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1

 

sign saying 'Christ In Hollywood'

 

In his farewell column, Dan Thrapp, the religious news editor for the Los Angeles Times , said he had covered every religious news event in this city — except the Second Coming. But he had the chance: Avatar Meher Baba visited Los Angeles for three days in July, 1956. He stopped off at LAX in July, 1958 for a few moments. He spent a month* in Hollywood with a group of disciples (December, 1934 — January 1935). He spent six days in Hollywood in 1932. Christ has been in Hollywood. The Master of Illusion was particularly interested in this city where creating illusions on film, videotape and vinyl discs is Big Business. And He paid particular attention to the film industry, meeting many of the most prominent stars of the day. Mary Pickford and Douglas Fairbanks Sr., the Titania and Oberon of Fantasyland, accorded Him a full scale reception at Pickfair, where He met a whole roster of luminaries. And He kept His own devotees occupied for almost ten years with His famous (in the Baba world) film project, even dictating the theme for its scenario. He got many theatrical "names" involved in it, such as Karl Vollmoeller, author of the successful mime stage play, The Miracle (in which Norina Matchabelli played the Madonna); the producer Quentin Todd, who was the main "connecting link" in the 30's between Avatar and Hollywood; and Gabriel Pascal, who produced Shaw's plays on film, and the writer, Alexander Markey. Both Pascal and Markey nursed a lifelong ambition to film Baba's life. "The Slippers of a Perfect Master" was Pascal's title. Both, curiously, postponed this major opus until they had made a film of Ghandi's life — better box office in those days. Both failed to film Baba (though Markey did make his film of Ghandi, in India). Perhaps more sadly in the eyes of history, neither one ever shot one frame of documentary on the world's incredible — and photogenic — Cosmic Hero.

 

But nothing the Avatar does is insignificant, nor for the moment only. There will be some day an incredible kaleidoscope of Meher Baba films. As Kitty Davy remarks, the "film project" of the Thirties was only a seed of undoubtedly multiple Baba film projects in the future — perhaps both when the "masses" are ready for the spiritual themes so non-box-office and unacceptable in the Thirties, and when film techniques are equal to projecting the concepts laid out by the greatest Illusionist of them all. Imagine Avatar holographed in full stereophonic — SILENCE! It will be a close encounter of the Seventh Plane kind. Baba once cabled an American lover as follows:

 

WHATEVER LIFE HOLDS FOR YOU IS AN ACT IMPARTED BY ME IN MY PRODUCTION OF THE UNIVERSE AND YOU CAN ACT BEST IF YOU ARE HAPPY IN MY WILL. DON'T WORRY. ALL WILL BE WELL.

 

So we dedicate this issue to "Christ in Hollywood" — past, present, and future . . . AND A BIG "THANK YOU!"

 

. . . to all of you who have recently and most generously supported the continuation of this little magazine devoted to Avatar Meher Baba, His Life, Love and Teachings. In 1956, in San Francisco, Baba called the staff of the Awakener together and asked how we were doing. Not so well! But Baba encouraged us to continue, — to devote our pages wholly to Him, — not to accept $$$ advertising, and He would help us. He said that after He dropped the body everything would "go" — books, magazines, everything. And so it has indeed — through all of you — your encouraging words, your subscriptions, your donations. Thank you all! And an editorial P.S. — do send us your thoughts, criticisms, reviews, articles, plays, art efforts — the magazine is yours.

Filis Frederick, Editor

 

*He stayed almost 3 weeks, not a month. December 18, 1934 to January 7, 1935.

 

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