# 3 The Tale of an ALS Survivor

Sex, Drugs & Rock n’ Roll

After being given an ALS diagnosis at the age of 55 and told that I would have 18 months to live, I knew the Fight was ON !!

My look let people know they could ask for help.

I was looking forward to growing old and becoming a grandpa. Only then, would I be ready to make the trip back to where I had come from.

Let me explain. I’m a spiritual person. At 20 years of age, I went into a monastery — the Holy Order of Mans, an esoteric school in service to mankind. My service was with the homeless. I studied meditation, the power of prayer, universal consciousness, the power of thought, reincarnation, Sumerian tablets, and many mystical teachings from the past. It took some powerful experiences to want to have a deeper realization of my spirituality.

I had to go on a journey to find IT.
You see, I left my hometown of St. Louis, Missouri, when I was 18 years old in 1969. First, I registered for the draft and took my physical. Then I told the draft board I was moving to Australia and I would send them my forwarding address. I was in search of a new life and a new identity. My plan was to move to Hawaii and then to Australia.

Before I left St. Louis I new I needed an ID to raise my age to 21. I thought I would have a better chance of finding a job that way. I had to get creative to start a new life, and I was.

It was 1969, and sex, drugs, and rock n’roll were blooming brightly in Honolulu. I let my hair get long and grew my first beard. My first job was for labor at a construction company. Then things got to be interesting.

One day after work, I stopped into a new bar, the Blue Goose, right down the street from the University of Hawaii. They hired me as a part-time parking lot attendant. Before long, they asked me to start checking IDs at the door. And shortly after that, they trained me as a bartender. It seemed crazy but here I was, an 18-year-old bartender at a Honolulu bar serving mostly college students.

After working at the Blue Goose for a year, a rock band named Nebulus that played at the bar often asked me to live with them and become their equipment manager.

Now things were about to get really crazy.

Hang on, we are on the road to the monastery.

Nebulus played the Waikiki beach night clubs and at local concerts. At only 19 years old sex, drugs, and rock n’roll defined my lifestyle now. Led Zeppelin held their first concert in Honolulu in 1970 and we were invited to an after party at the mansion they were staying at. That was the night I met John Paul Jones, the bass player. John Paul and I hit it off and I ended up spending the night in the mansion.

A young lady was also spending the night in that mansion. Strange things can happen when you have strangers staying in your home. The next morning the young lady was gone and so was some clothing, money, and John Paul’s engraved gold pocket watch.

John Paul and his band mates went to visit a few of the islands for a week. During that time while I was at a nightclub where Nebulus was playing, I noticed the girl from the mansion. She walked into the nightclub with John Paul’s pocket watch tied to a loop on her pants. I quickly confronted her, and she confessed to stealing the items. John Paul came back a week later, and I happily returned his watch to him.

However, I didn’t see a future for myself continuing in this lifestyle. When the lead singer of Nebulus was confronted by a local drug dealer and told if he sold any more drugs he would be dead, and he didn’t listen, that was my wake-up call.

His death shocked me enough to take a look at myself. I had never been a religious person, although I grew up in a Catholic family. But I was curious about the notion of spirituality. And in 1969, in Hawaii, I was starting to be exposed to spiritual ideas that I had never heard about. I had little interest in reading books until then. A whole new world started to open inside and outside of me.

Entering a Holy Order
I was starting to have an entirely new picture of myself. One day at my girlfriend’s beach home, I looked out over the ocean and up into the sky and said, “God, there has to be more to life than this. I have so much, but I feel there has to be something more meaningful.”

Answers can come pretty quick when you’re talking to God. I got into my car that day to drive back to the band house. On the side of the road, a gentleman with a gas can in his hand was hoping for a ride. I pulled over, and he walked up to my car and opened the door.

His first words were, “Hi, my name is Daniel. Have you ever heard of cosmic consciousness?”

I said, “No.” He got in. He said, “I’m going to a monastery tonight, they are going to have a talk about it, would you like to come along.” I had no idea what I was in for.

These folks at The Holy Order of Mans fascinated me with their explanations about spirituality. I felt an instant deep connection. After the gathering I asked them if I could join their Order. They said no but I could come for their classes.

When I went home that night, I told the members of the band about my experience. It was the first time I had felt an understanding about my connection with my personal inner being. I started to wonder about what was really important in life, since I had just witnessed a life ending so quickly. A spark ignited in me that wasn’t going to grow any brighter in my present environment.

I made a huge decision to alter my life once again as I had when I leaving my family and former girlfriend in St. Louis to find a clearer view of my future. The Order agreed to let me spend three months in seclusion on their property, after which they would let me know if I could join the Order. I was accepted and stayed for three years.( It was not my choice to leave.)

Both arms and both legs paralyzed. 2 fingers left to control the wheelchair. Dr Bedlacks 42nd ALS reversal at Duke University ALS Clinic.

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