Dr. Timothy Leary remembers Benn Posset

I love Benn,

So wise he was, and funny, practical, impractical, poetic, intellecutal, cool. Now and then spacey. Always un-reliable, street wise, dependable.
Benn was the Jack Kerouac of Europe 1980. He guided me around the continent on two wonderful "on the road" tours. Linz, Vienna, Heidleberg, Hamburg, Berlin, Amsterdam and a few others. Sailing on gossamed wings through Dutch East Europe.

Hey, I forget the details. But, I remember this wonderful guy. People get to know each other on these improvised, off-the wall road trips. Renting planes to fly to Hamburg. Late parties. Wheelling Deeling. Driving through East Germany, hour after day.

Benn, you know, was alway ready for adventure. and philosophic pranks. Benn had pictures taken of us looking at the remains of the Berlin Wall. A memorable moment for which I thank him. Benn arranged that I would be the first Westerner to lecture at Humboldt University, the Sacred Academy of Totalitarianism during the Kaiser and the Nazi and the Communist empires.

What a spooky thrill. Benn led me through the fabled Brandenburg Gate into the legendary tree-lined boulevard- Unter den Linden. I marvelled again at the grandiose, pompous, bombastic, ostentatious, pretentious, in-human architecture designed to make us individuals feel small and insignificant. The State Opera, St. Hedwig's Cathedral, Humboldt University, Formerly the Frederich William University. Crown-jewel of East-European scholarship. Further east, on the Unter den Linden is the immense Marx-Engels Square, where formerly stood the Royal Palace. "Heavy Historical Shit" said Benn. We walked up the broad wide, imposing marble staircase of Humboldt University and gaped up at the enormous, monumental stained-glass mural-wall. It gleamed with the gigantic, stern, spooky faces of Stalin, Lenin, Engels and, of course, Abraham Lincoln, the manic, depressive father of modern industrial militaristic Union-parties. And the totalitarian psychologists Ivan Pavlov, B.F. Skinner. Here is the Vatican University of militarism. The Harvard-Yale of Federalism. The West Point, the Annapolis of Modern Totalitarianism. What a roster of world famous professors and teachers. Adolf Hitler, Ph D, the great protector of the Union. Herr Professors Ulbricht and Honecker, models for the Hoover Institute and the Moscow Center of Education. The Hermann Goering Air Force Academy. The brilliant, loose-cannon Rudolph Hess (The Ollie North of the 1930's). And P.J. Goebbels the revered Father of all TV commercials (ABC, BBC, CBS, CBB). Walking up the marble stairs of All-star totalitarian philosopy, Benn and I exchanged a knowing smile.

Yeah. We winked, exchanging the universal wordless message. of free individuals.
"Let's see what irreverent mischief we can stir up here".
The Regal Vatican Lincoln monumental Grandeur of the university was grossed out by certain tacky ominious control signs: Nichts Rauschen. We were led through the magnificant mahogany auditorium into the back-stage waiting room.
Also elegant and regal. First thing we did, naturally, was to light up cigarettes. One of our hosts pointed to a three meter wooden-pole on the floor around which was wrapped a gaudy red-yellow black flag emblazoned by the dread symbol of totalitarianism: "The hammer and sickle". Our host proudly reported that this flag, which formerly emblazoned the entrance to the university, had been taken down after the wall-fall. At this point I noticed on the wall of this palacial waiting room, certain elegant golden bronze metal letters.
the words: Marx Engels Auditorium. Benn and I exchanged a glance. "I don't think you should lecture in a hall which glorifies these totalitarian bozos" said Benn with a smile.
I nodded agreement and made a turning motion with my hand. Benn, always resourceful, pulled out this pocket knife. He then explained to our two student guides, in German, that the Herr Professor would like to be alone to meditate before the lecture. They nodded and left.
We locked the door. Then we went to work trying to pry out the metal letter M. No luck. Benn's knife was too small.
This did not stop my beloved, resourceful Dutch friend. Benn stomped around back-stage and triumphantly produced a strong chisel. Yeah. So we went to work.
It was a fantastic Mc Luhanite sabotage of literacy.
Benn liberated the M and the A and the R and the X. He handed me the chisel and I freed the E and the N and G and the E and the L and the S. We quickly stuffed the metal icons in the pockets of my overcoat. Then our eyes fell on the flag lying in the corner. Without a word Benn produced his knife. I held the pole as Benn cut the strings.
We quickly folded the looted trophy of Mc Luhanite triumph and folded the flag inside my overcoat. We unlocked the door and the students led us to the stage. The huge auditorium was jammed with an enthusiastic crowd of German students. Most of them came from West Berlin, we were told. After the lecture we left. I carried my coat carefully under my arm.
We had a wild, happy triumphal dinner on the Kurfurstendam (sp). Later on this drunken night of celebration I whispered to Benn that we should get some sleep. Benn replied "Don't worry, we have plenty of time". Next morning we had an early plane to catch. Benn Posett did not show up in the lobby. I called his room and he said "No hurry, No worry, we have plenty of time". After ten minutes the very worried cab driver said we must leave for the airport. I phoned Benn's room. And once again he calmed me down by saying "Don't worry, Tim, we have plenty of time". Ten minutes. No Benn, I phone again. Once again Benn laughed and said "Don't worry, we have plenty of time".

This time I agreed. "Don't hurry, Don't worry, Benn. I'm leaving for the airport now. The driver will come back in an hour. You can get the 11.00 plane to Amsterdam".

In 35 seconds Benn boomed out of the elevator with a big smile. "Don't worry, Tim we have plenty of time". The frantic driver gunned that fucking car. Drove like a racer, Zoom. Close to lightspeed. We skidded up to the KLM terminal with five minutes to go. The boarding gate was closed, but Benn, with his smile and charm, persuaded them to open up and let us board. We staggered to our seats and the plane took off before we could even fasten our belts. Whew. As I mopped my brow in relief, Benn turned to me with that wonderful, wise, calm, happy smile. He said "See, I told you we had plenty of time".

Dear Benn, I love you, you were right.
But I wish....I wish... I wish... we had a little more time, beloved friend.