Skip to comments.Joan Felt: The Leftist Voice Behind "Deep Throat"
Posted on 08/13/2005 5:33:09 AM PDT by Frank T
Santiago, Chile - W. Mark Felt managed to remain in historys shadows for more than 30 years. It would seem that his energetic daughter Joan, the person most influential in persuading her father to make public his role as Deep Throat, also had a past in her past.
Daughter Joan played a prominent role not only in outing her now-invalid 91-year-old father, but also in engineering book and movie deals. Long-estranged, father and daughter reconciled after he was widowed in the 1980s, and he has lived with her since.
Following his Deep Throat revelation in June, Felt has been praised and damned. No one, however, has accused him of being a leftist. For that matter, no one has accused Joan of that, either.
She was, though, very leftist, indeed.
After graduating from Stanford in 1964, she couldnt decide between a career as an actressshe is frequently described as a Joan Fonda look-alikeor in Spanish literature. She decided to move to a country where she could pursue both careers. The choices: Spain, then ruled by right-wing dictator Francisco Franco, or Chile, then under a government that was democratic but also embarked on a hard-left revolution.
Chile was her choice, and she won a Fulbright scholarship to study here. She knew little about this far-away country, but unlike other Fulbright scholars who shared apartments, she took a room of her own near the downtown area of Santiago.
The rest of the story unfolds in a remarkable piece of reporting in Chiles leading newsmagazine, Que Pasa.
I didnt want to be around gringos, she told the magazine. I wanted to immerse myself in the culture....Since I was my fathers daughter, I thought that we were the good guys and the Communists the bad guys. But when I began to frequent theaters and artists, I discovered that the sensitive people were all on the left or outright Communists. All of my friends were, and they were fantastic. That experience shook meI had to let go my past views and open my mind to new ideas.
She says she came to admire these idealists and listened respectfully as they savaged the U.S. for the damage her country had done to Latin America.
That was the beginning of my rebellion: thinking for myself, she said. I was still not a hippie, but I was on my way.
Since her Fulbright grant required that she perform as an actress, she began touring Santiagos lively theater scene.
By 1965, the budding actress was caught up in a bohemian lifestyle she had never known at home, participating in all-night, wine-and-cheese rap sessions. By day, she took courses in diction and voice, picking up bit roles on television and in theaters. One was with a professional company directed by the Rev. Jorge Canepa, a well-heeled priest who taught at St. George High Schoolrun by radical leftist American padres. By then, she was also making a name for herself. She was, one remembers, a looker.
That one was Andres Pascal Allende, nephew of the Marxist-Leninist president (1970-1973) who led Chile to ruin, and himself one of the founders of the Movement of the Revolutionary Left (MIR) terrorist organization. The MIR became the initial, prime target of the military government, which managed to find and kill in a gun-battle its top leader, at which point Pascal Allende took the reins of power, shuttling in and out of the country clandestinely from Cuba all the years of the military government (1973-1990).
Joan Felt met Pascal Allende when she returned to Chile after spending two post-Fulbright semesters at Stanford. The country she returned to was by then fully in the throes of revolutionary ferment. This time she found work as an interpreter at the University of Chile and obtained grants from the Rockefeller Foundation to do translations.
At the university, she met Uruguayan historian Gustavo Beyhaut, 20 years her senior, and despite the age difference, decided to move in with him. During that same time, she struck up a friendship with Carmen Castillo, then married to Pascal Allende. The three became inseparable, especially the two women on weekends when the young Allende disappeared. She would learn later, she says, that he was running a guerrilla training camp.
During his weekend absences, Felt and Castillo frequently travelled to the fashionable seacoast resort of Algarrobo, staying there with Pascal Allendes uncle, the then-Senator Salvador Allende.
Of Allendes razor-thin election as president (on his fourth try, on Sept. 4, 1970), William F. Buckleymindful of massive U.S. aid to leftist Chilewrote at the time: It as if the child on whom we devoted the most attention and care had decided, upon finishing graduate school, to embrace cannibalism.
That is not, however, what Felt saw: He was very pleasant with me, a very impressive person. You could see by his manner that he was a leader, a person of strong self-confidence. He was always surrounded by people who admired him, but he never treated me as a lesser being.
Life as a Hippie
Despite her strong ties to Chile, Felt returned to the U.S. and rapidly lost contact with her former friends. I immersed myself in my life as a hippie, and just lost contact. When she learned of the coup that overthrew Allende in 1973, she presumed that all her friends would be dead. (They werent).
Until recently, her Chilean experiences remained buried in her past, even up to her recent involvement in the Deep Throat phenomenon. But Chile has emerged anew as a fascination.
I must return, she told Que Pasa.
But what is interesting is that like, what is it, about a third of America's young adults at the time (mid-late 60's), she went new left/hippie. And she is still a progressive, as some news reports indicated at the time of Mark Felt's outing - a member of the Adidam cult. Like any other progressive organisation, they need money, and her outing of her father will help generate some.
But here's the relevent part, in understanding why so many young Americans at the time turned on their own country. She is quoted as saying:
"'I didnt want to be around gringos,' she told the magazine. 'I wanted to immerse myself in the culture....Since I was my fathers daughter, I thought that we were the good guys and the Communists the bad guys. But when I began to frequent theaters and artists, I discovered that the sensitive people were all on the left or outright Communists. All of my friends were, and they were fantastic. That experience shook meI had to let go my past views and open my mind to new ideas.'"
If part of the contemporary conservative movement's goal is to roll back the influence of Leftism, it's important to know what went wrong back then. Joan Felt's words are representative of many others in her world.
First, there's the contrasting of racial blocs. It's not that she wanted to get away from a nation dedicated to the pursuit of happiness or liberty; rather, it was to get away from a certain people, or culture. A certain self-loathing element.
Second, what attracted her to Communism, which she discovered once she got to Chile, was the *sensitivity* of its proponents! Isn't that what it's all about for today's white progressives? A world with a more feminine sensibility? If the sensitive will inherit the earth, then the knuckle-dragging conservative realists must be the problem; must be the roadblock to a new social order.
What's funny is the she admired President Allende for being manly, being a good leader:
"He was very pleasant with me, a very impressive person. You could see by his manner that he was a leader, a person of strong self-confidence. He was always surrounded by people who admired him, but he never treated me as a lesser being."
I can't help but see this kind of unfolding of an era being the result of two things: real, specific economic and policy goals (radiacal economic redistribution, disenfranchising of pre-existing social instutions such as the church) being pursued by authentic revolutionaries; and those who want to bring about a change in how we think about each other, based on a more passive model, so that those with that kind of personality can rise to places of higher prominence in the social hierarchy.
With the fall of the Soviet Union, and the persistent success of relatively free-market/quasi-libertarian societies, the first type of person in the above mentioned coalition is being gradually turned towards our type of society. That Spain has taken less a role in Latin Amerca also opens up the south to more influence by free societies.
The second type of person, however, is still very much out there, still trying to force us to think along specific lines. For the social progressives, nothing has changed. No historic event has shown them the error of their ways.
I don't mean to be a bastard by saying this, but it seems like the rise of the second type of person had to do with the enfranchisement of the women's vote and the fallout from that. And if that is so, how do you fix things without revoking the right for women to vote and be active contributers to society?
If half of a population is freed to vote and shape society (a relatively new development in the course of human civilisation), is it unsurprising that the same society loses it's previous composure, and starts to take the outlook of the new members in the elite?
Too ashamed of his past to come forward.
Only when 'the family' figured it better make a buck while it can off old pops, was the truth learned.
Ex Hippie Commune girl has decided to cash in before the body goes cold.
She is disgusting.
anagram: Felt = Left
Well, isn't that special.
The correct term is socialist.
I got stopped right there.
She is just plain stupid. Her stupidity is matched only by her arrogance.
So LEFT, so Marxist.
I generally use the terms "leftists", "liberals" and "socialists" rather selectively according to the individuals or organizations involved.....whichever term fits the closest.
notice too that when she returned to America - she took on the challenge of "being a hippie." I am amazed at how leftists want change as long as most of the heavy lifting is done by workers, while they have wine and cheese to explain the role of change for the worker.
Those are communists Leni.
This is a common error on the left. Many equate the quality of "sensitivity" (Someone's crying, Lord, Kumbaya) with the far more difficult task of accurately assessing, understanding and providable workable solutions to the dilemmas of politics and economics. Quite often sensitivity is an outright obstacle to finding such solutions, in fact, because it emphasizes tendentious emotivism over objective analysis.
I agree that the word progressive is innappropriate, if you are to look at the outcomes of the Progressive movement. In its extremes, there have been horrible attrocities due to liquidation of parts of nations populations, due to far Left leadership.
What is useful about the term "Progressive" is that it describes a broad range of related movements. No one is saying Social Democrats will bring about the same government as Communists, but they have the same philosophical basis.
According to Bill Clinton, 75% of Iranians are "progressive." While Clinton and Iranians live different lifestyles, both tend towards heavy centralization of government, as much as they can achieve. The mullahs of Iran, obviously, being more successful at it than Democrats in America.
Another example has to do with campus speach. Back in the hippie age, there was the Filthy Speach movement on some campuses. Imagine carrying around a sign with the word "Fuck" on it, in what was a more polite society back then? Some of these same people are not responsible for coming up with campus speach codes which act to inhibit certain things from being said (and therefore, supposedly, from being thought). Being repremanded for "innapropriate laughter"? While the strategies of the movement change (radically open and free speach, to regulated speach, in the course of a few decades), the people, and more importantly, the goals remain the same. "Progressive" accurately refers to both the radical free speach advocate and the authortarian who wants to limit it.
Nope! Not me. Never did.
I was a Goldwater man (or boy) in '64. I knew my politics, I knew the difference between capitalism and communism, the USSR and the USA. What do I want, a medal? No! But since my high school days, whenever I have met a leftist, liberal, socialist, communist, or a Democrat, I would know them by their views and opinions. And they were always wrong.
"Some of these same people are not responsible..."
not = now
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