The Dark Side of the Orgasmic Meditation Company: OneTaste i

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The Dark Side of the Orgasmic Meditation Company: OneTaste i

Postby admin » Wed Jun 20, 2018 2:31 am

The Dark Side of the Orgasmic Meditation Company: OneTaste is pushing its sexuality wellness education toward the mainstream. Some former members say it pushed them into sexual servitude and five-figure debts.
by Ellen Huet
PHOTOGRAPHER: TIMOTHY ARCHIBALD
June 18, 2018, 2:00 AM MST

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When Michal got married in August 2015, her family and longtime friends didn’t attend. The woman who walked her down the aisle, the dozens of beaming onlookers, her soon-to-be husband—all were people she’d met in the preceding 10 months. Wearing a loose, casual dress borrowed from one of her new friends, Michal spent the ceremony in a daze.

She knew she didn’t want to get married like this, in the living room of a rented San Francisco house without her family’s support, yet she felt compelled to do it. That uneasy feeling could apply to most of her experiences in OneTaste.

OneTaste is a sexuality-focused wellness education company based in the Bay Area. It’s best known for classes on “orgasmic meditation,” a trademarked procedure that typically involves a man using a gloved, lubricated fingertip to stroke a woman’s clitoris for 15 minutes. For Michal, like those at her wedding, OneTaste was much more than a series of workshops. It was a company that had, in less than a year, gained sway over every aspect of her life.

Since taking her first class, Michal had started working on OneTaste’s sales staff and living in a communal house in Brooklyn with her co-workers. Seven days a week, they gathered for multiple rounds of orgasmic meditation, or OM. (They pronounce it “ohm.”) They spent hours calling and texting people who’d come to a OneTaste event, trying to sell seats for the next, more expensive classes. The company-hosted evening OM circles in Manhattan sometimes held 30 or more pairs of strokers and strokees in one room, the fully clothed men concentrating on their moving fingertips while the women, naked from the waist down, moaned, wailed, and sighed. Afterward, Michal and her co-workers would run that night’s OneTaste event, where they set up chairs, jogged the microphone over to attendees, and chatted up more sales leads. It was exhausting.

Michal had been drawn to OneTaste because she felt unfulfilled sexually and in other parts of her personal life. The group seemed full of glowing, attractive people confident they could feel profound sexual pleasure whenever they wanted. She believed her new life would bring her closer to the center of OneTaste, where those who were experts in OM—especially the company’s co-founder, Nicole Daedone—seemed to hold the key to sexual and spiritual enlightenment.

In OneTaste, Michal was constantly surrounded by people who were her colleagues, roommates, sexual partners, and, suddenly, closest friends. She was also $20,000 in debt from buying its classes. She was married during a two-week, $36,000-a-person retreat called the Nicole Daedone Intensive. By the time she and her husband left OneTaste a few months later, they’d spent more than $150,000. “The deeper I went, the more courses I did, the more I worked for them, the closer I got to Nicole—I knew I was doing something that later would be very difficult to unravel,” she says. “I knew I was losing control. In OneTaste, I’d done that again and again and again.”

Michal’s story is far from unique among those who venture deeper into the organization, though it’s almost unknown to the outside world. OneTaste pitches itself to the public as a fast-growing company teaching connection and wellness to an increasingly mainstream audience. But many who’ve become involved in the upper echelons describe an organization that they found ran on predatory sales and pushed members to ignore their financial, emotional, and physical boundaries in ways that left them feeling traumatized. Even given the recent flurry of stories about groups described in similar terms—Nxivm, whose founder, Keith Raniere, is awaiting trial in New York along with his alleged deputy, actress Allison Mack; Rajneeshpuram, the community featured in Netflix’s Wild Wild Country—OneTaste stands out.

Bloomberg Businessweek interviewed 16 former OneTaste staffers and community members, some involved as recently as last year. Most spoke anonymously because they signed nondisclosure agreements or fear retribution. Some, including Michal, asked to withhold their last names because they don’t want to be publicly associated with the company.

Many of the former staffers and community members say OneTaste resembled a kind of prostitution ring—one that exploited trauma victims and others searching for healing. In their experience, the company used flirtation and sex to lure emotionally vulnerable targets. It taught employees to work for free or cheap to show devotion. And managers frequently ordered staffers to have sex or OM with each other or with customers. Such mandates led to a six-figure out-of-court settlement in 2015 with a former employee who said she suffered sexual assault and harassment, as well as other labor violations, while on the job. That settlement hasn’t been reported until now because it was confidential.

OneTaste says these were individual missteps by members of an edgy lifestyle community that has, since 2016, become a legitimate business. The company no longer organizes group OMs among students or leases communal homes in its own name. It has added teaching centers in London, New York, and Los Angeles alongside the one that sits across from Uber’s headquarters in San Francisco. It says it made $12 million in revenue in 2017 and will expand to Atlanta, Chicago, Minneapolis, and Washington over the next two years.

The company has hired executives and advisers who worked at CrossFit and the juice maker Odwalla, and OM has won endorsements from Khloé Kardashian and Tim Ferriss (The 4-Hour Body). OneTaste’s nonprofit arm has commissioned a study on the health benefits of OM and expects to publish findings later this year. “OneTaste is the Whole Foods of sexuality—the organic, good-for-you version,” says Chief Executive Officer Joanna Van Vleck, the former head of Trunk Club LLC. “The overarching thing is, orgasm is part of wellness.” OneTaste didn’t make Daedone available for interviews, nor did she respond to requests for comment.

OneTaste has also begun targeting businesses as customers—not teaching their employees how to stroke one another, but how to apply OM principles such as “feel over formula” and “stay connected no matter what” to running a company. “We’re having conversations with companies about #MeToo and how to teach connection as preventive health for companies rather than treating the disease of sexual harassment,” says Van Vleck. She says the National Hockey League is among the businesses that have expressed interest, though the NHL says it can’t confirm any record of a conversation.

A decade’s worth of periodic OneTaste press coverage hasn’t really gotten past the titillating veneer of OM. Reporters have occasionally used the word “cult” jokingly because of the practice’s inherent kookiness and fierce devotees, but Michal and others say OneTaste deserves the term’s full weight. “I lost my understanding of money,” Michal says. “There was a lot of psychological manipulation. This is an organization that really preys on people’s weaknesses.”

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Daedone has said she developed OM based on a monk’s technique. Her 2011 TEDxSF talk has been watched on YouTube almost 1.5 million times. PHOTOGRAPHER: GABRIELA HASBUN



According to the story she repeats onstage and in YouTube videos, Daedone founded OneTaste in 2004 after she met a monk at a party who showed her a version of the technique she developed into OM. For years her company remained a far-fringe oddity, teaching small classes in San Francisco and running a residential warehouse where dozens of members and residents experimented sexually.

In 2009, though, the New York Times put OneTaste on the front page of its style section, and the brand took off. Daedone, who’d previously run an art gallery, published a book called Slow Sex in 2011, and in 2013 gave a speech at South by Southwest called “Female Orgasm: The Regenerative Human Technology.” In a 2011 TEDxSF talk that’s been watched almost 1.5 million times on YouTube, she describes an essential hunger for connection that especially plagues Western women, who eat too much, work too much, shop too much, and still feel empty. The fix, Daedone says in the video, is OM. The practice helps men and women “lose that sense of hopelessness that you will ever be reached deep inside.”

OM has strict rules, and it’s supposed to be separate from sex, meaning it’s not foreplay. The pitch to women is 15 minutes of meditative focus only on their pleasure and sensation, with no obligation to reciprocate. Men are told it will help them learn to be more sensitive to women’s needs, though former members say it’s often strongly implied that fellow OneTaste students will be open to sexual experimentation beyond OM.

Many students’ first encounters are casual: They spot a free or almost-free event with a title such as “Tired of Swiping Left? Let’s Talk Real Intimacy!” or “You Do Yoga. You Meditate. Now try #OrgasmicMeditation.” At that event, OneTaste staffers tell them about the $199 Introduction to OM class. While attendees are no longer invited to try OMing during the intro class, it still features a live OM demonstration between staffers, right before lunch. The way to learn more, the intro students hear, is to take more classes.

Currently, students pay $499 for a weekend course, $4,000 for a retreat, $12,000 for the coaching program, and $16,000 for an “intensive.” In 2014, OneTaste started selling a yearlong $60,000 membership, which lets buyers take all the courses they want and sit in the front row. Staff also encourage students to repeat courses, telling them the experience changes as they progress. OneTaste says about 1,400 people have taken its coaching program, 6,500 have come to an intro class, and more than 14,000 have signed up for online courses and its app.

Some students take a course or two and drop off. But often, those with a core yearning—to overcome anxiety or resolve a sexual trauma, for example—are drawn in deeper. Volunteering at events can lead them to come work for the company full time, usually in sales. Former staffers say they were trained to target young, beautiful women and awkward, wealthy tech guys. They set up booths at life hacking conferences and Daybreaker early-morning dance parties, serving coffee in shirts bearing slogans such as “The Pussy Knows” and asking passersby, “How’s your orgasm?”

At OneTaste events, attendees often played communication games prompting them to share vulnerable stories. Former staffers say they took notes that might help them sell later—maybe a student was recently divorced and lonely—and senior staff assigned subordinates to home in on wealthy students who seemed attracted to them or had experiences in common. They also say female employees were told to wear lipstick, heels, and short black skirts.

OneTaste denies that its policies targeted specific groups and says it only ever required workers to dress “professionally.” That said, last month, around the time Bloomberg Businessweek started asking OneTaste about its sales practices, longtime sales chief Rachel Cherwitz resigned. “I’ve realized not everyone makes decisions as fast as I do. I’ve realized sometimes I’ve given my opinion when I should not have,” Cherwitz said in a statement forwarded by the company. “For now, I am focused on taking some time to reflect.”

Cherwitz was Daedone’s top lieutenant for most of the 11 years she spent with the company, according to several former employees. She’s in many of OneTaste’s public videos, calmly explaining how people who OM daily, like her, can gain confidence, feel energized, and have better sex. Former staff say they were drawn to Cherwitz’s intense charisma and terrified of getting on her bad side, especially by not hitting sales goals. Before events, sales staff often watched one of her favorite YouTube videos, a clip of lions hunting in a pack. Some former staffers say they called customers “marks” and referred to themselves as “lions,” “tigers,” and sometimes “fluffers,” a term borrowed from porn sets. “You fluff someone to get them energetically and emotionally hard,” one former salesperson says. “You were the dangled bait, like ‘You can have more of this if you buy this $10,000 course.’ ”



To make parting with thousands of dollars easier, OneTaste taught members that money is just an emotional obstacle. It encouraged students to take out multiple credit cards to pay for courses, and some turned to such sites as GoFundMe and Prosper Funding for help. “We took money from people that we shouldn’t have,” acknowledges Van Vleck, the CEO, adding that OneTaste has revised its policies to make sure customers don’t feel pressure to take on debt along with their courses.

“The first time I didn’t cover my credit card bill, it broke something in my mind,” says Ruwan Meepagala, who went to his first OneTaste event in 2012 at age 24, worked for the company for about two years, and left owing $30,000 on his credit cards. “I was no longer afraid of debt,” he says. “Once you break that barrier, $3,000 is the same as $30,000.” At one point, Meepagala complained that he and his co-workers hadn’t been paid in two months; he says he was publicly shamed for having a “scarcity mindset.”

Even though OneTaste’s management pushed employees to stop caring about their own money, they used the workers to bring in more of others’ cash. And despite the strict rules the company claimed to have separating OM from sex, initiates soon realized the divisions could be porous when money was on the line. Meepagala says managers told him to OM or have sex with older, wealthy women right before Cherwitz or another staffer called to sell them another course. Some members asked others to pay for their courses, often suggesting they’d offer sex or attention in exchange. They even called it hooking, former staff say. “A lot of women would be like, ‘I’m going to hook this guy for money,’ ” Meepagala says. “They would brag about it.”
The company denies using sex for sales and says Meepagala now teaches pickup-artistry-esque techniques and isn’t a moral authority.

When Laurie, a 53-year-old private nurse in Los Angeles, started taking classes and joining daily OM circles in 2014, she was overwhelmed by the community’s affection. Young women treated her like a confidante, and men half her age paid attention to her. She moved into an OM house in Santa Monica and signed up for the coaching program. Her new life felt good for a while, but staffers sometimes turned cold, especially when students hesitated to buy more classes. When frozen out, she grew desperate to regain their affection.

Laurie and other former students say they were taught that once they started down the OneTaste spiritual path, they would feel tortured and lost if they left. She says that kind of peer pressure helped keep her in the coaching program starting in early 2015, even after traumas related to her childhood sexual abuse resurfaced. “I was afraid of losing my soul if I left,” she says. “This sounds so dramatic, but in my vulnerable state I believed it. I thought I would be f---ed spiritually.” OneTaste denies that it taught anyone they’d suffer if they stopped taking courses and says it hired a trauma adviser in late 2016.

“We took money from people that we shouldn’t have”


For some committed OMers, the experience became even more complicated and bizarre. Hamza Tayeb, 33, was part of OneTaste for about a decade. He started working for the company to leave behind an uninspiring Bay Area software job, he says. He also felt tied down by his young son, born while he was still in college. Daedone heard Tayeb’s story and said the mother’s choice to have the child shouldn’t dictate his choices. She absolved him of responsibility toward his son, he says: “I thought, I’m not going to hear that from anywhere else.” He started teaching courses and eventually married Cherwitz. OneTaste says Daedone never told members to separate from their families.

In 2015, Tayeb took part in a five-day, $6,500-a-head OneTaste event called Magic School, held near Northern California’s Mount Shasta. The year before, the final evening featured temporary ceremonial piercings and performers who danced with snakes draped over their shoulders. This time, Daedone named a handful of men and women, including Tayeb, “priests and priestesses of orgasm.” The new clergy, dressed in white, conducted a group OM overseen by Daedone in front of the hundred or so attendees. “It was a religion,” a former employee says. “Orgasm was God, and Nicole was like Jesus or Muhammad.” OneTaste says the ceremonies were “play” and compared Magic School to Burning Man.

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Tayeb, a former OneTaste “priest of orgasm,” married the company’s longtime head of sales after abandoning his son. PHOTOGRAPHER: SIMONE LUECK FOR BLOOMBERG BUSINESSWEEK

OneTaste teachings were often used to justify sexual manipulation and abuse, several former members say. “Aversion practice” is the company’s teaching that you gain power and expand your orgasm—within the group, a broad term for sexual energy—by performing sexual acts you don’t want to do, or doing them with people you find disgusting. Meepagala says Cherwitz once saw him bickering with a co-worker and told them they had to leave work and couldn’t come back until they’d slept together. “Sometimes they’d assign someone to be your sex manager for the week,” another former employee says. “That person would go on Tinder or ask the community and line up a person for you to sleep with each day, do all the texting, and tell you who to meet when. … The authority figure would say, ‘You’re f---ed up,’ and sex was always the solution.”

Although few members say they were forced to do something they explicitly refused, consent in this setting was a gray area. “You’re pushed to do it, and cornered,” says a former employee. In 2015 the company paid $325,000 to settle a labor dispute with former sales rep Ayries Blanck, according to a person familiar with the matter. Blanck had said Cherwitz and others ordered her to sleep with customers and managers, and two people familiar with the matter say she considered the experience sexual assault. Blanck declined to comment for this story.

OneTaste says the settlement was confidential but that it has never required any employee to engage in a sexual act. Van Vleck says supervisors may have suggested such things to employees in the context of their friendships, but that the company wasn’t involved. It referred Bloomberg Businessweek to nine former staff and customers who say the company’s courses brought them close relationships and new comfort with their sexuality. “People find OneTaste because they’re deeply searching for something,” says former membership coordinator Elyna Anderson, “and we often pass over a fair amount of our own judgment and responsibility into the hands of people we hope are going to turn our lives around.”

Yet OneTaste’s inner circle also turned a blind eye to multiple cases of domestic violence between employees in relationships, which they dismissed as one partner letting out his or her aggressive desire, or “beast,” former staffers say. In one case, an executive repeatedly slapped his girlfriend during a 2014 fight in the company’s Market Street headquarters in front of employees, according to one eyewitness. The executive was fired but has since been rehired. OneTaste says the incident was unacceptable, but that it rehired the executive because of a belief in rehabilitation, and that it’s unaware of other cases.

Policy changes since 2016—no more hosting group OM circles, no more student OMing in classes or staff OMing in the office—have lessened OneTaste’s liability. While OneTaste says these changes were meant to position it for a more mainstream audience, several former staffers say management was also worried about legal consequences. No leases are officially connected to the company, but staff still live and OM together in private, says Tayeb. All of this is in keeping, he says, with how the changes were framed. “Often it was, ‘We all know that this stuff is actually good, but the world isn’t going to see it that way,’ ” he says. “ ‘So we’re going to adapt and comply, but all the while keep the core of what we really want to do sacred and hidden.’ ”

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Students warming up with some pre-OMing touch exercises. For years, OneTaste organized group OMs, often in communal houses, but says it no longer does. PHOTOGRAPHER: GABRIELA HASBUN

At age 28, Michal had been in a few long-term relationships, but she always felt self-conscious about her body and about asking for what she wanted during sex. She’d also never had an orgasm. So even though she thought OM sounded weird, she went to a free OneTaste event one evening in late 2014 to see if it could help. She chatted with staffers who seemed open, ate the right food, and did yoga every day. Unhappy in her job as a teacher’s assistant in a Jewish school, she started attending regular OM gatherings in New York and responded to the open flirting from the men she met there. “This thing seemed to offer friends, potential mates,” she says. “Also, I was on this whole high where there were so many men interested in me. It was weird to feel that power.”

OneTaste quickly swallowed Michal’s life. She quit her teaching job, gave her dog to her parents, and moved into a crowded OM house in Brooklyn to sell OneTaste classes. OMing did allow her to reach orgasm, but only rarely. Instead, the draw gradually became more about community and purpose. A few months in, she wanted to sign up for the coaching program but didn’t have enough money. When she went to talk to Cherwitz about it, Cherwitz took out her laptop and helped her apply for a new credit card. Michal had never been in debt before. Her parents were worried, but “I was so swept in by that point,” she says. “I wouldn’t listen to anything that said, ‘Wait, take a moment.’ ”

Life at the OM house was relentlessly scheduled. Every morning at around 7 a.m., staff convened for two rounds of OM, switching partners midway. Then came an AA-inspired “fear inventory,” writing out and sharing their worries with a partner. Former staffers say they were encouraged to report to management if they heard others express doubts about OneTaste. They all went to Bikram yoga, cooked, cleaned, then spent several hours making sales calls around a table, tracking their progress with Salesforce.com. After an afternoon round of OM, they left to run the evening’s public session.

“I felt so much more confused about sex and the boundaries of my body”


Michal, like many of her co-workers, was classified as an independent contractor, earning commissions on the courses she sold. She says she was lucky to make $200 or $300 a month, which supplemented the $900 monthly stipend she received from a manager’s personal account. She says she spent more than 80 hours most weeks working on the group’s formal and informal activities. Meepagala says he worked around 100 hours per week, on a schedule similar to Michal’s, but was told to log 30, and that his salary as a “part-time” worker was about $15,000 a year. Blanck, in her settled labor dispute, said she was misclassified as an independent contractor because OneTaste dictated what she was doing most hours of the day. She’d also said she was paid less than minimum wage and was owed overtime.

Workers exhausted by the long hours were told they should OM more, that orgasm is an endless energy resource. Some former staffers say frequent OM sessions left them in a constant state of emotional and physical rawness that, combined with a lack of sleep, blurred their ability to think.

During morning check-ins, Michal and her co-workers chirped about feeling “turned on.” If they didn’t, Cherwitz or someone else would drill down on why they weren’t feeling excited to sell. Someone who wasn’t hitting sales goals chanced being deemed “tumesced” or “off the rails”—in need of OM or sex. Staffers were rarely alone even at night, because they typically slept two to a bed. Their phones would buzz with 100 texts an hour from OneTaste group chats.


“Like many startups, employees worked long and varied hours at times,” OneTaste said in a statement. The company says workers’ lifestyle choices were optional, and that in 2016 it started using time sheet service TSheets to track and pay work hours, including overtime.

As Michal picked up more internal jargon, it began to make sense why OneTaste called outsiders “asleep,” “Muggles,” or “in the Matrix.” The stranger the experience became, the more thrilling it felt, like she was gaining access to something the rest of the world couldn’t see.

At the end of a whirlwind week of ritual at the Magic School where Tayeb was initiated, Michal says, a OneTaste executive took her by the hand and led her to a sales table to talk about putting down a $12,000 deposit for the upcoming Nicole Daedone Intensive. She didn’t have the money, so a senior staffer suggested she ask another OneTaste member, a man who worked in tech and had paid part of her Magic School tuition. “I remember in those moments, you have this exhilarating feeling,” she says. “You want to do [the intensive], because the people who do it are much better off than those who don’t. You also know Rachel would love you more and think better of you.”

Michal and her parents began to argue more about OneTaste, especially when she told them she’d be marrying a fellow member—the one who’d been helping pay for her classes. Around the same time, Michal’s OneTaste life started to break down. Her closest co-worker left the company, and Michal began to think of leaving as the right, albeit terrifying, move. She regularly woke up screaming from nightmares.

Eventually, Michal persuaded her husband to leave OneTaste with her in September 2015, shortly after their wedding. Under the stress of adjusting to life outside, they divorced soon after. She moved in with her parents in New York, depressed and occasionally suicidal. “I thought, Why do I want to kill myself? I can’t control my emotions,” she says. “I thought I was cursed.”


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Laurie says she risked feeling “ f---ed spiritually” to leave OneTaste and spent months on disability afterward. PHOTOGRAPHER: SIMONE LUECK FOR BLOOMBERG BUSINESSWEEK

On top of everything else, fleeing OneTaste can be brutally lonely. Laurie, the nurse, spent months on disability after leaving and moved to Boulder, Colo. She’s in the process of divorcing a man she met and married in OneTaste. Tayeb divorced Cherwitz after he left and is trying to rebuild his relationship with his son, who’s now 13. “There’s just a lot of confusion and pain and anger,” he says. “I leveraged myself financially, emotionally. I was married. I was all into this thing. When it doesn’t work out, it’s devastating.”

Like other apostates, Tayeb is conflicted about his years in OneTaste, which he says taught him practical leadership skills and exposed him to useful spiritual teachings. Even OneTaste’s harshest critics often say OM can help people. But Tayeb also says the company exercises “undue influence” over those inside, and he regrets that he saw it happen for years and never said anything. The threat of spiritual ruin is too powerful and is wielded without a moral compass, he says.

OneTaste says the company has changed, especially since Daedone stepped down as CEO last year to work on her next book and teach the occasional class. (She also sold her stake in the company to a trio of OneTaste members.) Van Vleck says OneTaste isn’t a cult, but that it’s common for people to use the term when something “changes their internal perspective.”

The newish CEO is betting that the study OneTaste has funded on the health benefits of OM, which has taken brain-activity readings from 130 pairs of strokers and strokees, will draw fresh crowds. Led by researchers from the University of Pittsburgh, the study is expected to yield the first of multiple papers later this year. “The science that’s coming out to back what this is and what the benefits are is going to be huge in terms of scaling,” Van Vleck says.

For more than two years after leaving OneTaste, Michal continued to struggle with her relationship to sex. Daedone and her disciples had prescribed sex with as many people as possible as a way to achieve enlightenment, according to several former staffers. “You don’t realize until after what a damaging idea that is. I feel really disgusted that I put myself through that,” Michal says. By the end, “I felt so much more confused about sex and the boundaries of my body, even though that’s what they say it helps you cultivate.” She hasn’t OMed since leaving OneTaste, and she says she never will.
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Re: The Dark Side of the Orgasmic Meditation Company: OneTas

Postby admin » Wed Jun 20, 2018 3:06 am

The Pleasure Principle
by Patricia Leigh Brown and Carol Pogashmarch
New York Times
March 13, 2009

NOTICE: THIS WORK MAY BE PROTECTED BY COPYRIGHT

YOU ARE REQUIRED TO READ THE COPYRIGHT NOTICE AT THIS LINK BEFORE YOU READ THE FOLLOWING WORK, THAT IS AVAILABLE SOLELY FOR PRIVATE STUDY, SCHOLARSHIP OR RESEARCH PURSUANT TO 17 U.S.C. SECTION 107 AND 108. IN THE EVENT THAT THE LIBRARY DETERMINES THAT UNLAWFUL COPYING OF THIS WORK HAS OCCURRED, THE LIBRARY HAS THE RIGHT TO BLOCK THE I.P. ADDRESS AT WHICH THE UNLAWFUL COPYING APPEARED TO HAVE OCCURRED. THANK YOU FOR RESPECTING THE RIGHTS OF COPYRIGHT OWNERS.


EVEN in a culture in which sex toys are a booming business and Oprah Winfrey discusses living your best life in the bedroom, a coed live-in commune dedicated to the female orgasm hovers at the extremes.

The founder of the One Taste Urban Retreat Center, Nicole Daedone, sees herself as leading “the slow-sex movement,” one that places a near-exclusive emphasis on women’s pleasure — in which love, romance and even flirtation are not required.

“In our culture, admitting our bodies matter is almost an admission of failure,” said Ms. Daedone, 41, who can quote the poet Mary Oliver and speak wryly on the intricacies of women’s anatomy with equal aplomb. “I don’t think women will really experience freedom until they own their sexuality.”

A core of 38 men and women — their average age the late 20s — live full time in the retreat center, a shabby-chic loft building in the South of Market district. They prepare meals together, practice yoga and mindfulness meditation and lead workshops in communication for outside groups as large as 60.

But the heart of the group’s activity, listed cryptically on its Web site’s calendar as “morning practice,” is closed to all but the residents.

At 7 a.m. each day, as the rest of America is eating Cheerios or trying to face gridlock without hyperventilating, about a dozen women, naked from the waist down, lie with eyes closed in a velvet-curtained room, while clothed men huddle over them, stroking them in a ritual known as orgasmic meditation — “OMing,” for short. The couples, who may or may not be romantically involved, call one another “research partners.”

A commune dedicated to men and women publicly creating “the orgasm that exists between them,” in the words of one resident, may sound like the ultimate California satire. But the Bay Area has a lively and venerable history of seekers constructing lives around sexual adventure.

San Francisco is proud of its libertine heritage, as Sean Penn recently demonstrated in “Milk.” The search for personal transformation, including through sex, led to the oceanside hot tubs at the Esalen Institute in Big Sur, cradle of the human potential movement, and in the 1960s, communes flourished in the city, many espousing free love.

One Taste is but the latest stop on this sexual underground, weaving together strands of radical individual freedom, Eastern spirituality and feminism.

“The notion of a San Francisco sex commune focused on female orgasm is part of a long and rich history of women being public and empowered about their sexuality,” said Elizabeth A. Armstrong, an associate professor of sociology at Indiana University, who has studied San Francisco’s sexual subcultures.

As with many a commune before it, the leader of One Taste, Ms. Daedone, is a polarizing personality, whom admirers venerate as a sex diva, although some former members say she has cultlike powers over her followers. They say she sometimes strongly suggested who should pair off with whom romantically.

“There was always a pushing of peoples’ boundaries,” said Judy Silber, who lived at One Taste for three and a half years and left last fall. “We all knew it was a hardcore place, and we came to play hard.”

The group has drawn scant attention during its four and a half years — perhaps because it is just the sort of community San Franciscans expect in their backyard — although there was a brief sensation when The San Francisco Chronicle wrote about the group’s naked (nonsexual) yoga classes. Many voyeuristic non-yogis showed up. Now the yoga is fully clothed.

Those drawn to One Taste are an eclectic lot. Some are in life transitions, among them a baby-faced 50-year-old Silicon Valley engineer, a recently divorced man, who said that the practice of manually fixing his attention on a tiny spot of a woman’s body improves his concentration at work.

Most residents are young questers, seeking to fill an inner void and become empowered through Ms. Daedone’s blend of female-centric spirituality and sexuality. One, Beth Crittenden, 33, grew up in conservative Virginia tobacco country, a place, she said, where the fundamentals of the female anatomy were never discussed and masturbation was unmentionable. “I’d never done anything even in the dead of night,” she said.

She stumbled onto the center’s Folsom Street building, with its comfy overstuffed sofas, and enrolled in a women’s self-pleasure course because her relationships with men, as she put it, “kept running into a cement wall.”

She resisted offers to pursue further courses (for a fee), deleting the center’s incessant e-mail messages. But on the cusp of her 29th birthday, she tentatively returned. “I was scared to open up my life that much, but I was more scared not to,” she said.

Now an instructor herself, Ms. Crittenden talks about “the lingering velocity of my desire and my hesitation to give into it.”

Another member, Racheli Cherwitz, 28, had spent years grappling with anorexia and alcoholism, she said. In search of identity, she moved to Israel and became an Orthodox Jew.

Discovering One Taste, she said, has improved her self-image and given her “deep physical access to the woman I am and the woman I want to be.”

Ms. Cherwitz commutes to New York and offers private sensuality coaching at a satellite outpost operated by One Taste on Grand Street. Many of her clients, she said, are married Orthodox Jewish couples from Brooklyn.

In the One Taste world, a weirdly clinical pact is made between the women and men. There is no eye contact during orgasmic meditation. The idea, similar to Buddhist Tantric sex, is to extend the sensory peak — and publicly share it — before “going over,” as residents, who tend toward group-speak, call climaxing.

Although men are not touched by the women and do not climax, they say they experience a sense of energy and satiation. Both the strokers and strokees insist that all this OMing is really about the “hydration” of the self, the human connection, not sex.

Reese Jones, a venture capitalist-slash-geek-slash Ms. Daedone’s boyfriend, likens orgasmic meditation to massage.

“It’s a procedure to nourish the limbic system, like yoga or Pilates, with no other strings attached,” he said. “When you go to a massage therapist,” he added, “you don’t take the masseuse to dinner afterward.”

MS. DAEDONE’S inspiration and mentor as a sex guru was Ray Vetterlein, who achieved fame of sorts in sex circles by claiming to lengthen the average female orgasm to 20 minutes.

Mr. Vetterlein, now in his 80s, was inspired by Lafayette Morehouse, a controversial 40-year-old community still in existence in suburban Lafayette, Calif., that has been conducting public demonstrations of a woman in orgasm since 1976.


Morehouse’s founder, Victor Baranco, was a former appliance salesman who called his philosophy “responsible hedonism.” By some accounts, Mr. Baranco, who died in 2002, used coercive techniques of mind control.

“It was a huge ego-crushing machine, as any valid monastic tradition is,” said a man who lived at Morehouse for 20 years and did not want to be identified.


Ms. Daedone’s early career was hardly alternative: she studied semantics at San Francisco State University and then donned her pearls to help found an art gallery. But at 27, her world came crashing down when she learned that her father, from whom she was largely estranged, was dying of cancer in prison, after being convicted of molesting two young girls.

“Everything in my reality just collapsed,” she said. “My body turned to stone and crumbled.”

Her father had not behaved inappropriately toward her, Ms. Daedone said; on the contrary, he was a distant figure.

“There had been a way I felt close to him in this felt way, and then all of the sudden he would shut down,” she said. “I later came to understand that he was trying to protect me from himself, from his pathology.”

Her pathway back to life was initially Buddhism, which she pursued with a vengeance, intending to live in a Zen community. But at a party in 1998, she met a Buddhist who had a practice in what he called “contemplative sexuality.”

He invited her to lie down unclothed, set a timer and, while stroking her, proceeded to narrate in tender detail the beauty he saw, the colors that went from coral, to deep rose, to pearlescent pink. “I just broke open, and the feeling was pure and clean,” Ms. Daedone said.
“In a strange way, I think at that moment I decided to live.”

Since opening One Taste, she has allowed it to go through numerous permutations; to her chagrin, it initially attracted misfits who “liked to get sloppy and grope each other,” she said.

She concedes that she has made mistakes — among them the naked yoga class — but she has been savvy about packaging her product. She changed the term “deliberate orgasm,” as it is called by other practitioners, to the more marketable “orgasmic meditation.”

Much of the community’s tone revolves around Ms. Daedone, a woman of considerable charm, although detractors regard her as a master manipulator.

“Nicole groks people,” said Marci Boyd, 57, the group’s oldest resident, borrowing a phrase from Robert A. Heinlein’s “Stranger in a Strange Land” that connotes understanding someone so totally that the observer becomes one with the observed.

Elana Auerbach, an original resident, who left the group with Bill Press, who is now her husband, said the upshot of Ms. Daedone’s ability to become exactly the person an individual yearns for is that “they take on Nicole, exude Nicoleness.”

“You stop trusting yourself and start trusting Nicole,” she said.

Until recently, residents lived in tight quarters, sacrificing privacy for the group, two to a bed, 12 beds to a room, each bed separated by a curtain. Now they have private rooms in a building adjacent to the meditation center (both are somewhat providentially on Folsom Street, home of the world’s largest annual leather, bondage and fetish fair).

Ms. Auerbach said that she and Mr. Press eventually decided they wanted a life that was “heart-focused rather than genital-focused.” Now parents of a baby boy, they view their experience as a cautionary tale.

“Nicole promulgates a message and everyone else reflects that,” Mr. Press said.

Ms. Daedone insists she does not invite or like the all-powerful image. “There’s a high potential for this to be a cult,” she said.

She recently moved out of the communal living quarters, in part to fight this tendency. “Whenever I was in the space, everybody treated me like a guru,” she said. “I’d wake up and people would come sit on my bed.”

Now she lives with Mr. Jones, her boyfriend, a braniac who sold a computer software company he founded, Netopia, to Motorola for $208 million, and makes financial resources available to One Taste, including helping to buy a retreat in Stinson Beach, Calif.

Ms. Daedone wants One Taste to be mainstream, and to that end the center presents lectures by rabbis and Tibetan monks, along with public classes and workshops in “mindful sexuality.”

But a One Taste Peoria seems hard to imagine. At a weekend workshop at the center recently, attended by scores of men and women interested in learning orgasmic meditation, Ms. Daedone outlined her philosophy.

“In our culture,” she said, while beatifically seated on a cushion, “women have been conditioned to have closed sexuality and open feelings, and men to have open sexuality and closed feelings. There’s this whole area of resistance and shame.”

Soon the aspiring OM-ers, including a couple from Marin County hoping to rekindle their marriage, gathered on the floor kindergarten-style around a massage table. Justine Dawson, a wholesome-looking 34-year-old community resident, took off her robe and hopped up. Another resident, Andy Roy, 28, began his task, his concentration so exquisite that he broke into a sweat.

Attendees were instructed to call out their feelings, and many did, describing the turn-on they, too, were feeling.

When it was over, Ms. Dawson emanated radiance worthy of a Caravaggio, a youthful innocence. In another context, it might have been a profound and romantic moment between two lovers. Instead, a different image came to mind: the post-coital interview by Howard Cosell, holding a microphone, in Woody Allen’s “Bananas.”

Correction: March 22, 2009
An article last Sunday about the One Taste Urban Retreat Center, a San Francisco commune devoted to the female orgasm, misstated the surname of a former resident. She is Judy Silber, not Silver. Because of an editing error, the article also misstated the commune’s location in one reference. As the article correctly noted, it is on Folsom Street, not Fulton Street.
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Re: The Dark Side of the Orgasmic Meditation Company: OneTas

Postby admin » Wed Jun 20, 2018 3:39 am

Nicole Daedone on Tricycle: The Buddhist Review
by Tricycle
Accessed: 6/19/18

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Nicole Daedone is a San Francisco-based consultant and trainer in man-woman relationships, communication, and Orgasmic Meditation (OM), a practice of female orgasm that results in more insight, vitality and connection for both sexual partners. As the founder and head teacher at OneTaste and the author of “Slow Sex: The Art and Craft of the Female Orgasm,” Nicole Daedone has been featured in Tricycle magazine, demonstrating the relevance of her teachings to the Buddhist community worldwide.

A non-profit, quarterly magazine based in New York City, Tricycle is a forum for independent, non- sectarian exploration of Buddhist teachings and practices worldwide. Founded in 1990, today Tricycle only accepts advertising from teachers and organizations that support the values and mission of the magazine; almost all printing and production costs are funded through charitable donations. Quarterly issues of Tricycle offer research reporting, commentary, and news on historical and contemporary Buddhism from around the world. Articles cover a wide range of religious practices and topics specific to Mahayana, Theravada, Tibetan, Vajrayana, Vipassana, Zen, Nichiren, Pure Land, and other Buddhist sects. Each issue of Tricycle is comprised of two sections: ‘Meditation and Buddhist Practices’ explores topics in compassion, devotion, chanting, generosity, concentration, and more; ‘Living in the World’ shares insight on applied Buddhism in daily life, covering topics such as science, food, health, sickness, aging, and more.
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Re: The Dark Side of the Orgasmic Meditation Company: OneTas

Postby admin » Wed Jun 20, 2018 4:04 am

Leila Hadley Biography
by Reading Group Guides
Accessed: 6/19/18

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Leila Hadley, born in New York in 1925, has been traveling since she was six months old. She has ventured into little-known regions of India, Tibet, North and South Africa, the Far and Middle East, Central America, the Caribbean, and Southeast Asia. Her award-winning book, Give Me the World (Simon & Schuster, 1958), chronicles a journey from Singapore to Naples made with her four-year-old son, four men, and a dog aboard a three-masted schooner. This book, now considered a classic of travel memoirs, was followed by Tibet: Twenty Years After the Chinese Takeover, the story of her travels through the occupied nation during the 1970s, along with several other books that earned her the sobriquet of "the walking Bible of family travel": How to Travel with Children in Europe, Fielding's Guide to Traveling with Children in Europe, and Traveling with Children in the U.S.A.

Leila Hadley is co-founder of Wings Trust, an organization dedicated to the archival preservation of women's explorations and the furtherance of women explorers. In 1992, she joined the board of Tricycle: The Buddhist Review, for which she is also a consulting editor. She is an elected member of PEN, the Society of Woman Geographers, and the Explorers Club. She serves on the board of directors of Tibet House, Fishers Island Conservancy, and on the guest board of the New York Academy of Medicine.

Leila Hadley is married to Henry Luce III and lives in New York and on Fishers Island.

Books by Leila Hadley

A Journey with Elsa Cloud, by Leila Hadley

In A Journey with Elsa Cloud, Leila Hadley unfolds an absorbing tale of a poignant mother-daughter relationship amid the kaleidoscopic backdrop of the Indian subcontinent during the 1970s.
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Re: The Dark Side of the Orgasmic Meditation Company: OneTas

Postby admin » Wed Jun 20, 2018 4:10 am

Henry Luce
by Spartacus Educational
Accessed: 6/19/18

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Henry Luce, the son of Henry Winters Luce, a Presbyterian missionary, was born in Tengchow, China, on 3rd April, 1898. In 1905 the mission asked Luce to raise funds in America. While in Chicago the family met Nancy Fowler McCormick, the widow of Cyrus McCormick. She was so impressed by the seven year old Henry that she asked for permission to raise him in America. They refused the offer but she insisted that she paid for the boy's education.

While in America he was taken ill. The doctors decided to take Luce's tonsils out. The anesthetic wore off too soon and Luce recovered consciousness during the operation. After this he developed a stammer. According to Isaiah Wilner: "Luce spoke in violent bursts punctuated by long, awkward silences. Often it seemed as if he was fighting to control his tongue or to keep up with his racing thoughts. At times the stammer completely defaced Luce's speech... Embarrassed by his problem. Luce began to turn inward. He developed a prickly stridency, an urge to win at all costs, and at times a rough male hostility."

Luce returned to China in 1907. He attended the China Inland Mission School. He hated the school and told his parents he was desperately lonely: "It sort of seems to hang on not in spells of homesickness but a hanging torture... I well sympathize with prisoners wishing to commit suicide now." During this period he became very religious. In 1909 he wrote of God: "I seem more on the same pedestal with him, more at home, more as one of his chosen and I feel certain that he is at my side."

Luce eventually became friends with a British boy named Sydney Cecil-Smith. The two boys decided to start up their own newspaper. He wrote to his parents that "I am the Editor in Chief". Luce wrote the editorial and the lead article and the newspaper included school news, fiction and poetry.

In October 1911 the political situation became difficult in China and fearing revolution, Henry Winters Luce sent his son to school in St Albans in England. He also spent time in Switzerland, where he studied French. In 1913 he was sent to Hotchkiss School in Connecticut. While at the school he met Briton Hadden, another young man who was very interested in becoming a journalist. Stephen Shadegg later recalled: "Many of Luce's schoolmates thought of him as a bookish square; to the fun lovers he was a wet blanket who seldom went to a party or dated a girl. With the athletic students he wasn't popular - he had no aptitude for sports."

Soon after arriving the Hotchkiss Record announced a new competition for sophomores. The student who showed the most "natural ability" would be taken onto the board of the newspaper. Hadden came first, beating Luce into second place. Luce wrote to his father: "I am second though quite far behind the first fellow (Hadden) and while I am not satisfied with second place, yet I think it was worthwhile."

In his senior year, Hadden became editor of the Hotchkiss Record. Luce now decided to concentrate on the Hotchkiss Literary Monthly. A fellow worker on the magazine Culbreth Sudler, later recalled: "He (Luce) had a kind of terrifying egotism. Everything was up there in his head. His personality, his manner, didn't matter. Nothing mattered except the idea."

When Nancy Fowler McCormick discovered that Luce wanted to become a writer, she introduced him to her friend, the successful author, Lyman Abbott. He advised Luce to write as much as he could for the student newspaper. Hadden provided him with help by appointing Luce as assistant managing editor. He also edited the Hotchkiss Literary Monthly. He shocked its readers by transforming the "offbeat little monthly into a mainstream magazine of campus life."

In 1916 Luce and Briton Hadden both went to Yale University and found themselves in competition to have their work published in the Yale Daily News. This involved what was known as "heeling rituals". Between October and March, the young students (heelers) wrote articles, sold advertising in the newspaper and performed various tasks for the editorial board. The editors awarded a certain number of points for each task. At the end of the competition, the top four heelers were appointed to the staff of the newspaper. Alger Shelden, the son of a millionaire attempted to buy his way to victor. However, he could only finish second to Hadden, who won with more points than any heeler in history. Luce finished in fourth place. He wrote to his father: "I have come to Rome and succeeded in the Roman Games."

Shelden invited Hadden, Luce and the fourth successful heeler, Thayer Hobson, to spend Easter at the family estate at Grosse Pointe near Detroit. Hadden wrote to his mother that he had accepted the invitation because he wanted to become better acquainted with Shelden, Hobson and Luce "whom I will have to work with more or less during the next few years". Luce told his father that he was excited by the visit as Shelden's father was a close friend of Theodore Roosevelt. While they were staying at the Shelden estate, President Woodrow Wilson declared war on Germany.

When they arrived back at Yale University Hadden and Luce launched a campaign in the Yale Daily News to support the war effort by encouraging the wealthy students to purchase war bonds. They also encouraged young men to join the armed forces and by the autumn of 1917 a third of the students at Yale had left to take part in the First World War. This included John Elliot Wooley, the chairman of the newspaper. Luce and Hadden both put their name forward for the top job. Hadden was elected to the post and Luce wrote to his parents: "Briton Hadden is chairman of the News, and thus my fondest college ambition is unachieved."

Hadden used his new position to call for Yale to offer more classes in subjects like semaphore signaling and drill. This campaign was successful and according to one observer, "for the rest of the war the school became a military academy in all but name". Luce was also a strong supporter of the war effort. He accused his English professor of being a pacifist and suggested that Yale should ban all student groups that could not be classified as "war industries". Hadden and Luce would often print fake letters in order to create debates about controversial subjects. This strategy increased sales of the newspaper.

The following year Hadden was elected chairman of the Yale Daily News for a second time and Luce won election as the managing director. During this period the two young men became very close. Luce later commented: "Somehow, despite greatest differences in temperaments and even in interests, somehow we had to work together. At that point everything we had belonged to each other."

Luce and Hadden both wanted to become members of the Skull and Bones group. Only fifteen students were allowed to join each year. They achieved the honour in 1919. Other members of this secret society include William Howard Taft, Henry L. Stimson, William Averell Harriman, Clarence Douglas Dillon, Frederick Trubee Davison, James Jesus Angleton, William F. Buckley, McGeorge Bundy, Robert A. Lovett, Potter Stewart, Lewis Lapham, George H. W. Bush and his son, George W. Bush.


In 1920 Luce, while on holiday in Rome, met Lila Ross Hotz, who came from a very wealthy family in Chicago. They got on well together. Stephen Shadegg has argued: "To compensate for the stammer which still embarrassed him at time, he had learned to speak slowly, deliberately, which often seemed pontifical to others. The slim Lila was quite different. She was voluble, impulsive and extravagant. Luce, who had little time for girls in college, fell in love." The following Lila wrote to her mother: "His name is Luce - don't know his first name, or where his home is - or anything. Yet I do know what he thinks about many things! Agreed by us all to be the best looking man ever - which does count!... He was quite the most heavenly thing to talk to."

Luce returned to the United States and decided to start a career in business. Nancy Fowler McCormick arranged for him to have an interview with the International Harvester Company. McCormick told the general manager of the company, Alexander Legge, to find him a good job in the organisation. Legge said to Luce: "If Mrs. McCormick wants us to do it, we'll do it. But now, Luce, do you want us to do it? If we take you on, you know, we have to fire somebody else." Given this option, Luce declined the offer of a job with a company.

Luce told Mrs. McCormick he really wanted to become a journalist. She introduced him to her good friend, Victor Lawson, owned the Chicago Daily News. He arranged for him to become an assistant to his top reporter, Ben Hecht. He was not impressed with the young man's abilities and after ten days he recommended that Luce should be fired. Henry Justin Smith, who did not want to upset Lawson, moved him to the city room. He was found to be unsatisfactory in this department and in November 1921 he was sacked by Smith.

The following month his friend, Briton Hadden, found him a job working on The Baltimore News-Post. They spent much of their spare-time discussing the possibility of starting their own news magazine. Hadden argued that most people in the United States were fairly ignorant of what was going on in the world. According to Hadden, the main problem was not a lack of information, but too much. He pointed out there were over 2,000 daily newspapers, 159 magazines and nearly 500 radio stations in America. The two men objected to the emphasis placed on entertainment by these various media organisations. The situation became worse when in 1919 a Chicago publisher, Joseph Medill Patterson, moved to New York City and launched his tabloid newspaper, the Daily News. Making good use of photographs, the newspaper concentrated on murder stories and celebrity scandals.

Luce and Hadden intended to change this trend by producing a magazine that dealt with serious news. Luce wrote to his father: "True, we are not going out like Crusaders to propagate any great truths. But we are proposing to inform people - to inform many people who would not otherwise be informed; and to inform all people in a manner in which they have never been informed before."

Over the next few months they began working on their proposed news magazine. Every day they cut-up the New York Times and separated the articles into topics. At the end of the week, they extracted the main events and rewrote the stories in their own words. Luce and Hadden showed these mock-ups to their former English professors, Henry Seidal Canby and John Milton Berdan. Canby thought the writing was "positively atrocious" and "telegraphic". Berdan was more sympathetic and accepted that the style was essential if they were to compete with movies, radio shows and billboards. Despite his criticism of the writing, Canby advised the men to continue with the project.

Luce and Hadden resigned their jobs at the Baltimore News-Post and moved back to New York City where they moved in with their parents. They also recruited their friend, Culbreth Sudler, as their business manager. They drew up a prospectus that they could show prospective investors. It included the following: "Time is a weekly news magazine, aimed to serve the modern necessity of keeping people informed, created on a new principle of complete organization. Time is interested - not in how much it includes between its cover - but in how much it gets off its pages into the minds of it's readers." It added that the magazine "would entertain as well as edify" and argued that they would tell the news through the personalities who made the headlines.

A friend of Luce's father introduced them to W. H. Eaton, the publisher of World's Work. He later recalled: "I spent a full afternoon with those fellows going over their first dummy, discussing their editorial philosophy. They certainly were intense about the whole thing, and Hadden seemed to be driving every minute of the time. But it didn't have a professional look to me. I told them I didn't think they'd have a Chinaman's chance." Eaton was so convinced they posed no threat to his magazine, he gave them a list of several thousand of his own subscribers. He also helped them draft a subscription letter that was mailed to a 100,000 people. Of these, over 6,000 people requested trial subscriptions.

Luce and Briton Hadden also had a meeting with John Wesley Hanes, an experienced figure on Wall Street. He told them that it was foolhardy to compete with the highly successful Literary Digest. However, he was especially impressed with Hadden: "Hadden was damned convincing... Luce was there, too. They made a good team. But Luce wasn't much of a talker. He thinks faster than he can talk, you know, and sometimes it gets garbled up. But all the time, Hadden would be in there, selling, selling. He just had what he takes. He was intelligent, he was enthusiastic, he was willing to work and work hard. He was the whole ball of wax rolled into one." Culbreth Sudler agreed that Hadden was very impressive in his dealings with potential investors. He later recalled: "Hadden was interested in everybody. His mind was tireless, and he had an almost unparalleled drive coupled with a strong personal discipline."

Hanes gave them important advice on how to raise money from investors while retaining control of the company. He told them to create two kinds of stock. Preferred stock would pay dividends to investors sooner, but only the common stock would carry the right to vote on company affairs. Under this plan, Hadden and Luce would each keep 2,775 shares - a total of 55.5%, giving them control of the company.

Hadden and Luce used their contacts through the Skull and Bones secret society. A fellow member, Henry Pomeroy Davison, Jr., persuaded his father, Henry Pomeroy Davison, a senior partner at J. P. Morgan, the most powerful commercial bank in the United States at the time, to invest money in the magazine. Davison introduced Luce to fellow partner Dwight Morrow, who also bought stock in the company. Another member, David Ingalls, had married Louise Harkness, the daughter of William L. Harkness, a leading figure in Standard Oil. He had recently died and left $53,439,437 to his family. Louise used some of this money to invest in the magazine. By the summer of 1922 Hadden and Luce had raised $85,675 from sixty-nine friends and acquaintances.


Briton Hadden, who was appointed editor of Time Magazine, now began to acquire his staff. Thomas J. C. Martyn, a former pilot in the Royal Air Force during the First World War, who had lost his leg in an aircraft accident, was given the job of Foreign News editor. He had little experience in journalism but Martyn, who was fluent in French and German, seemed to know a great deal about European politics. Another successful appointment was John Martin, who specialized in writing humorous stories for the magazine. Roy Edward Larsen, was appointed as circulation manager. He had just left Harvard University, where he was business manager of the college literary magazine, The Advocate. Luce had been impressed by the fact that he had been the first person in history to turn it into a profit-making venture.

The first edition of Time Magazine was published on 3rd March, 1923. Only 9,000 copies were sold, a third of what it would take to break even in the first year of business. In an attempt to increase sales, Hadden employed young women to ask for the magazine at news-stands. Their reply was that they had never heard of it. After a few women had requested a copy of the magazine, Hadden arrived and by that time they were in the right mood to take a couple of copies.

According to Isaiah Wilner, the author of The Man Time Forgot (2006): "Gradually Time gained a following among the young and modern set. College students kept the magazine on the coffee tables, circled favorite phrases or surprising facts, and quoted them to friends. A single issue would make its way through several sets of hands." After six months the magazine was selling 19,000 copies a week. By March 1925, Time Magazine had a paid circulation of 70,000 subscribers. In its second year, the magazine made a profit of $674.15.

Despite an increase in revenue, Henry Luce still had trouble paying suppliers. Roy Edward Larsen was asked to come up with a way of finding more income from advertising in the magazine. Hadden suggested the idea of increasing the price of smaller adverts and offering a discount for buying in bulk. This method not only improved revenue but eventually became the industry standard for selling advertising. Larsen devised several different subscription offers. This included paying the cost of postage. The company also supplied a self-addressed and stamped postcard in their mailing.

Although Time Magazine claimed it provided an objective view of the world, its editor, Hadden, always sided with the underdog. He ran several stories on the lynching of black men in the Deep South. This provoked complaints from readers who held conservative views on politics. One reader, Barlow Henderson of South Carolina, accused the magazine of a "flagrant affront to the feelings of our people". His main objection was to the policy of giving black people the respectful title of "Mr."

Briton Hadden hired a team of four young women to do research. They searched through newspapers and books in search of revealing details that they would then pass onto the journalists. The women also had the job of checking the facts of the articles before they were published in the magazine. The researchers were paid half the wages of the journalists on the magazine and Hadden was therefore able to cut the size of the payroll.

With the growing success of Time Magazine, the parents of Lila Ross Hotz, agreed that Luce could marry their daughter. The couple married in December 1923. Henry Winters Luce assisted at the church service. Afterwards they had a separate Skull and Bones wedding. The New York Evening Journal, described Hotz as "a member of the swagger younger set in the Windy City".

Time Magazine targeted the upwardly mobile. It was particularly successful with the younger set of upper-class readers. Hadden wrote that he was not interested in obtaining those readers who read tabloid newspapers. He described them as "gum-chewers, shop girls, taxi drivers, street sheiks, and bummers".

Briton Hadden, the editor of the magazine, created a new style of writing. He was a savage editor who stripped the sentence down, cut extraneous clauses, and used only active verbs. He also removed inconclusive words words like "alleged" and "reportedly". Hadden also liked using the odd obscure word. The author of The Man Time Forgot (2006) has pointed out: "By sprinkling the magazine with a few difficult words, Hadden subtly flattered his readers and invited them to play an ongoing game. Those with large vocabularies could pat themselves on the back, while the rest guffawed at Time's bright boys and looked the word up."

The editor of Time Magazine was also interested in creating new words. For example, while at Hotchkiss School he described boys who had few friends as being "social light". In his magazine he began using the word "socialite" to describe someone who attempted to be prominent in fashionable society. Hadden wanted a new word for opinion makers. As they thought themselves as wise, he called them by the name of his old Yale prankster group: "pundit". Another word brought into general use was "kudos", the Greek word for magical glory. Henry Luce also developed new words. The most famous of these was "tycoon" to describe successful and powerful businessman. The word was based on "taikun", a Japanese term to describe a general who controlled the country in the name of the emperor.

Briton Hadden encouraged his writers to use witty epithets to convey the character and appearance of public figures. Grigory Zinoviev was condemned as the "bomb boy of Bolshevism" and Upton Sinclair was called a "socialist-sophist". Winston Churchill was described as being "ruddy as a round full moon". Benito Mussolini was attacked on a regular basis. John Martin commented that when public figures came under attack from Hadden, it was like being "undressed in Macy's window".

Articles in Time Magazine were very different from those found in other newspapers and journals. Isaiah Wilner has pointed out: "Having invented a new writing style that made each sentence entertaining and easy to grasp. Hadden and his writers began to toy with the structure of the entire story. Most newspaper writers tried to tell everything in the first one or two paragraphs. By printing the most important facts first, they destroyed the natural narrative of news. Hadden trained his writers to act as if they were novelist. He viewed the whole story, including the headline and caption, as an information package."


Henry Luce's secretary, Katherine Abrams, commented: Luce is the smartest man I ever knew, but Hadden had the real editorial genius... He was warm and he was human and he had what Luce lacks, an instinct for people." Culbreth Sudler added: "Briton Hadden was Timestyle. It was Timestyle that made Time popular nationwide, and therefore it was Hadden who made Time a success." By 1927 was selling over 175,000 copies a week.

Briton Hadden commented on his relationship with Luce to a friend: "It's like a race. Luce is the best competition I ever had. No matter how hard I run, Luce is always there." Luce was told about this and later he recalled: "If anyone else had said that, I might well have resented the implication that the best I could do was to keep up with him. Coming from Hadden, I regarded it, and still regard it, as the highest compliment I have ever received." Polly Groves, who worked at Time Magazine, remarked: "Everyone who knew Briton Hadden loved him. You couldn't love Henry Luce. You admired him but could not love him."

Isaiah Wilner has argued: "Luce called Hadden an original and was deeply influenced by his ideas. Throughout their many battles, whether for the editorship of the school paper or for creative control of Time, it was Hadden who won. Luce, who couldn't stand to lose, had been forced to content himself with second place for more than a decade. He had worked as Hadden's deputy in both prep school and college... Luce had continued to live in Hadden's shadow ever since."

In March, 1925, Briton Hadden went on a long vacation. The following month Luce discovered that Time Incorporated had lost $1,958.84 over the previous four months. He decided that he could save a considerable sum of money by relocating to Cleveland. John Penton, claimed he could save Luce $20,000 a year by printing the magazine in the city. Luce signed the contract without telling Hadden. When he arrived home from holiday Hadden had a terrible row with Luce. According to Hadden's friends, Luce's action struck a severe blow to their partnership.

Time Magazine moved to Cleveland in August, 1925. The advertising staff remained behind in New York City. Most of the journalists, researchers and office staff refused to relocate. This was partly because Luce refused to pay for their moving expenses. Instead, he sacked the entire staff but offered to reappoint them if they applied for jobs in Cleveland. Thomas J. C. Martyn was furious about the way he was treated and refused to move.

Luce rented a house near Shaker Heights. Luce told Lila Ross Hotz: "I think all my efforts are now centered around a vision of you and me having a good time for a mighty long time... Of course one has visions of more... One imagines oneself famous. One even imagines oneself powerful." Lila became involved in the social scene. After one successful party she told her mother: "Harry says I rose to the occasion like a cake of yeast in the oven."

In December, 1925, Roy Edward Larsen organised a new subscription campaign. It was a great success and the magazine's circulation increased to 107,000. However, that year, the company lost $24,000, but this was largely due to the cost of the move to Cleveland. Luce claimed the future looked bright as the relocation had made the magazine more popular outside of New York City.


Dorothy McDowell, who worked with Luce at Time Magazine, commented: "Luce was the best pencil editor I ever saw... I never saw a man who could so make something out of a disjointed, poorly organized thing... He was not as good an idea man as Briton Hadden, but he sure could operate on a manuscript."

In 1926 circulation reached 111,000. Advertising revenues rose to $240,000 and the company made a profit of $10,000. The main concern was that sales from news-stands remained poor. It was decided to carry out a study into the situation. One newsdealer commented: "What you need on the cover is pretty girls, babies, or red and yellow." Several people interviewed said that the black and white magazine cover was not appealing to the potential customers. On 3rd January, 1927, the magazine appeared with a red-bordered front cover. Atwater Kent also paid $1,400 for the back-cover that carried a bold yellow advertisement for the company.

At the beginning of 1927, Hadden agreed to switch jobs with Luce. Hadden now began exploring ways of increasing advertising revenue. He carried out a survey of the magazine's readership. He then published a booklet that was distributed to advertisers. It claimed that the magazine was read by people who were "wealthy, powerful, informed and energetic". He was "an informed consumer who spent his money freely and paid attention to what companies said to him." That year advertising revenues climbed to nearly $415,000.

Luce also made changes as editor. Laird Goldsborough was Foreign News editor of the magazine. Goldsborough held extreme right-wing opinions but this was kept under control by Briton Hadden, who instructed his journalists to tell both sides of an event. The two men disagreed about the merits of Benito Mussolini. Hadden was a strong supporter of democracy and severely attacked the rule of Mussolini, who he described as a "tin-pot dictator". Goldsborough on the other hand praised Mussolini as a bold leader.

Goldsborough found his new editor as much more sympathetic to his right-wing views. Isaiah Wilner has pointed out: "No sooner had Luce taken the editor's seat than he began to twist and distort the news. Time's emerging bias first grew evident in Foreign News. Laird Goldsborough quickly impressed Luce with his writing ability and knowledge of foreign events." George Seldes has argued that Luce "permitted an outright pro-fascist, Laird Goldsborough, to slant and pervert the news every week."

In 1928 the two men argued about business matters. Henry Luce was keen to publish a second magazine that he wanted to call Fortune. Hadden was opposed to the idea of publishing a journal devoted to promoting the capitalist system. He considered the "business world to be vapid and morally bankrupt". Together, Hadden and Luce owned more than half of the voting stock and were able to retain control of the company. However, Luce was unable to publish a new magazine without the agreement of his partner.

In December 1928 Briton Hadden became so ill he was unable to go into the office. Doctors diagnosed him with an infection of streptococcus. Hadden believed he had contracted the illness by picking up a wandering tomcat and taking it home to feed it. The ungrateful cat attacked and scratched Hadden. Another possibility was that he had been infected when he had a tooth removed. The following month he was taken to Brooklyn Hospital. Doctors now feared that the bacteria had spread through his blood-stream to reach his heart.

Luce visited Hadden in hospital and tried to buy his shares in the company. Nurses reported that these conversations ended up in shouting matches. One nurse recalled that Hadden and Luce had yelled at each other so loudly that they could be heard from behind the closed door. Doctors believed that Hadden was wasting his precious energies in these arguments and it was partly responsible for his deteriorating condition.

On 28th January, 1929, Hadden contacted his lawyer, William J. Carr and asked him to draw up a new will. In the document, Hadden left his entire estate to his mother. However, he added that he forbade her from selling the stock in Time Incorporated for forty-nine years. His main objective was to prevent Luce from gaining control of the company they had founded together.

Henry Luce visited Hadden every day. He later recalled: "The last time or two that I was there, I guess I knew he was dying and maybe he did. It seemed to me that he knew and every now and again was wanting to say something, whatever it might be he wanted to say in the way of parting words or something. But he never did, so that there was never any open recognition between him and me that he was dying."

Briton Hadden died of heart failure on 27th February, 1929. The following week Hadden's name was removed from Time's masthead as the joint founder of the magazine. Luce also approached Hadden's mother about buying her stock in Time Incorporated. She refused but her other son, Crowell Hadden, accepted his offer to join the board of directors. Crowell agreed to try and persuade his mother to change her mind and in September 1929, she agreed to sell her stock to a syndicate under Luce's control for just over a million dollars. This gave him a controlling interest in the company.


Ralph Ingersoll was appointed as managing editor of Time Magazine in 1930. However, he grew critical of what Henry Luce was trying to do with the magazine: "Time's technique for handling news is so simple that it seems to have eluded several generations of critics and yet it is almost solely responsible for (A) Time's monumental commercial success and (B) Time's equally monumental failure in the fields of ethics, integrity, and responsibility. The problem Henry R. Luce and the late Briton Hadden tackled when they set out to invent their new kind of weekly news magazine was how to condense a week's news on all fronts: national, international, cultural, and business into a package of words that could be read cover to cover in a couple of hours."

Ingersoll went onto argue: "Controversial matters, such as political news, were handled by snipping quotes from both sides. But Luce and Hadden felt that this approach had limitations both as to the quantity of news it could handle and its readability... Luce and Hadden's solution was brilliant. Instead of digesting the news, they would rewrite it into short articles, each having its own literary form: a beginning, a middle, and an end, though not of course necessarily in that sequence. Thus they wrote their own literary license for a new kind of news writing that was not news writing at all but good old-fashioned, time-tested fiction writing."

Soon after Hadden's death, Luce began publishing Fortune. He also recruited Charles Douglas Jackson to help him run his growing media empire. Luce also produced The March of Time for radio (1931) and for the cinema (1935).

Henry Luce met Clare Boothe, the former managing editor of Vanity Fair, at a party in 1934. After talking for a couple of hours he told her: "I want to tell you that you are the great love of my life. And someday I am going to marry you." As Luce was already married she dismissed his suggestion and went on a long holiday to Europe. Luce did not accept this rejection and met up with her in Paris. As Stephen Shadegg has pointed out: "The courtship which followed was not a particularly romantic one. Harry Luce found it difficult to express his love in the conventional words of lovers. Like Clare, he always seemed on his guard, fearful lest someone might discover the soft, eager, not-at-all-cocksure human being behind his gruff exterior. But his devotion and determination were unmistakable. Intellectually he was the most interesting man Clare had ever encountered. She fell in love with him."


Wilfrid Sheed, the author of Clare Boothe Luce (1982) has argued: "The possibility that there was a powerful mutual attraction hedged with normal lunges and hesitations seemed ruled out by their importance and ambition. Yet Harry was in fact precisely her type: physically, he was close enough to other men whom I know she finds interesting (although Harry photographed grimly) to suggest that their romance wasn't just power calling to power... Nevertheless, it was important for her to make clear for the record that he pursued her, because the non-record, or myth, ran all the other way. To begin with, Harry was already married and had two sons, not to mention two edifying magazines. The Other Woman was always public enemy number one in those days, whatever the circumstances; but in this case, the circumstances were bad too. Harry looked like a pillar of rectitude (an old Presbyterian trick -- his sexual rectitude was to prove just about the national average) and he also looked absentminded, as if a smart woman could steal him while he wasn't looking."

Luce divorced Lila Ross Hotz in September, 1935. According to Robert E. Herzstein, the author of Henry R.Luce: A Political Portrait of the Man Who Created the American Century (1994): "Lila was devastated when Luce confronted her with his intention to divorce her. But they maintained a closeness and were in constant contact, often discussing their children's education and careers, among other things.'' On 23rd November, 1935, Henry married Clare. The following year he began publishing the picture magazine, Life.

In 1936 Laird Goldsborough attempted to persuade Luce to take sides in the conflict in Spain. George Teeple Eggleston, who worked for the company at the time, has claimed that it was Goldsborough who persuaded Luce to support General Francisco Franco during the Spanish Civil War. According to Eggleston: "Time's conservative foreign news editor, Laird Goldsborough, promptly slanted all news stories in his department in favor of General Franco's rebel insurgents."

This approach was criticised by Archibald MacLeish, who worked on Fortune, another magazine owned by Luce, who "promptly bombarded Luce memos denouncing Franco's coalition of landowners, the Church, and the army". Goldsborough responded by arguing: "On the side of Franco are men of property, men of God, and men of the sword. What positions do you suppose these sorts of men occupy in the minds of 700,000 readers of Time? ... They resent communists, anarchists, and political gangsters - those so-called Spanish Republicans."

George Teeple Eggleston points out that Luce's wife, Clare Boothe Luce was on the side of the Republicans during the war: "Clare was violently anti-Franco and promptly contributed a thousand dollars to the pro-Communist Abraham Lincoln Brigade, which was gathering volunteers in New York City to fight against Franco in Spain."

Henry Luce purchased the humour magazine, Life, in 1936 so that he could acquire the rights to its name. Luce employed Ralph Ingersoll, one of his senior editors, to work on the project. Luce based his new magazine on similar picture magazines published in Germany during the 1920s.
The weekly news magazine made full use of America's leading photojournalists such as Margaret Bourke-White, Carl Mydans, Grace Robertson, Constance Larrabee, Gordon Parks and Esther Bubley.

Luce predicted a circulation of 250,000. In order to cover the news-stands the first print order was for four hundred and forty-six thousands, but no one really expected to sell that many. According to Stephen Shadegg: "The public embraced Life with a passion. Some magazine stands began reserving all their favorite customers. Others just charged two or three times the published price of ten cents. At the end of three months the demand reached the one-million mark and the advertisers were getting four times the circulation they were paying for."

According to her friend, Wilfrid Sheed, Clare "had not lived together connubially" after Henry Luce resumed having affairs in the late 1930s. "Harry's famous conscience made it impossible for him to conduct two affairs at once, so as soon as someone, anyone, else came along, that was that. Whoever came along, I deduce, did so after about five years. If so, it suggests that their professional partnership got stronger as the chemistry got weaker."

In April 1939 Whittaker Chambers joined Time Magazine as a book and film reviewer. According to Jonathan P. Herzog, the author of The Spiritual-Industrial Complex: America's Religious Battle Against Communism in the Early Cold War (2011): "Chambers slowly climbed through the ranks of Time, Inc. and had entered the inner circle of advisers that Luce depended on for business and editorial decisions. In 1944 Luce made Chambers the head of Time's Foreign News. Predictably, Chambers moulded Time into an anti-Communist mouth-piece."

Warren Hinckle has argued: "Henry Luce believed that a morally slanted press was a responsible press... Life, the flagship picture book of the Luce fleet, afforded photojournalism some of its finest moments, while the text accompanying the pictures that were worth thousands of words was slanted with an ideological warp sufficient to stir Caxton in his grave." The cartoonist, Herbert Block, was equally critical: "Luce's unique contribution to American journalism... is that he placed into the hands of the people yesterday's newspaper and today's garbage homogenized into one neat package."

Marshall McLuhan was highly critical of Time Magazine: "The overwhelming fact about Time is its style. It has often been said that nobody could tell the truth in Time style. Time is a nursery book in which the reader is slapped and tickled alternately. It is full of predigested pap, spooned out with confidential nudges. The reader is never on his own for an instant, but, as though at his mother's knee, he is provided with the right emotions for everything he hears or sees as the pages turn... Totalitarianism engendered by the mass hypnosis of power, glitter, and the spectacle of regular ranks rather than insight or intelligibility is the object of all of Time's technical brilliance. Meanwhile, the editors of Time stand at mock attention in the reviewing stand, thumbing their noses at humanity."

Winston Churchill became prime minister in May 1940. Churchill realised straight away that it would be vitally important to enlist the United States as Britain's ally. Randolph Churchill, on the morning of 18th May, 1940, claims that his father told him "I think I see my way through.... I mean we can beat them." When Randolph asked him how, he replied with great intensity: "I shall drag the United States in."

Churchill appointed William Stephenson as the head of the British Security Coordination (BSC). As William Boyd has pointed out: "The phrase (British Security Coordination) is bland, almost defiantly ordinary, depicting perhaps some sub-committee of a minor department in a lowly Whitehall ministry. In fact BSC, as it was generally known, represented one of the largest covert operations in British spying history... With the US alongside Britain, Hitler would be defeated - eventually. Without the US (Russia was neutral at the time), the future looked unbearably bleak... polls in the US still showed that 80% of Americans were against joining the war in Europe. Anglophobia was widespread and the US Congress was violently opposed to any form of intervention." An office was opened in the Rockefeller Centre in Manhattan with the agreement of President Franklin D. Roosevelt and J. Edgar Hoover of the FBI.

Jennet Conant, the author of The Irregulars: Roald Dahl and the British Spy Ring in Wartime Washington (2008) argues that Ernest Cuneo was "empowered to feed select British intelligence items about Nazi sympathizers and subversives" to friendly journalists such as Walter Winchell, Drew Pearson, Walter Lippman, Dorothy Thompson, Raymond Gram Swing, Edward Murrow, Vincent Sheean, Eric Sevareid, Edmond Taylor, Rex Stout, Edgar Ansel Mowrer and Whitelaw Reid, who "were stealth operatives in their campaign against Britain's enemies in America". Cuneo also worked closely with editors and publishers who were supporters of American intervention into the Second World War. This included Henry Luce, Arthur Hays Sulzberger (New York Times), Helen Rogers Reid (New York Herald Tribune), Paul C. Patterson (Baltimore Sun), Marshall Field III (Chicago Sun) and Ralph Ingersoll (Picture Magazine).

In July, 1940, Henry Luce, Clare Boothe Luce, C. D. Jackson, Freda Kirchwey, Raymond Gram Swing, Robert Sherwood, John Gunther, Leonard Lyons, Ernest Angell and Carl Joachim Friedrich established the Council for Democracy. According to Kai Bird the organization "became an effective and highly visible counterweight to the isolation rhetoric" to America First Committee led by Charles Lindbergh and Robert E. Wood: "With financial support from Douglas and Luce, Jackson, a consummate propagandist, soon had a media operation going which was placing anti-Hitler editorials and articles in eleven hundred newspapers a week around the country."

During the 1940 Presidential Election the isolationist Chicago Tribune accused the Council for Democracy of being under the control of foreigners: "The sponsors of the so-called Council for Democracy... are attempting to force this country into a military adventure on the side of England." George Seldes also attacked the organization arguing that it was being mainly financed by Henry Luce.

However, according to The Secret History of British Intelligence in the Americas, 1940-45, a secret report written by leading operatives of the British Security Coordination (Roald Dahl, H. Montgomery Hyde, Giles Playfair, Gilbert Highet and Tom Hill), William Stephenson and BSC played an important role in the Council for Democracy: "William Stephenson decided to take action on his own initiative. He instructed the recently created SOE Division to declare a covert war against the mass of American groups which were organized throughout the country to spread isolationism and anti-British feeling. In the BSC office plans were drawn up and agents were instructed to put them into effect. It was agreed to seek out all existing pro-British interventionist organizations, to subsidize them where necessary and to assist them in every way possible. It was counter-propaganda in the strictest sense of the word. After many rapid conferences the agents went out into the field and began their work. Soon they were taking part in the activities of a great number of interventionist organizations, and were giving to many of them which had begun to flag and to lose interest in their purpose, new vitality and a new lease of life. The following is a list of some of the larger ones... The League of Human Rights, Freedom and Democracy... The American Labor Committee to Aid British Labor... The Ring of Freedom, an association led by the publicist Dorothy Thompson, the Council for Democracy; the American Defenders of Freedom, and other such societies were formed and supported to hold anti-isolationist meetings which branded all isolationists as Nazi-lovers."


Raymond Gram Swing defended the organisation by arguing: "As first conceived, the Council for Democracy was simply to be a co-ordinating body to pull together the work being done by a number of small organizations. But as it got under way, it became clear that a central organization supplanting many of the smaller ones would be more effective, and that is what the Council became.... Europe was at war; the United States was not. The war in Europe was one of the least complicated wars to understand; it was one of both conquest and ideology, waged by fascists. Democracy in Europe was in the most dire peril, which meant that in time it might well be in dire peril in the United States, too. The need for a Council dedicated to the preservation of democracy was incontestable. It had work to do; and within its means, as I now look back on it, it did that work. There was some indifference to democracy in the United States, as I assume there always has been. There was little outright fascism, but an inclination among not a few to be tolerant of it, which was the equivalent of being indifferent to the defense of democracy."

Luce was also one of the main funders with the British Security Coordination for the Fight of Freedom group. Other members included Allen W. Dulles, Joseph Alsop, Dean G. Acheson, Lewis William Douglas, and several journalists including Herbert Agar (Louisville Courier-Journal), Geoffrey Parsons (New York Herald Tribune) and Elmer Davis (CBS).

Ian Fleming, working for BSC's naval intelligence section, proposed that Luce should work for William Donovan as his Coordinator of Information. His recommendation was not accepted and the post went to Robert E. Sherwood. However, as Thomas E. Mahl, the author of Desperate Deception: British Covert Operations in the United States, 1939-44 (1998) has pointed out: "The British soon found themselves in conflict with Henry Luce. His global internationalist vision of the American Century and his ability to publicize that vision were very useful when the British were trying to involve the United States in international events. But they became a threat to the British vision of the postwar world after Pearl Harbor. By early 1943, Henry Luce was on the list of enemies who endangered the British Empire."

Luce was a supporter of the Republican Party. His wife, Clare Booth Luce, who shared his right-wing views, was elected to Congress in 1942 and represented Connecticut for the next four years. In her maiden speech she launched a savage attack on the internationalism of Vice President Henry A. Wallace. In February, 1945, he began a campaign for a permanent Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC).


David Halberstam has pointed out in The Powers That Be (1979): "Luce's politics hardened in the postwar years and Time had become increasingly Republican in its tone. He had been stunned by Truman's defeat of Dewey in 1948. Then in the fall of 1949 China had fallen, the Democratic administration had failed to save Chiang, and that was too much; Truman, and even more Acheson, would have to pay the price. Time was now committed and politicized, an almost totally partisan instrument. The smell of blood was in the air. There was a hunger now in Luce to put a Republican back in power. It was as if Luce, between elections, stood as the leader of the opposition, a kingmaker who had failed to produce a king. The fall of China and the rise of a post-war anti-Communist mood had produced the essential issue to use against the Democrats: softness on Communism."

Some left-wing figures believed they were persecuted by Time Magazine. Rockwell Kent commented: "Time is too strongly inclined to the ultra-right to be trustworthy in the forming of fair judgment in current political events. I feel its style of writing to be objectionable and inclined to value smartness above truth." Howard Fast agreed: "Any reading of Time, even casual, will provide you with distortions and inaccuracies by the bushel."

Henry Luce used his media empire to get Dwight D. Eisenhower elected as president. In 1953 Eisenhower appointed Clare Booth Luce ambassador to Italy; the first American woman ambassador to a major country. Claudio Accogli, a Italian historian, argues that Luce was heavily involved in covert anti-communist activities with local CIA personnel. Larry Hancock adds: "With no-holds barred political activism and heavy spending (including the support of the SIFAR/Italian Army Secret Service), Luce and the CIA managed to block the probable takeover of the center-left governments, an alliance between Christian Democrats (DC) and the Socialist Democratic Party (PSI)."


In 1959 Eisenhower appointed her as ambassador to Brazil. The opposition to her appointment in Congress was led by Wayne Morse of Oregon. Clare commented Morse's actions were the result of him being "kicked in the head by a horse." This remark proved so controversial that Clare resigned the ambassadorship a few days later.

According to Carl Bernstein, Luce's close friend Charles Douglas Jackson, the publisher of Life Magazine, was "Henry Luce's personal emissary to the CIA". He also claimed that in the 1950s Jackson had arranged for CIA employees to travel with Time-Life credentials as cover. Drew Pearson supported this view: "Life magazine is always pulling chestnuts out of the fire for the CIA; and I recall that C. D. Jackson of the Life-Time empire was the man who arranged for the CIA to finance the Freedom Balloons. C. D. Jackson, Harold Stassen and the other boys who went with me to Germany spent money like money while I paid my own way. I always was suspicious that a lot of dough was coming from unexplained quarters and didn't learn until sometime later that the CIA was footing the bill."

Jonathan P. Herzog has argued that Luce was motivated by his religious faith: "While he counted anti-Communists like Mundt, Cardinal Spellman, and Chambers as allies, he viewed the Communist threat differently. In his view, it was a symptom and not a disease. Like his wife, Clare, he understood faith as a psychological imperative sought by all people. If religious faith waned, other dogmas would take its place. The success of Communism, then, was not attributable to its message but rather to the fact that it offered people the spiritual certainty they no longer found in Christianity. All the shocking anti-Communist propaganda and shopworn tributes to democracy that America could muster would fail to arrest the Marxian surge. But if Americans filled the spiritual vacuum, if they made religious faith commensurate with military and economic power, then Communism would dissipate."

The novelist, Wilfrid Sheed, became a close friend of the Luce family in the 1950s. He later wrote: "Harry was not as starchy as he looked (it would have been difficult), nor as puritanical... Over dinner, Harry would bark out his latest excitements like a kid in a show-and-tell class. He had always just discovered some red-hot theologian or a new theory about the American Proposition... He could not for the life of him see what people found wrong with him."

Henry Luce and Clare Booth Luce were strong opponents of Fidel Castro and his revolutionary government in Cuba. They joined forces with Hal Hendrix, Paul Bethel, William Pawley, Virginia Prewett, Dickey Chapelle, Edward Teller, Arleigh Burke, Leo Cherne, Ernest Cuneo, Sidney Hook, Hans Morgenthau and Frank Tannenbaum to form the Citizens Committee to Free Cuba (CCFC). On 25th March, 1963, the CCFC issued a statement: "The Committee is nonpartisan. It believes that Cuba is an issue that transcends party differences, and that its solution requires the kind of national unity we have always manifested at moments of great crisis. This belief is reflected in the broad and representative membership of the Committee."

The Luce family also funded Alpha 66. In 1962 Alpha 66 launched several raids on Cuba. This included attacks on port installations and foreign shipping. The authors of Deadly Secrets: The CIA-Mafia War Against Castro and the Assassination of JFK (1981) argues that Clare Boothe Luce paid for one of the boats used in these raids: "The anti-communist blonde took a maternal interest in the three-man crew she adopted... She brought them to New York three times to mother them."

The Luce media empire led a campaign against the presidency of John F. Kennedy.
As Richard D. Mahoney has pointed out: "The cause of liberating Cuba from Castro had become the grail of the Republican right. Life Magazine editorially adopted the cause of the exiles as its own, with photo essays on the raids.... Life's full-throttle opposition to Kennedy... was a problem for the administration. Along with Time, also published by Luce, it was one of the two or three most influential magazines in the country. In April, the president had invited the publisher and his very political wife to lunch at the White House. The Kennedy charm did nothing to deter or otherwise disarm them. The Luces walked out of the lunch to protest the president's warning to cool it on Cuba."

When Kennedy was assassinated, Charles Douglas Jackson purchased the Zapruder Film on behalf of Luce. David Lifton points out in The Great Zapruder Film Hoax (2004) that: "Abraham Zapruder in fact sold the film to Time-Life for the sum of $150,000 - about $900,000 dollars in today's money... Moreover, although Life had a copy of the film, it did little to maximize the return on its extraordinary investment. Specifically, it did not sell this unique property - as a film - to any broadcast media or permit it to be seen in motion, the logical way to maximize the financial return on its investment... A closer look revealed something else. The film wasn't just sold to Life - the person whose name was on the agreement was C. D. Jackson." Luce published individual frames of Zapruder's film but did not allow the film to be screened in its entirety.

Soon after the assassination Charles Douglas Jackson also successfully negotiated with Marina Oswald the exclusive rights to her story. Peter Dale Scott argues in his book Deep Politics and the Death of JFK (1996) that Jackson, on the urging of Allen Dulles, employed Isaac Don Levine, a veteran CIA publicist, to ghost-write Marina's story. This story never appeared in print.

Henry Luce remained active in right-wing politics and in 1964, campaigned for Barry Goldwater of Arizona, the Republican candidate for president. Later that year Henry and Clare Booth Luce retired to their home in Phoenix. He died there on on 28th February, 1967.
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Re: The Dark Side of the Orgasmic Meditation Company: OneTas

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Leila Hadley Luce: The Last of the Great Luces?
by Jim Luce
04/25/2009 05:12 am ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

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I met Leila Hadley Luce with Hank — known to outsiders as Henry Luce III of Time-Life — in their Sutton Place residence, at a reception they threw for my first national organization, Fundamentalists Anonymous. It was late fall in 1986. They had just married and I did not know what to expect.

She was the unexpected. “Darling, your life is so interesting!” I mused, in comparison to hers, it was nothing. But I had caught her interest.

In 1985 I had co-founded Fundamentalists Anonymous, an organization that immediately placed me on Phil Donahue. We were tackling the controversial subject of ‘religious addiction,’ at that time never mentioned on national television. I was 26.

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Portrait of Leila Hadley Luce from the New York Times.

Hank was the son of Harry Luce, who founded Time-Life in the 1920’s. The Luce family, however conservative on the Time-Life side, had always embraced Asia, a favorite part of the world for me. I had majored in East Asian Studies and studied at Waseda University in Tokyo. Leila approved.

Image
Portrait of Leila by Al Hirschfeld (memorial booklet).

Hank and Leila were enthusiastic for ecumenical and Interfaith ideas. They abhorred religious extremism. We were on the same page.

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Leila Luce with Henry Luce III, known as Hank (memorial booklet).

Hank steered the Advisory Board for my Fundamentalists Anonymous. He wanted to help me help those burned by their Fundamentalist experiences. We raised over a million dollars to sustain it, partially from the Henry Luce Foundation.

The Time-Life side of the Luce family were Mainline Presbyterian, although the second wide of Hank’s father Harry’ — Clare Boothe Luce — was deeply Catholic. I remember well her packed funeral at St. Patrick’s Cathedral on Fifth Avenue.

Leila had Anglican roots. She ended her journey in the Episcopal Church where she had been baptized, like myself. St. Thomas Episcopal where she was recently memorialized is just a few blocks up Fifth Avenue from St. Patrick’s.

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Leila Luce author of countless books (memorial booklet).

Leila was raised in Old Westbury on Long Island where her childhood playmates were the Vanderbilt sisters. They remained life-long friends. A stunning debutante, she was introduced to society at the Ritz-Carlton in 1943.

At 25, already married and divorced from Arthur T. Hadley II, she sailed around the world. From those travels, she wrote Give Me The World, a New York Times bestseller. The book was published by Simon & Shuster in 1958 (reprinted in 1999). She then set off for South Africa, the West Indies, Europe, the Middle East, North Africa, Central America, and the Caribbean.

For several years she worked for the now-defunct Diplomat Magazine, as well as the Saturday Evening Post, Newsday, and the New York Times. In the 1970’s she was inspired by the Dalai Lama, and went on to publish Tibet 20 Years After the Chinese Takeover, a reprint of her lectures to the Society of Women Geographers.

In 1990, she married her third husband, my global adviser, mentor, and rather distant cousin Hank Luce III.


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Leila with the Dali Lama (memorial booklet).

The Luce Family she married into broke the mold in many ways. Descendants of ship captains off Martha’s Vineyard, Luces have always been captains of their own ships.

Roughly 1/3 of the Martha’s Vineyard Navy just before the Revolution were Luces. We remarry, endlessly
. And our family scandals exist more publicly than in other proper families.

Rear Admiral Stephen Bleecker Luce founded the U.S. Naval Academy at Annapolis. He led a naval expedition into Edo (Tokyo) Bay several years before Admiral Perry opened up Japan, but was chased away. The Academy knows this well, but most history books omit it.

Harry Luce’s Empire is perhaps the vision Rupert Murdoch has pursued so relentlessly. Hank introduced me to Rupert once at the Waldorf Astoria and I was surprised how unpleasant he seemed to be. So much power, so little grace.

I attended the once-Presbyterian College of Wooster. In 1980, the president informed me that Hank would be visiting the campus and, as a Luce, could I pitch him to build a dormitory in honor of the family?

“Hank,” I said, ushering up all my college-aged courage at a reception in President’s Copeland’s home, “It sure would be great to have a Luce Hall here at Wooster.” “Yes it would be,” he responded, “Go for it!” I was speechless.

Today, that dorm stands at Wooster in testament to the Luces, as do buildings at Yale and Princeton. The Henry R. Luce Hall is the home of Yale’s Center for International and Area Studies. Other notable structures include:

The Luce Memorial Chapel at Tunghai University in Taichung, Taiwan, designed I.M. Pei and named in honor of Harry’s father, Rev. Henry Winters Luce, an American missionary in China in the late 19th century.

Luce Chapel at the prestigious Yonsei University in South Korea.

Henry R. Luce Chapel, Payap University, Thailand, as well as buildings bearing the Luce name on the campuses of Satya Wacana University in Indonesia, Central Philippine University, and Silliman University in the Philippines.


The Luce Family’s affinity for Asia came from generations of sailing by Luce ship captains, whalers and traders, off Cape Cod. I have rubbed many-hundreds-of-years-old gravestones on the Vineyard, of this Captain Luce and that Captain Luce who died at sea.

Leila was active throughout the 1990’s as a member of several philanthropic boards, including Tibet House and The Rubin Museum of Art.

Over the years I would chat with Leila on the phone. I apologized that I had missed Hank’s funeral in 2005 as I was traveling in Indonesia, building orphanages in the wake of the Tsunami with the organization I founded, Orphans International Worldwide.

Leila was intrigued by my orphanages, but said, “Count me out on your travels, but my heart is with you.” Leila had emphysema in her later years and could not attend our receptions and dinners, even when they were held on Sutton Place — just down the street from her. “Darling, I am not well!”

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Leila was a lifelong supporter of Wings World Quest.

Leila has inspired me to live life to the fullest and achieve to the maximum. I hope to mirror Hank and Leila’s core values: altruism, internationalism, and ecumenicalism. The motto of Orphans International — Interfaith, Interracial, International, Inter-generational, and Internet-Connected — reflects and updates these values.

I can only hope that my own recently launched James Jay Dudley Luce Foundation may play a tiny role in maintaining these Luce traditions.

Image
Leila with the Betsy Gotbaum (copyright New York Social Journal).

My side of the family is as far away from Hank’s side as is possible. If I remember correctly, I am direct descendant of the first son of Henry Luce of England, who arrived on the Vineyard in the late 1600’s, eleven generations prior. Hank, in contrast, was direct descendants of the original Henry Luce’s tenth son.

And Leila was of course not a Luce, but the wife of one. And yet she personified the best of the Luces. She was brutally honest. She was stunningly beautiful. And she had enough money to do what she wished with her life.

Auld lang syne friends, including actress Tammy Grimes, Mrs. Arnold (Michelle) Dolan Ehrlich, and editor and publicist Gloria Starr Kins, all felt a loss for Leila - one of the lights of their world that had gone out. Michelle’s late husband Arnold was the former head of Curtis Publishing, publishers of Saturday Evening Post and Publisher’s Weekly.

Betsy von Furstenberg was an honorary pallbearer. Other honorary pallbearers included Marilyn Bridges, Gertrude Vanderbilt, Ira Gitler, Dr. Steven Soter, and Francine Douwes Whitney.

Leila’s dear friend, columnist Liz Smith, said in her memorial, “Do not rest in peace, dear Leila, just tear things up wherever you are!”

Image
Leila Luce with columnist Liz Smith (memorial booklet).
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Re: The Dark Side of the Orgasmic Meditation Company: OneTas

Postby admin » Wed Jun 20, 2018 5:33 am

Luce Family's Secret Shame of 'Sex Abuse’
by Mark Bulliet
New York Post
June 13, 2006

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On the surface, the two sisters had everything: a glamorous globetrotting mother and a wealthy stepfather who was heir to a great publishing empire.

But they shared a dark secret about their Social Register mom, Leila Hadley Luce, and their stepfather, Henry Luce III, namesake son of Time magazine’s founder.

It was a secret that drove them apart – and then brought them together after three decades.

Both sisters allege they were repeatedly molested as children by their soused and sadistic stepfather, who “feasted and devoured upon children” while their mother failed to stop him.

They’re also saying their mother molested them.

Younger sister Caroline Nicholson, 47, was the first to make the bombshell accusations.

Three years ago, she filed a $15 million suit in Manhattan Supreme Court, charging that the pattern of sexual abuse she suffered as a girl was repeating itself: Her teenage daughter had become her 81-year-old multimillionaire mother’s latest victim.

In a deposition, Nicholson alleged, “By the age of 12 or 13, I would be called into their bedrooms to admire Hank’s naked body . . . On another occasion, I was asked to get into bed between them after they had just had sex. They were both naked.”

Nicholson’s 17-year-old daughter, in her deposition, said her grandmother “would massage my body in ways that made me feel uncomfortable.

“She would ask me to undress in front of her, she would undress in front of me. She would continuously make comments on my body and talk about my body and nudity and sex.”


One of Nicholson’s molestation accusations against her mother was thrown out by the judge in the civil case because the statute of limitations had expired. But the judge allowed an accusation that Leila Hadley Luce had molested the teenage granddaughter to go forward.

Nicholson’s charges have now received chilling and surprising reinforcement.

Her long-estranged sister, Victoria Barlow, 52, has stepped out of the shadows after nearly 30 years to say that her sister is telling the truth. She said in a legal deposition that she, too, was molested by their mother and now-deceased stepfather, who together made their childhood “a daily hell.”

Barlow, who ran away from home at age 15, said she will gladly testify on her niece’s behalf if the case goes to trial.

“When the lawsuit came out, and I realized that [my sister] had finally broken with our mother, that’s when, I think, the beginning of our friendship started,” Barlow said in the deposition.

She has given her younger sister reams of letters their mother wrote in the 1970s for use as evidence. In one, which Nicholson’s lawyer, John Aretakis, called “a smoking gun,” their mother told Barlow how a drunken Henry Luce climbed into bed with Nicholson when she was 13.

“I did point out to him that climbing into bed with Caroline when he was stark naked wasn’t exactly the best thing to do,” Leila Hadley Luce wrote in an undated letter circa 1974.

Leila Hadley Luce, asked about the letter during her deposition, said, “Well, if I wrote it, I wrote it . . . I never saw him do that.”

She claimed Henry’s sex-assault attempt took place when she had left young Nicholson in his care, and she admitted she never confronted him about it.

She explained, “When I got back from Spain or Portugal, whatever it was, Caroline said, ‘Oh, Mummy, it was terrible, Hank got drunk and he tried to get into bed with me naked.’

“I said, ‘Oh, my God! What did you do?’

“She said, ‘I pushed him away.’ I said, ‘That’s fine.’”

Leila Hadley Luce noted, “Hank was my darling friend, he was my lover. I adored him and I wasn’t going to cause problems with him. I didn’t know if it was true or not . . . I was not going to go attacking Hank about it because I really didn’t know what was true.”


Luce, who married Leila Hadley in 1990 after a love affair in the early ’70s, died on Sept. 8, 2005, at the age of 80. He denied the sex-abuse charges and passed away before he could be deposed in the case.

Nicholson said she had no idea her sister shared her childhood nightmare until they reconnected.

“Victoria’s abuse was at a stage when I was very, very young, and I didn’t know it was going on,” she said.

“And then Victoria left home and then I suffered similar abuses . . .

“Then, all of a sudden, I began to see the patterns of her behavior repeating themselves on my daughter,” Nicholson, who now lives in England, told The Post.

The sisters’ charges are “balderdash,” said their mother, author of the 1997 book “A Journey With Elsa Cloud,” about her daughter Barlow, and namesake of a professorship in Tibetan studies at Columbia University endowed by the $1 billion Luce Foundation.

In Leila Hadley Luce’s deposition, she said Nicholson is “cuckoo . . . and lazy and doesn’t want to work” and Barlow is “like her father, who was paranoid schizophrenic.” She also claimed Nicholson is “money mad.”

Through her lawyer, she declined to comment for this story.

Aretakis, who made his name representing hundreds of alleged victims of Catholic priests, said, “They’re both highly intelligent and both telling the truth, and their stories add up.”

In another letter, novelist Tom Hyman, who was Leila Hadley Luce’s colleague at The Saturday Evening Post in the 1970s, wrote Barlow about her mother’s low-key reaction to an attempt to rape her when she was 14. The alleged attacker was supposedly a colleague at the magazine.

“Leila mentioned to me that [he] . . . had been a guest one weekend and tried to get in bed with you,” Hyman wrote. “Instead of being outraged by his behavior and throwing him out, Leila seemed to think it amusing.”

Hyman also wrote that he once stumbled upon Leila Hadley Luce sleeping naked with both of her daughters, then ages 8 and 13, sprawled on her chest.


“Leila also once mentioned in an offhand way having fooled around with [a male relative] in what sounded suspiciously like inappropriate behavior,” Hyman noted.

In an affidavit, David Arnold, the assistant director of Manhattan’s tony Dalton School in the mid-’70s, recounted how a teenage Nicholson showed up at the school alone and asked to be admitted as a junior. Despite a spotty academic record, he enrolled her and became her adviser.

He recalled “a boyfriend of her mother’s who loomed much larger in Caroline’s life than what she had bargained for.”

Arnold also said Nicholson told him about Luce “repeatedly ‘coming on’” to her “at any hour, day or night.”
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Re: The Dark Side of the Orgasmic Meditation Company: OneTas

Postby admin » Wed Jun 20, 2018 5:36 am

A Luce Woman - Widow Tells of 'Brando in My Bed’
by Mark Bulliet
New York Post
June 19, 2006 | 4:00am

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Socialite Leila Hadley Luce says she has a hidden past of S&M sex, drugs and high-profile bedmates – including Marlon Brando, according to depositions in a sex-abuse lawsuit lodged against her by her daughter and granddaughter.

The 81-year-old author, philanthropist and widow of Time magazine scion Henry Luce III said she spent 20 years hooked on Dexedrine and also used amyl nitrites or “poppers.”

During a love affair with the late cartoonist and “Addams Family” creator Charles Addams, she said they “once went through an entire box [of poppers]. It’s lucky we didn’t die,” according to her deposition.

“I never knew they were bad for you,” she said of the infamous inhalants later linked to the 1980s gay-sex scene.

Leila Hadley Luce also said she was prescribed Dexedrine at age 20 and spent the next two decades hooked on the amphetamine.

“[Dexedrine] was wonderful. I got so much work done,” she said.

The socialite also confides she got Brando into bed during the stage run of “A Streetcar Named Desire.”

But when she turned prude, he bizarrely swiped all the clocks from her home.

“I didn’t really have an affair with Marlon Brando, he was too kinky for me . . . we were in bed together, but then he wanted to be very kinky and I didn’t want to do anything with him,” she said in her deposition.

“He stole all my clocks, he stole a whole bunch of clocks and then . . . [his agent] set them on my doorstep all ticking at the right time and he said, ‘Oops, sorry, a thief,’ ” she added.

“And when I saw [Brando] later in Hollywood and I asked him about this, he said, ‘Nobody should have so many clocks,’ and I said, ‘Well, my mother gave them to me, you shouldn’t have stolen them all.’”

The socialite married the son of Time magazine’s co-founder in 1990. He died in 2005.

Leila Hadley Luce and Henry Luce III were sued in 2003 by her daughter, Caroline Nicholson, 47, and Nicholson’s 17-year-old daughter – but the Sutton Place staple adamantly denies the charges, calling Nicholson “money mad.”

Nicholson’s sex-abuse claim against her mom and stepdad’s estate was tossed by a judge because it exceeded the state’s statute of limitations, but the judge allowed her granddaughter’s claim to stand.

The 17-year-old is still within the age limit for this type of case, which would have expired when she turned 21.

The suit may go to trial in the fall, said Nicholson’s Manhattan attorney, John Aretakis.

Luce III has not been accused of abusing Nicholson’s daughter.

In a 1971 letter, which was entered into evidence, Leila Hadley Luce tells her other daughter, Victoria Barlow, 52, how she and Luce III had gone through “our SM bit,” and how he likes poppers and joints.

Aretakis said the graphic letters prove her children were actively a part of her sex life.

The Nicholsons’ lawsuit received a big boost in March, when Barlow claimed in a deposition that she was also molested by their mom as a child.


Meanwhile, Matthew Eliott, Nicholson and Barlow’s brother and the only one of Leila Hadley Luce’s four children who is not estranged from their millionaire mom, said his mother was no monster.

“Did she have some lapses in judgement? Yes. Was she this evil, awful monster? No,” said the North Salem, N.Y., veterinarian.
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Re: The Dark Side of the Orgasmic Meditation Company: OneTas

Postby admin » Wed Jun 20, 2018 5:56 am

Love Becomes Her: Nicole Daedone thought she wanted a bicycle. What she really wanted was love.
by Nicole Daedone
Tricycle Magazine
Winter 2009

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Image
©Michael S. Wertz

I grew up an only child in suburban Los Gatos, California. One of my closest friends, Maria, came from a large, warm, rambunctious Chilean family. I envied the love that seemed to surround her. Maria’s most cherished possession was her bicycle. She rode it everywhere and took very good care of it. She had such a passion for that bike that she learned everything about how it worked and what it needed, and eventually got a job repairing bikes for other people. The love she felt for her bike made it glow—made it seem like the most desirable object on earth.

I wanted that same feeling. In fact, I wanted to feel even more of it than she did. I figured that if I bought a better bike than hers, my bike would glow even more. So I begged my mom to buy me one that was top-of-the line. But somehow the glow eluded me. I rarely rode it, and its presence in my garage began to feel vaguely reproachful, a thorn in my side. I almost came to hate it. In my mind, this was definitely the bike’s fault.

One day, Maria’s beloved bike was stolen. She borrowed mine and rode it everywhere. To my amazement, it began to have the same magical glow I had so envied in her old bike. Naturally, I wanted it back. But once I got it, I still didn’t really feel like riding it, and it soon resumed its accusatory sulk in my garage. It refused to glow for me.

A lot of people approach looking for love as I approached bike shopping. We want a top-of-the-line model. We have a list of desirable qualities and imagine that the glow of desire will arise when we find someone who possesses those qualities. If love is absent from our lives, we may believe it is because we have not yet encountered someone sufficiently lovable. We are expecting our love to be activated by the object of desire.

My bike didn’t satisfy me because a bike was not what I truly wanted. It was a symbol of what I found so enviable in my friend: the way she was so rich in love that even inanimate objects were animated by it. She had a power to connect to her world that I seemed to lack. I imagined I could attain that inner state by imitating its outward form. A burgeoning spiritual materialism was at play: I tried to make a physical possession the source of my love, rather than finding the source in the love itself.

Our knee-jerk reaction to desire is to focus all our efforts on obtaining whatever it is we think we want. While that is happening, we experience the feeling of desire and the object of desire as inseparable. Had you asked me, “What is the true nature of your desire?” I would have responded, “I want a bike.” So long as we are in hot pursuit of the object, it appears as simple as that. Rather than feeling the pure burn of desire, we get caught in what the Buddha called tanha, in craving the object of our desire, believing we must have it to be happy. Tanha translates roughly to “thirst.” We think we are thirsting for an object—for the person or the bike. But what we actually desire is intimacy—the hydration of direct experience saturating our cells.

We believe that love is to be found within another person. But, in truth, love is found in the animating quality of our attention. In Buddhist practice, we discover that mindful attention can reveal a deeper truth in whatever object we are paying attention to. The same is true in romantic love. When we use our attention to touch and open the deeper truth in a person, we not only catalyze the experience of love, we become love. The source of love is revealed to be within us; we no longer have to go looking for it somewhere outside.

What made any bike that Maria possessed seem so desirable was the very love she lavished on it. The glow was not in the bike itself, but in her relationship to it. Like bicycles, people become more desirable when we are attentive to them. Their most lovable qualities reveal themselves to us only after we have begun to love them. Loving is the polish. Loving draws out their Buddha-nature. Anything and anyone we cherish and care for comes alive with the glow of our attention.


Nicole Daedone is the founder of OneTaste, a company that offers training in man-woman intimate relationships. She is the author of Slow Sex: The Art and Craft of the Female Orgasm.

Brand New Key
by Melanie

Image



I rode my bicycle past your window last night
I roller skated to your door at daylight
It almost seems like you're avoiding me
I'm okay alone but you've got something I need

Well, I've got a brand new pair of roller skates
You've got a brand new key
I think that we should get together
And try them out to see
I've been looking around awhile
You've got something for me
Oh I've got a brand new pair of roller skates
You've got a brand new key

I ride my bike I rollerskate don't drive no car
Don't go too fast but I go pretty far
For somebody who don't drive
I've been all around the world
Some people say I've done alright for a girl
Oh, yeah yeah
Oh yeah yeah
Oh yeah yeah yeah yeah

I asked your mother if you were at home
She said yes, but you weren't alone
Oh, sometimes I think that you're avoiding me
I'm okay alone but you've got something I need

Well, I've got a brand new pair of roller skates
You've got a brand new key
I think that we should get together
And try them out to see
La la la la la la la la
La la la la la
Oh I've got a brand new pair of roller skates
You've got a brand new key


Look What They've Done to My Song, Ma
by Melanie Safka



Look what they've done to my song, Ma
Look what they've done to my song, Ma
It was the only thing I could do half right,
And it's turning out all wrong, Ma
Look what they've done to my song

Look what they've done to my brain, Ma
Look what they've done to my brain
Well they picked it like a chicken bone
And I think that I'm half insane, Ma
Look what they've done to my song

Well, I wish that I could find a good book to live in
Wish I could find a good book
Well, if I could find a real good book
I'd never have to come out and look at
What they done to my song

Everybody sing: [French]

Ils ont changé ma chanson, Ma
Ils ont changé ma chanson, Ma
C'est la seule chose que je peux faire
Et çe n'est pas bon, Ma
Ils ont changé ma chanson

Maybe, maybe it'll all be all right, Ma
Maybe it'll all be OK
Well, if the people are buying tears
I'm gonna be a rich girl some day, Ma
Look what they've done to my song

Look what they've done to my song, Ma
Look what they've done to my song, Ma
It was the only thing I could do half right,
And it's turning out all wrong, Ma
Look what they've done to my song

La la la la la la la la
La la la la la la la la
Well they tied it up in a plastic bag
And they turned it upside down, Oh, Ma Ma
Look at what they've done to my song

Wer hat mein Lied so zerstört, Ma?
Wer hat mein Lied so zerstört, Ma?
Everybody sing in Austrian!
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