Yes, Bob Hope is violently insane

by Sara Gran

One recurring theme of this blog seems likely to be people who have an unwholesome relationship with Bob Hope.  As we’ve touched on before, there’s Brice Taylor, who in her book ‘Thanks for the Memories!” maintains that she was a mind-controlled slave of Bob Hope (and others!) for years, thanks to the CIA and their Mk-Ultra program (or so I think–the book is expensive, and therefore I’ve never read it). David Icke, too, I think, is on the Bob Hope bandwagon. And there’s also the infamous Sally Fox letters, which thanks to an Abbot Gran Medicine Show tipster (yes, we have tipsters!), I now have in possession (you can read them here). Sally Fox was a lucid New Orleans woman who was certain that Bob Hope was implanting unpleasant thoughts in her head. She wrote the FBI, the CIA, and her representative, Lindy Boggs, about this. Surprisingly, only Ms. Boggs agreed to investigate Ms. Fox’s case, but she came up empty handed. From Fox’s first letter to the press:

I am involved in a phenomenal situation which I believe merits investigation.

The whole thing started about seven years ago when I began to “see” Bob Hope (the comedian) when I would close my eyes and concentrate. Through study, I learned that the reason I could “see” Bob Hope was because he is violently insane and uses abnormal thinking processes which introject and project others’ egos.

When this problem began, besides worrying about my mental health, I also felt that my civil rights were being violated by an other person’s insanity, so I began to write letters to the FBI. At first, the FBI thought I was crazy, but a year or so later, the FBI told me that they had been getting 800 to 900 complaints a day from people all around the country saying the same thing I was: Bob Hope is crazy and interferes with their normal thinking. The FBI told me they were investigating.

The really strange twist here is that in Harper’s (they ran them in that little front-of-the-book section of of odds & ends), these letters are followed by a reply to Sally Fox, from an anonymous woman who believes that she, as well, is being mentally violated by Bob Hope:

I was recently visiting a local college and I was describing to a friend the rather odd things (all involving Bob Hope) which seem to be happening to me. Amazingly, someone nearby overheard our conversation and recommended that I contact you.

I understand that you too have experienced these thought disturbances…Yes, Bob Hope is violently insane.

How Harper’s would have gotten these last letters–the response–is a question I don’t have an answer for. A mystery indeed.

It’s easy to make fun of these people, and hey, go ahead. What fascinates me about this, though, is the same thing that fascinates me about the (at least!) three people who have written books claiming their father was the Black Dahlia killer. That is, how public figures fill holes in our psyches that we can’t fill through ordinary means. My father wasn’t just a shithead, he was the Black Dahlia Killer! I wasn’t just screwed by the CIA (heck, tons of people believe that–and some of them are undeniably right), I was screwed by Bob Hope working for the CIA! But I don’t understand exactly what role Bob Hope fills in people’s psyche’s. He fills no holes in mine, I’m sorry to say.

This also ties into one of my other obsessions; otherwise-sane people who think they’re the victim of mind-control programs. This Washington Post article is one of the better pieces of writing ever done on the topic (and check out the fascinating follow-up discussion). The other day I think I mentioned Gloria Naylor’s book 1996, which is also a must-read for anyone interested in the topic. It’s easy to call some poor soul who posts on the internet a nutjob, but Naylor is an accomplished, highly successful, entirely lucid writer. We don’t know much about Sally Fox, but we know she was, repeatedly, able to type a letter, get a stamp, get to the post office, etc. And her letters are pretty lucid. The issue isn’t “mental illness,” not in the sense of someone of someone who can’t function or be trusted to take care of themselves (again, see: Gloria Naylor). So what is the issue?

Bob Hope gets plaque on Hill.

Image via Wikipedia

But Megan, I think you have a contrary opinion on this vital topic…

12 Comments to “Yes, Bob Hope is violently insane”

  1. Great stuff. He takes risks too.

  2. No one wants to believe in Sally Fox more than me–and here I’m talking not about the *content* of her letters, but HER authenticity. But when I finally read the ones in Harper’s, by the end, I had this sinking JT Leroy feeling….I think it was this one:

    Dear X,
    I read with amazement your letter concerning Bob Hope, madman. I, like you, am relieved to know that I am not the only person who will admit to this problem.

    I have so much to tell you. I have been fighting this problem for the last thirteen years and, frankly, was just about ready to give up. Your letter has inspired me to continue the struggle.

    I can’t explain everything in a letter-I don’t know where to begin. Please call me and I will be more than happy to tell you about my whole ordeal.

    In the meantime, remember you are not alone and, yes, Bob Hope is violently insane.

    Sincerely,
    Sally Fox

    There’s just something too….too…too orderly about it? Too winning? I can’t put my finger on it. When I shared my doubts with Sara, she accused me of cynicism, but isn’t the even more exciting potential of a conspiracy within a conspiracy within a conspiracy even more enticing??? What a story that would be! (Charlie Kaufman, I’m talking to you!)

    • Also, Megan, although I hate to give more credence to your VERY CYNICAL argument, how would Harper’s have gotten the whole series of letters? I really think it may be somewhere in between–maybe the first few letters were real adn then pranksters took over?

  3. Paul, where did you find THAT? please explain!

  4. Awesome stuff. I’ve been fascinated for years by folks like George Hodel, who claims his dad was both the Black Dahlia killer AND the Zodiac. Have you read about Candy Jones, the pin-up girl who claimed to be a victim of the CIA’s MK-ULTRA program? These things are so compelling – they put you at the center of events; they give your whole life a theme and a meaning. You’re a victim, sure, but you matter, too.

    • I do know of Candy Jones! I think you really hit one of many nails here on the head with your “you matter” comment–I think self-importance is a big part of these conceptions. Exactly–everyone at work thinks I’m a big schmuck, but the CIA sure thinks I’m important!

  5. Sorry – got that wrong – it’s Steve Hodel who thinks his dad, George, was a killer.

    • Interesting slip, Dennis! and I think speaks to the heart of the matter. These “my dad did it” conspiracies seem different somehow than what we see with Sally Fox—to get all Freudian (with “my dad it,” it’s hard to avoid!), thre seems a kind of massive wish fulfillment scenario. He hurt me, he must have hurt others, and not just others but the Most Famous Victims of all. And if THEIR victimhood draws sympathy, mine should too? Though I guess in all cases, it’s wanting one’s small personal narrative to take on LARGE proportion and scope?

  6. Lucid communication does not mean the people are not mentally ill. The severity of their illness may not effect their ability to communicate and interact with people. High functioning alcoholics may be a fair comparison.

    If the people are not mentally ill I think you hit it on the head with, “public figures fill holes in our psyches that we can’t fill through ordinary means.” They are just screwed up and blaming Ski Nose for their problems. Mind control and CIA talk seems to have been popular in the ’60s and ’70s along with Hope. UFOs and recovered memories were popular in the ’80s. Computer conspiracies had a go in the ’90s. I have no idea what current lunacy is going on, but I hope to cash in on it.

  7. Gerard–oh I couldn’t agree more! that’s not precisely what I mean. Something about the phrasing in the letters suggests to me that it’s someone having fun with us/it….

  8. M &S, I think those impulses are very much on display with alien abduction narratives, too. “No, I don’t have sleep paralysis, it’s just that intergalactic beings find me fascinating and irresistible. Not you, you attention-hog, me!”

  9. I used have that Rip, rig & Panic record. Back in the HEEY!-ties.

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