The following is an interview which took part between The Rauschmonstrum and Mike Wallace on his program ‘The Mike Wallace Interview’ in 1959. It’ll be incorporated in the forthcoming book Interviews With the Rauschmonstrum.
Wallace: The book Jesus & Me has taken the literary world by storm, telling the story of a shapeshifting monster who takes it upon himself to start Christianity, and sues Jesus of Nazareth as a tool to make this happen. Christians worldwide have derided it, and yet it has been praised by many as one of the most imaginative books of the era. Gore Vidal has called it “a laugh riot, yet deadly serious,” and Aldous Huxley has referred to it as “breathtakingly expansive.” Ever since the controversial book, the question on everybody’s mind has been “who wrote it?” It was assumed the name on the work, The Rauschmonstrum, couldn’t possibly be the author’s real name and was only a pseudonym. Now, in our studio today, the author is here ready for his first public interview. At this point I’m going to ask you to sit down if you are not already seated because in what has got to be the biggest case of an unexplained phenomena in many, many years, the author’s name really is The Rauschmonstrum and he’s not even human. He appears to be a shapeshifting pillar of smoke. You heard me correctly. I’m just as surprised as you are.
[The Rauschmonstrum floats above the guest chair across from Wallace with a big grin]
Wallace: I will get to the bottom of who he is and what he is right after this break. The cigarette is Philip Morris.
[Wallace holds up the cigarette in his hand, and things cut to commercial]
Wallace: We’re back. Well Mr. Rauschmonstrum, is that what you go by, or would you prefer I call you something else?
Rauschmonstrum: I’ve gone by a lot of things over the years, and you may call me what you wish.
Wallace: Alright, Mr. Rauschmonstrum. What are you exactly?
Rauschmonstrum: In truth, I’m not quite sure. It’s a mystery to me. One day I simply came to consciousness and tried to make sense of the things around me the same way a child does. The difference is I did not have the luxury of having beings around who were similar myself to give me any guidance. I have no parents to the best of my knowledge. As you can see, physically I am made out of smoke. I can shapeshift into different forms, and I have powers anyone would deem supernatural. To a large extent, I think that is all there is to say.
Wallace: Can you shapeshift into anything you wish?
Rauschmonstrum: Oh certainly. Everything and anything.
Wallace: Can you give us a demonstration?
Rauschmonstrum: Of course. How about I take the form of Vice President Richard Nixon.
Wallace: [laughing] If you wish.
[The Rauschmonstrum shapeshifts into the form of Richard Nixon and sits in the guest chair]
Rauschmonstrum: [as Nixon] Now listen here. We need a policy that aggressively counters Soviet influence in the East. My dog Checkers agrees.
[The Rauschmonstrum shapeshifts back into his true form]
Wallace: If I hadn’t known any better I would have assumed at that moment you really were Nixon. I’m sure the folks watching at home feel the same way. Did you learn how to do that with time, or were you born with the power?
Rauschmonstrum: I’d say I was born with it, except that I’m not sure I was ever really born. I think it would be like saying a rock was born.
Wallace: What a curious situation. What other powers do you have?
Rauschmonstrum: I can do most anything in terms of manipulating the physical world. I give major examples in my book of all of the things I can do; healing the sick, feeding the hungry, raising the dead-
Wallace: Everything you write in Jesus & Me is true?
Rauschmonstrum: Yes, it’s all autobiographical. It’s not fiction, the way the New York Times classified it on their bestseller’s list.
Wallace: You understand making claims like that will disturb mass amounts of people around the globe. Not just Christians, but people of other religions who will naturally be afraid their own religions are frauds perpetrated by you. Atheists, while not believing these religions are true, were at least under the impression that the understood laws of physics still applied. You’ve upheaved that as well by showing yourself.
Rauschmonstrum: I made peace with that when I decided to release the book.
Wallace: Most people have a lot at stake in the Gospel stories.
Rauschmonstrum: You’re all in for an interesting couple of years as I reveal more and more of what’s truth and what’s fabrication.
Wallace: Those are strong words.
Rauschmonstrum: If they weren’t strong words, then they’d be useless.
Wallace: So, for those who have not read Jesus & Me, and aren’t familiar with the story, let’s summarize a bit.
Rauschmonstrum: By all means.
Wallace: The story starts with a description of you and what you can do, followed by your explanation you wanted to create a religion.
Rauschmonstrum: Yes, I wanted to shape humanity a little bit. Plus, I didn’t like how the Romans were occupying Judea, and I didn’t like the religious laws prevalent in Judaism. I was looking for a way to upheave both of those things.
Wallace: So, you decided the best way to achieve that was by making someone believe they are the son of God, and they would put the necessary things into effect for your plan to work?
Wallace: And that person you found was Jesus of Nazareth.
Rauschmonstrum: He was.
Wallace: A deep believer would say you couldn’t possibly be telling the truth.
Rauschmonstrum: I know. But at this point I don’t care. It’s time people toss all this stuff away and move on.
Wallace: You performed all the Gospel miracles and made it seem as though Jesus did them?
Rauschmonstrum: I did.
Wallace: That included feeding the multitude with a small amount of loaves and fish, and raising Lazarus from the dead?
Rauschmonstrum: I did those things.
Wallace: You can just make objects appear, and raise people from the dead. Remarkable.
Rauschmonstrum: I can do those things. However, it’s important I set a boundary down for all those listening. I will never raise someone from the dead ever again.
Rauschmonstrum: Because when I brought Lazarus back from the dead, I was disgusted by the complacency with which he lived his life afterwards. He didn’t change a single thing about his life after he rose. He went right back to doing his menial work, and the most excitement he’d have was dinner with his sisters once a week. It was all very passive living. I will not stand to raise more people from the dead, only for them not to take a new appreciation for their lives.
Wallace: Even if it were some great leader or scientist who would be able to contribute great things to humanity if they could be brought back to life?
Rauschmonstrum: Even then, it’d be a slippery slope from there. People would say “if you raised that country’s leader, why haven’t you raised our leader?” People would beg me to raise up their loved ones and resent me if I didn’t.
Wallace: Tell me about Jesus of Nazareth. What type of person was he?
Rauschmonstrum: Hmmm, I do believe in my book I describe him as the most benevolent man who ever lived. I stand by that. He wanted to help people. He truly believed he was the son of God, yet he wasn’t interested in being a king on Earth. His aim was absolute altruism. Most people who got to meet him face to face felt the same way.
Wallace: And yet you decided he should die.
[There’s a pause here as Rauschmonstrum looks to be thinking things through]
Rauschmonstrum: When I started my mission to create what’s become Christianity. I didn’t think far ahead as to what would become of him. However, Jesus himself seemed convinced he was destined to die to save mankind, and I realized him dying in the way he did would be a good was to convince others he really was who he said he was, and then I got the idea for the resurrection and…you know the rest.
Wallace: That take us to the most controversial part of your book, the chapter called “The Real Resurrection.”
Wallace: You claim that once Jesus had been crucified, you stole his body from the tomb he’d been placed in and that you then buried him next to Judas Iscariot’s grave in the so-called Field of Blood.
Rauschmonstrum: I did. It’s true.
Wallace: And then…you say you took the form of Jesus and appeared before his disciples, pretending to be him.
Rauschmonstrum: It happened in just that way. Everything the disciples did after that point, spreading the ideas of Jesus, they did because of my appearances in the form of the Nazarene after he had died. Those appearances convinced them Jesus had been for real.
Wallace: If you are lying or exaggerating about this, I ask you admit it to us now.
Rauschmonstrum: It all happened as I wrote. No exaggerations, no lies.
Wallace: As I’m sure you realize, if what you say gains mainstream acceptance, it would completely change the culture. I don’t know if anything would be the same.
Rauschmonstrum: Oh, I’m aware. That’s why I wrote the book, and that’s why I’m here tonight. If I weren’t prepared for any of this, I would not have written the book, and I would not have allowed myself to appear on camera.
Wallace: I don’t know if it’s intentional, but you come off a bit arrogant about this whole thing.
Rauschmonstrum: I wouldn’t say I’m arrogant. But it may be easy for me to appear that way while I’m setting the facts straight about some things humanity has been wrong about for so long, yet they have taken so much stake in.
Wallace: Mr. Rauschmonstrum, if humanity was wrong about the truth for all this time, it was because you led people astray with your trickery. You caused all of this!
Rauschmonstrum: You’re right, I led you all astray. That’s been a habit of mine over the years. But I hope I’m correcting for that now.
Wallace: But why now? You could have revealed yourself at any point?
Rauschmonstrum: For of all, I knew that if I ever revealed myself to humanity at large, particularly in this age of mass media, the whole present order would be flipped over. Plus, I knew once I was exposed there wasn’t any going back. People wouldn’t suddenly forget my existence. It wouldn’t be possible for me to manipulate things on Earth in the manner I had before. Events that happened the last two decades made me feel it was time. There was the horrendous Second World War, and with that the Holocaust, and the dropping of the atomic bombs on Japan, and now there’s this arms race between the United States and the Soviet Union. These events, I believe, have waged a psychic havoc on the unconscious mind of the people who have been alive for these events. I think it’s a widespread fear today that one may die in a completely random act of mass destruction. And so, after a great deal of thought, I decided I should make my presence known as a way to counter this existential dread, and let mankind in on quite a bit of how the world and the universe actually works.
Wallace: Aside from the life of Jesus of Nazareth, are there any other pivotal events in world history caused by you? And what about the other religions? Were you responsible for those too?
Rauschmonstrum: Yes, but I’ll decline from speaking about that topic at this time. That’ll be the subject of many future books.
Wallace: Well I for one look forward to those books…Rauschmonstrum, is there a God?
Rauschmonstrum: Ah, the big question. Well here’s my answer. In all my years, I have never seen evidence that such a being exists.
Wallace: That’ll be a cold thought for many people watching this.
Rauschmonstrum: It will leave them cold at first, but after giving it some time to sink in they will learn to accept it, and then move on to living without such fantasies.
Wallace: There have been rumblings you advise President Eisenhower in an unofficial capacity. Is that true?
Rauschmonstrum: I think it best not to comment on that at this time.
Wallace: Understandable. What will you do now? You clearly have the power to do with us what you wish. You could control the global order and direct things according to your whims. Is that what you plan on doing?
Rauschmonstrum: No, I have no intention of playing with humanity for my own purposes anymore. I did that for thousands of years, and it’s left me feeling as though I did it all wrong. No, for the foreseeable future I plan on spending my time as a writer, a speaker, a developer of ideas to help humanity. and a general public figure. I think that’ll be a rewarding way to spend my time.
Wallace: I’m glad to hear that Mr. Rauschmonstrum. Thank you for joining us. It’s been a powerful experience for me having you here, and I’m sure in the future it’ll be considered a historic event.
Rauschmonstrum: My pleasure Mike.
Wallace: I’d like to thank the Rauschmonstrum for choosing to do his first interview with us. He’s sure to be a main fixture on the world stage for many years. Our guest next week will be Ayn Rand. Good night.