Holy Cow

The Ape of Thoth

A Thelemic Text Daemon

Version 1.5

Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law

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About the Script

This is the initial version of the 'Ape of Thoth' script and data files. Please expect some mistakes (and be kind). If you have any suggestions for ways in which this service can be improved (especially these explanatory pages), or if you find any errors in the text, please notify the author right away.

The 'Ape of Thoth' (APE for short) is a CGI script which converts a database of text files into HTML. The user may choose to view an entire text, a range of one or more verses from a text, all verses containing only selected words, or any combination thereof. The search algorithm supports both case sensitive and insensitive comparison, whole word or phrase searching, and variable format output.

In addition, the APE can select a random word from one or more texts and display it in context. Also a concordance can be constructed from any of the supported texts or any range of verses therefrom.

All features of the server can be activated via the requested URL, making a forms capable browser unecessary. A more detailed explanation of the data formats can be found in the HowTo documentation.

What's this 'Liber Call Me Al' stuff?

Liber Call Me Al (otherwise known as The Book of the Inlaws) is a parody of The Book of the Law which was first published in the Baphomet Breeze many years ago. Its true origins are known to few but legend has it that it was dictated to the Master 999 by '?Who-Vast!'. The verses in the Book of the Inlaws are carefully cross-referenced with those of the Book of the Law (and vice-versa). If you are following the link on a selected verse to see the verse in context, you will end up looking at the corresponding verse in the opposite text. If this is not what you wanted, just click again and back you go -- and stop complaining, already.


The APE is implemented in Perl5. While Perl is relatively efficient with string operations such as parsing and searching, it still must read and digest the entire corpus of texts specified in the search. This puts more of a load on the http server than simply requesting a copy of a text page. The concordance function is especially hard on the server and the fastest way to find yourself locked out of this service is to repeatedly ping this server with requests to generate a concordance for the entire text base. If this is indeed necessary (and it seldom is), do it once and save the resulting page for later reference. In short: Please use your head before using the server...

Request for contributions

Some of the prose in this page and the HowTo page is... how should I say this... a bit lame, so to speak. If you think you have a better way of saying something, or if you have some interesting background information, or if you can come up with a better logo than the large cow adorning the top of this page, please mail me and I will give you credit in the Acknowledgements section of this page.

Limited License

Copyright (c) 1997, 2003 Joe Larabell. All rights reserved.

Redistribution and use of this program, with or without modification, is permitted only by direct contact with the author and only provided that:

  1. The script is used for non-commercial purposes,
  2. The script and text files are copied in their entirety,
  3. The copyright notices and disclaimers remain intact,
  4. Any HTML files rendered by this program or made available as part of this program display the name of the author in a prominent location, and
  5. The user acknowledges that in no event shall the author or his agents be held liable for any direct, indirect, incidental, special, exemplary, or consequential damages arising from the use of this product.
Redistribution and/or republication of the text files rendered by this program, in whole or in part, is expressly prohibited. Fair use copying is permitted, in printed or electronic form, provided that the document is clearly identified as having been produced by the 'Ape of Thoth'. In particular, online pages citing output of the APE must contain a link to this page or to one of its mirrors.


The 'Ape of Thoth' is a hosted by
Best Internet Communications. It is indeed rare to find an ISP (Internet Service Provider) that allows the running of customer-created CGI scripts. If this page has been of any service in your research, drop a line to the people at Best and let them know that you support paranoia-free web hosting. Better yet, send some business their way.

The CGI script underlying the APE was created by Joe Larabell in February of 1997.

The name 'The Ape of Thoth: A Thelemic Text Daemon' was a collaborative effort of Greg Peters, Gerald del Campo, and Joe Larabell (in a brief but productive flurry of e-mail which spanned the West Coast).

The text used in the original version of the database was entered and proofread by members of the Los Angeles and San Francicso campuses of the College of Thelema. Donations of additional error-free text files are welcome. Data should be in plain ASCII format and word-wrapped. Send files to hanuman@larabell.org.

The 'Ape of Thoth' script was written by Joe Larabell (hanuman@larabell.org).