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  1. Opinions expressed in comments on this blog are the sole property and responsibility of the specific commentators, and are not necessarily endorsed by the admin of this blog, which is basically satirical in intent and function, and ultimately a trans-media extension of the fictional online story, ‘The Last Statue’, which should not be confused with reality, if any.


  2. THE LAST STATUE (chapter 1)

    Phone machine announces the crack of doom…the bubble bursts, the dream dissolves…return to what passes for consciousness with a Kurt Cobain sized headache…flaked out in front of the tube where a guy in a suit covered with question marks says I’m entitled to a large share of govt. money, which seems a stark reversal of the facts such as we’ve all come to know them…

    “Cinco…you there? awake? sober?” chirps my agent de Castro, after the message-beep.

    A little earlier, just before the big nod-off, I’d been taking a break from trying to patch somebody’s flat-tire of a screenplay. I started watching a 1921 Fritz Lang movie called ‘Destiny’, synopsis of which follows thus: “Hoping to find her fiance, a girl drinks a magical tea and faces an ominous apparition.” Which…now that I think about it, presents a certain parallel to the circumstances under which I was viewing this film.

    And now, in the shrill light of morning, I’m facing my own ominous apparition in the form of de Castro, making the obligatory agent-checking-in-call: “Heh-heh…sorry to disturb your ‘work’-no…nothing much happening, heh-heh…just checking in…”

    But no, not so routine, sez de Castro, “Hey, got something you might be interested in-could even be lucrative-a helluva story at the very least…maybe another ‘Heaven’s Gate…”

    All right, might as well humor the chump. Pick up the phone, cut in with-”Ah, when you say ‘Heaven’s Gate’…you mean the Nike sneaker-flying-saucer suicide cult? Or the ill-fated Michael Chimino western?”

    “Exactly…” says de Castro.

    It was a month like many others, as they all blend, out toward the far end of the beveled edge of History…The salient features of this era were, as I recall, something like:

    -police in a major American city were accused of using excessive force

    -Oprah was on the cover of O

    -a generically obnoxious young blonde female celebrity was booked on a 502

    -there was a disaster in Indonesia

    -meanwhile…stuff was blowing up all over the Mid-East, as high ranking generals scrambled for excuses & private contractors ran amok

    And now…here’s de Castro with an unsavory blast from the past, coming at me with ‘Heaven’s Gate’ of all things, at this hour of the morning…

    So I sez, “In the interest of my impending deadline, and your impending tennis match, or whatever…could we be a little more specific? Maybe cut to the chase just a bit here…”

    “Okay, what’s the deal with Rex Learner?” asks deCastro. “Didn’t you do some writing for him back in that designer-mullet infested decade we like to call the 80’s?”

    “Well…the deal, in a nutshell, is that the sonofabitch still owes me about $70,000, as a rounded-off dime-on-the-dollar, arbitrated figure. Now, when you reference ‘Heaven’s Gate’, I kind of tend to visualize all the money disappearing down a black hole, or Learner & Co. all beaming up to the mother-ship or the mystery-comet or whatever it was…”

    De Castro declined to elaborate over the phone, provocative but oblique, as per standard agent power-style. He extracted a commitment to meet at Anthony’s bar & grill, to which I-against my better judgment-agreed.

    Prismatic shafts of light now beam through the convex window in the front room. The cats soon appear expecting food, vying for attention by releasing the ‘mute’ button on the remote. Before I can hit the ‘power’ switch, another word about finance: “Hi, I’m Phil Massinger with a new way to pay old debts…yes, yes…anything for a quiet life…”


    We meet in the muted ambience of Anthony’s in Santa Monica over requisite male-bonding beverages appropriate to the situation…pleased to meet de Castro’s old Army buddy, Richard Privette.

    Privette, ex-LAPD, now a private investigator2 has his own agency, employing at least a dozen people, “It’s not all about the shedding of shoe leather anymore…these kids click mice and tap keyboards…access the hall of records, the assessor’s office, DMV, the phone company…gives me time to concentrate on the more subtle cases.”

    Thoughtful pause while refreshing beverages are consumed, and Privette continues, “So de Castro tells me you’re a script doctor…”

    “I prefer to think of myself as a screenplay veterinarian.”

    “Script proctologist,” chimes in de Castro helpfully.

    “It’s my understanding,” starts Privette, “that you’ve done some writing for Rex Learner, a director of quite some renown and notoriety, who, according to the leading biographical references, leaves quite a wide swath of dashed hopes and unpaid bills.”

    “Well as a synopsis, that’s not bad,” I have to admit, “but I’m sort of puzzled about the ‘Heaven’s Gate’ angle that de Castro was going on about.”

    “Learner’s still out there,” Privette continues, “shooting a financial sinkhole of a movie from a massive, as yet unfinished screenplay called ‘O’Blivion’s Water’. Aptly titled, considering the flow of mula through this thing…already about 20mil beyond any production budget in Hollywood so far, must be some kind of record. Word is, somebody’s very unhappy with this whole deal, and would like to terminate this production ‘with extreme prejudice’ as they say in the movies…”

    I take advantage of the pause, to have a bit of fun at the expense of de Castro, who in my opinion, is looking way too smug about all of this…

    “Geez, I appreciate the righteousness & urgency of your cause, and no doubt he’s Got It Coming, but I don’t think I’m up for anything like that,” I explain, “Uh, so how much were you offering-just scholarly curiosity…”

    “Fer chrissakes Cinco, he’s not hiring you to clip the bastard-” blurts deCastro. He’s about to elaborate, but breaks off in mid-sentence, noticing my traditional smirk of Put-On.

    So we all share a hearty chuckle, and order another round. Maybe take a moment to field a call from my research assistant, Becky:

    “Your pal from the airport…Terry-from Lennox3 says the ‘Dr. V.’ you were asking about, is probably a Dr. Vinrod…I googled & printed what I could & left it on your so-called desk…oh, and Mrs. Kurtz called, wanted to give you a heads-up about Engram Frazier4 who apparently is frantic to get in touch with you. Judging from the eight or nine messages on your voice-mail, I would have to concur…something about a power lunch at Eleanor Bull’s. A splendid opportunity to review some of Mr. Frazier’s notes…also present will be Mr. Skeres, and a Mr. Poley, who, I believe, also have some ‘notes’ for your edification…”

    Fuck that. This I need like a hole in the head. I’d been more than patient with these pinheads, and the stale, insipid piece of dogshit that Frazier insists is a screenplay-’Sodbusters’, an egregiously lame Bruckheimer-styled vice-squad drama patterned after the CSI cookie-cutter crime shows. 105 annoying pages of pure unadulterated, shopworn cliches-a house of cards built on a foundation of quicksand.

    Even Frazier seemed to sense something wrong here. Couldn’t I just make it, you know, more coherent or something? I doubt that anybody could, although, as far as I’m concerned, anybody can try as long as they try somewhere else ’cause I’m over it.

    On my last pass with this thing, I’d sketched-in completely irrelevant directions & gratuitous camera angles. A very annoying stunt which normally would guarantee termination of contract due to unprofessional conduct. But not with Frazier…kinda guy can’t take a simple ‘Fuck Off’ as an answer…Now, the whole point of having my research assistant sort through phone messages and E-mail, would be to screen out lost causes like Frazier & his goons.

    The lesson to be learned here, if any, would, I suppose, be to pay more attention to whatever the hell it is that de Castro & Privette are pitching…

    “My client, Mrs. Wheeler, was personal assistant and confidant to Learner for ten years. Now, as a production assistant at Tri-star, she’s come across information that would seem to imply a threat to his life. Corroborated from several sources, this information seems reliable, if not conclusive.”

    “Learner’s been shooting in New Mexico,” continues Privette, “Tight security, all very hush-hush…map points, code-words…real streamlined, fanatically loyal skeleton crew, traveling in caravan from location to location…really roughing it, usually camping right at the location in RVs, teepees & bubble tents, right out in the desert…not even any craft-services…”

    De Castro gives an involuntary shudder at this last revelation. Indeed, a production unit without catering, what would be the point?

    “I had to level with Mrs. Wheeler,” says Privette, “Sending in an operative, no matter how well trained or subtle, could very well backfire in a situation like this. My profession seems to be undergoing an agonizing reappraisal in the post-Pelicano era. A closed set, very limited cast of characters-Learner’s not taking calls, and unsolicited visitors are firmly discouraged…”

    “There is a weak link in the chain however. Big problems with the script, which leaves a vacancy: writer wanted…so, you’ve got a history with this guy…could be beneficial to all concerned if someone could get in there and take a look. No one is suggesting you take a bullet for Learner or get dangerously close to anything too nasty. Just take a close scan for anyone, besides yourself, who doesn’t belong, or who might have an agenda pertinent to our inquiry. One of the puzzling anomalies about this entire project is the effortless flow of money to sustain it. Maybe you could cut a deal with Learner for the back pay, plus whatever it’s going to take to pump some life into this screenplay, which I’m given to understand you’re already somewhat familiar with?”

    “O’ Blivion’s Water & I go way back…”

    “Exactly why you’re the one for the job. Mrs. Wheeler avers that Cal Habrud, a line-producer for Canopus Productions (Learners company) will put in a good word, a letter of introduction that should put you right there.”


    And so we agree to meet at Privette’s office tomorrow, sign some forms, work out a few details, review a few profiles of some of the more interesting production staff and assorted hangers on. As we zoom in slow toward the bar, observe sport-sized TV screens tuned to CNN-fresh footage from the war (hard to keep track of which one exactly, but it was bloody, painful, expensive, and made no fucking sense whatsoever) blasted vehicles, daisy-cutters & cluster bombs on wedding parties…shrapnel…broken glass…charred flesh of young children…

    “Holy shit!” grates de Castro, while gibbering neo-con dickheads try to put a positive spin on it all, accentuate the positive, like that book The Secret-gotta tune out those negative thoughts…can’t make a New World Order without grinding a little hamburger…

    “Just like a Nam flashback-typical fucking Skull & Bones-CFR war,” opines Privette, downing the last of his drink, “What was it Jim Jones said about not learning from history? Now, he wasn’t the first to say that, but judging from this bullshit, he definitely won’t be the last either.”

    According to de Castro, Privette had seen plenty of action up close & personal in Nam and Cambodia. According to the tone in Privette’s voice, he’d seen more than enough.

    Way more.


    I’d actually lost track of Learner, at least until de Castro & Privette started this latest song & dance. I really had no clear idea if he was still in the business or even alive at this point. Learner was from the Coppola-Scorsese-Altman generation of would-be auteurs who climbed an arc of prominence and influence starting in the late 60s, rising to some fairly impressive peaks before crashing & burning by the end of the 70s or shortly thereafter.

    Learner’s bleary, stubble-jawed hyper-realistic western & Mexican landscapes and other genre locations seethed with atmospheric menace and twisted sinister intrigue, juxtaposed with surreal glimpses of unraveling reality just hovering at the edge of the frame. This alone, with a body of work starting with ‘The King of Nothing’, followed by:

    ‘The Kenoma Kid’
    ‘Blood on the Saddle’
    ‘Thunder at the Well’
    & ‘Circle Round my Skull’
    should have secured his place in the pantheon.

    From that point, Learner began his massive, over-ambitious quartet:

    ‘Line in the Dirt’
    ‘Fool’s Tornado’
    ‘Fire-Wheel & Turner’
    &’Oblivion’s Water’

    …which apparently, is still not finished, which if true would have to be setting some sort of world’s record, surpassing even Orson Welles’ ‘Othello’ as longest drawn-out production.

    Learner’s feuds with Jim “The Smiling Cobra’ Aubrey at MGM, and severe alienation of many other industry kingpins, contributed to his image as uncontrollable bad-boy, and made each picture increasingly difficult to complete. On the other hand, the grizzled, bearded, booze-guzzling, coke-snorting, mirror-shaded bad-boy persona, was a more memorable and popular character than could be found in most movies, including his own.

    There were interested parties willing to participate in financing motion pictures, largely for the photo-op chance to hob-nob with an actual legendary American celebrity independent out-of-control renegade out-law “cinema auteur”.

    Learner hadn’t counted on this. He’d just wanted to rattle the suits, not become the poster-boy for boiling-over, unmanaged, collective rage, but it was the easiest, if not the only way that these films could get made…

    “Goddamn it ,” as he was wont to say, “I’ve done some degrading and unpleasant shit to stay in this business-I’ve had breakfast with Sue Menger, lunch with Mike Ovitz, and sex with Julia Phillips, I’ve been thrown out of the office at Warner’s, by Ashley, Wells, and Calley, had meetings with Paramount brass until Stanley Jaffe bled from the nostrils, and Charlie Bludhorn foamed at the mouth, so it would be…imprudent of me to bitch about these weasels. Boring yeah, but a least they’re not spitting foam on me…”

    As the years fly by and the information trickles in, to be sifted, analyzed and interpreted, preliminary speculation indicates that Celebrity might just possibly have (gasp!) a less than positive effect on human character, being, amongst other things, enticing, seductive, even addictive, which brings us to Learner who, partly to maintain his celebrity-madman status & partly to assuage his own paranoia, had taken to publicly blowing himself up. The Russian Suicide Death Chair: place six sticks of dynamite in two hopefully even rows, or seventeen sticks in a big circle, then lie down between them in a paper coffin or crouch fetal-like under a chair…the sticks detonate and form an eye-of-tornado type pocket, assuming all the sticks went off, you should be OK, maybe a little hard of hearing, but not too much more notably deranged than before. Once, up in Oregon, and at least once more at ‘Big H Speedway’ in Houston, Learner blasted his way to nihilist notoriety in front of God & anybody else that wanted to look.


    “So what have you been doing? Finish that Frazier project?” inquires de Castro, carpooling on the way over to Privette’s.

    “Ah, you know…reading a little William Carlos Williams, maybe some Ford Maddox Ford, doing a little snow and water-boarding. As you know, I’ve been wintering in Tuscany…digging the red-tiled roofs on the hillsides, savoring the bounty of the local vineyards, the antipasto, the tangerine orchards in bloom…the voluptuous allure of dusky Neapolitan girls straining in their Versace halter-tops to catch the last slivered rays of the surrealist popsicle sunset…”

    “All right, stop it… I was almost buying it for a second,” You could kind of tell this was leading up to something…ah, right on schedule-”So Carmen tells me you were out at her place in Zuma…and you burned a bunch of screenplays?”

    “We were running low on firewood, and I’ve been rethinking my format…how about graphic novels instead?”

    “Which ones?”

    “Just the seven.”

    “What are you, fuckin’ nuts!? I never understood what ‘The Plaster Cramp’ 6 supposed to be about, but we could have easily sold ‘El Hombre Verde’ & ‘The Secret Mirror’…some of those could definitely have been movies by now-”

    “Yes, Yes…It did pain me considerable to deprive The Industry of these humble offerings, but y’know, The Industry, if It could hear us, would say: don’t worry about Me…there’s always ghastly remakes of earlier films-particularly French New-Wave classics, and 60’s & 70’s TV sitcoms and spy-shows, sequals, prequals, comic books, cartoons, videogames, graphic-novels, and generic, mass-produced, cookie-cutter vehicles for past and present Saturday Night Live alumni-”

    “But to just burn the shit-”

    “Don’t think of those stories as gone, they’re just consolidated into seven chapters of the current work…”

    “What current work?”

    “The one we’re in now”

    “In now?”

    “Yes, so try to be interesting for a change…”

    “What would be interesting,” says de Castro with an agent’s innate skill for letting himself off the hook, “Is for you to remind me once more, just where you hooked up with Learner and all this ‘O’Blivion’s Water’ nonsense, I seem to be a little fuzzy on the chronology.”

    “Well…First, as we all know…all roads lead to Bob Evans…”


    The Kid

    When I first set eyes on Bob Evans, he was being wheeled through the Paramount offices on a gurney by his chauffer David Gilruth. Evans, on this occasion, was attired in black silk pajamas, and black velvet slippers with little gold foxes hand-stitched onto the toes. No indication of anything unusual about any of this, just the usual day to day apparel of choice, and preferred mode of transportation-at least until Gilruth got him to the limo.

    As executive-production-assistant-intern-understudy, my duties had so far mainly consisted of going for coffee & bagels. And so, to wander those halls in that state of blissful ignorance, sipping morning coffee, thinking those happy thoughts, one might encounter Peter Bart, or Al Ruddy, and think to oneself: “These guys seem focused, competitive, efficient, yet still exhibiting some semblance of ethical human values…”

    On the other hand, you could have an up-close and personal encounter with Evans, Frank Yablans, or Charlie Bludhorn. A very different story.

    In an earlier incarnation as an actor, Evans had been selected to star in an Irving Thalberg biopic. This selection had been made by Thalberg’s widow, Norma Shearer, on the premise that Evans “looked the part”. There was common speculation that Paramount chairman/Gulf Western chief Charles Bludhorn had merely done the same, by hiring the egregiously under-qualified Evans to assume the duties of chief of production, while Bludhorn and his pals, like Michele Sindona, Paul Marcinkus, and Licio Geli, to name three, got on with the business of laundering Big Money, as it flowed in from Immobilare, Banco Ambrosiano, and such like…

    Meanwhile, I was getting on with the business of screenplay courier. Seems routine enough; roll on out to Evans’ palatial estate, scoop this script and deliver to Peter Bart, possibly at a party. Say what you will about Evans, (and I will) nothing is ever routine with The Kid.

    Parking my dilapidated Citron as unobtrusively as I can, I take the roundabout approach to a side door as specified in the instructions. I knock, door opens, and it’s Evans himself in full-stride, springing out the door, with some boobalacious halter-top honey young enough to be even my daughter in tow…

    “…Uh, hey-glad you could make it pal…here, take this,” he hands me the joint he’s been smoking with his little companion. “Got a bit of a meeting going on inside right now, so just kind of hang out sort of low-key here for a minute will ya? Niki here, and I, are gonna go get David to bring the car around-we’ll be right back…”

    They disappear around the corner of some hedges, and I’m left to finish the joint and ponder the Santa Ana winds now kicking up, rattling branches & rustling leaves in the eucalyptus trees, rows of which frame and bisect the estate.

    Nothing too out of place…although Evans always seemed more like a booze, coke, and pills type, but a little weed and/or ludes goes a long way toward negotiating the pendulous charms of young coconut-butter basted So Cal female flesh. Wouldn’t you?

    A couple of tokes later, I’m suddenly aware of voices traveling along the shrubbery in the opposite direction from where Evans and Niki just vanished.

    …getting closer…think I’ll just sit sort of crouched-over on this quaint marble bench behind these overgrown rose-bushes bordering a row of cypress trees…here they come…almost in view…the first face to follow its voice around the corner is Charlie Bludhorn, followed by John E. Gray, then another individual later to be identified as Terrence W. Abbot, next, mob mouthpiece Sidney Korshak, and then…Henry Kissinger!?

    Jeeziz…what next? A mummer’s parade with J. Edgar Hoover & Meyer Lansky? Some sort of narco-sting ambush gambit, deploying the full brunt of Division-5 and the brutally over-funded NSA?

    That Evans was chummy with the Big K, was evident from the strategically placed photographs in his office of his cherished trophy-friends–Kissinger foremost among them–that given a pretext, Evans would show to just about anybody that would sit still for it. But it’s another thing to see the bastard oozing around the corner while I’m in the act of committing what was in those days a schedule-II felony.

    From the context of what I can overhear, it’s apparent that these mooks are having a sidebar apart from the main meeting

    Gray whirls on the others, more or less focusing on Kissinger, “All right Henry, I can squash this SEC investigation, but you guys owe me one, a BIG one…Sidney, you need to talk to Senator ****** for me, I’ll have some notes on your desk by closing tomorrow…” Voices drifting off as they re-enter the house through the door from which Evans had emerged.


    Gilruth, as always, at the wheel…heading west down Sunset…

    Our POV from back seat looking out toward 180 fish-eye lens perspective of windshield, thru which we can see palm trees sway & shiver in the balmy Santa Anas, disgorging fronds & widow-makers, blowing down to smite the vehicles of the less fortunate.

    As we pan back toward the rear of the limo…The Irishman (who’s actually from Neptune) and The Kid are holding forth, while Niki & her nearly identical colleague Viki, are conversing in a completely self-contained, exclusively closed reference pop-culture discussion among themselves, while blaring some early Wailers on a boom-box, as they roll joints of prime gold Columbian.

    Kirschvasser & Cuervo await to refresh…

    …that’s show-biz Kid-there’s a rhythm to it…ya can’t rush these things. I got rushed with ‘Drive’-that ain’t gonna happen on this one.

    What was it called again? Moonfire? Mooncrap?

    ‘Moontrap’. It’s a Don Berry story, a western. Great stuff,
    but needs honing. Got this kid Sharpe doing a rewrite, but
    it’s goin’ kind of slow…that’s why I gotta scramble to keep
    Kovaks and the Sylberts on the line…got Van Dyke Parks for the soundtrack…everything’s ready as soon as it’s writ, but no go till the script’s finished…Which reminds me, gotchyer telephone book right here…courtesy of Beener, 436 pages…not even close to finished.

    So you don’t want it?

    Beener wrote it on spec for The Pro when The Pro was all pumped-up about westerns-The Pro ain’t so keen on all that since Altman peed on his leg up in Seattle…so he just stops 400-plus pages into it, takes his name off it…I’m a chump-right? So I loan Beener money, and what do I get? A fuckin’ spare tire…The Pro’s sloppy seconds…

    “O’Blivion’s Water?” This guy’s got water on the brain. Looks like ‘Chinatown’ on horseback to me.

    Shit, I wouldn’t care if it was ‘Shampoo’ on horseback, if he’d just finish the fuckin’ thing for once.

    What is this goddamn jungle music anyway?

    Don’t believe I recognize that one…shit Kid, it’s another
    generation, these chicks haven’t even heard of Aretha, let
    alone Ruth Etting. That’s a humbling thought to keep in
    mind…How old did you say these girls are?

    I didn’t card them…what am I, their father? Viki says she’s nineteen & Niki must be at least that…

    I’m just sayin’, that’s a lot of cotton candy to have on your plate with Ali flying in tomorrow night…Do me a favor, huh? Be a mensch and change the sheets, or get Gilruth to do it.

    Yeah-yeah…I’ve got it covered, Niki, Viki, and Ali, all get frilly things…real high-end kinky lingerie from Suzy Creamcheese…everybody’s happy, no problems…The Kid will abide,The Kid will live & learn…

    IRISHMAN (sings)
    The Kid will crash & burn…

    Which reminds me…

    The Kid turns, hefting the massive screen-play which plops onto the unsuspecting lap of Cinco, who, until this second, had completely lost his place among temporal-spatial coordinates as the result of total cannabis saturation almost from the minute that Evans answered the door…

    KID (to Cinco)
    Make sure this gets to Peter Bart…we’re gonna drop you at this party-if he doesn’t show up, hand it to him in person at the office-under NO circumstances are you to turn this over to Frank Yablans or even let him see it-got that?

    IRISHMAN (leaning forward)
    There’s gonna be an amigo there by the name of Emilio, we’d like you to convey our regrets at having just missed him, but make sure he gets treated real good, OK? I knew
    I could count on you pal…

    The Irishman deploys The Smile, which has never been known to fail.

    The limo is slowly losing its race with the solar orb toward the western horizon of orange & pink & darkening azure…lights twinkle on across the bay, the trees still swaying and undulating in slow motion like deep-sea flora…



    Somewhere during the hazy ride to the beach I’d gathered just enough presence, or absence of mind to exchange phone numbers with one of the babble-on girls in the Limo. It had seemed like the suave Irishman-like thing to do. But now, I couldn’t for the life of me remember which one. Would it, could it, possibly matter? But there was nobody around to answer that question as the limo pulled back onto the Coast Highway toward the general direction of The Game…

    It’s Bad-Boy night at Trancas Beach. I should have known that Bart would have the good sense & foresight to sit this one out. Pouring a shit-load of booze & blow into the likes of Gary Busey, Jan Michael Vincent, Don Johnson, and David Carridine, would seem to imply a fairly self-explanatory punch-line.

    Feminine presence is slow in arriving due to the volatile possibilities just outlined. The primary exception to that paradigm being the Margolin-Kidder-Salt team that I knew slightly from parties at Nicholas Beach. Less formally known as Janet, Margo, and Jennifer, they always seemed to present an amiable and witty buffer to the accumulation of coke-dilated egos that occur as an oft-repeated motif at Malibu parties. In stark contrast to most party hostesses on the scene, their graciousness often extended even to those of us yet to achieve the various intermediate states of celebrity enjoyed by the majority of the guests (Scorsese, De Palma. Spielberg, etc.) Intelligent, articulate, opinionated actresses, eager to discuss literature & writing craft with anyone besides the morbid, suicidally self-absorbed Paul Schrader or the blustery shot-gun wielding John Milius.

    Tonight at Trancas, out on the deck in the rear of the house facing the ocean is an impromptu band jamming on a Hank Williams tune. There’s Busey on guitar & vocals, Rick Danko8on bass & vocals, Dennis Wilson-who seems to be having some difficulty in staying upright, on drums, with Jesse ‘Ed’ Davis & Ron Wood on guitars …noted medications consultant Kathy Smith lurks nearby.

    Big commotion from inside…the guest of honor, Emilio Fernandez has arrived. A celebrated actor/director of the Mexican cinema, Fernandez also has a rep as a far, far Badder Boy than everyone here tonight put together. A larger-than-life man of passionately expressed aesthetic preferences, he has been known to occasionally kill disrespectful critics & uncooperative extras on movie sets. Rounding out the resume is a series of duels, bankruptcies, and volatile relationship entanglements, not to mention massive sombreroed Presence as an actor, and an astonishing body of directorial work.

    The band (’Teddy-Jack-Eddy’ according to a slurred Busey when asked) is growling its staggering path through a John Lee Hooker song, sounding pretty good too, when suddenly:

    Shots-broken glass-shouts-cries-sobbing panicked hysteria…

    …inside: everyone scatters…

    -Don Johnson headed for the side-door, exits through sliding glass window

    -Schrader paranoically crouched beneath the dining room table fumbling for his piece…

    -I can see Busey out on the deck, dive right over the rail and into the surf…

    The storm had already passed even as I bolted into the den. Fernandez had holstered his pearl handled 44. and was standing transfixed by a full-face close-up of Maria Felix on the tube.

    A shredded painting & splintered frame were strewn on the floor…I think it was a Schnabel-I really couldn’t tell…

    As a man of highly refined aesthetic sensibilities, Emilio was bound by honor to deliver the coup-de-grace to the offending canvas.

    I think it was Janet Margolin, who in the midst of all this had calmly walked over and flipped the tube over to a Spanish language station. Margolin was later heard to say, “I always regarded TV at a party as a crass, declasse bummer; something we’d only put up with to humor Spielberg, but over there on channel 34 was an old Emilio Fernandez movie. Go figure…”

    The motion is seconded by Harry Dean Stanton, who had been serenely chain-smoking out on the deck through the entire outburst…now steps to the microphone with an acoustic, to deliver a beautiful, aching rendition of ‘Las Golondrinas’…followed by an early Henry Porter tune…


    So Bart would get the screenplay-just not that that night. A bargain would be struck, terms negotiated, a favor repaid…A call placed by Sidney Korshak from his usual table at the Bistro, sitting, as always, equidistant between two phones, one of which would convey The Deal as pitched by Korshak, to interested parties who, having an aggregate IQ exceeding room-temperature, would acknowledge the futility of refusal, and accede to the terms without further delay. Learner would take possession of the screenplay, and I reasonably assumed that once having been fobbed off on Bart, “O’Blivion’s Water” would be out of my life, soon forgotten as we all move on to other things.

    So much for reasonable assumptions…


    “All right, let’s click up a few of the folks you’ll likely be meeting in the next few days…” Privette swivels the screen around to our line of vision, “Exactly what the practical function is for some of these individuals is frankly a mystery to me. A most unusual entourage…”

    “OK, here’s Charles Kyd L’Maigne-early LSD chemist from the 60s Bay area culture…in the same circle, but never as famous or prolific as Owsely, much more low-key, hence difficult to indict or convict. Indeed, the one case filed against him, dried up & blew away when the Company-connected star witness for the prosecution took a brody.”

    “Here’s Major Hector Arcana, ex-Air Force intelligence, former consultant to the Eviary & the Aquarium

    “So I’m at my sister in law’s, right? A total fuckin’ Republican dingbat. At a regretfully inevitable social commitment, she starts going on about Clare Booth Luce or some shit, and I remember this entry in an antique encyclopedia I’d bought over the weekend at a garage sale that read:
    ‘Nor is Antichrist unknown to Mohammedan theology in which he is called Masth al Dajjal, the false or lying Christ…He is to be one-eyed and marked on the forehead with the letters CFR, i.e. Cafir or infidel.’

    “CFR, huh? Well…she’s got the same Encyclopedia Britannica right there in the dining room. As a patriotic Christian, I’m thinkin’ she must want to know, right? With any luck I thought, it should ruin her thanksgiving. So, lo & behold, I go to look, and…there’s no entry. Everything else in the book is the same, except page 126, where that one specific paragraph is missing. The difference? My copy is 1904, hers:1919. Did a little googling, found that a preacher from Austin Texas, named Texe Marrs, has written concerning the very same entry. Reverend Marrs, who happens to be a retired USAF officer, who has taught psychology, political science, American defense policy, aerospace studies, and strategic weapons systems (nice rŽsumŽ Texe), claims in ‘Circle of Intrigue’ that in 1919, as the Council on Foreign Relations was forming, a certain Colonel House arranged to buy the rights to the Britannica, so as to expunge the offending material. Texe comes up a little short on documenting this assertion, but if you google on out to where the buses don’t run, you might come across that early photo of Col. House & Ezra Buckley III 9 shaking hands at the closing of a deal.”

    1Corresponding Steely Dan songs for Chapter One: Babylon Sisters and Hey 19
    2from TLS authors: One of the predecessors to Doc Sportello [from Pynchon’s Inherent Vice] would of course be Nick Danger, a psychedelic Chandler-style private eye on the second Firesign Theater album, who eventually morphs into Dick Private—Private Dicktective on Firesign spin-off album Roller Maidens from Outer Space by Phil Austin. A glance at the synopsis of this story is, I think, well worth anyone’s while—most…illuminating. Also reference private eye “Richard Privette” of the “post-Pellicano era” in TLS Chap. 1
    3Terry-from-Lennox: Terry Lennox, murderer from Raymond Chandler’s The Long Goodbye, filmed in 1973 by Robert Altman starring Eliot Gould. The Long Goodbye figures prominently in the Theresa Duncan/Jeremy Blake mythos, being, purportedly, Jeremy Blake’s favorite film
    4Engram Frazier: Ingram Frizer killed playwright Christopher Marlowe. Engram: a neuropsychology term denoting means by which memory traces are stored, also used by the Church of Scientology for a recording of a painful memory not accessible by the conscious mind. Frazier: Sir James Frazer, author of The Golden Bough (1890), comparative study of mythology and religion, focusing on fertility cults and “death of the king” rituals.
    5These lines reference part of the Jandek mythos: “He’d written seven novels, but after they’d been rejected by New York publishers, he’d burned all the manuscripts.” Not to mention the significance of the number 7.
    6″The Plaster Cramp” is a title from “The Library of Babel”, a short story by Jorge Luis Borges. Full text here:
    7The Warren Beatty character in Shampoo, filmed in 1975, is a composite character based partly on hairstylist Jay Sebring, who was murdered at the Polanski/Tate residence along with Sharon Tate, etc at 10050 Cielo Drive, August 9, 1969.
    8Rick Danko, of seminal group The Band, wrote songs with countercultural hero and prankster Emmett Grogan, who is thinly disguised as “Kenny Wisdom” in TLS Chapter 5. See also song “Brainwash” lyrics (quoted on Untermeyer’s blog, 9/23/09)
    9A character from Jorge Luis Borges’ short story Tlon, Uqbar, Orbis Tertius, an eccentric American benefactor who expands the scale of the Uqbarist enterprise to a full Tlönist encyclopedic undertaking. “Tlon, Uqbar, Orbis Tertius” is required reading for a full understanding of The Last Statue. Full text here:
    Except where otherwise noted, this content is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution License. See Copyrights.

    This is a Wiki Spot wiki. Wiki Spot is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization that helps communities collaborate via wikis.

  3. Out along the coast, follow the directions to Cal Habrud’s place at Zuma…

    Drop by to see Carlo “Felonious” Felonas1 former Learner driver of long standing, now residing in the guest house on Habrud’s property. Carlo’s pottery & sculpture have been enjoying a recent mega-surge in popularity & prestige. Felonas was part of the early Ferus gallery scene, and the seminal Semina art movement in Topanga with his former neighbors, George Herms and Wallace Berman 2

    Now, down at the beach, he has a specially issued permit to mine clay at certain favored sights in the hills above Malibu, much like the Rindge family who ran the historic Malibu Potteries back in the ’20s.

    Using Keeler’s glazes, with the Little Valley and the Cuedra Seca dry-line techniques to resolve pre-Columbian Meso-American themes into geometric labyrinths…religious icons…hieroglyphs…sigils…power animals & primary colors…all grist for the potter’s wheel (see seal #21)3

    “That, and I’m finally finishing this series of statues. I’m on the 29th now, got one more to go…”4

    “These are surrealist Tarot,” says Rosa, Felonas’ esposa, “These were brought as gift by Remedio Varo 5, when she & Peret come to visit in San Miguel. The first card ees the Lock; for knowledge, then the Wheel & Blood-for revolution, then the Flame is love, and the Dark Star for dream…”

    A brief survey of Rosa’s stunning oil & acrylic canvases, then: cervesa & mota on the ocean-facing deck…small to middle-sized talk, then a shift of topic to Tina Delgado…

    “Oh yeah,” says Felonas, “I knew her mother Marjorie back down in San Miguel Allende when there was a little scene happening there. It was a full-on Bohemian art colony trip for awhile. It was intense, and having Marjorie on the scene made it even more so…taking peyote & staying up for three nights in a row wandering the labyrinthine tunnels beneath the Casa del Inquisidor6. Her paintings-so fiery & delirious, the canvas could barely contain the energy…”

    “Then, she had that affair with this bullfighter…ah, Armando was his name… You’d figure that’s plenty of gothic-romance melodrama right there, but then he goes and dies suddenly, causing mucho innuendo to the effect that Marjorie had somehow jinxed him, which was heavily reinforced given the fact that she obviously had more than a passing acquaintance with things Dark & Mysterious…If you were hunting for a witch to project some fear onto, you’d be hard-pressed to find a better candidate than Marjorie.”

    “She left town not too long after, and I sorta lost track past a couple of letters, each a bit more remote and rambling than the last-more like she was havin’ an internal discussion with herself, y’know?”

    “So next I hear is from a mutual friend who’d visited Marjorie out in Beaumont, California. According to this friend who’d visited her, Marjorie was in really bad shape. In fact, they claimed that she was now totally fucking bat-shit crazy, ranting about how she was pregnant with the “Wormwood Star” by immaculate conception, stuff like that…”

    “Around then, I had some business out near Palm Springs. This was back in ‘53, right about the summer solstice. I hadn’t heard from Marjorie in a while, so I thought I’d stop off in Beaumont and look her up…

    She lived way the fuck out in this virtually inaccessible canyon-a real axle-buster of a dirt road full of big rocks & scorpions, then finally…this tiny shack-no water, electricity, or phone…Just Marjorie, livin’ by herself…”

    “She had lucid moments, but she was pretty much out to lunch at this point. She seemed very gaunt & emaciated, yet somehow exhibiting physical symptoms of advanced pregnancy-not a good combination. I tried to reason the possibilities: was this a “hysterical” pregnancy or something? Perhaps some not-well-understood anomaly that we could just deal with y’know?”

    “I was running out of ideas and I couldn’t get her to leave the shack, so finally I made it back to town and called a doctor. He had to come from Banning; the next town over.

    Must have taken him two hours to get from Banning to Beaumont, but finally we get back to the shack, whereupon the doc proclaims with all due authority: yes indeedy, she most certainly is pregnant-can’t be no doubt about it-just as Marjorie, right on cue, starts with some fairly pronounced labor contractions…”

    “So, Tina was born right there…couldn’t possibly imagine a more un-hygienic environment. It was filthy, dusty, fly-ridden…every inch of wall space covered with her latest canvases which had now evolved or devolved to a frightening demonic intensity that even her previous works had only hinted at. A long painful labor…real touch & go for a while. Between the location and Marjorie’s condition, it struck me as highly unlikely that both mother & child would survive-possibly neither…”

    “Marjorie was too weak and disoriented to object to hospitalization afterwards, but walked right out in the middle of the night without seeing her daughter, or acknowledging any of what had happened. Eventually she made it back to her parent’s house in Pasadena.

    When I next saw her, years later, she was living in Santa Fe…still spaced out, but more or less functional I guess. She just went by the name “Cameron” then, she had her other daughter Krystal with her, but still no recollection of Tina at all.”

    “Ma & Pa Ion had run a small gem & mineral shop in Beaumont for decades out there, and when “Pa” died, “Ma” eventually married Hector Delgado, and they would, after a lot of bureaucratic paper shuffling, wind up with custody of Tina.”

    “It was obvious from an early age that Tina possessed certain abilities. It’s difficult to talk about without using terms that carry a lot of disreputable baggage-categories that are inadequate or misleading at best, but something like remote viewing, healings, and various other inexplicable phenomenon.

    People would drive out to Beaumont from all over, especially LA…Poor people from East LA, Watts, Boyle Heights…also celebrities-movie people, sports figures, TV & radio personalities…

    In response to an insight acquired by her own remote viewing, Tina eventually went off to school in New York, studying art at Columbia on a scholarship, and attending these private classes by Norman Raeben. Somewhere along the line, she’d made a ripple out in California, and whoever it is that keeps track of such things finally showed up to recruit her for participation in a series of projects: Stargate at Fort Meade…experiments at SRI…Lab Nine…certain star-crossed research at Lawrence Livermore labs, 1974-75…”


    Later that night, wrong turn in the quick-moving fog, down past the airport we can barely see the Windsock Theater over at the corner of Heinz & Tower…impressive triple bill: ‘United 93′…’Lockerbie 103′…and ‘The Disappearance of Flight 322′…

    Regain bearings. Chart a course going north, up the coast between Santa Monica and Venice…cheesy little hole-in-the-wall bars, down past the diver’s places: The Leaky Pontoon, The Rusty Regulator, Walter’s Snorkel Hut…past The Fabius, The Thermal, The Two Worlds…looking for some random place of in-between…The name, at first, seems faint, and difficult to recall…

    Ah yes, deep in the heart of mist-shrouded Venice, crossing the square…then squaring the circle (see seal #19), down at the corner of Pico & Ficino… it’s an old, soon-to-be-demolished movie palace-The Camillo, featuring a marquee that still reads: ‘DETECTING SCHENKEL’8-the last show to be presented in this gilded temple of flickering light.

    We pan through the interior of the old theater, every nook & cranny a repository rich with treasured memories…these same corridors…deserted rooms…colonnades… glass objects…chandeliers…pearls…mirrors…gold-leaf foliage…a stucco hand holding grapes…Slow zoom toward a modified stage beneath the screen, where Porter and his swinging avant-noise combo; String Therion9, are weaving an intricate geometric sonic edifice, a crescendo, a pause…as quivering sub-sonic bass-notes hover in mid-air like shifting liquid drops, threatening to take on solid form…then dissolving into mist…Porter steps up to the mike to ponder the dualist dialectic of light & dark:

    Shadow on the window10
    Shadow on the wall
    I wake up screaming
    The sun sets at dawn
    Shadow of a woman
    So dark the night
    Specter of the rose
    A tragedy at midnight

    Footsteps in the night
    Nowhere to go
    Edge of the city
    Man in the shadow
    Woman on the run
    I, Jane Doe
    Make haste to live
    Kill me tomorrow

    Drive a crooked road
    The devil thumbs a ride
    Shortcut to hell
    in the Night Tide
    Odds against tomorrow
    And then there were none
    on Highway 301

    While the city sleeps
    They drive by night
    Where the sidewalk ends
    for The woman in white
    In a lonely place
    Where the damned don’t cry
    Too late for tears
    Kiss tomorrow goodbye

    We’re just solid light
    on our way back home
    take the Angel’s Flight11
    between the break of dawn
    and the Twilight Zone

    The woman on the beach
    Out of the Fog
    The company she keeps
    Outside the law
    The man with my face
    Out of the past
    Talk about a stranger
    No questions asked

    Cry of the hunted
    No way out
    To the ends of the earth
    Shadow of a doubt
    Two of a kind
    Under the gun
    Walk a crooked mile
    to The shack out on 101

    We’re just solid light
    on our way back home
    take the Angel’s Flight
    between the break of dawn
    and the Twilight Zone…

    Exponential spiraling fractals emanate from Porter’s guitar, shifting the song into a long shimmering modal coda…spinning a sonic web over textured layers of keyboards, just bristling with Zoroastrian subtext…

    Medium zoom toward the projection-booth where we can see Bill “Fire in the Hole” Habrud busy mixing the sound, while running footage from early Porter westerns, abstract, hallucinogenic Johnny Piato excerpts, and an old Curtis Harrington flick from 1963, called Night Tide…

    We notice Tina Delgado next to the curtain, looking outward from the rear of the stage. From her vantage-point, it’s difficult, if not impossible, to see the films being projected behind the band. If she could see the film-noir being projected through the slow-motion underwater ambiance, she might recognize a face from the unthinkable past…

    Mysterious hooded female figure…oblivious to boardwalk & merry-go-round…past the ferris-wheel pier where mermaids & sailors dream of True Love and Tomorrow, she scans the skies above the arching foam of the luminescent night tide, searching among unnamed celestial bodies for the expected Wormwood Star, unaware of the reversal of those expectations already incarnate, a goddess she’ll never know, forever occluded from the vessel Marjorie, like a black hole in her field of memory…12

    As the music twinkles to a conclusion, the reels shift to an excerpt from ‘The Kenoma Kid’, an early BBS (Bert, Bob, and Steve) epic, with Harry Dean Stanton in the eponymous starring role, with Ben Johnson and Burgess Shale, as B.J. & Drayton…also featuring Millie Perkins, Janet Margolin, Dean Stockwell, and Russ Tamblyn…based (sort of) on an Adrian Lynne screenplay…


    Patented Vilmos Zsigmond oil-paint textured pan across jagged landscape, under impossibly blue, wide-angle Mexican sky, filled with lush, fast-moving cloud formations, distorting, and breaking massive shafts of raw sunlight into color-swirled prismatic spectra.

    Kid Kenoma peers into the distance, while discoursing with two trail-weary riders who’ve come a long way to seek directions…

    The two riders are seasoned & tempered by many miles of road-grit and the hard-knocks of life, but next to Kid Kenoma, they might as well be Tom Thumb & The Boy with Green Hair…

    Kenoma (addressing riders)

    So BJ13 & Drayton14 are heading this way…sure, why not? Might as well be here, as Stratford, Deptford or [ 81 Powis Square]…I hear they turned Greene15 with pickled herring and Rhenish wine. Now, BJ killed two men before he wrote his first word…shit, when he was 33 years old, his own mother was arrested for trying to poison him16…Trust BJ? Nah, let that be the first of a thousand lines blotted17. And we all know about Drayton…so, if they want to come & share their poison wine18, they can try some of mine…got some Ben Zoma19 soma, got some of that Ripley’s Ruddy Toad20 wine, fit for a feast, or a sharp reckoning in a small room…

    The flat dry voice echoes out across the parched loam and sun-blasted chaparral, tapering off in the distance, to sharp, jutting, quartz-veined mountains…

    From deep-focus landscape…cut to:
    slow pan across ancient cobble-stoned village…
    the crumbling town square…
    the dilapidated church…
    the ruined adobe arches bearing more than a passing resemblance to the fabled Paramount Gates…


    …Coming out of the south end of Blackstone, take the forking path toward Sulpher Springs…follow Quicksilver Ridge Creek on out to the salt flats, way down in Furnace Canyon…take the peacock trail out past the Cinnabar Ranch up on Red Crown Hill…should bring you right into White Rock21 where you need to look up Leo Greene22 at the Red Lion-23he’ll take you to Ruth the Gleaner24 & Sally Manders25, who in turn will introduce you to Joachim & Boaz-pillars of the community… 26 Might be of some help to fellers like yourselves…


    “That was my first tour of duty with Rex,” explains line-producer Cal Habrud, “He thought Bert Schneider was playing dirty by being charming & agreeable to whatever Rex needed, on the one hand, then sending his brother Harold, “the attack dog” to hassle him on the other…Rex’s strategy, now that I think about it, in retrospect, had to be equally devious, knowing that Bert was, what would be to some people, the epitome of a Bel-Air revolutionary, making a very visible, some would say, flamboyant point of supporting what were considered to be “radical” causes, most specifically: bro-ing it up with Huey Newton in high-profile, radical-chic, photo-op, celebrity soires…So, the Rex Learner response to all that, is to promote me to line-producer, to run interference with Bert & Harold, which is a pretty big step up from book-keeper in anybody’s economy, the subtext being, that as an American of African heritage, I was symbolically immune to Harold’s wrath, because Harold, ultimately answered to Bert…and after all, what would Huey think?”

    “On ‘The Kenoma Kid’, the final hassle with Bert, Bob, and Steve, was the editing-they didn’t want to release it unless it was re-cut, which didn’t sit well with Rex, ’cause he’d cut a lot of it himself, in collaboration with some doping buddies, there being, let’s say, a notable lapse in continuity, among other things, so…they come up with Lou Lombardo, and this guy can really cut film. In a couple of days, Lombardo has this thing sliced up and ready to go, except for a couple of scenes that had looked pretty weak in the dailies-big battle scenes with lots of extras…seemed like a good idea on storyboard, but looking kind of underwhelming on the screen.”

    “Learner, at this point, has moved on, in a coke-fueled huff to boot, and was holed-up at the Castle; not taking calls, writing a new screenplay, based on the idea of Arthur Lee from the band ‘Love’, as a singing cowboy-gunslinger-sheriff, the only hitch in any of this, being the total non-communication from Arthur. I remember one of the meetings that Rex set up with him at Ben Frank’s. Obviously, we would have liked to have done business with just Arthur present, but he wanted to lord this in front of the whole band apparently, right after a gig at Bido Lito…the air thick with tension & frosty hostility, sullen bad-vibe saturation…Arthur to Bryan Mclean: ‘You’re boring man, I knew we should have gone with Beausoleil…’ 27Mclean, as I recall, wrote the big hit-single for their third and last album as the original group.”

    “Lombardo & I go up to the Castle, fuck this incommunicado bullshit, we need some answers. After a lot of knocking, and bad static at the door, we bully our way in, and yeah…it’s quite a party alright; Bobby Neuwirth, Mason Hoffenburg, Janet Margolin, Terry Southern, Tom Baker, Monte Hellman, Henry Jaglom, Karen Black, Howard Alk, Helena Kallioniotes, Dean Stockwell, Victor Maymudes, and a cast of dozens…Trying to flag down Learner’s attention was definitely a lost cause, with all the chatter, fueled by a large dune of white powder on display atop the main dining-room table, with subsidiary mounds distributed in various locations, discreet & otherwise…”

    “We kept getting the old ‘Yeah, yeah…I’ll be with you in a minute’ jazz. We were determined to get some answers, so we dug in for the siege…We waited in a little side-room/den kind of thing. Not bad, pretty comfortable actually, got the game on the tube, there’s a plate of cookies and a punch-bowl, so we’re hanging out for a while-still no answers-when we start to notice that this isn’t the kind of punch ‘n cookies we had at church-camp as a kid…Things are getting a little swirly, like we’re moving in slow-motion, deep underwater…Somehow, we made it down the hill, and back across town to Culvert City, where we were supposed to be cutting this thing. It wasn’t trippy to the point where everything turns into kaleidoscopes, but a real heightened sense of form & color…I remember listening to someDolphy, Bobby Hutcherson, Monk, and then Lombardo calls me in; rolls a reel with what had looked like a real bland shootout in the dailies, now looks like a high-budget apocalypse, an overwhelming whirlpool of carnage, featuring, regular-speed action, inter-cut with two variations of slo-mo, with hypnotic, rhythmic effect, detailing a ballet of slow-motion squib explosions. Pretty shocking stuff. Rex immediately realized, when he saw it, that the effect of rhythmic multi-speed montage, gave all of this a depth & almost Biblical sense of finality, reinforcing the other elements of the production…”

    “The deal-breaker with Bludhorn”, continues Habrud, “was this dog of a screenplay called ‘Havana Divorce’28: , which, as written, was a throwback screwball comedy, just the kind of fluff that Charlie loved. Coppola, Bogdonovich, and especially Freidkin, had all told him to fuck-off in no uncertain terms with this crap, so Bludhorn starts working on Rex, and probably would have gotten the same reaction, only more so, except Charlie, in pre-emptive desperation, throws in this extra: the possibility of actually shooting on location in Havana, which Bludhorn thought he had cause to be optimistic about, suffering from the delusion, as he did in those years, that he could cut a deal with Castro to set up a massive Gulf-Western managed sugar cartel. He even kept a yacht customized & maintained, on call 24-7, just in case the call from Fidel comes, christened ‘The Caribbean Hannibal’ (which should be a tip-off to The Beard, right there,) known exclusively outside of Bludhorn’s presence as ‘The Caribbean Cannibal’, which was stocked with a projector, a screen, and copies of two movies that Castro actually appeared as an actor in: ‘Bathing Beauty’ (1944)29 and ‘Holiday in Mexico’ (1946). All, I presume, so Charlie & Fidel could have an Ernest Hemingway, male-bonding fishing adventure…”

    “Never happened, of course. As Bludhorn made overtures to Fidel, Learner was surreptitiously mangling the script, twisting it into something darker, faster, disturbing, in other words-into a Rex Learner story. As the slow realization of failure dawns on Charlie Bludhorn, here’s Learner ready with a re-vamped screenplay, with a budget, in pre-production. Charlie, who really seemed to be strangely sentimental about this script, finally lowers the boom: Sorry, Havana’s out, how about…the Dominican Republic? Gulf Western, for all practical purposes, virtually owned the country right about then.30 Bludhorn had set Freidkin up to shoot his re-make of ‘Sorcerer’ there, which was a disaster by just about any criteria you can measure such a thing; which should have been an indication to Charlie, right there, as to what kind of results to expect.”

    “Learner, needless to say, was far from amused, access to Cuba, being the only reason to sign on for such a deal in the first place. Learner’s revenge, was a scheme to cross into Haiti, and shoot his, by now, very sordid little tale of Bill & Barbara Kleen, now replete with Voodoo shadings, and evil corporate intrigue, largely financed by some irresponsibly creative book-keeping, involving cooked double-books, and puffed-up expenses from a lot of financial shell-gaming.”

    “So, within hours of landing in Santo Domingo, we’ve got an organized caravan on the way to Oveido, out near the Haitian border, where we meet up with Bizango31 reps; heavily armed, focused, right out to the cusp of fanatic, evidently some sort of cult, or lodge, that even the Ton-Tons Macoutes weren’t about to fuck with. Negotiating with the Bizango involved making pay-offs right out of an attachŽ case stuffed with bills of various denominations. It occurred to me at more than a couple of points along the way, that out in the forested area, not much was stopping these characters from helping themselves to the cash-drawer, and eliminating the middleman…We were prepared, at the very least, for the old sliding-scale price escalation, a standard practice in many parts of the world, especially, not too-surprisingly, in very dangerous, impoverished parts of the world, but they accepted their pay-offs at the agreed upon price, just going about their business, which was to scare the shit out of anybody in a radius of miles, just by their presence, including border guards on either side, who would much rather step out for a coffee break, than deal with Bizango in any way.”

    “Naturally, Learner had diverted, subverted, derailed, and neutralized all of Bludhorn’s little helpers, creating the required amount of confusion about the where-abouts of Learner & crew…lost in the swirl of chaos we call Port au Prince, shooting exteriors & local detail, still advancing the story of the disintegrating marriage of Babs and Willie32, some pretty intense performances…we managed to put a few reels in the can before Bludhorn pulls the plug…The shit hit the inevitable fan, somehow, in the confusion of logistics out of Port au Prince. Budhorn’s minions got hold of the footage we’d shot…Needless to say, plenty of ill-will to go around; injunctions, torts, restraining orders, lawsuits & counter-suits. Last I heard, Kent Schlockman has possession of the footage, which is too bad, because there really is some good stuff in there, sort of an Eisenstein in Mexico sort of deal…lotta local atmosphere, but blending it in with the narrative, just a few more interior set-ups, which we could have done anywhere, very inexpensively…and we could have wrapped the whole thing. But no, Bludhorn wouldn’t go for it-just sat on the footage till he gave it to Schlockman to cut & paste as he sees fit…Schlockman’s only claim to fame, as far as I can tell, is the ‘lost’ Elvis movie-”

    “There’s a lost Elvis movie?” we gasp incredulous.

    “Movie, would be wildly overstating it; these things do take on a life of their own, but what’s there, is about two and a half reels of actual footage, puffed up with screen tests, songs, and out-takes, and whatever else they had in the can before the whole thing collapsed…

    “Now, this was maybe very late ‘67-early ‘68. The big E was very disgruntled about the state of his career, particularly the quality of the movies the Colonel was schlepping him into. Depressed, and bored stupid, making embarrassing cheesy flicks, starting to bloat up, got to slim down in order to keep making more tacky, lame movies, only one way to do that: MORE PILLS!! Mucho uppers por favor, in addition to his already massive intake…a vicious cycle…even Parker could see the Big Guy needed perking up. I think it’s pretty well established by now, that the Big E was totally obsessed with James Dean 33 perhaps the ultimate fan, possible undertones of guilt and unworthiness at falling short of Dean’s acting legacy, yet getting fat paychecks for grinding out what was with very few exceptions, pure drivel, beneath Elvis’ dignity, or for that matter, beneath anybody’s dignity…”

    “This was all before my tenure, so I’m not quite sure where or when exactly, that Schlockman hooked up with Colonel Parker, but there he was, with a scam to dangle Nicholas Ray in front of Elvis, who was desperate for credibility; and no better way to achieve that, than working with the director of ‘Rebel Without a Cause’. Dreams of getting the old gang together: Adams, Natalie Wood, Sal Mineo34 Russ Tamblyn; the only problem being that Nicholas Ray was absolutely persona non grata at this point; drug & booze issues, a collapse on the set a few years back, uninsurable, unbankable, most likely to not succeed, all calls left unreturned, but Schlockman, somehow…thought he could start with private financing, then…hopefully gathering Elvis momentum, hook a big studio on the line without their being aware of Ray’s involvement in this thing. The impossible dream to be sure.”

    “Schlockman had somehow latched onto a screenplay by this quasi-existentialist German playwright, Kolon KlaŸgher, called ‘Mine Shaft’, really heavy-weight stuff that had been optioned by James Dean before his last crash, supposedly going to give the big E his best role at least since ‘Kid Creole’. The cast wound up with Presley as Zeke Blammer, Nick Adams, whose options were otherwise quite limited at this point, as Soapy Barnes, a very tentative Natalie Wood, as Melissa Raines, Tuesday Weld, who was ah…available, as April March, Bob Conrad, whose schedule was pretty tight with ‘The Wild Wild West’, but real close on the Universal lot, therefore feasibly available, as Mr. ‘B’, Mineo & Tamblyn had major schedule conflicts, and so Scholckman tries to fob Bob Denver off as Hanson; the wacky beatnik desert-rat. Ray was pissed when he saw Denver on the set; “This is NOT a goddam Elvis movie!” sounded paradoxical, but everybody knew what he meant: no Maynard G. Krebs beatniks. As a screen-test stand-in, Conrad found this guy Chuck Summers wandering around the lot, who, after the ejection of Bob Denver, was final choice for the wacky beatnik role. Conrad also found roles for Red West, Michael Spilotro, and Johnny Fresno, the latter two having something to do with the financing of this production, which was starting to take on an Ed Woods-vibe in terms of the slapdash, desperately improvised approach to cast & set, and unpredictable budget fluctuations, culminating in the collapse and/or fall from the wagon, of Nicholas Ray, second day of February, and the unlikely death of Nick Adams 4 or 5 days later.”35 So, the dream was over for the rebel without a clause. Elvis would grind out a couple more fluff movies, then stage a comeback T.V. special, and eventually hit the road, hurtling down the fast-track to extinction. The alleged “Rebel Curse” would proceed onward, collecting more victims, sparing Conrad and Red West. Last laughs, if any, to be had by the relatively long-lived Bob Denver…

    “Where, if you don’t mind my asking, did Major Arcana first link into all of this?” I wonder, still stoned on the “lost” Elvis movie.

    “Back in ‘98, we were shooting some outdoor establishing shots on location in Box Canyon, when this guy just comes stumbling out of the brush along the San Narciso dry-wash, tattered, dusted, scratched & scraped. At first I thought it was a joke; like he was doing a bit-the Kevin McCarthy scene at the end of ‘Invasion of the Body Snatchers’,36 but no, this dude was real disoriented, obviously on the run from someone or something, didn’t want any cops, or any medical attention beyond the production nurse, but he had us contact this Major Arcana from the Udjet Foundation37, who seemed to be in the loop with this dude, name of Luther Blisset38, which resulted in this report:”


    Professor Blisset was originally commissioned to penetrate the latent structural edifice that represents the actual chain of command at the Supervacuo39 facility in Box Canyon40, at the behest of The Board; a shadowy anti-totalitarian society, in existence since the 1930s, founding members said to include Richard Rollins41 & Sam Untermeyer42

    Supervacuo, which is owned by aerospace giant Microcynicon43 was set up to specialize in deconstructing, reconstructing, and improving (with the jolly assistance of imported Third Reich experts) experimental Nazi war technologies, with particular attention to V-2 & post V-2 design.

    Numerous sightings of unidentified flying phenomena have been seen in the area, commencing on 11/11/5744, followed within a year, by a series of “reactor meltdowns”45, which on close inspection, were deemed inadequate to the production of radiation leaks comparable in magnitude to those measured in the area.

    The Yesod Foundation46 located in Box Canyon, at the eastern edge of the facility,
    is a front for

    Professor Blisset had been employed at Supervacuo aerospace facility in Box Canyon

    1″Felonious” comes from “Midnight Cruiser”, Steely Dan: Felonius my old friend/Step on in and let me shake your hand/So glad that you’re here again/For one more time/Let your madness run with mine/Streets still unseen we’ll find somehow/No time is better than now
    2Another interesting article on Wallace Berman appeared in Blastitude, Cary Loren’s ‘zine:
    3Along with statues, Giordano Bruno also created a series of 30 memory seals. From Giordano Bruno by James Lewis McIntyre: “The 30 seals are hints “for the acquiring, arranging, and recollecting of all the sciences and arts,” the Seal of Seals “for comparing and explaining all operations of the mind. And it may be called Art of Arts, for here you will easily find all that is theoretically enquired into by logic, metaphysics, the cabala, natural magic, arts great and small.”
    4A reference to the statues of Giordano Bruno, who only completed 29 out of an intended 30
    5from the authors of TLS: “You may remember Remedios from Pynchon’s The Crying of Lot 49”. See:
    6From Strange Angel: The Otherworldly Life of John Whitesides Parsons “On June 16 (the day before Parsons died), the night before Parsons and Cameron were meant to leave, Parsons went for a walk in Expositions Park with George Frey. He excitedly told Frey of their plans to visit the Casa del Inquisidor in San Miguel de Allende, which had a secret tunnel running to a nearby nunnery and was said to be haunted. He predicted that he and Candy (Cameron) would spend several months in Mexico.”
    7Guido Camillo: 15th Century philospher who created a “memory theater”. See this (unfortunately poorly reproduced) recreation by Frances Yates:
    8Lambert Schenkel and his disciple Johannes Paepp wrote works in the 17th century on techniques of memory. Paepps’s book Schenkelius detectus, or Detecting Schenkel, “reveals the secret of the occult memory hidden in Schenkel’s books,” in other words, shows the influence of occultist Giordano Bruno on Schenkel’s methods, confirming how the techniques of artificial memory turned into the magico-religious techniques of the occult memory.” (quotations from Frances Yates, The Art of Memory, p. 301-302)
    9A portmanteau word, combining “String Theory” and “Therion,” a term for “the Beast” used in Crowleyan Thelema religion. Possibly based in part on the performances of Jandek; see:
    10Each line of this “song” is the title of a film noir. A sample of movie posters: Make Haste to Live, The Devil Thumbs a Ride, So Dark the Night The Man With My Face, The Woman on the Beach. Many movies on this list involve a woman’s murder.
    11Angel’s Flight is a landmark funicular railway in Los Angeles
    12Night Tide had an appearance by Marjorie Cameron as the “Water Witch”. You can see her in these excerpts from Night Tide: the veiled woman at :54 and entering the Blue Grotto at :17
    13Jonson, Elizabethan playwright known for his explosive temper. Jonson told of killing an opponent in hand-to-hand combat, and pled guilty to killing actor Gabriel Spencer in a duel.
    14Drayton, poet, playwright and friend of Ben Jonson and Shakespeare. In fact, Shakespeare’s death is attributed to the result of a “bilious evening” with Jonson and Drayton.
    15Robert Greene, poet, playwright and contemporary of Jonson and Drayton. His name has been floated as the “true” author of the plays attributed to Shakespeare. His death occurred, as his biographer Nashe wrote, after a (bilious?) “banquet of Rhenish wine and pickled herring,”
    16″At the high point of the feast…[Jonson’s mother] raised her glass and drank to her son. She then proceeded to show him a small paper packet which she had with her, full of “stong, lusty poison”. Her attention had been to administer this to her son…Ben Jonson: His Life and Work, Rosaline Miles, p98
    17Ben Jonson: “The players often mention it as an honor to Shakespeare that in his writing; whatsoever he penned, he never blotted out a line. My answer hath been, “Would he had blotted a thousand.”
    18Steely Dan, King of the World lyric: “All I’ve got to say/I’m alive and feeling fine/If you come my way/You can share my poison wine”
    19Simon Ben Zoma, rabbinic sage
    20George Ripley, 15th century alchemist, wrote a alchemical treatise entitled A Vision, which was explicated by English alchemist Eirenaeus Philalethes as “The Vision of Sr George Ripley, Canon of Bridlington, Unfolded”. Some pertinent lines:When busie at my Book I was upon a certain Night,/This Vision here exprest appear’d unto my dimmed sight:/A Toad full Ruddy I saw, did drink the juice of Grapes so fast. For more information about toads in alchemy, see:
    21Black stone, sulpher, quicksilver, furnace, cinnabar, white rock—all of these are elements of alchemical work
    22The Green Lion: a reference pointing toward the Kabbalah Tree of Life: from The Golden Dawn by Israel Regardie: “He set his right foot upon the sea and his left upon the Earth, and he cried with a loud voice as when a lion roareth (the Green Lion, the path of Leo above Tipareth, refering to Teth).”
    23A magical working described by Israel Regardie in The Golden Dawn involves creating “kerubic figures” in the shape of “a red lion, a black bull, blue eagles and yellow angels.”
    24Ruth the Gleaner refers to thebiblical character Ruth, wife of Boaz. This story is also associated with the Entered Apprentice Degree of Freemasonry.
    25Sally Manders=salamanders, creatures that figure in alchemical and mythological lore.
    26Joachim and Boaz are the pair of symbolic pillars (with Boaz on the left) described in the biblical account of the Temple of Solomon and featured prominently in Masonic temples. They also appear on the Rider-Waite High Priestess tarot card.
    27Bobby Beausoleil, musician and Manson associate. Convicted of the torture and murder of Gary Hinman in 1970. From prison, Beausoleil recorded the soundtrack for Kenneth Anger’s film ”Lucifer Rising”.
    28Possibly a play on [ “Haitian Divorce,” a song by Steely Dan
    29The is some confusion about Castro’s appearance in Bathing Beauty. IMDB lists him as appearing as an uncredited extra in Easy to Wed, a 1946 film also starring Esther Williams, but not in Bathing Beauty.
    30See Noam Chomsky:
    31Haitian voodoo cult:”The people designated by [the name Bizango] are sorcerers who (…) have joined secret societies whose members, united by the crimes they have committed together, give each other help. The [Bizango] derive material benefits from membership – wealth and all its trappings – a fine house, luxurious cars and a trip to France – though these considerations are secondary to the satisfaction of returning evil for evil, and of ‘eating people’ during nocturnal expeditions. For an interesting look at Bizango artifacts, see:
    32from Steely Dan, “Haitian Divorce”: “Babs and Clean Willie were in love they said/So in love, the preacher’s face turned red”
    33see:”Elvis was unhealthily obsessed with James Dean. Elvis exhibited many compulsive/obsessive qualities throughout his life which both helped and hindered his personal and public life. One of the areas that Elvis wanted to excel in was acting. He wanted to be the next James Dean and as a result was obsessed with Dean. He anguished over the fact that the roles he was given in movies were not (in his mind) substantial. Elvis knew all the words to “Rebel Without A Cause” that featured James Dean and Natalie Wood. Elvis sought out Wood because of her connection to James Dean. That relationship ended when Natalie came to visit Graceland and Elvis’ mother Gladys (who was domineering and jealous) drove Natalie away. Natalie confided to her sister Lana that “he can sing, but he can’t do much else”. The obsession with Dean led Elvis to intentionally befriend Nick Adams – a very close friend of Dean’s before he died and since his death rumors abound that Adams had a sexual relationship with both Dean and Elvis.”
    34Note that four of the actors in Rebel Without a Cause died under questionable circumstances. See:
    35This movie appears to be the creation of the author. However, in the wikipedia article on Nick Adams, it is mentioned that days before his death, Adams “bought a plane ticket with his own money and flew to Rome to co-star with Aldo Ray in a SciFi horror movie , but when he got there found the project had been dropped.” Note the similarity between “Nicholas Ray” and “Aldo Ray”. The title of the uncompleted movie? “Murder in the Third Dimension”!
    37The “udjat” eye is also known as the Eye of Horus. The authors of TLS may be playing with associations with “jet”, aeronautics and aviation
    38Luther Blissett is a “multiple-use” name adopted by social activists and artists since 1994. See also: Some artists using “Luther Blissett” have morphed into a collective called Wu Ming. See:
    39Supervacuo is a character in a Jacobean play entitled “The Revenger’s Tragedy” in the past attributed to Cyril Tourneur but now attributed to Thomas Middleton. A “vivid and violent portrayal of lust and ambition in the Italian court,” modern scholars assert that the play “is best understood “subversive black camp” insofar as it “celebrates the artificial and the delinquent; it delights in a play full of innuendo, perversity and subversion . . . through parody it declares itself radically skeptical of ideological policing though not independent of the social reality which such skepticism simultaneously discloses.”
    40The authors of TLS are referring to Rocketdyne, designer and producer of rocket engines, and subsidiary of Pratt and Whitney. Rocketdyne participated in Operation Paperclip, employing many German engineers. Their rocket the “Redstone Missle” was based on Werner von Braun’s design of the German V-2.
    41Richard Rollins was the author (1941) of I Find Treason: The Story of an American Anti-Nazi Agent
    42″On behalf of Jewish rights, Untermyer served as attorney for Herman Bernstein’s suit against Henry Ford for anti-semitic articles published in Ford’s Dearborn Independent. After the advent of Hitlerism, Untermyer became president of the Non-Sectarian Anti-Nazi League to Champion Human Rights, to counter Nazi propaganda and lead in the boycott of German goods. Other activity in the Jewish community included serving as vice-president of the American Jewish Congress until 1926 and president of the Palestine Foundation Fund for several years.” For an indepth discussion of Rollins and Untermeyer, see Peter Levenda, Unholy Alliance: A History of Nazi Involvement with the Occult
    43Microcynicon: Six Snarling Satires is a work of poetic satire written by English playwright Thomas Middleton in 1597 and 1598. The published version was burned publicly as part of the Archbishop of Canterbury’s attack on verse satire. Although a minor work, the poems included prefigure the interests of Middleton’s mature work in sin, hypocrisy, and lust. More contemporaneously, Microcynicon in TLS stands for Pratt and Whitney, American aerospace company
    44See this report:
    46Although there is an actual Yesod Foundation in Boulder CO, the authors of TLS may be referring to The Fountain of the World, a cult located on Box Canyon Road, established in 1948 by Krishna Venta, aka Francis Heindswatzer Pencovic, who was murdered in an explosion set off by fellow cult members in 1958. Fountain of the World is infamous for being visited occasionally by Charles Manson and associates.
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  4. The Last Statue (chapter 3) pt1 ‘If a man asks: What is the Process? Say to him: It is The End the final ending of the world of men It is the agent of the End The instrument of The End The inexorable power of The End’2 -Robert De Grimston3 If you’re harder yet to please We have most delightful dreams Our recorders will preserve The intensity and passion of your screams For we only aim to please It’s our customers who gain As their appetites increase They must come to us for pleasure and for pain And the price is right The cost of one admission is your mind -The United States of America ‘Strange days have found us Strange days have tracked us down… Bodies confused Memories misused As we run from the day to a strange night of stone…’ -Jim Morrison The Testament of Charles Kyd L’Maigne I first met Tim Scully somewhere in the science department at Berkeley, briefly discussing, if memory serves, the theoretical possibilities of red mercury4, the philosopher’s stone, the pursuit of the grail & the elixir of immortality, and how any or all of this, might or might not relate to the lysergic trend suddenly gaining momentum as the zeitgeist beckoned. I had already met Melissa Cargill5around the campus, and soon heard that she was living with the Big O up in Richmond, cooking up speed in their bathtub, taking in Scully as a roommate; then, eventually refining their act by producing a series of high quality LSD-25 prototypes; ‘Blue Cheer’, ‘Purple Haze’, and ultimately, yes…’Orange Sunshine’, breakfast of champions. Labs in Windsor, Orinda, and Petaluma were soon cranking out mass-produced enlightenment at the behest of Mr. William Mellon Hitchcock,6 who was bankrolling all of this neuro-chemical satori, I assumed, out of the goodness of his heart… Eventually Nick Sand was on board; a pragmatic, profit-motivated counterfoil to Scully’s mystic idealism. Scully obsessed about purity, while Sand strove to find new ways to cut corners & add cheap thrills & bum kicks, cutting the acid with meth, strychnine, STP & DPT. Definitely quantity over quality with Sand, which is where I come into the picture. Relations between S&S were already strained when Sand accidentally (I think) tainted a major batch with kerosene. I’d done some minor work in a couple of their labs, produced a few batches, which Scully then meticulously analyzed, logged, and filed. Rather than argue with Sand at this point, Scully commissioned a certain quantity from me, and I assume, was fairly satisfied with the results, which is where all of that Holy Roman Emperor nickname stuff got started. The main irony was that, at this point, I was moving away from lysergic solutions, becoming obsessed with a mythical psychedelic compound mentioned in ancient heretical Persian and Kurdish religious texts. The sacred libation, translated roughly as ‘Lace’, seems to have become intertwined with soma7 and haoma, from the religious traditions of India & Persia respectively. An aspiring young specialist in Kurdish liturgical texts by the name of Martin Schwartzman, claimed that superimposing certain passages from the Jandekite literature, namely, The Book of the Diamond, and The Book of the Pearl, would yield the encoded recipe for ‘lace’, which, according to the Diamond & Pearl literature, would trigger a series of synchronistic events, which would somehow provoke the immanent manifestation of the much anticipated Book of JNDK. from JNDK: Hypothetical Heretic Estimated Prophet -by Walter Tyler F& The Book of JNDK, according to Henry Corbin’s translation of Theodore Bar Konai8is depicted as a call being “sent” or “broadcast” from some origin-point located outside the sphere of linear temporal unfolding; rebounding from the flash-point at the end of History, casting a reflection of itself into the past, creating rippling, patterned modifications in seemingly random cultural artifacts, subverting and overriding preexistent interpretive meaning; connecting the dots on a whole other level, creating an infinite labyrinth of correspondences, spiraling outward in the form of a wheel, gathering the fallen sparks into the Ras9, The Final Assembly10 The Last Statue. This last “statue”, would be composed of hashmal11. a kind of divine, mercurial, liquid-fire type of energy, and would convey the gathered fallen sparks as a purified wheel of fire, to the “New Town”, a destination equivalent to the New Jerusalem12 Astra Alta, or Christianopolis13 According to Professor Oskar Mier, in his masterful study of Guilo Camillo; ‘The Enigma of Bologna’ (a vast improvement over Mier’s previous effort; ‘The Diet of Worms’-strictly for the birds) the memory-wheels of Ramon Lull14 were a very specific reverberation of that same theme. Camillo evidently had a clandestine copy of Lull’s Book of the Seven Planets, wherein these connections are frequently, albeit cryptically, examined. Lull, who apparently had clandestine copies of the books of the Diamond & Pearl, seems to have extracted from these works, his color-coded system of decans; “the dye behind the wheel”15 as Lull would note. The single credible surviving fragment alleged to be included in the Book of JNDK: “I am a word16, a son of words [….] beware the repetitions of mirrors and copulations lest ye fall into the labyrinth and be entangled therein17 [….] cast into the wastes of the kenoma18, forgetful of origin and destination, prey to djinn, astral voyeurs [….] ghosts in the mirror19.” There follows a talismanic chant to ward off the aforementioned baleful influences: UUUAAAAAAAAAAAAOOOOOOOOOOOOAAAAA UUUUUUUOOOEEEEEEEEEEEEEUUUUUUUUUUUUEEEEEE AAAAAAAAAAAAIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIOOOOOOOOOOOO” etc. Each vowel in the sequence is said to represent a color, an element, a number, a musical tone, a planet, a day of the week and so on. The remaining fragments of this hypothetical tome, relate the voyage of the JNDK and his followers, as they cross the Vourukasha20 in southern Uqbar, where they encounter the blue, but miraculously preserved body of Xormusta21, in the frozen wastes of Mt. Elburz. -end quote “You are the result of a strategy that has been unfolding for over fifty years. You were prepared discreetly by several Englishmen who were themselves agents of the process…” -Lama Govinda to Timothy Leary from ‘Confessions of a Hope Fiend’22 The optimism and naivetŽ of the era tended to negate any inclination to feel skeptical or judgmental toward super-cool acid financiers who happen to be doing business with the same money launderers, as Nixon, Vesco, Bebe Rebozo, and a whole shitload of corrupt, venal, asshole Third-world dictators and other practitioners of cattle-prod-to-genital social engineering. So…the flower blooms, dies, and rots, far quicker than you’d think it’s going to. By summer ‘67, the ‘Death of Hippie’ 23 been declared, the Haight spinning into a terminal amphetamine death-rattle, swarming with vicious pimps and hustlers, battening on the surplus of unsuspecting lemmings, who’ve made this long journey just to be victimized… I’d set up a small basement lab on Cole street, which was an excellent vantage point to watch the New Darkness sweep down Cole and on into the Haight along with a myriad of other cults full of mindfuckers, soul-zappers, and blood slurpers. Feeling kind of conspicuous, with a lab going so close to hippie ground-zero, concerns about the heat and all…a band rehearsing upstairs blows a fuse once or twice a week, leaving me scrambling for emergency power, while the word on the street is: Mr. ‘Billy’ Hitchcock is under some kind of pressure to relinquish his patronage to our worthy endeavor. But even more troubling is the phenomena brought to my attention by Milan Melvin24… “Kyd, word’s getting around that all the regular dealers, chemists, and distributors are disappearing, or turning up decapitated, mutilated or hacked to pieces if they turn up at all. Shit, some of them we sort of know, or at least have heard of, like Shob, Superspade, or Leo the Hebrew…supposedly done in by the King of Hearts, whoever the fuck that’s supposed to be…”25 Concern ramps up to borderline paranoia with the very unexpected arrival at my door, of Nick Sand. I’d never been all that close to the Sandman, who operated according to his own agenda of semi-secret, privately commissioned batches of dubious compounds for unspecified entities, whose intentions I suspect, were far from benevolent. I could never really talk to Sand on the same level as I could with Scully or Cargill. Our main topic of conversation was the Armenian mystic G.I. Gurdjieff, whom I knew a bit about through an uncle who had been part of the inner circle at G’s institute in Fountainbleu. According to my uncle; the real action where any kind of mystical progress was being made, was not in the lessons, classes, exercises, lectures, stupifyingly tedious readings of ‘Beelzebub’s Tales’, or menial slave labor, but in the marathon dinners which usually evolved or devolved, depending upon your point of view, into lengthy drinking sessions where the big G would push his student’s buttons, playing upon their weaknesses, until they were sufficiently destabilized to be receptive to the Big Enlightenment which was surely just around the corner… Sand, needless to say, loved of all that manipulation of human weakness stuff, and was maybe using some of that as he pitched his plan to set up shop in the corner of my rented basement, to begin working some new short-cut LSD formula. The upside of his scheme, was that this recipe eliminated several steps in the process and obviated the need for ergotamine tartrate (ET) which was becoming increasingly difficult to obtain. The downside of all this involved certain specialized solvents so volatile as to explode or ignite by mere contact with a sufficiently sharp surface (like broken glass for instance) which in close proximity to other compounds found in this context, could trigger a chain of explosions, possibly consuming the whole lab. What a bummer man… You connect the dots-you do the math-you fill in your own punch line-(KABLOOOOOOOOOOOMMMMM!) Sand picked his way through the debris; glass shards and splinters from Bunsen burners, beakers, and test tubes and various flasks & scales…bits of rubber tubing & detritus from vacuum evaporators & chromatography columns…Sand, or so the story goes, had arrangements like this all over town at this point, and so, staggered off into the morning mist, sandblasted (pun intended) from head to toe with pure crystaline LSD-25, plus related compounds, to cook another batch, maybe destroy another lab-all in a day’s work… “Uh, sorry man…gotta go…later…” I tried to clean up as much of the mess as I could, scooped & trashed most of the broken glass, though random splotches of various substances, some illegal, some still unknown to law or science, were distributed across major areas of the walls and ceiling. A call from Roni; the willowy dark-haired girl who dealt a little weed & acid out of C-3, the apartment across from mine… “Hey Kyd, just thought I’d tell ya: You know those guys down the hall? They’ve been coming around asking about you. I know they talked to Glickman, and to Naiomi & John in C-5. Shane says they were asking about the key to the basement, and when I came back from the market this afternoon, they both had their faces up in the windows of your camper. They seem to be taking an interest at the very least…Then I heard that boom, like it was down in the basement or something…is everything O.K.?” “Yeah, just a visit from the Sandman, not nearly as apocalyptic as it probably sounded.” “Good to hear, y’know everybody’s still raving about that Chained Lighting26 from last week, The People, such as they are, unanimously request more, when and if available, but we’ll talk about that when I see you…meanwhile those guys down the hall rate at least a 9 on my paranoia scale of 1 to 10. Narks, informants, rip-off artists-who knows? But they’re definitely up to something.” I thanked Roni, then called Milan Melvin to discuss these current fluctuations in the exchange of commodities… “Jeez Kyd,” sez a highly agitated MM, “You’d better get out of town right now, before you wind up as a warehouse doorstop, or several warehouse doorstops…you remember that little chat we had about Shob & Superspade…” “Well, I talked to this guy a couple of weeks ago, a Digger, I think, named Erickson. He claimed to be part of some underground railway/safehouse kind of deal, where they shuttle draft-resisters up to Canada, and others with dope or political issues, down to L.A. or Mexico.” “Who, Erickson?” says MM, “Nah, that guy’s not a Digger. I asked Grogan about Erickson, he’s part of some weirdo group that’s supposed to occupy one of the crashpads on Waller Street, as soon as the Diggers pull out-if they haven’t already… but definitely not a Digger. According to Grogan, Erickson works for that guy Stark, from the Himalaya Academy27 “Stark?” “Yeah, Ron Stark28 Remember the ‘Alchemist’s Conference’ at the Himalaya Academy? Seems like everybody in the business was there; sort of heavy on the platitudes & happy-speak, a little light on substance…this guy Stark had big bushy hair-a little thin on top-and a Zapata mustache29. I remember hearing one of the Academy poofters refer to him as ‘Uncle Sugar’. I heard Leary introduce him to somebody else, as ‘Carl’. The Big O implies that Stark might be stepping into Mr. Billy’s shoes before too long…none of which helps us at the moment-you need a deep-cover vacation…oh yeah, hold on a sec…yeah…I’ve been trying to find somebody to house-sit this cabin down near LA. Remember Marko? He needs someone to occupy his place for a few months while he gets some medical attention.” “Oh yeah? What seems to be the problem?” “Ah, it’s a long story…” Hmmmm… Maybe just about this long: Patient in question now residing in the Charles Dexter ward30 of the James V. Forrestal31 wing at Atascadero State Mental Facility Patient complains of confusion and distortion in his spatial and temporal relationship to his body Patient suffers from apocalyptic anxieties connected to ritual cult activities that he claims occur in the area near his residence Patient avers that his memories have been ‘tampered’ and ‘misused’ “I hope Marko was bullshitting or hallucinating about that cult stuff. Other than that, how bad could it be? Topanga by the sea…” “You’re not going to drive that motor-home, are you?32 It looks like a Technicolor mother-of-pearl flying saucer on peyote. Beautiful, and in its own way, subtle, compared to all the day-glow paisley buses one sees these days, but still a long way from inconspicuous, if you know what I mean…” He had me there. I’d trusted some very peppy freaks to repaint this camper from its original day-glow, green jello & magenta. So it comes back covered with this shimmering, prismatic, mother-of-pearl type coating, giving the effect of a mirage of an abalone shell turned inside out. Well it couldn’t be helped. I’d filled up the tank33 and loaded what I could salvage from the lab, and traded some of the remaining Chained Lighting to Roni, for a QP of Acapulco Gold (that’s right kids, such things did once actually exist) and a quantity of black Paki hash about the size of a cheese wheel. It would have to do. “…the future’s uncertain & The End is always near…” -Jim Morrison34 The Spiral Staircase35 There it was; in all of its two-story Victorian glory, jutting against the picture-postcard Malibu sunset, which was in the process of being pre-empted by a looming thunderhead fronting a massive storm system gliding in off the ocean. I’d followed the creek down toward the coast, avoiding the main canyon highway, figuring to chain-smoke a few joints, maybe cop some take-out food at The Raft or Positano’s, if it’s still open, then scoot back up to the cabin before the storm hit. From what I’d seen of Topanga so far, Victorian-styled structures loomed highly incongruous amongst the cabins and bungalows scattered at the mouth of the canyon. And now, on the way back from the Raft, rounding past the house, notice the tilted angle, the skewed perspective, the infernal asymmetry…as I complete my pedestrian U-turn, heading back up the creek, now on the opposite side of the property, here’s two individuals, whom we deduce from the subtle stick-figure on the patch or ‘colors’ being worn, are Harley-riding members of something called ‘Satan’s Slaves’36 which was also bleary speed- blasted road-gristle, with beards like glazed doughnuts, on a break from the party at the end of the world… An ancient Ford pickup screeches down the unpaved driveway back onto Topanga Canyon Lane, having clearly just departed. One biker chortling mirthlessly to himself, the other, sporting a puzzled expression and a question on his lips: “What the fuck’s wrong with Big Stik? Just saw him tear by in the back of that pickup, he was holding his leg and howling like a motherfucker, looked like Roscoe driving, almost ran me off the road, fuckin’ prick…” “That stupid asshole got all cranked-up and went messing around up at the Injun shack-just like I told him not to, fuckin’ dumbass…” says the first biker, “So he’s up there pissin’ in the garden, looking through the window; casing the place-he thinks the Injun’s got a bunch of silver & turquoise, maybe some gold…biggest bunch of happy horseshit I ever did hear…so, in the middle of all this, he says he’s attacked by some kind of dog or coyote or something, sounded like a cartoon to hear him tell it…now, it’s not enough that the dickhead hallucinates this bullshit, but he goes tearing off like a panty- wetting-schoolgirl, tripping over a raised tree-root…you know how he’s got that one fucked-up knee? Well, the cartilage is all gone now, fuckin’ knee got bent all the way back in the other direction…but no, that wasn’t painful enough, so the moron gets up on his bike makes 50-60 yards down the road, spills, just about totaled his hog, been lying around here since last night, pissing and moaning all day long, says if he gets enough ‘medicine’ he’ll be alright, but I got tired of hearing his weepy bullshit, told Roscoe: ‘Take him to the hospital in Santa Monica’, so yeah, he’s all pissed, fuckin’ chump…” Suddenly, alert to the fact that I’m only a few feet away, the first biker whirls facing my direction, obviously caught off guard, squint-sneering suspicious, says, “What the fuck are you? Some kinda nark?” I, in fact, happen to have a giant hit of Gold & hash occupying my lungs at this particular juncture, so I just let it out right into his face. The only way to follow a massive blue cloud of that magnitude is to reply: “That’s right pal, why don’t you go ahead and inhale that, and I’ll read you your rights…” At first, the squint tightens at the perceived effrontery, then…as herbal smoke reaches snout, contacts olfactory receptors…a slackening of expression…reinforced by the sudden presentation of a crisp new joint for each of them, which they grab for eagerly, and you would too if you’d been up for a couple of days, speeding & boozing with nothing to smoke but harsh ten-dollar-a-bag “comersh” headache-weed that it is inevitably the biker’s lot to deal. “Like I told Big Stik as we’re throwin’ him into the back of the truck,” says the first biker, mellowing, “you got to learn to walk softer, dumbshit, haw-haw-haw…” I figure that a bit of cannabis diplomacy with the local hairy-thunderers would be a shrewd investment about now. I knew that the ‘Injun shack’ belonged to Elk, an anthropology consultant at UCLA, of Native American heritage that I’d been introduced to at Darla’s. Darla was my new neighbor from two cabins down the road, a hippie earth-mother who hosted open-invitation, semi communal breakfasts for the neighborhood. Melvin claims that Elk is a shaman, and though I tend to run a bit skeptical on such things (if I had a dime for every alleged ’shaman’ I’ve ever been introduced to, believe me, none of this would have been necessary) but I couldn’t rule it out in this case… I have appropriately hazy memories of a very informal, intensely medicated discussion between Milan Melvin, Tobacco, Emmet Grogan, and a notoriously irresponsible Doctor of Journalism37. One of the topics in that meandering discourse, was what to do about the Angels? Hell’s Angels that is, and though they differed slightly on the pros & cons of the Angel’s value in the New Society, they were unanimous in their assertion that the Angels, as disagreeable as they might be on occasion, were the Salvation Army compared to some of the other less well-known ‘bike clubs’. Satan’s Slaves, and the Gypsy Jokers being the most vile that they could think of, not to be confused with the slightly less vicious Straight Satans38 and Jokers Out of Hell39. “Yeah, ya gotta talk to Joe Dorgan40 up at the Plank, out in the Valley…nah, he doesn’t wear our colors, he’s Straight Satan-fuckin’ pussies-but he’s OK, we have an understanding, he can help you out…” says the first biker in response to a wooly derelict in a wizard’s cape & carnival mask’s discreet inquiry about things unwholesome… My new pals Mook and Shank seemed like routine biker foot-soldiers, although Grogan, Melvin, and the good Doctor, had all hinted at darker, meaner, sharper things up toward the top of that pyramid… “Dog? No, don’t have one myself, and other than Shemp,” Elk says indicating Darla’s dog; an amiable, smiley-looking golden retriever now sitting at Darla’s feet, “You’d have to go 7 or 8 cabins up the road to find one in residence…and they’re all pretty laid-back, not exactly guard dogs…now, there’s coyotes around here, but they’d have to be awfully sick and hungry to attack anyone…” “This all sounds like drugs and dog karma to me,” says Darla, gazing off the porch into the rain. Darla had stopped by with a tureen of chicken-tortilla soup, served on the porch, inviting Elk as he passed by on the trail, to partake in a Soup Moment, which I see as a kind of random and spontaneous thing to be valued & shared. Guard your Soup Moments lest some nefarious corporation try to sell them back to you in a can, not that you can’t have a Soup Moment out of a can if you’re hungry enough, but it really helps to have some ambrosial home-made concoction, served with cilantro & lime, a ripping good thunderstorm is a prime ingredient of course, and a chunk of hashish as big as a cheese-wheel, can be considered a plus as well. Neighbors Jessica & Sarah drop by with fresh-baked bread, strawberries, and grapefruit wine. As the new guests sample hash & soup, I inquire further about drugs, dogs & karma… “The drugs, I thought were pretty self explanatory, but dog karma?” “Some of the Satan’s Slaves supposedly worship the goddess Circe, who apparently is British, with red hair, shiny leather hip-boots, with lots of S&M posturing.”41 “Kinky, provocative, even alluring, I must admit, but doesn’t Circe turn men into swine? Hardly seems Kosher…”42 “A definite upgrade in this context. If you get a load of some of the tattoos these hombres are sporting, you’ll see just how un-Kosher it can get…Point being, that part of the Slave’s worship of Circe would seem to involve the drinking of dog blood…German Shepherds-freshly skinned & drained or so I’m told. Along with a lot of rape, necrophilia, pedophelia, and just generally freaking out, or all of the above simultaneously. It all has something to do with that house those guys were standing in front of.” None of the locals actually called it the ‘Spiral Staircase’-that came later, after Manson’s ascension to media-darling status. When referred to at all, it was as ‘the Snake-Pit’ by the locals, or ‘Gina’s Roadhouse’ by the bikers. Before we examine any specific details, we must pause to consider the risk of offending any delicate sensibilities by portraying any 60’s icons in a possibly less than flattering light. Start deviating from the party line and things can get ugly; like the crowd of fans waiting outside a Michael Jackson court appearance, or like Homer Simpson stomping an obnoxious child-actor at the movie premier in ‘Day of the Locust’.43 Well-maintained and updated websites abound, practicing various increments of spin & damage control, to protect the pristine and unsullied reputations of certain personages 40-50 years after the fact. So Remember: None of These People Ever Met Each Other Or Did Anything Illegal Or Immoral Or Even In Questionable Taste-And Even If It Sort Of Looks Like They Were In The Same Place At The Same Point In Our Chronology Doing The Same Thing-That’s Just Coincidence Or Something… “There seems to be a mingling of various interests over at the Snake Pit, there’s Georgina44 and her group-she owns the place-then there’s the British people in the capes with the pentagrams and goat’s heads,” says Elk. Soup’s finished, leaving a cumin & Tabasco afterglow, now polished to a finely textured, iridescent sheen by a fresh bowl of hash, “Then there’s Bummer Bob and Charlie the Fer-de-Lance, some new breed of acid pimp-messiahs popping up like mushrooms…no offence to the mushrooms. The party’s always on. Catch it during the day or early evening, and it seems harmless enough: swingin’ stoner party, music, strobe-lights, dancing, groovy guys & chicks balling on pillows and couches…a little later on, the real weridos start to crawl out of the woodwork: witches & warlocks, cult leaders & would-be messiahs…evidently a very competitive field these days. From there, the hardcore believers branch off into different rooms devoted to S&M in one, hardcore deviant sex in another, some sort of blood rituals involving small animals in another. Lots of acid, lots of scopolamine, datura, Demerol, speed, pretty much whatever you want…and plenty of it.” “Yep,” sez Elk, sparking hash in the bowl of a long clay pipe, then blowing a voluminous cloud off the porch out into the rain-drenched night, “You hear all kinds of stories up and down the canyon…dark things happening along the beach and up at the Moonfire Ranch45…Georgina supposedly has a place in the desert where they really cut loose-the kids say they sacrificed a bear out there, and drank its blood…sounds like bullshit to me, but you never know-I hope it is bullshit though…You usually don’t see Georgina until the last part of the cycle when all these rooms full of strange goggle-eyed people have passed into a deep scopolamine & Demerol comatose stone-slumber, then she proudly wanders through the place, holding her black candle, grinning…taking great satisfaction in her accomplishment…what’s that song she always whistles?” “Either ‘Danny Boy’ or’ Londonderry Air’-I think…she sings and whistles it,” says Darla nursing a cup of tea, “That house has come loose from its foundation, and I think most other residents in the area would agree; so has Gina. Doesn’t stop people from coming out and making the scene though. Sometimes famous and/or powerful people. Let’s say you’re a budding starlet driving down from Bel-Air in a red Ferrari…or a rock idol with your face plastered across billboards on the Strip, Gina’s is the ‘in’ place to wallow in all those kinky forbidden thrills that you thought you might be missing out on…Afterwards, there’s always the Canyon Ranch Motel46 where they’ve got some bungalows out back. Nothing too fancy…but easier to maintain your privacy of celebrity than waking up on the tilted floor of the Snake-Pit-although many do…” A bit more tea & hash…conversation addressing the concerns of mudslides, flooding, and sandbag availability, and I bid goodnight to some of my guests. Then, later…smoking on the porch, digging some late-night LA FM radio-Sandy Bull, Billy Holiday, Coltrane, Monk, Buffy Saint-Marie…some Ken Nordine, Desmond Dekker, Nina Simone, Lenny Bruce, Terry Riley, Howlin’ Wolf, Elvis…Steady drizzling torrent, yet propitious atmospheric conditions for sharp crystalline reception; other than the occasional zap of faint lighting, smooth sailing…no static at all…I can see the inside of the cabin awash in the soft green glow from the FM, while back here on the porch… flashes of the Haight crashing hard off the “Summer of Love” into a lethal vortex of methamphetamine & sociopathic predators only six months ago…After the initial burst of light and color, could this be the Newtonian pendulum swinging back the other direction? Is any of this a random development at this point? Could it have been anticipated or planned? What, if any, is my part in all of this? What if the crowd hanging around at the Snake Pit is not an anomaly, but a prototype for The New Direction? “Hey man, ain’t seen you around…watcha been up to?” sez Mook as I pass the hash-pipe. We’re on the second floor of the Snake Pit…looking toward the entrance to the next room; a topless chick dances furiously in the connecting doorway, framed by ominous pulsating strobe-lights from the other room…nude female day-glow body paint dancers line the far wall, while an impossibly effete dude, wearing what looks like a drum majorette outfit, topped by a Hussar’s shako & a monocle, is heard, during a brief gap in the shrill din, to lisp: “This is such a boffo soirŽe…Gina really is the hostess with the mostest”…as maniacal bug-eyed freaks with stringy hair & sharp pointed beards, wearing crude looking leathers & jewelry made from bones, teeth, and skulls from (mostly) small animals, chanting sinister sounding gibberish while beating on pots & pans and metal cans with various utensils including buck-knives & bayonets…taking hits from “community jugs” & odd-looking pipes incorporating more bones, claws, skulls & other animal parts. Some people looking lost, or hunched over…wild-eyed paranoiac, snarling at invisible enemies…oblivious to other bodies huddled sucking & fucking in various arrangements of number & gender… There’s a lot going on at the moment so…I’m possibly not paying full attention as Mook passes the pipe back, muttering something inaudible against the sonic barrage… Maybe take an extra-deep hit to acclimate myself to the frantic & unsettling action, and…instantly-harsh, acrid, chemical burning in throat & nostrils, jarring waves of sinister energy flash up the spine like a cattle-prod in a Jacuzzi…Visible, tangible lines of crackling force spreading through the room revealing the citizens therein to be skull-faced, death’s head gristle-puppets dancing the jig of the doomed. What had seemed like chaotic free-form spontaneous activity, was in reality the oppressive manipulated convulsing of maggot-tainted meat marionettes with their strings now revealed in a shimmering, hi-res, 4-D, Bosch hologram of eldritch certainties…47 Mook: “Hey man, did you get a hit? That’s the DPT I was telling you about…” Oh yeah, the pipe-right…I can feel the interior presence of long tentacled fingers probing deep into my brain, my memories, my soul; with icy loathing contempt…Opening my eyes to de-emphasize that vibe, the room seems to be distorting into non-Euclidian angles48 down into a claustrophobic trapezoidal chamber with no visible doors…it seems to take hours to make it to the wall, where I feel along looking for an opening…a doorknob…turn it, step through and…almost plunge from second-story sheer drop into the creek…grab fumbling onto the morning glory vine-trellis…scramble down side of house to gravel of creek bed…Through the side entrance to the ground level, I can see hooded persons surrounding a nude couple screwing with unholy convulsive vigor on the dirt floor, while one of the ‘hoods’ drizzles the blood of a dying slashed chicken on them… I’m out of here. “There…” says Elk, after closing the ceremony by facing the four sacred directions,49 “The rest is up to you…Shit boy, you was lookin’ most poorly when I stumbled upon you this morning. Thought it was another knucklehead come to pee in my garden…” I’d only made it as far as Elk’s cabin, being able to go no further, having made what seemed a super-human effort just to get this far. It’d been a long haul on that trail in the dark; deranged, swizzled, twisted on some hellish drug…I could make out leering gnarled demonic faces in the tree-trunks, and in the dark spaces between the trees, I could see flashing glimpses of high-tech futuristic cities in slick, startlingly high-definition composition, purveying an unbearably oppressive feeling of ennui and twisted emotional distortion; a deep jaded emptiness from the point of view of a spiritual ingrown toenail. I could feel the distorted, grotesque asymmetry of the Snake Pit, pulling me back in the direction of that trapezoidal void. I was resolved with dead-grim certainty, that whatever happened, I was NEVER going back to that building again. The flesh seemed to rot away from my hands, exposing wires & stuffing, revealing sharp metal talons, as I started digging in the dirt-clawing frantically at the ground for traction to keep from getting sucked back toward the trapezoid of closed dimensions… “Yep, the Pit’s a good place to pick up an astral-leech or two, ectoplasmic parasites, like quipoleth, as the cabbalists would say,” continues Elk, “I’ve just brushed those off for you, so you need to take this day to relax, have a good meal or two, make small talk and laughter with the guests that will soon be arriving at your cabin, and just take it easy for two more days after that. But at the end of the three days, if you want to make the healing complete, you have to go back to…yes, that’s right-the Snake Pit…” A grim prospect, to be sure. But I had to admit that I was light-years closer to feeling normal after Elk did his thing with the rattles & chanting. Still feeling a little buzzy and spaced-out, but otherwise OK…I mean, before that…I was just slumped here with my checks all cashed, my soul all spent, and my options all nixed. Now I could at least envision a foreseeable future & a tolerable, even comfortable present moment. Back at my cabin, Darla and her pals Sarah & Jessica, set about the making of coffee, tea, orange juice, blueberry pancakes, eggs, salsa, bacon, banana-bread, soup for later, and sliced mangos, strawberries, melons, kiwis, and pineapple. Elk sitting outside smoking, while Darla’s niece Emmy plays Frisbee with Shemp. The fizzy, evil-vibe hangover is soon eroded in a healing wash of cooking smells, and the warm laughter of lilting voices… It’s show-time, three days later, no putting it off…While approaching on the path branching from the creek trail, you can already hear the chant emanating from the Snake Pit: Chiiiinnnnnnggg…ON!50 Chiiiinnnnnnggg…ON! Chiiiinnnnnnggg…ON! Chiiiinnnnnnggg…ON! Chiiiinnnnnnggg…ON! “Hey! You’re back…” bursts Shank, jovial, having latched onto a beautiful, but terminally morbid-looking Mendocino witch. “Tonight’s the night buddy, Father P.’s here, just seen D.K. & Brother Ely…ain’t everybody been in one place like this since the Boulder creek run…” “Father P.?” “He’s a great leader, a man of fire, of judgment & inspiration” the Mendocino witch says thickly, taking a hit from the community jug, “He’s beyond the confines of human limitation, he’s God & Satan. I’ve been to his ceremonies up in Santa Cruz, and Alameda County man, they go all the way. He’s a prosperous man in the straight world, the world of business, a millionaire & a doctor, but here tonight with his disciples-his companions of life, you have the chance to see real genius.”51 “Look at that fuckin’ Mercedes, huh?” notes Shank, pointing to a sleek black vehicle that I hadn’t noticed previously. “If I couldn’t ride Harley, that’s what I’d be driving…” Random human flotsam & jetsam are gathered around a fire-ring over to the side of the house, where leathered troglodytes are hurling a magnesium VW engine into the blaze, then…balancing precariously on the rim of the fire-ring, deeply inhaling the fumes as they rise from the greenish flames… Ascending the actual spiral staircase, I reflect on Elk’s basic do’s & don’ts: 1-don’t drink, eat, or smoke anything passed to me even if I brought it originally 2-minimize all physical contact, beware the acid-kiss and the wet touch 3-keep moving 4-have a reference mantra handy to nullify any propaganda bullshit 5-maintain calmness, allow no expression of fear This last point being the key motivation behind this whole General Mac Arthur trip in the first place. The basic idea being to confront the flash-point of The Fear, in a detached observational mode, transcending all emotional turbulence. I’d watched Nick Sands cook up batches of DPT before. Always sounded kind of dubious once you got over the similarity to DMT, which is dimethyltriptamine as opposed to [dipropyltriptamine dipropyltriptamine]. While DMT occurs in nature and is very similar in structure to compounds produced by the human brain, DPT occurs nowhere in nature as far as we know, and is possibly one of the most artificial substances that you can stuff into your cranium. Designated as EA-939 in the MK-ULTRA arsenal, DPT eventually found a place in the literature, as the “demon” molecule, an appellation that I personally find to be devastatingly accurate, bearing in mind of course, that some people like it, there being at least one cult in New York based on it, plus the fact that as of the first decade of the 21st century, it’s still legal just about everywhere, unlike say, DMT-the “spirit” molecule.52 But the point now, was to avoid any contact with the ubiquitous mind-zapping party-favors, no matter how seductive or aggressive in their attempted delivery. Darkened rooms seething with anticipation…stoned chatter occasionally breaks into handclaps & chanting: Father P. ! Father P. ! Father P. ! Father P. !…then sinking back into the general hub-hub to bubble to the surface again in a couple of minutes. The wooly leather crowd is out in full force, cutlery poised over pots & pans, ready to smite…mingling with vicious-looking bikers, S&M buffs, a smattering of hard-core Hollywood coke-spoon swingers, black-cloaked hooded snuff-mongers, and a random assortment of splatter-geeks, blood-guzzlers, mind crunchers & freak-out connoisseurs…all in breathless expectation for the arrival of the Grand One: Father P. ! Father P. ! Father P. ! Father P. ! Against the far wall, previously occupied by the nude body-paint dancers, are The Teacher & The Oracle: Winston Targarth-de Kalb, and Circe Targarth-De Kalb.53 Winston54 speaking to a select audience… “…Embrace the dark beauty of inevitable death, by living to the fullest, with no limits, no illusions, no doubts. Make love if need be. Spill blood if need be. Give in to your darkest impulse to refine the light within. Thou shall kill, rape, plunder and torture without mercy if need be, to arrive finally, at the ultimate Truth. Fear not the End. Come to the Now. As it were-shall it be.” Then Circe55 addresses the multitude: “Some of the brethren will be passing out our pamphlets on vivisection56 And now, as promised, our very good friend & colleague; the divine Father P.” A bulky form strides purposefully through the murk, a momentary diversion as a teenage witch in the west corner, indulges in a freak-out, writhing convulsively on the floor, a string of saliva extending from her mouth. It’s unclear to me, whether this faux pas is due to the heavy presence of El Chingon Grande, or from taking hits off one of those fucking scopolamine jugs that they’re constantly passing around. Father P. turns in the direction of the disturbance. Then, satisfied that nothing out of the ordinary has transpired, steps up to the skull-motif podium just yielded by the de Kalbs. Even still turned, while conferring with Brother Ely, there’s something kind of familiar about Father P. It’s a chilling thought; who in the world can I think of that would have any probability of winding up here? And why? It takes a minute to register. Always the possibility of misfiring synapses…could I have not come down from the DPT? Is this one of those flashbacks that I had always assumed existed solely in the imaginations of desperate defense attorneys? Because… Holy shit! This guy looks just like Ronald Stark from the Himalaya Academy-No it IS Ronald Stark from the Himalaya Academy-just as I recognize the bushy handlebar mustache;57: there’s Erickson taking a hit off of a bony-looking ivory pipe, a curved Malaysian dagger in his belt. With any luck, it’ll be a hit of DPT…hopefully give me a buffer for a clean getaway…Check please! Musn’t give in to the Big Fear, although that seems to be the intended accumulative gestalt effect of everything in this house. Just keep moving slowly toward the exit…mindful of the call I’d received just two days ago… “Uh…yeah, things are OK, as far as it goes,” Milan Melvin had said via long-distance, a hint of anxiety detectable even over the phone. “But I need to tell you, I talked to Roni. She hired a clean-up team with the cash you left for the basement de-tox, and I guess when the hired crew showed up to scour the basement, they got into a hassle with those two guys from down the hall that had been asking about you before you left. They were down there pulling the basement apart, looking for something, and wouldn’t let anybody else down there. She says that they were with some other guy who seemed to be in charge, a real high-powered go-getter…Roni found his vibe questionable enough that she clicked off a roll of film with a telephoto-lens, right through the open window, while they were arguing with the clean-up crew, right out on the sidewalk…” Roni’s photos had been steadily winning awards for several years now, during which, she had amassed a formidable arsenal of cameras & accessory equipment. “Real clear, crisp, sharply defined, possibly award-winning photos, which she made a definite point of showing to me…and it seems artfully clear from a number of angles, that the high-powered go-getter supervising the other two guys, is our old buddy Erickson.” “Ah, one other thing that might just be relevant at this point is: I’ve been asking around about that underground railway for draft-resisters that Erickson was trying to set you up with, and between Grogan, Peter Berg, and John Bryan, I assembled a list of nine travelers who bought the ticket to take that ride, and in so far as anyone can tell, no one has seen any of them since. They may have made it to the end of the line, but they never reached their destination, if you know what I mean…” Well…a replay of that loop is definitely not helping in the looming anxiety department, so let’s just focus on the fact that Erickson and a couple of buck-knife brethren are now reconfigured right in front of the singular doorway leading to the staircase…so, no real choice, but to retrace my wobbly escape route from my previous peccadillo. At least I can see the doors…ah yes, this is the one-careful-it’s still a sudden drop, even if you’re not frying on some demonic, soul-scorching pathogen of the spirit… The descent by morning-glory trellis seems almost routine somehow, with the supreme advantage of having both eyes focus in the same direction for this one. As I come to ground in the gravelly creek-bed, I can hear scuffling & gasping from the back of Roscoe’s old Ford pick-up, parked flush against the side of the house, where Shank is semi-reclining, while the Mendocino witch gratifies some deep-throated oral fixation with quite some intensity & gusto, scopolamine-glazed eyes rolled back into sockets…getting pretty close to the Big Moment too, when Shank notices my presence… “Hey…” he manages weakly, nobody’s breaking stride, including myself, as I casually saunter past. “For dessert…” I explain, setting a couple of monster-sized joints on a tree-stump. “Rotating tires upstairs bro…goin’ to my car for a case of beer-be right back,” I deftly elaborate, still moving in the general direction of away from the house. I didn’t really feel like I owed them a couple of joints or anything, but I was grateful that they at least could do this without being drizzled with chicken-blood. “Hurry back, she’ll do you next,” offers Shank solicitously. “Mmmmpppppffffff,” says the Mendocino witch. So, adios Topanga…Recommendations & introductions lead to a home-base residency at “The Farm”; a very loosely-knit communal art-tribe gathering in the hills between Hollywood & Burbank off of Barham Blvd. The decentralized center of this community includes members of the Modern Folk Quartet, to wit: Henry Diltz, and the annoyingly charismatic Cyrus Faryar. I mean, it’s really grating to watch one’s self succumb to green, venal jealousy, as virtually all members of the female gender melt into mushy compliant puddles at the very sight of the guy. And generally, these were not emotionally scarred teen runaways, but sophisticated, smart, witty, talented, silky, finely featured, voluptuous, otherwise probably unobtainable women, who, if not zapped at the very sight of the dude, would fall over swooning sideways once he made with the guitar, and started dishing out the Faryar universe of seductive tropical sunsets, and languid, amiable atmospherics, shockingly free of the clichŽs that nearly always mar such efforts, and still quite listenable 40-50 years later. The Farm was in many ways the polar opposite of the Spiral Staircase/Spahn Ranch scene, where probably the most sinister thing I can recall happening, was having every piece of clothing, blanket, sheet, towel, or other textile item in my possession, tie-died while I slept, by the eponymous but beautiful, Tie-Dye Annie. Tie-dye still seemed fresh & vibrant in the context of that trippy & na•ve era, as opposed to the mass-produced Wal-Mart baby-boomer bummer that it has become in later years. With the motor-home safely ensconced & camouflaged at The Farm, I embark on extended tours of duty in Orinda ‘68, and Denver ‘69, until the June-bugs of the law arrive to shut ‘em down, or more favorably, till the run is completed. Now, a change of patron is in the wind, adios Mr. Billy…new money waiting in the shadows… Feelers from the Brotherhood of Eternal Love, lead to an invitation to Laguna, where plans are quietly discussed for setting up an independent lab, although up to now at least, the Brotherhood has avoided direct participation in the manufacturing side of business. After 3 or 4 days just digging the groovy Laguna vibe, I happen to come across Leary over at Mystic Arts58…quick hello, howdy do-good to see ya…quick flashing patented smile, gleaming with the wholehearted sincerity commensurate to a politician in the middle of proclaiming “no new taxes”…59 That night, while smoking in someone’s kitchen, we look out the window to see Feds in neo-military uniforms, brandishing automatic weapons & infra-red night-vision goggles with parabolic microphones & dishes, sweeping thru Laguna Canyon in the dark like they were in Nam, out to torch a gook village…Lots of knocking on, and in some cases, kicking down doors and waving of warrants, at least one of which seems to have my name on it, which is how I wound up living for a couple of weeks in a cave at the bottom of Bluebird Canyon, where my main human contact would be these kids, Tipper & Beaver and some of their pals, which is also where I started hearing major revisionist Leary stories…At first I thought the kids were just putting me on, maybe regurgitating some Charles Dickens jive, either from a movie or school assignment. But after a while, the consistency of a profile of Leary giving “You Gotta Learn The Value Of A Dollar” by hustling weed & acid for the Big Guys type-speeches to these kids maybe 12 to 16 years old, seems to give some credence to the Oliver Twist saga I hear when they make their deliveries of food, water, and dope. “I just don’t know anymore…” says John Griggs60 when we finally meet up, at his teepee on the high ridge in Idyllwild. We’d originally met while closing a deal in some tiny village near La Bufadora in Baja, involving some rigamarole about crossing the square, then: comb hair, light cigarette, open paper, remove shades etc. But here on the mountain edge of Idyllwild, now, as an honorary member of the BOEL myself, things are more relaxed…”I mean, we started this whole thing because we were inspired by Timothy & the purity of his whole vision, y’know?” Griggs is the leader of the Brotherhood, not by popular vote, nor by application of brute force, but by virtue of the fact that he is The Dude, the man with the plan, the Visionary…But now the vision is troubled, a house divided… “Tim was briefing us on Mr. Billy’s withdrawal from the scene, and this new guy moving in61, got unlimited supplies of ergotamine funded by big bucks, sent a rep with a kilo of pure liquid…OK, that’s some very impressive shit, but we’re fine just moving smoke, and the purest acid we can get, but this guy wants us to line up with his crew, and start with all this other shit that I’m not too sure about…STP, DPT, MDA…this new fucking ‘angel dust’ shit PCP, that’s total bad news…And speed for god’s sake…speed! Didn’t we all just see this crap play itself out, up in the Haight not too long ago? And now I’m ’sposed to line up & sign up to shovel more of that bullshit? I’ve seen more than enough already.” “So we’ve got Tim, and Michael Hollingshead (who, some people are telling me, is a British Intelligence agent) staying here, and it’s hard at this point, not to believe that they’re acting as shills for this Stark guy, giving me the hard-sell on the whole line of goods, and when they finally realized it was no-sale as far as I was concerned, they started going behind my back and talking to Fat Bobby and some of the others that might go for that kind of action…I can’t fucking believe it! Tim! I mean, we thought of this dude as a god! A saint or bodhisattva at the very least…And this girl Charlene comes to visit, staying at Leary’s tent with his daughter, and she winds up drowning with a head full of acid. Shit, we’ve had kids up here playing & swimming in that pond all along, without anybody dying-we watch out for each other-it’s your brothers & sisters for god’s sake, it’s like a tribe, you don’t let people just go off and die through negligence…And I’m not putting myself in a position to judge the man, but I’ve frankly seen Tim more choked-up about cancelled dinner reservations, than he was about Charlene…Lotsa cops with questions nosing around, about five days ago, Leary takes his leave, and 24 hours later, the heat comes down: full scale raid, a big show of force, not nearly as damaging as it might be, but they still nabbed five of us. As you can see, there’s not many people on the property right now, at least till some of this bullshit settles down…”62 Milan Melvin had called earlier in the week. No sign of Erickson or Stark, which is no surprise, since they seem to be here in the LA area. The two fellow-tenants from my former Cole street address, also on hiatus, which probably means I should be watching out for them down here too…MM apparently on the outs with Grogan however… “He’s got Janis shooting dope again, goddammit…” I’d heard this before, from other people, including a disgruntled Country Joe Mc Donald63 All I know is, once in a meeting at 1775 Haight, discussing whether or not there should be free acid, or whether there should even be acid at all, Grogan whips out his works, and oh, so nonchalantly, yet with a certain theatrical flourish that he also used when smoking a cigarette, and practically everything else, ties off, cooks up, and shoots…mainlines…not skin-pops, a full adult portion, fruit of the poppy, finest kind too, they tell me, without batting an eye, or breaking stride in whatever bullshit filibuster he was perpetrating at that moment. And so, eventually it would come to pass that the Diggers were no more; bringing to an end, the era of free-food and jovial Robin Hood-styled anarchy. Different versions of the demise of the Diggers, usually center around a donation made by a former Viet Nam vet, who forked over a quantity of heroin ranging from a couple of ounces, to two gallon-bottles full, depending on who is telling the story, or how much rope you feel is necessary for a righteous self-lynching… “I’ve been hearing about turf wars, and murders & reprisals, and all those dealers and distributors up north that got whacked,” Griggs continues, “I hear Stark has a major coke operation in place up there, with some very bad-ass enforcers on the payroll. Is that what we want to become? What happened to the community? A new way of living in the wisdom of the Tao..? Supposedly, the deal is that Stark is heavily funded by a certain Canadian crime family, with a Montreal mouthpiece that hooks them up to some Brit spies running Big Dope out of Montego Bay Jamaica, with all kinds of scams to bring big chunks of coke to the nostrils of America. These Canadians have been in business at least since prohibition, now they’re legit booze pimps with thumbs in a lot of pies.”64 “Question I had to ask myself goes something like: Are we really changing anything by becoming part of some giant booze octopus? And that would be disturbing enough, but I’m hearing these weird stories about the house on Waller street, the Zodiac & the King of Hearts, the Alameda County Death Cult65…What the fuck’s up with that? And why do I keep hearing Stark’s name come up in this shit? Through all this bullshit, the one thing I want to do, is try another hit of that Chained Lightning. That was beautiful…felt so good…But it’s been so hectic, I just haven’t had the slack for a whole trip. It sure seemed different. What’s the deal with that anyway?” “It’s cut with Lace; an ancient Persian recipe. Much better I think, than the additives you find in some of the leading brands…” To put it mildly, I’m thinking. One liter-bottle of Lace was missing in the final inventory from the basement lab-blast, which would, if my memory serves me well, wind up temporarily in the possession of Abbie Hoffman, who threatened to dose the water of Chicago with it at the Democratic convention, to then be confiscated & stockpiled by some slick Feds, and later deployed as part of some ill-fated paranormal research project at Lawrence Livermore laboratories in the early ’70s. Still a few liters in stock; selectively available, if you know the right people… “The pure Lace trip is actually of much shorter duration, although it’s really quite negotiable.” “Man, this recent Sunshine they’ve been tabbing up, isn’t even close-it’s some other shit that Stark & Sand cooked up in France or Belgium or wherever, and tabbed here, to look like Orange Sunshine; now it’s just a marketing gimmick-just another burger off the assembly-line…everybody’s richer & the emperor is very well dressed! What bullshit! Now I hear about a lot of pissed-off bike bros around LA saying they bought strychnine-laced mescaline and kerosene-flavored acid. So yeah…I could use a little taste of something fresh…” An hour later, it’s a done deal. Upon being advised that a pure Lace trip can be modified with catalyst additives, to last anywhere from 2 to 14 hours, Griggs signs on for a 3-4 hour jaunt, “Shit, I got four hours to spare, I thought it was gonna be like a big long acid trip or something…” “Yeah, it’s pretty malleable, and if you need to cut it short for whatever reason, we can have a cup of this Paraguayan paquirŽ tea all brewed up, snap ya out of it in a matter of minutes,” I show him the paquirŽ pouch, “Or on the other hand, this ‹pra mattŽ tea can take you further into it…kind of like ‘Alice in Wonderland’.” The first signs of the onset of a full-scale Lace trip, is the sense of bejeweled gold filigree motifs superimposed upon your actual environment, morphing into mosques, temples, cathedrals, palaces…Phantastic geometric designs sprouting gleaming rubies, emeralds, sapphires…a sharply defined sense of cosmic abundance, before dissolving into bizarre & often beautiful, alien-looking landscapes, and finally merging into streams of concentrated symbolic information, or any modular combination of the above & then some. I can see that Griggs is in that bejeweled-paradise phase, which I have to admit, is kind of startling even if you’ve been through it a few rounds… “Look at this! My teepee’s turned to gold…” We can both see jeweled patterns on every visible surface, and the almost imperceptible sense of the tent gently breathing, obviously an organic sentient being…Griggs is now convulsing in laughter at the punch-line of the cosmic joke…”Centuries of conquistadors, pirates, plunderers, looters & sackers, all killing, torturing, dying for gold, diamonds, rubies, jade, emeralds…when it was in their heads all along, but they just couldn’t see it…the more you seek it in the exterior, the more you lose it within…the pearl of great price-no need to seek in the world of appearances…it’s your soul-the only value there ever was to any of it…THE ROCK IS IN MY HEAD!” It was the last week of July ‘69, Gary Hinman is being hacked to death in Topanga66 while the Solar Lodge is being raided in Blythe67 Tate-La Bianca killings another week away…but four days before that, one week after sharing the Lace with Griggs up on the ridge, on August 4th, very quietly, with no media fanfare at all, adios John Griggs…OD’d in his teepee on a fatal dose of psilocybin.68 Yeah, right. Well…yeah, I suppose it could happen. To determine feasibility, what we’d need to do, is juxtapose the particulars of this case against a patterned database of similar toxic psilocybin fatalities…What? Y-you say there’s not enough-oh, it must be this server glitching again…So anyway, something about pure psilocybin crystals brought back from Switzerland by Nick Sand…let’s see…powerful pharmaceutical connections in Europe… anybody else we know who might have a hand in this deal? Nah, probably just another coincidence… When the barometric pressure is just right, in a suitably altered state of mind, standing on a ridge in Idyllwild, the high canyon walls of Benedict Canyon, in the blasted heath & waste of Blythe, the gold & purple interior of Stanford Chapel69 , or a Northern California speedway70, where a major rock-star sporting an Omega sigil71 will preside over festivities which will include an orgy of senseless violence, and at least one murder, advised & inspired by one very influential show-biz kid member of the Himalaya Academy72 , along with massive batches of bogus “Orange Sunshine” (more likely EA-939), and one of the very, very few major attorneys to have played an evil angel73 on the original Star Trek74 , summoned by a pack of strangely amoral, feral children, while a message left by Grogan at 710 Ashbury, two days before the free-concert, reads: ‘Charlie Manson Memorial Love-Death Cult Festival’75 …it’s still just possible to get a little whiff of an ill-wind that once blew from the long since demolished Spiral Staircase… from-R.P. Stoval’s76 ‘Meetings with Remarkable Death Dwarves’77 All right Sherman, set the Way-Back Machine for 8-8-69. Earlier in the day, across the Atlantic, the photograph for the cover of Abbey Road was snapped, while back in LA, Led Zeppelin treated local audiences to two nights of powerful Crowley-flavored blues-rock in Anaheim & San Berdoo…meanwhile, a little further up in the hills, at Celio Drive, it’s the night of the long knives…Mansonoids creepy-crawling through the tulips of Helter Skelter; the Flowers of Evil78 in full bloom… Perhaps we can best understand the symphony of historical coincidence, as experienced through the point of view of William Garretson; young caretaker at the Tate-Polanski residence and sole surviving human on the premises. Kicking back on a summer night, beautiful, quiet, rustic canyon…maybe do a hit or two of some mescaline or MDA-plenty of it around, what with Frykowski & Sebring dealing right out of the house…wouldn’t you? A joint or two, maybe a beer, just to take the edge off of the mescaline…got the stereo going…Steve Parent just left…how’d he even find this place anyway? He’d never been up here before, in fact I’d only just met him that one time…odd that he’d just show up without calling, all the way out from El Monte, to sell a clock-radio that I’d never even heard of, let alone expressed any interest in…he was lucky to find this place showing up unannounced with no directions like that… Lucky indeed.79 With the stereo on, you can’t really hear much of what’s happening outside; barking dogs, shots, screams, stabbings, bludgeonings…first a Mama Cass album, I always liked the Mamas & Papas; dig ‘12:30′ for instance, (”young girls are coming to the canyon”)80 Would I have known about the interpersonal intrigues between Polanski and Michelle Phillips?81 The story goes that Polanski retrieved a knife from the kitchen and held it to Phillips’ throat, hoping to get a confession. Would I have known about the abduction, flogging, and video-rape of scumbag dope-dealer Billy Doyle, alleged to have occurred at Cass Elliot’s residence on Woodstock Road, directly across the street from the Folger-Frykowski domicile, with certain Celio Drive regulars in attendance? Hopefully not. The other album was by the Doors. Let’s see…maybe it was that first one… Lost in a Roman wilderness of pain And all the Children are insane… The Killer awoke before dawn He put his boots on He took a face from the ancient gallery And he walked on down the hall… Come on baby take a chance with us And meet me in the back of the blue bus Fuck, fuck- Kill, Kill, Kill…82 Or how about “Waiting for the Sun”? Came out back in summer of ‘68, driving home the point, in case you missed it on the first two albums: summer of love’s over baby, flower-power’s all played out, the groovy vibes are gone…dig: Your ballroom days are over, baby Night is drawing near Shadows of the evening crawl across the years… House upon the hill Moon is lying still Shadows of the trees Witnessing the wild breeze The mansion is warm at the top of the hill Rich are the rooms and the comforts there Red are the arms of luxuriant chairs And you won’t know a thing till you get inside83 Now, in those days, young Doors fans were very likely to be grokking all of this on an obligatory, mind-crunching dose of LSD…RFK’s just been shot, while underage hippie-chicks, like Ruth Ann Morehouse84 & Snake Lake85 out on the new tunes… Dead President’s corpse in the driver’s car The engine runs on glue & tar Some outlaws live by the side of a lake The minister’s daughter’s in love with a snake Who lives in a well by the side of the road Wake up girl, we’re almost home86 Alas, no ‘Celebration of the Lizard’ on the original vinyl… WAIT!! There’s been a slaughter here!87 What was that? Laughing? Shouting? Maybe another skinnydip pool party. All kinds of people show up here after the bars close. Th
  5. THE LAST STATUE (chapter 3) pt.2 WAIT!! There’s been a slaughter here!87 What was that? Laughing? Shouting? Maybe another skinnydip pool party. All kinds of people show up here after the bars close. The pool-cleaning guy says that they go down to the Strip cruising for “interesting” people to party with…maybe shoot some kind of X-rated films of these strange days… Is that more shouting? Probably a mind-blowing party. Not supposed to fraternize with the residents or guests…oh well, just crank the music up a notch…the music is your special friend-maybe not your only friend… Cancel my subscription to the resurrection Send my credentials to the house of detention I got some friends inside…88 Was that the door knob turning? Nah, I must be tripping…thought I just saw two chicks chasing each other right past the window… The face in the mirror won’t stop The girl in the window won’t drop89 “Stop stabbing me-I’m already dead…”90 Did I really hear that? It doesn’t even make sense… A feast of friends; alive she cried Waiting for me outside91 Tripping kinda hard… best just to focus on the music…y’know, I never took the opportunity to just kick back, and savor the finely nuanced poetic imagery employed here to facilitate a spirited discussion of environmental issues… We’re getting tired of hanging around. What have they done to our fair sister? Ravaged & plundered And ripped her And bit her Stuck her with knives In the side of the dawn And tied her with fences And dragged her down…92 ************************ On the cover of ‘L.A. Woman’, the seventh Doors release, the Jimster seems to have morphed into a sort of T.V. movie Manson icon93, being, after all, a “changeling” like it says in the song. The record sleeve with the original vinyl depicting a nude female crucified on a telephone pole was a nice flourish94 making me want to stop and say: Yo-Jimbo, what’s up with all this deadly hitchhiker shit? I mean obviously you’ve given this some thought-what with all the money and effort you put into your film ‘Hi-Way’95 and the prank call to Michael McClure, where you pretended (I think) to have killed some guy out in the desert96 not to mention the creepy classic-rock perennial: ‘Riders on the Storm’…makes my brain squirm like a toad just to think about it. What could you be trying to tell us? Well like Hapocrates says: there’s a season to shout out loud, and a season to dummy up. So not another word from this Mortimer Snurd97. ‘Snuff said. And then there’s Iggy98… Having briefly encountered the Ig a couple times subsequent to the anecdote I’m about to relate, we observe a complex dude when not in character: thoughtful, reflective, capable of well-informed, articulate conversation on a truly impressive range of topics. But not this morning. August 11-1974; I remember it well. My attorney had called first thing in the morning with some very good news… “Case dismissed, charges dropped, game over…the State’s star witness has left the building, bugged out, skipped town, slunk off to Belgium and/or Italy, like the scumbag weasel we know him to be…” He was referring to my old pal Ron Stark, who’d been cooperating in cases against Scully, Sand, Mr. Billy, and the Brotherhood. The anxiety & dread had been building for months-lotta tough talk from federal attorneys about the Bad Shit that was going to happen for not jumping on the bandwagon and turning State’s evidence.99 Unfortunately for the State, their star witness had spread himself too thin; founding a satanic pedophile ring in Belgium to service naughty NATO needs, more dark fun where the sun don’t shine with Faction Absurde & Le Cult de la Voie Verte in Paris…collaborating with colleagues Enrique Paghrea and Renate Curcio in yet more Red Brigade “terrorist” attacks, and in the near future, the removal with “extreme prejudice” of former Italian prime minister, Aldo Moro.100 All this, when not posing as a Mossad agent, a physician, or alter-ego Khouri Ali, supposedly fronting the “radical Palestinian” Group-14, with notable synthetic-terror connections in Syria & Libya. A very busy man, a true agent of History, and…uh, sorry, he’s not available. So now, their case had fallen apart like last year’s Jack O’ Lantern. I’d traveled light & clean, staying incognito at the Tropicana in Hollywood. But now, it seemed a celebration was in order, first: breakfast, nothing too pretentious or fancy, so I find myself sitting at the counter in Duke’s101 where the elite meet to eat when they’re too hung-over or incapacitated to be tolerated anywhere else… And there he was…kinda hard not to notice a guy in a silver lame cod-piece with matching boots, offset by the delicately textured contrast of a desperately soiled leather jacket, topped with a magenta feathered boa. At Duke’s they’ve seen it all before and then some, so nobody was paying any attention. The Ig? He looks trashed, wasted, swizzled…staring in bleak incomprehension at random coins extracted from various pockets and spread on the counter… “You got any change man?” blurts the Ig, “Listen I gotta make some calls…ya got some change? Look-here, check this out…see something in there you like, take it man, I just need some change…” I was actually packing a roll of quarters as a hedge against getting caught short at a pay-phone at some crucial litigational juncture. The Ig was stoked and immediately started pumping quarters into the phone. Before jumping up, Iggy handed over a plastic zip-lock bag full of cheap & not so cheap thrills; Tuinals, Nembutals, and various multi- colored capsules & spansules, some qualudes and various bindles & blotters, and several pieces of what looked like decently manufactured windowpane acid. What the hell? I thought…hadn’t done any LSD in years, mostly exploring the Lace, plus feeling kind of ambivalent about being part of the whole sacred-hallucinogen-as mass-produced consumer-product movement. But now, the great weight lifted, a quality control spot-check seemed in order. “Yeah, hey…Danny102…uh, listen man…yeah, hey I know it’s early-fuck that shit, I’m trying to get hold of Ray103, you know that show we been workin’ on…yeah we’re gonna do it tonight…at Rodney’s-yeah of course Rodney is up for this, I mean what the fuck’s he gonna do? Say no? So call Ray, I’m at Duke’s…well fuckin’ get up-I’m on my way over there…” Ig returns to the counter to slurp coffee between calls. “Been doing some uh, vigorous socializing?” I inquire with all due genteel politesse applicable to the situation. “Fuckin’-A right man, been up all night…devil’s birthday party all day yesterday …virgin blood man…we gotta do this show-the Murder of a Virgin show-tonight…so you should come on down to Rodney’s…I’ll put you on the list…”104 Sounding kind of dubious, like some Anton Le Vey night club act…just what are the kids up to these days? First the sexually ambivalent Heinlein/Ayn Rand styled aliens: Rocky Horror105 Ziggy Stardust106 Jobriath107 Zolar-X108 and now this. Do what thou wilt shall be the hole of the doughnut… “DO YOU WANT VIRGIN BLOOD?” Iggy screams from the stage…delirious, maybe a little disoriented, pushing the envelope even by Iggy standards. After a couple more opening bids, the crowd decides that yeah, maybe it does want virgin blood after all, the Ig seems kind of pumped-up about it… Upon arriving at Rodney’s, I had remonstrated with myself for copping-out and only doing half of the windowpane, but now…that choice…this far into it…seems like a decision of profound wisdom & prudence. The guitarist, (Ron Asheton, I think…somebody told me afterward, that it was James Williamson-hey, things were so exaggerated it could have been Xavier Cugat109 for all I know) seems to be wearing a Nazi uniform110 and looking very ambivalent about it at best, while the Ig is on & off the stage, a veritable whirlwind of confusion and dubious vibes, still conducting a last minute cattle-call for a virgin, (at Rodney’s yet, lots of luck) then, tries to pull a male ‘virgin’ up-no takers-finally attempts to goad an African-American gentleman (conspicuous by his presence, at Rodney’s) into stabbing him. The black guy looks suitably appalled-”no way”, so the Ig commences to carving on himself, slashing a sort of crude ‘X’ into his chest, (jeez…where have we seen something like this before?) then…after some more embarrassing thrashing around, Sugarman and a couple of goons hustle the Ig into a burlap sack and out of the club. So the virgin bloodlust would go unsated, at least until the real Murder of a Virgin show (nothing to do with Iggy & co.), a little later in the year-October 12 to be exact, up at Stanford chapel… Cut to: the apartment of Roland Barton Groatsworth, beloved counter-culture icon, author of ‘In the Cross-Hairs of Tlon’.111 It’s Crowleymas ‘74,112 and the entire apartment building participates113, while two guest “magicians” up from LA, bringing greetings from ‘Nightmare Alley’114 & ‘Magic Island’115, prepare to leave. It’s early, being only 9:45 or so…”Headed down to Palo Alto…got to meet up with some old friends out from Bismark116,..” And so the “magicians” depart with the blessings of Groatsworth and Alpha-777117. “Wait a second…” says Learner in the present moment, “So this footage was in the archives, huh? I recognize one of those guys at Groatsworth’s place, Scharlach…Red Scharlach118 , he hung out at Celio Drive, and with that crowd on Woodstock Road, with Folger & Frykowski, Cass Elliot…Billy Doyle, Pic Dawson…some real model citizens…” Further footage depicts Scharlach lunching at the luxuriant residence of a high-profile Paramount producer, known as much for his elaborate casting-couch procedure, as for his legendary private screening-room.119 What could they be discussing? Perhaps the theological subtleties of Isaiah:22120 or the secret of the bees & eternal repose found at the end of the road in Carswell Canyon…121 Scharlach appears to be the unwitting star of many Omega productions. Known in the trade as Manson II: de facto King of Snuff. A montage from this guy’s resume connects some mighty interesting dots, from his early “astrological project” in collaboration with Bruce Davis and others up in the Bay Area, to his later interaction with a well-known Hollywood mogul, not to mention gainful employment with Larry Flynt, on a team that includes that ubiquitous man for all seasons; Gordon Novel122… Let’s boot up the Vitruvian, step into the virtual artifice of Stanford chapel…past the arch…the alcove over to the side…the 29th statue on the left-the one with the candle in front of it…OK, second arch…click here-Omega-dig: -Dragon Alters Over Santa Cruz-Nov.’68 (Boulder Creek) -Headless in Ventura (county-line/Pete’s Beef) -Pantaloon Party at Moonfire Ranch (Topanga) -The Main Event (Celio Drive) -Total Eclipse at the Solar Lodge (Blythe) -Maxwell’s Silver Hammer (Santa Barbara) -Hollowberry Hills Bros. (Malibu) -Weird Scenes Inside the Spiral Staircase (Topanga) -Day of the Dead at Jack Ryan’s Place (Bel Air) -Ode to Cheri Jo-Halloween ‘66-Bruce Davis (Riverside) -Henry Cowell Park After Dark (Santa Cruz) -Pig Night with Circe’s Slaves (Ventura) -Goat’s Head Soup (O’Neil Park) -Motel Burning Murder-Madness (Yucca Tree Motel-LA) -Goona-Goona at Sebring’s (Easton Drive-Bel Air) A drawer behind the alcove opens to reveal more footage filed by donor… -Cafritz (Reno) -Cafritz (Nicholas Canyon) -Deasy -Corush -Wooten -random 16mm Bolex Some ’specialty’ items… -looks like Manson at Esalen with the daughter of a powerful congressional leader (is that the chortling ghost of Barney O’Brian in the shrubbery?) -Sellers-Brynner-Phillips-Elliot-Sebring-Atkins-Davis etc. Lookout! Studio… Some unprincipled hooligans, without a shred of evidence to their cause, have had the unbridled temerity to imply a connection between The Omega, and the low-profile government-military (assuming you still make such distinctions at this point) facility known as Lookout Studios, located on topically resonant Wonderland Drive in the Hollywood hills.123 Not a State secret per se, but not exactly widely known, Lookout was set up by the AEC, the DOD, NSA and/or the Pentagon, or some such combination of alphabet soup run by shadowy off-screen puppet-masters. Starting in 1947, Lookout was intended, they said, to coordinate & produce “educational” films promoting confidence and optimism in our nation’s nuclear weapons program. Duck & cover indeed. Interesting, that amongst the “gentle hill folk” in the area, back in 1967-69, dwells a preposterously high percentage of offspring from high-ranking military & intelligence family backgrounds, some celebrities, others less well-known…Frank & Gail Zappa, Jim Morrison, John Phillips, Jackson Browne, Steve Stills, David Crosby, Sharon Tate, Dennis Hopper, Warren Beatty, Marina Habe… Now…much later, scenic Wonderland Drive, one-time roost of Tex Watson, would be the locale of a sensational drug/porn massacre starring John Holmes.124 Back in the day however, you might find two neighbors just a couple doors down from each other…one, a “liberal” named Jerry Brown, who hung with the CSN-Linda Ronstadt-Jackson Bowne, coke-spoon swinger scene. The other; a “conservative” named Mike Curb, who ran MGM records, vowing at one point, to expunge the dreaded “drug rock” from the label. Few years go by, and these two guys are running the state. Pugnaciously persistent nattering nabobs of negativism are still out there blogging about the alleged underground tunnels said to honeycomb the surrounding vicinity underneath the dwellings of the “gentle hill folk”,125 and the production & dissimination of bogus UFO footage, (The Eddington126 File-pages sighted: 10…45…136…325…etc.) and eventually, MK-ULTRA…Operation Chaos…COUNTERPLO, psych-ops terrorism and much, much more… These same libelous louts are also prone to make much of the span of years during which the base was operational: 1947 to 1969, admittedly a couple of pivotal years for UFO mythology, and for sinister occult synchronicities. Also pivotal years for Hans Habe, who although not exactly a household word, had apparently a distinguished enough career during WWII, to have had a movie, ‘The Cross of Lorraine’ based on his experiences as a POW. Habe, a German Jew, had started as a journalist who had outed Hitler by his real name; Schickelgruber, much to der Fueher’s displeasure. A post-war, US Intelligence psych-ops agent, Habe was also author of several books. One of the books was a detailed and highly critical study of “de-Nazification” policies, while another would seem to be a devastating attack on the Warren Commission’s “conclusions” about the JFK assassination. We note in passing that CFR127 kingpins Allen Dulles & John J. Mc Cloy, were largely responsible for Operations Overcast & Paperclip; the “de-Nazification” programs that, amongst many other dubious achievements, installed a very unrepentant SS General Reinhard Gehlen as de-facto czar of his own intelligence agency128. Yes-yes…Dulles & Mc Cloy those same zany overachieving patriots, who also, by chance, happen to be key members of the Warren Commission. Anybody who finds that to be a bit much, should consult the work of Mae Brussell-if you haven’t already. Mae is unfortunately no longer with us. Seems she caught one of them sudden cancer strains goin’ around…sorta like Jack Ruby129. If only David Ferrie had been allowed to find a cure with his white-rat experiments in his tiny home-lab…130 Which brings us to 1969. Habe had long since retired to Switzerland, while his daughter Marina lived in LA with her mother; Habe’s former wife131. The hideously slashed body of Marina was found New Year’s day 1969.132 She was known to have been socially acquainted with Manson & Co, as was Jane Doe #59,133 found in November of that year, a few yards down Mullholland. 157 stab wounds etc.-a very similar MO. Certain paranoid pundits will try to connect all this to alleged sightings of a black bus134 parked inside the nearby Lookout compound, and Red Scharlach fans will no doubt glean some twisted meaning from the interesting geometric pattern formed by tracing the sights of the two Mullholland murders down to Lookout studios slightly to the south… So Habe, at many points in his long career, was in an optimum position to piss-off the Wrong People. The possibility exists that Habe’s daughter Marina was the recipient of some vengeful backlash. Otherwise we would hardly expect to find footage in the Omega archives, now would we? If, as has been asserted on more than one occasion, seemingly “irrational” acts of savage mayhem (JFK-MLK-RFK-SLA, Manson, Jonestown, Heaven’s Gate, 911 etc,) are psychological warfare strategies for control of the dreaming mind135 while simultaneously serving a many-layered onion of multi-purposes; then R.P. Stoval’s ‘Et tu Cesar?’ “a surrealist interpretation of the era of the assassins”, might shed some light on pertinent matters… F& One of the last stops on the outer fringes of Dire Possibilities, is a report compiled in 1974 by INS criminal investigator Richard Smith, concerning the activities & travels of an international occult society called ZAL, who some contend, had connections, influence, or perhaps a direct chain of command to Charles Manson & co.136 ZAL, it should be noted, vigorously denies any contact with Manson at all. A few of the main locations where they did not come in contact with Manson include: Cole Street, the Straight Theater, the Waller Street “Devil House”, the Himalaya Academy, the Esalen Institute, The Spiral Staircase, the Melcher, and later, Polanski residence on Celio Drive, the Barrymore mansion, the Solar Lodge etc. ZAL would seem to be the product of certain British think-tanks, in conjunction with the Special Operations Executive, who like other intelligence agencies, had discovered “Satanism” as an effective binding mind-control tool, although some heavily paranoid bloggers imply that there might be more to it than that… According to Smith’s report, which incorporated & corroborated previous reports filed by the FBI, and the State Attorney General’s office, in the wake of the RFK assassination, where it was asserted that Sirhan Sirhan was seen in the company of senior ZAL members at a series of parties, including one at the previous Tate-Polanski residence on Summit Ridge, on which occasions it is alleged, sex & drug rituals were conducted. The report also quotes an informant, who further alleges that they were in the room and witnessed the order for Sharon Tate’s “hit” from ZAL leaders to Manson, who, it is averred, took the contract. Some commentators have rightly pointed out, that to be involved in such nefarious pursuits as ritual murder, dealing drugs, weapons, kiddy prostitutes, AND some sort of vicious, backlash cover-up of the killing of a popular presidential candidate, while going around dressed in pre-Goth black capes, with Mendes goats & inverted pentagrams, passing out clearly malevolent literature137 promoting, encouraging-in fact demanding: murder, ritual human sacrifice, necrophilia, rape as a “spiritual” practice138, the specific “spiritual” command: “Thou Shalt Kill”, and so forth; and then, conspicuously disappear immediately after the Big Event…would be most imprudent, would in fact be downright…insane, on the level of posing in your backyard, tilted at an impossible angle, with subversive commie literature in one hand, and a cheaply manufactured rifle that allegedly killed a president in the other139…seemingly absurd… Except that: Roman Polanski, Sharon Tate, Cass Elliot, and director John Frankenheimer dined in Malibu with RFK, the night his series got cancelled at the Ambassador Hotel; where some evidence exists, that a member of ZAL was employed in the kitchen, which, according to witnesses, Sirhan had visited just the previous day. Frankenheimer was the noted director of the original Manchurian Candidate, which, as we all know, featured Angela Lansbury, as the Queen of Spades, and who, in real life, would write a To Whom It May Concern letter, temporarily conferring guardianship of Lansbury’s daughter, thirteen year-old Dee Dee, to one Charles Milles Manson, in the absence of Ms. Lansbury.140 Frankenheimer also directed the hair-raising identity thriller ‘Seconds’, and the American coup d’Žtat drama, ‘Seven Days in May’; with an advertising tag-line that went something like: “Impeach him? There’s easier ways of getting rid of the son-of-a-bitch than that!” set to air on 11/22/63. Of course, ‘Manchurian Candidate’ executive producer Frank Sinatra is an interesting fellow to contemplate in regard to these matters. Frank always had a long standing interest in sharpshooters with scope-rifles, going back to ‘Suddenly’;141 the assassin played with mucho gusto, by the Frankster himself; or forward to ‘The Naked Runner’ much later, somewhat less exuberant than ‘Suddenly’; but still, nice of him to take an interest. Frank: pals with Sam Giancana & Frank Costello; bitterly disappointed would-be pal of JFK, former husband of young (very young) Mia Farrow142, good buddies with Sammy Davis Jr., who, in turn is pals with Anton LeVey,143 and Jay Sebring144. Frank is also sworn enemy of Roman Polanski, whose ‘Rosemary’s Baby’s opening shots linger on the entrance to the Dakota,145 where John Lennon would be killed,146 having once bonded with Mia in India while humoring the Maharishi, and working on songs for ‘The White Album’, a perennial favorite of apocalyptic acid messiahs everywhere…147 Now, if it’s surrealism you want, (and I think you do) we could do no better than the analysis of the JFK “removal with extreme prejudice”, in chapter 23, of Stoval’s ‘Et tu Cesar?’ An interview with Max Nolan148, an oil-rig drill-bit salesman of interest to the investigation being conducted by a chartered ad-hoc committee led by congressman Ryan… Ryan: Were you acquainted with William Sullivan? Nolan: I thought he was a deer… Ryan: Did you know Carlos Marcello? Nolan: A tomato salesman of my acquaintance…the weather is very warm in Tulsa, but heat is seldom…I could see better after the cloud that lifted149; like Albert Thomas says: “A nod is as good as a wink to a blind horse,”150 and It was a massive theatrical production staged by Festpiele, funded through Credit Suisse & Permindex,151 a veritable cast of thousands, filling Dealy Plaza and the surrounding area: William Seymor up in the Texas Schoolbook Suppository, Manuel Gonzales, Michael Mertz152, and David Morales nearby, everywhere from Dal-Tex, to the Triple Underpass153. There were shooters from Oaxaca, a Corsican team that had attempted to smoke de Gaulle, wise-guys from Chicago, and Cuban-exiles still pissed about the Bay of Pigs. It was getting crowded out by the Grassy Knoll; there was only supposed to be three tramps, but we had: Charles Harrelson, Fred Crisman, Frank Sturges, E. Howard Hunt, Thomas Beckham, Charles Rogers, John F. Gedney, Harold Doyle,[footnote(See, James Files, Charles Nicoletti, Johnny Roselli, Thomas Vallee, Dan Carswell, Ambrose Bierce,154 Judge Carter, and Mel Lyman…Who, you might ask, would write a check for such an undertaking? Well…there’s J. Edgar Hoover, Jimmy Hoffa, Howard Hughes, H. L. Hunt, E. Howard Hunt…just about any powerful old white dude with a name beginning with the letter “H”, and that’s just one letter. The question being, not: who killed President Kilpatrick, but who didn’t? So, you’ve got to double-check the Gordon novel,155 and dig the backward-masking on the CD, Jackson.156 Just like that dream I had, where I was in a post-war poker game with Fred Chrisman, Henry Kissinger, Clay Shaw, and J. D. Salinger; playing for paperclips on an overcast day157…while in the theater, there’s a burlesque show featuring very annoying tap dancing & strip-tease pirouettes by various Oswald impersonators, including Gordon Novel, William Seymour, and Kerry Thornley;158 judged by a panel of Col. Sanders,159 Col. Parker,160 and Col. House.161 Becoming lucid in the dream, I feel compelled to confront the panel in grandiose declamatory oration, like Cicero on psilocybin… “All right…first of all, not one of you assholes was ever a colonel in any capacity except assumed name. And while most reasonable people would, I think, concede that the marked decline of American health, and the spreading epidemic of cancer, heart disease, and diabetes, is a very complex problem, stemming form many different sources in a Byzantine tapestry of complicity. But…if I really had to crunch it all down and come up with a single name; then you Sanders, would be near the top of my list… “And Parker, despite all of your mint julep-bourbon daddy posturing, you’re really a Dutchman wanted for murder in your home country.162 Your grotesque and degrading mismanagement of your once talented star client, is trumped only by your crass & insensitive exploitation of African-American culture. “But these chumps are small potatoes compared to you, House: grocery-clerk for Skull & Bones, and their Brit-Kraut puppet-masters. Your shit-head war-mongering, Hegel-inspired advice to Woodrow Wilson, was a major impetus to the sweeping international scope of WWI, and all the blood, pain & oppression to flow throughout the rest of the 20th century and beyond, at the behest of your monstrous progeny, CFR…” Ryan: Do you know a Laurence Layton?163 Nolan: I-(muffled voices-hand over microphone-shuffling papers) Voice: I have a court-order injunction, prohibiting any further continuance of these proceedings. We will now adjourn this ad-hoc committee, for reasons of national security… Ryan: This is-(power-cut-static-silence…) Cut to String Therion-live at the Camillo: For God’s sake- let’s sit upon the ground and tell sad tales of the death of kings Riding to their doom in a long black limousine No one saw the contract sealed A coup d’etat A five shot deal… When all the way from Camelot to Dallas-target zero The Naked Runner Suddenly bought the Big Casino Heads are gonna roll Brains will disappear Down in The Ministry of Fear Maybe it’s all for the better Maybe it’s all for the best says the man with the open umbrella to the girl in the polka-dot dress You better get your story straight together A lapidary pyramid of lies Burned into the memory forever Stations of the Crossfire in disguise History shaped to the national lie Ritual staged for the camera eye Now, Zapruder framed the passing of a single mortal soul Beware the magic bullet from beyond the Grassy Knoll… A new king now was swearing in A vacancy was filled A patsy found & photographed was taken out and killed Now, the lone-nut squad is out to hit their quota from Dealy Plaza to New York’s Dakota Heads are gonna roll Brains will disappear Down in The Ministry of Fear (c)2008 1The corresponding songs for this chapter are: Kid Charlemagne (Steely Dan)/American Metaphysical Circus (United States of America)/Strange Days (The Doors)/Chain Lightning (Steely Dan)/This Wheel’s on Fire (The Band, written by Bob Dylan) 2From “If A Man Asks”, April 1968 3The Process Church of the Final Judgement was created by Robert DeGrimston and Mary Ann MacLean as a splinter cult from Scientology. It morphed into The Foundation Church of the Millenium upon Robert’s dismissal. The Process Church has been mentioned as a player in such events as the Manson murders in LA and the Son of Sam murders in NYC. See: 4Red Mercury, likely a completely fictional substance as noted in the Wikipedia article, has a history of being peddled by conmen as well as being used in various sting operations by intelligence agencies. Conman and possible intelligence agent Delmart Vreeland brought Red Mercury into the story of his alleged intelligence activities. Here is a typical portrayal of Vreeland and Red Mercury at Please note the obvious disregard for the easily recognized bad science (i.e. removing electrons supposedly changing what atom you have) in this account. 5Chemistry student at Berkeley and girlfriend of Stanley Owsley. See: 6William (“Billy”) Mellon Hitchcock: grandson of the founder of Gulf Oil, and member of the wealthy Mellon family, Billy Hitchcock was a friend and benefactor of Timothy Leary, and funded LSD, STP and other hallucigen production through The Brotherhood of Eternal Love through the 1960s. 7There is still speculation about the halleucenogenic ingredient in soma. Mycologist M. Gordon Wasson has proposed the fly agaric mushroom, pictured here: 8Theodore Bar Konai, Syrian scholor, wrote Liber scholiorum, considering Islam and more, importantly, Manichaeism, a gnostic religion. 9″Ras” is a Zoroastrian concept. Ras, which translates as “wheel”, means both “the ‘wheel’ of heaven, the heavenly sphere in which the whole material creation is contained” as well as “primal matter, which is one, devoid of parts, and lacking all form.” “Itself eternal, it is the source of all becoming, infinite Time-Space….Time-Space is thus the instrument which God uses to bring his enemy into the open. What is more, eternal Time-Space is now identified not simply with primal matter but with the Endless Light which is Ohrmazd’s eternal habitat; and creation, in its various stages, is thus seen as an everdiminishing reflection of the divine light.” Quotes from The Dawn and Twilight of Zoroastrianism, R.C. Zaehner. Ras is also religious theatre specific to the Indian cult of Krishna. According to legend, “On one fragrant night, the dark-hued Krishna danced with Gopa girls, who looked fair as champak flowers on the white sands of Yamuna. This event in the early life of the Lord manifests deep metaphysical symbolism signifying the union of soul with God.” See: Religion and Theatre, Manohar Varadpande 10The concept of the “final assembly” seems to incorporate themes from Christianity and Zoroastrianism. Christian ideas of the Final Assembly center around the final congregation of the righteous dead, the heavenly host, God and Jesus Christ in heaven. Zoroastrian concept includes the Vedic deity Yama: “The Vedic Yama, then, appears as a solar deity who willingly gives up immortality in order to conquer death and to lead mortal men on after him on the ‘path of Yama’ which leads through death to immortality. He partakes of the Soma and carouses with both gods and departed souls in his own palace where the dead will once again look upon the sun. In his immortal realm he shares the royal throne of Varuna, and thus occupies the place normally reserved for Mitra. With Varuna again he ensnares the feet of sinners, and in this joint action he again usurps the function of Mitra. His name, moreover, means ‘twin’, and one is tempted to see in him the ‘twin’ or double of Mitra; but whereas Mitra ever remains an immortal, Yama chooses to become mortal in order that he may conquer death and thereby enable future generations of men to partake of immortality. He is the son of Vivasvant, the Shining One, one of the many Vedic representations of the sun. In the later literature he is not only the god who brings death but also the ruler of the land of the blessed dead. They dwell with him in his assembly hall ‘which has the brilliance of the sun, gleaming, assuming everywhere what form it will: it is neither too hot nor too cold, and it rejoices the heart. Neither grief nor old age is there, neither hunger nor thirst, neither affliction nor toil nor aught that irks.” Notice themes that run throughout TLS and WoS: the use of “soma”, or hallucenogenic drugs, for spiritual insight, and themes of twinning, as well. 11Hashmal appears in the story of Ezekial’s chariot: “In the book of Ezekiel when the prophet witnesses God’s theophanic appearance, at the heart of the manifestation he sees “Hashmal” (חשׁמל). Peering into the dangerous, awful presence of God, he observes: “a great cloud with brightness around it and fire flashing forth continually, and in the middle of the fire, something like חשׁמל (NRS: ‘gleaming amber’; NIV, NASB: ‘glowing metal’)” (Ezek 1:4; see also 1:27; 8:2) 12See also William Blake’s vision of the New Jerusalem in his prophetic poem Jerusalem. 13Fictional utopian community envisioned by Johann Valentin Andreae, 1619. 14Lullian memory wheels “consisted of two or more paper discs inscribed with alphabetical letters or symbols that referred to lists of attributes. The discs could be rotated individually to generate a large number of combinations of ideas. A number of terms, or symbols relating to those terms, were laid around the full circumference of the circle. They were then repeated on an inner circle which could be rotated. These combinations were said to show all possible truth about the subject of the circle…The idea was developed further by Giordano Bruno in the 16th century, and by Gottfried Leibniz in the 17th century for investigations into the philosophy of science. Leibniz gave Llull’s idea the name ars combinatoria, by which it is now often known. Some computer scientists have adopted Llull as a sort of founding father, claiming that his system of logic was the beginning of information science.” 15See Steely Dan’s “Deacon [Decan] Blue”: Drink scotch whiskey all night long/And die behind the wheel 16Compare to the opening of the Gospel of John: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” 17From Borge’s Tlon, Uqbar, Orbis Tertius: “He [Bioy] had recalled: Copulation and mirrors are abominable. The text of the encyclopedia said: For one of those gnostics, the visible universe was an illusion or (more precisely) a sophism. Mirrors and fatherhood are abominable because they multiply and disseminate that universe.” 18Ancient Greek term for emptiness or void; this term was used by gnostic thinker Valentinius to designate the lower world of phenomenon, or emptiness, as opposed to the “pleroma,” the Platonic world of ideal forms, or fullness. 19Repetition, In the Labyrinth, The Djinn, The Voyeur and The Ghost in the Mirror are novels (Ghost in the Mirror is an imaginary autobiography) by contemporary French writer and filmmaker Alain Robbe-Grillet. Also compare the construction of this passage to a similar on in Robbe-Grillet’s Last Year in Marienbad, Chapter 2: “…these same corridors…deserted rooms…colonades…glass objects…chandeliers[….]a stucco hand holding grapes…” 20Vourukasha is the name of a heavenly sea in Zoroastrian mythology. It was created by Ahura Mazda and in its middle stood the Harvisptokhm or the “tree of all seeds”. hura Mazda sent the clean waters of Vourukasha down to the earth in order to cleanse the world and sent the water back to the heavenly sea Puitika. 21Also spelled Qormusta. Qormusta Tengri is a variant of the Zoroastrian deity Ahura Mazda, translated through Buddhist and Mongol traditions. A creator god, Qormusta is king of the realm of heaven and rules supreme over all other deities. 22The quote continues, “You have been the unwitting tool of the great transformation of the age.” Leary is recounting stories of meeting various adepts in India who tell him it is going to be his job to reconcile Western and Eastern thought. Leary suggests much of this is already accomplished in Liber 777 by Aleister Crowley, whose “Confessions of a Dope Fiend” is the inspiration for the title of Leary’s book. Of interest here is the book “Turn Off Your Mind, The Dark Side of the Age of Aquarius 23 24A producer at Mercury Records and radio announcer for KSAN-FM in Los Angeles. Lover of Janis Joplin and second husband of Mima Farina, sister of Joan Baez. Melvin is also the inspiration for the character Mucho Maas in Thomas Pynchon’s The Crying of Lot 49 and Vineland. 25See this article from Time Magazine, Aug. 18, 1967, “The Murder of Superspade”:;wap2 See also:,name,145170,auction_id,auction_details 26See Steely Dan, Chained Lightning: “Be part of the brotherhood/Yes it’s chained lightning/It feels so good” 27The Himalayan Academy was founded by LSD-guru Timothy Leary and occult filmmaker Kenneth Anger, with funding by heiress and Manson victim Abigail Folger, and not far from the similar Esalen Institute, founded in 1962 in Big Sur, CA. Offering a selection of seminars and workshops, it soon became a nexus for 1960s counterculture. Topics explored at the Institute include psychology, gesalt therapy, body work, psychic phenomena, mysticism, religion, psychedelics, human potentiality, and quantum physics. Charles Manson and members of his family played an impromptu concert at Esalen three days before their massacre at the Sharon Tate house. See:,, The Upstart Spring. 28Ronald Hadley Stark: a mythical and mysterious figure in the history of LSD. In 1969, Stark approached the Brotherhood of Eternal Love, offering to bankroll LSD/Orange Sunshine production after Billy Hitchcock’s funds slowed. Stark has been connected to The Process Church, the Weather Underground, and the IRA, the CIA and possibly P2. He claims to have used the alias Khouri Ali when posing as an Palestinian radical, and Terrance Abbott when pushing drugs in Italy. For more, see: and 29 30″the Charles Dexter ward”=The Case of Charles Dexter Ward, by HP Lovecraft: “The titular character, Charles Dexter Ward, is a young man from a prominent Rhode Island family who (in the story’s introduction) is said to have disappeared from a mental asylum after a prolonged period of insanity accompanied by minor, but unheard-of, physiological changes. The bulk of the story concerns the investigation conducted by the Wards’ family doctor, Marinus Bicknell Willett, in an attempt to discover the reason for Ward’s madness and the physiological changes. When Willett learns that Ward had spent the past several years attempting to discover the grave of his ill-reputed ancestor, Joseph Curwen, the doctor slowly begins to unravel the truth behind the legends surrounding Curwen, an eighteenth century shipping entrepreneur rumoured to have been an alchemist, but in reality a necromancer and mass-murderer.” See: 31Forrestal, the first US Secretary of Defense under President Truman, committed suicide under mysterious circumstances at the Bethesda Naval Hospital on May 22, 1949 32See Steely Dan, Kid Charlemagne: “On the hill the stuff was laced with kerosene/But yours was kitchen clean/Everyone stopped to stare at your technicolor motor home”. The song is based on Owsley Stanley, who supplied LSD to the Merry Pranksters, famous for their psychedelic bus “Further”. 33Owsley Stanley was busted when his car ran out of gas as he was fleeing. See “Kid Charlemagne”:Clean this mess up else we’ll all end up in jail/Those test tubes and the scale/Just get it all out of here/Is there gas in the car?/Yes, there’s gas in the car/I think the people down the hall know who you are. 34″Roadhouse Blues” by The Doors 35The Spiral Staircase: Also called “The Snake Pit,” the Spiral Staircase was a house (since demolished) at 3921 Topanga Canyon Boulevard; Topanga Canyon; Malibu, CA so nicknamed for the activity that took place there and for its most prominent feature, owned by an older woman known to history only as Gina. Notorious for its frequent wild parties, it attracted a number of people from the entertainment industry, and quite a few celebrity bands, among them the Mamas and Papas, Love, the Doors, and various Beach Boys. Charles Manson and his group spent a considerable amount of time there. See also:, Manson in His Own Words, The Family by Ed Sanders, and 36The name of the outlaw motorcycle club with a San Fernando Valley chapter that Manson was supposed to have set his sights on for enlistment in his apocalyptic desert attack battalion. Also, some of the Manson girls referred to themselves as “Satan’s Slaves”. 37Hunter S. Thompson, legendary practitioner of “new journalism”. He received his title of “doctor” from the Universal Life Church, preferring to be called Dr. Thompson. Thompson wrote Hell’s Angels: The Strange and Terrible Saga of the Outlaw Motorcycle Gangs in 1966, based on this article he wrote for The Nation. 38The Straight Satans were a California-based motorcycle gang affiliated with Charles Manson. Manson was given a sword in trade by the leader of the SS’s, which was later used to cut off Charlie Hinman’s ear. 39Another California biker club with affiliations with Charles Manson. 40Joe Dorgan, a member of the Straight Satans motorcycle club, was present at the LaBianca residence when the bodies of Rosemary and Leno LaBianca were found. Dorgan was the fiance of Rosemary’s daughter Susan Struthers. See: 41See The Family, Ed Sanders 42 43See: 44Georgina Brayton, the leader of the Crowleyan Solar Lodge of the OTO, owned a variety of properties across Southern California. The Solar Lodge, like Manson and the Process Church, anticipated a coming race war and apocalypse. See: 45In Topanga Canyon, owned by Lewis Beech Marvin III, heir to the “Green Stamps” fortune and friend of Andy Warhol. Occult rituals were rumored to have occurred on the ranch grounds. See The Family, Ed Sanders 46 47 48On non-Euclidian geometry: 49Native American “smudging” ceremonies are used to cleanse a person, place or object of negative energies, spirits or influences. See: 50″Chingon”: a Mexican slang word for “bad-ass” 51There is speculation about the identity of the Grand Chingon, the leader of the 4-P or 4-Pi cult, which was a splinter of the Process Church of the Final Judgement. See:, The Family by Ed Sanders, and 52See: 53Winston and Circe Targarth-De Kalb here refer to Robert and MaryAnn Moore-DeGrimston, the leaders of the Process Church of the Final Judgement. The Targarth Hotel, on Targarth Road in London, was the site of the suspicious “suicide” of Mansonite Sandra Good’s husband Joel Pugh in 1969. SeeThe Family, Ed Sanders 54 55 56Antivivisection/animal rights was a cause “intermittently embraced” by The Process Church. See: 57Kid Kenoma’s blog and Untermuyer’s Blog both suggest a connection between Ron Stark and The Grand Chingon 58A Laguna Beach headshop that served as the headquarters of the Brotherhood of Eternal Love. It burned down under mysterious circumstances in 1970. 59 60John Griggs, the founder of The Brotherhood of Eternal Love. An apocryphal story has it that Griggs, the leader of a motorcycle gang, in 1966 stole LSD from a Hollywood producer at gunpoint; upon taking the drug, the gang experienced an epiphany, and began to experiment with psychedelics and mysticism. 61Ronald Hadley Stark 62In July, 1969, Charlene Almeida, a 17-year-old friend of Leary’s daughter, was found dead while visiting the ranch. An autopsy using relatively new blood-analysis techniques showed traces of LSD in her blood. Homicide detectives were on the ranch talking to Leary, who was charged with contributing to the delinquency of a minor. 63From “Notes for an Autobiography”, Country Joe McDonald: “She was making the scene in New York City now. Free from the advice of her friends in Big Brother and the Holding Company. And loaded with money and fair weather friends like San Francisco Digger, Emmitt Grogan who I had heard was back on heroin and had convinced Janis to start using again. I did not think much of Emmitt Grogan. He was so loved by the counter culture.” 64The Bronfman family of Canada owns Seagrams and has been accused of involvement in the illegal drug trade. 65From Pynchon’s The Crying of Lot 49: “In one of the latrines was an advertisement by ACDC, standing for Alameda County Death Cult, along with a box number and a post horn. Once a month they were to choose some victim from among the innocent, the virtuous, the socially integrated and well-adjusted, using him sexually, then sacrificing him. Oedipa did not copy the number.” p99 66 67″Acting on a phone tip, police raided the Solar Lodge’s compound near Blythe, California and found a six-year-old boy locked outdoors in a 6’x6’ wooden crate in the sweltering desert heat. The young boy, whose father was a Los Angeles County probation officer had been chained to a steel plate for nearly two months in temperatures reaching as high as 117° F. Eleven adult members of the sect were charged with felony child abuse, the majority of them young white men in their early twenties. All were brought to trial and convicted.” See: 68From “Acid Dreams”, Martin A Lee: “But the greatest setback occurred in early August when Farmer John Griggs took an overdose of PCP. Griggs refused medical assistance as he lay dying in a teepee in Idylwild. “It’s just between me and God,” he muttered softly before passing away.” p248 69Stanford Chapel was the location of the murder of Arliss Perry, a murder connected by many, in particular Maury Terry in The Ultimate Evil, to the Son of Sam/4p murders in NYC 70Altamont Speedway, host of the Altamont Free Concert 71 72Timothy Leary accompanied Mick Jagger to the Altamont concert, and remained stageside during the violence. 73 74Attorney Melvin Belli represented the Rolling Stones and facilitated the Altamont concert. In 1968 he appeared in the Star Trek episode “And The Children Shall Lead”. 75From What A Long, Strange Trip by Stephen Peters: “Jerry Garcia later recalled an odd incident that had occurred before the Altamont show, which ended up being something of an omen of what was to come. “There was one thing beforehand that we should have spotted,” he noted. “Grogan wrote …a little slogan up on the blackboard [at the Grateful Dead office] which said something like ‘Charlie Manson Memorial Hippie Love Death Cult Festival’…something along those lines, something really funny, but ominous.” p66 76Imaginary Borgian author. Also, an “RP Stoval” leaves this posting on a discussion of New York City occult bookstore Magickal Childe:”’tis a shame Magical Childe no longer exists… the best bookstore the east coast has ever known (with a nod to the old Abyss in Northampton). early memories of fellow OTO/EGC members across the street in the alley, before attending the Gnostic Mass deep in the bowels of the Childe. bought some of the best books, pamphlets, oils, blades, robes, etc., ever to be found! alas, and alack! lamentation & gnashing teeth! -R.P.Stoval -R:. III -o’maoilmhiadhaigh -G:.G:.G:.G:.G:.” 77A takeoff on GI Gurdjieff’s book ”Meetings with Remarkable Men”. 78”Les Fleurs du mal”, Charles Baudelaire 79Much speculation surrounds Parent’s visit to Garretson and the house on Cielo Drive. See: The Family, Ed Sanders, and 80 81In August 1969, Roman Polanski first suspected and then accused John Phillips of the Mamas and the Papas of the murders at Cielo Drive, citing that Phillips was seeking revenge for Polanski’s affair with band member (and John Phillips’ wife) Michelle Phillips. 82″The End” by The Doors 83A combination of lyrics from “Five to One” and “Not to Touch the Earth” from Waiting for the Sun, The Doors 84 85 < 86Not to Touch the Earth, The Doors 87A line from "The Hill People" from "The Celebration of the Lizard". See: 88"Break on Through", The Doors 89"Strange Days", The Doors 90"According to Patricia Krenwinkel, after she pinned Folger to the ground and further stabbed her, the victim (Abigail Folger) pleaded with her to stop by saying, "I'm already dead." Krenwinkel continued to stab her so brutally that Folger's white nightgown is reported to have appeared red to police investigators the following day. While she was stabbing her, she also called to Watson, who also stabbed Folger. During her trial, Krenwinkel was quoted as saying, "I stabbed her and I kept stabbing her." She was also asked how it felt, to which she replied, "Nothing, I mean, what is there to describe? It was just there, and it was right." See: 91"When the Music's Over", The Doors 92"When the Music's Over", The Doors. 93 94 95See: 96See Jim Morrison: Life, Death, Legend, Stephen Davis for an account. 97 98Iggy Pop, lead singer of The Stooges and often called The Godfather of Punk. The name Iggy comes from his high school band The Iguanas. 99From Wikipedia: "The government had been building a case against Tim Scully's partner in the Windsor lab, Nick Sand, since late 1971. In early 1973 Billy Hitchcock was threatened with 24 years in prison for tax evasion if he didn't help the government convict the prime movers of the LSD cartel. Billy provided evidence and testified against Tim Scully and Nick Sand and they were both indicted in April 1973." 100For information about Stark's adventures in Italy, see Puppetmasters: The Political Use of Terrorism in Italy by Philip P. Willan. 101The Tropicana and Dukes Coffeeshop were demolished in the 1980s. 102Danny Sugarman, manager of The Doors, was also managed Iggy Pop. 103Ray Manzarek, keyboardist for The Doors 104For an account of this concert, see Iggy Pop: Open Up and Bleed by Paul Trynka. 105 106 107 108 109 110Ron Asheton with Iggy Pop. 111"Roland Barton Groatsworth" suggests Robert Anton Wilson, prolific author of the Illuminatus trilogy and famous Discordian. See:, and "In The Cross-Hairs of Tlsn" may refer to RAW's trilogy entitled Cosmic Trigger. An account of this evening written by RAW can be found here: 112Crowleymas is celebrated on Aleister Crowley's birthday, October 12. 113RAW's apartment, scene of Crowleymas 1974: 114Possible reference to 1)"Nightmare Alley", part of the Weird Museum created by occultist Donald R. Blyth, home to the Brotherhood of the Ram, or 2) the film "Nightmare Alley". 115Possible reference to the Bela Lugosi movie Chandu on the Magic Island." 116According to Maury Terry in The Ultimate Evil, Bismark and Minot, North Dakota are centers of occult activity. 117Grady Louis McMurtry, otherwise known as Hymenaeus Alpha 777, was the Caliph of the Ordo Templi Orientis, located in Berkeley, Ca. See: 118"Red Scharlach" is a character from Borge's short story "Death and the Compass". Scharlach, also known in the story as Dandy Red Scharlach, is a master criminal who commits a series of ritualistic-seeming murders in order to trap his nemesis, detective Erik Lonnrot. "Scharlach" is also German for "scarlet" as well as "scarlet fever'. Scharlach here is convicted murderer Bill Mentzer. Convicted of the Roy Radin/Cotton Club murder, Mentzer has also been linked to the Manson murders and the Son of Sam murders 119Robert Evans. See: 120 121In The Ultimate Evil, Maury Terry relates the story of finding a King James Bible, open to Isaiah 22, near the place where Roy Radin's body was found in rural area Carswell Canyon near a beekeeper's hives. His companion, Ted Gunderson, is convinced that this is a sign of occult involvement in Radin's death. See TUE, p. 462-464. 122See: and 123See Dave McGowan's series "Inside the LC: The Strange but Mostly True Story of Laurel Canyon and the Birth of the Hippie Generation", 124John Holmes, prolific and popular porn star known for his exceptionally large penis, was the inspiration for two movies: Wonderland and Boogie Nights. Holmes was associated with the Wonderland Gang, and helped set up a robbery that backfired—gang members were murdered in revenge. Although Holmes was present, it is unknown if Holmes participated in the murders. He was tried and acquitted of murder. See: The Devil and John Holmes, Mike Sager. 125See, for instance, Dave McGowan, Inside the LD, Part IV: 126Sir Arthur Stanley Eddington was a contemporary of Albert Einstein who helped confirm and popularize Einstein's Theory of Relativity. He famously said, "Not only is the universe stranger than we imagine, it is stranger than we can imagine." 127Council of Foreign Relations 128The Gehlen Organization. See: 129Controversy surrounds the death by cancer of Jack Ruby. Ruby himself claimed that he had been injected with live cancer cells by those who were afraid he would talk. See: 130Among his many other talents and hobbies, Ferrie researched cancer. See: 131Actress Eloise Hardt. 132See: 133Vincent Bugliosi, Helter Skelter: "Ruby Pearl remembered seeing the girl with the Family at Spahn Ranch, and thought her name was Sherry." 134Charles Manson and his Family travelled throughout southern California and the southwest in a black school bus. See The Family, Ed Sanders. 135Michael Hoffman, Secret Societies and Psychological Warfare, on the JFK assassination: "the ultimate purpose of that assassination was no political or economic but sorcerous: for the control of the dreaming mind and the marshaling of its forces is the omnipotent force in this entire scenario of lies, cruelty and degradation. Something died in the American people on Nov. 22, 1963 — call it idealism, innocence or the quest for moral excellence. It is the transformation of human beings which is the authentic reason and motive for the Kennedy murder." 136This investigation is recounted in The Family, Ed Sanders. ZAL here is The Process Church of The Final Judgment, which had its beginnings in London. See pages 483-484. 137 138From "The Game of Rape" in the "Sex" issue of the The Process Church magazine: 1)Act on impulse. Go to PRISON. 2)Keep it in the family. Move to PSYCHIATRIST. 3)Channel it. Move to MARRIAGE, PHASE ONE. 4)Suppress it. Miss a turn. 5)Feel terrible sense of guilt afterwards. Join RC CHURCH. 6)Enact it with impunity. See the absurdity of all sex. Join JEHOVAH'S GAME. 139 140See: "Angela Landsbury's Wild Daughter was Manson Family Drug Zombie!" 141You can watch "Suddenly" here: 142Actress Mia Farrow married Sinatra in 1966 at age 21. Sinatra served divorce papers on Farrow while she was shooting "Rosemary's Baby", directed by Roman Polanski, in 1968. 143Sammy Davis Jr. with Temple of Set founder Michael Aquino and Anton LeVay 144"In his autobiography, Why Me?, Sammy Davis, Jr. recounted a party he attended in the late 60s, which turned out to be a orgy highlighted by a simulated virgin sacrifice. To his surprise, Davis discovered that the hooded man acting as the leader of the “coven” was Jay Sebring, who — as Davis described — had always been “a little weird.” Sebring had constructed a dungeon in his basement, and tried, albeit unsuccessfully, to entice Davis over to view the “real antique pieces” he had collected, consisting of various torture weapons." See: 145See: 146 147For an account of Farrow and the Beatle's trip to India, see: 148Many of the names in the following section come from Borges' short story "Theme of the Traitor and the Hero." The name Max Nolan is taken from character James Alexander Nolan, who, in the story, coordinates the assassination of Irish patriot Fergus Kilpatrick in a theatre box (foreshadowing the assassination of Abraham Lincoln). Ryan is the implied narrator of the story, the great-grandson of Kilpatrick who is trying (and does, but decides not to reveal his finds) to solve the Kilpatrick's murder. Also: "Back in the seventies, MAX NOLAN (a good P.I. name, that) was an "erotic" private eye who appeared in four short stories in Beaver Magazine (a low-end porn mag, not the classy Canadian history magazine), written by "Spenser Fortune" and boasting such titles as "The Missing Bust" and "Hitch Humper." See: 149"The Cloud That Lifted" is a short story by Maurice Maeterlinck that Peter Levenda cites as having synchronicity with the JFK assassination. See Levenda, Sinister Forces: The Nine, Chapter 7. 150See: 151Both Permindex and Credit Suisse have periferal roles in the JFK assassination. See Mae Brussell: 152 "Jean Rene Soutre AKA Michel Mertz— Russian KGB investigated the assassination and concluded Kennedy "was shot by a professional assassin hired by French and South Vietnamese agents. "Diem's brother Ngo Dinh Nhu was also killed, and this cut off the supply of opium that Nhu had been helping the Corsican mafia smuggle to Marseille. The Corsicans then turned the opium into heroin and shipped it to the United States where American gangsters sold the drugs. Our group found that the Corsicans hired French hitman Michael Mertz, sometimes known as Jean Rene Soutre, to carry out the assassination with the cooperation of the American Mafia bosses." See: < 153 154Ambrose Bierce, 1842-1914?, American journalist and writer. Bierce is the author of the satirical "Devils Dictionary" and this poem The bullet that pierced Goebel’s breast/Can not be found in all the West;/Good reason, it is speeding here/To stretch McKinley on his bier." that many thought not only foreshadowed the assassination of President McKinley, but also called for it. Bierce disappeared under mysterious circumstances after entering Mexico in 1913 to observe that country's revolution. See: 155Meaning, Gordon Novel, who has been involved in a variety of investigations, including the assassination of JFK, Watergate, Waco, and UFOs. See: 156Meaning Charles Douglas (C.D.) Jackson, expert on psychological warfare who served in the Office of Strategic Services in World War II and founding member of the Bilderberg Group. 157Reference to Operations Paperclip and Operation Overcast. Dulles-CIA translator Henry Kissinger of "Army Intelligence" devised the ratline" by which thousands of Nazi war criminals were secreted away to Argentina under Operation Paperclip. 158See also The Prankster and the Conspiracy, by Adam Gorightly, for information about Thornley's possible involvement in the JFK assassination. 159 160 161American diplomat, politician, and presidential advisor to Woodrow Wilson. 162According to Alanna Nash's book HvQBbihNkC&pg=PA50&lpg=PA50&dq=col+tom+parker+murder&source=bl&ots=rsEAzgT8Ju&sig=SZ7B9D52LDch3ZsBLTJwJ6LGPB0&hl=en&ei=ho_0StbBJpSgMOvWsOkF&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=4&ved=0CBEQ6AEwAw#v=onepage&q=&f=false "The Colonel", there is evidence to suggest that at age 20, Parker, then still known as Andreas Cornelis Van Kuijk, bludgeoned a woman to death in his native Holland. Within days, he disappeared under the cloak of darkness and fled to America. He took no money, clothing, or identifying papers, and left without saying goodbye to his family. 163Dr. Laurence Layton, a former biochemical warfare specialist for the US Army, was the father of Larry Layton, the member of Jim Jones' People's Temple cult who gunned down Representative Ryan at the airport in Guyana prior to the Jonestown massacre. For more information, see John Judge's The Black Hole of Guyana. Except where otherwise noted, this content is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution License. See Copyrights. This is a Wiki Spot wiki. Wiki Spot is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization that helps communities collaborate via wikis.
  6. The Last Statue
    Chapter 4

    The streets of Asuncion1 are swirling and churning with bright red silt-water, but down at the Lido2, the vibe is good and the perspective upbeat.

    Waitresses in perky duck-like uniforms appear bringing ice-cold Antarctica beer & some sort of hors d’oeuvre sausage, followed in short order by parillada steaks, pirhana soup, and maize cakes.

    Before leaving for El Dorado3 Mantua had facilitated the acquisition of a mill bottle of Valisa Numinosa extract. Valisa being a very rare and obscure genus of lotus, known for its vivid, luminescent blue color & for overwhelming, mind boggling hallucinogenic properties…which come on pulsating & fluttery in the orange and white interior of the Lido; sort of like sitting inside of a big tangerine…

    A voice at the bar is dropping names so hard, they might well shatter into a million pieces4: Klaus Kinski5, Mick “The Rooster” Jagger6 and Werner Herzog7, and of course the mayor, Martin Burt8; all claimed as valued past customers, while a voice in a nearby booth, belonging to a Teutonic Bunge9 rep explains: “You see Hans, you musn’t think of the Reich as having capitulated. Consider it as more of a reorganization of corporate structure and a diversification of portfolio. So it is not prudent to draw attention to one’s self—I must get rich very slowly—but think of the possibilities; anything-anything can be done in this country.”

    We flee this intolerable buzz-kill, and settle into a booth in a quieter section of the tangerine, where the noise-level is appropriate for reflection on the jagged trajectory that brought us to the far side of anywhere…

    Previously, back in La-La land, having parted ways with Paramount, now employed by a tragically-hip film journal dedicated to celebration of the willfully obscure. A recent arrival to trendy obscurity being one Rex Learner, whose career had followed the same basic curve as his contemporaries: crashing on the rocks of dilated egos, bloated budgets, dubious taste, and the frosty blizzard of Peruvian snow being shoveled into the collective Hollywood septum; bottoming out with such dubious spectacles as ‘At Long Last Love’, ‘Sorcerer’, ‘One From the Heart’, ‘New York, New York’, ‘Quintet’, ‘Lookin’ To Get Out etc.’10

    This was now the era of Eisner, Ovitz, Don Simpson, Geffen, Lucas, Spielberg…an agenda of dumbed-down sleaze & kid-vid fluff, reflecting retro-rightwing, trickle-down Reaganomics, peddling unrealistic quick-fix expectations, with upbeat, phony happy-endings, appealing to a very finely-calculated target demographic audience, calibrated down to a much lower common denominator than ever before. Obscene, previously unimaginable amounts of revenue now beckoned: fast-food tie-ins, product placement, merchandise licensing and endorsements, and video residuals, with a particularly medieval system for distributing the proceeds…

    As I stood poised to knock on the office door, located in some flimsy pre-fab type buildings serving as make-shift Learner headquarters, as far from the realm of the Suits as you could get and still be on the studio lot; I wondered, would he live up to his currently snow-balling (& speed-balling) public image? Should I bother to interview him at all? Could I just make something up, and let it go at that, assuming that nobody will know the difference, or give a shit one way or the other, when…THWACK!! The unmistakable sound of stainless-steel penetrating cheap door, the very tip of the blade slightly protruding…

    “Well…shit, you might as well come on in, get this bullshit over with…” croaks a sandpaper voice from within…

    I’d heard about Learner’s violent confrontations with James Caan, Rip Torn11 and in particular an anecdote about an impatient, enraged, and possibly over-medicated Garey Busey, commandeering a lance from an extra playing a Maxmillian-era French cavalry lancer, charging Learner on horseback, hurling said lance javelin-style, deep into the bottom of Learner’s chair on his frantically rising Louma crane. So I was determined to not be rattled by Learner’s antics-just get the interview, and get out…

    The room was a shambles, as though in the midst of moving, although whether out or in, I couldn’t tell…weapons & white powders in plentiful evidence throughout the room, large spliff-stubs smoldering in ashtrays…and there he is, the old fraud…snake-skin Frye boots up on desk, blood-shot, insanely dilated eyes squinting behind mirrored shades, Cuban cigar in hand, massive spliff stump smoldering in the ashtray in front of him, like some sort of Rasta incense…

    “So, here we are…my assistant just quit, the Suits are on my back to get this thing in pre-production, and I can’t make any fucking sense out of these pages…” indicating the scattered chunks of screenplay strewn about the room, and across the desk, sort of a familiar look about some of those pages, now that I stop & focus…12

    “Ah, well here’s the part you’ll want to build up, if you’re smart…the stand-off out near Durango, vying for control of the well…a full canteen as the holy grail…also, the caper in the border-town…the break-in to the vault…theft of the deed to the Cripple Creek water rights…the drunk judge-the cancelled hanging…the dam-burst, the flood, the errant riverboat…the wild ride down Cripple-Creek on the second-half of the cruise…Shit, there’s about four movies jammed into this thing, if you know how to extract them…you gotta hit the tables with a system if you’re going to beat the odds, count the cards, but don’t count on anything else, this is no reason to hedge your bets, but you’re playing this like a novice housewife from Des Moines, pumping quarters into a one-armed bandit…”

    Back in Mexico, the meetings with Emilio Fernandez13 had actually started on an optimistic, if somewhat unrealistic note…big extravagant meals, astronomical bar tabs-even by Learner standards, marathon sport-fuck binges in plush, exotic, red velvet textured brothels—no expense spared…But soon, our esteemed amigo is perpetually enmeshed in chronic legal problems that seem to increase exponentially, until it gets to the point where Se–ior Emilio is on the lam, on a more or less permanent basis.

    After a trip to Rose Marie’s14, right outside of Acapulco, and a sordid, digressive prowl through pulque bars so far into the outback as to have a kind of trench gouged into the floor beneath the bar, so that seriously macho imbibers are able to relieve themselves without breaking stride (a good place to drink yourself under the table, or the volcano…) then back to Mexico City, to be ejected from the Alfonzo Bedoya15 retrospective. Spot of bother with security at the reception—Learner: “I don’t have to show you no stinking back-stage pass!” It slowly dawns on us that our shelf-life here has expired, so we move on to greener pastures & Better Deals…

    We’re only in Lima for six hours before being ejected from Peru, after a disastrous interview on live Peruvian TV, in which Learner, within the space of about four and a half minutes, manages to mortally offend the ruling junta, the Church, most indigenous tribal peoples, the Communists, which may or may not include the Shining Path; who are violently offended…and many a random passerby. An ill-advised attempt to wing the interview in Learner’s idiosyncratic Spanish, compounded by ungodly amounts of local medicinal alkaloids, started things off on a jarring note, to be followed by a largely incomprehensible tirade onto which any outrage or affront could be convincingly projected.

    The mood of the crowd gathering outside the hotel is getting ugly as we commune with Clemmons on the phone. “You guys can’t go to Columbia-so forget it. When you went on the tube and started blabbing about making a movie about the drug-trade, you may take it from reliable sources; that did not go down well in Bogota. My advice is to try for Paraguay, it’s the easiest to get into with the least questions asked. Shit, Joseph Mengele didn’t even bother to use an alias on the visa application…Remember, it’s imperative that you get out of Peru right now, quick-before you’re summoned downtown for questioning, I guarantee you won’t like it-and whatever you do, stay the fuck out of the Southern Cone16 …”

    Our intrepid overseas legal consultant Clemmons’ first advice when briefed on Learner’s plan to relocate from Mexico City to Lima was; “No, no…you don’t want to be in Peru right now…terrorists, bombs, the Shining Path…repressive military crackdowns.

    You’re better off right where you are. Can’t you guys drum up some sort of story in Mexico?”

    But Learner wouldn’t be dissuaded, so here we are, in a verrry secluded spot where clandestine aircraft depart for destinations not listed on any official manifest…

    “It’s not flying into Paraguay that you’ve got to worry about,” says the pilot as we clear the now invisible runway in the creaky Eisenhower-era aircraft, “It’s flying over Bolivia-that’s what you want to worry about…”

    Destination: the Chaco, a desolate, hostile no-man’s land, that serves as a kind of buffer between Bolivia and the rest of Paraguay.17 Undrinkable, sludgy swamp-water… thorny shade-less trees, crocodiles, a cornucopia of poisonous snakes, and a mind boggling assortment of obnoxious insects & various other pests, are just a few of the richly deserved reasons for the endearing regional nickname: “The Green Hell”.18
    “Want you guys to meet Virge Mantua,” says our pilot upon landing, “You can’t trust a whole lot of people out here…Virge is the exception…he knows the place like the back of his hand-plus: he’s got a copter-get you to where you need to be.”

    “So you’re the ones looking for Johnny Piato,” says Mantua swooping low over a greenly defined estancia, spiraling in for the landing. Now THAT gets our attention, sets off a few bells, prompting a rewind of the conversation with Learner just before departing Peru…

    “It’s a blessing in disguise,” Learner had said back in Peru, as the car Clemmons had sent, discreetly pulled away from the curb. We’d made it out of the hotel undetected, and could see the disgruntled citizens at close-range, waving signs that seemed to translate to something like ‘Alfaro lives-Damn it !’19& ‘Stop stealing our grease!’ & ‘Smash the Centipede!’. Some kind of code or surrealist performance art—it was difficult to tell.

    “Paraguay is where Gianni ‘Johnny’ Piato is rumored to be hiding out,” Learner chortled, “Somewhere in the Chaco, he’s got a ranch as a base of operations. Jodorowsky turned me onto this guy’s work way back when…I got to meet Piato at one of the Telluride fests. There were some rare screenings of ‘Picatrix’, and ‘30 Birds in China’—total cinema sorcery, I mean literally…closest thing I can think of would be Harry Smith’s ‘Early Abstractions’,20 but taken way further. At Telluride he would give these informal but very intense raps that he gave permission to tape. When he would free-associate, it was as if a Mallarme salon in Paris 1919, was being taped like a Grateful Dead show.”

    Piato was an Italian national, with an Argentine wife, whose work had become increasingly convoluted & hermetic, dropping plot-structure & character development altogether, preferring instead to manipulate & juxtapose images in a Kabbalist, and alchemistic structure.

    “Images are repositories of memories, and can be used to store vast quantities of information.” says Johnny Piato on one of Learner’s bootleg tapes, “One might find such information-laden imagery on Tarot cards for example or alchemistic wood-cuts, and Kabbalist diagrams. Aside from the classic memory wheels; architecture-especially temples, palaces, theaters, labyrinths, vast-possibly infinite libraries, are all prime storage vessels…but this information can be deposited in even more abstracted forms, like a piece of music, a dance, a series of short stories, a novel, a film…Intense contemplation of these images can transform human consciousness into a force-field, invoking celestial energies of incalculable power…”

    The interior of the estancia main-house still has portions of a naive, primitively rendered mural of what I assume to be a sort of idealized state-fair, with first-prize going to a Guernsey cow, who seems to be floating over a hay-bale with serene, almost Chagall-like21 detachment.

    “Most likely a Mennonite painting…their main turf is more to the east of here, but they’ve achieved pretty wide distribution throughout the area,” explains Mantua, “And at the top of the stairs, I think you’ll find it difficult to ignore, the many-times larger than life portrait of gruff but lovable, Dr. Jose Gaspar Rodriguez Franc’a—El Supremo to you…those eyes will follow you anywhere…” An obsessively detailed oil depiction of possibly the ultimate archetype of severity & stern disapproval, a stark contrast to the child-like Mennonite fair.22

    “My specific commission is to bring you to meet Johnny at his southern franchise, which you might expect to be a slightly more, uh…convoluted excursion.” Mantua elaborates as he passes out cold Antarcticas23 to all takers, “The other main brew out this way is Breman24, proceed at your own risk on that one…caveat emptor. We leave for Asunci—n tomorrow, then the Lapacho Curtain…”

    On the way to the main house, Mantua had showed us a crumbling structure out toward the western edge of Johnny’s property…”the Play Room”, a partially sand-filled bunker left over from the disastrous Chaco war.25 The charred inside…apparently the result of Piato’s recent experiments.

    Although not much more forthcoming about the experiments, Mantua did fill us in on some of Piato’s background that might not have made it to the official bio. Apparently, Piato’s wife had been among the early “disappeared” in Argentina’s Dirty War. Five months pregnant, suffering a fatal hemorrhage in custody during “intensive interrogation”, was bad enough, but as headless and mutilated corpses started choking the Rio Plata, and the details of the massive Argentinian torture-machine known as “The Process of Social Reorganization,” started to become widely known, we might infer that Johnny’s formerly sunny disposition was in no small peril of darkening…

    When he got the news, Gianni Piato was in the middle of making a documentary on an almost unknown, and virtually extinct, indigenous tribe known as the ItarŽ, who had remained enmeshed & invisible in their Paraguayan rain-forest environment, from which vantage point they watched with horror as their cannibal neighbors the AchŽ, succumbed to The Great Extinction Machine, and the unnatural submersion of most of their hereditary environment, by waters overflowing from Itaipœ Dam. When Piato returned from futile inquiry in La Plata, he disappeared into the rainforest, becoming initiated into the mysteries of the ItarŽ, where he evidently blended his hypnotic icon & image manipulation technique with potent shamanic symbols developed in collaboration with the ItarŽ.

    It was through the ItarŽ that Piato became aware of the existence of the ‘Promised Land’ also known as Waldner-555, located in an off-limits area near the Brazilian border, designated by the government as “District-X”.

    “The Promised Land”, according to Mantua, “Is a mostly underground para-military compound, presided over by a mysterious individual referred to obliquely, as ‘El Nuevo Supremo’ or ‘The King of the World’. We now know this to be Dr. Frederick Von Meir, one of the first clues being this rare ariel photo of a marigold patch—quite distinctive in that part of the rainforest, and entirely consistent with evidence analyzed from other quarters occupied by Von Meir”.26

    The Doktor (seal-23)

    Dr. Frederick Von Meir[[footnote(From “American Metaphysical Circus” by The United States of America: “At precisely eight-o-five/Doctor Frederick von Meier/Will attempt his famous dive/Through a solid sheet of luminescent fire.

    In the center of the ring/They are torturing a bear/And although he cannot sing/They can make him whistle Londondderry Air

    And the price is right,/The cost of one admission is your mind”)]]: Outer Head of the Order of the Trapezoid27 , blazed a trail with roots going back to The Society of Lizards, or Eidechsengesellschaft28, via Frederick Barbarossa & the Order of Teutonic Knights as decreed in The Bull of Rimini, founding the unbroken dynasty of the Dominus Mundi—the Master of the World,29—with a flow-chart of influence extending deep into the Illuminati, the Skull & Bones and the Orbis Tertius (Obscura). Von Meir’s Order of the Trapezoid, seems to have been the connective tissue in the Sebottendorf-Haushofer30 circles encompassing Thule & Vril31 related groups. Von Meir’s connections in the related A.A (The Order of Blazing Tlšn), extended from Col. J.F.C. Fuller32, Georges Monti33, and Carl Schmitt34 on the Continent, to John Whiteside Parsons35, N. Ron Gibbered,36, Ray Burlingame, and Georgina Brayton in California.37 Von Meir’s occult research led to his breakthrough discovery of what he called “the Reductive Mind”; a state of consciousness said to be shielded from normal human awareness by a wall of astral fire. Once activated, the Reductive Mind was able to communicate with “entities from the star-system Tlšn, the dark companion Mlejnas”, and the various orbiting, inhabited, perhaps haunted spheres: Kralnia-Z, Mizar-12,38 Meon-63, Neophrates,[[footnoote(Krishna Venta, leader of the Fountain of the World cult in Simi Valley, CA, claimed to have led a convoy of rocketships to Earth from the extinct planet Neophrates.)]] Alma Benhura,39 some of whose venerable inhabitants, were very obliging in their dissemination of information leading to quantum technological advances. Proximity to this “tech” put Von Meir in a pivotal position with the KlŸsterdrome: the elusive geopolitical/industrial cartel (Krupp, Farben, Thyssen, and others whose names we’ll never know, whose judgment we’ll never see).

    The good doktor’s quest for the “Reductive Mind”, led to some bold research during WWII. Exotic states of mind were studied and catalogued, while mind-altering drugs and torture were employed to crack open the shattered husk of personality, paring consciousness down to the basic Reductive Mind; whose personality was defined by violent malevolent antipathy toward the very concept of humanity, meting out the “tech” as rope for the expressed purpose of hanging ourselves.

    Fears of total human destruction are not the concern of the ubermensch. Von Meir’s only valid bargaining chip with the forces invoked, and access to their ‘tech’; was the traffic in human souls marinated in pain, fear, shame & ritualized debasements of the human spirit, which is part of the formulized technique for accessing the ‘Reductive Mind’, which means cracking the former personality open like a walnut, by observation & participation in actions that would be regarded with the utmost repugnance by most current human sensibilities (murder, incest, rape, pedophilia, necrophilia, cannibalism, beastiality etc.) which give off vibrational frequencies that The Forces That Be experience as the ecstatic peak-experience equivalent of intense sex, or a hit of crack.

    The practical application of these discoveries, was Von Meir’s post-war establishment of secret cults that could serve those very specialized needs, all the way from Yonkers to Buenos Aires. While assisting in the flow of Nazis to the US, during Operation Paperclip, Von Meir established resilient occult groups in Juarez, Nuevo Laredo, and Matamoros, eventually on down to Colonia Dignidad. With these mind-cracking techniques, bolstered by a kind of proto neuro-linguistic programming, he could meta-program subjects, to program other subjects, to program other subjects, and so on, providing very compartmentalized assassins & badger game sex-slaves etc. Some of the earliest subjects rumored to have been successfully meta-programmed, were concentration-camp inmates; including a rabbi, a doctor and an adolescent boy.

    Von Meir’s greatest success however, might well be the adroitness with which he kept his name off of official records and reports, and his image off of any known photographs, allowing him to operate with low-key impunity before, during, and after the war, collaborating with his initiate Carl Schmitt, to install a fellow traveler “philosophy” professor at the University of Chicago,40, to manifest the second phase of the 9/11/73 begun in Santiago Chile,41 to 9/11/01 in New York. Thy name is Legion…and thou art Neo-Con.

    In California, Von Meir set up an ad-hoc headquarters in an underground, Nazi-friendly bunker in Rustic Canyon adjacent to the “Murphy Ranch”, off of Sunset Boulevard in Pacific Palisades,42 (which is kind of interesting when you think about it, since a cluster German exiles fleeing Nazi persecution, lived just a strudel’s-throw away on San Remo) with a northern base near Holy City in Santa Cruz, an old-style roadside attraction-type cult commune right on the main highway, with plenty of auxiliary land harboring a covert, virtually inaccessible compound, where a circle of initiates were programmed to enact dark blood rituals, and to police the edifice of a burgeoning neuro-chemical social- engineering project, from the late 60s on, to be led by Von Meir’s protŽgŽ, Ronald Shitsky,43 (who had been reductive-mindedly programmed with Heinlein’s ‘The Moon is a Harsh Mistress’ as a trigger,44 while his star disciple will be programmed with ‘Stranger In a Strange Land’ 45 to whom had been transferred, a number of “technical patents”, to be sold with the intended purpose of launching a full-scale psychedelic, psych-ops blitzkrieg on America in particular, and the World in general. Some of these technical patents would parlay into “Shitsky” a.k.a. “Stark” acquiring the controlling shares to an aerospace corporation, Supervacuo, a division of Micro-Cynicon, located just to the west of Box Canyon, out beyond the Santa Susana Pass, above the San Narciso fire-road, specializing in reinterpreting & upgrading Nazi V-2 technology, (jeez, I wonder what sort of resume & pedigree would be appropriate for V-2 research?) located in an area hosting an absurdly disproportionate number of ritual sex-magic cults, not unlike say, the Jet Propulsion Laboratory & the Agape Lodge in Pasadena…

    Meanwhile, back at the Lido, a waitress waddles by with a couple of dogfish on a platter, served apparently, with the head on…Taking a leisurely opportunity before shipping out to District-X or wherever, to savor the sheer random incoherence of it all; an expensively maintained railroad system with no trains (more of a “conceptual” railroad), the street vendors with trays full of rubber monkeys & plastic glow-in-the-dark spiders…the ubiquitous pink inflatable pigs46 and …the harsh, strictly enforced Stronata curfew in contrast to all-night bookstores & full-service, round-the-clock prostitute availability.

    Earlier, after drinking at a British theme-bar above a Korean pharmacy, we’d sloshed on down to Plaza Uruguaya, mindful to avoid the pyragŸes (cops) out enforcing the curfew. Learner purchased a sword-cane (”the gentleman’s stiletto”) at an all-night thrift store, before arriving at the Plaza; destination of old hookers & used books (fresh hookers at the Plaza Paraguaya, they tell me). Then, wrapping our bookstore purchases in a thrift-store raincoat, slog back toward the corner of Chile & Palma and the relative safety of The Lido.

    Old, hopelessly obscure, English-language pulp that has weathered & yellowed, but not quite yet crumbled to dust, has to go somewhere, and the Plaza Uruguaya is apparently one of those places. Dig: ‘Escape from Vheissu’ by Raymond Bernard,47 Fieldcrest publications-1963…Our hero Raymond Bernard descends to the subterranean world at the center of the Earth; a utopian paradise run by scantily clad, midnight-sun bronzed, vegetarian Amazon women, where things are looking pretty good…when along comes the fly in the ointment: the evil-twin doppelganger Raymond Bernard who fronts for the malevolent Ruling Council of Nine & the Maha Imperator, who must embark upon an epic journey pursued by the original Bernard, through the nether-regions of inner Earth (as opposed to the hep region with the Amazon women) up through the remote wastes of Antarctica, including the squeaky leather discipline of New Schwabenland, the monstrous color-coded Lego-land of Rainbow City, and the gloomy slack-less entropy of Leng & Kaddath…Finally escaping along the “Route de Los Gods” with the assistance of Los Amigos del Muerte…eventually ascending through an old Lemurian emergency off-ramp located in Mt. Shasta, only to find that the doppelganger Raymond Bernard, agent of CIRCE, is now loose on the surface world, fronting a sinister secret society which of course, poses as a charitable humanitarian organization that recruits by advertising in men’s “science” magazines48…

    The return of Mantua prompts an excursion into the low rolling hills above Asunci—n, where monstrous architectural hybrids, congregate in a shrill display of gratuitous wealth…English-Tudor-Morrocan-Victorian-Art-Deco-Gothic-Futurist…and that’s just one house.

    “Remember,” says Mantua, shifting Army surplus jeep gears, navigating a narrowing lane, winding into a decidedly more rural area, “This isn’t a sporting house-there’s one two doors down, just remember, it’s considered a major gaffe to be bargaining for services in this establishment…don’t want to end up like Tacho…”


    “Tacho Somoza, acclaimed statesman from Nicaragua, wound up here, as vicious fascist dingbats will, when nobody else will take ‘em. Ol’ Tacho ran a pretty tight ship, wouldn’t even spring for coffee or yerba mate for his Paraguayan bodyguards—a major breach of etiquette. He committed his second major fuck-up at El Mundo Occidente; the place we’re headed right now. There’s a kind of tacit immunity to Stronata policy there. One thing a Guyarni respects is a good curse, and as a priestess of the Ku, Ayisha is extremely well qualified to deliver just that—don’t get me wrong…she’s a gentle, beautiful lady…from Taiwan, I think. Adjectives like; mysterious & inscrutable, with all due implications of a hazy, if not downright shady past, would technically apply, but it starts to sound like retread cliche bullshit :’The Lady From Taiwan’ or something—don’t want to give you the wrong idea…”

    “But old Tacho just wouldn’t listen. Figured, as always, that the unwritten law didn’t apply to him either. It was two or three years ago, he comes barging up here, storms in, scares the shit out of Ruthie at the front desk, verbalizes his needs in the crudest possible way—lotsa commotion & bad static in the hall…The red door opens—it’s Ayisha… doesn’t say a word—doesn’t have to—just stares, standing there, centered & serene in her green beaded gown, jade earrings, and silver shoes…Everything had stopped in the bar & casino…all across the killing floor…total silence…everybody within earshot knew he was doomed—this just wasn’t done.”

    “Tacho’s entourage fled into the night. They knew that this wasn’t worth getting killed over; they hated Somoza anyway…wouldn’t even spring for coffee. Plus, word was out that even Strossner had had enough of Tacho. Standing there with no bodyguards, under Ayisha’s withering gaze, no choice for Tacho, but to turn tail & scram. Four days later, some chaps from Argentina caught up with Somoza just a few blocks over on Espa–a…turned him into a Swiss cheese…”[[See: Life Magazine, Oct. 8, 1956)]]

    And so begins Learner’s obsession with Ayisha, which is a welcome change of pace. Up till now he’s been pining away for Catarine Milinaire, daughter of the Duchess of Bedford.49 Although the narrative was a bit fuzzy & subject to recollection-distortion, it would seem that Learner’s preternatural courtship of Catarine Millionaire reached some sort of premature anticlimax of dashed hopes & missed opportunity, involving a spot of bother with shots fired & a flaming mattress hurled from the second floor of the Pagsanjan Rapids Hotel, while visiting Francis Coppola’s location set in the Philippines.

    The obscure origins of Ayisha’s career go back to the mysteries of the KU, an often distorted and misrepresented offshoot of the Blue-Lotus Society, imported by Jandekite missionaries working the far end of the Silk-Road. After childhood training in the legendary KU “mystery dances”, said to be an encoded repository of lost and/or forbidden knowledge, capable of invoking, vast untapped power, Ayisha whose original name had been Li Pen, was the beneficiary of the legacy of her illustrious ancestors; Ts’ui Pen, Sum Tan Wu, and Yung Shon Pen, whose many Jandekite secrets lay embedded in the Pavilion of the Limpid Sun.

    Arriving in London, an seventeen-year old Li Pen is recruited by the Lodge of Astarte, as a featured dancer in certain semi-public ritual performances for the LOA; a sort of Orbis Tertius outreach-program, that presented occult-themed performances that ranged somewhere between theatrical mystery initiation ritual, and a good old-fashioned, British “gentleman’s club”. The breaking point in Li’s tenure with the LOA, involved a ceremony written by LOA cult leaders called “Initiation of the KU”: which consisted of a ritual conducted around an iron & brass framed, thick glass tank filled with tinted fluid, in which lurked several realistically simulated squid-like denizens of the deep, supposedly representing Cthulhu-type scary-monsters with phallic feelers. Li, having danced, stripped, and dived into the tank, would of course be seized, and uh, entertained to the vicarious delight of serious Orbis ritualists.

    “At first, I try to fit in. Work to cooperate. Not to question. But soon enough, inevitable realization: it was a blasphemy & a desecration of KU. I knew I could not do this thing again. Many important members of the Orbis Tertius (Obscura), and also the Omega, had attended these early performances. There was big pressure to stay. Angry words, insult, threat to deport. I try to respond with tact, grace and apologies. To no avail.”

    “Even after leaving, I hear from friends; my life in danger, must leave town, leave country-now…”

    Well now, maybe we should pause here for a reality-check (bring two forms of ID to cash it though), and review just what these allegations mean in context…I mean, could it really be that dangerous? To gain some perspective on this matter, perhaps we should consult ‘Fountain of Penelope’, by T. Ellison Blount, which is purported by it’s author to be an accurate, and entirely factual account of the activities of The Lodge of Astarte. Mr. Blount, it should be noted, is the Ipissimus Supreme of the Orbis Tertius.

    -(Page 10) After a ritual, one female disciple perishes at sea
    while another dies in a plane crash.
    -(Page 55) A woman is covered with a seething mass of white
    -(Page 64) After an encounter with a magical talisman, a woman
    dies on the way to the hospital.
    -(Page 93) a baboon is destroyed by forces beyond his comprehension.
    -(Page109) Recounts the appalling events that push one Sister
    Nona over the edge into madness.
    -(Page 134) The plight of Fr. Kimmel enmeshed in slime-dripping
    -(Page 158) A disciple Rana, is left soulless & mindless, after a
    disastrous ritual gone wrong.
    -(Page 188) A woman is possessed by the Demon Choronzon
    -(Page 223) A woman is apparently gobbled alive by a ritually
    conjured entity.

    Apparently this lodge was not real big on safety regulations (by the way, old sport, demographically speaking, not to overstate the obvious, but it seems kind of lopsidedly harsh going for the ladies, eh what?) so yeah…I guess I’d leave town too, which is what Ayisha did, next arriving in Chicago, soon to set up a dance academy, and the first replica of The Pavilion of the Limpid Sun.

    In the breaking dawn light, as the drizzle continues, we approach the heavily fortified gates to El Mundo Occidente. Close-up of truncated stairs leading halfway up the vine-covered wall, about twenty feet to the right of the front entrance, whereupon reclines an apparently unconscious individual, in a generic naval pea-coat, sprawled serenely across the steps, head propped, eyes conked & cancelled against the first beams of the rising sun, just as a pair of pyragŸes have taken an interest, standing over the sleeper…initial prodding with night stick…then-WHAACKK!! In one seamless action, the sleeping guy seizes the first pyragues’ rifle-muzzle, thrusting back HARD-slamming rifle-butt into face, which leads the rest of him over the stair-rail, about ten feet to the ground, regaining wobbly legs, spitting a tooth, running off into the sub-rainforest savannah …while pea-coat guy has, in that same fluid motion, conjured a standard-issue, WWII style, Colt .45…safety off, hammer cocked, thrust pointedly into the groin of the remaining pyragŸe, who, seemingly, knows the drill, following his partner over the rail & into the bush…

    “Gentlemen,” announces Mantua, with all due fanfare, as Learner knocks on the door with his ‘gentleman’s stiletto’, “I’d like you to meet The Sailor…”

    Inside; the textured, velvet Monaco of your most decadent dream: brisk, quiet, subtle gaming, shaded & cooled, insular…completely oblivious to the usual brutal shifts in Paraguayan weather-patterns & politics.

    “The Sailor’s great-grandfather was commander Nicholas Stepanov, an actual Paraguayan naval hero,” explains Mantua; which is good, because up until this second, I had no idea that there even was a Paraguayan navy, being a landlocked country and all, “Wantchya to meet commander Nino Jetski, late of the Argentine navy, fifth month of AWOL, if memory serves…”

    “I’m not a commander anymore, I’m not in anybody’s fucking navy, I’m just a Sailor, and my regrettable ancestor, commander Nicholas Stepanov, was a fascist, jingoistic, racist, White Russian prick,” the Sailor clarifies.
    As we shake hands with the pea-coat clad Sailor, Learner notices that-”Hey man, you sure speak fluent English for a Paraguayan-Russian-Argentine former naval officer, what’s the deal?”

    “Ah, the whole family had a collection of languages: Russian, French, German, English, Spanish, Guyarni, Portuguese, bit of Chinese…Then, I was in a liaison intelligence unit, stationed in Norfolk Virginia, then later, San Diego. Man, those were the days; codes & ciphers, fun in the sun, Sundays in TJ…Then, back to La Plata…a fucking chamber of horrors!” the Sailor leans over to honk a massive line of gleaming Peruvian blow off of a baroque, silver-framed mirror, “MOTHERFUCKER!! So then, I’m supposed to be working with Scilingo & Astiz…fucking assholes! Alfredo Astiz-the Angel of Death! He’s so proud of that title…there’s no real interrogation, no real information being collected, just the mindless application of electric cattle-prod to genitals…these degenerate cocksuckers could do that all day, and that whole deal with the cattle-prod and pregnant women-(actually, the Sailor goes on for another 10-15 minutes here, detailing the horrors of the massive Southern Cone torture machine. As the gruesome details accumulated, the mind on the brink of glazing over with shock, I suspected that maybe the Sailor was indulging in a bit of hyperbole, perhaps embellishing what was there for dramatic effect, as remembered through a haze of ca–a & white powder…WRONG! If anything, this was the Reader’s Digest Condensed, R-17 version…Many accounts of these events exist from a wide spectrum of victims & witnesses…Upon exposure to this material, anything short of vehement outrage, would, I suspect, be less than human…mindful, as we are, that even though the Brazilians, for instance, are proud of their accomplishments in this field with their innovative use of the electric cattle-prod, (a perennial favorite throughout South America), as far as a codified, scientifically accurate application of these methods, everyone knows you have to go to the School of the Americas, at Fort Gulick in Panama…or “consultants”, like Dan Mitrione, and Michael Townley, to name two…not to mention the fact that on 9/11/73, the death of Allende, the ascension of Pinochet, the beginning of a long, grim, twilight nightmare of torture & death, local Chilean death-squads hunted down victims on a hit-list of thousands; supplied, (according to well-documented sources in books available at most local libraries), by American intelligence agencies, at the behest of Mr. Henry Kissinger, who won a Nobel prize earlier that year for his tireless humanitarian work during the Vietnam conflict. Question I ask myself is: could this be the same Nobel dynamite manufacturing family that used slave-labor from Auschwitz during WWII? Just wondering…because while Chileans were being deprived of their humanity by torture, rape, death, and psychological warfare; their once-vibrant culture of arts, cinema, and poetry, was being decimated in close working synchronization with the economics policies of Milton Friedman, University of Chicago’s leading destroyer of national economies: deregulation, absolute corporate non-accountability, lots of cheaply imported Wal-Mart junk, unilateral murder & torture of anyone connected to labor organizations, waging war on poverty by, well…simply eliminating the poor. To this day, Chile’s economy has still not recovered from this trickle-down nightmare, (and how about the US?) while Friedman won the Nobel prize in ‘76…hey, I know: why don’t we just give the fucking prize to Pinochet, eh? EH?) now just biding my days as these morons prepare to go to war with Britain! That’s right, they’re going to duke it out over the Falkland Islands! I mean I’m conflicted…I so want to see Galtieri & Videla, get their asses kicked, but you know that it’s the enlisted men who are going to take the brunt of it, poor bastards; under-trained, under-equipped, no backup, no supply-line…The whole thing is sheer suicide, but these dumbshits think they’re going to make the Brits back down just by the strength of their bluster and pomposity…”

    Meanwhile, out on the killing floor, the swish & snap of fresh, crisp cards on green velvet, “You gotta play the combination on this one, jacks up, then work it out one by one from there,” the Sailor advises Learner, who in fact scores on the play, and is in the process of scooping the winnings into his hat, when Mantua appears motioning towards the red door, behind which we find the honored guest; Chu Tukka NatabŽ, primo shaman of the ItarŽ, beaming graciously, one hand holding a substantial herbal cigar, which he waves scepter-like, motioning for informality & comfortable seating…

    “He says they have been expecting you, welcome to the western world,” translates Ayisha, radiating exultant serenity, and hyper-focused awareness, “He has invited you to be witness to battle of phantom opponents…Piato summons voice of thunder, with moving colored shadows, defeat common enemy, you witness-go back to own pond; make waves…”
    On the desk, in front of Chu, is an elaborate, ornate box; mysterious cargo recovered from a Junkers 390, covered in a labyrinth design, consisting of repetitions of golden triangles; the contents spread in a symmetrical half-circle, consisting of:
    -a watch
    -a bayonet
    -snapshots of human beings, old-country, ethnic, possibly Hebraic or Romany descent
    -a silver lighter engraved with German SS death’s head
    -7 gold teeth, perhaps once belonging to people in
    the snapshots

    “Sacred golden mouth-bones, belong to tribe opposing same enemy, many worlds away, but unified in purpose, communicate through rune.” continues Ayisha, while Chu, after a lengthy preamble, throws the divination teeth dice-like, scrutinizing the resultant pattern with some intensity…

    1Asuncion, Paraguay
    3A city in Paraguay, El Dorado also is known as the mythical South American city of gold. See:
    4See Steely Dan, “Here at the Western World”:Down at the Lido they welcome you/With sausage and beer/Klaus and The Rooster have been there too/But lately he spends his time here/Hangin’ with the Mayor and all his friends/And nobody cares/Where the sailor shuts out the sunrise/Blacked out on the stairs
    5German actor and collaborator with director Werner Herzog. See:
    6See: How to Dance Like Mick Jagger
    7German film director who in 1972 directed ”Aquirre, the Wrath of God”, a film about the travels of Spanish soldier Lope de Aguirre, who leads a group of conquistadores down the Amazon River in South America in search of the legendary city of gold, El Dorado. It was filmed on location in the Peruvian rain forest.
    8″Martin Burt is founder/CEO of Fundación Paraguaya, an NGO devoted to the promotion of entrepreneurship among the world’s poor. He is also co-founder of Teach a Man to Fish, a global network that promotes “education that pays for itself”. In addition to his work in civil society, Martin has served as Vice-Minister of Commerce and was elected Mayor of Asunción. A Visiting Professor at the University of the Pacific, Martin has received the Inter-American Development-Bank Microfinance Award for Excellence in Social Responsibility, the Outstanding Social Entrepreneur Award from the Schwab Foundation, the Skoll Foundation Social Entrepreneur Award and he is committed to the Clinton Global Initiative.” See:, also:
    9Founded in 1818 in Amsterdam (and later relocated to Antwerp, Belgium), Bunge is a agribusiness and food company with extensive dealings in South America. See:
    10Films made (in order) by Peter Bogdanovich, William Friedkin, Francis Ford Coppola, Martin Scorcese, Robert Altman, and Hal Ashby. Each one was a critical and/or financial failure.
    11From Rip Torn’s wiki entry: The part of lawyer George Hanson in the Peter Fonda-Dennis Hopper road movie Easy Rider was written for Torn by Terry Southern (who was a close friend) but according to Southern’s biographer Lee Hill, Torn withdrew from the project after he and co-director Dennis Hopper got into a bitter argument in a New York restaurant, ending with Dennis Hopper pulling a knife on Torn.
    12Dennis Hopper made “The Last Movie”, a 1971 drama filmed in Peru that “simply put, concerns the ill-fated production of an American western in Peru—which is to say itself. Most simply explained, the movie allegorizes the implosion of ’60s hopes. One of the craziest (and druggiest) movies ever made, it’s also blatantly self-deconstructing and meta to the max, albeit produced years before those terms became commonplace.” See: “Drugstore Cowboy,” by J. Hoberman.
    13Mexican actor and director whose participation in the unsuccessful rebellion of Adolfo de la Huerta against Mexican President Álvaro Obregón Salido caused him to be exiled to the US.
    14From Bob Dylan’s “Goin’ to Acapulco”: I’m going down to Rose Marie’s/She never does me wrong./She puts it to me plain as day/And gives it to me for a song
    15Bedoya, a Mexican actor with a career in both America and Mexico, is best known for his role as Gold Hat, the bandit leader who declares he doesn’t have to show any “stinking badges” in John Huston’s 1948 adventure film The Treasure of the Sierra Madre.
    16The Southern Cone is a geographic region composed of the southernmost areas of South America, south of the Tropic of Capricorn. Most of the countries in this region, until the 1990s, were controlled by right-wing juntas.
    17The Chaco is a region of land occupying approximately 100,000 square miles in Northwestern Paraguay, Southeastern Bolivia, and Northern Argentina. The Chaco War (1932-1935) was the result of a territory dispute between Bolivia and Paraguay. See:
    19The Alfaro Vive, Carajo! (AVC) is a clandestine left-wing group in Ecuador, founded in 1982 and named after popular government leader Eloy Alfaro. See: The Dictionary of Contemporary Politics of South America.
    20″Early Abstractions” is a collection of seven short animated films by ethnomusicologist and mystic Harry Smith. See: Early Abstractions, Part 1 and Part 4
    22These details come from Steely Dan’s “Show Biz Kids”: After closing time/At the Guerney fair/I detect the El Supremo/From the room at the top of the stairs
    Breman, Germany, is the home of the Becks brewery, and also the Breman-Vagesack concentration camp used during WWII.
    25From "Third World Man" by Steely Dan: Johnny's playroom/Is a bunker filled with sand/He's become a third world man/Smoky Sunday/He's been mobilized since dawn/Now he's crouching on the lawn/He's a third world man
    26See "King of the World" by Steely Dan: No marigolds in the promised land/There's a hole in the ground/Where they used to grow/Any man left on the Rio Grande/Is the king of the world/As far as I know
    27The Order of the Trapezoid was founded in 1957 by Anton LaVey, and eventually evolved into what is now the governing body of the Church of Satan. Its rituals are based on Germanic magickal techniques. See: The Nazi Trapezoid, by Tim Mahoney and the order's website:
    28See The Thousand Year Conspiracy: Secret Germany Behind the Mask, by Paul Winkler, for details on this ancient secret order. The use of the lizard is significant for its relation to the alchemical salamander.
    29"As a series of small kingdoms emerged in Europe out of the ruins of the Carolingian world, a new conception of international order emerged, the notion that there is a natural right order of the world that human understanding could comprehend. This new approach conceived of human society as hierarchical, with lesser societies subordinate to higher ones. Recognition of the natural right order and the acceptance of a society's place within that order was the key to international harmony. To a great extent those who saw the world in these terms differed only on the issue of who would head the hierarchical structure and mediate international conflicts, the Holy Roman Emperor or the pope. Supporters of the imperial position argued that the Christian Roman emperor was the true dominus mundi, the Lord of the World, and the kings of Europe were rulers of what were in effect provinces of the empire. The other view was that the pope as the spiritual head of Christian society was the head of an international society and that he was the ultimate regulator of international order. These competing views about the leadership of Christian society provided one of the fundamental elements of the medieval church-state conflict. See:
    30The Thule-Gesellschaft (Thule Society) was founded August 17, 1918, by Rudolf von Sebottendorff. He had been schooled in occultism, Islamic mysticism, alchemy, Rosicrucianism and much else, in Turkey, where he had also been initiated into Freemasonry. Karl Haushofer was an advocate of Germanic lebensraum, student of Gurdjieff, friend of Rudolf Hess, and suspected co-author of Hitler's Mein Kampf.
    31"The existence of a Vril-Society was first alleged in 1960 by Jacques Bergier and Louis Pauwels.[18] In their book Le Matin des Magiciens, which appeared in 1960, they claimed that the Vril-Society was a secret community of occultists in pre-Nazi Berlin. The Berlin Vril Society was in fact a sort of inner circle of the Thule Society. It was also thought to be in close contact with the English group known as the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn." See: and
    32Col J.F.C. Fuller, British Army officer and military strategist, was an early disciple of Aleister Crowley and a student of occult subjects, which he incorporated into his famous "Nine Principles of War." He was a friend of Hitlers and was involved with Sir Oswald Mosley and the British Fascist movement. See:
    33Georges Monti, a double agent for both French and German intelligence agencies, infiltrated many esoteric societies, often holding high ranks in those organizations. He was credited by Pierre Plantard as having established the Ordre Alpha-Galates, the precurser to the now-debunked Priory of Sion. See: The Templar Revelation by Lynn Picknett and Clive Price.
    34German political theorist who consideredhis theories as an ideological foundation of the Nazi dictatorship, and a justification of the "Führer" state. See:
    35American rocket scientist and occultist chosen by Aleister Crowley to lead the Agape Lodge of the OTO in California. See:,, and
    36L.Ron, the founder of Scientology, friend of Jack Parsons and participant in the Babylon Working of 1946.
    37"In the mid-1950's two ex-members of the defunct Agapé lodge called Ray and Mildred Burlingame started working together with one Georgina (or Jean) R. Brayton (b. December 29 1921), and her husband Richard Montgomery Brayton (b. 1911), a lecturer at the University of California, on performing some of Crowley's O.T.O. rituals. After Germer's death in 1962, the Brayton group started calling itself 'The Solar Lodge of the OTO', or else the 'Riverside Lodge of the OTO'; it was effectively the illegitimate orphan offspring of a dissolved lodge." See:
    38Perhaps a reference to "Sign In Stranger", song in The Royal Scam album by Steely Dan. Contains the lyric, "Have you heard about the boom on Mizar Five? / People got to shout to stay alive"
    39The legend of the Mandeans, an ancient culture of Iraq and Iran, tells that the original Mandai came to earth from the planet Alma Benhura. The name Alma Benhura means "world of goodness."
    40Political scientist and philosopher Leo Strauss, linked to neoconservatism and imperialist militarism. See: Karl Schmitt was instrumental in Strauss receiving a Rockefeller Fellowship in 1932.]] who would in turn, initiate & program a deep-cover sleeper-team[[footnote(Some of Leo Strauss's students: Allan Bloom and Paul Wolfowitz
    41Date of the US-military-backed Chilean coup d'etat that overthrew democratically elected Salvador Allende and installed General Augusto Pinochet. See:'état
    43AKA Ron Stark See:
    44From "His textbook for security, exhorting others to follow his example, was, of all things, a science-fiction novel published in the 1960s by Robert A. Heinlein, called The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress. It is the story of a lunar colony's attempt to free itself from the control of Earth through a movement based on a system of cells, each kept in ignorance of the others. The success of the revolution is also aided by skilful deployment of disinformation."
    45From The Family by Ed Sanders: "Another book which helped provide a theoretical basis for Manson's Family was "Stranger in a Strange Land" by Robert Heinlein, the story of a power-hungry telepathic Martian roaming the earth with a harem and a quenchless sexual thirst while prosyletizing for a new religious movement. Initially, Manson borrowed a lot of terminology and ideas from the book—not, hopefully, including the ritual cannabalism described therein."
    46See: Pink Pigs in Paraguay
    47First appearing in Borges' imaginary book "Lesbare und lesenswerthe Bemerkungen über das Land Ukkbar in Klein-Asien", Vheissu is a fictional utopia. Thomas Pynchon later utilized Vheissu in his first novel V., as a marker for a mysterious land. See:, and There are two Raymond Bernards of interest. Raymond Bernard #1 (aka Walter Seigmeister) is best known for his book The Hollow Earth and others on topics ranging from Atlantis to nutrition. See: Raymond Bernard #2 was the former head of the Rosicrucian Order AMORC who wrote of "strange encounters" with emissaries from mythical lands such as Agartha who told him of the "Occult Government of the World" and the 12 members of the "High Council". See:
    49Daughter of a French duchess, a photographer for Vogue in the sixties and seventies, Caterine Milinaire was associated with Dennis Hopper in the mid-1970s. AS related in Mapplethorpe: a Biography, Hopper was abusive towards her, the physical results of which were photographed by Mapplethorpe.
    Except where otherwise noted, this content is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution License. See Copyrights.

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  7. The Last Statue
    Chapter 5

    Lonnie, Buzz & Eggs 1: My best friends from the old neighborhood had been in it since the early 60s.

    Veiled rumors of Bad Shit in the parks; Untermeyer, Van Cortlant, Pelham Bay…the marshes near Orchard Beach…a burnt-out church in Westchester…

    It had been going on in the area since at least the early fifties. Early on, it was mostly just dealing drugs, weapons, and kiddie sex, centered around devil-cult doggie-snuff blood-guzzling, drug & sex ritual, with members & clients among the powerful & prominent; lotsa doctors, attorneys, judges, City & State govt. officials, personnel from certain DA’s offices…and at least one former assistant US attorney.

    Supposedly founded by an emigrating physician from Germany via Britain, who initiated, or meta-programmed the original 22 Disciples of Hell, in the Yonkers-Westchester area.

    Later branches would include The Children, of which my old school chums were members. As years passed, I would hear about the disposal of small, child or dog body-sized packages, and the murder of a teacher from their school, as well as another member of the group, also a fellow student, named William Wright.

    I’d known these guys since I was maybe 7 or 8 years old, when my family lived in the north-east Bronx, over on Buhre Ave. The whole Children thing seemed way over the top to me, but looking back on it all, I’d have to sorrowfully admit that my reaction to all this seems well short of the revulsion that any trace of ethics, compassion or basic human values would demand. Not much of an excuse, but I’d like to think that it was the erosion sustained by continual application of meth, smack, coke, angel dust, and bad acid. It’s my best bet.

    So, I’d do some dealing out of the Candlelight Inn, the West End, and The Angry Squire while majoring in film at Columbia, specializing in editing & film development and processing. Definitely a cult-connected crowd hanging out in these places, which had its perks in social latitude. You could be a proletarian stoner, and possibly, depending on your proximity to sex & dope, find yourself in a social context, partying with the likes of Roy Cohn, or Andrew Crispo, (if that’s your idea of a good deal) or in attendance at unusual social gatherings at a gargoyle festooned 5th Ave Hardinburgh building, with sumptuous Peter Marino-like dŽcor…

    Two flirty fishing Orbis Tertius chicks, from Brooklyn Polytech & the Platt Institute respectively, network an invite for yours truly to a party at Roy Radin’s Long Island mansion where it is incumbent on me to make the acquaintance of one Father Gerard aka Daddy G, an elder in the Temple of ZAL, an associate of Radin, who as chance would have it, takes the opportunity to brace me with a proposition. Namely; would I by chance be interested in filming some “shows”? Maybe do a little editing, putting together some “promotional films”?

    Meanwhile, the party rages on, as S&M leather Nazi whip girls bend handcuffed over chairs for the delectation of rutting bikers, while certain wispy silk-suited members of The Art Crowd make the effort to reach out to today’s young folks. In one particular case, a young tousle-headed lad, perched languidly on the knee of a prominent (and newsworthy) gallery owner. A sick-fuck menagerie for sure. What would Nick Carraway say? I wondered…if he thought the crowd hanging out at Gatsby’s was repugnant, what would he make of this cruel orgy?

    No green light at the end of this pier…


    Roy Radin; the original show-biz kid, was the son of a show-girl and a saloon owner. Tutored, bizarrely enough, by Orson Welles, Radin became a millionaire by the age of twenty-five, from producing benefit shows for police unions. Peddling an endless cavalcade of schlockmeisters the caliber of oh, say George Jessel, Red Buttons, Milton Berle, Eddie Fisher, Joey Bishop, etc…while scooping a cool 75% off the top from benefit proceeds, careful to distribute the windfall in all the right places, bolstered by drinks on the house and an endless avalanche of coke, which tends to go nicely with whatever kinky fantasy you never quite got around to: S&M, kiddie-sex, necro-sex, rape-sex, snuff-sex…anything you please…not to mention a priceless collection of quality, hi-res, 8×10 glossies for your treasured memories…ah, but then there’s the movies… Needless to say, when it came to the law enforcement community, Radin was a very well-connected, and very well-protected dude.

    Lonnie, since having an overdose-Near Death Experience back in the mid-’60s, (which was more than anybody else could claim) had achieved a certain cachet within the group, which parlayed into a leadership position in the hierarchy of The Children. But by 1970, ZAL had arrived, raising the stakes to a whole other level, absorbing and restructuring the entire organization, bumping Lonnie back down to acolyte grade.

    Only one way up from there…

    He was gonna have to kill somebody.

    Plenty of encouragement in that direction, since Lonnie was by now hanging out at the Carr residence as a second home. Things always having been sketchy with his own people, he’d glommed on to the Carrs as his adoptive model of the ideal American family, idolizing Mike & John as real together dudes, even made an awkward pass at their sister Wheat, but…particularly fawning over Michael, much to Michael’s smirking amusement, at the stridently homophobic Lonnie’s unawareness that Mike was gay. Even when the others weren’t home, you might see Lonnie over there bullshitting and knocking back bourbon shots with old Sam Carr. Mike & John were flabbergasted, nobody but nobody hung out with Sam. M&J both hated him intensely. Lonnie was, of course, oblivious to the seething tension under the Carr roof.

    Daddy G took an interest in assisting Lonnie’s re-ascent through the Children hierarchy, fronting for Buzz & Lonnie to set up a dealing-pad known as ‘The Clinic’ in Brooklyn Heights, and securing a job for Buzz at St. John’s, conveniently located right next to Untermeyer Park. Several of the 22 disciples had hospital jobs, working some pharmaceutical import scam. Now known as Brother Gino within the Children hierarchy, Lonnie was soon helping Daddy G make the rounds. Father Gerard operated a series of drop-boxes and safe-houses from New Jersey to Manhattan, up to Westchester-White Plains, through Long Island out to Montauk; moving weapons, drugs, porn & “specialty” prostitutes, with rapid, undetected efficiency.

    Now, Daddy G was an old-school cultnik, up from Boston where he’d been part of Mel Lyman’s Fort Hill commune, even writing a few articles for ‘The Avatar’, that rag they published to bamboozle fresh meat.

    Gerard was the interface between Omega, ZAL, and the local branches (The Children, The 22-Disciples etc.) with connections in Orbis Tertius, and an international appliance religion, that served, more or less unwittingly, as logistical umbrellas for the staging of various Omega projects to be realized by ZAL and the various offshoots.

    My ongoing sustaining obsession during this period was to scam some sort of independent feature-length production deal for a lunatic fringe, lo-budge, atmospheric film like ‘Carnival of Souls’ or something, shot in Untermeyer Park which gets a bad rap as “satanic” or “dark” architecture, when it’s really more beautifully surreal & eerie than “evil”, although I can see how that misapprehension could arise.

    Soon enough I’d observe in my editorial frame, aspects of human behavior that would personify whole new levels of meaning for the “E” word.

    Brought along slowly at first, starting with various genres of porn, then Radin’s ongoing attempt to commission staged ritual demonic invocations, which become increasingly malevolent in tone & practice, gradually revealed in a progression that viewed in retrospect, seems to have an uncanny correlation to the rising trajectory of my personal drug intake…

    Soon-raw footage from the “apocalypse trials”, a ZAL inspired, organized presentation of public violence: arson, rape, murder & more, from Manhattan to Long Island to Westchester, with an extended radius many miles beyond, imbued with deep onion-like layers of motive & meaning…scrutinized and edited by disconnected speed-ball glazed orbs, incapable of any kind of self-reflection, ethical awareness, or emotional reaction…yet still the images come-a cornucopia of organized death: doggie-snuff in Brooklyn Heights, Houston, Santa Cruz, and Southern California …ritual axe-murders in San Francisco and Santa Cruz (these particular items, also appear in the private collection of a very famous-some would say, the most famous artist in New York) vampire-leech murders in Brooklyn & Bayou St. John in New Orleans…Fun & games with a famous Italian fashion designer and his swanky entourage…interesting late-night tours of selected Manhattan funeral parlors…somewhat less-than-edifying activities at the aptly titled “Nursery”…plenty of footage coming up on Roy Cohn’s leaky, creaky boat the ‘Intrepid’: interesting goings-on in a fortified compound near Gavelston, where host Shearn Mooly caters to some rather peculiar preferences…more creepy swamp shenanigans from Don “Everglade” Meterick, with impressive contributions from Charles Rogers, and Gary Kirstein…

    As images increase in grotesque intensity, so does my consumption of conscience-muting opiates, a vicious cycle which means selling more junk to pay that tab, which means dealing with more junkies which is deadly dull-all say the same bullshit the same way, over & over every day, so when you come across one who not only doesn’t fit that profile, but seems to be some sort of street-mutant Neal Cassidy talking a mile-a-minute rings around anyone you ever heard with outrageous bullshit that actually seems to be true…you perk up & take notice.

    Daddy G. ran a string of college-age hookers from the Auto Pub in the General Motors building, partially organized & supervised by Lucy, who’d been retired from the stable as a bit over the hill, and maybe too ethnic for the breezy white-collar Manhattan crowd. So, at some point, this guy at the Auto Pub braces Lucy, (who looks like she’d know) about the availability of recreational opiates, Daddy G being off somewhere, intersecting his appointments at his drop-boxes, with visits to a series of bars, tapering down finally, to some real low dives, where lately, he has been known to unceremoniously hit the deck & stay down for the count. That, when he’s not weaving around in his El Dorado, guzzling Bacardi pints from a paper sack.

    A call or two is made, and soon I’m at the Pub, making the acquaintance of one Kenny Wisdom-a very loquacious smart-ass, with bullshit that won’t quit, taking urban legend and name-dropping to a fine art.

    He organized the feeding of the hungry in Panhandle park during the psychedelic San Fran ’60s, either by serving surplus-food soup, or by dividing the fishes & loaves, depending on when and how he was telling the story…getting high with Dr, John & Jerry Garcia, having had cosmic junkie sex with Janis Joplin and Tuesday Weld (on separate occasions of course, I think…) Mime troupe actor, thug, jewel thief, safecracker, author, absurdist activist, ontological guerilla, your best friend, your worst nightmare, and the working girl’s dream.

    It was clear upon meeting Kenny Wisdom, that when his series is finally cancelled and they start to roll the credits on his life, that there is going to be a bit of a hole in a lot of people’s lives (and arms), along with a lot of scorch-marks on a lot of wallets, purses, and bank accounts. But it stands to reason (if any), that you can’t stand this close to a comet without getting a little charred…

    Later, at Benny’s coffee shop: first of a series of Veronica Lueken sightings,”I know who is doing the killing! Yes! I’ve seen their faces! I know their plans-and so do you…their lust for death & virgin blood…I know of the 22 disciples & their master…and know ye this: the Lord will surely curse thee, just as he cursed the barren fig-tree, to deliver ye to an abject eternity of unbecoming…REPEX! REPEX! REPEX!”

    I’d heard of Lueken before. She did these harangues at the fairgrounds, where she’d rant & rave and channel the “Lady of Bayside” which, even though this was all just about the kookiest dingbat quackery you could imagine, always brought in a huge crowd, with some sort of paramilitary off-duty police escort…generous donations accepted…The local word being, that every now and then she would just go off on a rant in public somewhere: a supermarket, a bus stop, and coffee shops in particular. Hadn’t seen it up close & personal before, though I must say she certainly exceeded my expectations, staring right bug-eyed at me the whole time, never wavering in her stare…

    Lueken’s tirade still ringing in my ears, while working the editing room at Radin’s ersatz commercial production facility, part of some front umbrella tax write-off scam. Too dull to be of interest to any reasonable person, no questions asked-no answers given…if the walls had ears & the ears could talk…Today’s topic of interest: a couple of reels taken at a meeting in White Plains, with members of ZAL leadership being hosted by local Children from Westchester & Brooklyn Heights, Father Gerard being the senior liaison officer in charge, leading the discussion of the “Apocalypse Trials”, a planned display of organized, yet random-seeming, ultra-violence, conducted according to a stellar timetable, tracing secrets in the sky, invoking a tidal-wave of fear, and paralyzing a giant metropolis.

    Daddy G giving the local Disciples his usual pep-talk before the arrival of the Brit ZAL contingent: “They’ve got your action covered before they even come through the door. They’ve come to raise the stakes-go you one better. Remember: This is your game. You make the rules. Come to the Now. Rely on ethics. Be true to Source. Play a good clean game.”

    I can see Brother Gino, Eggs, and probably about another 4 or 5 people I know, including Suzette Rodriguez & Josie Solano, a couple of real live-wire go-getters from Westchester, that I understood to be the objects of the twisted affections of Lonnie & Buzz respectively. It was clear that L&B were in way over their heads with these chicks from Valhalla, who were both well traveled in the race to extreme experience.

    So, this is the impetus behind the 44. Bulldog shootings & killings…the taunting letters to the papers…headline soup: SON OF ZODIAC…SAM THE RIPPER…or some combination thereof, might as well write your own…

    “So, whaddayuh say, huh? I wouldn’t call so soon, but…it’s kind of urgent y’know?” I understood the urgency all too well. Unscheduled pleas of desperation, pretty much defines the kind of urgency I’d always tried to compartmentalize out of my personal life, and it’s always that one exception that’ll knock over your hypo-tray. Kenny Wisdom was the only counter-culture urban legend among my clientele, though I suspected him of probably owing mucho moolah to a whole string of dealers, banking on weakened memories, and offers to “settle” for dimes-on-the-dollar…

    “I don’t know man, I’m a little light myself, gotta stock up, I could get back to you in about an hour, hour & a half…” I offer graciously.

    “Nah…hey, I’m right down the street-be right there…” Click. Goddammit! exactly what I don’t need-I should never have filed him on the short-list acceptable for deals at my apartment. I hope there’s an entertaining story at least…

    “Look, ya gotta stay at our table & be cool, some of these guys are pretty business-like, and they don’t like surprises or new faces,” I endeavor to explain, as we stride into the Angry Squire. We’d done up the last of my stash back at the apartment, whereupon Wisdom had launched into various anecdotes about the Haight, New Mexico, and some songs that he was supposedly writing with The Band, or at least one of the guys in it.

    I could see Lonnie, Daddy G, Buzz, Rockman, Suzette, and Josie…plus some guy at the end of the booth with his back turned in my direction. A bit more action than usual, it being freezing-ass fucking cold on the one hand, it being almost Candlemas ‘77 on the other.

    It doesn’t even occur to me, till I’m standing directly in front of them, that Wisdom is right behind me, mindlessly propelled by the speedballs consumed prior to arrival. I motion to Lonnie for sidebar privacy, maybe step outside so we can cut a deal. I can tell by that ‘what the fuck?’ look on his face, that he’s less than thrilled with my unexpected entourage, but that seems a moot point now that Wisdom seems to be scrutinizing the unknown guest in the booth, with wildly disproportionate interest…

    Kind of a beefy dude, actually somewhere between beefy & buff; a gymnasium build, with sandy colored, style-cut hair and mustache, somewhere between off-duty ex-jarhead cop, and Village People. Wisdom stares fixated. Just as I’m thinking that last speedball has fried him to a crisp, Kenny addresses the beefy dude:

    “Hey man, don’t I know you from somewhere? Maybe out on the Coast…”

    “No I don’t think so, you must be thinking of someone else.”

    “Yeah…out in LA or San Francisco…maybe both…”

    “Like I told you pal,” Maybe a bit of a pulsating neck vein here, a tensing of voice…Everyone else at the table frozen in place, breath on hold, waiting to see what’s next, “I’m sure we’ve never met,” this last annunciated through clenched teeth with a gritty finality, showing admirable restraint comparable to Klaus Kinski replying to Lee Van Cleef’s request for a light in ‘For a Few Dollars More’.

    “My mistake buddy,” Wisdom squinting, drawing hard on his smoke, staring right through Beefy Guy. “So, I wonder how Gibby & Cassie are doing? I’m sure you wouldn’t know…as you say: I must have been thinking of someone else…” Turns with a dismissive shrug, leaving Beefy Dude with a twitching neck, and everybody else with goggle eyes, and open mouths; Lonnie being the first to recover, slipping out of the booth while Daddy G loudly orders another round-anything for a distraction at this point. Kenny Wisdom has left the building…

    Outside, Lonnie detonates: “What the fuck was THAT? Do you know who this guy IS!?”

    “Well, he looked just like some chump jarhead to me, was I impertinent?” This coy rejoinder sets Lonnie off for a good eight minutes of bad static about security breaches-blah-blah etc. etc. He was right of course, Wisdom was way out of line in the context of Brooklyn Heights heroin-deal protocol.

    “Look, you can’t fuck around with this guy, he’s very heavy shit, out here to do a favor for some friends. They’ll be mighty unhappy if something were to fuck this up…”

    Lonnie had finally calmed down, at least as much as he ever does, and had completed our transaction. Now, back at the pad, having sampled the goods, and found them satisfactory, first-rate in fact, I await Wisdom’s explanation for such an egregious breach of etiquette…

    “Yeah, Yeah…I know, sorry if I made it awkward for you back there, but I’ve definitely seen that guy before, his name was Scharlach then, wonder what it is now? I’m pretty sure I’ve seen him in the Bay Area, but I definitely know that I saw him in LA, hanging out at Cass Elliot’s house…and Abigail Folger’s, which was right across the street. I knew Gibby and her mother Inez, from these Free Clinic benefits, and various food-drives-they were quite generous with donations, and sometimes more. I know Gibby did volunteer work out in some really bleak neighborhoods, not just slumming either. Living with Frykowski though, now that was slumming.”
    “Never was big on the Mamas & Papas, some good tunes, but trying to come on so “hip”, when really just glitzy LA-showbiz “pop aristocrats”-same old shit…But Cassie was different. She wasn’t really pretending to be anything she wasn’t. She embodied that whole Vegas show-biz thing, which she was really good at, like Bobby Darrin or Sinatra, but also had this other under-the-counter-culture kind of vibe running the spectrum from oh-so mellow LA folk-pop stoners, to a much heavier, leather-biker, S&M, whips and chains type-crowd, and that’s where I saw Scharlach and his pals hanging out. These shrill little dickheads were so full of themselves, riding that first wave of coke as it was breaking into the culture at large, after first trickling down through the rock elite.”
    “Paul Krassner knew Cass pretty well, and he told me she had dinner with Roman Polanski, Sharon Tate, and RFK the night of the assassination. So, when I last see Scharlach, he’s with Gibby & Cass. Few years go by, and now Gibby’s dead, Cassie’s dead, Sharon’s dead, and RFK’s dead, and here’s this guy, still in good health it looks like, and I’m just wondering, what’s his secret? Obviously a survivor, we should all live so long, eh?”

    Some questions you just let hang, the strategy being, I suppose, that if left hanging long enough, the question in question will just go away, and in this case, it seemed to work very effectively. In fact, I’d almost forgotten the upshot of all that contagious death until a couple of months later, watching the rushes from the “Apocalypse Trials”, as it was known by most of the “insiders”.

    Right there in the frame, our old buddy Scharlach, dishing it out on the streets of Forest Hills & elsewhere, blowing people away right in their cars…I can see Sisman & his little crew, filming the proceedings, unaware of Omega operatives with the high-tech gear a little further back, everyone safely assuming that once out of range of Sisman’s lens, that it’s out of the frame and therefore off-the-record, promoting a sense of “spontaneity” otherwise difficult to achieve. The usual suspects in my editorial frame of reference: Sisman, Platzman, Rockman, and this Australian guy named Ken, who was definitely on Lonnie’s shit-list, due to his close proximity to Suzette & Josie. When not brooding about Ken from Australia, Lonnie obsessed about Buzz putting the moves on his beloved Suzette, who we might also note, was shaping up to be a full-service participant in the festivities.

    The creeping realization now starting, finally, to seep through the coca-opiate haze, the faint stirring awareness of the ethical/spiritual implications of what I’m seeing in the view-frame, plus the irrefutable fact, that viewing these images must be very hazardous to one’s health.

    Alternatives considered, escape looms inevitable…

    “Alright, you know the rules…you break it you bought it,” announces Wisdom, as the car comes to a standstill at the bottom of the shallow ravine.

    “Did you see those guys in the El Camino? Shit! They were trying to kill us!” blurts Danko, his nose still frosted from refreshments consumed just prior to being run off the road.

    “Of course they were trying to kill us…why the fuck else would they drive like that? But the only thing that got killed is this deer, and rules are rules; if we’re gonna drive around honking speed-balls off the glove-compartment door, we have to take whatever we run over, and distribute it to the multitude, wherever they are…”

    “Better hike back on in to Plano’s, and call Ernie…tell him we need a tow and a lift,” says Wisdom examining the axle & wheel wells of Danko’s canary-yellow Cadillac, “Looks pretty good, just get a hoist on out of here, and I think it’ll roll just fine…”

    Wisdom had called that morning, seeking the inevitable; then, as an afterthought: “Hey man, you want to go for a road-trip up to Bearsville? Been writing some songs with Rick Danko, we’re gonna check-out some rough-mixes, maybe shoot some pool, have a few drinks…” I’d assumed I was being recruited as designated-driver, but not a whole lot going on this weekend anyway; and though I was pretty annoyed about the scene he pulled at the Angry Squire, I still had to admit he was right about Scharlach. We met up with Danko at some Greenwich Village drug-den, proceeding from there in Danko’s Caddy, which vaguely resembled a giant banana with fins.

    About 3 or 4 blocks with Danko at the wheel was enough to cancel the designated-driver theory, as it became obvious that these guys were bouncing off the walls already, functioning on some kind of bat-radar, and sixth-sense (if any), narrowly avoiding a series of automotive disasters, part Neal Cassidy, part Mr. Magoo, breaking the rustic tedium of long upstate excursion by snorting speed-balls off the glove-compartment door, and swilling brandy from a pint bottle.

    Finally, high in the Catskills, pit-stop for a case of beer…crickets & frogs serenade the murmuring creek, rarified air blows through whispering pines…At the listening party, Wisdom & Danko barking along with the tracks; something like: “I’ll get high, high, high, drinking coffee till I die!”-you could tell by the grinding intensity, that a whole lot more than caffeine was fueling these tunes. Then, a lengthy billiards-fest with the engineers & technicians on duty at the log cabin-like recording facility, Danko doing a loud pantomime hustle, all in good fun…after many beers, and a blizzard of Peruvian perk-up powder, some difficulty in staying upright myself…and then, we must be on our way…Wisdom driving, until we stop at the same store for the obligatory homebound six-pack. Out of the corner of my eye, I notice an El Camino in the parking lot. Meanwhile, Danko insisting that he’s totally OK to drive…Wisdom shrugs, handing over the keys, “It’s your hearse pal…”

    Which, after being towed out of the ravine, brings us to Ernie’s gingerbread house, on a patch of thickly forested land, accessed by a winding dirt road, and a small covered bridge. Ernie, who one suspects, was born with a gray beard, ponytail, and overalls, is obviously a fixture in the area, a junk-art sculptor, goes way back with Wisdom, and especially Danko, who insists: “I swear man, these guys in the El Camino, ran us right off the highway, into that gulch…”

    “At least it’s a better story than the last moose you tenderized on that pass out near Woodstock.” observes Ernie.

    “Ah man… that was Richard driving…”

    “Yeah, yeah…your imaginary friend Richard, who does all those naughty things we all know we shouldn’t do…” Ernie counters, with an exaggerated theatrical wink. Ernie’s sculptures, and self-stylized, rolled-roof gingerbread cottage, with extended wine-bottle reinforced, architectural constructs, that filter the light like stained-glass, exude a mysterious elfin presence from this little creek-side grotto. “Would this by any chance, be a black El Camino, with a crooked trailer-hitch on the back, and a hole in the rear window?”

    I’d noticed the shattered panel in the rear window, and the disjointed trailer-hitch at the store parking lot earlier, though there was no way to register any of this during our little highway altercation.

    “So, you know these guys or what?” It seems only proper to ask.

    “I know I’ve seen ‘em hanging around the last couple days…word is, they’re up here from Pound Ridge. Buzz up and down the creek is, they encountered the Whizzer, out at the junction, just a few yards from his house, knocked him into the creek-bed, scraped & muddied, but basically OK, but you never-ever want to piss-off the Whizzer.”

    1In 1964 a Deputy Sheriff named Lonnie Zamora had a famous sighting of an egg shaped UFO with occupants. One of several possible explanations is that he witnessed a test of the Lunar Surveyor.
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