Sunday, August 10


Jonathan Darman, Newsweek - I struck up a conversation with [Rielle Hunter] at the next [Edwards] event, as we waited outside. She told me her name and asked me what my astrological sign was, which I thought was a little unusual. I told her. She smiled, and began telling me her life story: how she was working as a documentary-film maker, living with a friend in South Orange, N.J., but how she'd previously had "many lives." She'd worked, she said, as an actress and as a spiritual adviser. She was fiercely devoted to astrology and New Age spirituality. She'd been a New York party girl, she'd been married and divorced, she'd been a seeker and a teacher and was a firm believer in the power of truth.

She told me that she had met Edwards at a bar, at the Regency Hotel in New York. She thought he was giving off a special "energy." I didn't pursue the topic, and when I filed my story, I made no mention of Rielle. . . Four months later, Rielle found her way to me. It was November 2006. I received an e-mail from her, complimenting me on some stories I'd written on the midterm elections. She wanted to give me a story. Could I come for lunch in New York?

We agreed to meet at Aqua Grill in SoHo on the Tuesday before Thanksgiving. When I arrived at the restaurant, she was already seated. She greeted me warmly with surprising intimacy, rising for two kisses on the cheek. "So it's afternoon," I said with a smile. "What do you think, are we drinking wine?" She smiled back at me. "Bottle or glass?"

I would soon learn that there was no such thing as small talk with Rielle Hunter. She told me that she'd felt a connection to me when we'd first met, that she could tell I was a very old soul. This meant a lot to Rielle. Her speech was peppered with New Age jargon-human beings were dragged down by "blockages" to their actual potential; history was the story of souls entering and escaping our field of consciousness. A seminal book for her had been Eckhart Tolle's "The Power of Now." Her purpose on this Earth, she said, was to help raise awareness about all this, to help the unenlightened become better reflections of their true, repressed selves.


At 11:49 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Given the utter phoniness of Edwards posturings as being anything other than the usual corrupt and ideal-less hack politico, no, I don't find it at all surprising that he fell for an opportunistic and phony tramp such as Ms. Hunter. In fact, I'd say his attraction to her was probably pretty much in line with the rest of his moral and intellectual makeup. Why are we being so naive about this guy? It's not as though his record weren't out there for all to see.

At 2:21 PM, Blogger lavaface said...

I think your headline and the first comment are way too harsh on Ms. Rielle. I do not consider myself a "New Ager" at all, and I share your general skepticism of fluffy jargon. But the fact remains that the core of what she seems to be saying resonates with me. History IS the story of souls entering and escaping our field of consciousness. Humans ARE dragged down by blockages to our potential. I have no intention of moving to a dolphin colony or stocking up on supplies of rainbow crystals, but I am aware that there are deep and subtle currents of energy in the ecology of mind. To disparage her on the basis of a few skewed anecdotes is unfair and dismissing her as a phony tramp is downright ignorant and rude. Only an emotionally-stunted dickwad would say something like that :P

At 4:04 PM, Anonymous MonkeyMuffins said...

As I said here, Sam screws the pooch with this kind of puritanical, ivory-tower analysis.

It entirely misses the evolutionary bedrock:
It's natural for politicians to risk everything for an affair (but only if they're male)

"On the morning of January 21, 1998, as Americans woke up to the stunning allegation that President Bill Clinton had had an affair with a 24-year-old White House intern, Darwinian historian Laura L. Betzig thought, "I told you so." Betzig points out that while powerful men throughout Western history have married monogamously (only one legal wife at a time), they have always mated polygynously (they had lovers, concubines, and female slaves). With their wives, they produced legitimate heirs; with the others, they produced bastards. Genes make no distinction between the two categories of children.

"As a result, powerful men of high status throughout human history attained very high reproductive success, leaving a large number of offspring (legitimate and otherwise), while countless poor men died mateless and childless. Moulay Ismail the Bloodthirsty, the last Sharifian emperor of Morocco, stands out quantitatively, having left more offspring—1,042—than anyone else on record, but he was by no means qualitatively different from other powerful men, like Bill Clinton.

"The question many asked in 1998—"Why on earth would the most powerful man in the world jeopardize his job for an affair with a young woman?"—is, from a Darwinian perspective, a silly one. Betzig's answer would be: "Why not?" Men strive to attain political power, consciously or unconsciously, in order to have reproductive access to a larger number of women. Reproductive access to women is the goal, political office but one means. To ask why the President of the United States would have a sexual encounter with a young woman is like asking why someone who worked very hard to earn a large sum of money would then spend it.

"What distinguishes Bill Clinton is not that he had extramarital affairs while in office—others have, more will; it would be a Darwinian puzzle if they did not—what distinguishes him is the fact that he got caught."
- Ten Politically Incorrect Truths About Human Nature
New York Magazine recently ran a great piece about this, The Affairs of Men: The trouble with sex and marriage.

It's the same evolutionary foundation that informs me -- with regard to overpopulation, peaking resources (energy, food, water, metals, etcetera) and climate change -- that there will be no Great Turning.

"[P]rudence isn't our forte. 'Even our success becomes failure.' And, in a way, it's not our fault. Long ago Natural Selection dealt us a bad hand—we're sexually prolific, tribal, short-term and self-centered. And after thousands of years of trying, Culture hasn't changed that. And there is no sign that She will."
- Richard C. Duncan

The human primate is simply not capable -- en masse -- of inhabiting a global mind space (let alone behaving in accordance with said mind space) which understands that a) sharing is better than hoarding; and b) small is beautiful.

Two thirds of today's human primate population -- 6.5 plus billion and growing -- "living" on 2 dollars a day or less is proof enough for me.

Natura non facit saltus.

At 4:48 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

As much as I liked Edwards during the campaign, and wanted to believe that this man running for President was a decent guy, there was always a bizzare factor with him. As perfect as it seemed, it always seemed that there was something off.

At 5:09 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Only an emotionally-stunted dickwad would sleep around on his terminally ill wife, and only an even bigger dickwad would take him up on it, 2:21. 11:49's comments aren't rude, unless you consider the plain truth rude. Let's place the blame where it belongs here--with Edwards' and Hunter's actions, not with those who disparage them for their behavior. I don't know how you feel about 'fluffy jargon', but it sure as hell sounds as if your sense of simple right and wrong might be a bit on the 'fluffy' side.

At 3:22 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Only an emotionally stunted spouse would deny their partner sexual release with others when sexual activity becomes impossible for them due to disability.

At 2:27 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Speaking of 'emotionally stunted', 3:22 sounds as if he/she might fit the bill. Ever hear of masturbation, creep?

At 6:26 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nice going 322. Accuse the dying person of selfishness because you don't want to keep it in your pants for for the duration of their dying. Crap, you sound like the kind of person who'd run over a blind kid and then say it was her fault for not seeing you coming. What an asshole.


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