I am working on a movie script about Mel Lyman who married Jessie Benton. I want Danny Boyle to direct it – of he works with my on the script and art direction. We Bohemians and Hippies – are dying! This is the last chance to capture a culture that captivated the world, and changed it forever! Putting and his Fuzzy Bear – can’t handle the Lyman Family. They were over the top! They were the epitone of the American Experience, the quest for the Holy Grail. Young people are adopting our Hippie Ways and improving upon them. Mel is an example of what not to do, but, te prime example of……..

“Just do it!”

Manson followers were involved in the making of Zabriskie Point, the worst Hippie Exploitation movie ever made. But, it has value. You got to know how to mine it. Boyle does not have a clue. He did not have a clue how to make a James Bond movie. Well, this is how……………


Below is my post of August 24, 2013, I am getting Vibes about Rena and Sir Ian Easton. I wonder if there were spies in this relationship. Here is the birth of my Bond treatment.

I want to bring Mel Lyman face to face with the Kimbo Tribe. I want to rub Hafner’s face in the idea that Mel claimed he was God. This claim was funded by the creative legacy of the world famous artist, Thomas Hart Benton, the cousin of Garth Benton, who went to Reseda High with Kimbo’s parents. Both Benton’s were muralists. Garth did the murals at the Getty Villa.

Let’s get in on – the Hippie Battle of Armageddon! The ‘Jesus Freaks vs, the Lyman Freaks. Why not throw in Patty Hurst and the SLA? How about Dottie’s Jesus Commune. I will set up the social media so the Bohemian Barbarian Battles can carry on there.

I called that one, about everyone wanting to be a Barbarian. Judge Kavanaugh and his drunken Barbarian Buddies piled on a teenager, and, simulated raping her? This is the dude that was itchen to depict abortionists and women who want a abortion – as Barbaric Butchers of Fetuses! If he did rape that high school girl, and she got pregnant, then, she would be waning an abortion.

I need a gaggle of Bohemian Attorney to take on the legion of Slanderers.

John Presco 007 ‘King of the Bohemians’

Copyright 2018

Mel Lyman’s Culture War

Mel Lyman married Jessie Benton, the daughter of the artist, Thomas Hart Benton, the cousin of Garth Benton, the father of Drew Benton, the daughter of my late sister, Christine Rosamond Benton.

The Gooch genealogy ends thus;



ii. JESSE P. BENTON, b. Private.

I met Jessie once at the Fort Hill commune. I lived down the street two blocks in a commune I and four friends founded in 1970. We exchanged food and ideas.

With the rekindling of the Culture Wars by the Pope over sonic imaging and birth control, I must assume the War on Hippie Bohemians has been rasied from the Dead – Heads. When you add together my history with alternative societies and thinking, you can conclude I am the Big Boss Bohemian Man – the Last Hippie Man Standing!

Come and get me – Ratzinger! You dirty rat!

Jon the Nazarite

Lyman’s Children of the Space Corn




padres6“Today, Family members insist they never worshiped Manson, never put his picture above a vase of flowers that were changed daily, as several outsiders report they saw. Their deeds back then were no more crazy than the times, they say.”

You will soon see why it is imperative that Rena and I return to the museum in Nebraska so we may undo what we did… mistake? They say there are no mistakes in the universe. There is only one human being born with this name


My grandmother could pass as Rena’s mother. Why did Rena marry such an older man, a man who worked for the British Aerospace Industry. How old was Rena when we met? She lied about her age – but by how much?

I suspect she was a famous British Spy in WW2 who was – called back! From where – Hades! Who was her boyfriend that would not let her go? Was he a Nazi in his past life?

I suspect Rena’s grandmother was her sister. One of them born a child or children that were cloned. There were eight of them ‘Eight Beauties’. Some came to Washington D.C. and co-mingled with the high and mighty.

“Save me!”

Jessie Benton says she and her husband, along with their followers, came from another planet. I believe Charlie Manson was an agent for Opus Dei. His mission was to penetrate the family and learn the secret of their bloodline that the Presco family would never have been enjoined to, if, I had not painted that portrait of Rena.

Since I was thirteen, several of my artistic friend, suggested I was the reincarnation of Leonardo Da Vinci. Could he be my……walk-on?

Walk-ons love the Ourija Board!

Now we have to ask if James’ told Delano not to open the front door. If he did, why did Bob risk our lives? Who was sabotaging our road trip? Did Delano have a date with destiny? Robert – and his sister – look like they are from another planet. That painting Robert did for Santana, was other worldly.

“Why are our eyes so – huge?”

Jon Presco

“We are our own separate universe,” said Jessie Benton, 42, the daughter of artist Thomas Hart Benton and the Lyman Family’s most influential member. “We are a microcosm of the world. We have everything you have–even criminals.”
Eve Lyman, 33, the Family historian, said the Family has “all the elements you find in the rest of the world, we just put them together in a different way. We have all the same problems, too, but we deal with them differently.”

Back then they were so poor they gathered waste fruit and vegetables from the Boston produce mart, cutting off the rotted parts and throwing the rest into a common stew. Their home was open to anyone who dropped in and lots of hippies crashing on drugs did just that, staying until someone put a hammer or a saw in their hand.

The Lymans toyed with Ouija boards as oracles and the language of astrology became almost a second tongue. Even today the Lymans sometimes refer to each other by their first names with astrological signs substituting for surnames.

Trouble in 1966

The Lyman Family first came to public attention in a case that helped redefine the First Amendment. In 1966, the Boston police arrested commune members on 55 felony obscenity charges for publishing four words authorities deemed unacceptable.

Surrounded by psychedelic flourishes, the words filled the center two pages of the Avatar, an underground newspaper that featured as many as five columns per issue by or about Mel Lyman. \o7 Avatar \f7 is a Hindu word meaning God come down to Earth in bodily form.

Eventually the courts set the accused, and the four words, free.

In 1971, Rolling Stone magazine put the Lyman Family on its cover two issues running, ominously comparing them to the homicidal Charles Manson Family.

Writer David Felton, a pioneer in the impressionistic school of New Journalism, warned that Lyman was forging a new style of drug-and-personality cult that Felton called “acid fascism.”

Deny Worshiping Manson

Today, Family members insist they never worshiped Manson, never put his picture above a vase of flowers that were changed daily, as several outsiders report they saw. Their deeds back then were no more crazy than the times, they say.

“We did a lot of outrageous things just to get people to open their eyes, to see what they were blind to,” said Eve Lyman, one of seven women who bore Lyman’s 12 children.

Then, in 1973, three commune members robbed a federal bank, saying they were protesting Richard Nixon’s involvement in Watergate. Boston police killed one bandit. (Another bandit, actor Mark Frechette, the star of “Zabriskie Point,” director Michelangelo Antonioni’s savage look at American decadence, later died in prison in what authorities said was an accident. The third bandit, Sheldon (Terry) Bernhard, 43, served his term and has rejoined the family.)

The Boston Herald American, p.14, March 26, 1978
By Gary Moore, Special to the Herald American

Spaceship interview given via Ouija board

Darkness had fallen on North Hollywood. You could no longer even see the smog.
About the people I would be meeting I knew only hearsay: Two years ago a Boston writer told me they had smashed the window of his car. Seven years ago Rolling Stone magazine had gone to great lengths to say they were violent, almost fascistic. But now they had dropped out of sight – evaporated.
Suddenly the house was awash in the glare of headlights. There were voices outside. Would they arrive in a battered Volkswagen – a symptom of whatever defeat had sent them into hiding? I stepped out the door to be greeted by a gleaming, grey limousine.
Two young men were waiting for me in the car. We spoke good-naturedly, as if clandestine rendezvous were the most normal thing in the world. White curtains covered all the limousine windows.
“To keep out prying eyes,” he said, smiling.
Finally I had met the Mel Lyman Commune.
“This is our traveling sound system,” said Jim Kweskin, one of my guides and a professional musician, “. . . one of the main things we do is play music.”
He plugged a cassette into the tape deck and three successive songs throbbed and flowed through the speakers.
“Listen for the harp,” said Kweskin in his soft, sometimes almost whispered, voice. “That’s Mel.”
The harp (harmonica) welled up like a baby crying. It was almost like a human voice.
The car stopped and the door swung open. We were surrounded by quiet – the shadows of huge old trees and a spot-lighted, manicured lawn. A house-high cage containing white doves was bathed in an orange spotlight. A wall of shrubbery blocked out any indication of our whereabouts.
A mansion loomed before us.
In the living room there were red velvet chairs and long-stemmed roses in a vase. A violin hung on the wall. Logs were crackling and popping in the fireplace.
Wearing a white dress that emphasized her tan, Jessie Benton entered and firmly shook my hand. As we all sat down, I asked the group for a history of the Lyman community. When had it begun?
“It started long before this earth was made,” said a blonde woman. “We are a race,” she said.
“A race – like a race of people . . . We’ve always been together. We’re gathered here on earth. And we were somehow – in one way or another – drawn to the same place at the same time. That was in Boston – years and years ago.”
Exactly how many years ago?
“Nineteen sixty-six,” said Jessie Benton solidly from her chair by the wall. She is the daughter of artist Thomas Hart Benton.
Someone remarked that the spreading of Mel Lyman’s communities to different cities was “protective.” When I inquired why there was any need to protect, a mild flurry of cryptic discussion took place among my hosts, then it dissolved quickly into what looked like agreement as they began to nod their heads. A young man said, “Y’know, maybe Melvin can talk to him.”
This was the supreme honor. In came a young woman with long brown hair, held back from her face by a gold headband. Her blue dress was a gossamer and a star was at her throat.
She knelt on the carpet before a rainbow colored ouija board which rested on a white pedestal. The ouija board was to be my hotline to Mel Lyman, and the gossamer-gowned lady in blue was to be my interpreter.
Jessie Benton leaned over beside me, “These answers you should probably write down.”
The gossamer-gowned medium opened her eyes.
“Melvin is here.”
I lost little time in utilizing the opportunity, and asked why, after writing six or seven years ago that he would change the world and found hundreds of communities, Mel Lyman had now chosen to go into hiding. Did he now prefer anonymity?
Said the medium: “I have found – that I can actually – have a greater – effect – on this planet from – an anominous (that is the way she said it) position.”
Remembering accusations that Lyman had used racist rhetoric in some of his writings, I asked if his privileged “race” cut across worldly ethnic lines.
The fireplace gave out with a huge, indignant pop, and the lady in blue said, “Of course.”
As long as delicate issues had been broached, I asked next about the violence. The Rolling Stone article had cited numerous instances of assault and battery by Lyman’s followers on people who disagreed with them. Mel Lyman himself had once written, “I am going to burn down the world.”
Said the steady-eyed lady in blue: “I have never advocated violence. It has never been used as – a mechanism.”
It turned out that the very reason why Mel Lyman was not addressing me in person was that his physical presence had been detained somewhere else . . . in a space ship.
I rode back from the Lyman sanctuary in that noiseless limousine, listening to a tape of Jim Kweskin’s personal friend, Maria Muldaur, singing about Jesus.

Melvin James Lyman (March 24, 1938, Eureka, California – April 1978, exact date and location unknown) was an American musician, film maker, writer and founder of the Fort Hill Community.

[edit] Musician“ Mel Lyman played harmonica like no one under the sun / Mel Lyman didn’t just play harmonica, he was one. – Landis MacKellar[1] ”

Lyman grew up in California and Oregon. As a young man, he spent a number of years traveling the country and learning harmonica and banjo from such legendary musicians as Woody Guthrie, Brother Percy Randolph, and Obray Ramsey.[2] In 1963 he joined Jim Kweskin’s Boston-based jug band as a banjo and harmonica player

Lyman, once called “the Grand Old Man of the ‘blues’ harmonica in his mid-twenties”,[3] is remembered in folk music circles for playing a 20 minute improvisation on the traditional hymn “Rock of Ages” at the end of the 1965 Newport Folk Festival to the riled crowd streaming out after Bob Dylan’s famous appearance with an electric band. Some felt that Lyman, primarily an acoustic musician, was delivering a wordless counterargument to Dylan’s new-found rock direction. Irwin Silber, editor of Sing Out Magazine, wrote that Lyman’s “mournful and lonesome harmonica” provided “the most optimistic note of the evening” [4]

[edit] FilmmakerIn the early Sixties, Lyman had been drawn to New York. The music and fellow musicians that he found there led in turn to a larger circle of writers, artists and filmmakers. He became friends with underground film-maker Jonas Mekas, which led to the studios of Andy Warhol, and Bruce Conner all of whom he counted as both teachers and inspirations for his later film work. Several of Lyman’s films have recently been digitally restored to be included in the permanent collection of the Anthology Film Archives,

[edit] WriterIn 1966, supported and funded by Jonas Mekas, Lyman published his first book, Autobiography of a World Savior, which set out to reformulate spiritual truths and occult history in a new way. In 1971, Lyman published Mirror at the End of the Road, derived from letters he wrote during his formative years, starting in 1958 from his initial attempts to learn and become a musician, through the early Sixties as his life widened and deepened musically and personally. The last entries are from 1966 which simply express the profound joys and deepest losses which defined and gave his life direction and meaning in the years ahead. The key to the book and the life he lived afterwards are stated simply in the dedication at the beginning “To Judy, who made me live with a broken heart” .[5]

[edit] The Lyman Family, The Fort Hill Community and the AvatarIt was his relationship with Judy which brought him to Boston in 1963. Again, Lyman became acquainted with many artists and musicians in the vibrant Boston scene including, among others, Timothy Leary’s group of LSD enthusiasts, IFIF. Lyman was involved for a very short time and, against his wishes, so was Judy. Knowing LSD’s power, he felt she was not ready but, “the bastards at IFIF gave her acid… I told her not to take it. I knew her head couldn’t take it.” Lyman’s fears turned out to be justified and she left college and returned to her parents in Kansas.[6] Lyman was by all accounts very charismatic and later, after Judy had left, a community or family naturally tended to grow up around him. At some point thereafter Lyman began to realize himself as destined for a role as a spiritual force and leader.

In 1966, Lyman founded and headed The Lyman Family, also known as The Fort Hill Community, centered in a few houses in the Fort Hill section of Roxbury, then a poor neighborhood of Boston. The Fort Hill Community, to observers in the mid-to-late Sixties, combined some of the outward forms of an urban hippie commune with a neo-transcendentalist[7] socio-spiritual structure centered on Lyman, the friends he had attracted and the large body of his music and writings.

Although Lyman and the Family shared some attributes with the hippies– prior experimenting with LSD and marijuana and Lyman’s cosmic millennialism–they were not actually hippies either in appearance (female members dressed conservatively and male members wore their hair relatively short by the standards of the era) or beliefs (while Lyman and other Family members had fathered children by different women, polyamory was eschewed in favor of serial monogamy).

By the Spring of 1967 the Fort Hill Community had become an established presence in Boston and it, along with members of the wider community in greater Boston and Cambridge, came together to create and publish the Avatar. It contained local news, political and cultural essays, commentary and more personal contributions, writing and photography, from various members of the Fort Hill Community including Lyman. The paper and magazine set new standards in content and design later adopted by more mainstream publications. Throughout the first year of its existence it created what became a national audience and many more people visited Fort Hill at that time, some eventually staying and becoming part of the community.

Rather than the gentle and collectivist hippie ethic in other publications of the time, Lyman’s writing in Avatar espoused a philosophy that contained, to some readers of the time ‘, strong currents of megalomania and nihilism and to others a powerful alternative voice to the prevailing ethos.[8]

“ I am going to reduce everything that stands to rubble / and then I am going to burn the rubble / and then I am going to scatter the ashes / and then maybe SOMEONE will be able to see SOMETHING as it really is / WATCHOUT ”
—Mel Lyman, Declaration of Creation [9]

After working very intensely on each issue, in the Spring of 1968 the Family gained complete editorial control (some say adversarially) of Avatar for the final issue of the paper. Later they founded their own magazine, American Avatar which continued the editorial directions of the newspaper. Lyman’s writings in these publications brought increased visibility and public reaction both pro and con. His writings, along with others in the publications, could be poetic, philosophical, humorous and confrontational, sometimes simultaneously, as Lyman at various times claimed to be: the living embodiment of Truth, the greatest man in the world, Jesus Christ, and an alien entity sent to Earth in human form by extraterrestrials. Such pronouncements were typically delivered with extreme fervor and liberal use of ALL CAPS.

“ Love isn’t something you find, something you do, something you study. Love is something you BECOME after there is no more YOU. – Mel Lyman[10] ”

[edit] Later developments, and Lyman’s deathIn 1971, Rolling Stone magazine published a cover exposé, an extensive philippic on the Family by associate editor David Felton. The Rolling Stone report described an authoritarian and dysfunctional environment, including an elite “Karma Squad” of ultra-loyalists to enforce Lyman’s discipline, the Family’s predilection for astrology, and isolation rooms for disobedient Family members. Family members disputed these reports.

“ The only difference between us and the Manson Family is that we don’t go around preaching peace and love and we haven’t killed anyone, yet. – Jim Kweskin (perhaps in jest)[11] ”

The Rolling Stone article and the earlier trial of Charles Manson, who seemed to share some traits in common with Lyman, raised the Family’s profile and – whether fairly or not – established Lyman in the sensationalist part of the public mind as a bizarre and possibly dangerous person.

But although Lyman deeply understood Charles Manson and even corresponded with him once, and was sometimes revered as a Messiah-like figure by the Family, it would be inaccurate to overstate the similarities between the Manson Family and the Lyman Family. The Lyman Family was larger and more stable and productive than Manson’s. Unlike Manson’s group, Lyman’s included many persons of accomplishment and note, such as Kweskin, therapist and actress Daria Halprin,[12] actor Mark Frechette, and pioneering rock critic Paul Williams. And although the Family was often accused of strong-arm tactics in dealing with neighbors and alternative-community groups, they certainly never killed anyone or even manifested serious homicidal intent.

However, in 1973, members of the Family, including Frechette, staged a bank robbery. One member of the Family was killed by police, and Frechette, sentenced to prison, died in a weightlifting accident in jail in 1975.[13]

Frechette said the place was not a commune: “It’s a ‘community,’ but the purpose of the community is not communal living. … The community is for one purpose, and that’s to serve Mel Lyman, who is the leader and the founder of that community.”[14]

Thus it has been said that, unlike the Manson Family, Lyman’s did not explode in a dramatic denouement. Rather, the Family took a lower profile and carried on, quietly building on the relationships formed in the turbulent early years. Lyman died in 1978, age 40, under unknown (but presumably natural) circumstances.

After Lyman’s death, the Family evolved into a more conventional extended family- small, low-profile, and prosperous. The skills and work ethic honed in refurbishing the structures of the Family compound led to the founding of the profitable Fort Hill Construction Company. The Family acquired property in Kansas and other places. Many Family members went on to successful careers. Although some former Family members have rejected him and perhaps that part of their own past, all current members still revere Lyman, as do many former members.
Jonas Mekas (Lithuanian pronunciation: [ˈjonɐs ˈmækɐs]; born December 24,[1] 1922) is a Lithuanian-born American filmmaker, writer, and curator who has often been called “the godfather of American avant-garde cinema.” His work has been exhibited in museums and festivals across Europe and America.

Jonas Mekas (Lithuanian pronunciation: [ˈjonɐs ˈmækɐs]; born December 24,[1] 1922) is a Lithuanian-born American filmmaker, writer, and curator who has often been called “the godfather of American avant-garde cinema.” His work has been exhibited in museums and festivals across Europe and America.

In 1954, he became editor of Film Culture, and in 1958, began writing his “Movie Journal” column for The Village Voice. In 1962, he co-founded Film-Makers’ Cooperative (FMC) and the Filmmaker’s Cinematheque in 1964, which eventually grew into Anthology Film Archives, one of the world’s largest and most important repositories of avant-garde films. The films and the voluminous collection of photographs and paper documents (mostly from or about avant garde film makers of the 1950-1980 period) were moved from time to time based on Mekas’ ability to raise grant money to pay to house the massive collection. At times, Mekas personally paid its housing rent and, at low points in external funding, he had to restrict access to the collection. Easily, he can be credited with single-handedly saving large portions of the avant garde films and associated materials.
He was part of the New American Cinema, with, in particular, fellow film-maker Lionel Rogosin. He was heavily involved with artists such as Andy Warhol, Nico, Allen Ginsberg, Yoko Ono, John Lennon, Salvador Dalí, and fellow Lithuanian George Maciunas.
In 1964, Mekas was arrested on obscenity charges for showing Flaming Creatures (1963) and Jean Genet’s Un Chant d’Amour (1950). He launched a campaign against the censorship board, and for the next few years continued to exhibit films at the Film-makers’ Cinemathèque, the Jewish Museum, and the Gallery of Modern Art.
From 1964-1967, he organized the New American Cinema Expositions, which toured Europe and South America and in 1966 joined 80 Wooster Fluxhouse Coop.
In 1970, Anthology Film Archives opened on 425 Lafayette Street as a film museum, screening space, and a library, with Mekas as its director. Mekas, along with Stan Brakhage, Ken Kelman, Peter Kubelka, James Broughton, and P. Adams Sitney, begin the ambitious Essential Cinema project at Anthology Film Archives to establish a canon of important cinematic works.

About Royal Rosamond Press

I am an artist, a writer, and a theologian.
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1 Response to Mel

  1. Reblogged this on Rosamond Press and commented:

    Here is a part of the art and music dynasty I am putting together.

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