Personhood Press Submission

jumpclaybrainedUrban and Civil

Nov 25, 2013 (3 years and 7 months ago)


Personhood Press Submission

(Working) Title:

Unsolved Espionage

Anticipated Word Count:

90,000 words.

Author’s Full Name:

Sheri Villa

Author Information:

My partner in this,
s a first person witness of an intense white
will be compiling all of the informatio
n and evidence to which he has
provided into a true

With his assistance, i
will be fairly simple to

the story in its entirety

and fill in a
ny blanks that may arise. I have woven

a spy’s in

letters and trav
el journals throughout

Rick’s first person account

the narrative
. It clearly illustrates


validity and sincerity in the

eaningful and loving friendship that Rick and Roger shared.

I am a cum laude graduate of Ame
rican University, having majored in Elementary
Education with a specialization in Literature. Since graduating, I have been working
on many e
ntrepreneurial projects,
ll involving my ability to communicate
effectively through written word

Several of my we
bsites have memberships in the
hundreds, with reader comments exceeding 20,000. I have all of the evidence
pertaining to the story organized in sequential order, and I am working toward
connecting the dots

with the only remaining living witness.


According to Rick,
an unfathomable treasure was hidden in his childhood

home in
San Diego. In addition to the jewels, gems, gold coins, maps, and ancient books
strategically placed throughout the house, bank accounts all over the world were
ready to disp
ense millions of dollars in the name of Richard Rowe on his 50


However, j
ealousy, envy, greed, and sabotage soon revealed themselves. Rick’s
family turned on him, murdered his mother, stole all of the treasure, and left him a
aged man sputtering toward the brink of desperation.

If this is all true (and interactively, that is for the audience to help decide),

the media
will be in frenzy! Once I compile all of the evidence, an investigation will surely
ensue. The public w
ill become enthralled by the story. I
am even considering

submitting the story to CNN myself, just to get Rick some much
needed help, in the
form of legal assistance. Hopefully, the double
crossers who Rick once called his
family will go to jail. There is

certainly much evidence stacked against them.

Spy and espionage fans, action movie buffs, conspiracy theorists,

history lovers, men
and women;

the age demographic

ranges anywhere between 18 and 80! There is no
that is not interested in a good (an
d very real)

spy story. Look at the
legendary 007; 12 novels and 22 films later.


and Marketing:

There is already a novel in circulation that is based on the life of Roger C. Thorpe.
According to Rick, Roger spoke of John le Carre’s
Perfect Spy

as being based off

his life. If you happen to

glance at the dedication, its message is directed to “R”, Rick
claiming it for Roger.

Nonetheless, international spy and espionage stories are vastly popular. Amazon
returns 43,000 results for t
he keyword “espionage” alone. Google users search for
“spy fiction” almost 4,500 times per month. In fact, John le Carre is h
oning in on
2000 hits per month.

Countless novels have made the transition to the big screen, based on the popularity
of the genre
. Tom Clancy’s
Patriot Games
Clear and Present Danger
, and
The Sum of
All Fears
, in addition to

The Bourne

Trilogy are more recent and popular titles
turned big screen blockbuster

I have two plans for distribution. I am very well versed in Int
ernet co
and marketing
, so I plan to circulate the story via the web. First, I will submit and
publish my story through Amazon Kindle. Concurrently, I will create an online
audience through an active blogging website. I will release one chapter per wee
through Pay
Click campaigns, targeting highly relevant leads


Here are the first




This compilation of diaries and intimate letters, woven amongst a lone witness’
person account, paints an undeniable picture of friendship and love lost to a
treasure trove of betrayal and greed.

But before you read any further, I’d like to preface

this storytelling by introducing
myself and telling you of my involvement in this whole thing. I’ve been brought into
this situation by chance, but then again, I fully adhere to the belief that everything
happens for a reason. There are no coincidences. M
aybe this story is further proof of
that very fact.

After my college graduation, relocating to the west coast became my number one
priority. Come the end of the summer of 2008, I packed up some choice items and
began my drive across the country, from Ne
w Jersey all the way to San Diego,
California. Livin’ the dream! A friend put me in touch with a young guy who had also
just moved to San Diego, but from Los Angeles. He needed help in his new office, so I
immediately began working as his Budtender and Off
ice Manager for La Jolla’s very
own medical marijuana dispensary.

Countless patients came through and shared their stories. Many were wonderful,
positive, and so encouraging. But others

I felt like their therapist, listening to them
talk about their ai
lments and the other hardships in their lives. I helped a
quadriplegic man

Jason; also, a man who was almost completely blind, with tunnel
vision, to boot. Another woman once confessed to me that her husband had been
abusing her. It was overwhelming at t
imes, but I was there with open ears; someone
for them to talk to, I suppose.

One day, there stood Rick. Such a gentle soul. Soft spoken. Very spiritual. A dreamer.
Also, a talker! His stories, getting longer with each visit, quickly evolved into this
mplex string of unbelievable events, to which you will soon read. Rick was
difficult to follow at times, so I instructed him to record his account onto a tape, so
that I could then transcribe it for his records. He was in search of some help, so my
of this information would be my contribution to his cause. Of course, I didn’t
really know Rick all that well, so I questioned his validity and integrity by
demanding proof. Sure enough, days later, he brought me boxes full of information,
all very pertine
nt to his story. Evidence.

After studying the materials, I believe him. Exposing these truths will provide Rick
with the avenue necessary for justice. All of the letters and memoirs included herein
are true stories. Whether the dots connect with Rick’s a
ccount of the story is for you
to decide.


16 January


Dear Rick,

Top ‘o the marnin’ ta ya! Herewith some notes on the principal points Brahmacharya Jeffrey
made in his talk this morning:


God is not an anthropomorphic

being but the distilled essence of the universal
consciousness, which is love.


God is

not sitting up there with a telescope and throwing problems and difficulties at us
just for fun. Rather, it is part of universal law that each of us attracts the proble
required to help us strengthen our weaknesses. So troubles are necessary to strengthen
each of us where we need to be strengthened. (This made me think of the science of
cybernetics, which is just that, or of how one pilots an aircraft down to the landi
strip. If one bears too far to the right, there is a beep
beep, so one corrects by veering
to the left and vice


The Master says that life is but a dream, a passing show; so don’t take troubles too

That’s about all I can think of.

o, did you get the plumbing fixed in your condominium yesterday? I was really excited when
you mentioned you and your partner had such a property. So you are really a Man of Property
now. That’s great to have such an asset to grow into a nice estate. I’d l
ike to learn more about
it, the exact location, and your plans for the future, whether to wait for appreciation and then
sell to buy another, etc. Good for you, Rick. I’m so happy for you that as a builder, you have a
building of your own to keep track of.

After the service, I walked around the Temple grounds with Ed, going over things that needed
attention. He’s a nice man, even tempered, and always the same; Not jovial one time and sullen
the next, so he must be very well balanced. It sometimes is amazin
g to me that one goes along
in life meeting and working with people and get to know them no more than a passing
telephone pole, and really have no motivation to look beneath the surface. But then one is
drawn imperceptibly to another by ties that bind, see
mingly without plan, and then one is
simply possessed by that person. So much goes on within and outside us that probably is
unknowable. Sometimes it seems we are mere puppets with wires making our movements in
the hands of some force far beyond our ken.
Now that I think of it, isn’t that what Yogananda is
getting at, that life is just but a passing show that can’t be taken too seriously. For me, the best
attitude is just to be relaxed (as you are) observe the passing show and then laugh…not in a
spirit of

derision or fatalism, but one of joy. As we all are just infinitesimal particles of the
whole, one can’t take too seriously his own affairs. That’s the thought that always comes to me
in two places: watching the ocean waves break upon the rocks (the cease
less motion hypnotizes
me), and out in a dark night under the starry Heavens. To feel a oneness with all of the vast
grandeur that is way beyond human perception always wipes my slate clean of troubles and

Here we go again, I had intended to limi
t any communication to one page, so you won’t get too
disgusted, but there was something which passed through my mind as I was crossing the bridge
on the way home from service, which I would welcome your criticism of, or laughter (I learn
from your correct
ions). From the very moment of meeting you, and right up to this minute, you
have taken possession of my mind and everything else. You seem to be everywhere; every piece
you have picked up seems impregnated with your vibrations, your voice echoes from the
walls, I
feel distinctly your fingers on mine, running this typewriter. Our times together are a non
movie film running before my mind’s eye with no break for popcorn. In the midst of my setting
up exercises in the morning, I find myself stopped, just

staring out the window. I completely
forget to eat. The excitement and stimulation, mental and physical, of our new friendship, I
thought, would cool off after the first day, like a pot of hot water removed from the burner. Just
the opposite has taken pla
ce. So you’ve stopped me in my tracks to the point where nothing
that I used to enjoy doing or studying or reading about has any interest.

Of course, you will laugh and say forget it, or go see a psychiatrist. But the thought, which
occurred to me walki
ng home today, was this…actually, I’d given up fighting it; if my brain
wants to think of you exclusively, it is too enjoyable to take strong
arm methods to stop, but
let’s just flow with the current and enjoy it, or you, rather. So the thought that came t
o me:
isn’t this just the sort of love, devotion for this one person alone, be it Jesus, Our Master or the
other Masters, God, a guru; isn’t the entire purpose of following a Path to learn to have
complete confidence in one of these avatars; we put ourselv
es in their hands with faith
unquestioned, like a little child puts his hand in his father’s with joy, love, trust, and faith?
Never have I felt that sentiment in connection with any great religious figure. None of them
have stirred me any more than any ot
her leader, be it J.P. Morgan, Michelangelo, General de
Gaulle, etc. All of these and many others are great men, have outstanding qualities one admires,
and that’s it. But if I felt toward Pope Jean
Paul, for instance, like I do toward you, I should be
e the president of Lourdes, or something.

This is all probably pretty incomprehensible as tapped out on paper without editing, and you
can just laugh if you wish. But there is something about you that has nothing to do with your
strikingly handsome physi
cal appearance from face to toes, the way you have adjusted to
troubles and gotten into an occupation so well suited to your interests, your extreme courtesy,
your unbelievable powers of unobtrusive observation (a C.I.A. candidate?), but it is the peace,
almness, strength, and gentleness which emanates from your being that is not discernible in
anyone else I have ever known. And most important, over and through all of this, pours the
most all
encompassing LOVE; not just love for any one person or persons,
but love for all

a genuine universal Love. Admitted that I’m particularly receptive to your particular
wavelength, you supply a need I thought was dead for being so long forgotten and out of
service. So considering all of the above, the only con
clusion that I can come to is that you are
my guru, who is receiving all of the love and devotion and total resignation to which a guru
demands. So working with and washing your feet seems completely appropriate.

Well, right now you must be watching the
Chargers; hope you will be satisfied with their game.
And at the same time, I’ll be tripping over to the Park for the usual Sunday afternoon organ
concert (what happened to our trip to the Zoo that we talked about?). So you’ll be having a
good week, my bud
dy. I’ll be thinking of your nailing everything in the right place.



To begin at the beginning, I was born on 28 August 1910 in Grand Rapids, Michigan.
Mother was in labor on the operating table twenty
four hours while the doctors
tried to relieve her of her first
born. Finally, they succeeded, but my head came out
wide ope
n. The doctor had to shape it up as one would a ball of putty. I always
wanted to wring that guy’s neck. For if I was to be handcrafted, why not do an
acceptable job. Father was so furious at the stupidity of the doctors causing mother
all of that sufferin
g, that he became a lifelong enemy of the entire medical
profession. After that experience, it was no wonder that they decided to have no
more children.

Father was a voice teacher and aspiring opera singer. Mother was a piano teacher
aiming for the conce
rt stage. They economized all year so as to go each summer to
New York to take lessons from top teachers. But this expense got to be so
burdensome that they decided to try the candy business. Friends had complimented
mother on her delicious chocolates, the
refore, it seemed worth a try. They moved to
Jackson, Michigan and there established a candy factory, which, in time, became
rather prosperous with product distribution throughout the Middle West.

It must have been a great wrench for them to have to give
up their cherished
dreams, but all was not lost, for father was for years the soloist at the Christian
Science Church service at the Jackson State Prison, where he made many friends
among the inmates. And mother was all of the time being asked to play for
various clubs in which she was so active.

My fondest memories of home were of sitting on the floor playing with my toys or
reading books while listening to father and mother making music. And each
Saturday evening, we would go down to the local music

store to listen to the
classical music records released that week. He would pick out one, and we would all
go home to listen to Caruso and the other great voices of the day and file it away in
albums, which I still have with me.

The other outstanding eve
nts of my young life were the summer vacations and other
visits during the year to my grandparents’ extensive fruit farm some 20 miles north
of Grand Rapids. We made the one hundred mile trip in our Model T Ford. It would
take about a day and a half. The r
oads were merely ruts in deep sand. Rigged out in
her floor length linen duster with a broad brimmed hat, secured with a white veil,
mother often pushed while father pressed in the clutch and guided the wheels.
When little, I banged on the back seat cushio
n to urge on the operation; later, I
pushed too. We always had to camp out one night in a pasture beside the road. It
was such great fun for me. And how I did admire my father, for he could do
everything: drive that machine, take all the engine apart to cl
ean out carbon, patch
tires, pound stakes in the ground to secure the tent, etc.

At my grandparents’ farm, I had a reputation of being a “holy terror”. Someone
always had to keep an eye on me or something dreadful would happen to the
property. My best ex
ploit was slipping away from a Sunday afternoon Bible class my
grandfather was conducting in the living room. Out in the barn, I began to feed the
dozen cows as much oats as they would eat, followed by much salt and then buckets
of water. I was astonished
to observe how fat they became so quickly. All of a
sudden, the folks became alarmed as they missed “that boy”, and certainly, he would
be up to no good. They discovered me in the barn in the midst of these feeding
operations. As these cows were one of my
grandfather’s principal assets (and if he
lost them, he would be bankrupt), he quickly assembled all of the ladies and
gentlemen of the Bible class, and all went to work giving the cows enemas.
Fortunately, all of the animals were saved, but I had to clean

up the barn and
consequently could not look at cows nor milk for years thereafter.

Growing up in Jackson produced no pleasant memories except for home, my
parents, and feeling the love they had for each other and for me. Father never had a
friend to my

knowledge (except for business acquaintances, of course). His only
interest was mother. All of the time, he was bringing home some trinket he had just
happened to see in a store window. He was never known to buy anything for
himself. He didn’t seem to exi
st for himself. His only interest was his family. I was
painfully shy, morbidly so, in fact, so I didn’t want to mix with anyone, preferring
solitary entertainments. I was always longing for, and seeking, and hoping for a nice
boy friend to hike in the fie
lds with, to go boating and other simple pleasures boys
can find. Not having a competitive atom in my body, when I’d be ridiculed for not
wanting to join in the normal school activities, I retreated into myself. I was too
bashful even to want to join the r
equired swimming class. Instead, mother got a
doctor’s certificate excusing me of this sport.

Perhaps that was the reason studying appealed to me so much. My favorite subjects
in the high school era were history, English literature

But what excited me the most was the study of Latin. Our classroom was decorated
like a Roman Senate chamber. There were large black and white marble squares.
The chairs were replicas of those used in Rome of Caesar’s time. We plowed through
aesar’s principal works. I’ll never forget: “Veni, Vide, Vici” (I came, I saw, I
conquered), and then he divided Gaul into three parts. We proceeded up through
Virgil. I remember writing a paper on the history of the Roman banking system. This
must have pl
anted the seed, which sprouted into my interest in and ultimately
following a career in banking and international finance. The teacher was a tall, virile,
haired woman with commanding presence and boundless enthusiasm for Latin
and ancient Rome. Teach
ers such as that who light a fire in young students and set
them on paths they never desert should be enshrined in marble rather than only the
generals whose business is just to kill people. This great woman I visited during a
stopover in Jackson in 1978 o
n a business trip from Europe to the Orient. She was
living in a nursing home, body completely disintegrated, but at 90, with mind still
blazing with enthusiasm for the Latin language. We spoke some Latin, and she
recited one of Virgil’s beautiful poems. I

thought then, and since, with a mind so
incandescent as that, who cares about the body.

Memorable as was the scholastic part of my high school years, the social and
personal was an unmitigated disaster. I wanted to have friends, be able to take out
ar girls like the other boys, but I could never get anyone to accept my
invitations. Everybody else was having a good time but me. I can remember, even
now, asking a pretty redheaded girl to go to a school dance. As father’s candy
business was just getting

started, cash was a bit hard to come by. So I had to press
my own pants, mother washed and ironed the only dress shirt I had, and father
washed and polished the car especially for this occasion. Getting to the girl’s house,
her mother announced that Barba
ra had left suddenly to visit her grandmother. I
was crushed, but accepted this as a valid excuse. So I went to the dance alone, as to
at least listen to the music. There was my Barbara with one of the boys I knew, and
they were having a grand time. She wa
ved with unconcern.

This went on time after time. I just didn’t catch on how obnoxious I must have been.
My parents were so distressed, as they wanted, above all, for me to be happy. We
conceived the idea: why not give a dance at home? Being so naïve that

it makes me
laugh even now, I thought those girls must be bored, having to go out with the same
guys all of the time. So I thought, why not? Invite the girls, and ask them to invite
whichever boy they wanted to have with them. Father and mother worked for

to get the house fixed up properly. We moved the living room furniture out,
removed the carpet so as to wax the floor. Mother baked all sorts of cakes, cookies,
and other delicacies, concocted a fruit punch, etc. But NOBODY came to my party. I

remember any time before or since when the world nearly had come to an
end. When it became apparent no one would come, I finally just laid in the middle of
the floor and cried. I was not so much disappointed that no one wanted to come to
my party, but tha
t my parents had worked so hard and spent money they didn’t
have to try and make things nice for me, then to have it turn out to be such a dismal
failure, for reasons I just could not fathom.

For several days, I locked myself in my room and did not come
out. Had I an ounce of
guts in my system, I would have gone out and beat out and beat up some of the guys
and poured tar over the girls’ heads. But being a genuine and confirmed introvert, I
retreated into myself instead. Something within my spirit died fr
om that last
experience. Sooner or later, the world seemed to come in focus again, and without a
suggestion of hate, I vowed that I would not be humiliated and cause my parents so
much pain again. From then on, for me, females of any color or shape simply
do not
exist. And so I went through my teens a loner

too shy to make friends with the
boys I admired, and not admitting the existence of the girls. Even to this day, to be
required to shake hands with a girl at a social or other function instantaneously
feels like sticking my hand in a pail of slimy, dead fish. During my school days, I got
to feeling that anyone seen with a girl was a sissy, and not wanting to appear that
way myself was another reason to avoid the breed. Or if one passed, I shied away as
if they were covered with vermin, had the plague, or something.

I went through four years of the Literature and Arts College of the University of
Michigan at Ann Arbor. Although I was invited to join the Sigma Chi Fraternity and
lived there for these four

years, it was not a pleasant experience, until…the 1929
stock market crash. I entered the University in 1928, and at the beginning of the
1929 Fall semester, father gave me a check for the full year’s expenses. He said that
budgeting was an important part

of business management, and that I might as well
learn it now. By the time of the crash, father had sold his successful candy business,
and the family had made a couple trips to California with the idea of settling in Los
Angeles to be near mother’s siste
r and her family. Father had become Treasurer of
an oil and land company in Louisiana and had invested heavily in its stock to build
up a nice fortune for his family. But a dishonest president of this land company had
agreed to a secret deal with one of th
e Standard Oil companies. This permitted the
Standard people to bring a lawsuit, which after much fighting gave them complete
control of the property, squeezing out former stockholders. Father’s stock became
worthless at the same time that the 1929 crisis
decimated the value of his private
holdings. About the only cash we had was the amount he had given me for my
university year.

However, by mortgaging the home, finding other small employments, and by mother
getting one of her clubs, which had a fund for t
hat purpose, to grant me a loan, I got
through that year. The next year, things were worse. No money could be borrowed,
but we were determined that my schooling would not to be interrupted. It just so
happened that the fraternity, recognizing the financial

hardships students and
members were suffering from, made a couple of dishwashing jobs available to
members. This would take care of the board. After having been quite comfortable,
thinking that money was a status symbol, traveling a bit and really looking

upon anyone who did not possess a certain wealth, to have to come down to
washing the dishes of my fraternity brothers, whom I felt so superior to, was harder
to face than anything since. Each time the swinging door between the room where I
was washi
ng dishes and the dining room would stand open between waiters, I
wanted to sink through the floor.

Another of the brothers and I were the dishwashing team, and oddly enough, by the
end of the second day of this humiliating experience, the chores really
began to
seem almost like fun. We talked and laughed, and began racing each other to see
who could wipe the most dishes the fastest. From time to time, one or another of the
guys would come out during the washing to discuss some fraternity, university
ness, or other with no more concern than as if the usual place to carry on such
conversations was over a stack of dirty dishes. We kept right on working, so that
weighty matters were almost drowned in the clatter of dishes. For my brothers to
pay no attent
ion to my situation and to accept me as is had the most wonderful
therapeutic value.

One way or another, I got through those four years. Come graduation exercises in
the football stadium, my parents came for this

a thrilling experience for them.
ng around with their friends afterward, one of them told about how mother,
at the time I walked across the stage to receive from the Dean my certificate, slipped
her hand into fathers and would not let go until the ceremony had been completed.

This was i
n the depths of the depression

1932. No jobs. But one of mother’s club
friends’ husband was manager of the local Coca
Cola bottling company. He needed
someone to drive a truck to deliver these bottled goods throughout his extensive
territory. I jumped at

the chance. After making the day’s deliveries, I kept the plant
books. By this time, I had decided my field was to be corporate finance, so it was
necessary to enter the Graduate School of Business at the University of Michigan.
Working at this job for a
year seemed to make such further schooling possible. In
the wintertime, mother would put up lunches for me, and I’d drive this truck
through all kinds of snowdrifts peddling Coke. I had to have a kerosene stove under
the tarpaulin, covering the body to kee
p the bottles from freezing. At noon, I stopped
to eat the lunch with the wind blowing a gale, forming snowdrifts, and sifting
through the cracks on the pages of whatever book I was reading while eating.
During that winter, I read wonderfully inspiring bio
graphies of George Washington
and Alexander Hamilton. I found that although Washington was greatly senior to
Lafayette, they had the sort of loving relationship, which had always seemed to me
the only thing that would make life worthwhile. They would sleep

out on the field
under the same blanket, and the letters exchanged, as reprinted in the book, could
have been written only by lovers in the most beautiful sense. It seemed that reading
under such miserably trying circumstances, where my fingers were too f
rozen to
hardly be able to turn the pages, make a more indelible impression upon my mind,
than if the same reading had been done before a roaring grate fire.

Finally, it became time to enter the Business School, where I specialized in corporate
investments, and international money markets including foreign exchange. I
loved every moment. Before long, I was offered a job as an assistant to the finance
professor, which helped with expenses. I took my meals at a coop cafeteria in
another part of tow
n, drudging through more snow three times a day just to save a
few dollars a week on food. Gradually, four of us began to be drawn together with no
particular planning on anyone’s part. We were taking the same course; were the
tops scholastically in our cl
ass. We studied together, took breaks in the swimming
pool across the street in the Student Union, argued our assigned cases together, and
checked our examination grades together. Gradually, I began to notice that I was
enjoying myself. Life was fun. No fe
males. One of our group ultimately went to
Washington after getting his business degree. There, he got a law degree, became
Chairman of the Security and Exchange Commission, and after retirement from that,
a partner of one of the great finance houses on Wa
ll Street. Another became a
partner in a large international accounting firm. The third, I’ve lost track of.

Between the first and second years of this business administration course, we were
supposed to work in a company. I took an offered job with East
man Kodak in
Rochester. There, I ran a computer to do market analyses. What a joke that machine
was compared with present day ones. During the second year, I was selected by the
Federal Reserve Board to do a banking survey in the East for them.

Before gr
aduation from this Graduate school, representatives of all the country’s
great corporations descended on campus to sign up business school graduates for
their firms. There were jobs available at General Motors in Detroit, Eastman Kodak,
Chicago steel firms
, etc. But the only thing that interested me was Wall Street in New
York. So I got on the train by myself, went to New York, and literally walked up one
side of the street and then the other seeking employment. The higher up the bankers
in the bigger insti
tutions, the better I got along, the more comfortable and at home I
felt. I landed a job in the investment research department of what is now Citibank,
one of the world’s largest. There, I worked from 1935 to 1939. By that time, one of
my business school p
rofessors had become an official of the U.S. Treasury
Department in Washington. He wanted me to join him. I did, working in the Foreign
Funds Control Division, which served as a financial intelligence operation before
and during World War II. Now things we
re getting real exciting for me. But then
came the war and the draft. Being a Member of the Society of Friends (Quakers), I
did not intend to go about killing anybody, no matter who said so. Fortunately, there
was a government program for such conscientiou
s objectors. So that put an end to
my grand Treasury job.

With a little maneuvering, I got assigned to a Forest Service Camp at San Dimas, just
east of Glendora in California. By purposely not sending my new address to the draft
people, letters telling m
e to report were delayed. This gave me time to work for
Shell Oil Company in San Francisco, to speculate on the commodity markets (cocoa
mostly), and to make enough money to support myself in the Quaker camp, so as not
to have to depend on a subsidy from m
y Meeting in Washington.

At the camp, our main job was forest fire fighting, as the regulars were in the service
or working in defense industries. It was worth slashing brush and fighting those
fires to get all the steaks you could eat, broiled in the op
en, out in remote mountains
and canyons. I became the Educational Director (so
called) of the camp. I made it my
job to develop some activities that would help the members to continue with
whatever was their former profession. We got contributions of books

and built up a
fine library. I organized ballet programs by going into the Hollywood prop houses to
get the stage materials. I scoured the countryside for jobs for those who had no
outside support. We supplied all of the dishwashers to a leading restauran
t in

so back to my old trade again. Being a conservation/finance man, my
hair almost stood on end to mix with the considerable socialists in the camps. We
had many a lively discussion evening with speakers I arranged for.

Of course, we were all concerned with the suffering by civilians and military alike on
the battlefields of Europe and the Pacific. But this period was one of the happiest of
my life. No one had any money; I was working in my own fashion, exclusively for th
benefit of other people. I couldn’t ask for anything more. In the midst of this came a
call from the Quakers for volunteers to work in one of the most infamous insane
asylums in Philadelphia. I volunteered. There, I worked as an orderly in the
t ward. It was the practice of this hospital to forcibly restrain violent
patients. They put them in padded cells, strapped them into beds, beat them. The
Quakers had another idea. They felt that these people, though insane, were still
human beings and sho
uld be treated with kindness, love, and consideration, just like
anyone else. Sometimes, it was a bit scary to be alone in a padded cell with a
deranged man seemingly ready to pounce upon one to tear him to pieces.
Surprisingly enough, the non
violent tech
nique worked and is now standard
practice in even the most violent cases.

Come the end of the war, I went back to Washington to see my old Treasury
Department boss. Right at that time, they were pressuring him to go to Berlin to
become head of the Financ
e Division of the Military Government for Germany. Did I
wish to go, so that they would take the heat off of him, for he had a family and did
not want to leave? After an interview with one of the vice presidents of the Federal
Reserve Bank in New York, the

very next day, I was aboard the S.S. Gripsholm

first civilian vessel in 1946 to cross the Atlantic to land its passengers in a
devastated Europe, some of which were there to help with the rebuilding.

And so, as we sailed out of the New York harbor
on that clear, cold February
morning of 1946, I turned my back on the United States and became an expatriate,
remaining so to this day. Repeatedly crisscrossing Europe from Stockholm to
Lisbon, Moscow to Rome, years camping out on the deserts of the Arab w
orld, to
Burma, to Cairo and Tripoli, to Sumatra, to Singapore, to Cape Town, the Congo and
back to Europe. Always did I feel at home, comfortable, excited (no females)

Flying Dutchman sailing the Seven Seas. Then, by chance, I came across the
mas issue of TIME. In it was a long article about the stars and the great
discoveries astronomers had made about the workings of the universe during the
past few years. It told about supernovas and how large stars manufacture all of the
elements we know. A
fter their hydrogen and helium are exhausted, they explode,
scattering all of those elements throughout the universe. Ultimately, these become
the rocks surrounding us, the seas, the birds, flowers, and us. So we are actually
stardust, as the article concl
uded. That produced a bomb in my brain, which sent me
on a quest to learn about the stars, the galaxies, the super galaxies out 20 billion
years to the edge of the universe, to look into the Great Mystery beyond, a mystery
unknowable and therefore exciting
. Oh, to always be excited at something beyond,
even though we know we never can reach it, can never understand it, but always to
live mentally, at least, out beyond the Far Horizon.

Hello, Agent Sheri. This is Agent Rick Rowe with the Missi
on Impossible Force. From
here on in, I shall be known as code name Pinocchio, and this shall be known as
operation “Friar Tuck”. Your mission, should you decide to accept, will be to
accumulate information having to do with a big, international crime, whi
ch occurred
in Kensington, San Diego and to assist Pinocchio in turning the information into a
screen play or something suitable for a movie concept. We’ve been watching you for
some time, and you have been chosen for your natural beauty, amazing good hear
and your caring for Agent Pinocchio. Some of the information that I am going to be
sharing with you is hard to believe; yet everything I am telling you is true. I will not
go into too much detail at this time because everything needs to be handled very

This information concerns a wonderful, old gentleman I met at the church named
Roger C. Thorpe. The story is much more about who Roger was, what Roger had,
and what Roger was trying to do then anything that that has to do with me, though I
tainly am all caught up in the story, as well as all of my family members, the
neighbors, the hired help, and one of my customers. It has turned into an
international incident. All of the treasure, which is the star of the program, I
suppose, can be traced

back to Roger C. Thorpe. Toward the end of his life and when
I first met him, he was a foreign investment consultant from Beverly Hills. In his
early years, Roger was discovered as a numbers and linguistics genius. As a result,
he was recruited by the Se
cret Intelligence Service to become a spy. And let me tell
you. He was a very successful spy. He was a spy all throughout his “other” careers; a
long for the government.

All the while, Roger held many different positions, and I hope to get to that b
efore I
get too confusing. I want to try to go about this in a “Who? What? When? Where?
Why?” sort of way, while keeping it chronological and moving forward. I don’t have
anything written, so it’s just me trying to tell you about the operation in order to
expose the truth and to recover some of the treasure, if possible. The story is quite
unbelievable, but I have no need to make anything up, nor am I making anything up.
I am trying to tell the truth as best as I can with respect to this operation, Friar Tu

This is all true. Roger spoke many different languages fluently. He has recounted me
with several stories of working with the British Secret Service and its allies on
Operation Paperclip during World War II. His position was to look like, dress like,

and sound like a German officer, in addition to acquiring all of the documentation
and paperwork necessary to collect all of the top secret information having to do
with a project that the Germans were working on. It seems the Germans had
captured an alie
n and its spacecraft and were using the alien technology to build
copycat vessels. They were about 15 years ahead of the United States in the space
race. Roger’s mission was put in motion before some precision bombing took place
by the allies, so he was in

perfect position to acquire all of the top
information having to do with Operation Paperclip.

Operation Paperclip was a covert mission to relocate former Nazi scientists to the
United States to help in the space race. When the precision bombing took place, the
target was very close to Roger’s base, encompassing the top
secret information. In
all of

the confusion, Roger arrived, dressed as a German officer, speaking perfect
German, looking German, and having all of the proper documentation. He sat down
in a big chair and recalled that there was so much confusion, panic, and fear that all
of the infor
mation practically fell onto his lap. He got a lot more than he, or anyone,
had ever anticipated. He had to recruit some of the soldiers to help him load up the
vehicle. The American government wound up commandeering a lot of top
information with Ro
ger’s help there. Of course, Roger, being a young man and a spy,
amongst all of this excitement and finding himself in a position to do so, took some
of the top
secret German documents, photographs of extraterrestrials, photographs
of extraterrestrial spac
ecrafts, blueprints, and irrefutable evidence of
extraterrestrial life.

Agent Sheri. This is for your ears only, and when you are done listening to this, I
would appreciate you returning the tape recordings to Agent Pinocchio. There is
much more informat
ion to come: top
secret information for the book, the story, and
the movie. It is all true information, and I am sorry if it is hard to believe. I am just
thankful for the chance to have you listen to me tell the true story about Roger C.
Thorpe and the Te
mple’s Treasures, which is the name of the story so far.

And so it was on the first of February 1946, I was aboard the H.M.S. “Gripsholm”
outbound for Europe, where I hoped to contribute something to the reconstruction
of a devastated

continent. Although my part in this was infinitesimal, it was my first
giant step in what lead to almost a half
century of work toward the rehabilitation of
countries, enterprises, and of individual persons. Always do I feel a satisfaction and
enjoy recal
ling all of these events, even though I studiously avoid living backward.
Hopefully, you will find these reminiscences not too boring. To me, some of the most
interesting experiences were in connection with my philanthropic endeavors. I must
ask you to rea
d references to them objectively, as just part of my story, not as self
glorification. In no way are they to be considered an indication of virtue, but simply
developments along the way.

Now, back to Gripsholm. It is not possible to convey in words my ex
citement at
being for the first time on the deck of a great ocean liner, about to cross the Atlantic
destined for Europe, which previously seemed an unattainable mirage. No repeats of
initial travel events can ever equal the thrill of the first one.

The Gripsholm was docked on the New Jersey side of the Hudson River, directly
opposite the towers of Lower Manhattan. It was a cold, sunny February morning as I
stood just at noon on a stern deck and felt the first throb of the engines and the
vibration of

the screws as they churned the water moving the ship backward out
into mid
stream, taking advantage of the high tide. Several tugs were pushing and
pulling, making the vessel spin around to point the bow down river and toward the
harbor traffic lanes for
Eastbound ships. In a surprisingly short time, the New York
skyscrapers dimmed and dropped out of sight below the horizon, and we were on
our own.

A pilot always take command of a ship during approach to and departure from a
harbor, as his long years of
experience give him vital knowledge of depths, currents,
tides, and traffic, thus assuring no mishaps during this crucial part of any voyage.

Having thus assisted at the exit from my native land, I went down to my cabin to find
my luggage already there.
Then, I took my valuables, travelers’ checks, passport,
tickets, etc. to check with the purser (a ship’s business and financial officer). Upon
return, there were my three cabin mates (we had two sets of double bunks). The
washroom and toilets were down the

passageway. I took the upper bunk on one
side and below me was an American diplomat en route to the U.S. Embassy in Rio de
Janeiro. Two young French brothers had the other bunk. These chaps seemed shy to
the point of terror, so we hardly communicated. Alr
eady, the American was pouring
drinks. When I quietly declined to accept a glass, he spoke derisively: “You will
never be a success anywhere, if you do not drink.” To this undiplomatic prophetic
wisdom, I made no reply. It rather annoyed me to be confronte
d so brutally so soon
by a total stranger. I hoped to keep my distance

but that was difficult in such a
confined space.

The gongs struck by seamen called us into the dining salon for a late lunch. The only
thing I remember about that meal was the grill
ed halibut and several huge bricks of
whitish cheeses. As we were seated alphabetically by name, none of my cabin mates
were at this table. Before we finished, I could feel the ship taking the first heaving. I
excused myself and sought a bathroom. Being a
poor sailor, I begin to get seasick as
soon as we leave a harbor. Lying down in my bunk seemed to keep my stomach on
an even keel.

After a night (awake) in bed, my stomach regained its sea legs, so I went in for
breakfast the next morning. A hearty Scand
inavian meal: fruit, porridge, boiled cod,
kippers, eggs, ham, cheese, rolls, and coffee. I felt that if seasickness hit again, I
would have something with which to feed the fish.

The ship’s daily newspaper was at each place at the table. After eating, I
sat in the
lounge to try and find my name on the passenger list. There it was

my first time in
print. Also, included was an interesting article about the Gripholm. The tonnage was
about 30,000, passenger capacity at 500, and a crew of 300

a lot of peop
le. The ship
had been used throughout World War II in making worldwide voyages exchanging
diplomatic personnel interned in various countries at the outbreak of hostilities.
Because of wartime conditions, it had not been possible to make needed repairs to
oilers and engines. Hence, we were forced, for safety’s sake, to proceed at half

that is 10
12 knots an hour (this is a division marked by knots on a log line
as a measure of speed. A nautical mile is 6,080 feet). Consequently, this crossing
ld require nearly twelve days

with the captain’s apologies. That explained why
upon awakening this morning and looking out the porthole, there was a freighter
speeding right by us, as if we were stationery.

A cup of coffee in the lounge made me feel mo
re normal and with an urge to explore
the ship. I climbed up to the top deck (we had the run of the ship on this voyage),
and stood at the rail, contemplating the vastness of the ocean and how being aboard
ship (especially such a slow one) makes one feel s
uspended in time with no
connection to anything before or to come.

The sound of a door closing brought me back to Earth

or the sea, rather, especially
when I noticed a fellow passenger standing at the rail not far away. In accordance
with normal shipbo
ard courtesy, we greeted each other and made some comment
about the passage so far. As he moved closer, this man seemed about 28
29 or so,
tall, slender, with a head of dense, black hair, neatly trimmed, and deep blue, almost
purple eyes, fairly light comp
lexion, as if he had not been much in the sun. Instantly,
I noticed his poise and felt his serenity, which I’ve observed in the past are
distinguishing qualities of those secure in the possession of vast wealth. But I
dismissed such thoughts as due to bein
g at sea and out of touch with reality. We
stood looking seaward without saying much, when gradually, I felt my seasickness
return. To this, I made a quick reference and began excusing myself, saying I would
have to hurry back to my cabin and lie down thus

quieting my stomach.
Immediately, he said we were right outside his stateroom and that I should not risk
the walk to my place, but come in and lie down on one of his beds (not bunks). That
seemed a sensible idea, and anyway, I did not, at this point, care

to put up with that
disagreeable diplomat.

Quickly, I slipped off my shoes and lay on top of the bed. This made me feel a little
better, especially when the fellow came back from his private bathroom with a cold,
damp cloth to lay across my forehead. Th
at gesture by a stranger to a stranger
recalled the Biblical story of the Good Samaritan. It made me feel I was being cared

a new sensation. I must have fallen asleep, for when I came to, it was dark
outside, and I could see the soft glow of several
lamps around a stateroom elegant
enough for royalty. Opening my eyes fully, there was this man on the other side of
the room, reading a book. When he saw I had awakened, at last he said: “Well, you
had quite a sleep. How do you feel now?” “Fine”, I replied
. But then, I began to feel
embarrassed for having gone to sleep in his company. So I sat up and quickly began
putting on my shoes to make a quick retreat before this stranger’s welcome ran out.
He moved his chair closer, put out his hand and said: “I’m Gu
y (pronounced Ghee,
with a hard “g” as in “Ghirardelli”). There’s no hurry. As your seasickness may
return, I suggest you stay here tonight, I’ll order our dinner sent up.” Without the
least bit dictatorial, but with a finality that obviated reply, he went

to the telephone
and placed his order. Protest would have been a breach of etiquette.

The most beautiful English, in my opinion, is that spoken with a foreign accent. By
his looks and accent, I guessed him to be French. “No Belgian,” said Guy. He invite
me to go into the bathroom to freshen up, and later, while he was doing the same, I
glanced around the stateroom. On his desk, I noticed a black, leather
bound book,
resembling an engagement calendar. On one corner were hand
tooled gold letters:
“Guy Lam
bert.” I gasped because from my investment and banking experience, I
knew the Lamberts of Brussels (pronounced “Lahm
bair”) to be the greatest
banking family in Belgium, in fact, in Europe. They were the Morgans, Rockefellers,
and Fords all rolled into one
. For a long time, they have been the power behind the
Belgian throne, helping to finance King Leopold’s acquisition of the Belgian Congo.

When Guy came out, I made the remark: “Noticed the name ‘Guy Lambert’ on a book
on your desk. Lambert is a famous n
ame in Belgium.” “Oh, sure”, he said. “Lambert is
as common a name in Belgium as Smith is in your country.” So that took care of that.

Presently, our dinner arrived, brought in on a highly polished silver tray by a
startlingly handsome, beautifully built,

eyed, blond Swedish waiter. As Guy was
instructing him to put the cloth on a table in the center of the room and where to
place things, he did not notice the appearance of this fellow. Guy was sensible
enough not to order a big heavy meal which would

upset me again, but here, we had
a beef broth and toast Melba, some pate’ de foi gras (he had to educate me on what
this was), a bottle of wine for him, and Darjeeling tea for me with some fruit. He
explained that Europeans usually have their big meal at
noon, with only light things
in the evening.

We conversed quietly about totally impersonal matters. He did mention, though,
that he had left Belgium a year before the war to attend Harvard University, having
completed recently the business administration

school course. As I had taken
similar work ten years previously at the University of Michigan, we had a
professional discussion of our courses, professors, and the comparative qualities of
our schools.

By this time, it was getting late. Guy thought I sh
ould stay there the night and not
take chances on getting seasick again down in my cabin. As soon as the waiter had
returned to collect the dinner tray, we decided it was time to sleep. Guy told me to
go into the bathroom first for the teeth
brushing routi
ne. Upon my return, there
were light blue, silk pajamas and a wool robe laid out on one of the beds, and a
duplicate set on the other. After he returned from his ablutions, where he had
donned his sleeping gear, I was already in bed. He slipped quickly bet
ween his
sheets. After inquiring whether I felt all right now, he wished me pleasant dreams,
turned out the light, pushed back the porthole curtains, and went to sleep.

My stomach was now so settled that the slight pitch and roll of the ship rocked me
like in a baby carriage. After what must have been a couple of hours, I was
awakened by the light of a full moon streaming through the portholes. It seemed too
bad to remain

in bed with what must be a beautiful night outside. I drew on the robe
and quietly opened the door, walked across the deck, and leaned against the rail to
gaze at the path the setting moon cast upon the water. As soon as it disappeared
below the horizon,
I thought the stars would provide a brilliant spectacle. I was
turning over in my mind what an unusual situation I had gotten myself into (and a
little disappointing one at that). Whoever Guy was, he seemed a superior person,
with great character and digni

The next morning, we awoke refreshed, and Guy ordered breakfast sent in. Now that
we had broken the ice, this was a totally different, less formal relationship. I was
beginning to feel Guy was one of those whom one has known forever. We talked

about much of nothing. But breakfast finished, I could sense Guy subtly
withdrawing into himself. That I took as a signal for me to leave and return to the
coal mine. I hurriedly dressed, thanked Guy for his hospitality and for curing me of
the dreaded se
asickness. As I opened the door to leave, he said brightly: “Hurry back
as soon as you have changed, and we’ll take a turn around the deck.”

Completing our circuit of the deck, we took the two deck chairs outside the
stateroom, and the steward wrapped us
in individual blankets and presently
brought us the usual mid
morning bouillon. We had lunch in the stateroom, and in
the afternoon, Guy seemed in the mood to be more personal. He wanted to know
what I would be doing in Europe, where, and for how long, and

whether we might
meet again somewhere. I told him I would be in Berlin for an indefinite period. It
touched me that he would think of such a thing, and I told him so. However,
shipboard friendships are so ephemeral, one exchanges addresses and agrees to
rite and then all evaporates.

One day, there was an announcement on the bulletin board that a dance would be
held that evening in the small ballroom on an afterdeck, to which all were invited.
We decided to attend. There was an excellent five
piece band,

whose rhythms made
the toes tingle. Guy saw a pretty girl and off they went. Left alone, I noticed a
moderately attractive girl standing near the dance floor, looking as if she were
anxious to dance. So I invited her out onto the floor. The orchestra stru
ck up a Latin
number with a bewitching beat. Without a minute’s hesitation, we were in the
groove. I enquired what we were doing, as it was all new to me. The girl replied this
was the samba. This I had never heard of, and I marveled to myself how talented

must be to take up a new step without having practiced it previously. At the
conclusion, I mentioned my amazement to the girl and she said: “Well, I used to be a
dance instructor at Arthur Murray’s, so I was guiding you.” I congratulated her on
the skil
l she demonstrated by leading me without my knowing it. “Well,” she said,
“that’s what we women usually do.”

Each day, the purser would open a window in his office for two hours so passengers
could buy a few items unavailable in Europe, such as packages o
f silk stockings.
French women, the rich ones who had sat out the war in New York luxury, besieged
the window, physically elbowing the others away like swine at the trough. They
were buying these precious articles to give

or to sell

to friends and rela
tives in
France who had to remain behind. From that day to this, contempt for the
selfishness of Frenchmen was burned into my consciousness, never to be

During the remainder of the voyage, Guy and I were practically inseparable, as one
expect. Approaching Ireland, we stood at the rail to watch our entry into the
circular harbor at Cork. It was shaped like the caldron of an extinct volcano. All up
the gently sloping sides were grayish stone buildings with several church spires

This was only a short stop for some passengers to disembark and a few
others to come aboard. Then, the Gripsholm was turned around, and we headed out
the narrow harbor entrance to sea. We stood at the rail, marveling at the deep
emerald green of the pastu
relands on all the hills around. That’s what much rain
does. No wonder Ireland is known as the Emerald Isle. The sky was heavily overcast
with uneven layers of grayish black clouds. All of a sudden, there was an opening
through which a brilliant beam of ye
llow sunlight moving as if a theater spotlight
illuminated the scene. It would slowly move from the emerald hills to the dark sea
and right over us, as we gloried at the wonders of nature. We took this spectacle as a
good omen for our future careers.

s was to be the last night aboard as we were to dock in the morning at Le Havre.
Again, we had a real elegant dinner served to us in the stateroom. Even with two
tapirs in silver holders and a bouquet of roses (from the refrigerator), it was a
poignant occ

We had just finished dinner and had moved to the sofa when there came a tap on the
door. Guy opened it, and a Swedish seaman told Guy that the captain had just
received a wireless message from the Belgian ambassador to France, that he would
meet th
e ship next morning to pick up Guy and take him in his car to Paris, where he
could catch a train for Brussels. Closing the door and turning expressionless to me,
Guy said: “You heard, now I’ll have to tell you the rest of my story.” Then, for the first
me, he opened up and spoke freely, but unemotionally about himself in a manner
as if he were on the way to the guillotine.

“You were right,” he said finally, “I am one of that Lambert family you knew about.”
He then told me how his father, knowing that w
ar was imminent, sent him to
Harvard and its business school, as part of his training preparatory for Guy to take
over when his father retired in a few years. He would then be competent to be
president of Banque Lambert and in control of its worldwide stab
le of huge
industrial, mining, and financial enterprises. Worse than that, he was forced to
undertake a typical dynastic marriage with the daughter of a rival banking firm, as a
means of cementing their relationship rather than permitting mutual destructio

The next morning, the Gripsholm maneuvered without the benefit of tugs, up to the
floating pier. All around, what was formerly one of Europe’s greatest ports, nothing
but burned and charred timbers, twisted metal girders, and roofing remained. The
in to take passengers to Paris was backed up to the pier on temporary tracks
winding through this wreckage.

All the passengers were lined up on the decks along railings, waiting for the signal to
disembark. I was crowded in among them. Presently, I saw G
uy, the first passenger
off, being escorted to a waiting limousine, with the Belgian flag flying from a front
fender, indicating the ambassador was there. I could see a large, youngish
blonde, athletically
built man was waiting, smiling. Before Gu
y got into the car, he
turned to look back, for all the ambassador knew, to survey the famous old
Gripsholm. Although I was among hundreds at the rail, I could feel his eyes
searching for mine, until they met for one short second. Guy got in, the driver cl
the door, and Guy was driven to his doom.

Right at that moment, the live operetta of Franz Lehar’s “The Student Prince,” to
which my father so proudly took my Mother and me years before, flashed across my
mind. Here was an incognito member of a royal

European family, a student at
Heidelberg. He meets and falls in love with a pretty peasant girl, and they were to be
married. Suddenly, a messenger arrives, searches out the “student” and announces
that his father has just died, and he is king. They take
him away with royal pomp.

The formalities of disembarking, getting passport examined and stamped, and
getting on the Paris train helped to get my feet back on the ground. Once in a car and
in a seat by the window so no one would try to make conversation,

I thought, what a
dramatic introduction to Europe. Now came the rapture of being on my way to Paris
and the thrill of knowing I was going to help rebuild a devastated continent.