My Odyssey Through the Underground Press
by Michael Kindman
in: Voices from the Underground: Insider Histories
Kindman was the founder, in December 1965, of The Paper, East Lansing, Michigan's first underground paper and one of the first five members of Underground Press Syndicate. In early 1968 he joined the staff of Avatar, in Boston, unaware that the large, experimental commune that controlled the paper was a charismatic cult centered on a former-musician-turned-guru named Mel Lyman, whose psychic hold over his followers was then being strengthened and intensified by means of various confrontations and loyalty tests. Five years later, Kindman fled the commune's rural outpost in Kansas after another of many violent confrontations with irrational policy decisions over which he felt helpless, and made his way to Palo Alto, California, to recover from the earlier traumas. There, he became active in the budding men's movement and on another community-based newspaper, the Grapevine. Later, in San Francisco, he was a home-remodeling contractor, a key activist in a gay men's pagan spiritual network, and a student. Using writing as a means of self-discovery, Kindman wrote the following story in part to try to make sense of what happened to him and why. He died, from AIDS, on November 22, 1991, two months after it was completed.
1. Moving to the Future 390-392 2. A Little Piece of History in the Front Yard 392-394 3. Settling In 394-399 4. on Avatar No. 22 399-402 5. on Avatar No. 24 402-404 6. Time to Get a Life 404-409 7. on American Avatar No. 1 409-412 8. on American Avatar No. 2 412-416 9. on American Avatar No. 3 417-418 10. A Test of Faith 418-423 11. on American Avatar No. 4 423-427 12. Find a Niche and Fill It 427-429 13. on Robert Levey's "Fort Hill" article 429-434 14. Moving On 434-440 15. On the Cover of Rolling Stone 440-442 16. News From Home 454-455
In September 1963, Michael Kindman entered Michigan State University, eager about the possibilities that awaited him as one of nearly two hundred honors students from around the country who had been awarded National Merit Scholarships, underwritten by MSU and usable only there. Together, they represented by far the largest group of Merit Scholars in any school's freshman class. At MSU? The nation's first agricultural land grant college? Two years later, he founded The Paper, East Lansing's first underground newspaper and one of the first five members of Underground Press Syndicate. In early 1968, he joined the staff of Boston's Avatar, unaware that the large, experimental commune that controlled the paper was a charismatic cult centered on a former-musician-turned-guru named Mel Lyman, whose psychic hold over his followers was then being strengthened and intensified by means of various confrontations and loyalty tests. Five years later, Kindman fled the commune's rural outpost in Kansas and headed west. When Kindman wrote this important journey into self-discovery, he was living in San Francisco, where he was a home-remodeling contractor, a key activist in a gay men's pagan spiritual network, a student, and a person with AIDS. He died peacefully on November 22, 1991.
found at: http://www.bookzen.com/books/0000095tc.html
Review by Jim Kepner:
Michael Kindman's almost book-length piece, "My Odyssey Through the Underground Press," traces his days with a series of underground papers starting with his 1965 founding of The Paper in East Lansing, Michigan, while still an undergraduate, to his work with Grapevine, a Palo Alto newspaper, years later. In between and afterwords, his first agonizing efforts at coming out; his long humiliating entrapment in Mel Lyman's fascistic Avatar cult in Boston and elsewhere; his career as a home-remodeling contractor; and his fining liberation in the Men's Movement and with the Radical Faeries are dealt with in passionate and often poignant detail. (Kindman died of AIDS two months after this piece was completed, and the press that printed Voices was named after the faerie name he gave himself: Mica.)