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Author Topic: Carl and MSIA  (Read 3451 times)
patsy6
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« on: May 07, 2022, 07:48:21 PM »

This was posted on YouTube today by Elora. Thoughts?  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IhgaX1-0SiA
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« Reply #1 on: May 07, 2022, 11:29:51 PM »

Along the same line, I found the LA Times obituary for MSIA founder John-Roger.


https://www.latimes.com/local/obituaries/la-me-john-roger-20141023-story.html
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patsy6
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« Reply #2 on: May 08, 2022, 09:54:33 AM »

Hmmm... I wonder how Gina, Jonah and Justyn felt/feel about MSIA. Are or were they ever members? Did they feel that it helped Carl? As no one in his family seems to be amenable to an official biography, I guess we'll never know.
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« Reply #3 on: May 08, 2022, 05:55:00 PM »

Was Carl's involvement in MSIA common knowledge among fans during his lifetime? Appreciate this new piece of the puzzle, Patsy6.
« Last Edit: May 08, 2022, 05:55:32 PM by jeremylr » Logged
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« Reply #4 on: May 08, 2022, 07:10:09 PM »

Was Carl's involvement in MSIA common knowledge among fans during his lifetime? Appreciate this new piece of the puzzle, Patsy6.

I don't know what constitutes "common knowledge," but back in the early to mid-90s, I do remember a tiny bit of online chatter about Carl's involvement with the "John Roger" religious group (even that Carl was a sort of minister within the organization).  This chatter was on what constituted the online BB discussion of the era (e.g., Usenet, email lists, compuserve, whatever).  As I recall, the general gist of the chatter was that "John Roger" was a sketchy sort of character who was generating a fair amount of controversy, BUT Carl had the right to whatever religious views he wanted to have, and those view didn't have anything to do with the music or the band (i.e., this wasn't another "Maharishi tour" situation), so who cares?
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« Reply #5 on: May 08, 2022, 07:27:35 PM »

Yep, we’ve talked about it before. A known thing. Doesn’t seem to be a giant deal.
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« Reply #6 on: May 08, 2022, 07:54:10 PM »

The only place I've seen Carl talk about it was on the old PBS Late Night show with Dennis Wholey, 1983. The clip is on You Tube. It didn't sound like anything sinister to me; but I admit to not knowing much about the organization. Dave Davies of the Kinks got involved around the same time with the Aetherius Society, founded by Dr. George King; they talk about about contact with aliens, and say that Jesus lives on Venus.
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patsy6
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« Reply #7 on: May 08, 2022, 07:54:44 PM »

Was Carl's involvement in MSIA common knowledge among fans during his lifetime? Appreciate this new piece of the puzzle, Patsy6.

I don't know what constitutes "common knowledge," but back in the early to mid-90s, I do remember a tiny bit of online chatter about Carl's involvement with the "John Roger" religious group (even that Carl was a sort of minister within the organization).  This chatter was on what constituted the online BB discussion of the era (e.g., Usenet, email lists, compuserve, whatever).  As I recall, the general gist of the chatter was that "John Roger" was a sketchy sort of character who was generating a fair amount of controversy, BUT Carl had the right to whatever religious views he wanted to have, and those view didn't have anything to do with the music or the band (i.e., this wasn't another "Maharishi tour" situation), so who cares?
Obviously not you. Some fans are interested, though.
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« Reply #8 on: May 09, 2022, 12:45:22 AM »


Actually my point there wasn't about my personal feelings about the issue per se, but rather my recollection,  as someone who's been reading online BB info for 30 years, of the general nonchalance of BB fans when the issue came up.  This wasn't something like the Landy issue where many, many fans had very strong feelings that Landy was not a good person and was exploiting and/or mistreating Brian.  I don't remember ever seeing a single post suggesting that Carl was being a exploited by a cult or whatever.  So, again, the question was whether BB fans knew about the "John Roger" thing, and my recollection is that they did but no one seemed to be losing sleep over it.
« Last Edit: May 09, 2022, 12:47:10 AM by juggler » Logged
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« Reply #9 on: May 09, 2022, 08:47:20 AM »

Not to put too fine a point on it, but I think if one were to feel uneasy about Carl's connection to this group, it wouldn't only be for fear of Carl being exploited or something of that nature, but also Carl simply being connected to a group that clearly some people and organizations took issue with.

I think the fact that this group only had a seemingly relatively short stint in the larger public eye and stayed relatively more low key than other organizations of a similar nature (I think we can all name the obvious ones), coupled with Carl's private nature, is what dictated that there was never a huge swath of Beach Boys fans expressing deep concern for Carl's links to the group. Carl died during the *relatively* early era of the internet, so there was less chance for more discussion to hatch concerning the group or Carl's links to it.

We still seem to know relatively little of Carl's connection to the group or his beliefs at any point, including near the end of his life. I can't claim I've ever felt *positive* about Carl's connection to that John Roger group, and certainly those couple of minutes of documentary footage showing Carl working events for the group don't make me feel any better about it. I don't think it's inappropriate to say it evokes in the minds of many a number of similar groups of distant and recent past. Again, we can name some of the obvious ones. And indeed, I recall reading, coincidentally back in the Usenet days of the mid-late 90s on the Beach Boys groups, that Carl at some point (presumably in the 70s and 80s) had allegedly "looked into" a number of groups/movements including Scientology.

It also may well be that *if* we knew more about his feelings and beliefs in general and specifically in regards to the John Roger group, that might speak to how he interacted with the band/organization over the years.

I don't look at Carl's connection to this group as "meh, no big deal." He was obviously entitled to his beliefs and to choose his associations. But it feels a bit more icky to me than "meh, no big deal"; that's just my personal feeling of course on it. But I also think we have far, far too little information about Carl to draw any particularly judgmental conclusions about Carl in regards to this organization. I'm certainly not willing to make any hugely negative assumptions or judgments. I think even looking at that footage, I could offer commentary as any of us could about what it seems/feels like, and as I mentioned, I don't ever get a *good* feeling from it. But until or if we get more info about Carl's life (you gotta commend not only Carl but also his tight relationships with others in that nobody seems to want to tell much about him), I'm not sure how much more we can say. Perhaps if we were to delve deep into that John Roger organization, enough troubling things would lead to a justified *attempt* to question his family about Carl's feelings about and connections to the group. Asking those questions wouldn't necessarily be out of line; and they in turn would absolutely have the right to not answer those questions.
« Last Edit: May 09, 2022, 08:49:47 AM by HeyJude » Logged

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« Reply #10 on: May 09, 2022, 10:19:28 AM »

Well, you're right, HeyJude.  The internet was a much different thing in the '90s than it is now.   There's way more information now... and there's social media... and info moves much faster.... and photos and videos and articles are easily shared.   So, something like Mike Love's gig at the trophy-hunting convention -- something that might have flown under the radar 25 years ago -- can now generate a protest and thousands of signatures on a petition in the space of 24-48 hours.  So if one of the BBs in 2022 were involved with a John-Roger-type group, would the reaction of BB fandom over that fact be quite different than it was in, say, 1995?   My guess is that it would indeed be different.  You'd have people armed with articles and videos explaining the controversies about the group, and fans denouncing the BB's involvement therein in no uncertain terms, etc.
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« Reply #11 on: May 09, 2022, 10:31:09 AM »

The group's dips in popularity decades ago occasionally helped them ironically as well. They played Sun City in 1981/1982, and Mike made at least one inflammatory remark about it to the media, but nobody cared because nobody was paying attention to the Beach Boys in late 1981/early 1982.
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patsy6
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« Reply #12 on: May 09, 2022, 03:14:47 PM »

Not to put too fine a point on it, but I think if one were to feel uneasy about Carl's connection to this group, it wouldn't only be for fear of Carl being exploited or something of that nature, but also Carl simply being connected to a group that clearly some people and organizations took issue with.

I think the fact that this group only had a seemingly relatively short stint in the larger public eye and stayed relatively more low key than other organizations of a similar nature (I think we can all name the obvious ones), coupled with Carl's private nature, is what dictated that there was never a huge swath of Beach Boys fans expressing deep concern for Carl's links to the group. Carl died during the *relatively* early era of the internet, so there was less chance for more discussion to hatch concerning the group or Carl's links to it.

We still seem to know relatively little of Carl's connection to the group or his beliefs at any point, including near the end of his life. I can't claim I've ever felt *positive* about Carl's connection to that John Roger group, and certainly those couple of minutes of documentary footage showing Carl working events for the group don't make me feel any better about it. I don't think it's inappropriate to say it evokes in the minds of many a number of similar groups of distant and recent past. Again, we can name some of the obvious ones. And indeed, I recall reading, coincidentally back in the Usenet days of the mid-late 90s on the Beach Boys groups, that Carl at some point (presumably in the 70s and 80s) had allegedly "looked into" a number of groups/movements including Scientology.

It also may well be that *if* we knew more about his feelings and beliefs in general and specifically in regards to the John Roger group, that might speak to how he interacted with the band/organization over the years.

I don't look at Carl's connection to this group as "meh, no big deal." He was obviously entitled to his beliefs and to choose his associations. But it feels a bit more icky to me than "meh, no big deal"; that's just my personal feeling of course on it. But I also think we have far, far too little information about Carl to draw any particularly judgmental conclusions about Carl in regards to this organization. I'm certainly not willing to make any hugely negative assumptions or judgments. I think even looking at that footage, I could offer commentary as any of us could about what it seems/feels like, and as I mentioned, I don't ever get a *good* feeling from it. But until or if we get more info about Carl's life (you gotta commend not only Carl but also his tight relationships with others in that nobody seems to want to tell much about him), I'm not sure how much more we can say. Perhaps if we were to delve deep into that John Roger organization, enough troubling things would lead to a justified *attempt* to question his family about Carl's feelings about and connections to the group. Asking those questions wouldn't necessarily be out of line; and they in turn would absolutely have the right to not answer those questions.
Well said, Hey Jude. I suppose my radar is up right now, because I've just finished binge watching Leah Remini's expose on Scientology. I feel that somehow all three of the Wilsons and Mike Love, perhaps because of their upbringing, were/are vulnerable to people with narcissistic personalities. This fits right in with that tendency. I include Mike in this, as he suffered some emotional abuse by his mother, Murry Wilson's sister Glee. Murry and Glee both suffered at the hands of their father, Buddy Wilson. Mike certainly didn't fall under the spell of Murry, Landy, Manson or John-Roger, but he was entranced by the Maharishi.

After seeing the financial and emotional damage that certain groups with cultish tendencies can inflict on their members and their members' families, I would be interested to know the details of Carl's involvement in MSIA and its effect on his family. Particularly on Gina and his sons, of course, but also on his relationship with Brian.
« Last Edit: May 09, 2022, 03:17:51 PM by patsy6 » Logged
phirnis
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« Reply #13 on: May 10, 2022, 03:05:21 AM »

In the band's history, Carl remains the big question mark for me in many ways. Always super diplomatic in interviews, to the point where it's almost impossible to tell how he felt about being a BB especially in his later years. In some 80s/90s footage he almost looks like he felt a little embarrassed here and there, like in the Little Old Lady from Pasadena TV performance or in the Crocodile Rock music video; yet even an observation as simple as this can feel like "reading too much into it" with a character as private and reserved as Carl. I love his singing but otherwise he's a bit of a mystery. That John-Roger stuff seems to make matters even more complex.
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Tony S
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« Reply #14 on: May 10, 2022, 04:01:58 AM »

Carl was such a private person perhaps none more so than his relationship with Gina his second wife. There's so little we know about their relationship, it seems like every comment about Carl that someone's asked for comes from Annie his first wife. It would beonderful to know more about his relationship with Gina and just what they did to unwind and for fun but sadly we may never find that out
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« Reply #15 on: May 10, 2022, 11:46:40 AM »

Carl was such a private person perhaps none more so than his relationship with Gina his second wife. There's so little we know about their relationship, it seems like every comment about Carl that someone's asked for comes from Annie his first wife. It would beonderful to know more about his relationship with Gina and just what they did to unwind and for fun but sadly we may never find that out
I remember Annie making some nice contributions in the ESQ tribute issue back in 1998; nothing from Gina. It's contrary to the wishes of fans who want to know everything, but i think we have to respect their wishes for privacy. As far as Carl and John-Roger, if the program can bring more Carl-like souls into the world, them I'm all for it.
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« Reply #16 on: May 10, 2022, 12:46:15 PM »

Carl was such a private person perhaps none more so than his relationship with Gina his second wife. There's so little we know about their relationship, it seems like every comment about Carl that someone's asked for comes from Annie his first wife. It would beonderful to know more about his relationship with Gina and just what they did to unwind and for fun but sadly we may never find that out
I remember Annie making some nice contributions in the ESQ tribute issue back in 1998; nothing from Gina. It's contrary to the wishes of fans who want to know everything, but i think we have to respect their wishes for privacy. As far as Carl and John-Roger, if the program can bring more Carl-like souls into the world, them I'm all for it.

Carl was well-liked/respected/loved before his involvement in that organization.

Ironically, while it may or may not have anything to do with his involvement in the organization, Carl seemed to become more musically conservative (both in style and in terms of productivity) in the mid-late 80s and into the 90s, and evidence suggests Carl had largely abdicated “leadership” of the band to Mike apart from performing the literal on-stage musical director role by this time as well.

From the band/fan point of view based on the information we have, things got a bit more confusing/frustrating/lethargic in this era.

I’ve already mentioned that Carl was (obviously) entitled to whatever opinions/beliefs/affiliations he chose. But I’m certainly not willing to ignore a potentially problematic organization because we know a good guy was involved at some point.
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« Reply #17 on: May 10, 2022, 04:23:14 PM »

Speaking of Gina... has Brian's "Carl & Gina" ditty ever surfaced in any form?   I can't remember if Brian wrote it honor for their 1987 wedding or it predated that, but I've always been curious about the song (as I'm curious about any Brian Wilson song).  Anyone know anything about it?  Lyrics?  Anything beyond the title?
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« Reply #18 on: May 10, 2022, 05:50:45 PM »

There was that one very revealing Carl interview from, I think, the late 80s where he went into some detail about a number of controversial topics-like his 70s substance issues-he was super honest in that interview-which stands out in my mind because he was usually pretty diplomatic/cagey in interviews after 1982 or so.
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« Reply #19 on: May 10, 2022, 06:11:06 PM »

As far as Carl and John-Roger, if the program can bring more Carl-like souls into the world, them I'm all for it.

"As far as Dennis and Charles Manson, if the family can bring more Dennis-like souls into the world, then I'm all for it."

"As far as Brian and Eugene Landy, if 24-hour therapy can bring more Brian-like souls into the world, then I'm all for it."

These are all equivalent statements that make no sense when you think about them for more than 2 seconds. No one should be "all for" cults with sexual abusers in positions of high power.
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Lonely Summer
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« Reply #20 on: May 10, 2022, 07:42:43 PM »

As far as Carl and John-Roger, if the program can bring more Carl-like souls into the world, them I'm all for it.

"As far as Dennis and Charles Manson, if the family can bring more Dennis-like souls into the world, then I'm all for it."

"As far as Brian and Eugene Landy, if 24-hour therapy can bring more Brian-like souls into the world, then I'm all for it."

These are all equivalent statements that make no sense when you think about them for more than 2 seconds. No one should be "all for" cults with sexual abusers in positions of high power.
Hmm, how do I respond to this? An honest reply, or a snarky response?
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« Reply #21 on: May 10, 2022, 09:50:06 PM »

Those who know my feelings on organized religion can breathe a sigh of relief …I’m not going to open THAT can of worms!
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« Reply #22 on: May 11, 2022, 06:44:35 AM »

There was that one very revealing Carl interview from, I think, the late 80s where he went into some detail about a number of controversial topics-like his 70s substance issues-he was super honest in that interview-which stands out in my mind because he was usually pretty diplomatic/cagey in interviews after 1982 or so.

There was this interview that someone on the board translated from 1989: http://smileysmile.net/board/index.php/topic,15607.msg369021.html#msg369021

He is asked about the '78 Australian situation, but while it's difficult to parse much, especially with the translation, he still seems a bit cagey in that one. He ascribes the situation to "tranquilizers and alcohol" and denies having taken heroin. Which is actually plausible even based on the most damning portrayals of the situation from the likes of Gaines/Pamplin. I can't blame him for not wanting to get into any of that.

But it's definitely true that Carl, who seems to have relatively rarely been interviewed over the years given the band's stature, was pretty cagey and/or diplomatic in interviews. That round of '83 interviews he did on TV was interesting, as he would occasionally start to go into detail (in one we may have had the only case of a BB actually saying the name "Carolyn Williams" in an interview), and then seem to catch himself and pull back.

That "30th Anniversary" special for UK TV that was made around 1991/1992 was interesting because the guys were all interviewed during the time that Brian/Landy situation was coming to a head, and I recall Carl starting to get into the Landy situation in one of those interviews and then kind of putting the brakes on and saying he couldn't say more.
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patsy6
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« Reply #23 on: May 11, 2022, 05:41:21 PM »

Carl briefly mentions John-Roger and MSIA in this 1983 interview. https://youtu.be/vpG7AL2UF4E
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Lonely Summer
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« Reply #24 on: May 12, 2022, 11:37:15 AM »

Carl briefly mentions John-Roger and MSIA in this 1983 interview. https://youtu.be/vpG7AL2UF4E
thank you
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