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Origins of the "Zapped Pyramid"

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Enlargement of "Zapped Pyramid" logo culled from a Fifth Estate Newspaper

Non Serviam!
- Or is it "Servium"? -

As with so many things of note in this wonderful world of ours, events and observations all seem to have their moment in time, simultaneously springing to life from the brushes and pens wielded by a plethora of simultaneous creators.

This may well be the case with the "Zapped Pyramid" although I've not heard of any other claimants to date.
It's hardly a parallel in anything other than an example, but Isaac Newton and Leibniz felt the need to argue the "I was first" approach in when it came to the evolution of calculus.
Personally, I do not have the interest, inclination, temperament or energy to argue as to who first zapped the pyramid. If you created this image it before me, that's cool. Just goes to show that my first statement is not without merit.

So - until otherwise informed - I, Stephen Goodfellow, take credit for the existence of the "Zapped Pyramid" logo.

The year 1976 was a very poignant year for me. I was rubbing elbows with the local writers and thinkers, some of these wrote for the Fifth Estate, the oldest continuous anarchist newspaper in the United States.
Being an artist and looking for an outlet to show my work, I was eager to show what I was made of, so when the Fifth Estate asked if I could do a logo, I jumped at it.
I'm not sure of the exact date of publication of the first "Zapped Pyramid" logo, but a rummage through FE's of that year ought to nail the month.

Ever since I saw my first dollar bill, I had been intrigued why on Earth someone would place such a strange symbol on currency; a pyramid with an eye embedded, suspended at the top of a pyramid. How strange!

The Illuminatus! Trilogy which I read the year before creating the logo had a profound impact upon the way in which I viewed the universe, and set me on a course of discovery that continues to this day.

In literature the latin phrase non serviam was spoken by Satan as he refused to serve God. It translates into "I will not serve".

The origin of this attribution to Satan is unknown. It does not appear in the Bible, it might have originated in one of Friedrich Nietzsches works, quoting an older source, but this is unconfirmed. Lost in the mist of time, it has nonetheless become rejuvenated in contemporary literature, and you can't but help feel a healthy measure of respect for an entity that will dare to look the almighty in the eye and cry "I will not serve!"

One of the immediate fruits was this creation which is the topic of this page. I call it the "Zapped Pyramid".
The symbol's  implication is self-evident to anyone who has read the Illuminatus! Trilogy, and also pretty obvious to those who have not.
I got some grief for writing "Servium" instead of "Serviam" in the banner below. Although the point has been argued without some definitive decision, the Fifth Estate has been quite happy to publish it as it was originally intended.
In my purely subjective opinion, since the expression is so vague anyway, I like the idea of the "Servium" version being generated into literature. After all, language is a dynamic force, always changing. Shouldn't I be able to nudge it a little bit? There certainly are enough references to the use of "Servium" out there.

In 1993 I was in Seattle. A patron had offered me a studio to paint in, together with a station wagon for six weeks for a painting - hard to say no. Walking around the downtown streets one day, I saw this guy in a leather jacket with the Zapped Pyramid carefully drawn on the back. I was taken amazed. Had my logo become part of the culture?

Surely there can't be many people who can say they gained their life's inspiration from such a strange symbol, but in my case this is certainly the case.

My fascination with the eye-in-the-pyramid symbol led me to an in-depth study of the Great Pyramid, which in turn led me to the nature of our solar system, which again led to the nature of nature.

The logo continues to appear in my artwork and if you have an eye for detail will find the eye in the pyramid pop up from time to time. 


  Fifth Estate

A typical Fifth Estate front cover

Another use of the Zapped Pyramid is ZappedPyramid Productions, archiving Cass Corridor Music - and by an amazing coincidence - is run by the author of the logo.