Homosexuality at the Bohemian Grove

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Homosexuality at the Bohemian Grove

Postby cptmarginal » Tue Mar 25, 2008 5:55 pm

I found a book called "The Greatest Men's Party On Earth" which contains much of interest on this topic. The book is by one John Van Der Zee and for the most part repeats the same stock material of "just a men's club", the story of the founding of the club by artists and subsequent takeover by rich and powerful people.

It's pretty much the standard analysis of the deepseated urges in all of our psyches which make such a place inevitable. Exactly what you'd expect - for the most part. I haven't read the whole book yet, so maybe the tone changes further on.

However, Mr. Van Der Zee actually did "penetrate the sacred precincts in the guise of a waiter", so there is much in it about happenings at the Grove.

Here's some excerpts, illustrating the homo-erotic atmosphere which pervades the book:

"A distinguished-looking snow-haired man is pissing on a tree. Another man opens his fly and stands beside him, talking. There is a sense of feelings returning that one has had to deny again and again in the course of carving out a career. Of the possibility that perhaps, for a while at least, one can take a refresher course in affection, both public and private."

"For the man who disliked his work or his wife, who was bored or lonely or frustrated, who needed the solace of male companionship, or who had a lingering interest in the arts but no outlet for it, in short, for a fortunate minority of the overwhelming majority, it was an ideal refuge."

"In the kitchen all the amenities are dropped. The chefs yell at the waiters and the waiters yell back. A gay waiter and a straight bus boy stride angrily outside to the garbage area and exchange punches."

"At night the dormitories and the street above the kitchen become a kind of gay frontier town among the trees, a world of whoops and shrieks, blaring amplified music, taunting and towel snapping and "flashing," and, much later, quarrels and outright fist fights. There is a canteen, which straights avoid for the same good reasons a gay person might stay out of a bar in a small southern town.

There are two kinds of people in the Grove, those who like themselves and those who don't. It's as simple, and as complicated, as that. Among the members and guests, the first type predominates; in the kitchen, the second. Bob, the waiter who rooms with me, is fairly representative. Bob's in his early fifties, between regular jobs, working his second year at the Grove. In unsought idleness, he sips a joyless after-dinner beer and fantasizes an eden of available young men. "There was this young fellow the other night ni one of the shows, dressed as a woman, and he - she - well, it - was one of the most sexual things I've ever seen. He was the most beautiful woman - I mean the sexual appeal of the thing was tremendous. I'm assuming you're gay." "No, I'm not." "Well, three-quarters of the kitchen is. And half the members."

"Bob's sexual breakdown of the membership is a wild exaggeration, a wishful fantasy. His analysis of the kitchen is not. It's life upside down, where the sexual percentages are reversed and straights are freaks, and the prevailing tone is bitch-wit, one-joke flirtatiousness, and an unspoken misogyny more brutal than in any locker room or GI club. "Hi, you sluts!" sings Curt to a table of waiters and bus boys eating breakfast. And the whole table dissolves into simpering giggles."

Shortly after this segment, which includes much more homosexual innuendo:

"To come here as a member or guest is to share the assumptions of manners, secrecy, privilege. To accept or reject, but not to reveal. To anesthetize with sociability or booze or long walks beneath the trees the fidelity to what is real. And to acquiesce in the Club's wish to have life both ways: to be world-famous and, at the same time, unknown."

Wildly exaggerated, I'm sure. This, despite him pointing out that the majority of the Grove is entirely off limits to him, including River Road (of "AIDS put a damper on the pickup scene" fame).

One night while serving coffee, two men remark to Van Der Zee:

"We've just decided," says one of the men, head gently nodding, "that you're the most attractive person here." He beams condescendingly, the nobleman addressing the stable boy."

Van Der Zee introduces some interesting remarks from the Cremation:

"At times this remorse over what the world has made of Bohemians' innocence is exaggerated into an eerie self-denial and even self-rejection, as in this invocation from the Cremation of Care ceremony: "The Cremation of Care is not, gentlemen, the poetic cremation of a stuffed dummy... It is, for one thing, the shedding, from each of us, of the snake's skin we grow in the workaday world. It is a dropping, from each of us, of the mask of pride, of position, of self-importance, of greed and power. It is the cleansing of our hearts of selfishness and ugliness. It cannot last, we know that. It is only for a spell. But it is a magic spell, and we memorialize the beginning of that spell tonight."

I'll post some more later if I find any more good passages.

Here's the front and back covers of the book, scanned by me:
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Postby kenoma » Tue Mar 25, 2008 6:05 pm

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Postby lunarose » Tue Mar 25, 2008 6:28 pm

'Homosexuality at the Bohemian Grove'

uh, y'all've heard about the russian river, right?
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Postby cptmarginal » Tue Mar 25, 2008 7:34 pm

Actually, I was not aware that the Russian River was considered the "gay playground" of the west coast, with several resorts and such nearby. Thanks for calling attention to it, it certainly complicates the picture a bit.

A lot of members of the Grove would appear to be exposed as completely phony in at least two ways by their association: in their religion and in their sexuality. Not to mention the weird implications of who these people are, and what they have been accused of. I need not repeat the whole history of elite-protected sexual slavery and such, as frequently discussed at RI.

The author of this book describes the sexual impulses and urges of the Grove members as an "iron mystery". I find it interesting that he obviously has filled his whole book with a homo-erotic undercurrent (starting with the jacket), but then goes on to deny the claim in a potentially false manner, as well as to devote much more space to the female prostitutes sometimes brought over than to the elephant in the room. Up to the point I've read, he has not discussed the implications of the sexual orientation of the members at all. You'd think it would at least be an interesting topic for a few paragraphs. Apparently one sentence brushing it off as false was enough - the waiters just dress as women for kicks.

*edit* Actually, looking closer, his attire on the back of the book could be considered standard for a waiter. In any case, every person I've ever shown the back of the book to has said WTF without any prompting on my part
Last edited by cptmarginal on Tue Mar 25, 2008 8:42 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Searcher08 » Tue Mar 25, 2008 7:49 pm

I'm sure that there are people for whom "The Grove" is nothing more than a place to relax one's sexual orientation. I am sure that some also come along as they buy into the idea of burning ones "Care" (I think it is a great idea too - sort of astral spring-clean)

However the different "villages" seem to have very different "cultures"and seem to be very island-like, with extra private security to stop unwanted visitors. I am sure that flaunting "we do what ever the hell we want" competition would go into overdrive in an environment like that.
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Postby compared2what? » Tue Mar 25, 2008 9:18 pm

Cptmarginal, thanks for the excerpts and especially the pictures. That kind of ephemeral art is a rung on the ladder to aesthetic heaven for me, and I'm sincerely grateful for it.

However the different "villages" seem to have very different "cultures"and seem to be very island-like, with extra private security to stop unwanted visitors. I am sure that flaunting "we do what ever the hell we want" competition would go into overdrive in an environment like that.


Searcher08, I apologize in advance for the zombie conditioning that compels me to add:

Not that there's anything wrong with that. :)
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Postby OP ED » Tue Mar 25, 2008 9:22 pm

oooh homosexuality. how shocking. :roll:
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Postby cptmarginal » Tue Mar 25, 2008 9:28 pm

My pleasure - I felt compelled to share it because some of the stuff he was talking about was obviously of a wink-wink nudge-nudge variety. I particularly like the "magic spell" portion - elsewhere he talks about fraternal initiation (in a college fraternity type context) and the purple and gold vestments worn by the high priest.

My scanner settings were a bit dark, so it's hard to see that the ribbon on the cover was a bright pink. Combined with the little reclining Pan, the winking owl, and the back photograph - it's quite a striking package.
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Postby 8bitagent » Tue Mar 25, 2008 9:35 pm

The issue isnt the homosexuality, its that these are the same old white fuddy duddies to continually deny gay rights, gay marriage, gay adoption and blast gays as "evil" and "unholy"...even denying funding for AIDS research.

Yet in there spare time, engage in homosexual acts. And a lot of times its not even in a romantic, or lustful manner...but pure power exchanges, a way to compromise individuals.

Then again, as long as its all consentual and not with minors. Lord knows how many stories there are of the political elite raping children.
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Postby cptmarginal » Tue Mar 25, 2008 9:36 pm

OP ED wrote:oooh homosexuality. how shocking. :roll:


Well, I'm not exactly shocked. However I do find it interesting to see a back-handed confirmation that many of the most powerful people in the world (the people we often talk about at RI in the context of horrible sexual proclivities) are living a lie in regards to their publicly professed sexuality (and religion). In fact, I find it very much fascinating on many different levels - none of which involves me thinking it's nasty. Take from it what you will, I think it's significant.

If nothing else, I think I understand George Bush's fetish for bald men a bit better :lol:
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Postby cptmarginal » Tue Mar 25, 2008 10:32 pm

Yet in there spare time, engage in homosexual acts. And a lot of times its not even in a romantic, or lustful manner...but pure power exchanges, a way to compromise individuals.

This hits on the aspect of this which is really most interesting to me - many of these people are married and have children. You couldn't really say they are gay - that is to say, they most likely could not love a man in a romantic way, and do not want to.

It seems to be entirely about power exchange, as you so accurately put it. Note that in many of Crowley's high magick workings, the ritual was centered on an a homosexual act - for some personalities, it seems to be a way of charging a huge amount of energy very effectively. Considering that the Grove members are clearly involved in purposeful magical practice (or at least feel compelled to visit a place organized by those that are involved), this seems like it could be important.

Another thing that always seemed interesting to me is that so many important people do feel compelled to visit this place. Take Nixon, for example; clearly, he was not into this sort of thing at all. So who is it that is behind this Grove that is so influential that he paid visit several times anyway? Why did he feel compelled to do this? What can we tell about the structure of elite society from this interesting dynamic at work in centers of power?

By the way, sorry if anyone was offended by this topic. I will reiterate: it is absolutely not my intention to pass judgment on people just for being gay. In fact, as I made clear above, I don't think these people even count as "gay". Speaking personally, I don't even subscribe to such simplistic labels about sexuality anyway - my own view tends more towards each person having some percentage of both feminine and masculine sexuality within them. It helps me understand why I see so many people all around me who are clearly frustrated or confused about sex and love - they think they can only be 100% "straight" or "gay". But I may not know what I'm talking about at all, at all.
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Postby 8bitagent » Tue Mar 25, 2008 10:38 pm

cptmarginal wrote:
Yet in there spare time, engage in homosexual acts. And a lot of times its not even in a romantic, or lustful manner...but pure power exchanges, a way to compromise individuals.

This hits on the aspect of this which is really most interesting to me - many of these people are married and have children. You couldn't really say they are gay - that is to say, they most likely could not love a man in a romantic way, and do not want to.

It seems to be entirely about power exchange, as you so accurately put it. Note that in many of Crowley's high magick workings, the ritual was centered on an a homosexual act - for some personalities, it seems to be a way of charging a huge amount of energy very effectively. Considering that the Grove members are clearly involved in purposeful magical practice (or at least feel compelled to visit a place organized by those that are involved), this seems like it could be important.

Another thing that always seemed interesting to me is that so many important people do feel compelled to visit this place. Take Nixon, for example; clearly, he was not into this sort of thing at all. So who is it that is behind this Grove that is so influential that he paid visit several times anyway? Why did he feel compelled to do this? What can we tell about the structure of elite society from this interesting dynamic at work in centers of power?

By the way, sorry if anyone was offended by this topic. I will reiterate: it is absolutely not my intention to pass judgment on people just for being gay. In fact, as I made clear above, I don't think these people even count as "gay". Speaking personally, I don't even subscribe to such simplistic labels about sexuality anyway - my own view tends more towards each person having some percentage of both feminine and masculine sexuality within them. It helps me understand why I see so many people all around me who are clearly frustrated or confused about sex and love - they think they can only be 100% "straight" or "gay". But I may not know what I'm talking about at all, at all.


Oh totally, I hear ya. I have no problem with people of any sexuality as long as its consensual...gay, straight, transgender, etc.

In fact I feel strongly that the the law of marriage and benefits in America should not look at if two people are a man and a woman, but over the age of 18.

What were talking about with 'the Grove and DC insiders, is homosexual acts for the sake of power bonding. Much in the same way in the very old times "sodomy" would be used to humiliate enemies(the true nature of the Sodom and Gomorrah story that was twisted by the Christians)

I know the Manhattan atomic bomb project was concieved at Bohemian Grove, which isnt surprising knowing all the esoteric stuff Oppenheimer was involved with.

I try and speak in careful tones about this stuff, as I really dont want to come off as anti gay, or anti occult/esoteric beliefs(certainly I am not a proponent of any Abrahamic faith) I just see a reoccuring theme of consolidating power...and that means power over people, with the emergence of gay sex and occult themes at the 'BoGrove.
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Postby OP ED » Tue Mar 25, 2008 11:38 pm

8bitagent wrote:Yet in there spare time, engage in homosexual acts. And a lot of times its not even in a romantic, or lustful manner...but pure power exchanges, a way to compromise individuals.


You could point out that this is your opinion, assuming of course that you haven't had gay sex with all these people.
That is, you're spreading a rumor, basically, as you don't really know the nature of their sexual relationships.

[I could take issue with cptmarginal's use of the term "high magick" as well, but I'm pretty sure he/she probably wouldn't understand my semantical issues, so I'll leave it alone]
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Postby Crow » Tue Mar 25, 2008 11:40 pm

cptmarginal wrote:it's quite a striking package.


You said "package." Heheheh.

(My apologies. Everyone in this thread has been so admirably and relentlessly mature that I couldn't help myself.)

Thanks for posting this. I'm surprised that the waiters apparently didn't have to sign a confidentiality agreement or somesuch. Presumably that has changed since the book's publication.
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Postby 8bitagent » Tue Mar 25, 2008 11:58 pm

OP ED wrote:
8bitagent wrote:Yet in there spare time, engage in homosexual acts. And a lot of times its not even in a romantic, or lustful manner...but pure power exchanges, a way to compromise individuals.


You could point out that this is your opinion, assuming of course that you haven't had gay sex with all these people.
That is, you're spreading a rumor, basically, as you don't really know the nature of their sexual relationships.

[I could take issue with cptmarginal's use of the term "high magick" as well, but I'm pretty sure he/she probably wouldn't understand my semantical issues, so I'll leave it alone]


Well that's why the homosexual angle doesnt really titilate my tabloid side much. I only just find it ironic, in that many of these Republicans do all they can to make real homosexual's lives miserable and 2nd class.

Also, they can burn effigies of people til the cows come home, and dress up in silly robes.

What is disturbing is the very thought of some of the most powerful people and CEOs all congregating in one place, where backroom deals and ideas that can have a detrimental and negative impact on the world is possible.
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