I need to explain now, some of the philosophies that would develop over the next 15 years.
It had never been clear to me the reasons why my two marriages broke up the way they did. It was seven years before I was told by Toni that the first marriage broke up partly because of an indiscretion with my old friend Will. That was all it was, just a short affair. Neither one of them wanted it to be anything lasting. It almost ruined them both. Will left town as a transient printer until it all blew over. Toni became a nervous wreck and quit going to church and couldn’t discuss her needs with anyone. I think I could have forgiven her but she never asked. She was also very young. She also needed to flex her capabilities. She entered Civil Service and became a very capable administrator of Navy supply depots. She was one of the last people out of Subic Bay, Philippines when the base was shut down because of the volcano eruption. She didn’t need to be the wife of a successful man, she needed to be successful herself. Being a good mother was not her strong suite, and that was who she was.
Jane on the other hand needed to be rescued, both her and her children. Things went well at first and then she became comfortable. Now here is where fuzzy reality comes in. I felt like I was the victim of a woman gone crazy. She became disrespectful and violent. She abused my daughter and then abused me.
I began to formulate a theory of a pattern of behavior that said women go through seven year cycles like they go through 28 day cycles and you have to be prepared to weather the seventh year to have a long marriage. I got the idea from the concept of the seven year itch. Other people noticed the phenomenon and gave it a name. Mid-life crisis was only one of those cycles. People in the ‘70s and ‘80s began to calculate biorhythms to try to explain how things happen in cycles.
Recent studies have tried to understand these cycles and lay out a hypothesis that the natural woman, that is; one with no religious or societal pattern to adhere to, would seek out a male to mate with and keep him around for support during pregnancy and early infant nursing. At the weaning or point when child care did not occupy her, she would seek out another male to mate with to expand the gene pool of her immediate family. Males were willing to cooperate with this arrangement and perpetuate the practice.
That reminded me of a scripture “For the natural man is an enemy to God, and has been from the fall of Adam, and will be, forever and ever, unless he yields to the enticings of the Holy Spirit...” Book of Mormon, Mosiah 3:19.
Without the teachings of the Church and society, the things that I had been trying to make sense of were a pattern of serial polygamy, or the natural man (and woman).
I and some people I grew up with, are descendants of polygamous marriages. I don’t mean promiscuous relationships. I mean, they seriously took upon themselves to care for a larger family than the nuclear family we recognize today. I have read their journals and they testify to the necessity and success of their marriages in very trying times. In other words, it was a positive experience and all the family members loved each other and helped each other through childbirth and all aspects of raising a family and surviving the elements of the old west. I was deeply moved by their writings.
Could it be possible in an enlightened age to have loving relationships with more than one person? I formulated what I called the ‘one and only true love syndrome’; which meant that when a person discovered another person they loved, they had to figure out how to dispose of the one they had, very much like the praying mantis female biting the head off the male she just mated with. Society seemed to work like that. We know that jealousy is a very destructive trait but what has anybody done about that? It is not just a problem with heterosexual people. I have known of murders among the lesbian and gay people of our day over jealousies, control, and ownership of loved ones.
My eyes were opened when I decided to deal with Will and Jane. So, they loved each other. Was that any reason to break up a marriage and disrupt three children in my family and a wife and daughter in Will's family? Will and I talked to each other like God- fearing gentlemen and decided between ourselves to cool it. I could have continued with Jane and forgiven her. I really enjoyed being with her most of the time, she just had these spells. Jane didn’t get it. A woman can’t have two lovers. She has to dispose of the old one. Actually, Will was much older than I and I thought I would be the best long shot relationship investment. In the end, she got her way. I was also not ready to admit for almost twenty years afterwards how much I had contributed to her unhappiness.
I had some contact with the Sexual Freedom League in Los Angeles while seeking some Utopian movement that could give meaning to life, but discovered that they were not oriented to that but just enjoyed nudity and freaking straight people out for the most part.
There was a group called Family Synergy that was into committed multiple relationships and I met some long-term friends who experimented with corporate families; which is a euphemism for polygamy, but not related to the Mormon experience. I only knew of one family that was able to stick with it to the point of raising a child to adulthood.
In my quest for Utopia, I tried to educate people into not being jealous and let my female companions know that I was not exclusive with any of them and made no secret of who the others were. Many knew each other and liked each other.
Big Linda, however; didn’t get it, although she talked the talk. She decided that Paula was not worthy and chased her through the apartment and tried to break down her door. She thought I should be flattered but I was mortified. Big Linda was also not too keen about the amount of time I spent with Sally, so I phased Big Linda out of my life. I didn’t need the stress.
I got a massage table and took some courses in Los Angeles and went to Esalen Institute in Big Sur for further training. In Big Sur, I met people like Dr. John Lilly. John Lilly was the government scientist that figured out ‘rapture of the deep’, the nitrogen narcosis experienced by deep sea divers. He also invented and promoted sensory deprivation isolation tanks for studying the mind separate from the body. He is also the man who talks to dolphins and taught the Navy how smart dolphins were. As I write this, dolphins are being used to clear mine fields in the gulf near Kuwait. He was a very interesting and accessible man and I went to his home in Malibu and used his isolation tank. Hollywood made at least two movies based on his life.
Nudity was big in California in the ‘70s. Even Venice Beach; which is a stroll down from Santa Monica Pier and popular with families and roller skaters, was made ‘clothing optional’. Black’s Beach, adjacent to the UCSD campus near San Diego, was open all the way to Torrey Pines. The best and absolutely safest area near LA was Pirate’s Cove, just a climb over the rocks from the south end of Zuma Beach, near Malibu. There were not many prudes living at Oakwood Garden Apartments but being in mid-LA you could not just walk around in the buff at the pool, in the daytime, anyway. From time to time someone would call out, “Hey, who wants to go to Pirate’s Cove?”
Sometimes as many as 20 would respond and a social event was set in action.
Nudism is an interesting social phenomenon. Once someone says it is okay, then people just take off their clothes. The problem is not in being naked, it is offending someone who doesn’t want you to be naked. For some reason, people are more social and open when the whole crowd is nude than when some or all of them are clothed. Nobody hits on a nude person. It is not proper. It seems to be okay to hit on a clothed person when you are clothed. Go figure.
Esalen, in Big Sur, is clothing optional except in the dining room. There are hot mineral baths and a beautiful sunning pool overlooking the cliffs 100 feet over the ocean. It was there that I saw a woman roofer clad only in a nail apron installing shingles on one of the bungalows. It shattered a lot of stereotypes for me that day.
We played mind games in the ‘70s. One of the games was conducted by Henry Fields, a pseudo-therapist, who got single people together to do group therapy for the fun of it. The object of the game was to defend yourself with everyone else picking on you. You would be criticized for a variety of traits and were supposed to learn something about yourself for self improvement. Acting students loved it and were addicted to the adrenaline rush they got playing roles that other people would catch them at. It was a tough game and many people could only stand one experience. In some ways it was like Survivor.
I took Henry Fields to the
Castle and introduced him to Sally. He liked them both and spent a lot
with Sally and decided that he really liked mentalism and mindreading;
which was not too far from what he was doing with the game. I taught
magic to take the test and he became a member of the Magic Castle. He
to create a great many mind reading effects and publish them in Bascom
Jones’s Magik, a publication
Even though Sally and I had many other love interests we enjoyed each other and decided to live jointly in an odd couples apartment in West Hollywood. It worked out well except for the times she had relatives visit and then she became very nervous and paranoid. I could understand that. Who could explain the situation and make it sound acceptable to a relative?