Designed by Throbbing Gristle / Psychic TV co-founder Genesis P-Orridge in 1981. Deceptively simple and endlessly reproduced in a variety of materials and locations, it is at least a distant cousin to Raymond Pettibon's Black Flag bars and at best a close brother to Jesus Christ's cross - well, wait, let's not talk about that. That cross around your neck? You think Jesus is going to want to see that when He gets back and comes up to shake your hand? So distasteful. The Temple Ov Psychick Youth file declares, "The Psychick Cross is a symbol of TOPY. That is its main meaning. It can also represent a trinity, a reversal of the Papal Cross (i.e. two long crossbars and one short), and a TV aerial (receiver and transmitter of information). No meaning is imposed upon it by the group." Speaking rather incisively in a recent interview, P-Orridge recalls, "One reason we came up with what we called the Psychic Cross was to have a non-verbal icon, where if you saw someone with that on a jacket, or a tattoo, you would think, "They’re probably relatively close to my way of thinking…they're part of my invisible tribe." It doesn’t have a linguistic definition - it's beyond words.
(William S.) Burroughs was really interested in hieroglyphics. One of the things he pointed out was that he believed that the hieroglyphic so-called 'languages' work on the nervous system rather than the intellect because they're pictograms, which are received in our brains very differently to a linear, alphabetic language. And the subtleties and the nuances in this holographic information - of a hieroglyph - is more far-reaching and less specific than an alphabetized language. Whether alphabets go from right to left or left to right or up and down, they're basically teaching the brain to create habitual pathways that are - supposedly - logical…but actually they erase imagination from language. They erase the individual's subtle interpretations of meaning - and therefore meaning becomes very dogmatic."
With more than three dozen members coming and going since the group's inception in 1981, Psychick TV is a cross (har) between a symphony orchestra and the Justice League of America. Genesis P-Orridge - now Genesis Breyer P-Orridge - welcomes the publication in November on Feral House of the 544-page "Thee Psychick Bible." Finally - something to read this winter.