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Sunday, December 29, 2013

Why Some Cycle Theories Make No Sense

Before I start a post with a controversial title such as this, I want to define exactly which 'cycle theories' I'm talking about. I'm confining myself to my direct competitors, who deal with cycles within an individual human life. So, physical/biological/mechanical/economic cycle theories are excluded, as are those to do with societal and historical cycles, such as the excellent work done by my friend David Katzmire. No, in terms of cycles said to impact on individual lives, we are left with the two most common occult theories ie. astrology and numerology.

Try a test for me. Google search <12 year cycles of life> and see what you get. You get Jupiter, Jupiter and more Jupiter, and to my pleasant surprise you get a couple of entries for 'Life Cycles'. Now astrology interprets the planet Jupiter, which orbits the Sun every 11.8618 years (which they would say is close enough); to be one of many influences on your life and your personality. You know, they have this funny phrase :- "being ruled by this, that or the other astronomical body", like it's a real demonstrable scientific fact. Jupiter is the largest planet in our solar system, a gas giant that is 1/1,000th the size of the Sun. This is interpreted to mean Jupiter is to do with largeness per se, like expansive/extravagant behavior and for some mythical reason luck as well. It's straight out projection of course, and we'll examine their 'so-called' supporting evidence in a minute.

OK, the big question is :- "can Jupiter, or any other astronomical body, influence our lives in different ways?" For the answer to this I went to Rational Wiki. It was said up front :- "Astrology is a mass cultural delusion...". The only meaningful physical influence is gravity and :- "it is practically impossible for planets to influence actions on earth". They go into a lot of scientific detail in explanation, but the bottom line is 'can't work, won't work.' So, even though I have stated many times, I have no idea what is behind the 12 year correlations with significant life events that I study; I can categorically say that it is not some mysterious connection to the planet Jupiter.

Now a quick read through of your typical astro-Jupiter article will talk about the influence of Jupiter's return as if it was a 'hard fact' and needed no case-history support. On page one of Google entries, there is an astrologer by the name of Beverlee, who was the only one who attempted to illustrate with real-world behavior. So, here we go. She said that Jupiter "rules" a number of things including spiritual matters and that she remembered from her Sunday School class, the minister said :- "many girls around the age of 12 go through a phase of wanting to become nuns." Case closed wouldn't you say? I mean how loose a statement can you possibly get!

Let's proceed to 24 now. "I have Jupiter in my '5th house of children'. When I was 24 I became pregnant. Talk about expansion!" You've got to be joking surely? This is post-hoc rationalization at it's worst. I've read and agree with most of the sceptics objections. That's why I am so careful in my research and evidence. But not for Beverlee. 'Make up any old thing and whack it in', seems to be good enough for her. It gets worse. At 36, she talks about the deaths of Marilyn Monroe and Princess Diana, as being due to their 'expansion' ie. they over-reached themselves with either studio bosses or the Royal family. She then qualified this by saying that 'planetary energies' (you know, the ones that don't exist!) didn't cause their untimely deaths (got to be a bit careful), but rather "offered them opportunities for growth" and the rest was up to them. Hmmmm... This summary may sound a bit cruel, but the truth hurts sometimes.

OK, now to the equally suspect 'Laws of Numerology'. Numbers are an artificial human construct and conclusions drawn from our base ten system do not work for other systems (eg. like the binary computer code of 1 or 0). Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy neatly summed this up by saying the ultimate answer to everything was 42 and the question was 'what is 6x9?' In base 13 you see, 6x9 does in fact equal 42! The most common application of numerology to life cycles is the well-known 7 year cycles (ie. the ages of 7,14,21,35 etc.) The Bible mentions the number 7 a lot, adding due gravitas to the process.

Seven is said to be the 'perfect number' and according to St. Augustine must have been divine in origin. Then there are the pseudoscientific claims said to 'prove it'. Every cell in your body is replaced every seven years. This assertion is quite false and I'd be happy to show you the detailed proof, as it is a bit beyond the scope of this article. Equally we are told the seven-day week is 'natural', as well as divine, in origin and the only such construct that properly works. This is also not true according to comparative anthropology studies.

But what about the application to life cycles? Well the most famous theoretician here is the Austrian philosopher Rudolph Steiner, who embraced the esoteric. His strongest evidence is that at the age of 7 there are physical changes, like you get your adult teeth, and at 14 you become sexually mature and that these really signify, that important spiritual changes are occurring. OK, it has a certain surface plausibility to some, but what about when we study the facts? I am told that the process of acquiring our permanent adult teeth usually begins at 6 with the appearance of the first tooth and will continue up to the age of 13, when 28 of our 32 adult teeth will appear. I am also told that girls begin puberty on average at 10-11 years and boys at 11-12 and the whole process typically lasts until 17 years of age. Let's face it these correlations of Steiner's are artificial and the whole thing is part of a long process. So we're just left with 'unprovable assertions' again.

Now for the kicker, let's have a look at their so-called case history evidence. Basically there isn't any, but a while back I did see one article, which mentioned a numerology correlation between 5 disparate individuals and the onset of a new 7 year cycle at age 35, meant to signify imagination and creativity. These 5 people included a little-known 15th century Dutch philosopher, who suffered from schizophrenia and Jesus Christ, who according to biblical accounts, left this life at 33! Now this article has mysteriously disappeared from Google, thus eliminating it from view. Mind you I'd do the same, if that was the best I could muster. The rest of their articles are generalisations that are not in agreement.

So, one article says at 35 (we'll just take this age as representative):- "you are usually handling life monetarily well(a bit awkwardly expressed), have a stable career and settle into a mated relationship...whilst a lot of people split up relationships that were heavily karmic". Talk about hedging your bets! Another says that at 35 :- "I took more time out from the busy world and began to get a feeling of being a soul with a physical body." (sounds interesting if you have the time...). Still another says:- "this is the time of the final battle; Wisdom of Heart vs. Wisdom of Logic" and "It is a freedom factor..a cutting off of other influences" etc. etc. In other words it's vague generalisation piled on vague generalisation, which is both waffly (because you can't measure it) and contradictory (because you can't handle money well/settle down/split up/discover you have a soul/undergo the Final Battle -sounds like Star Wars- and find freedom all at the same time.)

Now the choice between this and 'Life Cycles' is simple and stark. In spite of Jupiter's 12 year cycle and the 7 year interval between the 'Year of Revolution' and the the 'Year of Broken Pathways', there is ABSOLUTELY nothing in common with my evidence-driven approach and their waffle. Either I can find a real quantity of meaningful case histories, showing turning points and challenges at my 'significant years', or there's no theory. I didn't create all this 'out there' material and then try to force-fit it to people's lives like it's a science. By the way, 'Life Cycles' is NOT good enough to be called a science. I know that. What amazes me beyond belief, is that I can continue to find good quality supporting evidence. Some of this evidence is a bit subjective too, and obviously there are many major life events, that are not tied to these years. You see, I'm equally critical of my own approach, but guess what? It's got to be streets ahead of my 'so-called' competitors wouldn't you say?

There is NO other system/theory etc. of life in cycles that is even vaguely like 'Life Cycles' (featuring the ages of 7,12,19,24,31,36 etc. with linked themes and derived 'Life Charts'/'Life Scripts' and 'Confluence' and 'Real-Time' analysis and many more brand new terms and concepts, based on analysis of biographic evidence). No there certainly isn't. So the occult and 'Life Cycles' are mutually exclusive. You can't have both. The final choice is simple :- "either they're right or I am." You be the judge. Go on, do yourself a favour and read more of 'The Truth And The Evidence'. Stop wasting your time with the daily Horrorscopes (sic). Till next month :- "may the cycles always bring you good fortune."

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Starry Night - Vincent Van Gogh And The Dark Side

There are few other, more tragic figures in history, than the artistic genius Vincent Van Gogh. He lived most of his life on the Dark Side, if only in his own mental torture. Like most things about him, there was not even an agreed diagnosis of his disorder/s. Over 150 psychiatrists failed to reach any consensus and there are at least 20 possible illnesses put forward. I am going to add to the copious literature on him, with my unique 'Life Cycles' analysis of his life. I am writing this article as a tribute to Madilyn (aka. Jersey Lil), who has been a great supporter of my work, and I know Vincent is one of her favorites.

I remember quite a few years ago, I was feeling uncharacteristically morose over some matter, (which I now can't recall) and I guess it showed in my body language; as I got dressed after a session in my gym. The club masseuse, an elderly and kindly gent, said to me :- "Don't worry this will pass. Remember it's the crushed grape that yields the best wine." I've never forgotten those words. It was true for me, as I had not even begun my writing or the theory. However, those words came back to me even more strongly, as I looked at Vincent's life. I wasn't really familiar with the art world, but when I studied him it seemed :- "the more Vincent got crushed, the better, more rich and complex, wine he yielded in his art." He was crushed by so many things, but there is a curious pattern of romantic crisis, that develops when we look at his adult 'Life Cycles' 'significant years' (ie. 19/24/31/36). So let's do just this.

Vincent was born March 30th, 1853, so we will be looking at events when he was aged 19 (ie. March 30, 1872 to March,30 1873). During this time Vincent was busily engaged learning the art business, at leading art dealers Goupil and Cie, at The Hague. I was interested to see that the earliest letter exchanged between Vincent and his brother Theo happened in June 1872. They exchanged hundreds of letters over the rest of his life and much of what we know about him comes from them. I have read a number of these. Also there was much joy around Christmas time, because Theo had also secured a position with the firm in Paris. Now the brothers were in lockstep. In January, it was reported that Vincent's father had bought out the requirement for both brothers to do time in the army for National Service and then in March more good news, because Vincent got a promotion to London.

So, no apparent crisis, it was pretty much smooth sailing. Yes, we have to go forward just a few weeks to Vincent's arrival in London in early May. He then proceeded to lay the ground for his first failed romance with the landlady's daughter, Eugenie Loyer. When he finally got up the courage to declare his feelings, she rejected him saying that she was secretly engaged to a former lodger. This was to lead onto a morose period in Van Gogh's young life. He began to turn his back on the art world and was rude to customers at the shop. He grew more fervent about religion and his uncle had him transferred to Paris in the next year, but he was fired soon after. This move to London and failed romance was his first great crisis and he didn't handle it well.

Let's now skip onto when he was aged 24 and in his first adult 'Year of Revolution'(ie. Mar.1877 to Mar.1878). Now Vincent has convinced his minister father that he is serious about a religious vocation and he is sent to his uncle's home to study for his exams. Once again, this leads on to a fateful meeting, this time with his married cousin Kee Vos-Stricker (shown at left with her child). However he failed his exams soon after the end of this year and had to leave. This crisis was to lead ultimately to the emergence of his art, but not for another seven years. He returned to Kee in 1881, when she was recently widowed and proposed marriage, but she refused with the words :- "No, Nay, Never." He perpetuates the theme of failed attempts at marriage, even if not always within a 12 month framework.

Now Vincent has eschewed the middle class lifestyle, left the church in disgust at his uncle's refusal of such a marriage, and instead lived with the poor as they do and took up with an alcoholic prostitute. He was becoming downtrodden as a preferred way of life. He was crushing himself. Here we are now at his age 31 'Year of Broken Pathways' (Mar.1884 to Mar.1885). He has given up his relationship with the prostitute after more family pressure, and through loneliness has gone back to live with his parents. Not exactly ideal, but less ideal circumstances were just around the corner.

He took trips in the countryside for his painting and in the summer of 1884 was often joined by Margot Begemann, a neighbor's daughter and 10 years older. Just as Stricker had been 7 years older. They decided to get married, but it was opposed by both sets of parents. Margot took poison and was saved when Vincent rushed her to hospital. Then in Mar. 1885 his father died and this caused him much grief. Can you see how he was being crushed and crushed, in one way then another. This was about to yield his art. In the same month of March he did sketches for what is considered his first major work :- The Potato Eaters completed in April, 1885.

We are now going to skip ahead to his final age 36, 'Year of Revolution' (Mar.1889 to Mar.1990). There is no question, that in this year he was crushed by his illnesses and his behavior to such an extent, that he yielded some of the greatest art the world has ever seen. This transcendence, in what is often my most notable single year in a person's life, will come to be seen as one of my hallmark examples in the future. Along with Einstein's theory of General Relativity at 36 and Gandhi's first-ever use of satyagraha (non-violent protest, enshrined as the birth of the civil rights movement). It's all in the book. This was the year of Starry Night considered his greatest work. This was the year of The Irises. His greatest art at 36.

In his life however, things went from bad to worse. In March,1889 police closed his house after a petition by townspeople, calling him a red-headed madman. In April (at the start of his age 36 year) he wrote of:- "moods of indescribable anguish." In May, he committed himself to an asylum in Saint Remy and lived among the insane. When he felt well, he painted and this produced his finest work. However, he commented that he did not enjoy the antics of some fellow patients. In Jan. 1890 his work was praised in Paris and he was called "a genius". But just after this he suffered a severe two month relapse, that was to last till just before he left the asylum in May.

I couldn't find any evidence this time of a failed romance, producing a crisis, but I guess the whole episode began with his falling-out with fellow artist Paul Gaugin, and his cutting off his own ear, just prior to 1889. I'm not the first to suggest that his illnesses seem to be exacerbated by his personal crises, but I would be the first to suggest that there is actually a discernible sequence to his behavioral problems and key events, that have happened in his 'Life Cycles' 'significant years' (or can reasonably be traced to follow-on from them). I hope you enjoyed this profile of Vincent and until next month :- "may the cycles always bring you good fortune."

Monday, October 28, 2013

One Lone Psychopath-Lee Harvey Oswald and The Dark Side

The 50th anniversary of arguably, one of the most tragic moments in US history :- the 22nd Nov. 1963 assassination of President Kennedy, is very close as I write this. Much has been written about why Lee Harvey Oswald committed this infamous crime. Ever since the Warren Commission first concluded Oswald worked alone, numerous authors and investigators have tried to link him to a Soviet plot, the CIA, the mafia etc. all to no avail. In fact the last word must go to the most recent book on the subject, The Interloper:Lee Harvey Oswald Inside The Soviet Union, where journalist Peter Savodnik says :- "There is an overwhelming desire to cast Kennedy's life and death as a great mythical story. It's unsatisfying that he is brought low by some redneck, who had problems relating to his mother."

So, in a world first, I am going to outline a 'Life Cycles' forensic examination of Lee Harvey Oswald :- one lone psychopath. He wanted to leave his mark against capitalism. He believed fervently in Marxism. He had defected to Russia only to return. He had no real sense of right and wrong and was emotionally cold. He was a compulsive liar. He had failed in every episode in his life. He was a fair marksman when in the Marines. His family history was dysfunctional and he had a history of arguments and aggression. He had recently tried and failed to assassinate a retired General and prominent anti-Communist. In short, this was a lethal cocktail, but it still didn't mean he would kill the President.

Courtesy of extensive records of Oswald's short life I will be able give a glimpse at all of his 'significant years' (ie. ages of 7,12,19 and 24). So let's begin in the period when he was aged just 7 (Oct.18th, 1946 to Oct.18th, 1947). His mother had recently wed Edwin Ekdahl, an electrical engineer some years older than her, and who treated him like one of his own sons. They had then separated and soon re-united which had elated Lee, but it was not to last. They fought "every other day and he would leave and come back". In the late summer of 1947, his mother Marguerite suspected Ekdahl of infidelity and had the boys break into his lover's home to discover him there. Divorce ensued soon after. Oswald lived with chaos and saw his family security taken away very quickly. He would come to see his mother as the one responsible.

Let's skip now to when he was aged 12 (Oct.1951 to Oct.1952). There is one well-recorded incident in August,1952 (close to the exact time of year of the age 7 incident). This time Oswald and his mother came to live briefly with his half-brother, John Pik and his mother, in their New York apartment. Oswald became upset about use of the TV set and then threatened Mrs. Pik with a pocket knife. He also struck his mother during the argument. Oswald and his mother were told to get out or be thrown out. It is indicative of the dysfunctional mother/son relationship and his potential to act out his aggression.

OK, now to the single most life-altering year in Oswald's life :- his age 19 'Year of Broken Pathways' (Oct.1958 to Oct.1959). Oswald had been in the Marines since 1956 and had been court-martialed twice for fighting and for unauthorised use of a firearm. He had been demoted to private. He had failed in terms of making a career in the army. He returned to the US from Japan in Dec.1958, and from the earliest time after that, had become determined to defect to the Soviet Union. His nickname was Oswaldskovich because of his pro-Soviet sentiments. He had his name written in Russian on one of his jackets. He made remarks in Russian, addressed others as 'comrade' and played Russian music so loudly it could be heard outside the barracks. This is a classic description of how the 'Year of Broken Pathways' can unfold, bit by bit, and then you end up completely altered by the end of it. Did the Marines really want this man? I feel it's a question that should have been asked. We're talking the height of the Cold War here.

Anyway, he did not keep a dairy during this time so we will never know his innermost thoughts. However we know he did begin to tell many different lies, that like everything else in his life were largely unsuccessful, because his actions were so obvious. In March,1959 he lied to the Albert Schweitzer College in Switzerland to gain acceptance as a student of philosophy. He said he had a long-standing interest in psychology and that at school he had been in a "student body movement" to combat juvenile delinquency. In June he got accepted. What happened in August? Why do I study this? Because it is exactly aligned with events in his age 7 and age 12 'significant years'. So what did the records tell me?

They tell me that on August 17th he made up another lie to the Marines, saying that his mother, who had recently turned 52, needed help. He wanted a "dependency discharge". So his mother features again and this time it is as a convenient alibi. On August 28th the Dependency Discharge Board approved his release, as if the rest of his behavior wasn't reason enough. In Sept. he applied for a passport with lies about his study plans. He was about to defect to Russia just as he turned 20.

Needless to say this also did not work out. He complained that "there were no nightclubs and bowling alleys" to spend his small amount of wages on and came back to the US in June 1962 with his 19 year old pregnant Russian wife. In March, 1963 he purchased a rifle by mail order and in April he attempted to assassinate retired Major General Edwin Walker, who was an outspoken anti-communist. In May, against his own party advice, he opened up a Fair Play For Cuba office in New Orleans, with him as the sole member. He distributed leaflets, got into scuffles and made enemies. He always wanted to be a somebody, but he always fell short. When he left for Mexico at the end of Sept. and applied to visit Cuba, he was refused by a consular official who said that:- "in place of aiding the Cuban Revolution he was actually doing it harm." Were tragic events not about to unfold, it would have made a good comedy movie.

We are now at the commencement of his final age 24 'Year of Revolution', which lasted 5 weeks. He was by then a boiling mixture of rage against his country and love of Marxism. He fervently believed in Cuba's cause. He wanted back into Russia at least for a visit. He knew the route the motorcade would take, as it was well-publicised. He knew when and he knew he had an opportunity to do something. However, it was his decision alone to secrete himself on the 6th floor of the Book Depository building, where he worked, and use his marksman-grade shooting skills to deadly effect. In the end he was one lone psychopath, with a warped desire to leave his mark on history. He had never really succeeded at anything he undertook. He only ever succeeded in one thing :-his third shot. He fired three shots. The first one missed and the second wounded Kennedy and Governor Connally. The third shot hit the President in the head. He had left his mark on history with this one act of infamy. He was killed two days later in what I have come to refer to as "a revolutionary death in a revolutionary year", as it is by no means the only case.

We never did get to August,1964 to see how events might have played out. On October 18th (his very 24th birthday) the Cuban Embassy had belatedly approved his visa, but by then he had gone back to the US. Eleven days before the assassination he wrote to the Soviet Embassy in Washington saying had he got to Cuba as planned, he could have gone on to Russia. Would it were so. His whole life was a cautionary tale about not fitting into society. In wanting to bring the system down. Yet unfortunately he still managed to lie his way through life and abused the privileges of being a free citizen. Imagine, if you will, the same story played out in reverse in Communist Russia. Till next month :- "may the cycles always bring you good fortune."

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Three Shades Of Red-The Revolutions Of E.L. James

There is no doubt about it, Erika Leonard, the real name of author E.L. James, is big business. 'Fifty Shades Of Grey' has sold an incredible 70 million copies world-wide, setting the record as the fastest selling paperback of all time, and surpassing the Harry Potter series. This is in spite of a mixed critical reception; with the quality of the prose rated as poor.

But what is this novel about consensual BDSM and romance, between two single people, doing under 'The Dark Side'? Well, at a glance, you'd say it was an over-reaction on my part. It's the palest shade of grey and these days labelled as "cool", under the banner of 'mommy porn'. However, I just read an article by an experienced BDSM practitioner, who warned that from the perspective of a masochist:- "sadism can be painful, quite dangerous and even criminal, in the wrong hands."

Anyway, we're not here to have a moral debate, we're here to look at a 'Life Cycles' analysis of Erika Leonard, with particular reference to her three adult 'Years of Revolution' at ages 24, 36 and most recently at 48. I can assure you that Erika agreed to this examination and that we signed a mutually agreeable contract, as to just how far I could go.....only joking Erika!

Let's start with age 48 first, since that's the big kahuna. Erika was born March 7th, 1963, so she was in her age 48 'Year of Revolution' in the period March 2011 to March 2012. Here's your quiz :- "When was 'Fifty Shades Of Grey' published?" Answer :- (without going to Google) June 20, 2011. So her landmark work appeared as her new age/direction in this 'Year of Revolution'. Now a second question :- "At the top of this blog is a logo/condensed cover of 'The Life Cycles Revolution'. In the top section is a segment representing the 'Year of Revolution' with the icon of 'The Flames' in it. What color is that segment?" Answer :- (OK, so you all flicked upwards, I know). Red. Naturally enough, as it's the color of revolution. So, for me, this is the first 'shade of red' for E.L. James.

It should be noted that what I sometimes refer to as 'the miracle of the Revolution' can seem overwhelming to people as they live through it. Leonard is a good high profile example of this. She had never written a book before and only did it for her personal satisfaction. In her own words its success has been :- "completely and utterly overwhelming." She continues to live a very modest suburban existence (albeit in a new upgraded home) and she was reported to have deliberated for weeks about spending 110 Pounds on a pair of Ugg Boots.

Next question folks. Which other world-wide, overnight, 48 year old UK phenomenon is she like? Yes, you can use Google for this. Answer :- Susan Boyle, who said she was "completely gobsmacked" by her success and continued to live in her remote Scottish village. She couldn't comprehend the fuss either.

But this post is called 'Three Shades Of Red' and I'm getting sidetracked; so let's see what events happened in the life of Erika Leonard at her next shade of red, at age 36 (March,1999 to March,2000). She wasn't always a writer you see, she had a lengthy career behind the cameras as a producer with the BBC. She always had this itch to escape with a good romance novel, but didn't do much more than read for quite a while. OK, I have the Internet Movie Database (IMDb) to thank for telling me her credits as a Production Executive began in 1999, with the first of 2 episodes of the series 'Funny Turns' featuring John Inman. This appears to confirm that her central age 36 'Year of Revolution' ushered in a promotion to her career as a Production Executive. So, this is her second shade of red. What is her third? Come on, don't wait for me to tell you, go and check it out.

The year is most of 1987. Who is the most central character in Erika's life? Her inspiration and her 'absolute touchstone'. The person she relied upon heavily in writing 'Fifty Shades' and who she :- "wouldn't publish anything without getting his input first." If you get this one wrong you're going to feel a bit of a goose.

Answer :- it 's her husband Niall, a successful screenwriter, who she married in 1987. Their bonds are both romantic and career oriented and they have spent very little time apart. By way of balance, Niall does concede that Erika listens to him, but goes off and does it her way, and that he is no Christian Grey. So, her last shade of red is her greatest in my book. At 24, she begins a lifelong successful marriage, at 36 she begins a mid-life career as a successful TV Production Executive and at 48 OMG!, it's bigger than Ben Hur, as the world falls in love with 'Fifty Shades'.

I congratulate Erika on her success and hope one day, that she may come to learn about the newest, most accurate, and in fact the only testable 'theory of life'. 'Life Cycles' alone presents you with 'The Truth And The Evidence'. If you want hearsay and quackery and 'trust me I'm a guru', then go listen to someone else. Otherwise, I hope you recognise the validity of what I freely present. Till next month :- "may the cycles always bring you good fortune."

Saturday, August 31, 2013

Don't Give This Man An Even Break- 'Life Cycles' and John Gotti Jr.

We are going to examine some pivotal moments from the life of the mafia boss, John Gotti Jr., known as 'The Last Don'. Movies and TV give a somewhat romanticised image of gangsters. This is not Marlon Brando, Al Pacino or Robert De Niro. It is certainly not James Gandolfini, whose life we are going to compare and contrast with Gotti's in this blog. There will also be a separate post on Gandolfini in 'The Story Behind Life Cycles' (you should read this blog as well, if you don't already), in a new 'Life Cycles' angle. The 'Real McCoy' is a lot less sanguine and a lot more arbitrarily violent. Mind you, Gotti did try and craft an acceptable media image and because it was difficult to make convictions stick, he also had the moniker of 'The Teflon Don'.

Let's start at the first adult, age 24, 'Year of Revolution' shall we? John Joseph Gotti Jr. was born October 27th, 1940, so the period we will examine will be Oct. 1964 to Oct. 1965. What was he up to then? He was not yet a Don, still to be a 'made man'. He had been involved in street gangs, associated with the New York mafia, since the age of 12, (his first 'Year of Revolution' new age), but after marriage and children in the early 60's, he tried to work legitimately as a truck driver and a presser. However, he soon lapsed back to crime with the Gambino Family, and was charged and spent a year in prison starting in 1965. This was his first gaol stretch and his new age at that time.

Let's quickly contrast this with James Gandolfini at 24. He had one highly significant, age 19 'Year of Broken Pathways', during which his girlfriend of 2 years was killed in a car crash. " I might not have done what I've done, without her death ", he has said. In his age 24 'Year of Revolution' (Sept. 1985 to Sept.1986 ), he was dragged along to acting class by a friend. Does this sound like the 'forces of fate' operating here? More on James in his full profile. So, one gets his first stretch in the big house and the other reluctantly starts to learn acting. New ages, totally different, but occurring at a similar time in their lives.

Now let's visit John Gotti at his age 31 'Year of Broken Pathways' and ask "what was his direction change and challenge during this time?", as we always do. Gotti had just done several years behind bars for robbery and hijacking. They released him on parole in his age 31 'Year of Broken Pathways'. Chances of him re-offending? 100%. He went straight back to the Gambino family, where he was put in charge of illegal gambling with the Bergin Hunt and Fish Club (a storefront in Queens, that was a notorious mafia hangout), and was very successful in acting as enforcer. He was brutal and he was ruthless. He reported to Carmine Fatico, who was the capo (high-ranking Mafia boss who runs 'a crew' of 'soldiers'). Fatico had just been released to parole on the grounds he couldn't associate with known felons, which resulted in Gotti becoming 'acting capo'. This was, in essence, the big promotion and his challenge was to prove to the Gambino family that he was 'up to it'. In the same period he forged links with his boss Anielo ('Neil'-never did think I'd get a namesake here) Dellacroce, who was the family underboss.

So, just as Johnny Boy was hitting his strides at 31, what happened of a similar nature to James Gandolfini? Totally different of course, but same theme. James had been in character roles, with not a great deal to show, until the release of the movie 'True Romance', where he played the woman-beating mob henchman, Virgil. This one 'put him on the map' as a malevolent actor par excellence. He played 'John Gotti' if you will. He said a major influence was a hitman, who was an old friend (he had previously worked as a club bouncer). More roles like this followed.

Now to their pivotal age 36, mid-life 'Years of Revolution'. John Gotti first. Gotti had been in 'the slammer' for murdering Irish-American gangster James McBratney (who had kidnapped and murdered Gambino's nephew). With the help of a smart lawyer, he cut a plea bargain and was paroled in just 2 years in June, 1977. You know, this brings up the post title:- you shouldn't give this guy a break. Parole? Community supervision? He was immediately initiated into the Gambino family. A 'made man'. Not just 'acting capo', but now a direct report to Dellacroce. He had "burst upon the scene".

OK, over to James now. Did he too, "burst upon the scene" at 36? They had already selected a reluctant James for the role of Tony Soprano, after seeing him in 'True Romance'. David Chase, the show's creator, knew he was the one. Also the first screened episode happened in early 1999, when James was 37. So what was the story? I'll tell it in full in the other post, but it's really the same story as the Seinfeld Show. There was a pilot episode shot, that seemed to be 'wide of the mark' in various ways. Everyone involved, Chase, Gandolfino and all, thought that was it. Get on with your careers somewhere else. Against all odds in December, 1997 (right within James's age 36 'Year of Revolution') HBO decided to produce the series. That was the moment of conception. His "bursting on the scene" moment, that would make his name.

So, on the one hand Gotti becomes a 'made man' and James has a twist of fate, that will make his name. Am I surprised? Keep in mind that I always planned to write up Gandolfini after studying his obituary, but I only decided two days ago to look at Gotti's bio. Oh, by the way, I have more on Gotti, but I'm running out of puff. You'll just have to wait for 'Life Cycles'-The Dark Side. I have the structure all planned out. Criminal profiles left right and centre, and gaol stories told first-hand by me. I was there as a psychologist in the 'wild and woolly' 70's. The system was run by cowboys. They had to hold a Royal Commission into it. Ah, you'll love it. You'll eat it up for breakfast. Once again, till next month:- " may the cycles always bring you good fortune."

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Nothing Exceeds Like Excess - Michael Scripps and The Dark Side

I have to thank Oscar Wilde for giving me the inspiration for this title. This post just happened because I read the salacious details of the Michael Scripps' case in the paper. It seemed to have just about everything in it that the 'Dark Side' stands for - greed, lust, betrayal, family in-fighting, fraud, some strippers and a porn star. It was, quite simply, a bit hard to pass up.

It also demonstrates how the wheels of justice can coincide with the 'Life Cycles' 'significant years'; something I have written about several times before. In Scripps' case, he was in his all-important age 36 'Year of Revolution', as he was being found guilty of stealing $3.6 million from his mother and mentally impaired uncle. He was recently handed a 9 year prison sentence. There is no doubt his mother, Melissa Scripps (pictured here), raised him in a chaotic and dysfunctional family setting; however the decision to defraud his mother and uncle was his alone.

So let's backtrack a bit with this. Melissa Scripps was a descendant of James E. Scripps and in the 80's she inherited an $11 million share of the empire. She also took over her elder brother David's share (said to be more than hers), because he was mildly autistic. Then things got really crazy. She spent millions on her own whims; such as flying her dogs to their second home in the Caribbean by private plane, treating relatives to first class round-the-world holidays, buying two of Princess Diana's gowns, a Napoleonic tiara and teddy bears that cost thousands of dollars. Add to this her daily marijuana habit and legal bills from her four marriages and you have millions being squandered.

Now there was a fateful day (said to be around 2002, so I can't be sure, but Michael may have been in his first adult age 24 'Year of Revolution') when Melissa, Michael and a friend were together at an Atlanta strip club and the bill for the night was $90,000. Must have drank a lot of champagne. But I must say, of all the people I would feel uncomfortable with at a strip club, my mother would rank number one. Melissa must have been fully loaded when Michael took photos of her in a compromising position with an exotic dancer. If you think about this, it's completely wacky. You're with your own mother (high on booze and pot) at a strip club and she gets into a 'compromising position' with an exoctic dancer? Then you take a photo??

Michael himself, it must be stated, had already married a college student, who worked as a stripper so he knew something of the business. So, just how this went down must be quite a story. Let's say for example, he could have set her up, as he had been concerned for some time, that she was going to 'blow his inheritance' with her reckless spending. Mind you he had his own six-figure trust fund and a $3,900 monthly allowance, but it wasn't enough. He was greedy and he could also have seen this opportunity by accident and it was too good to pass up. Whatever the reason, later on when her financial advisers question the bill, he shows them the photo and she agrees to let Michael take over her and David's finances. I think blackmail is the correct word here.

Well, it wasn't long before Michael was into the moolah, courtesy of his college pal and financial adviser Richard 'Duke' Gleeson, who he appointed to manage the funds. He spent lavishly on his romantic interests :- his first wife Anna (who was a part-time stripper), to whom he gave piles of jewels and then from 2003 it was porn star Jenna Bearden (pictured below, whose stage name was Kiki Daire). He paid for her college education and an apartment in Memphis, breast enhancement surgery and diamond earrings. He was no different to his mother really. However, mum had to find out eventually and in 2006 there was quite a scene when she did. She cut off the money supply. It was reported that the relationship of Michael and Jenna was already beginning to fracture when the money dried up and one night during an argument, he held a gun to his head and demanded she call his mother. What the upshot of all this was, was not clear, but some two years later in Michael's age 31 'Year of Broken Pathways' in 2008, his fraud of $3.6 million was settled by Merrill Lynch and his actions were reported to the FBI.

Typical of how a 'Year of Broken Pathways' unfolds Scripps tried to justify his actions. His mother knew all along he said in court, he used the money to set up a real estate business, he had become a changed man and on and on it goes. However Merril Lynch (Melissa's advisers) required that as part of the settlement she notify the FBI of his criminal actions against the estate. So, we have the genesis of 'getting his hands on the money' in his age 24 'Year of Revolution', which set in train a 7 year journey to his actions being reported to the FBI in his age 31 'Year of Broken Pathways' to his eventual sentencing and imprisonment in his age 36 'Year of Revolution' (thus beginning his new age/new era).

This is exactly the same criminal 'Life Cycles' case history model, as the more infamous Jordan Belfort:- the self-styled 'Wolf of Wall Street'. How so, I hear you ask? Well, it's all in 'The Life Cycles Revolution'. Evidence so stark, so predictive of the theory, that it would convince the greatest skeptic/rationalist. Till next month :- "may the cycles always bring you good fortune".

Monday, July 1, 2013

Ronnie Biggs and The Disappearing Revolution

Hello again. I've already assumed Ronnie's character on Facebook, so I feel as if I've written this article before I start. Now, unless you're under 25 or don't listen to the news, you probably know something of the famous great train robber Ronnie Biggs, who spent years on the run in Rio and got himself quite a media profile. Some saw him as a sort of modern-day Robin Hood and others did not like the way he seemed to get away with his crimes, but he was always colourful.

What I want to do is feature him in 'Life Cycles-The Dark Side' and ask what happened in his important age 36 'Year of Revolution'? Ronald Arthur Biggs was born August 8th, 1929, so we will be looking at the period Aug, 1965 to Aug, 1966. In July, 1965, Biggs and three others escaped from Wandsworth Prison in a daring break, organised by underworld friends. He and fellow robber Eric Flower are hidden in various UK locations between July and Oct. His new age/direction took shape in October, when he was put on a boat to Antwerp and then driven to Paris. Can you see how Biggs was not really in control of these plans? The centrality of this one year in the lives of so many, combined with not being fully in control of outcomes are the defining characteristics of 'Life Cycles' theory. But you knew that already?!

Now back to Uncle Ronnie. He, along with Flower, were also to be largely guinea pigs in extensive plastic surgery operations, designed to change their appearance. It is understood this was a first-ever use of this surgery for escaped felons. This was quite painful and took them two months to recuperate. On Dec.22nd, his wife Charmain joined him for a celebration dinner in Paris, as shown in the TV series, Mrs. Biggs, and then he flew to Sydney under the name of writer, Terrence Furminger. He had now effectively disappeared and the next step was to get Charmain and the kids into Australia, as the UK police were understandably staking them out.

Biggs and Flower set up home in Botany Bay, Sydney, but when their mail is intercepted in March they move to Adelaide. In June, 1966, Charmain and family arrive in Darwin. She is now Mrs. Margaret Furminger. So Ronnie's age 36 'Year of Revolution' sees the beginning of a new age/direction as a new identity trying to act normally in Australia. Many adventures follow this, of course, but it is of interest that Ronnie eventually returned to UK of his own volition, because he needed medical treatment, in May, 2001, after a series of debilitating strokes. He was on the run for 36 years. In August, at the beginning of Bigg's age 72 'Year of Revolution', his lawyers file appeal papers for early release on medical grounds. So this time his new age/direction is about getting out of gaol through appeal. This did happen, interestingly, some seven years later, in Bigg's age 79 'Year of Broken Pathways', and in about a month's time Bigg's will be 84 and most probably in his last 'Year of Revolution'. What will be in store? The answer, as always, is somewhat unknown and we'll simply have to wait.

Crime did not pay either for Ronnie. Although the gang stole a total of 44 million pounds sterling in today's terms, each of the 16 members received an equal share of 147,000 pounds, all of which was used to pay for the escape, plastic surgery and false passports. He arrived in Australia basically flat broke and had to find work. Oh yes, one other highlight for you. When Ronnie was in his age 48 'Year of Revolution' he teams up with the Sex Pistols in Rio to record "No-one Is Innocent (A Punk Prayer)" with Biggs singing lead vocal. Always a colourful villain was Ronnie. Till next month :- may the cycles always bring you good fortune.

Friday, May 24, 2013

Just How Foxy Is Knoxy? 'Life Cycles' and Amanda Knox.

Much has been written on this now high-profile case. Around a dozen books, including the most recent by Amanda herself, for which Harper Collins reportedly paid $3.8 million as an advance in a bidding war of the six main publishers. I guess this illustrates as well as anything what the traditional publishing industry is all about. For all that, I'm told the Publishers Weekly review was underwhelming and only 36,000 copies have been sold, with refusal to publish in UK, Italy or Germany for fear of libel. That's why people usually go to the web for their information. You don't know what treasures are buried waiting for you to discover. Now I must point out, I'm not going to determine Amanda's ultimate guilt or innocence, that is supposedly up to the courts, although they haven't got a definitive answer either and the DNA evidence has been corrupted. I guess the one who could point the finger, Meredith Kercher, is unable to and this case seems mired in changed stories and self-justifications.

Now when we do a 'Life Cycles' forensic examination, we visit the 'significant years' of the protagonist. Amanda Knox gets star billing, because she has managed to polarise so many opinions, so that's what I'll be doing in this post. She was born 9th July, 1987, so she was in her first adult, age 19, 'Year of Broken Pathways' between July, 2006 and July, 2007, which is a matter of months before the actual murder. What was happening in her life then, that could be considered a direction change and an uphill challenge set to last for the rest of the years of the 12 year cycle (ie. until she turns 24)? You should note here, that this is the generic description of the theory, although you could be forgiven for thinking that it is just a personal description for Amanda.

When she was 19 she was in a rebellious phase of her young life. After attending a strict Catholic school, she wanted to break free when at the University of Washington and got herself a reputation for being a 'party girl', who liked alcohol and drugs. She was also a conscientious student by day, so friends called it a 'double life'. She rented a house on Greek Row, an area that was home to football jocks and all-male fraternity houses. Here she could escape the strict alcohol rules of university accommodation.

"She just went wild" said an acquaintance. She threw a party in June, 2007 where police had to be called and it ended up in a minor criminal conviction. It is reported that she 'hung out with the male students doing rock climbing etc.' and that she aggressively competed with other females for male attention. She wrote a story on Facebook called 'Baby Brother' in which a young woman was drugged and raped by another young woman and described the victim's pain in lurid detail. One of the defining characteristics of a psychopath is the ability to take extreme pleasure in having power over others.

After June, she couldn't wait to get an opportunity to leave the US with its strict alcohol laws and was very happy when selected as an Erasmus scholar to study in Italy. Can you see for yourselves it was the beginning of a 'slippery slope' in her life? She couldn't have been more unlike her well-behaved flatmate Meredith Kercher, who came to resent her bringing "strange men" to the house and her untidiness and general self-centred attitude.

She was reprimanded by her employer, Patrick Lumumba at the bar 'Le Chic', for being too flirty with the customers. She in turn told flatmates and her mother that she was going to quit because Lumumba was not paying her and wanted her to drink while working. It is another characteristic of a psychopath, that they are practiced liars with no sense of right or wrong. In other words they tell their audience what they believe they want to hear. Patrick Lumumba liked Meredith and may well have hired her. Is it any wonder that, at first, Amanda tried to frame Patrick for this crime. He went to gaol for a short time and lost his business as a result. Are we to gloss over this as being a result of 'confused thinking' or police interrogation? It is on record that her story changed several times to suit the occasion.

However, none of this means that she is not innocent of the charges, but it took four long years before change occurred again. At age 24 in her first adult 'Year of Revolution' her appeal was upheld and she returned to the US. Her reaction in court shows she was overwhelmed at this decision and it was a major turning point in her life and the beginning of a new age/direction. She now had a book deal and talk of a movie. She has had to 'go public' with it's release and do dozens of interviews. But this trauma will not go away. It is no secret that there would be an appeal by the prosecution. They indicated they would do this straight away. She does not exude much warmth in lead interviews like that with Diane Sawyer. This 'coolness' and sometimes inappropriate emotions she has shown throughout the trial is again indicative of a psychopathic personality. This is reflected by straw polls on the web, with a clear majority thinking she is guilty. People pick up her vibe and she doesn't naturally engender sympathy.

Recent reports suggest she is facing financial difficulty as the $1.5 mill. advance (different to the $3.8 mill. at first reported) has been swallowed up by legal fees and the cost of a PR agent, hired from the earliest possible time after the crime. Though she may never return to Italy if found guilty, because of US 'double jeopardy' laws, she will be haunted by this for years to come. She has said "I don't know what I'm going to do. The future is very unsure..." She also said she believes she will be found guilty, which will mean more costly legal process. I believe that in addition to the pro-Amanda "no definitive DNA camp", there is the inescapable view by the Italian court that Rudy Guede (the man convicted after Lumumba was let go because he had a solid alibi) could not have acted alone. So if she and her then boyfriend Raffaelle Sollecito weren't involved, then who was? This was presumably sexual assault, murder and robbery, by an as yet unnamed party or parties, who presumably knew Guede. Guede knew both Amanda and Meredith and was attracted to the flirty Amanda. Sollecito's online communications show a penchant for extreme sex. Yet someone else was involved? When you think about it, it doesn't make much sense does it? Till next month:- "may the cycles always bring you good fortune".

Monday, April 29, 2013

'Life Cycles and The Dark Side' - Let's Start With Al Capone

This cycle of twelve posts will form the Fifth Lesson for you:- 'Life Cycles and The Dark Side'. Remember, every twelve months a new lesson and a new theme? Well probably not, if you were honest, but we have been dealing with 'Life Cycles-Relationships' for the last year, which will form the core of my next book and now we move ahead to this. Why am I particularly qualified to write on this topic? Well, I'm going to share with you the fact that my early career as a psychologist, included several years working in one of our state's most well-known maximum security prisons. I have interviewed and assessed many convicted felons, but on the lighter side I have got a collection of prison stories, that only a first-hand account can do justice to. Like being an eye-witness, when the state's then most-wanted man and two others tried to break out of gaol with hand-made weapons, or the prisoner who feigned blindness so successfully, that he was transferred to minimum security, from where he escaped. They made a movie of that one. Anyway, suffice to say, I was always in demand at dinner parties to tell a story.

Today, however, I'm leaving that all behind as we examine the career of arguably America's most well-known gangster, Al Capone, from the always unique 'Life Cycles' perspective. We'll look at two 'significant years' in terms of his criminal career ie. his age 24 'Year of Revolution' and his age 31 'Year of Broken Pathways'. Mind you, I'm assuming by now you know what I mean by these terms, but if you don't, your homework will be to read some more posts to find out. Alphonse 'Al' Gabriel Capone was born Jan. 17th 1899, so he would have been in his first adult 'Year of Revolution' for most of the year 1923. The question is :- "What happened then that could be considered a new age/direction in his criminal activities or life generally?"

Following success in the Chicago-based Torrio Gang, Capone decided to bring his family out from New York to settle. In August 1923 he moved into the new family home in suburban Cicero, which became his headquarters until his arrest for tax evasion. It was also done to avoid newly-elected Reform Mayor Dever, who promised to run Capone out of the city. Here he took over management of operations for the Torrio Gang at the Hawthorn Inn, which had bullet-proof shutters on every window. It was to be his beginning at running things on a permanent basis. This was his 'new age/direction' in this year. Now we skip ahead seven years to his age 31 'Year of Broken Pathways' (1930) and ask :- "What happened to change his course and give him a new challenge and direction?"

As Public Enemy No.1 Capone was pursued with a vengeance and in 1929 Eliot Ness began to investigate his business dealings. Capone was reported to have only ever signed one cheque, so he was a wily adversary. But Revenue Agent Frank Wilson was equally determined and the breakthrough to tracing income to Capone happened in the summer of 1930, when a set of accounts was linked to him and he got a witness prepared to testify. Capone sent his attorney Lawrence Mattingly to settle 'his indebtedness to the Treasury'. Capone threatened Wilson with the remark "Be sure to take care of yourself."

However what happened in his 'Year of Broken Pathways' happens to so many others in a myriad of ways. He could not avoid his date with destiny, no matter what he did. Wilson only redoubled his efforts and gathered more evidence and threatened more witnesses. Capone was taken down in the following year. His criminal career was over, never to return. Mind you he tried to bribe his way around the prison system for a while, but eventually he landed in Alcatraz. 'Life Cycles' is as powerful a predictor in crime as it is in every other facet of human behaviour. Till next month :- "may the cycles always bring you good fortune."

Monday, April 1, 2013

Abraham Lincoln, 'Confluence' and the Age 36 Amendment



I am going to provide the most detailed, mathematical piece of evidence ever assembled for 'Confluence' and for 'Life Cycles' generally. Other philosophies and ideas will say to you :- "Now do you believe?", however I say to you once again :- "'Life Cycles' is not a belief system. You are not required to accept me on faith. It is like saying I require you to believe in Pythagoras' Theorem. You only have to study my evidence and to find that it's true. That's because, like everything else I write about, it's only based on biographic records. Simple as that and yet complex as that."

Now here's a question for you :- "What happens if we put two serious and career-minded 36 year old individuals, of roughly the same ability, together when they are aiming for the same job?" Well it happened when prairie lawyer and state politician Abraham Lincoln was running against volunteer soldier and national politician, General John J. Hardin, to be nominated for a term in Congress. Now here's where it gets mathematical. Lincoln was born 12th Feb. 1809 and Hardin was born 5th Jan. 1810, which means they were both 36 during the narrow window of 1 mth (between 5 Jan and 12 Feb 1846). Why this matters is because they were both aiming for the same job during this time ie. the Whig nomination for a 2 year term in Congress.

Hardin had already served one term and it was Lincoln who introduced the principle of rotation, meaning that it would be his turn next. He had never been elected to Congress. Hardin, like many another politician, did not abide by this gentleman's agreement and so in 1845 they fought a spirited contest. They were also friends, so things were bound to get sticky. Now my question is simple :- "When was this nomination settled?" Was it during the one month period of 'Confluence' that the two shared in Jan. 1846? Did it seal both their careers and ultimate fates? I have the Lincoln Log of his voluminous correspondence for research purposes.

It says explicitly that the matter was not settled at the start of the year. Then in Jan. Lincoln did some dedicated campaigning and won several key districts. Hardin could see the writing on the wall and eventually in early Feb. he formally withdrew his candidacy. Yes, this month of Jan. where the two shared 'Confluence' is when it all happened. Both being at the 'Life Cycles' major mid-life 'Year of Revolution' together. Both ambitious and talented members of the same Whig party and both wanting to be Congressman. This sealed both their fates at the one time.

Why so? Well it began Lincoln's first term in Washington. His quest for influence and his growing distaste for slavery, now saw the beginnings of a credible national profile. He co-wrote a bill to abolish slavery in the District of Columbia and spoke out against the Mexican War. Hardin, on the other hand, returned to the Illinois Militia and recruited the First Volunteer Regiment to fight in the Mexican-American War. On 23rd. Feb. 1847, he was killed at the Battle of Buena Vista, just one year later. His untimely demise did weigh on Lincoln thereafter and as President, he looked out for Hardin's widow and appointed his brother-in-law to a diplomatic post in Panama.

Does the month of Jan. again feature in Lincoln's life in one of 'Life Cycles' significant years? Does it again feature Hardin? Yes it does, but you'll have to wait for a full account in my next book "Life Cycles-Relationships". One final question for you :- "The movie 'Lincoln' featured almost exclusively one month in Lincoln's life. What month was that? Does it feature in 'Life Cycles' terms? " Till next month "may the cycles always bring you good fortune".

Saturday, March 9, 2013

The Fight Against Cancer-Never Give Up!

"For we will never have our freedom,
From the enemy within,
Till we fight a constant battle
And not stop until we win.

For all those who've gone before us,
Left too soon, we share the pain,
But you will live on in our memories,
And your legacies remain.

You're a stalker, you're a coward,
You're a robber and a thief,
And I swear your day is coming,

And it's a fact.........not just belief."

I'm writing this post as part of a Bloggers Unite, March 15th, 'Do The Right Thing' initiative by Tony Berkman. Both my blogs will feature stories about cancer victims and survivors. These are some of the bravest people you'll meet. They have to face down their demons and fight. The most inspirational blog I have ever read was by Australian cancer sufferer Kristian Anderson:- "There is a crack in everything- That's how the light get's in". Kristian sadly lost his battle with cancer recently, but he bravely detailed every inch of his journey in his blog. He gained a profile when he appeared on Oprah Winfrey's Sydney show, and she donated $250K for his treatment and his family's future. He used his public profile to get a Government subsidy for Erbitux (an expensive drug he was using). This resulted in thousands of people across the country benefiting. We salute you Kristian.

Sarah Mamalai, whom I have featured before, is a brain cancer survivor, who completed the gruelling Kokoda Trail walk and has been a spokesperson for her cause. Sharon Cohrs. a breast cancer survivor, became the first such woman to climb Mt. Everest. We salute you both. These are stories that should inspire us all. But there is probably not one person whose life has not been changed by cancer. If we haven't had to deal with it personally, then we've known a family member, a close friend or someone from our local community, who has. Not everyone gets a second chance. We need to remember them and remember the efforts of countless medical researchers as they test and implement their ground-breaking treatments.

I have been touched by the loss of two close friends in the last couple of years. Their lives cut, so unnecessarily short, by this awful disease. I want to remember them and the joy they brought to my own life. Nick Purdy, who was both a colleague and a close friend, lost his long battle with prostate cancer. His warm personal presence and good-natured approach to life..... you are missed mate. Many a social get-together that we should have been having, won't take place. Those cigars we used to smoke. Those "have you heard this week's bizarre story?" moments. Also my good friend and visionary architect Dragan Nikolovski, who was taken by brain cancer. Your hearty laugh. Your supportive nature. Originally from Macedonia, you are part of the migrant success story and your name with many others is proudly upon a public wall in Sydney. You live on, of course, through your works. Your contribution to the re-development of our General Post Office, into a leading hotel. Your work with our historic Queen Victoria Building, where you were the official architect. Any visitor to Sydney knows this building, which is a major city shopping venue.

So let us remember everyone we know who is currently fighting cancer, or is no longer with us. Read my poem at the top out loud. By supporting cancer research and treatment, we can make this a reality. This 'day' when we can say :- "cancer is no more". But in the meantime live sensibly. Sometimes cancer will just strike like a thief in the night, but sometimes our habits and lifestyle can play a part. You owe it to your family. Now just read the poem one more time. It's simple evocative message will lie inside you from now on.

P.S. Please feel free to leave your own story about cancer as a comment and to celebrate others.

Monday, January 28, 2013

The Second Time Around- 'Confluence', Marilyn Monroe and Joe DiMaggio

We are going to explore the beginnings of their romance; their brief, disastrous marriage and their second chance, which was cut short by Marilyn's tragic death. I am going to shed a new light on the love life of the uber-famous Marilyn Monroe, using the brand new concept of 'Confluence', taken from the all-new 'Life Cycles' theory. I am going to show you what underlies their somewhat improbable romance and just why they were 'the loves of each others lives', even though Marilyn's behaviour did not always demonstrate this. Be in no doubt, they had a fated life as a couple and could have arguably grown old together.

Joseph Paul DiMaggio, born Nov.25th, 1914, was a legendary baseball hero in the US and in his age 36 'Year of Revolution', injuries and poor form forced his retirement. He saw some publicity shots of Marilyn Monroe (born Norma Jeane Mortensen Jun.1st, 1926), who had just had her career breakthrough moment in her age 24 'Year of Revolution', when she signed a seven year contract with 20th Century Fox, after successes in 'All About Eve' and 'The Asphalt Jungle'. She was now a recognised Hollywood star. Can you see the issue here? Their new age/directions, ushered in the year before had them going in opposite directions. There is no doubt that they shared over 7 months of 'Confluence' in every shared 'significant year' (ie. 24/12, 31/19, 36/24, 43/31). Neither of Marilyn's other two longer term relationships:- with her 'marriage of opposites' to Arthur Miller or her 'serious fling' with Frank Sinatra, featured any 'Confluence' whatsoever.

Marilyn was reportedly not keen on dating 'a jock', but they met at Villa Nova restaurant on Mar. 8th, 1952. She was two hours late and Joe hardly spoke at all. Still there was a spark and no denying his charisma. He managed, simply by being there, to command the whole room. They drove around for a couple of hours after this, finding each other fascinating. This perfectly describes the magic that can come when opposites, who have a good level of 'Confluence', get together. He wanted her to give up acting and become his wife in a traditional sense and Marilyn's friends advised her against this union. He was also jealous, because the attention she got was what he was used to getting. This was to become 'a short ride and a not so merry one' when they decided to marry.

He was advised by a friend, who was a Hollywood agent, to accept her career as being like his former career, when he was on top. However, he could not control his jealousy and quite a few accounts talk of him beating her. He said she brought out the worst in him. It all came unstuck when he beat her up in their hotel room, after seeing the filming of the sexy skirt-flying shoot for 'The Seven Year Itch'. She received an uncontested divorce on the grounds of mental cruelty. She went to live with her then friend, Frank Sinatra, who was separated from his wife, Ava Gardner. That really should have been it, pure and simple. This union was a big mistake.

But Joe, according to biographers, never stopped loving Marilyn and went on to become her close friend and ally, genuinely caring for her welfare. He spent time in therapy himself and came back into her life with the unwinding of her marriage to Arthur Miller. This is the friendship side of 'Confluence', as displayed with Elizabeth Taylor and Michael Wilding. After leaving Miller, Marilyn took up again with Sinatra, who undoubtedly was in love with her. However, she was now in a self-destructive phase, taking a variety of drugs and alcohol and ended up being admitted to the Payne Whitney Psychiatric clinic. Unable to check herself out she called her friend DiMaggio. Others did not help, but he did and interestingly claimed her as his wife.

During 1961 their relationship continued to grow and they enjoyed looking after each other. Her quote was :- "to know Joe is there is like having a lifeguard." When she was advised to buy a home and her finances weren't good, it was Joe who loaned her $10,000 for her place in Brentwood. She also was not constant during this time and when he was travelling with his job, she fell back in with Sinatra and the Kennedy's. Joe was enraged when he saw her sing at Kennedy's birthday on May 19th, 1962. We now enter her tumultuous and brief age 36 'Year of Revolution' on June 1st, which can see a major transformation in many, many different lives. Following an argument soon after, they then reconciled and she admitted Joe had been right about so many things. This marked her beginning of wisdom. He flew from New York to Los Angeles four times in July to be with her and quit his job, that had meant constant travel. Quite a few different sources said they were going to remarry. I'll quote from DiMaggio's niece, June:- " They had planned to remarry on the day that turned out to be her funeral. She had a dress and had picked out her china dishes. Joe had a ring for her and there was talk they might adopt a child. If she was remarrying Joe, the love of her life, is she going to take her own life four days before?".

This transcendent moment never happened, but ironically she knew who loved her the most and who was the true love of her life. Joe honoured his earlier promise, given during their first relationship, to ensure fresh flowers were placed on her grave three times a week for the next twenty years. He never remarried and would not allow friends or associates to utter the names of Sinatra, the Rat Pack or the Kennedy's in his presence. For a man with a difficult personality and who had fall-outs with his own family and many past friends, he gave of his very best for Marilyn. For a woman, who was so conflicted and capricious, who told Joe in Feb.1962, that she was buying furniture in Mexico, and returned with a handsome young Mexican screen writer instead, she finally managed to reach her deepest emotional level with him. Together they could have had a great life the second time around. This is the power of 'Confluence' that sometimes makes the impossible, possible. They tragically were never together for any of their past periods of 'Confluence' and their next period would have begun in late Nov.1962 when Joe turned 48. Their best story, unfortunately, lies unwritten. Till next month :- "May the cycles always bring you good fortune."