I kept the copy On Dying that Jack Ring gave me well hidden, and I read it every chance that I got. When I got better and was discharged from the hospital, Jack bought me a ticket to the East. He skimmed money off of two of his latest Mummy films and arranged a most extraordinary trip for me: The Trail of the Dead. The Trail of the Dead is a traditional pilgrimage for adherents to the ideas of Jonathan Graves. The Trail follows the same journey that Jonathan Graves took during the late 1800s when on a path of self-discovery, he died, was resuscitated, and came to the realization that death must be defeated in his lifetime – no matter what. I took a boat across the Pacific, landed in India, traveled up the Ganges River to its source in the Himalayas, then made my way high up into the mountains. In his youth, Jonathan Graves wanted like many theosophical Englishman to see the holy source of the Ganges and meet mystical gurus on the high Tibetan plateau. He never expected to have a radical conversion with major’ planetary historical implications. I was one careless driver flailing past another even more careless driver in the dark of a Hollywood night. Jonathan Graves had a heart condition. His heart could simply not take the strain of the incredible altitude. While trying to track down a Holy Man who had proof of the lost civilization of Ancient Mu, Premier Graves’ heart gave out momentarily. He was dead for no more than thirty seconds before being revived by the Holy Man he was looking for. Thirty seconds, on this side of the frame, is all that it took. On my trip, I found the exact spot where he died. It is Tibet which is under control of Communist China. I had to sneak into the area. The spot itself has been concealed by the faithful. Standing there, you can still feel the power as if Jonathan Graves left some essence of himself behind for all his future followers to experience a moment of powerful conversion themselves. It didn’t take me long to realize that this was a man I wanted to follow. This made sense. We shouldn’t have to die. Dying is such a terrible, terrifying waste of human life. We spend our lives creating and building who we are only to allow ourselves to be merged back with something without form, color, sense.
I never even bothered to return to the States. I sent a wire to Jack Ring which said just… Thank You… That’s all I had to say. Thank you for caring. Thank you for showing me the way. Thank you and I’ll thank you again when we’re reunited in Gravesend.
With the travel money I had, I made my way to Europe and contacted the Gravesend Embassy in Romania. I had friends in Hollywood with Communist Party connections who pulled some strings and got me entry first into the Soviet Bloc where I made preparations to emigrate to Gravesend.
I died on the night of August 11, 1966 just past midnight – I remember being revived and looking up at the night sky which was alive with one of the most incredible Perseid Meteor showers. They were like thousands upon thousands of lit arrows fired in my honor, welcoming me into a brave new future.
No sooner had I died and been revived then I got the chance to travel to Bellegravia. The Arctic Summer Day was just beginning to wane when I arrived. And the white city sparkled in that light. I was there for two weeks, living in an apartment with an old friend when there was a knock upon the door. It was KRIPT, the secret police. I thought at first that they were checking up to make sure the new arrival wasn’t a spy, but no they were there to recruit me.
The head officer was named Ruth. She was a counter-information officer for KRIPT and explained that communicating the Gravesend message was one of the most important focuses of the security apparatus. CRIPT knew that I’d come from Hollywood and they were eager to tap my communication skills. I jumped at the opportunity.
That first day, marching into CRIPT Headquarters in Bellegravia. I remember thinking about my old life. How insignificant? I thought. Making movies so teens could go touch each other in the darkness of a movie theater. This, this was important. This was nothing less than a full scale battle against death. To extend life.
I once thought I was so lucky to be alive… after my accident. Lucky? As if life were a privilege. It’s not.
It’s a right.