Return to the Dunes and Moy Mell

dunitess2 dunitess3 dunitess4 dunitess5dunites4 dunites5

When I talked to Carol Williams we spoke between the lines, being, law firms have no spiritual base, and will bleach out all the spirituality they find in Creative People they handle so they can get down to what really matters to them – THE MONEY!

I am more than a Baba Lover. I have traced his families cosmology to the Kurds, as well as the Nazarites. I have been communicating with Kurds on facebook. One group is seeking to form a secular way of life to counter ISIS that is destroying art and selling artifacts.

Sydney Morris crushed my spiritual input in my family, along with the Family Sobriety that I begged him to protect in several letters. I will have to go to the Monterey Supreme Court and see how many of letters got filed in the probate of Christine Rosamond Benton.

Morris did not charge my family any money because he knew he had destroyed us and the Rosamond estate. He knew this while he handled the Creative Legacy of the Weston family. Edward Weston contributed to the ‘Dune Forum’ which published photos of Meher Baba’s visit to the Dunites. Add to these images the photos of Peter Stackpole and we are gazing upon the sublime.

Jon Presco

Copyright 2015

sublime

1. elevated or lofty in thought, language, etc.: Paradise Lost is sublime poetry.

2. impressing the mind with a sense of grandeur or power; inspiring awe, veneration, etc.:

Switzerland has sublime scenery.

 During the earlier 1932 visit he had met a spiritual seeker named Sam Cohen, a Theosophist and resident of a loosely knit freethinkers’ community named “Moy Mell” nestled among the dunes on the beach at Oceano, California. The benefactor of this group of intellectuals, spiritual seekers, artists and social misfits was Chester Alan Arthur III, grandson of the 21st President, who went by the name of Gavin. For a time Gavin published a magazine called the Dune Forum, which included articles by such notables as Stuart Edward White (author of the spiritualist classic, The Unobstructed Universe), and photographic contributions by Ansel Adams and Edward Weston (whose dune photographs are well-known). Gavin would frequently entertain the intellectual and artistic elite of America at his cabin in the dunes. Although accounts differ somewhat, it appears that Baba sent disciple Meredith Starr and his wife to Moy Mell in 1932

stack2stackpole5stackpole8stackpole9

http://www.photographywest.com/pages/weston_sand_dunes.html

http://www.scpr.org/programs/take-two/2014/03/10/36375/how-the-dunites-created-a-secret-utopia-in-the-oce/

http://socalarchhistory.blogspot.com/2010/11/oceano-dunes-and-westons.html

http://www.ial.goldthread.com/Meher_Baba.html

https://rosamondpress.com/2014/02/23/the-avatar-of-moy-mell/

https://rosamondpress.com/2012/10/24/the-changlings-of-moy-mell/

https://www.photographersgallery.com/by_artist.asp?id=216

“The most amazing vibrations on earth could be found 18 miles south of San Luis Obispo California in the middle of the Oceano Dunes…That’s where we are. A vortex, kinda like Sedona Arizona, just a magnificent energy center.” — Environmentalist John Reid

We’re a few miles south of Pismo Beach not far from the 101 freeway. I’ve been following environmentalist John Reid into the dunes for hours. We’re a little lost, but that’s the nature of the place.

An entire squatter community once disappeared into this wilderness — a colony of hermits, artists and poets called Dunites. They sat out the great depression here in a string of wooded coves, drawing in visitors like John Steinbeck, Upton Sinclair and even India’s holy man, Meher Baba. The Dunite appeal — as, Reid sees it — was their freedom.

“To live the American dream the way it was intended to be lived, not the way it was manufactured to be,” said Reid.  “They were able to have their little plots of land, their gardens and their creative enterprises without any government interference.”

Tucked behind commercial farmland and oil fields, the Oceano Dunes are still obscure. Most people I’ve talked to have never heard of them. Strange considering they’re 18 miles long and look like an Egyptian desert sitting halfway between Los Angeles and San Francisco.

You know those famous Ansel Adams dune photos? Well, that’s them. Except now they’re a big RV campground and off-roader’s paradise.

Fenced off from the vehicles, the Dunites’ archaeological remains sit side by side with those of the native Chumash who lived here for thousands of years before them. Big white heaps of their ancient discarded meals. Their shell mounds.

“You could tell which ones are Chumash and which ones are Dunite based upon the size of the clam shell,” said Reid. “When the Chumash were here, there were a lot more sea otters, the predator of the Pismo clam. But when the Dunites were here, sea otters had gotten rare, the clams got larger, lived longer.”

Full grown clams, a mediterranean climate, fresh water a few feet underground, and secluded coves. What more could a hermit ask for?

The last Dunite

Reid tromps into a snarl of vegetation where the last Dunite in the wild was ever seen, back in the late ’70s. This is where Norm Hammond, a firefighter at the time, saw a plume of smoke he thought was coming from a wildfire. Searching for a way in, he spotted a secret trail.

“You had to get on your hands and knees, and there were places where the limbs had been cut and hooked together like a gate. It opened up into a clearing. There was a fellow in there tending his fire, washing clothes,” said Hammond. “There was several buildings. He had a little garden going and I saw him but he didn’t see me so I stood there long enough to check out what was going on.”

When that last Dunite died a few months later, the group’s legacy might have largely vanished, but for Hammond. He had become transfixed. Since then, he’s published a history of the Dunites and is still unearthing their artifacts.

At the Oceano Depot Museum, we stare at what looks like a hippie health guru who’s time-travelled back into a 1930s photograph.

“This is George Blais. He was generally a nudist. He believed in drawing the power of the sun in the day, and the power of the stars at night into his naked flesh,” said Hammond. “He’s shown here with one of his paintings depicting the evils of eating meat and drinking milk.

Blais was a self styled evangelist among this band of renegade Sufis, Theosophists, yogis, and astrologers. When India’s great spiritual teacher of the ’30s, Meher Baba, visited them, he may have seen some of their art, like this sculpture that looks half robot painted in the pallet of a B-52s album cover.

“This is a religious figure, The Evolution of Consciousness. Those crossed legged things are supposed to symbolize duality. And then the square is truth and then the little ball on top is enlightenment,” said Hammond.

Shifting sands

I’d always streaked past this Pismo Beach stretch of the 101. Written it off as culturally devoid. RV parks, dreary motels, outlet malls. Yet when I looked for an affordable way to vacation in nearby Avila Beach during peak season, I landed in a $45 a night Airbnb tent on someone’s lawn overlooking this.

“The sand dunes migrate over time so a couple of the cabins just got swallowed up by the dunes,” said Reid.

Realtors tried to develop the dunes into an Atlantic City of the West, but the shifting sands made it impossible for owners to ever find their tracts of land.

Eventually one small development did sprout up among the broader Dunite population. A utopian commune founded by the grandson of President Chester Arthur. A friend of FDR’s with carte blanche at the White House, Gavin Arthur wandered out of city life on a literary quest. John Reid is writing a book about Arthur.

“Gavin first went into the dunes in 1926 having just come back from Ireland where he would buy weapons for the IRA with his allowance from his father,” said Reid. “That wasn’t going anywhere so he came back to the United States and happened upon the Oceano Dunes. Heard that there were hermits living out there and eventually he got to know them and a seed was germinated of establishing a utopia out there and a literary magazine.”

Arthur found an empty cove, named it Moy Mell — that’s Gaelic for “Land of Honey” — and built a handful of vacation-style cottages. He moved in an editorial staff that published what he hoped would become the New Yorker of the west. The Dune Forum.

Arthur urged Dunites and literati alike to sit around the fire, debate controversial issues and share new work. An unknown John Steinbeck read from what would become his first commercial success, Tortilla Flat.

Another face around the campfire, Upton Sinclair. The social justice writer frequented Moy Mell in the moments leading up to his run for governor of California. The group’s fireside chats were turned into articles Arthur hoped would reach across class lines.

Among them, there was a young girl named Ella Thorp Ellis. From her bohemian seaside cottage in Santa Cruz, she explained what drove her father, Dunham Thorp, the managing editor of the Dune Forum, to leave his job as a press agent in Los Angeles.

“Dunham worked for Joan Crawford. She was bossy and Dunham didn’t like being bossed around,” said Ellis. “He didn’t want Hollywood, he wanted a real intellectual community. So he got rid of Joan Crawford.”

Between the time I’d met Ellis and found someone to guide me to her old neighborhood, she’d passed away. Like so many aspects of this story, I’d barely caught a glimpse of her before she was gone. I’d been hoping to get her a copy of this recording of her mother, Marion Thorp, interviewed by historian Norm Hammond in 1979:

HAMMOND: What did they do for heating at Moy Mell? Did they have wood there?

MARION: Yes, Gavin had a big fireplace. Oh it was fine. Saturday night Gavin would bring some wine and ale and beer and they’d have a party and a dance.

HAMMOND: A dance! Who did the cooking there?

MARION: Everybody took a turn. Gavin liked to cook fancy dishes. You know, like you’d get in a good restaurant

Meher Baba visited the Dunites who lived in flimsy shelters in the sand dunes at Pismo Beach California. Here lived poets and philosophers of another Back to Basics and the Earth Movement where materialism and the worship of money was frowned upon. Baba declared his mission in America was to destroy our love of materialism. This morning I found an article that concludes what I concluded four years ago, that Prosperity theology led Christians to buy homes they could not afford, thus causing the Mortgage Meltdown.
Five years ago I concluded Jesus was born in a Sukkot booth, and not a manger. These booths were temporary shelters wherein the Exodus from slavery is celebrated. This is a return to the wilderness and humble roots. Jesus goes into the wilderness and is tempted, he offered kingdoms and gold. He turns his Advisary down, and begins his ministry, which is to restore the Jubilee.
When Cyrus, the king of Persia, allowed the Jews to return to the Promised Land, he encouraged them to set up Sukkot Booths and revive lost rituals that were once centered around the temple. The Jews title Cyrus ‘Messiah’ for instigating the second Exodus, and for allowing the building of a new Temple. However, I believe a sect of Jews continued to worship God from the ritual of the Sukkot Booth, and Jesus did build one in the wilderness.
Before Jesus was born, the Persian Magi foretold via the stars, that he was coming ‘The Son of David’ who would have the wisdom of Solomon, who may have been King Cyrus. Jesus was ‘The Good Shepherd’ who appear in Ecclesiastes, along with the Son of David – Son of God!
When Jesus enters Jerusalem on a donkey, the people recognize him as ‘The Son of David’ who was an unidentied king – who did not teach a tale of an afterlife, but taught;
“All is vanity!”
Meher Baba descends from the Persian Magi. He made it his mission to contact the Mast, the homeless mystics, whom he personally bathed. Consider Newt Gingrich appealing to the Lucky & Wealthy Evangelical heresy.
“Every dog has his day.”
Evangelical Vanity has brought our nation to the brink of ruin. It has corrupted our political system, and declared war on the poor.
On this day I found the AMERICAN TENTMAKERS OF AMERICA. This is both a Secular and Religious organization based upon the Jublilee and the lost cosmology of the Nazarites that made a home within for the Holy Spirit. the ATA will model itself after the Chautauqua Tents that my grandfather mention in his story ‘Camping On Anacapa’. Royal Rosamond took Lillian to visit the Dunites of Oxnard.
“It was a glorious summer morning at the Chautauqua at Ventura-by-the-sea.”
I offer a religious umbrella to the Occupy Tents. I founded a Nazarite Church in 1997. I am the Minister of that church.
I see large ATA Tents in all major cities wherein the homeless work making white hand-stitched canvas tents for sale. There will be traveling ATA Tents wherein folks perform music, read poetry, and hold seminars on how to live a humble non-materialistic Arcadian Life, as promoted by Royal’s freinds, Homer Croy and Otto Rayburn.
Royal met with Croy about publishing his novel ‘Bound In This Clay’. Croy wrote ‘They Had To See Paris’ starring the humorist Will Rogers who championed the Poor, and demonized the Bankers during the Great Depression.
Let us raise our Tents in the Wilderness – and take back America from the false prophets. Let there be a New Dawn, and a revived pertinence in America!
Jon Presco
Whence comest thou, maiden?” said Connla.
“I come from the Plains of the Ever Living,” she said, “there where there is neither death nor sin. There we keep holiday alway, nor need we help from any in our joy. And in all our pleasure we have no strife. And because we have our homes in the round green hills, men call us the Hill Folk.”
On the journey he was interviewed on behalf of the Associated Press, which quoted him describing his trip as a “new crusade . . . to break down all religious barriers and destroy America’s materialism and amalgamate all creeds into a common element of love”.[46] His intention, according to the resulting article, was to convert thousands of Americans from sin. Describing Baba as “The Messiah,” the article also claims he listed miracles he had performed, and said that a person who becomes one with the truth can accomplish anything, but that it is a weakness to perform miracles only to show spiritual power. However, another description of the interview states that when Baba was asked about the miracles attributed to him, he replied “The only miracle for the Perfect Man to perform is to make others perfect too. I want to make the Americans realize the infinite state which I myself enjoy.”[47]
Hollywood and the “Dunites,” 1934
Meher Baba returned to Hollywood in 1934, avoiding publicity and instead working with a number of screenwriters and filmmakers on proposed film projects. During the earlier 1932 visit he had met a spiritual seeker named Sam Cohen, a Theosophist and resident of a loosely knit freethinkers’ community named “Moy Mell” nestled among the dunes on the beach at Oceano, California. The benefactor of this group of intellectuals, spiritual seekers, artists and social misfits was Chester Alan Arthur III, grandson of the 21st President, who went by the name of Gavin. For a time Gavin published a magazine called the Dune Forum, which included articles by such notables as Stuart Edward White (author of the spiritualist classic, The Unobstructed Universe), and photographic contributions by Ansel Adams and Edward Weston (whose dune photographs are well-known).
Gavin would frequently entertain the intellectual and artistic elite of America at his cabin in the dunes. Although accounts differ somewhat, it appears that Baba sent disciple Meredith Starr and his wife to Moy Mell in 1932, and that they stayed on for a period of time (this was approximately a year and a half before Meredith’s defection). When Baba returned to Hollywood in 1934, he agreed to visit the “Dunite” community. On the evening of Christmas day (accounts different as to the exact days), Baba arrived with eighteen of his followers, including Norina Matchabelli, wife of Georges Matchabelli, known for the popular perfume brand. Norina had previously arranged for a special cabin to be built for Baba, but he chose instead to stay in Gavin’s cabin. Gavin was not in Moy Mell at the time, and it was decided that he wouldn’t mind.
There was also a Theosophical center called the Temple of the People in nearby Halcyon, founded in 1904 with the intent of preparing for the arrival of the next incarnation of the Avatar, but there is no record of Baba visiting it.(21)
L-R: Sam Cohen, Meher Baba, Hugo Sellig, John Doggett
Baba and his group stayed overnight and spent the following day visiting with Sam Cohen and other Dunites, many of whom were eccentric characters and spiritual seekers who gave little importance to social convention. Hugo Seelig was a seeker of truth from an early age, who, after his father’s suicide, roamed the coast of California meeting other seekers and visiting places where they could be found. At Stanford University, he met a resident of Halcyon who told him about Oceano and the little dune colony there. When WWI broke out and America entered the war, Hugo went to live in the dunes and became part of the community, pursuing his writing.
‘Tis a glorious place, forsooth, that Connla holds among shortlived mortals awaiting the day of death. But now the folk of life, the ever-living ones, beg and bid thee come to Moy Mell, the Plain of Pleasure, for they have learnt to know thee, seeing thee in thy home among thy dear ones.Trolls with the changeling they have raised, John Bauer, 1913.A changeling is a creature found in Western European folklore and folk religion. It is typically described as being the offspring of a fairy, troll, elf or other legendary creature that has been secretly left in the place of a human child. Sometimes the term is also used to refer to the child who was taken. The apparent changeling could also be a stock or fetch, an enchanted piece of wood that would soon appear to grow sick and die. The theme of the swapped child is common among medieval literature and reflects concern over infants afflicted by as-then unknown diseases, disorders, or developmental disabilities.

Mithril has produced many of the evil Orcs and Trolls that inhabit Middle-earth.

In J. R. R. Tolkien’s universe of Middle-earth, Orcs (also referred to as Goblins) are human-like but much uglier and crueler, who loved to destroy rather than create anything. They excel in weapons of war.

Originally they were supposed to have been captured Elves that were twisted and tortured by Melkor into their current state. They dwell in caves and in dark places, hating the sunlight. They are bound to service by Sauron, controlled by fear and pain, which is all they understand.

The race of Uruk-hai, described as large black orcs of great strength, are rumored to have been the prodigy of orcs crossbred with humans, to better enable them to withstand the sun. Sauron and Saruman both made use of these warriors to further their aims.

Trolls were giant creatures, maybe 12 feet high, extremely strong but very slow witted. Most trolls also turned to stone in sunlight. They were therefore found in the depths of caves or mines and would hunt at night in the open.

Sauron however had bred Olag-hai trolls, which resisted sunlight and were much more intelligent than normal trolls. It could be that they were huge Orcs instead of Trolls.

Other allies include Wargs, which are large evil and intelligent wolves, that allow orcs to ride them.

A human child might be taken due to many factors: to act as a servant, the love of a human child, or malice.[1] Most often it was thought that fairies exchanged the children. Some Norwegian tales tell that the change was made to prevent inbreeding: to give trolls and humans new blood, humans were given children with enormous strength as a reward. In some rare cases, the very elderly of the Fairy people would be exchanged in the place of a human baby, and then the old fairy could live in comfort, being coddled by its human parents.[2] Simple charms, such as an inverted coat or open iron scissors left where the child sleeps, were thought to ward them off; other measures included a constant watch over the child.[3]

Meher Baba returned to Hollywood in 1934, avoiding publicity and instead working with a number of screenwriters and filmmakers on proposed film projects. During the earlier 1932 visit he had met a spiritual seeker named Sam Cohen, a Theosophist and resident of a loosely knit freethinkers’ community named “Moy Mell” nestled among the dunes on the beach at Oceano, California. The benefactor of this group of intellectuals, spiritual seekers, artists and social misfits was Chester Alan Arthur III, grandson of the 21st President, who went by the name of Gavin. For a time Gavin published a magazine called the Dune Forum, which included articles by such notables as Stuart Edward White (author of the spiritualist classic, The Unobstructed Universe), and photographic contributions by Ansel Adams and Edward Weston (whose dune photographs are well-known). Gavin would frequently entertain the intellectual and artistic elite of America at his cabin in the dunes. Although accounts differ somewhat, it appears that Baba sent disciple Meredith Starr and his wife to Moy Mell in 1932, and that they stayed on for a period of time (this was approximately a year and a half before Meredith’s defection). When Baba returned to Hollywood in 1934, he agreed to visit the “Dunite” community. On the evening of Christmas day (accounts different as to the exact days), Baba arrived with eighteen of his followers, including Norina Matchabelli, wife of Georges Matchabelli, known for the popular perfume brand. Norina had previously arranged for a special cabin to be built for Baba, but he chose instead to stay in Gavin’s cabin. Gavin was not in Moy Mell at the time, and it was decided that he wouldn’t mind.

There was also a Theosophical center called the Temple of the People in nearby Halcyon, founded in 1904 with the intent of preparing for the arrival of the next incarnation of the Avatar, but there is no record of Baba visiting it.(21)

About Royal Rosamond Press

I am an artist, a writer, and a theologian.
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