Federal Prison System
P.O. Box 1000
Lewisburg, PA 17837
Hello, dear Jeffery, and hearty greetings to all you meet;
Thank you for the invigorating note that you most recently sent to me and especially appreciate your saintly remembrance of Brian and your thoughtful communication to him. I hope you are aware that he is no longer in McKean FCI. He was accused of inciting a riot there last October when the Federal prisons across Amerika spontaneously erupted after congress refused to address the harsh penalties meted out to crack (read black) users and distributors as opposed to the powder cocaine sentences. Anyway, he's been on lockdown ever since and is presently being housed in Beckley, W. Va. He is a warrior.
I have no excuses, real or imagined, why I have not been more prompt in returning a letter to you. I do thank you for reminding me that I am full of shit, lest at any time I should happen to overlook such an obvious bit of information. Besides, I like it when you talk dirty to me :-). I will say that I have thought of you on numerous occasions and even reminded myself that I should respond to your letters and acknowledge receipt of your gift to me of the book "Green Gold," but, alas, I had no movement of my spirit to exercise my pencil hand until just now and I am grateful for the stimulation that you provided. By the way, in answer to your question, there is nothing that you either said or did that pissed me off in any way. It has been a long time since anyone has pissed me off by anything that they have said to me or about me. This does not mean, however, that I am incapable of reacting to verbal stimulus, for this is one of my favorite pursuits of interest -- to react verbally to something someone has said or done. Hammering what I consider to be hypocrisy or ignorance or any number of other moral infirmaties always gives me great pleasure.
I am always interested in updates about any and all or our former assocates in the Coptic experience and also all of those who were considered to be merely fringe performers, imposter performers, or bad performers who were excommunicated from the fellowship of kindred minds (?) pecking order because of some perceived blasphemy in the mind of the spiritually tyrannical Nyah Bingi Man. I find all of these characters, or whichever category they may be classified, to be of great interest to me. As I review each individual that I came in contact with as a result of this spiritual movement, which somehow evolved into the ganja-smuggling juggernaut known as Coptic, I find that almost unanimously these people were motivated to do what they did by a sincere belief that they were drawing themselves closer to the will of the true and living God. When many were the recipients of critical "fire," and some even permanently ostracized from the right hand of God or banished to a limbo or non-descript banality, it was more devastating than anything they could have previously imagined. They examined themselves, thought that their intentions were simply to know God and to attempt to purify themselves, and suddenly they found themselves alienated from their adopted spiritual family and stamped with the accursed designation of "fuckery." All because they did not fit into the extremely limited parameters of Keith's cadre of sycophants and mindless robots. No one could stand up to that spiritually powerful asshole who rode roughshod over his kingdom of ass-kickers who readily and willingly stepped on each other in order to draw closer to his and Wally's fiegned holiness. Meanwhile, these two guys were fucking dozens of women, each under the guise of sanctifying them. I won't go into all the horrifying hypocrisy that occurred under the Coptic banner. And even though all were guilty of plenty of sins during the 4, 3, and 8 era, only Keith and Wally were in a position to lead and, thus, they are ultimately responsible for the catastrophe whose fruit is the rottenness we now behold among all those of use who vowed to "Let perfect love and friendship reign, through all eternity."
I am not condemning anyone. I am merely stating what happened even though I am not going into an in depth analysis of the overwhelming corruption that resulted. If, perhaps, you will allow me to make a little analogy. Think of a minefield that lies in the path of a group objective which promises unimagined euphoria for all those involved. There is no way of circumventing the hazards posed by the lethal mines. Someone, or maybe even a few, must encounter the minefield head-on, exploding the deadly obstacles, and, by this foray into uncharted territory of vanity, clear a path that can safely be trod by all those who come after. Once this path has been cleared, can we pretend that nothing has happened? Do we pretend that those who were blown apart by the mines are still among us in one piece because we do not want to accept that they are mutilated beyong recognition? Do we then refuse to proceed to the safety and joy of the promised euphoria? This may not be the most enlightened symbolism that could be posed, but I'm sure you can comprehend what it is that I'm inferring.
When first we became aware of the existence of the spiritual light, a group of us gathered in a place near Papine, in St. Andrew Parish near Kingston, Jamaica. There was a manifestation in the embodiment of a guy we knew as Brother Ivy, one George Baker Ivy. Only a small number of the sisters and brothers who would at some later times and dates become associated with this movement actually say and experienced the vibration of that man during those few short months. This in no way indicates any special hierarchy because of this experience or as a result of a lack of this experience. It is simply, throught the best effort of my memory and my honest portrayal of the understanding of those events, what happened. I have a detailed story of how it was that I arrived at Papine on March 8, 1971, but suffice to say that I was directed there by Nathan and Cynthia, generally, and, more specifically, by Howard after I arrived in Miami.
I travelled alone and, when I reached the humble "camp" in the wilderness I was initially greeted by Ivy, himself, and a small group of men constructing a foul coup. When I proceeded to the actual building that was the church, I encountered Tommy, Gary, Alan, and a fellow named Herbie inside. Herbie was run off by Keith after Ivy's death for the inforgivable transgression of trimming his hair. Tommy, Gary, and Alan became Keith's chosen heirs after his death to the accumulation of the physical attainments of the ganja enterprise. Ironic, to say the least. Anyway, Marvin and Andy, Nathan and Cynthia, Brad, Jake, Sarah, Bobby, Tommy, Howard, Gary, Alan, Bighead Stevie, Judy, Cliff, myself, and some others who may not have remained among us for too long attended the spiritual feast hosted by Ivy. A bevy of African-descendant Jamaicans were also in attendance, some sporadic and some daily. Keith, Wally, Dougie (Samson), Kootman, Shine, Blossom, and Flowers were but a few of these Jamaicans.
Without question; not even the slightest, unmurmured question; the show, the stage, the script, the spirit, and all of the bit actors and actresses belonged to Ivy. There was one pervading and prevalent premise that permeated every singly being that I personally encountered during this time. This was not something that was told to you or to anyone upon their arrival, but once someone had discerned for themselves what was spiritually taking place, then the accepted premise was openly discussed by all of those who had what was considered to be that discernment. What was that discernment? Quite simply and unequivocally that Ivy was the resurrected spirit of the Christ spoken of in the scriptures. Quite simply and irrevocably that Ivy was the embodiment of that divine and holy spirit which has become known to mankind as the savior of humanity, the annointed one. Of this one fact there was no dispute. Of this one fact there was no doubt. Of this one fact all of those people whom I have previously mentioned were in agreement. Whatever any of them may say now, or whatever any of them may have said or done subsequent to the man's departure from that body, I assure you with every morsel of consciousness that may exist within me and I vow a solemn oath to you on the blood coursing through my veins that all of these people, along with myself, confessed with our mouths that this man, Ivy, was the Christ. No one challenged his authority as the only begotten son of that omnipotent God. I, personally, spoke to Keith of this spiritual phenomenon and he, as my spiritual equal and brother at that time, wholeheartedly applauded my awakening and nurtured me personally in the self evident truth that we were both privy to. It was only after the death of Ivy and a period of youthful uncertainty and stumbling that Keith asserted his sagacious knowledge of our blind trust and became our master rather than our brother.
I will not delve into this transition at length because it is a matter that each person must acknowledge for themselves. If each person, both man and woman, examines their personal story of how they first because aware of this spirit that continues to bind us in the most unusual manner, then I am certain that they will be able to link their spiritual awakening, and whatever awareness they may possess, directly to Ivy. It is a fact which must be. Whomever you first heard about this thing called "Doctrine" from can be traced to Ivy. It matters not whom this person was or these persons were. None of us can claim ownership of this message of salvation, of these words or consolation. If, perchance, we were fortunate enough to be a momentary vessel of the precious promise, this divine covenant, then let us give thanks. And since we have all been the recipients of this holy hope of perfect love, then let us give thanks. We have quibbled for too long. Time is really gliding on. I can think of no reason to hold on to animosity for anyone, least of all any of the sisters and the brothers who share the common hope of the redemption from sin and corruption that we share. At the same time, I cannot with a clear conscience whitewash the past into something that is not true. Once we acknowledge what has happened, either specific deeds which we have done or the cosmics that we have collectively experienced, we will be free to laugh and to sing and to praise. Otherwise, we are bound spiritually from beholding the glory which we do possess individually and, to a much greater extent, collectively.
When you, Jeff, expressed bewilderment in one of your previous letters so long ago concerning the declaration which I made about Ivy's divinity; that all things have authority only as they are viewed in the light of his divine sonship, that Ivy is the sone of God and that this and only this lends credence to any claims that we may make; I was absolutely flabbergasted by your incredulity.
It really shows how far we all strayed from when first we saw the light. That someone like yourself, and many others of the brothers and sisters who came among this congregation after Keith had usurped control of all of our destinies, could be around Brad, Jake, Cliff, Tommy, Big Al, etc., etc., etc., and me and not be acutely aware of Ivy and the indisputable aura of his divinity which made all of this spirituality that we know and love possible is a testament to our shamefulness. We should all hide our nakedness by diving into the valley of disbelieving unfaithfulness. It is a good thing that God is merciful and laughs at our frailties.
Keith turned us against each other for the love of filthy lucre. Wally pretended to be a high priest with the regimented and mandatory hours of prayer. I know that their attempts to place themselves on a plateau above their brethren and sisters was an act of treachery and spiritual wickedness. All that multiple wife shit was a cloak for satisfying their lusts. They both, Keith and Wally, willingly sacrificed their brethren and sisters lives so that they could fulfill their own vain interpretations of the scripture with them as Moses, Aaron, Peter, James, and John all of the other starring roles. What assholes! Keith befriended the nasty gunmen and actually catered to those murdering scoundrels. The litany of these types of events goes on and on. My hand is tired. Did you ever notice how few new people came amongst us as anything other than casual observeres or money grubbers during their tenure?
In the few short months of Ivy's resurrection, a reverberation transmitted itself to and through literally hundreds of souls and links them together even today after more than twenty-five years of various turmoils.
All of those who would profess to be loyal adherents to the vanity of the Coptic trip of Keith and company should remember that the man died alone, most probably of A.I.D.S., shitting up himself and without the service of even a hot cup of tea. This seems a cold tribute, but true nevertheless. The poor guy had to suffer unimaginable loneliness in his last days on earth and because I knew him well and loved him, I feel the horrifying emotions that abide outside of the realms of sincere thanksgiving that have at times overtaken all of us.
Someone had to walk through the minefield to clear away all of the fatal flaws of a spiritual mortal. These vanities have been exposed and they can never again withstand the light of awareness. Some may desire to retain a hierarchy of hypocrisy but it has become no longer acceptable to a consciousness that is determined to give glory where glory is due, to give honor where honor is due. These accolades belong to God who, though in us all, is far above us all. Man, primarily man and not so much woman, in his vanity to proclaim himself to be God has erred continually and abundantly by forgetting and neglecting the true attributes of the divine nature -- humility, long-suffering, the joy of service, and a few more that I'm sure you can recall. Humble yourself and the spirit will cheer you, humble yourself and you will walk with God. By the way, despite all the spiritual vibrancy that Ivy exuded, he was a determined servant to us all and, although regal in every aspect of his being, he managed to instill spiritual awareness and infailing charismatic magnetism in all of us that experienced his resurrection. It was so powerful that we were able to transmit this purity to others in spite of our own delicate condition. Again, I remind you, the consciousness that you possess concerning your own spiritual being can be traced directly to Ivy through one of his emissaries that I have previously written about. The seed of the precious fruit was Ivy and that whole Coptic experience was a diversion from the purity of that holiness. All of our enthusiasm, all of our exuberance from the discovery of the font of life, all of our dedication to do the will of God, all of our desire to serve was recognized by Keith and selfishly channelled into a smuggling operation which ultimately brought great riches to Keith and a few others but finally caused the alienation of the sistes and the brothers toward each other, Carl "Z-man" Swanson's death, and prison sentences for a large number of the brothers. So many things come to my mind about that absolute travesty masquerading as godliness that it is impossible to even begin to relate the depths of deceitfulness which occurred among us in such a limited purview as a short letter. Tomes, with input from all of the participants, would be required to get the proper perspective or, perhaps, endless hours of truthful reasoning would help expose everyone's persistent desire to mask our participation in a fraudulent counterfeit after we had experienced and handled the genuine article.
Where does all of this leave us now? Just exactly where we are. Each of us has a few brothers and sisters from that spiritual age with whom we communicate and/or associate. Then, generally speaking, there is a larger number of brothers and sisters from the said era with whom no contact or association is desired. This category is loathed, coveted, or presumed to be cursed for some self-serving reason which only the individual, themself, knows. This completely illogical, nasty, and unchristianlike reasons to harbor ill-will may have even stemmed from a time when Keith or Wally, sitting on their spurious throne of judgment, pronounced that the poor brother or sister in question was, indeed, "fuckery." Of course, this lent justification to depise the dear soul into eternity. How ludicrous and downright mean-spirited are these nerds? And they want someone to take them seriously. Even their prayer is sin. And the longer and the more persistently stubborn someone opts to be in holding onto these unclean spirits, the more insistent that someone determines to be in defending the wickedness of that exclusionary little club of scurrilous nincompoops, then the longer it will be before we can "Behold how good and how pleasant it is for sisters and brothers to dwell together in unity." And that does not mean everyone living in one house while other houses stand empty awaiting a cache of smuggled ganja.
I cannot predict how it should be or how it will be or how it won't be. I am, however, absolutely confident that when people genuinely love one another, then they can solve any problems which may arise with ease and minimal effort. You cannot condemn someone that you love! Leave those weighty matters to God. We can resist any evil behavior so that it does not enter into our own realm or action, but we must always be ready to forgive, especially those we know to be sojourners with us on this path whose destination leads us to a perfect praise of that perfect spirit that we have tasted of and known. Outside of this simple, realistic desire to achieve this acceptable demeanor, all else results in vanity and vexation of the spirit.
That was a pretty long-winded dissertation about a subject that is so long in the past. See what your short note to me inspired. And believe me, I really had to restrain myself lest a more scathing analysis of our collective present condition had poured forth.
This past summer was noteworthy to me because of some very nice encounters that Judy was fortunate enough to experience. She thoroughly enjoyed each one and realizes how uplifting the special bond is between all of these old characters.
Over the 4th of July she went up to Billie's and Pop's house with Jane Swanson and Irene (Chuck's wife). Gary and Eileen were there and Bobby. Sweet reminiscing and a touch of spontaneous praise.
Nate and Cynthia and Marvin and Andy visited here in Iowa City and, of course, the subject was our mutual experience and the blessedness of this holy spirit that we know and love.
Jane and Joel came though Iowa with Blossom and Big Bob in tow and spent a short time together on some land that Jane has in southern Iowa. Plenty of kids, Rich Cone, and a few other folks who had experienced this spirit but were never considered a part of the fellowship because they didn't have Keith's sanction. They didn't even know him, but are a part of that spirit family nonetheless. Plenty of stories and updates always accompany each of these folks about other of the brothers and sisters whom we may not have been fortunate enough to see just yet. All are languishing, whether they realize it or not, for the company of their spiritual sibblings. All are languishing to see the saints and to harmonize with others of this limitless family of Ivy's offspring. All await, whether consciously or subconsciously, for the fullfillment of that promise that we heard when first we saw the light.
Samson claims, via Nate and Cindy, that he should be the elder who is heir to whatever remains of the skeletal bones of the Coptic and that he wants the St. Thomas property only to have a place for the brothers and sisters to congregate when and if they are ever moved to do such a thing. :-) I can only speak for myself. I have everything that I had hoped for when I first heard this blessed promise. I can actually sing psalms and I love to do it even though at present it is an exercise I perform alone. If this is my sole inheritance, I know that I am blessed. I have the armaments to carry me through any battle from both enemies within and enemies without. I remember Samson as a real jovial and uplifting character at certain times. When he started his routine about Mr. Mach-a-vah come from afar riding on his pimbacarry he could certainly entertain anyone. His rendition of "From Greenland's Icy Mountains" is truly divine. His long-suffering is not forgotten. But then, as with all of us, there are certain aspects of his personality that must be left behind because we all know that "You cannot get to Zion with a carnal mind."
In any event, we march on to tomorrow. Who can say what it will bring? We maintain our individual hopes. We know, and God certainly knows, what it is that we truly hope for.
If I have provided you with a little food for your spirit to process, then I am glad. If not, then I am almost as glad. I know that your hope is a blessed hope simply from the things which you say and my limited knowledge of your activities.
I can see good in each of the oldtime sisters and brothers. I sincerely long to see each one of them and to probe the regions of Zion that we have journeyed to in times post. I suspect that we are all a bit more familiar with the surroundings this time around and will not get lost so easily.
When Judy was with Gary and the rest that I previously mentioned at Billie's place near Chicago last summer, Gary reminisced about a recent moment that he had spent with Tommy and some others in Miami. He said something like, "If Tommy is ever released from the feds ominous threat of another trial that 'all hell will break loose'," meaning that "Bro. Louv" will somehow resurrect into the awesome reviver of the Coptic legacy. I say Tommy is not going to bust even a single grape until he acknowledges the Vanity Fair of the whole Coptic episode and refreshes his memory concerning the enormous vitality that he was infused with by Ivy in the very beginning. He must stop pretending to be the Apostle Paul or Brother Louv and just be content with being Brother Tommy who, in reality, is one of the most lovely and lovable creatures of all time.
Cliff sent a message via E-mail to Carl asking the rhetorical question, "What happened to the brethren?" If anyone has even the slightest comprehension concerning what really happened to the sisters and the brothers, I suspect it would be old Cliff. How ironic that Tommy and Cliff have been within a few miles of each other for over 10 years and each has their own reasons for remaining aloof. I know them both quite well and love each for his stubborn faithlessness. Come on down, boys and girls, there is no difference here. I love the memory of each, for that is all that I have.
I remain, then, the old goat who has lost his bleat, -- Jim