The Liminalist # 234: Works in Progress (with Ann Diamond)

Return conversation with Ann Diamond on the literary world, the rock n’ roll industry, and MKULTRA’s archetypal hijacking.

Part One: The MKULTRA Key (0 – 26 mins)

A dream of Ann Diamond, MKULTRA past, piecing together a fragmented past, a memory block, Ted Hughes, Ann’s mentor, modeled on Sylvia Plath, a sexual initiation, meeting Hughes as a child, the literary industry, an archetypal template, a world of dark magic, the occult path, The Iron Man, a mess of fragments, researching Sylvia Plath, the next J.D. Salinger, the MKULTRA key, Hughes’ sister & literary executor.

Part Two: Robotized Humans (26 – 49 mins)

Acknowledging memories, MKULTRA dreams, Masonic geography of downtown Montreal, university days, the architecture of English literature, the doll that says no, escaping slavery, finding joy, from mysticism to facts, the turquoise princess syndrome, Cinderella mind control, Lucifer programming, Ewen Cameron’s twin aspects of psychic driving, good cop & bad cop inside the skull, Peter Sellers’ pathology, mother-father imprinting, complexity of culture vs simplicity of nature.

Part Three: An Operator & a Salesman (49 mins – 1 hr 13 mins)

A university course with Andrew Loog Oldham, Rock Dreams, The Rolling Stones & Satanic Majesties, Stones vs The Beatles, dead Paul McCartney, killing rock stars, selling the soul to the devil, copying the gods, Oldham’s openness to paranoid critical theory, 1950s UK, rubble in the streets, a freak for show business, an operator & a salesman, grokking The Who, Stones in Montreal in 1965, generations in Hell, embracing Satan, wise as serpents, harmless as doves.

Part Four: Works in Progress (1 hr 13 mins – end)

The trap of the past, letting go of the drive, half in & half out of MK-culture, a Christian at heart, penetrating the dark, creative tension, individual vs. collective enlightenment, Dave Oshana on success & self-sabotage, audiences small & large, connecting with a salesperson, being blocked as a writer, the downfalls of a wider audience, The Stones’ followers, the ones who lived, when teachers stay small, Leonard Cohen’s Roshi, leaving the door open, Oldham’s descent, we are all works in progress.

Ann Diamond’s Blog (essay on her Jaggger-connection)

Songs: “Pirates” and “A Smile” by Entertainment for the Braindead; “Trois Je T’Aime” by  Bigott; “The Husbands Somewhere Out There” by Nina Hynes; “Changes” by Short Hand

12 thoughts on “The Liminalist # 234: Works in Progress (with Ann Diamond)”

  1. re: those memory lapses with names

    Olwyn Hughes was Ted’s sister, and she was Sylvia Plath’s literary executor, which is a bit like the fox guarding the henhouse…

    Trevor Thomas was Plath’s downstairs neighbour on Primrose Lane, where she committed suicide on February 11, 1963

    • At least 3 feet of social distance is recommended when opening your heart to Satan – which is, after all, the ultimate test of the Christian ethos and the only real and lasting end to scapegoating.

  2. Just getting to know the work of Ted Hughes, and I am already a massive fan of his poetry. Nonetheless, given the vertical structure of the literary world, like the film world and the political world and the business world, etc., I would not be surprised to learn of in-groups that are formed even by initiation ceremonies. It seems there is so much we do not know. Any other perspective that Ann could lend on the question of Ted Hughes or Sylvia Plath’s being involved with MK Ultra or some other in-group or secret literary power cabal would be much appreciated… I am assuming that Michael Ondaatje, he of the English Patient and other works of poetry and fiction, is the Michael with whom Ann believes Ted Hughes slept. Again, given the meteoric rise of his career and how strangely opaque the literary world and its machinations appear, it certainly is possible. And I found the film of The English Patient to be a very serious slog. In the case of Ondaatje, I have tried to read his poetry and fiction and it did not take. It felt contrived and striving. But this was 20 years ago, I should probably give his work another go.

  3. Having listened a bit further, I wanted to say cheers to Ann for filling in more of the background on Sylvia Plath that could most certainly tie her to MK Ultra. Having now heard more of Ann’s story and a bit more of her take on Sylvia Plath’s story, it is clear that MK Ultra employed a wide variety of means of indoctrination and control. I just finished the “Chaos” book on Manson and a highly ritualized and costumed activity does not seem to be something Manson underwent. It seems that they let LSD do the bulk of the work with him, along with some cooly detached verbal programming.

    • Got it. Thanks for the clarification! No other Canadian writers named Michael with beards who idolize Ted Hughes are leaping to mind. But I need to become familiar with more Canadian riders, that’s for sure!


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