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Blind Boy Apollo
and the All-White Astronauts

New Age "Asiatic" thought ... is establishing itself as the
hegemonic ideology of global capitalism. (Zizek)

Sunday, January 29

body, mind and spirit

Thursday, January 26

esalen: the real estate he was given

Following hard on the heels of that last post and its promise -- "I'll be sure to let you know what I find out" -- here's what I found out. For starters. Note the unintended high irony of the book title. The time frame is 1962...
Murphy's family owned land on California's Big Sur coast, with redwood canyons, hot mineral springs, high cliffs, and magnificent outlooks on the Pacific Ocean. With Richard Price, a former Stanford classmate, Murphy started an institute there, which he and Price named after the Esalen Indians who had lived on the coast. In its first years, Esalen hosted seminars on Eastern thought and religious practice. Christian mysticism, shamanism, psychedelic drugs, humanistic psychology, ecology, and other subjects loosely grouped under the banner of human potentialities and the education of the whole person.

~ The Life We Are Given, p. 5
George Leonard and Michael Murphy

    from Booklist: "Readers meet, for instance, Marshall Herff Applewhite, the bizarre Heaven's Gate founder who persuaded 39 people to commit suicide at the cult's California headquarters; Julia 'Butterfly' Hill, the environmental activist who frustrated the state's lumber industry for more than two years by living in a treetop; and John Walker Lindh, the California-born Taliban fighter captured in Afghanistan."

we are all just prisoners here
of our own device

~ eagles

The Life We Are Given
: A Long-term Program for Realizing the Potential of Body, Mind, and Heart

Wednesday, January 25

class act

how does it feel to be one of the beautiful people?
~ beatles

As amusing as it manages to be in parts, the book ends up being a perversely recursive bit of meta-irony embodying what it sets out to parody: a smug and very much class-based ridicule, hauteur, contempt.

Nonetheless, to quote...

Not that the three classes at the top don't have money. The point is that money alone doesn't define them, for the way they have their money is largely what matters. That is, as a class indicator the amount of money is less significant than the source. The main thing distinguishing the top three classes from each other is the amount of money inherited in relation to the amount currently earned. The top-out-of-sight class (Rockefellers, Pews, DuPonts, Mellons, Fords, Vanderbilts) lives on inherited capital entirely. No one whose money, no matter how copious, comes from his own work -- film stars are an example -- can be a member of the top-out-of-sight class, even if the size of his income and the extravagance of his expenditure permit him to simulate identity with it. Inheritance -- "old money" in the vulgar phrase -- is the indispensable principle defining the top three classes, and it's best if the money's been in the family for three or four generations.

Only reason I'm posting this is that I was struck by the line drawing of those two old fucks. No disrespect intended. That and I'm interested in Old Money of the sort that was floating around California for about a century before the sixties hit. And here's what I'm thinkin... Esalen, right? Prime piece of real estate like that? Where'd it come from? Michael Murphy got it from his folks. Might have to look that one up, but I'm pretty sure. And what I want to know is: what kind of world were his, you know, People living in before Mikey was a come-hither glint in Mom's eye?

I'll be sure to let you know what I find out...

an Esalen book

A high prole regarding a destitute with disdain, but less for his poverty than for his style.

an Esalen book

Michael Murphy
Esalen Institute

Michael Murphy
Esalen Institute

sound familiar?

From the 1890s to the 1930s, a growing number of Germans began to scrutinize and discipline their bodies in a utopian search for perfect health and beauty. Some became vegetarians, nudists, or bodybuilders, while others turned to alternative medicine or eugenics.

Tuesday, January 24

conservation & eugenics

don't lean on me man, cause you can't afford the ticket...
~ bowie

In my recent research travels through the twisty passages of the net -- sometimes more like a midnight pub-crawl -- I've come, a time or two, glancingly, across references linking eugenics to the early conservation movement in America. Such things sometimes fall through the cracks, forgotten for months, then resurface as nagging urges to run just one more Google search, one more search on A9, one more slumming through the negro streets of Amazon at dawn, looking up an angry fixation.

So I ran the searches, poked around, filtered and sifted and sorted and -- as more usual than ever these latter days, as the net casts its web ever broader and deeper -- hit paydirt. It'll need some unpacking, but here's a taste...

Rainger succeeds best in his detailed and scholarly attention to Osborn's social milieu, which surpasses even that of Allan Chase's exhaustive Legacy of Malthus (1975). Such information (absent in Kühl) is essential for understanding the lavish funding available in the United States for eugenic research and promotion, but also for its ties to the conservation movement.

~ from Conserving The Race:
Natural Aristocracies, Eugenics, and the U.S. Conservation Movement

Gray Brechin, Antipode, July 1996

I hyperlinked the sources in the passage above, but here are the references spelled out...

That last one is kicking around here somewhere, the other two are new to me. But won't be for long. They look to be bang on, as is Brechin's article and bibliography. Everything I could have asked for.

...well, I could have asked to tie all this to California somehow, since I've lately been nosing around in those woods a bit. For instance, my most recent post about California -- You Can Check Out Any Time You Like -- calls out a book I've since gotten my hands on: Imperial San Francisco: Urban Power, Earthly Ruin by a guy named... hey, wait a minute! By a guy named Gray Brechin! Same guy who wrote the article I was just quoting from about eugenics and conservation.

Whoa! -- as Keanu might say -- back in Synchronicity City (don't lean on me man). Or is it just the plot, thickening?

fortune smiles ... on fascism

In July 1934, Henry Luce devoted an entire issue of Fortune magazine to Mussolini's Italy. It was introduced thusly...
Whether or not Fortune has adequately presented Fascist Italy is for others to judge. But as to Fortune's bias -- that is easily stated. No 100 per cent journalist can be more than a few per cent Fascist.

But the good journalist must recognize in Fascism certain ancient virtues of the race, whether or not they happen to be momentarily fashionable in his own country. Among these are Discipline, Duty, Courage, Glory, Sacrifice.

In its July 1934, issue, a song of praise for Fascism, Fortune magazine (owned by Henry Luce, a Morgan partner, and other powerful and wealthy Americans) told of the great corporations and how they progressed under Mussolini.

"The significant facts to hang on to," concluded Fortune, "are these: if you were an early Fascist, or contributed generously to the March on Rome, you are likely to enjoy the business benefits that accrue to a high position within the Fascist Party."

~ The George Seldes Reader, p. 271


keep on rockin in the free world...

Last Sunday (January 22, 2006), the Guardian Online ran this long piece on the burgeoning neo-Nazi music scene. If you've found yourself questioning the contemporary relevance of some of the material I've been posting to this blog, this should serve as one answer.
    White off the scale
    They're loud, proud and everywhere from East Germany to West Virginia. Neil Mackay spends six months getting to know the white supremacist practitioners of Nazi Hate Rock

Here's a sample...

Neo-Nazis... are on the rise across Europe and in the United States. In Britain, the British National Party won more than 800,000 votes at the last European elections. In Germany, they have seats in state parliaments and are doing better, electorally, than at any time since the Second World War. Italy is also seeing a marked upswing in votes for the far right. Increasingly central to the political success of parties such as the German NPD - the political grandchild of Hitler's National Socialist German Workers Party - and the BNP is white power music. Bands include Whitelaw, Strike force 28 and Grinded Nig (whose album Freezer Full of Nigger Heads features songs such as 'Jackhammered Nigger Pussy'). Their records are available from most neo-Nazi record distributors online.
If you think that's heavy, try this -- if you have a strong stomach. Or this. Or this. Odin, Vikings, "the volk" (think Volkswagen, the Nazi "People's car"), and various Nordic and "Aryan" themes loom large in this world. As do, of course, those races that fall outside the holy bounds of white supremacy. And make no mistake, those boundaries are holy. These are religious views, spiritual values. Oh baby, what hath God wrought?

Aryan Cults, Esoteric Nazism and the Politics of Identity

Sunday, January 22

more on race, class & american eugenics

Because the issue is so politically loaded, it is extremely difficult to find trustworthy information on how the early birth control movement was tied to systematic U.S. eugenics initiatives. This book seems just such a credible source. The following -- and the photo to the right -- are from Choice and Coercion: Birth Control, Sterilization, and Abortion in Public Health and Welfare by Johanna Schoen (p. 22). The author is assistant professor of history and women's studies at the University of Iowa.
Under the leadership of Margaret Sanger, the early birth control movement sought the repeal of the Comstock Law of 1873, which prohibited dissemination of birth control or information about birth control through the U.S. Mail.... By the 1920s, Sanger had grown frustrated with the movement’s slow progress and had begun to work to forge a professional alliance with the medical establishment. Hoping to gain broader support, she began to emphasize eugenic and economic arguments, increasingly grounding her claims for the legalization of birth control on the ideal of racial progress and and efficiency.
The book was published last year by the University of North Carolina Press in its Gender and American Culture series. From the back cover:
In August 2003, North Carolina became the first U.S. state to offer restitution to victims of state-ordered sterilizations carried out by its eugenics program between 1929 and 1975. The decision was prompted by newspaper stories based on the research of Johanna Schoen, who was granted unique access to summaries of 7,500 case histories and the papers of the North Carolina Eugenics Board....

On an international level, the United States has influenced reproductive health policies by, for example, tying foreign aid to the recipients' compliance with U.S. notions about family planning. The availability of U.S.-funded family planning aid has proved to be a double-edged sword, offering unprecedented opportunities to poor women while subjecting foreign patients to medical experimentation that would be considered unacceptable at home.

Cover illustration: Birth control nurse Lena Hilliard
with a client and her children, late 1930s.
(Courtesy of Countway Medical Library)

Friday, January 20

bleeping zipper heads

For the zipper ref, read on. Freud would have a field day! But first, I wonder how many of you know that J.Z. Knight, a.k.a. "Ramtha," was the primary focal point of that POS movie, What the Bleep Do We Know? Never heard of her? Perhaps you've heard of Shirley MacLaine. Go search ol' Shirley up in Finding Enlightenment: Ramtha's School of Ancient Wisdom by J. Gordon Melton, "a research specialist with the Department of Religious Studies at the University of California" who never met a cult he didn't like.

At any rate, the following passage is from Millennium, Messiahs, and Mayhem; Contemporary Apocalyptic Movements, edited by Thomas Robbins and Susan J. Palmer (pp. 164-165).

The Ramtha Foundation also espouses a feminist apocalyptic theory. J.Z. Knight, a petite blond businesswoman, began in 1977 to function as the mouthpiece for Ramtha, the invisible eight-foot, 40,000-year-old "Lemurian" warrior. Based in Yelm, Washington, Knight has traveled across the country renting hotel ballrooms to hold weekend "dialogues" wherein Ramtha takes over her body, expounds his Gnostic philosophy, and dispenses advice. In a manner reminiscent of nineteenth-century female mediums (Moore 1977), J.Z. Knight channels an entity that defends the rights of women and challenges male hegemony. Ramtha condemns males for their omnivorous sexual appetite and encourages the empowerment of women:

Men defile your women. Men molest one another. You brutalize sex, eroticize violence.... And men, you don't have to go out and copulate everything to impregnate the whole world!.... You don't have to spill your seed every day!... See women as equals, as brilliant gods, just as you are. That changes the shadow, the destiny that allows you to go forward in harmony with Nature. (Ramtha 1987, 138)

Ramtha describes our planet as a "living entity" regularly visited by space brothers, and on the verge of irresistible "evolutionary processes" -- and paints an unusual vision of an Earth "laced with zippers" about to explode into volcanic eruptions, tidal waves, and earthquakes (Ramtha 1987, 30-35). He recommends survivalist preparations -- put your money in gold, move to the Pacific Northwest, stockpile a two-year food supply, and cultivate vegetable gardens. Real estate agents have watched with interest the migration into Washington State of "Ramsters," "many of whom are middle-aged women" (Montreal Gazette 1984).

special bonus link...
Journal of EMERGENCE!

Wednesday, January 18

vertigo children

I was just talking on the telephone with Jeneane Sessum and we decided -- given recent discussion here about Indigo Children -- to start a new movement for "adult children" like ourselves who are subject to sudden paralyzing fits of extreme paranoia. We desperately need such a movement for people who have been incorrectly -- and heartlessly -- saddled with a diagnosis of Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD), but whose real problem is that they've been forced to hang onto an ever more tentative and fast-receding "reality" by their bloody fingernails!

If you feel that you too have been unfairly miscast in this way, please join with us in raising America's spiritual awareness of this endemic tragedy in the making by sending email to Jeneane, whom, in the course of composing this sentence, I have both nominated for and elected to the post of National Secretary. Thank you for your sensitivity, care and support. God Bless America.

for the Inidgos...

By rapidly and easily freeing their consciousness, DNA template, and spiritual identity from unnatural energetic blockages and energy "vampires", to reclaim Chistiac self-sovereignty over their personal 15th dimensional anatomy, and perform the DNA bio-regenesis necessary for eventual complete bodily merkabic ascension.

run-on semantically null non-sentence courtesy of

Monday, January 16

a spaniard in the works

I don't know why I find this accidental screenshot (really, it was) so amusing. The book itself, Warpaths: Invasions of North America, is not exactly a laugh riot -- though it does show that the Amerindians (as it calls them) didn't just roll over for the invaders (a.k.a., us). The back cover (which is all I ever read) mentions "the extraordinary archers of the Calusa, who ultimately took the lives of Hernandez de Cordoba and Ponce de Leon..." This is the first news I've had of Ponce de Leon since the eighth grade, and I'm glad to hear he got what was coming to him. Put that in your Fountain of Youth, motherfucker!

Sunday, January 15

poor melons, unripe crabs

The music that can deepest reach,
And cure all ill, is cordial speech...

That bit of doggerel appears at the head of "Considerations by the Way," the seventh chapter of the sixth volume -- The Conduct of Life (1860) -- of The Complete Works of Ralph Waldo Emerson, the 12-volume Centenary Edition published by Houghton Mifflin and Company in 1903-04. Fortunately, The Conduct of Life has been republished. More fortunately still, thanks to wonders of the world wide web you can click here to read the whole magilla.

Part of what you'll read, if you manage to persevere through Emerson's purple haze, is this:

That by which a man conquers in any passage, is a profound secret to every other being in the world, and it is only as he turns his back on us and on all men, and draws on this most private wisdom, that any good can come to him.
In the same piece, Emerson drew on his most "cordial speech" and "private wisdom" to give us this...
In the streets, we grow cynical. The men we meet are coarse and torpid. The finest wits have their sediment. What quantities of fribbles, paupers, invalids, epicures, antiquaries, politicians, thieves, and triflers of both sexes, might be advantageously spared! Mankind divides itself into two classes,-- benefactors and malefactors. The second class is vast, the first a handful. A person seldom falls sick, but the bystanders are animated with a faint hope that he will die: -- quantities of poor lives; of distressing invalids; of cases for a gun.
The emphasis is emphatically mine. By the way, "fribble," as used above, is a nominalized back-formation from an intransitive verb that once meant, I am informed by Merriam-Webster (Unabridged): TOTTER, STAMMER, FALTER. The un-Unabridged version suggests DODDER, which (say I) remains in use in the not uncommon, but now hugely deprecated phrase: "that doddering old fool." So probably, tribbles are, less floridly expressed, old people -- most likely those suffering from what we now know as paralysis agitans or Parkinson's: "a chronic progressive nervous disease occurring in advanced life and marked by tremor and weakness of resting muscles, rigidity, mask-like facial expression, and a peculiar gait -- called also shaking palsy." Emerson: the man's compassion was boundless.

Was he also "spiritually attuned" to the principles that would later come to be collected under the rubric of eugenics? Here's a final quote from The Conduct of Life. You be the judge...

Nature makes fifty poor melons for one that is good, and shakes down a tree full of gnarled, wormy, unripe crabs, before you can find a dozen dessert apples; and she scatters nations of naked Indians, and nations of clothed Christians, with two or three good heads among them. Nature works very hard, and only hits the white once in a million throws.
Although "hitting the white" is unfamiliar to the contemporary ear (except when it means getting sauced on Chardonnay), it must have something to do with archery, "the white" being (or once having been) the bulls-eye. However unintended the gaffe, it is nonetheless ironic, given that Emerson was Cheerleader-in-Chief for the populist doctrine of manifest destiny, to hear him combining "white," "Christians" and "Indians" in the same sentence. For the shamelessly naked Indians, it was a sentence of death -- "cases for a gun" -- which seems to be what old R. Waldo had explicitly enough in mind when he penned this inspiring essay, so full of cordial speech.

Saturday, January 14

the persistence of eugenics

The following is from The Future of Human Nature by the philosopher Jürgen Habermas. The quote is taken from the second chapter, The Debate on the Ethical Self-Understanding of the Species, section VI: The moral limits of eugenics, p. 61.
With regard to the ethical freedom to lead a life of one's own while being subject to organic conditions not of our own choice, the situation of the programmed person does not initially differ from that of a person naturally begotten. Eugenic programming of desirable traits and dispositions, however, gives rise to moral misgivings as soon as it commits the person concerned to a specific life-project or, in any case, puts specific restrictions on his freedom to choose a life of his own.
The publication date is 2003. It is not a work of history.

Habermas is emphasizing the irreversibility of genetic engineering, which is what he means here by programming. Note, however, that there are forms of cultural programming, which should give rise to similar moral misgivings -- as when a parent says (or thinks), "I'm raising my [son/daughter] to be..."

[check all that apply]

  •   a Success
  •   a Buddhist
  •   a Catholic
  •   a Lesbian
  •   a Scientologist
  •   a Libertarian
  •   a Shining Path guerilla
  •   a White Anglo-Saxon Protestant
  •   an Indigo/Crystal/Rainbow child
  •   a Minion of Satan
  •   in Corporate Management
  •   Spiritual but not religious

While the latter sorts of social, religious and ideological programming are in theory reversible by the efforts of the individual affected, the psychological cost of this reversal may heavily outweigh any perceived benefit. I would point to the statistics on teen suicide as a valid index of such costs.

With the advent of genetic enginerring (a felicitous typo) eugenics is staging an inevitable comeback. But eugenic thinking has always confused the biological with the socially determined. The problem is not technology per se, but its use in the hands of people who combine pathological perfectionism with astoundingly naive or wholly unexamined notions of what it might mean to be "perfect."

Such agendas have invariably led to class-oriented racialist notions of who is "fit" to survive and who should be eliminated -- whether through programs of active euthanasia or passive neglect.

It is natural to believe in great men....

The race goes with us on their credit. The knowledge that in the city is a man who invented the railroad, raises the credit of all the citizens. But enormous populations, if they be beggars, are disgusting, like moving cheese, like hills of ants, or of fleas -- the more, the worse.

~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

AP: Milvertha Hendricks, 84, waits in the rain with other
flood victims outside the New Orleans convention center.

doll revolution

from the book description: Doreen Virtue, Ph.D., is a spiritual psychologist who works with the angelic realm, including the fairies. She is the bestselling author of many books, cards and audiocassettes, with sales of over 1M copies! It’s true -- you can spiritually heal; instantly manifest your heart’s desires; and commune with angels, goddesses, fairies, and ascended masters! In this true spiritual adventure story and reference book, Doreen Virtue writes about the enlightened beings who can unlock the magical gifts within you.’ll travel with Doreen through a Sedona sweat lodge, the Polynesian island of Moorea, a goddess temple at the Isle of Avalon, and other exotic locations. You’ll read the powerful messages she received from Mother Mary while visiting Lourdes, and you’ll peek over Doreen’s shoulder as she gives psychic readings and receives information about Lemuria, merpeople, and the new Rainbow Children.

virtue is her own reward

Who dries your eyes when you cry real tears?
Who know or cares what an imitation is?
Only you do
You can paint his nails
Make him wear high heels
Why waste time altering the hemline?
Or do you?

Tear off your own head
Tear off your own head
It's a doll revolution

~ elvis costello