Victoria’s Secret Angel

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Rosamonds 1942 Lilian, Bonnie, June & Rosemary on Step 1I put angel-wings on the image of Rena Victoria – a long time ago! I even considered a crown of thorns. I was stunned to see the wings on the Victoria’s Secret models, who look like Rena – and her three sisters? Rena had three sisters, and not two. She claimed they were more beautiful than she. She said she did not want to be like them because they were playing games – with wealthy people? In Washington? Rena told me one of her sister’s was the mistress of Robert Vesco who no doubt was supplying American girls to foreign investors. How about Military Brass? Did the Christensen Sisters want to groom Rena for her coming out party. Did she alas accept when she was in dire straights?

The actor, Errol Flynn, dated two of the Rosamond Sisters, Rosemary and Lillian. Their mother chased them out of the house when he and a friend came serenading at sunrise – drunk.

If Rena had married me, then I would be up to my eyeballs in beautiful women. Indeed, I would be surrounded by the Nereids – reborn. They would have been my models, Christine’s models, our models. These beauties would all be the kindred of Mary Magdalene Rosamond, my grandmother. They would also be Pre-Raphaelite Women. Raphael…..was an angel.

Rena had the body-type of a Victoria Secret Model, and she exposed that body each time she went into the Russian River at Monte Rio, while the Bohemian Grove Hijinks was going on.

If Rena and I had four daughters, would they have all grown up to be Victoria Angels? Did Rena’s sisters have children. Imagine what the Rosamond Family Tree would look like, an explosion of Beautiful Roses in bloom!

Jon Presco

Copyright 2013

http://www.victorianweb.org/gender/preraph.html

Among the charges that emerged in the years after Watergate, the SEC accused Vesco of embezzling $220 million from four different IOS funds. In 1973, Vesco fled to Costa Rica. Shortly before his departure, hoping to shut off the SEC investigation into his activities, Vesco routed substantial contributions to Richard Nixon through his nephew, Donald A. Nixon.

Robert Lee Vesco (December 4, 1935 – November 23, 2007[1]) was a fugitive United States financier. After several years of high stakes investments and seedy credit dealings, Vesco was alleged guilty of securities fraud. He immediately fled the ensuing U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission investigation by living in a number of Central American and Caribbean countries that did not have extradition laws.[2]

Vesco was notorious throughout his life, attempting to buy a Caribbean island from Antigua in order to create an autonomous country and having a national law in Costa Rica made to protect him from extradition. A 2001 Slate.com article labeled Vesco “the undisputed king of the fugitive financiers.”[3] After settling in Cuba in 1982, Vesco was charged with drug smuggling in 1989. In the 1990s he was indicted by the Cuban government for “fraud and illicit economic activity” and “acts prejudicial to the economic plans and contracts of the state” in 1996.[4]

Vesco was sentenced to 13 years in jail by Cuba. Five months after his death in November 2007 the New York Times reported he succumbed to lung cancer at a hospital in Havana, Cuba.[1]

Contents
[hide] 1 Biography 1.1 IOS scandal
1.2 Nixon scandal
1.3 “Vesco law”
1.4 Nixon scandal, Pt. II

2 References
3 Further reading

Biography[edit source]

Vesco was born in Detroit, Michigan, where he grew up and attended, and then dropped out of, Cass Technical High School. Vesco was the son of a Detroit autoworker. He dropped out of engineering school while he was in his early twenties to go to work for an investment firm. After a short period he struck out independently with an $800 stake matching buyers and sellers in the aluminum market, until he eventually acquired a portion of the profits of a floundering aluminum plant. By 1965, he was in a position to borrow enough money to acquire International Controls Corporation. Through aggressively hostile expansions and debt-financed takeovers of other businesses he grew ICC quickly. By 1968 the company owned an airline and several manufacturing plants, and Vesco held shares totaling US$50 million.[5]

IOS scandal[edit source]

In 1970, Vesco began a successful takeover bid for Investors Overseas Service, Ltd., a mutual fund investment firm with holdings of $1.5 billion run by financier Bernard Cornfeld, who had run into trouble with the SEC. When his firm ran into financial difficulty, no “white knight” was willing to get involved. Vesco saw his chance and began a protracted battle to assume control of the company, opposed by Cornfeld and others. The battle quickly turned nasty; Cornfeld was thrown into jail in Switzerland and Vesco was accused of looting the company of hundreds of millions of dollars. Many prominent figures in global business, finance, and royalty were tied to the mess, receiving money from one party or the other for support. Among the accusations against Vesco were that he parked funds belonging to IOS investors in a series of dummy corporations, one of which had an Amsterdam address that was later linked to Prince Bernhard of the Netherlands, and that he broke into a Swiss bank vault to obtain shares. These allegations are unproven, as Vesco fled the country and spent the next fifteen years hopping between countries that lacked extradition treaties with the United States.[2][6][7]

In February 1973, with criminal charges against him imminent, Vesco took the corporate jet and fled to Costa Rica along with about $200 million worth of IOS’s investments, according to SEC allegations. Vesco would continue to wage a legal battle from Costa Rica and the Bahamas to try to maintain control over his 26 percent of ICC stock, but, with five outstanding indictments for securities fraud against him, he could not return to the United States. It was not until 1981 that ICC had completely become free of Vesco’s control, after paying out almost $12 million to him and his family.[8]

Nixon scandal[edit source]

Among the charges that emerged in the years after Watergate, the SEC accused Vesco of embezzling $220 million from four different IOS funds. In 1973, Vesco fled to Costa Rica. Shortly before his departure, hoping to shut off the SEC investigation into his activities, Vesco routed substantial contributions to Richard Nixon through his nephew, Donald A. Nixon.

Vesco was also investigated for a secret $200,000 contribution made to the 1972 campaign to re-elect Nixon. As counsel to International Controls Corporation, New Jersey lawyer Harry L. Sears delivered the contribution to Maurice Stans, finance chairman for the Committee to Re-elect the President. Vesco had wanted Attorney General John N. Mitchell to intercede on his behalf with SEC chairman William J. Casey. While Vesco fled the country, Stans, Mitchell, and Sears were indicted for obstruction of justice, though charges against all three were dismissed.[9]

“Vesco law”[edit source]

In Costa Rica, Vesco donated $2.1 million to Sociedad Agricola Industrial San Cristobal, S.A., a company founded by President José Figueres. Figueres passed a law to guarantee that Vesco would not be extradited. Figueres’ constitutional term ended in 1974. Vesco remained in Costa Rica until 1978, when President Rodrigo Carazo (1978–1982) repealed what was popularly referred to as the “Vesco Law.”[10]

In 1978 Vesco moved first to Nassau and then to Antigua. While in Antigua he tried unsuccessfully to buy the sister island Barbuda and establish it as a sovereign state.[3] The Costa Rican government blocked his attempt to return in 1978, under President Rodrigo Carazo’s administration. In 1982 Vesco tried again to return to Costa Rica, but President Luis A. Monge denied his entry.[11]

He lived in Nicaragua for a while, while the Sandinista government was in power. Each of these countries accepted him, hoping that his great wealth would finance local development projects. However, this worked poorly for everybody involved, although Vesco was reputed to have stolen over $200 million, and appeared several times on the Forbes list of the wealthiest people in the world.[12]

Nixon scandal, Pt. II[edit source]

In 1982 he moved to Cuba, a country that could provide him with treatment for his painful urinary tract infections, and which would not extradite him to the U.S. Cuban authorities accepted him on the condition that he would not get involved in any financial deals. He married Lidia Alfonso Llauger.[4]

Vesco was indicted in 1989 on drug smuggling charges.[3]

In the 1990s, Vesco became involved once again with Donald A. Nixon after Nixon went to Cuba seeking to partner with the government in conducting clinical trials on a substance he claimed to boost immunity, called trixolan or TX.[citation needed] Vesco introduced Nixon to Fidel Castro and his brother, Raúl Castro, and the Cuban government agreed to provide laboratory facilities and doctors to conduct the trials. Results from the studies were claimed to be positive, however on or about May 31, 1995, Vesco attempted to defraud Nixon and Raúl Castro, and Cuban authorities seized control of the project and arrested Vesco and his wife. Nixon was detained for questioning and was released thirty days later.

At the time of Vesco’s arrest the Cuban Foreign Ministry said he had been taken into custody “under suspicion of being a provocateur and an agent of foreign special services,” or intelligence agencies. However, he was formally charged with “fraud and illicit economic activity” and “acts prejudicial to the economic plans and contracts of the state.”[4] In 1996 the Cuban government sentenced Vesco to thirteen years in jail on charges stemming from the scandal. He was scheduled for release in 2009, when he would have been 74. Vesco’s wife Lidia was convicted on lesser charges and was released in 2005.[3][4]

Vesco reportedly died of lung cancer in November 2007 and was buried at Colon Cemetery in Havana. However, these reports of his death have been disputed.[1]

Their names ring familiar, the famous women who modelled for and who associated with the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood in marriage, affairs, and artistic endeavors. Lizzie Siddall, Georgie Burne-Jones, Jane Morris, Fanny Cornforth, Mary Zambaco, Emma Maddox Brown, Annie Miller, Euphemia Millais, Edith Hunt. What qualified the “Pre-Raphaelite stunner,” and what fantasies did these women fulfill for their male counterparts. Moreover, who were these women themselves?

Essential to the Pre-Raphaelite art is a woman’s face, a beautiful visage with large, luminescent eyes set in a web of long hair. Powerful bodies, necks, or striking features usually make the “stunner,” though Siddall represented a strong exception. Though tall and red-headed with a fine posture and lovely lidded eyes, she appears far plainer and more fragile in comparison to the dark-browed Jane Morris or the fleshy Fanny Cornforth.

In paintings, each of these women’s expressions embody enigma and distance; oftentimes, their poses remain static versus active. Strange that these unearthly alluring women should sit so silently when their images literally infect the Pre-Raphaelites’ body of work. Their likelinesses appear in poetry and their very faces stare out of numberless canvases. The voices and meaningful looks of these women, however, are actually the filtered versions of the men who adored and depicted them.

These women found themselves in a very difficult position. Agreeing to model for an artist already contained some risk to body and reputation, but to also shoulder expectations of some of these men’s ideals of femme fatale, victim, or saint both in art and in life proved to be most hazardous. As Jan Marsh contends in The Pre-Raphaeilte Sisterhood, the romance and attention surrounding these women tended “both to glorify them, raising them like Hollywod film stars above the level of ordinary mortals into a mythic realm of tragic heroines and fatal sirens, and paradoxically to diminish them, reducing their real, complex, contradictory personalities and lives to flat figures in a fantasy landscape and taking away from them all sense of active life.” In art and in life, some of the Pre-Raphaelite women felt the pressure to abandon humanity to become an archetype. They were dreams coming to life in paints, and it was this living dream which the artists could not help but fall in love with.

In Gay Daly’s invesitgative text Pre-Raphaelites in Love, she places a great concern upon this “bridge to the mundane.” What happened when Beatrice or the Beggar Maid stepped out of the canvas and became a real person with everyday worries and concerns. Marriage, as Daly sees it, presented the ideal resolution for the Pre-Raphaelites, who believed it offered the only way to bring the romance they fantasized about into their own lives. Daly points out that as the uncertain industrial world increasingly showed a menacing face, “the rewards and benisons of marriage were touted more loudly; the perfect wife was hailed as an ‘angel in the house,’ who could salve all her husband’s wounds with a celestial balm.” The Pre-Raphaelites, who sought to escape the confusing world around them, turned to history, legend, myth and the constructions of women who inspired such an age.

That women became their primary subject shows their belief that women can heal and guide — but it also shows their concern in the contemporary lives of Victorian women: the victims, the old maids, and the prostitutes. These artists hated to see their ideal creatures so degraded and sought to rise them to the higher state they deserved.

About Royal Rosamond Press

I am an artist, a writer, and a theologian.
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1 Response to Victoria’s Secret Angel

  1. Reblogged this on Rosamond Press and commented:

    Reality – has crashed!
    John

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