1969, late February: Letter from Peter to Dobe and David

This handwritten four-page letter is undated but was apparently written shortly after that previous one.

Written on yellow lined US-letter-sized paper, without holes punched in it. Written in smaller handwriting than Peter’s usual; he wrote two handwritten lines in each space between the preprinted lines of the page.

A lot of the material here duplicates stuff that Peter said in the previous letter, to his parents. But this one also includes a fair bit about his spending a few days in jail for not paying tickets and such, so I thought it was worth posting this one too.

(I found and posted this in early 2024, long after I finished with the series of letters to and from George and Helen.)

As usual, my notes are after the letter.

Content warning for casual use of the word eskimo.

Peter’s attempt to write the Japanese character “光” (hikari): japanese figure meaning “Divine Light”…

5419 Foothill Blvd.

Oakland, Calif. 94601

(415) 536-9407

dear brother(s)--

o john i wrote you 2 pages typed & it didn’t get mailed, & now seems to be lost in transit so i’ll just have to re-construct it--actually it was a carbon--sent original to m’s parents, & 1 copy to ours, & x other copy was for you but… o well, if you want to read it, & if your copy’s not found, perhaps parents would forward you theirs…

i am now incarcerated with: writing pad, pen, bull durham, matches, 6 envelopes, & books: “Theory of Celestial Influence” by Rodney Collin, “No More Secondhand God” by Buckminster Fuller, “Tibetan Book of the Great Liberation” (or “the Method of Realizing Nirvana through Knowing the Mind”) edited by W.Y. Evans-Wentz w/commentary by C.G. Jung (same series as “Tibetan Book of the Dead” and “Tibetan Yoga & Secret Doctrines”), “Myths of the Hindus & Buddhists” by Ananda Coomaraswamy, & “Advanced Calculus” by Osgood… how could i be so fortunate?

will now recapitulate recent events leading to this point in space-time... xxx dorothy (the ph.d.-psychologist lady in wheelchair whom we’ve been living with past two months), as dorothy, marcy, as the cowardly lion, jedediah, as the scarecrow, & i, as the tin woodsman, set off down the yellow-brick road to xxx visit the wizard--AND WE DID! he turned out not to be a humbug after all, but a very knowledgable fellow who is, on the other side of his life, a mechanical engineer at Lockheed, but on the wizard side is an instructor of classes in the Church of World Messianity, or the JohRei (joe-ray) church… he instructed us in the more physical aspects of johrei (which is a japanese term meaning “purification of and/or by means of spirit”)… the basic teaching is that the “spiritual” (non-physical) x realm is the world of cause, & the “physical” world is the realm of effect… thus all disease, pain, injury, suffering, inharmony on physical level is but a reflection of an inharmony on spiritual levels, or “spiritual clouds”… all attempts to treat disease or injury on physical levels, with medicines, surgery*, etc., merely treat symptoms, & leave the causes untouched… illness represents an attempt by the organism to purify itself of toxins, & medicines not only repress the purification process so that it must begin again, perhaps manifesting in some other area, but also add more toxins to the body, x and these must give rise to further purifications (or “sicknesses”)… so it turns out that parents were right about not popping pimples, but they didn’t know the reason: if you lance a boil or pick a pimple-skin off, you’re cutting short the purification process, and it must begin again--if you let it go full term, it will discharge all the toxins in the area… then he told us all the centers of purification in the body; all the endocrine glands & chakras, the lymphatic nodes, the solar plexus, the occipital region, the shoulders, the kidneys, appendix, tonsils, adenoids, prostatic ganglion, etc. these are the places that johrei is directed, plus any localized cuts, burns, infections, pimples, sores, rashes, boils, etc. johrei is actually the divine light of God, it comes through the channeler’s head (pate) and comes out his palm (either hand), and permeates the bodies of the person receiving it… the hand of the channeler is 1 to 2 feet away from the recipient, so there’s no trouble with a.m.a. … it dispels, dissipates, disintegrates the “spiritual clouds” (bad karma) of the person who receives it, and the order so induced in the person’s spiritual bodyxxx suffuses centrifugally throughout mental, emotional, and physical bodies, producing health, warm-compassionate-body-feeling, happiness… anyway, it makes you feel GOOD!

In the margin: * surgery of appendix or tonsils is a farcical travesty, as it removes an organ of purification… but if the root is not removed, may grow again… (hope, hope)

it turns out that, taking advantage of the “spiritual cords” (binding ties) that exist between friends, relatives, loved ones, johrei may be administered by proxy! (this is what we learned from a japanese minister in the second class series--he taught us about the more spiritual aspects of johrei, and its applications to “nature-farming”--channeling johrei to soil & crops eliminates need for insecticides & chemical fertilizers--insects only attack crops which have toxins in them, like insecticides & chemical fertilizers…!!)

so dorothy & marcy & i graduated & obtained our “focal points” (these are parchments which protect the johrei-channeler from “feedback” of spiritual clouds, and also xxx strengthen the effects of the joh-rei by tying in the channeler (by means of spiritual cords) to all the other church members, including the original channel of johrei, Meishu-sama, who left his body but is still working on the inner planes to keep the Divine Light flowing to Earth-people in our time of transition from old to New Age…) the focal points are inscribed with the japanese character for “divine light” as written by Meishu-sama & carved in a woodblock for printing… there are now 500,000 johrei-church members in japan, and 1600 in this country… it doesn’t require that you give up membership or belief in any other religious system, it just is what it is, & it’s very beautiful… it’s prayer in action---we were told of a johrei-channeler in a courtroom beaming johrei from 15 feet away to 3rd-eye chakra of a witness who was lying--he changed his story on the witness stand & told the truth…

REALLY FAR-OUT! you say… well, as soon as i get out of jail, marcy will channel johrei to you guys through me, by proxy, & you will see… david received it once, at harbinger…

well, you’re probably wondering why i’m sitting in the slammer--the reason is that my driver’s license was revoked because i made an illegal u-turn 15 months ago & never paid the fine… so now i need the license to get a job (probably with ma bell or ibm) & rather than pay $36 which i don’t have, elected to serve the time… probably 4-5 days… a lesser magical retreat… i’m not fasting, but 1-2 minutes of johrei purified the baloney sandwichx (white bread of course) and puffa-puffa rice that i’ve been given to eat so far… mainly exercising & reading, + writing some letters to you, dave, marcy & jed, and an ibm executive i know…

In the margin, next to the “illegal u-turn” line, in Marcy’s handwriting: and a couple more indecencies, like 30 mph in 25 zone, yoicks! —M


dear john--

wow, so much has happened since 1st page that this must be a new letter! i wrote that in san mateo city jail, in a private cell, i had all my books & all was fine--completely alone & feeling good… fri. morning was taken to court for hearing, sat in court through 50-60 cases, about 4 hrs., no lunch, plead guilty, sentenced to five days, transferred to county jail, which was INTOLERABLE---about 45 guys in a tank small for 24… couldn’t find room for my mattress, even on floor, which was wet from leaky toilet, shower, & roof… was told to grab food fast, whenever a measly meal showed up, because some guys grabbed two… comb, toothbrush, tobacco, toothpaste, dental floss, books, writing-pad, pen, belt, & focal-point taken away, i told them focal-point was not supposed to be opened, that it was a religious medallion, thxey said if it was narcotics it was my ass & opened it anyway… i’ll have to get it re-blessed at the church altar… although i think i purified it of all low vibrations that may have been impressed by channeling johrei through & into it for 5 minutes…

well, i was just about to call up marcy & ask her please to scrounge up the $31 bail, WHEN, MAGICALLY, the lieutenant-in-charge showed up, pulled 8 guys out including me & asked us if we wanted to go to camp, meaning la honda in the mountains… OH, YEAH! so we changed back to street clothes, out of the blues we’d been wearing about an hour, & ate as much as we wanted in the cooks’ dining room (rice, meat, coleslaw, cake, bread, butter, coffee w/sugarx, the best meal that had been served for 2-3 weeks they said), and then xx some guys went to la honda, & some, including me, came to the sherriff’s work-furlough center, where i am now--it’s REALLY nice… there’s 3 telephones we can use anytime of day or evening, coffee-candy-coke machines, a library, color tv, ping-pong table, a piano, washer-dryer, ironing board, single cots in spacious dorms, private safe-box, private locker, individual councelors, plenty free-time, nice view of bay, honor-system (xxx few locked doorsx, no bars), birds singin outside, cafeteria where for breakfast this morning i ordered 2 eggs, over-easy, hash-browns, sausage & coffee (there was also juice, dry cereal, white bread, pancakes, milk, sugar, jam, peanut butter, butter, & lunch-meat)…, everybody’s groovy & respects one another, because everybody has inside (sweeping, mopping, washing-windows, cooking, barbering, etc.) and outside (city laborer or your own x regular job if you had one or can get one) jobs, & everybody pays rent for board & room, commensurate with their wages (maybe $25/wk if you’re making $125/wk)--i got back all my belongings, called marcy twice collect, she & ‘the family’ are coming to visit (visiting hours are x 11-3 sunday only, you can go outside with your visitors & walk around, picnic tables & horseshoe pits…)--i may get out sunday p.m. or monday a.m., which would be 3⅓ or 4 days inside…

the unmailed letter to you described our peregrinations, that since there were now two johrei channelers in modesto (a friend of one of the women in our astrology class also took the johrei course), and since we had accomplished our work there, we split & moved to oakland, & are now living in home with about 10 other ex-residents of harbinger…

we are working everything out amongst us & becoming a family… the changes publication office is there… we are sanding & painting interior… eating grains, salads, fish, fruit, raisins, eggs, cheese, miso, peanut-butter, beautiful whole-grain bread, wonderful meals… jim is x working as a stage-rigger at a shipyard, steve is working at taco-bell, & looking for work as research physicist, dennis is getting a job at phone co. as frame-man, alan is looking for work as chemist, susan just got job as mail-carrier, eddie’s working for kelly-girls, steve h. & craig are publishing the changes, marcy’s nursing jed, jed is sprouting his seventh tooth and learning to walk and saying “bye-bye”… i am looking for work at phone co. or at ibm, as engineer’s aide or typewriter repairman or?… we want to get into making & experimenting with an orgone box (Don H. went into a trance and transcribed two hours onto tape from x unpublished material sealed in the orgone institute archive-vaults… relating to orgone-energy-domains - (life-force-fields) - and the oranur experiments…), experimenting with an electroencephalograph & alpha-waves, making and selling eskimo yo-yo’s (2 balls each on a 3-ft. cord, joined in a handle, you get the balls counter-rotating & it feels like a gyroscope…), making telephone scramblers (one of each end of the connection, punched to same combination, gives clear speech at both ends, but garble anywhere between--neat for anti-bugging…)

yes, yes, you found the fallacious point in the trisection figure--o well, it was a nice idea… even if it was invalid, it sounded good… as soon as i have any bread, i’ll start sending along any books-from-the-publisher that you need or want--you’ll have the buckminster fuller before too long… this “theory of celestial influence” book by rodney collin has just been continuously BLOWING MY MIND!… it’s a reconstruction-synthesis of ouspensky’s work, a very orderly progression & organization of extremely diverse & non-linear material… subtitled “man, the universe, & cosmic mystery”… he cor-relates EVERYTHING! he explicates: fields within fields within fields--atom-moleculex-cell-man-nature-earth-sun-sirius-milkyway-Absolute… and each level has its own characterist time-rate & characteristic speed… a year for a man is one breath for the earth… a man’s lifetime is a “twinkling of the eye” for the sun (what would be 1/30 sec. for a man…)… he correlates musical scales & octaves with octaves of organic compounds, octaves of chakras, octavex-squared of periodic table of elements… also tells about slowing down of human time: divides lifetime into nine xxx subjectively equal time periods: conception to 2 lunar mo. (when foetus becomes fully human in form & structure), to 4½ mo. (involuntary movement & individual blood-circulation), to birth (starts breathing), to 10 lunar mo. (crawling, voluntary movements), to 2 3/4 yrs. (talking in sentences, developing intellectual processes), to 7 yrs. (the ‘age of reason’--full mental digestion of impressions), to 15 yrs. (puberty, beginning of sex function), to 35 yrs. (prime of life, balance of all powers, & possibility of new-age functions developing), to 76 yrs. (death)(and new conception of next lifetime): these periods correspond to one lunar month*, one cycle of ☿, 10 ☾-cycles, 1 cycle of ♀, 100 ☾-cycles, 1 ♁-cycle, one ♄-cycle, and one ♅-cycle (=1000 ☾-cycles)… enough to boggle your mind?!!

Written in margin: * at conception, foetus is considered one lunar-month-old on this scale because ovum lives one lunar mo.

Written at top of final page of letter: p.s. well, i’m out now--that takes care of $31-worth of karma, plus marcy borrowed $55 & paid $51-worth of s.f.-tickets, leaving only a couple in mendocino… we’re going sailing today w/ rick… lots more to tell you re harbinger etc., in next letter--love, love, love, peter, marcy, jed


“japanese figure meaning ‘Divine Light’”
This was presumably Peter’s attempt at writing the kanji 光, which is transliterated as “hikari.” As far as I know, it means “light.” The lockets that he later refers to as “focal-points” were also known as ohikari. (He describes them here as “parchments,” but he neglects to explicitly note that the parchment is enclosed in a locket, to be worn on a necklace.)
“bull durham”
Presumably tobacco; this was presumably one of the periods of Peter’s life when he was smoking tobacco.
Theory of Celestial Influence
Wikipedia says: “[Collin’s] best known work, The Theory of Celestial Influence, is an ambitious attempt to unite astronomy, physics, chemistry, human physiology and world history with his own version of planetary influences.”
Ananda Coomaraswamy
Wikipedia says: “metaphysician, historian and a philosopher of Indian art who was an early interpreter of Indian culture to the West.”
“marcy, as the cowardly lion”
I assume Peter is referring to the fact that Marcy’s astrological sign was Leo. Years later, in one of his punch-card notes, he wrote “Leo, take heart—I’m an artless tin woodman,” so I’m guessing that this Oz reference was a running joke with them.
“no trouble with a.m.a.”
I’m guessing this refers to the American Medical Association, and that Peter was saying that Johrei practitioners can’t be accused of practicing medicine without a license, because they don’t touch the patients.
“the changes”
I assume this was a magazine or a newspaper, but a quick web search isn’t turning up anything relevant.
orgone box
A Wilhelm-Reich-style orgone energy accumulator.
Don H.
Don Hamrick, founder of the Frontiers of Science Fellowship.
oranur experiments
Reich’s “1950-1951 laboratory experiments at Orgonon to test the effects of concentrated orgone energy on nuclear energy.”
Wikipedia says: “a Russian philosopher and esotericist known for his expositions of the early work of the Greek-Armenian teacher of esoteric doctrine George Gurdjieff.”
cycles and symbols
Those symbols in that last paragraph represent the following: ☾: Moon; ☿: Mercury; ♀: Venus; ♁: Earth; ♄: Saturn; ♅: Uranus. (Peter drew the moon symbol as the mirror-image of that, with the horns pointing to the left, but I figured better to use the official Unicode character than to try to use a photo of Peter’s hand-drawn version.)

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