Posts Tagged ‘Bruce Barnes’

by James C. Stephens


Monday, December 31, 1979

Liz went to work, got off early, went shopping, both of us grouchy and very touchy. Fixed beautiful dinner for friends. Liz very sick, bleeding worsened. Called Dr. Stevens. Sent Liz to bed. Checked often, 12:00, 2:30, 4:30, 8:30 better. Stayed in bed all day on the first.

Dinner on New Year’s Day evening was really nice. Bob Rafkin and Debra, Judy Gold, Mike Roquemore, Kathy Schindler, Chris Scott and Madelyn, Steve and Ronalee Haggard, Bruce Barnes and Maggie DeLux, Liz and I.  We had mushroom soup, Salad, Chicken, Carrots and Green Beans with Bechamel Sauce, Baked Apples in Butter, Rice, and Wine. Highlights, “carrots ala Debra,” “Tarot with Kate,” “Cats like them little mousie’s,” and games.

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!

And so ends the decade of the 70’s.

A decade of growth

A decade of increased complexity.

A decade of terrorism.

A decade of energy consciousness.

A decade of the new consciousness.

But a decade of life

and a brightening of a light that shall

bring peace to the world

and a realization of the small scale of this planet.

The landing on the moon.

A decade of divorce, yet a spawning of two marriages in our family.

“Winter is over and spring is here, and sunshine is within our hearts.” ~Daisaku Ikeda.

Welcome to the 80’s!

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A brief look back at the seventies.

 

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by James C. Stephens


Tuesday, November 27, 1979

Frustration would have been yesterday’s caption on my diary if I had written it. No doubt about it. Yet this morning I again am in contact with that tremendous world of conviction, confidence and freshness. How silly I am at time, or how willy nilly life is. I’ve been swayed by at least a couple of the eight winds. Yet I feel like a young sapling able to learn a lesson from the wind.

It is not the beautiful curtains, yard, paintings on the wall that makes a person happy. Yesterday I felt closed in by my environment, desirous of escaping. This morning again I feel boundless, free as the wind, as fresh as the sun in the new day. As I look up the sun greeted me with memories of Nichiren. The sky is dark and overcast yet the sun manages to burn through. It is never defeated, but burns even more brightly against the gloomy skies. I too am determined to become a beacon for all.

A great man is not held back by his own preconceptions, but can change and alter his course when he recognizes a better path.

I love my parents. I love my father. Yet he does not know what he desires to do. I must be firm. To become wealthy is not to pursue wealth. Rather it is a spiritual state. On Sado Nichiren declared even in the midst of suffering that he was the happiest man or the richest man in Japan.

Starting the first of the year I will start my business. However it will not be a conventional start. First, I desire to earn money for the propagation of Buddhism. It has been my excuse in the past not to give gokuyo because I didn’t know where it went as far as NSA. This was understandable. What is regrettable is my failure to see that the temple is a direct link to Nichiren Daishonin and that I have failed to lend my support. I (we) will begin as soon as possible.

I feel no real negativity towards NSA as I did in the past, however at present I feel NST is more open and understandable to myself. The layman’s organization is in a period of flux.

I am convinced 1980 is going to be challenging beyond my expectations. I am also determined to see my effort bear fruit this year (1980).

Tuesday, December 4, 1979

Record High for this date of 91 degrees.

Jean Claude KillyRon called tonight from Bend. He and Pam are doing fine. Ron is pretty busy with coordinating his race program at Bachelor. He sounds quite happy. I’m so glad things are going better for him. He said he’s the best skier on the mountain. He’s already beat the new Frenchman in a series of races. (The Frenchman was on the French “B” team). Ron and I talked about his attitude towards his racers. He said many will never move on to competitive careers so it is a program helping kids build their character. He however does have some pretty hot material. A couple of his guys are at the National Camp at Gunnison, Colorado this week. Ron also said there is so much ski politics up there, but for the most part he stays out of them. He is now also the Rossignol On the Hill Rep.

(Liz) Sweets got her hair cut today. At first it was hard to get used to, but now I like it. Basically, all I have been up to the last several days are drafting projects. (When people ask why my printing is so neat, I tell them mechanical drafting and hours and hours of practice and the excellent teaching of Neil Weikel).

Liz has been having some stomach type problems. Hasn’t had her period recently. Pregnant? Who knows?

Sweets and I went to Bodhi Tree Bookstore Friday night. Picked up a few good finds. Sacred Books of the East, Vol. XXXV and XXVI: Questions of King Milinda; Korzebsky: Science and Sanity; Watts, Psychotherapy East and West, Wisdom of Insecurity and last but not least the Kama sutra.

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“X” called Monday night. Talked about movement. Idea of a support group~West Coast Movement with about 250-350 supporters. Network-Gadfly important. Let’s get started.

Talked to Scott Ferguson-receptive of the idea. Ken Tapola-definite yes. Out of Navy now working at Dunlop as a machinist.

Worried about “X.” I’m afraid he’s not tackling his own personal life and goals. This could be dangerous for him and his family. I sincerely hope he is not just avoiding his own reality. I’m just concerned as a friend.

Thought about Walter Moeck tonight. He used to be the Brass Band conductor. Mike Lisagor gave him a terrible time. I will never forgive him for that. Must write Walter a letter! (Walter Moeck was the summer conductor of the Birmingham Philharmonic Orchestra and was my clarinet teacher. He was strict, but kind. May he rest in peace).

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Monday, December 17, 1979

Hi Diary! How are you this fine day! I hope you’re well rested and happy.

Last week I took Liz to the Doctor. Gary said she wasn’t pregnant as of yet, but gave her a week and said to bring in an urine specimen and they’d run another test. Since the day of the test she hasn’t been feeling nauseated. I’m happy for that is a lousy feeling.

Saturday night we had a Christmas party and you know all the preparation that takes. Liz made over 100 invites and I framed pictures, helped clean the house, etc., etc., etc.

Liz bakes lots of cookies (They were excellent by the way and made a superb spaghetti. There was lot of food and a whole ton of people.

People starting arriving around 4:00. First, Adrianna, Liz’s sister. She’s such a big help! She helped out tremendously. Next around 5:30, X. He started out drunk and as the night wore grew intolerable for many of the guests. He is quite an unusual character. Harmless, but with a build of 6’5″ and with a laugh so loud you’d better put up shoring around your house before he comes over. In any case the party was an interesting and festive experience nonetheless. I’ll get this out now. We had been working on an idea together as far as what can be done to help support the organization. He has been pushing to form a support group of 200-350 people who can offer suggestions to the Executive planning board from an organized power group. I had my reservations. #1. I have and still question X’s true intent at this point. I do not get the true feeling he is committed to this serious goal. I feel, and this is my intuitive feeling, that he is using the organization as an escape from his own reality. His situation at home is not conducive to running a reform movement. His wife is not well, finances are in really bad shape, they have children, beautiful at that, and he has several misconceptions about the faith. His Gongyo is very poor, health poor and drinking a severe problem. Now this is not all. His business dealings with people has left several people in highly critical situations. His construction business left one family without a kitchen, etc. and near a divorce after spending $15,000. He is a man of talk, not action. It is the last party we can afford him to attend. It is not however the end of our friendship. He needs support and what I can offer, I will. Besides him; Liz and I feel very much love towards his wife who is a tremendous women of the highest caliber. She is under much stress at present and her health is poor. I wish her all the best.

Bob Rafkin stopped by before work and dropped off a pie which was really nice of him. We talked briefly. His career is doing better once again. His divorce proceedings will occur in February.

Others who made it: Darlene Benson, Steve and Ronalee Haggard, Chris Scott, sure was good to see him, he was hobbling on a cane, having trouble with the knee he hurt in Rugby. He wanted to know what was happening with the literary group. I told him everyone but me sort of petered out. He’s still interested, so we’ll start again soon. He said his house could also facilitate such a meeting.

Vincent Wong, Michael Roquemore (we had a good chat and he had a fine talk with Linda Valles, his former roommate for many years); Michael also expressed an interest in Judy. I forgot to mention Steve H remarked on my Alan Watts books and his own interest in Zen Buddhism. I found this to be exciting. Steve and Ronalee and Liz and I get along well together and have a good relationship. Steve and I played racquetball week before last. It was my first time and I did quite well. Last week I spent many hours drafting away. I worked through one night and didn’t get to sleep until 9:30 AM.

Who else came? Lets’s see, there was Jeff Silver, Linda Dekowski-very nice gal who is a friend of Jeff’s, Devorah Sorrell, Pat Kremer, Guy Boudoin, Katie Newman-we talked business-she’s a wonderful woman. Bruce Barnes and Maggie DeLux-they’re engaged to be married, Ric and Bethany Coleman, Les Steinberg and his mother Lillian, Kelly, Shawna, Judy Gold and Glen-we had a great talk and it was so nice to see her. Glen is really jealous, so we really had no time to talk. Beth Minton and her boyfriend Michael came by, Karen Okata and her friend, Kate and her brother Randy Schindler; Ford Watson brought over a whole lot of food, very generous of him, Dion Dow and Nancy, Steve Seigal, Allan, Ron Kolman, Bobbie and Joey Gluskin, Alice and Sully, Jane Murad, Brent Wilson, Jason and Mary Jane Kovatch, Ed Nakata, Michael Hayes, Linda and Victor Valles and friend Sal, Thomas and Zadith Fresquez, Russ Isobe, John DeGomez, and Donald Hodges.

I stayed up til 3:30 talking with Jeff, Linda, Katie, Pat, Allen and Steve Seigal. Then from 3:30 to 6:30 cleaned up the house to surprise Sweets who’d retired to bed. We slept most of the day and enjoyed every moment of it.

Sunday evening we went out to a Moroccan Restaurant called Dharma Greg. It was a gathering with Les and Jeanette and her friends, Ric and Bethany, Elaine Geeler and her lawyer friend. Food was nowhere as good as at the Moon of Tunise and the atmosphere was less than comfortable-I suppose it was also the company. We did not enjoy ourselves quite frankly.

I’ve been listening to some really funny W.C. Fields cuts and also to some famous bloopers, they’re great!

Anyway, Goodnight.

 

by James C. Stephens


November 18, 1979 

 File1985
“Mom and Sully took Liz and I to our first Laker’s game today, and what a first time! Sully knows the owner of the Phoenix Suns Richard Block and Richard Block quite often gives Sully his tickets. Our four seats were right on the court. The Lakers played the Indiana Pacers. Today was evidently one of the Laker Girl’s (cheerleaders) first debutes. We watched Kareem Abdul Jabar and Magic Johnson, Nixon, Wilkes, etc., play some fancy ball. It was great entertainment, and I was so happy to watch Liz yelling and enjoying herself.

Magic Johnson, Kareem Abdul Jabaar

We all had a drink in the Forum Club also. Definitely a nice benefit of being invited. Afterwards Sully and Mom took Liz and I out to dinner at Petracelli’s restaurant on Sepulveda. Pretty good food. Did you know that Sully was raised in a family of 22 children? Unreal! When Sully said he had dozens of brothers he wasn’t kidding. His brother died last year at the age of 93. Sully will be 61 on Wednesday, November 21st.

Liz and I also were heir to two tickets to a Charity dinner and dance at General Lee’s in Chinatown given by the Young Chinese Women’s Association. Katie Newman couldn’t make it so she called and asked us if we would like to go. Sure. It was a very nice occasion, nine course meal (very, very tasty at that) and Liz and I got to do a little disco dancing. Afterwards we dropped by Bruce’s on Shoreline. He announced to us his engagement to Maggie DeLux, super nice gal.

Saturday, Liz, Vincent, Kirk (Cal Tech grad student) and I went to the Spa. Kirk showed us more about how to use the weight machines than any instructor ever had.

Friday night was Liz’s last night at Grandview GTE school for equipment repair, so I checked out Santa Monica Group meeting. Gave Pat Shaw a ride. The meeting was a complete farce. Also saw and met this Tim (Thomas) Payne from North Hollywood. His slide show on Buddhism was degrading and very sloppy. I was not impressed. The gent can not take criticism, even constructive at that. Liz and I went out afterwards to the Magic Pan. Food about a 3.

Saturday night we witnessed a crime. Mexicans in a beige Dodge van ahead of us got out and batted out all the windows of a Toyota and drove away. I, well we went through a big dilemma of whether to report it or not since we did not get the license number. At first we feared reprisal (we lived directly across the street where we would normally have turned into our driveway, but drove on past so they did not associate our green Westfalia VW quite recognizable with our address as witnesses), but realized that you couldn’t allow fear to run or ruin one’s life. Sort of like the Nazguls, the ringwraiths in Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings. It is not fair to the criminals to let them get a way with thinking life is so simple. Also cause and effect. Hopefully someday if we need protection we will be repaid by the universe. Not that we expect it. I now realize the fear of reprisal syndrome you hear New Yorker’s talk of. It is definitely a battle of justice and evil. One that takes courage to fight. However, even though we reported the crime I believe the victim’s probably did not. It seems it is an in-house thing between Mexicans. (In retrospect, I could be horribly wrong). It’s a shame their dealings tend to be so violent. I dare say it will be a cold day in hell before you find me hanging around places like East L.A. Unfortunately gang violence is now at our back door literally.

(Note: Well, that all changed when I became a Christian. I spent time in Watts with an ex Hell’s Angel arms dealer “Wolf” (Steve Johnson) at a deserted crack house restoring it for recovering addicts, and led Julian my neighbor, who used to be a hit man for the Mexican Mafia to the LORD. He had tried to drown his troubles in the bottle, and was miraculously saved, filled with the Holy Spirit and sober for the first time he could remember. His family history was traced back to Pancho Villa, the notorious bandito. When he passed away, it was requested I assist in his funeral service in East LA. I absolutely loved the guy. When our family suffered a retaliatory eviction, he said, “Do you want me to burn the place down? I will.’ I told him, no, as Christians we must forgive, but I appreciate your loyalty. He did a lot of excellent work on our home and furniture).

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The Iranian situation is a sad disgrace to the human race. A “religious” leader Ayatollah Khomeini  endorsing international blackmail and the takeover of a U.S. Embassy in Iran. It is unfortunate we have the Shah of Iran in our country, but the manner in which the Iranians have chosen to handle the situation is terrorist and unforgivable. It is the action of an irrational animal and may the universe see the safety of the American hostages. Iranians by the 100’s of thousands have been demonstrating against the U.S. Government and are now emphasizing that it is not against American citizens, but the American Government. Unfortunately their program doesn’t fit, since it is American citizens that are being held hostage. I can understand their hate of the Shah, but Jesus, what terrible tactics. We shall not back down and we shall not forget. The Iranians are acting like barbarians. What a terrible name they are making for good Iranians around the world.

Goodnight.

P.S. Couple of other items-Aunt Lil, Bel and Doris here from Israel. Liz, Adri, and I had dinner Friday in October with them. Very nice meeting them. They love Adri and LIz very much and we spent a great deal of time talking about past experiences. I was fascinated.

Liz and I made a tape the following day of some of her past experiences.

Had a Pot Luck Discussion meeting at our house. Bob Rafkin and Debra, Scott and Michele, Vincent, Lydia, Bruce and Maggie, Vic and Marta, Katie Newman, Mike Roquemore, Darlene Benson, Liz and I.

It was an interesting experience. However not much Buddhist dialogue transpired.

Vic and Marta and Eric spent the night. Vic, Marta and I had a meaningful conversation late into the night.

Had a dinner at our house for Sharon, Ruthie, Rebecca, Jane Murad, Liz, Adri and I. Okay. Sharon needs to loosen up definitely.

 

 

 

 

by James C. Stephens


Wednesday, July 4, 1979

Liz and I slept in this morning and enjoyed each other’s company. I needed it a lot. For the past two weeks we have been going bananas. I started training school for General Telephone about two weeks ago and we start class at seven each morning. So currently we are getting up early to chant, make a lunch and breakfast.

Sunday, we attended Kosenrufu Gongyo at the First Headquarters on Lincoln at 10:00. Gongyo was really invigorating, what Gary McCarty had to say was not. It seemed to pull my energy level down, maybe it was just my experience (that’s true enough) however I was not alone I found out later. Afterwards we had a Chapter Open Forum which was quite moving and cut through through the garbage. It accomplished quite a lot in the field of communication.

At 5:00 pm we had our first Literary Group meeting of 1979. It was attended by Liz, Michelle, Scott Ferguson, Chris Scott, and Bruce Barnes. The book was T.H. White’s Once and Future King.

July 9, 1979

I am the master of my own destiny.

Truthfully, I am not enjoying customer rep. training school. It is a real drain on the energy. Liz said it was the pits so I’ll see how the regular job is. One thing I know and that is I must financially progress as well as be happy with my job. Being excited about my job is very important to me. I need to be creative, as well as productive.

Friday night I went to the first team meeting. There I decided against doing the team.* My intuition says no. For the first two hours of the meeting I gave myself permission to find reasons to take the team. I was open and decided not to participate in this particular growth experience. Not to list reasons, but I feel I have not got the time to participate in such an activity. I did this in Phase I of NSA activities and although it was a valuable experience I do not wish to repeat it just to repeat it. It’s alright for people who have not had the experience. (Will continue later).

*Actualization’s Communication Team was an additional experience where one was part of a recruiting team for future workshops. One had to repeat over and over, until one was comfortable to ask for $650 for a four day Actualization’s workshop. Many other activities were involved as you were being brought into the Actualization’s inner environment.

August 1979 (no exact date)

Don’t forget Michael Roquemore, Liz and I put on a tremendous film night in Santa Monica where we screened “Ikiru” (“to live!) directed by Akira Kurosawa. The event was an Actualizations’ Review. This was during the reign of some girl after Michael Crenshaw left.

Strange how you forget names you don’t really feel impressed by. Oh it was Kim something. Unfortunately Actualizations lost one very great man, Michael Crenshaw. What a great loveable fellow.

I gave him a call in San Francisco. Left a message that we give him our love. He returned call to us. Unexpressable beauty in that human being.

The preview was held in a beautiful hall in Lincoln Park. Very successful event. We came away feeling damn wonderful.

 

James C. Stephens


Friday, June 1, 1979

Deep inner turmoil, yet a great shaft of light pierces the gloom and a tremendous and magnificent spirit emerges with power, unyielding and determined.

Relationships blooming everywhere. The literary group again lives! T.H. White’s The Once and Future King.

Les Steinberg got recharged by the workshop. Bruce is registered for June. (Bruce was my district leader and also best man at my wedding). Must help him get the money, he must experience his magnificence, so must I. I had a brief glimpse of his tonight during our conversation. Damn it is so beautiful. I am so beautiful. [JCS post note. We were taught to do affirmations, even when we didn’t feel so good about ourselves].

Nichiren Shoshu needs a tremendous amount of love and energy. We must help her feel her magnificence. Because we are her. Michael Crenshaw asked to be taught how to practice. Michael Roquemore is going through tribulations about that fact.

Liz and I are growing closer. I am feeling more whole. Forward~

Forward

Towards the Magnificence

Of Life.

Worked on the West Hollywood Newsletter with Lydia, Betty Dunn and Ric Coleman.

Wrote an article on nuclear solution and put in some awareness games.

Yesterday met Rocky’s (Mike Roquemore’s new nickname after Actualizations) friend Wendall for the first time.

Called Shawna Lianne today.

Thought about Scott Ferguson.

Thought about Judy Gold.

In fact, I will write her a note after this entry.

Talked to Manny at work today.

Last night Liz met with Cheryl Pistono. Worked on each other’s relationship. Change–for the best–Liz was holding on to dislike of Cheryl. We discussed this and she told me she has always had a hard time expressing her feelings to people. I told her to do it. She did. She told me afterwards that she now knows a different Cheryl. They hugged on departure. Of course I joined in on the festivities. I love hugging. I support my essence of course.

Good night.

12:15 am

 

by James C. Stephens


Monday, May 14, 1979

Well its back to the drawing board and studying. Los Angeles was really hot this weekend. Not only were the temperatures high, but so were tempers as gas lines grew to frustratingly long lines. Things are looking worse in Los Angeles all the time. Prices are so ridiculously high as far as real estate, one as young as our family could not possibly hope to own property or even a condominium in a reasonable area. Rents are continuing to soar over Los Angeles and in Santa Monica, the renters finally got rent control passed over all the landowner propaganda.

My birthday #28 was on Saturday and was quite enjoyable. We had a party and invited several of our friends over. Who showed up? Well there was Francis and her daughter Annie and her boyfriend Phil, Bruce Barnes, Michael Roquemore, Marshel, Kathy Schindler, Kurt, Jeff Silver, Devorah Sorrell, Pat Kremer, Steve Seigal, Chris Delisle and a friend, Barry Simon, Adrianna Lascar, Liz and I (Togo and Lyla-Katie Newman’s cats).

There were debates, games, food, booze and great conversation.

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My Dad, Carlton W. Stephens visited the memorial commemorating the loss of the crew of the USS Arizona which included one of his childhood friends who lost their lives defending the fleet during the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor in Hawaii. The date was December 7, 1941. “Because the attack happened without a declaration of war and without explicit warning, the attack on Pearl Harbor was later judged in the Tokyo Trials to be a war crime.” (note date was May 1979).

Dad arrived home from Hawaii Sunday night and evidently had a really nice time. He went to a luau and took several tours and had a party on a catamaran cruise. Also went a visited his high school buddies’ watery grave at Pearl Harbor. His friend was killed on the U.S.S. Arizona.

Sunday afternoon Liz and I went to Ocean Park beach with Jeff Silver, Danny, Linda Dekowski, and had a lot of fun cooling off in the ocean. Really enjoyed myself with my wife immensely. We are getting much closer. I pray we have a long life together. She is a great woman and very liberated from a lot of bull. I’m learning a great deal from her.

This morning Dad and I went out to breakfast. Prior to breakfast I told him that I thought it  not befitting of him to sink to the levels of bickering our landlady and neighbor have fallen to. I told him I thought it unbecoming to his beautiful nature. We had a nice talk. We also talked about Oregon.

I can’t seem to keep a move out of my blood. In a sense I’m sick of L.A. and in another I’m L.A. That’s why Liz and I are planning our August vacation up the coast. I can’t wait. I must get some literature about the various areas and write some letters to some friends about arrangements when we arrive.

Wednesday night Liz, Adrianna and I went out for Liz’s birthday at a family Yugoslavian restaurant on Fairfax Blvd. We had a delightful meal and i had brought a fresh fruit type cake and brought it in the back door after we arrived. Liz was surprised as the family brought out the cake and sang happy birthday to Liz. It was a lot of fun.

Presently, I will set up a program of consolidation of what we have put into cash and also to get our bills paid and finances straightened out on paper.

Also I am studying business and am gaining an interest in the study of Buddhism. I have always enjoyed this. Why not make it your hobby, your job. A lecturer on Buddhism might not be a bad career and very rewarding I’m sure. Definitely not a preaching way as I have at times seen. But presented in a clear, concise, humorous 21st century mode that inspires people to examine life, see the essence and live in a creative mode.

Bob Rafkin called and is doing well in his new job with W.L. Cult, a new country band. They play at the Landmark in Glendale which evidently is in competition with the Palomino Club in North Hollywood. I sure like Bob, he’s a funny and inspiring guy.

We’ll I’d better get busy!

by James C. Stephens


Monday, February 26, 1979

Jamesinfrontoftemple

Russ Isobe (Brass Band), Jim Jay (District Leader), James Stephens, and Bruce Barnes (my best man) doing some type of activity at Myohoji Temple around the time of the New York Convention in 1976..

Last night Russ Dilando, Jim Jay, and Paul Diamond called me to enlist my support for their Monday morning speech at the staff’s weekly meeting. (North American Headquarters Staff Meeting in Santa Monica on 525 Wilshire Blvd., Santa Monica).

Immediately after Mr. Williams finished morning Gongyo,  Jim Jay went to the front and asked for people’s attention. He said he wanted to say a few words regarding Mr. Williams recent visit to Seattle. First he asked if any one minded him talking. They said nothing. I said, please speak. Everyone looked at me. No loyalty to Jim from anyone in the organization even though he worked there for three years. Mr. Williams asked if he could talk, no one said anything. I’m sure they fear for their jobs.

He (Jim Jay) talked of what happened when he asked Mr. Williams about his salary. He said he wasn’t going to tell him and would not and that it was none of his business. He (Jim Jay) said that he was on staff for three years.


Notes: The notes above are all I recorded at the time. Here’s what I remember about the event.  Jim Jay was my leader for a time in Sepulveda Chapter as was Russ Dilando. Paul Diamond was one of my members. Chico Olivera another member of Sepulveda Chapter was there as well.

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Sue Bennett, Sue Nigh, Chico Olivera, Paul Diamond, Paul Wilkes, Purdy Tapola, Gary Shelton, Dave Creek, Larry,  (That’s all I remember–Sepulveda Chapter)

We were all Youth Division leaders and very zealous radical students who went after our practice with everything we had. Most of us attended California State University Northridge.  As for the event at the Headquarters, everyone there (probably 80 staff) knew us all very well. We were fixtures at the Headquarters, leaders in Brass Band, leaders in the Youth Division, all graduates of the NSA Study Academy,  pulled Toban duty at the North American Headquarters, Santa Monica Headquarters, Malibu Training Center,  Myohoji Temple, helped build the Malibu Center, the Santa Monica Headquarters, members of the Soka Group, Traffic Control Division, Stage Crew at various conventions. In other words, we were not just troublemakers, we were zealous for kosenrufu and concerned about the direction of the movement. We had invested our lives fully. Held meetings six to seven times a week, on Friday’s we had discussion meetings which started at 7:00 pm and if there were no guests, we’d go to the streets and do shakubuku til we found them, invite them to our meetings and had meetings sometimes until 1:00 am.

So, when everyone in the room started swearing (I won’t repeat the words), others were saying “let them speak.” Probably Gary Curtis who had been a part of the Berkeley Free Speech movement in the 60’s. Finally, Jim Jay got up and started asking where all of our money was going? We wanted accountability.  After Jim finished up his short message, we realized we had been stonewalled,  got the message, and left, and went our separate ways.

Brad Nixon

Brad Nixon, SGI Organization Department Chief (screen capture from his son’s film about his life- Bladfold).

About three hours later, I received a call from Brad Nixon, former Seattle Headquarters Chief, who  was now working at the North American Headquarters in Santa Monica as the head of the organization department, who was a friend and said to me, “Jim, you better lay low.”  I asked, “Why?” He responded, “When I was going out to lunch I heard two men behind me, ‘Let’s go get our 357 magnums and blow these guys away.'”  Needless to say, I laid low. I failed to mention that I lived just across the street about three doors down from the North American Headquarters in Santa Monica.  It didn’t lessen our zeal for reform, but only fueled it. I won’t mention their names here, but will say that years later, I did confront one of them and he said, “Yes, I did say that and was very angry. My wife always said that I needed to get my anger problem under control and at one point held that 357 magnum up to my head and said I’d better. I have ever sense.”

We all get angry over things that threaten us and I hold no malice toward either one of them. Glad they didn’t go through with their threats, but I was always a bit on edge whenever I’d go to the Headquarters or General meetings.

Just watched Brad Nixon’s son’s film about his father’s life. I am very troubled by his passing. Our path’s crossed when he came down to Los Angeles for that once last chance. His warning did save my life and the lives of my family. Tough film. Very well done.

Brad Nixon. Bladfold, A Film about Brad Nixon