Thursday, January 31, 2008

I Interview Michael Bertiaux


I recently interviewed Michael Bertiaux, author, philosopher and artist with special interest in metaphysics and occultism. Contrary to what some would tell you, Bertiaux had little to do with Aleister Crowley's teachings. Bertiaux was introduced to Voudoun in Haiti when he was head of a Epicopalian Church Museum of Art and Archaeology. He met Dante when he was a secretary for the Theosophical Society, then based in the Fine Arts Building, where my offices are located today.

Mr. Bertiaux maintained close ties to the Haitian community in Chicago and was very involved with the African American Spiritualist Movement. He was acquainted with Henry Rucker of the Psychic Institute and Attorney George Adams, founder of the Mission of the Invisible Sciences that was located at 5200 S Kimbark in Chicago.

Mr. Bertiaux was a teacher of John Keehan Dante and has given me an interview replete with acccounts of his influences from movies, in alchemy, transformation and shamanism. He has told me that John Dante was initiated as a priest of Voudoun in Hyde Park in Chicago. He shared with me information that explained, in his opinion and from his memory of their many conversations, his core influences and interests. It is Steve Reeves who comes to Bertiaux's mind as an influence on Keehan, rather than Errol Flynn.

Dante's connection to Bertiaux came through a business partner and student, Marc Lully. Mr. Lully was in business with Dante dealing in adult bookstores. Mr. Lully used the monies earned from these stores to finance his occult bookstore, Atlantis. A very popular north side center for occult information in the 60s and 70s. Dante was taking a mail order course in the Monetary of the Seven Rays, the "Seven Rays" being the divine energy responsible for the evolution of all life and a "magical offshoot of Roman Catholicism.

Now this is a far cry from the warning I got from uniformed people who have no first hand knowledge of Mr Bertiaux and his studies or practices. Good research requires work.

There is more to report, much much more. But you will only see that in the film. I can't tell everything online. New information keeps coming., fantastic information I need to vet carefully before I reveal it. I just have to keep putting in the work.

New Developments Abound.

The "Old School" Black Dragons are reuniting. There is a lot of irony in this. Doug Dwyer, Rev. Woodrow Edgell and Joe Dodoro have joined the International Black Dragon Fighting Society(IBDFS). Original Black Dragon member Dr. Samuel Joseph Lonewolf, a student of Dante under Trias, has joined the IBDFS also.

Edgell, Dodaro and Lonewolf studied poison hand with John Keehan's teacher, James Lee (not James Yimm Lee of San Francisco, that connection is still being verified). Dodaro and Edgell are working on a series of DVDs that capture the Dance of Death and Poison Hand as taught by James Lee. The DVDs should be available soon.

Joe Dodaro is no joke. We are talking a well seasoned and accomplished martial artist here who is still training and teaching today. He is of my generation, sort of, the tail of the dragon and just as deadly. His teachers have been Rev. Woodrow Edgell, Grandmaster Zhang Hong-Chao, Grandmaster Hsu, Fun Yuen, Aikido master Shihan Fumio Toyoda.

Joe is getting ready to relocate to Las Vegas with his Internal Defense Systems. Here is some of his video Instruction work below.



Past to present. I am there. Time to get my final interviews and archival materials, the music is contracted, and then time to start the final editing. Whew. This is geting easier than I thiught it was going to be. That Lawrence Day and Michael Felkoff have really been helpful.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

The Aguiar Settlement

The courtdate for preliminary motions is now February 15. Aguiar submitted his settlement proposal which reads as follows:

UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT DISTRICT OF MASSACHUSETTS
WILLIAM V AGUIAR III PLAINTIFF
VS. CIVIL ACTION # 07-11673-MLW

FLOYD WEBB, BARRON AND
WENDY SHEPPERD, ASHIDA KIM I
RADFORD DAVIS
FLOYD WEBB

SETTLEMENT PROPOSAL
After much thought and being the sole proprietor of the intellectual property and said copyright A86679, TX3 161682, PAU2-673807, PAU2-617092 of the World's Deadliest Fighting Secret's and Worlds Deadliest Fighting Secrets II. My settlement proposal is as follows:

1. No use of book World's Deadliest Fighting 1969 nor use of book World Deadliest Fighting Secrets 1991 nor any images relating to the two books titled World's Deadliest Fighting Secrets. And no logos relating to the Black Dragon Fighting Society and the World Karate Federation

2. No film use relating to copyright's PAU2-673807, and PAU2617092. The photographer John F Creeden Jr is saying he can't use it. My father who is deceased William V Aguiar Jr is in the footage and has not asked permission to use it as I am the executor of his estate
also. And it is copyrighted. He has violated copyright for two years and has not abided and ignored a cease and desist order.

3. Damages for the following two years of copyright infringements and
the repeated ignorance for the law.
Infringement for two years $275,000
Relief $300,000

Also I will be giving Mr. Webb an opportunity to clear his name of 2 years of infringements and fraudulent involvement. That now clouds Mr. Webb's public image as a video production person in a highly competitive field.

WILLIAM V AGUIAR III
PLAiNTIFF, PRO SE
xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
DATE / 1/21 /2008
So there we are. This is gonna be quite a case. February 15 cannot get here fast enough.

Back from New York

I got back from New York on Monday. It was quite a weekend. About 500 people showed up for St. Clair Bourne's Memorial at River Side Church in Harlem.

Like many others, I still find myself dumbfounded by his passing. I saw lots of people I had not seen in years. People came from California and Arizona, all over New York, my son Djibril and I from Chicago.

St, Clair's sister Judith had called me to let me know I was an honorary pallbearer. I was a bit shocked but honored. St Clair's friendships run deep. We were activists, filmmakers, writers and artists, family and friends joined together to honor his name and works.

I was glad Djibril could be there. This was a good introduction to Harlem and New York for him. He is at that age when he uses his headphones to shut the world out but I think he saw what he needed to see. It is imprinted, maybe a seed planted. It is something for him to look back upon and be glad he was there.

I ran into St. Clair's first wife, Sylvia Azure-Bourne as soon as we got to the Church. I had never met her before. I ended up sitting next to actor Danny Glover and in front of NYU scholar Manthia Diawara. It was good to see Clyde Taylor, St. Clair's longtime friend Tanoa Rodgers, and Faith Childs, Dr Linda Miller, Julie Dash, Greg Tate, Amiri Baraka, Melvin Van Peebles, Kathleen Cleaver, Thomas Allen Harris and many others. My longtime friend from Northern Illinois University, Ajene Washington, his son Jason was there also. They had been with St Clair in Cannes the year he shot Making Do The Right Thing.

Being in New York was not the same. As I prepared to leave on Thursday, I did as I always do, I called all the folks I wanted to see and the first number I dialed was St Clairs. Habit. One hard to break. It was a good farewell.

The image above is one of St Clair during his time in the Peace Corps. His social commitment was solidified here, after being thrown out of school for civil rights activism. He started a newspaper in a slum in Lima, Peru when he was 22 and tried to start an educational TV program. His plans ran afoul of US Embassy officials who decided he was interfering too much in local affairs.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Falling Away from the River, Celebrating at Riverside

Someone is taking responsibility for an act he was never accused of. He is making threats to have my blog taken down for slandering him by accussing him of an act he was never accused of.

No, it makes no sense to me either. Either he cannot read well or he just believes all the crap he continues to fabricate.

This is old and tired. It has been a year since I went to Fall River against my better judgment and dealt with the remnants of the final chapter of John Keehan's life. Nothing but madness and confusion has followed since. It's all about money that does not exist, an archive that is now questionable to me, possibly the biggest hoax of a bluff ever attempted.

Meanwhile, I am still getting great information. What an editing job ahead of me. I want to stop, but I it keeos coming. More pictures, more 8mm film footage has been offered to me at no charge just to see what is on there. It was shot at a tournament here in the 1960s. Maybe I will get lucky and find that 16mm black and white film interview for a local station that is supposed to be around. A Kinoscope maybe??? Research, research, research.

More important that any of the above is this:
St. Clair Bourne's Memorial Celebration is being held this Friday, January 25 at Riverside Church in New York. Filmmakers, activists, and friends from all over the country will be arriving for his memorial. Melvin Van Peebles, Spike Lee, Amiri Baraka, Julie Dash, Yvonne Welbon and Wesley Snipes are expected to be attending.

My late friend and mentor, St. Clair, would be rolling as I recounted these adventures with this film. He could not believe the things I was telling him about this project but knew it had to be true because no one could make up stuff this ridiculous.

When I went to Fall River last January St. Clair told me to make sure to use his address to send the dead fish in a film can. "Floyd Webb is sleeping with the fishes."

Most people don't understand what lead me to this project. Most people know very little about my childhood.

We all miss Saint terribly.









Monday, January 21, 2008

Killer Kung Fu: I know who these guys are now


I have discovered how this advertisement came about. Mark Lolly was a business associate of John Keehan. They were in business together and parted company. John did his world's deadliest man ad, Lolly employed the services of an African-American security guard from Kramer's Health Food Store. His name was Ron. I remember this huge guy from those days, but I don't know if he was a security guard. This information was passed along to me by Occult master Michael Bertiaux

I still have lunch at Kramers about twice a week. It has changed ownership and from being on the east side of Wabash next to an art store to the west side of the street next to Central Camera. The person who has been there longest has only been there 20 years.

The two adverts are very similar. I will have to speak with Mark Lolly, that is him on the ground with the "beard a la Dante."

It is funny how some people have tried to warn me against Bertiaux, like there is some major mystery and there is Satanic ritual all over him and I will be sucked into a spiral of evil. They make claims they cannot back up reagrding all kinds of things that seriously need backing up in order to claim them.

The man is obviously a differently thinking individual. He combined the principles of Voudoun with aspects of the teachings of Alistair Crowley. I find most people who talk about these things know very little about them. Only one person I have been in contact with has put anytime into examining this issue. I may never be able to reveal who he is but I am very grateful for his assistance.

Bertiaux told me that Dante was attracted to the Shamanistic aspects of Voudoun. Bertiaux studied in Haiti. How and why, we may talk about here in future. I know you are asking, how did I get to this? It all started with an email I did not believe. Then one day, I told myself to activate my powers and check it out. Within an hour I had a phone number for Bertiaux.

More information about this add and Dante's spiritual connections and practices will be forthcoming in days ahead.

Additionally, I have been talking to a former student of Dante's who is Native American and is a doctor. He is a Sundancer, lives on the reservation and keeps a couple of tigers and a few bears around. No I am not making this up. He is a very pleasant man, he came to me courtesy of Dr. Lawrence Day.

I was talking to Doug Dwyer today and he was telling me about John's appearances on To Tell the Truth and What's My Line. I will look into what archives remain for those. In 1963 he did an interview to promote the first World's Karate Tournament for WTTW at the Merchandise Mart. Doug also re-confirmed for me that John studied with Mas Tamura.

Another amazing story Doug told me is this; A friend of his uncles, photographer Bob Sandon, was never paid for the photos, and Douglas never was paid nor did he sign a release for the use of the photographs. Doug had no idea there was a second edition of the book, and wanted to know if there are any pictures of him in the book. Hmmmmmmmmmm...I wonder what this means.



Saturday, January 12, 2008

The Court Date gets closer and I met Eugene Robinson

Feb 1 or 15, I am waiting on the word from my lawyers at Foley Hoag.

All is quiet for the most part. I interviewed Sensei Ben Nevarez last week and a few others for color and observation of the times. I am working a short film for something special. I will tell when it is complete. I am going over my interview with Sensei Nevarez and I will post a bit soon.

Last might I met a writer by the name of Eugene S. Robinson who has written a book called "Fight: Everything You Ever Wanted to Know about Ass-Kicking but Were Afraid You’d Get Your Ass Kicked for Asking" He did a reading at Quimby's Bookstore up on North Ave. I called my sources in San Francisco to check him out. Eugene is a Stanford educated Mixed Martial Artist who leads an experimental rock band, Oxbow and is an edtior of numerous publications.

He read from his book an account of meeting with a Boston Southie fighter with mob connections and involvement in murder the sounded like the characters that the Fall River boys would like to claim association with. Maybe I will post the video.

Eugene's book is an unusual instructional book on fighting that purportedely teaches "the little guy how to stand up for himself." Robinson is a semi-pro fighter who LOVES to FIGHT. He's a former bodybuilder and bouncer and he has placed well in submission-fighting bouts. His conversation is laced with life experiences that cross the lines from hanging out with fighters to counseling old college friend who now work for the Defense Department under Bush to sitting across the table from Priscilla Presley at weddings in Vegas.

He was doing a solo concert at the Empty Bottle and then headed to Cincinnati to participate in a challenge. Quite a character. The book has been banned in England. Too much info on how to hurt somebody with a knife, it seems. I want to sit down with him and talk about the nature of fighting, it's appeal to certain personalities as it relates to the book he has written and how it all fits into martial arts history in America, or something like that. I missed getting back to him after his gig at Empty Bottle last might because of parental stuff. But I got his info and we know some of the same people. So no problem.

Good things ahead this year. Best thing of all is that the truth will finally be clarified regarding the whole copyright infringement accusations. Everything else and anyone else creating any kind of confusion is just a distraction from that fact. This is all about to be over.






Sunday, January 06, 2008

Court Updates

Court to hear motions was originally set for Jan 11, was then postponed to Feb 1. Now we may be at either Feb 11 or 15, whatever the court's desire. Ashida Kim, who had been filing pro se, is now represented by counsel and looks like he will be taking the offensive now.

I, for one, am anxious to get it started and over with and to allow justice to take it's course. I will attend the hearing in Boston and get interviews I need while I am out that way. I got two really cool ones I am anxious to do. One is with a minister/martial artist in upstate New York.