"Go clear" in Famous Blue Raincoat?

Ask and answer questions about Leonard Cohen, his work, this forum and the websites!
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Re: " go clear?"

Postby hydriot » Mon Sep 20, 2010 2:10 pm

estevan wrote:clearly
Not a word it is wise to use in relation to any of Leonard's work!
“If you do have love it's a kind of wound, and if you don't have it it's worse.” - Leonard, July 1988
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Re: "Go clear" in Famous Blue Raincoat?

Postby richard65 » Mon Nov 29, 2010 7:34 pm

New here.
I am interested in whether LC has ever made public comment about scientology?
It is not an organization that I am a fan of.....
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Re: "Go clear" in Famous Blue Raincoat?

Postby John Etherington » Tue Nov 30, 2010 12:41 am

Hi Richard,

Welcome to the board. I don't recall Leonard ever talking about Scientology in an interview, and I read all of his available interviews in the UK in the late 60s and early 70s. Also, I don't remember anything coming up about this when I helped Jim Devlin compile quotes on Leonard's beliefs and practices for the book "Leonard Cohen in his Own Words" (1998). In Ira Nadel's book "Various Positions" p.160, he tells how Leonard became involved with Scientology in 1968, and in June of that year was awarded a certificate known as a Grade IV - Release. However, after only a few months he apparently told his then partner, Joni Mitchell that "he was disenchanted and that he'd had some difficulty extricating himself from it". Soon after this Leonard met Roshi and had his initial involvement with Zen Buddhism.

All the best, John E
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Re: "Go clear" in Famous Blue Raincoat?

Postby richard65 » Tue Nov 30, 2010 3:10 am

As you probably know, OT {Operating Thetan}3 is "clear" status and generally time-consuming and expensive to reach. It is also a level at which many beliefs and information at withheld from the student. [Cruise,in his "wisdom", is an OT8 - or so I am informed].
I doubt that LC would ever have reached OT3.
However Co$ is likely to still retain a file on him including auditing information. This makes it difficult for any ex to speak out.
Sounds to me, may be wrong, that LC was a "searcher". Which is fine of course. Many of us spend a lifetime at this. It's a better journey if we are treated well along the way however.

Thanks for the info. I appreciate it.
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Re: "Go clear" in Famous Blue Raincoat?

Postby John Etherington » Tue Nov 30, 2010 7:54 am

Hi Richard,

I've just noticed that I've already mentioned the Nadel passage earlier in this thread. I don't know a great deal about Scientology, but I know that they use the personality test to initially lure people in. I went to a Scientology concert in the 70s, which featured The Incredible String Band and Chick Corea among others. Everyone who attended was given a copy of "Dianetics", but I never got round to reading it. Both the Incredible String Band and Van Morrison (who joined in the 80s) seem to have pulled out fairly rapidly - even if they drew something worthwhile from it. I believe that some of the Scientology techniques fed into other systems such as NLP. However, since the stuff about Thetans got into circulation I guess many people would consider it to be " a crackpot religion"!

All good things, John E
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Re: "Go clear" in Famous Blue Raincoat?

Postby friscogrl » Tue Nov 30, 2010 8:25 am

I read something once, can't remeber where, that when asked about Scientology Leonard said it wasn't
for him because they believe in "some crazy stuff". Does this sound familiar to you John?

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Re: "Go clear" in Famous Blue Raincoat?

Postby John Etherington » Tue Nov 30, 2010 1:15 pm

friscogrl - This does ring a faint bell. I wonder how long it was (especially pre-internet) before scientology students were introduced to the alien/Thetan ideas?
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Re: "Go clear" in Famous Blue Raincoat?

Postby richard65 » Tue Nov 30, 2010 1:37 pm

There is a well-known book "The Bare-Faced Messiah" by Russell Miller about Scientology and Ron Hubbard. Much of it you can read online.
Completing the "free" personality test referred to above, one which was constructed by an amateur, will be analysed and indicate that the "testee" needs Co$ help!!
Many of their "secrets" are now revealed of course - as well as their behaviours. However generally it is not the "recruit" who is at fault - but the organisation and its demands - all of which can be easily researched outside of this forum.
Seems that Cohen was astute enough, or together enough, to move on!
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Re: "Go clear" in Famous Blue Raincoat?

Postby Casuarina » Fri Dec 10, 2010 3:31 pm

Why doesn't somebody actually ask Mr. Cohen what he was referring to?
That would solve the problem. I assumed it meant clear of drugs, as in 'clean'.
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Re: "Go clear" in Famous Blue Raincoat?

Postby Olwen » Wed Aug 13, 2014 8:29 pm

I am very late coming to this topic, but it was only after hearing the song again at the Leonard Cohen Event, Dublin 2014- that I heard the words 'go clear' again and realised it might have a connection to Scientology. Leonard Cohen met Suzanne Elrod , the mother of his children at a Scientology class in1969- so I think it may well have something to do with it. That was many years ago and Leonard has had a long journey to where he is now. Since then Buddhism has played a big part in his life. So if we are the sum of our life experiences , we move on and do not always keep with us things that might have been significant (or not) at a previous stage. This is my take on it anyway :D
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Re: "Go clear" in Famous Blue Raincoat?

Postby dstegall53 » Mon Sep 09, 2019 9:58 pm

It is a term used to mean an escape from The Church of Scientology. From my reading, Olwen's reponce on 8/13/14 is correct about LC meeting Suzanne Elrod, the mother of their two children, in a Scientology Class. The only other comment I ever read LC speaking of Scientology is that he said "they had interesting data". I have read two biographies on LC and a book of dozens of interviews he gave over the years, as well both his novels and most of his poetry and, of course, every song he ever recorded. I had to study him to play the role of LC in a Rockumentary presentation "The History & Music of Leonard Cohen" at Workplay Theater in Birmingham, AL on 2/23/19. The show will be done again at Smith's Olde Bar in Atlanta 10/24/19. Our band is the only U.S. based Leonard Cohen cover band (or so we have been told and we're going with it!)
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Re: "Go clear" in Famous Blue Raincoat?

Postby its4inthemorning » Tue Sep 10, 2019 1:39 pm

dstegall, the show sounds intriguing, wish I was closer to Atlanta and could see it.

What Cohen songs does your band cover? If available, would love see a video or two.

Good luck on October 24!


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