JOURNAL — TAPE #58, SIDE #1
Q: Mark Russell Bell
Q: (speaking into tape recorder) It’s six o’clock and the bells are chiming at the Episcopalian center and I’m in a very shitty mood. I’ve had a very angry day. I was reading (“THE”) Bhagavad-Gita at the gym today and it said how one should be detached and unemotional and accepting of God’s way and — bullshit. (“WHO COULD”) Who could — no one can do that. I mean this is supposed to be the holy book of India. Look at their history. Look at their problems. (“I MEAN”) Give me a break. Anyway, (“BUT”) maybe I should pretend to be that way as I speak into my tape recorder as an act of love to God or Mighael or Whoever. Well, I — (“I’M”) I’m sorry but I’m sick and tired of it. I mean I have no choice (but) to work on this fucking book. Let’s face it. I don’t have any choice. The life I was pursuing is no longer here. I have to report what I experience even though no one wants to hear about it. No one wants to believe it. No one even will read my book. (“IT’S IT’S”) And I don’t feel — (“ANY”) I feel warmth around me. (“I DON’T” “I”) I feel like the love that I get is a hollow love because I’m so sick of transcribing tape after tape. You would think that at least the spirit messages would be clear. (“AN”) Each day, (“IT” “LIKE”) it takes like fifteen minutes just to do several lines. I mean it’s ridiculous. (“I MEAN”) It’s not easy. (“IT’S” “I”) I just hate it. I hate it. And I have no choice. (“AND THEN”) No one even wants to read my fucking book. The last thing my brother said to me from the film festival — he’s at the Snowed Inn — was that I’m “getting a reputation in town” and “shut up.” And all that. (“N”) I’m sorry but I’m just telling people what really happened. So they think I’m nuts. Well, I don’t blame them. Does anyone want to read my book? No. So, anyway — (“I” “AND I”) and I have so many tapes to transcribe. And everyday — I can’t read the newspaper every day. I mean let’s face it. (“IT”) There’s just so much bullshit. And so many parallels. I mean it’s — (“LIKE”) even looking at the Calendar — I just skimmed through the Calendar section this morning and I was reading Howard Rosenberg (“GGG”) writing about the movie “Dead Man Walking” and there’s a line “No whistles and bells.” (“I MEAN”) And then later on — on page — what page is this? (“O PA[GE]” “NO”) Page F11. The TV ratings article caption is “Bells Ring for ‘Friends’ and NBC”. Of course, they’re valid uses of the word bell. I mean who cares? I don’t care. There’s also an article about George Michael. I hate that name. I’m beginning to really hate that name. Michael. You see it so often. Michael Jordan. Michael Jackson. George Michael. Sometimes I just want — well, I have told Mighael a few times today, “I wish you’d take your book and shove it up your ass.” Frankly. Because it’s not doing me any good. (“AND IT’S”) No one’s going to ever read it anyway. So his new song — “The radio success of George Michael’s ‘Jesus To A Child’ shows fans have kept the faith.” (“WELL”) I’m glad someone is able to keep the faith in somebody. I haven’t heard that song on the radio and I’m not really particularly looking forward to it. I’ve never been a very big George Michael fan. In fact, I think he’s a stupid ass for not recording for five years just because he wanted to blame his own failure on the record company. (“I MEAN I THINK”) What a jerk. I mean look at him with his little earring. God, I hate tattoos and earrings. They’re ugly. It makes me cringe when I see people with tattoos and earrings. (“I KNOW”) What’s that all about? Gag! I mean would you date someone with tattoos and earrings? I’d be ‘Audi’ real fast. So one of the reasons why I’m in such a ‘good’ mood, as you can probably tell, is because Mighael and I still haven’t had sex even though He gave me that erection that time. I’m definitely beginning to think that God is a big coward. The letter I got back from Paramount. Well, I’ll read it to you.
(TRANSCRIBER’S NOTE: THIS LETTER IS DATED JANUARY 23, 1996. I FOUND IT THE FOLLOWING MORNING OUTSIDE MY FRONT DOOR. THERE IS A SPIRIT MESSAGE — “AT THIS” — HEARD ON THE TAPE PRECEDING ‘AT THAT TIME’ IN THE LETTER. I WAS QUITE UPSET WHEN I RECORDED MY RESPONSE TO THIS LETTER. I LAUGHED WHEN I TRANSCRIBED IT. IT’S HARD TO BE “GENTLE AND LOVING” SOMETIMES. THIS MOST RECENT REJECTION BROUGHT ON A TEMPER TANTRUM AS YOU WILL CONTINUE TO OBSERVE.)
Allison Jackson asked me to take a look at the material that you delivered to Sherry Lansing. Although the method you used to reach Sherry was highly inappropriate, I agreed to evaluate the material as I often do for Sherry as a part of my normal course of duties as a creative Vice-President.
Unfortunately, Mark, the material you submitted is far too dense and unedited for me to get a good idea what you are trying to communicate. I recommend that you organize your thoughts into a coherent, concise and professional screenplay format, then re-submit it at that time through appropriate channels.
Q: Well, who the fuck do you think you are? Prick! (“I ME[AN]”) I mean give me a fucking break. You don’t know what work I’ve done for the fucking studio. All you care about is not having to read my fucking book. Fuck you! I hope you burn in hell, motherfucker. You’re lucky I don’t come after you with a fucking rifle. You too, Sherry babe. Anyway, (“SO NOW”) I’ll read you my original letter to Sherry. The last time I tried to say “If she’s lucky.” (“YOU KNOW I DIDN’T”) I couldn’t fit that in to my review of the film that I saw — “Money Plays.” But I wanted to add “If she’s lucky.” That tape didn’t turn out and this (“POW”) one probably won’t either. I don’t even care. That’s the kind of mood I’m in today. And I think it’s much better to release emotions than to hold them in. (“WOULD”) Heaven forbid I actually have an ulcer. So this is my original letter of November 27th. The flops that are mentioned there, by the way, were produced by Sherry and her partner Stanley R. Jaffe (“Black Rain,” “School Ties”). Oh God, this letter makes me cringe. I mean I don’t even care. I mean I did this with complete detachment, thinking that this is what Mighael wanted me to do like I do everything. The only reason why I even dropped my book off on her fucking desk was because that stupid voice was saying, “GIVE SHERRY THE BOOK. GIVE SHERRY THAT BOOK.” Oh, by the way, Sherry babe, I hope you’ve read Trophy Wife.
Dear Sherry Lansing,
After working as a publicity writer at Paramount Pictures for more than 100 films — including “Congo,” “Braveheart,” “Forrest Gump,” “Indecent Proposal,” “Ghost,” “School Ties,” “Black Rain,” “Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade,” “The Accused” and “Fatal Attraction” — events led me to take a sabbatical to write a book documenting a momentous true poltergeist case.
A half-hour segment on Mc Wethy/Bell family whose daily life includes interacting with an invisible talking spirit they call ‘Michael’ is scheduled to air on the ABC special “Ghosts, Mediums, Psychics: Put To The Test” Thursday, Nov. 30 at 8:00 p.m.
Immediately after researching and writing a history book of these so-called “talking poltergeists” (including the famous Bell family case of the early 19th century — yes, they’re back but ‘they’ may actually be angels!), I read about this contemporary case in a magazine article (see attached) and promptly flew to Oklahoma. There, I witnessed all kinds of uncanny phenomena and conducted lengthy interviews with the family. I have since acquired book and movie rights to telling their story and will soon complete the manuscript. The family has also given me photographs of the phenomena to include in the book. As I am a focus for the case, you may want to read this one yourself before passing it on to a creative executive.
My working title for the film version of my story is “?” You may have read two of my other scripts in the past. “Everything’s Going To Be Fine” is the ‘Chucky’ Mullins story about a black collegiate football player who scores his biggest triumphs off the field as he becomes an unexpected inspiration for brotherly love in a community with a long history of prejudice. Don Levy mentioned he was going to show this to one of your executives last year. Many years ago, I submitted to you one of my early scripts, “The Prodigy” based on a short story by Aldous Huxley.
I hope you will be interested in reading this fascinating true story. I see this as a franchise as the phenomena is continuing. As a proud member of the Paramount family, you and Michael Korda are the first two individuals I have contacted about seeing a draft of my book. Please advise me how you would like me to make this submission. My representative is entertainment attorney Jonathan Handel.
Mark G. Russell
(TRANSCRIBER’S NOTE: I MADE A GLIB ASIDE FOLLOWING ‘CONTINUING,’ SAYING “UNFORTUNATELY.” I MAY HAVE MISSPELLED INTERESTED AS INTERESTING IN THE LETTER. SOMETIMES ‘SPELL CHECK’ CHANGES WORDS IF YOU CLICK ON THE WRONG COMMAND.)
Q: So after I got this letter from my friend Brad and noticed that there was no indication that he had copied Sherry Lansing on it, I sent a fax to her of it on her private fax line. It was simple because Blaise once gave me a copy of the list of executive phone numbers. I put a note on the fax cover sheet that said:
NOTE: THE ATTACHED IS FOR YOUR INFORMATION. A COPY OF MY ORIGINAL LETTER IS ALSO PROVIDED IN CASE YOU MISPLACED THE ORIGINAL. I WOULD BE HAPPY TO PROVIDE PARAMOUNT WITH A COPY OF THE T.V. SPECIAL AND/OR SUBMIT A FILM TREATMENT AND/OR PITCH THE PROJECT. SO FAR, I HAVE ONLY PITCHED THE PROJECT TO PHASE ONE PRODUCTIONS AND THE ONLY OTHER PERSON I HAVE PUT A CALL INTO IS BARRY DILLER.
Q: So there. And I know I’m not going to hear anything back and I don’t even care. Marie, by the way, got a play because she met someone at a party and that’s usually how most people get their jobs in this town — either through their relatives or their connections or whatever. So thank you, Mighael, for steering me to the right people. I can depend on You every time. It’s so nice to know I have some Support somewhere. (“IT’S JUST” “YOU’RE”) Such a Pal. (“I JUST”) I just want to thank You for Your contribution to this project. I mean, obviously, it’s really Your book — (“YOU’RE”) just channeling it through me so I hope you like this new tape side. (“IT’S”) Probably one of my ‘favorite’ sides even though I probably will be in a better mood at the time I’m transcribing it, which may be never. But I’ll probably cringe anyway when I do and if I do. And my brother is very sick. Did I mention that before? And I don’t know what else to say. I’m just not in a good mood. I have another (“WOR”) night ahead of me of transcribing. I bet there are like thirty people right now who have (“LIKE”) the exact same antiques I have and are convinced that they’re the exact same things that I’m convinced they are. (“IT’S LIKE”) This probably really is just a family curse. (“NO”) It’s possible. I mean just look at (“LOOK IN”) my progress so far. (“I MEAN” “NO”) I really feel a lot of momentum going here. I don’t know. (“I MEAN”) I mean it seems like all of my theories are probably wrong in terms of — I don’t know. (“I”) It’s just hard. (“IT’S JUST”) I just — I have unconditional love but I don’t know if I still like the Entity. (“I JUST”) I just — it doesn’t make any sense. (“I MEAN” “IT’S JUST NOT”) It’s not a beautiful — I’d rather this be a beautiful story or metaphor. (“WHAT”) Reality sucks. (“I MEAN”) Most people just want to have a happy, good relationship with someone. (“AN[D]”) Creative work. (“BUT YET”) Most of the people in Hollywood who have those things end up cheating on their wives or getting divorced or they’re unhappy because they didn’t win the Oscar for Best Picture even though they’re multi-millionaires. (“I MEAN” “I”) It’s just the whole thing is tacky. I don’t like writing about it. I don’t like reading about it. My Variety is no longer coming. Thank goodness. I don’t miss it. (“I MEAN” “MIGHAEL”) The last interaction I had from Mighael — (“WELL”) just, in all honesty, I had a wrong number early this morning. Somebody asking for “Martha.” Fuck you, Mighael. Fuck you. (“I DON’T LIKE” “THEN” “IT’S NOT A”) It’s not a funny joke. I mean she was an ugly bitch too. I understand. I get it. Ha ha ha. And then today at the gym (“I WAS”) on one of the machines — and the pin — the pin — came out of the 60 lb. slot (“SO”) and it made a big noise. (“AND”) Meanwhile, the woman who was working out next to me was talking about somebody’s baby who died because she got hit in the stomach by accident and was bleeding internally. The baby drowned or something. I don’t know. I was trying not to listen. (“I WAS THINKING” “MIGHAEL”) Michael scores another one. (“YOU”) He really is a sick motherfucker. Let’s face it. (“SO”) And I heard that I’m not Mabus on one of the tapes. This was all planned in heaven. And maybe this is a learning experience for me because I wanted to dump Him. Well, now I know why I wanted to dump Him. Okay? I don’t know. I guess every culture gets their Jesus-type figure who speaks a language that they can relate to. So I guess America has the exact one they deserve. (“THIS”) I think this side especially is appropriate. And I’m so glad the East has Sai Baba. I think he’s such a perfect icon for them with all of his beautiful miracles and his very handsome face. I’m just so happy for India and all those lucky people in the East. I hope there are lots of Yetis there raping women and things. (“I”) I’m sorry. I’m just in a really bad mood. I’m in a very bad mood. (“SO”) Now that I’ve got it out of my system I actually feel like — Mighael, I do love You because You let me express who I am today. And so You don’t have to worry — You don’t have to be jealous toward me because I’ve shown everybody how naughty I can be so now they’re sure to love You much more than me, which is (“WHAT”) really what You want. You want — I sound like I’m a raving lunatic. (“AND”) I probably am. Oh God, this is just too funny. (“I JUST”) I can just see it (“I WAS”) as a weekly sitcom with a laughtrack. I really think that’s what America (“DESER”) deserves. “Friends: Angel Spin-Off” or something. Oh God. Something like “Mork and Mindy.” Please. I also got my photos back from Timothy Fielding. There was one letter missing, I think. And I’m not sure if they lost it or not. And it was one of the more interesting, important letters. (“SON” “IT HAD TO DE[AL]”) It was from Mort Zarcoff at USC. (“AN A”) I’m just very upset that it’s gone because the other USC letters don’t really raise any questions the way this particular letter did in terms of what actually went on. So I don’t care. I hope they’re all happy. I hope they’re all damned to hell and I hope they’re all happy. That’s all I can say. Let’s see — what else? So I’m here alone in my condo with no place to rest my poor little head. I don’t feel very loved. I feel that God is very — well, you know — (“WHAT’S THAT”) my usual word. Ambivalent. God is very ambivalent. All of Him. Mighael may be an angel but he may be just another joke on mankind. And my book is probably another joke. I mean I don’t know. I just don’t feel very loved at the moment. I don’t know what it would take for me to feel loved. (“CAUSE I FEL”) I usually feel loved. (“I”) And that’s the sad part. I guess (“THAT LA” “LI”) that last poetry book really did it for me even though it was one of that author’s early books and he wrote lots of beautiful ones after that. I just think the timing (“WAS JUST”) really — and the way it was given to me and presented to me for dramatic effect — well, You got what You wanted, I’m sure. You’re so able to manipulate everyone and everything exactly the way You want to — all of Your beloved little mannequins. (“NO”) So I hope this is exactly what You were wanting because this is what You got, Honey. I still love You unconditionally. (“BUT”) I don’t know how sincere I’m being. At least right now. But I’m going to be a good New Age Jesus and go back to my transcribing machine so I can work on a book that nobody wants to read. Oh well. (“I DON’T KNOW”) What else (do) I have to say?
( . . . )
Q: So now it’s 6:48 p.m. and I’m over my tantrum. I went up and I read a love poem. (“SO”) Based on the presumption of my book that everything is channeled from God, this was a very sweet little love poem and it was enough to give me happiness — to make me feel a little bit loved. (“AND I THINK”) I think that’s the only problem in the world is when someone doesn’t feel a little bit loved. We’re talking people who don’t have the necessities of life or a friend and this is why crimes, alcoholism and all the usual deadly sins come about. I’m looking at the sky right now. I don’t see any ugly fog bank of horror and doom. So thank you Mighael. And I haven’t had little (“ANY”) alien visitors saying ‘Emergency! Emergency!’ (“AND”) Oh — I forgot to add in column one of the Los Angeles Times today there is a story:
The Little Lama From Seattle
A playful 4-year-old boy is heading to Nepal after being named the reincarnation of a revered Buddhist teacher. Such cases are becoming more common as the ancient faith expands in the West.
By Kim Murphy, Times staff writer
Q: (laughs) Why do I feel like Glenda Jackson in “The Music Lovers”? Except her character in that film had a much more active sex life than I do. (laughs) Oh God, this craziness. I mean there are people who believe in reincarnation in the world and I’m definitely one of them. I mean I didn’t believe in reincarnation until I saw this picture of me as a pharaoh or the god (Amun-)Ra or whatever. I mean people don’t think it looks like me. My friend Rita — I just flashed it to her at Paramount and I said, “Do you think this looks like me?” And she said “No” with the most loving urgency like ‘Oh my God. Poor Mark. He’s totally out of his mind — Noooo.’ They don’t understand that — I mean I’ve looked at myself in the mirror for many, many years. I’m a little bit older than I am in this medallion. This is definitely me. And all the people I’ve met are definitely also the reincarnation. The lady that I met on Sunday looks exactly like the statue. (laughs) (“SO”) I just wonder what’s going to happen next. I just can’t wait. (“IT SEEMS LIKE”) It’s very boring — (“I MEAN” “YOU KNOW”) — all this small fry miracle stuff. I’ve got a feeling we’re going to be in for a real big roller coaster ride and all the people who won’t even read my book are going to be so alarmed. (“DDD” “THAT THEY”) They could have had (“LIKE”) first shot at my book and they could have known it before anyone else — if anyone ever does know it. Who knows? (“BUT IT’S JUST”) The whole thing is so funny to me. (“SO”) I guess I’ll go make something for dinner and then go back to transcribing. And then maybe Mighael will do something very nice tonight like make some flowers appear — well, I don’t need flowers I guess. What would be very good? (“WELL”) That time He kissed me was sort of interesting. And the erection was sort of interesting. Why don’t we try for both at the same time? (laughs) I think that’s appropriate under the circumstances. Okay — or you know what? I have a better idea. (“MIGH” or “MIKE”) Using the power to work in people’s subconscious minds — have my movie review — (“OF”) “Money Plays” somehow find its way to Sherry Lansing. Isn’t that a great idea? Oh, I would love that. Mighael! But I don’t want to really go back to CPC Alhambra Hospital or go to jail or anything. But I think this is a good idea. This is the one I vote for. We’ll see which one You — (“WE’LL SEE WHO’S”) we’ll see who has the more creative turn of mind. Me or You. Because this is what I would do. I didn’t have my name on it or anything. (“BUT”) It was pretty pointed. (“SO”) I would have that go to Sherry Lansing. I’m sure the bell references (“WHO”) will strike an immediate chord with her. No pun intended. And I think after that wonderful letter from Brad, she’ll know that she’s dead meat. (“N”) Definitely (she’ll) want to read my manuscript before I go ballistic, which of course there’s no danger of me doing. (“I MEAN”) Sherry Lansing — I could care less. I mean who cares? I’m surprised she still has a job after the performance of the films (“THIS”) this year even though she just signed a new contract for $20 million they say. I don’t believe it. But that’s what they said, anyway. So we’ll see what happens.
( . . . )
Q: So it’s Thursday at 8:44. Mighael and I had our usual very loving night where I channeled love to Him and He channeled love to me somehow. Once in a while I feel my hair move and I realize (“THAT”) there is no such thing as unconditional love after my raging at Him — passionately raging at Him, which I think was a real turn-on for Him in some ways even though I’m sure in other ways He was mortified. But at least He knows I passionately love Him. So what I lack in looks I make up for in truth of emotional feeling. So I realized that love always has at least one condition. In my case, it’s that I be loved in turn. There’s no way that you can love your soulmate unless the soulmate also loves you. So I got up today and one of the magazines I receive in the mail, Silver Circle, which is my Home Savings of America quarterly periodical — (“WHICH HAS”) two older people on the cover. It looks like a scene from “On Golden Pond” but with models. So, anyway, when I got up today, it was opened up to page (“EEE”) nine. And I don’t remember (“IT”) leaving it that way so I think Mighael opened it up for me to let me know why my going to the gym is so important. I guess this article is really important. The section is called “To Your Health” by Cindy Myers. It’s just a small article. It says, “How much exercise do you need?” There’s also, on the same page, (“ARCTIC”) an article that’s headlined “A Guide Through The Health Care Maze.” But I think the first one is the one that He wants me to share with you.
Thirty minutes? Three times a week? Ten minutes every day? Running? Walking? Stair climbing? How much exercise is enough to maintain optimum fitness? And how little can we work out and still stay healthy?
New research shows that while regular vigorous workouts — the kind favored by athletes — can bring the body to peak physical condition, less strenuous activities can lead to improved health as well.
A group of exercisers is Greenville, South Carolina lifted weights for three times a week for twenty weeks every winter for five years. The other seven months they didn’t touch a dumbbell but their bodies maintained strength level.
In another study, people who walked two miles three times a week significantly lowered their disease risks. These moderately fit people didn’t run marathons or train daily but they reap the benefits of physical activity on a milder scale.
Ultimately, how much you should exercise depends on your goal. In order to lose weight, you’ll need to exercise more to burn more calories. To reshape your body, you’ll have to work harder and longer. But any form of exercise, from walking to swimming to jogging or step classes, can improve your level of fitness if done on a regular basis.
Q: Sharing this article is another act of love. I know I didn’t go to the gym at all before coming back from Oklahoma. And that whole time is a blur. I just remember that people at Alhambra CPC were telling me I had to work out or something. And they were all possessed. (“SO I”) I knew when I got out that I had to do it. And I was totally shocked because the first place I went to was the Sports Connection. (“MY”) For my first day there, the trainer who was showing me around told me not to go into the showers because he thought I was “going wild” on him. Apparently, once you go into the showers anything goes. (“SO I’M”) I do remember the name of the other woman who was there for the introductory tour also that day. Her name was Narcissa and I ran into her about a month later right after I told Jonathan “I never see anybody that I know anywhere anymore.” That was at a restaurant in the Beverly Center we went to before looking at computers and before some software flew off one of the displays, which Jonathan definitely saw even though he won’t admit it. And now he’s over at Sundance with my sick, ailing brother. I hope he gets better. I’m praying for you, Michael. Both of you.