Very paranoid letters. Old-timers here might recall that the “Famous and Nonfamous Strangers” moniker comes from a letter I received in 1997 while working for a small nonprofit in Oklahoma City. You should read the whole thing again, but my favorite line will always be this: “Before these famous people held charity dinners on behalf of the cause they fabricated around my life and exploited me in every way imaginable, I had a happy, typical, conservative, affluent, dignified, respectable, middle-class life.” It perfectly captures the pivot into tragedy that mental illness is–and far from mocking Jeannine, it makes me realize how close we all are in our private paranoias to effulgent madness.
Such florid madness tends to make one the object of the very fame that fuels the paranoia. The letter’s author was from Olympia, and when I launched the site a friend who had gone to Evergreen immediately recognized her as “crazy Jeannine”–proving once again how small [and how paranoid] the world is.
But it gets smaller. If I became paranoid, it would be a metaparanoia based on the volume of paranoid letters that find their way to me. My sister, working for a state office housed in the same building I worked in when I got Jeannine’s letter, just received a similarly paranoid letter. The writer, amazingly, lives just a few miles from Casa Nonfamous here in Seattle. [Coincidence???]
So, being mindful that it’s not nice to make fun of people with serious mental disturbances, in our defense I can only say that when you send letters out at random across the country, your disorder is no longer private. Given our mandate to “keep paranoia at the lowest healthy level,” consider this post a cautionary tale.
Writer Mac now joins our patron saint, Jeannine, in the Nonfamous Pantheon of Paranoia. The full letter is copied below the jump, but the gist is something like this:
I am writing you a tearful letter about the musical collosus Robert
Fripp of King Crimson. I was evacuated to Seattle from Pittsburgh after my
girlfriend was raped and I was tortured by his Gurdjieff Cult.
I had been interested in Fripp’s group and invited by them to Mt. Desert Island in 1988. Because I am almost completely deaf, I always feared that something would go wrong and I informed the Fripp gestapo, who were professing to be with Amnesty International, that I had been a victim of traumatic childhood violent crime.
In 1988, I received a postcard from Wm. Zell, of his cult, on Mt. Desert Island (Jackson Immunogenetic labs, mousecage assembler) which surrounds my name with positive and negative signs and reads: “The photo of Goebbels, cross section of testes with cancer, injecting people…all may have been chance…I am part of deliberate community”. They had just given me scabies and introduced me to a girl with a tattoo of the grim reaper on her inner thigh. Zell had said in 1981, “what would you think of scheme to transform the human race by injecting the blood?” They were using me for a lab rat in HIV testing. They had tortured me deaf in childhood. So I became suspicious.
And I think anyone would! As the letter continues, Oliver Stone and Yoko Ono have a lot to answer for. Yoko is new, but of course Jeannine put Oliver Stone at the top of the list of people who “watched me in the privacy of my own dwelling place for several years.” Perhaps they should get together for coffee.
We at Nonfamous will, of course, investigate these claims… the world is a strange place and Mac might be on to something. Or, more likely, off of something. Good luck and God bless.
The full text of the letter is below, with the image to come soon, I hope.