The Four Pillars Of Obedience, From Antihero

Four graphics for Antihero board collection. Each board was packaged with AH stickers, postcards of all four graphics, and a zine containing the original "The 4 Pillars Of Obedience" text (collages and zine text below).



The documents now collectively referred to as “The 4 Pillars Of Obedience” have been a curiosity to scholars since they were first discovered nearly three decades ago among the detritus of a cargo ship that wrecked off the coast of Martha’s Vineyard in the early 20th century. The pages, torn from what appears a ship’s log, were preserved in an empty rum bottle. Much of the text has been ravaged by time and conditions, but many of the pages are remarkably well preserved. Particularly those containing the list known as “The 4 Pillars,” which has been receiving a lot of attention lately due to its use of language that eerily foreshadows subjects and events today—information and technology that the anonymous author could not have known about nearly 100 years ago when it was written.

The author sometimes refers to himself as the Captain of the cargo ship, and at other times a prisoner who has been exiled to a life at sea due to madness, or crime, or both. The author endearingly calls his ship/prison “my little Narrenschif” (German for “Ship Of Fools”). We know very little about the cargo ship other than that the author says it was in the business of trafficking a wild parade of inhabitants, all exhibiting various states of mental illness, up and down the New England coastline. It’s unclear whether his use of the term “fools” for his shipmates was meant pejoratively or complimentary as he alternates in this opinion throughout his writings.

Most of the text is on the subject of a bizarre “authoritarian utopia” where everyone blissfully does as they’re told and welcomes their oppression. “The 4 Pillars” list seems to function as an organizing principle for this “imaginary” society. The four pillars (School, Church, Work, and Law) are like masts borne by four different boats, each with its own set of commandments, laws, and edicts. Some have argued that they are meant to be taken literally as a code of conduct onboard the “little Narrenschif,” which itself may have had multiple personalities and functioned in some capacity as all four water vessels listed: a rowboat, an ark, a tugboat, and a battleship. The list may have been a set of rules—a very colorful set of rules—designed to appeal to the cacophonic language of the insane crew that was housed on this floating asylum.

The majority of scholars, however, tend to agree that the author meant for the list to be a sarcastic condemnation directed at New England high society, specifically his persecutors (whether real or imagined) who sentenced him to “life as castaway.”

“Those who have dropped anchor ‘pon the Lande,” the author writes in one fragment, “they are the Mad.”

He continues, in his rambling style, to belittle those who lash themselves to the mast of Reality (“Patriots,” as he calls them), who go to work, who worship “GOTT,” who obey the law, and do as they’re told, they are the ones that are truly insane. The author, on the other hand, along with his maniacal cast that disappoints him more often than not, is a little ship of fools, adrift at sea, rolling endlessly upon the waves, they are the ones that are free and who have not betrayed their Divine origin.

Before we proceed with further commentary on the scant fragments of remaining text, let us first turn our attention to the best preserved pages that contain the very peculiar list known as, “The 4 Pillars Of Obedience”:



1:1 The Commands of The First Pillar, School, will be delivered from The White Rowboat, the glorious symbol of Innocence. The Pillar Of School will inoculate all Young Patriots with the tools needed for Success and Freedom in The Most Greatest Nation.

1:2 The Pillar Of School will teach Young Patriots the history of The Most Greatest Nation. They will learn that the Land that they stand on is theirs and that it was prepared for them by GOTT™ [1] and it is not to be shared with anyone. The Greatest Nation was discovered by The Most Honorable Hero, and built by The Fabulous Forefathers with their bare hands. Thus spake The Holy Book Of TROOF® [2].

1:3 Young Patriots will sit quietly, behave, and do everything The Pillar Of School instructs them to do by order of The Chief Superior Officer, our Supreme Leader. Young Patriots will grow strong of mind and spirit so that they can serve The Most Greatest Nation and bring to fruition The Magnificent Plan.

1:4 Those Young Patriots unable to learn, or who display unacceptable Beehivior, will be administered Performance Enhancing Zupplements (PEZ©). PEZ© makes Young Patriots healthy and strong. Clinical studies have proven that Young Patriots who are administered PEZ© are more likely to be assimilated into a Premier Group such as The Class Of Best People.

1:5 The Pillar Of School will protect Young Patriots’ minds from the Corruption Of Knowledge. The Pillar Of School’s superior educational curriculum, KOOK (Knowledge Only One Knows), will focus the minds of Young Patriots on subjects that will aid them in implementing The Chief Superior Officer’s Magnificent Plan. The Pillar Of School will not allow Young Patriot minds to be corrupted by false scientific information or empirical facts. KOOK will provide the TROOF®.

1:6 The Pillar Of School will navigate Young Patriots through the treacherous waters of The Passions. Female Young Patriots are especially prone to vapors that excite the Passions and they will be tamed for The Good of The Most Greatest Nation. These vapors that permeate the female nerves will be extricated and/or eclipsed by the Holy Science of Malleus Maleficarum. The Male Passions will be suppressed—but not destroyed—and then reassigned to Corporate Orientation Programs and Fatherland Protection Training.

1:7 Electronic Tracking Devices, or Like Screens©, will be distributed to all Young Patriots for Social Obfuscation Inculcation and Passion Degeneration. Young Patriots’ personalized Like Screens© will accompany them throughout their Educational Career and will become their mentors, their pets, and their most trusted companions. Like Screens© will deliver important messages from The Chief Superior Officer, and information about The Magnificent Plan as well as access to KOOK-approved TROOF® sources.

1:8 The Pillar Of School will work for you only if you work for it.

1. GOTT™: God #1, The True.
2. TROOF®: Twist Reality, Obdurate, Objectify Fictions.



2:1 The Commands of The Second Pillar, Church, will be delivered from The Golden Ark, the glorious symbol of the cradle that created Life on Earth, thus spake The Holy Book Of TROOF®. The Church will demand unwavering belief in the almighty GOTT™, The Maker Of All Things, and eradicate Evil amongst His Children in The Most Greatest Nation. All who dare oppose His rule will be subject to Conclusion Procedures.

2:2 The Word Of GOTT™ will be delivered through His Son, The Santa Bunny. The Santa Bunny is your Savior and you owe him a big Thank You. The Holy Book Of TROOF®, along with your personal Android Surveillance Monitor, will help you discover the many ways you can show your appreciation to The Santa Bunny. Remember: Santa Bunny Saves.

2:3 All Children Of GOTT™ will adhere to a strict diet high in fatty meats and rich in Opioids. Opioids, particularly those found naturally in the Sacred Poppy Plant, help to dislodge toxins and purge Evil from the body. Most importantly, a steady diet of Religious Opiates will empty the Mind of Reason thus allowing the Soul to better assimilate The TROOF®. (Opiates are not for recreational use. Side effects of Religious Opiate use may include: ignorance, intolerance, ineptitude, inanity, and moderate to severe diarrhea.)

2:4 The Word Of GOTT™ teaches us that everyone must Beehive themselves. As a coming-of-age ritual, every Child of GOTT™ at the age of eleven will wear a Holy Beehive on his/her head and suffer the stings of an entire colony of extremely angry African Killer Bees for one month. If the child survives, he/she will graduate to Life Phase II.

2:5 [This section is crossed out with the words “I forget what 2:5 is” below it.]

2:6 All disciples of GOTT™ must enroll in the Church’s Proselytization Adventure Mission to spread the Gospel of GOTT™ in order to save the poor Souls of those who worship false idols along the shores of the Nile, or those who covet monstrous deities in the slums of India, or those who dance around stone monoliths on islands far at sea. No matter where these Evil Heathens are to be found in the World, they require The Word: GOTT™ is God #1. All others must die.



3:1 The Commands of The Third Pillar, Work, will be delivered from the deck of The Lil Red Tugboat, the glorious symbol of selfless and tireless Labor. May GOTT™[1] bless The Lil Red Tugboat.

3:2 Idleness is the mother of all evils. What is the remedy? Work. Hard work. All Patriots will need to work very hard for The Most Greatest Nation in order to earn enough tickets to obtain the Performance Enhancing Zupplements (PEZ©) that every Patriot will ingest to gain the stamina needed to work even harder, so as to earn more tickets, to purchase more PEZ©, to be able to work even harder, to earn more tickets, to buy more PEZ©, to work as hard as the hardest working Patriot ever. Lifelong, soul-crushing careers await hard-working Patriots today!

3:3 With hard work and good Beehivior marks on the annual Android Surveillance Scorecard (ASS), Patriots can achieve Success and realize The Nation’s Great Fantasy. The hardest working Patriots that eat and sleep the least will climb the Corporate Ladders and be initiated into The Class Of Best People.

3:4 Every Patriot worker will be obligated to make a lifelong commitment to the Bank of his choice. Choose from as many as two different state-financed, privately controlled Banks to manage your finance tickets and control all of your family’s most important life decisions. Let The Bank do the thinking for you. You can trust The Bank because The Bank rules.

3:5 A government-sponsored private alcohol corporation will provide Patriot workers, who have earned the required ASS scores, the necessary daily quantity of cool, refreshing alcohol at an affordable ticket price. Enjoy alcohol while watching your favorite Sportsball© team play Sportsball© on your Like Screen alone and by yourself.



4:1 The Commands of The Fourth Pillar, Law, will be delivered from the deck of The Big Battleship, the glorious symbol of The Greatest Nation’s Military Power.

4:2 The Greatest Nation is at War with Everyone and Everything for All Eternity. All Patriots must be on HIGH ALERT 24 hours a day and ready to deploy for battle AT ANY TIME.

4:3 All Patriots will do as they are told. Beehive yourself. The Law depends on all Patriots to report any Suspicious Beehivior. Not reporting Suspicious Beehivior to The Law is punishable by The Law. Any and all Suspicious Beehivior is subject to Conclusion Procedures.

4:4 All Patriots and their families are under constant surveillance as decreed by the Super Security Safety Statute (SSSS) enacted by The Chief Superior Officer who has the power to do anything he wants, especially if it’s for Fatherland Protection. Protecting Patriots from the hordes of Marauding Invaders that threaten The Most Greatest Nation’s borders is The Law’s number one priority, but The Law cannot protect unmonitored Patriots. All unmonitored Patriots will be subject to Conclusion Procedures.

4:5 The Law has developed extensive geo-targeted Disinformation Programs that are designed to create fear, anxiety, and terror in The Most Greatest Nation’s Enemies. Some Enemies will poop their pants due to Disinformation overload. These Disinformation Programs are only used on The Nation’s Enemies and are not used on Patriots of The Most Greatest Nation—REPEAT: only used on Enemies, totally not on Patriots.

4:6 Every Young Patriot in The Most Greatest Nation will be issued a uniform and a gun at birth. Throughout childhood Young Patriots will be taught The Good Way Of The Gun. Remember: the only thing that stops a Bad Guy with a gun, is a Good Guy with a gun. The Most Greatest Nation is a registered and certified Good Guy With A Gun Nation, indivisible under GOTT™, and does not support Bad Guy Behavior.

4:7 All Enemies of The Greatest Nation will face Conclusion Procedures. Conclusion Procedures begin with an injection of pentobarbital, followed by a gentle jab of pancuronium bromide, and it ends with a big prick of potassium chloride.

4:8 The Law depends on you to be Good. So be Good. It’s for your own Good.