The Liminalist # 31.5: The Guerrilla in the Room (with Ann Diamond)

Part 4: “Negative Space”  |   Download  (Duration: 1:02:25  — 57.1MB)


Third and forth parts of conversation with Ann Diamond on Leonard Cohen, MKUltra, cultural engineering.

Part Three: In part three we discuss Cohen’s possible participation in Donald Hebb LSD experiments at McGill in 1951, Cohen the soldier of fortune, instilling discipline into a generation, Cohen’s first career, Cohen in the IDF (Israeli Defense Force) during the Yom Kippur war, Cohen & Ariel Sharon, Cohen’s lullaby, masquerading as peacenik, how glamor magic works, Cohen’s Maoist critics, dazzling European audiences, Cohen as conservative representative to radical youth, 1970 timeline, calming the audience at Madison, Wisconsin, Cohen the pacifier, his anti-communism, Cohen timeline beginning with his Jewish elite family background, living in the Montreal red light district & hanging with the pimps and gangsters, the Jewish mafia, the McGill years, early writing, early income, transitioning from writer to singer, Life magazine 1960 Hydra photospread, John H. Hammond II background, juxtaposing Cohen’s career trajectory with Jasun’s, Cohen-charisma, Cohen’s autistic grace, trauma-created charisma, placing anomalous charm in the right context, Irving Layton’s backing, delivering Cohen an audience, National Film Board of Canada’s history of propaganda, promoting LSD, The Ernie Game, John H. Hammond again, FBI’s unwitting investigations of CIA operatives, Pump Up the Volume & Allan Moyle, The Rubber Gun, pedophiles at McGill, the Hounds of Montreal, Cohen as mentor to the young art crowd.

Part Four, “Negative Space”: Art as technology, discovering Cohen, Jasun’s story, disinheriting fortune, disappearing from the map, matching trauma and implicate order, worshiping artists, the items of identity, weaponized memes, uncovering the hidden narrative, Disney programming, Mickey Mouse-as-negative space, the exalted state, the limits of art, not trusting good feelings, self-expression vs. art, abusing the creative impulse, sociopaths and forgiveness addiction, ice that melts the heart, Cohen’s confessional, two separate careers, born into a crime syndicate, Cohen’s struggle, being an icon, changing perceptions of the entertainment industry, Open Secret, the conspiracy of culture, the populated margins, leaving the map, creating a safe space through dialogue, eloquence as a means to integration, pawns of culture, generation X & baby boomers, an astrological interlude, blaming previous generations, betrayed by Cohen, Leonard the lightbringer, Cohen’s fear/hatred of women, the last man standing, the legacy of a false narrative, reaching out to Cohen, resigned t Hell, a shot at redemption, Kelley Lynch, will Leonard be listening, back to the beginning.


Download (duration: 41:14 37.7MB)

The Illuminati poisoned well, the roots of MKUltra, Cohen’s beliefs, Sabbatai Zvi as Cohen’s historical twin, Nathan of Gaza, the Sabbatean sect and links to Weishaupt’s Illuminati, the missing Hydra winter of 1980, a holocaust of the gentiles, spreading ugly rumors about Ann Diamond, Irving Layton’s admission, Cohen’s Prozac period & the Allan Memorial psychiatrists, the energetic effects of Prozac.

Ann Diamond’s website.

Straw Sage: The Shtickless Shtick & Perception Management of Leonard Cohen


“El Mariachi” by The Freak Fandango Orchestra.

Part Three: “Alabama Chicken,” by Sean Hayes; “Arkansas Live,” ” Cloudy Shoes,” by Damien Jurado.

Part Four: “Who by Fire,” by Susanna Wallumrød & Giovanna Pessi; “Monkey Said” by The Freak Fandango Orchestra.


25 thoughts on “The Liminalist # 31.5: The Guerrilla in the Room (with Ann Diamond)”

  1. My favourite Cohen cover is Antony’s ‘If It Be Your Will’… Another one that gets much better (or more profound or at least more complex) with new contexts … ‘You’ is clearly meant to be God, but is it actually ‘boss’? Could his pious posture really translate to his duty to his employers?? I wonder if that lyric isn’t actually sardonic… A way of addressing his masters with a sarcasm analogous to a black American shuffling and asking ‘I’d sho like to sing mo songs massa, if it be yo will…’ But then I wonder if I’m just being generous again.

    My favourite song of his is Avalanche — the ones that I identified with were the ones that frightened me, the ones that made me marvel at such profoundly sorcerous lyrics having percolated through the mainstream of music — I suppose that’s why I would declare his poetry to be made “better” by the new contexts as if it were a fact rather than my opinion.

    But that’s not why I say it really is important. Strategically, it’s important to the degree that literary criticism can defend itself from claims of ‘conspiracy theory’ … If enough of Cohen’s poems lyrics novels and eyebrow-raising interview quotes can be read closely and interpreted in a way which is DECISIVELY SUPERIOR and more comprehensive than previous appreciations, that can widen and strengthen the potential audience for these contexts, and give that audience the excuse they need to look at them in the first place … Not just intriguing new readings of this or that text, but showing how the new contexts make the texts more consistent with each other, or with a ‘key’ like ‘My Secret Life’. That’s probably the only kind of help we can reasonably hope for from him, but I really don’t know if it’s too generous to expect it.

    • think it deepens the meaning by deepening the context but it also would entail a shrinking of audiences, because most music/Cohen lovers do not want to accommodate the new information/context since it means giving up their IDEA of Cohen and what the music means to them.

      I agree it is much richer, because (if?) closer to a true reading, and maybe LC, wherever he is, some part of him could/can get behind a reevaluation that allows MKUltra to be a major, even primary, creative force behind his own creativity. I wonder, some people might even see it as an advertisement for MKUltra: “Look, if we can create omelets like this, isn’t it worth all those broken eggs?” (Hope not, but the thought occurred to me.)

      • That sounds a lot like ‘The Strieber Excuse’!
        Or like disasters bringing people together, or war being the crucible of great novels and greatest generations… Or the new ‘American Ultra’ movie where the protagonist no doubt saves the day in some way that only he could, and that hilariously… saves more eggs than could possibly have been broken in the research and development of that omelette… Orange you glad we clockworked him that way? Your tax dollars at work!
        Which is to say, that kind of attempted spin doesn’t seem so unlikely to me, at least there’s a lot of precedent for the same sort of basic excuse.

  2. Thank you for this incredibly engaging and informative series. The information presented and the style in which it is presented is top notch. This whole subject hits so close to home for me, on so many levels. Thank you for adding a few more pieces to this puzzle of experience.

    • Thanks. that was such a glowing response but also so general that at first I thought it was spam! (no offense, but specifics are always nice)

  3. i have been thinking about these last 4 + 1podcasts and have found myself both speechless and on the verge of, well, spilling over, just about covers it. i am momentarily at a loss, and if i can be forgiven for being a bit presumptuous, i have a feeling i understand where the above,’A’ might be coming from.
    glowing in the praise department for you yourself and anne, yet somewhat ambivalent to reveal why this has profoundly affected me for reasons i feel sure you can glean.
    i would have to agree with anne’s heartfelt observation at one point when she so poignantly referred to your ‘therapeutic and gentle’ interviewing style. i hope i got that right, as i was thinking along the same lines myself. there were more than a few times in the conversation where i found myself feeling somewhat voyeuristic and i wondered why. it was such a genuinely intimate conversation, very palpable really. your compassion and sincerity was evident throughout, i think you have found your calling.
    at one point i realized that the most obvious and striking thing was that we, fringe types, writers, artists, poets, musicians, mystics, trauma survivors, aspies, liminalists all, have endured and accepted the simple fact that at one moment or another in our lives, that we were way out numbered, a minority.
    clearly, we are so varied and evenly distributed throughout the population, but not typical if you catch my drift. i think, and not just based on this conversation solely either, that this is about to change,
    i admire anne’s courage and humanity, and i am grateful that you jasun are doing what you are meant to do so very well.
    thank you both and thank you also to lucinda’s beautiful artwork, not to mention your choice of music. i always look forward to the music it seems.

    • got chills; a lovely response, thanks. I will pass it on to Ann.

      For the record, Lucinda no longer does the artwork. All the pics for this series were done by me. I’m sort of pleased they pass for hers tho.

  4. chills are a good thing. you are welcome, i have a feeling the sentiment is shared by many. thanks for doing that, wasn’t sure how anne might interpret a reply directly, so that’s a good thing.
    well then, your work is certainly reflective, as within so without i see.
    be well

  5. I suppose we have to at least entertain the possibility that LCs lyrics are encoded with various NLP messages designed to infiltrate the unconscious of the listener . “I’m your man ” does indeed seem slightly hypnotic and he does emphasise and enunciate certain words and syllables . I dont doubt that vulnerable and susceptible people are drawn into dark orbits such as Lens , should he be what you surmise .
    Dont know if you have kids chum , but definitely having been through ( and still going through ) the process of accepting i wont be a father , i am very familiar with the gnawing sense of existential anxst and mortality that accompanies this . Perfectly natural i suspect , most people with kids get to avoid it until the moment of their death , so consider it a gift . I wonder if its a coincidence that many people on the fringes of the resilience / peak oil / alt scene dont seem to have kids , and a lot also seem to have germanic lineage and overt or covert conservative tendencies .
    I felt in some measure your interview with Ann to be an evocation of the Crone archetype , though she seems a delightful woman with a mellifluous voice i could listen to all day
    Cheers mate

    • “Dont know if you have kids chum , but definitely having been through ( and still going through ) the process of accepting i wont be a father , i am very familiar with the gnawing sense of existential anxst and mortality that accompanies this . Perfectly natural i suspect , most people with kids get to avoid it until the moment of their death” –Kutamun

      Thats a great observation Kutamun. The existential angst is easy for me to deal with; the problem is the sense of entitlement and elevation many parents give themselves over what could be considered a mindless, purposeless, unguided biological function? One of the reasons I don’t have children of my own is because Im underwhelmed by the quality of other peoples.

      In addition my own experiences as a child continue to undermine any optimism Ive been able to generate on my own.

      I suspect parenting is a giant ego trip; and for many men its a way to deal with the REAL male existential angst which is proof of their utility – this is why men commit suicide when they lose their job; they have been tricked into believing their value is dependent on their economic utility to women, children, and ultimately, the State.

      Lots of black people suffer from a similar form of this pathology which clearly presents when they get in a debate with a racist and the racist says: “your ancestors didn’t invent airplanes, internal combustion engines, or (wait for it…) GO TO THE MOON!

      The average black person falls for this trick and starts Googling for “black inventors” and spewing out names and dates as if there exists, somewhere, and objective justification for mistreatment and abuse?

      See how we get tricked?

      Its a Tom Sawyer Jedi Mind Trick.

      The most difficult part of teaching guitar to married men with children is getting them to think OF themselves and FOR themselves.

      what are you gonna play?

      ” Im gonna play what you tell me to play?”

      *face palm*

  6. I dont think theres a link between germanic ancestry and childlessness , but maybe they ( teutons have the right warrior tendencies that are required to inhabit the fringes where unpalatable truths and more dire oncoming collective currents are confronted . Not havng kids also helps accept the reality of the diffuculties we now face as a species , without feeling the need to maintan some sort of facade for the kiddies . Childless people and Entropy are intimate bedfellows i think . The teutons are the wild people that inhabit the densely forested lminal zones north of the danube and east of the rhine where whole legions are wont to disappear . Perhaps they are like the watchers on the wall or george martins crows . Me ? I’m Irish orignally

  7. It seems so long ago…. I just received this link, which sums up some of the political background we couldn’t explore because it’s very dark, detailed and explosive, but as we’re heading into another traumatic American election year, I think it’s relevant to note that nobody’s career goes anywhere without backing at the highest levels, and the highest levels are a small, claustrophobic. multigenerational scene where everyone knows everybody and hangs out together, dropping acid, making deals, and trading weapons.

    That would include the controlled opposition, e.g. Fidel Castro reportedly also worked for the CIA — as do Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton. And Whitley too. So as we’re all preparing to be retraumatized in the near future, it could be therapeutic to look back on at history. One thing it teaches us is: (1) it repeats itself, and (2) trauma erases our memories so everything appears to be happening for the first time, and (3) when we come into the game we are not really people yet, but little pawns of our families, whose roots extend back into the darkness of forgotten time.

    Also, some geographical settings concentrate power and darkness. Montreal, Cohen’s old neighbourhood, would show up quite dark on an infrared map of planetary “evil” while hiding behind a holy veil of Catholocism, sex, culture and joie de vivre. It’s odd how we gravitate to certain places that are off the beaten track.

    As Cohen was growing up, leaving the mental hospital behind, moving to London and meeting Rothschild, back home an international gang of businessmen, intelligence operatives, Zionists and Nazis were cooking up a witches brew: the plot to kill JFK:

    They needed soldiers, lots of them, and lots of drugs and other distractions to keep the party going — until now. It’s all so confusing, but I do think it’s useful when you’re watching, say, a holocaust film in progress, to keep your eye focused on the little girl in the red coat. Or the man in black, with the guitat.

  8. I’m ever so glad for happening upon this whole podcast. What a treasure. Thank you both! And, I agree with Ann and another commenter, Mr. Jasun, I too find, you have a rare quality of being a superb interviewer: Very attentive to and present with your interviewee and palpably interested in the topic, though letting her finish her thought processes without frequently, annoyingly interrupting, as many other hosts and podcasters disappointingly often do, while maintaining your journalistic distance throughout, ensuring a satisfyingand reliable recurrence of critical questioning and hence a more fruitful learning experience for me as the listener – though, as Ann already said, in a very gentle and pleasant manner. And Ann: What a charming and utterly delightful human being.

    I hope my English is comprehensible – I put a lot of care into choosing my words to express my intended meaning, but – English not being my Mother tongue – my apologies if anything sounds strange or off. I hope I have been able to get my sentiments across.

    Now I am left to wonder about my own favourite Musicians, Tori Amos, Fiona Apple and Joanna Newsom.

  9. Thank you both so much for this interview — it has been immensely helpful for me. I am just a bit younger than Jasun and first heard LC’s music in Germany where I was spending a year as a high school exchange student in 1988. The melodies felt very old and powerful to me, and his words seemed important… but what did they mean? I listened to them intently for years, noting his frequent use of Christian — often specifically Catholic — symbolism and imagery. My family background was Catholic and French Canadian, so it seemed all the more reason feel a connection and pay attention… and I loved his humor, which often seemed self-deprecating (“we are ugly but we have the music,” etc). I stopped listening years ago but still know many of his song lyrics by heart. What is astounding to me now is what happens when you take his lyrics seriously and literally in a way I never did before, perhaps because of the sort of hypnotic effect of the music you both discussed.

    The first thing that strikes me is that it’s no wonder he failed as a poet, because the words alone don’t have much power – if you just read them on a page, they fall flat because of the lack of emotion. Rather, it’s the melodies that carry them that pull us along. LC said in an interview that he said that many were tunes his mother brought from the Old World (Lithuania? Russia?), and that he had an Irish Catholic nanny, which is what inspired much of his Catholic imagery in the songs… Of course the nanny story is probably just something he said rather than the truth, and we know there is a big difference most of the time, but not all the time, because his song lyrics really do give so much away… Another very striking thing to me is his repeated use of the same formula, which is taking this powerful Catholic imagery and subverting it with cynical sexual or material banter, often with what passes for clever word play or humor (“remember when I moved in you/and the Holy Dove was moving too”; “the Holy Dove/she has been caught again/bought and sold/and bought again” etc). So here somehow part of the Holy Trinity, which in Catholic theology is part of God, is caught up in a menage a trois with LC and some unnamed woman, and there the same Trinity is being bought and sold like a trinket at a market… In other words, something of great value (the highest value possible, in fact, to any Catholic or other Christian) is being reduced to a passing sex partner or a commodity.

    Subverting the sacred with the profane seems to be LC’s stock in trade, but because his delivery is so charming and funny, his listeners (like me for so long) don’t get it, and just let themselves be pulled along. It says a lot about the media culture that such a person can win award after award from the government for subverting the Christian vision of God but that most of us would never dream of subverting values from other faiths or worldviews, such as those held by LC for example. No, that is off the table, or in other words, sacred, whereas what we held for sacred, like the Holy Dove, is profane, he tells us… this is pretty much textbook psychological warfare, where the goal is to subvert your targets’ value system to such an extent that they don’t know up from down or left from right or right from wrong. Seen in this light, I did not realize for so many years what I was actually listening to while I wrote papers at university or hung out with friends, playing his songs. Rather than a charming sage bridging the old world with the new, he was more like the “silver-tongued devil” Kris Kristofferson sang about. But again, he was giving the game away all along, and all we have to do is really listen with eyes and ears open, rather than as if we all had Stockholm syndrome. With this in mind, it’s fascinating to pick almost any LC song and rethink the lyrics – like Suzanne, for instance: “and just when you mean to tell her/that you have no love to give her…” It comes off initially as a romantic moment where his reluctance is overwhelmed by her confidence in love, but what strikes me now is a different take: after making it clear he lusts after her and implying he has slept with her he doesn’t “let her down easy” with something like “I’m sorry but I don’t love you,” but rather tells her “I can’t love you – or anyone.” That’s what it literally means, if you have no love. This fits well with one aspect of LC’s character (scoring high on the “sociopath” scale) that Ann so marvelously conveys with her highly insightful observations. The amazing thing is that it never occurred to me to interpret his songs like this before because I was always naive, and never cynical — but in his subversion game, he is always cynical, never naive. So I feel like accepting him on his own terms — as the ultimate cynic, a Pied Piper marching relentless towards hell — is the key to understanding what his songs are truly about, and the truth will set us free! Thank you both so much again for sharing this. I look forward to continuing to engage with this mind-blowing material!

  10. Nicole, you’ve expressed my feelings very precisely. He’s a pied piper leading us to Hell, then into a very cold future. There’s no emotion in his world at all — just curiosity about what the humans might be feeling. I think we’ve been on this alien road for too long to turn back now – and he’s taken us a few steps further into the all-encompassing amnesia they’ve designed for us. The vaccines will likely finish us off — let’s not go there.

  11. I know modern Shabbataens and, you skipped over divine apostasy and how they became crypto Jewry , and that the donmeh in turkey are the zealots of their movement. The ones that I have encountered obssesed with the Klippot, they are lurians as well… the particular group I know are in Italy at the moment and about to move… they aren’t what you think they are just an esoteric sect that is acausal and resemble the AGHORI sadhus in India …. They are actually pretty open when you ask them. They’re all over Turkish television… they are for informations sake anti assimilationists, they utilize three languages Aramaic Greek and cuneiform in their writing.. they don’t indulge in pedophilia or really even pederasty. They are obsessed with sexomagical operations that are rooted in profanation. It’s that simple. They aren’t zionists either. They abhor the Likud, and really just want to be left alone and avoid israel at all costs. The Chabbad seem much more dangerous, anyone who supports noahide law is anathema. They hate Maimonides. You guys may have a distorted experience with them. They have no connection to Weishaupt.


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