Dick Russell - My Mysterious Son: A Life-Changing Passage Between Schizophrenia and Shamanism
Dick Russell photo by George Peper
Dick Russell is the author of twelve books including the widely-acclaimed "Eye of the Whale" - the subject of his previous Adventurers Club presentation a decade ago.
This Thursday, he will speak about his new memoir, "My Mysterious Son: A Life-Changing Passage Between Schizophrenia and Shamanism."
It’s the deeply personal story of Russell’s relationship with his now 36-year-old son Franklin, who was diagnosed with schizophrenia at seventeen.
After years of anguish over the situation, in 2012 Russell took his son to Tanzania to witness the annual wildlife migration.
Overcoming two perilous nights, one in which Franklin seemed to have disappeared into the bush, the trip ultimately proved a dramatic breakthrough between father and son.
This led both onto a new path with a renowned African-born shaman named Malidoma,
a journey that offered insights beyond the Western medication model and led the writer to a deep appreciation of his son’s own otherworldly nature.
For most of the past twenty years, the primary focus of Dick Russell’s magazine writing and personal activism has been the environment -
particularly the crisis impacting the world’s fisheries and oceans.
A longtime sports fisherman, Russell spent the better part of three years fighting for stronger regulations to protect the endangered Atlantic striped bass.
He organized a national conference in Washington, D.C., and appeared on numerous radio and TV programs.
For his efforts, Russell was awarded the citizen’s Chevron Conservation Award in 1988.
Today, the return of the striped bass is considered the foremost example of the resiliency of the oceans - provided a species is given a chance to recover.
His new book on this subject, "Striper Wars: An American Fish Story," was published by Island Press/Shearwater Books in Summer 2005 and is now available in paperback.
The book has been described as "one of the most amazing fish stories...ever" by the Philadelphia Inquirer and "a can't-put-down read" by the Boston Globe.
Russell’s previous book is "Eye of the Whale" (Simon & Schuster hard-cover; paperback edition by Island Press/Shearwater Books),
which upon publication was named among the Best Books of 2001 by three major newspapers: the Los Angeles Times, the Washington Post, and the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
It is an account of his following the migration of the California gray whale, from Mexico’s Baja peninsula all the way to northern Alaska and Siberia.
According to L.A. Times’ reviewer Richard Ellis, this book "will change the way you think about the natural world."
Married and with one child, Russell divides his time between Boston and Los Angeles.
He has traveled widely in Europe, Africa, the Middle East, the Far East, and Central America.
He is a 1969 graduate (BA, Humanities) of the University of Kansas.
Jay Foonberg - 70th Anniversary: The Battle of Iwo Jima
On 19 February 1945, Marines landed on Iwo Jima in what was the largest all-Marine battle in history.
It was also the bloodiest in Marine Corps history.
The Marine Corps suffered over 23,300 casualties. The 36-day battle ended March 26, 1945
This presentation is Jay’s way of paying tribute to the 7,000 U.S. Marines who died in the Battle.
"I went to Iwo Jima as a tourist on March 8, 2013, but an event happened which changed me forever.
I became a serious student of what happened on that Island during WWII, and returned and have since done a huge amount of research."
Most, if not all, of the people who can read this or see Jay were not even born when the Battle occurred.
Quite likely, not even their fathers had been born.
Why then is this Battle so important in the history of the U.S. Marines and of the United States and even the world?
All Jay knew about Iwo Jima was that it is a closed Japanese Military base,
open only one day per year to foreigners to allow the U.S. Marine Corps to send a delegation of 100 people.
It is about as far off the beaten path a one can get.
More Americans get to the top of Mt. Everest than get to the top of Mount Suribachi. Jay’s curiosity was roaring.
Iwo Jima is 8 sq. miles in area. Catalina Island is 75 sq miles in area.
Why did the U.S. send 100,000 troops including 64,000 Marines to capture it and the Japanese sent 23,000 troops to defend it,
a tiny island one-tenth the size of Catalina Island, and the same area size as the City of Beverly Hills?
The valor of the Marines who fought and died there made possible the ending of WWII and saved millions of U.S. and Japanese lives.
The United States won the battle and won the war. The
Japanese also "won" the battle, according to their goals, but because of their "win," they lost the war.
They sent 23,000 soldiers there to defend the island, causing the U.S. so much blood, that the U.S. would
not be willing to spill that much blood to invade the Japanese home islands.
They were correct. They killed 7,000 U.S. Marines in vicious bloody combat and caused 23,000 more casualties.
From their point of view, they "won."
The U.S. was left with no alternative, but to use the atomic bomb, which brought about the end of the war.
To fully understand why the U.S. sent 70,000 Marines and a flotilla of 10 war ships to capture a tiny island of six square miles and
the Japanese sent 23,000 troops to die in the defense, it is necessary to relate several concepts and facts:
What happened to Jay on March 8, 2008?
The Code of The Samurai;
The Code of Bushido;
The Shinto Religion;
The fact that Iwo Jima with seven sq. miles was considered part of the Japanese homeland as Catalina Island with 75 sq. miles is part of the U.S.;
The Kamikaze vs. the Jihadist suicide bomber;
The Japanese soldier’s concept of loyalty;
The U.S. Marine’s code of loyalty as expressed in Semper Fidelis;
The true story of the Flag Raising on Mt. Suribachi;
The true story of the "Staged" flag raising photos and the reason for the controversy;
Why we returned Iwo Jima to Japan;
The genius of the defending Japanese General Tadamichi Kuribayashi who was 6 generations Samurai and who had spent several years in the U.S.,
learning about Americans and how the Emperor hoped he could convince the U.S. to sign an armistice in spite of their treaty obligations to
demand Unconditional Surrender. Kuribayashi defied all existing military strategy in his brilliant defense;
Why the defense was as bloody as it was;
Why the Flag raising Rosenthal Photo is the most reproduced Photo in the history of the world;
Why the Battle of Iwo Jima defines the United States Marine and the Corps and the Flag Raising is the official monument at Arlington National Cemetery; and
Why this 70th anniversary is hallowed and observed by U.S. Marine Corps Bases and activities all over the world.
A terrorist attack on an Embassy in London, a parachute malfunction on a HALO jump from over 25,000 feet, and worldwide Seal Team operations.
Marshall Lubin is the author of two books, a worldwide traveler, and adventurer who circumnavigated the planet before he was twenty years old.
In his twenties, he visited South America, including the Amazon Jungle, and Mexico. At the age of thirty he joined the Navy.
Having seen the movie, Be Someone Special, Marshall volunteered to join the Navy’s Special Warfare Program which led to a stint at Seal Team One.
Marshall left the military and went back to school attaining his Doctor of Chiropractic degree in 1985.
More recently (2013), the author sailed from San Diego to French Polynesia, a six week voyage that covered over 4000 miles.
In November, 2014, he sailed a Cape Dory 36’ sloop from the Columbia River in Washington to Honolulu, Hawaii, a journey of more than 2250 miles.
Currently, Marshall is living in the littoral region north of San Diego, CA, writing, ocean swimming, sailing and scuba diving.
The Adventurers’ Club of Los Angeles thanks Bernie Harris for recommending this speaker.
On Top of the Tallest Peak in Colorado
They said, "Hell Week" would be tough. (note the swollen hands.)