stuff,
and I myself have a triple-split personality: an emotional
being, a physical being, and an intellectual being.
DR: Eliphas Levi essentially said that there
are two powers that control the universe. One is positive,
one is negative, and the equilibrium between the two is the
Pogo: In the Tao Teh Ching, that’s
the first thing he says. First came the One, the Thing. Then
the Thing and its Unthing. Because as soon as you create the
thing you create the Unthing. And then beside the two things,
the yin and the yang, is the equilibrium between the two,
and that’s the third thing. And that’s exactly
what Lao Tzu says in this first verse. And it took me so long
to understand this. When he drew that symbol of the two [the
yin-yang], they weren’t static, they were moving. The
heart of yin is yang, the black dot, and the heart of yang
is yin. So each in itself contains the seed of its opposite.
And you suddenly go, “Whoa, crap.” It’s
DR: But this is the primordial archetypal
symbol of every religion on this Earth, whether it’s
the yin & yang or the seal of Solomon. This was the primordial
archetype. This was the basis of every major world religion.
They all retain the symbols, but they’ve forgotten what
Pogo: You know what’s a weird bit
of trivia that I didn’t know until not too long ago?
The minimum amount of lines that it takes to make a Star of
David and a swastika are the same: 6. I don’t think
that’s just a coincidence. And it’s kind of creepy
that six black lines can be rearranged to turn into such opposite
things. I love how the word “Vodka” just means
“water” in Slavic, and “Whiskey” means
“Water of Life” in Celtic.
DR: Have you ever heard this story about
how people have something translated from one language to
another, and then they have it translated back?
Pogo: Distortion, like making copies from
copies. Like that whole entropy factor, the degeneration of
the quality of information the more it passes through a point,
a node. Information corrodes inherently. That’s fuckin’
DR: Well, this had to do with vodka, which
you were just talking about. And they translated into Russian
“The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.”
And the Russian came back, “The Vodka is good, but the
meat is rotten.”
Pogo: Humans can’t correctly perceive
things, or translate them, or carry them without adding their
own imperfections at some minor level. Because no one can
pronounce a word exactly the same way as the person who told
you the story pronounced it. You distort everything you say
inherently, because you can’t produce an exact copy.
So anything that’s word of mouth is going to be twisted
in some crazy way, and that’s why written text seems
to have some sort of value. We look for the oldest written
text, ‘cause at least all you have to worry about is
understanding the connotations. But for a human being, even
with an inflection they can change a question to a statement,
or a statement to a question. At least with text there’s
a symbol to let you know what the person meant. Think about
how in the future, when people watch an episode of The Jeffersons,
and they say, “That’s bad”, nobody will
know that it actually means “good.” You can’t
translate slang of any kind. That’s one reason why I
still think that the Protestants were wrong against the Catholic
church. I still don’t think that everyone has the right
to read the Bible. Idiots should not be allowed to read it.
How can you understand what the Bible is saying if you don’t
understand the history of the time in which it was written?
If you can’t find Sumeria on a map... You know what
I mean? Where’s Carthage, where are the pyramids, where’s
Mount Sinai, and where is Babylon, and where were the Assyrians
at? You can begin to understand some of these nuances by just
knowing what the map looked like at the time, and who was
where and when, and how these different empires came and passed.
They’re crammed all together, because it’s so
many thousands of years of history compressed. And it’s
really sad, ‘cause people will read it and do really
fucked up shit. I mean, you thought the Catholic church sucked
for ripping off your aunt for money, and St.Vincent de Paul
and what not. But then you see the Protestant preachers on
TV with ties and suits begging for money, it makes the fucking
Sistine Chapel look like a great investment. At least the
Pope’s got a nice hat. This guy has a bad suit. Instead
of having one jerk, like the Catholics, they have numerous
popes in their own little churches. It’s just a multiplication
of evil. I guess, for me, once a Catholic, always a Catholic.
DR: Have you seen the new official Catholic
depiction of Christ? He looks like kind of a Rasta guy.
Pogo: I swear to God, Hank Williams and
Rastas are the only people who make me like Jesus. I think
the only thing that’s good about Christianity is that
it gives hopeless people hope. I don’t think that’s
necessarily good, but it is a drug, and I believe in drugs.
DR: Hope is a lack of information.
Pogo: It’s not real, but it’s
like God or UFOs or those things. Whether it’s real
or not, it’s helpful for you to get through your life
At this point, Marilyn Manson pops into the room.
MM: That’s what I said on TRL the
other day. Some woman came up to me and said, “My daughter
doesn’t believe in God anymore because of you.”
And I said, “Well at least she doesn’t believe
Pogo: How come every time they do a Bible
reenactment they never get to Lot and his daughters? Remember
that Lot and his daughters left Sodom and Gomorrah, and they
got destroyed, and the wife looked back and turned to salt?
What happened was, God had promised to keep the seed of Abraham
alive, and Lot was the only one alive, along with his daughters.
And so as to perpetuate the seed without Lot being guilty
of incest, his daughters secretly got their father drunk and
fucked him at night. And these were the only honest, noble,
good people in Sodom and Gomorrah. Now that was a party town.
I wish I was making this up. This is better than Oedipus.
Two daughters who conspire with malice and forethought to
get their dad wasted and fuck him, so that they can preserve
the seed of Abraham, because they are the only descent people
left in Sodom and Gomorrah.
DR: In ancient mythology, that is a tradition,
to have sex with your sister, to have sex with your mother...
Pogo: That’s supposed to be the purest
love of all, between a brother and his sister.
DR: It’s in all of the ancient mythologies.
It’s in the Egyptian mythologies, and the ring cycle.
In ancient times it’s pervasive. You’d be hard
pressed to find a mythology that didn’t have it.
Pogo: What I think is weird is how Europeans
go around the world imposing their culture on people, when
it was a culture that was imposed on them in the first place.
We use the Roman alphabet, and all of our pillars of faith
and thought come from Athens and Jerusalem. Jesus would be
a lot cooler if he didn’t rise from the dead. Because
he’s a real hero then.
DR: But death are resurrection is a part
of every culture’s mythology. It goes back to Isis and
Osiris. The king dies, the sun turns black, he goes into the
underworld, he rises as a God.
Pogo: I agree with you, but I think that’s
something that was imposed. I think the early European stuff
was not that way. It was much bleaker, I think. To me, it
seemed like something based on effort, not result. What made
it great was the fact that evil wins and good loses at Ragnarok.
The reason I think that’s cool, though, is the realization
that evil is inherently more powerful than good because they
can cheat to win, and good can never cheat to win. So evil
will always beat good because it doesn’t have to play
by the rules. Good has to play by the rules to be good. So
it’s an inherent disadvantage always to be good. If
you’re evil you have more options. I like the idea of
going out and meeting defeat. And Jesus is about that. The
Christians being fed to the lions, being heroic. That’s
one of the things that’s great about Christianity is
all of that martyrdom shit. Snake handlers kick ass. They
get it. Christianity has got to be the weakest excuse, in
a strange way, because you can do whatever wrong you want
and He’s gotta forgive you if you ask Him.
DR: That’s Catholicism.
Pogo: Aren’t Protestants like that
too? Yeah they are. That’s what all of those Chick booklets
are about. If I take the Lord as my savior, and admit that
I’m a sinner, and all this bullshit, then they have
to let me into heaven, no matter what I’ve done.
DR: It’s been years since I’ve
read a Chick booklet.
Pogo: But you know what I’m talking about. That contract
that’s in the back? As God really needs a contract,
just like the Devil. He needs it written down. He doesn’t
settle for word of mouth anymore. How easy is that, though?
I don’t know of any other religion where you’re
allowed to screw up that much, and the gods just let it go.
It makes it easy to be a much more sinister person, ‘cause
you always have an out.
DR: That’s what Tiny Tim was like.
He was the darkest, most lustful person on the face of the
Earth, and he had that out. He could always ask for forgiveness,
or do some “Hail Marys” or something, and it’s
like, he can have sex with a fifteen-year-old girl and - boom
- it’s all wiped off the slate.
Pogo: I would like a God who was actually
like that. That’s a very reasonable person. That sounds
so opposite of Jehovah.
DR: It’s almost like you have some
contract with God, and there’s a loophole. I could never
understand the deal between God and the Israelites.
Pogo: It’s a land-for-penis-skin deal.
DR: For me it’s that keeps going back
and forth between being angry and being nice. And you want
to say “Jesus Christ, make your mind up Mister!”
Pogo: It’s crazy. And who would want
a jealous God? This guy’s, like, actually envious and
stuff, and really has some of the most base proclivities.
I don’t see that Jehovah guy as being that enlightened.
The Old Testament God is a really spooky guy.
DR: No, I think he was more enlightened.
What I think is that there are a number of gods that are just
grouped together, and they’re Jehovah, God, Lord, etc.
Because in one instance he’s very jealous and angry,
and in another he’s beneficent. Sometimes he’s
said to live in the heavens, sometimes he lives inside Mt.
Zion. What’s that all about? ‘Cause everyone agrees
that God exists in Heaven. God and Heaven are synonymous.
Pogo: But the Catholic church has said that
the definition of Heaven is being in the presence of God,
and that’s where he lives.
DR: But then there all these references
to God living inside a mountain. Living inside the Earth would
be synonymous with Hell, Lucifer, the demiurge.
Pogo: It’s so complex. I can never
read enough. God’s supposed to be everywhere, in Heaven
and Earth. In Hell even. His enforcing power is there. ‘Cause
if his enforcing power is not there, why do black angels torture
souls? They should be giving you donuts. “Thank you
for raping somebody. Welcome to Hell.”