Long ago when I was in my teens (before my Hollywood days) I was already a rather unconventional character - ravenously absorbing the unorthodox and constantly reinventing myself. I delved into realms of thinking that were never taught in school: Schopenhaur and Nietzsche, Henry Havelock Ellis, Aleister Crowley, Kahlil Gibran. I even read Mein Kampf by Hitler.
My motive was merely to quench the thirst of curiosity - - not necessarily to sway my personal beliefs.
Later I embarked on my quasi-Hinduism phase. I wore sandals and clothes from India. Eventually I became an enthusiastic devotee of spirituality, meditation, and transcendental meditation (that was a helluva trip). A Hollywood Guru advised me to relinquish my worldly goods and practice celibacy.
My worldly goods were less than minimal - - there was nothing to relinquish. I practiced celibacy for about an hour and a half.
Around this time came my letter-writing phase. As a quirky individual (to say the least) and a staunch champion of self-expression via the written word, I always enjoyed sending letters to radio stations, TV shows, newspapers, and other places where I could voice my inconsequential but annoyingly persistent opinions. I used to write long, extremely amusing letters to the L.A. "alternative" radio station KPFK and the late-night announcers would read them on the air. I was a minor celebrity. Very minor.
It was also around this time that I inadvertently - and quite innocently - got involved with the KKK. The Klan.
Hey, settle down and listen. It's not quite as bad as it sounds.
One evening there was a Los Angeles television interview with the then-young David Duke - - who happened to be the new Grand Wizard of the Knights of the Ku Klux Klan. Duke was an arrogant small-time media freak - who got attention by wearing Nazi uniforms at protests and rallies, desperately trying to promote his pro-white agenda.
If my sometimes-hazy memory is correct, the interview was conducted by news anchor George Putnam. Putnam was very obviously annoyed by Duke's racist agenda and made his anger known. He lost his temper, started shouting, and I think even overturned a chair.
I didn't particularly like Duke, and I certainly didn't endorse his agenda, but I thought Putnam handled the interview in a completely unprofessional manner. I hastily wrote a letter to the TV station, saying that Putnam behaved childishly and was undignified. I innocently observed the incident as a breach of journalistic etiquette (if there is such a thing) - - I wasn't concerned with the racial aspects.
I mailed the letter and forgot about it. I certainly wasn't expecting a response.
Somehow - for reasons I'll never figure out - my letter was forwarded to David Duke. The letter hadn't been addressed to him, and he was hardly mentioned in the content. At any rate, Duke got the letter and was obviously very smitten by my style.
Here's where it gets kinda hairy.....
The Grand Wizard
I'm admittedly unconventional, but I'm not a racist and never even remotely requested a connection with the Klan. Thank God I had only given a post office box and not a home address. I kept receiving Ku Klux Klan newsletters and inside information about rallies and other endeavors. I got invitations to join.
Being young and foolhardy, I initially saw lots of devious humor in the situation. In retrospect, I'm not exactly laughing now.
I wrote several letters to the Klan stating that I wasn't interested in their antics and requesting that my name be removed from their mailing list. They never acquiesced. I continued to be bombarded with unsavory literature for the next year - until my Anaheim POB was closed when I moved to Hollywood.
Hopefully my name isn't still on the KKK list.
Here's a little know fact:
David Duke had plastic surgery so he would look more Aryan, or (as Hitler would say) Wunderkind. He wanted to project the cutsie image of the blue-eyed blonde.
Shit, I never had to do that.......(*smile* I'm being purposefully conceited to piss off my blog critics who think I'm full of myself)