When he was a few feet away, however, he came to a sudden halt, and his body and face became strangely distorted. He stared at me from an of angle, wriggling his fingers in the air like tentacles. He looked like some lizard contemplating a tasty-looking fly, or frog.
Of course, I thought he was joking. I waited for him to drop his little act, but he seemed frozen in this strange pose
Wombaticus Rex wrote:lunarmoth » Tue Oct 06, 2015 9:38 pm wrote:What makes you an expert on the "ethics that guided his life and work?"
I met a man on Bequia who used to hang out with John Lilly. He described him as a heavy drinker who hung out on a yacht in Bali with young women. This man also said he knew Ed Dames. And, oddly, this man had a double who was following him from place to place. The double showed up in the bar one night and impersonated him -
This is a true story. Of course I cant prove it really happened. But it's more interesting than listening to experts pretend to have expertise and knowledge about the ethics of people they have read about, who were on the CIA payroll but never harmed a hair on a little child's head.
So...you've never met John Lilly...but you met a guy who did. Yeah, that's expertise, all right. I yield.
Been wasting a lot of time reading. Should have been hanging out in Caribbean bars instead. Got a lot to think about this weekend.
lunarmoth » Thu Oct 08, 2015 10:12 pm wrote:It's another world entirely from the world of this forum. That's why trauma victims usually express themselves in art or poetry. .
Jasun has asked me to provide a timeline of my meetings and involvement with Leonard Cohen, because listeners have reported they are confused. I hesitated to do this at first, as there were many meetings over many years, and listing them all could create the impression that I am “obsessed” with Cohen. I try to deal with this in the interview. It's true that Cohen has had a major impact on my life, and it's easier to justify that assertion now that he has become an international figure influencing millions. I happened to be born and grow up in the same city—no great “coincidence”—to frequent some of the same downtown streets, restaurants—like thousands of others—and even going out with him does not place me in an exclusive club.
What sets me a bit apart from many of his acquaintances is that they knew him in a single place or time: Montreal, New York, London, Hydra, Tennessee, Israel, Los Angeles, Mount Baldy (to name a few) whereas I was in several of these places during the time I knew him.
Leonard Cohen is a bit of a chameleon. In reality, his behavior and personality are pretty consistent, but he has been received and interpreted differently from place to place. In his home town of Montreal, he was once known as a misogynist. On Hydra, friends and fans viewed him in godlike terms. He is more complex, ironic, secretive and subtle than the biographers' portrayal of him as a sincere artist haunted by addictions, frustrations, betrayals and losses.
I only “stalked” him once, in December of 1979, an adventure that ended in my traveling with his European tour group in the UK in its final week. No one, let alone me, could have followed him everywhere he went. The more you see of Leonard, the harder he is to decode.
Here is a short timeline that might help put all this in context.
1951-1966: Montreal. I was born and grew up in the suburbs of Montreal. My teen years coincided with the British invasion: the Beatles, Rolling Stones, Dylan etc.
1966. Montreal. Leonard Cohen began appearing on Canadian TV, presented as a serious alternative to Bob Dylan for my generation which was, apparently, seeking a leader.
1968. Montreal. My first Leonard sighting happened in a bar where I attended my first poetry reading. Cohen was in the audience.
October 1970. Montreal. On the night the War Measures Act was declared, I ran into Cohen stopped at a traffic light downtown in pouring rain. I called out: “I know who you are,” and he replied “I know who you are.” (In future encounters, he would often repeat my statements back to me in automatic fashion, which happens to be a technique used in Ericksonian hypnosis and allegedly opens the mind to programming.)
November 1977 Montreal. After a series of near encounters in our neighbourhood (east of McGill, downhill from the Allan Memorial), I asked a mutual friend to give Cohen my phone number. One evening around 9 pm he called and invited me over for tea. We saw each other several times over the next few months. When I left for Europe in the spring of 1979, Leonard wrote down the names of four of his friends on Hydra, and told me he would be there in June.
Summer 1979. Hydra. Cohen arrived in early August and stayed to the end of the month. I saw him but kept my distance. The scene was definitely cult-like.
December 1979. Montreal and London. I joined Leonard and his Texan band, plus Jennifer Warnes and Sharon Robinson, on the final leg of the Field Commander Cohen tour for ten days and six or seven concerts. I also visited him one time in his room at the Royal Arch Hotel where he checked in along with two underage girls from Poland. (An aside: Jimmy Savile happened to be in London that week, hosting his music show “Top of the Pops.”)
January 1980. Montreal. I saw him once or twice in Montreal. In late February I received a phone call from Leonard’s band in Texas, inviting me to join them and Leonard on their Australian tour. I attended my mother’s funeral that week instead.
September 1980. Montreal. Greece. Israel. The “missing year on Hydra”: I returned to Hydra in late September with a Canada Council grant to write a novel just as Leonard left for New York to embark on his second European tour in two years. I went travelling around some Greek islands, then flew to Egypt and travelled to Israel where I met Cohen and the band at the airport on November 22, attended both concerts, witnessed a showdown between Cohen and his band, and left for Greece. Arriving on Hydra, I found Leonard ensconced in his house on the island, and saw him several times over the first week of December.
This is where my story departs from the official narrative. According to both biographers, Leonard flew directly from Tel Aviv to New York in late November, celebrated Hannukah with his children while staying at the Algonquin Hotel off Central Park where he began writing “If It Be Your Will” on December 15, 1980, or exactly a week after John Lennon was shot at the Dakota, and spent the rest of the year in North America. This is incorrect. Leonard remained on Hydra from late November 1980 through to the following September. I spoke to him at his house on the night of December 5, then saw him disembark from the hydrofoil in the port of Hydra on a Sunday December 14 with his two children and their French nanny, who stayed over Christmas with him in the house. Leonard’s Spanish translator Alberto Manzano arrived on December 26 and stayed til New Years, taking photos of Cohen and his children around the island.
Over the winter I saw him fairly often and we were on friendly terms initially. He was embracing fundamentalism, drinking heavily with cronies, and professing love for Ronald Reagan who had just been elected President. In January, he began telling me we were getting married and this became a confusing theme that winter as he was having serial affairs with women Hydra. Some were younger and more vulnerable than I. The hardships of wintering on a Greek island were worsened by all the jealousy and one woman ended up in hospital after attempting suicide. For survival, I withdrew into my writing. I was glad to leave Hydra the following September with my novel finished.
1982-83. Montreal. New Mexico. Mount Baldy. Ithaca. NYC. In early October, I saw a light at Leonard’s house in Montreal and knocked on the door. He let me in but told me never to drop in without phoning first. This smacked of strange Hydra intrigues so I never phoned or dropped by again. Meanwhile, a mutual acquaintance (Ken Hertz) began telling me about the MKULTRA files at McGill, which he said contained shocking information about experiments on children including myself, my twin brother and Ken Hertz himself during the 1950s and 60s. He claimed that Leonard had also been involved in this program which was based at the Allan Memorial Institute.
Early in 1982, Leonard took me to visit his old mentor, McGill Law Professor Frank Scott and his wife at in their home in Westmount. While Leonard chatted in the next room with Frank, Marion showed me paintings she had made while under the influence of LSD, and asked if I had ever taken this drug. Later, Leonard asked me if I had ever been in a flotation tank and described his out of body experiences on LSD in sensory isolation.
In the fall of 1982 I flew back to Greece and stayed on Hydra. Before leaving Montreal I saw Leonard, who expressed dismay that I would go back there, and suggested I go and study with his Roshi in California. On Hydra for three months, I picked up gossip that portrayed me as a desperate groupie. I flew back to Montreal in December, via Warsaw, where Polish martial law was very visible at the airport.
In February 1982, I ended up at Bodhi Mandala Zen Centre in New Mexico and later to Mount Baldy Zen Center near L.A. where I began studying Zen with the Roshi. Leonard showed up and we both spent the next two months in intensive retreats in California and New Mexico. In one of their nightly drinking sessions that April, Leonard and Roshi made a deal whereby Leonard agreed to support me to study at Roshi's centers—presumably to become a nun. I liked the Roshi—he had helped me sort out my history with Leonard—but I had no intention of spending my life in monasteries. That same week, a friend phoned from Montreal and offered me a very cheap apartment in the same neighbourhood where I had lived for over a decade. I decided the universe was showing me a way out, and accepted the sublet, sight unseen, without knowing the exact address. This apartment turned out to be next door to Leonard’s house on rue Vallieres.
I had begun to think of Leonard as my “koan.” I lived next door to him in Montreal for another thirteen years.
1983-1996: Neighbour of the Beast. Next door to Leonard, I had other famous musicians as neighbours, and an unbelievably kind Italian landlady who hadn’t raised the rent in decades. So I was able to live off my writing and occasional teaching.
In the weeks after I moved in, I had to call the police several times. A young man on LSD climbed through my kitchen window one night as I sat reading at the table. In December my Portuguese neighbour—a schizophrenic and a big Leonard fan—pulled a knife on me in the park. Over the years there were burglaries and break-ins. In retrospect I wonder if some were orchestrated to make me move away. Although I behaved like an ordinary neighbour, my presence on the block was perceived as an intrusion onto Leonard’s private turf. One day he invited me over for a friendly lecture about feudal lords and vassals and how in medieval times peasants and others would swear oaths while placing their hand on their master’s crotch. He seemed dead serious. There was definitely a cult-like scene involving mostly people who had been to Hydra. It was also a world of paranoia, with some of his friends acting like an unofficial police force. In peaceful interludes I was treated like a friend; when tensions rose I seemed to become a pariah. Over those years, Leonard came and went between Montreal and Los Angeles. He would tell me we were getting married, then seem to forget who I was. One night I opened my front door to find Leonard standing on my doorstep—I didn’t recognize him right off—he seemed almost lost and looked as if he had just had plastic surgery. In 1993, after a destructive rampage by neo-Nazi skinheads, I was accused of being the one who threw the rock through his front window.
1996. Los Angeles. The last time I spoke to Leonard was in the courtyard of Rinzai-Ji Zen Center. He drove up in a black SUV, and was smoking a large cigar just as I was walking out of the dining room. As on our first meeting in 1970, he rolled down his window and we exchanged greetings. “Have you been a good boy?” I asked. Chomping down on his cigar, he answered: “I’m the best there is.” As I turned to walk away I said, “That’s not what I’ve been hearing.”
Over the next six months in Los Angeles, I saw how even a relatively strong spiritual community can be undermined and taken over by the kind of divide-and-rule tactics that Leonard is good at. But that’s a subject unto itself, and this is just a timeline. I never saw him again—except one other time, in 2004, when I had returned to Montreal and decided to take a walk through my old neighbourhood. Arriving at Portuguese Park, I sat down on a bench with my back to Leonard’s house. A moment or two later, he came out, accompanied by a very short man in black looking like a cross between a lawyer and an undertaker, and an Asian woman (probably Anjani Thomas.) They got into a black car and drove away. On that day, Leonard received the Order of Canada.
It couldn’t have happened to a nicer guy.
I saw some people starving
There was murder, there was rape
Their villages were burning
They were trying to escape
I couldn't meet their glances
I was staring at my shoes
It was acid, it was tragic
It was almost like the blues
It was almost like the blues
I have to die a little
Between each murderous thought
And when I'm finished thinking
I have to die a lot
There's torture and there's killing
And there's all my bad reviews
The war, the children missing
Lord, it's almost like the blues
It's almost like a blues
So I let my heart get frozen
To keep away the rot
My father says I'm chosen
My mother says I'm not
I listened to their story
Of the Gypsies and the Jews
It was good, it wasn't boring
It was almost like the blues
It was almost like the blues
There is no God in Heaven
And there is no Hell below
So says the great professor
Of all there is to know
But I've had the invitation
That a sinner can't refuse
And it's almost like salvation
It's almost like the blues
It's almost like a blues
Almost like a blues
guruilla » Tue Oct 13, 2015 11:50 am wrote:This reads more like a dismissal than an argument, to me. It's an eloquent expression of opinion based on vagaries that doesn't address the evidence but simply denies that it is evidence, of anything besides same old, same old.
But a) the facts as laid out have at least somewhat convinced me and others here of Cohen's intelligence affiliations.
and b) there is testimony from someone who knew him who believes she knows this for a fact, which, while it doesn't prove that, must certainly count for a lot more than the above expressed opinion.
(AD's testimony even leaves out some key points, such as that Cohen's hang-out on Hydra, Bill's Bar, was frequented by ex-intell & military types. But of course to find out these things requires genuine curiosity.)
guruilla » Tue Oct 13, 2015 1:25 pm wrote:What's the "available evidence" for Holden being a CIA op?
First I've heard of it. More than casual interest, have a long time creative identification with Sam Peckinpah.
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