MEL LYMAN- GODS OWN STORY
©1989 Aes-Nihil Prod.
compiled - AES-NIHIL - written - LAURA WHITTCOMB
Over populated and over proselytized, the Victorian tenaments which housed the love generation's oscillating ant hills began to erode as quickly as the illusion did.
The pavements echoed the nefarious demise. The blithesome children who greeted the Haight with flowers were transformed overnight into street smart hustlers. The park decayed and rotted with the discarded remnants of the rampant youthquake. Those left behind in the exodus at summer's end desperately began anesthetizing themselves from the impending San Francisco cold and especially, the confusion at hand.
The fulfilled gaze of each and every face became a convoluted void of expression. The whitewashed euphoria of frying on acid faded away. All that was left was paranoia, phobia end frustration in its footsteps. Hate would be the last turned on revelation.
The summer of love transformed all too soon into the winter of hate. As the summer closed a locally distributed paper, Avatar wrote under the inscription "T0 ALL WHO WOULD KN0W"....................
"The Oracle continues to recruit for this summer's Human Shit In. Kids are starving on the street. Minds and bodies are being maimed as we watch, a scale model of Vietnam."
Senses that were expanded into oblivion in the quest for "Understanding the Being", were now left with a more soul searching question than before.
Now someone had to have an answer.
Propoganda breeds on disillusion. Disillusion is the remnant of a used up soul only to be remedied by a saviour.
That Autumn saviours were in demand; pimps, pushers, scientologists, Robert DeGrimston Yin, Yang and Zen. Charles Manson found a family claiming, "In love there is no wrong". Hippy missionaries claimed, "Jesus Loves You", while the pagan High Priest, Anton LaVey coined the new age by "Satan Wants You!"
Anyone who posed an answer to a perennial question was a god for a day. Find your saviour and get out of town fast.
Later, Avatar's TO ALL WHO WOULD KNOW column introduced its founder and doyen, Mel Lyman. He introduced himself as, "I am the truth and I speak the truth. In all humility I tell you that I am the greatest man in the world and it does not trouble me in the least. I am going to attack everything you believe in, everything you cling to. I am going to shed light on your dark truths".
The column preceded to attack the fundamental belief of the Aquarian Age, that of universal love. "Love doesn't exist only in rare fleeting moments".
"Love is something you BECOME after there is no more YOU.. through complete sacrifice of the personality... giving up everything you want for yourself. All these weaklings who cling to God for support are just putting off their own crucifixions. And you must die to be reborn.'
In this manner Mel Lyman offered the best omnipresent mindfuck, regeneration for the price of self sacrifice. Manson called it 'losing the ego' or 'cease to exist'. Baptists translate it to being reborn. Either way breaking oneself down to be built up again wasn't hard for these children. They were already broken.
A saviour was born and through Avatar he was heard. Mel would later claim to be a God and the broken souls believed.
Mel who was one of the early scene stealers at Tim Leary's Newton center, had collected a following of travelling beatniks and passerbies who were engrossed by his demiurgic simplicity. It was here that Bruce Conner had given him the idea to be a modern day self proclaimed God. Mel readily took on the role, perhaps a method actor, to some degree he had convinced himself.
He began playing harmonica for Jim Kweskin's Jug band and secured himself as a living legend at The Newport Folk Festival when he deliberated a 30 minute solo performance of Rock of Ages. This Mel explained after he virtually cleared out an entire stadium was a request from God. But Mel was God? He was, but it came in the form of a dual nature.
By now he had collected a family, and recruited more as he proposed his communal idea for a housing site in the middle of Boston's black ghetto, Roxburry. The site was called Fort Hill, Mel as most gods do, served as head of the household. The world would later see this as a fascist voice of conscience and the Lyman family would answer through the medium of Avatar.
Mel began to seduce the nations underground press with his ordinariness, the guy from next door press making a galactic claim. When a subscriber wrote in professing his adamant faith in the mission of Mel the reply would be.........."
"Shouldn't be so hard for you to take, imagine how I feel." Betcha never thought it would happen like this did ya? No turnin water to wine and raising the dead this trip, just gonna tell it like it is."
Manson convinced his family that "No sense makes sense". Lyman preyed on that same confusion but deliberated reason. His unassuming manner, monotonous tone and prosaic jargon would generally be dismissed as dull. Those induced by mind expanders found it all encompassing.
He would be seen either as a mind control figure or a righteous guru. Those who responded like the latter became a routine component of a ritual later to be printed up in Avatar.......
Disciple But What Am I
Master You Are A Question
Diciple Then What Are You
Master I Am An Answer
Mel had answers and his foundations stemmed from the heartbeat of cheasy Americana. Art is personal therefore it is universal. Everything from Mel's scatalogic obcessions to homophobic uneasiness, and worminess in his wholesome love affairs made this man the perfect god. God of the garden variety in the midst of a decade turned upside down. His art was to share a peice of everyone's inner torment and isolation. His personal became their universe.
He began to loathe hippiedom, the very foundation he was a part of. "You're all too full of dope and pride to know whats good for you anymore. Tim Leary's backing out on the generation he turned on. You're slogans are empty."
Mel passing through Los Angeles in 1964 wrote........
His obcession with the components and mobilization of feacle material was expressed from a Bowery loft in late October of that year................
His response to a young man's fear of his own homosexuality was adressed in his column, the boy entitled King Fag.................
No one was entirely sure where Mel Lyman had come from. Whatever judgement could be agreed he was more worldly than he seemed. Mel would explain he was not of this world. Alas the best saviours are always sent down . Aren't they.
His purpose on earth was explained in one of his 2 books, Autobiography of A World Saviour. He was ordained by his superiors to carry a mission out on planet earth. It was "necessary to put forth a special effort to redeem the planet as it had grown so accustomed to existing at this lower vibration".
He was transported to Earth where a body was being prepared for me to inhabit" Finding humans a "vulgar sort" his manifested childhood was spent travelling back and forth between our world and the milky way "playing interplanetary hooky".
Then his superiors ordered him to stay put untill his task was achieved. This would never be accomplished. In 1972 Rolling Stone Magazine published a three part front cover series on this missionary. The article was entitled Mel Lyman and The Holy Siege of America. The Lyman Family to some degree served as a scapegoat for a publisher whose mother had donated a great part of his inheritance to some unworthy commune. John Werner wanted to slander all prospective hippy cults and by commisioning David Felton to do the job, the Lyman clan were the perfect lethal weapon.
Mel was further exposed in the book Mindfuckers as a viscious dictator who wanted to control the American underground and later her public entireity. He was accused of trying to take over by force radio stations, publishing firms and locally distributed papers on a national level.
The article was based on a quote Jim Kweskin made in San Francisco, "The only differance between us and the Manson Family is that we don't go around preaching peace & love & haven't killed anyone, yet." The basis of this statement was predominantly humor, however their was a preoccupation with the Manson clan that stretched from the very beginning. Charlies picture hung in the Fort Hill study room and for some time Squeaky Fromme regularly visited and even stayed for short lengths of time at the Lyman LA home.
A correspondence through letters between Charlie and Mel was carried out for a short space of time. Although Manson doctrines were based around garbage runs and Mels were building and maintaining headquarters throughout the country, the terms they had for spirtual betterment mirrored each other even though they were under the guise of Cane and Able. Accusations could be based on anything from similar racist territorial defense plans to violent and coercive attepts by the two families to get either of their leader's word out.
(The Lyman familly took measures to implement an armed defense plan as headed arguments arose with Fort Hill's neighbouring black ghetto and Manson was of course imprisoned on the grounds he was attempting to catalyze a race war. Both families had substantially threatened and supposedly attempted murder, in the case of Manson and Melcher, parties in the music and publishing industries.)
All this to get each leaders "messages" out to the public. Manson through his music and Lyman through his writings.
However, the true parallel was not so much in their unconventional intentions but rather, the holy trinity they shared between good and evil and the duality of the two. Unconsciously everyone w was God and the Devil, for together Satan and Christ were in everyone.
Mel was Christ and Charlie Satan, only because they were the only ones who were conscious of this. However, like Christ and Satan they were both metaphorically crucified and sent to hell.
Mel once said "Anything that isn't created out of the depths of loneliness is not a creation, only a production, and has no soul to sustain it."
Perhaps Manson in his imprisoned solitary existence would now be able to unveil his true genius through his letters to Mel.
In May of 69' Avatar's Letters To The Editor Column wrote:Dear Mel,Three years later Mel disappeared. The Lyman family shut their doors and denied their existence to the world that inquired. They would later claim their leader was dead. It wasnt important that a body or death certificate was never certably found. God was dead and that was all that mattered.
I am suprised to find myself so relieved and delighted that you have declared yourself Christ- though I knew it was coming I did not realize how much I needed it.
When you declared yourself World saviour, that makes me realize how much you have opened yourself to me, and committed yourself to my salvation.