Passed to Astral-Land 01/07/02
Personal Comments from Kathy Greene Fucetola
Personal Comments from Dr. Robert Goodman
Notes on Charlie's Catastrophist Views
From Kathy Greene Fucetola:
We first met Charlie through our friends Robert Goodman and Nadine Robiczek in the late '80's. It seems like it was only a few months ago that we learned of his illness. Charlie ended his struggle with cancer by quietly passing in his sleep, Monday morning, January 7th.
Charlie was like a big Teddy Bear, though grumpier, with a keen mind and a wicked sense of humor. Everyone was thrilled when Charlie and Nadine married. They were a great match and seemed so happy together. Then there were the "children." While the Raspils opted not to produce physical children, the spirit ones kept showing up, channeled by Charlie. They included girls Charlene and Lena, and the youngest boy Lee (the 'Pirate') with his pet parrot. There were also the Aliens (living under the bed) and the twin older boys, Harley and Charley.
Harley and Charley are real 'characters.' All the kids live in Astral-Land where Harley and Charley have a call-in Astral Radio Show. They generally abuse those of us who call in (especially if its Robert Goodman -- they don't like HaHeeHooHa, the Troll, either).
Sometimes they are exuberantly eloquent. Mostly they are just smart-asses. Their favorite food is hamburgers, particularly those from Wendy's. Should any of us feel surprise to learn that Dave Thomas, founder of Wendy's, passed over from similar causes one day after Charlie? Charlie, Dave and the twins are probably all eating Astral-Land Burgers right now and discussing the finer points of charbroiling in heaven!
Nadine was the disciplinarian. Someone had to be. She is a great Mom. It is painful to write this because it is bringing up memories of middle-of-the-night talks with 'the Raspil brood' and other friends, and Charlie's 3-D presence will be missed. Charlie had such broad knowledge of so many areas of leading edge thought. He was a fan of the Seth books, with little interest in channels other than Jane Roberts.
But Charlie was, first, a scholar, intrigued by the theories of Velikovsky. He spent much time analyzing, writing and presenting papers in America and Europe about various aspects of esoteric and alternative science and theory. He was well respected in these circles for his learning and broad synthesizing approach. I can imagine him now, debating the Truth on the Other Side -- between Astral-Burgers!
Our love and thoughts are with Nadine at this time. And, Charlie, may you finally find the Answers to all your Questions -- oh, yes, we wouldn't mind visits from Harley and Charley once in a while to keep us honest...
From Robert Goodman:
In 1987 I conducted the first phase of an experiment. I wanted to find out what people knew of the word "libertarian" and of the Libertarian Party. I devised and conducted my own telephone poll on the subject in the Bronx, which is where I live, and I would conduct another such poll a year after running as an LP nominee for state assembly in 1988.
My method was to go every 10th page in the Bronx phone book and phone numbers from the top of the page until I got a respondent. However, on 2 pages of every 3 of those, to get unpublished numbers, I would add or subtract 1010 modulo 10,000 from the listed number. So it was only every 30th page from which I actually phoned published numbers.
On Monday, August 24 about 10 PM it was the turn of Raspil, Charles at 777 Mace Ave. On some page ending in 0, his was the first number. He was then 41 years old and had lived in New York City for the previous 34 years, as I see from the notes I took on the poll. He was intrigued, being the sort of person open to synchronicities such as this, and we had a long and illuminated conversation ending with the thought that we should keep in touch and get together. I was the one who introduced Charlie to Nadine and you all, and he introduced me to others with whom I've stayed friendly.
In Your Sly Tribe,
Charles Raspil and Catastrophism
I've been asked to summarize what I know of Charlie's catastrophist or Velikovskian pursuits.
Charlie took a course on the subject given by Clark Whelton at the New School for Social Research in New York in 1979, just after Velikovsky's death. At the end of that course, Charlie and Dominick Carlucci formed a study group initially from attendees at that course. I'm informed about Charlie in part by David Lindelof, an original and continuing member of that group.
The study group continued to meet approximately weekly for over 20 years, although its membership changed and interests became more diffuse, to the point it became simply a social gathering. Charlie was the principal organization guy who kept people in touch.
Charlie agreed with Velikovsky that orbits of the planets had not been consistent during historic or quasi-historic times, but disagreed with Velikovsky's pinpointing of those changes to the times he claimed. Charlie also thought orbital instability was a long term feature of the solar system, as evidenced by Chinese records that show many transient deviations of planets,
particularly Venus, from where they "should" have been, although they returned to their usual schedule. Sometimes, though not always, these excursions were associated with disastrous or other notable events on Earth. Some of the apparent deviations were extravagant, taking Venus very far from the ecliptic and back in a perplexingly short time, reminiscent of John Keel's report of heavenly bodies falling behind in their apparent sidereal motion and then catching up before viewers' very eyes. Charlie spent a lot of time poring over Chinese records (in translation) and retrocalculating orbits.
Charlie also became interested in the methods of the Saturn theorists, explaining recurring motifs in art in terms of things people saw in the sky, although he rejected the idea that the planets were aligned Saturnially. During the 1990s Charlie generalized the Mercurius sign of which Saturnists have made much into the "trism" -- an item of trifold symmetry, such as the
fleur de lis. Another motif in art that attracted his attention was the "spatter" -- a central blob surrounded regularly or irregularly by smaller dots; the spatter has some resemblance to the Saturnists' enclosure figures. He thought the trism was a luminous display shaped by magnetic lines of force. The spatter he thought related to electric discharges perpendicular to the plane of the figure, along the lines of phenomena described by Ralph Juergens.
So it can be seen Charlie shared interest with Velikovsky and other catastrophists in explaining unusual historic sights in the sky by electromagnetic means. He shared interest in the significance of comets and conjunctions to human welfare, and wonder in whether such phenomena were the same as those currently described by the words "comet" and "conjunction".
Charlie differed from other theorists in their ascribing planetary catastrophes to close encounters between Earth and other massive bodies -- Venus, Mars, meteors, or asteroids -- and thought it more likely that orbital anomalies and other strange sights in the sky were caused by and hence correlated with general EM disturbances in the solar system that also caused effects on Earth, rather than crashing planets themselves causing catastrophes.
Charlie also thought some disastrous or spectacular effects on Earth that others might give as evidence of planetwide or interplanetary catastrophe were actually more local EM effects close to Earth or parts thereof. He was attracted to Cyril Marystone's hypothesis explaining apparent low-mass, high-energy effects on earth as comets made of plasmas, and to the possibility that the sun and other stars operate primarily electrically rather than nuclearly. He entertained the idea that some EM effect could have precipitated the Black Death (Was there a literal darkening?) -- for instance, by increases in UV or X radiation reaching Earth's surface and impairing immunity to infectious diseases.
Charlie had also been interested in Jane Roberts' idea of "oversouls" since before taking Whelton's course. That idea colored Charlie's beliefs about how trism, spatter, conjunction, and comet motifs could be carried down and associated with disaster or spectacle in art over a long period. In addition to diffusion and inheritance by cultural means, Charlie believed they could be transmitted by what Jung would call the collective unconscious. Therefore psychic methods were among his exploratory techniques; one of his primary finds in that regard was co-worker and longtime friend Gene Battle as a channel to these experiences. Charlie also considered direct psychic effects on humanity to have been part of the legacy of catastrophic EM events. One such possibility was the direct impressment on the brain of signals by such means, which signals can be interpreted as such phenomena as alien encounters or demonic manifestations; one worker has claimed to produce in subjects the distinct impression of an alien abduction by electric stimulation of the subject's brain.
Charlie seemed to have no more than a spectator's interest in using catastrophes as chronologic markers, nor in criticizing chronology as to internal inconsistency. His knowledge of Hebrew from his early yeshiva studies was excellent, but although he paid some attention to Biblical archaeology, his use of Holy Bible as a source was minimal.
Charlie was frustrated by the politics of catastrophism circles. It bothered him that to get attention, log rolling with others was more important than the merits of the ideas themselves. Charlie went where the evidence and his judgement led him, so he didn't especially make allies among catastrophists. He followed their politics mostly as a spectator sport. It has also been pointed out that Charlie did not claim greater certainty in his own conclusions than he honestly felt, and that was one reason for him to suffer lack of attention; mostly he wanted to present evidence that others had overlooked, and to let them draw their own conclusions.
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