LISTory: Detling is a hoax!

  1. The shocking truth revealed--Detling actually an elaborate HOAX
    (Detling is a hoax!! by Keith A. Gillette)

  2. A sign of complicity?
    (Re: Detling is a hoax!! by Aziz H. Poonawalla)

  3. The painful news falls on unreceptive ears
    (I am aghast! by Brad Paul Wagner is sending mail on the job)

  4. 'i' before 'e' except after 'c' and in cases of 'Keith'
    ([no subject] by Brad Paul Wagner is sending mail on the job)

  5. Not a hoax, but ... a figment of the imagination?
    (the Creation Story by Kimberly Stahl)

  6. A Microsoft® product?
    (In defense of Brad by Meredith Geller)

  7. A legend and an honorable tradition
    (Truth by Andrea P. Barrett)

  8. A dream?
    (Detling? by Jen Hayward)

  9. A religion!
    (Allegations, insinuations, libel, and innuendo... by Aziz H. Poonawalla)

  10. A meaningful, sacred story ... a modern myth
    (The Masks of Detling by Nemesis)

To: Current and Former Detling Members 
From: (Keith A. Gillette)
Subject: Detling is a hoax!!

Do I have to spell it out for you guys? Detling is a hoax. The stories
you've heard, the characters you've been duped into believing in,
they're all fictional. Pure fabrications! I really, seriously, can't
believe that it's gone on this long--it's almost the end of the year,
and some of you first-year Detlingites are still falling for it.

You don't believe me? Just take a look at what you've been asked to

That there was a floor in the dorms that:
        *Had people who actually liked each other
        *Had a sense of community, belonging
        *Had people who actually returned to the floor--four years in a row!
        *Had regular and well-attended social events

Give me a break. We all know the reality of Housing. Crowded bunkers
filled with people who don't give a damn about anybody else and just
want to get drunk out of their skulls most of the time. To think that
people are so gullible as to believe this fairy tale!

I mean, think about it for a minute: what evidence do you have that
there was ever a place like this? Nothing but stories. Nothing but
*wild* stories fed to you by unreliable sources. Who? Aziz, mostly,
right? C'mon! He's about as slippery as they come. And what has he told
you. Let me see ...

Some guy named Gorrilla (where does he get these names?) had an Amiga
with *no hard drive* and a *300-baud modem* that he used to download
anime GIFs with for hours at a time? Who would even bother?

What else? Probably tales about late-night Finals Week experiments with
food service spoons, salt, and lots of electricity, right? C'mon. Who
would waste there time thus, risking disciplinary action and losing
study time for finals? Tesla coils, miniature light houses? Tripe.

And he's invented more stories... Probably about rousing games of
something called 'stompball'. What imbecil invented this game? A
two-year old could've come up with a more subtle, engaging passtime.
Silly lies.

Then there are those fictional accounts of Detling trips to Great
America, the myths about getting up on the sun roof late at night to
film mystery movies and discuss questions of life (everybody knows its
locked), the stories about huge games of killer in the Den (like anybody
would be interested), the capture the flag tournaments on Vilas (who
organizes this stuff? it just doesn't happen, that kind of thing
requires concerted effort), assassin games, foosball tournaments, temple
reconstruction, lip-sync contests, karate in the den, Robotech
marathons, the unholy terrors of Matt Edelstein, Dave Guinan, walls with
planets on them (they were always off-white and you know it), tank war
battles for days at a time, ... I'm telling you, these are all woven
from the whole cloth. Straight lies, fallacies perpetrated by Aziz in a
desperate attempt to gain friends and respect.

Why am I telling you this? I feel its my duty to get the truth out about
these things. Recent events (the wild stories about someone named Dean
and the discovery that CFO is nothing but an urban legend) should have
brought the entire edifice of lies Aziz that has constructed tumbling
down, but even these tall tales and shocking revelations have not
affected it. People just go on believing that this New Eden, this Heaven
on Earth called Detling actually existed in the form Aziz described it.
I simply cannot stand by and see this lie perpetrated any longer. I hope
those of you in the know will help me bring the truth to light.


Date: Thu, 4 May 1995 17:15:37 -0500
Precedence: bulk
From: (Aziz H. Poonawalla)
To: Current and Former Detling Members 
Subject: Re: Detling is a hoax!!



              ^           "Riff raff, street rat,
             ` `               I don't buy that!
          _ `   ` _               If only they looked closer... 
        "  `     `  "      Would they see a poor boy? No siree...
      "               "        They'd find out....
      "   ` .` `. `   "           There's so much more to me.
        " `` _ _ `` "      ***************************************************
          `       `             Aziz H. Poonawalla
1110 Oakwood Drive                                      821 W. Johnson, #260A
Mount Prospect, IL 60056                                Madison, WI 53706-1798
(708) 593 2059                                          (608) 264 2356

Date: Thu, 4 May 1995 17:16:15 -0500
Precedence: bulk
From: (Brad Paul Wagner is sending mail on the job)
To: Current and Former Detling Members 
Subject: I am aghast!
Mime-Version: 1.0

        Hello everyone.  As the recent addition to the Detling reflector,
this is my first time writing to the group, most of whom do not know me.
However, this does not mean that this message will lack the importance that
it deserves.  But first, let be briefly qualify my words with a brief
description of myself.
        I am a first year honors student who is going to major in Computer
Science.  I enjoy Rubik-like puzzles, video games, and hangingout with
friends.  This summer I will return to Camp Minikani for the eight
consecutive season of fun, this time as a second-year counselor.  But,
first and foremost,
                                I AM A DETLINGITE.
        Ever since I got the selection sheet in the mail, I knew that I
wanted to live in the honors house.  I marked '1' in said category with a
special purpose, a calling if you will, a subconscious fate that captured
me in its inviting grasp.  "Detling," it whispered, "Detling..."
        And I went to Detling, and I was not disappointed.  The people
there are as friendly and cheerful as they could be, and the Great America
trip taught me something very special about myself.  Every day is another
of wonder and intreuge.  Every week is a veritible eternity of happiness.
Oh how I fear the possibilty that I may not have gotten into Detling -
looking through that invincible barrier of love and joy that keeps Detling
together, with me on the outside, would have been to much for me to bear.
Luckily, I suffered no such fate.
        Others, however, did not fare as well.  Their seed landed in the
infertile ground of common university housing, and their souls withered and
died.  Case in point: the pitiable Kieth Gilette.  Oh, how his pain is
obvious to us all.  If only he could see like us, if he could only live in
Detling, how his life could be changed!  If only attending the movie nights
were enough...
        Unfortunately, Kieth, and the billions like him, cannot bear their
sad fate.  I hearby shout from the highest peak: "DETLING IS REAL, AND I AM
        I am one of 23 people returning to Detling House next year.  I am a
Deltlingite.  I've worked with Detlingites...   and Keith...

you are no Detlingite.

                                        Brad Paul Wagner

P.S.  Also, Aziz gives us this really cool magic powder that you can
BREATH!  Isn't that cool!

Date: Thu, 4 May 1995 17:37:28 -0500
Precedence: bulk
From: (Brad Paul Wagner is sending mail on the job)
To: Current and Former Detling Members 
Mime-Version: 1.0

So I can't spell "Keith."  Sue me.

Date: Thu, 04 May 95 17:55 CDT
Precedence: bulk
From: Kimberly Stahl 
To: Current and Former Detling Members 
Subject: the Creation Story

Not much to tell really. Keith is right, and he is wrong, as most
Philosophy majors are wont to be. See, it's just that we "Detlingites"
are all figments of Jon Weyers' imagination (just ask him). That
certainly accounts for the impossible things that happen with such
regularity in and around Detling. It's a sad "existence" but far
better, IMHO, than that of others not fortunate enough to share our
Detlingness...for those, outside the realm of Detling (i.e. "the
whole world" as it is to those within it) have not even the shadow
of existence that we few do.  For those who question, think only of
the elusive CFO...with Detling, but never OF Detling, we question his
existence. How sad. You might wonder what would become of us should
our Creator Weyers fall asleep, yet worry not for he is a CS major,
and such shall never occur.  Thus is the mystery of Detling, pass it
on to the figments who shall inevitably follow.

Date: Thu, 4 May 1995 18:13:04 -0500
Precedence: bulk
From: (Meredith Geller)
To: Current and Former Detling Members 
Subject: In defense of Brad


        Please forgive young Brad.  He is suffering from Monitor Disorder,
a rare disease found only in Computer Science majors that makes them unable
to distinguish reality from computer simulation.  Wanting to cash in on the
recent publicity that the Detling House myth has created, MicroSoft changed
their new program, Bob, to Detling House.  In this new version of the
program, helpful college students, full of joy and happy in their
surroundings, take the user on a tour of Detling while explaining various
computer functions.  Users trail down tampon-box striped walls (yet another
mark of a true Detling myth is the inclusion of the pink and pale blue
stripes on the men's wing--always a crowd pleaser) past burnt bulletin
boards and Snapple-bottle decorated doors.  One of the user's helpful
guides is a young Moslem named Aziz (a popular character in the Detling
House fable) who says "Awesome" when something is done correctly, and
bellows "Jihad" when a mistake is made.  Such familiar characters as Johnny
Chang, the boy who could sleep through a hail storm (and considering such
popular tales as the 'ice cube' incident in Florida, probably has) and CFO
(who's already more popular than the Loch Ness monster in recent polls)
also grace the hallowed halls.  
        With this new information at your disposal, I'm sure you can
understand Brad's sweet little story.  The Great America trip tugged at my
heartstrings even though I knew it was a fiction.  I certainly hope SOME
people will be able to look at the program formerly known as Bob with a
little more compassion and HUMOR (the World Trade Center bomber knows what
I mean) as a result of the new image.  And with that story set straight,
I'll go.  I must read my Detling House newsletter....oops!  Gee Brad, I did
it too!  Damn, that program just seeps into your very soul!  


Date: Fri, 5 May 1995 00:07:39 -0400 (EDT)
Precedence: bulk
From: "Andrea P. Barrett" 
To: Current and Former Detling Members 
Subject: Truth 
Mime-Version: 1.0


I just want to say that whatever Aziz says, it's all a complete 
fabrication. What can he possibly know of the stories of Detling? He was 
not there when the legend started. Even Keith, the master of the Detling 
historical record was not there for the beginning. There are only three 
now, the only survivors of the original 64. (Hmm...this is a CS sort of 
place after all. Of course, it's been a while, I could be wrong.)

I ask you, who among you has heard of John Arrington? The untold story of 
Matt Edelstein and Rob Zudy? The glory days (rather, nights) of the four 
depressed guys in the den that one fateful spring? The stories are 
manifold, the tales complex, and the pain is deep, but I at least remain 
in the background, watching and making sure the true spirit of Detling is 
carried on, 

Remeber this - those who live in Detling - you shoulder a heavy burden of 
tradition, but it is an honorable one. Revere the ones who came before 
you, show them respect and do your duty. And please...paint the damn 
walls. :)

Chris Gorrilla

Date: Fri, 5 May 1995 09:09:15 -0500
Precedence: bulk
From: (Jen Hayward)
To: Current and Former Detling Members 
Subject: Detling?
Mime-Version: 1.0


I thought it was all just a really nice dream.

More deluded than ever,

Date: Fri, 5 May 1995 10:36:14 -0500
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From: (Aziz H. Poonawalla)
To: Current and Former Detling Members 
Subject: Allegations, insinuations, libel, and innuendo...
Mime-Version: 1.0

Really, all. I am shocked at your lack of faith. When I founded the Order
of Minnie of the Church of Detling, wherein we who reside on the hallowed
ground of Detling House pay homage to the triumvirate of power,
individually known as Dean the Huff, Jon the Weyers, and the mortal
incarnation of these, namely myself, Aziz the Azazel of the Azrael of Light
and Darkness, Chief Executive of Movie Nite and Keeper of the Holy Rings of
Petrak, collectively known as the Four Years Club Wardens, I thought that I
had established a powerful force for good in the Universe. Or at the very
least the right to write long run on sentences.

Where are my champions? As the mortal aspect of the power Incarnate of
Detling, I know that my time is almost up. I will soon make the Final
Journey to the OffCampus region of the Outside, and from there I will enter
the Beyond after a short respite. As my power wanes in this plane, there
are demons and power-mad legions eager to tear apart the fabric that I have
so carefully created. Once I leave this plane for the nether regions of
existence on my journey to emlightenment, I am powerless to further
influence the events transpiring upon the Prime Material plane. Even my
comrades Runner and Napalm have been unable to staunch the tide of chaos
that rises as my influence fades...

Remember the basic tenets of the faith! 1) Those who are pure and stay in
the dorms for Four Years will be rewarded with access to the Keys of the
four Years Club, 2) Those who do not live on Detling will burn in the
eternal flame, 3) those who move off of detling before their senior year
are still holy and should be respected (though they will be relegated  to
menial labor duties upon reaching the Final plane. Hey, it's better than
the Flame!), 4) Always pray towards Mecca, 5) the Honors floor at Kronshage
is peopled by the spawn of the Evil One, and 6) Buy every new version of
_Detlingetics_ that is written for the word changes with each passing year
(retail $16.95, Aziz Poonawalla, Doubleday Books).

***********   ^   ****************************************
             ` `             "Riff raff! Street rat!
          _ `   ` _             I don't buy that!
        "  `     `  "             If only they'd look closer,
      "               "      would they see a poor boy? No sirree!
      "   ` .` `. `   "         They'd find out...
        " `` _ _ `` "             there's so much more to me."
          `       `          ***********************************************
Aziz H. Poonawalla 
1110 Oakwood Drive           821 W. Johnson, #260A            (708) 593 2059
Mount Prospect, IL 60056     Madison, WI 53706-1798           (608) 264 2356

Date: Fri, 5 May 1995 12:04:56 -0500
Precedence: bulk
From: (Nemesis)
To: Current and Former Detling Members 
Subject: The Masks of Detling
Mime-Version: 1.0

The following is an excerpt from an early, unpublished version of Joseph
Campbell's 'The Masks of God'.  The section this was excerpted from was
removed at the last minute at the request of the editor, who did not see
its relevance to the rest of the material in the treatise and needed to
reduce publishing costs.  Campbell was given a choice of removing this, or
removing another section which was the backbone of the whole work.  He
reluctantly removed this section with a promise that he would republish the
entire section later.  Time passed, other projects came onto his mind, and
he never did get around to doing so.  The section was mentioned in his
famous interview with Bill Moyers "The Power of Myth" broadcast on PBS in
the late eighties but again was cut from the footage in Moyers' process of

...Another ancient story of this type is the Myth of the Honors Students.
It is known by many names in many cultures, although it is most common
among those cultures which have a highly developed University System
complete with Student Accomodations.  Ancient variations on this have the
students invariably grouped together to learn from a great philosopher (the
Intelligaeum of Aristotle), a wise prophet, or -- in even more primitive
cultures -- a powerful sorceror or shaman.  The Story of the Fire Lodge
People told by the Sioux and related earlier in this chapter shows some
similarities to this ancient and powerful myth.
        In the United States, this myth -- one of the few that is still
kept alive there -- is known as Detling.  None know where this particular
name came from, it seems to be of Germanic origin.  According to the myth
as it is told at the University of Wisconsin, it is named after a woman of
great scholarship and philanthropy who taught at the University some time
ago.  This figure often appears in this sort of story, obviously an
incarnation of the Earth Goddess.  In most of these stories, after her
death the University President, or the Board of Regents, or in some cases a
Secretary in the Commerce department of the school, names a Residence House
after her.  This house later is proclaimed by the same body as an Honors
House, restricted or at least preferred by students who are in the honors
program.  It is thought that the true origin of the word comes from the
Greek, when Homer mentions his own version of the Myth in his Iliad:

        Agamemnon spat upon the ground, saying to Oddyseus
                "Who makes these people think, these scholars?
        Should not the great lord Zeus himself strike them
                Down, lest they think too much?"

        In many of the original versions of this, the word which is usually
translated as 'scholars' is written as -daptylyngnoses-, a word which has
no known translation.  However, this word has passed down through the
generations, not at all surviving in written material again until it calls
attention to itself in Ovid's Metamorphoses as -daetyllinitia- which is
translated as Athena's children, then in St. Augustine's 'City of God' as
-daetilinus- where it has no known translation and is usually ignored by
translators, and finally in the epic of Beowulf it appears as -Deatlingas-
where it is again untranslateable.  These are the only four places it
appears, although from its appearance in Beowulf which is somewhat out of
lineage of the other three, it is probably that although it was rarely
written, it has remained a word in the oral languages of Europe throughout
the centuries.  It may be what Shakespeare is talking about when he says
'ye Dettelin's of Yorre' in his rare prologue to 'Love's Labours Lost'.  In
effect, it has survive only orally throughout history until it finally
appears in this particular myth.
        This 'Detling' House myth always has the same sort of people
involved in it.  The leader of the house, the RA or the 'Housefellow' a
term found only in use for this myth and nowhere else in American Culture,
is either a woman similar in nature to the woman whose name went to this
place, or a man with little attachment to the House, being removed in some
way from the inhabitants -- also similar to the Myth of the Male Creator
found among state-level societies who creates the world and then removes
himself from it in some way.  In ancient versions of this myth, the female
leader is actually a reincarnation or avatar of the original namesake of
the house, and the male leader ousts her due to manipulations and intrigue
among higher powers.  One example of this event is when the Residence Hall
directors decide to switch the wings of the house which house the females
and the males, and claim that they have to keep the Housefellow's room the
same and therefore must choose a male housefellow instead of a female.
        Other people in the myth seem to all be variations on the Trickster
God or the Wise God.  Either can be both beneficial, or malicious.  Many
stories go along with this line of Myth, wherein the inhabitants of the
House take on strange and seemingly unneccessary tasks of great magical
power.  Such as building a Sun and shining it out on a courtyard, or a
garden outside the house.  Or trying to teach a Gorilla to read -- or in
more modern versions run computers -- and thereupon turning him into an
actual human being -- similar in some ways to the Pygmalion story.
        Two of the more popular characters in the myth are the Fool and the
C-F-O.  The Fool, known as Dean in many versions, is supposedly the one
person in the House who can do anything, and yet remains very quiet and
humble except among his close friends.  The C-F-O, known as Ed in some
earlier versions of the myth, does not live in the House but has friends in
the house and invariably attempts to move in.  If he succeeds in the story,
then he becomes a Music Major and a hopeless romantic, and if he does not
then he goes on to become a Carnival worker, Math Teacher and a hopeless
romantic who has a penchant for taking long trips to wonderful lands --
often DisneyWorld in the modern versions -- and bringing friends with him.
There are some stories in which both of these archetypes appear.
        Whole theses could be written about the Myth of Detling and all of
its aspects, but it is important to get on to what it means.  The Myth of
Detling -- and remember we are still using the definition of Myth not as
falsehood, but as a sacred story which may or may not be true, but in
either case holds some great meaning for the people who tell it -- is a
story told to give students at large universities a feeling of family,
especially those who live on impersonal residence halls and have no
attachment to fellow residents.  Detling creates the feeling that there is
a belonging, there are companions who share ones misery and happiness,
there are people who actually care about the Rite of Passage that is School
and what it means.  It is often created spontaneously by various types of
students who are tired of being alone and wish to create a better life for
themselves - Computer Science Graduate Students who rarely sleep at home;
Cartography Majors with a penchant for Over-elaboration and -- forgive the
term -- bullshit; Muslim Astronomy majors with a love of all things Disney;
English Majors with a dream of achieving graduate degrees in Library
Science;  Freshman Computer Science students with a fear that something is
not right with the world, normal Student Angst; and many, many others.  All
of these people create this myth for themselves, whether it is real or not,
often to the point where they actually believe it, even though it is all a
figment of the imagination.
        But as with every myth, it will always have a place somewhere.


"Have you ever had the feeling that no one is out to get you?"
17 N. Bassett, Apt. 2, Madison, WI 53703, 256-3742
-------------- copyright 1995 Nemesis Produktions--------------

The world is my oyster, and that gargantuan, all-powerful, alien mothership
up there is one of those seabirds that picks up oysters and drops them on
rocks in order to break them open.

Added to Detnet October 31th, 1996