By Stephanie Hopkins Hughes,
Former Editor The Oxfordian
Eric Miller is a journalist, poet, playwright, from San Diego. He has worked as a due diligence professional in forensic accounting, as a litigation manager, and as a legal researcher and writer of briefs for the US 9th Circuit Court of Appeals. In the 1970s Miller began working with the eminent psychologist, historian, scientist, and best-selling author Immanuel Velikovsky in areas of cultural studies and research. In 1978 he became involved with the Pacific Institute of Advanced Studies, an experimental college of Agricultural, Astronomy and the Arts, helping to establish its "university without walls." While living and working on-campus, Eric began work on his PhD project, a critical investigation of the life and works of Sigmund Freud. He has made repeated trips to China and Taiwan to obtain research for his two-volume work on Venus worship in ancient China.
Culture, Art, Poetry & My Biography
Born in northwestern Iowa, in 1940 ( only a few miles from the Minnesota boarder) in Mason City, I was the youngest member of a large desperately poor family of 7 children.
As a child, I read deeply into the Old and New testaments of the King James Bible. On my mother's knee, I listened to childhood nursery rhymes and limericks and committed much of it to memory. Later, she recited for me her favorite poems —Carl Sandburg, Robert Frost, Elizabeth and Robert Browning and others. By the time I was 8 or 9, I had committed many of King David’s psalms to memory. And many a time in our family’s difficult journey, I recited them over and over to myself: “The Lord is my shepherd I shall not want and “I shall lift up mine eyes unto the hills. . .” were especial favorites from which I drew strength and courage. I habitually recited the Lord’s Prayer and always said my nightly prayers aloud but to myself. Daily, I often, too, said my prayers silently—always in the King James English. It never occurred to me not to pray in the language of the King James Bible. To this day I continue my early habits.
Throughout my life I have been fascinated by the study of religion, philosophy, ancient cultures, poetry and drama—the origins of language and histories of peoples throughout the world. Raised as a Nazarene, in a humble church in the poor part of town, every Sunday I went to church. I won awards for unfailing attendance (despite the northern Iowa horrific winters and spring storms) and the ability to recite Biblical verses, especially those of the Psalms or the “red letter” words of Jesus. I believed, from earliest age, I was destined to be a preacher—but, I was wrong, I was destined to be a poet. It wasn’t until many years later, that I discovered that “poet” and “prophet’ were synonymous. When I was about 12 or 13, I discovered Shakespeare—his poetry became for me a kind of “religious experience”—just as had the words from King David's glorious poetry affected me. Shakespeare was magnificent. They were cut from the same cloth, it seemed to me.
Always an inveterate reader, later, between the ages of 14 and 15, I began reading great literature, novels, poetry and biographies (George Washington Carver, Gandhi, Helen Keller, Thomas Paine, etc.). Then, about 16, I became enraptured with Greek philosophy and later Eastern mysticism. By reading books on the subject, I became a hypnotist; feed on a library of occultism and mysticism. and conducted ESP experiments via hypnosis. I was a founding member of the San Diego Parapsychology Association while still in High School.
Before I was 18, I was offered a full paid scholarship to an acting school in Hollywood, from a talent scout who spotted me in a high school play. At 18, I worked as a fledgling journalist with the El Cajon Valley News. I began traditionally with writing obituaries, finding stories in police records and town hall meetings and quickly graduated to being a feature storywriter and, later, worked at the Re-write Desk. One of my bi-line Sunday Features caught the attention of Walt Disney and he personally offered me a full-time job as a writer with Disney’s enterprises.
Shortly after having gotten a bit of fame (or infamy) in a court case for participating in a jury trial where I defended myself (one of 250 people arrested on the same night for allegedly “participating” in a “riot” for a drag strip—an interest I never had). The whole event was widely covered by the press and TV and a number of lawyers from the ACLU daily attended the trials. I was declared a “young Clarence Darrel” in the local press and offered full-paid scholarship with one of the most prestigious law firms in the area for my evident legal abilities (McFadden & Bartell). All offers, be it for acting or the law, were declined. I was going to become a “creative writer” and nothing was going to get in my way.
After a couple semesters at Junior College, where I was studying Literature, Drama and Philosophy, I volunteered for the draft in the U.S. Army. I had just turned 19.
I had gotten kicked out of every school I had ever gone to up to my college days—from Grade School, through Jr. High School, through High School. I was “insubordinate,” a “trouble-maker,” “talked too much,” and was considered a “ring leader” among my peers of “cut-ups” and “vandals.” But, despite al this, I always had teachers who would do most anything for me, and defended me against all critics, even school administration—they were obviously aware that I was a talented rebel and a few of the “”best and brightest” among the teachers helped me a great deal and encouraged me, despite my being “a difficult case.”
After High School, I quickly developed a great fondness for Chinese culture and poetry, history, myth and science—and spent much time reading Chinese and Japanese poetry and religious and philosophical works. I studied the logical foundations of ancient and modern world-views and the fads and fantasies of current cultures. When I went into the U.S. Army I excelled in most things and was even one of 6 troops (out of 10,000 we were told in a special meeting presided over by a U.S. General) selected for a special cryptographic unit (code breaking). It was an amazing program. We did not need to wear military uniforms and had special treatment in most all regards by virtue of the value of the program. I opted out of the program as it would require me to sign up for another year of military service.
TO BE CONTINUED, MAYBE. . .