Kerry Wendell Thornley (April 17, 1938–November 28, 1998) is known as the co-founder (along
with childhood friend Greg Hill) of Discordianism, in which context he is usually known as Lord
Omar Khayyam Ravenhurst or simply Lord Omar. He and Hill authored the religion's seminal
Principia Discordia, Or, How I Found Goddess, And What I Did To Her When I Found Her.

Thornley was highly active in the countercultural publishing scene, writing for a number of
underground magazines and newspapers, and self-publishing many one-page (or broadsheet)
newsletters of his own. One such newsletter called
Zenarchy was published in the 1960s
under the pen name Ho Chi Zen. "Zenarchy" is described in the introduction of the collected
volume as "the social order which springs from meditation," and "A noncombative,
nonparticipatory, no-politics approach to anarchy intended to get the serious student thinking."

Raised Mormon, in adulthood Kerry shifted his ideological focus frequently, in rivalry with any
serious countercultural figure of the 1960s. Atheism, anarchism, objectivism, autarchism
(attended Robert LeFevre's Freedom School), neo-paganism, Buddhism, and the memetic
inheritor of Discordianism,
the Church of the SubGenius, were all subject to close conceptual
scrutiny throughout his life.

1 Military life
2 1960s
3 Later life and death
4 List of pen names and titles

Having already been a US Marine Corps reservist for about two years, Thornley had been
summoned to active duty in 1958 at age 20, soon after completing his freshman year at the
University of Southern California. According to
Principia Discordia, it was around this time that
he and Greg Hill—alias Malaclypse the Younger or Mal-2—shared their first Eristic vision in a
bowling alley in their hometown of Whittier, California.

In the spring of 1959, Thornley served for a short time in the same radar operator unit as Lee
Harvey Oswald at MCAS El Toro in Santa Ana, California. Both men had shared a common
interest in society, culture, literature and politics, and whenever duty placed them together, had
discussed such topics as George Orwell's famous novel
Nineteen Eighty-Four and the
philosophy of Marxism, particularly Oswald's interest in the latter.

While aboard a troopship returning to the United States from duty in Japan (some time after the
two men parted ways as a result of routine reassignment), Thornley read of Oswald's autumn
1959 defection to the Soviet Union in the US military newspaper Stars and Stripes.

Released from Marine Corps' active duty in September 1960, Thornley relocated with Greg Hill
to New Orleans in early 1961. Here he began to write about his experiences as a peacetime
Marine both stateside and in Asia, in a book which used Lee Harvey Oswald as the template for
its main character, Johnny Shellburn. The aspiring novelist viewed Oswald as the metaphorical
embodiment of an intelligent peacetime GI: deeply dissatisfied with the monolithic, totalitarian
structure of military life which stood in distressingly sharp contrast to the professed American
ideals of individual liberty and free enterprise.

In February 1962 , Thornley completed
The Idle Warriors, which has the historical distinction of
being the only book written about Lee Harvey Oswald before
John F. Kennedy's assassination
in 1963. Due to the serendipitous nature of Thornley's choice of literary subject matter, he was
called to testify before the
Warren Commission in Washington DC on May 18, 1964. The
Commission subpoenaed a copy of the book and stored it in the National Archives. In 1965,
Thornley published another book titled
Oswald, generally defending the "Oswald-as-lone-
assassin" conclusion of the Warren Commission, which met with dismal sales. In his later
years, Thornley became convinced that Oswald had in truth been a CIA asset whose purpose
was to ferret out suspected Communist sympathizers serving in the Corps.

In January 1968, New Orleans district attorney Jim Garrison, certain there had been a New
Orleans-based conspiracy to assassinate
John F. Kennedy, subpoenaed Thornley to appear
before a grand jury once again, questioning him about his relationship with Oswald and his
knowledge of other figures Garrison believed to be connected to the assassination. Garrison
charged Thornley with perjury after Thornley denied that he had been in contact with Oswald in
any manner since 1959. The perjury charge was eventually dropped by Garrison's successor
Harry Connick, Sr.

Thornley claimed that, during his initial two-year sojourn in New Orleans, he'd had numerous
meetings with two mysterious middle-aged men named "Gary Kirstein" and "Slim Brooks".
According to his account, they had detailed discussions on numerous subjects ranging from
the mundane to the exotic, and bordering sometimes on bizarre. Among these was the subject
of how one might assassinate
President Kennedy, whose beliefs and policies the aspiring
novelist deeply disliked at the time.

Later, the former Marine came to believe that "Gary Kirstein" had in reality been senior CIA officer
and future Watergate burglar E. Howard Hunt, and "Slim Brooks" to have been Jerry Milton
Brooks, a member of the 1960s right-wing activist group, "The Minutemen". Guy Banister,
another Minutemen member in New Orleans, had been accused by Garrison of involvement in
the assassination and was connected to Lee Harvey Oswald through the Fair Play for Cuba
Committee leaflet. Thornley also claimed that "Kirstein" and Brooks had accurately predicted
Richard M. Nixon's accession to the presidency six years before it happened, as well as
anticipating the rise of the 1960s counterculture and the subsequent emergence of
Manson and what became his cult following. This led Thornley to believe that the US
government had somehow been involved, directly or indirectly, in creating and/or supporting
these events, personages and phenomena.

In the wake of this period, Thornley came to believe (among many other things) that he had
been a subject of the CIA's LSD experiments in the
MK-ULTRA mind-control research program.
While skeptics may dismiss as conspiracy theory some of his later notions – such as having
been a product of occult-based Nazi Vril selective breeding programs – his claims regarding
participation in such highly-classified US government mind-control programs and
foreknowledge of the
John F. Kennedy assassination are consistent with the time period, his
residences, and the nature and locations of his military service.

For the next 30 years, Thornley traveled and lived all over the United States and was involved in
a variety of activities, ranging from editing underground newspapers to attending graduate
school. He spent most of the remainder of his life in the Little Five Points neighborhood of
Atlanta, Georgia, During this time he maintained a free series of fliers titled "
Out of Order." This
single page, double sided Xeroxed periodical was distributed in the Little Five Points area.
Thornley became increasingly paranoid and distrustful in the wake of his experiences during
the 1960s, both by his own accounts and those of personal acquaintances. For a time Thornley
wrote a regular column in the zine
Factsheet Five, until editor Mike Gunderloy stopped
publishing the magazine.

Struggling with illness in his final days,
Kerry Thornley died of cardiac arrest in Atlanta on
November 28, 1998, a Saturday, at the age of 60. The following morning, 23 people attended a
Buddhist memorial service in his honor. His body had been cremated and the ashes scattered
over the Pacific Ocean. Shortly before his
death, Thornley reportedly said he'd felt "like a tired
child home from a very wild circus," a reference to a passage by
Greg Hill from Principia

“ And so it is that we, as men, do not exist until we do; and then it is that we play with our world of
existent things, and order and disorder them, and so it shall be that Non-existence shall take us
back from Existence, and that nameless Spirituality shall return to Void, like a tired child home
from a very wild circus. ”

List of pen names and self-awarded titles provided by Kerry himself on the role of Pope of the
Discordian Society in an affidavit to the California School Employees Association (CSEA), on a
legal case concerning a member of the society that refused to join the CSEA alleging that the
Discordian religion forbade him from doing so:

co-founder of the Discordian Society and the Legion of Dynamic Discord thereof and co-author
Principia Discordia
Grand Ballyhoo of Egypt of the Orthodox Discordian Society
Kerry Wendell Thornley, JFK Assassin
Omar Khayyam Ravenhurst, President of the Fair-Play-for-Switzerland Committee
Reverend Doctor Jesse Sump, Ancient Abbreviated Calif. of California and Sinister Minister of
the First Evangelical and Unrepentant Church of No Faith
Ho Chi Zen (the Fifth Dealy Lama)
Purple Sage, Pope
"I further declare that there is no truth whatsoever to the charge that Kerry Wendell Thornley is a
ficiticious (sic) identity created by the Warren Commission for its own mysterious purposes (Vol.
XI, pp. 80+, Commission Exhibits and Testimony)"
Saint Ignatius Fenderson

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Military Life
List of pen names and titles
Later Life and Death