The Aberree was a 'zine, or newletter, published from 1954 through 1965. The editor, Alphia Hart, and the publisher, Agnes Hart, put out ten issues a year. The Aberree started out as "the non-serious voice of Scientology" and ultimately encompassed all kinds of spiritual and self-help interests, from psychic phenomena and UFOs to improving eyesight. The Aberree shows that convention and uniformity weren't the whole story of the 50s, by a long shot. It also shows that Scientology, which has grown famous for its attempts to silence dissent and criticism, was trying to squelch debate 50 years ago ... with similarly ineffective tactics.Looks like the Harts suffered real harm from the slings and arrows of Hubbard. In '62 they worked from a little storefront at 207 N. Wash on the respectable side of downtown, but they lived out by the cemetery on N. Monroe, a couple blocks from a house I rented briefly in '72 when I was dead broke. Zillow and Googlestreet agree that the Monroe address is currently a vacant lot, but a closeup look via Googlestreet shows a house with the correct address on the front. It would have rented for $20 in '62. A house and a vacant lot at the same time! Still metaphysical after all these years! In any case, a decade of lawsuits must have impoverished the Harts. Unexpectedly, the magazine wasn't a mimeographed newsletter. It was professionally done, with excellent art on the cover. Offset ... I don't think Cromwell was doing offset then, and Cromwell wouldn't have touched the work anyway. Cromwell would have considered Hart to be An Eccentric And Disreputable Operator With Whom The Cromwell Establishment Shall Have Nothing To Do. Maybe the Harts did their own printing, plus some side jobs? Or maybe they used Daugherty, who was definitely a metaphysical printer? I can't find any advertising of the former, nor any mention of the latter. A few paragraphs from their 'Globicides' column in 1954:
Three Arkansas men have formed a corporation -- called the Planet Mars Development Corp. -- to subdivide and sell land if and when that planet is reached. In the ABERREE last month, our Martian correspondent said: "kyst b yg k lm zx't, exerp. tg. mnyt plxmvhy stkr plzth." It took 20 U.S. military officers 20 days to burn 35 million dollars in obsolete military money in an incinerator recently. But they'll learn: two officers in the Pentagon can "burn up" 10 times that in real money in 20 seconds.Did I write that? Might as well. And another piece:
The book alleges that Russia went ahead of the U.S. in atomic research in 1953 because of political squabbles, and much of the blame is laid at the door of Dr. Philip Oppenheimer, who helped to father the A-bomb. This could be true, in which case no nation is safe, and the next war will be won with the first blast, and a world of radioactive desert, so often pictured by science fiction writers, will be a reality. Then, too, there is the possibility that the charge is false, and merely a motivator for continued research into bigger and better death-dealing weapons.Did I write that? Might as well. Reincarnation? Who knows. Later: It appears that Alphia had been a photographer for the Daily Oklahoman from 1936 to 1940. I can't tell for sure if it's the same man, but the name is rare and the locations and dates and occupations fit together nicely. Hard to imagine two separate Alphia Harts both in Okla and both working in journalism. His work is archived at Okla Hist Soc. ... And the assumption is verified by this page of the Aberree. This page verifies that they did their own printing. = = = = = Sidenote 1: It makes me itchy to think that I lived in Enid for 10 years while the Harts were (probably) still alive and kicking, drove past their house often, yet never heard of them or knew them. I was SOCIAL in those days, knowing a wide range of people, and my circle should have overlapped the Hart circle. But it didn't. Maybe they faded or died before 1970? = = = = = Sidenote 2: The Hart niche was partly refilled by Glenn Hauser, who has been writing and taping a SWL report since the '70s. He moved to Enid around 1980, taking advantage of an oil bust to pick up a nice big house. Enid is prime SW territory, optimally positioned to catch skip from Europe and Asia and South America. Like the Harts, Glenn has his own unique worldview and his own unique vocabulary. Conclusion: Enid is also prime Unique Worldview territory. = = = = = Later correction: The Ayer figure for circulation must have been annual total copies. In fact their total of subscriptions in 1962 was more like 1100 than 11000. So they were msking some money but probably not enough to live on. They also did printing for other customers, specializing in sending out mass mailings.
Polistra was named after the original townsite of Manhattan (the one in Kansas). When I was growing up in Manhattan, I spent a lot of time exploring by foot, bike, and car. I discovered the ruins of an old mill along Wildcat Creek, and decided (inaccurately) that it was the remains of the original site of Polistra. Accurate or not, I've always liked the name, with its echoes of Poland (an under-appreciated friend of freedom) and stars. ==== The title icon is explained here. ==== Switchover: This 2007 entry marks a sharp change in worldview from neocon to pure populist. ===== The long illustrated story of Polistra's Dream is a time-travel fable, attempting to answer the dangerous revision of New Deal history propagated by Amity Shlaes. The Dream has 8 episodes, linked in a chain from the first. This entry explains the Shlaes connection.