Archives for posts with tag: Helter Skelter
Laurence Merrick 2

Life imitating art?

One of the many unusual figures whose life trajectory intersects with the Manson Family saga is Laurence Merrick, an Israeli Defense Forces veteran who, as critic Bryan Thomas relates at Night Flight, was sent to the U.S. in 1960 “to speak in support of Zionism, and while he was fundraising in New York City, he met his future wife, a dark-haired aspiring Broadway showgirl and wannabe actress named Joan Huntington.” From there the pair “came out to the west coast, and set up the Merrick Studio, located at 870 N. Vine St. in Hollywood, California, and for a time it was an inexpensive place for actors” – including Vietnam veterans – “to learn lessons about their craft.”

The Merricks were subsidized by the government, too, which enabled them to make a lot of money running the school. They bought a nice house in Beverly Hills and then decided to put their studio profits towards making their own movies, which they could then cast with students from the school, a win-win situation for everybody.

Laurence Merrick

Merrick, Thomas writes, is “probably best known for co-directing the legendary 1972 documentary Manson with Robert Hendrickson, which […] ended up garnering an Academy Award nomination for Best Feature-Length Documentary.” The Israeli “was also well-known in Hollywood […] for the fact that one of his students, Sharon Tate, would later be killed by members of Manson’s Family, during August of 1969, the same year he spent fourteen days directing [the biker film] Black Angels.” Note the interesting choice of words, too, when Thomas relates that Huntington viewed her husband’s movies as “training exercises”.

A 1977 UPI article states that “Merrick became interested in the Manson Family because actress Sharon Tate, who was murdered with four friends by the group, had been a student at his school” – implying that Merrick only took an interest in Manson after the killings had taken place; but Merrick and Hendrickson had begun conducting interviews with Family members “before and after the shocking murders that rocked the nation in 1969,” Thomas indicates (italics added). As his account of the making of Black Angels tantalizes, the totality of Merrick’s involvements with this movie, Tate, and the Manson Family strains the limits of what can be dismissed as mere “synchronicity”:

In fact – in yet another example of the parallels that existed between Southern California’s biker and hippie countercultures – members of Manson’s Family would occasionally drop by Paramount Ranch, located at 2813 Cornell Road, in Agoura, California, and visit the set while Merrick and his cast and crew were filming scenes. […]

Merrick’s script focuses on two biker gangs at each other’s throats, a white motorcycle gang called Satan’s Serpents — led by Chainer (once again played by Merrick’s favorite leading man, Des Roberts) — and a black motorcycle gang, called the Choppers (their leader was played by Bobby Johnston, whose biggest role previous to this one was as a prison guard in In Cold Blood).

The film’s title, Black Angels is actually the name attributed to the highway patrolmen who observe the two rival biker gangs from a distance, waiting for the race-motivated war for turf to explode.

Merrick recruited a real black biker gang to play the Choppers in order to provide authenticity.

The main plot concerns one “Black Angel” in particular – a lieutenant for the highway patrol named Harper (Clancy Syrko, who also edited the film) – who wants to see all of the biker gangs wiped off the face of the earth, and he plots to pit the two gangs against each other so they will end up in a race war leading to both of them being destroyed. […]

Black Angels

It’s interesting to note that this film’s concept of pitting white against black in a race war, in the year 1969, is very similar in some respects to Manson’s concept which he called “Helter Skelter”, an apocalyptic war arising from racial tensions between blacks and white, which he believed was foretold in Chapter 9 of the book of Revelations in the bible (as well as hidden messages he believed he heard in the Beatles’ “Revolution #9”).

Makes you wonder what kinds of conversations they were having at Paramount Ranch between members of the cast and crew and some of Manson’s followers.

There were also many interesting cameo appearances, including a real member of Charles Manson’s gang, Mark Ross (he plays “Singer”), who later claimed to write a theme song for the film that was never used […]

The film’s tagline “God forgives, the Black Angels don’t!,” incidentally, was borrowed from the hugely successful 1967 Italian spaghetti western, God Forgives… I Don’t.

Another tagline – and perhaps another reference to Manson? – was “A portrait of the family.”

Speaking of Manson and his family, again, it was during the film’s production that Merrick was invited to head over to Spahn Ranch, with a 16mm camera, in order to film the Manson family on their own turf.

Merrick also shot footage of them at Devil’s Canyon, their Barker Ranch hideout in Death Valley, and then later – during the Manson trial – at the Hall of Justice in downtown Los Angeles, in addition to other locations.

Los Angeles County Deputy District Attorney Vincent Bugliosi, who did as much as anyone to shape the public’s perception of the Manson Family mythos, participated in the production of Merrick and Hendrickson’s documentary and appears onscreen.

Guess What Happened to Count Dracula

Des Roberts as Count Adrian in Merrick’s Guess What Happened to Count Dracula?

Merrick’s previous movie, Guess What Happened to Count Dracula?, concerns the occult, mind control, and, at least subtextually, acknowledges Jewish power in Hollywood – and it only intensifies the Tate-LaBianca resonance of Merrick’s work, even featuring a minor character named Sharon. Thomas continues:

The movie featured several of Merrick’s students in key parts, and chiefly concerned what happened to Dracula’s son, Count Adrian (Des Roberts, who plays the vampire while sporting a wicked John Carradine-style goatee). Roberts and his musical partner, Andy Wilder, also provided the film’s musical score.

The film was shot at the Magic Castle in the Hollywood Hills, a mansion built in the 1920s which had been renovated for performances by magicians.

One of Merrick’s students owned the place, and had invited Merrick and his wife over for dinner, which left a lasting impression, and when the couple began thinking of locations where they could shoot their Dracula movie, they both remembered the Magic Castle, which was just about to undergo a renovation. […]

The movie also contains a subplot straight out of the then recent box office smash Rosemary’s Baby, when one character — an actor named Guy (just as John Cassavetes’s character was in Roman Polanski’s film), played by John Landon — is all too willing to sell his soul in return for being given a successful acting career.

It’s also interesting to note that Merrick’s film features a “surprise” ending that was clearly inspired by Polanski’s previous film, 1967’s The Fearless Vampire Killers, or Pardon Me, But Your Teeth Are in My Neck, when Polanski’s future wife Sharon Tate sprouts fangs in the film.

According to Horrorpedia, “more obscure X-rated edits of the film [Guess What Happened to Count Dracula?], with an emphasis on male gay sex, were released as Does Dracula Really Suck? and Dracula and the Boys.”

Adding to the mystique of Merrick’s Manson documentary is the fact that it features Lynette “Squeaky” Fromme caressing a rifle and explaining, “You have to make love with it; you have to know it […] so that you could pick it up any second and shoot.” This interview took place several years before Fromme was convicted of (supposedly) having attempted to assassinate President Gerald Ford in Sacramento. Merry Prankster and founding Yippie Paul Krassner claims that Manson sent him a letter instructing him to get into touch with Fromme around 1971:

I called, and we arranged to meet at her apartment in Los Angeles. On an impulse, I brought several tabs of acid with me on the plane. […]

The four of us [Krassner, Fromme, and her roommates Sandra Good and Brenda McCann] ingested those little white tablets containing 300 micrograms of LSD, then took a walk to the office of Laurence Merrick, who had been associated with schlock biker exploitation movies as the prerequisite to directing a sensationalist documentary, Manson.

Squeaky’s basic vulnerability emerged as she kept pacing around and telling Merrick that she was afraid of him. He didn’t know we were tripping, but he must have sensed the vibes. He may even have gotten a touch of contact high. I engaged him in conversation about movies. We discussed the fascistic implications of The French Connection.

Was Fromme “afraid” of the Merrick from the effects of the LSD – or did she have other reasons? This brief encounter, whatever its meaning, in combination with Fromme’s participation in Merrick and Hendrickson’s Manson constitutes another Israeli connection to an eccentric piece of American political assassination drama following the various Jewish and Zionist intrigues surrounding the murder of John F. Kennedy.

Bizarrely, Merrick himself was murdered in an outrageous episode further dissolving any distinction between reality and theater. Bryan Thomas relates the bizarre incident:

Dennis MignanoThen, in 1977, Merrick’s life would intersect fatally with a potential acting student named Dennis Mignano, who – much like Manson himself – had really wanted to have a music career, but when that didn’t pan out, the struggling rock singer decided to take acting lessons.

That decision had led him straight to Merrick Studio – which by now was teaching classes in acting, directing and cinematography – where he applied to be a student.

He believed that Merrick – due to his association with Manson, bikers, and magic – was the perfect person to help him launch a successful acting career (Mignano had reportedly been obsessed with magic as a child).

Mignano filled out an application to be a student, and then was told he was eligible for government assistance to pay for his tuition, but he had to wait for three weeks for the application to be processed.

Mignano grew irritated and felt like the delay was yet another setback and a disappointment, but he waited, and while he did so he watched episodes of a 1976 TV mini-series called Helter Skelter, which just happened to be re-airing on TV.

The TV series may have played a small part in reminding him that his life was now intertwined with Merrick’s and he then became obsessed with the idea that Merrick had actually placed a curse on him.

On January 26th, 1977, he went to the school and waited in ambush for Merrick to appear in the parking lot for a few hours and then pulled out a pistol and shot 50-year old Laurence Merrick in the back.

Mignano then fled the scene, and much like the opening scene of Richard Rush’s 1980 action film The Stunt Man – which, and get this, starred actor Steve Railsback, who had played Charles Manson in the Helter Skelter mini-series – he, by pure chance, happened upon a movie being shot mere blocks away, on Willoughby Ave., and the killer blended in with the crew (just as Railsback’s character did), pretending to be part of the film production team.

Merrick, meanwhile, staggered into his office at the studio, telling his students “Some son of a bitch shot me and I don’t even know why!” Some of the students thought they were witnessing an impromptu acting exercise, but quickly realized that their teacher was dying in front of them.

Merrick was rushed to Hollywood Presbyterian Hospital, but he was pronounced dead within an hour. Students at the Merrick Studio Academy of Dramatic Arts said that Mignano had been hanging around the building all morning, asking them questions about Merrick and his Manson documentary.

Mignano confessed to the crime in 1981 and was confined to a mental institution. Six months after his murder of Merrick, Mignano’s sister Michele, a topless dancer, was also murdered – a case that remains unsolved. Questions about Merrick remain, as well. Why was his actors’ studio receiving government funding? Did his work on behalf of Israel end after he left New York for Los Angeles – or did it continue in some capacity as he interacted with the Manson Family and completed his films?

Rainer Chlodwig von K.

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Gelatin, Arc de Triomphe, 2003

Gelatin, Arc de Triomphe, 2003. (ZOG celebrating a smash success)

As many 9/11 conspiracy buffs and researchers are already aware, one of the most bizarre and mysterious facets of the event’s surrounding mythos is the covert presence of the “Austrian” art group Gelatin (or Gelitin) in the North Tower in 2000 and the resulting conceptual art stunt known as “The B-Thing“. The team, living secretly inside the building, installed a balcony outside the 91st floor, with a few participants finally taking a bow, as it were, and being photographed from a helicopter. What is disturbing is that the prank is known to have been facilitated by the Mossad-linked Lower Manhattan Cultural Council.

A limited edition book documenting the “B-Thing” project was published in the months leading up to 9/11, and it contains what can only be characterized as suggestions of foreknowledge of the attacks. The true nature of Gelatin’s work inside the WTC remains a matter of speculation, but photographs produced in The B-Thing show thought-provoking stacks of boxes. A conspiratorially evocative preface is credited (let the reader be mindful) to “Tex” Rubinowitz, a rockabilly singer and/or cartoonist and/or TV actor – a man or men, in other words, who could hardly be expected to top a list of likely terror suspects.

"Tex" Number One

“Tex” Number One

Just who is “Tex” Rubinowitz, really? Bizarrely, there are actually two men who have used this name. A 1987 profile of “Tex” Number One by Buzz McClain in the Fairfax Journal describes him as follows:

The first time you hear his name you chuckle to yourself. Tex Rubinowitz. It is a comical-sounding name, one with built-in humor. Tex Rubinowitz. The humor stems from the contradictions. What is he, a cowboy rabbi? How many Jewish cowboys are there? But to area fans of rock and roll music, Tex Rubinowitz, who is neither Jewish (he was raised Southern Baptist) nor a cowpoke, is a legend. The singer-songwriter has had a hit record (“Hot Rod Man,” which hit even bigger in Europe) that appeared on a movie soundtrack (“Roadhouse 66”). His bands have sold out nearly every nightclub in the region. His live performances have been hailed by critics as vibrant celebrations of nitty-gritty rock and roll.

Other musicians seek his counsel and engage him to produce their records. But despite the loyal following, Rubinowitz has been frustrated in accomplishing the crossover from local notoriety to national fame. At age 43, it would seem that Rubinowitz’s biological metronome is winding down. But guess what? Rubinowitz, who says he has already had a comeback, followed by a “last-ditch effort,” is gearing up once again.

Arthur Lee Rubinowitz was born in Texas in 1944 to Stanley and Arthurea Rubinowitz. While on his way to becoming a full colonel in the Army, Stanley brought his family – which includes Tex’s younger brother Ben – to the Washington area. They settled into a comfortable house in suburban Springfield, where the four remain together today. Stanley retired from the military, taking a position with the federal government. Arthurea, who was a schoolteacher and later a school principal, began a career with the Fairfax County school system. She eventually retired as an assistant school superintendent.

In 1962, Tex, who was then a student at Lee High School, started playing the guitar. He graduated from Lee in 1963 and attended the University of Southern Mississippi in Hattiesburg for less than a year before returning home. In 1970, he began his career in music, playing small local clubs. “I didn’t know what to do, I just knew I wanted to do it,” he says. He made his first music-related dollar two years later. The Cassaloma Cowboys, Rubinowitz’s first band, performed and recorded from 1975 to 1978; in 1979 he formed Tex Rubinowitz and the Bad Boys, the band that would establish and perpetuate Rubinowitz’s foothold in the music world.

Their singles, “Hot Rod Man” and “Bad Boy”, received airplay on hundreds of progressive and college radio stations around the country. Their live shows consistently drew large audiences; the band set the house record at the defunct Wax Museum nightclub in Washington when some 1400 people (400 more than the legal limit) packed the place.

Rubinowitz’s looks are as memorable as his name. He is tall, somewhere in the 6-foot-3 region, and slender and his dark brown hair has given way to an attractive, if premature, gray. He wears his hair short, with a sweep to the left. During a performance, he sports an authentic slicked-back ducktail that funnels into a long, tubular curl dangling past his forehead. He is generally seen in sunglasses: He forsakes his real-life nerdly Wayfarers for hipper aviator frames on stage. (Behind the glasses is a pair of clear blue eyes.) With his curl and shades in place and his acoustic guitar strapped around his neck, Rubinowitz certainly looks the part of heartfelt rock ‘n’ roller. And when he sings, the judgement is verified. Rubinowitz possesses a natural, deep-bodied baritone that rolls like Appalachian thunder.

Although he does not seem weary or burned out, rock ‘n’ roll has interfered with Rubinowitz’s “normal” life. For instance, rock ‘n’ roll has kept him from getting married: “I’ve been close three or four times,” Rubinowitz says, his clear baritone softening. “I’ve always been a little obsessive about music… But my father didn’t get married until he was in his early 40s.” Then he adds: “To get married I have to get successful in music or get out of it.” What will he do if he gets out of music? “Get a job,” he says quickly and to the point. “Something blue-collar, like work at the Merchant Tire store or something like that.”

Tex is a painfully honest person,” the article goes on to quote Washington Post consultant Joe Sasfy, and ends by mentioning that Rubinowitz has become interested in acting:

The album is out, the concerts are being lined up and Tex Rubinowitz is once again waiting for the figurative fish to bite. Meanwhile he stays busy building guitars and taking acting classes. “I have no intention of ever using acting,” he says. “The classes are just another way to release myself as an artist.” And though the thought of a stable job may cross his mind once in a while, it is hard to believe Rubinowitz, or anyone who could say this, would ever give up music: “I believe what makes most people feel good about music is still there,” he says. “And that is sort of magic, a magic that happens between people and actually takes place. Pop music is one of the strongest things for pop art. When it really works it really can touch a lot of people and affect a lot of people for the good.

"Tex" Number Two

“Tex” Number Two

Another “Tex” Rubinowitz, according to a German Wikipedia profile, was born Dirk Wesenberg in 1961 in Hannover, Lower Saxony, Germany. This second “Tex”, as featured on the German Wikipedia page – which, when translated into English, makes him “SouthwesternRubinowitz – is a painter, cartoonist, actor, and musician. Confusing matters, however, is the fact that the IMDb profile for “Tex” Number Two gives his birth name as Arthur Lee Rubinowitz, the same as “Tex” Number One. The Wikipedia profile, as imperfectly rendered in English, reads in part as follows:

Southwestern Rubinowitz spent most of his childhood and schooldays in Lüneburg. After his school leaving in 1978, he worked in various jobs, including as a dairy skilled workers and the district government Lüneburg as support acts. In 1982 he made ​​the Naval Air Wing 2 in Tarp from his military service. During this time he was trained to parachute packer. In 1984, he moved to Vienna, where he study art under Professor Oswald Oberhuber began. He broke this but after a week and started for the moths to draw. Rubinowitz was in the late eighties the fanzine American Hospital newspaper out simultaneously with the more familiar to some of Berlin fanzine Me and my vacuum cleaner appeared. [. . .] By means of a recommendation by Robert Gernhardt came Rubinowitz for Haffmans Verlag in Zurich, where he has two issues of the periodical Der Rabe issued and cooperated with other numbers. [. . .] As an actor he has worked with Kurt Palm and Hermes Phettberg and played 1995 American film Before Sunrise a supporting role, which he wrote himself. With Gerhard Potuznik he founded the band mice.

Regardless of where he or they were born or whether or not one or both Rubinowitzes are Jewish or if either had any connection to 9/11, which seems far-fetched to say the least, his/their moniker serves as an interesting onomatological case for those who believe with revisionist historian Michael A. Hoffman II that the shadow government or “Cryptocracy” is “telling you what they’re doing to you” as part of what he has termed the Revelation of the Method. This is the scheme according to which a population that is informed of its manipulation and degradation, but which takes no action to oppose its oppression, has thus been further initiated into enslavement and exponentially subjugated. The question then probably ought not to be who is “Tex” Rubinowitz so much as why was the name “Tex” Rubinowitz selected for the attribution of the B-Thing introduction? What, in other words, is its onomatological significance?

Now for some idle speculation and probably futile cryptographic dot-matix-connection . . .

The Texas reference, in conjunction with the fact of there being two totally different “Tex” Rubinowitzes, recalls the circumstance of the two Oswalds, one of whom is alleged to have shot JFK in Dealey Plaza. To return to the question posed by McClain in the Fairfax Journal piece, “How many Jewish cowboys are there?” A better question might be, “How many Jewish cowboys are there in Texas?” The coincidence and confluence of Texas and Jews is of course as 9/11-resonant as a reference could get, considering the event’s Bush neocon provenance. Could “Tex” Number Two’s tenure as a “dairy skilled worker” refer to Zionist exploitation of gullible goy cattle, perhaps?

“Tex” Number One, who has said that pop music hits people “in a way that they feel they have gained an insight about themselves and about reality“, recorded a rockabilly song called “Hot Rod Man“, in which he threatens he’s “gonna get you if I can“. “Hot Rod”, of course, takes on a different connotation in the context of a discussion of the controlled demolition of the WTC, possibly with its columns dissolved by nanothermite.

Charles Manson

Manson – cryptographic 9/11 lynchpin?

In the B-Thing introduction attributed to him, “Tex” Number Two compares the members of Gelatin to the Beatles, which, in combination with the name “Tex” and the musicianship of both Rubinowitzes, evokes a symbological Charles Manson connection, in light of singer-songwriter Manson’s association with Charles “Tex” Watson, who forms a part of the Manson Family murder cosmology. Whosefamily” was in on 9/11, one has to wonder – and how extended was it? (“The shared genetic elements suggest that members of any Jewish community are related to one another as closely as are fourth or fifth cousins in a large population, which is about 10 times higher than the relationship between two people chosen at random off the streets of New York City,” the Times notes of Ashkenazi Jews.)

Charles “Tex” Watson, in addition to playing an allegedly key role in the notorious Tate-LaBianca murders, is also alleged to have participated in the decapitation of Donald “Shorty” Shea in 1969 – a circumstance that draws an intriguing parallel with still another chapter of the interminable “War on Terror“. When the government-media matrix shifted into high gear with its promotion of the ISIS bogeyman as a pretext for further Middle East military intervention, this peaked with a series of silly videos purporting to show the (off-screen) beheadings of James Foley, Steven Sotloff, and others by an elite terror cell/supergroup of jihadis dubbed “the Beatles” in the media. The star executioner in these turkeys is a rapper, “Jihadi John” (as in Lennon), the plan apparently being to glorify, celebritize, and thereby incentivize jihad in order to intensify “Islamic” State recruitment.

Furthermore, in view of both the striking similarity and the various continuities between the JFK assassination cover-up and the 9/11 psychological warfare regime, Michael A. Hoffman’s remarks on the significance of the Beatles are worth revisiting:

What ought to be unambiguous to any student of mass psychology, is the almost immediate decline of the American people in the wake of this shocking, televised slaughter. There are many indicators of the transformation. Within a year Americans had largely switched from softer-toned, naturally colored cotton clothing to garish-colored artificial polyesters. Popular music became louder, faster and more cacophonous. Drugs appeared for the first time outside the Bohemian subculture ghettos, in the mainstream. Extremes of every kind came into fashion. Revolutions in cognition and behavior were on the horizon, from the Beatles to Charles Manson, from Free Love to LSD. 

The killers were not caught, the Warren Commission was a whitewash. There was a sense that the men who ordered the assassination were grinning somewhere over cocktails and out of this, a nearly-psychedelic wonder seized the American population, an awesome shiver before the realization that whoever could kill a president of the United States in broad daylight and get away with it, could get away with anything.

A hidden government behind the visible government of these United States became painfully obvious in a kind of subliminal way and lent an undercurrent of the hallucinogenic to our reality. Welcome to Oz thanks to the men behind Os-wald and Ruby.

There was a transfer of power in the collective group mind the American masses: from the public power of the elected front-man Chief Executive, to an unelected invisible college capable of terminating him with impunity. [. . .]

Dave Marsh writing in Rolling Stone magazine (Feb. 24, 1977): “The Beatles have always had an intimate connection to the JFK assassination. He was shot the week before Thanksgiving 1963. By February 1964, the Beatles were number one in the national charts and the climactic appearance on Ed Sullivan’s TV show occurred. Even Brian Epstein (the manager of the Beatles) believed the Kennedy assassination helped their rise — the Beatles appeared to bind our wounds with their messages of joy and handholding… And the way was paved, replacing Camelot with Oz.”

Now the American people were forced to confront a scary alternative reality, the reality of a shadow government, over which they had neither control or knowledge. The shepherding process was thus accelerated with a vengeance. Avant-garde advertising, music, politics and news would hereafter depict (especially in the electronic media) — sometimes fleetingly, sometimes openly — a “shadow side” of reality, an underground amoral “funhouse” current associated with extreme sex, extreme violence and extreme speed.

The static images of the suit-and-tie talking heads of establishment religion, government, politics and business were subtly shown to be subordinate to the Shadow State, which the American people were gradually getting a bigger glimpse of out of the corner of their collective eye. The interesting function of this phenomenon is that it simultaneously produces both terror and adulation and undercuts any offensive against it among its percipients, which does not possess the same jump-cut speed and funhouse ambiance.

Welcome to the post-9/11 Funhouse.

Rainer Chlodwig von Kook

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