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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".