Mr. Wilson’s background was, unsurprisingly, eclectic. He studied classical languages at Columbia University, but dropped out. He helped set up a psychedelic church, and he briefly considered a career as an anti-war activist (an attempt to bomb a red paint HQ failed) before hitting the hippie hash trail, like many of his colleagues did, traveling through the Middle East. East and South Asia.
He visited all the usual places and had all the usual adventures before settling in Tehran to study Persian Sufism. With the ousting of the Shah of Iran in 1979, he returned to the United States and moved into an apartment on the Lower East Side.
He expressed his disillusionment with the failed promise of the 1960s – the revolution that never came – in provocative texts that appeared in avant-garde magazines like Semiotext(e), where French intellectuals like Michel Foucault mixed with American Beats like Ginsberg and William. Burroughs and radical feminists such as Kate Millett and Kathy Acker, the post-punk writer and performance artist.
By all accounts, Mr. Wilson was erudite about the Hidden, a prolific author of some 60 books on subjects ranging from angels to pirate nutopias and all manner of apostate religions. He was a fixture in the East Village for many years and host of “The Moorish Orthodox Radio Crusade,” a nighttime show on Manhattan’s countercultural radio station, WBAI. On his show, he may declaim higher mathematics, play a selection of esoteric music such as Sufi chants or Greek rembetika, and review zines, the DIY magazines that flourished in the late 1980s and 1990s.
But because his writing often featured erotic images of young teenage boys, he was controversial.
“I’ve always had a rather contradictory view of how to approach the problem,” said Mr Fleming. “Whether it’s downplaying it or trying to defend it somehow. He identified as gay, but I never knew he had a sexual partner, or a real sex life. His sexual practices were what I call Whitmanesque, only imaginary.’
Peter Lamborn Wilson was born on October 20, 1945 in Baltimore. The only child of Douglas Emory Wilson, a career army officer and English professor, and Laura (Packwood) Wilson, a high school teacher, grew up in New Brunswick NJ