In March, 1993, Luke answered a singles ad in the Northern California Jewish Bulletin based in San Francisco and met "Lana." Here's an excerpt from my old diary:
3/18/93: Lana (not her real name) phoned in the evening. This five-foot SJF with naturally E-cup breasts wanted to know what I had told my stepmother Gill about her.
"That you look for extra-terrestrials in outerspace," I said. It's true. Lana volunteers for NASA. Lana says that the strangest creature she has ever found is me. I once complained to my brother Paul that I'd never find anyone like myself.
"To find someone like you, Luke," said Paul, "you'd have to go to Mars." Later in the evening, my stepmother asked who phoned. I replied "Twin Peaks."
Thursday evening, 1/20/00, I talked to Lana aka Diana for the first time in years. She has a husky sexy voice.
Diana: "I'm in the midst of a breakup right now. He's on his way over here for me to finish the job. I sort of ended it last week but he won't accept it. I'm still in school [since 1990]. I have six classes left for my degree and I'm working towards my sixth belt in Tae Kwan Do. My breasts are now size C, since the reduction. I've just got a new job with a start-up and a whole bunch of stock options... This guy is not Jewish, two kids, a lot of baggage...
"He's one of the few guys who hasn't stolen from me, or robbed me or lied and cheated."
Luke laughs hysterically.
Diana: "You know what Luke, you were the best of them. It went downhill. The people who sponged off me. I had to put two guys after you into jail. One was in for a year and one for a month. You started a trend in my life, thank you..."
Diana: "And when you date, do you take her to dinner and things like that?"
[I never took Diana out. We just talked and stuff.]
Luke: "I was sick when I knew you."
Diana: "Did you play off your illness? At times you could've gotten out of the house but you opted to say that you were too ill."
Luke: "If I had really pushed myself..."
Diana: "Are you still a big fan of classical music?"
Luke: "Yes, I have 40 classical music CDs and one rock CD - Elton John's Greatest Hits."
Diana: "I kick myself for ripping up your tapes [audio tapes I made her which she ripped up in our breakup]. I miss the craziness of them."
Diana: "Are you still doing the old pen pal thing with women around the world?"
Luke: "No, not at all. Just working."
Diana: "Are you bisexual?"
Diana: "What will probably make you a success is the same thing that makes people hate you - and that's that you will print anything that is said. You will not edit anything. And that's always been your thing."
Luke: "Yep, that's what we were doing when we were working on my bio."
Diana: "I still have your binder with your bio and your discs of your bio. Every moment with you was about you and your autobiography.
"I find it fascinating that you got into this industry. They call you the Matt Drudge.... I just can't believe what you do. How do the women you date feel about it?"
Luke: "They don't like it."
Diana: "It was just before Father's Day and you couldn't decide if you were Hasidic... And I remember shaving you [Luke's earlocks] and trimmed your hair and you looked really good. And you looked in the mirror and you really liked what you saw. And I unleashed a monster. You looked like a dirty old man when I first met you. But there was just something underneath. Your brilliance was just an incredible challenge.
"The one thing I'll give you, and the one thing my mother and I always said, was that you are brilliant. To a fault. The man I've been dating couldn't fire my mind if he had a blowtorch. You reach a point where you tire of defining words all day... He wants to be an author and I say to him, 'How the f--- are you going to write a book if you don't know any words?' I'm getting nasty in my old age."
Luke: "What would you like to tell LukeFord readers about the real Luke?"
Diana: "I am so excited to have the opportunity. The sad part is that I really believe that deep in there is a relatively normal, fairly caring, sensitive individual. But I don't think that gets hits to your site."
Luke: "Tell them what a rapacious bastard I was."
Diana: "Rapacious... I've seen that word on your website. I try to read as much of your site as I can and then I get nauseous. I hated you for so long and you made it so easy. You still make it easy.
"I couldn't be indifferent. I just had so many emotions and so many feelings about you. And I would read and I would get to the parts that included "Lana" and I'd just become enraged. "F--- him, I'm not reading his website. He's not getting another hit out of me, goddamn it. And shut it down."
Luke: "The industry can't understand me."
Diana: "People get upset because of things you write about them. What they don't realize about LukeFord [website] is that it has nothing to do with them, it is all about Luke. Everything you say, everything you write is 1000% about you."
Luke: "But what about in our relationship? Wasn't I very giving?"
Diana peas off into hysterical laughter.
Diana: "Remember we were talking about the books you want to write. "I Want To Give But I Don't Know How." And how I got you the book, "The Givers and the Takers." You are the center of your world. This permeates every facet of your existence, it's the Wonderful World of Luke. Welcome to me."
Luke: "Do you think I seek attention?"
Diana peals off into hysterics.
Diana: "I don't know why you are in such desperate need of attention. I don't know who traumatized you so terribly as a child that you will seek attention at whatever the cost, whether it is positive or negative, with death threats, it makes no difference. So long as the letter is stamped and addressed to you. You don't care. As long as it focuses on you, talks about you, references you, alludes to you, smells of you, it doesn't matter. I don't know why that it is. I read your autobiography and tried to figure out who did that to you. I don't know if you are still lashing out at your father over and over and over."
Luke: "How would you describe my relationship with my father?"
Diana: "What relationship? That's my description. Your household was the strangest environment. Have you ever eaten a piece of meat, chicken or fish?"
Diana: "Your home was fascinating but it was nuts. From the secret romps in your father's bathtub, to your father sleeping in a net in the porch... When your mother and I went away for July 4th, she and I couldn't wait to shove cupcakes in our mouth. Your household was very stifling and for someone like you who feels a constant need to express themselves...
"As far as your readers and people in the industry, they are always going to hate you. Until you stop needing the attention. You are a great scapegoat and a great target because you never defend yourself. You are very easy to target. I have criticized you up one end and down the other and it's wonderful. It's the most fulfilling thing in the world because you don't defend it. You don't fight it. You don't get angry. You just take it. And for people who don't like conflict such as myself, it's a beautiful thing. It's a win-win for people in the industry. They get to target you and get out their emotions. And you get stuff for your website and your book and makes you feel important. And in that puddle, you are important."
Luke: "That's true. I had to go to the industry to find a place where I could be important."
Diana: "I would hope with your brilliance and writing skills that you would use it for good and not evil."
Luke: "Do you think [my website] is more a power for good or for evil?"
Diana: "It is an excuse. It is an excuse for you to have photographs of yourself and for you to have your name in print 467 million times. It is an excuse for you to have a forum where the whole world can speak about you. And every quote pertains to you in some way. I think it probably keeps you erect at the end of the day. You turn it on and there is all this stuff about you. You just look at your website."
Luke's Doppelganger Deconstructs Tiffany Stone
Chaim Amalek writes: I have redacted the answers given to Tiffany Stone's interview questions, and present here only the questions. Now just between us adults here, how good are they? Maybe this is a really great line of questions for this material (I wouldn't know), but really, what adult cares? Certainly few among the teeming horde of immigrants (including EIGHT MILLION illegals) who have crossed our frontiers over the last fifteen years; certainly neither Hammas nor Hezbolla nor al Qeada nor any of al Islam.
Only the physically weak, morally suspect millionaires who control what remains of our deracinated culture want the masses to care about such matters, for the more juvenile we are, the wealthier they become. But isn't our culture infantilized enough as it is? They fail to see that the foundations they are busy rotting out supports their homes as well, and that once it is gone, there will be no place for them to run to.
In my opinion, all rock interviews and all rock criticism should be left to the under-21 set. We adults should deal with more serious issues and with art made for adult sensibilities, limiting our criticism of the more juvenile material to censorship of that portion of it which is harmful to our young (which would include all gangster rap). At her age, Tiffany should be raising children, not acting like a superannuated teen. She needs to be for Luke Ford a woman, as Luke needs to be for her a man.
Concerned writes: I am deeply troubled by a recent article on lukeford.net.
The website, which is focused on Hollywood producer interviews and Jewish theology, suddenly gives significant column inches to an interview with some obscure rock musician. A rock musician? The article was authored by Tiffany Stone.
Suddenly, I am flashing on Abbey Road studios circa 1968. John Lennon walks into the control room and announces to the rest of the Beatles, "This is Yoko. She's a musician, too!" Uh, oh ....
Chaim Amalek writes: Luke, leave the music biz beat to Marc, who knows better than to post drivel like this. She's a very nice girl, but she does not belong on your site.
Dumb Blonde writes: Luke, You are an intelligent, talented, moral man who contributes to society in a positive way. You've overcome some tremendous hardships and are self-supporting, despite being afflicted with CFS. You are well mannered and very nice. If you're possessed by a devil, well, maybe even the devil has gotten a bad rap.
Concerned writes: Notice Luke never ran any Mexican-American struggle pieces by ... Luke is whipped! Twenty bucks says he's dieing Easter eggs with Tif next month. Time to add one more chapter to the memoir: Chapter 20 - My Return To Christ.
Tiffany Stone writes: Why are people so hung up on labels? Are they the ones with hang-ups? The entertainment industry encompasses the music industry. Also, I have been a writer for many years. A couple of the places where my music journalism has been published are Spin Magazine online and Sweater Magazine. I have also worked at record labels (indie and major). Tiffany Stone is my real name. I do not go by or critique others with an *alias.*
Concerned writes: "Tell Tiffany to wake up and smell the coffee. How many rock musician profiles have been posted on lukeford.net before yours? ZERO! ps Is she Wiccan? Just curious."
Tiffany replies: "I don't believe in organized religion. Luke, you have a few readers who don't have lives or real names. It thrills me that "concerned" had the time (to waste on moi) to come up with a John Lennon/Yoko Ono metaphor. I am very flattered."
Chaim Amalek writes: I had something snarky to write here but then, in view of my new faith, chose to chuck it all. I wish Tiffany well in life, and I would be thrilled if the two of you had a nice church wedding full of handsome WASPS (I know I wouldn't be allowed in, as you'd want pretty pictures of the event).
But I still am a bit surprised to learn that you would pay for content of that sort, and for that site. Have you ever before paid for anything on lukeford.net? Not just to me (zippo), but how about in years past to the Reverend Peter Luther Christian, Cindee Plenum, Kaspar Gomez, Muhammed Ibn Abu, the Herpetologist, Fischel Teitelbaum, the Tough Jewish Chick or any of those other interesting characters who used to write in? I guess that's why they stopped writing to you - no money in it for them.
Now to make Tiffany an even more interesting person, please ask her to formulate a policy on immigration and diversity. Can American EVER have too much? (Every other woman I've asked this of has reacted as though I suggested they needed to lose thirty pounds.)
Anthony Pellicano Going Down
XXX says: Earlier this week, we learned that because of a recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling, the charges against Alexander Proctor for damaging the car of journalist Anita Busch are being thrown out. According to the government informant, Proctor was acting for Pellicano on behalf of his client Steven Seagal.
Now it looks like nobody is going to be charged over the threats to Busch and Vanity Fair's Ned Zeman. But Pellicano is still going down for other things. His career is finished and he faces ten years in jail.
If it would not have been the Hobbes Act, the Proctor case would've fallen down for any number of reasons.
After the feds busted Pellicano for illegal possession of explosives, the FBI (and some to the prosecutors in the downtown) started getting phone calls. They got fantastic leads about illegal things Pellicano has done.
Pellicano is going to be indicted any day now. He was supposed to have been indicted over the explosives last week.
Pellicano was never tied into the Anita Busch thing except by the snitch and the resulting search warrant and affidavit. The feds hoped to get enough stuff on Pellicano to bust him for the Hobbes Act stuff.
The threats to Busch and Zeman will end up as a small footnote to the whole Seagal-Pellicano-Nasso thing.
We don't know who threatened Zeman. Barry Levin has theories that it was a relative of Seagal's.
It was a total accident that the Pellicano-Seagal connection ever got in the paper. There was an early search warrant and affidavit filed for Proctor's arrest. That was supposed to be sealed. It had the wrong address on Proctor. So they had to get a new warrant. They put the old one in the file and forgot that it was public.
American Movie Classics is covering all bases in their documentary on this drama. Everyone spoke to them except Steven Seagal. They've got Elie Samaha, screenwriters, directors. The documentary used to do HBO Undercover and they nailed it.
From the 3/1/03 LA Times: Federal prosecutors moved Friday to dismiss an indictment charging a Southern California man with threatening a Los Angeles Times reporter who was researching the relationship between actor Steven Seagal and a reputed Mafia associate.
Originally, prosecutors charged that Proctor's alleged actions amounted to interfering with interstate commerce by threats of violence, a violation of the federal Hobbs Act. But this week, the Supreme Court ruled in another case that the Hobbs Act applies only when force is used to obtain property.
But even as they asked for a dismissal of the indictment against Proctor, prosecutors filed a criminal complaint Friday charging the ex-convict with conspiracy to distribute cocaine. If convicted under the new complaint, he faces up to five years in prison. Some of the evidence for the new charge was uncovered during the investigation of the alleged threats.
Joshua Cohen writes in the 3/5/03 New York Press: Rabbi Shmuley Boteach is the spiritual guru who wrote the bestselling Kosher Sex. He has an excellent reputation in matters both religious and secular and his specialty is sex, so he seemed like the logical guy to consult about Jewish Porn. When asked about JP, he responded that he was "strongly opposed to any such thing" and had no time to comment further on it.
I interviewed 11 rabbis, none of whom had any idea that Jewish Pornography even exists. When I explained JP to them, they requested that their names not be included in this article. My own rabbi was one of them. His only comment: "You worry about Jewish pornography when your people die in Israel?"
My own mother was shocked: "Don’t people hate us enough?"
Among my friends, the reactions were predictable. The ones who had heard of Jewish Porn shared their favorite sites with me, while those who hadn’t were surprised.
Clues may be found in the Kabbalah, in which dualities of masculine and feminine are forever interpolated. Gershom Scholem, in Origins of Kabbalah, points out one of the most interesting dualities: the Double Sophia (represented as hokhmah), the bride and the daughter, one a "virgin of light" in the upper world of the pleroma. The other, lower Sophia "succumbed to the temptation of the hyle and fell from the pleroma into the lower worlds, where it is…in exile."
Almost Famous - An Interview With Alexi Murdoch
By Tiffany Stone (TiffanyAStone@aol.com)
Alexi Murdoch is the epitome of what I found sexy in high school: longish wavy-brown hair with a hippyish/’70s rock star vibe. At our interview, he’s wearing corduroy pants, a black shirt and olive green cardigan sweater. At his recent Mint show (club on Pico Blvd near Crescent Heights) in Los Angeles, he had a groupie section with myriad young girls in tight jeans and T-shirts singing along. Alexi’s strikingly pretty girlfriend was dutifully collecting fan info for the mailing list.
I recognized Alexi from his gig at The Mint. I didn’t meet him that night because things were mad. The Mint had recently been visited by the Fire Marshal, so they weren’t allowing in more than the maximum capacity sign allowed. I had to wait for fifteen minutes outside, even though I was on the guest list. This was almost a deal breaker. I was cold and annoyed. It was worth the wait. For only being the opening band, Alexi has deservedly garnered a lot of hype. His music wraps around its audience like a cozy blanket possessing a ubiquitous honesty.
Alexi was late for our meeting and sincerely apologetic for the second time that day regarding his tardiness. The first time was from his cell-phone. “I didn’t realize there was traffic at this time of day.” Our meeting was scheduled for 1:30pm at a coffeehouse in Santa Monica. Apparently, he was also confused about where Santa Monica is in relation to Hollywood.
“I’m so sorry. Let me grab a coffee. Can I get you anything?”
“No, thank you.” I was still nursing a peppermint tea. I wanted a slice of carrot cake, but a mouthful of crumbs didn’t make for good interviewing. He returned and was grinning sheepishly at his café mocha. “I still have this cold. I don’t usually have sugar, caffeine, alcohol or drugs.” Alexi started out the conversation by interviewing me about the Movie Poop Shoot website I freelance for. I speedily rattled off some facts, trying to sound knowledgeable. I really didn’t want to talk. Reigning in control, I switched to Alexi.
T: You have a distinct voice. I love your accent.
AM: I never really thought of myself as a good singer. When I was younger, I mimicked whomever I was listening to. I used to sing in more of an American accent, but that wasn’t true to who I was. I was born in London but also grew up in Scotland. My voice is more English sounding than anything else. My dad’s Greek, but I don’t think I have any of that in my voice. I don’t really listen to my voice anymore. For a while I got a bit obsessed with it: whether I was in tune, etcetera.
T: Do you get paid for any of your gigs?
AM: I do get paid for licensing, and now that the EP is out, it is cool. I can’t make a living-well, not yet. I also do voice-overs. I am sure you have heard me unknowingly. I don’t know if you know, “Morning Becomes Eclectic,” [a popular three-hour morning radio show in Los Angeles that plays everything from Moby to Philip Glass and includes emerging artists.] I’ve been played on it a lot. That helps. My music is starting to get played around the country now: Philadelphia, San Francisco and New York, to name a few. My website, www.AlexiMurdoch.com, has that information. It also lists the record stores where my EP is available.
T: Coincidentally, I just heard another live set with you as a guest singer yesterday morning on “Morning Becomes Eclectic.”
AM: That was so fun. It was the craziest thing. I’m doing a couple of songs with this Canadian producer, Michael Brooks, and he did this record with Tanzanian singer, Hukwe Zawose, who plays with Peter Gabriel. Next thing I know, I am playing with Peter Gabriel’s band.
T: How did Nic Harcourt [the host] of “Morning Becomes Eclectic” discover you?
AM: When I met Nic Harcourt it was really by chance. He came to see my friend’s band, East Mountain South. I was opening for them. I knew Nic would be into our music. He came up to me after the set. I gave him a demo, and the next morning he was playing it. He played it the whole month of August, and within a week of hearing it, they asked me to come in and do a live show.
T: You recently had a song played on “Dawson’s Creek.” Was that surreal?
AM: I don’t even have a TV; I had to go to a friend’s house. Then the last five minutes of the program [you know where they do the emotional montage where all the storylines get tied together, and the characters are pensively looking out the windows and stuff like that] they ran the song for like four and one-half minutes straight. It was amazing exposure. Immediately my website was overwhelmed with people buying the EP and writing me from as far away as Canada. It made me realize that with all the label interest I have right now, I’d still rather try things first on my own, independently.
T: My first impression at The Mint gig was that Alexi took himself too seriously and had an over- inflated ego. I was expecting to like him right away. I was surprised by his arrogance. He was not the headlining band, and he told the packed room to be quiet four times. Some people come to The Mint just for the bar. Perhaps his accent made him sound pedantic. I had never seen a musician hush a crowded bar. I didn’t think it was an endearing move.
T: How long have you been playing in LA?
AM: I got back to LA in February after taking some time off. It was exciting to see I was going to do it, to really get over the fear. I started playing open mikes anywhere I could. I had no clue how I was going to get a band together, and it just happened. They are all super- talented-not ego-driven, and very musical.
T: What are the different types of instruments in the band?
AM: They are the electric and upright base and a broken down drum kit. I am not into that overused drum sound. Sometimes there are other musicians that stand in. There is a real community of excellent musicians in LA.
T: How did the whole music thing come about?
AM:I sort of fell into music. I came out here to write fiction.
AM: Yes. Though, I actually followed a girl out here and stayed. I didn’t know what I was going to do: to act, write or whatever. It was a friend who heard me on a camping trip, and he came up to me the next week and was like, “I’d really like to manage you.” I was like, “What for?” “For music, man.” This conversation was what kind of kick-started the whole thing. Did you grow up with music? I didn’t find the guitar until I was 17, but I played the piano, the trumpet, and just about every other instrument.
Music has always been a part of my life. My mother was a singer. I started singing early on in a choir. That’s where I developed harmony. I went to a Christian boarding school in Scotland, and first thing in the morning we had chapel. At 17, I started out writing. The songs were really bad; very self-indulgent and about adolescent pain. I used to listen to Pink Floyd’s, “The Wall” over and over again. You have to get over the fear of finding your voice.
T: Alexi rambled on like a college freshman after reading his first philosophy book about what it means to be authentic. I was correct. Alexi was intelligent, spiritual and also a philosophy major at Duke. This sometimes translates into conceit. However, he truly believed his diatribe. Alexi was sincere.
T: Which musicians do you listen to? Who inspires you?
AM: It’s always embarrassing when I get into conversations about music how little I know about contemporary musicians. I only recently discovered Jeff Tweety. I had never heard of Wilco. I felt a really strong affinity with him. I don’t hear a lot of contemporary music that grabs me.
T: When I saw your show at The Mint, I noticed you had a few different styles of music. A couple of songs sounded like David Gray, and of course people compare you to Nick Drake. “Orange Sky” seemed alternative country to me.
AM: Someone said they heard a reggae vibe in that, which is funny because when I originally wrote that song and played it on the guitar, it had more of a reggae bounce to it. And now it’s more of an alternative country sort of sound.
T: Is this the direction you are going? Or do you just have different influences?
AM: Producers and other music people are always telling me I have to “hone in” on my sound and find out what direction I am going in. I understand the need we all have to categorize, but when you start thinking that way, you limit yourself. Generically, I couldn’t find a place for my music, as far as genre.
T: What about the last song, “Something Beautiful,” you did live at your show? It is a powerful song to end on (My date, after acting uninterested all night proclaimed, “That song’s money,” and threw down his business card from an established management company. Alexi never called him, and I never saw him again.)
AM: I am actually recording “Something Beautiful” right now. That song is really a chant. It’s only 3 chords. I had it for a while and just assumed it would be an intro to a song and that there would be more to it. Then I sang it for the first time a few months ago at a gig, and it worked. A lot of people have really connected with that song.
T: How do you come up with songs?
AM: If I had to describe how I write songs, I would say I focus on circles more than lines. I am not afraid of repetition. In this day and age we don’t pay very much attention, and you have to sort of repeat yourself ad nauseum.
T: Where do you see yourself in the future?
AM: That’s a weird one because my philosophy has always been to not really plan or anticipate anything; it takes you out of the present. Though, I’ve realized that perhaps this is a naïve concept. Being acknowledged for what I do is more difficult than people think. A lot of musicians I have known over the years and even friends are getting weird. I am starting to feel alienated from them. They are like, “You’re doing so well. What’s it like? How’d you do it?” It’s not like I am any different. I am writing the same songs. I am hoping that I can get out there and not let my ego mess with me and stay humble. It’s funny how people will come out of the woodwork as soon as they smell success. They know what you want to hear and what your insecurities are. It’s hard to tell sometimes who is bullshitting you.
T: Alexi, obviously tenacious, took big risks to get his music heard: He once moved over from coach to first class on a plane to give Natalie Imbruglia his demo tape. Another time he met KD Lang at midnight in the frozen foods section at a grocery store. Having just wrapped up his first recording of a song, he gave her a demo. It was fate. Lang later left a message on his answering machine praising his talent.
T: Are you interested in getting a manager?
AM: I was with a large management company for a few months. I even knew going into it that it really wasn’t the place for me. I gave them the benefit of the doubt that they would work with me and do things differently. It became really obvious after the EP was done that they weren’t going to be satisfied until I was on Star radio [Top 40] and had a video on MTV. They definitely had a plan and resources. It’s not what I am into. I walked away from it, and they were surprised. I’m not signed to a label or anything. I think people are really lazy about their integrity. They’re like, “Keep it real.” I think selling out doesn’t happen in some grand transaction. It happens in small increments every day. And before you know it, you’ve sold off the whole thing. I think you have to make a stand from the beginning. I don’t believe in getting to a place and then doing what you really want to do. I don’t buy that.
T: Are a lot of music industry executives coming to your shows?
AM: At a gig, you can always tell who the industry people are by who leaves before the music starts. They scope out the scene, talk to your manager, then bail. The other night, I was more excited about two girls who drove all the way from Irvine to see my show at the Troubador in Hollywood than some A&R person who was trying to chat me up. I am doing great on my own. I got a call the other day from Tower Records in Philadelphia. They want me to do an in-store when I come to town and are going to give me a listening station at all five of their stores. The Tower woman who called had actually paid for my EP. Music people are always trying to get CD’s for free, so I was impressed. Record labels pay big money for listening stations. I also just did an ASCAP [American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers] showcase during the Sundance Film Festival. In March I am doing another showcase at the South by Southwest music festival in Austin, Texas.
T: After the tape stopped, Alexi waxed a bit more philosophically. Eventually, The Mint show’s “be quiet” issue surfaced. Alexi said he realized that he needed to drop the volume of his voice and that the audience would follow suit. See, overthinking can get you places, and Alexi Murdoch is on his way.
Luke's Family Apologize For Luke
My stepmother Gill www.hormonesonline.com wrote this 4/99. It largely reflects the views of my family.
This week, our son Luke came to visit us [in Sacramento]. He has been somewhat distanced from the family, and this was a better meeting than some in the past. I took the opportunity to talk to him about his life, and we talked for about 3 hours. I think we had better communication than we had experienced in the previous decade. Though I don’t expect Luke to change direction as a result.
Luke is about to get his 5 minutes of fame. He has been longing for this attention and working towards it. He is about to publish his first book. A recent Barnes and Noble catolog gave his book quite a push. He has apparently made quite an impact by criticizing the porn industry. Articles have been written about him and he has been on TV. And there will be more to come. So here’s some input from Luke’s family who have been anticipating and somewhat dreading this notoriety.
Luke comes from a Christian family, and his father is a minister. Luke converted to Judaism some years ago. It bothers us that there is such a merciless streak in him that he hurts people because he thinks they deserve it. Mercy is a valued trait in our family, and Luke is often merciless. In the past, he would tell me off if I gossiped, yet his whole business is based on gossip, and it’s clear he does not wait to check his information before publishing. It seems this is the trait that most annoys people about him--enough to get him frequent death threats.
We feel very sorry for the Jewish community whom we know would not approve of what he is doing either. While being a commentator on the industry, he is also fascinated by it, somewhat involved in it, and supported by it.
I told Luke that I read his website every so often to follow what he was doing. He was horrified that I would do this and said that his therapist and girlfriend hadn’t looked at his website. He thinks his girlfriend would give him up if she did.
There are some mitigating circumstances for those willing to be more merciful than Luke is. I would like to explain to those who are interested some things about Luke’s background. Gene Ross has it quite wrong.
Luke was born in Australia to a mother who was already sick of breast cancer. By the time he was 10 months old, the cancer had metastasized to the bones and, she was given two weeks to live. Gwen lived for another 3 years and those were cruel years. She vomited regularly and weighed only 60 lbs those last years. She died when Luke was 3.
During those 2-3 years, Luke lived in several different homes and had a number of "mothers." Gwen was too sick to look after him, and she was with him only part of the time. Those other "mothers" also had to leave him, and this was very hard on him. Luke was a very smart child and had unusual intuition and he shown signs of disturbance and depression when very young. I married his father seven months after Gwen died with her blessing. She gave Luke to me as an inheritance, and I took that charge very seriously. Luke was four when he came home. I am the only mother Luke remembers, he is the only child I ever had. I love him dearly. And his actions of the past eight to ten years have been very painful to me and the rest of his family.
I think we made a real mistake when Luke was small by telling him that his mother felt when she was carrying him that he was going to do a special work for God. A small child can’t handle such a grand responsibility and maybe it sowed the seeds of grandeur in him and gave him an unrealistic viewpoint of himself. Yet maybe he will bring glory to God in a negative way like Samson. There is nothing any of us can do ultimately against God. He uses everything to his glory, good or bad. Yet every mother would like a Daniel rather than a Samson.
Luke’s biography on this website is very slanted. It reflects the subconcious feelings of an angry hurt child, yet it lacks all the positives. He was and is deeply loved. And in some ways he had a privileged childhood (time devoted, not money).
When Luke was going into college, he worked out all four years of classes ahead of time. He knew what he was going to do (journalism, communications), he knew where he was going to do his postgraduate studies (at Berkley) and his Ph.D. (at the London School of Economics). He was the most self-directed adolescent you could ever meet. Luke was always a bit eccentric, but he was cheerful and well liked (though he always like to bait people and irritate them).
It seems to us that Luke’s life drastically changed after a car accident. He thinks he was about age 19. He was driving his VW to college one morning and was blinded by the sun. Seeing yellow against yellow, he hit the back of a parked school bus, and his seat belt broke. He was taken to hospital and had 30 stitches between his eyebrows. We believe that Luke had some type of brain injury. It was after that, that he started to gradually change. He became compulsive and obsessive, drove himself in every area of his life into the ground, and ended up with mono and chronic fatigue syndrome. He spent about 8 years sick with extreme fatigue. He attended UCLA for a year during his 20s but was only able to complete one class a quarter. It was during that time that he began to listen to Dennis Prager on the radio and began his journey towards Judaism.
There is a lot of tragedy in the world, such as Kosovo, AIDs, and children dying of cancer. But there are also personal tragedies that blight and ruin lives. It was a terrible thing that happened to Luke because he had such drive, motivation, and zest for life. The car accident and the ensuing chronic fatigue that still constantly drags him down in one sense destroyed his life.
Luke has a father who has two earned Ph.Ds (MSU and Manchester University), which he finished in 18 months each; and he has written over 20 books. A very hard act to follow for Luke who had similar gifts and extreme ambition. Luke had the same potential and it all went down the drain or so it seems when he got sick. There are still many days when he can hardly drag himself to the computer, and he is often visibly sick.
In Luke’s 20s, when the CFS was at its height, Luke would have terrific sweats, his eyes would be unnaturally bright, and he had lurid, horrible nightmares where he was pursued by giant snakes which always attacked, overwhelmed, and swallowed him. He was conscious of a struggle with these snakes; he always tried to overcome them, but they always won and swallowed him. It was the fear of death. He thought he was dying. In later years we came to understand that these were possibly prepsychotic dreams. When he was put on antidepressants, particularly Zoloft, he became hypersexual and more bizarre. Later he went on Nardil, which has helped him more than any one thing to get back on his feet. Luke, as far as I can tell, is more normal than he was back then. But there has been a residual effect.
Luke’s intellectual ability did not seem affected except as lack of energy limited his output. The effect seemed an emotional one that came on gradually making him driven, compulsive, extremely self-focussed, with a loss of boundaries, feelings, and sense of appropriateness. And he is extremely narcissistic. You can only hold his attention if you talk about Luke.
We think (and we may be quite wrong) that Luke is like someone with multiple personalities; that there are two distinct Lukes. There is one that is an evil two-year-old child, very angry with his original mother for leaving. That child can be cunning and cruel. That part of Luke is the one that has little respect for women and seems to have no ability to love. That side of Luke has done some bizarre stuff. It reflects a subconscious that is bared to the world and holds nothing back. It has lost its boundaries, its sense of what is appropriate, ethical, and kind.
The other part of Luke is the wise, mature, considerate 70-year-old that he presents on TV, to his therapist, to his parents, to the public, at the synagogue. That side is more like the Luke we used to know.
Multiple personalities as a theory has been receiving bad press lately; but it seems to fit Luke. I am not sure if Luke is really aware of these two sides to his personality. Or if he is really conscious of the ambivalence of his personality and actions.
Yet when I talked to Luke this week, he said he knew he had two sides of his personality and his therapist has recognised this too. I felt that was progress. He can bring that other side out at will now. I saw it years ago, but it surfaced only rarely and fleetingly. Luke believes this is his carnal side (the other, more mature side is his spiritual side). I think Luke’s carnal side is too exposed, too controlling, too close to the surface. But that’s the Christian perspective where effort is expected to fight to keep the evil under.
At the moment Luke likes both these natures, and he thinks they can coexist. I told him that in the classic view of multiple personalities, when they both come out, one lives and the other dies. He’s not ready for that yet. He seems like someone split down the middle and the two parts are going in opposite directions. How can you be for the industry and part of it and supported by it and yet against it and merciless to "the scum in the industry." You are either on one side or another. It doesn’t make sense, and one wonders how long a personality that torn can keep going. It’s like tearing a page in half.
As a family, we have alternated between feeling desperately sorry for him and being very angry with him. For instance, when Luke left home for Florida some years ago, I cried for three days. At other times I feel so mad because I think the industry is so demeaning to women, and I don’t think he should be part of it.
But the anger doesn’t last. We don’t like what he’s doing, but we love him. We know that something happened to him. He is not the same person he used to be. And we feel he has shown great courage in just surviving under very difficult circumstances. He says what he’s doing is just a job, that he couldn’t manage anything else. He can work at home and crawl to the computer if necessary.
Everyone who talks about him or writes about him can’t work him out. He’s a mystery man. All see this same ambivalence that we also see.
These are just a few thoughts about this enigma Luke Ford.
Luke's mom writes privately to him: "There might be another explanation of Luke Ford and his sad departure from the straight and narrow and his ambivalence on the path to morality. No doubt will make you laugh but I have wondered. Have you ever thought you might be devil possessed? Of course, you don't believe in one, but that figures. Have you ever thought of going to a Catholic priest about it? Don't think the Jews believe in the devil so they are not likely to try and push him out. There are two yous and that giggly one is the one that needs to come out. Do you remember in India when you were 3 or 4 when you were convinced you saw the devil. Woke up very excited and chatted about the devil for a long time. You were a funny kid and always hyper-. Well, we were in India and there were a lot of dark men at the time, so it could have triggered a dream."
Luke to mom: "May I quote you?"
Mom: "Hmm! I'm not sure about quoting all that but not much I can do about it. You only think it's funny and want to turn it into a big joke. Will people think the comments re: the Indians are racist? Not intended to be. At the time, we figured you had seen so many black faces... We were in Calcutta and the number of people there is unbelievable; and you weren't used to a sea of black faces, coming from Australia, that so you dreamt about it. And then when you woke up you really thought you had seen the devil. You wouldn't stop talking about it, repeatedly and 50 miles an hour. Who made such an impression about the devil on a 3-year-old? It wasn't me. I'd only been around for two weeks.
"You have been to at least a couple of therapists who felt you had no emotional problems because you have this mature wise side that you can present at will. And I know you play mental games with people because you have done it with me. You know that game where you (meaning you) don't have a problem, but I (meaning me) do.
Luke Gets Mail
Eric writes: Hi Luke, I read a bit of your site today. And I confess I felt some anger as I read the comments of this guy Biddle on the Vdare article by PCR that you link to. If I had more time I would like to reply in more detail, and a bit more eloquently. But I don't. So I will just say...
Most people who lived in California during the period I did (1970 until 2000) and saw how out-of control immigration transformed (i.e. ruined) the state feel some sadness about what has been lost.
Ideologues like Biddle have no soul. What is a libertarian? Apparently, someone who doesn't care what happens, as long as government is not an active agent. I know...let's vote on it. Should current immigration continue? What do you think people will say? (And BTW...why have we never been given a chance to vote on this? Is there a more important social issue?) When I get really pissed off I send this link to people:
BTW I have had a letter published on Vdare -- here is the link.
Do I Care About Anyone?
My sister Elenne, a Brisbane barrister, writes:
"Forget the psychiatrist, see Jesus," writes Lord Peter Luther Christian: "Dear Mr. Ford: I wept when I read your sister's letter to my church prayer group, as did many in attendance. No Luke, narcissism is NOT the normal state of affairs for anyone, especially a Christian. Maybe it is different in Hollywood and among American lawyers (not a very Christian bunch), but trust your heart, not so elsewhere. How can one obsess on his own travails when in the back of his mind is the knowledge that Jesus DIED for the sins of others? And with all due respect to your lawyer-sister, how can she urge you to place your mind in the hands of modern psychiatry when it is the very same Pharisees who urged the Romans to murder our Lord whose descendants control modern psychiatry?
"Luke, the solution to the problems noted by your loving sister, the mother of your adorable baby nieces, is not to be found on a gurney in an MRI machine, or on the tip of a psychiatrist's tongue. (Did you realize that until just a few years ago, such "experts" told the mothers of schizophrenic and autistic people that they were to blame for their children's illness? How sad. And how typically destructive of the Christian family unit for them to say such things!) Yes, there is a place for modern medicine, but what you appear to need is a doctor for the soul. And I know the best one of them all - Jewish, in fact - except that he does not require insurance co-payments or charge any fees for his services. His name is Dr. Jesus Christ, doctor of the soul. But he is not in the telephone book; he is in your heart. Find him Luke, before it is too late."
Paul Craig Roberts writes: Israel is a Jewish--not a multicultural--state. Imagine Israel’s fate if it had to contend with a Palestinian vote.
Imagine Israel’s predicament if the country permitted massive non-Jewish immigration and, in addition, was undergoing a silent invasion by illegal Palestinian immigrants. Imagine, also, that Israeli schools taught that Jewish males were hegemonic racists and sexists who oppressed Jewish women and Arabs. Imagine, further, that Israel had civil rights laws that made Jews second class citizens and bestowed “minority preferences” on Palestinians and other Arabs. Combine this package with guilt-ridden political leadership. What chance would Israel have?
As dangerous as its situation is, Israel has none of these disadvantages. The U.S., however, has every one of them.
RiShawn Biddle, a black libertarian and journalist for Forbes, responds on his weblog: PAUL CRAIG ROBERTS' 'ALIEN' PROBLEM: The pages of VDare.com would be far more horrifying if its editorial content wasn't so laughable. Besides the volumes dedicated to ripping National Review Online's editor Jonah Goldberg, the dreary site is nothing more than a endless series of tired anti-immigrant rants from should-never-beens such as syndicated columnist Sam Francis, who just came out with a hackneyed scaremongering piece about how an amnesty program for illegal aliens will supposedly give terrorists a free pass to bomb other parts of our amber waves of grain.
One would expect Francis to be a Vdare columnist. Unfortunately, the same goes for my acquaintance and former Forbes colleague Peter Brimelow, an otherwise good guy--and talented journalist--whose anti-immigration screeds were once championed by National Review, for whom he also once wrote. But I was surprised when I found an anti-emigre' column by Paul Craig Roberts. Yes, that Paul Craig Roberts, the economist who helped pioneered supply-side economics in the Seventies, craft the Reagan administration's tax cut policies in the Eighties and most recently, wrote a fine tome on how the drug war has led to wrongful criminal prosecutions.
With this literary urine sample, Roberts has moved from eminent pundit to race-baiting scoundrel. After taking us through a history of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Roberts contends the latest crisis is a harbinger of what may happen to America if it doesn't cease and desist from "insane" immigration policies have that have left it captive to "alien cultures," made "second-class citizens" of native "white males" and transformed former Mexican territories-turned-American states in California and the southwest into "Mexican provinces."
How, umm, crafty. I guess Roberts was napping when Mark Krikorian tried pulling that half-baked stunt. To prove his point, Roberts cites Israel's non-assimilationist society as an example of how our nation should handle its huddled masses...
Since Roberts enjoys telling fairy tales, let me try one out. Let's suppose Israel did decide to offer an olive branch, say, recognize Palestinians as equal citizens, handed them the right to vote and addressed ethnic discrimination with laws that gave every citizen, no matter their ethnicity, the equality of opportunity to make something of themselves. Let's suppose that Israeli schools then taught that decades of treating Palestinians as second-class citizens--including the forced seizure of their private property--was just as wrong as the Nazi's Final Solution and the enslavement of and discrimination against American Blacks. I'll bet that the average Palestinian would rather have equal citizenship in Israel than a pile of dust in the West Bank or Gaza Strip.
My hypothesis is probably absolute lunacy, but then, so is Roberts' notion that the Israeli-Palestinian conflict can teach us anything about immigration. If anything, Israel is a lesson on how not to handle immigration. After all, both Israel and its rivals within the Arab world, especially Iraq and Jordan face angry hordes of Kurds and other minority ethinicities who have been treated shabbily at best, and in most cases, slaughtered ruthlessly. Perhaps if these Middle Eastern nations embraced the concept of the melting pot, they wouldn't have so many angry ethnic terrorists within their borders. More importantly for our anti-terrorist efforts, the United States would be able to remove Saddam Hussein from power without the possibility of Iraq being divided into warring ethnic fiefdoms.
But Roberts would never argue that. No, no, no. Like most rabid anti-immigrationists, it would actually expose his arguments for what they are--mere bigotry.
"THERE IS AN OVER ABUNDANCE OF FOOLS IN THE WORLD. BIDDLE IS ONE OF THEM": Strong words from Paul Craig Roberts--via one of my sources--over my April 16 post trashing his repugnant anti-immigration screed disguised as Israeli-Palestinian conflict commentary in VDare.com. Oooh, it hurts sooo--little. After all, I've been called worse by all kinds. But I'm perplexed: What is so foolish? My judgement of his column on its own terms--and finding it lacking in so many ways? Or Roberts piece, whose statements, including that "Mexican provinces" line, so borders on bigotry that it probably wouldn't make the pages of National Review, that bastion of anti-immigrant conservatism? I'll let you decide for yourselves--and let you know if Roberts has any additional responses. But while I'm at it, let's not forget another anti-assimilationist element in American intellectual thought: The'multiculturalist' left, whose worldview is just as repugnant as that of the VDare crowd. The only difference is that instead of closing the borders, they work to banish the memory of the dead white men who helped develop the melting pot in the first place, replace equal opportunity with race-based systems and expouse the conceit that all cultures are equally good--which as proven by the Middle East conflicts, just isn't so.
The funny thing is the site [VDare.com] is run by Peter Brimelow, a former Forbes senior editor--and friend of Paul Craig Roberts--who I otherwise respect. What particularly galled me about Roberts' remarks was that in reality, Roberts is the descendant of immigrants, albeit those Mayflower types who came here to get away from English political and religious oppression as well as to create for themselves a better life. The immigrants that comehere today just want the same thing Roberts' ancestors wanted and Brimelow himself (Brit who emigrated first to Canada, then to the US) sought when he came here. When it comes to immigration, I'm for open borders as long as they're not terrorists or disease carriers.
What's Up With Ed Burns?
Jeffrey Wells writes about one of my favorite actor-writer-directors: "I'm thinking of banging out a piece about poor Edward Burns for Wednesday's column, and maybe calling it "Can't Catch a Break." My thesis is that Burns may need some kind of shake-up to kick his writing and directing up to the next level, but as a performer he's solid and true -- the high point being his performance in "Saving Private Ryan." He's made some shitty movies, and his last one -- "Ash Wednesday" -- which he wrote and directed, went straight to video. He's taken some heat in the press for his shortcomings, but I remain convinced that he's got "it" as a performer....that honest, street-flavored, blue-collar thing...and I'm wondering how some of you feel about him. It doesn't have to be on the record, but I'd prefer it if you could let me identify you. Just tell me if you agree with me or not, and why. Is the guy over and headed downhill?"
Chaim Amalek writes: Luke, you have to toughen up. These rabbis are not your ersatz mommy or daddy, they are fundraisers attached to buildings, and will make whatever compromises they feel they can get away with to keep the shekels flowing. And the bottom line is that you don't contribute much to the bottom line, whereas these other yentas likely do.
Dennis Prager Mulls Run for Senate in 2004
Buzzy Gordon writes for the 2/28/03 Jewish Journal: “I’m still only in the thinking and talking stage,” said the outspoken Republican. “No exploratory committee has been formed. I won’t announce that until I am close to being certain. I don’t want to disappoint people who have invested hopes.”
Prager said he’s off to Washington next month to feel out senators, in order to help him make his decision. Already, he said he has “good responses” from conservative columnists Jack Kemp and Bill Bennett as well as his listeners.
When Prager first broached the subject on his show in early February, his listeners expressed support. “I also have commitments for the serious kind of money it takes to mount a campaign,” he said.
“The Dennis Prager Show,” broadcast live weekdays 9 a.m. to noon on KRLA 870AM, reaches 45 cities and is heard worldwide over the Web.
For Prager, one of his motivations in running is to garner a larger audience — even though he would have to give up the show and his syndicated column if he won the race. “In the Senate, I would be in an influential position; people would pay attention to what I have to say,” he said. “Also, if a Republican can win in a Democratic state like California, he would have to be taken seriously as a contender for national office, such as vice president.”
Prager also believes he could be a role model, for Jewish and non-Jewish Republicans. “I would serve as an example of a politician who does not have to compromise his principles. And finally, as someone who would step down from office voluntarily; I do not believe in being a career politician.”
Prager is also buoyed by political strategist and author Arnold Steinberg’s contention that he is the one who can beat Boxer.
Jerry Parsky, who ran George W. Bush’s campaign in California, and Lionel Chetwynd, the White House Hollywood liaison, are also reportedly backing Prager...
According to political consultant Allan Hoffenblum, “Prager would likely give Boxer a run for her money. He would take away Jewish voters who are concerned about the situation of Israel in the Middle East. And he is not a typical right-winger; he is more of a libertarian than a hard-core conservative.”
Prager told The Journal he’d run only “If I feel I have a reasonable chance of winning — in the primaries as well as the general election.” He insists that in the end, his decision will be swayed by his belief in not “whether I can win — since there is never that certainty — but where I can do the most good.
“In the end, it will boil down to answering these two questions: Am I cut out for this kind of life? And, can a politician run as a man of his own conscience and not be forced into unacceptable compromises by running?”
Dennis Prager For U.S. Senate
I've spoken to many people about Dennis Prager's possible run against Barbara Boxer for the U.S. Senate seat from California. Nobody I've spoken to thinks Prager will do it or can do it.
They point out:
* Prager dislikes media scrutiny, particularly of his personal life, which would ascend to a level he's never experienced before if he enters politics.
* Prager has high negatives. Even many people who agree with him, find him insufferably arrogant. If Prager read aloud from the telephone book, about a third of people would be annoyed.
* Prager likes being in charge and is not suited for the rough and tumble world of politics where things constantly spin out of one's control and compromise is constantly necessary.
Despite all that, I'd love to see Prager throw his hat into the ring and give it a shot.