THE BLACK ALBUM
a secret list and the silencing of decent people who argued back.
Manson Murder House
Cultural and political epochs end when an explosive event atomizes our connection to the dominant story. The murder of President Kennedy in 1963, killed our mid-century innocence. 9/11 propelled us rigidly forward toward a security state and away from studying historical provocations - what Lawrence Wright calls The Looming Tower. For me, after nearly three years of cruel gaslighting by media and Big Tech — we finally have confirmation that notable scientists were depersoned because they challenged the official C-19 response. This means that protecting mistaken officials became more important than saving lives.
I knew it was true before Elon Musk helped prove it is true but I have been unsettled and withdrawn since I spoke recently to Jay Bhattacharya about it. Can it possibly be that people we pay to protect us, secretly conspired to protect only themselves? That many lives were lost — quietly labelled as pandemic statistics instead of government-mistake statistics — in an effort to hide their own massive failures?
Twitter, which blacklisted Bhattacharya, was very likely operating on behalf of the NIH and the other DC alphabet agencies that have made a disastrous mess of the C-19 response. It’s misbegotten focus on viral suppression at any cost reminds me of a controversial statement attributed to an American General fighting in Vietnam — we had to destroy the village in order to save it.
Our moment feels less Carl Sagan and more Joan Didion — whose essay in The White Album declared that the free-love era ended with the slaughterhouse murders of Sharon Tate and her friends while partying in the rich-hippie Canyon neighborhood, near Beverly Hills. The gruesome carnage captured in noir crime scene photos is a tableau of visual horror that ended the groovy sixties. Didion’s essay opens with one of the best lines in American non-fiction: We tell ourselves stories in order to live.
Writer Joan Didion in California
There were rumors. There were stories. Everything was unmentionable but nothing was unimaginable. This mystical flirtation with the idea of “sin” — this sense that it was possible to go “too far,” and that many people were doing it — was very much with us in Los Angeles in 1968 and 1969. A demented and seductive vortical tension was building in the community. The jitters were setting in. I recall a time when the dogs barked every night and the moon was always full. On August 9, 1969, I was sitting in the shallow end of my sister-in-law’s swimming pool in Beverly Hills when she received a telephone call from a friend who had just heard about the murders at Sharon Tate Polanksi’s house on Cielo Drive. The phone rang many times during the next hour. These early reports were garbled and contradictory. One caller would say hoods, the next would say chains. There were twenty dead, no, twelve, ten, eighteen. Black masses were imagined, and bad trips blamed. I remember all of the day’s misinformation very clearly, and I also remember this, and I wish I did not: I remember that no one was surprised.
I was too young to fully grasp that the murders were a furtive exposure of our failing and narcissistic culture. It has been masked for years by Joni Mitchell’s Saskatchewan farm-girl bangs and whimsical open tunings. CSNYs Our House, with snug descriptions of two cats in the yard — was located in the Hollywood Hills not far from the leafy death scene.
Our house is a very, very, very fine house
With two cats in the yard
Life used to be so hard
Now everything is easy ‘cause of you
Later I bought the book, Helter Skelter, written by the man who prosecuted Charlie. But as an adult and a true crime reporter it was a story I steered clear of, never once accepting a production role in any of the many retellings. Like Didion, I remained skittish about it. I couldn’t make sense of Sharon Tate’s astonishing beauty being annihilated and the peace and love ethos of rich Hollywood hippies reduced to feral human remains - for nothing. The True Detective-type photos from Cielo Drive are images that still haunt.
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So, why am I so gripped by the revelations that Big Tech, legacy media and for sure the government actually silenced the voices of experts honestly trying to stop the unfolding disaster of lockdowns? Why does this feel like a moment as significant as those era-ending murders in the pretty house on a quiet SoCal street?
A team of independent journos is uncovering irrefutable proof that our well being was not paramount in the minds of those who peddled a fake consensus to invoke lockdowns — in my view — the most ruinous public health mistake in modern history. Government, its public health officials, legacy media, and even the medical journals were more into narrative stitching than truth and actually saving lives.
The stories of governmental and scientific fraud and perfidy are all over Substack and Twitter and Elon is being hailed as a hero — as he should be, despite what my friend CJ Hopkins said on the podcast last week. But corporate media are running their usual smear-games — abdicating their responsibility to their audience — in order to hide their own complicity in a policy scandal that dwarfs all others.
In the meantime, we are on our own, facing an ugly truth about the people who govern us and the agencies they exploit to stay in power. Everything we thought was true about this power dynamic is a lie. At least the Manson Murders were covered by corporate media. We all shared a similar experience.
And I was uplifted, when, at the end of Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, the occupants survived the night of August 8, 1969. I’d been dreading how the murders would be portrayed in the film. But Quentin Tarantino subverted history. The deranged hippie chicks wanting to kill for Charlie were obliterated in over-the-top violence that even exceeded what happened to the real-life victims. It felt like a long-needed psychological purging. The video below is not for the faint of heart. WARNING.
Having the tables turned on the monstrous Charlie-heads was an important milestone in film history. It offered us an alternate reality — a kind of gruesome payback for crimes still not fully understood by most of us — even the great Joan Didion.
We are slowly absorbing the importance of what’s being uncovered in the Twitter files and in lawsuits digging deep into how powerful science bureaucrats manipulated the system to save themselves and their flawed approach — there is also a body count to consider. Less bloody, perhaps and somewhat theoretical since media won’t cover it — but mass death nevertheless.
Charlie and his family were drugged-up psychopaths able to move through a culture that misread hippie trappings as gentility. Decades from now — I wonder how we will characterize the powerful men and women who wrecked society and tried to keep that reality from us even as it fell apart. Like Charlie’s girls, they were also falsely misread — as humane experts and politicians who had our best interests at heart.
Helter Skelter, indeed.
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