My Realizations The Autobiography of J. Curtis Lee Mickunas  /  COPYRIGHT 2009 JULIAN LEE
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The Fame Bug

For some reason I dreamed of fame starting young. Well, I know the reason: My own karmic tendencies coming in, the emotional hunger that develops in an unseen, 'unimportant' child, and the mass culture which made the famous seem important and desirable. Now it seems that fame mania has afflicted a great many of the youth who are coming up in this newly distorted and degraded culture. It was important in my life, and is worthwhile to talk about for others' sake.

My brother Mark found this photo fortuitously in spring 2014. It shows me and my Gibson Thunderbird playing a "dance" (they couldn't dance to us) at the Roosevelt High School "girl's gym." (Yes, there was a girls' gym, which was smaller.) Based on my right hand it looks like I am trying to get one of those demony harmonic screeches onto some lead lick. That was something not done much in those days but I had found it out! We were a terror! This is my first rock band which we named "Arno Gout." We didn't really like the name. We were wanting to name it "Mickey Rat." However our drummer, who was black and didn't understand our edgy and iconoclastic point-of-view and who wanted a more upwardly mobile image, strongly dissented. He had a big afro, wanted to be "Earth, Wind and Fire," and didn't fit into our proto goth-metal image. Thus both he and the rest of us got a name, at the last minute before our first public performance, that was named after the maker of our often-used gray duct tape (the Arno manufacturing company), and a knee disease. That's obviously my signature. By an early age I was making my i-dots into "o" shapes, which handwriting analysts associate with people who are striving to be different. What's more telling, perhaps, is the little arrow I drew to make sure nobody missed me. lol. Obviously I  tended to feel unnoticed a lot!
My pop-bottle-bottom glasses were heavy. Sweating during a 3-hour concert, they were always slipping down my nose. I could have worn one of those elastic bands like jocks wore, but that would not be cool! I learned decades later that children with traumatic childhoods, especially divorce, often end up needing glasses early. (See "Take Off Your Glasses and See") That author even theorizes that the individual is wanting to "not see the world" and to withdraw from it. What surprises me about this photo is how thin I was at that time. I never knew. Well, mother stopped fixing family meals after she got rid of dad. From then on eating consisted of foraging, at opportunistic times, in the kitchen for any edibles not already taken by my five brothers and sisters.
I never cognized myself as poorly fed during my single-mother-teen years. But look at those bony arm and fingers! Behind me is a Traynor tube amp with a can of Mountain Dew on it. (Kevin's favorite.) To my right, unseen, are Kevin (guitarist), Jerry (bass), David (singer) and Jan (drummer.) The mic stand shows I was starting to sing in public. I never thought my voice was very good and was frustrated that I couldn't sing as high as Robert Plant (we may indeed be doing "Whole Lotta Love" in this photo based on my right hand) -- but I tried my best. I never liked my singing voice until my fifties. By that time I'd learned there were vocal exercises you could do to improve your voice. What a concept! (For an Aries, who thinks he can always do anything on his own without any help.)
First it was the idea of being an actor. Then later, rock musicians seemed to be more culturally important and weighty, having a creative product, the power to preach, and present ideas in lyrics.

In a strange way my very pursuit of fame, strong in my teens, led me to cognize a great disillusionment with it. First, I began to be analytical about what creates great fame. I wanted to be strategic about it. So I began to study histories and commentaries about the great bands. I especially loved the analyses that linked a band's rise to historical conditions. The fame of the Beatles, it seemed, was partly an exploitation of social conditions as they were in the post-war period, such as the turn-away from a long-standing conformity. The long-standing conformity that preceded them was partly what set them up to be "magic." So it seemed that really great fame had to link itself to great historic social currents. Thus I needed to identify what the social trends were presently. It occurred to me that the greatest trends in music -- and society -- were toward moral decadence; that this was the key element in new fame for the bands and artists coming out and a long identifiable trend. From this p-o-v I could analyze, say, the long hair of the Beatles, their involvement in drugs etc. -- as the perceivable arc of that moral decline. Taking something like the Rolling Stones, the analysis was even easier. Now we had things coming on like David Bowie and Alice Cooper, simply ratcheting up a taboo breaking process which was synonymous with moral decline.

My conditioning and nature had taken hold enough to recognize the moral decadence as repugnant, but in the freshly roiling, complexifying cultural climate I did not have much conscious understanding to prove or articulate why. I came to the conclusion that the "next big thing" -- i.e. the next truly great artist -- would be the one who starts a great reverse of the decadent trends so evident in music now in the 1970s.

He would be the opposite of them. Some kind of rock 'n' roll preacher. I decided if I wanted to set my sights really high, I should try to be such a person or at least prepared to go surf that trend once it was ready to turn. Something in my nature dictated that only fame that big could really interest me. It had to be "bigger than the Beatles" or I was nothing. It seems absurd to say. But these are the extremes of a teenage mind when he is emotionally neglected and unfulfilled.

Then like a great light it occurred to me that I did not truly know religious or moral truth. I did not truly know the conscious, rational basis underlying whatever ideas of "right and wrong" I could identify. On a conscious and rational level, I could not explain what was "true" or "false," "good or bad." I didn't really have religious or moral knowledge upon which one could make compelling judgments. For example, though raised religiously I had never heard even one clear teaching on the right or wrong of masturbation, which is a subject every young man needs to have clearly presented. There were innumerable blank areas in the Jew-fomented storm of media on the horizon whose sole purpose seemed to trash every value and taboo known to western man. I had not been properly religiously or morally taught, at least not for a vigorous young questioning mind.

So in a funny twist of mind I determined that if I was going to be a truly great musician and songwriter, I would first have to study religions and moral systems. Such turns of mind, based on rational thought, are the benchmarks of my life.

Once much later I chatted with a Jewish fellow at a coffee shop who had been a psychiatrist. He said that this desire was a normal part of the youthful mind and an expression of youthful potential and power.

Later this thought snuck back in here and there, as if lurking, and one thinks of "bigger and better" ways to "be important." Along with a dawning religious search, the thought still lurked: "Well, the really important people are the ones who truly help the world," even after getting a sense of religious knowledge. So the complex of  fame-and-importance-through-saving-the-world was there. One only really loses the desire for fame -- and other desires -- when he feels God within, because only that fulfillment can overwhelm and preempt the need for other fulfillments. I have looked at politicians and other personalities through this lens ever since: I take them to be people with this psychological problem, along with a misunderstanding that they can save the world through standing and gesticulating, etc.

Through long study of religious scriptures, and meditation, I grew out of the fame bug. People might think I seek fame by having my website, or posting on a few web boards, or producing a few videos of my doings about town. However, my motive there is to help; to teach. And the motive to teach is, again, only to help. I was indeed not happy to make myself known as a recovered sex addict or any such thing. It is utterly embarrassing. It is much more ego-boosting to be famous for a song, or for writing a book others declaim as brilliant. I am a private person and
prefer a quiet, anonymous life. At the same time, I would have failed my people and mankind if I had not endeavored to teach elements of what I learned, and in their time of great need.

In any case I put myself out there, by this time with the celibacy, from caring and service. I saw how dark and corrupt the world had become, and how morally confused young men had become. I saw that an evil porn age had befallen us, and no man was raising a message contrary to lust; throwing a lifeline to young men left to the pornographer dogs.

I knew that a message about continence or celibacy would have little credibility or weight without a fellow signing his name, and fleshing out a real human being to go with the message. It was for that same reason that I later encouraged other men to speak personally at the celibacy website, to allow their pictures, etc. It gives more weight to the message. So finally in the end, I allowed the possibility of fame for the sake of service. 
I wrote a hasty little book, "Bliss of the Celibate," and put my name and picture there, and acquired the domain I also began to create daily audio messages at the site, to give further personal credibility to the message. It worked. Men around the world were affected. Many began writing me. Taking up the quest for purity, some of them I invited to make audios as well, to add even more credibility to a message that was never heard with any vigor anywhere else.

But I love privacy, anonymity, and obscurity most.
Fame often comes unasked to high and low. All kinds of characters have fame thrust upon them for reasons great or silly. I have often felt powerfully protected and blessed to see that preserved in my life when it could have been so easily been taken away.

I recognized early on that man's fundamental problem is seeking lower thrills because he lost his God-thrill and even their inner contentment, and this was why men pursued drugs, women, and fame. I realized that fame was just one of the Cadillac thrills and Cadillac addictions, but still a lesser thrill compared to God. And of all the fame and power thrills, what could be more premium than being a Guru? So I was too educated by then to take the "fame-through-guruhood" bait, that so many fools were pursuing in the 70's onward. So many people went to India, became sort of ersatz pundits only, and were quickly elevated to guruhood by the naive and spiritually hungry young White westerners. I saw through all this, and could soon tell who were the real God-men and women and who were only pundits or posers. I did not want to be one of them, or even accused as one of them.

If someone claims you as their guru or experiences you as such, that is God's doing. My goodness, even morally repugnant rock stars, rich men teaching wealth seminars, and Hollywood actors get made into gurus by the various peoples! Who can stop that? But seeking to be "a guru" is ignorant and can only come from a lack of one's own inner bliss which fully satisfies. A guru's burden and distractions are great! On the other hand, refusing to be a guru when you are requested when the signs are all there, selfish and petty. If you find a true guru, that is God's doing. If you help others through your teaching and they claim you as their guru, that is also God's doing.

But at the beginning the fame bug was what turned my mind against the fame bug.
God always leads you back to Him. So I began for the first time to study the Bible with my own interest and motives. This only created more questions for me. Thus I enlarged my studies to commentaries and finally other scriptures from other religions. As I did this, my religious and moral questions just became bigger and more complex. And one other extraordinary thing happened: It occurred to me from this religious reading that perhaps the desire for fame was itself not a "good," and not the posture of a genuinely religious man. So I came to the conclusion that this desire was an unspiritual and perhaps neurotic impulse in myself. This cut off my interest in music and performing immediately. It was dead in the water now.

Now instead, because I had become exposed to real scriptures and lofty and great religious ideas in their many-faceted glory, such knowledge itself became my true interest. For the first time in my life I became a religious seeker. It was a strange trick God played on my mind to invalidate my desire for fame by that very desire for fame, such as the way Ramakrishna says God uses a thorn to remove another thorn.

The Pursuit of Fame Leads Me into an Intellectual & Moral Dead End

From that point on my pursuit of musical success as a rock performer was blunted. But now there was a deeper problem: My best fame strategy would only work if I could learn what Good and Evil were. As I began to read these religious books, I realized that the answers were not so easily found and the questions only multiplied. I was aware immediately of the multiplicity of religious and moral viewpoints. But I WAS getting an inkling of one thing: Very likely, the very pursuit of fame, itself, may not be virtuous. This came from the texts' various statements about humility and   self-abnegation. My own honesty informed me immediately that I couldn't be a true purveyor of Goodness by any means that was itself unvirtuous or evil. I was in a conundrum.

Now at nineteen and back in Des Moines I was drowning in what can only be called a  meaningless void. Other young men seemed to be induced to work by their parents. My mother seemed to consider it acceptable for me to do whatever I liked, now and then only grousing that I might take the initiative occasionally to mow the lawn. Everything about the way my mother raised us, subsequent to the divorce she initiated, led up to this.

In retrospect I can see that my mother, whether from default or as an emotional strategy of hers, raised her sons to be weak. It also became clear later that she had a strategy to raise us in isolation; to keep us compartmentalized. We were all strong males. One type of mother with one sort of conditioning might have realized the advantage of having four strong sons who were close, in harmony, and could get things done. By directing them she could get a great deal done, build a lot, and have a lot of protection. This is the traditional power-point of the female in human life:
As the satvic or wisdom-element that guides a group of men, like the mahut astride the head of a great, powerful, but stupider elephant. Mothers of the past, indeed, would delight in having sons and the more in harmony they were, the better for her and the family. But my mother was different. I believe that she felt threatened by her males as they matured, and saw them as a potential powerful block that could have too much influence in her life, coerce her, or maybe even criticize her. Thus her strategy with us was to keep us separate, in our own little worlds.

An expression of this was that mother never created a room in the house that was a "family room." I remember visiting the homes of some of my friends and being amazed when young Danny or Jim would say: "Hey, let's go down to the family room." Wow. What was that? Yet as I asked it I already knew, and the sound was just like being kicked in the gut. We'd go down to a basement perhaps, with a tile floor, and there would be a pool table, a stereo, some sporting equipment, a sofa. One friend, son of a doctor, had newfangled things like a foozball table and I played my first foozball. But as I did I remember not really enjoying it because I was in deep grief. This family was different from us. Though I came from a large family, we had nothing like a "family room" at our house. I felt there must be something wrong with us. I felt suddenly embarrassed to be in this home. I was not from such a good family.

The matter stands out because we had a large house. It had four floors, a full basement, and a rather large attic containing three substantial and almost mystical rooms. All-told there were nine rooms in our house fully adequate as bedrooms, and in my life on Ingersoll every single one of those rooms did see such use in time. Yet there was never any room designated as a place where my family might gather and enjoy each others' company.

This was all the more absurd considering that my mother had basically opened the house to the public as part of her burgeoning portraiture art career. Every single day there would be strangers in the house. By my teens I might be coming down to the kitchen hunting for some breakfast and encounter some woman dressed to the nines confronting me in our kitchen passageways, all gaseous with perfume. She would be embarrassed, I in my pajamas would be embarrassed, and I would scurry away. It seemed it would have been a sane and decent move for my mother to make one part of the house that was not a "public" and open part, so that her sons and daughters could get some sense of privacy and family. But she probably viewed the home as her showpiece and way of impressing prospective clients with her success.

Yet nature tried to create a community out of my brothers and I just the same. There were times when we brothers would start to gather in Victor's bedroom, or Mark's. But we were all cultivated to enjoy privacy, and these rooms were a bit small to handle 3+ boys while keeping the decorative order of that brother's personal environment. Then the vagaries of fights and spats would easily end any room-visiting phase. There needed to be a more spacious and more neutral zone, and mother needed to have this as a value; to make an effort to draw us together.
I remember phases -- in which my brothers and I began to gather in some certain part of the house, and then were scattered. It would come about usually by the presence of a sofa and maybe a table suitable for board games. If the room was not getting some other major use. Just as forest creatures will start to gather in a place if man stays away from it long enough, my brothers and I would start to appear in one of these type of rooms. But within a week of beginning any pattern of brotherly gathering, mother would completely re-arrange the rooms. The sofa would be gone. Perhaps a big table would be placed in the middle of the room adorned with decorative things, the stereo removed, the little card table folded up and hidden. We would be dispersed again. It would be clear that she did not want us to gather in this room, to play games, or to disturb it's newly-designed "elegant living" aura.

I came to believe in my adulthood that this was an expression of an actual fear in my mother that her sons might grow up to be close, a block, and strong. She managed our masculine energies by keeping us isolated, weak, and dependent. Another way she did this was by dropping negative news and criticism about some brother, something about their troubles or something she was displeased about. She might say, "That Vic, he's in trouble over...such-and-such." Or, "That Joe, he's always broke." You would end up feeling you had a secret about that brother, something you maybe were not supposed to know, and it created distance between myself and he. In future I realized she was likely sharing similar things with them about me: "That Curt, he's really a do-nothing." This became crystal clear to me at the time of her death, in a dying hospice, as the pain of her cancer plus her age lowered her guard and caution and I saw her clearly play these little political games among my brothers. When I first came into her death room, she acted as if she didn't know me. She was completely pretending. She had apparently been enraged that I didn't come sooner. A nurse came in and she made a great show of gushing over the nurse, at how much care she gave, at how wonderful the nurse was 5 minutes later. As she warmed up to me she started giving me critical thoughts about my oldest brother Mark, who I thought had been behaving as a saint at this time. When Mark came in later, she began informing him of the faults of Joe, etc. It was very plain to see, and it was clear how it this private negative news service from mom would have created distance between us growing up. One dynamic was that it made you feel that you were "in with mother" and that she was making you her confidante. Because of the general distance always there due to her work schedule and social ambitions, the small comfort of this, plus lack of felt solidarity with my brothers, would keep me from confronting her over it.

I haves seen in my sunshine thoughts how wonderful and powerful a group of brothers can be. Sometimes I have visualized myself in some future life with several brothers who are raised by a wiser mother. We have a band. We are masters of our instruments. We are singing an incredible song together. We are all vocalizing at an outdoor concert in the sun and blowing them away with both our music and our brother-ness. Both family and brothers can be a powerful and constructive thing. But my mother didn't have that vision.

My father, he did. He continually referenced an inner vision he had, while raising us, that spoke of the power of family and the power of working together. Towards the end of the real family he began to build a new addition onto the house. In his mind he intended it partly as a place where mother could do her parting and art with better light, plus a family room. The outer half was all windows and light, with the close presence of one of our apple trees on a little outdoor balcony. The other half was to be a family area.

An occult note: In Feng-Shui ba-gua theory our house had been a square with a "fame node." This means a little protuberance at the back middle. The fame node was a small outdoor balcony-porch. Thus mother developed strong fame aspirations in this house. Until dad tore off this porch to build the new addition, things were fine between he and mother. His design for the new addition, much larger than the porch, changed the basic shape of the house so now that it was a larger square but with a missing corner at the back right. That is the corner, in ba-gua theory, called the "marriage"  corner. So he re-built the house to have a missing marriage corner. The noticeable troubles between he and mother commenced with the tear-down of the porch and the building of his well-intentioned new addition. Just as it was nearing completion mother divorced him. From then on both areas were used for her business, one half for painting her clients and the other for her "desk" and papers. The "desk," also, was a long table that dad had constructed to be the family dinner table. While mother had her own special space for her public and her office, plus her own bedroom (she chose the larger bedrooms), plus 3 or 4 "show rooms" for her public to pass through -- four brothers and two sisters never once had a room they could call theirs, that mythical sacred space known by all children on the South Side of Grand -- the "family room." And one started to get going, she would quickly break it up.

Thus there was a profound isolation in my home despite the fact that it was a large family. And I was at the youthful and vital age of maximum energies. I needed to be engaged with something and with people. I didn't understand my situation objectively at the time. I only knew that I was extremely agitated by a lack of meaning in my life, and by a lack of any understanding of the world. Now in adulthood it is easy to see why I was at such a pass. When your father is not involved with your life, life seems meaningless. Likewise when he is treated as a "non-entity" and a non-issue by the mother, life becomes meaningless. The radical social trends taking place since the 1960s, with old religious and moral standards questioned and then broken, added to the confusion. When  you are never asked "What are your grades?" or "How are you doing in school," one thinks: "Why am I even going to school?" Nobody ever told me, in fact, why I went to a public school or what it was supposed to lead to. Yet every day I was warehoused there, and placed under various pressures.

The only thing that was giving my life meaning, by my teens, was my love of music and the quest for musical fame that I shared with a few friends. Being appreciated and praised seemed, still, like it might be meaningful. But as my mind developed and I studied religion in pursuit of my elegant strategy, I was beginning to fear that this was nothing but a childish obsession, an absurd fantasy, even corruption. The corruption trends in the popular music groups served to exacerbate meaninglessness and make me doubt the validity of the path I was pursuing. I remember attending a concert in Minneapolis by the shock-rock group Alice Cooper, whose guitar compositions I admired but whose image and apparent message gave me confusion and ambivalence. There was a program there among the seats, and some Rolling Stone writer's review was printed in it. As a critique he said that the group presented all the problems, but none of the answers. This was indeed true, not only of that outfit but others, and it only seemed to add confusion to a guidance-less young mind.

But there was a worse and more central factor helping to create this hell, and that was my sexual incontinence. Immediately upon having the male period, a man sees the world as void and the meaning leaves it until he recovers. This self-emptying, combined with my mother's laissez-faire approach to parenting, produced anxiety in me to the point that I feared I was not mentally sound. In fact, the bleeding male does become mentally unsound, as his creative substance is the foundation of his mental strength. Nobody ever brought this up either before I came into manhood or during, yet it is the most fundamental education that all young men need. Certainly my mother never told  me, "Don't masturbate. It weakens you within." She didn't even know.

After largely abandoning my music for decades, through the encouragement of one of my daughters, I ended up recording some of my original songs. I mixed it myself, and it's not the greatest mix (and it uses a primitive SR-15 early drum machine.) But I like learning how to do things. By this time I felt I had something worthy to say to the world in terms of lyrics. This is called "The Exiles" and it's about two things, the primordial "fall from the garden" which continues on today for the uneducated, and the "exile" of Whites from their own countries and genocidal pressures placed upon them by the hateful Zionist power that has invaded all our lands. Yeah, the song's about those two things, plus what will allow us to survive if we learn it. At the end of the song is a Gregorian Chant that I wrote in Latin with the help of a friend who knows Latin. It is called "Prayer For Liberation From The Jews," and these are the Latin words:
O déus mágne,
Líbera a servitúdine sub judáeis et libídine
Siléntium fac vócem deceptóris mágni
Ígnosce nóstro mágno peccáto

O líbera a servitúdine
Sub judáeis et libídine
Siléntium fac vócem
Restítue nos in thrónum justítiae

Those who know Latin can tell you what it says. I could not have written this song back in my teens or twenties.
Funny thing: A lot of things in this song, musically, are similar to the rock songs my band was doing during the photo moment shown above. Some of my old band mates would probably hear this song and grin.