TELEPHONE INTERVIEW — TAPE #17, SIDE #1
Q: Mark Russell Bell P: Paul Russell (my father in California)E: Ellen Russell (my mother in California)Z: Carol Andersen (family history specialist)J: Jerry Bell (of Wylie, Texas)
P: . . . when she was carrying you.
Q: I know she had an appendectomy during the pregnancy.
P: The doctor said it was her appendix, which it wasn’t.
Q: What was it?
P: Well, he went in and took the appendix out before I realized her pains had nothing to do with her appendix. He told me, “You want to see the appendix?”
And I said, “No.”
Q: What were they caused by?
P: That operation interrupted your rest so when you were born you slept real good. Force of habit. Bye.
Q: Okay, bye.
(TRANSCRIBER’S NOTE: MY FATHER HAS A PENCHANT FOR SUDDENLY HANGING UP THE PHONE TO END A CONVERSATION. THE NEXT RECORDED CONVERSATION IS WITH MY MOTHER AND WAS TAPED TWO NIGHTS LATER. I TOLD HER I WAS TAPE RECORDING THE CALL FOR MY BOOK. SOMETIMES ON THIS TAPE SIDE YOU CAN HEAR MY MOTHER SWALLOWING FROM WHATEVER SHE HAPPENS TO BE DRINKING. THE LISTENING DEVICE WAS MALFUNCTIONING DURING THIS CALL AND I AM CONVINCED MICHAEL WAS EDITING. THE SAME THING HAD HAPPENED WHEN I TAPED WHAT I SAID TO BARRY TAFF.)
Q: Well, first of all, I left a message for Thaddeus and he didn’t call back so I don’t know if he will or not. I hope he does because I’d like to get that information about the family tree. Anyway, what kind of pains did you have leading to the appendectomy?
E: Your father and I were carrying things to the car to go down and visit your grandmother. She had just moved down there where Dorothy was. I had asked my doctor if I could go and he said, “Yes.” Now you asked me to describe a pain?
Q: I mean just what did it feel like?
E: It felt like a pain.
Q: Where was the pain?
E: All over my lower stomach and back.
Q: What month of pregnancy was this?
E: The eighth. And the doctor didn’t even want to operate. We had gone to a hotel because I was ill. We had no money, of course.
Q: Did you have any other pains during pregnancy or any fainting spells?
E: No. Mark, I was healthy. I took care of myself. It was (sighs) —
Q: Paul seemed to think that the appendectomy wasn’t necessary.
E: Isn’t that funny because the doctor that operated on me didn’t even want to touch me because — remember, it was in Oceanside. The doctors — one was a GP and the other was a surgeon — believe me. They didn’t want to have a case like this. A big pregnant woman on their hands. They were afraid. They did the tests in those days and they first thought it was kidney failure or something. I said, “It has nothing to do with the babies.” I knew that. And so the doctor there said, “Here. Just to let you know —” after I had my appendectomy — and you can tell that stupid asshole who you call now. He gave a copy for me to take back to my doctor in Culver City. Garland Garrett. He showed that the appendectomy was necessary or you would have died, your brother would have died and probably I would have died. So what did Mr. Wonderful think?
Q: One of the things Paul said was that I slept real good after I was born because the surgery in some way had interrupted my rest. Do you know what that meant?
E: Babies sleep very good after they’re born if they’re healthy. What do you think it means?
Q: That wasn’t very clear.
E: Why do you listen to a stupid ass?
Q: I can’t remember back that far.
E: To the day you were born? Oh, that surprises me, Mark. Oh my goodness. Do you remember back when you were in the womb?
Q: What about Michael — (“NO”) did he sleep real well also?
E: You both were wonderful, sweet babies. And you grew — you were healthy. Most twins are not allowed to come home unless they’re five pounds.
Q: Did I cry (“YOU KNEW”) a lot as a child?
E: No. Mark, you were a wonderful baby. You and your brother were so healthy when you came home from the hospital.
Q: Okay, for example, (“RIGHT”) one of the directors at the Paramount publicity department, (“RIGHT”) Carol, gave birth, three months premature and the baby was born with the eyes open. (“RIGHT”) It wasn’t crying or anything. When I was born did I cry?
E: Obviously, Mark, you must have or you would have been dead.
Q: Well, I’m just trying to figure out why he said what he said.
E: Oh, Mark — (sighs)
Q: How I slept.
E: God. Mark, look. (sigh) See — I mean I hate this.
Q: Well, let me ask you some other things.
E: This is absolute stupidity.
Q: I don’t know what Paul means sometimes when he explains things. I don’t know what you mean sometimes. By the way, do you think Thaddeus will call me back?
Q: Well, why not? I mean I said, “This is his nephew.”
E: No, he would not.
Q: “I want a family tree.”
E: He’s too smart to call you back.
E: Never ask the word, “Why?”
Q: Oh right. That’s true. That’s what I told you I learned from Hotline training.
E: Obviously, he’s knowledgeable enough not to call back. I’m sure the whole family knows that there are two nuts in the family now. And the more you communicate with your father —
Q: How would he know that, though? Who would have told him that already?
E: I’m sure that Bob knows already. And Jeanne know that there’s something loose —
Q: Because I’ve had what they consider supernatural experiences? (“RIGHT”) I consider them natural. They’re natural to me. Anyway, let’s not talk about this. We’ll never agree on this. But when you first met Paul or were dating, did he ever give you a Hershey bar? Maybe after you first met?
E: Mark, I don’t know. My God, what an awful —
Q: But does that sound like something you would do?
E: It was forty years ago.
Q: I know.
E: I don’t remember. Who cares? A Hershey bar.
Q: You’ve always liked candy and I like candy. Right?
E: Hershey bars have never been my favorite.
Q: How did he get you to have sex with him first?
E: We were married.
Q: So you didn’t have sex before your marriage?
E: John and Billie (“WHO”) were his best friends were there. We got married in the Congregational Church if Los Angeles. In those days it was beautiful. It’s still there. His mother was there. His sisters were there. Bob was there. Jeanne was there.
Q: One big happy family.
E: Well, I don’t know. John and Billie were there. (sighs)
Q: Okay, well let’s move on.
E: Why don’t you ask idiot that?
Q: He answered some of the questions I had.
E: Well, what was the question that you asked him?
Q: Do you remember this — I think this is part of the phenomena. Do you remember “the whiskey glass — the shot glass in the door . . . in the yard. The mess on the floor”? He thought you had kicked someone out and he had thrown it “at the door.”
E: In my house there was never a whiskey glass thrown at the door after someone was kicked out. Ever.
Q: Or outside or something at some point?
E: Never. Never.
Q: Well, that’s what he told me. He said that he had found —
E: Mark, (“AT THE”) this is too bizarre even for me.
Q: Do you remember when he used to talk about this? Has he ever talked about this with you before?
E: Of course not. I don’t talk to Paul and I — ohh!
Q: There was some similar phenomena experienced by the family back in Oklahoma.
E: Mark. (sighs twice)
Q: I’m just asking you if you remember any broken glass or something?
E: Is this what you talk to Paul about?
Q: He gave me this information. And now I’m attempting to figure out when it happened.
E Oh — oh, isn’t this wonderful? Now he’s going to say — (sighs) — It’s called the feeding time at the zoo, I guess.
Q: Well, what if I were to tell you that the Entity that I call Michael seems to be telling me via tape-recorded messages that Uncle Bob sexually abused me?
E: Well, don’t tell me.
Q: Well, Paul —
E: Did you tell Paul that? Ooh, you didn’t tape record that conversation? How terrible of you, Mark.
Q: Well, I might have but anyway —
E: Oh my goodness. Well, go back and dig it out. You mustn’t leave anything unturned here.
Q: Paul implied that you had lots of boyfriends.
E: Oh, of course — of course.
Q: And I slept on my back and I had nocturnal visits.
E: Well, sure — Mark —
Q: I seem to remember this vaguely.
E: Guess what, Mark?
E: You know when I talked to you the other day?
Q: He always said I should sleep on my stomach or something?
E: Mark. Mark. (makes blowing noise through her lips) Mark.
Q What? Is it possible?
Q: At any time?
E: I don’t know where —
Q: I don’t remember any boyfriends, personally.
E: Of course, you don’t because it’s a figment of a fool’s imagination. Okay, Mark, I remember when we talked one time and I wanted to help you?
E: And you said, “Oh, Ellen, you need closure.” And I said, “Well, you know, maybe Mark needs closure on Paul.” And I said, “Maybe during the holidays if you really want to go and see your father why don’t you do it?”
Q: I did mention to him that you wanted to go too and he said —
E: Don’t say I wanted to go. I don’t want to go.
Q: No, but you said you would.
E: For you.
Q: Well, that’s nice.
Q: But he doesn’t want us to go there. He wants to arrange something with Esther, I guess.
E: I don’t want to arrange anything with anybody anymore.
Q: Oh, okay.
Q: Well, I want to see him.
E: I’m through with fools in my life. I don’t need it.
Q: So you — okay — no boyfriends. (“NECESSARY”) I only remember the one boyfriend after the divorce.
E: You lived with me. Bud.
Q: Right. That’s the only one. Unless there were some before you were married or in the early years of the marriage.
E: Honey, before I was married I had lots of boyfriends.
Q: While you were dating Paul?
E: Well, you mean while I was dating Paul?
Q: No, I had to be in a bedroom, I guess, sleeping on my back —
E: (laughs) I don’t know what — Mark. All I know is that I’m so glad that —
Q: Do you know I saw a UFO late Friday afternoon?
E: Well, I’m so glad, Mark. I’m so glad that you have all these wonderful things happening to you.
Q: I wonder if anyone else saw it. I didn’t read about it in the paper.
E: I’m going to tell you one more thing.
E: And this is the last time. You’ll never have to call me again. Get over it. Get help. Or I’m going to put you away. Period. I’m going to put you away at CPC and I can come and visit you.
Q: Let me just share with you some of my experiences.
E: I will lock you up and put you away. Period.
Q: On Wednesday —
Q: Listen to this.
E: I’m not kidding, dear.
Q: This you’ll enjoy.
E: No, I won’t. I’m through.
Q: On Wednesday, All Saints Day, Michael —
Q: — or one of his friends —
Q: — tried to have sex with me in the hypnogogic state between sleeping and waking. I think he was concerned about my sexualizing our relationship and wanted to help me release some of the tension I was feeling.
E: Who said this? Who’s writing this?
Q: This is what actually happened.
E: Mark, if you want to have sex with a guy go and do it, for God’s sake.
Q: No, it’s not a guy. It’s not a he or a she. It’s a Spirit.
E: Well, go have sex — Jesus, go get a bagel and take it to bed with you and stick your penis in it and have sex.
Q: I guess there are people who do that.
E: I don’t care, Mark. Do what you want to do.
Q: I told Him, “No.” Or Her. Or Whatever it was. I told Twyla about it and she thinks it might be Rachel.
E: You’re still talking to the simpletons?
Q: I’m just trying to come to terms with my relationship with Michael.
E: I think you’re — yes — I know that’s your problem.
Q: Can you imagine what it —
E: I’m not talking about Michael the angel.
Q: Just a moment. Just let me talk for a moment.
E: There’s Michael your brother that you can’t come to terms with. And I don’t need a psychiatrist to tell me that. You better get your life together.
Q: It will be easier for you to understand (“NO”) once you read it in book form.
E: God. I don’t ever want — I will not ever read it.
Q: Just for a moment listen to me.
E: I won’t ever read it, Mark. Period.
Q: Let your compassion come out for a moment.
E: I have no compassion left.
Q But let me just explain.
E: I like people.
Q: I want you to be able to imagine what it would be like —
E: I don’t want to imagine —
Q: — to be me.
E: Imagine what it’s like to be me. Can you do it?
Q: Okay, well just wait. Let me explain first.
E: Can you do it? Can you imagine being a simple human being doing the best they can?
E: And always have tried to do the best they can?
Q: Well, that’s what I’m doing.
E: Can you imagine? Who doesn’t go off half-cocked. Who doesn’t have to go around looking for flying saucers or —
Q: I’m not looking.
E: — whatever. Or being possessed.
Q: I just looked out the window and saw it over Dodger Stadium.
E: I’m looking at the sweetest little vision right now. All cuddled up in a corner on the sofa.
Q: You’re not going to get any argument there.
E: And it’s a cat.
Q: We all have our own sources of love.
E: And it’s the sweetest cat. I mean it’s alive. It’s well.
Q: They’re all parts of the Entity.
E: And you know what? It’s alive and well because of one thing. You know who? And what?
Q: I think it’s a shared effort.
Q: Yeah, but who provides you?
E: Have I locked it in the room and never fed it? If I didn’t keep my sensibilities about me and have enough sense to go out and help myself and do things and feed the cat and love it, where would it be? If I locked the door and put it in the bathroom and never gave it water for a week — you’d be dead. Dead.
Q: One of the reasons why I believe that abortion is acceptable because if you aren’t able to care for —
E: It is. I think abortion is wonderful.
Q: Let me explain.
E: I just love abortion. Believe me, I wish I’d had one.
Q: If people don’t take care of them, it’s like they’re raising wolves.
Q: And if you’re growing —
Q: — and if you’re raising wolves they won’t have any eternal life anyway.
E: What? What?
Q: So it’s hypocritical to say, “Don’t have an abortion —”
E: Can I say something now?
Q: “— and save a life.” Because you’re not saving a life.
E: Can I say something? Can I say something?
Q: You’re just creating another death.
E: Can I say something?
E: I believe in abortion and I wish I’d had one. What have I raised? All those years? What did I waste my years on? I said this before.
Q: Why are you angry at me?
E: Because you are still acting like a certifiably insane person. That’s why.
Q: Do I sound that way?
Q: No, but I mean the tone of my voice —
Q: — and the way I’m acting?
Q: Just because I’m trying to tell you what it’s like to be in my predicament? Okay, listen to this.
E: I’ve tried to tell you and your brother —
Q: Just a moment.
E: — what it’s like to be in my predicament —
Q: My turn.
E: — and you always say, “Me me me me me me me me me me me.”
Q: I don’t argue with that either.
E: “Me me me me me me.”
Q: For each of us that’s probably the most interesting subject. I mean we’re all sort of selfish in that way, wouldn’t you say? “Even me?”
E: I don’t care.
Q: Do you know every time I hear a song or read a poem — every movie I see — every book I read — it always seems each self-expression of other people communicates something unique about the love God and I share. I guess anyone who has ever been in love knows what I mean. Did you ever feel that way?
Q: Well, maybe I really am special. (“NO”)
E: If you’re special then you know you’re special. I think I’m special in my own way.
Q: You are.
E: But I don’t have to be a cuckoo nut.
Q: No, it’s just that my soul-mate happens to be —
E: A what?
Q: He/she —
E: She/it —
Q: — we —
E: — or — (admonishing) Mark.
Q: Love. Love. Love incarnate. And somewhere in love — I mean —
E: Mark. Mark. There is no such thing.
Q: — life (“WE”) is part of Him.
E: I loved you and your brother so much. And guess what? I said, “Ohhh —”
Q: You’re just being dramatic, you know?
E: I said to myself, “I thought I loved you —”
Q: I’m just telling you what it’s like to be me.
E: Look. I’m telling you. This is Ellen. I said, “Ooh. I love my sons Michael and Mark.”
Q: Right. And Thaddeus?
E: They’re wonderful.
Q: Question mark.
Q: And Thaddeus. Question mark.
Q: Well, is that Paul’s half —
E: I said.
Q: — he made it sound like that might be my half-brother.
E: I said. I said. “I love my sons.”
Q: And maybe you know about that or something.
Q: What do you know?
E: May I just tell you, Mark? I said to Mike, “I love my sons. I thought I proved it.”
Q: How many?
E: You know it.
Q: I mean I saw that movie too. What was it? “Stella Dallas”?
E: Mark, I mean this is — this is — (laughs)
Q: You seem to know a lot about Thaddeus that you aren’t telling me about.
E: I remember what Paul told me. He hated Thaddeus. Because his father apparently dumped his mother when she had six kids and I don’t know what Anna told him or whatever. All I know is that he hated Thaddeus because his father married somebody else that had a son and apparently the son was very loved.
Q: What if Thaddeus actually was Paul’s half-son from a previous romance?
E: Why don’t you ask Paul?
Q: I did and he didn’t come out and say it but —
E: Oh, he’s an imbecile. No, Mark —
Q: It’s possible.
E: I will not perpetuate this. I don’t need it. Thank God. I don’t need this in my life. I don’t want it.
Q: Well, I know. I’m just trying to come to terms with the case. “Background information.”
E: You’re crazy. You need to be put away.
Q: Well, it would make a good movie.
E: You need to be put away and I will do it.
Q: Oh, please, I’m just telling you (“I’M BROKE”) what it’s like to be me.
E: Mark, I’m telling you.
Q: There’s lots of people around who have their own version of reality and they don’t get threatened by their parents to be put away.
E: I’m special. I’m different. And I told you before and you said that if I ever said that again you would never speak to me. Now it’s gotten worse. And I’m telling you, Mark, I will go down and we will put you away.
Q: That doesn’t sound very loving to me. Who’s we, by the way?
E: The courts. The grown-up people in the world. The ones. The big boys and the big girls will put you away.
Q: Well, maybe they’re looking for some answers themselves.
E: They won’t care. All they want is someone to tell them what to do. And believe me —
Q: Oh, I’m not going to tell them what to do.
E: I know. Of course not. I will.
Q: I don’t know what to do.
E: I will. I will tell them.
Q: Well, I don’t think they’ll listen to you.
E: You need to go to CPC — oh really? I think they would.
Q: I’m a channel. I think the Entity thinks about things the same way I do.
E: I’ll get your records from your psychiatrist. We will get all the records from CPC. Mark, I’m telling you. You talk stupid like this.
Q: I’m telling you I’m working on my book. I’m trying to finish it.
E: I don’t want to hear about that.
Q: I want things to be as clear as possible to everyone so they can experience this act of love through me.
E: You can’t make yourself clear even to me.
Q: The book will.
E: I don’t want a book to make you clear to me.
Q: What do you want? I’m just being honest. That’s all. Honest. Do you think I would go around telling people I had sex with an angel — or almost did?
E: Was your life really so drab and dull before?
Q: No. I was very happy.
E: Well, what was wrong?
Q: There was nothing wrong. That’s what’s so ironic about this. I was very happy.
E: I guess you were lonely.
Q: But I really wasn’t lonely or I would have done something about it.
E: I was lonesome. Begging.
Q: Well, you have a cat.
E: You know what you said to me? “Get a life!”
Q: I just think it would be good if you did volunteer work or made some new friends. (“THAT’S RIGHT”) I mean if you don’t have anything better to do. I don’t have anything better to do. I call you regularly. I visit you. I love you. You know that. I never said I didn’t love you. How do you want me to show you? What more can I do to show you? I’m trying to share with you my experiences.
E: Share them with Paul because I think if two people in the world are feeding off one another —
Q: Did you know that he’s not on any medication of any kind? He never has been.
E: Oh sure. What does he do for his asthma?
Q: Nothing, I guess. He had some kidney stones. Remember your kidney stones?
E: I had one. It’s called a renal calculi.
Q: And what caused it all of a sudden when you haven’t had them before? You only had one occurrence.
E: I told you what caused them.
E: It’s because the doctor gave me Colbenamid.
Q: Paul said he’s sort of a Christian Scientist. I don’t believe in medication. Alcohol is a form of medication. I just think people in general try to deal with pain by drinking but that just postpones their problems and they don’t understand that.
E: What about smoking?
Q: That’s an addiction. (“RIGHT”) It’s just like any addiction. (“RIGHT”)
E: What about sex?
Q: That can be an addiction too but it’s more complicated than that.
E: Well, I’m glad I’m me.
Q: That’s the main thing, isn’t it? And I’m glad I’m me. By the way, do you remember the time that Michael had a chicken bone caught in his throat?
E: Yes. I certainly do. I took him to the hospital.
Q: Isn’t it strange how sometimes people get food caught in their throat?
E: (little girl voice) No.
Q: It’s something that can happen to us at any day at any time.
E: He was eating, honey.
Q: It’s scary.
E: He was a little boy. He was eating a chicken pot pie. And he said, “I got a bone in my throat.” I said, “Oh, no you don’t. Cough it up.” And he did have a bone in his throat and I knew that I had to take him immediately to St. Luke Hospital. And I did.
Q: Well, that’s good. See?
E: Remember? You were there when it happened.
Q: I know.
E: And I remember they had to call in Dr. Bobbitt and he’s the one that took him up to surgery and took it out. They called in a radiologist.
Q: It was a big one. Right?
E: No, it wasn’t a big one. It was a little one. One inch.
Q: Boy, if it happened today we could sue the frozen food company. (“RIGHT”)
E: No, you can’t.
Q: Why not? You can’t prove it?
E: It’s because when you eat a chicken pot pie sometimes there are bones in it. You just have to be careful.
Q: Well, yeah, but we’re all careful.
E: You were kids.
Q: It happens to adults too.
E: Well, exactly. I mean people cough on their own — good grief. (sighs)
Q: There’s a lot of things that people don’t know about health and medicine.
E: It just happened. It’s life.
Q: Like crib death.
E: You mean SIDS. It happens. It comes.
Q: But why does it happen? That’s one of the questions for my book.
E: I don’t know. Why are people born?
E: Why? Why do people die? Who cares? It happens. It comes. You do the best you can.
Q: But it’s so easy to blame God when these bad things happen to us.
E: Well, I don’t blame God. Don’t look at me. I’m not blaming God. I think God’s been wonderful to me. (sighs) I could say, “God, why did you let Michael and Mark turn out like this? I’m blaming you for this. I’m blaming you.” But I don’t blame God for that. You know who I blame?
E: You and your brother. You bear the responsibility. Not me. Not God.
Q: Remember how you once said that you think that “Love is unconditional” and I said, “Well, yes, but that’s a condition.”
E: No no no. I used to say — everybody says, “Mothers should always have — give unconditional love. That’s what we’re here for.” And I finally woke up. Love is not unconditional.
Q: What I’m trying to say to you is that I want to be the best possible person I can be for Him. There’s so much I don’t understand. That’s why I think it’s so important to document everything. I just want to tell you that I love you and I know you love me but I know we have philosophical differences. This conversation was very cathartic for me. If you could look back at your life and see any one situation that could be an unexplained event, what would you say it was?
E: I’ll never forget that time when you were a teenager and we went to see “Tales From The Crypt” and I felt a premonition. Soon after that, we learned that your friend James Armitage’s father had died. I’m not concerned about things we can’t understand. I’m more interested in making sure all four tires on my little car are functioning and that the little motor goes every day and —
Q: Tell me about it. I think that’s something that we all have to worry about.
E: Well, I guess not if you have goblins and ghosts and whatever.
Q: I’ve had four break-ins into my car. I’ve had my share.
E: Well, I know. And I think that has a lot to do with your psychological problem.
Q: I don’t see that particular connection.
E: It’s that section of town where you live.
Q: But you should have seen this UFO. At first, I thought it was an angel but then it looked more like a missile. It was one of the most beautiful things I’ve ever seen.
E: Well, that’s wonderful.
Q: I cried after seeing it.
E: I’m glad honey.
Q: Some people cry about not being able to pay their bills every month. I cry when I see phenomena.
E: Well, I think a beautiful sight is beautiful if you know what it is.
Q: But I didn’t read about it in the paper. No one else must have seen it.
E: What does your brother think about these things you’re saying?
Q: He’s witnessed some of the phenomena. He thinks something is going on but he doesn’t know what. He has an open mind. James talks about it too. He jokes about it all the time. Remember that rock group I liked? Depeche Mode.
E: Never heard of them.
Q: It’s like every song that they’ve ever recorded —
E: You mean this is a group? Oh my God. (“SHHHHHH”)
Q: — are prophecies.
E: (laughing) Oh yes.
E: Mark, will you do me a favor and put away all those —
Q: Every song is.
E: Oh God. Now you sound like —
Q: A lot of people like that group. They’re a very popular group.
E: I’ve never heard of them in my life. Not that I pay attention to all —
Q: Marie and I once went to their concert at the Rose Bowl.
E: (small laugh) You went with that God-awful Marie?
Q: Well, there’s no accounting for taste.
E: I like beautiful music.
Q: I like beautiful music too. I like all kinds of music. I like all kinds of movies.
E: What was that? Depressed Mode?
Q: Never mind.
E: Well, you probably even like Hole.
Q: The lead singer recently tried to commit suicide. I even called him after I started thinking I was —
Q: Well, you know. Never mind.
E: Oh God. Mark. (laughs)
Q: I thought I was — you know.
E: I feel bad for you, honey.
Q: I don’t feel bad. I just wish he’d called me back.
E: And I can’t help you —
Q: He was probably in rehab.
E: I just can’t help you. I hope that psychiatrist can do something for you along with anybody else out there.
Q: We’re making progress.
E: Well, I’m glad.
Q: One of my regrets is that I didn’t try to help you more when I realized you had a drinking problem. I didn’t stage an intervention because I thought that your freedom was the one most important thing in your life. Now do you ever drink beer once in a while?
E: I live on a very limited budget. I’m not a smoker. I don’t smoke.
Q: Well, you’re in good health. When I bring this up it’s because I’m trying to help you. I feel guilty for not having done more to help you earlier. I never knew what to do about it. You seemed to be using alcohol to medicate your pain.
E: You and your brother knew how to take and take and take.
Q: Isn’t it better to be a giver than a taker?
E: You and your brother taught me all about taking.
Q: No. Don’t.
E: Yes, you taught me this.
Q: How? No. I don’t even want to ask you. It’s nonsense.
E: You taught me and you told me.
Q: I’m not going to even give you the chance.
E: Of course not. But you both called me names and —
Q: In some ways I admire you. You’re a survivor. A definite survivor. But I always knew that there was something wrong. It seemed there had to be a reason why you were acting the way you were.
E: You lived with me for thirty years.
Q: You weren’t happy. You always blame your choices on other people.
E: Don’t talk to me about taking responsibility. You’re a man. You’re responsible for everything you do.
Q: I think we’re all children at heart.
E: Then, why would you say anybody was an alcoholic?
Q: This conversation isn’t going anywhere so I’ll talk to you next weekend.
(TRANSCRIBER’S NOTE: THE FOLLOWING MESSAGES WERE RECORDED FROM MY PACIFIC BELL MESSAGE CENTER. ‘V’ DESIGNATES PHONE VOICE.)
V: November 6th at 5:52 p.m.
(HIGH-PITCHED SHRIEK OR ALIEN TRANSMISSION)
V: Message saved. Thursday, November 9th at 12:54 p.m.
Z: Hi, Mark, it’s Carol Andersen. I want to return your call and confirm that the other Matthew Perry was a very famous commodore as well and his history is very well identified. Also, he’s younger and his family is pretty solidly identified so it didn’t make sense that it would be him and not the other older one. Whether James Russell is accurate or not I don’t know. Clearly, (“IT”) there is one of the Perrys that had a male son without an identifier as to who the parent is. (“ME”) I think the way we’re going to find that link is to go back and do a little more research on that line and I don’t want to do that until we hear from Thaddeus. If we do. Because he may have that done already. The deal is we will really have to take a look at the other Perry family that was in Ira, Vermont and go back a few generations and just really take a look at the history of that migration pattern from Connecticut to Vermont.
(TRANSCRIBER’S NOTE: THE NEXT RECORDED CONVERSATION IS WITH MAXINE’S SON, JERRY BELL.)
Q: Oh, hi Jerry.
Q: Hi. This is Mark Russell.
J: Oh yeah. I remember you.
Q: Oh yeah. I think I met you at the funeral.
J: Yeah. Yeah. What’s going on, dude? (“WHAT”)
Q: I don’t know if Maxine’s told you but do you know that I’m collaborating on a book with the family?
Q: And Michael. So, anyway (“TSAH”) I have some ancestry questions to ask you.
Q: In fact, I think I’m going to tape record this too for my notes.
J: Did my mom tell you that there was some ancestry work that I had?
Q: A family tree. Actually I spoke to Bobbie Nichols.
J: Oh, Bobbie. Yeah.
Q: She said that at one point that she had given you the Bell Family tree or something. Do you still have that?
J: No. My dad —
Q: Right. Jearld Carlton —
J: — took it from me years ago and never brought it back. I had a whole box full of memorabilia and he took the box. He said he’d bring it back later and he never brought it back. I never saw it again. I called my mom about it. My wife told me you called today.
Q: Bobbie said that you might still have it.
J: My mom’s going to call my cousin and see if she’s got a copy of it or something.
Q: Oh, that’s good. So we still might get that? Because I’d like to maybe include that information in the book. Let me just ask you real quick to see if you know anything about this. Bobbie said that Carlton’s grandfather was John Franklin Bell and the grandmother, I think, was Susan Mc Devitte Bell and they had lived in Greenville, Tennessee. Do you know anything about that?
J: No. I sure don’t. I don’t know anything at all. But I know that the Bells did originate from Tennessee. They moved to Oklahoma and (“SAY”) Texas, here where I live. There are supposed to be a lot of the kinfolk down here in Texas but I don’t know any of them.
Q: So have you, yourself, ever spoken to Michael?
J: No. (small laugh) I really haven’t. I don’t even know —
Q: You don’t know what to think of it.
J: — to believe it or not. I’m not sure. Now every time I go to my mom’s house — everything’s kind of quiet about it, you know? She’ll tell me all the stories and my sisters will tell me all the stories but as far as knowing him or seeing him or hearing him or anything — no, I sure never have. (“NO”)
Q: That’s sort of ironic too because you’re an actual Bell. So you would think that maybe would do something. Have you ever had any strange experiences in your life or —
J: No. Not really.
Q: — any strange dreams?
J: No. That one time at my mom’s house when all those rocks started flying around — started coming from just about nowhere. Now I saw that. That was pretty weird. As far as Michael — no, I don’t know nothing about Michael or anything. (“IT DOESN’T SOUND”)
Q: It doesn’t sound like you want to know too much about Michael either.
J: Well, you see, it’s kind of —
Q: Kind of spooky.
J: — yeah. It’s kind of weird to me. Because I really don’t believe in the supernatural and stuff like that. Well, I don’t disbelieve, neither. But I’m the kind of person that I just have to see it. Nobody can tell me these stories about anything and make me believe it or disbelieve it. I’m not telling you that I disbelieve it.
Q: Well, it’s funny because what happened in my own case — it was ironic that my visit with the family just happened to coincide with the funeral.
Q: I didn’t really plan it that way. It just happened.
Q: But it was like I was meant to be there for the funeral.
Q: In my own experience, it seems that Michael had been in my life since I was born but he was choosing this experience to reveal that information to me.
J: And you’ve seen him and talked to him and stuff?
Q: Basically, it seems to be that he’s using me as a channel to communicate through my subconscious mind or my intuition.
J: Oh yeah?
Q: He’s using me like some kind of wild card in whatever game it is He’s playing with mankind. I mean it’s something that I never would have chosen.
Q: He revealed this to me. So, anyway, I’m transcribing this book. It’s quite an unusual predicament to be in.
J: Yeah. I can understand that.
Q: That’s good to hear that Maxine is going ahead and (“CHECK”) following through on getting the family tree because I think, for the people who don’t believe it, this would be interesting for them to find out if you are actual descendants of the original Bell family who had their own ‘talking poltergeist.’ Because that would make this sort of a dynasty of poltergeists — sort of like in “The Godfather” movies.
J: You mean it’s happened before to the Bells?
Q: Right. (“YOU KNOW”) Didn’t you know about that? The famous ‘Bell Witch’ case of the early 19th century. (“YEAH”)
J: I guess I haven’t heard about that before.
Q: And, of course, the father of the family was named John Bell and his son was named John Bell, Jr., so that’s another coincidence.
Q: It will be fun to see the family tree and what branches there are in that family tree and how they all come together. Especially in my case because I’m also researching my ancestry because I have some very unusual names. For example, my name Russell goes back to “the first race of ancestry” and then my mother’s name originally was King before she was adopted. (“YEAH”) So I have all these very symbolic names in my family.
Q: Thank you for checking. So you just spoke to Maxine this afternoon?
J: I called her about an hour ago.
Q: Do you think she’s going to follow through this time?
J: Well, she should. Yeah. She said she was going to call my cousin. I haven’t seen my cousin since I was a kid.
Q: Are you going to watch the special when it’s on?
J: When is it going to be on?
Q: Twyla told me it was going to be on November 30th.
Q: That’s the week after Thanksgiving. But they sort of missed the boat on this one because it’s all this poltergeist hysteria. I consider Michael an angel. A poltergeist is similar but not really hitting the nail on the head, so to speak.
J: Well, has he talked to you?
Q: Well, he recently left two messages on my telephone message center. One of the times, I first thought it was my friend Fiona who was calling me. And so I called her immediately to say, “I heard you — you started to talk but then you got disconnected.” She replied, “Oh, no, I didn’t call you.” So, anyway, it sounded just like her saying my name. And then Twyla called me the next day and said, “Oh, Michael said he was going to call you.” And so then immediately I knew that had been Michael’s message but he was speaking to me through my friend Fiona’s voice because he can imitate people’s voices perfectly if He wants to. On the second time he called, the message was just sort of like a shriek. It’s hard to describe the sound. It’s really more like an outer space transmission sound.
Q: Everything that He’s done for me has been very loving. In fact, yesterday I was at the grocery store and I didn’t like the photo of Oprah Winfrey on TV Guide, so I commented to the cashier, “I don’t really like that picture of Oprah.” One of the things I was buying was called Nuts ‘n’ Things and the price for it didn’t come up on the scanner. So Michael was telling me either I’m a nut or I’m nuts and He’s the Thing.
Q: And we’re sort of like a couple. So it’s lots of fun. You know? But I just wonder how it’s going to turn out. Thank you for all your help.
J: Oh, you betcha.
Q: I guess you’re probably watching the show because of your connection with the family.
J: Oh yeah. I’ll probably watch it. And it’s primetime?
Q: It’s supposed to be at eight o’clock on ABC. It’ll be interesting. Anyway, thank you very much.