Mindfuckers pp 149-153
Rolling Stone p 40 [#98]
The Lyman Family's Holy Siege of America
by David Felton
"The Manson Family preached
peace and love and went around killing people.
We don't preach peace and love..."
At the south end of Boston lies the Roxbury black ghetto, a dirty oasis of trees, homes and small stores that suddenly emerges from blocks of old factories and railroad yards. Like many of our nation's famous darktowns, Roxbury includes hundreds of decaying apartment buildings housing too many people on not enough land, ruthlessly noisy elevated trains, and a sprawling, brand new, all concrete police district station.
Yet there's something different here. It can be seen from all over Boston: a tower, an ancient brick watchtower that rises needlelike from a secluded hill - Fort Hill - in the center of Roxbury. A relic from the original American Revolution, the structure stands some 70 feet above an abandoned city park. The stone tablet commemorating it is itself nearly 100 years old and starting to crumble around these words:
On this eminence stood ROXBURY HIGH FORT, a strong earthwork planned by Henry Knox and Josiah Waters and erected by the American Army June 1775 - crowning the famous Roxbury lines of investment at THE SIEGE OF BOSTON.
Five years ago a small community of young white intellectuals and artists from the Boston-Cambridge area moved onto the hill and "took over" several empty apartment houses bordering the park. Relations with the black neighborhood immediately deteriorated, and soon guards, members of the new Fort Hill Community, could be seen patrolling the fort for the first time in almost 200 years.
Since then peace has returned, relations have improved, and there is some question on a recent summer evening why guards are still needed at Fort Hill. Or who, exactly, is being watched. It's dark, about 9:30 PM, as one of them approaches holding a flashlight. He appears troubled, glancing nervously up and down a long row of houses now owned by the community. Inside the first house some 60 Fort Hill members are eating dinner, methodically cleaning their plates after a 12-hour work day. Suddenly the guard turns and walks briskly to an area at the rear of the houses where garbage is dumped. He shuts off his flashlight and from a large green plastic garbage bag secretly retrieves a suitcase packed the night before. Then, without looking back, he runs as fast as he can, as fast as he's ever run, past the garages, past the basketball court, past the tool sheds, down the long dirt driveway at the rear, through the winding paved streets of the ghetto and the straight paved streets of the first factories, past the nearest subway station, where they'd be sure to check, to a second station, blocks and blocks away, more difficult to find.
As the sentry boards a subway train, safe for the moment, the interior lights reveal his panting, boyish face. He is Paul Williams, a rock author and first editor of Crawdaddy Magazine, who several months ago gave up his writing career to join the Fort Hill Community.
"I was very frightened, sure," he admitted later at his New York hideaway. "I said I was leaving the day before and they said I wouldn't be allowed to. They said they'd be watching me 24 hours a day. So I was super paranoid, super cautious. But that doesn't bother me. I mean, they owed it to me, in a sense, to keep me on the hill.
"If I grow enough, someday I may come back. I care about Mel Lyman more than anyone outside of myself; someday I may be able to care about him more than me. [The people who can, have something really beautiful going.]"
I am going to burn down the world
I am going to tear down everything that cannot stand alone
I am going to shove hope up your ass
I am going to turn ideals to shit
I am going to reduce everything that stands to rubble
- Mel Lyman
and then I am going to burn the rubble
and then I am going to scatter the ashes
and then maybe someone will be able to see something as it really is