TELEPHONE INTERVIEW / JOURNAL —
A: Arthur Dorsey (Blue Cross of California Representative)
V: telephone voice (Blue Cross of California)
E: Erlinda, (Blue Cross of California Representative)
R: radio talkshow host #1
T: radio talkshow host #2
P: Patrick, radio talkshow caller
Q: (speaking into tape recorder) Well, I’m sitting on the sand at the beach watching the sun go down. It’s just right now disappearing behind the horizon as a sailboat passes. The sky is a lovely painting with pink at the bottom, blue — with some of the clouds brightly illuminated and then becoming darker further away. It’s just lovely. So I didn’t go to the Philosophical Research Society today — (“THE”) lecture was “Acupuncture and Philosophy” presented by Dr. Cathryn Hu. I already believe in acupuncture and I don’t even think that people have to make a case for acupuncture, there’s such a great body of literature supporting it. So I’m enjoying taking a break from transcribing by sitting here and collecting my thoughts and my emotions because I’ve had a pretty angry day. I find it very difficult to live in the moment. So, anyway, the most interesting thing (“THAT HA[PPENED]”) I read about this weekend was the boxing match in Las Vegas. I read an article on Friday in which “At 34, a Confident Holyfield Says He Will Simply Be Carrying Out Work of God When He Faces Tyson.” He said, “I will beat Mike Tyson. There’s no way I cannot, if I just trust in God. God is that good.” The article by Los Angeles Times staff writer Tim Kawakami reveals that on a wall in Holyfield’s home during training is a framed print titled “The Reasons I’m a winner — Evander Holyfield,” listing 21 of them. And these included “1. I can call on God at any time in or out of the ring . . . .7. I have overcome many adversities, and as a result I am smarter and closer to God . . ." "The whole thing is, the Lord has anointed me to do this. And so when you’re anointed, you are not doing this for yourself, you are anointed to carry out the work of God that other people can see, where they can glorify not you but the Lord.” So Holyfield remembers the fight he lost and says, “You look at a situation like that, the only reason I even went into the fight, I knew that God would provide the way for me to win. Did God provide a way for me to win? Yes, He did. But, when He devised a way, I took my eyes off of Him and put my eyes back on myself. I said, ‘I just can’t go through with it.’ God did everything He said He was going to do. Except once you take your mind off of Him and get your mind on yourself . . . . Going into the fight, I knew what I was overcoming, but I kept my eye on the Lord all that time. Then, once I dropped him, I kind of fell back and said, ‘This should be it. I shouldn’t be tested anymore.’ I got wavering in my mind, I started thinking, ‘I’m going to run out of gas,’ instead of just using whatever I had at that time. I just made a wrong decision. But you know what? I asked His forgiveness for allowing myself to do that, and He forgave. He gave me another opportunity. The Lord wants you to win. He doesn’t look at a situation and hold it against you.'” Number 21: “I will be victorious and thank God in advance for all my blessings.” So when I read this article my reaction was, “Well, he’s definitely going to lose because everyone knows that you don’t look for God in the victorious but you look for God in the defeated and vanquished.” (“SO”) I mentioned this to Andy when he and my brother dropped by last night. I said, “Well, you know who’s going to get his ass kicked.” So, of course, when I read the newspaper today and Holyfield had won it was quite interesting, to say the least. Of course, the rationale everyone can win who believes in God overlooks the truth that there always has to be a loser. So I think that people in their own way reflect about this. There are so many different facets of the truth. He was very confident when he weighed in and I guess the fact that Mike Tyson has had such an ignoble recent past had a little to do with it as well. So it’s one recent sporting event where there was a surprise outcome. I always wonder why there aren’t more upsets in professional sports or even film award competitions. So I’m going back to my apartment. (walking) I guess Mighael has to be careful not to give too much away because then life would be boring. Mighael, maybe you should answer this question. I would really like to know the answer to this question. Do you know me better than I know myself? (“WELL OB”) Obviously, the answer to that is yes so don’t even bother answering. I must have seen that somewhere as a billboard or something — (“IT JUST”) seems vaguely familiar.
(TRANSCRIBER’S NOTE: I RECENTLY HAD BEEN LOOKING AT THE COLOR PHOTO OF MYSELF AT THE ANGELUS TEMPLE.)
Q: Yesterday He had James come out and take me to lunch because I guess He wanted me to go outside and see how beautiful it was — what beautiful weather we’re having because I think I’m so committed to my project that I guess I’m losing a capacity for appreciation. So, Mighael’s helping me to remain objective. (“VVE”) Well, I guess at this point in my relationship with Mighael I feel like Scarlett O’Hara in her relationship with Rhett Butler at the end of “Gone With The Wind.” That’s just about where I feel we are. I don’t think I’m going to Egypt because I think it’s just too expensive. I just can’t appreciate life if I have overwhelming financial burdens. So, unless I sell my condo or something happens, I’m going to try to delay paying the bill because the travel agency sent me a bill saying “overdue.” If they cancel my reservation I’m just not going to go because I just don’t need the hassle. I don’t care about Egypt that much. I had a long lunch with my brother today, trying to explain the situation. And I did everything but tell him point blank that I’m going to reveal to the world that he has HIV. Of course, he doesn’t want me to but my experience at the Hotline leads me to think that it’s ridiculous for anyone with any disease to waste energy on secrecy.
(TRANSCRIBER’S NOTE: I TURNED ON THE TAPE RECORDER IN THE ELEVATOR AS I MET ANOTHER ONE OF MY NEW NEIGHBORS I DESIGNATE ‘N.’ IN MY BUILDING ALL THE HALLWAYS NEED PAINTING, THE ELEVATORS NEED REPLACING AND I’M USING COMBAT ON THE ROACHES.)
Q: There are always buttons on the elevator control panel with lights that are out. It drives me nuts.
N: (small laugh)
Q: I’ve only been living here about six weeks now so with the elevators and —
N: One elevator’s broke.
Q: — that’s one of the various (“YOU KNOW” “OKAY I”) dangers of living here.
N: I think about taking the stairs all the time.
Q: Um-huh. I was calling them “slumlords” because so many washing machines were not working the other day.
N: Oh. (“YEAH”) See you later.
(TRANSCRIBER’S NOTE: ON THE PREVIOUS FRIDAY, I SPOKE TO JOHN SMITH AT DIVERSIFIED RECOVERY GROUP, CALLING ON BEHALF OF HUNTINGTON MEMORIAL HOSPITAL. JOHN HAD LEFT A MESSAGE SAYING, “WE HAVE DONE EVERYTHING WE CAN DO TO GET THIS MATTER RESOLVED WITH YOUR INSURANCE COMPANY AND NOTHING IS WORKING.” HE SUGGESTED I CONTACT BLUE CROSS AGAIN AND I FOUND HIM TO BE A VERY HELPFUL AND ENLIGHTENED INDIVIDUAL. DESPITE SOME TECHNICAL DIFFICULTIES EXPERIENCED DURING THIS INTERVIEW, I PLAN ON INCLUDING IT IN MY NEXT BOOK NEW TESTAMENT.)
A: Blue Cross Company. My name is Arthur. May I have the Social Security number, please?
Q: Oh, first, Arthur, Mark Jackson was the one who was handling my question.
Q: Should I still give you my Social Security number?
Q: (gives number)
A: Okay. Mark is in a training class and he won’t be back in the unit until the middle of next month.
Q: Okay, well, then, you’ll have to be able to help me, then.
Q: Let me just explain. What happened is earlier in the year I had passed out. It was an emergency situation. And so, anyway, they miscategorized my bills when they first came in. I spoke to Mark and he told me (“THE”) what amount to pay the ambulance company. And he was going to put the paperwork through again but I still haven’t received any information in the mail or anything. I did receive a check for $162.75, which I asked him about the last time I called. But (“IN A”) the creditors are calling and saying that Blue Cross isn’t handling things fast enough. So I’ve looked at my booklet and it seems to indicate that Blue Cross pays 80% of the bills in this case and I pay 20%. But in this case I’ve paid $100 for the prescriptions and follow-up (“E” “YOU KNOW”) visits, myself.
Q: So I just want to make sure (“THAT”) the money I’ve already paid in this is credited to the amounts of the 20% that I get billed.
A: Do me a favor. Hold on. (pause) It’s going to take me just a moment. Mr. Russell?
Q: Right. (pause)
A: When were these services rendered?
Q: Okay. Let me just get my paperwork out. March 17.
Q: He was nice enough to call the accountant over at the recovery group. He did explain to her so — I have a witness.
A: Okay. (“IT’S JUST IT’S”)
Q: It’s just such a nuisance having to explain this all again because he had such a good understanding of the case.
Q: It’s probably going to be much, much more difficult for you to start from scratch.
A: You know what I’ll do? Let me make a note on this one because Mark will be down for lunch.
Q: Oh good. Okay.
A: (to himself) Check.
Q: And what he can do is — today I have my volunteer work for APLA so if I’m not home he or you can just leave a message on my machine. (“OR”) Basically, what I would like, (“YOU KNOW”) since I am a long-term customer of Blue Cross, is for Blue Cross to send me (“YOU KNOW”) a letter explaining what the totals are that I have to pay, keeping in mind the money I’ve already paid. (“OR E”) He said he would issue new bills but I haven’t received any.
Q: It’s a nightmare. You can imagine.
Q: Do you get a lot of these calls?
A: No. Not too many. There was a computer change. It has generated a larger number. But not too many.
Q: Well, thank you, Arthur, and what’s your last name?
A: My last name is Dorsey. (“VOTE”)
Q: Okay. Well, you’ve been very helpful.
A: Okay. And soon as Mark comes down I’ll have him take a look at this for the claims of March the 17th.
Q: Yeah. (“CO”)
A: He is supposed to be generating you some new explanations of benefit.
Q: Right. He’ll remember. Just tell him I’m the one who fainted.
Q: And you have my number and everything?
A: No. Let me have the number.
Q: (gives new phone number)
Q: Thank you.
A: You’re welcome.
Q: Okay, bye.
( . . . )
V: Thank you for calling Blue Cross of California. Due to unusually heavy call volume, we are experiencing longer-than-normal delays in answering your call. We apologize for this inconvenience. Please stay on the line or call back later. Thank you for your patience.
E: Good morning. Blue Cross. My name is Erlinda. How may I help you?
Q: Yes. Can I speak to Arthur Dorsey? I gave him the wrong phone number earlier.
E: Okay. What is the certificate number, sir?
Q: (gives number)
E: Okay. Just a second.
Q: He was going to give a note to Mark Jackson and I just gave him the wrong number to call me back on. Because it’s very complicated. Hello?
( . . . )
A: Hi, this is Arthur. How may I help you?
Q: Arthur, this is Mark Russell. (“I’M”) Sorry, I gave you the wrong phone number earlier. I wanted to give you the number where I have my answering service. So let me give you my other number.
Q: (gives number)
A: Got it.
Q: And tell him it has to ring five or six times before it clicks in but tell him not to give up.
A: (reading) Let — ring — forever. Got it.
Q: Well, not forever.
Q: He did that last time. (“HE SAID”) He did that last time and he said it didn’t work. But it does work. It’s Pacific Bell Message Center.
A: Oh, okay.
Q: So it will work.
Q: Thank you. I really appreciate it.
A: You’re welcome.
Q: Okay, bye.
A: Bye bye.
(TRANSCRIBER’S NOTE: THIS NOVEMBER 11TH CALL RECEIVED NO RESPONSE AS THIS BOOK WENT TO PRINT ON DECEMBER 3RD, 1996. AS OF THE INTERNET PUBLICATION DATE FOR THIS TAPE SIDE, MAY 18, 1997, THERE WAS NEVER ANY RESPONSE AND I AM NO LONGER INSURED BY THE COMPANY. I HAVE WRITTEN TO MY INSURANCE AGENT AND BLUE CROSS COMPANY REPRESENTATIVES, DEMANDING ALL THE MONEY I PAID BLUE CROSS OVER THE YEARS TO BE RETURNED TO ME. AFTER THE CONVERSATION, AS I WAS DRIVING TO THE HOTLINE, I STILL HAD MY RADIO ON 97.1 AFTER TURNING TO IDENTIFY RIKI RACHTMAN ON FRIDAY. I BEGAN TAPING TO REPORT SOME OPINIONS OF THE WEEKEND’S BOXING MATCH.)
P: Your original statement that neither one of you saw the fight, I think, clarifies your whole argument —
R: I didn’t see any of the fights because I don’t watch them. I’m not a sucker for this Don King pay-for-view.
P: You’re totally in the dark in what you’re trying —
T: Patrick, hold on a second. I don’t give a damn what you think about us but let’s talk about this. The fact of the matter is that last time —
P: No, I’m not personally attacking you.
T: Hold on. Hold on.
P: I’m just saying that you didn’t see the fight so you really shouldn’t be commenting about it.
T: All — this — well, then you don’t understand what we’re commenting on. And let me tell you what we’re —
P: I know what you’re trying to say.
T: What I’m — shut up and you’ll hear it again. What I’m saying is that, after the last fight, which I also didn’t see, but I saw when Tyson knocked the guy down with his forearm. Everybody (was) screaming fix and I said, “That’s not a fix because it’s too obvious.” Now, between the two fights, if there’s any argument that either of the two fights was a fix, it has to be the one that took place on Saturday night. Not the one where the guy goes down because Tyson hit him with his forearm. That’s my argument.
P: Tyson got his you-know-what kicked this time. That’s all.
R: Yeah, but I’d like to — I’m going to put money on the next one. I’m going to put money that Tyson kicks ass in less than three rounds on the next one because —
P: Well, it will be interesting to see if Holyfield will even fight anymore —
R: Well, Jesus told him to. So he will.
( . . . )
Q: I’m not quite sure who these radio talkshow hosts are. I guess they call themselves ‘The Regular Guys’ and I think it’s a local L.A. show because all the callers are from local places. When I was working for Terry Hartman at Slade, Grant, Hartman and Hartman Public Relations, Don King was one of her clients. We went to Houston once when they had the opening of some boxing hall of fame or something but he never showed up so I never met him. How disappointing.
( . . . )
Q: So one of my friends who’s a Hotline listener told me that the names of these radio people are Larry and Eric.
( . . . )
Q: Well, it’s 5:00 and, of course, I checked my Pacific Bell Message Center and there were no new messages. So now I’m home, truly finishing the book — coming to a conclusion on the allotted length. And I’m thinking over things in my mind. Why was I chosen? People probably would have expected someone like the Pope or Mother Teresa to have been chosen. But even they, I think, would have had difficulty dealing with the egos I’ve dealt with — not that they would have ever seen that side. I guess experience does become a factor. By recording my impressions, I hope that a glimmer of the truth can be communicated. And I’ll let others devise explanations who aren’t so imaginative or eager for love as I. I want to include this tape side for all you sports fans and request that you remember that personal integrity is always so important. (my phone rings) What a time for my phone to ring.
( . . . )
Q: That was my brother. He’s probably one of the few people actually working today, which is Veteran’s Day. He said he was working on the GameWorks account. He said that they “want to make lots of money” with these computer game arcades. I said, “Reading my book will offer people a much more meaningful game.” And he said, “Well, yes, but you’re not Steven Spielberg — (“IT WASN’T”) but it wasn’t designed by Spielberg.” And so I told him a little bit about meeting a new friend on the Hotline today who was from Argentina. I asked her what she thought of the new “Evita” movie starring Madonna. She said, “Evita really wasn’t a major person in our history. She was a very self-serving individual who didn’t really care much about other people.” And I said, “Well, maybe Madonna is well-cast after all.” I personally had wished Liza Minnelli and Ken Russell were doing it but anyway. I knew exactly what I wanted to say and now I forgot after that stupid phone call. Anyway, a subtle reminder or interpretation of my book is, basically, that with God anything truly is possible. Just look at what’s in-between the lines of my book. How can someone not appreciate and be excited about the evidence for this wonderful God who has revealed a ceaselessly creating energy and personality? My brother just invited me to go with him for a free trip to Las Vegas because he has the rest of this week off. Of course, I declined. Today there’s a memorable article in the Los Angeles Times about war veterans. In the article by Times staff writer Sharon Bernstein, World War II veteran Paul Evenson says, “We had six weeks of basic training. Then the Battle of the Bulge started up, and they sent me over there as a replacement for somebody who had died.” He was seventeen years old. “We went up in a 2-ton truck at night. They told us to dig a foxhole. I didn’t even know I was on the front line. So my buddy and I dug a foxhole and in the morning I woke up and he had a piece of shrapnel in his head. That’s what saved my life. That’s when I knew what a war was. All the way from New York, he had a Bible. And when I saw him dead with a Bible in his hand, I stopped believing in everything except me.” In the article Evenson recalls an incident where they heard the SS men among them were planning to escape. “We went around the corner and waited for the Ssers to come out and we just mowed ’em down. I shouldn’t be telling you this.” About liberating a concentration camp near Frankfurt, he says, “I saw what you see on TV. I saw dead bodies. And the ones that were alive, they looked like skeletons walking around. I still dream about it. It was only two days of my life but it stays with you forever. Coming back was the hardest thing. I had killed people and I didn’t know what I would do. I couldn’t even pick up a cup of coffee without my hand shaking. . . . I tried to jump off the train coming back. I just consider myself crazy from some of the things I did.” Another war veteran, John Endres, is quoted as saying veterans “learned this in the heat of battle: that we share each other’s blood. We share each other’s life. We share each other’s food. And it’s a damn shame that war had to teach us that.” On the same page there’s an article about another kind of war veterans. It says “1 Killed, 2 Wounded in Shooting Outside Theater” from a Times staff writer. It says, “In the second shooting of its kind in less than a week, one man was killed and two others were wounded when gunfire erupted outside a crowded Torrance theater showing the crime movie ‘Set It Off,’ police said Sunday.” There’s also an article from Associated Press entitled “More Veterans Homeless, Survey Finds.” “Washington — One in every three homeless men seeking refuge at a network of shelters is a military veteran, a survey showed. The figure far exceeds the percentage of veterans in the overall population or of male veterans among all American males.” Phil Rydman, spokesman for the Kansas City, Missouri-based International Union of Gospel Missions, said war-related stress and drug and alcohol abuse are among the most common problems facing homeless veterans. The article quotes him as saying, “We’re dealing with the trauma of coming back from war, plus the addictions and substance abuse that these fellows have.” As I said before, I read various magazines to keep up with the latest information on HIV. In the November 15th issue of Frontiers, there’s an article with the headline “Multiplicity” — “Discovery of Rare HIV Strains Causes Worry.” Without any designated writer, the article reveals that in October “scientists uncovered a second U.S. resident infected with this rare type of HIV, named Group O, as well as a small cluster of New Yorkers with signs of still different AIDS strains never before seen in this country. . . . Both Group O patients found in the United States apparently were infected in their native West Africa, said Dr. Patrick Sullivan of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. He is testing dozens of high-risk patients to determine how prevalent the strain is. More disturbing, the CDC is investigating whether patients in the Bronx borough of New York City contracted other foreign strains of HIV while in this country — not before immigrating here or while traveling abroad. The CDC genetically tested 43 newly diagnosed AIDS patients from Bronz-Lebanon Hospital Center last spring. Eight patients, an unexpectedly high 19 percent of those tested, had strains different from the subtype B that is responsible for North America’s AIDS epidemic, including one so unique the CDC’s tests haven’t yet recognized it. At least one of the patients, who was born in the United States and has never traveled abroad, had to have contracted the foreign strain here.” These articles remind us that life is precious.
(TRANSCRIBER’S NOTE: THE FOLLOWING WEEK, IN THE NOVEMBER 17TH LOS ANGELES TIMES, THERE IS AN ARTICLE ABOUT L.A.’S 18TH STREET GANG, WHICH HAS AS MANY AS 20,000 MEMBERS. THE ARTICLE BY TIMES STAFF WRITERS RICH CONNELL AND ROBERT J. LOPEZ QUOTES A GANG LEADER AS SAYING, “. . . 10 OR 15 YEARS FROM NOW . . . IT’LL BE ABOUT WHO’S GOT [PEOPLE WILL JOIN WHATEVER GANG THAT IS THE BIGGEST] THE NUMBERS.” A 16-YEAR-OLD GANG MEMBER KNOWN AS CHUCO SAYS, “WHY SHOULD I THINK ABOUT THAT [REMORSE FOR VICTIMS]? IF I NEED TO DO IT, I DO IT. . . . THAT’S THE LIFE I KNOW.”)
Q: We need to reflect upon this insane preoccupation to accumulate wealth without any kind of ethical basis or desire to help others. And for what reason? You can’t take it with you. Every religion says to help your fellow man. Consider all the money put away in all those bank accounts. There are more than one million millionaires in the United States. They have more money than they could ever possibly need and yet they hunger for more money. They invest in stocks, which in turn encourages company downsizing. We must give back to society as much as we take or how can we live with ourselves for eternity? How can we forgive ourselves that sin? Individually, we will bear the responsibility for each of our actions. God experiences each of our thoughts with us. In our careers, we are not successful if we can’t perform a service or make a product that makes us feel proud. What does it mean to be an artist if we can’t create something that we, ourselves, would be excited about experiencing? What is the point? What is the purpose? Why do we accept mediocrity? God is love so we must become loving for Him to put up with us for all eternity. Some people think that love is a noun when, in truth, it is a verb. We must prove our love for God by helping others to realize their greatest potential. Only if we are loving will God be able to stand the imperfect knowledge of us. When we idolize individuals because of their looks or wealth, we participate in a grotesque religion. Usually, the objects of this veneration have shown little Godly compassion. This appears to be a planned challenge or lesson. Do you believe as I do that it is always a significant compromise when we select a goal without first considering what is our best way to serve the greater good, regardless of the example shown by others? Our sacred creativity should be experienced in ways worthy of our highest nature. Progress is the history of God’s gifts to mankind and the human response has been only greater sin, debacle and folly. The most obvious truth has always been God yet there are individuals who consider themselves enlightened and say there is no evidence for God. They are unimpressed by snowflakes or rainbows and call their religion science, philosophy and psychology. As well, God is bigger than the sentimentalized notions heard in church sermons. The ten commandments were only confirmed by Moses and yet I am sure you could find people who don’t even believe in common sense. For those like myself who believe that God is love, consider how would even the most loving Being respond to witnessing mankind’s cruelty to one another? If you consider the world today, you would think the following were the commandments:
1. Thou shalt have a legion of human idols to worship before me.
2. A person’s character is defined by their looks and wealth.
3. Thou shalt take the name of the Lord thy God in vain.
4. Profess your dedication to God in church on Sunday so you can do whatever you want the rest of the time.
5. Honor whoever agrees with you.
6. Thou shalt kill.
7. There is no such thing as love.
8. Don’t get caught.
9. Whatever you do, don’t tell the truth.
10. Don’t appreciate what you have.
Q: God, love the people in my book. While the majority were willing subjects, none bargained for such a candid, unedited approach. If I have learned anything, it is that truth is the only commodity worth anything in the world. Honesty is the only genius. Peace is the only freedom. Love is the only goal. Each of us are God. This shared Consciousness. So God has come to a turning point in His evolution. My hope is that this book will be appreciated by others who yearn for greater love in their life. We can embrace the future Us by being loving and serving others. That is salvation in this, the eternal moment that is our Judgement Day.
(TRANSCRIBER’S NOTE: THE FOLLOWING IS FROM ADDENDUM 2 “ON PREPARING FOR THE NEXT COMING” OF SO YOU WANT TO BE A CHANNEL!  CHANNELED BY ARTHUR C. LYTLE, JR., PH.D.)