Friday, March 10, 2006

(172) Trust Me, magical books, hidden identities and vision

In November 2000 GM Luke McShane and I appeared, unsuccessfully, as contestants on a Channel 4 TV programme called Trust Me.
Our appearance was broadcast on December 11th 2000.

See me in the last picture, at the bottom, exiting the hut with Luke...

On December 13th 2000 I lunched with Mick Brown in London.

The next day I wrote to him -

Dear Mick,
 ... en route to our lunch I alighted, incorrectly, at Charing Cross... and bumped into Stewart Reuben (see Entry 80)... he mentioned that on October 2nd he had been about to leave his brother in law’s home as Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? played on the TV,... he... mentioned... that a friend of his had appeared on the show"… and there he is again!", as I reappeared.He therefore stayed and viewed my two further unsuccessful attempts to get into the hot seat.

... I was originally approached about this show... in September, and they were then calling it The Dilemma Game. ... a couple of weeks ago... they changed the name to Trust Me. I spoke with Mick Brown... in late Nov... about... lunch... and he... proposed... Dec 13th.
We got a call... on... Monday 11th saying that the episode featuring me was going out at 11:35 on Channel 4 that night. Later... I mentioned this to... Luke McShane. He... had been told that it was going out on Dec 14th, and... had had no call telling him of the change of plan. ... at 11:20 there was an unrelated programme... on BBC2
called Trust Me: I am the Prime Minister.
It was about how... PMs may have manipulated the media.
Please reread... page 292 of The Spiritual Tourist.
I said... how struck I was by the... emphasis... throughout my material on vision... Dr. R.Main points out... this can take the form of one-eyedness, total blindness, the third eye, new ways of looking, etc…

The format of Trust Me was rather obscure... They asked me before to suggest someone who could give some info on me. I suggested... Hartston... a key figure in my book...

You... asked... what I thought... the coincidences might mean, and I... avoided the issue. ... I would rather that,... the phenomena spoke for themselves...
The book... invites readers to make critical comments.

All I... need do is to record... But, if you personally want to explore... regarding the coincidences as clues... then please consider this -

... when you have two sets of clues to a crossword the cryptic set is actually the easier, because the two parts come together with a specificity which leaves the one right conclusion unmistakable.
Any coincidence has two halves.

A key point in pages 59-67... is the limits of ... intelligence.
The Dante-linked coincidences occur in Paradise, where his guide is Beatrice. She symbolises Divine insight... earlier... Virgil, symbolising Reason, is the guide, but with Dante’s entry into Paradise Virgil vanishes, for... We... reach the limits of human intelligence.

Hartston fails, by the closest possible margin, to become a... Grandmaster.
Many people regard us GMs as the top intellects. The coincidence... on pages 60-61 is related to overlooking... castling in relation to... the qualification for the GM title. The coincidences seem to point... out the significance of overlooking... castling in relation to... ascending to the highest intellectual status. So what might castling symbolise?
Castling... is unique... as the only instance in which a player may move two... pieces simultaneously. It is a move of two halves. The cover to my book gives a crossword clue from Entry 164.
It is one of Hartston’s...


One other term used by Main... was "Synchronicity’s self-referring tendency"... the tendency for coincidences to spawn coincidences... Here’s... a cluster... tied into those above.

On... December 14th 2000 at 11 p.m. I was... on the Internet Chess Club...
I had bidden GM J. Gallagher and IM P. Large... hellos. Gallagher had not long been on ICC and... earlier I had asked... if he wanted to buy my book, Coincidences.
He declined, but... asked me if I had seen his new book.

At 9:58 that evening Luke McShane had left this message for me on ICC -

Nucleus (14:48 13-Dec-00 EST):

You didn't know who it was? I did, though Rod didn’t. Yes, I thought that other programme being called that was funny. Dunno if it was just a coincidence. Does that belong in the 2nd edition of your book?

He was referring to an earlier message... where I had said that I did not know that the "host" of the show that we were on was the infamous Nick Bateman, who had shot to fame through... Big Brother...
and had also drawn his attention to the two programmes with Trust Me in the title going out contemporaneously.
Rod is Luke’s dad.

Nucleus... Luke’s ICC handle.
I use Parsifal. I... mentioned the Trust Me two TV programme thing to James Eadon
... and he said that he also had noted it
Then a player accepted one of the several challenges to play that I had issued.
His handle was "Molecule".

At move 12 of my game with Molecule (whose identity was unknown to me) a kibitzing comment appeared on the screen... from J. Gallagher...
(See Entry 51) -
" Want a buy my new book trust me it’s good."
At move 15 he kibitzed again
"Who’s Nucleus?"
At move 16 he kibbed again
"He a relation of Molecule?"
Then my opponent experienced a conection problem and the game became adjourned.
Shortly after he reconnected and began a series of games versus Gallagher.
I told Gallagher ("Smoky") that Nucleus was Luke McShane, who... was... on the TV show with me.
It turned out that earlier that day Joe had... played against this mysterious Nucleus.

Joe’s new book was called The Magic of Mikhail Tal... a collection of some of the best games of a player regarded by many as the most flamboyant and imaginative ever.
I had seen... one... review of it... in GM Keene’s column in The Spectator the previous day at Charing Cross, just before bumping into S. Reuben

GM J.Rowson... told me that in a... review of my book he had criticised me for not working more on a specific definition of Synchronicity.
I had been thinking of saying to him something about there being a far older... and more comprehensive term for... meaningful coincidence: Magic.

I completed this final draft of my letter to Brown on the morning of Dec 15th 2000.

The previous evening I had mentioned to my wife the significance of the simpler term in describing some of the phenomena associated with synchronicity; Magic.

( Note Gallagher´s own usage of the phrase "trust me". He was living in Switzerland, so could hardly have been aware of the title of even one of the Trust Me programmes, let alone that both were on contemporaneously on British TV that night.)

About half an hour after I finished the letter I went upstairs and saw at the top of them a book which I had not noticed in the house before: Magic, An Occult Primer by David Conway. It was sub-headed The Complete Do-It-Yourself Guide.

It turned out that earlier that morning a gentleman had come round to buy some things advertised by my wife in a local paper. She had taken him up into the loft and our son had gone up with them.
Sacha then asked for something to be brought down for him. Fiona grabbed out at the nearest book and this was it.

That evening we watched the video Any Given Sunday, starring Al Pacino as an American Football coach. Fiona had hired it that afternoon because it had been recommended by someone she met at a party the previous evening.

In one scene, Pacino’s Florida side are playing away Vs a Californian team called the Knights, whose logo is a pyramidic eye, like the one on a dollar bill. This same motif appears upon the pitch.
One of the Knights has an eye knocked out. This is retrieved from the pitch, packed in ice, and he is taken off. Pacino’s team just win the match.

Compare the passages about one-eyedness in the Part Two: The Narrative, Epilogues and Appendices section here, which appears just after Entry 22 and especially those involving the fly’s eye blood splashing the name of the book Games People Play in 1985 and my chess game with the diabetic Kai Bjerring, who had gone blind in one eye in 1985, i.e. Point (39).

Lastly, another Internet Chess Club player, Roberto Carso, who played on ICC with the handle biglebowsky, contacted me, intrigued by references in my personal notes at the club to my two appearances on Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?, and also my book.

I sent copies of videos of my first appearance on Millionaire and also of me on Trust Me to him at his home in Italy.

I did not mention the name of the second show.
We agreed a small fee, but then he had problems in paying me via ICC, so I told him that it would be alright to just put the dollars in the post.

On January 8th 2001 he sent me the money.
On the 9th he received my package.

Then on January 11th I got this message from him via ICC-

biglebowsky (07:58 11-Jan-01 EST):
i began to read the book... it look interesting... in TRUST ME u are superior!!! thx very much to TRUST ME! ;-) bye bye
His reference to trusting him was that I had accepted payment via mail.

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