Why did Raido AAA start and who is involved with it?
Well, we'd been reading the material from Inner City AAA, and saw a resonance with what we were doing already. Most of us are collaborators by nature, and so it seemed like a good idea to join the party. We're reluctant to pigeon hole ourselves, but people in the group have been involved with the rave scene, anarchist things, thee Temple ov Psychick Youth and lots more besides.

And what would you say you bring to the network of AAA groups?
Everyone has their own experiences and talents. A lot of us have been working in areas like self-publishing, occultism, pranks and what have you, so I guess that's where our emphasis lies.

Are you saying that the AAA is a prank, then?
We DO mean it, if that's what you're implying. It's difficult... there are so many dour people trying to push their own brand of truth, that anyone using a bit of humour tends to get written off as being insincere. Like all jokes, our programme highlights elements of "the truth" - and has a good laugh doing it. We get called cranks and all-sorts by people that think they have The Answer, but that just goes to show how uptight and dogmatic they are, really. That's part of the idea. Most of our critics are the kind of people that laughed at the Wright brothers and the person that invented the wheel.

What's the connection between the AAA's programme and the occult?
This may just be our bias - you can see it through whatever prism you choose - politics, hedonism, philosophy, satire. Occultism for us has always been a refusal of constraints and a redefinition of what is possible. Our explorations have shown us that "consensus reality" is a lie and that individuals can cause pretty amazing changes in the right circumstances. There's also the whole idea of being more than the physical body - astral travel and what have you. This ties in with William Burroughs' ideas of leaving the body behind as the next stage of evolution.

Yeah - I was going to ask about that. Is this something that you really want to achieve? I mean - I'm fairly attached to my body!
Well - we certainly wouldn't make you leave it behind! The loss of physicality seems to me to be the best attempt at immortality. There are all these people in America running around trying to freeze themselves after they die, but what's the point? I don't want to be stuck in my body at 80 forever, I mean my back is so fucked now that I should have frozen myself at 18! It's easy to miss the point. Human consciousness is the interesting bit - the bit that will continue to develop. Space isn't the place for bodies - they're for walking down the street with, not roaming the cosmos.

It's a bit of a step, though.
Oh yeah - it's not something we would advocate to happen overnight, but you have to look to the long-term. I'm sure amoebas had a lot of fun slithering around in the sea, but the time came to move on. Getting rid of the physical has to come after the establishment of autonomous communities in space, though there will obviously be glimpses beforehand. As we said in the first issue of 'Ad Astra!' - it's got to be a two-pronged approach. People will be able to enjoy their bodies in AAA communities far more than on this planet.

Er, why?
Because there is just so much interference here. Human beings are subject to unbelievable amounts of influence from advertising, nuclear families, the church and the state. It might sound paranoid, but there is a conspiracy on this planet to make people aspire to being something that is impossible - we're all supposed to be these docile perpetually teenage super-models. It's sick and I want to smash it. Or leave it all behind.

What sort of activities would you recommend to aspiring Autonomous Astronauts?
Everyone has to find their own way, so we can only really talk about what we've done. I would suggest that people look to the experiences they've already had of space travel, or leaving every-day reality behind. The common denominator is dreams - study how you move through space in dreams, look at astral travel, go to a floatation centre, meditate, do whatever it takes. If people have an aptitude at engineering, then designing space craft is a good way to start. The more expertise people bring to the network, the more successful we'll be - that's the whole idea of getting everyone to start their own group. As an information network evolves, we'll be able to compare research and work together to get out there.

One of the main criticisms of the AAA project is that ordinary people just do not have the access to the technology and money that would be needed to make space vehicles - what is your response to this?
Well, the immediate one is WHY don't people have access to that technology? It's the same reason as why most people on the planet don't have a roof over their heads and decent food. The people with all the power control where all the resources go. So the military and the multinationals get to put their machines in space and we have to worry about whether we have enough money to pay the gas bill. I remember all the science programmes on telly in the seventies promising us all robot slaves and space stations, but what happened? We all have to work twice as hard because a robot could do our job just as well (if we have one) and the only people in space are glorified soldiers or other government lackeys. The space programme was built on the taxes of ordinary people, and all they are getting out of it is a few more ways for the planet to be wiped out in some pointless war. And some good TV images. The second point is that there is a field of misinformation around the orthodox space program. We're just supposed to cheer on the brave scientists at NASA and not try to do things ourselves. But heretics like Steve Bennett in Northumberland still manage to launch their own rockets with a large amount of success, and tiny amounts of money.

A lot of the AAA publications seem quite keen on ranting about NASA....
Yes, and rightly so, in my opinion. NASA is an elite cabal of scientists and people that have consistently pushed the space programme in the direction of the vested interests they serve. Considering their massive budget they've made very little progress towards the realisation of getting humans off the planet - if that was ever their intention.

So they have nothing to offer the AAA?
Very little. I mean, we'll obviously use any of their research that could be of use to us, but our own ideas are far more progressive. I predict that a lot of NASA personnel (and their counterparts in the former Soviet Union) that have any integrity left will jump ship and join the AAA when the time is right.

And how soon will this be ?
It's difficult to say at the moment! It could be sooner than you think. The 5 year plan to establish a world wide network of groups by the year 2000 is looking good - it's just a question of getting the right ingredients together. A new stage in human evolution is just around the corner.