Category Archives: Uncategorized

friGGIN amaZing, bob WOULD love THIS

bEEN chatting w/ BILLY meistrell about THE contentPROJECT bodyGLOVEbob retro LEGACY , speaking 2day W/ greg BROWNing BOUT the BRASS tackS “bob” render HE was nice enough 2 GIFT me with THE “book” bob reviewed HIS last NIGHT on earth. I was THINKing CORPORATE, i was totally SURPRISEd. IT was show & tell BOB. I video TAPED the TALKing HEAD head DEtailING the story INSET the BOOK & by coincidence OF all the PICs IN the book 60% ARE the exact IMAGES I captured 7 years AGO 4 internet. THE bob LAPTOP & hard drive wereN’t SOURCE 4 the BOOK. IT is EXACTly what BOB hoped 4. IT made MY day RIP bob ur LEGACY endureS . HIGHEST possible RECOMMEDATION

I STARTED w/ BOB because HE was NOT “sat·is·fied” recording HIS stories BY voice. WE rendered BOB in his own WORDs & pictures, IF only by “cod·i·fy” his thoughts & documenting HIS image conGRATs & kuDos

it might B 2 MUCH detail BUT it is an amazing STORY of THE twins

picture ME wanderING

mine &oTheRs

blah BL:AH blah

sea HUNT @ bob meistrell

all U see bout BOB is that he died, Mr bridges TELLING his story bout diving 4 all the world 2 see>

Lloyd Bridges in his own words
by Eric Hanauer
Lloyd BridgesIn the past year, the diving world has lost two giants. One was an explorer, inventor and filmmaker. The other was an actor and casual diver yet his influence equalled Cousteau’s in the early days of scuba.

Lloyd Bridges starred as Mike Nelson for only four years out of a 60 year acting career and spent the rest of his life trying to avoid being typecast. ‘I don’t know why you want to write about me. I’m an actor, not a diver,’ was his initial reaction to an interview request.

Sea Hunt was the most successful underwater television show of all time. It originally ran only from 1957 through 1961, yet was consistently among the top rated programs; reruns continued to be shown for 20 years. By today’s standards, the old shows weren’t as good as our nostalgic recollections.Within a span of 30 minutes (including commercials) a crime was committed, Mike Nelson got into trouble, got out of trouble, rescued a damsel, caught the bad guys and neatly wrapped things up with a safety message. The main reason it worked was Bridges. He was believable, likable and charismatic, rising above mediocre scripts to make Mike Nelson real to millions of viewers.

In a 1994 interview, Lloyd was frank about his limited diving background. ‘I do more snorkeling than diving. One of the good things about being recognized is that guys in the business take me out and furnish the equipment. I take advantage of it when I have the time.’

Acting was his passion and his profession. Bridges’ movie career began in 1940, but he was stereotyped as a supporting actor, primarily in westerns and war movies. Blacklisted during the McCarthy era, he was struggling when Ivan Tors called. Sea Hunt was in the planning stage and Tors had seen Lloyd playing the role of a hard-hat diver in the film Sixteen Fathoms Deep. ‘He didn’t have any idea whether I could swim or not…and said swimming didn’t matter. Of course it mattered very much. I was not a great swimmer, although I swam quite a bit in the ocean.’

It took a while to decide on Tors’ offer, because a serious actor in those days didn’t want to be stuck in a weekly television show. ‘But I needed to feed my family and it seemed so unusual…I read a couple of the episodes and asked Ivan, How can you keep on doing the same thing?’ No problem,’ he said and he did it.’

On the day before shooting began, Lloyd had his first scuba lesson in Courtney Brown’s swimming pool. The next morning he was underwater in Silver Springs, Florida, playing Mike Nelson. ‘Someone gave me an almost empty tank. After running out of air in a few minutes, I had to put into practice what I’d been taught about buddy breathing.’

Among the crew were Zale Parry, technical advisor and stunt girl, Ricou Browning, and cameraman Lamar Boren. ‘Zale and I did the pilot for Sea Hunt. She taught me a lot about diving…and she was especially beautiful underwater. She doubled for all the gals and played a leading part in a couple of episodes.

‘Ivan Tors was the brains of the whole thing….We wouldn’t see him on the set very often, he was off dreaming up the next episode. He would give his ideas to a staff of about four or five writers.Bridges

‘Courtney Brown was my mentor…he taught me so many things about the underwater world….He doubled for me underwater and was responsible for making me look good. We felt my form was very important, my strokes, how I kicked….We wanted to set a good example for the growing number of divers watching.’

In the beginning, Courtney did all of Mike Nelson’s underwater stunts, with Bridges appearing only in close-ups. As many as six underwater sequences were shot in a week, so there were times when Brown was underwater in Florida while Bridges was on a sound stage in Hollywood. ‘As time went on, I got envious and wanted to do a lot of stunts myself.’

But there were a few drawbacks. ‘Carrying those double tanks around all the time got to be a little rough on me….They decided to use balsa wood tanks painted silver so they wouldn’t wear me out. But I still had to put that damn wetsuit on and take it off, sometimes three or four times a day, because they’d cut from that to some topside thing.’

Unlike most wetsuits of the time, Mike Nelson’s was gray. ‘They decided not to have it black because that was kind of villainous looking.’ The Meistrell brothers of Dive ‘n Surf made the suits and spray painted them, charging $100, which Tors thought was too much. Bob Meistrell said, ‘They first tried spraying it with Lloyd’s stand-in in the suit;he couldn’t put his arms down before the paint was dry. Then they had to cut the suit off him. After that they let us do it.’

Bridges recalled, ‘We worked under a lot of pressure…three days to do an episode, sometimes two in a week, 39 episodes a year. It was very important that you kept your sanity and didn’t let the pressure of time affect what would be seen later on the screen.

‘One embarrassing thing that happened to me…they had the press out on the set one day, and the sea happened to be very rough. Mike Nelson wasn’t supposed to get seasick, but I would excuse myself, go on the other side of the ship and toss my cookies, then come back and make believe I was Mike Nelson again.’

Sometimes being Mike proved a burden. Dorothy Bridges, Lloyd’s wife for more than 50 years, said, ‘The first time we went to Hawaii was at the height of Sea Hunt. In our hotel, there was a message from the admiral of the 7th fleet addressed to Mr. and Mrs. Mike Nelson: If we wanted a tour of Pearl Harbor, the admiral’s yacht was at our disposal. Commander Nielsen was in charge of UDT there and he said, ÔWe’re thinking of buying new regulators and would like you to look them over.’ Lloyd said, ÔCommander, you’re pulling my leg.’ Commander Nielsen turned to the other officers and said, ÔSee, I told you Mr. Nelson would be a modest man.’ He was serious. It was like he refused to believe there’s no Santa Claus. They later asked Lloyd to join in a demonstration of a 100 foot free ascent and I told them I never let him swim after lunch.’

I asked Bridges why Sea Hunt was so successful. ‘You mean besides me being in it (laughs)? It was the first time anyone tackled a show that took place underwater. The stories were sort of exciting for kids, like cops and robbers underwater. We never killed anybody, though. There was enough action and suspense without having that kind of violence. The worst thing we did was to pull somebody’s air hose.

‘When we finished the fourth year they wanted to keep on with it….I said, ÔOK, if we change the format a little bit….There’s a lot to be said about what’s happening to our ocean, big companies polluting it with their oil and all the raw garbage that’s being spilled in there. A lot of villains out there have suits on, that don’t look like your regular villain, and Mike Nelson could tackle that kind of situation. It could be just as exciting and maybe do something about clearing up the mess that we’re putting in the ocean.’ One of our sponsors was Standard Oil, so Ivan didn’t think that was a good idea.’

Bridges had no regrets. ‘For four years doing that same character all the time kind of bothered me. But…it opened up a lot of doors.’

The end of Sea Hunt gave Bridges time for something he couldn’t do while the series was going on;dive. The entire family took a course from Bob Meistrell and got certified (in the show Bridges had rarely gone below 30 feet). Sons Jeff and Beau had begun their acting careers in Sea Hunt. ‘We dived off Nassau, a little at Catalina and Hawaii….A lot of people say that Sea Hunt was responsible for their discovering the underwater world. I’m glad, not only that they’ll be enjoying diving, but also that they’ll be in a position to see the pollution that could ruin our oceans, and may join in the fight to save this precious world for future generations.

‘I love the sea and I love diving and (am) very flattered people recognize I had something to do with the development of interest in the underwater world. But I’m foremost an actor. I feel embarrassed being compared to the guys who really work at it….I fake it, I make believe I know all about it, which is what you’re supposed to do as an actor.’

Bon voyage, Lloyd Bridges. And thanks for inspiring so many of us to go underwater.

Editor’s note: Born January 15, 1913, Lloyd Bridges died March 10, 1998, in Malibu, California, after a brief illness. He is survived by his wife of 59 years, Dorothy, sons Beau and Jeff, daughter Cindy and 11 grandchildren.

Bridges was a veteran of more than 100 movies and six TV series. His last two movies, Meeting Daddy and Jane Austen’s Mafia will be released this summer. ‘He never retired,’ Dorothy says.

The Bridges family has suggested that those who would like to remember Lloyd make a donation in his name to one of his favorite charities: American Oceans (800) 862-3260; Heal The Bay (310) 581-4188; and Earth Trust (310) 456-8300.

Mares Ruby Regulator Correction: The Mares Ruby review, in the January article ‘The Top 15 Regulators: $500 and Over,’ contained an error. We stated ‘The Ruby gets its name from the second stage poppet, which is made of a precious ruby gemstone.’ The ruby poppet, which helps control airflow, is actually in the first stage of the regulator. We apologize for any confusion this error may have caused.

For more information on the Mares Ruby regulator or Mares’ extensive line of diving products, please contact the company at Shore Pointe, One Selleck Street, Norwalk, CT 06855; (203) 855-0631, (203) 866-9573 (fax).

j. d. SALINGer “in CONTEXT”

i WATCHed a documentary MADE over ten yrs 2003 b4 HIS death 2 millon HIS own money THAT put HIM in context, THE war and all NEvER read HIS stuff, HIS real LIFE is MORE interesting.


J. D. Salinger, Literary Recluse, Dies at 91

Published: January 28, 2010

J. D. Salinger, who was thought at one time to be the most important American writer to emerge since World War II but who then turned his back on success and adulation, becoming the Garbo of letters, famous for not wanting to be famous, died on Wednesday at his home in Cornish, N.H., where he had lived in seclusion for more than 50 years. He was 91.

Mr. Salinger’s literary representative, Harold Ober Associates, announced the death, saying it was of natural causes. “Despite having broken his hip in May,” the agency said, “his health had been excellent until a rather sudden decline after the new year. He was not in any pain before or at the time of his death.”

Mr. Salinger’s literary reputation rests on a slender but enormously influential body of published work: the novel “The Catcher in the Rye,” the collection “Nine Stories” and two compilations, each with two long stories about the fictional Glass family: “Franny and Zooey” and “Raise High the Roof Beam, Carpenters and Seymour: An Introduction.”

“Catcher” was published in 1951, and its very first sentence, distantly echoing Mark Twain, struck a brash new note in American literature: “If you really want to hear about it, the first thing you’ll probably want to know is where I was born and what my lousy childhood was like, and how my parents were occupied and all before they had me, and all that David Copperfield kind of crap, but I don’t feel like going into it, if you want to know the truth.”

Though not everyone, teachers and librarians especially, was sure what to make of it, “Catcher” became an almost immediate best seller, and its narrator and main character, Holden Caulfield, a teenager newly expelled from prep school, became America’s best-known literary truant since Huckleberry Finn.

With its cynical, slangy vernacular voice (Holden’s two favorite expressions are “phony” and “goddam”), its sympathetic understanding of adolescence and its fierce if alienated sense of morality and distrust of the adult world, the novel struck a nerve in cold war America and quickly attained cult status, especially among the young. Reading “Catcher” used to be an essential rite of passage, almost as important as getting your learner’s permit.

The novel’s allure persists to this day, even if some of Holden’s preoccupations now seem a bit dated, and it continues to sell more than 250,000 copies a year in paperback. Mark David Chapman, who killed John Lennon in 1980, even said the explanation for his act could be found in the pages of “The Catcher in the Rye.” In 1974 Philip Roth wrote, “The response of college students to the work of J. D. Salinger indicates that he, more than anyone else, has not turned his back on the times but, instead, has managed to put his finger on whatever struggle of significance is going on today between self and culture.”

Many critics were more admiring of “Nine Stories,” which came out in 1953 and helped shape writers like Mr. Roth, John Updike and Harold Brodkey. The stories were remarkable for their sharp social observation, their pitch-perfect dialogue (Mr. Salinger, who used italics almost as a form of musical notation, was a master not of literary speech but of speech as people actually spoke it) and the way they demolished whatever was left of the traditional architecture of the short story — the old structure of beginning, middle, end — for an architecture of emotion, in which a story could turn on a tiny alteration of mood or irony. Mr. Updike said he admired “that open-ended Zen quality they have, the way they don’t snap shut.”

Mr. Salinger also perfected the great trick of literary irony — of validating what you mean by saying less than, or even the opposite of, what you intend. Orville Prescott wrote in The New York Times in 1963, “Rarely if ever in literary history has a handful of stories aroused so much discussion, controversy, praise, denunciation, mystification and interpretation.”

As a young man Mr. Salinger yearned ardently for just this kind of attention. He bragged in college about his literary talent and ambitions, and wrote swaggering letters to Whit Burnett, the editor of Story magazine. But success, once it arrived, paled quickly for him. He told the editors of Saturday Review that he was “good and sick” of seeing his photograph on the dust jacket of “The Catcher in the Rye” and demanded that it be removed from subsequent editions. He ordered his agent to burn any fan mail. In 1953 Mr. Salinger, who had been living on East 57th Street in Manhattan, fled the literary world altogether and moved to a 90-acre compound on a wooded hillside in Cornish. He seemed to be fulfilling Holden’s desire to build himself “a little cabin somewhere with the dough I made and live there for the rest of my life,” away from “any goddam stupid conversation with anybody.”

He seldom left, except occasionally to vacation in Florida or to visit William Shawn, the almost equally reclusive former editor of The New Yorker. Avoiding Mr. Shawn’s usual (and very public) table at the Algonquin Hotel, they would meet under the clock at the old Biltmore Hotel, the rendezvous for generations of prep-school and college students.

After Mr. Salinger moved to New Hampshire his publications slowed to a trickle and soon stopped completely. “Franny and Zooey” and “Raise High the Roof Beam,” both collections of material previously published in The New Yorker, came out in 1961 and 1963, and the last work of Mr. Salinger’s to appear in print was “Hapworth 16, 1924,” a 25,000-word story that took up most of the June 19, 1965, issue of The New Yorker.

In 1997 Mr. Salinger agreed to let Orchises Press, a small publisher in Alexandria, Va., bring out “Hapworth” in book form, but he backed out of the deal at the last minute. He never collected the rest of his stories or allowed any of them to be reprinted in textbooks or anthologies. One story, “Uncle Wiggily in Connecticut,” was turned into “My Foolish Heart,” a movie so bad that Mr. Salinger was never tempted to sell film rights again.

Befriended, Then Betrayed

In the fall of 1953 he befriended some local teenagers and allowed one of them to interview him for what he assumed would be an article on the high school page of a local paper, The Claremont Daily Eagle. The article appeared instead as a feature on the editorial page, and Mr. Salinger felt so betrayed that he broke off with the teenagers and built a six-and-a-half-foot fence around his property.

He seldom spoke to the press again, except in 1974 when, trying to fend off the unauthorized publication of his uncollected stories, he told a reporter from The Times: “There is a marvelous peace in not publishing. It’s peaceful. Still. Publishing is a terrible invasion of my privacy. I like to write. I love to write. But I write just for myself and my own pleasure.”

And yet the more he sought privacy, the more famous he became, especially after his appearance on the cover of Time in 1961. For years it was a sort of journalistic sport for newspapers and magazines to send reporters to New Hampshire in hopes of a sighting. As a young man Mr. Salinger had a long, melancholy face and deep soulful eyes, but now, in the few photographs that surfaced, he looked gaunt and gray, like someone in an El Greco painting. He spent more time and energy avoiding the world, it was sometimes said, than most people do in embracing it, and his elusiveness only added to the mythology growing up around him.

Depending on one’s point of view, he was either a crackpot or the American Tolstoy, who had turned silence itself into his most eloquent work of art. Some believed he was publishing under an assumed name, and for a while in the late 1970s, William Wharton, author of “Birdy,” was rumored to be Mr. Salinger, writing under another name, until it turned out that William Wharton was instead a pen name for the writer Albert du Aime.

In 1984 the British literary critic Ian Hamilton approached Mr. Salinger with the notion of writing his biography. Not surprisingly, Mr. Salinger turned him down, saying he had “borne all the exploitation and loss of privacy I can possibly bear in a single lifetime.” Mr. Hamilton went ahead anyway, and in 1986, Mr. Salinger took him to court to prevent the use of quotations and paraphrases from unpublished letters. The case went all the way to the Supreme Court, and to the surprise of many, Mr. Salinger eventually won, though not without some cost to his cherished privacy. (In June 2009 he also sued Fredrik Colting, the Swedish author and publisher of a novel said to be a sequel to “The Catcher in the Rye.” In July a federal judge indefinitely enjoined publication of the book.)

Mr. Salinger’s privacy was further punctured in 1998 and again in 2000 with the publication of memoirs by, first, Joyce Maynard — with whom he had a 10-month affair in 1973, when Ms. Maynard was a college freshman — and then his daughter, Margaret. Some critics complained that both women were trying to exploit and profit from their history with Mr. Salinger, and Mr. Salinger’s son, Matthew, wrote in a letter to The New York Observer that his sister had “a troubled mind,” and that he didn’t recognize the man portrayed in her account. Both books nevertheless added a creepy, Howard Hughesish element to the Salinger legend.

Mr. Salinger was controlling and sexually manipulative, Ms. Maynard wrote, and a health nut obsessed with homeopathic medicine and with his diet (frozen peas for breakfast, undercooked lamb burger for dinner). Ms. Salinger said that her father was pathologically self-centered and abusive toward her mother, and to the homeopathy and food fads she added a long list of other enthusiasms: Zen Buddhism, Vedanta Hinduism, Christian Science, Scientology and acupuncture. Mr. Salinger drank his own urine, she wrote, and sat for hours in an orgone box.

But was he writing? The question obsessed Salingerologists, and in the absence of real evidence, theories multiplied. He hadn’t written a word for years. Or, like the character in the Stanley Kubrick film “The Shining,” he wrote the same sentence over and over again. Or like Gogol at the end of his life, he wrote prolifically but then burned it all. Ms. Maynard said she believed there were at least two novels locked away in a safe, though she had never seen them.

Early Life

Jerome David Salinger was born in Manhattan on New Year’s Day, 1919, the second of two children. His sister, Doris, who died in 2001, was for many years a buyer in the dress department at Bloomingdale’s. Like the Glasses, the Salinger children were the product of a mixed marriage. Their father, Sol, was a Jew, the son of a rabbi, but sufficiently assimilated that he made his living importing both cheese and ham. Their mother, Marie Jillisch, was of Irish descent, born in Scotland, but changed her first name to Miriam to appease her in-laws. The family was living in Harlem when Mr. Salinger was born, but then, as Sol Salinger’s business prospered, moved to West 82nd Street and then to Park Avenue.

Never much of a student, Mr. Salinger, then known as Sonny, attended the progressive McBurney School on the Upper West Side. (He told the admissions office his interests were dramatics and tropical fish.) But he flunked out after two years and in 1934 was packed off to Valley Forge Military Academy, in Wayne, Pa., which became the model for Holden’s Pencey Prep. Like Holden, Mr. Salinger was the manager of the school fencing team, and he also became the literary editor of the school yearbook, Crossed Sabres, and wrote a wrote a poem that was either a heartfelt pastiche of 19th-century sentiment or else a masterpiece of irony:

Hide not thy tears on this last day

Your sorrow has no shame;

To march no more midst lines of gray;

No longer play the game.

Four years have passed in joyful ways — Wouldst stay those old times dear?

Then cherish now these fleeting days,

The few while you are here.

In 1937, after a couple of unenthusiastic weeks at New York University, Mr. Salinger traveled with his father to Austria and Poland, where the father’s plan was for him to learn the ham business. Deciding that wasn’t for him, he returned to America and drifted through a term or so at Ursinus College in Collegeville, Pa. Fellow students remember him striding around campus in a black chesterfield with velvet collar and announcing that he was going to write the Great American Novel.

Mr. Salinger’s most sustained exposure to higher education was an evening class he took at Columbia in 1939, taught by Whit Burnett, and under Mr. Burnett’s tutelage he managed to sell a story, “The Young Folks,” to Story magazine. He subsequently sold stories to Esquire, Collier’s and The Saturday Evening Post — formulaic work that gave little hint of real originality.

In 1941, after several rejections, Mr. Salinger finally cracked The New Yorker, the ultimate goal of any aspiring writer back then, with a story, “Slight Rebellion Off Madison,” that was an early sketch of what became a scene in “The Catcher in the Rye.” But the magazine then had second thoughts, apparently worried about seeming to encourage young people to run away from school, and held the story for five years — an eternity even for The New Yorker — before finally publishing it in 1946, buried in the back of an issue.

Meanwhile Mr. Salinger had been drafted. He served with the Counter-Intelligence Corps of the Fourth Infantry Division, whose job was to interview Nazi deserters and sympathizers, and was stationed for a while in Tiverton, Devon, the setting of “For Esmé — with Love and Squalor,” probably the most deeply felt of the “Nine Stories.” On June 6, 1944, he landed at Utah Beach, and he later saw action during the Battle of the Bulge.

In 1945 he was hospitalized for “battle fatigue” — often a euphemism for a breakdown — and after recovering he stayed on in Europe past the end of the war, chasing Nazi functionaries. He married a German woman, very briefly — a doctor about whom biographers have been able to discover very little. Her name was Sylvia, Margaret Salinger said, but Mr. Salinger always called her Saliva.

A Different Kind of Writer

Back in New York, Mr. Salinger moved into his parents’ apartment and, having never stopped writing, even during the war, resumed his career. “A Perfect Day for Bananafish,” austere, mysterious and Mr. Salinger’s most famous and still most discussed story, appeared in The New Yorker in 1948 and suggested, not wrongly, that he had become a very different kind of writer. And like so many writers he eventually found in The New Yorker not just an outlet but a kind of home and developed a close relationship with the magazine’s editor, William Shawn, himself famously shy and agoraphobic — a kindred spirit. In 1961 Mr. Salinger dedicated “Franny and Zooey” to Shawn, writing, “I urge my editor, mentor and (heaven help him) closest friend, William Shawn, genius domus of The New Yorker, lover of the long shot, protector of the unprolific, defender of the hopelessly flamboyant, most unreasonably modest of born great artist-editors, to accept this pretty skimpy-looking book.”

As a young writer Mr. Salinger was something of a ladies’ man and dated, among others, Oona O’Neill, the daughter of Eugene O’Neill and the future wife of Charlie Chaplin. In 1953 he met Claire Douglas, the daughter of the British art critic Robert Langdon Douglas, who was then a 19-year-old Radcliffe sophomore who in many ways resembled Franny Glass (or vice versa); they were married two years later. (Ms. Douglas had married and divorced in the meantime.) Margaret was born in 1955, and Matthew, now an actor and film producer, was born in 1960. But the marriage soon turned distant and isolating, and in 1966, Ms. Douglas sued for divorce, claiming that “a continuation of the marriage would seriously injure her health and endanger her reason.”

The affair with Ms. Maynard, then a Yale freshman, began in 1972, after Mr. Salinger read an article she had written for The New York Times Magazine titled “An 18-Year-Old Looks Back on Life.” They moved in together but broke up abruptly after 10 months when Mr. Salinger said he had no desire for more children. For a while in the ’80s Mr. Salinger was involved with the actress Elaine Joyce, and late in that decade he married Colleen O’Neill, a nurse, who is considerably younger than he is. Not much is known about the marriage because Ms. O’Neill embraced her husband’s code of seclusion.

Besides his son, Matthew, Mr. Salinger is survived by Ms. O’Neill and his daughter, Margaret, as well as three grandsons. His literary agents said in a statement that “in keeping with his lifelong, uncompromising desire to protect and defend his privacy, there will be no service, and the family asks that people’s respect for him, his work and his privacy be extended to them, individually and collectively, during this time.”

“Salinger had remarked that he was in this world but not of it,” the statement said. “His body is gone but the family hopes that he is still with those he loves, whether they are religious or historical figures, personal friends or fictional characters.”

As for the fictional family the Glasses, Mr. Salinger had apparently been writing about them nonstop. Ms. Maynard said she saw shelves of notebooks devoted to the family. In Mr. Salinger’s fiction the Glasses first turn up in “A Perfect Day for Bananafish,” in which Seymour, the oldest son and family favorite, kills himself while on vacation with his wife. Characters who turn out in retrospect to have been Glasses appear glancingly in “Nine Stories,” but the family saga really begins to be elaborated upon in “Franny and Zooey,” “Raise High the Roof Beam” and “Hapworth,” the long short story, which is ostensibly a letter written by Seymour from camp when he is just 7 years old but already reading several languages and lusting after Mrs. Happy, wife of the camp owner.

Readers also began to learn about the parents, Les and Bessie, long-suffering ex-vaudevillians, and Seymour’s siblings Franny, Zooey, Buddy, Walt, Waker and Boo Boo; about the Glasses’ Upper West Side apartment; about the radio quiz show on which all the children appeared. Seldom has a fictional family been so lovingly or richly imagined.

Too lovingly, some critics complained. With the publication of “Franny and Zooey” even staunch Salinger admirers began to break ranks. John Updike wrote in The Times Book Review: “Salinger loves the Glasses more than God loves them. He loves them too exclusively. Their invention has become a hermitage for him. He loves them to the detriment of artistic moderation.” Other readers hated the growing streak of Eastern mysticism in the saga, as Seymour evolved, in successive retellings, from a suicidal young man into a genius, a sage, even a saint of sorts.

But writing in The New York Review of Books in 2001, Janet Malcolm argued that the critics had all along been wrong about Mr. Salinger, just as short-sighted contemporaries were wrong about Manet and about Tolstoy. The very things people complain about, Ms. Malcolm contended, were the qualities that made Mr. Salinger great. That the Glasses (and, by implication, their creator) were not at home in the world was the whole point, Ms. Malcolm wrote, and it said as much about the world as about the kind of people who failed to get along there.


This article has been revised to reflect the following correction:

Correction: February 8, 2010
An obituary on Jan. 29 about the author J. D. Salinger referred incorrectly to one element in the plot of his short story “A Perfect Day for Bananafish.” The character Seymour Glass commits suicide while on vacation with his wife, not while on his honeymoon. (The error also appeared in a news article on Aug. 31, 2000; a book review on Oct. 8, 2000; and in essays on March 23 and Dec. 31, 2008.) The obituary also misstated the name of the yearbook at Valley Forge Military Academy in Pennsylvania, for which Mr. Salinger was literary editor when he was a student there; it was Crossed Sabres, not Crossed Swords. And the obituary referred incorrectly to a work he had written while at Valley Forge. It was a poem that was later set to music; it was not a school song.




Search for the real Holy Lance

holy lance

An Eyewitness Account of the spear entering Jesus’ side is in John 19:

31 The Jewish leaders didn’t want the victims hanging there the next day, which was the Sabbath (and a very special Sabbath at that, because it was the Passover), so they asked Pilate to hasten their deaths by ordering that their legs be broken. Then their bodies could be taken down. 32 So the soldiers came and broke the legs of the two men crucified with Jesus. 33 But when they came to Jesus, they saw that he was dead already, so they didn’t break his legs. 34 One of the soldiers, however, pierced his side with a spear, and blood and water flowed out. 35 This report is from an eyewitness giving an accurate account; it is presented so that you also can believe. 36 These things happened in fulfillment of the Scriptures that say, “Not one of his bones will be broken,” 37 and “They will look on him whom they pierced.” 

Thus, the early Christian community at Jerusalem understood the fact that Jesus’ bones had not been broken as being further proof that he really was who he said he was—the Messiah predicted by the Old Testament prophets.

The Messiah shall be pierced and his bones shall not be broken


This act has been seen by Christians as fulfillment of prophecy spoken earlier in the Bible. It is not a confession of faith to affirm that Jesus died on Golgotha that Friday afternoon; it is a probability obtained by the highest canons of scientific historical research. See more on the crucifixion here.

Roman crucifixion was only used since probably about a century before Christ. Crucifixion was considered such a humiliating form of punishment that if you were a Roman citizen, you couldn’t be crucified, no matter what the offense. It was usually the execution of choice… for slaves and people considered beneath the dignity of Roman citizenship.

It was a very slow and agonizing form of death. Victims of crucifixion could languish in agony on the cross for up to several days. The dying process could be shortened by breaking the victim’s legs so that the victim could no longer push up with their feet for gasps of air. The thieves on both sides of Jesus had their legs broken, but when the Roman soldiers reached Jesus, one of them, reportedly a centurion named Gaius Cassius Longinus (see note below), saw he was already dead and proved it to his fellows by using his spear to pierce the Christ’s side. Blood and water poured out. There was no need to break his bones. One must remember, that prior to the cross Jesus has already been tortured via a brutal, all night scourging by Roman soldiers and probably was weak before being nailed to the cross.

The spear itself became a religious relic. The piercing was seen as proof of his death and his subsequent resurrection.  It is said that the Spear of Longinus was unearthed by Helena at the same time and place as the Holy Nails and the True Cross.  It was later buried at Antioch to prevent its capture by the Saracens.

Of the weapon thus sanctified nothing is known until the pilgrim St. Antoninus of Piancenza (A.D. 570), describing the holy places of Jerusalem, tells us that he saw in the basilica of Mount Sion “the crown of thorns with which Our Lord was crowned and the lance with which He was struck in the side”. The mention of the lance at the church of the Holy Sepulcher in the so-called “Breviarus”, as M. de Mely points out (Exuviae, III, 32), is not to be relied on. On the other hand, in a miniature of the famous Syriac manuscript of the Laurentian Library at Florence, illuminated by one Rabulas in the year 586, the incident of the opening of Christ’s side is given a prominence which is highly significant. Moreover, the name Longinus — if, indeed, this is not a later addition — is written in Greek characters (LOGINOS) above the head of the soldier who is thrusting his lance into our Savior’s side. This seems to show that the legend which assigns this name to the soldier Longinus (see Note below), who, according to the same tradition, was healed of ophthalmia and converted by a drop of the precious blood spurting from the wound) is as old as the sixth century. And further it is tempting, even if rash, to conjecture that the name Logginos, or Logchinos is in some way connected with the lance (logche). Be this as it may, a spear believed to be identical with that which pierced our Savior’s body was venerated at Jerusalem at the close of the sixth century, and the presence there of this important relic is attested half a century earlier by Cassiodorus (In Ps. lxxxvi, P.L., LXX, 621) and after him by Gregory of Tours (P.L., LXXI, 712). In 615 Jerusalem was captured by a lieutenant of the Persian King Chosroes. The sacred relics of the Passion fell into the hands of the pagans, and, according to the “Chronicon Paschale”, the point of the lance, which had been broken off, was given in the same year to Nicetas, who took it to Constantinople and deposited it in the church of St. Sophia. This point of the lance, which was now set in an “yeona”, or icon, many centuries afterwards (i.e., in 1244) was presented by Baldwin to St. Louis, and it was enshrined with the Crown of Thorns (q.v.) in the Sainte Chapelle. During the French Revolution these relics were removed to the Bibliotheque Nationale, and, although the Crown has been happily preserved to us, the other has now disappeared.

As for the second and larger portion of the lance, Arculpus, about 670, saw it at Jerusalem, where it must have been restored by Heraclius, but it was then venerated at the church of the Holy Sepulchre. After this date we practically hear no more of it from pilgrims to the Holy Land. In particular, St. Willibald, who came to Jerusalem in 715, does not mention it. There is consequently some reason to believe that the larger relic as well as the point had been conveyed to Constantinople before the tenth century, possibly at the same time as the Crown of Thorns. At any rate its presence at Constantinople seems to be clearly attested by various pilgrims, particularly Russians, and, though it was deposited in various churches in succession, it seems possible to trace it and distinguish it from the companion relic of the point. Sir John Mandeville, whose credit as a witness has of late years been in part rehabilitated, declared, in 1357, that he had seen the blade of the Holy Lance both at Paris and at Constantinople, and that the latter was a much larger relic than the former. Whatever the Constantinople relic was, it fell into the hands of the Turks, and in 1492, under circumstances minutely described in Pastor’s “History of the Popes”, the Sultan Bajazet sent it to Innocent VIII to conciliate his favour towards the sultan’s brother Zizim, who was then the pope’s prisoner. This relic has never since left Rome, where it is preserved under the dome of St. Peter’s. Benedict XIV (De Beat. et Canon., IV, ii, 31) states that he obtained from Paris an exact drawing of the point of the lance, and that in comparing it with the larger relic in St. Peter’s he was satisfied that the two had originally formed one blade. M. Mély published for the first time in 1904, an accurate design of the Roman relic of the lance head, and the fact that it has lost its point is as conspicuous as in other, often quite fantastic, delineations of the Vatican lance. At the time of the sending of the lance to Pope Innocent III great doubts as to its authenticity were felt at Rome, as Burchard’s “Diary” (I, 473-486, ed. Thusasne) plainly shows, on account of the rival lances known to be preserved at Nuremberg, Paris, etc., and on account of the supposed discovery of the Holy Lance at Antioch by the revelation of St. Andrew, in 1098, during the First Crusade. Raynaldi, the Bollandists, and many other authorities believed that the lance found in 1098 afterwards fell into the hands of the Turks and was that sent by Bajazet to Pope Innocent, but from M. de Mely’s investigations it seems probable that it is identical with the relic now jealously preserved at Etschmiadzin in Armenia. This was never in any proper sense a lance, but rather the head of a standard, and it may conceivably (before its discovery under very questionable circumstances by the crusader Peter Bartholomew) have been venerated as the weapon with which certain Jews at Beirut struck a figure of Christ on the Cross; an outrage which was believed to have been followed by a miraculous discharge of blood.

On 10 June 1098, a poor monk by the name of Peter Bartholomew, the servant of a member of Count Raymond’s army, came before Raymond and Bishop Adhemar. He told of having received several visions over the preceding months from St. Andrew in which the saint told him that the Holy Lance–the spear that pierced Christ’s side as he hung on the Cross–lay buried in St. Peter’s Cathedral in Antioch. Raymond was convinced, but Adhemar was sceptical and there the matter sat.

But news of the vision spread, with everyone having his own opinion. That very evening, another Provencal, this one a priest, told of a vision he had had. Since he swore it was true, and as his reputation was good (Peter Bartholomew’s was not), Adhemar believed him.

On 14 June, a meteor was seen to fall into the Turkish camp, a very good omen. On the 15th, a group that included Raymond of Toulouse, the historian Raymond of Aguilers, and Peter Bartholomew went to the cathedral and began to dig. The digging went on for hours, with various people taking turns. Count Raymond gave up and left. Then Peter Bartholomew jumped into the hole to take a hand. He very soon cried out that he had found the lance. Raymond of Aguilers says he himself touched the iron while it was still embedded in the ground.  The lance was taken to Count Raymond. Bishop Adhemar still thought the man was a fake and refused to accept it, but so great was the rejoicing that he kept quiet.

News that the Holy Lance had indeed been found raced through the city. Such a miracle surely portended victory, and plans were made on the spot to sally out to meet the Turks.

There were still skeptics, of course, but in the general enthusiasm, they remained silent.  The Christians were planning an attack anyway.  The Christians gathered their forces, set a day for the attack, and prepared. The Holy Lance was affixed to a pole. During the actual battle it was carried before the Christians as a sort of banner.

The Christians knew that there was serious dissension among various emirs in Kerbogha’s camp, and in any case they could not stay much longer in Antioch for the army was starving. They set the date for 28 June.

The Crusaders carried the Holy Lance on a standard at the head of the army. When Kerbogha saw the Crusaders in full array, he tried to send out for a truce, but the Crusaders advanced anyway. The Turks tried their usual tactics, but the Crusaders kept on in good formation. As he feared, emirs began deserting Kerbogha on the field of battle. When Dukak of Damascus left, the entire army collapsed. For once, the Christians resisted the temptation to loot the enemy camp, but instead pressed the Turks hard, killing many. The battle ruined Kerbogha and saved the Crusade. As much as anything, the victory confirmed Peter Bartholomew’s visions.

The march southward was difficult and took months more. Several towns fell to the crusaders, some requiring a formal siege to win. Peter Bartholomew began experiencing regular visits from the angel, who advised him on all manner of details regarding the advance. At one siege, Peter even began giving military advice.This was too much for his skeptics. Peter’s visions were far too convenient and too martial, and he was openly accused of lying. Challenged, Peter offered to undergo ordeal by fire to prove that he was divinely guided. Being in Biblical lands, they chose a Biblical ordeal: Peter would pass through a fiery furnace and would be protected by an angel of God.

The crusaders constructed a path between walls of flame; Peter would walk down the path between the flames. He did so, and was horribly burned. He died after suffering in agony for twelve days. There was no more said about the Holy Lance, although one faction continued to hold that Peter was genuine and that this was indeed the true Lance.



The Holy Lance shown at St Peters, Antioch

Another lance claiming to be that which produced the wound in Christ’s side is now preserved among the imperial insignia at Vienna and is known as the lance of St. Maurice. This weapon was used as early as 1273 in the coronation ceremony of the Emperor of the West, and form an earlier date as an emblem of investiture. It came to Nuremberg in 1424, and it is also probably the lance, known as that of the Emperor Constantine, which enshrined a nail or some portion of a nail of the Crucifixion. The story told by William of Malmesbury of the giving of the Holy Lance to King Athelstan of England by Hugh Capet seems to be due to a misconception. One other remaining lance reputed to be that concerned in the Passion of Christ is preserved at Cracow, but, though it is alleged to have been there for eight centuries, it is impossible to trace its earlier history.


One of the earliest documented uses of the Holy Lance is credited to Attila the Hun, who acquired it as he cut his path of destruction through Europe. When his army was weaken from famine and pestilence ‘in Italy, he galloped his horse to the gates of Rome and hurled the lance at the feet of the officers who had been sent out to surrender the city. “Take back your Holy Lance,” he said, “it is of no use to me, since I do not know Him that made it holy.”

Stories, of the power of the Holy Lance have persisted for centuries. The Holy Lance after being used by the Holy Roman Emperors was put on display ‘in the Hofburg Palace in Austria. Hitler seized the Lance (See story Hitler below) in the 1930′s and held on to it until shortly before (or till the day of his death) his death in 1944. From this point on the history of the Holy Lance becomes clouded with rumor and heresy.  The story is told that a fake lance was constructed and returned to the museum, with the real Holy Lance being held by a secret group ‘in Germany, the Knights of the Holy Lance. This is another story for another time, back to the Knight’s Templar.

Before their destruction the Templar’s had established the largest banking system ‘in Europe, they owned thousands of castles and tracts of land. Along with this great material wealth the Templar’s had also amassed a great spiritual wealth, seeking to acquire all religious artifacts associated with the life and death of Jesus Christ.

The Roman Theban legionsometimes called “the Thundering Legion”

  Title: The Martyrdom of Maurice and the Theban Legion [c 1580-1582]  (Catholics say: Saint Maurice)
Artist: El Greco [Spanish, 1541-1614]

An entire Roman Legion was Martyred for Christ

The Holy Lance was said to have been passed to Saint Maurice

In the year of Christ 286, a most remarkable affair occurred; a legion of soldiers, consisting of six thousand six hundred and sixty-six men, contained none but Christians. This legion was called the Theban Legion, because the men had been raised in Thebias: they were quartered in the east until the emperor Maximian ordered them to march to Gaul, to assist him against the rebels of Burgundy. They passed the Alps into Gaul, under the command of Mauritius, Candidus, and Exupernis, their worthy commanders, and at length joined the emperor.   About this time, Maximian ordered a general sacrifice, at which the whole army was to assist; and likewise he commanded that they should take the oath of allegiance and swear, at the same time, to assist in the extirpation of Christianity in Gaul. Alarmed at these orders, each individual of the Theban Legion absolutely refused either to sacrifice or take the oaths prescribed. This so greatly enraged Maximian, that he ordered the legion to be decimated, that is, every tenth man to be selected from the rest, and put to the sword. The names of the soldiers were written on papers and placed in the caps of the centurions, for 600 were destined to perish as examples. These embraced their comrades, who encouraged them and even envied their fate. The plain soon flowed with the blood of the martyrs.  The survivors persisted in declaring themselves Christians, and the butchery began again; the blood of another 600 reddened the waters of the Rhone.  This second severity made no more impression than the first had done; the soldiers preserved their fortitude and their principles, but by the advice of their officers they drew up a loyal remonstrance to the emperor. This, it might have been presumed, would have softened the emperor, but it had a contrary effect: for, enraged at their perseverance and unanimity, he commanded that the whole legion should be put to death, which was accordingly executed by the other troops, who cut them to pieces with their swords, September 22, 286.  The Maximian period is known as the Sixth Primitive Persecution in Fox’s Book of Martyrs.  During this persecution, raised by Maximinus, numberless Christians were slain without trial, and buried indiscriminately in heaps, sometimes fifty or sixty being cast into a pit together, without the least decency.  See Fox’s Book of Martyrs here.

The Holy Lance was said to have been passed to Saint Maurice.  Down through the years it fell into the hands of Mauritius (Saint Maurice), the head of a 3rd century garrison of Roman soldiers called the Theban legion.  

The Theban Legion was a Christian legion of soldiers during the reign of Diocletian. A legion of men consisting of 6,600 (some say: 6,666) soldiers were all Christian. Called Theban legion because there were all conscripted from Thebias in Upper Egypt; they were quartered in the east until they were ordered them to march to Gaul.  The area around Thebes has always enjoyed a reputation for its strong, almost fanatical, Christianity. The first monks in the Christian tradition, known as “The Desert Fathers,” contained a majority of Thebans, and Theban Christians celebrate many martyrs who have refused to yield their faith to the many persecutions in the first centuries of the church.

A traveler on the highway that leads from Geneva to Rome, will notice a small and a very old Swiss town called “Saint Maurice” (now Saint-Moritz or Saint Maurice en Valais or Saint Maurice d’Augaune) in Switzerland. This town was known in the Roman times as “Aguanum”, an important communication center. It was there that a Coptic officer named Maurice and 6600 of his fellow soldiers died for the sake of Christ at the hands of the impious Emperor Maximian (285-305 AD). 

The story of these martyrs, commonly known as the Theban Legion (Alkateeba alTeebia or Alkateeba al-sa’eedia) has been preserved for us by Saint Eucher (aka: Bishop Eucherius of Lyon), the bishop of Lyons, who died in 494 AD. The bishop starts the account of the martyrdom of these valiant soldiers by the following introduction: 

“Here is the story of the passion of the holy Martyrs who have made Aguanum illustrious with their blood. It is in honour of this heroic martyrdom that we narrate with our pen the order of events as it came to our ears. We often hear, do we not, a particular locality or city is held in high honour because of one single martyr who died there, and quite rightly, because in each case the saint gave his precious soul to the most high God. How much more should this sacred place, Aguanum, be reverenced, where so many thousands of martyrs have been slain, with the sword, for the sake of Christ.

Under “Maximinus Daia”, also known as Maximian, who was an Emperor of the Roman Commonwealth (Empire) with Diocletian as his colleague (co-Emporer), an uprising of the Gauls known as “Bagaude” forced Maximian to march against them with an army of which one unit was the Thebian Legion composed of 6600 men, in the Spring of 285.. This unit had been recruited from upper Egypt and consisted entirely of Christians. They were good men and soldiers who, even under arms, did not forget to render to God the things of God, and to Caesar the things of Caesar.  Diocletian and Maximian transferred the Theban Legion, among other imperial units, to Gaul in an effort to crush the revolt. Landing near Rome, the Theban Legion marched through northern Italy, across the St. Bernard pass, and encamped near the present-day town of St. Maurice.

After the revolt was quelled, the Emperor Maximian issued an order that the whole army should join offering sacrifices for the Roman gods for the success of their mission. Although these types of offerings were routine, this offering was also tantamount to recognizing the emperor´s claim to divinity.  The order included killing Christians (probably as a sacrifice to the Roman gods). Only the Thebian Legion dared to refuse to comply with the orders. The legion withdrew itself, encamped near Aguanum and refused to take part in these rites. 

Maximian was then resting in a near-by place called Octudurum. When these news came to him , he repeatedly commanded them to obey his rules and orders, and upon their constant and unanimous refusal, he ordered that the legion should be “decimated”. Accordingly, every tenth man was put to death. A second “decimation” was ordered unless the men obeyed the order given but their was a great shout through the legion camp: they all declared that they would never allow themselves to carry out such a sacrilegious order. They had always the horror of idolatry, they had been brought up as Christians and were instructed in the One Eternal God and were ready to suffer extreme penalties rather than do any thing contrary to their religion. 

When Maximian heard this news, he got angrier than ever. Like a savage beast, he ordered the second decimation to be carried out, intending that the remainder should be compelled to do what they hitherto refused. Yet they still maintained their resolve. After the second decimation, Maximian warned the remainder of the Theban legion that it was of no use for them to trust in their number, for if they persisted in their disobedience, not a man among them would be able to escape death. 

The greatest mainstay of their faith in this crisis was undoubtedly their captain (Commanding Officer) Maurice, with his lieutenants Candid, the first commanding officer, and “Exuperius” the “Compidoctor”. He fired the hearts of the soldiers with the fervor by his encouragement. Maurice, calling attention to the example of their faithful fellow soldiers, already martyrs, persuaded them all be be ready to die in their turn for the sake of their baptismal vow (The promise one makes at his baptismal to renounce satan and his abominable service and to worship only God). He reminded them of their comrades who had gone to heaven before them. At his words, a glorious eagerness for martyrdom burned in the hearts of those most blessed men. 

Fired thus by the lead of their officers, the Theban legion sent to Maximian (who was still enraged) a reply as loyal as it is brave: 

“Emperor, we are your soldiers but also the soldiers of the true God. We owe you military service and obedience, but we cannot renounce Him who is our Creator and Master, and also yours even though you reject Him. In all things which are not against His law, we most willingly obey you, as we have done hitherto. We readily oppose your enemies whoever they are, but we cannot stain our hands with the blood of innocent people (Christians). We have taken an oath to God before we took one to you, you cannot place any confidence in our second oath if we violate the other (the first). You commanded us to execute Christians, behold we are such. We confess God the Father the creator of all things and His Son Jesus Christ, God. We have seen our comrades slain with the sword, we do not weep for them but rather rejoice at their honor. Neither this, nor any other provocation have tempted us to revolt. Behold, we have arms in our hands, but we do not resist, because we would rather die innocent than live by any sin.”

When Maximian heard this, he realized that these men were obstinately determined to remain in their Christian faith, and he despaired of being able to turn them from their constancy. He therefore decreed, in a final sentence, that they should be rounded up, and the slaughter completed. The troops sent to execute this order came to the blessed legion and drew their swords upon those holy men who, for love of life, did not refuse to die. They were all slain with the sword. They never resisted in any way. Putting aside their weapons, they offered their necks to the executioners. Neither their numbers nor the strength of arms tempted them to uphold the justice of their cause by force. 

They kept just one thing in their minds, that they were bearing witness to him who was lead to death without protest, and who, like a lamb, opened not his mouth; but that now, they them selves, sheep in the Lord’s flock, were to be massacred as it by ravaging wolves. Thus, by the savage cruelty of this tyrant, that fellowship of the saints was perfected. For they despised things present in hope of things to come. So was slain that truly angelic legion of men who, we trust, now praise the Lord God of Hosts, together with the legions of Angels, in heaven forever. Not all the members of the legion were at Aguanum at the time of the massacre. Others were posted along the military highway linking Switzerland with Germany and Italy. These were progressively and methodically martyred wherever they were found. Some of the most celebrated saints who were martyred are:

During their martyrdom, numerous miracles happened, which undoubtedly largely contributed to the massive conversion of the inhabitants of these regions to Christianity. In Zurich for instance, the three beheaded saints Felix, Regula and Exuperantius miraculously rose, carried their heads on their own hands, walked to the top of a hill, where they knelt, prayed and at last lay down. On the same spot, a large cathedral was later erected. The three saints carrying their heads on their hands appear on the coat of arms and seal of Zurich until today. Saints Victor, Orsus and their comrades were barbarously tortured by Hirtacus, the roman governor of Solothurn. During this torture, several miracles occurred, e.g. the shackles suddenly broke open, the fire was instantaneously extinguished, etc. The lookers-on were thus filled with wonder and began to admire the Theban legionnaires, upon which the furious Hirtacus ordered their immediate beheading. Without the slightest resistance they offered the executors their necks. The bodies of the beheaded Saints then shown in glaring brightness. The bodies of the Saints which were thrown in the river Aar, advanced the bank, stepped out, walked heads on hands, then knelt and prayed at the spot where the Basilica of St. Peter later arose. The bodies of the martyrs of Aguanum were discovered and identified by Saint Theodore the Bishop of Octudurm, who was in office at 350 AD. He built a Basilica in their honor at Aguanum, the remains of which are visible until now. This later became the center of a monastery built about the year 515 AD on the land donated by King Sigismund of Burgundy.

Maurice and the Theban Legion became still more important with the rise of the Kingdom of Burgundy. The Burgundians moved into southeast Gaul, as Roman allies, in 443 A.D. after crossing the Rhine in 406. Like the other Eastern barbarian tribes, who had been evangelized by Ulfilas in the fourth century, they were Arian rather than Catholic. They remained Arian despite numerous attempts to convert them to Catholic Christianity. Avitus, Catholic bishop of Vienne, attempted to convert the Burgundian king Gundobad in the 490s A.D. Although tradition says that Gundobad favored the Catholic faith, he refused baptism by Avitus because the monarch feared his Arian nobles would revolt. His son Sigismund, however, was baptized a Catholic around 500, approximately the same time in which Clovis, king of the Franks, became Catholic. Since Burgundy was still Arian, Sigismund had to find a way to balance his Catholic faith with the political realities of an Arian society. While he tried to placate Clovis by publicizing his Catholicism, he never sought to establish Catholicism as the state faith. Since the Arians never had any type of monastic establishment, Sigismund could build a monastic base without offending his Arian bishops and aristocracy. In 515, one year before he became king, Sigismund enlarged and renovated the monastery of St. Maurice at Agaunum. Although previously there had been some sort of hospice and community to minister to pilgrims, Sigismund set out to build something unique. Most monasteries originated and grew from disciples attracted to some holy ascetic. That is, once the fame of an ascetic grew, he would attract disciples to his cave or hut. As the numbers grew, an informal community would spring up with its own rules, while a method of worship typically evolved over a period of time. The monastery of St. Maurice, however, would be unique. It would not evolve, but spring up almost fully developed. Between 515 and 521, Sigismund lavishly endowed its foundation and ensured that it would flourish. He spent huge amounts of money to build a sanctuary, and he transferred monks from other Burgundian monasteries to ensure that the liturgy was kept. The liturgy, known as the laus perennis (perpetual praise), was imported from Constantinople and was distinctive to the monastery of St. Maurice.


Hitler And The Holy Lance


Today there exist several historic spears claimedto be the “holy lance” of the biblical story

The one with perhaps the best claim, or at least the oldest provenance is in the Hofburg Museum in Vienna, Austria. This spear, said to be the lance of the Roman soldier Gaius Cassius can be traced back through history to Constantine the Great, the Roman Emperor who first adopted Christianity in the early 4th century. This spear is made of iron.  The long tapering point is supported by a wide base with metal flanges depicting the wings of a dove.  Within a central aperture in the blade, a hammer-headed nail (thought to be from the cross) has been secured by a cuff threaded with metal wire.  According to legend the spear passed from the possession of Gais Cassius, the Roman centurion.  

According to Ravencroft the lance was possessed by a series of successful military leaders including Theodosius, Alaric (who was responsible for the sacking of Rome), Charles Martel (who defeated the Moslems in 733 AD), Charlemagne and Frederick Barbarossa.

A legend grew around the lance that whoever possessed it would be able to conquer the world. Napoleon attempted to obtain the lance after the battle of Austerlitz, but it had been smuggled out of the city prior to the start of the fight and he never got a hold of it. According to the legend, Charlemagne carried the spear through 47 successful battles, but died when he accidentally dropped it. Barbarossa met the same fate only a few minutes after it slipped out of his hands while he was crossing a stream.

Napoleon attempted to take the Holy Lance following the Battle of Austerlitz, but, unfortunately for him, it had already been smuggled out of Vienna just prior to the battle, and he never secured it.

The spear finally wound up in the possession of the House of the Habsburgs and by 1912 was part of the treasure collection stored in Hofburg Museum. According to Ravenscroft it was in September of that year, while living in Vienna and working as a watercolor painter, that a young Adolf Hitler visited the Museum and learned of the lance and its reputation. Dr. Walter Stein, who accompanied Hitler on that visit, remembered, “when we first stood side by side in front of the Spear of Destiny it appeared to me that Hitler was in so deep a condition of trance that he was suffering almost complete sense-denudation and a total lack of self-consciousness.”

Hitler later said, “I stood there quietly gazing upon it for several minutes quite oblivious to the scene around me. It seemed to carry some hidden inner meaning which evaded me, a meaning which I felt I inwardly knew yet could not bring to consciousness…I felt as though I myself had held it before in some earlier century of history. That I myself had once claimed it as my talisman of power and held the destiny of the world in my hands…”

Hitler saw the lance as his mystical connection with generations of conquering Germanic leaders that had come before him. On March 14, 1938, after he had risen to power as the chancellor of Germany, Hitler annexed the state of Austria and ordered that the spear, along with the rest of the Habsburg collection, be sent to the city of Nuremberg, heart of the Nazi movement.

Ravenscroft reveals much of the absolute Satanism which physically possessed Hitler. If you want to get an idea of how the real Antichrist is going to think, act, and plan, you need to read this “inside” account of Ravenscroft. Much of Hitler’s actions during World War II make sense only when you realize how his occultist mind set caused him to act the way he did. Secular historians miss much of the point of Hitler’s more bizarre actions.

After having declared Austria to be a part of the Third Reich the Austrian born Adolf Hitler had the lance loaded on to an armored SS train and taken to Nuremberg on October 13, 1938. There it remained in St. Catherine’s Church for the next 6 years until it was removed to a safer, protective underground vault where Lt. Walter William Horn, army serial number 01326328, of the United States Army took possession of it in the name of the US government at 2:10 PM on April 30, 1945; the same day Adolph Hitler and a woman named Eva Braun were reported to have committed suicide in a bunker outside Berlin. It is also the same day that Munich was captured by Patch’s 7th Army unit. Also, on April 30th, 1945, Germany surrendered ending the Third Reich.

With the fall the Soviet Union, and the opening up of Soviet archives in addition to recent testimony by former Soviet soldiers who actually captured Hitler’s Bunker in Berlin, we have finally been able to confirm that at approximately 3:30 PM, just 80 minutes after the United States took possession of the Spear, that Hitler committed suicide by shooting himself in the head.

Today the Holy Lance has been returned to the Hofburg Museum. Is it authentic? General George S. Patton thought so. He became fascinated by the spear after the war and had its history traced.

Did Hitler really think possessing the spear would help him win the war? Other historians have found Ravenscroft’s research suspicious and his book remains controversial. Alan Baker, author of Invisible Eagle, The History of Nazi Occultism, thinks Hitler was more interested in getting a hold of the Hofburg treasures for financial reasons, not occult reasons.  A later book entitled; “Adolf Hitler and the Secrets of the Holy Lance” (by Buechner & Bernhart) claims that a replica of the was returned to the Vienna Museum, while the real lance may have been squirrel-away with other secret Nazi plundered treasure by Himmler and the SS to South America or Antarctica.

*There is some confusion with the name Gaius Cassius Longinus because a person with this name was also with Brutus as one of the leaders of the conspiracy in 44  BC to assassinate Julius Caesar. He and Brutus were defeated by Caesar’s supporters, Antony and Octavian, at the battle of Philippi in 42  BC, in the course of which he committed suicide.  Whether the term used in association with the lance “Longinus” was meant by early Christians to signify “assassination” instead of the soldier’s actual name remains unclear.  This person, General Gaius Cassius Longinus would have had to be over 100 years old in the 30′s AD, so he is most likely not the actual soldier who placed the spear into the side of Christ.  Alternatively, there could be another centurion by the name of Gaius Cassius.

Roman hagiography has come up not only with the soldier’s name, but even his post-crucifixion biography.

The soldier, we are told, was called Longinus. Rome’s accounts tell us that Longinus was nearly blind – a condition which, I should imagine, would surely have affected his usefulness as a soldier. In any case, the legend assures us that Longinus was not long blind, for after he thrust his spear into the side of Christ, some of the blood and lymph (water) from Jesus fell into his eyes. It was then he exclaimed, “Indeed, this was the Son of God!” as recorded in Mark 15:39.

According to the hagiography, Longinus, now converted, left the army and studied under the Apostles, and ultimately became a monk (and this at a time when there not yet were monasteries) at Caesarea in Cappodocia. There, poor Longinus ran afoul of the law because of his new faith and, we are told, was involved with yet another miraculous cure. The authorities tormented him by forcing all his teeth from his mouth and cutting off his tongue. Despite these tortures, it is said that Longinus continued to speak clearly, then picked up a handy axe and smashed several idols as the governor watched.

When Longinus broke the idols, the demons which had resided in them attacked the governor, dep

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