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The Midget is a ficitonal character who appeared in Robert Shea and Robert Anton Wilson's The Illuminatus! Trilogy (TIT) and Wilson's Schrödinger's Cat Trilogy (SCT). It was also a nickname of Michael Arthur Quinn, the inspiration for The Midget and Franklin Delano Roosevelt Stuart, and partial inspiration with Wilson for Hagbard Celine and Hugh Crane. Quinn adopted the personas of The Game Master, The GameMaster of Florin, Hassan i Sabbah X, and Fargo the Homeless.

The Illuminatus! Trilogy[]

Main article: The Illuminatus! Trilogy

Shea and Wilson described The Midget in the first book of the trilogy:

"The Midget, whose name was Markoff Chaney, was no relative of the famous Chaneys of Hollywood, but people did keep making jokes about that. It was bad enough to be, by the standards of the gigantic and stupid majority, a freak; how much worse to be so named as to remind these big oversized clods of the cinema's two most famous portrayers of monstro-freaks; by the time the Midget was fifteen, he had built up a detestation for ordinary mankind that dwarfed (he hated that word) the relative misanthropies of Paul of Tarsus, Clement of Alexandria, Swift of Dublin and even Robert Putney Drake. Revenge, for sure, he would have. He would have revenge...

"Damn the science of mathematics itself, the line, the square, the average, the whole measurable world that pronounced him a bizarre random factor. Once and for all, beyond fantasy, in the depth of his soul he declared war on the 'statuatory ape,' on law and order, on predictability, on negative entropy. He would be a random factor in every equation; from this day forward, unto death, it would be civil war: the Midget versus the Digits...."


Michael Arthur Quinn[]


Michael Arthur Quinn (called Mike Quinn), the real-life inspiration for The Midget and part inspiration for TIT character Hagbard Celine and SCT character Hugh Crane, was not abnormally short, but was born an intersexual with Klinefelter Syndrome. Instead of possessing the male XY or female XX chromosomes, Quinn was born with XXY and had both male and female genitalia, "He" was surgically altered to appear male and was raised as a boy, and knew Robert Anton Wilson when young. The midget concept came from the African-American Quinn being relatively short (a boy who acted like a man), and from "being a freak." Wilson saw Quinn as being obsessed with money, being different, black power and flower power.


Shea and Wilson described Celine as looking like Anthony Quinn. While Mike did not resemble the actor, the inside joke was a reference to the real boy's name.

Quinn adopted a series of nicknames including The Midget, The Game Master and later The GameMaster of Florin ("florin" stands for both money and flowers). Apparently with Wilson, he pulled an Operation Mindfuck on Greg Hill by claiming to be the real-life Hassam i Sabbah X, a black revolutionary character apparently created by Kerry Thornley and possibly inspired by Quinn. Quinn used this name when founding Terrorists for Truth. The incident is described in Historia Discordia.

In the 1990s while homeless, Quinn adopted the name Fargo the Homeless. This was an inspiration for the wise African American homeless character of Wandering John who also possessed a physical abnormality. John appeared in the award winning English-language telenovela Same River Twice co-created by head writer Alden Loveshade and produced under Emmy Award winner Saul Landau with assistance from Oscar winner Haskell Wexler.

Discordian contributions[]

Quinn was the primary inspiration for The Midget (TIT, SCT); Franklin Delano Roosevelt Stuart (SCT); and, secondarily with Wilson, for Hagbard Celine (TIT); and Hugh Crane (SCT).

While in high school, Quinn also created the generic "e" as a substitute for "he" or "she." Other forms "es" for "his" or "her;" "em" for "him" or "her;" and "emelf" for "himself" or "herself."

E apparently suggested the island Fernando Poo for the beginning location for TIT (Fernando for Ferdinand the bull and poo for poop, thus "bullshit.") Quinn also contributed or co-contributed with Hill the quote "Bullshit makes the flowers grow and that's beautiful."

Markoff Chaney is credited with beginning Operation Mindfuck and is sometimes called its patron saint; Quinn likely was involved in its inception.

Quinn began Terrorists for Truth (TfT) with "Freak" NG (Chao Tse-tung), Alien Invasion (Alien, BloodStar), Thornbeak (Gypsie Skripto), and Mad Marian aka Mad Maxine (Motel Maid Marian). This group used Poetic Terrorism, and was either inspired by or inspired POE in Schrödinger's Cat Trilogy. Like POE, TfT announced itself once, then disappeared into the shadows. It began the original H2O jake to convince people that Dihydrogen Monoxide was poisonous. TfT members were apparently among the creators of Anonymous Hackers.

As Fargo the Homeless, Quinn led the creation of the homeless Venice Beach, California cabal W.E.T.D.I.A.P.E.R.S.

External links[]

The Midget at Robert Anton Wilson's website

Interviews with Richard Marshall at KerryThornley.com