TELEPHONE INTERVIEW — TAPE #24, SIDE #1
Q: Mark Russell Bell
D: Doris G. Moseley (one of Andy’s neighbors)
C: unnamed clerk, Independence National Historical Park
J: Jeffrey Mishlove, Ph.D.
D: Karie Diethorn, chief curator of Independence National Historical Park
D: — rather fat girl but —
D: That girl in the house.
Q: Oh, Twyla.
D: Yes. (“YES”) And it really seemed that she was somehow (“NO”) receiving or giving something. I’m not quite sure but what it said on the program. (“YES” “WELL YOU”)
Q: A psychic called them while the show was on and (“YES”) told them that Twyla was not causing it. Twyla, herself, knows that she is (“UM-HUH”) not causing it. (“NO”)
D: No. What I remember is that they did leave the question open. They said (“YES”) that sometimes someone who has emotional difficulties would (“YES”) react —
Q: She doesn’t have any emotional difficulties.
D: Oh. That was interesting, wasn’t it?
Q: I don’t have any emotional difficulties. (“WHAT”) Do you think I have any emotional difficulties?
D: I don’t know if you’ve got emotional difficulties. Growing old is emotional to me. I don’t like being old. I’d like to find out if there’s anything beyond. I don’t believe. I’m not sure what I believe, really, to tell you the truth, Mark. And that’s one of my problems, I think. I’m not sure I’m on my way to somewhere or to nowhere. I don’t really know.
Q: Oh, definitely somewhere.
D: Yes? (“YES”) You think so?
Q: Well, it’s funny because I always play back conversations afterwards to see what Michael says. For example, when you were talking about seeing the angel as a child because you had paid some children pennies for their stickers, He said that there was a little more to it than that.
D: Oh. Well, I think I’ve always been emotionally sort of mixed up. I think it was because I didn’t have a mother.
Q: Can you remember? Could it have been something else? (“CORRECT”) Why the angel was there? (“YEAH”)
D: Well, because I told lies. (“YOU THOUGHT”)
Q: Not just about the stickers. What other lies did you tell?
D: Well, I told you I wanted a Bible because I wasn’t brought up (“UP”) in a religious family — but the housekeeper was religious. I wanted this Bible and you had to go to Sunday school —
Q: I remember that — you said you paid them pennies for their stickers.
D: Right. So I bought righteousness.
Q: Apparently, there was something else going on because Michael definitely said, “NO” — (“YES”) that there was some other reason why the angel was there. (“CORRECT”)
D: Well, I think it was because I recognized that I’d done something wrong and I think the angel came —
Q: If you had to give another reason other than that one, what would you say it was?
D: Well, what would you think? Because you’re much more intent than I am.
Q: I have no idea.
Q: I wasn’t there. Michael might have been. I don’t know.
D: Yes, but you know I find your ideas very interesting.
Q: What was very interesting — what was funny, though, in our conversation was that at one point you slipped and you called me my brother’s name, Michael. And He answered. You said, “Michael, are you still there?” And He said, “YEAH.” (“UM-HUH”) That was Michael talking. That wasn’t me.
D: For goodness sake.
Q: Do you remember that?
D: Yes, I do.
Q: That was not me. I didn’t say a word. That was Him. (“UHH”) I know. So there’s your proof of life after death right there.
D: Uhh. That absolutely takes my breath away, really.
Q: Isn’t it amazing?
D: Yes, it is. (“THE”)
Q: And it’s so funny because He only talks when He wants to. I have no control. I only can hear him on the cassettes. In fact, as you were hanging up, there was a strange passage. Did you say something like, “Your mother” or something as you were hanging up? (“UHH”) Or was that the Entity?
D: Well, I don’t think so.
Q: There were two words: “Your mother.”
D: I saw my mother in her coffin when I was four. I don’t know if I mentioned that.
Q: You didn’t but Michael seemed to mention that.
D: For goodness sake.
Q: What is the story about?
D: Well, I never saw her out of bed. She was always in bed. And then when I was four I was told she died. Don’t forget I’m nearly eighty-nine. I’m talking about how many years ago? I was four. It’s eighty-some years ago and there was an aunt there. We didn’t have big funerals. You had the body in the house in a box in the living room. And an aunt picked me up and brought me in: “Kiss your mother good-bye.” And I’d never seen her sitting up, so it didn’t seem strange to see her laying down. So she had her hair down in two braids, one over each shoulder.
Q: Was there anything in her hair?
D: Yes. And she had a big nightie on. And that’s how people would do it.
Q: Well, what was in her hair? Was there anything in her hair?
D: No, I don’t think so but there was this aunt that picked me up and said, “Kiss her.” (“RIGHT”) And I kissed her cheek and it was like kissing marble. It was an extraordinary (“YES”) sensation.
Q: Did you recall her features? Your mother’s features?
D: Yes, I do.
Q: Could your mother have been the angel who visited you?
D: You know, it might have been. (“POSSIBLY”) No, it very easily could have been.
Q: Because I think that’s why Michael said, “YOUR MOTHER.”
D: Well, I — maybe it was my mother as an angel —
D: — telling me I’d been a naughty girl.
Q: That’s what it was. Because I know other people who’ve had similar experiences.
Q: So that’s what Michael was saying. At the very end of the conversation — right before I hung up, he said, “YOUR MOTHER.” He was telling you that the angel who came to you was your mother. Isn’t that interesting?
D: It is. It’s absolutely mind-boggling.
Q: By the way, what did you think of the show? That’s why I called.
D: Oh, I thought the man that drew the pictures was terrific.
D: And —
Q: I’m sure — I’m convinced that he’s legitimate.
D: I mean I didn’t (“LOOK”) know that people could have a visual sort of whatever.
Q: And the other psychic at the end proved himself too.
D: Yes. But I was interested in the girl more than anything else. And that house in Oklahoma.
Q: Well, that’s the one that my book’s about.
D: And I want to read your book. When is it coming out?
Q: Well, you’re one of the people featured in it — our interviews.
D: For goodness sake. Well, you know, I would really like to get to know you better myself. I nearly said, “Michael.”
Q: Well, it (small laugh) —
D: Am I talking to Mark?
Q: Yes, you are, but Michael is the angel as well as my twin brother’s name.
D: I know but (“PING”) this thought keeps coming to my mind. Not of you — and not of Michael. I know Michael — your brother, Michael.
Q: Well, you’re talking to Michael — (“WHEN YOU”) when you talk to me you’re also talking to Michael because He’s with me.
Q: You know?
Q: By the way, I said that “you know” — for transcribing purposes later on I just said “You know?” (small laugh) (“OKAY”) Anyway, (“WE”) we have a lot of fun.
D: Yes. (“AND”) Could you come over some time?
Q: Yes, I will. I’m just busy trying to finish the book. (“BUT I”) Anyway, who knows? Well, you probably have a lot to think about now.
D: Oh, I do. I had a lot (“BUT”) to think about then. I mean that program. It was amazing.
Q: Wasn’t that amazing with the coyotes? Okay, I’ll talk to you later.
D: Okay. Thank you, Mark. Thank you, Michael.
( . . . )
Q: (speaking into tape recorder) I’m so sneaky. At least, I’m very lucky. Tonight, I had to get out of here. Doing all this transcribing is driving me bats — let’s be very blunt about it. So, anyway, my brother and I were going to Zen, which is a little Japanese restaurant on Hyperion. There were a few new restaurants across the street so we went across to check them out and didn’t really feel like going to one of them but there was this little antique store there. It didn’t really have a sign outside. There was just a Budweiser sign. And I saw this poster and it was a very old facsimile of a very important document. So I joked to my brother, “Michael, get that. If I can buy the Ark of the Covenant, then maybe that’s the real thing too.” Anyway, he didn’t so I said, “Well, I have to buy it. How much is this?” I thought maybe I’d offer $20 for it. Anyway, she asked for $40. I said, “Fine.” She said, “Oh, but we’ll have to add tax.” I said, “Oh, well, that’s fine.” She didn’t have any change so I just gave her $45 and she gave me a receipt with a pretty Betty Boop stamp on it. She was a nice lady. She’s going to be disappointed that I got this but look at it this way. If I hadn’t bought it, someone else would have and they would have kept all the money for themselves. This way, it all goes to charity. And you’re dealing with forces beyond your control so it has nothing to do with you. You’re a very nice lady and it’s too bad you were in that car accident. You look great. Anyway. She sold me — the Declaration of Independence. And (“YEAH”) when we got to the house, Michael’s friend Ted, who I interviewed, was staying for a visit. He asked me not to mention his last name in this book because his mother may not know that his brother died of AIDS even though she knew he was gay. So I showed the Declaration of Independence to him and he’s very knowledgeable about antiques. I didn’t even say what it was and he said, “Oh, no, that couldn’t be the original. Let me get my glasses.” Well, I said, “I really have to go. I have a lot of transcribing to do but it will look really great with my Ark of the Covenant.” I guess I’ll have two items for Sotheby’s. I’m at the center of the synchronicity. But the question is posed to each of us. I guess it has to do with energy sources. I don’t know if I’m the reincarnation of anyone but it’s a question we each have to ask of ourselves. I believe it’s the behavior that we show in this lifetime by which we’re judged. So our actions reveal who we are. It doesn’t matter if I had a previous incarnation because we’re judged for the things we do now, the emotions we have now and how we show love for our fellow man. I mean it doesn’t really make a difference to God if in a previous lifetime we were somebody really nice. He wants us to be as good as we can be right now. He’s using me to test, well, each of us. So how you respond to my book is up to you but I think it presents a strong case that God exists and that He is love. How are you going to help me get this message out there? I mean the story could go on forever or it could end tomorrow. This might be the end of my book even though I can always do another one. After a vacation. Actually, tomorrow I’m going to that lecture so maybe I’ll add a few things but I really feel that there’s not a lot necessary left to say. The ball is in your court, so to speak. In our court, I guess. Whatever happens — it’s going to be fun. The screenplays I wrote or adapted were very unusual in some ways. They were very original. They weren’t like previous films. And for Hollywood, which collectively equates professionalism with cliches and recycling ideas, originality seems unprofessional — inept. Maybe it just meant it really would take a miracle for me to sell one of my scripts.
(TRANSCRIBER’S NOTE: THE FOLLOWING INTERVIEW IS WITH A CLERK DESIGNATED AS ‘C’ WHOSE NAME I FORGOT TO ASK.)
C: Independence National Historical Park Visitor Center. May I help you?
Q: Hello. I saw the Los Angeles Times today. There’s a very long article about your facility there and it’s ironic because — well, first of all, are you the superintendent?
C: No, I’m here working at the Visitor Center desk.
Q: Do you know something about the history of the Declaration of Independence?
C: A little bit.
Q: Well — oh, by the way — I’m taping this call for my information. Guess what happened yesterday?
Q: I bought — well, I thought it was a facsimile of the Declaration of Independence. (“UM-HUH”) But it’s obviously the original. (“UH-HUH”) One of the originals. (“RIGHT”) Do you know how many there are in existence? (“FOUR”)
C: Well, let’s see, there is one handwritten, engrossed copy (“UH-HUH”) but there are several original printed copies.
Q: Well, this looks like it’s handwritten. (“YEAH”)
C: Oh, okay. That probably is not the one that is down in Washington, D.C. (“UH-HUH”) However, if you like, I can give the number for a museum specialist/curator and she could talk with you (“WHAT ABOUT”) about that.
Q: Right. I also expect Sotheby’s is going to be visiting me. (“UM-HUH”) But go ahead and give me that information. Do you know anything about how many there were made originally?
C: As far as the handwritten one, I don’t (“BUT”) believe there was more than only one of those. But there were more of the copies that were printed on the printing press. (“NO”)
Q: Well, this one even has additions that have been written in and things. (“HMM”) I mean the parchment — you can just tell it’s the original.
C: Very old, huh? (“RIGHT”)
Q: The only reason why I’m sure that I got it was because no one else would ever believe that it’s possible (“UH-HUH”) to get the original.
C: Okay. So let me give you Karie Diethorn’s number and then you can talk to her about that.
Q: Okay, great. (“TODAY”) Will it be today or will I have to wait until tomorrow?
C: Tomorrow — (“OKAY”) Monday through Friday. Let me look it up for you. Her last name is Diethorn. (gives number)
Q: Well, I think you’ll be reading about this in the papers because I have this as well as the Ark of the Covenant which I’m going to put on auction soon.
Q: Yeah. (“US”) So this is, like, major.
C: Oh wow. Okay. Well, give her a call.
Q: Are you a Christian?
C: Yes, sir.
Q: Okay, well it all ties in.
(TRANSCRIBER’S NOTE: I RECORDED THE FOLLOWING QUESTION AND REPLY; AND FOLLOW-UP QUESTION REPLY AT THE PHILOSOPHICAL RESEARCH SOCIETY LECTURE “THE TURNING POINT — COSMOLOGY OF THE REFLEXIVE UNIVERSE” CONCERNING THE WORK OF THE LATE COSMOLOGIST AND SCIENTIST ARTHUR M. YOUNG. THE LECTURER IS JEFFREY MISHLOVE, PH.D. WHO IS DESIGNATED AS ‘J.’)
Q: I’m a distant cousin of Arthur’s.
(TRANSCRIBER’S NOTE: THE AUDIENCE’S RESPONSE OF “OHH” IS HEARD ON THE TAPE HERE.)
Q: So I have a question about synchronicity, of course. I think it’s fascinating about the ‘arc’ because of the Ark of the Covenant and what-have-you. For example, my own name is Mark and I work in marketing.
(TRANSCRIBER’S NOTE: THE AUDIENCE’S RESPONSE, LAUGHTER, IS HEARD ON THE TAPE HERE.)
Q: So do you think that the synchronicity —
J: Maybe you should get into architecture.
(TRANSCRIBER’S NOTE: THE AUDIENCE LAUGHS.)
Q: Well, I’m writing a book, actually, now about the New Age. But do you think the synchronicity has a center?
J: You know John Lilly used to write about that. He called it ECCO. Earth Coincidence Control Organization.
(TRANSCRIBER’S NOTE: THE AUDIENCE LAUGHS.)
J: He said, “They’re the ones who are responsible for all the synchronicities — Coincidence Control. Arthur would say that synchronicities are embodied in the realm of mythos which is the overall structure. The fact that the process itself has seven stages. That’s the realm in which these things occur. The mythological realm. It doesn’t have any kind of a structure that could be located within any of these kingdoms. It’s an over-arching structure.
( . . . )
J: The synchronicity seemed to be extremely precise in a way that sometimes the uncertainty principle wouldn’t apply. I mean it seems to transcend the uncertainty principle often. (“UM-HUH”) But, again, I’m getting into a realm beyond which I probably say too much. (“YES”) And I mean how would you pay for that?
( . . . )
Q: (speaking into tape recorder) Speaking of synchronicity, I ran into my therapist at the lecture today. After the lecture I went into the bookstore and (“THE FOOL”) looked at the author’s books. One is entitled The Bell Notes about his helicopter work and the other one is entitled The Reflexive Universe. (“SO”) The lecture was very good. I would recommend it. I was especially touched when the lecturer speaking about the virgin birth and Young’s interpretation that when you give birth to yourself that’s ‘the turning point.’ (“YEAH”) Jeffrey Mishlove also talked about when Arthur Young died San Francisco was illuminated by a halo around the sun. Arthur Young was quite interested in astrology and it was interesting that he believed Francis Bacon to be the author of Shakespeare’s plays. (“I GUESS HE WAS A FOOL”) He started as a philosopher but he felt that philosophy began degenerating with Pythagoras. (“SO”) Anyway, it’s much too complicated for me to discuss. (“YEAH”) Young believed that there were four levels and seven stages. The four levels were a structure and the seven stages were a process. He equated the seven stages with the seven days of creation. Photons were interesting to hear about. They sort of act like God in some ways. (“SO”) The uncertainty principle was interesting. Light is uncertain. There was also some interesting discussion about free will and, anyway, I would definitely call the Philosophical Research Society . . . and request (“YEAH”) the cassette for both this lecture and the previous one about Egypt. (“UH-HUH”) Especially if you’re interested in chemistry, physics, biology and (“HIM”) Occidental and Oriental creation stories. (“YEAH”) The next lecture I intend to go to will be on Sunday, December 17 and the title of the lecture is “Celebrating the Birth of God.” (“YEAH”) The speaker will be Debashish Banerji. (“YEAH”) It’s a neat flyer that the PRS made to publicize the upcoming lecture. You should see this interesting (“YEAH”) picture on this flyer. It’s (“SAM”) from Picart’s Religious Ceremonials and it shows the first incarnation, or matsya avatar, of Vishnu. I think I’ll also go to the PRS Christmas Eve party. I think that will be fun.
(TRANSCRIBER’S NOTE: IN REGULARLY ATTENDING THE PRS I HAVE FOUND THAT I CAN RECOMMEND MOST OF THE SUNDAY LECTURE CASSETTES AS WELL AS THE WORKS OF MANLY P. HALL. THE FOLLOWING INTERVIEW IS WITH KARIE DIETHORN, INDEPENDENCE NATIONAL HISTORICAL PARK.)
Q: Okay. By the way, my name is Mark Russell Bell calling from Los Angeles. This weekend I was at an antique store and I found what looked to be an original Declaration of Independence.
D: Well, that sounds very interesting. Can you tell me about it?
Q: Yes, I have it right in front of me. It’s a very old brown parchment. It’s handwritten. It’s a brown parchtone. It has things that have been added. It’s so old that it’s sort of raised in spaces but it’s in excellent condition. I first thought, “Well, that must be an old facsimile.” (“YES”) I don’t really even know how many copies were made. The more I look at it the more certain I am (“UH-HUH”) that it is —
D: Well, see, may I give you some information that may help you? Alright, first of all, I need to ask you a couple of questions.
D: Along the top, in other words above the title of the document, is there any information there indicating a printer’s name —
D: — or place — what about in the lower left hand corner —
D: — below the signatures. (“CALL”) Okay. Now it does include signatures, right?
D: Does it have any portraits around the edges?
Q: No. It’s brownish color. It’s sort of raised-ish. It’s like parchtone.
D: Oh, yes, I know exactly what you mean and it is indeed a facsimile. When the Declaration of Independence was completed — the text, in other words — in the summer of 1776, it was a copy. Thomas Jefferson had drafted the Declaration for us and he had written it out by hand and taken that to the Continental Congress so that they could debate the text. And as they debated during the months of June and July, there were changes made and those changes were written on the document. Then, finally when everyone agreed to the text —
Q: Right, because I see, for example, where it says “have been answered repeated injury” — “only” has been added in there.
D: Yes. The document was taken to a printer and then typeset from that corrected copy. (“UM-HUH”)
D: Now that corrected copy, according to Jefferson scholars, no longer exists. Apparently, during the printing process, it was destroyed. It was probably manhandled in the print shop — it got really dirty and torn and it was destroyed. So the printed copy of the Declaration — the type of which was set on the evening of July 4th and the morning (“UM-HUH”) of July 5th —
D: — was printed here in Philadelphia by a printer named John Dunlap. (“UM-HUH”) And that’s actually the first public document. Printing by John Dunlap. And that was not a handwritten version. That was a typeset version.
Q: But this one does have all the signatures and everything.
D: What I want to do is give you a little story about how — (“NO NO WAIT”)
Q: So is this — what is this now?
D: Alright, if you’ll let me explain I think I can make it clear to you because we often get calls from individuals such as yourself who found a document that was very, very old and they’re curious about whether or not it could be from the 18th century.
Q: Oh, it looks definitely like it could be.
[2020 UPDATE: AN ARTICLE BY SUSAN SPANO ABOUT DORIS MOSELEY WAS PUBLISHED IN THE LOS ANGELES TIMES ON JANUARY 31, 1999. THE TRAVEL SECTION HEADLINE IS "WHERE THERE'S A WILL TO SEE THE WORLD, THERE'S A WAY — JUST ASK DORIS MOSELEY." BELOW IS WHAT WAS REPORTED IN THE ARTICLE. ALTHOUGH I'VE SENT NUMEROUS EMAILS TO LOS ANGELES TIMES REPORTERS ABOUT MY BOOK AND BLOG OVER THE YEARS TO LET THEM KNOW THIS LOS ANGELES AUTHOR AND BLOGGER IS AVAILABLE FOR AN INTERVIEW, THERE HAVE BEEN NO REPLIES TO MY INQUIRIES.]
Doris is 91 now, confined by a broken hip to her daughter’s home in Chatsworth, which is what prompted her to write a letter to the Travel Section. In it she stated: “I enjoy reading about traveling, but I liked it better when I did it! I spent two years in India working with Mrs. Gandhi, climbed the Great Wall of China when I was 75, saw Buddha’s footprint atop Adam’s Peak in Sri Lanka, crossed Russia on the TransSiberian railroad, flew around Mt. Cook in New Zealand and attended a Muslim wedding in Kashmir.”
So I rang her up to get the full story. But it’s a long one, and though Doris, who was born in London, is extremely articulate, she doesn’t talk in sound bites. After trying to fill me in over the phone, she paused, slightly daunted. “I have all these lovely memories,” she said at last. “Better come see me.”
It was a chilly December day when I drove out to the Valley to visit Doris, who had a few hardy roses hanging on in her garden. She met me at the front door, then led me rather unsteadily to the kitchen, where we sat down to chat. In her housecoat, with eyes clouded by cataracts, she didn’t look like a world traveler. But I soon realized that her whole life had been an incredible journey. Here’s how our conversation went:
Question: What made you start traveling?
Answer: Well, when I was a little girl I had a geography teacher who talked about foreign countries and used all these marvelous names. Now I realize she didn’t pronounce them correctly.
Q: Do you recall your first trip?
A: Yes. We would go to the seaside, take the ferry across the Channel and walk around in Calais for a few hours. It only cost a few shillings.
Q: And you grew up to be a teacher.
A: Yes, but I had to fight my own way. I was born in a working-class section of London and got a scholarship to Cambridge. My husband died in the war, and my house in London was bombed. Later, I managed to get into Libya to see his grave in the desert at Tobruk.
Q: And afterward?
A: Well, I had these two bright children, and I wrote every school I could think of. Diana went to a Quaker school and Roger was accepted at Christ’s Hospital in Sussex. That’s where I met Dr. Harold Dobbs, the president of Princeton. I was just a poor little English widow, but I’ve always been lucky in the people I’ve met. He said he would sign for me to come to America and got me a job teaching English at the University of Illinois.
Q: You brought your children over and taught in Urbana, Ill., then became a librarian at a school outside Chicago. Right?
A: And after 11 years there I took three off to go to India. I was nearly 62, and saw an advertisement for a librarian at Dehra Dun in the foothills of the Himalayas. At the time, the village was full of Tibetan refugees living in dreadful, smoky huts.
Q: How did you meet Indira Gandhi?
A: At a YWCA conference. She thought I was doing a good thing, and had me to tea several times in New Delhi. She made it possible for me to join an American group in India to visit a newly discovered temple. I’ve never seen so many erotic carvings! And it was through her that I “took the salute” on an Indian admiral’s yacht during a regatta in Bombay. There were Sikhs with turbans . . . marvelous!
Q: How did you get to Sri Lanka?
A: Once, in Greece, I met a woman from there—it was called Ceylon at the time—and when I finished at the library I wrote to her. It turns out that she was the sister of the president. In Sri Lanka there is a mountain called Adam’s Peak where you can see a footprint made by Buddha. To get to the top at dawn with all the pilgrims, you start at about 5 in the afternoon and walk and walk. It was dark and I was about halfway up when I met an English policeman, very smart in shorts and socks. “What are you doing here?” he said. “Where will you sleep?” “I don’t know,” I replied. So he took me to the police hut and gave me a bed. The next morning I woke up to all this marvelous chanting, and my heart swelled up. I’m in Sri Lanka, I thought, miles away from anyone who knows me. It was nirvana.
Q: Did Premier Khrushchev really kiss your hand?
A: Oh, yes. I knew a girl at the University of Illinois whose uncle worked in the American embassy in Moscow. When I arrived at my hotel there, an invitation to a party at the ambassador’s house was waiting for me. I had a lovely blue linen dress with a little jacket, so I looked absolutely marvelous. And that’s how I met Khrushchev.
Q: I can hardly believe all this.
A: Well, wait until you see my passports.
(There were seven of them, covering over half a century of travel, bearing exotic stamps and photos of Doris — including one in which she was fair-haired and beautiful.)
Q: How did you manage to go to all these places?
A: Well, maybe the times were different. You could trust people then. And I traveled without an attitude. I was just interested, and I was terrifically polite — to everyone. Somehow it’s carried me through. And I’m not shy or standoffish. I think I look as if I want someone to talk to me. But she was getting tired of talking to me, I could tell. So I made my farewells.
Halfway down the walk, I heard her call out, “Pick a rose, luv, for the drive back.”